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Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

Crested Gecko Color Changes and Their Meanings Guide 101

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by The Pet Engineers


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If this is your first time owning a crested gecko, then one thing about your pet crested gecko may confuse you or even make you a little worried. And that is a sudden change in the color of your crested gecko.

Your pet crested gecko may either become brighter or paler – and it may leave you worried and confused about why the color change has happened and what could it possibly mean.

Well, rest assured that more often than not, a change of color in your crested gecko is nothing to be concerned about – it is usually a natural process of firing up or down, or it may be associated with growing up or shedding.

Do Crested Geckos Change Color When Stressed?

Yes, crested geckos do change their color when stressed.

Crested geckos undergo a process called firing up, in which their color becomes brighter. This may happen due to stress, fear, or aggression.

8 Reasons Why Has My Crested Gecko Changed Colour?

Your crested gecko could have changed its color due to any one of the following reasons:

Reason 1 – Naturally Firing Up

When your crested gecko “wakes up”, it may fire up for some time. Note that crested geckos are nocturnal, so your pet crested gecko will wake up and fire up during nighttime.

Reason 2 – Firing Up Due To Mood Changes

Your pet crested gecko may fire up at other times due to the changes in its mood. Feelings of stress, threat, fear, and aggression can make your pet fire up.

Reason 3 – Firing Up Due To Environmental Changes

Your crested gecko can even fire up due to changes in the environment. They may fire up due to:

  • High humidity. Humidity levels close to 70 percent can cause your crested gecko to fire up. This level of humidity is usually attained during nighttime, which could explain, at least partly, why your crested gecko may fire up in the night after waking up from its resting hours.
  • High temperature. Your crested gecko may fire up to indicate that the temperatures are too high inside the enclosure. The ambient range of temperature for a crested gecko in captivity is between 72- and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature comes around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, your pet crested gecko will fire up due to overheating – so, when your crested gecko fires up, you should glance at the temperature levels of the enclosure just to be sure that the firing up has not happened due to overheating.
  • Lighting and a lack of light. At night, if there is little light, your crested gecko may fire up to have a darker color. This is one of the survival tricks that your crested gecko has picked up from its wild ancestors and lineage. At night, firing up makes the crested gecko darker and harder to spot. In the wild, this firing up acts as camouflaging against predators.

Reason 4 – Firing Down To Camouflage

Just as your pet crested gecko has picked up the survival habit to fire up at night when there is little light to become darker and harder to spot, in the same way, your pet has also picked up the survival trick of firing down and camouflaging in the daytime by becoming lighter in shade and merging into the foliage.

crested gecko colour changes
Crested gecko fire up and down

Reason 5 – Firing Down To Rest

At night, when your crested gecko just wakes up, it fires up due to an increase in its activity levels.

In the same way, during the day, when your crested gecko is finally going to go rest after a long night of playing around, it will fire down and come back to its regular light shade.

Reason 6 – Firing Down When Relaxing

When your crested gecko feels stressed, scared, threatened, or aggressive, it will fire up. Likewise, when your crested gecko starts feeling calmer, relaxed and destressed, it will fire down.

Reason 7 – Color Change Due To Age

The color of your hatchling will not be the final color that your pet crested gecko has when it becomes an adult.

Over a period of months, as your crested gecko grows from a hatchling to a juvenile to a fully grown adult, you will notice a series of color changes in your pet.

Hatchlings and juvenile crested geckos often have very bright-colored bodies. They also have little to no patterns on their bodies.

So, your crested gecko, as a hatchling, may have been of a solid bright color with no patterns or markings.

But around the age of 1 year, your pet crested gecko will have its color and pattern set – this may come across as a lighter shade of color and more defined patterns than when your pet was a hatchling.

This color is what your crested gecko will have for most of its life – although, there will be phases of firing up, firing down, and becoming duller or darker due to various factors.

Reason 8 – Color Change During Shedding

During shedding, your pet crested gecko will become paler and whiter. This color change is normal and there is nothing for you to be worried about.

The change in color will return to normal once your crested gecko has completed its shedding.

Crested Gecko Color Changes And Their Meanings

While there are a lot of factors that make it hard to pinpoint the exact meanings of the color changes of your crested gecko, the following are some of the most common inferences from color changes:

Did you know your crested gecko could do this?

When Your Crested Gecko Becomes Darker Or Brighter

This is when your crested gecko is firing up. Firing up can happen due to environment, mood, or levels of activity such as after just waking up.

Firing up is also an effective way of camouflaging your pet crested gecko at nighttime.

When Your Crested Gecko Becomes Lighter

This is usually called firing down. This is when your crested gecko returns to the shade of color that you usually see in the daytime.

Firing down happens as a consequence of resting, relaxing, and calming down.

When Your Crested Gecko Becomes Dull Or Pale

This could mostly mean that your crested gecko is nearing its shedding time.

However, do look out for other symptoms that may be associated with this change of color to catch any health-related problems early on.

When Your Crested Gecko Develops Black Coloration On Its Toes And Tail

When you observe this black coloration, call up your vet. This coloration is a sign of a dangerous health problem in crested geckos called necrosis.

Necrosis happens due to incomplete shedding and if you observe the signs of necrosis, you should rush your pet crested gecko to the vet as it can be a fatal problem if not treated in a timely manner.

When You Notice Unusual Spots On Your Crested Gecko

The sudden occurrence of unusual spots on the body of your crested gecko is a sign of bacterial or fungal infection.

In this case, too, you should seek medical assistance early on to get timely treatment for your pet crested gecko.


Why Is My Crested Gecko Turning White?

Your crested gecko could be turning white because its time of shedding could be coming closer.

crested gecko shedding
A white gecko might indicate shedding

Why Is My Crested Gecko Turning Green?

Crested geckos do not have the pigmentation to develop a proper green color. However, it is normal for a crested gecko to have an olive green shade – it could just be an age-related change of color.

Your pet crested gecko will not retain the color it had when it was a hatchling. As a fully grown adult, it is quite normal for your crested gecko to have a different shade, such as olive green.

What Does It Mean When My Crested Gecko Gets Darker?

Getting darker means your crested gecko is firing up.

Check the temperature and humidity of the enclosure of your tank – if all is okay on that side, then your crested gecko may be firing up either due to normal change of activity levels or due to stress or fear.

Why Is My Crested Gecko Turning Grey?

A grey or pale color is as common as a white color when shedding is due – so, chances are, your crested gecko is likely to undergo shedding soon.

Why Is My Crested Gecko Turning Dark?

If by dark, you mean that your crested gecko is showing black coloration, especially around its toes and tail, that can be a sign of necrosis and it needs immediate medical assistance.

If it is not black, then your crested gecko could just be firing up.


Crested geckos have a lot of unique idiosyncrasies, and one of those is the changing of their body color.

There are multiple reasons why your pet crested gecko may change color – from aging to shedding to changes in the environment.

While it is completely normal for your pet crested gecko to change its color, a good rule of thumb will be to monitor these color changes to see if there are any symptoms that require medical assistance.

The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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