Dumeril’s Boa Care Guide

Dumeril’s Boa (Acrantophis dumerili)Madagascar, home of the Dumeril's boa

Skill level: Intermediate

Dumeril’s boas (not to be confused with the Madagascar ground boa) are ground-dwelling, ovoviviparous snakes native to the southwestern region of Madagascar, a large island off the southeast coast of Africa. This part of Madagascar is relatively dry, unlike the rainforest people usually think of associated with the island.

They are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and human violence.

Dumeril’s boas are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. They are also constrictors, using powerful muscles to squeeze their prey until it passes out (a relatively quick process, within seconds according to this study published in National Geographic).

Dumeril’s boas grow 4’-8’ long and weigh around 20 lbs, though some females reach 9’. As with many snake species, the males tend to be smaller, maxing at 6’. They mature slowly–taking 3-5 years–but live between 15 to 20 years in captivity, with some living even longer. Their beautifully unique pattern, designed for camouflage in leaves on the forest floor, also features the same rainbow iridescence as rainbow boas thanks to special reflective ridges on their scales.

Boas in general tend to be on the nippy side, but Dumeril’s boas are acknowledged across the snake community as relatively calm. They actually err on the side of being extremely shy. When they do bite, it’s out of an overzealous feeding response rather than aggression. More on that here.

Dumeril's boa iridescent scales


Dumeril’s Boa Care Guide — Table of Contents:

  1. Your Shopping List
  2. Terrarium Size Guidelines
  3. Light, Heat & Humidity Requirements
  4. Substrate Options
  5. Decorating Your Snake’s Terrarium
  6. How to Feed Your Dumeril’s Boa
  7. Handling Tips
  8. Common Diseases & Other Health Info

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