Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 59, Issue 3, 2013

0939-7140 (Print), 2326-2680 (Online)

Taylor & Francis
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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.

ZME is published by Taylor & Francis

Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig



Torsten Wronski

Population development of Arabian Gazelles, Gazella arabica, on the Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia (Mammalia: Bovidae)

The population of the Arabian Gazelle (Gazella arabica) was assessed on Farasan Kebir, the main island of the Farasan Archipelago (Saudi Arabia), from June 2010 to January 2013, using road strip counts. Two methods of estimating the population size were applied to analyse data obtained from the road strip count: (i) the traditional technique after Bothma, with a fixed strip width, and (ii) distance sampling using DISTANCE 6.0. Estimates varied between 483 gazelles (95% CI: 44) in November 2010 and 1070 gazelles (95% CI: 63) in June 2010. The number of gazelles estimated for Farasan Kebir using distance sampling is 2388 gazelles (95% CI: 921) in December 2011, 1199 gazelles (95% CI: 1372) in June 2012, and 1048 gazelles (95% CI: 1524) in January 2013. Taking into account previous counts (1988–2009) the population seems, despite considerable variations, surprisingly stable. This may be attributed to a prevailing fishing culture among local residents and thus the absence of traditional hunting as well as the ranger activities on the islands. The disparity between the two estimation methods decreased to only 270 gazelles in January 2013 and provides additional confidence in the future application of both estimation techniques. The traditional technique is recommended as the more practical method for rangers and conservation mangers to determine population changes.

Keywords: Arabian Gazelles, population development, distance sampling, Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 189-195.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Christoph Randler

Do migrants influence the foraging behaviour of the insectivorous Cyprus Wheatear, Oenanthe cypriaca, at a stopover site? (Aves: Passeriformes)

During their staging at stopover sites, migrants may compete with resident species over food resources (“resource competition hypothesis”), or migrants feed on surplus that is not utilised by the residents. Here, I studied foraging behaviour of the Cyprus Wheatear, Oenanthe cypriaca, a ubiquitous and common species with a broad niche range, on Cyprus, which is an important stopover site during intercontinental spring migration. During adverse weather conditions, perch height and aerial sallying were lower and perch/pounce activity was higher. Average perch height and sallying increased over the season, while perch-pounce foraging decreased. There was no influence of clock time. Bivariate correlations suggested an influence of migrants on perch height but not on other variables. Using a series of regression analyses with sex, time of day, date, weather conditions and number of migrants as independent variables revealed no influence of the number of migrants on the foraging behaviour of the Cyprus Wheatear. This suggests that the abundance of migrants does not lead to a change in the behaviour of the Cyprus Wheatear.

Keywords: Resource competition, bird migration, foraging behaviour, stopover sites, Oenanthe cypriaca.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 196-202.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Reginald Victor and Jayanthi R. Victor

Invasive on invasive – On the feeding ecology of the Ring-necked Parakeet, Psittacula krameri, in Oman (Aves: Psittacidae)

The Ring-necked Parakeet, Psittacula krameri, an invasive bird species in Oman was found to be feeding on the immature green pods of another invasive tree species, Prosopis juliflora, commonly known as Mesquite. This parakeet strips the pods and consumes the soft seeds within. The green pods collected from the base of trees were a mixture of stripped pods showing various levels of feeding damage and un-stripped pods without any damage. The percentage of stripped pods was significantly higher than that of un-stripped pods. The mean percentage number of pods in the five levels of feeding damage (10, 25, 50, 75 and 100%) significantly differed from each other. The un-stripped and undamaged pods indicate wasteful feeding activity. The comparison of the five levels of feeding damage (10, 25, 50, 75 and 100%) and the undamaged condition (0%) to the mean number of pods as percentages suggests that wasteful feeding is not a random event; the reasons for this relationship are discussed.

Keywords: Ring-necked Parakeet, Mesquite, feeding ecology, Oman.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 203-206.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Asghar Mobaraki, Elham Abtin, Haji Gholi Kami, and Bahram H. Kiabi

Reproductive biology of the Mugger Crocodile, Crocodylus palustris, in Iran (Reptilia: Crocodylidae)

A small population of Mugger crocodiles occurs in the southeastern part of Iran, in Sistan & Baluchestan Province, at the westernmost global range of the species. The peak nesting season is May and consequently the eggs hatch in July, but the nesting season can be extended. In four nests found in the wild, 24, 26, 21 and 13 eggs were counted. A 2.2 m long female, which fell in an overflow pond, laid 21 eggs on a concrete surface exposed to the air. A female kept in captivity laid 18 and 25 eggs in two consecutive years. The mean size for the eggs in the last three nests was calculated as 75.7 x 47.7 mm and 91.27 g in weight. The mean total length and weight for 19 hatchlings was 30.47 cm (29.2–33.9 cm) and 84.3 g (66.2 to 90.3 g) respectively. Based on the number of observed hatchlings compared with the clutch size, it seems that hatchlings have a high mortality rate in the early stages after hatching as a result of natural threats.

Keywords: Mugger Crocodile, eggs, hatchlings, nesting, habitats, mortality, clutch size.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 207-213.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Reza Yadollahvand, Haji Gholi Kami, and Mohammad Reza Kalbassi

Cytogenetic characterisation of the Caspian Pond Turtle, Mauremys caspica, in Golestan and Mazandaran provinces, Iran (Reptilia: Testudines)

Cytogenetic characteristics of the Caspian Pond Turtle, Mauremys caspica, in Golestan and Mazandaran provinces in the northern part of Iran show that the chromosome number is 2n=52 and the arm number NF=78. The karyotype consisted of 9 metacentric (M), 1 submetacentric (SM), 3 subtelocentric (ST) and 13 telocentric (T) chromosome pairs. The Centromeric Index ranges from 11.79 to 45.68, the arm ratio between 1.18 and 7.47, the relative length between 1.60 and 11.46, and the length variation between 1.05 and 7.48. Average total length of the chromosomes is 65.27 µm. The largest chromosome in this species is a pair of the metacentric chromosome. Location of NOR was determined on chromosome pair no. 10.

Keywords: Karyotype, cytogenetics, Mauremys caspica, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 214-219.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Seyyed Saeed Hosseinian Yousefkhani, Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Rafaqat Masroor, and Jiří Šmíd

Modelling the potential distribution of Mesalina watsonana (Stoliczka, 1872) (Reptilia: Lacertidae) on the Iranian Plateau

The Persian Long-tailed Desert Lizard, Mesalina watsonana, is one of the most common and most widely distributed lizards on the Iranian Plateau extending from Iran to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The species is frequently encountered in various types of habitats. We collected over 600 distributional records from available literature, museum collections, and our own field work and used bioclimatic and land cover characteristics to develop a model of potential distribution for M. watsonana. According to the model, the most important factors limiting the distribution of M. watsonana are: precipitation in wettest quarter exceeding 250–300 mm, precipitation in coldest quarter lower than 40 mm and exceeding 250 mm, altitudes above 2500 m and slopes steeper than 10.5°. The model suggests that most of the Iranian Plateau is suitable for the species except for some isolated areas such as the Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut deserts in Iran, Helmand basin in Afghanistan, the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, the western Chagai-Kharan deserts of Pakistani Balochistan, and Thar and Cholistan deserts in eastern Pakistan. The most important factor in these regions appears to be the extremely low rainfall during coldest quarter of the year. The outer boundary of the distribution of M. watsonana follows important biogeographic barriers that are also clearly delimited by climatic conditions.

Keywords: Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Maxent, habitat suitability, potential distribution.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 220-228.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Pritpal Soorae, Johannes Els, Drew Gardner, and Husam El Alqamy

Distribution and ecology of the Arabian and Dhofar Toads (Duttaphrynus arabicus and D. dhufarensis) in the United Arab Emirates and adjacent areas of northern Oman

Records of the Arabian Toad (Duttaphrynus arabicus) and the Dhofar Toad (Duttaphrynus dhufarensis) in the UAE and adjacent areas of northern Oman are mapped and some recent observations presented. The Arabian Toad is more widely distributed in more mesic habitats and benefits from the increase in artificially irrigated habitats. The Dhofar Toad is able to live in drier areas but its distribution pattern suggests it may be outcompeted by the Arabian Toad in wetter areas with greater availability of surface water.

Keywords: Distribution, ecology, toad, Duttaphrynus, arabicus, dhufarensis, UAE, Oman.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 229-234.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Mahmut Elp, Müfit Özuluğ, Fazıl Şen, and Jörg Freyhof

Validation of Alburnus timarensis from the Lake Van basin, eastern Anatolia (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)

The Lake Van basin located in eastern Anatolia is inhabited by two species of Alburnus: Alburnus tarichi is a migratory species foraging in the lake and spawning in all tributaries, while A. timarensis is resident in streams and is known only from one tributary of the lake, the Karasu. It could be shown that A. timarensis is a valid species, which is rediagnosed here. Both species are syntopic during the spawning season, but are well distinguished by size, gill raker and lateral line scale counts.

Keywords: Alburnus timarensis, Alburnus tarichi, Lake Van Basin, taxonomy, Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 235-244.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Seyedeh Mojgan Kalantarian, Asghar Abdoli, and Bahram H. Kiabi

Feeding strategy of the Deepwater Goby, Chasar bathybius, in the Southern Caspian Sea (Osteichthyes: Gobiidae)

Eleven animal taxa were identified as prey of the Deepwater Goby, Chasar bathybius (Kessler, 1877), by analysing stomach contents: these were some species of Gobiidae, Clupeidae, Atherina boyeri, Carassius gibelio, Liza sp., Cardium sp., and Rhithropanopeus sp. With a frequency of 66%, Neogobius fluviatilis was the most prevalent food item, and was the dominant prey taxon in all seasons and age groups. C. bathybius exhibited a specialist feeding strategy on this fish and the other prey types. The dietary breadth is highest in spring according to the Shannon index.

Keywords: Chasar bathybius, gobiid fishes, dominant prey type, feeding strategy, Salmanshahr.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 245-252.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Judith Ullmann

Population status of giant clams (Mollusca: Tridacnidae) in the northern Red Sea, Egypt

Throughout their range, giant clams (family Tridacnidae) are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic impacts and natural disasters, but little is known about their population status. In this first assessment of the tridacnid population at Abu Sauatir in the northern Red Sea, a total of 491 m2 were surveyed and >200 clams recorded. Tridacna maxima was the only species found. The population’s live:dead ratio was 3:1. Overall clam density was 0.08±0.008 live and 0.02±0.007 dead individuals per 0.25 m2. Greatest densities occurred on the reef flat in 1 m depth (live), and on the northern reef slope in deeper waters (dead). On the slope, live clam density decreased significantly, whereas dead clam density increased significantly with depth. Sizes of live and dead individuals differed significantly. Live clams ranged from 1 to 30 cm (median 5 cm). Juveniles ≤2 cm (8.2% of the population) and individuals >11 cm occurred on the reef slope but not on the reef flat. Live clam sizes did not differ significantly between reef sites. Dead clam size ranged from 2 to 15 cm (median 6.5 cm). 2.1% of the empty shells were ≤2 cm long. Dead clam sizes differed significantly between 5 and 10 m depth on the northern reef slope. The low clam abundance (live and dead) in the shallowest and most easily accessible areas of the reef flat, combined with small sizes, strongly suggest artisanal reef-top gathering for meat and shells.

Keywords. Tridacna, bivalves, coral reef, abundance, size, bleaching, conservation.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 253-260.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Saliha Çoruh and Janko Kolarov

New data on Turkish Acaenitinae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) with description of a new species

A new Phaenolobus species from Turkey is described and figured. This species is close to Phaenolobus hilalii Kolarov & Gürbüz, 2010. The key for identification of the Western Palaearctic species of Phaenolobus Förster, 1869 is modified. New distribution data are presented for the other 6 Acaenitinae species known from Turkey.

Keywords: Acaenitinae, Ichneumonidae, Turkey, Phaenolobus, new species, key.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 261-265.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Saeed Mohamadzade Namin and Elena P. Kameneva

A new species of the genus Herina Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 from Iran and Turkey (Diptera: Ulidiidae)

A hitherto unknown species of the dipteran family Ulidiidae is described from Iran and Turkey: Herina rajabii n. sp. is similar to H. gyrans (Loew) and H. tristis (Meigen), differing from them by the yellowish-brown scutellum and presence of a very strong subcercal prensiseta on the surstylus. A key to the species of the Herina tristis-group of species is provided.

Keywords: Diptera, Ulidiidae, Herina, Iran, Turkey, new species.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 266-272.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Ahmed M. Soliman and Neveen S. Gadallah

Taxonomic revision of the genus Gynecaptera Skorikov, 1935 from Egypt, with description of a new species (Hymenoptera: Bradynobaenidae, Apterogyninae)

The genus Gynecaptera Skorikov (Bradynobaenidae: Apterogyninae) is revised from Egypt, based on specimens collected from the Sinai Peninsula and those deposited in Egyptian insect collections as well as recorded data from the literature. Three species were previously recorded from Egypt, G. alexandri (Invrea), G. alfierii (Invrea) and G. trimaculata (Skorikov). Gynecaptera sinaitica sp. n. is described here. An illustrated key and a faunistic list comprising all Gynecaptera species recorded from Egypt are also given.

Keywords: Apterogyninae; Gynecaptera; new species; Egypt.

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 273-279.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Short Communications

Abbas Ashoori and Yaqoub Rakhshbhar

Nestling diet of the Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea, in Anzali wetland, Northern Iran (Aves: Ardeidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 59(3), 2013: 280-282.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig



Zoology in the Middle East