Boa constrictor imperator
All boa in Venezuela are considered boa constrictor constrictor according to legitimate science but these boa clearly have little in common with their counterparts to the East and South also in Venezuela. They do share some traits with the true red tail boa but also have much if not more in common with boa constrictor imperator to the North and on the opposite side of the Andes.
Sticking out into the water off the Northwest coast of Venezuela is the Paraguana Peninsula. The boa that live there must be one of the rarest captive boa localities in the world. I have even read that these boa may someday be candidates for subspecies recognition.
There are competing theories about this boa’s place in taxonomy. Some think these are a truly unique race of boa constrictor that evolved from common ancestors that migrated to the peninsula many years ago and became isolated, evolving to survive in the somewhat harsh (for a tropical snake) climate there as a unique subspecies. I have read that at one time the peninsula was an island. This part of extreme Northwest Venezuela including the Paraguana Peninsula is quite dry habitat for boa constrictors. The niche these boa occupy in nature is described as a “thorny scrub” environment. I can see how this theory of their evolution in nature has gained serious consideration and supposedly DNA analysis of these boa is being done to possibly elevate them to subspecies status. Others think these boa are simply imperator boa that migrated across the Andes due to their lower elevation in this part of South America and bred with the constrictor subspecies producing a type of naturall occuring intergrade boa.
I have made some connections with serious devotees of the boa constrictor in Venezuela whom also find these particular boa intriguing. They keep and breed these boa in captivity as well. How nice it must be to live in a country so rich with various types of wild boa constrictors. My friends there inform me that the locals call these boa “saruro”. I have also seen pictures shared with me by people living in Venzeula of boa that look practically identical to the Paraguana Boa that came from not only the Northwestern mainland area Venezuela but also across the bay in coastal mainland Colombia!
These are very alert boa but not nasty. They have never struck at me but they are eyeballing every movement. Their instinct to feed and their response to prey is very strong. They are tough, hardy, small and very diverse in appearance. The somewhat blocky dorsal saddles are quite variable and tend toward having many holes and other odd shapes within them on some examples while others are quite the opposite. I am convinced these boa are quite intelligent compared to some of the other boa races. These are pure Rio Bravo Reptiles bloodline boa purchased directly from Gus Rentfro.
Copulation and gravid female:
Some neonate photos of my now adult breeders.
Some offspring produced here in 2014. Some of them are seemingly anerythristic. This is supposedly common in the population of wild boa on the Paraguana Peninsula.