Python molurus bivittatus
Status: Not Protected
Colubridae, subfamily Pythoninae
Occurrence in Taiwan
Only on the Kinmen archipelago (金門)
The Burmese python is a subspecies of Python molurus, which is found throughout southeast Asia, from Pakistan to Indonesia (though absent from the Philippines). The subspecies bivittatus has the largest range of the three subspecies - including southern China, Indochina, Burma, and portions of Indonesia (Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and the Celeb Islands).
This is one of the largest of all snakes, growing up to eight meters (but usually seven) and weighing up to 190 pounds. Its coloration is a light yellowish cream with a series of brown elongated rectangular blotches edged with black. There is a lance-shaped mark on the head and neck. There are a number of facial pits, which are sensitive to changes in temperature and allow the python to locate warm-blooded prey hiding in concealed areas.
Biology & Ecology
The nocturnal Burmese python lives in lowland forests and swamps, where it feeds on mammals and birds. The snake uses its sharp backward pointing teeth to seize its prey, then wraps its powerful body two or more times around the prey while at the same time contracting its muscles, killing the prey by asphyxiation.
Pythons move by undulating the ribs backwards and forwards by muscular action while the ventral scales grip the substrate. They climb well and can suspend themselves by their prehensile tail. They are also quite at home in the water, being a good swimmer, and are able to stay submerged for up to half an hour. In the northern parts of its global range they may hibernate for some months during the cold season in a hollow tree, a hole in the riverbank or under rocks.Sexual maturity is reached in 2-3 years. Pythons are oviparous, and after breeding in early spring, an average of 12-36 eggs are laid, which the female coils around to incubate. The incubation period is two months or more. The rate of growth is influenced by the conditions under which the snake lives. Pythons have been known to live up to 25 years.
Python : From Ancient Greek Πύθων (Puthōn), the name of the mythological enormous serpent at Delphi slain by Apollo; from Πυθώ (Pūthō), the early name of Delphi, from πυθώ (puthō), “‘to rot, to decay’”). (Source)
molurus : after the Greek molouros = some kind of snake, the identity of which is now uncertain (fide WALL 1921). (Reptile Database)
bivittatus: from the Latin prefix bi = two or dual, and vitta = band or stripeThe Chinese name 緬甸蟒 (mian3dian4mang3) means "Burmese (緬甸) python (蟒)"