Newest Review: ... is thought to be somewhere between 15 and 25 years. These gecko's do not need a constant source of heat like many other reptiles do, ... more
The worlds cutest reptile!
New Caledonian Crested Gecko
Member Name: shoequeenrach
New Caledonian Crested Gecko
Advantages: Cute, Easy to care for, friendly
I never used to be a fan of reptiles and always shared the same stereotypical views as many other people, that reptiles were generally slimey, cold and horrible. That was until I gave in to my boyfriends desires and bought him his first lizard; a Blue Tongued Skink that we called Mushu. Fast forward several years and reptiles are now every much a big part of our lives and our reptile family has grown to include two Leopard Geckos (Panzer and Zeus), a Black and White Argentinian Tegu (Seth) and a Royal Python (Pliskin a.k.a. Skinny - although I must admit that I don't like the snake much).
One day a few months ago my boyfriend returned home with a new addition to our family and my first thought was 'oh my god, not another lizard!'. I love all the ones we have but thought another one would just be more hassel as their vivariums take up so much space and we always struggle to get people to look after them when we go on holiday - it turns out people aren't as happy to volunteer to pet sit Lizards as they are cats and dogs.
Never the less, the new addition was here....Echo the Crested Gecko.....and I instantly fell in love with him. He was the size of my thumb, and a burnt orange/brown colour with little crests running down his back and on top of his eyes, making him look like he has eyelashes ( I think thats how they got the name Crested Gecko) but he is in no way spikey. To touch, Echo's skin is as soft as velvet and he was and still is as light as a feather. From the moment he arrived, Echo has always been extremely tame and has never shown any signs of trying bite us while we have been handling him. In my opinion, Echo also looks like he is always smiling, I'm certain that it is just the way his jaw is set but I do like to think of him as a happy lizard.
It turns out that crested geckos are also really easy to care for. Echo doesn't need a heat mat or lamp, he is happy at room temperature in his glass vivarium, although we do have a spare heat mat on stand by for the winter months as I am told that the temperture in Echo's vivarium shouldn't drop below 13 degrees cellcius. Obviously you need a decent, lizard friendly thermometer to keep an eye on this.
Inside Echo's viv is some bark substrate, a couple of wooden branches and some plastic plants with big leaves as he does seem to like to sit in amongst the leaves. He also has a little water bowl and is given fresh water daily. His viv is also sprayed once a day with water as Echo also likes to lick water droplets from the plastic plants.
A crested geckos diet can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be; you can buy crested gecko diet which is a powder you mix with water to create a feed that is supposed to provide a crested gecko with all he needs nutritionally. However, they can also eat fruit flavoured baby foods, soft fruits (but not citrus fruits), crickets and then as a treat they can also have wax and meal worms. When we first got Echo, we mostly fed him baby food and he seemed more than happy to sit there are lick it from my finger, which was really cute. Now he has a bit more of a varied diet which includes soft fruits like banana and peaches which we mash up for him and crickets.
My boyfriend does most of the looking after of the reptiles, I usually just get them out of their vivs to handle them and feed them if he isn't around. My boyfriend fully cleans Echo's vivarium about once a month and inbetween that does spot cleaning when needed.
Echo is now about 4 to 5 inches long and still seems more than happy to be handled, he even sometimes climbs onto my hand quite happily when I put my hands into his vivarium to get him out. In the wild, crested geckos get around by jumping from branch to branch and Echo really does know how to jump; for this reason I usually sit on the floor while handling him as I'm always scared he'll hurt himself by jumping off me when I'm stood up, although most of the time he just sits on my hand with his tail curled around one of my fingers, which I think is really cute even though I know that he only does it to keep himself safe incase he were to fall. One thing to remember about crested geckos is that you should never grab or pick them up by their tails and they will shed it as a survival response and it wont grow back.
Crested geckos apparently live for around 10 years and so are great if you want a small pet thats a bit different and has a longer life expectancy than a hamster. I think that these little guys would be fantastic as a first reptile as they are so cute, friendly and easy to care for that you really couldn't go wrong.
Echo is now a well established member of our little reptile family and we wouldn't be without him. It turns out that he is actually no hassel at all, he makes no noise at all, unless the room is so quiet that you can hear him jump from one branch to another in his vivarium and the fact that he is so small and cute and eats 'normal' food like fruit means that our friends are less reluctant to look after him while we're on holiday.
I love Echo to bits, he is easily the cutest and friendliest reptile I have ever come across and would happily recommend crested geckos as a pet for the experienced or inexperienced reptile keeper.
Summary: In no way slimey, cold and horrible.
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