What are Crested Geckos?
Plain and simple, leopard geckos are popular. They are now members of the most favored pets of this generation. The majority of these lizards are easy to tame and can withstand with a little supervision, as long as they are well fed and are provided with a comfortable habitat. They are now pretty famous not just because of these characteristics but also because they are also good for breeding. Morphs are being experimented on for decent amount of time now, and they provide more interest for pet lovers. But not all Geckos are advisable to be made as pets, for some of them are already in a serious risk of being extinct.
Among these endangered Geckos are the Crested Geckos . Known scientifically as Rhacodactylus ciliates, these Geckos are native to New Caledonia. These lizards were first described and discovered in 1866, by a French Geologist named Alphone Guichenot. The scientific name was derived from Greek words Rhakos, meaning spine and Dactylus, meaning fingers. These species were believed to be extinct, until they were miraculously rediscovered in the year of 1994. Crested Geckos are included with other Rhacodactylus species being protected by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, unlike its relatives and is easily judged as the most famous Gecko pets, the Leopard Geckos.
Crested Geckos are also included in the group of Geckos which have eyelashes. They have hair like structures directly above their eyes usually resembling that of eyelashes. They have a wedge shaped head, and the name Crested was branded due to their crests that runs from both eyes to their tails. Their fingertips and the tips of their tails have spines or small hairs called setae. These setae are what enable them to climb on solid surfaces, another characteristic that the latter famous Leopard Gecko do not have. Crested Geckos also have small claws that also aids in their mobility. Usually, their colors vary having brown, red, orange, yellow, and grey of various shades. There are also a variety of markings that can be found on a body surface of the Crested Gecko. It can include spots, straight stripes and even tiger stripes. These said stripes are more noticeable at night.
Unlike other Geckos which are spread out through several countries, Crested Geckos are strictly endemic to New Caledonia. They were long believed to be extinct until they were discovered after a tropical storm back in 1994. The biggest threat to their existence is the chain that includes little fire ants. It resembles a “David and Goliath” scenario as these little fire ants ironically feed on such Geckos, and it doesn’t stop there, these ants even compete with the food supply of Crested Geckos as they also feed on insects and arthropods.
As of the moment, Crested Geckos are still being evaluated concerning their status as endangered species. Export and trade of wild Crested Geckos are strictly prohibited, but the good thing is they are one of the most ready to breed animals. Plus, they have a bright future of surviving through, for after they are bred, they have a long lifespan of approximately 15-20 years.