The Crested Gecko is an incredibly popular pet for reptile lovers. These adorable little guys are low-maintenance making them easy to care for—even if you don’t spend much time at home. Because of this, they are great for first-time lizard owners and children. More than being cute or making a good pet, though, Crested Geckos are interesting animals. For example, did you know people used to think they had gone extinct?
Below you’ll find some fascinating and fun facts about the Crested Gecko you didn’t know before!
The 23 Facts About the Crested Gecko
1. Everyone thought the Crested Gecko had gone extinct.
That is, until 1994, when it was found in high numbers in New Caledonia by Robert Seipp and the expedition he was leading.
2. The Crested Gecko was first described hundreds of years ago.
The first description of the species using its scientific name Correlophus ciliatus was in 1866 by Alphone Guichenot, a French zoologist.
3. The ciliatus part of its scientific name is Latin and means “eyelashes” or “fringe”.
This is a reference to the crest over the Crested Gecko’s eyes that resemble eyelashes.
4. Those crests give this creature its second name.
The ciliatus are why the Crested Gecko is also called the “eyelash gecko”.
5. The Crested Gecko has no eyelids!
Its eyes have a transparent scale that keeps them moist. The Crested Gecko keeps its eyes clean by using its tongue to wipe away dirt and debris.
6. Its tail is prehensile.
That means the Crested Gecko can use it to grab onto branches, etc. It also has lamellae pads on the tail, which help to support the gecko as it goes from one branch to another.
7. The Crested Gecko can’t regrow its tail.
While other types of geckos can regrow their tail, the Crested Gecko cannot.
8. The breakaway tail deters predators.
When faced with danger or a predator, the Crested Gecko’s tail can break away as a deterrent. This is possible due to brittle cells at the base.
9. A tailless Crested Gecko has a special name.
A Crested Gecko with no tail is known as a “frogbutt”.
10. The Crested Gecko is like Spiderman!
Due to special toe pads that can hold onto surfaces (even glass!), it can climb vertical surfaces.
11. Its toes are also double-jointed.
That means when it stands up, it is doing so with toes that curl upward.
12. Every Crested Gecko is unique in appearance.
No two look the same. Each Crested Gecko will have slightly different patterns and colors.
13. The Crested Gecko can have a variety of colors.
These include shades of yellow, brown, grey, orange, and red.
14. It can change color.
When this occurs, it’s called being “fired up” and makes the Crested Gecko’s color darker and more vibrant. Being fired up can happen for several reasons such as fear or anxiety, happiness, excitement, and even because of environmental changes like humidity or temperature. The opposite is called being “fired down” when the Crested Gecko is a paler version of itself. This happens when it is sleeping or relaxing.
15. The Crested Gecko sheds its skin quite a bit.
Young Crested Geckos shed their skin approximately once a week. In contrast, adults only shed their skin about once a month (or sometimes every couple of months).
16. The Crested Gecko is a tiny thing, but compared to other geckos, it is quite large!
In fact, it is one of the largest of the species. As adults, the Crested Gecko can reach anywhere from 5-9 inches, making it almost twice the size of its smaller counterparts.
17. The Crested Gecko has two rows of spines.
These spines go from its head to its tail.
18. Some, but not all, Crested Geckos can be pretty talkative.
They make sounds that resemble chirps or barks.
19. The high-pitched chirp has a special meaning.
When the Crested Gecko wants to attempt to ward off a predator or call a mate, it will make a noise that sounds like a high-pitched chirp.
20. The Crested Gecko’s diet is unique.
The Crested Gecko is unlike other gecko species in that it is an omnivore.
21. Crested Gecko hatchlings won’t eat until they’ve shed (and eaten) their skin for the first time.
Instead, they get nutrition from the remains of their yolk sack.
22. These little guys are nocturnal.
They prefer to be active at night rather than during the day.
23. In the wild, the Crested Gecko’s status is listed as “vulnerable”.
However, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) is considering making its status “protected”.
And Now You Know!
As you can see, there’s a lot more to the Crested Gecko than just being super cute. These little guys also have a fascinating history and many unique aspects that make them a fun pet to have. If you think you might enjoy one, you’ll find them to be quite chill and easy to care for—and now you can impress your family and friends with your in-depth knowledge about your new friend!
Featured Image Credit: Catherina Reynolds, Shutterstock