The Hypo Morph
The word hypo is taken from hypomelanistic, meaning diminished dark pigment. hypo dragons appear lighter in color than a standard bearded dragon. some dragons can look like a hypo and not carry the gene, we call them pastels.
The best way to recognize a true hypo is to look at the nails, a true 100% hypo dragon will have 20 clear nails, one on every toe. even one black nail implies a standard, non-hypo dragon. The white nails are also accompanied by lightly colored or grey shoulder pads, a normal animal will have black shoulder pads.
The hypo gene is recessive, meaning it can be transfered to offspring without a visible sign. the schedule below will show probabilities of offspring produced with the gene.
Heterozygous (het) Explained
If an animal is said to be Het for a genetic disorder, that means he or she carries the gene required to produce said disorder in their offspring, this is how you can get trans, hypo, and a number of other morph animals from animals that do not visibly display the trait.
You will also see breeders saying that the animal they are selling is X percent het, this is to inform the buyer of the possibility of the gene in the animal, for example a 50% het for trans and hypo animal has a 50% chance to carry both genes. the % het animals are produced by pairing 2 animals that do not display the gene.
Visible Heterozygous (het) Explained
You will occasionally see a breeder talking about a visually het animal. This term simply means that the animal displays the trait that they are working with. For example, a visually het for trans would be a dragon displaying the trans gene with translucent scales and possibly black eyes, or a visually het for hypo animal will be 100% hypo with 20 clear nails. Italian Leatherbacks and American Smoothies are all visibly het for leather and silkback, as you can visibly see the trait in the animal.
The Recessive Gene Explained
The Recessive gene is what most morphs for bearded dragons are, a recessive gene only displays the disorder when 2 carriers of the specific gene are paired together. Recessive traits only become apparent when 2 copies of the same gene are present. below is a chart showing probabilities for the disorder to show.
Recessive genetics table | Normal | Het for X | Displaying X
normal | 0% | 0% (animal is 50% het) | 0% (animal is 100% het)
het for X | 0% (50% het) | 25%(animal is 66% het) | 50% (animal is 100% het)
Displaying X | 0% (animal is 100% het) | 50% (animal is 100% het) | 100%
This chart is based in theory, actual results may be different.
[Source: Tundra Dragons