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  1. #1
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    New Member Looking For Suggestions and Info

    Hello everyone!

    I'm a long time snake lover from Nebraska. I've been wanting a snake for nearly a full decade now, and at the end of September I'm hopeful to get a boy to call my own.

    This will be the first snake I've personally owned, but not the first I'll have cared for or handled. My previous experience is with a corn snake, but as I'm posting in this chat, I'll bet most of you have guessed I'm looking to get a boa.

    Particularly, I'm looking at the "dwarf" Central American BCIs. I'd like a snake that mellows with age and is okay with being handled/taken out to chill and explore, but I'm fine with hissy babies that have some attitude. The biggest factor for me is that they're some sort of Central American locality, but I'm open to pretty much any locality. I'm looking for a locality where the males max out at about 6 foot or smaller.

    Currently, my favourites are Nicaraguan, Tarahumara, and Sonoran boas. I'm not entirely sure about their availability in my area, but there is supposed to be a reptile expo near me at the end of September. Otherwise, I'm open to getting one online. I'd like to spend less than $250, but if I fall in love with a certain snake, I'd be willing to pay up to $350.

    I've also considered sand boas and rosy boas. If I can't get a Central American locality, I'll probably go for a sand boa. But I would prefer one of the ones I stated above. Unless, for some magic reason, someone knows how to get their hands on a rubber boa. But I haven't found a single place that has them.

    I know that I'd like to start with a 10 gallon/20 gallon tank and grow with the baby. I know that they would outgrow this quickly, but I happen to have both of those on hand right now, and I've got no issues upgrading as they grow.

    I've still got a lot to learn, and I'm hopeful that this forum will continue to assist me as time goes by.

    I'm hoping in particular to find more information about the size/temperament/care of the snakes above, so I can try and narrow down a locality I'd like to seek out in particular. If there are other dwarf localities that anyone thinks would fit what I'm looking for, I'm open to suggestions.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: New Member Looking For Suggestions and Info

    I don't keep any of the dwarf boa species but I hope you find the perfect critter for you. Boas are really cool snakes to keep.
    2.2 Carpet Pythons, 1.1 Bullsnakes
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    1.0 BI, 0.1 BO,

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  4. #3
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    I have a Dumerils boa and previously kept a sand boa. Sand boas are kind of boring imo. No matter how pretty the morphs are, you will not see it because it spends most of the day burrowed in the substrate. So if you are looking for something that can be a display and easy to find in your tank, sand boas may not be for you.

    Dumerils boa also prefers to burrow in the substrate, but not in the same way a sand boa does. With 3-4 inches of substrate, you can still easily spot the boa, and they don't do so much burrowing but rather they like to hide in the substrate. Some keepers don't provide that and uses newspaper and such, which still works. Anyways, this was not what you asked for but just in case you see one, they are from Madagascar, about 5 feet for males and 6 feet for females, more or less. Known for their extremely docile temperament, a bit of a shy eater so they can be challenging to feed. I don't recommend them unless you had previously worked with difficult eaters but since you are looking at boas, I thought I should let you know this much.

    There is about 2 rubber boa breeders in the country that are still breeding this species. Unfortunately, I forgot their names because it was several months ago when I found them. Babies are usually born close to fall, there is a waiting list, and the cost for one is about $350+. Even so, there is never a guarantee there will be any available. I was lucky enough to find a wild caught specimen last year. It was so calm, easy to handle and scales as smooth as skin. However, you should know that rubber boas, in general, fasts for at minimum 6 months every year. Brumation is a must to get them breeding with temps that must be lowered down to the 50's or so, and the other steps needed to get them to brumate. Even if you are not breeding, many babies are born not wanting to eat and entering into Brumation immediately. In other words, you may end up with a boa that won't eat for you for about 4-6 months until you brumate it to trick it eat or wait it out, which is incredibly unnerving for a beginner with an expensive, rare baby snake. The breeders I mentioned tries to get food into them before they are sold, but it is not unusual to sell them as is because they are not going to hold on to them for 4 months for you. If you get an adult, most likely it is a male (Females are so rare to find) and it is wild caught, meaning it is most likely to carry parasites, stressed out, not eat for you for several months and you need to check if your state law allows you to keep them.

    The alternative to the rubber boa is the more popular rosy boas. They are 'cousins' of the rubber boa, with easier care, morphs, readily captive bred, docile, easier to feed and just overall a better suitable pet for beginners. I myself would love to add one of these in my collection someday.

    I also have been looking at Tahamaru (Probably mispelled). If I recall correctly, they are usually priced over $300 for a baby.

    Whatever you decide, if you put your heart into it, it will work out no matter what.
    Last edited by Cheesenugget; 04-24-2020 at 12:05 AM.

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran richardhind1972's Avatar
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    Re: New Member Looking For Suggestions and Info

    The Peruvian longtail boa or boa longicauda are great around 5.5ft sometimes to six ft not too girthy either,

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

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  8. #5
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Hi & welcome! I've not kept any dwarf boas, but I had a BCI for many years, & also raised many rosy boas for years (& still have one). If your heart is set on a dwarf boa,
    I don't think a rosy or rubber boa (or sand boa) will fill quite the same spot. From what I've heard about the dwarf boas, they can be more high strung than regular boas,
    but you can let a breeder know what you're looking for & in any event, (considering how feisty my BCI was when I first got her) I wouldn't let that stop you...most can be
    worked with & calmed down. My BCI changed many hands before she was turned over to me (for biting everyone), but she never bit me even once...she was just terrified
    & she learned she was safe with me. (On the other hand, she wasn't what I'd call a "beginner" snake.) If I didn't have more than enough snakes, I'd love to have a dwarf
    boa too; I seem to recall they're a bit pricey though, starting at or above your upper price range.

    And thanks Richard...I LOVE the longicaudas too.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-24-2020 at 01:50 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  10. #6
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: New Member Looking For Suggestions and Info

    Most dwarf boas will be above your price range. Plus, you will need to ultimately get a well insulated tank for heat and especially humidity requirements.

    Check out Vin Russo at Cutting Edge Herps to see prices as well as Tommy Carpenter at TC Reptiles. I bought Feliz, my dwarf Venezuelan BC from Tommy and had a great experience. He is happy to talk on the phone and I believe his number is on his website.

    Both guys are great breeders.

    You also want to be careful with what species and individual you get because temperaments seem to vary more in dwarf boas than columbian BI's.

    Let us know what we can do to help.

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  12. #7
    BPnet Veteran ckuhn003's Avatar
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    Re: New Member Looking For Suggestions and Info

    Also make sure you check out the series of videos that Brian's Boas has posted. He has some of the best locality boa videos that I've ever seen. Not only info on boas themselves, but thing like feeding, proper care, breeding, etc....

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRo...VAWbt7cggPR2tw
    1.0 Toffino - (Fred)

    1.0 Super Ghost BCI - (Phantom)

    1.0 Boxer - (Cooper)

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  14. #8
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    Thanks for all your advice guys!

    I'll raise my minimums then. I've found a few snakes around $200, and sometimes as low as $80 on herp websites I've been cruising around(LLL Reptile, Morph Market, XYZ, reptiles, Snakes at Sunset, etc. Not sure of the quality, but I've just been looking for general prices). However, knowing that most of you think that they're going to be more expensive, I'm okay raising my price range to fit. I'm not sure I trust a snake that is too far below the general price range. That being said, there are male nicaraguans, a few hogg islands and sonorans, and some other small locality boas on morph market listed in my price range, so I'm not sure it's totally out of the ball park.

    Dumerils, longicauda, and peruvians longtails I'll be sure to look into! I'm trying to compile as much information as I can on species.

    I do know about boas needing high humidity, and very large terrariums. I, personally, would just prefer to grow with my snake, even though I know that this may be the more expensive option in the long run. I have a few smaller tanks just sitting around, and I am a bit nervous about putting a teeny little baby(as if 18" is teeny) into a super massive terrarium.

    I'm no stranger to large cages; I've got a 7.5 ft. Guinea pig cage(which is in a different room from where I'm planning to keep a snake). I've heard talk of Boaphile and another called Animal Plastics or something for an adult cage, but that would be a little while away.

    I have looked into rosy boas, and considered them too. I don't mind a snake that I dont see very often; it's totally okay if I got a sand boa and it burrowed all the time. I'm a fan of promoting natural behaviours and enclosures as much as possible, and I think that the glances I would get would be plenty cool enough for me.

    As I've been cruising around this site for a while, I've seen mention of Vin and Tommy multiple times. I've seen their websites, but I hadn't thought about calling them. Thank you for that suggestion!

    I'm not too shabby with DIY things, and I'm prepared to modify any gallon terrariums to hold in my humidity. I was already going to fit them with personal locks, possibly even clamps, so making a custom lid wouldnt be too far out of the way.

    Does anyone have experience with Hogg Island/Crawl Cay boas? I've been seeing those around a bit more too, as well as motley and sharp boas... ? And I've seen a few blood and leopard boas too, which I dont know much about.
    Last edited by Mikknu; 04-24-2020 at 04:07 PM.

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  16. #9
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I know you specified a boa, but also that you're open to other kinds if that doesn't work out (price range, adult temperament, etc), and the others you mentioned stay
    quite a bit smaller than the 6' max size too, so let me just throw in another suggestion that makes a wonderful pet, stays a modest size (max about 4'), feeds easily on
    small mice for life, & generally has a great disposition...oh, & c/b hatchling price likely around $100. Interested? Look into an Australian spotted python. We've discussed
    these recently & in detail in another thread here, btw. I have one & some others do too. Mine is 12 years old att, & I've never had any trouble with feeding or her health,
    & she's always been great to handle too, even with strangers (for "show & tell"). She also likes to bask at night under her warming black light, & she's very alert to all
    activity around her cage...meaning she doesn't hide constantly, she makes a good "pet", IMO. From what I've read, my experience with this one is typical for the species.
    (very similar to Children's python, but slightly larger)

    Quick afterthought: if you are keeping a guinea pig in the next room, beware of the boa feeding response, LOL! Their scent will travel, also on your
    clothing & might get you bit.

    Bottom line though, what appeals most to you is what you'll work hardest to make it work. Many great kinds of snakes to keep, so little time, space & $...
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-24-2020 at 04:11 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  17. #10
    BPnet Veteran richardhind1972's Avatar
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    Re: New Member Looking For Suggestions and Info

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikknu View Post
    Thanks for all your advice guys!

    I'll raise my minimums then. I've found a few snakes around $200, and sometimes as low as $80 on herp websites I've been cruising around(LLL Reptile, Morph Market, XYZ, reptiles, Snakes at Sunset, etc. Not sure of the quality, but I've just been looking for general prices). However, knowing that most of you think that they're going to be more expensive, I'm okay raising my price range to fit. I'm not sure I trust a snake that is too far below the general price range. That being said, there are male nicaraguans, a few hogg islands and sonorans, and some other small locality boas on morph market listed in my price range, so I'm not sure it's totally out of the ball park.

    Dumerils, longicauda, and peruvians longtails I'll be sure to look into! I'm trying to compile as much information as I can on species.

    I do know about boas needing high humidity, and very large terrariums. I, personally, would just prefer to grow with my snake, even though I know that this may be the more expensive option in the long run. I have a few smaller tanks just sitting around, and I am a bit nervous about putting a teeny little baby(as if 18" is teeny) into a super massive terrarium.

    I'm no stranger to large cages; I've got a 7.5 ft. Guinea pig cage(which is in a different room from where I'm planning to keep a snake). I've heard talk of Boaphile and another called Animal Plastics or something for an adult cage, but that would be a little while away.

    I have looked into rosy boas, and considered them too. I don't mind a snake that I dont see very often; it's totally okay if I got a sand boa and it burrowed all the time. I'm a fan of promoting natural behaviours and enclosures as much as possible, and I think that the glances I would get would be plenty cool enough for me.

    As I've been cruising around this site for a while, I've seen mention of Vin and Tommy multiple times. I've seen their websites, but I hadn't thought about calling them. Thank you for that suggestion!

    I'm not too shabby with DIY things, and I'm prepared to modify any gallon terrariums to hold in my humidity. I was already going to fit them with personal locks, possibly even clamps, so making a custom lid wouldnt be too far out of the way.

    Does anyone have experience with Hogg Island/Crawl Cay boas? I've been seeing those around a bit more too, as well as motley and sharp boas... ? And I've seen a few blood and leopard boas too, which I dont know much about.
    I keep leopards, het bloods (hopefully produce some visual bloods this winter) and motley, albino kahl motley, sunglow motley, pastel motley, there's plenty more, dakski has a fantastic t+ motley
    I have a pair of longicauda and had Nicaraguan too, as well as a fair few imperata morphs and a nice Guyana true red tail. all are pretty different, and all have different personalities like any. Animals


    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by richardhind1972; 04-24-2020 at 05:10 PM.

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