Book Review: “A Guide to Australian Geckos & Pygopods in Captivity”

Having an ardent interest in Australian reptile species, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review this 352-page installment  written by Dr. Danny Brown as part of a 7-book series (“A Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians” by Reptile Publications), 4 of which he has authored. I paid particular attention to the species I keep, as well as some of the species I have been curious about.  I found a plethora of information wrapped up neatly in this book, although some of it may not be perfectly aligned with my own husbandry practices, experience, or theories. But, let’s all agree that there is scarce information published for Aussie gecko breeders, keepers, and enthusiasts available, and word of mouth or trial and error have been the only husbandry protocol and information… until now.

Dr. Dan’s “A Guide to Australian Geckos & Pygopods in Captivity” is chock full of comprehensive material that is sure to keep the reader engaged.  The photographs are fabulous, and it’s especially gratifying to see images of the native Australian habitats for the various gecko species spotlighted in this book. Detailed descriptions of the animals are plentiful, but ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

To some well-seasoned veterans keeping or breeding Australian gecko species, some of the material in the book might seem redundant or elementary, however the information is quite thorough and straightforward for the majority. Readers who are expecting a technical, college textbook may be disappointed… but for the average to above average reader, “A Guide to Australian Geckos & Pygopods in Captivity” is a must-have.

The only constructive criticism of this book I would have is that the table of contents is a little cumbersome to navigate, but will get you where you want to go. The only other feature that would have made this book perfect for people like me who don’t know all the geography of Australia would have been to see detailed range maps for the individual species, and how they might overlap for the subspecies/localities. The only other downside is that the book retails at $70.00, which is pretty pricey for most of our budgets in this economy.

All in all, I give this book a 4-1/2 star rating, and am thrilled to have this wonderful resource in my book collection to take out and read time, and time again.

Information about this book and the series can be found at

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Written by Marcia McGuinness

Marcia McGuiness has been the owner of Golden Gate Geckos for 20 years, where she has worked with Leopard Geckos, African Fat-tails, Australian smooth and rough Knobtails, Australian Thick-tails, and Western Banded Geckos.  She has authored many articles, been an active advisor on several gecko-related online communities, as well as hosted and made guest appearances on Blog Talk Radio.  Marcia is coming to the end of her legacy as she and her husband prepare to retire to their home in Mariposa, CA., in the Sierra foothills near Yosemite National Park.

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