Mittwoch, 14 April 2021 10:26

WÜSTER, W. et al. (2018)

Integration of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences and morphology reveals unexpected diversity in the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) species complex in Central and West Africa (Serpentes: Elapidae)

Zootaxa 4455 (1): 068–098. ISSN1175-5334(online edition).


Cobras are among the most widely known venomous snakes, and yet their taxonomy remains incompletely understood, particularly in Africa. Here, we use a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences and morphological data to diagnose species limits within the African forest cobra, Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca. Mitochondrial DNA sequences reveal deep divergences within this taxon. Congruent patterns of variation in mtDNA, nuclear genes and mor-phology support the recognition of five separate species, confirming the species status of N. subfulva and N. peroescobari, and revealing two previously unnamed West African species, which are described as new: Naja (Boulengerina) guineensis sp. nov. Broadley, Trape, Chirio, Ineich & Wüster, from the Upper Guinea forest of West Africa, and Naja (Boulengerina) savannula sp. nov. Broadley, Trape, Chirio & Wüster, a banded form from the savanna-forest mosaic of the Guinea and Sudanian savannas of West Africa. The discovery of cryptic diversity in this iconic group highlights our limited under-standing of tropical African biodiversity, hindering our ability to conserve it effectively.


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Larval morphology and development of the Malagasy frog Mantidactylus betsileanus.

SALAMANDRA 49(4): 186–200. ISSN 0036–3375.


The Mantellidae is a species-rich family of neobatrachian frogs endemic to Madagascar and Mayotte. Although tadpoles have been described from many mantellids, detailed studies of their early embryonic development are rare. We provide a documentation of the developmental stages of Mantidactylus betsileanus, a common mantellid frog of Madagascar’s eastern rainforests, based on clutches deposited and raised in captivity. Metamorphosis was completed after 89 days on average. External gills were not recognizable in the embryos, similar to three other, previously studied mantellids, which apparently constitutes a difference to the mantellid sister group, the Rhacophoridae. We also provide updated descriptions of the species’ larval morphology at stage 25 and stage 36, respectively, from captive bred and wild-caught individuals, and report variations in the keratodont row formula from 0/2, 1/1, 1/3 to 1:1+1/3.


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A Taxonomic Revision of Boas (Serpentes: Boidae).

Zootaxa 3846 (2): 249-260.


Large molecular datasets including many species and loci have greatly improved our knowledge of snake phylogeny, particularly within the group including boas (Table 1). Recent taxonomic revisions using molecular phylogenies have clarified some of the previously contentious nomenclature of the group (Wilcox et al. 2002; Lawson et al. 2004; Burbrink 2005; Noonan & Chippindale 2006), resulting in a robust taxonomy that is mostly concordant with the phylogeny as currently known, which includes ~85% of described, extant species (Pyron et al. 2013; Reynolds et al. 2014). However, a few unresolved issues remain, related primarily to the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (the Code hereafter) and the application of Linnaean ranks (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature et al. 1999).


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A review of  the systematics of the genus Bradypodion (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae), with the description of two new genera.

Zootaxa 1363: 23–38. ISSN1175-5334 (online edition) 


The taxonomic history and composition of the genus Bradypodion as construed by Klaver & Böhme (1986) and new morphological and molecular data relevant to the taxonomy of the group is reviewed. The combined evidence strongly supports a formal rearrangement of the group into three distinct genera. Bradypodion, type species Chamaeleo pumilus Daudin 1802, is retained for the southern African species. Two new genera are erected to accommodate additional well-diagnosed clades within central and east African species previously referred to Bradypodion. Species of the “fischeri complex” are assigned to Kinyongia gen. nova, whilst the endemic Mulanje chameleon is placed in the monotypic genus Nadzikambia gen. nova.


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The two-horned chamaeleons of East Africa.

Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 152 (2): 367–391,


There have been numerous attempts to resolve the taxonomy of the two-horned chamaeleons of East Africa. However, the high levels of intraspecific variation and reported sympatry of morphologically distinct taxa indicate that their current classification is unsatisfactory. Tissue samples were collected from specimens from most mountain massifs (excluding the Nguu) where two-horned chamaeleons are known to occur and were used to sequence partial 12S and 16S rRNA, as well as ND2 mtDNA genes. These specimens and further museum material were used to review morphological variation and to define discriminating characters for each taxon. Phylogenetic analyses of gene sequences show clear genetic divergence between allopatric populations, although two lineages occur in sympatry in the East Usambara Mountains, and is supported by divergent morphology. In light of these results a formal revision of the taxonomy of all East African two-horned chamaeleons is proposed and seven species are recognized (Kinyongia boehmei, K. fischeri, K. matschiei, K. multituberculata, K. tavetana, K. uluguruensis and K. vosseleri). These taxa form a monophyletic group except for K. uluguruensis, which seems to be more closely related to one-horned species. Most of these taxa have been previously described and subsequently reduced to synonyms. Two other previously described two-horned taxa are not recognized as valid: Chamaeleo tornieri is considered species inquiriendae, and C. fischeri werneri is placed in synonymy with K. multituberculata. A dichotomous key is provided for the identification of these taxa and some aspects of their conservation, ecology and evolutionary origins are also discussed.


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Biogeography of the marmosets and tamarins (Callitrichidae).

Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2015 Jan; 82 Pt B: 413-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2014.04.031. Epub 2014 May 20.


The marmosets and tamarins, Family Callitrichidae, are Neotropical primates with over 60 species and subspecies that inhabit much of South America. Although callitrichids exhibit a remarkable widespread distribution, attempts to unravel their biogeographic history have been limited by taxonomic confusion and the lack of an appropriate statistical biogeographic framework. Here, we construct a time-calibrated multi-locus phylogeny from GenBank data and the callitrichid literature for 38 taxa. We use this framework to conduct statistical biogeographic analyses of callitrichids using BioGeoBEARS. The DIVAj model is the best supported reconstruction of biogeographic history among our analyses and suggests that the most recent common ancestor to the callitrichids was widespread across forested regions c. 14 Ma. There is also support for multiple colonizations of the Atlantic forest region from the Amazon basin, first by Leontopithecus c. 11 Ma and later by Callithrix c. 5 Ma. Our results show support for a 9 million year old split between a small-bodied group and large-bodied group of tamarins. These phylogenetic data, in concert with the consistent difference in body size between the two groups and geographical patterns (small-bodied tamarins and large-bodied tamarins have an unusually high degree of geographic overlap for congeners) lend support to our suggestion to split Saguinus into two genera, and we propose the use of distinct generic names; Leontocebus and Saguinus, respectively.


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Samstag, 20 März 2021 10:48

WEHAUSEN, J. D., RAMEY, R. R. (2000)

Cranial morphometric and evolutionary relationships in the northern range of Ovis canadensis.

J. of Mammalogy, 81(1):145-161 (2000).<0145:CMAERI>2.0.CO;2


Univariate and multivariate statistical methods were used to examine geographic variation in skull and horn characters of 694 bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) specimens from the Great Basin north to British Columbia and Alberta to test previous taxonomic hypotheses. Substantially more morphometric variation in skull and horn size and shape was found west of the Rocky Mountains than within the Rocky Mountains. Our results did not support the recognition of Audubon's bighorn sheep (O. c. auduboni) as a subspecies separate from Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (O. c. canadensis). California bighorn sheep (O. c. californiana) from Washington and British Columbia were not distinguishable from Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep but differed notably from populations in the Sierra Nevada considered part of that subspecies. Extirpated native populations from northeastern California, Oregon, and southwestern Idaho, also considered to be O. c. californiana, shared with Nelson bighorn sheep (O. c. nelsoni) from the Great Basin desert a horn-related character that distinguished them from Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Bighorn sheep from the Sierra Nevada were found to be distinguishable from those of the adjacent Great Basin region. Our morphometric results were concordant in geographic patterns with mtDNA data. We synonymize O. c. auduboni with O. c. canadensis. We also assign extant and extinct native populations of O. c. californiana from British Columbia and Washington to O. c. canadensis. Finally, we assign the extinct native populations of O. c. californiana from Oregon, southwestern Idaho, northern Nevada, and northeastern California to the Great Basin Desert form of O. c. nelsoni, recognizing that some transition to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep probably occurred along that northern boundary. With these taxonomic revisions, the range of O. c. californiana includes only the central and southern Sierra Nevada.


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Mittwoch, 17 März 2021 09:00

GROVES, C.P. (2003)

Taxonomy of ungulates of the Indian subcontinent.

Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 100 (2/3): 341-362.


Nach dieser Publikation gibt es auf dem Indischen Subkontinent 46 Huftierarten, von denen Equus hemionus, Rhinoceros sondaicus und Bos javanicus hier vermutlich ausgestorben sind. Dies schließt folgende Taxa ein, die von Unterarten zu vollen Arten erhoben werden: Equus khur, Moschus cupreus, Muntiacus vaginalis, Cervus wallichii, Cervus hanglu und Capricornis thar. Gazella,bennettii salinarum wird als neue Unterart beschrieben und von Tetracerus quadricornis werden drei Unterarten unter bereits bestehenden Namen anerkannt.


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Samstag, 06 Februar 2021 09:06

KLEIMAN, D. G. & RYLANDS, A. B. (eds., 2002)

Lion Tamarins: Biology and Conservation.

422 Seiten
Smithsonian Institution PressWashington, DC. ISBN 1588340724.

Volltext (PDF):

Buchbesprechung (BRAIN, P. F.):

An entire volume devoted to the genus Leontopithecus that includes four of the most charismatic South American primates namely the Golden lion tamarin ( L. rosalia); Black lion tamarin (L. chrysopygus); Golden-headed lion tamarin ( L. chrysomelas) and the Black-faced lion tamarin ( L. caissara)! This book, with its 48 contributors, essentially arose out of a series of meetings discussing lion tamarin research and conservation held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1997. The volume is divided into three sections, each with a series of commissioned chapters. Section 1 is devoted to ‘The history and Status of the Lion Tamarins’ and deals with issues such as the discovery of these primates; the phenomenon of their declines within their Brazilian localities in the early 1960s and the variety of conservation initiatives undertaken on them up to 2001. The statuses of these animals in both the wild and captivity are also presented. Section 1 also considers how 1968 changes in Brazilian law recognizing the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) has resulted in “…empowerment of activities supporting biodiversity conservation, protected areas preservation and management and endangered species recovery…” The section also discusses captive breeding programmes and their potential benefits but warns that the prognoses for the four species are very different (the Golden lion tamarin, having a well-established, genetically diverse population, is certainly in the best situation). Section 2 ‘The Biology of Lion Tamarins’ considers, amongst other issues, genetic studies on these primates; their mating systems and their reproductive biology (“Critical, both for the effective management of a captive breeding program and for the assessment of the viability and future status of wild populations.”). The section also deals with behavioural ecology considerations (e.g. time budgets and the use of space); mating systems and group dynamics; infant care (lion tamarin mothers are more involved in infant transport than are other callitrichid primates and there is a greater level of provisioning to infants) and the different kinds of communication employed by these small primates. Diseases (infective but also congenital, dental and stress) are also considered. Section 3 is devoted to ‘Conservation and Management of Lion Tamarins in the Wild’ and considers reintroduction and translocation studies; the impact of pre-release environments and post-release management on reintroduced Golden lion tamarins; metapopulation management in the conservation of Black lion tamarins; in situ conservation education in relation to these animals as well as challenges for the future.

This is an impressive volume. Callitrichid enthusiasts will be pleased to have all this currently scattered information in a single book. On another level, however, the volume provides a graphic account of the range of scientific studies and other initiatives (including education and political change) needed to undertake effective conservation of complex animals such as these primates. It also, very effectively, illustrates the benefits associated with carrying out much of the work in the country of origin. It is worth reminding ourselves that a substantial number of primate species are predominantly found in only four countries, all with substantial problems


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Freitag, 05 Februar 2021 10:24

NAPIER, J. R. & NAPIER, P. H. (1972)

Taxonomy and Nomenclature: Systematic List of Living Primates.

in: T-W-FIENNES, R. N. (1972). Pathology of Simian Primates Part I: General Pathology: XXVII-XLVIII.
Verlag S. Karger • Basel • München • Paris • London • New York • Sydney

Reprinted with amendments from NAPIER, J. R. & NAPIER, P. H. (1967). A Handbook of Living Primates. Academic Press, London.

Die Liste enthält 12 Familien, davon 6 in 15 Untrerfamilien aufgeteilt mit 62 Gattungen und 185 Arten.


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