Biological Invasions

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 47–50 | Cite as

Tupinambis merianae as nest predators of crocodilians and turtles in Florida, USA

  • Frank J. Mazzotti
  • Michelle McEachern
  • Mike Rochford
  • Robert N. Reed
  • Jennifer Ketterlin Eckles
  • Joy Vinci
  • Jake Edwards
  • Joseph Wasilewski
Invasion Note

Abstract

Tupinambismerianae, is a large, omnivorous tegu lizard native to South America. Two populations of tegus are established in the state of Florida, USA, but impacts to native species are poorly documented. During summer 2013, we placed automated cameras overlooking one American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nest, which also contained a clutch of Florida red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni) eggs, and one American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) nest at a site in southeastern Florida where tegus are established. We documented tegu activity and predation on alligator and turtle eggs at the alligator nest, and tegu activity at the crocodile nest. Our finding that one of the first two crocodilian nests to be monitored was depredated by tegus suggests that tegus should be further evaluated as a threat to nesting reptiles in Florida.

Keywords

Tupinambis merianae Alligator mississippiensis Pseudemys nelsoni Crocodylus acutus Invasive species Nest predation 

Supplementary material

Online Resource 1 Video of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) opening up nest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHqGuRwcjtg (MPG 10998 kb)

Online Resource 2 Video of Argentine black and white tegus (Tupinambis merianae) removing alligator eggs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZRHm2Qn9qA (MPG 23062 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank J. Mazzotti
    • 1
  • Michelle McEachern
    • 2
  • Mike Rochford
    • 1
  • Robert N. Reed
    • 2
  • Jennifer Ketterlin Eckles
    • 3
  • Joy Vinci
    • 1
  • Jake Edwards
    • 3
  • Joseph Wasilewski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education CenterUniversity of FloridaDavieUSA
  2. 2.Fort Collins Science CenterU.S. Geological SurveyFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionFort Lauderdale Research and Education CenterDavieUSA

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