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Latin name: Correlophus ciliatus
This individual is unsexed, hatched November of 2021 and is eating live small crickets and tropical fruit mash dusted with vitamin and calcium powder. Approximately 4.5” in length.
General info and temperament: Crested Geckos are one of the most popular arboreal geckos to keep as pets due to their gentle nature, ease of handling and relatively easy care requirements. Individuals available in the hobby are exclusively captive bred and come in a huge variety of colors and patterns. They are a lizard species that can shed their tail as a defense when they feel threatened but unlike other lizard species, this tail does not grow back.
Habitat and lifestyle: They are native to the South Pacific Island of New Caledonia and make their home in the tropical rainforest on the island. By day, they hang out closer to the forest floor, often resting in leaf litter and at night, they climb into the canopy to hunt for insects and find ripe fruit. They are a nocturnal species of gecko.
Size and Lifespan: Crested Geckos can grow up to 10” in length nose to tail tip with males being larger than females. Their lifespan in human care can reach up to 20 years.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: No more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 72 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end. Two thermometers should be used: one attached to a branch in the tank closest to where the heat lamp is and one resting on the floor of the tank.
Humidity: 40%-70% Mist 2x daily or have an automatic misting system.
Tank size: 10-15 gallons for babies/juveniles, 20+ gallons for adults.
Tank type: Square tank to large vertical tank. Allow for lots of climbing structures but also some floor space.
Lighting: A dimmable heat lamp up to 100 watts will be needed for the basking area. Thermostats are also helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting is not required for this species but is highly recommend to establish a natural day/night cycle.
Substrate and furniture: Soil or bark substrate 1"deep. Provide lots of climbing structures and false plants for hiding places. Habba-hut logs and cork bark rounds/half rounds on their sides make for ideal hiding places for most arboreal geckos.
A small water dish should be provided on the tank floor. This water dish should be rather shallow and have a small rock placed in the center so that your gecko can haul itself out if it accidentally slips into the dish.
Handling: Crested geckos tolerate gentle handling well and can be handled several times per week. Just watch for signs of stress and try to limit sessions to 20-30 minutes. If your gecko starts jumping, be very careful not to grab it’s tail while you’re trying to catch it. Doing this can cause your gecko to drop their tail.
When not to handle: When you first bring your gecko home or move it to a new enclosure, wait at least 3 days before handling it to give it a chance to settle in to the new environment.
Diet and feeding: Offer live crickets/ 3-4 times per week. Gage the number of insects your gecko will eat based on the number they leave behind. We recommend starting with an offer of 5 feeder insects and then adjusting from there. Fattier food items like worms can be offered 1x weekly for variety and as a treat! Always remove uneaten feeder insects if they have not been consumed after a day.
Tropical fruit such as mangoes, papaya and banana as well as berries can also be offered 2-3 times per week in between insect offers. All fruit should be peeled and mashed up for your gecko.
*All food items must be dusted with both vitamin and calcium powder prior to feeding.*
Food size: The feeder insect should be able to fit width-wise between your gecko’s eyes. Fruit mash amounts can be 1 tsp-1 Tbsp depending on whether your gecko is a baby or an adult.
Alternatively, many gecko keepers opt for pre-made gecko diets such as Pangea and Repashy. These are complete diets meant to fully replace natural food items and are also a good option.