Gingerbread man

You've heard the age old verse for the gingerbread Man- "Run, run as fast as you can.  You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man".  As my wife baked Christmas cookies a few weeks ago with her sisters and mother, I had to announce that the Gingerbread man was on the loose!

I've worked with some pretty quick little geckos in the past.  You get use to their movements, their habits, their idiosyncrasies.  I know when they are relaxed, alerted, and when they are ready to run.  I know how quickly most geckos move when escaping, where they will run, and how far they will run until they feel safe. It's not based on reading books or that I am just that smart.  It is through observation and doing the wrong thing a couple of times, then learning from it.

A few months ago, I purchased a few groups of smaller day geckos from the genus Lygodactylus.  Not the most colorful animals but certainly they have their nice markings and subdued colors, but they are little characters these hummingbirds of the gecko world.  They went into the Lygodactylus kimhowellionly enclosures I had available- 10 gallons supplied with a sand/peat substrate, cork bark to climb on, a plant to hide in, and high intensity lights.  The one bad feature of these setups is the screen top.  Not acceptable for fast moving gecko.  New enclosures are being build as I write this but those screen tops... they are so difficult to work with!

Back to cookie making day (funny how my mind always diverts to food). While the ladies were baking, I was feeding the animals downstairs.  I was finishing up with the Lygos and started opening the first tank top while watching the behavior of the male closest to the top.  Funny, he looked right up to the top as I opened it, not looking for a hiding place to run to.  I closed the top, the gecko resumed resting position. I cracked back open the top and the head pivoted right to the screen.  Uh oh, he was on to me (the female by this time had dove behind the cork bark)!  Well, I will watch for any sudden movement and quickly close the top if I need to.

As I lifted the screen top and moved in to pickup the food cup from the bottom of the enclosure, with my eyes peeled on this little Speed Racer, it happened! I didn't even have a chance to close the top one centimeter. The gecko leapt onto the screen, onto my arm, and used it as a launching pad right onto the floor.  I had just enough time to realize what happened and just begin the thought process of what to do next , when as fast as the Gingerbread Man, the 2 inch gecko zipped the 10 feet right under the furnace! Gone! And me still holding the screen top open with dropped jaw.

It was 3 days later when I next saw him.  I knew I would again, it was just a matter of time.  Hiding behind some screen cages, I spent a half hour moving this cage, then that cage, then positioning the deli cup, then, when he was done playing with me and my stress level was at its peak, zoom off he was back to the furnace.  Two days later and I saw a flash above the sink dashing behind one of the basement rafters (still in the reptile room.  I knew I would have another chance but when.

Last Sunday night, I invited all the boys down to feed the crested geckos.  As we finished up, Tim loudly proclaimed "There it is!".  Sure enough, right back behind the same screen cage.  I set the team in position with deli cups and we began the strategic capture, the four of us surrounding the poor little gecko. Within minutes this time though, Jordan smartly guided the deli cup over the startled Lygo and with top slapped on, we moved it back into its 10 gallon home.  So, how many gecko keepers does it take.......

Now, I would feel embarrassed enough if this were the end of the story but, it gets worse.  Yesterday, while again feeding, the male bolted on me again.  Tim entered the room and diverted my attention just long enough for the gecko to find the opening and zip two tanks over (yes, I'm blaming my son).

This time however, he and I with deli cups perfectly positioned caught the little bugger.  The funny thing is that as I was herding the gecko toward the cups, he turned toward my hand instead. I took the chance and scooped up the gecko barehanded.  There must be a saying I can use here- "A Gecko in the Hand is Worth......"   I know one thing, I cannot wait for those new tanks to be finished!

 

 


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Suggestions

In our 12 Supreme Days of Christmas Give Away, I asked you for suggestions to improve this web site.  Thank you for taking the time to give such great suggestions.  Below, you will find them listed, in order of duplicates, and my responses.  Before continueing though, let me note that many of you knew about my work schedule (70 hour weeks for most of the year).  Not an excuse but I did have to prioritize my responsibilities and updating the page fell quite a bit lower than taking care of the animals as best as I could.  2012 will be different.

1. More Pictures-  Many want to see pictures of our crested geckos, leopard geckos, and others- both breeders and available (to be covered later).  I have several groups of breeders not listed on the page and have begun adding as of last week (added 3 new crested groups) but, I will continue this and hopefully by the end of January will be caught up.

 

Suggestions

In our 12 Supreme Days of Christmas Give Away, I asked you for suggestions to improve this web site.  Thank you for taking the time to give me such great ideas.  Below, you will find them listed, in order of duplicates, and my responses.  I am really looking forward to 2015 and what they year will bring.

 

WEB PAGES- NEW CONTENT

There were a number of requests for special sections on the web page such as Ask a Question and I Give an Answer, 10 Fun Facts about a Gecko, Fan of the Month (and ultimately of the Year), and a Hobbyist/Rescue of the Month.

In 2015, I will include more of these features.  The Fan of the Month is a great idea and I love the Q&A in a blog type of format.  Want to be Fan of the Month?  Send me an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Email HERE.

 

WEB PAGES-MORE CONTENT

Everyone wants more, more, more.  So do I!  There was an emphasis on having a Beginner section/Beginner Literature.  I do have a FAQ section and will add more content as a focus for beginners.  Also, you would like to see more Caresheets.  I have some but I will focus on more in 2015 as well.  Also, you want to see more Meet the Hobbyist.  This will be done as well.  Finally, someone wants to see more on leos.  As there is already a plethora of info on leos, I may add some to SG but probably not much.  Want to be featured in Meet the Hobbyist?  Send me an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

WEB PAGE-FORMAT

This is difficult as there are some layout restrictions inherent on the Design I’ve selected.  You are hoping I can make it easier to navigate, more mobile friendly, more attractive, and easier to manage comments.   Really, the only one that I do have some control over is navigation.  I will be working on this over the next month. 

 

WEB PAGE-MISC.

It is suggested that I update the page more often AND that I have 2 admins.  Well, that might just work!   I will certainly be adding a lot of content this year.  An Admin would really help things out!  Let me know if you would like to volunteer  :)

 

FACEBOOK CHANGES

You would like to see 1. More Albums (esp. Available Animals) 2. More info about me and 3. More Fun Stuff.   I’ve already started creating more albums.  I will update my ABOUT page shortly, and I can incorporate more fun activities between the web page and with Facebook.  Realize, I do have 2 pages-  one for Wally Kern and one for Supreme Gecko.  Most gecko stuff will be posted this year on the SG page.

 

SUPREME GECKO-STORE

Another carry over from last year-  More Available Animals.  Well, this year we caught up and now have animals on the available page.  More will be coming in ’15.  You would also like to see video and more pictures (different poses) on the animals.  This will be done as well.

 

YOUTUBE

More Videos!!!  Ok, I get it. Last year only 7 were added.  This year, I promise between 26-52!  How’s that!!!

 

REPTILE SHOWS

It is obvious I have slowed down vending shows.  I went from around 30 a couple years ago to only 6 last year.  My plan in 2015 would be to be somewhere in the lower middle-  10-12ish (including Tinley and maybe Iowa).

 

12 SUPREME DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (2015)

Someone thought it would be a good idea to add a 12SDOC Facebook page.  You want it, you got it!

 

Hurry and like it!  You only have 11 months left!   12 Supreme Days of Christmas - 2015 

Did I miss any?

 

 

2014 Suggestions-  for anyone's interested-

1. Keep doin' what yer doin'  Done, and then some.  We re-initiated The Most Underrated Gecko, Hit Instagram in full stride, appeared on a number of Radio Shows, and started three big projects that we are hoping for completion by early 2015.

2. More Videos-  Not done.  We created 7 new videos (I know, you want more!). 

3. More Giveaways-  Not done.  Sorry.     

4. More Web Page Updates-  Partially Done.  We kept up fairly well with site updates last year.  I posted animals when I could and added a few articles.  

5. Update the web page-  Not Done, but Not planned.  

6. Expand Gecko Lines-  Done-  I offered a few new geckos in 2014 (Hemidacylus ruspoli, H. tanganicus, Paroedura stumpffi, and a couple others).

7. Education- Not Done-  my focus was on one aspect of education in 2014 but it has yet to lift up off the ground. 

8. Recruit new people into the Hobby-  Done-  I see significant gains in my FB, Twitter, Instagram followers.  Not quite sure how I measure this any better.

9. Auctions-  Not Done

10. Instagram account- Done-  This blossomed in full last year.  We are already up to 1,750 followers. 

11. Misc.-  

Different geckos I keep adding more and more.

More Hardgoods-Decor (Chase)  Done

More Pictures (Jan)  Done- but we are posting more on Instagram and FB than anywhere else.

More Posts to FB (Julie C.)  Done

Articles-Reader Participatoin (Julie K.)  Not Done.

Update Camera -  Not Done, our camera is just fine, but I did receive some great lessons from Margaret S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The odds were against us this year. Two males and one female (het for Red).  2 eggs and one went bad within the first week.  How could I ever hope for a red pictus gecko in this breeding season?

I received the males and the female Paroedura picta a couple of years ago.  The males are just beautiful. Not glowing red (not Red Bull Red!) but a wonderful brand new reddish-orange basketball.  The first year, no eggs.  Not that I was too worried about getting eggs the first year. I wanted to fatten up the female for this year's breeding season.

Unfortunately, the two eggs was far less than I had hoped for this year.  And then to see one go bad.  Frustration. 

So, when I went down to check on the animals last night, opened the egg container, and sighted the glowing orange hatchling, it made my night (dare I say year)! 

2012 will be a fun year for us with this wonderful little gecko.  I think there is so much untapped beauty in this mini gecko.

 

Pictus baby

Pictus-  Normal Color

Pictus Red Baby

Pictus Red Baby (2 days old) (note- its left front foot is buried in the sand)

 

 


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Two shipments (inbound) in one week. Life is good.  Works has been crazy, NARBC was great for us- lots of fun and we were fortunate to have some nice animals for sale.  But It has been a heck of a last few months.  This was my treat. Two boxes coming in the mail full of geckos!

This story goes back about a year ago when, at the 2010 NARBC Tinley show, friends were talking about animals I had never heard of.  I nodded in agreement like I knew what they were talking about.... 'Yeah, they're great"... no clue!  I had to learn more about other geckos than leopard and cresteds... and pictus.

During this past year, I've added Urodactylus, day geckos, and australians to our collection.  They are all beautiful but it wasn't until the Spring/Summer SEWERFest that I found a type that absolutely fascinated me.  From Phil Tremper, I obtained a trio of Gonatodes vittatus.  These are very unique animals.  Small but fascinating.  They are durnial (day active) and active like little humming birds.  I was hooked on these little 'Non-Phelsuma' day geckos.   I had to try my hand at more of these Pint Sized Jewels.

I did lots of research, both on the internet and from a great little book called Day Geckos (Professional Breeders Series) by F. Bruse - M. Meyer - W. Schmidt.  What an outstanding source of information about these geckos.  The book includes the genus Phelsuma, Lygodactylus, Sphaerodactylus, Naultinus, and of course Gonatodes.  

Then the search started.  As we neared the 2011 NARBC Tinley show, I hoped to find one or two different species.  Well, I only found one but it was what I feel is the nicest species of the 4 attainable genus above- Sphaerodactylus torrei.  What a beautiful animal!   I nabbed it Friday and had several people stop by our table to have a look knowing I had acquired the pair.

Then after Tinley, I again started looking around for perhaps a Lygodactylus or two.

Last week, Jon Boone, one of the most traveled and knowledgeable gecko keepers around, posted a list that included Lygodactylus kimhowelli and other outstanding animals.  An Email was sent and the l pair of Lygos (as well as another outstanding animal you will see in a moment).  The next day, I spoke to Linda from Switzer Reptiles.  What a wonderful person.  She knew exactly what I was looking for- information and a pair or two of these gems.  We arranged to have 3 different pairs shipped, which suddenly became 9 animals! (thank you Linda).

So, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday I scrambled moving animals and setting up temporary holding tanks for the new arrivals.  I setup a bunch of 10 gallons with lighting, sticks, corkbark, peatmoss/sand substrate and live plants.  The very special animal (I'll share in a minute, I promise!) were setup in separate 15 qt. enclosures sort of like leopard geckos.

Then they came in- Wednesday, from Jon, I received the pair of Lygodactylus kimhowelli- much bigger than I had anticipated.  Still they are no giants at only about 3 inches mature!  Jon was kind enough to mention that he had an extra male P. androyensis for my FIVE females... lucky male.  The male looked up to the task as I retrieved his deli cup.  At the bottom of the box was the Hemidactylus ruspoli.  They were better looking than I espected and I expected a LOT!.  Down to the facility I went to proudly put away the animals.

And then the next day- Linda's animals. 4 Lygodactylus laterimaculatus, 3 Cape Yellow Head Lygos, and finally 3 more L. kimhowelli.  The animals acclimated so quickly they were looking for food within hours.

Now the fun part starts- watching their behavior and waiting for eggs and hatchlings.

 

Sometimes the best gifts come in Small Packages... and UPS boxes.

 

Gecko Shipment from Jon Boone    Gecko Shipment

OPENING THE BOXES

 

Hemidactylus ruspoli

Hemidactylus ruspoli - simply outstanding

 

Lygodactylus kimhowelli     Cape Yellow Head gecko

Lygodactylus kimhowelli and Lygodactylus Cape Yellow Head

 

Lygodactylus angularus      Lygodactylus setup

Lygodactylus laterimaculatus and the 10 gallon (temporary) setups

 

Paroedura androyensis

Paroedura androyensis

 

Sphaerodactylus torrie

Sphaerodactylus torrei

 

 


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