In these animals there is an absence or decrease in yellow pigments. It can also be attributed to absent or deﬁcient xanthophore pigment metabolism. Xanthophores are the only pigment cells affected by this mutation. These animals are basically the opposite of their amelanistic counterparts. They maintain their characteristic patterns but are far less impressive than amelanistic varieties.
The axanthic trait in carpet pythons has always been thought to be a recessive mutation. There are however more and more breeders who believe that the mutation could be incomplete dominant in nature.
The first axanthic mutation occurred in a coastal carpet python from a collection in Sweden in the early 2000’s. Another strain of axanthism popped up in a coastal carpet python collection from Queensland(Australia) a few years later. So far axanthism has been proven in coastal carpet pythons, jungle carpet pythons and Western New Guinea carpet pythons.
Axanthic carpet pythons are starting to become more common in Australian reptile collections and will be responsible for some truly striking animals when combined to other traits.
Axanthic animals usually display a palette of grey and black.