The Brazilian Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria cenchria)

Brazilian Rainbow Boa

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria cenchria) is a member of the family Boidae, which includes about 40 other species like the Amazon rainforest giant snake, the green anaconda or boa constrictor. These snakes are discovered in the Amazon basin of Brazil, Southern Venezuela, French Guiana, coastal Guyana as well as Suriname.

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa is the largest of the several recognized Epicrates cenchria subspecies up to 12 endemics to Central as well as South America. All boas are considered primitive snakes since they still display vestigial hind limbs as small spurs on both sides of the cloaca. These snakes are the most typically kept subspecies in captivity.

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa is nocturnal and mainly terrestrial, however, has been observed basking in the morning hours. These snakes are typically found near water, they inhabit rainforest, humid woodland forests but can be encountered on farmland as well. They do have a prehensile tail to assist them to climb, however, they are not truly arboreal snakes.

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa is a medium-sized species, with a round body boa varying in length from 1.2 to 1.8 meter (4-6 ft) and weighing 2 or 3 pounds. Females grow larger compared to their male counterparts. The head is not particularly big, but it is distinctly wider than the neck. It is soft-skinned with great iridescence in its skin, hence their typical name, rainbow boas. Just after shedding its scales become even more iridescent.

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa is 3 parallel black stripes on the top of the head as well as big black rings down the back that gives the appearance of dorsal blotches. The round sideways blotches are black with an orange or reddish crescent across the top. There is a great deal of variation in color and also marking among individuals of this species. Many consider this one of the world’s most beautiful snakes.

In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the species was heavily exploited for the pet trade. At this time probably hundreds, otherwise thousands of Brazilian Rainbow Boa were collected from the wild as well as exported for sale particularly from Suriname. Currently, however, far fewer are exported, and also most offered for sale are captive bred.

As a result of Brazilian Rainbow Boa needs for high humidity in a captive environment, they should be considered of intermediate difficulty for snake owners, however, as long as that is provided they could thrive in captivity. Younger specimens will typically bite because of natural defensive instincts, however, tend to calm down as they become used to handling.

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa inhabit tropical as well as subtropical broad-leaved forests described as hot and wet. A steady temperature between about 75 °F (24 °C) and 85 °F (29 °C) is expected year round, and rainfall rates from 58.5 to 136.5 inch (5-11 ft) annually depending on the particular location. Humidity is fairly constant at 60-80%. They are carnivore that might live for about 10 years in the wild, and about 30 years in captivity.

 

Diet Of The Brazilian Rainbow Boa

Diet Of The Brazilian Rainbow Boa

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa are carnivorous animals that survive on a diet purely made up of meat. These snakes are primarily terrestrial and nocturnal, they will actively search for prey in their environment using the heat sensing pits present on its jaw to assist find prey in the dark.

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa are non-venomous snakes and like many other boas, they ambush as well as constrict their prey. Grabbing their prey with very sharp as well as backward facing teeth, coiling around it and also squeezing with their muscular body.

In the wild, the Brazilian Rainbow Boa feeds on tiny mammals, rodents, birds and also their eggs, frogs, lizards and possibly some forms of aquatic life. In captivity, mainly eat mice and rats that are about as thick as the widest part of their body. Babies are big enough to eat hopper mice and also pinky rats.

One appropriately sized prey item weekly is ideal for babies. When your snake approaches full size, you should reduce the feeding to once every 2 weeks to avoid obesity. It is most safe to feed your Brazilian Rainbow Boa fresh killed or frozen/thawed food.

If your Brazilian Rainbow Boa refuses to eat, the first thing you should check is the temperature and also humidity in the tank. Always avoid handling your snake for 24-48 hours after feeding.

 

Reproduction Of The Brazilian Rainbow Boa

Reproduction Of The Brazilian Rainbow Boa

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa sexual maturity like many other snake species is determined not by age, however, rather by individual length. They are typically reached in the first 2.5 to 4 years. Females reach this stage at around 4.5 feet (1.4 m) and males 4 feet (1.2 m).

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa is an ovoviviparous species, meaning the hatchlings develop in egg sacks inside the female’s body and hatch inside, however, are born alive.

The breeding season occurs from November to January, with the typical clutch varying from 12 to 25 hatchlings. The gestation period lasts about 5 months. The young Brazilian Rainbow Boa get no parental care and will start hunting for tiny rodents in a week. Females seem to eat more as well as grow larger compared to males.

 

How to Aquarium Care for Brazilian Rainbow Boa?

How to Aquarium Care for Brazilian Rainbow Boa

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa require at least a 50-gallon terrarium or snake tub to survive. Since they could grow fairly long in captivity (over 5 feet), while younger snakes will be fine in 10-gallon tank. With adult snakes, larger is always better. Aim for providing your snake 6 square feet of space and if you plan on housing multiple boas in the same tank, you will require more room. You could also provide sturdy branches or logs for your snakes to climb on.

The essential parts are a secure enclosure with a large water bowl as well as a place to hide. Maintain high humidity and the proper temperature is essential. If you decide to use a glass cage or aquarium, be sure to cover the top to limit dissipation of humid air and loss of heat. The Brazilian Rainbow Boa do well with a variety of substrates ranging from sphagnum peat moss, craft paper, paper towels, cypress mulch, or newspaper.

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa prefer temperatures between about 75 °F (24 °C) and 85 °F (29 °C). The ideal humidity range would be between 60 and 80%, however, moments above and below this range are acceptable for brief periods of time. They are more sensitive to higher temperatures and should never remain in prolonged temperatures over 90 °F (32 °C) unless being a gravid female.

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