Boa constrictor suspended from a tree

Boa constrictor

Boa constrictors have neither fangs nor venom, but are very effective killers. They're often thought of as one of the world's largest snakes, but they're actually comparatively modest in size, reaching 2-3 metres long when fully grown. Suspended from branches in the Central and South American forests, they ambush unsuspecting animals as they pass by. Coiling around their prey, they literally squeeze the life out, before swallowing the body whole. To digest this meal fully can take up to six days. Boa constrictors give birth to live young that are fully developed and ready to go within minutes.

Scientific name: Boa constrictor

Rank: Species

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


The Boa constrictor can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Boa constrictor distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web