Why Is It Called Burmese Python?

Have you ever wondered why the world’s largest snake is called the Burmese python? Well, the answer may surprise you! Despite its name, this species of python is actually native to Southeast Asia, not just Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).

The Burmese python earned its name due to the fact that Myanmar was one of the first countries to export these snakes to the Western world. Since then, the name has stuck, even though the species is found throughout the region. Let’s dive deeper into the fascinating history of the Burmese python and discover why it has become such an iconic reptile.

The Burmese Python is named after the country it originally comes from, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). These pythons are one of the largest species of snakes in the world, growing up to 23 feet long and weighing over 200 pounds. They are commonly kept as pets and are also used for their skin and meat.

Why is It Called Burmese Python?

Why is it called Burmese Python?

Burmese pythons are one of the largest species of snakes in the world, native to Southeast Asia. They are also popular as pets in many parts of the world. The name “Burmese python” comes from their native range in Burma, now known as Myanmar. In this article, we will explore the reasons why the species is called Burmese python.

Geographical Distribution

Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia, including parts of Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. However, they are now found in many parts of the world due to their popularity as pets. The species was first described by French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1829, who named it after its native range in Burma.

In their native range, Burmese pythons are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and swamps. They are also found near human settlements, where they hunt rodents and other small mammals.

Physical Characteristics

Burmese pythons are large and muscular snakes, with an average length of 12-18 feet and a weight of up to 200 pounds. They have a distinctive pattern of brown blotches on a tan or yellow background, which helps them blend in with their surroundings. Their skin is smooth and glossy, with large scales that overlap each other.

Burmese pythons are constrictors, meaning they kill their prey by squeezing it until it suffocates. They have sharp teeth and powerful jaws, which they use to hold onto their prey while they wrap their body around it.

Popularity as Pets

Burmese pythons are popular as pets due to their impressive size and striking appearance. However, they require a large enclosure and specialized care, which can be challenging for inexperienced owners. They also have a long lifespan of up to 30 years, which is a significant commitment.

In recent years, the popularity of Burmese pythons as pets has led to an increase in their numbers in the wild, particularly in Florida, where they have become an invasive species. This has raised concerns about the impact they are having on native wildlife.

Benefits of Burmese Pythons

In their native range, Burmese pythons play an important role in controlling populations of rodents and other small mammals. They also have cultural significance in many Southeast Asian countries and are used in traditional medicine.

As pets, Burmese pythons can provide their owners with a sense of companionship and fascination with their impressive size and behavior. They can also be used in educational programs to teach people about snakes and their role in the ecosystem.

Burmese Python vs. Other Species

Burmese pythons are often compared to other large snake species, such as reticulated pythons and anacondas. While these species share many similarities, there are some key differences.

Reticulated pythons are found in Southeast Asia and are similar in size to Burmese pythons. However, they have a more intricate pattern on their skin and are generally considered more aggressive. Anacondas, on the other hand, are found in South America and can grow even larger than Burmese pythons.

Conservation Status

Burmese pythons are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), due to a combination of habitat loss and overexploitation for the pet trade. In the wild, they face threats from hunting and habitat destruction, particularly in their native range in Myanmar.

As a result, many countries have implemented measures to regulate the trade of Burmese pythons and protect their native populations. In the United States, it is illegal to import or transport Burmese pythons across state lines without a permit.


In conclusion, Burmese pythons are called so because of their native range in Burma, now known as Myanmar. They are large and impressive snakes, popular as pets but also facing threats in the wild. While they have cultural significance and play an important role in controlling rodent populations, their popularity as pets has led to concerns about their impact on native wildlife.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about the Burmese Python:

What is a Burmese Python?

A Burmese Python is a large species of snake that is native to Southeast Asia. It is one of the largest snakes in the world and can grow up to 23 feet in length. They are often kept as pets and can be found in zoos and wildlife parks around the world.

They are known for their striking appearance, with a pattern of light and dark brown scales that resemble a camouflage design. They are also known for their strength and can easily overpower prey that is much larger than themselves.

Where did the name “Burmese Python” come from?

The name “Burmese Python” comes from the snake’s native range, which includes Burma (now known as Myanmar) and other parts of Southeast Asia. The snake is also sometimes referred to as the Indian Python or Asiatic Rock Python.

The Burmese Python has been introduced to many parts of the world as an invasive species, including the United States, where it is now considered a threat to native wildlife.

How long do Burmese Pythons live?

Burmese Pythons can live up to 20-25 years in the wild, and even longer in captivity. They are known for their longevity, and some have been known to live for more than 30 years in captivity.

However, their lifespan can be affected by a number of factors, including their environment, diet, and overall health.

What do Burmese Pythons eat?

Burmese Pythons are carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey, including rodents, birds, and other small mammals. They are also known to prey on larger animals, such as deer and wild pigs, although this is less common.

They are ambush predators and rely on their strength and stealth to catch their prey. They have been known to go for long periods without eating, and can consume prey that is much larger than themselves.

Are Burmese Pythons dangerous?

Burmese Pythons can be dangerous to humans, especially when they are stressed or feel threatened. They have been known to bite, although their bites are not venomous.

Their real danger comes from their size and strength. A full-grown Burmese Python can easily overpower a person, and there have been cases of people being killed by these snakes. It is important to treat these animals with respect and caution, especially when they are in captivity.

Why is It Called Burmese Python? 2

Why Are There Burmese Pythons In Florida?

In conclusion, the Burmese python is a fascinating creature that has captured the attention of many people around the world. Its name is derived from the country of Burma, now known as Myanmar, where it is native to the dense forests and wetlands.

The Burmese python is known for its impressive size and strength, which has made it a popular target for hunters and collectors. Unfortunately, this has led to a decline in the population of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Despite the challenges facing the Burmese python, efforts are being made to protect and conserve this species. By raising awareness of its importance and promoting responsible practices, we can ensure that the Burmese python remains a vital part of our natural world for generations to come.