10 Interesting & Fun Crested Gecko Facts
If you’ve been observing crested geckos for a while and thought about getting one, allow me to give you a little nudge in the right direction. These reptiles are highly valued on the pet market due to their cuteness, ease of care, and long lifespans. They also come in numerous morphs, as they have been subjected to intense selective breeding over decades.
But you may not be aware of many outstanding facts about this species. So, let’s discuss those.
Interesting Crested Gecko Facts
If you don’t know much about crested geckos in general, here are some quick facts to get you up to date:
– The Name: Eyelash Gecko
This is one of crested gecko’s alter names coming from its long and artsy lashes stretching above the eyes. These aren’t so much as lashes as they are skin crests similar to those decorating the gecko’s head and body flanks. These ‘lashes’ also have no functionality, as crested geckos cannot blink. Instead, they use their tongue to keep their eyeballs humid and healthy.
But ‘eyeball-licking geckos‘ didn’t sound as nice, did it?
– They Omnivorous
Many people think crested geckos are insectivores which is understandable given that most reptiles are either that or carnivorous. However, crested geckos are omnivorous because they eat both insects and fruits. They can also occasionally consume some veggies, but only rarely because fruits are generally sufficient in terms of nutrient content and fiber.
So, if you’re planning on getting a crested gecko, get ready to feed your reptile a varied and nutritious meal plan consisting of fruits, insects, worms, and commercial gecko food. The latter is especially important, as commercial gecko foods are optimized for these reptiles. Depending on the product, they contain protein, fat, various fruits, and vitamin and mineral complexes.
– Solitary Animals
All reptiles are solitary animals which stays true for crested geckos as well. This is important to remember for two reasons:
- It tells you that you shouldn’t keep more than one gecko per terrarium
- It informs your behavior in terms of handling and petting the gecko
You cannot have more than one crested gecko per tank except for breeding purposes. Even then, expect the mating process to be rather aggressive, as is the case in the reptile world.
But you shouldn’t pair two or more geckos in the same habitat because that’s not feasible. The reptiles will display territorial behavior, become stressed, and fight each other constantly, no matter what you do to mitigate the violence.
The situation is even worse if the geckos in question are males.
Regarding the second point, try not to pet or handle your crestie too often or for too long. Unlike leopard geckos, crested geckos aren’t fond of human interactions. They can tolerate your presence and handling for a while, but you should place them back if they begin to wiggle and look to escape.
Keep the contact to a minimum to avoid stressing out the gecko or forcing it to lose its tail; yea, we’ll discuss that as well.
– They are Nocturnal
Crested geckos are nocturnal animals, which is fairly obvious from their large eye and massive pupils. The eyes’ large surface allows geckos to take in more environmental light so they can see better during nighttime. This means that crested geckos are rather timid and withdrawn, almost lethargic during the day.
They will spend their days hanging from a branch and only come down to cool off, drink water, or eat. Geckos will become more active at dusk, which is when you should feed them to stay true to their natural behavior.
– They Can Jump
Many people know crested geckos as climbers, but few know them as jumpers. Yet, this is an actual ability that geckos possess. Their ability to jump between branches is an evolutionary feature that can improve the reptile’s survival in the wild. The gecko has no offensive capabilities to deter predators, so it relies on deception, confusion, and agility to outpace its hunters.
Aside from the ability to hold still as a rock, blend with the foliage, and drop their tails behind, geckos can also jump to change position fast in case of emergency. Naturally, this is of no use in captivity, as their terrarium is a safe environment.
On the contrary, their jumping ability can actually backfire and put them at risk. If your terrarium has no lid, the gecko will easily jump out, where it can fall and injure itself or, worse still, fall victim to other pets roaming your home.
It’s important to mention that geckos sometimes jump when rattled or feeling unsafe. Try to figure out why that is and eliminate those factors to prevent your gecko from hurting itself.
– Require High Humidity
Geckos need a humidity level of 60-80%, depending on the situation. The 80% value may be necessary during shedding when geckos are particularly sensitive to their environmental parameters. Always assess your gecko’s state and behavior, though, since humidity can also backfire. If the humidity levels are too high, crested geckos risk respiratory and skin infections.
Similar health issues occur if it’s too low, which is why you need to remain within the Goldilocks zone. Proper humidity also prevents dehydration which is a deadly condition among geckos. The standard procedure to increase humidity is via spraying, but that may not be enough.
To increase air humidity, consider a humidity-retaining substrate like coconut husk or wood shaves, and place a water bowl in your gecko’s enclosure.
You can also use a fogger or a humidifier and add live plants to the habitat to increase humidity naturally.
– Easy to Care For
Despite what you may get from a first impression, crested geckos are actually low-maintenance animals. They only eat 3-4 times per week as adults and don’t produce too much waste. When it comes to daily maintenance, you only need to monitor environmental parameters like temperature and humidity and remove feces or uneaten food when is the case.
Then, every 3-4 weeks, you should perform more in-depth cleaning to eliminate the risk of bacteria and fungi, which are prevalent in moist and warm environments.
There isn’t much maintenance needed other than that. Your gecko only requires peace, a stable habitat, and good food to remain healthy and happy for years to come. This makes crested geckos, and geckos in general, perfect pets for kids and beginners with little experience in pets or reptiles.
– Long Lifespan
Crested geckos can live between 5 and 15 years in the wild. Various factors like predation, disease, habitat destruction, etc., impact the reptile’s lifespan. Needless to say, these issues are either non-existent or minimized in captive-bred geckos. This is why captive geckos can live up to 15-20 years or more, depending on the reptile’s genes and quality of care.
The reptile’s long lifespan is why people love geckos so much; they tend to become family members with time.
– Can’t Regrow Their Tails
Crested geckos cannot regrow their tails, unlike other gecko species (leopard gecko, mourning gecko). At least not to their original size and appearance. Instead, they will only grow them partially.
By contrast, leopard geckos can grow their tails within only 30 days and can grow them multiple times during their lifetime. They will eventually stop regrowing them when they’re old enough.
Mourning geckos regrow their tails even longer and stronger than the lost ones. Crested geckos, though, don’t possess that ability, which is why you should always be mindful about that when handling them. Your gecko will drop its tail if it feels threatened, stressed or if you hold it too tight.
– Various Morphs
Crested geckos have been the subject of intensive human-guided breeding over the years, resulting in numerous morphs and morph variations. These vary drastically in terms of coloring and color pattern and come with matching prices. The cheapest morphs revolve around $50-100, give or take, depending on the specimen, the seller, and the geographical area.
The more expensive morphs can vary between $500 and $5,000-$10,000, and then you have the Axanthic morph. An Axanthic crested gecko was sold for $21,000 in 2021, showcasing the reptile’s potential.
After being in this business for so long, I would say that there are tons of reasons to love crested geckos and pretty much none to hate them. If you can’t afford the more expensive morphs, there are variations for you as well, so long as you’re not picky about it.
Just make sure you can provide your gecko with ideal living conditions and optimized care over the years, and that’s all you need.