Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Zoologia (Curitiba)]]> vol. 33 num. 6 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Clues of cultural transmission in cooperative foraging between artisanal fishermen and bottlenose dolphins, <em>Tursiops truncatus</em> (Cetacea: Delphinidae)]]> <![CDATA[Predatory behavior of three centipede species of the order Scolopendromorpha (Arthropoda: Myriapoda: Chilopoda)]]> ABSTRACT Studies related to centipede feeding and predatory behavior are rare in the literature, and are limited to observations made during fieldwork. Furthermore, they lack descriptions of prey capture. We conducted a laboratory experiment using South American specimens of Scolopendra viridicornis Newport, 1844 (n = 5), Otostigmus tibialis Brölemann, 1902 (n = 5), and Cryptops iheringi Brölemann, 1902 (n = 5), as well as 13 different kinds of prey, to map and describe their predatory behavior. The analysis of video images (65 hours of recordings) resulted in 15 behavioral categories that describe foraging, prey capture, feeding, and cleaning habits. Almost all observations (95%) concluded with the centipede killing the prey. Although we witnessed that a stimulus triggered the movement of the centipede toward the prey in all observation events (suggesting a sit-and-wait strategy), our experiments also showed that these arthropods actively forage to seek food. Field observations during the experiment allowed us to document that scolopendromorphs feed on plants when animal prey items are not available. Moreover, we observed that the size and aggressiveness of the prey determined the centipede capture process. Our results revealed that two behavioral categories were performed only by S. viridicornis , and thus might be genus or species-specific. These are: raising the first third of the body while the rest of the body remains adjacent to the substrate; and restraining the prey along the ventral region of the first third of the body with the aid of locomotory legs. We also observed some peculiar behaviors performed only by O. tibialis . Our results confirm that S. viridicornis , O. tibialis and C. iheringi hold prey between their ultimate pair of legs. <![CDATA[The foraging behavior of the Large-headed Flatbill, <em>Ramphotrigon megacephalum</em> and the Dusky-tailed Flatbill, <em>Ramphotrigon fuscicauda</em> (Aves: Tyrannidae)]]> ABSTRACT Southwestern Amazonia has great bird diversity which includes birds specialized in bamboo forests. In this region, bamboo is considered a key element of the landscape. The objective of this study was to investigate and describe the foraging behavior of the Large-headed Flatbill, Ramphotrigon megacephalum (Swainson, 1835) and the Dusky-tailed Flatbill, Ramphotrigon fuscicauda Chapman, 1925, which occur sympatrically in the region and are considered bamboo specialists. This study was conducted between November 2013 and September 2014, within two fragments in the eastern portion of the state of Acre: Fazenda Experimental Catuaba, in the municipality of Senador Guiomard; and Reserva Florestal Humaitá, in Porto Acre. A total of 109 and 97 foraging events were registered, for the Large-headed Flatbill and the Dusky-tailed Flatbill, respectively. The two species frequently used bamboos for searching and capturing their prey. However, the large-headed Flatbill was more specialized in bamboo substrates. Both species use similar foraging techniques and the differences found between the two are minor, but when taken together, these differences may explain their ability to co-exist. <![CDATA[Gonadal development and fecundity of the smooth weakfish <em>Cynoscion leiarchus</em> (Teleostei: Perciformes: Sciaenidae) in a tropical Brazilian bay]]> ABSTRACT Cynoscion leiarchus (Cuvier, 1830) is a coastal fish species that is widely distributed along the Western Atlantic coast, from Belize to Southern Brazil. In Brazil, C. leiarchus It is an important resource for commercial and artisanal fisheries. Our objective was to describe the oogenesis and spermatogenesis stages of the species and to estimate batch size and relative fecundity of a population at a tropical bay in southeastern Brazil. The examined specimens were obtained from artisanal catches that took place from July 2013 to June 2014. A total of 18 individuals (11 females and 7 males) were examined for histological analysis and 20 spawning-capable females were used to estimate fecundity. Five stages of oocyte development (primary growth, pre-vitellogenic, vitellogenic, oocyte maturation and atresia) and four stages of spermatocytes (spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids, spermatozoa) were described in different phases of gonad development (immature, developing, spawning capable and regenerating), suggesting that spawning happens in batches, oocyte development is asynchronic and fecundity is indeterminate. Batch fecundity ranged from 100 × 103 to 866 × 103 oocytes undergoing final oocyte maturation, and relative fecundity ranged from 232 to 1,225 oocytes, averaging 467 oocytes per gram of ovary-free body weight. Fecundity tended to increase linearly with gonadal weight, total weight, total length, and age, but the highest linear correlation obtained was between fecundity and gonadal weight. This study provides the first information on the gonadal development of C. leiarchus from the Brazilian coast and is a baseline to compare with other populations and/or congeneric species. <![CDATA[Growth and reproductive biology of the amphidromous shrimp <em>Palaemon pandaliformis</em> (Decapoda: Caridea) in a Neotropical river from northeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Population biology, growth and reproductive aspects of the amphidromous shrimp Palaemon pandaliformis (Stimpson, 1871) were investigated in a Neotropical river of northeastern Brazil. The specimens were collected every month from September 2009 to August 2010. Total and monthly sex ratios deviated in favour of males. Von Bertalanffy growth parameters indicated that the females grew more rapidly, reached larger sizes, and had a longer life span than males. We also observed continuous reproductive activity and juvenile recruitment throughout the year. Relations between the number of eggs (fecundity) and body size indicated that fecundity in females increase with size. Compared with previous results, some population biology parameters of the freshwater population of P. pandaliformis differ from estuarine populations. The reproductive aspects analyzed here and their comparison with other marine species were consistent with the hypothesis that Palaemonidae species are undergoing an adaptation process and colonizing fresh water environments. <![CDATA[Use of food resources and resource partitioning among five syntopic species of <em>Hypostomus</em> (Teleostei: Loricariidae) in an Atlantic Forest river in southern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT We analyzed the diet and resource partitioning among five syntopic species of Hypostomus Lacépède, 1803 in the Corumbataí River in southeastern Brazil. The gut contents of 352 individuals were assessed and 21 food items were identified and quantified under an optical microscope. The food items found in the gut contents indicate that these suckermouth loricariids are bottom-dwelling detritivorous/periphytivorous catfishes. PERMANOVA and SIMPER analyses indicated variation in the consumption of some resources, and the contribution of periphytic algae was primarily responsible for such dissimilarity. ECOSIM analyses of dietary overlap showed evidence of resource sharing among all species in the dry and rainy periods. This is most likely the result of the predominance of detritus and autochthonous items such as algae and aquatic immature insects in all gut contents. Our data suggest that trophic resources available in the Corumbataí River are explored and partitioned among Hypostomus species, all specialized in surface-grazing foraging behaviour. <![CDATA[The cephalic lateral line system of temperate perches (Perciformes: Percichthyidae) from Argentinean Patagonia]]> ABSTRACT The species of Percichthys (Percichthyidae) are endemic to southern South America. Some authors have pointed out that the genus includes four valid species, based on the morphology of the head, jaws, and fins. A phylogenetic analysis published by other authors suggests that three of them are morphotypes belonging to the same species, Percichthys trucha (Valenciennes, 1833). The aim of this study is to describe for the first time the morphology of the cephalic seismosensory system of Patagonian perches, and how these characters vary in the three morphotypes, in order to provide morphological elements to analyze the taxonomy of these fish species. Comparisons of the cephalic seismosensory system between juveniles and adults were also conducted. Juvenile and adult specimens were collected in the northwestern Argentinean Patagonia. Specimens were bleached in 5% H2O2 and the canal systems of their cephalic lateral line were filled with hematoxylin. Specimens were deposited in the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia, Argentina. The cephalic lateral line of the studied specimens is a widened type of canal systems, is not connected to the trunk lateral line, and consists of preopercular-mandibular canal, infraorbital canal, supraorbital canal, temporal canal, supratemporal canal, and a supraorbital commisure. The number of pores increases during the ontogeny, while their diameters decrease. The number, position and size of infraorbital canal pores showed significant differences among morphotypes and juveniles. The interpopulation variation regarding the number, position, and size of pores seems to signal an ongoing process of speciation, which is the result adaptations to different environmental conditions. Our study contributes to the knowledge of the morphology of percichthids and describes for the first time the seismosensory system of temperate perches. <![CDATA[Blood metabolites as predictors to evaluate the body condition of <em>Neopelma pallescens</em> (Passeriformes: Pipridae) in northeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Body condition is an important ecological attribute that can provide a measure of the energy stored by an animal or population. Body condition is traditionally ascertained with morphometric body condition indices (BCIs), but some researchers have used various physiological and biochemical parameters as predictors of body condition. This study aimed to test reliable biochemical predictors of body condition in individuals of Neopelma pallescens (Lafresnaye, 1853), found in an Atlantic forest patch. For this purpose we examined the relationship between body condition and the concentrations of blood glucose and ketones. We also verified correlations between blood metabolite concentrations and ecological variables, including time of day, seasons, breeding periods, and ectoparasite infestation. Birds were captured with mist nets at Reserva Biológica de Guaribas, state of Paraíba, Brazil. Blood samples were analyzed with a portable glucometer. The correlation between glucose and ketones was negative. Both metabolites showed significant variations according to time of day. Glucose levels were higher in the afternoon and ketones levels were higher in the morning, suggesting a correlation with daily food intake. The BCI of non-breeding birds was negatively correlated with glucose concentrations. However, the correlation between glucose and the BCI of incubating birds was a positive. Ketone bodies did not correlate with body condition. In relation to ectoparasite infestation, only ketones showed significant results, presenting a higher concentration in infested individuals. Glucose is a good predictor of the BCI of incubating birds since it correlates positively with it. However, the lack of seasonal variations in metabolites indicates that the nutritional status of tropical birds does not change when food is abundant. Thus, we conclude that glucose and ketone bodies can predict the nutritional status of birds but in a context-dependent fashion. <![CDATA[The adductor pectoral fin muscle of <em>Micropogonias furnieri</em> (Perciformes: Sciaenidae): a morphological and histochemical study]]> ABSTRACT The adductor pectoral fin muscle in post-spawning females of the white croaker Micropogonias furnieri (Desmarest, 1823) is described from a morphological, histochemical and morphometric perspectives. A description of the morphological characteristics was conducted after dissections in different layers, down to the deep layer. Five muscles were found: superficial, medial, radial and deep adductors, and dorsal arrector. Their fibers were studied after applying histochemical techniques: succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) to reveal mitochondria, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) for glycogen, Sudan black for lipids, myosin adenosinetriphosphatase (mATPase) to reveal the types of fibers, and modified mATPase to evidence the capillaries. Fiber diameters were measured and the number of capillaries was counted. Fiber subtypes named small, medium and large were found within red, pink and white fibers, the latter prevailing. Staining homogeneity was observed in white fibers after alkaline pre-incubations. The number of capillaries decreased from red to white fibers. Due to the prevalence of white fibers, the adductor muscle of the pectoral fins appears to be capable of rapid and discontinuous movements, which are important to body stabilization during subcarangiform swimming. The homogenous staining of white fibers observed in this research corresponds to the post-spawning gonad stage studied. <![CDATA[On the enigmatic troglobitic scorpion <em>Troglorhopalurus translucidus</em>: distribution, description of adult females, life history and comments on <em>Rhopalurus lacrau</em> (Scorpiones: Buthidae)]]> ABSTRACT We describe for the first time the adult female of the troglobitic scorpion Troglorhopalurus translucidus Lourenço Baptista &amp; Giupponi, 2004, and broaden its known distribution to other sandstone caves at Chapada Diamantina's region. The life history of T. translucidus is reconstructed through morphometric measurements, with a multivariate analysis applied on a set of 16 specimens in all stages (including the holotype) and biological notes. The ontogeny of T. translucidus has seven stages and the litter size is 43 (n = 1). We discuss the isolation of T. translucidus and Rhopalurus lacrau Lourenço &amp; Pinto-da-Rocha, 1997 in caves of Chapada Diamantina, and discuss their troglomorphisms (autapomorphies) among other species related with Rhopalurus . Both species must be considered fragile due their restricted endemism at Chapada Diamantina. <![CDATA[A key and checklist to the Neotropical forensically important "Little House Flies" (Diptera: Fanniidae)]]> ABSTRACT Fanniidae (Insecta: Diptera) is a relatively small family (ca. 350 spp.) with five genera, of which Fannia Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 and Euryomma Stein, 1899 have Neotropical distributions. Some of these species are almost always found in forensic studies. Forensically relevant species have been neglected, despite recent forensic studies that suggest their importance for estimating post-mortem interval (PMI). Thus, current and updated keys to identify adults or larvae on carcasses are unavailable for the most important species. While immature stages are important in estimating PMI, evidence suggests that adults (Fanniidae as well as other families) may also be useful for this purpose. Here we provide a key to males of the species of Fanniidae (found on corpses and other decomposing organic matter) with a checklist of species that have been used in forensics in the Neotropical region. The key comprises all 38 species of Fannia and Euryomma that have already been successfully used in forensics, and species that are potentially useful for estimating PMI. These records were found after reviews of the literature and data from entomological collections. Photographs and illustrations of the main characters in the key are provided. <![CDATA[Species of <em>Lensia</em> (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Siphonophorae) from southeastern Brazilian waters]]> ABSTRACT The siphonophores of the Brazilian coast are poorly studied, despite their abundance and ecological importance. Lensia is the most diverse genus within Siphonophora, with twenty-six valid species. A total of twenty species of Lensia are recorded for South American marine waters. This study presents morphological descriptions and an identification key to the species of Lensia that were collected in two oceanographic campaigns throughout the southeastern Brazilian coast. A total of sixty-one specimens were photographed, described, schematized and measured, and fifteen species of Lensia were identified. <![CDATA[A new species of the <em>Xestoblatta surinamensis</em> group from Amazonia, northern Brazil, with redescriptions of <em>X. amaparica</em> , <em>X. surinamensis</em> and <em>X. vera</em> (Blattodea: Ectobiidae)]]> ABSTRACT Xestoblatta Hebard, 1916 is revisited, with description of X. urucuana sp. nov. from northern Brazil. Additionally the hitherto known species X. amaparica Rocha e Silva Albuquerque &amp; Gurney, 1962, X. surinamensis Bruijning, 1959 and X. vera Rocha e Silva Albuquerque &amp; Fraga, 1975, are redescribed. Information on the genitalia of the males is also provided. All the species are included in the Xestoblatta surinamensis species group and the placement of X. jygautieri Grandcolas, 1992 in this group discussed. To facilitate species identification, we provide a key to the species of the X. surinamensis group, charac terized by the subgenital plate with left style (ventral view) about two to five times larger than right style; right paraproct (dorsal view) with three lobes, one with a spiny projection, and median sclerite slender and lanceolate. <![CDATA[Review of <em>Paraphotina</em> (Mantodea: Photinaidae)]]> ABSTRACT The number of studies on Neotropical mantises has been growing in recent years, and the systematics of Mantodea is now a dynamic field with noteworthy contributions. Several taxonomic revisions have been published recently. The taxonomy of Paraphotina Giglio-Tos, 1915 is reviewed as part of current studies on systematics of Neotropical Mantodea. Currently, Paraphotina contains four species from South America: P. caatingaensis (Menezes &amp; Bravo, 2013) comb. nov., P. insolita (Rehn, 1941), P. occidentalis Lombardo, 1998 and P. reticulata (Saussure, 1871). Paraphotina venezuelana Beier, 1963 is a new junior synonym of P. insolita . Keys for the Paraphotina species are proposed. The distribution of Paraphotina species is apparently correlates with areas of endemism in the Amazonian and Cerrado regions. <![CDATA[Couples in phoretic copulation, a tool for male-female association in highly dimorphic insects of the wasp genus <strong><em>Dissomphalus</em></strong> Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae)]]> ABSTRACT It is difficult to make reliable sex associations in several species of Hymenoptera due to sexual dimorphism. Only a few species of the flat wasp genus Dissomphalus Ashmead, 1893 have had their sexes associated, since females are rarely collected and differ morphologically from their conspecific males. Collecting couples during their phoretic copula is difficult, but it is the most reliable way to associate the sexes in Dissomphalus . Herein, we associate the sexes and discuss the mating system based on couples of six Dissomphalus species collected during copulation: D. bisserratus Azevedo, 1999, D. connubialis Evans, 1966, D. rettenmeyeri Evans, 1964, D. simulatus (Evans, 1969), comb. nov., D. mendicus Evans, 1969, and D. firmus Redighieri &amp; Azevedo, 2006. The females of the latter three are described for the first time. The distribution of two species is expanded. Apenesia simulata Evans, 1969 is transferred to Dissomphalus and is now D. simulatus comb. nov. Finally, we briefly discuss the genital structures used during phoretic copulation, analyzing the male and female genitalia in copulation. During copulation, the mating female is attached to the male only by the genitalia and is apparently grasped by muscles attached to the male's metasoma. <![CDATA[On the identity of <em>Chauliognathus flavipes</em> (Coleoptera: Cantharidae): revision of type specimens, new synonyms and new status]]> ABSTRACT The identity, taxonomic history, type series and synonyms of Chauliognathus flavipes (Fabricius, 1781), C. fallax (Germar, 1823), C. axillaris (Fischer von Waldheim, 1823) and C. basalis Lacordaire, 1857 are herein discussed. Twenty-five new synonyms are proposed for C. flavipes , with designation of lectotypes: C. fallax var. atrofasciata Pic, 1925 syn. nov., C. fallax var. basireducta Pic, 1925 syn. nov., C. fallax var. concolor Pic, 1927 syn. nov., C. fallax var. medioreducta Pic, 1928 syn. nov., C. fallax var. edmondi Pic, 1948 syn. nov., C. fallax var. petri Pic, 1948 syn. nov., C. fallax var. henrici Pic, 1948 syn. nov., C. fallax var. reductemaculata Pic, 1949 syn. nov., C. plagiatus Blanchard, 1844 syn. nov., C. plagiatus var. latejuncta Pic, 1925 syn. nov., C. plagiatus var. orbygnyi Pic, 1948 syn. nov., C. plagiatus var. alcidei Pic, 1948 syn. nov., C. inbasalis Pic, 1925 syn. nov., C. bimaculatus Pic, 1925 syn. nov., C. mendesensis Pic, 1933 syn. nov., C. opacicollis Pic, 1946 syn. nov., C. opacicollis var. freiburgana Pic, 1946 syn. nov., C. bireductipennis Pic, 1947 syn. nov., C. quadripunctatus var. lebisi Pic, 1947 syn. nov., C. diversesignatus Pic, 1949 syn. nov., C. neopici Wittmer, 1951 syn. nov., C. rufipes Pic, 1924 syn. nov., C. rufipes var. quadrinotata Pic, 1928 syn. nov., C. rufipes var. haasi Pic, 1928 syn. nov., C. ensellatus var. innotatithorax Pic, 1944 syn. nov. The name Chauliognathus neopici var. schneideri Pic, 1934 syn. nov. is also proposed as a junior synonym of Chauliognathus plicatus Pic, 1915. Chauliognathus plagiatus var. latebasalis Pic, 1925 is elevated to species rank (= C . latebasalis Pic, 1925 stat. nov.) and the homonymy of C. basalis Lacordaire, 1857 and C. basalis LeConte, 1859 is discussed. Finally, a redescription and a distribution map of C. flavipes are given. <![CDATA[Description of the last nymphal instar of <em>Talipes appendiculatus</em> (Hemiptera: Membracidae: Membracinae), and notes on the biology of the immatures and adults]]> ABSTRACT The last instar nymph of Talipes appendiculatus (Fonseca) is described and illustrated, and biological data are given on the immatures and adults. The 5th instar nymph has the body covered with tuberculate chalazae; head and thorax without scoli; abdomen with terga III-VIII with single dorsal scoli, all different in size, III and VIII small, V the largest about 2x longer than wide. Descriptions of the adults (male and female) are also provided, with the addition of some new characters. The species (adults, immatures of various stages) has been collected on branches of Cassia fistula L. (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioidea), and is frequently attended by bees and wasps. <![CDATA[Description and molecular characterization of a new species of tarantula, <em>Pamphobeteus verdolaga</em> , from Colombia (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Theraphosidae)]]> ABSTRACT A new species of Pamphobeteus Pocock, 1901, is described from the Colombian Andes, Medellín, Antioquia. The biochemistry and molecular characteristics of the venom of this new species (previously identified as Pamphobeteus aff. nigricolor ) has been already described. A detailed taxonomic study, comparing this species with holotypes and additional material of Pamphobeteus species, allowed us to recognize it as new, and to describe it here as Pamphobeteus verdolaga sp. nov. The male of P. verdolaga sp. nov. is distinguished by the palpal bulb with broad embolus, poorly developed apical keel (A), prolateral inferior keel (PI) and prolateral accessory keel (PAc) present but poorly developed, and retrolateral keel (R) of similar length as A. Females are distinguished by the morphology of spermatheca with a wide base and very short oval seminal receptacles, which are curved toward the center. This is the thirteenth species described in Pamphobeteus and the sixth species reported from Colombia. The species description is complemented by a molecular characterization of a partial CO1 sequence. <![CDATA[New species of <em>Nothobrya</em> (Collembola: Entomobryidae) from Southeast Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The collembolan family Entomobryidae, one of the most numerous, diverse and widely distributed, was recently reviewed in a work that integrated molecular and morphological characters. The new classification includes seven subfamilies, one of which, Nothobryinae, is characterized by the presence of PAO, falcate mucro and a few chaetae on the trochanteral organ. This subfamily is composed of only three genera: Capbrya Barra, 1999 from South Africa, Hispanobrya Jordana &amp; Baquero, 2005 from Spain and Nothobrya Arlé, 1961 from Brazil. Nothobrya (type species N. schubarti , described from the state of Pernambuco) remained monospecific for about half a century, when samples taken from urban areas of Rio de Janeiro city revealed its first record for the Brazilian Southeast. This new species, Nothobrya arlei sp. nov., is described and illustrated based on differences related to trochanteral organ, unguis, tenent hair shape and chateae on tenaculum. In this paper, characteristics of the macrochaetotaxy, sensillar and microsensillar sets and ventral tube chaetotaxy are provided, as well as a table with comparisons of Nothobrya species. <![CDATA[Two new Neotropical species of Drosophilinae (Diptera: Drosophilidae) from Uruguay]]> ABSTRACT Two new species of Drosophilidae from Uruguay are described and illustrated: Drosophila montevidensis sp. nov. (Holotype male in MZSP: Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de la República, Montevideo city, Department of Montevideo), and Scaptomyza pipinna sp. nov. (Holotype male in MZSP: Sarandí del Consejo, near north shore of Laguna de Castillos, Department of Rocha). The former species belongs to the D. tripunctata group and is sibling to Drosophila nappae Vilela, Valente &amp; Basso-da-Silva, 2004, differing mainly in characters of the aedeagus. The latter is closely related to Scaptomyza striaticeps Wheeler &amp; Takada, 1966, from which it can be distinguished by color and terminalia characters. The new Drosophila species was successfully cultured in a modified banana-agar medium which is provided. Photomicrographs of mitotic and meiotic chromosomes of D. montevidensis sp. nov. are also included. <![CDATA[A new genus of Neotropical spiders of the family Sparassidae (Arachnida: Araneae)]]> ABSTRACT Nungara gen. nov. is proposed to include the type species, Nungara niveomaculata (Mello-Leitão, 1941) comb. nov., transferred from Olios Walckenaer, 1837 and two new species, described from males and females: N. anama sp. nov., from the states of Sergipe, Alagoas and Espírito Santo, and N. gaturama sp. nov., from the states of Sergipe, Bahia and Espírito Santo, all in Brazil. The new genus is distinguished from all other Neotropical sparassid genera by the presence of a deep tegular groove on the male palpal bulb and a hood-like projection on the median septum of the female epigyne. In addition, Olios fuscovariatus Mello-Leitão, 1943, Stasina koluene Mello-Leitão, 1941 and Polybetes proximus Mello-Leitão, 1943 are transferred to Nungara gen. nov. and considered junior synonyms of N. niveomaculata . All species are described and illustrated and a distribution map is provided. <![CDATA[Effects of rainfall on bird reproduction in a semi-arid Neotropical region]]> ABSTRACT In semi-arid ecosystems, birds commonly use rainfall as a reliable environmental cue to adjust the timing and strength of their reproductive activity. Here we evaluate this hypothesis for a community of birds in the Caatinga (the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil), using brood patch information and nest abundance. Sampling occurred every 14 days between September 2012 and August 2013 (brood patch), and every three or four days during the reproductive period (nests). Abundance of brood patches and nests were correlated, and all brood patches were recorded between March and July (4.5 to 5.0 months). We recorded three peaks of brood patch abundance: the first 28 days after the first rains, the second 14 days after the second rainfall peak, and the third synchronously with the third rainy period. These results indicate that intra-annual variation in local rainfall has the potential to account for variations in the timing and intensity of reproduction in the studied birds. <![CDATA[Great unexpected differences between two populations of the intertidal crab <em>Neohelice granulata</em> inhabiting close but contrasting habitats (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura)]]> ABSTRACT Two populations of the Southwestern Atlantic burrowing crab, Neohelice granulata (Dana, 1851), are separated by only 190 km. They inhabit bays that drain into a Patagonian gulf in the southernmost limit of the geographical distribution of the species: San Antonio Bay (SAO) and San José Gulf (RSJ). The population from SAO has been extensively studied, whereas that of RSJ has not. The main goal of this study is to compare the ecological and habitat characteristics of the two populations, based on samples collected on successive days during the middle of the reproductive season of the crab. The substrate of SAO is composed of a high proportion of gravel and scarce organic matter, whereas the substrate of RSJ presents twice as much silt and clay, and greater organic matter content. Crabs of both sexes were larger at RSJ. Fecundity and reproductive output were greater at RSJ. The size of females at maturity was smaller and their range was shorter at RSJ. Burrows were longer and wider at RSJ. Our results indicate that there are strong differences between the two populations, which might be correlated with local environmental differences, mainly substrate granulometry and food availability. <![CDATA[On the taxonomic status of three eels (Teleostei: Anguilliformes) described from Leptocephali by Tommasi (1960)]]> ABSTRACT The taxonomic status of three species of eels described from leptocephali larvae in 1960, is revised and elucidated: Leptocephalus anaelisae Tommasi, 1960, a member of Moringuidae, is confirmed as a junior synonym of Neoconger mucronatus Girard, 1858; Leptocephalus juliae Tommasi, 1960, a Muraenidae, is confirmed as a junior synonym of Uropterygius macularius (Lesueur, 1825); and Leptocephalus humbermariorum Tommasi, 1960, a Congridae, is now placed as species inquirenda in Rhynchoconger Jordan &amp; Hubbs, 1925. Each of the three species was described based on a unique holotype, but none of the tree holotypes were found in any scientific collection investigated by us. Indeed, the three holotypes are considered to be permanently lost. <![CDATA[A neotype designation for the Ascension Frigatebird <em>Fregata aquila</em> (Aves: Fregatidae)]]> ABSTRACT A neotype is designated for Pelecanus aquilus Linnaeus, 1758 (currently Fregata aquila ; Aves, Fregatidae) to fix the identity of this nominal species. <![CDATA[ERRATA]]> ABSTRACT A neotype is designated for Pelecanus aquilus Linnaeus, 1758 (currently Fregata aquila ; Aves, Fregatidae) to fix the identity of this nominal species.