In company with reptiles since 1993!


Arboreal Gecko’s laboratory at BION Terrarium Center (BTC), Kyiv, Ukraine, was started 12 years ago. Its goal was to develop husbandry and breeding of all available leaf-tailed geckos spp. for establishing their stable populations in captivity. This goal has been successfully achieved.

Laboratory for keeping and breeding of U. phantasticus and U. ebenaui.

Laboratory for keeping and breeding of U. giganteus, U. henkeli and M. chahoua.

Since 2010, ten species of leaf-tailed geckos have been bred in the laboratory, including 5 species bred on a regular basis in 3–6 generations. One species – satanic leaf-tailed gecko, owing to BION’s original manual, became available for mass breeding.

Currently, the laboratory consists of 6 rooms (a total area of 130 square meters), equipped with climate control systems that provide full-cycle service to the breeding stock – from winter dormancy to incubation of eggs. Three keepers work under the supervision of professional herpetologist and Head of BION’s Research and Development Department.

Most of these people have basic biological education or went through a long process of practical training before evolving key skills to work in the Laboratory on more complicated tasks. All work is done strictly according to the inner working protocols of BTC, based on original manuals. The staff is taking care of forming breeding pairs/groups; monitoring condition of the whole stock and individual animals; providing basic veterinary care, if necessary; keeping the statistics of gene lines, when possible; running routine service (cleaning, feeding, moving etc.); and taking care of clutches and hatchlings. All information on husbandry and breeding is collected and analyzed by the BION Research and Development Department.

Moments of the annual breeding seasons.

These data, especially collected from representative samples, are of particular importance not only from the commercial viewpoint, but also for the proper scientific research.

Such information is absolutely impossible to collect in the Wild Nature.

Thus Herpetoculture is always an invaluable information base for herpetology.

Since the foundation of BION Terrarium Center in 1993, we have bred 121 species of amphibians and reptiles all together. For today, manuals for husbandry and breeding of 70 species have been prepared. Some manuals are written in cooperation with breeders and experts from other countries.

As of July 1, 2022, about 1200 heads of arboreal geckos have been kept at the BTC Laboratory. Average annual production of the lab is about 2000 heads of geckos, including 300–500 leaf-tailed geckos depending on the season. The full stock-list includes 20 species. Leaf-tailed geckos are represented by satanic leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus phantasticus), spearpoint leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus ebenaui), common leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus fimbriatus), giant leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus giganteus), Henkel’s leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus henkeli), northern leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus alluaudi), cork-bark leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus pietschmanni) Günther's leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus guentheri), lined leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus lineatus), southern flat-tailed geckos (Uroplatus sikorae), Sameit’s flat tailed gecko (Uroplatus sameiti),

According to our info, BION has the largest found stock of Uroplatus spp kept in captivity.

All the breeding stock formed during the last 15 years was imported through official CITES quotas or has valid EU yellow paperwork and appropriate documentation. Current stock either originates from the wild (according to the official quotas), obtained from breeders in EU or was captive bred at the BTC.

Incubation of eggs of different species.

Our main aim is mass production of healthy and strong captive bred geckos’ babies.

Other species we are working with include lined day gecko (Phelsuma lineata), gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda), peacock day gecko (Phelsuma quadriocellata) and Madagascar day geckos (Phelsuma madagascariensis). New Caledonian herpetofauna within the Laboratory is represented by crested geckos (Correlophus ciliatus), short-snouted New Caledonian geckos (Mniarogekko chahoua), Leach's giant geckos (Rhacodactylus leachianus), Bauer’s chameleon geckos (Eurydactylodes agricolae), Viellard’s chameleon geckos (Eurydactylodes vieillardi), robust forest bavayias (Bavayia robusta).

As of now, BTC team members co-authored 5 scientific papers, including an article “The Data on the Reproductive Biology of the satanic leaf-tailed gecko, Uroplatus phantasticus (Squamata, Gekkonidae), at the BION Terrarium Center as a contribution to ex situ offspring programs” in a “Zoodiversity” Journal (indexed in Scopus, Q3). You can download the paper using the following link: http://ojs.akademperiodyka.org.ua/index.php/Zoodiversity/article/view/304. Another similar article on reproductive biology of U. henkeli will be published shortly. Additionally, 7 articles are planned to be published highlighting the results of the work done in the Laboratory and making its achievements available for scientific community. The results of this work were also presented at three international conferences in Ukraine (Х International Conference of Ukrainian Herpetological Society (16-18 September 2019, Kamianets-Podils’kyi), Lithuania (the 2nd International Conference on Biomedical Sciences “Smart Bio”, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, 2018) and the USA (Herpeton, 2019, “Legend’s Herpetoculture Conference”). Practical manual developed as a result of the Laboratory activity are available for all interested parties on BION’s web site: https://bion.com.ua/breeding-keeping/ and in “Manuals” section of Responsible Herpetoculture Project site: https://responsibleherpetoculture.com.ua/. International cooperation in terms of the Laboratory’s functioning includes close cooperation with Philip-Sebastian Gehring (PhD, Technische Universität Braunschweig, author of the book “Leaf-tailed Geckos – The Complete Uroplatus”, Germany), Philippe de Vosjoli, President, RHP =Responsible Herpetoculture Project, USA) Mihails Pupins (Doctor of Biological Sciences, Daugavpils University, Latvia); Oksana Nekrasova (PhD, I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology NAS Ukraine, Ukraine).

Just several examples of the lab’s work.

Arboreal Gecko’s laboratory benefits for species protection and conservation for today:

1..Providing professional manuals for husbandry and breeding of leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus spp.) to the zoos, breeding centers and conservationists.

2..Possibility to create reserve groups of other Uroplatus sp. based on previous experience.

3..Participation in research programs on genetics, ethology and conservation of Uroplatus spp.

We are always open for cooperation with interested parties!

The war in Ukraine has been going on for more than 150 days. This year the breeding process was disrupted due to temporary evacuation of our lizards to safe place out of Kyiv. Since February 2022, we had to completely stop our business activity.

For more info pls check https://bion.com.ua/bion-in-the-middle-of-war/

Currently the laboratory requires financial support for survival. Any help is very welcome!

We are happy to acknowledge Sponsor’s support in the publications of BION Terrarium Center and Responsible Herpetoculture Project (RHP), including RH Journal (pls check the last issue for reference), and in any public media presentation or other event. Sponsor’s logo is needed for this purpose.




Arboreal Gecko’s laboratory budget per month:

Head of BION’s Research and Development Department – part of sale – $500

Three keepers x $ 600/each – $1800

One employee at live feed breeding base – $ 700

Cost of electricity – $ 800

Expenses per month – $3800

Annual expenses – $45,600

References about BION Terrarium Center:

Ukranian Associations of Zoos (AZU) – Volodymyr Topchij, President, AZU –      topchy_zoo@vega.com.ua

Institute of Zoology NAS Ukraine – Dr. Oksana Nekrasova, Seniour Researcher – oneks22@gmail.com

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine – Dr. Volodymyr Domashlinets, Head of Fauna Protection Division – vdomashlinets@yahoo.com

Responsible Herpetoculture Project (RHP) – Philippe de Vosjoli, President, RHP –  phdevosjoli@gmail.com


Thank you for your attention!

Dmitri Tkachev,

Director, BION Terrarium Center

Founder, Responsible Herpetoculture Project (RHP)


Banking info:


Address: apt. 175, 30/39, Tschekavytska Street, Kyiv, 04071 UKRAINE

Account (IBAN): UA03 300658 00000 26008030100178




Purpose of payment: non-refundable financial aid