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I Want A Dominican Mountain Boa!

Discussion in 'Boas *General*' started by annaj328, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. annaj328

    annaj328 Elite Member

    Hi, my husband and I went to the Baltimore repticon last weekend and saw some really cool snakes. We held a spotted python first and he attempted to bite us so we moved on. Same vendor also had a really pretty pair of mountain boas. He called them pastel. One was dark chocolate brown, the other was a lighter brown with a bolder pattern. They were both very active and friendly and climbed all over us.

    So Dominican mountain boas are at the top of my wish list right now and I was wondering if any keepers on here would like to share some pictures and experience with me and maybe point me in the direction of a good care sheet? They seem to be pretty hard to find and I haven't seen any for less than $300. Definitely something I will have to save up for.
  2. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    I have 10 of them, 5 red phase and 5 "other" colors, lol. Great pet snakes, never strike or bite, worst any of them ever does is musk. I'm pretty sure one of the two females bred this year is pregnant now, not sure about the other one yet, but seems likely. I got 2 pairs of yearlings last year, then ran across a posting on fauna classifieds for 3m/2f subadults. I figured those would get me into breeding sooner so I went for them. Got another red subadult male along with the group, he had a prolapsed hemipenis and had to be taken to the vet for surgery. He healed up fine with injections of antibiotics, and eventually started eating again. He bred this year.
    Here's a somewhat recent pic of the brown male:

    One of the 2 year old reds, reduced pattern/hypo:

    The red male, he was just too good to pass up, the seller was going to freeze him if we didn't take him. He has hundreds of other snakes and had no inclination to bother with this one:

    Another male, smallest of that group, he has a few red scales sprinkled among the rest:

    Brown female, older pic from last year:

    The other, largest (and pregnant) female is mostly different shades of gray, no brown or red colors. I don't have any pics of her.

    One of the normal red yearlings shortly after arrival last year:

    Here's a link to a page with pics and care info: Dominican Red Mountain Boa (Epicrates Striatus Striatus SSP)
  3. annaj328

    annaj328 Elite Member

    Wow thank you! They are awesome. I've always wanted an arboreal snake. But they all seemed to be nippy or have crazy specific requirements. The closest I got was a carpet python who I loved but she made me so nervous I rarely held her.

    For some reason I'm drawn to the brown ones, that female is gorgeous! I love the bold pattern. Now I just gotta hold out till we have a house with enough space for an arboreal cage
  4. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    They're not arboreal like GTP's or tree boas, they're semi-arboreal like carpet pythons and rat snakes. The do like to climb a bit, and if they get out they will go up, lol. If one gets out they're more likely to be found overhead than on the floor IME. All my snakes are kept in the basement, and when one of the Dominicans has gotten loose they like to travel along the water pipes and ducting overhead. A 75 gallon tank or a 4x2x2 enclosure suits them very well. Heat mat on the bottom is all that's necessary, though I do have RHP's in a couple of their setups for the night drop in temp for breeding.
    The males are a bit smaller at full adult size, usually 6-7', while the females are likely to grow 18-24" larger and heavier through the body. Even the 2 year olds are easy to tell apart since the females are thicker.
    I know what you mean about the house and space. I've kept fish and a couple aquariums all my life, but when I got my own house I was able to expand to over a dozen tanks. Now I'm back down to 3 tanks of fish and using the rest for snakes, as well as adding more setups. Need to sell a couple 0f 90 gallon setups to make way for stacking 4x2x2 cages.
    annaj328 likes this.
  5. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    First litter arrived Monday, 18 little ones. Some have white bellies, will look something like the female above. She's due to drop her litter any day now. I don't have any pics of the new mother, she's different shades of grey, no red or brown colors at all. Amazing to see the bright red babies she produced. The dark one to the right/front of the pic hasn't shed yet. So far 12 have, 6 have not.



    Fair size for a newborn, though nothing like a red tail boa, lol:
    annaj328 likes this.
  6. annaj328

    annaj328 Elite Member

    Wow they are beautiful! Just out of curiosity (since I am not in a place to get more snakes right now) are you selling them? And if so, for how much? Just for future reference of course...
  7. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    The babies will be 2 weeks old tomorrow, and I'll try feeding them then. I figure a month or so before they'll be well established and ready for sale, $250 each. There is one that has a slight kink partway down the back, that is the "friendliest" one of the litter, always quite willing to come right out of the tub and doesn't shy away from handling. It will likely be kept, or possibly sold for less as a "pet only" (provided it's healthy otherwise) since kinked spines aren't suitable breeders as adults. One of them died before shedding the first time, likely the one that got mashed against the shelf by the mother.
    Here's a pic of the mother on top of the 10 gallon tank holding the babies inside the larger enclosure, the other still-pregnant female is behind her:

    After they had all shed the first time they were moved into individual 6 qt tubs in a rack.

  8. annaj328

    annaj328 Elite Member

    Wow, I am amazed how variable they are! Thank you for sharing!
  9. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Similar to the Amazon tree boas, those also have a wide variety of colors and combinations, but the Dominicans have a much better disposition. Like the thayeri king snakes there will be a mix of different colors from the same litter. I've also seen several different species of Haitian boas that look very close to the Dominicans, but I heard from someone who breeds those as well that they aren't as mellow as the Dominicans either.
    Several years ago, when I was researching snakes before getting back into them, the few descriptions of the Dominicans and their mellow nature were what resolved the decision for the first pair. Plenty of other, beautiful snakes more readily available, and in most cases less expensive, but when the first pair of yearlings arrived I was completely sold on them, lol. I wanted to get into breeding, but the animals I work with have to be the ones I love myself. Never did care for the ball pythons, and the red tails are great pets but simply too common in the hobby.
  10. Arapaiman09

    Arapaiman09 New Member

    Hey Todd! I have been trying to find a pair for a couple months now with no luck. I feel the same way about Balls and Red Tails saturating the hobby. I am brand new to this forum but I would like to order a pair from you if possible. Thanks!
  11. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    At the moment the babies are 2 weeks old, and ready to be offered their first meals. I don't have any pinkies on hand, but do have 3-4 pregnant female mice that will drop litters any day now, so I'll start offering them live pinks this week as they're born. It will be at least several weeks before they'll be established and feeding regularly, and the one care sheet I've seen for them recommends waiting until they're at least 6 months old before probing to determine sex.
    I figure this litter will be ready to move along sometime next month, weather permitting, but I won't be able to guarantee the sex of individual animals. Adult females do have wider heads than males, so I may be able to sort some visually based on that, haven't really looked closely enough at them yet to see.
  12. Arapaiman09

    Arapaiman09 New Member

    Could you by chance send me a pm?
  13. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

  14. Arapaiman09

    Arapaiman09 New Member

    Thanks. I just sent you an email
  15. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Second litter was born sometime Wednesday, late afternoon or evening, while I was at work. Becky found them and moved them into the 10 gallon tank. There were 15 babies, 2 were dead, apparently mashed by the mother. She gave birth inside a pvc hide that was barely large enough to contain her, and most of them had moved out on their own before Becky saw them.
    I haven't handled or even looked too closely at the new ones yet, but I did notice 4-5 of them in the 10 gallon tank in defensive positions and striking when I got close with flashlight to look at them. There was only 1 in the first litter that was defensive/bitey, and I believe it was the same one that was mashed by the mother when I was moving them out and died a couple days later. I'm hoping the defensive ones in this group aren't injured and will calm down shortly.

    The one web page I found with care/breeding info states that the babies are 12" at birth. One random baby from the first litter was stretched out on top of a 75 gallon tank the other day, and reached exactly front to back, which is 18". So far only 2 of the first litter have eaten live pinky mice, the other 15 ignored them. I'll offer unscented live pinks again tomorow night, then try scenting the pinks with quail to see if that helps get them started.
  16. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Better pic of the dark red male:

    Here are some more pics of a couple random babies. First two were from late last year:


    This one is from earlier this year:

    The 2016 babies will be yearlings soon. All but 3 are taking unscented f/t rat pinks, will be on fuzzy rats after I order more frozen feeders this week. Price for them is $150/each + shipping.

    Here's a couple pics of the Candoia:

  17. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    The 2016 clutches of Dominicans are almost yearlings now, and have grown a bit longer. Two of the three still eating anoles are smaller than the majority that switched to rat pinks months ago, they only weighed 60+ grams, while the 3rd anole eater and all but the presumed runt that was slow to start eating regularly weighed in between 80-100+ grams. Five of the remaining 24 are showing orange chins, and will definitely be red adults. Remains to be seen how the rest will turn out in colors as they grow.
    Here are some pics of various random young ones, taken yesterday.
    Dobby in a shoebox tub from the rack:

    Quincy is even showing some red on top of the head, with a bright orange chin:

    Pole is quite dark with a white belly, will be interesting to see how the colors develop:

    Yoshie is an anole-eating holdout, not as bulky as most of the others:

    Xander shows the reduced pattern trait, and mother wasn't the grey pastel:

    Ulysses was the first to take a rat pink right from my hand, and always willing to come right out of the tub, even if it means being handled:

    Spencer in a small tub for weighing, showing the iridescence even under fluorescent lights in the basement. Looks much better out in the sunshine:

    Zackious is another darker colored individual:

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