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Abstract

There are 96 endemic species of Eumolpinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) described from New Caledonia, but some estimates propose that the actual number could be at least twice this figure. Not surprisingly, when a particular species assemblage has been revised, the number of species in that group increases significantly. Here, we revise the New Caledonian endemic genus Taophila , the best studied in this fauna and currently known to include eleven species, one in the subgenus Jolivetiana , and ten in the nominal subgenus. The analysis of morphological differences in a large sample of Taophila and the validation of the resulting species hypotheses in an integrative fashion based on a phylogenetic analysis of partial mtDNA sequences (cox1 and rrnS) resulted in the addition of eleven more taxa. Taxonomic splits mainly reinterpreted the previous observation of mtDNA paraphyly affecting T. subsericea , shown to represent a complex of species mostly distinguishable by diagnostic differences among females. The new species described are: T. bituberculata n. sp., T. carinata n. sp., T. dapportoi n. sp., T. davincii n. sp., T. draco n. sp., T. goa n. sp., T. hackae n. sp., T. samuelsoni n. sp., T. sideralis n. sp., T. taaluny n. sp. and T. wanati n. sp. These additions and the synonymy T. subsericea Heller = Stethotes mandjeliae n. syn., bring to 21 the total number of species in Taophila. Moreover, we also found the first evidence of mtDNA introgression between species of New Caledonian Eumolpinae, resulting from putative recent hybridization of T. subsericea and T. dapportoi where these species coexist. We describe a model incorporating the mtDNA genealogy of T. subsericea about the conditions that may have favored the secondary geographic encounter required for the hybridization of these species.

In: Insect Systematics & Evolution

Abstract

Multiple paternity is widespread in nature and despite costs, it has many associated benefits like increased genetic diversity and fertilization success. It has been described in many viviparous systems, suggesting the existence of some fitness advantages counteracting the inherent costs of viviparity, such as fecundity reduction and high parental investment. Reproductively polymorphic species, like the urodele Salamandra algira, which shows two types of viviparity: larviparity (i.e., delivering aquatic larvae), and pueriparity (i.e., delivering terrestrial metamorphosed juveniles), are suitable systems to study the relationship between reproductive modes and polygamous mating. Here, multiple paternity is confirmed in a pueriparous lineage of S. algira, as previously verified for the pueriparous lineages of the reproductively polymorphic species S. salamandra, suggesting polyandry is a successful mating strategy in pueriparous systems with reduced brood sizes. We discuss the potential benefits of polyandry in the context of viviparity evolution in urodeles.

In: Amphibia-Reptilia

Abstract

The discovery of magnetosome and magnetotaxis in its most simple form in the magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) had created the tremendous impetus. MTB, spanning multiple phyla, are distributed worldwide, and they form the organelles called magnetosomes for biomineralization. Eight phylotypes of MTB belong to Alphaproteobacteria and Nitrospirae. MTB show preference for specific redox and oxygen concentration. Magnetosome chains function as the internal compass needle and align the bacterial cells passively along the local geomagnetic field (GMF). The nature of magnetosomes produced by MTB and their phylogeny suggest that bullet-shaped magnetites appeared about 3.2 billion years ago with the first magnetosomes. All MTB contains ten genes in conserved mamAB operon for magnetosome chain synthesis of which nine genes are conserved in greigite-producing MTB. Many candidate genes identify the aero-, redox-, and perhaps phototaxis. Among the prokaryotes, the MTB possess the highest number of O2-binding proteins. Magnetofossils serve as an indicator of oxygen and redox levels of the ancient environments. Most descendants of ancestral MTB lost the magnetosome genes in the course of evolution. Environmental conditions initially favored the evolution of MTB and expansion of magnetosome-formation genes. Subsequent changes in atmospheric oxygen concentration have led to changes in the ecology of MTB, loss of magnetosome genes, and evolution of nonMTB.

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution

Abstract

The slow-worm lizards (Anguis) comprise five species occurring throughout most of the Western Palearctic. Although these species are relatively uniform morphologically – with the exception of A. cephallonica, which exhibits a quite unique morphology – they are genetically deeply divergent. Here, we provide detailed distribution maps for each species and discuss their biogeography and conservation based on updated genetic data and a robust distribution database. We pay particular attention to the so called ‘grey zone’, which typically represents secondary contact zones and in some cases confirmed or presumed hybrid zones. Four of the five species live in parapatry, while only two species, A. cephallonica and A. graeca from the southern Balkans occur in partial sympatry. Further research should focus on the eco-evolutionary interactions between species in contact, including their hybridization rates, to reveal deeper details of the slow-worm evolutionary and natural history.

In: Amphibia-Reptilia

Abstract

The monotypic genus Sturmiodexia is a poorly known Neotropical taxon. Herein a new generic synonymy is proposed for this genus: Platyrrhinodexia syn. nov. Two new combinations are assigned for Sturmiodexia: S. moyobambensis () comb nov. and S. punctulata () comb nov. Redescriptions were done for S. punctulata, S. rubescens and S. muscaria (). With these new propositions, Sturmiodexia is left with four species. In addition, the male and female terminalia, and the first instar larva, are described and illustrated for the first time for S. punctulata. Finally, a diagnose for Sturmiodexia and a key to all species is given.

In: Insect Systematics & Evolution
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Authors: Ezra Hadad and Eyal Shochat

Abstract

Encounters between birds of prey and porcupines are rarely documented, and so far only in North America. At least 39% of such encounters lead to death of the attacker. We present first evidence for similar encounters between The Eurasian Eagle Owl and the Indian Crested Porcupine, suggesting that young porcupines may occasionally serve as potential prey for the owl.

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution

Abstract

Citizen Science involves people as part of a scientific enquiry. However, in an age of great environmental changes, citizens are faced with degradation that affects ecosystem structure and function. Their role as drivers of change can be also relevant for biodiversity conservation. As in Citizen Science, where the citizens, properly trained, can initiate a widespread and fine-grained knowledge process, it is also possible to start a Citizen Management process, where citizens, adequately trained in problem solving, can change the state of an environmental system, with positive effects on the latter and on themselves. To prepare citizens for the acquisition of a problem solving and management paradigms, a quick meeting carried out with citizens by a senior manager as facilitator can be an opportunity to explain some basic steps: introducing them to the concept of ‘problem’, the definition of a project team and SMART objectives, the use of creativity during brainstorming, choosing an approach to the decision-making process and defining a strategy (actions, times, roles, resources, monitoring, and adaptation). According to the Hill and Westbrook’s SWOT approach, we suggest a list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that characterize the Citizen Management approach.

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Author: Seizi Suzuki

Abstract

There may be a trade-off between the duration of parental care and future reproductive success. Traditionally, studies about the cost of parental care have included the removal of the parent. However, producing a secondary clutch after the failure of the first one is a compensatory behaviour that occurs in cases of brood failure. In this study, attempts were made to detect the cost of maternal care in the earwig, Anisolabis maritima (Dermaptera: Anisolabididae) by either extending the period of care or increasing the brood size to prevent compensation through the brood’s success. The results indicated that manipulation did not change the inter-clutch interval, although my previous study revealed shortening of these intervals after the removal of the clutch in this species. In this study, decreased clutch size manipulation increased the size of the following clutch.

In: Behaviour

Abstract

We investigated behavioural patterns of school subjects from Colombia and Tenerife (Spain) of 10–12, 13–14 and 15–17 years old (150 per age group), during a crossed puzzle game. We video-recorded all sessions, elaborated an ethogram and classified behavioural patterns within functional categories (Empathy, Help Organizing, Agonistic, Cooperation, Selfishness and Tension-Distension); their frequencies were analyzed by Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMM). Results showed significant differences between countries in Help Organizing, Cooperation, Agonistic and Tension-Distension; the same categories except Cooperation differed between age ranges, but no category significantly differed between sexes. GLMM of factor scores from a principal component analysis applied to behavioural categories showed subjects from Colombian schools had significantly lower PC1 factor scores (Empathy, Selfishness and Tension-Distension) than those from Tenerife; the contrary occurred for PC2 (Help Organizing and Cooperation) and no significant difference was found for PC3 (Agonistic and Selfishness). We discuss several potential causes of the differences found.

In: Behaviour