Zoology in the Middle East

Volume 61, Issue 4, 2015

0939-7140 (Print), 2326-2680 (Online)

© Taylor & Francis
All articles, both print and online versions, are fully copyright-protected.

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 Preview (abstract/cover page), the Zoological Record and many other review organs.

ZME is published by Taylor & Francis Group. Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig



Status of the Arabian Gazelle, Gazella arabica (Mammalia: Bovidae), in Dhofar, Oman

Hadi Al Hikmani, Said Zabanoot, Talah Al Shahari, Nasser Zabanoot, Khalid Al Hikmani and Andrew Spalton

The Arabian Gazelle, Gazella arabica, was once widely distributed in Oman, but its population decreased through illegal hunting and capture of the species. It is now found in small, isolated populations in the country, but little is known about the size and dynamics of these populations. In November 2014 we conducted a survey to estimate the density and size of two populations in the Dhofar region, one in the foothills of Jabal Samhan and the other in the Nejd. Population densities were found to be 0.33 animals/km2 at Jabal Samhan and 0.28 animals/km2 in Nejd. The total population size for the two areas combined was extrapolated to be 1,737 animals.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 295-299.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

A small fishery with a high impact on sea turtle populations in the eastern Mediterranean

Yaniv Levy, Ori Frid, Adi Weinberger, Rotem Sade, Yoav Adam, Uria Kandanyan, Victoria Berkun, Noga Perry, Dor Edelist, Menachem Goren, Shevy Bat-Sheva Rothman, Nir Stern, Dan Tchernov and Rilov Gil

Sea turtles were targeted by fisheries in the Mediterranean from 1920 to 1970 and have undergone severe exploitation. At least 30,000 to 40,000 turtles were caught along the Palestinian coastline during the 1920s to 1930s. Although intentional capture of marine turtles is now illegal, sea turtles are still incidentally caught by the fishing industry, making it a major cause of sea turtle mortality. The present study assesses the impact of the Israeli fishery fleet on the turtle population in the Levantine basin based on on-board observations and a fishermen survey. The results show that gillnets and trawlers are the main threats to sea turtles in this area. 21 turtles were caught during 1385.5 hours of trawling observations – a catch rate of 0.015 turtles per hour. We estimate that a total of 1,315 turtles are caught annually by Israeli trawlers. According to the fishermen survey, ~21 turtles are caught each year by a single gillnet vessel, yielding an annual estimate of 1,672 turtles for the whole gillnet fleet. We have also found that only a small fraction of the turtles injured by trawlers is represented in the strandings. The mortality rate through trawling and the stranding density is the highest in the region, emphasizing the urgent need to regulate the Israeli fishery. This fishery poses a major threat to the whole Levantine sea turtle population, especially during the vulnerable reproduction stage.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 300-317.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Male reproduction cycle of Kulzer’s Rock Lizard, Phoenicolacerta kulzeri (Müller & Wettstein, 1932), in Lebanon (Reptilia: Lacertidae)

Kamal Rizk and Fida Nassar

The reproduction cycle of male Kulzer’s Rock Lizard, Phoenicolacerta kulzeri, was studied in a mountain population living at 2000 m a.s.l. on Mount Sannine, Lebanon. Males showed active spermiogenesis in spring, following the renewal of the post hibernation activity, and in autumn, from September until they enter into hibernation in November. About 40% of males exhibited a short testicular regression period during the hottest months, in July and August. Relative testicular volume was correlated with male body size and varied seasonally. Males of P. kulzeri showed a more distinct reproductive pattern than the common reproductive pattern of most lacertid lizards in the Mediterranean region.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 318-323.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Phylogenetic relationships of the populations of Iranolacerta brandtii (de Filippi, 1863) (Squamata: Lacertidae) recently found in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Catarina Rato, Mehmet Zülfü Yıldız, Naşit İğci, Kurtuluş Olgun, Çetin Ilgaz, Aziz Avcı, Faraham Ahmadzadeh and Miguel A. Carretero

The Persian Lizard, Iranolacerta brandtii, was until recently considered to be restricted to north-western Iran (Azerbaijan and Esfahan provinces). However, two recent studies have revealed the existence of populations in Eastern Anatolia, extending the range of this species for about 230 km westwards. The fragmented distribution of this species has been considered to be a consequence of the climatic oscillations during the Pleistocene and Holocene, which created events of alternating contact and isolation of populations in distinct glacial refugia. According to our obtained genealogy derived from three mitochondrial fragments (12S rRNA, 16S rRNA and cytb), the Turkish specimens cluster together but form an independent clade, sister to the individuals from Tabriz in Iran. The separation of these two clades is concurrent with the cladogenesis between the Esfahan and Ardabil clades, estimated to have taken place during the late Holocene.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 324-331.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

A skeletochronological analysis of a population of the Anatolia Newt, Neurergus strauchii (Steindachner, 1887) (Caudata: Salamandridae), in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Batuhan Yaman Yakın, Kerim Çiçek, Mustafa Koyun, Mert Gürkan, Sibel Hayretdağ and Cemal Varol Tok

This study presents data on age, growth and longevity of a population of Neurergus strauchii in Eastern Anatolia (Bingöl, Turkey) based on skeletochronological data. The phalangeal diaphyseal cross-sections of 54 individuals studied (12♂, 42♀) showed that females are on average older than males: the ages ranged from 6 to 14 years, with an average age of 8.8 years in males and 10.9 years in females. Sexual maturity is reached at an age of 4-5 years in both sexes. The slow growth and the longevity make the species vulnerable.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 332-338.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

The life-history traits of widespread freshwater fish species: the case of Roach Rutilus rutilus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Pisces: Teleostei) in water bodies at the southern limits of distribution

Sercan Başkurt, Özgür Emiroğlu, Ali Serhan Tarkan and Lorenzo Vilizzi

The Roach Rutilus rutilus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Pisces: Teleostei) is a widespread Eurasian cyprinid freshwater fish. Although numerous studies have investigated the species’ life history traits across its main native range of distribution, little is known from water bodies located beyond the southern limits of the latter, especially where the species has been introduced. Between July 2010 and April 2011, a total of 949 R. rutilus specimens was collected from Porsuk Reservoir (NW Turkey), and life-history traits of age, growth, fecundity and egg size were studied and compared to six other R. rutilus populations (including Caspian Roach R. r. caspicus) from the southern limits of distribution. The Porsuk population was characterised by relatively shorter lifespan, slower growth and lower fecundity. These findings support previous studies emphasising the importance of local environmental factors in shaping the life-history traits of widespread fish species. These must be taken into consideration especially in view of the potential value of R. rutilus as an economic resource for inland fisheries.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 339-348.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Re-validation of Gonorhynchus adiscus and G. diplochilus (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) using morphological and molecular data

Golnaz Sayyadzadeh, Hamid Reza Esmaeili, Keivan Abbasi and Brian W. Coad

Small and silvery cyprinid species from eastern Iran which are usually known as Crossocheilus latius are reviewed based on morphological and molecular characters of the mtDNA COI barcode region. We demonstrate that fishes which had been identified as Crossocheilus Kuhl & van Hasselt, 1823 in Iran actually belong to the genus Gonorhynchus McClelland, 1838 with two species: G. adiscus (Annandale, 1919) and G. diplochilus (Heckel, 1838), which are rediagnosed here. Both species are well distinguished by gill raker counts, number of scales between anus and anal fin, barbel size and minimum body depth. G. adiscus and G. diplochilus are also distinguished by molecular characters of the mtDNA COI barcode region. Both species are phylogenetically close to Gonorhynchus latius (Hamilton, 1822) which is restricted to India, Nepal and Bangladesh and to G. burmanicus (Hora, 1936), restricted to India and Myanmar. All of these four related taxa are phylogenetically closer to the genus Garra than the genus Crossocheilus (restricted to south-east Asia).

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 349-361.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

First record of the ant genus Strumigenys S. Smith, 1860 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Qatar by the invasive species S. membranifera Emery, 1869

Mostafa R. Sharaf, Salma H. Al-Hajri and Abdulrahman S. Aldawood

The dacetine ant genus Strumigenys Smith, 1860 is recorded for the first time from Qatar by the invasive species S. membranifera Emery, 1869. This is the second known record for the genus and for this species from the Arabian Peninsula. The distribution of the known species of the genus Strumigenys recorded from the Arabian Peninsula is also provided and ecological notes are given for S. membranifera.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 362-367.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

New aphid records for Saudi Arabia (Hemiptera: Aphidoidea)

Sabir Hussain, Yousif Aldryhim, Hathal Al-Dhafer, Susan E. Halbert and Jacob Thomas

Fourteen species of aphids (Hemiptera: Aphidoidea) are recorded as new to Saudi Arabia. These are: Aphis coreopsidis (Thomas, 1878); Aphis illinoisensis Shimer, 1866; Baizongia pistaceae (Linnaeus, 1767); Capitophorus elaeagni (del Guercio, 1894); Dysaphis plantaginea (Passerini, 1860); Eucarazzia elegans (Ferrari, 1872); Geoica lucifuga (Zehntner, 1897); Hayhurstia atriplicis (Linnaeus, 1761); Macrosiphoniella absinthii (Linnaeus, 1758); Macrosiphoniella sanborni (Gillette, 1908); Smynthurodes betae Westwood, 1849; Uroleucon cichorii (Koch, 1855), and Wahlgreniella nervata (Gillette, 1908). Among these, three species, i.e. A. coreopsidis, A. illinoisensis, and W. nervata are alien species.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 368-371.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

A survey of spider taxa new to Israel (Arachnida: Araneae)

Sergei L. Zonstein, Yuri M. Marusik and Mikhail Omelko

This paper presents a survey of spider species that have not been previously recorded for Israel. Twenty species, twelve genera and two families (Mysmenidae and Phyxelididae) are recorded for the first time in Israel. Nine species, Agroeca parva Bosmans, 2011, Aulonia kratochvili Dunin et al., 1986, Ero flammeola Simon, 1881, Hogna ferox (Lucas, 1838), Maculoncus parvipalpus Wunderlich, 1995, Neon rayi (Simon, 1875), Pardosa aenigmatica Tongiorgi, 1966 and Phyxelida anatolica Griswold, 1990, are illustrated. Tarentula jaffa Strand, 1913, syn. n. is synonymised with Hogna ferox (Lucas, 1838), and Hahnia carmelita Levy, 2007, syn. n. is synonymised with Hahnia nava (Westring, 1851). A possible synonymy of the widespread Prodidomus rufus Hentz, 1847 with P. hispanicus Dalmas, 1919 known from the Iberian Peninsula is discussed. An original combination is restored for Trochosa urbana O.P.-Cambridge, 1876.

Zoology in the Middle East 61(4), 2015: 372-385.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig

Short Communications

First record of the Slender Pony Fish, Equulites elongatus (Günther, 1874) (Osteichthyes: Leiognathidae), from the Turkish coast of the Levantine Sea

Erhan Irmak, Semih Engin, Dilruba Seyhan and Uğur Özden

Zoology in the Middle East 61(5), 2015: 386-388.    |   Access Options: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/current#.UZ8U1Z3wCig


Zoology in the Middle East