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Datasheet

Hemidactylus frenatus
(common house gecko)

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Datasheet

Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 06 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Hemidactylus frenatus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • common house gecko
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Chordata
  •       Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •         Class: Reptilia
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Hemidactylus frenatus is a small cryptic lizard species, native to South East Asia, that has been accidentally introduced to many tropical and subtropical places around the world via cargo shipments and as comm...

  • Principal Source
  • Draft datasheet under review

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult. Siem Reap, Cambodia. June 2011.
TitleAdult
CaptionHemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult. Siem Reap, Cambodia. June 2011.
Copyright©Judy Gallagher/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult. Siem Reap, Cambodia. June 2011.
AdultHemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult. Siem Reap, Cambodia. June 2011.©Judy Gallagher/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult, from East Timor. Specimen from near Loré 1 village (USNM [CMD 488], SVL 42mm, TL 89mm)
with a cryptic dorsal pattern.
TitleAdult
CaptionHemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult, from East Timor. Specimen from near Loré 1 village (USNM [CMD 488], SVL 42mm, TL 89mm) with a cryptic dorsal pattern.
Copyright©Mark O’Shea/via wikipedia - CC BY 3.0
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult, from East Timor. Specimen from near Loré 1 village (USNM [CMD 488], SVL 42mm, TL 89mm)
with a cryptic dorsal pattern.
AdultHemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult, from East Timor. Specimen from near Loré 1 village (USNM [CMD 488], SVL 42mm, TL 89mm) with a cryptic dorsal pattern.©Mark O’Shea/via wikipedia - CC BY 3.0
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult, from East Timor. Specimen from near Baucau, Baucau District (USNM [CMD 526], SVL 47mm, TL 90mm) displaying a pattern of distinct dorsolateral stripes, complimented by an interrupted, less distinct, vertebral stripe. Note the regenerated tail and the bright orange mite infestation on the third toe, as well as an egg visible through the skin.
TitleAdult
CaptionHemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult, from East Timor. Specimen from near Baucau, Baucau District (USNM [CMD 526], SVL 47mm, TL 90mm) displaying a pattern of distinct dorsolateral stripes, complimented by an interrupted, less distinct, vertebral stripe. Note the regenerated tail and the bright orange mite infestation on the third toe, as well as an egg visible through the skin.
Copyright©Mark O’Shea/via wikipedia - CC BY 3.0
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult, from East Timor. Specimen from near Baucau, Baucau District (USNM [CMD 526], SVL 47mm, TL 90mm) displaying a pattern of distinct dorsolateral stripes, complimented by an interrupted, less distinct, vertebral stripe. Note the regenerated tail and the bright orange mite infestation on the third toe, as well as an egg visible through the skin.
AdultHemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); adult, from East Timor. Specimen from near Baucau, Baucau District (USNM [CMD 526], SVL 47mm, TL 90mm) displaying a pattern of distinct dorsolateral stripes, complimented by an interrupted, less distinct, vertebral stripe. Note the regenerated tail and the bright orange mite infestation on the third toe, as well as an egg visible through the skin.©Mark O’Shea/via wikipedia - CC BY 3.0
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); juvenile on human digit. Australia. October 2004.
TitleJuvenile
CaptionHemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); juvenile on human digit. Australia. October 2004.
Copyright©Unknown and not traced/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); juvenile on human digit. Australia. October 2004.
JuvenileHemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko); juvenile on human digit. Australia. October 2004.©Unknown and not traced/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Generic gecko; close-up of the underside of a gecko's foot as it walks on a glass pane. 'Van der Waals' force interactions between the finely divided setae (hairs) on the toes and the glass, enable the gecko to stay in place and walk on smooth glass and other such surfaces.
TitleGecko foot
CaptionGeneric gecko; close-up of the underside of a gecko's foot as it walks on a glass pane. 'Van der Waals' force interactions between the finely divided setae (hairs) on the toes and the glass, enable the gecko to stay in place and walk on smooth glass and other such surfaces.
Copyright©Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, Norway/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Generic gecko; close-up of the underside of a gecko's foot as it walks on a glass pane. 'Van der Waals' force interactions between the finely divided setae (hairs) on the toes and the glass, enable the gecko to stay in place and walk on smooth glass and other such surfaces.
Gecko footGeneric gecko; close-up of the underside of a gecko's foot as it walks on a glass pane. 'Van der Waals' force interactions between the finely divided setae (hairs) on the toes and the glass, enable the gecko to stay in place and walk on smooth glass and other such surfaces.©Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, Norway/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Hemidactylus frenatus Duméril & Bibron, 1836

Preferred Common Name

  • common house gecko

Other Scientific Names

  • Gecko caracal Tytler, 1865
  • Gecko chaus Tytler, 1865
  • Hemidactylus (Pnoepus) bojeri Fitzinger, 1843
  • Hemidactylus auritus Poeppig in Obst, 1977
  • Hemidactylus bowringii Stejneger, 1907
  • Hemidactylus fraenatus Bleeker, 1857
  • Hemidactylus frenatus Schlegel in Duméril and Bibron, 1836
  • Hemidactylus hexaspis Cope, 1869
  • Hemidactylus inornatus Hallowell, 1861
  • Hemidactylus javanicus Fitzinger, 1826 (nomen nudum)
  • Hemidactylus longiceps Cope, 1869
  • Hemidactylus mabouia Barbour and Loveridge, 1929
  • Hemidactylus nigriventris Lidth de Jeude, 1905
  • Hemidactylus okinawensis Okada, 1936
  • Hemidactylus papuensis [MacLeay] 1877
  • Hemidactylus pumilus Hallowell, 1861
  • Hemidactylus punctatus Jerdon, 1853
  • Hemidactylus tristis Sauvage, 1879
  • Hemidactylus vandermeermohri Wermuth, 1965
  • Hemidactylus vandermeer-mohri Brongersma, 1928
  • Hemidactylus vittatus Gray, 1845
  • Hemidactylys cf. frenatus Andreone et al. 2003
  • Pnoepus bojeri Wells and Wellington, 1985
  • Pnoepus caracal Wells and Wellington, 1985
  • Pnoepus frenatus Wells and Wellington, 1985
  • Pnoepus inornatus Wells and Wellington, 1985
  • Pnoepus papuensis Wells and Wellington, 1985
  • Pnoepus pumilus Wells and Wellington, 1985
  • Pnoepus punctatus Wells and Wellington, 1985
  • Pnoepus vittatus Wells and Wellington, 1985

Local Common Names

  • Australia: Asian house gecko
  • Germany: Asiatischer Hausgecko; Gewöhnlicher Halbfingergecko
  • USA: bridled house gecko; chichak; South Asian house gecko

Summary of Invasiveness

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Hemidactylus frenatus is a small cryptic lizard species, native to South East Asia, that has been accidentally introduced to many tropical and subtropical places around the world via cargo shipments and as commercial feeder food for zoo and pet animals. It quickly becomes established in suitable habitats. H. frenatus is an arboreal and nocturnal lizard species that is mostly observed on building walls at night time, especially around lights. The main ecological impacts of H. frenatus are likely to be consumption of native insects and spiders, as well as the displacement of native Indo-Pacific (H. garnotii) and mourning geckos (Lepidodactylus lugubris), and the decline and extinction of native and endemic night geckos (Nactusspp.). 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Chordata
  •             Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •                 Class: Reptilia
  •                     Order: Sauria
  •                         Family: Gekkonidae
  •                             Genus: Hemidactylus
  •                                 Species: Hemidactylus frenatus

Description

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H. frenatus grows up to 57 mm snout-vent length (Powell et al., 2016). It has no eyelids; a vertical pupil; toes and fingers with divided, expanded lamellae; lamellae on the fourth toe extending to the base of the digit; claws on all five digits; uniform white, tan, or gray dorsum, sometimes semitransparent; small and scattered tubercles (if present) that are not restricted to dorsolateral rows; a dark line extending from the snout through the eye to the base of the jaw, and sometimes additional dark lateral lines on the body; the second pair of anterior chin shields in contact with infralabials; smooth caudal scales; rows of enlarged spines circling some portions of the tail; and a whitish belly (Köhler, 2003; Krysko and Daniels, 2005; Carranza and Arnold, 2006; also see Zug et al., 2007). Males are typically larger than females and more divergent in head shape, which allows for better fighting capacity between territorial males (Cameron, 2015).

Distribution

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H. frenatus is native to southeastern Asia from Pakistan eastward to Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Guinea. Of the 143 currently recognized species of Hemidactylus (The Reptile Database, 2017), H. frenatus is considered to be the most widely distributed gecko owing to its numerous introductions (Carranza and Arnold, 2006; Lei and Booth, 2014). 

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

BangladeshWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
BhutanWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
CambodiaWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
ChinaWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
-Hong KongPresentIntroduced1989 Invasive Karsen et al., 1998
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentIntroduced1900 Invasive Gibson-Hill, 1950
Cocos IslandsPresentIntroduced1930s Invasive Gibson-Hill, 1950
IndiaWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
JapanPresentIntroduced2003 Invasive Takahashi, 2005Also introduced to Ogasawara Islands prior to 1986 (Hara, 1986)
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoWidespreadIntroduced1854 Invasive Hunsaker, 1966
LaosWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
MyanmarWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
NepalWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
PakistanWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
PhilippinesWidespreadNative Not invasive Powell et al., 2016
SyriaPresentIntroduced Invasive Bauer and Henle, 1994Palmyra
TaiwanPresentIntroduced Invasive Hunsaker, 1966
ThailandWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017
VietnamWidespreadNative Not invasive The Reptile Database, 2017

Africa

ComorosPresentIntroduced Invasive Meirte, 2004
MadagascarPresentIntroduced Invasive Angel, 1942
MauritiusWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Tonge, 1990
RéunionWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Maillard, 1862
Rodriguez IslandWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Vinson, 1964
Saint HelenaPresentIntroduced1875 Invasive Melliss, 1875
SeychellesPresentIntroduced Invasive Matyot, 2001
SomaliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Vinson and Vinson, 1969
South AfricaPresentIntroduced Invasive Savage, 2002

North America

MexicoWidespreadIntroduced1920s Invasive Taylor, 1940
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FloridaLocalisedIntroduced1993 Invasive Meshaka et al., 1994; Krysko and Sheehy, 2005
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced1940s Invasive Hunsaker, 1966
-TexasPresentIntroduced1970s, 1988 Invasive McAllister et al., 1990; Saenz and Klawinski, 1996

Central America and Caribbean

BelizeWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Lee, 2000
Costa RicaWidespreadIntroduced1990s Invasive Kronauer, 1999
El SalvadorWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Greenbaum, 2002
GuatemalaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Auth, 1994
HondurasWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Franklin, 2000
NicaraguaWidespreadIntroduced1988 Invasive Vences et al., 1998
PanamaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Rand and Myers, 1990

South America

VenezuelaPresentIntroduced Invasive Rivas et al., 2005

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroduced1960s Invasive Amerson et al., 1982
AustraliaWidespreadIntroduced1840 Invasive Hunsaker, 1966; Kraus, 2009
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced1940s Invasive Fisher, 1997
FijiPresentIntroduced1960 Invasive Gibbons, 1985
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced1988 Invasive Case and Bolger, 1991Also introduced to Marquesas Islands (Bauer and Henle, 1994)
Johnston IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Bauer and Henle, 1994
KiribatiPresentIntroduced Invasive Bauer and Henle, 1994
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroduced1940s Invasive Petren et al., 1993
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroduced1940s Invasive Petren et al., 1993
NauruPresentIntroduced Invasive Bauer and Henle, 1994
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced1942 Invasive Bauer and Henle, 1994Introduced to Loyalty Islands in 1940s (Sadlier and Bauer, 1997)
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Invasive Gill et al., 2001
Norfolk IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Covacevich et al., 2001Also introduced to Ashmore Reef (Horner, 2005)
PalauPresentIntroduced1955 Invasive Crombie and Pregill, 1999
Papua New GuineaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Bauer and Henle, 1994
SamoaPresentIntroduced1960s Invasive Case et al., 1992
Solomon IslandsWidespreadIntroduced1940s Invasive McCoy, 1980
TongaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Fisher, 1997
VanuatuPresentIntroduced1970s Invasive Case and Bolger, 1991
Wake IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Bauer and Henle, 1994

History of Introduction and Spread

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H. frenatus was introduced, via stowaways in cargo, to Australia sometime before 1840 (Hunsaker, 1967; Kraus, 2009) and subsequently spread to Ashmore Reef (Horner, 2005) and Norfolk Island (Covacevich et al., 2001), Comoros (Meirte, 2004), Costa Rica in the 1990s (Kronauer, 1999), Hong Kong in 1989 (Karsen et al., 1998), Loyalty Islands in the 1940s (Sadlier and Bauer, 1997), New Zealand (Gill et al., 2001), Palau in 1955 (Crombie and Pregill, 1999), St. Helena before 1875 (Melliss, 1875), and Hawaii in the 1940s (Hunsaker, 1967).

In the USA, it was introduced via the zoo trade in Texas in the 1970s and 1988 (McAllister et al., 1990; Saenz and Klawinski, 1996); and via pet trade in Florida in 1993 (Meshaka et al., 1994; Krysko and Sheehy, 2005; Krysko et al., 2016).

It is supposedly established in all introduced areas listed in the distribution table (Kraus, 2009).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Florida 1993 Pet trade (pathway cause) Yes No Meshaka et al. (1994); Krysko and Sheehy (2005) Accidental
Texas 1970s, 1988 Botanical gardens and zoos (pathway cause) Yes No McAllister et al. (1990); Saenz and Klawinski (1996)

Habitat

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H. frenatus is found from sea level up to 1600 m altitude (Spawls et al., 2002) in rainforests, savannas, deserts and urban areas; it occurs on boulders and trees, under rocks or rotting logs, and on buildings (Ota and Whitaker, 2010). In Florida, it is found in mangrove swamps, hardwood hammocks, sheltering under debris in pinelands, rocks and loose bark of Australian pine trees (Casuarina equisetifolia) or on fig trees and buildings (Krysko et al., 2003; Krysko and Sheehy, 2005). H. frenatus is edificarian and typically found in association with human dwellings (Punzo, 2005; Carranza and Arnold, 2006; Zug et al., 2007).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Littoral
Coastal areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Principal habitat Natural
Mangroves Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Mangroves Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial-managed
Buildings Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Buildings Principal habitat Natural
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Vences et al. (2004) examined approximately 500 bp of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) (16S) sequence data and found minimal divergence between Sri Lankan H. frenatus and specimens from Madagascar, the Andamans, the Comores, and the Mascarenes. Carranza and Arnold (2006) examined 702 bp of mtDNA (cytochrome b and 12S) sequence data to illustrate that H. frenatus belongs to the well-supported Tropical Asian clade (H. platyurus (H. bowringii, H. karenorum, H. garnotii)) (H. flaviviridis (Asian H. brookii, Hemidactylus frenatus)  Because some of these relatively well-sampled widespread species show high genetic variability (10–15% divergence), they likely consist of cryptic lineages. Bauer et al. (2010) examined 3101 bp of mtDNA (cytochrome b and 12S) and nuclear DNA (RAG1 and PDC) sequence data to illustrate that H. frenatus belongs to the well-supported group H. bowringii (listed in their Table 1) or H. brookii group (result in their Figure 1) of (((H. flaviviridis, H. leschenaultii) H. giganteus) (H. frenatus (H. brookii (H. parvimaculatus, H. imbricatus)))). These data support the shared karyotype of 2n = 40 within the brookii clade species H. brookii, H. flaviviridis, and H. frenatus (Das and Ota, 1998).

Reproductive Biology

Females mature at 38 mm snout-vent length (SVL) (Church, 1962). H. frenatus reproduces year-round, and females lay 1-2 eggs (Krysko et al., 2003). Eggs are laid in soil, under leaf litter, rocks, boards, or carpet, or under loose bark and within thickets of dry pine needles in crotches of Australian pines up to 2.5 m high (Krysko et al., 2003). Oviposition frequency is 21-28 days (Krysko et al., 2003), and Meshaka et al. (1994) reported females laying up to 4 clutches annually in southern Florida. Eggs hatch in 48-90 days at 28-29°C (82-84°F) (Church, 1962; Krysko et al., 2003). Hatchlings measure 23 mm SVL. Interspecific communal nesting has been reported in the Florida Keys, with up to three gecko species sharing the same nest site (Krysko et al., 2003).

Physiology and Phenology

H. frenatus stops feeding below about 17°C as it is unable to digest food at such temperatures (Lei and Booth, 2014).

Longevity

H. frenatus can live up to 5 years in captivity.

Activity Patterns

H. frenatus is nocturnal, and in Florida exhibits year-round activity (Krysko et al., 2003; Punzo, 2005).

Nutrition

Its diet consists of insects (Meshaka et al., 2004; Punzo, 2005) and spiders, and an adult was observed feeding on a juvenile tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) on Key West, Florida Associations.

Natural Food Sources

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Food SourceLife StageContribution to Total Food Intake (%)Details
Insects All Stages
Spiders All Stages
Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) All Stages

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
38.03 44.09

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 33
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 8

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Vector Transmission (biotic)

H. frenatus can have high extoparasite and endoparasite loads, and can act as vectors by transmission to native gecko species and provide a zoonotic pathway to affect human health (Obi et al., 2013Reimche, 2013).

Accidental Introduction

Likely beginning in the early 1800s, H. frenatus was introduced or likely introduced accidentally via stowaways in cargo shipments in nearly all areas it has been introduced (see Kraus, 2009). It has also been introduced accidentally in the USA via the zoo trade in Texas in the 1970s and 1988 (McAllister et al., 1990; Saenz and Klawinski, 1996) and pet trade in Florida in 1993 (Meshaka et al., 1994; Krysko and Sheehy, 2005; Krysko et al. 2016).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Botanical gardens and zoosAccidental introduction Yes McAllister et al., 1990; Saenz and Klawinski, 1996
HitchhikerAccidental introduction. See all citations under History of Introduction/Spread Yes Yes
Pet tradeAccidental introductions Yes Meshaka et al., 1994; Krysko and Sheehy, 2005

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Bulk freight or cargoCommonly transported via stowaways in cargo Yes Yes Kraus, 2009
Pets and aquarium speciesCommonly transported via the pet trade Yes Yes Meshaka et al., 1994; Krysko and Sheehy, 2005

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Negative

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Biodiversity

The main ecological impacts of H. frenatus are on native animals, particularly insects (Punzo, 2005) and spiders, and displacement of native Indo-Pacific (H. garnotii) (Dame and Petren, 2006) and mourning geckos (Lepidodactylus lugubris) (Case et al., 1994) and the decline and extinction of native and endemic night geckos (Nactusspp.) (Cole et al., 2005).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Increases vulnerability to invasions
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Predation
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

H. frenatus is used as a food source for animals in zoos and the pet trade. Typical retail value in the USA is approximately $1-3 USD each. 

Uses List

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General

  • Botanical garden/zoo
  • Laboratory use
  • Pet/aquarium trade
  • Research model

Detection and Inspection

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H. frenatus can be found at night time by surveying walls of buildings, particularly around lights.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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H. frenatus is distinguished from sympatric congeners by a suite of characters outlined in the Description (Krysko and Daniels, 2005; Carranza and Arnold, 2006; Zug et al., 2007).

Prevention and Control

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SPS Measures

The large majority of introductions occurred accidentally as stowaways in cargo shipments. By searching boxes and plants more thoroughly it might be possible to reduce the number of future introductions into new areas. Cole et al. (2005) suggested that the use of artificial refugia made of a crumbly substrate may limit future disturbances by H. frenatus.

Eradication

Once established it is unlikely to be eradicated.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Although many aspects of about the natural history of H. frenatus have been reported, data are needed on population density and movement patterns. A phylogeographic analysis using specimens from introduced populations could be conducted to test hypotheses on invasion pathways and native ranges. Research on the impacts of H. frenatus on native species is needed in the vast majority of locations where this species has been introduced.

References

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Amerson Jr BA, Whistler WA, Schwaner TD, 1982. Wildlife and wildlife habitat of American Samoa. Accounts of flora and fauna. II. Accounts of flora and fauna. Washington, DC, USA: United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 151 pp

Angel F, 1942. The lizards of Madagascar. (Les lézards de Madagascar.) Memoires de l'Académie Malgache, 36:1-193

Auth DL, 1994. Checklist and bibliography of the amphibians and reptiles of Panama. Smithsonian Herpetological Information Service, 98:1-59

Bauer AM, Henle K, 1994. Familia Gekkonidae (Reptilia, Sauria). Part I. Australia and Oceania. Das Tierreich, 109:1-306

Bauer AM, Jackman TR, Greenbaum E, Giri VB, Silva Ade, 2010. South Asia supports a major endemic radiation of Hemidactylus geckos. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 57:343-352

Bauer AM, Vindum JV, 1990. Bauer, A., Vindum JV, 1990. A checklist and key to the herpetofauna of New Caledonia, with remarks on biogeography. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 47:17-45

Cameron SF, 2015. Ph.D. Dissertation. Queensland, Australia: The University of Queensland, 95 pp

Carranza S, Arnold EN, 2006. Systematics, biogeography, and evolution of Hemidactylus geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) elucidated using mitochondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 38:531-545

Case TJ, Bolger DT, 1991. The role of introduced species in shaping the distribution and abundance of island reptiles. Evolutionary Ecology, 5:272-290

Case TJ, Bolger DT, Petren K, 1994. Invasions and competitive displacement among house geckos in the tropical Pacific. Ecology, 75:464-477

Case TJ, Bolger DT, Richman AD, 1992. Reptilian extinctions: the last ten thousand years. In: Conservation Biology [ed. by Fielder, P. L. \Jain, S. K.]. 91-125

Church G, 1962. The reproductive cycles of the Javanese house geckos, Cosymbotus platyurus, Hemidactylus frenatus, and Peropus mutilatus. Copeia, 1962:262-269

Cole NC, Jones CG, Harris S, 2005. The need for enemy-free space: The impact of an invasive gecko on island endemics. Biological Conservation, 125:467-474

Covacevich JA, Buffett AF, Couper PJ, Amey AP, 2001. Herpetological "foreigners" on Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 46:408

Crombie RI, Pregill GK, 1999. A checklist of the herpetofauna of the Palau Islands (Republic of Palau), Oceania. Herpetological Monographs, 13:29-80

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