So, you have just brought home a tiny crested gecko but are clueless about the kind of care it needs—now what? You may feel overwhelmed just by looking at a tiny creature if you have never owned a gecko before and are a first-time reptile owner.
Worry not; we are here to guide you. With this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about a baby crested gecko.
Fortunately, there is not much of a difference in looking after a baby crested gecko as compared to an adult crested gecko. With a little variation, a baby or juvenile gecko needs to be fed and looked after the same way you would care for an adult gecko. But before we delve any deeper into this discussion, let’s first learn a little about the history and origin of a Crested gecko. This will help us better understand the teeny-weeny baby gecko, aka a Crestie.
History and Origin of a Crested Gecko
A Crested gecko can be exclusively found in the rainforests of New Caledonia. They are called crested because of the spines on their back and head. These spines resemble eyelashes, which is why these geckos are also called Eyelash geckos. Their skin colors and body patterns differ widely, from bright orange or olive to light and pale crème or yellow.
These geckos were first discovered and named by a French zoologist Alphonse Guichenot in 1866. For a long time, they were considered extinct. Then in 1994, a German herpetologist Robert Seipp rediscovered these geckos during one of his expeditions. They were found in large numbers in the New Caledonia, Pacific Ocean. Currently, crested geckos are being contemplated for preserved status by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
Appearance and Size of a Baby Crested Gecko
Just like an adult crested gecko, the hatchlings also have a distinct appearance. The backs and heads of a crested baby gecko have spines that resemble eyelashes. These geckos can be found in a variety of colors. Like all geckos, they have toe pads that help them climb over vertical surfaces. Their toe pads also have sticky and thin hair-like projections called setae. With the help of these setae, they can even climb smooth surfaces and stick to them, such as glass.
These geckos are nocturnal—becoming active after its dark. So, you wouldn’t see them during the daytime. Crested geckos do not like to be handled a lot. If you want to train a baby gecko and want to warm it up to you, try to handle it gently. When handled roughly, they can become stressed and will detach their tails.
A crested gecko’s egg will take 2 – 3 months to hatch the babies. A baby crested gecko is around 2.5 – 3 inches in length while it weighs about 2 grams. Their size and weight can be affected by different factors. To ensure a crested gecko hatchling is growing and healthy, you can record its measurements each day and then compare it with the size guide given below.
Baby Crested Gecko Size Chart
|Crested Gecko Age||Size|
|1 month||2 grams|
|2 months||3 grams|
|3 months||4 grams|
|4 months||7 grams|
|5 months||9 grams|
Diet: What to Feed a Baby Crested Gecko?
Before a baby crested gecko is hatched—the yolk in the eggs’ shell contains enough nutrients for the babies to survive the first few days of their lives. Once a baby gecko is hatched, it may not eat anything on the very first day. They usually start eating once they shed—which happens a day or two after they are born. To be on the safe side, however, you should place food in their tank within the first 24 hours, so they can eat whenever they need to.
A baby crested gecko diet should include all the nutrients that are essential for the gecko’s growth. They are omnivores—they consume plants as well as animals and also insects. The only thing you have to be careful about when feeding your gecko is the size of insects or animals you give them. An insect shouldn’t be bigger than ⅛ or ¼ inches. Or, to be more precise, the insect shouldn’t be bigger than the size of a baby gecko’s head.
They can start consuming insects and tiny crickets a month after they are hatched. But it is advisable to gradually introduce them to commercial food which is readily available. These foods are formulated according to a baby gecko’s dietary needs.
About the frequency of feeding them—a baby crested gecko should be given food every other day. They don’t need to eat every day or more than once a day. They need food with a day’s gap, just like the adult crested geckos do. However, they should have access to clean and fresh water all the time.
It is advisable to put a bowl of water in their tank with a shallow amount of water in it to avoid the risk of accidental drowning. It is also common for geckos to drink water droplets. So you can also spray water on a crested gecko once a day to fulfill their water needs.
Housing a Baby Crested Gecko
When it comes to housing a baby crested gecko, it is not much different than housing an adult gecko. Just like for the adult, the humidity level of a baby gecko’s tank should be maintained at around 50 – 80 percent. During the day, the tank’s temperature should be kept between 72 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, however, it should be maintained at 69 – 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
They don’t need light during the nighttime, but they should be provided with indirect sunlight or an artificial source of light for 12 – 14 hours every day. A baby crested gecko’s housing needs differ from an adult gecko’s in three areas: the tank, flooring, and decorative plants.
Baby crested gecko’s Enclosure: They should be kept in a small tank. Their tank or enclosure should have a size between 1 – 5 gallons. If they are kept in larger tanks, they won’t be able to find food in there.
Flooring Needs: While selecting the substrate of a baby gecko’s tank, care should be taken to buy the one with a low risk of ingestion. So it is advisable to either not use any substrate at all or to opt for paper substrates.
Decor Plants: To provide a hiding space for a gecko, many people invest in terrarium plants or plants for the enclosure. These plants also help maintain the humidity levels inside a gecko’s tank and provide a place for the geckos to climb over them. But as the baby gecko’s tank is smaller, it is better to place some small faux plants in there.
Potential Health Risks for a Crested Gecko Hatchling
Crested geckos—whether newborn or adults—are considered to be overall healthy and hardy. But there are certain health-related issues that may pop up in them once in a while. For a baby crested gecko, two things can create health issues: shedding and food deficiency.
Shedding: As we know, a baby gecko sheds a lot in the first six months; they may go through dehydration and skin-related issues. When a gecko is shedding, it can become dehydrated. So, it is essential to keep misting their bodies and maintain a suitable humidity level in their tanks. The other problem they may face is that the extra skin they lose gets stuck on their toes, feet, or tails when they are shedding. This can stop the flow of blood to those parts, resulting in amputation.
Food Deficiency: When a baby gecko is not provided with a balanced and healthy diet, it can become malnourished and stop growing. It can result in greater risks such as a calcium deficiency. To protect a baby crested gecko from becoming food-deficient, you can feed them with a commercial diet as they are specially formulated with the essential nutrients. They should also be provided with proper light during the day so their bodies do not become calcium deficient.
It is also essential to look after the mother gecko’s health before and during it is pregnant. If the mother is not healthy, the hatchlings are more likely to be born with deficiencies. So, it is important to care for a pregnant gecko as well.
Price of Baby Crested Geckos
The price of a baby crested gecko depends upon its age, the morph or pattern it has, and also its gender. On average, a baby crested gecko can be bought for a price of $40 – $50. Other housing arrangements and the food etc., can cost you around $500. So, on average, you can expect to bring a baby crested gecko to your home for around $550 – $600.
Can a Baby Crested Gecko Be Kept as a Pet?
Yes! A baby crested gecko can certainly be kept as a pet. They are tiny and can be tamed easily. But it is also important to mention here that taming and handling them should be done gently and with patience. They can become stressed from rough handling and can even injure themselves.
So, we are hopeful with our comprehensive guide about a baby crested gecko’s care and handling, you would have learned a lot. Owning and caring for a baby crested gecko is truly a rewarding and fulfilling experience. But you need to be very gentle and careful with these tiny Cresties as they would be dependent upon you for their needs.