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Sample records for lizard island great

  1. Nephtyidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Seven species of the family Nephtyidae are recorded from Lizard Island, none previously reported from the Great Barrier Reef. Two species of Aglaophamus, four species of Micronephthys, one new and one previously unreported from Australia, and one species of Nephtys, were identified from samples collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop 2013, as well as from ecological studies undertaken during the 1970s and deposited in the Australian Museum marine invertebrate Collections. A dichotomous key to aid identification of these species newly reported from Lizard Island is provided. PMID:26624076

  2. Nephtyidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Seven species of the family Nephtyidae are recorded from Lizard Island, none previously reported from the Great Barrier Reef. Two species of Aglaophamus, four species of Micronephthys, one new and one previously unreported from Australia, and one species of Nephtys, were identified from samples collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop 2013, as well as from ecological studies undertaken during the 1970s and deposited in the Australian Museum marine invertebrate Collections. A dichotomous key to aid identification of these species newly reported from Lizard Island is provided.

  3. Nereididae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Glasby, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

    Nereididae is one of the most ubiquitous of polychaete families, yet knowledge of their diversity in the northern Great Barrier Reef is poor; few species have been previously reported from any of the atolls or islands including Lizard Island. In this study, the diversity of the family from Lizard Island and surrounding reefs is documented based on museum collections derived from surveys conducted mostly over the last seven years. The Lizard Island nereidid fauna was found to be represented by 14 genera and 38 species/species groups, including 11 putative new species. Twelve species are newly reported from Lizard Island; four of these are also first records for Australia. For each genus and species, diagnoses and/or taxonomic remarks are provided in addition to notes on their habitat on Lizard Island, and general distribution; the existence of tissue samples tied to vouchered museum specimens is indicated. Fluorescence photography is used to help distinguish closely similar species of Nereis and Platynereis. A key is provided to facilitate identification and encourage further taxonomic, molecular and ecological studies on the group. PMID:26624071

  4. Nereididae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Glasby, Christopher J

    2015-09-18

    Nereididae is one of the most ubiquitous of polychaete families, yet knowledge of their diversity in the northern Great Barrier Reef is poor; few species have been previously reported from any of the atolls or islands including Lizard Island. In this study, the diversity of the family from Lizard Island and surrounding reefs is documented based on museum collections derived from surveys conducted mostly over the last seven years. The Lizard Island nereidid fauna was found to be represented by 14 genera and 38 species/species groups, including 11 putative new species. Twelve species are newly reported from Lizard Island; four of these are also first records for Australia. For each genus and species, diagnoses and/or taxonomic remarks are provided in addition to notes on their habitat on Lizard Island, and general distribution; the existence of tissue samples tied to vouchered museum specimens is indicated. Fluorescence photography is used to help distinguish closely similar species of Nereis and Platynereis. A key is provided to facilitate identification and encourage further taxonomic, molecular and ecological studies on the group.

  5. Serpulidae (Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Kupriyanova, Elena K; Sun, Yanan; Hove, Harry A Ten; Wong, Eunice; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-01-01

    Serpulidae are obligatory sedentary polychaetes inhabiting calcareous tubes that are most common in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. This paper describes serpulid polychaetes collected from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia in 1983-2013 and deposited in Australian museums and overseas. In total, 17 serpulid genera were recorded, but although the study deals with 44 nominal taxa, the exact number of species remains unclear because a number of genera (i.e., Salmacina, Protula, Serpula, Spirobranchus, and Vermiliopsis) need world-wide revisions. Some species described herein are commonly found in the waters around Lizard Island, but had not previously been formally reported. A new species of Hydroides (H. lirs) and two new species of Semivermilia (S. annehoggettae and S. lylevaili) are described. A taxonomic key to all taxa found at Lizard Island is provided. PMID:26624073

  6. Serpulidae (Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Kupriyanova, Elena K; Sun, Yanan; Hove, Harry A Ten; Wong, Eunice; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-09-18

    Serpulidae are obligatory sedentary polychaetes inhabiting calcareous tubes that are most common in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. This paper describes serpulid polychaetes collected from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia in 1983-2013 and deposited in Australian museums and overseas. In total, 17 serpulid genera were recorded, but although the study deals with 44 nominal taxa, the exact number of species remains unclear because a number of genera (i.e., Salmacina, Protula, Serpula, Spirobranchus, and Vermiliopsis) need world-wide revisions. Some species described herein are commonly found in the waters around Lizard Island, but had not previously been formally reported. A new species of Hydroides (H. lirs) and two new species of Semivermilia (S. annehoggettae and S. lylevaili) are described. A taxonomic key to all taxa found at Lizard Island is provided.

  7. Six genetically distinct clades of Palola (Eunicidae, Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Anja

    2015-01-01

    A total of 36 lots of Palola spp. (Eunicidae, Annelida) were collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Of these, 21 specimens were sequenced for a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene. These sequences were analysed in conjunction with existing sequences of Palola spp. from other geographic regions. The samples from Lizard Island form six distinct clades, although none of them can clearly be assigned to any of the nominal species. Four of the six Lizard Island clades fall into species group A and the remaining two into species group B (which also includes the type species, Palola viridis). All sequenced specimens were characterized morphologically as far as possible and a dichotomous key was assembled. Based on this key, the remaining samples were identified as belonging to one of the clades. PMID:26624083

  8. Six genetically distinct clades of Palola (Eunicidae, Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Anja

    2015-09-18

    A total of 36 lots of Palola spp. (Eunicidae, Annelida) were collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Of these, 21 specimens were sequenced for a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene. These sequences were analysed in conjunction with existing sequences of Palola spp. from other geographic regions. The samples from Lizard Island form six distinct clades, although none of them can clearly be assigned to any of the nominal species. Four of the six Lizard Island clades fall into species group A and the remaining two into species group B (which also includes the type species, Palola viridis). All sequenced specimens were characterized morphologically as far as possible and a dichotomous key was assembled. Based on this key, the remaining samples were identified as belonging to one of the clades.

  9. Syllidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Aguado, M Teresa; Murray, Anna; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Thirty species of the family Syllidae (Annelida, Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island have been identified. Three subfamilies (Eusyllinae, Exogoninae and Syllinae) are represented, as well as the currently unassigned genera Amblyosyllis and Westheidesyllis. The genus Trypanobia (Imajima & Hartman 1964), formerly considered a subgenus of Trypanosyllis, is elevated to genus rank. Seventeen species are new reports for Queensland and two are new species. Odontosyllis robustus n. sp. is characterized by a robust body and distinct colour pattern in live specimens consisting of lateral reddish-brown pigmentation on several segments, and bidentate, short and distally broad falcigers. Trypanobia cryptica n. sp. is found in association with sponges and characterized by a distinctive bright red colouration in live specimens, and one kind of simple chaeta with a short basal spur. PMID:26624065

  10. Syllidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Aguado, M Teresa; Murray, Anna; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Thirty species of the family Syllidae (Annelida, Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island have been identified. Three subfamilies (Eusyllinae, Exogoninae and Syllinae) are represented, as well as the currently unassigned genera Amblyosyllis and Westheidesyllis. The genus Trypanobia (Imajima & Hartman 1964), formerly considered a subgenus of Trypanosyllis, is elevated to genus rank. Seventeen species are new reports for Queensland and two are new species. Odontosyllis robustus n. sp. is characterized by a robust body and distinct colour pattern in live specimens consisting of lateral reddish-brown pigmentation on several segments, and bidentate, short and distally broad falcigers. Trypanobia cryptica n. sp. is found in association with sponges and characterized by a distinctive bright red colouration in live specimens, and one kind of simple chaeta with a short basal spur.

  11. Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Alvestad, Tom; Budaeva, Nataliya

    2015-01-01

    Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae, is described from the intertidal zone off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. The new species is referred to the genus Neosabellides based on the shape of the prostomium, three pairs of branchiae, 14 thoracic segments with notopodia, 12 thoracic uncinigerous segments, and the first two pairs of abdominal uncinigers of thoracic type. The new species differs from all known species of Neosabellides in having 14 abdominal uncinigerous segments. PMID:26624066

  12. Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Alvestad, Tom; Budaeva, Nataliya

    2015-09-18

    Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae, is described from the intertidal zone off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. The new species is referred to the genus Neosabellides based on the shape of the prostomium, three pairs of branchiae, 14 thoracic segments with notopodia, 12 thoracic uncinigerous segments, and the first two pairs of abdominal uncinigers of thoracic type. The new species differs from all known species of Neosabellides in having 14 abdominal uncinigerous segments.

  13. Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota) from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Niel L

    2015-01-01

    The marine isopod family Joeropsididae (Asellota) is documented for the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fifteen species of Joeropsis are recorded, including ten new species; descriptive notes are provided for five species that lacked adequate material for description. A revised family and genus diagnosis is presented together with comments on the most useful characters for species identification and a key to Joeropsis of the Lizard Island region.

  14. Community calcification in Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef: A 33 year perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, J.; Schneider, K.; Kline, D. I.; Rivlin, T.; Rivlin, A.; Hamylton, S.; Lazar, B.; Erez, J.; Caldeira, K.

    2014-11-01

    Measurements of community calcification (Gnet) were made during September 2008 and October 2009 on a reef flat in Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 33 years after the first measurements were made there by the LIMER expedition in 1975. In 2008 and 2009 we measured Gnet = 61 ± 12 and 54 ± 13 mmol CaCO3 m-2·day-1, respectively. These rates are 27-49% lower than those measured during the same season in 1975-76. These rates agree well with those estimated from the measured temperature and degree of aragonite saturation using a reef calcification rate equation developed from observations in a Red Sea coral reef. Community structure surveys across the Lizard Island reef flat during our study using the same methods employed in 1978 showed that live coral coverage had not changed significantly (∼8%). However, it should be noted that the uncertainty in the live coral coverage estimates in this study and in 1978 were fairly large and inherent to this methodology. Using the reef calcification rate equation while assuming that seawater above the reef was at equilibrium with atmospheric PCO2 and given that live coral cover had not changed Gnet should have declined by 30 ± 8% since the LIMER study as indeed observed. We note, however, that the error in estimated Gnet decrease relative to the 1970's could be much larger due to the uncertainties in the coral coverage measurements. Nonetheless, the similarity between the predicted and the measured decrease in Gnet suggests that ocean acidification may be the primary cause for the lower CaCO3 precipitation rate on the Lizard Island reef flat.

  15. Sphaerodoridae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including the description of two new species and reproductive notes.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-01-01

    Sphaerodorids are scarce at Lizard Island archipelago and other localities in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Intensive collections at a variety of habitats within the Lizard Island archipelago over the last four decades have resulted in a total of just 11 specimens. Nevertheless, they represent two new species and a new record for Lizard Island. Sphaerodoropsis aurantica n. sp. is characterised by nine longitudinal rows of sessile and spherical dorsal macrotubercles, arranged in a single transverse row per segment; parapodia with around 10 spherical papillae; and compound chaetae with thin shafts and long blades. Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp. is characterised by more than 12 more or less clearly arranged longitudinal rows of sessile spherical dorsal tubercles (variable in size), in four transverse rows per segment; parapodia lacking papillae; and semi-compound chaetae with distally enlarged shaft and short blades. Ephesiella australiensis is reported for the first time in Lizard Island. Laboratory observations of live specimens of Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp., revealed the use of spermatophores by males. These were found attached externally to the body surface of both sexes, indicating pseudo-copulation. PMID:26624069

  16. Sphaerodoridae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including the description of two new species and reproductive notes.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-09-18

    Sphaerodorids are scarce at Lizard Island archipelago and other localities in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Intensive collections at a variety of habitats within the Lizard Island archipelago over the last four decades have resulted in a total of just 11 specimens. Nevertheless, they represent two new species and a new record for Lizard Island. Sphaerodoropsis aurantica n. sp. is characterised by nine longitudinal rows of sessile and spherical dorsal macrotubercles, arranged in a single transverse row per segment; parapodia with around 10 spherical papillae; and compound chaetae with thin shafts and long blades. Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp. is characterised by more than 12 more or less clearly arranged longitudinal rows of sessile spherical dorsal tubercles (variable in size), in four transverse rows per segment; parapodia lacking papillae; and semi-compound chaetae with distally enlarged shaft and short blades. Ephesiella australiensis is reported for the first time in Lizard Island. Laboratory observations of live specimens of Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp., revealed the use of spermatophores by males. These were found attached externally to the body surface of both sexes, indicating pseudo-copulation.

  17. Telothelepodidae, Thelepodidae and Trichobranchidae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Hutchings, Pat; de Matos Nogueira, João Miguel; Carrerette, Orlemir

    2015-01-01

    In a survey of the polychaetes of the Lizard Island region, six species of polychaetes belonging to the families Telothelepodidae Nogueira, Fitzhugh & Hutchings, 2013, Thelepodidae Hessle, 1917 and Trichobranchidae Malmgren, 1866 were found, from material collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Taxonomic Workshop, and material collected by previous projects undertaken by the Australian Museum. This material includes one new species of Rhinothelepus Hutchings, 1974 (Telothelepodidae); one new species of each of the genera, Euthelepus McIntosh, 1885, Streblosoma Sars, 1872, and Thelepus Leuckart, 1849 (Thelepodidae); and one new species of Terebellides Sars, 1835 and another of Trichobranchus Malmgren, 1866 (Trichobranchidae). Keys for identification of these species are provided, together with full descriptions for all species, as well as comparisons with the morphologically most similar congeners. PMID:26624072

  18. Telothelepodidae, Thelepodidae and Trichobranchidae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Hutchings, Pat; de Matos Nogueira, João Miguel; Carrerette, Orlemir

    2015-09-18

    In a survey of the polychaetes of the Lizard Island region, six species of polychaetes belonging to the families Telothelepodidae Nogueira, Fitzhugh & Hutchings, 2013, Thelepodidae Hessle, 1917 and Trichobranchidae Malmgren, 1866 were found, from material collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Taxonomic Workshop, and material collected by previous projects undertaken by the Australian Museum. This material includes one new species of Rhinothelepus Hutchings, 1974 (Telothelepodidae); one new species of each of the genera, Euthelepus McIntosh, 1885, Streblosoma Sars, 1872, and Thelepus Leuckart, 1849 (Thelepodidae); and one new species of Terebellides Sars, 1835 and another of Trichobranchus Malmgren, 1866 (Trichobranchidae). Keys for identification of these species are provided, together with full descriptions for all species, as well as comparisons with the morphologically most similar congeners.

  19. Glyceriformia Fauchald, 1977 (Annelida: "Polychaeta") from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Böggemann, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Eight species of Glyceridae (Glycera brevicirris, Glycera cf. lapidum, Glycera onomichiensis, Glycera sagittariae, Glycera tesselata, Glycera tridactyla, Glycerella magellanica, Hemipodia cf. simplex) and six species of Goniadidae (Goniada antipoda, Goniada cf. brunnea, Goniada echinulata, Goniada emerita, Goniada grahami, Goniada paucidens) have been collected during several expeditions to the vicinity of Lizard Island (Australia, Queensland). An identification key to the Glyceriformia that inhabit the region is presented. Detailed and illustrated morphological descriptions are given for all investigated species. PMID:26624067

  20. Glyceriformia Fauchald, 1977 (Annelida: "Polychaeta") from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Böggemann, Markus

    2015-09-18

    Eight species of Glyceridae (Glycera brevicirris, Glycera cf. lapidum, Glycera onomichiensis, Glycera sagittariae, Glycera tesselata, Glycera tridactyla, Glycerella magellanica, Hemipodia cf. simplex) and six species of Goniadidae (Goniada antipoda, Goniada cf. brunnea, Goniada echinulata, Goniada emerita, Goniada grahami, Goniada paucidens) have been collected during several expeditions to the vicinity of Lizard Island (Australia, Queensland). An identification key to the Glyceriformia that inhabit the region is presented. Detailed and illustrated morphological descriptions are given for all investigated species.

  1. New and previously known species of Oenonidae (Polychaeta: Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Zanol, Joana; Ruta, Christine

    2015-01-01

    The family Oenonidae consists of Eunicida species with prionognath jaws. Its Australian fauna had been reported to comprise six species belonging to Arabella, Drilonereis, and Oenone. This study provides descriptions for four new species, redescriptions for three species (two previously recorded and a new record, Drilonereis cf. logani) and diagnoses for the genera recorded from Australia. Currently, eleven species of oenonids, distributed in three genera, are known for the Australian coast. On Lizard Island, this family shows low abundance (19 specimens collected) and high richness (seven species). Our results suggest that despite the increasing accumulation of information, the biodiversity of the family is still poorly estimated. PMID:26624086

  2. New and previously known species of Oenonidae (Polychaeta: Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Zanol, Joana; Ruta, Christine

    2015-09-18

    The family Oenonidae consists of Eunicida species with prionognath jaws. Its Australian fauna had been reported to comprise six species belonging to Arabella, Drilonereis, and Oenone. This study provides descriptions for four new species, redescriptions for three species (two previously recorded and a new record, Drilonereis cf. logani) and diagnoses for the genera recorded from Australia. Currently, eleven species of oenonids, distributed in three genera, are known for the Australian coast. On Lizard Island, this family shows low abundance (19 specimens collected) and high richness (seven species). Our results suggest that despite the increasing accumulation of information, the biodiversity of the family is still poorly estimated.

  3. Orbiniidae (Annelida: Errantia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia with notes on orbiniid phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Zhadan, Anna; Stupnikova, Alexandra; Neretina, Tatiana

    2015-01-01

    The fauna of Orbiniidae (Annelida: Errantia) from the Lizard Island has been studied. Five species were found and each was redescribed and illustrated using light microscopy and SEM. Scoloplos acutissimus Hartmann-Schröder, 1991 and Scoloplos dayi Hartmann-Schröder, 1980 collected for the first time since their original descriptions and confirmed through re-examination of their type materials. Molecular analyses were carried out using nuclear 18S rDNA and mitochondrial 16S rDNA and CO1 gene sequences with evolutionary distances and the Neighbor-Joining Method. The molecular analyses did not support the monophyly of the genera Scoloplos, Leitoscoloplos, Leodamas, and Naineris, and its results are incongruent with morphological data. PMID:26624087

  4. Orbiniidae (Annelida: Errantia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia with notes on orbiniid phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Zhadan, Anna; Stupnikova, Alexandra; Neretina, Tatiana

    2015-09-18

    The fauna of Orbiniidae (Annelida: Errantia) from the Lizard Island has been studied. Five species were found and each was redescribed and illustrated using light microscopy and SEM. Scoloplos acutissimus Hartmann-Schröder, 1991 and Scoloplos dayi Hartmann-Schröder, 1980 collected for the first time since their original descriptions and confirmed through re-examination of their type materials. Molecular analyses were carried out using nuclear 18S rDNA and mitochondrial 16S rDNA and CO1 gene sequences with evolutionary distances and the Neighbor-Joining Method. The molecular analyses did not support the monophyly of the genera Scoloplos, Leitoscoloplos, Leodamas, and Naineris, and its results are incongruent with morphological data.

  5. Spionidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Aonides, Dipolydora, Polydorella, Prionospio, Pseudopolydora, Rhynchospio, and Tripolydora.

    PubMed

    Radashevsky, Vasily I

    2015-01-01

    Nineteen species in seven genera of spionid polychaetes are described and illustrated based on new material collected from the intertidal and shallow waters around the Lizard Island Group, northern Great Barrier Reef. Only one of these species had been previously reported from the Reef. Six species are described as new to science, and the taxonomy of seven species should be clarified in the future. Prionospio sensu lato is the most diverse group with 11 species identified in the present study. One species is identified in each of the genera Dipolydora, Polydorella, Rhynchospio and Tripolydora, and two species are identified in each of the genera Aonides and Pseudopolydora. The fauna of spionid polychaetes of the Great Barrier Reef seems to be more diverse than previously described and more species are expected to be found in the future. An identification key is provided to 16 genera of Spionidae reported from or likely to be found on the Great Barrier Reef. PMID:26624082

  6. Spionidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Aonides, Dipolydora, Polydorella, Prionospio, Pseudopolydora, Rhynchospio, and Tripolydora.

    PubMed

    Radashevsky, Vasily I

    2015-09-18

    Nineteen species in seven genera of spionid polychaetes are described and illustrated based on new material collected from the intertidal and shallow waters around the Lizard Island Group, northern Great Barrier Reef. Only one of these species had been previously reported from the Reef. Six species are described as new to science, and the taxonomy of seven species should be clarified in the future. Prionospio sensu lato is the most diverse group with 11 species identified in the present study. One species is identified in each of the genera Dipolydora, Polydorella, Rhynchospio and Tripolydora, and two species are identified in each of the genera Aonides and Pseudopolydora. The fauna of spionid polychaetes of the Great Barrier Reef seems to be more diverse than previously described and more species are expected to be found in the future. An identification key is provided to 16 genera of Spionidae reported from or likely to be found on the Great Barrier Reef.

  7. A taxonomic guide to the fanworms (Sabellidae, Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including new species and new records.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Murray, Anna

    2015-01-01

    This comprehensive taxonomic work is the result of the study of fan worms (Sabellidae, Annelida) collected over the last 40 years from around the Lizard Island Archipelago, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Some species described herein are commonly found in Lizard Island waters but had not previously been formally reported in the literature. Most species appear to be not particularly abundant, and few specimens have been collected despite the sampling effort in the area over this time period. After this study, the overall sabellid diversity of the archipelago has been greatly increased (by more than 650%). Before this revision, only four sabellid species had been recorded for Lizard Island, and in this paper we report 31 species, 13 of which belong to nominal species, six are formally described as new species (Euchone danieloi n. sp., Euchone glennoi n. sp., Jasmineira gustavoi n. sp., Megalomma jubata n. sp., Myxicola nana n. sp., and Paradialychone ambigua n. sp.), and the identity of 12 species is still unknown (those referred as cf. or sp.). Two species are newly recorded in Australia and two in Queensland. The invasive species Branchiomma bairdi is reported for the first time at Lizard Island. The genus Paradialychone is reported for Australia for the first time. Standardised descriptions, general photographs of live and/or preserved specimens and distribution data are provided for all species. New species descriptions are accompanied by detailed illustrations and exhaustive morphological information. A dichotomous key for sabellid identification is also included. PMID:26624068

  8. A taxonomic guide to the fanworms (Sabellidae, Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including new species and new records.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Murray, Anna

    2015-09-18

    This comprehensive taxonomic work is the result of the study of fan worms (Sabellidae, Annelida) collected over the last 40 years from around the Lizard Island Archipelago, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Some species described herein are commonly found in Lizard Island waters but had not previously been formally reported in the literature. Most species appear to be not particularly abundant, and few specimens have been collected despite the sampling effort in the area over this time period. After this study, the overall sabellid diversity of the archipelago has been greatly increased (by more than 650%). Before this revision, only four sabellid species had been recorded for Lizard Island, and in this paper we report 31 species, 13 of which belong to nominal species, six are formally described as new species (Euchone danieloi n. sp., Euchone glennoi n. sp., Jasmineira gustavoi n. sp., Megalomma jubata n. sp., Myxicola nana n. sp., and Paradialychone ambigua n. sp.), and the identity of 12 species is still unknown (those referred as cf. or sp.). Two species are newly recorded in Australia and two in Queensland. The invasive species Branchiomma bairdi is reported for the first time at Lizard Island. The genus Paradialychone is reported for Australia for the first time. Standardised descriptions, general photographs of live and/or preserved specimens and distribution data are provided for all species. New species descriptions are accompanied by detailed illustrations and exhaustive morphological information. A dichotomous key for sabellid identification is also included.

  9. New records of Pectinariidae (Polychaeta) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia and the description of two new species.

    PubMed

    Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Five species of Pectinariidae have previously been reported from Australia. This study documents the first records of this family from the Lizard Island region: Pectinaria antipoda is recorded, in addition to its already currently wide Australian distribution; two new species, Amphictene lizardensis n. sp. and Pectinaria carnosus n. sp. were also discovered and described. A key to all Australian species of Pectinariidae is provided.

  10. Changes in coral assemblages during an outbreak of Acanthaster planci at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef (1995-1999)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratchett, M. S.

    2010-09-01

    Population outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish ( Acanthaster planci L.) represent one of the most significant biological disturbances on tropical coral reefs and have the potential to devastate coral communities, thereby altering the biological and physical structure of reef habitats. This study reports on changes in area cover, species diversity and taxonomic composition of corals during an outbreak of A. planci at Lizard Island, in the northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Mean coral cover declined by 28.8% across ten locations studied. However, densities of A. planci, and their effects on local coral assemblages, were very patchy. Declines in coral cover were mostly due to the selective removal of certain coral taxa (mainly Acropora and Pocilloporidae corals); such that the greatest coral loss occurred at locations with highest initial cover of preferred coral prey. Most notably, coral assemblages in back-reef locations were transformed from topographically complex staghorn Acropora-dominated habitats, to relatively depauperate assemblages dominated by alcyonacean soft corals. Although coral loss was greatest among formerly dominant taxa (especially Acropora), effects were sufficiently widespread across different coral taxa, such that overall coral diversity tended to decline. Clearly, moderate outbreaks of A. planci have the potential to greatly alter community structure of coral communities even if they do not devastate live corals. Recovery in this instance is expected to be very rapid given that all coral taxa persisted, and effects were greatest among fast growing corals.

  11. Six new species of the genus Armandia Filippi, 1861 (Polychaeta, Opheliidae) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia).

    PubMed

    Parapar, Julio; Moreira, Juan

    2015-01-01

    From the study of the material collected during the Polychaete Workshop held in Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) in August 2013, six species belonging to the genus Armandia (Polychaeta, Opheliidae) are newly described. Armandia bifida n. sp. is characterised by the bifid shape of the prechaetal lobe in CH1-CH3, A. dolio n. sp. by the barrel-shaped anal (=pygidial) tube (=funnel), A. filibranchia n. sp. by the extremely long and thin branchiae, A. laminosa n. sp. by the foliose shape and large size of the prechaetal lobe in CH1-CH3, A. paraintermedia n. sp. by the squared-shaped anal tube and size and shape of anal cirri, and A. tubulata n. sp. by the tubular shape of the anal tube. All species are fully described and illustrated, and compared with similar species. Several body characters of taxonomic relevance (e.g., anal tube and parapodia shape) are studied based on SEM micrographs. A key of the Armandia species hitherto described or reported in South-East Asia and Australasia is provided based on features of the anal tube. PMID:26624079

  12. Six new species of the genus Armandia Filippi, 1861 (Polychaeta, Opheliidae) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia).

    PubMed

    Parapar, Julio; Moreira, Juan

    2015-09-18

    From the study of the material collected during the Polychaete Workshop held in Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) in August 2013, six species belonging to the genus Armandia (Polychaeta, Opheliidae) are newly described. Armandia bifida n. sp. is characterised by the bifid shape of the prechaetal lobe in CH1-CH3, A. dolio n. sp. by the barrel-shaped anal (=pygidial) tube (=funnel), A. filibranchia n. sp. by the extremely long and thin branchiae, A. laminosa n. sp. by the foliose shape and large size of the prechaetal lobe in CH1-CH3, A. paraintermedia n. sp. by the squared-shaped anal tube and size and shape of anal cirri, and A. tubulata n. sp. by the tubular shape of the anal tube. All species are fully described and illustrated, and compared with similar species. Several body characters of taxonomic relevance (e.g., anal tube and parapodia shape) are studied based on SEM micrographs. A key of the Armandia species hitherto described or reported in South-East Asia and Australasia is provided based on features of the anal tube.

  13. A new gnathiid (Crustacea: Isopoda) parasitizing two species of requiem sharks from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Coetzee, Maryke L; Smit, Nico J; Grutter, Alexandra S; Davies, Angela J

    2008-06-01

    Third-stage juveniles (praniza 3) of Gnathia grandilaris n. sp. were collected from the gill filaments and septa of 5 requiem sharks, including a white tip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, and 4 grey reef sharks, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, in March 2002. Some juvenile gnathiids were then maintained in fresh sea water until they molted to adults. Adult males appeared 19 days following detachment of juveniles from host fishes, but no juveniles molted successfully into females. The current description is based, therefore, on bright field and scanning electron microscopy observations of adult males and third-stage juveniles. Unique features of the male include the triangular-shaped inferior medio-frontal process, 2 areolae on the dorsal surface of the pylopod, and a slender pleotelson (twice as long as wide) with lateral concavities. The third-stage juvenile has distinctive white pigmentation on the black pereon when alive, while the mandible has 9 triangular backwardly directed teeth. This species has the largest male and third-stage juvenile of any Gnathia spp. from Australia and of any gnathiid isopods associated with elasmobranchs.

  14. New records of Pectinariidae (Polychaeta) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia and the description of two new species.

    PubMed

    Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Five species of Pectinariidae have previously been reported from Australia. This study documents the first records of this family from the Lizard Island region: Pectinaria antipoda is recorded, in addition to its already currently wide Australian distribution; two new species, Amphictene lizardensis n. sp. and Pectinaria carnosus n. sp. were also discovered and described. A key to all Australian species of Pectinariidae is provided. PMID:26624085

  15. Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) diversity in reef-invertebrates along an offshore to inshore reef gradient near Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Tonk, Linda; Sampayo, Eugenia M; LaJeunesse, Todd C; Schrameyer, Verena; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2014-06-01

    Despite extensive work on the genetic diversity of reef invertebrate-dinoflagellate symbioses on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR; Australia), large information gaps exist from northern and inshore regions. Therefore, a broad survey was done comparing the community of inshore, mid-shelf and outer reefs at the latitude of Lizard Island. Symbiodinium (Freudenthal) diversity was characterized using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting and sequencing of the ITS2 region of the ribosomal DNA. Thirty-nine distinct Symbiodinium types were identified from four subgeneric clades (B, C, D, and G). Several Symbiodinium types originally characterized from the Indian Ocean were discovered as well as eight novel types (C1kk, C1LL, C3nn, C26b, C161a, C162, C165, C166). Multivariate analyses on the Symbiodinium species diversity data showed a strong link with host identity, consistent with previous findings. Of the four environmental variables tested, mean austral winter sea surface temperature (SST) influenced Symbiodinium distribution across shelves most significantly. A similar result was found when the analysis was performed on Symbiodinium diversity data of genera with an open symbiont transmission mode separately with chl a and PAR explaining additional variation. This study underscores the importance of SST and water quality related variables as factors driving Symbiodinium distribution on cross-shelf scales. Furthermore, this study expands our knowledge on Symbiodinium species diversity, ecological partitioning (including host-specificity) and geographic ranges across the GBR. The accelerating rate of environmental change experienced by coral reef ecosystems emphasizes the need to comprehend the full complexity of cnidarian symbioses, including the biotic and abiotic factors that shape their current distributions.

  16. Spionidae (Annelida: 'Polychaeta': Canalipalpata) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes.

    PubMed

    Meißner, Karin; Götting, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    Seven species belonging to the spionid genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes were found during the polychaete workshop on Lizard Island in August 2013. One species is new to science and named Scolelepis inversa n. sp., another Scolelepis species is probably also a new species but was represented in our samples by only a single specimen and not formally described. All other species have been reported previously from Australia. Species diagnoses of all species found during the workshop and of Scolelepis balihaiensis Hartmann-Schröder, 1979, Microspio microcera (Dorsey, 1977) and M. minuta (Hartmann-Schröder, 1962) have been critically reviewed and amended based on the study of type material. The potential synonymy of Microspio minuta (Hartmann-Schröder, 1962) and M. microcera (Dorsey, 1977) is discussed. The new combination Spio jirkovi (Sikorski, 1992) proposed by Sikorski (2013) is returned to Malacoceros. We added DNA barcodes for five species collected in the Lizard Island area to public databases which will be useful in future phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies. For Microspio we provide the first sequence data for this genus. PMID:26624075

  17. Spionidae (Annelida: 'Polychaeta': Canalipalpata) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes.

    PubMed

    Meißner, Karin; Götting, Miriam

    2015-09-18

    Seven species belonging to the spionid genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes were found during the polychaete workshop on Lizard Island in August 2013. One species is new to science and named Scolelepis inversa n. sp., another Scolelepis species is probably also a new species but was represented in our samples by only a single specimen and not formally described. All other species have been reported previously from Australia. Species diagnoses of all species found during the workshop and of Scolelepis balihaiensis Hartmann-Schröder, 1979, Microspio microcera (Dorsey, 1977) and M. minuta (Hartmann-Schröder, 1962) have been critically reviewed and amended based on the study of type material. The potential synonymy of Microspio minuta (Hartmann-Schröder, 1962) and M. microcera (Dorsey, 1977) is discussed. The new combination Spio jirkovi (Sikorski, 1992) proposed by Sikorski (2013) is returned to Malacoceros. We added DNA barcodes for five species collected in the Lizard Island area to public databases which will be useful in future phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies. For Microspio we provide the first sequence data for this genus.

  18. Impact Of Coral Structures On Wave Directional Spreading Across A Shallow Reef Flat - Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon, J. X.; Baldock, T.; Callaghan, D. P.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.; Saunders, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    Coral reef hydrodynamics operate at several and overlapping spatial-temporal scales. Waves have the most important forcing function on shallow (< 5 m) reefs as they drive most ecological and biogeochemical processes by exerting direct physical stress, directly mixing water (temperature and nutrients) and transporting sediments, nutrients and plankton. Reef flats are very effective at dissipating wave energy and providing an important ecosystem service by protecting highly valued shorelines. The effectiveness of reef flats to dissipate wave energy is related to the extreme hydraulic roughness of the benthos and substrate composition. Hydraulic roughness is usually obtained empirically from frictional-dissipation calculations, as detailed field measurements of bottom roughness (e.g. chain-method or profile gauges) is a very labour and time-consuming task. In this study we measured the impact of coral structures on wave directional spreading. Field data was collected during October 2012 across a reef flat on Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Wave surface levels were measured using an array of self-logging pressure sensors. A rapid in situ close-range photogrammetric method was used to create a high-resolution (0.5 cm) image mosaic and digital elevation model. Individual coral heads were extracted from these datasets using geo-morphometric and object-based image analysis techniques. Wave propagation was modelled using a modified version of the SWAN model which includes the measured coral structures in 2m by 1m cells across the reef. The approach followed a cylinder drag approach, neglecting skin friction and inertial components. Testing against field data included bed skin friction. Our results show, for the first time, how the variability of the reef benthos structures affects wave dissipation across a shallow reef flat. This has important implications globally for coral reefs, due to the large extent of their area occupied by reef flats, particularly, as

  19. The Oweniidae (Annelida; Polychaeta) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) with the description of two new species of Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1844.

    PubMed

    Parapar, Julio; Moreira, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Study of the Oweniidae specimens (Annelida; Polychaeta) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) stored at the Australian Museum, Sydney and newly collected in August 2013 revealed the presence of three species, namely Galathowenia quelis Capa et al., 2012 and two new species belonging to the genus Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1844. Owenia dichotoma n. sp. is characterised by a very short branchial crown of about 1/3 of thoracic length which bears short, dichotomously-branched tentacles provided with the major division close to the base of the crown. Owenia picta n. sp. is characterised by a long branchial crown of about 4/5 of thoracic length provided with no major divisions, ventral pigmentation on thorax and the presence of deep ventro-lateral groove on the first thoracic chaetiger. A key of Owenia species hitherto described or reported in South East Asia and Australasia regions is provided based on characters of the branchial crown. PMID:26624080

  20. The Oweniidae (Annelida; Polychaeta) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) with the description of two new species of Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1844.

    PubMed

    Parapar, Julio; Moreira, Juan

    2015-09-18

    Study of the Oweniidae specimens (Annelida; Polychaeta) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) stored at the Australian Museum, Sydney and newly collected in August 2013 revealed the presence of three species, namely Galathowenia quelis Capa et al., 2012 and two new species belonging to the genus Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1844. Owenia dichotoma n. sp. is characterised by a very short branchial crown of about 1/3 of thoracic length which bears short, dichotomously-branched tentacles provided with the major division close to the base of the crown. Owenia picta n. sp. is characterised by a long branchial crown of about 4/5 of thoracic length provided with no major divisions, ventral pigmentation on thorax and the presence of deep ventro-lateral groove on the first thoracic chaetiger. A key of Owenia species hitherto described or reported in South East Asia and Australasia regions is provided based on characters of the branchial crown.

  1. Quantifying water flow within aquatic ecosystems using load cell sensors: a profile of currents experienced by coral reef organisms around Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Johansen, Jacob L

    2014-01-01

    Current velocity in aquatic environments has major implications for the diversity, abundance and ecology of aquatic organisms, but quantifying these currents has proven difficult. This study utilises a simple and inexpensive instrument (<$150) to provide a detailed current velocity profile of the coral-reef system around Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) at a spatial and temporal scale relevant to the ecology of individual benthos and fish. The instrument uses load-cell sensors to provide a correlation between sensor output and ambient current velocity of 99%. Each instrument is able to continuously record current velocities to >500 cms⁻¹ and wave frequency to >100 Hz over several weeks. Sensor data are registered and processed at 16 MHz and 10 bit resolution, with a measuring precision of 0.06±0.04%, and accuracy of 0.51±0.65% (mean ±S.D.). Each instrument is also pressure rated to 120 m and shear stresses ≤20 kNm⁻² allowing deployment in harsh environments. The instrument was deployed across 27 coral reef sites covering the crest (3 m), mid-slope (6 m) and deep-slope (9 m depth) of habitats directly exposed, oblique or sheltered from prevailing winds. Measurements demonstrate that currents over the reef slope and crest varies immensely depending on depth and exposure: currents differ up to 9-fold within habitats only separated by 3 m depth and 15-fold between exposed, oblique and sheltered habitats. Comparisons to ambient weather conditions reveal that currents around Lizard Island are largely wind driven. Zero to 22.5 knot winds correspond directly to currents of 0 to >82 cms⁻¹, while tidal currents rarely exceed 5.5 cms⁻¹. Rather, current velocity increases exponentially as a function of wave height (0 to 1.6 m) and frequency (0.54 to 0.20 Hz), emphasizing the enormous effect of wind and waves on organisms in these shallow coral reef habitats.

  2. Quantifying Water Flow within Aquatic Ecosystems Using Load Cell Sensors: A Profile of Currents Experienced by Coral Reef Organisms around Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Jacob L.

    2014-01-01

    Current velocity in aquatic environments has major implications for the diversity, abundance and ecology of aquatic organisms, but quantifying these currents has proven difficult. This study utilises a simple and inexpensive instrument (<$150) to provide a detailed current velocity profile of the coral-reef system around Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) at a spatial and temporal scale relevant to the ecology of individual benthos and fish. The instrument uses load-cell sensors to provide a correlation between sensor output and ambient current velocity of 99%. Each instrument is able to continuously record current velocities to >500 cms−1 and wave frequency to >100 Hz over several weeks. Sensor data are registered and processed at 16 MHz and 10 bit resolution, with a measuring precision of 0.06±0.04%, and accuracy of 0.51±0.65% (mean ±S.D.). Each instrument is also pressure rated to 120 m and shear stresses ≤20 kNm−2 allowing deployment in harsh environments. The instrument was deployed across 27 coral reef sites covering the crest (3 m), mid-slope (6 m) and deep-slope (9 m depth) of habitats directly exposed, oblique or sheltered from prevailing winds. Measurements demonstrate that currents over the reef slope and crest varies immensely depending on depth and exposure: Currents differ up to 9-fold within habitats only separated by 3 m depth and 15-fold between exposed, oblique and sheltered habitats. Comparisons to ambient weather conditions reveal that currents around Lizard Island are largely wind driven. Zero to 22.5 knot winds correspond directly to currents of 0 to >82 cms−1, while tidal currents rarely exceed 5.5 cms−1. Rather, current velocity increases exponentially as a function of wave height (0 to 1.6 m) and frequency (0.54 to 0.20 Hz), emphasizing the enormous effect of wind and waves on organisms in these shallow coral reef habitats. PMID:24421878

  3. Sabellariidae from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, including a new species of Lygdamis and notes on external morphology of the median organ.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Faroni-Perez, Larisse; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    We document herein the occurrence of three species of Sabellariidae at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, including a new Lygdamis species. Sabellaria lungalla, described from Northern Territory, is reported for Queensland for the first time. The genus Gesaia, represented by a planktonic larva collected in shallow waters of the Archipelago, is a new record for Australia. Lygdamis nasutus n. sp. is characterised by one of the most conspicuous median organ described in the family (cylindrical, distally pigmented and is provided with a flattened, teardrop corona), its paleae morphology (with straight paleae, outer ones with asymmetrical pointed tips and subtle thecal sculpture and inner paleae with blunt tips and smooth surface), three lateral lobes on chaetiger 2, abdominal chaetigers with two type of neurochaetae, and notopodial uncini with 1-4 longitudinal rows of teeth. Comparison of the external morphology of the medial organ and median ridge of several species has been undertaken. Even though its function remains uncertain, the median organ morphology seems species specific and may provide relevant information about the evolutionary history and adaptations of sabellariids. PMID:26624070

  4. Sabellariidae from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, including a new species of Lygdamis and notes on external morphology of the median organ.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Faroni-Perez, Larisse; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    We document herein the occurrence of three species of Sabellariidae at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, including a new Lygdamis species. Sabellaria lungalla, described from Northern Territory, is reported for Queensland for the first time. The genus Gesaia, represented by a planktonic larva collected in shallow waters of the Archipelago, is a new record for Australia. Lygdamis nasutus n. sp. is characterised by one of the most conspicuous median organ described in the family (cylindrical, distally pigmented and is provided with a flattened, teardrop corona), its paleae morphology (with straight paleae, outer ones with asymmetrical pointed tips and subtle thecal sculpture and inner paleae with blunt tips and smooth surface), three lateral lobes on chaetiger 2, abdominal chaetigers with two type of neurochaetae, and notopodial uncini with 1-4 longitudinal rows of teeth. Comparison of the external morphology of the medial organ and median ridge of several species has been undertaken. Even though its function remains uncertain, the median organ morphology seems species specific and may provide relevant information about the evolutionary history and adaptations of sabellariids.

  5. Pseudobacciger cheneyae n. sp. (Digenea: Gymnophalloidea) from Weber's chromis (Chromis weberi Fowler & Bean) (Perciformes: Pomacentridae) at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Sun, Derek; Bray, Rodney A; Yong, Russell Q-Y; Cutmore, Scott C; Cribb, Thomas H

    2014-06-01

    A new species of digenean, Pseudobacciger cheneyae n. sp., is described from the intestines of Weber's chromis (Chromis weberi Fowler & Bean) from off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. This species differs from the three described species of Pseudobacciger Nahhas & Cable, 1964 [P. cablei Madhavi, 1975, P. harengulae Yamaguti, 1938 and P. manteri Nahhas & Cable, 1964] in combinations of the size of the suckers and the length of the caeca. The host of the present species is a perciform (Family Pomacentridae) which contrasts with previous records of the genus which are almost exclusively from clupeiform fishes. The genus Pseudobacciger is presently recognised within the family Faustulidae (Poche, 1926) but phylogenetic analyses of 28S and ITS2 rDNA show that the new species bears no relationship to species of four other faustulid genera (Antorchis Linton, 1911, Bacciger Nicoll, 1924, Paradiscogaster Yamaguti, 1934 and Trigonocryptus Martin, 1958) but that instead it is nested within the Gymnophalloidea (Odhner, 1905) as sister to the Tandanicolidae (Johnston, 1927). This result suggests that the Faustulidae is polyphyletic.

  6. Gnathia trimaculata n. sp. (Crustacea: Isopoda: Gnathiidae), an ectoparasite found parasitising requiem sharks from off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Coetzee, Maryke L; Smit, Nico J; Grutter, Alexandra S; Davies, Angela J

    2009-02-01

    Gnathia trimaculata n. sp. is described from one black tip reef shark Carcharinus melanopterus Quoy & Gaimard and four grey reef sharks C. amblyrhynchos Bleeker collected off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Third-stage juveniles (praniza 3) were maintained in fresh seawater until they moulted into adults. Male adults emerged seven days post-removal (d.p.r) of pranizae from host fishes, whereas the female pranizae completed their moult into adult females 24 d.p.r. Distinctive features include the relatively large size of all stages and the unique mediofrontal process of the male, which is divided into two lobes forming a key-hole shape between them. The female frontal border is characterised by paired simple, pappose setae on the sides of the mid-dorsal area, as well as four long, pappose setae on the mid-dorsal region. The pranizae have eight teeth on each mandible. Live pranizae have stripes and three pairs of distinctive black spots within yellow circles on the sides of the pereonites and this pigmentation pattern persists in the adults. This represents the second description of a gnathiid parasitising elasmobranchs off Australia.

  7. Ocean currents mediate evolution in island lizards.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Smith, Thomas B

    2003-12-01

    Islands are considered to be natural laboratories in which to examine evolution because of the implicit assumption that limited gene flow allows tests of evolutionary processes in isolated replicates. Here we show that this well-accepted idea requires re-examination. Island inundation during hurricanes can have devastating effects on lizard populations in the Bahamas. After severe storms, islands may be recolonized by over-water dispersal of lizards from neighbouring islands. High levels of gene flow may homogenize genes responsible for divergence, and are widely viewed as a constraining force on evolution. Ultimately, the magnitude of gene flow determines the extent to which populations diverge from one another, and whether or not they eventually form new species. We show that patterns of gene flow among island populations of Anolis lizards are best explained by prevailing ocean currents, and that over-water dispersal has evolutionary consequences. Across islands, divergence in fitness-related morphology decreases with increasing gene flow. Results suggest that over-water dispersal after hurricanes constrains adaptive diversification in Anolis lizards, and that it may have an important but previously undocumented role in this classical example of adaptive radiation.

  8. Ocean currents mediate evolution in island lizards.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Smith, Thomas B

    2003-12-01

    Islands are considered to be natural laboratories in which to examine evolution because of the implicit assumption that limited gene flow allows tests of evolutionary processes in isolated replicates. Here we show that this well-accepted idea requires re-examination. Island inundation during hurricanes can have devastating effects on lizard populations in the Bahamas. After severe storms, islands may be recolonized by over-water dispersal of lizards from neighbouring islands. High levels of gene flow may homogenize genes responsible for divergence, and are widely viewed as a constraining force on evolution. Ultimately, the magnitude of gene flow determines the extent to which populations diverge from one another, and whether or not they eventually form new species. We show that patterns of gene flow among island populations of Anolis lizards are best explained by prevailing ocean currents, and that over-water dispersal has evolutionary consequences. Across islands, divergence in fitness-related morphology decreases with increasing gene flow. Results suggest that over-water dispersal after hurricanes constrains adaptive diversification in Anolis lizards, and that it may have an important but previously undocumented role in this classical example of adaptive radiation. PMID:14654839

  9. Seven new species of Paleanotus (Annelida: Chrysopetalidae) described from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, and coral reefs of northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific: two cryptic species pairs revealed between western Pacific Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Watson, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    Morphological investigation into the paleate genus Paleanotus Schmarda 1861 of the family Chrysopetalidae from northern Australian coral reefs, primarily Lizard Island and outlying reefs, included a complex of very small, slender individuals (length < 5 mm). This complex resolved into 7 new species, described herein: Paleanotus inornatus n. sp., P. adornatus n. sp., P. chrysos n. sp., P. aquifolia n. sp., P. latifolia n. sp., P. silus n. sp., and P. silopsis n. sp. A key is provided to the new species and Paleanotus distinguished from Treptopale and Hyalopale, two closely related genera. Diagnostic features of the apical structure and shape of the notochaetal main paleae plus median paleae shape and raised rib pattern, differentiates each species from the other. Gametous states are described. Two cryptic species pairs (Paleanotus silopsis n. sp. and P. silus n. sp.; Paleanotus aquifolia n. sp. and P. latifolia n. sp.) were identified. In each case one species is restricted to either the NE or NW Australian coast. In each pair the most eastern point for the NW Australian species range occurs at Darwin, western Arnhemland, Northern Territory. Additional material for each species pair extends their respective ranges northwards: NW Australia to Thailand, Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean or NE Australia, Great Barrier Reef to the Philippines, western Pacific Ocean. Cryptic morphology and potential genetic diversity is discussed in Paleanotus inornatus n. sp. and P. adornatus n. sp. that possess overlapping widespread distribution patterns across northern Australia and Indo-Pacific reefs. The smallest bodied taxon, Paleanotus chrysos n. sp. is the only species with a Coral Sea range encompassing Lizard Island, Heron Island and New Caledonia. PMID:26624084

  10. Seven new species of Paleanotus (Annelida: Chrysopetalidae) described from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, and coral reefs of northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific: two cryptic species pairs revealed between western Pacific Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Watson, Charlotte

    2015-09-18

    Morphological investigation into the paleate genus Paleanotus Schmarda 1861 of the family Chrysopetalidae from northern Australian coral reefs, primarily Lizard Island and outlying reefs, included a complex of very small, slender individuals (length < 5 mm). This complex resolved into 7 new species, described herein: Paleanotus inornatus n. sp., P. adornatus n. sp., P. chrysos n. sp., P. aquifolia n. sp., P. latifolia n. sp., P. silus n. sp., and P. silopsis n. sp. A key is provided to the new species and Paleanotus distinguished from Treptopale and Hyalopale, two closely related genera. Diagnostic features of the apical structure and shape of the notochaetal main paleae plus median paleae shape and raised rib pattern, differentiates each species from the other. Gametous states are described. Two cryptic species pairs (Paleanotus silopsis n. sp. and P. silus n. sp.; Paleanotus aquifolia n. sp. and P. latifolia n. sp.) were identified. In each case one species is restricted to either the NE or NW Australian coast. In each pair the most eastern point for the NW Australian species range occurs at Darwin, western Arnhemland, Northern Territory. Additional material for each species pair extends their respective ranges northwards: NW Australia to Thailand, Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean or NE Australia, Great Barrier Reef to the Philippines, western Pacific Ocean. Cryptic morphology and potential genetic diversity is discussed in Paleanotus inornatus n. sp. and P. adornatus n. sp. that possess overlapping widespread distribution patterns across northern Australia and Indo-Pacific reefs. The smallest bodied taxon, Paleanotus chrysos n. sp. is the only species with a Coral Sea range encompassing Lizard Island, Heron Island and New Caledonia.

  11. Status of the Island Night Lizard and Two Non-Native Lizards on Outlying Landing Field San Nicolas Island, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fellers, Gary M.; Drost, Charles A.; Murphey, Thomas G.

    2008-01-01

    More than 900 individually marked island night lizards (Xantusia riversiana) were captured on San Nicolas Island, California, between 1984 and 2007 as part of an ongoing study to monitor the status of this threatened species. Our data suggest that at least a few lizards are probably more than 20 years old, and one lizard would be 31.5 years old if it grew at an average rate for the population. Ages of 20 and 30 years seem reasonable given the remarkably slow growth during capture intervals of more than a decade for five of the lizards which we estimated to be 20 or more years old. Like other lizards, island night lizard growth rates vary by size, with larger lizards growing more slowly. In general, growth rates were somewhat greater on San Nicolas Island (compared with Santa Barbara Island), and this increase was sustained through all of the intermediate size classes. The higher growth rate may account for the somewhat larger lizards present on San Nicolas Island, although we cannot discount the possibility that night lizards on San Nicolas are merely living longer. The high percentage of small lizards in the Eucalyptus habitat might seem to reflect a healthy population in that habitat, but the high proportion of small lizards appears to be caused by good reproduction in the 1900s and substantially poorer reproduction in subsequent years. The Eucalyptus habitat has dried quite a bit in recent years. Night lizards in the Haplopappus/Grassland habitat have shown an increase in the proportion of larger lizards since 2000. There has also been an increase in the proportion of large lizards in the Rock Cobble habitat at Redeye Beach. However, there are has been some change in habitat with more elephant seals occupying the same area just above the high tide as do the night lizards. Southern alligator lizards and side-blotched lizards are both non-native on San Nicolas Island. Neither lizard causes obvious harm to island night lizards, and management time and effort should

  12. Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop: sampling sites and a checklist of polychaetes.

    PubMed

    Ribas, Julia; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    In August 2013, a two week polychaete workshop was held at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Twenty-one sites representing 121 collection events were sampled for polychetes around Lizard and on the Outer Barrier. Workshop participants sorted polychaetes to family and each participant received on loan selected families to work up. This Zootaxa monograph describes 91 new species, 67 new records for Lizard Island, and 19 for Australia. Details regarding the habitats and locations are provided in Table 2 together with two maps (Figs 1, 2) showing sampling locations. In this paper we also list previously collected polychaete material from the region together with any published records for families which are not included in this volume. PMID:26624064

  13. Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop: sampling sites and a checklist of polychaetes.

    PubMed

    Ribas, Julia; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    In August 2013, a two week polychaete workshop was held at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Twenty-one sites representing 121 collection events were sampled for polychetes around Lizard and on the Outer Barrier. Workshop participants sorted polychaetes to family and each participant received on loan selected families to work up. This Zootaxa monograph describes 91 new species, 67 new records for Lizard Island, and 19 for Australia. Details regarding the habitats and locations are provided in Table 2 together with two maps (Figs 1, 2) showing sampling locations. In this paper we also list previously collected polychaete material from the region together with any published records for families which are not included in this volume.

  14. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Kate L A; Philpot, Kate E; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation. PMID:26804463

  15. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kate L. A.; Philpot, Kate E.; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation. PMID:26804463

  16. The blue lizard spandrel and the island syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many small vertebrates on islands grow larger, mature later, lay smaller clutches/litters, and are less sexually dimorphic and aggressive than their mainland relatives. This set of observations is referred to as the 'Island Syndrome'. The syndrome is linked to high population density on islands. We predicted that when population density is low and/or fluctuating insular vertebrates may evolve correlated trait shifts running opposite to the Island Syndrome, which we collectively refer to as the 'reversed island syndrome' (RIS) hypothesis. On the proximate level, we hypothesized that RIS is caused by increased activity levels in melanocortin receptors. Melanocortins are postranslational products of the proopiomelanocortin gene, which controls pleiotropically pigmentation, aggressiveness, sexual activity, and food intake in vertebrates. Results We tested the RIS hypothesis performing a number of behavioral, genetic, and ontogenetic tests on a blue colored insular variant of the Italian Wall lizard Podarcis sicula, living on a small island off the Southern Italian coast. The population density of this blue-colored variant was generally low and highly fluctuating from one year to the next. In keeping with our predictions, insular lizards were more aggressive and sexually dimorphic than their mainland relatives. Insular males had wide, peramorphic heads. The growth rate of insular females was slower than growth rates of mainland individuals of both sexes, and of insular males. Consequently, size and shape dimorphism are higher on the Island. As predicted, melanocortin receptors were much more active in individuals of the insular population. Insular lizards have a higher food intake rate than mainland individuals, which is consistent with the increased activity of melanocortin receptors. This may be adaptive in an unpredictable environment such as Licosa Island. Insular lizards of both sexes spent less time basking than their mainland relatives. We suspect this

  17. New records of Cotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with remarks on the distribution of the Pseudoceros Lang, 1884 and Pseudobiceros Faubel, 1984 species of the Indo-Pacific Marine Region.

    PubMed

    Marquina, Daniel; Aguado, M Teresa; Noreña, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    In the present work eleven polyclad species of Lizard Island are studied. Seven of them are new records for this locality of the Australian coral reef and one is new to science, Lurymare clavocapitata n. sp. (Family Prosthiostomidae). The remaining recorded species belong to the genera Pseudoceros (P. bimarginatus, P. jebborum, P. stimpsoni, P. zebra, P. paralaticlavus and P. prudhoei) and Pseudobiceros (Pb. hancockanus, Pb. hymanae, Pb. flowersi and Pb. uniarborensis). Regardless of the different distribution patterns, all pseudocerotid species show brilliant colours, but similar internal morphology. Furthermore, differences in the form and size of the stylet are characteristic, because it is a sclerotic structure that is not affected during fixation. In Pseudoceros, the distance between the sucker and the female pore also differs among species. These features do not vary enough to be considered as diagnostic, but they provide information that can help to disentangle similarly coloured species complexes. A key of the genera Pseudoceros and Pseudobiceros of the Indo-Pacific region is provided, in order to facilitate the identification of species from this area. PMID:26624074

  18. New records of Cotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with remarks on the distribution of the Pseudoceros Lang, 1884 and Pseudobiceros Faubel, 1984 species of the Indo-Pacific Marine Region.

    PubMed

    Marquina, Daniel; Aguado, M Teresa; Noreña, Carolina

    2015-09-18

    In the present work eleven polyclad species of Lizard Island are studied. Seven of them are new records for this locality of the Australian coral reef and one is new to science, Lurymare clavocapitata n. sp. (Family Prosthiostomidae). The remaining recorded species belong to the genera Pseudoceros (P. bimarginatus, P. jebborum, P. stimpsoni, P. zebra, P. paralaticlavus and P. prudhoei) and Pseudobiceros (Pb. hancockanus, Pb. hymanae, Pb. flowersi and Pb. uniarborensis). Regardless of the different distribution patterns, all pseudocerotid species show brilliant colours, but similar internal morphology. Furthermore, differences in the form and size of the stylet are characteristic, because it is a sclerotic structure that is not affected during fixation. In Pseudoceros, the distance between the sucker and the female pore also differs among species. These features do not vary enough to be considered as diagnostic, but they provide information that can help to disentangle similarly coloured species complexes. A key of the genera Pseudoceros and Pseudobiceros of the Indo-Pacific region is provided, in order to facilitate the identification of species from this area.

  19. Geological history and within-island diversity: a debris avalanche and the Tenerife lizard Gallotia galloti.

    PubMed

    Brown, Richard P; Hoskisson, Paul A; Welton, John-Henry; Báez, Marcos

    2006-10-01

    Several processes have been described that could explain geographical variation and speciation within small islands, including fragmentation of populations through volcanic eruptions. Massive landslides, or debris avalanches, could cause similar effects. Here we analyse the potential impact of the 0.8 million-year-ago (Ma) Güimar valley debris avalanche on the phylogeography of the lizard Gallotia galloti on the Canary Island of Tenerife. Distributions of mitochondrial DNA lineages (based on cytochrome b sequences) were analysed on a 60-km southeastern coast transect centred on this area. Three main clades were detected, which can be divided into northern (one clade) and southern (two clades) groups that introgress across the valley. Maximum-likelihood estimates of migration rates (scaled for mutation rate) revealed highly asymmetric patterns, indicating that long-term gene flow into this region from both the northern and the southern populations greatly exceeded that in the opposite directions, consistent with recolonization of the area. The ancestral Tenerife node on the G. galloti tree is estimated at 0.80 Ma, matching closely with the geological estimate for the debris avalanche. Morphological variation (body dimensions and scalation) was also analysed and indicated a stepped cline in female scalation across the valley, although the patterns for male scalation and male and female body dimensions were not as clear. Together these findings provide support for the hypothesis that the debris avalanche has shaped the phylogeography of G. galloti and may even have been a primary cause of the within-island cladogenesis through population fragmentation and isolation. Current estimates of timing of island unification mean that the original hypothesis that within-island diversity is explained by the secondary contact of populations from the two ancient precursor islands of Teno and Anaga is less plausible for this and some other Tenerife species. Large-scale landslides

  20. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards-the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance. PMID:27168958

  1. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards-the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance.

  2. Ecology of Great Salt Pond, Block Island

    EPA Science Inventory

    Great Salt Pond is an island of estuarine water on Block Island, which sits in the middle of the Northwest Atlantic Continental Shelf. When the last continental glaciers retreated, they left a high spot on a terminal moraine. The rising sea from melting glaciers formed two island...

  3. Ecological explanations to island gigantism: dietary niche divergence, predation, and size in an endemic lizard.

    PubMed

    Runemark, Anna; Sagonas, Kostas; Svensson, Erik I

    2015-08-01

    Although rapid evolution of body size on islands has long been known, the ecological mechanisms behind this island phenomenon remain poorly understood. Diet is an important selective pressure for morphological divergence. Here we investigate if selection for novel diets has contributed to the multiple independent cases of island gigantism in the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) and if diet, predation, or both factors best explain island gigantism. We combined data on body size, shape, bite force, and realized and available diets to address this. Several lines of evidence suggest that diet has contributed to the island gigantism. The larger islet lizards have relatively wider heads and higher bite performance in relation to mainland lizards than would be expected from size differences alone. The proportions of consumed and available hard prey are higher on islets than mainland localities, and lizard body size is significantly correlated with the proportion of hard prey. Furthermore, the main axis of divergence in head shape is significantly correlated with dietary divergence. Finally, a model with only diet and one including diet and predation regime explain body size divergence equally well. Our results suggest that diet is an important ecological factor behind insular body size divergence, but could be consistent with an additional role for predation. PMID:26405734

  4. Ecological explanations to island gigantism: dietary niche divergence, predation, and size in an endemic lizard.

    PubMed

    Runemark, Anna; Sagonas, Kostas; Svensson, Erik I

    2015-08-01

    Although rapid evolution of body size on islands has long been known, the ecological mechanisms behind this island phenomenon remain poorly understood. Diet is an important selective pressure for morphological divergence. Here we investigate if selection for novel diets has contributed to the multiple independent cases of island gigantism in the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) and if diet, predation, or both factors best explain island gigantism. We combined data on body size, shape, bite force, and realized and available diets to address this. Several lines of evidence suggest that diet has contributed to the island gigantism. The larger islet lizards have relatively wider heads and higher bite performance in relation to mainland lizards than would be expected from size differences alone. The proportions of consumed and available hard prey are higher on islets than mainland localities, and lizard body size is significantly correlated with the proportion of hard prey. Furthermore, the main axis of divergence in head shape is significantly correlated with dietary divergence. Finally, a model with only diet and one including diet and predation regime explain body size divergence equally well. Our results suggest that diet is an important ecological factor behind insular body size divergence, but could be consistent with an additional role for predation.

  5. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards

    PubMed Central

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards—the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance. PMID:27168958

  6. Supersaturated island faunas: a species-age relationship for lizards on post-pleistocene land-bridge islands.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, B A

    1978-03-01

    Lizard faunas on post-Pleistocene land-bridge islands in the region of Baja California were examined for the effect of island age on species diversity. Species diversity and age are significantly correlated; and when the variation in species diversity attributable to area and latitude are removed, the corrected species diversity plotted against island age produces a relaxation or extinction curve. These results provide evidence for supersaturated faunas which are relaxing to lower levels of species diversity consistent with the equilibrium theory of island biogeography.

  7. Simulating reef response to sea-level rise at Lizard Island: A geospatial approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamylton, S. M.; Leon, J. X.; Saunders, M. I.; Woodroffe, C. D.

    2014-10-01

    Sea-level rise will result in changes in water depth over coral reefs, which will influence reef platform growth as a result of carbonate production and accretion. This study simulates the pattern of reef response on the reefs around Lizard Island in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Two sea-level rise scenarios are considered to capture the range of likely projections: 0.5 m and 1.2 m above 1990 levels by 2100. Reef topography has been established through extensive bathymetric profiling, together with available data, including LiDAR, single beam bathymetry, multibeam swath bathymetry, LADS and digitised chart data. The reef benthic cover around Lizard Island has been classified using a high resolution WorldView-2 satellite image, which is calibrated and validated against a ground referencing dataset of 364 underwater video records of the reef benthic character. Accretion rates are parameterised using published hydrochemical measurements taken in-situ and rules are applied using Boolean logic to incorporate geomorphological transitions associated with different depth ranges, such as recolonisation of the reef flat when it becomes inundated as sea level rises. Simulations indicate a variable platform response to the different sea-level rise scenarios. For the 0.5 m rise, the shallower reef flats are gradually colonised by corals, enabling this active geomorphological zone to keep up with the lower rate of rise while the other sand dominated areas get progressively deeper. In the 1.2 m scenario, a similar pattern is evident for the first 30 years of rise, beyond which the whole reef platform begins to slowly drown. To provide insight on reef response to sea-level rise in other areas, simulation results of four different reef settings are discussed and compared at the southeast reef flat (barrier reef), Coconut Beach (fringing reef), Watson's Bay (leeward bay with coral patches) and Mangrove Beach (sheltered lagoonal embayment). The reef sites appear to accrete upwards

  8. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies)

    PubMed Central

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17th century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since. PMID:27354326

  9. Intraspecific Colour Variation among Lizards in Distinct Island Environments Enhances Local Camouflage

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kate L. A.; Philpot, Kate E.; Damas-Moreira, Isabel; Stevens, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Within-species colour variation is widespread among animals. Understanding how this arises can elucidate evolutionary mechanisms, such as those underlying reproductive isolation and speciation. Here, we investigated whether five island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) have more effective camouflage against their own (local) island substrates than against other (non-local) island substrates to avian predators, and whether this was linked to island differences in substrate appearance. We also investigated whether degree of local substrate matching varied among island populations and between sexes. In most populations, both sexes were better matched against local backgrounds than against non-local backgrounds, particularly in terms of luminance (perceived lightness), which usually occurred when local and non-local backgrounds were different in appearance. This was found even between island populations that historically had a land connection and in populations that have been isolated relatively recently, suggesting that isolation in these distinct island environments has been sufficient to cause enhanced local background matching, sometimes on a rapid evolutionary time-scale. However, heightened local matching was poorer in populations inhabiting more variable and unstable environments with a prolonged history of volcanic activity. Overall, these results show that lizard coloration is tuned to provide camouflage in local environments, either due to genetic adaptation or changes during development. Yet, the occurrence and extent of selection for local matching may depend on specific conditions associated with local ecology and biogeographic history. These results emphasize how anti-predator adaptations to different environments can drive divergence within a species, which may contribute to reproductive isolation among populations and lead to ecological speciation. PMID:26372454

  10. The lizard fauna of Guam's fringing islets: Island biogeography, phylogenetic history, and conservation implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, G.; Rodda, G.H.; Fritts, T.H.; Sharp, T.R.

    1998-01-01

    We sampled the lizard fauna of twenty-two small islets fringing the Pacific island of Guam and used these data to shed light on the processes responsible for present-day diversity. Habitat diversity, measured by islet area and vegetation complexity, was significantly correlated with the number of species found on an islet. However, islet distance and elevation were not significant predictors of diversity. Distribution patterns were slightly different for the two major families in our sample, Scincidae and Gekkonidae: skinks needed larger islets to maintain a population than did geckos. Presence/absence patterns were highly and significantly nested, and population density was correlated with the number of islets on which a species was found. An area cladogram was poorly supported and showed no faunal similarity between nearby islands. These patterns indicate that extinctions on most islets were due mostly to non-catastrophic, long-acting biological causes. The presence on the islets of species extirpated on Guam and the lack of significant nestedness on islands with greater maximum elevation highlight the impact that predators (primarily brown treesnakes) can have. Our findings also show that small reserves will not suffice to protect endangered lizard faunas, and that the islets may serve as a short-term repository of such species until snake-free areas can be established on Guam.

  11. New host and distributional records for Cryptosporidium sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) from lizards (Sauria: Gekkonidae, Scincidae) from the Cook Islands and Vanuatu, South Pacific

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McAllister, Chris T.; Duszynski, Donald W.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Between 1991 and 1993, 295 lizards, comprising 21 species in 2 families (Gekkonidae, Scincidae) from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, Takapoto, and Vanuatu in the South Pacific, were examined for Cryptosporidium oocysts. Only 6 lizards (2%) were found to be passing Cryptosporidium oocysts in their feces, including 2 of 30 (7%) Oceania geckos, Gehyra oceanica, from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, and 4 of 26 (15%) Pacific blue-tailed skinks, Emoia caeruleocauda, from Efate Island, Vanuatu. This represents the largest survey for Cryptosporidium in Pacific island lizards, and we document 2 new host and 2 new locality records for this parasite genus.

  12. Variable ecological effects of hurricanes: the importance of seasonal timing for survival of lizards on Bahamian islands.

    PubMed

    Schoener, Thomas W; Spiller, David A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2004-01-01

    Two recent hurricanes passed directly over the northern Bahamas 2 years apart, allowing a comparison of their effects on lizard populations inhabiting exactly the same islands. The hurricanes differed in two ways: one struck during the reproductive season and was relatively severe; the other struck after most reproduction had taken place and was milder. The late-season hurricane produced a significant relation between population reduction and lowness of the island that lasted at least through two seasons; the earlier hurricane produced no such relationship. The late-season hurricane wiped out populations of lizards on two islands (two of the three lowest) that the earlier hurricane failed to exterminate even though it was stronger. We relate these effects to the fact that the study lizards regenerated from the earlier hurricane only via the egg stage, whereas eggs were unavailable when the later storm struck and regeneration was via hatched lizards. We discriminate and illustrate four kinds of hurricanes, cross-classified by two contrasts: earlier vs. later and stronger vs. weaker. A later, stronger hurricane completely exterminated lizard populations at a second Bahamian site, whereas an earlier, weaker hurricane had no detectable effect at a third Bahamian site. We suggest that, in addition to severity, the timing of a hurricane as it coincides with reproductive scheduling or other phenological aspects may determine the magnitude of its effect on a variety of organisms.

  13. Effects of experimental seaweed deposition on lizard and ant predation in an island food web.

    PubMed

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2011-01-28

    The effect of environmental change on ecosystems is mediated by species interactions. Environmental change may remove or add species and shift life-history events, altering which species interact at a given time. However, environmental change may also reconfigure multispecies interactions when both species composition and phenology remain intact. In a Caribbean island system, a major manifestation of environmental change is seaweed deposition, which has been linked to eutrophication, overfishing, and hurricanes. Here, we show in a whole-island field experiment that without seaweed two predators--lizards and ants--had a substantially greater-than-additive effect on herbivory. When seaweed was added to mimic deposition by hurricanes, no interactive predator effect occurred. Thus environmental change can substantially restructure food-web interactions, complicating efforts to predict anthropogenic changes in ecosystem processes.

  14. Tail shedding in island lizards [Lacertidae, Reptilia]: decline of antipredator defenses in relaxed predation environments.

    PubMed

    Pafilis, Panayiotis; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Poulakakis, Nikos; Lymberakis, Petros; Valakos, Efstratios D

    2009-05-01

    The ability of an animal to shed its tail is a widespread antipredator strategy among lizards. The degree of expression of this defense is expected to be shaped by prevailing environmental conditions including local predation pressure. We test these hypotheses by comparing several aspects of caudal autotomy in 15 Mediterranean lizard taxa existing across a swath of mainland and island localities that differ in the number and identity of predator species present. Autotomic ease varied substantially among the study populations, in a pattern that is best explained by the presence of vipers. Neither insularity nor the presence of other types of predators explain the observed autotomy rates. Final concentration of accumulated tail muscle lactate and duration of movement of a shed tail, two traits that were previously thought to relate to predation pressure, are in general not shaped by either predator diversity or insularity. Under conditions of relaxed predation selection, an uncoupling of different aspects of caudal autotomy exists, with some elements (ease of autotomy) declining faster than others (duration of movement, lactate concentration). We compared rates of shed tails in the field against rates of laboratory autotomies conducted under standardized conditions and found very high correlation values (r > 0.96). This suggests that field autotomy rates, rather than being a metric of predatory attacks, merely reflect the innate predisposition of a taxon to shed its tail.

  15. Development and characterization of 12 microsatellite markers for the Island Night Lizard (Xantusia riversiana), a threatened species endemic to the Channel Islands, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Donnell, Ryan P.; Drost, Charles A.; Mock, Karen E.

    2014-01-01

    The Island Night Lizard is a federally threatened species endemic to the Channel Islands of California. Twelve microsatellite loci were developed for use in this species and screened in 197 individuals from across San Nicolas Island, California. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 6 to 21. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.520 to 0.843. These microsatellite loci will be used to investigate population structure, effective population size, and gene flow across the island, to inform protection and management of this species.

  16. Effects of fragmentation on genetic diversity in island populations of the Aegean wall lizard Podarcis erhardii (Lacertidae, Reptilia).

    PubMed

    Hurston, H; Voith, L; Bonanno, J; Foufopoulos, J; Pafilis, P; Valakos, E; Anthony, N

    2009-08-01

    Landbridge islands offer unique opportunities for understanding the effects of fragmentation history on genetic variation in island taxa. The formation of islands by rising sea levels can be likened to a population bottleneck whose magnitude and duration is determined by island area and time since isolation, respectively. The Holocene landbridge islands of the Aegean Sea (Greece) were formed since the last glacial maximum and constitute an ideal system for disentangling the effects of island area, age and geographic isolation on genetic variability. Of the many reptile species inhabiting this island system, the Aegean wall lizard Podarcis erhardii is an excellent indicator of fragmentation history due to its widespread distribution and poor over-water dispersal abilities. In this study, we utilize a detailed record of Holocene fragmentation to investigate the effects of island history on wall lizard mitochondrial and nuclear microsatellite diversity. Findings show that the spatial distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes reflects historical patterns of fragmentation rather than geographic proximity per se. In keeping with neutral bottleneck theory, larger and younger islands retain more nuclear genetic variation than smaller, older islands. Conversely, there is no evidence of an effect of isolation by distance or effect of distance to the nearest larger landmass on genetic variability, indicating little gene flow between islands. Lastly, population-specific measures of genetic differentiation are inversely correlated with island area, suggesting that smaller islands exhibit greater divergence due to their greater susceptibility to drift. Taken together, these results suggest that both island area and time since isolation are important predictors of genetic variation and that these patterns likely arose through the progressive fragmentation of ancestral diversity and the ensuing cumulative effects of drift.

  17. Ecological divergence combined with ancient allopatry in lizard populations from a small volcanic island.

    PubMed

    Suárez, N M; Pestano, J; Brown, R P

    2014-10-01

    Population divergence and speciation are often explained by geographical isolation, but may also be possible under high gene flow due to strong ecology-related differences in selection pressures. This study combines coalescent analyses of genetic data (11 microsatellite loci and 1 Kbp of mtDNA) and ecological modelling to examine the relative contributions of isolation and ecology to incipient speciation in the scincid lizard Chalcides sexlineatus within the volcanic island of Gran Canaria. Bayesian multispecies coalescent dating of within-island genetic divergence of northern and southern populations showed correspondence with the timing of volcanic activity in the north of the island 1.5-3.0 Ma ago. Coalescent estimates of demographic changes reveal historical size increases in northern populations, consistent with expansions from a volcanic refuge. Nevertheless, ecological divergence is also supported. First, the two morphs showed non-equivalence of ecological niches and species distribution modelling associated the northern morph with mesic habitat types and the southern morph with xeric habitat types. It seems likely that the colour morphs are associated with different antipredator strategies in the different habitats. Second, coalescent estimation of gene copy migration (based on microsatellites and mtDNA) suggest high rates from northern to southern morphs demonstrating the strength of ecology-mediated selection pressures that maintain the divergent southern morph. Together, these findings underline the complexity of the speciation process by providing evidence for the combined effects of ecological divergence and ancient divergence in allopatry. PMID:25156032

  18. Molecular detection of invertebrate prey in vertebrate diets: trophic ecology of Caribbean island lizards.

    PubMed

    Kartzinel, Tyler R; Pringle, Robert M

    2015-07-01

    Understanding community assembly and population dynamics frequently requires detailed knowledge of food web structure. For many consumers, obtaining precise information about diet composition has traditionally required sacrificing animals or other highly invasive procedures, generating tension between maintaining intact study populations and knowing what they eat. We developed 16S mitochondrial DNA sequencing methods to identify arthropods in the diets of generalist vertebrate predators without requiring a blocking primer. We demonstrate the utility of these methods for a common Caribbean lizard that has been intensively studied in the context of small island food webs: Anolis sagrei (a semi-arboreal 'trunk-ground' anole ecomorph). Novel PCR primers were identified in silico and tested in vitro. Illumina sequencing successfully characterized the arthropod component of 168 faecal DNA samples collected during three field trips spanning 12 months, revealing 217 molecular operational taxonomic units (mOTUs) from at least nine arthropod orders (including Araneae, Blattodea, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera and Orthoptera). Three mOTUs (one beetle, one cockroach and one ant) were particularly frequent, occurring in ≥50% of samples, but the majority of mOTUs were infrequent (180, or 83%, occurred in ≤5% of samples). Species accumulation curves showed that dietary richness and composition were similar between size-dimorphic sexes; however, female lizards had greater per-sample dietary richness than males. Overall diet composition (but not richness) was significantly different across seasons, and we found more pronounced interindividual variation in December than in May. These methods will be generally useful in characterizing the diets of diverse insectivorous vertebrates. PMID:25545675

  19. Molecular detection of invertebrate prey in vertebrate diets: trophic ecology of Caribbean island lizards.

    PubMed

    Kartzinel, Tyler R; Pringle, Robert M

    2015-07-01

    Understanding community assembly and population dynamics frequently requires detailed knowledge of food web structure. For many consumers, obtaining precise information about diet composition has traditionally required sacrificing animals or other highly invasive procedures, generating tension between maintaining intact study populations and knowing what they eat. We developed 16S mitochondrial DNA sequencing methods to identify arthropods in the diets of generalist vertebrate predators without requiring a blocking primer. We demonstrate the utility of these methods for a common Caribbean lizard that has been intensively studied in the context of small island food webs: Anolis sagrei (a semi-arboreal 'trunk-ground' anole ecomorph). Novel PCR primers were identified in silico and tested in vitro. Illumina sequencing successfully characterized the arthropod component of 168 faecal DNA samples collected during three field trips spanning 12 months, revealing 217 molecular operational taxonomic units (mOTUs) from at least nine arthropod orders (including Araneae, Blattodea, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera and Orthoptera). Three mOTUs (one beetle, one cockroach and one ant) were particularly frequent, occurring in ≥50% of samples, but the majority of mOTUs were infrequent (180, or 83%, occurred in ≤5% of samples). Species accumulation curves showed that dietary richness and composition were similar between size-dimorphic sexes; however, female lizards had greater per-sample dietary richness than males. Overall diet composition (but not richness) was significantly different across seasons, and we found more pronounced interindividual variation in December than in May. These methods will be generally useful in characterizing the diets of diverse insectivorous vertebrates.

  20. 77 FR 45988 - Anchorage Regulations; Great Chebeague Island, ME

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-02

    ... Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 110 RIN 1625-AA01 Anchorage Regulations; Great Chebeague Island, ME AGENCY... six special anchorage areas in the vicinity of Great Chebeague Island, Maine. This proposed action...

  1. Cryptic extinction of a common Pacific lizard Emoia impar (Squamata, Scincidae) from the Hawaiian Islands.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert; Ineich, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    Most documented declines of tropical reptiles are of dramatic or enigmatic species. Declines of widespread species tend to be cryptic. The early (1900s) decline and extinction of the common Pacific skink Emoia impar from the Hawaiian Islands is documented here through an assessment of literature, museum vouchers and recent fieldwork. This decline appears contemporaneous with the documented declines of invertebrates and birds across the Hawaiian Islands. A review of the plausible causal factors indicates that the spread of the introduced big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala is the most likely factor in this lizard decline. The introduction and spread of a similar skink Lampropholis delicata across the islands appears to temporally follow the decline of E. impar, although there is no evidence of competition between these species. It appears that L. delicata is spreading to occupy the niche vacated by the extirpated E. impar. Further confusion exists because the skink E. cyanura, which is very similar in appearance to E. impar, appears to have been introduced to one site within a hotel on Kaua'i and persisted as a population at that site for approximately 2 decades (1970s–1990s) but is now also extirpated. This study highlights the cryptic nature of this early species extinction as evidence that current biogeographical patterns of non-charismatic or enigmatic reptiles across the Pacific may be the historical result of early widespread invasion by ants. Conservation and restoration activities for reptiles in the tropical Pacific should consider this possibility and evaluate all evidence prior to any implementation.

  2. Historical fragmentation of islands and genetic drift in populations of Galápagos lava lizards (Microlophus albemarlensis complex).

    PubMed

    Jordan, M A; Snell, H L

    2008-03-01

    The formation of islands following a rise in sea level at the end of Pleistocene is expected to disrupt the equilibrium between genetic drift and gene flow in species with limited ability to disperse. Here, we test the hypothesis that genetic drift in isolation has caused the differentiation of Galápagos lava lizards (Microlophus albemarlensis complex) found on 12 islets that are likely to have been connected to a larger island, Isla Santa Cruz, during the late Pleistocene. Using 11 microsatellite loci, screened on 524 individuals from 17 localities distributed among and within 15 islands, we found marked differences in allelic richness and heterozygosity. Genetic differentiation was strong (global F(ST) = 0.44), with pairwise differences found among populations on islets being larger than differences among three localities sampled within Isla Santa Cruz. As expected under a scenario of drift in isolation, there was a positive correlation of genetic diversity with island size, no relationship between genetic and geographical distance and a strong negative correlation between heterozygosity and measures of genetic differentiation. We conclude that seawater is a significant barrier to gene flow in lava lizards on this timescale. Our results suggest that the shallow diversification of the M. albemarlensis complex is not due to recent gene flow and that genetic drift may have played a substantial role in observed patterns of phenotypic variation among islands.

  3. Phylogeography and conservation genetics of the common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on islands at its northern range.

    PubMed

    Michaelides, Sozos; Cornish, Nina; Griffiths, Richard; Groombridge, Jim; Zajac, Natalia; Walters, Graham J; Aubret, Fabien; While, Geoffrey M; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Populations at range limits are often characterized by lower genetic diversity, increased genetic isolation and differentiation relative to populations at the core of geographical ranges. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognized that populations situated at range limits might be the result of human introductions rather than natural dispersal. It is therefore important to document the origin and genetic diversity of marginal populations to establish conservation priorities. In this study, we investigate the phylogeography and genetic structure of peripheral populations of the common European wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Jersey (Channel Islands, UK) and in the Chausey archipelago. We sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 200 individuals of P. muralis to infer the phylogeography of the island populations using Bayesian approaches. We also genotyped 484 individuals from 21 populations at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure and diversity of island and mainland (Western France) populations. We detected four unique haplotypes in the island populations that formed a sub-clade within the Western France clade. There was a significant reduction in genetic diversity (HO, HE and AR) of the island populations in relation to the mainland. The small fragmented island populations at the northern range margin of the common wall lizard distribution are most likely native, with genetic differentiation reflecting isolation following sea level increase approximately 7000 BP. Genetic diversity is lower on islands than in marginal populations on the mainland, potentially as a result of early founder effects or long-term isolation. The combination of restriction to specific localities and an inability to expand their range into adjacent suitable locations might make the island populations more vulnerable to extinction.

  4. Phylogeography and Conservation Genetics of the Common Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Islands at Its Northern Range

    PubMed Central

    Michaelides, Sozos; Cornish, Nina; Griffiths, Richard; Groombridge, Jim; Zajac, Natalia; Walters, Graham J.; Aubret, Fabien; While, Geoffrey M.; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Populations at range limits are often characterized by lower genetic diversity, increased genetic isolation and differentiation relative to populations at the core of geographical ranges. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognized that populations situated at range limits might be the result of human introductions rather than natural dispersal. It is therefore important to document the origin and genetic diversity of marginal populations to establish conservation priorities. In this study, we investigate the phylogeography and genetic structure of peripheral populations of the common European wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Jersey (Channel Islands, UK) and in the Chausey archipelago. We sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 200 individuals of P. muralis to infer the phylogeography of the island populations using Bayesian approaches. We also genotyped 484 individuals from 21 populations at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure and diversity of island and mainland (Western France) populations. We detected four unique haplotypes in the island populations that formed a sub-clade within the Western France clade. There was a significant reduction in genetic diversity (HO, HE and AR) of the island populations in relation to the mainland. The small fragmented island populations at the northern range margin of the common wall lizard distribution are most likely native, with genetic differentiation reflecting isolation following sea level increase approximately 7000 BP. Genetic diversity is lower on islands than in marginal populations on the mainland, potentially as a result of early founder effects or long-term isolation. The combination of restriction to specific localities and an inability to expand their range into adjacent suitable locations might make the island populations more vulnerable to extinction. PMID:25659074

  5. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  6. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  7. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  8. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  9. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island...

  10. Revealing Beta-Diversity Patterns of Breeding Bird and Lizard Communities on Inundated Land-Bridge Islands by Separating the Turnover and Nestedness Components

    PubMed Central

    Si, Xingfeng; Baselga, Andrés; Ding, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Beta diversity describes changes in species composition among sites in a region and has particular relevance for explaining ecological patterns in fragmented habitats. However, it is difficult to reveal the mechanisms if broad sense beta-diversity indices (i.e. yielding identical values under nestedness and species replacement) are used. Partitioning beta diversity into turnover (caused by species replacement from site to site) and nestedness-resultant components (caused by nested species losses) could provide a unique way to understand the variation of species composition in fragmented habitats. Here, we collected occupancy data of breeding birds and lizards on land-bridge islands in an inundated lake in eastern China. We decomposed beta diversity of breeding bird and lizard communities into spatial turnover and nestedness-resultant components to assess their relative contributions and respective relationships to differences in island area, isolation, and habitat richness. Our results showed that spatial turnover contributed more to beta diversity than the nestedness-resultant component. The degree of isolation had no significant effect on overall beta diversity or its components, neither for breeding birds nor for lizards. In turn, in both groups the nestedness-resultant component increased with larger differences in island area and habitat richness, respectively, while turnover component decreased with them. The major difference among birds and lizards was a higher relevance of nestedness-resultant dissimilarity in lizards, suggesting that they are more prone to local extinctions derived from habitat fragmentation. The dominance of the spatial turnover component of beta diversity suggests that all islands have potential conservation value for breeding bird and lizard communities. PMID:25992559

  11. Revealing Beta-diversity patterns of breeding bird and lizard communities on inundated land-bridge islands by separating the turnover and nestedness components.

    PubMed

    Si, Xingfeng; Baselga, Andrés; Ding, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Beta diversity describes changes in species composition among sites in a region and has particular relevance for explaining ecological patterns in fragmented habitats. However, it is difficult to reveal the mechanisms if broad sense beta-diversity indices (i.e. yielding identical values under nestedness and species replacement) are used. Partitioning beta diversity into turnover (caused by species replacement from site to site) and nestedness-resultant components (caused by nested species losses) could provide a unique way to understand the variation of species composition in fragmented habitats. Here, we collected occupancy data of breeding birds and lizards on land-bridge islands in an inundated lake in eastern China. We decomposed beta diversity of breeding bird and lizard communities into spatial turnover and nestedness-resultant components to assess their relative contributions and respective relationships to differences in island area, isolation, and habitat richness. Our results showed that spatial turnover contributed more to beta diversity than the nestedness-resultant component. The degree of isolation had no significant effect on overall beta diversity or its components, neither for breeding birds nor for lizards. In turn, in both groups the nestedness-resultant component increased with larger differences in island area and habitat richness, respectively, while turnover component decreased with them. The major difference among birds and lizards was a higher relevance of nestedness-resultant dissimilarity in lizards, suggesting that they are more prone to local extinctions derived from habitat fragmentation. The dominance of the spatial turnover component of beta diversity suggests that all islands have potential conservation value for breeding bird and lizard communities.

  12. Revealing Beta-diversity patterns of breeding bird and lizard communities on inundated land-bridge islands by separating the turnover and nestedness components.

    PubMed

    Si, Xingfeng; Baselga, Andrés; Ding, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Beta diversity describes changes in species composition among sites in a region and has particular relevance for explaining ecological patterns in fragmented habitats. However, it is difficult to reveal the mechanisms if broad sense beta-diversity indices (i.e. yielding identical values under nestedness and species replacement) are used. Partitioning beta diversity into turnover (caused by species replacement from site to site) and nestedness-resultant components (caused by nested species losses) could provide a unique way to understand the variation of species composition in fragmented habitats. Here, we collected occupancy data of breeding birds and lizards on land-bridge islands in an inundated lake in eastern China. We decomposed beta diversity of breeding bird and lizard communities into spatial turnover and nestedness-resultant components to assess their relative contributions and respective relationships to differences in island area, isolation, and habitat richness. Our results showed that spatial turnover contributed more to beta diversity than the nestedness-resultant component. The degree of isolation had no significant effect on overall beta diversity or its components, neither for breeding birds nor for lizards. In turn, in both groups the nestedness-resultant component increased with larger differences in island area and habitat richness, respectively, while turnover component decreased with them. The major difference among birds and lizards was a higher relevance of nestedness-resultant dissimilarity in lizards, suggesting that they are more prone to local extinctions derived from habitat fragmentation. The dominance of the spatial turnover component of beta diversity suggests that all islands have potential conservation value for breeding bird and lizard communities. PMID:25992559

  13. Diversification and Demography of the Oriental Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor) on Hainan Island and the Adjacent Mainland

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yong; Guo, Xianguang; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Shi, Haitao; Li, Jiatang; Li, Jun; Cai, Bo; Wang, Yuezhao

    2013-01-01

    The Oriental garden lizard (Calotes versicolor) is one of the few non-gekkonid lizards that are geographically widespread in the tropics. We investigated its population dynamics on Hainan Island and the adjacent mainland of China and Vietnam, focusing on the impact of cyclic upheaval and submergence of land bridges during the Pleistocene. Our Bayesian phylogenetic analysis reveals two mitochondrial lineages, A and B, which are estimated to have coalesced about 0.26 million years ago (95% credibility interval: 0.05–0.61 million years ago). Lineage A contains individuals mainly from central and southern Wuzhi Mountain on Hainan Island, whereas lineage B mainly comprises individuals from other sites on the island plus the adjacent mainland. The estimated coalescence times within lineages A (0.05 million years ago) and B (0.13 million years ago) fall within a period of cyclical land-bridge formation and disappearance in the Pleistocene. A spatial analysis of molecular variance identified two distinct population groupings: I, primarily containing lineage A, and II, mainly consisting of lineage B. However, haplotypes from lineages A and B occur sympatrically, suggesting that gene flow is ongoing. Neither Wuzhi Mountain nor Qiongzhou Strait and Gulf of Tonkin act as barriers to gene flow among C. versicolor populations. Analyses of the data using mismatch distributions and extended Bayesian skyline plots provide evidence of a relatively stable population size through time for Group I, and moderate population expansions and contractions during the end of the Pleistocene for Group II. We conclude that the phylogeographical patterns of C. versicolor are the combined product of Pleistocene sea-level oscillations and nonphysical barriers to gene flow. PMID:23840304

  14. Within-island speciation with an exceptional case of distinct separation between two sibling lizard species divided by a narrow stream.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Shu-Ping; Wang, Chao-Jun; Li, Shou-Hsien; Lin, Si-Min

    2015-09-01

    Delimitation of genetic and geographic boundaries between species is a focus of evolutionary biology. In this study, we demonstrated fine-scale differentiation of Takydromus formosanus species complex comprising four insular endemics on Taiwan Island. Phylogeny and ancestral range reconstruction based on mitochondrial DNA sequences of 430 Takydromus lizards (405 lizards of this complex throughout their distribution range, and 25 lizards from 11 other species) indicated that the major branching process occurred within Taiwan, which represented a solid evidence of within-island speciation on this small island. We further demonstrated an exceptional case of a pair of sister species, T. viridipunctatus and T. luyeanus, that were separated by a narrow stream with a width of only 15m. This pattern might be one of the narrowest contact zones ever documented in terrestrial vertebrates. To evaluate the level of genetic introgression between these sister species, a fine-scale collection of another 382 lizards was conducted along a transect line across the stream. A total of 13 microsatellite markers and mtDNA genotyping was used to detect a low proportion of hybrids (5.7-9.9% from STRUCTURE, and 2.3% from DAPC). Our results indicated that the two clades are highly differentiated across this extremely short distance.

  15. [Home range of Aspidoscelis cozumela (Squamata: Teiidae): a parthenogenetic lizard microendemic to Cozumel Island, México].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; López-Moreno, Ana Esthela; Méndez-Sánchez, José Fernando; Rheubert, Justin Lloyd; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Home range is defined as the area within which an individual moves to acquire resources necessary to increase their fitness and may vary inter and intra-specifically with biotic and abiotic factors. This study details the home range of the parthenogenic lizard, Aspidoscelis cozumela, an active forager microendemic to Cozumel Island, México, with high preference for open sand beaches. The home range of A. cozumela was compared with other species of Aspidoscelis (gonochoric and parthenogenetic) and other lizards that occupy coastal habitats. Furthermore, the biotic and abiotic factors that may influence home range were analyzed. This study was conducted in the beach located on the East side of the island (area of 4,000 M2) that is composed primarily of halophyte vegetation with high levels of sunlight. From 1999 to 2001, nine samples were taken which included the dry, rainy, "nortes", and breeding seasons. During each sampling, capture-mark-recapture techniques were conducted and the date, time of day, and snout-vent length (SVL) were recorded to the nearest millimeter. Individuals were located in the study area using a bi-coordinate reference using 10 x 10 m subdivisions of the habitat. Home range and home range overlap were calculated using the convex polygon method in McPaal and home range/SVL correlation was tested using Pearson's correlation. To calculate females home range, three or more recaptures were considered. A total of 20 home ranges that averaged 45.1 ± 14.0 m2 were obtained and no correlation between SVL and home range size was detected (p = 0.9229, n = 20). However, removing individuals with outlier home ranges (females with home ranges > 100 m2, n = 2) resulted in a positive correlation with SVL (r = 0.61, p = 0.0072, n = 18). A 22.9 ± 5.7% overlap in home range was also detected. The small home range of A. cozumela represents the smallest home range within the Aspidoscelis genus recorded to date (including both parthenogenetic and gonochoric

  16. [Home range of Aspidoscelis cozumela (Squamata: Teiidae): a parthenogenetic lizard microendemic to Cozumel Island, México].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; López-Moreno, Ana Esthela; Méndez-Sánchez, José Fernando; Rheubert, Justin Lloyd; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Home range is defined as the area within which an individual moves to acquire resources necessary to increase their fitness and may vary inter and intra-specifically with biotic and abiotic factors. This study details the home range of the parthenogenic lizard, Aspidoscelis cozumela, an active forager microendemic to Cozumel Island, México, with high preference for open sand beaches. The home range of A. cozumela was compared with other species of Aspidoscelis (gonochoric and parthenogenetic) and other lizards that occupy coastal habitats. Furthermore, the biotic and abiotic factors that may influence home range were analyzed. This study was conducted in the beach located on the East side of the island (area of 4,000 M2) that is composed primarily of halophyte vegetation with high levels of sunlight. From 1999 to 2001, nine samples were taken which included the dry, rainy, "nortes", and breeding seasons. During each sampling, capture-mark-recapture techniques were conducted and the date, time of day, and snout-vent length (SVL) were recorded to the nearest millimeter. Individuals were located in the study area using a bi-coordinate reference using 10 x 10 m subdivisions of the habitat. Home range and home range overlap were calculated using the convex polygon method in McPaal and home range/SVL correlation was tested using Pearson's correlation. To calculate females home range, three or more recaptures were considered. A total of 20 home ranges that averaged 45.1 ± 14.0 m2 were obtained and no correlation between SVL and home range size was detected (p = 0.9229, n = 20). However, removing individuals with outlier home ranges (females with home ranges > 100 m2, n = 2) resulted in a positive correlation with SVL (r = 0.61, p = 0.0072, n = 18). A 22.9 ± 5.7% overlap in home range was also detected. The small home range of A. cozumela represents the smallest home range within the Aspidoscelis genus recorded to date (including both parthenogenetic and gonochoric

  17. Genetic variation in the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) reveals island refugia and a fragmented Florida during the quaternary.

    PubMed

    Tollis, Marc; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2014-02-01

    The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) is a model organism for behavior and genomics that is native to the southeastern United States. It is currently thought that the ancestors of modern green anoles dispersed to peninsular Florida from Cuba. However, the climatic changes and geological features responsible for the early diversification of A. carolinensis in North America have remained largely unexplored. This is because previous studies (1) differ in their estimates of the divergence times of populations, (2) are based on a single genetic locus or (3) did not test specific hypotheses regarding the geologic and topographic history of Florida. Here we provide a multi-locus study of green anole genetic diversity and find that the Florida peninsula contains a larger number of genetically distinct populations that are more diverse than those on the continental mainland. As a test of the island refugia hypothesis in Pleistocene Florida, we use a coalescent approach to estimate the divergence times of modern green anole lineages. We find that all demographic events occurred during or after the Upper Pliocene and suggest that green anole diversification was driven by population divergence on interglacial island refugia in Florida during the Lower Pleistocene, while the region was often separated from continental North America. When Florida reconnected to the mainland, two separate dispersal events led to the expansion of green anole populations across the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coastal Plain.

  18. Genetic Variation in the Green Anole Lizard (Anolis carolinensis) Reveals Island Refugia and a Fragmented Florida During the Quaternary

    PubMed Central

    Tollis, Marc; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) is a model organism for behavior and genomics that is native to the southeastern United States. It is currently thought that the ancestors of modern green anoles dispersed to peninsular Florida from Cuba. However, the climatic changes and geological features responsible for the early diversification of A. carolinensis in North America have remained largely unexplored. This is because previous studies (1) differ in their estimates of the divergence times of populations, (2) are based on a single genetic locus and (3) did not test specific hypotheses regarding the geologic and topographic history of Florida. Here we provide a multi-locus study of green anole genetic diversity and find that the Florida peninsula contains a larger number of genetically distinct populations that are more diverse than those on the continental mainland. As a test of the island refugia hypothesis in Pleistocene Florida, we use a coalescent approach to estimate the divergence times of modern green anole lineages. We find that all demographic events occurred during or after the Upper Pliocene and suggest that green anole diversification was driven by population divergence on interglacial island refugia in Florida during the Lower Pleistocene, while the region was often separated from continental North America. When Florida reconnected to the mainland, two separate dispersal events led to the expansion of green anole populations across the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coastal Plain. PMID:24379168

  19. Evolution of antipredator behavior in an island lizard species, Podarcis erhardii (Reptilia: Lacertidae): The sum of all fears?

    PubMed

    Brock, Kinsey M; Bednekoff, Peter A; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Organisms generally have many defenses against predation, yet may lack effective defenses if from populations without predators. Evolutionary theory predicts that "costly" antipredator behaviors will be selected against when predation risk diminishes. We examined antipredator behaviors in Aegean wall lizards, Podarcis erhardii, across an archipelago of land-bridge islands that vary in predator diversity and period of isolation. We examined two defenses, flight initiation distance and tail autotomy. Flight initiation distance generally decreased with declining predator diversity. All predator types had distinctive effects on flight initiation distance with mammals and birds having the largest estimated effects. Rates of autotomy observed in the field were highest on predator-free islands, yet laboratory-induced autotomy increased linearly with overall predator diversity. Against expectation from previous work, tail autotomy was not explained solely by the presence of vipers. Analyses of populations directly isolated from rich predator communities revealed that flight initiation distance decreased with increased duration of isolation in addition to the effects of current predator diversity, whereas tail autotomy could be explained simply by current predator diversity. Although selection against costly defenses should depend on time with reduced threats, different defenses may diminish along different trajectories even within the same predator-prey system.

  20. The 2006-2007 Kuril Islands great earthquake sequence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lay, T.; Kanamori, H.; Ammon, C.J.; Hutko, Alexander R.; Furlong, K.; Rivera, L.

    2009-01-01

    The southwestern half of a ???500 km long seismic gap in the central Kuril Island arc subduction zone experienced two great earthquakes with extensive preshock and aftershock sequences in late 2006 to early 2007. The nature of seismic coupling in the gap had been uncertain due to the limited historical record of prior large events and the presence of distinctive upper plate, trench and outer rise structures relative to adjacent regions along the arc that have experienced repeated great interplate earthquakes in the last few centuries. The intraplate region seaward of the seismic gap had several shallow compressional events during the preceding decades (notably an MS 7.2 event on 16 March 1963), leading to speculation that the interplate fault was seismically coupled. This issue was partly resolved by failure of the shallow portion of the interplate megathrust in an MW = 8.3 thrust event on 15 November 2006. This event ruptured ???250 km along the seismic gap, just northeast of the great 1963 Kuril Island (Mw = 8.5) earthquake rupture zone. Within minutes of the thrust event, intense earthquake activity commenced beneath the outer wall of the trench seaward of the interplate rupture, with the larger events having normal-faulting mechanisms. An unusual double band of interplate and intraplate aftershocks developed. On 13 January 2007, an MW = 8.1 extensional earthquake ruptured within the Pacific plate beneath the seaward edge of the Kuril trench. This event is the third largest normal-faulting earthquake seaward of a subduction zone on record, and its rupture zone extended to at least 33 km depth and paralleled most of the length of the 2006 rupture. The 13 January 2007 event produced stronger shaking in Japan than the larger thrust event, as a consequence of higher short-period energy radiation from the source. The great event aftershock sequences were dominated by the expected faulting geometries; thrust faulting for the 2006 rupture zone, and normal faulting for

  1. Trapper readies trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    State-licensed animal trapper James Dean sets the open door of an animal trap on KSC. He hopes to catch a large monitor lizard spotted recently near S.R. 3, a route into the Center, by several area residents. The lizard is not a native of the area, and possibly a released pet. Dean is working with the cooperation of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  2. Snake and Bird Predation Drive the Repeated Convergent Evolution of Correlated Life History Traits and Phenotype in the Izu Island Scincid Lizard (Plestiodon latiscutatus)

    PubMed Central

    Brandley, Matthew C.; Kuriyama, Takeo; Hasegawa, Masami

    2014-01-01

    Predation may create strong natural selection pressure on the phenotype and life history characteristics of prey species. The Izu scincid lizards (Plestiodon latiscutatus) that inhabit the four Japanese Izu Islands with only bird predators are drab brown, mature later, lay small clutches of large eggs, and hatch large neonates. In contrast, skinks on seven islands with both snake and bird predators are conspicuously colored, mature early, lay large clutches of small eggs, and hatch small neonates. We test the hypothesis that these suites of traits have evolved independently on each island via natural selection pressures from one of two predator regimes – birds-only and birds + snakes. Using two mtDNA genes and a nuclear locus, we infer a time-calibrated phylogeny of P. latiscutatus that reveals a basal split between Mikura and all islands south, and Miyake, all islands north, and the Izu Peninsula. Populations inhabiting Miyake, Niijima, Shikine, and Toshima are not monophyletic, suggesting either multiple colonizations or an artifact of incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). We therefore developed novel phylogenetic comparative analyses that assume either a multiple colonization or more restrictive single colonization ILS scenario and found 1) statistically significant support for the of different suites of phenotypic and life history characteristics with the presence of bird-only or bird + snake predator assemblages, and 2) strong phylogenetic support for at least two independent derivations of either the “bird-only” or “snakes + birds” phenotypes regardless of colonization scenario. Finally, our time-calibrated phylogeographic analysis supports the conclusion that the ancestor to modern Izu Island P. latiscutatus dispersed from the mainland to the Izu proto-islands between 3–7.6 million years ago (Ma). These lineages remained present in the area during successive formation of the islands, with one lineage re-colonizing the mainland 0.24-0.7 Ma. PMID

  3. Tree-based delimitation of morphologically ambiguous taxa: a study of the lizard malaria parasites on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

    PubMed

    Falk, Bryan G; Mahler, D Luke; Perkins, Susan L

    2011-08-01

    Malaria parasites in the genus Plasmodium have been classified primarily on the basis of differences in morphology. These single-celled organisms often lack distinguishing morphological features, and this can encumber both species delimitation and identification. Six saurian malaria parasites have been described from the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. All six infect lizards in the genus Anolis, but only two of these parasites can be distinguished using morphology. The remaining four species overlap in morphology and geography, and cannot be consistently identified using traditional methods. We compared a morphological approach with a molecular phylogenetic approach for assessing the taxonomy of these parasites. We surveyed for blood parasites from 677 Anolis lizards, representing 26 Anolis spp. from a total of 52 sites across Hispaniola. Fifty-five of these lizards were infected with Plasmodium spp., representing several new host records, but only 24 of these infections could be matched to previously described species using traditional morphological criteria. We then estimated the phylogeny of these parasites using both mitochondrial (cytb and coxI) and nuclear (EF2) genes, and included carefully selected GenBank sequences to confirm identities for certain species. Our molecular results unambiguously corroborated our morphology-based species identifications for only the two species previously judged to be morphologically distinctive. The remaining infections fell into two well-supported and reciprocally monophyletic clades, which contained the morphological variation previously reported for all four of the morphologically ambiguous species. One of these clades was identified as Plasmodium floridense and the other as Plasmodium fairchildi hispaniolae. We elevate the latter to Plasmodium hispaniolae comb. nov. because it is polyphyletic with the mainland species Plasmodium fairchildifairchildi and we contribute additional morphological and molecular characters for

  4. The Great Depression and the New Deal on Long Island, New York.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lupinskie-Huvane, Lorraine; Singer, Alan

    2001-01-01

    Presents information adapted from the introduction to "The Great Depression and the New Deal on Long Island: A Local History Curriculum Guide." Finds that even though people in Long Island, New York, were active participants in New Deal programs, there was still anti-Roosevelt opposition during the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections. (CMK)

  5. Unprovoked fatal shark attack in Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, South Pacific) by a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias.

    PubMed

    Clua, Eric; Séret, Bernard

    2010-09-01

    The case of a fatal, unprovoked shark attack is reported and analyzed. The incident took place on the 30th of September 2007, in the lagoon of Luengoni Bay, Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia). A young French woman who was snorkeling was severely bitten on the right thigh and died of hemorrhage. An analysis based in particular on the size and color of the shark, the characteristics of the wounds, and the behavior of the shark before and after the bite suggests that the aggressor was a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias. PMID:20606572

  6. Infracommunity structure of parasites of Hemigymnus melapterus (Pisces: Labridae) from Lizard Island, Australia: the importance of habitat and parasite body size.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Gabriela; Cribb, Thomas H

    2005-02-01

    This study describes the community of all metazoan parasites from 14 individuals of thicklip wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus, from Lizard Island, Australia. All fish were parasitized, and 4,649 parasite individuals were found. Twenty-six parasite species were identified although only 6 species were abundant and prevalent: gnathiid isopods, the copepod Hatschekia hemigymni, the digenean Callohelmis pichelinae, and 3 morphotypes of tetraphyllidean cestode larvae. We analyzed whether the body size and microhabitat of the parasites and size of the host affected understanding of the structure of the parasite community. We related the abundance, biovolume, and density of parasites with the host body size and analyzed the abundances and volumetric densities of some parasite species within microhabitats. Although the 2 most abundant species comprised 75% of all parasite individuals, 4 species, each in similar proportion, comprised 85% of the total biovolume. Although larger host individuals had higher richness, abundance, and biovolume of parasites than smaller individuals, overall parasite volumetric density actually decreased with the host body size. Moreover, parasites exhibited abundances and densities significantly different among microhabitats; some parasite species depended on the area available, whereas others selected a specific microhabitat. Parasite and habitat size exhibited interesting relationships that should be considered more frequently. Considerations of these parameters improve understanding of parasite community structure and how the parasites use their habitats.

  7. Trappers set up trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    In hope of catching a large monitor lizard seen in the area, state-licensed animal trappers Dewey Kessler and James Dean (at left), with Gary Povitch (kneeling) of the U.S. Wildlife and Dan Turner (standing) set up a trap on KSC. The lizard has been spotted recently near S.R. 3, a route into the Center, by several area residents. Turner is a monitor expert. The lizard is not a native of the area, and possibly a released pet. Dean is working with the cooperation of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  8. Isolation breeds naivety: island living robs Australian varanid lizards of toad-toxin immunity via four-base-pair mutation.

    PubMed

    Ujvari, Beata; Mun, Hee-chang; Conigrave, Arthur D; Bray, Alessandra; Osterkamp, Jens; Halling, Petter; Madsen, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Since their introduction to the toad-free Australian continent cane toads (Bufo marinus) have caused a dramatic increase in naïve varanid mortality when these large lizards attempt to feed on this toxic amphibian. In contrast Asian-African varanids, which have coevolved with toads, are resistant to toad toxin. Toad toxins, such as Bufalin target the H1-H2 domain of the α(1) subunit of the sodium-potassium-ATPase enzyme. Sequencing of this domain revealed identical nucleotide sequences in four Asian as well as in three African varanids, and identical sequences in all 11 Australian varanids. However, compared to the Asian-African varanids, the Australian varanids showed four-base-pair substitutions, resulting in the alteration in three of the 12 amino acids representing the H1-H2 domain. The phenotypic effect of the substitutions was investigated in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells stably transfected with the Australian and the Asian-African H1-H2 domains. The transfections resulted in an approximate 3000-fold reduction in resistance to Bufalin in the Australian HEK293 cells compared to the Asian-African HEK293 cells, demonstrating the critical role of this minor mutation in providing Bufalin resistance. Our study hence presents a clear link between genotype and phenotype, a critical step in understanding the evolution of phenotypic diversity.

  9. A new species of bunchgrass lizard (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the southern sky islands of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Grummer, Jared A; Bryson, Robert W

    2014-01-01

    A new species of bunchgrass lizard in the Sceloporus scalaris group is described from the southern portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. The new species, Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov., was previously confused with S. brownorum but differs from this and all but one species within the S. scalaris group by a lack of blue belly patches in males. It shares with S. chaneyi an absence of blue belly patches, but differs from this species in size, number of dorsal scales, number of scales around midbody, and presence of an un-patterned morph. The new species further differs from S. chaneyi, and all other species in the S. scalaris species group, by unique phylogenetic position revealed through species delimitation based on multi-locus nuclear DNA. Principal component analyses of 24 traditional morphological characters used to describe previous S. scalaris group taxa indicate that these characters may be of limited use to delineate species in this species group. However, male lateral and ventral coloration may still be an important character for diagnosing species. PMID:24869877

  10. A new species of bunchgrass lizard (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the southern sky islands of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Grummer, Jared A; Bryson, Robert W

    2014-04-22

    A new species of bunchgrass lizard in the Sceloporus scalaris group is described from the southern portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. The new species, Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov., was previously confused with S. brownorum but differs from this and all but one species within the S. scalaris group by a lack of blue belly patches in males. It shares with S. chaneyi an absence of blue belly patches, but differs from this species in size, number of dorsal scales, number of scales around midbody, and presence of an un-patterned morph. The new species further differs from S. chaneyi, and all other species in the S. scalaris species group, by unique phylogenetic position revealed through species delimitation based on multi-locus nuclear DNA. Principal component analyses of 24 traditional morphological characters used to describe previous S. scalaris group taxa indicate that these characters may be of limited use to delineate species in this species group. However, male lateral and ventral coloration may still be an important character for diagnosing species.

  11. Relationships of scincid lizards (Mabuya spp; Reptilia: Scincidae) from the Cape Verde islands based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Brehm, A; Jesus, J; Pinheiro, M; Harris, D J

    2001-05-01

    Partial DNA sequences from two mitochondrial (mt) and one nuclear gene (cytochrome b, 12S rRNA, and C-mos) were used to estimate the phylogenetic relationships among the six extant species of skinks endemic to the Cape Verde Archipelago. The species form a monophyletic unit, indicating a single colonization of the islands, probably from West Africa. Mabuya vaillanti and M. delalandii are sister taxa, as indicated by morphological characters. Mabuya fogoensis and M. stangeri are closely related, but the former is probably paraphyletic. Mabuya spinalis and M. salensis are also probably paraphyletic. Within species, samples from separate islands always form monophyletic groups. Some colonization events can be hypothesized, which are in line with the age of the islands. C-mos variation is concordant with the topology derived from mtDNA. PMID:11341812

  12. From a thriving past to an uncertain future: Zooarchaeological evidence of two millennia of human impact on a large emblematic lizard (Iguana delicatissima) on the Guadeloupe Islands (French West Indies)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bochaton, C.; Bailon, S.; Ineich, I.; Breuil, M.; Tresset, A.; Grouard, S.

    2016-10-01

    Among the lizards in the Lesser Antillean Islands, iguanas are undoubtedly the most emblematic, especially the endemic species, Iguana delicatissima. However, although much effort is currently made for the conservation of this species as a result of the present biodiversity crisis, nearly nothing is known of the history of this animal on these islands during the last millennia. Here we present the first data relating to the distribution, morphology, and interaction of past iguanas with human populations in the Lesser Antilles. To do so, we review the archaeological Iguana remains collected over the past 15 years on the Guadeloupe Islands. Our results show that the only Iguana species occurring in pre-Columbian archaeological deposits is Iguana delicatissima. Moreover, we demonstrate that this species occurred on all the islands of Guadeloupe during pre-Columbian times and then suddenly became extinct between 1960 and 1990 on most of these islands. We also confirm the modern introduction of I. iguana to the Guadeloupe Islands. In addition, zooarchaeological research demonstrates that pre-Columbian human populations occasionally used iguanas as a source of food, but with no apparent impact on the native population. However, the first data relating to past size variations of I. delicatissima on the Guadeloupe Islands indicate that archaeological iguanas were much larger than the largest remnant modern specimens and that a marked decrease in body length (more than 20%) occurred in these lizards after contact with European populations. This evidence of widespread extinction and morphological change during modern times is another demonstration of the extensive effects of disturbance and selection induced by modern human societies on endemic insular faunas.

  13. 78 FR 7907 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Island Night Lizard From the Federal...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-04

    ... (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996) and requesting that we delist the San Clemente and San Nicolas Island DPSs (Navy 2004, p. 12). In 2006, we published a 90-day finding (71 FR 48900) concluding that the Navy... published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (50 FR 34270), we will seek the expert opinions of...

  14. Continuous resistivity profiling data from Great South Bay, Long Island, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cross, V.A.; Bratton, J.F.; Kroeger, K.D.; Crusius, John; Worley, C.R.

    2013-01-01

    An investigation of submarine aquifers adjacent to the Fire Island National Seashore and Long Island, New York was conducted to assess the importance of submarine groundwater discharge as a potential nonpoint source of nitrogen delivery to Great South Bay. Over 200 kilometers of continuous resistivity profiling data were collected to image the fresh-saline groundwater interface in sediments beneath the bay. In addition, groundwater sampling was performed at sites (1) along the north shore of Great South Bay, particularly in Patchogue Bay, that were representative of the developed Long Island shoreline, and (2) at sites on and adjacent to Fire Island, a 50-kilometer-long barrier island on the south side of Great South Bay. Other field activities included sediment coring, stationary electrical resistivity profiling, and surveys of in situ pore water conductivity. Results of continuous resistivity profiling surveys are described in this report. The onshore and offshore shallow hydrostratigraphy of the Great South Bay shorelines, particularly the presence and nature of submarine confining units, appears to exert primary control on the dimensions and chemistry of the submarine groundwater flow and discharge zones. Sediment coring has shown that the confining units commonly consist of drowned and buried peat layers likely deposited in salt marshes. Low-salinity groundwater extends from 10 to 100 meters offshore along much of the north and south shores of Great South Bay based on continuous resistivity profiling data, especially off the mouths of tidal creeks and beneath shallow flats to the north of Fire Island adjacent to modern salt marshes. Human modifications of much of the shoreline and nearshore areas along the north shore of the bay, including filling of salt marshes, construction of bulkheads and piers, and dredging of navigation channels, has substantially altered the natural hydrogeology of the bay's shorelines by truncating confining units and increasing

  15. Island Universes, Novae and Supernovae. A Great Debate of the XX Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pigatto, L.

    2005-12-01

    The concept of island universes as very great stellar structures, was conceived in the 18th century. This fascinating idea started to be taken into consideration as soon as great telescopes permitted to observe and classify numerous and different--shape nebulae, especially spirals, in which novae were discovered. In 1920, a public debate concerning the scale of the universe, took place in Washington: Heber D. Curtis and Harlow Shapley presented their different opinion on this subject. Since that time, a new view of the universe and its dimension started to be considered.

  16. Flea (Siphonaptera) species richness in the Great Basin Desert and island biogeography theory.

    PubMed

    Bossard, Robert L

    2014-06-01

    Numbers of flea (Siphonaptera) species (flea species richness) on individual mammals should be higher on large mammals, mammals with dense populations, and mammals with large geographic ranges, if mammals are islands for fleas. I tested the first two predictions with regressions of H. J. Egoscue's trapping data on flea species richness collected from individual mammals against mammal size and population density from the literature. Mammal size and population density did not correlate with flea species richness. Mammal geographic range did, in earlier studies. The intermediate-sized (31 g), moderately dense (0.004 individuals/m(2)) Peromyscus truei (Shufeldt) had the highest richness with eight flea species on one individual. Overall, island biogeography theory does not describe the distribution of flea species on mammals in the Great Basin Desert, based on H. J. Egoscue's collections. Alternatively, epidemiological or metapopulation theories may explain flea species richness.

  17. Foraging movements of great frigatebirds from Aldabra Island: Relationship with environmental variables and interactions with fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Corre, Matthieu Le; Kai, Emilie Tew; Marsac, Francis

    2010-07-01

    Great Frigatebirds ( Fregata minor) are large tropical seabirds that rely primarily on sub-surface predators such as tunas or cetaceans to capture their prey. We studied the foraging movements of 14 Great Frigatebirds breeding on Aldabra Island (9.4°S, 46.4°E), the largest colony in the Indian Ocean. This colony is located at more than 500 km from the main fishing grounds of a very important industrial purse-seine fishery targeting surface-dwelling tunas. Despite their slow flight speeds (16 km h -1), frigatebirds are able to forage at more than 1000 km from the colonies when breeding, using 2500-4750 km long foraging loops over oceanic waters. All trips were directed to the north of the island up to the equator. Foraging bouts, indicated by reduced flight speeds, were rare and located throughout the trips. Foraging spots tended to be more frequent on higher surface chlorophyll concentration and in association with some cyclonic vortices. However, mesoscale activity is relatively weak between Aldabra and the equator and the chlorophyll variability is mostly the result of wind-mixing processes during the southwest monsoon. These results suggest that frigatebirds forage for widely distributed resources to the north of Aldabra. The northernmost foraging bouts were located in the vicinity of the purse-seine fishing grounds, but without a significant overlap between frigatebirds and tuna fleets. The results of the study are compared with those from another population at Europa Island (22.3°S, 40.3°E) where birds were foraging on predictable features, the edge of cyclonic eddies that are marked in the Mozambique Channel. We discuss the consequences of the reliance of populations on contrasted oceanographic conditions on foraging strategies and on the evolution of life histories in these long-lived animals in a changing climate, as well as the possible effects of overfishing on frigatebird populations.

  18. Hydrogeology and extent of saltwater intrusion of the Great Neck peninsula, Great Neck, Long Island, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stumm, Frederick

    2001-01-01

    Great Neck, a peninsula, in the northwestern part of Nassau County, N.Y., is underlain by unconsolidated deposits that form a sequence of aquifers and confining units. Seven public-supply wells have been affected by the intrusion of saltwater from the surrounding embayments (Little Neck Bay, Long Island Sound, Manhasset Bay). Fifteen observation wells were drilled in 1991-96 for the collection of hydrogeologic, geochemical, and geophysical data to delineate the subsurface geology and extent of saltwater intrusion within the peninsula. Continuous high-resolution seismic-reflection surveys in the embayments surrounding the Great Neck peninsula and the Manhasset Neck peninsula to the east were completed in 1993 and 1994. Two hydrogeologic units are newly proposed herein.the North Shore aquifer and the North Shore confining unit. The new drill-core data collected in 1991-96 indicate that the Lloyd aquifer, the Raritan confining unit, and the Magothy aquifer have been completely removed from the northern part of the peninsula by extensive glacial erosion. Water levels at selected observation wells were measured quarterly throughout the study. The results from two studies of the effects of tides on ground-water levels in 1992 and 1993 indicate that water levels at wells screened within the North Shore and Lloyd aquifers respond to tides and pumping effects, but those in the overlying upper glacial aquifer (where the water table is located) do not. Data from quarterly water-level measurements and the tidal-effect studies indicate the North Shore and Lloyd aquifers to be hydraulically connected. Offshore seismic-reflection surveys in the surrounding embayments indicate at least two glacially eroded buried valleys with subhorizontal, parallel reflectors indicative of draped bedding that is interpreted as infilling by silt and clay. The buried valleys (1) truncate the surrounding coarse-grained deposits, (2) are asymmetrical and steep sided, (3) trend northwest-southeast, (4

  19. An assessment of an environmental gradient using coral geochemical records, Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Lewis, S E; Brodie, J E; McCulloch, M T; Mallela, J; Jupiter, S D; Williams, H Stuart; Lough, J M; Matson, E G

    2012-01-01

    Coral cores were collected along an environmental and water quality gradient through the Whitsunday Island group, Great Barrier Reef (Australia), for trace element and stable isotope analysis. The primary aim of the study was to examine if this gradient could be detected in coral records and, if so, whether the gradient has changed over time with changing land use in the adjacent river catchments. Y/Ca was the trace element ratio which varied spatially across the gradient, with concentrations progressively decreasing away from the river mouths. The Ba/Ca and Y/Ca ratios were the only indicators of change in the gradient through time, increasing shortly after European settlement. The Mn/Ca ratio responded to local disturbance related to the construction of tourism infrastructure. Nitrogen isotope ratios showed no apparent trend over time. This study highlights the importance of site selection when using coral records to record regional environmental signals. PMID:22030106

  20. An assessment of an environmental gradient using coral geochemical records, Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Lewis, S E; Brodie, J E; McCulloch, M T; Mallela, J; Jupiter, S D; Williams, H Stuart; Lough, J M; Matson, E G

    2012-01-01

    Coral cores were collected along an environmental and water quality gradient through the Whitsunday Island group, Great Barrier Reef (Australia), for trace element and stable isotope analysis. The primary aim of the study was to examine if this gradient could be detected in coral records and, if so, whether the gradient has changed over time with changing land use in the adjacent river catchments. Y/Ca was the trace element ratio which varied spatially across the gradient, with concentrations progressively decreasing away from the river mouths. The Ba/Ca and Y/Ca ratios were the only indicators of change in the gradient through time, increasing shortly after European settlement. The Mn/Ca ratio responded to local disturbance related to the construction of tourism infrastructure. Nitrogen isotope ratios showed no apparent trend over time. This study highlights the importance of site selection when using coral records to record regional environmental signals.

  1. A great earthquake doublet and seismic stress transfer cycle in the central Kuril islands.

    PubMed

    Ammon, Charles J; Kanamori, Hiroo; Lay, Thorne

    2008-01-31

    Temporal variations of the frictional resistance on subduction-zone plate boundary faults associated with the stick-slip cycle of large interplate earthquakes are thought to modulate the stress regime and earthquake activity within the subducting oceanic plate. Here we report on two great earthquakes that occurred near the Kuril islands, which shed light on this process and demonstrate the enhanced seismic hazard accompanying triggered faulting. On 15 November 2006, an event of moment magnitude 8.3 ruptured the shallow-dipping plate boundary along which the Pacific plate descends beneath the central Kuril arc. The thrust ruptured a seismic gap that previously had uncertain seismogenic potential, although the earlier occurrence of outer-rise compressional events had suggested the presence of frictional resistance. Within minutes of this large underthrusting event, intraplate extensional earthquakes commenced in the outer rise region seaward of the Kuril trench, and on 13 January 2007, an event of moment magnitude 8.1 ruptured a normal fault extending through the upper portion of the Pacific plate, producing one of the largest recorded shallow extensional earthquakes. This energetic earthquake sequence demonstrates the stress transfer process within the subducting lithosphere, and the distinct rupture characteristics of these great earthquakes illuminate differences in seismogenic properties and seismic hazard of such interplate and intraplate faults.

  2. Communication Signals in Lizards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Charles C.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses mechanisms and functional intent of visual communication signals in iguanid/agamid lizards. Demonstrated that lizards communicate with each other by using pushups and head nods and that each species does this in its own way, conveying different types of information. (JN)

  3. 78 FR 16287 - Great Lakes Islands Refuges, MI and WI; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-14

    ... Federal Register (73 FR 76677) on December 17, 2008. The Great Lakes Islands Refuges are comprised of... and EA to the public, announcing and requesting comments in a notice of availability (77 FR 51552) on..., fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We...

  4. Phytoplankton ecology of a barrier island estuary: Great South Bay, New York

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lively, John S.; Kaufman, Zena; Carpenter, Edward J.

    1983-01-01

    The phytoplankton ecology of Great South Bay, New York, was studied over a 1-year period. The study area, a large barrier island estuary (coastal lagoon with estuarine circulation), was characterized by high levels of inorganic nutrients, high turbidity and a shallow euphotic zone (<2 m). Net annual primary production by phytoplankton was high—450 g C m -2 year -1—and accounted for approximately 85% of the total ecosystem primary production. Chlorophyll a-specific productivity was dependent on mean photic zone light intensity in areas of the bay <1 m in depth from September 1979 through June 1980; 65-95% of the total light extinction in those areas was attibutable to suspended solids. Nitrogenous nutrient concentration did not limit phytoplankton productivity. Diatom and dinoflagellate cell densities varied greatly over time, while cryptomonad and chlorophyte species were abundant throughtout the year. Chlorophytes of 2-4 μm ('small forms') were numerically dominant, and contributed approximately half of the total phytoplankton biomass. Dilution of bay water by intruding ocean water appeared to control the spatial distribution of chlorophyll a on the south side of the bay; in other areas, growth appeared to exceed the rate of dilution by flushing. Waters entrained in eelgrass beds were significantly higher in salinity and mean photic zone light intensity, and had lower phytoplankton standing stock and depth-integrated primary production than control areas; waters in the sediment plume of active clamdigging boats were statistically similar to control areas with respect to water quality and phytoplankton community characteristics.

  5. Haemoproteus iwa in Great Frigatebirds (Fregata minor) in the Islands of the Western Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Bastien, Matthieu; Jaeger, Audrey; Le Corre, Matthieu; Tortosa, Pablo; Lebarbenchon, Camille

    2014-01-01

    Blood parasites of the sub-genus Haemoproteus have been reported in seabirds, in particular in species in the Suliformes order. These parasites are transmitted by hippoboscid flies of the genus Olfersia; strong specificity has been suggested between the vector and its vertebrate host. We investigated the prevalence of Haemoproteus infection in Suliformes and hippoboscid flies in two oceanic islands of the Western Indian Ocean: Europa and Tromelin. In total, 209 blood samples were collected from great frigatebirds (Fregata minor), masked boobies (Sula dactylatra) and red-footed boobies (Sula sula). Forty-one hippoboscid flies were also collected from birds. Seventeen frigatebirds and one fly collected on Europa tested positive for the presence of Haemoproteus parasites by polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial sequences of the Cytochrome b gene showed that parasites were closely related to Haemoproteus iwa reported from frigatebirds in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean. Plasmodium was also detected in a frigatebird on Europa; however, its placement on the phylogenetic tree could not be resolved. We provide strong support for transmission of blood parasites in seabirds in the Western Indian Ocean and suggest that migrations between the Pacific and the Indian oceans could favor the large-scale distribution of Haemoproteus iwa in frigatebird populations.

  6. Coral community responses to declining water quality: Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Angus; Schroeder, Thomas; Brando, Vittorio E.; Schaffelke, Britta

    2014-12-01

    A five-year period (2002-2006) of below-median rainfall followed by a six-year period (2007-2012) of above-median rainfall and seasonal flooding allowed a natural experiment into the effects of runoff on the water quality and subsequent coral community responses in the Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Satellite-derived water quality estimates of total suspended solids (TSS) and chlorophyll- a (Chl) concentration showed marked seasonal variability that was exaggerated during years with high river discharge. During above-median rainfall years, Chl was aseasonally high for a period of 3 months during the wet season (February-April), while TSS was elevated for four months, extending into the dry season (March-June). Coinciding with these extremes in water quality was a reduction in the abundance and shift in the community composition, of juvenile corals. The incidence of coral disease was at a maximum during the transition from years of below-median to years of above-median river discharge. In contrast to juvenile corals, the cover of larger corals remained stable, although the composition of communities varied along environmental gradients. In combination, these results suggest opportunistic recruitment of corals during periods of relatively low environmental stress with selection for more tolerant species occurring during periods of environmental extremes.

  7. Haemoproteus iwa in Great Frigatebirds (Fregata minor) in the Islands of the Western Indian Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Bastien, Matthieu; Jaeger, Audrey; Le Corre, Matthieu; Tortosa, Pablo; Lebarbenchon, Camille

    2014-01-01

    Blood parasites of the sub-genus Haemoproteus have been reported in seabirds, in particular in species in the Suliformes order. These parasites are transmitted by hippoboscid flies of the genus Olfersia; strong specificity has been suggested between the vector and its vertebrate host. We investigated the prevalence of Haemoproteus infection in Suliformes and hippoboscid flies in two oceanic islands of the Western Indian Ocean: Europa and Tromelin. In total, 209 blood samples were collected from great frigatebirds (Fregata minor), masked boobies (Sula dactylatra) and red-footed boobies (Sula sula). Forty-one hippoboscid flies were also collected from birds. Seventeen frigatebirds and one fly collected on Europa tested positive for the presence of Haemoproteus parasites by polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial sequences of the Cytochrome b gene showed that parasites were closely related to Haemoproteus iwa reported from frigatebirds in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean. Plasmodium was also detected in a frigatebird on Europa; however, its placement on the phylogenetic tree could not be resolved. We provide strong support for transmission of blood parasites in seabirds in the Western Indian Ocean and suggest that migrations between the Pacific and the Indian oceans could favor the large-scale distribution of Haemoproteus iwa in frigatebird populations. PMID:24810172

  8. Spatiotemporal patterns of coral disease prevalence on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haapkylä, J.; Melbourne-Thomas, J.; Flavell, M.; Willis, B. L.

    2010-12-01

    Despite increasing research effort on coral diseases, little is known about factors driving disease dynamics on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This is the first study to investigate the temporal patterns of coral disease prevalence and potential drivers of disease around Heron Island, in the southern Capricorn Bunker sector of the GBR. Surveys were conducted in two austral summers and three winters between November 2007 and August 2009 on six sites around the island. Six diseases were detected: brown band syndrome (BrB), growth anomalies (GA), ulcerative white spots (UWS), white syndrome (WS), skeletal eroding band disease (SEB) and black band disease (BBD). The lowest overall mean disease prevalence was 1.87 ± 0.75% (mean ± SE) in November 2007 and the highest 4.22 ± 1.72% in August 2008. There was evidence of seasonality for two diseases: BrB and UWS. This is the first study to report a higher prevalence of BrB in the winter. BrB had a prevalence of 3.29 ± 0.58% in August 2008 and 1.53 ± 0.28% in August 2009, while UWS was the most common syndrome in the summer with a prevalence of 1.12 ± 0.31% in November 2007 and 2.67 ± 0.52% prevalence in January 2008. The prevalence of GAs and SEB did not depend on the season, although the prevalence of GAs increased throughout the study period. WS had a slightly higher prevalence in the summer, but its overall prevalence was low (<0.5%). Sites with high abundance of staghorn Acropora and Montipora were characterised by the highest disease prevalence (12% of Acropora and 3.3% of Montipora species were diseased respectively). These results highlight the correlations between coral disease prevalence, seasonally varying environmental parameters and coral community composition. Given that diseases are likely to reduce the resilience of corals, seasonal patterns in disease prevalence deserve further research.

  9. Island biology and morphological divergence of the Skyros wall lizard Podarcis gaigeae: a combined role for local selection and genetic drift on color morph frequency divergence?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Patterns of spatial variation in discrete phenotypic traits can be used to draw inferences about the adaptive significance of traits and evolutionary processes, especially when compared to patterns of neutral genetic variation. Population divergence in adaptive traits such as color morphs can be influenced by both local ecology and stochastic factors such as genetic drift or founder events. Here, we use quantitative color measurements of males and females of Skyros wall lizard, Podarcis gaigeae, to demonstrate that this species is polymorphic with respect to throat color, and the morphs form discrete phenotypic clusters with limited overlap between categories. We use divergence in throat color morph frequencies and compare that to neutral genetic variation to infer the evolutionary processes acting on islet- and mainland populations. Results Geographically close islet- and mainland populations of the Skyros wall lizard exhibit strong divergence in throat color morph frequencies. Population variation in throat color morph frequencies between islets was higher than that between mainland populations, and the effective population sizes on the islets were small (Ne:s < 100). Population divergence (FST) for throat color morph frequencies fell within the neutral FST-distribution estimated from microsatellite markers, and genetic drift could thus not be rejected as an explanation for the pattern. Moreover, for both comparisons among mainland-mainland population pairs and between mainland-islet population pairs, morph frequency divergence was significantly correlated with neutral divergence, further pointing to some role for genetic drift in divergence also at the phenotypic level of throat color morphs. Conclusions Genetic drift could not be rejected as an explanation for the pattern of population divergence in morph frequencies. In spite of an expected stabilising selection, throat color frequencies diverged in the islet populations. These results suggest that

  10. Continuous seismic-reflection survey of the Great Salt Lake, Utah- east of Antelope and Fremont Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lambert, P.M.; West, J.C.

    1989-01-01

    A continuous seismic-reflection survey of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, was conducted east of Fremont and Antelope Islands in 1984 by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources and produced data along approximately 80 miles of seismic lines. The survey was conducted to determine depth to consolidated rock, and definition and continuity of overlying basin fill under the lake. Interpretation of the data indicates the presence of faulted rock dipping away from Fremont and Antelope Islands. A north-south-trending consolidated-rock ridge is identified 200 ft below lake bottom, 275 miles east of Fremont Island. Shallow rock is also inferred 380 ft below lake bottom, near Hooper Hot Springs, and 520 ft below lake bottom approximately 4 miles east of the south end of Antelope Island. Interpretation of reflections from overlying basin fill indicates fine-grained, thinly-bedded deposits that become coarser with depth. Strong reflectors in the basin fill can be correlated with water-bearing strata penetrated by wells near the north end of Antelope Island and along the east shore of the lake. Many continuous, high-amplitude reflections can be identified in data from basin fill and may represent sedimentary sections or aquifer boundaries but cannot be defined because of a lack of subsurface control in the area. (USGS)

  11. The Great 2006 and 2007 Kuril Earthquakes, Forearc Segmentation and Seismic Activity of the Central Kuril Islands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranov, B. V.; Ivashchenko, A. I.; Dozorova, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    We present a structural study of the Central Kuril Islands forearc region, where the great megathrust tsunamigenic earthquake ( M w 8.3) occurred on November 15, 2006. Based on new bathymetry and seismic profiles obtained during two research cruises of R/V Akademik Lavrentiev in 2005 and 2006, ten crustal segments with along-arc length ranging from 30 to 100 km, separated by NS- and NW-trending transcurrent faults were identified within the forearc region. The transcurrent faults may serve as barriers impeding stress transfer between the neighboring segments, so that stress accumulated within separate forearc segments is usually released by earthquakes of moderate-to-strong magnitudes. However, the great November 15, 2006 earthquake ruptured seven of the crustal segments probably following a 226-year gap since the last great earthquake in 1780. The geographic extent of earthquake rupture zones, aftershock areas and earthquake clusters correlate well with forearc crustal segments identified using the geophysical data. Based on segmented structure of the Central Kuril Islands forearc region, we consider and discuss three scenarios of a great earthquake occurrence within this area. Although the margin is segmented, we suggest that a rupture could occupy the entire seismic gap with a total length of about 500 km. In such a case, the earthquake magnitude M w might exceed 8.5, and such an event might generate tsunami waves significantly exceeding in height to those produced by the great 2006-2007 Kuril earthquakes.

  12. Climatic control of trophic interaction strength: the effect of lizards on spiders.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2008-01-01

    We investigated how temporal variation in rainfall influences the impact of lizards on spiders inhabiting small islands in Abaco, Bahamas. Annual censuses of web spiders were conducted on nine lizard islands and on eight no-lizard islands 1994-2003. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that annual variation in spider density (time) and in the lizard effect on spider density (lizard x time) were both significant. Correlation coefficients between the lizard effect (ln ratio of no-lizard to lizard spider densities) and number of rainfall days were generally negative, and strengthened with length of the time period during which rainfall was measured prior to annual spider censuses. Spider density was also negatively correlated with rainfall days and strengthened with length of the prior time period. Longer time intervals included the hurricane season, suggesting that the strong negative correlations were linked to high rainfall years during which tropical storms impacted the region and reduced spider and lizard densities. Split-plot ANOVA showed that rainfall during the hurricane season had a significant effect on the lizard effect and on spider density. Results in this study are opposite to those found in our previous 10-year study (1981-1990) conducted in the Exuma Cays, a moderately xeric region of the Bahamas, where the relation between rainfall and the lizard effect on spider density was positive. Combined data from the Exuma and Abaco studies produce a unimodal relation between trophic interaction strength and rainfall; we suggest that the negative effect of storms associated with rainfall was paramount in the present study, whereas the positive bottom-up effect of rainfall prevailed in our previous study. We conclude that climatic variability has a major impact on the trophic interaction and suggest that a substantial change in precipitation in either direction may weaken the interaction significantly. PMID:17972107

  13. Climatic control of trophic interaction strength: the effect of lizards on spiders.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2008-01-01

    We investigated how temporal variation in rainfall influences the impact of lizards on spiders inhabiting small islands in Abaco, Bahamas. Annual censuses of web spiders were conducted on nine lizard islands and on eight no-lizard islands 1994-2003. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that annual variation in spider density (time) and in the lizard effect on spider density (lizard x time) were both significant. Correlation coefficients between the lizard effect (ln ratio of no-lizard to lizard spider densities) and number of rainfall days were generally negative, and strengthened with length of the time period during which rainfall was measured prior to annual spider censuses. Spider density was also negatively correlated with rainfall days and strengthened with length of the prior time period. Longer time intervals included the hurricane season, suggesting that the strong negative correlations were linked to high rainfall years during which tropical storms impacted the region and reduced spider and lizard densities. Split-plot ANOVA showed that rainfall during the hurricane season had a significant effect on the lizard effect and on spider density. Results in this study are opposite to those found in our previous 10-year study (1981-1990) conducted in the Exuma Cays, a moderately xeric region of the Bahamas, where the relation between rainfall and the lizard effect on spider density was positive. Combined data from the Exuma and Abaco studies produce a unimodal relation between trophic interaction strength and rainfall; we suggest that the negative effect of storms associated with rainfall was paramount in the present study, whereas the positive bottom-up effect of rainfall prevailed in our previous study. We conclude that climatic variability has a major impact on the trophic interaction and suggest that a substantial change in precipitation in either direction may weaken the interaction significantly.

  14. A new blue-tailed Monitor lizard (Reptilia, Squamata, Varanus) of the Varanus indicus group from Mussau Island, Papua New Guinea.

    PubMed

    Weijola, Valter; Donnellan, Stephen C; Lindqvist, Christer

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of Varanus from Mussau Island, north-east of New Guinea. The new species is a member of the Varanus indicus species group and is distinguished from all other members by both morphological and molecular genetic characters. It is the third species of Varanus reported from the Bismarck Archipelago and the first record of a yellow tongued member of the Varanus indicus species group from a remote oceanic island. The herpetofauna of Mussau Island has not been well studied but the discovery of this new species is in accordance with recent findings indicating that the island may harbor several unknown endemic vertebrates. The distribution of the closely related Varanus finschi is also discussed in the light of recent fieldwork and a review of old records.

  15. A new blue-tailed Monitor lizard (Reptilia, Squamata, Varanus) of the Varanus indicus group from Mussau Island, Papua New Guinea

    PubMed Central

    Weijola, Valter; Donnellan, Stephen C.; Lindqvist, Christer

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Varanus from Mussau Island, north-east of New Guinea. The new species is a member of the Varanus indicus species group and is distinguished from all other members by both morphological and molecular genetic characters. It is the third species of Varanus reported from the Bismarck Archipelago and the first record of a yellow tongued member of the Varanus indicus species group from a remote oceanic island. The herpetofauna of Mussau Island has not been well studied but the discovery of this new species is in accordance with recent findings indicating that the island may harbor several unknown endemic vertebrates. The distribution of the closely related Varanus finschi is also discussed in the light of recent fieldwork and a review of old records. PMID:27103877

  16. Coseismic vertical deformation during the great 2007 Solomon Islands megathrust rupture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briggs, R.; Taylor, F. W.; Frohlich, C.; Papabatu, A. K.; Billy, D.; Brown, A.; Meltzner, A. J.

    2007-12-01

    A joint US-Solomon Islands team visited the epicentral area of the 1 April 2007 Mw 8.1 Solomon Islands earthquake a few weeks after the event. We used coral microatolls, satellite imagery, and displaced geomorphic and cultural features to map the coseismic deformation pattern in the region directly above and adjacent to the subduction megathrust rupture. Among our main findings is that most slip occurred on the shallow portion of the megathrust and that slip appears to have reached the deformation front at Ranongga island, which was uplifted as much as ~2.5 m when the rupture propagated across the subducting Simbo ridge transform. Simbo island, which sits on the downgoing Australian plate and lies only 8 km across the plate boundary from uplifted Ranongga, subsided ~0.7 m coseismically and experienced only subdued ground motions. The line of zero vertical displacement (hingeline) runs closely along the southwestern coasts of Vella Lavella, Ghizo, and Parara islands, implying a persistent structural relationship between the downdip limit of coseismic slip and these coastlines. A broad, asymmetrical subsidence trough as deep as ~0.7 m extends across Vella Lavella, Kolombangara, Parara, and New Georgia. Uplift of ~0.35 m on the westermost tip of Rendova, along with overall subsidence of Rendova and Tetepare, place a firm limit on the southeastern extent of rupture. Uplift of Mono and subsidence of Fauro and the Shortlands, and no resolvable vertical change on Bougainville, define a rupture length of nearly 250 km between Rendova and the Woodlark rise.

  17. Effects of herring gulls and great black-backed gulls on breeding piping plovers, South Monomoy Island, Massachusetts. Final Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keane, S.E.; Fraser, J.D.; Buckley, P.A.

    2002-01-01

    The large population of breeding herring gulls and great black-backed gulls on South Monomoy Island, Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been thought to negatively affect the breeding success of the threatened piping plover. Following the Piping Plover Recovery Plan's call for gull colonies to be removed from piping plover breeding sites, in 1996, the USFWS conducted gull removal on part of South Monomoy Island. We determined relative gull abundance on South Monomoy Island from 1998-2000 by counting gulls within 100-m radius plots located on the shoreline. We quantified piping plover behavior and habitat use by conducting instantaneous and 5-minute behavioral observations. We quantified characteristics of piping plover nesting habitat by measuring characteristics along random transects. We measured gull abundance, beach width, and prey abundance, and then used logistic regression to determine what habitat characteristics influenced piping plover nesting area selection. We monitored piping plover reproductive success and population fluctuations on South Monomoy Island. Gull abundance in the gull-removal area was lower than gull abundance in the reference area throughout the piping plover breeding season. The difference in gull abundance between the areas did not affect piping plover behavior, nest success, chick survival, or productivity. We found that gull removal did not result in an increased piping plover population on the island. In both management areas, prenesting plovers preferred to forage in moist substrate habitats. Wide backshore and open vegetation habitats characterized nesting areas. Broods spent most of their time foraging and preferred moist substrate habitats when available. Plovers were not prevented from occupying more suitable habitat by large gulls. Fewer large gulls were observed near prenesting plovers, plover nests, and plover broods than near random plots. Fewer large gulls were observed in plover nesting areas than in unused areas when the nesting

  18. Tsunami Runup in the Middle Kuril Islands from the Great Earthquake of 15 Nov 2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgeois, J.; Pinegina, T.; Razhegaeva, N.; Kaistrenko, V.; Levin, B.; Macinnes, B.; Kravchunovskaya, E.

    2007-12-01

    Two expeditions to the middle Kuril Islands [IMGG FED RAS, NSF Kurils Biocomplexity Project] in the summer of 2007 yielded tsunami runup and inundation measurements from the 15 Nov 2006 Mw 8.3 subduction-zone earthquake, and possibly from the 13 Jan 2007 Mw 8.1 earthquake seaward of the subduction zone. Both earthquakes produced measurable tsunamis in the far field, the 13 Jan tsunami significantly smaller; the 15 Nov tsunami did some damage in the harbor of Crescent City, CA. Ours are the first near-source measurements because no one lives in the middle Kurils. Moreover, because KBP visited many of the same sites in summer of 2006, we have numerous before-and-after comparisons, including quantified erosion. We measured 120 profiles and made more than 300 runup measurements. We found dramatic tsunami effects of erosion and deposition, with widespread runup of 8-12 m, up to about 20 m, between and including Simushir and Matua islands. In most cases, we measured runup with a transit and surveying rod, producing a topographic profile from sea level to the slope above runup indicators; in some cases, we used a hand level and tape. Runup/inundation criteria were generally subhorizontal lines of floatable debris, typically wood, plastic, glass floats, and styrofoam. Single occurrences, e.g., of a plastic bottle were not considered adequate. Corroborative evidence, not used independently, included limits of consistently oriented stems of tall grasses and flowers, limit of sand and gravel deposits above turf and dead vegetation, and elevation of fresh erosion of turf from slopes landward of the beach plain. Currently we are compiling, correcting and vetting our measurements, which will be submitted to online databases. Topographic profiles obviously had an effect on the data, with short, steep profiles generating high runup and short inundation; most beach-ridge profiles had longer inundation and shorter runup. However, at Ainu Bay on Matua Island, we found as much as 18

  19. Evolution of Anolis Lizard Dewlap Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, Kirsten E.; Harmon, Luke J.; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2007-01-01

    Background The dewlaps of Anolis lizards provide a classic example of a complex signaling system whose function and evolution is poorly understood. Dewlaps are flaps of skin beneath the chin that are extended and combined with head and body movements for visual signals and displays. They exhibit extensive morphological variation and are one of two cladistic features uniting anoles, yet little is known regarding their function and evolution. We quantified the diversity of anole dewlaps, investigated whether dewlap morphology was informative regarding phylogenetic relationships, and tested two separate hypotheses: (A) similar Anolis habitat specialists possess similar dewlap configurations (Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis), and (B) sympatric species differ in their dewlap morphologies to a greater extent than expected by chance (Species Recognition hypothesis). Methodology/Principal Findings We found that dewlap configurations (sizes, patterns and colors) exhibit substantial diversity, but that most are easily categorized into six patterns that incorporate one to three of 13 recognizable colors. Dewlap morphology is not phylogenetically informative and, like other features of anoles, exhibits convergence in configurations. We found no support for the Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis; species using the same structural habitat were no more similar in dewlap configuration than expected by chance. With one exception, all sympatric species in four communities differ in dewlap configuration. However, this provides only weak support for the Species Recognition hypothesis because, due to the great diversity in dewlap configurations observed across each island, few cases of sympatric species with identical dewlaps would be expected to co-occur by chance alone. Conclusions/Significance Despite previous thought, most dewlaps exhibit easily characterizable patterns and colorations. Nevertheless, dewlap variation is extensive and explanations for the origin and evolution of this

  20. Besnoitia in a palaearctic lizard (Lacerta dugesii) from Madeira.

    PubMed

    Frank, W; Frenkel, J K

    1981-01-01

    Besnoitia cysts in the heart of a lizard (Lacerta dugesii) from the islands of Madeira are the first record of besnoitiosis in a poikilothermic animal in the Old World. The size of the cysts corresponds to those found in lizard genera (Basiliscus and Ameiva) from Panama which belong to B. darlingi. Up to now nothing is known concerning the life cycle of this species from Madeira but it seems possible that cats function as definitive hosts as well as in the other species. PMID:6782782

  1. The Effect of the Great Barrier Reef on the Propagation of the 2007 Solomon Islands Tsunami Recorded in Northeastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baba, Toshitaka; Mleczko, Richard; Burbidge, David; Cummins, Phil R.; Thio, Hong Kie

    2008-12-01

    The effect of offshore coral reefs on the impact from a tsunami remains controversial. For example, field surveys after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami indicate that the energy of the tsunami was reduced by natural coral reef barriers in Sri Lanka, but there was no indication that coral reefs off Banda Aceh, Indonesia had any effect on the tsunami. In this paper, we investigate whether the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) offshore Queensland, Australia, may have weakened the tsunami impact from the 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake. The fault slip distribution of the 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake was firstly obtained by teleseismic inversion. The tsunami was then propagated to shallow water just offshore the coast by solving the linear shallow water equations using a staggered grid finite-difference method. We used a relatively high resolution (approximately 250 m) bathymetric grid for the region just off the coast containing the reef. The tsunami waveforms recorded at tide gauge stations along the Australian coast were then compared to the results from the tsunami simulation when using both the realistic 250 m resolution bathymetry and with two grids having fictitious bathymetry: One in which the the GBR has been replaced by a smooth interpolation from depths outside the GBR to the coast (the “No GBR” grid), and one in which the GBR has been replaced by a flat plane at a depth equal to the mean water depth of the GBR (the “Average GBR” grid). From the comparison between the synthetic waveforms both with and without the Great Barrier Reef, we found that the Great Barrier Reef significantly weakened the tsunami impact. According to our model, the coral reefs delayed the tsunami arrival time by 5-10 minutes, decreased the amplitude of the first tsunami pulse to half or less, and lengthened the period of the tsunami.

  2. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C F D; Vrcibradic, D; Kiefer, M C; Menezes, V A; Fontes, A F; Hatano, F H; Galdino, C A B; Bergallo, H G; Van Sluys, M

    2014-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation is well known to adversely affect species living in the remaining, relatively isolated, habitat patches, especially for those having small range size and low density. This negative effect has been critical in coastal resting habitats. We analysed the lizard composition and richness of restinga habitats in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia) and more than 1500km of the Brazilian coast in order to evaluate if the loss of lizard species following habitat reduction occur in a nested pattern or at random, using the "Nestedness Temperature Calculator" to analyse the distribution pattern of lizard species among the restingas studied. We also estimated the potential capacity that each restinga has to maintain lizard species. Eleven lizard species were recorded in the restingas, although not all species occurred in all areas. The restinga with the richest lizard fauna was Guriri (eight species) whereas the restinga with the lowest richness was Praia do Sul (located at Ilha Grande, a large coastal island). Among the restingas analysed, Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves, were the most hospitable for lizards. The matrix community temperature of the lizard assemblages was 20.49° (= P <0.00001; 5000 randomisations; randomisation temperature = 51.45° ± 7.18° SD), indicating that lizard assemblages in the coastal restingas exhibited a considerable nested structure. The degree in which an area is hospitable for different assemblages could be used to suggest those with greater value of conservation. We concluded that lizard assemblages in coastal restingas occur at a considerable level of ordination in restinga habitats and that some restinga areas such as Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves are quite important to preserve lizard diversity of restinga environments.

  3. Review of the source characteristics of the Great Sumatra-Andaman Islands earthquake of 2004

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menke, William; Abend, Hannah; Bach, Dalia; Newman, Kori; Levin, Vadim

    2006-11-01

    The December 26, 2004 Sumatra-Andaman Island earthquake, which ruptured the Sunda Trench subduction zone, is one of the three largest earthquakes to occur since global monitoring began in the 1890s. Its seismic moment was M 0 =1.00 × 1023-1.15 × 1023 Nm, corresponding to a moment-magnitude of M w = 9.3. The rupture propagated from south to north, with the southerly part of fault rupturing at a speed of 2.8 km/s. Rupture propagation appears to have slowed in the northern section, possibly to ˜2.1 km/s, although published estimates have considerable scatter. The average slip is ˜5 m along a shallowly dipping (8°), N31°W striking thrust fault. The majority of slip and moment release appears to have been concentrated in the southern part of the rupture zone, where slip locally exceeded 30 m. Stress loading from this earthquake caused the section of the plate boundary immediately to the south to rupture in a second, somewhat smaller earthquake. This second earthquake occurred on March 28, 2005 and had a moment-magnitude of M w = 8.5.

  4. The influence of sea level and cyclones on Holocene reef flat development: Middle Island, central Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, E. J.; Smithers, S. G.; Lewis, S. E.; Clark, T. R.; Zhao, J. X.

    2016-09-01

    The geomorphology and chronostratigraphy of the reef flat (including microatoll ages and elevations) were investigated to better understand the long-term development of the reef at Middle Island, inshore central Great Barrier Reef. Eleven cores across the fringing reef captured reef initiation, framework accretion and matrix sediments, allowing a comprehensive appreciation of reef development. Precise uranium-thorium ages obtained from coral skeletons revealed that the reef initiated ~7873 ± 17 years before present (yBP), and most of the reef was emplaced in the following 1000 yr. Average rates of vertical reef accretion ranged between 3.5 and 7.6 mm yr-1. Reef framework was dominated by branching corals ( Acropora and Montipora). An age hiatus of ~5000 yr between 6439 ± 19 and 1617 ± 10 yBP was observed in the core data and attributed to stripping of the reef structure by intense cyclones during the mid- to late-Holocene. Large shingle ridges deposited onshore and basset edges preserved on the reef flat document the influence of cyclones at Middle Island and represent potential sinks for much of the stripped material. Stripping of the upper reef structure around the outer margin of the reef flat by cyclones created accommodation space for a thin (<1.2 m) veneer of reef growth after 1617 ± 10 yBP that grew over the eroded mid-Holocene reef structure. Although limited fetch and open-water exposure might suggest the reef flat at Middle Island is quite protected, our results show that high-energy waves presumably generated by cyclones have significantly influenced both Holocene reef growth and contemporary reef flat geomorphology.

  5. Legacy Pollutants are Declining in Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua) but Remain Higher in Faroe Islands than in Scotland.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Sjurdur; Nager, Ruedi G; Alonso, Sarah; McGill, Rona A R; Furness, Robert W; Dam, Maria

    2016-08-01

    To monitor environmental pollutants in Faroese biota, samples from a top predator were analysed and put into a spatial and temporal context. Analysis of 20 Great Skua eggs sampled in 2012 from the Faroe Islands showed >70 % lower concentrations of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than in samples analysed in 1977. The 2012 Faroese eggs showed higher concentrations than for eggs in Shetland from about the same period (2008). Eggshells were analysed for sub-lethal effects but there were no detectable effects of legacy POP levels on eggshell colour or thickness. A temporal decline in legacy POPs would indicate a reduction in the general pollutant levels present in the environment as has been shown in other areas of the North Atlantic, but there are significant geographic differences in POPs levels likely due to differences in diet resulting in significantly different exposures on a relatively limited spatial scale. PMID:27329112

  6. Sheet-gravel evidence for a late Holocene tsunami run-up on beach dunes, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichol, Scott L.; Lian, Olav B.; Carter, Charles H.

    2003-01-01

    A semi-continuous sheet of granule to cobble-size clasts forms a distinctive deposit on sand dunes located on a coastal barrier in Whangapoua Bay, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. The gravel sheet extends from the toe of the foredune to 14.3 m above mean sea level and 200 m landward from the beach. Clasts are rounded to sub-rounded and comprise lithologies consistent with local bedrock. Terrestrial sources for the gravel are considered highly unlikely due to the isolation of the dunes from hillslopes and streams. The only source for the clasts is the nearshore to inner shelf of Whangapoua Bay, where gravel sediments have been previously documented. The mechanism for transport of the gravel is unlikely to be storm surge due to the elevation of the deposit; maximum-recorded storm surge on this coast is 0.8 m above mean high water spring tide. Aeolian processes are also discounted due to the size of clasts and the elevation at which they occur. Tsunami is therefore considered the most probable mechanism for gravel transport. Minimum run-up height of the tsunami was 14.3 m, based on maximum elevation of gravel deposits. Optical ages on dune sands beneath and covering the gravel allow age bracketing to 0-4.7 ka. Within this time frame, numerous documented regional seismic and volcanic events could have generated the tsunami, notably submarine volcanism along the southern Kermadec arc to the east-southeast of Great Barrier Island where large magnitude events are documented for the late Holocene. Radiocarbon ages on shell from Maori middens that appear to have been reworked by tsunami run-up constrain the age of this event to post ca. 1400 AD. Regardless of the precise age of this event, the well-preserved nature of the Whangapoua gravel deposit provides for an improved understanding of the high degree of spatial variability in tsunami run-up.

  7. Population structure and history of a phenotypically variable teiid lizard (Ameiva chrysolaema) from Hispaniola: the influence of a geologically complex island.

    PubMed

    Gifford, Matthew E; Powell, Robert; Larson, Allan; Gutberlet, Ronald L

    2004-09-01

    Ameiva chrysolaema is distributed across the island of Hispaniola in the West Indies. The species is restricted to dry lowlands between major mountain ranges and along the southern and eastern coasts. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses of mtDNA sequence variation from 14 sampling localities identify at least three independent evolutionary lineages, separated from one another by major mountain ranges. Nested clade phylogeographic analysis (NCPA) suggests a complex history of population fragmentation, consistent with geological evidence of seawater incursions into the Azua and Enriquillo basins during the Pliocene/Pleistocene (approximately 1.6 mya). Significantly negative Fu's F(S) values and parameters of mismatch distributions suggest that formerly fragmented populations have recently expanded their ranges. Significantly large average population clade distances (APCD) for two sampling localities in the Azua basin suggest secondary contact at these localities of previously separated populations. The distribution of haplotypes among polymorphic populations of A. chrysolaema suggests that variation in dorsal pattern represents a polymorphism within evolutionary lineages. Ameiva leberi is ecologically indistinguishable from and syntopic with A. chrysolaema. Genetic data suggest that A. leberi is a junior synonym of A. chrysolaema. PMID:15288051

  8. A population genetic assessment of coral recovery on highly disturbed reefs of the Keppel Island archipelago in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Berkelmans, Ray; Peplow, Lesa M; Jones, Alison M

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs surrounding the islands lying close to the coast are unique to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in that they are frequently exposed to disturbance events including floods caused by cyclonic rainfall, strong winds and occasional periods of prolonged above-average temperatures during summer. In one such group of islands in the southern GBR, the Keppel Island archipelago, climate-driven disturbances frequently result in major coral mortality. Whilst these island reefs have clearly survived such dramatic disturbances in the past, the consequences of extreme mortality events may include the loss of genetic diversity, and hence adaptive potential, and a reduction in fitness due to inbreeding, especially if new recruitment from external sources is limited. Here we examined the level of isolation of the Keppel Island group as well as patterns of gene flow within the Keppel Islands using 10 microsatellite markers in nine populations of the coral, Acropora millepora. Bayesian cluster analysis and assignment tests indicated gene flow is restricted, but not absent, between the outer and inner Keppel Island groups, and that extensive gene flow exists within each of these island groups. Comparison of the Keppel Island data with results from a previous GBR-wide study that included a single Keppel Island population, confirmed that A. millepora in the Keppel Islands is genetically distinct from populations elsewhere on the GBR, with exception of the nearby inshore High Peak Reef just north of the Keppel Islands. We compared patterns of genetic diversity in the Keppel Island populations with those from other GBR populations and found them to be slightly, but significantly lower, consistent with the archipelago being geographically isolated, but there was no evidence for recent bottlenecks or deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium. A high incidence of private alleles in the Keppel Islands, particularly in the outer islands, supports their relative isolation and contributes

  9. A population genetic assessment of coral recovery on highly disturbed reefs of the Keppel Island archipelago in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Berkelmans, Ray; Peplow, Lesa M; Jones, Alison M

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs surrounding the islands lying close to the coast are unique to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in that they are frequently exposed to disturbance events including floods caused by cyclonic rainfall, strong winds and occasional periods of prolonged above-average temperatures during summer. In one such group of islands in the southern GBR, the Keppel Island archipelago, climate-driven disturbances frequently result in major coral mortality. Whilst these island reefs have clearly survived such dramatic disturbances in the past, the consequences of extreme mortality events may include the loss of genetic diversity, and hence adaptive potential, and a reduction in fitness due to inbreeding, especially if new recruitment from external sources is limited. Here we examined the level of isolation of the Keppel Island group as well as patterns of gene flow within the Keppel Islands using 10 microsatellite markers in nine populations of the coral, Acropora millepora. Bayesian cluster analysis and assignment tests indicated gene flow is restricted, but not absent, between the outer and inner Keppel Island groups, and that extensive gene flow exists within each of these island groups. Comparison of the Keppel Island data with results from a previous GBR-wide study that included a single Keppel Island population, confirmed that A. millepora in the Keppel Islands is genetically distinct from populations elsewhere on the GBR, with exception of the nearby inshore High Peak Reef just north of the Keppel Islands. We compared patterns of genetic diversity in the Keppel Island populations with those from other GBR populations and found them to be slightly, but significantly lower, consistent with the archipelago being geographically isolated, but there was no evidence for recent bottlenecks or deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium. A high incidence of private alleles in the Keppel Islands, particularly in the outer islands, supports their relative isolation and contributes

  10. A population genetic assessment of coral recovery on highly disturbed reefs of the Keppel Island archipelago in the southern Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Berkelmans, Ray; Peplow, Lesa M.; Jones, Alison M.

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs surrounding the islands lying close to the coast are unique to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in that they are frequently exposed to disturbance events including floods caused by cyclonic rainfall, strong winds and occasional periods of prolonged above-average temperatures during summer. In one such group of islands in the southern GBR, the Keppel Island archipelago, climate-driven disturbances frequently result in major coral mortality. Whilst these island reefs have clearly survived such dramatic disturbances in the past, the consequences of extreme mortality events may include the loss of genetic diversity, and hence adaptive potential, and a reduction in fitness due to inbreeding, especially if new recruitment from external sources is limited. Here we examined the level of isolation of the Keppel Island group as well as patterns of gene flow within the Keppel Islands using 10 microsatellite markers in nine populations of the coral, Acropora millepora. Bayesian cluster analysis and assignment tests indicated gene flow is restricted, but not absent, between the outer and inner Keppel Island groups, and that extensive gene flow exists within each of these island groups. Comparison of the Keppel Island data with results from a previous GBR-wide study that included a single Keppel Island population, confirmed that A. millepora in the Keppel Islands is genetically distinct from populations elsewhere on the GBR, with exception of the nearby inshore High Peak Reef just north of the Keppel Islands. We compared patterns of genetic diversity in the Keppel Island populations with those from other GBR populations and found them to be slightly, but significantly lower, consistent with the archipelago being geographically isolated, but there was no evidence for recent bottlenecks or deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium. A high incidence of private alleles in the Keppel Islands, particularly in the outer islands, supports their relative isolation and contributes

  11. Geographic genetic differentiation of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J

    2010-04-01

    Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern.

  12. Evolutionary stasis and lability in thermal physiology in a group of tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Martha M; Stimola, Maureen A; Algar, Adam C; Conover, Asa; Rodriguez, Anthony J; Landestoy, Miguel A; Bakken, George S; Losos, Jonathan B

    2014-03-01

    Understanding how quickly physiological traits evolve is a topic of great interest, particularly in the context of how organisms can adapt in response to climate warming. Adjustment to novel thermal habitats may occur either through behavioural adjustments, physiological adaptation or both. Here, we test whether rates of evolution differ among physiological traits in the cybotoids, a clade of tropical Anolis lizards distributed in markedly different thermal environments on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. We find that cold tolerance evolves considerably faster than heat tolerance, a difference that results because behavioural thermoregulation more effectively shields these organisms from selection on upper than lower temperature tolerances. Specifically, because lizards in very different environments behaviourally thermoregulate during the day to similar body temperatures, divergent selection on body temperature and heat tolerance is precluded, whereas night-time temperatures can only be partially buffered by behaviour, thereby exposing organisms to selection on cold tolerance. We discuss how exposure to selection on physiology influences divergence among tropical organisms and its implications for adaptive evolutionary response to climate warming. PMID:24430845

  13. Evolutionary stasis and lability in thermal physiology in a group of tropical lizards

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Martha M.; Stimola, Maureen A.; Algar, Adam C.; Conover, Asa; Rodriguez, Anthony J.; Landestoy, Miguel A.; Bakken, George S.; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how quickly physiological traits evolve is a topic of great interest, particularly in the context of how organisms can adapt in response to climate warming. Adjustment to novel thermal habitats may occur either through behavioural adjustments, physiological adaptation or both. Here, we test whether rates of evolution differ among physiological traits in the cybotoids, a clade of tropical Anolis lizards distributed in markedly different thermal environments on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. We find that cold tolerance evolves considerably faster than heat tolerance, a difference that results because behavioural thermoregulation more effectively shields these organisms from selection on upper than lower temperature tolerances. Specifically, because lizards in very different environments behaviourally thermoregulate during the day to similar body temperatures, divergent selection on body temperature and heat tolerance is precluded, whereas night-time temperatures can only be partially buffered by behaviour, thereby exposing organisms to selection on cold tolerance. We discuss how exposure to selection on physiology influences divergence among tropical organisms and its implications for adaptive evolutionary response to climate warming. PMID:24430845

  14. Palaeoecological evidence of a historical collapse of corals at Pelorus Island, inshore Great Barrier Reef, following European settlement

    PubMed Central

    Roff, George; Clark, Tara R.; Reymond, Claire E.; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yuexing; McCook, Laurence J.; Done, Terence J.; Pandolfi, John M.

    2013-01-01

    The inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have undergone significant declines in water quality following European settlement (approx. 1870 AD). However, direct evidence of impacts on coral assemblages is limited by a lack of historical baselines prior to the onset of modern monitoring programmes in the early 1980s. Through palaeoecological reconstructions, we report a previously undocumented historical collapse of Acropora assemblages at Pelorus Island (central GBR). High-precision U-series dating of dead Acropora fragments indicates that this collapse occurred between 1920 and 1955, with few dates obtained after 1980. Prior to this event, our results indicate remarkable long-term stability in coral community structure over centennial scales. We suggest that chronic increases in sediment flux and nutrient loading following European settlement acted as the ultimate cause for the lack of recovery of Acropora assemblages following a series of acute disturbance events (SST anomalies, cyclones and flood events). Evidence for major degradation in reef condition owing to human impacts prior to modern ecological surveys indicates that current monitoring of inshore reefs on the GBR may be predicated on a significantly shifted baseline. PMID:23135672

  15. Cryptic intertidal microbialites in beachrock, Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef: implications for the origin of microcrystalline beachrock cement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, Gregory E.; Jell, John S.; Baker, Julian C.

    1999-07-01

    Microbialites with microcolumnar growth morphology occur on the surfaces of solution-enlarged crypts in modern beachrock on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The microbialites consist predominantly of felted aragonite, but blocky Mg-calcite and fringes of acicular aragonite also occur. A variety of microbial bodies and filaments occur within, and on the surface of, the microbialites. Although most Heron beachrock is cemented by isopachous fringes of acicular aragonite, irregular micritic cement is common adjacent to the microbialites. The micritic cement consists predominantly of felted aragonite and contains microbial filaments and organic matter similar to those in the microbialites. Both the microbialite and the micritic cement are interpreted to be biologically induced. Although physico-chemical models, including CO 2 degassing and evaporation, are commonly held to be sufficient to promote the formation of beachrock, the similarity of Heron cryptic beachrock microbialite with micritic beachrock cements supports the contention that some beachrock cements are biologically induced. Additionally, the primary difference between fringes of acicular aragonite and the `felts' of aragonite in microbialites appears to be that the former nucleated on a well defined surface of organic matter, whereas the latter nucleated within a framework of organic matter that contained irregularly disposed nucleation sites. Hence aragonite fringe cements may also be localized and/or induced by films of organic matter.

  16. Palaeoecological evidence of a historical collapse of corals at Pelorus Island, inshore Great Barrier Reef, following European settlement.

    PubMed

    Roff, George; Clark, Tara R; Reymond, Claire E; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yuexing; McCook, Laurence J; Done, Terence J; Pandolfi, John M

    2013-01-01

    The inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have undergone significant declines in water quality following European settlement (approx. 1870 AD). However, direct evidence of impacts on coral assemblages is limited by a lack of historical baselines prior to the onset of modern monitoring programmes in the early 1980s. Through palaeoecological reconstructions, we report a previously undocumented historical collapse of Acropora assemblages at Pelorus Island (central GBR). High-precision U-series dating of dead Acropora fragments indicates that this collapse occurred between 1920 and 1955, with few dates obtained after 1980. Prior to this event, our results indicate remarkable long-term stability in coral community structure over centennial scales. We suggest that chronic increases in sediment flux and nutrient loading following European settlement acted as the ultimate cause for the lack of recovery of Acropora assemblages following a series of acute disturbance events (SST anomalies, cyclones and flood events). Evidence for major degradation in reef condition owing to human impacts prior to modern ecological surveys indicates that current monitoring of inshore reefs on the GBR may be predicated on a significantly shifted baseline.

  17. Cyanotoxins are not implicated in the etiology of coral black band disease outbreaks on Pelorus Island, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Glas, Martin S; Motti, Cherie A; Negri, Andrew P; Sato, Yui; Froscio, Suzanne; Humpage, Andrew R; Krock, Bernd; Cembella, Allan; Bourne, David G

    2010-07-01

    Cyanobacterial toxins (i.e. microcystins) produced within the microbial mat of coral black band disease (BBD) have been implicated in disease pathogenicity. This study investigated the presence of toxins within BBD lesions and other cyanobacterial patch (CP) lesions, which, in some instances ( approximately 19%), facilitated the onset of BBD, from an outbreak site at Pelorus Island on the inshore, central Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Cyanobacterial species that dominated the biomass of CP and BBD lesions were cultivated and identified, based on morphology and 16S rRNA gene sequences, as Blennothrix- and Oscillatoria-affiliated species, respectively, and identical to cyanobacterial sequences retrieved from previous molecular studies from this site. The presence of the cyanotoxins microcystin, cylindrospermopsin, saxitoxin, nodularin and anatoxin and their respective gene operons in field samples of CP and BBD lesions and their respective culture isolations was tested using genetic (PCR-based screenings), chemical (HPLC-UV, FTICR-MS and LC/MS(n)) and biochemical (PP2A) methods. Cyanotoxins and cyanotoxin synthetase genes were not detected in any of the samples. Cyanobacterial species dominant within CP and BBD lesions were phylogenetically distinct from species previously shown to produce cyanotoxins and isolated from BBD lesions. The results from this study demonstrate that cyanobacterial toxins appear to play no role in the pathogenicity of CP and BBD at this site on the GBR.

  18. The impact of the introduction of the colubrid snake, Boiga irregularis, on Guam's lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, G.H.; Fritts, T.H.

    1992-01-01

    The extirpation of Guam's forest avifauna has been attributed to the accidental introduction and subsequent irruption of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis. However, recent dietary studies of this nocturnal arboreal snake indicate that it now preys primarily on lizards, not birds. We evaluated the effect the snake has had on Guam's lizards by contrasting lizard communities on Guam with those on adjacent snake-free islands and by comparing the extant lizard communities on Guam with those that were present before the snake arrived. Both comparisons revealed radical reductions in abundance of Guam's native nocturnal lizards and the extirpation of several species. The effect of the snake on diurnal lizards (skinks) is more equivocal. Skinks are still common on Guam, but several species no longer exist on the island. Identification of causes of these extirpations is complicated by the snake's elimination of an important avian skink predator, the concurrent irruption of a shrew, and the effects of predation and competition between the native skinks and an introduced skink.

  19. Surf and turf: predation by egg-eating snakes has led to the evolution of parental care in a terrestrial lizard.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A; Clark, Rulon W; Manica, Andrea; Tseng, Hui-Yun; Hsu, Jung-Ya; Huang, Wen-San

    2016-01-01

    Animals display a great diversity of parental care tactics that ultimately enhance offspring survival, but how such behaviors evolve remains unknown for most systems. Here, we studied the evolution of maternal care, in the form of nest guarding, in a single population of long-tailed sun skink (Eutropis longicaudata) living on Orchid Island (Taiwan). This species typically does not provide protection to its offspring. Using a common garden experiment, we show that maternal care is genetically determined in this population. Through field manipulations, we demonstrate that care provides a significant increase in egg survival on Orchid Island by reducing predation from egg-eating snakes (Oligodon formosanus); this predator is not abundant in other populations of the lizard, which do not display parental care. Finally, using extensive field surveys, we show that the seasonal availability of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests is the cause for the high abundance of snake predators on Orchid Island, with the snakes consuming lizard eggs when green turtle eggs are not available. Together, these lines of evidence provide the first full demonstration of how predation can trigger the evolution of parental care in a species derived from a non-caring ancestor. PMID:26915464

  20. Surf and turf: predation by egg-eating snakes has led to the evolution of parental care in a terrestrial lizard

    PubMed Central

    Pike, David A.; Clark, Rulon W.; Manica, Andrea; Tseng, Hui-Yun; Hsu, Jung-Ya; Huang, Wen-San

    2016-01-01

    Animals display a great diversity of parental care tactics that ultimately enhance offspring survival, but how such behaviors evolve remains unknown for most systems. Here, we studied the evolution of maternal care, in the form of nest guarding, in a single population of long-tailed sun skink (Eutropis longicaudata) living on Orchid Island (Taiwan). This species typically does not provide protection to its offspring. Using a common garden experiment, we show that maternal care is genetically determined in this population. Through field manipulations, we demonstrate that care provides a significant increase in egg survival on Orchid Island by reducing predation from egg-eating snakes (Oligodon formosanus); this predator is not abundant in other populations of the lizard, which do not display parental care. Finally, using extensive field surveys, we show that the seasonal availability of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests is the cause for the high abundance of snake predators on Orchid Island, with the snakes consuming lizard eggs when green turtle eggs are not available. Together, these lines of evidence provide the first full demonstration of how predation can trigger the evolution of parental care in a species derived from a non-caring ancestor. PMID:26915464

  1. The western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis: evidence of field exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi in relation to infestation by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Manweiler, S A; Lane, R S; Tempelis, C H

    1992-09-01

    The role of the Western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis in the enzootiology of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi was evaluated in the Hopland and Ukiah areas of Mendocino County, California. In 1989, half of 74 lizards collected monthly from April to October at Hopland were infested by the immature western black-legged tick Ixodes pacificus at a mean intensity of 6.0 ticks per lizard. The prevalence of infestation of lizards by immature I. pacificus (36 of 73) at Ukiah was similar, but the mean intensity (12.9) was approximately twice as great. Overall, zero of 223 larvae and 2 (0.6%) of 330 nymphs from both sites were found to contain spirochetes by direct immunofluorescence. Larval and nymphal I. pacificus fit the negative binomial distribution in spring, and the prevalence and abundance of these stages were significantly greater in spring than in summer at both sites. Spirochetes were not visualized in thick blood films prepared from 133 lizards from both localities. Plasma antibodies against B. burgdorferi were detected in seven of 10 experimentally inoculated lizards, in five (8%) of 63 lizards from Hopland, and in 10 (14%) of 70 lizards from Ukiah. Adult lizards had a significantly greater tick burden and seropositivity rate than juvenile lizards only at Ukiah. In 1991, efforts to detect and culture spirochetes from the blood of 21 wild-caught lizards and from the tissues of 189 associated ticks that fed xenodiagnostically on them were unsuccessful.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1524146

  2. Philopatry drives genetic differentiation in an island archipelago: comparative population genetics of Galapagos Nazca boobies (Sula granti) and great frigatebirds (Fregata minor).

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G

    2012-11-01

    Seabirds are considered highly mobile, able to fly great distances with few apparent barriers to dispersal. However, it is often the case that seabird populations exhibit strong population genetic structure despite their potential vagility. Here we show that Galapagos Nazca booby (Sula granti) populations are substantially differentiated, even within the small geographic scale of this archipelago. On the other hand, Galapagos great frigatebird (Fregata minor) populations do not show any genetic structure. We characterized the genetic differentiation by sampling five colonies of both species in the Galapagos archipelago and analyzing eight microsatellite loci and three mitochondrial genes. Using an F-statistic approach on the multilocus data, we found significant differentiation between nearly all island pairs of Nazca booby populations and a Bayesian clustering analysis provided support for three distinct genetic clusters. Mitochondrial DNA showed less differentiation of Nazca booby colonies; only Nazca boobies from the island of Darwin were significantly differentiated from individuals throughout the rest of the archipelago. Great frigatebird populations showed little to no evidence for genetic differentiation at the same scale. Only two island pairs (Darwin - Wolf, N. Seymour - Wolf) were significantly differentiated using the multilocus data, and only two island pairs had statistically significant φ(ST) values (N. Seymour - Darwin, N. Seymour - Wolf) according to the mitochondrial data. There was no significant pattern of isolation by distance for either species calculated using both markers. Seven of the ten Nazca booby migration rates calculated between island pairs were in the south or southeast to north or northwest direction. The population differentiation found among Galapagos Nazca booby colonies, but not great frigatebird colonies, is most likely due to differences in natal and breeding philopatry.

  3. Philopatry drives genetic differentiation in an island archipelago: comparative population genetics of Galapagos Nazca boobies (Sula granti) and great frigatebirds (Fregata minor).

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G

    2012-11-01

    Seabirds are considered highly mobile, able to fly great distances with few apparent barriers to dispersal. However, it is often the case that seabird populations exhibit strong population genetic structure despite their potential vagility. Here we show that Galapagos Nazca booby (Sula granti) populations are substantially differentiated, even within the small geographic scale of this archipelago. On the other hand, Galapagos great frigatebird (Fregata minor) populations do not show any genetic structure. We characterized the genetic differentiation by sampling five colonies of both species in the Galapagos archipelago and analyzing eight microsatellite loci and three mitochondrial genes. Using an F-statistic approach on the multilocus data, we found significant differentiation between nearly all island pairs of Nazca booby populations and a Bayesian clustering analysis provided support for three distinct genetic clusters. Mitochondrial DNA showed less differentiation of Nazca booby colonies; only Nazca boobies from the island of Darwin were significantly differentiated from individuals throughout the rest of the archipelago. Great frigatebird populations showed little to no evidence for genetic differentiation at the same scale. Only two island pairs (Darwin - Wolf, N. Seymour - Wolf) were significantly differentiated using the multilocus data, and only two island pairs had statistically significant φ(ST) values (N. Seymour - Darwin, N. Seymour - Wolf) according to the mitochondrial data. There was no significant pattern of isolation by distance for either species calculated using both markers. Seven of the ten Nazca booby migration rates calculated between island pairs were in the south or southeast to north or northwest direction. The population differentiation found among Galapagos Nazca booby colonies, but not great frigatebird colonies, is most likely due to differences in natal and breeding philopatry. PMID:23170212

  4. Philopatry drives genetic differentiation in an island archipelago: comparative population genetics of Galapagos Nazca boobies (Sula granti) and great frigatebirds (Fregata minor)

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G

    2012-01-01

    Seabirds are considered highly mobile, able to fly great distances with few apparent barriers to dispersal. However, it is often the case that seabird populations exhibit strong population genetic structure despite their potential vagility. Here we show that Galapagos Nazca booby (Sula granti) populations are substantially differentiated, even within the small geographic scale of this archipelago. On the other hand, Galapagos great frigatebird (Fregata minor) populations do not show any genetic structure. We characterized the genetic differentiation by sampling five colonies of both species in the Galapagos archipelago and analyzing eight microsatellite loci and three mitochondrial genes. Using an F-statistic approach on the multilocus data, we found significant differentiation between nearly all island pairs of Nazca booby populations and a Bayesian clustering analysis provided support for three distinct genetic clusters. Mitochondrial DNA showed less differentiation of Nazca booby colonies; only Nazca boobies from the island of Darwin were significantly differentiated from individuals throughout the rest of the archipelago. Great frigatebird populations showed little to no evidence for genetic differentiation at the same scale. Only two island pairs (Darwin – Wolf, N. Seymour – Wolf) were significantly differentiated using the multilocus data, and only two island pairs had statistically significant φST values (N. Seymour – Darwin, N. Seymour – Wolf) according to the mitochondrial data. There was no significant pattern of isolation by distance for either species calculated using both markers. Seven of the ten Nazca booby migration rates calculated between island pairs were in the south or southeast to north or northwest direction. The population differentiation found among Galapagos Nazca booby colonies, but not great frigatebird colonies, is most likely due to differences in natal and breeding philopatry. PMID:23170212

  5. Taxonomy, host specificity and dietary implications of Hurleytrematoides (Digenea: Monorchiidae) from chaetodontid fishes on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    McNamara, M K A; Cribb, T H

    2011-09-01

    Five new and five previously described species of Hurleytrematoides are reported from 19 of 34 chaetodontid species examined from the Great Barrier Reef; new species are H. faliexae n. sp., H. galzini n. sp., H. loi n. sp., H. morandi n. sp., and H. sasali n. sp. Previously described species are H. coronatum, H. fijiensis, H. prevoti, H. bartolii, and H. zebrasomae. The genus is rediagnosed in the light of morphological variation of the new species; the degree of spination and shape of the terminal genitalia distinguish individual species. Species of Hurleytrematoides infect almost every clade of the family Chaetodontidae found on the Great Barrier Reef, but obligate corallivores are not infected. All ten species were found at Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef, but only six at Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef. For three of the four species not present at Lizard Island, the absence appears to be statistically significant. Although all species are apparently restricted to chaetodontids on the GBR, specificity within the family varies from oioxenous to euryxenous; a core/satellite host paradigm explains the distribution of several species.

  6. Molecular survey of Apicomplexa in Podarcis wall lizards detects Hepatozoon, Sarcocystis, and Eimeria species.

    PubMed

    Harris, D James; Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana

    2012-06-01

    The occurrence of apicomplexan parasites in Podarcis sp. wall lizards from the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic islands was studied by amplification and sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Species from 3 genera, Hepatozoon , Sarcocystis , and Eimeria , were found. The phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA gene provides unexpected insights into the evolutionary history of these parasites. All Hepatozoon spp. specimens were recovered as part of a clade already identified in lizards from North Africa. The Sarcocystis species, detected in Podarcis lilfordi from Cabrera Island in the Balearic Islands, appears related to Sarcocystis gallotiae , known only from endemic Gallotia sp. lizards from the Canary Islands. Based on the lack of snake predators on this island, this parasite presumably presents an atypical transmission cycle that uses the same host species as both intermediate and final host through cannibalism, like S. gallotiae . Eimeria sp. is reported for the first time from Podarcis spp. lizards. This study shows the power of detecting multiple different apicomplexan parasites through screening of tail tissue samples and blood drops that are often collected in reptiles for other purposes. PMID:22746392

  7. One solution for two challenges: the lizard Microlophus atacamensis avoids overheating by foraging in intertidal shores.

    PubMed

    Sepúlveda, Maritza; Sabat, Pablo; Porter, Warren P; Fariña, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    In lizards, one of the most important behavioral mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal variations in thermal resources observed is activity time. The longer a lizard can maintain activity, the more time it has to forage and reach larger adult body size. We studied the behavioral adjustments to different climatic regimens on daily and seasonal scales in three natural populations of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along a latitudinal temperature and rainfall gradient. We also used Niche Mapper to determinate the amount of thermally suitable time for activity for this species. Abundance and daily activity patterns varied greatly over the year for the three populations. In summer and spring, the daily activity times were greater, and were reduced in fall and winter seasons. In summer, when stressful heat loads should prohibit activity over a midday gap, lizards did not show bimodal patterns of activity. Instead, they move to the cooler intertidal habitat. Abundance and thermal quality in the southernmost coolest site was lower, and the potential annual activity time decreases with latitude. Contrary to expectations, lizards from this locality showed the largest body sizes possibly due to diet and/or time to sexual maturation. Our results indicate that the intertidal habitat is a key factor that influences daily and seasonal activity of M. atacamensis lizards. While this habitat is not climatically optimal for lizards, it allows them to behaviorally extend their activity window and gain access to food in the intertidal areas.

  8. One Solution for Two Challenges: The Lizard Microlophus atacamensis Avoids Overheating by Foraging in Intertidal Shores

    PubMed Central

    Sepúlveda, Maritza; Sabat, Pablo; Porter, Warren P.; Fariña, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    In lizards, one of the most important behavioral mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal variations in thermal resources observed is activity time. The longer a lizard can maintain activity, the more time it has to forage and reach larger adult body size. We studied the behavioral adjustments to different climatic regimens on daily and seasonal scales in three natural populations of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along a latitudinal temperature and rainfall gradient. We also used Niche Mapper to determinate the amount of thermally suitable time for activity for this species. Abundance and daily activity patterns varied greatly over the year for the three populations. In summer and spring, the daily activity times were greater, and were reduced in fall and winter seasons. In summer, when stressful heat loads should prohibit activity over a midday gap, lizards did not show bimodal patterns of activity. Instead, they move to the cooler intertidal habitat. Abundance and thermal quality in the southernmost coolest site was lower, and the potential annual activity time decreases with latitude. Contrary to expectations, lizards from this locality showed the largest body sizes possibly due to diet and/or time to sexual maturation. Our results indicate that the intertidal habitat is a key factor that influences daily and seasonal activity of M. atacamensis lizards. While this habitat is not climatically optimal for lizards, it allows them to behaviorally extend their activity window and gain access to food in the intertidal areas. PMID:24839969

  9. Evidence for shallow megathrust slip across the Unalaska seismic gap during the great 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake, eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolsky, D. J.; Freymueller, J. T.; Witter, R. C.; Suleimani, E. N.; Koehler, R. D.

    2016-10-01

    We reassess the slip distribution of the 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake in the eastern part of the aftershock zone where published slip models infer little or no slip. Eyewitness reports, tide gauge data, and geological evidence for 9-23 m tsunami runups imply seafloor deformation offshore Unalaska Island in 1957, in contrast with previous studies that labeled the area a seismic gap. Here we simulate tsunami dynamics for a suite of deformation models that vary in depth and amount of megathrust slip. Tsunami simulations show that a shallow (5-15 km deep) rupture with 20 m of slip most closely reproduces the 1957 Dutch Harbor marigram and nearby >18 m runup at Sedanka Island marked by stranded drift logs. Slip models >20 km deep predict waves that arrive too soon. Our results imply that shallow slip on the megathrust in 1957 extended east into an area that presently creeps.

  10. Evidence for shallow megathrust slip across the Unalaska seismic gap during the great 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake, eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicolsky, D. J.; Freymueller, J.T.; Witter, R.C.; Suleimani, E. N.; Koehler, R.D.

    2016-01-01

    We reassess the slip distribution of the 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake in the eastern part of the aftershock zone where published slip models infer little or no slip. Eyewitness reports, tide gauge data, and geological evidence for 9–23 m tsunami runups imply seafloor deformation offshore Unalaska Island in 1957, in contrast with previous studies that labeled the area a seismic gap. Here, we simulate tsunami dynamics for a suite of deformation models that vary in depth and amount of megathrust slip. Tsunami simulations show that a shallow (5–15 km deep) rupture with ~20 m of slip most closely reproduces the 1957 Dutch Harbor marigram and nearby >18 m runup at Sedanka Island marked by stranded drift logs. Models that place slip >20 km predict waves that arrive too soon. Our results imply that shallow slip on the megathrust in 1957 extended east into an area that presently creeps.

  11. Will Coral Islands maintain their growth over the next century? A deterministic model of sediment availability at Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Hamylton, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    A geomorphic assessment of reef system calcification is conducted for past (3200 Ka to present), present and future (2010-2100) time periods. Reef platform sediment production is estimated at 569 m3 yr-1 using rate laws that express gross community carbonate production as a function of seawater aragonite saturation, community composition and rugosity and incorporating estimates of carbonate removal from the reef system. Key carbonate producers including hard coral, crustose coralline algae and Halimeda are mapped accurately (mean R2 = 0.81). Community net production estimates correspond closely to independent census-based estimates made in-situ (R2 = 0.86). Reef-scale outputs are compared with historic rates of production generated from (i) radiocarbon evidence of island deposition initiation around 3200 years ago, and (ii) island volume calculated from a high resolution island digital elevation model. Contemporary carbonate production rates appear to be remarkably similar to historical values of 573 m3 yr-1. Anticipated future seawater chemistry parameters associated with an RCP8.5 emissions scenario are employed to model rates of net community calcification for the period 2000-2100 on the basis of an inorganic aragonite precipitation law, under the assumption of constant benthic community character. Simulations indicate that carbonate production will decrease linearly to a level of 118 m3 yr-1 by 2100 and that by 2150 aragonite saturation levels may no longer support the positive budgetary status necessary to sustain island accretion. Novel aspects of this assessment include the development of rate law parameters to realistically represent the variable composition of coral reef benthic carbonate producers, incorporation of three dimensional rugosity of the entire reef platform and the coupling of model outputs with both historical radiocarbon dating evidence and forward hydrochemical projections to conduct an assessment of island evolution through time

  12. Will Coral Islands Maintain Their Growth over the Next Century? A Deterministic Model of Sediment Availability at Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Hamylton, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    A geomorphic assessment of reef system calcification is conducted for past (3200 Ka to present), present and future (2010–2100) time periods. Reef platform sediment production is estimated at 569 m3 yr−1 using rate laws that express gross community carbonate production as a function of seawater aragonite saturation, community composition and rugosity and incorporating estimates of carbonate removal from the reef system. Key carbonate producers including hard coral, crustose coralline algae and Halimeda are mapped accurately (mean R2 = 0.81). Community net production estimates correspond closely to independent census-based estimates made in-situ (R2 = 0.86). Reef-scale outputs are compared with historic rates of production generated from (i) radiocarbon evidence of island deposition initiation around 3200 years ago, and (ii) island volume calculated from a high resolution island digital elevation model. Contemporary carbonate production rates appear to be remarkably similar to historical values of 573 m3 yr−1. Anticipated future seawater chemistry parameters associated with an RCP8.5 emissions scenario are employed to model rates of net community calcification for the period 2000–2100 on the basis of an inorganic aragonite precipitation law, under the assumption of constant benthic community character. Simulations indicate that carbonate production will decrease linearly to a level of 118 m3 yr−1 by 2100 and that by 2150 aragonite saturation levels may no longer support the positive budgetary status necessary to sustain island accretion. Novel aspects of this assessment include the development of rate law parameters to realistically represent the variable composition of coral reef benthic carbonate producers, incorporation of three dimensional rugosity of the entire reef platform and the coupling of model outputs with both historical radiocarbon dating evidence and forward hydrochemical projections to conduct an assessment of island evolution

  13. Chlorinated contaminants in chorio-allantoic membranes from great blue heron eggs at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

    PubMed

    Cobb, G P; Norman, D M; Miller, M W; Brewer, L W; Johnston, R K

    1995-01-01

    Chorio-allantoic membranes (CAMs) were collected and analyzed for chlorinated hydrocarbons as part of a wildlife toxicology demonstration project at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Washington, USA. Concentrations of DDT, DDE, DDD, Aroclor 1254, and Aroclor 1260 were found at concentrations below 0.4 ppm for 13 of 14 samples. The low correlations among DDT and its metabolites in CAMs suggest herons are not being exposed to a consistent source of these compounds. Comparison of chlorinated hydrocarbon data for CAMs from three Puget Sound heron colonies, NAS Whidbey, Samish Island and Dumas Bay, indicates contaminant burdens in herons from NAS Whidbey and Samish Island are significantly lower than burdens in herons from Dumas Bay.

  14. Successful Forecast of the Place of Great Solomon Islands Earthquake of April 1, 2007, Mw8.1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purcaru, G.

    2007-12-01

    Predicting the large and great earhquakes proved to remain at present a complicated and most difficult problem, regarding the place and magnitude, and especially the time, on medium- or long-term interval, which is the principal component of any prediction. As a result a few (scientific) predictions are really successful, with a desired precision. False alarms and failures are by far dominant. However, the incresed number of higher accuracy data, advancements in the rupture- imaging at a smaller scale, seimotectonics details, increase of GPS data, different deterministic and probabilistic methods and numerical experimnts, retrospective predictions, etc. All these have to contribute, to increase a knowledge necessary to find better prediction-laws and methods in order to make particular earthquakes in specified regions more predictable. Along this view, we present a successful prediction (deterministic prediction) of a large earthquake in the Solomon Islands subduction zone: 154°E to 165°le E, where large earthquakes are occurring. We analized in detail historical earthquakes and aftershock areas (Kelleher et al, 1973, 1974; McCann et al 1979; Lay and Kanamori, 1980) of large events, their distribution and space and time, and the fluctuations of earthquake activity. We identified, in 1984, a seismic gap in the Central region of the subduction zone, with the boundary to No time prediction was made. The gap bundaries were fixed to NW at the SE-end of aftershock areas of the Jan - Feb. 1974 earthquake doublet (M7.0, M7.1) and to SE at the location of the Jan. 30, 1939 (Ms7.9-8.0) and its aftersock area was not known. The 2007 Solomon epicenter is well inside the gap. No evidence or rationale at that times would at least suggest that a future large earthquake in the gap will possibly rupture further to NW, and if the contrary than it is only a coincidence. Therefore the forecasted earthquake has closed very well the gap. The 6-days (also the 8-days) earthquake

  15. Virulence of lizard malaria: the evolutionary ecology of an ancient parasite-host association.

    PubMed

    Schall, J J

    1990-01-01

    The negative consequences of parasitic infection (virulence) were examined for two lizard malaria parasite-host associations: Plasmodium agamae and P. giganteum, parasites of the rainbow lizard, Agama agama, in Sierra Leone, West Africa; and P. mexicanum in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, in northern California. These malaria species vary greatly in their reproductive characteristics: P. agamae produces only 8 merozoites per schizont, P. giganteum yields over 100, and P. mexicanum an intermediate number. All three parasites appear to have had an ancient association with their host. In fence lizards, infection with malaria is associated with increased numbers of immature erythrocytes, decreased haemoglobin levels, decreased maximal oxygen consumption, and decreased running stamina. Not affected were numbers of erythrocytes, resting metabolic rate, and sprint running speed which is supported by anaerobic means in lizards. Infected male fence lizards had smaller testes, stored less fat in preparation for winter dormancy, were more often socially submissive and, unexpectedly, were more extravagantly coloured on the ventral surface (a sexually dimorphic trait) than non-infected males. Females also stored less fat and produced smaller clutches of eggs, a directly observed reduction in fitness. Infected fence lizards do not develop behavioural fevers. P. mexicanum appears to have broad thermal buffering abilities and thermal tolerance; the parasite's population growth was unaffected by experimental alterations in the lizard's body temperature. The data are less complete for A. agama, but infected lizards suffered similar haematological and physiological effects. Infected animals may be socially submissive because they appear to gather less insect prey, possibly a result of being forced into inferior territories. Infection does not reduce clutch size in rainbow lizards, but may lengthen the time between clutches. These results are compared with

  16. U-Th age distribution of coral fragments from multiple rubble ridges within the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef: Implications for past storminess history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Entao; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yue-xing; Leonard, Nicole D.; Clark, Tara R.; Roff, George

    2016-07-01

    Prograded coral rubble ridges have been widely used as archives for reconstructing long-term storm or storminess history. Chronologies of ridge systems in previous studies are often based on a limited number of low-resolution radiocarbon or optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages per ridge (usually only one age per ridge), which carry intrinsic age uncertainties and make interpretation of storm histories problematic. To test the fidelity of storm ridges as palaeo-storm archives, we used high-precision U-Th dating to examine whether different samples from a single ridge are temporally constrained. We surveyed three transects of ridge systems from two continental islands (Normanby Island and High Island) within the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and obtained 96 U-Th dates from coral rubble samples collected from within and between different ridges. Our results revealed significant differences in age ranges between the two islands. The steeper and more defined rubble ridges present on Normanby Island revealed that the majority of U-Th ages (over 60%) from a single ridge clustered within a narrow age range (∼100 years). By contrast, the lower and less defined ridges on High Island, which were more likely formed during both storm and non-storm high-energy events, revealed significant scatter in age distribution (>>200 years) with no notable clustering. The narrower age ranges obtained from the steeper and more defined rubble ridges suggest that previous approaches of using either limited samples from a single ridge or low-precision dating methods to establish chronologies are generally valid at centennial to millennial timescales, although caution must be taken to use such approaches for storm history reconstruction on shorter timescales (e.g. decadal). The correlation between U-Th mortality ages of coral rubble and historical stormy periods highlights the possibility of using coral rubble age distribution from rubble ridges to reconstruct the long

  17. Comparison of Holocene With Coseismic Vertical Deformation Accompanying the Great 1 April 2007 Solomon Islands Megathrust Rupture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, F. W.; Briggs, R.; Frohlich, C.; Papabatu, A. K.; Billy, D.; Brown, A.; Meltzner, A. J.

    2007-12-01

    The 1 April 2007 Mw 8.1 earthquake in the western Solomons arc is the first major seismic rupture of this segment of plate boundary in historical times. A remarkable property of this region is the existence of coral- fringed islands located in a belt from ~90 km to as close as ~5 km from the trench. This setting provides a unique opportunity in which to measure forearc vertical movements using corals and other data to reveal relationships among coseismic vertical displacement, extremely rapid uplift of the outer forearc, and slower uplift of the main volcanic arc. The location of maximum coseismic uplift along a trench-parallel belt adjacent to the trench is consistent with the trench-parallel belt of maximum Holocene uplift rates. However, islands along the main volcanic arc lie in the swath of coseismic subsidence located arcward and parallel to the uplift zone. These islands typically have mean Holocene uplift rates up to ~1mm/yr. Thus, coseismic uplift correlates with rapid outer forearc Holocene uplift, but coseismic subsidence occurred throughout the more slowly uplifting volcanic arc. Using these observations, we can deconvolve and isolate the components of co- seismic, interseismic, and net vertical deformation and seek to address the underlying mechanisms. Interpretation is complicated by the late Quaternary history that includes subsidence of both the inner and outer arc islands prior to initiation of the ongoing net uplift since ~50 ka.

  18. Lizard threat display handicaps endurance.

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Y

    2003-01-01

    Honest-signalling theory asserts that threat displays reliably advertise attributes that influence fighting success. Endurance, as measured by treadmill performance, predicts the outcome of agonistic interactions among lizards. If threat displays in lizards function to advertise endurance capacity then variation in threat displays should correlate with endurance. I tested this prediction for the duration of threat posturing in male side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) and examined whether threat displays act as quality handicaps, reliable signals that expend the attribute that is advertised. Individual variation in the duration of threat posturing correlated with endurance, while an experimental reduction of endurance diminished the duration of threat posturing. As expected of a quality handicap, endurance fell below baseline after display production. A restriction of aerobic metabolism can account for this effect. In threat posturing, lateral compression of the thorax may interfere with respiration or with circulation, limiting aerobic metabolism and causing a compensatory increase in anaerobic metabolism, thereby generating lactate and diminishing locomotor capacity. Concentrations of lactate measured after display production were higher than baseline, consistent with the proposed mechanism. By restricting aerobic metabolism, the threat posture can act as a quality handicap, simultaneously advertising and expending the endurance capacity of displaying lizards. PMID:12803896

  19. The cercaria of Galactosomum bearupi Pearson, 1973 (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) at Heron and Masthead Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Beuret, J; Scott, D A; Pearson, J C

    2000-05-01

    Magnacercous cercariae, all morphologically identical but with different coloured tails, were found naturally infecting the intertidal prosobranch gastropod Clypeomorus batillariaeformis Habe & Kosuge (Cerithiidae) at Heron and Masthead Islands. Several species of coral-dwelling fishes were exposed to magnacercous cercariae. Active ingestion by the fish, followed by the complete development of the metacercaria in the optic lobes, occurred in Pomacentrus molluccensis Bleeker, but not in Dascyllus aruanus (L.), where development stopped short after encystment. All cercariae turned out to belong to the same species, Galactosomum bearupi Pearson, 1973. Natural infections of G. bearupi metacercariae were found in eight species of fish at Heron Island: Pomacentrus molluccensis, P. wardi Whitley, P. bankanensis Bleeker, P. flavicauda Whitley, Stegastes cf. fasciolatus (Ogilby), Sillago maculata Quoy & Gaimard, S. cf. ciliata Cuvier and Crenimugil crenilabris (Forsskål). This represents the fourth account of the cercaria of a species of Galactosomum.

  20. Cyrtodactylus rosichonariefi sp. nov. (Squamata: Gekkonidae), a new swamp-dwelling bent-toed gecko from Bunguran Island (Great Natuna), Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Riyanto, Awal; Grismer, L Lee; Wood, Perry L

    2015-05-29

    Cyrtodactylus rosichonariefi sp. nov. is the second newly described species of Bent-toed gecko from Bunguran Island (Great Natuna), Indonesia. This species occurs in the Sekunyam Forest and is differentiated from all other species of the C. semenanjungensis species group of the Thai-Malay Peninsula by having the following unique combination of characteristics: intermediate size (SVL of adult male holotype 54.6 mm); enlarged femoral scales, no femoral pores, no precloacal groove, enlarged precloacal scales, no precloacal pores; subcaudals not enlarged; and dorsal pattern blotched but lacking paired, dark, semilunar-shaped blotches on upper nape. The new species is the sister species of C. majulah Grismer, Wood & Lim. [Corrected

  1. Parrotfish predation on massive Porites on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaldo, R. M.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2011-03-01

    Parrotfish grazing scars on coral colonies were quantified across four reef zones at Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The abundance of parrotfish grazing scars was highest on reef flat and crest, with massive Porites spp . colonies having more parrotfish grazing scars than all other coral species combined. Massive Porites was the only coral type positively selected for grazing by parrotfishes in all four reef zones. The density of parrotfish grazing scars on massive Porites spp., and the rate of new scar formation, was highest on the reef crest and flat, reflecting the lower massive Porites cover and higher parrotfish abundance in these habitats. Overall, it appears that parrotfish predation pressure on corals could affect the abundance of preferred coral species, especially massive Porites spp , across the reef gradient. Parrotfish predation on corals may have a more important role on the GBR reefs than previously thought.

  2. Microgeographic variation in locomotor traits among lizards in a human-built environment

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Microgeographic variation in fitness-relevant traits may be more common than previously appreciated. The fitness of many vertebrates is directly related to their locomotor capacity, a whole-organism trait integrating behavior, morphology, and physiology. Because locomotion is inextricably related to context, I hypothesized that it might vary with habitat structure in a wide-ranging lizard, Podarcis erhardii, found in the Greek Cyclade Islands. I compared lizard populations living on human-built rock walls, a novel habitat with complex vertical structure, with nearby lizard populations that are naive to human-built infrastructure and live in flat, loose-substrate habitat. I tested for differences in morphology, behavior, and performance. Lizards from built sites were larger and had significantly (and relatively) longer forelimbs and hindlimbs. The differences in hindlimb morphology were especially pronounced for distal components—the foot and longest toe. These morphologies facilitated a significant behavioral shift in jumping propensity across a rocky experimental substrate. I found no difference in maximum velocity between these populations; however, females originating from wall sites potentially accelerated faster over the rocky experimental substrate. The variation between these closely neighboring populations suggests that the lizards inhabiting walls have experienced a suite of trait changes enabling them to take advantage of the novel habitat structure created by humans. PMID:26989616

  3. Review Article: Potential geomorphic consequences of a future great (Mw = 8.0+) Alpine Fault earthquake, South Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, T. R.; Davies, T. R. H.

    2013-09-01

    The Alpine Fault in New Zealand's South Island has not sustained a large magnitude earthquake since ca. AD 1717. The time since this rupture is close to the average inferred recurrence interval of the fault (~300 yr). The Alpine Fault is therefore expected to generate a large magnitude earthquake in the near future. Previous ruptures of this fault are inferred to have generated Mw = 8.0 or greater earthquakes and to have resulted in, amongst other geomorphic hazards, large-scale landslides and landslide dams throughout the Southern Alps. There is currently 85% probability that the Alpine Fault will cause a Mw = 8.0+ earthquake within the next 100 yr. While the seismic hazard is fairly well understood, that of the consequential geomorphic activity is less well studied, and these consequences are explored herein. They are expected to include landsliding, landslide damming, dam-break flooding, debris flows, river aggradation, liquefaction, and landslide-generated lake/fiord tsunami. Using evidence from previous events within New Zealand as well as analogous international examples, we develop first-order estimates of the likely magnitude and possible locations of the geomorphic effects associated with earthquakes. Landsliding is expected to affect an area > 30 000 km2 and involve > 1billion m3 of material. Some tens of landslide dams are expected to occur in narrow, steep-sided gorges in the affected region. Debris flows will be generated in the first long-duration rainfall after the earthquake and will continue to occur for several years as rainfall (re)mobilises landslide material. In total more than 1000 debris flows are likely to be generated at some time after the earthquake. Aggradation of up to 3 m will cover an area > 125 km2 and is likely to occur on many West Coast alluvial fans and floodplains. The impact of these effects will be felt across the entire South Island and is likely to continue for several decades.

  4. Effect of colony size and surrounding substrate on corals experiencing a mild bleaching event on Heron Island reef flat (southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz, J. C.; Gomez-Cabrera, M. Del C.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2009-12-01

    In January-May 2006, Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef experienced a mild bleaching event. The effect of colony size, morphology and surrounding substrate on the extent of bleaching was explored. In contrast with previous studies, colony size did not influence bleaching sensitivity, suggesting that there may be a threshold of light and temperature stress beyond which size plays a role. Also contrasting with previous studies, massive corals were more affected by bleaching than branching corals. Massive corals surrounded by sand were more affected than the ones surrounded by rubble or dead coral. It is hypothesized that light reflectance from sand increases stress levels experienced by the colonies. This effect is maximized in massive corals as opposed to branching corals that form dense thickets on Heron Island. These results emphasize the importance of the ecological dynamics of coral communities experiencing low, moderate and high levels of bleaching for the understanding of how coral communities may change under the stress of climate change.

  5. Sand and nest temperatures and an estimate of hatchling sex ratio from the Heron Island green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) rookery, Southern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, David T.; Freeman, Candida

    2006-11-01

    Sand and nest temperatures were monitored during the 2002-2003 nesting season of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Sand temperatures increased from ˜ 24°C early in the season to 27-29°C in the middle, before decreasing again. Beach orientation affected sand temperature at nest depth throughout the season; the north facing beach remained 0.7°C warmer than the east, which was 0.9°C warmer than the south, but monitored nest temperatures were similar across all beaches. Sand temperature at 100 cm depth was cooler than at 40 cm early in the season, but this reversed at the end. Nest temperatures increased 2-4°C above sand temperatures during the later half of incubation due to metabolic heating. Hatchling sex ratio inferred from nest temperature profiles indicated a strong female bias.

  6. Phenotypic shifts in urban areas in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    PubMed

    Winchell, Kristin M; Reynolds, R Graham; Prado-Irwin, Sofia R; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R; Revell, Liam J

    2016-05-01

    Urbanization is an increasingly important dimension of global change, and urban areas likely impose significant natural selection on the species that reside within them. Although many species of plants and animals can survive in urban areas, so far relatively little research has investigated whether such populations have adapted (in an evolutionary sense) to their newfound milieu. Even less of this work has taken place in tropical regions, many of which have experienced dramatic growth and intensification of urbanization in recent decades. In the present study, we focus on the neotropical lizard, Anolis cristatellus. We tested whether lizard ecology and morphology differ between urban and natural areas in three of the most populous municipalities on the island of Puerto Rico. We found that environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, and substrate availability differ dramatically between neighboring urban and natural areas. We also found that lizards in urban areas use artificial substrates a large proportion of the time, and that these substrates tend to be broader than substrates in natural forest. Finally, our morphological data showed that lizards in urban areas have longer limbs relative to their body size, as well as more subdigital scales called lamellae, when compared to lizards from nearby forested habitats. This shift in phenotype is exactly in the direction predicted based on habitat differences between our urban and natural study sites, combined with our results on how substrates are being used by lizards in these areas. Findings from a common-garden rearing experiment using individuals from one of our three pairs of populations provide evidence that trait differences between urban and natural sites may be genetically based. Taken together, our data suggest that anoles in urban areas are under significant differential natural selection and may be evolutionarily adapting to their human-modified environments. PMID:27074746

  7. Phenotypic shifts in urban areas in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    PubMed

    Winchell, Kristin M; Reynolds, R Graham; Prado-Irwin, Sofia R; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R; Revell, Liam J

    2016-05-01

    Urbanization is an increasingly important dimension of global change, and urban areas likely impose significant natural selection on the species that reside within them. Although many species of plants and animals can survive in urban areas, so far relatively little research has investigated whether such populations have adapted (in an evolutionary sense) to their newfound milieu. Even less of this work has taken place in tropical regions, many of which have experienced dramatic growth and intensification of urbanization in recent decades. In the present study, we focus on the neotropical lizard, Anolis cristatellus. We tested whether lizard ecology and morphology differ between urban and natural areas in three of the most populous municipalities on the island of Puerto Rico. We found that environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, and substrate availability differ dramatically between neighboring urban and natural areas. We also found that lizards in urban areas use artificial substrates a large proportion of the time, and that these substrates tend to be broader than substrates in natural forest. Finally, our morphological data showed that lizards in urban areas have longer limbs relative to their body size, as well as more subdigital scales called lamellae, when compared to lizards from nearby forested habitats. This shift in phenotype is exactly in the direction predicted based on habitat differences between our urban and natural study sites, combined with our results on how substrates are being used by lizards in these areas. Findings from a common-garden rearing experiment using individuals from one of our three pairs of populations provide evidence that trait differences between urban and natural sites may be genetically based. Taken together, our data suggest that anoles in urban areas are under significant differential natural selection and may be evolutionarily adapting to their human-modified environments.

  8. Effects of insularity on digestion: living on islands induces shifts in physiological and morphological traits in island reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sagonas, Kostas; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D

    2015-10-01

    Living on islands entails numerous challenges for animals, among which resource scarcity stands out. In order to survive, animals have to optimize energy acquisition. We examined the impact of insularity on digestion comparing a series of physiological and morphological traits of adult males between insular and mainland populations of the Balkan green lizard. Island lizards had longer gastrointestinal tracts and gut passage times and higher digestive efficiencies. The dissection of the hindgut revealed an unexpected finding, the presence of cecal valves that were more frequent in island lizards. Thanks to all above islanders retain food for longer periods and thus maximize energy income and increase the amount of the extracted nutrients. That way, they secure energy income from the limited, in time and quantity, food resources of the islands.

  9. Effects of insularity on digestion: living on islands induces shifts in physiological and morphological traits in island reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagonas, Kostas; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D.

    2015-10-01

    Living on islands entails numerous challenges for animals, among which resource scarcity stands out. In order to survive, animals have to optimize energy acquisition. We examined the impact of insularity on digestion comparing a series of physiological and morphological traits of adult males between insular and mainland populations of the Balkan green lizard. Island lizards had longer gastrointestinal tracts and gut passage times and higher digestive efficiencies. The dissection of the hindgut revealed an unexpected finding, the presence of cecal valves that were more frequent in island lizards. Thanks to all above islanders retain food for longer periods and thus maximize energy income and increase the amount of the extracted nutrients. That way, they secure energy income from the limited, in time and quantity, food resources of the islands.

  10. Learning foraging thresholds for lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, L.A.; Hart, W.E.; Wilson, D.B.

    1996-01-12

    This work gives a proof of convergence for a randomized learning algorithm that describes how anoles (lizards found in the Carribean) learn a foraging threshold distance. This model assumes that an anole will pursue a prey if and only if it is within this threshold of the anole`s perch. This learning algorithm was proposed by the biologist Roughgarden and his colleagues. They experimentally confirmed that this algorithm quickly converges to the foraging threshold that is predicted by optimal foraging theory our analysis provides an analytic confirmation that the learning algorithm converses to this optimal foraging threshold with high probability.

  11. Lizard locomotion in heterogeneous granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiebel, Perrin; Goldman, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Locomotion strategies in heterogeneous granular environments (common substrates in deserts), are relatively unexplored. The zebra-tailed lizard (C. draconoides) is a useful model organism for such studies owing to its exceptional ability to navigate a variety of desert habitats at impressive speed (up to 50 body-lengths per second) using both quadrapedal and bidepal gaits. In laboratory experiments, we challenge the lizards to run across a field of boulders (2.54 cm diameter glass spheres or 3.8 cm 3D printed spheres) placed in a lattice pattern and embedded in a loosely packed granular medium of 0.3 mm diameter glass particles. Locomotion kinematics of the lizard are recorded using high speed cameras, with and without the scatterers. The data reveals that unlike the lizard's typical quadrupedal locomotion using a diagonal gait, when scatterers are present the lizard is most successful when using a bipedal gait, with a raised center of mass (CoM). We propose that the kinematics of bipedal running in conjunction with the lizard's long toes and compliant hind foot are the keys to this lizard's successful locomotion in the presence of such obstacles. NSF PoLS

  12. Temperature, activity, and lizard life histories

    SciTech Connect

    Adolph, S.C.; Porter, W.P. )

    1993-08-01

    Lizard life-history characteristics vary widely among species and populations. Most authors seek adaptive or phylogenetic explanations for life-history patterns, which are usually presumed to reflect genetic differences. However, lizard life histories are often phenotypically plastic, varying in response to temperature, food availability, and other environmental factors. Despite the importance of temperature to lizard ecology and physiology, its effects on life histories have received relatively little attention. The authors present a theoretical model predicting the proximate consequences of the thermal environment for lizard life histories. Temperature, by affecting activity times, can cause variation in annual survival rate and fecundity, leading to a negative correlation between survival rate and fecundity among populations in different thermal environments. Thus, physiological and evolutionary models predict the same qualitative pattern of life-history variation in lizards. They tested their model with published life-history data from field studies of the lizard Sceloporus undulatus, using climate and geographical data to reconstruct estimated annual activity seasons. Among populations, annual activity times were negatively correlated with annual survival rate and positively correlated with annual fecundity. Proximate effects of temperature may confound comparative analyses of lizard life-history variation and should be included in future evolutionary models. 125 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  14. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource.

  15. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  16. Fish predation on sea urchins on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, M. A. L.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2012-09-01

    Predators are important for regulating adult sea urchin densities. Here, we employ remote underwater video cameras to record diurnal predation on tethered sea urchins at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We identified four fish predators of adult sea urchins ( Balistoides viridescens, Balistapus undulatus, Lethrinus atkinsoni and Choerodon schoenleinii). Predator activity appeared to be site-specific. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus (f: Balistidae) were the two most important predators of Echinometra mathaei with the former handling E. mathaei significantly faster (mean 0.7 min) than B. undulatus (5.2 min). Balistoides viridescens also successfully preyed on 70 % of detections, while C. schoenleinii, B. undulatus and L. atkinsoni preyed on just 33, 17 and <1 %, respectively. Additionally, B. viridescens were behaviourally dominant among predator species and were observed as aggressors in 30 encounters with B. undulatus and 8 encounters with L. atkinsoni. In only one encounter was B. viridescens the recipient of any aggression (from B. undulatus). In terms of relative vulnerability, of the three sea urchin species examined, E. mathaei were more vulnerable to predation than Diadema setosum or Echinothrix calamaris, with mean handling times of 1.2, 4.8 and 10.3 min, respectively. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus both appear to be able to play an important role as predators of sea urchins on the relatively intact coral reefs of Lizard Island. However, B. viridescens emerge as the most efficient predator in terms of handling speed and the proportion of detections preyed upon. They were also the behaviourally dominant predator. This preliminary study of the predators of sea urchins on the GBR highlights the potential significance of relatively scarce but functionally important species.

  17. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting of soil bacteria in the vicinity of the Chinese Great Wall Station, King George Island, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Pan, Qi; Wang, Feng; Zhang, Yang; Cai, Minghong; He, Jianfeng; Yang, Haizhen

    2013-08-01

    Bacterial diversity was investigated in soil samples collected from 13 sites around the Great Wall Station, Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica, using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA genes. The classes alpha-, beta-, and gamma-Proteobacteria, as well as the phylum Actinobacteria, were found to be the dominant bacteria in the soils around the Great Wall Station. Although the selected samples were not contaminated by oil, a relationship between soil parameters, microbial biodiversity, and human impact was still seen. Sample sites in human impacted areas showed lower bacterial biodiversity (average H' = 2.65) when compared to non-impacted sites (average H' = 3.05). There was no statistically significant correlation between soil bacterial diversity and total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen, or total phosphorus contents of the soil. Canonical correlation analysis showed that TOC content was the most important factor determining bacterial community profiles among the measured soil parameters. In conclusion, microbial biodiversity and community characteristics within relatively small scales (1.5 km) were determined as a function of local environment parameters and anthropogenic impact. PMID:24520704

  18. Parasitism of lizards by immature stages of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis (Acari, Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Oliver, James H; Banks, Craig W; Vogel, Gregory N

    2002-01-01

    From 1982-1985 and 1993-1999, a total of 309 individual reptiles, mostly lizards and snakes, belonging to 12 species (American alligator, six lizard species, five snake species) was captured on St. Catherine's Island, Liberty County, Georgia, USA, and examined for ticks. Three lizard species, the broad-headed skink Eumeces laticeps, southeastern 5-lined skink Eumeces inexpectatus, and eastern glass lizard Ophisaurus ventralis, were severely infested with larvae and nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Ticks were not found on any of the other reptile species. Overall, 80% of 65 E. inexpectatus examined were parasitized by a mean intensity of 21.5 larvae and 88% were parasitized by a mean intensity of 4.8 nymphs. Corresponding figures for E. laticeps (n=56) were 93% and 51.3 for larvae and 89% and 7.4 for nymphs, and for O. ventralis (n=3) were 67% and 22.5 for larvae and 100% and 21.3 for nymphs. Larvae and nymphs attached along the lateral grooves of O. ventralis. Nymphs attached mainly behind the ears and in the foreleg axillae whereas larvae mainly attached to these sites and on the hindlegs in Eumeces spp. Seasonally, both larvae and nymphs were recorded on lizards from April through October. A unimodal larval peak was recorded in May or June. Seasonal data for nymphs did not reveal any distinct peaks but small bimodal peaks in mean intensities may have occurred (one in early summer, the other in late summer) suggesting that some ticks complete their life cycle in one year, and others in two years, on St. Catherine's Island. Potential epidemiological consequences of these findings with respect to Lyme disease in the southeastern United States are briefly addressed.

  19. High-intensity cardiac infections of Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. (Digenea: Aporocotylidae) in the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), off Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Matthew J; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Cutmore, Scott C; Cribb, Thomas H; Miller, Terrence L

    2016-10-01

    We report a new species of aporocotylid trematode (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) from the heart of the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), from off Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef. We used an integrated approach, analysing host distribution, morphology, and genetic data from the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the ribosomal DNA, to circumscribe Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. This is the first species of Phthinomita Nolan & Cribb, 2006 reported from the Apogonidae; existing species and known 'types' are recorded from species of the Labridae, Mullidae, and Siganidae. The new species is distinguished from its 11 congeners in having a body 2977-3539 long and 16.5-22.4 times longer than wide, an anterior testis 6.2-8.2 times longer than wide and 8.3-13.0 times longer than the posterior testis, a posterior testis whose width is 35-56% of the body width, and an ovary positioned 11-13% of the body length from the posterior end, and is entirely anterior to the posterior margin of the anterior testis. In addition, 2-34 base differences (0.4-7.0% sequence divergence over 485 base positions) were detected among the ITS2 sequence representing P. heinigerae n. sp. and the 14 representing other Phthinomita species/molecular types. Prevalence and intensity of infection with P. heinigerae n. sp. was relatively high within the heart tissue of T. fucata, with 19 of 20 fish examined from off Heron Island infected (95%) with 7-25 adult worms (arithmetic mean 16.6). Infections by these parasites accounted for an occupation of 7-30% of the total estimated heart volume. PMID:27185234

  20. pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Georgiou, Lucy; Falter, James; Trotter, Julie; Kline, David I; Holcomb, Michael; Dove, Sophie G; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-10-27

    Geochemical analyses (δ(11)B and Sr/Ca) are reported for the coral Porites cylindrica grown within a free ocean carbon enrichment (FOCE) experiment, conducted on the Heron Island reef flat (Great Barrier Reef) for a 6-mo period from June to early December 2010. The FOCE experiment was designed to simulate the effects of CO2-driven acidification predicted to occur by the end of this century (scenario RCP4.5) while simultaneously maintaining the exposure of corals to natural variations in their environment under in situ conditions. Analyses of skeletal growth (measured from extension rates and skeletal density) showed no systematic differences between low-pH FOCE treatments (ΔpH = ∼-0.05 to -0.25 units below ambient) and present day controls (ΔpH = 0) for calcification rates or the pH of the calcifying fluid (pHcf); the latter was derived from boron isotopic compositions (δ(11)B) of the coral skeleton. Furthermore, individual nubbins exhibited near constant δ(11)B compositions along their primary apical growth axes (±0.02 pHcf units) regardless of the season or treatment. Thus, under the highly dynamic conditions of the Heron Island reef flat, P. cylindrica up-regulated the pH of its calcifying fluid (pHcf ∼8.4-8.6), with each nubbin having near-constant pHcf values independent of the large natural seasonal fluctuations of the reef flat waters (pH ∼7.7 to ∼8.3) or the superimposed FOCE treatments. This newly discovered phenomenon of pH homeostasis during calcification indicates that coral living in highly dynamic environments exert strong physiological controls on the carbonate chemistry of their calcifying fluid, implying a high degree of resilience to ocean acidification within the investigated ranges. PMID:26438833

  1. pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Georgiou, Lucy; Falter, James; Trotter, Julie; Kline, David I; Holcomb, Michael; Dove, Sophie G; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-10-27

    Geochemical analyses (δ(11)B and Sr/Ca) are reported for the coral Porites cylindrica grown within a free ocean carbon enrichment (FOCE) experiment, conducted on the Heron Island reef flat (Great Barrier Reef) for a 6-mo period from June to early December 2010. The FOCE experiment was designed to simulate the effects of CO2-driven acidification predicted to occur by the end of this century (scenario RCP4.5) while simultaneously maintaining the exposure of corals to natural variations in their environment under in situ conditions. Analyses of skeletal growth (measured from extension rates and skeletal density) showed no systematic differences between low-pH FOCE treatments (ΔpH = ∼-0.05 to -0.25 units below ambient) and present day controls (ΔpH = 0) for calcification rates or the pH of the calcifying fluid (pHcf); the latter was derived from boron isotopic compositions (δ(11)B) of the coral skeleton. Furthermore, individual nubbins exhibited near constant δ(11)B compositions along their primary apical growth axes (±0.02 pHcf units) regardless of the season or treatment. Thus, under the highly dynamic conditions of the Heron Island reef flat, P. cylindrica up-regulated the pH of its calcifying fluid (pHcf ∼8.4-8.6), with each nubbin having near-constant pHcf values independent of the large natural seasonal fluctuations of the reef flat waters (pH ∼7.7 to ∼8.3) or the superimposed FOCE treatments. This newly discovered phenomenon of pH homeostasis during calcification indicates that coral living in highly dynamic environments exert strong physiological controls on the carbonate chemistry of their calcifying fluid, implying a high degree of resilience to ocean acidification within the investigated ranges.

  2. High-intensity cardiac infections of Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. (Digenea: Aporocotylidae) in the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), off Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Matthew J; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Cutmore, Scott C; Cribb, Thomas H; Miller, Terrence L

    2016-10-01

    We report a new species of aporocotylid trematode (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) from the heart of the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), from off Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef. We used an integrated approach, analysing host distribution, morphology, and genetic data from the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the ribosomal DNA, to circumscribe Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. This is the first species of Phthinomita Nolan & Cribb, 2006 reported from the Apogonidae; existing species and known 'types' are recorded from species of the Labridae, Mullidae, and Siganidae. The new species is distinguished from its 11 congeners in having a body 2977-3539 long and 16.5-22.4 times longer than wide, an anterior testis 6.2-8.2 times longer than wide and 8.3-13.0 times longer than the posterior testis, a posterior testis whose width is 35-56% of the body width, and an ovary positioned 11-13% of the body length from the posterior end, and is entirely anterior to the posterior margin of the anterior testis. In addition, 2-34 base differences (0.4-7.0% sequence divergence over 485 base positions) were detected among the ITS2 sequence representing P. heinigerae n. sp. and the 14 representing other Phthinomita species/molecular types. Prevalence and intensity of infection with P. heinigerae n. sp. was relatively high within the heart tissue of T. fucata, with 19 of 20 fish examined from off Heron Island infected (95%) with 7-25 adult worms (arithmetic mean 16.6). Infections by these parasites accounted for an occupation of 7-30% of the total estimated heart volume.

  3. pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Georgiou, Lucy; Falter, James; Trotter, Julie; Kline, David I.; Holcomb, Michael; Dove, Sophie G.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-01-01

    Geochemical analyses (δ11B and Sr/Ca) are reported for the coral Porites cylindrica grown within a free ocean carbon enrichment (FOCE) experiment, conducted on the Heron Island reef flat (Great Barrier Reef) for a 6-mo period from June to early December 2010. The FOCE experiment was designed to simulate the effects of CO2-driven acidification predicted to occur by the end of this century (scenario RCP4.5) while simultaneously maintaining the exposure of corals to natural variations in their environment under in situ conditions. Analyses of skeletal growth (measured from extension rates and skeletal density) showed no systematic differences between low-pH FOCE treatments (ΔpH = ∼−0.05 to −0.25 units below ambient) and present day controls (ΔpH = 0) for calcification rates or the pH of the calcifying fluid (pHcf); the latter was derived from boron isotopic compositions (δ11B) of the coral skeleton. Furthermore, individual nubbins exhibited near constant δ11B compositions along their primary apical growth axes (±0.02 pHcf units) regardless of the season or treatment. Thus, under the highly dynamic conditions of the Heron Island reef flat, P. cylindrica up-regulated the pH of its calcifying fluid (pHcf ∼8.4–8.6), with each nubbin having near-constant pHcf values independent of the large natural seasonal fluctuations of the reef flat waters (pH ∼7.7 to ∼8.3) or the superimposed FOCE treatments. This newly discovered phenomenon of pH homeostasis during calcification indicates that coral living in highly dynamic environments exert strong physiological controls on the carbonate chemistry of their calcifying fluid, implying a high degree of resilience to ocean acidification within the investigated ranges. PMID:26438833

  4. Historical contingency and behavioural divergence in territorial Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Ord, T J

    2012-10-01

    The extent that evolution - including adaptation - is historically contingent (dependent on past events) has often been hotly debated, but is still poorly understood. In particular, there are little data on the degree that behaviour, an aspect of the phenotype that is strongly linked to contemporary environments (social or physical), retains the imprint of evolutionary history. In this study, I examined whether differences in the design of the territorial displays among species of Caribbean Anolis lizards reflect island-specific selection regimes, or historically contingent predispositions associated with different clade histories. Adult males advertise territory ownership using a series of headbobs and dewlap extensions, bouts of which vary in duration among species. When display durations were mapped onto the Anolis phylogeny, prominent differences between species belonging to the Western and Eastern Caribbean radiations were apparent. Statistical analyses confirmed that species differences in the duration of headbob displays, and to some extent the duration of dewlap extensions, were historically contingent. The unique evolutionary histories of each clade have seemingly had a profound effect on the subsequent direction of display evolution among descendent taxa. These results combined with those from previous studies on these lizards show that past history can have an important impact on the type of behaviour exhibited by species today, to the point that adaptive evolution can proceed quite differently in lineages originating from different evolutionary starting points. PMID:22862423

  5. Effect of immersion in seawater on egg survival in the lizard Anolis sagrei.

    PubMed

    Losos, Jonathan B; Schoener, Thomas W; Spiller, David A

    2003-11-01

    Studies on the lizard, Anolis sagrei, revealed that after Hurricane Floyd devastated the Bahamas in 1999, some populations consisted only of hatchlings. Because the storm surge of the hurricane completely inundated these islands, apparently for up to 6 h, survival of anole eggs in salt water for such periods is implied. To test this hypothesis directly, we placed A. sagrei eggs in saltwater for 3 or 6 h with unimmersed eggs serving as the control. Hatching success and incubation time did not differ among the three treatments. These findings help explain the persistence of anole populations on small islands vulnerable to hurricanes.

  6. Great Balls of Fire: A probabilistic approach to quantify the hazard related to ballistics - A case study at La Fossa volcano, Vulcano Island, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biass, Sébastien; Falcone, Jean-Luc; Bonadonna, Costanza; Di Traglia, Federico; Pistolesi, Marco; Rosi, Mauro; Lestuzzi, Pierino

    2016-10-01

    We present a probabilistic approach to quantify the hazard posed by volcanic ballistic projectiles (VBP) and their potential impact on the built environment. A model named Great Balls of Fire (GBF) is introduced to describe ballistic trajectories of VBPs accounting for a variable drag coefficient and topography. It relies on input parameters easily identifiable in the field and is designed to model large numbers of VBPs stochastically. Associated functions come with the GBF code to post-process model outputs into a comprehensive probabilistic hazard assessment for VBP impacts. Outcomes include probability maps to exceed given thresholds of kinetic energies at impact, hazard curves and probabilistic isoenergy maps. Probabilities are calculated either on equally-sized pixels or zones of interest. The approach is calibrated, validated and applied to La Fossa volcano, Vulcano Island (Italy). We constructed a generic eruption scenario based on stratigraphic studies and numerical inversions of the 1888-1890 long-lasting Vulcanian cycle of La Fossa. Results suggest a ~ 10- 2% probability of occurrence of VBP impacts with kinetic energies ≤ 104 J at the touristic locality of Porto. In parallel, the vulnerability to roof perforation was estimated by combining field observations and published literature, allowing for a first estimate of the potential impact of VBPs during future Vulcanian eruptions. Results indicate a high physical vulnerability to the VBP hazard, and, consequently, half of the building stock having a ≥ 2.5 × 10- 3% probability of roof perforation.

  7. Anatomy, morphology and evolution of the patella in squamate lizards and tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).

    PubMed

    Regnault, Sophie; Jones, Marc E H; Pitsillides, Andrew A; Hutchinson, John R

    2016-05-01

    The patella (kneecap) is the largest and best-known of the sesamoid bones, postulated to confer biomechanical advantages including increasing joint leverage and reinforcing the tendon against compression. It has evolved several times independently in amniotes, but despite apparently widespread occurrence in lizards, the patella remains poorly characterised in this group and is, as yet, completely undescribed in their nearest extant relative Sphenodon (Rhynchocephalia). Through radiography, osteological and fossil studies we examined patellar presence in diverse lizard and lepidosauromorph taxa, and using computed tomography, dissection and histology we investigated in greater depth the anatomy and morphology of the patella in 16 lizard species and 19 Sphenodon specimens. We have found the first unambiguous evidence of a mineralised patella in Sphenodon, which appears similar to the patella of lizards and shares several gross and microscopic anatomical features. Although there may be a common mature morphology, the squamate patella exhibits a great deal of variability in development (whether from a cartilage anlage or not, and in the number of mineralised centres) and composition (bone, mineralised cartilage or fibrotendinous tissue). Unlike in mammals and birds, the patella in certain lizards and Sphenodon appears to be a polymorphic trait. We have also explored the evolution of the patella through ancestral state reconstruction, finding that the patella is ancestral for lizards and possibly Lepidosauria as a whole. Clear evidence of the patella in rhynchocephalian or stem lepidosaurian fossil taxa would clarify the evolutionary origin(s) of the patella, but due to the small size of this bone and the opportunity for degradation or loss we could not definitively conclude presence or absence in the fossils examined. The pattern of evolution in lepidosaurs is unclear but our data suggest that the emergence of this sesamoid may be related to the evolution of secondary

  8. Pollination and seed dispersal of Melocactus ernestii Vaupel subsp. ernestii (Cactaceae) by lizards: an example of double mutualism.

    PubMed

    Gomes, V G N; Quirino, Z G M; Machado, I C

    2014-03-01

    Recent studies show that the mutualistic role of lizards as pollinators and seed dispersers has been underestimated, with several ecological factors promoting such plant-animal interactions, especially on oceanic islands. Our aim is to provide a quantitative assessment of pollination and seed dispersal mutualisms with lizards in continental xeric habitats. We carried out focal observations of natural populations of Melocactus ernestii (Cactaceae) in the Caatinga, a Brazilian semiarid ecosystem, in order to record the frequency of visits, kind of resource searched and behaviour of visiting animals towards flowers and/or fruits. We made a new record of the lizard Tropidurus semitaeniatus foraging on flowers and fruits of M. ernestii. During the search for nectar, T. semitaeniatus contacted the reproductive structures of the flowers and transported pollen attached to its snout. Nectar production started at 14:00 h, with an average volume of 24.4 μl and an average concentration of solutes of 33%. Approximately 80% of the seeds of M. ernestii found in the faeces of T. semitaeniatus germinated under natural conditions. The roles of T. semitaeniatus as pollinator and seed disperser for M. ernestii show a clear relationship of double mutualism between two endemic species, which may result from the environmental conditions to which both species are subject. Seasonality, low water availability and arthropod supply in the environment, high local lizard densities, continuous nectar production by the flower and fruits with juicy pulp may be influencing the visits and, consequently, pollination and seed dispersal by lizards in this cactus.

  9. Island tameness: living on islands reduces flight initiation distance.

    PubMed

    Cooper, William E; Pyron, R Alexander; Garland, Theodore

    2014-02-22

    One of Darwin's most widely known conjectures is that prey are tame on remote islands, where mammalian predators are absent. Many species appear to permit close approach on such islands, but no comparative studies have demonstrated reduced wariness quantified as flight initiation distance (FID; i.e. predator-prey distance when the prey begins to flee) in comparison with mainland relatives. We used the phylogenetic comparative method to assess influence of distance from the mainland and island area on FID of 66 lizard species. Because body size and predator approach speed affect predation risk, we included these as independent variables. Multiple regression showed that FID decreases as distance from mainland increases and is shorter in island than mainland populations. Although FID increased as area increased in some models, collinearity made it difficult to separate effects of area from distance and island occupancy. FID increases as SVL increases and approach speed increases; these effects are statistically independent of effects of distance to mainland and island occupancy. Ordinary least-squares models fit the data better than phylogenetic regressions, indicating little or no phylogenetic signal in residual FID after accounting for the independent variables. Our results demonstrate that island tameness is a real phenomenon in lizards.

  10. Wall lizards display conspicuous signals to conspecifics and reduce detection by avian predators

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Visual signals are often under conflicting selection to be hidden from predators while being conspicuous to mates and rivals. Here, we investigated whether 3 different island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) with variable coloration among diverse island habitats exhibit simultaneous camouflage and sexual signals. We examined whether signals appear better tuned to conspecific vision as opposed to that of avian predators, and whether background-matching camouflage and sexual signals are partitioned to specific body regions. This could facilitate both covert sexual signaling and camouflage according to the viewing perspectives of predators and conspecifics. We found that lizards typically appeared twice as conspicuous to conspecifics than to avian predators against the same visual background, largely due to lizards’ enhanced sensitivity to ultraviolet, suggesting that P. erhardii signals are tuned to conspecific vision to reduce detection by predators. Males were more conspicuous than females to both predators and conspecifics. In 2 populations, male backs were relatively more camouflaged to predators compared to signaling flanks, whereas in females, exposed and concealed surfaces were camouflaged to predators and generally did not differ in background matching. These findings indicate that lizard coloration evolves under the competing demands of natural and sexual selection to promote signals that are visible to conspecifics while being less perceptible to avian predators. They also elucidate how interactions between natural and sexual selection influence signal detectability and partitioning to different body regions, highlighting the importance of considering receiver vision, viewing perspectives, and signaling environments in studies of signal evolution. PMID:25419083

  11. Sceloporus occidentalis: Preferred Body Temperature of the Western Fence Lizard.

    PubMed

    McGinnis, S M

    1966-05-20

    Given equal thermal opportunities during four seasonal test periods, western fence lizards active above ground preferred constant body temperature throughout the year. Lizards recovered from subsurface retreats in the fall exhibited a mean body temperature significantly lower than that for sequestered lizards recorded during winter, spring, and summer. PMID:17754818

  12. Predation and spatial distribution of the lizard Podarcis hispanica atrata: an experimental approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castilla, Aurora M.; Labra, Antonieta

    1998-04-01

    This study reports on an experiment designed to quantify potential predation by birds on the lizard Podarcis hispanica atrata in the Columbretes islands (Castellón, Spain). We used plasticine replicas to examine predation risk of replicas as a function of proximity to vegetation and to potential predators, and to investigate the seasonal variation in patterns of predation. Predation on replicas was very high and intensive within only four days, and differed between study areas and seasons. Predation was more intense when replicas were closer to nests of gulls and far from vegetation. The Yellow-legged Gull ( Larus cachinnans michaellis) was identified as the major species responsible for predation on lizard replicas.

  13. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in clams, sediments, and seawater from the Great Barrier Reef region, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Bagg, J.; Smith, J.D. )

    1988-09-01

    On the Great Barrier Reef actively growing organisms occur mainly in shallow water, between the low-water mark and about 5m depth. The effects of hydrocarbon pollution either from discharge into the sea or run-off from the shore might be expected to be most significantly at air/water or solid/water interfaces and so the earliest indications of contamination are likely to be found in species that live in this vulnerable zone. For this reason the clam Tridacna maxima which is found in the intertidal region was chosen to be analyzed for PAH content. This clam occurs in adequate numbers along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef and yields enough tissue to permit detection of PAH at very low concentrations. In addition during collection their shells close so that the chance of significant contamination during transport is very small. Clams were taken from a number of sites including isolated reefs such as John Brewer Reef, the research stations, Heron and Lizard Islands, and a tourist resort, Green Island. At all these sites sediments were analyzed for PAH and at Green Island, in addition, seawater was analyzed.

  14. Great Minds? Great Lakes!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, IL. Great Lakes National Program Office.

    This book contains lesson plans that provide an integrated approach to incorporating Great Lakes environmental issues into elementary subjects. The book is divided into three subject areas: (1) History, which includes the origins of the Great Lakes, Great Lakes people, and shipwrecks; (2) Social Studies, which covers government, acid rain as a…

  15. Food chemical cues elicit general and population-specific effects on lingual and biting behaviors in the lacertid lizard Podarcis lilfordi.

    PubMed

    Cooper, W E; Pérez-Mellado, V

    2001-08-01

    Actively foraging lizards are capable of identifying prey using only chemical cues sampled by tongue-flicking, and the relatively few omnivorous and herbivorous lizards tested similarly can identify both animal and plant foods from chemical cues. Whether lizards that eat plants respond to cues specific to preferred plant types and whether there is geographic variability in responses to cues from various plants correlated with the importance of those plants in local diets is unknown. In three populations of an omnivorous lacertid, the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi, we studied chemosensory sampling and feeding responses to chemical cues from plant and animal foods presented on cotton swabs. Each lizard population is endemic to one islet off the coast of Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. Lizards in all three populations discriminated chemical cues from plant and animal foods from control substances. Our results extend findings of prey chemical discrimination and plant chemical discrimination in omnivores, increasing confidence that correlated evolution has occurred between plant diet and chemosensory response to palatable plants. There were no consistent differences among populations in tongue-flicking and biting responses to stimuli from flowers of syntopic and allopatric plant species. The lizards may respond to cues indicative of palatability in a wide range of plant species rather than exhibiting strong responses only to locally available plant species. Nevertheless, tongue-flicking and biting frequencies varied among plant species, perhaps indicating food preferences. In addition, there were differences among populations in tongue-flick rates, latency to bite, and licking behavior. Licking was observed in only one lizard population as a response to floral chemicals from only one of the plants species tested, raising the possibility of a population-specific linkage between identification of a particular plant species and performance of an appropriate feeding

  16. Lizard locomotion on weak sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldman, Daniel

    2005-03-01

    Terrestrial animal locomotion in the natural world can involve complex foot-ground interaction; for example, running on sand probes the solid and fluid behaviors of the medium. We study locomotion of desert-dwelling lizard Callisaurus draconoides (length 16 cm, mass=20 g) during rapid running on sand. To explore the role of foot-ground interaction on locomotion, we study the impact of flat disks ( 2 cm diameter, 10 grams) into a deep (800 particle diameters) bed of 250 μm glass spheres of fixed volume fraction φ 0.59, and use a vertical flow of air (a fluidized bed) to change the material properties of the medium. A constant flow Q below the onset of bed fluidization weakens the solid: at fixed φ the penetration depth and time of a disk increases with increasing Q. We measure the average speed, foot impact depth, and foot contact time as a function of material strength. The animal maintains constant penetration time (30 msec) and high speed (1.4 m/sec) even when foot penetration depth varies as we manipulate material strength. The animals compensate for decreasing propulsion by increasing stride frequency.

  17. Lizard-Skin Surface Texture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1

    The south polar region of Mars is covered seasonally with translucent carbon dioxide ice. In the spring gas subliming (evaporating) from the underside of the seasonal layer of ice bursts through weak spots, carrying dust from below with it, to form numerous dust fans aligned in the direction of the prevailing wind.

    The dust gets trapped in the shallow grooves on the surface, helping to define the small-scale structure of the surface. The surface texture is reminiscent of lizard skin (figure 1).

    Observation Geometry Image PSP_003730_0945 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on 14-May-2007. The complete image is centered at -85.2 degrees latitude, 181.5 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 248.5 km (155.3 miles). At this distance the image scale is 24.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects 75 cm across are resolved. The image shown here has been map-projected to 25 cm/pixel . The image was taken at a local Mars time of 06:04 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 69 degrees, thus the sun was about 21 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 237.5 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Autumn.

  18. Cranial kinesis in gekkonid lizards

    PubMed

    Herrel; De Vree F; Delheusy; Gans

    1999-12-01

    Cranial kinesis was studied in two species of gekkonid lizard, Gekko gecko and Phelsuma madagascariensis, using cineradiography and electromyography. The skull of these geckoes showed the three types of kinesis described by Versluys at the beginning of this century: streptostyly, mesokinesis and metakinesis. In accordance with the later model of Frazzetta, the skull of these animals can be modelled by a quadratic crank system: when the mouth opens during feeding, the quadrate rotates forward, the palato-maxillary unit is lifted and the occipital unit swings forward. During jaw closing, the inverse movements are observed; during crushing, the system is retracted beyond its resting position. The data gathered here indicate that the coupled kinesis (streptostyly + mesokinesis) is most prominently present during the capture and crushing cycles of feeding and is largely absent during late intraoral transport, swallowing, drinking and breathing. The electromyographic data indicate a consistent pattern of muscular activation, with the jaw opener and pterygoid protractor always active during the fast opening phase, and the jaw closers active during closing and crushing. Our data generally support the model of Frazzetta. Although the data gathered here do not allow speculation on the functional significance of the kinesis, they clearly provide some key elements required for a further investigation of the functional and adaptive basis of the system.

  19. The stinging Apidae and Vespidae (Hymenoptera: Apocrita) in Iranian islands, Qeshm, Abu-Musa, Great Tunb and Lesser Tunb on the Persian Gulf

    PubMed Central

    Khoobdel, Mehdi; Tavassoli, Maryam; Salari, Mehdi; Firozi, Fateme

    2014-01-01

    Objective To study the stinging flying Hymenoptera (Apidae and Vespidae) fauna in four Iranian Islands, Qeshm, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu-Musa on the Persian Gulf. Methods The flies were captured by used of Malaise trap, fly trap, bottle trap and insect net-hashing from March 2011 to July 2012. Results In this study, 11 species of stinging Hymenoptera were reported for the first time in Persian Gulf region. Conclusions Some of this species such as Vespa orientalis and Polistes olivaceus are more common in the Persian Gulf islands and can cause clinical problem to islands resident and travelers. PMID:25183092

  20. Plasma lipid concentrations for some Brazilian lizards.

    PubMed

    Gillett, M P; Lima, V L; Costa, J C; Sibrian, A M

    1979-01-01

    1. Plasma concentrations of cholesterol, cholesteryl esters, phospholipids and triglycerides were determined for ten species of Brazilian lizards, Iguana iguana, Tropidurus torquatos and T. semitaeniatus (Iguanidae), Tupinambis teguixin, Ameiva ameiva and Cnemidophorus ocellifer (Teiidae), Mabuya maculata (Scincidae), Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae), Amphisbaenia vermicularis and Leposternon polystegum (Amphisbaenidae). 2. Considerable inter- and intra-species variations in plasma lipid concentrations were observed. 3. The percentage of total cholesterol esterified and the individual phospholipid composition of plasma were relatively constant for each species. 4. Over 60% of the cholesteryl esters present in plasma from three species each of iguanid and teiid lizards were polyenoic. PMID:318307

  1. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana.

    PubMed

    Simões, Tiago R; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Kellner, Alexander W A

    2015-08-26

    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized.

  2. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana

    PubMed Central

    Simões, Tiago R.; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W.; Weinschütz, Luiz C.; Kellner, Alexander W. A.

    2015-01-01

    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized. PMID:26306778

  3. Great Lakes: Great Gardening.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York Sea Grant Inst., Albany, NY.

    This folder contains 12 fact sheets designed to improve the quality of gardens near the Great Lakes. The titles are: (1) "Your Garden and the Great Lakes"; (2) "Organic Gardening"; (3) "Fruit and Vegetable Gardening"; (4) "Composting Yard Wastes"; (5) "Herbicides and Water Quality"; (6) "Watering"; (7) "Soil Erosion by Water"; (8) "Soil…

  4. Aliphatic hydrocarbons in Great Barrier Reef organisms and environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coates, M.; Connell, D. W.; Bodero, J.; Miller, G. J.; Back, R.

    1986-07-01

    This investigation was undertaken to assess the chemical nature, occurrence, and possible origin of petroleum hydrocarbons in the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Aliphatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments, water, and a suite of seven species from widely separated coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef area were analysed by gas chromatography, and by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The hydrocarbons found were substantially of biogenic origin. The major components were n-pentadecane, n-heptadecane, pristane and mono-alkenes based on heptadecane, and were believed to originate from benthic algae and phytoplankton. There was no evidence to suggest that lipid content had any influence on hydrocarbon content. Hydrocarbons from the organisms and sediments have characteristic composition patterns which would be altered by the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons. An unresolved complex mixture, usually considered indicative of petroleum contamination, was found in greater than trace amounts only in Holothuria (sea cucumber) and Acropora (coral) from the Capricorn Group, and in some sediment samples from the Capricorn Group and Lizard Island area.

  5. Chemoreception, symmetry and mate choice in lizards.

    PubMed Central

    Martín, J; López, P

    2000-01-01

    Research on fluctuating asymmetry (FA)-mediated sexual selection has focused almost exclusively on visual signals and ignored chemical communication despite the fact that many species rely on chemical signals for attracting mates. Female mate choice based on visual traits appears to be rare in lizards. However, the femoral glands of male lizards produce pheromones which might transmit chemical information about an individual's developmental stability. Therefore, we hypothesized that mate choice may be based on chemical cues. We analysed the effect of the developmental stability levels of males on the attractiveness of males' scents to females in a laboratory experiment with the lizard Lacerta monticola. When we offered two males of similar body size, females preferentially associated with the scents of males with low FA in their femoral pores and also with the scents of males with a higher number of femoral pores. This suggested that the females were able to discriminate the FA of the males by chemical signals alone and that the females preferred to be in areas marked by males of high quality, thus increasing their opportunities of mating with males of high quality. We suggest that the quality and/or amount of male pheromones could communicate the heritable genetic quality of a male to the female and thereby serve as the basis for adaptive female choice in lizards. PMID:10972119

  6. Synuclein expression in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Toni, Mattia; Cioni, Carla; De Angelis, Federica; di Patti, Maria Carmela Bonaccorsi

    2016-08-01

    The synuclein (syn) family comprises three proteins: α-, β- and γ-syns. In humans, they are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and in tumors. Members of the syn family were sequenced in representative species of all vertebrates and the comparative analysis of amino acid sequences suggests that syns are evolutionarily conserved, but information about their expression in vertebrate lineages is still scarce and completely lacking in reptiles. In this study, the expression of genes coding for α-, β- and γ-syns was analyzed in the green lizard Anolis carolinensis by semiquantitative RT-PCR and Western blot. Results demonstrate good expression levels of the three syns in the lizard nervous system, similarly to human syns. This, together with the high identity between lizard and human syns, suggests that these proteins fulfill evolutionarily conserved functions. However, differences between lizard and humans in the expression of syn variants (two different variants of γ-syn were detected in A. carolinensis) and differences in some amino acids in key positions for the regulation of protein conformation and affinity for lipid and metal ions also suggest that these proteins may have acquired different functional specializations in the two lineages. PMID:27393691

  7. Integrative biology of tail autotomy in lizards.

    PubMed

    Higham, Timothy E; Russell, Anthony P; Zani, Peter A

    2013-01-01

    Self-amputation (autotomy) of the tail is essential for the survival of many lizards. Accordingly, it has garnered the attention of scientists for more than 200 years. Several factors can influence the release of the tail, such as the size, sex, and age of the lizard; type of predator; ecology; and evolutionary history of the lineage. Once lost, the tail will writhe for seconds to minutes, and these movements likely depend on the size and physiology of the tail, habitat of the lizard, and predation pressure. Loss of the tail will, in turn, have impacts on the lizard, such as modified locomotor performance and mechanics, as well as escape behavior. However, the tail is almost always regenerated, and this involves wound healing, altered investment of resources, and tissue differentiation. The regenerated tail generally differs from the original in several ways, including size, shape, and function. Here we summarize recent findings of research pertaining to tail autotomy, and we propose a framework for future investigations.

  8. Synuclein expression in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Toni, Mattia; Cioni, Carla; De Angelis, Federica; di Patti, Maria Carmela Bonaccorsi

    2016-08-01

    The synuclein (syn) family comprises three proteins: α-, β- and γ-syns. In humans, they are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and in tumors. Members of the syn family were sequenced in representative species of all vertebrates and the comparative analysis of amino acid sequences suggests that syns are evolutionarily conserved, but information about their expression in vertebrate lineages is still scarce and completely lacking in reptiles. In this study, the expression of genes coding for α-, β- and γ-syns was analyzed in the green lizard Anolis carolinensis by semiquantitative RT-PCR and Western blot. Results demonstrate good expression levels of the three syns in the lizard nervous system, similarly to human syns. This, together with the high identity between lizard and human syns, suggests that these proteins fulfill evolutionarily conserved functions. However, differences between lizard and humans in the expression of syn variants (two different variants of γ-syn were detected in A. carolinensis) and differences in some amino acids in key positions for the regulation of protein conformation and affinity for lipid and metal ions also suggest that these proteins may have acquired different functional specializations in the two lineages.

  9. Developmental basis of limb homology in lizards.

    PubMed

    Fabrezi, Marissa; Abdala, Virginia; Oliver, María Inés Martínez

    2007-07-01

    Shubin and Alberch (Evol Biol 1986;20:319-387) proposed a scheme of tetrapod limb development based on cartilage morphogenesis that provides the arguments to interpret the homologies of skeletal elements and sets the basis to explain limb specialization through later developmental modification. Morphogenetic evidence emerged from the study of some reptiles, but the availability of data for lizards is limited. Here, the study of adult skeletal variation in 41 lizard taxa and ontogeny in species of Liolaemus and Tupinambis attempts to fill in this gap and provides supporting evidence for the Shubin-Alberch scheme. Six questions are explored. Is there an intermedium in the carpus? Are there two centralia in the carpus? Is there homology among proximal tarsalia of reptiles? Does digit V belong to the digital arch? Is the pisiform an element of the autopodium plan? And should the ossification processes be similar to cartilage morphogenesis? We found the following answers. Some taxa exhibit an ossified element that could represent an intermedium. There is one centrale in the carpus. Development of proximal tarsalia seems to be equivalent with that observed among reptiles. Digit V could arise from the digital arch. Pisiform does not arise as part of the limb plan. And different patterns of ossification occur following a single and conservative cartilaginous configuration. Lizard limb development shows an early pattern common to other reptiles with clear primary axis and digital arch. The pattern then becomes lizard-specific with specialization involving some reduction in prechondrogenic elements. PMID:17415759

  10. Rickettsia Detected in the Reptile Tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri from the Lizard Tiliqua rugosa in South Australia

    PubMed Central

    Whiley, Harriet; Custance, Georgie; Graves, Stephen; Stenos, John; Taylor, Michael; Ross, Kirstin; Gardner, Michael G.

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsiosis is a potentially fatal tick borne disease. It is caused by the obligate intracellular bacteria Rickettsia, which is transferred to humans through salivary excretions of ticks during the biting process. Globally, the incidence of tick-borne diseases is increasing; as such, there is a need for a greater understanding of tick–host interactions to create more informed risk management strategies. Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses has been identified throughout Australia (Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Torres Strait Islands) with possible identifications in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Italy. Flinders Island spotted fever is thought to be spread through tick bites and the reptile tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri has been implicated as a vector in this transmission. This study used qPCR to assay Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts on mainland South Australia near where spotted fever cases have been identified. We report that, although we discovered Rickettsia in all tick samples, it was not Rickettsia honei. This study is the first to use PCR to positively identify Rickettsia from South Australian Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts. These findings suggest that B. hydrosauri may be a vector of multiple Rickettsia spp. Also as all 41 tested B. hydrosauri ticks were positive for Rickettsia this indicates an extremely high prevalence within the studied area in South Australia. PMID:27338482

  11. A modern soft-bottom, shallow-water crinoid fauna (Echinodermata) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messing, C. G.; Meyer, D. L.; Siebeck, U. E.; Jermiin, L. S.; Vaney, D. I.; Rouse, G. W.

    2006-03-01

    A recent preliminary survey revealed that 12 species of unstalked crinoids occur on a gentle sandy slope (12 18 m depth) at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia; five of which are also found on coral reefs. The other seven appear to constitute a unique assemblage restricted to unconsolidated substrates, where most cling to algae or hide beneath rubble or sponges. Members of this assemblage exhibit all of the basic feeding postures found among reef-dwelling species. However, Comatula rotalaria, which lacks anchoring cirri and bears uniquely differentiated short and long arms, exhibits a posture different from other living crinoids. Quantitative transects reveal apparent depth-related differences in species composition: C. rotalaria dominated the 12 transects in 12 13 m (84% of 82 specimens), while Comatella nigra, Comatula cf. purpurea, Amphimetra cf. tessellata and Zygometra microdiscus accounted for 96% of 54 specimens observed along 12 transects in 16 17 m.

  12. Data use investigations for applications Explorer Mission A (Heat Capacity Mapping Mission): HCMM's role in studies of the urban heat island, Great Lakes thermal phenomena and radiometric calibration of satellite data. [Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester New York and Lake Ontario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schott, J. R. (Principal Investigator); Schimminger, E. W.

    1981-01-01

    The utility of data from NASA'a heat capacity mapping mission satellite for studies of the urban heat island, thermal phenomena in large lakes and radiometric calibration of satellite sensors was assessed. The data were found to be of significant value in all cases. Using HCMM data, the existence and microstructure of the heat island can be observed and associated with land cover within the urban complex. The formation and development of the thermal bar in the Great Lakes can be observed and quantitatively mapped using HCMM data. In addition, the thermal patterns observed can be associated with water quality variations observed both from other remote sensing platforms and in situ. The imaging radiometer on-board the HCMM satellite is shown to be calibratible to within about 1.1 C of actual surface temperatures. These findings, as well as the analytical procedures used in studying the HCMM data, are included.

  13. Great Minds? Great Lakes!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, IL. Great Lakes National Program Office.

    This booklet introduces an environmental curriculum for use in a variety of elementary subjects. The lesson plans provide an integrated approach to incorporating Great Lakes environmental issues into the subjects of history, social studies, and environmental sciences. Each of these sections contains background information, discussion points, and a…

  14. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the clam Tridacna maxima from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, J.D.; Bagg, J.; Bycroft, B.M.

    1984-05-01

    The concentrations of eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), anthracene, pyrene, chrysene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(ghi)perylene, fluoranthene, and perylene, were measured in clams, Tridacna maxima, collected from sites on the Great Barrier Reef ranging in latitude from 14/sup 0/31'S to 23/sup 0/33' S. At most locations the concentrations of PAH were not significantly above the limit of detection, e.g., pyrene < 0.07 ..mu..g/kg wet weight, benzo(a)pyrene < 0.01 ..mu..g/kg, and chrysene < 0.07 ..mu..g/kg. These levels of PAH appear to be the lowest reported for clams anywhere in the world, indicating the pristine nature of the Great Barrier Reef at the present time. Concentrations significantly above detection levels were found at only two sites, Lizard Island First Beach (anthracene, 3.2 ..mu..g/kg; pyrene, 1.4 ..mu..g/kg) and Heron Island Harbour (pyrene, 1.2 ..mu..g/kg; benzo(a)pyrene, 0.02 ..mu..g/kg). Both sites are frequently visited by power boats which are the most likely source of hydrocarbon contamination. These low levels of contamination would not have been demonstrated by the measurement of only the most commonly studied PAH, benzo(a)pyrene. Simultaneous determination of several PAH was necessary to show clearly that some localized pollution had occurred.

  15. Lizards infected with malaria: physiological and behavioral consequences.

    PubMed

    Schall, J J

    1982-09-10

    In northern California, western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, are frequently parasitized by Plasmodium mexicanum, which causes malaria. Animals with this naturally occurring malarial infection are anemic: immature erythrocytes in peripheral blood become abundant (1 to 30 percent), and blood hemoglobin concentration decreases 25 percent. Maximal oxygen consumption decreases 15 percent and aerobic scope drops 29 percent in infected lizards; both correlate with blood hemoglobin concentration. Running stamina, but not burst running speed, is reduced in malarious lizards. There is a hierarchical relation between infection with malaria and effects on hematology, physiological function, and behavioral capacity. The results suggest that malarial infection may have significant effects on the ecology of lizard hosts. PMID:7112113

  16. Habitat degradation may affect niche segregation patterns in lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelegrin, N.; Chani, J. M.; Echevarria, A. L.; Bucher, E. H.

    2013-08-01

    Lizards partition resources in three main niche dimensions: time, space and food. Activity time and microhabitat use are strongly influenced by thermal environment, and may differ between species according to thermal requirements and tolerance. As thermal characteristics are influenced by habitat structure, microhabitat use and activity of lizards can change in disturbed habitats. We compared activity and microhabitat use of two abundant lizard species of the Semi-arid Chaco of Argentina between a restored and a highly degraded Chaco forest, to determine how habitat degradation affects lizard segregation in time and space, hypothesizing that as activity and microhabitat use of lizards are related to habitat structure, activity and microhabitat use of individual species can be altered in degraded habitats, thus changing segregation patterns between them. Activity changed from an overlapped pattern in a restored forest to a segregated pattern in a degraded forest. A similar trend was observed for microhabitat use, although to a less extent. No correlation was found between air temperature and lizard activity, but lizard activity varied along the day and among sites. Contrary to what was believed, activity patterns of neotropical diurnal lizards are not fixed, but affected by multiple factors related to habitat structure and possibly to interspecific interactions. Changes in activity patterns and microhabitat use in degraded forests may have important implications when analyzing the effects of climate change on lizard species, due to synergistic effects.

  17. Adaptive color polymorphism and unusually high local genetic diversity in the side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana.

    PubMed

    Micheletti, Steven; Parra, Eliseo; Routman, Eric J

    2012-01-01

    Recently, studies of adaptive color variation have become popular as models for examining the genetics of natural selection. We examined color pattern polymorphism and genetic variation in a population of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) that is found in habitats with both dark (lava) and light colored (granite) substrates. We conducted a limited experiment for adult phenotypic plasticity in laboratory conditions. We recorded both substrate and lizard color patterns in the field to determine whether lizards tended to match their substrate. Finally we examined genetic variation in a gene (melanocortin 1 receptor) that has been shown to affect lizard color in other species and in a presumably neutral gene (mitochondrial cytochrome b). Populations were sampled in the immediate area of the lava flows as well as from a more distant site to examine the role of population structure. Our captive Uta did not change color to match their background. We show that side-blotched lizards tend to match the substrate on which it was caught in the field and that variation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene does not correlate well with color pattern in this population. Perhaps the most remarkable result is that this population of side-blotched lizards shows extremely high levels of variation at both genetic markers, in the sense of allele numbers, with relatively low levels of between-allele sequence variation. Genetic variation across this small region was as great or greater than that seen in samples of pelagic fish species collected worldwide. Statistical analysis of genetic variation suggests rapid population expansion may be responsible for the high levels of variation.

  18. Adaptive Color Polymorphism and Unusually High Local Genetic Diversity in the Side-Blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana

    PubMed Central

    Micheletti, Steven; Parra, Eliseo; Routman, Eric J.

    2012-01-01

    Recently, studies of adaptive color variation have become popular as models for examining the genetics of natural selection. We examined color pattern polymorphism and genetic variation in a population of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) that is found in habitats with both dark (lava) and light colored (granite) substrates. We conducted a limited experiment for adult phenotypic plasticity in laboratory conditions. We recorded both substrate and lizard color patterns in the field to determine whether lizards tended to match their substrate. Finally we examined genetic variation in a gene (melanocortin 1 receptor) that has been shown to affect lizard color in other species and in a presumably neutral gene (mitochondrial cytochrome b). Populations were sampled in the immediate area of the lava flows as well as from a more distant site to examine the role of population structure. Our captive Uta did not change color to match their background. We show that side-blotched lizards tend to match the substrate on which it was caught in the field and that variation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene does not correlate well with color pattern in this population. Perhaps the most remarkable result is that this population of side-blotched lizards shows extremely high levels of variation at both genetic markers, in the sense of allele numbers, with relatively low levels of between-allele sequence variation. Genetic variation across this small region was as great or greater than that seen in samples of pelagic fish species collected worldwide. Statistical analysis of genetic variation suggests rapid population expansion may be responsible for the high levels of variation. PMID:23133520

  19. Island biogeography of the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Helmus, Matthew R; Mahler, D Luke; Losos, Jonathan B

    2014-09-25

    For centuries, biogeographers have examined the factors that produce patterns of biodiversity across regions. The study of islands has proved particularly fruitful and has led to the theory that geographic area and isolation influence species colonization, extinction and speciation such that larger islands have more species and isolated islands have fewer species (that is, positive species-area and negative species-isolation relationships). However, experimental tests of this theory have been limited, owing to the difficulty in experimental manipulation of islands at the scales at which speciation and long-distance colonization are relevant. Here we have used the human-aided transport of exotic anole lizards among Caribbean islands as such a test at an appropriate scale. In accord with theory, as anole colonizations have increased, islands impoverished in native species have gained the most exotic species, the past influence of speciation on island biogeography has been obscured, and the species-area relationship has strengthened while the species-isolation relationship has weakened. Moreover, anole biogeography increasingly reflects anthropogenic rather than geographic processes. Unlike the island biogeography of the past that was determined by geographic area and isolation, in the Anthropocene--an epoch proposed for the present time interval--island biogeography is dominated by the economic isolation of human populations.

  20. Island biogeography of the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Helmus, Matthew R; Mahler, D Luke; Losos, Jonathan B

    2014-09-25

    For centuries, biogeographers have examined the factors that produce patterns of biodiversity across regions. The study of islands has proved particularly fruitful and has led to the theory that geographic area and isolation influence species colonization, extinction and speciation such that larger islands have more species and isolated islands have fewer species (that is, positive species-area and negative species-isolation relationships). However, experimental tests of this theory have been limited, owing to the difficulty in experimental manipulation of islands at the scales at which speciation and long-distance colonization are relevant. Here we have used the human-aided transport of exotic anole lizards among Caribbean islands as such a test at an appropriate scale. In accord with theory, as anole colonizations have increased, islands impoverished in native species have gained the most exotic species, the past influence of speciation on island biogeography has been obscured, and the species-area relationship has strengthened while the species-isolation relationship has weakened. Moreover, anole biogeography increasingly reflects anthropogenic rather than geographic processes. Unlike the island biogeography of the past that was determined by geographic area and isolation, in the Anthropocene--an epoch proposed for the present time interval--island biogeography is dominated by the economic isolation of human populations. PMID:25254475

  1. Ecological release in White Sands lizards

    PubMed Central

    Roches, S Des; Robertson, J M; Harmon, L J; Rosenblum, E B

    2011-01-01

    Ecological opportunity is any change that allows populations to escape selection from competition and predation. After encountering ecological opportunity, populations may experience ecological release: enlarged population size, broadened resource use, and/or increased morphological variation. We identified ecological opportunity and tested for ecological release in three lizard colonists of White Sands, New Mexico (Sceloporus undulatus, Holbrookia maculata, and Aspidoscelis inornata). First, we provide evidence for ecological opportunity by demonstrating reduced species richness and abundance of potential competitors and predators at White Sands relative to nearby dark soils habitats. Second, we characterize ecological release at White Sands by demonstrating density compensation in the three White Sands lizard species and expanded resource use in White Sands S. undulatus. Contrary to predictions from ecological release models, we observed directional trait change but not increased trait variation in S. undulatus. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity and ecological release can be identified in natural populations, especially those that have recently colonized isolated ecosystems. PMID:22393523

  2. Coupled, Active Oscillators and Lizard Otoacoustic Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Velenovsky, David S.; Bonine, Kevin E.

    2011-11-01

    The present study empirically explores the relationship between spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) and stimulus-frequency emissions (SFOAEs) in lizards, an ideal group for such research given their relatively simple inner ear (e.g., lack of basilar membrane traveling waves), diverse morphology across species/families (e.g., tectorial membrane structure) and robust emissions. In a nutshell, our results indicate that SFOAEs evoked using low-level tones are intimately related to underlying SOAE activity, and appear to represent the entrained response of active oscillators closely tuned to the probe frequency. The data described here indicate several essential features that are desirable to capture in theoretical models for auditory transduction in lizards, and potentially represent generic properties at work in many different classes of "active" ears.

  3. Temperature regulation in lizards: effects of hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Hicks, J W; Wood, S C

    1985-05-01

    Temperature regulation during external (lowered lung PO2) and internal hypoxia (anemia) was examined in four species of lizards. Exposure to a hypoxic gas mixture in a thermogradient resulted in the animals lowering their selected (preferred) body temperature. A 50% reduction in the O2 carrying capacity of the blood also reduced the selected body temperature. Lizards "shuttle" when forced to select a temperature either above or below their normal selected temperature. Exposure to hypoxia decreases the upper and lower exit temperatures during shuttling. Furthermore, a decrease in the inspired O2 causes the rate of heating to no longer exceed the rate of cooling as is normal. The behavioral reduction of body temperature and the altered neural and physiological aspects of temperature regulation appear to be generalized responses to impaired O2 transport and not PO2 per se. The reduced body temperature, by lowering metabolic demand, provides an effective, even life-saving, adaptation to hypoxia.

  4. Parietal eye nerve in the fence lizard.

    PubMed

    EAKIN, R M; STEBBINS, R C

    1959-12-01

    A nerve from the parietal eye of the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, is described as leaving inconspicuously from the third-eye and extending caudally under the dura mater and then ventrally along the left anterolateral surface of the epiphysis to the habenular commissure of the brain. The existence of a parietal nerve must be considered in interpreting the effects of parietalectomy. PMID:13819089

  5. Predation-associated modulation of movement-based signals by a Bahamian lizard

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, David S.; Losos, Jonathan B.; Schoener, Thomas W.; Spiller, David A.; Kolbe, Jason J.; Leal, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Signaling individuals must effectively capture and hold the attention of intended conspecific receivers while limiting eavesdropping by potential predators. A possible mechanism for achieving this balance is for individuals to modulate the physical properties of their signals or to alter the proportion of time spent signaling, depending upon local levels of predation pressure. We test the hypothesis that prey can alter their visual signaling behavior to decrease conspicuousness and potentially limit predation risk via modulation of signal properties or display rate. To do so, we conducted a manipulative experiment in nature to evaluate the possible effect of predation pressure on the physical properties of movement-based signals and on the proportion of time spent signaling by using a well-understood predator–prey system in the Bahamas, the semiarboreal lizard Anolis sagrei, and one of its main predators, the curly-tailed lizard Leiocephalus carinatus. We find that on islands onto which the predator was introduced, male anoles reduce the maximum amplitude of head-bob displays but not the proportion of time spent signaling, in comparison with control islands lacking the predator. This reduction of amplitude also decreases signal active space, which might alter the reproductive success of signaling individuals. We suggest that future studies of predator–prey interactions consider the risk effects generated by changes in signals or signaling behavior to fully determine the influence of predation pressure on the dynamics of prey populations. PMID:24843163

  6. Horned lizards (Phrynosoma) incapacitate dangerous ant prey with mucus.

    PubMed

    Sherbrooke, Wade C; Schwenk, Kurt

    2008-10-01

    Horned lizards (Iguanidae, Phrynosomatinae, Phrynosoma) are morphologically specialized reptiles characterized by squat, tank-like bodies, short limbs, blunt snouts, spines and cranial horns, among other traits. They are unusual among lizards in the degree to which they specialize on a diet of ants, but exceptional in the number of pugnacious, highly venomous, stinging ants they consume, especially harvester ants (genus Pogonomyrmex). Like other iguanian lizards, they capture insect prey on the tongue, but unlike other lizards, they neither bite nor chew dangerous prey before swallowing. Instead, they employ a unique kinematic pattern in which prey capture, transport and swallowing are combined. Nevertheless, horned lizards consume dozens of harvester ants without harm. We show that their derived feeding kinematics are associated with unique, mucus-secreting pharyngeal papillae that apparently serve to immobilize and incapacitate dangerous ants as they are swallowed by compacting them and binding them in mucus strands. Radially branched esophageal folds provide additional mucus-secreting surfaces the ants pass through as they are swallowed. Ants extracted from fresh-killed horned lizard stomachs are curled ventrally into balls and bound in mucus. We conclude that the pharyngeal papillae, in association with a unique form of hyolingual prey transport and swallowing, are horned lizard adaptations related to a diet of dangerous prey. Harvester ant defensive weapons, along with horned lizard adaptations against such weapons, suggest a long-term, predator-prey, co-evolutionary arms race between Phrynosoma and Pogonomyrmex.

  7. Morphological and functional changes in the thyroid gland of methyl thiophanate-injected lizards, Podarcis sicula.

    PubMed

    Sciarrillo, Rosaria; De Falco, Maria; Virgilio, Francesca; Laforgia, Vincenza; Capaldo, Anna; Gay, Flaminia; Valiante, Salvatore; Varano, Lorenzo

    2008-08-01

    The thyroid has been shown to be a target organ for environmental chemicals, specifically endocrine-disrupting contaminants. Reptiles are particularly suitable as contaminant biomonitors due to their persistence in a variety of habitats, wide geographic distribution, longevity, and, in many cases, site fidelity. Methyl thiophanate is a systemic broad-spectrum fungicide used to prevent and control plant diseases caused by various fungi. The aim of this study was to develop an integrated biological model for monitoring the ecotoxic effects of thiophanate-methyl fungicide on the thyroid of the lizard Podarcis sicula. The results of this study indicate that both structural and functional differences in the thyroid gland of the lizard exist in the animals exposed to methyl thiophanate. Structurally, animals exposed to methyl thiophanate showed decreased epithelial cell height; the nuclei of the thyroid cells were small and elongated with dense chromatin and a greatly reduced cytoplasm. The colloid was retracted with few reabsorption vacuoles. Functionally, the same animals exhibited decreased T4 and T3 plasma levels compared to control animals. Methyl thiophanate administration produced statistically significant inhibition on serum thyroid-stimulating hormone levels and this is the mechanism for altering thyroid function. This study highlights how thyroid gland disruption, both structural and functional, in lizard and other nontarget organisms might also have an environmental aetiology.

  8. Intersexual chemo-sensation in a “visually-oriented” lizard, Anolis sagrei

    PubMed Central

    Driessens, Tess; Van Damme, Raoul

    2016-01-01

    While the conspicuous visual displays of anoles have been studied in great depth, the possibility that these lizards may also interact through chemical signalling has received hardly any consideration. In this study, we observed the behaviour of male brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) when introduced into an environment previously inhabited by female conspecifics, and compared it to when they were introduced into an untreated environment. The males in our tests exhibited significantly more elaborate display behaviour (i.e., greater number of dewlap extensions and head-nods) and a significantly greater number of tongue extrusions while in the cage formerly occupied by females than when placed in the untreated, control cage. The absolute numbers of tongue extrusions, however, were relatively low in comparison to average tongue-flick rates of ‘true’ chemically-oriented lizards. Our results strongly suggest that the males were capable of detecting chemical cues left behind by the females. These observations provide the first evidence of intersexual chemo-sensation in an anole lizard. PMID:27069809

  9. Comparing alignment methods for inferring the history of the new world lizard genus Mabuya (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Whiting, Alison S; Sites, Jack W; Pellegrino, Katia C M; Rodrigues, Miguel T

    2006-03-01

    The rapid increase in the ability to generate molecular data, and the focus on model-based methods for tree reconstruction have greatly advanced the use of phylogenetics in many fields. The recent flurry of new analytical techniques has focused almost solely on tree reconstruction, whereas alignment issues have received far less attention. In this paper, we use a diverse sampling of gene regions from lizards of the genus Mabuya to compare the impact, on phylogeny estimation, of new maximum likelihood alignment algorithms with more widely used methods. Sequences aligned under different optimality criteria are analyzed using partitioned Bayesian analysis with independent models and parameter settings for each gene region, and the most strongly supported phylogenetic hypothesis is then used to test the hypothesis of two colonizations of the New World by African scincid lizards. Our results show that the consistent use of model-based methods in both alignment and tree reconstruction leads to trees with more optimal likelihood scores than the use of independent criteria in alignment and tree reconstruction. We corroborate and extend earlier evidence for two independent colonizations of South America by scincid lizards. Relationships within South American Mabuya are found to be in need of taxonomic revision, specifically complexes under the names M. heathi, M. agilis, and M. bistriata (sensu, M.T. Rodrigues, Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 41 (2000) 313).

  10. Interhabitat differences in energy acquisition and expenditure in a lizard

    SciTech Connect

    Karasov, W.H.; Anderson, R.A.

    1984-02-01

    Cnemidophorus hyperythrus, a small (approx. =4-g) teiid lizard, occurs along an elevational thorn scrub - thorn woodland - thorn forest habitat gradient in the cape region of Baja California. Body size, daily energy expenditure (DEE, measured with doubly labeled water), relative feeding rate (as reflected by H/sub 2/O influx rate), behavior, and abundance of this species at two sites along the gradient were compared. At the inland thorn woodland site C. hyperythrus were more abundant (approx. =100 lizards/ha) than at the thorn scrub site near the ocean (approx. =50 lizards/ha). Mean body mass of woodland site lizards was 13% greater than that of scrub lizards. The DEE of the thorn woodland lizards, 330 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/,> and their H/sub 2/O influx, 99 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, were also higher than the thorn scrub lizards', 219 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/ and 52 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/. Diets at the two sites were similar. There were no differences between sexes in diet, DEE, or H/sub 2/O influx. Daily maintenance energy costs were calculated based upon laboratory measures of O/sub 2/ consumption of resting lizards at a series of temperatures that represented the daily range of body temperatures experienced by lizards in the field. Activity costs (=DEE minus maintenance) were three times higher in the woodland lizards. Behavioral observations showed that woodland lizards were active most of the day (approx. =9 h/d) whereas scrub lizards were active primarily in the morning (approx. =3.5 h/d). Thus, the higher activity cost, DEE, and feeding rate of woodland lizards can be explained by their longer daily activity period. Causal factors for the difference in daily activity period are suggested, and implications of length of daily foraging period for adult body, size, population density, and various life history parameters of lizards are discussed.

  11. Salmonellosis in laboratory-housed iguanid lizards (Sceloporus spp.).

    PubMed

    Kalvig, B A; Maggio-Price, L; Tsuji, J; Giddens, W E

    1991-10-01

    Fifteen wild-caught iguanid lizards (14 Sceloporus variabilis and one S. malachiticus) were used in a 3 mo study on thermal acclimation. Over a 2 mo period, five of the lizards showed decreased activity, anorexia and enlarged joints, and were either found moribund or were euthanatized due to their poor condition. Specimens taken from lesions in four of the five lizards were cultured and were infected with Salmonella spp. Salmonella spp. was cultured from cloacal swabs in six of the 10 surviving lizards. Standard metabolic rates of those that were infected did not differ significantly from those that were not infected. We postulate that the lizards were inapparent carriers of Salmonella spp. at the time of capture and, as a result of stress, five developed active overwhelming systemic infections. PMID:1758020

  12. Lizards in the ecology of salmonellosis in Panama.

    PubMed Central

    Kourany, M; Telford, S R

    1981-01-01

    Enteropathogenic bacteria was isolated from 131 of 447 (29.4%) neotropical Panamanian lizards belonging to 34 species of seven families. Overall, 147 strains of bacteria were isolated comprising 26 Salmonella and 10 Arizona serotypes. Gymnopthalmus speciosus had the highest infection rate, 12 of 13 individuals (92.3%), whereas Gonatodes fuscus exhibited the lowest, 1 of 18 (5.6%). The highest infection was detected in lizards whose behavioral patterns were secretive (42.0%) and terrestrial (42.6%), whereas the lowest infection was among the scansorial lizards (17.5%). Rates were highest during the dry season, from January through April. Many neotropical Panamanian lizards were multiply infected by Salmonella an Arizona strains representing representing a wide range of serotypes. Infected lizards were distributed in areas varying from remote rural and forested regions to urban developments, offering a potentially important reservoir of enteropathogenic bacteria known to cause infection in man and domestic animals. PMID:7259156

  13. Postseismic gravity change after the 2006-2007 great earthquake doublet and constraints on the asthenosphere structure in the central Kuril Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Shin-Chan; Sauber, Jeanne; Pollitz, Fred

    2016-04-01

    Large earthquakes often trigger viscoelastic adjustment for years to decades depending on the rheological properties and the nature and spatial extent of coseismic stress. The 2006 Mw8.3 thrust and 2007 Mw8.1 normal fault earthquakes of the central Kuril Islands resulted in significant postseismic gravity change in Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) but without a discernible coseismic gravity change. The gravity increase of ~4 μGal, observed consistently from various GRACE solutions around the epicentral area during 2007-2015, is interpreted as resulting from gradual seafloor uplift by ~6 cm produced by postseismic relaxation. The GRACE data are best fit with a model of 25-35 km for the elastic thickness and ~1018 Pa s for the Maxwell viscosity of the asthenosphere. The large measurable postseismic gravity change (greater than coseismic change) emphasizes the importance of viscoelastic relaxation in understanding tectonic deformation and fault-locking scenarios in the Kuril subduction zone.

  14. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats.

  15. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats. PMID:19928477

  16. Podarcis lilfordi from the Balearic islands as a potential disperser of the rare Mediterranean plant Withania frutescens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castilla, Aurora M.

    1999-04-01

    This study examines whether the lizard Podarcis lilfordi is a legitimate disperser of the rare Mediterranean plant Withania frutescens by using the biochemical test of triphenyl-2H-tetrazolium chloride for testing seed viability. This lizard eats the fresh fruits of the plants and defecates intact seeds which have been retained 1 to 3 d in their gut. Viability of seeds recovered from faeces was very high and comparable to the viability of fresh seeds. Seed dispersal by this lizard in the Balearic islands may facilitate population expansion of this rare plant in the Balearics.

  17. Bermuda as an evolutionary life raft for an ancient lineage of endangered lizards.

    PubMed

    Brandley, Matthew C; Wang, Yuezhao; Guo, Xianguang; Nieto Montes de Oca, Adrián; Fería Ortíz, Manuel; Hikida, Tsutomu; Ota, Hidetoshi

    2010-06-30

    Oceanic islands are well known for harboring diverse species assemblages and are frequently the basis of research on adaptive radiation and neoendemism. However, a commonly overlooked role of some islands is their function in preserving ancient lineages that have become extinct everywhere else (paleoendemism). The island archipelago of Bermuda is home to a single species of extant terrestrial vertebrate, the endemic skink Plestiodon (formerly Eumeces) longirostris. The presence of this species is surprising because Bermuda is an isolated, relatively young oceanic island approximately 1000 km from the eastern United States. Here, we apply Bayesian phylogenetic analyses using a relaxed molecular clock to demonstrate that the island of Bermuda, although no older than two million years, is home to the only extant representative of one of the earliest mainland North American Plestiodon lineages, which diverged from its closest living relatives 11.5 to 19.8 million years ago. This implies that, within a short geological time frame, mainland North American ancestors of P. longirostris colonized the recently emergent Bermuda and the entire lineage subsequently vanished from the mainland. Thus, our analyses reveal that Bermuda is an example of a "life raft" preserving millions of years of unique evolutionary history, now at the brink of extinction. Threats such as habitat destruction, littering, and non-native species have severely reduced the population size of this highly endangered lizard.

  18. The island-mainland species turnover relationship.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Yoel E; Losos, Jonathan B; Algar, Adam C

    2012-10-01

    Many oceanic islands are notable for their high endemism, suggesting that islands may promote unique assembly processes. However, mainland assemblages sometimes harbour comparable levels of endemism, suggesting that island biotas may not be as unique as is often assumed. Here, we test the uniqueness of island biotic assembly by comparing the rate of species turnover among islands and the mainland, after accounting for distance decay and environmental gradients. We modelled species turnover as a function of geographical and environmental distance for mainland (M-M) communities of Anolis lizards and Terrarana frogs, two clades that have diversified extensively on Caribbean islands and the mainland Neotropics. We compared mainland-island (M-I) and island-island (I-I) species turnover with predictions of the M-M model. If island assembly is not unique, then the M-M model should successfully predict M-I and I-I turnover, given geographical and environmental distance. We found that M-I turnover and, to a lesser extent, I-I turnover were significantly higher than predicted for both clades. Thus, in the first quantitative comparison of mainland-island species turnover, we confirm the long-held but untested assumption that island assemblages accumulate biodiversity differently than their mainland counterparts.

  19. Interhabitat differences in energy acquisition and expenditure in a lizard

    SciTech Connect

    Karasov, W.H.; Anderson, R.A.

    1984-02-01

    Cnemidophorus hyperythrus, a small (approx. =4-g) teiid lizard, occurs along an elevational thorn scrub-thorn woodland-thorn forest habitat gradient in the cape region of Baja California. The authors compared body size, daily energy expenditure (DEE, measured with double labeled water), relative feeding rate (as reflected by H/sub 2/O influx rate), behavior, and abundance of this species at two sites along the gradient. At the inland thorn woodland site C. hyperythrus were more abundant (approx. =50 lizards/ha.). Mean body mass of woodland site lizards was 13% greater than that of scrub lizards. The DEE of the thorn woodland lizards, 330 site J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, and their H/sub 2/O influx, 99 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, were also higher than the thorn scrub lizards', 219 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/ and 52 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/. Diets at the two sites were similar. There were no differences between sexes in diet, DEE, or H/sub 2/ influx. Daily maintenance energy costs were calculated based upon laboratory measures of O/sub 2/ consumption of resting lizards at a series of temperatures that represented the daily range of body temperatures experienced by lizards in the field. Activity costs (=DEE minus maintenance) were three times higher in the woodland lizards. Behavioral observations showed that woodland lizards were active most of the day (approx. =9 h/d) whereas scrub lizards were active primarily in the morning (approx. =3.5 h/d). Thus, the higher activity cost, DEE, and feeding rate of woodland lizards can be explained by their longer daily activity period. We suggest causal factors for the difference in daily activity period, and discuss implications of length of daily forging period for adult body size, population density, and various life history parameters of lizards.

  20. The Lizard Wireless Station of Guglielmo Marconi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montstein, Christian

    2014-08-01

    During the vacation with my wife in Cornwall, we by chance were walking by the Lizard wireless station, originally installed by Guglielmo Marconi and recently refurbished by The National Trust/UK. Fortunately the shed was open for public visitors and a student was present telling stories about the station and its history. The historic equipment was demonstrated by sending some Morse codes. The high voltage sparks and its sound were quite impressive while in the background the Morse code receiver punched dots and dashes onto the strip chart.

  1. Islands in the ice stream: were spawning habitats for native salmonids in the Great Lakes created by paleo-ice streams?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riley, Stephen; Binder, Thomas R.; Tucker, Taaja R.; Menzies, John; Eyles, Nick; Janssen, John; Muir, Andrew M.; Esselman, Peter C.; Wattrus, Nigel J.; Krueger, Charles C.

    2016-01-01

    Lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis and cisco Coregonus artedi are salmonid fishes native to the Laurentian Great Lakes that spawn on rocky substrates in the fall and early winter. After comparing the locations of spawning habitat for these species in the main basin of Lake Huron with surficial substrates and the hypothesized locations of fast-flowing Late Wisconsinan paleo-ice streams, we hypothesize that much of the spawning habitat for these species in Lake Huron is the result of deposition and erosion by paleo-ice streams. This hypothesis may represent a new framework for the identification and protection of spawning habitat for these native species, some of which are currently rare or extirpated in some of the Great Lakes. We further suggest that paleo-ice streams may have been responsible for the creation of native salmonid spawning habitat elsewhere in the Great Lakes and in other glaciated landscapes.

  2. Prevalence of neutralising antibodies against adenoviruses in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Ball, Inna; Ofner, Sabine; Funk, Richard S; Griffin, Chris; Riedel, Ulf; Möhring, Jens; Marschang, Rachel E

    2014-10-01

    Adenoviruses (AdVs) are relatively common in lizards and snakes, and several genetically distinct AdVs have been isolated in cell culture. The aims of this study were to examine serological relationships among lizard and snake AdVs and to determine the frequency of AdV infections in these species. Isolates from a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), a corn snake (Pantherophis gutattus) and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), and two isolates from helodermatid lizards (Heloderma horridum and H. suspectum) were used in neutralisation tests for the detection of antibodies in plasma from 263 lizards from seven families (including 12 species) and from 141 snakes from four families (including 28 species) from the USA and Europe. Most lizard and snake samples had antibodies against a range of AdV isolates, indicating that AdV infection is common among these squamates. Neutralisation tests with polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits demonstrated serological cross-reactivity between both helodermatid lizard isolates. However, squamate plasma showed different reactions to each of these lizard isolates in neutralisation tests. PMID:25163614

  3. Prevalence of neutralising antibodies against adenoviruses in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Ball, Inna; Ofner, Sabine; Funk, Richard S; Griffin, Chris; Riedel, Ulf; Möhring, Jens; Marschang, Rachel E

    2014-10-01

    Adenoviruses (AdVs) are relatively common in lizards and snakes, and several genetically distinct AdVs have been isolated in cell culture. The aims of this study were to examine serological relationships among lizard and snake AdVs and to determine the frequency of AdV infections in these species. Isolates from a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), a corn snake (Pantherophis gutattus) and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), and two isolates from helodermatid lizards (Heloderma horridum and H. suspectum) were used in neutralisation tests for the detection of antibodies in plasma from 263 lizards from seven families (including 12 species) and from 141 snakes from four families (including 28 species) from the USA and Europe. Most lizard and snake samples had antibodies against a range of AdV isolates, indicating that AdV infection is common among these squamates. Neutralisation tests with polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits demonstrated serological cross-reactivity between both helodermatid lizard isolates. However, squamate plasma showed different reactions to each of these lizard isolates in neutralisation tests.

  4. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Krzysztof; Skórka, Piotr; Sajkowska, Zofia Anna; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Dudek, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae.

  5. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Krzysztof; Skórka, Piotr; Sajkowska, Zofia Anna; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Dudek, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae. PMID:26520053

  6. 16. Photo copy of drawing, May 19, 1934. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    16. Photo copy of drawing, May 19, 1934. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHT STATION; ARRANGEMENT OF PIPING & MACHINERY FOR FOG SIGNAL INSTALLATION. Drawing No. 8075, United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

  7. 14. Photo copy of historic photograph, ca. 1964. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. Photo copy of historic photograph, ca. 1964. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE, FOG SIGNAL BUILDING, AND OIL HOUSE, AND DOCK. United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

  8. 15. Photo copy of drawing, July 24, 1916. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    15. Photo copy of drawing, July 24, 1916. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHT STATION. (Northwest and northeast elevations and basement floor plan). Drawing No. 5912, United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

  9. Phylogeny of Neotropical Cercosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) lizards.

    PubMed

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Lobos, Simón E; Venegas, Pablo J

    2015-12-01

    Among Neotropical lizards, the geographically widespread gymnophthalmid Cercosaura as currently defined includes lowland and highland taxa from Panama to Argentina, with some species occurring in the northern Andes. In this study we analyze three mitochondrial (12S, 16S, ND4) and one nuclear (c-mos) gene using Bayesian methods to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among most species of Cercosaura based on a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis that also includes a large sample of other taxa within Cercosaurini. The phylogenetic tree obtained in this paper shows that Cercosaura as currently defined is not monophyletic. Two species from the northern Andes (C. dicra and C. vertebralis) are nested within Pholidobolus, which has been formerly recognized as a major radiation along the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia. Therefore, Cercosaura has probably not diversified in the northern Andes, although the phylogenetic position of C. hypnoides from the Andes of Colombia remains unknown. Tree topology and genetic distances support both recognition of C. ocellata bassleri as a distinct species, C. bassleri, and recognition of C. argula and C. oshaughnessyi as two different species. In the interest of promoting clarity and precision regarding the names of clades of gymnophthalmid lizards, we propose a phylogenetic definition of Cercosaura.

  10. Limb development in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis: A reconsideration of homology in the lizard carpus and tarsus.

    PubMed

    Leal, Francisca; Tarazona, Oscar A; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2010-11-01

    Despite the attention squamate lizards have received in the study of digit and limb loss, little is known about limb morphogenesis in pentadactyl lizards. Recent developmental studies have provided a basis for understanding lizard autopodial element homology based on developmental and comparative anatomy. In addition, the composition and identity of some carpal and tarsal elements of lizard limbs, and reptiles in general, have been the theme of discussions about their homology compared to non-squamate Lepidosauromorpha and basal Amniota. The study of additional embryonic material from different lizard families may improve our understanding of squamate limb evolution. Here, we analyze limb morphogenesis in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis describing patterns of chondrogenesis and ossification from early stages of embryonic development to hatchlings. Our results are in general agreement with previous developmental studies, but we also show that limb development in squamates probably involves more chondrogenic elements for carpal and tarsal morphogenesis, as previously recognized on the grounds of comparative anatomy. We provide evidence for the transitory presence of distal carpale 1 and intermedium in the carpus and tibiale, intermedium, distal centralia, and distal tarsale 2 in the tarsus. Hence, we demonstrate that some elements that were believed to be lost in squamate evolution are conserved as transitory elements during limb development. However, these elements do not represent just phylogenetic burden but may be important for the morphogenesis of the lizard autopodium.

  11. Limb development in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis: A reconsideration of homology in the lizard carpus and tarsus.

    PubMed

    Leal, Francisca; Tarazona, Oscar A; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2010-11-01

    Despite the attention squamate lizards have received in the study of digit and limb loss, little is known about limb morphogenesis in pentadactyl lizards. Recent developmental studies have provided a basis for understanding lizard autopodial element homology based on developmental and comparative anatomy. In addition, the composition and identity of some carpal and tarsal elements of lizard limbs, and reptiles in general, have been the theme of discussions about their homology compared to non-squamate Lepidosauromorpha and basal Amniota. The study of additional embryonic material from different lizard families may improve our understanding of squamate limb evolution. Here, we analyze limb morphogenesis in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis describing patterns of chondrogenesis and ossification from early stages of embryonic development to hatchlings. Our results are in general agreement with previous developmental studies, but we also show that limb development in squamates probably involves more chondrogenic elements for carpal and tarsal morphogenesis, as previously recognized on the grounds of comparative anatomy. We provide evidence for the transitory presence of distal carpale 1 and intermedium in the carpus and tibiale, intermedium, distal centralia, and distal tarsale 2 in the tarsus. Hence, we demonstrate that some elements that were believed to be lost in squamate evolution are conserved as transitory elements during limb development. However, these elements do not represent just phylogenetic burden but may be important for the morphogenesis of the lizard autopodium. PMID:20715100

  12. Contrasting patterns of reef utilization and recruitment of coral trout ( Plectropomus leopardus) and snapper ( Lutjanus carponotatus) at One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kingsford, M. J.

    2009-03-01

    Patterns of abundance, age structure and recruitment of coral trout ( Plectropomus leopardus) and snapper ( Lutjanus carponotatus) were described in different environments, which varied in benthic cover, in a 12-yr study at One Tree Island. It was hypothesized that both taxa would show strong preferences to different environments and benthic cover and that patterns would be consistent through time. Plectropomus leopardus were abundant on the reef slope and seaward edge of the lagoon, where live coral cover was high, and recruitment was generally low, in all environments. The population was sustained by a trickle of recruits, and total abundance varied little after 10 to 25 yr of protection in a no-take area, suggesting P. leopardus had reached an environment-related carrying capacity. Protogynous P. leopardus recruited to shallow environments at sites with 20% or more hard live coral and age data indicated the abundance of fish on the reef slope was from redistribution. Most recruits of gonochoristic L. carponotatus (<150 mm Standard length, SL) were found in the lagoonal environments, and adults were rare on the reef slope. Abundance of recruit L. carponotatus and P. leopardus did not correlate with percent cover of live and soft coral within environments. Recruits of L. carponotatus were usually rare in all lagoonal environments, but in 2003, many recruits (80 to 120 mm SL) were found in lagoonal environments with low and high hard live coral cover. A substantial proportion of the population (age max 18 yr) was from strong recruitment events. In 2003 and 2004, total abundance of L. carponotatus was supported by 1 year class 51.7 and 41% respectively. The utilization of environments and types of substrata varied among taxa and in some cases among life-history stages. There was also temporal variation in the importance of some environments (e.g. Lagoon Centre).

  13. Blood parasites in two co-existing species of lizards (Zootoca vivipara and Lacerta agilis).

    PubMed

    Majláthová, Viktória; Majláth, Igor; Haklová, Božena; Hromada, Martin; Ekner, Anna; Antczak, Marcin; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2010-10-01

    We investigated the occurrence of blood parasites of two lizard species: the common or viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara) and the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) in western Poland. Selected traits of lizard body morphology were studied with respect to the presence and intensity of haematozoan infection in blood samples collected from 218 adult lizards; 88 of the common lizard and 130 of the sand lizard. Haemogregarinid blood parasites were found to be the common parasite of both lizard species in studied locality with prevalence 39.8 (95% CL, 29.5-50.8) for Z. vivipara and 22.3 (95% CL, 15.5-30.4) for L. agilis. Incidence of parasitemia did not differ between sexes and was not correlated with morphological traits or presence of ectoparasites--Ixodes ricinus ticks. However, a significant difference between the two species of lizards was a greater frequency of haemogregarinid parasitism in Z. vivipara.

  14. Divergence in morphology, but not habitat use, despite low genetic differentiation among insular populations of the lizard Anolis lemurinus in Honduras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Logan, M.L.; Montgomery, Chad E.; Boback, Scott M.; Reed, R.N.; Campbell, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of recently isolated populations are useful because observed differences can often be attributed to current environmental variation. Two populations of the lizard Anolis lemurinus have been isolated on the islands of Cayo Menor and Cayo Mayor in the Cayos Cochinos Archipelago of Honduras for less than 15 000 y. We measured 12 morphometric and 10 habitat-use variables on 220 lizards across these islands in 2 y, 2008 and 2009. The goals of our study were (1) to explore patterns of sexual dimorphism, and (2) to test the hypothesis that differences in environment among islands may have driven divergence in morphology and habitat use despite genetic homogeneity among populations. Although we found no differences among sexes in habitat use, males had narrower pelvic girdles and longer toe pads on both islands. Between islands, males differed in morphology, but neither males nor females differed in habitat use. Our data suggest that either recent selection has operated differentially on males despite low genetic dill'erentiation, or that they display phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental variation. We suggest that patterns may be driven by variation in intrapopulation density or differences in predator diversity among islands.

  15. Contrasting Selective Pressures on Seed Traits of Two Congeneric Species by Their Main Native Guilds of Dispersers on Islands

    PubMed Central

    Nogales, Manuel; González-Castro, Aarón; Marrero, Patricia; Bonnaud, Elsa; Traveset, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Many fleshy-fruited plants from the Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands are dispersed through endozoochory. In mainland Mediterranean areas, reciprocal adaptations have been found between plants and animals, although evidence is scarce. On small isolated oceanic islands, such reciprocal adaptations might well be more prevalent due to intrinsic island traits. Here we evaluate the existence of selective pressures exerted by two different disperser guilds (lizards and birds) on two seed traits (seed coat thickness and seed germination pattern) of two congeneric species present on Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands. In the continental Balearic Islands, Rubia peregrina has evolved mostly with birds, although frugivorous lizards are present in some of these islands and are known to eventually consume its fruits. By contrast, R. fruticosa, endemic to the Macaronesian archipelago, has evolved mostly interacting with lizards and only recently with birds. We hypothesized that R. fruticosa would be especially adapted to saurochory, with thicker seed coats and higher germination proportion, whereas R. peregrina would be more adapted to ornithocory, with thinner seed coats and showing a lower germination percentage after being ingested by lizards. Captivity experiments of seed ingestions by natural and non-natural dispersers (i.e., frugivores that have not evolved with those plants) were conducted. Results suggest that dispersers did not exert any strong enough selective pressure to induce changes in germination patterns. We attribute this to the fact that the Rubiaceae is an ancestral family in the Mediterranean (both on continent and islands) and thus probably interacted with lizards in the past. Lastly, although we hold that the seed coat structure of R. fruticosa is probably associated with its evolutionary success after a long interaction with insular lizards, our findings support the idea that the relationship between endozoochorous plants and the guild of

  16. Contrasting selective pressures on seed traits of two congeneric species by their main native guilds of dispersers on islands.

    PubMed

    Nogales, Manuel; González-Castro, Aarón; Marrero, Patricia; Bonnaud, Elsa; Traveset, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Many fleshy-fruited plants from the Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands are dispersed through endozoochory. In mainland Mediterranean areas, reciprocal adaptations have been found between plants and animals, although evidence is scarce. On small isolated oceanic islands, such reciprocal adaptations might well be more prevalent due to intrinsic island traits. Here we evaluate the existence of selective pressures exerted by two different disperser guilds (lizards and birds) on two seed traits (seed coat thickness and seed germination pattern) of two congeneric species present on Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands. In the continental Balearic Islands, Rubia peregrina has evolved mostly with birds, although frugivorous lizards are present in some of these islands and are known to eventually consume its fruits. By contrast, R. fruticosa, endemic to the Macaronesian archipelago, has evolved mostly interacting with lizards and only recently with birds. We hypothesized that R. fruticosa would be especially adapted to saurochory, with thicker seed coats and higher germination proportion, whereas R. peregrina would be more adapted to ornithocory, with thinner seed coats and showing a lower germination percentage after being ingested by lizards. Captivity experiments of seed ingestions by natural and non-natural dispersers (i.e., frugivores that have not evolved with those plants) were conducted. Results suggest that dispersers did not exert any strong enough selective pressure to induce changes in germination patterns. We attribute this to the fact that the Rubiaceae is an ancestral family in the Mediterranean (both on continent and islands) and thus probably interacted with lizards in the past. Lastly, although we hold that the seed coat structure of R. fruticosa is probably associated with its evolutionary success after a long interaction with insular lizards, our findings support the idea that the relationship between endozoochorous plants and the guild of

  17. The impact of climate change measured at relevant spatial scales: new hope for tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Logan, Michael L; Huynh, Ryan K; Precious, Rachel A; Calsbeek, Ryan G

    2013-10-01

    Much attention has been given to recent predictions that widespread extinctions of tropical ectotherms, and tropical forest lizards in particular, will result from anthropogenic climate change. Most of these predictions, however, are based on environmental temperature data measured at a maximum resolution of 1 km(2), whereas individuals of most species experience thermal variation on a much finer scale. To address this disconnect, we combined thermal performance curves for five populations of Anolis lizard from the Bay Islands of Honduras with high-resolution temperature distributions generated from physical models. Previous research has suggested that open-habitat species are likely to invade forest habitat and drive forest species to extinction. We test this hypothesis, and compare the vulnerabilities of closely related, but allopatric, forest species. Our data suggest that the open-habitat populations we studied will not invade forest habitat and may actually benefit from predicted warming for many decades. Conversely, one of the forest species we studied should experience reduced activity time as a result of warming, while two others are unlikely to experience a significant decline in performance. Our results suggest that global-scale predictions generated using low-resolution temperature data may overestimate the vulnerability of many tropical ectotherms to climate change.

  18. Xantusiid lizards have low energy, water, and food requirements.

    PubMed

    Mautz, W J; Nagy, K A

    2000-01-01

    Lizards in the family Xantusiidae (the night lizards) are known to have resting metabolic rates that are only half those of other lizards of comparable size. We evaluated whether xantusiids also have low field metabolic rates (FMR) and food requirements by measuring FMR and water flux rates with doubly labeled water in three xantusiid species in their natural habitats. Free-living Xantusia vigilis, Xantusia henshawi, and Xantusia riversiana processed energy and water very slowly, about one-third as fast as do other reptiles of similar size. Xantusiid lizards have a distinctive life history that is characterized by very slow growth and low reproductive rates, and they are intensely reclusive. This general lifestyle is also found in some species that live in environments with scarce food resources, such as in caves and in arid habitats, and these species may also have relatively low energy requirements.

  19. A New Eocene Casquehead Lizard (Reptilia, Corytophanidae) from North America.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Jack L

    2015-01-01

    A new fossil showing affinities with extant Laemanctus offers the first clear evidence for a casquehead lizard (Corytophanidae) from the Eocene of North America. Along with Geiseltaliellus from roughly coeval rocks in central Europe, the new find further documents the tropical fauna present during greenhouse conditions in the northern mid-latitudes approximately 50 million years ago (Ma). Modern Corytophanidae is a neotropical clade of iguanian lizards ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America.

  20. A New Eocene Casquehead Lizard (Reptilia, Corytophanidae) from North America

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.

    2015-01-01

    A new fossil showing affinities with extant Laemanctus offers the first clear evidence for a casquehead lizard (Corytophanidae) from the Eocene of North America. Along with Geiseltaliellus from roughly coeval rocks in central Europe, the new find further documents the tropical fauna present during greenhouse conditions in the northern mid-latitudes approximately 50 million years ago (Ma). Modern Corytophanidae is a neotropical clade of iguanian lizards ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America. PMID:26131767

  1. Dynamics of seasonal outbreaks of black band disease in an assemblage of Montipora species at Pelorus Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Yui; Bourne, David G.; Willis, Bette L.

    2009-01-01

    Recurring summer outbreaks of black band disease (BBD) on an inshore reef in the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR) constitute the first recorded BBD epizootic in the region. In a 2.7 year study of 485 colonies of Montipora species, BBD affected up to 10 per cent of colonies in the assemblage. Mean maximum abundance of BBD reached 16±6 colonies per 100 m2 (n=3 quadrats, each 100 m2) in summer, and decreased to 0–1 colony per 100 m2 in winter. On average, BBD lesions caused 40 per cent tissue loss and 5 per cent of infections led to whole colony mortality. BBD reappearance on previously infected colonies and continuous tissue loss after the BBD signs had disappeared suggest that the disease impacts are of longer duration than indicated by the presence of characteristic signs. Rates of new infections and linear progression of lesions were both positively correlated with seasonal fluctuations in sea water temperatures and light, suggesting that seasonal increases in these environmental parameters promote virulence of the disease. Overall, the impacts of BBD are greater than previously reported on the GBR and likely to escalate with ocean warming. PMID:19419991

  2. Dynamics of seasonal outbreaks of black band disease in an assemblage of Montipora species at Pelorus Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia).

    PubMed

    Sato, Yui; Bourne, David G; Willis, Bette L

    2009-08-01

    Recurring summer outbreaks of black band disease (BBD) on an inshore reef in the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR) constitute the first recorded BBD epizootic in the region. In a 2.7 year study of 485 colonies of Montipora species, BBD affected up to 10 per cent of colonies in the assemblage. Mean maximum abundance of BBD reached 16+/-6 colonies per 100 m(2) (n=3 quadrats, each 100 m(2)) in summer, and decreased to 0-1 colony per 100 m(2) in winter. On average, BBD lesions caused 40 per cent tissue loss and 5 per cent of infections led to whole colony mortality. BBD reappearance on previously infected colonies and continuous tissue loss after the BBD signs had disappeared suggest that the disease impacts are of longer duration than indicated by the presence of characteristic signs. Rates of new infections and linear progression of lesions were both positively correlated with seasonal fluctuations in sea water temperatures and light, suggesting that seasonal increases in these environmental parameters promote virulence of the disease. Overall, the impacts of BBD are greater than previously reported on the GBR and likely to escalate with ocean warming. PMID:19419991

  3. Dynamics of seasonal outbreaks of black band disease in an assemblage of Montipora species at Pelorus Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia).

    PubMed

    Sato, Yui; Bourne, David G; Willis, Bette L

    2009-08-01

    Recurring summer outbreaks of black band disease (BBD) on an inshore reef in the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR) constitute the first recorded BBD epizootic in the region. In a 2.7 year study of 485 colonies of Montipora species, BBD affected up to 10 per cent of colonies in the assemblage. Mean maximum abundance of BBD reached 16+/-6 colonies per 100 m(2) (n=3 quadrats, each 100 m(2)) in summer, and decreased to 0-1 colony per 100 m(2) in winter. On average, BBD lesions caused 40 per cent tissue loss and 5 per cent of infections led to whole colony mortality. BBD reappearance on previously infected colonies and continuous tissue loss after the BBD signs had disappeared suggest that the disease impacts are of longer duration than indicated by the presence of characteristic signs. Rates of new infections and linear progression of lesions were both positively correlated with seasonal fluctuations in sea water temperatures and light, suggesting that seasonal increases in these environmental parameters promote virulence of the disease. Overall, the impacts of BBD are greater than previously reported on the GBR and likely to escalate with ocean warming.

  4. Diversity of Aulacidae (Hymenoptera: Evanioidea) in the oceanic Ogasawara Islands (Japan), with description of a new species from Anijima Island.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Kyohei; Konishi, Kazuhiko; Turrisi, Giuseppe Fabrizio

    2013-11-12

    In the context of the biodiversity conservation of the oceanic Ogasawara Islands, the parasitoid species of Aulacidae are reviewed. We examined material from eight islands with or without invasion of the introduced lizard Anolis carolinensis (Voigt 1832) (green anoles): two species of Pristaulacus Kieffer 1900, P. boninensis Konishi, 1989, and P. anijimensis sp. nov., are recognized. The former species is widely distributed in the islands, whereas the latter species is found from a single island only, Anijima Island. Although this island appears to be currently well preserved, the recent introduction of green anoles will probably affect the conservation status of many species, including the endemic P. anijimensis sp. nov. A description of the new species, detailed drawings and descriptions of genitalia of both recognized species, an updated key to Japanese Aulacidae, and a brief discussion on the conservation aspects of Aulacidae in the Ogasawara Islands are provided.

  5. Life-History Patterns of Lizards of the World.

    PubMed

    Mesquita, Daniel O; Costa, Gabriel C; Colli, Guarino R; Costa, Taís B; Shepard, Donald B; Vitt, Laurie J; Pianka, Eric R

    2016-06-01

    Identification of mechanisms that promote variation in life-history traits is critical to understand the evolution of divergent reproductive strategies. Here we compiled a large life-history data set (674 lizard populations, representing 297 species from 263 sites globally) to test a number of hypotheses regarding the evolution of life-history traits in lizards. We found significant phylogenetic signal in most life-history traits, although phylogenetic signal was not particularly high. Climatic variables influenced the evolution of many traits, with clutch frequency being positively related to precipitation and clutches of tropical lizards being smaller than those of temperate species. This result supports the hypothesis that in tropical and less seasonal climates, many lizards tend to reproduce repeatedly throughout the season, producing smaller clutches during each reproductive episode. Our analysis also supported the hypothesis that viviparity has evolved in lizards as a response to cooler climates. Finally, we also found that variation in trait values explained by clade membership is unevenly distributed among lizard clades, with basal clades and a few younger clades showing the most variation. Our global analyses are largely consistent with life-history theory and previous results based on smaller and scattered data sets, suggesting that these patterns are remarkably consistent across geographic and taxonomic scales. PMID:27172590

  6. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards.

    PubMed

    Stöhr, Anke C; Blahak, Silvia; Heckers, Kim O; Wiechert, Jutta; Behncke, Helge; Mathes, Karina; Günther, Pascale; Zwart, Peer; Ball, Inna; Rüschoff, Birgit; Marschang, Rachel E

    2013-09-27

    Ranaviral disease in amphibians has been studied intensely during the last decade, as associated mass-mortality events are considered to be a global threat to wild animal populations. Several studies have also included other susceptible ectothermic vertebrates (fish and reptiles), but only very few cases of ranavirus infections in lizards have been previously detected. In this study, we focused on clinically suspicious lizards and tested these animals for the presence of ranaviruses. Virological screening of samples from lizards with increased mortality and skin lesions over a course of four years led to the detection of ranaviral infections in seven different groups. Affected species were: brown anoles (Anolis sagrei), Asian glass lizards (Dopasia gracilis), green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), green iguanas (Iguana iguana), and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Purulent to ulcerative-necrotizing dermatitis and hyperkeratosis were diagnosed in pathological examinations. All animals tested positive for the presence of ranavirus by PCR and a part of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of each virus was sequenced. Three different ranaviruses were isolated in cell culture. The analyzed portions of the MCP gene from each of the five different viruses detected were distinct from one another and were 98.4-100% identical to the corresponding portion of the frog virus 3 (FV3) genome. This is the first description of ranavirus infections in these five lizard species. The similarity in the pathological lesions observed in these different cases indicates that ranaviral infection may be an important differential diagnosis for skin lesions in lizards.

  7. Refuge sharing network predicts ectoparasite load in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Kappeler, Peter M; Bull, C Michael

    2010-09-01

    Living in social groups facilitates cross-infection by parasites. However, empirical studies on indirect transmission within wildlife populations are scarce. We investigated whether asynchronous overnight refuge sharing among neighboring sleepy lizards, Tiliqua rugosa, facilitates indirect transmission of its ectoparasitic tick, Amblyomma limbatum. We fitted 18 neighboring lizards with GPS recorders, observed their overnight refuge use each night over 3 months, and counted their ticks every fortnight. We constructed a transmission network to estimate the cross-infection risk based on asynchronous refuge sharing frequencies among all lizards and the life history traits of the tick. Although self-infection was possible, the network provided a powerful predictor of measured tick loads. Highly connected lizards that frequently used their neighbors' refuges were characterized by higher tick loads. Thus, indirect contact had a major influence on transmission pathways and parasite loads. Furthermore, lizards that used many different refuges had lower cross- and self-infection risks and lower tick loads than individuals that used relatively fewer refuges. Increasing the number of refuges used by a lizard may be an important defense mechanism against ectoparasite transmission in this species. Our study provides important empirical data to further understand how indirectly transmitted parasites move through host populations and influence individual parasite loads.

  8. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Ranaviral disease in amphibians has been studied intensely during the last decade, as associated mass-mortality events are considered to be a global threat to wild animal populations. Several studies have also included other susceptible ectothermic vertebrates (fish and reptiles), but only very few cases of ranavirus infections in lizards have been previously detected. In this study, we focused on clinically suspicious lizards and tested these animals for the presence of ranaviruses. Virological screening of samples from lizards with increased mortality and skin lesions over a course of four years led to the detection of ranaviral infections in seven different groups. Affected species were: brown anoles (Anolis sagrei), Asian glass lizards (Dopasia gracilis), green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), green iguanas (Iguana iguana), and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Purulent to ulcerative-necrotizing dermatitis and hyperkeratosis were diagnosed in pathological examinations. All animals tested positive for the presence of ranavirus by PCR and a part of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of each virus was sequenced. Three different ranaviruses were isolated in cell culture. The analyzed portions of the MCP gene from each of the five different viruses detected were distinct from one another and were 98.4-100% identical to the corresponding portion of the frog virus 3 (FV3) genome. This is the first description of ranavirus infections in these five lizard species. The similarity in the pathological lesions observed in these different cases indicates that ranaviral infection may be an important differential diagnosis for skin lesions in lizards. PMID:24073785

  9. Spatial patterns in the abundance of the coastal horned lizard

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, R.N.; Suarez, A.V.; Case, T.J.

    2002-01-01

    Coastal horned lizards (Phrynosoma coronatum) have undergone severe declines in southern California and are a candidate species for state and federal listing tender the Endangered Species Act. Quantitative data on their habitat use, abundance, and distribution are lacking, however. We investigated the determinants of abundance for coastal horned lizards at multiple spatial scales throughout southern California. Specifically, we estimated lizard distribution and abundance by establishing 256 pitfall trap arrays clustered within 21 sites across four counties. These arrays were sampled bimonthly for 2-3 years. At each array we measured 26 "local" site descriptors and averaged these values with other "regional" measures to determine site characteristics. Our analyses were successful at identifying factors within and among sites correlated with the presence and abundance of coastal horned lizards. These factors included the absence of the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) (and presence of native ant species eaten by the lizards), the presence of chaparral community plants, and the presence of sandy substrates. At a regional scale the relative abundance of Argentine ants was correlated with the relative amount of developed edge around a site. There was no evidence for spatial autocorrelation, even at the scale of the arrays within sites, suggesting that the determinants of the presence or absence and abundance of horned lizard can vary over relatively small spatial scales (hundreds of meters). Our results suggest that a gap-type approach may miss some of the fine-scale determinants of species abundance in fragmented habitats.

  10. The Great Salt Lake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hassibe, W.R.; Keck, W.G.

    1991-01-01

    The western part of the conterminous United States is often thought of as being a desert without any large bodies of water. In the desert area of western Utah, however, lies Great Salt Lake, which in 1986 covered approximately 2,300 square miles and contained 30 million acre-feet of water (an acre-foot is the amount of water necessary to cover 1 acre of land with water 1 foot in depth or about 326,000 gallons). To emphasize its size, the Great Salt Lake is the largest lake west of the Mississippi River, larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware.

  11. Predators determine how weather affects the spatial niche of lizard prey: exploring niche dynamics at a fine scale.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Darias, Marta; Schoener, Thomas W; Spiller, David A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2012-12-01

    Although abiotic and biotic factors can interact to shape the spatial niche of a species, studies that explore the interactive effects of both at a local scale are rare. We demonstrate that one of the main axes (perch height) characterizing the spatial niche of a common lizard, Anolis sagrei, varies according to the interactive effects of weather and the activity of a larger predatory lizard, Leiocephalus carinatus. Results were completely consistent: no matter how favorable the weather conditions for using the ground (mainly characterized by temperature, humidity, wind speed, rain), A. sagrei did not do so if the predator was present. Hence, great behavioral plasticity enabled A. sagrei to adjust its use of space very quickly. To the best of our knowledge, these results constitute the first field demonstration for anoles (and possibly for other animals as well) of how time-varying environmental conditions and predator presence interact to produce short-term changes in utilization along a major niche axis.

  12. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballen, Cissy; Healey, Mo; Wilson, Mark; Tobler, Michael; Olsson, Mats

    2012-08-01

    Telomeres shorten as a consequence of DNA replication, in particular in cells with low production of telomerase and perhaps in response to physiological stress from exposure to reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide. This process of telomere attrition is countered by innate antioxidation, such as via the production of superoxide dismutase. We studied the inheritance of telomere length in the Australian painted dragon lizard ( Ctenophorus pictus) and the extent to which telomere length covaries with mass-corrected maternal reproductive investment, which reflects the level of circulating yolk precursor and antioxidant, vitellogenin. Our predictors of offspring telomere length explained 72 % of telomere variation (including interstitial telomeres if such are present). Maternal telomere length and reproductive investment were positively influencing offspring telomere length in our analyses, whereas flow cytometry-estimated superoxide level was negatively impacting offspring telomere length. We suggest that the effects of superoxide on hatchling telomere shortening may be partly balanced by transgenerational effects of vitellogenin antioxidation.

  13. Genotoxicity induced by Roundup® (Glyphosate) in tegu lizard (Salvator merianae) embryos.

    PubMed

    Schaumburg, Laura G; Siroski, Pablo A; Poletta, Gisela L; Mudry, Marta D

    2016-06-01

    Environmental contaminants produce multiple adverse consequences at individual, population and ecosystem levels. High volumes of agrochemicals applied to great variety of crops, together with agricultural expansion, generate great concerns due to the impact for the environment and large risk implicated for wildlife. The lack of data on these threats is striking. The tegu lizard (Salvator merianae) is one of the species that live in environments under contaminant effects. Several characteristics allow proposing this species as a potential sentinel organism for the monitoring of pesticides in their habitat. The present study is the first report about genotoxicity in tegu lizard neonates after embryonic exposure to Roundup® (glyphosate 66.2%). The micronucleus test (MN), nuclear abnormalities (NAs) assay and comet assay (CA) were used as biomarkers of genotoxic effects induced in erythrocytes by topical exposure of the eggs to the glyphosate commercial formulation Roundup® (RU), in laboratory controlled conditions. A total of 96 eggs were distributed in six groups exposed to RU (50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600μg/egg), one positive control (PC; 200μg cyclophosphamide/egg) and one negative control (NC; distilled water). No teratogenic effects were observed in any of the exposed or control neonates. A significant increase in DNA damage was observed in all concentrations higher than 100μg/egg with respect to NC (p<0.05). However, no statistical differences were found in the frequencies of MN and NAs in any group exposed to RU compared to the NC. No statistically significant differences were found in the size of the lizards at birth or after six months post-exposure (p>0.05). Our results provide new information about the undesirable effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide formulations RU on this lizard species that inhabits areas permanently exposed to several pesticide formulations. We consider of utmost necessity a strict regulation of the agrochemical application

  14. Genotoxicity induced by Roundup® (Glyphosate) in tegu lizard (Salvator merianae) embryos.

    PubMed

    Schaumburg, Laura G; Siroski, Pablo A; Poletta, Gisela L; Mudry, Marta D

    2016-06-01

    Environmental contaminants produce multiple adverse consequences at individual, population and ecosystem levels. High volumes of agrochemicals applied to great variety of crops, together with agricultural expansion, generate great concerns due to the impact for the environment and large risk implicated for wildlife. The lack of data on these threats is striking. The tegu lizard (Salvator merianae) is one of the species that live in environments under contaminant effects. Several characteristics allow proposing this species as a potential sentinel organism for the monitoring of pesticides in their habitat. The present study is the first report about genotoxicity in tegu lizard neonates after embryonic exposure to Roundup® (glyphosate 66.2%). The micronucleus test (MN), nuclear abnormalities (NAs) assay and comet assay (CA) were used as biomarkers of genotoxic effects induced in erythrocytes by topical exposure of the eggs to the glyphosate commercial formulation Roundup® (RU), in laboratory controlled conditions. A total of 96 eggs were distributed in six groups exposed to RU (50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600μg/egg), one positive control (PC; 200μg cyclophosphamide/egg) and one negative control (NC; distilled water). No teratogenic effects were observed in any of the exposed or control neonates. A significant increase in DNA damage was observed in all concentrations higher than 100μg/egg with respect to NC (p<0.05). However, no statistical differences were found in the frequencies of MN and NAs in any group exposed to RU compared to the NC. No statistically significant differences were found in the size of the lizards at birth or after six months post-exposure (p>0.05). Our results provide new information about the undesirable effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide formulations RU on this lizard species that inhabits areas permanently exposed to several pesticide formulations. We consider of utmost necessity a strict regulation of the agrochemical application

  15. Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin; Belasen, Anat; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Bednekoff, Peter; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2014-08-01

    Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation.

  16. Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction

    PubMed Central

    Li, Binbin; Belasen, Anat; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Bednekoff, Peter; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation. PMID:24943365

  17. Lizards as hosts for immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Levine, J F; Apperson, C S; Howard, P; Washburn, M; Braswell, A L

    1997-11-01

    Previously archived museum specimens of lizards collected throughout North Carolina were examined for Ixodes scapularis (Say). Lizards (n = 1,349) collected in 80 of North Carolina's 100 counties were examined. Lizards with ticks were collected in 23 (29%) of the 80 counties from which lizards were examined. I. scapularis was detected on 8.7% (n = 117) of the lizards and was the sole species of tick obtained from lizards. Immature ticks were most frequently found on the southeastern five-lined skink, Eumeces inexpectatus, and the eastern glass lizard, Ophisaurus ventralis. Larvae were most frequently found on the six-lined racerunner, Cnemidophorus sexlineatus. One C. sexlineatus harbored 177 larvae and 2 nymphs. Nymphs were most frequently observed on E. inexpectatus. The majority of counties (chi 2, P < 0.01) where ticks were found on lizards were in the Coastal Plain.

  18. Differences in demographic traits of four butterflyfish species between two reefs of the Great Barrier Reef separated by 1,200 km

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berumen, M. L.; Trip, E. D. L.; Pratchett, M. S.; Choat, J. H.

    2012-03-01

    Many species demonstrate variation in life history attributes in response to gradients in environmental conditions. For fishes, major drivers of life history variation are changes in temperature and food availability. This study examined large-scale variation in the demography of four species of butterflyfishes ( Chaetodon citrinellus, Chaetodon lunulatus, Chaetodon melannotus, and Chaetodon trifascialis) between two locations on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (Lizard Island and One Tree Island, separated by approximately 1,200 km). Variation in age-based demographic parameters was assessed using the re-parameterised von Bertalanffy growth function. All species displayed measurable differences in body size between locations, with individuals achieving a larger adult size at the higher latitude site (One Tree Island) for three of the four species examined. Resources and abundances of the study species were also measured, revealing some significant differences between locations. For example, for C. trifascialis, there was no difference in its preferred resource or in abundance between locations, yet it achieved a larger body size at the higher latitude location, suggesting a response to temperature. For some species, resources and abundances did vary between locations, limiting the ability to distinguish between a demographic response to temperature as opposed to a response to food or competition. Future studies of life histories and demographics at large spatial scales will need to consider the potentially confounding roles of temperature, resource usage and availability, and abundance/competition to disentangle the effects of these environmental variables.

  19. Limited overwater dispersal and genetic differentiation of the snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus nigropunctatus) in the Oceanic Ogasawara Islands, Japan.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Fumio; Shima, Akina; Horikoshi, Kazuo; Kawakami, Kazuto; Segawa, Ryoko D; Aotsuka, Tadashi; Suzuki, Tadashi

    2009-08-01

    The genetic differentiation and speciation of lizards on oceanic islands may be affected by their rate of overwater dispersal. Cryptoblepharus is one of the most geographically widespread scincid lizards throughout the Indo-Pacific and Australian regions. Cryptoblepharus nigropunctatus is the northernmost species of the genus, dwelling on several small Pacific islands. To examine the colonization history of this lizard, mitochondrial 16S rDNA and D-loop sequences were compared among populations of the Ogasawara Islands consisting of four island groups (the Muko-jima, Chichi-jima, Haha-jima, and Kazan groups), and an isolated island, Minamitori-shima (Marcus Island). These four groups and Minamitori-shima have not been connected to each other because each is surrounded by deep sea (>100 m). DNA analyses showed that the lizard populations on individual islands had each representative haplotypes. The ancestors of C. nigropunctatus probably arrived on the islands from the southern Pacific Ocean via wave dispersal and differentiated to produce the present state. They appear to have dispersed from their origin along two independent pathways: one between Kitaiwo-to (Kazan group) and the Muko-jima and Chichi-jima groups, and the other among the Minamitori-shima, Minamiiwo-to (Kazan group), and Haha-jima groups. Limited long-distance overwater dispersal may be responsible for the genetic structure of the C. nigropunctatus populations on these oceanic islands. However, among the small islands within the same island group, D-loop haplotypes were shared and the local genetic diversity was usually high, suggesting frequent gene flow across the same group of islands.

  20. Australia's Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Great Barrier Reef extends for 2,000 kilometers along the northeastern coast of Australia. It is not a single reef, but a vast maze of reefs, passages, and coral cays (islands that are part of the reef). This nadir true-color image was acquired by the MISR instrument on August 26, 2000 (Terra orbit 3679), and shows part of the southern portion of the reef adjacent to the central Queensland coast. The width of the MISR swath is approximately 380 kilometers, with the reef clearly visible up to approximately 200 kilometers from the coast. It may be difficult to see the myriad details in the browse image, but if you retrieve the higher resolution version, a zoomed display reveals the spectacular structure of the many reefs.

    The more northerly coastal area in this image shows the vast extent of sugar cane cultivation, this being the largest sugar producing area in Australia, centered on the city of Mackay. Other industries in the area include coal, cattle, dairying, timber, grain, seafood, and fruit. The large island off the most northerly part of the coast visible in this image is Whitsunday Island, with smaller islands and reefs extending southeast, parallel to the coast. These include some of the better known resort islands such as Hayman, Lindeman, Hamilton, and Brampton Islands.

    Further south, just inland of the small semicircular bay near the right of the image, is Rockhampton, the largest city along the central Queensland coast, and the regional center for much of central Queensland. Rockhampton is just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Its hinterland is a rich pastoral, agricultural, and mining region.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  1. Can Foraminifera be used to Identify Storm Deposits in Shallow-Water Tropical Reef Settings?: Examining the Impact of Cyclone Hamish on the Foraminiferal Assemblages of Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strotz, L. C.; Mamo, B. L.

    2009-12-01

    Foraminifera (marine microfossils) represent a valuable tool in identifying significant storm events in the geological past. Much of the previous work in this area however, has concentrated on temperate settings and marsh deposits. Little work has focused on tropical marine settings and no studies have looked to identify distinct foraminiferal assemblages associated with cyclone events in tropical reef settings in the South-West Pacific. In April 2008, samples were collected from the reef flat surrounding Heron Island as part of a study of foraminiferal biodiversity. On March 9th 2009, Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 cyclone and the most significant cyclone event, in terms of impact and damage, to occur in the southern Great Barrier Reef region in over 30 years, passed in close proximity to Heron Island. With a pre-cyclone baseline collected less than 1 year previous, this presented an ideal opportunity to recollect, with the aim to determining if a discernable cyclone generated deposit could be identified. A distinct difference in composition or character of the foraminiferal assemblage identified in the pre- and post-cyclone samples could be directly attributed to the cyclone and would represent a ‘fingerprint assemblage’. This would provide a mechanism for determining cyclonic activity in the sub-recent and geological past for both the Great Barrier Reef region as well as throughout the South-west Pacific. Analysis of the total foraminiferal assemblage in the two sample lots reveals little difference between the pre- and post-cyclone assemblage. In both cases, the assemblage is dominated by the same two epiphytic taxa, Calcarina hispida Brady and Baculogypsina sphaerulata (Parker and Jones). No taxa are restricted to either pre- or post-cyclone samples and the post-cyclone assemblage bears no resemblance to the assemblage recovered from samples collected in the inter-reef channels. This suggests that the cyclone is only mobilising and redepositing material on

  2. Lizard and Frog Prestin: Evolutionary Insight into Functional Changes

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jie; Pecka, Jason L.; Fritzsch, Bernd

    2013-01-01

    The plasma membrane of mammalian cochlear outer hair cells contains prestin, a unique motor protein. Prestin is the fifth member of the solute carrier protein 26A family. Orthologs of prestin are also found in the ear of non-mammalian vertebrates such as zebrafish and chicken. However, these orthologs are electrogenic anion exchangers/transporters with no motor function. Amphibian and reptilian lineages represent phylogenic branches in the evolution of tetrapods and subsequent amniotes. Comparison of the peptide sequences and functional properties of these prestin orthologs offer new insights into prestin evolution. With the recent availability of the lizard and frog genome sequences, we examined amino acid sequence and function of lizard and frog prestins to determine how they are functionally and structurally different from prestins of mammals and other non-mammals. Somatic motility, voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (NLC), the two hallmarks of prestin function, and transport capability were measured in transfected human embryonic kidney cells using voltage-clamp and radioisotope techniques. We demonstrated that while the transport capability of lizard and frog prestin was compatible to that of chicken prestin, the NLC of lizard prestin was more robust than that of chicken’s and was close to that of platypus. However, unlike platypus prestin which has acquired motor capability, lizard or frog prestin did not demonstrate motor capability. Lizard and frog prestins do not possess the same 11-amino-acid motif that is likely the structural adaptation for motor function in mammals. Thus, lizard and frog prestins appear to be functionally more advanced than that of chicken prestin, although motor capability is not yet acquired. PMID:23342145

  3. Lizard and frog prestin: evolutionary insight into functional changes.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jie; Pecka, Jason L; Fritzsch, Bernd; Beisel, Kirk W; He, David Z Z

    2013-01-01

    The plasma membrane of mammalian cochlear outer hair cells contains prestin, a unique motor protein. Prestin is the fifth member of the solute carrier protein 26A family. Orthologs of prestin are also found in the ear of non-mammalian vertebrates such as zebrafish and chicken. However, these orthologs are electrogenic anion exchangers/transporters with no motor function. Amphibian and reptilian lineages represent phylogenic branches in the evolution of tetrapods and subsequent amniotes. Comparison of the peptide sequences and functional properties of these prestin orthologs offer new insights into prestin evolution. With the recent availability of the lizard and frog genome sequences, we examined amino acid sequence and function of lizard and frog prestins to determine how they are functionally and structurally different from prestins of mammals and other non-mammals. Somatic motility, voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (NLC), the two hallmarks of prestin function, and transport capability were measured in transfected human embryonic kidney cells using voltage-clamp and radioisotope techniques. We demonstrated that while the transport capability of lizard and frog prestin was compatible to that of chicken prestin, the NLC of lizard prestin was more robust than that of chicken's and was close to that of platypus. However, unlike platypus prestin which has acquired motor capability, lizard or frog prestin did not demonstrate motor capability. Lizard and frog prestins do not possess the same 11-amino-acid motif that is likely the structural adaptation for motor function in mammals. Thus, lizard and frog prestins appear to be functionally more advanced than that of chicken prestin, although motor capability is not yet acquired. PMID:23342145

  4. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions.

  5. The Ins & Outs of Developing a Field-Based Science Project: Learning by Lassoing Lizards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine E.; Huffling, Lacey D.; Benavides, Aerin

    2014-01-01

    We describe a field-based lizard project we did with high school students as a part of our summer Herpetological Research Experiences. We describe data collection on lizards captured, identified, and marked as a part of our mark-recapture study. We also describe other lizard projects that are ongoing in the United States and provide resources for…

  6. 76 FR 62087 - Draft Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment; Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, Texas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-06

    ... Lizard, Texas AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; announcement... application includes the draft Texas Conservation Plan for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (TCP). The draft TCP... Service (Service) and the Applicant for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) throughout...

  7. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions. PMID:26800274

  8. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species

    PubMed Central

    Leu, Stephan T.; Bull, C. Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions. PMID:26800274

  9. Xantusiid "night" lizards: a puzzling phylogenetic problem revisited using likelihood-based Bayesian methods on mtDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Vicario, Saverio; Caccone, Adalgisa; Gauthier, Jacques

    2003-02-01

    Contentious issues in Night Lizard (Xantusiidae) evolution are revisited using Maximum Likelihood-based Bayesian methods and compared with results from Neighbor-Joining and Maximum Parsimony analyses. Fragments of three mitochondrial genes, the 12S and 16S ribosomal genes, and the cytochrome b gene, are sampled across an ingroup composed of seven xantusiid species and a 12-species outgroup chosen to bracket ancestral states for six additional clades of scleroglossan lizards. Our phylogenetic analyses afford robust support for the following conclusions: Xantusiidae is part of Scincomorpha, rather than being allied with Gekkota; Lepidophyma is sister to Xantusia, rather than to Cricosaura; Xantusia riversiana is imbedded within, rather than being sister to, other Xantusia species; and rock-morph Xantusia are not closely related to one another. Convergence related to retarded rates of growth and development, or to physical constraints imposed by living in rock crevices, may be responsible for much of the character discordance underlying conflicts in xantusiid phylogeny. Fossil-calibrated Maximum Likelihood-based divergence time estimates suggest that although the xantusiid stem may have originated in the Mesozoic, the crown clade is exclusively Tertiary in age. Thus, the clade including extant Cricosaura does not appear to have been extant during the K-T boundary bolide impact, as has been suggested. Moreover, our divergence-time estimates indicate that the xantusiid island endemics, Cricosaura typica on Cuba and Xantusia riversiana on the California Channel Islands, arrived via dispersal rather than vicariance, as previously proposed.

  10. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in lizards: a comparison of the skink-like lizard families Cordylidae and Gerrhosauridae.

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2009-09-01

    Lizard families can be grouped into larger units comprising those families that are closely related and whose auditory papillae are morphologically very similar. Based on the few species studied at that time [Manley, G.A., 1997. Diversity in hearing-organ structure and the characteristics of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in lizards. In: Lewis, E.R., Long, G.R., Lyon, R.F., Narins, P.M., Steele, C.R. (Eds.), Diversity in Auditory Mechanics. World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, pp. 32-38], it was suggested that SOAE spectral patterns are strongly influenced by papillar anatomy. However, in two family groups, only one single species has been studied and we have no data on the regularity of pattern within related lizard families. Within the group of skink-like lizards, whose papillae all have salletal tectorial structures, the only detailed SOAE studies so far were on the skink genus Tiliqua. To ascertain the similarity of SOAE in species from families related to the skinks, we have studied one species each from two families that are closely related to skinks, the Cordylidae (Girdle-tailed lizards) and the Gerrhosauridae (plated lizards). Gerrhosaurus and Cordylus have a similar number and amplitudes of SOAE to Tiliqua (Skinkidae). The maximal frequency shifts of SOAE under the influence of external tones is also similar to that of Tiliqua. However, the maximal suppression and maximal facilitation are smaller. In general, the patterns displayed by the SOAE of lizards of these two new families are recognizably similar to the skink Tiliqua, suggesting that the anatomy of the papilla and the tectorial structures do play an important role in determining how SOAE are manifested in papillae that possess tectorial sallets.

  11. Discovery of a Giant Chameleon-Like Lizard (Anolis) on Hispaniola and Its Significance to Understanding Replicated Adaptive Radiations.

    PubMed

    Mahler, D Luke; Lambert, Shea M; Geneva, Anthony J; Ng, Julienne; Hedges, S Blair; Losos, Jonathan B; Glor, Richard E

    2016-09-01

    We report a new chameleon-like Anolis species from Hispaniola that is ecomorphologically similar to congeners found only on Cuba. Lizards from both clades possess short limbs and a short tail and utilize relatively narrow perches, leading us to recognize a novel example of ecomorphological matching among islands in the well-known Greater Antillean anole radiation. This discovery supports the hypothesis that the assembly of island faunas can be substantially deterministic and highlights the continued potential for basic discovery to reveal new insights in well-studied groups. Restricted to a threatened band of midelevation transitional forest near the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this new species appears to be highly endangered. PMID:27501092

  12. Experimental infections in Venezuelan lizards by Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Urdaneta-Morales, S; McLure, I

    1981-06-01

    Virulent trypomastigotes of the Y strain of Trypanosoma cruzi were administered to Tropidurus hispidus, Ameiva ameiva, Cnemidophorus lemniscatus, Polychrus marmoratus, and Phyllodactylus ventralis (Sauria). Intraperitoneal and subcutaneous inoculations of lizards with mouse blood or with feces of infected Rhodnius prolixus (Reduviidae, Triatominae), as well as forced ingestion of triturated Rhodnius, produced no parasitaemias detectable either directly or by xenodiagnosis, while control mice became parasitized. Pretreatment with the immunosuppressive drug Fluocinolone acetonide led to establishing patent infections in inoculated lizards. Cryptic infections were established by inoculation of 1 X 10(6) parasites from Davis' medium, or by 95 X 10(3) parasites from lizard tissue culture. Parasites were not seen in tissues. Mice inoculated with blood or tissue homogenates from these lizards became parasitized. Parasites from Davis' medium inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of lizards were capable, to a very low degree, of penetrating the free peritoneal macrophages and changing into amastigotes. The factors possibly responsible for the natural resistance of poikilothermic vertebrates to T. cruzi are discussed. PMID:6115559

  13. Wind constraints on the thermoregulation of high mountain lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-08-01

    Thermal biology of lizards affects their overall physiological performance. Thus, it is crucial to study how abiotic constraints influence thermoregulation. We studied the effect of wind speed on thermoregulation in an endangered mountain lizard (Iberolacerta aurelioi). We compared two populations of lizards: one living in a sheltered rocky area and the other living in a mountain ridge, exposed to strong winds. The preferred temperature range of I. aurelioi, which reflects thermal physiology, was similar in both areas, and it was typical of a cold specialist. Although the thermal physiology of lizards and the structure of the habitat were similar, the higher wind speed in the exposed population was correlated with a significant decrease in the effectiveness thermoregulation, dropping from 0.83 to 0.74. Our results suggest that wind reduces body temperatures in two ways: via direct convective cooling of the animal and via convective cooling of the substrate, which causes conductive cooling of the animal. The detrimental effect of wind on thermoregulatory effectiveness is surprising, since lizards are expected to thermoregulate more effectively in more challenging habitats. However, wind speed would affect the costs and benefits of thermoregulation in more complex ways than just the cooling of animals and their habitats. For example, it may reduce the daily activity, increase desiccation, or complicate the hunting of prey. Finally, our results imply that wind should also be considered when developing conservation strategies for threatened ectotherms.

  14. Bone indicators of grasping hands in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Grasping is one of a few adaptive mechanisms that, in conjunction with clinging, hooking, arm swinging, adhering, and flying, allowed for incursion into the arboreal eco-space. Little research has been done that addresses grasping as an enhanced manual ability in non-mammalian tetrapods, with the exception of studies comparing the anatomy of muscle and tendon structure. Previous studies showed that grasping abilities allow exploitation for narrow branch habitats and that this adaptation has clear osteological consequences. The objective of this work is to ascertain the existence of morphometric descriptors in the hand skeleton of lizards related to grasping functionality. A morphological matrix was constructed using 51 morphometric variables in 278 specimens, from 24 genera and 13 families of Squamata. To reduce the dimensions of the dataset and to organize the original variables into a simpler system, three PCAs (Principal Component Analyses) were performed using the subsets of (1) carpal variables, (2) metacarpal variables, and (3) phalanges variables. The variables that demonstrated the most significant contributions to the construction of the PCA synthetic variables were then used in subsequent analyses. To explore which morphological variables better explain the variations in the functional setting, we ran Generalized Linear Models for the three different sets. This method allows us to model the morphology that enables a particular functional trait. Grasping was considered the only response variable, taking the value of 0 or 1, while the original variables retained by the PCAs were considered predictor variables. Our analyses yielded six variables associated with grasping abilities: two belong to the carpal bones, two belong to the metacarpals and two belong to the phalanges. Grasping in lizards can be performed with hands exhibiting at least two different independently originated combinations of bones. The first is a combination of a highly elongated centrale

  15. Embryonic development of the skull of the Andean lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Jaimes, Carlos; Jerez, Adriana; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2012-01-01

    The study of cranial design and development in Gymnophthalmidae is important to understand the ontogenetic processes behind the morphological diversity of the group and to examine the possible effects of microhabitat use and other ecological parameters, as well as phylogenetic constraints, on skull anatomy. Complete morphological descriptions of embryonic skull development within Gymnophthalmidae are non-existent. Likewise, very little is known about the complete chondrocranium of the family. Herein, the development of the skull of the semi-fossorial lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor is described along with an examination of the chondrocranium of other gymnophthalmid taxa and the teiid Cnemidophorus lemniscatus. Cranial chondrification begins with early condensations in the ethmoid, orbitotemporal and occipital regions of the chondrocranium as well as the viscerocranium. Ossification of the skull starts with elements of the dermatocranium (pterygoid, prefrontal, maxilla and jugal). The orbitosphenoid is the last chondral bone to appear. At birth, the skull is almost completely ossified and exhibits a large frontoparietal fontanelle. In general terms, the chondrocranium of the gymnophthalmids studied is characteristic of lacertiform terrestrial lizards, in spite of their life habits, and resembles the chondrocranium of C. lemniscatus in many aspects. However, the gymnophthalmids show great variation in the orbitosphenoid and a complex nasal capsule. The latter exhibits greater development of some nasal cartilages, which make it more complex than in C. lemniscatus. These characteristics might be related to microhabitat use and the well-developed olfactory and vomeronasal systems observed within this clade. PMID:22881276

  16. Embryonic development of the skull of the Andean lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae).

    PubMed

    Hernández-Jaimes, Carlos; Jerez, Adriana; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2012-10-01

    The study of cranial design and development in Gymnophthalmidae is important to understand the ontogenetic processes behind the morphological diversity of the group and to examine the possible effects of microhabitat use and other ecological parameters, as well as phylogenetic constraints, on skull anatomy. Complete morphological descriptions of embryonic skull development within Gymnophthalmidae are non-existent. Likewise, very little is known about the complete chondrocranium of the family. Herein, the development of the skull of the semi-fossorial lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor is described along with an examination of the chondrocranium of other gymnophthalmid taxa and the teiid Cnemidophorus lemniscatus. Cranial chondrification begins with early condensations in the ethmoid, orbitotemporal and occipital regions of the chondrocranium as well as the viscerocranium. Ossification of the skull starts with elements of the dermatocranium (pterygoid, prefrontal, maxilla and jugal). The orbitosphenoid is the last chondral bone to appear. At birth, the skull is almost completely ossified and exhibits a large frontoparietal fontanelle. In general terms, the chondrocranium of the gymnophthalmids studied is characteristic of lacertiform terrestrial lizards, in spite of their life habits, and resembles the chondrocranium of C. lemniscatus in many aspects. However, the gymnophthalmids show great variation in the orbitosphenoid and a complex nasal capsule. The latter exhibits greater development of some nasal cartilages, which make it more complex than in C. lemniscatus. These characteristics might be related to microhabitat use and the well-developed olfactory and vomeronasal systems observed within this clade. PMID:22881276

  17. Cranial osteology of the Andean lizard Stenocercus guentheri (Squamata: Tropiduridae) and its postembryonic development.

    PubMed

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar

    2003-01-01

    In spite of the great diversity of iguanian lizards, detailed descriptions of their osteocrania and postembryonic development are rare. Herein, the adult cranial osteology of the tropidurid lizard Stenocercus guentheri and its postembryonic development are described based on cleared and double-stained and dry skeletal specimens from a single Ecuadorian population. The amphikinetic skull of S. guentheri is short and elevated and bears teeth on the premaxilla, maxillae, and pterygoids. Mandibular teeth are present on the dentaries. Ossification of the articular from Meckel's cartilage and growth of the parietal (ossification and investment of the frontoparietal fontanelle) are the most significant ontogenetic changes of the splanchnocranium and dermatocranium, respectively. The ossification of the cartilage separating the bones of the braincase is the most relevant postembryonic ontogenetic event of the neurocranium. The number of teeth does not vary ontogenetically and replacement teeth are present throughout postembryonic life. This study includes a list of the osteocranial characters of Stenocercus that have been used in systematic studies, as well as a discussion of functional morphology and kinesis. PMID:12420324

  18. Great Apes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sleeman, Jonathan M.; Cerveny, Shannon

    2014-01-01

    Anesthesia of great apes is often necessary to conduct diagnostic analysis, provide therapeutics, facilitate surgical procedures, and enable transport and translocation for conservation purposes. Due to the stress of remote delivery injection of anesthetic agents, recent studies have focused on oral delivery and/or transmucosal absorption of preanesthetic and anesthetic agents. Maintenance of the airway and provision of oxygen is an important aspect of anesthesia in great ape species. The provision of analgesia is an important aspect of the anesthesia protocol for any procedure involving painful stimuli. Opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often administered alone, or in combination to provide multi-modal analgesia. There is increasing conservation management of in situ great ape populations, which has resulted in the development of field anesthesia techniques for free-living great apes for the purposes of translocation, reintroduction into the wild, and clinical interventions.

  19. High sensitivity to short wavelengths in a lizard and implications for understanding the evolution of visual systems in lizards

    PubMed Central

    Fleishman, Leo J.; Loew, Ellis R.; Whiting, Martin J.

    2011-01-01

    Progress in developing animal communication theory is frequently constrained by a poor understanding of sensory systems. For example, while lizards have been the focus of numerous studies in visual signalling, we only have data on the spectral sensitivities of a few species clustered in two major clades (Iguania and Gekkota). Using electroretinography and microspectrophotometry, we studied the visual system of the cordylid lizard Platysaurus broadleyi because it represents an unstudied clade (Scinciformata) with respect to visual systems and because UV signals feature prominently in its social behaviour. The retina possessed four classes of single and one class of double cones. Sensitivity in the ultraviolet region (UV) was approximately three times higher than previously reported for other lizards. We found more colourless oil droplets (associated with UV-sensitive (UVS) and short wavelength-sensitive (SWS) photoreceptors), suggesting that the increased sensitivity was owing to the presence of more UVS photoreceptors. Using the Vorobyev–Osorio colour discrimination model, we demonstrated that an increase in the number of UVS photoreceptors significantly enhances a lizard's ability to discriminate conspecific male throat colours. Visual systems in diurnal lizards appear to be broadly conserved, but data from additional clades are needed to confirm this. PMID:21389031

  20. Evaluation of western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) as laboratory reptile models for toxicological investigations.

    PubMed

    Talent, Larry G; Dumont, James N; Bantle, John A; Janz, David M; Talent, Scott G

    2002-05-01

    A need is recognized for one or more laboratory reptile models for use in ecotoxicological studies and risk assessments. Maintenance of breeding populations of most reptile species under laboratory conditions is not practical because of their size and slow maturation rate. However, a number of species of spiny lizards (Sceloporus sp.) are small, mature quickly, and reproduce under laboratory conditions. We evaluated three populations of western fence lizards (S. occidentalis) and four populations of eastern fence lizards (S. undulatus) for their performance under laboratory conditions. We reared an F1 generation of each population and compared their performance relative to survival, growth, maturation rate, and reproductive output. A population from the San Joaquin Valley (CA. USA) performed especially well under laboratory conditions and is a good candidate for a laboratory model. We also examined the sensitivity of developing fence lizard embryos to an estrogenic chemical to determine if male secondary sex characteristics were affected. Microinjecting eggs with an estrogenic chemical (17alpha-ethinylestradiol) feminized males and prevented development of embryonic secondary sex characteristics. Therefore, embryonic fence lizards may be useful for studying the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. PMID:12013135

  1. Interactions between a lizard and its thermal environment: implications for sprint performance and space utilization in the lizard Uta stansburiana

    SciTech Connect

    Waldschmidt, S.; Tracy, C.R.

    1983-06-01

    At the end of their breeding season, male side-blotched lizards, Uta stansburiana from western Colorado decreased their home range to a size not different from that of females. Both males and females showed a high degree of overlap in home ranges, not found in populations previously studied in Texas. Uta's sprint speed was dependent on body temperature, with maximum sprint speed occurring at body temperatures between 35/sup 0/C and 38/sup 0/C, with lower speeds at higher and lower temperatures. An energy budget model was used to predict the range of body temperatures (and thus sprint speeds) available to lizards in four microhabitats within each animal's home range. Predicted body temperatures were converted to a space-time index. The distribution of the space-time index in each microhabitat was used to predict the spatial and temporal distributions of lizards. Predicted distributions accurately reflected the measured distributions of lizards in the morning and late afternoon, but did not reflect the measured distributions during midday. These inconsistencies are thought to be the result of lizard responses to other temperature-dependent processes, such as evaporite water loss.

  2. High sensitivity to short wavelengths in a lizard and implications for understanding the evolution of visual systems in lizards.

    PubMed

    Fleishman, Leo J; Loew, Ellis R; Whiting, Martin J

    2011-10-01

    Progress in developing animal communication theory is frequently constrained by a poor understanding of sensory systems. For example, while lizards have been the focus of numerous studies in visual signalling, we only have data on the spectral sensitivities of a few species clustered in two major clades (Iguania and Gekkota). Using electroretinography and microspectrophotometry, we studied the visual system of the cordylid lizard Platysaurus broadleyi because it represents an unstudied clade (Scinciformata) with respect to visual systems and because UV signals feature prominently in its social behaviour. The retina possessed four classes of single and one class of double cones. Sensitivity in the ultraviolet region (UV) was approximately three times higher than previously reported for other lizards. We found more colourless oil droplets (associated with UV-sensitive (UVS) and short wavelength-sensitive (SWS) photoreceptors), suggesting that the increased sensitivity was owing to the presence of more UVS photoreceptors. Using the Vorobyev-Osorio colour discrimination model, we demonstrated that an increase in the number of UVS photoreceptors significantly enhances a lizard's ability to discriminate conspecific male throat colours. Visual systems in diurnal lizards appear to be broadly conserved, but data from additional clades are needed to confirm this.

  3. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Glenn J; Leite, Cleo A C; Sanders, Colin E; Cadena, Viviana; Andrade, Denis V; Abe, Augusto S; Milsom, William K

    2016-01-01

    With some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as "true endotherms": the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy.

  4. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards

    PubMed Central

    Tattersall, Glenn J.; Leite, Cleo A. C.; Sanders, Colin E.; Cadena, Viviana; Andrade, Denis V.; Abe, Augusto S.; Milsom, William K.

    2016-01-01

    With some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as “true endotherms”: the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy. PMID:26844295

  5. Neural tuning in the granite spiny lizard.

    PubMed

    Turner, R G

    1987-01-01

    Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine the basilar papilla of the granite spiny lizard. The papilla contains three distinct hair cell populations: an apical and a basal population with free-standing cilia, and a central population with a tectorial membrane. In the free-standing populations, stereocilium length decreases towards the ends of the papilla. Ciliary tuft morphology differs in the free-standing and the tectorial membrane populations, except that several of the free-standing hair cells with the shortest stereocilia have a tuft morphology like the hair cells in the tectorial membrane population. On the basis of single-fiber physiology, auditory nerve fibers can be divided into a low characteristic frequency (CF) and a high CF population. Mappings of the tonotopic organization of the nerve demonstrated two groups of high CF fibers that correspond to the two free-standing hair cell populations. The low CF fibers are associated with the tectorial membrane hair cell population. Fiber CF correlated with hair cell cilium length, not position on basilar membrane, for hair cells with free-standing cilia. Tonotopic organization of high CF fibers could be predicted reasonably well from the histogram of fiber CFs.

  6. Oxidative stress decreases with elevation in the lizard Psammodromus algirus.

    PubMed

    Reguera, Senda; Zamora-Camacho, Francisco J; Trenzado, Cristina E; Sanz, Ana; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2014-06-01

    Oxidative stress is considered one of the main ecological and evolutionary forces. Several environmental stressors vary geographically and thus organisms inhabiting different sites face different oxidant environments. Nevertheless, there is scarce information about how oxidative damage and antioxidant defences vary geographically in animals. Here we study how oxidative stress varies from lowlands (300-700 m asl) to highlands (2200-2500 m asl) in the lizard Psammodromus algirus. To accomplish this, antioxidant enzymatic activity (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione transferase, DT-diaphorase) and lipid peroxidation were assayed in tissue samples from the lizards' tail. Lipid peroxidation was higher in individuals from lowlands than from highlands, indicating higher oxidative stress in lowland lizards. These results suggest that environmental conditions are less oxidant at high elevations with respect to low ones. Therefore, our study shows that oxidative stress varies geographically, which should have important consequences for our understanding of geographic variation in physiology and life-history of organisms.

  7. Paralogous origin of the rhodopsinlike opsin genes in lizards.

    PubMed

    Kawamura, S; Yokoyama, S

    1995-06-01

    Rhodopsinlike opsins constitute a distinct phylogenetic group (Yokoyama 1994, Mol. Biol. Evol. 11:32-39). This RH2 group includes the green-sensitive opsins in chicken and goldfish and the blue-sensitive opsin in a nocturnal lizard gecko. In the present study, we isolated and sequenced the genomic DNA clones for the RH2 opsin gene, rh2Ac, of the diurnal lizard Anolis carolinensis. This single-copy gene spans 18.3 kb from start to stop codons, making it the longest opsin gene known in vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis strongly suggests that rh2Ac is more closely related to the chicken green opsin gene than to the gecko blue opsin gene. This gene tree differs from the organismal tree, where the two lizard species should be most closely related, implying that rh2Ac and the gecko blue-sensitive opsin genes have been derived from duplicate ancestral genes.

  8. Omnivory in lacertid lizards: adaptive evolution or constraint?

    PubMed

    Herrel, A; Vanhooydonck, B; Van Damme, R

    2004-09-01

    Feeding specializations such as herbivory are an often cited example of convergent and adaptive evolution. However, some groups such as lizards appear constrained in the evolution of morphological specializations associated with specialized diets. Here we examine whether the inclusion of plant matter into the diet of omnivorous lacertid lizards has resulted in morphological specializations and whether these specializations reflect biomechanical compromises as expected if omnivores are constrained by functional trade-offs. We examined external head shape, skull shape, tooth structure, intestinal tract length and bite performance as previous studies have suggested correlations between the inclusion of plants into the diet and these traits. Our data show that omnivorous lacertid lizards possess modifications of these traits that allow them to successfully exploit plant material as a food source. Conversely, few indications of a compromise phenotype could be detected, suggesting that the evolution towards herbivory is only mildly constrained by functional trade-offs.

  9. Relationships between butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) feeding rates and coral consumption on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregson, M. A.; Pratchett, M. S.; Berumen, M. L.; Goodman, B. A.

    2008-09-01

    This study explored differences in the feeding rate among 20 species of coral reef butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Feeding rate, measured as bites per minute (b.p.m.), varied between 2.98 ± 0.65 and 12.29 ± 0.27 (mean ± SE) according to species and was positively related to the proportional consumption of coral ( r 2 = 0.40, n = 20, P < 0.01), independent of phylogeny (standardised independent contrasts r 2 = 0.29, n = 19, P < 0.05). All species fed actively throughout the day, with obligate corallivores having a higher feeding rate at all times than either facultative corallivores or non-corallivores. The feeding rate of the obligate corallivores was also highest during the middle of the day. For eight of the species for which data was available, there was a positive correlation between bite rate and competitive dominance ( r = 0.71, P < 0.05). Chaetodon ephippium was the only species for which the feeding rate of pairs was higher than for solitary individuals.

  10. Earliest Example of a Giant Monitor Lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.; Balcarcel, Ana M.; Mehling, Carl M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Varanidae is a clade of tiny (<20 mm pre-caudal length [PCL]) to giant (>600 mm PCL) lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus) are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis), although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. Methodology/Principal Findings A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene) of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded) demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL) terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. Conclusions/Significance The new monitor is larger (longer) than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors. PMID:22900001

  11. Spatial patterns in the abundance of the coastal horned lizard

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert N.; Suarez, Andrew V.; Case, Ted J.

    2002-01-01

    Coastal horned lizards (   Phrynosoma coronatum) have undergone severe declines in southern California and are a candidate species for state and federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Quantitative data on their habitat use, abundance, and distribution are lacking, however. We investigated the determinants of abundance for coastal horned lizards at multiple spatial scales throughout southern California. Specifically, we estimated lizard distribution and abundance by establishing 256 pitfall trap arrays clustered within 21 sites across four counties. These arrays were sampled bimonthly for 2–3 years. At each array we measured 26 “local” site descriptors and averaged these values with other “regional” measures to determine site characteristics. Our analyses were successful at identifying factors within and among sites correlated with the presence and abundance of coastal horned lizards. These factors included the absence of the invasive Argentine ant (  Linepithema humile) (and presence of native ant species eaten by the lizards), the presence of chaparral community plants, and the presence of sandy substrates. At a regional scale the relative abundance of Argentine ants was correlated with the relative amount of developed edge around a site. There was no evidence for spatial autocorrelation, even at the scale of the arrays within sites, suggesting that the determinants of the presence or absence and abundance of horned lizard can vary over relatively small spatial scales ( hundreds of meters). Our results suggest that a gap-type approach may miss some of the fine-scale determinants of species abundance in fragmented habitats.

  12. Tail-assisted pitch control in lizards, robots and dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Libby, Thomas; Moore, Talia Y; Chang-Siu, Evan; Li, Deborah; Cohen, Daniel J; Jusufi, Ardian; Full, Robert J

    2012-01-04

    In 1969, a palaeontologist proposed that theropod dinosaurs used their tails as dynamic stabilizers during rapid or irregular movements, contributing to their depiction as active and agile predators. Since then the inertia of swinging appendages has been implicated in stabilizing human walking, aiding acrobatic manoeuvres by primates and rodents, and enabling cats to balance on branches. Recent studies on geckos suggest that active tail stabilization occurs during climbing, righting and gliding. By contrast, studies on the effect of lizard tail loss show evidence of a decrease, an increase or no change in performance. Application of a control-theoretic framework could advance our general understanding of inertial appendage use in locomotion. Here we report that lizards control the swing of their tails in a measured manner to redirect angular momentum from their bodies to their tails, stabilizing body attitude in the sagittal plane. We video-recorded Red-Headed Agama lizards (Agama agama) leaping towards a vertical surface by first vaulting onto an obstacle with variable traction to induce a range of perturbations in body angular momentum. To examine a known controlled tail response, we built a lizard-sized robot with an active tail that used sensory feedback to stabilize pitch as it drove off a ramp. Our dynamics model revealed that a body swinging its tail experienced less rotation than a body with a rigid tail, a passively compliant tail or no tail. To compare a range of tails, we calculated tail effectiveness as the amount of tailless body rotation a tail could stabilize. A model Velociraptor mongoliensis supported the initial tail stabilization hypothesis, showing as it did a greater tail effectiveness than the Agama lizards. Leaping lizards show that inertial control of body attitude can advance our understanding of appendage evolution and provide biological inspiration for the next generation of manoeuvrable search-and-rescue robots.

  13. The effects of prey species on food conversion efficiency and growth of an insectivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Rich, C Nelson; Talent, Larry G

    2008-05-01

    Little is known about the effects of different prey species on lizard growth. We conducted a 6-week study to determine the relative effects of prey species on growth parameters of hatchling western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis. Lizards were fed house cricket nymphs, Acheta domesticus, or mealworm larvae, Tenebrio molitor. The effects of prey species on growth were determined by measuring prey consumption, gross conversion efficiency of food [gain in mass (g)/food consumed (g)], gain in mass, and gain in snout-vent length. Lizards grew well on both the prey species. However, lizards that fed on crickets consumed a significantly higher percentage of their body mass per day than those fed mealworms. Nevertheless, lizards that consumed mealworms ingested significantly more metabolizable energy, had significantly higher food conversion efficiencies, significantly higher daily gains in mass, and significantly greater total growth in mass than lizards that fed on crickets. PMID:19360616

  14. Muscle directly meets the vast power demands in agile lizards.

    PubMed

    Curtin, Nancy A; Woledge, Roger C; Aerts, Peter

    2005-03-22

    Level locomotion in small, agile lizards is characterized by intermittent bursts of fast running. These require very large accelerations, often reaching several times g. The power input required to increase kinetic energy is calculated to be as high as 214 W kg(-1) muscle (+/-20 W kg(-1) s.e.; averaged over the complete locomotor cycle) and 952 W kg(-1) muscle (+/-89 W kg(-1) s.e.; instantaneous peak power). In vitro muscle experiments prove that these exceptional power requirements can be met directly by the lizard's muscle fibres alone; there is no need for mechanical power amplifying mechanisms.

  15. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Along the coast of Queensland, Australia (18.0S, 147.5E), timbered foothills of the Great Dividing Range separate the semi-arid interior of Queensland from the farmlands of the coastal plains. Prominent cleared areas in the forest indicate deforestation for farm and pasture lands. Offshore, islands and the Great Barrier Reef display sand banks along the southern sides of the structures indicating a dominant southerly wind and current direction.

  16. Auditory hair cell innervational patterns in lizards.

    PubMed

    Miller, M R; Beck, J

    1988-05-22

    The pattern of afferent and efferent innervation of two to four unidirectional (UHC) and two to nine bidirectional (BHC) hair cells of five different types of lizard auditory papillae was determined by reconstruction of serial TEM sections. The species studies were Crotaphytus wislizeni (iguanid), Podarcis (Lacerta) sicula and P. muralis (lacertids), Ameiva ameiva (teiid), Coleonyx variegatus (gekkonid), and Mabuya multifasciata (scincid). The main object was to determine in which species and in which hair cell types the nerve fibers were innervating only one (exclusive innervation), or two or more hair cells (nonexclusive innervation); how many nerve fibers were supplying each hair cell; how many synapses were made by the innervating fibers; and the total number of synapses on each hair cell. In the species studies, efferent innervation was limited to the UHC, and except for the iguanid, C. wislizeni, it was nonexclusive, each fiber supplying two or more hair cells. Afferent innervation varied both with the species and the hair cell types. In Crotaphytus, both the UHC and the BHC were exclusively innervated. In Podarcis and Ameiva, the UHC were innervated exclusively by some fibers but nonexclusively by others (mixed pattern). In Coleonyx, the UHC were exclusively innervated but the BHC were nonexclusively innervated. In Mabuya, both the UHC and BHC were nonexclusively innervated. The number of afferent nerve fibers and the number of afferent synapses were always larger in the UHC than in the BHC. In Ameiva, Podarcis, and Mabuya, groups of bidirectionally oriented hair cells occur in regions of cytologically distinct UHC, and in Ameiva, unidirectionally oriented hair cells occur in cytologically distinct BHC regions. PMID:3385019

  17. Phylogeny of North African Agama lizards (Reptilia: Agamidae) and the role of the Sahara desert in vertebrate speciation.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Duarte V; Brito, José C; Crochet, Pierre-André; Geniez, Philippe; Padial, José M; Harris, D James

    2012-09-01

    The origin of Saharan biodiversity is poorly understood, in part because the geological and paleoclimatic events that presumably shaped species diversity are still controversial, but also because few studies have explored causal explanations for the origin of Saharan diversity using a phylogenetic framework. Here, we use mtDNA (16S and ND4 genes) and nDNA (MC1R and CMOS genes) to infer the relationships and biogeographic history of North African agamas (genus Agama). Agamas are conspicuous, diverse and abundant African lizards that also occur in the Saharan xeric and mesic environments. Our results revealed the presence of three Agama lineages in North Africa: one Afrotropical, one Sahelo-Saharan, and one broadly distributed in North Africa and mainly Saharan. Southern Mauritania contains the highest known diversity, with all three lineages present. Results suggest that agamas colonized the Sahara twice, but only one lineage was able to radiate and diversify there. Species in the Saharan lineage are mostly allopatric, and their splitting, genetic diversity and distribution are greatly explained by mountain ranges. One species in this lineage has colonized the Mediterranean climatic zone (A. impalearis), and another one the Sahel savannah (A. boueti). The other lineage to colonize the Sahara corresponds to A. boulengeri, an eminently Sahelian species that also inhabits Saharan mountain ranges in Mauritania and Mali. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that allopatric montane populations within some currently recognized species are also genetically divergent. Our study therefore concludes that vicariant speciation is a leading motor of species diversification in the area: Inside the Sahara, associated to mountain-ranges isolated by dune seas and bare plains; outside, associated to less harsh climates to the North and South. Paleoclimatic oscillations are suggested as causal explanations of the vicariant distribution and origin of species. Agamas are thought to have

  18. Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Robert

    2000-05-01

    Spectacular and mysterious objects that come and go in the night sky, comets have dwelt in our popular culture for untold ages. As remnants from the formation of the Solar system, they are objects of key scientific research and space missions. As one of nature's most potent and dramatic dangers, they pose a threat to our safety--and yet they were the origin of our oceans and perhaps even life itself. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets: those that have earned the title "Great." Robert Burnham focuses on the Great comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997, which gripped attention worldwide because, for many, they were the first comets ever seen. He places these two recent comets in the context of their predecessors from past ages, among them the famous Comet Halley. Great Comets explains the exciting new discoveries that have come from these magnificent objects and profiles the spaceprobes to comets due for launch in the next few years. The book even takes a peek behind Hollywood's science-fiction fantasies to assess the real risks humanity faces from potential impacts of both comets and asteroids. For everyone interested in astronomy, this exciting book reveals the secrets of the Great Comets and provides essential tools for keeping up to date with comet discoveries in the future. Robert Burnham has been an amateur astronomer since the mid-1950s. He has been a senior editor of Astronomy magazine (1986-88) and is the author of many books and CD-ROMS, including Comet Hale-Bopp: Find and Enjoy the Great Comet and Comet Explorer.

  19. Leaping Lizards And Learning. In the Curriculum: Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Diane; Nelson, Cathi

    2004-01-01

    In the broad fields that stretch toward the horizon in the Columbia Basin region of Washington state, the land is just right for at least two purposes: growing dryland wheat and providing habitat for shorthorned lizards, also known as horny toads. Our elementary school, enrolling 150 children from this rural farming community, has become a hub for…

  20. Intestinal helminths of the granite spiny lizard (Sceloporus orcutti).

    PubMed

    Goldberg, S R; Bursey, C R

    1991-04-01

    Examination of the intestinal tracts of 74 granite spiny lizards (Sceloporus orcutti) from Riverside County, California (USA) revealed infection with one cestode species Oochoristica scelopori (Anoplocephalidae) and one nematode species Spauligodon giganticus (Pharyngodonidae). Helminth prevalence was 24%. The presence of Oochoristica scelopori represents a new host record.

  1. Effects of inorganic lead on Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Salice, Christopher J; Suski, Jamie G; Bazar, Matthew A; Talent, Larry G

    2009-12-01

    Although anthropogenic pollutants are thought to threaten reptilian species, there are few toxicity studies on reptiles. We evaluated the toxicity of Pb as lead acetate to the Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). The acute lethal dose and sub-acute (14-day) toxicity studies were used to narrow exposure concentrations for a sub-chronic (60-day) study. In the sub-chronic study, adult and juvenile male lizards were dosed via gavage with 0, 1, 10 and 20 mg Pb/kg-bw/day. Mortality was limited and occurred only at the highest dose (20 mg Pb/kg-bw/d). There were statistically significant sub-lethal effects of 10 and 20 mg Pb/kg-bw/d on body weight, cricket consumption, organ weight, hematological parameters and post-dose behaviors. Of these, Pb-induced changes in body weight are most useful for ecological risk assessment because it is linked to fitness in wild lizard populations. The Western fence lizard is a useful model for reptilian toxicity studies. PMID:19631431

  2. Convergent evolution of kin-based sociality in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Davis, Alison R; Corl, Ammon; Surget-Groba, Yann; Sinervo, Barry

    2011-05-22

    Studies of social birds and mammals have produced extensive theory regarding the formation and dynamics of kin-based social groups in vertebrates. However, comparing kin dynamics in birds and mammals to social reptiles provides the opportunity to identify selective factors that promote independent origins of kin sociality across vertebrates. We combined a 5-year mark-recapture study with a DNA microsatellite analysis of relatedness in a social lizard (Xantusia vigilis) to examine the formation and stability of kin groups. We found that these lizards are highly sedentary and that groups often form through the delayed dispersal of offspring. Groups containing juveniles had higher relatedness than adult-only groups, as juveniles were commonly found in aggregations with at least one parent and/or sibling. Groups containing nuclear family members were more stable than groups of less-related lizards, as predicted by social theory. We conclude that X. vigilis aggregations conform to patterns of kin sociality observed in avian and mammalian systems and represent an example of convergent evolution in social systems. We suggest that kin-based sociality in this and other lizards may be a by-product of viviparity, which can promote delayed juvenile dispersal by allowing prolonged interaction between a neonate and its mother.

  3. Ecological release in lizard assemblages of neotropical savannas.

    PubMed

    Mesquita, Daniel Oliveira; Colli, Guarino Rinaldi; Vitt, Laurie J

    2007-08-01

    We compare lizard assemblages of Cerrado and Amazonian savannas to test the ecological release hypothesis, which predicts that niche dimensions and abundance should be greater in species inhabiting isolated habitat patches with low species richness (Amazonian savannas and isolated Cerrado patches) when compared with nonisolated areas in central Cerrado with greater species richness. We calculated microhabitat and diet niche breadths with data from 14 isolated Cerrado patches and Amazon savanna areas and six central Cerrado populations. Morphological data were compared using average Euclidean distances, and lizard abundance was estimated using the number of lizards captured in pitfall traps over an extended time period. We found no evidence of ecological release with respect to microhabitat use, suggesting that historical factors are better microhabitat predictors than ecological factors. However, data from individual stomachs indicate that ecological release occurs in these areas for one species (Tropidurus) but not others (Ameiva ameiva, Anolis, Cnemidophorus, and Micrablepharus), suggesting that evolutionary lineages respond differently to environmental pressures, with tropidurids being more affected by ecological factors than polychrotids, teiids, and gymnophthalmids. We found no evidence that ecological release occurs in these areas using morphological data. Based on abundance data, our results indicate that the ecological release (density compensation) hypothesis is not supported: lizard species are not more abundant in isolated areas than in nonisolated areas. The ecology of species is highly conservative, varying little from assemblage to assemblage. Nevertheless, increases in niche breadth for some species indicate that ecological release occurs as well. PMID:17437128

  4. Technique for Measuring Speed and Visual Motion Sensitivity in Lizards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, Kevin L.; Burke, Darren

    2008-01-01

    Testing sensory characteristics on herpetological species has been difficult due to a range of properties related to physiology, responsiveness, performance ability, and the type of reinforcer used. Using the Jacky lizard as a model, we outline a successfully established procedure in which to test the visual sensitivity to motion characteristics.…

  5. A review of diagnostic imaging of snakes and lizards.

    PubMed

    Banzato, T; Hellebuyck, T; Van Caelenberg, A; Saunders, J H; Zotti, A

    2013-07-13

    Snakes and lizards are considered 'stoic' animals and often show only non-specific signs of illness. Consequently, diagnostic imaging--along with clinical examination and laboratory tests--is gaining importance in making a final diagnosis and establishing a correct therapy. The large number of captive snake and lizard species commonly kept as pets, together with the high inter- and intraspecific morphological variability that is innate in these animals, make the analysis of diagnostic images challenging for the veterinary practitioner. Moreover, a thorough knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the species that are the object of clinical investigation is mandatory for the correct interpretation of diagnostic images. Despite the large amount of clinical and scientific work carried out in the past two decades, the radiographic features of snakes and lizards have not undergone systematic description, and therefore veterinarians often have to rely mostly on anatomical studies rather than radiological literature. The aim of this paper is to review the most commonly used diagnostic imaging modalities, as well as to provide an overview of the available international original studies and scientific reviews describing the normal and pathological imaging features in snakes and lizards.

  6. A preliminary report on the distribution of lizards in Qatar

    PubMed Central

    Cogălniceanu, Dan; Castilla, Aurora M; Valdeón, Aitor; Gosá, Alberto; Al-Jaidah, Noora; Alkuwary, Ali; Saifelnasr, Essam O. H.; Mas-Peinado, Paloma; Richer, Renee; Al-Hemaidi, Ahmad Amer Mohd

    2014-01-01

    Abstract We have updated the list of the lizard species present in Qatar and produced the first distribution maps based on two field surveys in 2012 and 2013. We used the QND95/Qatar National Grid with a grid of 10 × 10 km squares for mapping. Our results show the occurrence of 21 lizard species in Qatar, from the 15 species indicated in the last biodiversity report conducted in 2004. The most abundant family found in Qatar is Gekkonidae with nine species (Bunopus tuberculatus, Cyrtopodion scabrum, Hemidactylus robustus, H. flaviviridis, H. persicus, Stenodactylus arabicus, S. slevini, S. doriae, Pseudoceramodactylus khobarensis), followed by Lacertidae with four species (Acanthodactylus schmidti, A. opheodurus, Mesalina brevirostris, M. adramitana), Agamidae with three species (Trapelus flavimaculatus, Uromastyx aegyptia, Phrynocephalus arabicus), Scincidae with two species (Scincus mitranus, Trachylepis septemtaeniata), and Varanidae (Varanus griseus), Sphaerodactylidae (Pristurus rupestris) and Trogonophiidae (Diplometopon zarudnyi) with one species each. The species richness fluctuated largely across Qatar between one and eleven species per grid square. We believe that the lizard fauna records in Qatar are still incomplete and that additional studies are required. However, our study here fills a gap concerning lizard biodiversity knowledge in the Gulf Region. PMID:24493961

  7. Structure and function of the hearts of lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Bjarke; Moorman, Antoon F M; Wang, Tobias

    2014-05-01

    With approximately 7000 species, snakes and lizards, collectively known as squamates, are by far the most species-rich group of reptiles. It was from reptile-like ancestors that mammals and birds evolved and squamates can be viewed as phylogenetically positioned between them and fishes. Hence, their hearts have been studied for more than a century yielding insights into the group itself and into the independent evolution of the fully divided four-chambered hearts of mammals and birds. Structurally the heart is complex and debates persist on rudimentary issues such as identifying structures critical to understanding ventricle function. In seeking to resolve these controversies we have generated three-dimensional (3D) models in portable digital format (pdf) of the anaconda and anole lizard hearts ('typical' squamate hearts) and the uniquely specialized python heart with comprehensive annotations of structures and cavities. We review the anatomy and physiology of squamate hearts in general and emphasize the unique features of pythonid and varanid lizard hearts that endow them with mammal-like blood pressures. Excluding pythons and varanid lizards it is concluded that the squamate heart has a highly consistent design including a disproportionately large right side (systemic venous) probably due to prevailing pulmonary bypass (intraventricular shunting). Unfortunately, investigations on rudimentary features are sparse. We therefore point out gaps in our knowledge, such as the size and functional importance of the coronary vasculature and of the first cardiac chamber, the sinus venosus, and highlight areas with implications for vertebrate cardiac evolution.

  8. Nocturnal activity by diurnal lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi, S. virgatus) eaten by small owls (Glaucidium gnoma, Otus trichopsis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duncan, W.W.; Gehlbach, F.R.; Middendorf, G. A.

    2003-01-01

    Whiskered screech-owls (Otus trichopsis) and northern pygmy-owls (Glaucidium gnoma) delivered freshly caught Yarrow's spiny lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi) and striped plateau lizards (S. virgatus) to nestlings from dusk to dark in southeastern Arizona. This observation stimulated studies of the prey deliveries by the owls and lizard activity patterns, because the lizards are not known to be nocturnal. Lizards were more frequent prey of both owls than endothermic vertebrates but infrequent compared to arthropods, a pattern in the pygmy-owl that differs from its northern populations. Yarrow's spiny lizard, the most abundant and frequently captured lizard, was most active in the morning but also active in the evening. Striped plateau lizard, the second most abundant and depredated species, had morning and evening peaks of activity. Few lizards, including S. clarki and Urosaurus ornatus, but not Cnemidophorus exsanguis and C. sonorae, were active at or after dark, when relatively few were captured by the owls.

  9. Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edsall, Thomas A.; Mac, Michael J.; Opler, Paul A.; Puckett Haecker, Catherine E.; Doran, Peter D.

    1998-01-01

    The wild plants and animals and the natural systems that support them in the Great Lakes region are valuable resources of considerable local, regional, and national interest. They are also, in part, transboundary resources that the U.S. shares with its Canadian neighbors to the north. The way these resources are changing over time is inadequately known and is a concern for resource users and for those charged with managing and protecting these unique and valuable resources. This chapter describes the wild plants and animals and the systems that support them in the Great Lakes region; addresses their condition; and points out the gaps in our knowledge about them that, if filled, would aid in their conservation and appropriate use.

  10. Elevational covariation in environmental constraints and life histories of the desert lizard Sceloporus merriami

    SciTech Connect

    Grant, B.W. ); Dunham, A.E. )

    1990-10-01

    We examine environmental constraints on life history characters among three elevationally distinct populations of the desert lizard Sceloporus merriami in west Texas. We show how environmental gradients in temperature and food abundance interact to constrain body temperatures, daily activity times, growth rates, and age-specific body size. We suggest that these differences resulted in opposite responses from males and females with respect to their size and age at first reproduction. Results suggest an interaction between resource levels and biophysical constraints that may greatly influence differences among populations in important life history characteristics. Although these responses are hypothesized to be proximally induced by environmental constraints, the resulting life history differences in age-specific resource allocation to growth, storage, and reproduction may significantly affect fitness.

  11. Great Expectations for "Great Expectations."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ridley, Cheryl

    Designed to make the study of Dickens'"Great Expectations" an appealing and worthwhile experience, this paper presents a unit of study intended to help students gain (1) an appreciation of Dickens' skill at creating realistic human characters; (2) an insight into the problems of a young man confused by false values and unreal ambitions and ways to…

  12. Great Ideas for Great Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reep, Beverly B.

    1991-01-01

    Describes a South Carolina elementary school principal's program for decreasing discipline referrals and creating a positive school environment. The Great Behavior program involves weekly drawings and prizes for well-behaved students and an end-of-school party and pie-throwing event. Following a first-year 47 percent reduction in discipline…

  13. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia).

    PubMed

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  14. Long-term data reveal a population decline of the tropical lizard Anolis apletophallus, and a negative affect of el nino years on population growth rate.

    PubMed

    Stapley, Jessica; Garcia, Milton; Andrews, Robin M

    2015-01-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity worldwide, however predicting how particular species will respond is difficult because climate varies spatially, complex factors regulate population abundance, and species vary in their susceptibility to climate change. Studies need to incorporate these factors with long-term data in order to link climate change to population abundance. We used 40 years of lizard abundance data and local climate data from Barro Colorado Island to ask how climate, total lizard abundance and cohort-specific abundance have changed over time, and how total and cohort-specific abundance relate to climate variables including those predicted to make the species vulnerable to climate change (i.e. temperatures exceeding preferred body temperature). We documented a decrease in lizard abundance over the last 40 years, and changes in the local climate. Population growth rate was related to the previous years' southern oscillation index; increasing following cooler-wetter, la niña years, decreasing following warmer-drier, el nino years. Within-year recruitment was negatively related to rainfall and minimum temperature. This study simultaneously identified climatic factors driving long-term population fluctuations and climate variables influencing short-term annual recruitment, both of which may be contributing to the population decline and influence the population's future persistence.

  15. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia)

    PubMed Central

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  16. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia).

    PubMed

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses.

  17. Functional and Structural Diversification of the Anguimorpha Lizard Venom System*

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Bryan G.; Winter, Kelly; Norman, Janette A.; Roelants, Kim; Nabuurs, Rob J. A.; van Osch, Matthias J. P.; Teeuwisse, Wouter M.; van der Weerd, Louise; Mcnaughtan, Judith E.; Kwok, Hang Fai; Scheib, Holger; Greisman, Laura; Kochva, Elazar; Miller, Laurence J.; Gao, Fan; Karas, John; Scanlon, Denis; Lin, Feng; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Shaw, Chris; Wong, Lily; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2010-01-01

    Venom has only been recently discovered to be a basal trait of the Anguimorpha lizards. Consequently, very little is known about the timings of toxin recruitment events, venom protein molecular evolution, or even the relative physical diversifications of the venom system itself. A multidisciplinary approach was used to examine the evolution across the full taxonomical range of this ∼130 million-year-old clade. Analysis of cDNA libraries revealed complex venom transcriptomes. Most notably, three new cardioactive peptide toxin types were discovered (celestoxin, cholecystokinin, and YY peptides). The latter two represent additional examples of convergent use of genes in toxic arsenals, both having previously been documented as components of frog skin defensive chemical secretions. Two other novel venom gland-overexpressed modified versions of other protein frameworks were also recovered from the libraries (epididymal secretory protein and ribonuclease). Lectin, hyaluronidase, and veficolin toxin types were sequenced for the first time from lizard venoms and shown to be homologous to the snake venom forms. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the lizard natriuretic peptide toxins were recruited independently of the form in snake venoms. The de novo evolution of helokinestatin peptide toxin encoding domains within the lizard venom natriuretic gene was revealed to be exclusive to the helodermatid/anguid subclade. New isoforms were sequenced for cysteine-rich secretory protein, kallikrein, and phospholipase A2 toxins. Venom gland morphological analysis revealed extensive evolutionary tinkering. Anguid glands are characterized by thin capsules and mixed glands, serous at the bottom of the lobule and mucous toward the apex. Twice, independently this arrangement was segregated into specialized serous protein-secreting glands with thick capsules with the mucous lobules now distinct (Heloderma and the Lanthanotus/Varanus clade). The results obtained highlight

  18. Condition-dependent chemosignals in reproductive behavior of lizards.

    PubMed

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Many lizards have diverse glands that produce chemosignals used in intraspecific communication and that can have reproductive consequences. For example, information in chemosignals of male lizards can be used in intrasexual competition to identify and assess the fighting potential or dominance status of rival males either indirectly through territorial scent-marks or during agonistic encounters. Moreover, females of several lizard species "prefer" to establish or spend more time on areas scent-marked by males with compounds signaling a better health or body condition or a higher genetic compatibility, which can have consequences for their mating success and inter-sexual selection processes. We review here recent studies that suggest that the information content of chemosignals of lizards may be reliable because several physiological and endocrine processes would regulate the proportions of chemical compounds available for gland secretions. Because chemosignals are produced by the organism or come from the diet, they should reflect physiological changes, such as different hormonal levels (e.g. testosterone or corticosterone) or different health states (e.g. parasitic infections, immune response), and reflect the quality of the diet of an individual. More importantly, some compounds that may function as chemosignals also have other important functions in the organism (e.g. as antioxidants or regulating the immune system), so there could be trade-offs between allocating these compounds to attending physiological needs or to produce costly sexual "chemical ornaments". All these factors may contribute to maintain chemosignals as condition-dependent sexual signals, which can inform conspecifics on the characteristics and state of the sender and allow making behavioral decisions with reproductive consequences. To understand the evolution of chemical secretions of lizards as sexual signals and their

  19. Functional and structural diversification of the Anguimorpha lizard venom system.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Winter, Kelly; Norman, Janette A; Roelants, Kim; Nabuurs, Rob J A; van Osch, Matthias J P; Teeuwisse, Wouter M; van der Weerd, Louise; McNaughtan, Judith E; Kwok, Hang Fai; Scheib, Holger; Greisman, Laura; Kochva, Elazar; Miller, Laurence J; Gao, Fan; Karas, John; Scanlon, Denis; Lin, Feng; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Shaw, Chris; Wong, Lily; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2010-11-01

    Venom has only been recently discovered to be a basal trait of the Anguimorpha lizards. Consequently, very little is known about the timings of toxin recruitment events, venom protein molecular evolution, or even the relative physical diversifications of the venom system itself. A multidisciplinary approach was used to examine the evolution across the full taxonomical range of this ∼130 million-year-old clade. Analysis of cDNA libraries revealed complex venom transcriptomes. Most notably, three new cardioactive peptide toxin types were discovered (celestoxin, cholecystokinin, and YY peptides). The latter two represent additional examples of convergent use of genes in toxic arsenals, both having previously been documented as components of frog skin defensive chemical secretions. Two other novel venom gland-overexpressed modified versions of other protein frameworks were also recovered from the libraries (epididymal secretory protein and ribonuclease). Lectin, hyaluronidase, and veficolin toxin types were sequenced for the first time from lizard venoms and shown to be homologous to the snake venom forms. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the lizard natriuretic peptide toxins were recruited independently of the form in snake venoms. The de novo evolution of helokinestatin peptide toxin encoding domains within the lizard venom natriuretic gene was revealed to be exclusive to the helodermatid/anguid subclade. New isoforms were sequenced for cysteine-rich secretory protein, kallikrein, and phospholipase A(2) toxins. Venom gland morphological analysis revealed extensive evolutionary tinkering. Anguid glands are characterized by thin capsules and mixed glands, serous at the bottom of the lobule and mucous toward the apex. Twice, independently this arrangement was segregated into specialized serous protein-secreting glands with thick capsules with the mucous lobules now distinct (Heloderma and the Lanthanotus/Varanus clade). The results obtained

  20. Stable social aggregations in an Australian lizard, Egernia stokesii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffield, Glen; Bull, Michael

    2002-08-01

    Social groups in many animal species contain family members, and are maintained by parental care, and then tolerance of related individuals in the group. Lizards rarely show prolonged parental care, and rarely form stable social aggregations, although cohesive groups have been reported in the Australian skink genus, Egernia. A population of Egernia stokesii was surveyed for six seasons on Camel Hill, South Australia. At this site individuals occupied rock crevices for refuges on an isolated rocky outcrop of about 1.5 ha. The population was divided into 17 stable social groups, each containing 2-17 individual lizards. Surveyed juveniles took more than 5 years to reach mature size, and most juveniles and subadults remained in the social group of their parents for that period and longer. There were 2-8 permanent adult members of each group. Group members shared common crevice refuges, basked close together (and sometimes on top of each other) and defecated in common scat piles. There was low mortality after the first 2 years of life, and low dispersal either into or out of the population. Some individuals were "floaters" that did not belong to a social group. Over the study a number of these became established in groups. The social structure of these lizards resembles the family groups reported in many species of birds and mammals where group members help to raise the offspring of relatives. The low level of parental care in lizards suggests that the evolution of this form of social organisation in lizards has resulted from different processes than in other vertebrate taxa.

  1. Scale Morphology and Micro-Structure of Monitor Lizards (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus spp.) and their Allies: Implications for Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation.

    PubMed

    Bucklitsch, Yannick; Böhme, Wolfgang; Koch, André

    2016-01-01

    We analysed scale morphology and micro-structure from five different body regions using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) across all nine recognized subgenera of the monitor lizard genus Varanus including 41 different species investigated. As far as we are aware, this qualitative visual technique was applied by us for the first time to most monitor lizard species and probably also to the primary outgroup and sister species Lanthanotus borneensis. A comprehensive list of 20 scalation characters each with up to seven corresponding character states was established and defined for the five body regions sampled. For the phylogenetic approach, parsimony analyses of the resulting morphological data matrix as well as Bremer and bootstrap support calculations were performed with the software TNT. Our results demonstrate that a variety of micro-ornamentations (i.e., ultra- or micro-dermatoglyphics) as seen in various squamate groups is hardly present in monitor lizards. In several species from six out of nine subgenera, however, we found a honeycomb-shaped micro-structure of foveate polygons. Two further samples of Euprepiosaurus Fitzinger, 1843 exhibit each another unique microscopic structure on the scale surface. Notably, the majority of species showing the honeycombed ultra-structure inhabit arid habitats in Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, it can be inferred that this microscopic scalation feature, which has also been identified in other desert dwelling lizard species, is taxonomically and ecologically correlated with a xeric habitat type in varanids, too. In addition, the systematic affiliation of V. spinulosus, an endemic monitor lizard species from the Solomon Islands with an extraordinary scale shape, is discussed in the light of current hypotheses about its phylogenetic position within the Varanidae. Due to its unique scalation characteristics, in combination with other morphological evidence, a new monotypic subgenus, Solomonsaurus subgen. nov

  2. Scale Morphology and Micro-Structure of Monitor Lizards (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus spp.) and their Allies: Implications for Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation.

    PubMed

    Bucklitsch, Yannick; Böhme, Wolfgang; Koch, André

    2016-08-17

    We analysed scale morphology and micro-structure from five different body regions using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) across all nine recognized subgenera of the monitor lizard genus Varanus including 41 different species investigated. As far as we are aware, this qualitative visual technique was applied by us for the first time to most monitor lizard species and probably also to the primary outgroup and sister species Lanthanotus borneensis. A comprehensive list of 20 scalation characters each with up to seven corresponding character states was established and defined for the five body regions sampled. For the phylogenetic approach, parsimony analyses of the resulting morphological data matrix as well as Bremer and bootstrap support calculations were performed with the software TNT. Our results demonstrate that a variety of micro-ornamentations (i.e., ultra- or micro-dermatoglyphics) as seen in various squamate groups is hardly present in monitor lizards. In several species from six out of nine subgenera, however, we found a honeycomb-shaped micro-structure of foveate polygons. Two further samples of Euprepiosaurus Fitzinger, 1843 exhibit each another unique microscopic structure on the scale surface. Notably, the majority of species showing the honeycombed ultra-structure inhabit arid habitats in Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, it can be inferred that this microscopic scalation feature, which has also been identified in other desert dwelling lizard species, is taxonomically and ecologically correlated with a xeric habitat type in varanids, too. In addition, the systematic affiliation of V. spinulosus, an endemic monitor lizard species from the Solomon Islands with an extraordinary scale shape, is discussed in the light of current hypotheses about its phylogenetic position within the Varanidae. Due to its unique scalation characteristics, in combination with other morphological evidence, a new monotypic subgenus, Solomonsaurus subgen. nov

  3. GREAT optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner-Gentner, Armin; Graf, Urs U.; Philipp, Martin; Rabanus, David; Stutzki, Jürgen

    2004-10-01

    The German REceiver for Astronomy at Terahertz frequencies (GREAT) is a first generation PI instrument for the SOFIA telescope, developed by a collaboration between the MPIfR, KOSMA, DLR, and the MPAe. The first three institutes each contribute one heterodyne receiver channel to operate at 1.9, 2.7 and 4.7 THz, respectively. A later addition of a e.g. 1.4 THz channel is planned. The GREAT instrument is developed to carry two cryostats at once. That means that any two of the three frequencies can be observed simultaneously. Therefore, we need to be able to quickly exchange the optics benches, the local oscillator (LO) subsystems, and the cryostats containing the mixer devices. This demands a high modularity and flexibility of our receiver concept. Our aim is to avoid the need for realignment when swapping receiver channels. After an overview of the common GREAT optics, a detailed description of several parts (optics benches, calibration units, diplexer, focal plane imager) is given. Special emphasis is given to the LO optics of the KOSMA 1.9 THz channel, because its backward wave oscillator has an astigmatic output beam profile, which has to be corrected for. We developed astigmatic off-axis mirrors to compensate this astigmatism. The mirrors are manufactured in-house on a 5 axis CNC milling machine. We use this milling machine to obtain optical components with highest surface accuracy (about 5 microns) appropriate for these wavelengths. Based on the CNC machining capabilities we present our concept of integrated optics, which means to manufacture optical subsystems monolithically. The optics benches are located on three point mounts, which in conjunction with the integrated optics concept ensure the required adjustment free optics setup.

  4. Susceptibility of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) to the Lyme borreliosis spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi).

    PubMed

    Lane, R S

    1990-01-01

    Attempts to infect juvenile and adult western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) with the Lyme borreliosis spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) were largely unsuccessful. Spirochetes could not be isolated from the blood and various tissues of 14 lizards 21-32 days after they had been inoculated ip (n = 8) or sc (n = 6) with 10(6) or 10(8) B. burgdorferi representing 3 tick isolates, although 1 lizard apparently developed a transitory spirochetemia lasting 2 days. Similarly, spirochetes could not be detected in the blood or tissues of 5 lizards fed upon by 2- greater than 8 infected larvae or nymphs of the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus). Sixty-five blood samples from 59 lizards in an endemic area and various tissues from 20 of the same lizards were also assayed for B. burgdorferi with negative results. The implications of these findings for the maintenance of this spirochete in natural foci are discussed. PMID:2301709

  5. Ocular anatomy and retinal photoreceptors in a skink, the sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa).

    PubMed

    New, Shaun T D; Hemmi, Jan M; Kerr, Gregory D; Bull, C Michael

    2012-10-01

    The Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) is a large day-active skink which occupies stable overlapping home ranges and maintains long-term monogamous relationships. Its behavioral ecology has been extensively studied, making the sleepy lizard an ideal model for investigation of the lizard visual system and its specializations, for which relatively little is known. We examine the morphology, density, and distribution of retinal photoreceptors and describe the anatomy of the sleepy lizard eye. The sleepy lizard retina is composed solely of photoreceptors containing oil droplets, a characteristic of cones. Two groups could be distinguished; single cones and double cones, consistent with morphological descriptions of photoreceptors in other diurnal lizards. Although all photoreceptors were cone-like in morphology, a subset of photoreceptors displayed immunoreactivity to rhodopsin-the visual pigment of rods. This finding suggests that while the morphological properties of rod photoreceptors have been lost, photopigment protein composition has been conserved during evolutionary history.

  6. Rock-dwelling lizards exhibit less sensitivity of sprint speed to increases in substrate rugosity.

    PubMed

    Collins, Clint E; Self, Jessica D; Anderson, Roger A; McBrayer, Lance D

    2013-06-01

    Effectively moving across variable substrates is important to all terrestrial animals. The effects of substrates on lizard performance have ecological ramifications including the partitioning of habitat according to sprinting ability on different surfaces. This phenomenon is known as sprint sensitivity, or the decrease in sprint speed due to change in substrate. However, sprint sensitivity has been characterized only in arboreal Anolis lizards. Our study measured sensitivity to substrate rugosity among six lizard species that occupy rocky, sandy, and/or arboreal habitats. Lizards that use rocky habitats are less sensitive to changes in substrate rugosity, followed by arboreal lizards, and then by lizards that use sandy habitats. We infer from comparative phylogenetic analysis that forelimb, chest, and tail dimensions are important external morphological features related to sensitivity to changes in substrate rugosity.

  7. Canary Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This easterly looking view shows the seven major volcanic islands of the Canary Island chain (28.0N, 16.5W) and offers a unique view of the islands that have become a frequent vacation spot for Europeans. The northwest coastline of Africa, (Morocco and Western Sahara), is visible in the background. Frequently, these islands create an impact on local weather (cloud formations) and ocean currents (island wakes) as seen in this photo.

  8. Dragon's Paradise Lost: Palaeobiogeography, Evolution and Extinction of the Largest-Ever Terrestrial Lizards (Varanidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hocknull, Scott A.; Piper, Philip J.; van den Bergh, Gert D.; Due, Rokus Awe; Morwood, Michael J.; Kurniawan, Iwan

    2009-01-01

    Background The largest living lizard species, Varanus komodoensis Ouwens 1912, is vulnerable to extinction, being restricted to a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore. Understanding how large-bodied varanids responded to past environmental change underpins long-term management of V. komodoensis populations. Methodology/Principal Findings We reconstruct the palaeobiogeography of Neogene giant varanids and identify a new (unnamed) species from the island of Timor. Our data reject the long-held perception that V. komodoensis became a giant because of insular evolution or as a specialist hunter of pygmy Stegodon. Phyletic giantism, coupled with a westward dispersal from mainland Australia, provides the most parsimonious explanation for the palaeodistribution of V. komodoensis and the newly identified species of giant varanid from Timor. Pliocene giant varanid fossils from Australia are morphologically referable to V. komodoensis suggesting an ultimate origin for V. komodoensis on mainland Australia (>3.8 million years ago). Varanus komodoensis body size has remained stable over the last 900,000 years (ka) on Flores, a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka, co-existence with Homo floresiensis, and the arrival of modern humans by 10 ka. Within the last 2000 years their populations have contracted severely. Conclusions/Significance Giant varanids were once a ubiquitous part of Subcontinental Eurasian and Australasian faunas during the Neogene. Extinction played a pivotal role in the reduction of their ranges and diversity throughout the late Quaternary, leaving only V. komodoensis as an isolated long-term survivor. The events over the last two millennia now threaten its future survival. PMID:19789642

  9. In situ genetic differentiation in a Hispaniolan lizard (Ameiva chrysolaema): a multilocus perspective.

    PubMed

    Gifford, Matthew E; Larson, Allan

    2008-10-01

    A previous phylogeographic study of mitochondrial haplotypes for the Hispaniolan lizard Ameiva chrysolaema revealed deep genetic structure associated with seawater inundation during the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene and evidence of subsequent population expansion into formerly inundated areas. We revisit hypotheses generated by our previous study using increased geographic sampling of populations and analysis of three nuclear markers (alpha-enolase intron 8, alpha-cardiac-actin intron 4, and beta-actin intron 3) in addition to mitochondrial haplotypes (ND2). Large genetic discontinuities correspond spatially and temporally with historical barriers to gene flow (sea inundations). NCPA cross-validation analysis and Bayesian multilocus analyses of divergence times (IMa and MCMCcoal) reveal two separate episodes of fragmentation associated with Pliocene and Pleistocene sea inundations, separating the species into historically separate Northern, East-Central, West-Central, and Southern population lineages. Multilocus Bayesian analysis using IMa indicates asymmetrical migration from the East-Central to the West-Central populations following secondary contact, consistent with expectations from the more pervasive sea inundation in the western region. The West-Central lineage has a genetic signature of population growth consistent with the expectation of geographic expansion into formerly inundated areas. Within each lineage, significant spatial genetic structure indicates isolation by distance at comparable temporal scales. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that vicariant speciation may be the prevailing source of lineage accumulation on oceanic islands. Thus, prior theories of island biogeography generally underestimate the role and temporal scale of intra-island vicariant processes. PMID:18611442

  10. Zinc-positive boutons in the cerebral cortex of lizards show glutamate immunoreactivity.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Guijarro, F J; Soriano, E; Del Rio, J A; Lopez-Garcia, C

    1991-10-01

    Zinc-positive boutons, originating in the medial cortex of lizards, exhibit glutamate immunoreactivity. This finding supports the presumed homology between lizard zinc-positive boutons and the hippocampal mossy fibres of mammals, which are also glutamate-immunoreactive and zinc-positive. Zinc-positive boutons of lizards contain a chelatable pool of zinc located in the hippocampal mossy fibres of mammals. These synaptic systems also contain glutamate, which indicates a possible simultaneous action of zinc and glutamate during synaptic transmission.

  11. Advantages in exploring a new environment with the left eye in lizards.

    PubMed

    Bonati, Beatrice; Csermely, Davide; Sovrano, Valeria Anna

    2013-07-01

    Lizards (Podarcis muralis) preferentially use the left eye during spatial exploration in a binocular condition. Here we allowed 44 adult wild lizards to explore an unknown maze for 20 min under a temporary monocular condition whilst recording their movements, particularly the direction of turns made whilst walking within the maze. Lizards with a patch on their right eye, i.e. using their left eye to monitor the environment, moved faster than lizards with a patch on their left eye when turning both leftward and rightward in a T-cross. Hence, right eye-patched lizards were faster than left eye-patched lizards also in turning right, although their right eye was covered. Thus, lizards that could use the left eye/right hemisphere to attend spatial cues appeared to have more control and to be more prompt in exploring the maze. In addition, female lizards with their left eye covered stopped very frequently when they reached crosses, showing a high level of indecision. Results confirm that P. muralis lizards using their left eye only in exploring a new environment react faster and more efficiently than those using the right eye only in exploration. Hence lateralisation of spatial stimuli mediated by the left eye/right hemisphere could provide an advantage to this species.

  12. X-ray microtomography provides first data about the feeding behaviour of an endangered lizard, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati)

    PubMed Central

    Bochaton, C.; Boistel, R.; Charles, L.

    2015-01-01

    Reporting the diet of recently extinct or very rare taxa, only known by a few museum specimens, is challenging. This study uses X-ray microtomography, a non-destructive investigation method, to obtain the first data about feeding behaviours in the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati) by scanning one of the two specimens known to date. The scans revealed the occurrence of shell fragments of a freshwater snail (Omalonyx matheroni) in the digestive tract of the specimen. This data combined with morphological evidence shows the occurrence of a durophagous feeding habit and a possible tendency of association with freshwater environments. This information could be crucial to save this critically endangered lizard endemic on Montserrat island. PMID:27019732

  13. MARINE BOTTOM COMMUNITIES OF BLOCK ISLAND WATERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The sea has long been an integral part of Block Island's natural history, beginning when the rising sea surrounded the high spot on a Pleistocene terminal moraine that became Block Island. The southern New England continental shelf, which lies around Block Island, and the Great S...

  14. Phylogenetic relationships within the lizard clade Xantusiidae: using trees and divergence times to address evolutionary questions at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Noonan, Brice P; Pramuk, Jennifer B; Bezy, Robert L; Sinclair, Elizabeth A; de Queiroz, Kevin; Sites, Jack W

    2013-10-01

    Xantusiidae (night lizards) is a clade of small-bodied, cryptic lizards endemic to the New World. The clade is characterized by several features that would benefit from interpretation in a phylogenetic context, including: (1) monophyletic status of extant taxa Cricosaura, Lepidophyma, and Xantusia; (2) a species endemic to Cuba (Cricosaura typica) of disputed age; (3) origins of the parthenogenetic species of Lepidophyma; (4) pronounced micro-habitat differences accompanied by distinct morphologies in both Xantusia and Lepidophyma; and (5) placement of Xantusia riversiana, the only vertebrate species endemic to the California Channel Islands, which is highly divergent from its mainland relatives. This study incorporates extensive new character data from multiple gene regions to investigate the phylogeny of Xantusiidae using the most comprehensive taxonomic sampling available to date. Parsimony and partitioned Bayesian analyses of more than 7 kb of mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from 11 loci all confirm that Xantusiidae is monophyletic, and comprises three well-supported clades: Cricosaura, Xantusia, and Lepidophyma. The Cuban endemic Cricosaura typica is well supported as the sister to all other xantusiids. Estimates of divergence time indicate that Cricosaura diverged from the (Lepidophyma+Xantusia) clade ≈ 81 million years ago (Ma), a time frame consistent with the separation of the Antilles from North America. Our results also confirm and extend an earlier study suggesting that parthenogenesis has arisen at least twice within Lepidophyma without hybridization, that rock-crevice ecomorphs evolved numerous times (>9) within Xantusia and Lepidophyma, and that the large-bodied Channel Island endemic X. riversiana is a distinct, early lineage that may form the sister group to the small-bodied congeners of the mainland.

  15. Delayed postnatal neurogenesis in the cerebral cortex of lizards.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Garcia, C; Molowny, A; Garcia-Verdugo, J M; Ferrer, I

    1988-10-01

    Labelled cells were consistently observed in the medial cortex of the lizard brain after i.p. injections of tritiated thymidine (5 microCi/g b. wt.), 1, 7, 18 or 28 days of survival and posterior autoradiographic evaluation. In 3 groups of specimens (postnatal, young and adult) of the species Podarcis hispanica, after one day of survival, labelled cells were located in the ependymal cell layer underlying the medial cortex. After intermediate survival times (7, 18 days), labelled cells were found in 3 zones: the ependymal layer, the inner plexiform layer and the granular layer. After one month of survival, most labelled cells were observed in the granular layer. In the granular layer, these cells were distributed at random. These results show that postnatal neurogenesis in the medial cortex of the lizard occurs following a spatio-temporal pattern reminiscent of that found in the fascia dentata of the mammalian hippocampus.

  16. Muscle directly meets the vast power demands in agile lizards

    PubMed Central

    Curtin, Nancy A; Woledge, Roger C; Aerts, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Level locomotion in small, agile lizards is characterized by intermittent bursts of fast running. These require very large accelerations, often reaching several times g. The power input required to increase kinetic energy is calculated to be as high as 214 W kg−1 muscle (±20 W kg−1 s.e.; averaged over the complete locomotor cycle) and 952 W kg−1 muscle (±89 W kg−1 s.e.; instantaneous peak power). In vitro muscle experiments prove that these exceptional power requirements can be met directly by the lizard's muscle fibres alone; there is no need for mechanical power amplifying mechanisms. PMID:15817432

  17. Colorful displays signal male quality in a tropical anole lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Ellee G.; Murphy, Troy G.; Johnson, Michele A.

    2013-10-01

    Parasites influence colorful ornaments and their behavioral display in many animal hosts. Because coloration and display behavior are often critical components of communication, variation in these traits may have important implications for individual fitness, yet it remains unclear whether such traits are signals of quality in many taxa. We investigated the association between ectoparasitic mite load and the color and behavioral use of the throat fan (dewlap) by male Anolis brevirostris lizards. We found that heavily parasitized lizards exhibited lower body condition, duller dewlaps, and less frequent dewlap displays than less parasitized individuals. Our results thus suggest that highly parasitized individuals invest less in both ornamental color and behavioral display of that color. Because the two components of the signal simultaneously provide information on male quality, this study provides novel support for the long-standing hypothesis that colorful traits may function as social or sexual signals in reptiles.

  18. Alteration of island food-web dynamics following major disturbance by hurricanes.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2007-01-01

    Major abiotic disturbance can be an important factor influencing food-web dynamics, particularly in areas impacted by the recent increase in hurricane activity. We present a unique set of data on key food-web processes occurring on 10 small islands for three relatively calm years and then four subsequent years during which two hurricanes passed directly over the study site. Herbivory, as measured by leaf damage, was 3.2 times higher in the year after the first hurricane (2000) than in the previous year and was 1.7 times higher in the year after the second hurricane (2002) than in 2001. The effect of a top predator (the lizard, Anolis sagrei) on herbivory strengthened continuously after the first hurricane and overall was 2.4 times stronger during the disturbance period than before. Overall abundance of lizards was 30% lower during the disturbance period than before, and abundances of web spiders and hymenopteran parasitoids were 66% and 59% lower, respectively. We suggest that increased herbivory observed on all islands was caused, at least in part, by the overall reduction in predation by both lizards and arthropods, whereas magnification of the lizard effect on herbivory was caused by reduced compensatory predation by arthropods.

  19. The nature of the gecko lizard adhesive force.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wanxin; Neuzil, Pavel; Kustandi, Tanu Suryadi; Oh, Sharon; Samper, Victor D

    2005-08-01

    The extraordinary climbing skills of gecko lizards have been under investigation for a long time. Here we report results of direct measurement of single spatula forces in air with varying relative humidities and in water, by the force-distance method using an atomic force microscope. We have found that the presence of water strongly affects the adhesion force and from analysis of our results, we have demonstrated that the dominant force involved is the capillary force.

  20. Unidirectional pulmonary airflow patterns in the savannah monitor lizard.

    PubMed

    Schachner, Emma R; Cieri, Robert L; Butler, James P; Farmer, C G

    2014-02-20

    The unidirectional airflow patterns in the lungs of birds have long been considered a unique and specialized trait associated with the oxygen demands of flying, their endothermic metabolism and unusual pulmonary architecture. However, the discovery of similar flow patterns in the lungs of crocodilians indicates that this character is probably ancestral for all archosaurs--the group that includes extant birds and crocodilians as well as their extinct relatives, such as pterosaurs and dinosaurs. Unidirectional flow in birds results from aerodynamic valves, rather than from sphincters or other physical mechanisms, and similar aerodynamic valves seem to be present in crocodilians. The anatomical and developmental similarities in the primary and secondary bronchi of birds and crocodilians suggest that these structures and airflow patterns may be homologous. The origin of this pattern is at least as old as the split between crocodilians and birds, which occurred in the Triassic period. Alternatively, this pattern of flow may be even older; this hypothesis can be tested by investigating patterns of airflow in members of the outgroup to birds and crocodilians, the Lepidosauromorpha (tuatara, lizards and snakes). Here we demonstrate region-specific unidirectional airflow in the lungs of the savannah monitor lizard (Varanus exanthematicus). The presence of unidirectional flow in the lungs of V. exanthematicus thus gives rise to two possible evolutionary scenarios: either unidirectional airflow evolved independently in archosaurs and monitor lizards, or these flow patterns are homologous in archosaurs and V. exanthematicus, having evolved only once in ancestral diapsids (the clade encompassing snakes, lizards, crocodilians and birds). If unidirectional airflow is plesiomorphic for Diapsida, this respiratory character can be reconstructed for extinct diapsids, and evolved in a small ectothermic tetrapod during the Palaeozoic era at least a hundred million years before the

  1. Unidirectional pulmonary airflow patterns in the savannah monitor lizard.

    PubMed

    Schachner, Emma R; Cieri, Robert L; Butler, James P; Farmer, C G

    2014-02-20

    The unidirectional airflow patterns in the lungs of birds have long been considered a unique and specialized trait associated with the oxygen demands of flying, their endothermic metabolism and unusual pulmonary architecture. However, the discovery of similar flow patterns in the lungs of crocodilians indicates that this character is probably ancestral for all archosaurs--the group that includes extant birds and crocodilians as well as their extinct relatives, such as pterosaurs and dinosaurs. Unidirectional flow in birds results from aerodynamic valves, rather than from sphincters or other physical mechanisms, and similar aerodynamic valves seem to be present in crocodilians. The anatomical and developmental similarities in the primary and secondary bronchi of birds and crocodilians suggest that these structures and airflow patterns may be homologous. The origin of this pattern is at least as old as the split between crocodilians and birds, which occurred in the Triassic period. Alternatively, this pattern of flow may be even older; this hypothesis can be tested by investigating patterns of airflow in members of the outgroup to birds and crocodilians, the Lepidosauromorpha (tuatara, lizards and snakes). Here we demonstrate region-specific unidirectional airflow in the lungs of the savannah monitor lizard (Varanus exanthematicus). The presence of unidirectional flow in the lungs of V. exanthematicus thus gives rise to two possible evolutionary scenarios: either unidirectional airflow evolved independently in archosaurs and monitor lizards, or these flow patterns are homologous in archosaurs and V. exanthematicus, having evolved only once in ancestral diapsids (the clade encompassing snakes, lizards, crocodilians and birds). If unidirectional airflow is plesiomorphic for Diapsida, this respiratory character can be reconstructed for extinct diapsids, and evolved in a small ectothermic tetrapod during the Palaeozoic era at least a hundred million years before the

  2. Polyandry in dragon lizards: inbred paternal genotypes sire fewer offspring

    PubMed Central

    Frère, Celine H; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Multiple mating in female animals is something of a paradox because it can either be risky (e.g., higher probability of disease transmission, social costs) or provide substantial fitness benefits (e.g., genetic bet hedging whereby the likelihood of reproductive failure is lowered). The genetic relatedness of parental units, particularly in lizards, has rarely been studied in the wild. Here, we examined levels of multiple paternity in Australia's largest agamid lizard, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), and determined whether male reproductive success is best explained by its heterozygosity coefficient or the extent to which it is related to the mother. Female polyandry was the norm: 2/22 clutches (9.2%) were sired by three or more fathers, 17/22 (77.2%) were sired by two fathers, and only 3/22 (13.6%) clutches were sired by one father. Moreover, we reconstructed the paternal genotypes for 18 known mother–offspring clutches and found no evidence that females were favoring less related males or that less related males had higher fitness. However, males with greater heterozygosity sired more offspring. While the postcopulatory mechanisms underlying this pattern are not understood, female water dragons likely represent another example of reproduction through cryptic means (sperm selection/sperm competition) in a lizard, and through which they may ameliorate the effects of male-driven precopulatory sexual selection. PMID:25937911

  3. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards.

  4. Eating lizards: a millenary habit evidenced by Paleoparasitology

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Analyses of coprolites have contributed to the knowledge of diet as well as infectious diseases in ancient populations. Results of paleoparasitological studies showed that prehistoric groups were exposed to spurious and zoonotic parasites, especially food-related. Here we report the findings of a paleoparasitological study carried out in remote regions of Brazil’s Northeast. Findings Eggs of Pharyngodonidae (Nematoda, Oxyuroidea), a family of parasites of lizards and amphibians, were found in four human coprolites collected from three archaeological sites. In one of these, lizard scales were also found. Conclusions Through the finding of eggs of Pharyngodonidae in human coprolites and reptile scales in one of these, we have provided evidence that humans have consumed reptiles at least 10,000 years ago. This food habit persists to modern times in remote regions of Brazil’s Northeast. Although Pharyngodonidae species are not known to infect humans, the consumption of raw or undercooked meat from lizards and other reptiles may have led to transmission of a wide range of zoonotic agents to humans in the past. PMID:23098578

  5. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Daza, Juan D.; Simões, Tiago R.; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-09-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa.

  6. Age-dependent social learning in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Noble, Daniel W A; Byrne, Richard W; Whiting, Martin J

    2014-07-01

    Evidence of social learning, whereby the actions of an animal facilitate the acquisition of new information by another, is taxonomically biased towards mammals, especially primates, and birds. However, social learning need not be limited to group-living animals because species with less interaction can still benefit from learning about potential predators, food sources, rivals and mates. We trained male skinks (Eulamprus quoyii), a mostly solitary lizard from eastern Australia, in a two-step foraging task. Lizards belonging to 'young' and 'old' age classes were presented with a novel instrumental task (displacing a lid) and an association task (reward under blue lid). We did not find evidence for age-dependent learning of the instrumental task; however, young males in the presence of a demonstrator learnt the association task faster than young males without a demonstrator, whereas old males in both treatments had similar success rates. We present the first evidence of age-dependent social learning in a lizard and suggest that the use of social information for learning may be more widespread than previously believed.

  7. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards. PMID:21884063

  8. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

    PubMed Central

    Daza, Juan D.; Simões, Tiago R.; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-01-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa. PMID:27703708

  9. Behavioural flexibility and problem-solving in a tropical lizard

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Manuel; Powell, Brian J.

    2012-01-01

    The role of behavioural flexibility in responding to new or changing environmental challenges is a central theme in cognitive ecology. Studies of behavioural flexibility have focused mostly on mammals and birds because theory predicts that behavioural flexibility is favoured in species or clades that exploit a diversity of habitats or food sources and/or have complex social structure, attributes not associated with ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we present the results of a series of experiments designed to test cognitive abilities across multiple cognitive modules in a tropical arboreal lizard: Anolis evermanni. This lizard shows behavioural flexibility across multiple cognitive tasks, including solving a novel motor task using multiple strategies and reversal learning, as well as rapid associative learning. This flexibility was unexpected because lizards are commonly believed to have limited cognitive abilities and highly stereotyped behaviour. Our findings indicate that the cognitive abilities of A. evermanni are comparable with those of some endothermic species that are recognized to be highly flexible, and strongly suggest a re-thinking of our understanding of the cognitive abilities of ectothermic tetrapods and of the factors favouring the evolution of behavioural flexibility. PMID:21752816

  10. Speed and Endurance Do Not Trade Off in Phrynosomatid Lizards.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ralph Lacerda; Bonine, Kevin E; Garland, Theodore

    2015-01-01

    Trade-offs are a common focus of study in evolutionary biology and in studies of locomotor physiology and biomechanics. A previous comparative study of 12 species of European lacertid lizards found a statistically significant negative correlation between residual locomotor speed and stamina (controlling for variation in body size), consistent with ideas about trade-offs in performance based on variation in muscle fiber type composition and other subordinate traits. To begin examining the generality of this finding in other groups of squamates, we measured maximal sprint running speed on a high-speed treadmill and endurance at 1.0 km/h (0.28 m/s) in 14 species of North American phrynosomatid lizards, plus a sample of nine additional species to encompass some of the broadscale diversity of lizards. We used both conventional and phylogenetically informed regression analyses to control for some known causes of performance variation (body size, stockiness, body temperature) and then computed residual performance values. We found no evidence for a trade-off between speed and endurance among the 14 phrynosomatids or among the 23 species in the extended data set. Possible explanations for the apparent difference between lacertids and phrynosomatids are discussed. PMID:26658411

  11. Polyandry in dragon lizards: inbred paternal genotypes sire fewer offspring.

    PubMed

    Frère, Celine H; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J

    2015-04-01

    Multiple mating in female animals is something of a paradox because it can either be risky (e.g., higher probability of disease transmission, social costs) or provide substantial fitness benefits (e.g., genetic bet hedging whereby the likelihood of reproductive failure is lowered). The genetic relatedness of parental units, particularly in lizards, has rarely been studied in the wild. Here, we examined levels of multiple paternity in Australia's largest agamid lizard, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), and determined whether male reproductive success is best explained by its heterozygosity coefficient or the extent to which it is related to the mother. Female polyandry was the norm: 2/22 clutches (9.2%) were sired by three or more fathers, 17/22 (77.2%) were sired by two fathers, and only 3/22 (13.6%) clutches were sired by one father. Moreover, we reconstructed the paternal genotypes for 18 known mother-offspring clutches and found no evidence that females were favoring less related males or that less related males had higher fitness. However, males with greater heterozygosity sired more offspring. While the postcopulatory mechanisms underlying this pattern are not understood, female water dragons likely represent another example of reproduction through cryptic means (sperm selection/sperm competition) in a lizard, and through which they may ameliorate the effects of male-driven precopulatory sexual selection.

  12. Relative importance of lizards and mammals as hosts for ixodid ticks in northern California.

    PubMed

    Casher, Leslie; Lane, Robert; Barrett, Reginald; Eisen, Lars

    2002-01-01

    Abstract Lizards and mammals were trapped and examined for ticks from August 1992 to June 1993 in two habitat types, chaparral and woodland-grass, in northern California. Five tick species were collected from mammals (Dermacentor occidentalis, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes pacificus, I. spinipalpis, I. woodi), but only I. pacificus was found on lizards. Dermacentor occidentalis, I. pacificus, and I. woodi occurred in both habitats, whereas H. leporispalustris and I. spinipalpis were found only on animals trapped in chaparral. The tick species most commonly encountered on mammals was D. occidentalis in chaparral and I. pacificus in woodland-grass. Peak infestation of mammals occurred in spring for I. pacificus immatures and H. leporispalustris, summer for D. occidentalis immatures, fall through spring for I. woodi immatures, and fall through winter for I. spinipalpis. The primary aim of the study was to quantify the relative importance of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), which is reservoir-incompetent for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), and mammalian B. burgdorferi s.l.-reservoirs as hosts for the immature stages of I. pacificus in spring. The estimated relative utilization by I. pacificus of the western fence lizard versus mammals was 88% for larvae and 99% for nymphs in chaparral in May. When tick infestation data were corrected for a two-fold lower efficiency of field examinations for rodents than for lizards, the western fence lizard still accounted for 78% of larval and 98% of nymphal feedings. In woodland-grass, 46% of 100 I. pacificus larvae and 100% of 52 nymphs recovered from mammals or western fence lizards during May-June were collected from the lizards. However, this may represent an underestimate of the importance of the western fence lizard as a larval host in this habitat because inclement weather during the late May sampling period doubtless resulted in significantly decreased lizard activity. In conclusion, the

  13. Relative importance of lizards and mammals as hosts for ixodid ticks in northern California.

    PubMed

    Casher, Leslie; Lane, Robert; Barrett, Reginald; Eisen, Lars

    2002-01-01

    Abstract Lizards and mammals were trapped and examined for ticks from August 1992 to June 1993 in two habitat types, chaparral and woodland-grass, in northern California. Five tick species were collected from mammals (Dermacentor occidentalis, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes pacificus, I. spinipalpis, I. woodi), but only I. pacificus was found on lizards. Dermacentor occidentalis, I. pacificus, and I. woodi occurred in both habitats, whereas H. leporispalustris and I. spinipalpis were found only on animals trapped in chaparral. The tick species most commonly encountered on mammals was D. occidentalis in chaparral and I. pacificus in woodland-grass. Peak infestation of mammals occurred in spring for I. pacificus immatures and H. leporispalustris, summer for D. occidentalis immatures, fall through spring for I. woodi immatures, and fall through winter for I. spinipalpis. The primary aim of the study was to quantify the relative importance of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), which is reservoir-incompetent for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), and mammalian B. burgdorferi s.l.-reservoirs as hosts for the immature stages of I. pacificus in spring. The estimated relative utilization by I. pacificus of the western fence lizard versus mammals was 88% for larvae and 99% for nymphs in chaparral in May. When tick infestation data were corrected for a two-fold lower efficiency of field examinations for rodents than for lizards, the western fence lizard still accounted for 78% of larval and 98% of nymphal feedings. In woodland-grass, 46% of 100 I. pacificus larvae and 100% of 52 nymphs recovered from mammals or western fence lizards during May-June were collected from the lizards. However, this may represent an underestimate of the importance of the western fence lizard as a larval host in this habitat because inclement weather during the late May sampling period doubtless resulted in significantly decreased lizard activity. In conclusion, the

  14. Tests of the contribution of acclimation to geographic variation in water loss rates of the West Indian lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Alex R; Siegel, Jeremy; Leal, Manuel

    2011-10-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can contribute to the process of adaptive radiation by facilitating population persistence in novel environments. West Indian Anolis lizards provide a classic example of an adaptive radiation, in which divergence has occurred along two primary ecological axes: structural microhabitat and climate. Adaptive plasticity in limb morphology is hypothesized to have facilitated divergence along the structural niche axis in Anolis, but very little work has explored plasticity in physiological traits. Here, we experimentally ask whether Puerto Rican Anolis cristatellus from mesic and xeric habitats differ in desiccation rates, and whether these lizards exhibit an acclimation response to changes in relative humidity. We first present microclimatic data collected at lizard perch sites that demonstrate that abiotic conditions experienced by lizards differ between mesic and xeric habitat types. In Experiment 1, we measured desiccation rates of lizards from both habitats maintained under identical laboratory conditions. This experiment demonstrated that desiccation rates differ between populations; xeric lizards lose water more slowly than mesic lizards. In Experiment 2, lizards from each habitat were either maintained under the conditions of Experiment 1, or under extremely low relative humidity. Desiccation rates did not differ between lizards from the same habitat maintained under different treatments and xeric lizards maintained lower desiccation rates than mesic lizards within each treatment. Our results demonstrate that A. cristatellus does not exhibit an acclimation response to abrupt changes of hydric conditions, and suggest that tropical Anolis lizards might be unable to exhibit physiological plasticity in desiccation rates in response to varying climatic conditions.

  15. Seabird Modulations of Isotopic Nitrogen on Islands

    PubMed Central

    Caut, Stéphane; Angulo, Elena; Pisanu, Benoit; Ruffino, Lise; Faulquier, Lucie; Lorvelec, Olivier; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Pascal, Michel; Vidal, Eric; Courchamp, Franck

    2012-01-01

    The transport of nutrients by migratory animals across ecosystem boundaries can significantly enrich recipient food webs, thereby shaping the ecosystems’ structure and function. To illustrate the potential role of islands in enabling the transfer of matter across ecosystem boundaries to be gauged, we investigated the influence of seabirds on nitrogen input on islands. Basing our study on four widely differing islands in terms of their biogeography and ecological characteristics, sampled at different spatial and temporal intervals, we analyzed the nitrogen isotopic values of the main terrestrial ecosystem compartments (vascular plants, arthropods, lizards and rodents) and their relationship to seabird values. For each island, the isotopic values of the ecosystem were driven by those of seabirds, which ultimately corresponded to changes in their marine prey. First, terrestrial compartments sampled within seabird colonies were the most enriched in δ15N compared with those collected at various distances outside colonies. Second, isotopic values of the whole terrestrial ecosystems changed over time, reflecting the values of seabirds and their prey, showing a fast turnover throughout the ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that seabird-derived nutrients not only spread across the terrestrial ecosystems and trophic webs, but also modulate their isotopic values locally and temporally on these islands. The wealth of experimental possibilities in insular ecosystems justifies greater use of these model systems to further our understanding of the modalities of trans-boundary nutrient transfers. PMID:22723945

  16. Amber fossils demonstrate deep-time stability of Caribbean lizard communities.

    PubMed

    Sherratt, Emma; del Rosario Castañeda, María; Garwood, Russell J; Mahler, D Luke; Sanger, Thomas J; Herrel, Anthony; de Queiroz, Kevin; Losos, Jonathan B

    2015-08-11

    Whether the structure of ecological communities can exhibit stability over macroevolutionary timescales has long been debated. The similarity of independently evolved Anolis lizard communities on environmentally similar Greater Antillean islands supports the notion that community evolution is deterministic. However, a dearth of Caribbean Anolis fossils--only three have been described to date--has precluded direct investigation of the stability of anole communities through time. Here we report on an additional 17 fossil anoles in Dominican amber dating to 15-20 My before the present. Using data collected primarily by X-ray microcomputed tomography (X-ray micro-CT), we demonstrate that the main elements of Hispaniolan anole ecomorphological diversity were in place in the Miocene. Phylogenetic analysis yields results consistent with the hypothesis that the ecomorphs that evolved in the Miocene are members of the same ecomorph clades extant today. The primary axes of ecomorphological diversity in the Hispaniolan anole fauna appear to have changed little between the Miocene and the present, providing evidence for the stability of ecological communities over macroevolutionary timescales.

  17. Amber fossils demonstrate deep-time stability of Caribbean lizard communities

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, Emma; del Rosario Castañeda, María; Garwood, Russell J.; Mahler, D. Luke; Sanger, Thomas J.; Herrel, Anthony; de Queiroz, Kevin; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2015-01-01

    Whether the structure of ecological communities can exhibit stability over macroevolutionary timescales has long been debated. The similarity of independently evolved Anolis lizard communities on environmentally similar Greater Antillean islands supports the notion that community evolution is deterministic. However, a dearth of Caribbean Anolis fossils—only three have been described to date—has precluded direct investigation of the stability of anole communities through time. Here we report on an additional 17 fossil anoles in Dominican amber dating to 15–20 My before the present. Using data collected primarily by X-ray microcomputed tomography (X-ray micro-CT), we demonstrate that the main elements of Hispaniolan anole ecomorphological diversity were in place in the Miocene. Phylogenetic analysis yields results consistent with the hypothesis that the ecomorphs that evolved in the Miocene are members of the same ecomorph clades extant today. The primary axes of ecomorphological diversity in the Hispaniolan anole fauna appear to have changed little between the Miocene and the present, providing evidence for the stability of ecological communities over macroevolutionary timescales. PMID:26216976

  18. The phylogeny of varanoid lizards and the affinities of snakes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, M. S. Y.

    1997-01-01

    Evidence that platynotan squamates (living varanoid lizards, snakes and their fossil relatives) are monophyletic is presented. Evolutionary relationships within this group are then ascertained through a cladistic analysis of 144 osteological characters. Mosasauroids (aigialosaurs and mosasaurs), a group of large marine lizards, are identified as the nearest relatives of snakes, thus resolving the long-standing problem of snake affinities. The mosasauroid–snake clade (Pythonomorpha) is corroborated by 40 derived characters, including recumbent replacement teeth, thecodonty, four or fewer premaxillary teeth, supratemporal–prootic contact, free mandibular tips, crista circumfenestralis, straight vertical splenio-angular joint, loss of posterior ramus of the coronoid, reduced basipterygoid processes, reduced interpterygoid vacuity, zygosphene–zygantral articulations, and absence of epiphyses on the axial skeleton and skull. After mosasauroids, the next closest relatives of snakes are varanids (Varanus, Saniwa and Saniwides) and lanthanotids (Lanthanotus and Cherminotus). Derived features uniting varanids and lanthanotids include nine cervical vertebrae and three or fewer pairs of sternal ribs. The varanid–lanthanotid–pythonomorph clade, here termed Thecoglossa, is supported by features such as the anteriorly positioned basal tubera, and the loss of the second epibranchial. Successive outgroups to thecoglossans are Telmasaurus, an unresolved polytomy (Estesia, Gobidermatidae and Helodermatidae), Paravaranus and Proplatynota. The 'necrosaurs' are demonstrated to be an artificial (polyphyletic) assemblage of primitive platynotans that are not particularly closely related to each other. Snakes are presumed to have evolved from small, limbless, burrowing lizards and the inability of previous analyses to resolve the affinities of snakes has been attributed to extensive convergence among the numerous lineages of such lizards. The present study contradicts this claim

  19. Multilocus genetic diversity and historical biogeography of the endemic wall lizard from Ibiza and Formentera, Podarcis pityusensis (Squamata: Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, V; Brown, R P; Terrasa, B; Pérez-Mellado, V; Castro, J A; Picornell, A; Ramon, M M

    2013-10-01

    Two monophyletic sister species of wall lizards inhabit the two main groups of Balearic Islands: Podarcis lilfordi from islets and small islands around Mallorca and Menorca and Podarcis pityusensis from Ibiza, Formentera and associated islets. Genetic diversity within the endangered P. lilfordi has been well characterized, but P. pityusensis has not been studied in depth. Here, 2430 bp of mtDNA and 15 microsatellite loci were analysed from P. pityusensis populations from across its natural range. Two main genetic groupings were identified, although geographical structuring differed slightly between the mtDNA and the nuclear loci. In general, individuals from islets/islands adjacent to the main island of Ibiza were genetically distinct from those from Formentera and the associated Freus islands for both mtDNA and the nuclear loci. However, most individuals from the island of Ibiza were grouped with neighbouring islets/islands for nuclear loci, but with Formentera and Freus islands for the mitochondrial locus. A time-calibrated Bayesian tree was constructed for the principal mitochondrial lineages within the Balearics, using the multispecies coalescent model, and provided statistical support for divergence of the two main P. pityusensis lineages 0.111-0.295 Ma. This suggests a mid-late Pleistocene intraspecific divergence, compared with an early Pleistocene divergence in P. lilfordi, and postdates some major increases in sea level between 0.4 and 0.6 Ma, which may have flooded Formentera. The program IMa2 provided a posterior divergence time of 0.089-0.221 Ma, which was similar to the multispecies coalescent tree estimate. More significantly, it indicated low but asymmetric effective gene copy migration rates, with higher migration from Formentera to Ibiza populations. Our findings suggest that much of the present-day diversity may have originated from a late Pleistocene colonization of one island group from the other, followed by allopatric divergence of these

  20. Impact of the experimental removal of lizards on Lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

    Swei, Andrea; Ostfeld, Richard S; Lane, Robert S; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2011-10-01

    The distribution of vector meals in the host community is an important element of understanding and predicting vector-borne disease risk. Lizards (such as the western fence lizard; Sceloporus occidentalis) play a unique role in Lyme disease ecology in the far-western United States. Lizards rather than mammals serve as the blood meal hosts for a large fraction of larval and nymphal western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus--the vector for Lyme disease in that region) but are not competent reservoirs for the pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Prior studies have suggested that the net effect of lizards is to reduce risk of human exposure to Lyme disease, a hypothesis that we tested experimentally. Following experimental removal of lizards, we documented incomplete host switching by larval ticks (5.19%) from lizards to other hosts. Larval tick burdens increased on woodrats, a competent reservoir, but not on deer mice, a less competent pathogen reservoir. However, most larvae failed to find an alternate host. This resulted in significantly lower densities of nymphal ticks the following year. Unexpectedly, the removal of reservoir-incompetent lizards did not cause an increase in nymphal tick infection prevalence. The net result of lizard removal was a decrease in the density of infected nymphal ticks, and therefore a decreased risk to humans of Lyme disease. Our results indicate that an incompetent reservoir for a pathogen may, in fact, increase disease risk through the maintenance of higher vector density and therefore, higher density of infected vectors. PMID:21325326

  1. Impact of the experimental removal of lizards on Lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

    Swei, Andrea; Ostfeld, Richard S; Lane, Robert S; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2011-10-01

    The distribution of vector meals in the host community is an important element of understanding and predicting vector-borne disease risk. Lizards (such as the western fence lizard; Sceloporus occidentalis) play a unique role in Lyme disease ecology in the far-western United States. Lizards rather than mammals serve as the blood meal hosts for a large fraction of larval and nymphal western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus--the vector for Lyme disease in that region) but are not competent reservoirs for the pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Prior studies have suggested that the net effect of lizards is to reduce risk of human exposure to Lyme disease, a hypothesis that we tested experimentally. Following experimental removal of lizards, we documented incomplete host switching by larval ticks (5.19%) from lizards to other hosts. Larval tick burdens increased on woodrats, a competent reservoir, but not on deer mice, a less competent pathogen reservoir. However, most larvae failed to find an alternate host. This resulted in significantly lower densities of nymphal ticks the following year. Unexpectedly, the removal of reservoir-incompetent lizards did not cause an increase in nymphal tick infection prevalence. The net result of lizard removal was a decrease in the density of infected nymphal ticks, and therefore a decreased risk to humans of Lyme disease. Our results indicate that an incompetent reservoir for a pathogen may, in fact, increase disease risk through the maintenance of higher vector density and therefore, higher density of infected vectors.

  2. 76 FR 19304 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-07

    ... a proposed rule (75 FR 77801) to list the dunes sagebrush lizard, a lizard known from southeastern..., 2010 (75 FR 77801). We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on... the species. If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (75 FR 77801, December...

  3. Stable isotope analysis of diet confirms niche separation of two sympatric species of Namib Desert lizard.

    PubMed

    Murray, Ian W; Lease, Hilary M; Hetem, Robyn S; Mitchell, Duncan; Fuller, Andrea; Woodborne, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    We used stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to study the trophic niche of two species of insectivorous lizards, the Husab sand lizard Pedioplanis husabensis and Bradfield's Namib day gecko living sympatrically in the Namib Desert. We measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in lizard blood tissues with different turnover times (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma) to investigate lizard diet in different seasons. We also measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in available arthropod prey and plant tissues on the site, to identify the avenues of nutrient movement between lizards and their prey. Through the use of stable isotope mixing models, we found that the two lizard species relied on a largely non-overlapping but seasonally variable array of arthropods: P. husabensis primarily fed on termites, beetles and wasps, while R. bradfieldi fed mainly on ants, wasps and hemipterans. Nutrients originating from C3 plants were proportionally higher for R. bradfieldi than for P. husabensis during autumn and late autumn/early winter, although not summer. Contrary to the few available data estimating the trophic transfer of nutrients in ectotherms in mixed C3 and C4 /crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant landscapes, we found that our lizard species primarily acquired nutrients that originated from C4 /CAM plants. This work adds an important dimension to the general lack of studies using stable isotope analyses to estimate lizard niche partitioning and resource use.

  4. Looking at a predator with the left or right eye: asymmetry of response in lizards.

    PubMed

    Bonati, Beatrice; Csermely, Davide; Sovrano, Valeria Anna

    2013-01-01

    Studies carried out with the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) revealed preferential use of the left eye during responses to predatory threat in laboratory settings and in the wild. Here we tested lizards under monocular conditions of vision, using temporary eye-patching. Lizards were facing a (simulated) predatory threat laterally, from the side of the non-patched eye. Results showed that lizards with the left eye uncovered during predatory threat used the left eye to monitor the predator, whereas lizards with the right eye uncovered nonetheless tried to use the covered left eye. Moreover, lizards frequently tried to change the eye exposition, making a body C-bend behaviour. Right-eyed lizards showed more frequent and faster C-bending responses than left-eyed lizards, trying to monitor the predator with the left eye even though it was patched. Results fit with asymmetries in spontaneous eye use observed in laboratory conditions and in the wild in this species, confirming that structures located on the right side of the brain (mainly served by the left eye) predominantly attend to predatory threat.

  5. Physiological and microbial adjustments to diet quality permit facultative herbivory in an omnivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Kohl, Kevin D; Brun, Antonio; Magallanes, Melisa; Brinkerhoff, Joshua; Laspiur, Alejandro; Acosta, Juan Carlos; Bordenstein, Seth R; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique

    2016-06-15

    While herbivory is a common feeding strategy in a number of vertebrate classes, less than 4% of squamate reptiles feed primarily on plant material. It has been hypothesized that physiological or microbial limitations may constrain the evolution of herbivory in lizards. Herbivorous lizards exhibit adaptations in digestive morphology and function that allow them to better assimilate plant material. However, it is unknown whether these traits are fixed or perhaps phenotypically flexible as a result of diet. Here, we maintained a naturally omnivorous lizard, Liolaemus ruibali, on a mixed diet of 50% insects and 50% plant material, or a plant-rich diet of 90% plant material. We compared parameters of digestive performance, gut morphology and function, and gut microbial community structure between the two groups. We found that lizards fed the plant-rich diet maintained nitrogen balance and exhibited low minimum nitrogen requirements. Additionally, lizards fed the plant-rich diet exhibited significantly longer small intestines and larger hindguts, demonstrating that gut morphology is phenotypically flexible. Lizards fed the plant-rich diet harbored small intestinal communities that were more diverse and enriched in Melainabacteria and Oscillospira compared with mixed diet-fed lizards. Additionally, the relative abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the small intestine significantly correlated with whole-animal fiber digestibility. Thus, we suggest that physiological and microbial limitations do not sensu stricto constrain the evolution of herbivory in lizards. Rather, ecological context and fitness consequences may be more important in driving the evolution of this feeding strategy.

  6. Stable isotope analysis of diet confirms niche separation of two sympatric species of Namib Desert lizard.

    PubMed

    Murray, Ian W; Lease, Hilary M; Hetem, Robyn S; Mitchell, Duncan; Fuller, Andrea; Woodborne, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    We used stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to study the trophic niche of two species of insectivorous lizards, the Husab sand lizard Pedioplanis husabensis and Bradfield's Namib day gecko living sympatrically in the Namib Desert. We measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in lizard blood tissues with different turnover times (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma) to investigate lizard diet in different seasons. We also measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in available arthropod prey and plant tissues on the site, to identify the avenues of nutrient movement between lizards and their prey. Through the use of stable isotope mixing models, we found that the two lizard species relied on a largely non-overlapping but seasonally variable array of arthropods: P. husabensis primarily fed on termites, beetles and wasps, while R. bradfieldi fed mainly on ants, wasps and hemipterans. Nutrients originating from C3 plants were proportionally higher for R. bradfieldi than for P. husabensis during autumn and late autumn/early winter, although not summer. Contrary to the few available data estimating the trophic transfer of nutrients in ectotherms in mixed C3 and C4 /crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant landscapes, we found that our lizard species primarily acquired nutrients that originated from C4 /CAM plants. This work adds an important dimension to the general lack of studies using stable isotope analyses to estimate lizard niche partitioning and resource use. PMID:26817923

  7. Heavy metal contamination in a lizard, Agama stellio stellio, compared in urban, high altitude and agricultural, low altitude areas of north Greece

    SciTech Connect

    Loumbourdis, N.S.

    1997-06-01

    Contamination from heavy metals is a serious problem recognized In most countries of the world. Direct methods of metal detection are applied to soil and water; Indirect methods use plants and animals as bioindicators. Reptiles have not been used as bioindicators for various reasons: difficulty in sampling, ancient fears, little economic Importance, difficulty in the laboratory etc. Since Invertebrates are the prey of most lizards, the uptake of metals through invertebrates is an important pathway. Heavy metals accumulate through food ingestion and by incidental soil ingestion of soil. Reptiles have recently started to be used as bioindicators of pesticides entering the environment, with great success. The environment in Greece has a burden of heavy metals. The purpose of this paper is to ascertain whether reptiles, especially lizards, can be used as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution by compacting indirectly the level of pollution of two areas differing to some extent ecologically In the vicinity of a large city and in the vicinity of cultivated areas. The bioindicator species was the lizard Agama stellio stellio. 28 refs., 1 tab.

  8. Fossil mammoths from Santa Cruz Island, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cushing, John; Daily, Marla; Noble, Elmer; Louise Roth, V.; Wenner, Adrian

    1984-05-01

    Mammoth remains on Santa Cruz Island, one of the four Northern Channel Islands of California, are very sparse, in marked contrast to those reported from Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands of the same island group. A probable major reason for this scarcity is that Quaternary deposits are greatly restricted on Santa Cruz Island. It is proposed, contrary to popular opinion, that fossils found on Santa Cruz Island were derived from animals which died on the island, and were not transported there by humans. Reasons for this conclusion are that the size and geological context of the fossils are similar to those of the largest mammoth fossils of Santa Rosa Island, and that, in spite of extensive investigations by many persons, mammoth remains have not been found in middens, either on the islands or on the adjacent mainland.

  9. Insects, birds and lizards as pollinators of the largest-flowered Scrophularia of Europe and Macaronesia

    PubMed Central

    Ortega-Olivencia, Ana; Rodríguez-Riaño, Tomás; Pérez-Bote, José L.; López, Josefa; Mayo, Carlos; Valtueña, Francisco J.; Navarro-Pérez, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims It has traditionally been considered that the flowers of Scrophularia are mainly pollinated by wasps. We studied the pollination system of four species which stand out for their large and showy flowers: S. sambucifolia and S. grandiflora (endemics of the western Mediterranean region), S. trifoliata (an endemic of the Tyrrhenian islands) and S. calliantha (an endemic of the Canary Islands). Our principal aim was to test whether these species were pollinated by birds or showed a mixed pollination system between insects and birds. Methods Censuses and captures of insects and birds were performed to obtain pollen load transported and deposited on the stigmas. Also, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the flowers and inflorescences was carried out. Key Results Flowers were visited by Hymenoptera and by passerine birds. The Canarian species was the most visited by birds, especially by Phylloscopus canariensis, and its flowers were also accessed by juveniles of the lizard Gallotia stehlini. The most important birds in the other three species were Sylvia melanocephala and S. atricapilla. The most important insect-functional groups in the mixed pollination system were: honey-bees and wasps in S. sambucifolia; bumble-bees and wasps in S. grandiflora; wasps in S. trifoliata; and a small bee in S. calliantha. Conclusions The species studied show a mixed pollination system between insects and passerine birds. In S. calliantha there is, in addition, a third agent (juveniles of Gallotia stehlini). The participation of birds in this mixed pollination system presents varying degrees of importance because, while in S. calliantha they are the main pollinators, in the other species they interact to complement the insects which are the main pollinators. A review of different florae showed that the large showy floral morphotypes of Scrophularia are concentrated in the western and central Mediterranean region, Macaronesia and USA (New Mexico). PMID:22021816

  10. Effect of temperature on feeding period of larval blacklegged ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on eastern fence lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rulison, Eric L.; LeBrun, Roger A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    Ambient temperature can influence tick development time, and can potentially affect tick interactions with pathogens and with vertebrate hosts. We studied the effect of ambient temperature on duration of attachment of larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, to eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Bose & Daudin). Feeding periods of larvae that attached to lizards under preferred temperature conditions for the lizards (WARM treatment: temperatures averaged 36.6°C at the top of the cage and 25.8°C at the bottom, allowing behavioral thermoregulation) were shorter than for larvae on lizards held under cool conditions (COOL treatment temperatures averaged 28.4°C at top of cage and 24.9°C at the bottom). The lizards were infested with larvae four times at roughly monthly intervals. Larval numbers successfully engorging and dropping declined and feeding period was longer after the first infestation.

  11. Intraspecific competition and high food availability are associated with insular gigantism in a lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafilis, Panayiotis; Meiri, Shai; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Valakos, Efstratios

    2009-09-01

    Resource availability, competition, and predation commonly drive body size evolution. We assess the impact of high food availability and the consequent increased intraspecific competition, as expressed by tail injuries and cannibalism, on body size in Skyros wall lizards ( Podarcis gaigeae). Lizard populations on islets surrounding Skyros (Aegean Sea) all have fewer predators and competitors than on Skyros but differ in the numbers of nesting seabirds. We predicted the following: (1) the presence of breeding seabirds (providing nutrients) will increase lizard population densities; (2) dense lizard populations will experience stronger intraspecific competition; and (3) such aggression, will be associated with larger average body size. We found a positive correlation between seabird and lizard densities. Cannibalism and tail injuries were considerably higher in dense populations. Increases in cannibalism and tail loss were associated with large body sizes. Adult cannibalism on juveniles may select for rapid growth, fuelled by high food abundance, setting thus the stage for the evolution of gigantism.

  12. Genetic assignment of recruits reveals short- and long-distance larval dispersal in Pocillopora damicornis on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Torda, G; Lundgren, P; Willis, B L; van Oppen, M J H

    2013-12-01

    Understanding connectivity of coral populations among and within reefs over ecologically significant timescales is essential for developing evidence-based management strategies, including the design of marineprotected areas. Here, we present the first assessment of contemporary connectivity among populations of two Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs) of the brooding coral Pocillopora damicornis. We used individual-based genetic assignment methods to identify the proportions of philopatric and migrant larval recruits, settling over 12 months at sites around Lizard Island (northern Great Barrier Reef [GBR]) and over 24 months at sites around the Palms Islands (central GBR). Overall, we found spatially and temporally variable rates of self-recruitment and dispersal, demonstrating the importance of variation in local physical characteristics in driving dispersal processes. Recruitment patterns and inferred dispersal distances differed between the two P. damicornis MOTUs, with type α recruits exhibiting predominantly philopatric recruitment, while the majority of type β recruits were either migrants from identified putative source populations or assumed migrants based on genetic exclusion from all known populations. While P. damicornis invests much energy into brooding clonal larvae, we found that only 15% and 7% of type α and type β recruits, respectively, were clones of sampled adult colonies or other recruits, challenging the hypothesis that reproduction is predominantly asexual in this species on the GBR. We explain high rates of self-recruitment and low rates of clonality in these MOTUs by suggesting that locally retained larvae originate predominantly from spawned gametes, while brooded larvae are mainly vagabonds.

  13. Prevalence of virus-like particles within a staghorn scleractinian coral ( Acropora muricata) from the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patten, N. L.; Harrison, P. L.; Mitchell, J. G.

    2008-09-01

    Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to determine whether Acropora muricata coral colonies from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, harboured virus-like particles (VLPs). VLPs were present in all coral colonies sampled at Heron Island (southern GBR) and in tagged coral colonies sampled in at least two of the three sampling periods at Lizard Island (northern GBR). VLPs were observed within gastrodermal and epidermal tissues, and on rarer occasions, within the mesoglea. These VLPs had similar morphologies to known prokaryotic and eukaryotic viruses in other systems. Icosahedral VLPs were observed most frequently, however, filamentous VLPs (FVLPs) and phage were also noted. There were no clear differences in VLP size, morphology or location within the tissues with respect to sample date, coral health status or site. The most common VLP morphotype exhibited icosahedral symmetry, 120-150 nm in diameter, with an electron-dense core and an electronlucent membrane. Larger VLPs of similar morphology were also common. VLPs occurred as single entities, in groups, or in dense clusters, either as free particles within coral tissues, or within membrane-bound vacuoles. VLPs were commonly observed within the perinuclear region, with mitochondria, golgi apparatus and crescent-shaped particles frequently observed within close proximity. The host(s) of these observed VLPs was not clear; however, the different sizes and morphologies of VLPs observed within A. muricata tissues suggest that viruses are infecting either the coral animal, zooxanthellae, intracellular bacteria and/or other coral-associated microbiota, or that the one host is susceptible to infection from more than one type of virus. These results add to the limited but emerging body of evidence that viruses represent another potentially important component of the coral holobiont.

  14. Ecological disturbance in a sandhills prairie: impact and importance to the lizard community on Arapaho Prairie in western Nebraska

    SciTech Connect

    Ballinger, R.E.; Jones, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Lizard species occurring in the sandhills prairie of western Nebraska are typically restricted to microhabitats which have sparse vegetation. The fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) and the lesser earless lizard (Holbrookia maculata) are especially abundant in open blowouts. Only the six-lined racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus) occupies microhabitats with dense grass. Since cattle grazing was discontinued on Arapaho Prairie in 1977, associated vegetational changes have tended to reduce the microhabitats available for lizards. As a result of the decreased disturbance to the vegetation, lizards have become more restricted and less abundant on Arapaho Prairie. 19 references, 1 figure, 3 tables.

  15. The lizard celestial compass detects linearly polarized light in the blue.

    PubMed

    Beltrami, Giulia; Parretta, Antonio; Petrucci, Ferruccio; Buttini, Paola; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foà, Augusto

    2012-09-15

    The present study first examined whether ruin lizards, Podarcis sicula, are able to orientate using plane-polarized light produced by an LCD screen. Ruin lizards were trained and tested indoors, inside a hexagonal Morris water maze positioned under an LCD screen producing white polarized light with a single E-vector, which provided an axial cue. White polarized light did not include wavelengths in the UV. Lizards orientated correctly either when tested with E-vector parallel to the training axis or after 90 deg rotation of the E-vector direction, thus validating the apparatus. Further experiments examined whether there is a preferential region of the light spectrum to perceive the E-vector direction of polarized light. For this purpose, lizards reaching learning criteria under white polarized light were subdivided into four experimental groups. Each group was tested for orientation under a different spectrum of plane-polarized light (red, green, cyan and blue) with equalized photon flux density. Lizards tested under blue polarized light orientated correctly, whereas lizards tested under red polarized light were completely disoriented. Green polarized light was barely discernible by lizards, and thus insufficient for a correct functioning of their compass. When exposed to cyan polarized light, lizard orientation performances were optimal, indistinguishable from lizards detecting blue polarized light. Overall, the present results demonstrate that perception of linear polarization in the blue is necessary - and sufficient - for a proper functioning of the sky polarization compass of ruin lizards. This may be adaptively important, as detection of polarized light in the blue improves functioning of the polarization compass under cloudy skies, i.e. when the alternative celestial compass based on detection of the sun disk is rendered useless because the sun is obscured by clouds.

  16. Long Island Solar Farm

    SciTech Connect

    Anders, R.

    2013-05-01

    The Long Island Solar Farm (LISF) is a remarkable success story, whereby very different interest groups found a way to capitalize on unusual circumstances to develop a mutually beneficial source of renewable energy. The uniqueness of the circumstances that were necessary to develop the Long Island Solar Farm make it very difficult to replicate. The project is, however, an unparalleled resource for solar energy research, which will greatly inform large-scale PV solar development in the East. Lastly, the LISF is a superb model for the process by which the project developed and the innovation and leadership shown by the different players.

  17. Thermal dependence of sprint performance in the lizard Psammodromus algirus along a 2200-meter elevational gradient: Cold-habitat lizards do not perform better at low temperatures.

    PubMed

    Zamora-Camacho, Francisco Javier; Rubiño-Hispán, María Virtudes; Reguera, Senda; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2015-08-01

    Sprint speed has a capital relevance in most animals' fitness, mainly for fleeing from predators. Sprint performance is maximal within a certain range of body temperatures in ectotherms, whose thermal upkeep relies on exogenous thermal sources. Ectotherms can respond to diverse thermal environments either by shifting their thermal preferences or maintaining them through different adaptive mechanisms. Here, we tested whether maximum sprint speed of a lizard that shows conservative thermal ecology along a 2200-meter elevational gradient differs with body temperature in lizards from different elevations. Lizards ran faster at optimum than at suboptimum body temperature. Notably, high-elevation lizards were not faster than mid- and low-elevation lizards at suboptimum body temperature, despite their low-quality thermal environment. This result suggests that both preferred body temperature and thermal dependence of speed performance are co-adapted along the elevational gradient. High-elevation lizards display a number of thermoregulatory strategies that allow them to achieve high optimum body temperatures in a low thermal-quality habitat and thus maximize speed performance. As for reproductive condition, we did not find any effect of it on sprint speed, or any significant interaction with elevation or body temperature. However, strikingly, gravid females were significantly slower than males and non-gravid females at suboptimum temperature, but performed similarly well at optimal temperature.

  18. Galapagos Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of the Galapagos Islands was acquired on March 12, 2002, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The Galapagos Islands, which are part of Ecuador, sit in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 km (620 miles) west of South America. As the three craters on the largest island (Isabela Island) suggest, the archipelago was created by volcanic eruptions, which took place millions of years ago. Unlike most remote islands in the Pacific, the Galapagos have gone relatively untouched by humans over the past few millennia. As a result, many unique species have continued to thrive on the islands. Over 95 percent of the islands' reptile species and nearly three quarters of its land bird species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Two of the more well known are the Galapagos giant tortoise and marine iguanas. The unhindered evolutionary development of the islands' species inspired Charles Darwin to begin The Origin of Species eight years after his visit there. To preserve the unique wildlife on the islands, the Ecuadorian government made the entire archipelago a national park in 1959. Each year roughly 60,000 tourists visit these islands to experience what Darwin did over a century and a half ago. Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

  19. Great Barrier Reef

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    ... reef, but a vast maze of reefs, passages, and coral cays (islands that are part of the reef). This nadir true-color image was acquired by ... visible in this image is Whitsunday Island, with smaller islands and reefs extending southeast, parallel to the coast. These include ...

  20. Thermoregulatory consequences of salt loading in the lizard Pogona vitticeps.

    PubMed

    Scarpellini, Carolina da Silveira; Bícego, Kênia C; Tattersall, Glenn J

    2015-04-15

    Previous research has demonstrated that dehydration increases the threshold temperature for panting and decreases the thermal preference of lizards. Conversely, it is unknown whether thermoregulatory responses such as shuttling and gaping are similarly influenced. Shuttling, as an active behavioural response, is considered one of the most effective thermoregulatory behaviours, whereas gaping has been proposed to be involved in preventing brain over-heating in lizards. In this study we examined the effect of salt loading, a proxy for increased plasma osmolality, on shuttling and gaping in Pogona vitticeps. Then, we determined the upper and lower escape ambient temperatures (UETa and LETa), the percentage of time spent gaping, the metabolic rate (V̇O2 ), the evaporative water loss (EWL) during gaping and non-gaping intervals and the evaporative effectiveness (EWL/V̇O2 ) of gaping. All experiments were performed under isotonic (154 mmol l(-1)) and hypertonic saline injections (625, 1250 or 2500 mmol l(-1)). Only the highest concentration of hypertonic saline altered the UETa and LETa, but this effect appeared to be the result of diminishing the animal's propensity to move, instead of any direct reduction in thermoregulatory set-points. Nevertheless, the percentage of time spent gaping was proportionally reduced according to the saline concentration; V̇O2 was also decreased after salt loading. Thermographic images revealed lower head than body surface temperatures during gaping; however this difference was inhibited after salt loading. Our data suggest that EWL/V̇O2 is raised during gaping, possibly contributing to an increase in heat transfer away from the lizard, and playing a role in head or brain cooling.

  1. Chasing the Patagonian sun: comparative thermal biology of Liolaemus lizards.

    PubMed

    Azócar, Débora Lina Moreno; Vanhooydonck, Bieke; Bonino, Marcelo F; Perotti, M Gabriela; Abdala, Cristian S; Schulte, James A; Cruz, Félix B

    2013-04-01

    The importance of the thermal environment for ectotherms and its relationship with thermal physiology and ecology is widely recognized. Several models have been proposed to explain the evolution of the thermal biology of ectotherms, but experimental studies have provided mixed support. Lizards from the Liolaemus goetschi group can be found along a wide latitudinal range across Argentina. The group is monophyletic and widely distributed, and therefore provides excellent opportunities to study the evolution of thermal biology. We studied thermal variables of 13 species of the L. goetschi group, in order to answer three questions. First, are aspects of the thermal biology of the L. goetschi group modelled by the environment or are they evolutionarily conservative? Second, have thermal characteristics of these animals co-evolved? And third, how do the patterns of co-evolution observed within the L. goetschi group compare to those in a taxonomically wider selection of species of Liolaemus? We collected data on 13 focal species and used species information of Liolaemus lizards available in the literature and additional data obtained by the authors. We tackled these questions using both conventional and phylogenetically based analyses. Our results show that lizards from the L. goetschi group and the genus Liolaemus in general vary in critical thermal minimum in relation to mean air temperature, and particularly the L. goetschi group shows that air temperature is associated with critical thermal range, as well as with body temperature. Although the effect of phylogeny cannot be ignored, our results indicate that these thermal biology aspects are modelled by cold environments of Patagonia, while other aspects (preferred body temperature and critical thermal maximum) are more conservative. We found evidence of co-evolutionary patterns between critical thermal minimum and preferred body temperature at both phylogenetic scales (the L. goetschi group and the extended sample of

  2. Field energetics and foraging mode of Kalahari lacertid lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Nagy, K.A.; Huey, R.B.; Bennett, A.F.

    1984-04-01

    The authors examined the energetic costs associated with foraging mode in the widely foraging lizard Eremias lugubris (mean mass 3.83 g) and the sit-and-wait lizard Eremias lineoocellata (3.27 g). These lizards are broadly sympatric in the Kalahari desert. The widely foraging species had significantly higher field metabolic rates (800 vs. 544 J/d, as measured with doubly labeled water), feeding rates (metabolizable energy of 1165 vs. 739 J/d), production rates (365 vs. 195 J/d) and water influx rates (0.285 vs. 0.156 mL/d). Measurements were made before the reproductive season began; there were no significant differences in these measures between sexes within either species. Resting metabolic rates (measured as O/sub 2/ consumed) were similar at 37/sup 0/C (0.240 vs. 0.252 mL g/sup -1/ H/sup -1/) and 26/sup 0/ (0.094 vs. 0.103 mL g/sup -1/ h/sup -1/), the field active and nocturnal burrow temperatures respectively, of both species. Field metabolic rates, on a 24-h basis, were 3.1 x resting in E. lugubris and 2.2 x resting in E. lineoocellata. Energy expenditures during the activity period were 12.0 x resting in the wide forager and 2.8 x resting in the sit-and-wait predator. Foraging efficiency (metabolizable energy gained while foraging/total energy spent while foraging) was higher in the wide forager (2.0 than in the sit-and-wait predator. The wide forager grew nearly twice as fast as did the sit-and-wait predator during this study. On an annual basis, variation in food availability or differences in predation rate may alter the relative fitness of these foraging modes.

  3. Akpatok Island

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Akpatok Island lies in Ungava Bay in northern Quebec, Canada. Accessible only by air, Akpatok Island rises out of the water as sheer cliffs that soar 500 to 800 feet (150 to 243 m) above the sea surface. The island is an important sanctuary for cliff-nesting seabirds. Numerous ice floes around the island attract walrus and whales, making Akpatok a traditional hunting ground for native Inuit people. This image was acquired by Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) sensor on January 22, 2001. Image provided by the USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems Branch

  4. The relative influence of road characteristics and habitat on adjacent lizard populations in arid shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hubbard, Kaylan A.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Gerow, Kenneth G.

    2016-01-01

    As road networks continue to expand globally, indirect impacts to adjacent wildlife populations remain largely unknown. Simultaneously, reptile populations are declining worldwide and anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are frequently cited causes. We evaluated the relative influence of three different road characteristics (surface treatment, width, and traffic volume) and habitat features on adjacent populations of Northern Sagebrush Lizards (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus), Plateau Fence Lizards (S. tristichus), and Greater Short-Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma hernandesi) in mixed arid shrubland habitats in southwest Wyoming. Neither odds of lizard presence nor relative abundance was significantly related to any of the assessed road characteristics, although there was a trend for higher Sceloporus spp. abundance adjacent to paved roads. Sceloporus spp. relative abundance did not vary systematically with distance to the nearest road. Rather, both Sceloporus spp. and Greater Short-Horned Lizards were associated strongly with particular habitat characteristics adjacent to roads. Sceloporus spp. presence and relative abundance increased with rock cover, relative abundance was associated positively with shrub cover, and presence was associated negatively with grass cover. Greater Short-Horned Lizard presence increased with bare ground and decreased marginally with shrub cover. Our results suggest that habitat attributes are stronger correlates of lizard presence and relative abundance than individual characteristics of adjacent roads, at least in our system. Therefore, an effective conservation approach for these species may be to consider the landscape through which new roads and their associated development would occur, and the impact that placement could have on fragment size and key habitat elements.

  5. Thyroid disruption in the lizard Podarcis bocagei exposed to a mixture of herbicides: a field study.

    PubMed

    Bicho, Rita C; Amaral, Maria José; Faustino, Augusto M R; Power, Deborah M; Rêma, Alexandra; Carretero, Miguel A; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Mann, Reinier M

    2013-01-01

    Pesticide exposure has been related with thyroid disrupting effects in different vertebrate species. However, very little is known about the effects of these compounds in reptiles. In the Mediterranean area, lacertid lizards are the most abundant vertebrate group in agroecosystems, and have been identified as potential model species for reptile ecotoxicology. The aim of this study was to understand if the herbicides applied in corn fields have thyroid disruptive effects in the lizard Podarcis bocagei. Adult male lizards were captured in north-western Portugal in corn fields treated with herbicides (exposed sites), and in organic agricultural fields (reference sites). Thyroid and male gonad morphology and functionality, and testosterone levels were investigated through histological, immunohistochemical and biochemical techniques. Lizards from exposed locations displayed thyroid follicular lumens with more reabsorption vacuoles and significantly larger follicular area than those from reference fields. Furthermore, testes of lizards from exposed locations had significantly larger seminiferous tubule diameters, significantly higher number of spermatogenic layers and displayed an up-regulation of thyroid hormone receptors when compared with lizards from reference areas. These findings strongly suggest that the complex mixture of herbicides that lizards are exposed to in agricultural areas have thyroid disrupting effects which ultimately affect the male reproductive system. Alachlor, which has demonstrated thyroid effects in mammals, may be largely responsible for the observed effects.

  6. Diagnostic sensitivity of ultrasound, radiography and computed tomography for gender determination in four species of lizards.

    PubMed

    Di Ianni, Francesco; Volta, Antonella; Pelizzone, Igor; Manfredi, Sabrina; Gnudi, Giacomo; Parmigiani, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Gender determination is frequently requested by reptile breeders, especially for species with poor or absent sexual dimorphism. The aims of the current study were to describe techniques and diagnostic sensitivities of ultrasound, radiography, and computed tomography for gender determination (identification of hemipenes) in four species of lizards. Nineteen lizards of known sex, belonging to four different species (Pogona vitticeps, Uromastyx aegyptia, Tiliqua scincoides, Gerrhosaurus major) were prospectively enrolled. With informed owner consent, ultrasound, noncontrast CT, contrast radiography, and contrast CT (with contrast medium administered into the cloaca) were performed in conscious animals. Imaging studies were reviewed by three different operators, each unaware of the gender of the animals and of the results of the other techniques. The lizard was classified as a male when hemipenes were identified. Nineteen lizards were included in the study, 10 females and nine males. The hemipenes were seen on ultrasound in only two male lizards, and appeared as oval hypoechoic structures. Radiographically, hemipenes filled with contrast medium appeared as spindle-shaped opacities. Noncontrast CT identified hemipenes in only two lizards, and these appeared as spindle-shaped kinked structures with hyperattenuating content consistent with smegma. Hemipenes were correctly identified in all nine males using contrast CT (accuracy of 100%). Accuracy of contrast radiography was excellent (94.7%). Accuracy of ultrasound and of noncontrast CT was poor (64.3% and 63.1%, respectively). Findings from the current study supported the use of contrast CT or contrast radiography for gender determination in lizards.

  7. Uta stansburiana and Elgaria multicarinata on the California Channel Islands: Natural dispersal or artificial introduction?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahoney, Meredith J.; Parks, Duncan S.M.; Fellers, Gary M.

    2003-01-01

    Uta stansburiana and Elgaria multicarinata occur on several California Channel Islands, and recent introduction of some populations has been suggested because of similarity in life-history traits and body size to mainland populations. We sequenced representatives of each species from mainland southern California and some of the islands on which they occur. For each species, cytochrome bsequence divergence is low across the narrow geographic area sampled. Analyses of 14 haplotypes of U. stansburiana suggest long-established residency on Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands but more recent arrival on San Nicolas and Santa Cruz Islands. Analyses of eight haplotypes of E. multicarinata suggest these lizards may have been recently transported to San Nicolas Island.

  8. A new species of Pseudogekko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Romblon Island Group, Central Philippines.

    PubMed

    Siler, Cameron D; Davis, Drew R; Diesmos, Arvin C; Guinto, Faith; Whitsett, Collin; Brown, Rafe M

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of lizard in the genus Pseudogekko from Sibuyan and Tablas islands in the Romblon Island Group of the central Philippines. The new species is diagnosed from other Philippine Pseudogekko by body size and shape, color pattern, and multiple differences in scale characteristics. Pseudogekko isapa sp. nov. has been collected only twice from leaves of shrubs in forested habitat on Sibuyan and Tablas islands. The distinctive new species of false gecko is undoubtedly endemic to this single, isolated island group. The fact that populations of such a distinctive new species of Pseudogekko has escaped notice of herpetologists on the reasonably well-studied and largely protected Sibuyan Island further emphasizes the secretive and forest-dependent habits of Philippine false geckos. These characteristics of their behavior and natural history render them difficult to study and challenge biologists' efforts to accurately assess their conservation status. PMID:27470802

  9. Heron Island, Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Heron Island is located at the sourthern end of Australia's 2,050 km-long Great Barrier Reef. Surrounded by coral reef and home to over 1000 species of fish, scuba divers and scientists alike are drawn to the island's resort and research station. The true-color image above was taken by Space Imaging's Ikonos satellite with a resolution of 4 meters per pixel-high enough to see individual boats tied up at the small marina. The narrow channel leading from the marina to the ocean was blasted and dredged decades ago, before the island became a national park. Since then the Australian government has implemented conservation measures, such as limiting the number of tourists and removing or recycling, instead of incinerating, all trash. One of the applications of remote sensing data from Ikonos is environmental monitoring, including studies of coral reef health. For more information about the island, read Heron Island. Image by Robert Simmon, based on data copyright Space Imaging

  10. Parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in the cerebral cortex of the lizard Podarcis hispanica.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Guijarro, F J; Soriano, E; del Rio, J A; Lopez-Garcia, C

    1991-05-01

    An antibody against the calcium binding protein parvalbumin selectively labels a set of neurons in the cerebral cortex of lizards. Golgi-like immunostained bipolar, multipolar and pyramid-like neurons appear mainly located in the inner plexiform layers. Parvalbumin-immunoreactive (PARV-IR) puncta are concentrated in the cell layer of the dorsal and dorsomedial cortices showing a basket-like distribution. The morphology and distribution of PARV-IR neurons and puncta overlap GABA-immunostaining in the cerebral cortex of lizards. Thus, it is likely that PARV-IR neurons are a subset of the cortical GABAergic neurons of lizards.

  11. A first record of Amblyomma dissimile (Acari: Ixodidae) parasitizing the lizard Ameiva ameiva (Teiidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Suzana Gomes; Andrade, Gilda Vasconcellos de; Costa-Júnior, Lívio Martins

    2010-01-01

    A non-engorged adult female Amblyomma dissimile and two Amblyomma sp. larvae were found parasitizing the lizard Ameiva ameiva in the municipality of Chapadinha, State of Maranhão. This is the first record in the state of Maranhão and fills a gap in the distribution of A. dissimile in Brazil. The lizard A. ameiva represents a new host for A. dissimile, and also the first record of this tick species infesting lizards of the family Teiidae in Brazil. PMID:21184707

  12. Hypothermia modulates circadian clock gene expression in lizard peripheral tissues.

    PubMed

    Vallone, Daniela; Frigato, Elena; Vernesi, Cristiano; Foà, Augusto; Foulkes, Nicholas S; Bertolucci, Cristiano

    2007-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms whereby the circadian clock responds to temperature changes are poorly understood. The ruin lizard Podarcis sicula has historically proven to be a valuable vertebrate model for exploring the influence of temperature on circadian physiology. It is an ectotherm that naturally experiences an impressive range of temperatures during the course of the year. However, no tools have been available to dissect the molecular basis of the clock in this organism. Here, we report the cloning of three lizard clock gene homologs (Period2, Cryptochrome1, and Clock) that have a close phylogenetic relationship with avian clock genes. These genes are expressed in many tissues and show a rhythmic expression profile at 29 degrees C in light-dark and constant darkness lighting conditions, with phases comparable to their mammalian and avian counterparts. Interestingly, we show that at low temperatures (6 degrees C), cycling clock gene expression is attenuated in peripheral clocks with a characteristic increase in basal expression levels. We speculate that this represents a conserved vertebrate clock gene response to low temperatures. Furthermore, these results bring new insight into the issue of whether circadian clock function is compatible with hypothermia.

  13. Age structured dynamical model for an endangered lizard Eulamprus leuraensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Supriatna, A. K.; Rachmadani, Q.; Ilahi, F.; Anggriani, N.; Nuraini, N.

    2014-02-01

    The Blue Mountains Water Skink, Eulamprus leuraensis, is listed as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. This lizard species has a typical characteristic of growth with a low fecundity. It is known that the offspring quality may decline with maternal age of the parents despite they can grow rapidly from neonatal size to adult size within two to three years. It is also believed that low adult survival rates and specialization on rare and fragmented type of habitat are the main cause leading to the endangered status of the lizard. A mathematical model with age structure for Eulamprus leuraensis, taking into account the variation of survival rate in each structure and the declining of offspring quality with respect to maternal age is considered here. Stable coexistence of non-trivial equilibriumis shown. It is also shown that an endangered status is due to combination oflow reproductive output and low rates of adult survival. Further, understanding the age structure within populations can facilitate efective management of the endangered species.

  14. Postautotomy tail activity in the Balearic lizard, Podarcis lilfordi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafilis, Panayiotis; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Valakos, Efstratios

    2008-03-01

    Caudal autotomy is an effective antipredator strategy widespread among lizards. The shed tail thrashes vigorously for long periods to distract the predator and facilitate the lizard’s escape. This movement is maintained by energy supplied by the anaerobic conversion of glycogen into lactate. It has been suggested that lactate accumulation serves as an index for the vigor of tail thrashing. We made three predictions: (1) tail loss frequency should be higher under heavier predation regime, (2) the duration of postautotomy tail movement should be extended in populations under heavy predation pressure as an adaptation to the higher risk and the increased need for defense, and (3) as result, lactate in these tail tissues should be concentrated at higher levels. To eliminate the impact of phylogeny and environmental factors on the interpretation of our result, we focused exclusively on one species, the Balearic lizard ( Podarcis lilfordi). We studied three populations under different predation pressure but sharing the same climatic conditions. We found no differences among the studied populations either in postautotomy duration of tail movement or in levels of final lactate accumulation while autotomy frequency was higher where predation pressure was more intense. Τail loss effectiveness is directly influenced by the level of predation, while secondary features of the trait appear to remain independent from the impact of environment.

  15. Embryonic oxygen enhances learning ability in hatchling lizards

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Producing smart offspring is an important fitness trait; individuals with enhanced cognitive ability should be more adept at responding to complex environmental demands. Cognitive ability can be influenced by conditions experienced during embryonic development. Although oxygen is necessary for embryonic development, availability can be limited within the nest environment because of substrate type, hydric conditions, and temperature. We do not yet understand, however, whether oxygen availability during embryonic development influences offspring fitness, especially cognitive ability. To address this question we incubated Mongolian Racerunner lizard (Eremias argus) eggs under hypoxic (12% O2), normoxic (21% O2), and hyperoxic conditions (30% O2). Results Hypoxia not only slowed hatching time, but also resulted in constrained cognitive ability relative to hatchlings experiencing normoxic or hyperoxic incubation conditions. Oxygen did not influence hatching success, body size or sprint speed of hatchlings. Conclusions Oxygen availability during embryonic development has important influences on incubation duration and cognitive ability of hatchling lizards. This study provides the first evidence that oxygen availability during embryonic development can modify cognitive ability of oviparous reptiles. PMID:24589451

  16. Mother-offspring interactions affect natal dispersal in a lizard.

    PubMed Central

    Le Galliard, Jean-François; Ferrière, Régis; Clobert, Jean

    2003-01-01

    Interactions between relatives operate strong selective pressures on dispersal. Recently, a correlative study in the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) suggested that natal dispersal might respond plastically to mother-offspring interactions. Here, we describe a factorial experiment supporting this observation. Two crossed treatments were applied to experimental patches of the common lizard: (i) presence versus absence of the mother, inducing a difference of kinship in offspring neighbourhoods; and (ii) high versus low patch density, resulting in two levels of conspecific abundance and modulating the effect of mother presence on the average kinship within a patch. Dispersal of the same cohort of offspring was observed at the juvenile and yearling stages. We found a sex-dependent response of offspring dispersal to the removal of the mother at the two stages. During the juvenile stage, higher dispersal was found in females in the presence of the mother, with males unaffected. During the yearling stage, the responses of both sexes to the presence of the mother opposed each other. In addition, we found a negative relationship between dispersal and patch density at the juvenile stage. No interaction between density and the presence of the mother was detected, which suggests that behavioural responses to kinship and density are disconnected and that kinship is assessed at a small social scale. We discuss the role of competition and inbreeding avoidance to explain the observed pattern. PMID:12816655

  17. Annotated checklist and distribution of the lizards of Iran.

    PubMed

    Smíd, Jiří; Moravec, Jiří; Kodym, Petr; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Yousefkhani, Seyyed Saeed Hosseinian; Frynta, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    We present a comprehensive summary of the distribution of the lizards of Iran accompanied by an annotated checklist. The updated maps of distribution of all 146 species of 41 genera of 11 families are based on all available bibliographic records, catalogues of museum collections and our own field observations. The final dataset used for the distribution maps contains 8525 georeferenced records and cover 41% of the country when plotted on a grid of 0.25° × 0.25° resolution. The dataset is publicly accessible through GBIF portal (http://www.gbif.org/dataset/7db4f705-61ae-4c6e-9de2-06674e7d46b2). Following the latest biogeographic division of the country, ~53% of the species (76 species) inhabit the Iranian Province, ~41% (60 species) the Western Asian mountain transition zone, ~9% (13 species) the Turanian Province, and ~18% (27 species) the Arabian Province. In addition, ~2% (3 species) reach Iran from the Indo-Malay biogeographic region and ~2% (3 species) are believed to have been introduced to Iran by humans. Endemic species (46) represent ~32% of the known species diversity. The most species-rich family of lizards in Iran is Lacertidae with 47 species, followed by Gekkonidae (41), Agamidae (18), Scincidae (15), Phyllodactylidae (10), Sphaerodactylidae (4), Eublepharidae and Uromastycidae (3), Anguidae and Varanidae (2), and Trogonophidae with one representative. 

  18. Conserved sex chromosomes across adaptively radiated Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Altmanová, Marie; Pokorná, Martina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-07-01

    Vertebrates possess diverse sex-determining systems, which differ in evolutionary stability among particular groups. It has been suggested that poikilotherms possess more frequent turnovers of sex chromosomes than homoiotherms, whose effective thermoregulation can prevent the emergence of the sex reversals induced by environmental temperature. Squamate reptiles used to be regarded as a group with an extensive variability in sex determination; however, we document how the rather old radiation of lizards from the genus Anolis, known for exceptional ecomorphological variability, was connected with stability in sex chromosomes. We found that 18 tested species, representing most of the phylogenetic diversity of the genus, share the gene content of their X chromosomes. Furthermore, we discovered homologous sex chromosomes in species of two genera (Sceloporus and Petrosaurus) from the family Phrynosomatidae, serving here as an outgroup to Anolis. We can conclude that the origin of sex chromosomes within iguanas largely predates the Anolis radiation and that the sex chromosomes of iguanas remained conserved for a significant part of their evolutionary history. Next to therian mammals and birds, Anolis lizards therefore represent another adaptively radiated amniote clade with conserved sex chromosomes. We argue that the evolutionary stability of sex-determining systems may reflect an advanced stage of differentiation of sex chromosomes rather than thermoregulation strategy.

  19. Vulnerability to climate change of Anolis allisoni in the mangrove habitats of Banco Chinchorro Islands, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina, Marlin; Fernández, Jimena B; Charruau, Pierre; de la Cruz, Fausto Méndez; Ibargüengoytía, Nora

    2016-05-01

    As niche specialist species, lizards from tropical environments are characterized by a low tolerance and high physiological sensitivity to temperature changes. The extent of vulnerability to thermal changes depends on the lizard's physiological plasticity to adjust the environmental changes. Herein we studied the thermal biology of Anolis allisoni, an endemic arboreal lizard from the tropical islands of the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, Mexico, carried out during April and May 2012 and April 2014. We report field body (Tb) and preferred body temperatures in the laboratory (Tpref), operative temperatures (Te) and restriction of hours of activity. Anolis allisoni showed high and identical Tb and Tpref (33°C), not significantly different than the mean Te (32.15°C). The effectiveness of thermoregulation (E=-0.30) and the analysis of hours of restriction suggested that the high temperatures of Te (40-62.5°C) registered at midday (from 12:00 to 15:00) of A. allisoni habitat are hostile and force lizards to take refuge during a period of 3h of their daily time of activity. The scarcity of opportunities to find alternative refuges for thermoregulation in Banco Chinchorro point out the vulnerability of A. allisoni and the risk of local extinction when considering future predictions of increase in global environmental temperatures.

  20. Vulnerability to climate change of Anolis allisoni in the mangrove habitats of Banco Chinchorro Islands, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina, Marlin; Fernández, Jimena B; Charruau, Pierre; de la Cruz, Fausto Méndez; Ibargüengoytía, Nora

    2016-05-01

    As niche specialist species, lizards from tropical environments are characterized by a low tolerance and high physiological sensitivity to temperature changes. The extent of vulnerability to thermal changes depends on the lizard's physiological plasticity to adjust the environmental changes. Herein we studied the thermal biology of Anolis allisoni, an endemic arboreal lizard from the tropical islands of the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, Mexico, carried out during April and May 2012 and April 2014. We report field body (Tb) and preferred body temperatures in the laboratory (Tpref), operative temperatures (Te) and restriction of hours of activity. Anolis allisoni showed high and identical Tb and Tpref (33°C), not significantly different than the mean Te (32.15°C). The effectiveness of thermoregulation (E=-0.30) and the analysis of hours of restriction suggested that the high temperatures of Te (40-62.5°C) registered at midday (from 12:00 to 15:00) of A. allisoni habitat are hostile and force lizards to take refuge during a period of 3h of their daily time of activity. The scarcity of opportunities to find alternative refuges for thermoregulation in Banco Chinchorro point out the vulnerability of A. allisoni and the risk of local extinction when considering future predictions of increase in global environmental temperatures. PMID:27157328

  1. Island Hopping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Gayle

    2009-01-01

    At some institutions, it may feel as though faculty live on one island and advancement staff on another. The islands form part of an archipelago, and they exchange ambassadors and send emissaries occasionally, but interactions are limited. It may even seem as though the two groups speak different languages, deal in different currencies, and abide…

  2. Anatahan Island

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-19

    ... of the Mariana Islands in 1914 (the first year of World War l) and Germany released the islands to Japan in 1919. Japan received a ... States by the United Nations. The wreckage of a World War II B-29 Superfortress, a four-engine propeller-driven bomber, lies on the north ...

  3. Parapatric distribution of the lizards Plestiodon (formerly Eumeces) latiscutatus and P. japonicus (Reptilia: Scincidae) around the Izu Peninsula, Central Japan, and its biogeographic implications.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Taku; Motokawa, Junko; Toda, Mamoru; Hikida, Tsutomu

    2006-05-01

    The scincid lizard Plestiodon latiscutatus is found in the Izu Islands and Izu Peninsula of central Japan, whereas P. japonicus, a close relative, is found over the entire main island group of Japan, except the Izu Peninsula. The precise area of occupancy of these species was surveyed around the Izu Peninsula. Species identification was made through comparison of mitochondrial DNA partial sequences of specimens from the Izu Peninsula with those from the other regions, since morphological differences between these species have not yet been characterized. This study determined that these species are deeply diverged from each other in mitochondrial DNA sequence, and that the ranges of these species overlap only in a narrow zone. The results imply that gene flow between these species, if any, is restricted to a low level, without physical barriers. The boundary between the geographic ranges of these species was established as occurring along the lower Fuji River, Mt. Fuji, and the Sakawa River. This region is concordant with that of the old sea that is assumed to have separated the Izu Peninsula from other parts of the Japanese main island group until the middle Pleistocene. This pattern suggests that P. latiscutatus and P. japonicus were differentiated allopatrically before the connection of land areas of the Izu Peninsula and Honshu, the main island of Japan, and come into secondary contact through this connection. Thus, the species boundary is likely to have been maintained in situ, without physical barriers, since the secondary contact in the middle Pleistocene. PMID:16766860

  4. Combined finite element and multibody dynamics analysis of biting in a Uromastyx hardwickii lizard skull.

    PubMed

    Moazen, M; Curtis, N; Evans, S E; O'Higgins, P; Fagan, M J

    2008-11-01

    Lizard skulls vary greatly in shape and construction, and radical changes in skull form during evolution have made this an intriguing subject of research. The mechanics of feeding have surely been affected by this change in skull form, but whether this is the driving force behind the change is the underlying question that we are aiming to address in a programme of research. Here we have implemented a combined finite element analysis (FEA) and multibody dynamics analysis (MDA) to assess skull biomechanics during biting. A skull of Uromastyx hardwickii was assessed in the present study, where loading data (such as muscle force, bite force and joint reaction) for a biting cycle were obtained from an MDA and applied to load a finite element model. Fifty load steps corresponding to bilateral biting towards the front, middle and back of the dentition were implemented. Our results show the importance of performing MDA as a preliminary step to FEA, and provide an insight into the variation of stress during biting. Our findings show that higher stress occurs in regions where cranial sutures are located in functioning skulls, and as such support the hypothesis that sutures may play a pivotal role in relieving stress and producing a more uniform pattern of stress distribution across the skull. Additionally, we demonstrate how varying bite point affects stress distributions and relate stress distributions to the evolution of metakinesis in the amniote skull.

  5. Out on a limb: The differential effect of substrate diameter on acceleration capacity in Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Vanhooydonck, Bieke; Herrel, Anthony; Irschick, Duncan J

    2006-11-01

    We investigated how substrate diameter affects acceleration performance in three Anolis lizard species (A. sagrei, A. carolinensis and A. valencienni), representing three different ecomorphs (trunk-ground, trunk-crown, and twig, respectively). We did so by measuring maximal acceleration capacity of the three species on a broad and narrow dowel. In addition to acceleration capacity, we quantified maximal sprint speed on both dowels. Both acceleration capacity and sprint speed are affected by substrate diameter, but the way in which they are, differs among species. Acceleration capacity in the trunk-ground anole, A. sagrei, was least affected by dowel diameter, whereas it was greatly reduced on the narrow dowel in the twig anole, A. valencienni. Sprint speed on the narrow dowel, however, was reduced to the greatest extent in the fastest running species, A. sagrei, whereas sprint speed was hardly affected by dowel diameter in the slow A. valencienni. The differential effect of dowel diameter on maximal acceleration capacity cannot be explained by differences in the timing of reaching maximal acceleration, but may be due to interspecific differences in the relative positioning of the limbs on the different dowels. The differential effect of dowel diameter on sprint speed, on the other hand, may be based on interspecific differences in the relative contribution of subsequent acceleratory bouts to maximal sprint speed on the broad and narrow dowel.

  6. Combined finite element and multibody dynamics analysis of biting in a Uromastyx hardwickii lizard skull

    PubMed Central

    Moazen, M; Curtis, N; Evans, S E; O'Higgins, P; Fagan, M J

    2008-01-01

    Lizard skulls vary greatly in shape and construction, and radical changes in skull form during evolution have made this an intriguing subject of research. The mechanics of feeding have surely been affected by this change in skull form, but whether this is the driving force behind the change is the underlying question that we are aiming to address in a programme of research. Here we have implemented a combined finite element analysis (FEA) and multibody dynamics analysis (MDA) to assess skull biomechanics during biting. A skull of Uromastyx hardwickii was assessed in the present study, where loading data (such as muscle force, bite force and joint reaction) for a biting cycle were obtained from an MDA and applied to load a finite element model. Fifty load steps corresponding to bilateral biting towards the front, middle and back of the dentition were implemented. Our results show the importance of performing MDA as a preliminary step to FEA, and provide an insight into the variation of stress during biting. Our findings show that higher stress occurs in regions where cranial sutures are located in functioning skulls, and as such support the hypothesis that sutures may play a pivotal role in relieving stress and producing a more uniform pattern of stress distribution across the skull. Additionally, we demonstrate how varying bite point affects stress distributions and relate stress distributions to the evolution of metakinesis in the amniote skull. PMID:19014357

  7. The bioinvasion of Guam: inferring geographic origin, pace, pattern and process of an invasive lizard (Carlia) in the Pacific using multi-locus genomic data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, C.C.; Rittmeyer, E.N.; Oliver, L.A.; Andermann, J.O.; Zug, G.R.; Rodda, G.H.; Jackson, N.D.

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species often have dramatic negative effects that lead to the deterioration and loss of biodiversity frequently coupled with the burden of expensive biocontrol programs and subversion of socioeconomic stability. The fauna and flora of oceanic islands are particularly susceptible to invasive species and the increase of global movements of humans and their products since WW II has caused numerous anthropogenic translocations and increased the ills of human-mediated invasions. We use a multi-locus genomic dataset to identify geographic origin, pace, pattern and historical process of an invasive scincid lizard (Carlia) that has been inadvertently introduced to Guam, the Northern Marianas, and Palau. This lizard is of major importance as its introduction is thought to have assisted in the establishment of the invasive brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) on Guam by providing a food resource. Our findings demonstrate multiple waves of introductions that appear to be concordant with movements of Allied and Imperial Japanese forces in the Pacific during World War II.

  8. The effect of exogenous testosterone on ectoparasite loads in free-ranging western fence lizards.

    PubMed

    Pollock, Nicholas B; Vredevoe, Larisa K; Taylor, Emily N

    2012-08-01

    Numerous factors impact the dynamics of host-parasite relationships, such as host sex, hormonal state, reproductive condition, host health, and behavior. In particular, males from a variety of taxa frequently carry heavier parasite burdens than females, particularly during breeding season when testosterone concentrations are elevated. Using western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), we tested the hypothesis that high circulating testosterone concentrations in male lizards induce high tick and mite loads. We implanted male lizards with either testosterone or control implants in the field during the spring, when tick and mite loads are highest. One month later, testosterone-implanted males had significantly higher tick loads, but lower mite loads, than control males. These results suggest that testosterone differentially impacts ectoparasitic acarine burdens. Testosterone may modulate aspects of lizard physiology and behavior that enhance or diminish parasitism by certain acarines during periods of peak reproductive effort. PMID:22689269

  9. The peak of thermoregulation effectiveness: Thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-02-01

    We studied, at 2200m altitude, the thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali, in the glacial cirque of Cotatuero (National Park of Ordesa, Huesca, Spain). The preferred thermal range (PTR) of I. bonnali indicates that it is a cold-adapted ectotherm with a narrow PTR (29.20-32.77°C). However, its PTR (3.57°C) is twice as wide as other Iberolacerta lizards, which may be explained by its broader historical distribution. The studied area is formed by a mosaic of microhabitats which offer different operative temperatures, so that lizards have, throughout their entire daily period of activity, the opportunity to choose the most thermally suitable substrates. I. bonnali achieves an effectiveness of thermoregulation of 0.95, which makes it the highest value found to date among the Lacertidae, and one of the highest among lizards. Their relatively wide distribution, their wider PTR, and their excellent ability of thermoregulation, would make I. bonnali lizards less vulnerable to climate change than other species of Iberolacerta. Thanks to its difficult access, the studied area is not visited by a large number of tourists, as are other areas of the National Park. Thus, it is a key area for the conservation of the Pyrenean rock lizard. By shuttling between suitable microhabitats, lizards achieve suitable body temperatures during all day. However, such thermally suitable microhabitats should vary in other traits than thermal quality, such as prey availability or predation risk. Hence, it seems that these not-thermal traits are not constraining habitat selection and thermoregulation in this population. Therefore, future research in this population may study the causes that would lead lizards to prioritize thermoregulation to such extent in this population. PMID:26857980

  10. The peak of thermoregulation effectiveness: Thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-02-01

    We studied, at 2200m altitude, the thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali, in the glacial cirque of Cotatuero (National Park of Ordesa, Huesca, Spain). The preferred thermal range (PTR) of I. bonnali indicates that it is a cold-adapted ectotherm with a narrow PTR (29.20-32.77°C). However, its PTR (3.57°C) is twice as wide as other Iberolacerta lizards, which may be explained by its broader historical distribution. The studied area is formed by a mosaic of microhabitats which offer different operative temperatures, so that lizards have, throughout their entire daily period of activity, the opportunity to choose the most thermally suitable substrates. I. bonnali achieves an effectiveness of thermoregulation of 0.95, which makes it the highest value found to date among the Lacertidae, and one of the highest among lizards. Their relatively wide distribution, their wider PTR, and their excellent ability of thermoregulation, would make I. bonnali lizards less vulnerable to climate change than other species of Iberolacerta. Thanks to its difficult access, the studied area is not visited by a large number of tourists, as are other areas of the National Park. Thus, it is a key area for the conservation of the Pyrenean rock lizard. By shuttling between suitable microhabitats, lizards achieve suitable body temperatures during all day. However, such thermally suitable microhabitats should vary in other traits than thermal quality, such as prey availability or predation risk. Hence, it seems that these not-thermal traits are not constraining habitat selection and thermoregulation in this population. Therefore, future research in this population may study the causes that would lead lizards to prioritize thermoregulation to such extent in this population.

  11. On the water lapping of felines and the water running of lizards: A unifying physical perspective.

    PubMed

    Aristoff, Jeffrey M; Stocker, Roman; Reis, Pedro M; Jung, Sunghwan

    2011-03-01

    We consider two biological phenomena taking place at the air-water interface: the water lapping of felines and the water running of lizards. Although seemingly disparate motions, we show that they are intimately linked by their underlying hydrodynamics and belong to a broader class of processes called Froude mechanisms. We describe how both felines and lizards exploit inertia to defeat gravity, and discuss water lapping and water running in the broader context of water exit and water entry, respectively.

  12. Dicofol and DDT residues in lizard carcasses and bird eggs from Texas, Florida, and California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R.; Flickinger, Edward L.; White, D.H.; Hothem, R.L.; Belisle, A.A.

    1995-01-01

    Relatively high dicofol residues occured in some lizards in Texas citrus orchards in early summer when female lizards were producing eggs. The data from bird eggs were too few for conclusions, but to detect peak residue loads, future dicofol studies should concentrate on predaceous bird species likely to feed within the treated agricultural habitats, and collecting of eggs for analysis should begin within days after spray application.

  13. The use of a lacertid lizard as a model for reptile ecotoxicology studies: part 2--biomarkers of exposure and toxicity among pesticide exposed lizards.

    PubMed

    Amaral, Maria José; Bicho, Rita C; Carretero, Miguel A; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C; Faustino, Augusto M R; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Mann, Reinier M

    2012-05-01

    As part of a wider study examining the impacts of corn pesticides on lacertid lizards in north-western Portugal, we examined various physiological, biochemical, and histological biomarkers of exposure and effect among field populations of Podarcis bocagei. Biomarkers included body condition index, standard metabolic rate, locomotor performance, parasitization, glutathione oxidative pathways and related enzyme activity, lipid peroxidation and liver and testis histology. Few of the various biomarkers investigated provided statistically significant evidence of toxic effect. However, using a weight of evidence approach, we conclude that pesticides are affecting lizards living in the vicinity of pesticide exposed corn agriculture sites. Lizards from these locations present a profile of animals under metabolic stress with reduced condition indices, increased standard metabolic rate, lower incidence of hepatocyte vacuolation, altered iron metabolism, increased activation of GSH oxidation pathways, and even increased prevalence of hemoparasites.

  14. Leukocyte profiles for western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, naturally infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Motz, Victoria L; Lewis, William D; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M

    2014-10-01

    Plasmodium mexicanum is a malaria parasite that naturally infects the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis , in northern California. We set out to determine whether lizards naturally infected with this malaria parasite have different leukocyte profiles, indicating an immune response to infection. We used 29 naturally infected western fence lizards paired with uninfected lizards based on sex, snout-to-vent length, tail status, and the presence-absence of ectoparasites such as ticks and mites, as well as the presence-absence of another hemoparasite, Schellackia occidentalis. Complete white blood cell (WBC) counts were conducted on blood smears stained with Giemsa, and the proportion of granulocytes per microliter of blood was estimated using the Avian Leukopet method. The abundance of each WBC class (lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, eosinophils, and basophils) in infected and uninfected lizards was compared to determine whether leukocyte densities varied with infection status. We found that the numbers of WBCs and lymphocytes per microliter of blood significantly differed (P < 0.05) between the 2 groups for females but not for males, whereas parasitemia was significantly correlated with lymphocyte counts for males, but not for females. This study supports the theory that infection with P. mexicanum stimulates the lizard's immune response to increase the levels of circulating WBCs, but what effect this has on the biology of the parasite remains unclear. PMID:24945903

  15. Influence of predation pressure on the escape behaviour of Podarcis muralis lizards.

    PubMed

    Diego-Rasilla, F J.

    2003-05-28

    Relationships between predator avoidance behaviour and predation pressure were investigated in the wall lizard, Podarcis muralis. The wariness of lizards belonging to high (1185m) and low elevation (308m) populations under two different predation pressure levels was compared. Wall lizards belonging to the lowland population experienced greater predation pressure than those belonging to the highland population. Lizards belonging to the population under higher predation pressure had higher frequency of refuge use, and had longer flight initiation distances (i.e. the distance lizards allowed the observer to approach before fleeing). In contrast, neither the distance fled (i.e. the total distance they fled in one continuous movement from the lizard's initial position until hiding or stopping at a safe distance) nor the distance to the nearest refuge were significantly different between populations. Escape responses were independent of ambient temperature in the lowland population, but animals belonging to the highland population had longer flight initiation distances when the ambient temperatures were higher. These findings suggest that predator avoidance behaviour may vary with predation pressure.

  16. Male-biased predation of western green lizards by Eurasian kestrels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costantini, David; Bruner, Emiliano; Fanfani, Alberto; Dell'Omo, Giacomo

    2007-12-01

    Selective predation can be an important force driving the evolution of organisms. In particular, sex-biased predation is expected to have implications for sexual selection, sex allocation and population dynamics. In this study, we analysed sex differences in the predation of the western green lizard ( Lacerta bilineata) by the Eurasian kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus) during the reproductive season. In addition, we investigated whether the rate of predation differed during the 8-year study period and among the three habitats studied. We collected lizard remains from nest boxes of kestrels. Freshly killed lizards were sexed by visual inspection, whilst the sex of head remains was assigned by analysing the cephalic scale morphology using geometric morphometrics. Our results show that the risk of being predated by a kestrel in our population was overall about 3.55 times higher for males than for females. To our knowledge this is the first study showing a male-biased predation in a lizard species. The selective predation of males was consistent between years over the 8-year study period (1999-2006) and also consistent between the three types of kestrel hunting habitat. Overall predation rates on lizards differed between habitats, depending on the year. We propose that the observed sex-biased predation is mainly due to sex differences in lizard behaviour.

  17. Leukocyte profiles for western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, naturally infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Motz, Victoria L; Lewis, William D; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M

    2014-10-01

    Plasmodium mexicanum is a malaria parasite that naturally infects the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis , in northern California. We set out to determine whether lizards naturally infected with this malaria parasite have different leukocyte profiles, indicating an immune response to infection. We used 29 naturally infected western fence lizards paired with uninfected lizards based on sex, snout-to-vent length, tail status, and the presence-absence of ectoparasites such as ticks and mites, as well as the presence-absence of another hemoparasite, Schellackia occidentalis. Complete white blood cell (WBC) counts were conducted on blood smears stained with Giemsa, and the proportion of granulocytes per microliter of blood was estimated using the Avian Leukopet method. The abundance of each WBC class (lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, eosinophils, and basophils) in infected and uninfected lizards was compared to determine whether leukocyte densities varied with infection status. We found that the numbers of WBCs and lymphocytes per microliter of blood significantly differed (P < 0.05) between the 2 groups for females but not for males, whereas parasitemia was significantly correlated with lymphocyte counts for males, but not for females. This study supports the theory that infection with P. mexicanum stimulates the lizard's immune response to increase the levels of circulating WBCs, but what effect this has on the biology of the parasite remains unclear.

  18. Fossilized venom: the unusually conserved venom profiles of Heloderma species (beaded lizards and gila monsters).

    PubMed

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N W; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G

    2014-12-22

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years) separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum). Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences). While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation.

  19. Coloration affects heating and cooling in three color morphs of the Australian bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua scincoides.

    PubMed

    Geen, Michael R S; Johnston, Gregory R

    2014-07-01

    The color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis predicts that dark body color (low reflectance) allows organisms to gain heat more efficiently than does pale coloration (high reflectance). This prediction is intuitive and widely assumed to be true, but has poor empirical support. We used rare, captive-bred, mutant melanistic, albino and wild-type Australian bluetongue lizards, Tiliqua scincoides to measure the effects of skin reflectance on the heating and cooling rates. We measured heating under an artificial radiant heat source and cooling rates in an ice-cooled box using live lizards in a room with still air. The effect of skin reflectance on heat transfer was clear, despite the substantial influence of body size. Melanistic T. scincoides showed low reflectance and gained heat faster than highly reflective albinos. Melanistic lizards also lost heat faster than albinos. Wild-type lizards were intermediate in reflectance, gained heat at rates indistinguishable from melanistic lizards, and lost heat at rates indistinguishable from albino lizards. This study system allowed us to control for variables that were confounded in other studies and may explain the inconsistent support for the color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis. Our results provide clear evidence that skin reflectance influences the rate of heating and cooling in ectotherms.

  20. Fossilized Venom: The Unusually Conserved Venom Profiles of Heloderma Species (Beaded Lizards and Gila Monsters)

    PubMed Central

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G.

    2014-01-01

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years) separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum). Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences). While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation. PMID:25533521

  1. Coloration affects heating and cooling in three color morphs of the Australian bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua scincoides.

    PubMed

    Geen, Michael R S; Johnston, Gregory R

    2014-07-01

    The color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis predicts that dark body color (low reflectance) allows organisms to gain heat more efficiently than does pale coloration (high reflectance). This prediction is intuitive and widely assumed to be true, but has poor empirical support. We used rare, captive-bred, mutant melanistic, albino and wild-type Australian bluetongue lizards, Tiliqua scincoides to measure the effects of skin reflectance on the heating and cooling rates. We measured heating under an artificial radiant heat source and cooling rates in an ice-cooled box using live lizards in a room with still air. The effect of skin reflectance on heat transfer was clear, despite the substantial influence of body size. Melanistic T. scincoides showed low reflectance and gained heat faster than highly reflective albinos. Melanistic lizards also lost heat faster than albinos. Wild-type lizards were intermediate in reflectance, gained heat at rates indistinguishable from melanistic lizards, and lost heat at rates indistinguishable from albino lizards. This study system allowed us to control for variables that were confounded in other studies and may explain the inconsistent support for the color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis. Our results provide clear evidence that skin reflectance influences the rate of heating and cooling in ectotherms. PMID:24956958

  2. Running on water: Three-dimensional force generation by basilisk lizards

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, S. Tonia; Lauder, George V.

    2004-01-01

    Water provides a unique challenge for legged locomotion because it readily yields to any applied force. Previous studies have shown that static stability during locomotion is possible only when the center of mass remains within a theoretical region of stability. Running across a highly yielding surface could move the center of mass beyond the edges of the region of stability, potentially leading to tripping or falling. Yet basilisk lizards are proficient water runners, regularly dashing across bodies of water to evade predators. We present here direct measurements of time-averaged force produced by juvenile plumed basilisk lizards (Basiliscus plumifrons) while running across water. By using digital particle image velocimetry to visualize fluid flow induced by foot movement, we show that sufficient support force is generated for a lizard to run across water and that novel strategies are also required to run across a highly yielding surface. Juvenile basilisk lizards produce greatest support and propulsive forces during the first half of the step, when the foot moves primarily vertically downwards into the water; they also produce large transverse reaction forces that change from medial (79% body weight) to lateral (37% body weight) throughout the step. These forces may act to dynamically stabilize the lizards during water running. Our results give insight into the mechanics of how basilisk lizards run across water and, on a broader scale, provide a conceptual basis for how locomotor surface properties can challenge established rules for the mechanics of legged locomotion. PMID:15550546

  3. Postbite elevation in tongue-flicking rate by an iguanian lizard,Dipsosaurus dorsalis.

    PubMed

    Cooper, W E; Alberts, A C

    1993-10-01

    The herbivorous iguanid lizardDipsosaurus dorsalis exhibited PETF (postbite elevation in tongue-flicking rate), an increase in tongue-flicking rate after experimental removal from the mouth of food that had been bitten. This was demonstrated by a significantly higher tongue-flick rate after having bitten food than in three experimental conditions controlling for responses to the experimental setting, sight of food, and mechanical disturbance caused by the experimental removal of food from a lizard's mouth. As in most other families of lizards, PETF was brief, occurring only during the first minute. Lizards are divided into two major suprafamilial taxa, Iguania and Scleroglossa, consisting of carnivorous species characterized by two major foraging modes, ambush and active, and of herbivores and omnivores. PETF is absent in the two families of carnivorous iguanian lizards studied that are ambush foragers but present in three families of scleroglossan lizards that are active foragers. However, PETF is absent in the two species studied in a scleroglossan family, Gekkonidae, which forages by ambush, and present in an iguanian herbivore, as reported herein. We propose that the presence or absence of PETF, in addition to its phylogenetic determinants, is adaptively adjusted to foraging mode.

  4. Reactions of green lizards (Lacerta viridis) to major repellent compounds secreted by Graphosoma lineatum (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae).

    PubMed

    Gregorovičová, Martina; Černíková, Alena

    2015-06-01

    The chemical defence of Heteroptera is primarily based on repellent secretions which signal the potential toxicity of the bug to its predators. We tested the aversive reactions of green lizards (Lacerta viridis) towards the major compounds of the defensive secretion of Graphosoma lineatum, specifically: (i) a mixture of three aldehydes: (E)-hex-2-enal, (E)-oct-2-enal, (E)-dec-2-enal; (ii) a mixture of these three aldehydes and tridecane; (iii) oxoaldehyde: (E)-4-oxohex-2-enal; (iv) secretion extracted from metathoracic scent glands of G. lineatum adults and (v) hexane as a non-polar solvent. All chemicals were presented on a palatable food (Tenebrio molitor larvae). The aversive reactions of the green lizards towards the mealworms were evaluated by observing the approach latencies, attack latencies and approach-attack intervals. The green lizards exhibited a strong aversive reaction to the mixture of three aldehydes. Tridecane reduced the aversive reaction to the aldehyde mixture. Oxoaldehyde caused the weakest, but still significant, aversive reaction. The secretion from whole metathoracic scent glands also clearly had an aversive effect on the green lizards. Moreover, when a living specimen of G. lineatum or Pyrrhocoris apterus (another aposematic red-and-black prey) was presented to the green lizards before the trials with the aldehyde mixture, the aversive effect of the mixture was enhanced. In conclusion, the mixture of three aldehydes had the strong aversive effect and could signal the potential toxicity of G. lineatum to the green lizards. PMID:25869384

  5. Devon Island

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    article title:  Mars Researchers Rendezvous on Remote Arctic Island   ... each summer since 1999, researchers from NASA's Haughton-Mars Project and the Mars Society reside at this "polar desert" location to study the geologic and ...

  6. Morphological disparity opposes latitudinal diversity gradient in lacertid lizards.

    PubMed

    Hipsley, Christy A; Miles, Donald B; Müller, Johannes

    2014-05-01

    While global variation in taxonomic diversity is strongly linked to latitude, the extent to which morphological disparity follows geographical gradients is less well known. We estimated patterns of lineage diversification, morphological disparity and rates of phenotypic evolution in the Old World lizard family Lacertidae, which displays a nearly inverse latitudinal diversity gradient with decreasing species richness towards the tropics. We found that lacertids exhibit relatively constant rates of lineage accumulation over time, although the majority of morphological variation appears to have originated during recent divergence events, resulting in increased partitioning of disparity within subclades. Among subclades, tropical arboreal taxa exhibited the fastest rates of shape change while temperate European taxa were the slowest, resulting in an inverse relationship between latitudinal diversity and rates of phenotypic evolution. This pattern demonstrates a compelling counterexample to the ecological opportunity theory of diversification, suggesting an uncoupling of the processes generating species diversity and morphological differentiation across spatial scales. PMID:24806424

  7. Sexual selection drives asymmetric introgression in wall lizards.

    PubMed

    While, Geoffrey M; Michaelides, Sozos; Heathcote, Robert J P; MacGregor, Hannah E A; Zajac, Natalia; Beninde, Joscha; Carazo, Pau; Pérez I de Lanuza, Guillem; Sacchi, Roberto; Zuffi, Marco A L; Horváthová, Terézia; Fresnillo, Belén; Schulte, Ulrich; Veith, Michael; Hochkirch, Axel; Uller, Tobias

    2015-12-01

    Hybridisation is increasingly recognised as an important cause of diversification and adaptation. Here, we show how divergence in male secondary sexual characters between two lineages of the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) gives rise to strong asymmetries in male competitive ability and mating success, resulting in asymmetric hybridisation upon secondary contact. Combined with no negative effects of hybridisation on survival or reproductive characters in F1-hybrids, these results suggest that introgression should be asymmetric, resulting in the displacement of sexual characters of the sub-dominant lineage. This prediction was confirmed in two types of secondary contact, across a natural contact zone and in two introduced populations. Our study illustrates how divergence in sexually selected traits via male competition can determine the direction and extent of introgression, contributing to geographic patterns of genetic and phenotypic diversity.

  8. Genetic regulation of sex differences in songbirds and lizards.

    PubMed

    Wade, Juli

    2016-02-19

    Sex differences in the morphology of neural and peripheral structures related to reproduction often parallel the frequency of particular behaviours displayed by males and females. In a variety of model organisms, these sex differences are organized in development by gonadal steroids, which also act in adulthood to modulate behavioural expression and in some cases to generate parallel anatomical changes on a seasonal basis. Data collected from diverse species, however, suggest that changes in hormone availability are not sufficient to explain sex and seasonal differences in structure and function. This paper pulls together some of this literature from songbirds and lizards and considers the information in the broader context of taking a comparative approach to investigating genetic mechanisms associated with behavioural neuroendocrinology.

  9. Regulation of body temperature in the blue-tongued lizard.

    PubMed

    Hammel, H T; Caldwell, F T; Abrams, R M

    1967-06-01

    Lizards (Tiliqua scincoides) regulated their internal body temperature by moving back and forth between 15 degrees and 45 degrees C environments to maintain colonic and brain temperatures between 30 degrees and 37 degrees C. A pair of thermodes were implanted across the preoptic region of the brain stem, and a reentrant tube for a thermocouple was implanted in the brain stem. Heating the brain stem to 41 degrees C activated the exit response from the hot environment at a colonic temperature 1 degrees to 2 degrees C lower than normal, whereas cooling the brain stem to 25 degrees C delayed the exit from the hot environment until the colonic temperature was 1 degrees to 2 degrees C higher than normal. The behavioral thermoregulatory responses of this ectotherm appear to be activated by a combination of hypothalamic and other body temperatures.

  10. Oxygen supply limits the heat tolerance of lizard embryos.

    PubMed

    Smith, Colton; Telemeco, Rory S; Angilletta, Michael J; VandenBrooks, John M

    2015-04-01

    The mechanisms that set the thermal limits to life remain uncertain. Classically, researchers thought that heating kills by disrupting the structures of proteins or membranes, but an alternative hypothesis focuses on the demand for oxygen relative to its supply. We evaluated this alternative hypothesis by comparing the lethal temperature for lizard embryos developing at oxygen concentrations of 10-30%. Embryos exposed to normoxia and hyperoxia survived to higher temperatures than those exposed to hypoxia, suggesting that oxygen limitation sets the thermal maximum. As all animals pass through an embryonic stage where respiratory and cardiovascular systems must develop, oxygen limitation may limit the thermal niches of terrestrial animals as well as aquatic ones. PMID:25926695

  11. Island of Okinawa, Japan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    The island of Okinawa, (26.5N, 128.0E) largest of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. The Ryukyu island group lies south of the main home islands of Japan in an arc towards the Chinese island Republic of Taiwan. As is typical throughout the Japanese home islands, intense urban development can be observed all over the island in this near vertical view.

  12. The Galapagos Islands: Darwin and Modern Conservation Stories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burr, Susan

    2010-01-01

    The author visited the Galapagos Islands in 2009 and here looks at their biodiversity through pictures taken then. The diverse habitats of the Islands are reflected in the great diversity of flora and fauna found on them, with many species endemic to the Islands. The stories of the land iguanas, control of introduced species and the giant…

  13. Ultraviolet radiation does not increase oxidative stress in the lizard Psammodromus algirus along an elevational gradient.

    PubMed

    Reguera, Senda; Zamora-Camacho, Francisco J; Melero, Elena; García-Mesa, Sergio; Trenzado, Cristina E; Cabrerizo, Marco J; Sanz, Ana; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2015-05-01

    Lizards, as ectotherms, spend much time basking for thermoregulating exposed to solar radiation. Consequently, they are subjected to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), which is the most harmful component of solar radiation spectrum. UVR can provoke damages, from the molecular to tissue level, even cause death. Photooxidation triggered by UVR produces reactive oxidative species (ROS). When antioxidant machinery cannot combat the ROS concentration, oxidative stress occurs in the organisms. Given that UVR increases with elevation, we hypothesised that lizards from high elevations should be better adapted against UVR than lizards from lower elevations. In this work, we test this hypothesis in Psammodromus algirus along an elevation gradient (three elevational belts, from 300 to 2500 m above sea level). We ran an experiment in which lizards from each elevation belt were exposed to 5-hour doses of UVR (UV-light bulb, experimental group) or photosynthetically active radiation (white-light bulb, control group) and, 24 h after the exposure, we took tissue samples from the tail. We measured oxidative damage (lipid and protein peroxidation) and antioxidant capacity as oxidative-stress biomarkers. We found no differences in oxidative stress between treatments. However, consistent with a previous work, less oxidative damage appeared in lizards from the highlands. We conclude that UVR is not a stressor agent for P. algirus; however, our findings suggest that the lowland environment is more oxidative for lizards. Therefore, P. algirus is well adapted to inhabit a large elevation range, and this would favour the lizard in case it ascends in response to global climate change.

  14. Direct and indirect effects of petroleum production activities on the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) as a surrogate for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Knox, Ami; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-05-01

    The dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) is a habitat specialist of conservation concern limited to shin oak sand dune systems of New Mexico and Texas (USA). Because much of the dunes sagebrush lizard's habitat occurs in areas of high oil and gas production, there may be direct and indirect effects of these activities. The congeneric Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) was used as a surrogate species to determine direct effects of 2 contaminants associated with oil and gas drilling activities in the Permian Basin (NM and TX, USA): herbicide formulations (Krovar and Quest) and hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). Lizards were exposed to 2 concentrations of H2 S (30 ppm or 90 ppm) and herbicide formulations (1× or 2× label application rate) representing high-end exposure scenarios. Sublethal behavioral endpoints were evaluated, including sprint speed and time to prey detection and capture. Neither H2S nor herbicide formulations caused significant behavioral effects compared to controls. To understand potential indirect effects of oil and gas drilling on the prey base, terrestrial invertebrate biomass and order diversity were quantified at impacted sites to compare with nonimpacted sites. A significant decrease in biomass was found at impacted sites, but no significant effects on diversity. The results suggest little risk from direct toxic effects, but the potential for indirect effects should be further explored. PMID:26456391

  15. A spectacular new Philippine monitor lizard reveals a hidden biogeographic boundary and a novel flagship species for conservation.

    PubMed

    Welton, Luke J; Siler, Cameron D; Bennett, Daniel; Diesmos, Arvin; Duya, M Roy; Dugay, Roldan; Rico, Edmund Leo B; Van Weerd, Merlijn; Brown, Rafe M

    2010-10-23

    As humans continue to explore the last uncharted regions of the planet, discoveries of previously unknown species of large vertebrates have become infrequent. Here, we report on the discovery of a spectacular new species of giant, secretive, frugivorous, forest monitor lizard (Genus: Varanus) from the forests of the northern Philippines. Using data from morphology and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences, we demonstrate the taxonomic distinctiveness of this new 2 m long species and provide insight into its historical biogeography and systematic affinities. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate that the new species is closely related to Varanus olivaceus (from southern Luzon and nearby islands), but it differs from this and other varanids with respect to characteristics of scalation, colour pattern, body size, anatomy of the reproductive organs and genetic divergence. The new species appears to be restricted to forests of the central and northern Sierra Madre mountain range; it is separated from the range of V. olivaceus by a more than 150 km stretch that includes at least three low-elevation river valley barriers to dispersal. This discovery identifies a seldom-perceived biogeographic boundary and emphasizes the need for continued biodiversity research in the megadiverse conservation hotspot of the Philippines. It is anticipated that the new species will serve as an important flagship species for conservation efforts aimed at preserving the remaining forests of northern Luzon.

  16. A spectacular new Philippine monitor lizard reveals a hidden biogeographic boundary and a novel flagship species for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Welton, Luke J.; Siler, Cameron D.; Bennett, Daniel; Diesmos, Arvin; Duya, M. Roy; Dugay, Roldan; Rico, Edmund Leo B.; Van Weerd, Merlijn; Brown, Rafe M.

    2010-01-01

    As humans continue to explore the last uncharted regions of the planet, discoveries of previously unknown species of large vertebrates have become infrequent. Here, we report on the discovery of a spectacular new species of giant, secretive, frugivorous, forest monitor lizard (Genus: Varanus) from the forests of the northern Philippines. Using data from morphology and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences, we demonstrate the taxonomic distinctiveness of this new 2 m long species and provide insight into its historical biogeography and systematic affinities. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate that the new species is closely related to Varanus olivaceus (from southern Luzon and nearby islands), but it differs from this and other varanids with respect to characteristics of scalation, colour pattern, body size, anatomy of the reproductive organs and genetic divergence. The new species appears to be restricted to forests of the central and northern Sierra Madre mountain range; it is separated from the range of V. olivaceus by a more than 150 km stretch that includes at least three low-elevation river valley barriers to dispersal. This discovery identifies a seldom-perceived biogeographic boundary and emphasizes the need for continued biodiversity research in the megadiverse conservation hotspot of the Philippines. It is anticipated that the new species will serve as an important flagship species for conservation efforts aimed at preserving the remaining forests of northern Luzon. PMID:20375042

  17. Molecular characterization of a new serovar of Salmonella bongori 13,22:z39:- isolated from a lizard.

    PubMed

    Herrera-León, Silvia; Saco, Montserrat; Martínez Silvestre, Albert; Silveira, Luis; Echeita, Aurora; Usera, Miguel Angel

    2005-05-01

    Three Salmonella strains isolated from a lizard (Gallotia simoni) in the "Isla del Hierro" (Canary Islands, Spain) were serotyped as Salmonella bongori serotype 13,22:z39:-, which has not been described in the Kauffmann-White scheme of Salmonella serovars. In order to shed light on the assignment of those strains to the S. bongori species, several genes were amplified and/or sequenced. The iroB gene has been reported to be present only in S. enterica, while the invA gene has been described as being a helpful tool in distinguishing Salmonella from other bacterial species. Both genes were amplified and, as expected, only invA could be amplified. The fliC gene, encoding the phase 1 flagellin fljB gene, encoding phase 2 flagellin, and the gapA gene, which is believed to present polymorphic alleles among different subspecies, were amplified and sequenced. The sequence obtained from fliC(z39) matched with the sequences fliC(z39) obtained from other serovars. The sequence obtained from gapA clustered into the S. bongori group when it was compared to others previously described. We conclude that these three isolates are members of the S. bongori species representing a new serovar that will be described in the next supplement to the Kauffmann-White scheme.

  18. Multilocus phylogeny and Bayesian estimates of species boundaries reveal hidden evolutionary relationships and cryptic diversity in Southeast Asian monitor lizards.

    PubMed

    Welton, L J; Siler, C D; Oaks, J R; Diesmos, A C; Brown, R M

    2013-07-01

    Recent conceptual, technological and methodological advances in phylogenetics have enabled increasingly robust statistical species delimitation in studies of biodiversity. As the variety of evidence purporting species diversity has increased, so too have the kinds of tools and inferential power of methods for delimiting species. Here, we showcase an organismal system for a data-rich, comparative molecular approach to evaluating strategies of species delimitation among monitor lizards of the genus Varanus. The water monitors (Varanus salvator Complex), a widespread group distributed throughout Southeast Asia and southern India, have been the subject of numerous taxonomic treatments, which have drawn recent attention due to the possibility of undocumented species diversity. To date, studies of this group have relied on purportedly diagnostic morphological characters, with no attention given to the genetic underpinnings of species diversity. Using a 5-gene data set, we estimated phylogeny and used multilocus genetic networks, analysis of population structure and a Bayesian coalescent approach to infer species boundaries. Our results contradict previous systematic hypotheses, reveal surprising relationships between island and mainland lineages and uncover novel, cryptic evolutionary lineages (i.e. new putative species). Our study contributes to a growing body of literature suggesting that, used in concert with other sources of data (e.g. morphology, ecology, biogeography), multilocus genetic data can be highly informative to systematists and biodiversity specialists when attempting to estimate species diversity and identify conservation priorities. We recommend holding in abeyance taxonomic decisions until multiple, converging lines of evidence are available to best inform taxonomists, evolutionary biologists and conservationists.

  19. Thyroid regulation of resting metabolic rate and intermediary metabolic enzymes in a lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    John-Alder, H B

    1990-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of physiological increments in plasma thyroxine (T4) at three levels of biological organization in thyroid-intact and thyroidectomized captive western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis. Two doses of T4-loaded pellets elevated plasma T4 in thyroid-intact lizards from 4.8 +/- 0.47 to 10.7 +/- 2.25 and 20.4 +/- 5.77 ng/ml (mean +/- SE). Surgical thyroidectomy reduced T4 to 1.8 +/- 0.23 ng/ml, and subsequent T4 pellet implantation raised T4 to 14.8 +/- 4.30 ng/ml. Minimal resting metabolic rate (= standard metabolic rate; SMR), a common organismal metric of thyroid perturbation, was reduced 31% (P less than 0.0001) by thyroidectomy and was restored by T4 replacement but was not stimulated by T4 supplementation in thyroid-intact lizards. In T4-replaced, thyroidectomized lizards, SMR was significantly correlated with plasma T4 (r2 = 0.626, P = 0.003, n = 11). At the organ level, liver mass was not changed by any treatment; heart mass was decreased by thyroid deficiency and restored by T4 replacement. At the molecular level, citrate synthase activity was significantly reduced by thyroidectomy and was returned to control levels by T4 replacement in liver and skeletal muscle (gastrocnemius) but was not changed in cardiac muscle. Citrate synthase was not affected in any tissue by T4 supplementation in thyroid-intact lizards. Pyruvate kinase activity was not affected by any of the treatments in any of the tissues. Cytosolic alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase was significantly reduced in liver by all treatments and in skeletal muscle by T4 replacement after thyroidectomy. These results indicate that SMR and cardiac muscle mass in lizards are dependent on normal thyroid function and are expressed maximally in euthyroid animals. The stimulatory effect of T4 on SMR in thyroid-intact lizards, which has been reported previously by several investigators, is a nonphysiological response to pharmacological T4 levels, at least in these captive

  20. What are carotenoids signaling? Immunostimulatory effects of dietary vitamin E, but not of carotenoids, in Iberian green lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopena, Renata; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2014-12-01

    In spite that carotenoid-based sexual ornaments are one of the most popular research topics in sexual selection of animals, the antioxidant and immunostimulatory role of carotenoids, presumably signaled by these colorful ornaments, is still controversial. It has been suggested that the function of carotenoids might not be as an antioxidant per se, but that colorful carotenoids may indirectly reflect the levels of nonpigmentary antioxidants, such as melatonin or vitamin E. We experimentally fed male Iberian green lizards ( Lacerta schreiberi) additional carotenoids or vitamin E alone, or a combination of carotenoids and vitamin E dissolved in soybean oil, whereas a control group only received soybean oil. We examined the effects of the dietary supplementations on phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-induced skin-swelling immune response and body condition. Lizards that were supplemented with vitamin E alone or a combination of vitamin E and carotenoids had greater immune responses than control lizards, but animals supplemented with carotenoids alone had lower immune responses than lizards supplemented with vitamin E and did not differ from control lizards. These results support the hypothesis that carotenoids in green lizards are not effective as immunostimulants, but that they may be visually signaling the immunostimulatory effects of non-pigmentary vitamin E. In contrast, lizards supplemented with carotenoids alone have higher body condition gains than lizards in the other experimental groups, suggesting that carotenoids may be still important to improve condition.

  1. 75 FR 9377 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard as Threatened

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-02

    ... distinct vertebrate population segments (61 FR 4722). (6) The potential effects global climate change may..., 1993 (58 FR 62624), to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as a threatened species, and reopens the... proposed rule to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as a threatened species under the Act (58 FR 62624)....

  2. Understanding lizard's microhabitat use based on a mechanistic model of behavioral thermoregulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fei, Teng; Venus, Valentijn; Toxopeus, Bert; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Schlerf, Martin; Liu, Yaolin; van Overdijk, Sjef; Bian, Meng

    2008-12-01

    Lizards are an "excellent group of organisms" to examine the habitat and microhabitat use mainly because their ecology and physiology is well studied. Due to their behavioral body temperature regulation, the thermal environment is especially linked with their habitat use. In this study, for mapping and understanding lizard's distribution at microhabitat scale, an individual of Timon Lepidus was kept and monitored in a terrarium (245×120×115cm) in which sand, rocks, burrows, hatching chambers, UV-lamps, fog generators and heating devices were placed to simulate its natural habitat. Optical cameras, thermal cameras and other data loggers were fixed and recording the lizard's body temperature, ground surface temperature, air temperature, radiation and other important environmental parameters. By analysis the data collected, we propose a Cellular Automata (CA) model by which the movement of lizards is simulated and translated into their distribution. This paper explores the capabilities of applying GIS techniques to thermoregulatory activity studies in a microhabitat-scale. We conclude that microhabitat use of lizards can be explained in some degree by the rule based CA model.

  3. Patterns of cranial ontogeny in lacertid lizards: morphological and allometric disparity.

    PubMed

    Urošević, A; Ljubisavljević, K; Ivanović, A

    2013-02-01

    We explored the ontogenetic dynamics of the morphological and allometric disparity in the cranium shapes of twelve lacertid lizard species. The analysed species (Darevskia praticola, Dinarolacerta mosorensis, Iberolacerta horvathi, Lacerta agilis, L. trilineata, L. viridis, Podarcis erhardii, P. melisellensis, P. muralis, P. sicula, P. taurica and Zootoca vivipara) can be classified into different ecomorphs: terrestrial lizards that inhabit vegetated habitats (habitats with lush or sparse vegetation), saxicolous and shrub-climbing lizards. We observed that there was an overall increase in the morphological disparity (MD) during the ontogeny of the lacertid lizards. The ventral cranium, which is involved in the mechanics of jaw movement and feeding, showed higher levels of MD, an ontogenetic shift in the morphospace planes and more variable allometric patterns than more conserved dorsal crania. With respect to ecology, the allometric trajectories of the shrub-climbing species tended to cluster together, whereas the allometric trajectories of the saxicolous species were highly dispersed. Our results indicate that the ontogenetic patterns of morphological and allometric disparity in the lacertid lizards are modified by ecology and functional constraints and that the identical mechanisms that lead to intraspecific morphological variation also produce morphological divergence at higher taxonomic levels.

  4. Reproduction and morphology of the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) from montane populations in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Horváthová, Terézia; Baláž, Michal; Jandzik, David

    2013-02-01

    The common lizard, Zootoca vivipara (Lichtenstein, 1823), shows high variation in life histories and morphology across its range, which comprises almost the entire Palearctic region. However, this variation is not congruent with the species phylogeny. This suggests an important role of the environment in shaping the variation in morphology and life histories of this species. As most data on life histories originate from only a small number of populations and do not cover the species' geographic range and phylogenetic diversity, to fill a gap and provide more information for future comparative studies we investigated reproduction and morphology in two montane populations from Slovakia, central Europe. This region is characterized by taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity and both montane and lowland ecological forms of the common lizard occur here. The common lizards from the Slovak populations are sexually dimorphic, with females having larger body and abdomen lengths and males having larger heads and longer legs. Female common lizards start to reproduce at a relatively large size compared to most other populations. This is consistent with a relatively short activity season, which has been shown to be the main factor driving variation in body size in the common lizard. Clutch size was also relatively high and positively correlated with body size, abdomen size and head size. One third of all females attaining the size of the smallest gravid female showed no signs of reproductive activity despite mating opportunities, suggesting that not all females reproduce annually in this population.

  5. Turn up the heat: thermal tolerances of lizards at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Brusch, George A; Taylor, Emily N; Whitfield, Steven M

    2016-02-01

    Global temperature increases over the next century are predicted to contribute to the extinction of a number of taxa, including up to 40% of all lizard species. Lizards adapted to living in lowland tropical areas are especially vulnerable because of their dependence on specific microhabitats, low vagility, and a reduced capacity to physiologically adjust to environmental change. To assess the potential effects of climate change on lizards in the lowland tropics, we measured the critical thermal maximum (CTmax) of ten species from La Selva, Costa Rica. We also examined how well body size, microhabitat type, and species predicted the CTmax. We used current temperature data along with projected temperature increases for 2080 to predict which species may be at the greatest risk at La Selva. Of the ten species sampled, four are at serious risk of lowland extirpation and three others might also be at risk under the highest predicted temperature-increase models. Forest floor lizards at La Selva have already experienced significant population declines over the past 40 years, and we found that each of the forest floor species we studied is at serious risk of local extirpation. We also found that microhabitat type is the strongest predictor of CTmax, demonstrating the profound impact habitat specialization has on the thermal limits of tropical lizards.

  6. Short-term dispersal response of an endangered Australian lizard varies with time of year.

    PubMed

    Ebrahimi, Mehregan; Bull, C Michael

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal is an important component in the demography of animal populations. Many animals show seasonal changes in their tendency to disperse, reflecting changes in resource availability, mating opportunities, or in population age structure at the time when new offspring enter the population. Understanding when and why dispersal occurs can be important for the management of endangered species. The pygmy bluetongue lizard is an endangered Australian species that occupies and defends single burrow refuges for extended periods of time, rarely moving far from the burrow entrance. However, previous pitfall trapping data have suggested movement of adult males in spring and of juveniles in autumn of each year. In the current study we compared behaviours of adult lizards each month, over the spring-summer activity period over two consecutive field seasons, to provide deeper understanding of the seasonal dispersal pattern. We released adult pygmy bluetongue lizards into a central area, provided with artificial burrows, within large enclosures, and monitored the behaviour and movements of the released lizards over a four day period. There was a consistent decline in time spent basking, amount of movement around burrow entrances, and rates of dispersal from the central release area from early spring to late summer. Results could be relevant to understanding and managing natural populations and for any translocation attempts of this endangered lizard species.

  7. Social context affects tail displays by Phrynocephalus vlangalii lizards from China.

    PubMed

    Peters, Richard A; Ramos, Jose A; Hernandez, Juan; Wu, Yayong; Qi, Yin

    2016-01-01

    Competition between animals for limited resources often involves signaling to establish ownership or dominance. In some species, the defended resource relates to suitable thermal conditions and refuge from predators. This is particularly true of burrow-dwelling lizards such as the Qinghai toad-headed agama (Phrynocephalus vlangalii), which are found on the Tibetan plateau of western China. Male and female lizards occupy separate burrows, which are vital for anti-predator behaviour during warmer months when lizards are active and, crucially, provide shelter from harsh winter conditions. These lizards are readily observed signaling by means of tail displays on the sand dunes they inhabit. Given the selective pressure to hold such a resource, both males and females should exhibit territorial behaviour and we considered this study system to examine in detail how social context influences motion based territorial signaling. We confirmed that territorial signaling was used by both sexes, and by adopting a novel strategy that permitted 3D reconstruction of tail displays, we identified significant variation due to social context. However, signal structure was not related to lizard morphology. Clearly, the burrow is a highly valued resource and we suggest that additional variation in signaling behaviour might be mediated by resource quality. PMID:27526625

  8. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation, and the thermal quality of habitat for both species. We also compared the selection of thermal microhabitats between both species. Results show that I. galani is a cold-adapted thermal specialist with a preferred temperature range of 27.9-29.7 °C, while P. bocagei would be a thermal generalist, with a broader and higher preferred temperature range (30.1-34.5 °C). In addition, I. galani selects rocky substrates while P. bocagei selects warmer soil and leaf litter substrates. The thermal quality of the habitat is higher for P. bocagei than for I. galani. Finally, P. bocagei achieves a significantly higher effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.87) than I. galani (0.80). Therefore, these mountain habitat conditions seem currently more suitable for performance of thermophilic generalist lizards than for cold-specialist lizards.

  9. Social context affects tail displays by Phrynocephalus vlangalii lizards from China

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Richard A.; Ramos, Jose A.; Hernandez, Juan; Wu, Yayong; Qi, Yin

    2016-01-01

    Competition between animals for limited resources often involves signaling to establish ownership or dominance. In some species, the defended resource relates to suitable thermal conditions and refuge from predators. This is particularly true of burrow-dwelling lizards such as the Qinghai toad-headed agama (Phrynocephalus vlangalii), which are found on the Tibetan plateau of western China. Male and female lizards occupy separate burrows, which are vital for anti-predator behaviour during warmer months when lizards are active and, crucially, provide shelter from harsh winter conditions. These lizards are readily observed signaling by means of tail displays on the sand dunes they inhabit. Given the selective pressure to hold such a resource, both males and females should exhibit territorial behaviour and we considered this study system to examine in detail how social context influences motion based territorial signaling. We confirmed that territorial signaling was used by both sexes, and by adopting a novel strategy that permitted 3D reconstruction of tail displays, we identified significant variation due to social context. However, signal structure was not related to lizard morphology. Clearly, the burrow is a highly valued resource and we suggest that additional variation in signaling behaviour might be mediated by resource quality. PMID:27526625

  10. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    PubMed Central

    Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation, and the thermal quality of habitat for both species. We also compared the selection of thermal microhabitats between both species. Results show that I. galani is a cold-adapted thermal specialist with a preferred temperature range of 27.9–29.7 °C, while P. bocagei would be a thermal generalist, with a broader and higher preferred temperature range (30.1–34.5 °C). In addition, I. galani selects rocky substrates while P. bocagei selects warmer soil and leaf litter substrates. The thermal quality of the habitat is higher for P. bocagei than for I. galani. Finally, P. bocagei achieves a significantly higher effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.87) than I. galani (0.80). Therefore, these mountain habitat conditions seem currently more suitable for performance of thermophilic generalist lizards than for cold-specialist lizards. PMID:27280076

  11. Turn up the heat: thermal tolerances of lizards at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Brusch, George A; Taylor, Emily N; Whitfield, Steven M

    2016-02-01

    Global temperature increases over the next century are predicted to contribute to the extinction of a number of taxa, including up to 40% of all lizard species. Lizards adapted to living in lowland tropical areas are especially vulnerable because of their dependence on specific microhabitats, low vagility, and a reduced capacity to physiologically adjust to environmental change. To assess the potential effects of climate change on lizards in the lowland tropics, we measured the critical thermal maximum (CTmax) of ten species from La Selva, Costa Rica. We also examined how well body size, microhabitat type, and species predicted the CTmax. We used current temperature data along with projected temperature increases for 2080 to predict which species may be at the greatest risk at La Selva. Of the ten species sampled, four are at serious risk of lowland extirpation and three others might also be at risk under the highest predicted temperature-increase models. Forest floor lizards at La Selva have already experienced significant population declines over the past 40 years, and we found that each of the forest floor species we studied is at serious risk of local extirpation. We also found that microhabitat type is the strongest predictor of CTmax, demonstrating the profoun