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Epicrates cenchria (gaigeae)
A small, brightly coloured boa. This one about 1.2m (4') in length. Named after the rainbow sheen over its body as it catches the light. The dorsal surface is a rich red/brown with black hoops infilled with a slightly paler orange. The lateral sides are pale with black ocelli or 'eyes' running down the entire length of the body. The vental surface is very pale.
Found in rain forest at Manu in Eastern Peru. Although the juveniles of this species are ready climbers and adults will climb, the older snakes generally prefer the ground.
The rainbow sheen on these snakes is caused by the prismatic effect of tiny scale ridges that give the animal an almost shimmering appearance. I have had some difficulty identifying the sub species here but from where I found it I am guessing it is ssp E.c. gaigeae or Peruvian Rainbow Boa. It is very similar to the nominate E. cenchria or Brazilian Rainbow Boa. In fact is some txts the ssp have been rejoined, so am a little confused. If anyone knows more, please let me know. Thank you.