Boa constrictors have neither fangs nor venom, but are very effective killers. They're often thought of as one of the world's largest snakes, but they're actually comparatively modest in size, reaching 2-3 metres long when fully grown. Suspended from branches in the Central and South American forests, they ambush unsuspecting animals as they pass by. Coiling around their prey, they literally squeeze the life out, before swallowing the body whole. To digest this meal fully can take up to six days. Boa constrictors give birth to live young that are fully developed and ready to go within minutes.
Scientific name: Boa constrictor
The following habitats are found across the Boa constrictor distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The Boa constrictor is a species of large, heavy-bodied snake. It is a member of the family Boidae found in North, Central, and South America, as well as some islands in the Caribbean. A staple of private collections and public displays, its color pattern is highly variable yet distinctive. Ten subspecies are currently recognized, although some of these are controversial. This article focuses on the species Boa constrictor as a whole, but also specifically on the nominate subspecies Boa constrictor constrictor.