Species group: Boas, Anacondas and Pythons
Scientific name: Corallus caninus
Appearance / health:
A powerful constrictor with a strong prehensile tail, the adult Emerald Tree Boa is usually about 6 feet long and, as the name implies, emerald green in color. Yellow or whitish scales are seen on the lips and venter, and oftentimes all over the belly. Pure white vertebral stripes, bars, or zigzag markings are seen on the green adults. These vertebral markings are what identify the young, which are born dark red, then turn orange, and finally green as they mature.
Behavior / temperament:
Emerald Tree Boas are nocturnal and arboreal. They choose a favorite branch to curl up on and sleep through the day. When awakened they get startled and tend to bite. They prefer quiet surroundings with sufficient foliage (natural or artificial) for security.
Emerald Tree Boas, considered a canopy (arboreal) species, are best housed in large, vertically oriented rainforest type cages equipped with several large horizontal tree branches, some foliage for hiding, and a huge bathing pan that will accommodate the snake when it wants to soak. A few large branches should be under the heat lamp for basking. Day temp: 77-86F; night temp: 68-77F; basking temp: 86-95F; humidity: 70-100%; lighting: 12 hours.
Emerald Tree Boas are best kept as a pair or a group with one male. They are considered display snakes, easily stressed when disturbed or handled. When stressed, they have a tendency to regurgitate their food. They are common in the pet trade but considered a challenging species to care for.
Known as a finicky eater, Emerald Tree Boas tend to accept only live food such as mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, chicks and baby quails. Some snakes prefer specific colors of prey; therefore, experimentation may be required. Young ones are known to accept small lizards and frogs.
Like other Boas, the Emerald Tree Boa give birth to live young, less than a dozen large babies at a time. The young are born in the branches and quickly learn to climb. Raised temperatures and humidity, along with longer photoperiods, induce breeding.
white diamond pattern, neat iridescent sheen, emerald, absolutely gorgeous snakes
aggressive, specific temperature, wild caught rescue, nasty bite, large teeth, temperamental animals
arboreal snake, avid eaters mice, strong branches
A beautiful danger
There comes a point in every pet owners life when you desire a new challenge, something different, something generally unknown, and for me that point came in the form of an emerald tree boa. I have often thought about what it was that drove me to spend so much on a snake, and what made me go for the boa as my foray into owning something unlike anything I have ever owned.
The fact is, that I would not recommend this to anyone who lacks experience with temperamental animals. Nor would I suggest this as the type of animal to own if you desire a pleasant interaction with it. But I would recommend that when you have more experience, you should pick one up. You will of course need to make some room in your house for these guys ( and your bank account as they are now averaging over a grand in price) but be prepared to be rewarded for you hard work. You will want to get them as new borns, and you will enjoy their growth to maturity.
They will start off a magnificent crimson and yellow in coloration with a bold white diamond pattern. This is a short lived color pattern as the growth to maturity will turn yellow with a green belly, and the white diamond pattern will also become more bold and evocative. Truly they are a marvel for the eyes. The sad fact about them is the feeding temperament they carry. It is something they will never realistically grow out of.
They will bite, and fast, as their jaw can open to a full 180 degrees which will be used against you over and over again. They have the uncanny ability to strike you well over a couple dozen times before you can get away. It is not to be held against the animal because at the end of the day it is up to you to read the signals they give. That can really only be accurately obtained through experience, but all that aside, I suggest that you experience these wonderful creatures for yourself..
From ManoftheNorth Apr 12 2014 2:32PM
As beautiful species as these are, they are very difficult to raise. I got mine as a very young pair and it seemed like I was always stressing about these two. I am not new to snakes by any means, but these two made me feel like a newbie for sure. I ended up giving them to a friend of mine that already had 6 of them in his collection so I knew they would be well taken care of..
From efpierce Dec 9 2012 8:30PM