Abstract View

Zootaxa 3716 (1): 022–038 (20 Sept. 2013)
A new species of the genus Tropiocolotes Peters, 1880 from western Iran (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae)

The genus Tropiocolotes comprises small, naked toed, ground dwelling and nocturnal desert geckos, ranging from Morocco and Mauritania in northern Africa to south and central Arabia as well as coastal Iran. Herein, we describe a new species of the genus Tropiocolotes from western Iran based on five specimens from Nayband region. This new taxon is described with a statistical approach based on 34 meristic, metric and qualitative morphological characters of more than 300 individuals of related species.

Zootaxa 3716 (1): 081–097 (20 Sept. 2013)
Molecular evidence of the taxonomic status of western Mexican populations of Phaethornis longirostris (Aves: Trochilidae)

Species diversity is largely underestimated by current taxonomy, precluding a precise understanding of evolutionary processes. Genetic data have increased our understanding of that cryptic diversity, and multilocus studies are now desirable. In this study, we used mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences to evaluate the taxonomic status of the western Mexico’s populations of Phaethornis longirostris. We found differences of 4.2 % in mtDNA and different alleles for one nDNA locus between western and eastern Mexican populations. Molecular and morphological evidence support the Separation of these populations (P. l. mexicanus and P. l. griseoventer) as the species Phaethornis mexicanus Hartert 1897. Phaethornis mexicanus is endemic to western Mexico and sister to the remaining populations of P. longirostris. The speciation of P. mexicanus probably occurred around 880,000 years ago by a vicariant event involving climatic-vegetational changes.

Fernanda Pozzan Paim, José de Sousa e Silva Júnior, João Valsecchi, Maria Lúcia Harada, Helder Lima de Queiroz
Diversity, Geographic Distribution and Conservation of Squirrel Monkeys, Saimiri (Primates, Cebidae), in the Floodplain Forests of Central Amazon
International Journal of Primatology September 2013

Eleven taxa of primates are found in the floodplains of the western portion of the central Brazilian Amazon, protected in part by the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve. The taxonomy of the squirrel monkeys, the number of taxa, and their geographic distributions are still poorly understood. Here we investigate differentiation among the taxa of this genus in Mamirauá, examining their morphology and geographic distribution. We registered 333 points of occurrence of squirrel monkeys and examined 117 specimens deposited in scientific collections. The results of the morphological analyses were generally in good agreement with field observations. Together they indicate the existence of three taxa: Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri sciureus macrodon, and S. s. cassiquiarensis. The restricted range of Saimiri vanzolinii in the southeastern portion of the reserve covers an area of 870 km2, and it is among the smallest of the distribution areas for any Neotropical primate species. Saimiri sciureus cassiquiarensis has a disjunct distribution, crossing the Japurá River to the right bank into the reserve in two places, and S. s. macrodon is the squirrel monkey ranging widely in the northwest of Mamirauá. There are three areas of parapatry: one between Saimiri vanzolinii and Saimiri sciureus macrodon and two between S. vanzolinii and S. s. cassiquiarensis. We recommend that anthropogenic changes in the region be monitored, and conservation measures be taken to protect these primates, especially considering the endemism and very restricted range of Saimiri vanzolinii and its consequent vulnerability to extinction.

Fred Kraus
Three new species of Oreophryne (Anura, Microhylidae) from Papua New Guinea
ZooKeys 333 (2013): 93-121
doi: 10.3897/zookeys.333.5795
Date published: 20.09.2013

I describe three new species of the diverse microhylid frog genus Oreophryne from Papua New Guinea. Two of these occur in two isolated mountain ranges along the northern coast of Papua New Guinea; the third is from Rossel Island in the very southeasternmost part of the country. All three are the first Oreophryne known from these areas to have a cartilaginous connection between the procoracoid and scapula, a feature usually seen in species far to the west or from the central cordillera of New Guinea. Each of the new species also differs from the many other Papuan Oreophryne in a variety of other morphological, color-pattern, and call features. Advertisement-call data for Oreophryne species from the north-coast region suggest that they represent only two of the several call types seen in regions further south, consistent with the relatively recent derivation of these northern regions as accreted island-arc systems. The distinctively different, whinnying, call type of the new species from Rossel Island occurs among other Oreophryne from southeastern Papua New Guinea but has been unreported elsewhere, raising the possibility that it may characterize a clade endemic to that region.

E. Tobias Krause, Marc Naguib
Effects of parental and own early developmental conditions on the phenotype in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)
Evolutionary Ecology September 2013

The performance of an individual can be critically influenced by its experience early in life as well as trans-generationally by the conditions experienced by its parents. However, it remains unclear whether or not the early experience of parents and offspring interact with each other and adapt offspring when the parental and own early environmental conditions match. Here, zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) that had experienced either early low or high nutritional conditions raised their offspring under either matched or mismatched nutritional conditions. Parental and offspring early conditions both separately affected the offspring’s adult phenotype, but early conditions experienced by parents and offspring did not interact as predicted. Offspring that grew up under conditions matching those their parents had experienced did not do better than those that grew up in a mismatched environment. Thus, transgenerational effects remain a lifelong burden to the offspring acting in addition to the offspring’s own early life experience. The lack of evidence for adaptive programming to matching environmental conditions may result from non-predictive environments under natural conditions in such opportunistic breeders.

Hari Sridhar, Kartik Shanker
Using intra-flock association patterns to understand why birds participate in mixed-species foraging flocks in terrestrial habitats
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology September 2013

Bird species are hypothesized to join mixed-species flocks (flocks hereon) either for direct foraging or anti-predation-related benefits. In this study, conducted in a tropical evergreen forest in the Western Ghats of India, we used intra-flock association patterns to generate a community-wide assessment of flocking benefits for different species. We assumed that individuals needed to be physically proximate to particular heterospecific individuals within flocks to obtain any direct foraging benefit (flushed prey, kleptoparasitism, copying foraging locations). Alternatively, for anti-predation benefits, physical proximity to particular heterospecifics is not required, i.e. just being in the flock vicinity can suffice. Therefore, we used choice of locations within flocks to infer whether individual species are obtaining direct foraging or anti-predation benefits. A small subset of the bird community (5/29 species), composed of all members of the sallying guild, showed non-random physical proximity to heterospecifics within flocks. All preferred associates were from non-sallying guilds, suggesting that the sallying species were likely obtaining direct foraging benefits either in the form of flushed or kleptoparasitized prey. The majority of the species (24/29) chose locations randomly with respect to heterospecifics within flocks and, thus, were likely obtaining antipredation benefits. In summary, our study indicates that direct foraging benefits are important for only a small proportion of species in flocks and that predation is likely to be the main driver of flocking for most participants. Our findings apart, our study provides methodological advances that might be useful in understanding asymmetric interactions in social groups of single and multiple species.

Etting, S. F., Isbell, L. A. and Grote, M. N. (2013), Factors increasing snake detection and perceived threat in captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Am. J. Primatol.. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22216
The primary predators of primates are all ambush hunters, and yet felids, raptors, and snakes differ in aspects of their ecology that affect the evasive strategies of their primate prey. Felids and raptors can traverse long distances quickly, thus the urgency of threat they present increases as they come closer in proximity to primates. In contrast, snakes do not move rapidly over long distances, and so primates may be reasonably safe even at close distances provided snakes can be detected and monitored. We investigated the ability of captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) to detect snakes at distances ranging from 15 to 1.5 m. We also examined variation in intensity of perceived threat by applying a Hidden Markov Model to infer changes in underlying state from observable behaviors, that is, increased attention and mobbing. We found that the macaques often failed to detect snake models but that closer proximity improved snake detection, which is necessary before threat can be perceived. We also found that having only one individual in fairly close proximity (≤7.5 m) was sufficient to alert the rest of the group and so the chances of detection did not increase with increasing group size. Finally, we found that when the snakes were perceived, they did not elicit greater intensity of response with closer proximity. These results provide evidence that the threat from snakes is greatest when they are in proximity to primates but are unseen. When snakes are seen, however, distance appears not to affect primates‘ perceived risk, in contrast to their perceived risk from raptors and felids.

Pedro Américo D. Dias, Ariadna Rangel-Negrín, Alejandro Coyohua-Fuentes, Domingo Canales-Espinosa
Factors affecting the drinking behavior of black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra)
Primates September 2013

Water is essential for animals, and is particularly critical for thermoregulation. Animals obtain water from three main sources, free water, water contained in food, and water produced in the body during metabolism. Howler monkeys (Alouatta spp.) spend a small proportion of their time drinking water and some populations have not been observed drinking, suggesting they obtain most of their water requirements in food or by metabolism. However, when howler monkeys have been observed drinking there is evidence suggesting the drinking is associated with low precipitation, temperature, and fruit consumption, and high mature leaf consumption, although it remains unclear which factors determine drinking by this genus. In this study we tested the hypothesis that drinking by howler monkeys results from increased hydration requirements in drier climates and from lower consumption of foods rich in water (e.g., new leaves, fruit). We tested this hypothesis by comparative analysis of 14 groups of Yucatán black howler monkeys (A. pigra) living under different climatic conditions. From April 2005 to November 2008 we collected a total of 3,747.2 focal observation hours of the feeding and drinking behavior of 60 individuals, with data on ambient temperature and rainfall. Individuals spent more time drinking when they lived in habitats with higher maximum temperature and when they consumed more mature leaves. For this species, therefore, drinking seems to be linked to heat stress and a low availability of water in ingested food.

Estelle Rousselet, Milton Levin, Erika Gebhard, Benjamin M. Higgins, Sylvain DeGuise, Céline A.J. Godard-Codding, Evaluation of immune functions in captive immature loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, Available online 19 September 2013, ISSN 0165-2427, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2013.09.004.
Sea turtles face numerous environmental challenges, such as exposure to chemical pollution and biotoxins, which may contribute to immune system impairment, resulting in increased disease susceptibility. Therefore, a more thorough assessment of the host’s immune response and its susceptibility is needed for these threatened and endangered animals. In this study, the innate and acquired immune functions of sixty-five clinically healthy, immature, captive loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were assayed using non-lethal blood sample collection. Functional immune assays were developed and/or optimized for this species, including mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation, natural killer (NK) cell activity, phagocytosis, and respiratory burst. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and phagocytes were isolated by density gradient centrifugation on Ficoll Paque and discontinuous Percoll gradients, respectively. The T lymphocyte mitogens ConA significantly induced lymphocyte proliferation at one and two μg/mL while PHA significantly induced lymphocyte proliferation at 5 and 10 μg/mL. The B lymphocyte mitogen LPS significantly induced proliferation at one μg/mL. Monocytes demonstrated higher phagocytic activity than eosinophils. In addition, monocytes exhibited respiratory burst. Natural killer cell activity was higher against YAC-1 than K-562 target cells. These optimized assays may help to evaluate the integrity of loggerhead sea turtle’s immune system upon exposure to environmental contaminants, as well as part of a comprehensive health assessment and monitoring program.

Fabre, P.-H., Pagès, M., Musser, G. G., Fitriana, Y. S., Fjeldså, J., Jennings, A., Jønsson, K. A., Kennedy, J., Michaux, J., Semiadi, G., Supriatna, N. and Helgen, K. M. (2013), A new genus of rodent from Wallacea (Rodentia: Muridae: Murinae: Rattini), and its implication for biogeography and Indo-Pacific Rattini systematics. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 169: 408–447. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12061
We describe Halmaheramys bokimekot Fabre, Pagès, Musser, Fitriana, Semiadi & Helgen gen. et sp. nov., a new genus and species of murine rodent from the North Moluccas, and study its phylogenetic placement using both molecular and morphological data. We generated a densely sampled mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data set that included most genera of Indo-Pacific Murinae, and used probabilistic methodologies to infer their phylogenetic relationships. To reconstruct their biogeographical history, we first dated the topology and then used a Lagrange analysis to infer ancestral geographic areas. Finally, we combined the ancestral area reconstructions with temporal information to compare patterns of murine colonization among Indo-Pacific archipelagos. We provide a new and comprehensive molecular phylogenetic reconstruction for Indo-Pacific Murinae, with a focus on the Rattus division. Using previous results and those presented in this study, we define a new Indo-Pacific group within the Rattus division, composed of Bullimus, Bunomys, Paruromys, Halmaheramys, Sundamys, and Taeromys. Our phylogenetic reconstructions revealed a relatively recent diversification from the Middle Miocene to Plio-Pleistocene associated with several major dispersal events. We identified two independent Indo-Pacific dispersal events from both western and eastern Indo-Pacific archipelagos to the isolated island of Halmahera, which led to the speciations of H. bokimekot gen. et sp. nov. and Rattus morotaiensis Kellogg, 1945. We propose that a Middle Miocene collision between the Halmahera and Sangihe arcs may have been responsible for the arrival of the ancestor of Halmaheramys to eastern Wallacea. Halmaheramys bokimekot gen. et sp. nov. is described in detail, and its systematics and biogeography are documented and illustrated.

Salesa, M. J., Antón, M., Siliceo, G., Pesquero, M. D., Morales, J. and Alcalá, L. (2013), A non-aquatic otter (Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae) from the Late Miocene (Vallesian, MN 10) of La Roma 2 (Alfambra, Teruel, Spain): systematics and functional anatomy. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 169: 448–482. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12063
A new genus and species of otter-like mustelid, Teruelictis riparius, is created on the basis of a partial skeleton from the Late Miocene (Vallesian age, MN 10) locality of La Roma 2 (Teruel, Spain), including several postcranial elements, the skull, and the mandible. The combination of a typically lutrine dentition, similar to that of other fossil otters such as Paralutra jaegeri, with a very slender postcranial skeleton, including a long back and gracile long bones and metacarpals, thus lacking any aquatic adaptations, was previously unknown in the fossil record. This mosaic of features strongly suggests the possibility that the aquatic lifestyle of otters could have appeared after the initial development of the distinctive dental morphology of this specialized group of mustelids.

Gregory E. Blomquist, Lauren J. N. Brent
Applying Quantitative Genetic Methods to Primate Social Behavior
International Journal of Primatology September 2013

Increasingly, behavioral ecologists have applied quantitative genetic methods to investigate the evolution of behaviors in wild animal populations. The promise of quantitative genetics in unmanaged populations opens the door for simultaneous analysis of inheritance, phenotypic plasticity, and patterns of selection on behavioral phenotypes all within the same study. In this article, we describe how quantitative genetic techniques provide studies of the evolution of behavior with information that is unique and valuable. We outline technical obstacles for applying quantitative genetic techniques that are of particular relevance to studies of behavior in primates, especially those living in noncaptive populations, e.g., the need for pedigree information, non-Gaussian phenotypes, and demonstrate how many of these barriers are now surmountable. We illustrate this by applying recent quantitative genetic methods to spatial proximity data, a simple and widely collected primate social behavior, from adult rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago. Our analysis shows that proximity measures are consistent across repeated measurements on individuals (repeatable) and that kin have similar mean measurements (heritable). Quantitative genetics may hold lessons of considerable importance for studies of primate behavior, even those without a specific genetic focus.

Rogério Grassetto Teixeira da Cunha, Richard W. Byrne
Age-Related Differences in the Use of the “Moo” Call in Black Howlers (Alouatta caraya)
International Journal of Primatology September 2013

Many group-living mammals and birds give both contact and distress calls. Contact calls are thought to operate in maintaining group stability and cohesion; distress calls are thought to operate in soliciting help, often from relatives. Here we propose that a single call of black-and-gold howlers (Alouatta caraya) serves both needs, but differently so during ontogeny. We collected data on the contexts of moo calling: on group diameter before, during, and after calling; and on calling rates before and after potentially stressful events or situations. Several relationships suggested a link between moo calling and group cohesion. The highest calling rates were found during travel, when separation is most likely, whereas rates were significantly lower during feeding, a sedentary activity. During periods of moo calling, group spread was significantly greater than normal, and spread decreased significantly after calling began. Moo calls were also given in situations of potential distress. When reluctant to cross an arboreal gap or refused the option of travel on an adult, infants gave moo calls more frequently than just after these predicaments were ended; infants also called more frequently immediately after a behavioral conflict. The moo call apparently has a dual role, in contact and distress, with the signal’s use changing with caller age: both uses may reflect a common underlying motivation of insecurity, as different contexts come to trigger insecurity during development.

Zootaxa 3716 (2): 289–300 (23 Sept. 2013)
Two new species of the batfish genus Malthopsis (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae) from the Western Indian Ocean

Two new species of the triangular batfishes, genus Malthopsis, are described from the western Indian Ocean. Both belong to a species group with minute prickles on the ventral surface. Malthopsis bradburyae n. sp. differs from its congeners by having the body covered by blunt, flat bucklers; subopercular buckler dull, without well-developed spines, its ventral surface covered by minute prickles and a few large bucklers anterior to the pelvic-fin base; rostrum moderately long, directed forward rather than upward; eye relatively small. Malthopsis austrafricana n. sp. differs from its congeners by having a long forward and horizontally directed rostrum; subopercular bucklers dull, without well-developed spines; ventral surface evenly covered by minute prickles and small bucklers; small black patches on dorsal surface; and a strong tail. Comments and a key to the Western Indian Ocean species of Malthopsis are provided.

Haidvogl, G., Lajus, D., Pont, D., Schmid, M., Jungwirth, M. and Lajus, J. (2013), Typology of historical sources and the reconstruction of long-term historical changes of riverine fish: a case study of the Austrian Danube and northern Russian rivers. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. doi: 10.1111/eff.12103
Historical data are widely used in river ecology to define reference conditions or to investigate the evolution of aquatic systems. Most studies rely on printed documents from the 19th century, thus missing pre-industrial states and human impacts. This article discusses historical sources that can be used to reconstruct the development of riverine fish communities from the Late Middle Ages until the mid-20th century. Based on the studies of the Austrian Danube and northern Russian rivers, we propose a classification scheme of printed and archival sources and describe their fish ecological contents. Five types of sources were identified using the origin of sources as the first criterion: (i) early scientific surveys, (ii) fishery sources, (iii) fish trading sources, (iv) fish consumption sources and (v) cultural representations of fish. Except for early scientific surveys, all these sources were produced within economic and administrative contexts. They did not aim to report about historical fish communities, but do contain information about commercial fish and their exploitation. All historical data need further analysis for a fish ecological interpretation. Three case studies from the investigated Austrian and Russian rivers demonstrate the use of different source types and underline the necessity for a combination of different sources and a methodology combining different disciplinary approaches. Using a large variety of historical sources to reconstruct the development of past fish ecological conditions can support future river management by going beyond the usual approach of static historical reference conditions.

Zootaxa 3716 (3): 336–348 (24 Sept. 2013)
A new, riparian, species of Allobates Zimmermann and Zimmermann, 1988 (Anura: Aromobatidae) from southwestern Amazonia

We describe Allobates flaviventris sp. nov., a medium-sized (SVL 16.7–19.7 mm in males; 19.3–21.1 mm in females) aromobatid frog with Finger III not swollen in adult males from eastern state of Acre, Brazil. It inhabits open forests with bamboo, usually along small streams and rivers. it has golden-yellow belly and a unique advertisement call as a distinctive character. Notes on natural history are also provided.

Zootaxa 3716 (3): 349–394 (24 Sept. 2013)
Taxonomic revision of Drymoluber Amaral, 1930 (Serpentes: Colubridae)

The present study is a taxonomic revision of the genus Drymoluber Amaral, 1930, using meristic and morphometric characters, aspects of external hemipenial morphology and body coloration. Sexual dimorphism occurs in D. dichrous and D. brazili but was not detected in D. apurimacensis. Morphological variation within D. dichrous is related to geographic distance between populations. Furthermore, variation in the number of ventrals and subcaudals in D. dichrous and D. brazili follows latitudinal and longitudinal clinal patterns. Drymoluber dichrous is diagnosed by the presence of 15-15-15 smooth
dorsal scale rows with two apical pits, and 157–180 ventrals and 86–110 subcaudals; it occurs along the eastern versant of the Andes, in the Amazon forest, on the Guiana Shield, in the Atlantic forest, and its transitional areas with the Caatinga and Cerrado. Drymoluber brazili has 17-17-15 smooth dorsal scale rows with two apical pits, 182–202 ventrals and 109–127 subcaudals, and ranges throughout the Caatinga, Cerrado, Atlantic forest and transitional areas between these last two domains. Drymoluber apurimacensis has 13-13-13 smooth dorsal scale rows without apical pits, 158–182 ventrals and
84–93 subcaudals, and occurs in the Apurímac Valley, south of the Apurímac and Pampas rivers in Peru.

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