Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 60, Issue 1, 2014

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



Camera trapping survey reveals a melanistic Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) in an unusual habitat in Turkey (Mammalia: Carnivora)

A Yasin İlemin

Apparently as a consequence of persecution from humans, Grey Wolves (Canis lupus) are confined in Turkey to mountainous regions, mostly above 600 m a.s.l. In the course of a camera trap survey carried out between April and July 2013 in the Marmaris region in western Turkey, I could confirm the presence of this species in coastal areas at an altitude of 215 m a.s.l. The species lives there quite secretly and its presence is unknown to local people. The records include a melanistic individual, which is the first such record in Turkey. Because of the aggressive relationship between wolves and sheep dogs all over Western Anatolia, I am considering that this individual is the result of a natural combination of coat colour determining alleles and not the result of hybridisation with a melanistic domestic dog, as had been suggested for other parts of the distribution area.

Keywords: Wolf, melanism, distribution, alleles, genes, camera trapping.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 1-5.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Breeding distribution and conservation of the Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola) in Saudi Arabia (Aves: Charadriiformes)

Mohammed Almalki, Monif AlRashidi, Mohammed Shobrak, and Tamás Székely

We surveyed the population of the Crab Plover, a species which is endemic to the Arabian Peninsula, in 2011, 2012 and 2013 in coastal and offshore areas of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, and compared the data with a survey carried out in 1996. We found two new colonies which comprise together about 539 pairs. Altogether 1380 pairs of Crab Plover breed in the Red Sea of Saudi Arabia in five colonies, representing approximately 35% of the Arabian breeding population. Major threats to the Crab Plover are human disturbance, egg collection, and introduced animals (e.g. cats, rats and snakes) that may feed upon eggs and chicks.

Keywords: Crab Plover, conservation status, threats, human disturbance, Saudi Ara-bia.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 6-12.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Prey selection of the Barbary Falcon (Falco pelegrinoides) in south-western Iran

Arya Shafaeipour

The diet of a breeding pair of Barbary Falcons (Falco pelegrinoides) was studied at Dena National Park, southwestern Iran, in the 2011-2013 breeding seasons by identifying species occurring in prey remains, an analysis of pellets and by video recording. The prey items belonged to 14 species of bird and two orders of insect. Birds composed the greatest proportion of the diet, comprising 95.3% by frequency and 99.9% by biomass. Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) was taken most frequently, but Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) and Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius) contributed more by biomass. Species that occurred in open habitats (e.g., Syrian Woodpeckers, Dendrocopos syriacus) or were of medium or large-size (e.g., Common Cuckoo, Cuculus canorus, Chukar and Common Magpie, Pica pica) were taken more than expected based on their availability. Altogether, the diet of the Barbary Falcon is based on the more abundant species, those of medium-size (50-120 g), and those frequenting open habitats.

Keywords: Barbary Falcon, Falco pelegrinoides, prey items, diet.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 13-19.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Nest-site selection by the Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator) in Boroyeh Wildlife Sanctuary, Inner Iran

Shirin Aghanajafizadeh, Kian Eslami, Hosein Abbasian, and Fatolah Heydari

We studied nest site selection by the Woodchat Shrike, Lanius senator, in a wildlife sanctuary in semi-arid central Iran. Habitat variables such as plant species, relative vegetation cover, height and number of plant species, distance to the closest water source in nest-site areas were compared with randomly selected non-used areas. The results showed that the most important factors influencing nest-site selection by this bird were vegetation cover, especially the number and height of spiny shrub species such as Atraphaxis spinosa and Amygdalus reuteri which were significantly more abundant in Woodchat Shrike breeding areas compared to control areas.

Keywords: Woodchat Shrike, habitat selection, Boroyeh Sanctuary, Iran.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 20-23.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Relationship between sagittal otolith size and fish size in Argentina sphyraena and Glossanodon leioglossus (Osteichthyes: Argentinidae) in the southern Aegean Sea, Turkey

Gökçe Bilge and Anıl Gülşahin

Sagittal otoliths are widely used to determine taxon, age and size of the teleost fishes, and are useful tools for studies of prey-predator relationships, population dynamics and ichthyo-archaeology. They can also be used to estimate the size of the prey. We examined the relationships between otolith measurements (length, height and weight) and fish size (total length and weight) for two species of Argentinidae (Argentina sphyraena and Glossanodon leioglossus) from the Southern Aegean Sea, Turkey. Length, height and mass of sagittae were shown to be good indicators for the length and weight of fish in both species. Glossanodon leioglossus has relatively larger sagittae than Argentina sphyraena. Linear and exponential functions provided the best fit for relations between otolith and fish measurements. No significant differences were found between left and right otolith sizes.

Keywords: Argentinidae, Argentina sphyraena, Glossanodon leioglossus, otolith size, Aegean Sea.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 24-28.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Phylogenetic relationships of the tooth-carp Aphanius (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) in the river systems of southern and south-western Iran based on mtDNA sequences

Hamid Reza Esmaeili, Azad Teimori, Golnaz Sayyadzadeh, Mojtaba Masoudi, and Bettina Reichenbacher

This study uses mtDNA sequence data (cytochrome b) to explore the phylogenetic relationships between the tooth-carp Aphanius pluristriatus (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) in the Zarjan spring and two newly discovered Aphanius populations from the Khonj and Jahrom localities. All study sites are situated in the exorheic Mond River drainage of the Persian Gulf Basin in southwestern Iran. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian-likelihood analyses reveal that A. pluristriatus and the two new populations represent a monophyletic clade, which is closely related to A. sophiae from the endorheic Kor River basin in the High Zagros and to A. mesopotamicus from the exorheic Tigris River system in southwestern Iran. However, comparative morphological analyses using morphometric and meristic characters indicate that the Khonj population differs slightly from the other two populations in the Mond River drainage, and the mtDNA data corroborate this conclusion. The Khonj population is therefore denominated as Aphanius cf. pluristriatus. These findings clearly indicate that A. pluristriatus has a wider distribution in the Mond River drainage than previously thought, and that intraspecific differentiation is present. The close phylogenetic relationships among A. pluristriatus, A. mesopotamicus and A. sophiae, their previously inferred recent ages of divergence, and the patterns of affinity among further freshwater fish species in the Persian Gulf, Tigris and Kor River drainage basins all suggest that these now isolated river systems were interconnected during the Last Glacial Maximum of the Late Pleistocene (21,000-18,000 y. BP) and remained so until the sea-level rise of the Early Holocene (11,000 y. BP).

Keywords: Zoogeography, phylogeny, tooth-carp, Iran.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 29-38.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

First record of the North American cryptic invader Ferrissia fragilis (Tryon, 1863) (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Planorbidae) in the Middle East

Federico Marrone, Murtada D. Naser, Amaal Gh. Yasser, Francesco Sacco, and Marco Arculeo

Some gastropod specimens belonging to the planorbid genus Ferrissia were recently collected in Lebanon and in Iraq, where the autochthonous species Ferrissia clessiniana (Jickeli, 1882) is supposed to occur. The molecular identification of collected specimens proved that they belong to the allochthonous species Ferrissia fragilis (Tryon, 1863), the protagonist of a dramatic cryptic invasion which is of interest to the whole of Eurasia. These findings cast further doubts on the actual existence of autochthonous Ferrissia species in the Palaearctic. The need for a molecular characterisation of the topotypical population of F. clessiniana, and for a revision of the Palaearctic Ferrissia species, is stressed.

Keywords: Ancylinae, biological invasion, cryptic species, molecular identification.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 39-45.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Two invasive freshwater snails new to Jordan (Mollusca: Gastropoda)

Hussain Nasarat, Zuhair Amr, and Eike Neubert

Jordan: Pseudoplotia scabra (O. F. Müller, 1774) (Family Thiaridae) was found at two locations, while Pyrgophorus cf. coronatus (L. Pfeiffer, 1840) (Family Cochliopidae) was collected from four sites. P. scabra is considered one of the most successful invasive molluscan species in many parts of the world including the Middle East, and its arrival in Jordan constitutes a threat to the local freshwater molluscan fauna.

Keywords: Freshwater snails, alien species, invasive species, Pseudoplotia scabra, Pyrgophorus cf. coronatus, Jordan.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 46-49.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Zoogeographical affinities and faunal relationships of bee flies (Diptera: Bombyliidae) in Egypt

Magdi El-Hawagry and Francis Gilbert

The distributions of 229 beefly (Diptera: Bombyliidae) species across the eight Egyptian ecological zones, together with their faunal affinities to the main zoogeographical regions, were used to test the suggestion of Holt et al. (2013) that the Saharo-Arabian is a distinct region rather than a subregion of the Palaearctic. All Egyptian ecological zones but one have greater affiliation to the Palaearctic and Saharo-Arabian than to the Afrotropical region; the Gebel Elba ecological zone, the south-eastern triangle of Egypt, has greater affinities with the Afrotropics. Affinities to the Saharo-Arabian region were not different from those to the Palaearctic. From its bombyliid fauna, therefore, the Saharo-Arabian region is so closely allied to the Palaearctic as to constitute merely a subregion of it. Sinai shows a high level of endemism reflecting its isolation from other parts of Egypt.

Key words: Palaearctic, Afrotropical, Saharo-Arabian, Egyptian ecological zones, distribution, affiliation.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 50-56.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

A vision system for automatic identification of butterfly species using a grey-level co-occurrence matrix and multinomial logistic regression

Lokman Kayci and Yılmaz Kaya

We present an application of image-processing techniques for identifying butterfly species as an alternative to conventional diagnostic methods. Grey-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) matrices are utilised to evaluate the surface texture features of butterflies’ wings, which is an important character for identification. Eleven textural features were extracted from butterfly images and characterised by the texture average in four directions (0°, 45°, 90° and 135°) and distances (d = 1, 2, 3 and 4 pixels). We used 190 butterfly images belonging to 19 different species of the family Pieridae. The identification accuracy of the GLCM+MLR was 96.3% with tenfold cross validation. The methodology presented here classified the butterflies effectively. These findings suggest that the proposed MLR algorithm and GLCM texture features technique are feasible for the identification and classification of butterfly species.

Keywords: Butterfly identification, expert system, grey-level co-occurrence matrix, multinomial logistic regression, texture analysis.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 57-64.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Wasps of the subfamily Doryctinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Iran

Samira Farahani, Ali Asghar Talebi, and Ehsan Rakhshani

Thirteen species in 8 genera of the subfamily Doryctinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) were collected in the north of Iran during 2010 and 2011. Of these, ten species are recorded for the first time for the Iranian fauna: Dendrosoter protuberans (Nees, 1834), Hecabolus sulcatus Curtis, 1834, Heterospilus tauricus Telenga, 1941, Leluthia asiatica (Tobias, 1980), Ontsira longicaudis (Giraud, 1857), Rhaconotus aciculatus Ruthe, 1857, R. scaber Kokujev, 1900, Spathius brevicaudis (Ratzeburg, 1844), S. curvicaudis Ratzeburg, 1844, and S. exarator (Linnaeus, 1758). A key to the genera and species and an updated checklist of Iranian Doryctinae are provided.

Keywords: Braconidae, Doryctinae, taxonomy, distribution, new records, Iran.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 65-81.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Description of a new Aelurillus species from Khorasan province of Iran, with comments on A. concolor Kulczyński, 1901 (Araneae: Salticidae)

Galina N. Azarkina and Omid Mirshamsi

Thirteen species in 8 genera of the subfamily Doryctinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) were collected in the north of Iran during 2010 and 2011. Of these, ten species are recorded for the first time for the Iranian fauna: Dendrosoter protuberans (Nees, 1834), Hecabolus sulcatus Curtis, 1834, Heterospilus tauricus Telenga, 1941, Leluthia asiatica (Tobias, 1980), Ontsira longicaudis (Giraud, 1857), Rhaconotus aciculatus Ruthe, 1857, R. scaber Kokujev, 1900, Spathius brevicaudis (Ratzeburg, 1844), S. curvicaudis Ratzeburg, 1844, and S. exarator (Linnaeus, 1758). A key to the genera and species and an updated checklist of Iranian Doryctinae are provided.

Keywords: Braconidae, Doryctinae, taxonomy, distribution, new records, Iran.

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 82-91.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Short Communications

New records of snakes from Iraq (Reptilia: Colubridae)

Saman R. Afrasiab and Sarbaz I. Mohamad

Zoology in the Middle East 60(1), 2014: 92-94.     |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig



Zoology in the Middle East