Basic Information about Crested Geckos
Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus) are fascinating reptiles, originally from New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific. They were described by a French zoologist named Alphonse Guichenot in 1866 and were believed to be extinct until rediscovered in 1994.
When owning a Crested Gecko, it’s helpful to know some basic aspects of their biology:
- Size: Crested Geckos typically grow to about 15-25 cm (6-10 inches) in length.
- Lifespan: The average lifespan of a Crested Gecko in captivity is around 10-20 years.
These unique lizards have some distinctive features that make them great pets:
- Friendly Demeanor: Crested Geckos are considered one of the friendliest geckos, making them suitable pets for adults and children alike.
- Low Maintenance: They require minimal care compared to other reptiles, contributing to their growing popularity as pets.
- Distinct Appearance: Crested Geckos are also known as “eyelash geckos” due to the hair-like projections above their eyes that resemble eyelashes.
Unlike some other reptiles, they come in a wide range of colors and patterns:
|Harlequin, Flame, Tiger
|Harlequin, Flame, Tiger
|Harlequin, Flame, Patternless
Keep these basic facts in mind while caring for your Crested Gecko or learning more about these fascinating creatures.
Origin and Natural Habitat of Crested Geckos
Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus) were once thought to be extinct. They were first described in 1866 by French zoologist Alphonse Guichenot. In 1994, their existence was confirmed when they were rediscovered in New Caledonia by an expedition led by Robert Seipp.
New Caledonia: A Unique Habitat
New Caledonia is a small archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, located east of Australia. It’s a French territory and provides the perfect environment for Crested Geckos. Here’s a quick overview of their habitat:
- Geographical location: East of Australia, in the Pacific Ocean
- Temperature: Mild to warm climate, with temperatures ranging between 72°F and 82°F
- Terrain: Diverse landscapes, including rainforests and dry forests
- Elevation: Crested Geckos can be found at various elevations, often in dense foliage
Crested Geckos are remarkable creatures with a fascinating origin story and unique habitat. By understanding their natural environment, you can appreciate their adaptability and resilience even more.
Crested Geckos Behaviour
Crested Geckos are generally considered to be solitary creatures, which means they don’t typically interact with others of their species. However, they can be housed in small groups under specific conditions:
- Females can coexist, but it’s important to provide enough space and multiple hiding spots.
- Males are territorial and should be housed separately to avoid aggressive encounters.
- Mixing males and females can lead to breeding, which requires additional consideration and care.
Breeding crested geckos involves specific behaviors and practices, such as:
- Maturity: Crested geckos usually reach sexual maturity around 15 to 18 months of age.
- Mating: During the mating process, the male will approach the female, latch onto her, and engage in copulation.
- Egg-laying: Females will lay pairs of eggs every 4 to 6 weeks during the breeding season, burying them in a moist substrate.
- Incubation: Crested gecko eggs require stable temperatures (72-78°F) for successful incubation, which can last around 60 to 120 days. Proper humidity is also crucial, usually recommended around 70-80%.
- Hatchling care: Baby crested geckos, called hatchlings, require proper care, including a smaller enclosure size, appropriate diet, and more frequent misting for the first few months.
Keep these behaviors and requirements in mind, as understanding their natural ways will lead to a healthier and happier crested gecko experience.
Crested Geckos Diet
Crested geckos are omnivorous creatures, which means they consume both plant-based and animal-based foods. Although there is limited research on their specific diet in the wild, we can gather several useful insights from their dietary habits in captivity.
Fruit: Crested geckos enjoy various fruits as part of their diet. Some examples include:
- Berry mix (e.g., raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
Vitamins and mineral supplements: To ensure your crested gecko maintains a healthy diet, provide them with vitamin and mineral supplements. A popular option is powdered supplements that can be dusted onto feeder insects.
Feeder Insects: Crested geckos appreciate a variety of insects as their primary source of protein. Feed them insects such as:
Keep in mind these guidelines for the proper feeding schedule:
|3-4 times a week
|2-3 times a week
When it comes to their water requirements, crested geckos prefer to drink water droplets from their environment. Mist their enclosure twice a day to provide adequate hydration.
Avoid feeding your crested gecko harmful foods and overly large insects, as they can lead to health issues. Additionally, be cautious when offering citrus fruits, as they may not be suitable for the gecko’s digestive system.
Caring for Crested Geckos
Housing and Environment
To provide optimal care for your crested gecko, consider these key housing and environmental factors:
- Enclosure: Use a vertical terrarium with a minimum size of 18x18x24 inches for adult geckos. Juveniles can be housed in smaller enclosures.
- Lighting: 12 hours of daily exposure to natural or artificial light is essential, but avoid direct sunlight or high-intensity lighting that can cause stress or overheating. You can use a heat lamp for your crested gecko.
- Temperature: Maintain a temperature gradient between 72-82°F in daytime, allowing a slight drop (65-75°F) at night.
- Humidity: Ensure consistent humidity levels by:
- Mist the enclosure twice daily
- Use substrate like coconut fiber or moss to retain moisture
- Provide a water dish
Health and Lifespan
Crested geckos can live for 10-20 years with proper care. Pay attention to these health aspects to ensure a long, healthy life:
- Diet: Offer a variety of diet options:
- Specially formulated crested gecko diet (e.g., Repashy, Pangea, etc.)
- Occasional treat of insects (e.g., crickets, dubia roaches) dusted with calcium
- Small pieces of fresh or thawed fruit as a treat
- Health issues: Be attentive to potential health problems:
- Metabolic bone disease: Ensure proper calcium and vitamin intake
- Incomplete shedding: Increase humidity or provide a humid hide with damp moss
- Respiratory issues: Ensure appropriate temperature and avoid excessive humidity
- Handling: Crested geckos are generally docile but may be skittish. Handle your crested gecko gently and infrequently to minimize stress.