Boa Constrictor

| Updated: January 17, 2023
Boa Constrictor portrait

Boas are always an interesting conversation starter, and we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about them. Boas are typically active, alert snakes and can be tamed with consistent handling. It’s
important to know how to hold a boa securely so it feels supported. They may wrap themselves around you for added security, but they typically won’t constrict unless they feel like they’re in danger. A popular type of boa is the red-tail boa, which can grow up to 10 feet long, with some even reaching 15 feet! They eat large rats or rabbits and can live up to 30 years in captivity, so they really are a
commitment. But if you’re willing to make the commitment, you’ll have an amazing pet!

Where did boa constrictors come from?

Well, boa constrictors are found in the wild in Central and South America. Some of the countries they call home are Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela! Boa constrictors are found in a variety of climates, from rainforests to deserts, but they usually prefer tropical rainforest climates.

Physical Characteristics of Boa Constrictors:

Boa Constrictor

Boa constrictors are some of the most majestic and impressive creatures you will ever see. The red-tail boa is one of the most popular boa constrictors out there and it certainly lives up to its name. These huge snakes usually stay under 10 feet; certain localities however can reach lengths of up to 15 feet and can weigh as much as 60 pounds when fully grown. They have a beautiful combination of colors on their bodies, ranging from browns and grays to reds and oranges. They have a very distinctive triangular head and their eyes are usually yellow or orange. Boa constrictors also have very strong muscles and thick bodies, making them powerful predators in the wild. They also have the ability to constrict their prey, which is unfortunately part of why they’re so feared.

Boa Constrictor Husbandry:

Keeping a boa constrictor as a pet is no small task. Proper husbandry is key to keeping your new scaled friend healthy and happy. First and foremost, make sure you are buying your boa constrictor from a reputable breeder and that you know how to identify a healthy snake. When feeding, it’s important to remember not to feed by hand and to use a handling stick instead. Additionally, the cage temperature and humidity needs to be monitored and adjusted to the correct levels to avoid scale rot and blister disease. Finally, always make sure to wash your hands after handling food, so your boa doesn’t mistake your fingers for a meal! With the right husbandry, your pet boa will be living their best life.

Interesting Facts About Boas:

If you’re looking for a pet snake, you may want to consider a boa constrictor! Here are 5 interesting facts about boa constrictors that you may not know:

Boa Constrictor
  1. Boa constrictors can live up to 30 years in captivity, so you’ll want to be sure you’re ready to make the commitment to care for your pet.
  2. The longest recorded boa constrictor measured over 15 feet long!
  3. The red-tail boa is the most popular species of boa constrictor in the pet trade.
  4. Boa constrictors can weigh up to 60 pounds when fully grown.
  5. Before you buy a boa constrictor, make sure to check your local laws – they may not be legal to own in your area!

If you think you have what it takes to care for a boa constrictor, be sure to do your research and purchase a healthy one. Good luck!

Common Health Issues Affecting Boas:

Boa constrictors are pretty hardy creatures but, like any animal, they can have their fair share of health problems. Two of the most common illnesses are scale rot and blister disease, which are usually caused by unsanitary conditions. Blister disease may look like burns and is usually caused by overheating or a lack of humidity.

The most serious issue is inclusion body disease, or IBD, which is a fatal reptarenavirus from the same family that causes hemorrhagic fever in humans.

Other issues can include respiratory illnesses, dysecdysis, impaction, mouth rot, and various internal and external parasites. To help keep your boa healthy and happy, make sure that their environment is appropriate for their needs and provide regular physical examinations. That way, you can catch any small problems before they become a bigger issue.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Boa:

If you’re looking to buy a boa constrictor, you’re in luck! Boa constrictors are popular pets and there are plenty of reputable breeders out there. It’s important to note that captive-bred boas are generally healthier and more docile than their wild-caught counterparts, so it’s best to go for a captive-bred specimen. Prices can vary depending on the type, but you can usually find a baby Central American boa for between $100 and $150. If you’re looking for more exotic or rare morph patterns and colors, expect to pay more. You can purchase a boa online, but shipping fees will be added to the cost. Alternatively, you can also find boas in pet stores or at reptile shows or expos. Just make sure to do your research and avoid snakes that have no feeding records, signs of illness, or have been wild-caught. Happy hunting!

Boa Constrictor Juvenile
Credit: Vanderock Reptiles


In conclusion, the Boa Constrictor is a popular pet among reptile enthusiasts because of its typically docile temperament. With regular handling, a Boa Constrictor can become quite tame and even wrap itself around its handler for added
support. However, it is important to be aware that these snakes can grow to be quite large – up to 15 feet in length – and require a long-term commitment in terms of food and care. Nonetheless, with the proper care and handling, a Boa
Constrictor can be a great companion and a wonderful addition to any home.


Welcome to the Boa Constrictor FAQ section! We hope you find this helpful as you explore the world of boa constrictors. We’ll go over some basics you need to know before bringing home your new scaly friend.

What temperature do boas need?

Boas come from tropical climates,
so warm temperatures in their enclosures are essential. A temperature gradient between 82 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (28 to 32 degrees Celsius) should be maintained, and a basking spot of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 35 degrees Celsius)
should be provided too. Nighttime temperatures can drop to 78 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 30 degrees Celsius).

What kind of enclosure does a boa need?

Baby boas can live in glass aquariums, but larger snakes will need a custom enclosure that’s either purchased or built at home. Make sure it’s secure, because boas are very powerful and will escape if given the chance! A good size for an adult boa constrictor is around 6 to 8 feet long, 2 to 3 feet wide, and 2 to 3 feet tall, with a minimum of 10 square feet of
floor space.

Are boas aggressive?

Boas are usually active and alert, and might hiss or bite if they feel threatened. But, consistent handling usually makes them tame and not so defensive.

Can I hold my pet boa?

To hold them, place one hand under its body near its head, and the other
hand under the back half of its body. The boa might loosely wrap itself around you for added support, but it won’t constrict unless it feels alarmed or like it’s falling.

We hope this Boa Constrictor FAQ section has been informative and helpful in your boa constrictor journey. Have fun!

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Jonathan Reoch
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