Leopard gecko variants are among the most popular – and entertaining – reptiles to keep as pets, but with so many different types and colors to select from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed while looking for the ideal one for you. All of these leopard geckos have gorgeous colors that make them stand out from the rest of the reptile realm – and it definitely helps that they are very attractive, too! They are very sociable, very docile, and (relatively) easy to care for.
We delve a bit further into the intricacies of everything you need to know about “morphs” below, casting a light on these wonderful tiny reptiles. You’ll discover how they differ in size, color, pattern, and overall physical traits, as well as the types of colors and patterns you can find on the market (and in the wild) nowadays, and you’ll even get a look at the most popular form of leopard gecko morph that many people keep as a pet. On top of that, we delve into some of the genetic characteristics that these reptiles possess, how morph versions are still being created in laboratories and by hobbyists today, and a slew of other insider knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else.
Are you ready to get right in? Let’s get started!
101 Leopard Geckos
Before we get into the many sorts of morphs available today, we thought we’d go over some of the fundamentals of maintaining these reptiles and ensuring they may have happy, healthy, and pleasant lives for as long as possible. To begin, you should be aware that opting to maintain leopard geckos is a decision that might continue much longer than you would have imagined at first, given that a morph can live for 20 years or more.
These fascinating tiny reptiles will live for anything between six and ten years on average. But if you are careful in taking care of them and serious about giving them a high-quality daily food on a continuous basis, it is not difficult to double their longevity – and start pushing those twenty-year lifespans we mentioned a second ago.
These reptiles are extremely docile and family-friendly, and they are not at all scared or timid around people. They love to be held and handled, and while you’ll want to make sure they have a safe enclosure to live in the majority of the time, you can get away with allowing them out for a little of “playtime” every now and again as long as you keep a careful eye on them and are vigilant. It is vital, however, that you remain on top of their health and fitness. The following are signs of a healthy leopard gecko:
- Claws and toes that appear healthy and are completely intactA general alertness and high activity level
- Eyes that are bright and clear, with no cloudiness or drooping
- A clean nose and a shut mouth…
- as well as a full, healthy, undamaged, and spherical tail.
An unhealthy morph will exhibit several very common and easy-to-identify signs that should set off alarm bells in your head, including (but not limited to):
- Sunken, drooping, or inattentive eyes.
- Any discharge from their mouth, eyes, or nose.
- Lethargic behavior and a difficulty to move freely.
- They are having difficulty shutting their jaws fully.
- Claws and toes that are missing or malformed in some way.
- Obvious indications of malnourishment, such as exposed ribs and hip bones…and keep an eye out for features that appear flat, thin, or otherwise deteriorated.
If you observe any of the concerns we mentioned above with your morph, you should get legitimate veterinarian treatment as soon as possible. Reach out even if you are unsure of their general health and wellness, especially if you are new to the leopard gecko world. It is critical that you get ahead of these difficulties before they become significant concerns later on!
How Many Leopard Gecko Morph Exist?
While the vast majority of people who are familiar with leopard gecko morphs see them almost exclusively as pets, it’s important to remember that these reptiles are (obviously) found in the wild and in their natural environment – though there are far fewer subspecies and color patterns in the wild than there are in captivity. The “common” leopard gecko has five distinct subspecies, with these leopard geckos typically found in the Middle East – including Afghanistan, India, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan (for the most part).
Wild gecko variants thrive on the outskirts of deserts and are especially plentiful in dry grassland areas. It’s usually a good idea to make sure that the enclosure you’ve built for your own morph (or morphs) is as near to their native surroundings as possible.
Leopard geckos, on the other hand, come in over 100 distinct colors, patterns, and variants in the “pet world” of morphs. Furthermore, as previously said, breeders are continually experimenting with the genetics of these magnificent tiny reptiles in order to produce new color patterns that have never been seen before. This is why it might be difficult to find the ideal leopard gecko at times. Let’s delve a little more into the many varieties of leopard geckos you might like to preserve and raise yourself!
Exploring the Various Leopard Gecko Morphs Aberrant Leopard Gecko
Aberrant leopard gecko morph reptiles have a pattern that is quite broken up and down their back and tail, with the break generally showing directly on their back hips.
Many aberrant morphs have beautiful bands that go up and down their body and across their tail, with a huge old oval break in the middle, making them very easy to recognize.
It’s crucial to note that aberrant morphs, as well as any colors, forms, and patterns, can mix with pretty much any of the others mentioned in the remainder of this list.
In the albino leopard gecko world, there are several distinct albino patterns, but three primary varieties are entirely incompatible with one another.
Albino morphs are easily identified by their total lack of black pigmentation everywhere and everywhere on their body, generally having a cream or slightly pinkish tint where black pigment would have been expected.
It’s not unusual for these leopard geckos to have red eyes as well.
At the same time, not all albino more geckos will have red eyes (although this is not required for them to be classed as albino).
Some have reddish eyeballs that ultimately fade to a lighter and silvery tint as they age.
The three primary kinds that are incompatible with one another are Bell, Rainwater, and Tremper albinos.
Baldy Leopard Gecko – A Leopard Gecko with Bald Spots
A Baldy morph is a kind of super hypo gecko that does not have any spotting on its head or towards their neck.
These morphs pair nicely with a variety of other colors and types, allowing for an almost limitless number of popular combinations.
Breeders, in particular, seek for ways to blend Baldy morphs with their breeding pairs in order to generate “new morphs” that have not yet been established.
It’s not difficult to find Baldy leopard geckos for a few hundred dollars (often much more) if the morph is extremely rare.
Blizzard leopard geckos are entirely patternless leopard geckos, the type of gecko morph that appears virtually colorless – similar to a glass of milk or a blizzard (no surprise there).
The snowy leopard gecko is not an albino leopard gecko – not just because they do not usually have red eyes, but also because they still contain black pigment – but they are white, yellow, or even a very pale purple.
If your snow leopard gecko is a pale purple or lavender color, chances are it will fade as it ages and become to resemble a silver leopard gecko – or an albino leopard gecko with deeper pigmentation (and not necessarily having red or pink eyeballs).
The deeper blizzard hues are frequently referred to as “midnight blizzards,” and they typically feature very dark – or nearly totally black – eyes.
The patternless leopard variety of these geckos can make them difficult to recognize for people who are unfamiliar with the various morphs and variations available.
If you’re having trouble distinguishing a patternless leopard from an albino, check for a lack of black and dark pigment (as we highlighted above).
Leopard Gecko with a Carrot Tail
Another morph that can be paired with a variety of colors and patterns, a gecko with at least 15% of its tail coated in orange – and you can kind of eyeball it (doesn’t have to be precisely 15%) – will be designated as having a carrot tail.
Carrot Tail Leopard geckos have round, full tails when they are healthy, so it should come as no surprise that those with a dash of orange acquire the nickname “carrot tail.”
Halloween Mask Gecko
The term “Halloween Mask leopard gecko” comes from the fact that they usually always have very striking markings on their heads.
These tiny lizards appear to be dressed up for trick-or-treating 365 days a year!
It is relatively uncommon for these reptiles to have carrot tail coloration, however it is quite rare for these morphs to mix with albino or Blizzard choices – although it does happen on occasion.
High Yellow gecko
Before breeders began to tamper and experiment with the coloring and dwarf variants of leopard geckos, there were really only two possibilities “in the wild” – the normal coloration of the leopard gecko, which we shall discuss briefly in a moment, and High Yellow geckos.
Yellow leopard geckos are not as numerous as they once were (they still exist in the wild, but new morph variants have crowded out yellow leopard geckos in the retail and pet market), but they are quite simple to detect.
These geckos have a lot more yellow – A LOT MORE YELLOW – than regular leopard geckos, but they also have less markings.
These geckos can mix with other morph variants (such as Jungle leopard gecko morphs), and the coloration can get rather wild as a result.
Hyper Melanistic Leopard Gecko
Hyper melanistic coloring is incredibly dark (almost black), but it isn’t truly black — it’s more of a tremendously deep navy blue or purple.
These mutants have far more melanin than their conventionally colored siblings, which adds significantly to the rich hues of their colorings.
Little spots and leopard patterns will still be visible on their bodies, however they may be difficult to discern depending on the sorts of morphs with which they have been crossed.
Hypo Melanistic Gecko
Hypo melanistic leopard geckos, on the other hand, have the exact opposite condition as hyper melanistic geckos – a total absence of pigmentation that virtually eliminates spotting from head to tail.
To be classified as a hypo melanistic leopard gecko, these lizards must have 10 or less spots on their body.
Those that categorize these reptiles allow for a handful of additional spots on the head or tail, but for the most part, they must have as few spots as possible while still belonging to the leopard gecko family.
Any leopard gecko with NO markings on its body – though it may have a few on its head or tail – is classified as a Super Hypo leopard ecko.
Lavender leopard gecko morph lizards have a lavender hue that is particularly prominent on their body and tail – but the color can be a brilliant or pastel violet or a very deep, very dark purple.
Lavender geckos frequently lose a little of their purple coloration as they age and develop (the purple generally changing to a silvery hue), thus these variants are easy to mistake when they have a few of years of life under their belts!
Mack Snow Leopard Gecko
Mack Snow (and Mack Super Snow) morph lizards are labeled as “co-dominant,” which simply means that they have reduced – sometimes drastically – the amount of yellow and orange found on these types of reptiles.
Traditional Snow morph geckos will be close to black and white with a touch of yellow or orange, but Super Snow morph geckos will have an almost impossibly brilliant degree of contrast between the white and black on their bodies and tails.
Normal leopard gecko
Before breeders began experimenting with varied colors and patterns, normal leopard gecko morphs were one of just two natural kinds.
These are the most common but still extremely gorgeous reptiles! They are usually the least expensive of all the many morphs – and can be purchased in pet stores all around the world!
You’ll identify them by their simple yellow and black pattern, which is what inspired these geckos to be called after leopards in the first place
RAPTOR (Red Eye Patternless Tremper Orange) gecko morphs are distinct in that they are not only albino geckos with red eyes, but they also have some orange on their body.
These are some of the most common combination morphs on the reptile market right now.
Black spots will never appear on RAPTOR gecko morphs’ heads, bodies, or tails.
They can be rather uncommon – and quite pricey – but they are also among the most fascinating looking reptiles on the globe today.
The Gigantic gecko
Though the vast majority of leopard gecko lizard morph classifications almost entirely pertain to their skin coloring or the color of their eyes, Super Giant leopard gecko lizards are labeled this way due to their sheer size.
These Super Giants, which are far bigger than the typical leopard gecko, may grow to be nearly 12 inches long (which is just how big the world record holding Super Giant is right now).
Giant morphs will be awarded to morphs that are somewhat smaller – but still larger than typical leopard gecko lizards.
What is the most common morph of a leopard gecko?
We’ve only scratched the surface of all the many varieties of leopard geckos out there right now, but there’s one color pattern and morph that’s head and shoulders the most prevalent on the globe right now – and that’s the Tangerine morph.
No, the most frequent leopard gecko morph is neither the Normal or High Yellow morphs (the only two colorations seen in the wild), but the Tangerine morph — a morph with a little additional orange on it.
This orange adds a lot of visual appeal and flare to these types of reptiles, which is why breeders all over the world are working hard to figure out how to unlock the genetics of their breeding couples in order to add more orange to each succeeding generation.
Nowadays, it is not difficult to locate a Tangerine morph if you are looking for a leopard gecko to add to your collection, with virtually all of them having a character as well.