I'm a private reptile breeder/hobbyist and I live in the Kansas City, Missouri metro area. I was born here in 1977 and have lived here all my life. Although I have to say, Kansas City isn't exactly my style...if it weren't for my friends and family, I'd probably move away in a heartbeat (not kidding).

I'm primarily known for carpet pythons and crested geckos, but they aren't the only species I keep.  I have a number of others as well...mostly other pythons and geckos.  You'll see all kinds of stuff pictured throughout my website, which I own or have owned in the past.

How I got started with reptiles...
Like many reptile keepers, there really wasn't a definitive starting point.  I've been fascinated with animals of all kinds, not just reptiles, my entire life.  If you could keep large cats without the risk of being eaten, I'd probably have a breeding colony of those too. :)

Anyway, I've had reptiles off and on from the time I was a little kid.  I started by catching toads and ringneck snakes out in the back yard as a little kid and now that I don't have anyone telling me "no more reptiles", I have a fairly sizeable collection. 

I kept lizards, newts and different species of toads and frogs as a kid, but snakes were always the most fascinating to me...and of course, the toughest sell with my mom.  My dad had actually owned a python in the past and my mom didn't mind the snakes...the problem was that she felt sorry for the feeder rodents.  I finally got the OK to get a corn snake when I was about 13...the guy at the pet store said they ate crickets and even though I knew better, I took full advantage. :)  I came home with the corn snake and a dozen crickets.  The crickets didn't get eaten, so we quickly got past the rodent thing...mom just didn't want to see them.  Once I got past that, it was time to go for the "real deal" (pythons and boas).  I got a ball python shortly after the corn snake and then a common boa.  I really liked the idea of a huge snake, so I got a Burmese python when I was in high school. After that, it didn't take long to figure out that big snakes aren't for me. I kept the Burmese python for quite some time, simply because I couldn't find anyone who wanted a giant rabbit-eating snake.  This was the mid 90's and there was no such thing as a website to sell snakes on.  The next snakes I got were a pair of spotted pythons...talk about one extreme to the other!  What I really wanted were carpet pythons, but the nice ones were a little out of my price range back then.

When I was about 19 years old, I got rid of my snakes because I was working full-time and taking some college courses, so I didn't have the time or money to take care of them.  Getting rid of my snakes wasn't any fun and I promised myself right then that I would not only get back into reptiles, but that I would also make an attempt at breeding them...something that has always fascinated me.  In fact, I even said that Carpet Pythons would be the first thing I'd get and a few years later they were.  When I was 22 years old I landed a job  at Gateway (computers), moved out on my own shortly after that and didn't waste any time getting back into reptiles.  In fact, I started with some baby Irian Jaya Carpet Pythons, which I still have and are now productive breeders for me.

My 'Mission Statement'
I don't know if this is what you'd call a mission statement, but this is basically what I'm about when it comes to my collection.

I'm creative and artistic by nature and we've already established how much I like animals, so selective breeding is absolutely fascinating to me.  Selective breeding for pattern and/or color is basically combining the two things I'm most passionate about, art and reptiles.  I've always made it a point to select the most attractive animals that I could find.  In some cases, I've waited a couple years for the right animals to come along before adding a particular species to my collection. In other cases, I've purchased dozens of babies to raise up, in order to keep the most attractive ones as breeding stock.  My goal with any project has no end, because I want to produce the absolute best looking specimens available anywhere and then improve on that with every generation. 

Granted, my fascination with these animals goes much deeper than what I can make them look like (I find common toads fascinating, seriously) but the selective breeding is what has pushed me over the top in terms of numbers.  In other words, I wouldn't need a few hundred crested geckos if I just wanted to observe their behavior.  I need those numbers because there are so many different looks I'm trying to refine.

My Brother
I've done my best to expose my little brother, Cody, to reptiles.  He is now 15 years old (I really need to update that picture of him!).  He owns several snakes of his own and we also try to go out into the field every once in a while to see what we can find.  In the summers and sometimes on the weekends, he comes over and works with me.

Reptiles as a Business
Business wise, it's a simple idea that's fairly complicated to execute.  I essentially conduct my projects as a hobbyist, just like I always have.  This means keeping only what I like, always keeping selective breeding in mind and sometimes holding back way too many animals!  On the other hand, I try to operate like a business when it comes to the way we do things at the facility.  This means finding the most efficient possible way to keep our animals 100% healthy and keeping overhead costs as low as possible.  Never sacrificing quality or health can be more costly than a business model with a certain number of animal losses expected, but I think it's the only ethical way to run a business where living animals are being bought and sold.

This has been a lifelong passion for me and career aside, reptiles are always going to be my hobby.  I was just fortunate enough to have been in the computer/website design business for five years, which gave me the necessary skills to set up a website and sell the babies I produced online.  After a few years, demand for my geckos and pythons became so great that I began to see an opportunity to breed reptiles full time. Although I was advancing quickly in the technical field, anyone who really knows me would tell you that a career in computers wasn't right for me.  That being said, I now work harder than I ever have before, even compared to when I bred reptiles part-time and worked full-time...but the way I see it, if I work 60 hours a week, that's still better than working a 40 hour job and only getting to spend 20 hours with my animals.  Of course, running a business can be stressful, but at the end of the day, I'm a much happier person because I'm immersed in something that I'm passionate about every day.  Sometimes I feel like I'm retired at the age of 30 and other times I feel like I'm a working 80 year old. :)

In the spring of 2007, my long-time friend Gary Quirk (formerly Bawaa Herps) partnered up with me on our leopard gecko project and we have also started a separate crested gecko colony as well as some really cool snake projects that you'll hear plenty about in the near future.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you find my website informative and if not, at least a little entertaining.

If you're on MySpace, be sure to send me a friend request.  My profile is located at MySpace.com/AnthonyCaponetto.


Row of Adult Python Cages (Left) Hatchling Racks (Right)

(Left) Leopard Gecko Hatchling Racks
(Right) Loading Dock Area w/ a few cooling racks

Crested Gecko Eggs (Left) Adult Crested Racks (Right)



Cody a few years ago with the Green Tree Python painting he won at a show.







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