Crested geckos are a threatened species recently thought to be extinct in the wild. Although keeping wild crested geckos is illegal, they are popular in the legal pet breeding trade. These are great reptiles for beginners and anyone wanting a lizard with a calmer personality.
If you’ve ever considered getting a crested gecko as a pet, you’ve likely wondered how big they get. How big will your full grown crested gecko be? We’ll tell you all about how large these lizards get, how you can help them to grow more quickly, and what you can do to keep them healthy below.
Table of Contents
What Is A Crested Gecko?
Crested geckos are one of the best lizards for people who are new to the reptile world because they’re easy to care for.
They have grown in popularity over the last several years, and it’s not hard to see why. They have an interesting physical appearance that makes them fun to watch.
The little critters look almost like a little leafy dragon. Their brown, textured skin resembles that of a leaf. They also have two lines of spikes running down the back of their body that begin at the eyes — like eyelashes.
Their eyes may be the most interesting part of their body. The eyes are a light greenish-tan color, with a long black slit down the center, like a snake.
Crested geckos are adapt at moving around their enclosures. Their toes are padded and stick to many surfaces, like the glass sides of a home terrarium. They also have prehensile tails — tails that can grasp onto things — making travel through branches simpler. The geckos even jump very well.
If you want to handle them, do so sparingly. They become frightened easily. If you plan to handle your crested gecko, you should plan to be patient and gentle.
If they become too frightened and feel threatened, they may drop their tails, or jump out of your arms. Unfortunately for these critters, once their tails are gone, they’re gone for good. They won’t regenerate like other lizard species.
Full Grown Crested Gecko Size
A crested gecko full size will grow to about 8-16 inches in length. About half of this length is made up just from their tails. They will also weigh about 35-55 grams.
How Big Do Crested Geckos Get?
A fully grown crested gecko will reach an average adult size of 8-16 inches. However, some can be smaller, and a big crested gecko can grow even larger. So the size of crested gecko does vary.
What Is A Baby Crested Gecko Size?
Baby crested geckos are quite small. They will only be about 2.5-4 inches their first 2 months of life. They will only weight about 1.5-3 grams those two months as well. Although they are very small when they hatch, they grow quickly.
How Fast Do Crested Geckos Grow?
The crested gecko growth rate is quick. They grow about 1-2 grams each month of their life until they are fully grown. When they hit about 9 months of age, they will begin to grow even more quickly, putting on about 5+ grams a month.
How quickly a crested gecko grows depends on their individual biology as well as outside sources like food, humidity, and temperature. More on this later.
What Age Do They Reach Full Adult Crested Gecko Size?
In total, crested geckos can live for about 15-20 years when they are cared for properly. If you purchase them as babies, you can expect them to reach their adult size at about 12-24.
Crested geckos will reach sexual maturity between 12-18 months of age. Most geckos will be fully grown about the same time they reach sexual maturity, but some will continue to grow after that.
But generally, you can consider your crested gecko full grown by two years.
Crested Gecko Growth Chart
Crested geckos are quite small when they are young, but they grow quickly. Here is an average timeline for how long it will take for you gecko to get big:
|Body Length — With Tail (In Inches)
|Weight (In Grams)
|1 Month (Hatchling)
|2 Months (Baby)
|3-4 Months (Juvenile)
|5-6 Months (Juvenile)
|9 Months (Juvenile)
|12+ Months (Reaching Sexual Maturity-Adult)
Watch this video:
How Can You Make Crested Geckos Grow Faster?
Generally, the faster your geckos grow, the healthier they are. This is not always true, though, as size also depends on the individual gecko’s biology. To take the best care of your geckos and get them to reach their full potential, you should follow these tips:
The biggest influence on your crested gecko’s growth rate is its diet. Crested geckos need a variety of healthy foods to grow big and strong. Juveniles and adults need different diets, and supplements are essential.
Supplements like calcium and vitamin D3 are essential to the health of your crested geckos. Geckos that receive gut-loaded insects dusted in calcium and vitamin D3 are more likely to stay healthy and grow faster.
Juvenile geckos should be fed every day. A high-quality pre-made food like Pangea Gecko diet should be given to juvenile and adult geckos every day. They should also receive an assortment of gut-loaded crickets, Dubia roaches, and soldier fly larva every day.
If you are purchasing insects that are dead, the insects should come gut-loaded already, just be sure to check the packaging.
Some reptiles refuse to eat dead insects, however, and prefer live food. If you’re feeding live food, you will need to house the insects for a few days before feeding them to your lizard.
Gut-loading is the process of feeding your feeder insects the nutrients your reptile needs to stay healthy. Most insect food you purchase in-store will come loaded with the nutrients your reptile needs. Simply keep the insects in a separate container for a few days so that they can eat and become “gut-loaded”.
You should sprinkle the insects with calcium powder shortly before they’re fed to your lizard. The calcium will stick and absorb into the insect, making its way into your lizard’s body when they eat it. This should be down 2-3 times a week.
There are also reptile multivitamins available that help with the growth of your young gecko. These are similar to calcium supplements in that you can sprinkle them onto the insects before feeding them to your gecko.
You don’t want to overdose your gecko on multivitamins, so these should only be given about once a week.
The diet of an adult gecko is quite different from that of the young geckos. While they receive the same insects and vitamins, their diets are more varied and complex.
Juvenile geckos need a lot more protein than adult geckos which is why their diet consists of only insects. As they age, geckos begin to need vitamins and nutrients available in fruits and vegetables.
Like young geckos, adult geckos should also be fed every day. Rather than feeding them insects everyday, you will feed them pieces of fruit like raspberries, papayas, oranges, and figs.
If your gecko is picky and does not like to eat fresh fruits, you can substitute them with baby food. You can choose baby foods like banana, apricot, pear, peaches, or squash. It can be eaten as is, or you can mix it into their pre-made commercial food.
Insects like crickets, soldier fly larvae, and Dubia roaches only need to be fed 2-3 times a week. These insects should be gut-loaded just as they were when your gecko was a baby.
2-3 times a weeks, your gecko should also receive a variety of fruits and veggies. Some good fruits include berries, grapes, apples, watermelon, and pears.
Good vegetables include okra, carrots, and butternut squash.
Good greens include escarole and dandelions.
Supplements & Snacks
They should also receive calcium and vitamin D3 supplements 2-3 times a week. These can be dusted on the gecko’s insects just as they were in their juvenile stage.
If your gecko’s health is compromised, your veterinarian may recommend a multivitamin for your gecko to take once every other week.
As an occasional snack, crested geckos can be fed some pomegranate, plums, cantaloupe, bananas, pumpkin, or peaches. These shouldn’t be fed very often, and shouldn’t be given more than once a week.
As we stated earlier, the temperature of their enclosure is extremely important for crested geckos. It effects their health, happiness, and their overall growth. When they are young, you should keep your geckos at a temperature of 75-78oF with proper humidity. Doing this will encourage them to grow more quickly.
Genetics and Incubation
Just like with humans, a gecko’s parents will have a large part in the overall size of your gecko. If the gecko came from larger parents, it will likely grow larger. If its parents were small, they will likely stay small too.
The incubation period also has an effect on the overall size of crested geckos. Those that stay incubated longer are more likely to grow to a larger size. The average incubation period for crested gecko eggs is between 60-120 days.
Geckos that stay incubated in their eggs for at least 80-100 days will likely grow larger. This is because they’re bigger when they hatch, so they are able to eat more, growing even larger.
The smaller they are when they hatch, the less they can eat, and the smaller they will stay.
Why Might A Crested Gecko Stop Growing?
Stunted growth in crested geckos is usually due to incorrect housing environments or insufficient feeding. In the end, it comes down to feeding. If your gecko isn’t receiving the right amounts of nutrients and supplements, it will stunt their growth.
If geckos aren’t kept with the proper lighting, temperature, and humidity, they become unhealthy and stressed. This stress can cause stunted growth. Cage size may also stunt their growth — always ensure that your gecko is kept in a tank of at least 20 gallons.
Geckos should have plenty of water and moisture in their enclosure, and this includes proper humidity. If a gecko is dehydrated, they will eat less. Eating less leads to increased dehydration and a slow-down in growth.
Of course, illness and overall stress will contribute to stunted growth. If something seems off with your gecko, make sure to have it checked by your veterinarian.
Like humans, not all geckos will get along. If you’re housing multiple together, keep an eye on them to ensure there is no bullying. Also be sure to keep your gecko away from any other pets, like cats or dogs.
What Is A Good Adult Crested Gecko Tank Size?
When purchasing a crested gecko, you can start off with a smaller tank if you like, but they should be upgraded as they grow.
The Best Tank Size For Crested Gecko
A 20-gallon terrarium is the minimum tank size. Crested gecko adults will need at least this. You should plan to get a terrarium that is tall, rather than wide because these critters like to crawl about in the “treetops”. Although 20-gallons is a sufficient minimum, they will be happier if you provide them with a larger tank.
Most crested gecko owners prefer fully screened enclosures. However, partially screened enclosures are easier to control. For example, crested geckos need moderate to high humidity to stay healthy, about 60% during the day and up to 80% at night. It’s hard to endure these humidity levels when the tank is screened.
Crested geckos are arboreal and very active. They need lots of climbing space and plants to hide in. Flexible branches, vines, and bamboo can be purchased to layer across your tank to give them plenty of climbing space.
Real or silk hanging plants are also a good option to give them places to hide in. If you plan to use real plants, be sure to do your research to make sure they’re safe. Not all plants are safe for reptiles. Some good options to go with are plant species of pothos, philodendron, dracaena, and ficus.
Temperature & Light
Reptiles are cold-blooded animals and need an alternative heat source to keep their body temperatures at a safe level. You should keep multiple thermometers dispersed throughout the terrarium to monitor temperature gradients.
A safe daytime gradient for crested geckos is 72-80oF. During the night, it’s okay for the temperature to drop down to 65-75oF. Crested geckos don’t do well at excessive temperatures, so the temperature should be monitored closely to make sure it never goes above 80oF.
The best way to heat these reptile’s tanks without overheating them is with a red “nighttime” bulb. These are usually used exclusively at night by reptiles that prefer a higher temperature. However, they work quite well for crested geckos during the day and through the night.
Crested geckos are nocturnal, so most reptile experts agree that they don’t need any source of UVB. However, most also agree that UVB in low levels are good for their overall health.
If you choose to provide your gecko with a UVB light source, choose a low-level bulb that only makes up about 5% of their total lighting. If you choose a stronger bulb, it will only make the terrarium hotter, and your geckos won’t be happy.
Crested geckos are a great reptile for beginners and anyone who enjoys watching a calm, but active pet. These lizards don’t grow to extreme sizes like some lizards, but they grow big enough that you don’t have to hunt for them in the cage.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a crested gecko for a pet, you now know everything you need to know to take care of them properly. If you provide your new gecko with a great home, you will see it growing in size right before your eyes!