Jungle Carpet Python
Jungle carpet pythons are usually the subspecies that first comes to mind when most reptile hobbyists think of carpet pythons. Having been in the U.S. since the late 1980's or early 1990's, a lot of selective breeding has gone into the jungle carpets we see today.
The jungle carpet comes from rainforests in northern Queensland, Australia. These snakes are small to medium in size - similar to an Irian Jaya carpet, and their appearance varies drastically, from tan and black - almost resembling a coastal carpet - to the less common and more well known yellow and black animals.
Captive Jungle Carpets
In captivity, especially within the United States, a lot of breeders have selectively bred Jungles to the point that they're far nicer and brighter than anything seen in the wild. That being said, a lot of US "Jungle" lines also have diamond python blood in them, which many breeders agree has contributed to the cleanness seen in modern day trophy Jungle carpets. There for a while, Diamond x Jungle crosses were worth more, and people would sell their Jungles as Diamond crosses if there was a little yellow tipping in the black. Some guys even did this because they suspected Diamond in their lines and didn't want to mislead anyone. Even science didn't recognize the jungle carpets as a distinct subspecies until the 1980's, meaning people were breeding what they thought looked similar. Remember, back then you couldn't get on an Australian reptile forum and see what the snakes over there actually look like. With all the confusion in the history of these animals, I don't pay too much attention or draw much distinction in the percentage of Diamond or Jungle supposedly in a bloodline...or even its supposed purity. Instead, I look at the snakes and decide what, if any, benefit it would have in my collection....what can I pair it with and what will I get?
As mentioned briefly before, jungles are most well known for their vivid yellow and jet black coloration, but they don't all look that way. In fact, I'd say about 90% of the Jungles on the market are a more dull gold color, rather than the bright yellow. As such, I have been extremely selective in acquiring Jungles and as a result, my current group consists of very few animals. Something I admittedly haven't pushed as far as I would've liked to (new facility, new business, thousands of geckos) but I am working now to correct this deficiency in my carpet collection. Good trophy jungles are pretty freaking expensive, by the way. :-)
The only known pure jungle carpet morph at the moment is the Zebra jungle carpet, which is a co-dominant morph. The homozygous or "super" form is a patternless yellow carpet python. The original zebra was a black and tan-gold animal...not the bright yellow we all love so much. So far, I have not seen a bright yellow super zebra, but I assume these animals will start popping up in the next few years.
New Morph in Development
I am working with what has proven thus far to be a dominant red/hypo form of carpet that originated in a 50% Diamond/Jungle cross.· The stock I have are from that animal bred to a trophy Jungle male.· This appearance may very well be co-dominant, in which case the homozygous form may be more extreme.· Time will soon tell!
Jungle carpets are typically small in size, usually just slightly larger than an Irian Jaya carpet.· Like all carpets, they are commonly very docile pythons...but some of them can be a handful.· In fact, I'd say that a majority of the extremely aggressive/offensive carpets I've seen or owned have happened to be Jungles, but again, this isn't the norm.
Jungles tend to start off a little more nippy on average, but most of them calm right down at around a year of age.· No handling or "taming" is required.· Just let the snake learn over time that you don't want to eat it.· Keep in mind, these are small animals in general that produce tiny babies, which weigh about one ounce at birth. Even at full grown size, most adult Jungles are less than 10 lbs.· This is not a snake that is going to eat a family pet (unless it's a rat or mouse) and it's not going to strangle you to death.