The Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus)

amazon tree boa

The Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus), also known as the Garden tree boa or cook’s tree boa is a member of the subfamily Boinae of the family Boidae. This snake is a species of non-venomous snake typically found in South America. No subspecies are currently recognized. From all the tree boas this is the most geographically widespread species.

The Amazon Tree Boa like its typical name implies inhabits Amazon rainforest and typically discovered in high humidity arboreal regions. Besides typical rainforest habitats, this highly arboreal taxon occurs in drier forests and also in many grassland habitats and even agricultural lands. It is typically seen in a river and oxbow-edge trees. Although they can be discovered from sea level up to 950m (3117 ft) most specimens are discovered below 300 m (984 ft).

The Amazon Tree Boa is a medium-sized species, with slender body boas varying in length from 1.5 to 2 meter (5-6.6 ft) and weighing 1 to 3 pounds. Females are slightly larger than males. The tongue is a black and has a very thin body as well as a large triangular-shaped head with long, sharp teeth and large bulging eyes. Their eyes can be yellowish, reddish or grayish and also have a reflective membrane resulting in eyeshine at night.

This species shows an immense variety of colors and patterns. Typically their color can be anywhere from gray, brown and many shades of orange, yellow or red and also quite a few other colors in between. Some are completely patternless, while others might be speckled, banded or saddled with rhomboid or chevron shapes.

Additionally, there are 2 colors phases accepted, the Colored phase and Garden phase, both of which are genetically inherited. However, unlike the Emerald tree boa or the Green tree python, the Amazon tree boa color does not change during their lifetime.

The Colored phase shows the colorful snakes with a combination of orange, red as well as yellow coloration. While the Garden phase specimens are less colorful as well as covered with a more faded and boring coloration, consisting mostly of gray, brown or olive, with a variable pattern.

The Amazon Tree Boa is primarily nocturnal but occasionally, they will bask on large branches during the daytime, however, sometimes they have been observed on the ground. They are carnivore that might live for about 20 years in captivity but their lifespan in the wild is not certain.

This Amazon Tree Boa is ambush hunter. They mostly hunt as well as eats tiny reptiles and also mammals. Like all boas, they are non-venomous are armed with a magnificent set of long recurved teeth to allow them to maintain a grip on their struggling prey amongst the branches. The scales around their mouth have also thermoreceptive pits to assist detect prey similar in function to those of pit vipers.

 

Diet Of The Amazon Tree Boa

Diet Of The Amazon Tree Boa

The Amazon Tree Boa are carnivorous animals that survive on a diet purely made up of meat. These species are arboreal or tree-dwelling snakes, they will actively search for prey in their environment using the scales around their mouth that they use to detect heat signatures.

The Amazon Tree Boa is non-venomous snakes and like many other boas, they capture their prey by holding onto a branch using the prehensile tail and striking out from an S-shaped position as well as constricting the prey.

In the wild, the Amazon Tree Boa feeds mostly on tiny mammals, reptiles, rodents, bats, frogs, and even birds. Their diet changes as they grow juveniles will feed mostly on small lizards and also frogs.

In captivity, adult Amazon Tree Boa can be fed with large size mice or small weaner rats once every 2 weeks as they can become overweight if fed weekly. As hatchlings should be fed weekly on defrosted pinky mice, as the snake grows the food size should be increased.

 

Reproduction Of The Amazon Tree Boa

Reproduction Of The Amazon Tree Boa

There is little information on the Amazon Tree Boa breeding in the wild, most available information on their breeding comes from captive breeding. These species reach sexual maturity at about 3 years of age. They share their habitat with other members of the Corallus family and occasionally interbreed with the incredibly beautiful Emerald tree boa producing a beautifully colored hybrid offspring.

The Amazon Tree Boa is a viviparous species, meaning giving birth to live young, unlike most snakes which lay eggs. The breeding season occurs from late summer to early winter, with the typical litter averages about 6 to 20 younglings.

The gestation period of the Amazon Tree Boa is about 6 to 8 months, baby snakes are born at the end of the rainy season. During gestation period, females look for areas in direct sunlight or other warm areas to bask. Instantly after birth, the neonates are capable of fending for themselves and will shed their skin for the first time 1 or 2 weeks after birth.

 

How to Aquarium Care for Amazon Tree Boa?

How to Aquarium Care for Amazon Tree Boa

The Amazon Tree Boa require at least a 50-gallon terrarium. Since they could grow fairly long in captivity (over 5 feet), while younger snakes will be fine in 10-gallon tank. Aquarium height is desirable, however, length and width are also important, as this species move over branches, but not down to the floor. Although somewhat sedentary, they should not be crowded.

The essential parts are a secure enclosure with a large water bowl as well as a resting branches or perches for the Amazon Tree Boa. Well-anchored branches of varying widths, both forked as well as straight. They spend its days coiled on a perch with its head resting in the center of its coils.

Additionally, multiple climbing branches of varying sizes assist to provide variety as well as improving the environment. Adding a few sturdy live plants such as pothos and philodendron, not just make the tank look beautiful and also provide cover, however, also will assist to create humid microclimates within the enclosure. Artificial plants could also be used to create barriers behind which the Amazon Tree Boa could hide.

The Amazon Tree Boa do well with a variety of substrates such as newspaper or washable terrarium liners. Eucalyptus bedding or douglas fir allows for easy spot cleaning and also will raise the humidity if kept damp.

The Amazon Tree Boa prefer temperatures between about 77 °F (25 °C) and 86 °F (30 °C) for daytime and 75 °F (24 °C) and 77 °F (25 °C) for nighttime. The ideal humidity range would be between 40 and 70%, however, moments above and below this range are acceptable for brief periods of time.

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