Journal of Natural History

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ISSN / EISSN : 0374-5481 / 1464-5262
Published by: Informa UK Limited (10.1080)
Total articles ≅ 27,591
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Published: 18 August 2021
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1957-1981;

The Lagoa do Peixe National Park in southern Brazil is an important contranuptial site for many bird species, including Chilean Flamingos that come from Andean highlands and the South Atlantic coast, mainly during the southern hemisphere winter, and is the only site where Chilean flamingos can be seen all year long. Despite that, the information about ecology and behaviour of the flamingos in the region is still scarce and incomplete. With that in mind, we aim to construct a behavioural repertoire of this population of wild Chilean Flamingos, which can be used in conservation and management actions, future research and for educational purposes. Between May and November 2019, we made focal observation of the individuals of the park, totalising 99.8 h. We observed 41 different behaviours divided in 5 major categories: Feeding, Locomotion, Maintenance, Agonistic Social and Non-Agonistic Social. Our records confirmed behavioural observations made by other studies in flamingo behaviour, but we also registered new behaviours for the first time in the area, like the occurrence of synchronised behaviours of flamingo flocks. We also recorded a variety of feeding and maintenance behaviours that indicate the influence of environmental and populational variables on the behaviours of the species. Our data demonstrate the differences among captive and wild population behaviours, reinforce the relevance of behavioural studies in contranuptial areas and the importance of these areas to the species.
Published: 3 August 2021
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1841-1875;

Pinndorama gen. nov. is described based on eight new species: P. dianae sp. nov. from the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais and Paraná, Brazil; P. guartela sp. nov. from Paraná, Brazil; P. matogrossensis sp. nov. from Mato Grosso, Brazil; P. melanocephala sp. nov. from Distrito Federal, Brazil, and Cuzco, Peru; P. paraguaia sp. nov. from Canindeyu, Paraguay; P. pitanga sp. nov. (type species) from Minas Gerais, Paraná and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; P. ronurensis sp. nov. from Mato Grosso, Brazil; and P. sinopensis sp. nov. from Mato Grosso, Brazil. A discussion comparing the new genus with the related genera Gehundra, Grunchia and Maranata is provided as well as a key to males. Host plants are identified for Pinndorama pitanga sp. nov. and Pinndorama guartela sp. nov., and for four species of Selenomorphini: Pachyopsis fasciatus, Pachyopsis nigrifacis, Pachyopsis pallidus and Parapachyopsis tenebris.
Published: 3 August 2021
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1895-1916;

The larvae of the fresh-water mite Limnochares aquatica (L., 1758) feeding on the pond-skaters Gerris lacustris (L. 1758) and their stylostome were studied using laboratory observations, light-microscope, SEM and TEM methods. The emergence of unfed larvae from the eggshell in the laboratory was also traced. Larvae possess a lamellar area on the ventral surface of the hypostome (supposed sucker or velum), which adheres to the host cuticle during feeding. The bifurcated palpal claws do not pierce the host cuticle and remain outside it during the larval feeding. The larvae secrete at least two saliva portions – the initial one gradually penetrating the host cuticle to which the cheliceral movable digits firmly adhere, and the main one forming the stylostome as such situated underneath the host cuticle. The developed stylostome does not immerse deep into the body cavity and is represented by associations of the uniformly electron-dense globules, the largest of which are pierced by the axial canal. This type of stylostome may be conventionally identified as unclearly ramified structured totally composed of the saliva secretion. The host tissue is partly destructed by the parasite saliva action, and the host defence reaction is imperceptible. The observed stylostome structure may be considered as an initial form for the fresh-water mite branch of the Parasitengona.
Published: 3 August 2021
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1877-1893;

The ultrastructure of spermatophores and spermatozoa of freshwater crabs are little known, and a description of characters unique to this taxon is lacking. In this study, we describe and compare the ultrastructure of spermatophores and spermatozoa of Dilocarcinus pagei, Zilchiopsis oronensis and Valdivia serrata. In addition, we perform a comparative analysis with other freshwater crab species described in the literature. All species studied presented predominantly coenospermic spermatophores, in addition Z. oronensis and V. serrata also presented some cleistospermic spermatophores; which are described here for the first time in Trichodactylidae. The spermatozoa of the three species share a pattern found in the Brachyura, however, we found common traits for Trichodactylidae. The operculum is thick, protruding and imperforate with the presence of a prominent subopercular ring. The shape of the operculum is roundish in D. pagei and more triangular in Z. oronensis and V. serrata. The perforatorial chamber is panduriform in D. pagei and Z. oronensis, and oblong in V. serrata. The membrane of the perforatorial chamber in D. pagei has numerous shallow corrugations and short perforatorial filaments, while Z. oronensis and V. serrata have fewer, almost indistinguishable corrugations and long perforatorial filaments. All three species have a marked lateral expansion of the base of the perforatorial chamber and overall truncation of the acrosome vesicle, in Z. oronensis and V. serrata, absence of an acrosome ray zone, developed thickened ring and a thick nucleo-cytoplasmic plate, being obviously lamellar in D. pagei and homogeneous in Z. oronensis and V. serrata. The spermatozoa presents similar characteristics between Trichodactylidae and other freshwater crab families opening the possibility of unit all heterotreme freshwater crab families as a single group. The probably Trichodactylidae autapomorphies, that diverges from all other freshwater crabs, reinforce the hypothesis that the trichodactylids derived later as an independent lineage of freshwater crabs.
Henrique Lomônaco Pedroso, Cecília Lomônaco, ,
Published: 3 August 2021
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1815-1823;

We described herein the colonisation dynamics of trap-nests by females of the giant carpenter bee Xylocopa frontalis (Olivier). The behaviours performed by emerging females, such as philopatry and dispersal, were quantified in different environments and conditions of nest supply. Two artificial shelters containing high and low provision of trap-nests were installed in two areas to attract nesting females. It was detected a higher number of new foundations compared to nest reuse regardless the number of trap-nests provided. Full use of the available nests in shelters was not detected. Most of the emerging females dispersed from artificial shelter and the colonisation was made by both philopatric and vicinity females. No differences in the number of offspring produced by nesting females was observed among shelters but the number of brood cells in the newly founded nests was higher than that of the reused nests. The maximum span that a female remained in the shelter was 290 days. For dispersing females, the minimum permanence time in the shelter was 12 days (xˉ = 45 days). We conclude that the differences on availability of artificial substrates between the shelters was not sufficient to affect the number of constructed nests and the behaviours performed by nesting females. Additionally, it can be suggested that the higher number of dispersing females associated with the attraction of vicinity females can contribute to maximise the genetic variability of X. frontalis populations maintained in artificial shelters, aiming the management of this important pollinator in agro-ecosystems.
, Margarita Cantero Guerrero, Gustavo A. Londoño
Published: 3 August 2021
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1825-1839;

Isleria is a recently described genus in the Neotropical family of antbirds (Thamnophilidae), comprising two species that inhabit the Amazon basin from Colombia to Brazil. Little is known about the breeding aspects of this genus. We present a detailed description of the nest, eggs, nestlings, and parental behaviour of the Plain-throated Antwren (Isleria hauxwelli), based on ten nests monitored in a lowland tropical forest located in Manu National Park, Peru. The nest is a suspended open-cup shaped structure containing two dark maroon spotted eggs, which measured 18.51 ± 0.96 × 13.27 ± 0.47 mm and weighed 1.71 ± 0.2 g (n = 16). The incubation period lasted 21 days and nestling period extended for 10 days. Both parents attended the nest, providing an overall daily nest attentiveness of 52.62%. Both females and males incubated the eggs, brooded, and fed the nestlings, but males and females showed differences in the frequency of these parental-care behaviours. The relatively long incubation period, along with an extremely short nestling period and a low nest attentiveness fall in the extremes of breeding and life-history strategies for antbirds, in particular, and for Neotropical birds in general. Finally, the nest architecture of Isleria hauxwelli adds to the morphological, behavioural, and ecological differences with its sister group, Thamnomanes, reinforcing the recognition of the new genus, Isleria. Our results emphasise the importance of incorporating natural history information into evolutionary and ecological questions.
, Mario Elgueta, María José Vilches, Erin Hagen, Madeleine Pott
Published: 3 August 2021
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1781-1813;

Islands are hotspots of biodiversity and extinction. It is critical to study their unique island life before it is lost forever. The Desventuradas Islands, comprised of San Félix and San Ambrosio islands, are a volcanic archipelago 850 km off the coast of Chile. They are key to understanding the diversification processes which shaped the flora and fauna of other Chilean oceanic islands such as the Juan Fernández Archipelago. But, the biogeographic affinities between these archipelagos are still poorly known. Over the last century, the plant and animal communities present in the Desventuradas have radically changed due to invasive mammal introductions. Here, focusing on terrestrial invertebrates, we: (1) confirm the presence of described endemic species, (2) detect new species records and (3) assess the biogeographic affinities between the Juan Fernández and Desventuradas archipelagos. In September 2018, San Ambrosio was surveyed using different methods (hand collecting, beating sheet, entomological net, pitfall traps and light traps) at night and during the day. A total of 35 morphospecies were collected. Four endemic species were found, in addition to several previously described higher taxonomic groups with undescribed species. Collecting methods were not successful in detecting another nine previously described endemic species. There was a total of 28 new records, including a new land snail, a new Isopoda and representatives of five spider families. Twelve of all the recorded genera from Desventuradas Islands have known relatives in the Juan Fernández Archipelago. Five of them were not previously known for San Ambrosio, reinforcing the biogeographic affinities between both archipelagos. This research highlights the urgency of surveying islands subject to a multitude of threats, including climate change and invasive species, to generate baseline data and place the island’s fauna in a broader biogeographical context.
Boris Sket,
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1663-1679;

Molecular studies are often essential to infer phylogenetic relationships and biogeography in troglobiotic taxa, frequently characterised by convergent adaptations and cryptic species. Genetic analysis is a particularly useful tool in Dinaric karst, where palaeogeographic history complicates the interpretation of the evolutionary history of cave organisms. In this paper we estimate phylogenetic relationships in an entirely troglobiotic group of perceivable cirolanid isopods, inhabiting Dinarides and other Mediterranean regions, by a DNA-based approach, with a particular attention to the genus Sphaeromides. The originally more extensive genus Sphaeromides appears limited to S. raymondi in Southern France, while we suggest restoring the genus and name Trogloaega for the Dinaric taxa, previously attributed to Sphaeromides. The name and taxon Trogloaega have never been scientifically invalidated, just ignored. Results indicated that S. virei, formerly divided into three subspecies, consists of two or three distinct species, now named T. virei, T. mediodalmatina and T. montenigrina, the latter molecularly closer to T. mediodalmatina. The genus Trogloaega is genetically distant from Sphaeromides. Sphaeromides bureschi from Balkans (Bulgaria, Serbia) appeared closer to Trogloaega than to Sphaeromides. Our results contribute to the awareness that the isopod morphology is characterised by high level of homoplasy and molecular phylogenetic analyses are essential in identifying taxonomic units.
Piotr Chachuła, Andrzej Melke, , Henryk Szołtys
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1749-1768;

Few papers have been published on the interactions between slime moulds and beetles in Europe. The available knowledge was usually acquired incidentally to mycological studies and concerns common and easily identifiable slime moulds. The beetles in those studies were frequently identified to genus only, and sometimes only selected families were studied. In 2018–2019, a comprehensive survey of Myxomycete-Coleoptera associations was carried out in the Pieniny National Park (Carpathians, S Poland). A total of 164 sporocarps from 30 species of slime moulds were examined, and beetles were found in 112 sporocarps of 23 slime mould species. The sporocarps were inhabited by 674 individuals from 37 species of beetles. To date, this is the most comprehensive study of beetles associated with slime moulds in Europe.
, Usama M. Abu El-Ghiet, Yusuf A. Edmardash
Journal of Natural History, Volume 55, pp 1697-1748;

The present study is based on specimens collected from the Jazan Province (southwestern Saudi Arabia). This material comprises 21 species within 13 genera and three subfamilies (Bembicinae, Crabroninae and Philanthinae). The African species Miscophus chrysis Kohl and Parapiagetia bidens Pulawski are recorded here for the first time for the Arabian Peninsula, as well as Cerceris rubida (Jurine). The genus Oryttus Spinola is recorded for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Six other species are also newly recorded for Saudi Arabia: Liris maidli (Arnold), Oxybelus diphyllus (Costa), Oxybelus phyllophorus Kohl, Parapiagetia erythropoda (Cameron), Pison atrum (Spinola) (Bembicinae), and Tachysphex buyssoni Morice (Crabroninae). Three new species, Bembix arabica Edmardash & Gadallah, Oryttus pulawskii Gadallah & Edmardash, and Oxybelus ecarinatus Gadallah & Edmardash, are described and illustrated. The previously unknown male of Miscophus chrysis is also described and illustrated. A comprehensive faunistic list is provided.
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