Apr 20, 2012

Mona Boa (Epicrates monensis)

Did you know?

That one of the reasons why the Mona Boa is threatened is due to the presence of the India’s Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) in St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Jost Van Dyke? The deliberate release of exotic species inadvertently introduced rats and mice, and domestic and wild animals are some of the major factors that threaten island species.

The Mona Boa is one of the youngest members of the Epicrates genus, reaching a snout-vent length of 80 cm only. Body weight is of  120-200 g in females and 70-100 g in males. In adults, the body color is light brown with dark spots partially bordered by black. The ventral surface is greyish-brown, dotted with darker spots. The background color of the upper surface of juveniles is a very light yellow-brown with dark brown. Dorsal body design consists of two rows of spots which extend to the end of the tail. The spots vary in number from 51 to 57. 

The diet of the Mona Boa seems to consist mainly of lizards. However, they eat small mammals and nestling birds opportunistically. Like all tree boas, the Epicrates monensis is viviparous. Mating takes place between February and May, with delivery in late August to October. The gestation period is about 130 days. The young grow rapidly and can reach sexual maturity at two years. 

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