If you are looking for a unique and fascinating pet lizard, you might have considered getting a crested gecko or a gargoyle gecko. These two species are closely related and share many similarities, such as, their nocturnal habits, food, and their easy care requirements.
However, they also have some differences that might make one more suitable for you than the other.
In this post, we will compare and contrast the crested gecko vs the gargoyle gecko in terms of appearance, personality, diet, and health.
By the end of this post, you should have a better idea of which one of these amazing geckos is the best fit for you and your lifestyle.
Crested Geckos VS Gargoyle Geckos
Description and Origin
Crested Geckos, also known as Correlophus ciliatus, are native to New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific. They were thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered in 1994. Crested Geckos are famed for their unique eyelash-like crests running from their eyes down to their necks, and their vibrant colorations that range from yellow and orange to red and brown.
Gargoyle Geckos, or Rhacodactylus auriculatus, are also native to New Caledonia, but these guys are known for their horn-like bumps above the ears that resemble the mythical gargoyles. They come in a variety of colors, often with mottled patterns, from shades of brown to white, grey, and even pink hues.
Verdict: Both species are fascinating and uniquely attractive, but if you’re looking for a more vibrant pet, the Crested Gecko might be your go-to!
Key Traits and Behaviors
Crested Geckos are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in the trees. They have a calm demeanor and are known to be great climbers thanks to their specialized toe pads.
Gargoyle Geckos, on the other hand, are both arboreal and terrestrial. They are also generally calm but can exhibit a wider range of behaviors. Some are as docile as Crested Geckos, while others can be a bit more skittish.
Verdict: If you prefer a pet that’s predictably calm and an excellent climber, go for a Crested Gecko. But if you’re into a more varied personality, Gargoyle Geckos are the way to go!
When it comes to lifespan, both Crested Geckos and Gargoyle Geckos are long-term commitments. With proper care, Crested Geckos can live up to 15-20 years, while Gargoyle Geckos have a similar lifespan, typically living up to 15-20 years.
Verdict: It’s a tie! Both Crested and Gargoyle Geckos have similar lifespans, making them equally suitable for someone ready for a long-term pet commitment.
Weight and Size
Crested Geckos typically weigh between 35-45 grams and can grow up to 8-10 inches in length, including their tail. They have a fairly slender body, with males being slightly larger than females.
Gargoyle Geckos are a bit more robust, weighing between 60-70 grams and measuring up to 8-9 inches long, excluding their tail. They are known for their stocky build and broad heads.
Verdict: If you prefer a larger and more substantial pet, a Gargoyle Gecko might be your best bet. However, if you’re comfortable with a smaller and lighter gecko, a Crested Gecko would be a good choice.
The Crested Gecko has a wide array of color variations and patterns, ranging from browns and creams to vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. Some even have a beautiful pattern that appears like a flame or dalmatian spots.
Gargoyle Geckos also offer a range of colors, from brown and grey to white and even pink. They often have unique mottled patterns, and as they age, their colors can change or become more pronounced.
Verdict: Both species offer a variety of color options. The Crested Gecko might edge out if you’re into more vibrant colors, but if you’re into unique mottled patterns, the Gargoyle Gecko might be more up your alley.
Both Crested Geckos and Gargoyle Geckos are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. They will spend most of the day sleeping, often in hiding spots within their enclosure.
Verdict: It’s a tie again! Both geckos are nocturnal, making them ideal for those who want to observe their pets’ activity during evening hours.
Brumation is a form of hibernation that some reptiles undergo during colder months. However, neither Crested Geckos nor Gargoyle Geckos typically brumate, thanks to their tropical origins. They remain active year-round when kept at proper temperatures.
Verdict: No worries about brumation with either species! This is a win if you prefer a pet that stays active year-round.
Crested Geckos are known for their calm and docile nature. They can be a bit jumpy when they are young, but with regular handling, they generally grow to be quite comfortable with human interaction. They are not particularly active, but they do enjoy climbing and jumping.
Gargoyle Geckos share many of the same traits. They too are calm and docile, and with regular handling, they become accustomed to human interaction. They tend to be a bit more terrestrial than Crested Geckos, spending more time on the ground.
Verdict: Both species are well-suited for a pet owner seeking a calm, easy-to-handle reptile. However, if you enjoy watching your pet climb and jump, a Crested Gecko might offer a bit more entertainment.
Aggression is not typically a concern with either species. Crested Geckos and Gargoyle Geckos are both known for their docile nature. However, like any animal, they can become stressed or defensive if mishandled or not given enough space. As such, it’s always important to handle them gently and provide ample space for them to move around.
Verdict: It’s a tie! Both species are quite docile and rarely show aggression when properly cared for.
Both species require a vertically oriented enclosure with plenty of climbing opportunities. For Crested Geckos, an enclosure measuring 18x18x24 inches is typically sufficient for an adult, while Gargoyle Geckos will appreciate a bit more space due to their larger size.
Light, Heating, and Humidity
Crested geckos need very specific lighting, heating, and humidity requirements. They need a small amount of heat and UVB lighting to stay happy and healthy. A bulb of about 5% UVB output or a bulb of around 25 watts is enough for these lizards.
The temperature in the basking area should be around 80 degrees in Fahrenheit. These geckos love high humidity levels between 60% to 80%. The optimum humidity level may be achieved easily by misting the tank with water daily.
Gargoyle Geckos: These geckos need small UVB Requirements. A bulb of about 5% UVB output or a bulb of around 25 to 5 watts is usually sufficient to keep your gargoyle gecko bones stronger.
They need a high temperature between 78 degrees to 82 degrees in Fahrenheit. They can tolerate temperatures dropping into the ’60s at night.
The humidity levels for such geckos are about 50% to 70% which is maintained by frequent misting and setting a hygrometer in the tank.
Verdict: Both species require a temperature gradient, with a basking spot in the low 80s (Fahrenheit) and a cooler end in the low 70s.
Both geckos can thrive on a diet of commercial crested gecko diet, which provides all the necessary nutrients. In addition, they appreciate the occasional treat of live insects or fresh fruit.
With regular, gentle handling, both species can become quite accustomed to human interaction. Always handle them with care to avoid causing stress or injury.
Both species are hardy and not prone to many health issues when cared for properly. Regular vet check-ups and maintaining proper habitat conditions are key to ensuring their health.
Verdict: Both species have similar care requirements, making them both a great choice for beginners and experienced reptile keepers alike. However, due to their larger size, Gargoyle Geckos require a bit more space.
Can They Be Kept In Groups?
Crested Geckos can be kept in groups, but with some considerations. Male crested geckos can be territorial, so it’s generally not advisable to keep more than one male in the same enclosure. Female groups or a male-female pair can cohabitate peacefully, but you should always monitor for signs of stress or aggression.
Gargoyle Geckos have similar social dynamics. They can also live in groups or pairs, provided there’s only one male per enclosure. As with Crested Geckos, you should keep a close eye on group dynamics to ensure all individuals are getting along.
Verdict: Both species can be kept in groups, but careful monitoring is required to ensure a peaceful cohabitation.
Price And Availability
Crested Geckos are fairly common in the pet trade and are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from $50 to $300 depending on factors like age, size, and color pattern. They are widely available in pet stores, reptile expos, and from breeders online.
Gargoyle Geckos are slightly less common and more expensive due to their unique appearance and slightly more complex care requirements. Their prices can range from $100 to over $400.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a more affordable and readily available pet, the Crested Gecko would be a better choice. However, if you’re prepared to invest more and seek a more distinctive pet, the Gargoyle Gecko could be a rewarding choice.
Both crested geckos and gargoyle geckos are easy to care for and handle, which makes them both ideal pet beginners. Crested geckos tend to be more active than gargoyle geckos. They are easily available and less expensive than gargoyle geckos.
But if you are looking for a heavier gecko with an enhanced range of colorful patterns, then a gargoyle gecko is suitable. Either way, adopting a new pet takes a lot of time and all the factors such as care, diet, personality, and personal preferences play important role in keeping your pet happy and healthy.