BURMESE PYTHON CARESHEET | Back to Caresheet Index |

:: BURMESE PYTHON ... Python molurus bivittatus


Do you really want a snake that may grow more than 20 feet long or weigh over 200 pounds, require "Mucking out" like a pony and will live over 25 years.

The colouring of a normal phase individual is a creamy yellow base colour with large brown dorsal splotches which may extend down the sides, these are surrounded by lighter yellow . The head usually has a complete arrow head with a median stripe. May grow to 14-18ft, maximum recorded size is 24ft. There are now several colour mutations available, Albino/Golden, Blonde/Green and some very new pattern variants.

The Burmese python, is native throughout Southeast Asia including Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, southern China, and Indonesia. While Burmese are being captive bred in the U.S. and Europe, native populations are considered to be "threatened" and are listed on Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species).

Burmese are especially powerful when it comes to breaking out. A good starter tank for a hatchling is a 3 ft Vivarium. After the first couple of years (and some bigger commercially available enclosures), you will have to build your own enclosure out of wood and glass. Some people partition off a large part of a room into a suitable Burmese "tank". Be prepared - giant snakes need lots of room, not the least of which is room enough for you to get in there and clean it out! Remember that your snake will grow rapidly, even when fed conservatively, so you must always buy or build an enclosure much bigger than the present size of your Burmese.

Proper temperature range is essential to keeping your snake healthy. The ambient air temperature throughout the enclosure must be maintained between 85-88F during the day, with a basking area kept at 90F. At night, the ambient air temperature may be allowed to drop down no lower than 78-80F. Special reptile heating mats that are manufactured to maintain a temperature about 20F higher than the air temperature may be used inside the enclosure. You can also use incandescent light bulbs in porcelain and metal reflector hoods to provide the additional heat required for the basking area. All lights must be screened off to prevent the snake from burning itself, and bright lights must be turned off at least 12-14 hours a day to mimic a proper photo period; if kept under lights all the time, the snakes will stress and may become ill. If the proper temperatures cannot be maintained without the incandescent light, then you must use another source of non-light emitting or dim light emitting heat. All pythons are very susceptible to thermal burns and for this reason a hot rock must not be used. Buy at least two thermometers: one to use 1" above the enclosure floor in the cooler side, and the other 1" above the floor in the basking area. Don't try to guess the temperature. You will end up with a snake who will be too c