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EMERALD TREE BOA Caresheet
Common Name: Emerald Tree Boa
Scientific Name: Corallus caninus
Origin: Rainforests of South America.
Size: 5-6 feet
Lifespan: 15-20 years
You will find many ways on the internet on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of caring for this species.
As the name suggests, Emerald Tree Boas are arboreal. The enclosure should contain sturdy branches and/or perches set at different heights. The snake will rest coiled on its branch during the day and move about the cage at night.
Emerald Tree Boa babies can start out in cubes as small as 1 foot x 1 foot x 1 foot (Exo Terra mini wide) . There are several kinds of enclosures that work, e.g., glass aquariums or any of the commercially available plastic-type reptile enclosures.
Adults don't need tall cages. A 2 foot high enclosure (Exo terra 36" x 18" x 24") will work fine, but it should be 2 or 3 feet wide because in the wild, they like to move horizontally through the trees.
The lid should be secured with clips to insure the snake doesn't escape.
HEAT AND LIGHTING
Emerald Tree Boas originate in the tropical rain forests and need a warm humid environment, however they don't like excessive heat. Like all reptiles, they are dependent on external thermoregulation to control their body temperature. This essentially means you need to provide a steady daytime temperature in the upper 80s, plus a warmer basking spot that does not exceed 87 degrees. Nighttime temperatures should be in the mid to upper 70s.
Since they spend so much time off the ground, it's best to heat your enclosure using something other than a heatpad. Exo terra Ceramic heat emitters, infrared heat bulbs, and standard basking bulbs are highly recommended primary heat sources.
Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras digital thermometer to figure out the temperatures in your enclosure. Don't guess at it. You can also use a rheostat and/or zoo med timers to control your heat source. We do not recommend the use of hot rocks. They have a tendency to heat unevenly over too small an area and can cause serious burns.
Although Emerald Tree Boas don't need a full-spectrum light to help metabolize calcium, your snake's vibrant colors will certainly benefit from having one. Twelve hours of light is recommended.
A balanced humidity inside the cage is necessary. It rains everyday in the tropical rain forest. Thus, it's important to spray water inside the enclosure. How many times depends on your setup and the relative humidity in your home. This can be done with a hand mister but if you don't care to remember to mist the cage, an automatic mister like the Exo Terra monsoon is a nice option.
Emerald Tree Boas often drink water that forms on the enclosure walls, their perches, and even on their own scales, so a good misting should create these droplets throughout the cage.
However, in between mistings, the environment should be allowed to dry out. If things are too wet, your snake could develop skin infections. Live plants can help with humidity too.
Keep a non-porous water bowl in with your snake and make sure they always have clean water. Keeping the water bowl within reach of your Boa is important, thus the need for having an enclosure that is not so tall that the snake will never visit the floor, or a bowl that is securely placed higher up on a perch.
Exo Terras water bowls or Flukers water bowls are good decorative choices or a good ceramic crock dish. Scrub the bowl at least once a week to keep bacteria slime from building up. If you maintain a humidity level of 60-70%, your snake will be able to shed properly.
It's best not to handle your Emerald Tree Boa for several hours before you are going to feed it. We do recommend feeding in its own enclosure.
Emeralds can have a problem with regurgitating their food, if fed to large a meal or too often.
Hatchlings to 2 years
1 rodent of appropriate size once a week. This means the girth of the rodent should not exceed the girth of the snake (at it's biggest point, not his neck size)
You can cut back to 1 rodent every 2 weeks.
Do not handle your snake for at least 24 hours after it has eaten. Snakes in general tend not to eat when they are in shed. Just wait to feed until your GTP sheds.
When approached properly, Emerald Tree Boas can be handled for short periods of time. However, in general, it's best to enjoy them from afar. If they are startled or feel threatened, they can bite.
If you must remove your snake, do so while it's still coiled on its perch, and move the perch itself. Allow the coils to slowly slip onto your arm so that the Boa moves of its own free will.
Young Emerald Tree Boas usually sport a shade of light and dark orange or red. As they reach adulthood, their colors typically change to bright green with white irregular stripes and with yellow belly scales.