Feeding habits of Anolis sagrei, an introduced species, in urban ecosystems of Guayas Province.
To maintain a stable population, an introduced species must be capable of exploiting varied resources and adapting to environmental conditions different from its native range. The brown anole (Anolis sagrei), one of the most prolific invasive species worldwide, is well established in Ecuador-especially in urban environments throughout Guayaquil and Samborondón (Guayas province). In this research, we describe the feeding habits of male and female brown anoles collected from six different sites: a regenerated wetland ecosystem and five city gardens. We dissected stomach contents in order to record the number and type of prey items, each classified to the lowest identifiable taxonomic category. Our results show that A. sagrei consumes a variety of prey items; Hymenoptera (mainly ants) represented the highest percentage of total gut contents from all sites. In addition, we found that A. sagrei also feeds on insects belonging to the families Cicadidae, Miridae, Scarabeidae, Chrysomelidae and Nitidulidae, all of which are considered to be agricultural pests. As such, we predict that A. sagrei could be an ideal model for biological control studies in urban environments throughout Guayas and perhaps beyond.