Red Tail Boa

A Red Tail Boa showing distinct hourglass stripes and red tail.

Red Tailed Boas are 6-12 feet snakes in the Boidae family. They range in color from grey to brown, with hourglass shaped dorsal 'saddles'. These snakes are for intermediate herpers because of their size, potential shedding problems, among other nuisances. As of most large snakes, Red-Tails can be slightly expensive.



Red-Tailed Boas live in humid forest and rainforests in the wild, and these conditions should be replicated in their terrarium. Due to their large nature, these boas need a custom terrarium. A long 140 gallon tank should be plenty of room, with a minimum of 90 gallons. 2 inches of gravel covered with 2 inches of reptile bark should be good ground cover, with a layer of leaf litter to top it off. Hides are needed to prevent stress, and a minimum of two should be used. place one on the cool end of the terrarium and one on the warm end. Large branches should be placed around the terrarium to provide climbing opportunities. One side of the terrarium must have a basking spot; preferably above a branch or similar basking apparatus. This location should remain between 90-95 degrees. The rest of the terrarium should be 82-90 degrees, falling between 75 and 85 degrees at night. These snakes require a high humidity, which can be provided by a soaking bowl near a heat source.

Food and WaterEdit

These large snakes eat a variety of pre-killed animals, including mice, rabbits and chicks. Small snakes hould eat every 5-7 days, medium ones every 10-14 days, and full grown ones every 3-4 weeks. An adult will usually eat a few rats at a time, or a single rabbit instead. A large soaking bowl will provide drinking water as well as a place to soak. This soaking will help with the snakes shedding process, but water must be changed constantly due to defecation.


Mcleod, Lianne. "Boa Contricors as Pets - Care Sheet - Red Tailed Boa." Choosing an Exotic Pet - Care of Exotic Pets. Web. 15 Mar. 2011. <>.

Bartlett, Patricia Pope, Billy Griswold, and Richard D. Bartlett. "Boas and Pythons." Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates: an Identification and Care Guide. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's, 2001. Print.