Are Red Tail Boas Arboreal? Surprising Facts!

If you plan on keeping one, you have to ask: Are Red Tail Boas arboreal?

A Red Tail Boas’ natural habitat includes semi-arid forests, tropical rain forests, and woodlands. They like to spend their days under logs and feel soothed by the vast greenery surrounding them.

Knowing which living conditions a Boa likes is essential when you want to keep one. You should aim to imitate their natural habitat as closely as possible, and in this article, I share the information you need for exactly this!

Arboreal Snakes 

When a snake is arboreal, they spend most of their time on trees.

Snakes are typically found slithering on the ground, but some truly prefer to live higher.

You’ll often find arboreal snakes draping themselves around branches with their heads hanging down. In the wild, they prefer this position while waiting for unsuspecting prey, while it brings them comfort in captivity. 

Many arboreal snakes thrive in captivity, but only if their enclosure is set up to meet their needs.

Learn more about Understanding Arboreal Snake Perches

Are Red Tail Boas Arboreal?

No, Red Tail Boas are not arboreal. But, they are semi-arboreal.

These snakes are terrestrial but like climbing, especially while they’re young. Juveniles enjoy exploring shrubs and trees in the wild, so while your snake is at this stage, you should provide them with enough climbing options to develop their muscles.

Many adult Red Tail Boas have been seen consuming prey from a hanging position in the wild, but these snakes are more terrestrial when they’ve grown.

Because their enclosure is so big, many snake owners don’t want the hassle of providing their snake with big enough climbing spaces. As the Boas grow, they lose their climbing skills. 

If you keep branches in your Boas’ enclosure from the start and replace them with bigger ones as your snake matures, they’ll most likely keep the habit of climbing and spending some time relaxing up high.

Red Tail Boa Enclosure Decor

Knowing what your snake does in the wild will help you set up an enclosure in which they’ll thrive. 

Since Red Tail Boas are semi-arboreal, their enclosure needs both terrestrial decor and pieces that will allow them to climb.

Here are some ideas:

  • Natural hides
  • Large branches
  • Hollow logs
  • Big rocks
  • Poles
  • Green plants

The Best Arboreal Pet Snakes

If you’re set on getting an arboreal snake and feel that a Red Tail Boa doesn’t tick the box, many other species that are truly arboreal do well in captivity.

Here are my top picks!

 Do red tail boas like to swim

The Amazon Tree Boa

An Amazon Tree Boa can be orange, yellow, or shades of red and make an exciting pet!

This snake is non-venomous but will bite if they need to. They love hanging from branches and wrapping themselves around them. 

The Amazon Tree Boa is ideal for hobbyists and needs to be handled with a snake hook.

The Carpet Python

Carpet Pythons can live in trees and on land but prefer spending their time curled around thick branches.

They’re lovely snakes to keep as a pet, can reach lengths of 4 m, and are non-venomous.

The Emerald Tree Boa

An Emerald Tree Boa is non-venomous, truly arboreal, and suspends itself from trees when hunting. 

They have razor-sharp teeth but can be tamed. If you’re willing to bond with this species, they will. 

Read more about Understanding Arboreal Snake Perches

The Egg-Eating Snake

As the name suggests, this snake eats eggs, and they’re an excellent choice for beginners because they have no teeth and are non-venomous!

Once they trust you, an Egg-Eating Snake will be easy to care for, and they only grow about 3 feet long.

Before you pick this snake, ensure that you’ll have a consistent supply of small bird eggs since chicken eggs are too large for them to consume. 

The Rough Green Snake

Rough Green Snakes are non-venomous arboreal snakes with a calm temper and mesmerizing green scales.

Besides their love for climbing, Rough Green Snakes also enjoy swimming!

The Spotted Python

Spotted Pythons are the smallest amongst the Pythons and are an excellent arboreal pet snake for beginners.

Some can grow up to 5 feet long and live about 20 years in captivity. They’re relatively easy to handle and typically don’t weigh more than 3 pounds. 

You should add branches and platforms to their enclosure, so they have enough space to climb. Also, provide your snake with a hide.

Are Red Tail Boas Good Pets?

Even though they aren’t arboreal, Red Tail Boas still make excellent pets. 

They’re easy to care for, mostly like to be handled, and widely available. Red Tail Boas also have a docile temper and aren’t known for turning aggressive toward their owners.

Red Tail Boas thrive in captivity when they’re loved, well-fed, and made part of the family.

If you’re okay with having a semi-arboreal snake, the Red Tail Boa is one of my favorite picks!

In Summary

Arboreal snakes like spending more than 90% of their time in trees, and the Red Tail Boa doesn’t fit this description. Red Tail Boas can climb, and if they have branches in their enclosure, you may spot them wrapped around one. Still, they prefer being on the ground, which is why they’re semi-arboreal.

I hope you found this article helpful and have an easier time deciding if a Red Tail Boa will make a good pet for you. If you have any other questions about this species, ask them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you!


Do Red Tail Boas like to swim?

No. Red Tail Boas aren't terrible swimmers, but they prefer to keep themselves dry.

Why does my Red Tail Boa stay in the water?

There are three main reasons why your Red Tail Boa will spend extensive time in the water: They have snake mites. Their enclosure is too hot. They're approaching shedding or struggling with a challenging shed.

Do Red Tail Boas like to be held?

Red Tail Boas have unique personalities, and while some don't mind being handled, others don't appreciate it at all.