Context . According to the tens rule, 10% of introduced species establish themselves.
Aims . We tested this component of the tens rule for amphibians and reptiles globally, in Europe and North America, where data are presumably of good quality, and on islands versus continents. We also tested whether there was a taxonomic difference in establishment success between amphibians and reptiles.
Methods . We examined data comprising 206 successful and 165 failed introduction records for 161 species of amphibians to 55 locations, and 560 successful and 641 failed introduction records for 469 species of reptiles to 116 locations around the world.
Key results . Globally, establishment success was not different between amphibians (67%) and reptiles (62%). Both means were well above the 10% value predicted by the tens rule. In Europe and North America, establishment success was lower, although still higher than 10%. For reptiles, establishment success was higher on islands than on continents. Our results question the tens rule and do not show taxonomic differences in establishment success.
Implications . Similar to studies on other taxa (birds and mammals), we found that establishment success was generally above 40%. This suggests that we should focus management on reducing the number of herptile species introduced because both reptiles and amphibians have a high likelihood of establishing. As data collection on invasions continue, testing establishment success in light of other factors, including propagule pressure, climate matching and taxonomic classifications, may provide additional insight into which species are most likely to establish in particular areas.