Boa constrictor constrictor
The Trinidad Boa is known from Trinidad and Tobago off the Northeast coast of Venezuela. It is the only known island race of true red tail boa in captivity and possibly also the only one in the wild. These boa are not dwarf island boa. They grow to impressive size like their mainland counterparts. These boa are quite rare in captivity. Rob Tudehope is considered the source for these boa however Gus Rentfro also produced them. To my knowledge they were the only two herpers to establish and breed wild sourced Trinidad Boa in captivity although some may have had success pairing up F1 progeny from their efforts.
I recently spent some time searching the kingsnake.com boa forum archives, every single year of them for any and all information I could find on these boa. Any fan of locality boa should learn to search the various boa forum archives from 2000-2010. There was a peak in online conversation about locality boa, especially between 2000 and 2005. There are some very interesting conversations to be read. There was very little to be found about the Trinidad Boa though. One fellow contributed a lengthy post about his experience with these boa. At one time he could have gotten all the Trinidad Boa he wanted as he was involved in importing them but it was a pointless endeavor. The boa from the island were to his and possibly other keepers perceived as ugly. They were nowhere near as “attractive” as their mainland counterparts. Few herpers wanted to deal with a lesser appealing, large and in the case of imports quite ornery boa. However we are fortunate in that a couple dedicated herpers took on the challenge and met with success. Hopefully modern boa fans are aware of the tragic decline in habitat available to boa constrictors as well as other pressures on wild boa populations and also understand how important it is to preserve these and other unique boa as they appeared in their wild form. Hopefully some herpers are also wired to truly be able to appreciate unique boa from various locales for their inherent qualities that set them apart from other boa, even if the paint job isn’t quite as flashy. At it’s very core that is the essence of keeping locality boa. We should be motivated to produce more of those boa that most closely mimic their wild counterparts, not selectively breeding the naturally occuring appearance into oblivion to suit the “boa market”.
I have a trio produced by Rob Tudehope in 2012. These are very low quality photos taken days after their arrival here at TC Reptile. Once notable feature is the large eyes. Supposedly this is a trademark of this locality boa. I will update my website with better pics as these mature and become established here.
First up is my male: