The Imperial Boa (Boa Constrictor Imperator) as a pet is very popular with terrariumists. The home imperial boa is an ideal reptile for keeping in urban conditions: they have a calm disposition, bright color and suitable size. It can even make a beginner.
What does an imperial boa look like?
These snakes have a strong, muscular body and an elegant head. The size of the imperial boa in nature, 5 meters, derived for home maintenance, is no longer than 2 meters in length. The morphs of the imperial boa are various. The most common is a light brown color, the back is reddish or coffee-colored with yellow spots. On the sides - dark spots in the form of diamonds in bright rims.
Imperial boa morphs
Color varies from white to black, with a picture and without. The most common morph is Colombian, the color is called “normal” - it is a color close to natural. The boa has a color from light sand to brown-orange with spots of dark, sometimes black. On the tail - in the form of red ovals with a very dark outline.
Photos of the imperial boa clearly demonstrate the colors. The most common is called Salmon. BoA light with red tints. In super salmon color is more saturated. These snakes do not have black pigmentation. Supersalmons are born when two salmons are crossed with a probability of 1 to 4.
Albino is also common. They are called amelanists. By type, they are distinguished by Kahl Albino, Sharp Albino and Albino T-plus. They differ from normals in the absence of dark spots in color. They are characterized by red-yellow color with white areas and red eyes. Young snakes have a bright color, and with age fade. At the same time drawing remains.
When mating normals and albinos, offspring in the first generation is obtained only with normal color. But the young are carriers of the albino gene, they pass it by inheritance. In 25% of cases, the offspring will be - albinos. Crossing the normal born of an albino with an albino gives the probability of an albino with a probability of 50%.
Offspring obtained from salmon and albino, has a white color with bright spots. This breed of boas is called Sunglow. It is obtained by crossing several generations of snakes, and the price of the imperial boa Sanglo is higher than the natural color. There are three types of Sanglo: Kahl, Sharp and T-plus.
The content of the imperial boa
An adult imperial boa should live in a spacious horizontal terrarium. There should be a pool, there should be branches in it. A suitable terrarium for an imperial boa is 100x50x50 cm. One should focus on the length of the adult reptile, the minimum length of the terrarium is half the length of the boa. The width of the "house" may be twice already.
It is necessary to place an incandescent lamp in the corner of the terrarium - in one part of it the temperature will be about 33 ° C, in the other - room temperature. Boas feel comfortable during the day at 25-32 ° C, in the dark - at 20-22 ° C. They love coolness because they live in nature in the lower tier of the forest.
The soil, terrarium walls and accessories should be regularly sprayed with water. The boa should have a bath in which he can swim, completely fit. Especially important is the level of humidity during the molting period. Shelves and branches - an integral part of the terrarium - boas love to crawl. Soil - sawdust covered with mulch. You can use paper.
Young individuals (up to 1 meter in length) will fit a 60 cm by 40 cm container. As they mature, the terrarium is enlarged.
Feeding the Imperial Boa
The reptile is picky about food. Imperial boa can be fed with mice and small birds. Thawed feed is suitable. It is important to feed the little boas so that they have a properly formed digestive system. You can not overfeed, give large pieces, warm and cold food.
Reproduction of imperial boas
Breeding boas in captivity is not so easy. The mating period is February-March. In order to produce offspring, the temperature in the terrarium is reduced to 18 ° C, and daylight is set to no longer than 6-8 hours. For mating, the female must be transplanted alternately to all males. During courtship they stimulate it with “spurs”, sometimes the skin of the female is injured.
You can understand that the female is pregnant by her behavior: she begins to warm up more, turns over and turns to the back, in the first months starts to eat more, and in the last days refuses to eat. The back of the body visually increases, but not always, especially if the pregnancy is the first. If the pregnancy has come, it is necessary to remove males from the terrarium, remove the snags - so that the snake does not accidentally fall, crawling along them.
The Imperial boa is a viviparous reptile. The gestation period lasts from 5 to 7 months. Cubs are born in a thin shell - they tear it up themselves as soon as they are born. The process must be monitored to help snakes break the shell if they fail to do it themselves.
The imperial boa’s babies can range from 15 to 64. Their length is about 50 cm. In captivity, they grow in 2 years with a length of about 3 meters. In 2 years, the boa becomes sexually mature.
How much does it cost to buy an imperial boa
Price depends on the color of the reptile, size, age and sex. For example, individuals from Costa Rica - the smallest representatives of the breed - are in the range of 6500-7500 rubles. Rare copies will cost about 20,000 rubles. Buying a snake is better in a pet store that specializes in exotics. A healthy reptile is active and looks well-fed.
Cautions when keeping boas
The Imperial Boa is a non-poisonous snake. But in connection with its size to the content should be approached with all responsibility. The rules of content that must be strictly observed are as follows:
- it is forbidden to let the snake out of the terrarium and take it in your arms while being in a room alone.
- you can not come close to a boa if the garment and skin smell like food,
- A boa should not be released from a terrarium if there are a large number of outsiders in the room.
Imperial boa, in principle, a creature harmless and safe for humans. But the terrarium should be securely closed so that it does not crawl away. The reptile is of enormous size and large body weight - it should not be freely accessible to helpless family members and domestic animals.
And if you choose your first snake for home keeping, pay attention to the maize snake, it is this reptile that is recommended to be put up as your first snake.
Appearance and Description
Imperial boa is not too large in size, but has a fairly strong and muscular body. Under natural conditions, imperial boas reach a length of five meters. Despite its powerful body, the boa has a rather graceful head.
It is interesting! At home, such a reptile has a more modest size, and the body length, as a rule, does not exceed a couple of meters.
The imperial boa is most often characterized by an attractive light color and a large, well-defined pattern represented by red and brown spots, but some individuals have beige, light brown, brown or almost black body colors.
Habitat and habitat
The main habitat of the imperial boa is very wide. The snake is spread from the territory of Argentina to Mexico. A large area has allowed nature to get just a huge variety of biotopes that are adapted to various external conditions of climate and the environment.
The boa of this species prefers to settle in forests and in open areas, in mountainous areas and light forest covered with stunted shrubs. By itself, the imperial boa is quite environmentally plastic species, so this reptile can lead both terrestrial and semi-wood life.
Home terrarium should be large enough. As a rule, the most optimal size of a terrarium for an adult is 100x50x50 cm. Nevertheless, many instances of the imperial boa can be much larger, so they will need to choose a more voluminous dwelling.
It is interesting! In order to properly calculate the size of the cage for keeping a snake, it is necessary to measure the length of the body of an adult pet. The length of the terrarium should be ½ the length of the pet's body, and the width - ¼ of the measurements.
Terrarium must be equipped with a standard mirror lamp, securing it in one of the corners of the snake's home. Thus, it is possible to create the most comfortable conditions for keeping reptiles.
It is important to remember that the imperial boa should not overheat too much, since under natural conditions such a pet inhabits the lower tier of the forest zone.
A swimming bath filled with water is installed inside the terrarium.. Stable moisture values are maintained through regular spraying. In the process of such moistening, it is necessary to achieve full moisture of the soil.
In the terrarium you need to put the twigs, shelves and snags for climbing a pet. Particularly in need of such elements are young and fairly active individuals. As the main substrate, it is advisable to use special fillers.
Diet and basic diet
In feeding the imperial boa is completely picky.. Adults with great pleasure absorb various rodents and small birds. It is easy enough to get used to the food thawed feed.
But the feeding of young boas needs to be approached very carefully, due to the incompletely formed digestive system. It is important to protect such a pet from overfeeding, as well as feeding too large, excessively hot or frozen feed objects.
Despite the fact that the imperial boa belongs to the category of non-venomous snakes, communication with large reptiles requires increased attention. Each breeder must necessarily follow a number of basic rules of maintenance:
- you can not take a snake in hand, being indoors alone
- you cannot approach the snake if the skin or the breeder’s clothing has smelled like fodder objects,
- large boas should not be allowed to move freely indoors when there is a large crowd of people.
Even seemingly completely harmless pythons, it is necessary to provide a reliable and well-closed terrarium that will prevent unauthorized access to such a pet, and also minimizes the risk of its escape.
Breeding a snake at home
In order to breed an imperial boa in captivity, you will need to have some knowledge and experience. Despite numerous disagreements concerning the stimulation of the process of mating of reptiles, this option is well suited for the boa of this species.
Artificial wintering, settling of heterosexual individuals, increase in humidity and decrease in atmospheric pressure indices can be considered as stimulation.
After wintering, the boas begin to actively feed, and the female is alternately placed in a terrarium by the males.. Distinguishing a pregnant female is simple - she changes in behavior and often heats up under a lamp. After some time, the pregnant female boa begins to characteristically refuse to feed, and the back of her body expands markedly.
During this period, it is necessary to provide the pet with rest, and also to replace the bathing bath with a rather shallow water bowl. Babies are born after about five or seven months of pregnancy.
It is interesting! The umbilical cord of newborn boas disappears after about four days, and after a couple of weeks, the first molt occurs and the small boas begin to feed on their own.
Buy Imperial boa, price
There are no fundamental differences in the size and body color of the male and female, so it will be difficult for non-professionals to choose the snake of the desired gender.
In this case, you need to note that the tail of the male is longer and has a characteristic thickening at the base, turning into a cone. Females have a shorter and even tail. Among other things, the female is usually more massive and larger than the male.
Important! It is best to acquire the imperial boa at pet stores specializing in selling exotic pets and reptiles. Boa should be completely healthy, quite active and well-fed.
The cost of such an exotic pet varies greatly depending on many factors, including color rarity, age, size and gender. For example, the average cost of the imperial boa localization of Costa Rica, which is one of the smallest representatives of this species, is about 6.5-7.5 thousand rubles. The cost of rare copies easily comes to two tens of thousands of rubles.
The Imperial Boa is a calm and phlegmatic pet that easily and quickly becomes tame. According to the owners of the imperial boa, a distinctive feature of such a reptile is its tail, the color of which differs significantly from the entire main pattern.
Some individuals throughout their life possess a tail part that has an incredibly beautiful, brownish-red coloration.
In comparison with other popular types of domestic snakes, the Imperial boa is very powerful - practically “one and a solid muscle”, therefore the grip of such a reptile is really strong. However, such an adult boa looks very proportional and attractive.
Exot is very simple in content, therefore it is perfect for beginners.. As practice shows, the optimal temperature indicators with the content of such boas in captivity are 25-32 ° C in the daytime and about 20-22 ° C at night.
Under the conditions of captivity, snakes very willingly eat normal mice and rats, small guinea pigs and hamsters, as well as small rabbits and even chickens. There are also no problems with growing little strangers.
After the first molt, they begin to eat medium-sized mice, but such reptiles grow fairly quickly, so by the age of three they already reach full sexual maturity.
The appearance of the imperial boas
Imperial boas are not as big as tiger pythons, but they also have strong and muscular bodies.
In nature, imperial boas can reach a length of 1.5-5.5 meters. Although these boas have a powerful body, their head is rather elegant..
But in our country most often boas of medium length are sold, not exceeding 2 meters.
Imperial boa constrictor.
The color of the body is light, from head to tail passes a large clear pattern of spots of red and brown. Body colors can range from beige, light brown to red, brown and almost black.
The content of the imperial boas
The main difficulty with the content of these boas is the selection of the size of the terrarium. The terrarium should be large, but not the same as for reticulated or tiger pythons. An adult individual can live in a terrarium measuring 100x50x50 centimeters. This is the size for an imperial boa of average size, but it must be borne in mind that their sizes can vary greatly. The minimum length of the dwelling should be about 50% of the length of the body of the snake, and the width can be 2 times smaller.
The terrarium is equipped with an ordinary mirror incandescent lamp. It is fixed in one corner so that in one part of the terrarium the temperature is room temperature, and in the other part it is maintained at a level of 30-33 degrees. Boas should not get very hot, as they live in nature in the lower tier of the forest. There the temperature is never too high.
Imperial boas live near water, so there should be a bathing pool in the terrarium. In this capacity boa should fit completely. Humidity is maintained by spraying, but so that the soil is not wet. The level of humidity is only slightly raised during the molting boa.
It is very important to maintain a stable level of humidity in the boa terrarium, spraying the soil, walls and decorations.
In the terrarium should be all kinds of branches, shelves for climbing, creepers, it is especially important for young, active individuals.
As boas grow, terrarium increases. Such a rule is common for the content of all snakes, and not just boas. Young animals can be kept in plastic containers measuring 60 x 40 centimeters, which is convenient and hygienic. In such containers, imperial boas measuring about a meter in size feel great.
Both sawdust and mulch are suitable as substrates, you can also use a green mat and even newspapers.
Feeding the imperial boas
Feed these snakes is not difficult. They willingly agree on various rodents and birds. It is also easy to get used to thawed feed.
Но при кормлении удавов, а особенно молодых особей, стоит быть внимательными, так как у них очень нежное пищеварение. Поэтому перекармливание, слишком крупные кормовые объекты, перегретая или, напротив, холодная пища, могут спровоцировать срыгивание еды. Это для змей очень нежелательно.
Вероятнее всего, данная причина является единственным минусом в содержании императорских удавов.
Breeding imperial boas
Keeping these snakes is easy, but harder to breed. There are cases when for several years the boas of this species do not produce offspring.
Imperial boas very difficult to breed.
There is still a lot of controversy over the stimulation of mating snakes. Sometimes it is quite enough to arrange wintering and shed together heterosexual individuals. Sometimes you may need to compete and replant a pair of another male, and sometimes just put a damped competitor's pelt on the terrarium.
In some cases, mating occurred only with a decrease in atmospheric pressure. Sometimes they spray the terrarium, imitating the rainy season.
And some breeders show intentional rudeness during this period to the males, which stimulates their activity. Sometimes males do not pay attention to the female until she shed, and immediately after shedding they set about mating. As already noted, there is no consensus on this issue, and many breeders resort to different methods.
The male attracts and stimulates the female to breeding with special "game" methods.
After overwintering, snakes begin to feed. The female in turn is planted to the males. Almost immediately, the males begin grooming, in which the male, with the help of his “spurs,” tickles the female, stimulating her activity. Too active males can sometimes injure a female with their spurs, but such cases are extremely rare.
Pregnant females change behavior: they warm up more time, while they can even roll over on their side and back. In the first few months of pregnancy, they actively feed, and then refuse to feed. This is the main sign of a successful pregnancy. Further, in females, the back of the body increases, but with the first pregnancy and a small clutch, such changes can be not observed.
Pregnant females try not to bother. The male and all snags are removed from the terrarium so that it does not fall.
Usually in captivity, imperial boas grow in length no more than 2 meters.
It is necessary to try to maintain the optimum temperature so that the female does not overheat and does not freeze. Hygienic paper towels are used as primer. Bathers clean, because the female can begin to give birth in the water and the kids die. In its place put a small drinker.
Imperial boas are viviparous. Pregnancy lasts 5-7 months, after this period the female gives birth to babies in a thin shell, which they immediately pierce and come to light. But not all small snakes manage to break through the shell, then they can die.
Babies have residues of the yolk sac, connected to the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord disappears in 2-5 days. At first, newborns look weak, seem inactive, but after a couple of days they are able to stand up for themselves, even try to bite. After a week or two, they molt and begin to feed themselves.