Published: May 20, 2013 2:08 PM EDT

MIAMI- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says a Miami man caught and killed the longest Burmese python ever captured in Florida: 18 feet, 8 inches. The python was a 128-pound female that was not carrying eggs, according to University of Florida scientists who examined the snake. The previous record length for a Burmese python captured in the wild in Florida was 17 feet, 7 inches.

On May 11, Jason Leon was riding late at night in a rural area of southeast Miami-Dade County when he and his passenger spotted the python. About 3 feet of the snake was sticking out of the roadside brush. Leon stopped his car, grabbed the snake behind its head and started dragging it out of the brush. When the snake began to wrap itself around his leg, he called for assistance from others and then used a knife to kill the snake. Leon once owned Burmese pythons as pets and has experience handling this nonvenomous constrictor species. 

The public is asked to report sightings of exotic species to IveGot1.org or 888-IveGot1. There is also a free smartphone app: IVEGOT1.

The Burmese python is an invasive species that has negative impacts on the Everglades ecosystem and its native wildlife. The FWC actively coordinates with local, state and federal partners, including university researchers, native tribes and nongovernmental organizations, on the research, management and capture of pythons.