Crested Gecko

Do Crested Geckos Eat Their Shed? Yes, But Why?

If you have a crested gecko at home, you might not even notice that they shed. These reptiles usually eat their shed skin, so you probably don’t have a chance to even find it. 

Crested geckos eat their shed because it gives them back some of the nutrients they lost when they shed their skin. In the wild, geckos also eat the shed to help prevent other animals from finding them.

If your crested gecko ate its shed, don’t worry! This process is completely normal. There’s more to learn, so please keep reading.

Do Crested Geckos Eat Their Shed?

Crested geckos do eat their shed skin. However, this isn’t a sign that you need to worry- it’s completely healthy and normal for them to do this. 

Adult geckos can shed their skin every month, while younger geckos do so more often. Many eat their shed quickly after it comes off, so you probably won’t see it in their enclosure. It only takes a few days for them to shed, and the gecko might even remove the skin using their tongue.

Overall, crested geckos do eat their shed skin. It’s not a problem or indication of anything bad, although you will want to keep a closer eye on your gecko when they are shedding.

Why Do They Eat Their Shed?

There are multiple reasons why crested geckos eat their shed, although many of these are the same among all lizards. Here are a few different reasons why your crested gecko performs this behavior. 

To Regain Lost Nutrients

Eating their shed skin can help the gecko regain some lost nutrients. Creating new skin takes a lot of vitamins, minerals, and energy. So, the lizard eats the shed to reduce the loss of nutrients. 

Creating a new layer of skin is a lot of work that goes to waste when the gecko sheds. Instead of just counting it as a loss, geckos prefer to eat the skin.

You’ll also notice that your crested gecko eats less during the shedding phase. Your pet might become less active, too, due to how much energy it takes for them to shed.

To Stay Hidden

It’s instinctual for geckos to eat their shed skin. If they leave it behind, there’s a higher chance that a predator will notice it and find them. Geckos often have more sensitive skin when shedding too, so other animals are more dangerous to them.

Eating the skin helps the gecko remain hidden. Even pets that live alone in an enclosure still eat their skin due to this instinct. 


Chris is a reptile enthusiast, breeder, and blogger from the Milwaukee, WI area. After breeding hundreds of bearded dragons to supply local pet stores and owning many other types of reptiles, he is now focused on sharing knowledge to help owners properly care for their little reptiles friends.

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