Burmese Python in Florida

Florida Burmese Python


07.25.2006 - This is the largest snake that I've ever caught as a wildlife control operator. At 11 feet in length, it's the longest animal that I've ever caught as well, even longer than that ten foot squirrel I once got. This is a Burmese Python (molurus bivittatus). It's native to the rainforests of southeast Asia. It's one of the largest species of snake in the world, and the largest known specimen so far is 27 feet long and 400 pounds. I guess that makes the one I just caught seem small, but still, that's one big snake that I caught. I got the call from an apartment complex, and the snake was actually sighted in the parking lot. I rushed out to get it, and I did not charge anything for my services, because I simply wanted to catch such a large snake. It was easy to deal with, and I quickly noticed that it seemed skinny and under-nourished. I brought it home and called a local snake rehabilitation facility, called Snake Getters. They came to my house and retrieved the snake, which they will use for breeding purposes.

If you do come across a Burmese Python in Florida, please report it to the Florida Wildlife Commission hotline: 1-888-IVE-GOT1 or they can be reported on Early Detection EDDMapS: www.eddmaps.org/florida/report/

Burmese Pythons are common and popular pet snakes. Like the boa constrictor, they are generally docile and harmless. However, they can of course grow to enormous sizes, and many pet owners get tired of them after a while, or they have to move, or who knows what, but they don't know what else to do other than release the snake into the wild. I'm guessing that's what happened with this snake. It simply didn't seem well-fed, and I'm guessing that it was released a while ago and failed to catch any prey. However this species does in fact live and breed in the state of Florida. The everglades have a healthy population of them. Everyone has made a big fuss over that Burmese found in October 2005 that had eaten an alligator and burst open. Yes, there are breeding populations of this snake down there, and in some other isolated places. So it's possible that they live and breed in Orlando, but I think this is unlikely, because no one's documented any such snakes here, to my knowledge. It's possible that the climate here is just not warm enough. Regardless, I found the above snake, and I was quite pleased with myself. It was a fine catch by any measure. It's not a stretch to say that I went to great lengths for it. I long to get another one. I'm all wrapped up in the idea of extending my stretch of hisstorical snake catches.

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Burmese pythons are large and nonvenomous snakes that reside in the south of Florida. They are mostly known for being perhaps one of the largest snake species among reptile owners and wildlife enthusiasts. Other than that, they are also known for the manner in which they catch and eat their prey.


A significant physical feature of the Burmese python is its length. Among the many snake species on Earth, they are one of the largest ones and are capable of growing up to 23 feet long. Their weight can reach up to 200 pounds being as wide as a telephone pole.

In Florida, the average length of those that are often caught is about 6 to 10 feet long –which is still much longer than other species in the area.

Their color is usually a tan color with dark spots and blotches along their back and sides, similar to the pattern of a giraffe. While there are other species that have similar patterns, theirs are often more defined than that of others.


A snake this big needs more than the satisfaction small insects can provide to fill them up. Compared to the other snake natives in Florida, the Burmese python is a carnivore. Their diet consists mostly of small mammals and birds. Although from time to time, they will go on the hunt for larger prey such as pigs and goats. In some instances, they have even attacked and eaten even bigger animals like alligators.

These snakes have poor eyesight, which is why they make use of chemical receptors in their tongues and heat-sensors along their jaw to stalk and find their prey. When going for the kill, they take hold of the catch with their teeth, coil their body around the animal, and squeeze onto it until it suffocates.

Their jaws also have stretchy ligaments, allowing them to swallow prey as big as five times the width of their own heads.


While they aren't very harmful, they are strong enough to take down bigger opponents such as a deer or an alligator, which imposes that they may be a threat to humans. Not to mention their average size is significantly bigger than the other native snakes of Florida. Although, it's not often that snakes will casually attack people unless they are provoked or threatened.

Young Burmese pythons spend an equal amount of time on the ground and in trees. The longer they grow and the older they get, they are likely to spend most of their time on the ground instead because of their increase in weight, making it harder for trees to carry them.

While they are quite large and heavy, they are actually excellent swimmers having the ability to stay submerged in the water for up to 30 minutes.


Female Burmese pythons often lay up to 100 eggs and keep them incubated for approximately two to three months. They keep their eggs warm by continually contracting their muscles.

The baby snake hatches from the egg by using their special egg tooth to cut through the shell. The mother then leaves the baby. Newly hatched pythons will remain in their eggs until the first shedding of their skin is complete. By the time it's done, they will go out to hunt for a meal on their own. During this time, they will no longer be under the guidance of their parents.

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