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).

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many insects utilize substrate-borne vibrations as a source of information for recognizing mates or predators. Among various substrates, plant leaves are commonly used for transmitting and receiving vibrational information. However, little is known about the utilization of vibrations by leaf-dwelling insects, especially coleopteran beetles. We conducted two experiments to examine the response of the leaf-dwelling cerambycid beetle, Paraglenea fortunei, to substrate-borne vibrations. We recorded and analyzed vibrations of host plant leaves from four different sources: wind (0.5 m/s), a beetle during landing, a walking beetle, and a beetle walking in the wind (0.5 m/s). We then measured the behavioral thresholds, the lowest amplitudes that induce behavioral responses, from beetles walking and resting on horizontal and vertical substrates with pulsed vibrations ranging from 20 Hz to 1 kHz. The vibrational characteristics of biotic and abiotic stimuli clearly differed. Beetle-generated vibrations (landing, walking, and walking in the wind) were broadly high in the low-frequency components above ∼30 Hz, while wind-generated vibrations showed a dominant peak at ∼30 Hz and a steep decrease thereafter. Among four situations, beetles walking on horizontal substrates showed lowest thresholds to vibrations of 75-500 Hz, which are characteristic of beetle-generated vibrations. Given that P. fortunei beetles are found on horizontal leaf surfaces of the host plant, vibrations transmitted though horizontal substrates may induce a strong freeze response in walking beetles to detect conspecifics or heterospecifics. Our findings provide evidence that leaf-dwelling beetles can discriminate among biotic and abiotic factors via differences in vibrational characteristics.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):789-94.
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    ABSTRACT: Ladybird beetles in the tribe Epilachnini include notorious crop pests and model species studied intensively in various fields of evolutionary biology. From a combined dataset of mitochondrial (ND2) and nuclear (28S) DNA sequences, we reconstructed the phylogeny of 46 species of Epilachnini from Asia, Africa, America, and the Australian region: 16 species in Epilachna, 24 species in Henosepilachna, and one species each in Adira, Afidenta, Afidentula, Afissula, Chnootriba, and Epiverta. In our phylogenetic trees, both Epilachna and Henosepilachna were reciprocally polyphyletic. Asian Epilachna species were monophyletic, except for the inclusion of Afissula sp. Asian and Australian Henosepilachna species likewise formed a monophyletic group, excluding H. boisduvali. African Epilachna and Henosepilachna species did not group with their respective Asian and American congeners, but were paraphyletic to other clades (Epilachna species) or formed a separate monophyletic group (Henosepilachna species) together with Chnootriba similis. The American Epilachna species were monophyletic and formed a clade with American Adira clarkii and Asian Afidentula manderstjernae bielawskii; this clade was the sister group to Asian and Australian Henosepilachna, but was distant from Asian Epilachna. Chnootriba was embedded in the African Henosepilachna clade, and Afissula in the Asian Epilachna clade. Epiverta, which is morphologically unique, was the sister group to Asian Epilachna, although with weak support. From reconstructions of biogeographical distribution and host-plant utilization at ancestral nodes, we inferred an African origin for the common ancestor of the species studied, and found the frequency of host shifts to differ greatly between the two major lineages of Epilachnini examined.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):820-830.
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    ABSTRACT: We set out to develop an oviposition induction technique for captive female hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata. The infertile eggs of nine females were induced to develop by the administration of follicle-stimulating hormone, after which we investigated the effects of administering oxytocin on oviposition. Seven of the turtles were held in a stationary horizontal position on a retention stand, and then oxytocin was administrated (0.6-0.8 units/kg of body weight; 5 mL). The seven turtles were retained for a mandatory 2 h period after oxytocin administration, and were then returned to the holding tanks. As the control, normal saline (5 mL) was administered to the other two turtles, followed by the administration of oxytocin after 24 h. The eggs in oviducts of all nine turtles were observed by ultrasonography at 24 h after oxytocin administration. The control experiment validated that stationary retention and normal saline administration had no effect on egg oviposition. Eight of the turtles began ovipositing eggs at 17-43 min after oxytocin administration, while one began ovipositing in the holding tank immediately after retention. All turtles finished ovipositing eggs within 24 h of oxytocin administration. This report is the first to demonstrate successful induced oviposition in sea turtles. We suggest that the muscles in the oviducts of hawksbill turtles may respond to relatively lower doses of oxytocin (inducing contractions) compared to land and freshwater turtles (4-40 units/kg) based on existing studies.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):831-5.
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    ABSTRACT: We verify the efficiency of a protocol for estrus synchronization in captive female collared peccaries (Pecaricari tajacu) using the prostaglandin analog D-cloprostenol. Five adult female collared peccaries received an intramuscular administration of 60 µg D-cloprostenol, which procedure was repeated after a 9-day interval. For 10 days after second the D-cloprostenol administration, females were monitored for changes in external genitalia, ovarian ultrasonography, vaginal cytology and reproductive hormonal dosage. As a result, four females synchronized their estrous at 9.5 ± 0.5 days after the second administration of the prostaglandin analog. Such females showed external signs of estrus, including vulvar opening, hyperemic vaginal mucosa, and vaginal mucus, concomitant with an increase in the proportion of superficial cells (52.2 ± 9.9%) verified through vaginal cytology. An estrogen peak of 22.7 ± 3.4 pg/ml was detected by hormonal dosage, and the presence of anechoic follicles measuring 0.29 ± 0.05 × 0.32 ± 0.07 mm were detected in the ovary by ultrasonography. Given these findings, we suggest that D-cloprostenol may be effective for use in estrus synchronization in collared peccaries.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):836-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, we reported that the medaka testis abundantly expresses the mRNA for trypsinogen, which is a well-known pancreatic proenzyme that is secreted into and activated in the intestine. Currently, we report our characterization of the medaka trypsin using a recombinant enzyme and show that this protein is a serine protease that shares properties with trypsins from other species. Two polypeptides (28- and 26-kDa) were detected in the testis extracts by Western blot analysis using antibodies that are specific for medaka trypsinogen. The 28-kDa polypeptide was shown to be trypsinogen (inactive precursor), and the 26-kDa polypeptide was shown to be trypsin (active protease). We did not detect enteropeptidase, which is the specific activator of trypsinogen, in the testis extract. Immunohistochemical analyses using the same trypsinogen-specific antibody produced a strong signal in the spermatogonia and spermatozoa of the mature medaka testis. Substantial staining was found with spermatocytes, whereas extremely weak signals were observed with spermatids. In vitro incubation of testis fragments with the trypsinogen antibody strongly inhibited the release of sperm from the testis into the medium. Trypsin activity was detected in sperm extracts using gelatin zymographic analysis. Immunocytochemistry showed that trypsinogen and trypsin were localized to the cell membranes surrounding the sperm head. Collectively, these results suggest that trypsin plays an important role in the testis function of the medaka.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):840-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Many migratory bird species fly during the night (nocturnal migrants) and have been shown to display some phototaxis to artificial light. During 2006 to 2009, we investigated phototaxis in nocturnal migrants at Jinshan Yakou in Xinping County (N23°56', E101°30'; 2400 m above sea-level), and at the Niaowang Mountain in Funing County (N23°30', E105°35'; 1400 m above sea-level), both in the Yunnan Province of Southwest China. A total of 5069 birds, representing 129 species, were captured by mist-netting and artificial light. The extent of phototaxis effect on bird migration was examined during all four seasons, three phases of the moon, and under two weather conditions (mist and wind). Data were statistically analyzed to determine the extent to which these factors may impact phototaxis of nocturnal migrants. The results point to phototaxis in birds migrating in the spring and autumn, especially in the autumn. Furthermore, migrating birds were more readily attracted to artificial lights during nights with little moonlight, mist, and a headwind. Regardless of the initial orientation in which birds flew, either following the wind or against the wind, birds would always fly against the wind when flying towards the light. This study broadens our understanding of the nocturnal bird migration, potentially resulting in improved bird ringing practices, increased awareness, and better policies regarding bird protection.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):781-8.
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    ABSTRACT: The marine gastropod Onchidium has a multiple photoreceptive system consisting of stalk eyes, dorsal eyes, photosensitive neurons, and extraocular dermal photoreceptor cells (DPCs). The DPCs were widespread all over the dorsal mantle and distributed singly or in groups in the dermis, but were not discernible by the naked eye. The DPC was oval in shape and large in size, and characterized by features specific to gastropod photoreceptor cells such as massive microvilli, photic vesicles, and a depolarized response. DPC-17, one of a group of 19 DPCs, was examined on serial semi-thin sections of 0.4 µm in thickness with a high-voltage transmission electron microscope (HVTEM). The axon emerged specifically from the lateral side between the distal microvillous portion and proximal cytoplasm, travelled through the connective tissue, and joined a small nerve bundle (NB). Two types of supportive cells were found along the length of the axon. The first type was a covering cell (CC) surrounding the surface of the DPC body and continuing onward to the axon sheath. DPC-17 was covered by 11 CCs, while the larger DPC-6 was only covered by four CCs. The second type was a sheath cell (ShC) wrapping the surface of the small NB where the axon of the DPC merged with undefined nerve fibers. The axon extending directly from DPC-17 was reconstructed three-dimensionally (3D) using DeltaViewer software. The 3D-reconstructed image of the sheath of the axon and the CC demonstrated the continuity between the two structures, especially when the image was rotated using DeltaViewer.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):810-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Two full-length cDNA (Pt-CHH1 and Pt-CHH2) sequences encoding crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) were cloned from tissues of the swimming crab (Portunus trituberculatus) using RACE. Pt-CHH1 was cloned from eyestalk, whereas Pt-CHH2 was cloned from thoracic ganglia. Sequence and structure analyses of Pt-CHH1 and Pt-CHH2 suggest that they may be generated from alternative splicing. Tissue distribution showed that transcript of Pt-CHH1 was only detected in eyestalk, while transcript of Pt-CHH2 was observed in several extra-eyestalk tissues. The transcript levels of Pt-CHH1 and Pt-CHH2 during molting and ovarian development were determined using qPCR. In molting process, level of Pt-CHH1 in eyestalk increased from stage A (postmolt), and to significant higher at stage C (intermolt), then decreased during premolt (D0-D4). In ovarian development, level of Pt-CHH1 in eyestalk decreased from previtellogenic stage (II), and to significant lower at mature stage (IV). The expression patterns of Pt-CHH2 in thoracic ganglia and Y-organ were distinct from that of Pt-CHH1 in eyestalk. The combined results suggest that Pt-CHH1 may be involved in inhibition of molting and ovarian development, whereas Pt-CHH2 may have other physiological functions.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):802-9.
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    ABSTRACT: It has long been hypothesized that the flower-like appearance of the juvenile orchid mantis is used as visual camouflage to capture flower-visiting insects, although it is doubtful whether such morphological resemblance alone could increase their success in hunting. We confirmed that juvenile female orchid mantes often succeed in capturing oriental honeybees, while adult females often fail. Since most of the honeybees approached the juveniles from the front, we hypothesized that juvenile orchid mantes might attract honeybees by emitting some volatile chemical cues. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses revealed that the mantes' mandibular adducts contained 3-hydroxyoctanoic acid (3HOA) and 10-hydroxy-(E)-2-decenoic acid (10HDA), both of which are also features of the pheromone communication of the oriental honeybee. We also successfully detected 3HOA emitted in the head space air only at the time when the juvenile mantes were attempting to capture their prey. Field bioassay showed that the Oriental Honeybee predominantly preferred to visit dummies impregnated with a mixture of the appropriate amounts and ratios of 3HOA and 10HDA. We therefore conclude that the juvenile mantes utilize these as allelochemicals to trick and attract oriental honeybees.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 12/2014; 31(12):795-801.
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    ABSTRACT: A new megophryid species is described from southwestern Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. In appearance, Leptolalax marmoratus sp. nov. is most similar to L. hamidi also from southwestern Sarawak, but differs from it by mtDNA sequence, larger body size, and higher dominant frequency of advertisement call. The assumption that more than one species of Leptolalax coexist at one locality in Borneo is supported. The finding of the new species raises the species number of Leptolalax known from Borneo to nine, and the island is thought to be one of the diversification centers of the genus.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2014; 31(11):773-779.
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, an extracellular copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (ecCuZnSOD) gene and a mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (mtMnSOD) gene were cloned from hemocytes of red claw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus. The open reading frame (ORF) of ecCuZnSOD is 498 bp and encodes a 166 amino acids (aa) protein, whereas the ORF of mtMnSOD is 654 bp and encodes a 218 aa protein. The amino acid sequences of C. quadricarinatus ecCuZnSOD and mtMnSOD showed high similarities with those of ecCuZnSODs and mtMnSODs of other crustaceans, respectively. Both ecCuZnSOD and mtMnSOD of C. quadricarinatus were highly expressed in hepatopancreas, hemocytes, intestine, and gill; low transcript levels were seen in other tissues (heart, muscle, and nerve). The immune responses of ecCuZnSOD and mtMnSOD were studied following inoculation with Spiroplasma eriocheiris and Aeromonas hydrophila. After S. eriocheiris or A. hydrophila challenge, mRNA transcription of ecCuZnSOD and mtMnSOD in hemocytes and gill was upregulated. mRNA transcription of ecCuZnSOD in the hepatopancreas was also upregulated after S. eriocheiris or A. hydrophila inoculation. mtMnSOD in hepatopancreas was upregulated after A. hydrophila inoculation, whereas this was down-regulated after S. eriocheiris challenge. After S. eriocheiris and A. hydrophila challenge, total SOD activity and CuZnSOD activity both increased compared to control group. The results showed that these SODs from C. quadricarinatus likely play an important role in protecting some tissues from reactive oxygen intermediates produced during challenge from S. eriocheiris and A. hydrophila.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2014; 31(11):725-34.
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    ABSTRACT: The systematic position of the amphioxus species with dextral gonads distributed in the southeast Pacific and Indian Oceans has remained to be clarified due to the adoption of different names by different researchers. Mitochondrial (mt) DNA is generally considered to be a powerful molecular marker in taxonomic studies. For a reliable systematics of the amphioxi collected from the South China Sea, we sequenced the complete mtDNA from a single specimen and compared it with those of the other eight amphioxus species. The present mtDNA genome contains 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, and two rRNA genes, with the same gene order as those in Branchiostoma and Epigonichthys, which, however, is different from that in Asymmetron. Based on our morphological data (including measurements of some characters) and the features of the mt genome, together with the distribution records of the dextral-gonad amphioxi, we conclude that the present mtDNA sequence most likely represents that of E. cultellus.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2014; 31(11):766-72.
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    ABSTRACT: The evolutionary process of the unique web architectures of spiders of the sub-family Cyrtarachninae, which includes the triangular web weaver, bolas spider, and webless spider, is thought to be derived from reduction of orbicular 'spanning-thread webs' resembling ordinal orb webs. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted to explore this hypothesis using orbicular web spiders Cyrtarachne, Paraplectana, Poecilopachys, triangular web spider Pasilobus, bolas spiders Ordgarius and Mastophora, and webless spider Celaenia. The phylogeny inferred from partial sequences of mt-COI, nuclear 18S-rRNA and 28S-rRNA showed that the common ancestor of these spiders diverged into two clades: a spanning-thread web clade and a bolas or webless clade. This finding suggests that the triangular web evolved by reduction of an orbicular spanning web, but that bolas spiders evolved in the early stage, which does not support the gradual web reduction hypothesis.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2014; 31(11):716-20.
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    ABSTRACT: The wandering glider dragonfly Pantala flavescens migrates to Japan every spring, where the population increases until autumn, in which mass flights often occur, followed by death in the winter. There have been no reports to date on the maturation process of this species throughout its lifespan in Japan. We collected females from mass flights when the flight height was low, and classified them into seven age stages by examining their wing condition. Very few females of the older stage were collected from the mass flights. The wing condition corresponded with the change in body color and with the egg production process in the ovaries. While pre-reproductive-stage females did not release eggs when treated with our artificial oviposition technique, each reproductive-stage female released about 640 eggs. Nearly all eggs released were fertilized. The ovaries developed with the stage, and reproductive-stage females had about 1100 ovarioles. The estimated maximum fecundity was about 29,000 eggs. The lifetime number of eggs laid of P. flavescens should be revealed by dissection.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2014; 31(11):721-4.
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    ABSTRACT: The Japanese bush warbler has a very distinctive song, shows marked sexual size dimorphism, and has a polygynous mating system. However, the physical traits of males and seasonal variation in such traits have remained unknown. Twenty-five anatomical measurements representing physical traits of males in the breeding (summer, n = 5) and non-breeding (winter, n = 5) seasons were examined morphologically and compared statistically. Differences were evident between summer and winter (P < 0.05, t test) in the following seven items: body mass (19.8 ± 0.7 g vs. 15.6 ± 1.2 g [mean ± SD]), mass of male reproductive organs (184.0 ± 25.7 mg vs. 6.0 ± 1.4 mg), hind limb (3789.2 ± 346.2 mg vs. 3003.4 ± 226.8 mg), leg muscles (883.0 ± 63.5 mg vs. 581.4 ± 33.2 mg in either side), skin around the neck/throat (1280 ± 34.9 mg vs. 287.2 ± 84.7 mg), and syrinx (35.8 ± 2.39 mg vs. 25.0 ± 3.24 mg), and circumference of the neck/throat (52.1 ± 2.3 mm vs. 38.3 ± 2.6 mm). In contrast to winter males, summer males had thickened flabby skin prominently in the neck/throat area and an inflatable esophagus, perhaps a morphological basis for the throat sac as a vocal resonator. Also, the remarkable development of the flexor muscles of the legs of summer males suggests that perching and movement using the legs increases during the breeding season. These distinct characteristics of summer males may be related to the polygynous mating system of this species.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2014; 31(11):741-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Mlr1 (Mblk-1-related protein-1) and Mlr2 are mouse homologs of transcription factor Mblk-1 (Mushroom body large-type Kenyon cell-specific protein-1), which we originally identified from the honeybee brain. In the present study, aiming at identifying coregulator(s) of Mlr1 and Mlr2 from the mouse brain, we used yeast two-hybrid screening of mouse brain cDNA library to search for interaction partners of Mlr 1 and Mlr2, respectively. We identified nucleolar protein 4 (NOL4) splicing variants as major interaction partners for both Mlr1 and Mlr2. Among the three murine NOL4 splicing variants, we further characterized NOL4-S, which lacks an N-terminal part of NOL4-L, and NOL4-SΔ, which lacks nuclear localization signal (NLS)-containing domain of NOL4-S. A GST pull-down assay revealed that Mlr1 interacts with both NOL4-S and NOL4-SΔ, whereas Mlr2 interacts with NOL4-S, but not with NOL4-SΔ. These results indicate that the NLS-containing domain of NO4-S Is necessary for in vitro binding with Mlr2, but not for that with Mlr1. Furthermore, a luciferase assay using Schneider's Line 2 cells revealed that transactivation activity of Mlr1 was significantly suppressed by both NOL4-S and NOL4-SΔ, with almost complete suppression by NOL4-SΔ. In contrast, transactivation activity of Mlr2 was significantly suppressed by NOL4-S but rather activated by NOL4-SΔ. Our findings suggest that transactivation activities of Mlr1 and Mlr2 are differentially regulated by splicing variants of NOL4, which are expressed in a tissue-selective manner.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2014; 31(11):735-40.
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    ABSTRACT: Parvalbumin (PV) is thought to play a major role in buffering intracellular calcium. We studied the distribution, morphology of PV-immunoreactive (IR) cells, and the effect of enucleation on the PV distribution in the superior colliculus (SC) in dog (Canis familiaris) and compared PV labeling to that of calbindin D28K (CB) and GABA. These cells formed three laminar tiers in the dog SC; 1) the upper superficial gray layer (SGL), 2) the lower optic layer (OL) and the upper intermediate gray layer, and 3) the deep layer. The third tier was not very distinct when compared with the other two tiers. The distribution of PV-IR cells is thus complementary to that of CB-IR tiers. Our present data on the distribution of PV-IR cells within the superficial layers are strikingly different from those in previously studied mammals, which show PV-IR cells within the lower SGL and upper OL. However, there were no distinct differences in distribution within the deep layers compared with that of previously studied mammals. PV-IR cells in the SC varied dramatically in morphology and size, and included round/oval, vertical fusiform, stellate, horizontal and pyriform cells. Two-color immunofluorescence revealed quantitatively that 11.67% of the PV-IR cells colocalized with GABA. Monocular enucleation appeared to have no effect on the distribution of PV-IR cells in the contralateral SC. Similar to CB, these data suggest that retinal projection may not control the expression of PV in the dog SC. These results provide important information for delineating similarities and differences in the neurochemical architecture of the visual system.
    ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2014; 31(11):748-57.