Australian Lizards: A Natural History

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Keeping Australian Geckos

Australian Herpetology Website (Reptiles and Amphibians)

Covering Snakes and Lizards, Crocodiles ,Turtles,and Amphibians, including Colubrid snakes, Pythons, Elapids (called Cobras or Coral Snakes in some countries), Sea Snakes, File Snakes, Blind (or Worm) Snakes, Sea Turtles, Freshwater Turtles (or Tortoises) Dragon Lizards (Agamas), Geckos, Legless Lizards Monitor Lizards (often called Goannas in Australia), Skinks and other Reptile species.


Caring For and Handling a Crested Gecko


Caring for and Handling a Crested Gecko Page
John Fowler & Rachel Barnes

The Crested Gecko is one of the most popular species of geckos kept in the world. Although uncommon in the wild, many morphs have been bred in captivity. They are native to New Caledonia which isin the southwestPacific Ocean, about 1,210 kilometres (750miles) east ofAustralia.

Note that it is normally illegal to keep Crested geckos and other exotic (not native) species of reptiles in Australia, however much of the information about keeping Crested geckos applies to geckos in general.

Caring For and Handling a Crested Gecko

Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)

The Crested Gecko comes from a group of small islands called “New Caledonia” which are about 1,210 kilometres (750 mi) East of the Australian coast. It has become popular as a pet in recent times and many rate it as one of the best pet lizards to bring home.

Not only do the geckos have striking appearance but there are many characteristics which make them appealing to owners. Geckos are quick to change their color as the surrounding demands. You should not be surprised to see them 'fire up' at different times of day. These color changes are interesting to watch. Throughout the day, your gecko may change colors ranging from dull brown to bright orange to even "fiery" red.

Crested geckos are arboreal species and love climbing. They are fond of small trees and shrubs and like to move around freely. You will find your gecko feeding on both insects and plant material as they are omnivores in nature.

An interesting fact you need to know before bringing a gecko home is that they look for places to hide and mostly sleep during the day. They are active during the night and set out to explore their habitat which is great fun for both adults and kids.

Pet geckos love to jump and play around so it is advisable that you give them a large space for the purpose. They will make excellent use of the sticky pads on their paws and walk around the enclosure base and ceilings.

Before you bring a crested gecko home, you need to be familiar with a few handling tips. Crested geckos need large enclosures to move around and this also helps them grow and stay healthy. If you want to house more than one gecko, you should keep only one male gecko in a single enclosure. About five females can be housed in a single large enclosure with one male gecko but more than one male gecko should be avoided.

More than one male geckos in the same enclosure do not get along very well with each other especially if female geckos are around. If you do so, it can lead to a fight which can turn violent and harm the other geckos. You can house a single gecko and if you house a group, make sure they are about the same size to keep away intimidation and injury.

Crested geckos are considered to be the easiest lizards to handle. Fifteen to twenty minutes of daily handling is good enough. You should avoid touching your pet lizard too often as it can stress the gecko. Your gecko loves to climb so you can simply hold your hand in front of the gecko and wait for it to jump or hop on your hand. You can change your hands and enjoy your time with your pet.

Keep in mind that sometimes crested geckos may jump or hop suddenly and even try to bite. You need to be extra careful when kids are around. Although crested geckos allow gentle handling they may drop their tails if they feel threatened. This can happen if the lizard is squeezed or its tail is pinched. Once a crested gecko loses its tail, it does not grow back. You should always wash your hands before and after you handle your pet or clean the enclosure.

This information should be enough to get you started with your pet and keep it healthy and happy. For more information, you can check out the links below.

Design a Vivarium For Your Crested Gecko

Common Health Issues Faced By Crested Geckos


Save Your Leopard Gecko

Techniques in Leopard Gecko Feeding




About John Fowler | About Rachel Barnes | Report Faulty Link | Report an Error | Contact John Fowler Author of the Australian Herpetology Website, Reptiles of Australia and Holiday in Kos - Owner of the Adelaide Reptile Forum

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Updated April 25, 2021