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Crested geckos are adorable reptiles and are very easy to care for. Owners of crested geckos can attest to their geckos being lovable and fun to be around all the time. Crested geckos are small and cute, with different colorful patches on their skin. Crested geckos possess their own distinct personality, making them more fun to be with.
In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in demand for captive crested geckos. With this reptile becoming more popular every day, curious individuals have asked where are crested geckos from?
Crested geckos are native to Southern New Caledonia. The species was first thought to be extinct, but were rediscovered by Robert Seipp and his expedition team in 1994. Crested geckos have been favored captive pets since the mid-1990s. Based on the demand for crested geckos, many pet stores now rear these reptiles in environments similar to New Caledonia.
Do you plan to own a gecko very soon? Are you keen to find out more info about a crested gecko before owning one? In this post, we will look at crested geckos’ history, how to care for a crested gecko, and much more.
Where are Crested Geckos From?
Crested geckos originate from the Isle of Pine, Southeast of Grande Terre, New Caledonia. These geckos came on the scene once again in 1994 after being out of sight for several decades. After the re-discovery of these reptiles, crested geckos have become popular as captive pets and for scientific study. Through continuous study, we have come to understand more about crested geckos, as well as their intriguing personality.
One of the main discoveries about crested geckos is that they like to be in an environment similar to their natural habitat. To keep your pet happy, it is important to invest in a tank. Select a tank with hot and cold sides to help your crested gecko regulate its body temperature.
Regular misting of your gecko’s tank will keep the humidity level up. Keeping the tank’s humidity helps your gecko with the required amount of water for consumption. Crested geckos drink water from their natural environment through droplets on leaves and bodies of water.
These conditions are similar to those of their natural habitat. It is necessary to keep your crested geckos in an environment its comfortable with to maintain its overall health.
How to Care for Crested Geckos
When picking a terrarium, you either go big or go home. A 29-gallon terrarium will house an adult crested gecko conveniently. Do not keep two adult male crested gecko together as they will fight and hurt each other.
Add live plants such as ficus, dracaena, etc. to the tank to provide cover for the crestie. They like to climb, so throwing in a few bamboos, driftwood, or creating little hammock etc. will be handy. Regular cleaning of the tank and daily removal of leftover food is necessary to keep your crested gecko healthy.
Substrates are used to line the bottom of your gecko’s tank. Don’t use substrate with loose particles, as the gecko may swallow these, creating health complications.
A good substrate should retain humidity and should be easy to clean. Some examples of good substrate for crested geckos are moss, peat, coconut fiber, bedding etc.
Lighting is usually not necessary as they are nocturnal. But if you opt for lights, ensure to regularly monitor the heat in the tank. More light in your gecko’s tank could mean more heat for your gecko.
Although geckos need heat, too much will cause an imbalance to the hot and cold condition in the tank.
Endeavor to create little hideout for your crestie to escape from the heat when it chooses to. If you want to maintain the humidity in your gecko’s tank, it is important to use a hygrometer regularly. Failing to maintain a gecko’s humid atmosphere may cause significant health problems.
Keep the terrarium clean
Ensuring proper hygiene in your gecko’s terrarium is important to secure their overall health. Remove pieces of debris from plants or accessories in the tank. Also pick up leftover food, and regularly change the water in the dish. It is important to give your pet a long and healthy life.
Mist the tank twice daily, and monitor its humidity with a hygrometer. Misting is also very important because cresties will usually abandon their drinking dish and drink water droplet on the leaves of plant in the tank. To make sure your crestie gets its daily dose of water, regular misting is important.
Feed your crestie
Nutritious crested gecko food is available at local pet stores. These foods contain all essential vitamins your cresties need to thrive. Mix the commercial gecko meal in water and put in a dish for your pet. It is also important to offer your reptile a varied diet mixed with insects and fruits. Cresties will love these from time to time.
When feeding insects to your pet, ensure to dust them with vitamin powder, and cut fruits into appropriate sizes before feeding. Your pet should be fed food, treats and insects three times in a week.
When talking about cresties diet, it would not be complete without water. Fill a shallow dish with water for your crestie, although it would mostly ignore the dish for water droplets from plants in the terrarium.
Handle your crested gecko properly
Cresties are fragile, so be gentle when you handle them. Ensure to guide them with both hands when you pick them up to avoid falling. If newly acquired, allow your gecko get used to its environment for about three weeks before picking it up.
Cresties will get stress easily. When you notice signs of stress, return them to the tank immediately until they feel better.
Signs of stress in crested geckos
Heavy breathing: is an indicator of stress or fear. Listen carefully to your cresties breathing and watch its tummy to confirm its proper respiration.
Open mouth and gasping: When a crestie is stressed, it will usually try to scare you off. Opening its mouth wide and gasping is a popular scare tactic, and this indicates a stressed-out gecko
Growling and squealing: Most geckos are scared of humans, and are usually afraid when we approach them for the first time. But a crestie is used to you, it will remain calm if you pick it up. But when it chirps or squeals during handling, this is a sure sign that your crestie is stressed.
Other signs of stress include;
General Health Issues that Affect Crested Geckos
Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
Crested geckos can suffer from metabolic bone disease at several stages throughout their life. Metabolic bone disease is a common ailment among crested geckos and other reptiles with inadequate calcium in their diet.
Crested geckos that eat foods with too much phosphorus tend to suffer from MBD. High phosphorus will distort the calcium in a crested gecko’s diet and cause its bones to become brittle.
MBD could also become common in reptiles due to a lack of needed UVB light. Vitamin D shortages can result in MBD among reptiles too.
Untreated MBD can lead to deformities, intense lethargy, swollen limbs, and other bone-related issues.
Crested geckos could experience gastrointestinal trouble due to complexities in their digestive tract. Gastrointestinal infections are common in geckos that have an incomplete diet and may lead to other health challenges.
Common symptoms of gastrointestinal disease in crested geckos include:
Some over-the-counter meds could be available for your crested gecko. But if your geckos suffer from gastrointestinal trouble, it is important you see a vet immediately.
Other Facts about Crested Geckos
What Do You Need to Buy for Your New Crested Gecko?
If you just bought a crested gecko, here’s a complete shopping list to help you ensure it has more fun:
Price differences could be common among pet stores based on the size of your choices or their quality.
Feeding Crested Geckos
Crested geckos need a correct dose of calcium and vitamins in their diet. Sadly, not all foods a high calcium content in their composition, making it difficult to maintain a crested gecko’s diet. But with calcium and vitamin supplements, improving a gecko’s natural diet becomes more comfortable.
Providing your geckos correct vitamin and calcium supplements helps them ward off diseases. You can feed your geckos with these supplements by:
Size of food
Wrongly sizing a crested gecko’s meal could cause several problems you don’t want to deal with. Any food you wish to feed your gecko should be smaller than the space within its eyes. If possible, it’s better to feed your crested geckos meals mashed into paste.
Why do crested geckos fear handling?
Crested geckos fear handling due to their natural instinct. Humans are way bigger than them, and will initially come off as predators. Until a crested gecko gets used to handling, it will naturally be scared of being approached by a human.
How long has crested geckos been around?
Crested geckos first came to public knowledge in the mid-1800s after New Caledonia’s colonization. Shortly after the colonization of New Caledonia in the 1860s, crested geckos were thought to have gone extinct. These reptiles were later rediscover in the 1900s, and were brought to limelight after that.
Do crested geckos like receiving attention?
Most cresties are fine with occasional handling, maybe a few times weekly. Handling time can be come in handy to feed, check the weight, and generally get affectionate with your reptile.
Can a crested gecko die from stress?
Yes, consistent stress can be harmful to a crestie. Stress can make this reptile loose its appetite. Lack of food weakens the body and immune system, making it susceptible to various illness that can cause death.
Are crested geckos social with humans?
Crested geckos are solitary in nature but may become friendly with humans they have been with for some time. The low social adhesion of crested geckos seem to be lost on humans as they are favored captive pets.
Final Thoughts: Where are Crested Geckos From?
Where are crested geckos from? You’re sure not to ask this question if you’re done reading.
These reptiles native to New Caledonia are now popular captive pets in North America. Most owners of crested geckos have had one or more of these reptiles for several years. These reptiles have been favored pets for more than three decades and are considered friendly to humans.