Are Crested Geckos Nocturnal?

are crested geckos nocturnal

This question has confused many. Indeed it is a question to ask if you are a first-time pet owner. 

Are Crested Geckos Nocturnal?

Crested geckos are nocturnal. They are nocturnal and crepuscular. This means they are active at night, dusk, and dawn. Since they are active at night and dawn, they rest all day. 

Since they are nocturnal and crepuscular, it takes a little more effort than usual to create the environment they need. Please keep reading to learn more about these reptiles and their routine. 

Crested Geckos Are Nocturnal and Crepuscular 

As mentioned, these animals are not only nocturnal but also crepuscular. Let us understand what this means.

These reptiles are active during nighttime as well as during dawn and dusk. Their active routine begins at these times. 

  • Nocturnal: Active at night
  • Crepuscular: Active during twilight

They adapted to this routine because they were initially from the wild. In the wild, for crested geckos, it is easy to save themselves from their predators at this time. It became a survival mode routine or lifestyle for them and their circadian cycle, which is the biological rhythm or cycle of a crested gecko’s body. Hence they have adapted their body to active nighttime and rest during the daytime. 

Due to this, these reptiles, even in the enclosure or as pets, follow the same routine as they follow the circadian cycle they have in the wild. This means you will see your pet sleeping peacefully during the day and on its toes, active during dawn, dusk, and nighttime. 

a crested gecko walking in the forest in the dark

What Does Crested Gecko’s Night Routine in the Wild Look Like?

These reptiles wake up at night and begin their activities in the wild. They start by hunting for food and eating

They carry out activities such as defecting, eating, and other routine activities. If they feel that their predator has spotted them and is at risk of being hunted, they tend to find a new safe home at dusk, dawn, or night. They even move locations when they feel there is a shortage of food. 

In the wild, they even socialize during the night. During the mating season, these animals find mates at night and socialize. 

What Is Their Routine at Night? 

Since these reptiles rest during the day, you will see your pet doing every activity at night.  

Even in the enclosure, crested geckos play, explore around the tank, eat, defecate, and do all other routine activities at night, probably when all the members around you or in your house are asleep. 

Here is what a night routine will look like when placed in an enclosure.

In an enclosure, your pet will wake up at dusk or night as it does in the wild. Instead of going hunting, your pet will eat the food you placed in the tank. 

Once your pet has eaten, it will play around and defecate. Now, you must provide your pet with a healthy environment. If the enclosure does not have branches or other objects to play around with, your pet will not be active, which can lead to health issues. 

Crested geckos need to be active. If they haven’t got anything to do, they will fall into an unhealthy routine which is sleeping, waking up at night, eating, and sleeping again. 

Providing proper enrichment and foliage for physical activity even when asleep is essential for a crested gecko’s health. 

If you want to watch your pet be active, you must stay around at night to watch your pet play around and eat. 

If you work during the night or stay up till late, you will get the opportunity to see your pet gecko active. If you have an active day life, your routines will clash. 

How Does a Crested Gecko See at Night? 

Since these reptiles are nocturnal and crepuscular, they can see at night and in the dark. 

As mentioned before, they have adapted to nocturnal and crepuscular routines, and hence their vision also developed to be perfect for the night.

These animals have excellent night vision. Hence they have no problem exploring and hunting in dark or lowlight conditions. 

a crested gecko walking at night with the moon in the background

Tips for Crested Gecko Pet Owners 

Since they are nocturnal and crepuscular, providing your pet with a healthy and happy environment is essential. We have created a small list of tips that you can incorporate to provide your crested gecko with the best and not tamper with its cycle. 

  1. Lighting

Lighting is very important for a crested gecko’s nightlife cycle. It keeps the cycle in check since they are in an enclosure and not in the wild. 

You must manage the lighting of the enclosure with perfection. Otherwise, it can affect your pet crested gecko’s circadian rhythm. The main reason for having lighting is to inform your crested gecko when it is daytime and nighttime.

It would be best to mimic the enclosure to their natural wild habitat. This means you must replicate the number of daylight or nighttime hours that a crested gecko in the wild would experience. 

Now, it is essential that you remember not to use sunlight for daylight. The sunlight hitting your gecko’s enclosure can disturb the tank’s temperature. This will affect your pet’s health and can lead to death as well. 

  1. The Light Routine

The light routine is nothing but providing your pet crested gecko a feel of nighttime and daytime with smooth transitions. 

Starting with how many hours of daytime and nighttime. You must provide your pet with a 12-hour day and night time every day. 

Note: You can always mimic the duration according to the season. 

As we know, crested geckos are nocturnal and crepuscular; you should also incorporate dawn and dusk. You must remember to keep the transitions from day to dusk and night to dawn smooth. It would be best not to go completely dark or fully bright. Crested geckos need every bit of night, dawn, and dusk lighting to do their activities. 

You can provide the enclosure with dim lights to indicate dusk. This will help your pet get ready to hunt. 

You can always invest in a lighting system that automatically goes from dim to night to dawn. This will be better as your pet will easily fall into a routine, and it will not be spoiled. 

  1. Using UVB Lights

You can use UVB flights to provide a healthy environment for your crested gecko. UVB light provides vitamin D, which is needed for a healthy body. 

You can always give your pet vitamin D through supplements, but exposing your pet to UVB for a while helps with fertility and other health benefits. 

Remember, you must turn on the UVB lights only for some time, as the skin of these reptiles is extremely sensitive. 

If you are using UVB lights regularly for a limited amount of time, you should invest in a light timer to keep the routine going, and even if you are not at home, the UVB light will do its job and turn off at the right time. 

Note: You can even use no reflectors or fluorescent UVB lights during daytime lighting. It should be a low-level UVB (5%)

  1. Food

Since, in the wild, their hunting time is at dusk. You can feed your pet in the evenings at dusk. 

  1. Temperature

The temperature of the tank must be accurate at all times.

  • The humidity of the tank must be between 60% and 80%.

Note: Remember to mist the enclosure regularly.

  • The daytime temperature must be around 71˚ to 79˚ Fahrenheit.  (22˚ to 26˚ Celcius)
  • The cool side temperature must be around 68˚ to 70˚ Fahrenheit ( 20 – 21°C)
  • The warm side temperature must be  79°F
  • The basking spot temperature should not be more than 83°F (28°C) 
  • Night time temperature should not be less than 69°F (20°C).
  • During winter, you must be extra careful. The temperatures in the enclosure must be a little lower and no lower than 70 – 72°F  (21 – 22°C) during the day and  63 – 65°F (17.2 – 18°C) at night.

Can You Use Blue Light?

You should always use a blue light if you want to check on your pet at night. The blue light must be used only for an hour or less. 

Using blue light throughout the night to check on your pet can disturb its cycle. It can disrupt the rhythm and can cause health issues and stress.  


These reptiles are nocturnal and crepuscular. You must provide them with the best nightlife routine in the enclosure, replicating the wild. Remember to set the temperature and lighting right.  

You can always check on your pet with a blue light for some time while making sure you are not disturbing its cycle. Also, remember not to disturb your pet while sleeping or resting during the day. 

Crested geckos need time to rest during the day. Otherwise, it can lead to health issues.

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