Halifax, Canada
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Yotsu-Yamashita M.,Tohoku University | Gilhen J.,Nova Scotia Museum | Russell R.W.,Saint Mary's University, Halifax | Krysko K.L.,University of Florida | And 6 more authors.
Toxicon | Year: 2012

Efts and adult specimens (n=142) of the red-spotted newt Notophthalmus viridescens from various locations in Canada and USA were analyzed for the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and of its analogues 6. -epitetrodotoxin and 11-oxotetrodotoxin. Considerable individual variations in toxin levels were found within and among populations from New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia ranging from non-detectable to 69μg TTX per g newt. TTX and its analogues were absent in efts and adults from various locations in the Canadian province Nova Scotia, the northernmost distribution of the newt, and in adults from Florida. Newts kept in captivity for several years and reared on toxin-free diet lost their toxicity. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis of specimens from the various populations using three phylogenetic markers (COI, ND2 and 16S RNA) revealed that populations from the northern states of the USA and Canada are genetically homogenous, whereas the newts from Florida exhibited a much higher level of genetic divergence. An exogenous source of TTX in the newts either via the food chain or by synthesis of symbiotic bacteria is suggested to explain the high variability and lack of TTX in certain populations. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Majka C.G.,Nova Scotia Museum | Johnson C.,17 Peaknaze Close | Langor D.W.,Natural Resources Canada
ZooKeys | Year: 2010

The Atomariinae (Coleoptera: Cryptophagidae) fauna of Atlantic Canada are surveyed. Ten species in the genus Atomaria are reported in the region, six of which, including Atomaria distincta Casey, Atomaria fuscata Schönherr, Atomaria lederi Johnson, Atomaria lewisi Reitter, Atomaria testacea Stephens, and Atomaria nigrirostris Stephens, are newly recorded in Canada. Atomaria lederi and A. lewisi are newly recorded in North America. Twenty-three new provincial records are reported. Atomaria curtula Casey, 1900 (syn. n.) is designated as a synonym of Atomaria lewisi Reitter; Atomaria ovalis Casey, 1900 (syn. n.) is designated as a synonym of Atomaria apicalis Erichson, 1846; and Atomaria saginata Casey, 1900 (syn. n.) is designated as a synonym of Atomaria fuscata Schönherr. A key to species is provided, as are species descriptions. Records of all species are given and their distribution in the region is plotted. The global distribution of all Holarctic and adventive species is briefly summarized, and the jurisdictions in North America where they have been reported are compiled. Habitat and bionomic information is also provided for all species, both from within the region, and from observations in European studies. The fauna is briefly discussed from a zoogeographic perspective; two species are Nearctic in origin, five may be Holarctic in distribution, and three others may be adventive Palaearctic species, although further evidence is required to confirm such preliminary assessments. Similarly, because of the paucity of information on this genus, further fieldwork is required to fully discern the distribution of these species in Atlantic Canada. Three are apparently saproxylic species characteristic of forested habitats; three are primarily grassland species; and the remaining four are eurytopic species found in a wide variety of forested and open habitats. © C.G. Majka, C. Johnson, D.W. Lango.


Majka C.G.,Nova Scotia Museum | Klimaszewski J.,Natural Resources Canada
ZooKeys | Year: 2010

Since 1970, 203 species of Aleocharinae have been recorded in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, 174 of which have been reported in the past decade. This rapid growth of knowledge of this hitherto neglected subfamily of rove beetles occasions the present compilation of species recorded in the region together with the chronology of their discovery. Sixteen new provincial records are reported, twelve from Nova Scotia, one from New Brunswick, and three from Prince Edward Island. Seven species, including Oxypoda chantali Klimaszewski, Oxypoda perexilis Casey, Myllaena cuneata Notman, Placusa canadensis Klimaszewski, Geostiba (Sibiota) appalachigena Gusarov, Lypoglossa angularis obtusa (LeConte), and Trichiusa postica Casey [tentative identification] are newly recorded in the Maritime Provinces, one of which, Myllaena cuneata, is newly recorded in Canada. A preliminary analysis of the composition of the fauna indicates that the percentage of adventive species (18.2%) is consistent with that of other groups of Coleoptera. Both Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island are comparatively faunistically under-represented, in all probability as a result of insufficient collecting effort in these areas. A species accumulation curve indicates that it is probable that further species of aleocharines remain to be documented in the region.


Majka C.G.,Nova Scotia Museum | Langor D.,Natural Resources Canada
ZooKeys | Year: 2010

Eighteen species of Cryptophaginae are now known to occur in Atlantic Canada. Eight of these including Cryptophagus difficilis Casey, Cryptophagus jakowlewi Reitter, Cryptophagus laticollis Lucas, Cryptophagus mainensis Casey, Cryptophagus tuberculosus Mäklin, Pteryngium crenatum (Gyllenhal), Telmatophilus americanus LeConte and Caenoscelis basalis Casey, are newly recorded in Atlantic Canada; one of which, C. mainensis, is newly recorded in Canada, and another, C. laticollis, is newly recorded in eastern North America. Nineteen new provincial records are reported with the result that five species of Cryptophaginae are now known from New Brunswick, 14 from Nova Scotia, four from Prince Edward Island, 10 from insular Newfoundland, and four from Labrador. A new early date of detection (1986) is reported for the adventive Palaearctic Telmatophilus typhae (Fallén) in North America. Keys to identification are provided for the genera Antherophagus, Cryptophagus, and Telmatophilus and the composition, zoogeography, and bionomics of the group in Atlantic Canada are discussed. © C.G. Majka, D. Langor.


Cutler G.C.,Dalhousie University | Renkema J.M.,Dalhousie University | Majka C.G.,Nova Scotia Museum | Sproule J.M.,Dalhousie University
Canadian Entomologist | Year: 2012

The Carabidae (Coleoptera) are a diverse family of beetles with almost 300 species identified in Nova Scotia, Canada. Carabid beetle communities have been studied in several agricultural systems, but not wild blueberries, an important crop in eastern Canada. In the interest of potentially developing conservation biological control programs in wild blueberry, we collected Carabidae in crop (fruit-bearing) and sprout (vegetative) blueberry fields in Nova Scotia in order to assess species diversity and abundance over space and time. Over 3200 specimens were collected, representing 51 species. A large portion of collected specimens (39%) were nonnative, and the most abundant species were generally predacious and synanthropic. Species diversity tended to be higher near forest edges than further into fields, but not for all abundant species. Several of the most prominent predators showed significant differences in preference of crop versus sprout fields, distribution throughout fields, and seasonable abundance. These findings have implications for conservation biological control efforts with carabid beetles against several insect pests in wild blueberry. © 2012 Entomological Society of Canada.


Michaud J.-P.,University of Moncton | Majka C.G.,Nova Scotia Museum | Prive J.-P.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Moreau G.,University of Moncton
Forensic Science International | Year: 2010

The insect pool available for carrion visitation and colonisation varies with geographical areas, hence the need to build a comprehensive database wherever such data could be used in forensic investigations. However, most of the geographic records on carrion-related insects are from short-term seasonal studies. Here, we provide the year-round taxonomic composition for the dominant ecosystem of the Maritime lowland ecological region that borders the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, and we examine how this composition is subjected to natural (seasonal) as well as anthropogenic changes. Fresh pig carcasses, used here as human surrogates, were exposed recurrently throughout the whole annual period when carrion-related insects are active in forests and adjacent areas subjected to human-induced land cover changes from agricultural practices. A total of 130 necrophageous and predacious insect species representing 2 orders, 18 families and 75 genera were recovered from carcasses. Abundant fly species were able to visit and/or colonise carcasses exposed in both forests and agricultural fields but the species involved varied throughout the year. Conversely, the complex of abundant coleopterans found on carcasses remained stable throughout the year but differed between forests and agricultural fields. Considering the seasonal and anthropogenic changes that were observed in the complex of carrion-related insects, we stressed that inference on the taxonomic composition in relation to minimum postmortem interval should be restricted to a specific habitat and time of the year. These results also have methodological implications, suggesting that the experimental designs of forensic studies in temperate areas require adjustments to permit robust estimations of minimum postmortem intervals from the insect fauna associated with carcasses. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


The genus name Liodes and the family name Liodidae have been the cause of much confusion in zoology. The genus name Liodes has been used in Acari, Lepidoptera, Opiliones, and Coleoptera, and has often been misused, misspelled, or misunderstood. This paper reviews the history of these names and the related names Leiodes and Neoliodes, and concludes that (1) the names Leiodes Latreille 1796 and Leiodidae Fleming 1821 are available for a genus and family of beetles; (2) the names Neoliodes Berlese 1888 and Neoliodidae Sellnick 1928 are available for a genus and family of mites; (3) the names Liodes and Liodidae are not available for any group of animals, and should not be used. Copyright © 2010 · Magnolia Press.


Lesage L.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Majka C.G.,Nova Scotia Museum
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

The taxonomy, nomenclature, identification, introduction history, biology, and economic importance of Chaetocnema concinna (Marsham, 1802) are reviewed, and its status as pest or beneficial insect is discussed. While it is the most important pest of sugar beet in Europe, its economic importance has not yet been demonstrated in North America. Chaetocnema concinna: is widely distributed in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and presently known from only two localities in New Brunswick. On the basis of voucher specimens available, we determined that it was introduced in these provinces in the late 1980s. Since C. concinna is associated with many species of plants and can be either harmful or beneficial, we consider that "brassy flea beetle" is the most appropriate popular name available. Copyright © 2010. Magnolia Press.


New distributional and bionomic data are provided for species of the genus Xantholinus in North America. Xantholinus elegans (Olivier, 1795) (= X. jarrigei Coiffait, 1956) is recorded from North America for the first time, based on specimens collected in Ontario, Canada from 2007-2010. The armature of the internal sac of the aedeagus in situ is illustrated to aid in identification. Xantholinus linearis (Olivier, 1795), known previously from the Maritime Provinces of Canada and the eastern United States, is newly recorded from Ontario. Xantholinus longiventris Heer, 1839 is still only known from western North America. A key is provided to allow recognition of all three species.

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