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What Non-Venomous Snakes Are Dangerous to Humans?

Updated on September 23, 2011

Which Snakes Are Possibly Dangerous?

Out of the many, many species of snakes in the world (around 2,700 thousand), only 5 species of non-venomous snakes are considered large enough to be serious threat to human life. Out of 5, only 2 are commonly seen in captivity. Lets take a look at these 5 big boys!

The Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus)

The Reticulated Python is hands down a beautiful animal. With over 200 different varieties available, they are aesthetically pleasing and are also unusually intelligent for a snake. They originate from tropical forests in Asia. Their range even extends into Myanmar, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Along with their gorgeous looks, they are also the longest snake in the world!

The record for the longest was a wild-caught individual in Sulawesi, Indonesia. This specimen was official recorded at 33ft. Sadly, the weight could not be taken. The largest on exhibit is famous among reptile enthusiasts. Her name is Fluffy, and she is 24ft long and 300lbs. There have been other reports of even larger Reticulated Python, but unfortunately, were not officially recorded.

Reticulated Pythons are an extremely popular captive kept species. Many are calm, easy to care for, amiable animals (unless it's feeding time!). Retics have been reported to have killed humans before. Their large size and aggressive feeding response can be a dangerous combination in the hands of an amateur reptile keeper.

Albino Burmese Python
Albino Burmese Python

The Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus)

The Burmese Python is the largest subspecies of Indian Python. They are a large, very heavy body snake that is one of the most commonly seen reptiles in the industry. They come in a few different varieties, and even the normal color phase is very pretty. In the wild they range from Southern- and Southeast Asia. They will even inhabit other areas if the climate is correct. Due to being a popular, and fairly inexpensive species, many of these animals as small neonate by people who have no idea of their true size. The record for the largest Burmese Python is Baby. She is 27ft long, and weighs in at a whopping 403lbs. She is currently the record holder for the heaviest snake.

Despite their popularity, Burmese Pythons as a species have the high numbers of attacks and deaths on humans.

Green Anaconda
Green Anaconda

The Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)

No doubt, the Anaconda is one widely known species of snake. They have been featured in quite a few movies, and are definitely one of the first snakes that pop into people's minds when asked about what the largest snake is. Green Anacondas are the largest (not the longest) species of snake on average. They can reach lengths of 18+ft and weigh more than a few hundred pounds. Though the Green Anaconda can quite easily kill and consume a human, they are few cases of actual attacks from them. As far as I know, there haven't been any cases of attacks in the United States.

The Green Anaconda is a beautiful animal that originates from the swamps and marshes of the Amazon and Orinoco basins. They are a very reclusive species, and those in captivity seem to become quite docile. They are an extremely large species, and like all of the big boas and pythons, command a lot of respect.

The African Rock Python (Python sebae)

The African Rock Python is a lesser known species, but none-the-less, a very large one. The originate from the tropical African savanna. Like many a large species of snake, they prefer living near large bodies of water. The African Rock Python can reach lengths of 20-25ft on average (though they can get longer). African Rock Pythons can also hit weights of over 250lbs. The African Rock Python is also the largest snake found in Africa. While they are not endangered, they are on CITES App ll.

The African Rock Python is one of the more snappy species of large snakes. They are pretty rare in captivity, and are not a commonly seen species. There haven't been any recorded cases of attacks in the US.

The Amethystine Python (Morelia amethistina)

The Amethystine Python, or Scrub Python, is one a beautiful species of snake. It is a very long snake that is more similar in body type to the Reticulated Python (slender rather than girthy). Though the Amethystine Python isn't commonly seen, it is popular among large snake enthusiasts due to their size and nice coloration.

The Amethystine Python ranges from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. They are a reclusive species, and there have been extremely few cases of attacks from them. There have been none recorded in the US.

In conclusion, out of the thousands of non-venomous species of snake, only 5 are capable of posing a serious threat to human life. Out of these 5, only 2 are popular and commonly seen. Of these "attacks" caused by large snakes, I would very safely say that in nearly every case, it was a case of the owner becoming complacent and stupid. Though this seems harsh, I think many would agree.

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    • profile image

      eurectes 15 months ago

      Not completly true. Indian python is often mistaken with burmese, but altrough it is different snake and can potentionally be dangerous to humans. And there are others too.

    • profile image

      Snakesmum 2 years ago

      Many people think that the smaller pythons don't pose a danger to humans, and they do not, if you are only thinking of them attacking us. However, many of the smaller pythons commonly kept as pets are capable of injuring, or even killing people, especially children, if mishandled. They are very strong, and if they wrap around your neck, you could be strangled. It's not a good idea to handle any snake over about 8 feet long on your own.

      Good article about the larger snakes, and glad to see an Australian python made the grade.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Good Article... I have seen the rock pythons when I lived in Africa. They were big and fast. I saw one take down a grazing goat in seconds.

    • profile image

      bgfirefighter754 5 years ago

      i own a recticualted python and a burmese and a green anaconda and they are just fine

    • aa lite profile image

      aa lite 5 years ago from London

      After reading this hub, I feel relieved that I have chosen to keep geckos as pets. The worst I have to fear from them is a stay cricket. However I did once look at the website of the guy (sorry forgot his name) who breeds rare morphs of pythons and sells them for thousands of dollars. With reptiles I usually prefer natural forms from morphs but some of the ones he produced were gorgeous. Great Hub.

    • Cutters profile image

      Cutters 6 years ago from South Carolina

      You will see some of my pics real soon! I got some Hubs in the works about the snakes I had.

    • misspeachesx profile image
      Author

      misspeachesx 6 years ago from Northeast, Washington

      I would love to see some pictures of them!! I've seen all but the Amethystine Python in person, but never owned any. My biggest snake is my BCI who is around 20lbs and 8ft.

    • Cutters profile image

      Cutters 6 years ago from South Carolina

      What a great Hub, I can relate to this Hub since I once owned every one of these snakes as a pet all at the same time! I have pics to prove! You have to be on guard at all times and never be alone with them ever! Loved the Hub great pics! The snake Pics are beautiful I wish I had them again. The only reason I do not have them now is the fact I had kids and I did not want to have something happen. I could not live with myself. No matter how safe one can be things happen that are out of one's control. Good job!

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