In the late 1970’s when leopard geckos that were caught in the wild were being imported into the United States into the pet trade, very little was known about the species. Actually, leopard geckos in the wild can be grouped into several different species and subspecies. Without this knowledge, the imports that were meant for the pet trade were bred together without care to these different species resulting in a lot of genetic variability in future leopard gecko generations.
“Morph’s” in the leopard gecko world refers to a difference in color, size, and/or genetics compared to “normal” leopard geckos. The differences in color, pattern, etc. are often genetically based which means that these traits can be passed to future generations through selective breeding. Most of the morphs started out as a genetic fault or a mistake that make them different then the other leopard geckos.
In the wild these geckos would stand out and would be easily picked off by predators. Today, there are many different leopard gecko morphs available. Some of these morphs include the recessive morphs like Murphy Patternless and Blizzards and dominate morphs like Enigma. There are also complete dominant like Macksnow, co-dominant like the Giants, combo morphs like R.A.P.T.O.Rs and poly genetic morphs like S.H.T.C.T.
The carrot tail is a trait that has been popping up in many different morphs. It is mostly seen in Albey’s Tangerine line and in the R.A.P.T.O.Rs. It is also seen in Murphy Patternless leopard geckos but most of all in the Tangerine and the Hypo morphs, in all three of the albino strains (Tremper, Rainwater, and Bell) and can be seen a little bit in the Blizzards.
Carrot tail leopard geckos are leopard geckos that have a more than average amount of orange pigment in their tail. The orange pigment is typically at the base of the tail but some geckos may have up to 90 percent of the tail covered. In ordered to be classified as a carrot tail the leopard gecko has to have a minimum of 15 percent or one fourth of the tail colored in orange. The amount of orange coloring varies from just a small band at the base of the tail to a solid orange tail seen on some extreme cases.
The carrot tail trait is line bred. This means that two leopard geckos that have the carrot tail trait in common are bred together, their offspring will most likely be carrot tails as well. In order to have geckos with more carroting then the previous generations, the geckos with the most amount of carroting should be bred together. Another line bred trait is the carrot head. The carrot head trait is characterized by orangey spots on the top of the leopard gecko’s head and is usually exclusive to Tremper Albinos.
It is possible to breed your own carrot tail leopard geckos but before you attempt breeding keep in mind the amount of time, space and resources needed to maintain the breeders and their babies. Consider questions like what you will do with the babies if they don’t sell right away. Is it possible for you to house and take care of them? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself before attempting breeding leopard geckos.
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