Large living snakes are mainly members of the Boidae and Pythonidae. Most of the large snakes are non-venomous constrictors. Some of the largest snakes have a maximum mass that may exceed 50 pounds and a length that reaches about 20 feet. The reported lengths of some of these snakes vary while some are not truly variable. A certain length of the largest snake can only be established from a dead specimen or heavily sedated snake.
10. Papuan Python
Papuan Python is a large snake, with adults growing up to 17 feet and weighing slightly less than other pythons. The heaviest measured Papuan Python was about 50 pounds. The species may vary in size with some measuring between 4.6 feet and 14.4 feet. The Python can change its color, especially when agitated. Its color varies from black to mustard yellow but normally has an olive green appearance. Papuan Python is found mostly in New Guinea and is largely terrestrial. Despite the size, the snake is inoffensive and not prone to biting even when handled. Its diet consist of small mammals, but sometimes it feeds on other snakes
9. Dark-spotted Anaconda
Dark-spotted Anaconda is a non-venomous boa species. The species is named in honor of Rodolphe Schauensee, an American ornithologist who donated a specimen to the Philadelphia Zoo in 1924. The snake is both terrestrial and semi-aquatic, usually found in swampy or seasonally flooded areas. An adult Papuan python may weigh up to 66 pounds and may reach a length of up to 9.8 feet. The snake is found in South American countries including Brazil, Guyana, and French Guiana. Dark-spotted Anacondas mate at the end of the dry season between June to August and can have 3 to 26 neonates in a litter with the young one measuring about 19 inches at birth.
8. Yellow Anaconda
The yellow anaconda is a boa species endemic to South America. It is one of the world’s largest snakes. An adult yellow anaconda grows to an average of 10.8 to 14.4 feet in length and weighs between 55 to 77 pounds, though larger species can weigh up to 120 pounds or more. The female species are larger than the male with female measuring up to 15.1 feet. The snake is yellow, or greenish-yellow overlaid with black to dark brown spots. It prefers aquatic habitat including banks of slow moving water bodies but can also be found in forests. The snake is a generalist feeder and forages in the open and preys on fish, turtle, and small mammals.
7. Boa Constrictor
A boa constrictor is a large heavy-bodied snake found mainly in Central and South America. The snake can reach a length of 3 to 13 feet with the female larger than the male. Female in captivity exceed 10 feet while the male ranges between 6 and 8 feet. An adult Boa Constrictor may weigh up to 60 pounds with some even exceeding 100 pounds. The color varies depending on the locality. However, Boa Constrictor is brown, gray, or cream, patterned with reddish-brown saddles, especially around the tail. It flourishes in a variety of environmental conditions including rainforest and semi-desert. It is mostly terrestrial and strikes when it perceives a threat. Its diet consists of small-to-medium mammals, rodents, and birds.
6. Amethystine (scrub) python
The scrub python is a non-venomous snake found in New Guinea, Australia, and Indonesia. It is the largest native snake in Australia and New Guinea. Some of the specimens have been measured to be 27.9 feet in length. However, no verified specimen has exceeded 19.7 feet. A typical adult specimen measures between 6.6 and 13.1 feet with the female weighing around 33 pounds. Some rare species have been reported to weigh 200 pounds. The male is slimmer and smaller compared to the female averaging 11 pounds. Scrub python occurs in bushland and suburbia. Its diet consists of birds, rodents, and other small mammals. Larger specimens feed on wallabies and cuscus.
5. Indian Python
The Indian python is a non-venomous python species common in subtropics areas of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is a light colored snake patterned with whitish or yellowish with blotched patterns varying from tan to dark brown. The species measures an average of 8.9 to 10.8 feet and weighs about 115 pounds. Indian python is a lethargic and slow moving snake and exhibits timidity even when attacked. It is an excellent swimmer and can be submerged in water for some time. Its diet consists of mammals, birds, and reptiles. The snake constricts and kills it preys before swallowing it head first. Indian python inhabits the grasslands, marshes, and rocky foothills.
4. African Rock Python
The African rock python is a non-venomous snake mostly found in the sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest snake in Africa and among the world’s largest. An adult snake measures 9.1 to 11.7 feet and weighs 97 to 121 pounds. It varies in size depending on the area and habitat. The snake is thick bodied, covered with colored blotches forming large irregular stripes. The body markings ranges from brown, olive, to yellow with a white underside. It has a triangular head and sharp teeth which face backwards. The snake inhabits a wide range of habitats including forest, grassland, and rocky areas. It is also found on the banks of lakes and in swampy places. African Rock Python kills its prey by constriction and feeds on a variety of large rodents and small mammals.
3. Reticulated Python
Reticulated Python is a species of python common in Southeast Asia. It is a non-venomous constrictor normally considered to not be of danger to humans. Reticulated Python is the world’s longest snake and reptile. It has an estimated length of 4.9 to 21.3 feet and weighs between 2.2 and 165.3 pounds. The largest measured specimen under anesthesia was 22.8 feet long and weighed 130 pounds. The snake has a complex color pattern that may seem garish. Its coloration is often referred to as “disruption” as it can hide from the predator and catch their prey. It inhabits the rainforest and grassland and can also be found near rivers and lakes. Its diet consists of mammals, birds, and rodents. Large individuals can feed on primates and pigs.
2. Burmese Python
Burmese pythons are found in the tropic and sub-tropic areas of South and Southeast Asia. The snake is dark colored with brown blotches on its back. Its attractive color makes it popular with both pet keepers and the leather industry. An adult Burmese python can grow to 12.2 feet with the female slightly longer, heavier, and bulkier than the male. The snake is mainly nocturnal and is at home both on the ground and in trees. It is also an excellent swimmer with the ability to be submerged in water for up to half an hour. Its diet consists of birds and mammals and it kills its prey by constriction. It breeds in early spring with the female laying up to 36 eggs. The hatched snakes remain inside the egg until they can shed their first skin after which they can hunt for themselves.
1. Green Anaconda
Green Anaconda is a non-venomous boa common in South America. It is the heaviest and longest snake ever recorded, reaching about 17.1 feet with the female larger than the male. The adult snake weighs averagely 66 to 154 pounds. The heaviest verified specimen measures 17.09 feet and weighs 215 pounds. The body pattern consists of olive ground overlaid with black blotches along the body. It has a narrow head compared to the main body with distinct orange-yellow stripping. Green Anaconda is a nocturnal species living around water areas. It is sluggish on the ground because of its heavy weight but can reach maximum speed in water. The snake preys on fish, birds, and mammals.