Species group: Boas, Anacondas and Pythons
Scientific name: Epicrates chenchira crassus
Appearance / health:
Paraguayan Rainbow Boas are medium built snakes with a mature size of 4-5 feet in length. The base body color is chocolate brown with light colored roundish markings. True to their name, their scales are iridescent and in certain lighting the skin shines in different colors.
Behavior / temperament:
Paraguayan Rainbow Boas are active at dusk and twilight, and sometimes at night. They are mostly terrestrial but can also be seen climbing trees or swimming in bodies of water. They are shy and do not become tame easily. Regular gentle handling helps make them comfortable around their owners.
The adult Paraguayan Rainbow Boa is best kept in a rainforest type terrarium that is about 4 ft long by 2 feet deep. Pairs should be kept in bigger habitats. The ideal substrate should retain moisture, like bark or cypress mulch. The water container should be large enough for the snake to soak in. Day temp: 81-86F; night temp: 73-79F; basking temp: 95F; humidity: 70-80%; lighting: 10-12 hours.
The Paraguayan Rainbow Boa is best kept as a display animal. Excessive handling can lead to stress and possible ailments. Although generally hardy, Rainbow Boas can sometimes be sensitive to low temperatures accompanied by high humidity. Like other Boas, it will live up to 25 or more years under ideal conditions.
Rainbow Boas thrive on a weekly feeding of mice, rats, and day-old chicks. Prey should be appropriately sized, meaning it should produce a noticeable lump in the snake’s body. Freshly killed and thawed frozen prey is best considered for large adult snakes to minimize harm that could be inflicted by large live prey.
Like other Rainbow Boas, Paraguayan Rainbow Boas are difficult to breed in captivity because they require identical environmental conditions as in the wild to successfully reproduce. A rest period of 6 to 8 weeks, followed by raised temperature, humidity, and light exposure triggers the breeding instinct. Half a dozen to two dozen live young are produced every year or two by healthy adults.
A Real "Living Jewel"
This well-named beauty is less commonly-seen in the trade than are individuals originating from Columbia and Brazil. In common with its cousins, however the Paraguayan rainbow boa exhibits red, orange and black markings, and a veritable rainbow of iridescence. Surely it is among the most beautiful of all Latin American snakes – no surely there is no need to “improve” them by breeding designer color morphs!
Rainbow boas are an excellent choice for boa fans that lack huge enclosures, as most top out at 4-5 feet. Their terrarium should be provided with stout branches similar to the width of the snake’s body. Newspapers, cypress mulch, eucalyptus bark and similar materials may be used as substrates, and water in a pan large enough for soaking should be available. They prefer higher humidity (50-70%, but with dry areas available as well) and lower temperatures than do some related boas. Ambient temperature: 77-85 F; basking temperature: 88 F.
Rainbow boas have the reputation of being “picky” feeders. Those I’ve kept sometimes refuse a long-favored food, only to be stimulated by a different, but similar meal. For example, switching from mice to rats to rat pups generally works.
Although most adapt well to handling, as with any large snake caution must be exercised, and they are not suitable as pets for children..
From findiviglio Jan 13 2016 6:12PM