The Fascinating World of Crested Geckos: Understanding and Caring for Your Scaly Friend

Crested Gecko, scientifically known as Correlophus ciliatus, is a species of gecko that is native to New Caledonia. They are also known as eyelash geckos due to the fringed skin above their eyes. Crested geckos are popular pets due to their unique appearance, ease of care, and docile nature. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, making them a favorite among reptile enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the biology, behavior, and care of the crested gecko.

Understanding the Crested Gecko

Crested Geckos, scientifically known as Correlophus ciliatus, are a fascinating species of gecko that originate from New Caledonia, a small island in the Pacific Ocean. They are also known as eyelash geckos, owing to their unique appearance, characterized by a row of eyelash-like protrusions above their eyes. These geckos are arboreal, meaning they prefer to spend their time in trees and other tall structures.

Physical Characteristics

Crested Geckos can grow up to 8 inches in length, making them one of the largest species of geckos. They are known for their unique appearance, which includes a distinctive crest of skin that runs from their head to their tail. Their skin is covered in tiny scales, which give them a rough texture. Crested Geckos are available in a range of colors and patterns, including orange, yellow, brown, and grey.


Crested Geckos are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. During the day, they prefer to rest in secure hiding places, such as crevices in trees or other structures. In the wild, they feed on insects and fruit, and in captivity, they are usually fed a diet of insects, fruit, and specially formulated crested gecko food.

Caring for Your Crested Gecko

Crested Geckos are popular pets because they are relatively easy to care for and are not as demanding as some other reptile species. However, they do require specific care to ensure they remain healthy and happy.

Key takeaway: Crested geckos are fascinating creatures that require specific care in terms of habitat, temperature and lighting, and diet to ensure they remain healthy and happy as pets. It is important to address common misconceptions about them, such as the need for water and UV lighting, handling, and their ability to regenerate their tails. With patience and care, Crested Geckos can become comfortable being handled and may recognize their owners.


One of the most important aspects of caring for your Crested Gecko is providing them with a suitable habitat. As arboreal creatures, they require a tall enclosure that provides plenty of climbing opportunities. A 20-gallon tank is an ideal size for a single adult gecko. The enclosure should be equipped with plenty of hiding places and branches for climbing.

Temperature and Lighting

Crested Geckos require a temperature range of 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit at night. A basking light is not necessary for these geckos, but they do require access to UVB lighting to ensure proper calcium metabolism.


Crested Geckos are omnivorous, meaning they eat both insects and fruit. In captivity, they should be fed a diet that includes a variety of insects such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. They should also be offered a small amount of fruit or specially formulated crested gecko food.

Common Misconceptions

There are several common misconceptions about Crested Geckos that are important to address.

Crested Geckos Do Not Require Water

While it is true that Crested Geckos do not need standing water, they do require access to water. You should provide a shallow dish of water in their enclosure, which they can use to drink from and soak in if they choose.

Crested Geckos Can Be Kept in Groups

Crested Geckos are generally solitary creatures and should not be housed together unless they are part of a breeding pair. Keeping multiple geckos in the same enclosure can lead to stress, fighting, and injury.

Crested Geckos Do Not Require UV Lighting

While Crested Geckos do not require a basking light, they do require access to UVB lighting to ensure proper calcium metabolism. This can be provided through a fluorescent bulb placed over the enclosure.


Crested Geckos can be handled, but it is important to do so gently and carefully. They are delicate creatures and can be easily injured if handled roughly. It is also important to wash your hands before and after handling your gecko to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Crested Geckos Can Regenerate Their Tails

While many species of geckos can regenerate their tails, Crested Geckos cannot. If a Crested Gecko loses its tail, it will not grow back.

Crested Geckos Are Not Affectionate

While Crested Geckos are not known for their affectionate nature, they can become accustomed to their owners and may recognize them. They may also become comfortable being handled with time and patience.

FAQs for Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)

What is a Crested Gecko?

The Crested Gecko, also known as the eyelash gecko or the New Caledonian Crested Gecko, is a species of gecko native to southern New Caledonia. It was believed to be extinct in the wild but was rediscovered in 1994. It is popular among reptile enthusiasts due to its docile nature, ease of care, and unique appearance.

What does a Crested Gecko look like?

Crested Geckos can grow up to 8 inches in length, and can weigh up to 60 grams. They have a flat body, large head, and distinctive crests above their eyes that resemble eyelashes. Their skin is covered in soft, velvety-looking scales. They can come in a variety of colors, including various shades of brown, gray, orange, yellow, and red. Some may have spots or stripes.

What is the lifespan of a Crested Gecko?

Crested Geckos have an average lifespan of 15-20 years in captivity if properly cared for. They can live up to 25 years in some cases. A proper diet, temperature, and humidity control, as well as regular veterinary care, are crucial to their long-term health.

What do Crested Geckos eat?

Crested Geckos are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal matter. In captivity, they can be fed commercial crested gecko diets, gut-loaded insects, and fruit. Younger geckos should be fed daily, while adult geckos can be fed every other day. It is important to not overfeed them as obesity can cause health problems.

What kind of environment does a Crested Gecko need?

Crested Geckos are arboreal, which means they spend most of their time in trees. They require a tall terrarium with plenty of vertical space. Optimal temperature range is between 72 and 82°F (22 and 28°C), with a humidity between 50% and 80%. A substrate of coconut fiber or other similar material is recommended, along with hiding places and foliage to simulate their natural habitat.

Can Crested Geckos be handled?

Crested Geckos are generally docile and relatively easy to handle, but they may become stressed if handled too frequently or too roughly. It is important to ensure that the gecko is relaxed and comfortable before handling them. It is recommended to handle them for short periods of time and support their bodies with both hands.