Rosy Boa Care

Scientific name: Lichanura trivirgata sp.

Natural habitat: southwestern United States and northern Mexico

Adult size: 2'-4'

Life span: 15+ years

Reptile keeping experience: beginner

Below are the basics for keeping rosy boas.

Cage: Young rosy boas can be housed in 10 gallon aquariums or similarly sized specialty reptile cages. Adults should be kept in cages with a footprint of at least 30" x 18".  They are terrestrial so a larger floor area is preferred over climbing height.  A secured screen lid should be used on top of the cage.

Accessories: A hide box/shelter should be provided to allow the snake a place to rest.  Rosy boas do not need climbing branches, but rocks or logs can be provided.  A water bowl large should be provided but the water bowl does not need to remain in the cage (if it elevates the humidity). However, be sure rosy boas have access to clean water at least once or twice each week. A thermometer and humidity gauge should be used to monitor cage conditions.

Humidity: Rosy boas are desert reptiles so no additional humidity is required. Be sure humidity is under 60%.

Substrate: Many choices are available and the most common include aspen, fir bark, and cage carpet.  Rosy boas do appreciate substrate deep enough for burrowing.

Lighting/Heating: The main source of heat should be an under tank heater or some form of belly heat.  Snakes are more comfortable absorbing heat from the ground rather than from above.  Place the under tank heater on one end of the tank and keep any lights on the same end of the enclosure as this allows the snake to thermoregulate.  It is important to create a hot side and cool side in the tank so do not place heating and lighting in the center of the enclosure.  Rosy boas do not require UVB lighting.  A daylight bulb is important to provide a proper photoperiod.  Be sure the daytime bulb is off at night so you do not disrupt the day/night cycle.

Temperature: Provide a range of temperatures in the enclosure with a hot spot of 86-90°F.  This can be accomplished with an under tank heater, an incandescent basking light (or heat emitter) or a combination of both (as described above).  The cool end of the enclosure should be 75°F.  Daytime temperatures can range between 75-82°F and nighttime temperature can drop to 68°F.

Diet/Feeding: Rosy boas can be fed appropriately sized mice and rats their entire lives.  Be sure to feed prey that is no larger than the widest part of the snake. There should never be a bulge after the snake eats.  Babies and juveniles should be fed every 7-10 days. Adults can be fed every 10-14 days.

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