Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 46, 2009

ISSN 0939-7140
Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg
All articles are fully copyright-protected (both print and online versions)

Covered in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE). Admitted to ISI Master Journal list and covered by the BioSciences Information Service (Biosis Previews) and Biological Abstracts, the Zoological Record and many other review organs.

Price per article: Euro 10.00 (plus Euro 2.00 postage/handling)


Ali Cemal Gucu, Serdar Sakinan, Meltem Ok

Occurrence of the critically endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal, Monachus monachus, at Olympos-Beydağları National Park, Turkey (Mammalia: Phocidae)

Abstract. The coast of Antalya, despite being acknowledged as an important Monk Seal (Monachus monachus Hermann, 1779) habitat, has never been studied systematically for the occurrence of the species. The rocky cliff-bound coast of Antalya Olympos-Beydağları National Park, where human disturbance appears minimal compared to the rest in the area, was surveyed between June and November 2008. Of the 39 caves discovered, both along mainland and island coasts, only 8 were considered suitable for placing photo-traps and a total of 11 automatic cameras was deployed. The caves were periodically visited to retrieve recorded digital images. 4 individual seals (2 adults, 2 juveniles) were photo-identified in 3 caves. The National Park provides suitable habitat for breeding. Human disturbance was very high throughout the Monk Seal habitats, and the most serious pressure appeared to be the human intruders in the caves. From the conservation point-of-view, three sites in the surveyed area, Üçadalar, Olympos and Adrasan, were noted as significant and so require strict protection.

Key words. Mediterranean Monk Seal, Olympos-Beydağları National Park, photo-trapping, endangered species, Antalya,Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 3-8.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Mohammad S. Farhadinia, Bahman Shams Esfandabad, Mahmoud Karami, Fatemeh Hosseini-Zavarei, Hossein Absalan, Bagher Nezami

Goitered Gazelle, Gazella subgutturosa: its habitat preference and conservation needs in Miandasht Wildlife Refuge, north-eastern Iran (Mammalia: Artiodactyla)

Abstract. The present paper discusses the habitat preference of the Goitered Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa Güldenstädt, 1780) using a combination of Geographical Information System (GIS) and statistical analysis of its spatial distribution in Miandasht Wildlife Refuge, north-eastern Iran. The critical habitat for gazelles in the Wildlife Refuge is composed of hilly terrain near flat plains where they prefer to feed; the nearby hilly escape terrain decreases their susceptibility to poachers. However, the gazelles’ “catchability” increases among hilly areas where their limited eyesight increases the chances for cheetahs to approach them. However, given the low density of the cheetahs, it seems that predators do not greatly affect gazelle spatial distribution in Miandasht. Marginal cultivated lands attract the gazelles from early summer until early winter which increases the frequency of gazelle sightings in tamarisk plains leading to farmlands. Poaching records indicate that a majority of gazelles have been taken on the open plains, usually en route to cultivated lands where suitable escape terrain is not available. The area is well-known for its large gazelle population in the past as well as its small cheetah population at present; therefore, immediate law enforcement is necessary to control the present decline in gazelle numbers, particularly in marginal habitats.

Key words. Goitered gazelle, Gazella subgutturosa, Jacob’s selectivity index, habitat, Miandasht Wildlife Refuge, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 9-18.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Nadav Mizrahi, Dan Kerem, Oz Goffman, Omri Lernau, Ehud Spanier

Identified fish remains regurgitated by a solitary Indian Ocean Bottlenose Dolphin, Tursiops aduncus, in the Gulf of Aqaba (Mammalia: Delphinidae)

Abstract. A total of 210 fish bones was collected between August 1998 and April 2001, after having been regurgitated by a solitary social Indian Ocean Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1833)), off Nuweiba M'zeina on the east coast of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Of these, 143 bones were identified, representing nine different fish families (in descending order of prevalence): Fistulariidae, Sparidae, Lethrinidae, Scaridae, Serranidae, Congridae, Muraenidae, Belonidae and Balistidae. Six genera (Fistularia, Lethrinus, Epinephelus, Lithognatus, Tylosurus and Scarus) and three species (F. commersonii, E. chlorostigma and T. choram) were further identified. Identified prey items varied in form (elongated, eel-like or fusiform), behaviour (solitary/schooling, diurnal/nocturnal), and belonged to species habiting diverse areas (open water, near corals and caves). Prey identified also showed diverse diets ranging from coral feeding species, to piscivorous species and those feeding on invertebrates. Although very limited in scope, the accessibility of this dolphin within a small radius and over a long period constituted a unique opportunity for investigating the diet of the species in this region.

Key words. Diet, cetaceans, Tursiops aduncus, Sinai, Egypt.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 19-28.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Ahmad Barati

Diet and growth of chicks of the Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo, at Ramsar, northern Iran (Aves: Phalacrocoracidae)

Abstract. The diet of Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo Linnaeus, 1758) chicks was studied using regurgitated fish prey in a colony at Ramsar, northern Iran, in the 2003 breeding season. The development of young was analysed in terms of body mass and wing length growth. The regurgitated prey items belong to Gobiidae, Mugilidae, Atherinidae and Clupeidae, with approximately 90% of the regurgitated prey mass belonging to Gobiidae and Mugilidae. The growth rate, expressed as body mass increment per day during the period 1-30 days, ranged from 58.7 to 112.2 g/d and was independent of age ranking and brood size. The growth rate of wings was 5.5 to 8.2 mm/d and did not vary between broods of different sizes and chicks of different ages.

Key words. Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo, diet, chick development, daily growth rate, Ramsar, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 29-36.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Marc I. Forschler, Christoph Randler

A song analysis of the insular Cyprus Short-toed Treecreeper, Certhia brachydactyla dorotheae, supports its subspecies status (Aves: Passeriformes)

Abstract. We studied the song of the insular Cyprus Short-toed Treecreeper, Certhia brachydactyla dorotheae Hartert, 1904, and compared it with the songs of mainland populations. The song of dorotheae differs from the Central European and south-west European subspecies brachydactyla Brehm, 1820 and megarhynchos Brehm, 1831 most obviously in the number of elements and elements per second, with the effect that the song of dorotheae appears to have a slower rhythm. Furthermore, the starting frequency and ending frequency of their songs are lower. Our findings provide additional support for the subspecific status of the island population of the Short-toed Treecreeper, Certhia brachydactyla dorotheae, on Cyprus.

Key words. Short-toed Treecreeper, Certhia brachydactyla dorotheae, Cyprus, subspecies status

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 37-40.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Mona A. Al-Hashem, Paul F. Brain

Changed substrate preferences shown by Fringe-toed Lizards, Acanthodactylus scutellatus, from Kuwait’s Al-Burgan oil field (Reptilia: Lacertidae)

Abstract. Oil pollution in desert locations in Greater Al-Burgan oil fields of Kuwait generated by the 1990 Gulf war has changed field behaviour and morphology of the Fringe-toed Lizard Acanthodactylus scutellatus (Audouin, 1827). Lizards from the dark ‘tar mat’ locations are notably darker in colour than those from the control sites. Consequently, A. scutellatus collected from ‘tar mat’ and counterparts from lighter control sites were compared in laboratory studies where the lizards could choose between a dark and a light side of an enclosure. The former lizards showed a clear preference for darker substrates whereas the latter clearly preferred the light substrate. Dark lizards on tar mat have more effective crypsis but also some advantages in terms of solar gain (surprisingly, reptiles from tar mat sites are generally larger than counterparts from uncontaminated sites). It is uncertain whether the presence of dark substrates for more than a decade (this study was conducted in 2003) has resulted in a selection of morphologically dark sand lizards with a preference for dark surfaces or whether these reptiles simply use their skin chromatophores to adapt to different surfaces but show a preference for substrates similar to their body colouration.

Key words. Kuwait, oil pollution, Acanthodactylus scutellatus, body colouration, substrate preference.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 41-45.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Bahar Bayhan, Tuncay Murat Sever

Food and feeding habits of the Atlantic Horse Mackerel, Trachurus trachurus, from the Aegean Sea (Osteichthyes: Carangidae)

Abstract. The stomach contents of the Atlantic Horse Mackerel, Trachurus trachurus (Linnaeus, 1758), were analysed to investigate the food and feeding habits of this species with respect to fish size and season. A total of 60 different prey species was found belonging to five major systematic groups, i.e. Polychaeta, Crustacea, Mollusca, Chaetognatha and Osteichthyes. Crustaceans (especially Copepoda, Euphausiacea and Mysidacea) were the most important food category by percentage of relative importance index. Teleosts were the second most important food category, while Polychaeta and Chaetognatha were occasionally seen as food. Little seasonal variation in the diet of T. trachurus was observed: copepods and mysids were the dominant prey groups in all seasons, and teleosts except in spring were the most frequent prey. However, differences in size were highlighed, with fish larger than 16.9 cm feeding on teleost larvae. At least 45 Copepoda species were identified, with Acartia clausi and Oncea media being the most significant among them by the percentage of relative importance index groups in all seasons. Copepods, euphausiids and mysids were thus the most important prey to be consumed by Trachurus trachurus in all seasons as well as by the small size classes. Moreover, teleosts constituted the main food for larger specimens.

Key words. Atlantic Horse Mackerel, Trachurus trachurus, feeding habits, İzmir Bay, Çandarlı Bay, Aegean Sea, Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 47-54.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Hamid Niksirat, Asghar Abdoli

On the status of the critically endangered Caspian Brown Trout, Salmo trutta caspius, during recent decades in the southern Caspian Sea basin (Osteichthyes: Salmonidae)

Abstract. The changes in some of the biological traits of mature females of the critically endangered Caspian Brown Trout, Salmo trutta caspius Dorofeeva, 1967, during recent decades were analysed. The results demonstrated that the mean length has significantly (p<0.05) declined over the past 60 years, from 77.6 cm in 1947 to 59.8 cm in 2007 (22.4%). The same trend was observed for mean total weight which significantly (p<0.05) reduced from 4880.2 g in 1947 to 2486.8 g in 2007 (49.5%). Also, the level of absolute fecundity sharply decreased from 7041.8 in 1947 to 4526.1 in 1973 and to 2941.2 in 1986. Whereas there was no significant (p>0.05) difference between the relative fecundity in 1947 (1451.4 per kg of body weight) and 1973 (1372.6 per kg of body weight), a significant (p<0.05) reduction has been observed since 1986 (1199.8 per kg of body weight). The possible reasons for these biological changes are discussed. Based on this study, the exploitation and sale must be controlled, and efforts should be concentrated on rehabilitation of the natural spawning habitats as soon as possible.

Key words. Caspian Brown Trout, relative fecundity, absolute fecundity, length, conservation, Red Data Book, threatened species.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 55-60.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Gülnaz Ozcan

Reproductive biology of the endemic and threatened Menderes Nase, Chondrostoma meandrense Elvira, 1987, in Western Anatolia (Osteichthyes: Cyprinidae)

Abstract. Maturity age, spawning time and fecundity of the Menderes Nase, Chondrostoma meandrense Elvira, 1987 were determined at Kemer Reservoir, an artificial waterbody in Western Anatolia, between January and December 2006. Males and females become mature on average at 10.6 and 11.9 cm FL and at age class 1. Spawning occurs between March and May. The number of eggs ranges from 6,800 to 13,800 and the average egg diameter is 1.14±0.53 mm (range: 0.75-1.79 mm). The female gonadosomatic index peaked in March.

Key words. Chondrostoma meandrense, reproduction, Kemer Reservoir, Turkey, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 61-68.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Mehdi Gheibi, Hadi Ostovan, Karim Kamali

A contribution to knowledge of the tachinid fly fauna of Fars province, Iran (Diptera: Tachinidae: Dexiinae and Phasiinae)

Abstract. Data are given on the distribution of 18 species of Tachinidae collected from Fars province, 9 of which are new for Iran and all of which are reported for the first time from Fars province.

Key words. Diptera, Tachinidae, Iran, Fars, distribution, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 69-74.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Janko Kolarov, Saliha Coruh, Murat Yurtcan, Mehmet Faruk Gurbuz

A study of Metopiinae from Turkey with description of a new species (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)

Abstract. We describe a new ichneumonid species of the genus Exochus (Exochus protuberans Kolarov & Çoruh, sp. n.) and give data for 39 species of Metopiinae from Turkey, of which 25 are new to the Turkish fauna. We provide a check list for Turkish Metopiinae and a zoogeographic characterisation for each species.

Key words. Metopiinae, Ichneumonidae, new species, new records, Turkey, check list, zoo­geographic characterisation.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 76-82.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Alireza Monfared, Ali Asghar Talebi, Gholamhossein Tahmasbi, Ebrahim Ebrahimi, Jacobus Biesmeijer

Bumblebee diversity and abundance in the Iranian Alborz Mountains (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Abstract. In this survey, which extended from February to September of 2005 to 2007, bumblebee queens, workers and males were collected from five provinces in the north and northwest of Iran in the Central Alborz and Sabalan. In total, 26 species of bumblebees were collected and identified. Overall, 21 species were collected from the Sabalan while 16 species were collected from the Central Alborz Mountains. A list of species assemblages and abundance is provided for the various provinces in each of the mountain ranges. Although the number of specimens collected from the Central Alborz (867 specimens) was about three times higher than the Sabalan region (264 specimens), Sabalan had 80.7% and Alborz 61.5% of all species. Results from rarefaction analysis (species accumulation curves) indicated that the Sabalan and the Central Alborz Mountains do not differ in bumblebee diversity. Moreover, the two sample sites within the Sabalan Mountains do not differ in species diversity while in the Central Alborz Mountains samples sites indicate significant differences in species diversity. In this region, the Qazvin region had higher species diversity than the other regions. Most species of bumblebee were collected in altitudinal ranges of 1500-2500m.

Key words. Bumblebees, species assemblages, diversity, Sabalan, Central Alborz, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 83-94.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Mohammad Moradi Gharakhloo, Stefano Ziani

Occurrence of scarab beetles inside rodent burrows in some parts of Iran (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

Abstract. The scarab beetles Ateuchetus armeniacus (Ménétries, 1832) and Gymnopleurus flagellatus (Fabricius, 1787) (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) are recorded for the first time inside burrows of two Spermophilus species (Mammalia). The observations concern nests of Spermophilus fulvus (Lichtenstein, 1823) in eastern, northwestern and western Iran, and Spermophilus xanthoprymnus (Bennet, 1835) in northwestern Iran. Neither of these beetles was known to be associated, not even occasionally, with burrows of small mammals.

Key words. Biology, ethology, pholeophily, new record, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 95-98.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Hakan Demir, Metin Aktas, Aydin Topcu

New records of little-known species of Xysticus C. L. Koch, 1835 in Turkey (Araneae: Thomisidae)

Abstract. Xysticus edax (O. P.-Cambridge, 1872), X. caperatus Simon, 1875, and X. kaznakovi Utochkin, 1968 are recorded for the first time from Turkey. The characteristic features and SEM photographs of the male palpal organs of these species are given. These records increase the number of species of the genus Xysticus found in Turkey to 40.

Key words. Xysticus, new records, Thomisidae, Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 99-102.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Wilson R. Lourenco, Elise-Anne Leguin

A new species of the genus Buthacus Birula, 1908 from the United Arab Emirates (Scorpiones: Buthidae)

Abstract. Since the revision of the genus Buthacus Birula, 1908 given by Lourenço (2006), further new species have been recorded from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. One new species, collected in United Arab Emirates, is described here. It was collected in the region of Fujairah, in sandy desert with sparse bushes. It is associated with Buthacus buettikeri Hendrixson, 2006, recently described from Saudi Arabia, and Buthacus tadmorensis (Simon, 1892), described from Syria. The new species is distinguished by its smaller overall size, a smaller number of pectinial teeth, and an aculeus that is only slightly longer than vesicle.

Key words. Scorpion, Buthacus, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, new species.

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 103-111.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Short Communications

Abdel Fattah N. Abd Rabou

On the occurrence of some carnivores in the Gaza Strip, Palestine (Mammalia: Carnivora)

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 109-112.    |    Order article...

Vida Hojati, Haji Gholi Kami, Afshin Faghiri, Faraham Ahmadzadeh

A morphological study of the Bedriaga Plate-tailed Gecko, Teratoscincus bedriagai Nikolsky, 1900, in Semnan province of Iran (Reptilia: Gekkonidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 113-115.    |    Order article...

Ehab Khalil Eid

New records of large Branchiopods from northern Jordan (Crustacea: Branchiopoda)

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 116-1117.    |    Order article...

Mustafa C. Darilmaz, Suat Kiyak

Two species of water beetle of the family Dytiscidae (Coleoptera) new to Turkey

Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009: 118-120.    |    Order article...