Discover The Crested Gecko

Correlophus ciliatus, commonly known as Crested Gecko, has emerged to be in the top five of beginner reptiles, and with good reason. This species can live in moderate room temperature, feed on a premixed diet, is a prolific breeder, and has a great temperament for young enthusiasts. What more can you ask for?

Distribution
Southern region of New Caledonia (Grande Terre) and a satellite island just Southeast, Pine Island (Isle de Pins).. This species is semi arboreal and found in varying heights from nine feet to thirty five feet high in the trees.

Description
Crested geckos are moderately sized from 7 to 9 inches (head to tail). They receive their common name from the raised crest that runs from above the eyes to the base of the neck and followed by raised scales down the back to the tail. Adhesive toe pads allow the crested gecko to climb and a prehensile tail acts as a fifth appendage. Crested geckos are effective jumpers.

Sexing
Mature males will have preanal pores, enlarged cloacal spurs and a postanal hemipenile bulge. Females will not have preanal pores or bulge. Females tend to have a calm demeanor in comparison to males. It has been observed that young females will spend majority of their time on the ground and middle of the enclosure while males will seek the highest point possible.

Longevity
Potentially long lived with an estimated expectancy of fifteen years in captivity.

Temperature
Much the same as other geckos of the genus a temperature range of 70F to 80F is adequate. Never allow the temperature to fall below 65F or exceed 85F as these temperatures will result in death.

Humidity
Humidity should be between 60-80% with a proper humidity cycle. Allow the enclosure to dry out for a period during the day. Depending on the ventilation of the enclosure you may need to mist up to twice a day. With our partial screen enclosures we mist in the morning and once at night. In a rack system misting once a day is adequate. Also, the amount of misting is varied for geographic region. If you live in a region with low humidity then you will need to mist the enclosure more frequently than in a mediterranean climate.

Diet
C. ciliatus is a frugivorous species – feeding on fruit and live prey. Fruit based meal replacement, such as Crested Gecko Diet, offered 3 times a week and left in the enclosure for two days and 1 to 2 feedings of live prey such as crickets or roaches makes for a balanced diet. When feeding a complete meal replacement be sure not to offer live prey when the diet is available. All live prey should be dusted with a Calcium+D3/Multivitamin supplement before being offered to the gecko. Babyfood is not a staple diet and leads to Metabolic Bone Disease. I highly recommend against feeding babyfood to any frugivorous species and instead using a formulated meal replacement powder that is available commercially.

Housing
Since this is a semi-arboreal species a vertical rather than horizontal enclosure is recommended. The enclosure should have ample hiding places, thick branches and sturdy foliage. The substrate can be organic soil, coconut fiber, or paper towel. Hatchlings to Juveniles are recommended to be on paper towel only due to the potential of ingesting the substrate while hunting for live prey. Below are the recommended enclosures.

  • Hatchling: A five gallon enclosure.
  • Juvenile: A ten gallon enclosure.
  • Adult: A twenty gallon enclosure.

Breeding
Crested Geckos are highly prolific. An adult male and female, properly sexed and introduced to each other in the enclosure will mate. It may take a few attempts but coopulation will succeed. Males should be at least 30g (12 months old) and females should be at least 35g or 18 months old at the bare minimum. We prefer to introduce males to females that weigh 40g. It amazes me to think the Crested Gecko was once thought to be extinct given their breeding habits.

Incubation
We recommend SuperHatch as an incubation medium. Temperatures should be regulated between 72F and 80F. The greater the incubation temperature the shorter the incubation time, and lower the incubation temperature the longer the duration. The longer the duration the larger, healthier the hatchling will be.

Juvenile Care
We house single hatchlings in a small kritter keeper until they reach 10 grams in weight and at that point move them into 10 gallon enclosures up until adult size. I keep the same feeding schedule for Hatchlings as I do Adults with the only difference being the amount of food offered is slightly less.

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