Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Zoologia (Curitiba)]]> vol. 34 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Influence of vegetation physiognomy, elevation and fire frequency on medium and large mammals in two protected areas of the Espinhaço Range]]> ABSTRACT The objectives of this study were to determine the richness of medium and large mammal species in two protected areas of the Espinhaço Mountain Range, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil; and to investigate the factors affecting the occurrence of those species. To accomplish that we placed 49 camera traps activated by heat and motion at Rio Preto State Park (RPSP) and 48 at Sempre Vivas National Park (SVNP). We also collected data on three environmental variables: vegetation physiognomy, elevation and wildfire frequency, to evaluate the influence of these factors on species richness and use intensity (inferred from camera trap detection rate) by large mammals. We recorded 23 large mammal species in the two parks combined. The lowest species richness was found at the rupestrian habitat of RPSP, and in the open grasslands of SVNP. The forest and savannah physiognomies were used more intensively by large mammals. Species richness was higher and use was greater at lower elevations of RPSP. In SVNP, fire frequency did not affect species richness or use intensity. The savannah habitat had very similar richness compared to the forests of the two protected areas. The high species richness and use intensity observed in these forest habitats highlights the importance of riparian environments in the Cerrado biome. The highest species richness and use intensity observed at low elevation follows patterns found in the literature, probably due to variation in the vegetation, which results in greater resource availability. Although rupestrian habitats at high elevations of the Espinhaço Range are known to have a high degree of endemism for some taxa, large mammal richness and use were not high in this habitat. These results indicate that the protection of native vegetation at lower elevations is crucial for the long-term conservation of large mammals in the Espinhaço Range. <![CDATA[Ultrastructure of the dermal chromatophores in the Fringe-toed lizard, <em>Acanthodactylus orientalis</em>]]> ABSTRACT Histology and electron microscopic studies of the dorsal skin of the Fringe-toed lizard, Acanthodactylus orientalis Angel, 1936, showed three types of dermal chromatophores: xanthophores, iridophores and melanophores. These pigment cells were observed in vertical combination, with an uppermost layer of xanthophores, an intermediate layer of iridophores and a basal layer of melanophores. The ultrastructure of the melanophore is characterized by oval nucleus and numerous pigment granules, the melanosomes of different stages that remain scattered in the cytoplasm. The chromatophores of this species contain significant information of anatomical similarity with lower as well as higher vertebrates. They can help to better understand the inter relationships between vertebrate pigment cells and their role in skin dysfunctions. <![CDATA[Observations on food preference of Neotropical land planarians (Platyhelminthes), with emphasis on <em><strong><em>Obama anthropophila</em></strong></em> , and their phylogenetic diversification]]> ABSTRACT: The food preference of Obama anthropophila Amaral, Leal-Zanchet &amp; Carbayo, 2015, a species that seems to be spreading across Brazil’s human-modified environments, was investigated. Extensive experiments led to the conclusion that the generalized diet of this species may have facilitated its dispersal. The analysis of 132 feeding records of 44 geoplaninid species revealed a tendency for closely related species to feed on individuals from similar taxonomic groups, suggesting that in this group behavioral evolution is more conserved than phylogenetic diversification. <![CDATA[<em>Owenia caissara</em> sp. n. (Annelida, Oweniidae) from Southern Brazil: addressing an identity crisis]]> ABSTRACT We re-assess the taxonomic status of Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1841 from Southern Brazil based on estuarine specimens from Paranaguá Bay (Paraná) and Babitonga Bay (Santa Catarina), and literature records. Owenia caissara sp. n. is diagnosed by a branchial crown with five pairs of tentacles, branched close to the base of the crown, rectilinear collar with a pronounced lateral slit, two ventrolateral ocelli partially covered by the collar, up to 23 hooks on a single row in the first abdominal segment, regularly curved nuchal shape, regularly moderate teeth curvature, and long and thin scales with oval transition. The description of Owenia caissara sp. n. reinforces the idea that Owenia fusiformis sensu lato is a complex of closely related species that can be distinguished on the basis of both macro- and micro- morphological traits. <![CDATA[Phylogeny of the Neotropical longhorn beetle genus <em><strong><em>Ateralphus</em></strong></em> (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Lamiinae)]]> ABSTRACT Ateralphus Restello, Iannuzzi &amp; Marinoni, 2001 is a Neotropical genus of longhorn beetles composed of nine species. This genus was proposed from splitting Alphus White, 1855 into other two genera: Ateralphus and Exalphus Restello, Iannuzzi &amp; Marinoni, 2001. Even though Ateralphus (nine species), Alphus (four) and Exalphus (18) were recently revised, their validity has not been tested using phylogenetic methods. In this study, we carried out a cladistic analysis of Ateralphus and its related genera, Alphus and Exalphus, based on 44 morphological characters of the adults, to test their monophyly and infer the relationships between their species. Our results support the monophyly of the three genera and recovered two clades that corroborate the species-groups previously recognized in Ateralphus. A new genus, Grandateralphus gen. n., is proposed for one of these clades, which is supported by three synapomorphies: width of upper ocular lobes less than width between the lobe and the coronal suture (character state 6: 0), genae parallel in frontal view (8: 1) and scape gradually expanded toward apex, reaching widest diameter just near apex (9: 2). Grandateralphus gen. n. includes three new combinations: G. lacteus (Galileo &amp; Martins, 2006), comb. n.; G. tumidus (Souza &amp; Monné, 2013), comb. n.; and G. variegatus (Mendes, 1938), comb. n. Notes on the distribution of G. variegatus comb. n. and a new record of E. cicatricornis Schmid, 2014 for Bolivia (Santa Cruz) are provided. <![CDATA[Feeding behavior by hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae) in artificial food patches in an Atlantic Forest remnant in southeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT During flight, hummingbirds achieve the maximum aerobic metabolism rates within vertebrates. To meet such demands, these birds have to take in as much energy as possible, using strategies such as selecting the best food resources and adopting behaviors that allow the greatest energy gains. We tested whether hummingbirds choose sources that have higher sugar concentrations, and investigated their behaviors near and at food resources. The study was conducted at Atlantic forest remnant in Brazil, between June and December 2012. Four patches were provided with artificial feeders, containing sucrose solutions at concentrations of 5%, 15%, 25% and 35% weight/volume. Hummingbird behaviors were recorded using the ad libitum method with continuous recording of behaviors. The following species were observed: the Brazilian ruby Clytolaema rubricauda (Boddaert, 1783), Violet-capped woodnymph Thalurania glaucopis (Gmelin, 1788), Scale-throated hermit Phaethornis eurynome (Lesson, 1832), White-throated hummingbird Leucochloris albicollis (Vieillot, 1818), Versicoloured emerald Amazilia versicolor (Vieillot, 1818), Glittering-bellied emerald Chlorostilbon lucidus (Shaw, 1812) and other Phaethornis spp. C. rubricauda, P. eurynome and Phaethornis spp. visited the 35%-sucrose feeders more often, while the T. glaucopis visited the 25%-sucrose feeders more often. L. albicollis and A. versicolor visited more often solutions with sugar concentration of 15%. C. lucidus visited all patches equally. Three behavioral strategies were observed: 1) C. rubricauda and T. glaucopis exhibited interspecific and intraspecific dominance; 2) the remaining species exhibited subordinance to the dominant hummingbirds, and 3) P. eurynome and Phaethornis spp. adopted a hide-and-wait strategy to the dominant hummingbird species. The frequency of aggressive behaviors was correlated with the time the hummingbird spent feeding, and bird size. Our results showed that hummingbirds can adopt different strategies to enhance food acquisition; that more aggressive species feeding more than less aggressive species; and that the birds, especially if they were dominant species, visited high quality food resources more often. <![CDATA[Anatomical and histological study of the liver and pancreas of two closely related mountain newts <em><strong><em>Neurergus microspilotus</em></strong></em> and <em><strong><em>N. kaiseri</em></strong></em> (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae)]]> ABSTRACT Anatomical and histological examinations were conducted on the digestive glands of two closely related mountain newts, Neurergus microspilotus (Nesterov, 1916) and Neurergus kaiseri Schmidt, 1952. In N. microspilotus and N. kaiseri the major digestive glands comprise a very large liver and a small pancreas. In both species the liver has two distinct lobes, right and left. Histologically, the parenchyma of the liver of both species is contained within a thin capsule of fibroconnective tissue. Glycogen deposits and fat storage often dissolve during the routine histological process and produce considerable histological variability. Sinusoids are lined with endothelial cells forming a very thin epithelial sheet, with discontinuous basement membrane. Bile ducts also occur within the parenchyma of the liver. The ducts are lined by simple cuboidal epithelium. The gall bladder is a storage depot for bile. Its mucosa is thrown into numerous folds. The epithelial lining of the tunica muscularis is arranged circularly. There is a lot of pigmentation in the hepatic parenchyma. The pancreas in N. microspilotus and N. kaiseri is roughly triangular in shape, and lies rather to the dorsal side of the duodenum, between it and the stomach. The exocrine portion of the pancreas consists of clusters of pyramidal cells, which are mostly organized in acini. In both species the cells have a dark basophilic cytoplasm, distinct basal nuclei, and many large eosinophilic zymogen granules containing enzymes responsible for the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and nucleotides. <![CDATA[<em>Minaselates</em>, a new genus and new species of Epiphragmophoridae from Brazil (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Helicoidea)]]> ABSTRACT We describe a new genus and a new species in the family Epiphragmophoridae, Minaselates paradoxa sp. n. The new species was found at the National Park Cavernas do Peruaçu, in northern portion of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Minaselates paradoxa sp. n. is classified in Epiphragmophoridae based on the fact that it shares the following diagnostic features of the family: a dart apparatus with a single dart sac, and two unequal mucous glands at the terminal genitalia. Minaselates gen. n. differs from Epiphragmophora Doering, 1874 by having a granulose protoconch, shell spire with blunt apex, complex microsculpture on the teleoconch and closed umbilicus fused with the shell wall. Also, significant differences between the two genera are the presence of a long and thin kidney that extends more than half the length of the pulmonary cavity, the presence of a flagellar caecum, and a smooth jaw in Minaselates gen. n. The finding of this new species and genus is particularly significant to refine the definition of the family, since Epiphragmophoridae has been traditionally diagnosed using the same characters of Epiphragmophora. Dinotropis Pilsbry &amp; Cockerell, 1937, the other valid genus in the family, is monospecific and is only known by the morphology of the shell. In many ways it is similar to Epiphragmophora. A cladistics analysis was made in the present study which supports Minaselates gen. n. as a different entity and as sister group of the Epiphragmophora within Epiphragmophoridae. <![CDATA[Influence of artificial lights on the orientation of hatchlings of <em><strong><em>Eretmochelys imbricata</em></strong></em> in Pernambuco, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Sea turtle hatchlings, in natural abiotic conditions, emerge from their nests at night and go directly to the sea, following the moonlight’s reflection in the ocean. Increased human activities such as tourism and artificial lights on the coasts, however, have interfered with the ability of sea turtle neonates to find their correct destination, negatively affecting their survival rates. Here we endeavored to assess the influence of artificial lights on the hatchlings of the sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1766) in the south coast of the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. To that end, 10 experiments were conducted with 15 hatchlings/test subjects. Five experiments took place in artificially illuminated areas and five in non-illuminated areas. Circles with a 2 m radius were drawn on the sand a small 2-3 cm depression was made at the center of each circles. The neonates were then placed in the depressions to simulate their coming from a nest. After the neonates crossed the edge of the circles, their tracks were photographed and drawn on a diagram. To ascertain if the trajectories of the neonates differed between the two groups (hatchlings from illuminated versus non-illuminated nests), the Rayleigh test was used. The significance of those differences was tested using ANOVA. To evaluate similarities and significance of clusters, a Multi-Dimensional Scaling was used. The tracks of 86.67% (N = 65) of the hatchlings from nests at illuminated areas departed from their correct trajectory. The distribution of trajectories was considered random (V = 19.4895, p &gt; 0.05) only for tracks originating from artificially illuminated areas. The movement patterns of hatchlings from illuminated and non-illuminated areas differed significantly (F &lt; 0.0001, p &lt; 0.01). Consistent with this, two distinct groups were identified, one from illuminated and one from non-illuminated areas. Therefore, we conclude that artificial illumination impacts the orientation of hawksbill hatchlings. This suggests that in order to protect this species it is necessary to safeguard its nesting areas from artificial lights. <![CDATA[Historical knowledge, richness and relative representativeness of the avifauna of the largest native urban rainforest in the world]]> ABSTRACT Stretching for more than 10,000 ha in the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, Serra da Cantareira comprises the largest native urban rainforest in the World, harboring a rich and diverse Atlantic Forest avifauna. Despite its closeness to major urban areas, few bird surveys have been conducted there. In this article we present an updated compilation of all bird species recorded for Serra da Cantareira, including personal records from the authors. A total of 326 species have been recorded for Serra da Cantareira since 1901; of these, nine have not been sighted there for the last two decades. The number of bird species endemic to the Atlantic Forest is high (80), and seven of its species are globally threatened. According to multivariate analyses the species diversity at Serra da Cantareira is similar to other regions of the Atlantic Forest, such as Carlos Botelho and Intervales state parks, where the vegetation is also ombrophilous dense forest. We discuss local changes in the avifaunal composition over the last decades and suggest the incorporation of large forest remnants to the Cantareira State Park to mitigate the impact of the northern section of Rodoanel Mário Covas, a highway (SP-21) that will soon be operational and will negatively impact the biodiversity of Serra da Cantareira. <![CDATA[Relationship between bird-of-prey decals and bird-window collisions on a Brazilian university campus]]> ABSTRACT Bird-window collisions are a dramatic cause of bird mortality globally. In Latin America, statistics are generally very scarce and/or inaccessible so the frequency of such incidents is still poorly understood. Nevertheless, civilians have applied preventive methods (e.g. adhesive bird-of-prey decals) sparsely but, to our knowledge, no study has evaluated their effectiveness in Brazil. Here, we estimated the mortality rate of bird-window collisions and tested the effectiveness of bird-of-prey decals at preventing such accidents. We undertook daily searches for bird carcasses, presumably resulting from window collisions, near all buildings on a university campus over seven months. Adhesive bird-of-prey decals were then applied to the two buildings with the highest mortality rates and surveys continued for over 12 more months. The mortality rates before and after the application of decals and between seasons were then compared using Friedman test. We recorded 36 collisions, 29 around the two buildings with the highest collision rates 19 prior and 10 after our intervention with associated collision rates of 0.08 and 0.04 collisions/day. Although mortality was reduced by almost half, this difference was not statistically significant. The Blue-black grassquit, Volatinia jacarina (Linnaeus, 1766), and Ruddy ground dove, Columbina talpacoti (Temminck, 1810) suffered the highest number of collisions, followed by the Rufous-collared sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis (P. L. Statius Müller, 1776). Our bird-of-prey decals and efforts were insufficient to prevent or dramatically reduce the number of bird-window collisions. Therefore, we recommend that different interventions be used and additional long-term studies undertaken on their efficacy. <![CDATA[Taxonomy of Xylographellini (Coleoptera: Ciidae) from the Australian and Oriental regions with descriptions of new species of <em><strong><em>Scolytocis</em></strong></em> and <em><strong><em>Xylographella</em></strong></em>]]> ABSTRACT Xylographellini beetles occur mainly in lands of the Southern Hemisphere. However, the taxonomy of Australian and Oriental species is incipient. The tribe comprises four genera, of which Scolytocis Blair, 1928 and Xylographella Miyatake, 1985 were recently redescribed and reported from Australia but without descriptions of new species. Here, three new species of Xylographellini are described: Scolytocis australimontensis sp. n. from Australia, with smooth interspaces of pronotal punctures; Scolytocis insularis sp. n. from the Pohnpei Island (Caroline Islands, Micronesia), with microstriated interspaces of pronotal punctures; and Xylographella frithae sp. n. from Australia, with six raised keels in elytral declivity. Scolytocis samoensis Blair, 1928, type species of the genus, is recorded from Guam (Mariana Islands, Micronesia) and redescribed. Keys for the Scolytocis and Xylographella occurring in the Australian and Oriental regions are also provided. <![CDATA[Description of ten additional ossicles in the foregut of the freshwater crabs <em><strong><em>Sylviocarcinus pictus</em></strong></em> and <em><strong><em>Valdivia serrata</em></strong></em> (Decapoda: Trichodactylidae)]]> ABSTRACT The morphology of stomach ossicles of decapod crustaceans provides valuable information on their phylogeny and biology. We herein described ten new ossicles in the foreguts of two trichodactylid crabs, Sylviocarcinus pictus (H. Milne-Edwards, 1853) and Valdivia serrata White, 1847, in addition to previously described 38 ossicles, which are also recognized and listed. Five specimens each of S. pictus and V. serrata were selected for morphological analysis of gastric ossicles. The stomachs were obtained after removing the carapace, and they were fixed in 10% formalin for 24 hours. After this procedure, the stomachs were immersed in a solution of 10% Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) and heated to 100 °C during 60 minutes for tissue maceration. At this point, the clean skeletons were colored by adding 1% Alizarin Red to the KOH solution in order to facilitate visualization of the internal structures such as the setae and ossicles. The ten new ossicles are: dorsomedial cardiac plate; dorsolateral cardiac plate; suprapectineal lateral ossicle; inferior cardiac valve; lateral mesopyloric ossicle; ampullary roof-medium portion ossicle; process of the ampullary roof-upper portion; lateral-inferior post-ampullary plate; pleuro-pyloric valve’s ossicle; and lateral pleuro-pyloric plate. Some ossicles are thin plates that together with the main ossicles assist in the structure and support of the stomach, which are similar in the two species studied herein. The current knowledge on gastric ossicles will be useful in establishing taxonomic characters, which can evaluate phylogenetic relationships among brachyuran crabs. <![CDATA[Differences between caves with and without bats in a Brazilian karst habitat]]> ABSTRACT. Since bats shelter in roosts during their period of diurnal inactivity, the quality and availability of roosts are important aspects of their ecology. Karst areas have great potential for the availability of day roosts, since they form caves, which serve as bat shelters. Here we characterize the caves used by bats in a preserved karst area of Southeastern Brazil. Using logistic regression analysis we identified the cave characteristics that influence bat occupation. Sixty-six caves were characterized based on measurements of internal height and width, height and width of the entrance(s) of the cave, number of entrances, maximum horizontal development of cave, and internal temperature and humidity. In nineteen months we found 14 species in 32 caves. Most species were eventually recorded in multiple caves, with the exception of D. rotundus, G. soricina and A. planirostris, which were always found in the same caves. Desmodus rotundus showed maternity roost fidelity. We found no differences in microclimate between the caves that are occupied and those that are not. In other words, the microclimate of the caves studied herein can be characterized as stable over the years. The only predictor affecting the presence of bats in the study area was the cave’s maximum horizontal development: the caves that are occupied have greater horizontal development. Based on our results, we conclude that bats occupy many of the caves and that some species are more frequent in certain caves than in others, including some roosts that are used as maternity roosts. These findings indicate that these caves are important resources for the bats in the karst environment studied, and should be preserved. <![CDATA[Morphological and genetic diversity in <em><strong><em>Callithrix</em></strong></em> hybrids in an anthropogenic area in southeastern Brazil (Primates: Cebidae: Callitrichinae)]]> ABSTRACT Two species of Callithrix, C. jacchus (Linnaeus, 1758) and C. penicillata (É. Geoffroy, 1812), are considered invasive in Rio de Janeiro. This study determined the genetic and morphological diversity and verified the species involved in the hybridization of 10 individuals from the municipalities of Silva Jardim (N = 9) and Rio das Ostras (N = 1). We compared the external morphology and skull of C. jacchus (N = 15) and C. penicillata (N = 14) specimens deposited in the collection of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro (MN- UFRJ). Phylogenetic (maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference) and phylogeographical analyses (network analysis) were performed based on cytochrome b sequences. These analyses included hybrids from the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro (N = 3), C. penicillata (N = 2), C. jacchus (N = 2), C. geoffroyi (N = 2), C. kuhlii (N = 2), C. aurita (N = 1), and as outgroups, Mico emiliae (N = 1) and Saguinus mystax (N = 1). The pelage and skull characters of most hybrids were more closely related to C. jacchus. Skull morphometric analysis revealed an intermediate state for the hybrids. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a high similarity between the hybrids and C. penicillata. Six haplotypes of hybrids were identified. Network analysis including them and C. penicillata recovered the topology generated by phylogenetic analysis. The results corroborate that C. jacchus and C. penicillata participate in the hybridization process. There was no geographic structure between hybrids from the coastal lowlands and from the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. <![CDATA[Taxonomic identification using geometric morphometric approach and limited data: an example using the upper molars of two sympatric species of <em><strong><em>Calomys</em></strong></em> (Cricetidae: Rodentia)]]> ABSTRACT The taxonomic identification of micromammals might be complicated when the study material is fragmented, as it is the case with pellets and fossil material. On the other hand, tooth morphology generally provides accurate information for species identification. Teeth preserve notably well, retaining their original morphology, unlike skulls and mandibles, which can get crushed or have missing parts. Here, we explored a geometric morphometrics approach (GM) to identify fragmented specimens of two sympatric Calomys Waterhouse, 1837 species - Calomys tener (Winge, 1888) and Calomys expulsus (Lund, 1841) - using the morphology of intact molars as the basis for identification. Furthermore, we included some specimens of uncertain taxonomic identification to test their affinities and the utility of the shape of the molar to identify incomplete specimens. We evaluated the variations in the shape of the first upper molar (M1) among 46 owl pellets specimens of Calomys, including C. expulsus (n = 15), C. tener (n = 15), and unidentified specimens treated as Calomys sp. (n = 16) through GM analysis using 17 landmarks. The data was explored using PCA, PERMANOVA, and Discriminant analyses over the Procrustes residuals matrix were applied to evaluate inter- and intraspecific shape differences. Also, we evaluated whether allometric shape differences could impact the data, but found no evidence of a correlation between size and shape. Our results support that shape differences in the M1 are effective for discriminating between C. tener and C. expulsus. Moreover, the unidentified specimens do not represent a third shape but could be identified with confidence either as C. tener or C. expulsus. Our results show that even with fragmentary materials, GM is a feasible and useful tool for exploring inter-specific shape differences and assisting in taxonomic identification as a complement to traditional qualitative description of diagnostic features in poorly preserved specimens. <![CDATA[The agricultural impact of pesticides on <em><strong><em>Physalaemus cuvieri</em></strong></em> tadpoles (Amphibia: Anura) ascertained by comet assay]]> ABSTRACT Amphibians inhabiting agricultural areas are constantly exposed to large amounts of chemicals, which reach the aquatic environment during the rainy season through runoff, drainage, and leaching. We performed a comet assay on the erythrocytes of tadpoles found in the surroundings of agricultural fields (soybean and corn crops), where there is an intense release of several kinds of pesticides in different quantities. We aimed to detect differences in the genotoxic parameters between populations collected from soybeans and cornfields, and between them and tadpoles sampled from non-agricultural areas (control group). Tadpoles collected from ponds located at soybean fields had significantly more DNA damage, followed by tadpoles collected from cornfields. In contrast, animals sampled from non-agricultural areas had the lowest incidence of DNA damage. In addition, we found a negative correlation between the parameters of the comet assay and the area of the ponds surrounding soybean. This correlation indicates a possible dilution effect in the concentration of pesticides. Finally, Physalaemus cuvieri Fitzinger, 1826 seems to be a good bioindicator for detecting the genotoxic effects of field agricultural insecticides; therefore, we suggest that this species should be used in environmental biomonitoring studies, since it is common and abundant where it occurs. <![CDATA[Review of <em><strong><em>Coeliaria</em></strong></em> (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Chnoodini)]]> ABSTRACT Coeliaria Mulsant, 1850 is revised based on the external morphology and genitalia of the adults and is distinguished from the other Chnoodini by the following characters: dorsal surface pubescent; antenna 11-segmented; hypomera with rounded fovea; tibia flat and angulated; abdominal postcoxal line incomplete, recurved and with oblique line. A new species, Coeliaria castanea sp. nov., from Brazil, and two new combinations, are proposed: Coeliaria bernardinensis comb. nov. and C. luteicornis comb. nov., expanding the distribution of the genus to Bolivia and Paraguay. <![CDATA[Two new Brazilian species of Chelodesmidae of the genera <em>Iguazus</em> and <em><strong><em>Tessarithys</em></strong></em> (Diplopoda: Polydesmida)]]> ABSTRACT Two new species of Chelodesmidae from the Brazilian northeast are described, Iguazus robustus sp. nov., from the state of Paraíba, and Tessarithys exacuminatus sp. nov., from the states of Pernambuco and Sergipe. Iguazus robustus sp. nov. differs from other species of the genus by having a constriction in the zone of the gonopodal acropodite tip and an extra branch at the tip of the acropodite. Tessarithys exacuminatus sp. nov. differs from the other species of the genus by the large and ascending subterminal dorsal branch of the prefemoral process of the gonopod. Brief reviews of the taxonomy, geographic distribution and a key for males of the respective genera are provided. <![CDATA[Does urbanization have positive or negative effects on Crab spider (Araneae: Thomisidae) diversity?]]> ABSTRACT Urbanization has a great impact on the diversity of living organisms. Spiders, for example, have been shown to respond negatively (some orb weaving species) and positively (ground dwelling species) to urbanization. The effects of urbanization on crab spiders (Thomisidae) (sit-and-wait predators that generally ambush their prey on flowers and leaves) are not sufficiently known. This paper describes the Thomisidae community that inhabits green patches in a temperate Neotropical city, Cordoba, Argentina, and its surroundings, and ascertains whether there are differences in species richness, abundance and composition between urban and exurban sites. Samples were collected from 30 sites during the summer and spring of 2013 and 2014, using the garden-vacuum method. We compared the abundance, richness and composition of Thomisidae among three habitat categories (urban, suburban and external). Seven species in three genera, Misumenops, Wechselia and Tmarus, were detected. Misumenops was the most abundant genus in Córdoba, and Tmarus elongates Mello-Leitão, 1929 was collected in Argentina for the first time. The abundance, richness and composition of thomisid spiders did not differ between habitat categories, indicating that urbanization does not have a negative effect on the communities of these spiders in open green spaces. Site variability, on the other hand, does, suggesting that local factors may be more relevant than broad-scale factors to explain community patterns in this family. <![CDATA[Responses of water mite assemblages (Acari) to environmental parameters at irrigated rice cultivation fields and native lakes]]> ABSTRACT Many studies have revealed that water mite communities can be affected by the physical and chemical parameters of the water. The similarity between the water ‘mite assemblages in local water bodies and in irrigated rice areas can be a way to measure the water conditions, enabling an assessment of the anthropic impact in the environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the distribution of water mites in lakes and irrigated rice fields in south Brazil. To accomplish that we characterized the distinctive environments using physical and chemical variables such as pH, turbidity (NTU), water temperature (°C) and dissolved oxygen (mg/L), in order to verify the influence of these abiotic factors on the species composition of water mite communities; and to compare water mite abundance, richness and composition among different habitats. We assessed three native lakes and four sites with irrigated rice cultivation. Our results showed, for the first time in Brazil, strong correlations between the water mite fauna and turbidity. In addition, native lakes were richer and had greater mite abundance when compared with the irrigated rice areas. <![CDATA[Reproductive aspects of the Purple-throated Euphonia, <em><strong><em>Euphonia chlorotica</em></strong></em> (Aves: Fringillidae) in southeastern Brazil, and first record of the species nesting inside a vespiary]]> ABSTRACT Despite the fact that E. chlorotica (Linnaeus, 1766) is common and widely distributed in South America, the reproductive aspects of the species are poorly documented. Here we present data on 18 active nests found from August to February, between 2007 and 2012. Nests were globular with a lateral entrance, and measured 97.9 ± 14.4 mm in outside height, 110.6 ± 11.6 mm in outside diameter, and were 4.88 ± 2.09 m above ground. They were often supported from bellow and were composed mainly of tiny dry leafs and leaflets, fine petioles, and plumed seeds, all compacted with spider web silk. Eggs were laid on consecutive days or with one day interval, and clutch size varied from 1-3 eggs (2.1 ± 0.6, n = 9 nests). Only females incubated the eggs, but both sexes were involved in nest construction and nestling attendance at similar rates. Incubation and nestling periods were 14 and 21 days, respectively, and overall nest survival probability was 5%. A vespiary used for nesting was not occupied by wasps and nest material was deposited only to form the incubatory chamber. Although nesting near wasps or bees is a widespread strategy among birds in general, nesting inside the nests of social insects is a poorly documented behavior. <![CDATA[A new species of <em><strong><em>Lelegeis</em></strong></em> (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Diaperini) from the Atlantic Forest of Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Lelegeis Champion, 1886 occurs only in the Neotropical region and comprises four species: L. aeneipennis Champion, 1886 from Mexico; L. apicalis Laporte &amp; Brullé, 1831 from Cuba; L. hispaniolae Triplehorn, 1962 from Haiti and the Dominican Republic; and L. nigrifrons (Chevrolat, 1878) occurring in Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Here, Lelegeis pytanga sp. nov. is described based on specimens collected in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, and the first detailed description of the sclerites of the male and female terminalia of Lelegeis is produced. The new species can be easily distinguished from the other Lelegeis by its dull reddish brown to reddish orange elytral coloration, while the remaining body surface is dull black. The morphology of Lelegeis and its generic boundaries within Diaperinae are discussed. <![CDATA[Oxygen consumption remains stable while ammonia excretion is reduced upon short time exposure to high salinity in <em><strong><em>Macrobrachium acanthurus</em></strong></em> (Caridae: Palaemonidae), a recent freshwater colonizer]]> ABSTRACT Palaemonid shrimps occur in the tropical and temperate regions of South America and the Indo-Pacific, in brackish/freshwater habitats, and marine coastal areas. They form a clade that recently (i.e., ~30 mya) invaded freshwater, and one included genus, Macrobrachium Bate, 1868, is especially successful in limnic habitats. Adult Macrobrachium acanthurus (Wiegmann, 1836) dwell in coastal freshwaters, have diadromous habit, and need brackish water to develop. Thus, they are widely recognized as euryhaline. Here we test how this species responds to a short-term exposure to increased salinity. We hypothesized that abrupt exposure to high salinity would result in reduced gill ventilation/perfusion and decreased oxygen consumption. Shrimps were subjected to control (0 psu) and experimental salinities (10, 20, 30 psu), for four and eight hours (n = 8 in each group). The water in the experimental containers was saturated with oxygen before the beginning of the experiment; aeration was interrupted before placing the shrimp in the experimental container. Dissolved oxygen (DO), ammonia concentration, and pH were measured from the aquaria water, at the start and end of each experiment. After exposure, the shrimp’s hemolymph was sampled for lactate and osmolality assays. Muscle tissue was sampled for hydration content (Muscle Water Content, MWC). Oxygen consumption was not reduced and hemolymph lactate did not increase with increased salinity. The pH of the water decreased with time, under all conditions. Ammonia excretion decreased with increased salinity. Hemolymph osmolality and MWC remained stable at 10 and 20 psu, but osmolality increased (~50%) and MWC decreased (~4%) at 30 psu. The expected reduction in oxygen consumption was not observed. This shrimp is able to tolerate significant changes in water salt concentrations for a few hours by keeping its metabolism in aerobic mode, and putatively shutting down branchial salt uptake to avoid massive salt load, thus remaining strongly hyposmotic. Aerobic metabolism may be involved in the maintainance of cell volume, concomitant with reduced protein/aminoacid catabolism upon increase in salinity. More studies should be conducted to broaden our knowledge on palaemonid hyporegulation. <![CDATA[Age structure and growth of the rough scad, <em><strong><em>Trachurus lathami</em></strong></em> (Teleostei: Carangidae), in the Southeastern Brazilian Bight]]> ABSTRACT The rough scad, Trachurus lathami Nichols, 1920, is a small pelagic species distributed along the West Atlantic coast. It is most abundant in the Southern Brazil (28°30’-34°S) and in the Southeastern Brazilian Bight (SEBB, 22°-28°30’S). The rough scad is fished by purse seines, which main target is the Brazilian sardine, Sardinella brasiliensis (Steindachner, 1879). Age and growth are vital to understand the life cycle of a species, to fishery management and ecosystem modeling. This study aimed to assess the age and growth of T. lathami, to identify its age structure in the SEBB, and to evaluate what causes the wide differences among Trachurus species in terms of body size and growth parameters. Data available on T. lathami was attained between 2008 and 2010 from surveys at SEBB. A total of 278 whole otoliths of T. lathami, total length between 27 mm and 208 mm, were analyzed and compared with the only other source of otolith data, from 1975. Three blind readings were performed and assessed using traditional methods to study fish age and growth. Zero up to eight rings were found, each ring corresponding to one year in the life of an individual of this species. The von Bertalanffy growth model parameters were L∞ = 211.90 mm and K = 0.319 year-1. The results of the analyses have shown similarities between 1975 and 2008-2010, indicating that the otolith development, the growth pattern and the age structure remained stable. T. lathami is the smallest species of Trachurus and it has the highest growth rates among them. This is probably related to the different temperatures where larvae/juvenile and adult grow, to the absence of a strong fishing pressure and to decadal population variability. <![CDATA[Ecological and reproductive aspects of <em><strong><em>Aparasphenodon brunoi</em></strong></em> (Anura: Hylidae) in an ombrophilous forest area of the Atlantic Rainforest Biome, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Presented is the first information on the ecological and reproductive aspects of the treefrog, Aparasphenodon brunoi Miranda-Ribeiro, 1920, living in ombrophilous forest areas of the Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil. We recorded the species’ daily activity and over the course of a year, population density during the year, microhabitat usage, diet, and some reproductive features (quantity, diameter and mean mass of oocytes, mean reproductive effort of female). Field sampling was conducted monthly from June 2015 to July 2016. Searches for treefrogs were systematic, using visual encounter surveys along 14 plots RAPELD long term research modules established in the forest. For each captured individual, we recorded the hour, microhabitat used, and perch height. The diet of the population was ascertained based on 15 individuals collected outside the study plot areas. Treefrogs used seven different types of microhabitats in the forest but the preferred microhabitats were tree-trunks and lianas. The amount of accumulated rainfall and air temperature interacted to explain the number of A. brunoi individuals active throughout the year. The reproductive strategy for females of this comparatively large arboreal frog in the ombrophilous forest is to produce clutches with a large number (900.8 ± 358.1) of relatively small-sized eggs. We conclude that in the ombrophious forest of the Vale Natural Reserve, A. brunoi is a nocturnal arboreal treefrog active throughout the year but activity increases during the wet season as a result of increased precipitation. In the forest, treefrogs tend to perch mainly on tree-trunks and lianas about 1 m above ground, where it feeds preferably on relatively large bodied arthropod prey. When living in the ombrophilous forest of the Atlantic rainforest, A. brunoi may change some features of its ecology (e.g. marked difference in the use of bromeliads) compared to when living in restinga habitats. <![CDATA[<em>Astyanax taurorum</em> a new species from dos Touros River, Pelotas River drainage, an upland southern Brazilian river (Characiformes: Characidae)]]> ABSTRACT A new species of Astyanax belonging to the Astyanax scabripinnis complex is described from dos Touros River, tributary of the Pelotas River, Uruguay River basin. Astyanax taurorum sp. nov. is distinguished from other species of the Astyanax scabripinnis species complex by having two humeral spots, the first vertically elongated; teeth of inner row of premaxilla with three to five cusps; 2-3 (modes 2 or 3) maxillary teeth; 20-23 (mode 22) branched anal-fin rays; 13-15 (mode 14) gill rakers on lower branch of the first branchial arch; 20-23 (mode 21) total gill rakers in first branchial arch; 33-36 (mode 35) perforated lateral line scales. Astyanax taurorum sp. nov. is similar to Astyanax paris; nevertheless, it can be readily distinguished from it by having a smaller head depth (73.6-83.1% vs. 86.4-95.6%) and smaller interorbital width (24.1-28.0% vs. 30.8-32.8%). In addition, it differs from A. paris by the presence a posttemporal hook-shaped posterodorsal margin. <![CDATA[Comparative analysis of the integument of different tree frog species from <em><strong><em>Ololygon</em></strong></em> and <em><strong><em>Scinax</em></strong></em> genera (Anura: Hylidae)]]> ABSTRACT The integuments of ten treefrog species of two genera from Scinaxnae - O. angrensis (Lutz, 1973), O. flavoguttata (Lutz &amp; Lutz, 1939), O. humilis (Lutz &amp; Lutz, 1954), O. perpusilla (Lutz &amp; Lutz, 1939), O. v-signata (Lutz, 1968), Scinax hayii (Barbour, 1909), S. similis (Cochran, 1952), O. trapicheroi (Lutz &amp; Lutz, 1954) and S. x-signatus (Spix, 1824) - were investigated using conventional and histochemical techniques of light microscopy, and polarized light microscopy. All integuments showed the basic structure of the anuran integument. Moreover, the secretory portions of exocrine glands, such as serous merocrine and apocrine glands, were found to be restricted to the spongious dermis. Lipid content occurred together with the heterogeneous secretory material of the glands with an apocrine secretion mechanism. In addition, clusters of these apocrine glands were present in the ventrolateral integument of some species. Melanophores were also visualized in all examined hylids. However, the occurrence of iridophores, detected through polarized light microscopy, varied according to the species. The Eberth-Katschenko layer occurred in the dorsal integument from both genera, but it was only present in the ventral integument of O. albicans, O. angrensis, O. flavoguttata, O. perpusilla and O. v-signata. Although the integument of all treefrogs showed the same basic structure, some characteristics were genus-specific; however, these features alone may not be used to distinguish both genera. <![CDATA[Redescription of <em><strong><em>Malacomorpha cancellata</em></strong></em> (Phasmatodea: Pseudophasmatidae): a geographically misplaced Neotropical species]]> ABSTRACT Olcyphides cancellatus Redtenbacher, 1906 was described from Canton, China, in error. The species was transferred to Pseudolcyphides Karny, 1923, a genus that later on was synonymized with Malacomorpha Rehn, 1906. However, the name P. cancellatus was forgotten and was not mentioned in the publication where Pseudolcyphides was synonymized with Malacomorpha and thus was not transferred. Here the original geographical record is corrected and the species is transferred to Malacomorpha. The resulting new combination, M. cancellata comb. nov., resulted from examination of specimens from state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. In addition, species diagnosis, redescription of the female and the first description of male specimens, with comparative comments on other Malacomorpha species, are provided. <![CDATA[Influence of rainfall and temperature on the spermatogenesis of <em><strong><em>Leptodactylus macrosternum</em></strong></em> (Anura: Leptodactylidae)]]> ABSTRACT In the semi-arid environment, the reproductive success of anurans depends on adaptations in their life cycle, which synchronizes with ideal environmental conditions to maximize the number of offspring. In this study changes in the histological and morphometric aspects of the testes of Leptodactylus macrosternum Miranda-Ribeiro, 1926 are characterized, to evaluate the influence of rainfall and temperature on them. Specimens were collected at Horto Florestal Olho d’Água da Bica - HFOB (06°49’20”S, 36°15’85”W) area, municipality of Cuité, state of Paraíba, Brazil. Search for specimens was active, happened at night, and amounted to 15 days from January to December 2013. The densities of spermatids (primary and secondary), sperm and area of the seminiferous locules of the testes were registered. The influence of climate variables (rainfall and temperature) on the density of primary and secondary spermatids, sperm and locular area were verified using Simple Linear Regression. Primary spermatids had the lowest density in July (57.90 ± 51.54 mm2), with a peak in November (300.32 ± 117.35 mm2); secondary spermatids had the lowest density in December (287.87 ± 79.05 mm2), with a peak in May (135,727.00 ± 301.13 mm2); sperm was in the lowest density in July (237.37 ± 121.10 mm2), with a peak in June (2,270.45 ± 602.62 mm2) and the locular area had the lowest density in December (40,292.9 ± 8,174.20 µm2) and highest density in June (338,875.01 ± 2,262.10 µm2). A notable decrease in sperm density was evident between June and July. That, associated with the observation of a larger locular area in June, allowed us to identify as June as the peak of spermatogenesis and the following month as the most potentially reproductive. The density of secondary spermatids(r = 0.02), sperm (r = 0.21) and locular area (r = 0.01) showed dependency on rainfall whereas only sperm (r = 0.09) showed dependency on temperature. Therefore, we can state that the reproductive cycle of L. macrosternum is potentially continuous, with a reproductive peak in July. <![CDATA[The breeding biology, nest success, habitat and behavior of the endangered Saffron-cowled Blackbird, <em><strong><em>Xanthopsar flavus</em></strong></em> (Aves: Icteridae), at an Important Bird Area (IBA) in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Xanthopsar flavus (Gmelin, 1788), is a globally vulnerable icterid endemic to grasslands and open areas, and a priority species for research and conservation programs. This contribution provides information on the population size, habitat, behavior, breeding biology and nest success of X. flavus in two conservation units (CUs) in Viamão, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: the Environmental Protection Area Banhado Grande, and the Wildlife Refuge Banhado dos Pachecos, classified as an “Important Bird Area”. Searches for X. flavus were carried out mainly in open areas, the type of habitat favored by the species. Outside the breeding season individual behavior was recorded by the ad libitum method; during the breeding season, selected X. flavus pairs were observed following the sequence sampling method. The research areas were visited once a month, totaling approximately 530 hours of observations (September 2014 to June 2016) over 84 days, which included two breeding seasons. The species was observed across all months (not necessarily within the same year) and several X. flavus flocks were encountered, some with more than one hundred individuals (range = 2-137). Additionally, the behavior and feeding aspects, habitat use and breeding information on X. flavus were recorded. Two breeding colonies were found, and eleven nests were monitored. The estimated nesting success was 10% in Colony 1, but zero in Colony 2, where all eggs and nestlings were predated. Saffron-cowled Blackbirds were recorded in mixed flocks, mostly with Pseudoleistes guirahuro (Vieillot, 1819), P. virescens (Vieillot, 1819) and Xolmis dominicanus (Vieillot, 1823), the last also a globally endangered species. The collected information highlights the importance of CUs for the maintenance of X. flavus populations in the region. Maintenance of proper areas for feeding and breeding is necessary and urgent. Information from current research is being employed in the management plan of the Wildlife Refuge Banhado dos Pachecos in which X. flavus is one of the conservation target-species. <![CDATA[<em>Ommatius</em>: synonyms, new record, redescription of <em><strong><em>Ommatius erythropus</em></strong></em> and description of the female of <em><strong><em>Ommatius trifidus</em></strong></em> (Diptera: Asilidae: Ommatiinae)]]> ABSTRACT Ommatius erythropus Schiner, 1867 is redescribed and a lectotype is established. The female of Ommatius trifidus Vieira, Bravo &amp; Rafael, 2010 is described and a new record is provided. Ommatius ruficaudus Curran, 1928 is established as a new synonym of Ommatius pulcher (Engel, 1885). An identification key is presented to the Ommatius costatus species group. A map with the geographic records is provided. <![CDATA[Population ecology of <em><strong><em>Chaetophractus vellerosus</em></strong></em>: the first report for an armadillo in South America]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this work was to obtain the first estimates of survival rates (S), capture probability (p) and life expectancy for armadillos in South America by analyzing capture-mark-recapture data obtained from a population of Chaetophractus vellerosus (Gray, 1865) located in Magdalena, Buenos Aires, Argentina. From June 2006 to June 2011, we conducted 16 field surveys that resulted in 365 capture events of 152 adult C. vellerosus. For the survival analysis we used a Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) modelling framework. Interannual variation in S made an important contribution to overall variation in the survival rate of C. vellerosus. The average life expectancy for females and males after attaining sexual maturity was estimated at 1.70 and 1.65 years respectively. The period of lowest survival probability was associated with dry seasons that might have affected the availability of food. This study provides the first estimates of demographic parameters for xenarthrans in South America. <![CDATA[Temporal differences in breeding site use between tits and mice]]> ABSTRACT Describing the interactions among cavity breeders is key to understanding their breeding ecology. In this study the temporal difference in cavity use between the great tit, Parus major (Linnaeus, 1758) and the small Japanese field mice, Apodemus argenteus (Temminck, 1845) is investigated, as a first step for clarifying the interaction between bird and mammal cavity breeders. Forty-seven nest boxes were installed on tree trunks in two urban forests of Hokkaido Island, Japan, and the breeding nests of tits and mice were found in 34 and 11 boxes, respectively. The tits used the nest boxes throughout the breeding season, from May to July. In contrast, mice breeding nests were found in the last half of the breeding season, from July to October. Our results showed that field mice rarely used boxes during the tits’ breeding season. This study provides important information, such as temporal differences in breeding site use between tits and mice. <![CDATA[The trophic niche of <em>Mesoclemmys vanderhaegei</em> (Testudines: Chelidae): evidence from stable isotopes]]> ABSTRACT Ecological niche is the multidimensional space comprising the resources used by an organism. Intraspecific variation in resource exploitation is common in reptile populations to maximize coexistence of individuals. The use of stable isotope analysis is an effective tool when there are variations in resource exploitation, since it can provide quantitative information about food consumption and habitat use. Mesoclemmys vanderhaegei (Bour, 1973) is a medium-sized turtle with a limited distribution in south central Brazil and Paraguay. In spite of that, little is known about its ecology. In this study we used stable isotope analysis to understand the intraspecific trophic niche variation in M. vanderhaegei at Serra das Araras Ecological Station, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The isotopic ratios of δ15N and δ13C were determined in claw samples collected from 14 males and 14 females. Isotopic niche width values were not statistically different between the sexes, there was a high degree of overlap between sexual niches and there were no relationships between isotopic compositions and body size. These results suggest that individuals of both sexes and throughout their ontogenetic development exploit food resources with the same isotopic baseline.