Published February 12, 2024. Open access.

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Ecuadorian Annulated Tree-Boa (Corallus blombergi)

Reptiles of Ecuador | Serpentes | Boidae | Corallus blombergi

English common names: Ecuadorian Annulated Tree-Boa, Blomberg’s Tree-Boa.

Spanish common names: Boa anillada del Chocó, boa de Blomberg.

Recognition: ♂♂ 143 cmMaximum distance from the snout to the tip of the tail. ♀♀ 191 cmMaximum distance from the snout to the tip of the tail..1,2 Corallus blombergi is a medium-sized boid with a triangular head, a dark vertical elliptical pupil, and a reddish iris.1,2 The snout is elongated and bears heat-sensitive pits along the lips.2,3 The dorsal coloration is light brown to bright orange with irregular markings 7–8 scales wide that are lighter in the center (Fig. 1).1,3 Individuals that are light grayish brown with reddish spots at night can turn almost entirely orange during the day.4 This species differs from Boa imperator by having prominent heat-sensing labial pits.3

Figure showing variation among individuals of Corallus blombergi

Figure 1: Individuals of Corallus blombergi from Canandé Biological Reserve, Esmeraldas province, Ecuador.

Natural history: Corallus blombergi is an uncommon snake that inhabits the upper canopy of pristine or selectively logged lowland rainforests.13 These boas use vegetation 1.6–10 m above the ground, particularly along rivers,25 but also occupy wood cabins and other man-made structures in the forest.4 They exhibit greater activity on moonless nights between sunset and midnight, and particularly after heavy rains.2,4,6 Both active foraging and ambush strategies are used to capture prey, including bats, rodents, and birds.2,3,7 In captive conditions, mating was recorded in March and April, with copulation lasting between 3 and 7 days.2 After a gestation period of 5–7 months, females “give birth” (the eggs hatch within the mother) to 13–14 young with average total length of 41.3 cm.2

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Conservation: Endangered Believed to be safe from extinction given current circumstances..8 Corallus blombergi is listed in this category because, at the time of the assessment, the species was known only from two surviving populations.8 Although the species is more widely distributed than previously thought, it is estimated that approximately 70% of the species’ habitat in Ecuador has already been destroyed.9 Unlike other snakes, tree-boas cannot survive in areas devoid of trees nor in planted forests or African palm-oil plantations.4

Distribution: Corallus blombergi is native to the Chocoan lowlands of Colombia and Ecuador (Fig. 2).

Distribution of Corallus blombergi in Ecuador

Figure 2: Distribution of Corallus blombergi in Ecuador. See Appendix 1 for a complete list of the presence localities included in the map.

Etymology: The generic name Corallus comes from the old French word coral, which was the name given to dangerous savage and barbaric peoples in ancient times.10,11 This term refers to the fierce and perfidious appearance of tree boas, among which the anterior teeth of the maxilla and mandible stand out.11 The specific epithet blombergi honors Swedish explorer Rolf Blomberg (1912–1996), who collected the holotype.12

See it in the wild: In Ecuador, individuals of Corallus blombergi are recorded no more than once every few months at any given locality. The area having the greatest number of recent observations is Canandé Biological Reserve.

Special thanks to Jamie Stevener for symbolically adopting the Ecuadorian Annulated Tree-Boa and helping bring the Reptiles of Ecuador book project to life.

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Authors: Danna Duque-Torres,aAffiliation: Grupo de Ornitología, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia. Andrés F. Aponte-Gutiérrez,bAffiliation: Grupo de Investigación en Ciencias de la Orinoquía, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Orinoquía, Arauca, Colombia.,cAffiliation: Fundación Biodiversa Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia. and Tatiana Molina-MorenodAffiliation: Departamento de Biología, Universidad de los Llanos, Villavicencio, Colombia.

Editor: Alejandro ArteagaeAffiliation: Tropical Herping (TH), Quito, Ecuador.

Photographer: Jose VieirafAffiliation: Tropical Herping (TH), Quito, Ecuador.,gAffiliation: ExSitu, Quito, Ecuador.

How to cite? Duque-Torres D, Aponte-Gutiérrez A, Molina-Moreno T (2024) Ecuadorian Annulated Tree-Boa (Corallus blombergi). In: Arteaga A, Bustamante L, Vieira J (Eds) Reptiles of Ecuador: Life in the middle of the world. Available from: DOI: 10.47051/JYJJ5074

Literature cited:

  1. Pinto-Erazo MA, Medina-Rangel GF (2018) First record of Corallus blombergi (Rendahl & Vestergren, 1941) (Serpentes, Boidae) from Colombia. Check List 14: 183–188. DOI:
  2. Valencia JH, Garzón K, Arbeláez E (2007) Notes on Corallus blombergi (Rendahl & Vestergren, 1941) from Ecuador. Herpetozoa 21: 91–94. DOI: 10.15560/14.1.183
  3. Henderson RW, Höggren M, Lamar WW, Porras LW (2010) Distribution and variation in the treeboa Corallus annulatus (Serpentes: Boidae). Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 36: 39–47. DOI: 10.1076/snfe.
  4. Field notes, Reptiles of Ecuador book project.
  5. Barrio-Amorós CL (2017) Field observations on Neotropical Treeboas of the Genus Corallus (Squamata: Boidae). Reptiles & Amphibians: Conservation and Natural History 1: 1–16.
  6. Cruz-García K, Cisneros-Heredia DF, Sánchez-Nivicela JC, Amador L (2020) New records of four reptile species (Lepidosauria, Squamata) from the province of Guayas, southwestern Ecuador. Check List 16: 765–772. DOI: 10.15560/16.3.1765
  7. Henderson RW, Pauers MJ (2012) On the diets of Neotropical treeboas (Squamata: Boidae) Corallus. South American Journal of Herpetology 7: 172–180. DOI: 10.2994/057.007.0207
  8. Cisneros-Heredia DF (2016) Corallus blombergi. The IUCN Red List of threatened species. Available from: DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T44580012A44580021.en
  9. MAE (2012) Línea base de deforestación del Ecuador continental. Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador, Quito, 30 pp.
  10. Brown RW (1956) Composition of scientific words. Smithsonian Books, Washington D.C., 882 pp.
  11. Daudin FM (1803) Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des reptiles. De l’Imprimerie de F. Dufart, Paris, 365 pp.
  12. Uetz P, Freed P, Hošek J (2021) The reptile database. Available from:

Appendix 1: Locality data used to create the distribution map of Corallus blombergi in Ecuador (Fig. 2). Go to the section on symbols and abbreviations for a list of acronyms used.

ColombiaNariñoTumaco, 11 km SW ofPinto-Erazo & Medina-Rangel 2018
ColombiaNariñoVereda CajapíPinto-Erazo & Medina-Rangel 2018
EcuadorAzuayBosque Protector MolleturoValencia et al. 2007
EcuadorAzuayFlor y SelvaValencia et al. 2007
EcuadorEsmeraldas30 de Octubre, 7 km SW ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasAngosturaMorales-Mite 2004
EcuadorEsmeraldasBambaiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasCanandé Biological ReserveThis work, Fig. 1
EcuadorEsmeraldasChisperoMorales-Mite 2004
EcuadorEsmeraldasCotacachi CayapasCruz-García et al. 2020
EcuadorEsmeraldasDurango, 3 km SW ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasEscuela Horacio Hidrovo VelasqueziNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasGualpiReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorEsmeraldasGualpíMorales-Mite 2004
EcuadorEsmeraldasHoja Blanca, 11 km SE ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasHoja Blanca, 12 km E ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasNorte de BorbónCruz-García et al. 2020
EcuadorEsmeraldasPajonalMorales-Mite 2004
EcuadorEsmeraldasPambilar, 4 km SW ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasRancho TexasiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasReserva FCATPhoto by Luis Carrasco
EcuadorEsmeraldasRío CubeiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasRío Hoja BlancaReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorEsmeraldasRío MuisneiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasSalto BravoValencia et al. 2007
EcuadorEsmeraldasSan Mateo, 12 km E ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasTabiazoiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasTerminal Marítimo OCPiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasTongorachiiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasTundaloma LodgeBarrio-Amorós 2017
EcuadorEsmeraldasUnión Manabita, 4 km E ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasValle del Sade, 3 km SE ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasVerdecanandéReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorGuayasCerro de HayasCruz-García et al. 2020
EcuadorGuayasSan PedroHenderson et al. 2001
EcuadorLos RíosQuevedo, environs ofHenderson et al. 2001
EcuadorManabíZapoteCruz-García et al. 2020
EcuadorPichinchaGolondrinas, 20 km NE ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorPichinchaHostería Selva VirgenReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorPichinchaLas Orquídeas, 3 km SE ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorPichinchaRancho SuamoxPhoto by Rafael Ferro
EcuadorPichinchaVía a Nueva UnióniNaturalist; photo examined