A parthenogenetic Varanus.
Amphibia-Reptilia 26(4):507-514. DOI:10.1163/156853805774806296.
We report on a case of parthenogenesis in the varanid lizard Varanus panoptes. Parthenogenesis was observed in a female kept alone for three years. A clutch was deposited from which a single egg could be secured and incubated. Incubation was successful and a male specimen hatched. Obviously the newborn was produced without contribution of a father. After the unisexual reproduction, the mother was kept with males and bisexual reproduction was observed, too. We performed DNA Fingerprinting and showed that the parthenogen and its mother exhibit almost identical DNA patterns. The bisexually produced offspring has only a subset of bands in common with the mother and another subset in common with the father. Thus DNA Fingerprinting is in accordance with our observations and confims parthenogenesis.We compare our results with existing cytological models of parthenogenesis and point out the following: 1. The mode of parthenogenesis described here is facultative, as the mother was able to reproduce in the bisexual mode as well. 2. The parthenogen is male and hence not a clone of the mother. 3. Almost complete heredity of maternal Fingerprint markers. All these points considered our case seem to fit to no known model of parthenogenesis exactly. But an additional recombination could result homogamety (would explain the sex of the parthenogen) while expressing almost all maternal bands.
Chelid Turtles of the Australasian Archipelago: II. A New Species of Chelodina from Roti Island, Indonesia.
Breviora 498: 1-31. Museum of Comparative Zoology; US ISSN 0006-9698; Cambridge, Mass.
A new species of Chelodina (Testudines: Pleurodira: Chelidae) is described from Roti Island, west of Timor, East Nusa Tenggara Province, in the southeastern Indonesian Archipelago. The species is endemic to Roti, a small and relatively xeric island. It is most similar and most closely related to Chelodina pritchardi from Papua New Guinea and C. longicollis from Australia, less closely related to C. novaeguineae and C. reimanni from New Guinea.
Tortoise (Reptilia, Testudinidae) radiations in Southern Africa from the Eocene to the present.
Zoologica Scripta 46(4): 389-400
Africa, inclusive of the West Indian Ocean islands, harbours 11 of the world's 16 extant testudinid genera. Fossil records indicate that testudinids originated in Asia and dispersed first to North America and Europe (Early Eocene) and later to Africa (Late Eocene). We used mitochondrial (1870 bp) and nuclear (1416 bp) DNA sequence data to assess whether molecular data support the late cladogenesis of Southern African testudinid lineages. Our results revealed strong support for the monophyly of a clade consisting of Kinixys, the two Malagasy genera and four Southern African genera (Psammobates, Stigmochelys, Homopus and Chersina). Kinixys diverged from this clade in the Late Palaeocene, suggesting that testudinids occupied Africa at an earlier date than indicated by fossil records. The Southern African tortoises consist of three, strongly supported clades: Psammobates + Stigmochelys; the five-toed Homopus + Chersina; and the four-toed Homopus. Due to the paraphyly of Homopus, we propose the taxonomic resurrection of Chersobius for the five-toed Homopus species (boulengeri, signatus and solus). Cladogenesis at the genus level occurred mainly in the Eocene, with Chersina and Chersobius diverging in the Oligocene. The latter divergence coincided with species-level radiations within Homopus (areolatus and femoralis) and Psammobates (oculifer, geometricus and tentorius). Our phylogeny could not resolve relationships within Psammobates, indicating rapid speciation between the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene. The Chersobius species were the last to diverge in the Early to Mid-Miocene. By the Mid-Miocene, P. tentorius started to differentiate into four lineages instead of the three recognized subspecies: P. t. tentorius, P. t. trimeni and two P. t. verroxii subclades occurring north and south of the Orange River, respectively. Terminal radiations in several taxa suggest the existence of cryptic species and a more diverse tortoise fauna than currently recognized. Factors contributing to this diversity may include the early origin of African testudinids and climatic fluctuations over a heterogeneous landscape.
Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles: Pseudemys 625.1-7.
Published by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
The Catalogue (Print ISSN: 2325-4882; Online ISSN: 2325-5021) consists of accounts of taxa prepared by specialists, including synonymy, description, diagnosis, phylogenetic relationships, published descriptions, illustrations, distribution map, and comprehensive list of literature for each taxon. Over 900 accounts have been published since the initiation of the series in 1963. The series covers amphibians and reptiles of the entire Western Hemisphere. Previously, accounts were published as loose-leaf separates; beginning in 2013 accounts are published as on-line PDFs.
All accounts are open access and are available for free download at the University of Texas Library Repository.
Feeding habits of Scorpaena notata (Scorpaenidae) from eastern Adriatic Sea.
Cybium 2021, 45(3): 217-224 .https://doi.org/10.26028/cybium/2021-453-006
The feeding habits of the small red scorpionfish, Scorpaena notata Rafinesque, 1810 from the eastern Adriatic Sea, were investigated with respect to fish size, season, and sampling location. Stomach contents of 798 specimens, of 6.0-20.5 cm total length (TL), collected by commercial bottom trawls from January to December 2013, were analysed. The percentage of empty stomachs varied significantly with season (from 36.6% maximum in winter to 14.5% in spring). Prey items belonged to four major taxonomic groups: Molluscs (Gastropoda, Bivalvia and Cephalopoda), Polychaetes, Crustaceans (Stomatopoda, Decapoda Natantia, Decapoda Reptantia, Mysidacea, Isopoda and Amphipoda), Teleosteans and Algae remains. Reptantia decapods were the most important prey (%IRI = 72) followed by Natantia decapods (%IRI = 18) while the other prey groups were only occasionally ingested. The small red scorpionfish is thus a crustacean feeder, preying mainly on decapods. Fish size was the most important factor influencing diet composition. Small individuals (< 11 cm TL) fed primarily on small crustaceans (amphipods, mysids and isopods), whereas large-sized specimens consumed larger prey, such as decapods (reptant and natant) and teleosts. Diet composition showed little seasonal variation; reptant decapods were the most important prey in all seasons. There was high dietary similarity between sampling locations.
Skiffia francesae, a New Species of Goodeid Fish from Western Mexico.
Copeia 1978 (3): 503–508. doi:10.2307/1443618. JSTOR 1443618.
A new species of Skiffia from the Río Teuchitlán on the Pacific slope of western México is based on both preserved and live material. It is regarded as most closely related to Skiffia multipunctata, as determined by meristic and morphometric data. It differs in shape and form of head and lips, size of orbit and head, diploid number of chromosomes and male coloration.
Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes: Genera, Species, References.
Electronic version accessed 14.09.2023.
Diese vom Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability der California Academy of Sciences unterhaltene Datenbank ist die taxonomische Standardreferenz für Fische und eine Grundlage für die breiter angelegte Datenbank FISH BASE.
Phylogenetic classification of bony fishes.
Evolutionary Biology 17: Article number: 162 (2017)
Fish classifications, as those of most other taxonomic groups, are being transformed drastically as new molecular phylogenies provide support for natural groups that were unanticipated by previous studies. A brief review of the main criteria used by ichthyologists to define their classifications during the last 50 years, however, reveals slow progress towards using an explicit phylogenetic framework. Instead, the trend has been to rely, in varying degrees, on deep-rooted anatomical concepts and authority, often mixing taxa with explicit phylogenetic support with arbitrary groupings. Two leading sources in ichthyology frequently used for fish classifications (JS Nelson’s volumes of Fishes of the World and W. Eschmeyer’s Catalog of Fishes) fail to adopt a global phylogenetic framework despite much recent progress made towards the resolution of the fish Tree of Life. The first explicit phylogenetic classification of bony fishes was published in 2013, based on a comprehensive molecular phylogeny (www.deepfin.org). We here update the first version of that classification by incorporating the most recent phylogenetic results.
The updated classification presented here is based on phylogenies inferred using molecular and genomic data for nearly 2000 fishes. A total of 72 orders (and 79 suborders) are recognized in this version, compared with 66 orders in version 1. The phylogeny resolves placement of 410 families, or ~80% of the total of 514 families of bony fishes currently recognized. The ordinal status of 30 percomorph families included in this study, however, remains uncertain (incertae sedis in the series Carangaria, Ovalentaria, or Eupercaria). Comments to support taxonomic decisions and comparisons with conflicting taxonomic groups proposed by others are presented. We also highlight cases were morphological support exist for the groups being classified.
This version of the phylogenetic classification of bony fishes is substantially improved, providing resolution for more taxa than previous versions, based on more densely sampled phylogenetic trees. The classification presented in this study represents, unlike any other, the most up-to-date hypothesis of the Tree of Life of fishes.
Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean.
1st edition. South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, a National Research Facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF-SAIAB). ISBN 1998950409, 9781998950409
Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean follows the fine tradition of producing multi-authored, illustrated volumes on fish diversity pioneered by Margaret Smith and Phil Heemstra with Smiths’ Sea Fishes. It is the culmination of the work of more than 100 authors, photographers and illustrators from 20 countries, over 25 years. The book is divided into five volumes and its primary purpose is to aid in identifying about 3 500 species of fishes that occur in the coastal waters (to about 200 m) of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). The latter covers the Red Sea, Persian/Arabian Gulf, to Kanyakumari, India, in the east; west to Cape Point, South Africa; and south to St Paul and Amsterdam Islands at 38° S.
Genetics and taxonomy of Chilean smooth-shelled mussels, Mytilus spp. (Bivalvia: Mytilidae).
Comptes Rendus Biologies 335 (1): 51-61.
It has been previously established that native smooth-shelled mussels in southern South America possess close evolutionary affinities with Northern-Hemisphere Mytilus edulis L. 1758 (McDonald et al. (1991) ). This result has since been challenged by authors claiming that Chilean mussels should be considered a local subspecies of M. galloprovincialis Lmk. 1819. Moreover, morphological, physiological, ecotoxicological and molecular genetic studies on Chilean smooth-shelled mussels still frequently refer to ‘M. chilensis’ Hupé 1854, even though the previous discovery of alien M. galloprovincialis and considerable heterogeneity in shell morphology among samples collected along the Chilean shores raise concerns that different Mytilus spp. species might have been included under ‘M. chilensis’. Here we reviewed the molecular and morphological data available on smooth-shelled mussels from Chile in an attempt to clarify both their genetic composition and their taxonomic status. Using multivariate analysis on sample × allozyme-frequency matrices, we confirmed the widespread occurrence of the Southern-Hemisphere form of M. edulis along the shores from the North Patagonia region of Chile to the southern tip of the South American continent. The populations sampled in southern central Chile showed some evidence of slight introgression from Southern-Hemisphere M. galloprovincialis. Morphological characterization of a sample from Dichato in southern central Chile was consistent with its previous genetic identification as Mediterranean M. galloprovincialis. The occurrence of Southern-Hemisphere M. galloprovincialis in Punta Arenas at the southern tip of the South American continent was also reported. Southern-Hemisphere M. edulis, including native Chilean smooth-shelled Mytilus, should be assigned subspecific rank and named M. edulis platensis d’Orbigny 1846.