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Germann C.,Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern
Revue Suisse de Zoologie | Year: 2015

Styphlidius brevisetis Osella, 1981 and S. globosus Osella, 1981 are raised to species level. Both were hitherto ranked as subspecies of S. corcyreus (Reitter, 1884). Styphlidius pelops sp. nov. is described from the Peloponnese. All specimens of the new species were sifted from leaf litter, moss and plant debris. Styphlidius corcyreus is recorded for the first time from Albania. A revised key to all five species is presented and an overview of the species' distribution is given.

Korrida A.,University Ibn Zohr | Schweizer M.,Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern
Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research | Year: 2014

Studies on the influence of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and associated habitat changes on arid-adapted bird species living in the Holarctic region are comparatively rare. In contrast to temperate species, the populations of arid-adapted avian species might be characterized by low genetic differentiation because periods of population isolation were associated with the short interglacial periods, while population expansion events might have occurred during the longer glacial periods when steppe-like vegetation might have been prevalent. In this study, we tested this hypothesis in a widespread arid-adapted taxon of the Palaearctic desert belt, the Houbara-Macqueen's bustard complex. The later includes the Houbara bustard Chlamydotis undulata, comprising the North African subspecies Chlamydotis u. undulata and Chlamydotis u. fuertaventurae from the Canary Islands, and the Asian Macqueen's bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii. A long fragment (1042 bp) of the Cyt-b gene was investigated in 39 representatives of the two species to assess phylogenetic and phylogeographic patterns, and demographic history and to compute divergence time estimates using a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock approach based on different coalescent priors. While the two species are genetically distinct, we found little intraspecific genetic differentiation. The divergence time of the two species falls within a period of extreme aridity at around 0.9 million years ago, which most likely resulted in an east-west vicariance along the Arabo-Saharan deserts. Differentiation within Houbara and Macqueen's bustard occurred later during the Middle to Upper Pleistocene, and as we have predicted, periods of range expansion were associated to the last glacial period at least in the Macqueen's bustard. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Hostettler B.,Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern
Proceedings of the Geologists' Association | Year: 2015

Two ammonites of the genus ClydonicerasBlake, 1905, are described and figured for the first time from the Upper Bathonian of NW Switzerland. One specimen is from the Ächtelmatt site near Anwil (Canton Basellandschaft). The complex depositional conditions, especially those during the Late Bathonian, of this famous section are discussed. The second specimen comes from a road cut at La Gainaiche, north St-Brais (Canton Jura). The St-Brais Member (formerly Calcaire roux sableux) within the Ifenthal Formation is introduced. © 2015 The Geologists' Association.

Schweizer M.,Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern | Shirihai H.,c o Ausserdorfstrasse 6
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

The morphologically inferred Oenanthe lugens complex comprises nine taxa of open-habitat chats which occur in rocky and/or mountainous areas adjacent to the Saharo-Sindian desert belt. It has traditionally been divided into the lugubris group of north-east Africa, the lugentoides group of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula and the lugens group of North Africa and the Middle East. Previous molecular phylogenetic studies have shown that the O lugens complex might not be monophyletic. However, it remained unclear how this result might have been affected by incomplete taxon sampling, as the lugentoides group and two out of three taxa of the lugubris group have not been analyzed so far. In this study, we present a phylogenetic hypothesis of the O lugens complex based on two mitochondrial genes and one nuclear intron using, for the first time, a complete taxon sampling. The application of a multispecies coalescent approach allowed us to simultaneously estimate the sequence and timing of speciation events. The O lugens complex was consistently revealed as a polyphyletic assemblage and the traditionally recognized groups should be treated as at least three different species: O. lugens, Oenanthe lugubris, and Oenanthe lugentoides. While O. lugubris and O. lugentoides were revealed to be sister groups, O. lugens was found to be closely related to the species pair Oenanthe chrysopygia/. Oenanthe xanthoprymna. The latter differ quite strongly in morphology and have traditionally not been associated with members of the lugens complex. We thus corroborate the results of previous studies, which demonstrated that morphology seems to be a poor predictor of phylogenetic relationships in Oenanthe. In contrast to the mtDNA markers analyzed, it was revealed that differences among taxa were not fixed in the nuclear intron. In the case of the taxa persica of the lugens group, an influence of introgression in autosomal markers cannot be excluded and deserves further study. The three species O. lugens, O. lugubris, and O. lugentoides and their associated taxa comprise a comparatively young radiation, which started to diversify in the Pliocene with major diversification events during the Pleistocene. The different taxa seem to have evolved during periods of increased aridity in isolation in rocky mountainous areas adjacent to hyper arid regions. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

13 subspecies are usually accepted in the Yellow Wagtail which chiefly differ in their head pattern. Most subspecies have parapatric breeding areas and hybridise in contact zones. Two subspecies breed locally in Switzerland: the nominate subspecies dominates north of the Alps, while cinereocapilla breeds mainly in the Rhone valley (cantons of Valais and Vaud) as well as in the canton of Ticino. These two subspecies, however, admix at least in the region of the Seeland (cantons of Berne and Fribourg) and in the canton of Geneva. Additionally, thunbergi is a regular passage migrant in the whole country. In contrast, the subspecies feldegg and flavissima/lutea occur only irregularly and their records have to be submitted to the Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC). Intermediate birds between feldegg and other subspecies have been recorded several times. They have been treated under feldegg as long as they could be distinguished from locally breeding intermediate forms. According to current knowledge, flavissima and lutea cannot be separated with certitude. Hence, the SRC treats them together although the northwest European subspecies flavissima is more likely to occur than the chiefly central Asian subspecies lutea. Several observations of the southwest European and northwest African subspecies iberiae have been reported during the last years. Iberiae can probably not be safely distinguished from certain locally breeding intermediate birds between flava and cinereocapilla. As a consequence, the SRC does no longer treat records of the subspecies iberiae. Nevertheless, well documented observations of birds with phenotypic features of this subspecies are still archived.

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