Written by Sunny

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

crested gecko green background

Welcome to the enchanting realm of crested geckos, where mystery meets beauty. These captivating creatures have charmed reptile enthusiasts and pet lovers alike with their unique features and captivating behaviors. In this article, we will dive into 19 intriguing facts about crested geckos, shedding light on their natural history, remarkable adaptations, and the joys of keeping them as pets. So, let’s embark on this reptilian adventure and unravel the secrets of these extraordinary creatures.

Table of Contents

The Crested Gecko’s Origins

Crested geckos, scientifically known as Correlophus ciliatus, hail from the islands of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. They were first discovered in the 19th century and were considered extinct until they were rediscovered in 1994. Since then, they have gained immense popularity as pets due to their unique appearance and docile nature.

Striking Appearance

One of the most distinctive features of crested geckos is their intricate and beautiful patterns. They have a series of raised crests running from their head to the base of their tail, giving them their name. Their bodies display a range of colors, including shades of green, brown, orange, and red, making each individual a work of art.

Nocturnal Wonders

Crested geckos are primarily nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the night. This behavior allows them to avoid direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, as they are native to the forested areas of New Caledonia. Their nighttime activities include hunting for insects, exploring their surroundings, and displaying unique behaviors such as jumping and climbing.

Remarkable Climbers

Equipped with specialized toe pads, crested geckos are excellent climbers. Their adhesive toe pads allow them to scale vertical surfaces, including glass, branches, and foliage, with ease. This adaptability makes them fascinating pets to observe as they navigate their terrariums and showcase their natural acrobatic skills.

A Unique Tail

Crested geckos are known for their vibrant and distinctive tails. However, unlike some other gecko species, if a crested gecko loses its tail due to predation or accidental injury, it will not regrow. While the loss of a tail doesn’t significantly impede their daily life, it is a permanent change. The gecko can still maintain balance and maneuverability without its tail.

Vocal Performers

Unlike many other reptiles, crested geckos have the ability to produce vocalizations. While their calls may be subtle and difficult for humans to hear, they communicate through a series of chirps, clicks, and squeaks. These vocalizations play a role in courtship, territorial disputes, and social interactions among geckos.

Crested gecko on zamioculcas zamiifolia
Image from Adobe Stock

Omnivorous Diet

Crested geckos are omnivores, meaning they have a diverse diet that includes both plant matter and insects. In the wild, they feed on fruits, nectar, flowers, and small invertebrates. As pets, they thrive on a balanced diet consisting of commercially available crested gecko meal replacement powders and occasional live insects as treats.

The Radiant Lily White Morph

One of the most sought-after variations of crested geckos is the Lily White morph. These geckos are characterized by their pale or entirely white coloration, giving them a unique and striking appearance. The Lily White morphs are highly prized among reptile enthusiasts and have been achieved through selective breeding to accentuate this particular color trait.

Gentle and Docile Disposition

Crested geckos are known for their gentle and docile nature, making them suitable pets for reptile enthusiasts of all ages. They rarely bite and are generally tolerant of handling, making them an ideal choice for beginners in the world of reptile keeping. However, it is important to handle them with care and provide a proper environment to ensure their well-being.

Shedding Marvels

Like many reptiles, crested geckos shed their skin periodically as they grow. During the shedding process, their vibrant colors may appear dull, and patches of old skin may become visible. It is crucial to provide a humid hideout in their enclosure to facilitate a smooth shedding process and prevent any complications.

The Art of Tail Wagging

Crested geckos have a charming behavior known as tail wagging. While the exact purpose of this behavior is not fully understood, it is believed to be a form of communication. Tail wagging may occur during territorial displays, courtship rituals, or as a response to stress or excitement. Observing a crested gecko wagging its tail can be a delightful and endearing experience.

Prolific Jumpers

Despite their relatively small size, crested geckos are remarkable jumpers. They can launch themselves several times their body length to reach nearby branches or escape potential threats. This agility is facilitated by their muscular hind limbs and the unique structure of their toes, which allow them to grip surfaces securely.

Crested Gecko full body
Image from Adobe Stock

Cool and Collected: Temperature Regulation

Crested geckos are ectothermic creatures, which means they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. In captivity, it is important to provide a temperature gradient within their enclosure, allowing them to choose between warmer and cooler areas. This helps them maintain their metabolic functions and overall well-being.

Mysterious Eye Crests

The crested gecko’s most iconic feature is the crest of skin above each eye, resembling eyelashes. These eye crests are believed to serve multiple purposes, including protection, camouflage, and communication. During territorial displays or courtship rituals, the eye crests may become more pronounced, adding to the gecko’s captivating appearance.

Tail-Based Communication

Crested geckos utilize their tails as a means of communication. When threatened or alarmed, they may drop their tails as a distraction, allowing them to escape from predators. This behavior, known as autotomy, is a defense mechanism employed by various lizard species. It is important to note that while the gecko can regrow its tail, the process requires time and energy.

Enigmatic Breeding Habits

Crested geckos exhibit intriguing breeding habits. They are known to be one of the few reptiles that can reproduce without mating, a process called parthenogenesis. Females are capable of producing fertile eggs without the need for fertilization by a male. However, breeding with a male gecko can result in genetic diversity and the production of offspring with distinct characteristics.

Variations in Color and Pattern

Crested geckos exhibit an astonishing array of colors and patterns, making each individual unique. Breeders have selectively bred crested geckos to produce a diverse range of morphs, including “flame,” “pinstripe,” “harlequin,” and “dalmatian.” These variations have become highly sought-after among reptile enthusiasts, adding to the allure of keeping these captivating creatures as pets.

Community Favorites: Bioactive Setups

Bioactive terrarium setups have gained popularity among crested gecko enthusiasts. These setups aim to recreate a miniature ecosystem within the enclosure, incorporating live plants, beneficial microorganisms, and cleanup crews (such as isopods and springtails). Bioactive setups promote natural behaviors, provide enrichment, and contribute to the overall well-being of the geckos.

Captivated by Crested Geckos

Crested geckos have captured the hearts of reptile enthusiasts around the globe. Their fascinating features, gentle demeanor, and the joy of observing their unique behaviors make them a beloved choice for pet owners. The allure of these enchanting creatures lies not only in their physical beauty but also in the connection they forge with their human companions.


As we conclude our journey into the world of crested geckos, we hope you’ve discovered the marvels that make these creatures truly exceptional. Their mesmerizing appearance, captivating behaviors, and intriguing adaptations continue to inspire awe and fascination. Whether you are a dedicated reptile enthusiast or a curious admirer, the crested gecko’s allure is undeniable—a testament to the extraordinary wonders that nature has to offer.

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