Even when you know nothing about crested geckos, you’ll probably know that they’re reptiles and that reptiles usually need a certain heat source to stay healthy. But there are exceptions. Not all reptiles need special heating equipment and some can live just fine at room temperatures without extra heat.
So, do crested geckos need heat? Crested geckos don’t need extra heat in moderate climates. A crested gecko is happiest at moderate (room) temperatures. The ideal temperature for a crested gecko during the day ranges from 72 to 78 °F (22 to 25 °C). At night, the temperature can be lower, ranging between 69 and 74 °F (20 to 23 °C).
When you live in a region that has a mild climate you usually won’t need any heating equipment for your crested gecko. However, it’s possible that you will need to heat up the enclosure during the winter.
In this article, you’ll learn why reptiles need heat to function properly and why crested geckos don’t need any heating but like normal room temperatures. You’ll also learn what happens when a crested gecko is exposed to too much heat and too much cold. Finally, you’ll get some tips and tricks for creating a good temperature for your gecko depending on your region.
Why Do Reptiles Need Heat?
Reptiles are ectothermic or cold-blooded. This means that they use the temperature of their surroundings to regulate their own body temperature. When a reptile needs to raise its body temperature they’ll go and find a warm spot. When they need to cool down, they will seek a colder or shaded area.
The temperature plays an important part in a lot of different processes of reptiles, such as their digestion and activity level. You might have noticed that reptiles that are exposed to very low temperatures become inactive and don’t eat. Temperatures that are too high are also dangerous for reptiles as they might overheat and cause health issues.
Why Crested Geckos Don’t Need Heat?
The natural environment of crested geckos is found in the forests of New Caledonia. New Caledonia has two distinct seasons, one that is dry and cool and one that is wet and hot.
The dry season lasts from April to November. Temperatures during this season range from 17 to 27 °C. The wet season lasts from December to March. Temperatures during this season can rise up to 32 °C. The combination of the high temperatures and the high amounts of rain in this season, cause a humid environment which the crested geckos like.
Ideal temperature in captivity
The ideal temperature for crested geckos ranges from 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (22 and 25 degrees Celsius) during the day. During the night they can handle lower temperatures. At night the temperature should range between 69 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 23 degrees Celsius).
So, crested geckos don’t really need high temperatures. If you look at these temperatures you will see that these are roughly the same temperatures that humans like. Most room temperatures will be fine for a crested gecko. So if you live in a mild climate and the room temperature is between these temperatures you should be fine.
What Happens When Crested Geckos are Exposed to Heat and Cold?
Exposure to hot temperatures
If you live in a hot region or if it’s a really hot summer you’ll need to move the terrarium into a cooler room. Crested geckos can have stress from the heat and can even get a heat stroke if the temperature reaches temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius).
Cresties can easily get overheated when it’s too hot. When the terrarium is next to a window the hot sun that shines through the window may raise the temperature in the terrarium really fast. It’s for that reason that I wouldn’t recommend placing the terrarium next to a window.
Exposure to cold temperatures
During the winter cresties will tolerate night-time temperature drops as low as about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). They can even tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) if they are able to warm up later.
However, if the temperature is consistently lower than 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) you may need to provide additional heating. In most cases, a low-wattage incandescent bulb will provide enough warmth for your crestie, and enough light for the live plants in the terrarium.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about crested geckos as pets, please read the following articles.