Boa Constrictor

Found In: This snake lives on the ground and in the trees from sea level to 1,000 m in height. It can survive in shrub, savannah grassland, fields, secondary forests and moist and wet forests.

Life Span: 25-35 years

Height/Weight: Most adult boas are 2 to 3 m in length, but some have reached lengths of 5 to 6 m.

Spanish Name: Boa, Béquer

In Costa Rica this reptile can be found on both the Pacific and Atlantic slopes in the right elevated spots. On a broader note, the boa can be found everywhere from Mexico along both the slopes through Central America and down to northern Peru, Paraguay, and central Argentina.  In Costa Rica Rica the boa constrictors can be spotted at La Selva Biological Station, Corcovado National Park, Rincón de la Vieja National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, Guanacaste National Park, Tortuguero National Park, Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Refuge, Golfito National Wildlife Refuge and Carara National Park. In Montezuma they can be seen up to 4 meters. In this region, they generally inhabit the rain forest woodland and tropical zones.

In and around Montzema and they don’t prefer to live with other snakes unless they intend to mate. Since they are nocturnal serpents, they relax during the day and take off for hunting post twilight. The young ones climb trees and shrubs for removing forage effectively. This snake is found in several parts of Costa Rica, from regions in the vicinity of to community settlements in Guanacaste to the western side rainforests of the Caribbean slope. It thrives on altitudes of approximately 2,600 ft above sea level.

Similar to the pit-viper in looks, the boa also has a heavy-set body and a head that is visibly wider than the neck and several small scales covering the top of its head and the high number of scale rows that surround the body which are all characteristics of the dangerously venomous pit vipers. Although it does possesses sensitive organs, the boa does not have the deep heat receptive  pits The Boa constrictor senses even the tiniest variation in atmospheric temperature owing to its the lip scales.

This snake is distinguishable in Costa Rica firstly because it is huge and thick-bodied. However, when it is found in Costa Rica, the huge boa constrictor is distinct secondly because it has dark brown stripes from its snout to its neck. Its head and dorsal scales are tiny and smooth. The belly is mostly grey. Their tail can be banded in different colors, particularly shades of red, yellow, or black. The boa’s scales are known to be glisteningly visible especially after shedding the skin. Younger boa’s bodies are more luminous, and it blurs as they grow older. Since this snake is a heavy-bodied one, the larger of these species can weigh up to 27kg. Females can be weighed about 10 to 15kg. In some instances, their weight is known to touch 40-45 kg. The average lifespan of this boa constrictor is 20 to 30 years and sometimes 40 years in some rare instances.

The boa is able to be active post sundown or night because it can hold body temperature without lying around in the sun. Younger boas are more likely to move through the trees while bigger creatures tend to stay put. Owing to their prehensile tails, these snakes are good at climbing. Generally a nocturnal reptile, the Boa constrictor can sometimes also be active during daytime. They have been known to survive on the ground and in trees and also in animal burrows whenever required. Boas are extremely tough to spot owing to their remarkably camouflaged bodies, which is helpful during hunting. Boa’s are ensnaring predators and will wait motionless at the entrance of its prey’s burrow. They are known to  wait in the same spot for even a couple of days.

Large snakes sit and wait for their prey to present itself. The boa may also position itself by a mammal burrow or some other prey’s dwelling place and wait for days before moving away. The boa gets its meal by first striking the prey with its pointed fangs, then lifting the prey and coiling its body around the prey, and thirdly killing the prey by tightening its body around the prey to strangle it. When the animal stops moving, the boa swallows it. Boas are life-bearing snake species that can give birth to litters of up to 60 young ones at once, but very few actually survive till adulthood as most of them become the prey of predators before they reach their full intimidating size.

Though the boa looks and has a sinister and fearful vibe about it, it is not known to be easily agitated or aggressive. This reptile is non venomous, however it does have long, sharp, teeth that are capable of causing a grave would if the creature is aggravated. This serpent is not large enough to consume a human prey. The large Boa constrictor is at the top of the food chain and makes for a deadly predator, which is the reason these individuals are not very commonly spotted owing to the fact that their immediate environment will not be in a position to handle a large carnivore population.

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