Boa Constrictor (Boa Constrictor)


Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family:    Boidae
Size:    Length: 10 to 13 feet (3 to 4 m)
Weight: Up to 60 pounds (27 kg)
Diet: Rodents, birds, small mammals, lizards and iguanas
Distribution: Mexico to Argentina
Young:  20 to 60 eggs
Animal Predators:  Unknown
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: No special terms
Lifespan: 20 to 30 years (The longest-lived captive on record was 40 years, 3 months and 14 days)



·         These snakes are both terrestrial and arboreal.

·         The boa constrictor is known as a “wowla” in the Central American country of Belize.

·         Boas have been known to eat house cats. 

·         When threatened, boas give a loud hiss that can be heard over 100 feet away.



Boa constrictors are pink or tan in colour with dark crossbands. They are one of a number of snakes that have vestigial legs (signs of legs having once existed in this species).



Boa constrictors range from Mexico through Central America to Argentina. They live in deserts and jungles.


Feeding Habits

As nocturnal hunters, boa constrictors use heat-sensitive scales to locate prey. They do not chew but swallow their victim whole, usually headfirst and then taking days or weeks to digest the meal, depending on the size. They kill prey by wrapping around the body of the victim and squeezing, preventing them from breathing. They can separate their upper and lower jaws to swallow prey three times larger than they are. They usually eat rodents, birds, small mammals, lizards and iguanas.



Boas begin to breed once they reach the age of two or three. After conception, female boas carry 20 to 60 eggs internally for a period of four to ten months. The young snakes are born live and are 12 to 24 inches (30 to 61 cm) in length at birth. About one week after birth, they shed their skin and begin to eat. Boa constrictors are known for their longevity. 



Boas are known as generally docile and placid animals. Although they are feared by humans when in the wild, boa constrictors pose very little threat. They usually head in the opposite direction when confronted by a human, unless directly threatened or grabbed. Although boa constrictors are non-venomous, a bite from one of these snakes can be very painful. 



Boas are valued for their predation on rodents. They are not of conservation concern.