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Answering The Most Asked Crested Gecko Questions | Zen Habitats

Answering The Most Asked Crested Gecko Questions | Zen Habitats

Your Top Crested Gecko Questions, Answered.

Whether you are a first time Crested Gecko keeper, seasoned Crested Gecko breeder, or anywhere in between, you are sure to learn something new in this article. We have gathered some of the most common questions about Crested Geckos, for us to answer for you. If you would like to learn more about Crested Geckos, check out our Crested Gecko care sheet.

How long do Crested Geckos live?

Crested Geckos can live 15-20 years with proper care. They have only been kept in captivity for a short period of time, so we may find that their average captive lifespan increases as we learn more about how to care for them.

Where are Crested Geckos from?

Crested Geckos are from southern New Caledonia, a small island off of the coast of Australia. They are found typically within the lower ground level of the forest floor, typically dwelling in low bushes, small trees, and shrubs.

What do Crested Geckos eat?

Crested Geckos are considered omnivores or frugivores. Their diet in the wild consists of over ripe fruits and invertebrates. In captivity, we thankfully have complete Crested Gecko diets to help them meet their nutritional needs! They also will readily eat a variety of insects once per week. You can find out more about feeding your Crested Gecko in our Complete Crested Gecko Food guide!

Crested Gecko Complete Food Guide, gecko, crested gecko, gecko food guide, gecko reptile

How big do Crested Geckos get?

Crested Geckos reach 6-10 inches long from snout to tip of tail and weigh between 35-55 grams when full grown.

What size reptile enclosure for a Crested Gecko?

Adult Crested Geckos do well in enclosure sizes around 18x18x24 or 20 gallons. Since Crested Geckos are arboreal, vertical height is appreciated!

Hatchling geckos can be started in smaller terrariums or tub enclosures with added ventilation. A young baby will do well in a 6 qt plastic tote with paper towel so you can ensure they are eating, pooping, and growing. As they grow and finish quarantine, they can be upgraded into larger vivarium’s until reaching their adult enclosure. It is important to monitor the weight of your Crested Gecko to ensure they are eating and growing properly in each enclosure size. If you find that your gecko cannot seem to keep weight on or is growing lanky, it may be because they are having trouble finding their food and their enclosure size is too large for their current size.

We recommend the Zen Habitats 2x2x2 PVC Reptile Enclosure for a spacious habitat for an adult Crested Gecko!

Kasey Zen Habitats Animal Care manager in front of crested gekco enclosures

Do Crested Geckos need UVB?

Crested Geckos are crepuscular and do not require UVB to survive, however, we recommend offering a low level UVB light as they would likely encounter some level of UVB in the wild. Some Crested Geckos will even be observed coming out to bask in their UVB light! The Arcadia 6%, Arcadia Shade Dweller or ZooMed 5.0 linear UVB are both great options for a Crested Gecko. To learn more about Crested Gecko lighting, check out our Complete Crested Gecko Lighting and Heating Guide!

Are Crested Geckos nocturnal?

Crested Geckos are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during the hours of dawn and dusk. During this time, you will likely find them eating, hunting, or exploring their enclosure! If you are hoping to interact with your pet Crested Gecko, these are the best times to do so since they will be awake and active.

If you are getting a Crested Gecko, or looking for more information, check out our episode of Kasey Talks Critters Crested Gecko Edition, featuring Maddie Smith of Celestial Exotics!

Kasey Talks Critters Episode 2 - crested geckos with Maddie Smith

Why do Crested Geckos lick their eyes?

Despite having beautiful “eyelashes”, Crested Geckos do not have eyelids and cannot blink, so they will lick their eyes to keep them clean!

Do Crested Geckos drop their tail?

Crested Geckos have the ability to drop their tail when startled. This process is scientifically known as “caudal autonomy” and serves as a defense mechanism to help the gecko escape predators in the wild. The tail will typically wiggle and twitch for several minutes after being dropped, which allows the gecko time to escape a hungry predator (or run under your dresser for safety!)

What do I do if my Crested Gecko drops their tail?

Crested Geckos are designed to drop their tails and are not harmed by this process. They are actually so well equipped to lose their tail, that they will hardly bleed if at all! If your gecko drops their tail, allow them to relax and return to their enclosure or back away from their enclosure while they calm down. You do not need to apply any sort of medication or ointment to your geckos wound- it will close entirely within only a few days without any assistance. In fact, applying creams or ointments can actually hinder the healing process. You may opt to put your gecko in a sterile quarantine setup for a few days while the wound heals over, but this is not required since the geckos wound closes off almost instantly after dropping their tail and dirt from your enclosure is unlikely to enter the wound after the fact.

How do I stop a Crested Gecko from dropping their tail?

Truthfully, Crested Geckos can drop their tails at any age for any reason at all. Sometimes, they will drop their tail for seemingly no reason and may not even act scared when doing so. Although babies are more flighty and more likely to drop their tails, adults will also drop their tails on occasion. The most common reasons a gecko may drop their tail is due to loud sounds like thunderstorms, fireworks, or construction, startling movements like a pet by their enclosure or a vaccum, or if something is dropped or stuck on their tail like enclosure decor falling or accidentally closing a terrarium door.

It is important to remember that you should not worry about your Crested Gecko dropping their tail. There is truly nothing you can do to stop or avoid it if it is going to happen, and there is no reason to fear what you cannot control. Your gecko dropping their tail does not mean you are a bad pet owner, and your gecko will forget it happened shortly after as well.

Do Crested Gecko regrow their tail?

No, Crested Geckos do not regrow their tails. Unlike other gecko species, Crested Geckos unfortunately do not possess the ability to regenerate their tails. Where a gecko’s tail once was, a small nub will form. Geckos that have lost their tails are affectionately called “frog butts” by the Crested Gecko community.

It may take them a few days after losing their tail to learn how to balance and navigate without it. If you notice your gecko seeming more unbalanced or uncoordinated than normal, this is normal. They will return to normal once adapting to navigating around without their tail.

Can you keep multiple Crested Geckos together?

It is not recommended to house Crested Geckos together. Crested Geckos are solitary animals and do not benefit from companions. Some people may say keeping females together is fine, but it is not worth the risk for no benefit. Cohabitated Crested Geckos can become stressed, which can result in loss of appetite, weight loss, and lowered immune system. Crested Geckos may fight, which can result in loss of tail, eye injuries, loss of toes, and permanent scarring. Male Crested Geckos are territorial and will fight one another if housed together. Males and females housed together will breed and produce eggs. If housed together for more than a short period of days or weeks for breeding, the male can over breed the female which can lead to the female calcium crashing. If you are considering breeding, it is best to find a mentor that can help you through the process.

Some newer keepers will advocate for cohabitating by saying their geckos are “cuddling”. The “cuddling” behavior is actually animals competing for the best sleeping space in the enclosure. Bottom line, there is no benefit to cohabitating Crested Geckos your Crested Geckos together.

Do Crested Geckos bite?

Anything with a mouth CAN bite. That being said, Crested Geckos are generally calm natured and are not known to bite frequently. They are much more likely to jump and run away instead of biting.

Males can sometimes become nippy in the breeding season once they become mature, but this is not a frequent occurrence. Crested Gecko bites are harmless, and do not frequently break skin.

Kasey and Emzotic holding a crested gecko, Em from Emzotic, popular YouTuber Emzotic

Do Crested Geckos need a heat lamp?

Crested Geckos come from an area that generally stays cool year round. Coupled with living on the lower forest floor where they can seek moisture and cooler area- these geckos are not equipped to handle high heat. Ambient temperatures over low 80ºF can actually kill a Crested Gecko. Using a UVB and a full spectrum light will often raise the enclosure ambient temperature by several degrees and provide a safe thermal gradient to your gecko.

Do Crested Geckos hibernate?

No, Crested Geckos do not hibernate. Though their appetite may be slightly less and their growth may slow down in the cooler months, they do not go through a hibernation cycle.

How to help a Crested Gecko with stuck shed or stuck food on their skin?

Occasionally, a Crested Gecko may get stuck shed. To help your gecko with stuck shed, place them in a container for 15-20 minutes with a paper towel or moss saturated with room temperature water. Do not use warm water, as warm to us warm blooded humans is very hot to a temperature sensitive cold blooded reptile and can quickly send them into shock, or worse!

Once they have sat in their humidity chamber, use a moistened cotton bud to roll the shed or stuck food off of your geckos skin. If stuck shed is left on their toes or tail for too long, it can cause circulation to cut off and they can lose their toes or tail entirely. It is important to address the issue as soon as it is noticed to avoid this. Typically stuck shed is due to either too low or too high of humidity. Crested Geckos require a humidity fluctuation of dry out during the day and humidity spike overnight to properly shed. Prolonged incorrect humidity can lead to bacterial and fungal infections.

To learn more about Crested Gecko humidity, check out our Complete Crested Gecko Heating and Lighting Guide!

Crested gecko inside a bioactive reptile enclosure by Zen Habitats, crested gecko, gecko, 2x2x2 PVC reptile habitat, terrarium,

About the author: Maddie Smith Maddie has been keeping reptiles as pets for more than a decade. She has a passion for educating others about animals, and currently works with over 50 different species including reptiles, amphibians, and birds!


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