When it comes to leopard gecko vs crested gecko, everyone has their own opinions. Some might say leopard geckos are the best and others might say crested geckos. So, which one should you get?
Well, in this article, I’m going to talk about the differences between keeping both these two geckos and you can make the decision yourself.
Before we begin let’s briefly look into the differences between leopard geckos and crested geckos –
|Leopard Geckos||Crested Geckos|
|Food type||Insects, worms and roaches||Crested Gecko feed|
|Required Temperature||Cool Spot: Around 74°F / 24°CHot: Around 90°F / 32°C||Around 70ºF / 21°C|
|Required Humidity||30% – 40%||Above 50%|
|Expense||Same or slightly cheaper||Same or slightly more|
|Maintenance Cost||Slightly more||Slightly less|
|Lifespan||10 – 20 Years||15 – 20 years|
|Caudal Autotomy (Dropping Tail)||Less likely||More likely|
Observing the table, you can tell that there are some differences between owning leopard geckos and crested geckos. Now, I am going to talk about those differences in more detail.
When it comes to personality leopard geckos are a bit more consistent than crested geckos. Generally, leopard geckos are pretty chill when they grow up. Baby leopard geckos can be a bit skittish. But as they grow up, they do get calmer.
But that doesn’t mean leopard geckos can’t be a bit hyper at times. They sure can. But it’s very rare. It’s also rare for leopard geckos to bite and claw their owners. Again, it can happen. But quite rare.
And even if it does happen there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Their claws and teeth are so tiny that you won’t feel a thing.
Crested geckos are a bit unpredictable compared to leopard geckos. When new crested geckos are born there’s no telling whether they’ll be calm or jumpy. And unlike leopard geckos, they don’t really get calmer as they age.
If a baby crested gecko is skittish then the chances that it’ll remain skittish when it grows up. Some do get calmer as they age. But mostly they retain their calm or jumpy personality throughout their lives.
So, you have to be mindful of what sort of personality you are looking for before getting your new crested gecko.
A good thing about crested geckos is that they grab on to you when you rest them on your hand. They are tree dwellers. So, this characteristic of holding on to a branch translates nicely to your hands. This makes them a bit easier to carry around.
Leopard geckos just stand on your palm. So, there’s always the chance of you accidentally dropping them.
Feeding and Food Type
Feeding leopard geckos is a bit harder. They are strictly insectivores. So, you have to take a trip to your pet shop quite often. Keeping dead bugs around the house is not a great idea. Unless you like the smell of rotting crickets and worms.
You could try to farm them at your house. And many leopard gecko owners actually do it. But that just adds a lot more work on your part.
Feeding crested geckos is a lot easier than leopard geckos as they happily accept store-bought crested gecko feed. It’s sort of like a powder that you mix with water.
They stay edible for a long time and buying a pack will usually last you for months. So, you don’t need to do nearly as many trips to the pet shop.
Leopard geckos are definitely hardier than crested geckos, all thanks to where they came from. In the dry grassy lands of their natural habitat coming across food is quite hard. This allowed them to adapt the ability to store fat in their tails. As a result, they can survive long periods without food.
They need to eat only a few days a week and forgetting to feed them once in a while won’t do them any harm. Because they can just receive nourishment from their fat storage.
Crested geckos don’t have such a feature and require to be fed daily.
Leopard geckos can’t survive at room temperature. They need a lot of attention when it comes to heat regulation in their tanks. You need to install a heating pad or bulb on the hot side of the tank that will maintain a temperature of around 90°F or 32°C. Also, another one on the cool side to maintain a temperature of 74°F or 24°C.
Crested geckos can live comfortably at room temperature (70°F / 21°C) without any special heating equipment. You’ll only need heaters if your area gets super cold during winter.
Leopard geckos don’t need much humidity as their natural habitat is pretty dry. Maintaining a humidity level of 30% – 40% would be enough which is the normal humidity level inside any house. Ensuring enough ventilation for the leopard gecko tank is all you need to do.
Crested geckos naturally live in high humid and tropical areas. So, they need a fair bit of misting from time to time inside their tank. You should choose a substrate that retains moisture adequately.
You’ll also have to make sure that you let the air inside the tank dry out below 50% before misting again. This is to prevent mold growth and respiratory illnesses.
Both leopard geckos and crested geckos are relatively cheap and about the same price. Crested geckos haven’t been bred as much as leopard geckos. So, certain morphs can cost a bit more than the most expensive leopard geckos.
The maintenance cost is slightly more for leopard geckos. You’ll have to buy a few heating pads or bulbs to ensure proper heat regulation inside the tank. But you should be glad to know that heating gadgets are not really that expensive.
Also, the required size for their tanks is similar. For leopard geckos they are horizontal and for crested geckos they are vertical. One is not necessarily more expensive than the other.
So, overall, both leopard geckos and crested geckos have pretty much similar maintenance costs.
Leopard geckos are far more available than crested geckos. You’ll most probably find them at your nearest pet store. Crested geckos on the other hand are a bit more difficult to find.
Both leopard geckos and crested geckos can live for a long time. They both have a maximum lifespan of 20 years. So, you’ll have to get ready for a long-time commitment no matter which one you choose.
Leopard geckos and crested geckos both have the ability to drop their tails when stressed or afraid. This is called caudal autotomy and it can be a bit annoying.
It’s because crested geckos don’t grow back their tails. On the other hand, leopard geckos do grow back their tails but the new one is never as good looking as the original.
A good thing about leopard geckos is that they are less likely to drop their tails because in the wild their tails are their number one survival tool. In the case of starvation, their tails provide them with nutrition which they quite often need in the wild. Naturally, they are not very keen on letting go of their most important survival tool.
So, unless you stress out your leopard gecko to peak levels, they won’t drop their tails. You can simply avoid this by keeping an eye out for stress signals.
I’ve talked about these stress signals in another article “How to Tame Leopard Geckos“. Feel free to check that out before you go out and buy a leopard gecko.
Dropping tails is a real problem with crested geckos. They’ll drop it in the first instance they get freaked out. This is because compared to leopard geckos their tails are not as important to their survival. And they don’t even grow them back. So, this is a real problem with keeping crested geckos.
A good thing about leopard geckos is that they don’t really need much attention from their owners. They need to be fed only a few times a week. So, you don’t have to worry too much about keeping them fed.
They also provide their owners with a bit of freedom. You can go on week-long trips without worrying about harming them. They can just survive on the fat stored in their tails while you’re gone. That doesn’t mean you should starve them frequently. But at least you have the opportunity to live your life without causing them harm.
Crested geckos need daily attention from their owners. They need to be fed every day. So, it does limit the freedom of their owners. If you’re a person who travels a lot then make sure you have someone to look after your crested gecko while you’re gone. Or you can forget about going on any sort of long trips.
My Personal Opinion
When it comes down to leopard gecko vs crested gecko both are wonderful pets whether you are a beginner or an experienced reptile owner. But I lean towards leopard geckos a bit more than crested geckos. Though it’s mainly due to my lifestyle.
I travel about two or three times every year. So, the extra bit of freedom I get from keeping leopard geckos is a definite win for me. I don’t really have anyone to look after my pets while I’m gone and that is the only reason, I avoid keeping crested geckos. If you’re in a situation like mine then I would recommend you get a leopard gecko as well.
But if you know people who can look after your gecko while you’re gone or if you just don’t move around a lot then you can definitely go for crested geckos.
I hope this article helps you determine which one is the best for you. Feel free to leave a comment on which one you’ve decided on getting.
If you have any previous experience with either of the two then feel free to comment on your experience. It might help someone to make their choice.