Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 61, Issue 1, 2015

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

© Taylor & Francis
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.

ZME is published by Taylor & Francis Group. Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig



Tattoo-like skin disease in the endangered subpopulation of the Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, in Oman (Cetacea: Balaenopteridae)

Marie-Françoise Van Bressem, Gianna Minton, Tim Collins, Andrew Willson, Robert Baldwin and Koen Van Waerebeek

The presence of tattoo-like skin disease is reported in an endangered, non-migratory subpopulation of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from Oman. We examined 522 images taken during small-boat surveys in the Gulf of Masirah and in Dhofar in 2000-2006 and in 2010-2011. Tattoo-like lesions were detected in regular, good and outstanding images. They appeared as irregular or rounded, light grey marks often showing a whitish outline, and were located on the flanks, dorsum, dorsal fin and caudal peduncle. They could be relatively small to very large and cover up to an estimated 40% of the visible body surface. Over the whole study period disease prevalence reached 21.7% in 60 whales and 16.7% in 36 adults. In this category, prevalence was higher in males (26.7%, N=15) than in females (9.1%, N=11), but the difference was not significant. Lesions appeared larger in males than in the positive female and progressed in two males. Disease prevalence increased significantly from 2000 through 2011 (r2 =0.998). Advanced tattoo skin disease, with lesions extending over more than 10% of the visible body surface seemed to occur more frequently in 2010-2011 than in 2000-2006, but samples were small. This is the first confirmed report of tattoo-like disease in the Balaenopteridae family and the first time it is documented in the Arabian Sea. The disease high prevalence, its increase over time and its progression in some individuals are of concern.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 1-8.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Morphometric and morphological differentiation of the subspecies of Phasianus colchicus (Linnaeus, 1758) on the Iranian Plateau (Aves: Galliformes)

Nasrin Kayvanfar, Mansour Aliabadian and Seyed Mahmoud Ghasempouri

The Common Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, Linnaeus, 1758 (Aves: Galliformes), occurs in the Iranian Plateau in three nominal subspecies. Fourteen morphometric and three morphological characteristics were examined in 114 individuals. The three nominal subspecies of the Common Pheasant could be distinguished from each other based exclusively on morphological characteristics such as the variation in body size, plumage patterns, the presence/absence of the white wing bar and morphometric data such as bill depth and width. Our field observations and conclusions from morphological analysis showed evidence for natural hybridisation between introduced Ring-necked and autochthonous pheasants in the northern belt of Iran.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 9-17.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

The male reproductive cycle of the Dice Snake, Natrix tessellata (Serpentes: Colubridae), in northern Iran

Reza Babaei Savasari, Abdolhossein Shiravi and Vida Hojati

The Dice Snake, Natrix tessellata, is a non-venomous oviparous and diurnal snake whose distribution extends across Iran except for the south-eastern regions. We studied the spermatogenic cycle of this species in Mazandaran Province between April and November 2012. The specimens were collected from four stations in Sari where 57 adult males were investigated morphometrically and histologically. The testes included 24–192 seminiferous tubules. The length of the testes varied between 8.07 and 36.70 mm and the diameter of the tunica albuginea between 7 and 42 microns. The results indicated that spermatogenesis is composed of three phases: an active phase from May to September, a transitional phase in October, and a silent and regenerative phase from November to March. Spermatogenesis began in late May and increased in mid-August and early September, reduced in late September and October, and stopped in early November completely. The spermatogenic cycle can be characterised as aestival.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 18-25.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Distribution and status of sea turtle nesting and mortality along the North Sinai coast, Egypt (Reptilia: Cheloniidae)

Basem Rabia and Omar Attum

We assessed in 2012 the distribution of Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Green (Chelonia mydas) Turtle nesting sites and mortality along North Sinai, Egypt, the most important nesting area along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and compared the results with those from a survey carried out in 1998. We observed a similar number of Loggerhead (N=66) and Green Turtles nests (N=7) as recorded in 1998 (Loggerhead N=67, Green Turtle N=7). We confirmed successful nesting for 47 Loggerhead and five Green Turtle nests, with a high nesting success (>90% for both species). We found 68 dead Loggerhead Turtles, which is a significant increase compared to 1998, when only 16 individuals were found. The numbers of dead Green Turtles increased from five in 1998 to 9 in 2012. Despite the similar number of sea turtle nests in 1998 and 2012, the large increase in mortality of sea turtles is very concerning.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 26-31.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Rediscovery of Maynard’s Longnose Sand Snake, Lytorhynchus maynardi, with the geographic distribution of the genus Lytorhynchus Peters, 1863 in Iran

Soheila Shafiei, Hadi Fahimi, Mohammad Ebrahim Sehhatisabet and Naeim Moradi

An adult male of Maynard’s Longnose Sand Snake (Lytorhynchus maynardi) was collected on 24 July 2009 from the east of Sistan and Baluchistan Province in south-eastern Iran. The new locality is the westernmost record of this species in western Asia, and the first record for 42 years from Iran. Information on the geographic distribution of the genus Lytorhynchus Peters, 1863 in Iran, comparative morphology and some ecological data are presented here.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 32-37.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Diet composition of the Thornback Ray, Raja clavata Linnaeus, 1758 (Elasmobranchii: Rajidae) in the Turkish Aegean Sea

Elizabeth Grace Tunka Eronat and Okan Özaydın

The diet of Raja clavata (Thornback Ray) was studied in 2008–2009 in Sığacık Bay in the eastern Mediterranean, based on 187 stomach contents obtained by commercial trawl operations. 40 different prey species were found. Mysidacea, Parapenaeus longirostris and Plesionika sp. were the most abundant prey items. The results indicate that the main prey varies considerably depending on the ecological characteristics of the habitat.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 38-44.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Ooencyrtus ferdowsii sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), an egg parasitoid of Osphranteria coerulescens (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Iran

Ebrahim Ebrahimi, Gholam-Reza Tavakoli Korghond, Kamal Mianbandi, Hadi Mahmoodi, Kazem Mohammadipour and John Noyes

Ooencyrtus ferdowsii sp. n. is described from Iran. It has been reared from eggs of the cerambycid Osphranteria coerulescens that were collected on Prunus amygdalus in Ferdows in the eastern province of Khorasan-e Jonoobi, Iran. The new species is compared with the closely related Oencyrtus pityocampae. A list of species of the genus Ooencyrtus recorded from Iran is provided.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 45-49.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

First description of the queen of the ant Solenopsis saudiensis Sharaf & Aldawood (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Saudi Arabia

Mostafa R. Sharaf, Shehzad Salman and Abdulrahman S. Aldawood

The queen of the ant Solenopsis saudiensis Sharaf & Aldawood, 2011 is described for the first time from Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A provisional key to the two Saudi Arabian species of the genus is presented based on the queen caste. Brief ecological and biological notes are also given.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 50-54.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Descriptions of little-known and unknown morphs of Zelkovaphis caucasica (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Eriosomatinae), with an analysis of its phylogenetic position

Masakazu Sano, Shalva Barjadze and Shin-ichi Akimoto

Zelkovaphis caucasica is a little-known Caucasian species of leaf-rolling aphids on Zelkova carpinifolia, and was not included in a previous morphological phylogenetic analysis of the tribe Eriosomatini. We redescribe little-known emigrants of Z. caucasica and describe first instars borne by the emigrants, with keys to species for these morphs of the genus Zelkovaphis. Based on the present specimens and a previously published description, we added Z. caucasica to a published data matrix for Eriosomatini species, and re-analysed the phylogenetic relationships of the tribe Eriosomatini. Successive weighting analysis indicated that Z. caucasica branched off at the base of the Eriosomatini phylogeny, as well as other leaf-rolling species on Zelkova. It is therefore suggested that, like other leaf rollers on Zelkova, Z. caucasica is a relict that has survived in glacial refugia.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 55-63.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Review of the genus Catomus Allard, 1876 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in Iran

Maxim Nabozhenko

Five species of the genus Catomus Allard, 1876 are known from Iran. Catomus fragilis (Ménétriés, 1848) is recorded from Iran for the first time. Lectotypes of C. persicus Allard, 1876 (type species of the genus) and C. semiruber Allard, 1876 are designated. These species are also redescribed and figured. A key to the species of Catomus in the Iranian fauna is given.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 64-68.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Gylippus (Hemigylippus) bayrami sp. n. from Turkey with comparative remarks on the species of the subgenus Gylippus (Hemigylippus) Birula (Solifugae: Gylippidae)

Melek Erdek

Gylippus (Hemigylippus) bayrami n. sp. from northeast Turkey is described and illustrated. Differences between the new species and related species are discussed.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 69-75.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

New records of the huntsman spider genus Olios (Araneae: Sparassidae) from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan

Majid Moradmand, Omid Mirshamsi Kakhki and Vladimir Hula

Two species of the spider genus Olios are recorded for the first time from the Middle East, namely O. sericeus (Kroneberg, 1875) from Afghanistan and Iran, and O. iranii (Pocock, 1901) from Iraq. Previously recorded species of Olios are shown to be misidentifications. A comparative diagnosis is provided for these two newly recordedspecies.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 76-80.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Three new mites of the genus Pseudolaelaps Berlese, 1916 (Acari: Mesostigmata, Pseudolaelapidae) from Iran, with an updated key to known species

Peter Mašán, Jalil Hajizadeh and Sara Ramroodi

Three new gamasid mites belonging to the genus Pseudolaelaps Berlese, 1916 are described from Guilan Province, Iran. The descriptions of Pseudolaelaps laevidorsatus sp. n., Pseudolaelaps semiduplicans sp. n. and Pseudolaelaps venustulus sp. n. are based on females collected from different kinds of soil substrate and decomposed plant detritus in deciduous forests and some non-woodland habitats in cultivated lowland landscapes. An updated key to 15 species of the genus Pseudolaelaps, widely distributed mainly in Europe, is presented.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 81-90.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Short Communications

Some new aphid records for the Turkish aphidofauna (Hemiptera: Aphidoidae)

Özhan Şenol, Hayal Akyıldırım Beğen, Gazi Görür and Gizem Gezici

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 91-92.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

First record of Capparimyia savastani (Martelli, 1911) in Lebanon (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Zinette Moussa and Dany Yammouni

Zoology in the Middle East 61(1), 2015: 93-94.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig


Zoology in the Middle East