Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus)
Getting to Know Your Crested Gecko:
🐍Crested Geckos are a tree dwelling gecko that originate from New Caledonia. They are great animals for reptile keepers of all levels because of their simple care requirements; However, their care requirements also allow for an opportunity to create an elaborate habitat setup.
🐍A Crested Gecko’s lifespan ranges from 15 to 20 years, however, they reach adulthood when they are around fifteen to eighteen months old. Growing at a fast rate for the first year and a half of their life, Crested Geckos will end up weighing around 35 grams when fully grown. An adult Crested Gecko’s total length will be around four inches from nose to vent or eight inches when including their tail length.
Building Your Crested Gecko’s Home:
🐍Baby Crested Geckos are best housed in a 10-gallon glass tank with a screen top, while an adult Crested Gecko should be housed in a 20-gallon glass tank with a screen top. Front opening tank alternatives are commonly available from most reptile supply stores. Although, front opening tanks do tend to be more expensive they tend to be more convenient for husbandry and animal interaction. The glass tank maintains the gecko’s humidity requirements and the screen top provides ventilation.
🐍The ideal temperature Crested Geckos during the day ranges from 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and nighttime temperatures can drop to the low 70’s. UVB lighting is not required for Crested Geckos as long as the are being provided the proper nutrition. Crested Geckos also require a humidity level of 50 to 70 percent in their habitat. In order to maintain that humidity while providing water for the Crested Gecko, a shallow water dish should be provided in addition to the tank being misted.
🐍Because Crested Geckos do not frequently spend time on the ground there are several options for the habitats substrate. Substrates can range from paper towels or reptile carpet to soil. Coconut fiber and moss help keep the tank’s humidity while providing a more naturalistic look and also allow you to grow live plants.
🐍 Crested Geckos need a lot of foliage as well as things to climb on in their habitat. Cork bark, wood, and plants (artificial or live) should be used to fill your Crested Gecko’s home. Before adding any live plant to the Gecko’s habitat, make sure to confirm that the plant is reptile safe.
Feeding Your Crested Gecko:
🐍Crested Gecko diets eat a variety of food items, however, the majority of their diet includes a commercially available Crested Gecko diet formula. In addition to this diet you should supplements insects into you Crested Gecko’s diet; these insects should be coated in supplements that contain calcium and D3 vitamins.
Interacting with Your Crested Gecko:
🐍When you first purchase any new reptile, you should give that animal a period without handling them to adjust to their new home; this is also true with Crested Geckos. After they have settled in to their new habitat, and you begin handling them, you should be aware that Crested Geckos are able to drop their tail. This is very common, a defense mechanism used by Crested Geckos in the wild, and does no harm to the animal. Most Crested Geckos by the time they reach adulthood would have dropped their tail. Once they drop their tail, it does not grow back. Because of its commonality, Crested Geckos without tails have been nicknamed “Frog Butts”.