The spread of the parthenogenetic mourning gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris (Duméril and Bibron, 1836) to Paradise Island, The Bahamas, with comments on citizen science observations of non-native herpetofauna.
Tracking the introduction of non-native reptiles is important for understanding the effects of non-native species and is potentially a process aided by citizen science. We present new observations of the mourning gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris, (Duméril and Bibron, 1836) on a new island in the Caribbean. Lepidodactylus lugubris was observed on Paradise Island, The Bahamas concomitant with citizen science observations on iNaturalist. An additional iNaturalist observation is presented, documenting a second report of L. lugubris on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. These reports demonstrate significant spreading of this non-native parthenogenetic species from its first record on a Caribbean island 10 years ago, the utility of citizen science observations for documenting the spread of non-native reptiles, as well as an observation of this species utilizing non-anthropogenic habitats in the Western Hemisphere, a potential precursor to detrimental effects on native species.