do leopard geckos change colors

Do Leopard Geckos Change Colors?

The colorful and distinctive patterns of the leopard gecko have made them popular as exotic pets. But do these lizards also have the ability to change their colors to help them adapt to their environment?

Behavior and Color Adaptation

Leopard geckos are known to exhibit some degree of color change, although the ability is not nearly as pronounced as some of their other reptilian relatives.

In general, leopard geckos will be lighter in color when they’re basking in the sun, and darker when they’re resting in cooler temperatures. This behavior is referred to as “thermoregulatory” or adaptive colour change.

They also change in color during times of stress or fear, becoming almost completely black.

Natural Selection

Leopard geckos also change color according to their environment as a way of providing camouflage. This is part of their natural instinct to blend in with their surroundings, as their lighter colors will help them hide from potential predators.

In their natural environment, leopard geckos tend to be tan or light brown in color. This allows them to blend in more easily with their desert surroundings.

Visual Communication

Leopard geckos can also use color change to communicate with other leopard geckos. When they are in captivity, they may change their color to indicate that they are feeling territorial or aggressive.

In the wild, they can also communicate with potential mates using color change.


Leopard geckos are capable of slight color changes, although the ability is not as strong as it is in some other reptiles. They use these changes to adapt to their environment, as well as to communicate with other leopard geckos. Understanding the behavior of leopard geckos can help better care for them in captivity.

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