Puerto Rican Boa

The Puerto Rican Boa, Epicrates inornatus, is an endangered boa that only lives in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. It is most common on the north-western tip of the island.

It grows to between six and nine feet long. It feeds on small mammals, birds and lizards. The boa feeds by seizing the prey in its jaws, wrapping several coils around the victim, and then constricting until the prey has suffocated. The prey is then swallowed head first. The feeding habits of the very young are unknown.

Since the area in north-western Puerto Rico has many caves, the boa has the opportunity to feed on bats. It was previously unknown how the boa managed to capture the bats on flight. Observations revealed that boas hang at the opening of the cave, waiting until bats fly out of it. Then they grab a bat with their jaws before killing it via constriction. The Puerto Rican Boa is the only known boa that captures bats in mid-flight.