Peter Wirtz

Peter Wirtz
Independent Researcher

M.Sc., Dipl. Biol., Dr. rer. nat., Habil.

About

433
Publications
103,130
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4,662
Citations
Introduction
After a long time in animal behaviour research (causes for the evolution of different social structures), I drifted more and more into marine biology and these days do little more than faunistics and zoogeography of the Atlantic marine fauna. peterwirtz2004(at)yahoo.com

Publications

Publications (433)
Article
Full-text available
As mitochondria are inherited in a matrilinear way, an animal hybrid contains the mitochondrial DNA of its 'mother species'. Of 80 studies that analysed the mitochondrial DNA of at least five hybrid individuals, 50 showed that all hybrids contained the mitochondrial DNA of only one of the two parental species, indicating either mating of females of...
Article
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In a much quoted study, BORNSTEIN & BORNSTEIN (1976) showed that the walking speed of pedestrians is positively correlated with the size of the city. They interpreted the higher walking speed of people in larger cities as a psychological response to stimulatory overload. We also found a positive correlation between walking speed and city size. In a...
Article
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There is sometimes a significant bias in the sex ratio of fish caught by longline. Usually, more females than males are caught. The possible reasons for unequal sex ratios in longline catches are listed and discussed. One sex could be more common in the area where the fishery takes place because there really is an unequal sex ratio in the populatio...
Article
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While eating, Homo sapiens frequently look up and visually scan their environment. As in many bird and mammal species studied, the frequency of looking up was negatively correlated with group size. Average duration of scanning the environment also correlated negatively with group size. At all group sizes studied (1–5), females spent less time scann...
Article
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The Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canary Islands and Cabo Verde are commonly united under the term "Macaronesia". This study investigates the coherency and validity of Macaronesia as a biogeographic unit using six marine groups with very different dispersal abilities: coastal fishes, echinoderms, gastropod molluscs, brachyuran decapod crustaceans, po...
Presentation
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We have already published a pictorial catalogue of the Perophoridae. Here are the other two families of the order Phelebobranchia at Madeira.
Presentation
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Abstract: The common eulimid snail currently called Parvioris mariajoae Ortea & Moro 2021 is a parasite of the holothurian Isostichopus cf. badionotus at the Cabo Verde Islands. The species also occurs at São Tomé and Príncipe and at Ascension Island. I suspect it should be assigned to a different genus.
Presentation
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We have already published pictorial catalogues of the shallow-water Clavelinidae, Polyclinidae, and Polycitoridae of Madeira. Here are the remaining two families of the order Aplousobranchia from Madeira.
Data
The starfish Goniaster tesselatus is recorded from Madeira Island for the first time.
Article
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The anthozoan Pseudocorynactis caribbeorum den Hartog, 1980, the polychaete Lygdamis wirtzi Nishi and Núñez, 1999, the cirriped Oxynaspis celata Darwin, 1852, the cephalopod Octopus macropus (Risso, 1826), and the phoronid Phoronis australis Haswell, 1883 are recorded from the Cape Verde Islands for the first time.
Article
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Burrows of Acrothoracica were found in a gastropod shell in the collection of Funchal Natural History Museum (MMF). No Acrothoracica have previously been recorded from Madeira. The species recorded belongs to the family Lithoglyptidae but no further identification is currently possible.
Article
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The coastal waters of Angola support a rich and diverse fauna. However, the ichthyofauna of the region is poorly known; the only fish species studied in detail are those with commercial importance. The main objective of the present study is to report the presence of several fish species for the first time from the coast of Angola. The records were...
Presentation
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First record of the tropical fish species Heteropriacanthus fulgens at the southern end of the Azores.
Presentation
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Second revision of catalogue. One new record for Madeira.
Article
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Species of the genera Cystoseira, Ericaria, Gongolaria, and Sargassum (family Sargassaceae) are key components of the Mediterranean-Atlantic marine forests, essential for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Populations of these foundational species are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts, likely to be intensified under future scena...
Article
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See https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325224236_Review_of_two_articles_on_palaeoethology_1984 for the first review of palaeoethological articles.
Data
Pleuronichthys coenosus fincrawling. Film taken by Walter Marti (c2cdiver1@gmail.com). See Wirtz and Davenport (2018) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058913_Fin_crawling_in_flatfishes
Data
Paralichthys californicus fincrawling. Film taken by Walter Marti (c2cdiver1@gmail.com). See Wirtz and Davenport (2018) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058913_Fin_crawling_in_flatfishes
Data
Citharichthys stigmaeus fincrawling. Film taken by Walter Marti (c2cdiver1@gmail.com). See Wirtz and Davenport (2018) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058913_Fin_crawling_in_flatfishes
Data
Data Fincrawling behaviour of Peltorhamphus novaezeelandiae Günther 1862 (Rhombosoleidae) New Zealand Sole Peltorhamphus novaezeelandiae fincrawling forwards and backwards. Film taken by Karl Warr. See Wirtz and Davenport (2018) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058913_Fin_crawling_in_flatfishes
Data
Liachirus melanospilos fincrawling backwards. Film taken by Walter Marti (c2cdiver1@gmail.com). See Wirtz and Davenport (2018) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058913_Fin_crawling_in_flatfishes
Presentation
Full-text available
Whiskered sole Monochirus hispidus fincrawling. Film taken by Fátima Gil, Aquário Vasco da Gama, Lisbon. See Wirtz and Davenport (2018) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058913_Fin_crawling_in_flatfishes
Presentation
Full-text available
Sand sole Pegusa lascaris fincrawling backwards and forwards. Film taken by Fátima Gil, Aquário Vasco da Gama, Lisbon. See Wirtz and Davenport (2018) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058913_Fin_crawling_in_flatfishes
Data
A simple method for marking eggs and offspring of individual females is described. For mass-marking individuals other techniques are more appropriate. See for instance: Warren-Myers, F., Dempster, T. & Swearer, S.E. Otolith mass marking techniques for aquaculture and restocking: benefits and limitations. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 28, 485–501 (2018)....
Presentation
Full-text available
The previous version of this catalogue (dated 29/01/2021) had a photo by Pedro Vasconcelos. This photo does, however, not show P. spinifer (but probably Eupilumnus africanus, Family Oziidae).
Data
The four Atlantic Cinetorhynchus species have frequently been confused. One example of many: what is called Cinetorhynchus cf rigens in Baeza et al. 2014 actually is C. manningi and what is called Cinetorhynchus cf manningi in the same paper actually is C. n.sp. Because of the frequent confusion of the species in the literature, the true distributi...
Presentation
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There may be a second species, forming mounds on sand flats, similar to O. azoricum, at Madeira-but it would need special equipment (suction pumps) to collect it.
Presentation
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Ascidiidae Ascidia mentula Müller, 1776 Phallusia mammillata (Cuvier, 1815)

Questions

Questions (8)
Question
There appears to be a correlation between colour intensity and latitude in some shallow water marine species, for instance a starfish being dark red in the tropics and pale/pink at its northern edge of distribution. Does anybody know a reference about this which I can quote ?
Question
The "Instructions for authors" of some journals are now four times (!) as long as they were 40 years ago. Many of the demands made in them are totally unnecessary, and many of them I consider unreasonable. The demand of an Orcid number is a recent example (voluntary ok, compulsory no).
In my opinion, journals should accept articles in any format for submission (e.g. authors in the references not in capitals, year of publication not in brackets, journal name not in bold print, ... or whatever other demands that journal makes). Adapting to the format of that particular journal should be necessary only after acceptance. To re-write the publication list for a different journal (after, for instance, a reviewer has rejected the paper and demanded more data even though they are not necessary for the point made) is one of the most stupid wastes of my lifetime I know...
Which journals in the area of zoology are the least demanding as regards formatting ?
Peter Wirtz (peterwirtz2004@yahoo.com).
Question
In a nice article on a mimicry system
it is stated that model and mimic have to co-occur.
I believe this is wrong.
Imagine a migratory bird that encounters the model in Africa and the mimic in Europe (or vice versa). Model and mimic do not have to co-occur. They only have to be experienced by the same individual.
Does anybody know such cases ?
Peter
Question
When, many years ago, the journal Animal Behaviour started to demand ethics statements for articles submitted to them, I objected to it for the following reasons:
1) It is morally wrong to demand that the innocent should prove their innocence.
2) The bad guys will simply lie.
And therefore ethic statements are a useless addition to all those many many submission requirements that already have no other effect than to waste time and energy (on ORCID number is one of the latest and particularly inane examples that comes to mind).
A recent article on the molecular phylogeny of Octopus has now added an additional twist to the story. The authors blithely state
“No live animals were experimented on during this study. Tissue samples were obtained via donation from existing museum or university collections, or taken from whole deceased animals that were purchased from fish markets.”
This is quite simply untrue. When I collected a tissue sample from an Octopus in a tide pool at Ascension Island, I grabbed one of its tentacles and quickly cut a small piece of the tip off it. I think that this corresponds to a small would the animal might obtain in the course of its life and I have only a moderately bad conscience about it. So how come the authors made this wrong statement ? They do not know because they received the sample via a third person ! And also: how were those other samples collected ? Is it ok if somebody else tortures animals and deposits them in a museum and then you use them for a genetic study ?
So here is another reason why ethic statements in journal are a farce: they force authors to make statements about things they do not know.
Peter Wirtz

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The present project integrates the call topic of collaborative research emphasizing emerging issues under the Quality of Life (QoL) concept, including technical and scientific sustainable international cooperation in the field of marine biodiversity conservation and adaptation. The project aims at increasing knowledge of ‘peixinho’ (little fish, Sicydium bustamantei) in São Tomé e Principe (STP), directly used as fishery resources. This project intends to make the ‘peixinho’ case study, an example for other fisheries with threatened goby fry in many tropical islands; and take advantage of the resources spent, studying the biodiversity in nearshore and riverine areas. We will expand existing initiatives and ongoing collaborations to lead to scientific and technical capacity building in STP.
Project
To understand spatial patterns of species and genetic diversity, connectivity and phylogeography in Atlantic reef species, including corals and polychaetes, with a focus on amphi-Atlantic and South Atlantic species.