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EMERALD TREE BOA

(Corallus caninus)

The emerald tree boa is likely to be spotted “drape coiled” as it perches in the branches. In this unmistakable and majestic pose, its body loops around a branch in layers with its head poised in the center. Since this species is nocturnal, the emerald tree boa is resting for most of the day. One emerald tree boa, a male hatched in 2006, calls Seneca Park Zoo home.

ABOUT THE EMERALD TREE BOA

STATUS IN THE WILD

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Unlisted.

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HABITAT

Emerald tree boas live in the Amazon River Basin, in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, French Guyana, Surinam and Brazil. They inhabit Central and South America in wet lowland rainforests in areas that receive more than 60 inches of rainfall annually.

DIET

Emerald tree boas are carnivores. The boa eats rodents, squirrels, birds and bats. Observations strongly suggest that emerald tree boas ambush prey that hang near the ground. They can angle their heads downward to ambush a passing rodent.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The emerald tree boa is a non-venomous snake. However, this species of tree boa has front teeth that are proportionately larger than those of any other non-venomous snake.
  • Adult emerald tree boas can grow up to six feet in length.
  • Young emerald tree boas are actually born a reddish brown color, and at four months of age they mature to the adult green color.
  • The emerald tree boa is ovoviviparous, meaning that it gives birth to live young. There are typically five to twelve young each litter.
  • In captivity, although the emerald tree boa is a slow-moving snake, it is generally regarded as aggressive. If threatened, the emerald tree boa may strike or apply constriction in self-defense.