The most common lizard in The Bahamas, the brown anole (Anolis sagrei), has recently invaded and established itself on Bermuda.
With collaborator James Stroud of Florida International University and with support from the Bermuda Dept. of Conservation and Bermuda Zoological Society, I am examining how this aggressive invader might interact with Bermuda’s only native lizard, the critically endangered Bermuda skink (Plestiodon longirostris).
The brown anole is a native Bahamian species that has colonized some pretty large and distant areas including Taiwan, Singapore, Hawaii, California, Costa Rica and most of Florida. Given this incredibly broad invaded range, as well as it’s native range of Cuba, The Bahamas, and the Cayman islands, we’re not quite sure where the population in Bermuda came from. However, our guess is that the route of introduction to Bermuda was probably in potted nursery plants or building materials. If so, a probable source for this recent invasion seems like one of the many port cities the brown anole has already invaded such as Ft. Lauderdale. However, we can only speculate at this point. More work on this study is soon to come!
Some recent news coverage containing a bit more detail: