We will forgive your children if they will see it for the first few times and call it a mini dinosaur!
They are only saying what they are reading and watching in the movies. The Rhacodactylus Ciliatus or the crested gecko is a miniature version of a dinosaur; gee at least that is how we generally hear it from people who discover it.
Talking about discovering, the crested gecko itself was rediscovered in the year 1994. Before this, it is widely believed that this lizard has reached extinction. Imagine the breeders’ pride when they must have rediscovered it. Also, today, this beautiful gecko is an extremely popular pet reptile all across the countries.
What is it that makes this gecko so popular amongst all other reptile pets?
The answer is that the lizard is virtually easy to maintain. No other reptile pet can guarantee such a lovely pet at this kind of minimum care and caution.
The tail, of course, is a different story:
Crested geckos are extraordinarily tacky and do not appreciate too much human handling. Like all its other cousins, it can perform autotomy at the drop of a hat! We mean to say it can drop its tail and not have it grow back ever.
You don’t want to have this beautiful gecko without its equally impressive tail. Do you? As a caution, try not to startle the lizard by handling it too much or for an extended period. Having said that, they make an excellent pet for young children (who will love to watch all their vertical climbing antics) and novices at reptile owning and breeding.
The crested gecko lives an average of 20 years. However, a lot of breeders and pet owners will give you an estimate on the lower side because it is too early to determine since their rediscovery. The adult will usually grow up to a maximum size of 7 to 9 inches.
Of morphs and markings:
Crested geckos have the distinction of having the highest number of morphs in the reptile breeding business. You have to see to believe how beautiful each one of them is!
Their colors and markings make them exotic that fetch more price for their breeders. The fringed crest that runs from its eyes down and neck to the back is what the gecko gets its name from. The crest itself can be different in all the morphs.
They have special toe pads that let it negotiate vertical spaces without falling or slipping down. Their prehensile tail also helps them in maintaining their agility. They are fantastic good jumpers. But in their enthusiasm can jump and also injure them!
They are a docile breed, and they are suitable for young children as well as seniors. However, they can be a little skittish, especially during preadolescence. And by chance, they drop their tail, and that will be the end of it. They will go about with a stub all their life. Crested geckos cannot regenerate their tail or other body parts, much like all the other Lizzies can do.
Male crested geckos are incredibly territorial, and they can become aggressive and hurt each other. It is best to house the mails in different glass terrariums. The enclosures better be tall because these lizards are arboreal and active throughout the day. They adore climbing. A screened enclosure on one side will ensure adequate ventilation inside.
Make sure you provide a lot of room for them to climb. The terrarium must also be tall to that effect. Try decorating the terrarium with branches bamboo and vines set at different heights where it can hide and play.
Freshwater must be regularly refilled in a shallow dish — Mist-Spray the terrarium at least two times in the day. Crested geckos love to drink water dripping from the leaves. They look so cute doing it!
What should you use as a substrate in the terrarium?
This is a valid query because crested geckos tend to swallow the substrate while eating or hunting live prey. Coconut fiber, moss, and peat are richly recommended because they will help in retaining moisture well and maintain humidity in the enclosure. If you have difficulty in procuring these, then newspaper and/or paper towels will do just fine.
Crested geckos are nocturnal beings, and they do not require any UVB light to synthesize their food. However, breeders may tell you that a low-intensity UVB light could be beneficial to the gecko. Make sure you do not, for any reason, have the light fitted on top of the enclosure. These avid climbers are prone to burning themselves.
Red dim low wattage light in the terrarium is ideal for a heat source:
It will not overly heat their enclosure, and you will be able to see their activity too. Another reason why we recommend having enough green cover in their terrarium is that they could hide from the light and heat source if it suits them.
Set humidity between 60 to 80 percent. Mist the cage if needed. Particularly at night because that is the time they are going to be reasonably active! When you wake up to use the washroom, we are sure you will see them in their element!!
Now we are talking!!
Crested geckos can be fed nutrition-balanced manufactured food to the best effect. Apart from it, live crickets or any other live feed that is smaller than the difference between their two eyes is good for them. The insects must be gut loaded or dusted with vitamin D3 and calcium supplements.
The geckos can eat a variety of fruits like mangoes and bananas. They must be fed in the evenings. Hatchlings and pre-adults need to be fed daily, but the adult ones will be happy if you serve them three times in a week max. We told you they were easy to maintain!
The standard colored crested gecko can be easily procured within $75. The richer morphs can go as high as $300 to $1000. They are all great fun. What’s in color, said Shakespeare, oops!!