Welcome to My Crested Geckos!
With this website we aim to provide you with the tools and knowledge to enable you to successfully care for your “Cresties”.
Although crested geckos are generally quite easy to keep, as with any pet, one should get a good understanding of the needs of these reptiles before getting them.
Crested geckos are not domesticated and you should try to re-create their natural habitat to ensure they are happy and healthy. This includes the right size and set-up of your crested gecko cage, the optimum temperatures and humidity and a varied diet.
If you follow the advice on crested gecko care on this website you will be on your way to successfully keep these charming little geckos. We also recommend reading some books that specialise on the subject, such as Chris Johnson’s Secret Manual.
Introduction to Crested Geckos
The crested gecko is one of the most popular reptiles to be kept as pets today and is bred widely. This is all the more amazing as crested geckos were believed to be extinct until they were re- discovered in 1994. So, within only 10 years from being as prevalent as Tyrannosaurus rex, Rhacodactylus ciliatus has conquered the world of home vivariums!
The Crested gecko (latin: Rhacodactylus ciliatus), aka eyelash gecko, is native to southern New Caledonia, an island in the South Pacific Ocean, to the east of Australia. It received its name from the fringe of hairlike projections that resemble eyelashes. The crests from each eye join at the back of the wedge-shaped head to form a single crest that runs all the way to the tail.
As many geckos, crested geckos have adhesive pads and claws that enable them to climb almost any surface. Their tails are prehensile, i.e. are adapted for grasping, which actually enables them to hang from branches or twigs. Unlike most other lizards their tails do not regenerate when severed. This provides an extra incentive to handle your geckos with care!
Crested Gecko Morphs
The strain of colouration within a species is called “morph”. Crested geckos come in many different morphs and can appear speckled (called “Dalmatian”) reddish (“fire” or “flame”) and many other color patterns. Some even display tiger-like stripes (called “tiger”, you will be surprised to learn) or pin-stripes (not only those bred in England!).
Crested Geckos have not been kept in captivity long enough to establish an exact life expectancy. However, they can be very long lived and it is presumed that they can live into their late teens if not longer. So, if kept properly, your crested geckos will be with you for the long-haul.
Crested geckos’ natural habitat are the rainforests of southern New Caldonia. They are arboreal (tree dwelling), which is why crested gecko cages should be tall and provide enough space for climbing.
The climate of their natural habitat is tropical with temperatures ranging between 68-86 Fahrenheit (20-30 degrees centigrade). The lower levels are reached in the cooler dry period from June to August. In their cage, one should aim for temperatures between 72-80 degrees F (23-27 degrees C). Please visit our Crested Geckos Cage page for more detailed information.
Crested Gecko Behavior
As arboreal lizards, crested geckos are expert climbers, helped by the webbing on their legs and digits and the additional benefit of the tail that is able to hold on to twigs. They can also jump very well.
Like most geckos, crested geckos are nocturnal, i.e. active active during the night. This has to be kept in mind when considering the purchase of a crestie as a pet. Don’t expect your gecko to roam its vivarium during the day.
Breeding Crested Geckos is in my view the ultimate experience when keeping these geckos. It generally shows that your geckos are happy and healthy. Breeding crested geckos is easier than breeding many other reptile species. Though the females can become quite prolific egg layers,you can expect 15-22 eggs per year, each clutch will only consist of one to two eggs. The eggs are burried and the juveniles will hatch within 56-60 days.