Blank David, Yang Weikang, Object-horning in goitered gazelle: agonistic or marking behaviour?, Behavioural Processes, Available online 21 December 2013, ISSN 0376-6357, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2013.12.005.
We studied object-horning behaviour in goitered gazelles in the natural, arid environment of Kazakhstan over a 6-year period. We found that object-horning was used by adult males mostly as a threat display during territorial conflicts. Therefore object-horning was observed most frequently in territorial single males during the rut in November-December. Object-horning, though, also had a marking effect, with the males’ use of this behaviour leaving visible traces that advertized the location of preorbital and urination-defecation scent marks. Therefore, this pattern also was observed linked with preorbital marking and urination-defecation marking behaviours, especially during the rut. Goitered gazelle males chose the most abundant and eatable shrubs for object horning. In contrast to other gazelle species, object-horning in goitered gazelle was observed much more frequently and at the same rate as preorbital and urination-defecation scent markings. This, then, proved a more vigorous and aggressive level of rutting behaviour of the goitered gazelle compared to tropical gazelles, and most likely connected to the short rutting period in the studied species. We concluded, therefore, that object-horning was a manifold phenomenon that played a very important role in goitered gazelle agonistic displays, but without loosing the marking intention of this behaviour.
Zootaxa 3750 (5): 465–493 (23 Dec. 2013)
A molecular phylogeny of the African plated lizards, genus Gerrhosaurus Wiegmann, 1828 (Squamata: Gerrhosauridae), with the description of two new genera
MICHAEL F. BATES, KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY, SHELLEY EDWARDS, ZOË DAVIDS, JESSICA M. DA SILVA & WILLIAM R. BRANCH
We constructed a molecular phylogeny of the African plated lizard family Gerrhosauridae using two mitochondrial markers (ND2, 732 bp; 16S, 576 bp) and one nuclear marker (PRLR, 538 bp). This analysis showed that the subfamily Gerrhosaurinae consists of five major clades which we interpret as representing five genera. The genera Tetradactylus and Cordylosaurus were each recovered as monophyletic, but Gerrhosaurus as currently conceived is paraphyletic, consisting of three distinct genuslevel assemblages. The two clades consisting of Gerrhosaurus major Duméril, 1851 and Gerrhosaurus validus Smith, 1849 are both described here as new genera, namely Broadleysaurus Bates & Tolley gen. nov. and Matobosaurus Bates & Tolley gen. nov., respectively. Two subspecies of ‘Gerrhosaurus major’ that were historically separated on the basis of differences in colour pattern are not reciprocally monophyletic, so Gerrhosaurus bottegoi Del Prato, 1895 is relegated to the synonomy of Broadleysaurus major (Duméril, 1851) comb. nov., which is rendered monotypic. Gerrhosaurus validus maltzahni De Grys, 1938 is genetically and morphologically well differentiated from G. v. validus and the two taxa also occur in allopatry. We
therefore re-instate the former as Matobosaurus maltzahni (De Grys, 1938) comb. nov., rendering Matobosaurus validus (Smith, 1849) comb. nov. a monotypic species. Our analysis also showed that Gerrhosaurus sensu stricto comprises two major subclades, one consisting of Gerrhosaurus typicus (Smith, 1837) + Gerrhosaurus skoogi Andersson, 1916, and the other containing the remaining species. In this latter subclade we show that west-Central African Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus Hallowell, 1857 is most closely related to Gerrhosaurus auritus Boettger, 1887 rather than to G. nigrolineatus from East and Southern Africa. The west-Central African clade of G. nigrolineatus differs from the East and Southern African clade by a pdistance of 13.0% (ND2) and 6.9% (16S), and can be differentiated morphologically. We accordingly apply the name Gerrhosaurus intermedius Lönnberg, 1907 comb. nov. to populations from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa previously identified under the name G. nigrolineatus. Our analysis also confirms that Gerrhosaurus bulsi Laurent, 1954 is a distinct species and sister taxon to a clade containing G. nigrolineatus, G. auritus and G. intermedius. The latter four taxa form a closely-related ‘G. nigrolineatus species complex’ with a widespread distribution in Africa. Most closely related to this complex of species is Gerrhosaurus flavigularis Wiegmann, 1828 which has an extensive
range in East and Southern Africa, and displays genetic substructure which requires further investigation. The status of Gerrhosaurus multilineatus Bocage, 1866, and Angolan populations referred to G. nigrolineatus, remains problematic.
Zootaxa 3750 (5): 534–548 (23 Dec. 2013)
Bird fossils from Ankilitelo Cave: Inference about Holocene environmental changes in Southwestern Madagascar
STEVEN M. GOODMAN, MARIE JEANNE RAHERILALAO & KATHLEEN MULDOON
The identifications of non-permineralized fossil bird bones recovered from Ankilitelo Cave in southwestern Madagascar are presented. Among the more than 560 elements recovered, 29 different taxa were identified, the vast majority being species that still occur in this region of the island. Eggshell remains from the extinct elephant bird (Family Aepyornithidae) and assigned to Aepyornis sp. were found at the site. Two identified extant taxa, Scopus umbretta and Monias benschi, no longer occur in the area immediately surrounding the cave. The available radiocarbon measurements of collagen from fossil bird bones and avian eggshell carbonate of recovered from the cave range from 13,270 Cal yr BP to modern times. Hence, the presumed ecological shifts that took place resulting in the disappearance or range contractions of these three taxa is within the Holocene and are presumed to be associated with natural climatic change and in more recent centuries associated human pressures. Information is also presented on the origin of guinea fowl (Numida) and inference on the period of colonization of Corvus albus on Madagascar.
Zootaxa 3750 (5): 569–586 (23 Dec. 2013)
A new species of the genus Pristimantis (Amphibia, Craugastoridae) associated with the moderately evelated massifs of French Guiana
ANTOINE FOUQUET, QUENTIN MARTINEZ, ELODIE A. COURTOIS, MAËL DEWYNTER, KÉVIN PINEAU, PHILIPPE GAUCHER, MICHEL BLANC, CHRISTIAN MARTY & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK
We describe a new Pristimantis from French Guiana, northern South America, which is mainly distinguished from known
phenotypically related congeners (i.e. species from the polyphyletic unistrigatus species group) occurring at low and middle elevations in the Guiana Shield by the combination of a distinct tympanum, a lower ratio of tibia vs. hand length, a reddish groin region, and a distinct advertisement call consisting of clusters of generally four short notes. The new species inhabits pristine primary forests on the slopes of isolated massifs reaching more than 400 m elevation, and seems not to occur below ca. 200 m above sea level. Such a sharp altitudinal limit suggests a strong influence of thermal variation on the distribution of the species, and therefore a potential sensitivity to climate change. With only nine isolated populations documented so far, the new species should be prioritized for conservation. Historical climate fluctuations during the Quaternary are likely responsible for the distribution pattern of the new species.
Zootaxa 3751 (1): 001–101 (24 Dec. 2013)
Revision of the fish family Kyphosidae (Teleostei: Perciformes)
STEEN WILHELM KNUDSEN & KENDALL D. CLEMENTS
A molecular phylogenetic analysis with complete species sampling of the family Kyphosidae revealed several discrepancies with the current taxonomy. We thus undertook a complete taxonomic revision of all kyphosid genera, i.e. KyphosusLacepède, 1801, and the monotypic Hermosilla Jenkins and Evermann, 1889, Sectator Jordan and Evermann, 1903 and Neoscorpis Smith, 1931. Species delimitation was determined on the basis of congruence between (a) monophyletic groupings in the molecular phylogeny, and (b) clusters of morphological variation in type material. Twelve species are supported and redescribed. Both Hermosilla and Sectator are considered junior synonyms of Kyphosus. Kyphosus azureus(Jenkins & Evermann, 1889) and K. ocyurus (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882) are redescribed accordingly. We designate a neotype for Kyphosus cornelii (Whitley, 1944), as the original material is lost, and new material was collected at the type locality for this study to facilitate comparison with other species of Kyphosus. Kyphosus sandwicensis (sensu Sauvage, 1880) was found to be a junior synonym of K. elegans (Peters, 1869). Kyphosus incisor (Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1831) and K. analogus (Gill, 1862) are considered junior synonyms of K. vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825). Kyphosus gallveii (Cunningham, 1910), K. pacificus Sakai and Nakabo, 2004 and K. lutescens (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882) are all considered junior synonyms of K. sectatrix (Linnaeus, 1758). One of the two syntype specimens of K. sectatrix was identified as the holotype of Pimelepterus bosquii (Lacepède, 1802), and proved to be a specimen of K. bigibbus Lacepède, 1801. This specimen is re-assigned as a non-type of K. bigibbus. Full re-descriptions of the following valid species are presented: K. bigibbus, K. cinerascens (Forsskål, 1775), K. cornelii, K. elegans, K. hawaiiensis Sakai and Nakabo, 2004, K. gladius Knudsen and Clements, 2013, K. sydneyanus (Günther, 1886) and K. vaigiensis, together with a key to the family. The distribution of Kyphosus species is reconsidered based on our taxonomic revision, indicating that four species (K. bigibbus, K. cinerascens, K. sectatrix and K. vaigiensis) occur in both the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions.
Jana E. Mazor-Thomas, Phyllis E. Mann, Alicia Z. Karas, Flo Tseng, Pain-Suppressed Behaviors in the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Available online 24 December 2013, ISSN 0168-1591, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2013.12.011.
Our ability to provide analgesia in wild and exotic patients is hampered by a lack of species-specific information on effective drugs and protocols. One contributing factor is the difficulty of applying data from traditional laboratory tests of nociception to clinical conditions frequently involving combinations of inflammatory, mechanical, and neuropathic pain. Pain-suppressed behaviors have become a valuable predictor of clinical utility in other species; in this study we extend this framework to red-tailed hawks in a wildlife hospital, in an attempt to develop a new, humane testing method for birds of prey. We scored six behaviors in hawks hospitalized either for orthopedic trauma or for non-painful conditions. These behaviors included: movement about the cage, grooming, head motions, foot shifts, beak clacks, and rouse. Movement, head motions, and beak clacks were all significantly reduced in hawks with recent orthopedic injury, but not in hawks with healed or minor injuries (P < 0.05 for all behaviors). However, it should be noted that due to stringent admission criteria, and the difficulties inherent in studying naturally-occuring injury in wild patients, this study only included 19 subjects in four experimental groups, and this limited our ability to fully investigate confounds within our data. A follow-up experiment was conducted to determine potential effects of buprenorphine, a mu opioid agonist, on the behaviors listed above. Buprenorphine in the absence of pain caused minor, non-significant decreases in most behaviors, and had no effect on head movement frequency. This suggests that head movements in particular may be sensitive to pain but not to sedative side-effects of buprenorphine. Overall, red-tailed hawks with recent orthopedic trauma show consistent and marked reductions in several normal maintenance behaviors. Head movements, reported for the first time in this study as a potential marker of pain in birds, in particular seem to be insensitive to sedative side effects of buprenorphine, while being a sensitive measure of affective state in hawks with painful injuries. These behaviors can be scored humanely and with minimal expense, and should be considered for further research on pain and analgesia in avian species.
Hanya, G., Fuse, M., Aiba, S.-I., Takafumi, H., Tsujino, R., Agetsuma, N. and Chapman, C. A. (2013), Ecosystem impacts of folivory and frugivory by Japanese macaques in two temperate forests in Yakushima. Am. J. Primatol.. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22253
Comparing animal consumption to plant primary production provides a means of assessing an animal’s impact on the ecosystem and an evaluation of resource limitation. Here, we compared annual fruit and leaf consumption by Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) relative to the annual production of these foods in the lowlands and highlands of Yakushima Island, Japan. We estimated consumption by macaques by the direct observation of macaque groups for 1 year in each habitat. We estimated leaf production as the sum of leaf litter fall (corrected for the effect of translocated organic and inorganic matter) and folivory by insects (assumed to be 10%) and by macaques. We estimated fruit production as the sum of fruit litter fall and consumption by birds (estimated by the seed fall) and macaques. The impact of macaque folivory at the community level was negligible relative to production (∼0.04%) compared with folivory by insects (assumed to be 10%); however, for some species, macaque folivory reached up to 10.1% of production. Tree species on which macaques fed did not decline in abundance over 13 years, suggesting that their folivory did not influence tree species dynamics. For the three major fleshy-fruited species in the highland site, macaques consumed a considerable portion of total fruit production (6–40%), rivaling the consumption by birds (32–75%). We conclude that at the community level, macaque folivory was negligible compared with the leaf production, but frugivory was not.
David Almeida, Paris V. Stefanoudis, David H. Fletcher, Carlos Rangel, Eduardo da Silva, Population traits of invasive bleak Alburnus alburnus between different habitats in Iberian fresh waters, Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Available online 24 December 2013, ISSN 0075-9511, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.limno.2013.12.003.
The bleak Alburnus alburnus (L.) is a cyprinid native to most of Europe, mainly inhabiting lentic environments. This fish species is a successful invader in the Iberian Peninsula, where it was first introduced to reservoirs as forage fish during the 1990s. Bleaks threaten the highly endemic Iberian fish fauna by means of trophic competition and hybridization. Yet, little is known about the environmental biology of bleaks in the Iberian Peninsula, particularly far from impounded waters. Thus, the aim of this work was to compare seasonal and gender variation of size structure, body condition and reproductive investment of bleaks between different habitats. Only sexually mature bleaks were seasonally collected and examined from the River Gévora and the Sierra Brava Reservoir (southwestern Spain) to assess more in-depth the adaptive capacity at the population level and the subsequent invasiveness. Bleak was an abundant species in the fish assemblages of both habitat types (i.e. river and reservoir). The proportion of smaller mature bleaks was lower in the river than the reservoir during spring and the opposite pattern was observed during winter. Both male and females were larger in the river during the breeding season in the study areas (i.e. spring), as well as with higher body condition and reproductive investment. These findings suggest that bleaks enhance their reproduction rate in the river to compensate for higher mortality in this habitat, where environmental conditions may be harsher due to the winter floods and summer droughts typical of Mediterranean water courses. Overall results highlight the high degree of plasticity in population traits of the bleak in the Iberian Peninsula, which will surely aid its ability to adapt to a wide variety of Mediterranean ecosystems, including lentic and lotic environments. Consequently, this invasive fish may pose a serious risk for the highly valuable fauna of Mediterranean Europe.
Potts, K. B. and Lwanga, J. S. (2013), Floristic heterogeneity at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda and possible implications for habitat use by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). African Journal of Ecology. doi: 10.1111/aje.12137
Tropical forest tree communities exhibit heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales, with important implications for animals relying on these resources. However, different organisms may perceive heterogeneity in the floristic community in very different ways. Here, we characterize the overall extent of heterogeneity in the floristic community at Ngogo, in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Also, using information from studies on the diet of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) inhabiting Ngogo, we quantify the extent to which the habitat is likely perceived as heterogeneous by this species. The forest as a whole is slightly more diverse than comparable sites in the Congo Basin, but this diversity is driven by a relatively high proportion of rare species represented by few individuals. From the perspective of chimpanzees, the forest is, unsurprisingly, even more heterogeneous. Species that provide fruit for chimpanzees during times of low overall fruit abundance and that display interindividual synchrony in fruiting were the most common chimpanzee resource in our sample, whereas species that provide fruit during times of low overall fruit abundance and that display asynchronous fruiting were the least common. We discuss the implications of the differences in density and distribution of various classes of resources for chimpanzee habitat use and foraging efficiency.
Nøttestad, L., Sivle, L. D., Krafft, B. A., Langård, L., Anthonypillai, V., Bernasconi, M., Langøy, H. and Axelsen, B. E. (2013), Ecological aspects of fin whale and humpback whale distribution during summer in the Norwegian Sea. Marine Ecology. doi: 10.1111/maec.12075
The Norwegian Sea is a migration and feeding ground for fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in summer. During the last decade, significant structural changes in the prey community, including northerly expansion and movement in the distribution of pelagic fish species, have been reported from this ecosystem. However, little information on whale feeding ecology exists in the Norwegian Sea and surrounding waters. A total of 59 fin whales and 48 humpback whales were sighted during 864 h of observation over an observation distance of about 8200 nmi (15,200 km) in the Norwegian Sea from 15 July to 6 August 2006 and 2007. The fin whale group size, as mean (±SD), varied between one and five individuals (2.1 ± 1.2 ind.) and humpback whale group size varied between one and six individuals (2.5 ± 1.7 ind.). Fin- and humpback whales were observed mainly in the northern part of the study area, and were only found correlated with the presence of macro-zooplankton in cold Arctic water. Humpback whales were not correlated with the occurrence of adult Norwegian spring-spawning herring (Clupea harengus) except for the northernmost areas. Despite changes in the whale prey communities in the Norwegian Sea, no apparent changes in fin- or humpback whale distribution pattern could be found in our study compared to their observed summer distribution 10–15 years ago.
Justus P. Deikumah, Clive A. McAlpine, Martine Maron, Mining matrix effects on West African rainforest birds, Biological Conservation, Volume 169, January 2014, Pages 334-343, ISSN 0006-3207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2013.11.030.
Globally, relatively low-contrast matrices are being converted to high-contrast through increases in land uses such as surface mining. Such conversion affects biodiversity not only at the impact site, but also potentially in adjacent remnant habitat, particularly for habitat types such as tropical rainforest. We investigated how the species richness of different functional groups of tropical rainforest birds varied in remnant rainforest patches embedded in two matrix types (mining vs. agricultural) at two distances to forest edge in fragmented Upper Guinean rainforest landscapes of southwest Ghana. We hypothesized that rainforest adjacent to high-contrast surface mining would support a relatively lower richness of forest-dependent birds than that adjacent to a lower-contrast agricultural matrix. Data from six point counts at each of 32 study sites were used to estimate species richness within ten avian functional groups based on (a) habitat preference (forest specialists, generalists, forest visitors, open country species); and (b) food preference (carnivores, frugivores, omnivores, nectarivores, insectivores and granivores). Species richness of each group was modelled as a function of adjacent matrix type, distance to patch edge and site-level vegetation characteristics using generalized linear mixed-effects models. Forest specialists and frugivores were most strongly negatively affected by adjacent mining, irrespective of distance to forest edge. Forest visitors were more common in forests adjacent to agriculture than mining, and they preferred edges to interior habitats. Forest specialist and frugivore richness also correlated positively with the density of large trees. This effect of a high-contrast matrix on forest birds suggests that even with no additional forest loss, increased surface mining in the Upper Guinea region is likely to result in population declines in forest-dependent birds. Preserving biodiversity in forest landscapes will require management of matrix quality. The widespread trend of increasing patch-matrix contrast from land use change in the matrix is likely to result in negative consequences for biodiversity in fragmented tropical forest landscapes.