Burmese Python
Python molurus bivittatus

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Squamata
FAMILY: Boidae

SIZE:
May attain lengths of 25 feet but specimens over 18-20 feet in length are rarities.

RANGE:
Northeastern India, southern People's Republic of China, south through the Melay Peninsula and East Indies

HABITAT:
Wide variety of habitats such as grasslands, swamps, marshes, rocky foothills, woodlands, open jungle and river valleys

DIET:
Wild - Mammals, birds and reptiles of appropriate size
Zoo - Rabbits, sometimes squirrels

DESCRIPTION:
Heavy bodied and colorful with a pattern of large, reddish brown blotches, outlines in cream or gold overlay a ground color of pale tan, yellowish-brown or grey.

FACTS:

  • Life span of 20-30 years
  • Largest of the three subspecies of Indian pythons. Burmese is the Eastern subspecies.
  • Generally calm disposition. When angered however, this species hisses loudly and can deliver a nasty bite with over 100 needle sharp teeth. Boids do not contain a venom, but their bite can produce dangerous lacerations.
  • Often hunt at night; have relatively poor vision; may have to make actual strike without seeing the prey.
  • Uses tongue for smelling and tasting. Jacobson's organ in roof of mouth; when snake flicks tongue in air and picks up particles of dust and scents, he then puts his tongue into pockets of the Jacobson's organ to determine what is around him. He can detect prey, another snake, humans, etc.
  • Snakes use tongue, Jacobson's organ and special heat sensing pits on its upper lip to locate prey and uses his mouth (teeth) to capture it. Quickly wraps body around prey and begins constricting.
YOUNG:
Can lay 8-30 five inch eggs; breed well in captivity.

STATUS:
CITES App. II; Not endangered, however their brilliantly colored skin patterns have caused the annual slaughter of thousands of pythons to supply the leather trade. Burmese are particularly at risk.