Jamaican Boa

Jamaican Boa Chilabothrus subflavus

Type of Animal:

Forests, woodlands, dry scrub forest, swampland, mangroves, heavily vegetated areas, plantations, wetlands


Golden-green/golden-yellow along head/anterior area w/ black zigzag crossbars, blacker towards posterior end, females often darker than males in posterior

Rats, mice, birds, bats, lizards, amphibians, insects

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture


Additional Info:

Young: Snakelet
Group: Solitary

Male: 2.4-5.2 lbs
Female: 2.92-5.68 lbs

6-7 months 

Life Span:
20 years in wild, 24-30 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 4.17-5.8 ft
Female: 4.35-7 ft
Young: 1.74 ft

Tail Length:
0.9 ft, same for both sexes

Main predators are cats, dogs, pigs, mongooses, & hawks.
Threatened due to habitat loss/fragmentation, deforestation, introduced predators, human persecution due to false belief they’re venomous/religious associations/poultry consumption, bauxite mining, poaching for meat/pet trade/medicine trade.
Active at night (nocturnal).
They’re ambush predators.
Like all boas, they kill prey by constricting & swallowing whole.
They’re ovoviviparous, w/ embryos developing inside mom’s body, w/ babies eventually coming out as 5-44 live young.
Usually breed between February & April.
Also called Jamaican Yellow Snake & Nanka (from Asante word for snake Onanka).
Each breeding event can last a full day.
Breeding involves pair being tightly intertwined.
Forked tongue detects chemical signals of prey.
They’re semiarboreal.
They have excellent camouflage.

Fun Fact(s):
Though they may prey on poultry, they’re highly beneficial & prefer rodents & smaller birds.
While not aggressive, they can defend themselves w/ needle-sharp teeth if need be. They can also musk.
Largest native terrestrial predator in Jamaica.
Jamaican Boas, Brookfield Zoo, taken by me

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