These amazing looking animals are known as CRESTED GECKOS
and have the scientific name Correlophus ciliatus, formerly
live only on a tiny group of islands called New Caledonia, which are off of the east
Australia, and nowhere else in the world. They are fantastic climbers and have sticky pads on their toes
which allow them to climb up any surface including glass! They can also
jump quite well and in the wild they would jump from branch to branch in
the forest trees in which they live.
Crested geckos get their name from the 'crests' of spiky scales
which start at their eyes and run down their necks and part of the
way down their backs. One of my most popular crested geckos
named Stumpy (pictured directly above and below) has a particularly well-developed
set of crests as you can see below:
Stumpy gets his name
from the fact that he does not have a tail, and just has a little
stump where the tail would usually be (see below). Unfortunately he lost
his tail as a tiny baby, long before I owned him. Unlike most geckos
and other lizards, which can re-grow their tails if they lose them,
crested geckos cannot so Stumpy has lived almost his whole life without
a tail. Despite not having a
tail Stumpy is able to move around just as well as any of my other
crested geckos which do have tails. In fact being tail-less
doesn't seem to bother him at all, as he is the best jumper of them
Crested geckos come in an
amazing variety of colours and patterns, ranging from bright red or orange to
yellow, and from pale cream to dark brown. I have many other crested geckos in my collection as
they are one of my very favourite species to keep and breed.
The adult male below is
named Splodge Jr and is one of the many offspring of Splodge
(see further down this page!) but he is special to me because he was the
first baby which Splodge ever produced. He is a very handsome
'dalmatian' crested gecko, named due to the random black spotting
all over their bodies just like the Dalmatian breed of dog!
Splodge Jr lives with a group of female
geckos who are all pictured below. First up is a beautiful bright
orange/red crested gecko named Flame! She really is stunning
as you can see below:
Despite being incredibly
beautiful in this picture, Flame does not always look like this.
During the daytime crested geckos tend to be much less colourful
than they do at night, although the colour change can also be
triggered by changes in mood, humidity levels and temperature.
Here is a picture of Flame in her 'fired-down' colours rather than
her 'fired-up' colours as she is above:
The second female living
with Splodge Jr is named Stripe and is a tailless gecko with the most
beautiful 'pinstriping' down her back! She almost seems to
shine and it is a truly magnificent effect!
The third and final
gecko living with Splodge Jr is a very pretty sandy-coloured gecko named,
This next gecko is
also absolutely beautiful and named Mrs Splodge, another lovely
dalmatian crested gecko!
geckos directly above and below are two female 'harlequin' patterned crested
geckos, named Harley and Quinn. These are very colourful and
have patterned sides and legs as well as the pattern down their
backs, which is what gives the name 'harlequin' crested geckos.
They also have dalmatian spots like Mrs Splodge!
Sometimes the dalmatian
spots can make a crested gecko especially spotty in
appearance, like in this adult male 'super dalmatian'
below, named Splodge. He is the male who
lives with Harley, Quinn and Mrs Splodge (hence her
like his son Splodge Jr (found further up this page) he is massively popular with everybody he meets!
The most surprising thing
about Splodge is that when he first hatched he
looked absolutely nothing like he does now, and in
fact I would never have believed he would turn out
to be so stunning based on the colour he used to be!
He was one of my first ever baby crested geckos and
is the one on the left of the picture
below, which was taken shortly after he hatched in
September 2007, as you can see he has changed a
HUGE amount since then!
This is what makes crested
exciting to keep and especially to breed, as you can
never tell what the new babies will look like OR how
they will end up looking
when they are fully grown!
Here are some more
pictures of just a few of the many (many!) babies I have hatched
since I started breeding this wonderful species in
Baby crested geckos
(like most species) demonstrate an innate defensive behaviour
towards larger creatures (i.e. me)! Due to their small size
newly-hatched baby geckos in the wild are at risk of predation by
lots of different creatures so they make themselves look as big and
scary as possible when faced with any kind of threat,
including opening their mouth REALLY wide as the one below is demonstrating!
It's a bit too cute to be threatening but it is trying hard!!
With regular handling
(assuming it is done correctly and represents no perceived threat to
the gecko) they become calm very quickly and in all my years of
keeping and breeding crested geckos I have never once been bitten by
Like all lizards, crested
geckos have to shed their skin regularly during
their lifetime. Prior to shedding their skin a
gecko's colours appear very different to usual as
you can see here, in this picture of the fabulous
Splodge at the early stages of shedding his skin:
As you can see from this
picture, Splodge does not look his usual vibrant
self at all! This is because the old outer
skin has separated from the new skin and is ready to
come off - it actually looks a bit like he is
wearing a thin plastic bag over his entire body!!
If you look on his head you will see that there are
a couple of small tears in the old skin, showing
that it is fully loose and ready to be shed (and in
the case of these geckos, completely eaten)!
The pictures above and
below show how the skin looks when it starts to be
torn (usually bitten), you can see clearly how the
new skin underneath is much more brightly coloured
than the old skin which is being removed during the
Here is Splodge's skin
after he had finished the process, taken at night
when his colouration is a lot brighter than during
the day when the photos above were taken!
Crested geckos have many
amazing and interesting features but my favourite by far is the fact
that they have no eyelids and have to lick their eyes to clean them!
The brilliant picture below shows Peach doing this perfectly and I
must say a big thank you to my friend Sharon Crawford for being in
the right place at the right time and trying hard to capture the
moment so well on her camera, especially after I have failed to do
so myself despite many previous attempts!