Central American Boa

Central American Boa Boa imperator

Type of Animal:

Subtropical/tropical forest (closed & open), forested areas near rivers/streams, coastal areas, villages, woodlands, semi-arid forests, semidesert, rivers, streams, forest edges/clearings, tropical desert, scrub, agricultural areas, dry lowlands, cloud forest

E & S Mexico, Central America, & N & W Colombia. Introduced to S Florida, Puerto Rico, & Mona Island. 

Females larger than males, males have longer tails, brown to grey to cream base coloration, tails usually reddish to brown but sometimes orange or salmon pink, dwarf populations occur in Nicaragua which are sometimes orangish or pinkish in color (especially closer to tail), dwarf populations also on islands, albino morphs common in captivity, patterns of jagged lines/ovals/diamonds/circles

Rats, mice, squirrels, agoutis, capybaras, guinea pigs, pacas, porcupines, small caimans, coatis, monkeys, rabbits, amphibians, birds (up to size of turkeys), eggs, other snakes (including smaller members of own species), ocelots/other small felids, opossums, mongooses, pigs, bats, lizards, young crocodilians, turtles, young tortoises, deer, sloths

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture


Additional Info:


Male: 8-15 lbs
Female: 15-30 lbs
Young: 3 lbs

4-8 months

Life Span:
20-30 years

Body Length:
Male: 4-7 ft
Female: 6-11 ft
Young: 2.7 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 2.5 ft
Female: 2 ft

Main predators of adults are jaguars, crocodilians, & large raptors. Young preyed on by many snakes (including larger members of own species), predatory birds, carnivorous/omnivorous mammals, predatory turtles, & predatory lizards. 

Like other boas, females give birth to live young.

Famed for killing method-constricting & swallowing prey whole.

Farmers kill them due to preying on poultry & on rarer occasions, pigs.

Sexually mature at 2-3 years.

They’re ambush predators.

They’re hunted for skin, meat, & pet trade.

They spend lots of time on the ground & in trees.

Sometimes hybridize w/ Red-Tailed Boa Constrictors.

Mostly nocturnal and/or crepuscular.

These snakes are excellent swimmers.

Fun Fact(s):
Loosely hinged jaws can stretch far apart, enabling it to eat prey much bigger than itself.

Very popular in the pet trade.

Fairly docile unless shedding. However, younger ones can be nippy.

Valuable in that they eat lots of small & medium-sized mammals.

It can take them 6 days to digest a meal.

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