Top 10 Biorxiv Papers Today in Zoology


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#1. A story of nasal horns: A new species of Iguana Laurenti, 1768 (Squamata, Iguanidae) in Saint Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and Grenada (Southern Lesser Antilles) and its implications for the taxonomy of the genus Iguana
Michel Breuil, Barbara Vuillaume, David Schikorski, Ulrike Krauss, Matthew Morton, Puys Haynes, Jennifer Daltry, Elisabeth Corry, Glenroy Gaymes, Joanne Gaymes, Nicolas Bech, Misel Jesic, Frederic Grandjean
The Lesser Antilles, in the Eastern Caribbean, were long considered to have only two species in the genus Iguana Laurenti 1768: the Lesser Antillean iguana Iguana delicatissima, which is endemic to parts of the Lesser Antilles, and the common green iguana Iguana iguana, which also occurs throughout Central and South America. However, herpetologists and reptile collectors have pointed out strong physical differences between some of the island populations of Iguana iguana and those from the continent. Drawing on both morphological and genetic data, this paper describes a third species Iguana insularis sp. nov. from the southern Lesser Antilles, specifically the countries of Saint Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and Grenada. The new species is described based on the following unique combination of characters: Presence of high median and medium to small lateral horns on the snout; Small subtympanic plate not exceeding 20% of the eardrum size; Two or three scales of decreasing size anterior to the subtympanic plate; Fewer than ten...
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Authors: 13
Total Words: 19856
Unqiue Words: 6151

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#2. ALIEN SPECIES OF FISH IN THE LITTORAL OF VOLGA AND KAMA RESERVOIRS (RESULTS OF COMPLEX EXPEDITIONS OF IBIW RAS IN 2005-2017)
Dmitry P Karabanov, Dmitry D Pavlov, Mikhail I Bazarov, Elena A Borovikova, Yury V Gerasimov, Yulia V Kodukhova, Alexey A Smirnov, Igor A Stolbunov
The paper provides information on alien species of fish caught in the coastal waters of the Volga and Kama river reservoirs. The material was collected during complex ship expeditions of the IBIW RAS in 2005-2017. We have identified habitats and estimated the relative abundance of mass alien species of the Volga-Kama region.
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Authors: 8
Total Words: 10745
Unqiue Words: 3442

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#3. De novo transcriptomic characterization of Betta splendens for identifying sex-biased genes potentially involved in aggressive behavior modulation and EST-SSR maker development
Wei Yang, Yaorong Wang, Chunhua Zhu, Guangli Li, Hai Huang, Huapu Chen
Betta splendens is not only a commercially important labyrinth fish but also a nice research model for understanding the biological underpinnings of aggressive behavior. However, the shortage of basic genetic resource severely inhibits investigations on the molecular mechanism in sexual dimorphism of aggressive behavior typicality, which are essential for further behavior-related studies. There is a lack of knowledge regarding the functional genes involved in aggression expression. The scarce marker resource also impedes research progress of population genetics and genomics. In order to enrich genetic data and sequence resources, transcriptomic analysis was conducted for mature B. splendens using a multiple-tissues mixing strategy. A total of 105,505,486 clean reads were obtained and by de novo assembly, 69,836 unigenes were generated. Of which, 35,751 unigenes were annotated in at least one of queried databases. The differential expression analysis resulted in 17,683 transcripts differentially expressed between males and females....
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Sample Sizes : [10, 10]
Authors: 6
Total Words: 12506
Unqiue Words: 4966

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#4. In-depth investigation of the species problem and taxonomic status of marbled crayfish, the first asexual decapod crustacean
Günter Vogt, Nathan J Dorn, Michael Pfeiffer, Chris Lukhaup, Bronwyn W Williams, Ralf Schulz, Anne Schrimpf
The marbled crayfish is the only obligately parthenogenetic decapod crustacean and a novel research model and invasive animal on three continents. It is regarded either as a parthenogenetic form of slough crayfish Procambarus fallax or as a separate species named Procambarus virginalis . In order to investigate the species question of this unusual crayfish in detail we have identified the similarities and differences in morphology, life history, genetics, behaviour, ecology and biogeography between marbled crayfish and P. fallax . We have investigated specimens from natural habitats, laboratory colonies and museum collections and performed a meta-analysis of our data and published data. Our COI based molecular tree with 27 Cambaridae confirms closest relationship of marbled crayfish with P. fallax . Marbled crayfish and P. fallax are similar with respect to morphological characters, coloration and body proportions, but differ considerably with respect to body size, fertility and longevity. The mitochondrial genes of both crayfish...
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Authors: 7
Total Words: 21266
Unqiue Words: 5299

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#5. The return to water in ancestral Xenopus was accompanied by a novel mechanisms for producing and shaping vocal signals
Ursula Kwong-Brown, Martha L. Tobias, Damian O. Elias, Ian C. Hall, Coen P.H. Elemans, Darcy B Kelley
Species-specific vocal signals allow listeners to locate potential mates. During the tetrapod transition from water to land, lungs replaced gills, allowing expiration to drive sound production. Several groups, e.g. cetaceans and some frogs, then returned to water. Here we explore how air-driven sound production changed upon re-entry and how essential acoustic information on species identity was preserved in the secondarily aquatic frog Xenopus. We filmed movements of cartilage and muscles during evoked sound production in isolated larynges. Our results refute the current theory for Xenopus vocalization, cavitation, and instead favor sound production by mechanical excitation of laryngeal resonance modes following rapid separation of laryngeal arytenoid discs. The resulting frequency resonance modes (dyads) are intrinsic to the larynx rather than due to neuromuscular control. We show that dyads are a distinctive acoustic signature across species. While dyad component frequencies overlap across species, their ratio is shared within...
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biorxivpreprint: The return to water in ancestral Xenopus was accompanied by a novel mechanisms for producing and shaping vocal signals https://t.co/FKo7q3CvLO #bioRxiv
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Authors: 6
Total Words: 6604
Unqiue Words: 2343

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#6. A feeding aggregation of Omura's whale Balaenoptera omurai off Nosy Be, Mozambique Channel
Pierre Laboute, Philippe Borsa
A feeding aggregation of Omura's whales Balaenoptera omurai was documented off Nosy Be Island at the northeastern entrance of Mozambique Channel in November 1994. Underwater photographs of live individuals illustrated sub-surface skimming as main feeding behaviour, with small crustaceans, small jellyfish, and other gelatinous micronecton identified as prey. A precise description of the whales' pigmentation patterns completes previous descriptions from the recent literature.
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Authors: 2
Total Words: 1730
Unqiue Words: 814

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#7. Opening the Pandora Box: DNA-barcoding evidence limitations of morphology to identify Spanish mosquitoes
Sofia Delgado-Serra, Miriam Viader, Ignacio Ruiz Arrondo, Miguel Angel Miranda, Carlos Barcelo, Ruben Bueno-Mari, Luis Hernandez-Triana, Marga Miquel, Claudia Paredes-Esquivel
Cryptic speciation is frequent in the medically important mosquitoes. While most findings have been reported in tropical regions, it is an unexplored topic in countries where mosquito-borne diseases are not endemic, like Spain. The occurrence of recent outbreaks in Europe has increased the awareness on the native and invasive mosquito fauna present in the continent. Therefore, the central question of this study is whether the typological approach is sufficient to identify Spanish mosquitoes. To address this problem, we confronted the results of the morphological identification of 62 adult specimens collected from four different regions of Spain (La Rioja, Navarra, Castellon and the Island of Majorca) with the results obtained through DNA-barcoding. We conducted a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the COI gene region and compared this with the results of four species delimitation algorithms (ABGD initial partition, ABGD P=0.46%, bPTP and TCS). We report strong evidence for cryptic speciation in Anopheles algeriensis and Aedes...
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Authors: 9
Total Words: 14751
Unqiue Words: 2654

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#8. qPCR assays for the detection of two western North American freshwater mussel species, Anodonta nuttalliana and Anodonta oregonensis, from environmental DNA
Torrey W Rodgers, Karen E. Mock
We developed species-specific quantitative PCR assays for the detection of two freshwater mussel species native to the western North America, Anodonta nuttalliana and Anodonta oregonensis, from environmental DNA. These species have experienced dramatic declines over the last century, and are currently threatened in many portions of their range. Improved tools for detecting and monitoring these species are needed. Species-specificity and sensitivity of the assays was empirically tested in the lab, and both assays were also validated with field collected eDNA samples. We found that the assays we designed are species-specific, sensitive, and are effective for detecting Anodonta nuttalliana and Anodonta oregonensis from environmental DNA samples collected from streams and rivers. These assays will aid in the detection, monitoring, management, and conservation of these threatened species.
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Authors: 2
Total Words: 3736
Unqiue Words: 1253

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#9. Moving in complex environments: a biomechanical analysis of locomotion on inclined and narrow substrates
Christofer J Clemente, Taylor J. M. Dick, Rebecca Wheatley, Joshua Gaschk, Ami Fadhillah Amir Abdul Nasir, Skye F Cameron, Robbie S Wilson
Characterisation of an organisms' performance in different habitats provides insight into the conditions that allow it to survive and reproduce. In recent years, Northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus), a medium-sized semi-arboreal marsupial native to northern Australia, have undergone significant population declines within open forest, woodland and riparian habitats, but less so in rocky areas. To explore this decline, we quantified the biomechanical performance of wild Northern quolls over inclined narrow (13 mm pole) and inclined wide (90 mm platform) substrates. We predicted that quolls may possess biomechanical adaptations to increase stability on narrow surfaces, which are more common in rocky habitats. Our results display that quolls have some biomechanical characteristics consistent with a stability advantage on narrow surfaces. This includes the coupled use of limb pairs and high grip torques (Max = 68.9 N.m, Min = -69.9 N.m), highlighting their ability to generate corrective forces to counteract the toppling moments...
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biorxivpreprint: Moving in complex environments: a biomechanical analysis of locomotion on inclined and narrow substrates https://t.co/75wl5rE4IX #bioRxiv
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Authors: 7
Total Words: 9984
Unqiue Words: 3333

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#10. Subspecies and sexual craniofacial size and shape variations in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata)
Wataru Yano, Naoko Egi, Tomo Takano, Naomichi Naomichi
In order to investigate craniofacial size and three-dimensional shape variations independently in the Japanese macaque ( Macaca fuscata ) we used a geometric morphometrics technique. A total of 55 specimens were CT scanned to generate a three-dimensional model of each cranium, and 57 landmarks were digitized to analyze the craniofacial shape variation in the Japanese macaque. The results showed that four intra-specific groups, consisting of two subspecies and the two sexes, differed in both size and shape space. In size, the cranium of the Macaca fuscata yakui (MFY) was smaller than that of Macaca fuscata fuscata (MFF) in both sexes, and female crania were smaller than male crania in both subspecies. Shape sexual dimorphisms in both subspecies were detected in the first axis of principal component analysis and were related to a relatively broad orbit, smaller neurocranium, enlarged snout, and broader temporal fossa in males. The shape differences between subspecies showed different features than those between sexes. Male...
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Authors: 4
Total Words: 5378
Unqiue Words: 1845

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