The Ideal Habitat for Red Tail Boas

Author: Dustin Williams | Co-Author: Moses Mwangi | Reviewed by: Nancy George | October 11, 2023
boa constrictors, boas, pet snakes, red tail boa
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red tail boa

The red tail boa, also known as the boa constrictor imperator, is a popular pet snake. This snake is pretty large and can grow to be about eight to 10 feet tall and weigh 50 pounds. They are also native to Brazil, where they spend most of their time in the lowlands and the rainforests.

Therefore, when you create a red tail boa habitat, you must consider their size. You should also ensure that the enclosure you provide your red boas mimics their natural habitat. Read on to learn how to provide the best red tail boa care, including their ideal habitat.

What is the ideal habitat for red tail boas?

An ideal habitat for a red tail boa should be one where your pet is happy and has everything they need to be healthy. In addition, the habitat should mimic a red tail boa’s natural environment in the wild. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the following:

  • Enclosure size
  • Enclosure’s temperature and humidity
  • Accessories for the red tail boa
  • Type of substrate you use in the habitat

What size of tank/enclosure does a red tail boa need?

As stated above, the red tail boa can be pretty large. They can grow up to three to four feet tall in their first year. Therefore, during their first year, you need to provide a 10 to 20-gallon aquarium. However, you must provide a larger habitat once your pet grows older and larger.

Our research has found that the red tail boa enclosure size should be at least the length of your pet snake or longer. This will ensure your pet has enough room to stretch out fully. For instance, if your snake is six feet tall, ensure that the enclosure you provide is also six feet long, two feet wide and two feet high.

In addition, our research has found that red tail boas are semi-arboreal, meaning they love to climb trees. Thus, ensure their habitat has the height necessary for vertical climbing.

What is a good temperature for a red tail boa?

A red tail boa enclosure needs to have temperatures that mimic that of the snake’s natural environment. As stated above, red tailed boas come from Brazil, so they are used to heat and humidity.

These snakes prefer an environment where the temperature is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the red tail boas prefer a habitat with 60% to 80% humidity. You can use a mister, humidifier or a hygrometer to maintain this humidity level.

Do red tail boas need a heat lamp?

Our research has found that red tail boas are an ectothermic reptile. That means they depend on their environmental temperature to maintain their body temperature. Therefore, to help them regulate this body temperature, you need to provide a heat lamp.

heat lamp or any other heating device will provide your pet with the necessary temperatures, especially in their basking spot. Note the basking temperature should be about 95 degrees Fahrenheit, while the cool area should be around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

red tail boa

What do red-tail boas eat?

A young, red tail boa prefers to eat small mice. On the other hand, an adult red tail boa will eat small rabbits or rats. These snakes can either take live or frozen prey, but the live prey can pose a risk to your snake. They can either scratch or bite your pet before being killed, which can cause injury to your snake pet.

What is the best cage for a red tail boa?

Apart from the size of a cage, the material used to make the enclosure also matters. We’ve learned from experience that the best red tail boa cage can be made from either glass or PVC.


PVC is incredibly popular for its ability to hold humidity and heat effectively. It’s also very durable and the most popular housing for the red tail boa.


Glass is the best material for dissipating heat. This heat dissipation feature makes it perfect for creating a temperature gradient atmosphere much easier. In addition, glass encourages a natural drying cycle in the habitat, which discourages mold growth in a humid-filled environment. Another incredible thing about glass is that it will provide your snake with excellent ventilation.

What do you put in a red tail boa enclosure?

In a red tail boa habitat, you need to provide several things, including the following:

  • Hiding area. A large hiding area will help to reduce the stress levels of your pet, thus allowing them to thermoregulate. The space should be large enough for your red tail boa to fit in. You should also provide one hide box on the hot side and another one on the cold side.
  • Shelves and branches. Provide climbing shelves or branches that can hold the weight of the heavier snakes. Note that the red tail boas love to climb, so ensure you provide them with climbing areas.
  • Plants to complement the aesthetics of the red tail boa enclosure.
  • Log resin or rocks with a rough surface, where the snakes can rub and shed their skin.

What is the best substrate for a red tail boa?

A full-grown red tail boa produces a lot of waste. Therefore, you must provide a natural substrate that is easy to clean. This natural floor covering or substrate can either be a reptile dirt mixture or a reptile bark. For the younger snakes, you can provide them with paper towels as bedding materials.

Keep in mind that sand can be harmful to your snake. If the snake ingests sand, it could lead to serious health complications. Thus, avoid using sand as a bedding material.

Do red tail boas like water?

Yes, the red tail boas love fresh and clean water. Therefore, ensure you have a water bowl with clean water available at all times. The water bowl should be large enough that your snake can soak in. A good water bowl will also help create a humid environment for your snake. We’ve learned from experience that a humid atmosphere plays an essential role in the shedding of your snake’s skin.


The best habitat for a red tail boa is one that mimics the snake’s natural environment in the wild. Generally, it should be warm and humid. The habitat should also have enough room such that your snake can stretch out fully.

red tail boa habitat

Silvia from Pixabay

About the Author

red tail boa

Dustin Williams

Dustin Williams is a seasoned author who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the world of pet literature. His expertise stems from a lifelong immersion in the fascinating world of animal companionship and care. As a third-generation aquarist, Mr. Williams boasts a deep understanding of aquatic life. His passion began in childhood and [...] Author Details

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