Dumeril’s Boa (Acrantophis dumerili)
Published: July 31, 2016
Last Updated: June 12, 2023
Dumeril’s boas (not to be confused with the Madagascar ground boa) are ground-dwelling, ovoviviparous snakes native to the spiny thickets/forests in the southwestern region of Madagascar, a large island off the southeast coast of Africa. This part of Madagascar is quite dry, unlike the rainforest people usually associate with the island.
Dumeril’s boas are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. They are also constrictors, using powerful muscles to squeeze their prey until it passes out (a relatively quick process — within seconds, according to this study).
Dumeril’s boas demonstrate a lot of variation in adult size, ranging anywhere from 4’-8’ long. They generally average around the 6′ mark, but some females have been reported as large as 10’. Dumeril’s boas also grow and mature slowly — taking about 5 years to reach full adulthood — but live between 15 to 20 years in captivity, with some living even longer.
Acrantophis dumerili is a CITES Appendix I species, and their status in the wild is categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to deforestation by the charcoal industry and human violence. That being said, Dumeril’s boas readily breed in captivity and are relatively easy to find available from breeders.