Red-tail Boa Constrictor
There are various types of Red-tail Boa's out on the market today as they can come from different regions. I would say that one of the most common is the Columbian Red-tail Boa. The standard coloration of the Red-tail as the name implies is a beautiful Red coloration on the tail. The tail starts from the vent area and goes to the tip of the tail. This red coloration can very in shades from dark red with a lot of black mixed in and/or a heavy black outline of the red to a very brilliant bright red with very little black. The body color is usually a light brown color with darker brown areas known as saddles going down the back of the snake. In many of the morphs of the Red-tail Boa these patterns can be reduced, the tail can come in various patterns and there is also a pastel coloration in the body, an albino which is orange and white, and even a ladder tail where the red touches and looks like a ladder going down the tail.
Red-tails are Nocturnal animals (more active at night), they do move around during the day but most of there activity is done early evening and while we sleep.
Red-tails are one of the few snakes that do give live birth instead of laying eggs that have to be incubated. At birth babies are normally around 18 inches in length. As adults these snakes average around 7 to 8 feet but can reach lengths of up to 10 feet. As with most snakes the babies will not eat until after there first shed.
You can keep up to 2 babies in a 20 gallon tank for a while. A good rule of thumb is if the snake is stretched out it should be able to lay along the longest part of the enclosure and half way around the shortest part. If the snake is bigger then this then the enclosure is to small. You enclosure should either have a lid or a well latched door. An enclosure can either be a pre-made enclosure like a glass tank or can be a homebuilt enclosure. These guys can crawl out and get loose (bad idea if you have a small dog or cat as they may become dinner for the snake).
It is not exactly know if Red-tail's benefit from UVA and UVB bulbs. But there may be some benefits. You may heat you enclosure with a regular incandescent bulb. Red-tails require equal amounts of Daytime and Nighttime, 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. You may use an Infrared light bulb for your viewing pleasure. Under tank heaters are also nice as they keep a constant heat to the snake and can aid in humidity level by placing there water source over the heat pad, if you do this your also provide a small dish of drinking water in there cool end as well. If you are having problems keeping your Humidity level up high enough you can cover parts of your enclosures lid with cardboard with small holes poked in it to increase your humidity level and it will also help hold heat in as well if you are having problems in that area as well.
Humidity Levels and Temperatures
Humidity levels should be maintained around 50-55% and 65-70% during shedding.
Enclosure temperatures should be maintained at 80 to 85 on the cool end of the enclosure and at 85 to 90 on the warm end with a basking area in the low 90's.
HEAT ROCKS are not advised with snakes as they can coil around them or lay on them and be burnt by the rock.
A bowl should be placed in there enclosure large enough for the boa to place its whole body in the bowl to aid in shedding.
Boas eat small mammals. Please ask your pet store or breeder where you purchased you snake what they are eating. A baby boa will be eating pinky mice and as they grow will progress up to rats and eventually rabbits.
Common Illnesses and problems
Improper shedding, bites and cuts, injuries from burns, mouth rot, nose sores, scale rot. These are some of the common problems with boas. Please check out Snake Illness page for a quick care guide for some of these problems and there solutions.
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Boa's incubate there eggs internally so that the embryo development occurs inside the female. Embryos are fed by a yoke sac contained inside the birth membrane. When the babies are born they must break thru the membrane the is surrounding them.
A female boa may give birth to anywhere to as little as 11 babies but could have as many as 60. Before breeding please consider what you are going to do with all the babies.
This is a picture of our Anery Red Tail Boa's. The Anery Red Tail Boa is one of the oldest known color morphs of the Red Tail Boa. As you look at the picture of the Anery Red Tail Boa you will notice that it has all the classic markings of a Normal Red Tail Boa with the exception that it has no red coloration in the body. You can see the tail section in the picture to the left of the Anery Boa and see there is no red in the tail area. The morph are a beautiful morph as they are literally shades of black & white.
The Anery Red Tail Boa has also been used over the years to produce many of the other Red Tail Boa morphs that are out on the market today. This morph is also found naturally in the wild.
As many of you Boa enthusiast know the Albino Red Tail Boa is shades of yellow and orange. When an Albino Red Tail Boa is bred with an Anery Boa removes the red pigment from the skin. Over time with line breeding the red and yellow pigment is removed from the skin of the Albino Red Tail Boa creating a totally white snake, known as a Snow Boa. Along the way from the Albino to the snow you have the ability to produce many beautiful colorations along the way. As the process progresses the Albino's coloration can become diluted thru the process.