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Post subject: Attack of the Lesbian Gekkos  PostPosted: Feb 27, 2007 - 03:11 AM

Joined: Sep 06, 2006
Posts: 1754

Female gecko simulates sex, breeds alone

The invading reptiles from Asia are reproducing at an alarming rate, threatening native species of geckos in the Northern Territory who do things the more traditional way.

"They have an unusual reproductive strategy which allows populations to consist only of females," said NT Environment Minister Marion Scrymgour.

"Males are not necessary to fertilise and initiate egg production (which) permits the Mourning Gecko to be a very successful invasive species."

Alarmed by the spread of the gecko, which has been discovered in a northern suburb of Darwin, the NT government is working with researchers from the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) to find out more about Lepidodactylus lugubris.

The NT is home to about 38 species of native geckos but the majority of them are now found in bushland after they were pushed out by the invading female hordes.

MAGNT vertebrates curator Paul Horner said the majority of Mourning Geckos in the pacific were female.

"All the populations here in Darwin are female although there are some bisexual species in Asia where they originate," he said, adding the all-females did a better job colonising.

That sound you're hearing is being made by the grinding gears inside the robotic heads of several thousand heterosupremacists in the southern hemisphere. The story is not at all unusual -- there are no males at all in the species Cnemidophorus neomexicanus (the famous "lesbian lizards" that made news in the 80s). What IS peculiar is that the usual pious intonations about how "fragile" such populations must surely be because they "lack the genetic diversity" that comes from heterosexual reproduction are missing. And well they should be missing -- this is widespread species, an invasive species, not some sheltered and cozened freak of nature. Hemidactylus garnotii is another parthenogenic gecko that has invaded Florida and parts of Georgia.

"If you want the freedom, the abilities, you have to find a way. Just don't be so passive. We are capable of so much more." -- Larry Kramer
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