Slender Argentinian Rainbow Boa
Scientific Name: Epicrates cenchria alvarezi
The Argentinian Rainbow Boa is a little more slender than the average Rainbow Boa, and has sometimes been called Slender Rainbow Boas. They grow to be about 6 feet in length. The scale pattern is generally set on a background of lighter brown or gray shades, which may be tinted with orange hues. Due to oddly textured scales, these Boas are so brightly colored because they shimmer. A pattern of rings and spots is clearly seen atop the background scale color and in Argentinian Rainbow Boas, this pattern is very intricate and elaborate. Females are larger than males and it is difficult to sex young Boas externally. Probing is the most common method used in sexing them.
Argentinian Rainbow Boas do not require such high humidity or temperatures as many other subspecies of Rainbow Boas. The ambient daytime cage temperature should be close to 80 degrees with a warmer area of the cage about 85-90 degrees. At night, the temperature should drop to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide a water dish large enough for the snake to soak in and keep water available at all times as adult Argentinian Rainbow Boas tend to drink very large amounts of water daily. It is very important that these Rainbow Boas have many limbs to climb on in addition to a dark hiding place. Improper environmental conditions or excessive handling and stress can cause Argentinian Rainbow Boas to stop eating.
Male Argentinian Rainbow Boas will have a probing distance of eight to twelve scales, while females will probe 2 to 4 scales. Male Argentinian Rainbow Boas also tend to have thicker tail bases and larger spurs than do females. Argentinian Rainbow Boas usually breed every other year in captivity. Only healthy, large animals should be bred, as it is quite stressful. Males reach sexual maturity at about 3 years of age and females at 4 to 5. Argentinian Rainbow Boas are not seasonal breeders. Standard cooling methods are necessary, however, in order for the snakes to form healthy egg and sperm cells. The gestation period is four to five months and Argentinian Rainbow Boas who are gravid require a much warmer basking spot, usually about 90 degrees, with the rest of the tank cooler. Gravid females do not eat very much, if at all. Usually Argentinian Rainbow Boas become very restless before laying, and while laying it is essential that they are not disturbed. They will eat stillborn slugs, and it is recommended to remove the live newborns immediately so they are not eaten by mistake. A typical litter includes 12 to 25 babies. Argentinian Rainbow Boa newborns need lots of food and should be fed once every few days. Approximately 2 weeks after birth, the infants will shed for the first time, and will continue to grow rapidly, often reaching 4 feet in length at one year of age.
Humid forests of South America,
The beautiful Argentinian Rainbow Boa is just one of nine subspecies of Rainbow Boas, which are often kept in captivity. With its long, slender body and strikingly patterned scales, it isn't hard to see why the Argentinian Rainbow Boa is such a popular pet.
Native to the humid forests of South America, the Rainbow Boa is a nocturnal hunter. These Boas are a bit difficult to keep in captivity and must have carefully regulated temperature, light and humidity, and they are not recommended as a beginner's snake. Newborn Argentinian Rainbow Boas eat and grow at amazing rates, and are generally nervous and hyper. These young Rainbow Boas can be made tolerant of people through frequent and patient handling.
Argentinian Rainbow Boas are not quite as common as Brazilian Rainbow Boas but are gaining popularity and are by no means uncommon as captive snakes.