Crested geckos have been intentionally developed to exhibit a broad variety of distinct patterns and colors, just like most reptile species that are commonly kept as pets.
Although until 1994 scientists thought these New Caledonian geckos were extinct, their popularity has recently skyrocketed.
Crested gecko morphs are now more varied than ever because of how simple the little lizards are to breed, their endearingly peculiar appearance, and their docile nature.
We’ve compiled a list of every known morph if you’re thinking about getting your own crested gecko but aren’t yet sure what color or pattern you like.
Below, you’re sure to find one that precisely matches your preferences.
About Crested Geckos
Crested geckos are often built similarly to other geckos. They have a big head, a lengthy tail, and four strong legs. There are, however, a few distinguishing traits that set it apart from other species.
For instance, compared to the skin of many other gecko species, the skin of crested geckos is slightly more saggy.
Additionally, they can be found in a variety of colors, from red to yellow to black, and they may or may not have a noticeable pattern of dark markings.
The ridge of scales that runs along each side of a crested gecko’s body is unquestionably the most notable feature of their anatomy.
On one side of the face, the ridge begins above the eye and runs along the side of the back until it combines with the fringe from the opposite side close to the base of the tail.
When crested geckos are younger than 3 to 5 months old, it is impossible to tell their sexes apart, but once they are older, it is conceivable.
To tell a male from a female, simply look for two bulges made by the hemipenes, which are situated close to the base of the tail.
Additionally, males have a series of noticeable preanal pores next to their vents.
The average lifespan for crested geckos has not yet been determined with any degree of precision because they have only been kept in captivity for around 25 years.
However, they are undoubtedly a long-lived species, with an approximate lifespan of at least 20 years.
Size And Weight
Crested geckos are medium-sized geckos. Their overall length is around 8 inches, with the tail making up half of that measurement.
Most crested geckos weigh between 25 and 50 grams when they reach adulthood.
However, females may not effectively reproduce until they weigh 35 grams or more, while males are often considered mature and capable of mating at around 25 grams.
What Is A Morph?
Simply explained, a morph is a special variation of a certain animal belonging to the same species.
The word “polymorphism” or “polymorphic,” which means “occurring or existing in many diverse forms,” is where this slang term gets its name.
More specifically, polymorphism denotes the existence of numerous distinct outcomes for a single gene’s influence on a given feature.
Animals that are polymorphic can have a wide variety of physical features together. This makes them a lot of fun to breed because you can mix different geckos to produce some truly remarkable results.
Even though the skin tone, pattern, form, size, and eye color of one crested gecko may be drastically different from another, both remain members of the same species.
Breeders of reptiles have carefully created a wide variety of lizard morphs. However, crested geckos, leopard geckos, and bearded dragons are by far the most common.
This is due to the fact that they are docile, affordable, and simple to breed in captivity.
How Many Crested Gecko Morphs Are There?
There are only a few dozen possible morphs of crested geckos, compared to hundreds for leopard geckos and bearded dragons.
Compared to most other common pet reptiles, crested geckos are substantially more recent additions to the pet trade. Because of this, reptile hobbyists haven’t bred them as much as, say, leopard geckos or ball pythons.
This implies that morphs aren’t extremely prevalent yet; however, this is quickly changing as more people keep them as pets.
In reality, it’s very hard to pinpoint the precise number of crested gecko variants that exist today.
New varieties of reptiles are constantly being created by breeders, but not all of them are instantly successful.
While others have distinctive patterns, other variants have distinctive colors. In addition, certain morphs combine a particular color and pattern.
Regardless, we can still explore most of the well-known species in this article.
How A Crested Gecko’s Color Can Change
Your crestie’s color may change depending on a few factors.
When you get a crested gecko, it’s possible that it will be a particular dark shade, like red or yellow.
However, the color during these formative periods of childhood does not entirely reflect the hue as an adult.
Cresties first exhibit their mature color between the ages of 6 and 7 months.
You need to wait even a little bit longer to be completely certain of the final color. However, there won’t be any further modifications after it is a year old.
Crested geckos also alter their coloration in response to their mood and environment. They become “fired up” if they are on high alert or responding to their surroundings.
You might also observe that your gecko becomes “fired down” and that its skin tone darkens a little while it sleeps.
Each gecko has its own personality; therefore, some are constantly fired up and some never are.
Besides natural occurrences of being fired up, your gecko may change color when experiencing stress.
This can happen if you start breeding your crested gecko, if the temperature isn’t right, or if there are too many crested geckos in the same habitat.
Common Crested Gecko Morphs
The bi-color morph of the crested gecko has a darker base color and a lighter secondary color that runs down its back.
The same color variations exist in bi-color morphs as in patternless morphs, however the lighter color on the back typically contrasts less with the base color.
The top of the head may also have a light hue, and there might even be faint spots or stripes.
The little patterning on the bi-color morph prevents it from being categorized as a dalmatian or tiger morph.
The crested gecko is not considered to be patternless, though, because there is enough patterning visible.
The majority of the time, the pinstripes and dark flame patterns on blonde crested gecko variants are present.
The harlequin gecko, which has a dark base color and light patterning, may also be compared to the blonde morph pattern.
A full white or cream dorsal pattern, as well as some markings on its head, may also be seen on a blonde harlequin crested gecko morph.
The crestie’s dorsal scales have a color stripe running from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail that makes up this bright pattern.
The creamsicle morph often has an orange base color and head and back stripes that are white or cream in tone.
Many breeders also include crested geckos with brilliant yellow bases and white or cream patterns as creamsicle morphs in addition to the original orange and white coloration.
Generally speaking, harlequin, extreme harlequin, and flame morph patterns are variations of creamsicle morphs.
The creamsicle morph can also have solid back, dalmatian, and pinstripe patterns, however they are less common.
The dalmatian spotted morph of crested geckos is quite common among owners.
As suggested by the name, this morph produces the crested gecko dalmatian patches that closely resemble those of the dog variety.
These spots come in a variety of shades, including black ink spots, white, red, gray, and olive. The size and number of the spots on a dalmatian crested gecko can also change.
Very few little spots on a dalmatian crestie are quite common and reasonably priced. This morph’s rarer and more expensive variant with a lot of big black spots is greatly sought after by collectors.
Some of these pricey mutations have so many noticeable large patches that the basic color is almost completely hidden. “Super dalmatians” are dalmatian variants that have a lot of spots.
The cream pattern on the body of the reptile in the drippy morph seems as though it is pouring down from the top of its back.
Some breeders of crested geckos will only designate a lizard as belonging to the drippy morph if it has some cream coloring.
Owners of cresties may mistake an extreme harlequin morph for a drippy morph, but there is an easy way to distinguish between the two.
The pattern on the gecko’s body will appear to be moving from the bottom to the top in extreme harlequin variants.
With the drippy morph, the pattern always starts at the dorsal region or back of the crested gecko and flows downward from there.
In the flame morph, the crested gecko will have a darker base color and some cream color on its back and flanks that resemble little flames.
Although the base is available in a variety of hues, it is usually darker than the flame patterning.
The color pattern on the crestie’s back can range from being solid to having a more erratic pattern.
The backs of chevron flame crested geckos are decorated with a V design. Having a perfectly formed chevron pattern is uncommon and highly desired by many reptile owners.
The body and limb colors are always mentioned before the flame color when describing a flame morph’s colors. Red and yellow, black and cream, and yellow and cream are a few examples of this.
The Halloween morph has the same pattern as harlequin crested geckos and the colors black and orange.
The crestie may appear gray and orange or lavender and orange when fired down. The basic color of Halloween crested geckos darkens to black when heated, while the pattern remains orange.
The tint of the orange pattern can be neon-bright, peach-colored, or darker orange. Never will the pattern on a Halloween crested gecko be white, cream, or yellow.
Harlequin And Extreme Harlequin
Similar to flames, harlequin morphs have more pattern, especially on the sides and legs. These crested geckos come in a range of vivid yellow and orange hues as well as red and cream, tri-color, and other patterns.
Extreme harlequins are distinguished from conventional harlequins by even more apparent patterning, with the light pattern color continuing up the sides and occasionally tying in with the design around the back of the crestie.
The brilliant color of the crested gecko makes the extreme harlequin patterning quite desirable.
The lavender crested gecko morph is relatively new and has just recently become more well-known.
Unlike other crested geckos, lavender cresties don’t usually get fired up. Because of this, the lavender gecko is a light gray or other muted hue, but when it fires up, it may have a faint purplish tint.
Some crested gecko breeders think the lavender morph is actually a crested gecko that has never been seen firing up to a darker color rather than a legitimate color morph.
However, both crestie breeders and owners continue to choose this morph.
Mocha And Cream
The base hue of mocha and cream morphs ranges from brown to tan, with a cream color pattern.
In terms of hue and patterning, this morph falls in between the creamsicle and blonde morphs.
Mocha crested geckos have a variety of pinstripe and flame morphs, as well as harlequin, tiger, and other patterns.
When fired up, a mocha and cream crestie will always appear brown. These mutations’ best varieties are a very deep, vivid brown.
The patternless crested gecko morph is identified by its uniform body color. These hues include red, buckskin, chocolate, olive, orange, and yellow.
True solid white or black patternless cresties don’t exist. Although they are sometimes called “moonglows,” light yellow-cream or unfired red-crested geckos are not fully white.
The majority of the time, very dark, nearly black cresties have a white pattern on their head, tail, or fringe, so are not considered to be patternless.
As opposed to the conventional pinstripe morph, the phantom pinstripe morph is less frequent.
The phantom pinstripe crested gecko has darker bands of color underneath and around each elevated scale instead of a cream or white hue along the top.
The base color of traditional phantom pinning is typically lighter, while the pinstriping is darker. The contrast between the hues is not as strong as it is in some other morphs.
A classic pinstripe morph will have a more vibrantly colored dorsal stripe than the rest of its body, whereas the dorsal stripe between the pinstripe scales is often a similar color to the rest of the body.
Due to the two rows of elevated scales running down their backs, the traditional pinstripe morph is regarded as having a structural characteristic.
Each scale may be white, although it typically has a cream tone.
Some pinstripe cresteds have rows of continuous white or cream scales running the full length of their bodies, from the top of their heads to the tip of their tails.
On their backs, other pinstripe morphs might only have a handful of tiny elevated scales.
“Dash pinning” refers to the little, discrete pinstriping that runs along the back of a pinstripe morph.
A pinstripe gecko’s body will typically be covered in harlequin or flame patterns. While tiger stripes and solid colors are possible, they are quite uncommon in the pinstripe morph.
The only difference between the quadstripe and ordinary pinstripe morphs is that the side of the crested gecko has stripes as well.
Additionally, unlike any other morph, these lateral stripes could feature elevated, cream-colored scales.
Some of the stripes on the sides of the crestie resemble porthole dots, while others are either straight lines or broken dashes.
The solid back morph is what it states it is; the dorsal region will have a solid color pattern.
The flame, harlequin, and extreme harlequin crested gecko morphs may coexist with this one.
Rarely, the solid back morph may also exhibit drippy or pinstripe characteristics. The design will be slightly disrupted on a back crestie that is only half solid.
The tiger morph typically has a light base color and darker stripes that resemble the pattern of a tiger.
Although this morph can sometimes be seen with color characteristics resembling those of patternless cresties, it is typically found in brown or beige.
Adult crested geckos rarely have red tiger morphs because when they become agitated, the red tone masks the darker tiger patterning stripes.
Due to the difference in their colors, yellow tiger cresties are very well-liked.
A brindle, super brindle, or super tiger are other names for a highly patterned tiger crested gecko.
Compared to the standard brindle or super tiger, the super brindle is less prevalent.
The tri-color morph has a harlequin-like pattern with three distinct color schemes.
A tri-color morph’s base color might be anything from red to black, and its pattern typically combines cream with another hue.
The two most typical color schemes for tri-color crested geckos are red with yellow and cream patterning and black with orange and cream patterning, which resembles the Halloween morph.
How a tri-color morph is categorized is a topic of discussion among some breeders.
When each color on a crested gecko’s body accounts for one-third of the overall color and pattern markings, many breeders will only classify it as tri-colored.
Since the crested gecko has been bred in captivity, white spots, sometimes known as portholes, have been observed along the sides of the reptile.
Any tiny white spot that develops on the nose, chest, stomach, or toes during incubation may be the result of incomplete pigmentation.
Large white spots have been bred into this morph more lately. Usually located in the dorsal region, these larger patches have the illusion of “dripping” down the reptile’s body.
In the relatively recent “whitewall” morph, a solid white or cream-colored stripe runs down the lower edges of the crestie. The white or cream stripe is clearly distinguished from the remainder of the pattern or base color by a thin line.
The name of the morph comes from its color pattern, which is reminiscent of whitewall tires.
The base color and the white block of color are typically present on a whitewall crested gecko. Tricolored whitewall crested geckos are also available.
Rare Crested Gecko Morphs
Despite the fact that there are currently a lot of crested gecko morphs, breeders are always experimenting and creating new morphs.
Breeding for a particular trait in crested geckos might be challenging due to their genetic makeup.
Breeders cross the specific lizard with another crestie exhibiting the same traits once a desired trait in a crestie has been attained.
This enhances the possibility of having geckos with offspring that resemble their parents, but it is not a guarantee.
With dominant and recessive genes, crested dogs cannot breed successfully. Instead, crested gecko genes include at least two features, and occasionally even more, on a single gene.
Depending on how many qualities the reptile bears, there is a probability that each of these will be mated into a crestie.
Because significant inbreeding is required to reliably produce the majority of desired features, these traits are referred to as “line bred.” There are some extremely rare crested gecko variants as a result of this difficult breeding procedure.
Cream On Cream
The cream-on-cream morph’s color combination has been established to exist, unlike the fabled moonglow.
A crested gecko with a full cream base color and cream-colored pattern marks is the result of the “cream on cream” morph. Typically, a crested gecko with flame patterning will display these colors.
This morph, which is among the rarest to have ever existed, is revered among crestie owners.
A cream-colored flame pattern and a dark brown to practically black base define a dark fire morph.
Finding a flame crested gecko with a very dark base color is uncommon because the red and olive hues that are most frequently seen in them are.
To be categorized as a dark fire morph, the base color must become darker when the crestie is fired up.
The stark contrast between the base color and the flame pattern makes dark fire crested geckos popular with reptile keepers.
Because many breeders may advertise a green flame crestie for sale, but the photo is not the lizard in its fired-up state, this unusual morph is also contentious in the crested gecko community.
The flame crested gecko cannot be classified as this specific morph until it turns green when fired up.
Since cresties lack the pigments needed to produce true blues and greens, it is challenging to achieve true green in them. Although most green flame crested geckos are a darker olive green, there are a handful that are a lighter shade.
Given the difficulty in predicting whether or not a flaming crested gecko would turn green, this species of gecko has to create green pigments; this makes it an extremely uncommon morph.
The “moonglow” morph is a very contentious solid white crested gecko.
The existence of a true white crested gecko is disputed by many reptile breeders and owners, who claim that it is impossible.
Due to the fact that no breeder has successfully created a crestie that remains white when it is fired up and fired down, moonglow is not typically regarded as a morph.
Even so, a lot of breeders occasionally list moonglows for sale when they have a cream-on-cream morph or a pale yellow kind of morph.
The majority of moonglow photos are unreliable because they are frequently edited or shot in dim light, making it impossible to detect the crestie’s genuine hues.
Red Harlequin Pinstripe
Due to the rarity and recent development of the color morph needed for breeding, this morph is exceptionally rare.
There are several red harlequin crested gecko variations, from bright red without any dark coloring to a bi-color of red and cream.
The red harlequin pinstripe morph is still being developed and is extremely new.
Through selective breeding, the cresties that are currently on the market have at least 90% pinstriping, but breeders are trying extremely hard to achieve 100%.
This morph is highly sought after by reptile owners as a result.
The appearance of a crested gecko when it is fully fired up determines the morph color.
Because the red frequently overpowers the black tiger stripe pattern colors when the lizard is fired up, adult red tiger crested geckos are uncommon.
The red tiger morph is most frequently observed in young crested geckos, but as they grow older and mature, the tiger pattern may alter and become less obvious.
As a result, adults of red tiger cresties are hardly ever encountered.
Crested geckos make amazing pets for reptile lovers, and you can find some beautiful crested gecko morphs when looking for your new family member.
With this guide, you’ll know everything you need to know about the different crested gecko morphs.