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Article Reference Male spiders control offspring sex ratio through greater production of female-determining sperm
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference First outdoor record of Crematogaster scutellaris (Olivier, 1792) in Belgium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
We report the first observation of an outdoor nest of the ant species Crematogaster scutellaris (Olivier, 1792) in Belgium. In spring 2022, a nest of this species was discovered at Rood Klooster in Auderghem, Brussels Capital Region. Large and very active trails of workers were detected in a hedge and along the walls of a small building. The nest is probably already present several years and situated in the wooden construction of the building. Interactions with other ant species indicate that this new arrival will not immediately become an invasive problem for the local native ant fauna. We expect that more records of this species might be discovered in the near future in the neighborhood but also elsewhere in Belgium.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Soil-litter arthropod communities under pasture land use in southern Rwanda
Land use change caused by human activities is the main driver of biodiversity loss and changes in ecosystem functioning. However, less is known about how the conversion of a natural to pasture land favour the biological diversity of soil-litter arthropods to advance effective conservation plans and management systems. To fill the gap, this study focussed on soil-litter arthropod communities under a pasture land use in southern Rwanda. Data have been collected using pitfall traps and hand collection between April and June 2021. Sampled specimens of soil-litter arthropods have been identified to order and family levels by using dichotomous keys. Further, the species name was given when the identification key was available, while the morphological description was provided in absence of the identification keys. Results indicated a total of 3013 individuals of soil-litter arthropods grouped into 3 classes, 13 orders, 46 families and 87 morpho-species. Coleoptera showed a high number of families, while higher abundance and the number of morpho-species were found for ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Higher abundance of sampled soil-litter arthropods is a sign that the studied area offers suitable habitat for soil-litter arthropods. However, less abundance found for some groups of soil-litter arthropods might be influenced by the used sampling techniques which were not appropriate for them. We recommend surveys using multiple sampling techniques to maximize chances of capturing a wide range of soil-litter arthropods.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Cross-taxon congruence of taxonomic and functional beta diversity facets across spatial and temporal scales
An intensively debated issue in ecology is whether the variations in the biodiversity patterns of different biological groups are congruent in space and time. In addition, ecologists have recognized the necessity of accounting for both taxonomic and functional facets when analysing spatial and temporal congruence patterns. This study aimed to determine how the cross-taxon congruence of taxonomic and functional beta diversity varies across space and time, using data from four floodplains at a continental scale. Our general hypothesis was that the congruence between aquatic biological groups, either taxonomic or functional, would decrease with the “between-group” functional distance. Also, we examined how congruence patterns varied across spatial and temporal scales by focusing on how the cross-taxon relationships differ among Brazilian floodplains and between dry/wet periods. Our study comprised information on eight biological groups from the four largest Brazilian river-floodplain systems, and cross-taxon congruence was assessed using Procrustes analysis. Our results show how detailed analyses can reveal different patterns of cross-taxon congruence, and partially support the hypothesis that the strength of cross-taxon congruence is negatively related to between-group functional distance.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Scanning electron microscopy and morphological analysis reveal differences in the otolith morphology of three species of the family Lethrinidae (Teleostei: Perciformes) from Yemen
Otoliths, or ear-stones, are calcareous components in the static-acoustic organs of teleost fishes with a characteristic morphology. As such, they are widely used in fisheries because of the information stored in them concerning, for example, environment, age, and so forth. Otoliths of three lethrinid species Lethrinus borbonicus (Valenciennes, 1830), L. lentjan (Lacepède, 1802), and L. mahsena (Forsskål, 1775) were collected from fish caught along the Red Sea coast of Yemen. Images taken with a scanning electron microscope were used to determine their characteristics. Twenty-two characters were defined to describe the shapes of the otoliths. Eleven measurements of distance between selected features were used for a linear regression and multivariate analysis to characterize the species by their otoliths. The results illustrate ontogenetic changes for different age groups based on the recorded shapes. All three species show a linear relationship between the total length and the morphometric measurements. A linear discriminant analysis shows marked differences between the otoliths of the three species and emphasizes the importance of the measured variables. Otoliths of L. lentjan and L. borbinicus are more similar to each other and differ from those of L. mahsena. A comparison with previously published otoliths of the species studied from other areas confirms an intraspecific uniformity across larger geographic distances, making the characters useful for diagnostic purposes.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference New or rare Madagascar tiger beetles - 26. A new species of the genus Pogonostoma Klug from northwestern Madagascar and a revised key to the Pogonostoma (P.) srnkai species-group (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae).
A new species of the genus Pogonostoma Klug, 1835, P. (Pogonostoma) mahimborondrense Moravec & Wiesner sp. nov. is described as new to science from the Mahimborondro protected area in Northern Highlands, northwestern Madagascar. By its unique complex of diagnostic characters, the new species is incomparable to any other species within the genus. It is placed here into the Pogonostoma (P.) srnkai species-group (in the concept presented in the monograph of the genus by Moravec 2007). A revised key to species of the species-group is presented in order to supplement the key in the monograph. Habitus and diagnostic characters of the new species are illustrated in colour photographs. Maps and photos of the occurrence of the new species in Mahimborondro are also presented.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference A new Cangoderces (Araneae, Telemidae) from DR Congo, the first telemid from Central Africa.
Spiders collected as part of a rapid biodiversity survey in lowland forest in Democratic Republic Congo contained a new species of Cangoderces Harington, 1951 (Telemidae). The male of the new Cangoderces wewef sp. n. is characterized by the male palp with a deep triangular dorsal indentation of the bulbus and the apophyses at the base of the embolus. The female is recognized by the shape of the sclerotized spermatheca in the endogyne. The presence of the species in DR Congo fills the huge distribution gap between the species known from South Africa, Kenya and western Africa.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Genetic analysis reveals a distinct lineage of hog deer (Axis porcinus) in Kratie province, Cambodia
The hog deer (Axis porcinus) is an endangered cervid with drastic population declines. There are 2 recognized subspecies of hog deer: A. p. porcinus, ranging from Punjab Province in Pakistan, Nepal, and the Northern part of India to Myanmar, and A. p. annamiticus found in Indo-China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The current geographic range of A. p. annamiticus is still ambiguous. We analyzed variation in the mitochondrial DNA control region (mtDNA CR) to investigate the intra-species structure, differentiation, and demographic history of hog deer from Cambodia (Kratie Province), which we compared with the populations from India and Thailand. We also generated divergence time estimates using a concatenated dataset of complete Cyt b and partial CR. The CR data showed that Cambodian hog deer are genetically differentiated from the mainland Indian and Thai populations, forming a distinct basal clade. The time of divergence indicates that the Cambodian lineage split from the other 2 hog deer lineages around 0.51 Mya, during the Late Pleistocene. The results also suggest strong phylogeographic structure among hog deer: lineage A extends from Terai Arc (foothills of the Himalayas) to Assam, India (A. p. porcinus), lineage B from Manipur, India to Thailand (A. p. annamiticus), and lineage C is only known from Kratie Province, Cambodia. Lineage A exhibited a higher level of genetic diversity than lineages B and C, with recent demographic stability. Thus, the hog deer population in Kratie Province appears to be a distinct lineage that should be treated as an evolutionarily significant unit.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Supplementary morphological information for Cornufer manus (Kraus & Allison, 2009) and Cornufer vogti (Hediger, 1934), with information on colour in life
Manus Island is part of the Admiralty Islands, a herpetologically rich but poorly studied area. Seven species of Cornufer (von Tschudi, 1838) are known to occur on the island, five of which have been described. Based on material collected from Manus Island in 2014, we here describe the first female of Cornufer manus and the first male of Cornufer vogti. Additionally, we provide new information on intraspecific variation from a further eight adult males of C. manus, two subadults of C. vogti, as well as the first photographs of both species in life.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Detection of Bonobos (Pan Paniscus) in Tropical Rainforest Canopies Using Drone-Based Thermal Imaging: A First Step Towards Accurately Estimating Population Sizes?
Surveying great ape populations is time-consuming and costly, and often relies on generalised parameters, resulting in imprecise population estimates. Using thermal imaging, through thermal cameras fitted on unmanned aerial vehicles, to detect primates directly from the air, may prove a useful alternative to conventional great ape population surveys. This may be especially true for bonobos (Pan paniscus) which, due to their large body size and nesting behaviour, could provide a uniquely identifiable thermal signature. We trialled the use of a thermal drone to record bonobos in their natural environment in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as a first step towards using the technique to survey great apes. Bonobos were observed asleep in their nests during all surveys at different flight speeds and heights, showing potential for the use of thermal drones as a method to survey great apes.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022