The Burmese python is listed as a Threatened species. With the spread of human settlements the scrubland habitat is the first habitat to disappear. Many have also been killed due to heavy demand for python skin by the leather industry . Some are also killed for food, particularly by the Chinese.
Common Names in English:
Burmese Python, Indian Python
Species Python molurus bivittatus
The Burmese python, Python
molurus bivittatus, is light yellowish cream with a series
of brown elongated rectangular blotches edged with black. There is
a lance-shaped mark
on the head
and neck. There are a number of facial
pits, which are sensitive
to changes in temperature
and allow the
python to locate warm-blooded prey
hiding in concealed areas.
The Burmese python is one of the largest of all snakes , growing up to 25 feet, usually 20 and weighing up to 190 pounds . It continues to grow throughout life and the great length is due to the presence of a large number of vertebrae (up to 450). The female grows faster than the male and is ultimately larger. The outer layer of skin is shed depending on the rate of growth and may be several times a year.
The rate of growth is influenced by the conditions under which the snake lives. Pythons have been known to live up to 25 years.
Lives in jungles and scrubland and may live near human settlements .
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 4,846 meters (0 to 15,899 feet).
The Burmese python is carnivorous
, feeding on small mammals and birds.
uses its sharp backward
pointing teeth to seize its prey
It then wraps
its powerful body two or more times around the prey
at the same time contracting its muscles, killing the prey by asphyxiation.
A snake needs to eat the equivalent of its body weight in a year. After eating it may not feed for weeks and can even fast for several months.
Sexual maturity is reached in 2-3 years. Pythons are oviparous , meaning it produces eggs , which develop and hatch outside the maternal body. Up to 100 or more eggs are laid. The female coils around her eggs, and rests her head on the top, to incubate them. The incubation period is two months or more. Hatchlings are 18-24 inches long.
The Burmese python climbs well and can suspend itself by its prehensile
tail. It is also quite at home
in the water, being a good swimmer,
and is able to stay
submerged for up to half an hour. In the northern
parts of its range
it may hibernate for some months during the cold
in a hollow tree
, a hole
in the riverbank or under rocks.
Pythons move by undulating the ribs backwards and forwards by muscular action. The ventral scales grip the substrate.
Like all snakes , pythons lack an outer and middle ear and are therefore deaf to airborne sounds of all but the lowest frequencies. Pythons are also mute or at best can utter a hissing sound by forcing air through the larynx. The sense of smell is the most acute sense. The tongue is flicked out and in carrying scent particles to the Jacobson's organ in the roof of the mouth .
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Goodrich, 1930
- Superorder: Lepidosauria () -
- Infraclass: Lepidosauromorpha ()
- Subclass: Diapsida ()
- Class: Lepidosauria ()
- Superclass: Tetrapoda () - Goodrich, 1930
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Name Status: Accepted Name .
Members of the genus Python
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 14 species and subspecies in this genus:
P.anchietae (Anchieta's Dwarf Python) · P.brongersmai (Blood Python) · P.curtus (Blood Python) · P.molurus (Asiatic Rock Python) · P.molurus bivittatus (Burmese Python) · P.molurus molurus (Indian Python) · P.natalensis (Southern African Python) · P.regius (Ball Python) · P.regius shaw (Ball Python) · P.reticulatus (Reticulated Python) · P.reticulatus jampeanus (Reticulated Python) · P.reticulatus reticulatus (Reticulated Python) · P.sebae (African Rock Python) · P.timoriensis (Timor Python)
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- Barone (2004) Reptilia (GB) (36): 32-38
- Bellosa (2003) Reptilia (GB) (27): 28-30
- Bellosa (2004) Reptilia 9 (3): 42-44
- Boulenger (1893) Catalogue of the snakes,Vol. I.
- Chan et al. (1999) Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp.
- Cox et al. (
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed March 27, 2012.
- Honolulu Zoo
- Lion Country Safari, Loxahatchee, Florida.
- Uetz, Peter. The Reptile Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 5757734
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Rep-26224
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13756443
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 683069
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 179933