The Albino Leopard Gecko
Stemming from the drive to have more unique variants of this popular lizard, and fascinated by the patterns and variations in the leopard gecko`s skin, breeders began to spawn new mutations that varied the patterns and colors in their lizards.
In the early 1990s, efforts to breed new morphs of the leopard gecko came to fruition. Among them, the albino leopard gecko. Albino leopard geckos are fascinating creatures that come in three main strains. The Tremper, The Rainwater and the Bell strain. All of these are recessive traits, which, to put it simply means achieving it is not an easy task. The odds of the albino trait occuring is rare. This is precisely what makes these lizards particularly valuable and sought after.
The first strain that was discovered was the Tremper strain; also known as the Texas strain albino. This was discovered in 1996 by Ron Tremper. The eyes of the Tremper strain albino are silver, streaked with red veins. Since this was the first strain to have been discovered, this particular strain is also the most common of the three.
The second strain that was discovered was the Rainwater or Las Vegas albino strain. This was named after Tim Rainwater, who discovered it in 1998. The Rainwater albinos are colored lighter than the usual albinos, with yellow tinges and pinkish stripes. Among all the albino strains, these have the darkest eyes.
The latest strain is the Bell strain, named after breeder Mark Bell. These are the rarest of all albino strains, and hence, are of high demand. Their eyes are usually light pink and their bodies are dotted with light brown. Some of these albinos are found to have a touch of lavender as well. Both the Tremper and Rainwater albino leopard geckos` eyes tend to get darker as they age. This is another distinct trait that makes the bell so intriguing: their eyes stay red or pink.
Since these creatures are albinos, they are naturally sensitive to light. They are known to dislike being fed during daytime, unless in a darkened habitat.
The colors of these lizards are said to be determined by the temperature at which they are incubated. The higher the temperature, the darker the color of the hatchling.
If you are a fan of the unusual, the albino leopard gecko just might do it for you. Be ready though, as understandably, these cost quite a bit more than the ordinary leopard gecko.