Normal and Line Bred Morphs

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A guide to identifying the many colour morphs!

Line bred refers to traits that were created through selective breeding over many generations. Traits that are line bred include hypo-melanistic (hypo), tangerine, and jungle.

In the early stages of the development of these morphs they existed as slight variations from the "normal". The development of a trait begins with animals that were observed to have a slight amount of say tangerine color in the body. These animals were bred together, and some of the babies were showing more tangerine than their parents. These babies were grown and then bred together, and their offspring showing even more tangerine were selected to breed for the next generation. In this manner the intensity of tangerine was increased with each generation, and this process of selection is continuing today.

Because of the way genetics works to keep propagating the tangerine you need to breed with another tangerine. Breeding with a normal would just result in a 50/50 cross and set you back. However there are often throw-backs as genetics isn't a concrete set science; and sometimes a nice bright tangerine can be the result of the next generation of that 50/50 cross.



The Normal Leopard Gecko is the most common. It is dominant over all morphs and will exhibit the Normal colourings over any gecko that does not carry any other genes.

It holds no genetic traits and is the type that is found in the wild. The colors of a Normal Leopard Gecko at hatching are a banded black and yellow on the body, and a yellow and white on the tail.

These bands break away into spotting as the gecko ages. Morphs that are genetically the same as Normal Leopard Geckos are the High Yellow, Tangerine, Hypo-melanistic, Super Hypo and Jungle. All these traits are line-bred and are used to enhance or perfect a certain look that pleases each individual breeder.

 High Yellow

These came about by breeding Normal Leopard Geckos and breeding together the ones that exhibited the most yellow colouration.  High Yellows exhibit a vast amount of yellow compared to the Normals, but still show spotting in comparison to a Hypo-melanistic Leopard Gecko.

 high yellow
 Hypo-melanistic (Hypo)

These were created by line breeding  geckos that exhibited the least amount of spotting. Years of this method gives us a gecko with very little spotting.

To be considered a Hypo, a gecko must have 10 or less spots on its back.

A Hypo can be distinguished from a High Yellow by the amount of spotting.

 Super Hypo-melanistic (Super Hypo)

Super Hypos are line bred Leopard Geckos that do not exhibit any spotting on the back at all.

They can be distinguished from Hypos by the lack of spotting as opposed to a Hypo which exhibits a little bit of spotting.

This particular example is a

super hypo tangerine carrot tail.right arrow


 super hypo

 Carrot Head

Any gecko with any substantial orange colouring on its head is considered a Carrot Head.

 carrot head

 Carrot Tail

Requires the base of the tail to be orange with no spotting - at least 20% of the tail base needs to have orange colouring to be considered a carrot tail.

The holy grail in this line is a completely orange tail.

This gecko is also a carrot head.

 carrot tail


Tangerines are  Geckos who show an orange overlay above the original banding. These geckos are born looking like a Normals and the Tangerine coloring is later developed.

There are many of breeders out there specializing in Tangerines and others in this category. Many different shades and types of this morph can be found by many different breeders though they all exhibit one similarity, which is the Tangerine/Orange coloring of the gecko.


 Red Stripe

The Red Stripe trait is a line bred trait which gives a gecko with an orange or yellow body with two red colored stripes outlining a dorsal stripe. The Red Stripe morph can vary from geckos with intense outlines to some with not so much of an outline.

When hatching Red Stripes, they tend to have a brown color where the stripes will be coming in. It takes approximately 6 months for the stripes to fully come in.

Currently, the Red Stripes have been crossed into many different projects. Along with all three strains of Albino, they have been crossed into RAPTOR's and Enigma's as well.


 Lavender stripe

Lavender refers to Leopard Geckos that show Lavender coloring.

Where the geckos usually have the black coloring, they show a Lavender color. Currently there is 1 proven Lavender line, the Lavender Stripe and Lavender Red Stripe by JMGReptile.

This project was started in 2003 by breeding Stripes to Normals who showed promising amounts of Lavender coloration. These made Lavender's Het for Stripe, thus the animals were bred back together to create the first Lavender Stripes!

 Lavender Stripe

F. Passaro

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