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BURMESE PYTHON
[python molurus bivittatus]



GEOGRAPHY Found throughout Burma,Vietnam,Thailand,Malay peninsula,S.China,N.India,East Indies.It does not seem to be found in the same vicinity however as the reticulated pythons even though the two overlap in several areas.

CARE A short time ago in a forest far far away lay an animal that would change the face of herpetoculture.It was said to be a golden yellow beauty with eyes like fire that would set a new standard for selling reptiles everywhere.It was the albino burmese python!Years ago no one would have paid $5000 for a snake, except one that would net you $150,000 on a clutch!The Burmese python single handily made the herpetocultural market what it is today ,but also sadly it may be the snake that also brings it to its knees and possibly an end!Without the albino burmese there would'nt have been a $10,000 albino boa or $7,500 albino ball python but that snake made a lot of people think that there could be money in something they loved to do and maybe their hobby would pay for itself!I say that the burmese could end herpetoculture because it is so popular!Many people are afraid of snakes garter snakes in there own back yard!The thought of a neighbor having a 20 foot snake scares people so much that laws are past restricting ownership of these magnificent creatures.Not only that they take it one step further banning snakes that are only 6 foot or over or even worse banning all exotic wild life completely!I know of a place in Virginia that has done just that!Dont even try and bring home a garter snake you caught at the creek because its illegal!No birds no snakes no lizards no nothing!Of course you can keep a dog or cat but that is it.For us that have been with reptiles our whole life it is tough!I could not imagine a time when I did not have my little friends around or my big friends depending on species!And thats exactly it many of us think of our animals more than just a possession but a friend,so when wild life fish and game preserve confiscates your stuff because you accidentally sold a rosy boa too small you lose more than your animals and it cuts you through the heart!This is what they dont understand the bond between an owner and BURMESE they have had for 20 years you just cant take it away!Burmese pythons are one of my most favorite snakes!They are laid back easy to handle feed well are easy to care for breed well are tame they are very impressive come in many different colors and some owners say that if you interact with them often they know who you are! Well lets not get too carried away it is a snake!Not Lassie!They require a temperature around 82 with a warm spot around 90.The humidity should be slightly high around 70%.It needs to be raised during shedding so the skin comes off cleanly.They require large enclosures as adults measuring at least 4x4x2.They feed well and adults will need rabbits or guinea pigs every 10 days.Adults may grow to 20 feet.However average size in captivity is between 12 and 15 females are larger.Adults may weigh 100 pounds or over but I would say that most large adults in captivity weigh between 75 and 80 pounds.Of course there is always the freak 20 foot 200 pound female however they are rare!They are more laid back than the other giant reticulated python which makes them less dangerous however precautions should always be taken before handling large specimens and large adults should NEVER be handled alone no matter how long you have had the snake and how tame it is!Most accidents if they occur happen when the enclosure is being opened.The snake may mistake a moving object for food and lose their mind for a second.I have been bitten by a Burmese I have had for 8 years just a couple of months ago because I got too relaxed and opened the enclosure and paid no mind because this was one of my tamest snakes.This enclosure rested on the floor.Well he saw my leg move and out of the back of the enclosure bam!He got me right on the calf!His teeth curved back stuck there and I did not move for about 3 minutes or so because it almost looked like when he struck he knew he had made a mistake!He did not constrict but just bit and then relaxed the bite .As he slowly let go of my leg I grabbed lightly behind his head and pushed forward so he could release his stuck teeth and I picked him up like nothing ever happened.He glided around my arms like woops made a mistake!I am not saying this to scare you but to let you know dont ever get relaxed when working with a snake that is not outside of its enclosure!Most times when the snake is picked up and outside of its enclosure it will not attack.Every one has been bitten by that california king snake that has been with them and handled every day for 10 years.They think where in the world did that come from!Well a snake is a snake and Burmese act like any other only sometimes about 100 times larger!It is important to use a shield and possibly a hook to pull the snake out and up before it is touched.I did not use a shield because I was in a hurry and figured oh 8 years and he has done nothing.They require a water container large enough to soak in while shedding.At other times a small non tipable bowl can be used.Also the enclosure should be well built and escape proof!If you have children a locking device should be used and the snake should be in a room that also locks.Some kids may try to look cool in front of friends who egg them on to pick up the snake or open the door!The child knows you told them no but they think well dad holds this snake all the time and well the rest may be a problem.They are so easy to keep I have nothing else to ramble on about!

BREEDING Well this is a fairly easy snake to breed.Females should be at least 11 feet preferrably over 12 and should have good body weight!Males can breed at only 7 feet but they should be old enough to breed at least 2 years.Sometimes they can breed at 18 months however an animal must be pushed very hard to grow that fast!And it is not recommended by me at least!A night temperature of around 68-72 for a couple of months should suffice.Burmese pythons are susceptible to respiratory infection especially the GREEN/PATTERNLESS phase.So a warm up into the middle 80s is an absolute must for a healthy specimen.Snakes healthy going in to a cool down with a warm up in the day should not get ill.However if there is ANY sign of a problem breathing do not cool them at night it will only make it worse!Female burmese typically raise their tail with a slight cloaca open when males enter the enclosure.A female may also scent the enclosure with urine when a male is introduced.I have not noticed burmese to wait to breed when placed together.They usually start breeding in about a half hour at the most!Or they usually wont breed or are not yet ready.Copulation lasts about 3 hours.And if males are left with females may continue a couple times a day before tappering off.Females should be bred at least 3 times with a male to make sure fertilization will occur.Males may be kept cool without a warm up during the day the day before introduction to raise sperm levels.After breeding females must have a warm spot of around 90 or 95 degrees.They may have infertile eggs if they can not get warm enough.Females will ovulate and then you will notice the female grow larger in girth about 20 days later.A few days later they will start to shed.At this time females usually refuse food.After the shed females will lay their eggs between 25 and 40 days after.Depending on the amount of basking the female has done.Two weeks before laying you will notice the egg mass moving slowly down toward the vent.Females should be given a moist box to lay their eggs in after their shed.This will let the female get aquainted with it.Also after the shed they will urinate more.It is not too essential to clean the enclosure at this time and females are very testy and nervous hissing when touched.And then moving in the opposite direction from you!The eggs are extremely large!They need adequate space for oxygen exchange and should not be crowded!Eggs will adhere together if they are not removed shortly after laying.If they are overcrowded the eggs will not hatch.They should be incubated between 88 and 90 degrees and should hatch out between 55 and 60 days.The babies are between 20 and 24 inches.They are a little nippy but calm down with handling.They feed well on small or medium mice and should be kept in the same conditions as the adults.****NOTE****[pers. observation]Adult Males kept together during breeding season will combat and will need to be seperated.Males typically do not bite but will constrict each other and they will bump one another until one has clearly pinned the opponent.The loser if there is one may die due to costriction so be very careful keeping adult males together during breeding season especially if one is considerably bigger.A male that has been living peacefully with another male placed with a female and put back with the other male may be challenged .

INDEX SIZE-2-3 HANDLING-4 FEEDING-4 ENCLOSURE-2 TEMPERAMENT-4


NOTES Again this is one of my favorite pythons.Partly because of their size but mostly because of temperament.They are impressive and friendly an awesome mix!I gave a 4 on handling because of temperament not ease of handling adults.Adults really can not be picked up alone even if you wanted to so keep that in mind when buying a hatchling!You need a good friend!

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