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Crested Gecko

Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus ciliatus

Range: New Caledonia in the South Pacific

Habitat: Wet and dense forests, arboreal

Diet: Insects and fruit

Life Span: 10-20 years

Description: The crested gecko has small crests that almost look like eyelashes which run down from the head all the way to mid back. They can attain a length of about 7-10 in (17-25cm) when full grown, males being larger than females and have an enlarged tail base. There are now a large number of different colors and patterns available. The markings and coloration are not geographic indicators and young geckos from the same clutch may display differing coloration and markings. These geckos have "sticky" pad toes that allow them to cling to very slick surfaces like glass. One of these pads is also on the tip of the tail.

Family Life: Mating happens after dark and can appear very violent. The male may bite the female's head and neck. After 30-45 days of gestation, a female will usually lay 2 eggs. Incubation is approximately 70 days. One mating pair can produce 10-20 clutches a year.

Status in the Wild: Protected in their native habitat. Very common in the pet industry.

Nature Notes: The crested gecko was thought to be extinct until the early 1994 when two independent research groups "rediscovered" this species in relatively large numbers. Tails, once lost, will not grow back.




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