Burmese Pythons are light-coloured snakes with many brown blotches bordered in black down the back. The perceived attractiveness of their skin pattern contributes to their popularity with both reptile keepers and the leather industry. The pattern is similar in colour, but different in actual pattern to the African Rock Python (Python sebae), sometimes resulting in confusion of the two species outside of their natural habitats. In the wild, Burmese pythons grow to 3.7 metres (12 ft) on average, while specimens of more than 4.5 metres (15 ft) are uncommon. Individuals over 5 metres (16 ft) – like a specimen from Cooch Behar with 5.8 metres (19 ft) and 91 kilograms (201 lb) – are very rare. There are reports of snakes more than 6 metres (20 ft) long, but those are often result of confusion between Burmese Pythons and Reticulated Pythons, stretched skins, or simple exaggeration. There are also dwarf forms on Java, Bali and Sulawesi. At Bali they reach an average length of 2 metres (6.6 ft) and on Sulawesi they achieve a maximum of 2.5 metres (8.2 ft).
The Burmese Python is found throughout Southern- and Southeast Asia including Eastern India, Nepal, Western Bhutan, Southeast Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Northern continental Malaysia, Southern China and in Indonesia on Java, Southern Sulawesi, Bali and Sumbawa. This python is an excellent swimmer and needs a permanent source of water. It can be found in grasslands, marshes, swamps, rocky foothills, woodlands, river valleys, and jungles with open clearings. They are good climbers and have prehensile tails. The Burmese Python is not rated by the IUCN, but is abundant.