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Amazon Tree Boa Fact File

Appearance

The amazon tree boa is a snake with a flattened, slender body which helps provide rigidity when stretching out off of branches.


Their coloration is highly variable ranging from brown to grayish, orange, yellow or olive with bars and blotches running along the back. On the underside they are paler in color.


At the end of their body is a triangular shaped head with large bulging eyes which vary in color between yellowish, reddish and grayish. This has a reflective membrane which makes them shine at night. Running down either side of the head are heat sensing pits to help them find food. Extending back from the eyes are 5 dark stripes.


Their tongue is black in color.


Amazon tree boas are one of the snakes which still have the visible remains of their hind legs around the cloacal region.


Male and female Amazon tree boas are similar in size. They measure between 52.5 and 188cm (20.67-74.02in) long with an average weight of between 0.5 and 1.4kg (1-3lbs).

Diet

The Amazon tree boa is a carnivore. Their diet includes small mammals, frogs, birds, small reptiles and occasionally insects. The most common portion of their diet appears to be roosting birds.


These animals play an important role in the ecosystem helping to control numbers of pest species.


As a boa the Amazon tree boa is non-venomous and will strike out at prey before constricting it until it will suffocate to death. Food will be found using the sensitive heat pits on either side of the head.

amazon tree boa

Scientific Name

Corallus hortulanus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Weight

0.5 and 1.4kg (1-3lbs)

Length

52.5-188cm

(20.67-74.02in)

Lifespan

Captivity 20 years

Diet

Carnivorous

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Range

Amazon tree boas are the most widespread of the tree boa species. They live in Central and South America where they can be found throughout the following countries – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

Habitat

They make their home in forests including lower humid, gallery and flooded forests. They may occur in disturbed habitat areas, dry habitats such as savanna and have also been sighted in houses next to forest patches.

amazon tree boa

Reproduction

Reports of breeding from this species in the wild are rare. Much of the knowledge of their breeding behaviors come from captive breeding events.


Breeding begins in November. As with all boas the Amazon tree boa will give birth to live young. Females retain the eggs within their body where they develop for 6-8 months where they will hatch before being born.


Females can produce as many as 5-20 hatchlings in each clutch. Each hatchling measures around 30cm (12in) long but is incredibly thin.


Within the first 14 days of birth the hatchling will shed it’s a skin a process which from then on occurs regularly throughout their life.


Immediately after birth the young will become independent.


Sexual maturity is reached by three years old.

Behavior

These snakes are primarily active at night when they will hunt. Food is mostly found using the heat sensing pits on either side of their head.


They are mostly arboreal spending their time in the trees. Their tail is strong allowing them to support their body weight using this when trying to access food.


Amazon tree boas are solitary only coming together to breed.

amazon tree boa

Predators and Threats

Natural predators of the Amazon tree boa include birds of prey.


Their coloration is thought to help provide camouflage to avoid detection by these predators.


Humans affect their population through collection for the pet trade. They are reliant on trees so are also affected by deforestation.

Quick facts

They are also known as the garden tree boa.

amazon tree boa

Photo Credits

Top and Middle Two

By Geoff Gallice from Gainesville, FL, USA – Amazon tree boa, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22440032


Middle One

By Charles J Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38272144


Bottom

By Renato Augusto Martins – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58767583

References

Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK


Exmoorzoo.co.uk. 2020. Exmoor Zoo. [online] Available at: <https://www.exmoorzoo.co.uk/animals/amazon-tree-boa> [Accessed 20 December 2020].


Winner, K. 2008. "Corallus hortulanus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed December 20, 2020 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Corallus_hortulanus/


Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo. 2020. Amazon Tree Boa. [online] Available at: <https://www.beardsleyzoo.org/amazon-tree-boa.html> [Accessed 21 December 2020].


Oaklandzoo.org. 2020. Oakland Zoo. [online] Available at: <https://www.oaklandzoo.org/animals/amazon-tree-boa> [Accessed 21 December 2020].


Calderón, M., Ortega, A., Nogueira, C., Gagliardi, G., Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Hoogmoed, M., Schargel, W. & Rivas, G. 2016. Corallus hortulanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T203210A2762194. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T203210A2762194.en. Downloaded on 20 December 2020.


Hhq.com.au. 2020. AMAZON TREE BOA, INCREDIBLE CREATURES. [online] Available at: <http://www.hhq.com.au/product/32370-safari-ltd-amazon-tree-boa-incredible-creatures> [Accessed 21 December 2020].

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