Published By Troy Viemeister
The quick answer? The one that fits your budget and you like the look of most! While there are some significant differences between Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus), Gargoyle Geckos (Rhacodactylus auriculatus), Chahoua (a.k.a. Mossy prehensile tailed gecko) (Mniarogekko chahoua), and New Caledonia Giant Geckos (Rhacodactylus leachianus) such as size, price, and temperament, they all make great pets for a variety of reasons. Below is a quick overview of each of these species.
Crested and Gargoyle Geckos
Crested Geckos and Gargoyle Geckos generally range from as little as $50 to as much as $500 (arguably the lowest price point out of the species discussed in this article). Specimens more than $1,000 are truly exceptional and for Crested Geckos, often exhibit the high white Lilly White trait, and for Gargoyle Geckos, are often described as super stripe or super blotch.
Crested geckos and Gargoyle geckos both seem to generally top out around 40 – 60 grams, although 80+ gram specimens of each are not unheard of. Crested geckos and Gargoyle geckos generally reach a moderate size 7 – 9 inches in total length, including their tail.
Crested geckos get their commonly referred to name from the crests on their head. They also tend to have
crests around their eyes that resemble eyelashes. Gargoyle geckos get their commonly referred to name from their physical appearance with knobby heads that resemble a Gargoyle.
Crested Geckos and Gargoyle Geckos are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and to some degree, sizes. Many breeders selectively breed for traits such as these as well as structure; for Crested Geckos, that’s overall head and crest size, and for Gargoyle Geckos, that’s generally knob or horn size. The Lilly White trait (in Crested Geckos) is another highly desirable trait that many breeders are experimenting with (more information can be found on Lilly Exotic’s website.)
Crested Geckos tend to be the flightiest as hatchlings and sometimes as adults too in relation to the other gecko species discussed here. Gargoyle geckos tend to be jumpier rather than “flighty”. Gargoyle geckos have less-sticky toe pads, which makes it more difficult for them to climb smooth surfaces such as glass.
Crested Geckos and Gargoyle Geckos, like Chahoua and Leachianus, are certainly handleable with a little patience and practice and many calm down quite a bit with age
and/or handling. Will handling your gecko frequently help calm it down? Possibly, but it will certainly enhance your skill and comfort interacting physically with your gecko(s)! As mentioned in my care sheet, please do not handle your gecko excessively as you do not want to stress him/her out.
Chahoua (“Mossy prehensile tailed geckos”)
Chahoua are available from $300 – $1,000+, with some exceptional animals reaching the $5,000 – $10,0000! New Caledonia, where all of these animals originate from, consists of the main island, Grand Terre (“large land”) or GT for short, and many offshore islands, including the Island of Pines (Pine Island), which are two places that the Chahoua in captivity originate from.
Chahoua generally top out at 50 grams – 65 grams, although some may reach as much 100+ grams. Adult GT are generally in the 40 gram – 60 gram range, whereas Pine Island locale animals are generally 50 grams or (even much) greater.
GT Chahoua are usually 8 – 10 inches in total length, including their tail. Pine Chahoua are usually 9 to 12 inches in total length, including their tail.
GT Chahoua are generally less expensive than Pine Island Chahoua and are widely considered to exhibit a shorter snout and more bulbous eyes. They’re also usually shorter and seemingly more stout. They can range from bright red to dark brown in coloration. Pine Island Chahoua are generally more expensive than GT and are widely considered to exhibit a longer snout, less bulbous eyes, and are often longer and a bit more slender looking.
Both locales usually make equally good pets. Chahoua are arguably the most personable species discussed, which definitely contributes to why they are a personal favorite! One important thing to note – while all New Caledonian geckos mentioned in this article benefit from eating live insects, we believe it’s essential to Chahoua’s health to have live prey insects and find crickets to be the most desired and easiest to obtain from a local pet store. Chahoua are often the least interested in the commercially available fruit-based diets of species discussed here. While those diets should still be offered, they should be relied on less.
It has been observed that Chahoua often inhabit areas near bodies of water in their native land, which may explain why they seem to thrive at an even higher humidity level than the other geckos discussed here. Chahoua are also a bit unique in the sense that they generally do not bury their eggs, which further substantiates the belief that they are generally in a higher humidity area near bodies of water!
New Caledonian Giant Geckos (“Leachianus”)
Leachianus are available from $300 – $1,000+, with some exceptional animals reaching $5,000 – $10,000! The less expensive animals are generally less colourful and not from a specific locale (discussed briefly below). The more expensive animals are either locale specific and/or brightly colored (or melanistic, which are very dark or near black in color).
Adult Leachianus range dramatically in size. They generally top out at 100 grams – 400 grams, depending largely on the locale they’re from (GT are typically larger than the island locales). Leachianus generally range from 9 to 17 inches in total length, including their tail (New Caledonian Giant Gecko Care Sheet by Julie Bergman and Robbie Hamper, published on ReptilesMagazine.com).
As mentioned above, New Caledonia is composed of the mainland (GT) and many smaller islands. It seems that the segregation caused by each of those these bodies of land has resulted in locale specific tendencies in Leachianus.
© 2019 Troy’s Geckos, Inc. All Rights Reserved