How Long do Burmese Pythons Get (and How Long it Takes Them to Grow)?

Burmese Python 

Burmese pythons are such cool snakes, but many people don’t really know how long they are and how long it takes them to grow. I had this question too, so I did a little bit of research and wrote it down so I could share it with you.

So, how long do Burmese pythons get, and how long does it take them to grow? Burmese pythons can get up to 20 feet but the average size is between 12 feet and 18 feet. These snakes can weigh around 200 pounds. The Burmese python grows rather quickly and is known to double its length in a matter of weeks and reach 6 feet in the first 6 months.

Burmese pythons are beautiful, well mannered, and, as we can see by their size, they are very good eaters. But there are still a lot of questions people, including me, have about the Burmese python. We have all heard the rumor that Burmese pythons are becoming an invasive species, but is that really true? How many different types of Burmese pythons are there? I sought out the answers, and here is what I found.

What are the Different Types of Burmese Pythons? 

Burmese pythons come in different colors and patterns, which adds to the allure of keeping one as a pet. But despite all of their difference, in the looks department, they all belong to the same family. But, because they can look so different I made a chart of the 2 main differences in colors and patterns.

Burmese PythonAlbino Burmese Python
The Burmese python is black with   large brown spots and has a very dark tone.Albino Burmese Pythons, on the       other hand, are white with large     yellow spots.

The two variations of this same species of snake make it fascinating and beautiful. Despite their incredible size and docile personalities, these giant snakes hold the attention of snake lovers everywhere because of their fantastic looks. 

Can You Have a Burmese Python as a Pet?

Burmese pythons are actually quite docile for a snake and as such, lots of people keep them as pets. You can purchase them online or with a captive breeder.  Before you do, you need to check your local and state laws to make sure they are legal to have as pets.

If they are legal, be sure to check and make sure there are no regulations on them in the area where you are living. When keeping a Burmese python as a pet, you need to make sure that you have an enclosure big enough to hold your pet and sure enough that it can’t get out. Burmese pythons spend the majority of their time on the floor so it is more important to have a large base and limited height.

How large should a Burmese python enclosure be? A typical enclosure for a Burmese python 8-12 feet should have a perimeter of 4 feet by 8 feet, but if the snake grows larger than that accommodations should be made to enlarge the enclosure space.

The enclosure should have some ventilation. (but not a lot seeing as you have to keep the climate on the inside humid and warm.) A normal way to ventilate is to make ventilation slots on the sides towards the bottom, instead of at the top.

You will need a lid as to be able to feed your snake, but it must be able to be safely secured to make sure the escape artist doesn’t find their way out. Although these reptiles can make great pets and usually seem very docile, they are also wild creatures and because of that, the proper cautions should be taken when moving, cleaning, and feeding a Burmese python.

What do Burmese Pythons Eat? 

Burmese pythons are like a lot of snakes their size that have to make meals out of larger mammals and birds. In the wild, they feed off of birds, monkeys, caiman (which is like a small alligator), and antelope.

The larger the meal though the longer it takes to digest and so consequently they only need to eat 4-5 times a year. When feeding a pet Burmese python the food most grow with the snake. With the baby Burmese python, start with a mouse. Once they are eating a few mice per feeding, move to a rat.

From a rat, you can move to a small rabbit, and then just increase the rabbit size as the snake grows and needs more food. Chickens make for great food for Burmese Pythons as well. Start out with baby chicks when the snake is young, then by the time it is around 10 feet long it should be ready for a whole adult chicken.

Baby Burmese pythons need to be fed only two times a week. To avoid obesity, adult Burmese pythons should only be fed about once every two weeks, but they must be fed larger prey.

Have Burmese Pythons become an Invasive Species?

Burmese pythons are cute and lots of people love to have them as pets, but as I researched them more, the question that kept popping up was, “Are Burmese pythons an invasive species?” Surprisingly, the answer to that question is yes.

The Burmese python is native to South East Asia. Due to the allure of having a docile but big snake, it is said that around 99 thousand snakes were imported into the United States between the years 1996 and 2006 alone.

This has become a problem for southern Florida. Because Burmese pythons are exotic and not native to the region of southern Florida, they have become an invasive species. This means they are not constrained by natural factors and have the potential to harm the environment they are in.

Unfortunately, because of southern Florida’s tropical climate and vast Everglades, the Burmese pythons have been reproducing and causing large problems.

In 2005, 201 Burmese pythons were found and killed. Then, just a year later that number doubled to 418 pythons. The real concern has been posed in the competitive and predatorial nature of the Burmese python.

They are great swimmers and as such have migrated to the Florida Keys endangering many birds and rodents. (which are part of their diet.) So, although these beautiful snakes seem to make great pets, when let loose they can cause a few problems.

Related Questions

How long do Burmese pythons live? Unlike other snakes the lifespan of the Burmese python does not change very much living in captivity vs living in the wild. Both snakes will live about 20-25 years.

Can a Burmese python kill you? Unfortunately, there have been multiple cases of Burmese pythons killing their owners. Despite their seemingly docile nature Burmese pythons are still predators and can and have seen humans as a food source. As such if keeping one as a pet, it is imperative to keep it in its enclosure and to make sure it is always locked.

How fast can a Burmese python move? Burmese pythons are actually very slow, being able to move about 1 mile per hour. Because of the massive size and the strength of these reptiles, they have little need for speed.

Gracie Lords

Hi, my name is Gracie Lords and I am a crazy but hilarious English major. I love to write and love even more to edit. I don't love classic literature but probably because I consider Harry Potter to be one of the best books ever. I love learning more and as my husband can attest I have a need to be right, even when I am wrong. I hope you enjoy learning more about snakes!

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