Crested geckos, also known as Rhacodactylus ciliatus, are a popular choice for pet owners due to their gentle nature, low maintenance, and unique appearance. With their crested head, large expressive eyes, and prehensile tail, cresties, as they are affectionately known, are an interesting and rewarding species to keep as a pet.
If you are considering adding a crested gecko to your household, it is important to do your research and understand their specific care needs. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about keeping the crested gecko as a pet, including their habitat, diet, and general care requirements.
This blog post will cover everything you need to know about keeping the crested gecko as a pet, including their habitat, diet, and general care requirements.
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Crested Gecko – Fact Sheet
|Life span||10-20 years|
|When active?||at night|
|Food||crickets, mealworms, house crickets, fruits|
|Animals||at least two females|
The crowned gecko is an attractive and self-confident contemporary that likes to put itself in the right light. Not only because of its exotic appearance, which can come in many forms, but also because of its innate talent as a climbing expert, it is a real eye-catcher.
Description of the Crested Gecko
Crested geckos are cheeky little guys! These exotic pets are nimble, constantly climbing and crawling around and love to jump – almost like little frogs. Of course, not every Crested gecko is the same, as they all have different personalities. Therefore, one crown gecko may be a little more active and the other a little quieter. But what they all have in common are the spikes all over their body.
What makes Crested Geckos unique?
Crested geckos have small prongs around their eyes that look like eyelashes. By the way, to moisten their eyes, the reptiles lick them with their tongues, which looks very cute. Also, Cresed geckos have serrations on either side of their head, forming a comb and running along the body to the tail. Because the serrations resemble the shape of a lordly crown, they have been given this name. Crested geckos can be gray, brown, green, yellow, and red and can have various patterns, such as stripes or spots.
Crested geckos are fragile!
Crested geckos are gentle and peaceful animals. If you push them very hard, they can bite, but this feels more like a pinch and is harmless because the animals are not poisonous. The greater danger comes from humans, as the animals are very fragile and can be easily bruised or injured.
Like all geckos, they will throw off their tails to save themselves from a dangerous situation. For example, you are holding them by the tail. But be careful: The tail of crown geckos does not grow back. Of course, the animals feel most comfortable when they are not touched because they are not cuddly animals.
Keeping the Crested Gecko as a Pet
One of the most important factors to consider when keeping a crested gecko as a pet is their habitat. Crested geckos are native to New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific, and are used to living in humid environments with plenty of foliage.
To replicate this type of environment in your home, you will need to provide your crested gecko with a terrarium or enclosure that is large enough for them to move around and explore. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 10-20 gallons of space per gecko, depending on the size of the gecko and the number of geckos you have.
Inside the terrarium, you will need to provide your crestie with a substrate, such as a coconut coir or cypress mulch, that will hold moisture and help to maintain the proper humidity levels. You should also include plenty of hiding places, such as small caves or cardboard boxes, for your gecko to retreat to when they feel threatened or need to rest.
In addition to the substrate and hiding places, you should also provide your crestie with live or artificial plants to give them something to climb on and explore. Live plants are a great addition to the terrarium as they can help maintain the proper humidity levels naturally, but choosing plants that are safe for reptiles and not toxic is important. Some good options include ficus, pothos, and snake plants.
Crested geckos are omnivores, requiring a varied diet that includes both plant and animal matter. In the wild, crested geckos feed on insects, fruit, and nectar, and it is essential to replicate this type of diet in captivity.
One of the most convenient and widely accepted methods of feeding crested geckos is by using a commercial crested gecko diet, such as Repashy Crested Gecko Diet or Pangea Fruit Mix Complete Gecko Diet. These diets are formulated to provide your crestie with all of the nutrients they need and can be fed as a complete diet or used as a base for adding additional fruits and insects.
In addition to a commercial diet, you should also offer your crestie a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, pears, and leafy greens, as well as a small number of insects, such as crickets or mealworms. Dusting the insects with a calcium supplement before feeding is important to ensure that your crestie is getting enough of this essential nutrient.
It is also important to provide your crestie with a clean and constant water source. You can do this using a water dish or misting the enclosure with a spray bottle. It is essential to remember to clean and refill the water dish or spray the enclosure with fresh water daily to prevent the buildup of bacteria and parasites.
Handling and Interaction:
In addition to providing your crested gecko with a suitable habitat and diet, there are a few other key factors to consider when it comes to their general care. One crucial aspect of crested gecko care is lighting and temperature. Crested geckos do not require any special lighting beyond a low-wattage basking lamp to provide a source of heat and mimic the natural day/night cycle.
It is important to maintain a temperature gradient in the terrarium, with one end being slightly warmer than the other so that your crestie can regulate their body temperature. The ideal temperature range for crested geckos is 70-80°F during the day and 60-70°F at night.
Another important aspect of crested gecko care is handling. While cresties are generally gentle and docile creatures, they can be easily stressed by rough handling or being handled too frequently. It is important to handle your crestie gently and only do so when necessary, such as for cleaning or medical purposes. It is also a good idea to give your crestie some time to acclimate to their new surroundings before handling them too much.
Crested geckos are relatively low-maintenance pets, but they do require regular care and attention. This includes cleaning their enclosure and providing fresh food and water daily, as well as monitoring their overall health and behavior. It is a good idea to have a veterinarian who is familiar with reptile care on hand in case of any health issues or emergencies.
Crested geckos are a popular choice of pet among reptile enthusiasts due to their low-maintenance care requirements and generally hardy nature. However, like any animal, crested geckos can occasionally experience health issues that may require medical attention. Here are some common health issues to watch out for in crested geckos:
- Metabolic bone disease (MBD): This condition is caused by a deficiency in calcium and vitamin D3, which can result in weak or brittle bones. Signs of MBD include lethargy, difficulty moving, and a soft or deformed jaw. MBD can be prevented by providing a balanced diet and proper lighting for your crested gecko.
- Dehydration: Crested geckos are prone to dehydration, especially if they are not provided with enough water or if the humidity in their enclosure is too low. Symptoms of dehydration include sunken eyes, dry or sticky skin, and lethargy. To prevent dehydration, make sure to provide your crested gecko with fresh water every day and maintain proper humidity levels in the enclosure.
- Respiratory infections: Crested geckos are susceptible to respiratory infections, which can be caused by stress, poor nutrition, or a dirty enclosure. Symptoms of a respiratory infection include difficulty breathing, sneezing, and mucus discharge from the nose or mouth. If you suspect your crested gecko has a respiratory infection, it is important to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.
- Mouth rot: Mouth rot, also known as stomatitis, is an infection of the mouth that can be caused by dirty or damaged teeth, or a vitamin deficiency. Symptoms include swelling or redness of the mouth, difficulty eating, and the presence of pus or discharge. If left untreated, mouth rot can be fatal. It is important to keep your crested gecko’s teeth clean and to provide a balanced diet to prevent this condition.
By regularly monitoring your crested gecko’s health and providing proper care, you can help prevent these and other health issues from occurring. If you suspect your crested gecko is experiencing any health issues, it is important to seek medical attention from a veterinarian who is experienced in treating reptiles.
In conclusion, the Crested Gecko can be a rewarding and enjoyable pet for those who are willing to provide them with the proper care and attention. With their unique appearance, gentle nature, and relatively low maintenance requirements, cresties are an excellent choice for those looking to add a reptile to their household.
By following the care guidelines outlined in this blog post, you can help ensure that your crested gecko stays happy and healthy for years to come.
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