Green Tree Boa

Photography by Dee Puett


  1. Close, but no cigar. This is a green tree python (Morelia viridis) not an emerald tree boa (Corallus caninus.) The two snakes are very, very similar, one being essentially an Old World analogue of the other, but the shape of the head plus the bluish shading on this specimen (not found in all of them, but in some) proclaims it to be a GTP.

    Both snakes are yellow or orange when young, turning green as adults (for reasons not totally understood yet.) GTP's are, rarely, yellow or even blue when fully-grown, while the boas have so far never exhibited such coloring, always being some combination of green with white markings and yellow on the underside. Both have miserable tempers--as a rule, I've heard of friendly GTP's but never seen one--and will strike savagely at the least provocation, often at the face of a handler, and have long recurved teeth and powerful jaw muscles for a snake (to better secure arboreal prey and not let it drop to the ground, or to punch through the thick breast plumage of birds.)

    GTP's are much better "pets"--at least, display snakes--in that most are now captive-bred and relatively hardy; emerald boas are still often wild-caught, are extremely delicate and make fragile as well as miserable captives.

  2. No problem. Have a few good snake anecdotes, anytime you want me to write another piece, let me know!

  3. I'd love to see another one, James. The electric catfish piece drew a lot of interest!


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