Genetic Variation of Invasive Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) in Taiwan

Wen-Yeu Wang

Department of Life Science

National Taiwan University


Chih-Ren Tung

Department of Aquatic Biosciences

National Chiayi University


Chau-Ti Ting

Department of Life science & Institute of Ecology and Evolution

National Taiwan University


The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) is originally known from Cuba, the Bahamas, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. They have been known as a notorious invasive species in many parts of the world including the U.S. (Florida), Jamaica, Hawaii, and Taiwan where they have successfully expanded their populations. Here in Taiwan, the Brown Anole was first recorded in Chiayi County in 2002 and subsequently in two more locations namely, Hualien and Hsinchu Counties. Although the invasion of the Brown Anole has drawn a great deal of attention from the Taiwanese government, background information of these Brown Anole population remains largely mysterious. Previous studies suggested that genetic diversity may be a critical factor in limiting this lizard’s invasion success. In Taiwan, although Brown Anole was formerly reported with only two phylogenetically distinct haplotypes, their population still expanded quickly and several new colonies were established recently. In order to reveal the genetic variation of the newly invaded populations, and determine whether the successive multiple introduction events are responsible for the successful invasion of Brown Anole, three populations in Taiwan were collected. Partial mitochondrial ND2, tRNATrp and tRNAAla genes were sequenced and compared with published data on non-Taiwanese population to conduct phylogenetic and population genetic analyses. We will show that our results can be beneficial to further manage and control the expanding population of Brown Anole in Taiwan.

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