Before you dive into morphs, spend some time looking at the terms below used to describe the main areas on a Crested Gecko. Terms in this guide may be new to some of you and it could prove useful to start off knowing where they are located.
The Crested Gecko is a polychromatic lizard and with the vast array of pattern, colour and structural trait combinations today, it is easy for the beginner or even the more experienced keeper to get confused. Captive breeding for many generations has resulted in a larger phenotypic variation in today’s animals than that of the original wild collected group. The best way to learn Crested Gecko Morphs is to break their features down into three categories: patterns, colours and structural traits. These are the characteristics or building blocks that define any given morph.
Crested Geckos come in an array of different pattern and it’s not rare to find multiple patterns on a single gecko. The harlequin pattern for example occurs simultaneously with the fire/flame pattern. There’s almost an endless supply of pattern combinations that one gecko can display.
Crested Geckos come in shades of red, orange, yellow, brown, olive, mocha, cream, grey, tan, black, cream, lavender etc… Although some may appear blue or green, Crested Geckos do not actually have these pigments. Instead, two or more other pigments are combined to give those colour appearences.
If you’re a prospective buyer, don’t make the mistake of thinking a gecko will keep its hatchling colouration. More often than not, their colours are unpredictable. They may hatch out a bright red colour but may end up becoming yellow as adults. Eventually, as they get older they will show hints of thier adult colouration, but nothing is completely certain until they reach six months to one year of age.
Colors Throughout the Day
Depending on the gecko, they can either have slight or drastic colour intensity changes throughout the day. The factors that cause these changes include: humidity, temperature, stress levels etc… A gecko that is at its most intense colour at any given time is described as being “fired up.”
Structural traits involve a Crested Gecko’s form and proportion. Looking at a large number of geckos, you will find that there are variations in head and crest structure. Some have enormously large crests and are known to hobbyists as “Crowned.” Others may have reduced crests and are often called “Crestless Cresteds.” Some structural traits are more desirable than others and are then selectively bred by breeders. This may include the furry trait, thick tails, enlarged tail tips, enlarged head/crests or just an overall robust appearence.
Putting it All Together
As you’ve learned, pattern, colour and structural traits defines a Crested Gecko’s morph. A gecko that displays lavender colouring and the fire pattern would be called a Lavender Fire. However, some pattern and colour combinations have been given alternative names such as “Creamsicles” (Bright Orange Cream Fires) or “Blondes” (Dark Cream Fires).
|Harlequin, Dalmation||Red||–||Red Harlequin Dalmation|
|Cream Fire||Bright Orange||–||Creamsicle|
|Fire, Partial Pinstripe||Yellow||Crowned||Crowned Yellow Fire with Partial Pinstripes|
Crested Gecko Morph Types
The Harlequiin Crested Gecko has a pattern on its back, sides and limbs which can be seen clearly in the picture to the right. Harlequins can be any color however the pattern along the back sides and limbs will be a different colour to the rest of the gecko. The top of the head will be the same color as the patterning.
The Flame Crested Gecko is similar to the Harlequin in that there is a pattern along its back and the top of the head is the same color as the pattern. The main difference here is that there is no or very minimal patterning along the side of the body and limbs.
The Patternless Crested Gecko pictured on the right is easy to identify. It is the same color all over with no patterning at all. It can be one of any of the colors however the one pictured is a Buckskin.
The Dalmation is another easy to identify morph. As you can see from the picture Dalmations have spots all over their bodies. Some Dalmations only have a few spots whereas you can get extreme Dalmations such as the one pictured which have many spots.
With a Pinstripe Crested Gecko the colors of the crests which run along the back are all the same color. The colour is normally different the the color of the geckos body. Pictured on the right is a very good example of a Pinstripe, you can see the that crests are all a uniform color with no breaks.
The Tiger Crested Gecko has dark stripes on its back which carry on down the sides of the body.
The rarest of all the morphs. Very rarely available in the UK. If you want one of these then your best bet is to find somebody willing to export one to you from the USA. As you can see they are all pale grey almost silver in colour and are called Moonglow as they are the same colour as the moon.