Madagascar Tree Boa

The Madagascar Tree Boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis) is a non-venomous, colubrid, arboreal reptile in the boa species of snakes. It is a boid (pronounced bow-id). It is also known as the Malagasy Tree Boa.

The Madagascar Tree Boa is greenish, such as olive-green or bright green, depending upon the colour of the rain forest leaves and trees. In dry areas, it can be orange-brown. It has patterned scales of dark markings with whitish inner markings. It has dark eyes. 

Madagascar Tree Boa

It grows to about 122-152 centimetres (48-60 inches) long. The female is longer than the male.

It is native to the eastern side of the island of Madagascar. It prefers trees and shrubs near water, such as streams, rivers, ponds, and swamps in tropical forests.

It is arboreal, living in trees. 

The Madagascar Tree Boa is nocturnal, active during the night. It feeds on birds, and mammals, such as rats and mice. It uses thermoreceptive (heat-sensitive) labial pits, around its mouth, to help it locate its prey. It hunts for food mainly in trees, but it will also hunt for small mammals on the ground. 

The Madagascar Tree Boa is ovoviviparous, which means that the female gives birth to live young which have hatched from eggs inside the female before they are born live. The female is pregnant for 120-180 days, before giving birth to about 10-20 young, called snakelets. The snakelets are independent from birth. 

It lives, on average, for 20 years. 

Madagascar Tree Boa
Madagascar Tree Boa

[Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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