Anthony Caponetto Reptiles

Crested Geckos, Ball Pythons, Carpet Pythons

 
3 things most people don't know about crested geckos...

acreptiles-c-bannerIf you're one of the people who come here for pythons and haven't seriously looked at Crested Geckos, there's probably a number of things you didn't know.  For starters, I'm not a gecko guy!!! I'm a snake guy - I like the ease of care, low maintenance, and I don't much care for having bugs in my house (not such a problem since I now have a separate facility).

I got into crested geckos after learning how different they are from other geckos/lizards.  Here are the top three (practical) reasons that I made the decision to get into crested geckos, and other Rhacodactylus species, like gargoyle geckos.

1. No heating equipment necessary.
No kidding. These geckos do best at 70-82F - Anything hotter than that is actually bad. We even incubate the eggs on a shelf at room temperature.

2. No insects necessary.
No kidding. There is a commercially available powdered diet (just mix with water) that provides all the nutrients they need. Just provide fresh water and food every 3 days or so and that's it.  We recommend insects be fed occasionally, and on a regular basis (at least once a week) if the geckos are breeding.

3. Crested Geckos VERY rarely have health problems.
I've kept just about every commonly kept reptile species you'll seen in a pet store and the crested gecko is, by far, the most "bullet-proof". As long as they're kept cool and provided with fresh food and water every few days, you really can't kill these things! That said, don't buy one for your kids and expect it to die in a few years. These geckos live at least 15-20 years easily.

 

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2013 Agent Orange LesserWho we are...

If this is your first time here, welcome to acreptiles.com, the online home of Anthony Caponetto Reptiles. 95% of what we produce is either crested geckos or ball pythons

I have kept reptiles for most of my life now, starting with some anoles at the age of seven and graduating to a big Burmese python by my senior year of high school.  After college, in 2001, I began putting together my existing collection.  I maintain a decent "personal collection" consisting of several other species...carpet pythons, blood pythons, roughly a half dozen boa species, gargoyle geckos, a few tokay geckos, and my mourning geckos.

Crested Geckos
The crested gecko is a species I really can't say enough good things about, and they make up the majority of our sales and reptile production.  I started off keeping pythons in 2001 and then got my first crested geckos in 2003. I quickly became obsessed with producing designer crested geckos.  We pioneered (and named) several designer gecko morphs that are household names today, like the Red Harlequin/Pinistripe, the Super Stripe, and the Phantom Pinstripe, just to name a few.  To my knowledge, we are home to the largest colony of selectively bred crested geckos in the world, and the world's third largest breeder of crested geckos overall.  We are still growing steadily, and plan to release some really exciting new projects in 2014.

2013 Holey Firefly

Ball Pythons
This is a species most people aren't aware I've been keeping since before I got my first crested gecko! I didn't really get serious about them until 2009, so the brunt of my work with ball pythons has been geared toward raising and producing female morphs.

As I'm sure you know, ball python prices tanked this season...so, just like when this happened in 2009, I went out and bought up a lot of POWERFUL future breeder males.  I have ramped up with 3-4 each of enchi combo males, leopard combo males, and banana/combo males.  This should be the last wave of new males I have to buy before I come out with lots of good stuff for sale.  About the market - I've been watching since the ball python craze started in the late 90's, and I've noticed prices tend to hold for a few years and then there needs to be a re-adjustment period - which is when you see prices tank in a hurry.  Provided you're in this for the long haul, these downturns are nothing to be scared of. 

As of October 2013, our 2013 breeding season for ball pythons is still going strong, and I still have clutches to be laid...that means my last 2013 clutches will hatch in January of 2014!

If you haven't seen or heard a photo here and there on Facebook, several of my "new" projects have finally been proven genetic...now it's time to go to the drawing board and see if I can't make some worthwhile combos.  On this page are the Agent Orange Lesser and the Holey Pastel (Hotel).

Thanks as always for visiting our website, and be sure to check out our online store!


- Anthony Caponetto

 

 

 

 
Crested Gecko Prices

Lavender & Tangerine Pinstripe - This is one of the most valuable geckos in the hobby today.One thing you'll no doubt notice when you start shopping for a crested gecko is that prices can range from around $35 to $2,000 or more (yes, crazy things are starting to happen in the crested gecko world).  

"Why would I spend $300 to $2,000 on a fancy gecko when I can get a crested gecko for $50 at Petco?"

You might find yourself saying "I could see that for something less common like a leachie or chahoua, but not a crested gecko!"

In reality, the most popular reptile species in the pet trade all have extreme high and low priced versions.  Normal leopard geckos go for $19, yet new morphs commonly bring several thousand dollars.  Ball pythons can also be had for around $19, but the newest and most popular morphs fetch prices in the tens of thousands.  It's because of their popularity as a pet that normal specimens are bred in numbers and can be had for cheap...but their popularity also causes demand for higher end specimens amongst breeders and serious hobbyists.  

So to answer that question, a $300 crested gecko, to many breeders, is more valuable than a $300 leachie or chahoua.  This is because they're easier to breed, more predictable, more popular as a species and because they will produce more offspring.

 

Read more: Crested Gecko Prices
 
Downturns in the Ball Python Market

Pastel Leopard EnchiAs many of us are aware, ball python market is at an all time low - or is it?  Sure, if you look at the price of any morph and what it cost five years ago, it will be less expensive today.  But why would you expect to get ahead producing/selling the same thing that was hot a few years ago?  The idea is to move forward. Think about how many triple or quadruple gene combos have taken that morphs place at that particular price point.  Single gene co-dom morphs have long replaced the normals in our clutches, meaning we have fewer and fewer snakes to offload for ten bucks each to pet shops.  Now, the byproduct snakes we produce are single gene and double gene morphs, still worth decent money compared to normals.  

With prices down this year (2013), I concentrated on producing morph females I needed, and on a few of the newly proven mutations that I've collected over the years. I also did a lot of trading and bought quite a few new future breeder males, all for very reasonable prices - yet still enough money to leave a smile on the faces of the breeders I bought them from.  Last time the market was down, about 2009-2010, I invested in a number of morphs that didn't fall at all until I was actually producing them. From an investment standpoint, I feel comfortable with where I am with those projects.

Read more: Downturns in the Ball Python Market
 
Your cages are too small!

Rack system for housing hatchling to juvenile ball pythons and carpet pythonsWhen non-reptile-keepers see my snake collection, a common question, or concern, is why the snakes are kept in such seemingly small enclosures.  I have even had inexperienced keepers accuse me of housing my snakes in inhumane enclosures.  "What kind of life is that?" one of them said.

Many people who are just starting out in the hobby think it's ideal to give their snake a "naturalistic" home...and then they approach this by putting it in a giant glass box, with a big ass spot light shining on it, usually on green "astro turf" style carpet....and don't forget the plastic plants!

Read more: Your cages are too small!
 


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