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Science & Technology

Cool Creatures: The Crested Gecko

By Matteo Somma

Volume 2 Issue 6

April 14, 2022

Cool Creatures: The Crested Gecko

Image provided by The Spruce Pets

The Crested gecko, or Correlophus Ciliatus, is a gecko species that lives in New Caledonia, a chain of islands in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. The Crested gecko is a common pet that was thought to be extinct until 1994, when scientist Robert Seipp rediscovered the species. Along with the fact that this little lizard reaches lengths of 6-8 inches, the Crested gecko is known for its wide eyes and bright colors. Like many other species of geckos, the Crested gecko lacks eyelids. Thus, they have incredibly long tongues that allow them to reach from their mouths to their eyes to keep them moist as well as to clear away debris. Other than being known for their bulging eyes, Crested geckos are also famously known for their hundreds of distinct color and pattern variations. From spots to stripes, the Crested gecko has it all. The Crested gecko lives in the trees of the rainforest. As an arboreal species of reptile, they often leap from tree to tree. Since they are also a nocturnal species – meaning awake during the night – they can be commonly found sleeping high in tree crevices in the daytime and feasting at night. Just like humans, they are omnivores, meaning they consume both meat (or insects) and plants (in their case, fruits). During the evening, they can be found down on the rainforest floor eating rotten fruit and any bugs that may be inside. For those who are familiar with gecko species, they lose their tails. While many species of gecko regrow their tails, the Crested gecko does not. When attacked by a predator, they will drop or lose their tail to distract predators from escaping. Once their tail is lost, the Crested gecko will not regrow it. In captivity, Crested geckos make great pets. They can be kept in relatively small enclosures (10–36-gallon tanks stood upright) and require little annual fees. They can live up to 20 years in captivity and often tolerate being handled. We love this interesting little lizard!

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