High Yellow Leopard Gecko: The Beginner’s Perfect Pet

High Yellow Leopard gecko

Welcome to the fascinating world of leopard geckos, where colors range from the normal wild types to the most vibrant of hues. Among the various morphs of leopard geckos, the High Yellow Leopard Gecko stands out with its appealing, vibrant coloration that catches the eye and warms the heart.

In this article, we delve into the intriguing aspects of this particular morph, from their origin and physical attributes to their behavior, care needs, breeding, and so much more. Normal Wild-Type Leopard Geckos and other morphs are also available, should you want an alternative to the High Yellow (the Tangerine Leopard Gecko is another good one).

Understanding the High Yellow Leopard Gecko

Definition and Characteristics

The High Yellow Leopard Gecko, a popular morph of the species Eublepharis macularius, is known for its distinctively vibrant yellow coloration, with reduced black spotting compared to their wild-type counterparts. A morph is a genetically different form of the same species. This morph, like all leopard geckos, is a ground-dwelling lizard originally from the desert regions of Asia.

High Yellow Leopard Geckos stand out for more than just their color. They are hardy creatures with an endearing demeanor, making them an excellent choice for both beginner and seasoned reptile keepers. They are nocturnal reptiles, meaning they are most active during the night. However, during the day, they might occasionally bask or come out to explore their surroundings.

Despite their exotic appearance, High Yellow Leopard Geckos are relatively easy to care for. Their dietary needs are straightforward, requiring a variety of insects. Their environmental needs, while specific, are easy to maintain with a bit of knowledge and effort. And perhaps most appealing, they are typically docile and handleable, making them a joy to interact with.

Origin and History

Leopard Geckos have a rich history, with their lineage tracing back to the arid regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The wild-type leopard geckos feature a more muted color palette with a variety of patterns, providing them camouflage against predators in their native environments.

The High Yellow Leopard Gecko morph we see today is a result of selective breeding. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, breeders started noticing some of their captive leopard geckos exhibited a higher concentration of yellow pigmentation and fewer black spots than the usual wild types. Intrigued by this naturally occurring variant, breeders started selectively mating these high yellow individuals to enhance the trait further.

Physical Attributes of High Yellow Leopard Gecko

Color and Patterns

The High Yellow Leopard Gecko’s name is pretty self-explanatory: they exhibit an elevated amount of yellow coloration compared to standard Leopard Geckos. The intensity of yellow can range from a soft, pastel hue to a bright, bold golden shade.

Unlike the wild-type leopard gecko, which is heavily dotted with dark, irregular spots, the High Yellow morph has reduced spotting. The spots can be black, brown, or even a dark purple color, adding a striking contrast to their yellow backdrop. The pattern and distribution of these spots vary from one individual to another, with some geckos showing almost no spots while others have them scattered across their back and sides.

It’s important to note that the belly of a High Yellow Leopard Gecko is typically white or lightly patterned. Their eyes are often an intriguing blend of golden hues, although this can vary depending on their specific genetic makeup.

Size and Weight

High Yellow Leopard Geckos, like their other morph counterparts, are a medium-sized reptile. On average, they reach a length of 7 to 10 inches when fully grown, from the tip of their snout to the end of their tail.

Males are generally slightly larger than females, and their tails are usually bulkier due to the fat reserves stored in that area. An adult High Yellow Leopard Gecko typically weighs between 45 to 100 grams, with males being on the heavier end of the scale.

Lifespan and Health

With proper care and nutrition, a High Yellow Leopard Gecko can live up to 15 to 20 years in captivity, which is a significant commitment for any potential reptile owner. Some have even been known to surpass this range. These reptiles are quite robust and less susceptible to many diseases that affect other reptile species.

However, like any pet, they are not immune to health issues. Common concerns include metabolic bone disease (from insufficient calcium or Vitamin D), impaction (from ingesting substrate), and various skin conditions like shedding issues and parasitic infections.

Behavior and Temperament of High Yellow Leopard Gecko

Activity and Sleep Pattern

High Yellow Leopard Geckos are nocturnal animals, which means their activity cycle is primarily during the night. During the day, they prefer to stay hidden in their burrows or caves, coming out to bask occasionally or for a quick sip of water.

Once the lights dim, and the environment quiets down, these geckos become more active, venturing out to explore, hunt for food, or interact with their surroundings. Don’t be surprised to find them prowling their enclosure or digging in their substrate at the wee hours of the night; it’s simply their natural instinct.

Social Behavior

Unlike some reptile species that live in groups or pairs, Leopard Geckos, including the High Yellow morph, are predominantly solitary creatures. They are comfortable and perfectly content living alone. Housing more than one gecko, especially males, in the same enclosure can lead to territorial disputes, stress, and potential injuries.

However, certain combinations, like a pair of females or a male and female pair, can sometimes cohabitate peacefully. It’s crucial to monitor their behavior closely if you choose to house geckos together, ensuring there are no signs of aggression or dominance.

Handling and Interaction

One of the reasons High Yellow Leopard Geckos are beloved pets is their generally docile and tolerant temperament. With regular, gentle handling, they become quite accustomed to human interaction.

To ensure a positive experience, it’s important to always handle your gecko with care. Approach from the side, rather than from above (which can mimic a predator’s approach), and allow the gecko to walk from hand to hand rather than tightly gripping it. Remember to always wash your hands before and after handling to prevent the spread of bacteria.

High Yellow Leopard gecko

Care and Husbandry for High Yellow Leopard Geckos

Habitat Setup

Setting up an appropriate habitat is key to the wellbeing of your High Yellow Leopard Gecko. These reptiles thrive in a desert-like environment, but this doesn’t mean bone-dry conditions. They need a balance between dry and humid zones in their habitat.

For housing, a 20-gallon tank is typically adequate for one adult gecko, but larger is always better if you have the space. The enclosure should have a secure top to prevent escape and to support any necessary heating or lighting equipment.

Substrate choice is important. While sand might appear to be the most natural choice, it carries the risk of impaction if ingested. Instead, consider reptile carpet, paper towel, or tile.

Provide multiple hides throughout the enclosure, with one positioned in the warm end, one in the cool end, and one in a more humid area for shedding purposes. Additionally, provide some rocks or branches for climbing, as even though leopard geckos are not arboreal, they enjoy a bit of climbing.

Heating can be provided by an under-tank heater or a heat mat on one side of the enclosure to create a thermal gradient. The hot end of the enclosure should reach about 88-92°F, while the cooler end should remain around 75-80°F.

Lighting is not particularly necessary for these nocturnal creatures, but a natural light-dark cycle (which can be provided by ambient room light) is beneficial for maintaining their circadian rhythms.

Diet and Nutrition

High Yellow Leopard Geckos are insectivores, and their diet consists of a variety of insects like mealworms, crickets, and occasionally, waxworms or superworms. The insects should be appropriately sized, generally no larger than the space between the gecko’s eyes.

Diet should be dusted with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement to prevent metabolic bone disease. Additionally, gut-loading the insects (feeding nutritious food to the insects before they’re offered to the gecko) can provide extra nutrients.

Health Care and Hygiene

Cleanliness is key to prevent diseases in leopard geckos. Regularly clean the enclosure, remove uneaten food, and promptly dispose of waste. A complete deep clean with a reptile-safe disinfectant should be performed monthly or whenever needed.

Always keep fresh water available in a shallow dish. Although High Yellow Leopard Geckos are not avid drinkers and receive a lot of their hydration from their diet, they still need access to water.

Routine vet check-ups are recommended, particularly if you notice any changes in behavior, feeding habits, or appearance.

Breeding High Yellow Leopard Geckos

Mating and Reproduction

Breeding High Yellow Leopard Geckos can be a rewarding experience, but it requires planning, preparation, and understanding of their reproductive behavior.

The breeding season for leopard geckos typically starts in late winter or early spring and can continue until late summer. Before initiating breeding, ensure that both the male and female are healthy and of appropriate age and size. Usually, females should be at least one year old and weigh around 50 grams.

Introduce the male into the female’s enclosure and watch for their behaviors. A receptive female will usually show submissive behavior, while an unreceptive one may display aggression.

Once successfully mated, a female can produce multiple clutches of eggs during a breeding season. Each clutch typically contains one or two eggs. It’s crucial to provide a suitable laying box with moist substrate, like peat moss or vermiculite, where the female can lay her eggs.

Incubation and Hatching

Upon laying, the eggs should be carefully removed with minimal rotation and placed in an incubator. The temperature at which the eggs are incubated can determine the sex of the hatchlings, a phenomenon known as temperature-dependent sex determination. A temperature around 80°F typically results in females, around 87°F results in a mix of males and females, and around 90°F usually produces males.

The incubation period is generally between 35 to 45 days, but it can vary depending on the incubation temperature. As the eggs incubate, they should be monitored for any signs of mold or shrinkage, and the humidity levels should be maintained.

Juvenile Care

Upon hatching, baby High Yellow Leopard Geckos are miniature versions of their parents, ready to face the world. They usually start to eat within a few days of hatching.

Juvenile geckos should be housed separately to avoid cannibalism and competition for food. They require a similar diet to adults, but their food needs to be appropriately sized, typically smaller.

Tips and Tricks for Keeping High Yellow Leopard Geckos

Selecting a Healthy Gecko

When choosing a High Yellow Leopard Gecko, look for signs of good health. The gecko should be alert and responsive with bright, clear eyes. Its body should be well-rounded, and the tail should be thick – a sign of good nutrition. The skin should be free of any cuts or sores, and it should not have any difficulty moving.

Consider purchasing your gecko from a reputable breeder who can provide you with information about the gecko’s lineage, health history, and care.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

A common mistake, especially for beginner keepers, is inadequate temperature gradients in the enclosure. Leopard geckos need a warm side for basking and a cool side to retreat when they need to regulate their body temperature.

Avoid using loose substrate like sand or bark chips as they can lead to impaction if accidentally ingested by your gecko. Stick to safe options like reptile carpet, paper towel, or tile.

Avoid over-handling, especially with new or young geckos. Allow them time to adjust to their new surroundings and gradually get them accustomed to handling.

Expert Tips

Provide enrichment for your High Yellow Leopard Gecko by changing up the layout of their enclosure occasionally or introducing new safe objects for them to explore.

Feed a varied diet. Even though leopard geckos are insectivores, they appreciate diversity in their food. Different insects offer different nutrients, contributing to a well-rounded diet.


High Yellow Leopard Geckos are truly a gem among reptiles, combining vibrant aesthetics with a generally docile demeanor. These desert natives, with their bright yellow coloration and reduced black spotting, are a sight to behold and a joy to keep.

Their straightforward care requirements and adaptable nature make them excellent pets for both beginners and experienced reptile enthusiasts alike. However, it’s important to remember that they are a long-term commitment, with a lifespan reaching up to 20 years or more in captivity.

Equipped with the knowledge of their behavior, habitat, diet, and breeding practices, you can provide a nurturing environment that ensures the health and happiness of your High Yellow Leopard Gecko. It is not merely about keeping a pet; it’s about creating a bond with an interesting and unique creature.

By avoiding common mistakes and applying expert tips, you can make the most of this rewarding experience. After all, responsible pet ownership stems from understanding and meeting the needs of your pet, contributing to their wellbeing, and enhancing the joy they bring into your life.

Here’s to many years of fun and fascinating moments with your High Yellow Leopard Gecko!


How do I know if my Leopard Gecko is a High Yellow Morph?

The High Yellow Leopard Gecko is characterized by its vibrant yellow color and reduced black spots compared to the wild type Leopard Gecko. However, without genetic information or input from a knowledgeable breeder, it can sometimes be challenging to accurately identify morphs.

What should I feed my High Yellow Leopard Gecko?

High Yellow Leopard Geckos are insectivores and should be fed a diet of appropriately sized insects, including mealworms, crickets, and occasionally waxworms or superworms. Ensure to dust the insects with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement before feeding.

Can I house two High Yellow Leopard Geckos together?

Leopard Geckos are predominantly solitary animals and thrive when housed alone. Housing more than one, especially two males, can lead to stress, territorial disputes, and potential injury.

How long do High Yellow Leopard Geckos live?

With proper care, High Yellow Leopard Geckos can live for 15 to 20 years in captivity, with some even exceeding this age range.

Is a High Yellow Leopard Gecko a good pet for beginners?

Yes, due to their manageable size, straightforward diet, and generally docile nature, High Yellow Leopard Geckos are often recommended for beginner reptile enthusiasts. However, remember they are a long-term commitment and require consistent care.