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Rainbow Boa (Peruvian)

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.

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triggsturner 2 years ago

Hi Neil, thanks for the comment. I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Rob

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 2 years ago

Wow, awesome spotting and beautiful boa. Nice one, Rob.

triggsturner 2 years ago

Thank you go the nomination Ashley. Also thank you for your comment Christine, the effect is amazing.

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 2 years ago

Wow, the prismatic effect is really cool :)

AshleyT 2 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Spotted by

Fitzcarrald, Madre de Dios, Peru

Spotted on Jun 26, 2017
Submitted on Aug 26, 2017

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