How Long Do Crested Geckos Live? (Crested Gecko Lifespan)

Crested Geckos, scientifically known as Correlophus ciliatus, are intriguing reptiles and have garnered significant popularity as pets. Their strikingly colorful, patterned skin and crested eyelids set them apart and contribute to their charismatic appeal.

An essential factor that potential owners need to consider before adopting one is their lifespan. Therefore, this comprehensive guide will answer your burning question: “How long do Crested Geckos live?”

How Long Do Crested Geckos Live in The Wild?

It’s believed that in their natural habitat, crested geckos have an average lifespan of approximately 5 to 15 years. This estimation, however, spans a fairly broad range compared to most other reptiles.

Determining the lifespan of crested geckos in the wild proves to be quite the enigma for a variety of intriguing reasons. While we can make an estimation based on available data, there’s a significant gap in our knowledge about these mysterious creatures.

Our understanding of crested geckos’ lifespans in the wild is relatively limited compared to other more extensively studied reptiles like bearded dragons or iguanas. The primary reason behind this lack of data is the fascinating history of these tiny creatures.

To put it simply, for many years, crested geckos were thought to be extinct until they made a surprising comeback and were rediscovered in 1994. This unexpected reappearance has not allowed for extensive documentation or studies of their daily lives in the wild.

Despite the gap in information about the lifespan of wild crested geckos, we do have more substantial knowledge on how long they live in captivity. It’s a generally observed trend that captive animals tend to outlive their wild counterparts. This can be attributed to a multitude of factors which create a more favorable environment for survival in captivity.

How Long Do Crested Geckos Live in Captivity?


In the confines of a safe, well-maintained captive environment, you can expect your crested gecko to enjoy a lifespan of 15 to 25 years. This statistic is quite remarkable, especially considering their small size.

Crested geckos didn’t make a significant mark in the pet trade until the early 2000s, a handful of years following their rediscovery in the wild. As such, initial estimates of their potential lifespans in captivity weren’t entirely accurate, given the lack of extensive first-hand experience and data.

Nevertheless, crested geckos rapidly gained popularity among reptile hobbyists, ranging from beginners to seasoned experts. Their appeal is so widespread that they now rival the prevalence of leopard geckos in the world of pet reptiles.

In more recent years, a wealth of data has become available, allowing us to make a reliable estimate of a crested gecko’s lifespan in captivity. One striking characteristic of these animals is their robustness. Crested geckos are resilient creatures, capable of tolerating occasional deviations in their habitat’s temperature and humidity, as well as dietary variations.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Crested Geckos in the Wild


Crested Geckos in the wild have a shorter lifespan compared to captive crested geckos. A primary challenge faced by crested geckos in the wild is the persistent struggle for survival. Their lives in the wilderness are fundamentally more unpredictable and filled with danger compared to those in captivity.

1. Predation

A significant factor in why crested geckos have a shorter lifespan in the wild is predation. Crested geckos fall prey to various predators in their natural habitats. This predatory pressure substantially reduces their lifespan, a danger that their captive counterparts do not face.

2. Habitat Loss

Another major contributor is habitat loss. The continual degradation and loss of their natural habitats lead to a higher rate of mortality and a shorter lifespan.

3. Weather Fluctuations

Weather fluctuations also play a vital role. Unexpected or severe weather conditions can pose significant threats to the health and safety of these creatures.

4. Food Scarcity and Competition

In the wild, food scarcity and competition for resources such as food, water, and shelter increase the stress levels of these reptiles, further decreasing their lifespan.

5. Health Challenges

Unlike captive geckos who have access to veterinary care, crested geckos in the wild face a higher risk of illness due to parasites and other diseases. Their lack of access to prompt and proper veterinary care when ill or injured further impacts their lifespans.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, crested geckos are currently classified as vulnerable. The decline of their wild populations indicates that individual lifespans may be getting shorter. Crested geckos were first discovered in 1866, but there’s a significant gap in the data about their lifespan in the wild, as these creatures were thought to be extinct until their rediscovery in 1994.

Efforts are ongoing to increase our knowledge of these elusive reptiles, and the understanding of their lifestyles can contribute significantly to their conservation. Despite the challenges they face, it’s hoped that intensive conservation efforts will help improve their lifespans in their native habitat, New Caledonia. Understanding these factors that affect their lifespan can guide these efforts and allow us to make more informed decisions about how to protect and preserve these fascinating reptiles.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Crested Geckos in Captivity

When it comes to raising crested geckos, understanding the factors that influence their lifespan can contribute significantly to the longevity and health of your pet. A variety of elements can shape their existence, many of which are well within your control. It’s worth noting that captive crested geckos generally live longer than their wild counterparts primarily due to their more carefully regulated living conditions.

1. Dietary Quality and Supplementation

The first and foremost factor that affects a crested gecko’s lifespan is the quality of their diet and the vitamin supplements they receive. Maintaining a balanced diet is absolutely crucial for their health. This means feeding them with a mixture of quality commercial crested gecko food and live insects, supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals to ensure all their nutritional needs are met.

2. Enclosure Parameters

The size of the enclosure plays a pivotal role in their well-being. A space that is too cramped can cause stress and inhibit normal behavior. Furthermore, appropriate temperature and humidity levels within their enclosure are non-negotiable for their survival. While they can tolerate a range of conditions, drastic or prolonged deviations from their optimal habitat can cause health issues and shorten their lifespan.

3. Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary care, including yearly check-ups, is instrumental in keeping your crested gecko healthy and enhancing their lifespan. Veterinarians who specialize in reptiles can diagnose and treat potential health issues before they escalate, thus protecting the longevity of your pet.

4. Enclosure Hygiene

Maintaining a clean habitat for your crested gecko is essential for their longevity. This includes keeping the enclosure and substrate free from waste and food leftovers to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi.

5. Genetics

Another important factor is the genetic disposition of your crecko. Reptile breeders tend to breed geckos with healthier traits, meaning a captive bred gecko might have a leg up in terms of potential lifespan.

In ideal conditions, captive crested geckos can live significantly longer lives than those in the wild. While the average lifespan is generally cited as 15 to 20 years, it isn’t unheard of for them to exceed 25 years given the right care and genetic predisposition.

Filled under: Lizards

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