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Heinicke M.P.,Pennsylvania State University | Heinicke M.P.,Villanova University | Diaz L.M.,Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba | Hedges S.B.,Pennsylvania State University
Biology Letters | Year: 2011

Two of the earliest examples of successful invasive amphibians are the greenhouse frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris) and the Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) in Florida. Although both are generally assumed to be recent introductions, they are widespread on Caribbean islands and also have been proposed as natural colonizers. We obtained nucleotide sequence data for both species and their closest relatives in their native and introduced ranges. Phylogenetic analyses trace the origin of E. planirostris to a small area in western Cuba, while O. septentrionalis is derived from at least two Cuban sources, one probably a remote peninsula in western Cuba. The tropical-to-temperate invasion began with colonization of the Florida Keys followed by human-mediated dispersal within peninsular Florida. The subtropical Keys may have served as an adaptive stepping stone for the successful invasion of the North American continent. © 2010 The Royal Society.

Diaz L.M.,Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba | Hedges S.B.,Pennsylvania State University | Schmid M.,University of Wurzburg
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

The widely distributed grass frog of Cuba, Eleutherodactylus varleyi, is shown here to comprise two species. One, E. varleyi, occurs in western and central Cuba while the other, E. feichtingeri n. sp., occurs in central and eastern Cuba. The two species are sympatric in central Cuba, and syntopic in the vicinity of Sierra de Cubitas, Camagüey Province. A molecular phylogeny of mitochondrial DNA sequences from 18 localities confirms the existence of two well-supported major clades corresponding to each of these species, and the sympatry of the species. Tympanum size and advertisement call are the most useful diagnostic characters, although the two species are shown to have karyotypic differences as well. Possible character displacement in morphology and vocalization, in the area of sympatry, is discussed. Copyright © 2012 Magnolia Press.

Madruga Rios O.,Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba | Hernandez Quinta M.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica
Psyche | Year: 2010

Alecton Laporte, 1833, with four known species is the only firefly genus endemic to Cuba. Alecton discoidalis Laporte, 1833, is its most common species, distributed in the western half of the country. Unfortunately, much of its life history remains unknown, as with the rest of Cuban representatives of the family Lampyridae. Larvae are associated with adults of A. discoidalis through rearing, and observations on larval feeding habits of this species are presented. Thirteen species belonging to seven gastropod families are reported for the first time as prey of A. discoidalis larvae. Our data suggest that these are generalist predators of terrestrial snails. A remarkably close association exists between this lampyrid and operculate species of snails. The later represents the most abundant and diverse group of molluscs in limestone landscapes, where the beetles are commonly found. © 2010 Ormaily Madruga Rios and Maike Hernández Quinta.

The Cuban regions with predominance of ophiolites are known to have more endemics plants than bordering regions. The combined wealth of those floras is such that to understand the patterns of distribution of the Cuban flora is necessary to know those patterns in ofilitic regions. Good indicators of the total wealth are the endemic components. With that objective here is published a cartographic diagram of Cuban regions where it prevail the mentioned rocks, and a list of Cuban endemic taxa collected there. In the identified territories has been recognized 1603 infra generic endemic taxa of 106 families and 420 genus. Of those total, 741 are exclusive of ophiolitic regions. In the soils derivate from ophiolitics rocks mainly taxa from the North Andean evolutionary group are predominate.

Villegas-Martin J.,University of the Rio dos Sinos Valley | Rojas-Consuegra R.,Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba | Klompmaker A.A.,University of Florida | Klompmaker A.A.,University of California at Berkeley
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2016

The fossil record of drill holes in shelled invertebrates is focused primarily on bivalves and gastropods as prey. The still limited reports on drill holes in serpulid polychaetes are principally recorded from Cenozoic deposits and restricted to Europe and Antarctica. This study documents drill holes on the serpulid polychaete Pyrgopolon onyx from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of Pepito Tey (central Cuba). The oval-shaped drill holes, attributed to the ichnospecies Oichnus ovalis, were primarily caused by naticid gastropods, probably by individuals of Gyrodes sp. known from the same formation. Using five methods, the study on an assemblage of 53 non-moldic specimens shows that >. 17.0 and <. 22.2% of the specimens was drilled. This narrow range suggests that these methods can be used successfully for any time period for cylindrical shells including serpulids and scaphopods, if the specimens of the sample are reasonably well-preserved. Drill holes were randomly positioned with respect to the side of the tubes, but drill holes are preferentially located between the ribs and in the middle part to slightly towards the posterior end of the tube, suggesting that naticids selected the drill hole location efficiently on polychaetes with ornamentation already by the Cretaceous. The reasons for drilled tubes of P. onyx are probably related to the withdrawal of their soft body deep inside the tube and/or because of the presence of a calcareous operculum closing off the aperture. The record of drilling predation in Pyrgopolon is restricted to Cretaceous deposits, which may represent a bias in predation research focused only on Cretaceous specimens. More research on drilling predation of serpulids should be performed to better understand the function of ornamentation in deterring drilling, to determine how common drilling was on serpulids in deep time, and to evaluate the paleobiogeography of drilling predation. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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