Dumeril's boas are a beautiful and interesting snake from Madagascar. Not overly large, and calm in temperment, they make fine pets for the novice keeper.
Neonates posses beautiful hues of peach and pink and are exceptionally pretty snakes. Some adults retain a degree of this coloration while others lose most of it. The pattern however still results in a beautiful snake whether the coloration is retained or not.
Dumeril's have some interesting behavior differences from other most other boa species, particularly their style of ambush hunting.
A hungry dumerils will conceal itself within the substrate with only its head barely visible. It will sit this way waiting patiently for a rodent to happen along. Once prey is detected, the snake literally explodes from the substrate seizing and constricting the prey. I often have to clean up cypress mulch that was thrown from the cage during an especially enthusiastic feeding response.
I personally don't reach over my dums when they are in the hunting posture for obvious reasons haha.
I have also seen caudual luring used by my female on a few occasions. Possibly a holdover behavior, since she is not fully grown, but she is about four feet. It will be interesting to see if this behavior is still displayed in a couple of years.
This is not a fast growing species by any means, sometimes taking as long as 4-5 years to reach sexual maturity. Feed them well, but don't try to push them. Their bodies are not designed to reach breeding size in two years, and trying to hurry them alogn will only result in problems.
I recommend a 4'x 2' enclosure for mature adult specimens. A substrate in which they can burrow is preferred.
Temperatures range from the low 80s to the 90-92F.
I have noted a high occurance of shedding difficulty if the humidity is not adequate during this time so misting them through the shed process is highly recommended.
The natural habitat of Madagascar is under constant threat. I have seen estimates that as much as 90% of the rainforest of this island has already been destroyed. This is truly unfortunate for the diverse species of reptiles found there, many of which are found nowhere else.
Any species native to Madagascar are in need of being bred in captivity, but for the Dumeril's boa, we are fortunate that it is fairly well established in captivity and fair numbers are produced annually.
With diligence, and the continued efforts of dedicated breeders, we should be able to continue to enjoy keeping these snakes for years to come.