The Brazilian rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria) is a stunning snake even in its basic wild color. With the right enclosure setup (see my brazilian rainbow boa care guide) , they are relatively easy to care for.
However, captive-bred boas have been bred for many amazing colors and patterns.
We will go over a few in this list to give you an idea of what is available.
- 1. High Red Normals
- 2. Hypomelanisitic (Lockwood/EBV)
- 3. Anerythristic
- 4. Ghost
- 5. Wipeout
- 6. Pied
- 7. Pinstripe
- 8. Pastel
- 9. Candy Stripe
- 10. Picasso Stripe
- 11. Albino T-
- 12. Caramel
- 13. Calico
- 14. Chocolate
- 15. Eugene Stripe
- 16. Eugene Calico
- 17. Bullseye
- 18. Riso Xanthic
- 19. Pearl/Zebra Stripe
- 20. Ted Thompson Stripe
1. High Red Normals
The wild form of a Brazilian rainbow boa is a brown or reddish snake with three black lines on the head. It will have black rings along the back.
This morph retains the look of the wild snake but selects for a brighter and more vibrant red. If you love the natural look, this is a great option for a stunning snake.
2. Hypomelanisitic (Lockwood/EBV)
Hypomelanistic or hypo rainbow boas have reduced melanin. This is a dark pigment that produces brown and black tones. They will have lighter markings and appear brighter than a normal rainbow boa.
This morph can be combined to create unique looks.
The DB or Damm Bell hypo has a lighter base color but darker markings than other hypo genes. The Lockwood/EBV line (photo above) is lighter in color and has light brown markings as adults.
Anerythristic is also known as anery. This is the lack of red pigment. These snakes tend to have a very different look.
There are a few different lines for this that can either be very grey, yellow or greyish-brown depending on the line the snake is from.
The Seib line reduces red and is used to produce the ghost morph. Arctic anery snakes are entirely gray and white at birth but gain a yellow pigment later in life.
They can either be brown and yellow or bright yellow as adults. The Sharp line starts out black and gray but ends up darker than the Arctic line. They are almost brown as adults.
The ghost Brazilian rainbow boa is a snake that has both hypo and anery genes. This can produce a snake that has brown markings on a gray-to-yellow background.
It is created from the Seib and Lockwood lines of the parent genes.
This is a pattern-changing morph. A snake with the wipeout gene will typically be darker and lack the rings or saddles along the back.
Pied Brazilian rainbow boas have patches of white along the body. Their eyes can change color and many will have a difference in pattern.
They can look like they are close to a leopard print versus an ocelot. High white pieds exist with the first produced in 2017.
This pattern morph causes the markings along the back to become thin and frequently link together. It is currently being proven out with some adults available.
This morph causes a lighter base tone paired with darker markings than most hypos display. They tend to be peach or pink rather than red or brown. This may be the same gene as the DB hypo.
9. Candy Stripe
This is a gene that presents differently depending on if the snake has one or two copies. With one copy, you get some dorsal striping. If the snake has two, you get aberrant coloration and patterning that makes it look nothing like a wild snake.
10. Picasso Stripe
Picasso stripe produces aberrant stripes on animals with the gene. It tends to be less regular than other stripes, but the exact visuals depend on the individual animal.
11. Albino T-
Albino Brazilian rainbow boas have red eyes and produce no melanin. They are called T- because they lack Tyrosinase, which converts amino acids into melanin. They tend to be pink or red and the markings missing.
Caramel is actually albino if the snake does produce Tyrosinase. They have normal eyes and are light in color with absent markings.
They tend to be browner in tone than the T- albino.
These two genes are both recessive. If a T- albino and a caramel are bred together, they will produce a normal-looking snake that carries one copy of each gene.
This trait produces reduced pigment in patches along the snake’s body.
Some may have white patches. This gene tends to display at sexual maturity, which is around 4-4.5 feet in Brazilian rainbow boas.
While similar to pied in appearance, it does not alter the pattern or color on its own.
Chocolate is a form of anery that produces excess melanin. Snakes with this dominant gene tend to be brown. They tend to become the characteristic brown by their first birthday.
15. Eugene Stripe
This is a recessive gene that creates an abstract striping pattern. It is normally combined with another gene to create the Eugene calico.
16. Eugene Calico
This is created by mixing the Eugene stripe with the chocolate line. It produces snakes with a similar appearance to the calicos that include white patches. It appears to be caused by two recessive genes.
If you have a picture of a Eugene calico rainbow boa please reach out!
This is a pattern morph. It causes the ocelli markings on the side of the snake to change to a circle with a dot in the middle.
18. Riso Xanthic
This is a lesser-known morph. Snakes with this gene have a brighter yellow appearance than a normal rainbow boa. They were all sold to private owners so they are not easy to find.
19. Pearl/Zebra Stripe
This unique morph is not well-understood at the time of writing. At its most basic, it causes the black around the side markings to be absent, creating a Pearl-colored circle.
In its extreme form, a black line connects the crescents and saddles to create a zebra-striped look.
20. Ted Thompson Stripe
This particular gene is named for the person who discovered and proved out the gene. It connects the saddles along the back and breaks up the crescents on the side to create thick stripes. It is a recessive gene that has a variable expression.
This is a rundown of current morphs for Brazilian rainbow boas. More may be found in the future.
There may also be changes in terms as more is learned about how the genes that cause the morphs are inherited and expressed.
There are always unique aberrant animals that may prove to hold the gene for a new morph popping up for sale.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.