The holidays are approaching and herp-minded people are searching for gifts for their herp-loving friends. While living gifts are always appreciated, reference books also have a long shelf- life and can be invaluable to reptile keepers at all levels. Here are reviews of some of the classic gecko related books. All of these books titles are linked to Amazon where you can easily place orders to make it in time for Christmas:
Leopard Gecko Books:
The Leopard Gecko Manual by Philippe de Vosjoli with Roger Klingenberg: Advanced Vivarium Systems, 2001.
The Leopard Gecko in Captivity by Robbie Hamper: ECO Herpetological Publishing & Distribution, 2004.
Both of these books provide clear, straightforward accounts of how to care for and breed leopard geckos and, in less detail, African fat tail geckos. Either can serve as a good beginner text providing much of the information a new keeper requires. The difference between them is largely in the emphasis of some of the details: The Leopard Gecko Manual, which is an updated version of the original classic 1990 release, dedicates a bit more space to naturalistic vivaria and to the scientific aspect of breeding. It also contains a short chapter about other eublipharids (eyelid geckos). The Leopard Gecko in Captivity, written more recently, devotes an entire section to the latest (circa 2004) morphs with definitions and many lovely photos.
The Herpetoculture of Leopard Geckos, by Philippe de Vosjoli, Ron Tremper and Roger Klingenberg: Advanced Visions Inc.,2005.
While this book also contains basic care information, the emphasis here is on breeding and morph development. The book is subtitled “Twenty-seven Generations of Living Art” and co-author Ron Tremper is well-known as a commercial breeder and developer of new leopard gecko morphs. More than a third of the book is devoted to leopard gecko morphs and genetics. This book is worth owning for the photographs it contains. In addition to excellent photos of specific leopard gecko morphs, there are also photographs of care and breeding equipment, naturalistic vivaria and plants which can be used in these habitats. This book is a wonderful and worthwhile gift for the novice and advanced leopard gecko keeper alike.
Crested Gecko Books:
Crested Geckos by Philippe de Vosjoli: Advanced Vivarium Systems, 2005.
Crested Geckos by Adam Black: T.F.H. Publications, 2005
Once again, both books provide basic care and breeding information about crested geckos with short sections at the end of the book about other Rhacodactylus species. De Vosjoli’s book devotes a great deal of space to crested gecko morphs and selective breeding, with a series of excellent photographs. The volume by Adam Black is most notable for a large number of sidebars with concise information about a variety of topics (e.g. “Salmonella Risks”, “The Importance of Supplements”).
Other Gecko Books:
Day Geckos in Captivity, by Leann and Greg Christenson: LIVING ART PUBLISHING, 2003.
This book could be considered as a modern “Bible” of day gecko (Phelsuma) keeping. Each species of day gecko, extinct as well as extant, is briefly profiled in the final section of the book. The book’s real value, however, is in the extensive and well documented information about habitat creation, supplementation and lighting, all of which are instrumental for successful day gecko husbandry. It should be considered a “must-have” for anyone contemplating the addition of day geckos to their collection.
Geckos, edited by Julie Bergman: Advanced Vivarium Systems, 2006.
Julie Bergman, owner of The Gecko Ranch and current president of the Global Gecko Association has put together a useful reference book covering the entire Gekkota order. The first five chapters are devoted to very general information about care and housing of geckos. The remaining six chapters describe groups of geckos from specific geographic areas or habitats in terms of their characteristics and care with specific mention of the species most often found in the pet trade: leopard geckos and other eublipharids, day geckos, other madagascar geckos, tokay geckos, New Caledonian geckos, desert dwelling geckos. Most of the photographs in the book are of the specific gecko species described. This book, as a care guide, is no substitute for a volume devoted solely to a specific gecko species but is invaluable as an overview of the range and variety of gecko species in the world.