DNA analysis can reveal the origins and dispersal patterns of invasive species. The green anole Anolis carolinensis is one such alien animal, which has been dispersed widely by humans from its native North America to many Pacific Ocean islands. In the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands, this anole was recorded from Chichi-jima at the end of the 1960s, and then from Haha-jima in the early 1980s. These two islands are inhabited. In 2013, it was also found on the uninhabited Ani-jima, close to Chichi-jima. Humans are thought to have introduced the anole to Haha-jima, while the mode of introduction to Ani-jima is unknown. To clarify its dispersal patterns within and among these three islands, we assessed the fine-scale population genetic structure using five microsatellite loci. The results show a homogeneous genetic structure within islands, but different genetic structures among islands, suggesting that limited gene flow occurs between islands. The recently established Ani-jima population may have originated from several individuals simultaneously, or by repeated immigration from Chichi-jima. We must consider frequent incursions among these islands to control these invasive lizard populations and prevent their negative impact on native biodiversity.
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