Crested Gecko Growth Chart – Facts and Figures
You can tell that your gecko is doing well by assessing the reptile’s appearance and behavior. The most important metric, though, remains the lizard’s growth rate and maximum size.
But how fast do geckos grow and what’s their maximum achievable size? Also, what are the factors contributing to your gecko’s healthy development?
We’ll discuss these and more in today’s article, so let’s just straight to the point.
Adult Crested Gecko Size and Weight
An adult crested gecko can reach 8-10 inches in size, with males being slightly longer than females.
They also have larger heads, but the difference isn’t as noticeable as you’d think. In fact, aside from the slightly obvious size difference, it can be tricky to sex crested geckos correctly.
A good metric to consider is the growth rate between males and females. Females tend to grow faster and reach their maximum size sooner than males.
Crested Gecko Growth Chart
|Crested gecko age||Crested gecko weight||Crested gecko length (including tail)||Crested gecko growth rate (grams per month)|
|Newborn||1.5-2 grams||2-3 inches||1 gram|
|2 months||3 grams||3-4 inches||1 gram|
|3 months||4 grams||3-5 inches||1 gram|
|4 months||5 grams||4-6 inches||2 grams|
|5 months||7 grams||4-6 inches||2 grams|
|6 months||9 grams||5-7 inches||2 grams|
|7 months||10-11 grams||7-8 inches||2 grams|
|9 months||16-35 grams||7-9 inches||4 grams per month|
|10-12 months (transitioning to adult)||35-50 grams||9-10 inches||4 grams per month|
|18-24 months||55+ grams||10+ inches||Roughly 1 gram per month|
We have several important things to note regarding this table:
- Females are usually heavier than males, reaching 55+ grams, while males typically remain below 30
- Despite the weight difference, males are longer
- Most geckos only reach 8 inches in size, tails included, but some can reach 10 inches, slightly more
- Food alone isn’t the only factor influencing the gecko’s growth rate and maximum size, as we will soon discuss
- Most geckos reach full maturity by the time they’re 1.5-2 years old, but some may take 3 years
Factors that Determine the Growth of Crested Geckos
Now that you know the basics of crested gecko development, let’s assess the factors that influence the reptile’s growth and size.
Crested geckos showcase a wide genetic pool which limits their potential accordingly. Some geckos are simply prone to stay smaller than their counterparts and no amount of dietary planning with change that.
If your gecko appears happy, eats well, and is overall healthy and cozy, but can’t go past 6 inches, for instance, maybe that’s its cap.
Just be careful when you assess this metric. So many people blame their reptiles’ genetics for their poor growth rate when, in reality, they’re experiencing hindered growth due to improper dieting.
It’s not enough to feed your gecko enough food; the food’s quality also matters drastically.
Geckos require a varied diet with multiple food sources for optimal nutrient intake. Use feeder insects and gut-load them with supplement cocktails, depending on your gecko’s needs.
Also, stick to commercial gecko foods, as these are usually optimized to meet your reptile’s nutritional needs.
The lower the environmental temperature gets, the slower the gecko’s metabolism will become. This, in turn, translates to hindered growth, causing your gecko to lag behind its normal physiological development.
Exposing your gecko to temperatures below 71 F regularly leads to digestive problems and will impact your reptile’s normal development and appetite.
That’s because geckos don’t eat as often in cold temperatures. Over time, the gecko will begin to brumate, which is similar to hibernation, during which your gecko’s metabolism will drop significantly.
Geckos resort to this behavior in the wild to overcome periods of low temperatures when nutrients are scarce.
Humidity is also critical for your gecko’s normal and healthy functioning. Some variation in humidity levels is critical, depending on the time of day, but should remain within the recommended values.
Your gecko’s environmental humidity should vary between 50 and 70% every several hours to keep geckos healthy and comfy.
If the humidity jumps the 70 F threshold too often or stays high for too long, geckos can struggle with bacterial and fungal infections.
If the humidity level drops below 55-60 F, geckos can experience respiratory infections and skin problems, especially during shedding.
All these issues will affect your gecko’s wellbeing and overall growth rate, causing the reptile to remain smaller and more vulnerable to health problems over the years.
They will also shorten your reptile’s lifespan, which is why you should always treat these matters seriously.
– Diet and Food
We have several aspects to discuss here, including the right food and the feeding pattern.
Geckos tend to eat less frequently as they grow, as juveniles eat daily, while adults only have 3 meals per week. While meal frequency is important, the type of food you feed to your gecko is even more so.
Geckos require a wide palette of foods to remain healthy, including live insects, fruits, some occasional veggies, and commercial gecko food for proper nutrient intake.
Unfortunately, many gecko owners prefer to take shortcuts and use food to speed up their geckos’ growth rate.
Baby food is the item of choice because it’s high in sugar and essentially causes geckos to become overweight and obese.
This doesn’t mean that the gecko is healthy, though.
I recommend sticking to the gecko’s natural eating habits and providing it with a diet that mimics the reptile’s natural diet.
Go for feeder insects twice per week, invest in a good and optimized commercial gecko product, and consider vitamin and mineral supplementation, depending on your gecko’s needs.
– Enclosure Size
Geckos require adequate space to grow properly. This probably comes as no surprise. What will come as a surprise, though, is the relationship between geckos and their environment.
When I say size matters, I mean smaller, not bigger, is better. This is atypical, considering that the vast majority of pets, no matter the species, fare better in larger enclosures.
Geckos are the opposite of that, as they feel more comfortable in smaller ecosystems. You typically don’t need more than 20 gallons to accommodate an adult crested gecko, although I recommend going for 30 gallons for a bit of extra space.
The additional gallons are useful for creating a lush ecosystem with plants, bark, branches, wood, and any other decorations your geckos may use for resting and exploration. But don’t go above 30 gallons.
Geckos feel stressed in larger ecosystems because they feel less safe. They want to be able to see their surroundings at all times so they’re sure no predator is lurking around. Geckos are also immobile hunters that don’t like to move much.
They will wait for their food to come near them before striking. They will be forced to look for food around them if their habitat is too large and they’re not good at that.
It’s common for geckos kept in large ecosystems to starve to death.
– Stress Level
Geckos can stress out for a variety of reasons.
- New home and not enough time to adapt to the ecosystem
- Improper setup with no climbing or hiding areas
- Unstable temperature or humidity
- Not enough food or improper food, leading to nutritional deficiencies
- Digestive problems or compaction
- Parasitic or bacterial infections or other health problems
- Improper or frequent handling even when the gecko clearly doesn’t like it
- Improper enclosure size (we’ve already discussed this)
- Loud noises or lights flashing near the gecko’s enclosure, etc.
In short, everything can startle your gecko, especially at first, when the lizard is still getting accustomed to its new habitat.
This stress is merely an inconvenience at first but can cause more serious health problems over time.
Stressed geckos showcase more ineffective immune systems which leaves them vulnerable to parasites and bacteria.
Constant stress will also hinder the reptile’s growth rate and maximum size and lower its lifespan and quality of life. Plenty of reasons to detect and address gecko stress as early as possible.
– Diseases and Parasites
Geckos can experience a variety of health problems, many of which are related to improper dieting, stress, injuries, shedding difficulties, and improper environmental conditions.
Parasitic and bacterial infections are the most common, attacking the gecko’s skin and respiratory and digestive system.
Many of these problems are easy to tackle, but you need to identify them in the early phases.
Why Crested Gecko Stopped Growing
You can tell that your gecko is growing properly if it sheds as it’s supposed to. Juvenile geckos shed weekly, but the shedding frequency drops as the reptile matures.
Adult geckos can shed as rarely as once every 4-6 weeks, depending on their growth rate and environmental conditions.
If your gecko has stopped shedding or sheds considerably rarer than it used to for no reason, consider all of the factors we’ve just discussed.
Maybe the temperature or humidity is off, or maybe the gecko is stressed, struggles with disease, or experiences nutritional deficiencies. There are numerous potential causes at play and figuring out the culprit may be more difficult than you think.
If your gecko isn’t shedding as it’s supposed to, speak to your vet. An experienced professional might have a clearer picture of the situation.
Make Your Crested Gecko Grow Faster and Bigger
Fortunately, this is as easy as it gets, so long as you follow the general recommendations regarding proper gecko maintenance.
- Ensure a healthy and diverse diet
- Keep environmental parameters stable and within the optimal values
- Always monitor your gecko for potential health problems and infections
- Don’t handle or pet the gecko too much, since crested geckos aren’t too fond of that
- Always assess and address your gecko’s stress
Keep in touch with a reptile vet to have a clearer understanding of your gecko’s physiology and overall requirements
Other than that, all you need is some love and care and your gecko won’t ask for much else.
Just don’t expect any love back, since geckos are cold-blooded animals, literally and figuratively.
Crested geckos typically reach their maximum growth by the time they’re 2 years of age.
Several factors will influence their growth and size and we’ve detailed most of them in today’s article.
Take what you need, write down a long-term care plan, and monitor your gecko’s behavior and comfort over the years for the best results.