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Boa constrictor amarali
Boa constrictor constrictor
Boa constrictor imperator
Boa constrictor longicauda
Boa constrictor ortonii
Boa constrictor occidentalis

Island forms
Boa constrictor nebulosa
Boa constrictor orophias
Boa constrictor sabogae

Controversial subspecies
Boa constrictor melanogaster
Boa constrictor sigma

Color forms

Boa constrictor imperator

With respect to size of Boa constrictors range and variety of living localities (from deserts to mountain rain forests) it is not easy to define classic representative of species or subspecies. Subspecies imperator was defined by Daudin in year 1803, 45 years after describing of nominate species Boa constrictor constrictor.

Imperators from higher localities (above sea-level) are usually darker a smaller than exemplar from lowlands. When we would like to speak about specific locality Boa constrictor, it is good to keep a breeding group without influence of any other locality representatives and for bloodline refreshing use only other representative (e.g. bought from other breeder). When we mix various representatives, after a few litters we will have a Boa domestic, neonates will be carrying all pattern characters from all groups as they came in mating in the past.
To define a classic representative of imperator using snaps on internet is not suitable. For example in Mexico you can find a Boa constrictor imperator 100% looking the same way like a snake from Cancún, but caught somewhere else, hundreds kilometers from Cancún district…

On the other side, imperator themselves usually keep some characters for this group significant. E.g. head cross. This mark can be found by more Boa constrictor subspecies and it is also not proper to say that everything with cross on the head must be an imperator (massive head cross has e.g. subspecies longicauda). The same with circle backs saddles.

Subspecies imperator creates natural mix of all pattern characteristic for other subspecies, they naturally cross their genetics and Boa constrictor imperator stands in grounds of many color mutations, what is the second way of species Boa in captive breed. More information in section “Color forms”.

For defining a locality imperator is necessary to know exactly original range and locality of former wild caught animals. By many breeders you can buy so called “imperator” created from crossing and mixing, because not much of breeder can open say “I have a Boa domestic”, easier is to say “it is a common imperator from somewhere from someone”. In Czech Republic and I am not so naive to think that in other countries is the situation other, is unfortunately also normal to make own subspecies by crossing e.g. Sonoran imperator with Cancún imperator with explanation, that in the nature can the parents meet on province borders, so we only help the lucky chance to happen.

Boa constrictor imperators from Mexico representative all phenotypic form you can imagine. In desert of Sonora live imperators almost black and white, dwarfish form from Tarahumara mountains is usually grey, going to the south we get more pastel colors (Cancúns are bronze and red-brown), dark brown with more black color can be found in Chiapas.
Independent from coloration, Boa constrictor imperators usually have more saddles than e.g. Boa constrictor constrictors. We can find here giants from size from southern Mexico, Island form are usually smaller. Knowledge about the original locality is important also for breeding conditions. Even dwarfs from Tarahumara (adults about 1 meter in body) living in higher altitude need other humidity and degrees of Celsius than Cancún semi arboreal bigger form. To simulate similar living condition in original locality is essential for successful mating and gravidity.

Small rare form of Boa constrictor imperator lives in district of Belize. These animals are approx. 1,8m long as adults. Very interesting are forms living on islands near Belize City. Local speak calls these islands “Cay” – from that names Cay Caulker or Crawl Cay, which are really very rare and number of breeders, who successfully breed these form is really small. What a pity when you see an advertisement with text “parents Cay Caulker and Sonora, neonates will not have more than 1,5m, ideal for smaller caging”.
This is destruction of very rare genetic line!!! Exemplar from Cay Caulker are practically natural anerythistic, by exemplars from Crawl Cay you can found slightly crimson tint “firebelly”.

Honduras Boa constrictor imperators are very viewy snakes. You can find here snakes from light brown going to dark with bigger amount of black, with blue metallic luster, also with green one, with redish tint (Isla Bahía) and natural hypomelanistic form “Hogg Island” with yellow and orange coloration. Original name of endemic range Hogg Island is Cayo de los Cochinos). Island endemic forms are useful for studying of evolution separated from mainland “main” stream.

Breed of Boa constrictor imperators in this country is not well known. To say something “100%” based on not many information is not correct. The only one info, which is known is that Boa constrictor imperators seem to have a trend to be similar as in Nicaragua are (grey and brown, circlebacks). In contrast to sentence above, exemplars of Blood Boas (natural high amount of erythrin = red pigment) were found also in Salvador.

Nicaragua Boa constrictor imperators till today unjustly lurk breeders from sight. For “Color form” breeders is Nicaragua real treasure! Natural anerys, hypomelanistics and even natural ghosts from anery x hypo mating were found here. Typical for Nicaraguan Boa constrictor imperator is very compact saddle pattern, very often circle backs. In present breeds are almost imperators from farms in more civilized mountain stripe of Nicaraguan western part. During the future time we will see how phenotype will affect the point of view the eastern coast exploration. Here are mostly hot swampy and mangrove lowlands – there must be something 100% else than in cold mountains.

Costa Rica Boa constrictor imperators move on scale of coloration from tan to brown. Interesting is so called green form, when exemplars have in ground light or more intensive green tint combined with red tints. In Costa Rica can be found rain forest biotopes as of lowlands as of high mountains type with altitude more than 1200m above sea-level.

Panama Boa constrictor imperators are quiet rare in terrariums. Rich Ihle from USA reached years ago a specific co-dominant form “salmon” from an exemplar originally caught in Panama. If it was Boa constrictor sabogae nobody knows today.

Overwhelming majority of Boa constrictor imperators in terrariums all over the world are directly Colombian Boa constrictor imperators. It is a typical Boa constrictor with a lot of form and variants, which the breeders try to establish or secure. Very nice snakes came from locality Baranquilla.
Colombia is a very big country suffering by status near by civil war. When the situation there will be more fine, we can wait more specific variants defined in Colombia, I hope. The Cordilleras create natural boundary between Boa constrictor imperator and Boa constrictor constrictor range, both normally found in Colombia. This boundary is not hermetic, so the animals can naturally cross, but this trend is not good in private breed. As by other subspecies, the breeder (if it is possible) should care about the original locality and keep it. More about gains that Colombia gave to the world of Boa breeders you find in section “Color forms”.

More natural forms of Boa constrictor imperators are found in Ecuador. Andes as natural resistance divide several localities. In some have local imperators saddles not connected and only a few ones, exemplars from east-south do have classic circleback as e.g. Nicaraguan have. Sometimes the pattern on head is very similar to Boa constrictor occidentalis. BUT! Also exemplars of Boa constrictor melanogaster here were found. And now choose…

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