Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 62, Issue 3, 2016

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




The Anatolian diagonal revisited: Testing the ecological basis of a biogeographic boundary

Hakan Gür

The Asian part of Turkey, i.e. Anatolia, is the region where three of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots meet, and interact: the Caucasus, Irano-Anatolian, and Mediterranean basin hotspots. One of the most distinctive biogeographic features that helps in understanding the biodiversity of Anatolia is the Anatolian diagonal, which has long been recognised as a biogeographic boundary between the central and eastern Anatolian floras and faunas, but the processes (i.e. historical, ecological or some combination of these) responsible for its origin and maintenance have not been well understood. The aim of this study was to assess whether the Anatolian diagonal corresponds with a significant environmental barrier. I used for this purpose ecological niche modelling and associated comparative metrics. First, I created virtual records in the Anatolian part of the Irano-Anatolian hotspot, and split these records into two groups: those occurring to the west and to the east of the Anatolian diagonal. Then, I examined whether the Anatolian diagonal is associated with a steep environmental gradient. It was found that the Anatolian diagonal is indeed associated with a steep environmental gradient, and therefore corresponds with a significant environmental barrier. This steep gradient associated with the Anatolian diagonal is mainly in temperature seasonality. The models did not cross-predict each other, either at the Last Glacial Maximum or at the present, suggesting that during at least the last glacial-interglacial cycle, many of these populations or taxa were excluded from the other side of the Anatolian diagonal by environmental rather than non-environmental reasons (i.e. dispersal, competition).

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 189-199.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Altitudinal variation in the diversity and structure of the desert rodent community from Jebel Al Jais, United Arab Emirates

Haemish Melville and Anne-Lise Chaber

In arid areas where organisms are subjected to environmental extremes, ecological communities are simple and provide useful models for studying community organisation. We used capture, mark and release methods between November 2014 and May 2015 to assess the rodent community in the Hajar Mountains of Ras Al Khaima along an altitudinal gradient from 460 m to 1650 m. We captured three rodent species; Arabian Spiny Mouse, Acomys dimidiatus, Wagner’s Gerbil, Gerbillus dasyurus and a Black Rat, Rattus rattus (the latter only represented by a single specimen on one occasion). The structure of rodent communities varied altitudinally with the relative abundance of Spiny Mice decreasing and Wagner’s Gerbils increasing with altitude.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 200-205.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

A new and highly divergent mitochondrial lineage in the Small Five-toed Jerboa, Allactaga elater, from Iran (Mammalia: Rodentia)

Saeed Mohammadi, Sandra Afonso, Mohammad Ali Adibi, José Melo-Ferreira and Rita Campos

The Small Five-toed Jerboa, Allactaga elater, is a small rodent adapted to desert and semi-arid habitats with a widespread distribution around the Caucasus. Previous studies have suggested the occurrence of subspecific variation within the species but, except for a recent phylogeny of the genus Allactaga, most of the work done on the taxonomy of the group relies on morphological data only. To contribute to the current understanding of patterns of genetic diversity of A. elater we analysed one mitochondrial locus, cytochrome b, from 13 Iranian specimens. Comparing to a recent phylogeny, our results suggest the existence of two additional mitochondrial lineages, one that clusters within previously described lineages and a new and highly divergent one. The two novel mitochondrial lineages occur in the north and form two highly divergent monophyletic groups (Dxy = 14%), which likely separated during the Pleistocene.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 206-211.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

The stomach content of a Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus): finding of Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) remains

Arda M. Tonay, Erdem Danyer, Ayhan Dede, Bayram Öztürk and Ayaka A. Öztürk

The stomach contents of an adult Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) found stranded on the Turkish eastern Mediterranean coast near Antalya in May 2013 were analysed. In total, 69 individual food items were counted and nine taxa were identified to species or family level. Of the identified taxa, Sparidae was the most highly represented family of prey fish, and one cephalopod species, Octopus vulgaris, was found. Ariosoma balearicum and Argyrosomus regius were encountered for the first time in the diet of a Monk Seal in the Mediterranean. Several body parts (three heads, six forelimbs, neck bones and fractured upper forelimb bones) of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) were also identified, which is the first record of this species in the Monk Seal’s diet.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 212-216.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Attributes of trees used by nesting and foraging woodpeckers (Aves: Picidae) in an area with old pollarded Oaks (Quercus spp.) in the Taurus Mountains, Turkey

Adam Bergner, Anton Sunnergren, Burcu Yeşilbudak, Cahit Erdem and Nicklas Jansson

We used three woodpecker species as umbrella species for old deciduous forests, and analysed their preferences in an area with old pollarded oaks in the Taurus Mountains, Turkey. Using plot inventories, we physically characterised trees utilised for nesting and foraging amongst woodpeckers in general and the Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Leiopicus medius) in particular. Trees more frequently visited by foraging woodpeckers differed from randomly chosen trees by being taller, having a larger circumference, greater bark furrow depth and shorter distance to neighbouring trees. Nesting trees were taller, had a higher proportion of dead wood but a lower surface area of natural cavities. Our results suggest that the woodpeckers in the study area rely upon woodlands containing mature trees, thus have the potential to function as suitable umbrella species’ to highlight the conservation value of oak forest habitats in southern Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 217-227.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Phylogenetic relationships of Eurasian Nuthatches (Sitta europaea Linnaeus, 1758) from the Alborz and Zagros Mountains, Iran

Masoud Nazarizadeh, Mohammad Kaboli, Hamid Reza Rezaie, Jalil Imani Harisini and Eric Pasquet

The Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea Linnaeus, 1758) is a resident bird in the Alborz and Zagros deciduous forests. We investigated the phylogenetic relationships and the taxonomic position of the Eurasian Nuthatch among other separated lineages of Eurasia with the help of blood samples collected from 19 individuals belonging to four populations in the Eastern and Western Alborz, as well as in the Northern and Southern Zagros forests. Genetic variation was then analysed using complete ND2 gene sequence (1041bp) and phylogenetic analysis was done using Bayesian and maximum likelihood inference. Additionally, a median-joining algorithm was used to reveal the relationships among haplotypes. The results of the phylogenetic and haplotype network analyses indicated that Eurasian Nuthatch haplotypes from the Alborz and Zagros Mountains form lineages distinct from the Asian, Caucasian and European haplotypes. Furthermore, an analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) detected significant (P<0.001) genetic structure among the lineages. The Asian, European, Caucasian and Alborz lineages diverged from one another by an uncorrected genetic distance ranging from 0.029 to 0.039, while the Zagros lineage showed a slightly lower genetic divergence from the Caucasian lineage (0.006), but it did not share any haplotype with the Caucasian lineage. Thus, we suggest considering five Conservation Significant Units (CSU) for the Eurasian Nuthatches as the result of used dataset.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 228-237.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Diet of the Worm Lizard, Diplometopon zarudnyi (Nikolsky, 1907), in Riyadh province, Saudi Arabia (Reptilia: Trogonophidae)

Mohammad Khalid Al-Sadoon, Bilal Ahmad Paray and Hassan A. Rudayni

We analysed the diet composition of 133 specimens of the Worm Lizard, Diplometopon zarudnyi, in Riyadh province, Saudi Arabia. Analysis of stomach contents revealed that 90 specimens (66.6%) had prey items in their gut. The stomach content consisted mainly of small invertebrate prey (beetles), mainly larvae of Dermestes sp., but also imagines of Dermestes maculatus and Rhynchophorus ferrugineus. Dermestes sp. constitutes over 99% of the total food items, showing a high selectivity in food intake. The high number of beetles in the stomach contents indicates that this lizard forages very frequently. Specimens collected during winter had empty stomachs. The high proportion of fossorial prey items and the occasional records of other stomach contents show that D. zarudnyi only occasionally forages on the surface.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 238-241.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Phylogeny and biogeography of Arabian populations of the Persian Horned Viper Pseudocerastes persicus (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854)

Philip de Pous, Marc Simó-Riudalbas, Johannes Els, Sithum Jayasinghe, Felix Amat and Salvador Carranza

The Persian Horned Viper (Pseudocerastes persicus) is distributed from northeast Iraq through the Iranian Plateau to western Pakistan with isolated populations in the Hajar Mountains of south-eastern Arabia. Like the other members of the genus Pseudocerastes, P. persicus is a sit-and-wait ambush feeder with low vagility, a characteristic that often results in high levels of population differentiation. In order to clarify the level of genetic variability, phylogenetic relationships, and biogeography of the Arabian populations of P. persicus we sequenced 597 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b of four individuals from the Hajar Mountains in south-eastern Arabia and inferred their phylogenetic relationships including 10 samples of P. persicus from Iran and Pakistan, four P. urarachnoides and one P. fieldi downloaded from GenBank. The four Arabian samples are genetically very similar in the gene fragment analysed and are phylogenetically very closely related to populations of P. persicus from coastal south Iran. Biogeographically, it appears that colonisation of the Hajar Mountains by P. persicus took place from Iran very recently, most probably during the last glaciation, when most of the Persian Gulf was above sea level and did not represent a barrier for dispersal.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 242-249  |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

The feminizing effect of metabolic heating in Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) clutches in the eastern Mediterranean

Betül F. Önder and Onur Candan

Metabolic heating has been poorly investigated in eastern Mediterranean coastline of Turkey, which host some of the most important Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting sites in the Mediterranean. We studied the effects of clutch size and embryo numbers on nest temperature and discuss the feminizing effect of metabolic heating. Two test sites were conducted in Sugözü Beaches (Turkey). Data loggers were placed in eight nests with different clutch sizes. Nest temperature was strongly correlated with embryo numbers and metabolic heating produced by embryos was calculated to be 0.019°C per late stage embryo and 0.020°C per hatchling. Metabolic heating was calculated to be 0.6°C in the middle third of the incubation period during which sex is determined. It was estimated that metabolic heating increased 10.4% of female hatchlings. The heat produced by embryos should be taken into consideration while estimating sex ratios indirectly by nest and sand temperatures. Additionally, the metabolic heating value should be known for conservation measures, such as nest relocation, dividing the nest for controlling nest temperature, especially related to climate change.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 250-258.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

On the trophic spectrum of Pelophylax ridibundus (Pallas, 1771) (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) in western Iran

Behzad Fathinia, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Hamid Darvishnia, Arya Shafaeipour and Ghodrat Jaafari

Using the stomach flushing technique, a total of 188 specimens of the Marsh Frog, Pelophylax ridibundus, were flushed, of which 129 had at least one food item in the stomach. The diet consisted of Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda and Chordata with Arthropoda being the most abundant group. Both diet volume and number of food items per stomach were significantly larger in April than in August. The proportion of frequency of occurrence (FOi%) of food categories did not show a constant food item in flushed materials. Pelophylax ridibundus prefers Diptera, Coleoptera, Amphipoda and Hymenoptera over other food categories. The Index of Relative Importance (IRI) for food categories differs between sexes and seasons. Differences were found in the food volume and the number of food items between seasons, but not between sexes. Prey volume is positively correlated with frog size.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 259-266.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Geographic nestedness of Lyciasalamandra billae (Amphibia: Salamandridae) populations within L. antalyana and description of a new subspecies

Olaf Godmann, Mert Kariş and Bayram Göçmen

A new subspecies of the Bille’s Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra billae is described from four localities in the vicinity of Geyikbayɪrɪ nearby Antalya, Turkey. It is distinguished from the nominotypical subspecies by colouration and surface pattern. The distribution area of the new subspecies is nested within the range of Lyciasalamandra antalyana, with L. a. gocmeni bordering in the north and the range of L. a. antalyana bordering in the south. New localities of both L. antalyana subspecies are reported.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 267-272.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

A new species of Copidosoma (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) from Iran

George Japoshvili, Hamid Rakhshani and Jahangir Khajehali

Copidosoma isfahan Japoshvili sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Encyrtidae), a parasitoid of Altenia mersinella (Staudinger, 1879) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) is described and illustrated from Iran.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 273-275.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Two new harvestmen species (Arachnida: Opiliones) from the Caucasus

Nataly Yu. Snegovaya and Alexey N. Tchemeris

Two new harvestmen species of the family Phalangiidae, Rilaena caucasica sp. n. and Rilaena silhavyi  sp. n. are diagnosed, illustrated, and described from the Caucasus region. Comparative illustration of the related Rilaena anatolica (Roewer, 1956), R. atrolutea (Roewer, 1915) and R. kelbajarica Snegovaya & Pkhakadze, 2014 are given.

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 276-282.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Short Communications

A new record of Lagocephalus guentheri (Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae) from the north-eastern Aegean Sea

Okan Akyol and İlker Aydın

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 283-285.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

First record of female intersex in Litarachna communis Walter, 1925 (Acari: Hydrachnidia) from the Sea of Marmara, Turkey

M. Levent Artüz and Vladimir Pešić

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 286-288.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Description of the hitherto unknown female of Xysticus tenuiapicalis Demir, 2012 (Araneae: Thomisidae)

Hakan Demirand Hakkı Onur Koçyiğit

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 289-290.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

The Desert Beauty Calopieris eulimene: a butterfly new to Egypt (Insecta: Lepidoptera)

Ahmed El-Gabbas and Francis Gilbert

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 291-293.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Expression of Concern

Expression of Concern

Zoology in the Middle East 62(3), 2016: 294.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig



Zoology in the Middle East