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Encyclopedia > Rainbow boa
Rainbow Boas
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae
Genus: Epicrates
see text

A Rainbow Boa, or Slender Boa, is one of several terrestrial boas, of genus Epicrates, known for their attractive patterns.


Distribution and Nomenclature

Rainbow Boas are distributed throughout most of Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. The term Rainbow Boa is applied both to the entire genus Epicrates, or to the species Epicrates cenchria (also known as the Slender Rainbow Boa). Some of the other species of Epicrates are also referred to simply as Rainbow Boas, at least locally, because most species and subspecies are confined to particular regions, often islands, and it is rare to find two species in the same locality.

E. cenchria is the species most often kept as a pet, and it has many subspecies, easily distinguishable by their markings, most of which have well established common names. If the term "Rainbow Boa" is used outside the regions to which these snakes are native, it is most likely to refer to this species.

Other species in the genus

These include:

  • Abaco Island Boa, Epicrates exsul
  • Cuban Boa, Epicrates angulifer
  • Haitian Tree Boa, Epicrates gracilis
  • Haitian Boa, Epicrates striatus (with subspecies on several other islands)
  • Hispaniolan Rainbow Boa, Epicrates fordi
  • Jamaican Boa, Epicrates subflavus
  • Puerto Rican Boa, Epicrates inornatus
  • Turks and Caicos Boa, Epicrates chrysogaster (with subspecies on several of the Bahamas)
  • Virgin Island Boa, Epicrates monensis

Subspecies of E. cenchria

Epicrates Cenchria Cenchria
  • Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria cenchria.
  • Argentine Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria alvarezi.
  • Peruvian Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria gaigei.
  • Caatinga Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria assissi.
  • Marajo Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria barbouri.
  • Paraguayan Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria crassus.
  • Espirito Santo Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria hygrophilus.
  • Colombian Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria maurus.
  • Central Highland Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria polylepis.
  • Rio Branco Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria xerophilus.

External links

  • http://www.corallus.com/cenchria/
  • http://www.nafcon.dircon.co.uk/epicrates.htm
Epicrates Cenchria Cenchria



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