Abstract View

Zootaxa 3641 (2): 149–164 (23 Apr. 2013)
Crenicichla gillmorlisi, a new species of cichlid fish (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the Paraná river drainage in Paraguay

Crenicichla gillmorlisi, new species, is described from the río Acaray, a right bank tributary to the río Paraná. It is most similar to C. mandelburgeri in proportional measurements and meristics, but differs in colour pattern, adults having the body covered with small spots.

Zootaxa 3641 (2): 177–187 (23 Apr. 2013)
Teleocichla wajapi, a new species of cichlid from the rio Jari, Brazil, with comments on T. centrarchus Kullander, 1988 (Teleostei: Cichlidae)

Teleocichla wajapi, new species, is described from the rio Jari basin, northern Brazil. The new species differs from its congeners by possessing four anal-fin spines, 56–62 scales in E1 series, smaller orbital diameter (24.6–30.2% of head length) and barred or zigzag color pattern on flanks. New information on the morphology and distribution of T. centrarchus is provided based on recently collected material.

Zootaxa 3641 (2): 197–200 (23 Apr. 2013)
First record of the moray eel Gymnothorax reticularis, Bloch, 1795 in the Mediterranean Sea, with a note on its taxonomy and distribution

The first Red-Sea Indo-Pacific alien moray eel in the Eastern Mediterranean is reported here. A single specimen of
Gymnothorax reticularis was captured by a commercial bottom-trawl vessel off the northern coast of Israel.
Morphological and anatomical similarities with the single known Red-Sea specimen raise an old taxonomic dilemma.

Kristen M. Hart, David G. Zawada, Ikuko Fujisaki, Barbara H. Lidz, Habitat use of breeding green turtles Chelonia mydas tagged in Dry Tortugas National Park: Making use of local and regional MPAs, Biological Conservation, Volume 161, May 2013, Pages 142-154, ISSN 0006-3207, 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.03.019.Use of existing marine protected areas (MPAs) by far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on MPA use by marine turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 and 2011 to track movements of 11 adult female breeding green turtles (Chelonia mydas) tagged in Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), in the Gulf of Mexico, south Florida, USA. Throughout the study period, turtles emerged every 9–18 days to nest. During the intervals between nesting episodes (i.e., inter-nesting periods), the turtles consistently used a common core-area within the DRTO boundary, determined using individual 50% kernel-density estimates (KDEs). We mapped the area in DRTO where individual turtle 50% KDEs overlapped using the USGS Along-Track Reef-Imaging System, and determined the diversity and distribution of various benthic-cover types within the mapped area. We also tracked turtles post-nesting as they transited to foraging sites 5–282 km away from tagging beaches; these sites were located both within DRTO and in the surrounding area of the Florida Keys and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), a regional MPA. Year-round residency of 9 out of 11 individuals (82%) both within DRTO and in the FKNMS represents novel non-migratory behavior, which offers an opportunity for conservation of this imperiled species at both local and regional scales. These data comprise the first satellite-tracking results on adult nesting green turtles at this remote study site. Additional tracking could reveal whether the distinct inter-nesting and foraging sites delineated here will be repeatedly used in the future by these and other breeding green turtles.

Arne Bjørge, Mette Skern-Mauritzen, Marjorie C. Rossman, Estimated bycatch of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in two coastal gillnet fisheries in Norway, 2006–2008. Mitigation and implications for conservation, Biological Conservation, Volume 161, May 2013, Pages 164-173, ISSN 0006-3207, 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.03.009.
Using data collected during 2006–2008 from a monitored segment (18 vessels) of the Norwegian coastal fleet (vessels <15m) of gillnetters targeting monkfish and cod, we used general additive models (GAMs) to derive bycatch rates of harbour porpoise. These bycatch rates were then applied to fishery catch data on the target species to estimate the total number of porpoise taken by the coastal gillnet fisheries. The two best models estimated bycatches of 20,719 and 20,989 porpoises during 2006–2008, with CVs 36% and 27%, respectively. Thus, about 6900 harbour porpoises are taken annually in the coastal monkfish and cod gillnet fisheries. Although no abundance estimate is available for the coastal harbour porpoise population, this annual bycatch is likely not sustainable according to the management objectives defined by ASCOBANS. In the cod gillnet fishery, harbour porpoise bycatch rates decreased rapidly with increasing depth to 50m and then levelled off. In the monkfish gillnet fishery, bycatch rates decreased linearly with increasing depth throughout the depth range fished. To reduce harbour porpoise bycatches, we recommend that large mesh nets associated with the monkfish fishery to be prohibited at depths less than 50m. We also recommend to conduct experiments using Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs or ‘pingers’) on nets set deeper than 50m. If these devices prove successful in reducing porpoise bycatch, we propose that ADDs should be implemented in the Norwegian coastal gillnet fisheries for cod and monkfish.

Shishova, N. V., Uteshev, V. K., Sirota, N. P., Kuznetsova, E. A., Kaurova, S. A., Browne, R. K. and Gakhova, E. N. (2013), The Quality and Fertility of Sperm Collected From European Common Frog (Rana temporaria) Carcasses Refrigerated for up to 7 Days. Zoo Biol.. doi: 10.1002/zoo.21070
There is a catastrophic decrease in the biodiversity of amphibians coupled with the loss of genetic variation. The perpetuation of amphibian biodiversity demands a multifaceted approach, including the use of reproduction technologies (RTs), to enable efficient reproduction in captivity and to prevent the loss of genetic variation. Reproduction technologies for the storage of amphibian sperm for days to weeks, when refrigerated at 4°C, or for millennia when cryopreserved have recently undergone rapid development. Sperm from amphibians may be obtained through excision and maceration of testes; however, this is sometimes not possible with rare or endangered species. Alternate methods of obtaining sperm are through hormonal induction, or as spermatozoa from the carcasses of recently dead amphibians. The use of sperm from carcasses of recently dead amphibians is particularly valuable when sampled from genetically important founders in conservation breeding programs, or where catastrophic mortality is occurring in natural population. Sperm harvested over a period of 7 days from the testes of European common frog (Rana temporaria) carcasses stored in a refrigerator were assessed for percentage and progressive motility, cell membrane integrity, nuclear DNA fragmentation, and fertilizing ability. In addition, the survival of resulting embryos to hatch was recorded. Results indicated that some sperm of R. temporaria remain motile and fertile when harvested from frog carcasses refrigerated up to 7 days post-mortem, and resulting embryos can develop to hatch.

Damian C. Lettoof, Matthew J. Greenlees, Michelle Stockwell, Richard Shine, Do invasive cane toads affect the parasite burdens of native Australian frogs?, International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, Available online 22 April 2013, ISSN 2213-2244, 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.04.002.
One of the most devastating impacts of an invasive species is the introduction of novel parasites or diseases to native fauna. Invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Australia contain several types of parasites, raising concern that the toads may increase rates of parasitism in local anuran species. We sampled cane toads and sympatric native frogs (Limnodynastes peronii, Litoria latopalmata, and Litoria nasuta) at the southern invasion front of cane toads in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW). We dissected and swabbed these anurans to score the presence and abundance of nematodes (Rhabdias lungworms, and gastric encysting nematodes), myxozoans, and chytrid fungus. To determine if cane toad invasion influences rates of parasitism in native frogs, we compared the prevalence and intensity of parasites in frogs from areas with toads, to frogs from areas without toads. Contrary to the situation on the (rapidly-expanding) tropical invasion front, cane toads on the slowly-expanding southern front were heavily infected with rhabditoid lungworms. Toads also contained gastric-encysting nematodes, and one toad was infected by chytrid fungus, but we did not find myxozoans in any toads. All parasite groups were recorded in native frogs, but were less common in areas invaded by toads than in nearby yet to be invaded areas. Contrary to our predictions, toad invasion was associated with a reduced parasite burden in native frogs. Thus, cane toads do not appear to transfer novel parasites to native frog populations, or act as a reservoir for native parasites to ‘spill-back’ into native frogs. Instead, cane toads may reduce frog-parasite numbers by taking up native parasites that are then killed by the toad’s immune defences.

Monica L. Wakefield, Social dynamics among females and their influence on social structure in an East African chimpanzee community, Animal Behaviour, Available online 22 April 2013, ISSN 0003-3472, 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.03.019.
Social structure in group-living animals is defined by the nature and patterning of social interactions among members of the society. Social structure is shaped in large part by kinship and competition among group members, but can also be influenced by affiliative interactions among both kin and nonkin and can vary based on sex differences in dispersal patterns and social dynamics. Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, live in fission–fusion societies in which males form strong dyadic bonds and have social networks that can influence the social structure of the community. Females are generally less gregarious than males and bonding among females is considered rare or absent in East African populations. Although females in some populations are known to form ‘neighbourhoods’, these are assumed to reflect passive spatial arrangements. In this study I used data on female chimpanzee association and social interactions to examine how social dynamics among the dispersing sex influence social structure at Ngogo, Kibale National Park. Females at Ngogo were relatively gregarious and exhibited association preferences that extended beyond the dyadic level. Females formed distinct association clusters termed ‘cliques’ within which affiliative interactions occurred more than expected by chance. In addition, association patterns were found to be active social units and not a by-product of space use overlap. These findings demonstrate that intrasexual bonding is not limited to males in this population and that female social relationships, not just those of males, can influence chimpanzee grouping patterns and the corresponding social structure of the community. This study contributes to our growing understanding chimpanzee behavioural diversity.

Troncoso-Palacios J, F. Garin C (2013) On the identity of Liolaemus nigromaculatus Wiegmann, 1834 (Iguania, Liolaemidae) and correction of its type locality. ZooKeys 294: 37-56. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.294.4399
In the current study, we review the taxonomic status of Liolaemus nigromaculatus. Despite being the nominal species of the nigromaculatus group and being the second species of the genus Liolaemus that was described, this species is of uncertain type locality and its true identification is a matter of discussion. After carefully analyzing several digital pictures of the holotype (juvenile male), reviewing all of the literature concerning the issue, examining specimens of nearly all recognized species of the nigromaculatus group, and determining the locations visited by the specimen collector, we are able to point out the following: 1) Liolaemus nigromaculatus was collected between Puerto Viejo and Copiapó of the Atacama region in Chile, and not in Huasco 2) Liolaemus bisignatus is a nomen nudum, and populations attributed to Liolaemus bisignatus should be referred to as Liolaemus nigromaculatus. 3) There is agreement that Liolaemus copiapoensis is indistinguishable from populations currently referred to as Liolaemus bisignatus (= Liolaemus nigromaculatus), 4) Populations found in Huasco (currently considered the type locality of Liolaemus nigromaculatus) are very similar to those found in Caldera (currently considered Liolaemus bisignatus) and should be designated as Liolaemus nigromaculatus, and 5) Liolaemus oxycephalus and Liolaemus inconspicuus are not synonymous with Liolaemus nigromaculatus, although their true identities are difficult to determine. We also detail several characteristic based on the holotype of Liolaemus nigromaculatus, in addition to drawing diagnostic comparisons between this species and others belonging to the nigromaculatus group.

Hinze, A., Rymer, T. and Pillay, N. (2013), Spatial dichotomy of sociality in the African ice rat. Journal of Zoology. doi: 10.1111/jzo.12028
Sociality is environmentally and phylogenetically determined and can vary intraspecifically and interspecifically. We investigated the reasons for group living in the African ice rat Otomys sloggetti robertsi, a diurnal, herbivorous, non-hibernating murid rodent, endemic to the sub-alpine and alpine regions of the southern African Drakensberg and Maluti mountains. We expected ice rats to be group living, nesting communally in underground burrows. We documented the spatial organization and social behaviour of free-living ice rats through direct observations and experimental manipulations. Colonies comprised 4–17 adults of both sexes. Members of a colony had a high degree of spatial home-range overlap but no temporal overlap because interactions between members were rare aboveground. Individuals experimentally displaced within their own colony were attacked by members of their own colony and were treated in the same way as strangers from other colonies. Members of a colony competed aggressively for prized food, particularly in winter. Ice rats displayed a vertical spatial separation in social behaviour, from huddling and tolerance belowground to solitary foraging and mutual avoidance aboveground. Such a dichotomy in sociality reflects the compromise between the benefits of social thermoregulation and burrow sharing on the one hand and the constraints of competing for resources, mainly food, on the other. Such a compromise may ultimately be related to the poor physiological adaptation of ice rats to the cold environments they inhabit.

Roberto Sacchi, Daniele Pellitteri-Rosa, Adriana Bellati, Aurora Di Paoli, Michele Ghitti, Stefano Scali, Paolo Galeotti, Mauro Fasola, Colour variation in the polymorphic common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis): An analysis using the RGB colour system, Zoologischer Anzeiger – A Journal of Comparative Zoology, Available online 23 April 2013, ISSN 0044-5231, 10.1016/j.jcz.2013.03.001.
Intra-specific colour variation may either reflect a discrete polymorphism, potentially related to life-history strategies; a continuous signal, which may be related to individual quality; or a combination of both. Understanding the true nature of this colour variation may thus help to identify the possible selective mechanism producing it. The common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) exhibits polymorphic colouration, both sexes showing three pure morphs differing in throat and belly colouration (white, yellow and red) and three intermediate morphs (white-yellow, white-red, and yellow-red). In this study we used digital photography and image analysis (RGB system) to investigate colour variation among morphs, sexes and populations. We found that colouration of the six phenotypes results from the combination of three discrete colour tinges (white, red and yellow): pure morphs express a single colour, and no continuous variation exists among them. Similarly, ventral parts of the intermediate white-red and yellow-red morphs present a mixture of two discrete colours resulting from the concurrent expression in different scales of the same colours showed by the corresponding pure morphs. Finally, the white-yellow intermediates show the same colour tinge than pure yellow morph, but with a lower intensity. The finding that white-yellow lizards are smaller than all other ones suggests that they might be subadults not yet expressing the full yellow colouration. Morph colouration significantly varied among sexes, suggesting a possible role for hormone plasma levels in controlling colour expression. It is noteworthy that RGB values varied among sites, indicating that colour expression in this species holds some level of environmental plasticity. Therefore, our results confirmed the presence of discrete colour morphs, which may be genetically based in both sexes of common wall lizards. However, our findings also showed intra-individual variation in colour expression within a morph that is associated with habitat occupancy, which suggests phenotypic plasticity in morphs.

Gail Schofield, Rebecca Scott, Alexandra Dimadi, Sabrina Fossette, Kostas A. Katselidis, Drosos Koutsoubas, Martin K.S. Lilley, John D. Pantis, Amalia D. Karagouni, Graeme C. Hays, Evidence-based marine protected area planning for a highly mobile endangered marine vertebrate, Biological Conservation, Volume 161, May 2013, Pages 101-109, ISSN 0006-3207, 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.03.004.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) now form an important part of marine conservation and fisheries management; hence, there is broad interest in developing procedures that optimize their design. We used data collected over a 10-year period (2003–2012) from direct surveys and>100adult male and female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) tracked with devices, including GPS loggers and Fastloc GPS-Argos, to consider the optimum design for a MPA at a globally important breeding area, where there is already an existing national marine park aiming to protect the population (Zakynthos, Greece). Turtles primarily used areas very close to shore (approx. 7km in length by 1km in width, within the<10m isobath) for breeding and foraging activity at different times of the year. We calculated that this small nearshore coastal zone encompassed 72% of all turtle GPS locations recorded in the MPA, and is therefore important for conservation management. We developed an index to evaluate the suitability of the existing and proposed conservation zones based on (1) home range area use by turtles in these zones versus zone size, so that the benefit to turtles could be maximized while minimizing the negative impacts to other stakeholders (e.g., boat operators). With this evidence-based approach, we propose a modification to the existing MPA that might both enhance local economic tourism activities and better safeguard this key sea turtle breeding population. The approaches used here will have general application for the design of MPAs used by mobile species that can be tracked. MPA design for migratory loggerheads was assessed using direct and indirect methods. Seasonal trends in male and female arrival, departure, and residency were recorded. Turtles primarily used a specific nearshore area for breeding and foraging activity. An index was developed to evaluate existing and proposed MPA zone suitability. Zoning modifications would improve turtle protection and related tourism activities.

Wang, S., Lillywhite, H. B., Cheng, Y. C. and Tu, M. C. (2013), Variation of traits and habitat use in three species of sea kraits in Taiwan. Journal of Zoology. doi: 10.1111/jzo.12012
Three sympatric species of sea kraits (Laticauda spp.) were found to have different degrees of aquatic tendencies at Orchid Island (=Lanyu), Taiwan. All species move to coastal areas at night. Generally, Laticauda semifasciata remain submerged in sea water, L. laticaudata emerge onto land, but remain not far from the water’s edge, while L. colubrina tend to move farther inland away from the water. Attributes of morphology and physiology can influence the performance and survival of snakes differently in aquatic or terrestrial habitats, so we hypothesize that some attributes of structure and function will vary among these three sympatric species of sea kraits. We measured parameters of the body shape, vascular lung, saccular lung and hematocrit of sea kraits to investigate possible morphological correlates of their physiology. The most aquatic species, L. semifasciata, had a significantly more laterally flattened body form, larger saccular lung volume and higher hematocrit than the other two species, whereas only few differences were found between the two less aquatic species. L. laticaudata had a significantly higher hematocrit than L. colubrina.

Zootaxa 3641 (3): 271–281 (24 Apr. 2013)
From a dwarf to a giant: Revalidation of Callulops valvifer (Barbour, 1910), (Amphibia, Anura, Microhylidae)

According to the most recent revision of the subfamily Asterophryinae, the species Pomatops valvifera was considered to be a synonym of Phrynomantis (now Callulops) robusta. On the basis of recently collected material from near the type locality of Pomatops valvifera on the Bomberai Peninsula in western New Guinea, the invalidity of the genus name is confirmed but the species name is revalidated. Callulops valvifer (new combination) was hitherto unequivocally known from a single specimen of less than 30 mm snout-vent length. With a length of more than 70 mm for males and of more than 80 mm for females, this species is now among the largest of the currently known 22 species of the genus Callulops.

A New Juvenile Specimen of Sapeornis (Pygostylia: Aves) from the Lower Cretaceous of Northeast China and Allometric Scaling of this Basal Bird
Hanyong Pu, Huali Chang, Junchang Lü, Yanhua Wu, Li Xu, Jiming Zhang, and Songhai Jia
Paleontological Research 2013 17 (1), 27-38

The discovery of an extremely well preserved new juvenile specimen of Sapeornis provides more anatomical information about this basal avian, and documents the first avian specimen from the Jehol Biota with detailed foot-pad integument preserved. This is the first Sapeornis specimen with a well preserved carpal X, astragalus and calcaneum. Seven major skeletal components from five well preserved juvenile and adult skeletons of Sapeornis were measured. The allometric differences associated with growth are shown to be distinct; all linear regressions resulted in high correlation coefficients consistent with a single growth series. The number of sacral vertebrae and free caudal vertebrae vary during ontogeny, and this may indicate that all the specimens can be assigned to a single species: Sapeornis chaoyangensis.

Denning ecology of American black bears in the Cascade Mountains of western Oregon
Dave Immell, DeWaine H. Jackson, and Margaret C. Boulay
Ursus 2013 24 (1), 1-12

Little is known about the denning ecology of American black bears (Ursus americanus) in the Cascade Mountains of western Oregon. Extensive logging during the late 20th century altered the landscape significantly and may have affected the availability and quality of denning habitat. We visited 104 dens of 54 radiocollared bears during 1993–98 to document den-site characteristics and bear behavior in the Cascade Mountains of western Oregon. We also monitored bears in the spring and fall to estimate denning chronology. In addition, we randomly selected 5-ha quadrats to search for fungal activity and potential den sites. Eighty percent of dens we located were in trees that had cavities created by fungal activity. The remaining dens were located in rocky outcroppings and caves, under logs, or on the ground. We found no selection of dens based on micro- or macro aspect, elevation, or slope. Bears denned more than expected in mature timber with trees that averaged >50.8 cm diameter at breast height (dbh). Mean den entry date for bears in our study was November 20, and mean den emergence date was April 15. Pregnant females entered dens earlier and emerged later than barren females, females with yearlings, and all male age classes. Bears were more likely to abandon dens at lower elevations with little snow accumulation and less secure den structures. Fungal activity was randomly distributed throughout the study area. Fifty-one potential tree and log den structures were found in 27 of 64 quadrats we sampled. This information can help federal and state foresters schedule and design management activities within stands of timber containing denning habitat, aid wildlife managers in setting bear hunting seasons, and help timber cruisers and biologists detect and avoid disturbance of active dens.

Hendrik Müller, H. Christoph Liedtke, Michele Menegon, Jan Beck, Liliana Ballesteros-Mejia, Peter Nagel, and Simon P. Loader
Forests as promoters of terrestrial life-history strategies in East African amphibians
Biol. Lett. June 23, 2013 9 3 20121146; doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.1146 1744-957X

Many amphibian lineages show terrestrialization of their reproductive strategy and breeding is partially or completely independent of water. A number of causal factors have been proposed for the evolution of terrestrialized breeding. While predation has received repeated attention as a potential factor, the influence of other factors such as habitat has never been tested using appropriate data or methods. Using a dataset that comprises 180 amphibian species from various East African habitats, we tested whether species occurring in different habitats show different patterns of terrestrialization in their breeding strategy. We recovered a significant association between terrestrialized breeding strategies and forest habitats. In general, forest seems to act as a facilitator, providing a permissive environment for the evolution of terrestrialized breeding strategies. However, while terrestrial oviposition is strongly correlated with lowland and montane forest habitat, complete terrestrial development is significantly correlated with montane forest only, indicating different selective pressures acting at different steps towards complete terrestrial development.

Bonaventura Majolo, Richard McFarland, Christopher Young, Mohamed Qarro
The Effect of Climatic Factors on the Activity Budgets of Barbary Macaques (Macaca sylvanus)
International Journal of Primatology, April 2013

Climatic conditions can significantly affect the behavior of animals and constrain their activity or geographic distribution. Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) are one of the few primates that live outside the tropics. Here we analyze if and how the activity budgets of Barbary macaques are affected by climatic variables, i.e., air temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, and snow coverage. We collected scan sampling data on the activity budgets of four groups of macaques living in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco from June 2008 to January 2011. This habitat is characterized by extreme seasonal changes, from cold and snowy winters to hot and dry summers. The activity budgets of the macaques differed across months but not across the time of day (with the exception of time spent feeding). The monkeys spent significantly more time feeding or foraging when there was no snow than when snow coverage was moderate or major. Daily rainfall was positively related to resting time and negatively to time spent moving or in social behavior. Air temperature was negatively related to time spent feeding or foraging. Finally, time spent on social behavior was significantly lower when relative humidity was high. These data indicate that environmental factors significantly affect the time budgets of endangered Barbary macaques, a species that has been little studied in the wild. Our findings support previous studies on temperate primates in showing that snow coverage can have negative consequences on the feeding ecology and survival of these species.

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