Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)
Published: April 25, 2017
Last Updated: June 26, 2023
Crested geckos are an arboreal species of gecko native to New Caledonia, a group of islands between Fiji and Australia. They are most common on the islands Grande Terre and Isle of Pines. They get their name from the eyelash-like crests on their heads, which also make them incredibly cute!
Crested geckos were thought to be extinct until 1994, when a tropical storm revealed that populations were very much alive and well. Today they are thriving both in the wild and in the pet trade.
These geckos are omnivorous, eating mostly fruit with occasional insect prey. They are also crepuscular, meaning that they are most active during dawn and dusk.
Crested geckos measure about 8 inches long from snout to tail, and weighing 35-45 grams as adults. It takes crested geckos about 15-18 months to reach sexual maturity, with a 15-20 year lifespan.
Although crested geckos are generally light tan to dark brown, they can also change color! This process is called “firing up,” making the dark parts of their bodies darker and the light parts lighter. No one is entirely sure why cresties do this, but it seems to happen when they are excited.
Fun facts about crested geckos:
- Like most geckos, cresteds do not have eyelids. Instead, they keep their eyes clean and moist by periodically licking them!
- Also like most geckos, cresties can walk up vertical surfaces, thanks to millions of tiny “hairs” on their toe pads called setae. This doesn’t mean that they can stick to everything, however. Fortunately where the setae fail, crested geckos also have small claws to get the job done.
- They also feature a semi-prehensile tail which is used for climbing and leaping. The same “hairs” that cover their toe pads can also be found on the tip of this tail! Interestingly, if crested geckos lose their tail, it will not grow back.