Crested Gecko vs. Gargoyle Gecko – What is the Difference?
Both Crested and Gargoyle Geckos make excellent pets for beginners. At a first glance, they look wildly similar as well.
For an inexperienced pet keeper, choosing between the two could be very challenging. If this describes your situation, keep reading!
I’ll cover everything you need to know to make the best choice for you. We’re going to go over the differences and similarities.
I’ll cover things like appearance, size, price, care requirements, diet, and everything in-between! So, let’s get started!
What are the Differences Between Crested Gecko and Gargoyle Gecko?
On the surface level, Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus) and Gargoyle Gecko (Rhacodactylus auriculatus) look remarkably similar.
After all, both of these amphibians belong to the same family (Diplodactylidae). But, of course, there are also some noteworthy differences.
Here’s how these two species compare:
Crested Geckos have crests; Gargoyle Geckos have smooth skin
This is the first thing you’ll notice when looking for differences. The Crested Gecko, as the name suggests, has crests. These amphibians are covered in two rows of tiny spine-like protrusions.
These surround the upper eye area and spread down the back. It almost looks like this pet has a pair of fluttery eyelashes. In comparison, Gargoyle Geckos look smooth. They have no “eyelashes” or crests on the back.
Crested Geckos offer more variety
Gargoyle Geckos come in a wide array of morphs. Some include intricate patterns and bright colors such as deep orange and rich red. They also come in more muted colors like cream, tan, yellow, brown, and even off-white.
But Crested Geckos are even more diverse. They come in colors such as yellow, beige, off-white, grey, olive green, orange, red, pure black, browns, and so on. The array of patterns is also virtually endless. You can find bi-color, tri-color, spotted, pinstriped, and many more unique morphs.
Crested Geckos are longer but Gargoyle Geckos are fatter
Both species reach a similar average size. You can expect adult Crested and Gargoyle Geckos to reach around 8 inches in length. Crested Geckos can be anywhere between 5-9 inches long. Gargoyle Geckos might measure 4.5-8 inches on average.
The Crested Gecko has a slight edge when it comes to total body size. However, Gargoyle Geckos are almost double the weight. An average Crested Gecko adult will weigh up to 55 grams. Compare this to the strong Gargoyle Gecko, which can weigh up to 80 grams!
The extra weight gives the Gargoyle gecko a more robust body shape, with a round belly and back. Crested Geckos, on the other hand, look lankier and more straight-lined.
Crested Geckos are easier to tame
Both species are calm and gentle. They’re unlikely to cause a fuss. However, Crested Geckos are more open and cooperative. This little amphibian has a good reputation. They’re among the friendliest lizards commonly kept as pets. It’s easy to earn this Gecko’s trust, and you’ll make friends in no time.
Gargoyle Geckos, despite their stronger appearance, are pretty shy and skittish. It will take a bit of patience and persistence to get this little guy to open up. Their more agitated and weary temperament makes them harder to tame. On the flip side, Gargoyle Geckos are docile and slow. This makes handling very easy.
No species is better than the other. Each has its advantages and drawbacks, as you can see. Also, both pets share some similarities:
- They’re equally suitable for beginners.
- Both have a long lifespan of up to 15-20 years.
- They enjoy similar diets rich in insects and soft fruit.
- Both species are nocturnal. They hide throughout the day and come out at night.
- Both are hardy and adaptable to various living conditions.
- They require very similar enclosure parameters.
Which is Better for a Pet?
As you can tell by now, no species is above the other. The choice you make will depend on personal preference and budget.
Gargoyle Geckos are more expensive, but not that difficult to find. Overall, both Geckos are hardy and beginner-friendly.
They have similar diets and requirements. They’re also equally easy to handle.
If you want a more out-going and energetic pet, the Crested Gecko might be a better fit. Crested Geckos are also more diverse. Y
ou can choose between more morphs. Gargoyle Geckos have a sturdier build and a simpler appearance.
Gargoyle Geckos are also more mellow, a trait that many pet owners enjoy.
Which one is more popular as a pet?
Both species are popular thanks to their similarities and ease of care. These Geckos are equally beginner-friendly.
But Crested Geckos might win the popularity contest by a small margin. And there are two main reasons for this.
First, a Crested Gecko costs half the price of a Gargoyle Gecko. Why pay more when the cheaper option is just as good?
Secondly, Crested Geckos are more playful and energetic. Their entertaining personality makes them a better pet for children.
Which one is more expensive?
Gargoyle Geckos are usually twice as expensive as Crested Geckos. You can find some of the more common morphs for $100-$200 on average.
However, the prices can go even higher— usually $600 and up. The price changes depending on the breeder and the rarity of the morph. Some colors and patterns are more expensive than others.
In comparison, the average retail price for a Crested Gecko is $50-$100. Again, that’s for the most common morphs.
Experienced breeders offering rare morphs have higher asking prices. A rare Crested Gecko will cost $500 and up.
What are the different color morphs available for each type of gecko?
There are a few dozen morphs to get through, but I’ll keep it short. The bottom line is that there’s a lot of variety for both Gecko species.
Crested Geckos come in a variety of patternless one-color morphs, including yellow, cream, orange, red, olive green, different shades of brown, off-white, grey, and black.
You can also find bi-color and tri-color morphs including any combination of these colors.
Finally, you can also find different patterns such as dalmatian, pinstripe, harlequin, tiger, axanthic, Halloween, and creamsicle, just to name a few.
Gargoyle Geckos also offer an interesting array of base colors— off-white, different shades of grey, brown, orange, red, pink, and yellow.
Unlike their Crested counterparts, Gargoyle Geckos come with a certain pattern.
This can vary a lot depending on the morph. The most common patterns include: striped, banded, reticulated, blotched, mosaic, and mottled.
What are the care requirements for each type of gecko?
Crested and Gargoyle Geckos have very similar care requirements. Here’s a simplified care sheet.
See how these species compare:
Both species are of a similar size. Similarly, both Geckos are arboreal. They need plenty of vertical space for climbing. The ideal enclosure would be a tall 20-gallon terrarium. This is the minimum, but more space is always better.
Enrichment is also important. You’ll have to decorate the enclosure with branches, small vines, foliage, and small rocks. The more climbing and hiding spaces you can create, the better.
Both Geckos need some UVB light exposure to stay healthy. The light helps them get the vitamin D3 they require to maintain strong bones. Luckily, both species have minimal light needs. All you’ll need is a lightbulb with a 5% UVB output. Remember to turn the light off at night!
Crested and Gargoyle Geckos need a pretty high relative humidity. Both Geckos require at least 50% relative humidity, with 60% being the ideal range.
You can achieve this humidity level by either misting the enclosure regularly or using an air humidifier. A hygrometer will also help you measure the humidity levels throughout the day.
Crested and Gargoyle Geckos tolerate similar temperatures. The ideal temperature in the enclosure should be 72-80°F throughout the day. You can achieve these values year-round by installing a heater in the enclosure.
Both Geckos are hardy and they can tolerate temperatures as low as 60°F. Ideally, you’d want to let the temperature drop slightly at nighttime. Avoid exposing these Geckos to temperatures higher than 82°F.
Geckos are arboreal animals. They spend most of their time above ground, climbing. Thus, Crested and Gargoyle Geckos aren’t fussy about the substrate you choose. You can pick anything from soil mix to reptile carpet. You can opt for whichever choice best suits your preferences.
What do they eat?
Both Geckos have very similar diets. These pets are omnivorous, so they’ll need a variety of both plant and animal foods.
Their diet should consist mainly of insects with a bit of soft fruit thrown into the mix.
Nowadays, people also feed Crested and Gargoyle Geckos a diet centered on premix powder.
This is a specially-formulated feed that contains all the vitamins and minerals your Geckos need.
But if you want to go the old-fashioned route, here are some of the foods adored by both Gecko species:
- Dubia roaches
- Discoid roaches
- Stick insects
The insects should be dusted with a supplemental mix of calcium, D3, and other vitamins and minerals.
Most fruits are fine, as long as they’re ripe and soft. You can make the fruits easier to eat by lightly mashing them with a fork. Your Geckos will love that!
How big do they get?
The average adult size for a Crested Gecko is 5-9 inches from snout to vent. They’re a bit larger if considering the tail length.
The average weight is 35-55 grams.
Gargoyle Geckos are smaller but heavier. Gargoyle Geckos measure 4-8 inches on average.
The average weight is 65 grams, but they might even weigh up to 80 grams.
Where do they come from?
The Crested Gecko is native to the southernmost part of New Caledonia, a small island in the Pacific Ocean.
Their natural habitat has a tropical climate which includes warm temperatures and high humidity year-round.
And surprise, surprise! Gargoyle Geckos hail from the same far-away island of New Caledonia.
If that weren’t enough, both Geckos naturally inhabit the same regions on the island. It’s no wonder both Geckos have such wild similarities.
Can Crested Geckos and Gargoyle Geckos Live Together?
So, these two species come from the same place. They have similar care requirements and they eat the same diet.
But can they get along? Sadly, the answer is no!
Geckos in general are feisty, especially the males. Different Gecko species will get competitive and aggressive with one another.
I don’t recommend trying to keep them together. However, you can keep small groups of the same species.
A small group of Crested or Gargoyle Gecko females will get along well in a species-only enclosure.
Don’t keep multiple males together, because they’re likely to fight and hurt each other.
The Crested Gecko and Gargoyle Gecko are similar in a lot of ways. Both species come from the same wild habitat.
So, they have virtually identical care requirements. They both enjoy similar diets as well. The major differences between these Geckos have to do with size, appearance, temperament, and price.
Crested Geckos are long and thin. They come in a huge array of colors and patterns, including even pattern-less morphs.
Gargoyle Geckos are short and stout. They also come in a variety of patterns, but there’s less color variation.
Gargoyle Geckos are skittish and reserved, while Crested Geckos are curious and friendly.
Crested Geckos are also cheaper and easier to find. Ultimately, the choice is up to you. It all depends on what you’re looking for in an amphibian pet.