COLONIZATION OF NORTHERN LOUISIANA BY THE MEDITERRANEAN GECKO, HEMIDACTYLUS TURCICUS
Keywords:Hemidactylus turcicus, introduced species, Louisiana, Mediterranean Gecko
The Mediterranean Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, is known to have colonized nearly every state in the southern United States. In Louisiana, the Mediterranean Gecko has been documented in many of the southern parishes, but records for the northern portion of the state are limited. We sampled northern Louisiana parishes to document the presence of the Mediterranean Gecko. We sampled a total of 21 parishes in northern Louisiana and found geckos in 17 of those parishes, 16 of which represent new distribution records for the species. This indicates a significant range expansion of this introduced species throughout northern Louisiana. Geckos were found across a temperature range of 14.0–28.0°C and had a strong association with buildings. The species’ affinity for anthropogenic association and the continual nature of anthropogenic expansion facilitate the high vagility of this species. The result is a successful colonization throughout much of Louisiana and likely continued range expansion throughout the southern United States.
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