CRESTED GECKOS



Crested Geckos are found in nature on New Caledonia, and group of islands near Australia. They have an incredibly interesting history in the hobby of reptile keeping and were even believed to be extinct at one point. Crested Geckos are excellent reptile pets because they are hardy and have care requirements that are easy to meet. These geckos are arboreal (spend their time in the trees), so they do very well in vertically oriented naturalistic setups.

Both male and female Crested Geckos grow to 4-5" with the tail adding another 3-4" to their total length. Crested Geckos reach sexual maturity at 15 to 18 months of age. Like all reptiles, Crested Geckos must be kept at the proper temperature range to remain healthy. Placing a thermometer inside their enclosure is essential for accurate temperature measurements. They require temperatures in the 78 to 82° F range during the day. Temperatures can drop to the low 70s at night and a bit cooler during the winter months.

They are nocturnal and hide in foliage or in cork bark tubes during the day, so they do not require UVB light if fed a diet that contains some added Vitamin D3. A red light can be added on top of the cage at night so you can view your Crested Gecko exploring its habitat.

Feeding

Commercial diets such as Repashy Superfoods “Crested Gecko” Diet have played a key role in making these among the most popular of lizard pets. In addition to commercial powder diets, insects such as dubia roaches and crickets can be offered as the primary diet or as a supplement to the commercial diets. Dubia roaches are excellent feeders for Crested Geckos because of their soft bodies, low chitin content, and nutritional value. The feeder insects should be lightly dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement that contains calcium, Vitamin D3, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Adults can be offered feeder insects three times a week and small dish of commercial diet two or three times a week.

Clean water should always be available in a shallow water dish. The ideal environmental humidity level should be around 50 to 70%. This can be difficult indoors so a keeper should be prepared to mist the geckos with purified water in a spray bottle each evening. A water dish placed over the area warmed by a heat mat can help as well. An inexpensive hygrometer (relative humidity gauges) should be added to the vivarium to keep tabs on the humidity level.

Suggested Reading

Hamper, R. 2012. Crested Geckos In Captivity. ECO Herpetological Publishing & Distribution. Rodeo, New Mexico.

Seipp, R. and F-W. Henkle. 2011. Rhacodactylus: Biology, Natural History and Husbandry. Edition Chimaira. Frankfurt, Germany.

Vosjoli de, P. and A. Repashy. 2003. Rhacodactylus: The Complete Guide to Their Selection and Care. Advanced Visions, Inc. Vista, California.

Vosjoli de, P. 2016. Crested Geckos. Advanced Vivarium Systems. Vista, California.