Emerald Tree Boa

The Emerald Tree Boa, Corallus caninus, is a species of green snake that lives in the rainforests of South America. It is found in the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, French Guiana, Guyana, and Surinam. It prefers living in close proximity to large bodies of water, such as swamps, marshes, and rivers within the rainforest.

The Emerald Tree Boa grows to an average of 6 feet, but in some areas is capable of reaching lengths of 7 – 9 feet. It is typically a shade of emerald green in color with a white irregular zigzag stripe down the back and a yellow underside. The bright coloration and markings are very distinctive among South American snakes. Juveniles are extremely variable in color, and are often orange or yellow, with irregular spotting.

This snake is a carnivore and is nocturnal. It is an opportunistic hunter. During the day, the snake typically coils itself on top of a branch, with its head perched at the center. However at night, it will remain coiled on its branch, but will extend its neck pointing beneath it, curled as if about to strike. It will then hold still in this position, waiting for prey to approach directly underneath it. Once it catches food, it pulls it up into the tree and constricts it. It swallows its food whole, head first.

The Emerald Tree Boa is ovoviviparous (births live young) and has up to 20 young at a time. Juveniles are deep brown-orange with white bars, and are about 1 ft long. They have been known to eat small reptiles as well, such as lizards and frogs.