Abstract in English:Tagging whales with implantable satellite transmitters creates the possibility of disturbing the animals. Between 2003 and 2005, behavioral observations of humpback whales during tag deployment operations were conducted off the coast of Brazil from the flying bridge of a speedboat. The speed achieved by each whale during pursuit was registered by GPS receivers onboard two inflatable zodiac boats. Respiratory frequencies were significantly lower (n = 15, p < 0.05) before (mean = 0.89 ± 0.06 blows/min) compared with after (1.39 ± 0.15) tagging. The same effect was observed for the speed of each animal (mean = 10.96 ± 0.44 km/h and 12.54 ± 0.57 km/h; n = 13, p < 0.05). Both variables were positively correlated with the duration of the pursuit (n = 21, r = 0.88, p < 0.05; n = 13, r = 0.94, p < 0.01) and with each other (n = 26, r = 0.65, p < 0.01). Acute responses were observed in 50% of the 28 tag deployments. Pursuits were shown to generate a longer effect than tagging. We suggest that the behavioral changes presented here are short-term disturbances because the tagging operation ends quickly and is not a repeated procedure. However, protocols must be developed to guarantee the maintenance of the animals' welfare during operations.
Abstract in English:This research presents novel data on tree marking by the giant anteater, a large Neotropical mammal threatened in the state of Paraná and other areas of Brazil, and nearly threatened worldwide. Field work was carried out in the municipality of Jaguariaíva, Paraná (Southern Brazil) with the goal of evaluating the pine marking behavior of the giant anteater and ascertaining whether wildfires interfere with it. Anteater marks were searched for on the trunks of pine trees in stands as well as pine trees dispersed throughout the landscape. For each pine tree, the following features were recorded: height, diameter breast height (DBH), height of first branch, presence/absence of scratch marks, geographical location, substrate, and matrix. The total number of scratches, scratch directions, scratch length, and height of top mark were also recorded. The scratches were defined as horizontal or vertical. Tree scratching was directly observed in three instances. Ninety-one trees were measured in the study area. The differences between marked and non-marked pines were significant for DBH and height of first branch. All scratches were found on pines dispersed throughout the landscape. Trees with horizontal and vertical marks were significantly different in terms of DBH, first branch height, and top mark height. After a wildfire that affected part of the study area, 54% of the previously marked trees were marked anew. We suggest that the marking behavior is used for communication between conspecifics with overlapping home ranges, possibly during the mating season. Additionally, we advance the hypothesis that pine marking behavior becomes more frequent with increased population stress due to anthropic interference.
Abstract in English:Behavioral and physiological mechanisms of thermoregulation in ectotherms are conditioned by thermal constraints. These mechanisms may be even more restrictive when environmental conditions are unfavorable for individuals, especially when sexual dimorphism segregates the sexes spatially. In order to understand behavioral and physiological regulation mechanisms, we investigated the thermal biology of Phymaturus palluma (Molina, 1782), a sexually size dimorphic, high-mountain lizard that inhabits extreme climatic conditions. P. palluma showed a bimodal activity pattern, a major peak in the morning (11:00-13:30h) and in the afternoon (15:30-18:00 h). The lizards were more active when substrate temperatures were between 25 and 28º C. The highest abundance was found around 27º C (between 11:00-12:30). Females showed greater activity than males in the early morning. Sub-adults and juveniles did not show differences in their activity pattern. There was a positive relationship between body temperature and air and substrate temperatures, suggesting typically thigmothermal regulation.
Abstract in English:Climate, altitude and vegetation are usually considered as limiting factors in plant and animal distribution. Among vertebrates, climate and vegetation have consistently been considered as major determinants of geographical distributions. Here we analyzed the role of climate and the vegetation in limiting the geographical range of Atlantic Forest species of Drymophila Swainson, 1824 and assessed the performance of discriminant analysis to model the distribution of sympatric taxa. From each empirical point (locality) we recorded the values for nine climatic variables and the type of vegetation. The climatic data were obtained from a climate database elaborated by the Laboratório de Vertebrados and vegetation data from the ecoregions digital map of Latin America. The overlap of the climatic distribution map with the ecoregion map suggested that both factors are important in limiting the geographical range of Drymophila species. The discriminant approach, as applied here, was not satisfactory when compared with similar analysis carried out on parapatric species.
Abstract in English:The reproductive cycles of snakes can be influenced by many factors, both biotic and abiotic, and information about these factors can contribute significantly to knowledge of the biology of many species. Here, we present data on the reproductive biology (body size, sexual dimorphism and female reproductive cycle) of the forest-dwelling colubrid Echinanthera cyanopleura (Cope, 1885), based on analyses of 128 specimens preserved in collections and originating from the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. The snout-vent length of females was significantly greater than in males. The tail length of mature females was greater than in males, although this difference was not significant. Vitellogenesis occurs from August to December and eggs were found in greater frequency from October through December. Juveniles were found in larger numbers beginning in February, indicating that recruitment occurs from January to April. The reproductive cycle of this species is seasonal, which is usual for oviparous colubrids of temperate areas of Brazil.
Abstract in English:We studied the structural habitat use and the thermal ecology of Gonatodes humeralis (Guichenot, 1855) in São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil, to examine intersexual differences in the use of perch features and to simultaneously analyze reciprocal differences on thermal ecology between the sexes. Gonatodes humeralis body temperature was strongly correlated with environmental temperatures (air and substrate), but air temperature had an additional effect on the males' body temperatures after removing the effect of the substrate temperature. Males and females differed significantly in perch height use above ground (males perched higher) but the sexes did not differ in the trunk perimeter used. Gonatodes humeralis tended to use the larger tree trunks available in its environment and selected trunks with deeper leaf litter at the base. It is hypothesized that choosing tree trunks with deeper leaf litter is a defensive behavior against predation.
Abstract in English:This study reports the rediscovery of Holoaden luederwaldti Miranda-Ribeiro, 1920 and provides information on the distribution, sexual dimorphism, reproduction and vocalization of a population of this species in Campos do Jordão, São Paulo (southeastern Brazil). Sampling was carried out in the Parque Estadual de Campos do Jordão (PECJ) from October 2005 through December 2008. Collecting was conducted using pitfall traps with a drift-fence on different altitudinal gradients (1,540 m, 1,780 m and 2,000 m a.s.l.). Fifty-two specimens of H. luederwaldti were collected in the PECJ. The mean snout-vent length (SVL) was 36.17 mm for males and 42.61 mm for females, indicating sexual dimorphism in body size. Holoaden luederwaldti occurred during the warm-rainy months. The population was distributed between 1500 and 2000 m, and the greater abundance was registered in well preserved forest areas. Mature females contained from 36 to 41 oocytes and the mean of oocyte diameter was 3.72 mm. The advertisement call of H. luederwaldti consists of simple notes composed of three harmonics. The record of the population of H. luederwaldti in the PECJ has reinforced the importance of investigating different areas of the forest when conducting faunal surveys.
Abstract in English:This study aimed to identify the diet of giant otters, Pteronura brasiliensis (Zimmermann, 1780) in the Balbina reservoir (01º55'S, 59º29'W), to compare it with literature data on the diet of giant otters from non-dammed areas, and to verify the effects of the seasonal changes in water levels on the feeding habits of Balbina otters. A total of 254 feces samples were collected and identified according to the lowest possible taxonomic level. Teleostei fish were present in 100% of the samples; two samples also presented monkey fur (n = 1) and sloth fur (n = 1), suggesting that the diet of P. brasiliensis, in the reservoir, is almost exclusively based on fish. Ten fish families were identified in our samples, six of which were exclusive to the Balbina Lake (not present in the diet of giant otters from non-dammed areas). These six fish families, however, were present in less than 3% of the samples. The fish families with highest representation in the diet of giant otters from non-dammed areas also appeared with higher frequencies in the Balbina Lake, suggesting that the otters have not changed their diet substantially after the implementation of the reservoir. During the high-water period, when the fish are dispersed into the flooded forest and are not very easy to catch, the otters seem to have an opportunistic feeding habit. By contrast, during the low-water period, when prey items are widely available and easier to catch in the reservoir, their feeding habits are more selective.
Abstract in English:The population biology and production of the stout razor clam Tagelus plebeius Lightfoot, 1786 were investigated on an intertidal sandflat on the southeast coast of Brazil (Enseada Beach, São Sebastião, state of São Paulo) between April 1997 and April 1998. Two rectangular sites of 50 X 10 m parallel to the waterline were established, site A (upper intertidal level) and site B (middle intertidal level), where the samples were taken in an 0.5 x 0.5 m quadrat. High abundances were recorded in winter and spring, with no significant differences between the sites. The high bivalve abundances were related to the presence of very fine homogeneous sediment with low salinities. Tagelus plebeius had negative allometric growth, characteristic of deep burrowers for the relationships DM/SL and AFDM/SL. Parameters of the modified von Bertalanffy growth function were: L∞ = 67.01 mm, K = 1.73 year-1, t0 = -0.11 year, C = 0.43, WP = 0.96. The instantaneous mortality (Z) was 3.12 year-1, relatively high in comparison to other tropical bivalve populations. Secondary production was 1.53 g AFDM m-2 year-1, with a P/B ratio reaching 1.37 year-1. This high turnover ratio (P/B) was related to a rapid population replacement, connected with the short life span and high mortality of the species.
Abstract in English:Insect-food-plant associations have been shown to be influenced by the chemical, physical and nutritional characteristics of plants. We suggest that among insect larvae that use leaf material to build shelters, food-plant use may be constrained by differences in host leaf structure, illuminating a rarely investigated aspect of insect-plant interactions. To explore the potential effects of leaf structure on shelter building behavior in a Neotropical skipper butterfly, we investigated shelter building patterns on two congeneric food-plants that varied in leaf thickness. Shelter architecture varied significantly between hosts, with thicker leaves requiring longer cuts to construct shelters. The relationship between shelter building behavior and leaf structure is discussed in relation to selection pressures on larval shelters and food-plant choice.
Abstract in English:This study evaluated the bee community and their associated melliferous plants in the northern region of the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil in order to ascertain the diversity and floral interactions of the local Apidae. Twelve samplings were conducted (April 2006 to March 2007) in transects, where nets were used to capture bees directly from their flowers. Voucher specimens for both bees and plants were deposited at UNIVILLE. Diversity and equitability indexes were calculated. Our sampling effort resulted in a total of 934 bees in 72 genera and five families. Forty-four plant species belonging to 19 families were visited. A dominant family in Southern Brazil, Asteraceae, was visited most often (50% of the taxa). Nearly 20% of the plants were visited by only one bee species. Meliponina, Ceratinina and Halictinae were prevalent. The diversity of the apifauna composition (Apinae followed by Halictinae) is typical for southern environments, with few abundant species and many singletons. The variation found for the equitability indexes revealed low intertaxa dominance, diversity oscillation and interspecies relative equilibrium. Values of richness and abundance indicate a transitional distribution pattern (subtropical to temperate). Rare taxa, the presence of new records for the state, and the collector's slope indicate an estimated greater richness.
Abstract in English:Even though the Chilean lakes are characterized by their oligotrophy, a transition from oligotrophy to mesotrophy, due human intervention, has been reported in some lakes. Nevertheless, there are still some pristine and unpolluted small lakes and ponds in mountain zones, free of human intervention and surrounded by native forests. Nine unpolluted, oligotrophic and pristine water bodies located in Cañi Park, a mountain zone with altitudes between 1000 to 1500 m a.s.l and forests where Nothofagus dombeyi, N. pumilio and Araucaria araucana predominate, were studied. For each sampled lake, zooplankton was collected and environmental parameters were obtained (conductivity, total dissolved solids, and chlorophyll concentration). A null model of species co-occurrence was applied to determine randomness in species associations. All sites revealed low species richness (< 6); the calanoid copepod Boeckella gracilis Daday, 1902 was present in all sites. The results of the null model indicated randomness or absence of regulatory factors in species associations. Only few species occur in practically all localities. Also, a significant inverse association between chlorophyll concentration with percentage of calanoid copepods and a weak direct association between chlorophyll concentration and percentages of cladocerans were found.
Abstract in English:We studied the diet of Liophis reginae semilineatus (Wagler, 1824) from eastern Amazon, Brazil, based on the analysis of 182 preserved specimens. Thirty-six individuals had prey in their stomachs; 34 (95%) contained exclusively anurans and 2 (5%) contained both anurans and lizards. The most common prey items were small Leptodactylus sp. (33.3%), followed by Physalaemus ephippifer (Steindachner, 1864) (10.3%). Prey ingested head-first (78%; n = 25) were significantly larger than prey ingested tail-first (22%; n = 7). Females of L. reginae semilineatus have longer and wider heads than conspecific males with the same body length, which correspond to sexual divergences in the diet (size of the prey). No correlation was found between snake head length vs. prey size (SVL, width and mass). Liophis reginae semilineatus is an anurophagous snake that probably forages actively on the ground.
Abstract in English:The construction of the hydropower plant Freudenau was accompanied by the introduction of new structures and habitats. This study processes and evaluates the ecological fish data for the periods 1999/2000 and 2003/2004. The area was subdivided into five sections and 19 habitats (stream kilometer 1914.50 to 1994.60). Bi- and multivariate analyses were inducted with SPSS© (SPSS 2007). The CPUE values show that most fish remain in the Transition Zone and in the Head of Reservoir. The cluster analyses of the individual habitats show that these can be characterized primarily by abiotic factors. There was a strong statistical relationship between the individual habitats and the Danube mainstream. We conclude that fish have access to the habitats and that there is interconnectivity between these habitats. In general, the habitats were highly accepted by the fish species: all contained both juvenile and adult fish. The differentiated spectrum of species points to complex relationships. In principle the newly created habitats can be considered to be good replacement environments.
Abstract in English:We investigated the richness, composition, and species relative abundance of a terrestrial small mammal community in a Deciduous Forest area in the austral boundary of the Atlantic Forest. The microhabitat use of the most common species was also investigated. Six rodents - Akodon montensis (Thomas, 1913), Oligoryzomys nigripes (Olfers, 1818), Sooretamys angouya (Thomas, 1913), Thaptomys nigrita (Lichtenstein, 1829), Mus musculus (Linnaeus, 1758) and Juliomys sp. - and one marsupial - Didelphis albiventris (Lund, 1840) - were captured. Thaptomys nigrita is recorded in the state of Rio Grande do Sul for the first time. Species richness was poor when compared with communities in the central portions of the Atlantic Forest, but equivalent to that found in the Araucaria and Dense Ombrophilous forests of southern Brazil. The species most often captured in our study, A. montensis and O. nigripes, are also the most common in the majority of faunistic studies carried out in the Atlantic Forest. Akodon montensis and S. angouya used places with high abundance of bamboo, possibly to avoid predators. Oligorizomys nigripes used areas with a high density of scrubs, what could facilitate aboveground movements, and was negatively correlated to mature forest indicators, which reinforce the idea that this species has opportunistic habits.
Abstract in English:This study evaluates the effects of agricultural and urban activities on the structure and composition of benthic communities of streams in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Benthic macroinvertebrates were collected in streams influenced by urbanization and agriculture and in streams with no anthropogenic disturbances (reference streams). Organism density was superior in urban streams when compared with streams in the other two areas. The taxonomic richness and Shannon diversity index were higher in reference streams. The benthic fauna composition was significantly different among land uses. The classification and ordination analyses corroborated the results of variance analyses demonstrating the formation of clusters corresponding to streams with similar land use. Seasonality was also found to influence the benthic community, though in a lesser degree than land use.
Abstract in English:The protein of Myc modulator 1 (Mm-1) has been reported to repress the transcriptional activity of the proto-oncogene c-Myc in humans. Moreover, it was shown to be the subunit 5 of human prefoldin (PFD). So far, this gene and its homologs have been isolated and sequenced in many organisms, such as mammals and fish, but has not been sequenced for any amphibian or reptile. In order to better understand the function and evolution of Mm-1, we isolated a full-length Mm-1 cDNA (BgMm-1, GenBank accession no. EF211947) from Bufo gargarizans (Cantor, 1842) using RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) methods. Mm-1 in B. gargarizans is 755 bp long, comprising an open reading frame (ORF) of 459 bp encoding 152 amino acids. The amino acid sequence had a prefoldin α-like domain, partially including a typical putative leucine zipper motif. BgMm-1 showed high similarity to its homolog of Mus musculus Linnaeus, 1758 (82%) and Homo sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 MM-1 isoform a (81%) at the amino acid level. The protein secondary structure modeled with the SWISS MODEL server revealed that there were two α-helices and four b-strands in BgMm-1 as its human orthologue, and both proteins belonged to the a class of PFD family. The phylogenetic relationships of Mm-1s from lower archaea to high mammals was consistent with the evolution of species, meanwhile the cluster result was consistent with the multiple alignment and the sequence identity analysis. RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction) analysis demonstrated that BgMm-1 expressed widely in ten tissues of adult toad. These results can be helpful for the further investigation on the evolution of Mm-1.
Abstract in English:A new species of Xenylla Tullberg, 1869, X. capixaba sp. nov., is described and illustrated. In addition, we present a list with new records of Poduromorpha from the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. Xenylla yucatana Mills, 1938 and Brachystomella platensis Najt & Massoud, 1974 are for the first time recorded in Brazil. Also, the distributions of B. ceciliae Fernandes & Mendonça, 2004, B. contorta Denis, 1931 and Arlesia albipes (Folsom, 1927) are expanded to include Espírito Santo. Brachystomella agrosa Wray, 1953, previously recorded in agricultural soils, was also found in a marine environment.
Abstract in English:Testudinaria Taczanowski, 1879 includes nine valid species; only four of these species have both sexes described. In this paper we describe the female of T. gravatai Levi, 2005, which can be recognized specially by the abdominal pattern of spots. Testudinaria gravatai Levi, 2005 is similar to T. quadripunctata Taczanowski, 1879, but can be distinguished from that species by the presence of a single median excavation on the upper margin of the epigynal atrium; by copulatory duct almost straight in the basal portion and narrower in the distal portion. We have based our description on a single available female, collected in Criciúma, Santa Catarina, Brazil, a new locality record for the species.
Abstract in English:Myxobolus franciscoi sp. nov. (Myxozoa: Myxosporea: Myxobolidae) is described from the "curimatá-pacú" fish, Prochilodus argenteus Spix & Agassiz, 1829 (Actinopterygii: Prochilodontidae) from the Upper São Francisco River, Brazil. This parasite forms whitish plasmodia (about 1 x 1 mm) that develop in the connective tissue of fins. The spores are more or less round in frontal view and ellipsoidal in lateral view, measuring 6.4 (6.0-6.9) µm in length, by 6.0 (5.8-6.4) µm in width and 3.2 µm in thickness. The polar capsules are very small, measuring about 2 µm in length by 1.5 µm in width and ending in a tapered anterior neck. The polar filament makes three turns in a plane at right angles with the longitudinal axis of the spore. Thorough comparisons with the remaining species of Myxobolus Bütschli, 1882 described from South American fish, as well as with almost all species of Myxobolus described so far, are provided. This paper also includes a revision of Myxobolus species from South American fish hosts.
Abstract in English:Kaszabjbaloghia Hirschmann, 1973, distributed in South-America, is characterized by the following combination of characters: reduced marginal shield, posteromarginal setae placed on membranous cuticle on the dorsal idiosoma, linguliform genital shield in females, oval or egg-like genital shield bearing one pair needle-like setae in males, and the characteristic shape of peritremes. In this contribution, I provide short redescriptions of the known species of Kaszabjbaloghia and describe a new species, K. ecuadorica sp. nov., from Ecuador. The new species is similar to K. kaszabi Hirschmann, 1973, but differs from the latter in the ornamentation of genital shield of the female and the number of sternal cavities. Additionally, we transfer K. hirschmanni Hiramatsu, 1978 to Hutufeideria Hirschmann & Hirmatsu, 1977 (as Hutufeideria hirschmanni (Hiramatsu, 1978) comb. nov.) on the basis of the following: setation of dorsal shield, ornamentation of caudal part of the dorsal shield, shape of hypostomal setae, shape of internal malae and setation of the palp. An identification key to the species of Kaszabjbaloghia is also provided. Original illustrations and scanning micrographs are provided for all species.
Abstract in English:The nereidid polychaete Laeonereis acuta (Treadwell, 1923) is either considered to be a valid species, or a synonym of Laeonereis culveri (Webster, 1879). The species epithet, acuta, refers to the acuminate anterior region of the body followed by a widening that is visible up to the 10th setiger. The relative width of the anterior region of the body, however, has been reported in the taxonomic literature as variable for Laeonereis Hartman, 1945, a genus known from the eastern coast of North America to Patagonia (southern South America). To test whether variations in this character are real, or whether they correspond to an artifact, we analyzed morphological changes associated with different anesthesia and fixation techniques regularly used to prepare specimens of Laeonereis from southern Brazil (formerly reported as L. acuta). Six treatments, including combinations of anesthetics and fixative agents, and a control, were evaluated in groups of 25 adult animals. A simple model II regression analysis on living specimens showed that the growth is approximately isometric. One-way ANOVA was used to compare the treatment effect on the ratio of peristome width: setiger 6 width. This ratio was smaller in non-anesthetized individuals, especially when prepared in formalin and freshwater. When anesthetized with menthol and fixed in formalin with sea water, individuals retained a shape that was closest to their in vivo shape. Consequently, our results suggest that fixation without prior anesthesia is not recommended for morphological and taxonomical studies. Since morphology and morphometrics of the anterior region are consistently influenced by preparation techniques, it is likely that inadequate fixation routines have introduced several errors in the taxonomic and ecological literature of Laeonereis.