Reptiles have become increasingly more popular as pets lately. These amazing creatures have allowed many people who—due to allergies—may never have had the joy of owning a pet. Crested Geckos are, without a doubt, one of the most popular reptile pets. Cresties are famously known for their adorable eyelash look and are often called the Eyelash Gecko. These eyelashes are crests of scales which run down both sides of their heads, which sparked their other nickname of Cresties.
Back From The Brink Of Extinction
Crested Geckos are originally from southern New Caledonia and were originally discovered in 1866 by French zoologist Alphone Guichenot. After that, almost a century passed with no sightings, so scientists sadly believed them to be extinct. Then in 1994, during a tropical storm, a single Crestie was found washed up. In 1996, an expedition led by Robert Seipp to New Caledonia led to the rediscovery of Crested Geckos. Because they have been so fragile in the wild, it is important to double-check that your Crested Gecko pet has been captive-bred and not wild-caught.
The variety of colours and colour morphs for Crested Geckos is almost endless. Because enthusiasts have diligently bred crested geckos to save the wild population, breeders have been able to breed many amazing colours and patterns known as morphs. Morph is derived from the word polymorphism, which means multiple visually-distinct versions of animals from within the same species. For example, two different parents can create a third unique colour morph.
Breeders always strive to combine just the right parents to create the most unique and stunning morphs. With so many different morphs, keeping track of what is what can be complicated and intricate. But thankfully, there are quite a few colour morphs which everyone can agree on. Here are a few of the top colour morphs scientists and breeders agree on regarding a name for a morph.
Patternless Crested Gecko: No patterns, spots, or stripes. Generally olive, chocolate, dark black, red, and yellow are the most common colours.
Bi-Colour Crested Gecko: Also patternless with a dual tone of colour.
Flame Crested Gecko: These have a cream pattern which comes up their sides and resembles flames.
Tiger/Brindle Crested Gecko: A “tiger stripe” pattern upon their dorsal earns them the tiger name. They can come in all the different colours as well. Extreme tiger stripe patterns will be known as Brindles.
Home & Diet
One of the best parts of crested geckos is they are easy to care for! Plan on having a good size terrarium; one about 29 gallons will house 1—3 geckos. Remember that your Crestie is nocturnal and from a tropical climate, so some heat and lighting considerations exist.
For lighting, you’ll need to use a lower-wattage bulb so it does not get too hot; they will need their light for 10—12 hours in the daytime. Crested Geckos do not need light at night as they can see just fine. If you find you would like to see them at night more, add a nightlight to the room to mimic moonlight. Your crested gecko will enjoy the look of moonlight and be tempted to come out where you can enjoy their nocturnal behaviour!
For heating, you will need a daytime and a nighttime bulb. Daytime temperatures can range from 750—80°F and nighttime from 68—75°F. You can use a timer to set up all your fixtures, and the transitions from day to night are set and will turn over at the proper times.
The terrarium of the Crested Gecko is a perfect opportunity to create a bio-active culture for them. Bio-active cultures are the best way to give your pet a home which gives them the benefits of their natural conditions. A bio-active culture is where you create the simulated conditions that your pet would have in their natural wild environment. This means dirt, plants, rocks, wood, and of course, the bugs! By bugs, we mean isopods—they are perfectly suited for the terrarium’s clean-up jobs. They handle the mess, so you don’t have to!
You can feed your Crested Gecko a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. They will also enjoy a variety of fruits, such as peaches, bananas, and mangos. There is a large range of commercially-available foods now for Crested Geckos available in pet stores, so feeding your Crestie is quite easy and stress-free!
Want to learn more about these cool, warm-blooded creatures? We don’t blame you! Stop by Mother Nature today for all the expert advice you need to keep your crested gecko feeling at home.