Scientific Name: Boa constrictor nebulosus
Be sure to give your Clouded Boa enough space at all times: a cage that allows about three quarters of a square foot of space for each foot of boa length is the right size. Though generally docile, threatened Clouded Boas will hiss, strike, and bite. Be careful with Clouded Boas because they are a bit more temperamental than other boas. It is essential that these boas be provided with a hide box since they are so skittish. A calm and curious boa will flick its tongue in and out rapidly; a slower wiggling of the tongue means the boa is feeling a bit defensive. It is best to obtain captive bred Clouded Boas as their temperaments are often better than wild-caught animals' and wild populations are preserved.
The temperature should be around 85 degrees during the daytime and then lowered to 75 - 80 degrees at night, simulating their natural environment. A basking area is also required, and that should be around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Clouded Boas' enclosures should be kept at moderate to high humidity levels. If your Clouded Boa sheds in pieces instead of in one single shed, its humidity level is probably too low.They should have an area in which they can hide and always provide a large water dish, because they will probably want to soak in it, as well as drink from it. Provide some sturdy branches, because these boas are avid climbers and can also use them to rub against during shedding.
Male Clouded Boas tend to have larger and thicker tails than females and larger spurs on the sides of the vent. As with all snakes, the most reliable method of sexing them is by having them probed by an experienced herpetologist or veterinarian. Clouded Boas need a lower temperature than most boas in order to encourage breeding. In the wild, the breeding season occurs in March and April, when the females develop abdominal swellings for a few days. The gestation period is about four months, and after, 7 to 11 neonate boas are born. The young boas' markings are more clearly defined and brighter than adult markings. Neonatal Clouded Boas are extremely difficult to feed and may die. They should be fed about every five days on pinkie mice and then once a week as they grow larger.
Live in tropical rainforest climes
Often mistaken for the Hogg Island Boa, the Clouded Boa is an equally beautiful snake, which is quite rare. If cared for correctly, this snake makes a lovely and rewarding pet.
The care for Clouded Boas is very similar to that of the more common Boa Constrictors. In the wild, these lovely snakes inhabit the island of Dominica, where they live in tropical rainforest climes. They like to congregate in the daytime in groups of two to seven adult snakes. These groupings are known as "tete-chien cavalesche" and generally occur in basking spots: warm rocks or root systems, or more commonly, sulfur gas vents or hot spring steam vents.
Clouded Boas are native to Dominica, where it is thought they arrived via hurricanes. The isolated population developed darker coloration than most boas. Natives refer to the snakes as "tete-chiens" or "dogs' heads", and use snake oil for medicinal purposes. The Clouded Boa is also extremely useful in reducing the island's rat population, but due to the unfortunate stigma attached to snakes everywhere and their bad habit of stealing poultry on occasion, natives often kill Clouded Boas on sight.
Wild Clouded Boas eat mammals including opossums, rats, and will also eat birds.