Thanks to their easy care, friendly disposition, and relatively small size—adults are generally just 6 to 9 inches in length—leopard geckos are one of the most popular pet reptiles and are very suited even to the beginning reptile caretaker.
But it's not just their easy care that makes these lizards so popular. Leopard geckos come in a wide range of beautiful color variations, called morphs. Many pet owners are familiar with leopard geckos in the common yellow with black spots, but not as many reptile fanciers are familiar with the many other available morphs, including Baldy, Carrot Tail, Blizzard, and Creamsicle. While these might sound like names for ice cream flavors, they are actually names for a few of the many different leopard gecko morphs currently available. And breeders are producing new morphs all the time, so the list just keeps on growing.
What Is a Leopard Gecko Morph?
Leopard gecko morphs refer to the different colors and patterns found within this species of lizard. Many morphs are the result of spontaneous mutations, but selective breeding has created even more morphs that variate not only the leopard gecko's color and skin patterns. but even the size or shape of the leopard gecko's physical features.
Morph prices vary from color to color; a normal gecko might cost as little as $25 but rare morphs can cost several thousand dollars. There are currently more than 100 different color morphs and combinations. Check out this list of some of the more commonly seen leopard gecko morphs.
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Normal (Wild Type)
This is your basic yellow leopard gecko with black spots. The Normal pattern is not truly a morph, as this is the lizard species' normal appearance in the wild. There is still some variation from individual to individual; some Normal geckos are yellower or browner than others, and the spots can be dark brown to black. This is the least expensive type of leopard gecko, and the most commonly found in pet stores. But just because this is a common color pattern doesn't mean the Normal leopard gecko is boring or a lesser pet than a more exotic morph.
The first commonly bred leopard gecko morph is the High Yellow. This lizard is much more yellow than the Normal patterns—some are a banana yellow—and it has far fewer spots than a Normal gecko. While more expensive than a Normal gecko, the High Yellow morph is relatively inexpensive compared to some of the rarer morphs.
An Aberrant leopard gecko is one that has a broken pattern. This means the gecko has an inconsistent pattern of patches and stripes, and often a circular pattern on the back. Typically, the broken pattern is either on the lizard's body or its tail, but not both. This is a fairly rare morph, and so is one of the more expensive types.
As the name suggests, this is a morph that can be completely white, although some are very pale yellow, pink, or lavender. Most have no spots or only a few spots on their head or tail. Blizzards usually also have eclipsed, or completely black, eyes, which makes a dramatic contrast against their light bodies.
The Blazing Blizzard is a cross between a Blizzard and one of the albino morphs. These leopard geckos are a pinkish-white without any spots at all. They have black eyes, however, which creates a very striking look.
This morph is a cross between a Blizzard and a Patternless morph. These geckos are a very light yellow or yellow-pink without any spots or stripes. Like other Blizzard morphs, they have dark eyes.
The Hypo Melanistic morph has been bred to have very little melanin, and so these lizards have very few black spots—less than 10 is required to qualify as a true Hypo. Their bodies are generally a bright yellow or orange from head to tail.
The Super Hypo is basically a Hypo without any black spots at all. Typically, this morph is a warm yellow from head to tail, with less orange than the Hypo, although some do have small patches of orange on their body or tail.
The Tangerine morph is a bright orange lizard that may or may not have spots or blotches of darker color on its head or tail. The fewer the spots or blotches, the more expensive the gecko.
Carrot Tail and Carrot Head
A Carrot Tail leopard gecko is any morph that has a bright orange tail, which may also have spots or blotches of darker color. Usually, the rest of the body is a lighter orange or yellow. A Carrot Head morph has an orange head and generally a lighter orange or yellow body.
RAPTOR (Red-Eyed Albino Patternless Tremper Orange)
The RAPTOR is a morph developed by careful breeding of three other morphs, including an albino morph. These beautiful leopard geckos have red eyes and a yellowish-orange body. RAPTOR morphs have no black spots and are considered combination morphs.
This morph is generally white and soft yellow but with very vivid black spots and blotches on the head, body, and tail. These markings can change as the lizard matures. Halloween Mask leopard geckos are very eye-catching, striking reptiles.
As the name suggests, the Lavender morph describes any leopard gecko with the light violet or lavender color on its body. These geckos may or may not also have spots, bands, or blotches of darker brown or black. Often, Lavender geckos are brightest when young but fade as they mature.
A Hyper Melanistic is a darkly pigmented, but not black, leopard gecko. This morph has more melanin than the lighter pigmented morphs. It will still have spots and patterns but overall have a much darker coloration than Normal or Wild Types.
This morph describes a leopard gecko that has a stripe all the way down its back from neck to tail. The color of the stripe will vary, as will the rest of the body color and pattern.
While the majority of morphs describe skin coloration or the eyes of a leopard gecko, Super Giant refers to the size of the gecko. Super Giants are the largest of the leopard geckos morphs, with an almost 12-inch gecko holding the record for overall size. Giants are bigger than Normals, but smaller than Super Giants.
This is a type of Super Hypo that has no spotting on its head. The body can be yellow or orange, and the gecko might have some spots on its tail.
This beautiful morph is a pale yellow or white with bright yellow or orange spots instead of the common black or dark brown. Some have very bright orange tails. Often, their eyes are black or dark brown.
The most common albino morph, the Tremper Albino has a light yellow, brown, orange, or pink body with slightly darker orange or yellow spots and blotches. Most also have light eyes.
Another albino morph, the Mack Snow has a very light body covered with dark spots and bands from head to tail.
The Enigma morph has a white tail and an orange or yellow body with orange spots and blotches.
The Diablo Blanco is a pure white leopard gecko with red eyes.
Also called the Murphy Patternless, these geckos, as their name suggests, have no spots or blotches at all. Their body is usually a soft yellow or pink.
The Red Stripe leopard gecko has two reddish stripes running down its back. The rest of the body can be orange, yellow, or red with darker spots on the head and tail.