Hypo leopard geckos have between one to ten spots on their body excluding their head and tail. They are known for their reduced melanin levels, meaning they have much less black pigmant than regular leopard geckos.
Understanding Hypo Leopard Geckos
What is a Hypo Leopard Gecko?
Hypo Leopard Gecko refers to a morph of leopard gecko (Eublepharis Macularius) that presents a unique trait called hypomelanism.
Hypomelanism involves a reduction in black pigmentation, resulting in fewer black spots on the gecko’s body compared to the regular leopard gecko. The Super Hypo morph goes one step further, with the leopard gecko exhibiting no black spots on its back at all.
Characteristics Reflecting Hypomelanism
As a result of the hypomelanic trait, these leopard geckos showcase distinct visual qualities that can distinguish them from other morphs. Here are the main characteristics:
- Number of black spots: A hypo leopard gecko should have no more than 10 black spots on its body, while a Super Hypo will have none.
- Color: Hypo leopard geckos tend to have a yellowish hue, ranging from dull to bright, as their dominant color.
- Hereditary aspects: Hypomelanism is a line-bred trait, meaning that it’s passed down through generations, but it’s not co-dominant, unlike other traits seen in different morphs.
Keep in mind that Super Hypo leopard geckos could resemble hypo leopard geckos during their youth, but they gradually lose their black spots as they mature.
Appearance and Physical Characteristics
Size and Weight
Hypo leopard geckos are small lizards belonging to the leopard gecko family. They typically measure between 20-25 cm (8-10 inches) in length. Their size and weight might vary slightly depending on factors like age, gender, and health. Generally, these geckos are:
- Easy to handle due to their small size
- Compact and simple to house in a terrarium
Color and Pattern
The hypo morph stands out due to its distinct coloration and reduced black spotting:
- Hypo leopard geckos have a yellow or tan base color
- The number of black spots are reduced compared to typical leopard geckos
- To be considered a hypo, there should be no more than 10 black spots on its body (excluding head and tail)
- Those with no black spots are called Super Hypos
- There are line bred traits known as Super Hypomelanistic Leopard Geckos, which lose their spots as they age
Additionally, some features unique to hypo leopard geckos include:
- The presence of a carrot tail, which is a tail with a high concentration of orange or red coloration
- Hypo leopard geckos might exhibit a lighter or darker shade of yellow, depending on their specific morph
Hypo leopard geckos exhibit stunning colors and reduced patterns, making them popular among reptile enthusiasts and breeders alike.
Types of Hypo Leopard Geckos
Super Hypo Leopard Geckos are unique in that they possess no black spots on their backs, unlike the regular Hypo Leopard Geckos. These geckos can range in color from a dull to a bright yellowish tone. Some key features of Super Hypos include:
- Line bred trait
- Can resemble Hypos in appearance until adulthood
- Lose their spots as they age
These geckos may also have genetic connections with other albino morphs, such as the Tremper, Rainwater, and Bell Albinos.
Blazing Blizzard Morph
The Blazing Blizzard Morph is a beautiful combination of two separate morphs: the Blizzard and the Albino. This striking gecko is characterized by:
- Absence of pattern and spots
- Bright yellow or orange coloration
- Bold red or orange eyes
Additionally, Blazing Blizzard Morphs can also possess other genetic traits, such as Eclipse, which affects the eye color and patterning.
Ghost Morphs are a specialized group within the Hypos that feature faint, almost translucent, patterns on their bodies. These geckos are visually captivating due to:
- Lighter and less distinct body markings
- Pale, faded colors on their bodies
- Possible combination with other morphs, such as Super Giant
Care for Ghost Morphs is similar to that of other Hypo and non-Hypo Leopard Geckos. It is essential to provide them with a well-maintained and appropriate environment to ensure their health and longevity.
In conclusion, Hypo Leopard Geckos offer a diverse range of visually stunning morphs to choose from. Whether it’s the spotless Super Hypos, the vibrant Blazing Blizzard Morphs, or the ethereal Ghost Morphs, you’re sure to find a hypo that captures your attention and adds a unique touch to your collection.
Price and Purchase Considerations
Cost of Hypo Leopard Geckos
Hypo Leopard Geckos are a specific morph of leopard gecko with a reduced number of spots on their body. The price for these geckos can vary depending on factors like age, color, and breeders’ reputation. Here are some general price ranges for Hypo Leopard Geckos:
- Standard Hypo Leopard Geckos: These typically cost between $50 and $75
- Rare morphs and variations: Prices can range from $200 to $3,000, depending on the rarity and demand
The wide range in pricing reflects the complexity of breeding these unique geckos. As you search for the perfect Hypo Leopard Gecko, it is critical to consider both the initial purchase cost and the ongoing maintenance expenses, such as their enclosure, food, and healthcare.
Selecting a Quality Breeder
When purchasing a Hypo Leopard Gecko, selecting a reputable breeder is essential to ensuring you receive a healthy and well-cared-for pet. Here are some key aspects to look for in a quality breeder:
- Experience and reputation: Look for breeders with a track record of successfully breeding leopard geckos, and check for positive customer reviews or testimonials
- Transparency: A good breeder should be willing to share information about their breeding practices, the geckos’ genetic history, and potential health issues
- Health and well-being: Pay attention to the conditions in which the geckos are kept and ensure that they have a clean, safe, and adequately sized living space
Behavior and Lifespan in Captivity
Leopard geckos are known for their gentle nature, making them great pets for beginners and experienced reptile enthusiasts alike. They exhibit a variety of behaviors and quirks that you can observe in captivity:
- Nocturnal: These geckos are active during the night and tend to spend their days hiding in burrows or other secluded spaces.
- Social interactions: While they can be comfortably housed individually, they also show tolerance toward cohabitation with other leopard geckos, provided their enclosure is large enough and they are of similar size.
- Territoriality: Male leopard geckos may exhibit territorial behavior, especially when in the presence of females. To avoid conflict, it’s advisable not to house multiple males together.
The lifespan of a leopard gecko varies depending on whether it lives in the wild or in captivity:
- In the wild: The common leopard gecko lifespan is around 6 to 8 years.
- In captivity: A well-cared-for pet leopard gecko can live up to 20 years, with male geckos tending to live longer than their female counterparts (15 to 20 years for males and 10 to 15 years for females).
To ensure the health and longevity of your leopard gecko, consider the following essential elements for their care:
- Substrate: Choose an appropriate, non-loose substrate, like reptile carpet or tiles, to prevent impaction.
- Temperature and Lighting: Provide a temperature gradient with a suitable basking area, cool zones, and adequate lighting for their nocturnal lifestyle.
- Nutrition: Offer a well-balanced diet consisting of a variety of insects dusted with essential supplements.
By paying close attention to your leopard gecko’s behavior and providing an optimal living environment, you’ll be able to enjoy many years of companionship with your pet.
Breeding Hypo Leopard Geckos
The breeding season for leopard geckos usually begins in January or February and can go through September (in the Northern Hemisphere). During this time, females may mate and lay eggs several times within a season. To successfully breed hypo leopard geckos, you should follow these steps:
- House males and females together during the breeding season.
- Provide a proper egg-laying site for females.
- Collect and incubate the eggs at the appropriate temperatures.
- Hatch and raise healthy hatchlings.
Understanding genetics is crucial when breeding hypo leopard geckos. It’s important to know the following genetic terms:
- Dominant: A gene that expresses itself even when only one copy is present.
- Recessive: A gene that is expressed only when both copies are present (homozygous).
- Incomplete Dominant: A gene that expresses itself partially if only one copy is present.
When breeding hypo leopard geckos, keep these genetic factors in mind:
- Hypo melanistic gene is recessive; both parents must carry the gene for offspring to display the hypo trait.
- Breeding two hypo leopard geckos together will produce 100% hypo offspring, as both parents are homozygous for the trait.
- Breeding a hypo gecko with a normal gecko may yield offspring that carry the hypo gene (heterozygous), but they will not express the hypo trait visually.
Remember, genetic diversity is essential for maintaining healthy populations, so avoid breeding closely related geckos. By considering these genetic factors and creating a proper breeding environment, you can successfully breed hypo leopard geckos and enjoy the unique traits they possess.
Caring for Hypo Leopard Geckos
Hypo leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning their diet consists primarily of insects. To ensure their health and well-being, it’s crucial to provide them with a variety of live insects such as:
- Crickets: A staple food for leopard geckos, make sure they are the appropriate size (no larger than the space between your gecko’s eyes).
- Mealworms: Supplement crickets with mealworms to add variety to your gecko’s diet.
- Waxworms: These should be offered occasionally, as a treat, due to their high-fat content.
Remember to gut-load insects before feeding and dust them with calcium and multivitamin supplements to ensure proper nutrition for your gecko.
Temperature and Habitat
- Tank Size: A 10-gallon tank is suitable for a single gecko, with an additional 10 gallons of space for each added gecko. Only one male should be housed in an enclosure; other tank inhabitants should be female.
- Temperature: Leopard geckos require a temperature gradient in their habitat. Create a hot side with temperatures between 85-90°F (29-32°C) and a cooler side with temperatures around 75°F (24°C) to enable your gecko to regulate its body temperature.
- Hiding Spots: Provide a minimum of three hides for your gecko to choose from, with more hiding spots being even better. These can be made from coconut shells, logs, or large rocks. Two hides should be placed on the hot side (one as a humid hide) and one on the cooler side.
- Substrate: Use a safe substrate, such as reptile carpet or tile, to avoid the risk of impaction from loose substrates.
By addressing these dietary and habitat requirements, you can ensure the proper care and well-being of your hypo leopard gecko.
Common Health Issues
Shedding Problems: Shedding is a natural process for geckos, but sometimes, they may encounter difficulties. Incomplete or poor shedding can lead to the build-up of skin residue around their limbs, eyes, or tail, decreasing mobility or causing infections. To prevent this:
- Maintain correct humidity levels in the enclosure.
- Provide a moist hide or shedding area for your gecko.
- Assist your gecko in shedding by offering lukewarm soaks, if necessary.
Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD): MBD results from a calcium deficiency and it can cause a range of symptoms in your gecko, including:
- Weakness and lethargy
- Crooked limbs or deformities
- Difficulty in walking or moving
To prevent MBD, ensure that your leopard gecko receives an adequate calcium intake through supplementation and a well-balanced diet.
Respiratory Infections: Caused by factors like low temperatures or high humidity, respiratory infections can manifest through symptoms like wheezing, mucus discharge, and lethargy. To avoid these issues:
- Maintain proper temperature and humidity levels.
- Keep the enclosure clean and free of dampness.
Impaction: Occurring when indigestible materials block your gecko’s intestines, impaction can cause lethargy, lack of appetite, and abdominal swelling. To prevent impaction:
- Offer appropriately-sized food items.
- Use a safe and digestible substrate in the enclosure.
Gout: Caused by your gecko’s inability to process uric acid effectively, gout can lead to swollen joints and compromises your gecko’s mobility. Ensure proper hydration and a balanced diet to keep gout at bay.
Keep a close eye on your hypo leopard gecko’s behavior and appearance to monitor their health. Reach out to a veterinarian experienced with reptiles if you notice any concerning signs.
Interesting Facts about Hypo Leopard Geckos
Hypo Leopard Geckos are a unique variety of leopard geckos, known for their distinct appearance. They are ground-dwelling creatures that possess some exciting characteristics:
- Reduced black pigment: Hypo Leopard Geckos have significantly less black pigment than most leopard geckos, with 10 or fewer dark spots on their bodies. Super Hypos have no black spots at all, making them even rarer and more expensive.
- White bellies: Unlike other leopard geckos, Hypo Leopard Geckos have a bright white belly, which contributes to their overall distinctive look.
- Colonies: These geckos can coexist peacefully in colonies, making them an excellent choice for reptile enthusiasts who want to house several geckos together.
Here are some additional facts to keep in mind when considering Hypo Leopard Geckos as pets:
- Longevity: Leopard Geckos, including the Hypo variety, can live for 15-20 years or even longer with proper care, making them a long-term companion.
- Hardy animals: Known for their robust nature, Hypo Leopard Geckos do not die easily, making them a low-maintenance pet.
- Calm temperament: These geckos are friendly and have a very calm nature, making them suitable pets for the whole family.