Amazon tree boas (Corallus hortulanus) are common display snakes. These arboreal animals frequently rest on branches in easy sight. You may be wondering if Amazon tree boas need a hide at all.
As a general rule, Amazon tree boas need a hide. These snakes are frequent prey to birds, so they need to feel secure. You will need at least two hides to keep them feeling safe. Extra cover such as artificial leaves is appreciated.
Amazon Tree Boas in the Wild
Amazon tree boas are native to the Amazon. They can be found in Brazil, Surinam, Venezuela, Columbia, and Guyana. These snakes are long and slim to help them navigate the branches they call home.
They are typically only 1 or 2 inches in diameter with a length of 5 to 7 feet. These animals typically drape themselves over connected branches while they wait for prey to come by.
When they see a potential meal, they can lunge up to half their body length to catch it with their sharp teeth. They hunt by hanging off the branch in an “S” shape while they wait for prey.
Once they see something to eat, they will lunge out and catch it before wrapping it in loops of its body to kill it via constriction. They prefer birds, bats, and mammals for prey as adults.
Young snakes will hunt lizards and amphibians. Young snakes will also typically be seen closer to the ground than an adult. Camoflague is the main way these snakes avoid predators.
The most common wild coloration is brown or olive with patterns that help break up the shape of the snake against branches or leaves. These animals typically stay on branches and will move horizontally across them throughout the day.
They can be rarely found on the ground, but this is rare.
Do They Need a Hide?
It’s best to offer all snakes someplace safe they can retreat to. Having hides on opposite sides of the enclosure gives your snake some choice on where it would like to hide. If you place shelves higher up the enclosure, you can add a hide for your snake.
A good idea is to offer cork tubes as hides among the branch structure these snakes require. These can be suspended to allow your snake to climb in and stay at its preferred elevation. You can also provide more security by offering plenty of leaves and other greenery.
You can use potted plants, but make sure they can stand up to being climbed on. Planted enclosures are very popular for this species since they can’t really be handled.
They are mainly animals you admire. Make sure the plants you pick have never had pesticides or herbicides applied since this can harm your snake. If you don’t want to maintain live plants, artificial greenery works well.
Green Grass Hanging Shelter
- Treated preventing mildew and mold
- Easy to hang and create an arboreal shelter
- Provides a safe hiding place
You can also replace it easily if it is damaged or dirty. Adding greenery can help your snake feel more covered from the sight of potential predators.
Remember, your snake will view you as a potential predator, so you will see stress responses and defensive behavior if your snake feels trapped or exposed.
Given how aggressive these snakes usually are, it is a good idea to make a trap hide. This will allow you to keep your snake from biting you while you are cleaning up.
You can make a trap hide with two flower pots and a dish that will hold the flower pot upside down. You just drill a hole that is at least 1.5 times the diameter of your snake in the top or side of the pot.
This makes sure your snake won’t be stuck. You just place this on the dish and your snake has a safe hide.
This is a great hide to use if you need to add damp sphagnum moss to aid in shedding. If you need to do something in the cage, you can easily trap the snake by placing the other flower pot that has no hole on top of the hide.
This keeps you safe from a bite and won’t stress the snake as much as removing them would.
Offering other options for hides is a good idea where you can fit them. For instance, half a hollow log can be offered if you want a natural look. Place hides around and keep an eye on what your snake uses.
These animals are more active at night since this is when they typically hunt. You may need to set up a camera with night vision to see what your snake gets up to during its most active hours.
Watch for signs of stress like irritability and a loss of appetite to make sure your snake doesn’t feel exposed. If it does, it is easy to fix by offering more hides.
Remember, you should place them in different temperature zones so your snake isn’t forced to choose between security and thermoregulation.
Amazon tree boas are display snakes, so you may be tempted to not give them a hide. These snakes do need to feel secure, so they need options to feel safe.
A typical snake hide on the floor of the enclosure is a good start. Feel free to add more hides to give your snake options. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below.
If you own one of these lovely animals, be sure to share your experiences with them.
Everything you need to know about caring for Amazon Tree Boas in captivity:
Read our Amazon Tree Boa Care Sheet (Complete Guide)