It’s true that crested geckos come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Most of these, such as pinstripe, dalmatian and harlequin crested geckos, have been developed over time and multiple generations. These are three very different types of crested geckos, and it took experienced breeders to take traits present in the wild populations and refine them in captivity.
The word “morph” comes from the term “polymorphism”, which refers to the presence of multiple visually-distinct forms of a single species of animal. Morphs refer to the phenotypes of a given species; a “phenotype” is any observable characteristic of an organism. A very familiar example would be in Labrador retrievers: there are yellow, black, chocolate and red labs. Each color is a different phenotype, but there is more going on “under the hood” when it comes to breeding.
Do crested geckos have morphs? Yes and no. They have many characteristics that can be inherited, and some types are often called a morph – as with the above dalmatians, harlequins and pinstripes. Let’s discuss the differences between the crested gecko morphs and learn a little bit about genetics 101!