Scientific Name: corallus caninus
Habitat: wet lowlands of tropical rainforests
Diet: birds, rodents, lizards, and even monkeys
Life Span: 10 – 20 years
Young: up to 20
Size: 1.5 – 2.5 m
The nocturnal Emerald Tree Boa rarely leaves the trees of the tropical rainforests in the Amazonian and Guianan regions of South America.
Emerald Tree Boas name is derived from their exquisite bright green coloration. Though they are mostly green, some populations have white or black patterns as well. Juveniles range in colour from a red to brown, turning green by about month four.
The Emerald Tree Boa is a nocturnal predator of rodents, lizards, and marsupials. It often hangs from a tree branch in a coiled position, which is unique to this species of snake, and allows them to strike their prey at lightning speed. They can even catch birds in flight! These boas perceive prey primarily through sight and through the infrared heat receptors located on their labial scales.
Breeding season is every other year between April and July, with a gestation period of 6 – 7 months. The female Emerald Tree Boa typically gives birth to 5 – 12 young at one time. Once born, the offspring must fend for themselves.
The only known predator of the Emerald Tree Boa is the Guianan Crested Eagle.
To learn more, visit Animal Diversity Web, or stop by the Edmonton Valley Zoo.