Agama agama: A charter tourist in the Cape Verde Islands?

  • Vasconcelos R
  • Lopes E
  • Martins B
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Agama agama is a successful invader that was recently introduced to Santo Antão Island of the Cape Verde archipelago. The species was then noted to be present also in São Vicente and Santiago Islands but the geographic origin of the introductions remains undetermined. Given its wide range and taxonomic identification problems, we compared new 16S RNA sequences with available Agama agama sequences in order to determine if some geographical structure was present that allowed identification of the country of provenance and number of introduction events on the Cape Verde Islands. Some geographical structure of genetic diversity and reasonably large within-group average divergence were revealed, especially in the countries around the Gulf of Guinea. Results support a single origin for this introduction, as a single 16S haplotype is found among the three Cape Verde Islands, and suggest Liberia as the country with the smallest genetic distance to the individuals found in the Cape Verde archipelago. We suggest that local authorities take action against this exotic species as it is spreading and reproducing and predation on endemic species of reptile has been confirmed. Resumo.—Agama

Author-supplied keywords

  • 16S rRNA
  • Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae
  • conservation
  • introduction

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