Caring for your Crested Geckos
Rhacodactylus ciliatus Share/Bookmark

Crested Gecko Description

Latin Name: Rhacodactylus ciliatus.
Adult Size: 18cm to 22cm.
Average Life Span: Longevity is unknown at this time, but it is believed their lifespan could be from 10 to 20 years.
Native Distribution: This species was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994 living in the rainforests of Caledonia.
Physical Description: Adults range in colour from yellow, orange, red, brown, gray, white, and green.
Temperament: A peaceful nocturnal insectivore / frugivore.
Status in the Wild: Unprotected.

Crested Gecko Habitat

Native Habitat: Found in warm, humid areas, where they live in the rainforest canopy.
Ambient Temperature: 22C at night to 28C during the day.
Basking Temperature: Not applicable.
Humidity Range: 70% to 90%.
Lighting: Full spectrum fluorescent.
Terrarium Size: Adults are best kept singularly or in male / female pairs with at least 12,000 cubic cm of enclosure space per animal.
Terrarium Decor: Rainforest motif.
Terrarium Substrate: Sphagnum moss.
Terrarium Containment: Crested Geckos can easily climb branches and smooth surfaces. Terrarium tops are necessary.

Crested Gecko Husbandry

Hygiene: Remove uneaten food items after 24 hours.
Feeding: Crested Geckos are primarily insectivorous lizards and should be fed insects and insect larvae. Crickets dusted with vitamin and mineral powder may be fed as a staple in their diet. Crested Geckos should also be offered apricot and peach baby foods supplemented with vitamin and mineral powder as well.
Handling: Crested Geckos should be handled with care as they can be somewhat nervous and may drop their tails while trying to escape. Once their tail is dropped it will heal over but will not regrow.
Terrarium Compatibility: Crested Geckos may be kept with other rainforest frogs and lizards which are too large to be considered as prey.

Crested Gecko Breeding

Maturity: Sexual maturity is reached at approximately one year of age.
Sexing: Adult males have unmistakeable hemipenal bulges. See sexing Crested Geckos photograph.
Conditioning: Keep adults well fed with a variety of foods.
Cycling: Crested Geckos begin breeding in the spring and may produce between 10 and 18 clutches of eggs during the spring and summer months. Begin the cycling process in the fall by gradually reducing feeding and lowering the temperature to 19C to 23C. As spring approaches, gradually increase feeding and raise the temperature to 23C to 27C.
Sex Ratio: Should be bred in M/F pairs or harems with one male to several females.
Egg Laying: Gravid females should be provided with a nest box consisting of moist sphagnum moss and potting soil to a depth of four inches. The female may dig for several days before egg laying. Clutches usually consist of two eggs. See Crested Gecko egg photographs.

Crested Gecko Care of Eggs / Young

Incubation Temperature: 24C to 27C.
Incubation / Gestation Time: 60 to 90 days. Eggs will begin to swell approximately one month prior to hatching. See Crested Gecko egg photographs.
Size at Birth: 2cm to 3cm total length.
Hatchling Sex Ratio: Not temperature dependant.
Feeding: Babies should be fed 5mm crickets and apricot baby food supplemented with vitamin and mineral powder.
Housing: Housing young Crested Geckos together seems to pose no problems as long as they are of similar size.

Crested Gecko Ailments

Disclaimer: Any course of treatment should be preceded by a thorough examination from a qualified professional. All remedies for ailments given above are for reference purposes only.

Crested Gecko References

Crested Gecko Links