Dalmatian Crested Gecko: Breed Overview, Appearance, Care, Diet, and More!

Dalmatian Crested Gecko: Breed Overview, Appearance, Care, Diet, and More!

Dalmatian crested gecko

Dalmatian Crested gecko is a unique crested gecko morph thanks to its distinct color pattern. Besides having popularity due to their dotted pattern, they are also famous for their low maintenance and some desirable personality traits as pet lizards.

We will discuss almost all aspects of Dalmatian Crested geckos below comprehensively.

Dalmatian Crested Gecko Overview

Let’s go through a quick overview of Dalmatian Crested gecko to get an idea about this unique and a bit rare Crested gecko morph.

Scientific NameRhacodactylus ciliatus
Common NameDalmatian Crested Gecko, Eyelash gecko
Size7 to 9 inches
Life-ExpectancyIn captivity: 10 to 20 Years
In the wild: Five to 10 Years
ColorBlack and white spots
FoodCommercial gecko food, insects, and soft fruits as a treat
HabitatDry and Rocky Area
Temperature65 to 80 Fahrenheit
Humidity60 to 80 Percent
LightingNormal (No UV lighting required)
SubstrateSphagnum moss, coconut fiber, newspaper, paper towel, etc.
Dalmatian Crested Gecko Overview

Dalmatian Crested Gecko Appearance

Just like Dalmatian dogs, Dalmatian Crested geckos have a pattern of contrasting spots of varying intensity present all over the body. The size of spots varies from gecko to gecko. Furthermore, some Dalmatian Crested geckos are so densely spotted that their base color is hardly visible.

They have fringes-like structures on their head. Their crest goes all the way from head to tail, just like in other crested gecko morphs such as Harlequin Crested gecko and Baby Crested gecko. They have a wedge-shaped head and don’t have eyelids like Leopard geckos.

Dalmatian Crested Gecko Temperament and Personality

Overall, Dalmatian Crested gecko has a decent personality. They are not dangerous; as a matter of fact, they are quite friendly with the people around them. Furthermore, they are docile, making them very suitable for children and beginner gecko keepers.

Nevertheless, their personality and temperament have some downsides as well. Firstly, they usually bite when they feel threatened, which rarely hurts or bleeds, even though they have teeth. However, you need not worry, like Leopard gecko teeth, Crested geckos teeth are also small that will hardly pierce through your skin. Secondly, they are often skittish and jump around a lot, making it difficult to handle them. Thirdly, and lastly, the male Dalmatian Crested geckos are not suitable to be kept with other males as they begin asserting their dominance, leading to injury or even death.

Dalmatian Crested Gecko Shedding

Like all gecko species, Dalmatian Crested geckos also shed regularly throughout their life. The young geckos shed more—every week two weeks—adult geckos shed less often—every month or two. In this way, they remove their old skin and get a new one. Increasing the relative humidity level during shedding can expedite the process of gecko shedding.

Did you know?

Like most geckos, Dalmatian Crested geckos also eat their shed skin to compensate for the energy expended in the generation of new skin.

Dalmatian Crested Gecko Brumation

During brumation, Dalmatian Crested geckos do not go into complete hibernation. Nevertheless, they become far less active and energetic than they usually are. They usually go into brumation when they feel less temperature and light. To be able to breed, however, they must experience brumation first. During the brumation period, female Dalmatian Crested Geckos gather strength for breeding.

Breeding Dalmatian Crested Geckos

Breeding your Dalmatian Crested gecko can be done very easily, even if you are a beginner, by following these simple steps:

  1. Place a couple of Dalmatian Crested geckos in a tank, and they should mate within a few days.
  2. Never place two or more male Dalmatian Crested geckos in the same habitat—they will start fighting. However, Males do not cause stress for females, but that is not always the case. However, it is normal for males to bite females before insemination.
  3. Make sure that the couple is sexually mature.
  4. Place an egg box within the tank for the female to lay eggs in during the eight to nine months breeding season. A female can lay a clutch of two eggs every one to one and a half months.
  5. Incubate the eggs.
  6. Keep the hatchlings inside the incubation box before their first shed.

Dalmatian Crested Gecko Diet

Though Dalmatian Crested geckos primarily feed on insects, they can also be fed fruits, unlike the leopard geckos. In fact, Dalmatian Crested geckos have a penchant for soft fruits like bananas, mangoes, pears, nectarines, and passionfruit. You can get them fruits mixes like Banana/Papaya Fruit Mix.

They also eat commercially available, supplemented powdered food. However, their favorite insects include crickets, mealworms, roaches, wax worms, and silkworms, etc.

Dalmatian Crested Gecko Feeding Tips

Keep the following recommendations in mind while serving your Dalmatian Crested gecko any food item:

  1. Because of the nocturnal nature, your pet will usually eat in the evening.
  2. The young ones and the juveniles are fed every day while the adults eat only thrice a week.
  3. It is better to limit fruits as treats only and not be an integral part of their primary diet. Keep in mind that fruits should not constitute more than five percent of their diet.
  4. It is not a problem if you feed your pet commercially available food more than insects.
  5. Consider using calcium and vitamin D3 supplements if your pet does not get enough of them from the regular diet.

How to Take Care of Dalmatian Crested Gecko?

It is not difficult to take care of Dalmatian Crested geckos. All you need to do is to maintain the environment within the enclosure of your pet in the following ways:

  1. Keep the tank volume to be at least 20 gallons.
  2. Increase tank volume to 30 gallons if you keep two or three Dalmatian Crested geckos in it.
  3. Due to their proficiency in climbing, make sure that the tank is escape-proof by keeping the upper lid secure. To compensate for this, provide them with tree branches like structures on which they can climb all day.
  4. Though Dalmatian Crested geckos do not need ultraviolet (UV) lighting, you should provide the best gecko lighting setup to keep your gecko happy and healthy; however, always provide him with a hide to escape from the UV light when he desires so.
  5. Maintain the temperature gradient within the enclosure for better regulation of your pet’s body temperature. Keep the difference between the sides from 72 to 80 Fahrenheit during the daytime and from 65 to 75 Fahrenheit during the nighttime.
  6. Likewise, keep the humidity level no less than 60% during the daytime and 80% during the nighttime. Misting can also help maintain humidity levels.
  7. Place newspaper or paper towels as substrate in your gecko tank if you are okay with their looks. If not, consider placing coconut fiber or moss. Ensure regular cleaning or replacement of the substrate.
  8. Never use sand or stones as substrate. It can cause impaction if ingested.
  9. Place only one male Dalmatian Crested gecko in one tank because of their instinct to dominate over other males.
  10. Clean the tank regularly to avoid any bacterial and fungal growth within it.

Dalmatian Crested Gecko Health Problems

Being a crested gecko morph, Dalmatian Crested geckos are generally healthy, with a lifespan of about 10 to 20 years if kept with proper care.

However, some diseases are common, and even the most-cared-for Dalmatian Crested geckos can fall prey to these complications. Below we have listed the most common Dalmatian Crested gecko health issues.

Disease NameCausesSymptomsCure
Mouth Rot or Ulcerative StomatitisIt is an immune-mediated problem, thus making it impossible to control oral infections.Cuts in mouth
Thicker saliva
Pus from mouth
Facial swelling
Disinterest in eating and drinking
Anti-biotic
Mouth cleaning
Surgery (in case of severe infections)
Respiratory InfectionsLower humidity levelsLethargy
Lack of food intake
Breathing with an open mouth
Anti-biotic and pro-biotic
High humidity level
Skin ProblemsBacterial and fungal factors and unshed skinPus in skin
Red or blistered skin
Medication
Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)MBD occurs in reptiles due to the deficiency of calcium and vitamin D3Soft jaw
Wavy tail
Lethargy
Lack of food intake
Calcium and vitamin D3 supplements
Vet help (in case of severe disease)

It is, however, worth noting here that the complications discussed above can be kept at arm’s length by providing an optimum environment to your Dalmatian Crested gecko.  

How to Know If Your Dalmatian Crested Gecko Is Healthy?

If your Dalmatian Crested gecko is happy and well taken care of, he would be most likely enjoying a good, healthy, and happy life. Below we have listed 6 signs of a happy gecko:

  1. Alert and energetic
  2. Ample appetite
  3. Healthy weight
  4. Excreting normally
  5. No discharge from mouth and nose
  6. No sign of stuck skin after shedding

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Dalmatian Crested Gecko

Is Dalmatian Crested Gecko a good pet? Well – it all depends upon you if you are satisfied with the following pros and cons it entails:

    Pros

They are docile —easy to handle.

They are friendly —quickly become tolerant of new people and places.

It is easy to take care of them: They do not require any complicated setup.

They need a simple diet: Like set up, their diet is also simple.

Easy to breed: Breeding them is not rocket science.

They do not cost much: You can get a Dalmatian Crested gecko for around 100$.

    Cons

They jump a lot —may try to escape when you are holding them outside the tank

They are highly energetic: They keep on moving and rarely stand still.

They have nocturnal nature: They come out alive at night.

Dalmatian Crested Geckos Interesting Facts

  • They don’t have eyelids like Leopard geckos.
  • Like most geckos species, they can drop their tail via caudal autonomy, but they cannot regrow their tail.
  • Crested geckos were declared extinct until they were rediscovered in 1994.
  • Like most geckos, they are nocturnal.
  • They are excellent jumpers. So be careful when you take them out of their tank—they may escape.
  • Like other Crested gecko morphs, Dalmatians have a semi-prehensile tail, making them excellent climbers.

Conclusion

In addition to being distinct in appearance, Dalmatian Crested geckos are also great as pets because of their low maintenance cost, desirable personality traits, and the quality of easily getting along with the children. They have some downsides as well, particularly in their personality. Being skittish, for instance, can make a problem for the handler. Health and happiness can be easily taken care of by providing a proper and recommended environment.

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