Foundation Genetics - Super Sable info

Sable, Super Sable, and Sable x Cappuccino - Luwak


  • Hyunmoo - @Moomoo_saurus
  • Anthony Vasquez - @lm.reptiles
  • Tom Favazza - @Geckological
  • Jonathan DeBoer - @Jeckos_geckos_llc

A Sable x Cappuccino (Reptile City Korea;RCK) has been paired and has produced a unique result explained here. Although we are still in the early days with both the Sable trait and the Cappuccino traits, we now have some answers as to why the Sables are so similar to the Cappuccinos, and why the Super Sable form, although resembles the Cappuccinos, is uniquely distinct. Genetic traits can mutate and create variants on the same locus, so when we find evidence of this, it is referred to as a complex. Sable now appears to be a part of the world’s first known allelic complex in the crested gecko hobby (Allelic defined below). Although similar in appearance to some of the Cappuccino combinations, Sable has distinct characteristics that have not been produced in Cappuccino combinations. To demonstrate that Sable displays incomplete dominance it has to meet the defined characteristics, as described below.

Allelic: Refers to an allele that is compatible with a particular trait located in the same locus. In short, the code that is used is different but located in the same spot in the gene. This makes different traits allelic. These traits can combine to form new morphs and can take quite a bit of trial and error to discover.

Incomplete DominantDescribes a phenotype when two traits are visible as a mixture of both traits. Think, mixing two crayons to make a new color, both are semi-dominant and combine to make a new color. This description is only applied to allelic traits. Some of these traits produce "Super" forms or (homozygous incomplete dominance).

Example: Lilly White, Cappuccino, Sable, and Emptyback.

Figure 1 Diagram showing how an Incomplete Dominant phenotype would look.
Figure 1 Diagram showing how an Incomplete Dominant phenotype would look.

The breedings of a Sable to a Cappuccino were accomplished by Hyunmoo (@Moomoo_Saurus). The progeny of the pair created a new phenotype that appears to be an incomplete dominant combination. To demonstrate that Sable is different from Cappuccino, the two traits were combined. Since both Sable and Cappuccino are incomplete dominant traits, we expected to see either 1) a blending of traits if separate traits or 2) a Super Cappuccino if they were the same trait... We did not see any Super Cappuccinos! The hatchlings that Hyunmoo produced showed an interaction between the two traits that suggested incomplete dominance and that the two traits are allelic. Not producing a Super Cappuccino clearly defines Sable and Cappuccino as separate traits both producing unique phenotypes in either combination.

The similarities between Sable and Cappuccinos have led many to speculate that it was just a Cappuccino combination. However, the production of Super Sables results in a unique Super form that is not consistent with Super Cappuccino. The Super Sable has a creamy-colored dorsum with a yellowish color in some areas. Cappuccino, especially in the Super form wipes out all coloration produced by erythrophores (red) coloration and xanthophores (yellow) coloration. The Super Sable is also lacking in other Super Cappuccino characteristics such as pied toes, translucency in the skin, and the characteristic shattered iris. Continued due diligence will take us further in answering questions pertaining to additional combinations that are speculated on such as Phantom combinations of Sable and Sable Cappuccino. We see this trend of speculation with every new trait in the hobby. It is important to remember that having unproven markers, from the originating group's phenotypes, such as the Y shape at the base of the Cappuccino's tails, are not cause to jump to conclusions or correlations about traits being the same. Due diligence gives us answers.

To show Sable as distinct from the Cappuccino, a Sable x Cappuccino, a cross between a Sable and Cappuccino, was needed. The pairing could yield two possible combination results, 1) a non-allelic form or 2) an allelic combination form, both of which would be heterozygous (Het), Het Sable and Het Cappuccino, but with two distinct appearances. A non-allelic form would look like a Sable with Cappuccino coloration, a mixture of both het forms, instead we observed the allelic form which is the mixture of both super forms. Hyunmoo paired a Sable and a Cappuccino, which is being called Luwak. The Luwak has a slight Sable pattern that is suppressed by the Cappuccino form. Complexes are variations of a trait on the same locus, this means you can never make the following combinations: 1) Super Sable x Super Cappuccino, 2) Super Cappuccino x Sable, or 3) Super Sable x Cappuccino. Only the complete form of each trait, or Het forms of each trait can be produced.

The white patterning seen in the dorsum does appear to follow the Sable mutation. Phantom versions have also been made by breeding a Het Phantom Sable x Red Phantom by first adding Phantom to a Sable. The Phantom Super Sable is still in the works, as well as the Luwak Phantom. The Super Sable is characterized by velvet-like scales. Super Sable, have a different feel to them, similar to Cappuccino, but more textured. They also have almost a skull-shaped pattern around the headstamp and dark coloration between the large scales on the lips. The eyes appear to have a bolder reticulation than normal eyes. One thing we have noticed is that the nostrils on the Super Sable being produced, although intercrossed, seem to form normally. In the Sable x Cappuccino cross, the nostrils have also formed, however, the crest structure is compromised but it appears that the super form will benefit from breeding in large head structured animals before intercrossing to produce the super form.

Super Sable

The Sable Cappuccino cross appears very similar to the Sable, but with a suppressed dorsal stripe that can still be seen and produce a more uniform color across the animal. Scalation and texture is also different from the Super Sable and Super Cappuccino producing a similar velvet feel but with more texture. Nostril size appears to become smaller when the Cappuccino trait is added but no breathing issues have been observed. Additionally, no behavioral or head wobble is observed and the gecko's appetite and hunting abilities for insects is normal.


Several pairings still need to be attempted, SC x SC, SS x CC, (ref. fig.2.1, 2.2) including Phantom, Lilly, and Axanthic combinations. So far, all breeding results follow the Foundation Genetics explanations which can be learned in the Foundation Genetics series. More Sable pairings are in the works, and we are working on finding and creating additional combinations to learn from, so stay tuned!

Group photos