. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crested Geckos
Care: Crested geckos are one of the easiest reptiles for a beginner or the tried and true herpetologist. Unlike many other
reptiles room temperature generally is acceptable (upper60's to mid 70's). They also do not require expensive UVB lighting.
A simple cage set up should include a feeding dish, a water dish, limbs for them to climb on and a suitable substrate(we use
reptibark). A light misting daily helps in the shedding process and they will often drink the droplets as well. A secluded
hide spot is also beneficial for their well being as they like to be out of sight during the day time hours. The orientation
of the cage should be more vertical than horizontal as they are arboreal.
Due to the fact they are arboreal and nocturnal you will not see them much during the daytime hours we use standard flourescent
lighting during the daytime and place red plastic wrap under the bulbs during the evening to view them. They are VERY active
in the night hours. We get hours of enjoyment just watching and listening to them. The little buggers chirp and squeak almost
like birds when looking for mates and during courtship.
Captive Propagation: These little
geckos are quite prolific breeders and caring for them in their breeding state is as simple as normal care for them. Only
place one male per enclosure and up to four females. Enclosure should be at least 30 gal tank size or larger. Mating usually
occurs at night and may go unnoticed. Eggs (2) will generally be laid in approximatley 60-70 days after. We provide a simple
nesting box for our females in every enclosure. They may consist of nothing more than a small tupperware dish filled with
approximately two inches of moist, not wet, vermiculite. You may substitute this with others such as soil mix or perlite.
I remove the eggs as soon as they are found and place them in deli cups with moistened vermiculite burying the eggs half way.
Incubation times vary from 60-80 days depending on the general temperature. We incubate at 73 degrees and eggs generally hatch
in 70 days. We do not need the use of an incubator as our room temperature in our home stays at 73 degrees year round. I do
not recommend allowing you to let your geckos to lay more than five clutches in a row without giving them at least one month
off to recover.
Feeding: Unlike many other reptile
species Crested geckos are easily maintained on non-living diets. We do use live prey occasionally and would recommend it
to anyone aquiring one. The main staple of our colonies is fruit flavored baby food. We mix in calcium and vitamin supplements
with every feeding and on occasion we mix in meat type baby food into the mixture to increase protein and calcium intake.
We also place dusted(calcium) mealworms and crickets in the tanks occasionally for them to feed on live prey. The easiest
way I have found for feeding one or many geckos is to mix a large batch of food in advance. After it is thoroughly mixed I
place it into a small ziplock baggie and cut a very small hole in the corner. Then you can use it like a pastry bag and squirt
small dime size droplets onto a piece of waxed paper. Place the waxed paper into freezer and after they are frozen remove
them and place in a new baggie. Now you have food easy to store and ready for everyday feedings. Just simply remove the necessary
amount and place on their feeding dish as soon as it thaws in the evening they will come down and lick it up.
Crested Geckos cont.
History: Rhacodactylus Ciliatus is
somewhat new in the pet industry as it was only rediscovered in the early 90's. Before this they were believed to be extinct.
They are found in relativlely large numbers now on the islands of New Caledonia. Many since then have been captively bred
and their numbers in captivity have been on the increase ever since. They have also been known in the industry as eyelash
geckos due to the frills that run vertically along either side of their bodies starting above their eyes. Their life expectancy
is believed to be around twenty years if maintained in good captive conditions. This is still unknown as they have only been
in captive breeding programs for just at ten years. Most of the original geckos are still alive and thriving today.
Future concerns or questions: contact
me for further assistance or answers to general questions concerning your little gecko email to firstname.lastname@example.org