Red-Tailed Boa Constrictor

Red-Tailed Boa Constrictor         Boa constrictor

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

S America down to N Argentina as well as Trinidad & Tobago plus some coastal islands. Introduced in S Florida, St Croix, Puerto Rico, Cozumel, & Aruba.

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

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:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture


Additional Info:


Male-10-20 lbs
Female-22-48 lbs
Young-6 lbs

4-8 months 

Life Span:
20-30 years

Body Length:
Male-6-8 ft
Female-7-13 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.

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