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Crested Gecko Care Sheet

Scientific name: Rhacodactylus ciliatus

Common name(s): New Caledonian crested gecko; crested gecko

Description: R. ciliatus belongs to the Rhacodactylus family, which is endemic to New Caledonia. R. ciliatus is polymorphic by nature and has some ability to change its color. It has a broad triangular shaped head with crests running dorsolaterally up to the shoulder blade area. A male can be distinguished from a female by its enlarged tail base.

Size:
18-20 centimeters (7.0-8.0") total length
9-10 centimeters (3.5 - 4.0") snout to vent length

Husbandry: A single specimen can be kept in a well-planted enclosure measuring 12" x 12" x 18" (LWH). Glass aquariums oriented vertically can also be utilized to house specimens singularly. A breeding pair or a trio can be housed in an enclosure measuring 18" x 18" x 24" throughout their lives. Dry branches should be provided at varying heights and orientations for perching and climbing purposes. The bottom of the enclosure can be bare or lined with moss. A red 40 watt bulb can be used as a basking light during colder months. This will allow you to observe the geckos at night without disturbing them with intense light. UVB light during the day might be beneficial to crested geckos, but they seem to thrive and reproduce without UVB light. Adult crested geckos should be fed 3-4 times a week. Half of the diet can be composed of various appropriate sized insects such as crickets, silkworms, waxworms and newly molted mealworms. The other half of the diet can be composed of mashed fruits such as apple, apricot, banana, peach and different berries. Commercial baby food brands such as Gerber© and Beech-Nut© are readily available in baby food section of a local supermarket. Hatchling and juvenile crested geckos should be fed 4-5 times a week for optimal growth. Calcium supplement should be used 1-2 times a week for adult geckos and more frequently for juveniles and breeding females. Vitamin supplements should be provided once every 1-2 weeks.

Breeding: The first requirement is to have a breeding pair. Crested geckos usually start breeding at night during early spring. A male will chase a female throughout the enclosure and will mount her from behind. A male might bite the head or neck area of the female while mating. Provide a nest box filled with moist moss or potting soil. After 30-45 days of gestation, a female will lay two eggs in the nest box. Some immature or older females will lay one egg per clutch only. Vermiculite and perlite can be used as the incubation medium. Eggs incubated at 72-78 F (22-26 C) will hatch in approximately 70 days. Females that lay under-calcified eggs should be separated immediately and provided extra calcium supplement for 3-6 months before allowing to breed again.


Temperature:
72-80 F (22-27 C) during the day
65-75 F (18-24 C) during the night

Humidity:
50-60% during the day
60-75% during the night
65% average

Copyright © 2000 Emerson Sy

 
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