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Crested Gecko

(Correlophus ciliatus)

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Description:
Crested Geckos, formerly known as Rhacodactylus ciliatus and recently re-classified as Correlophus ciliatus, are native to Southern Grand Terre, New Caledonia and at least one small surrounding island (Isle of Pines). Crested Geckos are nocturnal & semi-arboreal, spending most of their time in small trees and low shrubs. They may however, seek out hiding places near the ground to sleep during the day. Crested Geckos feed on both insects and fruits and in most cases can be kept at room temperature. The crested geckos ease of care, unusual appearance, and unlimited breeding potential, has contributed to their exploding popularity. There is no doubt that Crested Geckos are indeed one of the best pet lizards available today.

Lifespan & Size:
In captivity, Crested Geckos can live 15-20 years.

On average, they will reach between 6-10 inches in length.

Temperament:
Crested Geckos are known for being among the most handleable of lizards. They will tolerate moderate handling (we recommend no longer than 15-20 mins at a time so as to not stress your gecko), however we would advise you to let your new pet gecko to settle in for a week into its new environment before you start handling. Start off with 5 minutes at a time, increasing this up to 15-20 mins. 

If your gecko is jumpy or flighty you can use what’s called the "hand walking" method. To do this you simply hold one hand out directly in front of the gecko and allow him to hop, walk, or jump to the extended hand, then you immediately place your free hand out in front again, and so on. Young geckos and newly acquired geckos typically need to be hand walked for several sessions before you can expect them to calm down.

Crested Geckos can drop their tails if handled improperly, however most cresteds are reluctant to drop their tails unless the tail is pinched or squeezed somehow. Most tail loss occurs from aggressive cage mates or from accidentally closing the tail in an enclosure door. Careful handling does not usually result in tail loss. Tail loss is a normal defence mechanism and is not a medical emergency. The gecko will recover quickly and does not require any special care. Crested geckos are one of the few geckos that will not regenerate a new tail.

Housing:
Crested Geckos like a tall enclosure. The Exo Terra Glass Terrariums make a great enclosure for this species. We recommend a minimum of a 45cm L x 45cm D x 45cm H for 1-2 adults, but prefer the 45cm L x 45cm D x 60cm H. But you could go bigger.
When setting up their enclosure, branches, cork bark, vines & plenty of foliage should be considered. Plants can be either fake or live. Live planted enclosures not only look great, but they also have the added benefit of helping to keep humidity levels up.
A really popular method of keeping Crested Geckos is in a Bio-active setup. For more information on Bio-active setups please see our website https://www.exeterexotics.co.uk/bio-active where you will find useful information on what Bio-active means & how to set it up. We also sell all aspects of Bio-active husbandry in store, so please feel free to speak to a member of staff for more details.

Males of this species should never be housed together as there is a very high chance they will fight. In general females can be kept together & one male with one or 2 females also generally works well (do not put young females in with sexually mature males as he may breed with them when they are not old/big enough, which could lead to complications such as egg binding), however, from time to time, you will find even two females will fight or a male & female not get on, in which case, they will require separating.

Temperature & Humidity:
Temperatures for crested geckos should be maintained between 70F and 78F for most of the year. At temperatures of 82F or warmer, crested geckos will become stressed, which could lead to illness or death. Cresteds can tolerate night time temperature drops down into the mid 60'sF.. A two month cooling period is recommended to allow breeding crested geckos time to rest. During this period temperatures should be kept at 65F to 70F degrees.
Most of the time room temperature is just fine, however if you are not achieving these temperatures, a heatmat stuck to the side of the tank controlled by a thermostat can be used to increase the temperature.

Humidity levels should not drop below 50%, however they should have spikes of levels around 80-100% which should last for several hours each day. This ensures that they shed properly. Misting heavily once or twice a day will achieve the required higher humidity levels. It is very important to allow the enclosure to dry to normal humidity levels in between mistings. If the enclosure is wet and humid all of the time, problems with shedding and bacterial infections can arise.

Water:
Typically Crested Geckos will drink water droplets from the sides of their enclosure & from plants/ enclosure accessories, which is why it is also important to mist your enclosure daily. It is also recommended to have a small water dish of water present in the enclosure at all times which is replaced daily.

Lighting:
Although Crested Geckos have been kept successfully without UVB Lighting, however today, more is known about the species & their natural habitat...they inhabit  regions where they will be in partial shade but still receive a fair amount of UV throughout most of the day. 

Reptiles require UVB in order to synthesise vitamin D3 inside their skin. The vitamin D3 helps the reptile to absorb calcium which is crucial for bone structure and growth. This is why reptiles can suffer from metabolic bone disease (MBD) when not provided with adequate UVB.
For these reasons, we strongly advise in offering your Crested Gecko(s) a source of UVB, such as the Arcadia Arboreal T5 Shade Dweller.

Feeding:
The easiest and most convenient method of feeding Crested Geckos is to use powdered Crested Gecko Diet such as Pangea or Repashy. These diets have been formulated to contain all of the essential fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins that cresteds need. Crested geckos can be maintained on this diet alone however, for optimum condition, health & enrichment, we recommend also feeding dusted and gut loaded insects once or twice per week.

The live food should be dusted with calcium and vitamin supplements a couple times a week. We alternate with a pure calcium & Nutrobal a pre-balanced high calcium multi-vitamin with some D3.

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