Systematic revision of Brachypelma red-kneed tarantulas (Araneae:Theraphosidae), and the use of DNA barcodes to assist in the identification and conservation of CITES-listed species.
Invertebrate Systematics 31(2):157-179. DOI:10.1071/IS16023
Mexican red-kneed tarantulas of the genus Brachypelma are regarded as some of the most desirable invertebrate pets, and although bred in captivity, they continue to be smuggled out of the wild in large numbers. Species are often difficult to identify based solely on morphology, therefore prompt and accurate identification is required for adequate protection. Thus, we explored the applicability of using COI-based DNA barcoding as a complementary identification tool. Brachypelma smithi (F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1897) and Brachypelma hamorii Tesmongt, Cleton & Verdez, 1997 are redescribed, and their morphological differences defined. Brachypelma annitha is proposed as a new synonym of B. smithi. The current distribution of red-kneed tarantulas shows that the Balsas River basin may act as a geographical barrier. Morphological and molecular evidence are concordant and together provide robust hypotheses for delimiting Mexican red-kneed tarantula species. DNA barcoding of these tarantulas is further shown to be useful for species-level identification and for potentially preventing black market trade in these spiders. As a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) listing does not protect habitat, or control wildlife management or human interactions with organisms, it is important to support environmental conservation activities to provide an alternative income for local communities and to avoid damage to wildlife populations.
Reproductive biology of Palaemon pandaliformis (Stimpson, 1871) (Crustacea, Decapoda, Caridea) from two estuaries in southeastern Brazil.
Invertebrate Reproduction & Development 53 (4): 223-232. https://doi.org/10.1080/07924259.2009.9652308 .
The reproductive biology of Palaemon pandaliformis was investigated in the estuaries of the Comprido and Ubatumirim rivers at Ubatuba, State of São Paulo, Brazil, by means of samples obtained from April 2003 to March 2004. Samples were collected monthly, using sieves, which were passed several times under the marginal vegetation. In the laboratory, the sex of each shrimp was assessed and the carapace length (CL, mm) measured. Ovigerous females were separated and counted for determination of fecundity. The egg diameter was measured with a calibrated micrometer scale under an stereo-microscope. The breeding period was seasonal in the Comprido River Estuary, and continuous throughout the year in the Ubatumirim River estuary. The mean size of ovigerous females was higher in the population in the Comprido River (5.90±0.68 mm CL ±sd) than in the Ubatumirim River (5.50±0.58 mm). The most intense reproductive period of P. pandaliformis was from October 2003 to March 2004 for bo h estuaries. The mean fecundity of P. pandaliformis in the Comprido River was 189±53 eggs (n=124), and at Ubatumirim, 130±25; mean ±sd eggs (n=80), values that are similar to other palaemonid species from similar latitudes. A positive correlation between the number of eggs and the size of the female was obtained for both populations. The eggs were relatively small, indicative of low energy allocation to each embryo, with mean dimensions ranging from 0.44±0.08 mm to 0.69±0.069 mm.
Infestation of two shrimp species of the genus Palaemon Fabricius, 1798 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae) by an isopod of the genus Probopyrus Giard & Bonnier, 1888 (Bopyridae) from the Brazilian southeast coast.
NAUPLIUS 26: e2018026. DOI 10.1590/1678-4766e201802 .
We determined the infestation rate of Probopyrus sp. in populations of Palaemon pandaliformis (Stimpson, 1871) and P. northropi (Rankin, 1898) in the Ubatumirim River, localized in a mangrove ecosystem on Ubatumirim Beach, northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Samplings were carried out monthly from April 2003 to March 2004. Monthly prevalence varied from 0 to 4.94 % for P. pandaliformis, and from 0 to 4.54 % for P. northropi. This is the first record of Probopyrus sp. infesting the studied species in this region. Species of Probopyrus (Giard and Bonnier, 1888) seem to have a high plasticity with regard to palaemonid hosts, as they can be parasites of shrimps in both Palaemon (Fabricius, 1798) and Macrobrachium (Spence Bate, 1868). The linear relationships between the parasite and host sizes suggest that the parasite infests both hosts early in their development. We concluded that the infestation of Probopyrus sp. has little impact on Palaemon populations, mostly due to the low prevalence of infestation.
The larval development of a fresh-water prawn, Palaemon pandaliformis (STIMPSON, 1871), under laboratory conditions (Decapoda, Palaemonidae).
Crustaceana 71(1): 9-35
The larval development pf the palaemonid prawn Palaemon pandaliformis (Stimpson, 1871) was followed under laboratory conditions. Metamorphosis to postlarvae was first observed 19 days after hatching at a temperature of 27 ± 1 ºC in freshwater, after passing through several larval stages. It was also posisble to obtain postlarvae after eight, nine, an ten larval stages. The pattern of development ist discusse in relation to other Palaemon species with a similar number of larval stages. This is the only species in the genus with the third pereiopod appearing as a rudimentary bud in the first larval stage.
Scorpions of the Brandberg Massif, Namibia: Species Richness Inversely Correlated with Altitude.
African Invertebrates, 49(2):77-107. https://doi.org/10.5733/afin.049.0205
A previous list of scorpions from the Brandberg Massif and vicinity, north-western Namibia (Omaruru District. Erongo Region), is updated, based on a survey of the Massif and surrounding areas (the region delimited by 21°00′S–21°30′S and 14°00′–15°00′E) conducted during three separate expeditions, and augmented by an examination of material in museum collections. More than 1000 specimens, representing more than 100 point-locality records, were examined for the study. Notes on the ecology and distribution of the scorpions on the Massif and surrounding areas are provided. Excluding one dubious record, 20 scorpion species in seven genera (Brandbergia, Lisposoma, Hottentotta, Parabuthus, Uroplectes, Hadogenes, and Opistophthalmus) of four families (Bothriuridae, Buthidae, Liochelidae, Scorpionidae) are recorded from the area, which presently has the richest scorpion fauna in Namibia, if not southern Africa, and ranks among those with the richest scorpion faunas in the world. The high diversity of scorpions on the Brandberg Massif and vicinity is attributed to the heterogeneity of landforms, substrata and habitats in the area. The scorpions of the Massif and surrounding areas may be classified into seven ecomorphotypes, using every available niche. The species richness of the scorpion fauna is inversely correlated with altitude. The greatest diversity of genera and species occurs at the base of the Massif and in the surrounding areas, and decreases towards the summit. Five species occur in the area surrounding the Massif but not at its base, five at its base (below 500 m) but not on its slopes, two on its lower slopes (500–1000 m), but not on its middle slope (1000–1500 m), upper slope (1500–2000 m) or summit (above 2000 m), and two on its summit, upper and middle slopes only. Only five species occur from the base to the summit of the Massif.
Northernmost record of the shamefaced crab Calappa granulata (Linnaeus, 1767) (Brachyura, Calappidae) in the Mediterranean area.
Crustaceana 85 (4/5):601-606. DOI: 10.2307/23212683.
The box crabs or shamefaced crabs (family Calappidae) are a distinctive group of marine crabs found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The family is best known for the shallow water genus Calappa with its unusual, shovel-shaped chelae. The shamefaced crab Calappa granulata is a sublittoral species known from the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to Mauritania, including the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, and the Cape Verde Islands. Spanò et al. (2004) reported that shamefaced crabs are distributed in all oceans, but particularly abundant in tropical waters and inhabiting a wide variety of bottoms (sandy, shell grit, hard rocks, and coral). In the Mediterranean, C. granulata occurs between 10 and 400 m (though not very common), while some authors noted it lives on sandy mud and muddy detritus at depths between 13 and 400-700 m. Typically, it burrows in inshore soft bottoms. The species can reach 10 cm CL (carapace length) and 9.2 cm CW (carapace width). In recent years, it has been found in the Mediterranean Sea at several locations: in the Gulf of Taranto (Ionian Sea) , in the Strait of Sicily , in the coastal waters of the Sea of Marmara, and in Edremit Bay (Aegean Sea). In the Adriatic Sea, it is very rare and has only been found in areas of the Southern and Middle Adriatic. The last records of this species were from the Southern Adriatic, during trawling operations in the framework of the E.U. Project MEDITS.
On the coral-feeding habit of the sea star Peltaster placenta.
Marine Biodiversity 49: 2009–2012.
The predatory activity of the asteroid Peltaster placenta (Müller and Troschel, 1842) on the black coral Parantipathes larix (Esper, 1790) is here described for the first time based on video footage obtained during a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) survey conducted in the Pontine Archipelago (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Mediterranean Sea). Feeding is carried out on the living coenenchyme of the basal axis and pinnules of the antipatharian and is confirmed by the occurrence of its cnidocysts in the sea star gut content. The chitinous skeletal parts of the black coral are left intact as bare tissue, which helps to relate colonies to the predation event. Among all black coral species present in the research area, P. placenta was observed grazing exclusively on P. larix, similarly to other goniasterids known to be deep-sea corallivores with a marked selectivity for their prey. The predatory behaviour of P. placenta was previously unknown. The extent of its feeding traces suggests a significant influence on benthic trophic relationships and, ultimately, on the functioning, structure and health status of deep Mediterranean black coral forests.
Revision of the genus Chrysaora Péron & Lesueur, 1810 (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa).
Zootaxa 2464. 97 Seiten. ISBN 978-1-86977-527-8 (paperback)ISBN 978-1-86977-528-5 (Online edition)
Revision of the scyphozoan genus Chrysaora Péron & Lesueur, 1810 was undertaken from observations on museum material (Brazil, Europe, and USA), on living specimens in nature, and on life-cycles of some species cultured under laboratory conditions. A total of 168 museum lots, some of them having many medusae, were inspected. Included amongst these were nine type specimens. The genus comprises 13 valid species (Chrysaora achlyos, C. chinensis, C. colorata, C.fulgida, C. fuscescens, C. hysoscella, C. lactea, C. melanaster, C. pacifica, C. pentastoma, C. plocamia, and C. quinquecirrha), one species inquirenda (Chrysaora caliparea), and two doubtful species (C. kynthia and C. wurlerra). Differentiation of species is based mostly on tentacle number, shape of radial septa, order of tentacle development,colouration, and measurements of nematocysts. We resurrect C. chinensis for specimens from southeast Asia. Chrysaora pacifica is considered valid and distinct from C. melanaster based on tentacle number and nematocyst complement. Mediterranean specimens assigned to C. hysoscella are hermaphroditic and thereby considered distinct from those of C.fulgida from west Africa. Chrysaora achlyos (northeast Pacific) and C. plocamia (southeast Pacific and southwest Atlan-tic) are geographically isolated but morphologically identical, being distinguished only by colour pattern. The recentlydescribed C. southcotti is considered a junior synonym of C. pentastoma. The Australian C. kynthia and C. wurlerra, here considered nomina dubia, merit further study Our phylogenetic hypothesis indicates that the genus Chrysaora forms a monophyletic group, with C. colorata, C. plocamia, and C. achlyos having a basal position in the phylogeny. Species with more than 24 tentacles (formerly assigned to the genus Dactylometra) form a clade with a derived position.
Abundance and life cycle of Zonocerus variegatus (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) in the humid forest zone of southern Cameroon.
Entomological Science, 9: 23–30. doi:10.1111/j.1479-8298.2006.00150.x
Weekly captures from January 2000 to January 2002 enabled us to study the abundance and life cycle of the variegated grasshopper, Zonocerus variegatus (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae), in the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. We found that Z. variegatus was present throughout the year in the forest reserve and the human-influenced zones of Yaounde and Mbalmayo in two univoltine populations, which had unequal abundance and durations. The separation of the two populations was clearer in the Yaounde and Mbalmayo developed zones than in the Mbalmayo forest reserve (undeveloped zone). The abundance of Z. variegatus varied according to the post-embryonic stage, sex, year and season. Hatching and coupling took place during the dry and rainy seasons, whereas oviposition occurred only in the rainy season. In Cameroon, the type of life cycle of Z. variegatus observed in the humid forest zone of the south is different from that of the “Sudanian and Sahelian” zones.
Captive management of the Frégate Island giant tenebrionid beetle Polposipus herculeanus.
Phelsuma 13: 25-43.
The Frégate Island giant tenebriond beetle Polposipus herculeanus is a Critically Endangered species restricted to Frégate Island, Seychelles. The ex-situ conservation programme at the Zoological Society of London and the European Endangered Species Programme are described. Captive propagation started in 1996 and has been highly successful with the programme holding 980 adult beetles by the end of 2003. Reproductive data is described and the finding of pathological infections of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae is discussed.