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Wellington, New Zealand

Morphology of New Zealand hook sedges Uncinia angustifolia Hamlin, U. rupestris Raoul and U. zotovii Hamlin overlaps considerably, making species identification difficult. All three species have a complicated taxonomic history. U. angustifolia has been considered a variety of U. rupestris, which, in turn, has been considered a variety of U. caespitosa Boot or included in two other species. As for U. zotovii, this was originally part of U. caespitosa along with the grassland species U. viridis (C.B.Clarke) Edgar. The present study re-examines historical and recently collected material, and re-evaluates species limits for these five species using multivariate statistic analyses of morphological characters. Results confirm the circumscription of U. caespitosa s.str. and the segregation of U. viridis and U. zotovii from U. caespitosa s.lat., but they also indicate that current species descriptions are inaccurate and based on material of mixed identity. Results also suggest that U. angustifolia, U. rupestris and U. zotovii should be considered as three different species. U. viridis and U. rupestris are conspecific; the latter name has priority and should be maintained. An identification key, revised descriptions, new synonymy and distribution maps for the species recognised here are also presented. © CSIRO 2011. Source


Jordan F.F.J.,Massey University | Murphy S.,Massey University | Murphy S.,UK Institute of Zoology | Martinez E.,Massey University | And 3 more authors.
Marine Mammal Science | Year: 2015

Knowledge about the maturity status of specimens included in evolutionary, taxonomic or life history investigations is fundamentally important. This study investigated the use of the degree of cranial suture fusion, the developmental status of cranial bones, and the degree of tooth wear as indicators for cranial maturity status in Delphinus sp. from New Zealand waters. In total, 15 sutures, one joint and three nonmetric characters were assessed on 66 skulls obtained from stranded and bycaught individuals sampled between 1932 and 2011. A suture index (SI) was computed based on 10 sutures, in which degree of fusion was correlated with age and the three misclassification indices (MI), calculated for a given suture, were <50%. In addition to these, five premaxilla-maxilla fusion and seven tooth wear categories were assessed. Results suggest that New Zealand Delphinus sp. skulls should be regarded as cranially mature if at least two of the following criteria are met: (1) individuals assessed as sexually mature, (2) aged ≥ 11 yr, (3) SI ≥ 8, and (4) premaxilla-maxilla fusion ≥ 75% of the length of the dorsal side of the rostrum. Presence of any number of rostral teeth worn to the gum line provided further evidence for cranial maturity. © 2015 Society for Marine Mammalogy. Source


Derraik J.G.B.,Massey University | Sirvid P.J.,Museum of New Zealand | Rademaker M.,Waikato Hospital
New Zealand Medical Journal | Year: 2010

New Zealand has very few arthropods that pose a threat to human health. While most New Zealand spiders are considered harmless, the bite effects of most species are unknown. Here, we describe a case of a bite by a native spider, in which a young man was bitten after rolling over in his bed. The spider was collected and identified as Trite planiceps (Salticidae, black headed jumping spider), a native species commonly encountered around homes. The initial reaction was a relatively painful, sting-like, sensation, followed by the appearance of two red puncture marks and an urticarial wheal. Symptoms eventually disappeared after 72 hours, and he has had no further dermatological problems. Trite planiceps is considered to be a rather docile spider with regard to humans, but even a docile species may still bite defensively as a last resort. Notes on this species and on treatment of spider bites are provided. ©NZMA. Source


Emadzade K.,University of Vienna | Emadzade K.,Ferdowsi University of Mashhad | Lehnebach C.,Museum of New Zealand | Lockhart P.,Massey University | Horandl E.,University of Vienna
Taxon | Year: 2010

Ranunculeae represent a highly diverse and cosmopolitan tribe within Ranunculaceae. Because of the great diversity of morphological features and lack of molecular phylogeny for the tribe, the classification of its genera has always been controversial. We report here molecular phylogenetic analyses based on nuclear and plastid markers (nrlTS, matK, trnK,psbJ-petA) that provide a framework for understanding relationships and character evolution within the tribe. Maximum parsimony analyses suggest a weakly supported basal dichotomy, while Neighbor Net analysis indicates strong support for five distinct lineages. Both methods revealed several well-supported, small terminal clades which correspond to previously described genera, characterised by unique morphological features and character combinations. Anatomical structures of the achenes suggested relationships with greatest concordance to those in the molecular phylogeny. Macroscopic analysis of achene morphology often indicated parallel evolution of structures related to certain dispersal mechanisms. Characters of perianth, androecium, gynoe-ceum and pollen are highly homoplasious, but several features characteristic of small terminal clades and terminal branches can be observed. Geographic isolation and adaptions may have triggered the evolution of morphological characters. We conclude that a classification accepting several small genera (Arcteranthis, Beckwithia, Callianthemoides, Ceratocephala, Coptidium, Cyrtorhyncha, Ficaria, Halerpestes, Hamadryas, Krapfia, Kumlienia, Laccopetalum, Myosurus, Oxygraphis, Paroxygraphis, Peltocalathos, Trautvetteria) and a large genus Ranunculus s.str. (including Batrachium, Aphanostemma and Gampsoceras) reflects best the molecular phylogeny and morphological diversity of the tribe. Source


Kavanagh P.H.,Victoria University of Wellington | Lehnebach C.A.,Museum of New Zealand | Shea M.J.,Victoria University of Wellington | Burns K.C.,Victoria University of Wellington
American Naturalist | Year: 2011

Rensch's rule refers to a pattern in sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in which SSD decreases with body size when females are the larger sex and increases with body size when males are the larger sex. Many animal taxa conform to Rensch's rule, but it has yet to be investigated in plants. Using herbarium collections from New Zealand, we characterized the size of leaves and stems of 297 individuals from 38 dioecious plant species belonging to three distantly related phylogenetic lineages. Statistical comparisons of leaf sizes between males and females showed evidence for Rensch's rule in two of the three lineages, indicating SSD decreases with leaf size when females produce larger leaves and increases with leaf size when males produce larger leaves. A similar pattern in SSD was observed for stem sizes. However, in this instance, females of small-stemmed species produced much larger stems than did males, but as stem sizes increased, SSD often disappeared. We hypothesize that sexual dimorphism in stem sizes results from selection for larger stems in females, which must provide mechanical support for seeds, fruits, and dispersal vectors, and that scaling relationships in leaf sizes result from correlated evolution with stem sizes. The overall results suggest that selection for larger female stem sizes to support the weight of offspring can give rise to Rensch's rule in dioecious plants. © 2011 by The University of Chicago. Source

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