Image Credit : Michaela Jepps
Dumerils Boas typically have a docile temperament and make excellent pets. They have a beautiful creamy pastel colors with dark splotches. Distinctive features of Dumeril’s boas are their chin patches, and that they can be visually sexed with accuracy. Dumeril’s boa is listed as CITES Apprendix I; for more info on the rules click here.
- Scientific name : Acrantophis dumerili
- Distribution : Madagascar and Reunion Island
- Average Size : 2.00 m (6.5 ft)
- Life Span : 15 years or more
- Difficulty : Intermediate
A 1.4 meters long by 0.6 meters wide(4 x 2 feet) enclosure is more than adequate for the average size adult Acrantophis dumerili. Neonates can be kept in 0.8 x 0.3 x 0.3 meters (30 x 13 x 13 inches) glass tanks. I find that like most snakes Acrantophis dumerili don’t appreciate the finer points of cage decorating. Decorative plants and vines invariably end up getting trampled over and trashed but you can use heavy but steady logs in order to create a naturalistic approach in the enclosure. This species is known to be *potentially* cannibalistic, therefore DO NOT house it with other snakes except for breeding purposes.
It’s recommended to provide a snug dark hide on both sides of the terrarium.
Acrantophis dumerili do well on a variety of substrates. A good option of substrate would be cypress mulch. Dumeril’s are able to drink large amounts of water at a time therefore they also tend to urinate more than other species so an frequent cleaning is required. The substrate should be thick enough in order for the snake to be able to burrow in it.
Lighting – Heating
It is recommended to keep a full spectrum light pattern that mimics normal daytime (12h cycle).
Acrantophis dumerili prefer lower temps than the average red-tailed boa. Their enclosures should have a hot side with temps around 29-31 C (85-88 F) and a cool side of 24-27 C (75-80 F). In my experience Dumeril’s will spend the majority of their time on the cool end of their enclosures and periodically bask on the warm end especially at night as they are a nocturnal species. Heat can be provided using heat lamps, pads, tape, or radiant heat panels (my personal preference).
Offer a water bowl that is large enough for them to soak in. A weekly water bowl change is necessary regardless of whether it appears clean or not.
Humidity should be kept in the mid-range at around 50%. Misting the enclosure may be necessary especially during the winter months when ambient household humidity usually drops.
All snakes are carnivores. Acrantophis dumerili should be fed a diet consisting of appropriately sized rodents. I highly recommend feeding frozen/thawed rodents or pre-killed prey items. While neonates can be fed fuzzy mice I recommend switching them to rats as soon as possible to avoid problems converting them to rats further down the road. These animals are ambush predators and may be shy eaters. Stubborn feeders may need to be fed in a small dark enclosure and sometimes a frozen/thawed rodent may have to be left in their enclosure with them over night. Young snakes should be fed every 7-10 days and larger juveniles and adults should be fed about every 14-20 days as they seem to be fairly lazy animals with a slower metabolism and a tendency to become overweight.
For the most part, this is a moderately heavy-bodied species. When you handle them, they need to be properly supported. Support as much weight as possible if not all with one arm having a free hand is very useful. The first 48 hours after a feeding your snake should be left alone to digest its meal.
Spot clean whenever appropriate. We also do a weekly cleaning which consists of changing substrate, cleaning the water bowl and bathing the animal if necessary. Once a month we do a sanitation clean using Chlorhexidine solution (veterinary disinfectant) or 1 to 4 bleach solution (1 part bleach to 4 parts water).
When in shed Acrantophis dumerili benefit from a slight increase in humidity and may even make use of a humid hide created by placing moist sphagnum moss inside of a hide.
Potential Health Problems
If they are provided an appropriate temperature range, they are very healthy animals. Respiratory infections (RI) are known to occur when the animals don’t have supportive temperatures. A lot of Dums can be fairly active; cages should be free of any sharp objects or excessively rough surfaces. Minor scrapes and cuts to the face seem somewhat common.
The information contained in this care sheet reflect the opinions and methods of the mentioned breeder, based on their expertise and long-established experience.