Do you want your own black pearl leopard gecko, or would you like to breed this morph?
A natural extension of those who love their leopard gecko pets is breeding for different types of morphs.
Few morphs for this species are more loved than the black pearl morph.
But for those who aren’t as familiar with the process, the idea of breeding one may be a little complicated.
We’re here to get you started and share how to make a black pearl leopard gecko.
The black pearl leopard gecko is a new morph identified by its all-black nature. It isn’t easy to breed into the all-black state. Black pearl morphs are of the melanistic line and produced from dark-colored geckos of this line.
Read ahead for more information on this morph and some general advice on making one.
What Are Leopard Gecko Morphs?
In the purest form, Morphs are variations in size, color, pattern, and skin texture from the typical leopard gecko.
Genetically, morphs are bred into being by experts studying each gecko’s dominant and recessive traits.
On a species level, all the geckos are the same.
Their morph type changes what they look like.
In some cases, random mutilations cause changes in look and style, but these aren’t actual morphs as this process isn’t easily replicated through selective breeding.
There are many morphs out there due to the leopard gecko’s natural, colorful nature.
Morphs are organized into different lines based on shared traits.
Geckos in these lines are used for breeding into other members of these lines.
How Does Selective Breeding Work?
Selective breeding is the process breeders use to create new morphs.
The breeder looks at the desired traits or morph type they want in the new gecko.
Then, they look at the qualities of the parent geckos.
Two geckos with qualities similar or matching what the breeder wants are paired together.
The resulting children may have the quality sought after.
If you want to get into breeding check out our guide to breeding leopard geckos.
Here’s an example:
Say you wanted a leopard gecko with a more dominantly red coloration.
You’d take a male and female with red in their coloration and mate them.
One or more of the offspring will have more red than their parents.
Now, breed this brighter red gecko with another gecko with red (even lesser red).
Some offspring might be even brighter red than this second-generation parent.
Continue down the line over time, and you’ll have a bright red gecko.
This is a simplified version of the process.
Expert breeders track potential recessive or unshown traits as well based on parentage.
What Is A Black Pearl Leopard Gecko?
To successfully breed a black pearl leopard gecko, you need to know its qualities.
The black pearl morph is still new to the leopard gecko world.
Its all-black quality defines it.
There are no patterns and no other colors present.
This isn’t easy to achieve in breeding and is rare.
Black pearl morphs are essentially an inverted albino leopard gecko, except for its all-black pigmentation instead of no color pigments.
It’s only in 2008 black geckos began to be bred by expert breeders.
It’s challenging to achieve this coloration as the genetic traits are very recessive, and the number of parents with this trait is rare.
The skin of the black pearl morph is not only dark, but it’s pure black.
From birth, the skin appears silky and deep, which only deepens as the gecko ages.
The black coloration and complete lack of pigment variation result from rare hypermelanistic colors.
The black coloration does appear to change slightly depending on the gecko’s age and stage of life.
The silkiness stays as does the pure black, but as they age, the black appears to lighten slightly though the color seems to get richer.
As with most leopard geckos, the black pearl morph has a color change during breeding months.
Owners describe the coloration going from a deep black to a velvet black during mating season.
The Black Pearl morph is related to other hypermelanistic (single color) morphs, most notably the Midnight Blizzard morph, a single dark brown, almost black.
This is important to note when attempting to breed black pearl geckos.
How To Make A Black Pearl Leopard Gecko
Breeding a black pearl leopard gecko is challenging and will likely result in many failures.
Of course, each of these “failures” is another cool and fun leopard gecko morph you may enjoy or sell if you’re a breeder.
There are two main traits to consider when aiming for the black pearl gecko.
Hypermelanism – This trait is essential for black pearl offspring.
Hypermelanism is when there is only one pigment in the entire gecko’s skin.
Without this, you may end up with a dark or black gecko but still get patterns and variations in color, which aren’t present in pure black pearl morphs.
Black/dark coloration – Black is difficult to breed into leopard geckos as it isn’t common, but you’ll need it for the black pearl.
Due to the recent nature of the black pearl morph, there isn’t a foolproof way to breed these morphs every time.
Generally, accepted knowledge suggests the following:
- At least one parent must be a hypermelanistic.
- At least one parent must be of dark brown or black color.
- Both would be better.
- Breed and breed until the small chance the black AND hyper trait comes out.
First, read our leopard gecko breeding guide for a great resource to get you going.
We hope this information on making a black pearl leopard gecko is helpful to you.
Because the breeding process for this morph is so new, it will require a lot of experimentation to get a black pearl morph.
Combine this with the natural rarity of the recessive melanistic and all-black trait, and you have a rare and beautiful morph.
However, for true leopard geckos enthusiasts, the process may be rewarding as it is!