Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 57, 2012

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), the Zoological Record and many other review organs.

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



Ahmed Boug, M. Zafar-ul Islam, Abdullah Al Shehry, Torsten Wronski

Camera trapping confirms the persistence of Arabian Gazelles, Gazella arabica, in the Asir Mountains, Saudi Arabia (Mammalia: Bovidae)

Abstract. Arabian Gazelles, Gazella arabica, are increasingly threatened by hunting and habitat destruction, and since 2001 no confirmed observations have been reported from the Asir Mountains, a previously known area of occurrence. This study presents camera trapping images of Arabian Gazelles captured in Wadi Tarj, and confirms the persistence of this species in the proposed protected area for the first time since 1997. Images were analysed regarding habitat, time of day, group composition and activity of captured individuals. Moreover, the photographs were used to determine the species/subspecies of the gazelles encountered and are viewed in the light of the disputed taxonomy of Mountain/Arabian Gazelles.

Key words. Arabian Mountain Gazelles, natural population, camera trapping, Wadi Tarj, western Saudi Arabia.

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 3-10.     |   OPEN ACCESS (free download)

Shirin Aghanajafizadeh, Mahmoud R. Hemami, Fatholah Heydari

Nest-site selection by the Asian Houbara Bustard, Chlamydotis macqueenii, in the steppe of Harat, Iran (Aves: Otidae)

Abstract. A small population of the threatened Asian Houbara Bustard, Chlamydotis macqueenii, breeds in the steppes of central Iran. The differences in habitat features between nest-sites and control sites revealed that the Asian Houbara selects breeding sites with a higher availability of insects, a higher vegetation density, and which are located far from relatively dense plant patches. Moreover, 80% of pseudo-nests were destroyed by predators in the Zygophyllum atriplicoides community (shrub habitat) compared to the Artemisia sieberi and Seidlitzia rosmarinus communities (bush habitats), confirming its unsuitability for Houbara nesting site selection.

Key words. Asian Houbara, habitat variables, Harat, pseudo-nests, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 11-18.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Kiraz Erciyas Yavuz, Nizamettin Yavuz, José Tavares, Y. Sancar Barış

Nesting habits and breeding success of the White Stork, Ciconia ciconia, in the Kızılırmak delta, Turkey (Aves: Ciconiidae)

Abstract. A total of 926 nests of the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) was found in a survey conducted in the Kızılırmak delta on the Black Sea coast of Turkey in 2010. Breeding success was 3.82 young per successful nest, which is very high compared to other studies in and outside Turkey. The breeding population has increased from 125-130 pairs in 1992 to at least 870 breeding pairs in 2010 (158.5/100 km2). This population increase is apparently related to the increase in rice cultivation, which has more than tripled in the delta since 1992.

Key words. White Stork, nesting substrates, breeding success, monitoring, Kızılırmak delta, Turkey, population numbers.

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 19-26.    |   OPEN ACCESS (free download)

Bekir Kabasakal, Tamer Albayrak

Offspring sex ratios and breeding success of a population of the Great Tit, Parus major (Aves: Passeriformes)

Abstract. The offspring sex ratios and breeding success in a population of the Great Tit, Parus major, in Antalya, southern Turkey, were determined. Feathers were collected from nestlings, unhatched eggs and dead nestlings, and the sex was identified through CHD genes by amplifying P8 and P2 primers. The primary sex ratio (at conception) was 54% male and 46% female, the secondary sex ratio (at hatchling) was 52% male and 48% female, and the tertiary sex ratio (at fledging) was 53% male and 47% female. The predominance of males was statistically not significant (p>0.05) in all three phases. Hatchling success was found to be 87.3% in males and 100% in females; fledging success 96.1% in males and 91.6% in females, and general breeding success 85% in males and 93% in females. The mean number of fledglings per pair was significantly higher in first broods (p<0.05). Approximately the same number of males and females (0.53/0.47) fledged, thus resulting in a balanced sex ratio that may imply stable population structures.

Key words. Great Tit, Parus major, CHD genes, molecular sexing, sex ratio, sex biased mortality, Anatolia, Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 27-34.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Fares Khoury, Natalia Boulad, Mohammed Janaydeh

Territory size variations in wintering Finsch’s Wheatears, Oenanthe finschii (Aves: Passeriformes)

Abstract. Finsch’s Wheatear, Oenathe finschii, is a widespread winter visitor in Jordan, primarily in arid – semi arid hilly areas with a mean annual rainfall of 100-300 mm. The average territory size in winter varied among the different study areas from 1.6 to 3.4 ha. This variation was not related to productivity and food density, but may have been caused by differences in habitat structure and interspecific territoriality by the Mourning Wheatear, Oenanthe lugens, which was present in half of the study areas. Territory size variations were not sex-related although females were apparently excluded from more productive habitats by dominant males.

Key words. Territoriality, non-breeding season, social dominance, Jordan, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 35-44.     |   OPEN ACCESS (free download)

Mohammed Shobrak

Electrocution and collision of birds with power lines in Saudi Arabia (Aves)

Abstract. A power line located 100 km south of Jeddah was monitored for four years (2008-2011) and the results show that collision and electrocution of birds by power lines are of conservation concern in Saudi Arabia. The White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix), Corncrake (Crex crex) and Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) were the most affected species in the study area. However, the Common Quail seems to be more susceptible than other species and was found in high numbers. Although the number of species affected is probably low, the increases in energy demands and the introduction of new power lines will lead to an increase in bird deaths by electrocution and collision unless a conservation measure is applied to minimize the effect of power lines especially among the migratory species.

Key words. Bird collision, electrocution, migration, threats, Saudi Arabia, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 45-52.     |   OPEN ACCESS (free download)

Mohsen Rezaie-Atagholipour, Alireza Riyahi-Bakhtiari, Mehdi Rajabizadeh, Parviz Ghezellou

Status of the Annulated Sea Snake, Hydrophis cyanocinctus, in the Hara Protected Area of the Persian Gulf (Reptilia: Elaphidae: Hydrophiinae)

Abstract. Data on the Annulated Sea Snake (Hydrophis cyanocinctus) were collected during more than one year of field study in the Hara Protected Area, the largest mangrove forest in the Persian Gulf. Mean snout-vent length (SVL) was 117 cm and the largest snake was a female with a SVL of 155 cm and a weight of 1019 g. The Annulated Sea Snake is the dominant sea snake in the area. The species is more active in the warm season (April to November). Local fishing activities are considered the main threat for the species in this area.

Key words. Morphology, dominant species, threats, mangrove forest, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 53-60.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Uri Shanas, Müge Gidiş, Yakup Kaska, Yael Kimalov, Oren Rosner, Rachel Ben-Shlomo

The Nile Soft-shell Turtle, Trionyx triunguis, of Israel and Turkey: Two genetically indistinguishable populations? (Reptilia: Testudines: Trionychidae)

Abstract. Whereas the Nile Soft-shelled Turtle, Trionyx triunguis, used to be found in most of the east Mediterranean rivers, today only three major subpopulations remain: two in Turkey and one in Israel. The management of small subpopulations should rely on their genetic relatedness, and so this study examined the AFLP and cytochrome b genetic diversity of 58 T. triunguis specimens from the Alexander River in Israel and from Dalaman’s Lake Kükürtlü in southwestern Turkey. The four selective primer pairs for AFLPs yielded 339 distinct loci. We found the populations to be highly polymorphic (>88%) and the level of gene diversity (He) relatively low (0.11). Indeed, using our methods, the two populations were found to be genetically identical (I=1.0). Our study further demonstrates a high identity of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b DNA sequence with a Liberian (West Africa) specimen of T. triunguis. These results support previous preliminary genetic studies and observations which showed that this species travels around in the Mediterranean Sea. However, we suggest that the results are evidence of previous large populations and of past connections with the African populations, and that the dams on the Nile are probably preventing this gene flow today.

Key words. Trionyx triunguis, Mediterranean Sea, freshwater reptile, population genetics.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 61-68.    |   OPEN ACCESS (free download).

Eyup Başkale, Uğur Kaya

Decline of the Levantine Frog, Pelophylax bedriagae Camerano, 1882, in the western Aegean Region of Turkey: changes in population size and implications for conservation (Amphibia: Ranidae)

Abstract. We estimated the annual population size, survival rates and capture probabilities for two populations of the Levantine Frog, Pelophylax bedriagae, using a Capture-Mark-Recapture (CMR) non-invasive digital photographic identification technique in Karagöl Lake and Soğanharımı Pond in the western Aegean Region of Turkey, and used Pollock’s methodology to assess population parameters. Time specific capture probability, time specific survival rate and no temporary emigration were found to be the best appropriate models for our data. Population sizes were estimated as 245 adults in 2006, 301 in 2007, 67 in 2008 and 54 in 2009. Annual capture probabilities were estimated on average as 0.161, and annual survival rates across years were on average 0.301. Soğanharımı Pond was destroyed for recreational purposes after the first year of our study. To determine the size of the population, which was depleted during the construction of the recreational facilities, we used a closed population model, and concluded that in total 54 adults disappeared. In addition, we determined the possible negative factors that affect the population size and survival rates of the Levantine Frog including habitat destruction and the introduction of Siluris glanis and Astacus leptodactylus into the freshwater body.

Key words. Amphibian decline, population size, survival rate, habitat loss, conservation.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 69-76.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Miriam Reininger

Diversity and abundance of wrasse species in the Gulf of Aqaba (Osteichthyes: Labridae)

Abstract. The diversity, distribution and abundance of wrasse fishes of the family Labridae were analysed along the Egyptian Red Sea coast in the southern Gulf of Aqaba. Different sites around Dahab (South Sinai Peninsula) were investigated at 4 depth levels from reef flat to reef slope and fore reef. A total of 37 species from 19 genera were recorded, and evenness and diversity indices, frequency, absolute and relative abundances of the species were calculated. A total of 10 more species were observed outside sampled transects resulting in a total diversity of 47 wrasse species for the region. The Gulf of Aqaba thus harbours a higher wrasse species richness than previously reported. The spatial heterogeneity of wrasses was influenced by the reef zonation, substrate composition and habitat structure. The average number of species was highest on the reef slope, while wrasse density was highest on the reef flat due to the schooling of some smaller species and aggregations of juveniles. Many wrasse species showed a clear zonation preference in their distribution and occurred in limited habitats, while others were documented in all areas and depth levels. Environmental influences have a major impact on the species composition in coral reefs. Some factors were evaluated for their importance on the wrasse diversity in the Gulf of Aqaba. Temperature and photoperiod-dependent reproductive cycles have been identified for most species. All studied reefs showed high wrasse diversity, which was (among other factors) influenced by tourist activities (e.g. SCUBA diving) in the area.

Key words. Coral reef fishes, biodiversity, Egypt, Red Sea, Sinai Peninsula.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 77-86.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Peter Glöer, Aref Dia, Gerhard Falkner

The genus Pseudobithynia in Lebanon, with a redescription of three species and additional notes on its ecology (Mollusca: Bithyniidae)

Abstract. New material of Bithyniidae from Lebanon comprised topotypes of Paludina badiella Küster, 1853, Bithynia saulcyi Bourguignat, 1853, and Bithynia hamicensis Pallary, 1939, which are redescribed, and for which, for the first time, penis morphology is depicted. We found that P. amiqensis Glöer & Bößneck, 2007 is conspecific with P. hamicensis (Pallary, 1939) (syn. n.).

Key words. Pseudobithynia, Paludina badiella, Bithynia hamicensis, Bithynia saulcyi, redescriptions, Lebanon, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 87-96.     |   OPEN ACCESS (free download)

Alghamdi Ahmed, Alsharhi Mohammad, Alattal Yehya, Adgaba Nuru

Morphometric diversity of indigenous Honeybees, Apis mellifera (Linnaeus, 1758), in Saudi Arabia (Insecta: Apidae)

Abstract. Twenty four morphological traits of Honeybees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758) were evaluated in 198 native colonies within Saudi Arabia to differentiate among populations. Principal component analysis based on colony means and k-means clustering proposed a separation of Saudi Honeybees into three clusters. These were confirmed by discriminant analysis, which reclassified colonies with 100% accuracy into clusters two and three and 96% accuracy into cluster one. Results indicate significant morphometric variation and a cline of factor one (characters associated with body size) from the north (cluster one) to the south (cluster three), with the highest dissimilarities between bees from the far north and the far south. The substantial variation detected in this study supported the previous description of Saudi Arabian Honeybees made by Ruttner in 1976, which, based on few samples, was not representative of this large and diverse country.

Key words. Yemeni Honeybee, Saudi Arabia, morphometry, clinal transition, discriminanat analysis.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 97-104.     |   OPEN ACCESS (free download)

Erol Atay, Nicklas Jansson, Tolga Gürkan

Saproxylic beetles on old hollow oaks (Quercus spp.) in a small isolated area in southern Turkey (Insecta: Coleoptera)

Abstract. Old oaks (Quercus spp.) and their fauna are rare and threatened all over Europe including Turkey. Preliminary results are presented from a study in Turkey using window traps in a cemetery with old hollow oaks. In total, 87 beetle species were identified and the number of beetle species was the highest from the families Elateridae, Anobiidae and Tenebrionidae. Several of the species are considered to be very rare in Europe and one of the species will be described as new to science (Mycetochara sp.). Species composition was surprisingly high when compared to similar studies in the region.

Key words. Coleoptera, saproxylic, oak, Quercus, biodiversity, window trap, pitfall trap.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 105-114.     |   OPEN ACCESS (free download)

Hasan Koç, Okan Özgül, Alper Tonguç, Murat Barlas

The Tipulidae fauna of southwestern Turkey (Insecta: Diptera: Nematocera)

Abstract. A total of 3091 Tipulidae was collected in the provinces of Antalya, Aydın, Burdur, Denizli, Isparta and Muğla between 2003 and 2006, comprising altogther 63 species of the genera Dolichopeza, Nephrotoma and Tipula. Tipula (Lunatipula) zimini semiopaca Savchenko, 1964, is new for Turkey.

Key words. Turkey, Southwest Anatolia, Diptera, Tipulidae, zoogeography.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 115-118.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Fariba Mozaffarian, Allen F. Sanborn

Two new species of Tettigetta Kolenati from Iran (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha: Cicadidae)

Abstract. Two new species of the genus Tettigetta are described from Iran. Tettigetta megalopercula sp. n. was collected in northern Iran and is distinguished by the large male opercula compared to other members of the genus. Tettigetta safavii sp. n. was collected in northwestern and western Iran and is distinguished from allied species by the distribution of black marks in different parts of the body, the number of timbal ribs, the triangular upper pygofer lobe and the sharp lateral curve of the claspers.

Key words. Tettigetta, Cicadidae, new species, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 119-126.    |   Preview (abstract/cover page) (PDF)    |    Order article...

Adrian C. Pont, Karine Harutyunova, Maria Harutyunova, Doreen Werner

The hunter-flies of Armenia. III. New records of the genus Limnophora Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830, with the description of a new species (Insecta: Diptera: Muscidae)

Abstract. Five species of Limnophora Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 have been recorded from Armenia, and in this paper we give further records of these species and record eight species as new to Armenia: L. obsignata (Rondani, 1866), L. olympiae Lyneborg, 1965, L. pollinifrons Stein, 1916, L. pulchriceps (Loew, 1860), L. rufimana (Strobl, 1893), L. setinerva Schnabl, 1911, L. tigrina (Am Stein, 1860) and L. triangula (Fallén, 1825). One new species, Limnophora mediterranea Pont sp. n., is described.

Key words. Diptera, Muscidae, Armenia, Limnophora, new records, new species.

Zoology in the Middle East 56, 2012: 127-136.     |   OPEN ACCESS (free download)



Short Communications

Masaa M. Al Jumaily, Waleed A. M. Al Rayl, Murad M. Abdulla Naji

First record of Blanford’s Fox, Vulpes cana Blanford, 1877, for Yemen (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 137-139.     |    Order article...

Abbas Ashoori, Saeid Naderi, Ahmad Barati

Nestling diet of the Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea, in Siahkeshim, Northern Iran (Aves: Ardeidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 139-142.     |    Order article...

Matthias Olthoff, Dietmar Ikemeyer

Dragonflies of a peat bog in northwestern Turkey (Odonata: Anisoptera, Zygoptera)

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 142-146.     |    Order article...

Tarık Danışman, İlhan Coşar

Orchestina topcui sp. n., a new spider from Turkey (Araneae: Oonopidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 57, 2012: 146-148.     |    Order article...




Zoology in the Middle East