Caroline R. Weir, Luis Goncalves and Duncan May (2013). New Gulf of Guinea (Africa) range state records for pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata) and Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei). Marine Biodiversity Records, 6, e35 doi:10.1017/S1755267212001303.
The cetacean fauna inhabiting the poorly-studied waters of the eastern tropical Atlantic (ETA), along the west coast of Africa, is still being described. Information on the cetacean species occurring in specific ETA range states is important for understanding their geographical distribution ranges and for implementing conservation and management measures. Here we provide photographically-verified records for the occurrence of pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata) off Côte d’Ivoire and of Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) off Gabon. These records represent new range state records for both species, and are also the first verified at-sea sightings in the ETA and the Gulf of Guinea respectively.
E.V. Gladilina, O.A. Kovtun, A.A. Kondakov, A.M. Syomik, K.K. Pronin and P.E. Gol’din (2013). Grey seal Halichoerus grypus in the Black Sea: the first case of long-term survival of an exotic pinniped. Marine Biodiversity Records, 6, e33 doi:10.1017/S1755267213000018.
A grey seal (Halichoerus grypus), representative of the North Atlantic species, has been recorded in the north-east Black Sea. It is the first documented case of successful long-term survival of an exotic pinniped. We have been receiving data about regular sightings of the seal identified as the observed individual since 2001. It is a 160–170 cm long adult female. The seal used an underwater cave as a shelter. The most likely way of introduction of the grey seal to the Black Sea is escape from captivity. According to available data (body size and moulting seasonality), we tentatively identify it as a representative of the Baltic subspecies. The biotope requirements of the grey seal and monk seal are similar: both species use coastal karst caves and grottos. In addition, the seal’s presence in this region is a marker of the lack of anthropogenic disturbance. Thus, the survival of a seal in this region indicates the possibility of successful re-colonization of the Black Sea by monk seals.
THOMPSON, C. L. (2013), Non-Monogamous Copulations and Potential Within-Group Mating Competition in White-Faced Saki Monkeys (Pithecia pithecia). Am. J. Primatol.. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22142
Many primates display within-species variation in social organization and mating system. Individuals of these species may be confronted with both the challenges of between-group competition to exclude same-sex competitors as well as within-group competition for mating opportunities. Free-ranging white-faced saki monkeys (Pithecia pithecia) live in both male–female pairs and small multi-male, multi-female groups. Despite commonly held views that this species is monogamous, there are currently no published accounts of mating patterns in the genus Pithecia. I recorded copulations and sexual behavior from three free-ranging groups of white-faced sakis at Brownsberg Naturepark, Suriname over a period of 17 months. Groups displayed both monogamous and polygynandrous mating. Individuals in polygynandrous groups were not observed to mate more frequently with certain partners. Copulation harassment occurred in 8.6% of copulations (total N = 81) and was performed by both sexes. This harassment successfully prevented ejaculation in six out of seven instances and harassment by males resulted in male–male aggression on four occasions. Two cases of female-directed sexual aggression by males were also observed, which may indicate that males use sexual coercion to influence female mating behavior. Although based on a small number of groups, these data show that white-faced sakis display variability in mating system and that this variability is not directly dictated by social organization. Furthermore, groups with promiscuous copulations exhibit behaviors indicative of within-group mating competition.
Tomokazu Kawashima, Richard W. Thorington Jr., Fumi Sato, Systematic and comparative morphologies of the extrinsic cardiac nervous system in lemurs (Primates: Strepsirrhini: Infraorder Lemuriformes, Gray, 1821) with evolutionary morphological implications, Zoologischer Anzeiger – A Journal of Comparative Zoology, Volume 252, Issue 1, March 2013, Pages 101-117, ISSN 0044-5231, 10.1016/j.jcz.2012.04.001.
The detailed systematic morphology of the extrinsic cardiac nervous system (ECNS) and its surrounding structures in lemurs, Lemuriformes, were examined using 18 sides of nine lemurs including all four families: Lemuridae, Indriidae, Lepilemuridae, and Cheirogaleidae. Although the general morphology of ECNS in lemurs is similar to that in Lorisiformes, several anatomical differences, such as the structural variation of the cervicothoracic ganglion, the positional variation of the middle cervical ganglion, and the unusual appearance of the superior cardiac nerve originating from the superior cervical ganglion, demonstrate the diversity within Lemuriformes. In other words, the comparative anatomical findings of the wide variations in ECNS in the four families of Lemuriformes compared with the lower variations in the two families of Lorisiformes possibly reflect their evolutionary history and diversity, as is shown in the recent molecular phylogeny.
On the other hand, the shared common morphology of ECNS in Lorisiformes and Lemuriformes is considered to be the morphology of the common ancestor of strepsirrhines and demonstrates the gradual evolutionary changes in the primate lineage.
Our present and previous results also suggest that ECNS is preserved in the primate lineage without modification and specialization because of its functional adaptation, as is seen in the somatic system.
Zootaxa 3620 (1): 89–111 (5 Mar. 2013)
A review of the anglerfish genus Chaunax (Lophiiformes: Chaunacidae) from New Zealand and adjacent waters, with descriptions of four new species
HSUAN-CHING HO, CLIVE D. ROBERTS & ANDREW L. STEWART
Species of the anglerfish genus Chaunax Lowe, 1846 from the New Zealand region are taxonomically reviewed with six species recognized and described: Chaunax penicillatus McCulloch; C. nudiventer Ho & Shao, a new record for New Zealand; and four species new to science. Chaunax flavomaculatus sp. nov. distinguished by having its skin covered with a mix of numerous bifurcated and simple spinules, large yellow spots on dorsal surface of fresh specimens, and brownish coloured escal cirri; Chaunax mulleus sp. nov. by having a uniformly pink body with a deep red colour on ventral surfaces of the outer pectoral-fin and pelvic-fin, and lower part of caudal fin; Chaunax reticulatus sp. nov. by having cirri on the dorsal surface of head, and a pale reticulate colour pattern on a greyish background dorsally; and Chaunax russatus sp. nov. by its very wide illicial trough that is usually as wide or wider than the diameter of the pupil, and uniformly deep red body colour with creamy white to fuzzy greyish spots or patches on its dorsal surface. A key to species recognized from the study area is given.
Zootaxa 3620 (1): 112–128 (5 Mar. 2013)
Lost and found: One of the world’s most elusive amphibians, Pseudophilautus stellatus (Kelaart 1853) rediscovered
L. J. MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE, DULAN RANGA VIDANAPATHIRANA, SAMEERA AIRYARATHNE, GEHAN RAJEEV, AMILA CHANAKA, JENNIFER PASTORINI, GAYAN CHATHURANGA & NETHU WICKRAMASINGHE
Pseudophilautus stellatus (Kelaart 1853) has been rediscovered from the Peak Wilderness, Central Hills of Sri Lanka. The species, till now known only from its lost holotype, was the first shrub frog described from Sri Lanka, and had not been reported since then. It was thought to have become extinct for nearly 157 years, being the amphibian species „lost“ for the longest amount of time. Here we designate a neotype from the material collected at what we consider its type locality, having considered characters of the lost holotype and provide a complete description. We have conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis, on which basis the species is well differentiated from all other Pseudophilautus sequenced so far, and placed in a clade together with P. femoralis, P. frankenbergi, P. mooreorum, and P. poppiae.
Zootaxa 3620 (1): 147–162 (5 Mar. 2013)
Morphometric and bioacoustic data on three species of Pseudopaludicola Miranda-Ribeiro, 1926 (Anura: Leptodactylidae: Leiuperinae) described from Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso, Brazil, with the revalidation of Pseudopaludicola ameghini (Cope, 1887)
ANDRÉ PANSONATO, CHRISTINE STRÜSSMANN, JESSICA RHAIZA MUDREK & ITAMAR ALVES MARTINS
Due to minute size, overall morphological similarities, scarcity of diagnostic characters after preservation, and usual sympatric or even syntopic occurrence of two or more species of Pseudopaludicola, the taxonomy of the genus is not yet a matter of consensus. Three species in the genus Pseudopaludicola Miranda-Ribeiro, 1926 were described by Cope in 1887, based on material obtained at Chapada dos Guimarães, mid-western state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. One of these species, Pseudopaludicola ameghini, was subsequently synonymized to P. mystacalis. In this paper we present morphological and bioacoustic evidences supporting a full specific status for the three sympatric species of Pseudopaludicola described from Chapada dos Guimarães, including Pseudopaludicola ameghini Cope, 1887.
Zootaxa 3620 (1): 163–178 (5 Mar. 2013)
A new species of Andean poison frog, Andinobates (Anura: Dendrobatidae), from the northwestern Andes of Colombia
ADOLFO AMÉZQUITA, ROBERTO MÁRQUEZ, RICARDO MEDINA, DANIEL MEJÍA-VARGAS, TED R. KAHN , GUSTAVO SUÁREZ & LUIS MAZARIEGOS
The poison frogs of the Colombian Andes, Pacific lowlands and Panama have been recently recognized as a new, monophyletic and well-supported genus: Andinobates. The species richness and distribution within Andinobates remain poorly understood due to the paucity of geographic, genetic and phenotypic data. Here we use a combination of molecular, bioacoustic and morphometric evidence to describe a new species of Andean poison frog: Andinobates cassidyhornae sp. nov. from the high elevation cloud forests of the Colombian Cordillera Occidental, in the northwestern Andes. The new species is associated to the bombetes group and characterized by a unique combination of ventral and dorsal color patterns.
Data on 1119 bp from two mitochondrial markers allowed us to reject the null hypotheses that A. cassidyhornae sp. nov. is part of the phenotypically similar and geographically less distant species: A. opisthomelas, A. virolinensis or A. bombetes. The best available phylogenetic trees and the genetic distance to other Andinobates species further support this decision. Altogether, the advertisement call parameters unambiguously separated A. cassidyhornae sp. nov. calls from the calls of the three closest species. The new species adds to a poorly known and highly endangered genus of poison frogs that requires further studies and urgent conservation measures.
Zootaxa 3620 (1): 179–191 (5 Mar. 2013)
A new species of salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae, Bolitoglossa) from Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuela
JAVIER GARCÍA-GUTIÉRREZ, MOISÉS ESCALONA, ANDRÉS MORA, AMELIA DÍAZ DE PASCUAL & GUSTAVO FERMIN
In this article, a new species of salamander of the genus Bolitoglossa (Eladinea) from the cloud forest near La Mucuy in Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuelan Andes, is described. Bolitoglossa mucuyensis sp. nov. differs from all Venezuelan salamanders, except B. orestes, by a larger SVL/TL ratio, and from La Culata salamander B. orestes by a reduced webbing extension of the front and hind limbs. Additionally, B. mucuyensis sp. nov. and B. orestes diverge 3.12% in terms of the nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene, as previously reported, and in 8.1% for the cytb gene as shown in this study.
Early Miocene origin and cryptic diversification of South American salamanders
Elmer KR, Bonett RM, Wake DB, Lougheed SC
BMC Evolutionary Biology 2013, 13:59 (4 March 2013)
The currently recognized species richness of South American salamanders is surprisingly low compared to North and Central America. In part, this low richness may be due to the salamanders being a recent arrival to South America. Additionally, the number of South American salamander species may be underestimated because of cryptic diversity. The aims of our present study were to infer evolutionary relationships, lineage diversity, and timing of divergence of the South American Bolitoglossa using mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from specimens primarily from localities in the Andes and upper Amazon Basin. We also estimated time of colonization of South America to test whether it is consistent with arrival via the Panamanian land bridge connection at its traditionally assumed age of 3 million years.
Divergence time estimates suggest that Bolitoglossa arrived in South America from Central America by at least the Early Miocene, ca. 23.6 MYA (95% HPD 15.9-30.3 MYA), and subsequently diversified. South American salamanders of the genus Bolitoglossa show strong phylogeographic structure at fine geographic scales and deep divergences at the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b (Cytb) and high diversity at the nuclear recombination activating gene-1 (Rag1). Species often contain multiple genetically divergent lineages that are occasionally geographically overlapping. Single specimens from two southeastern localities in Ecuador are sister to the equatoriana-peruviana clade and genetically distinct from all other species investigated to date. Another single exemplar from the Andes of northwestern Ecuador is highly divergent from all other specimens and is sister to all newly studied samples. Nevertheless, all sampled species of South American Bolitoglossa are members of a single clade that is one of several constituting the subgenus Eladinea, one of seven subgenera in this large genus.
The ancestors of South American salamanders likely arrived at least by the Early Miocene, well before the completion of the Late Pliocene Panamanian land bridge (widely accepted as ca. 3 MYA). This date is in agreement with recent, controversial, arguments that an older, perhaps short-lived, land connection may have existed between South America and present-day Panama 23–25 MYA. Since its arrival in South America, Bolitoglossa has diversified more extensively than previously presumed and currently includes several cryptic species within a relatively small geographic area. Rather than two upper Amazonian species currently recorded for this region, we propose that at least eight should be recognized, although these additional lineages remain to be formally described.
Stewart, B. P., Nelson, T. A., Laberee, K., Nielsen, S. E., Wulder, M. A. and Stenhouse, G. (2013), Quantifying grizzly bear selection of natural and anthropogenic edges. The Journal of Wildlife Management. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.535
Understanding the use of edges by threatened species is important for conservation and management. Whereas the effects of anthropogenic edges on threatened species have been studied, the effects of natural edges are unknown. We studied grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) habitat selection in relation to different landscape-level measures of edge, both natural and anthropogenic. We used a database of global positioning system telemetry data collected from 26 grizzly bears from 2005 to 2009 in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in west-central Alberta, Canada. We quantified grizzly bear locations relative to natural edges extracted from satellite-derived land cover data and anthropogenic edges from existing vector datasets (roads, pipelines, and forest harvests). To compare edge distance from observed telemetry points statistically, we generated a distribution of expected points through a conditional randomization of an existing resource selection function describing grizzly bear habitat use without respect to edges. We also measured the density of edges within home ranges and compared this to the overall population to create an edge selection ratio. In general, females selected anthropogenic edges, whereas males selected natural edges. Both sexes selected the natural transition (edge) of shrub to conifer. Females had a greater selection ratio for road edges than males in all seasons, and males had a greater selection ratio for roads in the fall than in other seasons. Only females selected for pipeline edges. Our results indicated that edge habitat was selected by both males and females, mostly in the fall. Given human access to bear habitat is often facilitated by anthropogenic edges (e.g., roads), improved management of these features may minimize human conflicts. In particular, we highlight the importance of the natural transition of shrub to conifer to grizzly bears.
Clark, D. A., Anthony, R. G. and Andrews, L. S. (2013), Relationship between wildfire, salvage logging, and occupancy of nesting territories by Northern spotted owls. The Journal of Wildlife Management. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.523
The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) is one of the most intensively studied raptors in the world; however, little is known about the impacts of wildfire on the subspecies and how they use recently burned areas. Three large-scale wildfires in southwest Oregon provided an opportunity to investigate the short-term impacts of wildfire and salvage logging on site occupancy of spotted owls. We used Program MARK to develop single-species, multiple-season models of site occupancy using data collected during demographic surveys of spotted owl territories. In our first analysis, we compared occupancy dynamics of spotted owl nesting territories before (1992–2002) and after the Timbered Rock burn (2003–2006) to a reference area in the south Cascade Mountains that was not affected recently by wildfire. We found that the South Cascades had greater colonization probabilities than Timbered Rock before and after wildfire (, 95% CI = 0.60–2.03), and colonization probabilities declined over time at both areas (, 95% CI = −0.12 to 0.00). Extinction probabilities were greater at South Cascades than at Timbered Rock prior to the burn (, 95% CI = 0.23–2.62); however, Timbered Rock had greater extinction probabilities following wildfire (, 95% CI = 0.29–2.62). The Timbered Rock and South Cascades study areas had similar patterns in site occupancy prior to the Timbered Rock burn (1992–2001). Furthermore, Timbered Rock had a 64% reduction in site occupancy following wildfire (2003–2006) in contrast to a 25% reduction in site occupancy at South Cascades during the same time period. This suggested that the combined effects of habitat disturbances due to wildfire and subsequent salvage logging on private lands negatively affected site occupancy by spotted owls. In our second analysis, we investigated the relationship between wildfire, salvage logging, and occupancy of spotted owl territories at the Biscuit, Quartz, and Timbered Rock burns from 2003 to 2006. Extinction probabilities increased as the combined area of early seral forests, high severity burn, and salvage logging increased within the core nesting areas (, 95% CI = 0.10–3.66). We were unable to identify any relationships between initial occupancy or colonization probabilities and the habitat covariates that we considered in our analysis where the β coefficient did not overlap zero. We concluded that site occupancy of spotted owl nesting territories declined in the short-term following wildfire, and habitat modification and loss due to past timber harvest, high severity fire, and salvage logging jointly contributed to declines in site occupancy.