The crested gecko was first discovered in 1866 and later thought extinct. In 1994, it was rediscovered in New Caledonia after a tropical storm. New Caledonia is a group of islands off the coast of Australia. Since its rediscovery, much has been learned about the crested gecko origin but there are still many aspects of the species that we are still learning.
The crested gecko is found in New Caledonia’s South Province in Grand Terre and The Island of Pines. The islands are warm, humid and densely forested. New Caledonia is a portion of an ancient continent that separated from Australia millions of years ago. It is very isolated and holds a diverse and unique collection of plants and animals.
The climate of New Caledonia is tropical and consists of three seasons – cool, warm and transitional. The warm season is when most of the rain occurs and lasts for six months. The cool season is when rainfall decreases and temperatures fall. This season lasts four months. The remaining months is the transitional season, when the winds are high and rainfall is low.
When the crested gecko was rediscovered in 1994, several specimens were taken to Europe and the United States. Since then, they have been bred to produce various morphs. The export of crested geckos from their native habitat is prohibited now and those available to the pet trade are from breeders.
The crested gecko is a member of the Animalia kingdom, the phylum of Chordate, class Reptilian, order of Squamata. They are of the family Gekkonidae, genus Rhacodactylus and species Ciliatus. Their scientific name is Rhacodactylus ciliatus. They are referred to as “New Caledonian Crested Gecko,” “Eyelash Gecko,” “Barking Gecko,” “Guichenot’s Giant Gecko” and nicknamed “cresties.”
Since its rediscovery, the crested gecko origin has been explored to learn more about this remarkable species. Much is still to be discovered and many breeders and keepers are learning about the crested gecko daily.