Red Tail Boa – A Complete Care Guide

Red tail Boa

Boa constrictor usually referred to as red-tailed boas, is a very popular species of snake among its subspecies and other pet snakes as well.

This snake belongs to South America. It is also found in other countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Northern Argentina too far from Peru. This snake is considered arboreal, but its environments vary depending on which country they live in.

The patterns on its body are the main reason behind why this snake is called the Red-tailed boa, it is also called a boa constrictor because of the way it hunts.

The Red-tailed boa reaches an astounding length of 8 feet.

In this care guide, you will be provided with all the information you need regarding pet Red Tail boas and their care.

Boa constrictor species

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The boa constrictor is well known for its behavior, they are called constrictors because they coil the prey in between their tails to kill it. This behavior of theirs is also called viviparity.

There are 4 subspecies of boa constrictors.

● The Boa constrictor accidental or Argentine

● Boa constrictor Gordonii or Orton’s Boa.

● Boa constrictor longicauda or Long Tail

●  Boa constrictor or Red Tail.

Red-tailed boas are often kept as pets, and the rest of the species are not. This snake grows to 8 feet, while the other species grow up to 2 feet long.

This mesmerizing species is gray and beige, it has patterns all over its body, at first the patterns are a little small, but as they move towards its tail the size of these patterns expands, and the color changes from brown to crimson red.

Conservational status according to the IUCN.

The Red Tail boas are not threatened or endangered, they are the “least concern” according to the IUCN.

The last concern is that the animal is not at risk of extinction, despite this the red-tailed boa might be in danger in the wild due to numerous factors such as forest fires, predators, and killing it for its skin.

This species is at risk due to illegal trade, do research before getting your red tail boa to make sure it is not wild caught, as this may cause a decline in their population.

You should buy your pet Red tailed boas from breeders, this is the safest way to buy a red-tailed boa.

Overview of the red tail boa.

NameRed tail boa
Scientific nameBoa constrictor
Size8 feet
Conservational statusNot extinct
Experience levelBeginner
Temperature requirement80°F

A detailed note on red tail boas physical description.

The boa constrictor is well renowned for being one of the largest snake species. Boa constrictors are fairly little boids and pale in comparison to the opposing opposition in this case.

The maximum length mentioned in B. Constrictor was only a little bit more than 4 meters. Even though island forms are typically under 2 meters in height, humans are typically between 2 and 3 meters tall.

Within populations, women often outnumber males.

 However, the hemipenes’ preferred habitat might make males’ tails proportionally longer than those of females.

Excellent boa constrictor color and specimen. On the dorsal surface, the main color is cream or brown, and it is bordered by black “saddle-style” stripes.

The saddles normally turn reddish brown with a black or cream border as they get closer to the tail, where they become more colorful and distinctive. Around the margins, there are rhomboid black marks. Their entire body will be covered in smaller, darker spots.

A boa constrictor has three distinct stripes on its top. The first line is a snout to the rear of the headline that travels dorsally. In 2d, the snout and the attention are separated by a black triangle.

This evil triangle’s third point is where it curves downward toward the jaw from behind the skull. There are, however, several alternatives.

At least nine subspecies are presently recognized by several governments, even though many of these are still poorly described and future studies will probably regulate this taxonomy.

The subspecies that are now listed are B. C. Constrictor, B. C. Orophias, B. C. Imperator, B. C. Occidentalis, B. C. Ortonii, B. C. Sabogae, and B. C. Amaral, B. C. Nebulosa (Dominican boa, now enlarged to complete species), and B. C. Longicauda. There are occasionally regional (subspecific) models in shape, size, and color, but for the most part, those subspecies are excellent because of their diversity rather than their outward appearance.

Boa constrictors, like the bulk of their Boidae relatives, have pelvic spurs. On both sides of the cloacal beginning, pieces of the hind legs were discovered.

They can be exploited by adult guys to seduce women since they are larger in men than in women. Men have twin penises called hemipenes, of which one side is frequently utilized during mating.

Despite being ubiquitous in Boidae, warmness-sensing pits may not be present in B. constrictor. It is hypothesized that this species lacks specific thermosensory skills as a result.

Since their teeth are aglyphous, boa constrictors no longer have any long, sharp fangs. Instead, they have rows of about equal-length, long, recurved teeth.

A snake’s enamel is constantly renewed, with particular teeth being replaced at each shift in time, ensuring that it never loses the capacity to bite in any area of its mouth. There is no poison in the boa.

Boa constrictors have two functioning lungs, just like boas and pythons do. The majority of snakes have shorter left lungs and longer right lungs to help construct their elongated frame structure.

Exceptional bodily Features: Heterothermic polymorphic

Sexual Dimorphism: Female larger

Range duration

1 to 4 m

3.28 to 13.12 ft

Average Length

2-3 m


The appearance of the Red-tailed boa.

Size of the Red-tailed boa.

The Red-tailed boa is not the largest species of boas, the average length of this snake is about 8 feet. In rare cases, it might even grow to 10 feet.

The females are visibly larger than the males.

Usually, the males reach up to 6 feet, while the females touch the length of 8 feet.

Weight of red tail boas.

The Red-tailed boas weigh around 20 to 30 pounds, that is 10-15 kgs.

Just like the height, the weight of the males and females also differs, the female Red tail boa is heavier than the male Red-tailed boa.

The size of this snake also depends on what you feed it, so give it a good diet full of nutrients.

Color of the Red tail boa.

The Red tail boa is found in a variety of colors, the identity of a red tail boa is that it has patterns in red and darker red color over its body that are more4 visible around the tail.

This snake camouflages in the forest and on trees due to these patterns.

 The rest of the body excluding the patterns is in gray or brown color.

The color of these snakes depends on where these snakes come from, for example, the Colombian red tail boa has a gray color, on the other hand, the Albino red tail boas are a lighter color of orange on their patterns and the rest of the body is white.


The head of the red tail boa is shaped like an arrow.

Teeth and tongue.

Teeth of Red tail Boa
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 The teeth of this snake are not very big, they are constrictors so they do not directly bite their prey to kill it.

 Although the teeth are not big, they are pointy, so the bite of this snake does hurt.

These snakes bite non-venomously, so there is nothing to worry about if it bites you, just clean it with an alcohol swab to avoid any bacteria from entering your body as snakes do contain a lot of bacteria in their mouth.

 The tongue of this creature is black and in a “V” shape.

Tongue of Red tail Boa
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 Reproduction and Development.

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Male mature males’ pelvic spurs help assist mating, which results in internal fertilization. Because boa constrictors are ovoviviparous, their embryos grow inside the mother’s body. Young individuals are alive when they are born and become independent very quickly.

Boa constrictors do not undergo any transformation as they are born looking exactly like their parents.

Younger snakes typically have brighter colors and better color perception, although most changes are subtle.

Men can have several female partners because they are polygynous. Women are also allowed to have many partners within a season.

Since women are frequently dispersed, courting males must devote time and effort to finding them.

Boa constrictors don’t appear to reproduce annually at their maximal size. Every year, around half of the female population can procreate.

Additionally, women presumably become their most fertile when their bodies are under optimum conditions. While a greater percentage of individual guys appear to reproduce annually, likely, the majority of men do not likewise do so.

Mating System: Polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Although the time of the dry season changes at various points in their range, boa constrictors normally reproduce throughout the dry season, often from April to August. Depending on the local temperature, the gestational period lasts between five and eight months. Although litters can range in age from 10 to 64 younger, the average litter is 25 younger.

Breeding interval

Females probably each different year, or less regularly, depending on condition.

Breeding season

Breeding takes place at some stage in the dry season (April-August) and begins 5-8 months later.

Variety types of offspring

10 to 64

The average range of offspring


Range gestation duration

5 to 8 months

The common time for independence

After only a few minutes

Common age at sexual or reproductive adulthood (lady)

2-3 years

The average age at sexual or reproductive adulthood (male)

2-3 years

 Maternal funding is more youthful and calls for the mom to be under inappropriate bodily circumstances.

 Given that juvenile boa constrictors grow inside their mother’s body, where they are provided with vitamins and a thermoregulated environment, they can thrive.

 Young boa constrictors are born fully developed and independent within minutes after birth. The majority of male reproductive funds are used to find buddies.

 Communication and Perception.

Like other snakes, boa constrictors require excellent vomeronasal senses. At the top of their lips, where their tongues are continually moving and coming into touch with fragrance molecules, is where their chemosensory (vomeronasal) organ is situated. In this way, they continuously pick up on chemical cues in their surroundings.

Even in the UV spectrum, boa constrictor snakes can see clearly. Additionally, the vibrations that their jaw bones transmitted through the air due to sound and the ground may cause them to trip. They no longer have ears on the outside. Contrary to other boids, boa constrictors lack thermosensory pits.

Communication Channels: tactile, chemical

Perception Channels: visual, tactile, acoustic, vibrations, chemical


 Boa constrictors are reclusive animals that only interact with their kind to mate. But Dominican populations can occasionally congregate.

Boa constrictors bask in the sun to warm themselves in cold weather, yet they are nocturnal or crepuscular creatures.

They occasionally bare their flesh (greater often in juveniles than adults). Under the old skin and pore layer, a lubricant is formed.

 As this happens, the snake’s eye may be observed to fog up as the material gets between the snake’s eye and the traditional eye-protecting.

Boas typically become inactive for many days until the loss is ended and their vision is restored since the cloudiness hinders their ability to see.

 During the shedding process, the skin around the nose splits and finally peels away from the body.

 Boa constrictors are generally discovered on the ground or in forested regions close to rivers and streams.

Habitat and lifespan.

This snake may be found in a variety of settings, from semi-desert to even tropical rainforests.

When they are young, they dangle from tree branches; as adults, they stay on the ground.

Due to their ability to swim, these snakes may also be found in water bodies where they burrow into the earth to hide from predators.

In contrast to its 20-year lifespan in captivity, this snake may survive for up to 40 years in the wild.

 Before the age of six, the majority of their growth takes place.

These snakes increase in length by three to five times before the age of six.

Adults in good health will be large and hefty (around 30 pounds).

A six-foot Colubrid, like a rattlesnake, weighs far less than a six-foot Boa, which is significantly heavier.

Redtail boas diet in the wild.

Red tail boa eating a mouse, image credits 

Redtail boas diet in the wild.
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 The red tail boas eat birds, rats, frogs, pigs, monkeys, agoutis, caiman, and other mammals such as rabbits.

 How do the red tail boas prey?

● These snakes make a surprise attack on their targeted animal from a concealed position, in other words, they ambush their prey at first.

● Then they bite with their teeth to hold the prey in place, they have no venom in their bite, so this won’t kill the prey

● Then they wrap their tail around the animal and squeeze tightly until the blood circulation of the animal stops.

Are red tail boas nocturnal?

● Yes, the red tail boas are nocturnal, so they hunt in the darkness of the night.

         This makes it harder for the prey to escape.

Red Tail Boa Complete Care Sheet and Enclosure Setup.

 Red Tail Boas is one of the most popular domestic constrictors along with Ball Pythons, Carpet Pythons, and Rosy Boas.

 They are easily identified by their deep red tail markings. These constrictors are large domestic snakes and can reach a length of eight feet.

 These are great pets for anyone looking for a pet snake.

 Red Tail boas diet.

In the wild, boa constrictors are ambush hunters who patiently await their prey. They use their muscle coils to seize and constrict their meals, which usually consist of small mammals, younger birds, or even lizards.

Because boa constrictors are stored as pets, they don’t want as much frame mass and can therefore feed on smaller prey. They generally eat rodents and ought to be fed often, with the size of the prey relying on the size of your snake.

While your snake is underneath 5 toes, feed it two mice a week. As soon as they’re over three toes, improve them to 1 rat and limit feeding to once every week.

At 6 ft (and large), feed them one to 2 rabbits every week. Relying on their age. Size, and if they hold a healthy weight, your snake can be fed much less frequently.

Purple Tail Boas can be underweight or overweight, so it is vital to pay attention and monitor your snake’s increase, weight, and frame mass.

●     Frozen rodents of suitable size, thawed or warmed above room temperature

●     Small mice can be fed to younger; rats are typically fed to adults

●     Live rodents ought to now not be fed because rodents will chew snakes that aren’t hungry and might cause existence-threatening accidents. Under any circumstances, you need to provide rodents to a snake, by no means go away unattended in the snake’s tank as there is a capacity hazard of harm to the snake.

●     Things you must not forget whilst feed crimson boa:

●     Do no longer use a microwave oven to thaw frozen rodents, as microwaved rodents may additionally have hot spots which could burn the snakes’ mouths when eaten.

●     Do no longer put together frozen rodents for feeding in the identical location in which you prepare human meals. If unavoidable, make certain to disinfect the region thoroughly. For extra records, see the frozen/thawed food care sheet

●     Feed the young as soon as a week, adults once to two weeks

●     Feed in an empty tank, break free of the enclosure so that the snake does not now accompany your hand or the outlet of the enclosure lid with the feeding, and by chance study muddle from the enclosure ground while consuming.

●     Sparkling, clean water should be available always in a bowl huge sufficient for the snake to soak in Ideal enclosure for red tail boas.

The Red tail boa enclosure.

The Red tail boa enclosure.
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 The Colombian Red Tail Boa lives across a big range in the Southern United States.

 Their herbal habitat has excessive humidity that must be replicated in their cage.

Humidity around 60 to 80% is satisfactory. Setting a light bulb above their water bowl will help maintain excessive humidity. In case your cage has a display lid you may want to apply a pegboard with lots of little holes.

 Humidity gauges ought to be used to screen the humidity.

 Whilst the cage is first installed, watch the humidity upward push, and fall; you may get an awesome idea of a way to adjust it.

Tank type: custom-made or plastic bath.

Tank size: 6′ x 2′ x 2′ ft.

Lights: UVA basking bulb.

Substrate: cypress mulch.

There are various critiques on what size terrarium is appropriate for a person Boa.

You have to make sure you have enough area in your snake whilst it reaches adult length.

We recommend an enclosure that is as long as your snake. They may want an enclosure that measures 6′ x 2′ x 2′. Locating enclosures this big can be hard and they’re frequently custom-made.

Infant Boas may be stored in a 10-gallon aquarium. Maximum species quickly outgrow this so it’s far better, to begin with, a 20-gallon lengthy terrarium.

Once they attain four ft in duration they have to be transferred to an adult tank.

The cage length may be supplemented by taking your snake out to permit enrichment.

Accurately sized plastic tubs may be used as they keep humidity higher than display screen-pinnacle terrariums.

Red tail boa substrate.

Red tail boa substrate.
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To fully display your red-tailed boa, you might want to think about using aspen shavings, cypress mulch, or Carefresh bedding rather than the plain old newspaper.

Just keep in mind that there are only two practical ways to remove these substrates during cleaning.

 Either use a shop vacuum or flip the cage over and throw everything inside. As a result, the substrate you choose will be influenced in part by the size and kind of cage you choose.

The substrate to avoid in a red tail boas enclosure.

In addition, there are a few substrates you should avoid. Aquarium gravel, cedar shavings, and pine shavings are included in this category.

It is not economically feasible to utilize aquarium gravel—or any form of gravel, for that matter—for snake housing. You must swap out the entire cage substrate at least once a month for obvious health reasons. The cost of doing it with beautiful aquarium gravel would rise quickly.

Redtail boas cage setup.

Their cage must have a temperature gradient.

 Ambient temperatures (and the cold aspect of the enclosure) should be eighty to 85°F. The hot aspect of the tank needs to be ninety-five to one hundred°F.

You may use a UVA warmth-emitting bulb for a basking spot. Your snake will want a place to cover in its cage.

 Ideally, you need to place a disguise on every facet of the cage to feel comfortable in warm and funky regions.

The Substrate is any other essential selection for a Boa’s cage. Aspen bedding is usually used however cypress mulch is higher.

Now do not use cedar or aspen shavings. These substrates include oils that can be poisonous to reptiles.

 Subsequently, your snake will want to have consistent entry into the water. They ought to have got right of entry to a water bowl massive sufficient for them to soak in. This water wishes to be monitored and kept clean.


Cleaning the habitat of red tail boas.

Spot-clean the habitat daily to take away droppings and discarded meals. Thoroughly smooth and disinfect the habitat at least once in line with the week:

●      Location snake in a relaxed habitat

●      Get rid of all substrate and habitat décor

●      Scrub the tank and furnishings with a reptile habitat cleanser or 3% bleach answer

●      Rinse tank and furnishings very well with water, casting off all lines of habitat cleaner or bleach smell

●      Dry the tank and fixtures absolutely

●      Add smooth substrate and place fixtures back into the tank

●      Put snake lower back into their smooth, dry habitat

Redtail boas care

Snakes will frequently shed their pores and skin and the covering over their eyes (called the “eye cap” or spectacle); ensure the humidity of the habitat is at a suitable level to permit

snakes to shed nicely.

 Pores and skin should be shed in an unmarried lengthy piece

In no way try to take away retained eye caps by yourself, as you can easily cause damage. Are trying to find veterinary care if eye caps are retained?

Red tail boa common health problems


● Burns

● Dehydration

● Inclusion frame disorder (IBD)

● Mites

● Mouth Rot

● Now not ingesting

● Weight problems

● Regurgitation

● Respiratory infection

● Rubbing

● Scale Rot

● Sexing

● Losing trouble

Chart of health issues and their solutions.

Health IssueSymptoms or CausesSuggested Action
DermatitisBlisters, purple pores, and skin, scabs or fast dropping caused by skin infections from microorganisms, viruses, fungus or parasites or an unclean habitat or one which has besides the point temperature or humidity.Seek advice from your veterinarian, clean the habitat, and make certain proper temperature and humidity.
Respiratory diseaseWorked breathing/open-mouth respiration, stretches the neck out, and mucus or bubbles in the mouth, eyes, or nostrils. Can be resulting from infections with bacteria, viruses, fungus, parasites, or habitat that has irrelevant temperature or humidity.Consult your veterinarian and make certain the right temperature and humidity.
StomatitisPurple, swollen, or scabbed gums and/or white, cheesy discharge in the mouth, lack of teeth, reduced appetite, weight loss. May be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections or beside-the-point temperature or humidity. If untreated it may be fatal.At once seek advice from your veterinarian and make certain the right temperature and humidity.
Ticks and mitesParasites on pores and skin cause itchiness, red skin, and hyperactivity; can transmit sickness.Consult your veterinarian. Empty habitat and thoroughly disinfect it.

Does the bite of a red tail boa hurt?

Does the bite of a red tail boa hurt?
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A chunk from a Red Tail Boa is very painful, but no longer fatal.

Fortuitously Boas are not regarded for being extremely competitive, and there are approaches to save you bites from happening.

First is knowing the way to take care of and keep a snake – especially large ones.

While holding a snake you must:

● Guide their frame weight.

● Make certain it’s miles awake and is of you whilst taking it out of its enclosure.

● Keep away from tapping or grabbing its head as a few snakes are head shy.

Don’t forget dealing with and temperament varies from snake to snake.

Boas will shed their skin a couple of times every 12 months. Juveniles shed extra often than adults.

While your Boa is in the shed you must no longer try to manage them. This is because they’ll now not be able to see properly and may be extra anxious whilst being treated.

As an alternative, offer them a wet disguise and make sure their cage humidity is excessive; placing moist paper towels on their cover to assist them to get their skin off is less complicated.

Eventually do not preserve your Boa after feeding.


Where to buy a red tail boa?

This species of Boa is very commonplace inside the pet trade. Due to this, there are many breeders to pick out from.

First, you want to know what sort of crimson Tail you’re searching out:

● Do you need a toddler or a juvenile that has already grown?

● Do you need a natural shade or a coloration morph?

● Do you need to shop for in-character or are you glad about mail order?

Your priority is to make sure you’re shopping for a captive-bred species. You’ll then want to make sure that your snake is a wholesome weight and no longer has any stuck shed.

Look for a snake that is aware of its environment.

It should be active and alert.

Severe aggression may be a sign of pressure, however, it isn’t unusual for babies to be competitive and head shy.

Before bringing your puppy reptile home make certain their cage is properly set up and the humidity ranges are below managed.

Leaving your snake alone for the first week will help them get used to their new surroundings.

Cost of getting a red tail boa.

Purchasing and retaining a crimson-Tailed Boa is not cheap.

Common Red tail infants can be purchased for $2 hundred. Unique coloration morphs such as the albino can price over $1,000.

In addition, a large enclosure will cost upwards of $500 – this is comparable for most reptiles. Plastics tubs are a whole lot cheaper however require greater care to show them into ok enclosures.

You’ll additionally need to buy lighting, heating, substrate, water bowls, hides, and decorations.

They are massive snakes and can be luxurious to keep.

Ecosystem Roles

Predators of tiny creatures like bats and birds include boa constrictors. They are essential predators of opossums and rodents, which can become a problem in some areas and expose people to diseases.

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

In the world of pets, boa constrictors are well-known. Boa constrictors may easily be found that have been bred in captivity for several generations, enhancing their affinity towards people. They may be very trouble-free pets if their big size and space needs are taken into account.

Since boas like dry conditions, it is necessary to determine the optimal temperatures and humidity levels since doing otherwise would hasten the deterioration of their scales. Boa constrictors may be fed on dead mice and rats, and they require food and water around once a week in addition to urination. Take extra caution when handling them, especially the bigger ones.

Boa constrictors can be obtained in a variety of forms at surrounding markets, either whole or in pieces, possibly for use as food or medicine. On occasion, they are gathered for the skin change. Boas constrictors may be quite effective in some areas at lowering rodent and opossum populations that are an issue (Didelphidae).

 Opossums in the tropics may serve as reservoirs for the human illness leishmaniasis, which is spread by sand flies that feed on human blood (Psychodidae) and parasitize opossums. Predation pressure from boa constrictors can also help.

to adjust opossum populations and reduce the capability transmission of leishmaniasis to people.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

The boa constrictors are very calm reptiles, they do no harm to humans usually, but if they ever bite you it will be truly self-defense, so avoid making the boa feel threatened.

Even very young toddlers are far far from the type of prey phase that boas are interested in as a resource. Boa constrictor bites hurt but are unlikely to be unstable if modern medical facility care is available. Boa constrictors don’t have any venom.

When handling large captive snakes, more caution must be used, especially when feeding them because a hungry snake exhibits a series of active, primarily instinctual activities. Very huge snakes demand cautious handling and a plethora of little gifts.


As said above, the species Boa constrictor is split into many subspecies. The subspecies are highly variable and over the years the taxonomy has changed.

Why this snake is so well-known is easy to comprehend. Without a doubt, taking care of a  red tail boa is a delightful experience.

The red tail boas are famous among the rest of the species because of their docile pet-like nature, they have been known as one of the best pet snakes out there.

If you are in search of a pretty-looking pet snake that is low maintenance this is a good pick.

The red tail boa is a carnivore and eats mice and small mammals usually, but they can eat anything that fits in their mouth.

This nonvenomous snake is nothing to be afraid of, it can also adapt to the environment you provide it.


How big do red tail boas get?

The length of a red tail boa varies on its diet and where it originates from, but on average the length of this charming creature is 2.1 – 3 m  for females, Adults, and 1.8 – 2.4 m for males, adults.

Are red tail boas venomous?

The boa constrictor, often known as the red-tailed boa or the common boa, is one of the world’s biggest snakes. Boas are not venomous, yet they may suffocate their victim fiercely. Boas will catch their victim off guard by coiling around them and squeezing them to death.

How long do red tail boas live?

The average lifespan of the red-tailed boa is twenty years in the wild and forty years with human care.

Are red tail boas good pets?

These constrictors are huge pet snakes that may grow to be eight feet long. Colombian Red Tails, despite their size, cannot devour humans since they are not poisonous or deadly. Boa constrictors are excellent pets and come in a variety of hues and morphs.

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