Where are Crested Geckos From? Crested (Gecko Origin)

Crested geckos, scientifically known as Correlophus ciliatus, have a captivating history and a distinct natural environment that significantly influences their care in captivity. In this post, we will discuss the origin, natural habitat, and re-discovery of crested geckos.

Natural HabitatNew Caledonia, Southwest Pacific
Habitat TypeRainforests
Activity TimeNocturnal
Typical BehaviorClimbing and leaping in trees, feeding on insects and fruit

Crested Geckos’ Origins

Source: Aljazeera

Crested Geckos originate from the tropical forests of New Caledonia, an island, nestled in the Southwest Pacific. Located approximately 750 miles east of Australia, New Caledonia is a biodiversity hotspot teeming with endemic species – species that can be found nowhere else in the world.

Crested geckos reside predominantly in the Southern Province of the island, where they find solace in the dense, humid forests that beautifully echo their existence.

Believe it or not, these vibrant reptiles were once deemed extinct. After being discovered in 1866, they seemingly disappeared and were presumed lost forever. It was not until the tail end of the century, in 1994, that they were rediscovered by a French biologist, Alphonse Guichenot, proving their resilience and tenacity in the face of adversity.

Crested Geckos have a rich evolutionary history. Studies suggest that the lineage of these reptiles dates back millions of years. The geckos we see today are the products of this long, unbroken chain of evolution, adapting and evolving over time to the unique ecosystem that is New Caledonia.

Natural Habitat of Crested Geckos

As discussed earlier, crested geckos are naturally found in New Caledonia, with three distinct populations existing across the region. Their range is naturally restricted, spanning across the South Province of the island, including:

  • The offshore Isle of Pines
  • Grand Terre Island
  • The protected provincial park of Blue River
  • Areas further north, south of Mount Dzumac

Climatic Conditions

New Caledonia experiences three tropical seasons: warm, cool, and transitional. The warm season lasts from November to March, during which the temperatures can soar up to 86°F. This is also the season when the island receives the maximum rainfall, which can measure up to a whopping 120 inches per year.

The cool season sets in from June to August, when temperatures cool down to about 72°F, and rainfall decreases significantly. This period lasts for about four months. The remaining time is the transitional period, characterized by low rainfall and high winds.

Threats in the Wild

Crested Geckos, despite being well-adapted to their native environment, face threats from certain species, particularly fire ants. These ants compete with crested geckos for food and are known to prey on them, attacking in large numbers with a painful sting. These aggressive insects pose a significant risk to the crested gecko populations in the wild.

Filled under: Lizards

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