The Amazon tree boa (Cortallus hortulanus) is a South American tree boa known for its defensive behavior and polymorphic colors. These lovely animals make beautiful display snakes. One important thing many potential owners wonder is how fast do Amazon tree boas grow.
On average, Amazon tree boas grow slowly. They are typically nearly full-grown between 3 and 4 years of age. This is when they reach sexual maturity. Most breeders will wait a bit to let females gain more weight.
Size at Birth
Amazon tree boas are oviviviparous. This means that the female will carry her babies internally. The babies will typically be born after a gestation of 6-8 months.
These babies will be between 12 and 17 inches at birth. They are very thin at birth. It has been noted that newborns can be larger if the litter is smaller. T
his paper reported a litter of 2 where each baby was over 2 feet long at birth. Amazon tree boas do not care for their young. Babies are completely independent and will care for themselves immediately after birth.
The first shed is typically at 2 weeks of age. This is later than some other species of snake.
A full-grown Amazon tree boa will be between 5 and 7 feet in length. They typically weigh between 1 and 3 pounds at full size. Amazon tree boas reach sexual maturity after about 3 years.
This is also when they have reached their maximum size. Snakes do keep growing throughout their lives, but the rate of growth slows dramatically as the animal ages.
Snakes have indeterminate growth like many other reptiles. This means that even an adult animal will continue to grow slowly throughout its life. This is very minor. You will only really notice if your snake tolerates being measured for length.
These snakes are defensive, so monitoring an Amazon tree boa can be tricky.
The fastest period of growth occurs between birth and sexual maturity. Females can be a bit larger and heavier.
This is partly because they carry the young. Females will frequently refuse food while they are gestating, so they can lose a significant amount of weight.
Everything you need to know about caring for Amazon Tree Boas in captivity:
Read our Amazon Tree Boa Care Sheet (Complete Guide)
The growth rate of the Amazon tree boa is typically slow for a snake. They take about 3 to 4 years to reach adult size. For snakes, animals that reach larger sizes or that mature faster will grow more quickly.
Heavier snake species will also grow more quickly than a light snake like a tree boa. Snakes will grow quickly before sexual maturity and experience a slowing of growth after this point.
Snakes typically grow longer before sexual maturity and may start putting on more weight after they can reproduce. This is particularly true of females since producing young takes up a lot of resources.
Snakes will grow more quickly if they have more food. The more a snake eats, the more weight it will gain. It will also have more energy to grow longer.
Since snakes do not have skin that grows with them, the snake will need to shed. Shedding gets rid of the old skin and gives the snake room for more growth. The more frequently a snake sheds, the more it will grow.
Babies will shed most frequently. The rate of shedding goes down as the snake ages. An adult snake may only shed a few times a year. Breeding females will typically shed during gestation since they need room for growing young.
The shed should always come off in one piece. If it comes off in pieces, this means the humidity is too low. Stuck pieces of old kin can hinder your snake’s growth and cause injuries.
Injuries and illness can impact a snake’s growth. Make sure to take your snake to a vet if you notice any signs of illness or parasites. Wild-caught animals are much more likely to be ill or have parasites than captive-bred animals.
Technically, you can control how quickly your snake grows. This is because you can decide how often your snake eats. Some snakes take well to being fed more often.
This is typically referred to as power feeding. It can work out, but it is easy to make a snake grow too much. Amazon tree boas are not one of them.
They need to stay slim to be able to move well. Since they are so thin, it is easy to overfeed them and stress them out. They also have a large appetite and will act hungry even if they don’t need to eat.
This is because it can be hard for them to find prey in the wild, so they can’t risk missing a potential meal. The only time you should be offering more meals is if you are planning on breeding your snakes.
They will need the extra energy. The snake will also likely lose all the weight anyway.
Amazon tree boas take about 3 years to reach adulthood. They grow more slowly than some other species of snake. They grow the most in the first year of life and slow down over time.
Like all snakes, they have indeterminate growth so they will keep growing for the rest of their life. Amazon tree boas tend to live for around 20 years in captivity, so they can reach a decent size. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.