Crested Gecko

04/10/2023

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About Crested Geckos

Crested geckos, scientifically known as Correlophus ciliatus, are fascinating reptiles that have gained popularity as pets in recent years. Native to New Caledonia, a group of islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, these small creatures have unique features and behaviors that make them a great choice for reptile enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore the characteristics, care requirements, and interesting facts about crested geckos.

Appearance and Characteristics

Crested geckos are known for their distinctive appearance. They have a plump body covered in soft, velvety skin. One of their most striking features is the crest of skin that runs from their head to the tip of their tail, giving them their name. This crest can be raised or lowered, depending on their mood or the situation they are in.

These geckos come in a variety of colors and patterns, making them visually appealing pets. From vibrant oranges and reds to muted greys and browns, there is a crested gecko for every taste. Some even have patterns that resemble camouflage, helping them blend into their natural environment.

Habitat and Housing

Creating a suitable habitat for your crested gecko is essential for their well-being. A tall terrarium is recommended, as these arboreal reptiles love to climb. A minimum size of 18x18x24 inches is ideal for an adult crested gecko, allowing them ample space to explore and exercise.

Providing a variety of branches, vines, and foliage within the enclosure will allow your gecko to feel secure and mimic their natural habitat. Live plants, such as Pothos or Ficus, can also be added to enhance the aesthetics and provide hiding spots.

Maintaining the temperature and humidity levels within the terrarium is crucial. Crested geckos thrive in temperatures between 72-80°F (22-27°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. To achieve these temperatures, you may need to use a heat source, such as a low-wattage heat lamp or heating pad.

Humidity levels should be kept around 60-80% to replicate their natural environment. Regular misting of the terrarium with distilled water will help maintain the humidity levels. Including a hygrometer in the enclosure will allow you to monitor and adjust humidity as needed.

Diet and Feeding

Crested geckos are omnivorous, meaning they consume both insects and fruit. In captivity, their diet primarily consists of commercially available crested gecko diets, which are nutritionally balanced and convenient to feed. These diets usually come in a powdered form, which can be mixed with water to form a paste.

In addition to the commercial diet, offering live insects as an occasional treat is beneficial. Small insects like crickets or fruit flies can be dusted with calcium and offered to your gecko. However, insects should not make up the majority of their diet, as this can lead to health issues.

Fresh water should always be available in a shallow dish within the enclosure. Make sure to change the water daily to ensure cleanliness. Additionally, misting the enclosure will provide hydration and allow your gecko to drink droplets off leaves.

Handling and Behavior

Crested geckos are generally docile and can become accustomed to being handled with time and gentle interaction. However, it's important to remember that each gecko has its own personality and tolerance level. Some may be more skittish or prefer not to be handled at all.

When handling your crested gecko, it's crucial to support their body properly and avoid squeezing or putting pressure on their delicate frame. Begin by allowing them to crawl onto your hand or arm and let them explore at their own pace. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises, as this can startle them.

Interesting Facts about Crested Geckos

- Crested geckos are one of the few gecko species that possess eyelids. This allows them to blink and close their eyes, unlike other geckos that have a transparent membrane instead.
- They have a unique ability to regenerate their tails. If a crested gecko loses its tail due to stress or injury, a new one will gradually grow back, although it may not be as long or vibrant as the original.
- Unlike many reptiles, crested geckos do not require UVB lighting for proper calcium absorption. However, providing a low-wattage UVB light can still be beneficial for their overall well-being.
- These geckos are known for their vocalizations. They can produce various sounds, including chirping, barking, and even squeaking. These vocalizations are often used to communicate with other geckos or establish territory.

Conclusion

Crested geckos are captivating pets that offer reptile enthusiasts a unique and rewarding experience. With their stunning appearance, low-maintenance care requirements, and interesting behaviors, they make for an excellent addition to any reptile lover's collection. If you are considering a pet gecko, ensure to provide them with a suitable habitat, a balanced diet, and plenty of love and attention.

Julieth Bill

Hi, I'm Julieth Bill. Before I was a writer for the NBCpet.com blog I was known for inventive and unusual treatments of dogs, cats, bird, fish, snakes, horses, rabbit, reptiles, and guinea pigs. Julieth worked for major zoos around the world. He Also Receives Pets a Scholarship.

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