Thought to be extinct until as recently as 1994, the New Caledonian crested gecko (sometimes called the eyelash gecko, due to an attractive crest of skin over its eyes that resembles eyelashes) is one of the easiest reptiles to keep, and is quickly growing in popularity as a pet. 

Crested geckos are a crepuscular (active at sunrise and sunset) arboreal (they love to climb and live in trees) semi-tropical reptile. Crested geckos can stick to smooth surfaces with specialized scales on their feet and the tip of their tail, and require no special lighting or heat sources. 

 

To house a crested gecko, you will want a tank that is at least 18” tall for an adult, so that they can climb. Tanks like the Exo Terra allow easy access for cleaning and feeding your gecko. Plastic vines  are a great place for your gecko to hide and feel safe, and are easy to clean. Other tank accessories such as cord rounds for hiding or vines for climbing will give your tank a beautiful, natural look, and give your gecko a chance to hide, play, and exercise. 

Crested geckos should be housed alone. Males will fight, and males and females breed easily, which can quickly lead to a sick and/or exhausted female, and too many babies to deal with. While SOME females may live together peacefully, it’s not a great idea for beginners as fighting can and often does happen, much of the time when you’re not looking!

Crested geckos are very friendly with people and can tolerate some handling, but as they are small (hatching out at approximately 2 grams and growing to a maximum size of about 80 grams,) and can leap several times their body length, small children should be supervised when playing with them. 

Crested geckos are best fed a combination of live insects once a week, and a complete Crested Gecko Diet, by manufacturers such as Pangea or Repashy, who have studied their nutritional needs. 

Some crested gecko facts:

  • Crested Geckos are one of the only geckos that cannot regenerate a lost tail! Once they drop their tails (due to stress, fear, or injury) it will not grow back.
  • Crested geckos have extremely smooth, soft skin which they shed as they grow. Maintaining proper humidity is important to help them shed properly. A gecko that is about to shed may temporarily be unable to climb glass, as its feet become unsticky! 
  • Crested Geckos must be kept between 60 and 80 degrees. If you’re comfortable, they’re comfortable. Being too hot can stress and even kill a crested gecko.
  • Crested Geckos change colors! This is called “firing” and can be quite dramatic, depending on the gecko. This is done due to mood, temperature fluctuations, or for breeding purposes. 
  • Crested geckos can sometimes chirp or even bark!
  • Crested geckos come in a wide variety of colors and patterns (called “morphs.”)
  • Crested geckos are quickly becoming one of the most popular reptiles kept in captivity today, due to their cute faces, pleasant attitude and ease of care.