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Crested Gecko vs. Bearded Dragon: What are the Differences?

Crested Gecko vs. Bearded Dragon: What are the Differences?

Crested Gecko vs. Bearded Dragon: What are the Differences – Ultimate Guide

Are you considering getting a reptile as a pet, but are not sure which one to choose? This article is about comparing the Crested Gecko and the Bearded Dragon. We will discuss their physical characteristics, temperament, diet, and care requirements. By the end, you should have a good idea of which type of reptile would be the best fit for your family and lifestyle.

Bearded dragon vs. Crested gecko as a pet

Most lizards are low-maintenance pets. They don’t require a lot of space, and they can go without food or water for a week or more. But there are some important differences to consider when you’re deciding between these two animals as your new pet.


The most significant aspect to consider when choosing a lizard is its size. Bearded Dragons may grow up to 24 inches long, while Crested Geckos top out at about half that size. If you live in a small space, or if you want a lizard that’s easy to handle, size should be one of your main considerations.



The average weight of an adult Beardie is between 350 and 550 grams. Some may even grow to be a pound or more. The Crested Gecko is much smaller; averaging around 30-50 grams as an adult. [1]

One thing to keep in mind is that baby dragons grow quickly; they can easily gain a gram or two per week. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to overfeed them and cause them to become obese. On the other hand, Crested Geckos are notoriously hard to overfeed since they will self-regulate their intake based on hunger levels.

As such, weight gain in a crested gecko is not as much of a concern as it is with bearded dragons.


Crested Geckos may live up to 20 years, while Beardies usually only survive for around 12 to 15 years. In the wild, their lifespan is generally shorter due to predators and other risks. [2]


Crested Geckos are tiny lizards with spiked ridges down the middle of their backs. They come in a variety of colors, including brown, gray, orange, and red.

Bearded Dragons are larger lizards that have a “beard” of spiky scales around their necks. They are usually tan or light brown in color.

Both Cresties and Beardies have long tails. However, the Crested Gecko’s tail is much thinner than the Bearded Dragon’s tail. The Beardies’ tail is also used as a fat reserve, so it can get quite thick.

Crested Geckos have round pupils while Beardies have slit-like pupils.


A big difference between the two is their diet. Bearded Dragons are omnivores, while Crested Geckos are insectivores/frugivores. Both plants and animals are consumed by Beardies, while Cresties will only eat insects and fruit.


Bearded Dragons need a diet that consists of about 20% protein and 80% vegetables. The protein can come from either live insects or commercial pellets made specifically for reptiles. Some good vegetables to feed your beardie include turnip greens, collard greens, hibiscus leaves, mustard greens, and kale.

Crested Geckos need a diet that consists mainly of insects. Live crickets and mealworms are a favorite among Crested Geckos, but you can also feed them frozen/thawed insects. Fruits can be given as an occasional treat, but should not make up more than 20% of their diet. Some good fruits to feed your crestie include mango, papaya, raspberries, and blueberries.

Activity time

Crested Geckos are most active at night while Bearded Dragons are diurnal animals. This means that they’re more likely to be up and about during the day as opposed to at night. [3]

One of the benefits of having a nocturnal reptile is that you don’t have to worry about them bothering you while you’re trying to sleep. If you work odd hours or are a night owl, then having a Crested Gecko as a pet may be a better fit for your lifestyle.

On the other hand, Bearded Dragons make great pets for those who want an animal friend to keep them company during the daytime hours. These lizards also do well in classrooms and make excellent reptile ambassadors for educational programs.

Terrarium size

Crested Geckos can live in a variety of terrarium sizes, from small desktop habitats to large custom-built vivariums. A baby crested gecko can be kept in a small enclosure measuring 12” x 12” x 18”, with adults requiring a min of 18” x 18” x 24”. Bearded dragons, on the other hand, need a bit more room to roam. A baby or juvenile beardie will do well in an enclosure measuring 20 gallons (24” x 12” x 12”), with adults requiring a minimum of 40 gallons (36” x 18’x 18“).

When choosing a terrarium for your crestie or beardie, it’s important to remember that these reptiles are escape artists. Be sure to choose an enclosure with a tight-fitting lid, and if possible, one with a locking mechanism.

Crested Geckos are arboreal (tree-dwelling) reptiles, so their terrariums should be taller than they are wide. A vertical habitat not only provides your crestie with plenty of places to climb and explore but also allows you to include more plants and décor items in their enclosure.

Beardies are terrestrial (ground-dwelling) reptiles, so their terrariums can be either horizontal or vertical in design.

Humidity, temperature and heating needs

Both lizards have different requirements.

Humidity, temperature and heating needs

Crested Geckos enjoy a more humid atmosphere, so you’ll need to water them more frequently and/or use a humidifier in their enclosure. They require cooler temperatures than beardies, with a basking spot of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, Bearded Dragons seek a temperature of 95-110 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 30%-50%.

UVB rays are necessary for both Crested Geckos and Bearded Dragons to absorb calcium, which is critical for their health. Beardies will also require a basking area that exposes them to visible light, as this helps them maintain their body heat.


Beardies are more outgoing and interactive, while Cresties tend to be shyer and reserved. If you want a pet that you can interact with more, a bearded dragon is the perfect pet for you. The Crested Gecko is a low-maintenance pet that is happy to keep to itself and does not require much interaction.

Handling and tail dropping

Crested Geckos are generally more delicate than beardies and require more gentle handling. Their tails are also prone to dropping if they feel threatened, which can be stressful for both the gecko and the owner. [4]

Beardies have much tougher skin and are less likely to be injured by rough handling. They also rarely drop their tails, even when frightened.


Crested Geckos are susceptible to a bunch of different health problems. Some of these include: metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal issues. They can also get mites and ticks, which can be deadly if not treated quickly.

Beardies are much hardier reptiles. The common health issue they face is impaction, which is when their digestive system gets blocked by something they’ve eaten. This can usually be avoided by feeding them properly and making sure their enclosure is clean.


Crested Geckos are less expensive to purchase than bearded dragons. A Crestie can be purchased for around $50 to $400, while a Beardie will cost around $40 to $100. In addition, Crested Geckos are less expensive to care for than beardies. They require smaller tanks and eat less food. [5]


Bearded Dragons will mate during the spring and summer months in the wild. However, in captivity, they can be bred year-round. Bearded dragon eggs take about 60 days to hatch. Crested gecko breeding is a bit more complicated. Females can only lay one clutch of eggs per year and it takes anywhere from 70 to 120 days for the eggs to hatch.


Both species require specific care and housing requirements. Not to mention, you’ll need to find homes for all of the babies!

Ability to live in groups

Crested Geckos can live in small groups, whereas Bearded Dragons prefer to live alone. This is because beardies are territorial animals and will often fight with other Bearded Dragons for dominance.


Crested Geckos are clean animals. They will often bathe themselves in water or lick their bodies to clean off any dirt or debris.

Bearded Dragons are not nearly as clean. They will rarely if ever take a bath and will typically only lick their bodies if they are trying to get rid of a particular item stuck to them.

This difference in cleanliness is one of the main reasons why many people believe that cresties make better pets than beardies.

Brumation (winter slowdown)

Crested Geckos and Bearded Dragons are both from tropical climates and as a result, neither of them can tolerate cold temperatures. When the temperature starts to drop, they will both begin to brumate.

Brumation is basically a winter slowdown where they stop eating, become less active and their metabolism slows way down.

They will often sleep for long periods of time during this process.

It’s important not to disturb them too much during this time as it can be stressful and may cause them to come out of brumation prematurely.

Once the weather starts to warm up again, they will slowly come out of brumation and return to their normal activity levels.

Bearded dragon vs. Crested gecko: which one is good for beginners?

Let’s see.

Bearded Dragons will need a larger enclosure, and they can be more difficult to handle since they’re bigger and stronger than Crested Geckos. A crested gecko is a wonderful choice if you’re searching for a tiny lizard that’s simple to care for.

Bearded dragon vs. Crested gecko: which one is good for beginners?

Beardies are more active than cresties.

Crested Geckos don’t need as much heat or light, and they can go longer without being fed since they’re not as active. If you’re looking for a lizard that’s low-maintenance, then a crested gecko is the way to go.

So, which lizard is the better choice for a beginner reptile owner? It really depends on what you’re looking for in a pet. If you want a lizard that’s easy to care for, then go with a crested gecko. If you’re looking for a more active pet, then a bearded dragon is the way to go. Whichever lizard you choose, make sure you do your research so you can provide your new pet with everything they need to thrive.

Bearded dragon vs. Crested gecko: suitability

Bearded Dragons are a popular choice for reptile lovers because of their calm disposition and simple upkeep needs. They’re also a good size for most homes, reaching up to 24 inches in length. Crested Geckos have many of the same benefits as bearded dragons. They’re also docile and easy to care for, but they’re smaller in size, only reaching up to about 12 inches.

When selecting a reptile pet, one of the most essential factors to consider is whether or not you have the proper housing for them. Bearded Dragons require a large tank, with a minimum size of 40 gallons. Crested Geckos can live in much smaller tanks, as long as they’re at least 20 gallons.

Another thing to consider is the climate you live in. Bearded Dragons need warm temperatures to thrive. If you live in an area with cooler winters, you’ll need to provide supplemental heat for your bearded dragon’s tank. Cresties prefer humidity. If you live in a dry climate, you’ll need to provide a humidifier for your crested gecko’s tank.

Can Crested Geckos Live With Bearded Dragons?

The quick answer is no, they cannot. The two species come from different environments and have different needs. Crested Geckos are arboreal, meaning they live in trees, while beardies come from the desert. Their diet and habitat requirements are completely different. In addition, cresties are much smaller than beardies and can easily be injured or killed by them. [6]


What is the difference between a bearded dragon and a gecko?

The main difference between these lizards is their appearance and size. Beardies have spiny scales while geckos generally have smooth ones. Beardies also have a “beard” or dewlap under their chin that they can inflate when they feel threatened. Geckos do not have this feature.

Bearded Dragons are also typically larger than geckos.

Beardies are also active during the day, unlike most geckos, who are nocturnal.

Is a crested gecko good for beginners?

Cresties are great for beginners because of their docile nature and ease of care. They don’t require a lot of space and can be kept in a small enclosure. Crested Geckos are also easy to handle, and don’t mind being held or handled by humans.

Do bearded dragon bites hurt?

Beardies have very sharp teeth that can deliver a painful bite. However, they are not venomous so the pain is only temporary. To avoid infection, clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water if you are injured by a bearded dragon.

Are Crested Geckos Hardy?

Crested Geckos are one of the hardiest reptiles around. They can live in a wide range of temperatures and do not require as much humidity as other lizards. Crested Geckos are also resistant to most diseases and parasites.

Do Crested Geckos like to be held?

This is a common question among first-time reptile owners. And the answer is yes and no. Crested Geckos are not naturally skittish like many other lizards. In fact, they tend to be quite docile and can even be hand-fed. However, that doesn’t mean that they all enjoy being held. Each crestie has its own personality and some may never want to be picked up while others will love it. The best way to tell if your gecko likes being held is simply by trying it out and seeing their reaction. If they seem relaxed, then chances are they’re enjoying it. Just make sure to support their belly and legs so they feel secure.

Can Bearded Dragons change gender?

Yes, Bearded Dragons can change gender. If a male bearded dragon is not getting enough food or water, he may turn into a female. However, this is rare and usually only happens in captivity. [7]

Do Crested Geckos recognize their owners?

The answer is yes, Crested Geckos can recognize their owners and develop bonds with them.

There are a few things that you can do to help your crested gecko develop a bond with you. First, handle your crested gecko regularly so that they become used to your scent and touch. You should also try to feed your crested gecko by hand so that they associate you with food. Finally, spend time talking to your crested gecko so that they become used to your voice.

Are Crested Geckos smart?

From what we can tell, Crested Geckos are fairly intelligent lizards. They seem to be able to learn and remember simple tricks, like coming when called or following a moving object with their eyes. Some owners even report that their pet gecko recognizes them and comes to them when they enter the room!

How do you play with a crested gecko?

Crested Geckos are gentle lizards that enjoy being handled. They don’t require a lot of space to roam and are content to sit in your hand while you pet them.

To play with a crested gecko, simply hold it in your hand and let it crawl around. You can also offer it some insects to chase after.

Useful Video: Bearded Dragon VS Crested Gecko: Which Makes The Best First Reptile


As you can see, there are quite a few differences between the Crested Gecko and Bearded Dragon. If you’re looking for a pet that is low-maintenance and easy to care for, then the Crested Gecko is probably the better choice. However, if you’re looking for a pet that is a bit more active and interactive, then the Bearded Dragon might be a better fit. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference.

Hopefully this article has helped you decide which reptile pet is right for you!


  1. https://peteducate.com/how-big-do-crested-geckos-get/
  2. https://a-z-animals.com/blog/crested-gecko-lifespan-how-long-do-they-live/
  3. https://mycrestedgecko.com/crested-gecko-nocturnal/
  4. https://www.petco.com/content/petco/PetcoStore/en_US/pet-services/resource-center/caresheets/crested-gecko.html
  5. https://www.zooreptilia.com/crested-gecko-costs/
  6. https://mycrestedgecko.com/crested-gecko-bearded-dragon/#:~:text=Crested%20geckos%20can’t%20be,since%20they’re%20very%20territorial
  7. https://www.science101.com/how-and-why-bearded-dragons-change-their-genders/