Does having a terrarium full of exotic pets sounds like a dream come true? Both leopard geckos and crested geckos are popular among reptile owners; but despite their popularity, it turns out that coexisting with other animals isn’t always easy.
Leopard geckos and Crested geckos require different environments and are best not kept together. There are many factors to consider when considering housing two or more animals together, including compatibility, size, temperament, climate, and space requirements.
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Different Species Have Different Needs
These lizards are members of the gecko family, they are different species of gecko. While they are similar in size and lifespan, they have very different requirements.
Leopard Geckos and Crested Geckos are from different parts of the world
Crested geckos originate in the tropical forests of South Pacific islands (New Caledonia to be exact.) They are arboreal geckos, meaning they spend much of their time in trees or thick brush. They are commonly found in tropical forests, especially those that are humid and moist. While they are mainly nocturnal, crested geckos may come out during the day to bask in the sun or forage for food.
Leopard geckos are quite different from crested geckos. Leopard geckos originated in arid desert regions of Asia, such as deserts in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, where they thrive in hot weather conditions. They are terrestrial lizards that spend most of their time on the ground in rocky areas, or burrowing under boulders. Desert animals are used to dryer, hotter environments.
Gecko Habitats in Captivity
Crested and leopard geckos are both popular pets, however, you should mimic a reptile’s natural habitat so your pet can thrive. A natural habitat for each type of lizard includes different features, such as tree branches, plants, rocks, etc. If you want to keep your pet gecko happy, it’s important to provide a suitable living space.
While crested geckos like to climb, leopard geckos prefer to hang out on the ground.A crested gecko enclosure should be taller with branches to climb on. A vertical tank is the best choice. (Check out this one on Amazon to get an idea.)
A leopard gecko would benefit from a wider tank with rocks and hides close to the ground. (Here is an example of a tank that would suit a leopard gecko.)
In addition to the style and layout of the tank, each lizard needs its own environment setting within the enclosure. Can crested and leopard geckos tolerate the same temperature and humidity?
Temperature & Humidity Needs for Geckos
These geckos come from different climates and have different requirements to thrive in captivity. Your pet lizard will need the right temperature range and proper humidity level for their species.
Crested geckos can tolerate temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees F (16-27 C). Their sweet spot is around 70-75°F (21-24°C), with temperatures dipping a bit at night.
If their tank hits a sustained temperature above the 80-85 F mark, a crested gecko may start to exhibit signs of stress or heat stroke.
Leopard geckos need warmer temperatures, typically between about 80 °F (27 °C) and 90 °F (32 °C).
A good thermostat can assist you in keeping the temperatures within optimal ranges for either type of gecko.
Related Post: Leopard Gecko Heating
Both lizards need a temperature gradient. For a crested gecko, this would usually means warmer at the top of the enclosure, and a bit cooler towards the bottom.
Leopard geckos typically aren’t avid climbers, and would need their temperature gradient spanning from one side of the tank to the other.
Crested geckos do best with 60-80% humidity and regular misting with water. By contrast, leopard geckos need it dryer at 30-40% humidity. The humidity requirements of these two lizard species are vastly different, and where one will thrive the other would suffer.
Diet and Feeding for Geckos
While there is overlap with types of feeder insects in both lizard’s diets, they do have different needs.
Crested geckos are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plants. The crested gecko diet consists mainly of insect, fruits (sometimes rotten), and nectar.
Leopard geckos are insectivores, and cannot digest plant matter. Their diet consists largely of insects like mealworms and crickets. You can find more details in our leopard gecko feeding guide.
Leopard Gecko vs Crested Gecko – What’s the difference?
Both geckos are popular among pet owners. Though they are similar in size, they have some obvious differences.
Leopard Gecko: (Eublepharis macularius) have eyelids and can blink. In fact their scientific name means “eublepharis” means “good eyelids” in Latin (while “macularius” means “spotted” referring to their markings.)
Leopard geckos have claws and cannot stick to or climb up walls. They tend to stick close to the ground. Leopard geckos can drop their tails to escape danger; their tail will regenerate over time (though not as large or well formed as the original tail.) In this article, we go into more about their tails.
Crested Gecko: (Correlophus ciliatus) Do not have eyelids and have “eyelashes” above each eye giving them a unique appearance.
Crested geckos are avid jumpers and have toe pads called lamellae that allow them to climb and stick to vertical surfaces. A crested gecko can drop its tail to escape a predator, though will not regrow its tail once lost.
The two types of gecko are similar in size, but they do differ in how they move around.
Crested geckos have toe pads that allow them to stick to glass and climb up walls, while leopard geckos have tiny claws and stick closer to the ground. Crested geckos need more height and vertical space, while leopard geckos are not avid climbers and need more horizontal space.
Are Crested Geckos and Leopard Geckos Territorial?
Male crested and leopard geckos are known to be especially competitive, which often leads to aggression between the males. This competition can include fighting over territory, food, and females, among other things.
Leopard geckos are solitary creatures and prefer to be alone (perhaps with breeding season being an exception.) They prefer not to be housed with other leopard geckos, let alone being in an enclosed space with other animals.
Read more in our posts about leopard gecko tank mates and keeping leopard geckos together.
Which Gecko is Right for You?
It’s not a competition of which species is “better” than another. They’re both great pets! It’s a matter of choosing the pet that suits your situation and preferences.
Both geckos make great pets for people who want something easy to care for, and may not have a lot of free time to spend with their animals. Both types of gecko are fine being left alone, though don’t mind gentle handling from time to time once they are used to the company.
Related Post: Tips for Handling Your Leopard Gecko and How to Bond with Your Leopard Gecko.
Owning a Crested Gecko
Crested geckos are often kept as pets because of their unique appearance; they have large crests atop their heads, giving them a distinct look (and name.)
Overall, caring for a Crested Gecko is not too challenging. They are very easy to care for though they do require a bit of maintenance. Keeping temperature and humidity levels are key. Just remember these little guys can jump and climb, so they may be a challenge to catch if you have them out of their enclosure.
Owning a Leopard Gecko
Leopard geckos are one of the cutest lizards around, and because of this, many owners want to add one to their family. Their blinking eyes give them expressions not found in many reptiles. They are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. (You can learn more in our posts about morphs and genetics.) However, there are some things you need to know about keeping these beautiful creature.
Having the correct tank and heating setup in your leopard gecko enclosure is key. Leopard geckos are active and playful animals. They can come to enjoy being handled and are very generally very docile. As such, they make great pets for families looking for something unique and fun.
Wrap Up – Can Crested Geckos be Kept with Leopard Geckos?
Each gecko species need proper care. Each gecko needs the right kind of enclosure with proper temperature and humidity levels. They have different needs in regards to each of these areas and should not be kept in the same tank.
The most important thing to remember is that these animals require regular attention to ensure they remain healthy.