Harlequin Crested Gecko: Breed Overview and Care Guide

Harlequin Crested Gecko: Breed Overview and Care Guide

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 Harlequin Crested Gecko at a Glance

Scientific NameCorrelophus ciliatus Guichenot
Size4 to 4.5 inches
Life Expectancy15 to 20 Years
ColorCream top and sides with dark bottom
FoodInsects and Water
HabitatDry and Rocky Area
Temperature72 to 78 Fahrenheit
Humidity60 to 80 Percent
LightingNormal
SubstrateCapable of Holding Humidity
CostU.S.$ 80 to 500

Crested geckos have made their way into the heart of reptile lovers around the world by effectively rivaling their Leopard gecko cousins. Harlequin Crested Gecko is no exception—it is keen to the eyes of many due to its unique color scheme. They also present a lot of other benefits, such as being affordable, friendly, and easy to breed.

Let us find out some more details about the amazing Harlequin Crested Gecko.

Harlequin Crested Gecko Appearance

Harlequin Crested Geckos stand different from other Crested geckos due to their unique coloring and sharp contrast. They have cream color on the back and sides, while their bottom is usually red or in any other dark color.

Being crested geckos, they have a wedge-shaped head mounted over a body that has a crest-like structure all over the dorsal area, running from eyes to the tail.

They also have an eyelash-like structure above their eyes. They have a long tongue that can reach their eyes.

Harlequin Crested Gecko Temperament

Harlequin Crested Geckos are quite affectionate and friendly towards people. However, they are friendlier and at ease with the people who are gentle at handling them. They are intelligent as well—they easily recognize friendly people. They are also fond of doing leaps, i.e., jumping from arm to the nearest object and vice versa.

They are otherwise easygoing geckos, but their males are not fond of tolerating other males Crested geckos. This is why housing male Harlequin Crested Geckos together would be a disaster; all of them will fight each other to assert their dominance, which can lead to injury or death. Moreover, they are nocturnal and hence active during the night only. You can expect your Harlequin Crested Gecko to be sluggish or completely hidden during the daytime.

The Origin and History of Harlequin Crested Gecko

Harlequin Crested Geckos are designer reptiles and are developed by experienced breeders over a long time and various generations. Since then, Harlequin Crested Geckos have been very popular in the pet trade.

However, the crested geckos were discovered in New Caledonia, in the east of Australia, back in the 17th Century. They are, hence, believed to have originated from the same place. Though known for a long time, they were thought to have gone extinct; however, they were rediscovered in the late 19th Century.

Shedding in Harlequin Crested Gecko

Baby Harlequin Crested Geckos sheds once a week, while adult sheds once every month or two. In suitable humidity levels, they shed in a single go.

You should refrain from holding your Harlequin Crested Gecko while it is shedding as it might cause mental stress.

Brumation in Harlequin Crested Gecko

Brumation is the hibernation in cold-blooded animals. During this period, their bodily activities are limited. Harlequin Crested Geckos go to brumation when the temperature and light are low. Simply increase the tank temperature slightly to get your Harlequin Crested Gecko out of brumation. Furthermore, it is a good idea to induce brumation in your pet every winter.

Harlequin Crested Gecko Growth Chart

Harlequin Crested Geckos grow at the same pace in size and weight as other crested geckos. The detailed growth chart is:

AgeSize (inches)Weight (grams)
Hatchling21.5 to 2
2 Months2.5 to 310
4 Months3 to 3.520 to 30
6 Months3.530
8 Months3.5 to 430 to 35
10 Months435 to 40
1 Year4 to 4.540

Harlequin Crested Gecko Diet

Harlequin Crested Geckos do not necessarily need live food to maintain their health. Therefore, you can also serve a prepared meal diet. Please note that though they do not need live food, feeding them some of it can be healthy as it may provide them with the nutrients beneficial for them—especially with regards to diseases such as metabolic bones disorder (MBD). Also consider adding vitamin and mineral supplements to the insects they eat.

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Unlike Leopard geckos which cannot eat fruits and vegetables, Harlequin Crested Geckos are omnivorous—you can feed them vegetables and fruits. Their favorite vegetable is okra, and their favorite fruits are mangoes and blueberries.

Do not feed your Harlequin Crested Gecko more than nine crickets in a day. More than this quantity can lead to bloating in them.

The Breeding Requirement for Harlequin Crested Gecko

Breeding Harlequin Crested Geckos is easy, but make sure of the following things:

  1. Only put one male Harlequin Crested Gecko in the tank at a time.
  2. You can enhance the genetic diversity by mating the Harlequin Crested Geckos of different types.
  3. They usually show breeding interest after hitting the age of two.

Harlequin Crested Geckos reproduce sexually. Females lay eggs, and they hatch to produce offspring after appropriate incubation.

They can be bred by following these steps:

  1. Place a male and a female Harlequin Crested Gecko in a tank. The tank should be at least 10 gallons in volume.
  2. Keep the temperature slightly above than normally maintained.
  3. Keep checking for the eggs after a week. A female Harlequin Crested Gecko lays about eight to 20 eggs per season.
  4. Place the eggs in an incubator with a suitable temperature and humidity level.

How to Keep Harlequin Crested Gecko Happy?

Appropriate care can increase the level of happiness in Harlequin Crested Geckos. You can take care of your Harlequin Crested Gecko by making sure that the tank has the following:

  1. 20 gallons tank is enough.
  2. Consider adding at least five gallons more to each new Harlequin Crested Gecko in the tank.
  3. Provide the day and night light as is suitable.
  4. Place UV light in the tank, but do not aim for more than 5 percent UV in the overall lighting.
  5. Harlequin Crested Geckos do not require heat more than 80 Fahrenheit. Therefore, aim for a temperature between 70 and 80 Fahrenheit in the tank.
  6. Make sure that the tank has a temperature gradient.
  7. Harlequin Crested Geckos require a high humidity level in the environment. Aim for about 60 to 80 percent humidity in the tank.
  8. Always use the substrate that can hold humidity in the tank.
  9. The cleanliness of the tank should be up to the mark. This will disallow the formation of algae and bacteria.
  10. Always keep any newcomer in the tank for at least two months in quarantine.

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The Health Problems of Harlequin Crested Gecko

Harlequin Crested Geckos are prone to health complications common to geckos in general. They are, overall, healthy with an average lizard lifespan.

The health issues they may face are:

  1. Metabolic Bones Disorder (MBD): The deficiency of vitamin D and calcium can cause MBD in geckos. As a result, the bones become infirm and unable to support the body structure. You should note that though MBD is common in all lizards, Harlequin Crested Geckos are more vulnerable to it. The earliest sign of the disorder is the onset of unusual weakness.
  2. Mental Stress: Mental stress can be caused in geckos by a number of drivers. The most common drivers are new environment, small tank size, unregulated tank temperature, humidity, and light. Mental stress is not life-threatening in geckos; however, it can significantly impact their overall wellbeing. The first sign of stress is arched back.
  3. Dehydration: Dehydration occurs due to the insufficient amount of water intake. In pet geckos, it occurs due to unregulated humidity levels and the lack of water availability. It requires urgent action. Wrinkled and dry skin is the most prominent sign of dehydrated geckos.
  4. Impaction: It is a result of eating oversized substances. The digestive tracks in geckos get choked easily by any large-sized food item, such as cockroaches. Impaction can lead to death if ignored. Regularly cleaning the tank can avoid such mishaps.
  5. Parasites: Various parasites can affect Harlequin Crested Geckos, the most harmful being Entamoeba which can degrade the health of your pet very quickly. Other parasites of concern include Pinworms and Cryptosporidium.

The Signs of Bad Health in Harlequin Crested Gecko

The following signs in Harlequin Crested Gecko indicate that he is unwell:

  1. Breathing difficulties
  2. Weight loss
  3. Muscles degeneration
  4. Prolapses
  5. Regurgitation

The Pros and Cons of Having Harlequin Crested Gecko

Harlequin Crested Geckos are increasingly popular nowadays. Along with the pros, they have some downsides as well.

Pros

  • Easy to care for.
  • Easy to breed.
  • Visually unique and appealing
  • Can also eat fruit and vegetables
  • They are very friendly, especially the young ones.
  • Price can go as low as $80.

Cons

  • They are smaller than average lizards.
  • They can suddenly become aggressive, though not often.
  • Can suffer from mental stress
  • They need high humidity to survive.
  • Do not get easily settled in a new environment.
  • Males tend to fight males.

Conclusion

Harlequin Crested Geckos possess a unique and fascinating color scheme, have a human-friendly personality and temperament, and are not costly to purchase and maintain. They have some drawbacks too, but they are found almost in every lizard on the planet. Overall, they can be great pet partners.

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