Yasuo Nagasaka,Zenas C. Chao,Naomi Hasegawa,Tomonori Notoya & Naotaka Fujii
Spontaneous synchronization of arm motion between Japanese macaques
Scientific Reports, 2013; 3: 1151 DOI: 10.1038/srep01151
Humans show spontaneous synchronization of movements during social interactions; this coordination has been shown to facilitate smooth communication. Although human studies exploring spontaneous synchronization are increasing in number, little is known about this phenomenon in other species. In this study, we examined spontaneous behavioural synchronization between monkeys in a laboratory setting. Synchronization was quantified by changes in button-pressing behaviour while pairs of monkeys were facing one another. Synchronization between the monkeys was duly observed and it was participant-partner dependent. Further tests confirmed that the speed of button pressing changed to harmonic or sub-harmonic levels in relation to the partner’s speed. In addition, the visual information from the partner induced a higher degree of synchronization than auditory information. This study establishes advanced tasks for testing social coordination in monkeys, and illustrates ways in which monkeys coordinate their actions to establish synchronization.
Zootaxa 3609 (2): 163–181 (29 Jan. 2013)
Planonasus parini n. g. and n. sp., a new genus and species of false cat sharks (Carchariniformes, Pseudotriakidae) from the deep northwestern Indian Ocean off Socotra Islands
SIMON WEIGMANN, MATTHIAS F.W. STEHMANN & RALF THIEL
A new genus and species of the carcharhiniform family Pseudotriakidae is described based on three specimens caught nearthe Socotra Islands in the northwestern Indian Ocean. The first specimen and holotype of Planonasus parini g. n. and sp.n. was caught during cruise 17 of RV ‘Vityaz’ in 1988/89 along the deep western Indian Ocean. Two further specimens of the new genus and species were caught somewhat later by commercial trawlers close to the locality of the holotype.
The new genus differs from the two other pseudotriakid genera Gollum and Pseudotriakis by the presence of oral papillae,the absence of nicitating eyelids, a longer head, an intermediate prenarial snout length, an intermediate number of tooth rows per jaw, a first dorsal fin of intermediate height and length and with a white free rear tip, a caudal peduncle of intermediate length, and fewer vertebrae.
Zootaxa 3609 (2): 204–212 (29 Jan. 2013)
On the taxonomic status of Gegeneophis nadkarnii Bhatta & Prashanth, 2004 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae)
DAVID J. GOWER, VARAD GIRI, VARUN R. TORSEKAR, KSHAMATA GAIKWAD & MARK WILKINSON
Examination of type material and new collections from Goa, southern Maharashtra and northern Karnataka, leads to the conclusion that Gegeneophis nadkarnii Bhatta & Prashanth, 2004 is a subjective junior synonym of Gegeneophis danieli Giri, Wilkinson & Gower, 2003. The purported differences between these species are very minor and attributable to normal individual variation, except for some features of the dentition that are peculiar to the exceptionally abnormal paratype of G. nadkarnii. This taxonomic revision extends the known geographic range of G. danieli and suggests it could be transferred from Data Deficient to Least Concern status in the IUCN Red List.
Zootaxa 3609 (2): 213–222 (29 Jan. 2013)
Predictive-like distribution mapping using Google Earth: Reassessment of the distribution of the bromeligenous frog, Scinax v-signatus (Anura: Hylidae)
HELIO RICARDO DA SILVA & RICARDO ALVES-SILVA
The hylid frog Scinax perpusillus species group comprises 13 species that share, in addition to a few morphological
features, reproduction that occurs exclusively associated with bromeliads. Among the species in the group, Scinax vsignatus (Lutz, 1968) is one of the few with a relatively large geographic distribution, occurring in association with bromeliads growing on granitic outcrops above 800 m along the Serra dos Órgãos (a local designation of Serra do Mar) in the Atlantic forest, State of Rio de Janeiro. Here we demonstrate that previous assessment of the distribution of this species was overestimated, and reevaluate the available data on its occurrence. The distributional data analyzed was based on three levels of evidence. First, we assessed the distribution of the bromeliad, Alcantarea imperialis (Carrière) Harms,which is used by S. v-signatus at the type locality. We plotted potential occurrence data for this plant using Google Earth (GE) by visually inspecting GE images in search of indications of granitic outcrops where groups and large individual bromeliads could be identified. Second, we plotted the distribution of these plants and that of the frog based on locality data taken from the literature and voucher specimens in natural history collections and checked for congruence between these sets of data. Third, as a second test of accuracy of this methodology we visited four new localities indicated by the bromeliad-occurrence GE prediction map and searched for the occurrence of both the frog and the bromeliad. This simple process has proven efficient and accurate in finding new collecting sites and determining the distribution of the two involved taxa. We discuss this and other possibilities of using Google Earth as a tool for mapping and discovering the distribution of organisms and habitats. Furthermore, this study has shed light on a more accurate and realistic estimate of the distribution of Scinax v-signatus with implications for the assessment of its conservation status.
Zootaxa 3609 (2): 231–238 (29 Jan. 2013)
Pempheris ufuagari sp. nov., a new species in the genus Pempheris (Perciformes, Pempheridae) from the oceanic islands of Japan
KEITA KOEDA, TETSUO YOSHINO & KATSUNORI TACHIHARA
Pempheris ufuagari sp. nov. is described based on 10 specimens, 143.9–196.8 mm in standard length, collected from Minami Daito Island and Ogasawara Islands, which are oceanic islands of Japan. Pempheris ufuagari is characterized by a distinct black spot on the pectoral fin base, a bright yellow dorsal and caudal fin, and a blackish band on the outer margin of the anal fin. Pempheris oualensis also has a large body and a distinct black spot on the pectoral fin base, and forms mixed schools with P. ufuagari, but can be distinguished by the different fin coloration (dorsal and caudal fin brown or pale; no blackish band on anal fin margin), and the presence of a villiform tooth band extending outside the lips. Although P. otaitensis, which is found in French Polynesia and Samoa, has similar coloration as P. ufuagari, the latter has lower scale counts than those of the former species: pored lateral-line scales 62–71 (vs. 70–79); scale rows above lateral line 6 1/2–7 1/2 (vs. 8 1/2); predorsal scales 37–43 (vs. 44–48).
Zootaxa 3609 (3): 251–273 (30 Jan. 2013)
A new diminutive species of Allobates Zimmermann and Zimmermann, 1988 (Anura, Aromobatidae) from the northwestern Rio Madeira—Rio Tapajós interfluve, Amazonas, Brazil
PEDRO IVO SIMÕES , MARCELO JOSÉ STURARO, PEDRO LUÍS VIEIRA PELOSO & ALBERTINA P. LIMA
We describe Allobates grillisimilis from the northwestern region of the Rio Madeira—Rio Tapajós interfluve, state of Amazonas, Brazil. The new taxon is characterized by its small snout-to-vent length (12.8–16.0 mm, the smallest among known Allobates), by the color pattern of adults (surfaces of throat, chest and abdomen unpigmented), by morphological traits of larvae (a single row of very elongate papillae on posterior labium), and by its distinctive advertisement call, formed by trills of short pulses emitted in a variable number. We also provide notes on reproductive behavior of the new species.
Zootaxa 3609 (3): 291–301 (30 Jan. 2013)
A new species of arboreal iguanid lizard, genus Stenocercus (Squamata: Iguania), from central Peru
PABLO J. VENEGAS, VILMA DURAN & KARLA GARCIA-BURNEO
We describe a new species of Stenocercus from an interandean valley of the upper Río Huallaga on the Amazonian slope of central Peru (Región Huánuco), at an elevation of 1700–1900 m. The new species differs from other Stenocercus, except S. boettgeri, S. haenschi, S. humeralis, and S. varius, by the combination of the following characters: presence of granular scales on the posterior surface of the thighs, enlarged vertebrals, three caudal whorls per autotomic segment, a medially complete antegular fold, non-spinose caudals, and by males lacking a black transverse band on the ventral surface of the neck. However, the new Stenocercus differs from these, with the exception of S. humeralis, by having more scales around the midbody (104–107,x =105.66) than S. boettgeri (79–104,x = 88.61), S. haenschi (57–64,x =60.50), and S. varius (74–88,x =82.35); and from S. humeralis by having the scales in the frontonasal region nearly equal in size to the scales in the occipitoparietal region, while in S. humeralis the scales on the frontonasal region are twice or three times longer than the scales on the occipitoparietal region.
Zootaxa 3609 (4): 443–449 (31 Jan. 2013)
A new species of the genus Scolopsis Cuvier, 1830 (Perciformes: Nemipteridae) from southern India and Sri Lanka
S.S. MISHRA, SUDEEPTA BISWAS, BARRY C. RUSSELL, K.K. SATPATHY & M. SELVANAYAGAM
Scolopsis igcarensis, a new species of monocle bream (family Nemipteridae) from the coastal waters of southern India and Sri Lanka is described. The species is distinguished from other species of the genus Scolopsis by a combination of the following characters: scales on top of head reaching forward to between anterior nostril and snout tip; lower margin of eye below the line from snout tip to upper pectoral fin base; a bony ridge below eye; a white band from behind eye to level of end of dorsal fin base.
Chris T. Perry, Gary N. Murphy, Paul S. Kench, Scott G. Smithers, Evan N. Edinger, Robert S. Steneck, Peter J. Mumby. Caribbean-wide decline in carbonate production threatens coral reef growth. Nature Communications, 2013; 4: 1402 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2409
Global-scale deteriorations in coral reef health have caused major shifts in species composition. One projected consequence is a lowering of reef carbonate production rates, potentially impairing reef growth, compromising ecosystem functionality and ultimately leading to net reef erosion. Here, using measures of gross and net carbonate production and erosion from 19 Caribbean reefs, we show that contemporary carbonate production rates are now substantially below historical (mid- to late-Holocene) values. On average, current production rates are reduced by at least 50%, and 37% of surveyed sites were net erosional. Calculated accretion rates (mm year−1) for shallow fore-reef habitats are also close to an order of magnitude lower than Holocene averages. A live coral cover threshold of ~10% appears critical to maintaining positive production states. Below this ecological threshold carbonate budgets typically become net negative and threaten reef accretion. Collectively, these data suggest that recent ecological declines are now suppressing Caribbean reef growth potential.
Yamamoto S, Humle T, Tanaka M (2013) Basis for Cumulative Cultural Evolution in Chimpanzees: Social Learning of a More Efficient Tool-Use Technique. PLoS ONE 8(1): e55768. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055768
The evidence for culture in non-human animals has been growing incrementally over the past two decades. However, the ability for cumulative cultural evolution, with successive generations building on earlier achievements, in non-human animals remains debated. Faithful social learning of incremental improvements in technique is considered to be a defining feature of human culture, differentiating human from non-human cultures. This study presents the first experimental evidence for chimpanzees‘ social transmission of a more efficient tool-use technique invented by a conspecific group member.
The chimpanzees were provided with a straw-tube, and spontaneously demonstrated two different techniques in obtaining juice through a small hole: “dipping” and “straw-sucking”. Both the “dipping” and “straw-sucking” techniques depended on the use of the same tool (straw-tube) for the same target (juice) accessible from exactly the same location (small hole 1 cm in diameter). Therefore the difference between “dipping” and “straw-sucking” was only in “technique”. Although the two techniques differed significantly in their efficiency, their cognitive and perceptuo-motor complexity were comparable. All five chimpanzees who initially performed the “dipping” technique switched to using the more efficient “straw-sucking” technique upon observing a conspecific or human demonstrate the more proficient alternate “straw-sucking” technique.
The social learning mechanism involved here was clearly not local or stimulus enhancement, but imitation or emulation of a tool-use technique. When there is no biologically relevant difference in cognitive or perceptuo-motor complexity between two techniques, and when chimpanzees are dissatisfied with their own technique, chimpanzees may socially learn an improved technique upon close observation of a proficient demonstrator. This study provides important insights into the cognitive basis for cumulative culture in chimpanzees, and also suggests possible conditions in which cumulative cultural evolution could arise even in non-human animals.
Clare EL, Adams AM, Maya-Simões AZ, Eger JL, Hebert PD, Fenton MB
Diversification and reproductive isolation: cryptic species in the only New World high-duty cycle bat, Pteronotus parnellii
BMC Evolutionary Biology 2013, 13:26 (29 January 2013)
Molecular techniques are increasingly employed to recognize the presence of cryptic species, even among commonly observed taxa. Previous studies have demonstrated that bats using high-duty cycle echolocation may be more likely to speciate quickly. Pteronotus parnellii is a widespread Neotropical bat and the only New World species to use high-duty cycle echolocation, a trait otherwise restricted to Old World taxa. Here we analyze morphological and acoustic variation and genetic divergence at the mitochondrial COI gene, the 7th intron region of the y-linked Dby gene and the nuclear recombination-activating gene 2, and provide extensive evidence that P. parnellii is actually a cryptic species complex.
Central American populations form a single species while three additional species exist in northern South America: one in Venezuela, Trinidad and western Guyana and two occupying sympatric ranges in Guyana and Suriname. Reproductive isolation appears nearly complete (only one potential hybrid individual found). The complex likely arose within the last ~6 million years with all taxa diverging quickly within the last ~1-2 million years, following a pattern consistent with the geological history of Central and northern South America. Significant variation in cranial measures and forearm length exists between three of the four groups, although no individual morphological character can discriminate these in the field. Acoustic analysis reveals small differences (5–10 kHz) in echolocation calls between allopatric cryptic taxa that are unlikely to provide access to different prey resources but are consistent with divergence by drift in allopatric species or through selection for social recognition.
This unique approach, considering morphological, acoustic and multi-locus genetic information inherited maternally, paternally and bi-parentally, provides strong support to conclusions about the cessation of gene flow and degree of reproductive isolation of these cryptic species.
Kalina TJ Davies, Ibnu Maryanto and Stephen J Rossiter
Evolutionary origins of ultrasonic hearing and laryngeal echolocation in bats inferred from morphological analyses of the inner ear
Frontiers in Zoology 2013, 10:2 doi:10.1186/1742-9994-10-2
Many mammals have evolved highly adapted hearing associated with ecological specialisation. Of these, bats possess the widest frequency range of vocalisations and associated hearing sensitivities, with frequencies of above 200 kHz in some lineages that use laryngeal echolocation. High frequency hearing in bats appears to have evolved via structural modifications of the inner ear, however, studying these minute features presents considerable challenges and hitherto few such attempts have been made. To understand these adaptations more fully, as well as gain insights into the evolutionary origins of ultrasonic hearing and echolocation in bats, we undertook micro-computed tomography (muCT) scans of the cochleae of representative bat species from 16 families, encompassing their broad range of ecological diversity. To characterise cochlear gross morphology, we measured the relative basilar membrane length and number of turns, and compared these values between echolocating and non-echolocating bats, as well as other mammals.
We found that hearing and echolocation call frequencies in bats correlated with both measures of cochlear morphology. In particular, relative basilar membrane length was typically longer in echolocating species, and also correlated positively with the number of cochlear turns. Ancestral reconstructions of these parameters suggested that the common ancestor of all extant bats was probably capable of ultrasonic hearing; however, we also found evidence of a significant decrease in the rate of morphological evolution of the basilar membrane in multiple ancestral branches within the Yangochiroptera suborder. Within the echolocating Yinpterochiroptera, there was some evidence of an increase in the rate of basilar membrane evolution in some tips of the tree, possibly associated with reported shifts in call frequency associated with recent speciation events.
The two main groups of echolocating bat were found to display highly variable inner ear morphologies. Ancestral reconstructions and rate shift analyses of ear morphology point to a complex evolutionary history, with the former supporting ultrasonic hearing in the common bat ancestor but the latter suggesting that morphological changes associated with echolocation might have occurred later. These findings are consistent with theories that sophisticated laryngeal echolocation, as seen in modern lineages, evolved following the divergence of the two main suborders.
Zootaxa 3609 (5): 484–494 (1 Feb. 2013)
Cottus specus, a new troglomorphic species of sculpin (Cottidae) from southeastern Missouri
GINNY L. ADAMS, BROOKS M. BURR, JULIE L. DAY & DAVID E. STARKEY
Cottus specus, a new species, is described from the karst regions of the Bois Brule drainage in eastern Missouri, USA.Cottus specus is distinguishable from all members of the genus Cottus using both genetic and morphological characters,including eye size and cephalic pore size. Cottus specus represents the first description of a cave species within Cottus.The addition of C. specus brings the total number of recognized species of Cottus to 33 in North American fresh waters.