Brazilian Rainbow Boa

Bobo came to the rescue as a surrender. He has not been to too many events because he can become grumpy when stressed. He will be featured in the educational trailer where people can look at his amazing colors and he won't be stressed with too much handling.
Common Name: Brazilian Rainbow Boa
Scientific Name: Epicrates cenchria
Type: Boa
Diet: Carnivore
Average Life Span: 10 years in the wild, 20+ in captivity
Size: Up to 6 feet in length
IUCN Red List Status: Unknown
Current Population Trend: Unknown

About the Brazilian Rainbow Boa

The Brazilian rainbow boa is a medium-sized terrestrial boa native to the Amazon River basin. It is named for its iridescent skin which refracts light and creates a rainbow-colored effect. 

Physical Description

This soft-skinned boa has beautiful, iridescent skin. Tiny ridges on the scales act as prisms to refract light and create a rainbow-colored effect. Brazilian rainbow boas are brown or reddish brown snakes with three parallel black stripes on the top of the head and large black rings down the back that give the appearance of dorsal blotches. The round lateral blotches are black with an orange or reddish crescent across the top. There is a great deal of variation in color and marking among this species. Adult males have substantially larger spurs along the side of the vent and have noticeably thicker bases of their tails.


Brazilian rainbow boas are a medium sized, round-bodied terrestrial boa and range from 4 to 6 feet in length. The head is not particularly large, but it is distinctly wider than the neck.

Native Habitat

The Brazilian rainbow boa is found in the Amazon River basin, coastal Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname and southern Venezuela. A primarily terrestrial boa, it lives in humid woodland forests and can sometimes be found in open savannas.


In the wild, their diet consists of rodents, birds and possibly some forms of aquatic life and lizards. Like other boas, the Brazilian rainbow boa is non-venomous. To capture and consume meals, they ambush and constrict their prey. In captivity, they are fed rats.

Reproduction and Development

Sexual maturity in Brazilian rainbow boas is determined by length rather than age. Males may breed at 4 feet and females at 4.5 feet; they usually reach these sizes between 2.5 to 4 years of age. Females eat more and grow larger than males.


They may live up to 20 years in captivity.

Brazilian rainbow boas were frequently exported in the 1980s and 1990s. They are still exported, but in much more limited numbers now.