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Fine Quality Australian Pythons
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Of the genus Morelia, the Diamond python, Morelia spilota spilota, is the most distinctive form. Its uniquely speckled pattern renders it perfectly camouflaged in grass and scrub. It dwells among rocky escarpments, tree-lined creek beds, and dry woodland gullies where it waits to ambush rats, possums, and mice. It has a limited geographic range that covers some of the most densely populated areas on the continent, starting far south in eastern Gippsland, Victoria then northward to the Mid Northern Coast of New South Wales. The northern extent of its range is not well defined. It is here on the northern margins where the Diamond python comes in contact with the Coastal Carpet python, M.s. mcdowelli.

Diamonds are quite variable in color and pattern. As neonates they are dark brown or black with a muted pattern. At around 6 - 8 months of age they start to reveal their adult colors and pattern. To experience this gradual change is one of the rewards of keeping this amazing python. The beauty of adult an Diamond python is something to behold. My group includes several gorgeous 'Stardust' morphs. I first produced 'Stardust' Diamond pythons in 2009 from normal looking parental stock. Based on my results, this appears to be a recessive mutation.
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Diamonds are not like other Carpets
When establishing captive conditions it is important to be mindful of the Diamond python's thermal relationship with its habitat. This snake is adapted for cool weather and should not be kept in conditions like
Morelia from Australia's northern tropical regions. It comes from a place with a temperate climate that is mostly free from extremes of hot and cold - mild winters and warm summers. In winter, the temperature rarely drops below 41°F but occasionally it will dip below freezing. Summers have an average high temperature in the low 80s°F but can often go higher. To illustrate this point, to the right is a temperature and rainfall graph for Gosford, NSW which is a well known Diamond python locale. Like all pythons, the key to keeping them healthy is to have a thermal gradient across their enclosure so they can move to where they feel comfortable.
 
To maintain healthy Diamonds, adults should be cycled by allowing them to brumate in the winter for 2 months at approximately 60°F. In the wild they will emerge from winter dens to bask. During this cooler period I give mine a basking spot under radiant heat panels for 4 hours a day at 85°F.  In addition, Diamonds should not be overfed. In the wild they feed from late Spring to early Autumn. I follow this schedule as well and feed the adults twice a month from April through mid October, keeping them lean and fit. 

Diamond pythons are fascinating and have gentle dispositions. They will thrive in captivity if kept in proper conditions.

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