Species group: Boas, Anacondas and Pythons
Other common names: Rainbow Boa Constrictor
Scientific name: Epicrates cenchria chenchria
The Brazilian Rainbow Boa differs in lifestyle and appearance from the larger Red-tailed Boa, and indeed has been found to be more closely related to the anaconda “side” of the family. The range of the most commonly-kept subspecies (the taxonomy is in flux) extends from southern Venezuela, Guyana and Surinam through the Brazilian Amazon Basin.
It occupies a wide variety of habitats, including wet and dry forests, wooded savannas, thorn scrub and the outskirts of farms and villages. Time is spent in trees and shrubs as well as on the ground.
Appearance / health:
The Brazilian Rainbow Boa is less stoutly-built than the Red-tailed Boa, and averages 5 feet in length, with some individuals approaching seven feet. Spectacular in appearance, the dorsal scales glint with iridescence in sunlight due to the effect of tiny ridges thereon. Coloration varies widely, but most are clad in various shades of red to orange-tinted mahogany, and patterned with dark lateral rings and spots.
With proper care, captive longevity sometimes exceeds 25 years. Dry sheds are common in terrariums where the average humidity is consistently below 50%, but skin infections will take hold in overly-damp environment. Air circulation that allows the tank to dry out after heavy misting is essential.
Behavior / temperament:
Brazilian Rainbow Boas vary in temperament, with some tolerating gentle handling while others remaining resistant. Young animals may be especially defensive. As is true for all snakes, they must be handled with care; adults are not suitable pets for children.
A single adult may be housed in a custom-made enclosure with a l x w x h of at least 4 x 4 x 5 feet, but preferably larger. They are more active than typical Boa Constrictors, and require terrariums or custom-built cages that are at least as long as their body length, and which allow space for climbing as well. The enclosure should be provided with stout branches similar to the width of the snake’s body. Hanging live or artificial plants positioned over branches or standard hide boxes serve well as retreats. Cypress mulch, eucalyptus bark and similar materials may be used as substrates. Fresh water in a pan large enough for soaking should be available. Ambient temperature: 77-85 F; basking temperature: 90 F.
Wild Rainbow Boas are opportunists, taking opossums, bats, rodents, birds, tegus and other lizards, domestic chickens and ducks and a variety of other species. Pets will accept rats and mice, but may switch preferences between them for long periods of time.
A cooling-off period of 3-4 weeks at a night-time temperature of 68 F and with a daytime basking site of 85 F will often stimulate reproduction. The 2 -35 young, born alive after a gestation period of 2 – 3 months, average 15-20 inches in length.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
metallic scales, display pet, stunning amazing snakes, interesting gentle creature, gorgeous snake
beginners, snake pathogenic salmonella, wild caught ones
overlooked species, advanced beginner, famous diamondback pythons, humidity levels, bad reputation
Brazilian Rainbow Boa - Epicrates cenchria cenchria
In my opinion this is the one of the top 3 of the most beautiful snakes in the world. Their natural iridescent colors are what give this snake it's name and it is truly worthy of it. They are absolutely stunning and photos can never do this snake justice, they always look so much better in the flesh. As far as keeping this species, they are fairly easy and straight forward but some can be very snappy so they might not be the best option for a first time keeper but for experienced keepers this is a highly recommended species to keep. I have always loved this species and I'm sure that will not be changing any time soon. Not many snakes rival them in beauty..
From RobWedderburn Sep 29 2015 3:11AM
The most beautiful snakes in my opinion.... and amazing to handle
Who'd have thought you could have the most stunning snakes and not have to endure aggression in getting bitten! These snakes generally have a wonderful temperament, very docile with regular handling - if anything shy at times.
The iridescence is gorgeous - something that really gives them the 'wow' factor - not to mention the rich oranges and reds you can get in different morphs - they definitely impress!!
Something which I found was that they seemed to quite enjoy climbing when given the opportunity to - and for this reason I think it's important to give them the ability to do so - so something with height and length would be fantastic.
They like humidity too, I used to have a reptifogger set up which looked FANTASTIC - especially with lots of moss and stones and other decorations. This they really love!
My snakes were good feeders, I had trouble with one at one time but eventually managed to coax her onto rat weiners through the 'braining' technique... it's a bit gross, but can really help those tricky eaters.
Thoroughly recommend this species - something for the intermediate keeper but I'd even say beginner if THOROUGH research is done before acquiring the animal. :).
From lauren_lou Aug 2 2015 4:37AM
Rainbow....the Rainbow Boa (different than a Rainbow Snake)
We took this snake in after owning several other boas and pythons. I believe this was a wild caught snake and I believe after my experience, this may have been why we had a hard time working with her. She was very difficult to handle. always hissing and would bite frequently. She ate okay after we had her for awhile, but had to work with her a lot. The best part about her was she was beautiful and we loved looking at her. She had a beautiful habitat to live in. She was just not a snake I ever wanted to handle due to her nasty disposition..
From McBaby3277 Oct 29 2015 9:14PM