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How to Choose a Crested Gecko

Updated on December 27, 2008
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Whitney has raised and bred different species of geckos, snakes, lizards, tortoises, and other exotics since 2003.

Crested Geckos

Crested geckos are fairly new to the pet market when compared to other pet reptiles and geckos in the trade. But, that doesn't mean they are any harder to care for. Actually, they make one of the best beginner reptiles because of their ease in captivity.

Although, the average lifespan is unknown, it is estimated that they can life an average of 10-15 years like most other pet geckos when at their optimum health and care.

So, when bringing home a crested gecko, you should be familiar with how to properly care for the species and how to choose a healthy gecko. Because even if you know everything about the care and husbandry of crested geckos, if you bring home a sick gecko, you may be in for a long ride.

Where to Buy a Crested Gecko

Once you've decided to bring home a crested gecko, and you've done all your research, meaning you know the proper husbandry and diet, you're ready to pick out a crested gecko. You need to take into consideration a few things...

You need to take into consideration a few things...

When purchasing a crested gecko from a pet store you will need to take into account:

  • Their current husbandry may not be correct.
  • Unknown genetic history
  • Unknown history, in general

With retail reptiles, you do not know whether or not the parents were health and not prone to genetic disorders.

Whereas, with breeders, they take care and pride into their reptiles, and any sign of a health concern that may have a slim chance of being hereditary, is removed from the breeding groups.

But, it all falls down to your opinion, as not all pet store reptiles are sickly, housed improperly, etc. And, you may not want to pay the $55 to $75 for overnight shipping from a breeder.

You can always consider a local reptile show. To which you will normally find cheaper prices, more variety, and breeders.

Signs of a Healthy Crested Gecko

It may be difficult to asses a gecko's health by just looking in its enclosure, so ask to hold the crested gecko for closer inspection. Check to make sure that the gecko has the characteristics found below, as they are those found in healthy crested geckos.

  • Acceptable body weight is the first sign of a healthy gecko.
  • No external blemishes such as bite marks, skin tears, sores, rashes, etc.
  • Clear eyes with pupils that appear as thin slits Clean ears, nostrils, and vent.
  • Free of mites.
  • No kinks in the spine, pelvis, or tail bones.
  • If the gecko is tailless, make sure that it is completely healed.
  • No hard masses along the underside of the abdomen.
  • Ease of movement.

Unhealthy crested geckos exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Thin appearance could indicate parasites or improper feeding/diet.
  • Protruding hip bones (even if the rest of the body may have bulky) indicates major health concerns.
  • ¬†External blemishes can indicate parasites, stress, bullying Eyes that are sunken into the head.
  • Pupils that are widely dilated under normal light.
  • Retained shed can indicate improper husbandry.
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose, and vent can indicate respiratory infection or other illnesses.
  • Mites.
  • Kinks in the spine, pelvis, or tail bones can indicate improper supplementing and diet.
  • Hard mass on the underside of the abdomen can indicate impaction or retained eggs.
  • Lethargy or difficulty moving can indicate a very serious concern.

Make sure to inspect the caging, as well as the gecko. Make sure that any feces in the tank is well formed and not liquefied. Ask what they are eating and what supplementation they are receiving (since you have done the proper research, you know what the diet should be).

If you have any concerns about the health or care of a crested gecko, do not bring it home. Because, although rehabilitation is rewarding in itself, it can be very costly...

Crested Gecko Morphs

Although, they are fairly new to the market, crested geckos already come in a variety of morphs. Which is one more reason that you should love them! ;-) Breeders tend to have a higher quality crested gecko than what you will find at your local pet store.

Breeders are selectively breeding crested gecko for "designer" morphs versus your more basic ones.

  • Cream (Creamsicle)
  • Cream Harlequin
  • Dalmatian
  • Exaggerated Crests
  • Extreme Harlequin
  • Flame (Fire)
  • Halloween
  • Harlequin
  • Harlequin Pinstripe
  • Lavender Pinstripe
  • Mardi Gras
  • Olive
  • Patternless
  • Pinstripe
  • Red
  • Red Harlequin
  • Red Dalmatian
  • Reverse Pinstripe¬†
  • Super¬†Dalmatian
  • Tan
  • Tiger (Brindle)
  • Yellow
  • Yellow Harlequin
  • Yello Pinstripe

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