Crested Gecko & Gargoyle Gecko Care Sheet
CRESTED GECKO AND GARGOYLE GECKO Care Sheet - BHB Reptiles
Scientific Name: Correlophus ciliatus - Crested Gecko AND Rhacodactylus auriculatus - Gargoyle Gecko
Native Habitat: New Caledonia and nearby islands. Crested geckos can only be seen in the southernmost region of New Caledonia and the Isles of Pines. Gargoyle geckos have a relatively stable population in the wild and can be found throughout most of the Grand Terre.
Lifespan: With proper care, they can live between 15-20 years in captivity, but possibly even longer.
Size: Between 7-9 inches total.
Expert Level and Temperament: Crested geckos are perfect for beginners. We also believe that Gargoyle geckos are fine for adult beginners or older children with experience keeping reptiles. There are rare occasions when Gargoyle geckos can be a bit more feisty than a Crested gecko.
Handling: Each gecko may feel differently about being handled. Some geckos may not have a problem with being handled, some may need to build up trust over a long period and others may not wish to be handled at all.
If your gecko does not mind being handled, we suggest using the hand-over-hand method to allow them to jump from one hand to the other. If you have never tried this technique before, have your hands close to a table or surface so that if they jump off your hands they are not injured.
Enclosure: As a baby, you would want to focus on making your Crested or Gargoyle gecko feel secure. I know it can be tempting or more convenient to house your baby gecko in a larger home, but try not to. Babies may stress easily if their space is too large. We would suggest a 5-10 gallon tall terrarium.
For a sub-adult to adult Crested or Gargoyle gecko, they love vertical climbing room upgrade your enclosure to either a 18x18x36 or 18x18x24. Please do not use a full-screen enclosure because the humidity will drop too low.
Crested and Gargoyle geckos do well in a variety of setups, if you wanted to try a tall and similarly sized Sterlite tub ****with breathing holes throughout*** they can also thrive there.
Plants: Crested and Gargoyle geckos love to have plenty of places to climb and hide. Adding plenty of foliage whether fake or real is part of keeping your gecko happy and healthy. Ideas for safe plants are Pothos and Philodendrons. You can also look into setting up a Bioactive Vivarium which includes creating a natural living space with plants, substrate, and living organisms that act as a cleanup crew in the enclosure.
Housing Multiple geckos: Gargoyle geckos do the best living by themselves and really should only cohabit for breeding. Crested geckos do great alone, but you could house multiple females (up to 3) of similar size together.
Substrate: For babies, use paper towel. It is easy to tell if your baby is passing their food regularly, easy to clean, and affordable.
Now, for sub-adults and adults, you could still use paper, but you may struggle to keep the humidity correct. Switching over to a substrate that helps to hold humidity and release it slowly over the day will make husbandry that much easier.
Our sister company ReptilePrime.com (the regular, not fine bag) is what we use and suggest. It is a 100% organic coconut substrate that is perfect for any humidity-loving species of reptile. The substrate is also available on Amazon Prime. Canadian customers are not able to buy thru the website, but they can buy thru Amazon Prime. Other great alternatives are any coconut fiber substrate or even ABG mix.
Hides: Multiple hides are key. There are many hides on the market, this is a wonderful opportunity to be creative. Cork bark tubes are a great option.
Humidity: Crested and Gargoyle geckos need their humidity between 60-70%.
You must spray your enclosure. Your geckos will love drinking the water droplets that form on the walls of their enclosure and on the plants. Usually, a daily spray in the late evening will do the trick. You will want to spray a moderate mist on all four sides of the enclosure and also on the plants and substrate as well. You need to make sure that your enclosure completely dries between mistings so that bacteria and mold do not grow. If you are away for a night or so, I would just make sure to spray a little bit more heavily the night before and they will be ok.
Hygrometer: I am always surprised how many keepers opt-out of purchasing this very important tool for keeping most reptiles. A hygrometer is a very inexpensive piece of equipment that allows you to measure the humidity in your reptile's enclosure.
Shedding: Crested and Gargoyle geckos will eat their shed, they normally do not have issues with shedding as long as your humidity is correct.
Shedding Issues: If you notice any stuck shed like on their toes, put them immediately into a small Tupperware container (with a small breathing hole) that has a couple of pieces of paper towel damp with a little warmer than room temp water for 30 minutes to an hour to see if that will help to loosen the stuck shed. You can try this a couple of times, but if it is not helping, I would schedule a vet appointment.
Temperature: Between 73-80°F.
Heating Source: No direct heating source is required, but do make sure that you can maintain the temperatures listed above. If your home is colder than 73°F you may need to move your gecko into a warmer room or buy a low-wattage heat bulb such as the Daylight Blue™ or Nightlight Red™ from Zoo Med or a similar product from another brand is a great choice for providing heat.
Do not use heat rocks in your enclosure as your gecko could get burned and overheat.
Thermometer: To make sure that your temperatures are correct in your gecko’s enclosure, buy a thermometer. There are many options on the market. Shop around to see where the best deals are. You can also buy a Digital Infrared thermometer that reads the temperature instantly.
Crested Geckos: We feed our Crested geckos Pangea’s Complete Diet every other day and crickets weekly. If you choose to feed your Crested gecko a gecko diet that does not contain insects in the formula, please make sure that you are offering live crickets every week. Crested geckos can have a variety of blended-up fruit, you just need to watch that you are not feeding fruits high in phosphorus. Safe options: pears, mango, watermelon, and fig. Blended fruit should be given as treats and not as their staple diet.
Gargoyle Geckos: The only difference with Gargoyle geckos is they need more protein than Crested geckos so please make sure to feed a Pangea or similar brand of Complete Diet powder food and live insects.
For Both: Make sure when offering live insects that they are no larger than the width between their eyes. Also, please make sure to dust insects with the powder supplements listed below.
Food Dish: Use an elevated food dish. Your Crested or Gargoyle gecko will spend most of their time off the ground so elevating will make it easier for your gecko to find and eat their food.
Powder Supplements: Osteo-form SA & Vionate Powder. Use a 1 part Osteo-Form SA to either 3 parts Vionate. Some keepers do a 1:4 ratio instead. Dust on any insects that you are feeding your gecko and offer a tiny dish of powder in the enclosure for them.
Water Dish: Water is very important for your Crested/Gargoyle gecko and a small water dish should be in their enclosure at all times. They will most likely not be drinking out of their dish that often because you will be spraying their enclosure and they love to drink the water droplets.
**Make sure to NOT use distilled water for your reptile. If you do not know if your tap water is safe, we would suggest using bottled water like spring water. Also, you can you the product: “ReptiSafe® water conditioner which is great for water bowls and removes chloramines and chlorine, detoxifies ammonia and nitrites, and provides essential ions and electrolytes which help to hydrate newly acquired animals.” **
Care Sheet Information From Our On-site Gecko Breeder and Specialist Jessica Saunders.
***Did I forget something or is there anything else you feel I should include on this care sheet? Please feel free to email me at Stephanie@BHBReptiles.com****
WHEN YOU ORDER A GECKO(S) FROM BHB REPTILES
Once you receive your Gecko(s), please inspect your box and the gecko. If there are any problems, please call us during business hours or email us during non-business hours for the fastest service. If there are no issues, please place your gecko directly into their new home and offer water. Wait to offer food until the next day to allow their stomach to settle from shipping. Finally, we would recommend extremely light handling or no handling the first week they arrive so that they can become acclimated to their new environment. Most of all, enjoy your new companion(s).