Skip to content

Boa Natural Habitat

​When most of us think of the habitat Boas come from we think of steaming hot tropical rain forests dripping with humidity but the habitat for Common Boas varies from this quite a bit. In their extreme northerly distribution in the Sonorun Desert Common Boas can experience temperatures as low as the upper teens and lower twenties degrees Celsius with low humidity. I would not keep your Boa at these temperatures as I do not know of any captive lines of these desert Boas in South Africa.  Slightly further south Common Boas are found in tropical desidues forest where it is warm and humid in summer with a drop in temperature and humidity in winter this is probably why Boas need a drop in temperature in winter to get them to breed in captivity. Many Common Boas were originally imported from Columbia when the reptile pet trade took off in the 1980s and most pet Boas are a mixture of various localities with Columbian Boa bloodlines in them. The Columbian Common Boas grow a bit larger than most of the Common Boa localities however most Boas in captivity only reach 2-2.5m long with a few reaching the 3m mark. This mix of different localities accounts for the variability of colour,  pattern and size in normal Common Boas found in the pet trade. There are a few dwarf Boas found on islands off the coast of Central America which get much smaller than normal Boas, two of these islands are Hogg Island and Corn Island. Some Boas on these islands do not grow much bigger than a large Corn Snake in the wild due to a very low food supply on the islands and these Boas are very skinny when encountered in their natural habitat but survive quite alright on less food ( most Boas are overfed in captivity and the longest longevity records for these island Boas were reached by Boas which were not fed very often, say every two to three weeks or sometimes less). This dwarfism seems to be genetic but I have heard of accounts of dwarf Boas growing larger than usual when fed a lot. Hogg Island Boas are nearly extinct on their native island and being naturally hypomelanistic they have been bred into many non dwarf lines so pure Hogg Island Boas are rare in captivity also. Some island Boas appear Aneryetheristic but this is not the recessive genetic trait as in the captive bred Boa Morph as some yellow and red are present in these specimens. I have one of these anery  looking Boas from a dwarf lineage which I will be breeding this year so it will be interesting to see how this trait proves out in person. Dwarf Boas also lighten and darker in relation to temperature, the warmer the temperature the lighter their colour and the cooler the temperature the darker their colour, this colour change can also happen at night.