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Colombian Red Tailed Boa Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Red Tail Boas

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.33    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 05/17/2005

Main Category:


Sub Category:

Red Tail Boas

 Care Sheet Submitted By:


Years Experience:

5 to 10 Years


Colombian Red Tailed Boa

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Common Red Tail
Guyanan Red Tail
Suriname Red Tail

Sexing and Characteristics:

In Order to determine the sexes on red tails, one must have the snake probed, and this should be performed by an experienced individual only. Another way is to make an educated guess by looking at the tail, if the length from the cloaca to the tip is long and narrow it may be a male, but if it is short and thick it could be a female, this is not a definite method, but can be done for informal purposes. Another way is to "pop" the snake, this involves applying pressure to the lower region of the cloaca and forcing the reproductive organs out, hemipenes if a male, and nothing if a female, often done on younger snakes.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

The snake should be kept on a dry substrate, if it is too damp it could cause belly rot, substrates such as bark should be avoided, rabbit pellets i have learned work very well provided they stay dry. Other substrates such as a turf may be used, but care must be taken in cleaning them because bacteria grow in the mesh, which causes odor. Newspaper is adequate if keeping large quantities of snakes. Once again the subs rate must remain dry, other wise it can provide a prime environment for mite reproduction, and fly breeding grounds. A large water bowl filled about halfway should be utilized because these snakes need to soak in order to shed properly, also the larger water bowl helps keep the humidity up. The water needs to be changed daily and replaced with fresh dechlorinated water, these snakes tend to defecate in their water so it should be replaced accordingly.

Lighting and UVB:

Red Tailed Boas do not need UVB Lighting because they do not need to make D3 to absorb calcium, so regular basking lamps are perfect for keeping the tank warm. Heat lamps may be used along side basking lamps to raise the temperature, but should not be used solely as a heat source because the snakes need the UVA light to go on about their regular daytime activities.

Temperatures and Humidity:

The temperature should be kept around 86 to 92 degrees on the hottest end, and 75 to 78 degrees on the cooler end, temperature gauges should be kept on both ends of the enclosure to monitor this. At night the temperature should not fall below 75, a heat bulb may need to be used to correct this. The humidity should be kept at around 50 to 70 percent. These animals come from humid environments and must have the correct humidity to shed correctly, also if it is too dry this can cause respiratory problems. But at the same time the air must be fresh, and the enclosure needs to have adequate ventilation. The snakes should be sprayed once to twice a day to maintain the humidity.

Heating and Equipment:

A few simple spot lamps for heating are adequate, more depending on the size of enclosure. A heating pad may be necessary if it gets to cold at night, but remember that heating pads only warm the substrate, not the air. Always put the heating pads on lowest setting(so risk of burning the snake is lower) and donít depend on them as the only heat source. Heat Rocks are a major No No they can short out and the snakes can and will burn themselves. Also be sure to keep all lighting equipment out of the snakes reach so it canít burn itself.

Caging Provided:

A 40 gallon breeder is perfect for a 4 foot red tail, the larger the better, but donít go throwing a 12 inch red tail into an 80 gallon tank, this is too large, it will intimidate the snake if not given a multitude of hiding spots, and also remember the bigger the enclosure the more prevalent and larger the escape routes. Make sure you increase the lighting equipment proportionately with the tank size.



Description of Diet:

Pinkie mice, rats, increase food size as the snake gets larger, donít over estimate the snakes ability, it will turn down a food item that is too large, and if it still decides to eat it, it may regurgitate it.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

A calcium supplement if dusted on the mice is beneficial.


Spot clean enclosure every day, replace bedding every week or as needed and clean entire closure every month.

Some Words on this Species:

Red tailed boas are great beginner snakes, first for their relatively small size, not attaining much more than 12 feet but also because of their great temperament. This snake can live for over 20 years, and is a huge responsibility, but with the right care can prove to be a very enjoyable addition.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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