Uta stansburiana and Elgaria multicarinata occur on several California Channel Islands, and recent introduction of some populations has been suggested because of similarity in life-history traits and body size to mainland populations. We sequenced representatives of each species from mainland southern California and some of the islands on which they occur. For each species, cytochrome b sequence divergence is low across the narrow geographic area sampled. Analyses of 14 haplotypes of U. stansburiana suggest long-established residency on Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands but more recent arrival on San Nicolas and Santa Cruz Islands. Analyses of eight haplotypes of E. multicarinata suggest these lizards may have been recently transported to San Nicolas Island.
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Uta stansburiana and Elgaria multicarinata on the California Channel Islands: Natural dispersal or artificial introduction?