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  • Julia RIley

Invasion Favours the Bold!



The non-invasive Green Iberian Wall Lizard (Podarcis virescens) and the invasive Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis sicula). Photo credit to Arnaud Badiane.

Our recent paper, led by Isabel Damas Moreira, is out! We tested if a species' invasion success is related to differences in their behavioural traits. Our study focused on two species of wall lizards living side-by-side in Lisbon, Portugal - one invasive and the other within its native range. We quantified their behaviour in the lab with three repeated assays that focused on particular traits that may affect invasion success: exploration, neophobia, and boldness. The invasive species, the Italian Wall Lizard, was much more explorative, bold and neophilic than the native species! Our findings show the potential importance of behaviour for successful invasive species.


The set-up of the assays we used to quantify lizard behaviour. For more details, check out our paper!

Check out the press release from Macquarie University here, as well as a blog post by Isabel here. Also, make sure to follow her (@LizabelDM) and the Lizard Lab (@lizard_lab) at Macquarie University on Twitter.

You can download the full paper here, and please cite this article as:

Damas-Moreira I, Riley JL, and Whiting MJ. 2019. Can behaviour explain invasion success? A comparison between sympatric invasive and native lizards. Animal Behaviour, 151: 195-202.


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