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Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 51, 2010

ISSN 0939-7140

Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg
All articles, both print and online versions, are fully copyright-protected.

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 Preview (abstract/cover page)s, the Zoological Record and many other review organs.

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


Fatemeh Hosseini-Zavarei, Mohammad S. Farhadinia, Mahmoud-Reza Hemami, Mahmoud Karami, Rahman Daniali, Maryam Omidi

Sex-age structure of bovids in Ghameshlou, Central Iran (Mammalia: Bovidae)

Abstract. Ghameshlou National Park and Wildlife Refuge is home to three bovids, Goitered Gazelle, Gazella subgutturosa (Güldenstädt, 1780), Wild Sheep, Ovis orientalis Gmelin, 1774, and Wild Goat, Capra aegagrus Erzleben, 1777. These have been subject to predation by Grey Wolf, Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758, as well as to annual trophy hunting. In a demographic study between July 2007 and April 2009, we assessed the seasonal group size variation among the bovids and found that Goitered Gazelles have the largest groups in winter, while Wild Sheep form the largest groups in autumn. This difference is thought to be the result of patchily distributed, poor quality vegetation during the autumn and winter seasons, and the pursuit of different foraging strategies. Sex ratio was highly skewed toward females in Wild Sheep, but appears to be more balanced for the other two bovids. Twin lambs were encountered rarely in gazelles and Wild Sheep herds. Severe drought and wolf predation were considered to br the main causes of lower reproductive success in these two species compared to the Wild Goat. It is recommended that population parameters of the species should be monitored in order to predict potential demographic trends.

Key words. Populations, Goitered Gazelle, Wild Sheep, Wild Goat, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 3-8.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Perri Eason, Bassim Rabea, Omar Attum

Conservation implications of flight initiation distance and refuge use in Corn Crakes Crex crex at a migration stopover site (Aves: Rallidae)

Abstract. Cryptic animals commonly wait until an approaching predator is near them before fleeing, i.e. they have short flight initiation distances. We determined flight initiation distances in the Corn Crake Crex crex, a species of conservation concern, at a stopover site in Egypt where this species is hunted with cast nets. When approached by a person, Corn Crakes had short flight initiation distances (2.8±0.1 m), and these distances were not correlated with the distance at which the person started the approach, in contrast to previous findings in other species. After fleeing, crakes predictably chose to hide under the tallest plant in the area where they landed. The combination of a short flight initiation distance and a tendency to select predictable refuges is likely to make this species and others with similar traits particularly vulnerable to human hunting.

Key words. Crex crex, crypticity, Egypt, flight initiation distance, hunting, refuge use.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 9-14.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Elif Yamac, Evrim Günyel

Diet of the Eurasian Black Vulture, Aegypius monachus Linnaeus, 1766, in Turkey and implications for its conservation (Aves: Falconiformes)

Abstract. We analysed 120 pellets of the Eurasian Black Vulture, Aegypius monachus Linnaeus, 1766, collected in Turkey during the breeding season in order to assess diet preference and implications for conservation. In addition, we were able to analyse the stomach content of a dead individual. The most abundant prey item was sheep, which was found in 76.6% of all pellets, followed by Wild Boar (44.1%) and chicken (22.5%). This shows that livestock plays an outstanding role in the diet of the Eurasian Black Vulture, and underlines its dependence on extensive livestock farming and grazing. Dumping livestock carcasses around the vultures’ breeding sites should therefore be permitted. In order to minimise the risk of poisoning, it should be forbidden to dispose of contaminated or poisoned carcasses in natural areas.

Key words. Aegypius monachus, Eurasian Black Vulture, food preferences, Türkmenbaba Mountain.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 15-22.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Abdul-Rahman Al-Sirhan, Gary Brown

The status of the two Toad-headed Agamas, Phrynocephalus arabicus (Anderson, 1894) and P. maculatus (Anderson, 1872), in Kuwait (Sauria: Agamidae)

Abstract. This paper clarifies the status of the two species of Phrynocephalus in Kuwait, P. arabicus (Anderson, 1894) and P. maculatus (Anderson, 1872), about which there appears to have been substantial confusion in the past. Both species are now known to occur in this country, with P. arabicus being widespread and locally common in sandy desert areas, but P. maculatus apparently restricted to sabkha and other coastal habitats (including islands). These findings correspond with the known habitat preferences of both species from other parts of the eastern Arabian Peninsula.

Key words. Distribution, habitat preference, historical records, Middle East, reptile.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 23-30.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Faraham Ahmadzadeh, Vida Hojati, Afshin Faghiri

Morphological variation between three populations of the Caspian Bent-toed Gecko, Cyrtopodion caspium (Eichwald, 1831) in Northern Iran: evidence for incipient speciation? (Sauria: Gekkonidae)

Abstract. In order to determine population variation in the Caspian Bent-toed Gecko, Cyrtopodion caspium, nine morphometric, six meristic and four ratios were assessed in 48 adult males from three populations in the northern part of Iran (Moghan Steppe, Damghan and Sari). The Moghan population proved to be the largest in most characters compared to the Damghan and Sari populations. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) discriminated the Moghan population in the northwest of Iran from the other two populations. Although all populations occupy different habitats, the lack of significant differences between two geographically close populations (Sari and Damghan) shows that habitat type on the larger scale is not the reason for separation. So it is inferred that the geographic isolation of the Moghan population and reduced gene flow are responsible for the incipient speciation occurring between these populations.

Key words. Morphological variation, Cyrtopodion caspium, Moghan, Damghan, Sari, Iran.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 31-38.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Nawal Al-Mukhaini, Taher A. Ba-Omar, Ibrahim Y. Mahmoud, Sulyma Al-Barwani

Embryonic staging of the Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758) (Reptilia: Cheloniidae)

Abstract. Nineteen embryonic stages of the Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758), were described between day 6 and hatching (52 days). Eggs were collected at random from fresh nests approximately 10-12 hours post oviposition. The eggs were placed in a precision incubator adjusted to a narrow temperature range (30±0.05°C). Fundamental development occurred between stages 1-4 with the appearance of the optic cup, otic vesicle, heart, pharyngeal clefts, tail bud and rapid differentiation of the brain. In stages 5-9, there was a significant increase in body size and further differentiation of the brain regions. The carapace and plastron began to appear with plates and scutes. The lens of each eye was large with a pigmented iris; eyelids were present. The paddle-shaped limbs appeared with further development of digits. Pigmentation gradually began to spread over the entire body. In stages 10-19, there was a gradual increase in the size and form of different areas in the head region. The pigmentation was more intense, particularly in the head, neck, carapace and limbs. There was a steady increase in skin thickness with wrinkling and folding, especially in the head, neck and limbs. The limbs exhibited rapid differentiation leading to the formation of flippers with claws. The carapace and plastron, with their plates and scutes, were rapidly taking their final form. The yolk sac began to recede into the abdominal cavity. At hatching, the embryo still maintained an umbilical swelling which disappeared 48 hours later. The pipping stage lasted over 30 hours, with the embryo leaving the egg afterwards. The staging patterns from this investigation will be used as a model to be compared with the staging pattern under natural incubation for the Green Turtle at Ras Al-Hadd.

Key words. Chelonia mydas, Green Turtle, Arabian sea, staging, embryos, Ras Al-Hadd, Oman.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 39-50.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Elnaz Najafimajd, Ugur Kaya

A newly found locality for the critically endangered Yellow Spotted Newt, Neurergus microspilotus (Nesterov, 1917) nourishes hope for its conservation (Salamandridae: Caudata)

Abstract. A new and significant extension to the known range of the Yellow Spotted Newt, Neurergus microspilotus (Nestorov, 1917), in the northwest of Iran is described. Two adults and two larvae of N. microspilotus were collected from a new locality near Mahabad in West Azerbaijan province. The species was found at an altitude of 1833 m a.s.l., which is higher than previously known sites.

Key words. Neurergus microspilotus, N. crocatus, breeding habitat, conservation.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 51-56.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Rahman Patimar, Mossaieb Ghasemi Chalanchi, Vahid Chamanara, Loghman Naderi

Some life history aspects of Garra rufa (Heckel, 1843) in the Kangir River, Western Iran (Osteichthyes: Cyprinidae)

Abstract. The present study investigated the age, growth and reproduction of G. rufa by regular monthly collections throughout one year from September 2007 to August 2008 in the Kangir River (Western Iran). Based on scale readings, the maximum ages of the population observed were 5+ years, both sexes growing allometrically (b=2.90 (); b=2.92 ()). The overall sex ratio was balanced, but males were predominant in smaller sizes, and females in larger sizes. Monthly examination of the GSI indicated that the reproduction of G. rufa in the river occurred around April-May, with the highest average value of 4.21 for males in April and of 7.85 for females in May. Absolute fecundity varied from a minimum of 1,680 eggs for age 2+ to a maximum of 13,927 eggs for age 5+. The absolute fecundity and egg diameter to fish size (length and weight) were positively correlated. The individuals studied here are on average smaller and have a lower weight than individuals studied in springs in southern Iran. The difference is explained by the severe ecological conditions in the river ecosystem, causing a lower growth rate and higher natural selection.

Key words. Garra rufa, age and growth, reproduction, Kangir River, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 57-66.   |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Torsten Wronski

The molluscan bio-fouling community on the Red Sea pearl oyster beds (Mollusca: Pteriidae)

Abstract. In the Red Sea, pearl oyster banks occur most extensively around the Dahlak and the Farasan Islands. Pearl oysters (Pinctada, Pteriidae) form extended beds by attaching themselves to hard substrates. Such beds attract a diverse bio-fouling fauna. Most dominant are the molluscs, but little is known about the associated biota of pearl oyster beds, their distributional abundance, and the structure of this community. In this study, the macro-molluscan fauna living on pearl oyster beds in the Red Sea around the Farasan Islands was studied using a quantitative survey of the by-catch left by pearl oyster divers. Bivalvia represented 99.6% of the malaco-fauna on pearl oyster beds around the Farasan Islands, while gastropods and chitons represented only 0.4%. In total, 33 mollusc species were identified (24 bivalves, 7 prosobranch gastropods, one basomatophore gastropod and one chiton), with Brachidontes variabilis, a species which is not found on Arabian Gulf pearl oyster beds, the most common bivalve (71% of all molluscs), and Diodora ruppellii the most common gastropod (0.12% of all molluscs). The results are discussed and compared with the pearl oyster beds from the Arabian Gulf.

Key words. Pinctada radiata community, bio-fouling, Red Sea, macro-molluscs, Saudi Arabia

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 67-74.    |   PDF file (FREE DOWNLOAD)

Zubair Ahmed, Allen F. Sanborn, Kathy B.R. Hill

A new species of the cicada genus Cicadatra from Pakistan (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae)

Abstract. Cicadatra karachiensis sp. n. is described from Karachi, Pakistan. The species is illustrated and notes on the biology of the species are presented. Uncorrected genetic distances between C. karachiensis and C. atra (Olivier) (the type species of the genus) were approximately 15%.

Key words. Taxonomy, DNA sequencing, new species, Pakistan.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 75-82.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Ali Nafiz Ekiz, Ismail Sen, Ali Gök

Variation in Cryptocephalus (Protophysus) wehnckei Weise, 1882 with a redescription of the poorly known female (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Abstract. A detailed redescription is given of the poorly known female of the chrysomelid beetle Cryptocephalus (Protophysus) wehnckei Weise, 1882, which is endemic to Turkey. Based on a large number of samples collected from Isparta province, we noticed some conspicuous colour variation between and within the males and females of this species, and we illustrate this colour variation. Photographs of the habitus and genital structures are also presented. Some biological features of the species (e.g. mating behaviours, phenology, habitat and host plant information) are described here for the first time.

Key words. Cryptocephalus (Protophysus) wehnckei, variation, redescription, mating behaviour, Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 83-88.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Martin Lillig

A new species of the genus Phaleria Latreille, 1802 from Dhofar in Oman (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Diaperinae)

Abstract. A new species of the genus Phaleria Latreille, 1802 is described and illustrated: P. anjae sp. n. from Dhofar in Oman. A distribution map of the new species and the other known Arabian species of the genus, Phaleria prolixa Fairmaire, 1869, is presented. Notes on Epiphaleria Lewis, 1894 are given.

Key words. Tenebrionidae, Phaleria, Epiphaleria, Oman, new species.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 89-94.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

David Ward, Iris Musli, Keren Or, Thomas Gbenro, Orit Skutelsky

Bruchid seed infestation and development time in three host species of Acacia (Coleoptera, Bruchidae)

Abstract. Recruitment of Acacia trees in the Negev desert and the Arava valley (Syrian-African Rift) of Israel is highly negatively affected by bruchid beetles. The effects of three Acacia tree host species were examined on the life histories of four bruchid beetle species that commonly occur in the Negev. There was extreme variance in the development time of these beetles, ranging from one month to one year. Additionally, mean values of Acacia seed infestation by bruchids were about 13% of seeds in the laboratory, where newly-hatched bruchids were removed from the population, yet values as high as 97% of seeds were infested in the field, which is due to re-infestation of seeds by newly-hatched bruchids. There were highly significant differences in the presence/absence of bruchid beetles across Acacia species. A. raddiana and A. tortilis occurred in the same habitats yet differed in the numbers of bruchid individuals of each species. The four bruchid species infest all three Acacia species but their effects are markedly different. Most prominent are the presence/absence of bruchid species in certain host tree species.

Key words. Seed predation, niche overlap, emergence time.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 95-104.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Faez Mousatat, Henri J. Dumont, Mahmod Karrom, Nakwan Mouhamad Ali

Dragonflies from northern Syria (Insecta: Odonata)

Abstract. Nineteen stations distributed across the northern part of Syria were inventoried for dragonflies between 2006 and 2010. About 37 species were recorded, and four species are added to the list of known Syrian species. Because of a generalized decrease in the water quality of Syrian rivers, and an increasing number of rivers falling dry, lotic species such as the calopterygids have suffered and the remaining populations have become reduced to disjunct islands. Calopteryx splendens hyalina, once extending from Lake Hula to the Wadi Afrin, now appears to have become extinct in the Orontes valley, and only survives in few short Syrian coastal rivers.

Key words. Syria, population, distribution, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 105-112.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...




Short Communications

Leila Abdoli, Ehsan Kamrani, Asghar Abdoli, Bahram Kiabi

Age and growth of the Mudskipper, Scartelaos tenuis (Day, 1876) (Gobiidae: Oxudercinae), in the coastal areas of the Persian Gulf at Bushehr province, Iran

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 113-115.    |    Order article...

Erhan Akamca, Sinan Mavruk, Caner E. Özyurt, Volkan Baris Kiyaga, Meltem Manasirli

Two new Lessepsian species found in the north-eastern Levantine Basin: Broadbanded Cardinalfish (Apogon fasciatus (White, 1790)) and Indian Scad (Decapterus russelli (Rüppell, 1830)) (Osteichthyes)

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 116-118.    |    Order article...

Fatemeh Ashrafi, Shahrokh Pashaei Rad

A new record of the subfamily Syrphinae (Diptera: Syrphidae) for the Iranian fauna

Zoology in the Middle East 51, 2010: 119-120.    |    Order article...




Zoology in the Middle East