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New Caldonian Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus)

Care of your Crested Gecko

Care of your Leopard Gecko

Hatchlings- The hatchlings are reasonably hardy and easy to care for, as long as a few specific requirements are met. They do quite well on a diet of crickets of an appropriate size (for hatchlings, 1/8 inch crickets or smaller). The right size food item will be no longer than half the width of the lizards own head. It is important to supply vitamins and minerals to your growing gecko. This can be accomplished by “gut-loading” crickets by feeding them such items as orange slices, carrots, salad greens, fish flake food, or a commercially available cricket food prior to giving them to your lizard. Additionally, the crickets can be dusted (coated in powder) with a quality commercial vitamin/mineral powder just before providing them to your gecko to eat. Hatchlings should be fed every day to maintain a healthy growth rate. It is a good idea to vary the diet by offering other insect prey such as mealworms, waxworms, or butterworms. Remember to keep the prey size appropriate and use these worms sparingly, as they are mostly fatty or chitinous. Several commercial diets are available for crested geckos and are a complete diet in a dry powdered form. These have been used with great success and are popular among those who dislike feeding live insect prey to their geckos. I recommend supplying water by misting your gecko a couple of times a day.

Adults- The adults are maintained in much the same way. Using a larger prey item feedings can be scaled back to about three or four times a week. They don’t need vitamin supplementation quite as often either, so suppliment every other to every third feeding. Adult geckos that are breeding will require more attention to detail regarding their dietary needs.

How to Care for your Leopard GeckoGeneral- The Crested gecko comes from the forested regions of New Caldonia where it was suspected that they had gone extinct until their "re-discovery" in the early 1990's. As it turns out, they are just very good at hiding themselves away and were not all that uncommon when you knew where to look! They were an instant sensation in the herpetology world and are now bred commonly in captivity. They are most active at dusk and dawn, usually sleeping throughout most of the daytime hours. A 10-gallon tank will comfortably house an adult gecko or even a pair of geckos, but an upright tank with dimensions of 30"x12"x12" or so works better. I recommend a plastic shoe or sweater box, or a "Kritter Keeper" for the hatchlings or juveniles only because it makes it easier for them to capture prey in the smaller area. Paper towels or newspaper make cleaning quick and easy and eliminates the possibility of ingesting any sand or gravel that may impede digestion and kill the gecko. The adults can be kept in a similar manner if you so choose or a planted terrarium can be made to suit the needs of this gecko. Provide geckos with an area where they can hide, such as a rock shelter, hide-box, or cork tube. Keep a heat pad on one end of the tank to keep a warm location in the mid 80's to low 90's. Lighting is largely a matter of personal choice since the geckos don’t seem to care, just be sure your geckos always have access to shelter from the light and heat if they so choose.

Other Helpful Info:

̃ Always buy a healthy captive bred animal and learn as much as you can from the source that you are buying it from, such as age, sex, what is it eating, etc.

̃ Find a local veterinarian who is knowledgeable about reptiles before any problems arise!

̃ Buy a good book about Crested Geckos or at least a book with a decent section about these animals and keep it on hand for reference. This care sheet contains only initial information to get you started and is by no means complete.

̃ Enjoy your crested gecko! These are fantastic and rewarding pets.

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