Crested Geckos lack eyelids, which means they must use their tongue to keep their eyes wet and free of irritants. These lizards live mostly in trees of the rainforests of New Caledonia, and they are primarily active at night.
As with most other lizards, the tail of a Crested Gecko will break off very easily to help it escape a predator. However, the tail will not grow back as it will on some other lizard species, and a majority of wild Crested Geckos are lacking their tails.
Crested Geckos eat mainly insects and fruit.
Crested Geckos share many traits with other geckos, including large eyes without eyelids, and wide, flattened toes that allow them to climb up almost any surface. They also have distinctive features unique to them, including eyelash like spines above their eyes, and a double row of spines that runs along their body from the head to the base of the tail.
In the wild, Crested Geckos can be grey, brown, red, orange, and yellow. Additionally, their coloration can display any of three different patterns – white fringed, tiger-striped, and pattern-less. In captivity they have been selectively bred to feature many different color patterns not seen in the wild.
Crested Geckos were first described in 1866 by French zoologist Alphonse Guichenot. Two other related species of gecko live on New Caledonia along with the Crested Gecko: Roux’s Giant Gecko and Correlophus belepensis.
This species is popular in the reptile pet trade, although collecting wild geckos is largely illegal. However, breeding programs were established using animals exported before exporting laws were put in place. These geckos can live up to 20 years or more in captivity.