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PubMed | University of Tehran, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Verona, Museo di Storia Naturale di Milan and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: ZooKeys | Year: 2016

The Mediterranean Region is one of the worlds biodiversity hot-spots, which is also characterized by high level of endemism. Approximately 2100 species of leaf beetle (Coleoptera; Chrysomelidae) are known from this area, a number that increases year after year and represents 5/6% of the known species. These features, associated with the urgent need to develop a DNA-based species identification approach for a broad spectrum of leaf beetle species, prompted us to develop a database of nucleotide sequences, with a solid taxonomic background, for all the Chrysomelidae Latreille, 1802 sensu latu inhabiting the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean Chrysomelidae Barcoding project, which has started in 2009, involves more than fifty entomologists and molecular biologists from different European countries. Numerous collecting campaigns have been organized during the first seven years of the project, which led to the collection of more than 5000 leaf beetle specimens. In addition, during these collecting campaigns two new allochthonous species for Europe, namely Ophraella communa LeSage, 1986 and Colasposoma dauricum Mannerheim, 1849, were intercepted and some species new to science were discovered (e.g., Pachybrachis sassii Montagna, 2011 and Pachybrachis holerorum Montagna et al., 2013). DNA was extracted from 1006 specimens (~13% of the species inhabiting the Mediterranean region) and a total of 910 cox1 gene sequences were obtained (PCR amplification efficiency of 93.8%). Here we report the list of the barcoded subfamilies, genera and the number of species for which cox1 gene sequences were obtained; the metadata associated with each specimen and a list of problematic species for which marker amplification failed. In addition, the nucleotide divergence within and between species and genera was estimated and values of intraspecific nucleotide divergence greater than the average have been discussed. Cryptocephalus quadripunctatus G. A. Olivier, 1808, Cryptocephalus rugicollis G. A. Olivier, 1791 and Exosoma lusitanicum Linnaeus, 1767) are representatives of these cases.


Colleoni E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Denoel M.,University of Liège | Padoa-Schioppa E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Scali S.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Milan | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2014

Body size is influenced by the interaction of multiple forces, whose effects can determine the occurrence of sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Rensch's rule is the increase of SSD with body size in taxa where males are the largest sex, and the opposite pattern in female-biased SSD taxa. This pattern was detected in many animal groups, but contrasting results were also highlighted. This study evaluated the existence of Rensch's patterns for body size and for the number of caudal vertebrae in salamandrid caudate amphibians. Furthermore, we tested the support of alternative hypotheses on processes that may determine allometric patterns: sexual selection, fecundity selection and constraining selection by performing separate analyses on species with male- and female-biased SSD. We used the literature and original data to gather information on body size and number of caudal vertebrae in 52 species of salamandrids over four continents. We then tested the support of the three hypotheses using a phylogenetic approach. Rensch's rule was valid for body size in salamanders only for species with male-biased dimorphism. No allometric relationships were detected by analyses on all the species, or by analyses on female-biased SSD species. Analyses performed on the number of caudal vertebrae showed no significant patterns. Our study supports the role of sexual selection in promoting positive allometry for body size in male-biased SSD species, whereas the alternative hypotheses were not supported by our data. These results highlight the importance of distinguishing male- and female-biased species as different evolutionary pressures and constraints may be at the basis of evolution of SSD in these groups. © 2014 The Zoological Society of London.


Henry D.J.,Louisiana Street University | Novak M.,Masaryk University | Hawthorne F.C.,University of Manitoba | Ertl A.,University of Vienna | And 3 more authors.
American Mineralogist | Year: 2011

A nomenclature for tourmaline-supergroup minerals is based on chemical systematics using the generalized tourmaline structural formula: XY 3Z6(T6O18)(BO3) 3V3W, where the most common ions (or vacancy) at each site are X = Na1+, Ca2+, K1+, and vacancy; Y = Fe2+, Mg2+, Mn2+, Al3+, Li 1+, Fe3+, and Cr3+; Z = Al3+, Fe3+, Mg2+, and Cr3+; T = Si4+, Al3+, and B3+; B = B3+; V = OH1- and O2-; and W = OH1-, F1-, and O2-. Most compositional variability occurs at the X, Y, Z, W, and V sites. Tourmaline species are defined in accordance with the dominant-valency rule such that in a relevant site the dominant ion of the dominant valence state is used for the basis of nomenclature. Tourmaline can be divided into several groups and subgroups. The primary groups are based on occupancy of the X site, which yields alkali, calcic, or X-vacant groups. Because each of these groups involves cations (or vacancy) with a different charge, coupled substitutions are required to relate the compositions of the groups. Within each group, there are several subgroups related by heterovalent coupled substitutions. If there is more than one tourmaline species within a subgroup, they are related by homovalent substitutions. Additionally, the following considerations are made. (1) In tourmaline-supergroup minerals dominated by either OH1- or F 1- at the W site, the OH1--dominant species is considered the reference root composition for that root name: E.g., dravite. (2) For a tourmaline composition that has most of the chemical characteristics of a root composition, but is dominated by other cations or anions at one or more sites, the mineral species is designated by the root name plus prefix modifiers, e.g., fluor-dravite. (3) If there are multiple prefixes, they should be arranged in the order occurring in the structural formula, e.g., "potassium-fluor- dravite.


Garibaldi F.,University of Genoa | Podesta M.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Milan
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2014

The stomach contents of a male sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, stranded on Forte dei Marmi beach (Italy, Ligurian Sea) were examined. Food items consisted exclusively of cephalopod hard parts: 233 upper and 291 lower beaks and one fish eye lens. The majority of the identified cephalopod beaks belonged to Histioteuthis bonnellii, but a few beaks of Galiteuthis armata and Octopoteuthis sp. were also found. A new beak size-cephalopod size regression was created for H. bonnellii with specimens caught in the study area. Reconstructed prey weight for the species was much higher when applying this new regression instead of Clarke's, highlighting the need for area-and species-specific regressions for dietary studies. Our analysis represents the second report on the stomach contents of sperm whales from the Mediterranean and the first available information for the Western basin. © 2013 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom .


Ibrahim N.,University of Chicago | Sereno P.C.,University of Chicago | Sasso C.D.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Milan | Maganuco S.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Milan | And 5 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

We describe adaptations for a semiaquatic lifestyle in the dinosaur Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. These adaptations include retraction of the fleshy nostrils to a position near the mid-region of the skull and an elongate neck and trunk that shift the center of body mass anterior to the knee joint. Unlike terrestrial theropods, the pelvic girdle is downsized, the hindlimbs are short, and all of the limb bones are solid without an open medullary cavity, for buoyancy control in water. The short, robust femur with hypertrophied flexor attachment and the low, flat-bottomed pedal claws are consistent with aquatic foot-propelled locomotion. Surface striations and bone microstructure suggest that the dorsal sail may have been enveloped in skin that functioned primarily for display on land and in water. Copyright 2014 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved.


Bruni I.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Mattia F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Galimberti A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Galasso G.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Milan | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2010

The plant exposures are one of the most frequent poisonings reported to poison control centres. The diagnosis of intoxicated patients is usually based on the morphological analysis of ingested plant portions; this procedure requires experience in systematic botany, because the plant identification is based on few evident traits. The objective of this research is to test DNA barcoding approach as a new universal tool to identify toxic plants univocally and rapidly. Five DNA barcode regions were evaluated: three cpDNA sequences (trnHpsbA, rpoB and matK) and two nuclear regions (At103 and sqd1). The performance of these markers was evaluated in three plant groups: (1) a large collection of angiosperms containing different toxic substances, (2) congeneric species showing different degrees of toxicity and (3) congeneric edible and poisonous plants. Based on assessments of PCR, sequence quality and resolution power in species discrimination, we recommend the combination of plastidial and nuclear markers to identify toxic plants. Concerning plastidial markers, matK and trnHpsbA showed consistent genetic variability. However, in agreement with CBOL Plant Working Group, we selected matK as the best marker, because trnH-psbA showed some problems in sequences sizes and alignments. As a final and relevant observation, we also propose the combination of matK with a nuclear marker such as At103 to distinguish toxic hybrids form parental species. In conclusion, our data support the claimthat DNA barcoding is a powerful tool for poisonous plant identifications. © Springer-Verlag 2010.


The palaeontological collections of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, France, house a broad range of marine arthropods from the Solnhofen Lithographic Limestones (Late Jurassic, Germany). These arthropods include decapod crustaceans, stomatopods, supposed mysidaceans, and limulids. A commented systematic list is proposed in order to give to the specialists an instrument of comparison and reference. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.


The small Mahakamby Island (= Island of the Shrimp) is located in the Mozambique Channel (Indian Ocean) along the northwestern coast of the Mahajanga Province, (Soalala District, NW Madagascar). Miocene outcrops of Mahakamby were examined during the expeditions of two naturalists from the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris: the first by Perrier de la Bâthie in 1915 and the second by Waterlot in 1922. Among the fossil invertebrates collected during the Waterlot's Mission, some decapod crustaceans were partially reported by Collignon & Cottreau (1927) but their specimens are nowadays. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.


Charbonnier S.,CNRS Center for Research on Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Garassino A.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Milan | Pacaud J.-M.,CNRS Center for Research on Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Schweigert G.,Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde
Geodiversitas | Year: 2012

In 1817, Desmarest erected Eryon cuvieri, a new crustacean from the Late Jurassic of Bavaria (southern Germany). Later, the same taxon was described as Macrourites arctiformis by von Schlotheim (1820). Subsequently, numerous authors, probably unaware of Desmarest's first paper, referred to this taxon as Eryon arctiformis (von Schlotheim, 1820). Following the Principle of Priority, the original name must be used and Macrourites arctiformis von Schlotheim, 1820 is here considered to be a more recent, subjective synonym. Moreover, two specimens of the type series of Eryon cuvieri Desmarest, 1817, from Faujas de Saint-Fond's Cabinet of Natural History, have recently been traced in the Collection de Géologie of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris. A lectotype is herein designated. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.


Charbonnier S.,CNRS Center for Research on Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Garassino A.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Milan | Pasini G.,Museo Civico dei Fossili di Besano
Geodiversitas | Year: 2012

Decapod crustaceans from the Mesozoic of Madagascar have been studied by a number of authors during the last century. One of the largest sets of specimens was collected by the French General Maurice Collignon between 1930 and 1950; this was subsequently studied by Secrétan (1964) who described numerous species of macrurans, brachyurans, and axiideans. These crustaceans originate from the Upper Jurassic and the Upper Cretaceous of the Mahajanga Basin (NW Madagascar) and, especially, from the Morondava Basin (central-SW Madagascar). The purpose of the present study is twofold: to furnish an update of the stratigraphy and geology of the studied areas and, above all, to revise the Secrétan's species, employing current systematic nomenclature, supplying for each detailed geographic and stratigraphic data since such were either cursory or incomplete in previous papers. The present revision considers 13 species recorded by Secrétan as valid, namely: Enoploclytia collignoni Secrétan, 1964, Eryma granuliferum Secrétan, 1964, Pustulina spinulata (Secrétan, 1964) (all Erymidae Van Straelen, 1925); Hoploparia collignoni (Van Straelen, 1949), H. pusilla Secrétan, 1964 (both Nephropidae Dana, 1852 sensu Tshudy & Babcock 1997); Ctenocheles madagascariensis Secrétan, 1964 (Ctenochelidae Manning & Felder, 1991); Schlueteria menabensis Secrétan, 1964 (Axiidae Huxley, 1879); Linuparus bererensis Secrétan, 1964 (Palinuridae Latreille, 1802); Dromiopsis pulchella Secrétan, 1964 (Dynomenidae Ortmann, 1892); Caloxanthus simplex (Secrétan, 1964) (Etyidae Guinot & Tavares, 2001); "Xanthosia" robertsi Secrétan, 1982 (nomen novum pro Xanthosia elegans Secrétan, 1964, non Roberts, 1962), Titanocarcinus mamillatus Secrétan, 1964 (both Xanthoidea incertae sedis); and Secretanella arcuata (Secrétan, 1964) (indeterminate family). The three species described by Secrétan (1964) as belonging to the raninid genus Notopocorystes McCoy, 1849, N. bituberculatus, N. australis and N. denisae will be revised in a forthcoming paper. Our comparative studies have also revealed a number of synonymous taxa, as follows: Eryma granuliferum Secrétan, 1964 (junior synonym: E. madagascariensis Secrétan, 1964); Linuparus bererensis Secrétan, 1964 (junior synonym: L. bererensis multispinosus Secrétan, 1964); Hoploparia collignoni (Van Straelen, 1949) (junior synonym: H. intermedia Secrétan, 1964 and H. sculpta Secrétan, 1964); Schlueteria menabensis Secrétan, 1964 (junior synonym: S. tuberculosa Secrétan, 1964). Lastly, we have doubts about the systematic validity of Enoploclytia armata Secrétan, 1964, Eryma australe (Secrétan, 1964), and Coleia incerta Secrétan, 1964, because of the absence of main diagnostic features, useful for their systematic ascription. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.

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