Creatures of the Amazon
The Rainbow Boa

By Adrian Walker

Rainbow Boa

The Rainbow Boa is a widespread member of the Python family found throughout much of South and Central America although it does favour rainforest. It's a terrestrial Boa feeding on birds, rodents and lizards and receives its name from the microscopic ridges on its scales which act like prisms to refract light, giving a rainbow effect in sunlight.

Coloration varies greatly from reds through browns but all are heavily blotched with darker patterning. Whilst the Rainbow Boa is a narrow snake in comparison to many of its cousins, its head is wider than the neck. Overall size attained is never greater than 1.8M with females usually larger than males. Sexual maturity is reached at 3 to 5 years of age and gestation takes 5 months with between 2 and 35 live young being born. The species may live to a maximum of 20 years in captivity but probably rarely reaches such an age in the wild.

Rainbow Boas are popularly kept because of their beauty but are difficult to maintain in good condition due principally to their need for constant high humidity.

They are, as with all Pythons, non venomous but will bite if handled carelessly and bites should be treated with caution as they will infect readily.
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