Pythons are nonvenomous snakes known for constricting prey. These snakes are common throughout the world in Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Pythons aren’t native to North America even if some species are now popular pets. There are 38 types of pythons around the world, some friendlier than others.
Large size is one of the unique characteristics of pythons. These snakes can grow to a length of 30 feet.
What Are Python Snakes?
Pythons are snakes that live in warm climates and which prefer warm-blooded prey to constrict. They are a distinct species from other snakes that constrict prey such as boas.
Pythons are large but they range in size from just a few inches up to 30 feet. Coloring also ranges considerably depending on their habitat.
Known for their camouflage coloring, these snakes can be green or brown, with or without colored patterns.
Pythons are known to live in burrows, particularly rodent burrows. They move efficiently, only in straight lines.
These snakes have a diet based on physical capabilities. Small pythons eat small prey such as rodents. Large pythons eat large prey such as monkeys.
Types of Pythons
Children’s Pythons (genus Antaresia)
Antaresia pythons are also known as Children’s pythons. These species are found in Australia.
1. Children’s python
Scientific name: Antaresia childreni
Common name: Children’s python
The Children’s python species is found in remote North Australia territories. The species is named after British zoologist, John Children.
Snakes of this species aren’t venomous and they are common pets. They grow to a length between 3 and 5 feet.
Children’s pythons are polymorphic as they can be seen in various colors. Its red-brown color with marks is its most common specimen.
This species of snake is known for eating small mammals. Children’s pythons can also climb trees where they can latch out in the air to catch other types of prey such as microbats as well.
2. Spotted python
Scientific name: Antaresia maculosa
Common name: Spotted python, Eastern small-blotched python, Eastern children’s python
Spotted Pythons are common in Northern Australia territories. This snake is small as it only grows up to 61 inches.
Spotted pythons are some of the most common snake pets due to their purple-yellow coloring.
In nature, they are often seen in areas with bats. They wait for small baits to enter or exit a cave before making a move.
Other types of prey preferred by the small python include rodents. Spotted pythons are known to eat mice, but mostly in captivity.
Reproductive rates are low to medium in this genus of snakes. Females lay eggs after mating. They never lay more than 15 eggs at a time.
3. Pygmy python
Scientific name: Antaresia perthensis
Common name: Pygmy python, anthill python
Pygmy pythons are the smallest python species in the world. These snakes rarely grow more than 23 inches which sometimes allows people to confuse them with non-python spaces.
Most Pygmy pythons grow in Northern Australia territories and Northern parts of Queensland.
These snakes might be small but they have excellent preying capacity. Like other pythons, they use constriction to catch food.
Active at night, Pygmy pythons prefer different types of food depending on their age. These snakes can live more than 20 years.
Their diet changes during this time considerably. Young Pygmy snakes are known for eating small rodents when they come out at night to escape the high heat of the day.
Adult Pygmy pythons are known to eat bats. They position themselves at cave entrances where they filter out incoming and outgoing bats.
Constriction is used against prey both by adults and by young Pygmy pythons. Constriction is intermittent as the muscles of these snakes tire.
4. Stimson’s python
Scientific name: Antaresia stimsoni
Common name: Stimson’s python
Stimson’s pythons are named after their British discoverer. They are now widespread throughout Australia.
Snakes of this genus are known for their preferences and adaptations to arid habitats.
While non-venomous, these polymorphic snakes can still bite and it’s best to step away when finding one out in the rocky arid terrains of Australia.
Snakes of the genus feed on frogs and lizards. They use a series of heat receptors that aid in locating frogs and lizards.
While more widespread through Australia than other Children’s snakes, Stimson’s pythons don’t lay as many eggs as other species. Females lay between 5 and 15 eggs after mating.
There’s only one species of Apodora pythons and its’ found in New Guinea.
5. Papuan olive python
Scientific name: Apodora papuana
Common name: Papuan python, Irian python, Papuan olive python
The Papuan olive python is the only Apodora species. This snake is known for its ability to change colors.
It’s not known what determines the snake to change colors, but it may be an ability used for self-defense.
These snakes grow up to 13 feet. They have a green olive color which changes swiftly to mustard-yellow whenever they exert their color-changing abilities.
Rarely seen due to its nocturnal habits, this species is mostly found in New Guinea.
Shield-bearing Pythons (genus Aspidites)
Known for head scales of symmetrical shapes, Shield-bearing pythons are known to be Australian pythons.
6. Black-headed python
Scientific name: Aspidites melanocephalus
Common name: Black-headed python
The Black-headed python is recognized by its black head with similarly-shaped scales. The rest of its body is gray-brown.
Black-headed snakes are common in Northern Australia. This snake is one of the adapted pythons with very good swimming abilities.
These snakes are rarely seen in the water as they prefer arid habitats where they are seen under rocks.
Snakes of the species aren’t venomous but they shouldn’t be disturbed as they can bite. In general, Black-headed pythons give off a hissing warning sign before biting.
Scientific name: Aspidites ramsayi
Common name: Ramsay’s python, sand python, woma
Woma snakes are common in Western Australia. These are short pythons as they grow up to 4.5 feet.
Woma snakes are the only types of pythons without the ability to sense heat, which changes the way they hunt.
These brown snakes are known as nocturnal. They come out at night looking for bird nests and rodent burrows.
Woma snakes enter the burrows where they pin rodents inside against the burrow’s walls until rodents are immobilized.
Most Woma snakes are seen as docile and not reactive when handled. They are part of a group of exotic snakes considered good pet snakes.
Whitelip Pythons (genus Bothrochilus)
Snakes of this genus are endemic to the Bismarck Archipelago. This is a group of islands next to New Guinea.
8. Bismarck ringed python
Scientific name: Bothrochilus boa
Common name: Bismarck ringed python
Bismarck ringed pythons are known to live on islands such as Umboi, Duke of York, and New Britain.
These snakes have a brown body with dark brown rings as adults and an orange body with dark brown rings as young snakes.
They grow up to 6 feet and they’re known to eat rodents.
It’s common for the Bismarck ringed python to enter homes on farmlands and villages looking for food. Its small natural habitat on islands makes it enter human-populated areas.
Snakes of this species are part of the python family. They are known as aggressive snakes.
9. D’Albertis’ Python
Scientific name: Leiopython albertisii
Common name: D’Albert’s water python, Northern white-lipped python, D’Albertis’ python
Known to live in New Guinea, this snake species has high aggression levels, even when raised in captivity.
They are present in both low and high-altitude habitats as well as on smaller nearby islands.
Snakes of this genus are generally interested in small mammals as prey. Since they can climb, snakes of the genus also consume birds.
The size of the snakes is common in the python world as they grow to around 7 feet. Females are longer than males and they are known to remain in the nest they lay eggs in.
When snakes of this species hatch they already measure 15 inches and they can move on to prey lizards.
10. Southern Whitelip python
Scientific name: Leiopython fredparkeri
Common name: Karimui Basin whitelip python, Karimui Basin white-lipped python, Southern Whitelip python
This python species is found in mainland New Guinea. It prefers aquatic environments and it’s often seen around streams and rivers.
It can be identified by its brown and olive green body and its white head underside.
Further distinctive traits of the head include its shape. This snake has a flattened elongated head.
Young Southern Whitelip pythons eat lizards. Adults of the species are known for eating mammals.
These snakes are nocturnal. They don’t make for the best pet pythons as they need a lot of space as they’re very active.
Water Pythons (genus Liasis)
These pythons are adapted to aquatic habitats. They live in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
11. Water python
Scientific name: Liasis fuscus
Common name: Water python
Water pythons grow to a maximum size between 6 and 8 feet. These are some of the most active nocturnal pythons in Australia and New Guinea.
The name of the species suggests it’s an aquatic snake. However, Water pythons are terrestrial snakes that can live and thrive on land.
Its ability to swim is commonly used when trying to escape predators.
This snake is known to eat rodents and it comes out of its den at night looking for small vertebrates.
The species mates in mid-summer and female Water pythons lay up to 12 eggs afterward.
12. Macklot’s python
Scientific name: Liasis mackloti
Common name: Macklot’s python, freckled python
This species is common in New Guinea. It grows to a maximum size of 7 feet. Snakes of the species are identified by their black and brown coloring.
These snakes are either green or olive and their vivid coloring makes them a popular choice in the exotic pet trade.
Like many pythons, individuals of the species are known to climb. They live in tropical forests where they might spend a considerable amount of time up in trees, but they’re mainly terrestrial pythons.
13. Olive python
Scientific name: Liasis olivaceus
Common name: Olive python
Common in Australia, the Olive python is one of the largest snakes in Australia. It grows up to 13 feet and it’s known for its wide robust body.
As its name suggests, this python has a dark green-olive color.
Like many Australian pythons, the Olive python lives in areas with plenty of mammals and birds such as ducks to use for food.
These snakes patiently wait for these animals to cross their paths to ambush them.
Found in rocky areas, Olive pythons are also very good swimmers, like many other pythons in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
This means its swimming abilities are used to its advantage when looking for prey. This python can hide underwater awaiting prey in similar ambushing techniques.
Malay Pythons (genus Malayopython)
These pythons are endemic to India and regions of Southeast Asia.
14. Reticulated python
Scientific name: Malayopython reticulatus
Common name: Reticulated python
The Reticulated python is the world’s longest snake. While not venomous, this snake is highly dangerous through its size.
A large body with constricting capacity allows the snake to be seen as truly dangerous to both animals and people.
This snake grows to a size between 4 and 21 feet. It has been reported to kill and even eat people before.
However, truly large snakes of the genus are rare. They’re mostly seen in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
Small Reticulated pythons eat small prey such as rodents. Larger Reticuked pythons are known to eat large prey such as pigs, deer, and bearcat.
15. Timor python
Scientific name: Malayopython timoriensis
Common name: Timor python
This python gets its name from the Timor islands it inhabits in Southeast Asia. However, it has a wider presence in the region outside of these islands.
It grows to a fair 7 feet size and it’s known for a thin body compared to its length.
Timor pythons are constrictors. They prefer to eat mammals which they ambush whenever they feel hungry.
These snakes have also been known to eat birds, particularly in captivity where they have a limited range of food offered.
Carpet Pythons (genus Morelia)
This species is common in Northern Australia and territories of New Guinea such as the Bismarck Archipelago.
16. Green python
Scientific name: Morelia azurea
Common name: Green python
The Green python has been previously known to be part of the Morelia viridis genus. However, this is a distinct species according to the latest findings.
The species has a distinct yellow and brown coloring resembling the coloration of a ripe banana. It distinguishes itself from the neon green color of the Morelia viridis python.
Both the Green Python and the Green Tree python are known to be terrestrial and arboreal.
17. Centralian python
Scientific name: Morelia bredli
Common name: Bredl’s python, Centralian python, Centralian carpet python, central Australian carpet python, Bredl’s carpet python, central Australian Bredl’s carpet python, central Bredl’s carpet python.
This python is known to be pale yellow, green, or brown. Found in Australia’s Northern Territory, the python is known for adaptation to living in various habitats.
Centralian pythons live in deserts, forests, and next to wetlands.
Like many pythons, it’s semi-arboreal. The Centralian python is a good climber. It gets up trees to find birds as well as to seek out prey at ground level.
The species is known to grow up to 7 feet and it can be seen easily as it’s both diurnal and nocturnal.
Centralian pythons lay eggs that hatch without supervision or without being guarded by the female.
18. Rough-scaled python
Scientific name: Morelia carinata
Common name: Rough-scaled python
The Rough-scaled python grows up to 6.6 feet. The species is known to use constriction as a method to immobilize its prey.
This python lives in rocky arid areas of Australia. It’s often seen in trees that bear fruit. This has led researchers to believe the Rough-scaled python seeks out animals that eat fruit.
Rough-scaled pythons are a new species in the python pet world. It has been shown to breed at high rates but long-term data on its docility is scarce.
Rough-scaled pythons are highly muscular and recognized by their honey-brown coloring and triangular heads.
19. Southwestern carpet python
Scientific name: Morelia imbricata
Common name: Southwestern carpet python
Southwester carpet pythons are seen in Australia where they share the same habitat with other pythons such as those of the Woma species.
This snake is rarely seen as it takes to cover in crevices and burrows.
Common in regions of Australia, the Southwest carpet python is also found in logs where it seeks shelter during cold weather.
Males of the species can be seen traveling long distances as true solitary species.
These pythons exhibit traditions such as returning to the same place after traveling long distances, unspecific to the python world.
20. Carpet python
Scientific name: Morelia spilota
Common name: Carpet python
Carpet pythons normally grow up to a length of 9 feet. These snakes are common in mainland Australia.
Pythons of the genus can be seen as they’re active both during the day and during the night.
These pythons can live both on the ground and occasionally on trees. They’re known to be very good climbers.
However, most of its prey lives on the ground. This includes a limited range of mammals and lizards for the young Carpet pythons.
21. Green Tree Python
Scientific name: Morelia viridis
Common name: Green Tree Python
This slender snake is known for its neon green body. It grows up to 6.6 feet and it’s known to live in parts of Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea.
Green pythons are a type of a distinct group of pythons that live in trees. This green python is among the species most known for ambushing and jumping on prey from above.
It prefers mammals but it doesn’t back down from prey if it has the advantage of higher positioning.
The neon color of the snake makes it one of the most sought-after pythons in the exotic pet trade industry.
This is a large python species common in habitats with rock crevices and caves.
22. Oenpelli python
Scientific name: Nyctophilopython oenpelliensis
Common name: Oenpelli python, Oenpelli rock python
Oenpelly pythons are sometimes seen as the rarest type of pythons in the world. This is a species known to prefer hiding in remote locations such as crevices and rocky terrains.
This python is also believed to be a rare sight due to its arboreal nature where it seeks out food.
Oenpelly pythons are among the Australian species known to only eat birds. They are known to eat birds attracted to fruits. As a result, they’re a python species tied to habitats with fruit-bearing trees.
However, seeing this python is impossible due to its scarcity, even in captivity. Most zoos or wildlife reserves around the world don’t have a single individual of this species to showcase.
Common Pythons (genus Python)
Non-venomous python’s genus found in Australia, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa
23. Anchieta’s Dwarf Python
Scientific name: Python anchietae
Common name: Angolan python, Anchieta’s dwarf python
This species is found in parts of Southern Africa. It has a mostly dark body with a yellow underbelly.
Snakes of the genus are very different in a few characteristics such as looks and the ability to see a live one.
It has bead-shaped scales on its head and body. Furthermore, this unique python species is known to be a rare sight.
There’s no python of the genus in captivity to see today. Furthermore, the war in Angola makes catching the python impossible due to the presence of land mines in its natural habitat.
24. Burmese Python
Scientific name: Python bivittatus
Common name: Burmese Python
The Burmese python is one of the largest of its kind. It reaches a length of up to 16 feet and its thick body makes it appear even larger.
Pythons of this genus are common in Southeast Asia. They are found in the forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, and Vietnam, among other countries.
Identification is based on size and dark green coloring with gray and light green markings along with its head and body.
The Burmese python is one of the invasive python species in Florida. It was once popular as a pet python but its status was set to prohibited for import as it has escaped captivity breeding freely.
The Burmese python is now an invasive species of the Florida Everglades. This python is known for its considerable role in diminishing other snake populations.
Local authorities, not all foxes and rabbits disappear from a habitat whenever this python enters the area.
Efforts to remove it from the Everglades can be summarized into more than 1.000 captured species to this day.
25. Malaysian Blood Python
Scientific name: Python brongersmai
Common name: Blood python, Brongersma’s short-tailed python, Malaysian blood python, red blood python, red short-tailed python, Sumatran blood python
The Malaysian Blood python species is common in Malaysia, Sumatra, and Indonesia. It’s a large python species that comes in multiple colors.
One of the most common color combinations the python is seen in is yellow and various shades of brown.
Pythons of this genus love the high humidity of tropical rainforests.
They have an aggressive to very aggressive nature which doesn’t make them a good pet python.
26. Blood Python
Scientific name: Python curtus
Common name: Sumatran short-tailed python, Blood Python
This python species is also known as the Sumatran python. It has a dark gray body color and it’s generally regarded as aggressive.
Blood pythons are unpredictable and very aggressive when handled. They aren’t good pet pythons.
This species feeds on birds and mammals.
27. Myanmar Short-tailed Python
Scientific name: Python kyaiktiyo
Common name: Myanmar Short-tailed Python
This specie is endemic to Myanmar. Not much is known about it as it’s rarely captured since it lives in remote areas.
Pythons of the Myanmar Short-tailed species are mostly orange-brown. Their size varies considerably based on the information scientist have to this day. Captured individuals of the species measured anywhere between 60 inches to 6 feet.
28. Indian Python
Scientific name: Python molurus
Common name: Indian python, black-tailed python, Indian rock python, Asian rock python
The Indian python is common in regions of India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. This is a large python species that can grow up to 10 feet long.
Its large size also makes it one of the slowest-moving pythons which can make it even seem lethargic.
The species is known for eating birds, reptiles, and mammals, similar to other pythons.
29. Ball Python
Scientific name: Python regius
Common name: Ball Python, royal python
Ball Pythons are small to medium species found in Central Africa and West Africa.
The species has a dark brown and black body and it’s known to curl up in a ball which inspires its name.
Ball pythons primarily feed on species of rats. They are semi-arboreal which means they also climb trees for birds.
30. African Rock Python
Scientific name: Python sebae
Common name: African rock python
The African Rock python is one of the largest snakes in the world. It grows up to 20 feet and it’s mostly found in Sub-Saharan climates in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Namibia, and South Africa.
Possibly due to its pet trading status, the python has also been discovered in Florida’s Everglades.
It now holds the status of an invasive species, most similar to the Burmese python also living in Florida’s Everglades.
31. Bornean Short Python
Scientific name: Python breitensteini
Common name: Borneo short-tailed python, Bornean Short Python, Borneo pytho
The Bornean Short python is common in Brunei and Malaysia. This species grows to a maximum of 8 feet but its average length is 4 feet.
It lives in swamps as it can swim. It’s also found in irrigation systems around crops and farms. This species is known to be very aggressive.
32. Southern African Python
Scientific name: Python natalensis
Common name: Southern rock python, Southern African python
The Southern African python is a python that prefers rocky terrains. It can live up to 27 years and it’s known for having a wide diet.
The species eats monkeys, rats, and even antelopes. It uses ambushing techniques to surprise its prey.
Scrub Pythons (genus Simalia)
Scrub pythons represent a non-venomous species that can grow up to 270 inches. They live above ground level.
33. Amethystine python
Scientific name: Simalia amethistina
Common name: Amethystine python, scrub python, sanca permata
This species is common in Australia and New Guinea. It’s a python known for loving forests and humid environments.
Its diet largely depends on its size. Small pythons eat rodents and bats. Larger pythons of the species are known to eat mammals, possums, and wallabies.
These pythons are known to grow up to 28 feet. They have smooth scales but they aren’t the heaviest Australian pythons as they averagely weigh around 66lbs.
A slim body is one of the main differences between the Amethystine python compared to other species.
34. Boelen’s python
Scientific name: Simalia boeleni
Common name: Boelen’s python, black python
This species is known for preferring high altitude terrains where it lives at ground level, particularly in forests.
The species is highly protected in Papua New Guinea. It’s here that it can be still seen in its natural habitat.
This python is known for eating mammals. Tree-climbing abilities also allow it to eat birds.
The python has a high value for collectors and python pet owners. However, its scarcity means it’s not often found even among python enthusiasts.
35. Moluccan python
Scientific name: Simalia clastolepis
Common name: Moluccan python, yellow python
This yellow-brown python is endemic to Indonesia. They grow to a maximum length between 8 and 9 feet.
Its coloring is one of the main reasons why the python is considered one of the viable options for exotic pet trading.
However, the Moluccan python is one of the species that doesn’t reproduce at high rates in captivity, which doesn’t make it a high priority among pet snake owners compared to other pythons.
36. Australian scrub python
Scientific name: Simalia kinghorni
Common name: Australian scrub python
The Australian scrub python is one of the largest snakes in the world. Some consider it the largest python in the country.
Others see the Australian scrub python as the largest arboreal python.
It represents a species known for its preferences for habitats with vegetation and not arid habitats like many other Australian pythons.
This python mostly eats mammals and it may also consider eating other smaller snakes.
The python is a rare sight outside the country.
37. Tanimbar python
Scientific name: Simalia nauta
Common name: Tanimbar python
The Tanimbar python is found in multiple colors. This python species is endemic to Indonesia.
It grows to a maximum length of 9 feet making it one of the largest pythons in the country.
Young Tanimbar pythons are known for being yellow or red. They turn brown or olive green in adulthood.
Some pythons of the genus are known for having either a black or a yellow line that runs along their spine.
The species is known to sometimes be patterned, mainly by yellow markings. Other Tanimbar pythons are plain-colored, such as its green version.
38. Halmahera python
Scientific name: Simalia tracyae
Common nameb: Halmahera python
This python is found in remote areas of Indonesia such as the Halmahera Island. It grows to a size between 8 and 13 feet as an adult.
The species is known to prefer the rainforest of this habitat and it remains up in canopies most of its life.
Pythons of the genus are often seen on trees with fruits. This leads many to believe it feeds on small birds attracted to fruits.
Halmahera pythons are also known among locals of the island. This python can eat a few whole chickens at a time.
Pythons of this genus are generally agile despite their large size. They can easily move from one tree to another using branches for support.