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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Cuban Boa: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Interesting Cuban boa facts for reptile lovers.

The Cuban boa is a snake species native to the island of Cuba. It is also called by its scientific name Epicrates angulifer or Chilabothrus angulifer. The scientific name was given by Cocteau and Bibron in 1840. This snake is mostly found on the island of Cuba and various adjacent islands. This snake prefers to live in a cave or on trees in the tropical forest (mainly rainforest) on the islands. The females are ovoviviparous which means they give birth to young snakes. Their habitat mainly consists of scrub forests and rainforests, including islands and grasslands. They are an endangered species today.

The length of this snake ranges between 6.5-19.6 ft (2-6 m), whereas the weight can reach up to 952 oz (27 kg). The diet includes small mammals like birds, lizards, bats, and rodents. The Cuban tree boa juvenile also has the same diet as an adult which means they also feed on birds, lizards, and other small animals. In captivity, the diet is the same but you can feed it dead animals for the sake of their safety. Cuban boas hunt in packs, especially on small fruit bats found in the caves of rainforests. It is the first snake species discovered by researchers that hunt in packs.

For more relatable content, check out these anaconda snake facts and Indian cobra facts for kids.

Cuban Boa Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Cuban boa?

The Cuban boa, also known as a Cuban tree boa, is a snake species endemic to the island of Cuba and adjacent islands.

What class of animal does a Cuban boa belong to?

The Cuban boa, also known by its scientific name Epicrates angulifer, is a snake that belongs to the class Reptilia in phylum Chordata.

How many Cuban boas are there in the world?

The population size of Cuban boas (Epicrates angulifer) is unknown, but they are endangered.

Where does a Cuban boa live?

Cuban boas are found on the island of Cuba and neighboring islands, including the Canarreos Archipelago (Cayo Cantiles), the Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago (Cayo Guajaba and Cayo Sant María), and Isla de la Juventud.

What is a Cuban boa's habitat?

Epicrates angulifer like to live in a habitat that consists of scrub forest and tropical rainforest, mainly on the island of Cuba and nearby islands. It is one of the largest snakes in Cuba and is usually found in the rainforest, cavities, agricultural lands, and rocks. You can see a Cuban boa hanging from the branch of a tree. In captivity, the Cuban boa requires special care and almost the same type of natural habitat.

Who do Cuban boas live with?

Whether Cuban snakes survive alone or in groups is not very clear. Cuban snakes are involved in group or cooperative hunting strategies in which they feed on fruit bats. This study was the first documented proof of group hunting behavior in this species or any other snake species. Cuban boas take positions in the entry point of caves so that they can snatch fruit bats as they come in and out of the cave. This Cuban boa pack hunting scheme makes their hunting more successful.

How long does a Cuban boa live?

In captivity, the Cuban mountain boa (Epicrates angulifer) can live for around 22.6 years.

How do they reproduce?

There is not much information published about the reproduction of Cuban boa species. These snakes attain their breeding maturity at the age of 3 years (males) and 5 years (females). The breeding season ranges from places to places. Although, snakes in captivity reach their sexual maturity at larger sizes than wild snakes. They are ovoviviparous reptiles which means the eggs remain inside the body of a mother until they hatch, and they give birth to live young. Therefore, the mother will directly give birth to a live young. The young is quite small in size compare to adults.

What is their conservation status?

The earlier conservation status of Epicrates angulifer was listed as Lower Risk in 1996. However, the present conservation status of this species is classified as Near Threatened by IUCN. This snake is widely present on the island of Cuba and can be found in the caves and trees of tropical forests.

Cuban Boa Fun Facts

What do Cuban boas look like?

They are one of the largest snake species of boa, especially on Cuba. The size of this snake ranges between 6.5-15.7 ft (2-4.8 m) in length , with a weight of up to 59.5 lb (27 kg).  These organisms have comparatively poor vision and therefore, rely on their other senses such as tongues to smell the air. Their tongues have numerous amount of receptors that take up small scent particles in the atmosphere, which are then received by the Jacobson's organ in the upper part of the mouth where different smells are decrypted. These reptiles have a yellow-brown body that is covered with deep brown or black patterns. Their snout is also dark-colored. Interestingly, the body of these animals is enveloped with a pearl-like layer that generates a rainbow glow. The Cuban tree boa iridescence resembles the rainbow luster of oil that floats on water. Therefore, their family name is called rainbow boa. It is difficult to see this animal in the wild due to its great camouflage.

A Cuban boa has a deep brown or black with yellowish body coloration.

How cute are they?

River Cuban boa snakes are adorable for people who admire snakes. However, individuals who are scared of snakes do not like these snakes at all.

How do they communicate?

Cuban boa snake information regarding communication has not been published yet.

How big is a Cuban boa?

The Cuban boa is the largest snake on Cuba Island. The average size of Cuban boa has a length range between 6.5-19.6 ft (2-6 m), which is 20 times larger than a royal python. Although, a Cuban tree boa full-grown snake can reach a larger size. A snake of this length is generally called a Cuban giant boa.

How fast can a Cuban boa move?

The speed of a Cuban boa is unknown.

How much does a Cuban boa weigh?

The weight of a Cuban boa can reach up to 952 oz (27 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to the male and female Epicrates angulifer species.

What would you call a baby Cuban boa?

A baby Cuban boa is generally called a young.

What do they eat?

They are carnivores that feed on small mammals including rodents, birds, and lizards. As they do not possess any venom-producing glands to kill prey with, they use their teeth to seize the prey, before wrapping it around their body about two to three times and squeezing them tightly. Every time when the prey discharges its breath, the snake will squeeze more rigidly to prevent the diaphragm, lungs, ribs, and heart from working. The main diet and preference is purely carnivorous for Cuban boa. Fruit bats are among their favorite prey, while Cuban tree boa with a rodent diet is more common.

In the wild, a Cuban boa hunts in packs. Also, the Cuban boa pack hunter is one of the first snake species that hunt bats in groups. Cuban boa hunting in packs is also unique. According to a study released in May 2017, this boa Cuban snake hunts on fruit bats. However, in captivity, the diet of the snake mainly consists of rodents, including guinea pigs, mice, rats, and other large mammals. These prey can be served alive or dead but Cuban boa breeders recommend giving dead prey as live prey can harm the snake. This reptile is a water-lover.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous. They kill their prey by constriction or squeezing.

Would they make a good pet?

Cuban tree boas as pets are calm and good. Although, the Cuban boa care sheet requires a special diet and arrangements in captivity. The Cuban boa temperament is quite cool compared to other snakes. Also, one can only find the Cuban boa for sale in certain places for pets.

Did you know...

Cuban boa constrictors are nocturnal reptiles that have a heat-sensing cavity in their mouth that help to sense prey in the dark.

Is the Cuban boa endangered?

Yes, it is an endangered reptile that is found in Cuba. Although, the conservation status of this snake is Near Threatened. The main reason behind this status is because the local people kill this snake as it hunts their livestock. However, there are many other threats to the Cuban dwarf boa such as fire, poaching, and cyclones. Many steps have been taken for the conservation of this snake.

Which characteristics does the Cuban boa possess?

Like other boas, it has a powerful, long tail that is used to grasp the branches of a tree. It helps the snake to seize, constrict and, ingest prey while hanging upside down.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our rubber boa facts and scarlet snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Cuban boa coloring pages.

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