Jayapura locality chondros originate from the area surrounding the coastal city of Jayapura, on the north eastern coast of Papua, Indonesia, and extend out to neighboring regions of Lereh, Cyclops Mountain, and Arso. It is likely that many imported chondros labeled as Jayapura may actually be from one of the neighboring regions. This can make the Jayapura very difficult to distinguish from other neighboring regions, more so with yellow neonates. Jayapura Green Tree Pythons can present themselves in a wide variety of phenotypic expressions common to northern mainland Morelia Azureus. They can be yellow or red as neonates and are largely collected as yellow. Many have theorized that red neonates are more commonly found at higher elevations and since the Jayapura region itself is not as mountainous as neighboring regions, their higher percentage of yellow neonates supports this theory.
Yellow neonate adults can often be recognized by a solid or nearly solid blue dorsal stripe with blue markings extending out from the dorsal to the lateral portions of the body. In many cases, the dorsal stripe and lateral markings will be thinner and more pointed than that of other northern mainland Chondros, like the Manokwaris and Sorongs from the Vogelkop Peninsula. The red neonate adults will typically settle to a darker shade of green than the lighter olive green of the yellows. Red neonates can vary in the presentation of blue, anywhere from virtually none to almost solid blue like the sire of the “New Blue” locality cross originally produced at Terraria Indonesia. More commonly, the blue will present as an outline of the neonate dorsal markings and as a light blue undertone most easily recognized between the scales. Both red and yellow neonates can exhibit varying degrees of melanism, although this is not very common and mostly a product of captive breeding. Both red and yellow neonates will almost certainly display varying amounts of white scales. They usually appear individually and are somewhat sporadically located throughout the body. They can be found in groups or clusters, but more often are isolated anywhere throughout the dorsal and lateral regions. White scales can vary from just a few to dozens. In the wild, both red and yellow neonates typically have little to no black in the tails and have a medium bluntness tail. Captive born Jayapuras often have a considerable amount of black in the tail that dissipates with age.
In my experience, Jayapuras tend to be one of the smaller and more docile green tree pythons, making them an excellent choice for beginners, or if you are the type that likes to pull them out for a peak from time to time. When bred in captivity, they can begin their ontogenetic color change (OCC) as early as 3 months and as late as 2 years or more! Yellow neonates can rapidly turn dark green, sometimes referred to as digital, while others may remain solid yellow well past a year and turn green in just a couple days! Others may slowly and steadily change over the course of 1-2 years until they finally settle into their adult coloration. Red neonates seem to be a bit more predictable in regard to the timeline of their OCC, which is typically between 6 and 18 months of age. Most red neonates will be born bright red with white dorsal markings, while some may have a very slight shade of yellow to them. Red neonates can go anywhere from nearly solid black through the body to a very light, almost yellow color prior to entering the final stage of OCC where the body turns green.
Jayapura neonates can be a little tricky to get feeding on f/t mice as neonates and may require a test of your patience. However, once started they are feeding machines. In my experience, Jayapuras are as hardy as they come and make for an outstanding ownership experience. No, I’m not saying that so you all will buy mine either! They’re mine, all mine, muahahaha!
Perhaps one of the most knowledgeable and biggest fans of Jayapura GTPs was the late Vladimir Odinchenko, truly a chondro legend! Vladimir was well known for running Terraria Indonesia and is one of, if not the most successful, chondro breeders in the world. He was also well known for his love of the Jayapura locality and it has shown in many of Terraria Indonesia’s outstanding clutches that made their way to the United States. The most well-known “New Blue” “designer” line is simply an Arfak x Jayapura locality cross. Both parents were red neonates and nearly solid blue, representing some of the finest specimens of each locality to date. This blue has been proven to pass along to the offspring, earning a designer label.
Credit: Mark Huffman