In order to evaluate wild clams for possible domestication with a view to
aquaculture, the present study focused on the phenotypic characteristics of wild
clams of the genus Egeria Roissy, 1805 in the Lower Sanaga River of
Cameroon, with the main objective of contributing to a better understanding of
their biology. A total of 2340 clams of different sizes were collected between
March 2018 to March 2019 at three sites in the lower part of the Sanaga River,
namely Bolounga-Moulongo, Mpombo-Boloy and Maldjedou-Bonapembe.
Phenotypic characteristics (including internal and exterior coloration of the shell,
type and number of shell stripes, color of the mantle, shape of the pallial sinus,
and indices of elongation, compactness and convexity) were collected on each
individual and evaluated according to the site and the season. The results showed
four predominant colors on the exterior face of the shell (66.0% yellow, 29.1%
brown, 4.7% dark and 0.2% pink), three colors on the internal face of the shell
(89.4% white, 10.5% white-purple and 0.1% white-pink), three types and
number of shell stripes (57.8% visible stripes, 23.4% barely visible stripes and
18.8% absent stripes), two colors of the mantle (17.5% white and 82.5% orange),
two types of the pallial sinus (60.5% dorsally angular, and 39.5% regularly
rounded), 99.8% oval shapes (elongation index), 99.7% convex shapes
(convexity index) and 52.7% compact shapes (compactness index). The results
for clam characteristics were not influenced by the site nor the season, apart from
the compactness index which varied according to the site. Phenotypically, the
clams of the Lower Sanaga River showed several similarities with the species
Egeria radiata and the specimens that showed a pink color of the shell similar to
the species Egeria rubicunda. Molecular characterization is therefore necessary
to explain the origin of the diversity of phenotypic characteristics in the clam’s
species population in this area.
Key words: Clams, Egeria, phenotypic, sites, seasons, Sanaga River, Cameroon
We report the discovery of the Sikkim Frog, Ombrana sikimensis from Central Bhutan’s Zhemgang district, in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The frog which was found residing in a clean perennial stream is used by the local human population for consumption. It is supposed to heal stomach related ailments. This record will help Bhutan understand the use and importance of the species and help in prioritizing conservation.
Schneider’s Toad, Duttaphrynus scaber (Schneider, 1799) is known to be distributed over the coastal peninsular, northern parts of central India and northeastern states of India. However, despite the availability of multiple published reports, there are few verified records of its occurrence from central India. Herein, we present two records of D. scaber, one from the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra State, central India with morphometric data, another from northern Western Ghats, from the Goa region, with morphometric, as well as molecular, data. The site selection for dormancy, sympatric species, and microhabitat preferences during the breeding season of Duttaphrynus scaber is discussed.
The Anzali Wetland is one of the most important water bodies in Iran,
due to the Caspian migratory fish spawning, located in the southern
Caspian Sea basin, Iran. During a long-term monitoring program,
between 1994 to 2019, identification and distribution of fish species were surveyed in five different locations inside the Anzali Wetland and eleven related rivers in its catchment area. In this study 72 fish species were recognized belonging to 17 orders, 21 families and 53 genera, including 66 species in the wetland and 53 species in the rivers. Among the 72 identified species, 34 species were resident in freshwater, 9 species were anadromous, 9 species live in estuarine and the others exist in different habitats. These species include 4 endemic species, 50 native species and 18 exotic species to Iranian waters. The number of species in different locations inside the Anzali Wetland was comparatively similar while it had high variation in different rivers. Twenty fish species are new records for the Anzali Wetland basin, including 10 estuarine, 5 ornamental, 2 riverine, one anadromous, one euryhaline and a small exotic fish
Organisms can adapt to habitat conditions that ensure their survival.
Habitat separation can lead to different populations of body shape during
the phenotypic plasticity process. Both traditional and geometric
morphology are being used in fish population studies. In this study, the
body shape differences between Garra rufa (Heckel) populations
captured in the Jarrahi River (from the Tigris Basin) were investigated
using traditional and geometric morphometric methods. The samples
were captured from the Rostam Abad, Aghajari and Behbahan tributaries
and transferred to the laboratory. For the traditional morphometric
analysis, 10 meristic characters and 19 morphometric characters were
measured. Geometric morphological information was extracted using 13
landmark points on left side photographs of individual fish. According to
the results of the traditional morphometric analysis, there were
differences between the three populations in meristic (lateral line scales,
predorsal scales, circamucaudal scales) and morphometric (14 of 19
characters) traits. In the geometric morphometric analysis, the major part
of the shape variation is due to landmark points in the head region and the
dorsal fin base, with the anal fin and caudal peduncle being the most
conservative body regions. The populations had significant differences in
body shape with populations from Aghajari and Behbahan tributaries
being most similar and the Rostam Abad population was different from
the two other populations.
Systematic and thorough studies of snake populations across large areas are rare in the tropics. Bengaluru city in southern India has not had a thorough checklist of snakes in over a century, during which time land-use changes, taxonomic revisions, and fluctuating reptile populations have left the current status of snakes of this region unclear. We combine data from snake rescues, visual encounter surveys, and other reliable records to generate a contemporary checklist of 33 snake species (15 of which are novel) present within the Bengaluru Urban District with comments on their apparent habitat preferences. We also provide evidence and insight on six additional species that have not been recorded but potentially occur within the limits of the district. Compared with the earlier checklist, all but 4 species (Naja naja, Ptyas mucosa, Daboia russelii, and Fowlea piscator) have shown considerable decline within city limits. Additionally, all of India's "Big Four" medically significant venomous snake species (Naja naja, Bungarus caeruleus, Daboia russelii, and Echis carinatus) are found within the district. Naja naja and Daboia russelii appear to be well-adjusted to urbanization with serious ramifications for human-wildlife conflict and healthcare in the future as the majority of Indian snakebite deaths can be attributed to these two species. The population trajectory of Daboia russelii is of particular interest as it was classified as "not common" in the previous checklist, but it is presently one of the most abundant snake species in the area. Our study provides a new baseline that can be used to monitor ophidian population trends going forward.
Cover photo: The Philippine tarsier Tarsius syrichta (Linnaeus, 1758), an endemic species to the Philippines, from Basilisa, the Dinagat Islands, Mindanao, Philippines.
Photo by Ma. Niña Regina M. Quibod, May 2017.
This paper is reporting Evolvulus nummularius (L.) L. (Convolvulaceae) as a new larval host plant for Junonia orithya (Linnaeus) (Nymphalidae) and Syzygium samarangense (Blume) Merr. and L.M Perry (Myrtaceae), as a new larval host plant for Virachola isocrates (Fabricius) (Lycaenidae) from Raibaghini, Bankura, West Bengal, India.
The Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala Scopoli is a scarce winter visitor and passage migrant bird in Nepal being recorded mainly in the eastern part of the country. Similarly, the Blue-winged Laughingthrush Trochalopteron squamatum (Gould) is an uncommon resident of Nepal with rare observations reported from central-west to eastern Nepal. Also, the Tricolored Munia Lonchura malacca (Linnaeus) is considered as a local resident in Nepal especially in the Chitwan National Park, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Kathmandu Valley. None of these species have been photographed in the Pokhara Valley previously. This study presents the first photographic record of E. melanocephala and T. squamatum, and the first ever record of L. malacca from the Pokhara Valley, Nepal. Emberiza melanocephala was observed during the winter season in bushes of Ipomoea carnea while T. squamatum and L. malacca were recorded during the autumn and monsoon season in evergreen Schima-Castanopsis forest, and clumps of the reed Phragmites karka respectively.
We present a natural history account of the first record of probable predation on the Indian bull frog, Hoplobatrachus tigerinus by the Asian House Shrew, Suncus murinus from Morang district, Nepal. The present communication provides an example of a nearly equal-sized predator-prey interaction in a natural ecosystem and provides interesting information on the natural history of these taxa.
Iran is home to three genera and four species of hedgehogs in the family Erinaceidae. One of these, Paraechinus hypomelas, is known to occur in Fars Province. In the present study, we report two new distribution records of the Long-eared Hedgehog, Hemiechinus auritus from the southwestern region of Fars Province (Varavi Mountain in Mohr and Lamerd Townships in the southern Zagros Mountains), marking a range extension for this species in southern Iran.
The occurrence of the hormurid scorpion Liocheles australasiae (Fabricius) is reported for the first time from the state of Mizoram, northeast India. The specimens were identified on the basis of morphological characters and molecular analysis using a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit I gene. The species is reported from multiple localities within the state, constituting at least seven different populations. The specimens were larger than those from previous records.
The freshwater ecosystems in Gujarat State, in the western part of India, are important habitats for various freshwater turtles. In the light of the lack of information on survival and the morality of the freshwater turtles, here, we have presented new information on threats scenarios of the Indian Flap-shelled turtle Lissemys punctata (Bonnaterre) and species mass mortalities observed in some water bodies of the Gujarat State. Approximately 1071 specimens of L. punctata and three specimens of the Ganges Soft-shelled turtle Nilssonia gangetica (Cuvier), along with large numbers of many other species of reptiles and fishes were recorded dead within a span of five years from January 2016 to December 2020. In some of the cases, the circumstantial evidence suggests that entanglement and trapping in the fish net could have been the reason, but large number of the deaths remained mysterious. This mysterious sudden death of aquatic reptiles in various water bodies of the state is of serious concern. We also discuss the possible explanation for these mysterious deaths.
We provide an account on the distribution, morphology and biology of the Indian trinket snake, Coelognathus helena (Daudin) from Gujarat, India, and report the first record of the subspecies, Coelognathus helena nigriangularis Mohapatra, Schulz, Helfenberger, Hofmann, and Dutta from the Gujarat state based on reptile surveys throughout the state. We show that our understanding regarding the morphology of this species is not fully known as our series of specimens shows range of 204-245 ventral scales in C. h. helena and 219-279 ventral scales, 78-98 subcaudal scales in C. h. monticollaris.
In order to evaluate wild clams for possible domestication with a view to aquaculture, the present study focused on the phenotypic characteristics of wild clams of the genus Egeria Roissy, 1805 in the Lower Sanaga River of Cameroon, with the main objective of contributing to a better understanding of their biology. A total of 2340 clams of different sizes were collected between March 2018 to March 2019 at three sites in the lower part of the Sanaga River, namely Bolounga-Moulongo, Mpombo-Boloy and Maldjedou-Bonapembe. Phenotypic characteristics (including internal and exterior coloration of the shell, type and number of shell stripes, color of the mantle, shape of the pallial sinus, and indices of elongation, compactness and convexity) were collected on each individual and evaluated according to the site and the season. The results showed four predominant colors on the exterior face of the shell (66.0% yellow, 29.1% brown, 4.7% dark and 0.2% pink), three colors on the internal face of the shell (89.4% white, 10.5% white-purple and 0.1% white-pink), three types and number of shell stripes (57.8% visible stripes, 23.4% barely visible stripes and 18.8% absent stripes), two colors of the mantle (17.5% white and 82.5% orange), two types of the pallial sinus (60.5% dorsally angular, and 39.5% regularly rounded), 99.8% oval shapes (elongation index), 99.7% convex shapes (convexity index) and 52.7% compact shapes (compactness index). The results for clam characteristics were not influenced by the site nor the season, apart from the compactness index which varied according to the site. Phenotypically, the clams of the Lower Sanaga River showed several similarities with the species Egeria radiata and the specimens that showed a pink color of the shell similar to the species Egeria rubicunda. Molecular characterization is therefore necessary to explain the origin of the diversity of phenotypic characteristics in the clam's species population in this area.
Abnormalities in reptiles have been mostly reported from captive individuals. Here, we report a case of unilateral anophthalmy in the Burmese python Python bivittatus for the first time from Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Reptiles exposed to various pollutants, such as pesticides, can develop morphological abnormalities. The present report from a human-dominated landscape is an opportunistic observation of a rescued snake. We suggest a more systematic, collection-based, research program to reveal the possible causative agents and the degree of their effect on herpetofauna in Nepal.
The Great slaty woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus (Temminck) is a
globally threatened bird species and has been categorized as Vulnerable in the
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We report the first photographic evidence
of M. pulverulentus from Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary (PWS), Sarpang district, in
the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. A group, comprising five individuals, of M.
pulverulentus was sighted opportunistically at the study location on 19 April
2022. We recorded the nesting cavities actively used by M. pulverulentus in the
forest habitat dominated by Sal trees (Shorea robusta). This study highlights the
significance of protecting lowland forests, and mature Sal stands in particular,
for conservation of this globally threatened species of bird.
The Fishing cat, Prionailurus viverrinus is a medium-size wild felid native to south and Southeast Asia. Global status of the species has been assessed under the ‘Vulnerable’ category by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is listed as ‘Endangered’ in Nepal. Knowledge on the species is limited due to less research studies conducted resulting in lack of ecological information. Few conservation programs for the species have been initiated in the past and current concerned conservation programs may not be sufficient for the long-term survival of the species in Nepal. Therefore, we reviewed the available published scientific literature and anecdotal reports related to the Fishing cats in the country, and assessed current population status, distribution, threats and conservation efforts for the species. We searched screened and selected 48 scientific papers and reports methodically that are related to the Fishing cats for the current study and analyzed them to produce our findings. Our result suggests fishing cats to be recorded from five protected areas and three non-protected wetland areas within the Terai region of Southern Nepal. We found no record to substantiate the population status of the species in the country. In Protected Areas of Nepal, most of the Fishing cat records were accessed through camera trap surveys targeted for large cat species. Fishing cat have been facing extinction threats mainly due to poaching, over-exploitation of local fish stocks, retaliatory killing, wetland shrinkage and conversion, pollution and conflicts with humans. We believe therefore, our review on the species will be a useful guidance for conservationists, managers and wildlife researchers to promote the conservation of this charismatic and threatened species in Nepal.
The distribution of Cantor's Kukri Snake Oligodon cyclurus has been poorly documented in its geographic range from Bangladesh, and Vietnam. We provide confirmed locality records with notes on some aspects of natural history information for O. cyclurus. Although the species is designated as Least Concern according to IUCN Red list of Threatened Species, the species is facing multiple threats like roadkills and vindictive killing. We suggest a more detailed inventory to better understand its biology, distribution patterns, population status and molecular identity to aid in a more comprehensive global conservation action.
Few researches have been conducted on the hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus, an endangered small mammal native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas. In major protected areas of Nepal, grassland burning has been considered as one of the most important habitat management tools however its effects on grassland dependent species such as hispid hare has been less explored. Thus, this study was conducted to determine the grassland burning practices and its effect on distribution pattern of hispid hare at Shuklaphanta National Park, western Nepal. A total of 90 plots were laid in unburned (n= 45) and burned areas (n= 45) from November 2017 to May 2018. Two different approaches of grassland burning were observed: alternate and complete burning. Grassland burns are conducted from November to April each year, which coincides with the prime breeding season of hispid hares. A total of 89 pellet groups were observed in 22 plots out of 45 unburned plots while a total of 56 pellet groups were found in 17 plots out of 45 burned plots, both showing clumped type of distribution pattern of hispid hare in the study site. Higher number of fresh pellets was observed in the unburned plot. In contrast, higher number of old pellets was found in the burned plots. Thus, it is suggested that alternate year burning practices might have more positive effects on distribution and survival of this endangered species, rather than every year.
Keywords: Alternate burning, breeding season, clumped distribution, grassland fire, strip transects
We report on a topotypical specimen of the spot-tailed pit viper Trimeresurus erythrurus recorded from Sunderbans in India and a distant, southerly, range extension from Kakinada mangroves, based on preserved (n= 1, seen in 2019) and live uncollected (n= 2; seen in 2014) specimens, respectively. The specimens (n= 3) share the following characteristics: verdant green dorsum, yellow iris, white ventrolateral stripes in males, 23 midbody scale rows, 161-172 ventrals, 61-76 subcaudals, and reddish tail tip. Drawing on the published records, its apparent rarity within its type locality and lack of records from the Circar Coast of India, our study significantly adds to the knowledge of the distribution and morphology of this species. Being a medically important venomous snake, its presence in the Godavari mangrove basin calls for wider dissemination of this information among medical practitioners, in addition to fundamental researchers like academics and herpetologists.
Diversity and heterogeneity of Odonata was studied from 10 sites across almost all parts of the Bankura district, except North-West and North-Eastern boundary regions, West Bengal state, India from July 2015 to June 2022. Analysis of variance and rarefaction has been performed to study the β-diversity and compare the abundance of the sites to understand the heterogeneity of Odonata observations. The seasonality of the species and their site-wise distribution have also been studied. A total of 74 species of odonates belonging to eight families, represented by 46 genera were recorded. The study adds 17 species to the known Odonata fauna of Bankura district, including the addition of Microgomphus torquatus (Selys) to the fauna of West Bengal. The highest number of Odonates belonged to the family Libellulidae (29 species), followed by Coenagrionidae (19 species), Gomphidae (nine species), Platycnenididae (six species), Aeshnidae (five species), Macromiidae (three species), Lestidae (two species) and Chlorocyphidae (one species). Knowledge of this species diversity and abundance assessment is essential for conserving the habitats of the restricted and endemic (to peninsular India) species.
We report the discovery of the Sikkim Frog, Ombrana sikimensis from Central Bhutan's Zhemgang district, in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The frog which was found residing in a clean perennial stream is used by the local human population for consumption. It is supposed to heal stomach related ailments. This record will help Bhutan understand the use and importance of the species and help in prioritizing conservation.
An annotated checklist of the extant burrowing shrimps (infraorders Axiidea and Gebiidea) of southern waters of Iran is presented for the first time. Six species of Gebiidea and 18 species of Axiidea have been documented from the southern waters of Iran, based on published literature. The species belong to six families: Upogebiidae (6 species), Axiidae (1), Callianassidae (5), Callianideidae (1), Callichiridae (9) and Ctenochelidae (2). The Persian Gulf with 18 species appears to be more diverse than the Gulf of Oman with four species, and two species are common in the both gulfs. Corallianassa martensi (Miers, 1884) is recorded for the first time across the Iranian coast. The present finding is based on specimens collected from the Chabahar, Gulf of Oman coast. A brief diagnosis and illustrations of C. martensi are provided.
Passeromyia is a genus of flies associated with birds' nests. We found adults of Passeromyia heterochaeta within the houses near to domestic pigeon nests in Lorestan Province, western Iran. Flies were identified at the genus level by analysis of COI sequences of a representative specimen. Then, the specimens were identified according to morphological characteristics as P. heterochaeta and the sequence was submitted to the GenBank under this name. DNA barcoding approach can be used for approximate identification before using morphological keys.
This records the first confirmed report of the Long-snouted Bhutan Squirrel Dremomys lokriah bhotia from the state of West Bengal, India. Previously the subspecies was known from limited localities of East Sikkim (India) and Bhutan. This article, thus, adds to the global knowledge of the subspecies with a note on its habitat and activity pattern, along with new details on it’s the current global distribution.
Key words: mammals, new record, addition to Indian fauna, Squirrel, Himalaya
Taylor's Mangrove crab-eating Frog, Fejervarya moodiei (Taylor) which was reported first from the Indian Subcontinent in 2016, is being reported for the first time from West Bengal State, eastern India, based on collections comprising a total of three specimens from South 24 Parganas District from 1983 to 2008, and photographic record of an uncollected specimen in 2019. The species is compared with Fejervarya cancrivora Gravenhorst, with which it is mostly confused.
The present study deals with gastropod shell utilization of the hermit crab, Clibanarius rhabdodactylus Forest on the rocky intertidal zone of the Saurashtra coast, Gujarat State, India. Collection of the specimens was carried out using a hand-picking method in June and December 2018 during low tide. The hermit crab weight (HW) and shield length (SL) were measured and sorted in different class intervals of 1 mm each. Gastropod shells were identified and morphological variables such as shell dry weight (DW), shell length (SHL), shell volume (SHV), shell aperture length (SAL), and shell aperture width (SAW) were recorded. A total of 2000 individuals of C. rhabdodactylus were collected, occupying 29 different species of gastropod shells. Males and non-ovigerous females occupied a greater number of gastropod shell species (25 and 27 respectively) as compared to ovigerous females (23 species). Males and ovigerous females preferred larger shells as compared to non-ovigerous females. Cerithium caeruleum (Sowerby II) (67.1%) was the highest occupied gastropod shell species followed by Lunella coronata (Gmelin), Tenguella granulata (Duclos) and Turbo bruneus (Roding). Regression analysis showed a moderate relationship between the different morphological variables of hermit crabs and gastropod shells; the highest values of coefficient of determination were obtained between hermit wet weight and gastropod shell dry weight. The values of relationship between different morphological variables of hermit crabs and gastropod shells suggest that shell architecture has a significant impact on shell utilization patterns of C. rhabdodactylus.
In the present study, we report the discovery of the poorly known striped ichthyophiid caecilian Ichthyophis longicephalus from three new localities, each in three southern Indian states; Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Present records and available information on this species enables us to revise its IUCN Red List conservation status from Data Deficient (DD) to Least Concern (LC).
In the present study, we report the discovery of the poorly known striped
ichthyophiid caecilian Ichthyophis longicephalus from three new localities, each
in three southern Indian states; Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Present
records and available information on this species enable us to revise its IUCN
Red List conservation status from Data Deficient (DD) to Least Concern (LC).
The dietary habits of tadpoles of the Nepalese anurans have not been well studied. Here, we present an opportunistic observation of tadpoles of the Terai tree frog, Polypedates teraiensis feeding on rotten pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata). We suggest further detailed study on the feeding habits of tadpoles in the changing climate in Nepal as they could be used as model organisms to understand their trophic roles and to predict the ecological consequences of their potential loss.