Dietary overview of Hemidactylus turcicus with possible implications of food partitioning
A stomach content analysis was conducted on Hemidactylus turcicus, the Mediterranean gecko, from 19 April 1990 to 15 October 1990, on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas. Geckos (N = 167) were placed into four size groups based on snout-vent-length (5 29 mm, 30-39 mm, 40-49 mm, and z 50 mm) and three microhabitat groups based on perch height (those occupying perch sites < 1.52 m, 2 1.52 m to 5 3.05 m, and > 3.05 m). Stomach contents were analyzed and sex, size, and microhabitat groups were compared using Schoener's percent overlap index. Volumetrically, the most important prey items taken were Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, and Isopoda. Geckos of different size groups showed some differences in diet. The greatest difference occurred between the smallest and largest size groups. A significant positive correlation was found between gecko size and prey size (r = 0.24, P = 0.0008). Differences in the diets of geckos inhabiting different microhabitats were very evident. Geckos occupying high perch sites ate more flying prey while geckos at lower perch sites ate more ground-dwelling prey.