Time filter

Source Type

McDonald D.E.,Stellenbosch University | Ruhberg H.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum | Daniels S.R.,Stellenbosch University
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

A recent study based on the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and the nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene sequences from the widely distributed Cape velvet worm species Peripatopsis capensis (Grube, 1866) revealed the presence of three distinct, geographically exclusive clades characterised by marked sequence divergence values. Two of the three clades were recognised as novel species and are described in the present manuscript. Gross morphology and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), in conjuction with the genetic data, were used to discriminate the species. Two new species, P. lawrencei sp. nov. and P. overbergiensis sp. nov., are described and compared with P. capensis sensu stricto. The implications of these results on the conservation management are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Magnolia Press.


Kalkman V.J.,National Museum of Natural History | Choong C.Y.,National University of Malaysia | Orr A.G.,Griffith University | Schutte K.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum
International Journal of Odonatology | Year: 2010

A list of genera presently included in Megapodagrionidae and Pseudolestidae is provided, together with information on species for which the larva has been described. Based on the shape of the gills, the genera for which the larva is known can be arranged into four groups: (1) species with inflated sack-like gills with a terminal filament; (2) species with flat vertical gills; (3) species in which the outer gills in life form a tube folded around the median gill; (4) species with flat horizontal gills. The possible monophyly of these groups is discussed. It is noted that horizontal gills are not found in any other family of Zygoptera. Within the Megapodagrionidae the genera with horizontal gills are, with the exception of Dimeragrion, the only ones lacking setae on the shaft of the genital ligula. On the basis of these two characters it is suggested that this group is monophyletic.


Letsch H.O.,University of Vienna | Meusemann K.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Wipfler B.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Schutte K.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2012

In this study, we investigated the relationships among insect orders with a main focus on Polyneoptera (lower Neoptera: roaches, mantids, earwigs, grasshoppers, etc.), and Paraneoptera (thrips, lice, bugs in the wide sense). The relationships between and within these groups of insects are difficult to resolve because only few informative molecular and morphological characters are available. Here, we provide the first phylogenomic expressed sequence tags data ('EST': short sub-sequences from a c(opy) DNA sequence encoding for proteins) for stick insects (Phasmatodea) and webspinners (Embioptera) to complete published EST data. As recent EST datasets are characterized by a heterogeneous distribution of available genes across taxa, we use different rationales to optimize the data matrix composition. Our results suggest a monophyletic origin of Polyneoptera and Eumetabola (Paraneoptera {thorn} Holometabola). However, we identified artefacts of tree reconstruction (human louse Pediculus humanus assigned to Odonata (damselflies and dragonflies) or Holometabola (insects with a complete metamorphosis); mayfly genus Baetis nested within Neoptera), which were most probably rooted in a data matrix composition bias due to the inclusion of sequence data of entire proteomes. Until entire proteomes are available for each species in phylogenomic analyses, this potential pitfall should be carefully considered. © 2012 The Royal Society.


Das I.,University Malaysia Sarawak | Haas A.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

A new diminutive species of microhylid frog (genus Microhyla) is described from the Matang Range, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The new species is an obligate of the pitcher plant, Nepenthes ampullaria, breeding in senescent or mature pitchers, and is Old World's smallest frog and one of the world's tiniest: adult males range between SVL 10.6-12.8 mm (n = 8). The new species is diagnosable from congeners in showing dorsum with low tubercles that are relatively more distinct on flanks; a weak, broken, mid-vertebral ridge, starting from forehead and continuing along body; no dermal fold across forehead; tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus absent; Finger I reduced to a nub proximal to Finger II in males; toe tips weakly dilated; phalanges with longitudinal grooves, forming two scale-like structures; webbing on toe IV basal; toes with narrow dermal fringes; inner and outer metatarsal tubercles present; and dorsum brown with an hour-glass shaped mark on scapular region. Miniaturization and reduced webbing may be the result of navigation on the slippery zone of pitchers, situated below the peristome.Copyright © 2010.


News Article | August 26, 2010
Site: www.theguardian.com

One of the world's tiniest frogs – barely larger than a pea – has been found living in and around carnivorous plants in Borneo, one of the scientists who made the accidental discovery said today. Indraneil Das, a scientist at University Malaysia Sarawak, and another scientist from Germany were researching frogs in Malaysia's Sarawak state on Borneo island when they chanced upon the tiny species on a mountain road in the Kubah National Park in 2006. "For biologists, this is a curiosity," Das told Associated Press. The frogs were named Microhyla nepenthicola after the pitcher plant species where they live, said Das. A Malaysian museum had listed the species but misidentified it as a juvenile of another frog species, he said. The tubular plants are carnivorous, killing insects such as ants, but do not harm the frogs. Tadpoles grow in the liquid inside the plants. Adult males of the amphibians range in size between 10.6mm and 12.8mm, said Das. The findings were published (pdf) by Das and Alexander Haas of the Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum of Hamburg, Germany in the journal Zootaxa last week. Because the frogs were so small, Das and his colleague only found them by tracking their singing of "harsh rasping notes" at dusk. They caught them by making them jump on a white cloth near the pitcher plants. The discovery should encourage efforts to protect the biological diversity in Borneo's rainforests. Das said the tiniest known frog – at 9.8mm – found was in Cuba.


Muhlenhardt-Siegel U.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Nine species of the family Diastylidae, two species of the family Bodotriidae and one species of the family Pseudocuma-tidae are present in the DIVA II and Ifremer collections. Two new species were recognized and described herein. However, one of the new species has to remain in open nomenclature due to its young developmental stage. The new species are Makrokylindrus (Makrokylindrus) abyssalis, and M. (Adiastylis) sp.1. The distribution range is enlarged based on the new findings for seven species. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press.


Renwrantz L.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum | Spielvogel F.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology | Year: 2011

In humans and other vertebrates, mental or physical stressors may trigger a variety of symptoms generally referred to as the fight/flight response (Cannon 1929). The processes also include variability of the heart frequency as well as leukocytosis. We monitored both body responses in disturbed hibernating vineyard snails, H. pomatia, to obtain information on the stress sensitivity of these "sleeping" invertebrates. The first mild stressor, a 100. meter transport of hibernating snails from the cold room to the laboratory, caused cardiac arrhythmia in the animals. This reaction could have been provoked by mechanical disturbances and/or by raising the body temperature to room temperature. But a change in the ambient temperature did not trigger an abnormal heart rhythm. Different from this observation, we recorded instant heart rate changes in response to knocking on the shell and a very irregular heartbeat occurred when a hole was punched in the shell. With a short time delay upon damaging the shell, a large increase in the number of circulating cells also occurred. This was not observed after knocking on the shell or when snails were adapted to different temperatures for each 48. h. Thus, hibernating snails sense environmental variations which cause an immediate change of the heart frequency and an elevated stimulus level initiates in addition leukocytosis which occurs at a post-stimulus latency. This disparity could indicate the activity of two different stress regulation pathways. Furthermore, the assays demonstrate an increasing linear relation between rising temperature and frequency of heart pulsations (y. = 1.01x. - 2.1); but the results do not indicate a correlation between heartbeat frequency and the number of cells in circulation. Consequently, neither temperature nor heart frequency seems to influence the number of circulating cells in hibernating H. pomatia. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Jorger K.M.,SNSB Bavarian State Collection of Zoology | Jorger K.M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Schrodl M.,SNSB Bavarian State Collection of Zoology | Schrodl M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 2 more authors.
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography | Year: 2014

Our knowledge of the biodiversity and distribution patterns of benthic deep-sea faunas is still limited, with large parts of the world's abyss unexplored, lacking α-taxonomic data across oceans basins and especially of biogeographic transition zones between oceans. The Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone has been discussed as major biogeographic barrier hindering faunal exchange between Subantarctic and Antarctic provinces and conserving high rates of endemism in the Southern Ocean benthos. In the present study we report first, exploratory α-taxonomy on the malacofauna sampled by means of an epibenthic sledge from four bathyal respectively abyssal stations (2732-4327. m depth) in the vicinity of the Antarctic Polar Front during the SYSTCO II expedition (SYSTem COupling in the Southern Ocean, RV Polarstern cruise ANT XXVIII/3). We identified 58 distinct molluscan taxa based on external morphology ('morphospecies'); of the 33 taxa successfully assigned to described species 94% were previously reported from the Southern Ocean, but 24% exhibit distribution ranges crossing the Polar Front. One North Atlantic scaphopod is reported for the first time in Antarctic waters. Our study supports that the Antarctic Polar Front does not serve as effective barrier preventing gene flow in deep-sea molluscs. The present dataset shows the general characteristics of deep-sea sampling: patchiness in distribution and a high degree of singletons. Overall molluscan abundances were generally low ranging between 3.60 and 24.65. ind./1000. m2, but in comparison with equatorial and subtropic abyssal basins, gastropod species richness and abundance were reaching high values similar to high Antarctic stations. Comparison between high productivity and low productivity zones along the Polar Front suggests increased abundances and species richness in high productivity zones. Intensified sampling is needed, however, to outweigh stochastic errors and to evaluate the influence of carbon flux as driving factor to faunal composition and abundances of abyssal molluscs. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Several species of scyphozoan medusae occur in river estuaries and other brackish waters but it is often unknown if the planulae settle and the scyphopolyps reproduce in those low-salinity waters. In the present study, scyphozoan species from the German Bight (North Sea) were tested in laboratory experiments to investigate their tolerance of low salinity. Planula larvae released from medusae in salinity 32 were still active after the salinity was reduced to 10 (Cyanea capillata, Cyanea lamarckii) and to 7 (Chrysaora hysoscella) in laboratory treatments. Planulae did not settle on the undersides of floating substrates when salinity was reduced to < 20. By contrast, planulae released from C. capillata medusae in Kiel Bight (western Baltic Sea) in salinity 15 developed into polyps in laboratory cultures. Polyps reared from planulae in salinity 36 survived a reduction to 12 (C. capillata, C. lamarckii) and to 8 (Aurelia aurita). Polyps of all tested species strobrvations, young C. capillata ephyrae were collected in the western Baltic Sea (Kiel Bight) in salinity 15, which indicates that they were probably released by a local polyp population. We suggest that the polyps of the painfully stinging lion's mane, C. capillata, may be more widespread in the Baltic Sea than previously assumed and that the occurrence of the medusae may not only depend on inflow of water masses from the North Sea. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.


Renwrantz L.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum | Lam A.,Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology | Year: 2010

This study focused on soluble and surface-bound aminopeptidase (AP) in hemocytes from Mytilus edulis and on the identification of the enzyme-producing blood cells. The cell extract hydrolyzed alanine p-nitroanilide (Ala-pNA) with an optimum between pH 6.4 and 7.0. Following native gradient PAGE of extract, alanyl methoxy-naphthylamide (AMNA) was converted by one band with an estimated molecular weight of 375 kDa; it included at least ten putative AP-isozymes with isoelectric points between pH 4.5 and 5.8. In addition to this soluble form, electron microscopy revealed simultaneous conversion of AMNA on the surface of blood cells. Individual mussels expressed AP-molecules in 23-39% of their hemocytes. These cells were shown to represent eosinophilic granulocytes. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Loading Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum collaborators
Loading Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum collaborators