Feeding ecology and diet

Boid snakes are primarily ambush hunters that consume vertebrate prey. Ambush techniques range from that of sandboas, which lie buried in wait for lizards or small mammals, to that of Amazon tree boas perching in trees over watercourses waiting for birds to fly by; to that of Puerto Rican boas, Epicrates inornatus, which sit high in cave entrances to intercept bats. Boid snakes can and do incorporate active foraging behavior as well.

Many small boid snakes consume lizards, both small taxa and the young of larger taxa. Anoline lizards are the favored food of many of the West Indian Epicrates. Mammals become an increasingly significant percentage of the diet as boas grow in size. Most species will consume birds whenever the opportunity presents itself. Snakes are included in the diet of anacondas, but in general snake-eating appears to be rare in the Boidae. Boas in the genera Boa and Corallus are known to caudal lure by wriggling the distal portion of their tails to attract prey. Although it does not appear to be well documented, there are a sufficient number of published reports that green anacondas kill and occasionally consume humans to assume that it does happen. It is not a common occurrence.

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