Boas are among the most famous of all snakes and have been routinely maintained and bred in captivity for over 20 years now. They can be very different depending on the localities of origin, whether in terms of size (from 90 cm to 250 cm), morphology or even their habitat (from the Colombian jungle to the Mexican desert). But a common point connects them all: a calm and stable temperament, devoid of aggressiveness. To this are added the phases of colors and patterns (mutation or morph) newly arrived which have exploded demand for this species.
Terrarium For Boa Constrictor
As said before, boas have very different customs and adapt to almost all types of terrariums if we follow certain basic rules. Juveniles under 80 cm will be placed in a terrarium of 45 to 80 cm maximum. We can offer them indifferently a terrarium screened on top (from the EXO TERRA range) or a terrarium all in a glass.
- A screened terrarium allows you to put the heating elements outside and thus maintain a natural aesthetic effect in the terrarium. On the other hand, this avoids any risk of burns for the animal. A hot spot at 32 ° C located in height will be created by placing a dome with a heating ceramic (100W) placed on the mesh. We strongly recommend that you connect this ceramic to a thermostat which not only allows you to regulate the temperature, consume less electricity, but above all to lower the temperature at night to around 25/27 ° C, which is essential for your snake. (Other heating systems are possible
such as a heating bulb incandescent for the day and a heating mat to take over at night). An additional heating mat placed below the terrarium provides a temperature base and increases the humidity.
- In an all-glass terrarium we advise you to simply heat with a heating mat: placed below the terrarium, it is invisible, economical and diffuses a healthy heat and avoids any risk of burns for the animal. As with ceramic, we strongly recommend that you connect the heating mat to a thermostat.
The water bowl will be large to allow this increase in humidity by evaporation. Of course, check the temperature and humidity parameters regularly using a hygrometer and a thermometer (mechanical or preferably digital). For humidity, make sure you are always between 50 and 80%. To facilitate the increase in humidity, choose a tropical substrate: coconut shine, hummus, forest floor. These substrates, with a thickness of 4 to 6 cm, guarantee you excellent moisture resistance and therefore allows you to be sprayed with lukewarm water regularly without the risk of mold.
For the well-being of Boas, offer them lianas or cork branches, this allows them to get high (and therefore safe), and to be able to get more or less close to heating. Many hiding places are essential, we advise you to integrate artificial plants in abundance, both for the tranquility and also for the aesthetic effect that it brings to your terrarium.
Raising The Boa Constrictor
Small Boas are generally very calm, but some specimens can be a little fearful. For these specimens, we advise you to handle them with a hook, this allows the animal to be less stressed and avoids you a light bite, but never pleasant. Anyway, it is an animal that you will enjoy handling regularly once well acclimatized. Do not hesitate to handle them once every 2/3 days to accustom it to your presence, and feed it every 5/8 days with a thawed prey of suitable size. Offer a hiding place (Cork trunk, gecko cellar, etc.) with sphagnum inside to allow your Boa to molt without any problems.
CAUTION: these snakes are not limited to food and are therefore subject to obesity, be careful not to over-feed them. Offer food using tongs (minimum 30 cm). Change the water every 2 days and disinfect the terrarium every 2 months (see Hygiene section). As they grow, these snakes become more and more calm to become animals with a stable and calm temperament.
Sub-adults and adults: from 80/90 cm to adult size
From 90/120 cm, you must offer a terrarium of approximately 120 cm by 60 cm in height for the males, and from 120 to 150 cm for the large females. It should be noted that many adult specimens prefer to remain on the ground, and therefore abandon their arboreal mores. Large adult females can easily settle for a terrarium height of 60 cm. A heating mat will then be placed under the terrarium to offer good temperatures, which will be identical to juveniles (32 ° C during the day at the hot spot, and 25/27 ° C at night). A backup heater ( heating bulbs or ceramic protected) may be necessary to heat a large volume terrarium. Also, remember to change the size of the feeding tongs according to the size of your Boa. Meals will be spaced at 10/12 days for specimens from 90 to 140 cm, and adults will be able to eat defrosted rodents of suitable sizes every 15/20 days. When molting, offer as for juveniles, a box or cavity with sphagnum.
Hygiene Of The Boa Constrictor’s Terrarium
Regardless of the age of the animal, the hygiene of the terrarium is important to prevent the development of germs that can weaken it. Reptiles are very robust animals if you respect temperatures, food and hygiene. We recommend that you disinfect your terrarium every 2 months maximum.