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State College, OK, United States

Paulissen M.A.,Northeastern State University | Meyer H.A.,Mcneese State University | Hibbs T.S.,Connors State College
Western North American Naturalist | Year: 2014

We captured and marked Mediterranean geckos, Hemidactylus turcicus, occupying a one-story building in southwestern Louisiana in 1999-2000 and 2002-2005 and calculated 2 estimates of growth rate: length growth rate (difference in snout-vent length [SVL] between captures divided by time between captures) and mass growth rate (difference in gecko mass between captures divided by time between captures). Both length growth rate and mass growth rate were significantly negatively correlated with gecko snout-vent length. When data from all years were combined, adult female geckos showed greater mean length growth rates and mean mass growth rates than males, but the trend was not statistically significant. Length growth rate and mass growth rate varied dramatically between years; neither correlated with yearly differences in rainfall. Comparison of our results to studies done in Texas and Florida showed that Mediterranean geckos in Louisiana had the lowest mean length growth rates and a much wider range of variation.© 2014.

Paulissen M.A.,Northeastern State University | Meyer H.A.,Mcneese State University | Hibbs T.S.,Connors State College
Southwestern Naturalist | Year: 2013

The Mediterranean gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, is a nonnative lizard that lives on buildings and other artificial structures in the southern United States. Previous studies have shown that geckos rarely move from one building to another and that, when they do, it is usually due to juveniles dispersing to new buildings. Little is known about the movements of geckos on the buildings they occupy or about the degree to which males and females or adults and juveniles associate with each other during their nocturnal activity periods. We used data from a multi-year, mark-recapture study of a population of Mediterranean geckos on a one-story building in southwestern Louisiana to analyze movements of geckos between recaptures and to analyze age and sex of pairs of geckos. The distance moved by adult geckos between recaptures was usually small (<5 m) regardless of whether the time between recaptures was <30 days, >30 days within a year, or in succeeding years. There was no difference in patterns of movement between adult males and adult females. Occasionally, adult geckos did make long-distance movements of ≥18 m, but these were often followed by movements back to their starting point. Juvenile geckos generally moved greater distances between recaptures than did adults, perhaps as a means of dispersal to a new area on the building. Juvenile geckos were associated with adult geckos in pairs less frequently than expected whereas the number of same-sex and different-sex pairs of adults did not differ from expectations if males and females associated randomly. Overall, the results present a picture of juveniles moving long distances, perhaps to escape contacts with adults, but typically remaining in their home areas for months or years once they become adults.

Smith M.P.,Oklahoma State University | Smith A.L.,Oklahoma State University | Kard B.,Oklahoma State University | Brown K.S.,BASF | Broussard G.H.,Connors State College
American Midland Naturalist | Year: 2012

A study was conducted to characterize termite colonies on the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Cross Timbers habitat in northeastern Oklahoma. The two test sites were established on a prescribed-burn area and no-burn area of the Cross Timbers habitat. Termites were identified through both morphological and molecular analyses. Foraging areas of five colonies were delineated. Numbers of termites in foraging groups, estimated using the 'weighted mean model', ranged from 103,093 (±7081) to 422,780 (±19,297) for Reticulitermes flavipes within the prescribed-burn area, and 44,179 (±4879) to 207,141 (±9190) for R. hageni within the no-burn area. Soldier percentages were determined for each foraging group. Estimates of foraging areas and populations are compared with those from previous studies in dissimilar tallgrass prairie habitats. Improved understanding of termite colony densities in various natural habitats provides an increased understanding of termite input in rural areas and could aid in the development of management strategies. © 2012, American Midland Naturalist.

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