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Durban, South Africa

Williams K.A.,Durban Natural Science Museum | Villet M.H.,Rhodes University
ZooKeys | Year: 2014

Hybrids of Lucilia sericata and Lucilia cuprina have been shown to exist in previous studies using molecular methods, but no study has shown explicitly that these hybrids can be identified morphologically. Published morphological characters used to identify L. sericata and L. cuprina were reviewed, and then scored and tested using specimens of both species and known hybrids. Ordination by multi-dimensional scaling indicated that the species were separable, and that hybrids resembled L. cuprina, whatever their origin. Discriminant function analysis of the characters successfully separated the specimens into three unambiguous groups - L. sericata, L. cuprina and hybrids. The hybrids were morphologically similar irrespective of whether they were from an ancient introgressed lineage or more modern. This is the first evidence that hybrids of these two species can be identified from their morphology. The usefulness of the morphological characters is also discussed and photographs of several characters are included to facilitate their assessment. © K.A. Williams, M.H. Villet. Source

Tantawi T.I.,Alexandria University | Williams K.A.,Durban Natural Science Museum | Villet M.H.,Rhodes University
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2010

The calliphorid fly, Lucilia cuprina (Wiedemann), is known to cause serious malign myiasis in animals, whereas its sibling species Lucilia sericata (Meigen) is commonly a carrion breeder and is used in maggot debridement therapy (MDT). The current study reports an accidental involvement of L. cuprina in MDT in Alexandria, Egypt, that has proved to be safe and effective. In November 2008, the laboratory colonies of L. sericata (the species regularly used in MDT) at the Faculty of Science, Alexandria University were renewed by Lucilia flies collected as third instar larvae on exposed rabbit carcasses. Flies from the new colonies were successfully used to heal the diabetic foot wounds of two patients at Alexandria Main University Hospital. Analysis of DNA sequences and adult and larval morphology then revealed that these flies were and still are L. cuprina. Breeding of this species in carrion in Alexandria is a new record. Despite the safety of this strain of L. cuprina in MDT, entomologists rearing blow flies for the purpose of wound debridement should regularly maintain high quality assurance of their species' identity to avoid possible clinical complications that may result from the introduction of an unexpected and invasive species to their laboratory colonies. © 2010 Entomological Society of America. Source

Cooper M.R.,Durban Natural Science Museum
Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie - Abhandlungen | Year: 2016

The subfamily Pleurotrigoniinae has long been treated a synonym of the Trigoniinae. Here two new genera and two new species of pleurotrigoniine bivalve are described from the Cretaceous of South Africa and Australia, providing the evolutionary link between Aptian Sphenotrigonia and Cenomanian Pleurotrigonia, the type species of which are re-described. These new taxa establish the subfamily Pleurotrigoniinae as an important Gondwanic lineage, ranging in age from Barremian to Maastrichtian. The early growth stages of Sphenotrigonia point unequivocally to an origin in Nototrigonia, and here the subfamily Nototrigoniinae is reduced to a tribe within Pleurotrigoniinae. The new tribe Kupengini is separated from Nototrigoniini and assigned to Neotrigoniinae, of which it is regarded the progenitor. © 2016 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany. Source

Richards L.R.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Rambau R.V.,Stellenbosch University | Lamb J.M.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Taylor P.J.,Durban Natural Science Museum | And 4 more authors.
Chromosome Research | Year: 2010

The chiropteran fauna of Madagascar comprises eight of the 19 recognized families of bats, including the endemic Myzopodidae. While recent systematic studies of Malagasy bats have contributed to our understanding of the morphological and genetic diversity of the island's fauna, little is known about their cytosystematics. Here we investigate karyotypic relationships among four species, representing four families of Chiroptera endemic to the Malagasy region using cross-species chromosome painting with painting probes of Myotis myotis: Myzopodidae (Myzopoda aurita, 2=26), Molossidae (Mormopterus jugularis, 2=48), Miniopteridae (Miniopterus griveaudi, 2=46), and Vespertilionidae (Myotis goudoti, 2=44). This study represents the first time a member of the family Myzopodidae has been investigated using chromosome painting. Painting probes of M. myotis were used to delimit 29, 24, 23, and 22 homologous chromosomal segments in the genomes of M. aurita, M. jugularis, M. griveaudi, and M. goudoti, respectively. Comparison of GTG-banded homologous chromosomes/ chromosomal segments among the four species revealed the genome of M. aurita has been structured through 14 fusions of chromosomes and chromosomal segments of M. myotis chromosomes leading to a karyotype consisting solely of bi-armed chromosomes. In addition, chromosome painting revealed a novel X-autosome translocation in M. aurita. Comparison of our results with published chromosome maps provided further evidence for karyotypic conservatism within the genera Mormopterus, Miniopterus, and Myotis. Mapping of chromosomal rearrangements onto a molecular consensus phylogeny revealed ancestral syntenies shared between Myzopoda and other bat species of the infraorders Pteropodiformes and Vespertilioniformes. Our study provides further evidence for the involvement of Robertsonian (Rb) translocations and fusions/fissions in chromosomal evolution within Chiroptera. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Kruger S.C.,University of Cape Town | Allan D.G.,Durban Natural Science Museum | Jenkins A.R.,University of Cape Town | Amar A.,University of Cape Town
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2014

Summary Territory occupancy, distribution and density of the isolated Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis population in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains of southern Africa were assessed between two time periods - former (1960-1999) and current (2000-2012) - to identify population trends. Overall, 190 territories were recorded of which 109 are currently occupied. The number of occupied breeding territories decreased by a minimum of 32% and a maximum of 51% over the past five decades. Territories located on the periphery of the breeding range were more likely to be abandoned than those in the core. The current population is estimated at a minimum of 352 and a maximum of 390 individuals. The breeding range decreased by 27%, restricting the birds to an estimated area of occupancy of 28,125 km2. Breeding densities also decreased by 20%, declining from 4.9 to 3.9 pairs/1,000 km2. In both periods, higher densities were recorded in the core of the range. Nests were located about 9.0 km apart, a slight increase from the 7.7 km recorded formerly. Inter-nest distances increased with distance from the core range. Further studies are required to ascertain whether productivity or survival is limiting population growth, and whether anthropogenic influences are resulting in the abandonment of territories in the periphery of the range and the subsequent decline in numbers. © BirdLife International 2013. Source

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