As with most reptile species commonly kept as pets, crested geckos have been selectively bred to display a wide variety of different patterns and colors! Even though researchers believed they were extinct until 1994, these New Caledonian geckos have exploded in popularity in recent years. Thanks to how easy the little lizards are to breed, their adorably strange appearance, and their docile personalities, crested gecko morphs are now more diverse than ever.
If you’re thinking of adopting your own little crestie but aren’t sure which color or pattern you want yet, read on! You’re bound to find one perfectly suited to your preferences below. I’ll also briefly cover what morphs are, how breeders develop them, and why certain reptiles have more varied morphs than others.
What is a “Morph?”
To put it simply, a morph is a unique type (color, shape, pattern, etc.) of a certain animal within the same species. This slang term originates from the word “polymorphism” or “polymorphic,” which means “occurring or existing in many different forms.” More specifically, polymorphism means there are multiple different possible outcomes of a certain trait on a single gene.
Polymorphic animals can have many different combinations of physical traits. This makes them a lot of fun to breed, as you can get all kinds of awesome results from combining certain geckos! While one crested gecko might look radically different from another in skin color, pattern, shape, size, or eye color, both are still members of the same species!
Reptile breeders have selectively bred many different morphs of all kinds of lizards! However, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and crested geckos are by far the most common. This is because they are very docile, inexpensive, and easy to breed in captivity.
How Many Kinds of Crested Gecko Morphs Are There?
While leopard geckos and bearded dragons exist in hundreds of different morphs, crested geckos have only a couple dozen or so. Crested geckos are much newer to the pet trade than most other popular pet reptiles. As a result, reptile enthusiasts haven’t bred them as extensively as, for example, leopard geckos or ball pythons. This means there aren’t very many morphs yet, though this is rapidly changing as they become more common pets.
Truthfully, it’s virtually impossible to determine exactly how many different crested gecko morphs currently exist. Reptile breeders are always developing new types, and not all of them become wildly popular overnight. Some morphs have unique colors, while others have specific patterns. Additionally, some morphs are combinations of a certain color and pattern!
However, we can at least explore most of the well-known morphs below! You’ll also find descriptions of each morph’s general appearance and any other relevant information about them.
Crested Gecko Morphs: A-F
The easiest way to categorize the many crested gecko morphs is to simply organize them alphabetically. To start off this list, let’s go over morphs that start with the letter A through the letter F!
- Axanthic: Mostly dark grey or black in color with white stripes, patches, or spots. Quite rare and prized by reptile hobbyists but also fairly expensive compared to most other morphs.
- Bicolor: Usually patternless. Bicolor geckos have a dark base color with a lighter accent color on their backs.
- Brindle: Very similar to the Tiger morph (mentioned below), but with a more broken-up striped pattern.
- Creamsicle: The result of a genetic mutation. Mostly light orange in color with off-white or yellow spots and/or stripes running down their backs and tails.
- Dalmatian: As the name suggests, Dalmatian geckos usually have a white, yellowish, or grey base color with tiny, scattered black or brown spots all over their bodies.
- Extreme Harlequin: A more pronounced version of the Harlequin morph with patterning covering most of the gecko’s entire body.
- Flame: Similar to the Bicolor morph, but with more contrast and more vibrant coloration. Common colors are red, orange, and yellow. The patterning looks like flames on the gecko’s back and tail, hence the name.
Crested Gecko Morphs: G-O
IMAGE NEEDED: A Lilly White or Moonglow crested gecko would look great here. Possible caption: Some crested gecko morphs are solid white or even green!
Next, we have crested gecko morphs that start with the letter G through the letter O.
- Green Flame: A variant of the Flame morph but with a darker greenish or olive-toned base color. One of the rarer and newer morphs on the market.
- Halloween: As the name suggests, Halloween crested geckos have a mostly black or dark brown base color with vibrant orange stripes or other markings. This is a variation of the Harlequin morph.
- Harlequin: Similar to the Flame morph, but with more varied patterning on the geckos’ legs, sides, bellies, and tails.
- Lilly White: Geckos with a mostly white or cream-toned base body color. Typically has very little patterning in the form of very light yellow or tan spots and patches. White color usually becomes more vibrant with age.
- Moonglow: Very rare solid white geckos. While Lilly White geckos are a more creamy or yellowish white, Moonglow morphs are much brighter and generally have little to no patterning whatsoever. Controversial due to how difficult the trait is to produce.
Crested Gecko Morphs: P-Z
Finally, to end our list, below are crested gecko morphs starting with the letter P through Z.
- Pinstripe: Geckos with two parallel (usually white or light-colored) pinstripes running down the length of their backs. Can present in various colors and usually presents with other patterning like spots or patches along the geckos’ sides and bellies.
- Phantom Pinstripe: A variant of the Pinstripe morph. Usually has a light base body color with bright white pinstripes running down the length of the body and tail.
- Quad Stripe: Another interesting variant of the Pinstripe morph. Instead of the usual two stripes running down the gecko’s back, Quad Stripe geckos have two dorsal (back) stripes in addition to two stripes running down the sides of their bellies.
- Solid/Patternless: As the name suggests, Solid or Patternless geckos have no patterning whatsoever with a single base body color. Possible colors include brown, cream, red, orange, tan, and olive.
- Tiger: Geckos with vibrant, tiger-like stripes running down their backs and sides. Very popular thanks to how visually striking the morph’s coloration tends to be. Usually presents in shades of reddish brown, orange, and yellow.
- Tricolor: Similar to the Harlequin morph. These geckos have three different colors on their body in varying patterns like stripes, spots, and differently-sized patches.
- Tricolor Harlequin: A unique combination of the Tricolor and Harlequin morphs.
- Wild Type: Also sometimes referred to as “normal.” Usually mostly brown or tan in color with no special markings or patterning. Virtually all wild crested geckos are this morph.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © reptiles4all/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.