The Crested Gecko
Daniel A. Sanchez
September 18, 2013
The Crested Gecko
The New Caledonian Crested Gecko is one of the most sought out reptiles in the herptoculture hobby today. This medium-sized gecko has all the qualities of what to expect of a pet lizard. They combine their sheer beauty and low maintenance and docile tempers, making it an all around great pet to own (Rhacodactylus, p. 16). In the herpetological society, the crested gecko’s popularity has grown above hobbyist, into the hands of many first time pet owners, giving a first time experience made easy. According to Fester, (2007) “the rare Crested Gecko thought to be extinct but rediscovered ...view middle of the document...
18). Weighing only 50-60 grams as an adult, their size makes them easy animals to handle for even the kids. In my experience, holding these animals are not a challenge, making them easy to hand train by holding them three times a week for a few minutes at a time. They do, however have the tendency to leap like frogs so I would recommend letting them leap from hand to hand. The benefit of owning an animal of this size is also the enclosure they are kept in. According to De vosjoli, Fast, and Repashy (2003) “Baby crested geckos can be kept in small plastic keepers until they reach juvenile size, which is about five inches”(p. 19). I recently purchased a juvenile crested gecko, and its habitat is a medium sized terrarium, where it will live throughout its life span. In observing my daughters interaction with her crested gecko, it is clear that he is a manageable size and is not skirmish giving her an enjoyable experience with her new pet. While the crested gecko’s size makes them easy to handle, the care for crested geckos becomes easier and less expensive with little or no special lighting and heating needed.
Heating and lighting are not necessary for crested geckos, keeping the cost of the supplies down, as well as the cost of electricity. According to Caponetto (2013) “ crested geckos are one of very few reptile species that thrive in virtually the same temperature range that humans also find comfortable” (Ciliatus.com). Since our family has owned this gecko our family has not needed to purchase any special lighting or heating lamps, which can be costly. For example, other lizards require heating and special lighting, which in turn costing hundreds of dollars up front and much more for replacement bulbs. Unlike other reptiles and other geckos, the crested gecko likes to be in a medium to high humid environment with temperatures in the 70’s. For instance, I spent a dollar on a squirt bottle to mist it twice a day to keep the humidity around 70%. According the De vosjoli, Fast, and Repashy, (2003) using a low-wattage incandescent light bulbs are optional if there is live foliage in a set up, but the natural light coming through the window or from the room light will work just fine (p. 31). Since the crested gecko is nocturnal by nature, I let natural light shine in the room through the day and by nightfall the gecko feels the natural rhythms of nature. According to De vosjoli (2003) “Many reptiles need the UV-B light to synthesize calcium, but crested geckos have no problem synthesizing their own vitamin D3” (Rhacodactylus p. 32). At this point any lighting is simply up to the buyer. I however, do not have any type of lighting and the gecko is thriving just fine. When the winter comes, it is an option to purchase a low-watt light to keep some heat depending really if the house gets below 70 degrees. While not having to purchase heat rocks and lights makes the crested gecko more cost effective, the crested gecko diet is also simple.