Leopard geckos have surged in popularity as pets, and it’s no surprise why. They’re not just docile and easy to care for; they also come in a fantastic array of colors and patterns, known as “morphs”.
These morphs are a result of selective breeding, where breeders aim to emphasize certain traits, such as vibrant color or unique patterns. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular and interesting Leopard Gecko Morphs.
Understanding Leopard Gecko Morphs
A morph is essentially a variant of an animal species that looks different from the typical form. In leopard geckos, morphs are classified based on color, pattern, and size. There are hundreds of Leopard Gecko Morphs, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll discuss some of the most popular ones in this article.
This is the wild type morph, found naturally in the leopard gecko’s native habitat in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and India. Normal morph leopard geckos have a yellow or light tan base color with dark brown or black spots and a white or cream belly.
Albino morphs are characterized by a lack of dark pigmentation. There are three strains of albinism in leopard geckos, namely Tremper, Bell, and Rainwater (also known as Las Vegas), named after the breeders who discovered them. Each strain exhibits different variations of yellow, orange, pink, and white, with no black pigmentation.
Hypomelanistic or “hypo” leopard geckos have fewer black spots than the normal morph. The reduction of black pigmentation gives these geckos a cleaner, more brightly colored appearance.
Tangerine morphs are named for their bright, orange coloration. The intensity of the orange color can vary significantly among individuals, and some may even have virtually no black markings.
Blizzard morphs are characterized by a lack of pattern, with a solid color that can range from pure white to yellow or even a dark, almost purple hue.
Patternless leopard geckos are similar to blizzard morphs but often have a light yellow or green coloration. As the name suggests, these geckos lack the distinctive spots of the normal morph.
Snow morphs come in several varieties, including Mack Snow, Super Snow, and Gem Snow, each with its unique traits. Generally, snow leopard geckos have a lighter overall coloration and reduced patterning.
As breeders experiment with combining different morphs, a plethora of unique and beautiful ‘designer’ morphs have been created. These include:
The Enigma morph has a random pattern that appears like a labyrinth or puzzle. Colors range widely, but the most distinctive characteristic is their irregular, chaotic spots, unlike the orderly patterns of other morphs.
Standing for Red-eye Albino Patternless Tremper Orange, the RAPTOR morph is an albino variant with red eyes, a patternless body, and bright orange coloration.
The Eclipse morph is known for its solid black eyes, regardless of the rest of its body coloration. It can often be combined with other morphs to create stunning combinations.
The Impact of Morphs on Leopard Gecko Care
While morphs change a leopard gecko’s appearance, it’s essential to remember that they do not significantly impact the care these geckos require.
All leopard geckos, regardless of morph, require the same basic care, including a suitable enclosure, proper heat and lighting, a diet of appropriate insects, and regular handling to keep them tame.
Morphs and Leopard Gecko Pricing
The rarity and popularity of certain morphs can influence the price of a leopard gecko. Common morphs, like the normal and albino, are typically more affordable, while rare and designer morphs can command higher prices.
Before purchasing a leopard gecko, it’s important to research and consider not just the initial cost of the gecko itself, but also the ongoing expenses of their care.
The world of Leopard Gecko Morphs is vast and wonderfully diverse. Whether you’re an experienced breeder or a beginner enthusiast, understanding the various morphs can enrich your appreciation for these delightful creatures.
From the bright Tangerine to the striking Blizzard, there’s a leopard gecko morph to captivate every reptile lover.