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 http://www.reptilepublications.com
Marcia McGuinnessVisit Website
Marcia McGuiness is the owner of Golden Gate Geckos, the former Vice President of the Global Gecko Association, as well as an Advisor for the online community 'Reptile Culture'. She has been working with geckos since 1995, and currently breeds leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), fat-tail geckos (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus), western banded geckos (Coloenyx variegatus sp.), and three Australian knobtail species (Nephrurus levis, Nephrurus wheeleri, Nephrurus amyae and Nephrurus milii). She also keeps green tree pythons (Morelia viridis) and Australian jungle carpet pythons (Morelia spilota cheynei). She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband Glenn, has two grown children, and 5 grandchildren.