Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus) originated from the island of New Caledonia off the continent of Australia. The Crested Gecko is known by a handful of different names including “New Caledonian Eyelash Geckos”. As early as 15 years ago, Crested Geckos were assumed extinct, however, in 1993 a population was discovered, and a small breeding group was brought back to the United States. These nocturnal animals are creatures that have many interesting features including a lack of eyelids and “holes” for ears.
In general, Crested Geckos are fairly easy to keep. Housing is no exception to this rule. Both glass terrariums and tubs have worked well for many gecko keepers. Cresties are relatively active in evening and nighttime hours so they should be provided with plenty of room to move about. A tall 20-gallon terrarium would be an appropriate size for two adult crested geckos.
As humans are social animals, we tend to think their our Cresties like to have others to live with. This is okay to think if you understand the proper ways to house multiple Crested Geckos together. As a general rule, FEMALE Crested Geckos are the only adults that could be healthily housed together. A single male and female should never be housed together permanently, just as two males should never be housed together. The best combination for housing multiple Cresties would be a ratio of 3-5 females with 1 male.
When purchasing new geckos, always allow a quarantine period of 60 days before introducing the new gecko to the other Cresties to ensure the gecko is not carrying any disease and/or does not become overly stressed by the other geckos.
Baby Crested Geckos can be housed communally until they have reached sexual maturity, then they should be separated.
Always keep in mind too that your Crested Geckos do have personalities just like we do. They may not always get along with certain other Crested Geckos. If you plan on housing multiple together then be sure to monitor their behaviors to ensure that they remain healthy and happy.
Temperatures for crested geckos should be maintained between 72 and 80 degrees for most of the year. At temperatures of 85 degrees or warmer, Crested Geckos will become stressed, which could lead to illness or death. Cresties can tolerate but do not require night time temperature drops down into the mid 60’s.
A two month cooling period is recommended to allow breeding Crested Geckos time to rest. During this period, temperatures should be kept at 65 to 70 degrees.
Crested geckos require moderate humidity. Crested geckos should get several hours of high humidity between 80% and 100% every day to ensure that they shed properly. Misting heavily once or twice a day will achieve the required higher humidity levels. At any time, the humidity level should not drop below 50%. It is very important to allow the cage to dry to normal humidity levels in between mistings. If the cage is wet and humid all of the time, problems with shedding and bacterial infections can arise.
Crested Geckos do not require any UVB lighting like other reptiles. Even though Cresties are nocturnal, they do require a daytime light period of 10-12 hours. This can be achieved with any light that does not omit temperatures that will increase the temperature of the terrarium beyond 80 degrees.
Food and Water
G&N Geckos proudly endorses Pangea permade fruit mixes. Repashy is another available diet option. There have been many rumors that baby foods are an appropriate option. This however, is NOT recommended. Premade Crested Gecko foods and crickets are the best options for fulfilling your gecko’s dietary needs.
We recommend using this weekly feeding schedule for Crested Geckos:
- Day one: Offer prepared diet
- Day two: Offer crickets (leave prepared diet)
- Day three: Remove prepared diet
- Day four: Offer prepared diet
- Day five: Offer crickets (leave prepared diet)
- Day six: Remove prepared diet
- Day seven: No food offered
Calcium supplements are another important part of a Crestie diet. Be sure that bugs are dusted with calcium before feeding. Periodically checking your Crestie’s calcium sacs is recommended to be sure they are ingesting enough calcium.
Water is very important for your gecko’s health. While misting can provide a lot of water for your gecko, it is still important to leave a small bowl of water in your Crestie’s terrarium. This will allow them to have water during the day while their terrarium is drying out in between mistings.
When you first bring your new gecko home it is important that you do not over-handle it. Set up their new home and place them in it with the minimum amount of handling as possible. Allow for an adjustment period of 1-2 weeks for your new gecko to adjust before continuously handling. After the adjustment period, you can handle your gecko for up to 15-20 minutes per day. More than twenty minutes could cause stress to your gecko.
Crested Geckos are one of the only types of geckos that do not regenerate their tail after losing it. Dropping their tail is a completely natural function that geckos use as a defense mechanism. Many Cresties lose their tails as babies if they are housed in a community setting with other Crested Gecko babies. After a certain point, Crested Geckos become less vulnerable for losing their tails but will still drop them if they are handled inappropriately. If your gecko does lose its tail, there is no need to fret, it will heal quickly on its own if the gecko is not overly-stressed.
Size and Longevity
An adult Crested Gecko is a moderately sized animal. Typically, they range from 8-10 inches from the tip of the tail to the tip of their nose. If properly cared for, a Crested Gecko can live anywhere between 12-15 years.