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Python Snake vs. Anaconda Snake: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 7, 2024
Python snakes are a family of non-venomous constrictors found in Asia, Africa, and Australia, while anaconda snakes are a type of python native to South America, known for being one of the largest and heaviest snakes.

Key Differences

Python snakes belong to the family Pythonidae and are found in diverse environments across Asia, Africa, and Australia. Anacondas, part of the boa family and specifically the genus Eunectes, are native to South America and are typically associated with aquatic environments.
Pythons come in various sizes, with some species like the reticulated python being among the longest snakes in the world. Anacondas, particularly the green anaconda, are known for their immense weight and girth, making them the heaviest snakes.
In terms of behavior, python snakes exhibit diverse habits depending on their species, but many are arboreal or terrestrial. Anacondas are predominantly aquatic and are adept swimmers, often found in rivers and swamps.
Python snakes have a wide range of diets, feeding on small to large mammals and birds, depending on their size. Anacondas primarily feed on aquatic and semi-aquatic animals, including fish, birds, and even large mammals like capybaras.
The reproductive habits of python snakes can vary, with some species laying eggs, while others exhibit ovoviviparous reproduction. Anacondas are ovoviviparous, giving birth to live young in water.

Comparison Chart

Geographic Range

Asia, Africa, Australia
South America


Varies widely, some very long
Very heavy and thick-bodied


Diverse: arboreal, terrestrial
Predominantly aquatic


Small to large mammals, birds
Aquatic animals, large mammals


Mostly oviparous, some ovoviviparous

Python Snake and Anaconda Snake Definitions

Python Snake

Can be arboreal or terrestrial, depending on the species.
Some python snakes spend much of their time in trees.

Anaconda Snake

Gives birth to live young in the water.
Unlike many other snakes, anacondas don't lay eggs but give birth to live offspring.

Python Snake

A non-venomous constrictor snake found in various regions.
The python snake I saw at the zoo was impressively long.

Anaconda Snake

Primarily aquatic, often found in rivers and swamps.
Anacondas are excellent swimmers and often ambush prey in water.

Python Snake

Most species lay eggs, but some are ovoviviparous.
The python snake in our local reserve just laid a clutch of eggs.

Anaconda Snake

Feeds on a variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic animals.
Anacondas can consume large prey, such as capybaras and caimans.

Python Snake

Includes species like the reticulated and ball python.
Ball pythons are popular pets due to their manageable size.

Anaconda Snake

A type of large, aquatic boa native to South America.
The green anaconda is one of the heaviest snakes in the world.

Python Snake

Known for feeding on a wide range of prey.
Larger python snakes can even prey on small deer.

Anaconda Snake

Known for their immense size, particularly in weight and girth.
Anaconda snakes can grow to be incredibly thick and heavy.


What is the natural habitat of a python snake?

Pythons inhabit a range of environments, from rainforests and grasslands to swamps and rocky outcrops.

How long can anacondas grow?

Anacondas, particularly green anacondas, can grow up to 20-30 feet in length.

Are python snakes venomous?

No, python snakes are non-venomous and kill their prey by constriction.

Can anaconda snakes be found in Africa or Asia?

No, anacondas are native to South America.

What do python snakes typically eat?

Their diet includes mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles, depending on the python's size.

Can pythons be kept as pets?

Some smaller species, like ball pythons, are popular pets, but they require specific care.

Are python snakes aggressive?

Generally, pythons are not aggressive toward humans unless threatened or provoked.

What's the biggest difference between pythons and anacondas?

The main difference lies in their size, with anacondas being heavier, and in their native habitats.

Can python snakes swim?

Yes, many python species are capable swimmers.

Are anacondas dangerous to humans?

While anacondas are powerful, they are not usually a threat to humans unless provoked or threatened.

Can pythons climb trees?

Some species of pythons are excellent climbers and spend considerable time in trees.

Do anacondas have natural predators?

Yes, young anacondas can fall prey to larger predators like caimans, jaguars, and even larger anacondas. However, adult anacondas have few natural predators due to their size.

Do anacondas hibernate?

Anacondas do not truly hibernate but may show less activity during cooler periods.

How do pythons reproduce?

Most pythons lay eggs, but some species give birth to live young.

What is the lifespan of an anaconda?

Anacondas can live for about 10-12 years in the wild and longer in captivity.

How does the skin of an anaconda feel?

The skin of an anaconda is smooth and scaly, and can be quite slippery when wet.

Do pythons have good eyesight?

Pythons have relatively poor eyesight and rely more on their heat-sensing pits to detect prey.

How fast can anacondas move?

Anacondas are not particularly fast on land but are quite agile and powerful in the water.

How do pythons and anacondas sense their prey?

Both use a combination of their heat-sensing pits and keen sense of smell to detect and track prey.

How do anacondas hunt?

Anacondas use their aquatic prowess to ambush prey, constricting and then swallowing it whole.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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