While neonates range from 18-22 inches long, adult Boa may measure more than 30 feet. Adult females are larger than adult males. Boa constrictor imperator is ranked as one of the largest species of snake in the world due to its maximum growth potential being between 4 and 5 meters in length. Naturally, they show a characteristic pattern of some 30 brown or reddish dorsal patches or \"saddles\" on a lighter background, although the pet industry have developed a variety of \"morphs\" with a number of different colorations and patterns, including albinos. Some individuals have prominent dark markings on the tail. This subspecies also includes a number of isolated dwarf populations which are also being exploited by the pet trade. They differ in appearance depending on whether they live on mainland or island. Island boas tend to have longer, more narrow heads occupying large eyes. In addition, island males have considerably longer tails than those of the mainland boas (Boback, 2005; Quick et al, 2005).
Most specimens in captivity live about 10 years, but 40-year old specimens have been recorded. Males reach sexual maturity at their third month of age, but females must reach three years before they can breed succesfully. Being ovoviviparous, they produce 20-50 live hatchlings after a 110-150 days gestation period (Reed, 2005).
Various populations of this subspecies occupy a wide variety of habitats: desert, tropical forest, savannah, and small tropical islands, both continental and oceanic, from sea level to moderate elevations. Human presence have forced them to adapt to live in cultivated sites, and even in suburbs. They exhibit both terrestrial and arboreal habits, and they enter and establish themselves in caves in pursuit of bats (Romero-Najera et al, 2007; Quick et al, 2005; Garza, 1995-2008).
Boa constrictor imperator is strictly a carnivore, however, the range of fauna consumed is diverse. Diet includes birds, bats, reptiles, and mammals ranging in size depending on the size of the B. constrictor imperator (Quick et al, 2005; Reed, 2005).
Principal source: The Reptile Database, 2007. Boa constrictor Linnaeus, 1758 . JCVI
; Reed, Robert N., 2005. An Ecological Risk Assessment of Nonnative Boas and Pythons as Potentially Invasive Species in the United States. Risk Analysis, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2005;
Quick, John, S; Howard K. Reinert; Eric R. De Cuba & R. Andrew Odum., 2005. Recent Occurrence and Dietary Habits of Boa constrictor on Aruba, Dutch West Indies. Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 304–307, 2005;
Martinez-Morales, Miguel Angel & Alfredo D. Cuaron., 1999. Boa constrictor, an introduced predator threatening the endemic fauna on Cozumel Island, Mexico. Biodiversity and Conservation 8: 957–963, 1999.
Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), Felix A. Grana Raffucci, Technical Advisor, \r\r\nPuerto Rico Department of Natural & Environmental Resources & IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
Review: Expert review underway: Alfredo D. Cuar�n PhD President SACB� - Servicios Ambientales, Conservaci�n Biol�gica y Educaci�n Mexico
Publication date: 2010-05-26
Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2020) Species profile: Boa constrictor imperator. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1439 on 29-09-2020.