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Article Reference Salvation and documentation: additional (probable) type material of South American land-snail species (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora) in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2024
Article Reference L’épopée du « Travailleur » et du « Talisman » de 1880 à 1883
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2024
Article Reference Glacial melt impacts carbon flows in an Antarctic benthic food web.
Most coastal glaciers on the West Antarctic Peninsula are in retreat. Glacial ice scouring and lithogenic particle runoff increase turbidity and shape soft sediment benthic communities. This, in turn, has the potential to induce a shift in these systems from an autotrophic to a heterotrophic state. In this study, we investigated the influence of glacial runoff on carbon flows in the softsediment food web of Potter Cove, a well-studied shallow fjord located in the northern region of the West Antarctic Peninsula. We constructed linear inverse food web models using a dataset that includes benthic carbon stocks as well as carbon production and respiration rates. The dataset offers detailed spatial information across three locations and seasonal variations spanning three seasons, reflecting different degrees of disturbance from glacial melt runoff. In these highly resolved food web models, we quantified the carbon flows from various resource compartments (phytoplankton detritus, macroalgae, microphytobenthos, sediment detritus) to consumers (ranging from prokaryotes to various functional groups in meio- and macrofauna). Locations and seasons characterized by high glacial melt runoff exhibited distinct patterns of carbon flow compared to those with low glacial melt runoff. This difference was primarily driven by a less pronounced benthic primary production pathway, an impaired microbial loop and a lower secondary production of the dominant bivalve Aequiyoldia eightsii and other infauna in the location close to the glacier. In contrast, the bivalve Laternula elliptica and meiofauna had the highest secondary production close to the glacier, where they are exposed to high glacial melt runoff. This study shows how the effects of glacial melt propagate from lower to higher trophic levels, thereby affecting the transfer of energy in the ecosystem.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2024
Inproceedings Reference Cranial morphology of Khirtharia inflata (Raoellidae, Artiodactyla)
Raoellidae are extinct small-sized semiaquatic artiodactyls that are the closest relatives to crown clade Cetacea. They display morphological features showing the transition between terrestrial and aquatic lifestyles and therefore bring crucial information to understand the earliest steps of cetacean evolution. Raoellid cranial morphology, including the ear region and endocranial morphology, has been documented using cranial remains referred to Indohyus indirae from the Kalakot area, Jammu and Kashmir in India. The study of these specimens highlighted that several cetacean features are already present in raoellids. The previously available Indohyus material was very deformed, preventing access to quantitative data and leading to potential misinterpretations. We describe new undeformed cranial material from the Kalakot area, documenting another raoellid species, Khirtharia inflata. The new observations allow us to complete our knowledge of raoellid cranial morphology, including the original shape of the cranium and brain endocast and to confirm the specificities of raoellid morphology within Artiodactyla. We further provide the first quantitative data for the different brain components and show that Raoellidae had low encephalization and neocorticalization values, much lower than cetaceans and close to early diverging, primitive, dichobunoid artiodactyls. Reconstruction of the blood sinuses above the cerebellum supports the previous “intraosseous” hypothesis about the initial steps of the development of the caudal venous rete mirabile in cetaceans. The presence of several cetacean cranial features in Raoellidae, such as the peculiar shape of the frontal, the strong postorbital constriction, the periotic involucrum, or the elongation of the olfactory bulbs, questions the definition of the Cetacea clade.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023 OA
Article Reference A database of threat statuses and life-history traits of Red List species in Flanders (northern Belgium)
Red Lists estimate the extinction risk of species at global or regional levels and are important instruments in conservation policies. Global Red List assessments are readily available via the IUCN website ( and are regularly updated by (taxonomic) experts. Regional Red Lists, however, are not always easy to find and often use local criteria to assess the local extinction risk of species.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference Diversity of Ants and Termites of the Botanical Garden of the University of Lomé, Togo
Ants and termites are used as bioindicators in many ecosystems. Little knowledge is available about them in Togo, especially ants. This study aimed to find out how ants and termites could be used to assess the restoration of former agricultural land. These insect groups were sampled within six transects of 50 × 2 m2 (using pitfall traps, monoliths, baits for ants and hand sampling for termites) in two consecutive habitats: open area (grassland) and covered area (an artificial forest). Seventeen termite species and 43 ant species were collected. Seven ant species were specific to the covered area against four for the open area, while four unshared species of termite were found in the open area against three in the covered area. The presence of unshared species was linked to vegetation, as Trinervitermes (Holmgren, 1912), a grass feeding termite, was solely found in open area. Also, for some ant species like Cataulacus traegaordhi (Santschi, 1914), Crematogaster (Lund, 1831) species, Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille, 1802) and Tetraponera mocquerysi (Brown, 1960), all arboreal species, vegetation was a determining factor for their presence. The occurrence of these species together with Basidentitermes mactus (Sjöstedt, 1911), Strumigenys bernardi (Brown, 1960) and S. sistrura (Bolton, 1983), suggest a more advanced level of restoration of the covered area.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference Ant assemblage structure on cocoa trees in smallholder farms in the Centre Region of Cameroon
We investigated the ant community structure in cocoa farms in the Centre Region of Cameroon. Ants were collected on the cocoa trees during the years 2006 and 2007 using chemical knock‐down. We tested the hypothesis of the existence of deterministic factor in the structuration of ant mosaic using C‐Score; we assessed the relationship between the numerical dominant and subdominant ant species using Spearman correlation test and discussed on the influence of vegetation structure and farm management on the ant community structure. A total of 53 ant species belonging to 20 genera and five subfamilies were identified from a set of 51,525 workers collected. C‐score analysis supported the hypothesis that ant community were structured by competition. Negative relationships were found between dominant ant species. Farming practices which were mainly pruning, chemical treatment and habitat structure appeared to influence the ecological status and distribution of dominant ant species.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference An annotated checklist of the leaf beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) from El Salvador, with additions from the Bechyné collection in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
A checklist of the species of leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) of El Salvador is presented based on data from literature and a digitization project of the Bechyné collection of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS). The RBINS collections contain a total of 2797 individual chrysomelid specimens from El Salvador, sorted into 89 species and 132 genera. In total, the current checklist contains 420 species, of which 33 are new records for El Slavador from the Bechyné collection. In these collections, there are also ten nomina nuda named by Bechyné, which need further study. The leaf beetle diversity in El Salvador, partly due to the country’s unstable political history, remains poorly studied, and many (new) species await discovery. This checklist provides a baseline for further study in El Salvador and nearby region.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference First record of the invasive longhorn crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille, 1802) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Mt. Elgon, eastern Uganda
We report the first observation of the invasive longhorn crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis) in the Mount Elgon region of eastern Uganda. About 43 000 ants were sampled in 256 locations throughout the Ugandan foot slopes of Mt. Elgon in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. We found P. longicornis in five locations in and around the town of Budadiri, Sironko district. The visual species identification was confirmed by COI gene-based DNA barcoding. That this species was found in only a small area suggests that it has only been recently introduced. The impact that P. longicornis will have on the local agricultural system or the biodiversity within the Mount Elgon National Park remains unclear. The Mt. Elgon region is a unique key biodiversity area where baseline data can be collected now to quantify the effects of P. longicornis as it increases its distribution within the region
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference Introduction history and genetic diversity of the invasive ant Solenopsis geminata in the Gala´pagos Islands
The Gala´pagos Islands constitute one of the most pristine tropical systems on Earth. However, the complex and fragile equilibrium of native species is threatened by invasive species, among which is one of the most successful ants in the world, the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata. We characterized the genetic structure and diversity of populations of S. geminata in the Galapagos Islands and unravelled the archipelago colonization by combining Bayesian clustering methods and coalescent-based scenario testing. Using 12 microsatellite markers and one mitochondrial DNA fragment (COI), we analysed individuals collected in all main invaded islands of the archipelago and from the native areas in Costa Rica and mainland Ecuador. We also used mitochondrial DNA to infer evolutionary relationships of samples collected in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Costa Rica and other Latin American countries. Our results showed that genetic diversity was significantly lower in Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador populations when compared to Costa Rican populations, and that samples from Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador (Guayaquil) clustered in a single group and all share a single mtDNA haplotype. Approximate Bayesian Computation favoured a scenario assuming that populations from Galapagos Islands diverged from mainland Ecuador. The city of Guyaquil, an obligatory hub for tourism and trade, could act as a bridgehead.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018