Why Is My Leopard Gecko Changing Its Color? [7 Reasons]

Leopard Geckos do not change their color as chameleons do to hide or blend with the environment. Hence if you suddenly see your Leopard Gecko is changing its color, you must be worried and curious to know- why your Leopard Gecko is changing its color.

Leopard Gecko might change its color due to fluctuation in temperature, aging, shedding, being stressed, having nutritional deficiencies, and more. All of these issues can make your Gecko either have darker skin color or lighter skin color which is a part of these changing processes.

If you want to know more about the color-changing process of your Leopard Gecko, make sure to stick till the end.

7 Reasons Why Leopard Gecko Is Changing Color

Leopard Geckos can change their color for various reasons. This color-changing process is completely natural and there are some major reasons behind it:

  1. Aging
  2. Shedding
  3. Nutritional deficiencies
  4. Stressed
  5. Over-exposed to UV
  6. Substrate
  7. Temperature


The aging can affect your Leopard Geckos skin. Generally, when your Gecko becomes a year older, the skin of its skin turns darker in color and it is their development process that is natural.

Some spots can also be seen on their skin alongside the changed color. Basically the more they age the more evident their skin color becomes.


Shedding is a natural process where the old skin is replaced by new ones by the reptiles. Before the shedding process starts, your Leopard Gecko can turn pale or some Geckos turn brownish to black in color.

When your Gecko is about to shed, the milky-colored skin remains which gradually gets replaced by new skin after shedding is done. The shedding process is, however, very unpleasant for every gecko.

If your Gecko is unable to walk or still has the previous skin, you can soak it in water or give it a bath to make the skin softer. This will help in the shedding process and the retained skin will be removed as well.

Nutritional deficiencies

Nutritional deficiency is one of the major reasons why your Gecko is changing its color. Calcium deficiency is an example of it.

Your leopard gecko needs calcium, and vitamin D3 from the sunlight or UV light to use these vitamins or calcium from different sources. The calcium deficiency can make your Gecko’s skin deeper in color.

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It can turn more brown or yellow and if you notice this suddenly, you should definitely take this into consideration and give a proper diet containing calcium and vitamin D3-rich foods.


Stressing can cause color changes in Leopard Geckos and there are a few reason which can make your Gecko stressed:

  • Temperature fluctuation in the environment
  • Change in diet
  • Small and dirty enclosure
  • Presence of another Gecko or living organism
  • Too much handling
  • Different diseases

Temperature fluctuation in the environment

The temperature of the Leopard Gecko tank should range between 75-90℉. When the temperature of the enclosure is less or more than that, your Gecko feels stressed as the temperature is not suitable for its living.

Too hot temperature can cause the Gecko to burn to death while a too cold temperature can hamper its metabolism process as it slows down with time. You can provide a heating mat in the tank and the UV light can work for both lighting and temperature.

Make sure that the enclosure is not placed directly below the sun as it will always keep the temperature high in the enclosure. Also, the UV lights should be placed in a manner that does not affect the eyesight of your Gecko as Gecko’s eyes are sensitive to light.

Change in diet

If your Geckos diet does not consist of the proper amount of vitamins and minerals, it can affect your Geckos health a lot. For example, calcium is a mandatory substance required for your Gecko and without it, your Gecko can suffer from metabolic bone disease.

Sometimes if your Gecko’s diet consists of too many insects or live insects it can also attack your Gecko’s gut and cause stress in it.

Small and dirty enclosure

Leopard Geckos do not like to live in small enclosures or enclosures that are dirty. If you do not change the substrate of the enclosure or do not clean it regularly, your Gecko will start to feel stressed inside it.

Moreover, a regular Gecko at least requires a 10-gallon tank and without this size, your Gecko will start to suffocate. Even if your Gecko is small, make sure to have a tank that is at least 10-20 gallons in size.

Presence of another Gecko or living organism

Leopard geckos are not social creatures and they prefer to live alone than be with another Gecko. Hence if you introduce a new Gecko inside Leopard Gecko’s tank, your Gecko will start to feel uncomfortable.

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Most of the time, owners do it when they want their Gecko to mate. Other than that, do not think of introducing a new Gecko as it’s not pleasurable for your Gecko at all.

Sometimes living insects as food can also cause stress to your Gecko and it might not come out of its shell to have the food too.

Too much handling

Leopard Geckos do not always prefer to be handled. As Geckos prefer to stay alone, it’s better if you keep your Gecko alone before handling it. Meanwhile, your Gecko will be able to adapt to the environment and will not feel stressed when you handle it.

Different diseases

Diseases in Geckos make them very stressful as they cannot convey their situation to their owners. Most of the time Geckos go through calcium deficiency, metabolic bone disease, parasite infections, etc. These diseases are very stressful for your Geckos lifestyle and cause immense amounts of stress in them.

Over-exposed to UV

When you set up a UV light for your Geckos tank you need to be very careful. The UV light can cause a reduction in melanin of your Gecko’s skin and make it lighter. The UV light can also affect your Gecko’s eyesight or the temperature inside its enclosure.

You need to make sure that your UV light is placed properly and provide more hiding spots for your Gecko inside its tank.


Darkeining can also be caused by the substrates present inside the tank of your Gecko. Coco fibers or sands are dark in color which can make your Gecko look darker than usual.


Temperature differences inside the tank can make your Gecko’s skin color different than usual. In low temperatures, your Leopard gecko can turn brown in color. This change of color helps them to absorb more heat for themselves to survive.

If you see that your Gecko is changing color suddenly, you can check the temperature of the tank and see if it affects the color of your Gecko’s skin or not.

The temperature should range between 83-90℉ on the warm side and 70-77℉ on the cool side during the daytime. The nighttime temperature should be between 70-74℉.

Why Is My Leopard Gecko Losing Its Color?

Since it’s pretty unusual for a leopard gecko to change color like chameleons, the owners look for the reasons behind the leopard gecko’s losing its color. Several internal and external factors are responsible for the leopard gecko losing its color.

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You might observe discoloration of your newly bought leopard gecko. In this case, your new gecko might need some time to adjust to the new environment and owner. The environmental stress may make leopard geckos pale.

Such environmental stress may come from the territorial tank mates of your leopard gecko. Your leopard gecko may feel stressed, not having sufficient food and water. Sometimes, leopard gecko may lose their color when you serve too many insects at once. It may make your leopard geck feel threatened.

If your leopard gecko is exposed to high temperatures, it may lose its color due to moisture loss. The same thing can happen due to loud noise.

Besides, discoloration on the skin is a vital sign of diseases of leopard geckos. It can be mouth rot, parasital infection, weak immunity, etc. Make sure that your discolored leopard gecko does not suffer from impaction.

If your female leopard gecko is losing its color, you should check out their delivery process of eggs. Due to egg binding issues, your female leopard gecko may become stressed, which can make it lose its color.

What color should a leopard gecko be?

A Leopard Gecko mostly looks yellow, green, or whitish in color. Geckos have black markings with a dark to yellow color on their dansel body while having white color in the ventral portion.

Can Geckos Be Green?

Leopard Geckos can be green in color. The Murphy Patternless looks green once they become adults and they do not contain discernible spots as well.

Why Is My Leopard Gecko Turning Pale?

Leopard Geckos can turn pale if they are about to shed. The shedding is a natural process where the old skin is replaced by new skin in a reptile’s body. Before Geckos go through this, the skin color changes into pale or lighter and there is nothing to worry about.

Final Words

Leopard Geckos do not change colors like some specific reptiles. The changing of color in Leopard Geckos is very natural while some reasons are concerning. Hence if you see your Gecko changing color due to some issues, such as – different temperatures inside an enclosure, make sure to take action properly for that. This is how you can help your Gecko live a happy and healthy life.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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