Columbian Rainbow Boa care sheet

Housing

Columbian rainbow boas require a wooden vivarium as their enclosure. This is because wood is an excellent insulator of heat and so a wooden vivarium will make it easier to control the crucial temperatures required inside the habitat. Other enclosures such as glass terrariums are far too efficient at releasing heat. The wooden vivarium should have good ventilation to allow air flow in and out of the enclosure.

The boa's vivarium should be at least 1200mm (48") in length and 450mm (18'') in height. There are 2 main reasons for this; firstly Columbian rainbow boas are not small reptiles and can easily grow to 4-5ft in length. They require a proportionate amount of space to live happily. Secondly, the vivarium needs to have a sufficient length to allow for the creation of a temperature gradient. The enclosure needs to be warm at one end, but have enough distance for the temperature to drop at the cool end.

Heating

Columbian rainbow boas require a warm basking area but a near constant air temperature. The ambient air temperature want to be around 88oF is created by using a ceramic night bulb. These radiate heat but produce no light. This bulb should be protected with a bulb guard and controlled by a good quality thermostat. This temperature can remain constant day and night. Temperatures should be monitored daily using a thermometer.

To light the enclosure we would use LED bulbs that do not radiate much heat or light. These can be on for 10-12 hours a day but should be turned off at night to ensure the snake gets a good day/night cycle.

Decoration

Columbian rainbow boas should be kept on a slightly moist substrate to increase the humidity inside the vivarium. Whilst many substrates are available we have found bark chips to be a great substrate which absorbs some moisture and that is what we keep our Columbian rainbow boas on. It is also very easy to clean.

Columbian rainbow boas are arboreal snakes so they do like to climb on top of things to survey their surroundings. The vivarium should be decorated with various pieces of wood to enable them to do this.

The boas vivarium can be decorated with artificial plants for a more natural look. A hiding spot at each end of the enclosure will allow the snake to move freely and thermoregulate without feeling insecure.

Diet & Water

As babies, Columbian rainbow boas should be fed weekly on defrosted pinky mice, as the snake grows the food size should be increased. Adult boas can be fed once every two weeks as they can become overweight if fed weekly.

A water bowl large enough for the snake to get in to should be used providing it does not raise the vivarium humidity too much.

Breeding

If you keep a male and female together, they may breed. You do not need to do anything to encourage this, providing they are healthy and the conditions are good, it will happen naturally. You need to consider whether you want this to happen. What will you do with the babies?

A gravid female should have access to a nesting box to help her with the livebirth. We would usually use a large plastic container containing soft moss like sphagnum moss. Once the babies have been born we would advise taking them from the enclosure and introducing them to a separate enclosure. It should be set up exactly like the parents but a bit more humid.