Why Is My Crested Gecko Changing Colors?

Most of the crested gecko owners are usually surprised when their gecko changes colors. You might be wondering if your crested gecko can change colors, yes it can.

Crested Geckos is getting more popular as a perfect pet for all kinds of pet lovers due to its diverse color range and morphs.

These stunning creatures come in different patterns and colors, but they also can change colors within the pattern.

Crested gecko color change can either be more vibrant or a bit duller.

Everything that you need to know about color changes in crested geckos are discussed in this article.

Do Crested Geckos Change Color?

Baby Crested Gecko Will Change their color when they get older
Baby Crested Gecko by Diane (source: flickr.com)

Crested geckos can change their color. Crested gecko color change can be caused just by growing older.

Crested gecko hatchlings and juveniles usually have different shades of color than the adults.

You should note that crested geckos have limited ability to change color and cannot change their color on their own will.

Crested geckos can only change color when they grow up or exposed to specific environmental triggers.

Another way that your gecko can change color temporarily is during their shed cycle.

Can We Consider A Crested Gecko After Color Changing Is A New Morph?

Crested geckos are considered to be polymorphic, which means that it is available in a diverse range of color and pattern variations and combinations.

You can separate the morphs of crested geckos into two, which are the color morphs and pattern morphs.

The final name of the morph is usually between color and pattern variation, for instance, blue tiger, patternless buckskin, and so on.

Understand Color Changeability Of Crested Geckos

Why Do Crested Geckos Change Color?

Firing Up of Crested Gecko Color

Firing up is another color-changing process of crested gecko, which is based on their mood and environment.

When your gecko fires up, it usually indicates a state of alertness or reacting to the environment.

When your gecko sleeps, it is fired down, and its color will change to a darker tone at night.

You do not have to worry if your gecko is always fired, or it never does as it does not indicate anything is wrong with it.

Crested Gecko firing up makes color changed
Crested Gecko firing up by Keri Warren (source: flickr.com)

Many factors can cause your crested gecko to fire up and down.

However, it does not mean that it is stressed, uncomfortable, or upset.

Firing up mechanisms can aid camouflage, indicate behavioral state, communication with other geckos, or just responding to specific stimuli like smells, humidity, and so on.

Firing up of colors is usually more intense in brightness for orange, red, and yellow-crested geckos or a deep black or brown gecko in a dark base.

Furthermore, the fire down of the color’s ability of crested geckos is usually paler. Dark based geckos with a color range between tan, brown, and grey often fire down.

Crested gecko firing up by Andrea
Crested gecko firing up by Andrea (source: flickr.com)

Factors Causing Color Change of Crested Gecko

There are three ways that can cause your gecko to change its color, and they are listed below.

  • Age-related color change
  • Environmental color change
  • Color change due to shedding
Age-related Color Change

Crested geckos hatchlings and juveniles usually have bright orange or red color, and it is hard to determine their adult color in the first few months.

It will take hatchling and juvenile crested gecko several months before assuming their final and definitive color.

You would have already known the adult color of your gecko around its first anniversary.

The adult color can be different from its hatchling or juvenile color. Another thing is that the patterns of crested geckos are also age-related, just like color.

You will find little or no marks and spots on hatchlings, but it will start to show once it grows older.

Environmental Color Change

Adult geckos can still change their color through a process known as firing up. This process of firing up and down of a crested gecko is based on numerous factors. However, some of the environmental conditions that can cause firing up of your gecko are stated below.

The mood of your gecko due to its environment: Moods like stress, aggression, and fear can lead to your crested gecko firing up. These moods like stress and fear reactions of your gecko can be caused by shipping, new environment, overpopulation, bad living conditions, handling, or breeding.

High temperature: If crested geckos are kept in an enclosure with a temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it will fire up. However, you should avoid exposing them to high temperatures (over 85 degrees Fahrenheit) for a long time, which can lead to overheating.

High humidity: If your geckos are kept in an enclosure of higher humidity of about 70%, it can fire up. High humidity levels usually occur at night or in the morning.

Activities of your gecko: Crested geckos have fired down colors when they are sleeping while the color fires up when they are active.

The lighting of the tank: Crested geckos are known to fire up during night time when there is little light. Crested geckos will get darker colors, which is used for hiding from predators.

Note: At times, some of these reasons are interlinked, and it is not entirely possible to attribute crested gecko color change to a specific environmental trigger. For instance, high humidity occurs at night when there is little or no light, and it is the time when your crested gecko is active. It is also possible that it is exposed to fear or stress during this period.

Color Change due to Shedding

Like other reptiles, crested geckos shed their old skin and replace it with new ones.

Some days after the shedding starts, your crested gecko color becomes greyer or pale. This is a normal circumstance, and you do not have to worry.

After a few days of your crested gecko shedding its skin, it will turn back to its normal color.

Dangerous Color Changes

You should also know that not all color changes are normal in crested gecko.

It is dangerous if you notice that only the toes or tail turns to black. This color change is a sign of necrosis, and you need to visit your vet immediately for treatment.

Your crested geckos may have a fungal or bacterial infection if you notice that there are black spots on the body of your crested geckos that were not there before. You will need to visit the vet for treatment as well.

Crested Gecko FAQs

Why has my crested gecko change colors?

Crested geckos can change color. Crested geckos have limited ability to fire up or down and cannot really do it on their own.

There are three ways that may cause your crested gecko to change color: age, environmental, and shedding factors.

What does it mean when your crested gecko is pale?

Your crested gecko can turn pale when it is shedding, or it is firing down.

It does not mean they are sick if it turns pale or white. Once your gecko finishes shedding, you do not need to clean up its old skin as it will eat it afterward.

However, if your crested gecko is pale for over a week, you may need to take a trip down to the vet.

Does every crested gecko fire up?

It is not all crested geckos that will fire up or will fire up the same way. Crested Geckos are different from each other, and your gecko might not fire up.

You do not have to worry if yours does not fire up as well. You may not even notice your crested gecko firing up if there is not a lot of difference between the firing up and firing down the coloration of your gecko.

Are moonglow (white) crested geckos real?

Moonglow crested geckos are unique coloration and are being sold at high prices. There is a lot of controversy about whether true moonglow crested geckos exist or not.

However, moonglow crested geckos are fired down and usually have several colors when it fires up.

Ways Of Getting your Crested Gecko Fired Up

You can discover the colors of your crested gecko after it fires up,  by creating a perfect condition for it.

However, you do not need to put it in a stressful situation or even scare it. What you need to do is create a good environmental condition for it.

You can mist the enclosure and your crested gecko, darken the enclosure and set the enclosure’s temperature to about 80°F for about 15 minutes.

You can then take mind-blowing pictures of your crested geckos.

You can also expose your crested gecko to UVB rays from a special bulb or direct sunlight to fire them up.

Crested Gecko Color Fading

If you notice that your crested gecko suddenly turned grey or pale, it may be because it is shedding.

Few days before your crested gecko will start shedding, it will turn to grey, and it will turn back to normal a few days after shedding.

However, if crested gecko’s color fades because of age, it will not happen overnight. But if it happens, it will fade to a lighter shade.

Conclusion

Crested geckos are fantastic pets, and it is available in a wide range of pattern, traits, and color. One of the fascinating things about crested color is its ability to change color. Crested gecko color changes can be caused by different factors such as temperature, age, stress, humidity, and so on. Another fascinating thing about crested gecko’s color changing ability is that it uses it to blend with the environment and avoid predators. It also adds to the beauty of the gecko.

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