ANIMAL: Red-Tailed Boa Constrictor Boa constrictor Type of Animal: Boa/Python Habitat: 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 Location(s): Mexico, C America, S America down to N Argentina, Trinidad & Tobago as well as some coastal islands. Introduced in S Florida, St Croix, & Puerto Rico. Appearance: Females bigger than males, males have longer tails, brown, grey, or cream base color w/ brown/reddish-brown saddle, tails often red but sometimes dark brown, salmon pink or orange, albino morphs common in captivity, dwarf populations on islands, patterns of jagged lines/ovals/diamonds/circles Food/Diet: Rats, mice, squirrels, agoutis, capybaras, guinea pigs, nutrias, pacas, porcupines, small caimans, coatis, monkeys, rabbits, amphibians, birds (up to size of turkeys), eggs, other snakes (including young anacondas & smaller members of own species), ocelots/other small felines, opossums, mongooses, pigs, bats, lizards, young crocodilians, turtles, young tortoises, deer, sloths Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos, aquariums, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture Lifestyle: Solitary Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young-Snakelet Group-Solitary Weight: Male-10-20 lbs Female-22-48 lbs Young-6 lbs Gestation: 4-8 months Life Span: 20-30 years Body Length: Male-6-8 ft Female-7-12 ft Young-3 ft Tail Length: Male-3 ft Female-2.5 ft Main predators of adults are jaguars, crocodilians, anacondas, & harpy eagles. 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. 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.