Boa Constrictors: Habitat & Life Cycle

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

The boa constrictor is commonly known because it's a popular pet. They're often depicted as the evil, angry predator in movies (alongside the anaconda who is also a type of boa). In this lesson you will learn about their habitat and lifecycle.

Introduction

The boa constrictor is a reptile that belongs to the Boidae family. They are known as one of the larger of the boas. They're actually not the largest but quite average sized for their family. The biggest one found was around 18 feet in length. They average around 8-10 feet depending on the region. The largest of the boas is the anaconda, which is also the most famous.

Females are larger in size. Aptly named, they kill their prey by constricting (squeezing) them. They are not venomous. They also don't have the signature double fangs that we see in most snakes. They have teeth along their jaws that they frequently replace.

Boa constrictors are easy to identify. They have triangle shaped heads. Their bodies are a light shade of brown with dark brown and black ''saddle-shaped'' bands from their heads to their tails. They are nocturnal (awake at night).

Adult Boa Constrictor
Danger noodle

Habitat

Boa constrictors prefer tropical (warm and wet) regions. They are distributed from Mexico through Central America all the way to most of South America. They can be found in flat grasslands, shrub lands, rainforests, woodlands, agricultural fields and river banks. They can be arboreal (living in trees) especially when younger and can also swim very well. They usually prefer to hide during the day and come out to feed at night but have been spotted sun bathing on occasion.

They are totally carnivorous (eating animals). They feed on birds, bats, rodents, monkeys and even pigs. They can be found in burrows or hollowed out logs of wood. Their range of elevation is 0-1000 meters. They are solitary and are protective of their territories from other snakes. They have very good sight and can identify vibrations with their bodies. They also possess a vomeronasal organ which is what they use to 'taste' the air. The organ helps detect chemical changes in the air, which is why it is a chemosensory organ. When we see a snake flicking its tongue about, this is why they are doing it.

Distribution of the Boa Constrictor
regions

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support