by Terrell Zeigler
There is not a day that goes by that I am not glad that I just happened to stumble upon this animal at a random booth at the Reptile Super Show in Pomona, August 09, 2014. After making a few purchases earlier in the year, I had no intentions of buying ANYTHING, which I almost accomplished. In my last sweep of the floor I was heading back for the entrance and April found me and told me that there was a booth selling a female Granite for cheap. I don't know how I missed it myself and I was under the impression that she was referring to an Irian Jaya het Granite. When the crowd cleared and I saw a lone Granite in a deli cup sitting there, I knew we needed to add her to the collection!
The deli cup she in was by itself in the center of the table she was on. Her sire was sitting on display right behind her, also for sale. No one at the table seemed even remotely interested in her. By the time I had seen her, it was pretty late in the day, so I was surprised that she had lasted that long on the table. I spoke with the woman, Mindy, who told me that she was only selling her for so cheap because she was an incredibly shy eater and she just could not get her to eat consistently. She was more concerned with her going to a good home and that the next owner would not just give up on her. Few moments later we were in possession of the stubborn eater that I ended up naming Charlotte. Mindy also threw in two other Carpet Pythons for free. I will write a blog on those two killers later on.
It didn't take long to get Charlotte acclimated and eating on her own which was a huge relief to me because I wanted her to thrive. Since then I have had zero issues getting her to eat. She is a pretty voracious eater these days. As time went on and I started researching what the Granite morph was all about, it made me want to go back and know more about the pairing that produced Charlotte. Fortunately for me, Mindy kept a live journal account as well as an iherp account that she documented a lot of information in. I'll admit that it was exciting tracing back the information and recapping the journey Mindy and her husband went on from acquiring the pair, breeding woes, maternal incubation, the first pip, and selling the babies. That mindset is something that I truly admire and I will be adopting that going forward so other keepers such as myself can follow along in the journey of their animal before it ends up in their hands.
Now, that you have a little back history on the lineage of this animal, I can talk about the most obvious thing about her; her appearance. Most everyone who has seen Charlotte in pictures when I first started posting her on social media assumed I was using a filter or editing the pictures to make her appear lighter. This is both true and false. I do edit pictures if it isn't a quick tub shot, but I ALWAYS try and keep the appearance of the animal true to what my naked eye sees. There are days when she is simply glowing and then other days where she is a little duller in coloration. BUT, those who have seen her in person would agree with me that we do not tamper with pictures to make her appear better than she really is. Another undeniable truth about her is that over time, she had begun losing more of her brownish hue and black pigmentation with each shed. She was already a light Granite to begin with, but in about a year she had lost mostly all black pigmentation on her body (except her belly). The pictures below will illustrate what I mean. Is this a new polygenic trait that she carries; or is it a freak occurrence? Who knows and I don't care really, but it is something fun to think about.
I haven't 100% decided what is in store for Charlotte down the road, but I do only intend to breed her once, maybe twice and that's it. With the inherent issues with the Granite morph, I'm not entirely sure I want to compromise her health for continual breeding life. She does display slight signs of neurological complications which is caused from the failure to outcross the Irian Jaya bloodlines when the Granite morph was first discovered. Time will tell the tale though...