Gallery Boa c. constrictor Colombia

Boa c. constrictor Colombia - Colombian redtail boas

Distribution area Colombia

Estimated average length of mature female Boa c. constrictor Approximately 1.90 to 2.20 m (6.2 to 7.2 ft)

Taxonomic status Subspecies recognized by the CITES convention

Trinidad and Tobago


Boa constrictor constrictor Colombia | Colombian redtail boas | Hyperpastell Boas | Pastellboas | Colombian Boa c. constrictor Leticia | Common boas Colombia

Similar to Venezuela, in Colombia the distribution areas of Boa c. imperator and Boa c. constrictor occurs adjourn. This page is dedicated to Boa c. constrictor Colombia.

It is important to mention that there is a disagreement within the taxonomists as to the designation of certain colombian boas. This doesn't apply to the specimens of the upland area of the Andes, the lowland area of Amazonia and the Llanos. These boas are beyond doubt Boa c. constrictor.

The boas in  photos of the gallery are identical to those found in the whole Caqueta-Putumayo-Amazonas (Leticia) area of Colombia. As you can see in these photos, the Boa c. constrictor from the region around Leticia are very similar to the redtail boas from the region of Iquitos/Peru. We assume that they also reach the same size.

The boas found west of the Andes, in the Pacific region and in the northern Caribbean region are considered to be boa c. imperator by most taxonomists. However, these specimens show many characteristics of boa c. constrictor and wouldn't properly fit in the concept of boa c. imperator. Therefore there are taxonomists who tend to consider these animals to be boa c. constrictor as well.

It is left to a future genetic examination to verify or invalidate the different opinions. For the breeder or enthusiast it doesn't matter anyway.

Please note:

In view of the information and photos provided by Dr. Stephan it becomes obvious, that it is WRONG to refer to the light Boa c. imperator (common Colombian boas) from northeastern Colombia as "Leticia boas". Unfortunately this wrong marking has found a firm place in the boa community, especially in the marketing.

We were lucky to get acquainted to the zoologist Dr. Ian Stephan. He used to live in Colombia for quite a while and performed field studies on colombian Boa constrictors. His report on this topic is more informative as anything that we could write on this matter:

A report about Colombian Boa constrictors by Dr. Ian Stephan

Colombia is a large country. It is one of the world's hotspots for plant and animal diversity, and has a wide variety of habitats. Two major habitats dominate Colombia, the upland area of the Andes, and the lowland area of Amazonia and the Llanos. Now as anyone who understands speciation knows, such differing habitats and physical barriers often lead to the 'creation' of new subspecies and species. Or at least, the separation of species and subspecies.

In Colombia there are two subspecies of Boa Constrictor: imperator and constrictor. It may even be possible that longicauda reaches Colombia (will leave this one out here for now!). Imperator is the form found west of the Andes, in the Pacific region and in the northern Caribbean region. Constrictor is the eastern / lowland form, present in the Llanos (Orinoco) and Amazonian regions. There is of course some intergradtion between these two forms and both have been found in the areas outside of their usual limits.

The subspecies imperator ranges north towards (see map) Mexico, northeast to Venezuela, and south to Peru, and perhaps Bolivia. Constrictor ranges west to Ecuador, south to Peru and Bolivia, east to Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana.

Naturally, within such a large area, both subspecies display a huge degree of variation in both colouration, morphology, and meristics (scale counts). It is also VERY important to remember that even within a particular area, that this species is highly variable.

For many years boas have been imported from Colombia, although it's been a long time since they have left via the Amazonian region. Therefore, the majority of imports are all imperator. The common boa. The 'Colombian' Boa. This is not to say that Bcc does not occur in Colombia.

Few people in the US probably have pure B.c.c's from Colombia.

I will make a brief note about the Leticia boa here. Recently a trend has started, probably driven by financial reasons, to sell a certain look of Boa constrictor as a 'Leticia' boa. Now not one of these Leticia's looks anything like a boa you'll ever see in Leticia and the name is clearly misleading.

I have read various posts on this site how the Leticia boa is an integrade of B.c.c. and B.c.i., but I can assure you it is nothing of the sort. Leticia is deep within Amazonia (see map) and very close to Iquitos. I am sure nobody here that Iquitos boas were imperators? So why should the boas from Leticia be such?

Many years ago many B.c.c's did leave Leticia. However, these were collected over a wide area, and not just from the vicinity of Leticia. But, the boas leaving via Leticia WERE B.c.c.

Trade routes within Amazonia dictate that any B.c.i leaving Leticia would have been an unusual occurance (The majority of B.c.i's leaving Colombia come from the

north (Cartagena / Barranquilla region).

Map courtesy of Dr. Ian Stephen, UK


We thank Dr. Ian Stephen, Curator of Herpetology of the London Zoo, for the report and the photos.