The brown anole (Anolis sagrei) occurs naturally in various localities in Central America, and an exotic invasive population was first reported in Sheishan District, Chiayi County, Taiwan, in 2000. Previous studies showed that following the invasion of A. sagrei, the diversity and abundance of local terrestrial arthropods, such as orb spiders and arboreal insects, were severely affected. In this study, we assessed the impact of A. sagrei on arthropod diversity in Taiwan by comparing spider and insect diversities among betelnut palm plantations, in which this lizard species was either present or absent, and a secondary forest. In addition, enclosures were established in which the density of A. sagrei was manipulated to investigate the effect of this predator on spiders. The results of a lizard stomach content analysis showed that spiders comprised 7% and insects 90% of the prey consumed. Among the insects consumed by A. sagrei, more than 50% were ants. The abundances of the major arthropod prey of A. sagrei, such as jumping spiders and hymenopterans, in the lizard-present sites were much lower than in the lizard-removed sites. The enclosure experiments also showed that predation by the lizards significantly reduced the abundance of jumping spiders. All these results indicated that the introduced lizard greatly affected the diversity and abundance of terrestrial arthropods in agricultural areas in southern Taiwan.
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