The Horseshoe whip snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis) on Ibiza: predator release in an invasive population

The key to fighting a biological invasion may lie in understanding every variable that can explain its success. The Enemy Release Hypothesis (ERH) states that when an invader arrives to a new environment, the absence of its common enemies (predators, parasites and competitors) facilitates the invasion success. The Horseshoe whip snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis) has been recently introduced from the Iberian Peninsula to the island of Ibiza, and it is currently threatening the only endemic vertebrate, the Ibiza wall lizard (Podarcis pityusensis). We hypothesized that the snake invasion success is caused by the absence of natural predators, and we checked the ERH by relating the tail breakage rate to predation pressure. Leer más.