James T. Morrison R(S)
The Day Gecko
The Gold Dust Day Gecko, also known as Phelsuma laticauda, is a species of gecko that is native to Madagascar. However, in the late 20th century, this species was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, specifically on the island of Oahu. The introduction of this species is believed to have occurred through the pet trade, as individuals were likely brought to Hawaii as exotic pets and later released or escaped into the wild.
The first reported sighting of the Gold Dust Day Gecko in Hawaii was in the early 1990s in the Waimanalo area of Oahu. Since then, the population of this species has spread to other areas of the island, including Honolulu and Kaneohe. The Gold Dust Day Gecko is now considered to be an established invasive species in Hawaii.
One of the reasons why the Gold Dust Day Gecko is considered to be an invasive species is because it is able to thrive in a wide range of environments and can outcompete native species for food and habitat. This species is also able to reproduce at a high rate, which allows it to quickly establish itself in new areas. In addition, the Gold Dust Day Gecko is not a natural predator to native species, which allows it to thrive without any natural control.
Despite being an invasive species, the Gold Dust Day Gecko is considered to be a popular pet in Hawaii. However, it is important to note that it is illegal to release these geckos into the wild. Pet owners are urged to keep their geckos in captivity and to not release them into the wild, as this can contribute to the spread of this invasive species.
Overall, the Gold Dust Day Gecko is a unique and colorful species that has made its way to Hawaii through the pet trade. While it may be a popular pet, it is important to remember that it is an invasive species and can have negative impacts on Hawaii's native ecosystems. It is essential that measures are taken to control the population of this species, to ensure that the native species are protected.