- Crea­ture Fea­ture: Tree Boas - Three of a Com­mon Kind

Costa Rica has three species, and no, they're not ven­omous, but yes, they bite.

Howler Magazine - - Contents - By Vern Veer

Three species of tree boa are com­mon through­out many ar­eas of Costa Rica: gar­den, an­nu­lated and black-tailed. As their name in­di­cates, all three types of tree boa are char­ac­ter­ized by their ar­bo­real ex­is­tence. They are very ef­fi­cient con­stric­tors, prey­ing on lizards and small mam­mals while hunt­ing in the trees at night. They also breed and give birth to their live young in their ar­bo­real habi­tats.

Tree boas also have in com­mon a highly ag­gres­sive na­ture. They will not hes­i­tate to in­flict a painful and deep bite wound with their long teeth. None of them, how­ever, are ven­omous, so the bites will nor­mally heal with a lit­tle care and some top­i­cal an­ti­sep­tic.

All three species are best ob­served at night by shin­ing a light into the trees and bushes and look­ing for eye shine.

The gar­den tree boa oc­curs in many dif­fer­ent color phases and pat­terns, from grays and browns to vi­brant yel­lows, reds and or­anges.

The an­nu­lated tree boa oc­curs in two com­mon color phases of red or gray, with vary­ing in­ten­si­ties of each.

The black-tailed tree boa is nor­mally only bronze and black, with a dis­tinct pat­tern and a shiny black tail.

Adult tree boas av­er­age five to six feet in length, with the black-tailed tree boa be­ing the long­est and heav­i­est. The an­nu­lated tree boa can be dis­tin­guished from the gar­den tree boa by its heav­ier body and chunkier, broader head.

Gar­den tree boa

Black-tailed tree boa

An­nu­lated tree boa

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