David James Harris

David James Harris
University of Porto | UP · Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO)

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577
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Publications (577)
Preprint
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Host-gut microbiota interactions are complex and can have a profound impact on the ecology and evolution of both counterparts. Several host traits such as systematics, diet and social behavior, and external factors such as prey availability and local environment are known to influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota. In this stu...
Article
Urocotyledon inexpectata, a small gecko endemic to the granitic islands of the Seychelles, has previously been demonstrated to comprise two highly distinct clades based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences, with one lineage exclusive to a northern group of islands, and the second lineage exclusive to the more southerly islands. Here we comple...
Article
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Molecular tools have revolutionized assessments of blood parasites in freshwater turtles. In the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, two native species of terrapins occur, Emys orbicularis (Linnaeus) and Mauremys leprosa (Schweigger). Both have been identified as hosts for the blood parasite Haemogregarina stepanowi Danilewsky, 1885, which has also...
Preprint
Full-text available
Host-gut microbiota interactions are complex and can have a profound impact on the ecology and evolution of both counterparts. Several host traits such as taxonomy, diet and social behavior, and external factors such as prey availability and local environment are known to influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota. In this study,...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have reported declines in lizard populations associated with local warming trends and alteration of thermal niches. These studies suggest that there are some key physiological and behavioural parameters that determine the sensitivity of each species to the local context of global warming. The Atlas Dwarf Lizard, Atlantolacerta andrea...
Article
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Seven species of house geckos occur across the scattered islands of the Indian Ocean. Two of these, Hemidactylus frenatus and H. parvimaculatus are both widespread and possess distribution profiles that suggest pre-European, or perhaps natural dispersal to some islands. Of these, only H. frenatus currently has sufficient molecular data to begin exp...
Article
Hybridisation is a common evolutionary process with multiple possible outcomes. In vertebrates, interspecific hybridisation has repeatedly generated parthenogenetic hybrid species. However, it is unknown whether the generation of parthenogenetic hybrids is a rare outcome of frequent hybridisation between sexual species within a genus or the typical...
Article
Data mining animal of genomes has been used before to identify endoparasites, and may be a particularly useful tool to surpass some difficulties faced by studies in the marine environment. We detected a species of Sarcocystis Lankester, 1882, contamination in the sperm whale (Physeter catodon Linnaeus) reference genome available in the GenBank data...
Article
Tortoise ticks, Hyalomma aegyptium, are considered so strongly associated with their hosts that they are even used as indirect indicators for them. In such a case, a robust pattern of congruence between host and parasite could be expected, with phylogeographic breaks within the host being reflected in their parasites. We sequenced two mitochondrial...
Preprint
Full-text available
Host-gut microbiota interactions are complex and can have a profound impact on the ecology and evolution of both counterparts. Several host traits such as taxonomy, diet and social behavior, and external factors such as prey availability and local environment are known to influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota. In this study,...
Article
Assessment of parasites and their pathogenicity is essential for studying the ecology of populations and understanding their dynamics. In this study, we investigate the prevalence and intensity of infection of haemogregarines (phylum Apicomplexa) in two sympatric lizard species, Podarcis vaucheri and Scelarcis perspicillata , across three localitie...
Article
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Distribution, prevalence and parasitaemia of apicomplexan parasites of the genus Haemogregarina were studied in 858 freshwater turtles (735 Mauremys leprosa leprosa and 123 Mauremys leprosa saharica) throughout 30 localities from Morocco. Blood smears were collected from the turtles and partial 18S rRNA sequence data used to infer genetic diversity...
Article
Full-text available
The contribution of North Africa to the assembly of biodiversity within the Western Palaearctic is still poorly documented. Since the Miocene, multiple biotic exchanges occurred across the Strait of Gibraltar, underlying the high biogeographic affinity between the western European and African sides of the Mediterranean basin. We investigated the bi...
Article
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Although intranuclear coccidiosis was first identified in chelonians less than 30 years ago, it is now considered an important emerging disease. Symptoms include anorexia, weakness and weight loss, potentially leading to death of the infected animal. The use of molecular tools has led to improved diagnosis and has also led to an increase in known h...
Article
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Invasive species can carry parasites to introduced locations, which may be key to understand the success or failure of species establishment and the invasive potential of introduced species. We compared the prevalence and infection levels of haemogregarine blood parasites between two sympatric congeneric species in Lisbon, Portugal: the invasive It...
Article
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en The islands of Trinidad and Tobago form a southern extension of the Lesser Antilles. Unlike the continental island of Trinidad, the more northerly Tobago formed as an older oceanic island volcanic arc. Their reptile biodiversity reflects colonization events from the South American mainland through land bridge connections at times of glacial maxi...
Article
Although dietary studies are essential to design effective conservation strategies for amphibians, non-invasive studies using microscopy assessment of faecal material are known to have limitations. We assessed the use of DNA metabarcoding to determine diet in the Moroccan painted frog Discoglossus scovazzi. Nineteen families of insects were identif...
Article
Ticks carry a diverse community of microorganisms including non-pathogenic symbionts, commensals and pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, protozoans, and fungi. The assessment of tick-borne microorganisms (TBM) in tortoises and their ticks is essential to understand their eco-epidemiology, and to map and monitor potential pathogens to humans and o...
Article
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The Mediterranean basin is a hotspot of biodiversity, fuelled by climatic oscillation and geological change over the past 20 million years. Wall lizards of the genus Podarcis are among the most abundant, diverse, and conspicuous Mediterranean fauna. Here, we unravel the remarkably entangled evolutionary history of wall lizards by sequencing genomes...
Article
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Phylogenetic relationships of sub-Saharan African natricine snakes are understudied and poorly understood, which in turn has precluded analyses of the historical biogeography of the Seychelles endemic Lycognathophis seychellensis. We inferred the phylogenetic relationships of Seychelles and mainland sub-Saharan natricines by analysing a multilocus...
Article
Podarcis wall lizards are endemic to the Mediterranean Basin where they represent the predominant reptile group. Despite being extensively used as model organisms in evolutionary and ecological studies their phylogeny and historical biogeography are still incompletely resolved. Moreover, molecular clock calibrations used in wall lizard phylogeograp...
Article
Plate tectonics constitute one of the main mechanisms of biological diversification on Earth, often being associated with cladogenetic events at different phylogenetic levels, as well as with exchange of faunas and floras across previously isolated biogeographic regions. North Africa and Arabia share a complex geological history that dates back to...
Article
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Three related and morphologically similar small Psammodromus species (P. hispanicus complex) occur in the Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean France, Psammodromus hispanicus, Psammo-dromus occidentalis, and Psammodromus edwarsianus. Despite recent works, overall ranges of the species remain partially uncertain, in particular for Westernmost part of...
Article
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Genetic diversity within partial 18S rRNA sequences from Hepatozoon protozoan parasites from wild felines in South Africa was assessed and compared with data from domestic cats to assess patterns of host specificity. Lions, leopards, servals, a caracal and an African wildcat were all positive for parasites of the Hepatozoon felis-complex. However,...
Article
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Recently Greay et al. (Parasit Vectors 11:197, 2018) described several new Apicomplexa parasites from domestic companion animals in Australia. Harris (Parasit Vectors 12;172, 2019) highlighted that these descriptions did not conform to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) rules. Despite Harris (2019) clearly noting “molecular ch...
Article
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Anatolia is characterized by a complex topological structure and a wide diversity of climatic regions. This geological context has been crucial during the evolution of the rock lizard genus Darevskia, promoting the origin of several species within this group of lizards. Our study focuses on the evolutionary history of the rudis species complex, com...
Article
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Biological invasions are a contemporary global threat because invasive species can have substantial negative economic and ecological impacts. Invasive species can outcompete native species through two main mechanisms: interference competition (direct, negative interactions like aggression) and/or exploitative competition (indirect, negative interac...
Article
During spring 2018, we captured 101 spur-thighed tortoises, Testudo graeca, from seven localities in central Morocco. All tortoises were examined for the presence of blood parasites Hemolivia mauritanica and Hyalomma aegyptium ticks, the known vectors. We looked for H. mauritanica infection by examination of blood smears and by genetic analysis wit...
Article
Identification of extremely high levels of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence divergence within reptiles from North Africa is commonplace. This high divergence often compares with interspecific levels among widely accepted species, leading to the hypothesis of the occurrence of species complexes. Indeed, in many examples, data from nuclear markers...
Article
Hemosporidians are a monophyletic group of protozoan parasites infecting all terrestrial vertebrate orders. Although Plasmodium is the most studied genus within the Haemosporidia, this research effort is heavily biased toward mammal and bird hosts. We screened 205 specimens of at least 18 reptile species from Brazil using a partial mitochondrial cy...
Article
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Screening of ticks from companion animals from Australia using genetic tools has recently been used to identify and name eight new species of Apicomplexan parasites. However, the diagnosis of these was based on genetic distinctiveness and phylogenetic relationships rather than determination of specific characters, which is required by the Internati...
Article
The gelatinous, calciferous red alga Renouxia antillana was described in 1995 based on material from Guadeloupe, French West Indies, and accommodated in a new family and order (Rhodogorgonaceae, Rhodogorgonales) along with the genus Rhodogorgon from Belize and Caribbean Panama. For more than 20 years, Renouxia has remained monotypic, with rare repo...
Article
On a variety of levels, parasites are profoundly important. Somewhat surprisingly therefore, parasites infecting reptiles are often very poorly known, particularly relative to those from mammals and birds. Haemogregarines, apicomplexan intracellular parasites, are some of the most common in reptiles. Recently Calil et al. (2019) presented a molecul...
Article
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Climatic conditions changing over time and space shape the evolution of organisms at multiple levels, including temperate lizards in the family Lacertidae. Here we reconstruct a dated phylogenetic tree of 262 lacertid species based on a supermatrix relying on novel phylogenomic datasets and fossil calibrations. Diversification of lacertids was acco...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Corsica-Sardinia archipelago provides a simplified model for studying the response of insular and coastal temperate biotas to the cyclic contraction-expansion of habitats associated to Pleistocene climate and sea-level oscillations. We investigated the phylogeography and historical demography of the Leaf-toed Gecko Euleptes europaea using both...
Article
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Background: Venom has evolved in parallel in multiple animals for the purpose of self-defense, prey capture or both. These venoms typically consist of highly complex mixtures of toxins: diverse bioactive peptides and/or proteins each with a specific pharmacological activity. Because of their specificity, they can be used as experimental tools to s...
Article
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Obligate parthenogenesis is found in only 0.1% of the vertebrate species, is thought to be relatively short lived and is typically of hybrid origin. However, neither the evolutionary persistence of asexuality in vertebrates, nor the conditions that allow the generation of new parthenogenetic lineages are currently well understood. It has been propo...
Article
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We provide a list of amphibians and reptiles collected in Ubajara National Park, Ceará, Brazil, from April 2014 to May 2015. The local herpetofauna was sampled using active searches and pitfall traps, divided into four altitudinal bands along the park. We recorded a total of 70 species, including 25 anurans, one caecilian, one amphisbaenian, two ch...
Article
DNA metabarcoding is a fast and simple alternative to traditional microscopy methods, which have been the main tool for identification of prey in dietary studies of lizards. In this study, we applied a metabarcoding approach based on COI and 16S rRNA amplicons to assess diet partitioning and feeding strategies in three syntopic lizards from Taza, M...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic diversity within partial 18S rRNA sequences from Hepatozoon protozoan parasites from domestic cats in South Africa was assessed and compared against published data to assess global biogeographic patterns. Multiple distinct haplotypes of Hepatozoon felis were identified, as well as an unrelated Hepatozoon lineage. Hepatozoon felis genetic di...
Article
Full-text available
Identification of high levels of intraspecific genetic variability is common among assessments of reptiles from the Iberian Peninsula, conforming to the “refugia within refugia” hypothesis. Divergent genetic lineages are often found to be allopatric, or with limited contact or hybrid zones; such zones are more widely reported in Northern Europe, le...
Article
Full-text available
To reduce the impact of biological invasions, we need to understand the behavioural mechanisms that enable some species to be successful invaders. Testing differences in behaviour between sympatric congeneric species with different invasive potential is an opportunity to study specific behavioural traits associated with invasion success. Using the...
Article
Oceanic islands are hotspots of biodiversity due to their high levels of endemism, with the Canary Islands being a notable example. A previous molecular study on the biogeography and host associations of haemogregarines (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) infecting lizards from this archipelago detected seven parasite haplogroups. These haplogroups exhibited...
Article
Full-text available
The common wall lizard has been widely introduced across Europe and overseas. We investigated the origin of putatively introduced Podarcis muralis populations from two southern Europe localities: (i) Ljubljana (Slovenia), where uncommon phenotypes were observed near the railway tracks and (ii) the port of Vigo (Spain), where the species was recentl...
Article
Aim Emergence of coastal lowlands during Pleistocene ice ages might have provided conditions for glacial expansions (demographic and spatial), rather than contraction, of coastal populations of temperate species. Here, we tested these predictions in the insular endemic Sicilian wall lizard Podarcis wagleriana. Location Sicily and neighbouring isla...
Article
Full-text available
Species that are able to solve novel problems through social learning from either a conspecific or a heterospecific may gain a significant advantage in new environments. We tested the ability of a highly successful invasive species, the Italian wall lizard Podarcis sicula, to solve a novel foraging task when social information was available from bo...
Article
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Tissue samples from wildlife from South Africa were opportunistically collected and screened for haemoprotozoan parasites using nonspecific PCR primers. Samples of 127 individuals were tested, comprising over 50 different species. Haemogregarines were the most commonly identified parasites, but sarcocystids and piroplasmids were also detected. Phyl...
Article
Despite the advances of molecular tools, new nematode species are still described mainly based on morphological characters. Parapharyngodon and Thelandros are two genera of oxyurids with unclear related taxonomic histories. Here we use morphological characters (linear measurements and categorical variables) and genetic information (18S rRNA, 28S rR...
Article
Full-text available
Diversification events in the Sahara-Sahel have mostly been attributed to regional aridification and subsequent arid-humid fluctuations, through vicariance or adaptation. However, no study has attempted to test these contrasting hypotheses. Here, we assess the importance of aridity-induced vicariance (as opposed to adaptation to new conditions) on...
Article
The phylogenetic relationships between western Palaearctic Zamenis and Rhinechis ratsnakes have been troubled, with recent estimates based on the supermatrix approach questioning their monophyly and providing contradictory results. In this study, we generated a comprehensive molecular data set for Zamenis and closely related ratsnakes to assess the...
Article
Diversification events in the Sahara-Sahel have mostly been attributed to regional aridification and subsequent arid-humid fluctuations, through vicariance or adaptation. However, no study has attempted to test these contrasting hypotheses. Here, we assess the importance of aridity-induced vicariance (as opposed to adaptation to new conditions) on...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Host-parasite relationships are expected to be strongly shaped by host specificity, a crucial factor in parasite adaptability and diversification. Because whole host communities have to be considered to assess host specificity, oceanic islands are ideal study systems given their simplified biotic assemblages. Previous studies on insula...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf-litter skinks of the genus Panaspis are currently represented in the oceanic islands of the Gulf of Guinea by two species, Panaspis africana and P. annobonensis. Here we describe a third species, Panaspis thomensis sp. nov., endemic to São Tomé Island. Data from previous studies and a new phylogenetic analysis using the mitochondrial 16S gene...