Institute Ecologia y Sistematica

Havana, Cuba

Institute Ecologia y Sistematica

Havana, Cuba

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Mancina C.A.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica | Castro-Arellano I.,Texas State University
Journal of Tropical Ecology | Year: 2015

We assessed the differences and similarities in diel activities among five phytophagous bat species at two habitats over two seasonswithin the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve in Cuba.Wecharacterized temporal patterns of activity and overlap of temporal activity for frugivore and nectarivore bat species (Artibeus jamaicensis, Monophyllus redmani, Phyllonycteris poeyi, Phyllops falcatus and Brachyphylla nana) that occur in tropical evergreen forest sites with distinct altitude and vegetation structure during wet and dry seasons. Capture frequencies using mist-nets of 1180 capture events were the empirical basis for analyses. For each species we compared activity patterns between habitats, between seasons, between males and females, as well as between reproductive and non-reproductive females.We also assessed temporal overlap among each possible pair of species at each habitat and used Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate assemblage-wide temporal niche overlap using a new algorithm, termed Rosario, designed specifically for temporal data. The two habitats had the same species composition and bat diel rhythms tended to be consistent across habitats, seasons and sexes for most bat species. In general bat species pairwise temporal niche overlap was high, and the ensemble-wide temporal overlap was consistently high across habitats and seasons indicating a common constraint for bat activities. Activity peaks of most bat species coincided at 4-5 h after sunset, this being in sharp contrast to other Neotropical bat assemblages at continental sites where activity peaks usually overlap within the first 2 h after sunset. This strong disparity in timing of activity peaks between continental and insular bat assemblages can provide the framework for the generation of hypotheses that explain the potential role of time as a mediator of ecological interactions in bat assemblages. © Cambridge University Press 2013.

Mancina C.A.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica | Herreram L.G.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Auk | Year: 2016

Generalist avian nectarivores visit flowers that produce copious sugar-dilute nectar, and some species can not compensate energy intake when fed solutions with low sugar content (≥5% w/w). Intake of dilute sugar diets by specialist avian nectarivores is limited by salt content, but the potential role of salt on nectar intake of generalist nectarivores has not been tested. We examined intake rate and digestion of solutions with varying sucrose concentrations (2.5-30% w/w) by Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) and the effect of salt content (20 and 40 mM L-1 NaCl) on the intake rate and digestion of dilute sucrose solutions (2.5% w/w) of this generalist nectarivore. We tested the hypothesis that Red-legged Honeycreepers do not show compensatory feeding when fed dilute sugar diets, and that salt limits the intake rate and digestion of these solutions. We found that this generalist nectarivore showed compensatory feeding when fed sucrose diets ≥5%, but they did not compensate sugar intake when fed a 2.5% sucrose diet. Sucrose intake, sucrose apparent assimilation, and body mass increased when birds were fed dilute sugar diets to which NaCl was added. Addition of salt facilitated feeding on dilute sugar diets, probably by reducing Na+ losses, and increasing Na-dependent glucose transport. Further work on the renal and digestive physiology of generalist avian nectarivores would clarify the role of salt on the intake of dilute sugar solutions. © 2016 American Ornithologists Union.

Mancina C.A.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica | Herrera L.G.M.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2010

Protein is essential for growth and reproduction. We used nitrogen stable isotope analysis to reconstruct protein (i.e., nitrogen) dietary origin in 2 Antillean nectarivorous bats with contrasting morphology of the masticatory apparatus: the Greater Antillean long-tongued bat (Monophyllus redmani, Glossophaginae) and Poey's flower bat (Phyllonycteris poeyi, Phyllonycterinae). M. redmani has a masticatory apparatus that is more adapted to feed on flowers, whereas P. poeyi has a feeding structure that resembles the structure of frugivorous bats. M. redmani relied on a mixture of nitrogen derived from insects and plants, and P. poeyi depended more on plant nitrogen. Based on previous findings in fecal contents, we concluded that M. redmani obtained plant nitrogen mainly from pollen, and P. poeyi obtained it predominantly from fruits. Our study suggests that jaw morphology plays a major role in dietary diversification among nectarivorous bats to obtain protein. © 2010 American Society of Mammalogists.

Iturriaga M.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica | Marrero R.,University of Habana
Herpetology Notes | Year: 2013

The gecko Hemidactylus mabouia is an invasive species and a successful colonizer with a broad distribution in the tropics. The species is frequently associated with human buildings on which individuals profit from the availability of potential prey items attracted to artificial light sources. The feeding ecology of H. mabouia was studied in an urban area of Havana, Cuba, in order to evaluate diet composition and potential differences among adult males, adult females and juveniles during the dry season. The main prey items encountered consisted of non-flying arthropods (cockroaches, spiders and pill bugs). Cockroaches contributed most to the ingested volume. Snout-vent length did not significantly differ between adult males and adult females, whereas significant differences were recovered in head width among the three sex/age categories. No relationship between body and head size was found in relation to the number and volume of prey items. All analysed individuals tended to feed on small-sized prey. Microhabitat selection is suggested to be the main factor that determines diet composition in adult males and juveniles.

Rodriguez A.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica | Poth D.,TU Braunschweig | Schulz S.,TU Braunschweig | Vences M.,TU Braunschweig
Biology Letters | Year: 2011

Four phylogenetically independent lineages of frogs are currently known to sequester lipidsoluble skin alkaloids for which a dietary source has been demonstrated.We report here a remarkable fifth such instance, in Eleutherodactylus iberia and Eleutherodactylus orientalis, two species of miniaturized frogs of the family Eleutherodactylidae from Cuba. Six pumiliotoxins and two indolizidines were found in E. iberia, one of the smallest frogs in the world and characterized by a contrasting colour pattern for which we hypothesize an aposematic function. Analyses of stomach content indicated a numerical prevalence of mites with an important proportion of oribatids-a group of arthropods known to contain one of the pumiliotoxins detected in E. iberia. This suggests that miniaturization and specialization to small prey may have favoured the acquisition of dietary skin alkaloids in these amphibians. © 2010 The Royal Society.

Aguila R.N.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica | Canamero A.B.,University of Habana
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

A total of 1557 species belonging to 56 families of the order Lepidoptera is listed from Cuba, along with the source of each record. Additional literature references treating Cuban Lepidoptera are also provided. The list is based primarily on literature records, although some collections were examined: the Instituto de Ecologïa y Sistemätica collection, Havana, Cuba; the Museo Felipe Poey collection, University of Havana; the Fernando de Zayas private collection, Havana; and the United States National Museum collection, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. One family, Schreckensteinidae, and 113 species constitute new records to the Cuban fauna. The following nomenclatural changes are proposed: Paucivena hoffmanni (Koehler 1939) (Psychidae), new comb., and Gonodontodes chionosticta Hampson 1913 (Erebidae), syn. nov., is a synonym of Gonodontodes dispar Hampson 1913. Burca cubensis (Skinner 1913) (Hesperiidae), and Eulepidotis re-flexa (Herrich-Schäffer 1869) (Erebidae) are revised and revalidated. Copyright © 2012. Magnolia Press.

Aguila R.N.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica | Davis D.R.,Smithsonian Institution
Zootaxa | Year: 2016

A new genus and species, Antillopsyche sessilis Núñez & Davis, of Psychidae are described from Cuba, West Indies. The new taxon shares certain features with some members of the subfamily Arrhenophaninae but more with the larvae and the fully winged adult females of other subfamilies of Psychidae. Antillopsyche has been assigned provisionally to the sub-family Typhoniinae based on these similarities. Several aspects of its larval biology are described, including the sessile larval cases and foraging behavior, both unique among the known Psychidae. An undescribed species of Dryadaula Mey-rick, 1893 (Dryadaulidae) was found inhabiting the larval cases of A. sessilis, but their ecological relationships remain unclear. Other ecological data for Antillopsyche such as distribution, habitat, and parasitoids are also provided. Copyright © 2016 Magnolia Press.

Two new genera and species parasitizing passalid beetles from the Democratic Republic of Congo are described. Kongonema meyeri gen. n. sp. n. is characterized by having females with the cervical cuticle unarmed, first cephalic annule cone-like and truncate, sub-cylindrical procorpus and genital tract didelphicamphidelphic. The males of K. meyeri gen. n. sp. n. have the procorpus sub-cylindrical, the dorsal cuticle of the tail end thickened, a single large, median mammiform pre-cloacal papilla and a pair of small, precloacal, sub-lateral papillae at a short distance before the level of the cloaca. Lubanema decraemerae gen. n. sp. n. is characterized by the body markedly fusiform, cuticle unarmed and strongly annulated, procorpus sub-cylindrical, isthmus as a constriction between procorpus and basal bulb, genital tract monodelphicprodelphic and the posterior end rounded with a very short tail appendage. © Jans Morffe, Nayla García.

A new genus and species of Dioptinae (Lepidoptera, Noctuoidea, Notodontidae) is described from Cuba, this being the third taxon of the subfamily known from the West Indies. Eremonidiopsis aggregata, gen. n., sp. n., appears to be closely related to Eremonidia mirifica Rawlins & Miller from Hispaniola among members of the tribe Dioptini. Eremonidiopsis aggregata is known from two localities in the middle and western portions of the northeastern Cuban mountain range, Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa. The species inhabits low elevations (300-400 m) covered by lowland rainforest and sclerophyll rainforest. The six known specimens, all males, were part of small swarms flying near the top of an unidentified tree during the day at both collecting sites. These localities are included within protected areas, the "Pico Cristal" National Park in the West and the "Alexander von Humbolt" National Park in the East. © Rayner Núñez Aguila.

Silva R.R.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

Rivulus berovidesi, a new killifish species, is described from a small stream in Sierra de Cajalbana, northwestern Cuba. It is readily distinguished from Rivulus cylindraceus Poey by the combination of an exclusive color pattern and meristic characters such as a d-type frontal scalation pattern (versus e-type pattern in Rivulus cylindraceus). The current diagnosis of Rivulus berovidesi based on chromatic, morphological and meristic characters is consistent with a recent molecular analysis of this genus in Cuba. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.

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