Have you noticed there seems to be a variety of colors and patterns on leopard geckos?
Are you interested in learning more about these patterns and colors of different leopard geckos?
If you are thinking about purchasing a new leopard gecko, you might be overwhelmed by all options.
This could lead you to wonder:
What are the best leopard gecko morphs?
There are a wide variety of morphs you will get to choose from when selecting your pet, but some of the best include:
- Hypo Melanistic
- Hyper Melanistic
- Carrot Tail
- Halloween Mask
- Reverse Stripe
These are just a few of the more popular morphs available on the market, but there are many more you might find as you research your options.
Keep reading for even more information about the best leopard gecko morphs available to bring into your home.
Best Leopard Gecko Morphs
There are believed to be over 100 different kinds of leopard gecko morphs available at this time, but the number continues to grow.
Breeders work to create the hot new morph to entice buyers to own rare or new leopard geckos with unique colors and patterns.
We just touch on a few of the more popular morphs in this article, but keep in mind there are many more for you to choose from.
The regular or wild type of gecko is very basic and extremely common.
These geckos have a yellow body with black spots and are easily found in pet stores with an inexpensive price tag.
This morph will also be what you commonly see in pictures when people are discussing leopard geckos.
The next on our list is the Aberrant leopard gecko.
These animals have a broken pattern, meaning your gecko would have inconsistent patterns, with one pattern on display on the body and a disrupted design on the tail.
The disrupted pattern must be displayed on the tail or body, but to truly be classified as an Aberrant morph, the disrupted pattern cannot be on both tail and body.
Aberrant morphs are also found in combination with other morphs.
Blizzard leopard geckos are very interesting because they don’t have any pattern at all.
This is the most notable characteristic of this morph.
You might find a white, yellow, or even sometimes a purple blizzard leopard gecko.
Another attractive characteristic of these morphs is found in their eyes.
They are only one of three kinds of morphs with entirely black, or eclipsed eyes.
These blizzard geckos shouldn’t be confused with other morphs like Murphy’s Patternless.
Murphy’s Patternless geckos are similar in their adult life, having no pattern and a solid color, but they differ because they hatch with crazy and exciting designs.
Those patterns disappear as they age and become adults.
Tangerine geckos are closely linked to the members of the species who fall under the normal category.
However, their orange color is much brighter, hence the tangerine name.
You might also see tangerine morphs bred and combined with other morphs like hypos and super hypos.
A tangerine leopard gecko is a highly sought after morph, and the more orange they are, the higher the price tag.
Leopard geckos are put into this category of hypo melanistic if they have ten or fewer spots on their bodies.
The spots are on their head or tail or body, but there will be no more than 10.
If a leopard gecko has spots only on their tail or head and none on their body, they will be classified as a Super Hypo. ‘
This lack of spots on hypo morphs is the result of their bodies having less melanin.
Understanding hypo melanistic geckos have a lower amount of melanin; you will see the difference in a hyper melanistic morph, a morph with more melanin.
Their darkly pigmented colorations classify hyper melanistic leopard geckos.
These animals have more melanin and appear dark but not black.
More melanin means a darker pigmentation.
You will notice spots and patterns on their bodies, heads, and tails, but overall their color will appear much darker than a standard type.
It isn’t hard to understand where these leopard gecko morphs got their name.
Carrot tail morphs are leopard geckos who have a very orange tail, and their bodies will be a different color.
It is like they had only their tails dipped in a dish of orange paint.
These morphs are commonly paired with other morphs to create more exciting color variations and patterns.
Some common matchups include RAPTORS, Patternless, Tangerines, Hypos, and Albinos.
A similar morph is the Carrot Head Leopard Gecko, where their heads, rather than the tails, are orange.
The more intense an orange hue for a carrot tail leopard gecko, the more costly the animal will be.
The same can be said of the carrot head Leo.
RAPTOR leopard geckos are extremely interesting to look at.
RAPTOR stands for Red Eyed Patternless Tremper Orange.
You won’t find any spots on these leopard geckos.
These morphs are classified as albinos and have an orange body, but what makes them stand out is their red eyes.
If you are looking for a leopard gecko with bold patterns, you will need to check out the Halloween mask leopard geckos.
These leopard geckos have some of the boldest patterns on their head and don’t lose them as they mature.
As they mature into adults, the patterns and traits just continue to develop.
Their dark and striking marks found on their heads will be something you won’t be able to stop looking at.
Leopard geckos who fall in the lavender category are easy to identify because of their lavender or violet color variations.
These light purple color variations are found on their body.
This is one of the harder morphs to produce, and even if you have a hatchling who displays a lavender color, it often fades out as they mature.
This loss of color is part of what makes it hard to breed for this morph.
The baldy is a kind of super hypo leopard gecko we touched on above.
These leopard geckos have no spots on their heads in addition to the spotless bodies super hypos are known for.
The spots will only be found on their tails.
Baldies will sometimes have a reddish tinge making them even more desirable.
Especially reddish toned ones, called Blood Super Hypes, have been known to sell for around $750.
Reverse stripe leopard geckos will have a long stripe down its body, starting at the neck and going to the tail.
Often mated with other morphs, the color of this long stripe can vary.
There are a variety of striped morphs, but most stripes appear running the length of their bodies.
Don’t confuse stripes with bands.
Bands are defined as rings wrapping around the body’s width, where stripes run the length of the body.
Many of the striped morphs are costly to own, with the Raining Red Stripes morph often valued over $600 and the Bold Striped Leopard Gecko costing at least $200 or $300.
What Is A Morph?
To put it plainly, a morph is just a genetic variation in color, pattern, or even size.
Sometimes the morph is caused randomly through natural breeding, but more commonly, breeders take time to breed certain geckos with others to create morphs selectively.
These mutations are not harmful to the animal, and they do not become a different species of gecko because of it.
This is only a variation of their physical features.
These morphs are created by mixing and matching dominant and recessive genes found in a male and female leopard gecko to pass certain traits on to the offspring.
Dominant traits will make the recessive ones, and to produce offspring with a recessive trait, the parents must both have the recessive gene.
Sometimes there will also be co-dominant traits.
This is when the gecko will display two traits we know to be dominant.
While we said above, there are at least 100 different morphs; more are being developed even now by breeders.
Because the nominations are endless, so is the potential for more and more morphs coming out in the future.
Are There Bad Leopard Gecko Morphs?
Since we have discussed the best leopard gecko morphs, it might be useful to also talk about some of the morphs you might want to avoid.
These morphs aren’t bad in their looks or even in their behaviors, but they often develop genetic disorders or other health issues and may also have a shortened lifespan.
The morph isn’t the problem in these situations, but rather is the effect of improper selective breeding.
While leopard geckos can tolerate a small amount of inbreeding, too much will cause weak and sickly animals with not so desirable traits.
One such disorder is called Enigma Syndrome.
This is a neurological disorder causing the animal to have their balance and cognition in leopard geckos affected.
You might see mild symptoms like head tilting or see the animal circling occasionally, but there are much worse symptoms as well.
These include seizures, death rolls, and incessant circling.
While this disorder can happen in any leopard gecko, it is most often associated with the geckos who have the Enigma morph.
Other morphs, like the Lemon Frost Geckos, tend to have a shorter lifespan.
These geckos have bright white or grey eyes and an extremely light hello body color.
Their patter will wrap around to their underbellies.
Many die young because they seem to be more susceptible to developing a cancerous tumor, something research has linked to their unique pigment.
These are just a few examples of morphs that do tend to have some issues as they grow.
Before purchasing, you will need to do some research to determine if the morph you are looking at, is especially susceptible to disease or other disorders.
Buying A Leopard Gecko
Once you have looked into some of the available morphs, and have selected some you think might be amazing to own, you might not know what you should do next to purchase a leopard gecko.
One of the most important things you will need to look at is who you buy your new pet from.
This is a good thing to keep in mind, no matter what kind of animal you end up buying.
A good breeder is so important to make sure you start with a healthy and well cared for leopard gecko.
Because some people get so excited about trying to breed leopard geckos, in the beginning, they don’t always understand what it takes to produce quality animals.
Purchasing from someone who has little experience could result in you becoming an owner of a leopard gecko with defects, disorders, and a shortened lifespan.
Whether it is a breeder or a pet store, you should consider a few things before making a purchase.
Check to see if they are knowledgeable about leopard geckos and how all the genetics work and make sure they are willing to take the time to talk to you.
A red flag might shoot up if they are dismissive of your questions and don’t seem to know what you’re talking about.
Do your research and ask them some questions you know the answer to.
This will allow you to check them out and see if they know their stuff.
A good breeder or store will also welcome communication after you make your purchase.
They will be happy to help you out if you reach out to them with questions after taking your leopard gecko home.
Don’t be afraid to check out online reviews and blogs to find the right reputable breeder or shop for you.
Besides local breeders and pet shops, you could look into purchasing your gecko online from a breeder.
And sometimes, you might find some people are no longer able to care for their gecko and are trying to find a new home for the animal.
Use caution if you go this route as you might not have the full picture of the animal’s health or how they have been cared for.
How To Pick A Healthy Leopard Gecko
If you can look at a variety of geckos before selecting one, you will want to keep a few things in mind before making your purchase.
You will have the best luck starting with a healthy gecko.
Healthy leopard geckos will have a thick tail and meat on their bones, with a plump belly.
You will be able to tell a malnourished gecko from a healthy one by looking at them.
Malnourished Leos will just look thin throughout their whole body and tail.
On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to get an overweight leopard gecko.
If the leopard gecko is overweight, you will see their belly dragging on the floor as they walk.
Often leopard geckos who are overweight have been fed a diet of insects with high-fat content, like superworms.
Superworms are highly addictive for leopard geckos, and one who has been fed a diet primarily of superworms will have a hard time accepting a meal of anything else.
In addition to looking at the animal’s weight, you should also look at the limbs of your potential pet.
Leopard geckos can develop the metabolic bone disease if they have not been given the proper diet or are malnourished.
If the Leo is already showing signs of this, the limbs will be bent and abnormally shaped.
Additionally, they will not be able to properly support themselves as they try to move.
It is also good to check for clear eyes and smooth skin absent of cuts or sores.
If possible, ask the breeder about their bowel movements, checking to make sure they are pooping regularly and if there has been anything abnormal about their droppings.
This will give you some indication if there is an underlying issue or even if the animal has become impacted.
Ask about their shedding habits and ensure the animal is properly shedding by checking for any skin stuck around their eyes, nose, or tail.
Picking out a leopard gecko is tricky for first-time shoppers, but with a little research and attention to detail, it is not impossible.
Leopard geckos are undoubtedly fascinating pets, but part of what makes some special is found in the variety of colors and patterns.
These morphs are endless, and though some are more common and easy to find, the rare ones keep wowing people.
While there is no way we could have touched on all of the morphs, we hope we have given you a good idea of some of the options as you look into learning more about leopard geckos.
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