Publisher: Nihon Dōbutsu Gakkai


Published by the Zoological Society of Japan and distributed world-wide, except Japan, by VSP. Zoological Science is devoted to the publication in English of original and review articles in the broad field of zoology, covering physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, endocrinology, behaviour biology and taxonomy. The journal serves as a forum for theories, concepts and experimental data and aims to publish articles from the many diverse subspecialities within zoology. Zoological Science was founded as a result of the unification of the two official journals of the Zoological Society of Japan: the Zoological Magazine (1890--1983) and the Annotationes Zoologicae Japonenses (1927--1983).

  • Impact factor
    Show impact factor history
    Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Zoological Science website
  • Other titles
    Zoological science (Online)
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Comparison of features of the cell lineages and fate maps of early embryos between related species is useful in inferring developmental mechanisms and amenable to evolutionary considerations. We present cleavage patterns, cell lineage trees, and fate maps of ascidian and appendicularian embryos side by side to facilitate comparison. This revealed a number of significant differences in cleavage patterns and cell lineage trees, whereas the fate maps were found to be conserved. This fate map similarity can be extended to vertebrates, thus representing the fate map characteristics of chordates. Cleavage patterns and cell lineages may have been modified during evolution without any drastic changes in fate maps. Selective pressures that constrain developmental mechanisms at early embryonic stages might not be so strong as long as embryos are still able to generate a chordate-type fate map. Aquatic chordates share similar fate maps and morphogenetic movements during gastrulation and neurulation, eventually developing into tadpole-shaped larvae. As swimming by tail beats, and not by cilia, is advantageous, selective pressure may maintain the basic elements of the tadpole shape. We also discuss the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate neural crest and the embryonic origin of the appendicularian heart to illustrate the usefulness of cell lineage data. From an evolutionary standpoint, cell lineages behave like other characteristics such as morphology or protein sequences. Both novel and primitive features are present in extant organisms, and it is of interest to identify the relative degree of evolutionary conservation as well as the level at which homology is inferred.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 10/2014; 31(10):645-652.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The bullfinch Loxigilla barbadensis is an endemic passerine on the Caribbean island of Barbados that has only recently been taxonomically split from the Lesser Antillean bullfinch L. noctis. The trait that most clearly distinguishes L. barbadensis from L. noctis is the absence in the male of sexually dimorphic coloration of the body and throat feathers, with L. barbadensis males and females sharing the same dull brown plumage. Here we report, in 64 individuals netted throughout the island, the results of a discriminant analysis on two (wing length and tail length) to four morphological traits showing very high (97%) concordance with sexing via PCR using blood samples. Females also show a paler lower mandible, a trait that yields an 80% concordance with PCR sexing. We found one L. barbadensis male that had a noctis-like reddish throat patch, supporting the idea that sexual dichromatism is the ancestral condition and that male Barbados bullfinches have evolved cryptic coloration that now makes the species monochromatic.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 10/2014; 31(10):687-91.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Amur sleeper Perccottus glenii (Perciformes, Gobioidei, Odontobutidae) is well known as an invasive fish in the river basins of Eastern and Central Europe, but its genetic background is unavailable across its native habitats in northeast Asia. In this study, we used the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene by sampling 19 populations of P. glenii across its native distributional areas of Liaohe and Amur River basins to explore its evolutionary history. Phylogenetic analyses identified three major clades within P. glenii, among which Clade A and Clade B were co-distributed in the Liaohe and Amur River basins, and Clade C was restricted to the latter. Molecular dating showed that the splits of Clades A, B and C have happened in the late Early-early Middle Pleistocene and the most recent common ancestors of these clades have been presented in the late Middle-early Late Pleistocene. The P. glenii showed very high levels of genetic structure among populations (ΦST = 0.801), probably due to the characters of its life histories with very limited dispersal ability. The admixture of different clades in some populations of P. glenii probably reflects historical secondary contact. These findings indicate that Pleistocene climatic oscillation and river capture were major determinants for genetic variations and evolutionary history of the P. glenii.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 10/2014; 31(10):671-9.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Crickets provide a good model for the study of mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms and photoperiodic responses. They show clear circadian rhythms in their overt behavior and the sensitivity of the visual system. Classical neurobiological studies revealed that a pair of optic lobes is the locus of the circadian clock controlling these rhythms and that the compound eye is the major photoreceptor necessary for synchronization to environmental light cycles. The two optic lobe clocks are mutually coupled through a neural pathway and the coupling regulates an output circadian waveform and a free-running period. Recent molecular studies revealed that the cricket's clock consists of cyclic expression of so-called clock genes and that the clock mechanism is featured by both Drosophila-like and mammalian-like traits. Molecular oscillation is also observed in some extra-optic lobe tissues and depends on the optic lobe clock in a tissue dependent manner. Interestingly, the clock is also involved in adaptation to seasonally changing environment. It fits its waveform to a given photoperiod and may be an indispensable part of a photoperiodic time-measurement mechanism. With adoption of modern molecular technologies, the cricket becomes a much more important and promising model animal for the study of circadian and photoperiodic biology.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 10/2014; 31(10):624-32.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many animals have developed systems for sensing environmental conditions during evolution. In sensory cells, receptor molecules are responsible for their sensing abilities. In light sensing, most animals capture light information via rhodopsin-like photoreceptive proteins known as opsin-based pigments. A body of evidence from comparisons of amino acid sequences and in vitro experiments demonstrates that opsins have phylogenetically and functionally diversified during evolution and suggests that the phylogenetic diversity in opsins correlates with the variety of molecular properties of opsin-based pigments. In this review, we discuss the various molecular properties of opsin-based pigments and their contribution to light-sensing ability by providing two examples: i) contribution of photoregeneration ability and Chromophore retinal binding property of an Opn3 homolog to non-visual photoreception, and ii) contribution of an absorption characteristic of a visual pigment to depth perception in jumping spiders.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 10/2014; 31(10):653-9.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review outlines the current knowledge of the functional diversity of axonemal dyneins, as revealed by studies with the model organism Chlamydomonas. Axonemal dyneins, which comprise outer and inner dynein arms, power cilia and flagella beating by producing sliding movements between adjacent outer-doublet microtubules. Outer- and inner-arm dyneins have traditionally been considered similar in structure and function. However, recent evidence suggests that they differ rather strikingly in subunit composition, axonemal arrangement, and molecular motor properties. We posit that these arms make up two largely independent motile systems; whereas outer-arm dynein can generate axonemal beating by itself under certain conditions, inner-arm dynein can generate beating only in cooperation with the central pair/radial spokes. This conclusion is supported by genome analyses of various organisms. Outer-arm dynein appears to be particularly important for nodal cilia of mammalian embryos that function for determination of left-right body asymmetry.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 10/2014; 31(10):633-44.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The primary problem hindering the study of octocorals is the disordered situation regarding their taxonomy, chiefly caused by insufficient knowledge of valid morphological taxonomic characters. Briareum is an octocoral genus found in the Atlantic and Pacific in shallow tropical and subtropical waters, and occurs in both encrusting and branching colony forms. Their simple morphology and morphological plasticity have hindered taxonomic understanding of this genus. In this study three morphologically distinct types (= type-1, -2, and -3) of Briareum from the Ryukyu Archipelago and their genetic diversity were examined. Colony, anthostele morphology, and sclerite length were examined for each type. Four molecular markers (mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, mitochondrial mismatch repair gene, nuclear 18S ribosomal DNA, internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2)) were used to evaluate molecular phylogenetic status of these variations. Although one morphological type ("deep" small colonies, = type-3) showed small differences in nuclear ITS2 sequences compared to the other two types, the remaining types had identical sequences for all molecular markers examined. The results suggest extremely low genetic diversity despite highly variable morphology of Briareum species in Okinawa. Nevertheless, considering the distribution patterns and discontinuous morphology of type-3 compared to the other two morphotypes, genetic isolation of type-3 is plausible. In Briareum, small variances in nuclear ITS2 sequences of type-3 may have much more importance than in molecular phylogenies of other octocorals. Further phylogenetic investigations and comparison with Briareum specimens from other regions are necessary to conclusively taxonomically identify the three types.
  • ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 10/2014; 31(10):623.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Freshwater snails that inhabit islands are excellent model organisms for testing relationships between geological events and phylogeography, especially in the Aegean region. Although many Aegean islands were searched in the present study, species of the genus Pseudorientalia were only found on Lesvos, Samos, and Chios. Phylogenetic relationships between specimens living on these three islands were analysed using COI and 16S rRNA molecular markers and morphological data. A high level of diversity was found between islands. Genetic distances between clades showed differences high enough for the samples from different islands to be considered distinct species (p-distance: 0.105-0.133). These results are also supported by obvious morphological differences in shell morphology between islands. The mean divergence time between the Lesvos clade and Samos/Chios clade was 24.13 ± 3.30 Mya; between the Samos and Chios clades the divergence time was 14.80 ± 1.11 Mya. Our data suggest that high divergence may have occurred between Pseudorientalia populations during the Upper and Middle Miocene, when the Aegean region was part of a united landmass. It is possible that the observed highly divergent Pseudorientalia clades are relicts of high regional diversity that existed in the past.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 10/2014; 31(10):680-6.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Freshwater gastropods often have limited dispersal capability and small geographic ranges, and face severe threats from habitat loss and degradation. However, in addition to the scarcity of knowledge on their life history traits, species taxonomy has not been adequately resolved and boundaries between intra- and interspecific variation remain unclear for many taxa. One such example of an indeterminate species boundary with implications for conservation issues is the relationship between the thiarid snails Stenomelania crenulata in Okinawa and southwards (ranked as CR+EN in the 2012 Japanese Red List) and S. rufescens in mainland Japan (VU). The results of our multi-disciplinary investigation into variation in the shell morphology and mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (ITS-1) gene sequences suggest that S. rufescens represents a geographic variant and a junior synonym of S. crenulata. The widespread geographic range of S. crenulata, spanning a few thousand kilometers north to south, is possible due to an amphidromous life cycle that involves a marine planktotrophic larval phase and upstream migration after settlement in estuaries. Nevertheless, there is recognizable morphological and genetic differentiation between distant populations, probably reflecting a relatively short pelagic duration and possibly also infrequent transoceanic dispersal; metamorphic competence is achieved in two weeks in full seawater and even more rapidly in brackish water. The Okinawan population, with only a few known localities, therefore deserves the high conservation priority; conservation efforts need to involve the proper maintenance of migration pathways including all marine, brackish and freshwater environments.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 09/2014; 31(9):593-602.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Myrmecina nipponica Wheeler is a terrestrial ant nesting chiefly in the soil in forest. It is a specialized predator of oribatid mites, but also scavenges on a broad spectrum of other arthropods. In the studied population at Cape Manazuru in central Japan, M. nipponica colonies are typically monogynous, and previous dissections of queens suggested that these individuals were not inseminated, thus suggesting these ants can reproduce via thelytokous parthenogenesis. To test for thelytokous parthenogenesis in M. nipponica the spermathecae of queens (dealate gynes) from worker-containing colonies were histologically examined in detail. All specimens examined (n = 5) had no spermatozoa in the spermatheca. In addition, a total of four colony-founding queens were reared in isolation in the laboratory to test whether non-inseminated females were capable of egg laying and to test whether female offspring emerged from this brood. In all of four culture replicates, only new workers were produced from the eggs those queens had laid and male offspring was absent. After the breeding experiment, the queens' spermathecae were histologically examined and no sperm were detected in their spermathecae. These results reveal that M. nipponica queens of the Manazuru population are capable of producing female offspring thelytokously. Sexual reproduction by typical gynes and also by intermorphs has been known from other local populations of M. nipponica; therefore, this species shows geographical polymorphism in sexuality.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 09/2014; 31(9):582-6.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ground beetles of the subgenus Ohomopterus (genus Carabus) show marked divergence in species-specific male and female genital morphologies, which contributes to reproductive isolation among species. Characterizing the genetic basis of species-specific genital morphology is essential for understanding their diversification, but genomic information on Ohomopterus is not yet available. We analyzed mRNA extracted from abdominal sections of the last instar larvae and pupae of two sister species, Carabus (Ohomopterus) iwawakianus and C. (O.) uenoi, which show marked differences in genital morphology, to compare transcriptomic profiles using Roche 454 pyrosequencing. We obtained 1,608,572 high-quality reads and assembled them into 176,278 unique sequences, of which 66,049 sequences were combined into 12,662 clusters. Differential expression analyses for sexed pupae suggested that four and five clusters were differentially expressed between species for males and females, respectively. We also identified orthologous sequences of genes involved in genital development in Drosophila, which potentially affect genital development and species-specific genital morphology in Ohomopterus. This study provides the first large transcriptomic data set for a morphologically diversified beetle group, which can facilitate future studies on the genetic basis of species-specific genitalia.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 09/2014; 31(9):587-92.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Eusocial insects have highly sophisticated societies, showing a conspicuous division of labor associated with different phenotypes. These castes show specific morphologies adapted to discrete tasks. Termite castes are divided into reproductives, workers, and soldiers. Individuals with soldier-like heads as well as developed gonads have been recorded in several primitive families, and are called reproductive soldiers. In some termite species, however, a trade-off-like developmental relationship has been shown between soldier and imaginal characteristics. Thus, while the mechanism that regulates the development of both characteristics in the same individual is interesting, the details are still unclear. We focused on juvenile hormone (JH), which is involved not only in termite caste differentiation, but also in the gonad development of many insects, and we aimed to clarify the effects of JH on the differentiation of reproductive soldiers in Zootermopsis nevadensis. We succeeded in the induction of individuals with reproductive soldier-like gross morphologies by JH analog (JHA) application to several developmental stages. We also observed that gonad development was significantly promoted by JHA application after molts in the induced reproductive soldier-like individuals, but not in natural soldiers. Finally, we confirmed that the gene expression level of vitellogenin was extremely high in the induced reproductive soldier-like individuals following JHA treatment after the molt. These results suggested that soldiers do not have regulatory mechanisms for gonad development involving JH, and the regulation of reproductive soldiers development is different from that of soldiers. Reproductive soldiers may have evolved independently from the soldier caste rather than from an intermediate stage of soldier evolution.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 09/2014; 31(9):573-81.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigated physical and chemical cues involved in male mating behavior of the white grub beetle, Dasylepida ishigakiensis (Scarabaeidae). When presented with female attractant pheromone (R)-2-butanol lures in a flight tunnel, nearly all males exhibited orientation and touching behaviors to freshly killed males and females and to intact glass models. Males landed and bent their abdomens on male and female bodies, but not on intact glass models. When treated with one female equivalent (FE) extract, washed immature male bodies and glass models both evoked stronger male responses than untreated equivalents, with the former eliciting a greater response than the treated glass models. Male responses to target male and female bodies decreased with increased numbers of washings of target bodies with organic solvents. These results suggest that the chemical factors that elicit male abdominal bending behavior are present on the body surface in both sexes. Washed immature male bodies treated with 1 FE or one male equivalent (ME) of extract induced strong male abdominal bending behavior. Washed mature female bodies treated with 1 ME extract also evoked male responses. Extracts of both sexes included factors eliciting male abdominal bending behavior. These results suggest that both physical and chemical cues derived from conspecifics cooperate to facilitate male mating recognition in D. ishigakiensis. The mating process of this species in the field is highly synchronized. Thus, after orienting to a female-like object, the only information males require by touching is whether the sex attractant pheromone that attracted them is indeed from a conspecific.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 09/2014; 31(9):553-8.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of visual information on wind-evoked escape behavior in the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. Most agitated crickets were found to retreat into a shelter made of cardboard installed in the test arena within a short time. As this behavior was thought to be a type of escape, we confirmed how a visual image of a shelter affected wind-evoked escape behavior. Irrespective of the brightness of the visual background (black or white) or the absence or presence of a shelter, escape jumps were oriented almost 180° opposite to the source of the air puff stimulus. Therefore, the direction of wind-evoked escape depends solely depended on the direction of the stimulus air puff. In contrast, the turning direction of the crickets during the escape was affected by the position of the visual image of the shelter. During the wind-evoked escape jump, most crickets turned in the direction in which a shelter was presented. This behavioral nature is presumably necessary for crickets to retreat into a shelter within a short time after their escape jump.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 09/2014; 31(9):559-64.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A vigorous discussion surrounds the question as to what enables some mammals-including primates and cetaceans-to evolve large brains. We recently published a study suggesting that the radiation of marsupial mammals is highly relevant to this question because of the unique reproductive and metabolic traits within this clade. In particular, we controversially suggested that marsupial brain sizes are not systematically smaller than those of placentals, and that elevated basal metabolic rates (BMR) are not linked to larger marsupial brains. As our dataset was found to contain some erroneous body size data, derived from a published source, we here use an updated and corrected dataset and employ standard as well as phylogenetically corrected analyses to re-assess and elaborate on our original conclusions. Our proposal that marsupials are not systematically smaller-brained than placentals remains supported, particularly when the unusually large-brained placental clade, Primates, is excluded. Use of the new dataset not only confirms that high metabolic rates are not associated with larger brain size in marsupials, but we additionally find some support for a striking negative correlation between BMR and brain size. The best supported correlates of large brain size remain the reproductive traits of weaning age and litter size. These results support our suggestion that mammalian brain sizes (including, by inference, those of monotremes) are predominantly constrained by the ability of females to fuel the growth of their offspring's large brains, rather than by the maintenance requirements of the adult brain.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 09/2014; 31(9):608-12.