Rainbow boas live in tropical forests in parts of C. and S. America. They also stray into agricultural areas. This species is closely related to the rare boas that live on the islands of the Caribbean. There are several subspecies of the rainbow boa, many of which have been bred in captivity. The two main wild forms are the Brazilian rainbow boa and the Peruvian rainbow boa, both of which are found in the Amazon Basin.
Rainbow boas exist in several subspecies. Most have an orange-brown body with dark rings that become paler in the middle. Some subspecies have solid rings.
Rainbow boas hunt for small, warm-blooded animals such as mammals and birds. They hunt in the tree tops using their heat-sensitive pits to locate prey. Like other boas, they squeeze their victims to death. Younger rainbow boas tackle small rodents and nestlings, and they are also more likely to prey on tree frogs and lizards than their elders. At night, when they are most active, rainbow boas often become paler, especially around the flanks.
Distribution: Costa Rica to Argentina.
Habitat: Tropical forest.
Food: Birds, small mammals and large lizards.
Size: 1.5 – 2 m (5 - 6.5 ft).
Breeding: 6 - 20 offspring produced.
Life span: Over 15 years.