Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snake pets- Morelia viridis

Common Name : Chondro Python , Green Tree Python

Location : Indonesia (Aru I, Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, Island of Gag, Australia (NE Cape York Peninsula of Queensland)

Type locality: Aru (as Aroe) Islands, Indonesia


The Aru Island group lies off the southwestern coast of Irian Jaya (West Papua), and is home to a race of chondros named after the main island. This race is noted for having several consistent characteristics, the most obvious of which is the sprinkling of white scales on a rich green or blue green body color. These white scales are usually concentrated on the dorsal area and may appear singly or in small groups. They may also connect to form a partial dorsal stripe, but do not make a single-scale dorsal chain as is seen on Merauke chondros. It is quite probable that individuals of this race have made it to the 1 southern coast of New Guinea and it is not uncommon to see white speckling on mainland animals. Also, the amount of white on Aru type specimens is variable, making absolute distinctions between pure Arus and some mainland animals speculative. This is further evidenced by some European breeders reporting red Aru hatchlings, even though it is an accepted fact among US and Indonesian breeders that Aru babies are always yellow. The most obvious explanation for this discrepancy is the blending of mainland "Aru-types" with pure stock at some point in the past. Some older specimens may have gray or silver scales mixed in with the white. Blue spots, blotches, or bars are present on the sides and dorsal areas of many specimens, and a beautiful blue color covers the lateral and belly area on the best specimens. This can be quite stunning when viewed in good full-spectrum lighting. The blue may also extend onto the lower and upper labials.
from the first feeding with no hesitation. Most breeders of Aru chondros report that the babies are usually among the most difficult to get feeding, largely because they are so placid in nature that the usual technique of tease feeding is ineffective.
The typical Aru chondro has a wellproportioned, medium-sized head with rounded lobes. They are larger than many mainland type adults, averaging about 60 inches in length, although the author has seen an adult female that exceeded 72 inches. (See photo in Chapter 1.) Individuals of this race are usually among the more tame and easy to handle of chondros, but there can be notable exceptions, especially when dealing with wild caught specimens.


Biak Island chondros, the second of the two primary island forms, certainly outrank Arus in terms of size, personality, numbers, and variableness. Widely regarded as the largest of the geographic races, Biaks can be impressive, with big bulky heads, long dragon-like snouts, flared nostrils, long sharply pointed tails, and sizeable bodies. They also have a welldeserved reputation for being snappy and easily provoked. A few keepers have challenged this last characterization as false. There are exceptions to just about any generality that can be made about chondros, and outcrossed animals (specimens that aren't pure blooded) Biak coloration is variable and tends to be more muted in adulthood than other types of chondros. The blotchy pattern frequently includes some yellow patches. The green is often more pale or olive-colored than in other forms and is usually the dominant color. Although variable, the blotchy pattern is unique and has been described by the wife of one of my customers as having a "tie-dyed" look. (Readers old enough to remember the Sixties will know what she means!) Often some white is evident too on single scales, or more frequently manifested as small "flowers" made of several scales. Specimens from the nearby island of Yapen are reported to have these white flowers in profusion, often without the characteristic yellow blotches. A very common Biak trait is a patch or bar of bright yellow on the face or nose. Some specimens have black pigment on the edges of their scales or the skin between the scales. As a group, Biaks are the most recognizable of the races. Some feel they deserve subspecies status.
Biaks can be yellow or red as neonates, and the red offspring are often orange in color, with bold yellow dorsal triangles. These chondros typically undergo the ontogenic color change in a rather unique 9 way, usually taking much longer than the other forms, and often exhibiting some beautiful and spectacular, if temporary, colors and patterns during the change. This is especially true of red babies. Those uninitiated to the long length of time and unusual colors associated with
Biak ontogenic color changes can become quite excited, thinking they have acquired an extraordinary chondro. This usually gives way to disappointment as the animal slowly adopts a more typical adult appearance as it matures. This can take as long as three to four years with some of these animals, and some Biak keepers have observed that subtle color changes occur throughout the life of the snake. Some beautiful high yellow projects have been produced by crossing Biak types with other forms. More about this will be said in the next chapter. Wild collected juvenile Biaks are without question the most common form that is illegally imported into the US, where they are frequently represented as One of the reasons for this is that the young animals are captive easily collected from the scrubby Biak Island growth that is less dense than other habitats. Also, wild Biaks are quite prolific and breed like rats, according to one collector.


Sorong chondros are best recognized by a blue dorsal stripe and triangular shaped dorsal markings on a bright green body that is not as deeply colored as a typical Aru or Merauke. The quantity and intensity of the blue can be highly variable, especially in captive bred animals. Blue spots are frequently found on the lateral areas of the body, and there are usually blue stripes on the head. Some specimens have a few white scales on them. Other typical traits of the Sorong race include a smaller head with a shorter snout than the island forms, and a tail that is longer and more tapered than those possessed by Aru specimens but that is shorter and not as sharply
pointed as a Biak's. A Sorong tail is always pigmented with black or dark blue, according to European locality type breeder Freek Nuyt.
Sorong chondros seem to be a bit smaller overall than other races. Temperaments can run the gamut, but on average the Sorong (and other mainland forms) tend to be fairly tractable as captives. Both maroon and yellow neonates are produced, and these usually have bold dorsal markings that turn blue with maturity.
The Mountain locations of Manokwari, Arfak, and Nabire are also located on the Vogelkop Peninsula. Specimens from these three locations appear to be very similar to each other and closely resemble chondros from other mountain areas. For descriptions, see comments on highland forms below.

Habitat : These arboreal snake are found in elevations from sea level to 6,000 feet (1,850 m), which encompasses a wide range of habitat niches. although this agile snake are certainly arboreal, these's an increasing.

Known as Chondropython viridis, the scientific name was changed in 1994 to Morelia viridis, to reflect its close relationship with carpet pythons. However, many hobbyists an professionals alike continued to use the common name "chondro python". Some hobbyists might consider this snake one of the "choice" pythons, due to it's attractive appearance and manageable adult size, but cost, snappy temperament, and specialized regiment of care make it a snake for the experienced keeper who doesn't mind being bitten on a consistent basis.

While an unusually large speciment may measure 7 feet (2,1 m) in length, the green tree python generally reaches a 6-foot (1,8 m) length. this is a fairly slender snake, so a specimen coiled cinnamon bun-style across a branch may appear smaller than it actully is.

Juvenile Chondro pythons are typically yellow, red or dark brown-black. As they mature, their color changes to the bright green many adults display. Some individuals keep their bright-yellow juvenile colors, and some turn straight to blue. Each color is unique and stunning in its own way. Watching the color change is one of the most exciting things about owning these beautiful snakes.

Chondro are primarily nocturnal, meaning they venture out in the dark of night. This is when their main predators are sleeping, and their prey is awake.

Chondro pythons do not require full-spectrum lighting to metabolize calcium, but a quality full-spectrum lamp brings out all the vibrant colors in your pet. Because the day length in their natural habitat is nearly the same year round, you can provide 12 hours of light each day.

Tropical rain forests are the green tree python’s native habitat, so captive snakes need a warm and humid environment. Throughout their natural range they seldom experience temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Offer a range of temperatures within the enclosure so the animal can select its ideal temperature. During the day provide an area where the animals can bask in a temperature between 86 and 88 degrees, and a retreat around 78 to 80 degrees. Allow a retreat, but not a place to hide. The retreat should be an area with lower ambient temperatures. Occasionally shy snakes, if given a lot of cover (hide areas), will remain hidden and not thermoregulate properly -- even to the point of becoming ill. At night the temperature throughout the enclosure can drop a few degrees, but it should not go below 70 to 72 degrees.

The humidity range for green tree pythons should be 40 to 70 percent. It can be higher for short periods – such as after a misting – but should be thoroughly dry between mistings. The environment should not be constantly wet as it can cause the snake to develop dermal infections.

Chondro Pythons are a rainforest dwelling species native to the most Northern tip of Australia and New Guinea. These places have high humidity levels all year round, although it obviously fluctuates greatly from day to night and month to month.

Wild Chondro pythons are arboreal predators, so captive specimens thrive on a diet of appropriately sized rodents. Feed juveniles a small mouse every five to seven days. Older juveniles and young adults can be fed a hopper or medium mouse every seven to 10 days. Adults can be given a meal of one or two adult mice, or a small rat every 10 to 14 days.

Be careful not to overfeed your Chondro python. These naturally slender snakes have a sedentary lifestyle. They can easily become overweight, which can lead to health problems.

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