Albino Burmese Python - What is It? How Rare Are They? The Facts & Figures.
Known as one of the largest snakes in the world, the Burmese python (Python bivittatus) is a species of snake that has grown in popularity over the last 10 to 20 years, and can be found starring in many social media videos on the internet. Mainly, the fascination with the Burmese is their unique method to catching and eating food. In general, most burmese python snakes grow between 9 ft to 20 feet in length and can weigh up to 200 pounds! Pythons are constrictors, which means they kill prey by coiling their bodies around their food and “constricting” it until it suffocates.
There are a number of different types or “morphs” of the Burmese, here are few of the most commonly known:
- Albino Burmese
- Patternless Green Burmese
- Albino Patternless Burmese
- Labyrinth Burmese
- Albino Labyrinth Burmese
- Granite Burmese
- Caramel Burmese
- Pied Burmese
Yes! The Albino Burmese is rare because only a few hatchlings will actually hatch with the distinctive “albino” coloring. Albinism is a genetic mutation in the DNA where the body does not produce melanin (pigment) which results in white skin or scales. In the wild, Burmese pythons are usually dark brown in color. However, Albino Burmese have a beautiful pattern of a yellow-cream color with peach or orange rings or shapes bordered in white.
Because Albino Burmese are bred specifically for the coloration of their scales, the chances of one ending up as an albino from the pairing of one parent with albinism with another that is not albino is very minimal. This statistic makes albino variants of Burmese pythons a lot more valuable for pet owners and reptile collectors.
In the wild, Albino Burmese pythons typically live up to 20 years. However, in captivity they can live longer, with some surviving 25-28 years.
Much like the standard Burmeses, an Albino Burmese python can grow to almost 20 feet in length! Female Albino Burmese generally grow larger than the male breeds.
Did You Know? The largest python ever recorded in history was 26.5 feet in length and over 500 pounds!
Burmese pythons are carnivores and mostly diet on birds, small mammals and other small reptiles. In the Florida everglades areas, they have been known to prey on small alligators. Burmese Albino Python will grab and snatch prey with its jaws and teeth. Then it will constrict and strangle it until it suffocates. The Burmese Python’s jaws are extremely flexible and can stretch open to swallow whole food that is five times the size of its head!
The Burmese python species of snake is native to Asia and they are found inhabiting areas of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and southeastern China. These pythons began to make their way into the U.S. in the 1980’s as exotic pets. However, a category 5 storm, Hurricane Andrew, hit the coast of Florida in the summer of 1992. It’s believed a breeding facility specializing in exotic snakes, like pythons, was destroyed during the storm and hundreds of pythons were accidentally lost in the wild. Since then, Burmese pythons have become an invasive species in the state, and have been known to cause major harm to the environment of the Florida everglades.
Albino Burmese Python can be dangerous to other animal species in the wild or to their prey. To humans or bystanders, they most likely are not and will not cause harm. They are not known to attack humans or have aggression towards humans in captivity, though they can show signs of uncomfortable and angry behavior if kept in poor captive conditions.
Because they are constrictors, they do not have fangs. Instead, they have rear facing teeth. In addition, these snakes are not poisonous. They may strike and bite out of fear, and it can cause some minor harm to if they do bite, it will not cause major injury and cannot poison a person.
Although Burmese pythons are considered invasive in Florida, they are actually suffering from endangerment in their native area of the world, Asia. Currently they are listed as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List. Deforestation and being hunted for their skin or the pet trade industry are the two biggest threats to Burmese pythons in the wild.
Check out the YouTube video on the Albino Burmese Python!