Crested Gecko

Geographical Region

 

Native to New Caledonia, also found on the small Isle of Pines

 

Habitat

 

Arboreal, spending most of their time hiding in small trees and low shrubs waiting for night time to go out and hunt.

 

Colour

 

Crested Geckos were originally a brown/orange, but many colour morphs are available including ‘pinstripe’ & ‘dalmatian’

Gargoyle Geckos are generally more grey as standard, but also colour morphs are common inc. Striped.

 

Size & Lifespan

 

Up to 8-inches in length (both species), but with Gargoyles being more ‘heavy-bodied’.

Both species can live around 15 – 20yrs

Captive Environment

 

18” x 18” x 24” glass terrariums are ideal for an adult. These enclosures generally have a mesh top, allowing good air-flow & preventing overheating. Decorate with plenty of climbing branches, or cork bark platforms to hide on or under. Also plants – either artificial or live - are important to hide in and drink from. Mist the cage daily to raise humidity and allow your gecko to drink the water droplets, as they won’t drink from standing water. 

 

Heating

 

70 - 80°F ambient day time temperature, not rising above 85°F as this will cause unnecessary stress. And no lower than 65°F overnight. A heatmat placed on the outside wall of the glass terrarium, or a canopy with a low-wattage bulb will do perfectly well.  Make sure any heating provided is only on one side of the enclosure –to allow your gecko to choose if they need it.

 

Lighting

 

This is a matter of opinion, & contention!  Being nocturnal, I believe these lizards do not require UVB. We have successfully kept & bred Crested Geckos without UVB for a couple of years now, with no adverse effects.  A UVA light, such as a Repti-Glo sunglow, or an LED canopy, will enhance the colouration of the lizards and is essential if trying to grow live plants.

 

Photoperiod

 

Autumn/winter – 11 hours light – 13 hours darkness

Spring/summer – 12 hours light – 12 hours darkness

 

Feeding

 

A good Crested Gecko complete formula, such as Habistat Crested Gecko Diet or Komodo Complete Diet, should be used as a staple food. Both are a complete food, with the Habistat brand coming with the option of added crickets also – meaning your gecko can be fed an entirely paste diet.

These can be combined with jam or fruit puree for variety. Some small insects - such as crickets, hoppers, waxworms etc. (offered one or two at a time) can be given every few days. This is definitely advised for Gargoyle Geckos.

 

Sexing

     

Males generally have a bigger head, with large hemi-penal swellings once mature. It is not possible to sex juveniles.

 

Crested Geckos & Gargoyle Geckos make great pets, and with them now being captive-bred in good numbers (& colours!) they are ever more popular. They are nocturnal by nature, & this should be considered before selecting your pet. They will not be happy being taken home & constantly being handled during the day, especially before they’ve had time to settle in.

 

For this reason we don’t recommend them for young children. The ideal handling times would be after dinner & into the evening. Getting them out first thing in the morning is likely to cause stress – especially to newly acquired pets - & this can cause them to drop their tails! And Crested Geckos DO NOT re-grow their tails once they’ve dropped them!!

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