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Amazon Tree Boa


The Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus) is a species of snake that is endemic to South America’s rainforest regions. It is a medium sized snake (3-6 ft long) and is one of the few species within its genus. Its scientific name, hortulanus, is Latin for “from a garden”. This is reflective of the snake’s habitat which are predominantly the the treetops of the rainforest.

Appearance and Adaptations

The Amazon Tree Boa is recognizable for its tan or cream colored pattern of stripes and blotches. This type of coloration, known as “tiger” or “salt and pepper”, helps this snake blend into the treetop canopy. This aquatic species also has one of the longest caudal scales among the members of the boa family, allowing them better movement in the water. Furthermore, these snakes have short, stubby nostrils which closes to keep water from entering.

The Amazon Tree Boa is diurnal and can often be seen hunting during the day. This is due to their heat-sensing pits- special openings in the skin near their mouth, which help the snake detect body heat of potential prey. Additionally, the Amazon Tree Boa has strong prehensile tails which allow them to hold onto branches as they climb and hunt for prey.

Prey and Hunting

Amazon Tree Boas are ambush predators which rely on stealth and camouflage to hunt their prey. They usually stay stationary, waiting for their prey to come within striking distance. They then lunge forward and grab the prey with their teeth and flip it onto their back in order to constrict it. Once prey is detected, the snake may also use their tail to lure it closer.

Their prey typically consists of small rodents, birds and lizards. Given that they live in the treetops, they may also eat small bats. Amazon Tree Boas have strong digestive enzymes which allow them to digest the fur, feathers, and scales that make up their meal.

Amazon Tree Boa two

Breeding and Reproduction

Breeding season for Amazon Tree Boas occurs during the wet season (June – August). Afterward, the female will lay a clutch of 5-10 eggs. Sensing temperature changes, the female will coil her body around the eggs to keep a consistent temperature at which the eggs can grow. About two months later, the eggs will hatch and small Amazon Tree Boas will emerge from the eggs.


Amazon Tree Boas, like many other species of reptile, are threatened by deforestation. This has caused a decrease in their population, leading to an increase in their rarity and making them vulnerable to being hunted for the pet trade. In addition to this, they also face threats from environmental degradation, climate change, and the exotic pet trade. As a result of these threats, they have been labeled as a vulnerable species.


The Amazon Tree Boa is a unique species of snake that is endemic to South America’s rainforest regions. Its tiger striped pattern of tan and cream, combined with its strong, prehensile tail make it well adapted for hunting in the treetops. This species is threatened by deforestation and the exotic pet trade, leading to an increased rarity and vulnerability. In conclusion, the Amazon Tree Boa is an interesting species with adaptations that make them well-suited for life in the rainforest and it is our responsibility to protect these species and their habitats.

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