Carrot Tail Leopard Gecko: Expert Care Guide and Tips

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Carrot tail leopard geckos are characterized by at least 15-30% of their tail being covered in bright orange coloration, resembling a carrot.

Leopard Gecko with carrot tail pigmentation

Carrot tail morphs include RAPTORs, Patternless, Tangerines, Hypos, and Albinos. They are created by pairing two geckos with extensive carroting to increase the likelihood of offspring displaying the same striking trait.

Overview of Carrot Tail Leopard Gecko

As a subspecies of the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), the carrot tail leopard gecko originates from the deserts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.

Unlike their wild counterparts that usually have brown or yellow-colored tails, this fascinating gecko variation boasts a tail with bright orange shades ranging from light peach to deep orange.

Some notable facts about carrot tail leopard geckos:

  • The size of a carrot tail leopard gecko is quite similar to other leopard geckos, growing to be around 8 to 10 inches long.
  • They can live up to 15-20 years with proper care.
  • To be classified as a carrot tail leopard gecko, at least 30% of the tail from its base must be covered in orange.
  • The carrot tail is a line bred trait, meaning it’s been developed through breeding geckos with significant carroting over generations.

These geckos are relatively easy to care for, making them a great choice as a pet:

  • They thrive in a temperature-controlled enclosure with a temperature gradient for thermoregulation.
  • Leopard geckos are primarily insectivores, eating insects such as crickets and mealworms.
  • In captivity, they can be fed commercially prepared diets like Repashy Crested Gecko Meal Replacement Powder (MRP), which should be mixed with water into a paste.
  • It’s important to ensure your gecko has access to appropriate hiding spots, calcium supplementation, and fresh water at all times.

Physical Characteristics

General Appearance

Carrot tail leopard geckos, a subspecies of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), have some unique physical traits that make them stand out from their wild counterparts. These traits include:

  • Distinctive orange coloration on their tails
  • A variety of interesting patterns and hues on their body
  • Fat storage in their tails, aiding in survival during scarce food availability

Unique Color and Pattern

The most striking feature of a carrot tail leopard gecko is its bright orange tail, which can range in shade from light peach to deep orange. This is the result of selective breeding and the percentage of orange tail coloration can be used to describe and price these geckos.

In addition to their tails, their body can have a mix of orange, yellow, tan, and white colors. The pattern on their body can vary, with some geckos having nearly patternless bodies, while others exhibit intricate designs.

Some morphs of carrot tail leopard geckos include:

  • Tangerine: exhibits a distinct tangerine tone on their body and tail
  • Albino strains: three different strains that showcase the carrot tail trait
  • RAPTORs: a combination of red eyes and the carrot tail trait
  • Blizzard: a gecko with a mostly patternless white body and an orange tail

Size and Weight

Carrot tail leopard geckos typically reach an adult length of 8-10 inches, including their tail. Their weight can vary depending on their specific morph and individual factors. Here are some general size guidelines:

  • Small geckos: can weigh between 45-65 grams
  • Medium geckos: usually weigh between 65-80 grams
  • Giant geckos: can weigh 80 grams or more

In conclusion, carrot tail leopard geckos have unique physical characteristics that set them apart from other gecko species, including their vibrant orange tails and variety of body patterns. Their size can vary depending on their morph and individual factors, but they typically reach 8-10 inches in length.

Genetics and Breeding

Understanding Genetics

In the world of leopard geckos, genetic mutations give rise to various morphs, which are variations in color and pattern. When breeding carrot tail leopard geckos, it’s important to understand the basic genetic concepts:

  • Homozygous: An animal with two identical alleles of a particular gene
  • Heterozygous: An animal with two different alleles of a gene; may carry a recessive trait without expressing it
  • Recessive: A genetic trait that is only expressed when an individual has two copies of the associated gene
  • Line bred: A selective breeding technique used to enhance specific traits, such as the carrot tail in leopard geckos

Breeding Process

Breeding carrot tail leopard geckos involves carefully selecting individuals with desirable traits and pairing them to produce offspring with the desirable characteristics. Here are the key steps in the breeding process:

  1. Selecting the right breeders: Choose healthy adult geckos with distinct carrot tail traits and preferable genetic backgrounds, such as being homozygous for the desired traits.
  2. Preparing for breeding: Ensure both male and female geckos are healthy and well-fed. Monitor their weight and provide a stress-free environment.
  3. Introducing the geckos: Gently introduce the male and female geckos in the same enclosure and observe their interactions. Keep an eye on any signs of aggression.
  4. Egg-laying and incubation: After successful breeding, the female will lay eggs. Carefully transfer the eggs to an incubator set at the appropriate temperature and humidity.
  5. Hatching and raising the offspring: Once the eggs hatch, provide proper care and nutrition to the hatchlings to ensure their healthy development.

By employing selective breeding techniques and maintaining a careful breeding process, carrot tail leopard gecko morphs can be successfully produced and preserved in the gene pool.

Special Morphs

Simple Morphs

Leopard geckos have various morphs that affect their appearance. Some simple morphs include:

  • Hypo: This morph has fewer spots on its body, giving it a cleaner look.
  • Super Hypo: In this morph, there are almost no spots on the body except for the head and tail.
  • Tremper Albino: Showcasing lighter colors, this morph is one of three albino strains found in leopard geckos.
  • Blizzard: A patternless morph where the colors can be white, yellow, or a combination of both.

Complex Morphs

Complex morphs refer to leopard geckos with multiple traits combined. Some examples are:

  • Mack Snow: A co-dominant morph that lightens the overall color of the gecko and adds a white hue.
  • Murphy Patternless: A recessive morph that eliminates most patterns and features a solid colored body.
  • RAPTOR: An acronym for Red-Eyed Patternless Tremper Orange, this morph combines the Eclipse, Tremper Albino, and Patternless traits.
  • Snowglow: A combination of the Mack Snow and Tremper Albino morphs, yielding a white or cream-colored gecko.

Rare Morphs

Some rare and unique leopard gecko morphs include:

  • Banana Blizzard: A mixture of the Blizzard and Tremper Albino morphs, creating a yellow or “banana” colored gecko.
  • Hybino: A combination of the Hypo and Tremper Albino morphs, which results in reduced spotting and lighter colors.
  • Diablo Blanco: Combining the RAPTOR and Blizzard traits, this morph produces a white gecko with red eyes.
  • SHTCT & SHTCTB: Super Hypo Tangerine Carrot Tail and Super Hypo Tangerine Carrot Tail Baldy are morphs with intense orange coloration and reduced spotting, with the SHTCTB having a bald head.
  • Eclipse: Known for its solid black eyes, this morph also results in various degrees of patterning and color changes.

When choosing a leopard gecko, consider the wide range of morphs available, from simple to complex and rare, to find the perfect pet to suit your taste.

Health and Care

Potential Health Issues

Carrot tail leopard geckos, like other leopard geckos, may face certain health issues. Some of the common health issues include:

  • Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD): A lack of calcium and proper lighting lead to weakened bones.
  • Impaction: Ingestion of substrate or inappropriate food items may cause serious digestive issues and even death.
  • Shedding problems: If humidity levels are incorrect, it may cause problems in the shedding process.

To prevent these issues:

  • Provide appropriate calcium supplements and lighting.
  • Choose a safe substrate like reptile carpet, paper towel, or tile.
  • Maintain proper humidity levels and provide a moist hide.

Habitat Preferences

Creating a comfortable habitat for carrot tail leopard geckos is essential. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Temperature: Keep daytime enclosure temperatures between 75-85°F (24-29°C), with a basking spot reaching 90°F (32°C). Nighttime temperatures can drop to 70°F (21°C).
  • Humidity: Aim for a humidity level between 30-40% to avoid respiratory infections.
  • Substrate: Use a safe substrate, such as reptile carpet, paper towel, or tile, to minimize the risk of impaction.
  • Hides: Provide at least two hides, one on the warm side, and another on the cool side to allow thermoregulation.

Ideal Diet

To ensure your carrot tail leopard gecko stays healthy, offer them a well-rounded diet, consisting mainly of:

  • Insects: Cricket, mealworms, and dubia roaches are nutritious options. Avoid feeding wild insects, as they might carry parasites or toxins.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Dust insects with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements to support healthy bone growth.
  • Feeding Frequency: Feed young geckos daily and adult geckos every other day, offering insects equal to the size of the gecko’s head.

Remember to provide fresh water in a shallow dish, and keep the habitat clean to promote the health and wellbeing of your carrot tail leopard gecko.

Behavior and Temperament

Carrot tail leopard geckos are subspecies of leopard geckos and share many behavioral traits with their parent species. Their temperament can be described as confident, knowledgeable, neutral, and clear. In this section, we will discuss the behavior and temperament of carrot tail leopard geckos:

  • Docile nature: Carrot tail leopard geckos are known for their docile nature, which makes them ideal pets for beginners. They are not aggressive and rarely exhibit aggressive behaviors such as biting, tail-thrashing, hissing, or lunging.
  • Nocturnal habits: Being nocturnal animals, carrot tail leopard geckos are active during the night and spend most of their days resting in hiding spots.
  • Territorial behavior: It’s essential to keep an eye on their territorial behavior, as they may exhibit aggression towards other geckos or animals in their enclosure if they feel threatened. This is more common in male leopard geckos, but female leopard geckos can also show territorial behavior to some extent.
  • Feeding habits: Carrot tail leopard geckos, like other leopard geckos, are insectivores. They may exhibit an active hunting behavior when hungry, displaying keen interest and stalking their prey. To keep them healthy, ensure you provide a varied diet of appropriate insects and supplementation.
  • Shedding: As with all reptiles, carrot tail leopard geckos go through a shedding process to accommodate their growth. During this time, they may exhibit behaviors like hide-seeking, rubbing against surfaces, or mild lethargy. Ensure there is a humid hide present in their enclosure to help them shed smoothly.
  • Handling: Due to their docile nature, carrot tail leopard geckos are generally easy to handle, provided you take your time and be patient with them. Gradually introducing handling while they are young will help them become comfortable with human interaction.

By understanding their behavior and temperament, you can provide an accommodating environment for your carrot tail leopard gecko, ensuring a happy and healthy pet.

Historical Context

In the historical context of Carrot Tail Leopard Geckos, these captivating reptiles have a rich background:

  • Wild-type: The Carrot Tail trait is present in the wild-type Leopard Gecko, which originates from the deserts of Asia, specifically Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan.
  • Carrot Tail Leopard Geckos have been around for centuries, coexisting with humans and other animals in their natural habitat.
  • Just like other Leopard Geckos, the Carrot Tail morph showcases its distinctiveness, but still shares similarities with its wild-type counterparts in terms of behavior and overall appearance.

The history of Carrot Tail Leopard Geckos is directly tied to the development and progression in breeding:

  • Line breeding: The Carrot Tail trait is a result of carefully selected line breeding, where geckos with more carroting are bred with geckos that also possess a high amount of carroting.
  • In order to be classified as a Carrot Tail Leopard Gecko, at least 15% of the reptile’s tail, starting from the base, should be covered in vibrant orange coloration.
  • Throughout the years, breeders have been working diligently to enhance this trait and create geckos with a more prominent orange-colored tail.

By understanding the historical context and the wild-type origins of Carrot Tail Leopard Geckos, you can appreciate their unique appearance and marvel at the skillful breeding that has led to the variation we see today.

Valuation and Acquisition

When looking to acquire a Carrot Tail Leopard Gecko, consider the following factors to determine its value and make a smart purchase:

  • Percentage of Orange: Carrot Tails are usually priced based on the amount of orange on their tails. The higher the percentage of orange, the higher the value. Top-of-the-line animals possess tails that are 90% or more orange.
  • Morphs: This trait can be expressed in a variety of morphs, which may also impact the value. Some popular morphs include Albey’s Tangerine Line and RAPTORS.
  • Origin: Ensure you are purchasing your gecko from a reputable breeder to avoid potential health problems. Some breeders, like The Urban Reptile, have acquired Carrot Tail groups directly from the European breeder who originally discovered the trait and coined the name.
  • Price Range: Carrot Tailed Leopard Geckos can vary in price from $139.95 to $399.00, depending on their features, morph, and breeder.

When acquiring your Carrot Tail Leopard Gecko, follow these steps:

  1. Research various breeders and sellers to understand their reputation and the quality of their animals.
  2. Inquire about the specific morphs and traits available, considering your preference in terms of coloration and intensity.
  3. Evaluate the condition of the animal, its age, and origin to ensure you’re making an informed decision.
  4. Check for any additional factors (shipping, guarantees, etc.) that might impact your acquisition.

By carefully considering these factors and following these steps, you can confidently acquire a healthy and vibrant Carrot Tail Leopard Gecko to enjoy for years to come.

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