Crested Geckos are nocturnal geckos from New Caledonia. They are found in the rainforest and are extremely active during the night time hours but will sleep for many hours during the day.
Crested Geckos are cold blooded and are known as ‘exothermic’– meaning that they need heat from an outside source in order to maintain their body temperature.
Crested Geckos enjoy an arboreal enclosure to provide them with plenty of space to exercise as they would in the wild. They enjoy climbing and jumping. Crested geckos can be kept in a bio-active terrarium which replicates their environment in the wild.
Crested Geckos live in a place with high humidity and so must be sprayed 2-3 times a day to keep the correct levels in the enclosure, we advise the use of a hygrometer.
HOUSING YOUR GECKO
Crested geckos enjoy an arboreal environment with plenty of space to jump around which they mostly do at night. Some crested geckos will be active during the day but as they are nocturnal, the majority come out at night and can be seen wide eyed and at their brightest colours enjoying the terrarium. Crested geckos do best in a glass tank as they have a wet environment so wood often warps from the humidity.
There are many substrates available for crested geckos, almost all being soil or natural fibre based. Which substrate you use is down to personal preference, don’t be afraid to try new things like mixing a couple of substrates together to get the perfect mix for your gecko.
Plastic plants or live plants can be used. Crested Geckos require UVB. Although they are nocturnal, they do have access to sunlight in the wild and so we do recommend a UVB source. Heating is optional and depends on the temperature of your house, however, preferably some heat should be offered in the colder seasons.
It is important to turn off lighting at night, and any heating which is used, so that your gecko can understand the natural light cycle and act accordingly. Geckos are a cooler species so those with a warm ambient may not require heating. If you are not reaching the advised temperatures, speak to us about adding extra heating to your enclosure.
HANDLING YOUR GECKO:
Always wash your hands or use an anti-bacterial hand wash before and after handling your crested gecko. Like many species of lizard, crested geckos are able to drop their tail in order to escape predators who may catch them by their tail in the wild. Crested geckos are also insecure with objects approaching them from above as they would be prey for birds in the wild.
Many lizards can grow their tails back once dropped, crested geckos are one of the few species which cannot. They can function without a tail and often drop them during mating. When picking up your gecko, always scoop from below and avoid gripping the tail. Crested geckos do not enjoy being stroked as their skin can be very sensitive but some do enjoy their chin being stroked.
Genus, Species Correlophus ciliatus
Adult Size 15-25 cm (with tail)
Lifespan 15-20 Years
Diet Insects , Pangea, calcium powder twice a week
Ambient Temp (f) 72-75
Basking Temp (f) 78
Humidity (%) 60-80
Locality New Caledonia Difficulty 1
Breeding Age 18 months old
Social Structure Live alone except breeding times
SEXING YOUR GECKO:
Crested geckos can be hard to sex for the first 3 –6 months until their genitals grow and become visual.
Cresties can be sexed by looking between their legs. Males will have large waxy pores in a V shape and presence of the hemipenes can be seen at the bottom of the tail behind the vent.
Gently secure your gecko and turn upside down to see between the back legs. Males will also display a large bulge just at the top of their tail. There is no difference in the colour of females to males, but females often carry more weight as they would require this for breeding in the wild.
Eyes– Eyes are clear with no eye caps. Sometimes with a dry shed, eye caps get stuck on crested geckos. To help get the shed off fully, you can set up a moist moss hide for your gecko. Use Beaphar skin and eye ointment for stuck caps and gently remove with a cotton pad.
Skin– The skin is clear of shed and there are no cuts or scrapes on the geckos skin. Occasionally locusts or crickets can nip the skin of the gecko. Always remove live food that is not eaten after the geckos meal to prevent further bites and stress which can stop your gecko eating.
Limbs– All the limbs are moving correctly and the gecko is able to walk and move normally. Geckos can suffer from a condition called MBD (metabolic bone disease). This occurs when geckos do not have enough calcium and causes their bones to grow abnormally, eventually restricting their movements. MBD cannot be reversed so always dust livefood with calcium twice a week to avoid MBD occurring.
Weight– Many crested geckos in captivity are overweight which is generally a result of the gecko being fed on worms alone or fed too often. Feed your gecko a mixed diet of locusts, crickets and Pangea or fruit/jam mix