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Die Naturwissenschaften

Ryohei Kubo, Ken-Ichi Harano, Masato Ono
To explore the role of the volatiles emitted from male labial gland (LG) of the bumblebee Bombus ardens ardens, we investigated the responses of virgin queens and males to volatiles using a gas chromatography-electroantennographic detector (GC-EAD) system and Y-tube olfactometer. GC-EAD analysis revealed that citronellol, the main compound detected in the male LG, caused clear electrophysiological responses in the antennae of B. a. ardens virgin queens and males although two minor compounds elicited antennal responses when applied in a high concentration...
October 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Jay K Goldberg, Alisa K Wallace, Stacey L Weiss
Sex pheromones can perform a variety of functions ranging from revealing the location of suitable mates to being honest signals of mate quality, and they are used in the mate selection process by many species of reptile. In this study, we determined whether the skin lipids of female striped plateau lizards (Sceloporus virgatus) can predict the reproductive quality of females, thereby having the potential to serve as pheromones. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, we identified 17 compounds present in skin lipids of female lizards...
September 14, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Marco Basile, Antonio Romano, Andrea Costa, Mario Posillico, Daniele Scinti Roger, Aldo Crisci, Ranieri Raimondi, Tiziana Altea, Vittorio Garfì, Giovanni Santopuoli, Marco Marchetti, Sebastiano Salvidio, Bruno De Cinti, Giorgio Matteucci
Many small terrestrial vertebrates exhibit limited spatial movement and are considerably exposed to changes in local environmental variables. Among such vertebrates, amphibians at present experience a dramatic decline due to their limited resilience to environmental change. Since the local survival and abundance of amphibians is intrinsically related to the availability of shelters, conservation plans need to take microhabitat requirements into account. In order to gain insight into the terrestrial ecology of the spectacled salamander Salamandrina perspicillata and to identify appropriate forest management strategies, we investigated the salamander's seasonal variability in habitat use of trees as shelters in relation to tree features (size, buttresses, basal holes) and environmental variables in a beech forest in Italy...
September 12, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Qian Sun, Kenneth F Haynes, Jordan D Hampton, Xuguo Zhou
In social insects, the postembryonic development of individuals exhibits strong phenotypic plasticity in response to the environment, thus generating the caste system. Different from eusocial Hymenoptera, in which queens dominate reproduction and inhibit worker fertility, the primary reproductive caste in termites (kings and queens) can be replaced by neotenic reproductives derived from functionally sterile individuals. Feedback regulation of nestmate differentiation into reproductives has been suggested, but the sex specificity remains inconclusive...
September 6, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Natalia Naranjo-Guevara, Maria Fernanda G V Peñaflor, Milton F Cabezas-Guerrero, José Maurício S Bento
Numerous studies have demonstrated that entomophagous arthropods use herbivore-induced plant volatile (HIPV) blends to search for their prey or host. However, no study has yet focused on the response of nocturnal predators to volatile blends emitted by prey damaged plants. We investigated the olfactory behavioral responses of the night-active generalist predatory earwig Doru luteipes Scudder (Dermaptera: Forficulidae) to diurnal and nocturnal volatile blends emitted by maize plants (Zea mays) attacked by either a stem borer (Diatraea saccharalis) or a leaf-chewing caterpillar (Spodoptera frugiperda), both suitable lepidopteran prey...
September 4, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Matthew D Shawkey, Branislav Igic, Svana Rogalla, Jonathan Goldenberg, Susana Clusella-Trullas, Liliana D'Alba
The visible spectrum represents a fraction of the sun's radiation, a large portion of which is within the near infrared (NIR). However, wavelengths outside of the visible spectrum that are reflected by coloured tissues have rarely been considered, despite their potential significance to thermal effects. Here, we report the reflectivity from 300 to 2100 nm of differently coloured feathers. We measured reflectivity across the UV-Vis-NIR spectra of different (a) body parts, (b) colour-producing mechanisms and (c) sexes for 252 individuals of 68 sunbird (family: Nectariniidae) species...
September 4, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Jiayue Yan, Laura Gangoso, Josué Martínez-de la Puente, Ramón Soriguer, Jordi Figuerola
Host choice by mosquitoes affects the transmission dynamics of vector-borne infectious diseases. Although asymmetries in mosquito attraction to vertebrate species have been reported, the relative importance of host characteristics in mosquito blood-feeding behavior is still poorly studied. Here, we investigate the relationship between avian phenotypic traits-in particular, morphometry, plumage coloration, and nesting and roosting behavior-and the blood-feeding patterns in two common Culex mosquito species on a North American avian community...
August 30, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Anuradhi Jayaweera, Katherine L Barry
Well-developed antennae are crucial for many insects, but especially for scramble competitors, who race to find their mates using female sex cues. In these systems, the ability of males to locate females quickly is thought to be under strong selection. A rarely tested assumption is that males with more sensory structures are able to locate females faster. In the present study, we used the false garden mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata to investigate male antennal morphology and its effect on male efficiency in finding a mate...
August 23, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Guanghao Li, Bin Zhao, Shuting Dong, Jiwang Zhang, Peng Liu, Tony J Vyn
To investigate the interactive effects of water and N from controlled release urea (CRU) on N metabolism, accumulation, translocation, and yield in Zhengdan958 (a summer maize cultivar planted widely in China), three water levels (adequate water W3, mild water stress W2, severe water stress W1) and four amounts of CRU (N) (N0, N1, N2, and N3 were 0, 105, 210, and 315 kg N ha(-1), respectively) were carried out under the waterproof shed and soil column conditions. The results showed that yield, N metabolism, accumulation, and translocation were significantly affected by water, CRU, and their interactions after tasseling...
August 22, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Aneta Spyra
In recent years, the number of areas remaining under the influence of acidity has increased. At all levels of ecosystems, biodiversity decreases with acidification, due to the elimination of species that are most sensitive to low pH. Forest ponds belong to a specific group that varied in location, a huge amount of leaf litter, and isolation from other aquatic environments. They are crucial in the industrial landscape with well-developed industry and human activity. The aim was to investigate the relative importance of water chemistry in explaining snail assemblage compositions and species richness in forest ponds of contrasting pH...
August 22, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Ulysse Lefèvre, Andrea Cau, Aude Cincotta, Dongyu Hu, Anusuya Chinsamy, François Escuillié, Pascal Godefroit
Genuine fossils with exquisitely preserved plumage from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of northeastern China have recently revealed that bird-like theropod dinosaurs had long pennaceous feathers along their hindlimbs and may have used their four wings to glide or fly. Thus, it has been postulated that early bird flight might initially have involved four wings (Xu et al. Nature 421:335-340, 2003; Hu et al. Nature 461:640-643, 2009; Han et al. Nat Commun 5:4382, 2014). Here, we describe Serikornis sungei gen...
August 22, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Adam Zbyryt, Dariusz Jakubas, Marcin Tobolka
Nests of White Stork Ciconia ciconia are commonly used by various passerines as nesting sites. In this study, we investigated factors determining presence and number of pairs of species breeding within White Stork nests in an extensive farmland in NE Poland. In 133 (57%) out of 233 White Stork nests, we found at least one breeding pair of passerine bird. These were from three species: House Sparrows Passer domesticus (68% of 133 nests with co-breeding), Tree Sparrows Passer montanus (65%), and Starlings Sturnus vulgaris (30%)...
August 18, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Takuya Kosumi, Makio Takeda
In temperate climates, the initiation and termination of diapause synchronize the stress-tolerant stage with the stressful season and reproduction with the non-stressful season in many insects. Synchronization is often regulated by photoperiodism.Voltinism and the ultimate size of adults are also important determinants for their lifecycle, and different diapause stages and voltinism patterns are known in crickets.Here, we investigated the life history of the African cricket Gryllus argenteus from Malawi, which is a typical arid tropical highland...
August 8, 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
R Garnier, A I Bento, C Hansen, J G Pilkington, J M Pemberton, A L Graham
Nutrient availability is predicted to interact with herbivore population densities. Competition for low quality food at high density may reduce summer food intake, and in turn winter survival. Conversely, low population density may favor physiological recovery through better access to better quality spring forage. Here, we take advantage of the long-term study of the Soay sheep population of St. Kilda (Scotland) to measure plasma protein markers and immunity in two consecutive summers with contrasting population densities...
August 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Dakota Piorkowski, Todd A Blackledge
The origin of viscid capture silk in orb webs, from cribellate silk-spinning ancestors, is a key innovation correlated with significant diversification of web-building spiders. Ancestral cribellate silk consists of dry nanofibrils surrounding a stiff, axial fiber that adheres to prey through van der Waals interactions, capillary forces, and physical entanglement. In contrast, viscid silk uses chemically adhesive aqueous glue coated onto a highly compliant and extensible flagelliform core silk. The extensibility of the flagelliform fiber accounts for half of the total work of adhesion for viscid silk and is enabled by water in the aqueous coating...
August 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Julien Benoit, Sandra C Jasinoski, Vincent Fernandez, Fernando Abdala
The basal non-mammaliaform cynodonts from the late Permian (Lopingian) and Early Triassic are a major source of information for the understanding of the evolutionary origin of mammals. Detailed knowledge of their anatomy is critical for understanding the phylogenetic transition toward mammalness and the paleobiological reconstruction of mammalian precursors. Using micro-computed tomography (μCT), we describe the internal morphology of the interorbital region that includes the rarely fossilized orbitosphenoid elements in four basal cynodonts...
August 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
S R Beardmore, E Lawlor, D W E Hone
In fossilised vertebrates, the presence of soft tissues is the most obvious way to determine aspects of anatomy and functional morphology; however, occurrences are rare and other lines of evidence must be sought to indicate its extent and strength. For example, pterosaurs possessed a large wing membrane that enabled powered flight but other tissues are not widely preserved. A semi-quantitative analysis comparing skeletal articulation and completeness of the pterodactyloid Pterodactylus and non-pterodactyloid pterosaur Rhamphorhynchus from Solnhofen-type deposits implies there were anatomical differences between soft-tissue structure and attachments articulating skeletal joints of each...
August 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Baofa Yin, Chen Gu, Yi Lu, Ibrahim M Hegab, Shengmei Yang, Aiqin Wang, Wanhong Wei
Prey species show specific adaptations that allow recognition, avoidance, and defense against predators. This study was undertaken to investigate the processing of a chronic, life-threatening stimulus to Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). One hundred forty-four Norway rats were tested by repeated presentation of cat urine for 1 h at different days in a defensive withdrawal apparatus. Rats exposed to urine for short periods showed significantly larger defensive behavioral and medial hypothalamic c-fos messenger RNA (mRNA) responses than other groups...
August 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Alanna Durkin, Charles R Fisher, Erik E Cordes
The deep sea is home to many species that have longer life spans than their shallow-water counterparts. This trend is primarily related to the decline in metabolic rates with temperature as depth increases. However, at bathyal depths, the cold-seep vestimentiferan tubeworm species Lamellibrachia luymesi and Seepiophila jonesi reach extremely old ages beyond what is predicted by the simple scaling of life span with body size and temperature. Here, we use individual-based models based on in situ growth rates to show that another species of cold-seep tubeworm found in the Gulf of Mexico, Escarpia laminata, also has an extraordinarily long life span, regularly achieving ages of 100-200 years with some individuals older than 300 years...
August 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
Sven Thatje
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
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