Common Boa Constrictor

Latin name: Boa constrictor imperator (BCI)



Sexing and Characteristics:

There are several ways of sexing a snake but the main methods are popping & probing, both of these ways are reliable with probing being the most accurate.

If you need your snake sexed, make sure this gets done by a professional.


Generally Common Boas reach between 5-9 ft, females are typically larger than males reaching around 9ft.

It is rare for Common Boas to reach over 9ft but it has been documented that some have reached around 10-12 ft but this is rarely seen.

Substrate and Water Needs:

For bedding you can use a variety of things, Pine & Cedar are to be avoided as these are toxic to reptiles.

You can use newspaper or paper towel which are cheap but not very appealing.

Aspen, Auboise, Megazorb, Orchid bark or similar is your best bet, there fairly cheap and look good.

You will need a fair sized water bowl, one the snake can submerse its body in, Cat litter trays work well for larger animals.

Lighting and UVB:

Common Boas have no special lighting requirements but if you do use a basking bulb, please ensure the light has a bulb guard to avoid your snake from being burnt.

Temperatures & Humidity:

Your Boa should be provided with a basking spot between 28-30’C (82-86’F) in the hot end.

To achieve these temperatures several heating devices can be used such as:

Ÿ  Heatmats (Not advised for bigger snakes)

Ÿ  Basking/Infrared Bulbs

Ÿ  AHS heaters

Ÿ  Ceramic bulbs

These are down to personal preference & all should be used with the appropriate Thermostats to control the temperature & avoid overheating.

BCI’s humidity should be around 40-50% which can be increased whilst shedding.

A moss box can be provided when they are shedding to help assist them but it usually not needed.

If help is needed choosing heating/thermostat options, please do not hesitate to contact us & we will guide you in the right direction.


Neonate Boas are best kept in small tubs, with secure hides as they may go off feeding if they feel insecure.

Juvenile/sub-adult Boas can be housed in 3/4ft x 2ft x 2ft vivarium if big enough.

Adult Boas can be housed in a 4/5ft x 2ft x 2ft vivarium although a bigger vivarium may be needed for the larger specimens.

Provide them with 2 hides, one in the hot end & one in the cool end, an appropriately sized water bowl should also be provided.



Description of Diet:

Young Boas are able to take fuzzies on their first feed.

You should be able to start feeding your snake on fuzzies but if they are on the smaller side then large pinkies would be ideal. You may feed them every 5 to 7 days at this point.

As the snake grows it will need larger prey items. You will know when they need to go up a size once you can’t see the food item in their belly anymore.

Sub-adults can be fed small rats every 10-14 days.

Adult snakes should be fed on an appropriately sized meal every 2-3 weeks to avoid becoming overweight.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Generally supplements are not needed but I feel that calcium can benefit breeding females to help the production of the babies and to replace the females calcium levels.


They are easy snakes to keep & attractive to look at, this is why they make good pet snakes.

I would recommend changing their water every 1-2 days, spot clean every few days, and clean them out properly every 4-6 weeks, using an appropriate disinfectant, I use F10.

Handling your Boa should help keep them calm & easy to handle.

Sometimes baby Boas will hiss in order to scare a ‘predator’ this is often a warning but mainly a bluff. If you have a nippy one, don’t let it put you off, they calm down easily with regular handling.

Some Words on this Species:

They are a very pretty medium sized Boa & are manageable if you can handle the bigger snake but as with most snakes can have long life spans, so be prepared to take care for an animal for the rest of its life.

I would say they make great pets as they are calm & come in an amazing variety of colour mutations (known as morphs) making them attractive to look at, they are also becoming more affordable which makes them good pet snakes.

They are typically slow moving snakes although they can be heavy bodied but are still manageable.


About Us

I am a UK hobbyist and breeder of reptiles, specialising in Brazilian Rainbow Boas. I am also home to the Leopard Phase Brazilian Rainbow Boa - a highly prized project of mine. I aim to produce high quality reptiles, giving you after sales help or advice, to ensure that your pet has a good and healthy standard of life. All reptiles available are AS-Exotics bred unless stated.

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DJ-1709 - Female - £70

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