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Home > Geckos > Halloween Crested Gecko: Info & Care Guide for Beginners (With Pictures)

Halloween Crested Gecko: Info & Care Guide for Beginners (With Pictures)

Halloween crested gecko on dry leaves

Halloween-crested geckos are so named because of the bright orange stripes on their black, velvety skin. They’re a native species to the island nation of Indonesia and are commonly found in tropical forests near water sources.

An increasing number of Americans are becoming interested in reptiles every year, and crested geckos are a great place to start. So whether you already have a crested gecko and are looking for some information, or if you’re thinking about getting your very first pet gecko, this article is written to help you with everything you need to know.

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Quick Facts about Halloween Crested Gecko

Species Name: Tukutuku rakiurae
Common Name: Harlequin
Care Level: Beginner
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Adult Size: 6-10 inches
Diet: Insects
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Temperature & Humidity: 72-75°F; 60-80%

Do they Make Good Pets?

Even with their spooky name, Halloween Crested Geckos are simply a morph of a regular crested gecko. They share the same personality traits that make them ideal for first-time reptile owners.

First, they have a very calm temperament and are easy to handle. Loud noises don’t spook them, and they don’t bite or scratch when carrying them in your hands.

They’re also a very low-maintenance pet! Keeping them well-fed means just dropping food inside their enclosures every day, no cleaning or maintenance needed for their tank (though you will need to keep it clean anyway).


You can differentiate the crested gecko from other lizards by its flattened head and wide-set eyes. They are very small (3-4 inches) and have a life span of about ten years. Their skin is soft and velvety to the touch.

As stated earlier, the Halloween crested gecko is a morph. This means that they are a sub-species of the crested gecko that has an unusual color pattern. The most defining feature is their orange and black stripes, as well as their white eyelids.

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How to Take Care of Halloween Crested Gecko

These creatures are relatively low-maintenance. However, there are a few things that you should do to make sure your companion is thriving.

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup


The first thing your Halloween Crested Gecko will need is a habitat. Their tank will need to be at least 20-gallons, which is bigger than other pet geckos. At the most, you can house one male crested gecko per 40-gallon terrarium. Do not keep them in a smaller enclosure, though; they need room to climb around and exercise their limbs.

Regular cleaning of the habitat is a must to keep your gecko healthy. Change out the substrate and clean off any scum you see on the tank walls and warm water and soap in the corners.

Just as humans need fresh air to breathe, crested geckos also need fresh oxygen in their habitats.

Halloween Crested Gecko held in hand
Image Credit: revvo, Shutterstock


Geckos are nocturnal reptiles. In captivity, they can be taught to behave differently, but they are awake during the night and sleep in the day in their natural habitat.

Being nocturnal creatures means that crested geckos need a full spectrum bulb for their tank. This type of light is necessary because it simulates sunlight. Without these lights, crested geckos would become depressed and lethargic.

Heating (Temperature & Humidity)

When choosing a bulb for your tank, keep in mind that you need to provide both heat and UV light for the habitat. You can use these bulbs at the same time or space them out throughout their day accordingly.

Your crested gecko tank should have a temperature range of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Crested Geckos are less tolerant of low temperatures than some turtles or lizards, so make sure to keep a close eye on the thermometer.

Humidity is a must for crested geckos since they are from rainforest regions. The air in their tank should have humidity levels between 50%-70%. To help increase this level, you can place damp sphagnum moss or vermiculite in the tank.


For your gecko to be happy, you should aim to recreate a natural habitat for them. This means sand as the base or hiding spots such as fake logs and driftwood.

You can also use play sand; just make sure you clean it first! If you didn’t buy your sand from the pet store, it might have very harmful things in it that can harm your gecko.

Tank Recommendations
Tank Type: 20 gallon glass vivarium
Lighting: Full-spectrum bulb
Heating: Infrared bulb
Best Substrate: Sand


Feeding Your Halloween Crested Gecko

As an exotic pet, your Halloween Crested Gecko is probably going to be a picky eater. Crickets will be the staple of your gecko’s diet, and they should make up about 50% of it. You can find them at most pet stores, and they are usually very cheap.

You should feed crickets to an adult gecko about twice a month.

Another big part of your gecko’s diet should come from specially-formulated pet food, which you could also buy at the pet store and mix in your gecko’s water.

Finally, there will be fresh fruits and veggies. A few good choices are mangoes, papaya, grapefruit, apple, cucumber, or zucchini.

Diet Summary
Fruits: 10% of diet
Insects: 50% of diet
Pet Food: 40% of diet – small/medium sized rodents
Supplements Required: N/A
Halloween Crested Gecko on a decorative skull
Image Credit: EWStock, Shutterstock

Keeping Your Halloween Crested Gecko Healthy

Apart from providing your pet with a balanced diet, you should also make sure to give your pet some time to exercise. Its natural instincts will not let it be sedentary, so you should try and create a little “outdoor” space for the gecko in its tank.

Be careful about the decorations, though: they might cause harm to your gecko’s delicate skin, so use something that is soft and won’t make your pet hurt itself.

Common Health Issues

The most common issue in geckos as a species is a metabolic bone disease. This is a chronic condition that could lead to many problems, including death. You should watch out for bone deformities such as bowed legs or stunted growth.

Crested Gecko owners need to keep an eye on their pets’ skin and eyes since these are also vulnerable to health issues such as dry skin and eye infections.

If you feel something might not be right, go immediately to the vet and get advice on proceeding.


In the wild, crested geckos can live for about five years, but if they’re kept in captivity and cared for well, their lifespan can be increased to 15 or even 20 years!


Since female crested geckos lay their eggs in moist areas of soil or plants, you should provide them with a similar environment. You will need to buy a small plastic hideaway and place it in a small container with cactus or vermiculite soil and water. You can also put some pieces of bark for the female to lay her eggs on.

When she’s ready to lay her eggs, the female will go into the hideaway and come out several hours later. You should separate the female from the male at this point since the heat of his presence can be a little stressful for her.

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Are Halloween Crested Geckos Friendly? Our Handling Advice

In general, crested geckos are not “social” animals, but once they get used to the idea of being handled, they’ll gladly take the love you offer them. They can live together in groups in captivity, but they need to be introduced at a young age – at least four months old-to get used to each other.

If you have other pets in the house, make sure the gecko is not exposed to any diseases. If you have big mammals like dogs or cats in your home, it’s best to keep them in a separate room from your pet.

Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect

Crested Geckos will usually shed their skin once a month, especially during the summer. It’s important to know that shedding is normal, and it should not alarm you, but if your pet seems to be taking too long or if its abdomen is swollen, you should consult a vet as soon as possible.

When brumation kicks in (which means cooling down), the gecko will become inactive for a few days. It might move less and seem lethargic, but don’t worry – this is entirely normal behavior!

Be sure your pet has plenty of water at all times to prevent any skin deformities caused by dehydration.

How Much Do Halloween Crested Geckos Cost?

You can buy crested geckos from pet stores or breeders, and their prices can vary a lot. The least expensive ones will cost around $40, which means you’ll be paying only for the animal itself.

When you bring morphs into the equations, though, it’s a different story. Due to their beauty and rarity, Halloween Crested geckos can go for $275!

Care Guide Summary

  • Can be housed together
  • Funny-looking
  • Simple diet
  • Very small
  • Nocturnal animals
  • Sensitive to heat and humidity


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Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in a pet that is low maintenance and has an unusual appearance, then the Halloween crested gecko morph may be the perfect addition to your family. These reptiles are great for beginners because they do not require much care or attention.

We have more information on our blog about these unique pets, including all types of lizards, if this sounds like something you might want to learn more about.

Featured Image Credit: Catherina Reynolds, Shutterstock

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