Colombian Rainbow Boa

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Is the Colombian Rainbow Boa right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Brown Rainbow Boa

Scientific name: Epicrates cenchria maurus

The basics:
The Columbian Rainbow Boa may lack the bright colors of its popular cousin, but it exhibits the same attractive iridescence and is generally milder in temperament and smaller. It makes a great choice for those wishing to expand into the keeping of this interesting genus of snakes.

This semi-arboreal constrictor ranges from Panama south through Central America to southern Columbia and east to French Guiana. It favors rainforests and riverside woodlands, but sometimes occupies the outskirts of farms and villages. Time is spent in trees as well as on the ground.

Appearance / health:
The Columbian Rainbow Boa averages 3-5 feet in length. The dorsal scales glint with iridescence in sunlight due to the effect of tiny ridges thereon. The background coloration varies from light to reddish or dark brown, and is patterned with dark markings.

With proper care, captive longevity sometimes exceeds 25 years. Dry sheds are common in terrariums where the average humidity is consistently below 60%, but skin and respiratory infections will take hold in overly-damp or cool environments.

Behavior / temperament:
Columbian Rainbow Boas vary in temperament, but most accept gentle handling in time. 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 55-75 gallon aquarium, but custom-made snake enclosures are preferable. The terrarium should be provided with stout branches or shelves. 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.

An ambient temperature of 77-85 F and a basking temperature of 90 F should been stablished. Humidity levels of 75-85% should be maintained, but there must be ample air circulation and dry basking sites as well.

Columbian Rainbow Boas are opportunists, taking opossums, bats, rodents, birds, lizards and a variety of other creatures. 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 68-70 F and with a daytime temperatures remaining as usual will often stimulate reproduction. The 2 -35 young, born alive after a gestation period of 5-6 months, average 12-18 inches in length.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


darker markings, chocolate brown colour, Beautiful animals, great eaters, experienced snake keepers


high humidity, respiratory disease, snappy, .Mildy Aggressive Snake, skin disease


absorbent sphagnum moss, frequent squirtbottling

Helpful Colombian Rainbow Boa Review

Colombian Rainbow Boa

From AmericanMade Oct 22 2015 8:09PM


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