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  • Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

    Here is the nuts and bolts of what seems confusing to the general public. *There is NOT a classification of boa constrictors called RED TAIL BOAS. *That is ONLY a trade name.

    The Two Primary Classifications are
    Boa Constrictor Imperator BCI
    Boa Constrictor Constrictor BCC

    These two classifications are split based on a mountain region. The general consensus is that the "True" redtails are considered BCC, but the herp trade refers to all BCC and BCI as all redtails.

    The nutshell?? Red Tail only refers to an amount of coloration on the tail. Nothing to do with the actual species.

    Here are some details on the specification of the BCI vs BCC.

    These two classifications are split based on the Andes mountain region. BCI's are west of the Andes and the BCC are east of the Andes. Also these classifications are different based on scientific study and documentation.

    For example:

    BCI's have 253 ventral scales (or less) and a midbody scale count of 55-79. 21 or more dorsal blotches (saddles). Adult boas reach an average of 7 to 8 feet. 10 feet being very unusual. General maximum weight 30 pounds.

    BCC's have 234 to 250 ventral scales and a midbody scale count of 89-95. Less than 20 dorsal blotches. Adult boas may reach 12 to 14 feet. General maximum weight 60 puunds.

    This may help quite a bit.

    For example Colombian boas are indeed BCI. That does not mean that BCC boas cannot be found in parts of Colombia. They are just different.

    There are some in the trade that believe Colombians are in fact BCC, and still consider them BCC to this day. Arguments can be made for both sides of the fence.

    The majority still consider Colombians to be BCI.
    Last edited by ClayEnglish; 04-20-2007, 04:58 PM.
    To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

    -Best Regards
    -Clay English
    Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

  • #2
    Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

    Hi !
    I'm Bill Johnson in Kansas City, Mo.. [email protected]
    I adopted (two months ago and locally) an 8 year old, 10 foot female " Red Tailed Boa " from a rescue here. She's a doll, tame & friendly and strong and all things neat and good !
    I am wondering though ( after reading your info ) if you could take a look at her and tell what kind of Boa she is ?

    ( funny story ) This rescue mostly handles dogs and cats and bunnies and an occasional pig, etc. ! But, had nothing in their computer system for snakes ! SO > they put her down as a " cat " adoption ! SO, I"VE NAMED HER " KITTY " ! LOL

    I am also adopting a 4 or 5 foot male ( face chewed by a rat in a too small enclosure , and missing an eye now ) from a rescue group in California ! When will people learn snakes will eat frozen/thawed food ?
    Anyway, I'd to ask the same information of him ? ( not sure though if I can attach both pics ).

    Any info you might be able to give me will be more than appreciated !

    Thank you, Bill

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    • #3
      Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

      That is what most people classify as a

      Boa c. imperator (BCI)
      To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

      -Best Regards
      -Clay English
      Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

        Thank you so much for all the info !

        I see now that I messed up a bit ! I talked about KITTY ( the 10 foot female) and also Scarface ( the new male I'm adopting ). I intended to sent a pic of KITTY first - BUT, you got a pic of the other !

        attached ( I hope ) is KITTY ! will you define her please ?

        Thanks, Bill Johnson
        [email protected]

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        • #5
          Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

          My eyes are good, but not that good. s4.gif

          I need a bigger picture to help you identify her.
          To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

          -Best Regards
          -Clay English
          Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

            Sorry Clay for the small pic !

            Here's a JPEG of KITTY that can be enlarged ! I hope I did this right ! lol

            Thank you, Bill

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            • #7
              Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

              I haven't ever thought about it, but it looks as though the shower has been converted into a cage (second pic). Of course they could be cleaning the items. Any way I thought that it would be a neat idea to convert a shower to a cage. I have a couple of friends who have converted rooms and a coffe table or two. The coffee tables were very well designed and he may go into production with them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

                Hi Clay, b29.gif
                I am new to the forum, just got my first Boa (I already have 4 Ball Pythons) ;D I was told at the Reptile store that the mom was a Suriname, but only about 8 ft. long, dad a columbian. I bought the baby at a retile place in Lodi, California. And I would know his birthdate if, when getting him, I hadn't been so in awe of his beauty, that I forgot to ask that! s23.gif ) The baby is about 3 ft., kinda thin to me (I'm used to my Pythons) about 1.5 in. wide/2 in. high at the largest part of the body. he has 18 brown saddles from head to vent, beautiful salmon coloring on the sides (not real distinct) tail is more of a chocolate than red with fairly distinct white/cream X's . fairly grey with tan circles on top. very spotted on bottom at lower body and tail, but lightens up toward the middle and upper part. I'm sorry I don't have the capability to send a photo, so I'm trying to be as discriptive as possible.

                From the research I have done, I'm inclined to think he is favoring the Suriname markings, but I'm not positive. and pastel, I haven't a clue. So I'm asking your, (and others) opinion cwm32.gif . I'm wondering whether to expect a 7ft. or a 10 ft. adult. I would like to have some idea what type of home he will need in the future. (I may have to dedicate a large(r) portion of my living room to reptile housing (or just put the kids on the "for sale" forum s26.gif the snakes are much better companions sometimes!), so I would like to start planning now.
                Also, I have read the articles you have written and found them very informative- a real learning experience, though I still didn't understand a few of the terms, like which part was the saddle the dark part or the lite cirlces (which I finally figured out), or what exactly is a widdows peak?. (sometimes I think so hard I confuse myself! ??? )

                Thanks for any advise, and the opportunity to learn from other boid owners. cwm17.gif
                Lisa

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

                  Lisa,

                  You are describing, as best as I can tell, a BCI. Colombian Boa Constrictor Imperator. Of course without the pic it is just educated guessing. You can expect 6 to 8 feet on average based on scheduling of feeding early in life.
                  To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

                  -Best Regards
                  -Clay English
                  Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

                    That's what I thought, but does his only having 18 saddles change the classification? also, I know (or was told by the breeder, that mom was Suriname Locality and dad, Columbian, so how does one decide which category baby goes in, or does he get BCI by default? I'm trying really hard to get a real comprehensive understanding, but there seem to be so many tiny little variation, however, if I am going to raise this baby, I want to know all I can, and be prepared for anything.
                    Prior to purchasing my first snake, I did months of research, so I was totally prepared, and knew exactly what I was getting into, and then just became more comfortable as my snakefamily grew. But, I failed to do that this time, just assuming that they would be fairly similar, and I'm finding that to be somewhat true but also not so in many ways, so off goes my obsession of learning all I can.
                    Ya know, the ball pythons sure are easier, they're just Ball Pythons-thats all. of course I still freak out if some grimey little kid tries to touch my Fluffy with his dirty hands. but it's only a small obsession! s36.gif
                    Thanks again for all your information.
                    Lisa

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

                      Also keep in mind, as the original post in this thread states, there are people who consider Colombians to be BCC.

                      The problem is if you do saddle counts, scale counts etc etc, you can fit them into both classifications.

                      I have stuck with the classic analogy of the classification and that is the split of the Andes mountains, East and West.

                      Lot of room for opinions either way, and if yours is truly a cross, then even tougher.
                      To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

                      -Best Regards
                      -Clay English
                      Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

                        Clay, can you tell me which one mine is too?  I want to know how big he's gonna get so I can start building the cage now. ;D

                        Here is the best pic of the whole snake.



                        Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

                          That is a very nice BCI ;D

                          Imperators will average 8 feet or so depending on feeding schedules, and most recommendations suggest that you should have a minimum 4X2X2 enclosure, but if the boa reaches upwards of 8 feet then really a 6X2X2 enclosure should be used.
                          To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

                          -Best Regards
                          -Clay English
                          Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

                            That is a very nice BCI  ;D

                            Imperators will average 8 feet or so depending on feeding schedules, and most recommendations suggest that you should have a minimum 4X2X2 enclosure, but if the boa reaches upwards of 8 feet then really a 6X2X2 enclosure should be used.
                            Thanks! ;D I'll go with a 5x2x2. Maybe a little taller to make it interesting.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Defining the RED TAIL Boa Constrictor

                              Verey nice looking snake you haver there! . It lookis like it might have a bit of shed left from it's last shed in that pic. Is still there? If so try to soak the little guy
                              in luk warm water for a while this should help that shed come right off.


                              Joshua

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