Red Tailed Boa

Common Name: Boa Constrictor
Scientific Name: Boa constrictor
Distribution: Central and South America
Size: Up to 10’
Life Span: 15-25 years

The Red tailed boa is among the most common and well known species of snakes kept as pets. The common name Red tailed boa refers to one of many types of boas found throughout Central and South America. These snakes can grow to a large but manageable size and are recommended only for keepers willing to provide adequate space for adults. The friendly demeanor and attractive coloration have made the Red tailed boa one of the most sought after snakes in the hobby. These tropical snakes are commonly bred in captivity and we recommend purchasing captive bred animals only.


  • Neonates to juveniles can be housed in a 20-40 gallon terrarium.
  • 40-60 gallon terrariums are an excellent choice for young boas.
  • There are several cages commercially made to house adult boas. 
  • A secure, lockable sliding-screen lid is essential for safely housing these snakes.


  • Daytime Terrarium Temperature 80-85°F
  • Basking Temperature 85-92°F
  • Nighttime Terrarium Temperature 72-78°F
  • Create a thermal gradient in your snake enclosure by placing a heat lamp and an Under Tank Heater on one side of the terrarium. Zoo Med’s Daylight Blue Reptile Bulb is a good choice for heating snake enclosures. By placing the heating elements on one side of the cage, you will naturally provide a proper thermal gradient.
  • Any of Zoo Med’s Thermometers will help you keep a close eye on terrarium temperatures.
  • An Under Tank Heater or Repticare® Rock Heater can be used to provide belly heat to your snake while it digests a meal.


  • Snakes typically do not require UVB to meet their vitamin D requirements. However, many snakes receive UVB and sunlight in their natural habitat and there is new evidence that they benefit from UVB lighting in captivity.
  • Zoo Med’s NatureSun® or ReptiSun® fluorescent lamps can be used to illuminate your terrarium and create a natural day/night photoperiod.


  • Boa Constrictors can be housed on Zoo Med’s Aspen Snake Bedding, Forest Floor™ cypress mulch, Eco Earth® or ReptiBark®. We recommend a substrate layer of 2.5-3″ in depth.
  • Provide moistened New Zealand Sphagnum Moss in a Repti Shelter™ to create a humidity chamber. This chamber will help your snake shed its skin as it grows.
  • Zoo Med’s Eco Carpet™ can be used as a safe, environmentally friendly and easy-toclean substrate.


  • Boa Constrictors can be fed exclusively mice and rats throughout their lives. Rodents provide snakes with the needed calcium and vitamins.
  • We recommend offering frozen rodents only.
  • Have fresh water available at all times. ReptiSafe® Water Conditioner is a good choice for removing Chlorine and Chloramines from tap water.
  • Zoo Med’s Corner Bowls are an excellent choice of water bowls for all snakes.
  • When choosing the proper sized food item for your snake select a mouse/rat that is the same size, or slightly bigger than the girth of your snake.
  • Young: Will eat 1 hopper mouse per week.
  • Juveniles: Will eat 2 adult mice or 1 rat pup per week.
  • Adults: Will eat 1 appropriately sized rat per week. Large adults may need larger food items such as rabbits, Guinea pigs, or similar sized food.

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