Crested Geckos: Correlophus ciliatus With their low maintenance care and adorable faces, “cresties” make wonderful pets for anyone interested in getting into reptiles. They are usually able to be handled and have great personalities as well. As with all exotic species, they do have specific care requirements to make sure they stay healthy and active.
Basic Info Age: Average 15-20 years Size: 7-9 inches as adults, tail included
Behavior Young crested geckos are often flighty and will try to leap away, so handling times should be limited as they learn to get used to their new owners. If startled or frightened, they will often drop their tail. Although this won’t grow back, they will be just fine without it. They are also nocturnal, and tend to be nonaggressive and mellow when being handled.
Diet In recent years, specially formulated diets have been created that have made crested gecko ownership easier than ever. Pangea and Repashy both offer fruit diets that are an excellent staple diet. They also enjoy insects such as crickets, dubia, or waxworms, which can be offered as weekly treats to complement the formulated diet. These insects should be dusted with a calcium powder supplement and given at least once a week. They drink by licking droplets of water off plants and the sides of the enclosure, so they should be heavily misted twice daily.
Environment & Caging Crested geckos are best housed alone, especially when young, as they tend to be territorial. They are also arboreal, meaning they prefer to live high up in trees. This means they prefer enclosures that are taller than they are long. Decorating the enclosure with plenty of branches and leaves will also make them feel more secure, as they spend most of the day hiding under leaves. They are a great species to do a naturalistic enclosure for, although artificial plants and branches are also fine for them. Unlike most of our other captive reptiles, cresties also need cooler temperatures. They do best at 74-78 degrees Fahrenheit, and never above 85. Because of this, they often don’t need a supplemental heat source. They also don’t require UV light for proper growth, although they will most likely appreciate this and you will need lights if you choose to use live plants. A relative humidity of 50-70% is preferred as well.
Veterinary & Preventative Care We recommend a physical examination every 6-12 months. A vet will perform a fecal examination for parasites and perform other diagnostic tests if necessary. Some common health issues to check for can include respiratory ailments, obesity or weight loss, trouble shedding, and calcium deficiency