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Rhacodactylus Ciliatus(Crested Gecko), also sometimes known as the Eyelash Gecko Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Crested Geckos

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.68    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 08/15/2005

Main Category:

Lizards

Sub Category:

Crested Geckos

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Sobedrummer007

Years Experience:

Under 1 Year

Species:

Rhacodactylus Ciliatus(Crested Gecko), also sometimes known as the Eyelash Gecko

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

The caging/habitat section applies to most Rhacodactylus species.

Sexing and Characteristics:

The sex of a mature crested gecko can be noted by the presence of a bulbous post anal hemipenile on the males. Males also tend to have larger cloacal spurs. Males can be sexed as early as 4 months, females can usually be sexed between 6-9 months of age.

Crested geckos also have lamllae, or "stickyfeet" which allows them to stick to almost any surface. They grow to about 8 inches in length. They are also a long lived species and can live up to 15-20 years if not more.

Mostly Active During:

Night

Substrate and Water Needs:

For quarantine and breeder setups paper towel is best. It allows for regular cleaning of breeding groups/colonies. Paper towels are also a good idea with young and/or sick crested geckos. Bed-a-beast is the preferred substrate if you want to have a naturalistic enclosure. Or if you wish you can keep using paper towels.

-Misting at night is a good idea because that is when crested geckos are most active. Crested Geckos tend to prefer to drink from the water droplets on the leaves and from the sides of the enclosure. Although having a shallow water dish would ensure that they can get water when they need it. I highly recommend that you keep a shallow water dish in the enclosure.

Lighting and UVB:

Crested geckos donít need bright lights to fair well. Since they are nocturnal(active at night) they do not need a UVB bulb. However most people that do use a UVB bulb have noticed that their crested gecko shows intenser colors, it also just makes the tank look nicer. Also creating a day night cycle makes geckos more active. A 12 hour lights on, 12 hour lights off is a good cycle.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Crested gecko temperatures should range from 72-80 degrees during the day, and 67-72 at night, which is what most peopleís room temp is. DO NOT LET YOUR TANK TEMP GO OVER 82 DEGREES, it can be very harmful to your gecko, and even kill it. And donít let the tank temp go below 65 degrees. If you cannot keep these temps a 40 watt reptile night bulb can be used.

In the crested geckos natural habitat humidity is usually high, ranging from 50-80%. This can be achieved by misting the enclosure once or twice a day, and also misting the foliage will help keep the humidity up for longer periods of time. Also you should treat the water you use to spray your enclosure to make sure it is chlorine, ammonia, and heavy metal free. It is a good idea to let the humidity in the cage decrease alot until you mist again to avoid growing mold or mildew.

Heating and Equipment:

As stated above the room temp of your house should be enough to maintain the mentioned temps. If not a 40 watt reptile night bulb can be used. Heat pads are not as effective because this is an arboreal species. MAKE SURE YOUR ENCLOSURE DOES NOT OVER HEAT. If your enclosure is too hot your gecko may die.

You should also have a thermometer and a hydrometer in the enclosure.

Caging Provided:

The MINIMUM for one adult crested gecko is a 20 gallon tall aquarium. Hatchling and juveniles should be housed in 10 gallon aquariums. Your crested gecko should have plenty of plants(live or fake) and branches for climbing. Exo-Terra has a special bendable vine that works well, they also have a good selection of fake plants. Crested geckos tend to like to hide in the foliage. So your plants actually play two roles, they provide climbing areas, and provide hiding places. Egg crates are good for sterile setups for sick geckos, and they are also good for breeding groups/colonies.

Diet:

Omnivorous

Description of Diet:

A crested geckoís diet consists of fruit babyfood and crickets. There is also a special diet called the Crested Gecko Diet, or CGD created by Allen Repashy which is a Meal Replacement Powder(MRP). This completely eliminates the need for feeder insects like crickets. However i find that feeding crickets at least once a week benefits the geckoís mental health and it is just fun to watch them hunt. The directions for the CGD are on the back of the bottle, you can buy it in 1.75 ounce bottles, or 1/2 pound jars.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

If you feed CGD there is no need to supplement because it has all the nutrients your gecko needs. If you feed crickets you should dust them with calcium or CGD.

Maintenance:

The only real maintenance that should be preformed everyday is changing the food and water bowls, misting, and cleaning up the poop. You should completely change the substrate completely every 2-4 weeks.

Some Words on this Species:

This is without a doubt one of the most rewarding species in the reptile pet trade. They are great pets for both novice and experienced herp keepers alike. They come in a very wide variety of colors and patterns, and given enough space can be seen "hopping" from branch to branch in an almost frog-like fashion. Also as a sidenote this species of gecko can "drop" its tale, and once it has been lost it will not grow back.

Here are some books that I highly recommend.
-Rhacodactylus: the complete guide to their care and selection.
-The crested gecko in captivity
-And the magazine article "The Best Pet Gecko?"
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DISCLAIMER:
The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of RepticZone.com. It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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