When it was first introduced to the pet market in the late 1970s, very little information was known about the carrot tail leopard gecko. They were first caught in the wild and then shipped to the United States to be sold as pets. In reality, wild leopard geckos can be categorized into species and subspecies. Since this information was not well known then, the geckos imported for the pet trade were bred together without that much concern about their difference in specie. This has resulted to many genetic variations in leopard geckos that the we see today.
In the leopard gecko world, there are what are referred to as morphs. These are leopard geckos that differ in size, color, and/or genetics vis-à-vis the “normal” ones. Genetics is the reason for these variations in colors and patterns and these genetic traits will be passed to the next generations of leopard geckos through selective breeding.
Many of these morphs started as a mistake or fault in genetics that’s why they look different from the common leopard geckos. These geckos stand out and are easily picked off by their predators in the wild. Nowadays, there are many morph varieties that are commercially available. This includes dominant morphs like Enigma and recessive morphs like Blizzards and the Murphy Patternless. There are also others like polygenetic morphs like S.H.T.C.T., complete dominant ones like Macksnow, combo morphs like R.A.P.T.O.Rs, and co dominants like the Giants.
What has been appearing in various morphs is the carrot tail trait. This trait is mostly seen in the R.A.P.T.O.Rs and in Albey’s Tangerine line. It can also be commonly seen in the Hypo and Tangerine morphs, the leopard gecko albino strains, Murphy Patternless and a little in Blizzards.
Leopard geckos with more than the average amount of orange color in their tail are those that are called carrot tail leopard geckos. While there are those that have up to 90 percent of their tail covered with this orange pigment, it is typically located at the base of the tail in other leopard geckos. A leopard gecko must have a minimum of 15 percent to 25 percent of its tail to be in orange for it to be classified as a carrot tail leopard gecko. This extent of orange coloring in their tails varies from just a small band to, in most extreme cases, a solid orange tail.
This trait of being a carrot tail is line bred. If you breed two carrot tail leopard geckos, their offspring are most likely to have carrot tails also. If you want to improve this carroting in the next generation of your carrot tail leopard geckos, you should breed together the ones that have the most carroting.
The carrot head is also another trait that is line bred. A carrot head is one that has orangey spots on its head. This trait is usually exclusive to Tremper albinos, though.
Anybody can breed carrot tail leopard geckos just as long as the requisites of time, space, and resources needed to take care of the breeders and their offspring must be provided. Be prepared to house and take care of them when they don’t sell right away. Though breeding leopard geckos may have its rewards, breeding them is replete with repsonsibilities.