A “leopard gecko morph” is simply a variation in size, coloring, pattern, or other physical features of a leopard gecko. Some morphs are caused by random mutations. Through selective breeding, though, a large (and growing) number of new leopard gecko morphs have been created.
This guide will explore many of the existing leopard gecko morphs, and even a couple that are still being developed. Note that there are many varieties and combinations of leopard gecko morphs, and the potential for still more is practically endless.
Before we get into the various morphs available, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the terminology you’ll encounter when you read about and shop for leopard geckos. Bear in mind that reptile genetics (and genetics in general) is a very complex field of science, so these are very simplistic concepts.
|Genetic Traits||Characteristic, such as eye color or size, that are determined by genetics.|
|Recessive Traits||These are traits that come from a recessive gene. In order for recessive traits to be expressed in offspring, they must be passed on from both parents.|
|Dominant traits||Dominant traits show up even when only one parent has the dominant gene.|
|Co-Dominant Traits||This describes an instance where an offspring displays expressions of two different but equally dominant traits|
|Phenotype||An organism’s observable characteristics.|
|Genotype||Organism’s genetic makeup|
|Line Bred||Particular characteristics are bred with one another with the goal of producing offspring with the same (or improved) traits.|
|Out-Crossing||The breeding of reptiles displaying different characteristics either to minimize the risk of genetic defects or to introduce a new trait/certain appearance of the offspring.|
|Homozygous||Homozygous leopard geckos carry two copies of the same trait, one from each parent.|
|Heterozygous||Heterozygous varieties carry one copy of a normal or wild trait, and one copy of a recessive or designer trait.|
Types of Leopard Gecko Morphs
There are six different types of gecko morphs that are classified by either their size, color, pattern or a combination:
- Normal & High Yellows
- Albino Morphs
- Striped Morphs
- Hypo/Hyper Melanistic Morphs
- Blizzard Morphs
- Patternless Morphs
Noted: there are other morph that do not have pictures
Normal Leopard Geckos
The most common morph you can find in the pet stores.
These lizards display the signature yellow bodies and black spots for Normal leopard gecko.
This is a Normal variant, High Yellow, with more yellow coloration than usual, and with fewer black spots.
Albinism is typically caused by a lack of the enzyme tyrosinase, which prevents the animal from producing melanin.
Mack Snow leopard geckos are pale with black bands. They are usually white as hatchlings, but develop some light coloring as they mature.
Heavy speckling and white coloring are the signature features of Super Snow, along with solid color eyes. (Homozygous)
Tremper Albino display silver eyes with visible red veins and can come in a range of colors including brown, yellow, pink, and orange.
Striped Leopard Gecko Morphs
Striped morphs display stripes that run down the length of their bodies. (Stripes are not to be confused with bands, which are rings that wrap around the width of the body).
Bold Stripes display patterns and stripes that run down the sides of their bodies, rather than in the middle of their back.
Red Stripe leopard gecko has two red (or reddish) colored stripes down each side of its back. These stripes usually show up around 6 months of age.
Raining Red Stripe morph is the result of crossing Rainwater Albinos with Red Stripe and Bold Stripe varieties
Giant Leopard Gecko Morphs
Giants are bred to be larger in size. Not all large leopard geckos are necessarily true Giant varieties.
Super Giant is the homozygous version of the Giant and is so named because it’s even bigger than regular Giant morphs.
Godzilla Super Giant leopard gecko are limited in availability and often hard to find. Weigh in at 142g!!!
Hypo/Hyper Melanistic Morphs
Hypo Melanistic (or Hypo) morphs have less melanin than others and no more than 10 spots on their bodies. This does not include spots that may appear on the head or tail.
Hypermelanistic (or Hyper) morphs have more melanin, which gives them a darker pigmentation.
Super Hypos are hypo melanistic leopard geckos that are yellow with no spots on their bodies at all.
Baldies are Super Hypos with no spots on their heads.
Hypo Ghosts, or simply Ghosts, display very light coloration. This tends to fade even further as they mature.
Hybino (Super Hypo and any of the albino strains.) are usually solid yellow or orange-yellow colored with eyes that display characteristics of an albino variety.
Blizzard Leopard Gecko Morphs
Blizzard gecko variants are devoid of patterns, and instead display a solid color across their entire bodies. Blizzards are generally white or yellow. Darker-colored Blizzards are sometimes called Midnight Blizzards.
Blazing Blizzards are Blizzard morphs that have been bred with Albino morph varieties
Sometimes Patternless called Murphy Pattern less, these leopard geckos have no discernible spots once they reach adulthood.
True Banana Blizzard is really a yellow-colored Pattern less.
Blazing Banana Blizzard combines Blizzard, Patternless, and Albino traits. The eyes should look like the type of Albino they are bred from, and the body should display traits consistent with the Patternless morph.
Other Leopard Gecko Morphs
Here are some other awesome types of leopard geckos that don’t fit into the above categories:
Enigmas have speckled patterns and mostly white tails. They tend to have blotches rather than defined bands and often become more spotted as they age.
Leopard Gecko displaying any shade of orange can be considered a Tangerine leopard gecko
Carrot Tails refers to a leopard gecko tails an orange colored.
Term of Carrot Head is used for leopard geckos with orange heads
Jungle leopard gecko is much like an Aberrant, except that the broken pattern appears on both the tail and the body.
Halloween Geckos, leopard geckos with this trait display bold, dark and striking markings on their heads and bodies.
APTOR, or Albino Patternless Tremper ORange, is very similar to the RAPTOR but without the red eyes
This combination morph is a blend of Blizzard and RAPTOR traits. Diablo Blanco have white bodies and solid red eyes.
Dreamsicle morph comes from combining the Enigma, RAPTOR, and Mack Snow morphs. They generally exhibit orange and while patterns
Novas are a combination of Enigma and RAPTOR morphs.
Below show the morph affecting the leopard gecko’s eyes:
Eclipse displays solid-colored eyes. This trait is found in Mack Super Snows, Blizzards, and Tremper Eclipses.
Snake Eye morphs are seen in Blizzards and Tremper Eclipses, and are characterized by having eyes that are not completely solid
Marble Eye trait can be describes reptiles whose eyes have a 3-dimensional, marble-like appearance.
Red-eye Albino Patternless Tremper ORange (RAPTORs) have red eyes and orange bodies. This morph is the result of combining Eclipse, Patternless Stripe, and Tremper Albino morphs.