Crested Gecko Care

Species Overview

Scientific Name: Correlophus ciliatus

The crested gecko or eyelash gecko (Correlophus ciliatus) is a species of gecko native to southern New Caledonia (France). In 1866, the crested gecko was described by French zoologist Alphonse Guichenot. This species was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994 during an expedition led by Robert Seipp. The specific name, ciliatus, is Latin, from cilia (“fringe” or “eyelashes”) and refers to the crest of skin over the animal’s eyes that resembles eyelashes (Wikipedia).

Crested geckos are one of the most loved reptile pets. They are friendly and sociable, live long lives of up to 20 years, and enjoy an insectivorous diet. Reptile owners adore them for their diverse color morphs.

Since crested geckos are hardy animals with an easy care routine, they make an excellent pet choice for children and beginner reptile lovers. However, their happiness and health still need proper maintenance and care.

If you’re a novice crested gecko owner, you’d want to know all there is to learn about these beautiful and small lizards. In this crested gecko guide, we have the information regarding their natural habitat, housing and food requirements, and health so that you can give them the best care possible.

caring for a crested gecko

Colors & Appearance

Crested geckos, also popular as eyelash geckos, are small lizards with a wedge-shaped head. They have large eyes with ridges above them that resemble eyelashes, hence their nickname. Their bodies are relatively plump and cylindrical, with a prehensile tail that they use for balance and gripping onto branches while climbing. Their toe pads have sharp claws and thousands of microscopic hair that allow them to cling to various vertical surfaces. It’s perfect for their tree-dwelling lifestyles.

Average Size & Weight

Baby crested geckos are lightweight and tiny. They weigh only a gram or two and don’t get longer than 3 inches. A crested gecko is fully grown at 12-18 months, weighing 25-60 grams. Some crested geckos take longer than that, maturing at three years. Male crested geckos are lighter than females. They tip the scales at 25 grams, whereas females get as heavy as 40-60 grams. Crested geckos are sexually mature at 35 grams.


Crested geckos usually hang around for about 10-11 years in the wild. As pets, however, they stick with you for a solid 15-20 years. These pet lizards are a pretty long commitment! The difference in lifespan is because these lizards have to deal with predators and deforestation in their natural habitat. But in captivity, they have the right temperature, humidity, and food, helping them live their best lizard lives comfortably for years.

More About Crested Geckos

Crested geckos, although tough, require specific environmental conditions to thrive in captivity. Therefore, before you adopt one, you must understand where crested geckos come from, how big they can grow, and what threats they face in the wild.

Luckily, we have the answers that’ll help you get started on your crested gecko parenting adventure.

caring for crested geckos

Crested Gecko Habitat

Crested geckos thrive in the canopies of humid and coastal forests. They are exclusively native to the island country of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. They inhabit Grand Terre and the Isle of Pines. Crested geckos don’t exist anywhere else in the wild.

In their natural habitat, crested geckos spend most of their time climbing and hanging from leaves, making them arboreal.

Crested Gecko Morphs

Crested geckos come in a few different colors and patterns. It’s one of the many things that makes them so attractive.

Pattern-less, tiger, and white-fringed are the most common morphs found in the wild. But in captivity, you’ll also find the following:

  • Brindle
  • Harlequin
  • Lily White
  • Moonglow
  • Creamsicle
  • Dalmation
  • Flame
  • Pinstripe

Some of these morphs are rarer than others, and their price reflects that. Would you believe us if we told you an Axanthic crested gecko got sold for $20,000 in 2021? It’s true!

Crested Gecko Life Stages

Let’s look at the four major growth stages of these beautiful pet lizards.

Hatchling Crested Geckos: This stage lasts from birth to 2 months. Hatchling geckos are 1.5-2 grams in weight and only measure up to 2.5-3 inches in length.

Baby Crested Geckos: Once a crested gecko crosses the 2-month mark, it becomes a baby. During this stage, they weigh about 3 grams and stretch up to 4 inches max.

Juvenile Crested Geckos: Crested geckos in the age range of 6-18 months are considered juveniles. This is the stage when crested geckos grow the most. Juvenile crested geckos can get 8-10 inches long and gain up to 20-30 grams of weight.

Adult Crested Geckos: A crested gecko that’s 40-60 grams heavy is an adult. After crossing 18 months, cresties grow at a slower pace. They reach their full size at 24 months.

Crested Gecko Predators

The fire ants of New Caledonia are the biggest predators of crested geckos. These tiny, nasty ants swarm and bite crested geckos, resulting in death. Other animals that make a meal out of crested geckos include rats, snakes, and birds.

Like leopard geckos, crested geckos can drop their tails to distract their predators. Sadly, their tails never regrow again.

As pets, crested geckos are relatively safe from predators; however, they still have a few potential health hazards to look out for.

snake eating a crested gecko

What Makes Crested Geckos Amazing Pets?

  • Hardy Pets: Crested geckos make hardy pets, which is why they are perfect for beginner reptile lovers and children. They require minimal care routines and have a long lifespan.

  • Low Maintenance: Crested geckos only want a few basic necessities to live a comfortable life. Feed them insects every other day, keep up with their calcium levels, maintain suitable temperature and humidity levels, and your pet will thrive.

  • Sweet Temperament: Crested geckos are calm and docile creatures that make excellent pets for families with children. They don’t bite, scratch, or lash out.

  • Colorful Personalities: Crested geckos come in various colors and patterns, making them one of the most exotic-looking pets around. Each crested gecko is unique, with its own personality traits and quirks that will keep you entertained for years to come.

  • Don’t Need A Lot of Space: Since crested geckos only get 8-10 inches long, they don’t require a lot of space. A juvenile crestie will thrive in a 10-gallon tank easily.

  • Nocturnal Creatures: Crested geckos are active at night, making them perfect for those who have busy schedules during the day. You can still enjoy watching and interacting with your crested gecko in the evenings after work or school.

how to care for a crested gecko

Crested Gecko Care Sheet

There’s a lot more to learn about crested gecko housing, temperature, humidity, and diet to provide your pet with the best care possible.

In this crested gecko sheet, we’ll also highlight their health complications and handling tips. Stay with us to ensure you provide the best life for your crested gecko!

Environment and Housing

Crested geckos are adept climbers. Therefore, the height of your crested gecko’s terrarium matters more than the width. According to WebMD, a 20-gallon tank is ideal for adult cresties. There should also be enough branches, vines, and plants in it. Crested geckos will use them for climbing and hiding.

The substrate is another important aspect of a crested gecko’s terrarium. Since eyelash geckos come from tropical regions, their enclosure should be lined with a moisture-retentive soil-based substrate like cypress mulch or coconut fiber.

crested gecko enclosure

Temperature and Humidity

Although cresties aren’t big fans of too much heat, they still need some warmth to digest their food better. Therefore, the ambient temperature in their tank must always be 72-78° F during the day. The nighttime temperature can be cooler, ranging from 69-74° F.

Never let the temperatures drop below 65° F or rise above 82° F. It can be fatal.

Crested geckos love a humid environment. It helps them smell their food and shed their skin. Misting daily is a good practice to ensure the humidity levels remain within their required range of 70-80%.

Crested Gecko Diet

Crested geckos eat insects, rotten fruits, and plant matter in the wild. As pets, they enjoy munching on feeder insects, a few fruits, and some leafy greens.

Here’s a list of their favorite insects:

  • Dubia roaches
  • Crickets
  • Waxworms
  • Silkworms
  • Mealworms
  • Hornworms

Crested gecko food should also include some mashed fruits – they love it! Bananas, berries, peaches, and papayas are a few fruits that make crested geckos happy.

Baby and juvenile crested geckos need to eat more often than adults because of their higher metabolism rates. So, you should feed them once daily. As for adult cresties, they can be fed three to four times each week.

Since these creatures are nocturnal, you must feed them when the lights are out. This helps them maintain their natural feeding patterns.

crested gecko diet


Like most other reptiles, crested geckos don’t drink much from a water dish. But because they enjoy soaking in it, you must always include one in the tank. Change the water every 2-3 days.

You should also mist their terrariums often so they can sip the water droplets from the walls and plants to stay hydrated.

Behavior and Temperament

Most crested geckos are friendly lizards that don’t mind being handled. But they can also be shy and skittish, especially if they feel threatened or have trust issues.

Male cresties are territorial, so we don’t recommend keeping two males in one enclosure while females can easily coexist.

You’ll also notice your crested gecko licking its eyes often. It’s completely normal. Since these pet reptiles don’t have eyelids, they lick their eyes to keep them moist.

crested gecko temperament

Crested Gecko Shedding

Like their leopard gecko cousins, crested geckos shed their skin to make room for their growing bodies.

Crested gecko babies shed every week, whereas juveniles shed every other week. Adults only shed every four weeks.

Change in skin color, dull eyes, low appetite and activity, and problems sticking to walls are signs that your crested gecko is about to shed. You don’t have to help them with their shedding process; they can manage it themselves.

Courtship And Egg-Laying​​

Crested geckos are a breeze to breed. Leave a male and female together in a tank, and they’ll mate without any extra assistance. 

Breeders will be happy to know crested geckos can mate throughout the year. They only take a break during the cold months of November and December. It is known as their “cooling cycle,” during which they regenerate their fertility hormones.

They mate once, and the females lay two eggs each month for 8-10 months. Females lay their eggs in a lay box with a damp substrate. The eggs, if properly cared for, hatch in 8-10 weeks.

crested gecko laying eggs

Health Complications

Crested geckos are tough lizards. If you feed them a proper diet, maintain their environment, and handle them carefully, they’ll most likely stay healthy.

But that doesn’t mean they never fall sick. Here are a few health complications you should be aware of:

  • Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) due to calcium deficiency

  • Mouth infections caused by poor diet or dirty terrariums

  • Respiratory infections due to improper humidity levels, among other factors

  • Impaction as a result of eating substrate or insects that are too large

Interaction and Enrichment

Crested geckos are easy to bond with. However, if you have a new pet lizard, give the reptile at least six months to adjust to its new home and grow to a decent size before trying to handle it. When it’s time, slide your hand beneath its belly and support its body. Since these lizards are tiny, you have to be very gentle with your touch.

Their tank should also have enough hiding spots for them to feel secure during the day. You can add some decorations like fake plants and branches for them to climb on. This will make their terrarium more interesting and stimulating.

handling a crested gecko

Let Your Crested Gecko Know You Care

Crested geckos are fascinating, curious, and gentle. They are easy to care for and don’t demand much attention. We don’t see why you shouldn’t have one!

If you’re ready to become a crested gecko parent, go through our website to find articles on their health issues, diet and feeding routines, habitat setup, and more. The details will help you care for your crested gecko in the best possible way.

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crested gecko setup 1

Crested Gecko Setup

Do you have a new crested gecko? Do you want to make sure you have the setup for its habitat