Lizard with a crest -Learn more with Healthier Pets Today! Crested geckos make an excellent low-maintenance pet for kids or inexperienced poisonous lizards in Florida keepers who only have a little time to spend on their daily upkeep.
They are sometimes called eyelash geckos because one of their distinguishing characteristics is their eyelashes.
New Caledonia is an island nation off the coast of Australia, where these lizards are native. Previously believed to be extinct, they were “rediscovered” in 1994.
Since then, their acceptance as pets has steadily grown. Crested geckos are often built similarly to other poisonous lizards in Florida.
Table of Contents
1. Species Overview
They have a big head, a lengthy tail, and four strong legs. There are, however, a few distinguishing traits that set it apart from other species.
The ridge of scales along each side of a crested gecko’s body is unquestionably the most remarkable feature of their anatomy.
On one side of the face, the ridge begins above the eye and runs along the side of the back until it combines with the fringe from the opposing side close to the base of the tail.
Here is 4 facts about crested lizards:
- Common Names: Crested gecko, New Caledonian crested gecko, eyelash gecko
- Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus ciliatus
- Adult Size: 7 to 9 inches, including their prehensile tails
- Life Expectancy: 10 to 20 years
2. Crested Gecko Behavior and Temperament
Crested geckos have a wide variety of morphs or colors, and markings. Although the size of the crest varies, it starts over their eyes and goes down their necks and backs, giving them their name.
Crested geckos’ unique toe pads enable them to travel around vertical surfaces easily, and their prehensile tails increase their agility.
They can jump exceptionally well, too. Although they can be timid and must be handled carefully, crested geckos often have calm dispositions.
Avoid handling them if you can because they typically dislike it. They might attempt to jump off of you, which could hurt them.
Crested geckos’ tails can fall out if handled violently or when trying to flee. They do not have tail regeneration like other geckos do.
Only when they feel threatened will they bite. Bite injuries are frightening, but they are not severe enough to result in bleeding like with the poisonous lizards in florida.
A terrarium no smaller than 20 gallons tall would do for an adult, though a bigger tank is preferred.
An elevated tank is chosen since these lizards are arboreal, energetic, and require lots of vertical room for climbing.
A tall 29-gallon terrarium can accommodate two to three lizard with a crest. Only one male should be kept per tank because they are territorial.
Although some keepers prefer screened enclosures, you can utilize a glass terrarium with one side screen for ventilation.
Provide a variety of branches, driftwood, cork bark, bamboo, and vines at different heights and orientations since crested geckos need space to climb.
4. Plants and Hiding
They will hide among the plants for cover, so add a variety of silk or hardy live plants like Epipremnum, Philodendron, Dracaena, and Ficus.
You must discard all leftover food and wipe up any feces daily. At least once a month, use disinfectants safe for reptiles to clean the entire terrarium and its ornaments.
To stop bacterial growth, you may need to replace the substrate weekly or monthly, depending on the substrate.
5. Tank Heating
All reptiles must control their body temperature because they are cold-blooded organisms, even poisonous lizards in florida.
For crested geckos, a temperature gradient of 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 26.5 degrees Celsius) during the day and a dip of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius) at night is recommended.
Temperature gauges should be used to monitor the cage to prevent overheating. At higher temperatures, lizards become stressed.
You may see the lizards at night when they are most active, and a low-wattage red night light makes a suitable heat source.
The climbing geckos could go too near and get burned if a heat source is left on the tank.
6. Adequate Lighting
Since crested geckos are nocturnal, they are not strictly in need of UVB lamps. However, some specialists think that a small amount of UVB light (approximately 5%) is suitable for reptile health in general.
The temperature in the cage will rise with any additional lighting, so keep an eye on that. Additionally, give lizard with a crest a place to hide so they can escape the light if they so want.
7. Correct Humidity
The ideal humidity range for a lizard with a crest is between 50 and 70 percent. Purchase a hygrometer (humidity gauge) and check the levels every day.
Regular sprinkling with warm, filtered water can increase humidity. It would be best to spritz your cage a few times daily to maintain a high moisture level, depending on how it is set up.
When the geckos are most active at night, always keep the cage well-misted.
Purchase an automatic mister or fogger to add humidity to the cell at predetermined times if you are not around throughout the day or cannot manually mist the enclosure.
8. What Do Crested Lizards Eat & Drink?
The most straightforward approach to guarantee a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet for crested geckos is to use a commercial diet, which is typically well-received.
Add more crickets and other insects as food sources (roaches, waxworms, silkworms, etc.). Mealworms should not be fed because of their complex, indigestible exoskeleton.
Feed as many prey insects at once as the gecko is anxious to consume for diversity and to let him practice his hunting instincts.
Dust the insects three times a week with a calcium/vitamin D3 powdered supplement to increase your reptile’s intake of vitamins and minerals.
9. Adding Multivitamin
Additionally, you can use a multivitamin powder supplement to dust prey items once per week. Try baby food in a jar or mashed fruit.
Some favorites are bananas, peaches, nectarines, apricots, papaya, mangoes, pears, and passion fruit.
Daily fresh water should be placed in a small shallow water dish, although due to the humid environment, they probably prefer to drink water droplets from leaves.
10. Common Health Problems
A veterinarian specializing in exotic pets can address the few health issues that lizard with a crest are prone to:
- Signs of mouth rot or stomatitis include excessive mucus and mouth redness.
- Wheezing and drooling are symptoms of a respiratory infection.
- Skin problems: a rash that indicates a parasite infection; uneven or challenging shedding that may be brought on by insufficient humidity in the enclosure
11. Purchasing or Adopting Your Crested Gecko
Lizard with a crest are frequently sold because they are so little maintenance and are happy-go-lucky compared to poisonous lizards in Florida.
Try to purchase your crested gecko from a reliable breeder, although they are frequently offered at pet stores.
A crested gecko can cost between $40 and $150; the cost rises with the rarity of the hue or morph.
Make sure your gecko is able to climb adequately, has a straight spine, and has no apparent ribs or pelvic bones before choosing one. It should seem attentive and alive.
It should also have brilliant eyes, a tidy nose, and a vent (fecal opening).
12. How Big Do Crested Geckos Get?
Medium-sized geckos include lizard with a crest. Their overall length is around 8 inches, with the tail making up half of that measurement.
Most crested geckos weigh between 25 and 50 grams when they reach adulthood.
However, females may only effectively reproduce once they weigh 35 grams or more, while males are often considered mature and capable of mating at around 25 grams.
Best Tips for Taking Care of a Lizard with a Crest…
Many reptiles can make excellent pets, but few have as many advantages as lizard with a crest.
They are not only tough creatures that can typically withstand the mistakes keepers make, but they also require less maintenance than many other herps do.
Told they are among the easiest reptiles to maintain and are perfect for new keepers. This does not imply that keeping crested geckos should be taken lightly.
Still, you’ll need to give your new crested gecko the right environment, food, and upkeep.