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Boa constrictor LINNAEUS, 1758

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Higher TaxaBoidae (Boinae), Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesBoa constrictor constrictor LINNAEUS 1758
Boa constrictor longicauda PRICE & RUSSO 1991
Boa constrictor occidentalis PHILIPPI 1873
Boa constrictor ortonii COPE 1877 
Common NamesE: Boa Constrictor (color morphs: albino, Anery, Blood, Camel, Coral Albino, Leopard, Leucistic, Pearl, Prodigy, Squaretail, Arabesque, Salmon, jaguar, Jungle, Marron, Motley, Onyx, Roswell, Fire, Inca, IMG, Pink, Avalanche, Blizzard, Ghost, Hytec, Moonglow, Paradigm, Pewter, Paradigm, Snow, Sunglow, Sunset,
G: Abgottschlange
S: Tragavenado, boa, macaurel, sarura, güio, Matacaballos
E: Short-Tailed Boa [amarali]
E: Red-Tailed Boa Constrictor [constrictor]
E: Long-Tailed Boa Constrictor [longicauda]
E: Argentine Boa Constrictor [occidentalis]
E: Orton’s Boa Constrictor [ortonii]
E: Dominican Boa Constrictor [pnebulosa]
E: Tet’chien or St. Lucian Boa [orophias]
Portuguese: Anaconda, Boiuçu, Cobra-de-Veado, Ctaia, Jauacanga, Jiboia, Jiboia-Branca, Jiboia-Cinzenta, Jiboia-da-Cauda-Vermelha, Jiboia-do-Cerrado, Kuong-Kuong, Salamanta-Boi, Suaçu 
SynonymBoa constrictor LINNAEUS 1758: 215
Constrictor formosissimus LAURENTI 1768: 107
Constrictor rex serpentum LAURENTI 1768: 107
Constrictor auspex LAURENTI 1768: 108
Constrictor diviniloquus LAURENTI 1768: 108
Boa constrictor — SHAW & NODDER 1790: plate 51
Boa constrictrix SCHNEIDER 1801: 247 (emendation)
Boa constrictor — BOULENGER 1893: 117
Boa constrictor — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 507
Boa diviniloqua — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 515
Boa diviniloquax — JAN 1864
Boa constrictor — BOULENGER 1893: 117
Boa diviniloqua — BOULENGER 1893: 118
Boa constrictor amarali STULL 1932: 27
Constrictor constrictor amarali STULL 1932: 27
Boa constrictor amarili — FORCART 1951
Constrictor constrictor — MARTIN 1958
Boa constrictor amarili — FREIBERG 1982
Boa constrictor melanogaster LANGHAMMER 1983 (nom. dubium)
Boa constrictor – SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 591
Boa constrictor — LINER 1994
Boa constrictor — STARACE 1998: 90
Boa constrictor — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 183
Boa constrictor amarali — BINDER & LAMP 2007
Boa constrictor — REYNOLD et al. 2014
Boa constrictor — WALLACH et al. 2014: 95
Boa constrictor amarali — MURPHY & CRUTCHFIELD 2019: 188

Boa constrictor constrictor LINNAEUS 1758
Boa constrictor LINNAEUS 1758: 215
Constrictor constrictor constrictor — BEEBE 1946: 18
Boa constrictor constrictor — FORCART 1951
Boa constrictor constrictor — STIMSON 1969
Boa constrictor constrictor — BOOS 2001
Boa constrictor constrictor — BINDER & LAMP 2007
Boa constrictor constrictor — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 5

Boa constrictor longicauda PRICE & RUSSO 1991
Boa constrictor longicauda — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 5
Boa constrictor longicauda — MURPHY & CRUTCHFIELD 2019: 191

Boa constrictor occidentalis PHILIPPI 1873
Boa occidentalis PHILIPPI 1873
Boa occidentalis — BOULENGER 1893: 118
Euncetes murinus BERG 1893 (nec LINNAEUS)
Constrictor constrictor occidentalis IHERING 1911: 321
Constrictor occidentalis — SERIÉ 1921
Boa constrictor occidentalis — FORCART 1951: 199
Boa constrictor occidentalis — ABALOS et al. 1964
Boa constrictor occidentalis — FREIBERG 1982
Boa constrictor occidentalis — CEI 1993
Boa constrictor occidentalis — SCROCCHI et al. 2006: 69
Boa constrictor occidentalis — BINDER & LAMP 2007
Boa constrictor occidentalis — HYNKOVA et al. 2009
Boa constrictor occidentalis — WINCHELL 2010
Boa constrictor occidentalis — SMITH et al. 2017
Boa constrictor occidentalis — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 6
Boa constrictor occidentalis — MURPHY & CRUTCHFIELD 2019

Boa constrictor ortonii COPE 1878
Boa ortonii COPE 1878: 35
Constrictor constrictor ortonii — SCHMIDT & WALKER 1943: 305
Boa constrictor ortonii — STIMSON 1969
Boa constrictor ortonii — BINDER & LAMP 2007
Boa constrictor ortonii — KOCH 2010
Boa constrictor ortonii — KOCH et al. 2018
Boa constrictor ortonii — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 6
Boa constrictor ortonii — MURPHY & CRUTCHFIELD 2019 
DistributionColombia (Valle del Cauca), Venezuela (Merida [HR 27: 88], Isla Margarita), Guyana, French French Guiana, Suriname, Peru (Pasco etc.), Bolivia, Brazil (Amapá, Pará, Rondonia, Bahia, Sergipe, RO, Amazonas, Pará, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Distrito Federal, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná, Piauí, Mato Grosso, Goiás, S Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte), Argentina, Paraguay

Trinidad, Tobago, Antilles, e.g. Martinique, Aruba (introduced); Antigua (sub-fossil only), elevation (Honduras): 0-1370 m
USA (introduced to Florida)

amarali (invalid): SE Bolivia, S Brazil (S Mato Grosso, Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul, Sao Paulo, Bahia), N Paraguay; Type locality: Sao Paulo, Brazil.

constrictor: Type locality: “Indiis”

eques: Peru (Piura). Type locality: coastal city of Paita and vicinity, Peru.

longicauda: N Peru; Type locality: region around Tumbes, Tumbes Province, N Peru.

melanogaster: Ecuador (Morona Santiago, Napo); Type locality: Rio Yaupi, Morona Santiago, Ecuador.

occidentalis: Paraguay, Argentina (Mendoza, San Luis, Cordoba, La Pampa, Santiago del Estero), SE Bolivia; Type locality: Mendoza and San Juan, Argentina.

ortonii: NW Peru (La Libertad, Cajamarca, Lambayeque, Piura; Type locality: Chilete (Cajamarca), west of Pacasmayo, Peru.  
Reproductionovovivparous; Booth et al. (2010) provide evidence for parthenogenesis in B. constrictor. 
TypesSyntypes: NRM (= NHRM) 10 and NHRM 20001; NRS (= paratypes fide BONNY 2007)
Holotype: MCZ 16700, paratypes: UMMZ, FMNH, AMNH [amarali]
Holotype: MCZ 176002, subadult male; paratypes: MCZ, RMP [longicauda]
Holotype: UMMZ 172680 [melanogaster]
Holotype: unlocated fide McDiarmid et al., 1999, Reynolds & Henderson 2018) [occidentalis]
Holotype: ANSP 11402 [ortonii] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (constrictor in Honduras): “Boa constrictor differs from all other Honduran snakes by the combination of having enlarged ventral scales that do not extend the entire width of the venter, no enlarged scales on the top of the head, mostly entire subcaudal scales, smooth dorsal scales in more than 60 rows at midbody, a huge adult size, and in lacking labial pits.” (McCranie 2011: 61) 
CommentSynonymy: Boa constrictor melanogaster Langhammer 1983 is a nomen dubium fide Price & Russo 1991. It’s type locality is “Ecuador, Morona-Santiago, nr. Río Yaupi Catholic Mission, upstream from Ró Santiago, Jivaro Indians, Holotype: UMMZ. Synonymy partly after STIMSON 1969.

Subspecies: Hynková et al. (2010) and others suggested that B. c. imperator may be a full species. If so, they also suggested that it would comprise all populations of the Central American clade, including B. c. sabogae and B. c. longicauda. Hynkova et al. found no molecular support for the distinction between the nominotypic subspecies and B. c. amarali. Hynkova et al. did not analyze all (sub-) species, e.g. orophias or nebulosa.

Crother et al. (2009) have found a snake shed in Manitoba, Canada, which was identified by DNA sequencing as most likely coming from Boa constrictor.

Genome: The Boa constrictor genome has been sequenced by Vicoso et al. (2013).

Distribution: B. c. constrictor s.l. only occurs in South America; all other reports from Central America and the Caribbean represent subspecies (now other species). Hence not anymore in Mexico (Tamaulipas, Quéretaro, Veracruz, Puebla, Jalisco, Hidalgo), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama. Not in Yucatan state (Mexico), fide Gonzalez-Sanchez et al. 2017. See maps in Bonny 2007. Distribution: Not listed for San Luis Potosí by Lemos-Espinal et al. 2018 (checklist SLP). Not in Morelos fide Lemos-Espinal 2020 (where it is replaced by B. sigma). See also map in Nogueira et al. 2019 for South America.

Relative abundance in Honduras: rare

Type species: Boa constrictor LINNAEUS 1758: 215 is the type species of the genus Boa LINNAEUS 1758: 214.

Type genus. Boa Linnaeus 1758 is the type genus of the family Boidae (sensu Pyron et al. 2014). The famly (sensu Pyron et al. 2014) contains the following genera: Boa, Chilabothrus, Corallus, Epicrates, Eunectes.

Karyotypes: Viana et al. 2020 present karyotypes for Boa constrictor and other boids.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe generic name is derived from the Latin word boa, meaning "large water snake." Linnaeus obviously did not know whether this species lived in water or not.
However, Fretey 2019 stated that it stems from Latin bos, ‘cow’; ‘kind of snake’ because it feeds first by sucking cows according to Pliny the elder (Liber 8.14).

The specific epithet comes from the Latin word constrictus, meaning "to constrict or contract." 
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