Reptiles of the World: Emerald Tree Boa

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Corallus caninus

rw-101-EmeraldTreeBoaThe South American Emerald Tree Boa is one of the most beautiful of the boas. Its rich green dorsal color is relieved by white bands or cross marks, and the yellow ventral color extends onto the upper lip. This 4-foot-long snake is a true tree boa and will rest coiled in a series of half-loops that droop down on both sides of a branch.

All of its feeding occurs in trees, where it captures lizards and birds using the temperature-sensitive pits that lie between the scales of the upper and lower lip to help aim the strike.

The young, which are born al ive, are a reddish brown and look quite unlike the adults: they do not become green until they are a little over 2 feet in length.

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