Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 64, Issue 1, 2018

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).

ZME is published by Taylor & Francis Group.

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Systematic relationships within the Microtus arvalis (Rodentia: Cricetidae) group in Iran, inferred from cytogenetic analyses

Ahmad Mahmoudi, Jan Zima, Boris Kryštufek, Jamshid Darvish, Mansour Aliabadian and Atilla Arslan

The distribution of C-heterochromatin and nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) was studied in three species of voles of the Microtus arvalis group in Iran: M. mystacinus, M. kermanensis, and M. transcaspicus. The C-banding pattern and NORs distribution were similar in M. mystacinus and M. kermanensis suggesting taxonomic proximity of these two species. At the same time, the karyotypes of M. mystacinus from Iran were different in C-banding pattern from the complements of conspecific 54-chromosome voles from Europe and other regions of Asia. The most distinct difference was in size of the distal C-positive block of heterochromatin on the X chromosome. In this respect M. mystacinus from Iran and M. kermanensis resembled M. transcaspicus. Small size of the distal C-positive heterochromatic block may be ancestral whereas larger size is derived. The X chromosome of M. transcaspicus can be derived from that of M. mystacinus and M. kermanensis by a large inversion or centromeric shift.

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 1-8.


Distribution and phylogeography of Blanford’s Fox, Vulpes cana (Carnivora: Canidae), in Africa and the Middle East

Mostafa Saleh, Mahmoud Younes, Ali Basuony, Fouad Abdel-Hamid, Abdullah Nagy and Ahmad Badry

The distribution of Vulpes cana in the extreme eastern Sahara is described on the basis of new photographic and sight records, as well as a recently acquired specimen from south-eastern Egypt. The proven range of this elusive fox now extends about 1000 km south into Africa along the Red Sea coastal mountains. The proven and predicted distribution ranges of this fox are discussed. Its phylogeography and evolutionary relationship to other foxes of the region are gleaned from analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b DNA sequence and are discussed in light of climatic and paleogeographic history of the area. The results show that the species could have initially moved into Africa during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition period when several land bridges occurred across the Gulf of Suez. More recent land bridges between the mountains of the Sinai Peninsula and the Eastern Desert of Egypt seem to have developed and disappeared several times during the Pleistocene, possibly allowing genetic exchange between V. cana populations in these two areas. The last of this population exchange and genetic flow between the two areas seems to have ended some 14,000 years ago when the present Gulf of Suez inundation took place.

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 9-26.


Geomorphometric differences among four species of Microtus in Turkey (Mammalia: Rodentia)

Ahmet Yesari Selçuk, Alaettin Kaya and Haluk Kefelioğlu

In order to determine the phenotypic associations of four morphologically similar species of Microtus occurring in Turkey, we applied landmark-based shape analysis. The skulls of Microtus anatolicus, M. dogramacii, M. guentheri and M. levis (= M. rossiaemeridionalis) were found to differ significantly in terms of both size and shape. M. guentheri had the biggest skull, while M. levis had the smallest. Sexual dimorphism was found in the shape of the skull in M. dogramacii and M. levis. The tympanic bulla area is enlarged in M. anatolicus compared to the other species. Mahalanobis distances (the distance between a point and the group mean, taking into account the within-group covariance-variance matrix) confirm the distinction of the arvalis group (M. levis) and socialis group (Microtus anatolicus, M. dogramacii, M. guentheri).

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 27-37.


Impact of nest relocation on the reproductive success of Loggerhead Turtles, Caretta caretta, in the Göksu Delta, Turkey (Reptilia: Cheloniidae)

Onur Candan

When the nests of marine turtles are at a risk of inundation, relocation of the nests are often used in the conservation measures. Here, I determined the effect of nest relocation on Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) egg hatching success during the 2013 and 2014 nesting seasons in the Göksu Delta, Mersin, Turkey. I compared natural and relocated clutches, including those relocated before and after inundation, and evaluated 102 (94.6%) and 63 (81.1%) of survived nests in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Relocated nests experienced a 30% decrease in hatching success and a more prolonged incubation period compared to nests left in situ. Egg failure in nests relocated before and after inundation was similar in early-stage embryos, whereas it was three-fold higher in mid-stage embryos and two-fold lower in late-stage embryos. Thus, there was no significant difference in overall hatching success between the two relocation types. Moreover, there was no effect of delayed relocation of nests after inundation on hatching success. Possible impacts specific to the nesting site should be considered and explored before using nest relocation as a conservation tool. The relocation approach is recommended for nests at a high risk of inundation when the loss of nests is inevitable.

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 38-46.


The Gray Toad-headed Agama, Phrynocephalus scutellatus, on the Iranian Plateau: The degree of niche overlap depends on the phylogenetic distance

Anooshe Kafash, Shima Malakoutikhah, Masoud Yousefi, Farhad Ataei, Hamid Heidari, Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani

The Gray Toad-headed Agama (Phrynocephalus scutellatus) occurs in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan and is represented in Iran by four distinctive genetic clades. We built distribution models for three of these clades (one clade was not included due to a low number of distribution records) using Maximum Entropy Algorithm in order to determine the contribution of ecological factors to the distribution pattern. The degree of spatial niche overlap between every pair of clades were measured using Schoener’s D niche overlap metric. The results showed that at species-level climate variables (annual precipitation, annual mean temperature) were the most influential parameters determining the boundaries of the distribution in Iran. Temperature seasonality was found to be the most influential factor in the distribution of both Clade I and Clade II. However, this variable was replaced by the annual mean temperature for Clade VI. Based on the results of Schoener’s D metric, Clades I and II had the lowest, and Clades II and VI the highest level of ecological niche overlap. Comparing the result of niche overlap with genetic distance between the clades, it was found that the ecologically least similar clades were those with the longer history of genetic segregation.

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 47-54.


Female reproductive pattern of Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896 (Brachyura: Portunidae) in Iskenderun Bay, Eastern Mediterranean

Canan Türeli, İrem Nur Yeşilyurt and İ. Erdal Nevşat

We studied the female reproductive pattern of Callinectes sapidus, which was introduced to the Mediterranean in the 20th century. We assessed female size at first maturity, fecundity, and fecundity relationship to size in Iskenderun Bay, eastern Mediterranean, Turkey. Samples were collected between July 2014 and June 2015 using bottom trawling at depths ranging from 1 to 50 m. A total of 322 crabs were caught of which 308 (95.7%) were females including 116 ovigerous ones. The minimum carapace width of the mature females was 39.1 mm and the mean carapace width 123.8 mm. The carapace width of ovigerous females varied between 95.1 and 144.5 mm, with a mean of 120.3 mm. The highest number of ovigerous females was observed in July and August. Mean fecundity was 1.91 million (667,950–4,669,853) eggs per female. A weak positive linear relationship between fecundity and carapace width was noted, as well as a high correlation with total egg weight. In the eastern Mediterranean, maturity sizes of females were smaller than those in the native region of the species.

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 55-63.


Pseudobithynia guldeni sp. n., a new gastropod species from the Mediterranean region of Turkey (Gastropoda: Truncatelloidea)

Mustafa Emre Gürlek

A new Bithyniidae species Pseudobithynia guldeni sp.n. is described from the Mediterranean region of Turkey based on shell and male genitalia morphology. An identification key for the species of Pseudobithynia of Turkey is given.

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 64-67.


On the genus Sunius Stephens, 1829 of Turkey. VI. A new micropterous species and distribution of the genus (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Paederinae)

Sinan Anlaş

A new species of the genus Sunius Stephens, 1829 is described from Konya province in Anatolia and illustrated: Sunius yamani sp. n. Additional records of six species of Sunius from Turkey are reported. A total of 39 species are now known from Turkey, 35 of them are endemic. Distribution maps are given for all Turkish members of the genus Sunius.

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 68-74.


On the scorpion fauna of Egypt, with an identification key (Arachnida: Scorpiones)

Ahmed Badry, Mahmoud Younes, Moustafa M. H. Sarhan and Mostafa Saleh

The taxonomy and diversity of the scorpion fauna of Egypt was examined based on a large collection from most parts of the country and in view of recent revisionary systematics. We assessed the validity of listed records in light of new taxonomic findings and geographic distribution data and present a new list and an identification key to the scorpion fauna of Egypt consisting of 31 species, 18 of which were collected during this survey. Four species were not accepted for the list because no voucher material was available.

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 75-87.


Short Communications

On the distribution of Dina stschegolewi (Hirudinida: Erpobdellidae) in the South Caucasus

Andrii Khomenko, Serge Utevsky, Dmitry Palatov, Mair Huseynov, Shabnam Farzali, Leman Dadashova, Kaveh Darabi-Darestani, Andrei Utevsky

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 88-90.


Suspected rat predation on the Near Eastern Fire Salamander (Salamandra infraimmaculata) by selective consumption of non-toxic tissue

Nadav Pezaro, Valentina Rovelli, Ori Segev, Alan R. Templeton and Leon Blaustein

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 91-93.



Correction to: Do recent leopard Panthera pardus records from northern Iraq and south-eastern Turkey reveal an unknown population nucleus in the region?

Zoology in the Middle East 64(1), 2018: 94.



Zoology in the Middle East