Python vs Boa Constrictor (Difference Between Boa and Python)

Python vs Boa constrictor

Python and boa constrictor both are non-venomous snakes and belongs to two different families. Pythons belong to the Pythonidae family while boa constrictor belongs to the Boidae family. However, the similarity between python and boa constrictor is that they kill their prey by squeezing it until death. Although, these snakes differ from each other in many criteria such as their habitat and behavior. Let us discuss the difference between python and boa constrictor and compare them. 

What Does a Python Look Like?

Pythons are non-venomous snakes that vary significantly in size and coloration. The coloring can range from elaborated patterned scales to solid brown to bright green depending on camouflage’s habitat and requirement. Pythons are bulky in size and have triangular-shaped heads and sharp backward curving teeth to grab their prey. 

Where Does Python Live?

Pythons can be seen in Asia, Africa, and Australia. They prefer to inhabit a wide range of habitat. Many species thrive in the rainforest, though pythons also live in grasslands, woodlands, swamps, dunes, deserts, and shrubs. 

How Many Species of Pythons are There?

There are around 41 species of pythons found in the Pythonidae family. 

What is The Size of the Python?

The longest snake in the world is the reticulated python that reaches 33 feet in length and can weigh up to 250 pounds. However, the smallest python is the anthill python that can reach around 19.5 inches in length and weigh 7.4 ounces. 

What do Pythons Eat?

Pythons feed on rodents, rabbits, birds, lizards, caimans, and mammals like monkeys, pigs, deer, antelope, and wallaby. These snakes are ambush predators; they remain motionless in a camouflaged position and then attack their prey. Pythons use their sharp, backward-curving teeth, four in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. They grab prey and then wraps its body around it and squeeze. Then the snake opens full mouth to swallow the prey whole. It might take several days or weeks for the python to digest its food. 

Python Reproduction:

Python generally lay eggs, and after laying the eggs, the female incubates them till they get hatched. When the temperature starts to drop, the female generates heat by fluttering in a series of minuscule muscle contractions and maintain a constant temperature for incubation. During the incubation period, the female python does not eat and raise their body temperature. After the young ones are born, the female leaves them, and the babies are on their own. 

Also read difference between hawk and falcon.

Facts About Pythons:

  • Pythons look for shelter in tree branches or hollows, among reeds, in rocky outgrowth, and abandoned burrows. 
  • Most of the pythons are semi-arboreal, but the green tree python is arboreal.
  • Terrestrial pythons live near water and are excellent swimmers, but they eat on land.
  • Depending on the species and habitat, pythons may be active in a day or even at night.
  • They use both sight and smell to find their prey.
  • These snakes taste the air with their tongue to smell whether the victim is nearby or not. 
  • In the United States, the introduction to the population of Burmese pythons has existed as an intrusive species in the Everglades National Park since 1990.
  • Most of the python species are available in the unusual pet trade. 

How Long Do Pythons Live?

Depending on the species, pythons can have a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. A ball python has the record for the most extended lifespan, among other snakes in captivity. The snake lives for 48 years in the Philadelphia zoo. 

Are Pythons Endangered?

Under the IUCN, 13 species of python are listed as threatened. Many species have been hunted that have destroyed python’s population, such as Indian python, Python molurus. Humans are the primary threat to python, which is killed for its skin. 

How Does a Boa Constrictor Look Like?

 Boa constrictors are non-venomous snakes known for their squeezing method and constricting the prey to death. These snakes have saddle-like markings that run to the length of their bodies. The trademarks are dark on a light tan or grey background. Boa constrictors have marks on their heads, though the shape can vary from species to species. They have small hooked teeth that they use to grab and hold prey. Boas can regrow their teeth if they fall out or get damaged. 

Where Do Boa Constrictors Live?

Boa constrictors can be seen throughout South America and in some parts of the Antilles. These snakes prefer to live in a wide variety of habitat that includes tropical rainforests to arid semi-desert countries. However, they can also live in the rainforest due to humidity and temperature. Boas are commonly found in or along rivers and streams. 

How Many Species of Boa Constrictors are There?

There are more than 40 species of boa constrictors. However, there are ten subspecies of boas which are-

  • Amarai’s boa constrictor
  • Red-tailed boa constrictor
  • Common northern boa constrictor
  • Tumbes Peru boa constrictor
  • Mexican boa constrictor
  • Dominican clouded boa constrictor
  • Argentina boa constrictor
  • St. Lucia boa constrictor
  • Orton’s boa constrictor
  • Pearl Island boa constrictor

What is the Size of a Boa Constrictor?

The average length of boa constrictors ranges from 6.5 to 9.8 feet long and can weigh more than 100 pounds. The females of these species are quite larger than the males. However, the longest reported boa constrictor was 13 feet long.

What do Boa Constrictors Eat?

Boa constrictors are carnivorous animals that feed on a wide variety of small to medium-sized mammals and birds. They primarily feed on rodents but also hunt more giant lizards and ocelots. Although, the young boa constrictors eat little mice, birds, bats, lizards, and amphibians. 

Also read about blackbuck antelope.

Boa Constrictor Reproduction:

Male boas can mate with multiple females, and the females bear live births. The breeding seasons in these snakes are between April and August. The gestation period is from 100 to 120 days, after which the female delivers the offspring 15 to 20 inches in length. However, the average litter size is 25 but can vary from 10 to 65. The young ones are independent and rapidly grow for the first few years. 

Facts About Boa Constrictors:

  • These snakes are usually solitary and interact only to mate.
  • Boas are nocturnal but can bask during the day when the night temperature is too low.
  • They are excellent swimmers and may climb into trees and shrubs to forage.
  • Boa constrictors occupy the burrows of medium-sized mammals where they can hide from predators.
  • Like pythons, boa constrictors are ambush predators they often lie in wait for an appropriate prey to come along.
  • They also hunt in particular regions with a low concentration of suitable prey, grab it with teeth, and constrict them until death.
  • Boa constrictors bite can be painful and dangerous to humans.

How Long Do Boa Constrictors Live?

The average lifespan of a boa constrictor is between 20 to 30 years.

Are Boa Constrictor Endangered?

In many regions, the boa constrictor population has been severely attacking by humans and other animals. They are hunted for their meat, skin, and sale in the exotic pet trade. On the other hand, boa constrictors are very important in their ecosystem. Due to their diet, these snakes help control populations of small rodents that act as pests and carry human diseases.

Python vs Boa: Fight Comparison

In a fight between boa constrictor vs. Python, it is difficult to conclude that who will win as both are equally capable and can give a tough fight. Although they do not prey on each other and are often terrestrial, it is impossible they will face each other. 

Do pythons have venom? Read about them.