Once thought to be extinct but rediscovered in the isles of New Caledonia, the Crested Gecko or the New Caledonian Gecko is one of the most popular reptiles in the pet trade.
Rhacodactylus ciliatus is the scientific name for the Crested Gecko. Rhacodactylus comes from the Greek word Rhakos, meaning “spine”, and Dactylus, meaning “finger”. Ciliatus is Latin word, meaning “fringe” or “eyelash”.
The scientific name suits the gecko, as the Crested Gecko has also been nicknamed as the “eyelash” gecko due to the ridges that run along the top of their eyes.
The Crested Geckos are convenient pets as they are good in size; they are not too big and not too small and they require less responsibility compared to other pets. They also have the ability to change colors which makes them very delightful to watch.
Crested Gecko Sources and Prices
Crested Geckos can be bought from Petsmart and local pet stores and the crested gecko price can range from around $30 to $200 or more depending on the breed. The price factors include age, gender, show quality, rarity and season, source, freebies, etc.
BackWaterReptiles.com offers captive-bred Crested Geckos such as the following:
- Hatchling – $49.99
- Fancy Hatchling – $69.99
- Red Hatchling – $69.99
- Adult Male Stub-Tail – $69.99
- Adult Female – $179.99
There are also stores that offer kits when it comes to purchasing Crested Geckos. The kits include a terrarium (the preferred shelter for amphibians), a food enough for a few days before you can find a source, and toys.
All of the gecko’s needs such as food, accessories, and shelter can be bought from online shops such as Petsmart, Petco, and from the local pet stores near you.
Other Necessary Costs
The following are the list of the things that you’ll need to raise your reptile friend and to keep its infamous eyelashes on fleek, so to speak:
Shelter – Geckos do not need much space. Because of this, most geckos are stored in small terrariums with the sizes similar to that of a shoe box. However, it is suggested for geckos to live in terrariums or habitats that are higher vertically as they like to climb walls and hang upside down.
The prices of terrariums are affected by quality, size, source, materials, and freebies. Terrariums can be bought from online shops such as Petco and the prices range from $25 to $300.
Food – Crested geckos are omnivorous. The wild ones naturally feed on fruits & insects found in their habitat. You can feed them the same diet in captivity and they can also feed on commercial diets.
Some owners feed their geckos bugs and fruits only as treats. A gecko may also like crickets, roaches, and they can also eat rotten food.
As a pet, the diet of the crested gecko consists mainly of commercial food and it should be given every night. Treats such as insects should only be given twice or thrice a week but you can feed it more than that if you want to spoil the gecko.
It is suggested to feed the geckos insects that are sprinkled or dusted with calcium supplements once or twice a week. You can sprinkle the insects by putting the calcium powder and insects in one small and closed container and shaking it until the insects are fully powdered.
Calcium powder is suggested for reptiles as calcium helps support strong bones and their bodily functions. It can be bought online and in local pet stores for around $4-$16.
Commercial food for the crested geckos can be bought for around $6 to $18 at most. You can find them at online shops such as Chewy, Petco, and Petsmart. Live and dead feeder crickets can also be found on sale at the same places and have an average price of $34.
Substrates – these are necessary purchases for your crested gecko as they make the bedding of the habitat comfortable. Substrates can be found on sale in online pet shops and local pet stores near you and have a price range of $3-$17.
Food Dishes – they are an obvious necessity for almost every pet. They can be bought almost anywhere for a price of $2 or more depending on the design and quality.
Terrarium Accessories – the accessories or designs for the terrarium are quite a significant since without it, the crested geckos may get bored. As we have mentioned before, the crested geckos like to climb and hang around literally so they will need climbing material for that.
There are many types of accessories; there are mini-houses, fake plants, real plants, barks, etc.
Most of the accessories can be found online and local pet stores with a price range of around $4-$40 depending on what it is and its design.
Health – A crested gecko is considered healthy if it has the following signs:
- Active movements
- Clear eyes and nose
- Body and tails filled out
- Healthy skin
- Regular shedding
- Eats regularly
On the other hand, a crested gecko’s red flags would be:
- Mucus in mouth/nose
- Retained shed on toes
If your gecko is showing some of the signs above, you should contact your local vet. A regular checkup with physical examination typically costs $40-$60 but may go up to more than $100 for emergency care.
If you already found and bought a crested gecko for sale, there are a few things that you should be aware of. You should know the natural behavior of the crested geckos as they are not like any other pets.
The crested geckos are nocturnal animals. They are more active at night and they like to spend most time of the day hiding. With this in mind, it is important to provide a hiding place in the crested gecko’s habitat to avoid it being stressed out.
The crested geckos can be touched and can tolerate handling but you would have to be gentle. Being rough in handling the crested gecko might cause it to get stressed and may drop off their tail as a result. This scenario is common but the tail will not grow back.
The ideal temperature for the crested geckos would be between 75° and 82°F at day and between 68° and 75°F at night. A low-wattage heat lamp is suggested, if necessary. And please remember to keep the habitat humid by 60% to 80%. You can maintain this by misting when needed every day.
Remember not to pair different reptiles with the crested gecko especially the male ones to avoid conflict. And although it is said that these magnificent color-changing creatures do not require much responsibility, it is still necessary to monitor them on a regular basis.