Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 45, 2008

ISSN 0939-7140
Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg
All articles are fully copyright-protected (both print and online versions)

Covered in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE). Admitted to ISI Master Journal list and covered by the BioSciences Information Service (Biosis Previews) and Biological Abstracts, the Zoological Record and many other review organs.

Price per article: Euro 10.00 (plus Euro 2.00 postage/handling)


Hind M. Al-Musfir, Nobuyuki Yamaguchi

Timings of hibernation and breeding of Ethiopian Hedgehogs, Paraechinus aethiopicus, in Qatar

Abstract. Daily activity patterns of Ethiopian Hedgehogs (Paraechinus aethiopicus) were monitored during the winter months between November and March in Qatar under the natural light/temperature condition. The hedgehogs were strongly nocturnal with the activity peak occurring around midnight. The hedgehogs entered hibernation lasting for approximately one and half months between January and February. The hibernation was probably triggered by low ambient temperature, and the threshold mean minimum ambient temperature of the month appeared to be c. 13C. Breeding activity started in March just after the hedgehogs came out of hibernation, and aggressive behaviours, which had not been observed during the previous months, also appeared in March.

Key words. Erinaceidae, Insectivora, Mammalia, Arabia, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 3-9.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Torsten Wronski, William Macasero

Evidence for the persistence of Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) in the Ibex Reserve, Saudi Arabia and its preferred prey species

Abstract. Numbers of Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) on the Arabian Peninsula are in decline and intact ecosystems in which large carnivores prey on larger mammals are virtually absent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, many canids roaming in the Kingdom are hybrids between feral dogs and wolves. In this study we provide genetic evidence for the persistence of wolves in the Jebel Tuwaiq ecosystem (Ibex Reserve) in central Saudi Arabia and we provide information on the preferred prey species of wolves in this protected area.

Key words. Arabian wolf, Ibex Reserve, Saudi Arabia, prey species, hybridisation, feral dogs.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 11-18    |   Abstract (PDF)   |    Order article...

Nuri Yigit, Ercüment Colak, Irfan Kandemir, Tolga Kankilic, Reyhan Colak, Safak Bulut, Pinar Cam, Fulya Saygili, Mustafa Sozen, Sakir Ozkurt

Allozyme variation in Rattus rattus (Rodentia: Muridae) in Turkey, with particular emphasis on the taxonomy

Abstract. The Turkish black rat Rattus rattus shows variation in coat colour corresponding to the occurrence of three subspecies with intermediate colour stages: Rattus rattus rattus, Rattus r. alexandrinus and Rattus r. frugivorus. Turkish black rat populations were divided geographically into six sub-populations: Rr1= Northwest Anatolia, Rr2= Central Anatolia, Rr3= Eastern Mediterranean, Rr4= Western Mediterranean, Rr5= Turkish Thrace, and Rr6= Black Sea region. Genetic variation was assessed using twenty two isoenzyme systems. Seven of twenty-two loci (Pgm-1, Hk, Me-M, G3pdh, Gpdh-1, Gpi, Fum-1) were found to be polymorphic. The mean value of FST is found to be 0.073, indicating 7.3 % genetic variation among groups and suggesting the existence of a moderate differentiation between sub-populations of the Turkish black rat. Overall mean heterozygosity (Ho= direct count) for sub-populations was Ho= 0.020, ranging from 0.008 to 0.031. Neis measure of genetic distance showed that Rr2 and Rr6 were the most identical and sub-populations Rr1 and Rr5 had diverged the most.

Key words. Allozyme, morphology, Rattus rattus, Turkey, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 19-28.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Iris Charalambidou, Salih Gucel

First survey of Audouins Gull, Larus audouinii (Payraudeau, 1826), colonies at Kleidhes Islands, Cyprus

Abstract. Breeding numbers of Audouin's Gulls were assessed during spring 2007 at Kasteletta and Zinaritou Islands, Kleidhes Islands, Cyprus. The colony on Kasteletta was small, holding six nests, and was abandoned early most probably because of the presence of a much larger Yellow-legged Gull colony on the same island. The colony on Zinaritou had 43 nests and a high breeding success, with nearly one fledgling per pair and 37% of chicks surviving (as a percentage of eggs laid). Low levels of interspecific competition with Yellow-legged Gulls, habitat suitability, protection from human disturbance and nearby trawling fishing activity probably contributed to the success of this colony.

Key words. Audouins Gull, Larus audouinii, Yellow-legged Gull, Larus michahellis, breeding population, Kleidhes Islands, Cyprus.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 29-34.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Ali Uzun, Belgin Uzun, Grzegorz Kopij

Year-to-year variation in clutch size and breeding success of the Little Egret, Egretta garzetta Linnaeus, 1766, in Turkey

Abstract. Clutch size and breeding success in Little Egrets Egretta garzetta nesting colonially at Lake Poyrazlar, northwest Turkey, were monitored between 2002 and 2005. The mean clutch size in the Little Egret was 3.17 (n = 100) and during four successive years it varied from 2.76 to 3.36. The annual variations were, however, not statistically significant. The hatching success was high and varied annually from 84.1% to 97.4%, while fledging success varied from 74.3% to 88.5%, but these variations were not statistically significant. Nesting success varied from 92 to 100%. Hatching success was not correlated with clutch size, while fledging and reproductive success was much higher in smaller (2-3 eggs) than in larger (4-5 eggs) clutches.

Key words. Little Egret, clutch size, breeding biology, reproduction, hatching success, fledging success, Turkey, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 35-40.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Hamed Cheatsazan, Vahideh Rabani, Atabak Mahjoorazad

Sexual dimorphism and sexual dichromatism in the Small-scaled Rock Agama, Laudakia microlepis (Blanford, 1874) (Sauria: Agamidae)

Abstract. We analysed the sexual dimorphism of morphological features and colouration of the Small-scaled Rock Agama, Laudakia microlepis, one of the least known agamas of the Iranian Plateau, and also elaborated some of the ecological and behavioural features of the species which might have had a causal role in the evolution of its current pattern of sexual dimorphism and dichromatism. In the populations examined, males can be distinguished from females by having larger bodies and legs, more pointed and more voluminous heads, and sometimes more developed callous scales on the midventral and preanal regions. Out of the 12 body regions examined, only 2 concealed regions, chest and ventral region of the abdomen, show sex-dependent dichromatism. Both sexual dimorphism and sexual dichromatism of the species fit the classical agamid pattern of sexual dimorphism which is the result of an evolutionary interaction between natural selection and sexual selection. Considering the extensive range of the species and the diverse characteristics of its microclimate and microhabitat structure, it provides an appropriate model for studying the evolutionary trajectory of the classical pattern of sexual dimorphism in the Iranian species of Laudakia.

Key words. Dimorphism, sexual evolution, sexual selection, sexual dichromatism, Iran, Middle East.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 41-48    |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Alan F. Rees, Mohammad Jony, Dimitris Margaritoulis, Brendan J. Godley

Satellite tracking of a Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, from Syria further highlights importance of North Africa for Mediterranean turtles

Abstract. In 2006, we tracked a single Green Turtle after nesting Latakia, providing the first evidence of foraging grounds and migratory routes from this rookery which is one of the most important nesting areas in the Mediterranean. Tracking lasted 95 days during which time the turtle migrated southward (minimum average speed = 0.9 km/h) and then westward (minimum average speed = 1.6 km/h), following the coast. The turtle settled in the Bay of As Sallum, western Egypt where it remained in neritic, coastal waters for the final 26 days of transmissions. These results, when combined with findings from Cyprus, Turkey and Greece, further highlight the importance of the North African coast for foraging adult turtles and the need for effective conservation measures to be adopted there.

Key words. Egypt, Syria, Mediterranean, conservation, sea turtle, foraging grounds, migration, North Africa.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 49-54.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Jörn Buse, Tal Levanony, Anika Timm, Tamar Dayan, Thorsten Assmann

Saproxylic beetle assemblages of three managed oak woodlands in the Eastern Mediterranean

Abstract. Oak woodlands belong to the natural vegetation in most Mediterranean regions but have suffered from a long history of woodland devastation and overgrazing. The remaining woodlands have been managed in different ways, and we expected this to have effects on the fauna associated with trees. We investigated three different sites in the Eastern Mediterranean with flight-interception traps to analyse the impact of woodland management on dead wood and tree structures and the relevance for saproxylic beetle assemblages. Our results show significant differences in trunk diameter, stem density and dead wood diversity between the three sites. Old oaks in semi-open woodland are characterised by diverse stages of dead wood and harboured most saproxylic species (74 species out of a total of 98) and most individuals. With regard to rarefied species richness, we found that coppice woodland with a high stem density and medium-sized trees has the most diverse beetle assemblage (19.7 species per 100 individuals). Species richness was in general strongly associated with the diameter of the oaks, but, surprisingly, was also of the same level as species numbers reported from studies in Central Europe. The large number of singletons, which made up 40 % of the entire sample, may indicate a considerable number of species that were not trapped. We discuss the impact of different management options on tree shape and woodland structure, issues which are also important for the saproxylic beetle assemblage associated with Mediterranean oaks. We conclude that oak woodlands in the Middle East and especially those woodlands that have been used and managed in a sustainable way represent a valuable resource for insect diversity.

Key words. Quercus calliprinos, Palestine Oak, Middle East, Israel, Mediterranean, dead wood, woodland structure, biodiversity.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 55-66.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Mike J. Lush

A new species of Monomorium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Kuwait

Abstract. The Middle East contains a large number of species of Monomorium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with 53 species known from the Arabian peninsula alone. To this list is added a new species from Kuwait, Monomorium subcomae Lush, n.sp., which is described in detail. Within the current concept of the genus, M. subcomae is placed within the areniphilum-complex of the salomonis-group, along with seven other Arabian species. A simple diagnosis is given to allow separation from other Monomorium of the Arabian Peninsula.

Key words. Ant, Solenopsidini, areniphilum-complex, salomonis-group, Monomorium subcomae Lush n.sp., Arabian Peninsula

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 67-72.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article... 

Raheleh Mehrabi, Axel Ssymank

Species composition and flower visiting by Syrphidae (Diptera) in north-eastern Iran

Abstract. In 2006 a study of Syrphidae (Diptera) was carried out in the region of Damghan, Semnan Province of Iran, recording 17 species at five collecting sites, comprising altogether 1076 specimens. Two species, Cheilosia cumanica (Szildy, 1938) and Paragus serratus (Fabricius, 1805) are new to the Iranian fauna. Flower visiting was recorded on 11 species of plants, Raphanus sativus being the most commonly visited plant.

Key words. Diptera, Syrphidae, Damghan, Iran, Middle East, flower visiting.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 73-78.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Kamal Sharaf, Petr Bure, Lucie Horov, Tom Pavliček, Eviatar Nevo

Distribution of abundance and genome size variability in the grain beetle Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Silvanidae)

Abstract. We examined the distribution of abundance and genome size (GS, 2C-value) variability of the saw-toothed grain beetle Oryzaephilus surinamensis on the opposite slopes of the microsite Evolution Canyon (EC), Mt.Carmel, Israel. As controls, we used one sample of beetle population from a grain silo in Haifa and one sample from Upper Galilee (Sabalan Mts). The study showed that O. surinamensis is abundant in acorns of Quercus calliprinos (Palestine oak). The observed number of adults of O. surinamensis per acorn ranged from 0 to 12 at EC and 54% of acorns were not infected. At EC, O. surinamensis was more abundant on the European, garrigue-like north-facing slope (ES) than on the African, savannah-like south-facing slope (AS), reflecting the interslope differences in the number of oak trees. There was a significant positive correlation between beetle abundance and number of acorns. Both the number of acorns and the number of beetles decreased with the ES altitude. No significant intersample differences were found in the infestation rate (number of beetles per acorn) at EC. The study of the GS variability showed significant differences between the natural population at EC and the indoor silo pest population. Likewise, we found significant differences between males and females at both EC and in the silo, probably associated with the heteromorphism of the sex chromosomes. At EC, the slopes had significantly more effect than the intraslope stations on the female GS differences, indicating larger genomes in females at AS than at ES. The multispecies comparison of four diploid species (O. surinamensis, and the plants Ceratonia siliqua, Cyclamen persicum and Lotus peregrinus) supports the premise that increased tolerance to drought stress is associated with larger GS.

Key words. Oryzaephilus surinamensis, genome size, abundance, 2C-value, Evolution Canyon, Quercus, Israel.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 79-90.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Aydin Topcu, Tuncay Turkes, Osman Seyyar

A new spider of the genus Troglohyphantes (Araneae: Linyphiidae) from a Turkish cave

Abstract. A new species of Troglohyphantes Joseph, 1881 is described from Turkey. Differences between the new species and related species are discussed. The morphological characters to distinguish this species from the closely related species are indicated and illustrated. Notes on the habitat and some SEM photographs of this species are also given.

Key words. Linyphiidae, Troglohyphantes, new species, cave spider, Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 91-96.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...

Rasit Urhan

Contributions to the genus Prozercon Sellnick, 1943 (Acari: Zerconidae) from Turkey, with the description of two new species and a key to species

Abstract. Two new species of zerconid mites, Prozercon balikesirensis sp. n. and Prozercon buraki sp. n., from Turkey are described and illustrated. A key to adults of the genus Prozercon known from Turkey is given.

Key words. Acari, taxonomy, Zerconidae, Prozercon, Turkey.

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 97-104.     |   Abstract (PDF)    |    Order article...



Short Communications

Hamid Reza Esmaeili, Ghorbanali Gholamhosseini, Halimeh Zareian, Boris Krystufek

Noteworthy range extension of two white-toothed shrews in Iran: Crocidura suaveolens and Suncus etruscus (Soricidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 105-107.   |    Order article...

Markus Auer, Susann Richter, Ali Khani

A new record of the Turkmenian Fat-Tailed Gecko, Eublepharis turcmenicus Darevsky, 1978, from north-eastern Iran (Squamata: Gekkonidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 107-110.   |    Order article...

Abdulrahman Al-Sirhan

First record of the Small-spotted Desert Lizard, Mesalina guttulata (Lichtenstein, 1823) (Sauria: Lacertidae), from Kuwait

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 110-111.   |    Order article...

Mehran Loghmani Devin, Ahmad Savari, Parvin Sadeghi

Nesting of Hawksbill Turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata Linnaeus, 1766, on Hormoz Island, Iran (Cheloniidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 111-114.   |    Order article...

Helen Alipanah

New record of a choreutid species (Lepidoptera: Choreutidae) from Iran

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 114-115.   |    Order article...

Emine Demir, Ali Demirsoy

Some interesting and new records of Cicadellidae (Insecta: Hemiptera) from eastern Turkey

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 116-117.   |    Order article...

Aydın Orstan

Notes on the reproduction of Rumina saharica from Turkey (Pulmonata: Subulinidae)

Zoology in the Middle East 45, 2008: 118-120.   |    Order article...



Zoology in the Middle East