Search Results

FRANCO FERRARA and STEFANO TAITI

At present, the oniscidean fauna of Somalia is the best known of the entire African continent. It includes 52 species (mostly endemic) belonging to 22 genera (none endemic) and 11 families. From a biogeographical point of view, this fauna belongs to the Afrotropical region, and in particular to the East African subregion, even though it exhibits peculiar characteristics. No elements of Palearctic origin are present. The distribution of the Oniscidea in Somalia appears to be strongly influenced by ecological factors. In fact, most species occur in the southern part of the country, west of the Webi Shebeli River, and to a lesser extent in the northernmost part (ex-British Somaliland). These areas have the most favorable climates. The conspicuous presence of eremic elements (species of the genera Tura, Xeroniscus, Periscyphis, Somalodillo, Somaloniscus); the absence of the eubelid genera typical of tropical Africa (Eubelum, Synarmadilloides, Hiallum); and the scarcity of Armadillidae and Philosciidae (well represented in the neighboring East African areas) suggest a relatively recent origin of the oniscidean fauna of Somalia.

E. TCHERNOV and Y. YOM-TOY

An excavation of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) site from southern Sinai revealed a rich faunal assemblage containing, amongst other species, gazelle remains which were identified, by comparison with recent material, as Gazella gazella. It is suggested that Gazella gazella was the only species of gazelle existing in Israel until after the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period. In the last glacial period the Gazella gazella range expanded southwards and reached southern Sinai Gazella dorcas is a relatively new post-Glacial invasion from North-East Africa into the arid zone of the Levant whence it replaced Gazella gazella by way of exclusion. The desert subspecies of G. gazella in the southern 'Arava Valley can be considered as a glacial isolate within the new domain of Gazella dorcas.

D.W. MACDONALD

The family Hyaenidae has been fruitful for the study of inter—and intra-specific variation in social biology and for the development of functional explanations for observed differences. The present study of striped hyaena, Hyaena hyaena, in Israel was conducted in the hope of contributing information on the behaviour and ecology of this species in circumstances not hitherto described, and so to add further material to the discussion of the social biology of the family. The hyaenas' diet, studied through faecal analysis, consisted primarily of a food (offal) that differed in abundance and distribution from that of striped hyaenas studied previously. Perhaps as a consequence of this, the social organisation of these hyaenas differed from that of their conspecifics in East Africa; for instance, they are less strictly solitary and use middens.

M. BEIER

The total number of 31 species listed in this paper, gives a fairly complete picture of the Pseudoscorpionide fauna of Israel. The interest of this fauna, situated at an important zoogeographical crossroad, is emphasized. Ten new species and 3 new subspecies are described. From the three new genera established, Apolpiolum n. gen. shows close coincidence with the neotropical genus Apolpium Beier, while the new genus Paramenthus n. gen. is the first palaearctic representative of the hitherto american family Menthidae. Myrmecowithius n. gen. is closely related to the east-african genus Nannowithius Beier.

A key for the identification of the 31 species from Israel is attached. A few stations from Jordan and the Sinai peninsula are also included in the present paper.

D.J.G. GRIFFIN and H.A. TRANTER

Collections of marine animals from the northern Red Sea were made by Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem between 1950 and 1972, and from the southern Red Sea by the Sea Fisheries Research Station, Haifa, in 1957/58, and the Israel South Red Sea Expeditions in 1962 and 1965. This report is based on 485 specimens of spider crabs from those collections. A total of 37 species belonging to 26 genera are dealt with. The total number of species of the family Majidae now known from the Red Sea is 46, of which 12 are recorded here for the first time. One new species, Ophthalmias longispinus n.sp., is described. The collection includes five species previously known only from the first record. Only seven (15%) of the species appear restricted to the Red Sea. These, in general, belong to genera occurring in the Atlantic and are, with one exception, poorly represented throughout the Indo-West Pacific. Twenty six species (57%) are known widely in the Indo-West Pacific and the remaining 13 (28%) occur in the Indian Ocean, principally off East Africa and in the Arabian Sea.

PETER J. JONES

Palearctic migrants arrive in the northern tropics south of the Sahara between August and October, as the local rainy season ends. Some species remain in the Sahel and Sudan zones throughout the overwintering period. Others seem unable to tolerate the increasing aridity as the dry season progresses. These remain in the Sahel and Sudan zones for 1–2 months and then fatten before performing a second migration further south, either to dry Guinea savannas in West Africa, or to rainy conditions in equatorial East Africa or southern Africa, where rains begin in November. Between March and May, as southern Africa enters its dry season and the rains begin in the northern tropics, these movements are reversed, but the passage is much more rapid than in autumn. Birds that overwinter too far south to reach the Palearctic in a single journey, put on enough fat to reach the southern edge of the Sahara, where they refatten finally for the Saharan or Arabian desert crossing. Palearctic migrants, like other birds, moult when it is most favorable to do so. Some species wintering in the dry northern tropics moult on the breeding grounds before migration, while others moult in winter quarters in September-December when these areas are still wet. Species wintering at equatorial latitudes tend to moult on their northern stopover sites or in their final winter quarters during the same period. Birds wintering in southern Africa moult in their final destination between November and April.

YORAM YOM-TOV and RAFI BEN-SHAHAR

Migratory passerines were mist-netted during the spring and autumn migrations at two localities in Israel: Ein Fashkha, a desert oasis near the Dead Sea, and Elon, a maquis vegetation area in the western Galilee. In both localities, mean body mass of the blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) was significantly heavier in autumn, and heavier in the Galilee than in the oasis. More blackcaps were netted in spring at both sites. The robin (Erithacus rubecula) had heavier body mass in spring, and its capture rate was higher in autumn. In autumn, the blackcap passes through Israel loaded with fat on its way south to its winter quarters in East Africa. In spring, it arrives in relatively poor body condition after crossing the Sahara. A higher capture rate during springtime could be explained by the poor condition of the birds. The robin winters in Israel, and birds captured in autumn have just completed their migration, and carry little fat reserves, while those caught in spring are loaded with fat for their northward migration. Mean wing length of the reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) was significantly longer in spring than in autumn. This is consistent with the species completing its moult in winter quarters and arriving in Israel in spring with relatively fresh feathers. Species composition at each locality indicates that most migrant species examined prefer habitats similar to those used during the breeding season.

DAN BAHARAV

density of wild herbivores in East African habitats Mammalia 1963 27 483 496 Zohary M. Plant Life of Palestine, The Ronald Press Co., N.Y 1962 262

C. GANS and E. KOCHVA

. Washington 1946 59 73 74 Loveridge A. On a second collection of reptiles and amphibians taken in Tanganyika Territory by C. J. P. Ionides, Esq J. East African Nat. Hist. Soc 1955 22 168 198 No. 5 Loveridge A. Check list of the reptiles and amphibians of East Africa (Uganda; Kenya; Tanganyika

Tomáš Pavlíček, Csaba Csuzdi and Eviatar Nevo

Černosvitov L. On some Oligochaeta from Palestine. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. Ser. 11.6:438–447 1940 El-Duweini A.K. Ghabbour S.I. The zoogeography of oligochaetes in North-East Africa Zool. Jb. Syst 1968 95 189 228 El-Kifl A.H. Ghabbour S.I. Soil fauna. Sahara Desert Cloudsley-Thompson J.L. Pergamon