Emerald tree boa

Corallus caninus

SUBFAMILY

Boinae

TAXONOMY

Corallus caninus Linnaeus, 1758, "Americae." OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Boa canin, boa emeraude; German: Grüner Hund-skopfshlinger; Spanish: Falsa mapanare verde, boa esmeralda; Portuguese: Arara boia, cobra verde.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This is a beautiful green snake highly adapted for an arboreal life. The emerald tree boa has a large head with prominently pitted labial scales. The body is elongate and very laterally compressed, and the tail is long and very prehensile. This species has the longest teeth of any nonvenomous snake; the front teeth of a large specimen can be 1.5 in (3.7 cm) in length.

DISTRIBUTION

This species is known from the tropical rainforests in and surrounding the Amazon Basin of South America.

HABITAT

This species is associated with primary and secondary forest. It is often found in trees overhanging or near water courses.

BEHAVIOR

The resting pose of this species appears to be a flat coil that is folded over a branch, with the head in the center pointing down as if to watch below.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Rodents, parrots, passerines, and small monkeys have all been recorded as prey.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Babies are red, orange, or green. They change to the adult green color as they approach sexual maturity.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Many Latin American countries control or forbid the export of native boid snakes; emerald tree boas thereby receive some protection from commercial collecting in most of the countries where the species occurs. The species appears to be stable and not threatened, but its future is tied to the forests it inhabits.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This attractive snake is popular among keepers of boas. The species is hardy in captivity and is regularly bred in captivity. ♦

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