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12 Amazing Red-Eared Slider Morphs

A morph can be defined as a genetic mutation that gives an animal a different appearance than usual. This is usually a change in coloration and patterns and if you’ve never seen a red-eared slider morph, then today you’re in for a TREAT!

While red-eared slider morphs are not as popular as morphs of some other reptiles such as ball pythons, they do exist and are quite popular among enthusiasts – and why not? You can have a unique-looking reptile buddy at home that’s guaranteed to turn some heads!

There are many different morphs and the exact number of morphs is virtually endless, since genetic mutation is a continuous phenomenon that never stops.

Today we’ll look at some popular red-eared slider morphs. such as albino, lubino, golden leucistic, caramel pink, pastel, hypo pastel, pied, charcoal, and golden leucistic, and we’ll even point you in the direction of breeders that can help you to find them!

Let’s take a look at some red-eared slider morphs and you can see what you think — they really are nothing short of amazing!

Albino red-eared slider morphs

Albino turtle bred at abinoturtles.com
This is an image of an albino red-eared slider morph bred at AlbinoTurtles.com

Albino morphs are among the most popular morphs on the market.. These reptiles lack the green pigmentation that gives the turtle its color, resulting in pale coloration. Even the stripes on the side of the head are pink in color, instead of the usual red. The skin is pale pink and the shell is pale yellow, and the borders between the scutes are whitish.

The eyes are reddish pink.

While the albino red-eared sliders lack the dark coloration of the regular red-eared slider, there is a color variation between individuals, so some albinos will be darker in color than others.

Albino sliders are closely related to lubino morph which is a combination of recessive hybino and albino genes. Other albino-related morphs include snow albino, paradox albino, and caramel pink albino.

Several breeders actively breed their turtles to produce albino red-eared sliders, so they are relatively easy to find compared to many of the other morphs we’ll show you today.

Some breeders we recommend if you’re looking for albino sliders include New Moon Reptiles, LLC, Resdre, Predators Reptile Center, and Nauti-Lass Ponds & Critters, Inc.

While we’re on the subject, if you want to learn more about breeding red-eared sliders then be sure to check out our breeding guide and our DIY nesting box article after you’re done here — they’ve got everything you’ll need to get started!

Flip Flop Albino

2010 Hypo Translucents courtesy of https://albinoturtles.com/
Image courtesy of AlbinoTurtles.com

Flip Flop albinos are albino red-eared sliders, that possess a faint pigmentation on the carapace and head. Just imagine the albino red-eared slider, but with pale brown markings. They are also known as hypo translucent red-eared sliders or golden hypo translucent red-eared sliders.

According to breeders such as The Turtle Source (listed below), there is also a gold phase which is lighter in coloration, and they are even sometimes referred to as ‘hypo clown morphs’, as their faces are similar to that of clown morph sliders.

Their pupils are red and their irises are blue, and they also have yellow mouths. These turtles also have distinctive red markings that give the red-eared sliders their name, but similar to albino and leucistic morphs, those markings are orange.

To learn more or to find a Flip Flop slider of your own, try visiting The Turtle Source.

Hybino/Hypo Albino

Hybino red-eared sliders bred by NPS
Hybino red-eared sliders bred by NPS

Hybino morphs are much darker in coloration than both albino and leucistic morphs. They are similar in appearance to albino, leucistic, and all other morphs with reduced pigmentation, and they are pale greenish-yellow with highly visible green patterns. This gives them a darker appearance.

Their stripes behind and around their ears are dark orange instead of red, and their skin is also pale in color.

This turtle is much rarer than the albinos and thus more expensive and difficult to acquire. A breeder that you can contact if you are interested in securing a hybino is NPS Enterprises, located in Livonia, Michigan.

Leucistic red-eared slider morphs

This refers to a morph that is characterized by reduced pigmentation, unlike albino morphs which lack pigmentation. This gives them a pale color. The reduction in pigmentation varies from one individual to the next. As such, individuals are more boldly colored than others.

Probably the easiest way to visualize them is to think of an albino slider, but with normal color to their eyes and a pale overall cast – let’s look at 2 examples!

Lubino

Lubino red-eared slider from Trademark Exotics
Lubino red-eared slider bred by Trademark Exotics

This morph is sometimes referred to as a leucistic albino red-eared slider. With lubino red-eared sliders, there is partial pigmentation loss while with albino morphs, there is total/more extensive pigmentation loss. Lubinos aren’t as pale as albinos, but the untrained eye might mistake them for one.

The shell and skin of this red-eared slider have no patterns. The skin is whitish pink. The shell is yellow. The stripes on the sides of the head are orange, and their pupils are red with bluish-green irises. Lubinos are rarer than albinos and this, of course, makes them more desirable to enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for lubinos, we recommend checking The Turtle Source and Trademark Exotics.

Golden Leucistic

Golden Leucistic red-eared sliders -
Golden Leucistic red-eared sliders – image courtesy of The Turtle Source

Another amazing and beautiful morph is the golden leucistic red-eared slider. They are similar to the leucistic morphs, but the golden leucistic slider’s coloration is darker. While golden leucistic is also pale (much paler than the normal red-eared slider), their coloration is bolder, resulting in a golden appearance.

Similar to other leucistic sliders, Goldens lack discernable patterns on the skin and shell, and they have an orange stripe around each ear instead of a red one. These turtles are quite rare, as they are difficult to breed, but you can try The Turtle Source link on the image above if you are looking for one.

Want to know the gender of the morph you thinking of taking home? Find our how in our informative guide.

Axanthic red-eared slider morphs

With the axanthic red-eared slider, there is a lack of blue/green pigmentation, and this gives the turtle a dark coloration. The skin and the shell, by contrast, are black with pale yellowish highlights, and the underside (plastron) is yellow with dark markings.

These markings mirror one another on both halves of the plastron.

The axanthic slider’s eyes are dark and the red stripes over the ears will be present as they would with a standard red-eared slider. Due to their dark coloration, the patterns on the shell do not stand out, but you’ll see stripe patterns on the skin similar to those of the common variety red-eared sliders.

This morph is quite rare. One of the few breeders that offer axanthic red-eared sliders is Underground Reptiles and you can see one that they have bred here.

Caramel / Caramel Pink Albino morphs

Caramel Pink Slider bred by Apex Herpetoculture
Caramel Pink slider, image courtesy of Apex Herpetoculture

The caramel pink albinos were discovered by selectively breeding albino red-eared sliders. As they descend from albinos, they look quite similar. They have the same pale skin/shell pigmentation as the albino, but with lovely pink/lavender skin highlights.

The shell is deeper in color than the skin and it is a golden tan to cream white with dark borders between the scutes. Their pupils are red. with deep blue irises. According to the Turtle Source, these turtles were the result of almost 20 years of selective breeding!

Some breeders that breed the caramel pink albinos include Apex Herpetoculture in Harrodsburg, Kentucky; New Moon Reptiles, LLC in Miami, Florida; and Underground Reptiles in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Charcoal sliders

Charcoal red-eared slider
Charcoal red-eared slider, bred by JB Dragons

The charcoal red-eared slider morph is named after the charcoal color of the skin and shell, although the shade of the coloration varies — it can be dark grey to light gray when they are hatchlings, but will often develop yellow highlights as they age.

The eyes are solid black and there are no patterns on the skin or the shell, either.

The morph is currently bred by JB Dragons in St. Louis, Missouri and The Turtle Source, but as it is considered an ‘unproven’ morph (a status you often get with new morphs that are difficult to produce reliably) they can be hard to find.

If you’d like to find charcoal sliders, you can visit JB Dragons and the Turtle Source to check their availability, but if the turtle looks completely black you might actually be looking at a Black Pearl Slider – The Turtle Expert has a nice article on them you can read here to learn the differences.

Clown morphs

Clown Slider hatchling
Clown Slider Hatchling, bred by The Turtle Gro

While the clown morph isn’t universally recognized, several breeders refer to their morph as a ‘Clown; or a ‘Mitch Clown’. These individuals are usually brightly colored, with a bright greenish-yellow carapace with dark lines. The head, limbs, and tail are also greenish-yellow and darkly lined.

This morph lacks the red stripes around the ear, instead presenting orange ones, and it has orange stripes on the ear as well as the head. The pupils of this morph’s eyes are black.

Some mitch line clown morphs are bright brownish orange in coloration with dark markings on the carapace and skin, which gives the upper shell an appearance much like painted wood.

There are other variants as well, such as the Albino Het Mitch Clown, which is greenish-yellow in color and lacks any distinctive patterns, although they will have the telltale stripe around the ear — but orange, instead of red.

You can check for these morphs by visiting Resdre and The Turtle Gro.

Ghost morphs

Ghost red-eared slider
Ghost red-eared slider, image courtesy of The Turtle Source

Ghost morphs are among the rarest in the world — with about a dozen individuals occurring yearly, according to ghost-morph breeders The Turtle Source.

The main difference between the ghost morph and the regular species is the lack of pigmentation which gives them a pale yellow coloration, complimented with light gray markings. The markings around and behind their ears are also orange, rather than red.

The rarity of this morph makes them hard to find and you might have to enter a waiting list to obtain one, but check with the The Turtle Source to find out more.

Pastel sliders

Pastel red-eared slider
Pastel red-eared slider, bred at The Turtle Source

These are among the most eye-catching of morphs. The coloration of the pastel morph is similar to the regular red-eared slider, but strikingly lighter and it makes an enormous difference. All the red colors are replaced by orange and the green colors are replaced by pale green!

The pastel red-eared sliders can have varying colorations depending on age, as well, and some will be more brightly colored than others. This is also the hypo pastel. These are pastel red-eared sliders but with lighter/paler colors. The overall coloration of this turtle is simply paler.

Some breeders that sell the pastel morph include Underground ReptilesThe Turtle Source,  and American Reptile Distributors.

Pied sliders

Pied red-eared slider
Pied red-eared slider, Image courtesy of Albinoturtles.com

This is a rare morph so rare that is yet to be reproduced! The Pied red-eared slider simply has patches of white on the shell and skin, and parts of the shell and skin are patternless white as seen in the image above.

Acquiring a pied red-eared slider is going to be the tricky part, of course, since it’s just been recently discovered, but keep some breeders bookmarked and don’t be afraid to email an inquiry – you never know when you might get lucky!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the rarest red-eared slider turtle?

There are several rare red-eared slider morphs out there, but the rarest morphs include the pied morph and the clown morph. As these variations are not ‘established’ morphs, the genetic variation that creates them is still unknown, so getting one is largely a matter of luck.

However, with time and repetitive breeding, that will eventually change, so if you can’t find one, just keep your fingers crossed – it’s only a matter of time!

What is a hybino red-eared slider and how rare are they?

The hybino red-eared slider refers to a morph of the red-eared slider subspecies and they are quite rare! These albino red-eared sliders have darker pigmentation than the normal albino morph. This results in a pale, greenish-yellow overall cast with highly visible green patterns.

This gives them a darker appearance than your standard albino, and they also have orange stripes on their heads, rather than the typical red, and lovely pale skin.

Can red-eared sliders crossbreed?

Red-eared sliders can crossbreed with other sliders such as the yellow-bellied slider and the Cumberland slider, if you are looking to breed them, and similarly, different morphs of the red-eared slider can also breed with one another and sometimes you’ll get some pretty amazing hatchlings!

Can you put 2 red-eared slider morphs in the same enclosure?

Two red-eared sliders morphs can be housed in the same enclosure, you’ll just want to take the same precautions as you would with any slider pair.

Since sliders are messy, ensure that the enclosure/tank is large enough and the water is kept clean. Have a powerful filter such as an Aqueon QuietFlow Canister Filter.

For every inch of the turtle’s shell, provide an additional 10 gallons of water. For any additional turtle provide an additional 5 gallons of water for every inch of the turtle’s shell. For example, two 5-inch turtles should have approximately 75 gallons of water.

Conclusion

A morph is a genetic mutation that gives an animal a different appearance than usual and there are quite a few red-eared slider morphs out there that you can look for. These morphs are discovered through selective breeding to isolate desirable traits, so a morph may be very expensive until it is established.

Available red-eared slider morphs include albino, flip flop albino (also known as hypo translucent), hybino, leucistic, lubino, golden leucistic, axanthic, caramel pink albino, charcoal, clown, ghost, and pastel. With pied sliders, you’ll just have to wait and see, but breeders are certainly working on it!

Some, such as albino and leucistic are pretty common, and thus easier to obtain. Axanthic and caramel pink albino are less common, but not as rare as pied, clown, ghost, golden leucistic, and lubino.

Some such as pied and clown aren’t established morphs, but give the breeders a little space and see what happens – a few years down the line, they’re sure to be more common, and who knows what other beautiful morphs they’ll find!

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