Abstract View

Zootaxa 3734 (1): 056–062 (4 Nov. 2013)
A new species of Sphenomorphus, 1843 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from Vietnam

A new forest skink species of the genus Sphenomorphus is described from Kon Tum Plateau, southern Central Vietnam. Sphenomorphus sheai sp. nov. is similar to the other montane skink species from the Indochina region, Lygosoma veunsaiensis, Scincella apraefrontalis, Sphenomorphus tetradactylus, and Sphenomorphus tridigitus, in having a small size and the absence of external ear openings. However, the new species is differentiated from aforementioned species and other members of Sphenomorphus from China and mainland Southeast Asia by a unique suite of morphological characters. The discovery of S. sheai brings the total species number of Sphenomorphus known from Vietnam to twelve.

Zootaxa 3734 (2): 101–129 (5 Nov. 2013)
Description of three new species of the genus Herichthys (Perciformes: Cichlidae) from eastern Mexico, with redescription of H. labridens, H. steindachneri, and H. pantostictus

Three new species of the genus Herichthys are described on the basis of chromatic, morphometric, and meristic characters. Herichthys pratinus sp. nov. from the Rio Salto in San Luis Potosi is characterized by a steep and shallow predorsal profile, a concavity before the eye, and adult males with a prominent forehead forming a nuchal hump, DXV–XVI, 10–11; and AV, 8–9. Herichthys pame sp. nov. from the Rio Tamasopo in San Luis Potosi is characterized by a gradual and acute predorsal contour, lack of concavity before the eye, and mouth angled slightly downward. Herichthys molango sp. nov. from Laguna Azteca, Hidalgo is distinguished by small eyes and a slender (slightly broader than long), well-spaced, and
indented lower pharyngeal plate with 2 rows of 8–9 medium-sized, lightly pigmented molars flanking the midline. We also provide redescriptions for three species of Herichthys, H. pantostictus, H. labridens, and H. steindachneri and a review of H. bartoni.

Zootaxa 3734 (2): 221–240 (5 Nov. 2013)
Identification of sand frogs (Anura: Pyxicephalidae: Tomopterna) from Kenya with the description of two new species

African sand frogs in the genus Tomopterna presently include 13 species. These are known to be highly cryptic and morphologically similar. Despite increased effort in the recent past, the taxonomy of the group is still unresolved and some populations e.g. in Kenya have remained largely unstudied. This paper starts to address this gap using molecular, advertisement call and morphological comparisons. We test the boundaries of the Kenyan species based on mitochondrial 16S rRNA sequence data. Two new species are recognised and described: Tomopterna wambensis sp. nov. and Tomopterna gallmanni sp. nov. Further molecular and advertisement call studies of Tomopterna populations in Kenya are recommended, especially for those populations previously identified as T. cryptotis and T. tandyi.

Linas Balčiauskas, Martynas Kazlauskas
Forty years after reintroduction in a suboptimal landscape: public attitudes towards European bison
European Journal of Wildlife Research November 2013

By means of 845 questionnaires returned in 2009–2010, public attitudes towards the European bison were assessed in Central Lithuania. Free-ranging European bison have existed in this area for 40 years, inhabiting a suboptimal habitat characterized by intensive agriculture and fragmented forests. Despite 85.0 % of respondents reporting positive attitudes towards bison presence, 47.4 % of respondents considered the animals acceptable only if they were not closer than 10 km from their residence. Over 60 % of respondents suggested increasing the numbers of bison in the country, and 51 % suggested letting them live freely in the wild. The most negative attitude towards an increase in numbers was shown by women, respondents with lower knowledge of the species and inhabitants of biggest settlements. Public awareness relating to the European bison is lacking, as nearly 50 % of persons residing near areas inhabited by bison did not know about their presence. We conclude that, despite the high valuation placed upon the bison by the public and the ability of the bison to survive in open agrolandscapes with fragmented forests, negative public opinion may be a factor limiting the social carrying capacity for the species. Lithuanian human dimensions of this species should be taken into account when introducing the European bison elsewhere in Western Europe.

Nayara de Alcântara Cardoso, João Valsecchi, Tatiana Vieira, Helder Lima Queiroz
New records and range expansion of the white bald uakari (Cacajao calvus calvus, I. Geoffroy, 1847) in Central Brazilian Amazonia
Primates November 2013

The white bald uakari (Cacajao calvus calvus) is among the least studied of the Amazonian primates and is found exclusively in remote areas of the central Amazon. The geographic distribution of this subspecies is still uncertain, and information on current threats and its conservation status is sparse. In this paper, we identify new locations of occurrence and propose range expansion of the Cacajao calvus calvus. Between 2008 and 2010, six field expeditions were undertaken in the middle Solimões region to search for the subspecies and to conduct interviews with local residents regarding its presence. The presence of the white bald uakari was confirmed in the lower courses of the Juruá and lower Jutaí rivers, in addition to areas inside the Mamirauá Reserve, where its presence was expected. Results indicate an expansion and new limits on the geographic range of the subspecies, including its detection in areas in which it had not previously been reported and its exclusion from areas where white bald uakaris were assumed to occur. The new information provided by this study and the remaining shortcomings regarding the distribution of the calvus group point to the urgent need for further research on the geographic distribution and habitat use of this group, especially along the lower courses of the Juruá and Jutaí rivers, which remain little explored.

Rachel Mazur, A P Klimley, Karen Folger Implications of the variable availability of seasonal foods on the home ranges of black bears, Ursus americanus, in the Sierra Nevada of California
Animal Biotelemetry October 2013

Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) seeds and oak (Quercus spp.) acorns are both important fall food sources for a variety of wildlife in the Sierra Nevada, but both have variable mast production and are in decline. Sugar pines are in decline due to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) infection and oaks are in decline due to fire exclusion and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) predation. To examine how a change in availability of seed and acorn crops from these trees could have a cascading effect on associated wildlife, we studied their relationship to black bear (Ursus americanus) fall ranges in Sequoia National Park, California. The distribution of seed-bearing sugar pines overlaps with the bears’ summer range, whereas acorn-bearing oaks occur at lower elevations. We used GPS collars and field observations to collect location data on ten wild, adult, female bears during the summer and fall of both 2005 and 2006, and then compared these data on habitat use with the Park’s vegetation map of available habitat.Our results indicate that the inter-annual variability in the availability of these natural foods is closely related to the seasonal ranges of black bears. In the fall of 2005, when blue and black oak acorns were scarce but other acorns were abundant, bears remained within their summer ranges to feed on sugar pine seeds. In the fall of 2006, when blue oak acorns were abundant, bears shifted out of their summer ranges to feed on acorns and forego sugar pine seeds, even though the seeds were more abundant than in 2005. Incidents between humans and black bears were highest in 2006 while bears were moving between their summer ranges and the oak belt.In the fall, black bears make heavy use of both sugar pines and oaks. Although they prefer acorns to sugar pine seeds, the loss of either food source would lead to an increased dependence on the other. When both are unavailable due to continued decline or simultaneously low mast crops, an increase in human-bear incidents is likely.

Elisabetta Mancinelli, Kevin Eatwell, Anna Meredith, Successful Management of a Case of Pregnancy Failure in a Degu (Octodon degus), Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Volume 22, Issue 3, July 2013, Pages 293-300, ISSN 1557-5063, http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.jepm.2013.08.012.
A 3-month-old female degu (Octodon degus) was presented because blood was noticed in its cage. On physical examination, firm masses were palpable within the caudal abdomen and traces of blood appeared to be coming from the patient’s vaginal opening. Radiographic images showed areas of ill-defined mineralization within the uterus, consistent with fetus formation. Three fetuses could be identified. Ultrasound examination of the degu failed to confirm viable fetal heartbeats. Pregnancy failure with fetal death was suspected. Overnight 1 fetus was passed, but medical therapy with oxytocin failed to induce delivery of the 2 remaining fetuses by the following morning. The degu was therefore anesthetized, an ovariohysterectomy was performed, and the patient made an uncomplicated recovery. Histopathological examination of the fetuses failed to identify any abnormalities. In the uterus, histology confirmed a minimal to mild diffuse, chronic active endometritis. The definitive cause of fetal death was not identified.

Zootaxa 3734 (5): 536–544 (8 Nov. 2013)
The taxonomic position of Tonkinomys daovantieni (Rodentia: Muridae) based on karyological and molecular data

Tonkinomys daovantieni was recently described from Northern Vietnam, but very sparse information exists for the taxon. We report for the first time the karyotype of this species and investigate its phylogenetic position in the Dacnomys division using both mitochondrial and nuclear genetic data. The diploid chromosome number of the species is 2n=44. This chromosomal set consists of one submetacentric pair, one metacentric pair, and nineteen pairs of subtelocentric/acrocentric autosomes progressively decreasing in size. The X chromosome is submetacentric and approximately equal in size to the
largest subtelocentric autosome. The Y chromosome is metacentric and equal in size to the smallest pair of autosomes. The phylogenetic reconstruction based on the Cyt b COI and GHR genes reveals that Saxotilomys paulinae, a species distributed in the karst formations of the Lao PDR, is the closest relative to T. daovantieni. These two taxa are similar not only in a number of morphological characters, but also in their major ecological preferences (both are petrophylic species associated with limestone karst formations). Based on our data, we can conclude that the similarities among the ecological
adaptations, natural conditions and habitat preferences of these species are a reflection of their phylogenetic relationship.

Zootaxa 3734 (5): 571–582 (8 Nov. 2013)
Taxonomic status of Pseudopaludicola riopiedadensis Mercadal de Barrio and Barrio, 1994 (Anura, Leptodactylidae, Leiuperinae)

Pseudopaludicola riopiedadensis was described by Mercadal de Barrio and Barrio (1994) based on two adult females collected by Luiz Dino Vizotto in 1963 from Rio Piedade, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. This taxon was differentiated from P. ternetzi based on a series of qualitative and morphometric characters. Nevertheless, the original description and the type material of P. ternetzi were not considered by Mercadal de Barrio and Barrio, and the morphological variation of P. ternetzi was not documented. This work reviews the sample collected by Vizotto in P. riopiedadensis type locality, evaluates the advertisement calls obtained from such population, the two vouchers assigned to P. riopiedadensis, and a large data set, including type specimens of P. ternetzi to document the morphological variation along its known distribution. Results indicate that P. riopiedadensis was described on the basis of highly variable characters applied to a small sample and share the unique P. ternetzi autapomorphy, a robust body structure with immaculate belly. The lack of differentiation in both advertisement call and morphology rejects the status of P. riopiedadensis as distinct species, and
we therefore suggest to formally consider P. riopiedadensis as junior synonym of P. ternetzi.

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