I really get annoyed when people assume that all pythons are huge, dangerous, man-eating snakes. First of all, human beings are NOT a snake’s first choice on the reptilian dinner menu. Second, they do not seek us out, they would prefer to hide from us. And people……a reticulated python is NOT venomous. Its scientific name is Python reticulatus. Reticulatus is Latin for “net-like” and refers to its pattern. They are the longest snakes, but not the heaviest. The anaconda has that in the bag. They are capable of killing an adult human, but do not attack unless that human is messing with them in their natural habitat, or the human is a dimbulb who got a big snake “cuz it’s KEWL” with NO idea in the world how to handle it. By dimbulb I mean someone who lets their 20-foot retic roam the house, or tries to handle it alone without another, strong adult to help.
Retics and Burmese pythons are often confused one for the other. Burms do not usually get as big as retics, but close; averaging 12-19 feet in length. They also reputedly have bad attitudes; I haven’t been around any to know for sure.
A ball python (Python regius) or “Royal” python is probably the #1 most popular pet snake, along with the corn snake. Your average ball python, on a diet of one weaner or small rat a week (depending on the snake’s size), can grow to an average of 3-4 feet long and as far as weight, that’s entirely dependent on how well they eat and how much you feed them. We have a couple of breeding females who are approximately 6 feet long and about 10 lbs. We feed them medium rats (which, in a pet store is sold as a “large” rat). A ball python is not scary, unless their main method of self-defense, curling up in a tight ball, is your idea of “scary”. A lot of them tend to be VERY “bitey” as hatchlings; some morphs seem to be more so than others.
Pythons are a fine species of snake and deserve a lot of respect.