Emerald Tree Boa

Emerald Tree Boa Corallus caninus

Type of Animal:

Rainforest, forested swamps/swamp forest, riparian areas, wetlands, riversides, found from sea level to 3,300 ft

Colombia, Venezuela, Guiana Shield, far N Brazil

Emerald green ground color w/ white/yellow irregular interrupted zigzag stripe or lightning bolt spots, yellow belly, juveniles vary from shades of light/dark orange and/or brick red

Birds, small mammals up to size of small monkeys, lizards, smaller snakes, amphibians

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, herpetoculture, & aquariums


Additional Info:

Young: Snakelet
Group: Solitary
Male: 2 lbs
Female: 3.3 lbs
Young: 0.3 lbs

6-7 months 

Life Span:
15-20 years in wild, 25-30 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 5 ft
Female: 6 ft
Young: 2 ft

Tail Length:
0.6 ft, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults are raptors, felids, boa constrictors, & crocodilians. Many reptiles, amphibians, birds, & mammals eat young.
Like most boas, they’re ovoviviparous w/ eggs hatching internally, resulting in 5-20 live young.
Active at night (nocturnal).
Like all boas, they kill prey by constricting/swallowing whole.
They’re highly arboreal.
They’re ambush predators.
They’re very shy in the wild.
Males & females often fight by constricting/mounting each other.
Hybridize w/ Amazon Basin Emerald Tree Boas in areas where both species occur.
Camouflage comes in handy for catching prey & hiding from predators.
Often seen in curled position on trees.
Use thermal receptor pits around mouth to detect prey.
Sexually mature at 2-3 years old.
Females breed once a year or once every other year.

Fun Fact(s):
Great example of parallel evolution-these & close relative Amazon Basin Emerald Tree Boa look/behave very similar to Green Tree Pythons of New Guinea & NE Australia.
Due to slow metabolism, they can go months w/o eating/pooping. Prefer to poop on rainy days (which are quite common in their range) so water washes all fecal traces away.
These snakes can be quite defensive & often aggressive, not hesitating to strike/bite. They have extra long sharp teeth (nearly 2 in) for capturing prey. While nonvenomous & not deadly, bites often require hospital visit & have caused permanent nerve damage.
Gets caninus part of scientific name due to nearly 2 in long teeth. Also gets that name due to wide-set head/snout.
Emerald Tree Boa, Shedd Aquarium, taken by me

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