Crested geckos are native to New Caledonia. These gentle creatures are also one of those easy to manage reptiles that many hobbyists have found to be an interesting species to keep as a pet. These unique creatures reach an adult size of about 6″-7″ from snout to tail and weighs an average of 50 grams for a female and about 35-40 grams for a male. If you can provide the simple requirements that they need, you will be assured that you can keep one of these tame creatures for a long time. Note that records indicate that these exotic pets can live up to 15 years if, given the proper care, some even live longer.
Females in captivity have been reported to have a shorter lifespan, primarily due to breeding. Breeding, in general, not only creates a lot of demand for their nutrition stores (especially calcium) but may also cause emergency health situations like egg binding and prolapsed cloaca. Sources also indicate that this is a more common occurrence in captivity than in the wild and points to factors as improper care, rapid growth, or unique lizard requirements that many reptile owners have yet to unravel. Considering this, it is best that you choose a male juvenile or sub-adult for a pet instead as reproduction issues will be most likely not a problem with them.
One of the factors that any reptile hobbyist has to be well aware of is the diet that his pet will be most likely be feeding on.
What will your crested gecko eat?
A staple in a crested gecko’s diet is insects, primarily, mealworms and crickets, as these insects provide the energy that it most needs. For many lizard keepers, crickets are considered the best choice as it is easily accessible. They are also rich in vitamins and other minerals that your pet needs to stay healthy. They should be offered about three times a week if considered as a primary diet or once a week if provided as a treat/supplement to your pet’s diet. You also need to dust live prey with calcium and gut load them with foods that you would normally feed your gecko to ensure that they receive the essential healthy elements that they need. Remember, however, that the biggest cricket or insect that you should feed your gecko should not be bigger than its head.
Commercial powdered diets or meal replacement powders (MRP) are also great substitutes for a great crested gecko diet. They are usually packed with all the essential nutrients and vitamins that your pet needs. The better MRP options are the Repashy Superfoods and Pangea Fruit Mix Complete Gecko Diet. You can offer a mixture of Repashy Superfoods with two parts water in shallow dishes three times a week to your gecko. If after 36 hours there are still some leftover in the dish, you will need to remove it and clean the food dish and have it ready for your pet’s next meal.
For the experienced hobbyists, homemade diets are another good option. However, preparing a meal will need more time and can also be risky to a pet’s health. If you consider offering your pet homemade diets, you need to remember that insects should make up a larger portion of its diet. You also need to make sure to learn more about the foods that are considered safe for crested geckos.
How frequent will a crested gecko need to eat?
A crested gecko’s eating habit is influenced by several factors like metabolism, body size, and its age. You will need to observe your pet’s eating habit to avoid potential health issues if its feeding requirement is not met.
Note that there are geckos that eat every night, but there are also those that eat only a few times a week. During the cold season, they may have a reduced appetite, so they may be eating less and less frequently. The warmer months generally will increase their metabolism and appetite, however.
If your pet stops eating for some time, you do not need to worry. Remember that a healthy gecko can go for several weeks without eating. If you don’t see any signs of eating for about three weeks, instead is showing signs of illness, you may need to bring your pet to a vet.
When looking for the best crested gecko food, make sure to have high-quality crested gecko food to offer to your pet. You also need to remember that food is just one of many other things that you need to provide to your crested gecko so that it will remain healthy and satisfied. Appropriate supplements should be provided together with the food that you offer as well as proper hydration. You also need to make sure that your pet’s enclosure is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as needed. Any signs of illness should also be treated right away with the help of a reliable veterinarian. To increase the lifespan of a breeding female crested gecko (if you have one), it is best to keep its weight to about 40 grams at all times.
Even with common care and handling problems, crested geckos are still considered easy to manage. If you plan to own one, consider these recommendations to ensure that your gecko will be healthy while under your care.