The Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) inhabits areas with subtropical and tropical climates, much like that of southern Florida, where this species has become an invasive pest of great economic and environmental importance. Studies have encouraged hope that the species cannot spread to more areas of the United States due to the snakes' inability to survive in other climates.
One of two subspecies of the Indian python (Python molurus), the Burmese python is generally the larger and darker of the two. The body can vary between yellowish and cream to brown and black, although brown rectangular splotches outlined with black on a dark cream body are common. This large snake can reach lengths of about 25 feet and weigh as much as 300 pounds.
Distribution and Habitat
The Burmese python inhabits Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and parts of China and Indonesia. These large pythons prefer damp or moist habitats, never living far from water. Subtropical rainforests are preferred, although this snake is adaptable to a wide range of habitats including swamps and marshes, grasslands and the rocky foothills of their native land. Burmese pythons also inhabit agricultural areas; domesticated farm animals attract them to farms and other developed areas.
The climate for most of Myanmar, formerly Burma, and the rest of the Burmese python's native land is tropical and subtropical. In Myanmar, the cool season -- November to February -- is characterized by drier weather with average temperatures in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit. Throughout most of the country, heavy rain falls almost daily between May and October, totaling up to 200 inches annually on the Tanintharyi coast. Only 20 to 40 inches fall annually in the central plains. The Burmese python lives in various habitats between these two extremes.
Climate in Non-Native Lands
The Burmese python has established a population in the Everglades in Florida. Because of their invasive nature and destructiveness, various studies about their potential spread have been an ongoing venture for many universities and scientists. The USDA National Wildlife Research Center concluded that, while some have predicted the python's spread to areas as far as Delaware, the more probable spread is limited to parts of southern Texas. During the study, the snake's mortality rate due to cold temperatures aided in the results of the study.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.