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Garofalo L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Garofalo L.,Centro Of Referenza Nazionale Per La Medicina Forense Veterinaria | Mastrogiacomo A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Casale P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 12 more authors.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems | Year: 2013

In migratory species female- and male-mediated gene flow are important for defining relevant Management Units, and for evaluating connectivity between these and their respective foraging grounds. The stock composition at five Mediterranean foraging areas was investigated by analysing variation in the mitochondrial D-loop and six microsatellite loci in a sample of 268 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded or accidentally caught by fisheries. This involved a comprehensive Mixed Stock Analysis which considers also recent data from major rookeries in Libya and Turkey, and the generation of a standardized nomenclature of allele sizes at the microsatellite loci. The results indicate: that the north Adriatic, the Tunisian continental shelf, the waters around Malta and the Italian Ionian Sea represent important areas for the conservation of rookeries in Greece, Libya and Turkey, respectively; that waters off the Italian peninsula and the islands of Lampedusa and Malta are mainly inhabited by individuals of Mediterranean origin, with a major contribution from the nearest and largest colonies, while Atlantic turtles are restricted to the western areas; that specific migratory routes exist from rookeries to foraging grounds; a poor bi-parental genetic structuring, which suggests a high male-mediated gene flow in the Mediterranean; mixing of small turtles in waters distant from natal rookeries, and recovery of structuring for large-sized individuals; and that uncommon mtDNA haplotypes are more powerful markers than microsatellite alleles in assessing an individual's origin, owing to their higher geographic specificity. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Stock M.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | Grifoni G.,University of Lausanne | Armor N.,Biotechnology Institute of Monastir | Armor N.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | And 3 more authors.
Zoologischer Anzeiger | Year: 2015

In contrast to oceanic, continental islands are expected to show less diversification and endemism and thus phylogeographic signatures of multiple colonization events from adjacent continents due to episodic connections by sea level changes. In order to test this situation for the herpetofauna of Sicily, we here focus on three amphibian and four reptile species-groups and investigate their phylogeographic relationships across the Sicily and Messina straits, where Plio-Pleistocene marine transgressions shortened the distances between (or connected) Sicily, North Africa and/or the Italian (Apennine) Peninsula. Using a multi-species, multi-marker phylogeographic approach (mitochondrial cytochrome b; 16S rDNA, nuclear intron of tropomyosin), we apply Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic methods and haplotype networks to examine the phylogenies, and to estimate divergence times from molecular data using the program BEAST. We recognize three colonization patterns: (i) Plio-Pleistocene colonization of Sicily from North Africa for the skinks Chalcides chalcides (1.8. Mya) and Chalcides ocellatus (0.61. My), (ii) Pleistocene colonization from the Italian Peninsula for the anurans Pelophylax spp. (0.81. Mya) and Bufo bufo (late Pleistocene), and (iii) recent (late Pleistocene to Holocene), natural or man-mediated out-of-Africa dispersal for the anuran Discoglossus pictus and out-of-Africa human introduction for the gekkonid lizards Tarentola mauritanica and Hemidactylus turcicus. The Sicilian herpetofauna shows phylogeographic signatures as typical of continental islands, with limited diversification and endemism. Colonization by terrestrial amphibians and reptiles from adjacent continents appears shaped by interactions of the active geo-marine history along with species' ecology and human intervention, including a widely neglected faunal contribution from Africa. On some small islands and in Tunisia, we found isolated local populations significant for conservation. Our results underline how only multispecies approaches involving ecologically diverse taxa are able to reveal the complexity of faunal contributions to large continental islands like Sicily. © 2015. Source

Brunetti R.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia | Gissi C.,University of Milan | Pennati R.,University of Milan | Caicci F.,University of Padua | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research | Year: 2015

Ciona intestinalis is considered a widespread and easily recognizable tunicate, the sister group of vertebrates. In recent years, molecular studies suggested that C. intestinalis includes at least two cryptic species, named 'type A' and 'type B', morphologically indistinguishable. It is dramatic to certify that two different species may be hidden under the name of a species widely used as a model species in biological researches. This raised the problem of identifying diagnostic morphological characters capable of distinguishing these types. We compared the morphology of specimens belonging to the two types and found that only type A specimens possess tunic tubercular prominences, allowing unambiguous discrimination. Remarkably, these structures were already described as distinctive of the Japanese species Ciona robusta, Hoshino and Tokioka, 1967; later synonymized under C. intestinalis (sensu Millar, 1953). In this study, we have confirmed that C. intestinalis type A corresponds to C. robusta. Based on the geographic distribution of C. intestinalis type B, and considering that the original C. intestinalis species was described from North European waters, we determined that C. intestinalis type B corresponds to C. intestinalis as described by Millar in 1953 and possibly to Linnaeus' Ascidia intestinalis L., 1767 for which we have deposited a neotype (from Roscoff, France) and for which we retain the name Ciona intestinalis (Linnaeus, 1767). © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

Eulasia daccordii new species is described from Jordan, West Bank, and Israel, where it is known from the Jordan Valley and the Negev. It was previously confused with E. pietschmanni Breit, to which it is very similar and from which it can be recognized mainly for the structure and distribution of the pronotal setae and the shape of the protibia of males. Remarks on distribution and colour range of E. pietschmanni Breit are provided, and its year of description is corrected from 1919 to 1920. In addition, taxonomic and diagnostic remarks on the poorly known sympatric species E. baumanni Mitter are presented: it is clarified that this poorly known taxon is related to E. papaveris (Sturm), whose Levantine populations require a taxonomic reassessment. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Uliana M.,Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia | Sabatinelli G.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

This paper presents a revision of the species Eulasia genei Truqui, 1848. A total of 773 specimens, including all type series of the involved taxa, were examined. Nominal species currently in synonymy with E. genei are discussed. All the current synonyms proved to be wrongly attributed, and the following new synonyms are proposed: Eulasia pretiosa Truqui, 1848 = E. genei chaifensis (Reitter, 1890) = E. japhoensis (Petrovitz, 1972). Eulasia hybrida agricola (Reitter, 1890) is no longer considered a synonym of E. genei Truqui and Amphicoma genei ab. nobilissima Balthasar, 1929 is an unavailable name. Eulasia rittneri n. sp., a species close to and parapatric to E. genei, is described and illustrated. The diagnostic characters are discussed in relation to their discriminating value, with special consideration for the morphology of the aedeagus. A technique for observing the volumetric shape of the endophallus has been modified and used for the first time as such for the study of Scarabaeoidea. On the basis of the large number of specimens gathered, the distribution range of both species is defined and notes on their ecology and phenology are presented. Copyright © 2010 Magnolia Press. Source

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