Crested Geckos – The Ultimate Guide


Crested Geckos

Have you ever thought of having lizards as pets? Lizard keeping can be a fun activity for all ages. However, starting this kind of hobby can look scary to novices. After all, they’re not exactly common pets you get to keep when you were younger. Thankfully, many tips are available for selecting your very first lizard pet. 

If you want to get started, veterans recommend crested Geckos to novices because they are relatively low maintenance. Even for experienced lizard keepers, crested geckoes will still be a delightful pet. 

These lizards are very docile. However, they are skittish, so handling them may not be advisable. Their skittishness may lead them to jump, and they can injure themselves. Avoiding injuries, particularly for crested geckos, is essential because they do not regenerate their tails. Moreover, crested geckoes only bite if they feel there are threats to their safety. 

They are classified as crepuscular because they rest in the daytime while are active during the night, dusk, and dawn. With the help of lighting, it is easy to help your pet crested gecko to maintain its circadian rhythm. This will help them become healthier lizard pets. 

Crested geckos can be a great start if you want to begin lizard keeping, but you need to prepare for it.

Appearance/Size

Correlophus ciliates, more commonly known as crested geckos, are great pets that look awesome. Above its eyes, the crested gecko possesses projections that resemble eyelashes and are hairy. It has a wedge-shaped skull with a crest extending from each eye to the tail. Since crested geckos lack eyelids, they utilize their lengthy tongues to wet and clean their eyes. Setae, which are tiny hairs, cover the toes and the tip of the semi-prehensile tail. Each seta is split into thousands of smaller hairs called spatulae, with a diameter of around 200 nanometers. These features are thought to aid the gecko’s ascent of most solid surfaces.

In the first six months, crested gecko juveniles can grow as big as about 7 inches and as heavy as 9 grams. When they reach nine months, they will grow to about 9 inches, and they can weigh about 16-35 grams. Once they get their first year and adulthood, they can reach 16 inches and weigh about 50 grams or less. They will not grow much taller or heavier after their first year.

Habitat (where from in the wild, temperatures, conditions, etc.)

The crested gecko was believed to be extinct until 1994. A destructive ant and rat species that were imported to the island of New Caledonia wiped off many of the native species of geckos there. The geckos were rediscovered and captured on the islands in 1994. 

The island nation of New Caledonia, a French territory, is where crested geckos naturally live. They may be found on the southern part of Grand Terre, the main island, and the Isle of Pines. Most of these arboreal geckos’ lives are spent in low bushes and tiny trees. The warm and humid season lasts from November to March and sees highs of 86°F, and the cooler, dry season, lasts from June to August and has highs of 72°F. Rainfall in this Pacific Island nation may total up to 120 inches annually, making it quite tropical.

Nowadays, breeders can bring these awesome geckos to many other places. You can get one near your area if you start lizard keeping. These lizards are tremendous, and they have become popular pets since their rediscovery.

What they eat

Crested geckos can consume almost any insect much smaller than them since they are lizards. A crested gecko in the wild will likely eat whatever bugs it comes across. Crested geckos frequently consume ants, crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, and worms of various kinds.

Crested geckos also consume fruit in addition to bugs. Fruit is a regular addition to a gecko’s diet because they dwell in the jungle. Fruit must be soft for a crested gecko to consume it. Crested geckos frequently locate soft, overripe fruits in the environment because they are a nice treat. Bananas and mangoes are among their favorite treats. They also eat figs and grapes. They can also feed on strawberries and watermelon.

The best insects to feed your crested gecko are crickets and roaches because they also consume them in the wild. Therefore, those should be your main offerings to your pet. You can also consider feeding worms to your pet, such as mealworms and super worms. You can give them Phoenix worms and silkworms, too. As a rule of thumb, only feed your lizard insects that are no longer than the space between his eyes.

Some caretakers avoid feeding their pets insects and provide them with commercial crested gecko treats. Many crested gecko owners disagree with this idea, believing that some insect prey is required for their pets to live a long and healthy life.

How long do they live

Crested geckos’ natural life spans are less well understood than other reptiles. This is mainly because, As mentioned earlier, until they were found again in 1994, most wildlife biologists thought these timid tiny geckos were extinct! As a result, compared to, for instance, bearded dragons or iguanas, which have been widely researched, we don’t have nearly as many recorded studies of their daily existence in the wild.

However, we still have a rough idea of how they can live both in the wild and captivity. In the wild, crested geckos have to worry about challenges such as competition and predation. They are also vulnerable to fire ants and reptiles bigger than them. Mammals and birds can also eat them. Because of these dangers, it is estimated that they can only live up to 15 years in the wild. 

In captivity, however, they can live much longer because they do not have to worry about these things. These widespread pets can live up to 20 years if you care for them properly. They are indeed excellent pets for the long term. 

Type of enclosure

A crested gecko requires a suitable cage, just like any other pet lizard. You can recreate the gecko’s natural environment in a compact, confining place with the help of a robust and secure cage, making it more comfortable for your new pet. Additionally, an enclosure serves as a gorgeous home display so you can impress guests and family with your gecko!

A single crested gecko should have an enclosure of 12″ x 12″ x 18″ or a little more than 10 gallons. However, if you can afford it, bigger is always better!

The tank has to be at least 18″ x 18″ x 24″ if you wish to keep two or three geckos in one enclosure. Each new gecko should receive at least additional 10 gallons of a room as this size translates to just about 30 gallons. The container should always give preference to vertical space over horizontal space, regardless of the size you select. Simply put, the tank has to be nearly twice as tall as it is broad.

As arboreal lizards, crested geckos live in trees. Because of this characteristic, crested lizards in their natural rainforest settings spend most of their time climbing high up in trees. In captivity, they also like having lots of room to rise. So please place decorations that they can climb.

Breeding

Crested geckos are prolific breeders, and even a beginner can have success with breeding them. An adult male and female will copulate if placed in the same enclosure within days or even hours.

An eight to nine-month natural mating cycle for adult crested geckos will commence in the spring and extend through the fall. Before introducing the male into the female’s cage, the male and the female must be sexually mature. To begin reproducing, female crested geckos must weigh at least 38 to 40 grams and be 11/2 years old. Although they might not be interested in mating until two years old, males can weigh slightly less.

Every 30 to 45 days during the mating season, female crested geckos will deposit a clutch of two eggs. A gravid female will look for a wet area to lay her eggs when prepared. You may collect the eggs by keeping track of them in an egg-laying box in her habitat. It might be a 4-inch-deep container made of plastic that is 8 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 5 inches tall. You could fill it with hydrated sphagnum moss.

Final Thoughts

Lizard keeping can take a lot of commitment, especially for newbies. However, you’ll eventually learn the necessary skills to take care of them with experience. 

Crested geckos can be a great start because they are relatively low maintenance. You can enjoy having them as pets and they can help you learn skills that will apply to keeping other lizards. 

The whole family can enjoy these lizards. You can also bond over feeding them along with other activities. So, if you are looking for your first gecko or want more, crested geckos should be on your list. 

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