Stepping in poop

There are some things that every reptile keeper dreads doing.  Whether it is cleaning tanks, working with crickets (not my personal favorite), photography, or writing articles.  My wife has become more and more active in the hobby/business of late, and this has been a huge help, but she simply hates cleaning poop.  One would assume everyone does, right?  Well, not me. I enjoy this activity immensely.  Crazy?  Yes, but why would I enjoy this dreaded activity?

No, it is not because I really enjoy the smell of gecko poo.  While it is unlikely you will have much aroma from most gecko's shi.... um stool, there is still some 'stench'.  How about the fact that I like the feel of picking up gecko poop.  Ok, now I am just being gross.  Yes, I pickup gecko poop with my fingers.  Ugh you may be thinking.  Well, I thoroughly wash them before cleaning the tanks... I mean AFTER- AFTER cleaning the tanks!  I don't mind the feel of gecko poop but, I tell you what, there's not that many things worse than in haste, assuming that you are picking up a dried up little lump of bark-like poop, only to find out the gecko just left you this little bundle that is now squeezing through your thumb and forefinger like a jello pudding pop.  Now THAT is gross! 

Do I enjoy the time it takes to clean gecko dirt from all the enclosures?  Absolutely NOT!  There are so many other things that I can think of that I would much rather be doing than potty patrol.

But there is the key-  the time it take to do the toilet troll for the geckos, I have time to think about what I would like to do with our pets.  From breeding projects- matching this female to that male, to building new stands, to designing new toys for the enclosures (like the foam ledge), to even thinking about new ideas and articles for you all on the Supreme Gecko page.  Some of my best inspiration comes from the hours of picking poops from the bottoms of gecko enclosures. My phone (voice messages) or little note pad are always close by for that moment of glorified brilliance that occasionally hits me (or at least will one of these days).

Another benefit to cleaning the crud is the opportunity this affords me to look at the animals, I mean really look at the animals.  Nanette, the person that keeps this hobby/business humming, can clean and feed all the leos, pictus, and aussies in about an hour and a half (that's well over 250 animals)!  Me, I take the whole morning-  4-5 hours!  I commend her that she can race through the room but she knows I'm putzing with the pets and accepts my lethargy.

So, whether it is to break away from the day-to-day and focus on the what-if or to take a closer look at your animals, I can not recommend more for you to 'get your fingers' dirty.  Keeping these two benefits in mind, it won't take long for you to Enjoy Cleaning Your Gecko's Poop, like I do.


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As I walked toward the leopard room, the run-away darted under our utility cart. Lygodactylus kimhowelli I was checking out the size of the tiny crickets in the feeding cup at the time so I barely noticed it.  Moving the cart, I quickly realized it was NOT a cricket and knew right away WHAT IT WAS!  There was a Loose Little Lygo.  Right there on the cold basement floor.

The Lygodactylus kimhowelli adult pair are housed in a 10 gallon, screened top glass enclosure.  Puck light heat and high intensity fluorescents brighten the enclosure.  In the tank, wedged tightly in a little crevice on their cork bark we found eggs a while back.  With no way to get the bark out to claim the eggs, we allowed them to stay in the tank, being very careful whenever we misted not to get the eggs wet.  I knew the parents allow hatchlings in their enclosure without bothering them and somehow thought I would be lucky enough to see them soon scooting around the tank.  Well, it didn't quite work that way.

The cricket cup was put aside, the cart moved, and an empty deli cup and piece of paper used to capture the little lygo.  Although I knew the babies of these pint size little jewels would be small, I did not expect THIS small.  I setup a makeshift tall deli cup to hold them initially as they will go into a more permanent setup in the next day or so.  Barely longer than a penny, it will be difficult to find appropriate sized food for these little guys.  We usually get a cricket hatch once a week or two in one of our leopard gecko enclosures (warm and moist lay box) so I will be looking for a few tiny crickets to get them up to size.  Wish me luck!

Lygodactylus kimhowelli baby

    L. kimhowelli baby


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This Friday/Saturday/Sunday, Supreme Gecko will be heading down the Chicago way to Tinley Park for the 2012 Spring NARBC show.  For those waiting out until the Fall show, you are missing out.  This is a great place to meet well informed vendors and see some amazing animals!


NARBC 2012 Tinley Park

Click on the logo for a listing of vendors and directions

Some of the animals we will be bringing


A wonderful red crested. 


Another outstanding red.  A great addition to your crested project!



Nice mahogony harley


Very nice harley


Another lighter, blonde harley... but look at that tail,and the pins!


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Look who's Pet of the day.  We had a reptile show today and could not go due to the snow.  Speckles was moping around the house but once I told him that he was featured as Pet of the Day, his spirits lifted immediately!

Click photo to see other Pets of the Day

Speckles-  Pet of the Day


Speckles - Pet of the Day

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Cyrtodactylus kimberleyensis

Dr. Aaron Bauer of the Villanova University and Dr. Paul Doughty of the Western Australian Museum report the discovery in a paper, published online yesterday in the journal Zootaxa.

The new species, named Cyrtodactylus kimberleyensis, is described on the basis of one female specimen measuring 45.1 mm (1.78”) in body length, with a tail about 53 mm (2.09”), and weighing 2.5 g.

“The new species is one of the smallest in the genus and is the first Cyrtodactylus known from Western Australia,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

The species name refers to the Kimberley, the region of its discovery in northern Western Australia.

“East Montalivet Island is more than 30 km off the coastline in the extreme north of the Kimberley, making it one of the most isolated islands of the region. The discovery of a Cyrtodactylus from such a location is especially surprising given that no Cyrtodactylus is known from the Kimberley mainland, or indeed from any areas within Australia outside of northern Queensland, on the other side of the continent.”

The researchers found this tiny bent-toed gecko in a vine thicket on a lateritic slope on the island.

They note that the collected female specimen carried only one egg measuring 9.4 mm x 5.3 mm.

“Like most gekkotans, Cyrtodactylus spp. typically produce two eggs per clutch,” the team wrote. “Single egg clutches are uncommon in the Gekkonidae, but do occur, chiefly in miniaturized lineages. If a single egg clutch is normal for C. kimberleyensis, it would be the first member of its genus known to do so.”

The island, on which C. kimberleyensis was discovered, harbors many other species of reptiles such as the gekkotan lizards Heteronotia binoei and Delma borea Kluge, the skinks Carlia johnstonei Storr, C. triacantha, Ctenotus inornatus, Eremiascincus isolepis, Lerista walkeri, and the elapid snake Parasuta nigriceps.



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