The boa constrictor is a big non-venomous snake native to Central and South America. Of all of the subspecies, the most well known is the red tailed boa constrictor (boa constrictor constrictor). The common name refers to a deep red/brown coloration on the saddles on the tail and anterior part of the back.
Female boa constrictors, as with most snakes, are inclined to be bigger and more muscular than the men.
Housing: Since the adult boa is rather large, you need to provide a large enclosure. Always bear in mind that a boa is a very strong snake and that it may either split the enclosure, even if it’s not properly designed for snakes, or escape it easily if openings are not secured. A single adult specimen will call for a floor area of 72″ by 36″ by 36″. As a largely terrestrial snake, elevation of the enclosure isn’t so significant, although sturdy branches should be provided to make use of what height you have, since some specimens will grow, especially when young.
Substrate: One of the greatest secrets related to red tailed snakes is the substrate. The most frequent one is the paper towels or newspaper, since they are easily replaceable and hygienic. You’ll also be able to monitor the conditions at the cage this way; once your pet is set and you don’t have to make any more changes, then you can buy one of the commercial substrates, which are especially made for snake tanks. These are usually made from cypress and fir bark. There are some elements that needs to be avoided, such as pine and cedar, because they can harbour parasites, and have toxins present which in an enclosed area can be toxic to your snake’s health. Many boa constrictor owners use Astroturf as a more natural looking alternative to paper towels. In any case you should use something which is both easy to clean and safe.
Hides can be available in the kind of artificial plastic caves, upturned bowls, or even cardboard boxes. Using stones is also a fantastic idea, provided that they don’t have any sharp edges and are securely fastened so that they cannot be dislodged and fall onto your boa.
Heat and Light: While no special lighting is required, a proper temperature gradient must be provided. A thermostatically controlled heating source, such as a ceramic bulb heater, should be set up to provide a temperature range from approximately 29 – 33 C in the warm end, to 27 – 29 C at the cooler end. A drop of a couple of degrees at night is also a good idea.
Food and Water: Most boas will readily accept defrosted rodents. A single prey item, no larger than the snake’s head, should be offered fortnightly for adults, and weekly for neonates. A huge bowl of fresh water must always be offered.