All About Pets: Meet the Crested Gecko

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There is a very interesting story behind the Crested Gecko. This gecko was thought to be extinct, as none had been spotted since the late 1800s. Then, in 1994, on the island of New Caledonia, it was found that there was a thriving population of the Crested Gecko, which allowed researchers to take some of these reptiles and breed them.

At first, these guys were thought to be quite rare and, not too long ago, were sold for a pretty penny. However, these rare lizards proved to be fairly easy to bred in captivity. The population has increased dramatically and they are now sold in pet stores around the nation at a price of $20 to $100, depending on the color.

What is involved in taking care of one of these exotic pets? Read below for a brief outline of what is expected to keep these beauties thriving.

Quick Fact: First of all, let me just say that Crested Geckos are arguably the easiest reptile to take care of in Petco. Why? Because it does not require any extra heating or lighting, which means no extra money being spent on bulbs or worry spent on if the reptile’s temperature is adequate. Room temperature is usually fine for this durable gecko. (Please note, however, that if you put a gecko in a cold area, such as a basement, heat may be required.)

Diet – Crested Geckos do not need to be fed any crickets or insects. They are perfectly fine with a commercial Crested Gecko food, which is a complete, balanced diet for them. However, it is fun to watch them catch crickets and provides them some mental and physical stimulation. Meal worms and wax worms are also a nice treat food for them and helps provide variety.

Fun facts: Crested Geckos can live 15 to 20 years in captivity! Crested Geckos do not have eyelids! They have transparent membranes that they keep clean by licking their eyeballs!

Housing – When choosing a habitat for this reptile, make sure you get something that is taller than it is wider, as they like to climb and explore. These reptiles are arboreal which means they like to live in trees or anything related to a tree. It is ideal to mist the enclosure to keep humidity up because you want the temperature to be between 75 to 80 degrees in the day and 68 to 75 degrees at night.

If you have cold winters or keep the enclosure somewhere cold, it is recommended to provide 10 to 12 hours of light a day. This can be an incandescent day bulb, ceramic heater or a black incandescent bulb. The size of the enclosure should be around 18x18x24 inches.

It is also recommended that you include real plants and/or fake plants, branches, vines and things for them to climb and hide in. It is good to have surface area of plants as they lick the water off the leaves. For substrate, you can use forest bark, coconut fiber or sphagnum moss. This allows the humidity to last longer inside the tank.

Hygiene – Crested Geckos regularly shed their skin so make sure that you have the humidity of your habitat at an appropriate level so that it can facilitate shedding. If your gecko is having a hard time shedding, simply immerse its body in warm water and that should aid in the shedding process. Good signs that your gecko is healthy are clear eyes, healthy skin, eats normally and looks alert without any discharge in eyes or nose.

The above is a brief overview of what you are to look forward to when getting your first Crested Gecko. This information is only touching the tip of the iceberg, so I recommend doing your own research and talking to pet store employees for more information to prepare your home for one of these beautiful reptiles. Good luck!

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