Amazon tree boas (Corallus hortulanus) are 4-6’ long, nocturnal, non-venomous snakes native to the tropical rainforests of South America. These snakes have particularly slender bodies, and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. However, this variety can be divided into two broad categories: dull and bright. The dull-colored snakes are usually black, brown or tan, while the brightly-colored snakes are often red, yellow or orange and tend to be more expensive.
Most Amazon tree boas are highly defensive toward humans, and are generally considered to be intermediate- to advanced-level pets.
An appropriate enclosure for a single Amazon tree boa is going to be at least 24”L x 24”W x 36”H. As an arboreal species, height is extremely important, but don’t neglect width, either. If possible, offer an enclosure that is the same height or taller, with more length to offer more usable space.
In the wild, Amazon Tree Boas spend most of their time in trees. They require well-anchored branches and perches set at different heights throughout the enclosure. Since they spend relatively little time on the ground, the substrate used is less important. However, Zoo Med Reptisoil, coconut fiber, and ABG mix are all suitable for use as substrate to help maintain healthy humidity levels. Plants are useful for providing cover to help your snake feel more secure, and if you use live plants, they can also help maintain higher humidity.
A water bowl should be provided, large enough for the snake to soak in as desired. Scrub out and disinfect the water bowl regularly, especially if the snake soils it. Humidity should range from 60-90% and can be maintained by misting 2-3x daily.
The substrate must be replaced and enclosure cleaned regularly to maintain good hygiene and keep your snake healthy.
Heating and Lighting
Amazon tree boas are nocturnal and don’t require UVB lighting to survive, although they do benefit from it when provided. This light should be roughly half the length of the enclosure.
As with most cold-blooded creatures, Amazon tree boas require a heat gradient with an appropriate temperature range to help them self-regulate their body temperature. As arboreal creatures, the heat gradient should be oriented vertically with the warmest area at the top and the coolest area at the bottom. Basking temperature should be around 90°F, cool zone temperature should go down to ~70°F. Heating should be provided during the day via halogen flood heat lamp.
Food and Supplementation
Amazon tree boas are carnivorous, like other snakes. In the wild they eat birds and bats as well as some other mammals. In captivity they are primarily fed mice and small rats. The size of the feeder should not be much wider than the width of the snake’s head. Most adult Amazon tree boas are fed a single frozen and thawed prey item every 10-14 days. Note that it may go off feed when it is in shed, and this is normal. If using live prey, supervise your snake carefully to make sure it doesn’t get harmed by the prey animal.
Although Amazon tree boas should be able to obtain all their nutritional needs by ingesting the entire prey item, it’s a good idea to provide extra vitamins and minerals by occasionally dusting feeders with an all-in-one supplement such as Repashy CalciumPlus.
*This care sheet contains only very basic information. If you are new to Amazon tree boas, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.