[UPDATED] Latest Info On The Melanistic Crested Gecko Mutation (Cappuccino, Frappuccino, Super Cappuccino)


Latest Update on the Cappuccino Crested Gecko and the Super Cappuccino Crested Gecko: February 13th, 2022

A few weeks ago Altidude Exotics posted a picture of four super cappuccinos on Brian's Instagram page. He announced he paid $30,000 for 8 Cappuccinos and 4 Super Cappuccino Crested Geckos (formerly known as melanistic crested geckos or translucent crested geckos) in the fall of 2021.

 Brian at AEGeckos released a really interesting video going over how to identify a Cappuccino and what his future plans are with them. 

Brian's observations of Cappuccino identifiable traits are that the base of the a tail of a Cap is extremely white in the 'bird poop' area where the base of the tail and butt of the crested gecko meet. 

If you own lilly whites then you should be able to better identify this 'extreme whiteness' as lilly whites exhibit the same coloration differences even as babies. 

Altitude Exotics plans on breeding their Cappuccinos and Super Cappuccino crested geckos in 2023, so there is still a lot of time for you to get into this project when one of the biggest breeders in the world is only now starting. 

Another characteristic in Cappuccino crested geckos is that as they grow their dorsal pattern fades away which he says is also typical in Axanthic Crested Geckos.

Brian also surprised everyone by showing off a Super Dalmatian Cappuccino and is hoping that he can produce a Super Dalmatian Super Cappuccino. 

Could you imagine if he breeds Chunky Monkey to one of these guys? WOW! 

Altitude Exotics is planning on some major breedings in 2023. 

Regarding the Melanistic Crested Geckos now more commonly referred to as Super Cappuccinos (Brian believes a better name is Translucent) at birth they have dark black eyes.

However, as they age the eyes begin to get some marbling. You are able to see organs, their heartbeats and even their ONE brain cell. Derp.

Altitude Exotics Frappuccino and Super Frappuccino Crested Geckos Projects

One really exciting project is the combination of the Lilly White gene and the Cappuccino gene which has been named the Frappuccino Crested Gecko. 

They are striking in their contrast, similar to lilly whites except that the 'white' is actually more of a flourescent yellow contrasted by whatever color you breed into them. 

Presently the only frappuccinos in existence are brown and highlighter yellow but over time people will breed the various colored morphs like red crested geckos and tricolor crested geckos

Obviously, everyone with a cappuccino and a lilly white is racing to produce frappuccinos and super frappuccino crested geckos. 

I know our friends over at Specialty Herps started breeding their Cappuccinos and Super Cappuccinos to multiple lilly white females at the end of 2021 and are continuing breeding them into 2022. 

If you are looking to buy a Frappuccino in 2022, contact Specialty Herps here in the US. 

Update: January 22, 2022 

We've gotten a lot more information and seen a huge influx of Cappuccino's and Super Cappuccino's (Melanistics) turning up on Instagram and Facebook. 


Super Cappuccino Crested Gecko

What is a Super Cappuccino crested gecko? What is a Melanistic Crested Gecko? 

A super cappuccino crested gecko is the new name being used instead of the melanistic crested gecko name. 

Why? Because the name 'melanistic' cappuccino turned out to be poorly chosen. As soon as Super Cappuccino's (aka Melanistic) started flooding into the US we immediately heard them say it was not a Melanistic. 

super cappuccino crested gecko

Photo/Video Credit to Altitude Exotics. Super Cappuccino Crested Gecko

Many in the US were refereing to the Super Cappuccino as a Leucistic Crested Gecko, which is probably also a solid name for this mutation. 

Super Cappuccino's are being born in various colors with the latest one being shown off by everybody's favorite crested gecko breeder, Altitude Exotics. 

Brian at Altitude Exotics posted a TikTok on January 18th, 2022 announcing his $30,000 purchase of this Super Cappuccino.

Look at how happy he is even after dropping a huge bag like that! Don't mind Brian's hair in this snap of his video, he looks better with a Mohawk, imho. 

Photo Credit to Altitude Exotics. Super Cappuccino Crested Gecko, occasionally referred to as a  Leucistic crested gecko and originally named a Melanistic Crested Gecko

I haven't reached out to Brian, yet to get the 411 but I will soon and we'll get some more information on this beautiful little Super Cappuccino crested gecko. 

I'm speculating where he got it but I know  Donghyun @Cre.Moa (on Instagram) posted a similar looking crested gecko on his Instagram in November.

You can see the posted picture farther down in this article. Whether this is the same one, I am unsure. 

I also recently saw three adult female Cappuccinos being offered by a new breeder in South Korea for around $10,000 - $12,000 each which would include import/export fees. 

If you recently have purchased a Cappuccino or Super Cappuccino and you'd like your experience and thoughts to be included in this ongoing article, please reach out to us. 

If you are looking to buy a Cappuccino or Super Cappuccino crested gecko in the US, I'd suggest you speak with my friends at Specialty Herps. They were first to import Cappuccino's into the US and have quite a huge 2022 breeding project going on. 


Update: November 16, 2021 

A lot has happened in the last six months since I last updated this article. 

We now know that the melanistic crested geckos is the super form of the Cappuccino Crested Gecko.

This means that it is a co-dominant trait which basically means that if you breed a Cappuccino to any normal crested gecko you will statistically get 1/2 Cappuccino Crested Geckos and 1/2 normal crested geckos.

melanistic crested gecko

Photo courtesy of and credit to Specialty Herps. Baby Melanistic Crested Gecko

If you are familiar with how the Lilly White Crested Gecko gene passes on, the Cappuccino gene passes the exact same way. 

If you are not familiar with lilly whites, the Cappuccino gene works the same way it does in Banana Ball Pythons. 

This is great news for the entire crested gecko community because we now have three proven reproducible genetics; Axanthic (Recessive), Lilly White (Codom) and now the Melanistic (Codom). 

Cappuccino crested gecko breeding pair

Photo courtesy of and credit to Specialty Herps. Cappuccino Crested Gecko Breeding Pair

Melanistic Crested Geckos For Sale Out Of Korea

In the summer of 2021, I spoke with Reptile City Korea and Donghyun about purchasing a Cappuccino or melanistic crested gecko directly from them and it was not a straightforward process. 

Did anyone else reach out to them about buying into this project? If so, please leave your experience below. 

When I spoke with them, I was told that I'd need to go through an exporter as they did not export. 

How Much Does A Melanistic Crested Gecko Cost?

Morph/Mutation

2021 US Market Price*

Cappuccino Crested Gecko For Sale

$10,000 - $12,500

Frappuccino Crested Gecko For Sale

$20,000 - $25,000

Melanistic Crested Gecko For Sale

$25,000 - $30,000

*Updated October 30, 2021

Add South Korea Import/Export Costs If Buying Outside the US

Additional import/export costs ranging from $3,000 - $5,000 if you purchase the melanistic/cappuccino crested gecko from South Korea. 

Korean exporters will charge a couple of thousand dollars to handle all the documents and fees on their side. Be conservative and budget for  $3,000 (sometimes it is less) to the South Korean exporter to ship a Cappuccino or Melanistic crested gecko to the US.

Then you have to pay a US importer $1,500 - $2,000 to receive the gecko and properly process the import paperwork before you can have your gecko shipped to your home. The entire process usually takes a week to get you gecko from South Korea to the final destination in the US. 

Breakdown of Associated Import/Export Fees (these vary greatly)

South Korean Export Fees ($1,500 - $3,000)

We do not have a breakdown of the actual services provided or required to export crested geckos from South Korea. However, expect to pay $1,500 - $3,000 for this service. 

US Import Fees (*$1,500 - $2,000)

Animal Health Certificate

USFW Animal Inspection

Shipping from South Korea

*Most US importers charge between $1,500 - $2,000 for imports from South Korea.

Total Cost To Import/Export Crested Geckos From South Korea is $3,000 - $5,000. This is in addition to the cost of the gecko. 

However, Donghyun reported that he had problems finding a reliable exporter in 2021 and felt like some of the exporting fees were too high and variable. 

He has obtained an exporter license and is planning on exporting in the Spring of 2022. 

We look forward to seeing what Donghyun produces and has available in 2022 with the exporting issues resolved. 

Melanistic Crested Gecko with a Cappuccino Crested Gecko

Photo courtesy of and credit to Specialty Herps. Baby Melanistic Crested Gecko with a Baby Cappuccino Crested Gecko

Melanistic Crested Gecko with a Cappuccino Crested Gecko

Photo courtesy of and credit to Specialty Herps. Baby Melanistic Crested Gecko with a Baby Cappuccino Crested Gecko

Can I Buy A Melanistic Crested Gecko In The US? 

Yes you can! If you have a big bag of cash. 

Specialty Herps out of the beautiful State of Washington was asked to pay $30,000 in early 2021 for an adult male Cappuccino crested gecko. 

"Top 10 Most Expensive Crested Geckos Sold in 2021!"

See a list of the most expensive crested geckos sold by morph in the US. 

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They were able to negotiate it all the way down to $28,000 and the first Cappuccino arrived into the US one week later. 

They bought their Cappuccino crestie from an undisclosed breeder in South Korea that was not one of the two originally credited with the first melanistic crested gecko births. 

A few months later the same breeder offered Specialty Herps an adult pair of Cappuccinos that they also purchased for an undisclosed amount. 

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Thus far in 2021 Specialty Herps has produced the first US Made and Born Melanistic crested geckos and Cappuccino crested geckos. 

Recently, they sold the first US produced Melanistic Crested Gecko for $27,000.

So if you are considering a new car or a getting into the Melanistic crested gecko game, you may only be able to do one. 

baby cappuccino crested geckos for sale

Photo courtesy of and credit to Specialty Herps.  Baby Cappuccino Crested Geckos For Sale

I'm unsure how much they are asking for Cappuccinos but you can be sure it is less than melanistic crested geckos. 

Considering they paid more for a Cappuccino then they sold their first Melanistic, I think their prices are probably going to be pretty darned fair.

If you are located in the US or even abroad and are looking to get into the melanistic crested gecko game, you now have another option, contact Specialty Herps

US Based Melanistic Crested GEckos For Sale

Specialty Herps has Cappuccino Crested Geckos and the Super Cappuccino aka Leucistic or Melanistic Crested Geckos for sale. You can now buy them here in the USA. Tell them TCG sent you and get Free Shipping!

cappuccino crested gecko and melanistic crested gecko together

Photo credit to and courtesy of Specialty Herps

How Do I Identify a Cappuccino Crested Gecko?

I spoke with Specialty Herps about how they identify a Cappuccino crested gecko? 

The number one trait that appears on most of the Cappuccino's is the Y at the base of the a tail.

This market is very common but is not always present and some of the Y's appear to disappear with age. 

HOW TO IDENTIFY A CAPPUCCINO CRESTED GECKO TRAITS

Photo courtesy of and credit to Specialty Herps - Cappuccino Crested Gecko

Cappuccino Traits

  1. 1
    Y at the base of the tail
  2. 2
    White flecks leading up the spine/Splotching on the lower end of the spine
  3. 3
    Almost no lateral pattern

Some other observations Specialty Herps has added is that he believes the Melanistic crested gecko is more translucent then melanistic. 

HOW TO IDENTIFY A CAPPUCCINO CRESTED GECKO

Photo courtesy of and credit to Specialty Herps - Cappuccino Crested Gecko

They even wonder if these melanistic are scaleless or possibly even leucistic. 

We will know more as their melanistic crested geckos grow up. 

INSIDER TEA: We have been hearing rumors of pure white crested geckos with black eyes coming from Cappuccino crested gecko pairings. Thank you Donghyun for releasing these pictures on October 26th, 2021. 

white or translucent melanistic crested geckos

Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa. White or Translucent Super Cappuccino / Melanistic Crested Geckos

Where Did the Melanistic Crested Gecko Originally Come From?

Breeder: Reptile City Korea and Donghyun (Private Breeder - South Korea)

Status: Reptile City Korea believes the RCK Melanistic is the super form of the 'Cappuccino' line. The visual RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko has yet to breed. 

RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko

Melanistic Crested Gecko (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

I have spoken with Reptile City Korea and Donghyun both of South Korea. Donghyun has generously granted me permission to post pictures of his RCK Melanistic and Cappuccino crested geckos. All pictures are posted courtesy of Donghyun, contact him for permission to repost his pictures. 

I spoke with RCK over Instagram and from the beginning they have speculated that the Melanistic gecko is the Super form and the mutation is a co-dominant trait of their 'Cappuccino Line'.

The reason they believe this to my understanding is due to the lack of crests the hatched Melanistic and Cappuccino line share. 

Alternatively, the gene could be recessive which will be discussed and pontificated upon further down in this article. 

Known Melanistic Crested Gecko Timeline

RCK Cappuccino Crested Geckos

Cappuccino group of breeders of the melanistic crested gecko (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

March 27th, 2021 - Tikis Geckos makes a YouTube video about the  Melanistic Crested Gecko.

Tikis Geckos REVIEW

One of the top producers of high-end crested geckos in the world. Learn more in our Tikis Geckos Review article.  

March 22,th 2021 - Donghyun (Private Breeder - South Korea) Another breeder who bought RCK Cappuccino 1.2 produces two melanistic crested geckos from that group. 

RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko

Melanistic Crested Gecko (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

March 11th, 2021 - Two additional healthy melanistic crested geckos hatch at RCK from two different pairs. RCK has three healthy melanistic crested geckos

February 27th, 2021 - The second melanistic crested gecko pipped, hatched and is healthy at RCK. This could be the first viable melanistic crested gecko mutation

Two melanistic crested geckos

Two Baby Melanistic Crested Geckos (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

November 17th, 2020 - The first possible melanistic crested gecko pips but shortly dies afterwards at RCK. 

Unknown Date: Reptile City Korea sees something in a group of crested geckos and sets them aside under the name: ‘Cappuccino Line

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What is a Melanistic Crested Gecko? 

If this is a true melanistic crested gecko then it will have ‘increased development of the dark-colored pigment in the skin, hair, or(and) scales. This produces very dark to black animals.’ According to the Lil’ Monsters Reptiles foundation basics guide for Crested Geckos. Lil’ Monsters genetics guide for cresties is probably the best one on the internet, give it a couple of reads. I learn something new every time I read it again. It is that detailed and good. 

RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko

Up Close Melanistic Crested Gecko (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

Is The Reptile City Korea Gecko A Melanistic Crested Gecko? 

We have seen pictures of great examples of dark black geckos in the past. However, I have never seen black geckos that have completely black eyes and skin. Until now… 

Melanistic reptile mutations are fairly commonly found within reptiles that have been captive bred for a long enough period of time. It is completely plausible that the RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko is the latest melanistic genetic mutation. 

RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko

Melanistic Crested Gecko (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

What Is The Lineage/Parents Of The RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko? 

The exact lineage is not known at this time as Reptile City Korea works to prove the melanistic mutation we expect to find out more. 

We do know that the Melanistic Crested Gecko comes from Reptile City Korea’s ‘Cappuccino Line’. 

RCK Cappuccino Crested Gecko Melanistic

Cappuccino Crested Gecko (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

Pictures found in the City.Reptile Instagram page shows the Cappuccino line to be dark brown based cresties with yellow/white pinstripes. This is really incredible that the Cappucino line produced 6 Melanistic crested geckos to this point. 

It also is a testament to Reptile City Korea’s great eye in isolating out this group of geckos into a Cappucino line and then hitting a possible jackpot. 

Most mutations randomly pop up in a clutch or are found in the wild. 

However, RCK must have seen something special in the Cappuccino Line of crested to start the project. And, boy does this make them look good. 

My Grandfather always told me that it is 'better to be lucky then good,' but RCK did both with this project.

Congrats, this is a huge win for the entire crested gecko community. 

RCK Cappuccino Crested Gecko Melanistic

Baby Cappuccino Crested Gecko With Minimal or No Crest (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

Not only do they luck out with a genetic mutation but doing it the hard way of identifying interesting looking geckos and proving it out. 

Is It The Melanistic Crestie The Super Form Or A Recessive Mutation?

From the limited information I have, I was thinking it is a recessive trait... 

However, RCK has discussed this with many top breeders and thinks that it may be the Super Form of his Cappuccino Line. 

Time will tell...

RCK Cappuccino Crested Gecko Melanistic

Up Close Picture of Baby Cappuccino Crest (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

Why Do You Think This Potential Melanistic Mutation Is Recessive? 

Looking at pictures of the Cappuccino line and then of the Melanistic Crested Geckos, it’s pretty obvious they look nothing like one another. 

Which would mean that some of their Cappucino line could be heterozygous (commonly referred to as ‘het’) for Melanistic. 

RCK has had three melanistic crested geckos, one from one Cappuccino group and the other from a completely different Cappuccino group. 

Two melanistic crested geckos

Two Baby Melanistic Crested Geckos (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

RCK reported that they sold 1.2 Cappucino’s to another breeder who also just hatched two RCK Melanistic Crested Geckos from the same Cappucino line RCK sold them. 

That is 5 melanistic-looking crested geckos from three sets of different parents… 

Again, RCK is leaning towards the Melanistic crestie being the super form of his Cappuccino Line. 

So, who knows? 

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Could This Be Caused By Incubation Temp? 

RCK reported that the first melanistic crested gecko that lived incubated for a total of 88 days at 22.9 degrees Celsius, or 73.22 degrees Fahrenheit (according to Google). 

Those incubation temps and the length of time to hatch are consistent with my experiences and seem fairly common incubation temps and results. 

RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko

(Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

Plus there have been 6, with 5 surviving from three different sets of parents...

Why So Little Information About The Melanistic Crested Gecko Mutation?

Reptile City Korea is a reputable crested gecko breeder who does not yet feel comfortable calling this a genetic Melanistic crested gecko mutation.

They aren't quite sure whether it is a recessive or co-dominant mutation with the melanistic being the super form of the Cappuccino line.

It is normal for a breeder who discovers a new mutation to wait to figure everything out before the big reveal. They like to be sure there are no questions before bringing it to market. 

RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko

Melanistic Crested Gecko (Photo courtesy of Donghyun @Cre.Moa)

But there lies the problem…

They sold 1.2 Cappuccinos to another breeder who also now has produced two melanistic crested geckos. 

The early release of what is known about the Melanistic Crested Gecko by RCK was forced by the birth of melanistic cresties by the other breeder. 

Control the news, control the story. 

Find the best prices for Pangea and Repashy Crested GEcko food! 

Also, find out what is best to feed your cresties, how often and why. 

can i feed crested geckos insects

Read the Reptile City Korea Instagram Posts About RCK Melanistic Project

November 17th, 2020 - City.Reptile On Instagram Posted:  

"Capuccino baby pipped today but did not make it out. This was the first attempt from group #CP and although it was a fail..... i am crazy happy. Previously the only thing we bred specific for were our reds which we are well known for and our quads. Then last year we started lilly whites as well as several other projects in addition to our normal production for our wholesale market. I had thought about investing in axanthics but after getting feedback from a few breeder friends i decided to not get any. Instead i started working with my own stock of dark animals. Both of the eggs were small which is typical for the first eggs. Still waiting on the other egg to see what it does but i cant believe this solid black baby. Crazy dark tail and eye."

March 25th, 2021 - City.Reptile On Instagram Posted:

"RCK Melanistic update.. it seems there is a lot of confusion about these babies so i want to clarify a few things. The very first all black baby i produced was in mid nov. It was an an egg from a project i call cappuccino and it had pipped but did not make it out of the egg...i posted a pic on instagram. When the next one hatched at the end of feb it was just as much a surprise because although it too was from a cappuccino....it was from a different group than the dead in egg baby. Knowing that this was a cappuccino thing i realized that when i first started the cappuccino project.... i let a few babies out to customers (dummy me....right). A breeder here in korea ended up with 1.2 of my cappuccino. I knew that there was a chance that he may pop out some mel babies also so i was on the clock. I wanted to hold off on putting out a lot of info to see how eye and skin color developed as well as to see if it is dominant or recessive but obviously i no longer have that luxury. On march 11 i had 2 more mels hatch out of yet another group (but did not post that info). Then a few days ago the other breeder hatched 2 mels from his group so in total so far there are 5 mel babies (6 if we count the dead one) hatched from 4 different pairs. For those thinking that 2 different breeders with 2 seperate blood lines produced the same morph within weeks of each other....that is not the case. All the babies are from my cappuccino project and to avoid confusion i am at least for now identifying this morph as RCK melanistic (RCK = Reptile City Korea). Since i have not had a lot of time ....i will update and clarify things as i know them. I have out crossed them with non cappuccinos with eggs due to hatch shortly. I have also bred a male capp with lillies with 5 eggs hatching and all 5 babies are lillies with some rather interesting patterns. Hope this clarifies a few things and please DM if you have additional questions"


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