The boa constrictor is a large non-venomous snake native to Central and South America. The common name refers to a deep red/brown coloration on the saddles on the tail and anterior portion of the back.
Size: The red tailed boa constrictor is a huge snake, with adults able to reach lengths in excess of 12 feet, although 9 – 10 foot is more prevalent. Female boa constrictors, as with most snakes, are inclined to be larger and more muscular than the men.
Housing: As the adult boa is rather large, you need to deliver a large enclosure. Always keep in mind that a boa is a very powerful snake and that it can either break the enclosure, even if it is not properly designed for snakes, or escape it easily if openings aren’t secured. A single adult specimen will call for a floor area of 72″ by 36″ by 36″. As a largely terrestrial snake, height of the enclosure isn’t so significant, although sturdy branches should be provided to make use of what height you have, since some specimens will climb, particularly when young.
Substrate: One of the greatest secrets related to red tailed snakes is the substrate. The most common one is the paper towels or paper, since they are easily replaceable and hygienic. You will also have the ability to monitor the conditions in the cage this way; after your pet is established and you don’t have to generate any more changes, then you can buy one of the commercial substrates, which are especially made for snake tanks. These are usually made of cypress and fir bark. There are some elements that needs to be avoided, such as pine and cedar, because they can harbour parasites, and have toxins present that in an enclosed area can be hazardous to your snake’s health. In any case you should use something which is both easy to clean and safe.
Habitat: The red tailed boas are reclusive need places to hide. Hides can be offered in the kind of artificial plastic caves, upturned bowls, or even cardboard boxes. Using stones is also a good idea, as long as they don’t have any sharp edges and are securely fastened so they cannot be dislodged and fall onto your boa.
Heat and Light: While no special lighting is needed, a proper temperature gradient must be provided. A thermostatically controlled heating source, such as a ceramic bulb heater, should be installed to provide a temperature range from approximately 29 – 33 C at the warm end, to 27 – 29 C in the cooler end. A drop of a few degrees at night is also a good idea.
Food and Water: Many boas will readily accept defrosted rodents. A single prey item, no larger than the snake’s head, should be provided fortnightly for adults, and weekly for neonates. A huge bowl of fresh water must always be provided.