Rainbow boa

  (Redirected from Boa cenchria)

Epicrates cenchria is a boa species endemic to Central and South America. Common names include the rainbow boa,[2] and slender boa. A terrestrial species, it is known for its attractive iridescent/holographic sheen caused by structural coloration. Nine subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.[2]

Rainbow boa
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae
Genus: Epicrates
E. cenchria
Binomial name
Epicrates cenchria
  • Boa cenchria
    Linnaeus, 1754
  • [Boa] Cenchria
    Linnaeus, 1758
  • Coluber tamachia
    Scopoli, 1788
  • Boa Cenchris
    Gmelin, 1788
  • Boa aboma
    Daudin, 1803
  • Boa ternatea
    Daudin, 1803
  • Boa annulifer
    Daudin, 1803
  • [Epicrates] cenchria
    Wagler, 1830
  • Cliftia fusca
    Gray, 1849
  • Epicarsius cupreus
    J.G. Fischer, 1856
  • Epicarsius cupreus
    — Brown, 1893
  • Epicrates cenchris
    Boulenger, 1893
  • Epicrates cenchria
    Griffin, 1916
  • Epicrates cenchria var. fusca
    — Griffin, 1916
  • Epicrates cenchria cenchria
    Amaral, 1930
  • Epicrates cenchria cenchria
    Stull, 1938

Distribution and habitatEdit

E. cenchria is found in lower Central America (Costa Rica and Panama), and farther south into South America it occurs east of the Andes roughly reaching northern Argentina (in the provinces: Chaco, Córdoba, Corrientes, Formosa, Salta, Santiago del Estero and Tucumán).


Despite requiring very specific humidity and heat, this species is commonly found in the pet trade. During the 1980s and early 1990s, substantial numbers were exported from Suriname. Today, however, far fewer are exported, and most offered for sale are captive bred.[3] Due to their need for high humidity in a captive environment, they should be considered of intermediate difficulty for snake owners, but as long as that is provided they can thrive in captivity. Younger specimens will often bite because of natural defensive instincts, but tend to calm down as they become used to handling.


Subspecies[2] Taxon author[2] Common name Geographic range
E. c. barbouri Stull, 1938 Marajo Island rainbow boa
E. c. cenchria (Linnaeus, 1758) Brazilian rainbow boa The Brazilian rainbow boa occurs in the Amazon Basin, and in coastal Guiana, French Guyana, Suriname and southern Venezuela.
E. c. gaigeae Stull, 1938 Peruvian rainbow boa
E. c. hygrophilus Amaral, 1935 Espirito Santo rainbow boa
E. c. polylepis Amaral, 1935 Central highland rainbow boa


The subspecific name, barbouri, is in honor of American herpetologist Thomas Barbour.[4]

The subspecific name, gaigeae, is in honor of American herpetologist Helen Beulah Thompson Gaige.[4]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T (1999). Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b c d "Epicrates cenchria ". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  3. ^ Brazilian Rainbow Boa at Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Accessed 12 November 2008.
  4. ^ a b Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Epicrates cenchria alvarezi, p. 6;
    E. c. barbouri, p.16; E. c. gaigeae, p. 96).

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Boulenger GA (1893). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... Boidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. (Epicrates cenchris, pp. 94-96).
  • Freiberg M (1982). Snakes of South America. Hong Kong: T.F.H. Publications. 189 pp. (Epicrates cenchria, pp. 87-88, 125-127 + photographs on pp. 18-19, 22-23, 45).
  • Linnaeus C (1758). Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, dierentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio Decima, Reformata. Stockholm: L. Salvius. 824 pp. (Boa cenchria, new species, p. 215). (in Latin).