Nonnatives - Common Boa

Common Boa - Boa constrictor


Florida's Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1990

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 1 county  At least 10 years, 1 county  Not reported breeding

Statewide trend: Unknown status

Common Boa
Photograph by Dr. Todd S. Campbell © 2003

Threats to natives: This large, powerful constrictor feeds on lizards, birds, and mammals both on the ground and in trees. Established populations could potentially impact local populations of some vertebrate species.

Species Account: Boas are extremely common in the pet trade, and individuals sometimes escape or are released by owners. Large numbers of exotic reptiles may escape when facilities of reptile dealers are damaged by hurricanes, such as Hurricane Andrew in 1994. A "reptile fancier" supposedly released juvenile boas along the Loop Road (State Road 94) in an attempt to establish this species in the Everglades (King and Krakauer 1966). The common boa is native to Central and South America, where they occasionally reach a length of 4 m (13 ft) but are more typically around 2.5 m (8 ft) long. The back is usually yellowish, grayish, or light brown with dark brown saddles, and the tail saddles are often reddish colored. These powerful constrictors are typically active at night or during the twilight hours, and they climb moderately well. They give birth to 15 to 40 live young.

Habitats: Rockland Hammock

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status Notes


Not reported breeding Big Cypress National Preserve (P.E. Moler, FFWCC, Gainesville, personal communication)
DADE 1970s


At least 10 years An established population was first reported by Dalrymple (1994) and then by Butterfield et al. (1997) at the Charles Deering Estate at Cutler, southern Dade County. Boas have been found here an in the vicinity since the 1970s (T. Hardwick, Pesky Critters, Miami, personal communication). Over 50 boas, including gravid females and neonates, have been removed from the Deering Estate since 1996 (A. Warren-Bradley, Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department, personal communication).


Dalrymple, G. H. 1994. Non-indigenous amphibians and reptiles. Pages 67-71, 73-78 in D. C. Schmitz and T. C. Brown, project directors. An assessment of invasive non-indigenous species in Florida's public lands. Florida Department of Environmental Protection Technical Report No. TSS-94-100, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

King, F. W., and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 29:144-154.

Links to more information


Bowling Green State University Info

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