Harlequin Crested Gecko: A Comprehensive Guide

Crested geckos have become one of the most popular reptile pets in the world, and for good reason. They are easy to care for, have a unique appearance, and come in a wide variety of morphs. Among the many crested gecko morphs, the harlequin crested gecko stands out for its striking coloration and patterns. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the harlequin crested gecko, from its appearance and behavior to its care requirements.

Contents

What is a Harlequin Crested Gecko?

The harlequin crested gecko is a morph of the crested gecko (Correlophus ciliatus), a species of gecko endemic to New Caledonia, a small island in the South Pacific. This morph is characterized by a bright orange base color, broken up by black or dark brown spots or stripes. Some harlequin crested geckos may also have white or yellow markings. The pattern on their skin is unique to each individual, making them highly sought after by reptile enthusiasts.

History of Harlequin Crested Geckos

Harlequin Crested Geckos, also known as Crested Geckos or Eyelash Geckos, are native to New Caledonia, a small island chain in the South Pacific. They were first discovered in 1866 but were thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered in the early 1990s. Since then, they have become increasingly popular as pets due to their unique appearance and easy-to-care-for nature.

Appearance

Harlequin crested geckos are medium-sized geckos, measuring around 8 to 10 inches in length from head to tail. Their bodies are slender, with large heads and round eyes that are a bright orange color. As mentioned, their base color is a bright orange, but their markings can vary greatly. Some may have bold black stripes, while others may have subtle spots or even solid white or yellow patches. The pattern on their skin can change as they age, with some developing more spots or stripes over time.

Behavior

Crested geckos, including harlequin crested geckos, are known for their docile nature and easy handling. They are primarily arboreal, meaning they live in trees, and are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. As pets, they are relatively low maintenance and can be kept alone or in small groups, as long as they have enough space and resources.

Housing and Care Requirements

When it comes to housing a harlequin crested gecko, a tall terrarium with plenty of climbing opportunities is ideal. A 20-gallon terrarium should be sufficient for one adult gecko, but larger is always better. The terrarium should be equipped with a heat source, such as a low-wattage bulb or heat pad, and a UVB light to mimic natural sunlight. The substrate should be a moisture-retaining material, such as coconut fiber or sphagnum moss, and should be misted regularly to maintain humidity.

In terms of diet, harlequin crested geckos are omnivores and should be fed a diet of insects and fruit. Some good food options for them include crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and commercially available crested gecko diet. It is important to dust their food with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement to ensure proper nutrition.

Breeding

Breeding harlequin crested geckos is a popular hobby among reptile enthusiasts. They reach sexual maturity at around 8 to 12 months of age and can be bred year-round. It is important to ensure that the breeding pair is healthy and of appropriate weight before attempting to breed them. The female will lay 1 to 2 eggs per month, and the eggs will hatch in around 60 to 90 days.

Diet

Harlequin Crested Geckos are omnivores, which means that they eat both insects and fruit. In captivity, their diet should consist of a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches, as well as fruit puree or baby food. It is important to ensure that their diet is well-balanced and provides them with all of the necessary nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Handling

While Harlequin Crested Geckos are relatively easy to care for, they do require proper handling techniques to ensure their safety and well-being. They should be handled gently and with care, as they are fragile and can easily become stressed. It is also important to avoid handling them too frequently, as this can cause them to become stressed and may lead to health problems.

Common FAQs

Are Harlequin Crested Geckos good pets for beginners?

Yes, Harlequin Crested Geckos are generally considered good pets for beginners due to their easy-to-care-for nature and low maintenance requirements

How long do Harlequin Crested Geckos live?

Harlequin Crested Geckos can live for up to 20 years in captivity if cared for properly.

Do Harlequin Crested Geckos require UV lighting?

While UV lighting is not required for Harlequin Crested Geckos, it is recommended as it can provide them with additional health benefits.

Can Harlequin Crested Geckos live together?

Harlequin Crested Geckos are generally solitary creatures and should be housed separately to avoid territorial disputes.

Also Read – 15 Types of Geckos in Florida

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