ISSN 2398-2985  

Rainbow boa


Synonym(s): Slender boa


Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia. 
  • Phylum: Chordata. 
  • Class: Reptilia. 
  • Order: Squamata. 
  • Suborder: Serpentes. 
  • Family: Boidae. 
  • Genus: Epicrates
  • Species: cenchria

Distribution and habitat

  • Found in Central America (Costa Rica and Panama), and South America (Argentina). 
  • Mostly found in rainforests and tropical environments. 

Species status

  • Not assessed. 
  • Threats include habitat destruction, hunting and predators. 

Life span

  • In captivity, around 20 years.


  • Carnivorous. 
  • Main diet includes rodents, birds and small mammals Snake nutrition


  • The following subspecies are recognized: 
    • E. c. alexei (Argentine). 
    • E. c. assisi (Coating). 
    • E. c. cenchria (Brazilian). 
    • E. c. crassus (Paraguayan).  
    • E. c. maurus (Colombian).


  • Mating takes place between October and February Snake reproduction
  • Gestation period is around 5 months. 
  • Females give birth to between 11-30 live young per litter. 

As pets

  • Commonly found in the pet trade. 
  • Requires very specific environments. 
  • Require intermediate level care. 
  • The Brazilian and the Colombian subspecies are most commonly kept as pets. 

Predatory behavior

  • Kill by constriction. 
  • Hunting takes place mainly at night time. 

Biological Data

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Uetz P & Hošek J (2018) The Reptile Database (version Dec 2015). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 30th June 2018. Eds: Roskov Y et al. Website: Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN: 2405-8858.
  • Reptiles Magazine (2015) Rainbow Boa Care Sheet. Website: Last accessed 17th April 2018. 
  • Snake Facts (2014) Brazilian Rainbow Boa. Website: Last accessed 17th April 2018. 
  • Girling S (2013) Common Reptile and Amphibian Diseases. In: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic pets. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 307.
  • O'Shea M & Halliday T (2002) Reptiles & Amphibians. Dorling Kindersley, UK. pp 113.
  • Boa Constrictor Diseases. Website: Last accessed 17th April 2018. 
  • Hummel B. How to Breed Beautiful Rainbow Boas. Website: Last accessed 24th July 2018.
  • Lockwood M. Brazillian Rainbow Boa. Website: Last accessed 24th July 2018.
  • The Rainbow Boa. Website: Last accessed 17th April 2018.

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