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


Update: October 26th, 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

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. 

It was kind of strange. They basically said that you had to to go through a import/exporter to purchase from them.

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But, even after repeated requests they wouldn't give me the name of the import or exporter and definitely wouldn't give me a price. 

They kept saying I had to talk to this mysterious importer/exporter that I was never given contact information for. 

Basically, they were not much help and had no motivation to sell me a gecko. So if you were looking for a cappuccino crested gecko or melanistic crested gecko for sale, you probably struck out like me. 

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. 

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

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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. 

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

baby cappuccino crested geckos for sale

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

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. 

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 Melanistic Crested Geckos for sale. Don't mess around with the BS coming out of Korea. You can now buy here in the US. 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. 

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 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 RCK Melanistic Crested Gecko.

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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 RCK 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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