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Emerald Tree Boas

Corallus caninus


Emeralds, contrary to varying opinions, are very easy snakes to maintain. In some ways they're much easier than most snakes. For instance, they are tree dwellers and rarely need to be physically moved for cage cleaning, water changing, etc.

Distribution: Rain forests of the Amazon river basin.

Habitat in captivity:

Emeralds oftentimes suffer from lack of exercise in captivity. To avoid this problem, it is best to give them large cages with multiple branches and plants to stimulate movement. This makes for healthier, more active and alert snakes. And defecation is rarely a problem when they are given the opportunity to exercise at will. Also the proper ventilation is important. This can be achieved by using a screen cage appose to glass. Lighting is also important Equatorial animals are exposed to a 12-12 day/night photoperiod all year long. We use plant grow lights over each cage, which enhances the snake's appearance and helps the plants thrive. Emeralds are the most incredible snake in the world! Not only are they beautiful, they are very interesting to watch as they hang and hunt on a nightly basis. They're very easy to maintain if you stick to the rules. But keep them too cold, or too dry; or overfeed them, and they will not do well. So stick to the basics outlined here.

Temperatures & Humidity:

By far this is the most important aspect of caring for your Emerald. Emeralds come from the muggiest climate on earth! It is hot and sticky all the time, oftentimes even at night. Keep them around 82 degrees day and night for the first three years after birth. Once they're older you can vary temperatures to induce breeding. Although humidity must be kept high for proper shedding and health, airflow must be established to prevent cages from becoming stagnant. Humidity along South American rivers ranges from 85% to 100% at all times. Emeralds have evolved with this requirement. To establish these humidity levels, cages can be misted daily with non-chlorinated, warm water, and large water basins (oftentimes covering entire bottom of cage) will add significantly to cage humidity. All our emeralds have live plants (pothos variety) in their cages to add even more humidity and freshness. We go to a mountain spring to get there water.


Never feed any emerald, large or small, a rodent larger than its body diameter. I don't recommend ever feeding birds. Feed baby emeralds approximately once every ten days. Feed sub adult and adult emeralds once every two weeks to once a month. Adult males do fine on one meal per month, while adult females usually benefit from bi-weekly feedings. If an emerald doesn't defecate by the third meal, soak it in water no warmer than 85 degrees before attempting to feed it again. This usually induces defecation and aids digestion of the new meal. Usually just offering a food item to a baby emerald at night is all it takes to induce feeding. Stubborn feeders can be fed by placing the snake in a deli container with a food item (live or dead).

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