Once believed extinct, Crested Geckos were rediscovered in 1994 during a tropical storm. Quite possibly the most popular gecko in the hobby, Crested geckos are easy to care for, quite tolerant to handling and fed primarily on pre-made powdered diets. Be it a lowly flame or a Lilly White, we believe Crested geckos should be in every collection.
Named for their characteristics "crests" which run dorsally down both sides of the body up and over the eyes, Cresteds range greatly in colour and pattern, due largely to long term selective breeding but we will not delve into morphs in this care sheet, an entire article could be dedicated to them alone.
Juvenile geckos do well in a smaller tank no larger than 12x12x18. As adults, singles and pairs can be comfortably housed in an 18x18x24 front opening tank. It is important to note that housing while females can often live happily together, two males together will likely result in aggression long term. Equally problematic is housing a male female pare before they are of proper breeding age. The opinion that cohabbing any gecko is a poor choice outside of short pairing sessions for breeding, is gaining momentum and while we agree with the reasoning behind it, we have had much success keeping small groups together indefinitely. - Heat & Lighting Ideally these geckos like cool temperatures from 65-75, too far off either end of this range is considered dangerous. As heat producing bulbs are not necessary, choose a light best suited to plant growth.
Cresteds like their humidity in the medium range from 50-75%. Depending on where you live, the number of daily mistings may vary but here in BC we mist once every evening.
Crested geckos are particularly nice geckos to keep because there are numerous meal replacement powders readily available at pet stores and online retailers. While Cresteds can comfortably live entirely on MRPs, we recommend feeding appropriately sized vitamin dusted crickets as a small portion of their diet.
Size & Lifespan
A fairly long lived gecko at upwards of 20 years, Crested Geckos can attain a length of 8-10". Those who have lost their tails are considerably shorter and tail loss is permanent unlike in Gargoyle geckos. On average a dropped tail measures up to 5", the most common cause of tail loss is fighting, a regular occurrence if juveniles aren't house singly.
Sexing & Breeding
Cresteds are quite easy to sex as adults with males showing visible hemipenal bulges below the vent. Males also have visible pored in neat rows running from left to right just above the vent.
Range & Behavior
Native to New Caledonia, a small chain of islands North East of Australia. Tropical storms are par for the course and tropical fruit is abundant. In captivity Cresteds are generally tolerant of handling and are equally tolerant of tank mates presuming you follow the rules set out above in the Housing section. Fairly slow witted, Crested Geckos are prone to jumping when scared or aggravate though biting is uncommon.