Lemon Frost leopard geckos & iridophoromas (a kind of tumor)

For any fellow science nerds, there’s a preprint of a potential new paper you can read about the iridophoromas associated with the Lemon Frost morph in leopard geckos (and leos as a genetic research model in general)! Looks like they worked with Steve Sykes, one of the first to originally work with Lemon Frosts. Gourmet Rodent hatched the first LF in 2012/13, and Steve Sykes (famed leo breeder, ‘Geckos Etc.’) got his pair at auction in 2015, the first Gourmet Rodent released. At present, Geckos Etc. does not appear to be selling Lemon Frosts.

I’m only partway through the paper, but before you click the link: this is not a publication from a peer-reviewed academic journal, it’s a preprint, a full research paper that has yet to be accepted for publication as of the date it was shared.

Genetics of Iridophoromas in Lemon Frost

Edit: iridophoromas are tumors that form from iridophores, pigment cells that reflect light.


Thank you finally something about gecko genetics!


So… Methodology, I have no real criticisms (although, I disagree with their assessment that you cannot get RNA from an iridophoroma)

I do have some criticism/disagreement for the discussions/conclusions they came to though. Primary among them being that they refer to white colour as if it were an actual pigment when it is not. I know that sounds nit-picky, but it somewhat speaks to not completely understanding the full background of what they are talking about, which by extension, means they might be pursuing a somewhat flawed hypothesis


Haha, I was waiting for you to weigh in! :grin:

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Most of the breeders I know in the States that have lemon frost, stopped breeding them. Unfortunately in some leopard gecko groups I belong to, breeders in Europe are still breeding and selling them.


It took me a couple days to squeeze in a few free moments :grin:

As I said, overall it is a decent investigation. Their data are quite nice. It is just the conclusions and suppositions that they come to from those data that I am not enthusiastic about.

I also hate that they call it a “semi-dominant” gene. Not because term is wrong (semi-dominant and incomplete-dominant are synonymous in the field), but because for over a decade I have, almost single-highhandedly at times, waged a war against the incorrect use of “co-dom” and the proper usage of inc-dom… And just as we are starting to see progress on correct terminology they have thrown a new term into the mix and I am anticipating a whole new round of confusion that I will have to straighten out :sweat_smile:


After reading: I find the data to pretty good I get annoyed easily by people referring to things wrong so that may be why I don’t think it is great. I think that they got some good pictures about the cancerous cells I feel bad for all those lemons frost even more than I already did. I hope people who breed lemon frost still educate themselves using this.