Thirteen species of reptiles are recorded from among 23 islands in the southeastern sector of Chuuk Lagoon and on adjacent Kuop Atoll (= Uman District islands), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). They include two sea turtles, five geckos, five skinks, and one monitor lizard. None is endemic to Chuuk, and most are found widely throughout the western Pacific. Perochirus ateles was the most frequently encountered species, followed closely by Emoia boettgeri. Sea turtles are scarce due in large measure to indiscriminant harvesting of adults and eggs. The common house gecko, Hemidactyus frenatus, probably was introduced to Chuuk during post-World War II human-assisted transport to many Pacific islands, and Chuuk Islanders claim the Pacific monitor, Varanus indicus, was brought to Chuuk during the Japanese administration. The monitor lizard has apparently since been extirpated on the two Uman District islands where it was previously recorded. To what extent the other species colonized Chuuk islands by natural dispersal or human-assisted dispersal or a combination of the two is uncertain.
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Vol. 69 • No. 2