Crested geckos are amazing creatures that have captured the hearts of many reptile lovers. These cute and friendly lizards have some unique features and behaviors that make them stand out from other geckos.
In this post, we will share with you over 30 interesting and fun facts about the crested gecko, such as:
1. The Crested Gecko’s Unique Name
Crested geckos are also known as “eyelash geckos” due to the hair-like projections above their eyes, which resemble eyelashes. These fascinating creatures are native to New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific.
2. Natural Habitat
The crested gecko, sometimes known as the eyelash gecko, is a type of gecko. It is native to New Caledonia, a French special collectivity located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, some 1,210 kilometers (750 miles) east of Australia and 17,000 kilometers (11,000 miles) from Metropolitan France.
3. A Reptile Reappearance
Once believed to be extinct, crested geckos were rediscovered in 1994 by a team led by Robert Seipp. Since then, they’ve become popular pets, known for their low-maintenance care and charming personalities.
4. A Rainbow of Colors
Crested geckos come in a variety of colors and patterns, from bright reds and oranges to subtle browns and grays. This wide array of colors is due to their natural variations and selective breeding.
5. Crested Gecko’s Sticky Feet
These geckos have incredible climbing abilities, thanks to their specialized toe pads. The tiny hairs on their feet allow them to effortlessly scale vertical surfaces and even hang upside down!
6. No Eyelids, No Problem
Crested geckos don’t have eyelids. Instead, they use their long tongues to clean and moisten their eyes, ensuring they stay comfortable and healthy.
7. A Tail of Regeneration
Unlike some other gecko species, crested geckos cannot regenerate their tails once lost. It’s essential to handle them gently and avoid grasping their tails to prevent injury.
Because they have a long prehensile tail that helps them to grab onto vines and trees, if you hold one, they may sometimes wrap their tail around your finger to feel secure and steady.
However, potential Crestie owners should be aware that those tails can easily break off since the cells at the base of the tail are fragile and do not regenerate, therefore it is not rare to see Crested Geckos without a tail. Crested geckos that have lost their tails are referred to as “frog-butts.”
Crested geckos are nocturnal, which means they’re most active during the night. Their large, round pupils help them see better in low-light conditions.
9. Communication Through Crests
The crests along their bodies aren’t just for show; they play a role in communication. Geckos will raise their crests to appear larger and more intimidating when feeling threatened.
10. Omnivorous Eaters
In the wild, crested geckos have a varied diet, including insects, fruit, and nectar. In captivity, a balanced diet can be achieved through specially formulated crested gecko diets and occasional insects.
11. They Appear to Have Eyelashes
The most distinguishing feature of crested geckos is located above their eyes. They appear to have eyelashes, and its name reflects this trait in several languages. Of course, they don’t actually have eyelashes, but it appears that way. They are, in fact, tiny scales or ridges. Nonetheless, it’s one of the qualities that makes them appear so adorable!
12. Hair on the Toe Pads
Their toe pads contain teeny-tiny rows of ridges that grasp and hold onto surface imperfections. They can even walk on vertical glass surfaces! The toe pads of a crested gecko are covered with thousands of tiny microscopic hairs called setae, which are split into hundreds of smaller hairs called spatulae. These tiny hair-like features enable them to attach to a wide range of surfaces.
13. Long-lived Pets
With proper care, crested geckos can live for 15-20 years in captivity. This makes them a long-term commitment for reptile enthusiasts.
14. Easy Temperature Requirements
Crested geckos thrive in temperatures between 72-78°F (22-26°C), making them suitable for room temperature environments, without the need for additional heating sources.
15. Humidity Helps
These geckos require moderate humidity levels, ideally between 50-70%. Regular misting and a well-ventilated enclosure can help maintain proper humidity.
16. No Need for UVB
Crested geckos can live without UVB lighting, as long as they receive a well-balanced diet supplemented with calcium and vitamin D3.
17. Shedding Secrets
Like all reptiles, crested geckos shed their skin as they grow. They typically eat their shed skin, leaving little trace behind.
18. Males vs. Females
Male crested geckos have a visible bulge at the base of their tail, while females do not. This makes it relatively easy to distinguish between the sexes.
19. Breeding Behaviors
Crested geckos reach sexual maturity at around 15-18 months of age. When breeding, females can lay one or two eggs every 4-6 weeks during the breeding season.
20. Adaptable Climbers
Crested geckos are arboreal, meaning they prefer to live in trees and are excellent climbers. In captivity, providing plenty of vertical space and climbing structures will keep them happy and healthy.
21. A Gecko’s Grip
Their incredible grip isn’t just due to their toe pads; crested geckos also use their prehensile tails for added stability and balance while climbing.
22. Vocalizations and Body Language
Crested geckos communicate through chirps, clicks, and squeaks. They also use body language, such as tail wagging and crest raising, to convey emotions and intentions.
Crested geckos can be handled, but it’s important to do so gently and with patience. Frequent, short handling sessions can help build trust and reduce stress.
24. The Importance of Calcium
Calcium is essential for the health of crested geckos, especially for females during breeding season. Providing a calcium supplement with their food helps maintain strong bones and prevent metabolic bone disease.
25. Hatchling Care
Baby crested geckos, called hatchlings, require similar care to adults but benefit from more frequent misting and smaller food items.
26. Socializing Crested Geckos
While crested geckos can be housed together, it’s essential to monitor their interactions and separate them if aggression occurs. Males should not be housed together to avoid territorial disputes.
27. Size Matters
Crested geckos grow to be around 7-9 inches (18-23 cm) in length, including their tail. This makes them a manageable size for most reptile enthusiasts.
28. A Gecko’s Flickering Tongue
These geckos frequently flick their tongues to explore their surroundings and gather information about their environment.
They have double-jointed toes that allow them to step away from the surface by raising their toes from the tip inward. The crested gecko’s toes are frequently curled in an upward position & can often be noticed in pictures.
30. Setting Up a Terrarium
An ideal crested gecko enclosure includes vertical space, hiding spots, climbing structures, and plants (real or artificial) for a natural, enriching environment.
31. Crested Gecko Hybrids
Through selective breeding, crested geckos have been crossed with other Rhacodactylus species, resulting in interesting and unique hybrids.
32. A Loyal Fan Base
Crested geckos have a dedicated following, with enthusiasts attending reptile expos, joining online forums, and participating in local clubs to share their knowledge and passion.
33. Crested Gecko Morphs
Breeders have developed various crested gecko morphs, each with unique colors, patterns, and traits. Some popular morphs include Harlequin, Dalmatian, and Pinstripe.
34. Perfect Pets for Beginners
Crested geckos are considered beginner-friendly pets due to their relatively low maintenance requirements and gentle nature. Their ease of care and fascinating behaviors make them an excellent choice for first-time reptile keepers.