International Journal of Zoology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. The Male Reproductive Cycle of the Spotted Toad-Headed Agama, Phrynocephalus maculatus, in Iran Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:08:20 +0000 The spotted toad-headed agama, Phrynocephalus maculatus, distributed in the central and southeastern arid regions of Iran, belongs to the Agamidae family. In this research, the male reproductive cycle of this species was studied from 5 April to 5 August, 2013. Totally, 40 adult males were collected at midday from southern deserts of Damghan County, located in Semnan Province of Iran. Testes were removed and processed for morphometric and histological studies. The spermatogenic cycle begins from early April, mating occurs in mid-May, and it ends in August. Maximum reproductive activity occurs in early June and reduces from early July and ends in August. The numbers of seminal vesicles were 33–127 and their diameter varied between 69.0 and 258.3 microns. The diameter of tunica albuginea varied between 3.0 and 8.1 microns. The diameter of germinal layer varied between 10.0 and 110.0 microns. There were significant differences in macroscopic and microscopic testicular characters between months. Also, there were no significant differences in the testicular and hemipenal characters between the left side and the right side of body. Since spermatogenesis occurs from April through August, P. maculatus follows an associated reproductive cycle typical for temperate species. Soheila Rahmani and Vida Hojati Copyright © 2015 Soheila Rahmani and Vida Hojati. All rights reserved. Seeing Is Feeding for the Frugivorous Bird Brown-Eared Bulbul (Microscelis amaurotis) Tue, 03 Nov 2015 11:07:15 +0000 We examined feeding behavior by visually blocking fruit to establish a new theory of bird damage management for agricultural practices. Partly or fully invisible clusters of grapes were fixed on a perch. The birds selectively pecked the clearly visible part of the half-visible bag at a pecking count rate of 0.94–1.00 (95% CI). Half-visible bags allowed the birds to look inside like a skirt and detect the initially hidden portions of grapes, which were covered with opaque white bags. However, very few birds pecked at the white bags that were partially covering the grapes. That is, very few birds attempted to eat covered but easily detectable fruits. Only five birds gravitated toward the grapes in the completely covered nontranslucent bags, but they never pecked at them. Our results show that visual blocking could be a promising new technique to prevent bird damage. Takeshi Honda, Jun-ichi Tsuboi, and Hiroshi Kuwata Copyright © 2015 Takeshi Honda et al. All rights reserved. Exploiting Scanning Behavior for Predators Can Reduce Rice Damage Caused by Birds Mon, 07 Sep 2015 10:58:59 +0000 Rice is often damaged by birds, especially sparrows, in Asia. Bird nets are sometimes used as countermeasures; however this approach is expensive and labor intensive. For this reason, farmers generally eschew bird nets, even though no alternative countermeasures are available. This study focused on exploiting the bird behavior of scanning for predators to reduce crop damage. When birds forage for seeds on the ground they often stop pecking and briefly raise their heads, apparently to scan for predators. Low visibility habitats increase scanning behavior and increased scanning behavior reduces habitat quality from the bird’s perspective; therefore, this study tested the relationship between rice damage rate and visibility at the periphery of rice fields, where tree sparrows rest after feeding. Overall, low visibility reduced damage to rice. Because visibility was mainly affected by weeds, weed management techniques contribute to crop damage management. To reduce damage, weeding can be decreased; therefore, this technique is cost- and labor-efficient. Takeshi Honda Copyright © 2015 Takeshi Honda. All rights reserved. Ecological Niche Modeling of Seventeen Sandflies Species (Diptera, Psychodidae, Phlebotominae) from Venezuela Sun, 08 Feb 2015 10:17:15 +0000 The purpose of this study is to create distribution models of seventeen Lutzomyia species in Venezuela. Presence records were obtained from field collections over 30 years by several research teams. We used maximum entropy method for model construction based on 30 arc-second resolution environmental layers: 19 bioclimatic variables, elevation, and land cover. Three species were distributed throughout north-central Venezuelan, two restricted to northern Venezuelan coast, and three throughout the west; five were restricted mainly to the Andean and finally two species within sparse pattern. The most important variables that contributed were related to precipitation. The environmental niche model of sandflies might be a useful tool to contribute to the understanding of the ecoepidemiological complexity of the transmission dynamics of the leishmaniases. Iomar Sanchez, Jonathan Liria, and María Dora Feliciangeli Copyright © 2015 Iomar Sanchez et al. All rights reserved. Larval Development of the European Lobster and How Small Heterochronic Shifts Lead to a More Pronounced Metamorphosis Mon, 12 Jan 2015 14:26:48 +0000 We redescribe the larval stages of the European lobster, Homarus gammarus, based on autofluorescence composite imaging. We focus on larval stages (II) to (IV). Compared to the American lobster, Homarus americanus, differences are most apparent in stage (III). This stage appears more mature in H. gammarus; for example, the rostrum is already curved and bears spines, and the appendages are better developed and longer and more differentiated. In H. americanus stage (III) shows a stronger resemblance to stage (II). As a result of the morphology of stage (III), the “metamorphic” moult between stage (III) and stage (IV) in H. gammarus is less drastic than in H. americanus. Metamorphosis is characterised by two criteria. It involves (1) a drastic change in morphology in (2) a short amount of time. It has hence been suggested that a more pronounced metamorphosis evolves by two factors affecting these criteria, namely, (1) the evolution of specialised larval features, which increase the morphological disparity between larva and adult that makes the change of morphology more drastic, and (2) the skipping of entire stages. This means larval forms ancestrally moult over several intermediate forms into the definite adult morphology. Yet, in more derived forms the stages with intermediate morphologies are no longer expressed; highly specialized larvae moult into the adult within a single moult (in the most extreme case) hence bridging the morphologies of larvae and adult in a shorter amount of time. The example of the two Homarus species demonstrates that this explanation is not the only possible one. Additionally, differences of a single larval stage (in this case larval stage (III)) can lead to a more or less metamorphic-appearing ontogenetic sequence. Marie A. I. N. Rötzer and Joachim T. Haug Copyright © 2015 Marie A. I. N. Rötzer and Joachim T. Haug. All rights reserved. Efficacy of 2-Phenoxyethanol as an Anaesthetic for Adult Redline Torpedo Fish, Sahyadria denisonii (Day 1865) Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:19:45 +0000 Efficacy of 2-phenoxyethanol for redline torpedo fish exposed to five concentrations (200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 μlL−1) was evaluated. The time periods necessary for each characteristic stage of induction and recovery were recorded. Results indicated that the induction time of the fish exposed to five anaesthetic concentrations significantly decreased with increasing concentration but recovery time was independent of concentration. Concentration of 500 μlL−1 (induction time: 173 ± 7 and recovery time: 129 ± 41 seconds) was determined as the minimum effective concentration that induces anaesthesia in less than 3 minutes. Anna Mercy Thoranam Varkey and Sajan Sajeevan Copyright © 2014 Anna Mercy Thoranam Varkey and Sajan Sajeevan. All rights reserved. Spermatogenic Waves and Expression of AR and ERs in Germ Cells of Podarcis sicula Sun, 23 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Androgens are considered the main hormones that regulate spermatogenesis, but a lot of evidence confers to estrogen a key role in this process. In the testis of the seasonal breeder lizard Podarcis sicula we analyzed by means of in situ hybridization the expression of the androgen receptor (AR) and of the two types, α and β, of the estrogen receptors (ERs) throughout the three periods of the annual cycle: mating (spring-early summer), postmating-refractory (late summer), and autumnal recrudescence. The results show that during the mating period AR and ERs are expressed in all germ cells present in the tubules from spermatogonia to spermatozoa. During the postmating-refractory period, when only spermatogonia are present in the tubules, almost all express ERs and very few AR mRNA. During the autumnal recrudescence the localization of AR and ERs is the same of the mating period except for the population of the primary spermatocytes. The expression of the investigated receptors is peculiar in these cells that are positive in the middle-late pachytene stage of the meiotic prophase and negative in preleptotene. A possible functional role of the observed differences during spermatogenesis and in the spermatozoa is also discussed. Mariailaria Verderame, Francesco Angelini, and Ermelinda Limatola Copyright © 2014 Mariailaria Verderame et al. All rights reserved. Behavioural Descriptions of Indian Pangolins (Manis crassicaudata) in Captivity Wed, 19 Nov 2014 07:10:02 +0000 Conservation breeding programmes as an essential tool for conservation of endangered species require a sound knowledge on behaviour of the species. At present time, knowledge of behaviour and biology of Indian pangolins is inadequate and inconsistent. During the present study, an ethogram was developed based on the behavioural observations of seven Indian pangolins (Manis crassicaudata) at Pangolin Conservation Breeding Centre, Nandankanan Zoological Park, Odisha, India, between February 2012 and January 2013. A total of 27 behaviours of seven distinct behavioural categories (stationary body positions, locomotory patterns, maintenance behaviours, explorative behaviours, defensive behaviours, reproductive/social behaviours, and others) were described and illustrated. The results offer a consistent frame of reference for further studies on behavioural patterns of Indian pangolins. Besides, these preliminary observations could be useful in management and breeding of the species in captivity. Rajesh Kumar Mohapatra and Sudarsan Panda Copyright © 2014 Rajesh Kumar Mohapatra and Sudarsan Panda. All rights reserved. The Female Reproductive Cycle of the Bedriaga Plate-Tailed Gecko, Teratoscincus bedriagai (Sauria: Gekkonidae) in Iran Sun, 16 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The Bedriaga Plate-tailed Gecko, Teratoscincus bedriagai Nikolsky, 1900, is distributed in the northern and eastern desert basins of the Central Plateau of Iran, Sistan, and the desert regions of southern Afghanistan. Iranian specimens are believed to be rare in collections. In this study, the reproductive cycle of this species has been investigated through focusing on oogenesis from 5 April to 5 August, 2013. Generally, 15 adult females were collected by hand at midnight from southern parts of Damghan County, situated in Semnan Province of Iran. Ovaries were removed and processed for the purpose of histological and morphometric studies. The results revealed that oocyte growth starts in early April and terminates in late July. Moreover, mating commences in spring, especially at the beginning of May, with oviposition occurring from late May to late July. Approximately, 1 to 2 eggs are laid by females per clutch with the possibility of producing a secondary clutch later in the season. The maximum reproductive activity takes place in May and continues with a decreasing trend in June and more reduction in July and finally ends in August. No significant difference was observed between right and left side of reproductive system. Therefore, oogenesis occurs from April to July, while T. bedriagai follows an oogenic cycle typical for temperate species. Fatemeh Mojibi and Vida Hojati Copyright © 2014 Fatemeh Mojibi and Vida Hojati. All rights reserved. Environmental Determinants Influencing Seasonal Variations of Bird Diversity and Abundance in Wetlands, Northern Region (Ghana) Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:38:53 +0000 The study assessed major environmental determinants influencing bird community in six wetlands over a 2-year period. A combination of visual and bird sounding techniques was used to determine the seasonal variations in bird abundance, while ordination techniques were performed to determine the influence of environmental factors on bird assemblage. A total of 1,169 birds from 25 species and 885 individuals from 23 species were identified in the wet and dry season, respectively. The shallow close marshes supported the greatest number of birds () compared to the riparian wetlands. Bird diversity was significantly higher in the wet season than in the dry season (). Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and marsh warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) were the most abundant. Using the IUCN “Red List” database guide, we noted that 96.2% of birds identified were least concern (LC). The yellow weaver bird (Ploceous megarhrynchus) was the only vulnerable species (VU) and represented 3.8%. From the three variables tested, bushfire and farming practices were the major threats and cumulatively explained 15.93% (wet season) and 14.06% (dry season) variations in bird diversity and abundance. These findings will help wetland managers design conservation measures to check current threats on birds from becoming vulnerable in the future. Collins Ayine Nsor and Edward Adzesiwor Obodai Copyright © 2014 Collins Ayine Nsor and Edward Adzesiwor Obodai. All rights reserved. Erratum to “Foraging Habitat Distributions Affect Territory Size and Shape in the Tuamotu Kingfisher” Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:15:08 +0000 Dylan C. Kesler Copyright © 2014 Dylan C. Kesler. All rights reserved. Effects of Quinizarin and Five Synthesized Derivatives on Fifth Larval Instar Midgut Ecdysone 20-Monooxygenase Activity of the Tobacco Hornworm Manduca sexta Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:36:38 +0000 The plant allelochemical, quinizarin (1,4-dihydroxy-9,10-anthraquinone), and five anthraquinones that were synthesized from quinizarin, namely, 1,4-anthraquinone; 2-hydroxy-1,4-anthraquinone; 2-methoxy-1,4-anthraquinone; 9-hydroxy-1,4-anthraquinone; and 9-methoxy-1,4-anthraquinone, were assessed as to their effects on the essential, P450-dependent ecdysone 20-monooxygenase system of the insect model Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm). This steroid hydroxylase converts the arthropod molting hormone, ecdysone, to the physiologically required 20-hydroxyecdysone form. M. sexta fifth larval instar midgut homogenates were incubated with increasing concentrations (10−8 to 10−3 M) of each of the six anthraquinones followed by ecdysone 20-monooxygenase assessments using a radioenzymological assay. Four of the five anthraquinones exhibited ’s of about to  M. The most effective inhibitors were 2-methoxy-1,4-anthraquinone and 1,4-anthraquinone followed by 9-hydroxy-1,4 anthraquinone and 9-methoxy-1,4-anthraquinone. At lower concentrations the latter anthraquinone stimulated E20M activity. Quinizarin was less inhibitory and 2-hydroxy-1,4-anthraquinone was essentially without effect. Significantly, these studies make evident for the first time that anthraquinones can affect insect E20M activity, and thus insect endocrine regulation and development, and that a relationship between anthraquinone structure and effectiveness is apparent. These studies represent the first demonstrations of anthraquinones affecting any steroid hydroxylase system. Christopher A. Drummond, Maria Teresa Molina, Sandra Taliansky, Carl R. Breidenbach, and Carmen F. Fioravanti Copyright © 2014 Christopher A. Drummond et al. All rights reserved. Benthic Macroinvertebrates along the Haraz Downstream in Southern Caspian Sea Basin: In Gradient of the Physicochemical Parameters Wed, 08 Oct 2014 10:03:16 +0000 The Haraz River is one of the most important rivers in the Caspian Sea basin. In order to investigate changes in the taxa abundance composition and feeding groups of the benthic macroinvertebrates, twelve-time sampling was carried out at nine stations along three different sites: (1) before, (2) into, and (3) after Amol City. Results showed impacts of anthropogenic activities caused by the urbanization and development on the occurrence of benthic macroinvertebrates taxa. Families, Hydropsychidae and Heptageniidae at site 1 and Tipulidae at sites 2 and 3, were significantly dominant. The feeding groups of gathering collectors and predators increased from site 1 to site 3, while the filtering collectors and scrapers decreased. Consequently, our data supported the use of the bioindicator concept for Haraz River. Some sensitive (Hydropsychidae, Heptageniidae, Baetidae, and Leuctridae) and tolerant families (Tipulidae and Naididae/Tubificidae) are introduced as potential bioindicators of clean and disturbed river’s area, respectively. Amir Faraz Ghasemi and Morteza Kamali Copyright © 2014 Amir Faraz Ghasemi and Morteza Kamali. All rights reserved. Studies on the Vertical Distribution of Ticks of Domestic Animals and Their Public Health Importance in Nilgiri Hills and Adjoining Areas of Tamil Nadu State (India) Wed, 10 Sep 2014 06:27:16 +0000 The Nilgiri hills and adjoining downhill areas provide favourable ecological conditions for the propagation of haematophagous arthropods owing to richness in vegetation and animal activities. A study has been undertaken during 2008–2010 on the distribution and abundance of ticks of domestic animals in seven different biotopes. A total of 3,008 domestic animals were examined in areas ranging from an altitude of 300 to 2200 meters above mean sea level (MSL) of which 1,335 (44.5%) animals were having tick infestation. A total of 6,012 adult and immature ticks belonging to 12 species (11 ixodid and one argasid) were collected. Eleven tick species were collected from Kallar area situated downhill eastern slopes of the Nilgiris followed by Burliar area (7 species) located at higher altitudes. From Masinagudi area near to dense forests and scrub jungles, five species were recorded. However, at higher elevations on the hills, Udhagamandalam area, only one species was recorded. Among various tick species recorded in the study, Boophilus microplus was distributed in almost all areas surveyed followed by Haemaphysalis spinigera and Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The factors governing their distribution and epidemiological significance in the transmission of various tick-borne diseases of public health importance are discussed. Kaushal Kumar, N. Balakrishnan, and Abhay Kumar Sharma Copyright © 2014 Kaushal Kumar et al. All rights reserved. The Diet and Sexual Differences of the Caspian Bent-Toed Gecko, Tenuidactylus caspius (Squamata: Gekkonidae), in Northern Iran Mon, 08 Sep 2014 10:49:14 +0000 The Caspian bent-toed gecko, Tenuidactylus caspius, is one of the most common nocturnal lizards of Iran with widespread distribution especially in the northern provinces. This research was done in order to study the diet and sexual dimorphism of this species in Sari County from 5 May to 20 October. During this research, 40 specimens of them including 20 males and 20 females were studied for diet and 140 specimens including 70 adult males and 70 adult females were studied for sexual dimorphism. Prey items identified were insects that belong to 15 species of 8 families and 6 orders. The most common prey items were Culex pipiens and Musca domestica. There is no significant difference between diets of males and females. Results show that the adult males in addition of having the apparent femoral and preanal pores are heavier than females and have larger body, head, and tail length. Vida Hojati and Reza Babaei Savasari Copyright © 2014 Vida Hojati and Reza Babaei Savasari. All rights reserved. Life Cycle and Secondary Production of Four Species from Functional Feeding Groups in a Tropical Stream of South India Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:56:46 +0000 This study focused on life strategies of species from functional feeding groups (FFGs) found in a tropical stream of the Sirumalai hills, South India. We examined the life cycle and secondary production of species of shredders (Lepidostoma nuburagangai), scrapers (Baetis sp.), collectors (Choroterpes alagarensis), and predators (Neoperla biseriata). In addition, we studied the assemblage structure of functional feeding groups. We found the collectors occupied the highest percentage, followed in turn by scrapers, predators, and shredders. The diversity of FFGs was higher at riffle areas and assemblage with stream substrates differing in each functional group. An asynchronous life cycle was observed for Baetis, C. alagarensis, and N. biseriata, while L. nuburagangai was found in four to five generations per year. We acquired data on secondary production of scraper species of Baetis, which reached the highest values among all investigated species. This observation stresses the importance of scrapers as playing a key role in converting coarse particulate organic matter to fine particulate organic matter with low or high abundances of shredder population and maintaining the food chain in tropical streams. Sankarappan Anbalagan, Sundaram Dinakaran, and Muthukalingan Krishnan Copyright © 2014 Sankarappan Anbalagan et al. All rights reserved. Glycolipids as Potential Energy Molecules during Starvation in Climbing Perch, Anabas testudineus (Bloch) Sun, 20 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Glycolipids are membrane lipids which act as cellular markers and also provide energy for the cells. The present study is an attempt to understand whether glycolipids can act as energy sources during fasting. To achieve this, we selected and subjected Anabas testudineus to short-term (15 days) and long-term (60 days) laboratory starvation. We estimated glycolipids biochemically using a standard protocol in six different tissues. Results showed a selective decline in glycolipid concentration in certain tissues, and also an increase was observed in some tissues. Short-term fasting led to a decline in glycolipids in tissues such as brain (), accessory respiratory organ (), pectoral and lateral line muscle. Liver and kidney () reported an increase. Long term starvation also resulted in a decline in tissues such as liver (), kidney (), brain, and accessory respiratory organ. Muscle tissue, that is, both the pectoral () and lateral line muscle (), showed an increase in the glycolipid fraction. This selective decline in glycolipid content of certain tissues suggests a possible utilization of these lipids during starvation and the significant upsurge observed in certain tissues suggests a simultaneous synthesis occurring along the degradation, probably reducing the oxidative stress created by ROS (reactive oxygen species). Padmavathi Godavarthy and Y. Sunila Kumari Copyright © 2014 Padmavathi Godavarthy and Y. Sunila Kumari. All rights reserved. Climate-Related Variation in Body Dimensions within Four Lacertid Species Mon, 19 May 2014 09:30:17 +0000 A close relationship between habitat and external morphology is widespread among many animals, including reptiles. Here, I studied the relationship between abiotic environmental conditions and body size of four lacertid species (Phoenicolacerta laevis, Ophisops elegans, Acanthodactylus boskianus, and Mesalina guttulata) occurring in Israel. I examined the effect of average annual temperature and average annual precipitation on body and limb dimensions, using linear statistical models. Temperature- and precipitation-related geographic clines in body size showed the same trend among all species. Females displayed stronger phenotypic response to temperature gradient than conspecific males, suggesting a sex-specific effect of natural selection. Snout-vent length (SVL) was negatively correlated with temperature, supporting Bergmann’s rule in O. elegans and in female P. laevis and A. boskianus, but not in M. guttulata. Precipitation was positively related to SVL in O. elegans and M. guttulata, and in female P. laevis and A. boskianus. The relative extremity lengths, especially hind limb segments, generally increase towards hot and dry locations, following Allen’s rule. Among the Mediterranean region species (P. laevis, O. elegans) the morphological-environmental link with temperature was stronger than in desert dwellers (A. boskianus, M. guttulata), for which precipitation was the major determinant of spatial variation. Stanislav Volynchik Copyright © 2014 Stanislav Volynchik. All rights reserved. Expression Pattern of Myogenic Regulatory Transcription Factor mRNAs in the Embryo and Adult Labeo rohita (Hamilton, 1822) Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:26:15 +0000 Understanding the regulation of skeletal muscle development is important to meet the increasing demand of Indian major carp Labeo rohita. Myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) along with myocyte specific enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) play the pivotal role in the determination and differentiation of skeletal muscle. The majority of skeletal muscle genes require both MRFs and MEF2 family members to activate their transcription. In this study, the expression pattern of MyoD, myf-5, myogenin, and MEF2A was observed from 6 h after fertilization to 12 months of age using semiquantitative RT-PCR as well as real-time PCR method. MyoD and myf-5 mRNAs were expressed at high level at the early embryonic stages. Myogenin and MEF2A were expressed after MyoD and myf-5 and remained active up to adult stage. Expression of MyoD was lower than that of Myf-5 after the 5th month. Partial sequencing of MyoD, myf-5, and MEF2A was done to draw phylogeny. In phylogenetic study, Labeo MyoD, MEF2A and myf-5 were found to be closely related to those of common carp. The present investigation suggests that the four transcription factors play pivotal role in the regulation of muscle growth of Labeo rohita in an overlapping and interconnected way. Archya Sengupta, Sandip Mukherjee, Shelley Bhattacharya, Samar Kumar Saha, and Ansuman Chattopadhyay Copyright © 2014 Archya Sengupta et al. All rights reserved. High Sequence Variations in Mitochondrial DNA Control Region among Worldwide Populations of Flathead Mullet Mugil cephalus Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:58:15 +0000 The sequence and structure of the complete mtDNA control region (CR) of M. cephalus from African, Pacific, and Atlantic populations are presented in this study to assess its usefulness in phylogeographic studies of this species. The mtDNA CR sequence variations among M. cephalus populations largely exceeded intraspecific polymorphisms that are generally observed in other vertebrates. The length of CR sequence varied among M. cephalus populations due to the presence of indels and variable number of tandem repeats at the hypervariable domain. The high evolutionary rate of the CR in this species probably originated from these mutations. However, no excessive homoplasic mutations were noticed. Finally, the star shaped tree inferred from the CR polymorphism stresses a rapid radiation worldwide, in this species. The CR still appears as a good marker for phylogeographic investigations and additional worldwide samples are warranted to further investigate the genetic structure and evolution in M. cephalus. Brian Wade Jamandre, Jean-Dominique Durand, and Wann-Nian Tzeng Copyright © 2014 Brian Wade Jamandre et al. All rights reserved. Seasonality of Freeze Tolerance in a Subarctic Population of the Wood Frog, Rana sylvatica Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:00:52 +0000 We compared physiological characteristics and responses to experimental freezing and thawing in winter and spring samples of the wood frog, Rana sylvatica, indigenous to Interior Alaska, USA. Whereas winter frogs can survive freezing at temperatures at least as low as −16°C, the lower limit of tolerance for spring frogs was between −2.5°C and −5°C. Spring frogs had comparatively low levels of the urea in blood plasma, liver, heart, brain, and skeletal muscle, as well as a smaller hepatic reserve of glycogen, which is converted to glucose after freezing begins. Consequently, following freezing (−2.5°C, 48 h) tissue concentrations of these cryoprotective osmolytes were 44–88% lower than those measured in winter frogs. Spring frogs formed much more ice and incurred extensive cryohemolysis and lactate accrual, indicating that they had suffered marked cell damage and hypoxic stress during freezing. Multiple, interactive stresses, in addition to diminished cryoprotectant levels, contribute to the reduced capacity for freeze tolerance in posthibernal frogs. Jon P. Costanzo, M. Clara F. do Amaral, Andrew J. Rosendale, and Richard E. Lee Copyright © 2014 Jon P. Costanzo et al. All rights reserved. The Involvement of the Androgen Receptor in the Secretion of the Epididymal corpus in the Lizard Podarcis sicula Wed, 29 Jan 2014 08:46:21 +0000 A crucial role in the maintenance of male reproductive functions is carried out by the androgen through its receptor in balance with the estrogen receptors (ERs). The distribution of the androgen receptor (AR) is well documented in the testis and in the reproductive tissues of mammals but the findings about the AR in nonmammalian vertebrates and in particular in reptiles are very scarce. Here by means of in situ hybridization (ISH) we investigated the AR expression along the epididymal channel (efferent ductules, corpus, and cauda) of Podarcis sicula during the mating and nonmating period. The results show that in this seasonal breeding species the AR expression pattern is always constant throughout the epididymis. The administration of estradiol-17β in the mating period does not affect the AR expression but inhibits the secretory activity of the epididymal corpus. To verify the expression pattern of ERs, we also conducted ISH investigations on adjacent sections with ERs probes. The findings suggest that AR induces the secretory activity in the epithelial cells of the epididymal corpus and confirm our previous results that showed the role of ERalpha (ERα) as switch off for the secretion of this compartment. Mariailaria Verderame Copyright © 2014 Mariailaria Verderame. All rights reserved. Behavioural Study of Captive Sloth Bears Using Environmental Enrichment Tools Thu, 19 Dec 2013 13:00:32 +0000 Effects of environmental enrichment on behavioural changes were studied in five captive sloth bears kept in confined enclosure at Zoological Park, Chennai, India. Behavioural categories like active, passive, and abnormal behaviours were taken for the study. The activity budget was recorded as a single animal scan. The detailed baseline data of 150 hours, over a period of 30 days, were collected. At baseline, bears exhibited passive and more abnormal behaviours. Similarly, after application of the environmental tools like honey-log, underground food pipes, and wobbling box in the enclosure, the data were collected for 150 hours (30 days). Increased active behaviours and decreased abnormal behaviours were observed and showed highly significant changes in the abnormal behaviour as a whole when compared to the baseline level. During the postenrichment period, the data that were collected for 150 hours (30 days) showed no significant differences statistically between the behavioural categories. But certain level of difference was evident from the percentage of abnormal behaviours exhibited by individual bears. Among the enrichment devices, honey-log was the most preferred enrichment tool as revealed by the percentage of time spent by individual animal. The results show that application of enrichment tool continuously may bring long term effect in stereotypic behaviour. M. Veeraselvam, R. Sridhar, M. G. Jayathangaraj, and P. Perumal Copyright © 2013 M. Veeraselvam et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Addition of Melatonin on the Liquid Storage (5°C) of Mithun (Bos frontalis) Semen Wed, 18 Dec 2013 09:13:12 +0000 The present study was undertaken to assess the effect of melatonin (MT) on sperm motility, viability, total sperm abnormality, acrosomal and plasma membrane integrity, DNA abnormality, antioxidant profiles such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC), enzymatic profiles such as aspartate amino transaminase (AST), alanine amino transaminase (ALT), and biochemical profiles such as malonaldehyde (MDA) production and cholesterol efflux. Total numbers of 30 ejaculates were collected twice a week from eight mithun bulls and semen was split into five equal aliquots, diluted with the TEYC extender. Group 1 has semen without additives (control) and group 2 to group 5 have semen that was diluted with 1 mM, 2 mM, 3 mM, and 4 mM of melatonin, respectively. These seminal parameters, antioxidant, enzymatic, and biochemical profiles were assessed at 5°C for 0, 6, 12, 24, and 30 h of incubation. Inclusion of melatonin into diluent resulted in significant () decrease in percentages of dead spermatozoa, abnormal spermatozoa, and acrosomal abnormalities at different hours of storage periods as compared with control group. Additionally, melatonin at 3 mM has significant improvement in quality of mithun semen than melatonin at 1 mM, 2 mM or 4 mM stored in in vitro for up to 30 h. It was concluded that the possible protective effects of melatonin on sperm parameters are it prevents MDA production and preserve the antioxidants and intracellular enzymes during preservation. P. Perumal, Kezhavituo Vupru, and K. Khate Copyright © 2013 P. Perumal et al. All rights reserved. Behavioral Responses of the Snail Lymnaea acuminata towards Photo and Chemo Attractants: A New Step in Control Program of Fasciolosis Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:35:51 +0000 Fasciolosis is water and food borne disease, caused by Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Snail control is one of the major methods to reduce the incidences of fasciolosis. Trapping of snails with the help of photo- and chemoattractants for treatment purposes will be a new tool in control program of fasciolosis. The present study shows that maximum numbers of snails were attracted (52 to 60%), when exposed to photo- and chemostimulant simultaneously, rather than when only chemo- (control) (18 to 24%) or photo- (control) (14 to 19%) stimulus was given. Maximum change in AChE activity in nervous tissue was observed when red monochromatic light was used (258.37% of white light control) as opposed to blue (243.44% of white light control) and orange (230.37% of white light control). The exposure of light directly stimulated the photoreceptors in eye which transmit the signals through nerves to the brain and snail response accordingly. In this signal transmission AChE is one of the important enzymes involved in this process. Anupam Pati Tripathi, V. K. Singh, and D. K. Singh Copyright © 2013 Anupam Pati Tripathi et al. All rights reserved. Noninvasive Method for a Statewide Survey of Eastern Hellbenders Cryptobranchus alleganiensis Using Environmental DNA Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:59:05 +0000 Traditional survey methods of aquatic organisms may be difficult, lengthy, and destructive to the habitat. Some methods are invasive and can be harmful to the target species. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) has proven to be effective at detecting low population density aquatic macroorganisms. This study refined the technique to support statewide surveys. Hellbender presence was identified by using hellbender specific primers (cytochrome b gene) to detect eDNA in water samples collected at rivers, streams and creeks in Ohio and Kentucky with historical accounts of the imperiled eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus a. alleganiensis). Two sampling protocols are described; both significantly reduced the amount of water required for collection from the previously described 6 L collection. Two-liter samples were adequate to detect hellbender presence in natural waterways where hellbenders have been previously surveyed in both Ohio and Kentucky—1 L samples were not reliable. DNA extracted from 3 L of water collected onto multiple filters (1 L/filter) could be combined and concentrated through ethanol precipitation, supporting amplification of hellbender DNA and dramatically reducing the filtration time. This method improves the efficiency and welfare implications of sampling methods for reclusive aquatic species of low population density for statewide surveys that involve collecting from multiple watersheds. Amy J. Santas, Tyler Persaud, Barbara A. Wolfe, and Jenise M. Bauman Copyright © 2013 Amy J. Santas et al. All rights reserved. Toxicity Assessment of Buprofezin, Lufenuron, and Triflumuron to the Earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:45:41 +0000 Earthworms are particularly important soil macroinvertebrates and are often used in assessing the general impact of pesticide pollution in soil. The present study was conducted in order to investigate the toxicity of three insect growth regulators (IGRs) buprofezin, lufenuron, and triflumuron, at different application rates and exposure times toward mature earthworms Aporrectodea caliginosa. The effects of these pesticides on the growth rate in relation to the activities of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) as biochemical indicators were evaluated to elucidate the mechanisms of action. Toxicity studies indicated that lufenuron was the most harmful pesticide to mature earthworms, followed in descending order by buprofezin and triflumuron. A reduction in growth rate in all pesticide-treated worms was dose-dependent over the 28-day exposure period, which was accompanied by a decrease in AChE and GST activities. Relationships between growth rate, AChE, and GST provided strong evidence for the involvement of pesticidal contamination in the biochemical changes in earthworms, which can be used as a bioindicator of soil contamination by pesticides. Mohamed E. I. Badawy, Anter Kenawy, and Ahmed F. El-Aswad Copyright © 2013 Mohamed E. I. Badawy et al. All rights reserved. Description of the Postlarval Stages of Dactylochelifer gracilis Beier, Pseudoscorpiones: Cheliferidae Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:03:10 +0000 A study of the free-living developmental stages of Dactylochelifer gracilis Beier, 1951, is presented based on 68 specimens of all nymphal and adult stages, collected from two locations in Iran. Basic differences of all stages are characterized by size, pedipalpal ratios, and the addition of trichobothria and setae during development. Mahrad Nassirkhani and Mark S. Harvey Copyright © 2013 Mahrad Nassirkhani and Mark S. Harvey. All rights reserved. Blood Cell Profile of the Developing Tadpoles and Adults of the Ornate Frog, Microhyla ornata (Anura: Microhylidae) Sun, 15 Sep 2013 15:46:18 +0000 Metamorphosis happens to be an important event in the lifetime of amphibians. Our study offers a record of blood cell profile of laboratory reared tadpoles during development and metamorphosis (Gosner stage 26 to 46) and adults of Microhyla ornata. The larval erythrocytes were observed to be circular, oval, and elliptical in shape. However, other variations were distinct during the prometamorphic and metamorphic stages. Crenulated erythrocytes showed a pattern of appearance, and the crenulations varied from minute serrations to highly spiked projections. Correlations between the morphometric values of erythrocytes during the larval development were also determined. The leukocyte profile of the tadpoles showed a high percentage of lymphocytes during larval development while the percentage of monocytes, eosinophils, and neutrophils remained high during metamorphosis and were positively correlated with the developing stages. Blood thrombocytes of the tadpoles were small and were found in clusters. Elliptical erythrocytes were the most common in the adult frogs. However, few erythrocytes were also circular in shape. In adults, the percentage of lymphocytes was found to be more in comparison with the other leucocytes, and neutrophils showed various polymorphic forms. Thrombocytes were nucleated and spindle shaped. Jutshina Hota, Madhusmita Das, and Pravati Kumari Mahapatra Copyright © 2013 Jutshina Hota et al. All rights reserved. Distribution and Structure of Purkinje Fibers in the Heart of Ostrich (Struthio camelus) with the Special References on the Ultrastructure Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:52:37 +0000 Purkinje fibers or Purkinje cardiomyocytes are part of the whole complex of the cardiac conduction system, which is today classified as specific heart muscle tissue responsible for the generation of the heart impulses. From the point of view of their distribution, structure and ultrastructural composition of the cardiac conduction system in the ostrich heart were studied by light and electron microscopy. These cells were distributed in cardiac conducting system including SA node, AV node, His bundle and branches as well as endocardium, pericardium, myocardium around the coronary arteries, moderator bands, white fibrous sheet in right atrium, and left septal attachment of AV valve. The great part of the Purkinje fiber is composed of clear, structure less sarcoplasm, and the myofibrils tend to be confined to a thin ring around the periphery of the cells. They have one or more large nuclei centrally located within the fiber. Ultrastructurally, they are easily distinguished. The main distinction feature is the lack of electron density and having a light appearance, due to the absence of organized myofibrils. P-cells usually have two nuclei with a mass of short, delicate microfilaments scattered randomly in the cytoplasm; they contain short sarcomeres and myofibrillar insertion plaque. They do not have T-tubules. Paria Parto, Mina Tadjalli, S. Reza Ghazi, and Mohammad Ali Salamat Copyright © 2013 Paria Parto et al. All rights reserved.