Invasive house geckos (Hemidactylus spp.): their current, potential and future distribution.
In this study, we identified the current distribution of five globally distributed invasive Hemidactylus species and predicted their potential and future distribution using species distribution models based on climate and elevation data. These species included H. brookii, H. frenatus, H. garnotii, H. mabouia, and H. turcicus. We show that many regions with tropical and Mediterranean climates are suitable for most of these species. However, their current and potential distributions suggest that climate is not the only limiting factor. We hypothesize that climatic conditions may affect competition and other interactions resulting in a segregated distribution of the studied Hemidactylus species. As an effect of global climate change it is likely that H. brookii will expand its range to areas that are currently colonized by H. mabouia and/or H. frenatus, while H. turcicus is likely to expand its range to areas that are not yet invaded by any Hemidactylus species. The role of species interactions in the range expansion of these five Hemidactylus species still remains poorly understood, but could be of major importance in understanding and managing these invasive species.