International Journal of Zoology The latest articles from Hindawi © 2018 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Incidence of a New Pest, the Cotton Mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley, on Sesame in North Ethiopia Tue, 02 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the most important cash crops grown extensively for its seeds in Ethiopia. Production of sesame in the country is very crucial in many aspects, but the invasion of the cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley, is becoming a big deal in its production. A survey for mealybug infestation was conducted during 2016 production season in 15 localities of “Kafta Humera” district so as to assess the incidence and severity of the pest. In each locality 2 sesame farms have been selected and 6 samples per farm (2 samples from the road sides, 2 from camp surrounding, and 2 from the central part of the farms) have been checked. During the survey, “Bowal” and “Sherif Hamad” have scored the higher incidence and severity of mealybugs. Road sides and camp surrounding of the farms were shown to have severe infestation. Stony and oxen plowed farms were also intensively invaded with cotton mealybugs. The pest has different natural means to infest new areas; thus its control measure has to be developing timely. Zenawi Gebregergis Copyright © 2018 Zenawi Gebregergis. All rights reserved. Shifts in Bird Migration Timing in North American Long-Distance and Short-Distance Migrants Are Associated with Climate Change Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:43:48 +0000 Bird migration is a synchronized event that has evolved over thousands of years. Changing temperatures due to climate change threaten the intricacies of migration timing for birds; however, the extent of these changes has only recently begun to be addressed. Utilizing data from the citizen-science website eBird and historical temperature data, we analyzed bird migration timing in two states warming quickly (Alaska and Maine) and one warming gradually (South Carolina). Using linear regressions, we looked at relationships between different temperature indices and year with bird migration timing from 2010 to 2016. Bird migration through all three states, regardless of warming rate, showed similar rates of alterations. Additionally, in every state over half of the birds that had altered migration timing were long-distance migrants. Furthermore, we performed feature selection to determine important factors for changing migration timing of birds. Changes to summer resident and transient bird migration were most influenced by state. In winter resident migration, departure date and length of stay were most influenced by maximum temperature, while arrival date was most associated with minimum temperature. Relationships between changing temperatures and migration timing suggest that global climate change may have consequential effects on all bird migration patterns throughout the United States. Jay Zaifman, Daoyang Shan, Ahmet Ay, and Ana Gabriela Jimenez Copyright © 2017 Jay Zaifman et al. All rights reserved. Relationships among Tomistoma schlegelii in Malaysia Based on Cyt b-Control Region Gene Analysis Wed, 15 Nov 2017 08:23:42 +0000 Tomistoma schlegelii is a slender snout crocodile, secretive in nature which is currently under Appendix I of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). Limited information is currently available on its wild population, especially in Malaysia. Thus this study aims to describe genetic relationship of T. schlegelii populations from Malaysia which was done using partial sequencing of Cytochrome b-control region mtDNA gene. The study reveals that the genetic diversity among T. schlegelii is high, ranging from 0.16% to 3.34%, suggesting healthy populations. Analysis showed that there is gene flow among populations (Da = 1.71% to 2.21%) within Western Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia, and other geographical regions coherent with Sundaland theory, suggesting that there is ancient river system connecting the two regions of Peninsular Malaysia and West Borneo when the Sunda Shelf was exposed. Unique haplotypes had been observed in Northern Sarawak (SAM01 and SAM02) as well as in Sumatera; thus each T. schlegelii deserved its own management strategies to ensure the survival of the species. Muhammad Amirul Arib Md Adzhar and Ruhana Hassan Copyright © 2017 Muhammad Amirul Arib Md Adzhar and Ruhana Hassan. All rights reserved. Birds in New York State Have Altered Their Migration Timing and Are Experiencing Different Thermal Regimes While Breeding or on Stopover from 2010 to 2015 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Migration represents a significant physiological challenge for birds, and increasing ambient temperatures due to global climate change may add to birds’ physiological burden during migration. We analyzed migration timing in a central New York county and two counties in the Adirondack region by using data from the citizen science network, eBird, and correlating it with historical temperature data. Species of birds sighted in Central NY () and the Adirondack region () were categorized into year-round residents and one- and two-stopover groupings based on eBird observations. Using linear regressions, we looked at various relationships between temperature and variables relating to birds’ migration across 2010–2015. Of the total 195 species used within this data in Central NY, 35 species showed some alteration in their migration timing or in the temperature regime they experienced while breeding or on migration stopover. In the Adirondack region, of the total 199 species used within this dataset, 43 species showed some alteration in their migration timing or experienced significantly colder or warmer temperatures while breeding or on migration stopover during 2010–2015. Additionally, many of the bird species affected by temperature changes in the state of New York and those that altered migration timing tended to be long-distance migrants. Natalie Pudalov, Sydney Ziatek, and Ana Gabriela Jimenez Copyright © 2017 Natalie Pudalov et al. All rights reserved. Population Genetic Structure and Genetic Diversity in Twisted-Jaw Fish, Belodontichthys truncatus Kottelat & Ng, 1999 (Siluriformes: Siluridae), from Mekong Basin Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:27:14 +0000 The Mekong River and its tributaries possess the second highest diversity in fish species in the world. However, the fish biodiversity in this river is threatened by several human activities, such as hydropower plant construction. Understanding the genetic diversity and genetic structure of the species is important for natural resource management. Belodontichthys truncatus Kottelat & Ng is endemic to the Mekong River basin and is an important food source for people in this area. In this study, the genetic diversity, genetic structure, and demographic history of the twisted-jaw fish, B. truncatus, were investigated using mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences. A total of 124 fish specimens were collected from 10 locations in the Mekong and its tributaries. Relatively high genetic diversity was found in populations of B. truncatus compared to other catfish species in the Mekong River. The genetic structure analysis revealed that a population from the Chi River in Thailand was genetically significantly different from other populations, which is possibly due to the effect of genetic drift. Demographic history analysis indicated that B. truncatus has undergone recent demographic expansion dating back to the end of the Pleistocene glaciation. Surapon Yodsiri, Komgrit Wongpakam, Adisak Ardharn, Chadaporn Senakun, and Sutthira Khumkratok Copyright © 2017 Surapon Yodsiri et al. All rights reserved. Present Status of Ganges River Dolphins Platanista gangetica gangetica (Roxburgh, 1801) in the Turag River, Dhaka, Bangladesh Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:18:57 +0000 Freshwater ecosystem degradation in the Turag River basin is increasing due to rising human settlement, reduced water flow during the dry season, new large land development projects, and toxic emissions caused by brick kilns. The population of river dolphins was estimated through surveys carried out from December 2012 to November 2013. Surveys were conducted on a fortnightly basis. The dolphins were counted within an 18.4 km stretch (known to be the most polluted stretch) of the 75 km long river. A total of 62 dolphin sightings were recorded, both as individual sightings and as groups. The highest monthly count was in August. The best-high-low estimates of 9-11-7 individuals were recorded in August 2013 in river ecology. Seasonal changes in spatial distribution were observed. The survey revealed that rising floodwater stimulated an increase in the dolphin population in the study area from July to October. The maximum encounter rate was also 0.49 sightings km−1 for the month of August. The sightings and encounter rates of dolphins were lower from December to July (dry and premonsoon period) likely due to reduced water flow and adverse water quality of this river. Mohammad Abdul Baki, Naser Ahmed Bhouiyan, Md. Saiful Islam, Shayer Mahmood Ibney Alam, Shibananda Shil, and Md. Muzammel Hossain Copyright © 2017 Mohammad Abdul Baki et al. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Phenotypic Variation in Freshwater Murrel, Channa punctatus (Bloch, 1793) from Northern and Eastern Regions of India Using Truss Analysis” Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Ankur Kashyap, Madhu Awasthi, and Mohammad Serajuddin Copyright © 2017 Ankur Kashyap et al. All rights reserved. Cytochrome c Oxidase Sequences of Zambian Wildlife Helps to Identify Species of Origin of Meat Tue, 22 Nov 2016 14:18:07 +0000 Accurate species identification is a crucial tool in wildlife conservation. Enforcement of antipoaching law is more achievable with robust molecular identification of poached meat. Determining the region where the animal may have been taken from would also be a useful tool in suppression of cross-border trade of poached meat. We present data from a cytochrome c oxidase “barcoding” study of Zambian ruminants that adequately identifies the species of origin of meat samples. Furthermore, the method demonstrates possible improvement and application in regional variation in sequence identity that has a potential for discriminating meat samples from different subpopulations. Michelo Syakalima, Musso Munyeme, and Jun Yasuda Copyright © 2016 Michelo Syakalima et al. All rights reserved. A Revision of the Selenocosmiine Tarantula Genus Phlogiellus Pocock 1897 (Araneae: Theraphosidae), with Description of 4 New Species Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:16:11 +0000 The tarantula genus Phlogiellus (Pocock 1897) is revised. The genus is diagnosed against all other selenocosmiine genera for the first time along with a new generic description. The tribe Yamiini (Kishida 1920) is diagnosed against all other selenocosmiine tribes. All Phlogiellus species are diagnosed from all congeners; all species are mapped. Complete dichotomous keys for both sexes of all species are included. Where appropriate, intraspecific variation is discussed. Four new species are described: P. bogadeki sp. nov. from Hong Kong, P. johnreylazoi sp. nov. from Palawan Island, Philippines, P. moniqueverdezae sp. nov. from Ranong, Thailand, and P. pelidnus sp. nov. from Sabah, Borneo. The type species P. atriceps (Pocock 1897) holotype male is redescribed and the male P. baeri (Simon 1877) is described in detail for the first time. The validity of P. inermis (Ausserer 1871) is confirmed. Relationships between all known selenocosmiine genera and Phlogiellus from the Philippines are discussed and several character traits are newly diagnosed. The tribe Phlogiellini (West et al. 2012) is a junior synonym of Yamiini (Kishida 1920). Selenocosmia orophila (Thorell 1897) from Myanmar, Selenocosmia insulana (Hirst 1909) from Djampea (= Jampea) Island, and Selenocosmia obscura (Hirst 1909) from Sarawak, Borneo, are transferred to Phlogiellus, altering the specific names to Phlogiellus orophilus (Thorell 1897) comb. nov., Phlogiellus insulanus (Hirst 1909) comb. nov., and Phlogiellus obscurus (Hirst 1909) comb. nov. Phlogiellus subarmatus (Thorell 1891) is transferred to Chilobrachys (Karsch 1891), becoming Chilobrachys subarmatus (Thorell 1891) comb. nov. Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos (Barrion-Dupo et al., 2014) is transferred to Orphnaecus (Simon 1892), becoming Orphnaecus kwebaburdeos (Barrion-Dupo et al., 2014) comb. nov. Phlogiellus ornatus (Thorell 1897) and Phlogiellus nebulosus (Rainbow 1899) are considered species inquirenda. Phlogiellus baeri (Simon 1877) is no longer considered incertae sedis; Phlogiellus bicolor (Strand 1911) and Phlogiellus insularis (Simon 1877) are considered incertae sedis. Steven C. Nunn, Rick C. West, and Volker Von Wirth Copyright © 2016 Steven C. Nunn et al. All rights reserved. Phenozan Influence on the Physiological-Biochemical Parameters of the Young Minks Leading to Their Advanced Properties Sun, 18 Sep 2016 14:24:41 +0000 The antioxidant influence on the physiological-biochemical parameters of productive animals is one of the most important directions in modern animal science. Phenozan is a synthetic antioxidant with high biological activities including those for animals. The positive effects of phenozan on the physiological-biochemical parameters of the mink blood were found. These effects are leading to the intensive growth, strong health, enhancement of the mink fur quality, and so forth. The total amount of the erythrocytes in the mink blood increased by about 4-5% due to phenozan inclusion in the mink diet. Even a more significant increase was found in hemoglobin content in the mink blood and erythrocytes (by about 9.5% and 8.8%, resp.) due to phenozan inclusion of 100 mg/day, whereas it was found only by about 6.1–5.3% or 5.5–0.3%, owing to phenozan inclusion of 50 or 150 mg/day. For many other parameters the optimal phenozan concentration was about 100 mg/day per head according to the result obtained for all studied animal groups. Thus, phenozan can be successfully used as a biologically active compound for mink nutrition and is recommended for other farm animals. Nikolai A. Balakirev, Sergei Yu. Zaitsev, and Albert A. Rizvanov Copyright © 2016 Nikolai A. Balakirev et al. All rights reserved. Antipredator Behaviour of Limnonectes blythii (Boulenger, 1920) (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia Sun, 31 Jul 2016 06:54:26 +0000 The frog Limnonectes blythii was collected at different locations in Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia, three from Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest, two from Bukit Hijau Recreational Forest, and two from Ulu Paip Recreational Forest. Nine antipredator mechanisms were displayed by this species, including fleeing, hiding among leaf litter, diving into water, bladder discharge, defensive call, feigning death, crouching, inflating the body, and body-raising. The two latter actions were accompanied by a defensive call. These observations document for the first time antipredator behaviour in L. blythii. Shahriza Shahrudin Copyright © 2016 Shahriza Shahrudin. All rights reserved. Some Important Observations on the Populations of Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus in Urban Ghana Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:56:29 +0000 Despite major declines in the population of vultures around the world, noticeable increases were reported in the populations of Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus over the past decade in Accra—an important vulture habitat in Ghana. In recent times, however, there is a growing concern that the vulture numbers are decreasing even though scientific data to support this is nonexisting. As a vital zoogeographical and conservation tool, it is important to keep an up-to-date knowledge about urban bird populations amidst rapid urbanization and associated changes. Using a combination of field data, literature review, and stakeholder consultations, it was indicative that severe decline might have indeed occurred in the populations of Hooded Vultures in Accra. Evidence suggests the killing of vultures for consumption, traditional medicine, and black magic in an undercover trade with possible transboundary connections as important underlying factor. Additional factors suspected to underlie the declines include changes in management of urban facilities and destruction of roosting and nesting trees. The implications of interspecific competition with Pied Crows Corvus albus on Hooded Vultures however remain unclear. There is an urgent need for conservation campaign and education to save the Hooded Vulture in Ghana. Francis Gbogbo, Japheth S. T. Roberts, and Vincent Awotwe-Pratt Copyright © 2016 Francis Gbogbo et al. All rights reserved. Comparative Study of Integrated Pest Management and Farmers Practices on Sustainable Environment in the Rice Ecosystem Thu, 07 Apr 2016 13:35:31 +0000 Integrated pest management (IPM) is an environmentally friendly technology. IPM is a multifaceted approach to pest management that seeks to minimize negative impacts on the environment. This technique is an important step towards providing healthy, viable food for a growing global population. The focus of this study was to examine the impact of integrated pest management in a rice agroecosystem. Currently, more than 80% of farmers rely on pesticides. IPM methods employed in our study had an impact on the number of healthy tillers and hills and grain weight. The lowest percentage of dead heart (1.03) and white head (2.00) was found in the IPM treated plots. These plots had an average yield of 7.4 tonne/ha. We found that there were significant differences between the treatment and the observed percentage of dead heart, grain weight, and yield. We conclude that IPM practices are an effective strategy for obtaining high rice yields while protecting the environment and creating a more sustainable agroecosystem. Furthermore, the need for ongoing research and training on IPM methods will be essential for creating a sustainable rice agroecosystem. Mohammad Zahangeer Alam, Md. Manjurul Haque, Md. Sirajul Islam, Emran Hossain, Sabiha Binta Hasan, Shahela Binte Hasan, and Md. Sakhawat Hossain Copyright © 2016 Mohammad Zahangeer Alam et al. All rights reserved. Species Composition of Tropical Understory Birds in Threatened East African Coastal Forests Based on Capture Data Sun, 03 Apr 2016 08:53:55 +0000 The East African coastal forests are subject of haphazard modification following anthropogenic pressures including tree cutting and clearing for agriculture. These activities, which are leading cause of habitat disturbance and species loss, are the major challenge in the management of sensitive wildlife species such as forest understory birds. This study investigated species composition of understory birds in the coastal forests of northeastern Tanzania to generate information for the management of the landscape and biodiversity in the area. Using mist nets, birds were trapped from core and edge habitats of representative forest patches. Trapped birds were classified to species level and categorized into bird guilds based on their levels of forest dependence. It was found out that species richness was influenced by forest patch size rather than level of habitat disturbance. Edge habitat was also found to be important in hosting higher number of forest understory birds, especially generalists—but this should be treated with caution because following habitat destruction that is ongoing in the study area, there is a danger of generalist wiping out specialist species due to competitive exclusion. Strict control measures to stop illegal tree cutting and agricultural activities near the forests were recommended for sustainable conservation of the understory birds in the forests. Robert B. Modest and Shombe N. Hassan Copyright © 2016 Robert B. Modest and Shombe N. Hassan. All rights reserved. Feeding Ecology of Taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis) Populations during the Rainy and Dry Seasons in Central Peru Mon, 15 Feb 2016 13:25:31 +0000 Tarucas (Hippocamelus antisensis) live in rocky areas in the Andes, from northern Peru to northern Argentina. Microhistological analyses on their feeding ecology during the rainy and dry seasons were done at a National Park and a Landscape Reserve. The diet was diverse and more than 50 species were identified from the feces. Grass species were most often detected as eaten by taruca during the rainy season comprising near 70% of the consumed fragments with 35 plant species identified as eaten then. In the dry season, around 50 species were identified as eaten by tarucas, mostly dicotyledonous. The main species consumed in both seasons were Werneria nubigena, Poa gymnantha, Senecio comosus, and Ephedra americana. The ecological density was an intermediate value compared to other observed values in Peru. This is the first study to find the importance of grasses for tarucas, selected when soft, during the rainy season. A possible overlap with domestic ungulates’ diets should be explored, helping the conservation of taruca and generating an adequate management of the species and the ecosystem. There is a change in the palatable offer of food items during the rainy season, when most of the Gramineae species are tender. Carla Gazzolo and Javier Barrio Copyright © 2016 Carla Gazzolo and Javier Barrio. All rights reserved. Phenotypic Variation in Freshwater Murrel, Channa punctatus (Bloch, 1793) from Northern and Eastern Regions of India Using Truss Analysis Mon, 15 Feb 2016 06:36:20 +0000 Morphometric variation study was carried out using truss analysis in freshwater murrel, Channa punctatus (Bloch, 1793), to explore different phenotypic stocks of C. punctatus. Significant variation in the morphometric analysis was observed using the truss network and multivariate analysis of the three subpopulations of freshwater murrel, C. punctatus, from the two different regions of India. Principal component analysis accounted for a total variation of 91.95% by the first three principal components. PC 1 represented the variation due to size and PC 2 and PC 3 represented variations due to shape. The 95% confidence ellipses depicted the clear isolation between the samples in scatter graph of PC 1 on PC 2. The combined groups plot (DF 1 on DF 2) based on discriminant function analysis (DFA) also validated the existence of three different subpopulations. In group classification using DFA, 100 percent of all the samples were correctly classified into their original subpopulation. These results support the existence of multiracial composition of C. punctatus across the different geographical isolated sites and, thus, these findings indicate the presence of three different phenotypic stocks of C. punctatus. Ankur Kashyap, Madhu Awasthi, and Mohammad Serajuddin Copyright © 2016 Ankur Kashyap et al. All rights reserved. Descriptive Osteology of a Newly Described Stone Loach, Oxynoemacheilus chomanicus (Kamangar et al., 2014) (Cypriniformes, Nemacheilidae) Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:38:59 +0000 Oxynoemacheilus chomanicus is a newly described species of the family Nemacheilidae from the Choman River drainage of the Tigris basin. This study was conducted to provide the detailed osteological characteristics of this species and comparing them with those of other endemic species of the genus Oxynoemacheilus from inland water basins of Iran, namely, kiabii, O. persa, O. brandtii, O. kermanshahensis, and O. bergianus. For this purpose, nine specimens of O. chomanicus were collected, cleaned, and stained for osteological examination. Then, a detailed description of their skeletal structure was provided. The results showed that O. chomanicus can be distinguished from other studied species of the genus Oxynoemacheilus due to possessing an orbital shelf, number of the vertebrae, number of the hypurals, number of the unbranched rays in anal fin, features of the hemal and neural spines, and connection pattern of the parietal and frontal. Parvin Mafakheri, Soheil Eagderi, and Amir Qadermarzi Copyright © 2016 Parvin Mafakheri et al. All rights reserved. Diversity and Dynamics of Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) of Two Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Foci in the Fes-Boulemane Region of Northern Morocco Thu, 24 Dec 2015 08:35:09 +0000 Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is an infectious disease caused by various species of Leishmania and transmitted by several species of sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae). In order to evaluate the risk of leishmaniasis transmission in Fes-Boulemane, an investigation was carried out in two localities, Aichoun and Bouasseme, during 2011. From January to December, 1120 specimens were collected in Aichoun comprising six species belonging to two genera: Phlebotomus sergenti (76.07%), Phlebotomus longicuspis (9.01%), Phlebotomus perniciosus (8.48%), Phlebotomus papatasi (4.82%), Sergentomyia minuta, and Sergentomyia fallax. For Bouasseme, seven species were identified with Phlebotomus sergenti (60.39%) dominating, followed by Phlebotomus perniciosus (20%) and Phlebotomus longicuspis (12.15%). The remaining species, Phlebotomus papatasi, Phlebotomus ariasi, Sergentomyia minuta, and Sergentomyia fallax, were less prevalent. The activity of sand flies in both localities is marked by the dominance of Ph. sergenti with two peaks occurring in June and September. In order to obtain a better understanding of sand fly diversity among their species, results were analyzed by the ecological indices determinant: specific richness, the relative abundance, and Shannon-Weiner index (H′). Further studies of sand fly diversity should employ statistical tests and molecular analyses. This study can be useful in the implementation of appropriate future control measures. Fatima Zahra Talbi, Chafika Faraj, Fouad EL-Akhal, Fatiha El Khayyat, Driss Chenfour, Abdellatif Janati Idrissi, and Abdelhakim El Ouali Lalami Copyright © 2015 Fatima Zahra Talbi et al. 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.