Recessive Morphs

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A guide to identifying the many colour morphs!

Recessive refers to traits that are not expressed when combined with a dominant trait. In order for a recessive trait to be expressed (outwardly visible) the gecko must be carrying two copies of that trait.  I.e. inheriting the trait from both parents one of which, or indeed both could be HET for that trait; and the offspring was lucky enough to inherit both recessive genes. Recessive traits in leopard geckos include all three strains of albino (Tremper, Rainwater and Bell),  patternless, and blizzard.

Selective breeding cannot create recessive traits. These traits are the result of a mutation of certain genes that control a specific part of the development of the animal. Recessive traits are usually discovered randomly, there is nothing you can do to increase your probability of discovering a new recessive trait, you just need to be lucky!



To date, there has been 3 albino traits discovered. While they all look similar , their genotypes are different hence they are not compatible for breeding with each other. There is no absolute way to tell which Albino gene your gecko carries until they are bred out but there are a few differences in each Albino gene to help find out.

 Tremper Albino

The Tremper Albino (also called the Texas Albino) was the first Albino strain discovered in 1996 by Ron Tremper.

 Tremper's usually exhibit a silver color in their eyes with thin dark red veins.  Tremper eye

Their body colour ranges from a light pink to sometimes darker pink and yellow bands on the body, in the tail, these bands are normally white. Incubation temp greatly affects the shade of this strain. with lower temps creating darker "mocha" or "chocolate" versions.

As this was the first Albino strain discovered, it is the most commonly found in most pet stores and breeders. This Tremper is expressing lavender - a common trait of bell's, but it's eye colour gives it's true genome away.


 tremper albino

 Rainwater Albino

The second discovered strain of Albinos was the Rainwater Albino, (named after its discoverer Tim Rainwater) also known as the Las Vegas Albino.

This strain of Albino is very much similar to both the Tremper Albino strain and the Bell Albino strain in respect to colours.

The eyes of the Rainwater Albino though are generally the darkest of all three strains. The eyes can be almost as dark as a Normal Leopard Gecko's eyes or more of a darker brown than the Tremper, with dark drown or darker veins and are not typical of the Albino eye coloring.


 rainwater eye

 Bell Albino

The Bell Albino is the newest of the three Leopard Gecko Albino Strains and was discovered by Mark Bell.

 The eyes of the Bell Albinos is the easiest way to tell them apart from the other two strains. Their eyes are a light pink color. As for the body, they tend to have brown spots.

Bell Albinos also express a lavender color on their body.


 bell albino eye


Blizzards are a simple recessive morph that show no pattern on their bodies aside from some that exhibit a yellow hue.

Colours range from a white, light purple, yellow and darker (lower temp incubated) shade of purple which is known as a "Midnight Blizzard".

Some exhibit changing of colours on a regular basis, though it has not been determined as to the cause of this colour change. They may be a bright white one minute and a quick change to a dark purple occurs. Some say it may be temperature dependent though some say it may be mood dependent.




The Jungle Morph was developed in 1991 by Ron Tremper. There is current debate on whether a jungle is a line bred result or the result of a recessive trait. I am siding for the moment with recessive. It shows more and more proof lately to just seem to be a random genetic colour mutation.

Jungles express a non-banded irregular pattern throughout its body with no bands on any part, including the tail.

If the gecko has non banded patterns on it's body but NOT on it's tail - then it is not strictly considered a jungle morph.



 Murphy Patternless

Founded by Pat Murphy in 1991, the Murphy Patternless is a Leopard Gecko which lacks all pattern.

As a hatchling, they will hatch with a lightly colored body with random tan, gray, or brown markings on the body.

Close to the age of 10 months, the markings will have completely faded and the geckos body color will be between yellow all the way to a deep purple.

Throughout the generations, breeders have been able to incorporate the Carrot Tail into the Murphy Patternless Leopard Geckos.

 murphy patternless


Eclipse refers to an recessive eye trait in Leopard Geckos. The eye shows a solid color as opposed to the normal eye coloration in which there is a distinct color in both the iris and the pupil. Eclipses have a transparent iris that allows for a full view of the pupil underneath which gives it the look that the entire eye is a solid color.

There are three different forms of the Eclipse trait. They are exhibited as the Tremper Eclipse strain (black, red, ruby red), the Blizzard eclipse (Black and random), and the Mack Super Snow eclipse (Black, red, ruby red).

eclispe eye 


The Snake-Eye is an eye trait connected to the Eclipse. This trait is exhibited in both the Blizzard and Tremper Eclipse version of the Eclipse.

A Snake-Eye gecko shows a partial solid color on the iris and is determined by a percentage when being sold. An eye exhibiting a half solid iris is considered 50% snake-eye.

Snake-eyes  come from the Eclipse gene so they are considered an Eclipse trait. Snake-Eyes and Eclipses can be bred interchangeably and produce both Snake-Eyes and Eclipses.

 snake eye

 Bold Stripe

A Bold Stripe Leopard Gecko is a Leopard Gecko where the pattern runs along the sides of the Leopard Gecko.

 Genetically, It has been concluded that this morph is an Incomplete Recessive. Meaning that this morphs mode of inheritance can vary throughout the bloodline.

 bold stripe

F. Passaro

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