Are you considering adopting a pet lizard? If so, a crested gecko may be a good option for you. These cute lizards are quite easy to care for, even for beginners. You’ll learn some basics of crested gecko care in this article from me, your Cedar Rapids, IA vet.
The crested gecko—also called the eyelash gecko—originated in New Caledonia. They were once considered very rare .In fact, they were thought to be extinct until a thriving colony was found. These lizards grow to be about 8 inches. They can live up to 20 years, so don’t adopt one unless you’re ready for a long-term commitment.
If you have a baby lizard, you can use a 10 gallon tank. Adults should have at least 20 gallons. Ventilation is very important, so pick a tank with a mesh or screen lid. The habitat will need to be around 78-82 °F during the day, and around the lower 70’s at night. Never let the habitat get hotter than 87 °F, or colder than 60-65 °F. One end should be a bit cooler than the other, to allow your pet to move around to adjust his temperature. You’ll also need to keep the tank at about 60 to 80 percent humidity. This will require a mister. For light, you can use a ceramic heat emitter or a low-watt incandescent bulb. This habitat will need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every week. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Crested geckos are arboreal, meaning they live in trees in the wild. Your pet will need some live plants or small trees to climb and hang out in. You can also offer things like cork bark sections or reptile furniture. For substrate, you can use reptile carpet, coconut fiber, damp sphagnum moss, or a peat moss/soil mix without perlite.
Your pet can eat commercial gecko food, which you should be able to find at local pet stores. You can also give your gecko live bugs, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms, once or twice a week. These will need to be gutloaded, or dusted with nutritional powder, first. Small amounts of fruit, such as peach, banana, or apricot, are also okay. Fresh water is also a must.
Please contact me, your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, with any questions or concerns about your crested gecko. I’m here to help!