TheGeckoTree

Health, Colour, Structure 

Crested Gecko Caresheet 


*** Disclaimer ; This care sheet was written by TheGeckoTree and this care sheet is based on what has worked best for us regarding feeding, health and husbandry. This care sheet should be viewed as a guideline on how to take care of your animal, as there are numerous ways to care for your pet that may work out best for you.  ***

Latin name

Correlophus ciliatus, formerly known as Rhacodactylus ciliatus. Commonly known as the Crested Gecko, also known as the Eyelash Gecko. Crested Geckos originate from New Caledonia and surrounding islands, and were thought to be extinct until they were re-discovered in 1994. Crested Geckos are semi-aboreal Geckos that require a lot of foliage, vines, branches and climbing surfaces. If the Crested Gecko drops its tail, it will not regenerate. However, a dropped tail does not lessen the value of a Gecko. A Crested Gecko is still capable of breeding and leading a long, healthy life.

**Some of the reasons why Crested Geckos may drop their tail; Stress, fighting, fear, rough handling, improper husbandry, accidental pinching of the tail, and breeding.


Lifespan 

15-20 years in captivity, however some of the original animals imported in 1994 are still alive today. As our husbandry, care and diets we offer become more advance, there is potential for these animals to live longer.


Sexing

Males have well pronounced hemi penile bulges, before these bulges develop they will have 6-8 rows of pre-anal pores with black dimples in each of them. Females will have a flat post anal area; however some of the females do develop “false” pores and can be mistaken to be a probable male. If you are sexing a young Crested that has not physically reached sexual maturity, using a loupe will aid in seeing pores. However, this is not a guaranteed way to sex Cresteds and if they are sexed this way they should be labelled "probable male/female" because "late bloomers" have been known to happen and your probable female may turn out to be a male. The best way to guarantee sex is to wait until the Gecko reaches appropriate age and weight, or wait to see if a bulge develops. In my experience, at about 20 grams, or 8 months of age is when I have been able to 100% confirm the sex of a Crested Gecko.


Feeding

We recommend feeding a varied diet. Please do not expect to purchase a Crested Gecko and only plan to feed it 1 flavour or Repashy or 1 flavour of Pangea for the rest of their life. Crested Geckos are Frugivorous and Insectivores, feeding mainly on Fruit mixtures and insects. In my experience, I find that my geckos are attracted to larger prey items, and ignore the smaller ones offered. It seems as though they enjoy eating crickets that almost seem too large for them, but they chow them down without any problems.


The most recommended thing to feed a Crested Gecko is Pangea Fruit Mix Complete or Repashy Crested Gecko Diet. There are a variety of fruit flavours available should you have a picky Gecko. The three diets I currently feed in rotation are Repashy Crested Gecko Diet, (Original and Mango Superblend), Pangea Fruit Mix Complete (All 5 flavours), and Black Panther Zoological (All 3 diets). Other things that are safe to feed as a treat are simply mashing up/blending fresh fruit provided there is proper supplementation added, or making a homemade fruit smoothie. Remember! Fruits high in citric acid such as lemons and limes should never be given! 


As for insects, they can be fed calcium dusted crickets, wax worms, silk worms, phoenix worms and small horned worms. Be careful with worm selection, as some worms are high in fats and provide no nutritional value so said worms should be used as a treat. When feeding crickets, I recommend dusting them with a product called Repashy Calcium Plus ICB. This is an all in one supplement that contains everything your geckos need. I have personally used this product for years and have had great success with it. 


Always remember that variety is key in any animal diet, but so is balance. Make sure that whatever product you decide to feed is nutritionally sound otherwise your gecko will pay for it!


In my experience, I have had success with this feeding schedule;  

· Sunday - Crickets dusted with Repashy Calcium Plus ICB or MinerALL Indoor 

· Monday - Nothing

· Tuesday - Commercial Diets (Repashy, Pangea, BPZ) 

· Wednesday – Nothing

· Thursday - Remove old dishes, replace with new Repashy, Pangea, BPZ

· Friday – Nothing

· Saturday - Remove old dishes, replace with new Repashy, Pangea, BPZ  

Housing



**PLEASE NOTE: WE HOUSE ALL OF OUR ANIMALS SEPARATELY AND DO NOT ADVOCATE CO-HOUSING. THIS IS OUR PERSONAL PREFERENCE FOR OUR ANIMALS. **

Male Crested Geckos should never be housed together. Males can be territorial, and fighting can occur which can harm, and potentially kill your geckos. Females can be housed together but they should be very close to the same size, and make sure to add additional food dishes and have a lot of foliage and climbing surfaces so they can escape each other and are not fighting for the same spots in the cage. FEMALES CAN STILL FIGHT! Please be aware of this! Err on the side of caution and house all animals separate Although Crested Geckos are known to be very docile, you still must always keep an eye out for any fighting, territorial behaviour, bullying and overall behaviour that could be dangerous to other geckos being housed in the same enclosure.

Temperatures


Cresteds can be kept at room temperatures as cool as 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night time and as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day time.  However it is not recommended to keep them consistently at such high temperatures of 80, and such low temperatures of 65, in my experiences they are best kept at room temperature around 72-75. It is best not to exceed temperatures above 85 for extended periods of time because they will go into hypothermic shock which can lead to death.


Crested Geckos require moderate to high humidity, between 55-70%. If there are problems with humidity it will lead to difficulty in shedding, and dehydration if the humidity is too low. Humidity that is too high consistently can cause skin infections, as well as respiratory infections. It is imperative that they shed completely, especially around the toes and tail tip so there is no build up of excess skin because this can be painful for them and even result in the loss of toes due to lack of blood flow. The best way to maintain proper humidity is to mist twice a day. Do one heavy misting at night time, as this is when they are the most active, and one lighter misting in the morning before heading off to work/school. It is important that the enclosure dries out during the day before the next misting. Too much humidity and moisture is can be just as harmful as not enough.


Lighting

These Geckos do not require any additional lighting because they are nocturnal. However, if you feel the need to use a UVB light, or if you are using a live planted enclosure it won’t hurt them, just ensure that the light doesn’t produce too much heat and ensure the gecko is able to escape to an area in their enclosure that is dark. Also ensure that there is ambient room lighting in the room the Gecko is located in, in order to promote a proper photo-period.


Substrate 

Crested Geckos should be kept on paper towel/blue shop towels until they are at least 15 grams. Crested Geckos can be very clumsy hunters when they are young, so having a dirt substrate can be a risk of impaction. Once they are larger, in the 15-20 gram range, they can be switched over to a substrate like eco-earth/coco-fibre. The substrate should be kept damp, not soaking wet, Substrates to avoid are; Sand of ANY sort, bark chunks, "jungle mix" as it has small and large bark chunks mixed in with coco-fibre/Eco-Earth  that the Gecko can accidentally ingest. Also avoid any dirt like substrates that have fertilizers in them as fertilizer is toxic to Geckos.  


Breeding 

It is best to wait until the Gecko is 2 years old before breeding in order to make sure the female is ready age wise, health wise, weight wise and supplement wise. A breeding Female Crested should weigh in at no less than 35-40 grams before even considering breeding and the male should weigh the same amount to prevent the female from bullying or injuring the male. I personally prefer my females to weigh 40 grams, and will not breed a female under 40 grams. A female will lay 2 eggs every clutch approximately every 4 to 6 weeks through out their breeding season. A female that is bred too early can suffer some extreme consequences including becoming egg bound, and calcium crashing. If a female is egg bound, a vet visit is required. If left untreated, a female will die. Calcium crashing is when a female is not being fed a proper diet, therefore her body does not have enough calcium to sustain herself and produce healthy eggs. If a calcium crash is not caught in time, a female will die. If you are considering breeding, please make sure that your female is in stellar health before you even attempt to breed as breeding could risk the life of your Gecko and these Geckos should be considered pets first and foremost before they are considered a breeder.  


Incubation

Incubation for any species of Rhacodactylus and Correlophus is best done at room temperature. Incubation temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit work best. However, higher incubation temperatures may hatch babies out sooner, but result in smaller hatchlings and the result could be high mortality rates, or under developed hatchlings with smaller crests and weaker head structure.  In my experience so far, it is best to incubate at room temperature, between 68F-70F. Eggs will take longer to incubate in cooler temperatures, but will result in larger, healthier babies when it comes time to hatch. The incubation medium that I use that has worked best for me is Repashy Superhatch.


Diseases

Cresteds can develop MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease) if not properly supplemented with Calcium and Calcium D3, as well as floppy tail syndrome. Too much Calcium and not enough calcium can both be the cause of MBD, if you notice the spine kinking, kinks in the tail, swollen limbs, under bites, appendages bending in ways they shouldn't be bending, and bent toes are all signs of MBD. Another leading cause of MBD in Rhacodactylus Geckos is people who insist on feeding baby food to their Geckos. Please, do not EVER feed your Geckos baby food. Baby food is high in sugars and preservatives, and does not provide an appropriate nutritional balance for your Gecko. Baby food is incredibly sweet and it is easy for geckos to become addicted to it, and refuse other complete diets. Geckos require a complete diet formulated with proteins, calcium, amino acids, fibres, fats, vitamins , potassium etc., and Baby food does not cover these requirements. MBD can be stopped and even in some ways corrected depending on the age of the gecko and the extent of the damage.


Floppy Tail Syndrome (FTS) 

If your Gecko spends most of its time laying nose downwards towards the ground on the glass, this is is how Floppy Tail Syndrome can develop. The tail will flop over to the side of the Gecko, or hang down by the Gecko's head. In severe cases of FTS, the pelvic area is usually twisted. Floppy Tail Syndrome isn't a problem in males, as they are not the ones producing eggs. A female with severe FTS should probably not be bred, as she may experience difficulties when it comes time to lay her eggs.

  

Written by Heather Jodoin Foucault 

TheGeckoTree.com