Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus)

Crested Geckos are native to southern Grande Terre, New Caledonia and at least one small isle named the Isle of Pines. Crested Geckos are semi- arboreal and spend a lot of time in bushes and small shrubs. Crested geckos will find hiding spots in the day usually on the ground.

The ease of their care and simple caging requirements make them a really great pet for someone who has little experience in keeping an exotic animal. They do not get too big nor are they too small or fragile and they tolerate handling and are not aggressive by any means.


Housing

Crested Geckos from hatchling to four months old can be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium or a comparable plastic animal keeper/box. Five month old to adult Crested Geckos can be kept in a 20-29 gallon. Screened cages have worked with success as well. Whatever you decide for a cage, just remember that the most important thing is the height of the cage because they are semi-arboreal.

Exo-Terra Terrariums are a popular choice due to the ease of set up and visually pleasing design.

Temperature, heating and lighting

Crested Geckos should be kept at temperature ranges of 72-80 degrees and can tolerate night time drops into the mid 60s. It is VERY important not to overheat your Crested Gecko, at temperatures of 84 degrees and higher your Crested Gecko will become stressed out sick and possible death.

Crested Geckos do not require any UVB lighting, just providing a 10-12 hour light source is sufficient. Crested Geckos may cease breeding if they get less than 10 hours of light a day.

Feeding and Diet

By far the simplest way to feed your Crested Gecko is CGD (Crested Gecko Diet) this is a powdered food specially formulated with all the needed vitamins and minerals that are needed for your Crested Geckos health. Itís a good idea to put the CGD in a small disposable deli cup so that they do not knock it over into their substrate. The CGD is very easy to prepare, 1 part powder to 2 parts water.

Crested Geckos will also eat insects and they should be fed items that are no bigger that the span between their nose and eye. Crickets and feeder roaches are the best choice for Crested Geckos some will take wax worms and or meal worms but some think they can cause impaction. Always smash the head of the meal worm before feeding to your Crested Gecko so they do not munch their way out.

Crested Geckos have calcium deposits/reserves in the bottom of their mouths and itís a good idea to check these periodically regardless of your feeding practices.

Crested geckos can be provided with a shallow water dish with fresh clean water daily or you can simply spray the inside of their enclosure and they will lick the water off the walls. In the wild they simply lick the nearest leaf/plant that has water on it.

I will be adding more information on breeding in the 2nd part.

If you have any questions feel free to email me at warrior4myking@comcast.net .