Crested geckos, also known as eyelash geckos, were thought to be extinct until 1994, when several relatively large, thriving populations were found on the islands of New Caledonia.
Crested Gecko Facts
average adult size:
5 to 8 inches
average life span:
5 to 10 years with proper care
Will reach adult size in 9 to 12 months, under ideal conditions; upgrade habitat size as your reptile grows.
A well-balanced crested gecko diet consists of:
Commercial crested gecko food, which is a complete balanced diet. This powder can also be used to dust insects.
As a treat, provide a variety of insects, including gut-loaded (recently fed) crickets, mealworms and waxworms.
Sweet baby foods, such as peach, banana or apricot can be mixed with the crested gecko diet and offered as a treat.
Things to remember when feeding your crested gecko:
Fresh, clean, chlorine-free water should be available at all times.
Feed commercial food every night and remove uneaten food in the morning.
Insects should be given at night, 2 to 3 times weekly; remove uneaten insects in the morning.
Sprinkle insects with a calcium supplement at each feeding and a multi-vitamin supplement once or twice a week.
Size - Appropriately sized glass or plastic habitat with secure cover. Height is more important than floor space.
Habitat - Provide multiple branches for climbing and shelter for hiding; live, non-toxic plants are also recommended. Maintain 60 to 80% humidity by misting as needed everyday.
Substrate - Use sphagnum moss and mulch-type
Substrate - Use a mulch type such as coconut fiber, dampened sphagnum moss or bark.
Temperature - Daytime between 75° and 82°F; nighttime between 68° and 75°F; recommend radiant heat. Use a low wattage heat lamp if necessary.
Lighting - Provide light 10 to 12 hours a day. An incandescent day bulb is needed for basking area if not using a ceramic heater or nocturnal incandescent bulb.
Keep only one adult male crested gecko per enclosure and do not house different reptile species together.
Crested geckos are nocturnal (active at night) and will spend most daylight hours hidden in their habitat.
Exceptional leapers, they will jump from one perch to the next almost like frogs.
Will tolerate gentle handling; rough handling will stress your gecko and may cause them to drop their tail, which will not grow back.
Crested geckos lick their eyeballs to moisten them.
Thoroughly clean and disinfect the habitat at least once a week: place chameleon in a secure habitat; scrub the tank and furnishings with a 3% bleach solution; rinse thoroughly with water, removing all traces of bleach smell; dry the tank and furnishings completely and add clean substrate.
Grooming & Hygiene
Crested geckos regularly shed their skin; ensure humidity of habitat is at appropriate level to allow proper shedding. To facilitate shedding, provide a shed box, a hide box with sphagnum moss, that will aid in the shedding process.
Do not be surprised to see a crested gecko eating their shedding skin.
Signs of a Healthy Animal
Active, alert and interested in humans
Body and tail are filled out
Clear nose and vent
weight loss or decreased appetite
mucus in mouth or nose
bumps, sores, or abrasions on skin
paralysis of limbs
retained shed on toes
If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian.
Common Health Issues
Symptoms or Causes
Runny stools, caked or smeared stool around the vent area and loss of appetite caused by bacterial or parasitic infection.
Consult your veterinarian.
Metabolic bone/vitamin deficiency
Inability to absorb calcium due to insufficient UVB light or improper amounts of calcium/vitamin D. If untreated, can lead to a disorder characterized by deformities, softened bones, swollen limbs and lethargy.
Consult your veterinarian and provide ample UVB lighting and the proper amount of calcium/vitamin supplements.
Labored breathing and mucus in the mouth or nose. Can be caused by a habitat that is too cold or damp.
Consult your veterinarian and ensure habitat is the proper temperature.
Ask an associate about Petco's selection of books on crested geckos and the variety of private brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All private brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.
Because all reptiles are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your reptile or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of disease.
Pregnant women, children under the age of 5, senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing or caring for reptiles and should consider not having a reptile as a pet.
Go to the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/healthypets for more information about Lizards and disease.
This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.
Note: The information in this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.
Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.