Dumeril’s boa terrarium size requirements are a little more spacious than the average snake because boas tend to be very active. And because they are terrestrial, floor space is more important than vertical space. However, note that placing a Dumeril’s boa in too large of a terrarium can be more detrimental than beneficial, particularly for juveniles.
Juveniles vs. Adults
Juvenile Dumeril’s boas (less than 3’ long) are particularly active, so they should have at least 4 sq ft of floor space to explore. Sample dimensions for an enclosure would be 2’x2’x1.5’ or 3’x1.5’x1.5’. Example: Animal Plastics T1.
An average-sized adult (3-6’ long) will need at least 6 sq ft of floor space, which would be a 3’x2’x1.5’ minimum. But boas tend to be active creatures, so something larger — about 4’-5’ long and 2’ wide, providing 8-10 sq ft of floor space — also works well. Example: Animal Plastics T10.
What Should it Be Made Of?
You can use an aquarium, specialty reptile enclosure, or even a bin — as long as it is ventilated and escape proof.
- Aquariums and glass reptile terrariums are attractive, but they can be inconvenient for snake keeping. Snakes need to feel secure, so 3 sides of the enclosure should be covered with paper or a decorative background. The mesh lid also poses a problem, as it lets humid air escape. Partly cover the lid with a sheet of thin plastic from the hobby store.
- Custom-made reptile enclosures are my personal favorite, as they are attractive, easy to clean, opaque on 3 sides, humidity-friendly, and feature sliding glass doors in front. No corrections need to be made here! (They’re also harder to escape.)
- Plastic storage bins can be converted into snake enclosures by creating ventilation holes in the sides and lid. The holes can be made with a soldering iron, wood burner, or drill. Take care to create enough holes to allow good ventilation, but not so many as to prevent humidity from building up.
Securing the Terrarium
Because they are active and rather strong, a Dumeril’s boa will take the opportunity to escape if given a chance. The best way to prevent an escape, then, is to secure the lid (or opening) properly. DO NOT SECURE SNAKE LIDS WITH TAPE! Many snakes have been severely injured by accidentally coming in contact with the sticky side of tape.
If you’re using a glass aquarium, invest in at least 2 (more are required for larger tanks) lid clamps to keep it firmly in place.
If you’re using a front-opening terrarium, a lock or latch will keep it secured.
If you’re using a tub, make sure that it has a latching lid.
If you’re using a rack system, make sure that the top of the tub is flush with the rack, and that the snake is unable to push the tub out on its own.
Finally, if your snake somehow manages to escape, here are some tips for finding a lost snake.
If you want more than one snake, go ahead. But snakes are solitary creatures, and do not get “lonely,” as we humans tend to think. Think of them as extreme introverts instead–they actually get stressed out when forced to be with other snakes all the time. So do your shy friend a favor: never house multiple snakes together.