Lizards! An animal that excites many, they appear all over the world in an array of colours and bring the upmost amount of joy out of people with their strong personalities. It’s not surprising at all that they’ve become such a popular pet, I’d certainly be lost without mine! But with so many lizards available it leads many people to question which is best for them. Out of all the popular lizards I’ve decided to whittle it down to two of the most popular; who’s needs couldn’t be further apart.
The crested gecko, thought to be extinct up until an expedition during 1996 this species has very quickly made its way into the homes of many people as a loveable pet. Their unusual pre-historic appearance paired with their impeccable climbing abilities are most definitely the top reasons for their rise to fame. These perfectly sized lizards originate from New Caledonia, inhabiting the coastal forests there.
So, lets begin with their enclosure. Crested geckos need to be kept in an arboreal tank, meaning it needs to be taller than it is wide, this is due to them spending most of their time high up in the tree tops, a tall tank with plenty of fake plants stuck to the side of the tank will create a very natural environment for your Crested Gecko. A tank is also great as your Crested Gecko is able to cling to the glass with its feet due to the many rows of setae on them, they can run vertically and hang upside down. Bark chips should be placed on the floor of their enclosure along with a water bowl and other enrichment such as log hides.
What kind of heating do they need?
Absolutely none. This is one of the biggest pros to owning a Crested Gecko giving them a massive edge over the Leopard Gecko. Many people are put off by keeping exotic pets due to the worry of providing them with incorrect heating as well as the extra cost but due to Crested Geckos living right on the coast line, they are more than happy to be kept at room temperature.
Crested geckos are also omnivores and can be fed purely on a powdered food that just requires to be mixed with water a couple times a week, this makes them more favourable with those who don’t like handling small live food such as crickets. However, your crested gecko will be much happier, grow larger and thrive more overall with the extra protein of live food being incorporated into their diet so a few crickets a week should still be offered to your Crested Gecko.
Leopard geckos, miles away from Crested Geckos these similarly sized lizards are found throughout Asia. Their appearance is most definitely the top reason for their popularity as a pet, possessing Leopard like markings that come in many different colours (morphs) many people enjoy hobby breeding these lizards to be able to experience the rarest morphs of the lizard.
Distance is far from the only thing separating these two lizards, leopard geckos are unable to climb at all and are a completely ground dwelling species. They are also able to close their eyes, unlike the crested gecko.
What do I need to keep a leopard gecko in?
As leopard geckos come from a hot continent, they do require heating, therefore a vivarium is the best choice of enclosure as it traps heat perfectly. As Leopard Geckos cannot climb your vivarium will need to be much longer than it is tall. Sand is the perfect substrate for this lizard, paired with lots of hides and enrichment on the floor of the vivarium.
What light do they need?
Don’t let the fact that these reptiles need heating put you off, many vivarium’s come with the fixtures for a light to be placed in them so all that is left for you to do is to purchase the correct bulb and place it in the vivarium; when purchasing your gecko you will be advised as to which bulb to go for. They do not require their bulb to be on during night-time (this is provided that the temperature of their tank doesn’t drop below 18°C).
Leopard geckos feeding differs from Crested Geckos as they are completely carnivorous, it is recommended to feed your Leopard gecko around 4 crickets per day with the added supplement of mealworms every so often.
So, which is better?
Neither lizard is better overall, but there will be one that suits your needs better than the other, it is important to take into consideration both species needs and decide which you are better suited too. If you are able to accommodate to both species needs then the choice is completely yours to choose which you personally like more; however, what I can tell you is that no matter what your decision, you will not be disappointed.
Still can’t make your mind up? Why not meet both lizards in person? For more information on how to book a session email us via [email protected] or alternatively call us 020 3372 4300