Crested geckos are popular reptiles because they are low-maintenance pets with docile temperaments.
It is important to know your crested gecko’s age, as there are slightly different care requirements according to the animal’s life stage.
It is possible to determine your crested gecko’s age based on the animal’s weight and length. Not every crested gecko will weigh or measure the same, but you will get a general idea of your pet’s age with this method.
Various factors determine the weight and length of a crested gecko, including its environment, genetics, and diet.
The length of a crested gecko’s incubation period affects the reptile’s adult size.
Keep reading to learn more about how to figure out the age of your crested gecko, including a crested gecko growth chart.
How To Determine Your Crested Gecko’s Age
If you bought your crested gecko from a breeder, figuring out your pet’s age is easy.
Breeders usually keep a log of the length of incubation and the hatch date of each clutch of eggs produced by their geckos.
However, a local pet store or reptile rescue may not be able to provide information on your crestie’s age.
By weighing and measuring your crested gecko, you will be able to approximate its age by comparing the numbers to a growth chart.
Crested Gecko Growth Chart
The following chart shows the average crested gecko growth rate according to age.
The length of a crested gecko includes its tail, which is usually 4-5″ inches long.
If your crestie has dropped its tail, you will need to consider this when measuring the animal to determine its age.
|Age||Weight||Body Length (With Tail)|
|Hatchling||1.5-2 grams||2.5-3” inches|
|2 months||3 grams||3-4” inches|
|3 months||4 grams||3-5” inches|
|4 months||5 grams||4-6” inches|
|5 months||7 grams||4-6” inches|
|6 months||9 grams||5-7” inches|
|9 months||16-35 grams||6-9” inches|
|12 months||35-50 grams||9-16” inches|
|18-24+ months||35-55+ grams||9-16”+ inches|
Weighing And Measuring Your Crested Gecko
Weigh your crested gecko using a scale capable of measuring in grams, such as a kitchen scale.
It is unlikely to sit still while being weighed, so using a small bowl or plastic container to hold the animal is ideal.
Start by weighing the container by itself and writing down the measurement.
Next, allow your gecko to climb into the container and weigh it again.
Subtract the weight of the container by itself from the gecko weight plus the container to determine your lizard’s weight.
If your crestie is rambunctious, you may use a container with a lid, but do not seal the lid all the way.
You do not want to restrict airflow to your gecko.
Prevent tail dropping by gently handling your crestie and avoiding sudden movements, which might startle the reptile.
Do not handle your gecko after it has eaten, as this will cause stress to the animal and cause digestive issues or regurgitation.
Carefully measure your crestie from its snout to the tip of its tail for accurate length measurement.
If your crested gecko has dropped its tail, subtract around 4-5″ inches from the average body length measurement on the chart.
When Does A Crested Gecko Reach Its Full Size?
There is no set time for a crested gecko to become fully grown.
Typically, a crested gecko will reach its full size between 12 and 24 months, but it may take three years.
Cresties reach sexual maturity when they weigh at least 35 grams, occurring within 12-18 months.
A crested gecko must be at a healthy weight before breeding, especially for females.
Female geckos need the bodyweight to support the production of eggs.
What Affects A Crested Gecko’s Growth?
Not all crested geckos will develop at the same rate or size as adults.
Several factors determine the growth rate of a gecko.
Poor husbandry practices usually contribute to slow growth in crested geckos, but this is not always the case.
A crestie’s adult size is also affected by uncontrollable factors, such as how long the egg was incubated and genetics.
Without proper nutrition, a crested gecko will not grow properly and more susceptible to illness.
A young crestie needs to have the best diet possible to sustain its rapid growth.
Crested geckos are insectivores, which means they mainly eat live insects.
Some excellent choices for staple feeder insects include dubia roaches, crickets, and black soldier fly larvae.
High-fat insects, such as hornworms or waxworms, are reserved as a treat once per week.
On their own, insects do not provide a complete nutritional profile for a crestie.
A feeder insect’s diet is important because any nutrients they consume will be passed on to your gecko.
Ensure the insects are properly gut-loaded with a mixture of different leafy greens and other vegetables, and be sure to feed them within 24-48 hours of feeding your gecko.
In addition to gut loading, lightly dust the feeder insects with a calcium powder supplement every other time you feed your crestie.
There is also a commercial diet powder mix called “complete gecko diet,” more commonly referred to as “CGD.”
A CGD mix has all of the nutrients your crested gecko needs to grow and stay healthy, and some gecko owners use this food mix exclusively.
While it is possible for your crestie to be perfectly healthy eating nothing but a CGD mix, it does not offer them any variety in their diet, and they may become bored.
Alternate CGD meals with live feeder insects to keep mealtime interesting for your gecko.
This ensures your crestie gets a complete nutritional profile while still using their natural hunting instincts.
Check out the best foods for crested geckos to make sure they have the nutrients they need.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
Improper temperature and humidity levels will affect your crestie’s growth rate.
Crested geckos, like most reptiles, need a warm body temperature to digest their food correctly.
If the temperatures in the enclosure are too low, your crestie will not only be more at risk of impaction, but it may lose its appetite altogether.
The ideal tank temperature is around 75° degrees Fahrenheit (24° C).
Maintain a steady temperature in the enclosure without any wild fluctuations.
Temperatures lower than 60° degrees Fahrenheit (16° C) for long periods may cause your gecko to enter a state of brumation.
If the tank temperatures are higher than 80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C), it may be fatal to your crestie.
A crested gecko will also lose its appetite if the humidity in the terrarium is too low.
Proper humidity levels need to range from 60%-80%, but it is essential to let this level drop down to 50% before misting the enclosure again.
Use a high-quality thermometer and hygrometer to regularly monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your crestie’s tank.
For more details, head over to our crested gecko temperature guide.
Dehydration is closely related to the enclosure’s humidity levels.
When the humidity in the terrarium is too low, it will not only cause your crestie to lose its appetite, but it may also cause the lizard to become dehydrated.
A dehydrated gecko will have nutrient deficiencies from not eating well, causing the animal to have stunted growth.
Keeping your crested gecko hydrated may be a bit of a challenge, as the reptile will not readily drink from a bowl of standing water.
Even though they may not use it very often, you will still need to provide your gecko with a shallow bowl of clean, fresh water at all times.
Bottled water will be a better choice if your tap water contains many minerals because it will not leave water spots on the glass or cause excess mineral buildup in the enclosure.
It is vital to have natural or artificial plants in the enclosure not only for your crestie to climb on but so it can drink water droplets from the plant leaves.
When you mist the enclosure to raise the humidity, be sure to focus on the plant leaves so your gecko has plenty of options when it comes to hydration.
A shallow fountain in the enclosure may seem like a good idea, but since geckos tend to defecate in water, keeping it clean even with the best filtration system will be challenging.
A fountain may also pose a drowning risk to your gecko, and unless you live in a dry climate, it will make humidity levels in the enclosure too high.
The length of time crested gecko eggs are incubated affects the reptile’s size.
Incubating the eggs for 80-100 days instead of the average 60-70 days tends to produce larger geckos.
When the gecko is incubated for a longer period, it will weigh more when it hatches.
A smaller hatchling will have a more difficult time getting enough food to grow quickly.
This slowed growth is either because the smaller hatchling cannot chew its food very well, or a larger hatchling is bullying it.
Sudden changes to your crestie’s habitat may cause the animal to grow slowly due to a lack of appetite from stress.
When you bring your crested gecko home, the sudden change in environment will cause your new pet to have a lack of appetite.
It may take up to two weeks for your crestie to acclimate to its new surroundings, and during this time, its growth will be affected.
If the enclosure is too small, this will also stunt the gecko’s growth.
A hatchling gecko will do well in a 5-gallon aquarium, while a juvenile needs a 10-gallon aquarium.
These smaller enclosures allow the young cresties to feel more secure and cause them to be less stressed.
An adult crested gecko needs an enclosure size of 20 gallons or larger to have plenty of room for climbing.
The tank needs to be taller than wide, different from traditional horizontal reptile tanks.
If an adult crestie is kept in a small enclosure, the reptile will become stressed and lose its appetite.
Check out these critical signs of crested gecko stress with tips for how to make them happy again.
Larger crested geckos tend to produce larger offspring.
However, the parents’ size isn’t always a guarantee of the size of the offspring when they become adults.
If the hatchlings are not properly cared for, they will grow smaller no matter how large their parents are.
Young geckos will not thrive without the proper nutrition needed for optimum growth and may frequently suffer from illness.
In general, female crested geckos are larger than males.
The females are likely bigger to accommodate egg production.
Becoming gravid and laying eggs takes a significant toll on the female gecko’s body.
There may be times when the female will not eat, so being slightly larger will keep her from becoming too thin.
Parasites are a huge problem for your crested gecko because they leach essential nutrients from the reptile’s body.
The lack of nutrients will cause your gecko to lose weight and become sick.
If the parasite infestation is not cleared, it may even be fatal.
The most common source of parasites in crested geckos is their food.
Wild-caught insects must never be fed to your gecko because they are very likely to be infested with parasites.
Always purchase your feeder insects from a reputable source.
If a crested gecko is being bullied, it may not eat very much, or it will have a lack of appetite due to stress.
To prevent bullying, keep hatchlings separate if there is a significant difference in their sizes.
No matter the age, never place two male cresties in the same enclosure, and a male should only be kept with a female if you intend for them to breed.
Multiple females may live together as long as they are similar in size and the enclosure is large enough.