Emerald Tree Boa

(Corallus caninus)


Emerald tree boas are non-venomous, arboreal snakes. They use their prehensile tail to hold onto tree branches. Their head rests atop their coiled body during the day; at night, they hunt for birds but may also eat small reptiles and mammals. Adult emerald tree boas are a bright green color with paler yellow or white bellies, and some have striking white marks along their backs. As juveniles, these snakes are yellow, orange or red.

A Note From the Caretaker

Because the emerald tree boa is nocturnal, most Aquarium guests see it coiled quietly on a branch. At night, though, the snake wakes up and moves along the branches and vines in its habitat.

Quick Facts

Learn more about the emerald tree boa! Did you know that these snakes are ovoviviparous, meaning that the mothers give live birth to babies that hatch from eggs inside her body? Their coloring at birth is red, orange or yellow, which changes to bright green within their first year. Juvenile emerald tree boas are completely independent from the moment they’re born.

These snakes are found in northern Brazil, eastern Peru, southern Colombia, southern Venezuela, French Guiana, eastern Ecuador, Suriname, Guyana and the extreme north of Bolivia.

Emerald tree boas are carnivores that feed mainly on birds.

They can reach over 6 feet in length.

This species is not considered threatened according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Raptors are the only animals known to prey upon adult emerald tree boas.

Meet the Expert Ken Howell

As the curator of the Upland Tropical Rain Forest, Amazon River Forest and Australia: Wild Extremes exhibits, Ken starts his day early, walking through each exhibit.

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