Emerald Tree Boa
Habitat and Distribution: Found in lowland tropical rainforests of the Amazon Basin from Venezuela through Brazil to northern Bolivia.
Size: Up to 10 feet (average 4-6 feet). Females are larger than males.
Wild Diet: Rats, monkeys, bats, squirrels, lizards, and birds
Predators: Harpy eagles and guianan crested eagles
Lifespan: Unknown in the wild; 15- 25 years in zoos
Reproduction: Emerald tree boas are ovoviviparous, meaning that eggs hatch internally and young are born live. They breed between April and July. Females deliver up to 20 babies after a 6-7 month gestation. Each baby is about a foot long and weighs about 1.5 oz. Babies are born able to climb and can fend for themselves from birth, requiring no maternal care.
Behavior: Emerald tree boas are strictly arboreal, mostly nocturnal, and solitary except when mating. They are not venomous. To feed, they may constrict their prey or crush it between their jaws. Long, powerful fore teeth enable them to penetrate the feathers of birds so that they aren’t dropped during feeding. Heat-sensing organs on the upper lip help them locate prey and detect nearby predators.
IUCN Status: Not Evaluated
Emerald tree boas are not considered threatened.
Did you know?
- Their pupils are vertically oriented, like a cat’s.
- When babies are born, they are bright yellow, orange or red, but their color gradually changes as they mature. They reach full green coloration by about four months of age.
- Snakes rely on their powerful sense of smell to detect predators and prey. They flick their tongues to collect molecules and read these signals by inserting the tongue into a special organ, known as the Jacobson’s Organ, at the base of the nasal cavity.