Easily Recognized by Their “Eyelashes”: Understanding the Day/Night Cycle of Crested Geckos
Crested Geckos have become popular pets among beginner reptile owners due to their docile nature and unique features, such as their distinctive “eyelashes.” These fascinating creatures are known for their nocturnal behavior, sleeping most of the day and becoming active during nighttime hours. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind their nocturnal habits and discuss how to manage their day/night cycle to ensure your pet’s well-being.
Are Crested Geckos Active at Night?
If you’re seeking a pet you can interact with during the day, the Crested Gecko may not be the ideal choice. These geckos primarily engage in activities during nighttime, although they are also active during dawn and dusk, making them crepuscular creatures.
The preference for nocturnal activity in Crested Geckos is deeply rooted in their instinctive behavior.
Crested Geckos are most active at night because of the cooler temperatures. Native to the tropical rainforests of New Caledonia, these geckos seek refuge on safe tree branches during the day, conserving energy in the face of higher daytime temperatures.
Being prey animals, Crested Geckos have developed survival mechanisms. The cover of darkness gives them an added layer of protection against predators. They can drop their tails as a defense mechanism and possess exceptional vision in low-light conditions, enabling them to hunt effectively at night.
How to Make a Suitable Day/Night Cycle for Your Crested Gecko
Crested Geckos are known for their ease of care, making them a popular choice for reptile enthusiasts. However, maintaining their habitat and ensuring a proper day/night schedule can be crucial for their happiness and well-being.
As mentioned earlier, the climate plays a significant role in the nocturnal behavior of Crested Geckos. By adjusting the temperature of their vivarium, you can mimic a natural day/night cycle more effectively.
During the day, the basking area should maintain a temperature of around 78–82°F, while the coolest part of the vivarium should range between 71°F and 77°F. At night, lower the temperature to a range of 64–68°F. Regular temperature monitoring is necessary to ensure a suitable environment for your gecko.
While Crested Geckos are primarily active at night but exhibit activity during the evening and morning hours. To establish a natural day/night cycle, gradually adjust the light levels in their vivarium.
Lower the light level during the evening and raise it in the morning to align with their activity patterns. Doing so can encourage your gecko to prepare for exploration during the night and rest in the morning. Strive to replicate a natural day/night cycle by adjusting the lighting every 12 hours, allowing sufficient time for sleep and activity.
Providing a Quiet Environment
Geckos, being prey animals, are sensitive to disturbances, especially during sleep. Ensure that the vivarium is located in a quiet area of your home, allowing your gecko to rest undisturbed despite any activity.
While it may be tempting to keep the vivarium in your bedroom, consider the nocturnal activity of your gecko. Their noises during the night might disrupt your sleep.