Received: 15 November 2002 / Accepted: 28 April 2003
Convergent evolution of aposematic coloration in Neotropical poison frogs: a molecular phylogenetic perspectiveDownload PDFAbstract
Poison frogs of the family Dendrobatidae contain cryptic as well as brightly colored, presumably aposematic species. The prevailing phylogenetic hypothesis assumes that the aposematic taxa form a monophyletic group while the cryptic species (Colostethus sensu lato) are basal and paraphyletic. Analysis of 86 dendrobatid sequences of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene resulted in a much more complex scenario, with several clades that contained aposematic as well as cryptic taxa. Monophyly of the aposematic taxa was significantly rejected by SH-tests in an analysis with additional 12S and 16S rDNA fragments and reduced taxon sampling. The brightly colored Allobates femoralis and A. zaparo (Silverstone) comb. nov. (previously Epipedobates) belong in a clade with cryptic species of Colostethus. Additionally, Colostethus pratti was grouped with Epipedobates, and Colostethus bocagei with Cryptophyllobates. In several cases, the aposematic species have general distributions similar to those of their non-aposematic sister groups, indicating multiple instances of regional radiations in which some taxa independently acquired bright color. From a classificatory point of view, it is relevant that the type species of Minyobates, M. steyermarki, resulted as the sister group of the genus Dendrobates, and that species of Mannophryne and Nephelobates formed monophyletic clades, corroborating the validity of these genera. Leptodactylids of the genera Hylodes and Crossodactylus were not unambiguously identified as the sister group of the Dendrobatidae; these were monophyletic in all analyses and probably originated early in the radiation of Neotropical hyloid frogs.
Received: 17 July 2002 / Accepted: 06 March 2003
Oligonucleotide primers for the universal amplification of β-tubulin genes facilitate phylogenetic analyses in the regnum FungiDownload PDFAbstract
Among genes coding for proteins with basic structural functions in all eukaryotes, the highly conserved and functionally essential gene for β-tubulin is receiving increasing attention in the reconstruction of phylogenies within a broad organismic range. We therefore constructed a set of twelve universally applicable primers that allow reliable amplification of β-tubulin genes among all major eukaryotic kingdoms including fungi (Fungi), animals (Animalia) and green plants (Planta). For primer design, the amino acid sequences of 35 β-tubulin genes from Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, Zygomycota, Animalia, Oophyta and Planta were aligned and used for the definition of four well-conserved regions. These are suitable priming sites in PCR amplification experiments. Out of these amino acid regions twelve primers were designed which initiate especially the amplification of fungal β-tubulin genes. In four pairwise primer applications gene fragments of up to 1500 bp in size could be isolated, which comprise nearly complete β-tubulin genes from twelve species representative of the Fungi. The sequences of seven β-tubulin fragments were obtained from Allomyces moniliformis, A. neomoniliformis, Blastocladiella britannica, Chytridium confervae, Mortierella isabellina and Trametes versicolor, respectively. Reliable amplification of β-tubulin over a broad spectrum of organisms provides a strong basis for the establishment of both deep-level phylogenies and studies of complex species groups based on β-tubulin gene trees.
Received: 24 September 2002 / Accepted: 29 January 2003
Molecular phylogeography, intraspecific variation and speciation of the Asian scincid lizard genus Eutropis Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Reptilia: Scincidae): taxonomic and biogeographic implicationsDownload PDFAbstract
The phylogeography, intraspecific variation and speciation processes of the South East Asian scincid lizard genus Eutropis Fitzinger are investigated, based on a combined analysis of 564 bp and 408 bp fragments, respectively, of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA and 12S rRNA genes. Our results show that the Middle East species definitely do not belong to Eutropis but instead to the African genus Euprepis Fitzinger, and that Euprepis auratus (L.) and E. septemtaeniatus Reuss represent distinct species. In addition, we clarify systematics of the genus Apterygodon Edeling, supposed to be derived from within Eutropis. We show that Apterygodon does not reflect a true genealogical unit, and consequently synonymize it with Dasia Gray.We found strong evidence for the monophyly of the South East Asian genus Eutropis. Within Eutropis we could substantiate the systematics of Eutropis multifasciata (Kuhl), and confirm that the distinction of a subspecies E. m. balinensis Mertens is not justified. Likewise, our results point out the necessity of further studies concerning the Eutropis macularia complex in which at least two different species are concealed under the name E. macularia (Blyth). We show that the Philippine-Palauan Eutropis species are part of a distinct radiation, probably representing an unrecognized taxonomic unit. We draw conclusions on zoogeographical aspects of dispersal routes in Eutropis, showing that the Philippines have been colonized from mainland Asia rather than via Borneo. Furthermore we outline a possible colonization scenario for the species on the Philippines and Palau.
Received: 25 May 2003 / Accepted: 29 October 2003
Redescription of Griffithsius latipes (Griffiths, 1976) (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Phoxocephalidae) from the coast of NamibiaDownload PDFAbstract
A full redescription of Griffithsius latipes (Griffiths, 1976) is given. This is necessary because the original description is incomplete and contains inaccuracies.Griffiths (1976) gave a detailed description of Mandibulophoxus latipes, illustrated with two plates. From this publication the present author was initially convinced that her new material belonged to a new species. However, when the type material of M. latipes was examined in order to furnish a good differential diagnosis, it became clear that all specimens belong to a single species, but that Griffiths' drawings do not match his types in all details. The fuller description and complete illustrations given herein (see the accompanying Electronic Supplement, and Fig. 1) now enable the accurate determination of the species.The key features for recognition of Griffithsius latipes (Griffiths) are pereopods 5 and 6. In Griffiths' drawing of pereopod 5 the carpus has an almost circular shape, whereas in the studied specimens this article is rather ellipsoid. Pereopod 6 in Griffiths' figure has the merus much longer than wide, with the posterior margin weakly convex. In the types and the new material this article looks completely different: it is wider than long, as the posterior margin is strongly lobate. The dactylus is much shorter than the propodus in Griffiths' drawing, in the redescribed material these articles are subequal in length.Similar inconsistencies can be observed on antenna 2: the 4th article of the peduncle is ovoid, whereas in Griffiths' drawing it appears subrectangular; on uropod 3 the second article of the outer ramus of the redescribed material is relatively longer (1:3) compared to the basal article in Griffiths' illustration (1:4).
Received: 23 August 2002 / Accepted: 04 March 2003
Wing venation morphology and variability of Gerarus fischeri (Brongniart, 1885) sensu Burnham (Panorthoptera; Upper Carboniferous, Commentry, France), with inferences on flight performanceDownload PDFAbstract
The Geraridae is a family with no consensual assignment. In order to improve this situation, a revision of the wing venation of Gerarus fischeri (Brongniart, 1885) sensu Burnham (1983) is presented.Gerarus bruesi Meunier, 1909, Archaeacridites elegantissima Meunier, 1909 and Sthenaropoda minor Handlirsch, 1919 are considered as new junior synonyms of G. fischeri. A new interpretation of the hind wing venation is proposed, yielding additional support for the ‘panorthopterid’ assignment. The wing venation of this species shows outstandingly high variability. For a better resolution of relationships of Geraridae within Panorthoptera, additional studies of representatives of the latter taxon are required.
Received: 15 May 2003 / Accepted: 09 September 2003
Towards a phylogeny of chitons (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) based on combined analysis of five molecular lociDownload PDFAbstract
This study represents the first phylogenetic analysis of the molluscan class Polyplacophora using DNA sequence data. We employed DNA from a nuclear protein-coding gene (histone H3), two nuclear ribosomal genes (18S rRNA and the D3 expansion fragment of 28S rRNA), one mitochondrial protein-coding gene (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I), and one mitochondrial ribosomal gene (16S rRNA). A series of analyses were performed on independent and combined data sets. All these analyses were executed using direct optimization with parsimony as the optimality criterion, and analyses were repeated for nine combinations of parameters affecting indel and transversion/transition cost ratios. Maximum likelihood was also explored for the combined molecular data set, also using the direct optimization method, with a model equivalent to GTR + I + Γ that accommodates gaps. The results of all nine parameter sets for the combined parsimony analysis of all molecular data (as well as ribosomal data) and the maximum-likelihood analysis of all molecular data support monophyly of Polyplacophora. The resulting topologies mostly agree with a division of Polyplacophora into two major lineages: Lepidopleuridae and Chitonida (sensu Sirenko 1993). In our analyses the genus Callochiton is positioned as the sister group to Lepidopleuridae, and not as sister group to the remaining Chitonida (sensu Buckland-Nicks & Hodgson 2000), nor as the sister group to the remaining Chitonina (sensu Buckland-Nicks 1995). Chitonida (excluding Callochiton) is monophyletic, but conventional subgroupings of Chitonida are not supported. Acanthochitonina (sensu Sirenko 1993) is paraphyletic, or alternatively monophyletic, and is split into two clades, both with abanal gills only and cupules in the egg hull, but one has simple cupules whereas the other has more strongly hexagonal cupules. Sister to the Acanthochitonina clades is Chitonina, including taxa with adanal gills and a spiny egg hull. Schizochiton, the only genus with adanal gills that has an egg hull with cupules, is the sister-taxon to one of the Acanthochitonina clades plus Chitonina, or alternatively basal to Chitonina. Support values for either position are low, leaving this relationship unsettled. Our results refute several aspects of conventional classifications of chitons that are based primarily on shell characters, reinforcing the idea that chiton classification should be revised using additional characters.
Received: 10 September 2002 / Accepted: 18 November 2002
Iboyella, a new genus of epacteriscid copepod (Copepoda: Calanoida: Epacteriscidae) from CubaDownload PDFAbstract
A new genus of Epacteriscidae is described from a single female of a new species, Iboyella cubensis gen. et sp. nov., collected in an anchialine cave on Cuba. This is the second genus in the family described from Cuba. The new genus belongs in the subfamily Epacteriscinae and is distinguished from related genera by a mosaic of setation characters relating both to the mouthparts and to swimming legs 1 to 5. The combination of the lack of an inner seta on the first exopodal segment of the female fifth leg with the retention of a single seta on the mandibular basis is shared only with Gloinella. The new genus has a much reduced rostrum compared with that of Gloinella, and there are differences in maxillulary and maxillipedal setation.
Received: 12 July 2001 / Accepted: 24 September 2002
Phylogenetic relationships at the base of Oligoarthra (Copepoda, Harpacticoida) with a new species as the cornerstoneDownload PDFAbstract
Romete bulbiseta gen. et sp. nov. (Aegisthoidea Giesbrecht, 1892: Rometidae fam. nov.) is described from the Great Meteor Seamount, north-east Atlantic. An analysis of the phylogeny and evolution of the basal Harpacticoida Sars, 1903 is presented. Cerviniidae Sars, 1903 and Cervinioidea Sars, 1903 are respective junior synonyms of Aegisthidae Giesbrecht, 1892 and Aegisthoidea Giesbrecht, 1892. Rometidae fam. nov. is identified as sistertaxon of Aegisthidae. Rotundiclipeidae Huys, 1988 and Styracothoracidae Huys, 1993 are removed from Aegisthoidea and placed in Syngnatharthra tax. nov., sistergroup of Aegisthoidea. “Maxillipedasphalea” Lang, 1944 is polyphyletic and therefore not maintained here. A morphological analysis of taxa of Harpacticoida reveals the autapomorphies of Rometidae, Aegisthidae, Aegisthoidea, Syngnatharthra, and Oligoarthra Lang, 1944. Diagnoses for these taxa are given.
Received: 11 November 2001 / Accepted: 30 March 2003
Japanese earthworms (Annelida: Oligochaeta): a review and checklist of speciesDownload PDFAbstract
The current revision provisionally lists 77 valid earthworm taxa in seven families from Japan, with approximately 80 further names (ca. 50% of the total) either in synonymy – including 40 new synonyms – or retained as species incertae sedis. Generic placement of the species yielded 17 new combinations. About 30 species are known introductions and another ten are possibly more widespread, thus the probable number of wholly endemic Japanese earthworms is around 40 species (ca. 50% of the total valid species). However, a definitive work on the systematics of Japan's earthworms is pending, and the current revision aims only to provide a status quo and to track changes from the last comprehensive revision by Easton (1981) that listed 74 taxa. Subsequently, 60 or so new pheretimoid names were added by Ishizuka in 1999–2001, but only a few are considered valid taxa, the remainder being synonyms or species incertae sedis. The substitute name ‘Pheretima’ palarva, nom. nov., is provided for the junior homonym Pheretima parvula Ishizuka et al., 2000.While much of Easton's synopsis is supported, Pontodrilus is now placed in Megascolecidae sensu Blakemore (2000) rather than Acanthodrilidae sensu Gates (1959); Amynthas carnosus (Goto & Hatai, 1899) is removed from synonymy with Amynthas gracilis; and an informal Amynthas corticis species-complex is established to accommodate the various morphs of this widely distributed species group. Pheretima (Parapheretima) koellikeri Michaelsen, 1928 is considered synonymous with Metaphire vesiculata (Goto & Hatai, 1899), thereby removing the genus Pheretima sensu stricto from the Japanese list. Polypheretima is also removed from Japanese indigeny, as the original description of Polypheretima iizukai (Goto & Hatai, 1899) failed to report intestinal caeca, and inspection of fresh material allows its placement in synonymy with Amynthas fuscatus (Goto & Hatai, 1898). Easton (1981) had listed this taxon as Metaphire fuscata, but further demonstration of superficial male pores qualifies it for Amynthas. Conversely, the discovery of copulatory pouches results in transfer from Amynthas to Metaphire for M. hilgendorfi (Michaelsen, 1892), comb. nov., Metaphire communissima (Goto & Hatai, 1898), comb. nov., and Metaphire megascolidioides (Goto & Hatai, 1899), comb. nov. The Metaphire hilgendorfi/Amynthas tokioensis species-complex (Amynthas hilgendorfi species-complex sensu Easton 1981) remains one of the most intractable and pressing problems for comprehension of the Japanese fauna, as most of the component taxa, e.g. Metaphire agrestis (Goto & Hatai, 1899), are parthenogenetically degraded morphs as yet unaffiliated with their ancestral and biparental populations. Resolution may be sought employing combinations of morphological and molecular (RNA, DNA) techniques to determine specific affinities while also complying with requirements of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN 1999).
Received: 18 May 2003 / Accepted: 11 July 2003
The taxonomy of the amphipod genus Stilipes (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Stilipedidae), with description of one new speciesDownload PDFAbstract
A new species of marine amphipod, Stilipes macquariensis sp. n., is described from west of Macquarie Island. In the accompanying Electronic Supplement, two of the previously known species in the genus, S. distinctus and S. lacteus, are partly redescribed, and a key to Stilipes species is presented. The name of the species originally published as Stilipes distincta Holmes, 1908 is changed to S. distinctus as mandated by the Code of zoological nomenclature (ICZN 1999: Article 34.2.), to match the gender of the genus name. Detailed studies of various appendages have revealed that, contrary to what was believed until now, members of Stilipes do possess both a small accessory flagellum on the first antenna and a row of raker setae on the mandible (Fig. 1). Relations of the genus to the three families Astyridae, Stilipedidae and Iphimediidae (all sensu Coleman & Barnard 1991) are discussed.Diagnosis of Stilipes macquariensis sp. n. (Fig. 1): the species is easily separated from the three known congeners by the short and distally truncate telson, and the broad and rounded third epimeral plate. S. distinctus and S. sanguineus both possess a conspicuously pointed and acute posterodistal corner on the third epimeral plate, whereas it is weakly produced and more rounded in S. lacteus. Furthermore, the lacinia mobilis of S. macquariensis sp. n. is only partly toothed, whereas the entire distal margin of the lacinia mobilis is strongly toothed in all congeners.Types and locality: Holotype (South Australian Museum, Adelaide; reg. nr C6074) female 22 mm: W Macquarie Isl., 54°50′5″–54°41′9″S, 158°40′99″–158°43′E, 956–9 m, FRV Southern Surveyor stn. 5501/52, 22 January 1999, leg. K. L. Gowlett-Holmes.
Received: 20 August 2002 / Accepted: 16 December 2002
Biological surveys – new perspectives in the PacificDownload PDFAbstract
Biological surveys have provided a wealth of data to advance the understanding, use and management of natural resources and were important in the establishment and development of museums of natural history. Museums, which hold billions of specimens worldwide, are now important repositories of biodiversity data. In the Pacific, the Bishop Museum has combined research and collections activities into the Hawaii Biological Survey and is integrating and synthesizing more than four million specimen records from Hawaii into an information system to guide future research and survey priorities. This has helped highlight the conservation importance of Hawaii and stimulate further research on Hawaii's biota. The Museum is now in the process of developing a Pacific Biological Survey and is working with a variety of partners to link all museum data – more than 22 million specimens – with other biodiversity and ecosystem data under the auspices of the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey, as part of IBOY, to create a Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN). This effort is also linked to the development of a Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect Network (PABITRA) through DIVERSITAS to advance the understanding and management of island ecosystems.
Received: 03 February 2002 / Accepted: 12 December 2002
Rapid evolution and species-specificity of arthropod genitalia: fact or artifact?Download PDFAbstract
It is widely accepted that there is compelling evidence in the taxonomic literature that in many animals with internal fertilization the genitalia (and functional equivalents) evolve more rapidly and are species-specific to a higher degree than non-genitalic features. In this article, a series of biases and constraints inherent in traditional taxonomic practice are discussed that might be partly responsible for the two phenomena: (1) Emphasis on non-genitalic characters for grouping of species and higher taxa; (2) Emphasis on qualitative differences in species-level taxonomy; (3) Extrapolation from non-dimensional situations to allopatric populations; (4) A priori assumption of species-specificity of genitalia; (5) Low numbers of available specimens for most species. It is concluded that both traditional and modern methodological approaches (such as analysis of variation and analysis of character evolution based on DNA sequence data), coupled with an increased awareness of these potential problems, are necessary to evaluate objectively the commonality of rapid evolution and species-specificity of genitalia.
Received: 10 April 2002 / Accepted: 06 January 2003
Macedonethes stankoi n. sp., a rhithral oniscidean isopod (Isopoda: Oniscidea: Trichoniscidae) from MacedoniaDownload PDFAbstract
Macedonethes stankoi n. sp. is described, a truly aquatic species with special morphological adaptations to life in running water.Diagnosis of Macedonethes stankoi n. sp. (Fig. 1): Species with the characters diagnostic for Macedonethes Buturović, 1955 (see also Tabacaru 1993). Blind. Body large (up to 15.7 mm long), rather convex. Defined mostly by characters interpreted as adaptations to life in rhithral habitats: cephalon hypognathous, antennular article 3 and aesthetascs reduced to varying degree (from slightly developed with two aesthetascs to almost totally reduced); pereopods 1–4 subchelate, i.e. with elongate carpus opposed to propodus and dactylus (enabling the animal to attach tightly to the substrate); sternum of pereonite 5 with unique clasping structures (presumably facilitating copulation); exopod of male pleopod 1 remarkably dilated mediodistally; endopod of male pleopod 2 with arched apical article; exopods of pleopods 2–5 with long plumose setae on posterior margins; epimera of pleonites 3–5 well developed.Types and locality: Holotype male (Macedonian Museum of Natural History, Skopje; Inv. No. 2783); Macedonia, Jakupica Mt., slopes of Solunska glava peak, from a spring in the cave at the source of the Babuna River, 1500 m asl (UTM-EM31), 18.08.2000, leg. G. Poliić. Paratypes: 4 males and 2 females as holotype (Inv. No. 2784); 2 males and 1 female as holotype, except in author's collection; 1 male and 1 female as holotype, except in Museo Zoologico “La Specola”, University of Florence, Italy.Spelaeonethes castellonensis Cruz & Dalens, 1989 clearly differs from the characteristics of Spelaeonethes species, particularly in structures of the male merus 7 and the endopods of male pleopods 2. Published descriptions and illustrations demonstrate obvious close relations with the type species of Macedonethes, M. skopjensis Buturovic, 1955, especially regarding all characters considered diagnostic for that genus. Therefore, the new combination Macedonethes castellonensis (Cruz & Dalens) is proposed.A detailed description (including color plates), further discussion of adaptations, and data on other aquatic oniscids are presented in an Electronic Supplement.
Received: 31 October 2000 / Accepted: 31 October 2002
What is Citrus? Taxonomic implications from a study of cp-DNA evolution in the tribe Citreae (Rutaceae subfamily Aurantioideae)Download PDFAbstract
The taxonomy of Citrus is discussed in the light of the phylogeny of Citrus and allied genera inferred from the evolution of the segments trnL(UAA)-trnF(GAA) and trnT(UGU)-trnL(UAA) of the cpDNA. Twenty-eight species from twelve genera of subfamily Aurantioideae were sampled. Phylogenies constructed using maximum parsimony and neighbor-joining are well supported by high bootstrap values. The molecular data support a clade constituted by Citrus, Poncirus, Fortunella, and Microcitrus, but do not support an hypothesis of monophyly of Citrus due to the isolated position of C. medica. These results are congruent with an analysis of morphological evolution of diagnostic characters within the tribe Citreae. A more conservative position with a wider definition of Citrus to include all the cited relatives is intended to avoid great nomenclatural changes in such an economically important group.
Received: 29 July 2002 / Accepted: 21 October 2002
Plant discoveries from PABITRA-related exploration in Papua New GuineaDownload PDFAbstract
Unlike many of the archipelagic stations comprising the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) network, the flora of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is exceedingly speciose and in a remarkable state of preservation. Sites targeted for PABITRA action in PNG are unexplored or have only very limited botanical documentation. Vegetation sampling under such a combination of circumstances is highly problematic, particularly with respect to identification of sterile material from plot enumerations. The country team has thus pursued a study plan based on intensive collection and taxonomic evaluation, conducted prior to establishment of transects. Sterile vouchers can be determined to an acceptable level of confidence when matched to fertile specimens obtained from comprehensive exploration. Substantial numbers of new taxa are being revealed by the PABITRA assessments as a collateral benefit of this procedure. The following narrative summarizes the discoveries which have resulted from ongoing investigations in poorly known environments, and discusses some implications for future floristic work in Papuasia.
Received: 23 August 2002 / Accepted: 30 May 2003
Genitalia and terminal abdominal segments of male basal Hymenoptera (Insecta): morphology and evolutionDownload PDFAbstract
The results of a morphological study of the terminal abdominal segments, particularly the reproductive organs, of male Hymenoptera are presented in the form of 87 morphological characters. The external male genitalia of at least one member of each of the 14 sawfly families are illustrated. The 87 characters comprise sclerites and muscles of the external genitalia, the abdominal sclerites, and the internal reproductive organs. The groundplan of all Hymenoptera and the evolution of the terminal segments of the male genitalia within Hymenoptera are deduced on the basis of a recent simultaneous analysis of basal Hymenoptera which includes the characters from the present work.
Received: 11 May 2002 / Accepted: 15 October 2002
Devonohexapodus bocksbergensis, a new marine hexapod from the Lower Devonian Hunsrück Slates, and the origin of Atelocerata and HexapodaDownload PDFAbstract
We describe a new arthropod (approximately 75 mm long) from the Lower Devonian (Lower Emsian) Hunsrück Slates near Bundenbach, western Germany. The specimen is from an isolated piece of rock found on the quarry dump, precluding precise resolution of stratigraphic age. The Hunsrück Slates are marine sediments with a rich fauna of exclusively marine taxa, suggesting that our fossil was also marine. The animal has a small head with large compound eyes and long, filiform, myocerate antennae. Its trunk is divided distinctly into a thorax with three segments and three pairs of slender legs, and a post-thoracic domain composed of 35-40 limb-bearing segments of which the anteriormost are paired, stout, and ventrally-oriented leglets; the three ultimate limb-bearing segments bear longer, posteriorly-oriented and apparently specialised appendages. The overall appearance of the new form is reminiscent of Archaeognatha or Odonata. It is interpreted as a representative of the Hexapoda because of the possession of a three-segmented thorax and three pairs of legs that are clearly distinct from the posterior set. The large number of leg-bearing post-thoracic segments discriminates it from the Insecta, which possess 11 “abdominal” segments maximally, originally also leg-bearing. The formal systematic classification of the organism is: (Hexapoda (Devonohexapodus bocksbergensis + Insecta (“entognaths” + Ectognatha))). The morphology of the fossil and its environment suggest that the hexapody of hexapods did not evolve as an adaptation to terrestrial locomotion, but was already developed in the marine habitat. No terrestrial arthropods have changed their original tagmosis for biomechanical reasons, for example, no “myriapods” have reduced their leg numbers or modified their trunk to evolve a thorax and abdomen similar to insects. Walking exclusively on uniramous prosomal legs in the Chelicerata also occurred well before terrestrialization of this other euarthropodan group. It is not unlikely that the last common ancestor of the Hexapoda was large and that the small size of extant “entognaths” evolved due to reduction in their stem lineage. Being marine, the new fossil also has considerable impact on hypotheses about the early evolution of Atelocerata (“myriapods” + Hexapoda). For example, if their last common ancestor was aquatic, terrestrialization took place at least twice and tracheal breathing probably evolved independently in both taxa after terrestrialization.
Received: 05 December 2002 / Accepted: 24 March 2003
DNA, PCR and formalinized animal tissue – a short review and protocolsDownload PDFAbstract
Formaldehyde was first prepared in 1859, and since then has been in widespread use for fixing and preserving medical and biological specimens. The value of such archival material has increased considerably because several methods for extracting DNA from formaldehyde-fixed animal tissue have been developed. Most of these, however, either require large amounts of tissue (rarely available) or recover only short fragments of DNA. Here we summarize current knowledge of and experience with such published methods, look at some of the known problems, and develop an additional method based on embedding the tissue in agarose prior to treatment with proteinase-K and GeneReleaser. With this method we have obtained mitochondrial DNA useful for PCR reactions from as little as 3 mg tissue of more than 30 years old formaldehyde-fixed aplacophoran molluscs. We examine the conditions under which obtaining relatively high-quality DNA from formaldehyde-fixed material is possible, making previously collected samples accessible for molecular studies in genetics, systematics and related fields. The purpose of this short review is to acquaint molecular systematists with some of the methodological advances and considerations in using formaldehyde-preserved material.
A sampling of the science from the International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001–2002Download PDF
Received: 28 May 2002 / Accepted: 17 September 2002
Application of spectral analysis to examine phylogenetic signal among euglenid SSU rDNA data sets (Euglenozoa)Download PDFAbstract
Euglenid flagellates as a common and widespread group of protists display a broad morphological variety. Against the background of pronounced genetic diversity and varying sequence characteristics of SSU rDNA sequences among different euglenid subgroups we analyzed the content and distribution of phylogenetic signal and noise within different euglenozoan data sets. Two statistical approaches, PTP-test and RASA, were employed to achieve a measure of overall signal content. Spectral analyses were used to evaluate support and conflict for given bipartitions of the data sets. These investigations revealed a large amount of phylogenetic information present in the molecular data. Convincing support could be found for primary osmotrophic euglenids and corresponding subgroups, a taxon mainly based on molecular data. On the other hand, in agreement with weak corroboration from morphological data, euglenid monophyly and interrelationships of phagotrophs, phototrophs and osmotrophs were not supported. Focusing on the primary osmotrophic subclade Rhabdomonadina spectral analysis revealed only few well supported splits. Generally, the application of sequence evolution models in maximum likelihood and spectral analyses of euglenid SSU rDNA data sets did not lead to significant amplification of split supporting signal. Phylogenetic hypotheses are discussed in regard to the evolution of morphological and ultrastructural characters.
Received: 29 September 2002 / Accepted: 20 March 2003
Distribution patterns of native freshwater fishes in Patagonia (Argentina)Download PDFAbstract
The Patagonian ichthyofauna comprises a total of 29 species. This low species richness contrasts with other cold-temperate regions of the southern hemisphere. The fauna includes only 15 species native to the Patagonian Province and seven to the Brazilian Province. Knowledge of native fish fauna diversity patterns is still fragmentary. Based on extensive sampling during the IBOY initiative and also reviewing seminal and review literature, we provide an updated perspective of native freshwater fishes in Patagonia by describing and analyzing their distribution and occurrence across basins.The results show that species richness varies along latitude, with a maximum at the 38°–40° interval, principally due to the presence of Brazilian species inhabiting northern Patagonia. However, species numbers remained constant south of 48° latitude. We report extended distribution ranges for several species such as Diplomystes mesembrinus, Hatcheria macraei, Trichomycterus areolatus, and Odontesthes hatcheri, and also the new discovery of a Brazilian species (Corydoras paleatus) in the north of Patagonia. Cluster analysis based on presence-absence information revealed co-occurrence patterns at the level of basins, showing that only few species (Percichtys trucha, Odontesthes hatcheri, Hatcheria macraei, Galaxias platei, and G. maculatus) are ubiquitous. Restricted distribution and even endemism for the remaining species could be attributed to river drainage systems which influence dispersion ability, to the influence of past glaciation events, and impact by introduced salmonids in the last century. Future research therefore should be focused on distribution patterns of introduced species since they are an important component of present Patagonian fish assemblages. Also, efforts should be devoted to understanding how diversity patterns of freshwater fish communities vary across scales and how community changes are relevant for native species conservation.
Received: 08 August 2002 / Accepted: 26 November 2002
Diversity of Bolivian Orchidaceae – a challenge for taxonomic, floristic and conservation researchDownload PDFAbstract
Bolivia belongs to the least studied and, in terms of biodiversity, most underestimated countries of the tropics. This fact is reflected by the history of knowledge on the Orchidaceae, the most diverse botanical family of the country (possibly about 10% of the total flora). In 1929 about 300 species were known, and until 1958, when a first floristic checklist was compiled, this number increased to 450. Although floristic and taxonomic research has not been very intensive and in about 80% of the territory no orchid specimen has been collected, four decades later about 1,500 species are recorded (in 191 genera; more than 1,200 named and identified species; about 33% endemic to the country). Almost 80% of the species are epiphytes, and among these endemism is more common (36.6%) than in terrestrial species (22.8%). According to current estimates there are about 2,000–3,000 orchid species in the country. The available information on discovery rates and geographic distribution of the species reveals challenging facts for taxonomy and conservation. Almost 50% of the species belong to only 4% of the genera, and more than 60% of the species (almost 80% of the endemics) are concentrated in only 4% of the national territory, the Yungas montane rain forests, an evolution center of Neotropical orchids. The situation of some of the taxonomically most problematic genera is described. A multiplication of research capacities is required in order to achieve adequate treatment. The paper includes a preliminary checklist and first diversity and endemism maps. One new species,Epidendrum adolfomorenoi R. Vásquez & P. L. Ibisch, sp. nov., is described and illustrated.
Received: 25 June 2002 / Accepted: 21 April 2003
Revision of Storthyngura Vanhöffen, 1914 (Crustacea: Isopoda: Munnopsididae) with descriptions of three new genera and four new species from the deep South AtlanticDownload PDFAbstract
The deep-sea genusStorthyngura (family Munnopsididae) is revised. Three new genera (Rectisura, Sursumura and Vanhoeffenella) and four new species (Rectisura richardsoniae, Sursumura aberrata, Vanhoeffenella georgei, and V. moskalevi) are described from deep-sea basins and trenches of the South Atlantic Ocean. Thirty-three previously described species are placed in new combinations with one of the new genera. Diagnoses are presented for the subfamily Storthyngurinae Kussakin (2003), the genus Storthyngura VanhÏffen, and all new taxa. The accompanying Electronic Supplement offers a key to the six genera in the subfamily, and keys to species inStorthyngura and the three new genera.
Received: 12 August 2002 / Accepted: 05 March 2003
Moving with the times: baseline data to gauge future shifts in vegetation and invertebrate altitudinal assemblages due to environmental changeDownload PDFAbstract
A long-term monitoring program has been established in Tasmania, Australia, as a Satellite Project for the International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY). This program aims to monitor distributional change in vegetation and fauna assemblages along an altitudinal gradient (70–1300 m) in response to climate change and other environmental events. Baseline data collected over a two-year period will be available for comparison with data collected in future decades.The vegetation varies with altitude and fire history. The rate of change in vegetation is not continuous along the altitudinal gradient, but is most rapid above 700 m and below the treeline at 1000–1100 m. Most vascular plant species reach the limit of their distribution within this zone.Despite their preliminary nature, the invertebrate data also display altitudinal and seasonal patterns. The treeline and the 700–1000 m zone again appear to be notable in terms of invertebrate distribution. While the composition of ground-based taxa may be closely related to the floristic composition of the vegetation (or its environmental drivers), the airborne invertebrate fauna appears to be more closely related to structural characteristics such as height and density. Of all taxa, the Coleoptera appear to be the best potential indicators across most altitudes and times.Although the current data provide a wealth of inventory and distributional information over altitude, their greatest potential value lies in long-term comparative information. Future sampling should focus not only on changes at and above the treeline, but also on the zone below this where many species are at their altitudinal limits and may be particularly sensitive to climate change.
Received: 30 September 2002 / Accepted: 04 April 2003
SOMBASE – Southern Ocean Mollusc Database: A tool for biogeographic analysis in diversity and ecologyDownload PDFAbstract
Databases and Geographical Information Systems are becoming increasingly popular tools for biogeographic analysis. The reliability of the analysis depends on the accuracy of the entered data and the ability to add changes in systematics and taxonomy. The main aim of the Southern Ocean Mollusc Database (SOMBASE) project is to set up a database linked with a GIS and user-friendly front end. This system allows for the inclusion of other taxa in the future. Currently the database consists of records for 950 shelled gastropod and 136 bivalve species and 2800 sites from the Southern Ocean.The database contains fields including: 1) Taxonomic authorship, synonyms, higher level classifications, diagnostic morphological characters, and ecological features; 2) Distributional information including substrate and depth; 3) Bibliographic information.The maps can display selected sites based on any query of any field or combination of fields in the database. An online version of the database is available with distribution maps for all taxonomic levels (www.antarctica.ac.uk/SOMBASE).
Received: 07 January 2003 / Accepted: 06 May 2003
Phylogeny and biogeography of Morinaceae (Dipsacales) based on nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequencesDownload PDFAbstract
The Morinaceae (Dipsacales) contains 13 species placed in Acanthocalyx, Cryptothladia or Morina, and is distributed from the mountains of southeastern Europe through the Himalayas to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, mainly in alpine habitats. Sequence data from two chloroplast regions (the trnK intron and the trnL-F region) and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA were used to infer phylogenetic relationships of Morinaceae and related Dipsacales. Both the nuclear and chloroplast datasets, as well as the combined data, provide strong support for relationships within the Valerina clade, placing Morinaceae as the sister group of a clade containing Valerianaceae and Dipsacaceae plus Triplostegia. The Morinaceae, Acanthocalyx, Cryptothladia, and a clade containing Morina and Cryptothladia, are all supported as monophyletic. However, Morina was found to be paraphyletic in several of our analyses, with Morina longifolia more closely related to Cryptothladia than to other Morina species. There is some evidence that Morina longifolia produces cleistogamous flowers, as do Cryptothladia species. Dispersal-vicariance analyses support the view that Valerina radiated initially within Asia, with subsequent movement into Europe in Morinaceae, Dipsacaceae, and Valerianaceae, and into the New World in Valerianaceae. For Morinaceae, as for a number of plant groups, the Brahmaputra river drainage marks a significant biogeographic divide, although this has been spanned within Acanthocalyx and the Morina-Cryptothladia lineage.
Received: 16 December 2002 / Accepted: 28 April 2003
“Digital inking”: how to make perfect line drawings on computersDownload PDFAbstract
A fast and accurate way for making perfect scientific illustrations is described. A pencil drawing or a photo is scanned. The resulting file is imported into Adobe Illustrator and the line drawing is made using a WACOM Intuos digitiser board. After the habitus and detail drawings have been made, plates can be arranged using the same software. Lettering and arrows can be added very quickly. The plates can be exported as graphics files for printing or further manipulation.
Received: 02 September 2002 / Accepted: 25 February 2003
Vegetation indicates diversity of soil macroinvertebrates: a case study with termites along a land-use intensification gradient in lowland SumatraDownload PDFAbstract
Macroinvertebrates have an important role in the maintenance of soil structural stability and fertility in many natural and man-modified habitats. Efficient cataloguing of these animals, as a part of rapid biodiversity assessments, is hampered by high species richness, inherent inaccessibility and a strong tendency towards aggregated distribution. Current debate concerning the relative merits of transects (rapid, but at best semi-quantitative) and alternative sampling approaches such as grid-based or randomised placements of monoliths or cores (labour intensive, but statistically preferable) has initiated a search for satisfactory indicator groups or surrogates of belowground faunal diversity. Here, we use well-characterised, forest-derived plant and termite assemblages to show there can be a key role for plant indicators. We catalogued all vascular plant species, plant functional attributes (PFAs), plant functional types (PFTs), and vegetational structure in seven IBOY-designated sites along a gradient of disturbance and land-use intensification in lowland Sumatra, using a rapid survey protocol. We simultaneously sampled the termite assemblage in the same sites by a more exhaustive process involving microhabitat exploration. There were highly significant, positive correlations between species richness of all termites (and of soil-feeders, the most important termite functional group) and, respectively, mean canopy height (r > 0.96), woody plant basal area (r > 0.95), the ratio of plant species richness to richness of PFTs (r > 0.97), and plant species richness (r > 0.85). There was no significant correlation between any individual plant and termite species. There were significant correlations between 18 individual PFAs and 24 of the 54 termite species, and between 12 PFTs and 38 termite species. In addition, 6 PFTs and 10 PFAs were highly correlated with termite species richness and relative abundance. Causal linkages between termites and their plant predictors are briefly discussed. Plant-based heterogeneity and aboveground habitat structure may therefore predict termite diversity response to disturbance. We conclude that for rapid, multi-taxon surveys including belowground macroinvertebrates, logistic efficiency may be achieved by the use of specific, readily observable plant indicators.