Crested geckos aren’t really communal animals and can be held as solitary pets. You can house multiple females together and can even hold a male and several females. But if you’re a real reptile enthusiast you also might own a leopard gecko. Since both are low-maintenance pets, you’re probably interested in knowing if they can be housed together so you only need one terrarium.
Can a crested gecko live together with a leopard gecko? Crested geckos can’t be housed together with leopard geckos. They come from very different regions. The temperature and humidity needs of the terrarium will be different. Most importantly, trying to create a balance between the needs may hurt both gecko species.
There are some videos on Youtube and some forum posts that will tell you otherwise. But it can be very dangerous for the health of your crested gecko and leopard gecko to put them together in one terrarium.
Crested Geckos and Leopard Geckos
Crested geckos come from a very different part of the world than leopard geckos. It’s important to understand that although they’re from the same gecko family, crested geckos and leopard geckos are very different.
The most important reasons why they shouldn’t be held together are:
- different natural habitat
- different temperature needs
- different humidity needs
- different dietary needs
Crested geckos live in the forests of New Caledonia and are arboreal, this means that they live most part of their life in the trees and foliage. You will not see a lot of crested geckos spending time on the ground.
Leopard geckos, on the other hand, can be found in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and parts of India. They can be found in arid and semiarid regions. They live on the ground and hide during the day for the intense heat. Just as crested geckos they’re nocturnal and will come out at night to forage and hunt.
Although both geckos are nocturnal the one is arboreal and the other is terrestrial. This necessitates a different type of terrarium. Typically a crested gecko terrarium is a vertical terrarium with a lot of plants and branches. A leopard gecko terrarium is a horizontal terrarium with no need for a lot of plants and branches.
Just for this reason, you might just want to choose a separate housing for both geckos.
Crested geckos can’t tolerate the high temperatures and prefer the same temperatures as most humans do. They prefer temperatures in the high 70s degrees Fahrenheit (about 24 to 27 degrees Celsius) when they’re awake and active. They need even lower temperatures at night when they sleep and are inactive. Then they need a temperature that’s in the high 60s or low 70s degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 degrees Celsius).
They should never be exposed to temperatures in excess of 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) unless they are able to retreat to a much cooler area in the terrarium.
Leopard geckos need a high temperature to function right. They need a temperature of about 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 29 degrees Celsius). The temperature should never be hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) because the leopard gecko may dehydrate. The temperature should also not be cooler than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) or they may not be able to digest their food.
Crested geckos live in a high humidity environment and they need high humidity to shed their skin and stay healthy. The ideal humidity ranges from 60 to 80 percent although they probably can tolerate higher levels of humidity if the terrarium is properly ventilated.
Leopard geckos, on the contrary, are desert animals and are not adapted to high humidity levels. They prefer a humidity level between 30 and 40 percent. While they do need higher humidity to properly shed, they don’t want the terrarium to be too high all the time.
So while you can probably create some sort of balance between the right humidity for your crested gecko and the right humidity for your leopard gecko, it will be extremely difficult. You’re at a real risk to harm both pets health just for the sake of putting them in the same terrarium.
Crested geckos are omnivorous and eat both insects and fruits in the wild. In captivity, they will mostly be fed meal replacement powders with the occasional insect and fruit as a treat from time to time.
Leopard geckos mostly eat insects in the wild and will be fed crickets, mealworms, and waxworms in captivity. There are also commercial diets available but they’re different from the ones that crested geckos are fed.
Of course, you can try to fix this issue by feeding them separately and just sticking to commercial diets for both geckos. But a lot of leopard gecko owners want to feed just crickets and worms. This may cause harm to the crested gecko. Your crestie might become obese and you’ll need to balance the diet of your crested gecko so it gets all nutrients necessary.
Are Leopard Geckos Territorial?
Crested geckos aren’t that territorial – at least the females aren’t. A terrarium can contain multiple female cresties. You can even house a male and several female crested geckos together. The males can be territorial and fight with each other. So it’s not a good idea to keep multiple male crested geckos together.
The same goes for leopard geckos. Male leopard geckos can be very territorial and fight with each other. It’s for that reason never a good idea to put multiple males together. Putting multiple females together can be possible.
Since crested geckos are smaller than leopard geckos there is a real risk that the leopard gecko will fight or bully the smaller crested gecko (also see related questions).
If you’re still on the fence and can’t decide on keeping both gecko species together, let me advise you not too.
It will be stressful for both geckos and they won’t be happy and healthy. There is a risk that your geckos will fight and bite each other. And – since he has a thin skin – your crested gecko has a higher chance of being injured.
If you haven’t got a gecko, research which one is the best for you. If you already have a crested gecko or leopard gecko and want the other one, just house them in a different terrarium that’s best suited for them.
Both geckos are strangers to each other in the wild. While leopard geckos mostly stick to insects as food, they may see the crested gecko as prey since it’s a lot smaller.
In the wild leopard geckos do sometimes eat smaller lizards if they got the chance. So it’s a risk for your crestie. Besides that, they can have a nasty bite because a crested gecko doesn’t have tough skin. This will cause injuries and a lot of stress – possibly tail loss – for your crested gecko.
You could potentially have a really large terrarium but it should be the size of an entire room. I advise you – if it were possible to create such terrarium – to not put a leopard gecko and a crested gecko together in such terrarium. If you do want to mix several gecko species you should try to put animals of the same habitat and region together.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about crested geckos as pets, please read the following articles.