Ever since the passing of my pet praying mantis, Carolina, and my fish, Phineas, this ol’ house has felt a little lonely. I decided that I wanted a pet that offered a bit more interaction, but could still be left to its own devices when I’m not around (read: no dogs! My parents have that covered. I’d link you to pictures, but both of their Flickr accounts have privacy settings, dammit.).
My thoughts drifted over to the reptile kingdom. Most species seem to require a lot of upkeep, which sounded like a bad idea to this newb. I’m not feeding anything baby mice, or clearing a section of my living room to make way for a 4′ x 2′ tank complete with replica desert. I needed something simpler and more foolproof. Finally, months of research and preparation culminated this week with the delivery of this little guy:
Ox (short for oxide, chosen because of his rust color), is a crested gecko. Cresties are perfect for new reptile owners; they stay fairly small, they prefer temperatures between 60-80 degrees, they don’t need special lighting or heating, and in the wild they eat mostly fruit. A powder diet developed for pet cresties (that smells like a fruit smoothie when you mix it up) is all they need to eat. Some of them do like crickets, which make a good treat, but it’s not a necessary part of their diet.
He’s eating off of my finger!?
Ox here is just a baby, born last December. If I keep him happy and healthy he could live for 15 years. Actually, we’re not really sure about the natural lifespan of a crested gecko. The species was once thought to be extinct until a population of them was found on an island in the mid-nineties. From some samples that were brought back to the US, a growing captive breeding program has sprung up thanks to their popularity with reptile keepers.
I especially like that this species is arboreal, so I got to make up a fancy planted vivarium for my little guy. But he’s got some growing to do first before he’ll be ready for his big cage. Right now he lives here, in his starter home:
If you look closely you can see his butt perched on top of the larger pant. Ox can climb anything; he’s got sticky pads on his feet (and tail!):
What a character. I’m glad to have some life in here again.