Museo Regionale di Science Naturali

Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

Museo Regionale di Science Naturali

Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy
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Crottini A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Barbuto M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Casiraghi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali
North-Western Journal of Zoology | Year: 2011

We conducted a rapid amphibian survey of the Atsirakambiaty relict altitude rainforest on Itremo-Ambatofinandrahana Massif, central Madagascar at an altitude of around 1550 m a.s.l. We detected a total of 12 amphibian species, whose taxonomic attributions were confirmed by both morphological and molecular data. Tissue samples were also screened for presence of a lethal chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which turned out to be negative. We encourage the herpetological community working in Madagascar to screen regularly amphibian tissue samples for Bd as a tool within the early detection plan recently launched for Madagascar. © NwjZ, Oradea, Romania, 2011.

Fenaroli F.,Centro Studi Naturalistici Bresciani | Pistarino A.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Cellinese N.,University of Florida
Phytotaxa | Year: 2013

Campanula martinii a new species in the C. rotundifolia species complex, is here described. C. martinii is seemingly endemic to dolomitic cliffs and rocky places of the Prealps in Lombardia and Trentino-Alto Adige (northern Italy). The plants are robust with long hypogeal stolons, papillose ovary and patent to reflexed calyx teeth. This species is hexaploid with chromosome number 2n = 102. The taxonomic and phylogenetic placement of the new species is briefly discussed. © 2013 Magnolia Press.

Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Rosa G.M.,University of Lisbon | Noel J.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Vences M.,TU Braunschweig | And 2 more authors.
Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2010

We describe a new mantelline frog of the genus Blommersia found in rainforest in North East Madagascar, from the protected areas of Ambatovaky, Betampona, Masoala, and Zahamena. Blommersia angolafa n.sp. is a small frog, with a body size of 17-21 mm, expanded finger and toe tips, and colouration ranging from yellow to dark brown, with pale-bluish spots on the flanks and light tips of fingers and toes. A peculiar aspect characterising this new species is its novel life history and reproductive mode. Both sexes live and breed in a phytotelmic habitat of water accumulated within fallen prophylls and fallen leaf sheaths of at least three species of Dypsis palms. Within these phytotelmata, egg laying and complete larval development occur. Thus, B. angolafa n.sp. represents a new evolutionary lineage of Malagasy frogs in which phytotelmy is known. Up to now, reproduction in phytotelmata in Malagasy frogs has been reported for many cophyline microhylids, most species of Guibemantis, Mantella laevigata, and possibly in a still-undescribed species belonging to the genus Spinomantis. We consider the reproductive mode of B. angolafa as a derived character, having evolved from the more typical reproduction in lentic water bodies. The general scarcity of lentic habitats in Malagasy rainforests may have provided the conditions that favoured the evolution of this phytotelmic breeding strategy. The new species, being specialised to a habitat represented by a few selected Dypsis species, potentially suffers the selective exploitation of these palms. © Springer-Verlag 2010.

Rosa G.M.,University of Kent | Rosa G.M.,University of Lisbon | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali
Ethology Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2012

Anuran vocalizations have a broad role in communication. In many cases, some calls help to avoid escalation to aggressive interactions that are energetically costly. The calling activity and agonistic behaviour of a Guibemantis sp. aff. bicalcaratus are here reported based on observations made at the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale de Betampona, East Madagascar. In addition, we describe a novel aggressive call type, produced to challenge territorial intruders. © 2012 Copyright 2012 Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica dell'Universit, Firenze, Italia.

Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Giacoma C.,University of Turin | Guarino F.M.,University Naples | Mercurio V.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Tessa G.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali
Alytes | Year: 2011

Skeletochronology has been successfully used to age temperate amphibians, enabling comparisons of longevity and the age at sexual maturity. To date, however, there have been few similar studies conducted using this technique in tropical amphibians. Here we present data on age structure and age at maturity for nine species of Malagasy Mantella frogs: M. baroni, M. bernhardi, M. sp. aff. expectata, M. cowani, M. crocea, M. laevigata, M. nigricans, M. pulchra and M. viridis. The genus Mantella includes some of the most threatened frog species in Madagascar, and also some of the most requested species for the international pet trade. The lack of basic information on the life history of these species in the wild is hindering the development of sustainable collection models. We analysed museum specimens and bone samples of free living individuals collected during several surveys in western and eastern Madagascar. All investigated species showed a comparatively short longevity (0-4 LAGs) and sexual maturity was reached on the 1st or the 2nd year of life.

Tessa G.,University of Turin | Guarino F.M.,University of Naples Federico II | Randrianirina J.E.,Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali
African Journal of Herpetology | Year: 2011

The false tomato frog, Dyscophus guineti, is an endemic species of eastern Madagascar, typically found in open and swampy areas of mid-elevation forests. We measured 62 females and 70 males from a population from Marovato, next to Brickaville. Snout-vent length of the individuals ranged from 37.7-112.4 mm in females and 37.7-90.7 mm in males, while the mass varied within the range 25.0-80.2 g in males and 25.8-145.6 g in females. Skeletochronological analysis was conducted on clipped phalanges of 20 males and 20 females. The results of these analyses indicated that the age range was 3-7 years in females and 3-6 years in males, and that sexual maturity was attained between 2 and 4 years, comparatively earlier in males than in females. There was a significant correlation between age and size in females. This species appears larger in size but less longlived than the sister-species D. antongilii. © 2011 Herpetological Association of Africa.

PubMed | University of Turin, Zoologische Staatssammlung Munich ZSM SNSB and Museo Regionale di Science Naturali
Type: | Journal: Experimental gerontology | Year: 2017

Large body size of ectothermic species can be correlated with high life expectancy. We assessed the longevity of the worlds largest chameleon, the Parsons chameleon Calumma parsonii from Madagascar by using skeletochronology of phalanges taken from preserved specimens held in European natural history museums. Due to the high bone resorption we can provide only the minimum age of each specimen. The highest minimum age detected was nine years for a male and eight years for a female, confirming that this species is exceptionally long living among chameleons. Our data also show a strong correlation between snout-vent length and estimated age.

Vences M.,TU Braunschweig | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Glos J.,University of Hamburg | Glaw F.,Zoologische Staatssammlung Munich
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

We describe a new species of the Boophis albilabris group (Anura: Mantellidae) from north-western Madagascar. Boophis tsilomaro sp. nov. is most similar to B. occidentalis from the Isalo Massif, but differs by substantial genetic differentiation, larger size, absence of a turquoise iris colour, presence of a more distinct white stripe along upper lip in life, and longer note duration and lower pulse repetition rate in advertisement calls. Due to its small known range and continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat we propose to classify this new species as "Critically Endangered" according to the IUCN criteria. We also describe the advertisement calls of B. occidentalis for the first time. Copyright © 2010 • Magnolia Press.

Aprea G.,University of Naples Federico II | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Fulgione D.,University of Naples Federico II | Petraccioli A.,University of Naples Federico II | Odierna G.,University of Naples Federico II
African Zoology | Year: 2013

We conducted a phylogenetic study through karyological data, by standard staining and Ag-NOR banding, and molecular analysis (by 12S and 16S mitochondrial rRNA genes and nuclear gene C-mos) on 11 species of Malagasy geckos, genus Paroedura, and two relatives (Ebenavia inunguis and Uroplatus phantasticus). Ebenavia inunguis and 17. phantasticus had 2n = 36 telocentric elements, NORs on the first chromosome pair in E. inunguis, and on the third chromosome pair in U. phantasticus. All examined Paroedura showed NORs on the smallest chromosome pair; moreover, six of the eleven examined species show a 2n = 36 karyotype, with a pair of metacentrics and 17 telocentric pair. The remaining species exhibited karyotypes with a diploid chromosome number ranging from 2n = 31 to 2n = 38. We assume that these karyotype assemblages derived from the 2n = 36 karyotype by cryptic and/or simple rearrangements, such as inversions, fissions and fusions. Furthermore, molecular and/or chromosomal data indicate that Paroedura is a monophyletic genus, in which chromosome rearrangements occurred repeatedly and independently during the specific diversification. Moreover both P. bastardi and P. gracilis in current definitions are paraphyletic assemblages of several related species, since their population proves more closely related to P. ibityensis or P. oviceps than co-specific populations.

Orozco-Terwengel P.,University of Cardiff | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Louis Jr. E.,Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo | Vences M.,TU Braunschweig
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2013

Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot with a unique fauna and flora largely endemic at the species level and highly threatened by habitat destruction. The processes underlying population-level differentiation in Madagascar's biota are poorly understood and have been proposed to be related to Pleistocene climatic cycles, yet the levels of genetic divergence observed are often suggestive of ancient events. We combined molecular markers of different variability to assess the phylogeography of Madagascar's emblematic tomato frogs (Dyscophus guineti and D. antongilii) and interpret the observed pattern as resulting from ancient and recent processes. Our results suggest that the initial divergence between these taxa is probably old as reflected by protein-coding nuclear genes and by a strong mitochondrial differentiation of the southernmost population. Dramatic changes in their demography appear to have been triggered by the end of the last glacial period and possibly by the short return of glacial conditions known as the 8K event. This dramatic change resulted in an approximately 50-fold reduction of the effective population size in various populations of both species. We hypothesize these species' current mitochondrial DNA diversity distribution reflects a swamping of the mitochondrial genetic diversity of D. guineti by that of D. antongilii previous to the populations' bottlenecks during the Holocene, and probably as a consequence of D. antongilii demographic expansion approximately 1 million years ago. Our data support the continued recognition of D. antongilii and D. guineti as separate species and flag D. guineti as the more vulnerable species to past and probably also future environmental changes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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