Updated: Mar 4
What makes a Lavender a lavender????
Well the short answer would be that it's because it is hypomelanistic. But WTF does that even mean right??? Most of us have not studied genetics or even heard of such a thing so! lets discuss it shall we?
What is hypomelanism?
Lets break it down by word parts Hypo means under or producing lesser than normal amounts of something. Melanin (in this case black eumelanin) is responsible for color pigments.
So hypomelanism is a deficiency melanin production, displaying less pigmentation than a wild type. That does not mean that it is necessarily absent of pigmentation it is just muted.
Hypomelanism and black based cresteds can produce colors such as lavender, purple, blue and in some situations green hues like pictured below:
Since most of this is pretty new information that has been applied to crested geckos (graciously explained In Little Monsters Reptiles Foundation Genetics) alot of people have the common misconception of how this trait expresses itself. With hypomelanism the more muted the color stays as the crested fires up the stronger the hypo trait is within the animal. Which means that, yes I hate to say True lavenders are just animals that have very strong hypomelanism expression present and display it as such. SO! yes we can have lesser expressions of lavender that do in fact fire up darker.
But is Lavender a defining color I should list on a gecko?
The answer is actually No. Lavender is not a color trait. It is the result of hypomelanism affecting the actual color (black,brown etc). So dark geckos that carry hypo traits have lavender expressions. Only under extreme stress may you ever actually see the dark coloring display like in shipping. Some hypo animals may never completely fire up at all.
I hope that some what helped explain a bit about lavenders and I hope to revist this with more information later on!
Thank You Little Monsters Reptiles & Tom Farvazza for providing the knowledge needed for me to write this!