For a reptile enthusiast, owning a leopard gecko morph is real treat! Leopard gecko morphs are variations of the same species but are bred to have different color, pattern, and eye-shape variations. Because of the variations in patterns and distinctive colors, leopard morph geckos are eye-catching—even for those who never thought reptiles could be cute pets.
If you are interested in owning a leopard gecko or just want to learn more about this fascinating gecko, this article provides you with information about the most popular leopard gecko morphs you can purchase from reputable breeders and sellers. Prepared to be “wowed” by the vibrant and intricate colors and patterns on these unique reptiles.
What Does “Morph” Actually Mean?
The term “morph” essentially refers to the unique varying features within a species. For leopard geckos, “morph” is an essential part of their name because there are many physical variations among the different leopard geckos. Many of those variations are the result of selective breeding.
How Many Types of Leopard Gecko Morphs Are There?
Unfortunately, when it comes to how many types, there is no agreed upon number. Why? People cannot universally agree on a solid definition of a leopard gecko morph. Many people categorize leopard gecko morphs by color, patterns, eyes, and size. However, some people do not agree with that way of categorizing them. Due to the discrepancies, some people will say there are 50 different leopard gecko morphs, while others will say there are over 150 variations.
But what everyone can agree on is how incredibly unique the colors and patterns leopard gecko morphs possess. With that said, you will find a list of these reptiles organized by color and pattern. The list does not cover every type of leopard gecko morph but provides information on some of the most popular ones.
The 30 Types of Leopard Gecko Morphs:
Red Leopard Geckos
1. Blood Leopard Geckos
As you can tell based on the name, blood leopard geckos are bright to dark red or reddish-orange. Many blood leopard geckos have banding on their bodies as well.
Orange Leopard Geckos
2. Carrot Tail
The carrot tail leopard gecko is recognized for its patterned bright orange tail. The rest of their body is a different color shade. This gecko must be at least 15% orange to be officially considered a carrot tail.
3. Carrot Head
This gecko has a bright orange head, starting from the tip of its nose to past its eyes. Like the carrot tail leopard gecko, the rest of the body is a different shade, usually a lighter orange or yellow.
Red-Eyed Albino Patternless Tremper Orange (RAPTOR) geckos have light orange skin and red eyes. As the name points out, RAPTORs do not have patterns.
APTOR is an acronym that stands for Albino Patternless Tremper Orange. They’re bred from the same combination of morphs as a RAPTOR and are quite similar in appearance. They have plain orange bodies, but unlike the RAPTOR morph, APTORs don’t have red eyes.
The sunglow leopard gecko will remind its owners of a sunset, having a dark orange to intense yellow color. Some sunglow geckos are products of being bred with albino leopard geckos, making their body color less intense.
Yellow Leopard Geckos
7. High Yellow
This is one of the most common morphs and was also the first morph available. They have a yellow base color and a few spots. Often, they have a white tail with black spots, though the rest of the body must be yellow.
Baldy geckos are orange or yellow in color with darker shades. They’re super hypo melanistic geckos with no spots on their heads.
9. Lemon Frost
This morph features a yellow base color. They also have whitened eyes that sometimes even appear blue. This is a very new morph that was first created in 2012. The first time one was sold was in 2015.
10. Tremper Albino
This gecko was bred in 1996 by Ron Tremper and was the original albino gecko, greatly impacting the leopard gecko industry. Tremper albino colors range from light pinks, yellows, and oranges to dark brown, often with subtle hints of white.
11. Banana Blizzard
Banana blizzards are essentially patternless morphs, though they have a yellow base color, while a true patternless is generally lavender, gray, or white. A banana blizzard will be solid yellow all over with no patterns or spots.
Purple Leopard Geckos
A difficult morph to produce, lavender morphs are generally the product of several generations of breeding selective variations of different morphs. They have a light purple base color that might appear in patches, stripes, or with a majority of their body showing the purple coloration. Often, they have additional patterns as well. Unfortunately, some specimens with this coloring lose it as they age.
13. Bell Albino
The Bell albino is the most recently produced albino gecko. What sets this albino gecko apart is Bell albinos usually have light pink colored eyes. The typical coloration of the Bell albino is a lavender base with yellow and brown spots.
Pink/White Leopard Geckos
14. Rainwater Albino
Rainwater albinos normally have a glowing pinkish-white to cream-colored base with brown and yellow spots or patches. They may have yellow or pink markings and can even display yellow bands or pink spots on their legs and tails.
15. Blazing Blizzard
Blazing blizzard geckos have both albino and blizzard phenotypes and are created by crossing a blizzard and an albino gecko. They appear pink on their whole bodies and lack any type of patterning, though they often have blue over the eyelids.
16. Blazing Banana Blizzard
As you can tell from the name, the blazing banana blizzard morph is a mix of a blazing blizzard and a banana blizzard gecko. They have a mix of blizzard, Murphy patternless, and albino traits.
Brown Leopard Geckos
17. Chocolate Albino
A chocolate albino gecko is just an albino gecko that was incubated at a cooler temperature. This results in a darker-colored lizard when it hatches. Aside from this difference in coloration, they’ll share the same traits as other albinos.
Black Leopard Geckos
18. Black Night
This rare gecko was the result of 15 years of breeding work by Ferry Zuurmond. Sometimes they’re spotted, though they’re often just solid black. These lizards are melanistic and some of the most expensive leopard geckos due to their rarity.
19. Black Pearl
This gecko is sometimes called the black velvet. They are recognizable by the pearl-like markings on their body, as opposed to being a solid black color. This is a fairly new breed of gecko and can be challenging to find.
Striped Leopard Geckos
20. Bold Stripe
Common geckos have black stripes running across their bodies. But bold stripe morphs have different kinds of stripes. Instead of stripes on their back, these geckos feature stripes that run down the sides of their body. And these stripes don’t go across their bodies; instead, they run down their body’s length.
21. Red Stripe
This variation of gecko has a dark orange or red body with two red stripes running down the sides of the spine, creating a dorsal stripe.
22. Reverse Stripe
Any striped morph can be a reverse stripe. What separates a reverse stripe variation from any other striped variation is that they have a single stripe down the center of the back while other morphs have two or more. The gene for a reverse stripe is often linked to the gene for eclipsed eyes, which results in a reverse striped morph with black eyes.
23. Lavender Stripe
These are quite unique and rare morphs that feature a yellow base color on their body with lavender stripes that run down their sides. They were created by crossing a red stripe and a lavender morph.
24. Mack Snow
This gecko has black spots or bands over the main white or pale-yellow color that gets darker with age.
25. Super Mack Snow
A super mack snow is a mack snow with either two recessive or two dominant snow genes. They’re lighter in color than the standard mack snow and have more specks. Often, they also have the eclipsed gene for all-black eyes.
26. Gem Snow
Gem snows are born with a white body and black bands, but the bands break up as the lizard ages. As adults, they have bodies that are lavender, light yellow, or white, with a pattern that’s yellow, pink, or white, with black spots.
Patterned Leopard Geckos
26. Halloween Mask
This variation features prominent markings over the face and body, such as circles, bands, stripes, lines, and more. These markings are often dark in color, set against a light background color of yellow or white. Most morphs don’t have spots on their heads, but Halloween mask morphs do.
This type of morph has a pattern, but the pattern is broken at some point and is often offset with bands of another color. The pattern can be broken on the body or the tail, but not both. There are other morph species that feature aberrant patterns.
The jungle variation is a type of aberrant morph where the pattern is broken. Unlike a standard aberrant morph, though, a jungle gecko will have broken patterns on the body and tail, whereas an aberrant will have a broken pattern on only one part of the body.
Wild leopard geckos are naturally colorful with yellow bodies and black spots. After all, they’re called leopard geckos for their similarity in color and pattern to a particular wildcat.
How Did We Get So Many Leopard Gecko Morphs?
Now that you have looked over the partial list of leopard gecko morphs, you might have wondered how all these variations came to be? Basically, it all started with breeders mating common leopard geckos with specific genetic traits to create a new morph. Some of the genes carrying the traits are dominant, while some are recessive. Reptile breeders have been producing different variations for a few decades.
Though all these variations are technically the same species, they have some wildly different appearances. None of these is better than any other morph; it all comes down to personal preference. These geckos have great personalities and make excellent pets, regardless of which morph you choose. So, find a look that’s appealing to you, get a habitat set up, then get ready for years of enjoyment from your new leopard gecko.
Featured Image Credit: Dean Pennala, Shutterstock