The boa constrictor is a large non-venomous snake native to Central and South America. The common name refers to a deep red/brown coloration on the saddles on the tail and anterior portion of the back.
Female boa constrictors, just like the majority of snakes, are inclined to be larger and more muscular than the males.
Housing: As the adult boa is quite large, you need to deliver a large enclosure. Always bear in mind that a boa is a really powerful snake and that it may either split the enclosure, if it is not properly made for snakes, or escape it easily if openings are not secured. A single adult specimen will require a floor area of 72″ by 36″ by 36″. As a largely terrestrial snake, elevation of the enclosure is not too important, although sturdy branches should be provided to make use of what height you have, since some specimens will climb, particularly when young.
Substrate: One of the biggest secrets related to red tailed snakes is the substrate. The most common one is that the paper towels or newspaper, since they are easily replaceable and hygienic. You will also be able to track the conditions in the cage this way; after your pet is set and you do not need to generate any more changes, then you can purchase one of the commercial substrates, which are especially created for snake tanks. These are usually made of cypress and fir bark. There are some elements that should be avoided, such as pine and cedar, since they can harbour parasites, and have toxins present which in an enclosed space can be hazardous to your snake’s health. In any case you should use something which is both easy to clean and safe.
Habitat: The red tailed boas are reclusive need places to hide. Hides can be available in the kind of artificial plastic caves, upturned bowls, or even cardboard boxes. Using rocks is also a good idea, as long as they don’t have any sharp edges and are securely fastened so that they can’t be dislodged and fall upon your boa.
Heat and Light: While no special lighting is needed, a suitable temperature gradient has to be provided. A thermostatically controlled heating source, like a ceramic bulb heater, should be set up to provide a temperature range from around 29 – 33 C at the warm end, to 27 – 29 C in the cooler end. A drop of a few degrees at night is also a good idea.
Food and Water: Many boas will readily accept defrosted rodents. A single prey item, no bigger than the snake’s head, should be offered fortnightly for adults, and weekly for neonates. A huge bowl of fresh water should always be offered.