Leopard geckos and crested geckos are two of the most popular reptiles among pet owners. As such, it is normal for gecko lovers to wonder if they can be housed together. Well, that’s what this article is going to explore.
So can crested geckos and leopard geckos live together?
Crested geckos and leopard geckos cannot live together. Since they thrive in different environmental conditions, it is impossible to design a vivarium that will suit them both. Their humidity, temperature, and dietary needs are too far apart.
Can crested geckos and leopard geckos live together?
Although leopard and crested geckos belong to the same gecko family, they come from different parts of the world and have different needs.
Leopard geckos originate from deserts and semiarid areas in Afghanistan, India, Iran, and Iraq. They are generally ground-dwelling and are used to surviving with little water and vegetation.
On the other hand, crested geckos are arboreal and native inhabitants of New Caledonian forests – they spend most of their time on trees.
By virtue of this alone, designing a common terrarium for these geckos is challenging. While a crested gecko will thrive best in a vertical tank with a lot of plants, a leopard gecko will be better off with a horizontal one with minimal vegetation.
Can crested geckos and leopard geckos withstand the same temperatures and humidity?
During the day, leopard geckos need 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures throughout their tanks, with the higher temperature ranges reserved for basking spots.
While temperatures higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit will give them dehydration, those lower than 80 degrees Fahrenheit can cause digestion problems. And at night, they can only tolerate temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is quite contrary to what crested geckos need – they have similar temperature needs to humans. During the day, they do well with temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees celsius and accordingly don’t need a heat lamp.
They are more comfortable with temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Generally, crested geckos don’t do well in temperatures higher than 85 degrees celsius.
Since crested and leopard geckos have different temperature needs, it’s not surprising that they also have different humidity needs. As expected with desert animals, leopard geckos need little humidity – their optimum humidity level is between 30% and 40%.
On the other hand, crested geckos are used to living in high humidity and need levels of 60% to 80% to shed their skin comfortably. They can even handle higher humidity levels when living in a well-ventilated terrarium.
Ultimately, no matter how good you are with a hygrometer and thermometer, creating a habitat that will suit the temperature and humidity needs of both a crested gecko and a leopard gecko is impossible.
Do leopard geckos and crested geckos eat the same things?
Keeping different animals together is always easier when they have the same dietary needs.
Unfortunately, the dietary needs of crested geckos are different from those of leopard geckos. While the latter primarily eat live insects, the former thrives on a combination of mashed fruits and live insects. In short, leopard geckos are insectivorous, and crested geckos are omnivorous.
This is because the digestive systems of crested geckos are longer and more adapted to digesting fruits. However, both types of geckos require supplements when in captivity. And there is some overlap in the type of insects they eat.
For instance, most leopard geckos predominantly eat crickets and mealworms – two insects that crested geckos can eat. The major difference is that crested geckos eat such insects in smaller quantities.
Otherwise, they can be fed in the same manner and even be dusted with calcium or multivitamin. The crickets that crested geckos eat will particularly need to be dusted with
calcium, while their mealworms will need some vitamin D3 dust. Beyond this, always remember to serve crested geckos fruits like mangos, pears, papaya, blueberries, and strawberries as well.
Just keep away from bananas and citrus fruits – these prevent crested geckos from absorbing calcium.
Another thing you need to remember when feeding crested geckos is that you can incorporate a commercial wet crested geckos diet into their meals.
You must ensure that this is not the only thing your crested gecko eats. Similarly, there are commercial foods that you can buy for your leopard gecko and feed them.
Ultimately, the primary concern when feeding a crested gecko and leopard gecko who live together is that one may eat the other’s food, causing health problems. For instance, your leopard gecko may eat your crested gecko’s fruits and suffer from indigestion and diarrhea.
On the other hand, the latter may eat the former’s insects which may be larger than they can handle. This is particularly an issue because crested geckos are smaller than leopard geckos. Also, since both species of geckos have a similar feeding frequency, it’s easy for them to end up eating at the same time.
Ultimately, it is hard to ensure that your crested and leopard gecko is eating the right thing when they are housed together unless you separate them during feeding.
Can your leopard gecko or crested gecko feel lonely?
Neither leopard geckos nor crested geckos feel lonely – they are not social beings. So they don’t need companionship and will never be as affectionate as your dog or cat.
The best they can do is get used to your touch and respond to it. Ultimately, putting these two geckos together or with similar counterparts does nothing for their well-being.
Are crested geckos and leopard geckos territorial?
Both crested and leopard geckos can be territorial, even when housed with counterparts from the same species.
Male crested and leopard geckos are particularly known to compete for space and resources, which makes them inclined to want to dominate each other.
And while the female geckos aren’t as dominant as the male ones, they can have conflict when one is more aggressive than the others.
Even baby crested and leopard geckos can have conflicts if they aren’t of the same age and size.
Ultimately, anyone who wants to house more than one crested/leopard gecko in a single tank will need to keep the group small – preferably no more than 3 geckos.
Also, they’ll have to ensure there isn’t more than one male gecko in the tank. But even then, they’ll have to monitor the geckos closely for any signs of conflict.
It’s worth noting that housing crested geckos in the same tank as leopard geckos will likely cause much more conflict than usual. This is because the former is smaller than the latter. As such, leopard geckos may seek to dominate crested geckos and bully and fight them.
No matter how you look, it is a bad idea to house crested geckos and leopard geckos together.
They need different conditions to survive and are each quite solitary species. As such, housing them together can negatively affect their health and wellbeing. They may even end up with scars from fights with each other.
Ultimately, everyone will be better off if your crested gecko and leopard gecko live separately.