Coastal carpet pythons – Morelia spilota mcdowlelli
Jungle carpet pythons – Morelia spilota cheynei
Irian Jaya carpet pythons – Morelia spilota sp. (No subspecies verified.)
Level of difficulty: Beginner
Note: Because of the large amount of crossing done with this species, it is hard to find pure animals. The only way to find pure Irian Jayas is to either get them exported from Indonesia, or buy from someone who has verifiable pure animals and bloodlines. Jungles and coastals can no longer be exported from Australia, and it has become near impossible to find pure jungles and coastals.
Range in the wild:
Coastal and jungle carpet pythons are found in Queensland, Australia. Irian Jayas are found in West Papua, formerly Irian Jaya.
Coastals, Irian Jayas, and jungles are found in the rainforests of their home ranges.
Coastals: 7-9 ft. and about as big around as a coke can
Jungles: 6-8 ft. and as big around as a coke can
Irian Jayas: 4-6 ft. and around the same size as a ball python of the same length
Hatchlings can be nippy most adults are trusting. Although people often associate biting with Jungle carpet pythons, most grow to be calm. Coastals and Irian Jayas are however still the choices of people believing them to be calmer. What the HELL does this mean?
Carpets are long lived snakes ranging from 15 – 25 years depending on the care they receive.
Carpets are very easy snakes to feed, although hatchlings may take some time to get started eating. Although it seems a bit too being for them, a rat pinkie or mouse fuzzy is the best prey for a hatchling. Adults, depending on subspecies, will eat anything from a small rat to a jumbo rat.
Coastals: Large to Jumbo rats
Jungles: Medium to large rats
Irian Jayas: Small to medium rats
Lighting and heating:
Carpet pythons being nocturnal, do not need UVB light and get their calcium for the bones of the rodents they eat. However, if you are using your carpet as a display snake then UVB lighting might be necessary to produce the day/night cycle.
Cage temperature can be created by,
A) a heat lamp
B) an under the tank heater
Either is good, however, lamps tend to suck all the humidity out of the cage. Heat pads are a better option. Cage temperature should be around 88-90 degrees at the basking spot and 78- 80 degrees as the ambient temperature. Night drops are unnecessary unless attempting to breed them.
Most keepers tend to keep their Carpet Pythons at 60-70% humidity, however they can be kept at lower levels. I mist them in the morning every other day and they have a red bulb on their tanks and this is normally terrible for humidity. However, my snakes thrive and I normally only mist them every day when in shed. If you live in a drastically dry area, then you might want to increase humidity.
When misting, you want to make a humidity cycle. When you mist, wait until the cage has dried to mist again.
Most Irian Jayas and jungles can be housed in cages measuring 2 ft. – 3 ft. long by 2 ft. deep by 15″ tall. Coastals can be kept in cages from 3 ft.- 4 ft. long by 2 ft. deep by 2 ft. tall.
Hatchlings should be kept in rack systems, so that they can feel secure. Rack systems are small and hard to see through, which helps the snake’s sense of security. However, if you keep one carpet python it might be easier to use a ten gallon tank. Both of these will house hatchlings until they are around 3 ft. For caging I would recommend Boaphile and Animal Plastics cages.
Most keepers recommend cypress bark, aspen bedding and newspaper. I believe in newspaper because it is readily available, easy to clean and virtually free. Cypress looks decorative; however, when heat treated, it will no longer hold moisture and is a swallowing hazard. Aspen is quick to mold and also a swallowing hazard.
An appropriate sized water bowl is a must. It should be cleaned twice a week. A hide box is also needed.
Hatchlings: Paper towel rolls with a hole in the side for entry.
Adults: Cat litter pans with a hole in the side for entry.
Perches are also an idea, although, most carpets are content with perching on their hide boxes.
First you need females that are around 2.5 to 3 years old and males that are around 2 years old. Cooling can begin around January 1st. Keep daytime temperatures the same, but at night drop the temperature to about 70-75 degrees, roughly 18 hours of heat, 6 hours without. Around January 15th let the nighttime temps occasionally get around 65 degrees 12 hours with and without heat. At February 15, let temps get back to 18 hours of heat and 6 without. At the middle of March, keep the heat the same but allow the night temperatures to get a bit warmer. After cooling pair your snakes. They will copulate several times during the next few days and they should be left together until no interest in shown between them. The female will lay her eggs around 60 days after becoming gravid.
Clutch sizes vary dramatically but below is a good idea of what to expect:
Coastals- 20-30 eggs
Jungles- 10-20 eggs
Irian Jayas- 10-15 eggs
Most of the breeding section was based off Anthony Caponetto’s Carpet Python breeding care sheet (Seen below).
Although the diamond python (Morelia spilota spilota) is part of the carpet python species, I have left it out of this care sheet. It has a difficult husbandry and breeding requirements that I felt should not be included with the other carpet pythons