Dumerils Boa – Origin, Size, Lifespan, Appearance and Care Guide

Dumerils Boa - origin, size, lifespan, appearance and care guide
Dumrelis Boa

Introduction

Dumerils boa is an extremely enchanting snake specie that is large and loveable. This magnificent creature is one of the most attractive snakes out there in the market, if you are looking for easy-to-take care of and friendly pet snake, then Dumerils boa will fit well in this category, you should surely take a look at its behavior and qualities.

This rebellious snake belongs to southwest Madagascar, so they are used to high temperatures, this is a plus point if you live in hot countries like the countries within the Middle east.

An additional benefit of owning this snake is that it is non-venomous, so you can keep it in a house of kids too.

This snake is by far the most beginner-friendly snake out there, so if you have just started to keep snakes as pets, you can start your practice with this snake and then work your way up.

Overview

NameDumerils boa
Scientific nameAcrantophis dumerili
kingdomAnimalia
phylumChordata 
classreptilia
orderSquamata 
familybiodae
genusAcrantohis 
Life sanAbout twenty years
Size 96 inches
ColorBlack with dark and light brown patterns
weightAbout 9kgs
temperatureEighty to eighty-five kgs
habitatDry forest
Food and dietcarnivores

Origin and Habitat of the Dumerils boa 

This species of snakes belong to southwest Madagascar, that is in the Indian ocean. 

This snake is usually seen in dry forests, this reptile is fond of dry climates and is not likely to survive in humid weather, so it is very unlikely for you to find them in the rain forests of Madagascar.

Southwest Madagascar is relatively arid, with settlements, dry woods, and recently imported tree species aplenty in certain regions. The Dumeril’s boa inhabits these regions and isn’t scared of other ground-dwelling animals or human conflict there.

Appearance and Behavior

Image Credit : Source

Dumerils boa is a thick-bodied snake that comes in dark brown to black color combination, this enchanting creature is eight feet tall, this is a non-venomous snake that catches the eye of many reptile pet lovers.

Many owners mention how the skull is shaped aggressively. Before gradually narrowing out near the front of the mouth, it expands considerably at the jaw. Frequently, their head has a foundation color that is somewhat darker than the rest of their body, which draws more attention to it.

Color 

The color of the dumerils boa is brown, white, and black, in some cases you might even find red, green, and each color combinations over its body. A fun fact about this creature is that it camouflages in the forest.

Size

The size of this snake varies between 4-8 feet, and this snake can weigh about 20 pounds which is 9 kgs! The females are larger in terms of weight and size both, the female dumerils boa has a thick body while the male has a narrower thin tail this is because they require the extra bulk to be able to carry and birth between 6 and 28 live offspring, who are typically between 12 and 18 inches long, during incubation.

Texture 

Skin of the dumerils boa resembles the look and feel of leather, the skin has a tiny kite-shaped pattern all over it, which make the skin very appealing and loveable, the block is brown, black, and slightly tan in color.

If you touch the skin of this snake, you will feel tiny gritty structures, overall its skin shines.

The Lifespan of Dumerils boa

In order to fully mature Dumerils boa takes approximately 3 to 5 years, it is a slow-growing snake. The average lifespan of this snake is 20 years or more depending on how well they are taken care of. If they are provided with the necessities and additional care and pampering they can survive for more than 20 years easily.

The Behavior of Dumerils boa.

The camouflaging nature of this snake makes preying easier for them, this snake does not climb places it creeps on the floor. The nature of this snake when it comes to preying is that it will hide in bushes and wait for its prey to pass by and then hunt on it.

Ground boas from Dumeril are nocturnal predators. They will essentially remain still while waiting for an unprepared prey animal to pass for extended periods of time. When the victim is within striking distance, the boa lunges for it, grips it, and chokes it to death.

The Dumerils boa is very friendly, in fact, it is the friendliest snake that you can find out there. It is not territorial, but if you provoke it a lot and give it a sense of you being its prey it will bite you, in order to keep them calm at all times and keep yourself safe, wash your hands well before handling them.

Conversational Status 

Least concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. CITES Appendix I listed, which places severe restrictions on its exporting from Madagascar.

Their population is in decline as a result of habitat degradation for agricultural purposes or to provide pasture for cattle; they are also murdered out of superstition and fear. Markets in Madagascar and other nations both sell their skins.

 They are further exported and marketed as pets. Diet consists of small creatures including frogs, lizards, and birds.

Housing Dumerils boa

While housing Dumerils boa, take special care of the enclosure, substrate, and temperature. These three things are the main factors to take care of, other than this decorations, lighting, etc come secondary.

The health of your snake depends on its environment, these snakes can often feel homesick, to treat this you should replicate their natural habitat, which is a dry forest.

To replicate dry forests, you should use leaves that have fallen from the tree and add broken tree branches, if you can, add some low-lying vegetables too, this really helps mimic the natural environment of the snake.

Another thing that this snake loves to do is hide, provide a box or some sort of rock or nest-shaped bush so the snake can hide when it wants to do so.

Enclosure 

Credit: Zoochat

Firstly, you must decide what sort of enclosure you want, whether you can be an aquarium, vivarium, or terrarium.

A terrarium is usually the most prescribed option from reptile breeders, a glass terrarium of ten gallons is good for your reptile. The terrarium should be 3 feet tall, five feet long, and at least 2 feet in width.

It’s better to get a large terrarium from the beginning rather than changing them as the snake grows. A big terrarium will prove to be beneficial by providing your snake with enough space to move around in. 

Make sure your enclosure has a proper system for ventilation as you do not want to suffocate your snake, your terrarium should have small holes to let air in, but also make sure the terrarium has a secure lid to prevent your snake from escaping.

Substrate and Decoration

Bedding, the material you use to cover your reptile’s floor, is referred to as “substrate” in some contexts.

 Making the appropriate decisions for Dumeril’s boa substrate may assist with controlling humidity and promoting health. 

The incorrect substrate may sometimes be lethal to your snake and be unclean.

Choosing a substrate for this snake is by far the easiest job to do, you can add a paper towel, brown butcher paper, a Newspaper, and dried leaves as well.

One substrate to avoid at all costs is cedar and pine shavings, the reason behind this is that this sort of substrate contains oil, this oil can damage the skin barrier of your snake, and this can lead to severe neurological issues.

Dumerils boa is ground dwellers, they like to dig into the soil and then move around, this helps with keeping the snake calm, and retaining good mental and physical health of the snake, It reduces the chances of illnesses and also makes your snake feel secure, in order to mimic this you should add at least 4 to 6 inches of substrate.

If you want to make a substrate mix on your own, you can definitely do so by adding topsoil that is 60% organic and 40% play sand. You can get both ingredients for a reasonable price at your neighborhood hardware shop. 

For decoration, you won’t need to send a lot, the most you will have to do is to add a fake tree and a hiding spot, a hiding spot is good to let your snake have some personal time away from humans eyes, and a tree will help your snake climb whenever it feels like doing so.

When providing a hiding box, avoid using cardboard boxes, that is because they aren’t that durable and will break sooner than expected, instead, you can use a plastic tub, cut an opening in it, and flip it upside down, this will create a small den for your snake.

 Although Dumeril’s boas are categorized as mostly terrestrial snakes, they have been seen climbing up tree branches and have been photographed doing so.

 Installing branches in the cage is an excellent method to improve its appearance and give your pet more exercise.

 Although individuals seldom weigh more than 20 to 25 lbs, you will still need to secure any branches that are present to prevent damage from breaking, falling, or exposing screws while in use.

 Cut branches to size and fasten them firmly in place while making your adult Dumeril’s boa habitat if you decide to do so.

Lighting

According to recent research, UVB is good for the long-term physical and mental well-being of snakes. Utilize a low-intensity fluorescent tube (not a coil) such as the Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 T5 HO or the Arcadia Forest 6 percent if you want to use UVB as your main source of light.

 Even though they appear to be functioning, these bulbs should be replaced every 12 months, since, they lose some of their UVB output over time.

Your snake’s basking surface has to be positioned at the proper distance from the source of UVB light since its intensity reduces as you go away from it. Your snake might become “sunburned” if it is too close. Your snake might not truly benefit from having the lamp if it’s too far away.

These snakes sleep during the day and remain active during the night meaning that they are  Crepuscular. so a UVB light is mandatory, they are mainly active around sunsets.

In the terrarium housing your Dumeril’s boa, you should utilize heat lamps or fluorescent lighting during the day. 

Although Dumeril’s boas don’t have any particular lighting needs, you should give them a 12-hour cycle of natural illumination. To control your snake’s light cycle and avoid upsetting its habit, you may attach a timer.

Temperature and Humidity

These snakes belong from dry hot areas, which means that they can live in warm enclosures and require an enclosure mimicking this itself.

On both the chilly end and the heated end of the cage, at least two thermometers should be mounted in the terrarium or aquarium and one inch above the floor. A third thermometer should 

be placed above the resting or basking area as well. When shedding, humidity levels should be kept in the upper range of 40 to 60 percent.

A heat gradient is necessary for Dumeril’s boas to be able to control their own body temperature. Large enclosures are able to provide this temperature differential than tiny terrariums or tubs.

30–31°C for the bathing area: 86–88°F

Cooling zone: 21–4 °C (70–75 °F)

If allowed to do so, nighttime temperatures can safely drop to 68–75°F (21–24°C), which is healthier for the snake’s long-term health.

 Usually, doing this is as simple as turning off the heat source at night. It is advised to employ a mild source of nocturnal heat, such as a ceramic heat emitter or radiant heat panel, detailed below if the snake’s cage is situated in an especially chilly room.

Cleaning

The enclosure of this snake is a little messy, so you will have to maintain it every once in a while, daily spot cleaning is not required as this snake doesn’t eat on daily basis.

You should clean the terrarium or whatever enclosure you have chosen once every month, you can use vinegar and water as it is a natural acid, If you are using bleach to clean the enclosure then do not put your pet snake in until the smell of bleach completely goes away, if you put your snake back before that it can cause the death of your snake.

Let the terrarium out in the sun to dry off, this kills any bacteria that you may have missed out on.

After cleaning the enclosure add new substrate and clean any decorations like the hide box and fake plants with water too.

Do spot clean after feeding your snake every week.

Clean the water bowl daily and add filtered water to avoid any sickness.

Diet of Dumerils boa.

Food

Dumerils boas are carnivores their diet as a pet consists of eating, mice, hamsters, rabbits and chicks, and guinea pigs.

Boas from Dumeril are opportunistic feeders. They will consume practically everything in the wild, including live reptile food like animals, birds, and even lizards.

Dumeril’s boas will flourish in captivity on readily accessible rodents, rabbits, or birds. The majority of Dumeril’s boas will consume frozen or thawed prey.

Snakes do not need to be fed every day, the Dumerils boa needs to be fed after every two weeks, but this completely depends on the age of your snake. 

Young juveniles eat after every 14 to 2 days on the other hand an adult Dumerils boa eats after 25 to 28 days.

A hatchling should be fed every week.

Dumeril’s boas often consume food that is as broad as the snake’s widest region of its body. Smaller prey will satisfy the snake’s need, whereas larger prey may be regurgitated, which might make the snake uncomfortable and disturbed.

Although feeding every four weeks may sound cruel, Dumeril’s boas are renowned for having very sluggish metabolisms, therefore it is ideal for Dumeril’s.

In actuality, boas are prone to obesity. Try delivering smaller prey or feeding your snake less frequently if you find that it seems to be gaining weight on this system you can also take it to a vet to get proper advice, on whether it is obese or falling ill.

Modern understanding of snake psychology contends that our perception of “aggression” is incorrect; instead, snakes that have learned to associate the opening of the enclosure with food (as a result of infrequent handling) will lunge for the first object they see, assuming that it is food — with no malice intended toward the keeper’s hand.

Water

Given that certain Dumeril’s boas are quite timid eaters, you might need to cover their enclosure or wait until the snake has done eating before leaving the room.

Always provide a dish of fresh water for your Dumeril’s boa (use filtered tap water or bottled spring water). Make careful to give Dumeril’s boas enough water because they gobble up big amounts of it at once.

The bowl of water should be large enough for the entire snake to soak in.

Supplements

Usually, the snake tends to become weak, due to the lack of a nutritionist diet, in order to coop up with this deficiency, you should buy the prey of your pet Dumerils boa from a good pet store that is well aware of the diet requirement of snakes.

If your snake shows signs of lethargy and is becoming weaker you can give it vitamin D and calcium supplements, you can sprinkle powder form of these supplements over the food.

Replace your supplements after every 6 months.

Care of Dumerils boa

Dumerils boa are good pets as they are non-venomous, friendly, and well-behaved. They are the most underrated pets considering how calm they are, while looking at them you may confuse yourself due to their fierce look, but as they say, do not judge a book by its cover, this snake is extremely loveable!

Handling of Dumerils boa

Credit: Reptileforums

You surely can handle your dumerils boa, but do not overhandle it, again and again, this can disturb your pet’s health as well as stress it out.

Here are a few steps that you can take while handling them.

  • Firstly use a hook to take the snake out rather than using your hands, if you use your hands it makes a signal to the snake that you are feeding it.
  • While grabbing onto your snake make sure to hold it properly, not just by one part of its body, the best way to hold this pet is by keeping one hand around its head and the other around its tail this provides enough short to your snake.
  • You can keep the snake on your lap, but avoid bringing it near your face or neck, if this snake strangles along your neck, there are chances of it choking you, unintentionally of course.

Dumerils boa Enclosure Friends

To stay on the safe side do not keep other pets with your dumerils boa, it is a friendly pet, but does like solidarity. In the wild you won’t see two Dumerils boa in the same place, this gives us an indication that dumerils boa does not like being housed together.

 Some snakes might eat the other too, so avoid keeping them together at all costs.

It is recommended to only introduce male and female snakes together during breeding seasons.

Common Health Problems

Some health problems your boa may come across are obesity, weight loss, mites, metabolic bone disease, etc.

You can keep checking your snake’s weight with the help of a weighing machine, and adult snakes must maintain a weight of 20 pounds on average. If any more or any less is shown on the scale then you must take the advice of your vet regarding it.

If you notice mites on your snake’s skin you can search online for some creams that target mites specifically or even use head-like creams as they work perfectly as well.

Cool temperatures can cause respiratory problems in your pet, make sure the temperature is warm enough for your pet snake, after this take your snake to the vet, he or she will treat it with some medicine.

Metabolic bone disease is a common health problem with reptiles, the reptiles need enough basking time and vitamin D to not face this problem.

In order to treat MBD, you should give your boa vitamin D supplements prescribed by the vet and also provide it enough basking time with a good UVB light.

Dumerils boas Breeding

In Madagascar, Dumeril’s ground boas are thought to mature sexually at around 18 months of age. 

The male and females of this species seem to reproduce most effectively when they are at least 4 and ideally 5 years old. Your female is doing well; at this age, a well-fed female would be around 5 to 6 feet long. She should be in top breeding shape after another year, in my opinion.

 The boa starts breeding during the month of March and continues till May.

The female will develop an egg bulge in her lower belly shortly after a successful mating. If a Dumeril’s ground boa female wants to remain healthy and give birth to a healthy young, she must continue to bask, ideally with overhead heat rather than a heating pad, do not handle your snake during this period time as she may become tired and restless.

During October start to lower the temperature of your enclosure, and keep it warm in February 

About five to seven months after mating, Dumeril’s ground boas give birth to six to twelve (sometimes as many as fifteen) 16 to 19-inch long babies. Immediately after molting, the newborns often begin eating and eating mice and rat pups. The infants are more stunning than the parents, they look adorable when born. Yes, Dumerils boa gives birth to young live snakes rather than laying eggs, this is rare in snakes as most snakes give birth to eggs.

Remove the males from the enclosure when you see the female snake’s skin shed, the male tends to attack females when they shed.

Buying a Dumerils boa

Choosing a Dumerils boa

When choosing a Dumerils boa, go for one that has the right weight requirement, this can only be done by going to a pet store and getting it weighed in front of you. 

You can get Dumerils boa online too, but there is a high risk of damaging the boa’s health due to late delivery and also the dealers may fool you by sending you a sick one.

You can find Dumerils boa easily at any pet store due to their high demand as pets, or at a snake breeder.

Although, this specie is the least concern we must take proper care of it to keep it from going endangered.

Legality

Another thing to check beforehand is whether the country you live in allows keeping such an exotic pet. The trade of this snake is complete illegally on an international level, regardless of them being the least concerned. 

Their non-venomous nature makes them legal to be owned as pets as they do not harm humans.

In countries such as America, owning this snake as a pet is legal.

Cost

Dumerils boa is a bit on the expensive side, but totally worth the price, this pet is long living and low maintenance, adding to this they are frank and harmless, these factors completely make up for the price.

The price of a Dumerils boa is 200-800 dollars, and the enclosure costs about 100 dollars.

Conclusion

The Dumerils boa is an extremely alluring species of snake, this non-venomous snake is beginner friendly and easy to take care of as a pet.

If you are in search of a pet snake that serves the purpose of looking fierce, attractive, and also harmless then this is a great snake for you.

Found in the dry forest of Madagascar the Dumerils boa is fond of hot and dry climates, so make sure to provide your pet with the right environment according to its natural habitat.

The Dumerils boa can cost you a little, but this completely depends on the size and age of the snake, so there are options from cheap to expensive.

Overall the boa is a specie different from the other snakes in terms of its nature, it’s a great pet recommended by its owners.

FAQs

Are Dumerils boa good pets for beginners?

The Dumeril’s boa is likely one of the biggest surprises you will encounter, but the Cape House Snake may have surprised you a bit. But the Dumeril’s boa is a fantastic snake for beginners for a few reasons: They are a calm snake that seldom demonstrates any symptoms of irritation, they are easy to pet, they are non-venomous, and they do not get irritated that quick.

What to do if dumerils boa bites you?

If you come across a boa biting you, you should first calm down, then wash the bite with water and soap, you can clean it with an alcohol swab too, then put an ointment and a bandage on.

Does dumerils boa recognize their owners?

Like most pets dumerils boa also recognize their owners, with time the snakes tend to get more comfortable with their owners, and they recognize their scent. They might not be able to have a bond as close as a cat or dog would but they will feel attached.

Is my dumerils boa trying to scare me?

If your dumerils boa seems to be hissing at you, it is not because they are trying to scare you it is because they do not want to interact today, these pets like solitary so on some days they might not want to come out of their enclosures.

How dangerous are dumerils boas?

It will bite if it feels threatened, just like any other wild animal. However, because of the nonvenomous nature of the Dumeril’s boa, its bite will only leave a scar. Snakes are nature’s most effective rodenticide. These creatures want to be left alone so they may do what they do best, despite the fact that they terrify some humans.

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