Crested Gecko Care Sheet
The Crested Gecko was thought to be extinct until rediscovered in 1994.
Native to the tropical rainforests of New Caledonia they are sometimes called ‘Eyelash Geckos’ due to their appearance.
Crested Geckos make ideal pets as they are easy to keep and quite calm, this makes them suitable for children although small children should always be supervised when handling.
If cared for correctly they have a lifespan of 15 – 20 years so take this into consideration as a Crested Gecko is a long term commitment.
Crested Geckos don’t mind being handled and rarely threaten to bite.
SIZE & APPEARANCE:
Adult Crested Geckos grown to around 8 – 10″ including the tail and weigh around 40 to 60 grams.
They come in a wide range of colours and patterns including oranges, yellows, reds and green.
Crested Geckos are arboreal, as they are nocturnal they will spend most of the day sleeping in nests or on perches. At night they will climb and jump around trees searching for food.
They are excellent climbers and jumpers, they can even climb on glass!
As Crested Geckos are arboreal the height of the vivarium is more important than the floor space.
The enclosure should have good ventilation but also needs to hold humidity. Arboreal Vivariums come in a wide range of materials, due to the need for humidity you may find a glass vivarium with a mesh lid the best option.
As they like to climb you will need to supply some sturdy vines and branches and ledges for your crestie to sleep on. Also some foliage will be required, this can be live, soft plastic or silk. Your gecko will hide and the foliage will also help keep the vivarium humid. Around 50% of the enclosure should be foliage. Cresties won’t usually drink water from bowls, they usually take the moisture from droplets on the foliage.
Choose your substrate with care as it is not uncommon for cresties to suffer from bowel impaction after accidentially eating substrate. Paper towels are ideal but if you want to create a natural looking environment coco fibre is ideal.
One gecko requires an enclosure 12 x 12 x18″. If housing more than one gecko in the same vivarium you need to monitor for bullying and food aggression. Males should never be housed together and males and females will breed if housed together. The Crested Gecko is perfectly happy to be housed alone but if you want to house more than one in the same enclosure choose an all female colony.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:
Critical to the health and wellbeing of Crested Geckos is the humidity, around 80 – 90% at night and drying out throughout the day. One heavy misting at night and a light misting in the morning should be enough in most cases.
Major health issues will occur if the humidity is not correct, dehydration can kill a crestie quite quickly, infection, loss of limbs and shedding issues are also common when the correct humidity levels are not maintained.
Crested Geckos thrive in temperatures between 72 and 80 F, under tank heating or heat bulbs should supply enough heat. As Crested Geckos are nocturnal no UVB is required, however day time lighting is needed to provide a day/night cycle. A 5% UVB is recommended as these reflect the daytime lighting the gecko would be subjected to in the wild.
Infrared nocturnal lighting can be used at night to provide heat as well as enabling you to view your pet reptile in the dark with out causing disturbance.
Crested Geckos are quite easy to feed. They are omnivorous meaning they eat both vegetation and live food. In the wild their diet consists of non citrus soft fruit and invertebrates.
You can feed your gecko a mix of soft fruits such as banana, peach, nectarines and apricot. Live foods such as crickets and as a treat small locust, mealworms and waxworms. Make sure your live food is healthy and hydrated.
Supply fresh drinking water in a bowl, however your gecko will drink mainly from droplets of water on the foliage and rocks. Remember to mist each morning and evening.
Commercially available food is also available in various forms, your gecko would quite happily survive on some of these foods alone as they contain all the vitamins and nutrients needed.