Boa constrictors are generally lighter in color than pythons with a series of ovals separated by dark-colored, saddle-shaped patches.  The dark saddles usually have a light spot on each side, and the light ovals tend to become darker and often reddish colored toward the tail. The head is shaped similar to a Burmese python's, but boas have a thin, dark wedge on the head rather than a broad arrowhead. Boa constrictors typically reach 8-10 feet in length, although a few grow up to 13 feet.

There is considerable color and pattern variation in boa constrictors. The red-tailed variety is popular in the pet trade.

Red-tailed Boa Constrictor Oval markings on a Boa Constrictor

Red-tailed boas have reddish patches towards the tail

The oval patches tend to turn darker towards the tail.

Boa Constrictor

Boa constrictors have light-colored ovals separated by dark, saddle-shaped patches.

A Burmese Python head and a Boa Constrictor head compared for markings

Burmese python head (left) showing dark arrowhead; Boa constrictor head (right) showing thin line extending to snout.



FWC Facts:
Florida's official state butterfly, the zebra longwing (Heliconius charitonius) lives in hammocks, swamps & forests, sleeps in groups and returns to the same roost nightly.

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