The Dumeril’s boa is a medium-sized snake found in Madagascar’s densely forested dry woods. It may grow up to eight feet long and has a thick-set body with a light to dark brown colour.
Dumeril’s boas are simple to care for because they are non-venomous and require little attention. Many novice reptile keepers mix up Dumeril’s boas with Madagascar ground boas since both are ground-dwelling and indigenous to Madagascar.
Dumeril’s Boa Information
Scientific Name: – Acrantophis dumerili
Common Name(s): – Dumeril’s boa
Adult Size: – Up to eight feet long
Average Lifespan: – Up to 20 years
Diet: – Carnivore
Natural Habitat: – Dry forests in Madagascar
Housing: – Large terrarium more than five feet long
Experience level: – Beginner to intermediate
The Dumeril’s boa (Acrantophis dumerili) is a dry woodland species confined to Southwest Madagascar. This species is not used to the hot, humid temperatures associated with Madagascar’s rainforests.
Southwest Madagascar is relatively arid, with recently introduced tree species, dry woods, and communities flourishing in specific locations. The Dumeril’s boa dwells in these locations and is not afraid of human conflict or other ground-dwelling animals.
Dumeril’s boas are considered “endangered” in the wild, which is one of the reasons these snakes are popular among reptile hobbyists. These boas are especially popular due to their non-venomous condition, which means that if you are bitten by one, you will just be left with a scar.
Behavior and Appearance
The Dumeril’s boa is a medium-sized snake with a stocky, thick-set body with a camouflaged colour of green, red, brown, and peach. This snake is an ambush predator, meaning it will stand motionless and wait for prey. An adult Dumeril’s boa sleeps during the day and is awake for most of the night.
At first glance, men and females appear to be the same. Females, on the other hand, are often bigger than males. These snakes are difficult to intercourse with, but there are several warning signals. Males have thick tales with a quick taper, whilst females have slender tales with a gradual taper.
Lifespan and Size
Adult Dumeril’s boas can grow to be eight feet long in captivity, while wild snakes can grow to be ten feet long. Under the correct captive conditions, these snakes have a lengthy life, and healthy snakes can live for up to 20 years or more.
Dumeril’s boas are pleasant and quiet snakes. These gentle reptiles have tranquil dispositions, although some can become aggressive and angry if their personal space is violated.
Male Dumeril’s Boas are territorial around other male snakes, therefore keeping your snake alone is the best way to keep him from being territorial.
Dumeril’s Boas are easy to handle for experienced reptile keepers. If you are a novice hobbyist, you should use caution when handling your snake. If your Dumeril’s Boa begins to show signs of irritation, you should return it to its terrarium because the snake may bite you if you step outside of its boundaries.
Dumeril’s Boas Housing
Dumeril’s boas have straightforward housing needs. These snakes flourish in Madagascar’s arid, densely forested areas. The natural habitat of the Dumeril’s boa comprises trees and low-lying vegetation, and this boa frequently dwells in and around settlements and a few man-made structures. To keep your snake happy and healthy, recreate the natural environment of the Dumeril’s Boa.
Purchase a big terrarium at least five feet long. Dumeril’s boas are terrestrial reptiles that require a lot of ground room to wander, thus the substrate is more vital than the vertical space in the terrarium.
Install a hide box in the terrarium to provide a safe haven for your Dumeril’s boa. Spread sticks of varying diameters throughout the enclosure so your snake may investigate it and ascend higher than ground level.
Collect non-chemically treated leaves in the fall and distribute them over the Dumeril’s boa enclosure. Snakes like discovering new odours and textures, and leaves make excellent seasonal toys.
Keep your adult Dumeril’s boa in a five-foot-long, two-foot-wide, one-foot-tall enclosure. Although juvenile snakes may live in two-foot-by-two-foot cages, Dumeril’s boas are rapid growers and will quickly outgrow such a space.
Large enclosures are difficult to come by. However, Dumeril’s boas may live in terrariums that have a detachable cover with air openings and are constructed of hard plastic or transparent glass.
In your Dumeril’s boa’s terrarium, you should utilise daytime heat lights or fluorescent bulbs. Dumeril’s boas don’t have precise lighting needs, however they should have a 12 hour day to night natural illumination cycle. You may use a timer to control your snake’s light cycle and avoid disrupting their pattern.
Humidity and Temperature
In the enclosure, the Dumeril’s boa need a basking zone as well as a shady space. Maintain a steady temperature of 80°F in the shaded region. The basking place should be at the opposite end of the terrarium from the chilly spot and should maintain a temperature of 85 to 87°F.
Use heating pads to maintain a steady temperature in the basking place, and measure the temperatures in the cool spot and basking spot on a daily basis.
Dumeril’s boas lose their skin like most reptiles. The humidity and moisture levels in the terrarium can aid or impede the shedding process, thus these factors must be monitored on a regular basis for the snake’s health.
Maintain a humidity level of 40-60% in the terrarium. Never allow humidity levels to rise beyond 60%. An extremely humid atmosphere might cause our snake to acquire major respiratory problems.
Decoration and Substrate
A DIY mix of 60% organic topsoil and 40% sand is the optimum substrate for a Dumeril’s boa terrarium (ideally play sand). This is a low-cost substrate choice that can be found at most reptile retailers for a reasonable price.
Avoid using a rough gravel ground to line the enclosure. Dumeril’s boas like playing in the substrate, and gravel can cause major harm to these snakes, preventing them from walking freely in the cage.
Dumeril’s boas do not require bedding, boulders, or caverns in their habitat. You should, however, provide a hide-box in a shady area of the enclosure, as well as a large water dish for your snake to bathe and drink from.
Line the cage with leaves and sticks, and adorn it with tiny trees so that the Dumeril’s boa may explore the terrarium. The Dumeril’s boa is a clever snake that requires stimulation, so make sure your snake has enough of leaves to play with.
Because vinegar is natural and non-toxic, it is the finest substance to use to clean a Dumeril’s boa terrarium. On a monthly basis, remove the substrate and any decorations and wash clean the walls with a diluted vinegar and water solution.
Spot-cleaning the terrarium is essential, and you should do it if you notice dirt, leftover food, or soilage. The cage of a Dumeril’s boa can get filthy rapidly, leaving a distinct and unpleasant odour in and around the terrarium.
Never clean a Dumeril’s boa enclosure with bleach or other chemical cleaning solutions. These substances are hazardous to your pet’s health and can kill it.
Dumeril’s Boa Care
Dumeril’s boas are simple to care for and require little attention. These boas are low-maintenance, requiring simply a comfortable, roomy habitat with food and water to flourish.
Water and Food
Mice, rats, chicks, tiny rabbits, gerbils, and hamsters are all favourites of Dumeril’s boas. A diversified diet is essential for these snakes. It is critical to feed Dumeril’s boas according to their size and age.
Because juvenile Dumeril’s boas are still developing, they should be fed every 14–20 days, but adults have stopped growing and should be fed every 21–28 days. Every seven days, hatchlings and snakes less than three feet long should be fed.
Dumeril’s boas should eat food that is as least as broad as the snake’s widest portion. Smaller prey will leave the snake hungry, whilst larger items may be regurgitated, leaving your snake uncomfortable and disturbed.
Dumeril’s boas can be handled, but do so with caution to prevent stressing or hurting the snake. Here are some pointers for dealing with Dumeril’s boas:
- Remove the snake from the enclosure with a hook rather than your hand.
- Make certain that you are supporting the snake’s entire body weight, not just its head or tail.
- Never allow your snake to coil around your neck. Dumeri’s boas are powerful constricting snakes with a firm grasp.
- Maintain a safe distance between the snake and your face.
- Overhandling will stress Dumeril’s boas and may result in major health problems for your snake. Make certain that your boa’s enclosure is in a calm area away from youngsters and other pets.
Common Health Issues
In captivity, Dumeril’s boas are susceptible to mites, obesity or abrupt weight loss, and respiratory diseases. Because snakes are known for hiding ailments, you should be attentive and do a physical check on your snake once a week.
Here’s how to avoid some of the most prevalent health issues related with owning Dumeril’s boas.
- Mites – Human head lice treatments can be used to treat mites. There are, however, reptile-specific products on the market that may be found in reptile retailers and veterinaries.
- Weight loss – Weight loss can be an indication of significant health problems that require immediate medical treatment.
- Overweight Dumeril’s boas should be fed lean foods similar to birds, or tiny prey should be fed to your snake.
- Infection of the lungs (RI) — High humidity levels in the terrarium, as well as overly chilly temperatures, might induce respiratory illnesses. If you feel your boa has a respiratory illness, take it to a veterinarian.
Keeping track of your snake’s weight, feeding patterns, shedding, and overall demeanour will assist you in identifying health concerns before they become a severe worry.
During the chilly season, Dumeril’s boas are easy to breed. However, certain snakes may reproduce throughout the warm season, necessitating a brumation phase for your snakes. On the female’s underside, look for a tiny hump. The presence of this lump suggests that the female is ovulating and that the breeding process is proceeding normally.
To avoid digestive difficulties and discomfort, do not feed Dumeril’s boas during breeding and only give females tiny prey during gestation. If you wish to breed your snakes, follow the procedures below.
- In October, begin cooling the female’s cage. Reduce the temperature in your snake’s terrarium gradually until the basking spot temperature reaches 80°F.
- Keep the container at a low temperature until late January. Begin slowly re-heating the cage and leave the heating pad on overnight.
- Keep the male snake in the enclosure until you’re certain the female snake is pregnant.
- Females that are on the verge of giving birth will shed their skin. The typical pregnancy lasts nine months.
- When you detect the female starting to lose her skin, remove the male. Male snakes will assault pregnant females and consume their offspring.
Dumeril’s boas have live babies, which is unique because most snakes lay eggs.
Buying and Choosing a Dumeril’s Boa
The price of Dumeril’s boas varies, but a healthy snake costs between $200 and $800. It is critical to shop around and conduct some background research on reliable snake breeders in your region.
Dumeril’s boas may be found at pet stores and online. If you purchase online, you should verify the rules in your area regarding the importation of these snakes.
Purchasing Dumeril’s boas online is risky since you may acquire a sick snake. Instead, go to your local reptile breeder or pet store and study the snake for a bit to ensure that it is acting normally.
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