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Crested Gecko

Name Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Type Arboreal Lizard, loves to climb & jump
Where am I from? New Caledonia
Handle-ability Excellent
Length/size Ave 10 inches
Suitable for Beginners
Life span Average 10 years


Crested Geckos are arboreal, so a vivarium with room to climb will be appreciated, such as a branch or perch. This can be as simple or complex as your imagination dictates! Ideally, there should be somewhere for your gecko to hide at several levels within the vivarium such as plants of hide boxes. This will also allow your gecko to thermo-regulate by moving higher and lower. A large vivarium is not required, and crested geckos are ideally suited to a 30cm x 30cm vivarium which is 45cm high(12 inches x 12 inches x 18 inches). Crested geckos also do well in glass terrariums, as these keep in the humidity, but let out any excess heat. A substrate which will hold the humidity, without going mouldy such as eco earth or plantation soil is ideal for Crested Geckos.


Crested Geckos prefer cooler temperatures. During the day they prefer a temperature around 24C (75F). This can often be achieved with little or no additional heating at all. If required, a small heat mat on the back or side of the terrarium is often enough to attain the correct temperature. Being kept much above 28C (82F) for prolonged periods, will stress your gecko and consequently affect its health. At night time drop in temperature to as low as 13C (55F) is fine. It is always best to check temperatures with a reliable thermometer.


Crested Geckos are nocturnal, and as such do not need any form of UV ligh or basking lamp. It is of no detriment, and may actually encourage natural behaviour to have a light in the vivarium during the day for display purposes. A night time bulb is not needed, but may be used if desired.


Crested geckos need moderate to high humidity levels. Aim for 60-80 % relative humidity and monitor this with a hygrometer. Maintain humidity levels with regular misting with warm filtered water. Your Crested Gecko will most often drink from sprayed water droplets rather than a bowl. Depending on your cage set up you may need to mist the cage several times a day to keep the humidity up.


A commercial crested gecko diet is the easiest way to ensure a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Alternatively, mashed fruits(not citrus) and fruit baby food mixed with some honey, and a small amount of calcium and vitamins also works well. This can be supplemented with crickets and other prey insects for variety and to allow the gecko to exercise its hunting instincts. Any insects fed should ideally be slightly smaller than the space between the gecko's eyes. Feeder insects should be gut loaded prior to feeding, and dusted with a calcium/D3 supplement. Try to feed in the evening; juveniles should be fed daily but adults do not need to be fed every day and 3 times a week is recommended by many keepers.


Crested geckos are fairly easy to breed in captivity. The geckos need to be about 32-35g in size, and once introduced will usually mate within a day. Eggs are usually white and are laid in twos. They can be incubated in damp vermiculite at a temperature of 20- 25C. Hatching will occur after 60-90 days. The warmer the temperature the shorter the incubation time.

Buying Tips

Look for a gecko which is lively. In the daytime they may hide away as they are nocturnal, so ask to see your gecko up close before making a purchase. Look for clear bright eyes, no retained shed, and no faecal staining/loose stools in the gecko's enclosure.


There are several different pattern morphs of Crested Gecko such as Pinstripe, Harlequin, Flame, Creamsicle and Dalmatian.