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Zoological Science

Xiaoxuan Li, Cuijuan Niu
Maternal effects play important evolutionary and ecological roles. Amictic female mothers of monogonont rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus can transmit predatory information of Asplanchna brightwellii in their environment to their offspring by changing the offspring's defensive morphology to increase their fitness. However, it remains unclear whether such maternal effects also exist during sexual reproduction of a mictic mother. This study explored the maternal effect in mictic mothers using the B. calyciflorus and A...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Abdul Haleem, Orus Ilyas
Indian gaur (Bos gaurus) is one of nine species of wild oxen found in the world. They are largely confined to evergreen, semi-evergreen, and moist deciduous forests, but also occur in dry deciduous forest areas at the periphery of their range. According to the IUCN Red List ( 2017 ), the estimated population of gaur in India is between 15,000 and 35,000 individuals, and probably due to this, despite the gaur's vast range of distribution, they are listed as a vulnerable species by IUCN and listed as schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act ( 1972 ) as well as in appendix-I in CITES ( 2003 )...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Masafumi Matsui, Wichase Khonsue, Somsak Panha
The taxonomic status of two populations of stream toads of the genus Ansonia from Thailand, previously suspected to be specifically distinct on the basis of molecular data, are assessed using morphological and additional genetic data. In mtDNA phylogeny, each of the two Thai lineages, one from Pilok Subdistrict, Kanchanaburi, and another from Phuket Island, are separated from other congenerics from the Thai-Malay Peninsula by large genetic distances, comparable with those observed between other species in the genus...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Toshio Okazaki
I analyzed the association between the reflectance spectra and melanin rod arrangement in barbules of the eyespot of peacock feathers. The reflectance spectra from the yellow-green feather of the eyespot indicated double peaks of 430 and 540 nm. The maximum reflectance spectrum of the blue feather was 480 nm, and that of the dark blue feather was 420 nm. The reflectance spectra from brown feathers indicated double peaks of 490 and 610 nm. Transmission electron microscopic analysis confirmed that melanin rods were arranged fanwise in the outer layer toward the barbule tips...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Masaki Tamori, Jun Koki, Tatsuo Motokawa
Sea urchins have a globiferous pedicellaria that stands from a test with a stalk on which lies a head made of three movable jaws with venom-injecting teeth. The globiferous pedicellariae of the flower sea urchin Toxopneustes pileolus, one of the most developed among sea urchins, are unique in that the jaws are provided with a jaw membrane that gives the pedicellaria an appearance of a flower when the jaws are open. We observed this membrane in an ionic liquid that does not require processes, such as fixation, dehydration, or coating with conductive materials, for observation with a scanning electron microscope...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Sebastian J Charlton, Mikkel B Nielsen, Carina R Pedersen, Lisette Thomsen, Mads P Kristjansen, Thomas B Sørensen, Cino Pertoldi, Julie Strand
Between 1970 and 2012, vertebrate abundance has declined by 58% with an average annual decline of 2%, calling for serious action to prevent a mass extinction and an irreversible loss of biodiversity. Cryobanks and cryopreservation have the potential to assist and improve ex situ and in situ conservation strategies by storing valuable genetic material. A great deal of studies concerning cryopreservation have been performed within the class Mammalia, although no systematic overview has previously been presented...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Nozomi Morita, Kazuo Inaba, Yasunori Saito
Without the establishment of effective culturing systems, little can be known about the late developmental stages of polyclad flatworms. Here, we report a laboratory culturing system for three polyclad species: Comoplana pusilla, Notocomplana koreana, and Pseudostylochus obscurus, and we describe changes in their morphology from hatching to reproductive maturity. These species hatch out as lobe-less larvae with four eyespots, but the number of eyespots increases in later development. Cross-like and triangularly shaped larvae are observed in N...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Koji Takeda, Takashi Okumura, Mayu Terahata, Mio Yamaguchi, Kiichiro Taniguchi, Takashi Adachi-Yamada
Enteroendocrine cells (EEs) are evolutionarily conserved gastrointestinal secretory cells that show scattered distribution in the intestinal epithelium. These cells classified into several subtypes based on the hormones they produce in both mammals and insects. In the fruit fly Drosophila, it has been suggested that nearly equal numbers of two subtypes of EEs (Allatostatin A: AstA and Diuretic hormone 31 : Dh31) are alternately produced from the intestinal stem cells in the posterior midgut. However, we found that these two subtypes are not always present in this manner, but are rather distributed in a complementary frequency gradient along the posterior midgut...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Seiki Takatsuki, Risako Miyaoka, Keita Sugaya
We studied the food habits of the Japanese marten (Martes melampus) and the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procionoides) at the Tama Forest Science Garden, western Tokyo, Japan by fecal analysis in 2014/15. Martens were dependent on fruits throughout the year and showed less marked seasonal changes. Raccoon dogs were less dependent on fruits than martens were, and more dependent on mammals in spring, insects in summer and winter, and seeds throughout the year. Martens fed on more fruits containing tiny seeds, such as Actinidia arguta and Stachyurus praecox, whereas raccoon dogs fed on more large-seeded fruits, such as Ginkgo biloba and Diospyros kaki...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Masayoshi Tokita, Yuya Hasegawa, Wataru Yano, Hiroshi Tsuji
The order Anura (frogs and toads) is a group of amphibians and contains over 6500 extant species living in a variety of environments. Each frog species evolved body form adaptive for living and breeding in their own habitats. In Japan, four taxa of Bufo are living: Western-Japanese common toad (Bufo japonicus japonicus), Eastern-Japanese common toad (B. japonicus formosus), Miyako toad (B. gargarizans miyakonis) and Japanese stream toad (B. torrenticola). The former three taxa breed in still water as many other species of Bufo do...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Daisuke Takahashi
Males of many animals exhibit conspicuous secondary sexual traits, which are often the result of sexual selection. During the breeding period of the pale chub (Pisces: Cyprinidae), males show various sexual traits, such as long anal fins, breeding tubercles on the head, and/or conspicuous red and greenish-blue nuptial colorations. Although these conspicuous sexual dimorphisms and dichromatisms indicate that this can serve as a model species for understanding sexual selection, it is unclear whether these male sexual traits are related to female mate choice...
February 2018: Zoological Science
Daisuke Ogawa, Maki Mochitate, Maho Furukawa, Itaru Hasunuma, Tetsuya Kobayashi, Sakae Kikuyama, Shawichi Iwamuro
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) were previously isolated from the skin of the Ryukyu brown frog Rana okinavana. However, this species has recently been reclassified as two species, i.e., Rana kobai and Rana ulma. As a result, it was determined that AMPs isolated from R. okinavana were in fact products of R. kobai, but not of R. ulma. In the present study, we collected skin samples from the species R. ulma and cloned twelve cDNAs encoding AMP precursors for the acyclic brevinin-1ULa--1ULf, the temporin-ULa-ULc, ranatuerin-2ULa, japonicin-1ULa, and a novel peptide using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction techniques...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Shahnaz Bibi, Muhammad Sajid Nadeem, Andrew Stephen Wiewel, Mirza Azhar Beg, Khalid Hameed, Musarrat Jabeen, Ghazala Kaukab Raja
Regions of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern India have been proposed as the place of origin of Mus musculus castaneus. But despite the fact that Pakistan encompasses an important part of its range, M. m. castaneus populations in Pakistan have not been the subject of intensive genetic and biogeographic studies, except for a very small number of samples included in past studies. We studied genetic variation in M. m. castaneus (CAS) from northern Punjab Province, Pakistan, by using cytochrome b (Cytb) analysis in a sample of 98 individuals...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Jun-Ichi Okano, Ichiro Tayasu, Shin-Ichi Nakano, Noboru Okuda
The mechanisms for the coexistence of multiple species occupying the same ecological niche are often puzzling. Predator effects on competitively superior species is one possible mechanism. In this study, we tested whether the presence of size-selective predators (fishes) acts as a mechanism for the coexistence of two species of case-bearing caddisfly larvae, Perissoneura paradoxa and Psilotreta kisoensis (Odontoceridae, Trichoptera). The larvae of these two species have similar ecological and life history traits except their body size, and they have been found to coexist only in habitats shared with predatory fishes...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Akiho Ida, Kenji Karino
In recent decades, variation in female preferences within a species has attracted considerable attention. However, how female individuals in most species change their mate preferences remain unclear. In this study, we examined the change in mate preferences in female individuals of the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. This was done by exposing naïve, virgin females to two male groups differing in the abundance of ornamented males over a period of seven days. The male-exposure treatment groups consisted of (1) primarily males with large orange spots and (2) primarily males with small orange spots...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Yuko Fujisaki, Ryota Matsuo
The terrestrial slug Limax has been used as a model animal for studying the neural mechanisms underlying associative olfactory learning. The slug also innately exhibits negative phototactic behavior using its eyes. In the present study, we developed an experimental paradigm for quantification of slug's negative phototaxis behavior, and investigated whether the nature of the negative phototaxis can be modified by learning experience. The experimental set-up consists of light and dark compartments, between which the slug can move freely...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Shoichi Sasamori, Andrew S Wiewel, Vicki A Thomson, Motoko Kobayashi, Katsushi Nakata, Hitoshi Suzuki
The occurrence of black fur, or melanism, in many mammalian species is known to be linked to DNA sequence variation in the agouti signaling protein (Asip) gene, which is a major determinant of eumelanin and pheomelanin pigments in coat color. We investigated 38 agouti (i.e., banded wildtype) and four melanistic Rattus rattus species complex (RrC) lineage II specimens from Okinawa Island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, for genetic variation in three exons and associated flanking regions in the Asip gene. On Okinawa, a predicted loss-of-function mutation caused by a cysteine to serine amino acid change at p...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Masafumi Matsui, Kanto Nishikawa, Atsushi Tominaga
Examination of the holotype of Hynobius stejnegeri Dunn, 1923 revealed that the species is identical with H. yatsui Oyama, 1947 , recently resurrected from H. naevius (Temminck and Schlegel, 1838). The name H. yatsui is therefore relegated to a subjective junior synonym of H. stejnegeri. The latter name, however, has been widely applied to an amber-colored or tortoise-shell salamander from Kyushu, southwestern Japan, which now requires a new name. We, thus, describe the ambercolored salamander as a new species Hynobius ikioi...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Azusa Nakao, Takumi Inaba, Akiko Murakami-Sekimata, Hiroyuki Nogawa
Embryonic mouse submandibular epithelia initiate branching morphogenesis within two days when embedded in Matrigel and stimulated by members of the epidermal growth factor family. However, it is unknown whether the end buds further branch over longer culture periods, and whether saliva-producing cells differentiate there. In the present study, we cultivated three major (submandibular, sublingual and parotid) salivary epithelia from 13-day embryos for 14 days in mesenchyme-free cultures. All epithelia continued to grow and branch to form numerous acinus-like structures in medium supplemented with neuregulin 1, fibroblast growth factor 1, and insulintransferrin-sodium selenite...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Keita Omote, Tetsuo I Kohyama, Chizuko Nishida, Keisuke Saito, Satoshi Fujimoto, Ryuichi Masuda
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) includes many genes that are essential for the adaptive immune system, and variation in the antigen binding site (ABS) is related to resistance against pathogens. In the present study, quantitative real-time PCR indicated a larger number of MHC gene copies in the endangered population of Blakiston's fish owl (Bubo blakistoni) than in five other owl species, and massively parallel pyrosequencing detected more MHC class IIβ per individual alleles in B. blakistoni than in the other species...
December 2017: Zoological Science
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