Which Snake Is The Most Colourful In The World?

Not only are snakes fascinating, but they also come in all sorts of beautiful colours and patterns. But which one is the most colourful?

The most colourful snake is the Brazilian Rainbow Boa! They are rainbow-coloured and shiny. These snakes show iridescent colours that shimmer all over their body, depending on how you look at them.

Now you know that the Brazilian Rainbow Boa is the most colourful snake in the world. Let’s get to know them and learn about this beautiful snake.

snake full image, with colourful blue shimmer
Brazilian Rainbow Boa

How did the Brazilian Rainbow Boa snake get its name?

The Brazilian Rainbow Boa was named because its scales reflect the colours from the rainbow.

What is the scientific name for the rainbow boa?

  • Epicrates cenchria

How are they so colourful?

Tiny ridges found on the snakes scales act as prisms to refract light and create a rainbow-coloured effect.

Iridescent Meaning

To show luminous colours that seem to change when seen from different angles.


  • Species: Epicrates Cenchria
  • Common Name: The Brazilian Rainbow boa or Slender Boa
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Order: Squamata
  • Genus: Epicrates
  • Life span: In the wild, five years and thirty years in captivity
  • Diet: Small birds, amphibians and mammals

Brazilian Rainbow Boas are in high demand in the pet industry due to their unique colourful look and docile nature. As you may have guessed, these snakes are native to the rainforest of Brazil. However, you can find several subspecies of this snake throughout Central and South America. Some of the subspecies of these snakes can be found in southern North America as well. 

Brazilian Rainbow Boa – Shows different shimmer colours depending on the angle.

Brazilian Rainbow Boas snakes are mostly found near the Amazon River Basin. Also, these snakes share a similar look with the Colombian Rainbow snakes, which sometimes create confusion.

Irrespective of their native place, these snakes tend to respond very well in captivity. Even though most people think that Brazilian Rainbow Boas are best for experienced reptile keepers, the gentle temperament of these snakes makes them a good option for pet owners with little snake-keeping experience.


The average size of the Brazilian Rainbow Boa is about 5 to 6 feet. That means these snakes are comparatively smaller than the other snake species. That is what makes it suitable for the less experienced snake owners. Generally, the female Brazilian Rainbow Boas are a bit bigger than their male counterparts. Even though it is not very apparent when these snakes are young, you can notice the difference once they reach adulthood.

Life Expectancy

In captivity, the snakes can leave for several decades if you take care of them properly. The average lifespan of the Brazilian Rainbow Boa in captivity is about 25 years. There are some reports that some captive Brazilian Rainbow Boas have lived up to 50 years of age. However, these cases are sporadic, and not all of the reports have been confirmed.

Although, there is no way to ensure that these Brazilian Rainbow Boas will live for a long time. The life span of the captive snakes generally depends on the quality of care they have. Failing to meet the requirements of the snakes can lead to illness or even early death.

Close up of snakes head with a shimmer of green, yellow and blue
Brazilian Rainbow Boa

Colour and Appearance

The reason why the snakes are called Rainbow boa is because of their vibrant colour. The colour of these snakes ranges from dark maroon to mauve. All over their backs, the snakes have dark-coloured crescent-shaped patterns covered in bright orange colour. This distinct colour of the snakes makes them stand out. However, in the wild, the Brazilian Rainbow Boa can still manage to camouflage very well. 

Some snake breeders have also created Brazilian Rainbow Boas with pigment issues. You can find hypomelanistic and Albino Brazilian Rainbow Boas in pet stores. However, these snakes are extremely rare and come at a very high price.

Brazilian Rainbow Boa Care Tips

Meeting its environmental requirement is the only way to take proper care of the Brazilian Rainbow Boa snakes. That means the everyday living conditions of your home are not suitable for these snakes. However, you will need to create a tropical environment inside a tank with proper lighting, temperature, and humidity levels. There is no doubt you need to be consistent about the care methods to keep a Brazilian Rainbow Boa snake healthy. However, as long as you meet all the proper care guidelines, you should not face many difficulties while caring for the snake.

Enclosure size

You do not need a massive tank to keep your Brazilian Rainbow Boa happy. However, make sure that there is ample room for the snake to move around. The young snakes can stay happily in a 10 to 20-gallon tank. However, for the adult snakes, you need to get a bigger enclosure of 40-gallons. A bigger tank will also help you to create the required temperature gradient for the snakes. As they are native to the Tropical rainforest of the Amazon Basin, these snakes will need humidity and heat to stay healthy. So, choose an enclosure that is made of glass to maintain the proper level of moisture. It would be best to choose an enclosure top with adjustable screening or vents to control the enclosure’s environment further.


Like other pets, snakes do not drink water directly from a dish. However, they will require a big bowl of water inside their enclosure to remain healthy. Most snakes use the water dish to soak their bodies for regulating body temperature. Choose a sturdy water dish that will not flip over that easily. The water dish should be large enough for the snakes to climb inside but not deep enough to drown. Keep a strict eye on the water condition of the Brazilian Rainbow Boas. Most Brazilian Rainbow Boas tend to defecate in the water dishes. So, if you are not careful, the water can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria.


The Brazilian Rainbow boas are pretty easy to feed. You need to find rodents of appropriate size to make sure that your snake can swallow with ease. It is always better to choose thawed frozen mice for feeding the Rainbow Boas.

These colourful snakes can be a pleasure to look at. As you can easily imagine, there are many reasons for you to love a Brazilian Rainbow Boa, not just for its colourful looks.

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By Teresa Mine

Teresa has studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition. She loves sharing her knowledge and educating through her articles. She loves binge-watching animal documentaries. Teresa has some pets; she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster.