The Brazilian Rainbow Boa belongs to the Boa Constrictor family.
These snakes can be found in all parts of South America.
Size and Longevity:
The average size of the Brazilian Rainbow Boa is 5 - 7 feet long and have been seen to be up to 9 feet long in the right conditions. Their life span is between 15 and 25 years and have been known to live in excess of 25 years.
The Brazilian Rainbow Boa does well in captivity but as babies they can be a bit snippy; this normally goes away as they age. Like most snakes, boas are nocturnal, hiding during the day time and coming out at night. These snakes are solitary animals and are normally only found together during mating season.
This snake's colors are a dark-red to maroon body with typically orange spots with a black border. The Rainbow Boa gets it's name from the fact that it looks as if it has a rainbow on it's back if viewed it certain lights.
Habitat and Cage:
Brazilian Rainbow Boas will climb occasionally if given the opportunity. A few small branches or fake tree will do nicely. The general rule is that the enclosure should be no less than two-thirds of the snakes full length.
Some type of substrate needs to be provided, which is generally aspen shavings or newspaper. For the Brazilian Rainbow Boa it may be more convenient to get a moisture-retaining substrate to allow a more humid environment. Never use any type of pine in the enclosure because the oils from pine are toxic to snakes. The terrarium should be set up so there is a hot end (80°-82°F) and cool end (75° - 78°F). The temperature should not be allowed to drop below 75°F or be raised above 95°F at any time. There should be a hiding spot in both temperature zones for the snake. Not providing adequate hiding areas can lead to stress on the snake which can cause health problems and a shorter life span.
Boas live in hot and humid areas; therefore their cages should imitate this environment. The humidity for the Brazilian Rainbow Boa should be kept between 70 and 80%. A water bowl that is big enough for the snake to coil inside of must be provided. The water is necessary for the snake's survival and will help maintain the humidity of the enclosure.
These snakes do not need any special lighting, but they will need approximately 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness each day to simulate their natural environment. Almost any type of light will work including a regular light bulb or the natural light.
Young boas need to eat once a week while adults only need to eat once a month. Over feeding (power feeding) can lead to long term health problems and a shorter life span. Small food sources include mice, birds, bats, lizards and amphibians. Larger food sources are rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and chickens. The meal provided should be approximately the size of the largest part of the snake's body. During a shed cycle a snake may refuse to eat, but once the shed cycle is over the snake should go back to eating as normal.
Handling a snake too soon after eating can induce regurgitation and is not recommended for at least 2 days. It takes approximately 4 to 6 days to completely digest food depending on the size of the prey and the temperature it is in.