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Paraguayan Rainbow Boa

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Is the Paraguayan Rainbow Boa right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Epicrates chenchira crassus

The basics:
South America

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.

Housing:
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.

Diet:
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.

Breeding:
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.