Leopard Geckos also are known as Eublepharis macularius are nocturnal reptilian lizards that can be found in the scourging deserts of Afghanistan. Some can also be found in deserts environment in Pakistan and India.
This special breed of lizards is popularly kept as pets in North America from the 1980s till date. As they are kept as a pet, they are also used to make money. The price goes high depending on certain traits or how rare is the leopard gecko. Despite their popularity, people still don’t know much about them.
The fact that their population numbers are unknown and it’s quite hard to tell if they are increasing or going extinct. Also, the leopard gecko is a specialist at hiding (whichever the breed). That is considering its unique camouflage and ability to shed its skin in order to prevent predators from tracking its scent. This makes it even harder to find and track their population.
…Let’s look deep into the general facts for every leopard gecko morphs…
Facts about the leopard gecko
They can live for as long as 30 years
Naturally, the exact life expectancy is 20 years, but with enough care, good nutrition and habitat, the leopard gecko can live up to 30 years. However, 30 years in the wild will be a surprise because leopard gecko is known to have shorter lifespans due to their weak immunity to disease, easy injury, and predators.
The only way a leopard gecko will be able to reach a longer lifespan is if it’s taken care of by a pet owner.
The geckos are perfect for first-time pet owners
Taking care of these reptilian beauties is quite easy. They take up less space, their feeding doesn’t cost much, they are docile and they have longer life spans. Feeding is not a problem because they eat mainly insects.
Also, they are quite easy and fun to breed. The reason is that there are different types of leopard geckos based on their patterns of dots and unique coloration. Mating different ones will allow you breed special morphs which are pricey in the market.
The leopard gecko can bark
When these reptilians are agitated they bark at the offender which is similar to the trait of a scared dog.
Geckos rarely blink
Most leopard geckos rarely use their eyelids to blink in order to clean the eyes. They mainly depend on their tongue to do just that. The eyelids are mostly used when the gecko wishes to sleep.
They possess a weird anatomy
When looking at right angles to their ear you will be able to see through the head and out of the other ear.
Gecko gender can be determined by temperature
As leopard geckos are being incubated, the temperature of the environment plays a crucial part in determining their gender. To make the geckos female, the temperature must be within the temperature range of 79-81 degree Fahrenheit for the first three weeks. Then after that period, the temperature can be increased to the range of 88-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
In order to get a male gecko the temperature of the incubator should be within a constant temperature range of 88-91 degrees Fahrenheit. If you wish to get a mix of both male and female the temperature in the incubator should be within 85 – 87 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the incubation period.
Leopard gecko morphs
These geckos are popular and it’s due to the various patterns and colors that are available on the gecko’s body. The various pattern and colors exist because the geckos adapt to their environment. It enables them to camouflage in case of a looming predator.
The fact that there are various patterns and colors available makes them quite interesting. The best part about the leopard gecko morphs is the new patterns that will be formed after you mate two different leopard gecko morphs.
Top Common Leopard gecko morphs
Firstly, what is a morph?
This is formed through the process polymorphism which involves the occurrence of two different forms of a species (leopard gecko) with alternative phenotypes within the population of that particular species. In other words, a morph is the product of two geckos after mating. There are over a hundred plus morphs in existence and there are still more to come.
They are differentiated according to their colors and patterns. Those two also determine how high the price will be at the pet store along with the rarity of the morph.
Here are several colored gecko morphs common among most leopard gecko morphs:
1. The wild types
This gecko has a yellow hue on the body with black spots on the head. A morph with this colors is quite inexpensive and easy to find. They are a lot of them in the pet stores. The fact that they are so readily available makes them cheap.
2. High yellow
The high yellow gecko morph has a domination yellow hue around the body with fewer black spots on the head compared to the wild types.
If you don’t have a normal gecko morph like the last one mentioned, then you will have a high yellow morph. This makes them quite common and they would probably be sharing the same priced tag as the wild types.
This is a patternless leopard gecko morph that can have a full body yellow, black or purple hue. It also possesses eclipsed or completely dark eyes which is quite rare as it is present in only three types of leopard gecko morphs.
This morph has a broken pattern. When looking at it, there are beautiful bands that start from the head or neck region, all the way down to the tail. It includes breaks off the pattern with an oval shape in the space instead of the line. This makes it an aberrant leopard gecko morph.
This leopard gecko morph has few spots on the body (at most 10). If they were to have no spots on the body then it will be referred to as a super hypo melanistic morph.
This a darkly pigmented leopard gecko morph. It is just like the hypo meleanstic but darker. Not necessarily black just darkly colored. The reason for its color intensity is due to the presence of more melanin. Spots and patterns are still present despite the dark coloration.
7. Carrot tail
The name of the morph is very self-descriptive. The name is based on the physical characteristic of the leopard gecko’s tail which is orange in color. It’s only about 15% of the tail that is colored orange.
This morph has an orange hue body. It is preferably mated with another kind of morph such as the super hypomelanistic, to form a super hypo tangerine.
This morph, in particular, is similar to the super hypo melanistic morph, it’s just that there are no spots on the head.
This is a morph that has a lavender color or light violet hue on it. This leopard gecko morph is common, but it is not that easy to produce another morph like it. And it’s because as they grow older, they tend to lose their lavender coloration. So the best time to breed them is when their younger which is immediately after ten months of maturity. The younger lavender leopard gecko morphs will be a bit pricey than the older ones.
11. Halloween Mask
This leopard gecko morph possesses bold head patterns. As they mature up to an adult, their patterns continue to develop.
12. Reverse stripe
This leopard gecko morph possesses a stripe that starts with the neck and goes down through the back and onto its tail. There are various colors of stripes for this type of morph, but the pattern is common.
This is a large leopard gecko morphs. They can have a size of up to 12 inches which is quite big for a gecko generally.
14. Mack Snow
The Mack snows are quite different from other common leopard gecko morphs that are mostly orange and/or yellow in color. Their pattern and colors display both white and black bands all over its body.
This is a red-eyed pattern less Tremper orange morph which happens to be an albino leopard gecko. Its physical characteristics include red eyes, orange body and no black spots. With all these traits present it is definitely a combination of other morphs.
16. Nova leopard gecko
This gecko morph is a combination of the Enigma and Raptor leopard gecko. It body hue is within the range of two colors, which are yellow and tangerine.
There are a lot of original morphs in existence and the combinations are endless. There are breeders who are well equipped with scientific knowledge and breeding techniques that will aid them in making new morphs. The price of the morph will be high if it is very difficult to produce.
How to breed leopard gecko morphs
Breeding a reptile such as a leopard gecko morph isn’t difficult or heavy budgeted. It is quite easy to do, and all that is required to breed this reptile correctly is affordable. There is six step to follow in order to breed leopard gecko morphs of your choice successfully.
Before we dive straight into the steps, certain things must be ready to ensure easy and fast breeding of leopard gecko morphs.
• Get one male leopard gecko morph and 1-4 female gecko morphs – this way, there will be more eggs incubate and there will be a higher chance of producing your desired morph or that high-priced rare morph.
• You will need a tank that can contain 10 gallons for the male and a tank that can contain 20 – 30 gallons for the females – the reason for the female space being larger than the male is so that it can occupy the large laying box meant for the female gecko morphs.
• Heat mat – This is needed s other leopard gecko morphs can feel more in their natural habitat.
• Laying box – this will be placed in the female box so that laid eggs will be safe. You can make your own laying box with the use of a sterilized shoe box with a hole cut out on the top which will be filled with peat moss.
• Incubator – this machine will house the eggs and prepare them for hatching. This machine also gives you the ability to choose the gender of the morphs you wish to hatch. Since the temperature of the environment determines the gender.
After getting all the requirements mentioned above, then you can commence following the steps below.
Six steps to follow in order to breed leopard gecko morphs:
Step one: get the geckos with the perfect size
It is much better for both geckos to be large in size. It must at least have a minimum weight of 50 grams and a maximum of 75 grams.
Step two: introduce the male gecko
When introducing the male to the female mate it is best to be cautious. There is no problem with introducing a male gecko to the female but if care is not taken, there could be a lot of aggression.
The reason for that is because the female has a tendency to be very aggressive especially during mating season. Sometimes the aggression can be mild, but if it escalates then the next thing to do is separate them.
Step three: checking for eggs
In the female tank, make sure to check for eggs periodically. If this step is not taken seriously then the laid eggs will dry out which can happen quite fast.
Step four: remove the eggs
While removing the eggs, make sure to turn them over from their previous position because there is a high probability of killing them. Once that is done, move them into an incubator. It could be a DIY incubator which consists of a deli cup filled with moist vermiculite.
Step five: incubation and hatching of the eggs
It best to make use of a commercial incubator for reptiles rather than the makeshift one mentioned earlier. The proper commercial one will ensure better results in the end. As said earlier, during the process of incubation, it is possible to choose the gender. 79 – 82 degrees is for females and 84 – 89 degrees is for males. The eggs will hatch after six weeks.
Please avoid raising the temperature extremely, it could end up producing a hot female which will be very aggressive.
Step six: get your results
If you’ve followed all the steps and made use of a commercial incubator, you should have health baby leopard gecko morphs by now.
Please note: a female will lay an average of 2 eggs per month with a season that good female should be able to produce 2 – 20 eggs in a season.
Now you have all the necessary information you need on leopard gecko morphs. Its habitat, origin, and facts. Along with that, there are 15 examples of leopard gecko morphs that are both common and rare. You have seen that there are various kinds of them with different coloration, pattern, and spots.
There is also help on how to breed these reptilian beauties. Breeding them can make you good money if you have specials morph with some scientific knowledge of which geckos are best to breed.