FAQs & Care Guide
Correlophus ciliatus(Crested Gecko)
The crested gecko or eyelash gecko (Correlophus ciliatus) is a species of gecko native to southern New Caledonia. In 1866, a French zoologist named Alphone Guichenot first described the crested gecko. An expedition in 1994, led by Robert Seipp, rediscovered this species.
Crested Gecko Care Guide
Crested Gecko Size
Both male and female crested geckos reach a moderate size of 4 to 4.5 inches snout-to-vent length (SVL), and 8 inches in total length. Crested geckos are sexually mature when 15 to 18 months of age, and at a weight of approximately 40-60 grams.
Crested Gecko Life Span
Under proper care, your crested gecko can live up to 15 to 20 years.
Crested Gecko Food
In this author’s opinion, the complete powdered diet marketed as Repashy Superfoods “Crested Gecko” Diet and Pangea have been the leading brands for a "complete diet", however you will need to feed live insects such as Dubia or crickets no larger than the mouth/head of the Crested Gecko. Crested geckos thrive when fed this diet exclusively, which has been tested with thousands of geckos for more than 10 years. The diet is mixed with two parts water and offered in shallow dishes three times a week as much as these geckos will eat at a feeding. The diet is allowed to remain 24 to 36 hours before removal. You can purchase ledges(magnetic or suction cups) with removable/replaceable cups for feedings. We suggest for the smaller Crested Geckos (3-10grams) to use the bottle caps(silicone or sanitized bottle caps).
Crickets and or Dubia should be lightly coated with a vitamin/mineral supplement that contains calcium, vitamin D3 and a complement of other essential vitamins and minerals. They should be offered three times a week as a primary diet or once a week as a treat/supplement to the Crested Gecko Diet.
Crested Gecko Water and Humidity
Water should always be available for crested geckos in a shallow water dish. These geckos also require a relative humidity of at least 50 percent and preferably 70 percent. In dry areas the tanks should be lightly misted nightly or a cool air humidifier placed in the room. Inexpensive hygrometers (relative humidity gauges) for use with reptiles are now readily available in the pet trade.
Crested Gecko Housing
Baby crested geckos are best housed in large plastic terrariums or in standard (20-inch) 10-gallon reptile tanks with a screen top. An adult crested gecko should be housed in a 20-gallon tank with screen top. Larger tanks will allow for better displays. In areas with moderate to high relative humidity, crested geckos will fare well in screen cages. These tanks have the advantage of being light and easy to clean. We do not suggest housing crested geckos together. Crested Geckos tend to thrive best individually in enclosures.
Keep in mind that regardless of what type of cage you use, that height is more desirable than length or width, particularly with adult geckos. There are now many glass and screen cages and terrariums that are designed specifically to house reptiles. These reptile specific terrariums have many advantages over aquariums designed for fish, and should definitely be considered even though the cost is a bit higher. The Exo Terra 12x12x18 terrarium is an ideal set up for a single adult gecko. For larger adult Crested Geckos we recommend The Exo Terra 18x18x24 terrarium.
Temperature, Heating, and Lighting
Temperatures for crested geckos should be maintained between 70 and 78 degrees for most of the year. At temperatures of 82 degrees or warmer, crested geckos will become stressed, which could lead to illness or death. Cresteds can tolerate nighttime temperature drops down into the mid 60's but it is not necessary to provide this type of nighttime drop. A two month cooling period is recommended to allow breeding crested geckos time to rest. During this period temperatures should be kept at 65 to 70 degrees.
Crested Gecko Substrate
*For new keepers we suggest artificial plants for décor and paper towels for substrate. *
Crested geckos spend most of their time above ground so a variety of substrates can be used. For simple maintenance purposes, paper towels are easily accessible and easily cleaned. For a more naturalistic look and for bioactive enclosures, a peat-moss-based soil mix that doesn’t contain perlite will work well. Also for bio active enclosures coir (coconut fiber pulp now sold in reptile stores as compressed bricks) mixed 50 percent with soil is a good choice for growing live plants.
Crested geckos feel comfortable resting in foliage and like to climb on wood. Good landscape materials include cork bark sections for vertical and ground level shelters and climbing areas. Dried wood branches angled across the length of a vivarium provide resting and activity areas. Do not over clutter the tank. Leave plenty of open space. Live or artificial plants in combination with wood and bark will provide the security crested geckos need to rest in the open and add a decorative element to the display. Good plant selections include small Ficus benjamina, Dracaena spp. and Pothos.
Handling and Care after purchase
Crested Gecko Handling and Temperament
Newly purchased crested geckos should not be handled immediately, but first allowed to settle in for two to four weeks to let them adjust to their new environment and to make sure they regularly feed and eliminate. When you start handling your crested gecko, make handling sessions short, no more than five minutes and work your way up to about 15 minutes. Baby crested geckos tend to be flighty and can be injured in the course of handling. For this reason you should wait until they are at least 3 inches SVL before handling. Crested geckos seldom bite and when they do it is of little consequence. A quick nip and let go. Do not be alarmed if they make a "chirp" noise if they bite. They tend to make a "chirp" noise if in case they are irritated or ready to breed.
Crested Gecko Tails
In nature, crested geckos will usually lose their tails and end up with a tiny pointed tail nub. Tail loss also referred to as “Tailless” or "Frog Butt" is a normal defense mechanism and is not a medical emergency. The gecko will recover quickly and does not require any special care other than keeping gecko on paper towel substrate until the area heals. Crested geckos are one of the few geckos that will not regenerate a new tail.
Checking the Calcium Sacs
Crested Geckos store calcium in the roof of the mouth in what are called endolymphatic sacs. You can check these reserves from time to time to monitor the storage level of calcium. This is particularly important for breeding female geckos and should be done periodically regardless of your feeding practices. We highly suggest referring to Youtube as to how to properly check calcium sacs to ensure proper handling.