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Fleas have great medical relevance as vectors of the causative agents of several diseases in animals and humans and rodents are the principal reservoirs for these pathogens. Argentinian Patagonia has the highest diversity of rodent fleas in South America. However, parasitism rates of rodents by fleas, the factors that influence them and the ecological aspects that modulate geographical distributions of flea–host association remain unknown for this region. This is the first study to record the diversity, prevalence, abundance, geographical distributions and host ranges of fleas in Argentinian Patagonia. It also compares parasitism rates among Patagonian ecoregions and host species. We captured 438 rodents belonging to 13 species, which harboured 624 fleas from 11 species and subspecies (P = 46%; mean abundance = 1.44). The high parasitism rates obtained were consistent with previous records for other arid regions, suggesting that Patagonia favours the survival and development of Siphonaptera. Host geographic range and abundance were related to the parasitological indexes: host species with high-density populations had the highest mean flea abundance and prevalence, whereas widely distributed hosts had the highest richness and diversity of flea species. Our results contribute to the knowledge of the flea–host–environment complex. Our analysis of flea distributions and parasitism rate in Central Patagonia may be useful in epidemiological studies of flea-borne diseases and provide a basis for implementing surveillance systems for better risk assessment of emerging zoonoses in the region.
Sulzbacheromyces is a recently erected genus in Lepidostromatales, differing from Lepidostroma in the crustose thallus. After the initial discovery of S. caatingae, the only species to be found in Brazil so far, a large quantity of additional data and ITS barcoding sequences for this taxon from a much broader geographical range and different habitats was collected. Phylogenetic analysis under a maximum likelihood framework demonstrated that all specimens are genetically uniform, showing no variation in their ITS, suggesting that S. caatingae has a wide ecological amplitude beyond the Brazilian Caatinga and Atlantic Forest biomes. Detailed descriptions and illustrations of the species are presented, including a map showing the distribution of S. caatingae in the Brazilian semi-arid region and the north-eastern Atlantic rainforest.
A male specimen of Gasterochisma melampus of 1,310 mm fork length, was accidentally captured with a fence trap at the bay of Ilha Grande, in south-eastern Brazil (23°09′S 44°19′W) in August 2003. The specimen was captured alive and reported to be in good health at the time of capture. Posterior examination revealed that it had fed recently on cephalopods. The occurrence of cold waters from the south that reach the area of capture during the winter months may explain the presence of the species at such low latitude. The specimen represents the northernmost record of the species in the western Atlantic and the third record of G. melampus for Brazilian waters. Morphometric and meristic data are provided for the specimen, and previous records of the species in the Atlantic Ocean are discussed.
The objective of this study is to estimate possible impacts of global climate change on the geographical distribution of the African lion Panthera leo in the coming decades. Current lion population occurrence data across Africa and distributions of lions in historical times (6,000–100 years before present) were obtained from the literature and integrated with data on present-day climates to generate ecological niche models. Models based on distributions of African lions were tested for predictive ability based on various subsetting approaches and were projected across Asia, Africa and Europe, to retrodict the distribution of the species for the past 6,000 years. These models were highly accurate, giving confidence in future projections. Future potential distributions were predicted by projecting ecological niche models onto three climate scenarios of future greenhouse gas emissions based on eight climate models for the years 2040–2070. The prediction was of relative range stability into the future: few new areas were identified as becoming suitable for the species but large areas of southern Africa and West Africa are expected to become less suitable. Predictions of effects of climate change on potential distributions of lions may assist conservation efforts by clarifying options for mitigation and response.
The Barbary macaque Macaca sylvanus is the only macaque in Africa. The species is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is listed in CITES Appendix II. This macaque has a relict distribution in Morocco and Algeria. Recent studies have indicated a dramatic decline of Barbary macaque populations in the Middle Atlas and Rif Mountains in Morocco but there is limited available information on its distribution in the Central High Atlas. We therefore conducted interviews with local officials and inhabitants, and carried out field surveys in 12 sites from February 2004 to December 2008. We found Barbary macaques in relatively small and fragmented habitats in 10 of the 12 sites. A total of 35 groups were sighted and 644 individuals counted. Mean group size was 21 (range 6–42). In all surveyed sites habitat destruction and pressure from livestock were apparent. The interviews indicated that the macaques are often found in the proximity of agricultural land, and that there is evidence of illegal capture in the Bas Oued El Abid and Haut Oued El Abid areas. To protect this species we recommend establishment of protected areas specifically for the Barbary macaque, increased surveillance by forest guards, enforcement of the law against capture of the species, and education of the local people.
A new species of Hirsutonuphis (Annelida: Onuphidae) is described from the continental shelf of the Gulf of California, Mexican Pacific. Hirsutonuphis paxtonae sp. nov. is easily distinguished from eight previously described species belonging to this genus, by the bi- and tri-dentate pseudocompound hooded falcigers on the first 5–6 chaetigers, the pectinate chaetae from chaetigers 6–11, the bidentate subacicular hooded hooks from chaetigers 18–21, and its colour pattern: a dark transverse band in the dorsal part of the peristomium and on each chaetiger, which gradually fades from chaetigers 12–27. Most species of Hirsutonuphis have been found in the Pacific Ocean, and more particularly in Australian waters, although this new onuphid is the third species of the genus described from the Mexican Pacific, in the Tropical Eastern Pacific. A taxonomic key is provided for all the species of the genus.
Macroinvertebrates have been collected in Flanders since 1989 by the Flemish Environment Agency to assess ecological water quality. During the present study, the collected waterbugs were identified to species level. In total, more than 90 000 waterbugs were identified, belonging to 45 species. Two of these are recent additions to Flemish fauna: Sigara iactans was found to be a common species in 1989, the first year of monitoring, which is earlier than the first records reported so far, whereas Cymatia rogenhoferi remains a very rare species. Five different communities could be recognized: (1) species occurring in alkaline waters with a high pH, (2) species occurring in colder waters that can tolerate slightly brackish and nutrient rich water, (3) species from running waters, (4) species from acidic waters and (5) ubiquist species that occurred in all types of water. Owing to the general improvement of chemical water quality during the last decade, most species increased, however, three pollution tolerant species declined significantly: Callicorixa praeusta, Corixa punctata and Sigara striata.
The first record of an adult male of French angelfish Pomacanthus paru (total length = 295 mm; total weight = 855.3 g) in the coastal waters of Rio de la Plata mouth, Argentina is here reported. This finding extends the known limit to about 1200 km from the previous reported southernmost distribution of this tropical fish.
Extensive studies of genetic diversity and population structure important for conservation of wild sorghum are yet lacking in Ethiopia, the centre of origin for cultivated sorghum. To assess both genetic diversity and the probability of gene flow between wild and cultivated types, collections of wild Sorghum bicolor were made from regions in Ethiopia where wild and cultivated sorghum coexist. Morphological data were recorded in situ for both quantitative and qualitative characters from 30 populations in five diverse geographical regions and eight agroecologies. High phenotypic diversity was observed among the wild and weedy sorghum populations. The overall standardized Shannon–Weaver diversity index (H′), computed from the frequencies of all qualitative traits, ranged from 0.47 to 0.98 with an average value of 0.76. Moreover, warm semi-arid lowland (SA2) agroecologies, which contain Tigray populations, supported the highest diversity for these traits. Subspecies verticilliflorum and drummondii (the two major subspecies of wild S. bicolor) were observed in diverse habitats throughout northern and central Ethiopia. In some areas, weedy types showed domestication traits including the absence of awns and reduced seed shattering. The existence of morphologically intermediate forms indicates that gene flow between cultivated and wild forms has likely occurred. Deployment of transgenic crop sorghum, therefore, would pose a distinct risk for transgene movement into wild Ethiopian populations.
The mud shrimps of Iran are not well known. Material for the present study was collected from 21 out of 51 intertidal localities from the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, Iran. In total, 11 species were found along the Iranian coast. These were belonging to three families, including Upogebiidae (Upogebia carinicauda, U. darwinii and U. pseudochelata), Callianassidae (Neocallichirus jousseaumei, N. calmani, Callichirus masoomi, Corallianassa coutierei, Michaelcallianassa indica, Paratrypaea bouvieri and Gourretia coolibah) and Callianideidae (Callianidea typa). Geographical distributions of the species were considered and the results show that each species is totally dependent on a special type of habitat. Comparing different types of habitat, sandy and muddy substrates of the intertidal and shallow subtidal zone are found as the dominant habitat type for all species, but some species have a preference for boulder dominated coasts or occupy already existing holes and crevices in the boulder and bedrocks. In addition, the world distribution of each species was considered, and according to their present recorded localities, these are grouped into two distributional categories including the Indo-West Pacific region and one in a broader area of the Indo-Pacific.
Three species: Oxyonchus orientalis sp. nov., O. sakchalinensis sp. nov., and O. nicholasi sp. nov. (Thoracostomopsidae: Nematoda) are described and illustrated with the aid of light microscopy and laser-scanning microscopy pictures from sediments of Far Eastern Seas (the one former species from the Sea of Japan, Eastern Russia and the two latter species from the Sea of Okhotsk, Sakhalin Island). Generic diagnosis is emended for identification of Oxyonchus. Oxyonchus orientalis sp. nov. has short cephalic sensillae (0.6 cephalic diameters), strongly developed broad mandibular plate with irregular arrangement of numerous small denticles. Oxyonchus sakhalinensis sp. nov. is particularly characterized by the weakly short cephalic capsule, and the rounded thin mandibular plates with 10 denticles. Oxyonchus nicholasi sp. nov. can be differentiated by the structure of the cephalic armament (well developed capsule, fenestrae and incisions), numerous long cervical setae and tail shape. The distribution patterns of the various Oxyonchus species was suggested.
Introduction. The baobab tree’s potential overexploitation has recently been
reinforced by the acceptance of baobab fruit pulp in the EU and US food markets. Despite
the number of recent studies on this species, Adansonia digitata, little
is known from Malawi, the main exporter of baobab fruit pulp in Africa. Materials
and methods. Information on distribution and density of baobab trees present in
Malawi was gathered from field surveys. The Maxent software based on the maximum-entropy
approach for species habitat modelling was used together with spatial environmental data
and geo-referenced records of the baobab tree to analyse its ecological preferences and
potential cultivation sites. Farmers were interviewed about who was using and buying
baobab fruits in different areas. Fruit and leaf morphological diversity was assessed in
eight study sites selected along a latitudinal gradient. Results and
discussion. The baobab tree was found to be widely distributed in southern
Malawi, with variable densities. Modelling results show that this species could be
cultivated in most of the southern region. A large morphological diversity in both fruit
and leaf characteristics was observed, which gives the opportunity to select more
desirable characters for cultivation. Conclusion. Our study showed that,
while some areas of high baobab tree density could be further exploited, its cultivation,
however, should be recommended in areas with low density of baobab trees in southern
Malawi because there is little natural regeneration. Moreover, this study suggested that
there is room for selecting baobab planting material with desirable characteristics for
cultivation purposes in Malawi.
Six deep-sea fish species are recorded for the first time off north-eastern Brazil: Conger esculentus, Talismania homoptera, Physiculus kaupi, Ectreposebastes imus, Centrodraco oregonus and an unidentified species of Myroconger. The material was caught during the Programme REVIZEE (Programme for Assessment of the Sustainable Yield of Living Resources of the Exclusive Economic Zone) and by commercial fishery operations from 1998 to 2005 off the coasts of Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte States. These new records extend the geographical distribution range and fill geographical distribution gaps of the species herein reported.
This contribution reports on the occurrence of the estuarine cirolanid isopod Cirolana (Anopsilana) jonesi, from the Brazilian coast, significantly extending its geographical range. The material analysed was obtained in estuaries in the state of Bahia, associated with beds of Crassostrea rhizophorae, in salinities of 14 and 16. The huge gap in the species distribution in northern and north-eastern Brazil is probably due to the lack of collections in mangroves or other estuarine microhabitats.
Little is known regarding the diversity, distribution or host-parasite associations of Trypanosoma spp. in Australian wildlife. Here we report on an investigation based on divergence of the 18S rRNA gene of trypanosomes isolated from a range of hosts and varied geographical locations. A total of 371 individuals representing 19 species of native animals from 14 different locations were screened. In total, 32 individuals from 9 different species tested positive for the parasite. Phylogenetic analysis revealed considerable parasite diversity with no clear geographical distribution and no evidence of host specificity. In general, it appears that Australian Trypanosoma spp. are widespread, with several genotypes appearing in multiple host species and in varied locations including both mainland areas and offshore islands. Some host species were found to be susceptible to multiple genotypes, but no individuals were infected with more than a single isolate.
A sample of 360 Bathypolypus sponsalis from the central western Mediterranean Sea (the Sardinian Channel and the Tyrrhenian Sea) was analysed in order to describe size, depth distribution and reproductive data. The first record of the species in the Tyrrhenian Sea and of a spent female are reported in this paper. The size-structure of the sample was in between values of documented data from the western and eastern Mediterranean basins and the minimum mature sizes in both sexes and spermatophore length were similar to previous data from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Low values of gonadosomatic index and fecundity, the asynchronous ovulation, in addition to an extended reproductive period, have been associated with an intermittent spawning strategy.
The tripletail or blackfish (Lobotes surinamensis, Lobotidae) is recorded for the first time from an oceanic island in the South Atlantic, based on two individuals sighted and photographed near a buoy at Fernando de Noronha Island, off north-eastern Brazil.
Demographic data describe the size, structure and distribution of livestock populations and how these change over time. They are fundamental to determining the risk status of breed populations both on a national and a global scale. Currently, no population data are available for 36 percent of the breeds recorded in the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS), and for many other breeds data are updated so infrequently that monitoring trends in risk status is difficult or impossible. Data on the geographical distribution of breeds are also generally inadequate. A baseline survey of the breed population needs to be followed by periodic monitoring. The required frequency of the monitoring activities will depend on the generation interval of the species in question. Data may be collected via breed-level censuses or surveys, or estimated based on species level data. It is important that national decision-making takes account of the global demographics of the breed; a classification system distinguishing breeds present only in one country from those present in several countries has been developed. Much remains to be done to improve the availability of demographic data. Moreover, methods need to be developed that account for the risks of genetic erosion associated with indiscriminate cross-breeding. A further key requirement is the development of methods for representative sampling of national animal populations to allow estimates of their total population size and other demographic data to be obtained in a cost-effective manner.
The geographical distribution of the pipefish Anarchopterus tectus in the western South Atlantic is clarified based on three museum specimens and an underwater photograph. The known range for this reef pipefish is extended by ~4000 km southwards in a straight line and by ~5500 km of coastline.
The massive adoption of Bt cotton throughout China has been accompanied by outbreaks of secondary pests such as Adelphocoris spp. (Heteroptera: Miridae). The Adelphocoris group primarily consists of three species: A. suturalis, A. fasciaticollis and A. lineolatus, which greatly differ in geographical distribution and seasonal dynamics. However, the underlying drivers of these differences remain to be understood. The study of flight behaviour of these three species can yield important insight into their spatial and temporal dynamics and help explain their distribution. We examined flight propensity of the three Adelphocoris spp. under a range of biological and environmental conditions using a computer-monitored flight-mill. Gender and mating status only had minor effects on flight performance in these species, while age exerted great effects on it. Flight capacity was low for one-day-old adults and increased with age until day 10–13, then gradually decreased afterwards. Temperature and relative humidity affected flight propensity, with 20–23°C and 64–68% RH considered optimal for flight of all three species. Between-species comparisons indicated that A. suturalis and A. fasciaticollis had similar flight distance and duration, which were significantly greater than for A. lineolatus. Our findings provide crucial information for understanding geographical distribution and seasonal occurrence and for developing regional forecasting and pest management protocols for Adelphocoris species.