An albino leopard gecko doesn’t produce normal amounts of pigment, so has a quite different appearance to regular leopard gecko morphs! There are three main albino leopard gecko morphs. These are the tremper, bell albino, and rainwater albino varieties. It’s important to research the proper care and needs of each morph before choosing which one is right for you. In this complete guide, we take a closer look at albino leopard morphs and their care needs.
- What is an albino leopard gecko?
- Albino leopard gecko appearance and morphs
- Health and special care needs
- How much do albino leopard geckos cost?
Leopard geckos are popular pets. These reptiles come in a huge range of colors and patterns, which differ depending on the morph you choose.
What is an Albino Leopard Gecko?
Leopard geckos are native to areas like India and Vietnam. These reptiles are popular domestic pets because they are relatively easy to care for and are often tolerant to handling. Leopard geckos come in a huge range of colors and patterns. Albino is one of these variations. But, even albino leopard geckos come in a range of morphs.
Albinism is the inability for a leopard gecko to create normal amounts of pigment. Albinism can look different in different animals. In mammals, albinism will often express as a lack of any color, so animals are completely white. In reptiles, albinism affects melanin, which is responsible for brown and black coloring. So, albino reptiles often have yellow and orange coloring. But, the specific appearance of an albino leopard gecko will depend on the morph that you choose.
What Do Albino Leopard Geckos Look Like?
Leopard geckos are small reptiles. They are also commonly known as spotted geckos, because their coloring usually expresses as dark spots over a lighter background. As adults, these geckos can range from around 6 to 11 inches in length.
They have four legs, scaled bodies, and a thick tail. As we’ve already mentioned, coloring on these reptiles can vary depending on the morph you choose. There are three main albino leopard gecko morphs. Let’s take a closer look at each of those, so you know what you can expect from each variety.
Tremper Albino Leopard Gecko
Tremper albinos were the first albino leopard gecko morph. They were discovered by a man named Ron Tremper in the 1990s. These albinos are the most common of the three available morphs. So, you’re likely to come across tremper leopard geckos in your search for an albino morph.
The appearance and specific coloring of tremper leopard geckos can vary. But, as a general rule, their scales will range from light brown, to yellow, to orange, to pink. They will have silver eyes with red veins.
Rainwater Albino Leopard Gecko
The rainwater albino morph was discovered in the 1990s, after the tremper morph. This morph was founded by Tim Rainwater, after whom it was named. As albinos, they won’t be able to produce melanin. But, despite their inability to produce normal pigment, rainwater albinos are usually very colorful reptiles.
They are lighter overall than other albino varieties, and are usually smaller than other strains. These reptiles often have some pink coloring, but could also have yellow bands or spots. As a general rule, their eyes are darker than other albino morphs.
Bell Albino Leopard Gecko
Bell albinos were discovered and named after Mark Bell. This morph is the most recent of the three in this guide.
They will have light pink eyes, which is the easiest way to distinguish them from the other morphs. Bell albinos will often have shades of lavender and yellow, with brown spots on their scales.
Do Albino Leopard Geckos Need Special Care?
As a general rule, albino morphs need the same care as any other type of leopard gecko. Leopard geckos are popular, in part, because they’re easy to care for. But, this doesn’t mean they’re right for all homes. And, their care needs are still quite complex if you’re new to keeping reptiles.
Leopard geckos need plenty of space, particularly if you are housing multiple geckos together. Two male albinos shouldn’t be housed together, as they may fight. But, multiple females, or one male with females should be fine. Their enclosure needs to be well ventilated, so tanks designed for fish are usually not suitable.
Their enclosure needs a gecko-safe substrate, such as shredded kitchen paper. Read up on the pros and cons of your substrate choice, as some can be dangerous if ingested. These reptiles will love lying on ventral heat sources, like a heat mat under the tank. But, this should not take up more than half of the floor space, so they can cool off when they need to. Temperatures in the day should range between 79 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, it will be slightly lower, but should not drop below 68 degrees.
Diet and Shedding
Albino morphs will have the same dietary needs as other leopard geckos. Leopard geckos are insectivorous. This means their diet consists entirely of insects! Some popular insects for leopard geckos include: mealworms, crickets, silkworms, and locusts. Many veterinarians will also recommend calcium and multivitamin supplements, which often come in powder form.
Albino leopard gecko morphs will shed their skin just like regular pigmented morphs. Young leopard geckos can shed as often as every 10 days. But, adults usually shed every 6 to 8 weeks. If your gecko is having trouble shedding some final bits of skin, usually around the toes and eyes, you can assist by soaking the skin and gently teasing it away with a damp cotton bud. Geckos will usually eat their old skin.
Albino Leopard Gecko Health
There is quite a lot of debate over whether albino leopard gecko morphs are more sensitive to light than other morphs. But, no matter what morph you have, most leopard geckos do not like extreme bright lights. They are crepuscular reptiles. This means they are most active at dawn and dusk, and tend to avoid direct sunlight. They do not bask in the sun, but instead use ventral heat sources, like rocks that have soaked up the sun.
Albino leopard geckos are potentially prone to the same health issues as other geckos. This includes:
- Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
- Shedding problems
- Hemipene infections
Are Albino Leopard Geckos Blind?
Some albino leopard geckos may be blind, but not all albino morphs are guaranteed to be blind. If you’re bringing home a blind gecko, or your gecko develops sight problems, they will have different care needs to a regular sighted gecko. You may need to hand-feed their food, as they will struggle to hunt and catch live prey around their enclosure.
You should also keep things in the same place, even if you have to move it during spot cleaning sessions. Moving your blind gecko’s enclosure around a lot can lead to confusion and increased stress.
How Much Do Albino Leopard Geckos Cost?
The price of albino leopard gecko morphs will vary depending on demand, the numbers of breeders in your area, the specific coloring of the gecko for sale, and more. But, as a general rule, albino leopard geckos will cost between $150 and $700.
Out of the three albino morphs we looked at earlier in this guide, bell leopard geckos tend to cost the most. Tremper albinos are usually the cheapest and easiest to find.
Are Albino Leopard Geckos Rare?
Albino leopard geckos aren’t necessarily rare. But, it will depend on the specific morph and coloration you’re looking for. Albino morphs can get purchased quite quickly because of their unusual coloring. And, as we said earlier, some morphs are more common than others. The tremper albino is the most common of the three albino morphs in this guide.
So, if you’re happy with any of the albino morphs, you’ll likely have no problem finding a reptile to bring home. But, if your heart is set on the bell or rainwater morphs, particularly one with striking coloring or an unusual pattern, your search might take a little longer.
Is An Albino Morph Right For Me?
Leopard geckos are interesting reptiles and can make great pets in the right home. Compared to some other reptiles, their care needs are relatively easy. But, they can still be a challenge for a novice reptile owner.
Albino leopard geckos need plenty of space and an enriching environment. They’ll shed just like regular leopard geckos, and will have the same insectivorous diet. If you think you’re able to care for a leopard gecko, but want something a little bit different, an albino morph could be the right choice for you!
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References and Resources
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- Bashaw, M. (et al), ‘Does Enrichment Improve Reptile Welfare? Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis Macularius) Respond to Five Types of Environmental Enrichment’, Applied Animal Behavior Science (2016)
- Kubiak, M. ‘Management, Care and Common Conditions of Leopard Geckos’, Vet Times (2011)
- Miles, S. ‘Common Conditions in Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis Macularius)’, Companion Animal (2017)
- Kischinovsky, M. (et al), ‘Husbandry and Nutrition’, Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice (2017)
- Rutland, C. (et al), ‘Reptilian Skin and its Special Histological Structures’, Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology (2019)
- ‘Leopard Gecko Morphs’, Leopard Gecko Wiki