Notes on an interspecific interaction between distant taxa: Observation of active cohabitation and communal nesting resources between Gehyra mutilata (Wiegmann, 1834) and two vespid wasp species

Publication Name

Austral Ecology


Tropical ecosystems are biodiverse and ecologically complex, supporting nearly half of the global herpetofauna. Ecological interactions play a role in the maintenance of species diversity with a range of ecological interactions occurring within and among species in tropical ecosystems. Incidental observations of ecological interactions provide an important contribution to the understanding of the ecology and natural history of species. Here, we report an interspecific interaction between distant taxa, the Four-Clawed Gecko (Gehyra mutilata) utilizing an active communal nesting site and shared nesting resources with two vespid wasp species (Eumeninae and Polistinae), where previous observations documented species utilizing abandoned nesting resources. This is the first known record of three species actively cohabitating in a shared nesting resource. This observation, with one or all species positively benefiting from the ecological interaction, likely indicates a mutualistic or commensal ecological interaction. Incidental observations such as the present study are likely to reveal that interspecific ecological interactions including communal nesting are more widespread than previously thought and the co-utilization of existing nesting resources presents an advantage for taxa. Observations such as these provide the basis for understanding the complex network of ecological interactions occurring in tropical rainforests.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

Kementerian Riset, Teknologi dan Pendidikan Tinggi



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