Amazon Tree Boa
Amazon tree boas (Corallus hortulanus) were the snake that got me into the South American scene. Brightly coloured and seemingly highly aggressive,they caught my attention at an early age,I must have had some around at all times in the last 20 years at least.
It soon became clear that they are not naturally aggressive,merely well able to defend themselves when cornered on a branch. Given the chance,they will catapult themselves off their perch and fall to the ground rather than stay for a confrontation. I assume this to be a good strategy in the wild,as its employed by various animals,such as Iguanas,as a quick means to get off todays menu.
Amazons are highly polymorphic and come in just about every colour except blue,growing to 9 feet long (yes I have seen genuine 9 footers on imports in the '80's). These days its rare to see one longer than 6 foot long and wc imports are more usually 2-4 feet in length,a classic response to over collection in small areas. The animals involved reach sexual maturity earlier to compensate for the loss of older animals (happens in fish too),the weight of Tree boa in the area remains the same,just conists of more and smaller animals than it did before.
Relatively easy to maintain and breed,these snakes are very rewarding in that each and every litter can be a wild collection of patterns and colours.
Neonates can be tricky to get started on defrost mice,hopper mice are preferred to pinkies as the snakes can manage large meals easily. My best method is to touch the snake on the nose,just once,with a defrosted hot rodent,then place mouse quietly on perch next to snake and leave in peace over night. This method is far more successful than trying to strilke feed and far less stressful to the snake. Once started growth is rapid and the snakes will soon be on adult mice and weaner rats.