Social context alters retreat- and nest-site selection in a globally invasive gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus

Muller, Benjamin J., Andrews, Robin M., Schwarzkopf, Lin, and Pike, David A. (2020) Social context alters retreat- and nest-site selection in a globally invasive gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 129 (2). pp. 388-397.

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Abstract

Microhabitat orientation and structure and the presence of conspecifics may strongly influence the choice of habitat. We studied how these variables influence retreat- and nest-site selection in gravid females of a globally successful invasive species, the Asian house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus). When provided with various substrates (vertical and horizontal ceramic tiles, vertical and horizontal plywood tiles, horizontal bark over leaf litter, vertical bark over a log, and sand) gravid female geckos preferred to retreat to, and nest in, materials with crevices commonly found in urban habitats. When housed alone, gravid females most frequently retreated to vertical ceramic tile or wooden crevices, and 66.7% nested in vertical ceramic tiles. When housed with two other conspecifics, gravid females most frequently retreated to vertical ceramic tiles, but selected a wider range of nest sites. Overall, gravid geckos housed alone typically nested in the same substrates that they used as diurnal retreats; when housed in groups, however, females oviposited in locations different from those they selected as retreats. Thus, H. frenatus females use a wider range of substrates when conspecifics are present. Invasion success in this species might be driven, in part, by preferences for retreat and nest substrates that are common in human-dominated habitats.

Item ID: 62906
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8312
Keywords: aggregation, Asian house gecko, diurnal retreat site, introduced species, invasive species, microhabitat structure, microhabitat temperature, nest-site selection, social grouping
Copyright Information: © 2019 The Linnean Society of London
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2020 07:43
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310301 Behavioural ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 100%
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