A Morphometric Study of Hemidactylus turcicus Populations on the Istanbul Islands of Türkiye with Predictions of Potential Distributions


Kaya N., ÖZULUĞ O., Yıldız M. Z., İNCİ H., ERÖZDEN A. A., Çetin D., ...More

Herpetological Conservation and Biology, vol.18, no.3, pp.477-487, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Journal Name: Herpetological Conservation and Biology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.477-487
  • Keywords: Büyükada, CDA, gecko, last glacial, marine barrier, PCA, Wallace
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Türkiye has many islands in its territorial waters that differ geographically and climatically. Büyükada and Heybeliada are the largest islands located in the Marmara Sea and the most herpetologically diverse among the Istanbul islands. Using morphometric analysis, we compared populations of the Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) in Büyükada and Heybeliada with populations previously obtained from various regions in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Türkiye by. We analyzed differences between populations using Principal Component Analysis and Canonical Discriminant Analysis examining scalation and morphometric characters. Populations of lizards from Büyükada and Heybeliada differed significantly from populations in other regions in which the species is distributed. In addition, we discovered H. turcicus for the first time on Büyükada island. We applied the Ecological Niche Model to determine suitable habitats in areas accessible to H. turcicus through dispersal for the Last Glacial Maximum and the present. Both scenarios predicted that the coastal region of the country, including the island population, would be suitable habitat for the species. These results suggest that the species may have settled on the islands during the Last Glaciation and may have begun to separate from other populations due to the marine barrier.