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.
OPENING THE BOXES
Hemidactylus ruspoli - simply outstanding
Lygodactylus kimhowelli and Lygodactylus Cape Yellow Head
Lygodactylus laterimaculatus and the 10 gallon (temporary) setups