Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon Comprehensive Comparison of Two Popular Reptile Pets

Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon: Comprehensive Comparison of Two Popular Reptile Pets

The crested gecko and the bearded dragon are two of the most popular reptile pets, and many people have difficulty deciding between the two. It can be a difficult decision, but with a bit of research and understanding, you’ll be able to make an informed choice.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the crested gecko and the bearded dragon, helping you to decide which one is right for you.

Whether you’re a first-time reptile owner or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to do your research and consider the care requirements for both crested geckos and bearded dragons.

Both of these reptiles can make wonderful pets, but it’s important to understand the differences between their personalities, habitats, and dietary needs in order to choose the one that best fits your lifestyle and needs. With this article, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to make the right decision for you.

What Are the Similarities Between Crested Gecko and Bearded Dragon?

crested gecko

Both the crested gecko and the Bearded Dragon are medium-sized reptiles, so their size is similar. They both prefer warm, dry habitats, and their diet consists of mostly insects.


Having discussed the differences between crested geckos and Bearded Dragons, we now turn our attention to their similarities. Notably, both species share similar size, making them both ideal for reptile enthusiasts with limited space.

The adult size of both the crested gecko and Bearded Dragon is typically between 8 and 10 inches in length. On occasion, however, crested geckos can reach sizes up to 12 inches, while Bearded Dragons can reach a maximum size of 14 inches.

Thus, both species are relatively easy to care for in relatively small enclosures. Furthermore, both species have lifespans of up to 20 years, making them excellent long-term pets.


Moving on to the topic of habitat, both the crested gecko and Bearded Dragon have similar living conditions. The crested gecko hails from the tropical forests of New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, while the Bearded Dragon is native to the arid and semi-arid parts of Australia.

Crested geckos prefer humid environments with temperatures ranging between 70-80° Fahrenheit (21-26° Celsius), while Bearded Dragons require temperatures between 75-95° Fahrenheit (23-35° Celsius).

Both lizards are considered to be crepuscular, meaning that they are most active during twilight hours. They also enjoy a lot of foliage and hiding spots in their enclosures, as well as access to UVB light to help them thrive.


Taking a closer look at the dietary habits of crested geckos and Bearded Dragons, similarities can be found. Both species are omnivorous, meaning they both eat a combination of plant and animal matter.

Generally, crested geckos consume a combination of live insects and commercially available food, such as Pangea Fruit Mix. Bearded Dragons, on the other hand, usually feed on a variety of insects, such as crickets, worms, and roaches, as well as gut-loaded vegetables.

While the two species have different dietary needs, their omnivorous diet is a major similarity between crested geckos and Bearded Dragons.

What Are the Differences Between Crested Gecko and Bearded Dragon?

Crested Gecko
Credit: Dagmar Collins

In terms of size, the crested gecko is generally much smaller than the Bearded Dragon, averaging around 8 inches.

Furthermore, the crested gecko has a variety of different colors and patterns, whereas the Bearded Dragon is usually a duller color, often with shades of brown and yellow. Lastly, the crested gecko is typically very docile and friendly, while the Bearded Dragon can be more aggressive and territorial.


Having discussed the similarities between crested geckos and bearded dragons, let’s now take a look at the differences in size between the two species. The crested gecko is a smaller species of lizard, typically reaching a size of 6-9 inches in length.

On the other hand, bearded dragons are larger in size, usually reaching lengths of up to 2 feet. This size difference is particularly conspicuous when comparing the two species, as bearded dragons are easily twice the size of crested geckos.

The size difference is an important factor for anyone looking to own either species as a pet. Crested geckos can be housed in smaller enclosures, such as 10-20 gallon terrariums, while bearded dragons require larger enclosures, such as 40-50 gallon terrariums.

The size difference also affects how much food and how often the two species need to be fed. Crested geckos typically eat a few times a week, while bearded dragons generally eat more frequently, such as every other day.


Although crested geckos and bearded dragons have many similarities, they differ in color. The crested gecko is typically a bright green color with lighter stripes extending across its back, sometimes with an orange hue. Its tail is usually striped in white and black, and it has a yellow or orange underside.

The bearded dragon, on the other hand, is usually a warm brown, yellow, or orange color, sometimes with speckles or bands of darker color. Its underbelly is usually off-white, and its tail is usually a lighter version of the color on its back.


Now let’s take a look at the differences in the temperament between crested geckos and bearded dragons. Both species of lizards are known for their gentle disposition, however, there are a few key differences in their behavior.

Crested geckos are generally considered to be more shy than bearded dragons. They tend to hide when they sense potential danger and will rarely bite, even when handled. They also tend to be more active during the night, while bearded dragons are more active during the day.

Bearded dragons, on the other hand, are much more social and outgoing than crested geckos. They often enjoy being handled and, while they may bite if they feel threatened, they are not known to be aggressive. They are also more active during the day, so they can be great companions for those who are home during the day. Overall, bearded dragons tend to be friendlier and more interactive than crested geckos.

Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon: Physical Appearance

The battle between crested geckos and bearded dragons is never-ending, but it’s time to decide who takes the crown when it comes to physical appearance. Astounding beauty and an array of vibrant colors make these two species stand out from the rest. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two majestic reptiles.

The first thing many people notice about a crested gecko is its distinctive crest, which is a row of spines that runs along its back and tail. They are also capable of changing colors to various shades of yellow, brown, and orange. Crested geckos can grow to be around 8 inches long and are one of the most popular pet reptile species in the world.

Bearded dragons have a more furry appearance and are usually a sandy brown or yellowish color. They have spines running from the head to the tail and can grow to be between 12 and 24 inches long. Bearded dragons are also very popular as pets and can live up to 10 years.

Both crested geckos and bearded dragons are beautiful and unique creatures. While they may look different, they both have distinct physical traits that make them stand out from the rest. Whether you’re looking for a pet or just admiring their beauty, crested geckos and bearded dragons are both amazing creatures that are sure to impress.

Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon: Behavior

Moving from physical appearance to behavior, crested geckos and bearded dragons are very different in their mannerisms. While crested geckos are known to be quite shy and retiring, bearded dragons have a more outgoing, inquisitive demeanor.

Crested geckos will often try to hide, and can be easily startled if approached too quickly. Bearded dragons, on the other hand, will often come up to the edge of the enclosure to investigate visitors, and rarely shy away from interaction.

In terms of feeding, crested geckos are insectivores, so they’ll generally accept most types of insects without too much fuss. Bearded dragons are omnivores, and will have a more varied diet including fruits, vegetables, and the occasional insect.

When it comes to handling, crested geckos can be friendly and enjoy being held. However, due to their small size, they’re delicate and should always be handled with care. Bearded dragons can also be handled, but they can become stressed if handled too often or too roughly. Both types of lizards should be handled slowly and gently and should never be dropped or held too tightly.

Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon: Diet

After discussing their behaviors, it is time to dive into the diets of crested geckos and bearded dragons. It is important to note that the diet of both animals needs to be carefully considered to ensure their health and well-being. When it comes to their dietary needs, the two reptiles differ greatly.

When it comes to crested geckos, they have a primarily insectivorous diet but can be supplemented with other sources of food. A variety of insects, such as crickets, roaches, and mealworms, should be offered to them two to three times a week. Alongside this, they should be given a specific crested gecko diet, which consists of a powdered mix of different fruits, vegetables, and vitamins.

In contrast, the bearded dragon is mainly omnivorous. Their diet should consist of a variety of insects and vegetables, with some fruits as occasional treats. Bearded dragons should be fed a variety of insects such as crickets, roaches, and mealworms.

They should also be fed a variety of vegetables such as collard greens, mustard greens, and endive. Additionally, they should be fed calcium and vitamin supplement to keep them healthy.

Thus, it is clear that crested geckos and bearded dragons have different dietary needs. It is important to research and understand the dietary needs of both animals to ensure their health and well-being.

Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon: Enclosure

Moving on from diet, another major difference between crested geckos and bearded dragons is their enclosure. While both species can live in similar enclosures, there are a few key differences to consider.

The crested gecko is a more arboreal species, meaning it typically prefers to climb and spend time in the higher branches of its enclosure. Therefore, taller enclosures are often more suitable for this species.

Crested geckos also prefer more humid environments, so misting the enclosure daily can help to mimic their natural climate. For these reasons, many owners opt for terrariums with tall sides and a locking lid to keep in the humidity.

In contrast, bearded dragons are a more terrestrial species, meaning they prefer to spend most of their time on the ground. As a result, they can typically be content with shorter enclosures. Bearded dragons also require less humidity than their crested gecko counterparts, so higher levels of humidity should be avoided. For these reasons, glass tanks with sliding lids are the most popular choice for bearded dragon owners.

Overall, when it comes to an enclosure, crested geckos require taller, more humid enclosures, while bearded dragons prefer shorter, less humid enclosures.

Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon: Lighting

Now that we’ve discussed the enclosures for crested geckos and bearded dragons, let’s move on to the lighting for these two species. Lighting is an important factor when it comes to creating a suitable environment for your reptile pet.

Crested geckos require moderate levels of lighting for their enclosure. They should have 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness each day. A few low-wattage incandescent bulbs, spotlights, and fluorescent lights should be sufficient.

Bearded dragons, on the other hand, require higher levels of lighting. They should have 12-14 hours of light and 10-12 hours of darkness each day. UVA and UVB lighting is a must for bearded dragons, which should be provided with the help of reptile lamps and fluorescent bulbs. Temperature-controlled basking lights will also be needed to provide the correct environment for your pet.

Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon: Handling

When it comes to handling, crested geckos and bearded dragons differ greatly. While both species can be friendly, bearded dragons are more responsive to human interaction and can be trained to respond to hand gestures.

Crested geckos, on the other hand, may not be as responsive when it comes to human interaction and will likely be more skittish when handled.

For those looking for a more interactive pet, the bearded dragon would be the better choice. Bearded dragons can be handled multiple times a week with proper precautions and training.

An ideal handling session for a bearded dragon should be no more than 10 minutes and should involve minimal contact. Owners should be careful to support the stomach and limbs when holding the reptile, as bearded dragons have fragile bones.

Crested geckos, on the other hand, should be handled with much less frequency. Handling should be kept to a minimum and should be done slowly and gently. This species is more sensitive to contact than bearded dragons, so it is important to take extra care when handling it.

While crested geckos can be trained to trust their owner, it is important to take it slow and always be aware of the gecko’s comfort level.

Crested Gecko vs Bearded Dragon: Lifespan

When it comes to the lifespan of crested geckos and bearded dragons, there is a major difference. Generally, crested geckos can live up to 20 years in captivity, while bearded dragons usually only live for about 8-12 years. This means that a crested gecko may outlive its owner, so it is important to consider this when choosing a pet.

Crested geckos are resilient and can survive in a variety of conditions, making them great pets for novice reptile owners. They are also much cheaper than bearded dragons, so they are an attractive choice for those on a budget.

In addition, crested geckos are more low-maintenance than bearded dragons since they don’t require supplemental lighting or heat.

Bearded dragons, on the other hand, have a shorter lifespan and require more special care. They need a specific habitat, including UVA and UVB lighting, as well as moderate temperatures.

These requirements can be difficult for a beginner, but experienced reptile owners may find the challenge of caring for a bearded dragon enjoyable. Generally, they are also much more active than crested geckos, making them more entertaining to watch.


In conclusion, crested geckos and Bearded Dragons are both popular pet reptiles. While both lizards share some common traits, they have many differences that potential owners should consider before purchasing. Crested geckos are best suited for experienced reptile owners, while Bearded Dragons are more suitable for beginners.

Ultimately, the decision as to which pet to get should be made based on a person’s individual needs and preferences. Whether it’s a crested gecko or a Bearded Dragon, both are amazing animals that can become fantastic companions.