Taxonomic revision of the pampas cat Leopardus colocola complex (Carnivora: Felidae): an integrative approach.
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
The pampas cat Leopardus colocola has been subject to conflicting classifications over the years. Currently, one polytypic species with seven subspecies is recognized, but integrative taxonomic study for this debated group has never been done. Here, we combine the broadest morphological coverage of the pampas cat to date with molecular data and ecological niche models to clarify its species composition and test the validity of recently proposed subspecies. The multiple lines of evidence derived from morphology, molecular, biogeography and climatic niche datasets converged on the recognition of five monotypic species: L. braccatus, L. colocola, L. garleppi (including thomasi, budini, steinbachi, crespoi and wolffsohni as synonyms), L. munoai and L. pajeros (including crucina as synonym). These five species are morphologically diagnosable based on skin and skull traits, have evolved in distinct climatic niche spaces and were recovered in molecular species delimitation. Contrary to previous taxonomic arrangements, we do not recognize subspecies in pampas cats. To objectively define the two most controversial species, we designate neotypes for L. colocola and L. pajeros. The diversification of pampas cats is associated with Middle Pleistocene glaciations, but additional genetic samples from the central Andean region are still needed to conclusively reconstruct its evolutionary history.
The Sandy Zebra Shark: A New Color Morph of the Zebra Shark Stegostoma tigrinum, with a Redescription of the Species and a Revision of Its Nomenclature.
Copeia, 107(3):524-541 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1643/CG-18-115
The Zebra Shark, in recent years known as Stegostoma fasciatum (Hermann, 1783), is well known for its dramatic ontogenetic change of color pattern, from striped (“zebra”) juveniles to spotted (“leopard”) adults. Nevertheless, many aspects of the species' biology, ecology, and morphology are still unknown or inadequately described, and its nomenclature is contentious. This study introduces a hitherto undescribed color morph of the Zebra Shark and provides an updated diagnosis and redescription of the species. Firstly, we establish that the Zebra Shark remains a single species based on genetic data from mitochondrial COI and ND4 markers. Secondly, through morphological analyses, we conclude that there are two morphs of the species, the known, zebra striped morph and a new, sandy colored morph. Both morphs were studied morphometrically to expose any ontogenetic changes, such as a decrease in the relative length of the tail with increasing total length (TL). The external coloration pattern clearly differentiates the two morphs, and both morphs can be further divided into three stages based on color pattern and size: juveniles (255–562 mm TL), transitionals (562–1395 mm TL), and adults (>1300 mm TL). The transitional sandy morph is dorsally covered by a swirly pattern of thin, dark brown bands edged with freckle-like brown spots. The adults are a uniform sandy beige, partially covered with brown freckles. A mature male of the zebra morph displayed a yet unknown feature of the claspers: a small, triangular spike extruding from the dorsal terminal of the clasper glands. Finally, we reviewed the nomenclature of the species and suggest that the original name Stegostoma tigrinum Forster, 1781, should be used as the senior synonym for the species.
New observations of the ‘extinct’ Barbary sheep Ammotragus lervia ornata in Egypt.
Oryx 36 (3): 301-304.
The Barbary sheep or aoudad Ammotragus lervia is widely distributed in the mountains of the Sahara and North Africa. The 2000 IUCN Red List assessment of the Egyptian subspecies A. l. ornata categorized this taxon as Extinct in the Wild. We present new evidence, collected during 1997–2000, that this subspecies is extant in both the extreme south-east and south-west of Egypt, and reassess the status of captive aoudad in Egypt. We recommend that the category of A. l. ornata on the IUCN Red List be changed to Critically Endangered, that conservation of wild aoudad in Egypt be prioritized, and that the subspecific status of both the wild and be reassessed.
The hog-badger is not an edentate: systematics and evolution of the genus Arctonyx (Mammalia: Mustelidae)
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 154 (2): 353–385. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00416.x
Hog-badgers (mustelid carnivorans classified in the genus Arctonyx) are distributed throughout East and Southeast Asia, including much of China, the eastern Indian Subcontinent, Indochina and the large continental Asian island of Sumatra. Arctonyx is usually regarded as monotypic, comprising the single species A. collaris F. Cuvier, 1825, but taxonomic boundaries in the genus have never been revised on the basis of sizeable series from throughout this geographical range. Based on a review of most available specimens in world museums, we recognize three distinctive species within the genus, based on craniometric analyses, qualitative craniodental features, external comparisons, and geographical and ecological considerations. Arctonyx albogularis (Blyth, 1853) is a shaggy-coated, medium-sized badger widely distributed in temperate Asia, from Tibet and the Himalayan region to eastern and southern China. Arctonyx collaris F. Cuvier, 1825, is an extremely large, shorter-haired badger, distributed throughout Southeast Asia, from eastern India to Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The world's largest extant badger, A. collaris co-occurs with A. albogularis in eastern India and probably in southern China, and fossil comparisons indicate that its geographical range may have extended into central China in the middle Pleistocene. The disjunctly distributed species Arctonyx hoevenii (Hubrecht, 1891), originally described within the order ‘Edentata’ by a remarkable misunderstanding, is the smallest and darkest member of the genus and is endemic to the Barisan mountain chain of Sumatra. Apart from A. hoevenii, no other Arctonyx occurs on the Sunda Shelf below peninsular Thailand. The natural history of each species of Arctonyx, so far as is known, is briefly reviewed.
A revised taxonomy of the Felidae.
The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group.
Cat News Special Issue 11, 80 pp, mit Farbfotos und Verbreitungskarten. ISSN 1027-2992.
- The current classification of the Felidae was reviewed by a panel of 22 experts divided into core, expert and review groups, which make up the Cat Classification Task Force CCTF of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group.
- The principal aim of the CCTF was to produce a consensus on a revised classification of the Felidae for use by the IUCN.
- Based on current published research, the CCTF has fully revised the classification of the Felidae at the level of genus, species and subspecies.
- A novel traffic-light system was developed to indicate certainty of each taxon based on morphological, molecular, biogeographical and other evidence. A concordance of good evidence in the three principal categories was required to strongly support the acceptance of a taxon.
- Where disagreements exist among members of the CCTF, these have been highlighted in the accounts for each species. Only further research will be able to answer the potential conflicts in existing data.
- A total of 14 genera, 41 species and 77 subspecies is recognised by most members of the CCTF, which is a considerable change from the classification proposed by Wozencraft (2005), the last major revision of the Felidae.
- Future areas of taxonomic research have been highlighted in order to answer current areas of uncertainty.8. This classification of the Felidae will be reviewed every five years unless a major new piece of research requires a more rapid revision for the conservation benefit of felid species at risk of extinction.
Multi-locus analyses reveal four giraffe species instead of one.
Current Biology 26 (18): 2543-2549.
Traditionally, one giraffe species and up to eleven subspecies have been recognized; however, nine subspecies are commonly accepted. Even after a century of research, the distinctness of each giraffe subspecies remains unclear, and the genetic variation across their distribution range has been incompletely explored. Recent genetic studies on mtDNA have shown reciprocal monophyly of the matrilines among seven of the nine assumed subspecies. Moreover, until now, genetic analyses have not been applied to biparentally inherited sequence data and did not include data from all nine giraffe subspecies. We sampled natural giraffe populations from across their range in Africa, and for the first time individuals from the nominate subspecies, the Nubian giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis Linnaeus 1758 , were included in a genetic analysis. Coalescence-based multi-locus and population genetic analyses identify at least four separate and monophyletic clades, which should be recognized as four distinct giraffe species under the genetic isolation criterion. Analyses of 190 individuals from maternal and biparental markers support these findings and further suggest subsuming Rothschild’s giraffe into the Nubian giraffe, as well as Thornicroft’s giraffe into the Masai giraffe . A giraffe survey genome produced valuable data from microsatellites, mobile genetic elements, and accurate divergence time estimates. Our findings provide the most inclusive analysis of giraffe relationships to date and show that their genetic complexity has been underestimated, highlighting the need for greater conservation efforts for the world’s tallest mammal.
First insights into past biodiversity of giraffes based on mitochondrial sequences from museum specimens.
European Journal of Taxonomy 703: 1–33. ISSN 2118-9773. https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2020.703
Intensified exploration of sub-Saharan Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries led to many newly described giraffe subspecies. Several populations described at that time are now extinct, which is problematic for a full understanding of giraffe taxonomy. In this study, we provide mitochondrial sequences for 41 giraffes, including 19 museum specimens of high importance to resolve giraffe taxonomy, such as Zarafa from Sennar and two giraffes from Abyssinia (subspecies camelopardalis), three of the first southern individuals collected by Levaillant and Delalande (subspecies capensis), topotypes of the former subspecies congoensis and cottoni, and giraffes from an extinct population in Senegal. Our phylogeographic analysis shows that no representative of the nominate subspecies camelopardalis was included in previous molecular studies, as Zarafa and two other specimens assigned to this taxon are characterized by a divergent haplogroup, that the former subspecies congoensis and cottoni should be treated as synonyms of antiquorum, and that the subspecies angolensis and capensis should be synonymized with giraffa, whereas the subspecies wardi should be rehabilitated. In addition, we found evidence for the existence of a previously unknown subspecies from Senegal (newly described in this study), which is now extinct. Based on these results, we propose a new classification of giraffes recognizing three species and 10 subspecies. According to our molecular dating estimates, the divergence among these taxa has been promoted by Pleistocene climatic changes resulting in either savannah expansion or the development of hydrographical networks (Zambezi, Nile, Lake Chad, Lake Victoria).
The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma.
Mammals Vol. 1:Prmates and Carnivora (in part), Families Felidae and Viverridae
Genus Prionailurus Severtzow: pp. 265–284.
Taylor & Francis Ltd. Publishers, London.
The Zoological Journal Vol. III
From January, 1827, To April 1828.
Der Verweis auf den Afrikanischen Elefanten findet sich in einem Artikel auf den Seiten 140-143 über die Lieferungen 52 und 53 von GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIREs und F. CUVIERs "Histoire Naturelle des Mammifères, avec des Figures originales, dessinées d'après des Animaux vivans".
Weshalb die Besprechung im Journal und nicht die Originalarbeit als Referenz für den Gattungsnamen Loxodonta gewählt wurden, hat der informationsanbieter bisland nicht herausgefunden.
Klippschliefer- vielfältige Einheitlichkeit oder einheitliche Vielfältigkeit.
ELIOMYS 2/2020: 4-29.
Aus der Zusammenfassung:
Viele Fragen ergeben sich im Hinblick auf das Verbreitungsgebiet des Klippschliefers. Ungeklärt ist die Situation im Südsudan, wo die Unterarten ruficeps, marrensis, butleri, slatini, kerstingi und sharica möglicherweise aufeinander treffen. Klärungsbedarf besteht auch hinsichtlich der Formen habessinica und alpini und ihrer angrenzenden Unterarten wie minor, pallida, butleri und meneliki in Bezug auf die tatsächliche Färbung ihres Rückenflecks und ihre jeweiligen Verbreitungsgrenzen. Außerdem stellt sich die Frage, ob in Süd-Somlia überhaupt Klippschliefer vorkommen. Viele Unterarten und Formen (vor allem aus dem Sudan und Westafrika) sind nur von ganz wenigen Exemplaren bekannt, sodass neues Material aus diesen Regionen einige Fragen beantworten könnte. Die Verbreitungskarten einiger Autoren weisen außerdem keine Verbreitungslücke zwischen Nord-Tansania und Süd-Malawi auf, was ebenfalls weiterer Nachforschungen bedarf. Allerdings ist das Verbreitungsgebiet wahrscheinlich viel lückenhafter und nicht so kontinuierlich, wie es oft dargestellt wird.
Anhand der btrachteten Felle und von Literaturbeschriebungen stellt der Autor einen eigenen Ansatz zur Systematik der Klippschliefer dar.