van Buurt, G.

First records of the mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris Duméril and Bibron, 1836), common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus in Duméril, 1836), and Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko Linnaeus, 1758) on Curaçao, Dutch Antilles

and remarks on their Caribbean distributions

Abstract

Globally, geckos (Gekkonidae) are one of the most successful reptile families for exotic species. With the exception of the widespread invader, Hemidactylus mabouia, however, introductions of exotic gecko species are a more recent occurrence in the Caribbean islands despite extensive introductions of exotic geckos in the surrounding Caribbean region. Here we report three new exotic gecko species establishments on the mid-sized Caribbean island of Curaçao (Leeward Antilles). Of the three new exotic species, the mourning gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris (Duméril and Bibron, 1836) has the largest distribution on Curaçao and has likely been established for the longest time. The common house gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus (in Duméril, 1836) has a limited distribution and was likely a more recent introduction. Finally, the Tokay gecko, Gekko gecko (Linnaeus, 1758), escaped from captivity and is known from a single locality. Both L. lugubris and H. frenatus have had widespread distributions in the greater Caribbean region for over 70 years yet have only been reported from Caribbean islands within the past decade. Comparatively, the scope of G. gecko introductions on Caribbean islands is similar to L. lugubris and H. frenatus but introduced populations of G. gecko in the greater Caribbean region are virtually absent. These patterns indicate that different introduction pathways (intentional vs passive) may affect the size of exotic geographic ranges, and that the rate of exotic gecko introductions to Caribbean islands may now be increasing.

Key words: invasion, Lesser Antilles, lizard, neotropics, non-native, parthenogenic species, Sauria

Date
2019
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Curacao