Diet and conservation implications of an invasive chameleon, Chamaeleo jacksonii (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae) in Hawaii

Biological Invasions
By: , and 



We summarize information on current distribution of the invasive lizard Chamaeleo jacksonii and predict its potential distribution in the Hawaiian Islands. Potential distribution maps are based on climate models developed from known localities in its native range and its Hawaiian range. We also present results of analysis of stomach contents of a sample of 34 chameleons collected from native, predominantly dryland, forest on Maui. These data are the first summarizing prey range of this non-native species in an invaded native-forest setting. Potential distribution models predict that the species can occur throughout most of Hawaii from sea level to >2,100 m elevation. Important features of this data set are that approximately one-third of the diet of these lizards is native insects, and the lizards are consuming large numbers of arthropods each day. Prey sizes span virtually the entire gamut of native Hawaiian arthropod diversity, thereby placing a large number of native species at risk of predation. Our dietary results contrast with expectations for most iguanian lizards and support suggestions that chameleons comprise a third distinct foraging-mode category among saurians. The combination of expanding distribution, large potential range size, broad diet, high predation rates, and high densities of these chameleons imply that they may well become a serious threat to some of the Hawaiian fauna.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Diet and conservation implications of an invasive chameleon, Chamaeleo jacksonii (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae) in Hawaii
Series title Biological Invasions
DOI 10.1007/s10530-011-0099-3
Volume 14
Issue 3
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description 15 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Biological Invasions
First page 579
Last page 593
Country United States
State Hawai'i
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