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Jamaican boa

Chilabothrus Subflavus

The Jamaican boa is nocturnal, hunting for its prey at night. It uses its forked tongue to detect chemicals signals from the prey. It waits motionless and ambushes the prey by biting into the body with its needle like teeth. They then suffocate their prey in their body coils. Once the prey is dead it’s swallowed whole, headfirst.

Females select their mate in the breeding season by the smell of the mate. Females can give birth to up to 40 young in October. The Jamaican boa can be 1.5 – 2.3 metres in length and weigh up to 5 kilograms.

You can view this species in the zoo’s Reptile House.

IUCN Status

The IUCN status of the Jamaican boa is vulnerable.

For more info on classifications visit

Animal class


Conservation status

At high risk of extinction in the wild in future. Under threat from habitat loss, human persecution and the introduction of cats and dogs.


Rainforest and woodland – found on the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea




Carnivore – eats rodents, rats and small birds