jungle carpet

quick-step  asked:

Will your carpet pythons yellow markings fade with age?

Not really no! These colors are here to stay.

Sorry, but you’ve inadvertently asked a really cool question regarding jungle carpets, so now i’m going to ramble now.

It’s pretty common for ball pythons to dull with age. The yellows seem to pull back as the browns pull forward. I’ve heard breeders say that “the best a ball python will ever look is right out the egg”. They’re at their brightest and boldest when young.

Jungle carpet pythons are the exact opposite

Fresh outside the egg they look terrible. Like. Honestly. They do. Every carpet python breeder will admit this. But with each shed they brighten up. The pattern becomes cleaner, the colors start to brighten. In six months they’re starting to look pretty good, by a year it’s like a completely different snake.

Here is what Selfie looked like as a baby vs now:

…and here’s what Hashtag looked like, vs now:

I’ve noticed that with Hashtag that his yellow bands have “muddied” a bit. They haven’t lost their vibrancy, but some black is creeping into the middle sections. Not like his colors are dulling at all though. The blacks get richer, and the yellows more vibrant. I’m sure by the time both of them are pushing 20 years old, those colors might fade a little bit.

While it’s super rad to have a snake that only gets better with age instead of the reverse, there are some downsides.

For one, it’s real hard to sell baby carpet pythons to people who Don’t Know™. They’re ugly, especially next to a booth of baby ball pythons who are currently looking their best. So if you breed ‘em, you have to be prepared to hold onto them until they color up.
Another tricky thing, is while all jungle carpets start out equally ugly, they all don’t end up drop-dead gorgeous. The coloring-up is genetically influenced, but not like a morph with a single gene responsible. Selective breeding is what does the trick. So bright-yellow parents will make bright-yellow babies. If you intend to buy a jungle carpet python, ask to see photos of the parents, cause you’re gunna get a baby that ends up in the range of mom and dad.