Emerald tree boa : Corallus Caninus, a magnificent reptile
Part of the Boidae family, the emerald tree boa, is a non-venomous snake living in South America's tropical forests. Known to have a very bright green hue enhanced with white patterns. Its belly is yellow or cream.
There have been many changes in taxonomy in this reptile. The gender name Corallus comes from Corolla Daudin in 1803 had chosen this name in connection with wild and barbaric peoples whose cruelty Ovid describes in his texts, Daudin wanted to allude to "the treacherous and wicked look of these dangerous reptiles" (R.Ksas 2015).
In 1860, John Edward Gray described and named this snake Corallus Batesii in honor of the English explorer and naturalist Henry Walter Bates.
1. Emerald tree boa: Size & Location
Corallus batesii is larger than its cousin Corallus Caninus; an adult female can reach 106inch/270 cm. The average size is 79inch/200 cm. This species is found in the Amazon basin in Brazil. But it's also found in Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia. Unfortunately, he's not present in the French Guiana and Surinam because a mountain range has stopped colonization in these countries. 😢
2. Corallus caninus: Environment and lifestyle
Emerald boas are arboreal. They live in thick foliage, very often along watercourses and lowland tropical rainforests. Relatively little is known about their ecology. They are mainly nocturnal. They sometimes descend to the ground during the day, especially during the reproduction period, when the males are looking for partners. They hunt only at night by hanging from branches, head down, on the lookout for their prey, which they detect thanks easily to their highly developed and precise heat-sensitive dimples. They have like a detect head.😅
He's not one of the most dangerous snakes in the world, so don't worry, he is one of the most harmless to man.
In 1968, Bullock & Barette determined that emerald boas can feel variations of 0.026°C thanks to these dimples!
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They have impressive dentition, which suggests that they feed more on birds, the feather being more difficult to pierce than the hair. It is now known that this is not true; they rather eat arboreal rats of the genus Oryzomis (Oecomys) bicolor. Of course, they are opportunistic, and they can catch a bird or a bat from time to time. The young would rather feed on batrachians or geckos of the genus Thecadactylus rapicauda.
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3. Why is it a special snake
As in many arboreal Boidae, the juveniles are born red with white spots. Around the age of one year, the change begins. At maturity, the animal will be emerald green with a pure white pattern on the back. The belly and underside of the head are deep yellows. It is a magnificent and spectacular snake.😍
There are many differences in the pattern on the dorsal surface of the emerald boas. There can be large white diamonds (called "diamond" concerning their shape) or a perfect line more or less wide (called "stripe") or zigzag stripe. These differences in the pattern are sought after by breeders who select specimens for the quantity and shape of these white patterns. It influences the visual quality and, therefore, the price of each individual.
Contrary to some terrarium legends, Corallus caninus is a very calm snake that rarely defends itself by biting. It's very easy to handle it with confidence. Whether they are adults or juveniles, they always remain very calm and easy to handle.
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4. How can you make the difference between Corallus caninus and Corallus batesii?
1. The scaling of the head is different; in C.batesii, the scales are small all over the head up to proboscis. (see photo)
2. The color is different; in C. caninus, the green is generally lighter, the yellow is less intense, and the white eye-spots are not pure; there are often blue-grey scales.
3. The adult size is much smaller in C. caninus, about 180 cm compared to 270 cm in C. batesii.
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Due to their arboreal habits, you will need a snake terrarium that will be at least 50 cm high (up to 100 cm if you wish to give it more height, beyond that it is not interesting). Several horizontal branches must be installed to allow the reptile to settle in the place of its choice. The terrarium must be well ventilated.
They are thermoregulating snakes that don't use thermal graduations. They will live in an environment where the temperature is rather homogeneous. During the day, the ambient temperature should be around 27°C and at night between 23°C and 25°C. This species doesn't like hot weather. Above 32°C, the prolapse of the hemipenis has been observed in juveniles.
Despite popular belief about animals living in tropical rainforests, hygrometry is not an important factor in the success of animal management. On the contrary, if it is too high, it will cause health problems (respiratory infections, skin problems).
A snake gets hydrated by drinking water, not by being permanently in a humid environment. A classic hygrometry of the house is sufficient (between 50% and 60%). It is, however, imperative that the animal has clean water available at all times. We advise you to change it as often as possible, ideally every day.
Concerning lighting, the light in the room is sufficient to create a day/night cycle. Artificial lighting can eventually be installed, but keeping in mind that these animals live rather in the shade of the foliage and will not appreciate a strong luminosity. In terms of duration, they live on the equator, so a 12 hour / 12-hour cycle is appropriate.
6. What does that green tree python eat
They're slow metabolizing snakes. They take quite a long time to digest. We must consider this and not overfeed these animals who suffer from obesity in captivity.
Emerald boas feed very easily on rodents in terrariums. The prey will be small mammals like rats. It is strongly advised to feed them dead to avoid the risk of biting. The young must be fed weekly with a young mouse.
Adults will eat rats weighing about 150g once or twice a month depending on the time of year, age and sex of the specimen.
7. Emerald tree boa reproduction
Emerald boas are ovoviviparous, which means that newborns emerge completely formed from the mother's cloaca, in a transparent pouch that is easily pierced.
The sex can be easily determined by tube sexing. In males, the probe will sink to a depth equivalent to 10 to 15 subcaudal scales compared to 3 to 6 in females.
In the wild, breeding occurs year-round with a peak between December and April. Mating takes place from April to July. Females leave scent markings on branches to attract males.
In captivity, this species reproduces well. Adults can be cycled at different times of the year, but the most obvious is during the winter period.
Males can fight vigorously, so it is best not to leave them together unattended during the breeding season.
Mating often takes place at night and can last several hours.
Once the female is pregnant, it is best to keep her alone in the terrarium.
The length of gestation is difficult to determine. It is hard to know when fertilization took place after the last mating. It is necessary to be able to observe ovulation, which is not always obvious. In the literature, data are ranging from 150 days to 250 days. It is more likely to be 150 days.
When the female is pregnant, her behavior changes. She'll move from episode to episode during the day and then come to a standstill again, which is unusual. Sometimes a depression of the tissues in the head can be seen, probably related to the loss of fat mass.
At the end of gestation, swelling of the last part of the body is often observed. The female may also have a stretched position on the branches. On the day of giving birth, she will have muscle contractions that will expel the young one by one from the cloaca. The newborn will instinctively cling to the mother so as not to fall and climb her body to reach the branches. A female can produce a litter of 10 to 21 young.
It is preferable to raise the young in a common terrarium at first. It makes it easier to feed them, creating a kind of competition. It is, of course, imperative to keep the young under supervision during feeding. The first molt usually takes place after 2 to 3 weeks.
8. To summarize
- Emerald boas are located in the lowland tropical rainforests of the Amazonian and Guyanese regions of South America. They are the kingsnake in this locality.
- Salamander family and they're not a venomous snake.
- The boas of emerald trees are generally found at elevations varying from sea level to 1000 m above sea level (average = 200 m). They are boreal species that spend most of their time in the foliage of the tropical forest canopy. They were found in primary and secondary vegetation, as well as in lowland forests. Although they are arboreal, they sometimes descend to the ground to bask in the sun. They are found in the Amazon basin and often along rivers, but they do not depend on open water. They are found in areas that receive more than 1500 mm of rain per year. They love high humidity territory.
- These amphibians are called "emeralds" because they have a green coloration on the side of their backs. Other individuals have a sort of white line running along the entire dorsal midline.
- The juveniles are brown to red, but once they reach sexual maturity, they will make a transition to a bright yellow or rather lemon yellow. And finally, with age, they will have this beautiful wild green and bright green color.
- The mating parade started at the end of January and continued irregularly until early March. The Corallus caninus gives birth to between 10 and 20 young.
- This snake is a formidable predator because he can detect prey through his eyesight and infrared heat receptors in his labial scales.
- Nocturnal predator, it mainly eats rodents, lizards, iguana, and marsupials.
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Although the green tree python is an endangered reptile. A rare green coloration serpent in captivity that deserves to be known. Its beauty is breathtaking, and its calm and tranquil character makes it a very pleasant animal to breed.
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