Crested geckos are native to New Caledonia and also to Isle of Pines. There is a crest which starts at their eyes and runs down their backs, giving them their name. They have become popular pets because they are easy to handle and to take care of. They can change color or 'fire up' at different times of the day and the colors can range from dull brown to light orange to reddish hues. These geckos have sticky pads on their feet, which enables them to walk up walls and across the ceiling. They are accomplished at jumping and make full use of the available space. Watching geckos in their enclosure, is great fun.
How to care for a Crested Gecko
If you plan to keep a crested gecko as a pet, you can maintain a care sheet, which will help you in taking care of your pet. They like habitats with small trees and low shrubs. However, during the day they look for hiding places near the ground, to sleep during the day. Unusual appearance, and the ease with which one can care for a crested gecko have contributed to their increasing popularity. It is important to remember that they may need higher humidity than some of the other larger lizards. Hence, you may have to pay special attention to their cages and keep it a little more humid than the surrounding.
Housing for this gecko should be taller than its width, as these geckos climb all the time. You can use a 20 gallon aquarium to keep not more than three geckos in it. It is recommended you do not place two males together in an enclosure. In the enclosure, provide the geckos with live plants, but ensure that it is not toxic and has multiple branches, which will help the geckos in climbing and hiding. You can use potting soil, different type of moss, etc., to have a natural environment in the enclosure.
They like crickets and different worms for their food. You can dust or spray the insects with vitamin supplements, including calcium, if you have a female. Commercial pet food for crested geckos is also available at pet shops. They may also take a liking to baby food, so you can also feed them with very small quantities of different types of baby food. Sweet fruits are also their weak point. They are especially fond of over-ripe fruits; when in wild, that is what they feed themselves with.
It is important to feed them at night, as they are predominantly nocturnal animals, but it is important that you clean their terrarium every morning of all the uneaten food. It is recommended to feed them with insects 2 to 3 times a week. However, uneaten insects also have to be cleared the next morning.
As far as water is concerned, these geckos like to lick only droplets of water from leaves or other surfaces. You can keep a dish of water in the enclosure.
Lighting, Temperature and Humidity
In the enclosure, you can use a full spectrum of fluorescent light to provide 10 to 12 hours of light per day. Humidity should be maintained at approximately 50%. The enclosure can be misted every night to achieve the right humidity. If the enclosure of the gecko lies in a room which is especially cool, then use an incandescent bulb in the enclosure and maintain 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit temperature during the day and drop the temperature to 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Once you are aware of the basics of having them as pet, crested geckos will become a great companion for at least 10 to 12 years, as they are very docile and enjoy handling.