The crested gecko is a popular choice for reptile keepers. These geckos are great for beginners, but many experienced reptile keepers enjoy keeping these charming creatures as well.There is a large variety of patterns and colors that make this herp a distinguished favorite. Even though they are a cute pet, you should not purchase one before you know exactly how to care for them. Proper Crested gecko care is crucial to maintaining the health and general well-being of your pet.
The crested gecko is a nocturnal animal, i.e. most activity takes place at night. This may deter you from keeping them as pets as you may not see much of them during the day. There are advantages to this behavior too though; providing the right light is not a problem anymore. Most reptiles require light that contains UV rays to maintain their health. Installing a bulb that emits UV rays in a small cage can be a bit of a challenge. Crested geckos don’t require any significant amounts of UV rays and you therefore don’t have to worry about the light in the terrarium.
Unlike most reptiles, crested geckos are omnivorous, i.e. they eat both vegetables (actually berries and pureed fruit) as well as meat (mainly insects, though they may actually eat their own offspring).
Are you wondering how they got their name? They got their name from the fringe that is running down their back, starting right above their eyes. You may also hear people calling them the “eyelash gecko” because of that fringe. Their scientific name is Rhacodactylus ciliatus. Rhakos is Greek for spine, Dactylus means “finger” and Cilia is latin for “fringe”.
At one point in time, it was believed that this species was extinct, but then, in the year 1994, it was rediscovered off the coast of Australia in the islands of New Caledonia.
Breeding Crested Geckos
If you are thinking about breeding this species, you are in luck, because they are fairly easy to breed. Before you breed them, they should be at least fourteen months old, at least 35 grams and of course, healthy. In order to produce the eggs properly, the female will need to receive the right amount of calcium, it is therefore important to add supplements of calcium to your crested gecko’s diet. Calcium specifically produced for reptiles is readily available in pet shops and online. The gestation period for this species is between 30-35 days. During this time, the female crested gecko produces two eggs. Sperm can remain in the female for up to eight months after mating, so eggs can be fertilized even after males have been removed from the cage.
The hatchlings are three inches long – the adults will range from 8-10 inches in length (this includes their tail).
Lifespan of Crested Geckos
The lifespan of this reptile is 15 to 20 years, as long as you properly take care of the creature.
The diet is always an important part of caring for any pet. Crested geckos feed on insects and fruits in the wild. Many people feed meal replacement powder, pureed fruit and live crickets when they have them as pets. You should never feed them citrus fruits as the acid may harm them. Calcium, nutritional supplements and vitamin D3 should be sprinkled lightly on their food in order to maintain their health. You can find these supplements in your local pet store or online.
Crested Gecko Cage
When you have one of these creatures as pets, it is important that you have the proper home for them. In the wild, they are arboreal, i.e. they live mainly in trees. They also like to have places to hide so that they feel secure. You should have only one male in the same enclosure. If you have two males, they will fight over the territory. You can, however, keep two females and one male in a 29-gallon aquarium without having problems. You should carefully consider the set-up and decoration of your crested gecko cage, as it needs to fulfil your pet’s needs for shelter, warmth and humidity.
Temperatures in your crested gecko cage: The gecko should be kept at temperatures between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You should mist their enclosure daily in order to keep them hydrated and supply them with humidity. In temperatures that are below 65 or above 80, the gecko will become stressed.
As for handling, this is something you should not do so much. When you first get them, you should let them adjust to their environment. They love to jump, so only handle them while you are sitting down and only handle them for fifteen minutes at a time.