Why Do Crested Geckos Fire Up? (How to Get Yours?)

Generally, ‘Fired up‘ is a term used to describe crested geckos that have changed color from dull to bright.

When a crested gecko is ‘fired up,’ its colors become more vibrant and striking. The dark and orange spots become darker, and the reds become brighter.

Look at the bellow image:

Normal VS Fired Up

Now the burning question is, why does a crested gecko get ‘fired up’?

The most common answer is that a crested gecko gets ‘fired up’ when it feels stressed, scared, wants to communicate with other geckos, or even when it’s healthy and active.

However, the scientific biological reason why crested geckos have this trait is still unknown.

Some say it’s a response to stressful situations, while others believe it’s a reaction to high humidity.

What Makes A Crested Gecko Fired Up?

  • When it becomes stressed or you handle it aggressively.
  • When it’s exposed to bright or intense lighting.
  • During the breeding season, when males become more territorial and agitated.
  • When it senses a potential threat or predator in its vicinity.

Here are the detailed explanations:

Reason 1: Stress

One of the main reasons crested geckos change their color is because they’re stressed.

These little creatures are super sensitive to what’s happening around them. They use their color-changing ability to protect themselves when they feel threatened.

Let’s see how stress can make them change colors:

  • Too Much Handling: If you handle your crested geckos too often or not very gently, it can stress them out. When they feel scared or uneasy, they typically change colors to warn potential predators to stay away.
  • Sudden Changes in Environment: When the things around them change suddenly, like the temperature getting really hot or loud noises, it can stress them out too.
  • Other Animals Nearby: Even if other animals aren’t trying to eat them, just being near them can stress out crested geckos.

So be careful about how you handle and create a comfortable environment for your crested gecko.

And keep in mind that other pets can stress them out, so give them some space and peace.

Reason 2: Environmental Triggers

IMG Credit: u/YearRelevant

Crested geckos are very aware of their surroundings.

They originally come from places with different temperatures during the day.

When the temperature changes, they adjust their body temperature by becoming more active or less active.

But, you can also use UVB lights!

Although UVB lights are not a must for crested geckos, having them can make your gecko behave more naturally.

UVB lights imitate the sun and can make your gecko change colors as if it were responding to real daylight.

Reason 3: Communication

IMG Credit: u/Smug-Bug

They change colors to talk to other geckos.

When they get excited, they look more attractive to possible partners by making their colors brighter.

This is called “flaring up.

This color change is very important during the mating season.

It helps them get noticed by potential mates. 

This behavior helps them communicate if they are ready to mate and how they feel about geckos nearby.

But they don’t just change colors for mating. Crested geckos can also show their feelings to other geckos through color. For example, when they feel strong or confident, they might make their colors more intense to show their mood to nearby geckos.

How You Can Get Your Crested Gecko Fired Up?

IMG Credit: u/identikitten

First of all, as mentioned earlier, firing up is a natural process, and you should never try to force your gecko!

They can’t fire up on their own, but you can assist them in getting fired up by creating the right conditions and environment.

Here’s what to do:

  • Maintain the appropriate humidity levels: Crested geckos tend to fire up more when the humidity is around 70%. Mist the enclosure and your gecko to establish favorable environmental conditions.
  • Keep the temperature at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit: A temperature around 80 degrees Fahrenheit can help your crested gecko fire up. However, avoid subjecting them to high temperatures (above 85 degrees Fahrenheit) for extended periods, as this can lead to overheating.
  • Provide the right lighting: Crested geckos often fire up at night when there’s minimal light. This might be a way to conceal themselves from predators by adopting darker colors.

Firing up is generally harmless unless it’s a result of prolonged stress.

Don’t intentionally stress your gecko to fire it up. Instead, observe its behavior during dusk and nighttime when it’s most likely to fire up.


Q: Why do crested geckos change color (fire up)?

Crested geckos change color primarily as a response to various factors such as stress, mood, environmental triggers, and communication with other geckos.

This behavior is called “firing up,” and it’s a natural and adaptive process.

Q: Can I force my crested gecko to fire up?

No, you should never force your crested gecko to fire up.

It’s a natural response to their environment and well-being, and attempting to induce it can stress your gecko.

Instead, focus on providing the right conditions and care for them.

Q: What is the purpose of UVB lighting for crested geckos and firing up?

UVB lighting helps crested geckos by mimicking natural sunlight, which is essential for their health.

UVB helps them metabolize calcium, necessary for their bone health and can play a role in encouraging firing up as it replicates their natural environment.

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