Not the Indian Python or the Indian Rock Python, but, the Burmese Python… Python molurus bivittatus.
These snakes are common in southern Thailand. Their coloring can be more on the lighter side or darker side, this one is rather dark. These snakes can get very large – approaching 30 feet. In the Everglades in southern Florida, once captive Pythons like this Burmese, have been let loose and have thrived in the hot climate. They are now attacking alligators and other wildlife, not to mention the occasional human being.
The Burmese Pythons have a temperament that is somewhat more even-keeled than the reticulated Pythons – in general. There are also some very keyed-up Burmese Pythons that will take a hunk out of your flesh if you get too close. Here at the snake park they have about 8 Pythons – 3 of which can be handheld.
If you come to Thailand, the chance that you would see a python in the wild is VERY small. You would need to go looking for them. They love living in trees during the day and are active at night eating anything from frogs to goats.
Blood pythons (Python curtus brongersmai) are not often seen in Thailand, but I have had some tourists write me with descriptions of 2 different snakes that most likely was this snake.
Blood pythons are found on rubber tree plantations, near waterfalls, and near rats, chicks, or other small mammals in Thailand.
They have a colorful pattern and are pretty short snakes for how thick they are. They can climb, which you’d have to see to believe. They are so thick and short, you’d think they cannot. They can and do.
Usually blood pythons in the wild are found on the ground under leaves or other cover. They blend right in with fallen leaves.
They are VERY strong, and the couple that I have seen don’t appear to become tame quickly. I mean, not even over the course of months. They still strike me if I get too close – nothing like the ball pythons you see in the pet store, right?
Anyway – just wanted to share this blood python photo.
Aime sent me a great photo of a Burmese python that was on her walkway. She knew it was a python and figured it wasn’t too aggressive, and in this case she was right. Burmese pythons are quite a bit less vicious than their cousins the Reticulated Pythons. Burmese Pythons can grow to 8 meters. Reticulated pythons can also get that big. Blood Pythons very rarely get over 2 meters.
Burmese Pythons (Python bivittatus) resemble blood pythons also – which are found in southern Thailand as far as Krabi province (we’ve found a couple here in Krabi). I didn’t know Burmese pythons or blood pythons to be found in Phuket though. Apparently they are.
Note – these snakes can be confused with the deadly Chain Vipers – the patterns and colors are very similar to the untrained eye. Chain vipers, also called Russell’s viper – are found in and north and east of Bangkok mostly, not in Phuket or anywhere south of the Chumphon province area (so far).
Update – check the comments, some are insisting it is not a Burmese python… I think they are right… must have been someone’s pet that was let free in the jungle, and comes around houses because it doesn’t fear people.
Length: Average length is less than 2.5 meters max. Usually smaller than 2 meters. the one pictured here is 1.7 meters. Adult Blood Pythons typically are 137-182 cm (4.5-6 feet) long. Females are slightly longer than males. These snakes weigh 5-9 kilograms (12-20 lb).
Range: In Thailand only on the island of Phuket and in the far south from Krabi province and southward. The pictured Blood python came from a rubber plantation near Tub Kaak, Thailand in province of Krabi. Found on the Malay Peninsula.
Habitat: Flat land & marshy forests. Blood pythons prefer to live near water. They are often found on rubber plantations, as this one was. They typically hide under leaves and brush, or you can find them in the water. These snakes don’t go far when hunting, instead they lay still waiting for rodents or other mammals to walk by.
Active Time? Nocturnal – active at night.
Food: Rats, mice, chickens.
Defensive Behavior: A short powerful strike from the s-position. As mentioned, they can easily twist out of a snake handler’s grip.
Venom Toxicity: No venom. Little danger. These pythons bite with provocation, but they have a very short strike. Though their strike is short – they pack a powerful bite.
Offspring: Oviparous, with up to 30 eggs being laid at a time. After the eggs are laid the female mother coils around the eggs and vibrates, or shivers, to produce heat (88 to 90 degrees F) which the eggs need to develop. She lays 12-30 large eggs 60-70 days after mating in the first couple months of the calendar year. The eggs are 14-16 cm long and weigh about one-hundred grams each. Young Blood Pythons have same coloring as adults and are 30-40cm at birth. First shed is 2-3 months. Blood pythons can reproduce at between 1.5 and 4 years. Breeding can be started by cutting down the daytime light to 8 – 10 hours and setting night temperature to the mid-70’s. Bring the female to the male’s cage. Misting the snakes with water can facilitate breeding. Female Blood Pythons typically shed 14-20+ days after ovulation; eggs are typically laid within 30 days of post-ovulation shed.
Blood Pythons may live 25 years in captivity.
Notes: We caught another wild blood python on a rubber plantation just like this one. When catching this species one must be sure about the grip from the time grabbed because as short as it is, it is full of muscle. Though this snake appears fat, it is muscle. It is exceptionally strong when pulling out of a hold.
This snake can change the color of it’s head from dark to light gray.
These snakes can have a temper if caught in the wild. They can settle down with daily handling and stroking. Babies born in captivity are usually more calm than adults. Eventually holding them is a possibility. The Thai-Malaysian Blood Pythons bite more quickly than do the Indonesian variety.
The skin of these snakes is highly prized and they are hunted because of it. Their numbers are shrinking because they are killed for their meat and skins. Over 60,000 blood pythons and short-tailed python skins are taken each year.
Substrate: Best? Newspaper. Cover the bottom of the cage with a thick pile of newspaper and crumple up some loose balls so the snake can hide under it.
Python curtus brongersmai
Species: P. curtus
Subspecies: P. c. brongersmai
I get quite a few searches on this site for Thailand Anacondas, and the truth is – there are no anacondas in Thailand – well, not any that are naturally occurring here. Someone could have brought one into the country as a pet I supposed. Anacondas are not native to Thailand, but, Pythons – are.
Pythons can grow to enormous size. Last night I played with a 4 meter python, and they do get 8 meters or so. Last time I saw a giant python was when it ate a villager’s goat and the city snake guys went to pick it up. It was on display for a few hours before they took it to the park and let it go.