Axolotls are loved for a flurry of reasons. Their smiley faces, characteristic external gills, or docile nature are perhaps some of the main reasons people keep axolotls as pets. However, in our experience, many axolotl owners seem most captivated by the fantastic array of colors in which axolotls exist. Also known as morphs, their colors range from common such as the wild type axolotl, to super rare such as the enigma axolotl.
In particular, one specific axolotl morph garners a lot of attention: the purple axolotl. Online forums and social media are rife with rumors about purple axolotls. While many people claim to have heard about them, read about them, or even seen one of them, there’s little to no evidence to substantiate their existence. And, as curious as we are, we decided to investigate!
So, are purple axolotls real?
Purple axolotls are not real. Whilst certain axolotl morphs such as the lavender axolotl (aka silver dalmatian axolotl) or melanoid axolotl might appear somewhat purple under certain lighting conditions, there is no such thing as an actual purple axolotl. The images and videos of purple axolotls you may have seen on forums or on social media are most probably fake. And, in the cases where the images haven’t been edited to make the axolotl look purple, it’s most likely that the axolotl was dyed purple by their owner.
Table of Contents
- Can I Dye My Axolotl?
- How Can I Make My Axolotl Look Purple?
- Where Can I Buy A Purple Axolotl?
- Which Axolotls Look Purple?
Can I Dye My Axolotl?
Certain unscrupulous, or perhaps simply uneducated axolotl owners dye their axolotls by soaking them in a bath of water mixed with dye to give them the desired color, such as purple for example. I’ve also read about axolotl owners injecting their axies with dyes.
Regardless of the method used, these are utterly cruel practices. I find them unethical and would highly advise against them.
First of all, the dyes may be toxic to the animal. They may get absorbed into their organs and cause unintended negative consequences on their health. It’s also possible that the dyes would affect the axolotl’s already poor eyesight should they come into contact with their eyes.
Secondly, the dyes can have an effect on water quality. Dyes can contain harmful chemicals that are toxic to aquatic life in general and axolotls in particular. And, as we know, axolotls are very sensitive to the quality of the water they live in. If the parameters of the water in your axolotl tank get out of balance, there’s a chance your axolotl will become ill or even die.
How Can I Make My Axolotl Look Purple?
Another method used by axolotl owners to make their axolotls look purple is to expose them to a purple-colored LED light.
This works especially well if your axolotl is leucistic or white albino, as they will easily take on the color of the light that’s being shone on them.
Now, we also know that axolotls don’t like to be exposed to bright, direct light. So, assuming that the purple light in question is relatively dim, it might actually be a decent alternative to a standard white or yellow light. And, most certainly a much more ethical and safer option than dying your axolotl purple.
Where Can I Buy A Purple Axolotl?
Purple axolotls aren’t real. Therefore, you cannot buy a purple axolotl.
And, if you do come across a purple axolotl for sale – either online or in-store – it was most probably dyed purple through soaking, injected with purple dye or it’s a morph that looks purple under certain lighting conditions.
However, if you really want to buy a purple-looking axolotl, you might be able to settle for one of the axolotl morphs that have purplish hues.
Which Axolotls Look Purple?
The axolotl morphs which are most likely to take on a purple hue under favorable lighting conditions are the lavender axolotl (aka silver dalmatian axolotl) and the melanoid axolotl.
Lavender / Silver Dalmatian Axolotl
The lavender axolotl has a beautiful light purple color and grayish-red gills. Thanks to their body being covered in gray spots, they are also known as the silver dalmatian.
Ranging from dark grey to completely black in color, the black melanoid axolotl can also have dark purple gills and a lighter gray belly.
Some black melanoid axolotls have a similar appearance to a darker wild axolotl but the lack of a golden iris helps distinguish the two.
So, the mystery of the purple axolotl is now solved! After doing some investigating I can confirm that purple axolotls are fake! If you ever see a photo or a video of a purple axolotl, there are several possible explanations.
The most likely is that the photo or video itself has been edited (or photoshopped to use a familiar term), to make the axolotl look purple.
It’s also possible that the axolotl was exposed to purple lighting, making it appear purple when in fact it’s not.
Finally, it’s also possible that the axolotl itself was dyed, either by soaking it in purple dye or injecting it with dye. Both methods are utterly cruel and you should never dye your axolotl.
Finally, if you’re looking to buy an axolotl with purple tones, you can look into lavender axolotls or melanoid axolotls. Whilst they’re not purple as such, they sometimes look certain shades of purple under certain lighting conditions.