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Crested Gecko

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Contents

Taxonomy

Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Rhacodactylus
Species: Ciliatus

Introduction

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Photo by prism_wolf
Crested geckos are rain forest dwellers, found in New Caledonia. Originally they were considered extinct, but in 1994 they were rediscovered. Since then they've become readily available on the market, making a great pet due to the ability to handle, few requirements and how they rarely bite.

Difficulty

Crested geckos are one of the easier species of geckos to keep. They do not require heat, but need a tall enclosure and a reasonable amount of humidity. Compared to other geckos they are also cheaper to maintain, due to their diet (crickets and crested gecko diet) as well as not requiring much electricity.

Basic Info

Size

Crested geckos are around 9 inches from head to tail tip.

Lifespan

Since crested geckos were recently found in 1996, their lifespan has not been determined. It is believed that they live 10 to 20 years.

Handling

Never handle a Crested Gecko by its tail as it can drop the tail in defense. Unlike other geckos, the tail will not grow back if it is dropped.

Housing

A tall enclosure is needed for a crested gecko. The Exo-Terra terrarium measuring 18x18x24 is one of the best to house an adult crested gecko in. Vines, plants, and logs should be placed for climbing and hiding. A lid must be kept on at all times as crested geckos can easily climb up glass and jump out. Females can be housed together. Males must be housed singly.

Substrate

Juveniles and new arrivals are best housed on paper towels to monitor for any problems.

Reptile bark and cypress mulch are two options for adults, as they help retain humidity, which is needed with a crested gecko.

Temperature

Crested geckos should be kept in a temperature between 70-80 F. A heat source, such as a low wattage light bulb, is only necessary if the room temperature of your house falls outside the temperature range.

Humidity

The humidity should stay above 60%, as the crested geckos sticky pads on their feet won't work.

Lighting

Crested geckos are nocturnal, therefore they do not technically need lighting. Some people will choose to use red lights in the evening to view the gecko.

Feeding

Diet

Fruit and insects are the primary diet of crested geckos in the wild generally. In our homes, the best things to feed is crickets and phoenix worms for insects, and Crested Gecko Diet. This can be purchased in a pet store, or ordered online as Repashy Superfoods. This should be fed daily, given in the evening, and removed the next morning.

Supplements

Make sure to dust crickets with calcium, and never to feed crickets larger than the width between the geckos eyes.

Hydration

Misting the tank at least once per day is required to keep the humidity up and provide water for the gecko. After misting they will drink the water droplets that collect on the vines and plants. A small water container can be placed in the tank as well.

Advanced

Sexing

Sexing is difficult, especially in juvenile crested geckos. Males have a large, prominent hemipenile bulge, as well as preanal pores. Females lack the bulge, which makes it difficult to tell the difference until almost a year old.

Conclusion

Crested geckos are a great beginner gecko. Their antics are endearing and the way they fling themselves from place to place just adds to the cuteness factor. They don't require a lot of room making them great for smaller homes and apartments.

References

Websites

Books

  • Rhacodactylus - By Philippe de Vosjoli, Frank Fast and Allen Repashy
  • Crested Geckos Manual - By: Philippe de Vosjoli
  • Crested Geckos & Relatives - By RD Bartlett
  • Crested Geckos In Captivity - By: Robbie Hamper


Many of these books can be found on Amazon for very reasonable prices. Use the Amazon link on the main forum pages and help to contribute to the upkeep of all that is good here.

Author

This article was originally written by c1rc4. View other articles by c1rc4. Please note that others may have contributed to this article.

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