If you are looking for a crested gecko morph that stands out from the crowd, you might want to consider the axanthic crested gecko. This morph is characterized by its lack of yellow and red pigments, which gives it a striking appearance of black, white, gray, blue and silver colors. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about the axanthic crested gecko, including its history, appearance, genetics, care and breeding.
What is an Axanthic Crested Gecko?
Axanthic is a term that describes an animal that has reduced or absent yellow and red pigments in its skin, scales, feathers or fur. This condition can affect various species of animals, such as snakes, lizards, birds and mammals. In crested geckos, axanthic is a recessive trait that was first discovered in the UK and later purchased by US breeder Brian Butler at Altitude Exotics . Since then, several other lines of axanthic crested geckos have emerged, such as Wild Things Exotics, Lizard Wizard, Manatee Suncoast and Obscurial .
Axanthic crested geckos are not albino, as they still produce melanin, the pigment that gives them black and brown colors. They are also not leucistic, as they still have some coloration on their eyes and skin. Axanthic crested geckos are simply lacking the xanthophore layer of their skin, which is responsible for producing yellow and red pigments .
What Does an Axanthic Crested Gecko Look Like?
Axanthic crested geckos have a unique and stunning appearance that sets them apart from other morphs. They have a base color that ranges from black to brown to silver, depending on the amount of melanin they produce. They also have white or gray patterns on their body and tail, such as spots, stripes or harlequin markings. Some axanthic crested geckos may also have blue or silver highlights on their crests or eyelids .
Axanthic crested geckos have dark eyes that contrast with their light-colored skin. Their eyes may be black, brown or red, depending on the line they come from. Some axanthic crested geckos may also have slight yellow or red tinges on their skin or eyes, but these are usually very subtle and do not affect their overall appearance .
How to Care for an Axanthic Crested Gecko?
Axanthic crested geckos have the same care requirements as any other crested gecko morph. They are easy to keep and maintain as long as you provide them with the following:
- A suitable enclosure that is at least 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide and deep for an adult gecko. You can use a glass terrarium, a plastic tub or a wooden vivarium as long as it has good ventilation and security.
- A substrate that is safe and absorbent, such as paper towels, coconut fiber or orchid bark. You can also add some live or artificial plants, branches and vines to create a naturalistic environment for your gecko.
- A temperature gradient that ranges from 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and drops to 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night. You can use a heat mat, a ceramic heat emitter or a low-wattage bulb to provide some warmth for your gecko. Avoid using heat rocks or heat lamps as they can cause burns or dehydration.
- A humidity level that stays between 50 and 80 percent throughout the day. You can use a spray bottle, a humidifier or a fogger to mist your enclosure once or twice a day. You can also provide a moist hide box filled with sphagnum moss or paper towels for your gecko to retreat to when it needs more humidity.
- A diet that consists of both insects and commercial crested gecko food. You can offer your gecko crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms or waxworms dusted with calcium and vitamin supplements once or twice a week. You can also offer your gecko a prepared diet such as Repashy or Pangea every other day. Make sure to provide fresh water in a shallow dish at all times.
How to Breed an Axanthic Crested Gecko?
Axanthic crested geckos are not difficult to breed as long as you have healthy and mature specimens. You can breed them in pairs or groups of one male and two or three females. You should only breed them during the spring and summer months when they are most active and receptive.
To breed axanthic crested geckos, you need to follow these steps:
- Make sure your geckos are at least 18 months old and weigh at least 35 grams before introducing them to each other. You can sex your geckos by looking for hemipenal bulges at the base of their tails in males and preanal pores above their cloaca in females.
- Provide your breeding group with a spacious enclosure that has multiple hiding spots and egg-laying sites. You can use plastic containers filled with moist substrate such as vermiculite or perlite for your females to deposit their eggs.
- Monitor your geckos for signs of mating behavior such as tail wagging, head bobbing and biting. You may also hear some vocalizations such as chirping or squeaking from your geckos during mating.
- Check your egg-laying sites regularly for eggs and remove them carefully with a spoon or tweezers. You can incubate your eggs in a separate container with moist substrate at room temperature (around 72 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 60 to 90 days until they hatch.
- Hatchling axanthic crested geckos will look similar to their parents but may have some yellow or red pigments that will fade away as they grow older. You can house your hatchlings in small enclosures with paper towel substrate and feed them pinhead crickets dusted with supplements every other day.
Axanthic crested geckos are one of the most beautiful and sought-after morphs of the crested gecko species. They have a striking coloration of black, white, gray, blue and silver that makes them stand out from other morphs. They are easy to care for and breed as long as you provide them with the proper conditions and diet.
If you are interested in owning an axanthic crested gecko, you should do some research on the different lines available and choose a reputable breeder who can provide you with healthy and quality specimens. You should also be prepared to pay a premium price for this rare morph as they are not very common in the market.
Axanthic crested geckos are truly amazing animals that will bring joy and fascination to any reptile lover. They are definitely worth considering if you are looking for a unique and stunning pet.