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How Big Do Crested Geckos Get? (Size + Growth Chart)
Crested Geckos are listed as a vulnerable species, thought to be extinct until 1994 when a new population of them was found living in New Caledonia. Export of these animals isn’t allowed anymore, but there are now large breeding operations in the United States and Europe, meaning Crested Geckos are becoming less rare and more sought after in the pet trade.
Crested Geckos are highly prized for their laid-back personalities and comfort being handled by people, not to mention the wide range of color morphs that show up in the species. We’ve compiled this diet and growth information to help you know what to expect when you decide to bring a Crested Gecko into your home.
Facts About Crested Geckos
- Like other lizards, Crested Geckos can drop their tails if they feel threatened. However, their tails will never grow back, leaving them with a nub tail.
- Crested Geckos are nocturnal, so you will likely not see much of your new pet during the day.
- These lizards are known for their jumping abilities, so care should be taken when handling them to make sure they don’t escape or hurt themselves.
- If you notice your Crested Gecko licking its eyeballs, it’s because this is how they keep their eyes moistened!
- Crested Geckos require tall enclosures because they love to climb and jump. Height is more important than the width or floor space in their enclosure.
- If you see your Crested Gecko eating its shed, don’t worry! This is totally normal.
Crested Gecko Size and Growth Chart
|Age||Weight||Body Length with Tail|
|Hatchling||1.5-2 grams||2.5-3 inches|
|Baby (2 months)||3 grams||3-4 inches|
|Juvenile (3 months)||4 grams||3-5 inches|
|Juvenile (4 months)||5 grams||4-6 inches|
|Juvenile (5 months)||7 grams||4-6 inches|
|Juvenile (6 months)||9 grams||5-7 inches|
|Juvenile (9 months)||16-35 grams||6-9 inches|
|Juvenile transitioning to adult (12 months)||35-50 grams||9-16 inches|
|Adult (18-24+ months)||35-55+ grams||9-16+ inches|
When Do Crested Geckos Reach Their Full Size?
Crested Geckos usually reach their full size between 12-24 months, although sometimes this can take up to 3 years. Crested Geckos are considered to be sexually mature adults at 35 grams, which usually happens around 12-18 months.
Diet, temperature, and humidity all have a direct impact on how quickly your Crested Gecko takes to reach its full size. They are all unique individuals, though, meaning they will develop at different rates and reach different full adult size.
Ideal Diet for Optimal Growth
- Note: Crested Geckos that are fed gut-loaded insects tend to reach adulthood faster than those that are not. Nutritional deficiencies related to calcium and inadequate protein can stunt growth. Excess sugar intake can lead to obesity.
What Other Factors Affect Crested Gecko Growth?
- Temperature: Enclosure temperature between 75-78°F with proper humidity will usually lead to the best growth rates.
- Genetics: It’s not a guarantee, but Crested Geckos from larger parents will likely be large in adulthood, while small parents may produce small adult offspring.
- Dehydration: Geckos that get dehydrated will eat less, weigh less, and grow slower. Proper humidity in the enclosure will help prevent dehydration, as well as ensuring your Crested Gecko has access to clean water all the time.
- Incubation Period: Geckos with an incubation period of 80-100 days tend to grow larger faster than those with shorter incubation periods. This is because the lower the hatching weight, the more difficult it will be for the hatchling to eat an adequate amount of food. This can be because they have difficulty chewing food or because larger hatchlings get to the food first.
Why Is My Crested Gecko Not Growing?
- Nutritional Deficiencies: If your Crested Gecko isn’t receiving enough dietary calcium or protein, this can stunt growth significantly, as well as leading to health problems. Make sure you are balancing your gecko’s diet well for their life stage. Ask your exotics vet if you are unsure!
- Tail Dropping: The tail of an adult Crested Gecko is usually around 4-5 inches long. If your gecko becomes stressed and drops its tail, there will be a noticeable change in weight and overall size. Since the tail will not grow back, your gecko will likely stay smaller than most for the remainder of its life.
- Incorrect Temperature: Crested Geckos are reptiles, so they are cold-blooded. This means they need environmental warmth for energy. If your gecko’s enclosure is too cold, they will not have the energy to eat and their body will not have the energy to perform all functions, so it will perform vital functions first, stunting growth.
- Inadequate Humidity: Crested Geckos should receive a minimum of 50% humidity but keeping the enclosure with humidity levels up to 70% will prevent dehydration and keep your gecko comfortable. Dehydrated or stressed geckos will not grow well.
- Inadequate Enclosure Space: Keeping a Crested Gecko in an enclosure that is far too small for it can stunt growth. Make sure your gecko has plenty of space to climb, jump, and hide.
- Bullying: If your Crested Gecko is being bullied by cage-mates, they will become stressed and less interested in eating. This can also happen if your gecko is being harassed by other pets, like cats and dogs, or small children.
- Illness: If you are concerned about the slow rate of growth you’re seeing in your Crested Gecko and you’ve ruled other causes out, you should check with your veterinarian. They will be able to guide you and help you determine if there are underlying medical conditions causing slow or non-existent growth or weight gain.
When considering getting a Crested Gecko, it’s important to ask yourself if you have the space for it and an appropriately sized enclosure. Remember that Crested Geckos can live 10-20 years in captivity, so they are a long-term space and time commitment.
Crested Geckos make great pets, but it’s necessary to become fully educated on their care before you bring the new family member home! Tracking and plotting their growth every 2-4 weeks will help you keep a close eye on whether or not your gecko is developing into a healthy adult.
Featured Image: Catherina Reynolds, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.