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Zoological Letters

Gerlien Verhaegen, Hendrik Herzog, Katrin Korsch, Gerald Kerth, Martin Brede, Martin Haase
A major question in stream ecology is how invertebrates cope with flow. In aquatic gastropods, typically, larger and more globular shells with larger apertures are found in lotic (flowing water) versus lentic (stagnant water) habitats. This has been hypothetically linked to a larger foot, and thus attachment area, which has been suggested to be an adaptation against risk of dislodgement by current. Empirical evidence for this is scarce. Furthermore, these previous studies did not discuss the unavoidable increase in drag forces experienced by the snails as a consequence of the increased cross sectional area...
2019: Zoological Letters
Georg Brenneis, Claudia P Arango
Background: Sea spiders (Pycnogonida) are an abundant faunal element of the Southern Ocean (SO). Several recent phylogeographical studies focused on the remarkably diverse SO pycnogonid fauna, resulting in the identification of new species in previously ill-defined species complexes, insights into their genetic population substructures, and hypotheses on glacial refugia and recolonization events after the last ice age. However, knowledge on the life history of many SO pycnogonids is fragmentary, and early ontogenetic stages often remain poorly documented...
2019: Zoological Letters
Matthes Kenning, Vanessa Schendel, Carsten H G Müller, Andy Sombke
Background: In the context of evolutionary arthopodial transformations, centipede ultimate legs exhibit a plethora of morphological modifications and behavioral adaptations. Many species possess significantly elongated, thickened, or pincer-like ultimate legs. They are frequently sexually dimorphic, indicating a role in courtship and mating. In addition, glandular pores occur more commonly on ultimate legs than on walking legs, indicating a role in secretion, chemical communication, or predator avoidance...
2019: Zoological Letters
Takeshi Noda, Noriyuki Satoh, Takahiro Asami
Background: Spiral cleavage is a feature of non-ecdysozoan protostomes, in which left-right reversal frequently evolved in gastropod molluscs. In pulmonate gastropods, maternal molecules are responsible for chirality patterning, on which the polarities of visceral and coiling asymmetries depend. In the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis (the clade Hygrophila), a frame-shift mutation of one of tandem-duplicated, diaphanous-related formin genes ( diaph ) resulted in incomplete reversal from dextral to sinistral cleavage...
2019: Zoological Letters
Roberto Guidetti, Michele Cesari, Roberto Bertolani, Tiziana Altiero, Lorena Rebecchi
For many years, Paramacrobiotus richtersi was reported to consist of populations with different chromosome numbers and reproductive modes. To clarify the relationships among different populations, the type locality of the species (Clare Island, Ireland) and several Italian localities were sampled. Populations were investigated with an integrated approach, using morphological (LM, CLSM, SEM), morphometric, karyological, and molecular (18S rRNA, cox1 genes) data. Paramacrobiotus richtersi was redescribed and a neotype designed from the Irish bisexual population...
2019: Zoological Letters
Naoki Irie, Noriyuki Satoh, Shigeru Kuratani
The group Vertebrata is currently placed as a subphylum in the phylum Chordata, together with two other subphyla, Cephalochordata (lancelets) and Urochordata (ascidians). The past three decades, have seen extraordinary advances in zoological taxonomy and the time is now ripe for reassessing whether the subphylum position is truly appropriate for vertebrates, particularly in light of recent advances in molecular phylogeny, comparative genomics, and evolutionary developmental biology. Four lines of current research are discussed here...
2018: Zoological Letters
Joachim T Haug, Patrick Müller, Carolin Haug
Background: Adult mantis lacewings, neuropteran holometabolan insects of the group Mantispidae, possess anterior walking legs transformed into prey-catching grasping appendages reminiscent of those of praying mantises. While adult mantis lacewings are hence active "wait-and-catch" predators, the larvae of many mantis lacewings have a quite different biology: first-stage larvae seek out female spiders, mount them, and either wait until the spider has produced an egg sac or, in some cases, choose a female already bearing an egg sac...
2018: Zoological Letters
Cheng-Hsiu Tsai, James G Mead
Here we document the first stranding record of the pygmy right whale in the Northern Hemisphere-on the coast of The Gambia, Africa (NE Atlantic Ocean, around latitude 13° N)-a location in stark contrast to its current distribution exclusively south of the equator. The original specimen is now missing and untraceable, but a photo found in the files of the Marine Mammal Program, Smithsonian Institution shows sufficient diagnostic features that allow it to be taxonomically identified as the pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata , including: small body size; streamlined overall body shape; generally dark skin coloration; arched rostrum along the lateral margin; triangular and narrow rostrum in dorsal view; lack of head callosities; some fringes on the dorsal surface of the tongue; small and relatively posteriorly positioned dorsal fin; and small and dark-colored flipper...
2018: Zoological Letters
Evelyn Hüppi, Marcelo R Sánchez-Villagra, Athanasia C Tzika, Ingmar Werneburg
Background: The study of chondrocrania has a long tradition with a focus on single specimens and stages. It revealed great interspecific diversity and a notion of intraspecific variation. As an embryonic structure, the chondrocranium is subject to major changes in ontogeny with resorption and ossification of different cartilaginous structures. The cupula nasi anterior is the anteriormost portion of the cartilaginous nasal capsule and is expected to mirror much of the animal's life history and lifestyle...
2018: Zoological Letters
Christos Michael Suriano, David Bodznick
The developmental anatomy of the dorsal hindbrain in an elasmobranch fish, Leucoraja erinacea , is described. We focus on the cerebellum, which is a synapomorphy for gnathostomes. Cerebellar development in L. erinacea , a representative of the most basal gnathostome lineage, may be a proxy for the ancestral state of cerebellar development. We also focus on sensory processing regions termed 'cerebellum-like' structures due to common anatomical and physiological features with the cerebellum. These structures may be considered generatively homologous if they share common developmental features...
2018: Zoological Letters
Tatsuya Hirasawa, Shigeru Kuratani
While skeletal evolution has been extensively studied, the evolution of limb muscles and brachial plexus has received less attention. In this review, we focus on the tempo and mode of evolution of forelimb muscles in the vertebrate history, and on the developmental mechanisms that have affected the evolution of their morphology. Tetrapod limb muscles develop from diffuse migrating cells derived from dermomyotomes, and the limb-innervating nerves lose their segmental patterns to form the brachial plexus distally...
2018: Zoological Letters
Yuki Kutaragi, Atsushi Tokuoka, Yasuaki Tomiyama, Motoki Nose, Takayuki Watanabe, Tetsuya Bando, Yoshiyuki Moriyama, Kenji Tomioka
Background: Entrainment to the environmental light cycle is an essential property of the circadian clock. Although the compound eye is known to be the major photoreceptor necessary for entrainment in many insects, the molecular mechanisms of photic entrainment remain to be explored. Results: We found  that cryptochrome s ( cry s) and c-fos mediate photic entrainment of the circadian clock in a hemimetabolous insect, the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus . We examined the effects of RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of the cry genes, Gb'cry1 and Gb'cry2 , on photic entrainment, and light-induced resetting of the circadian locomotor rhythm...
2018: Zoological Letters
Haruka Nakagawa, Kiyono Sekii, Takanobu Maezawa, Makoto Kitamura, Soichiro Miyashita, Marina Abukawa, Midori Matsumoto, Kazuya Kobayashi
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1186/s40851-018-0096-9.].
2018: Zoological Letters
Yang An, Akane Kawaguchi, Chen Zhao, Atsushi Toyoda, Ali Sharifi-Zarchi, Seyed Ahmad Mousavi, Reza Bagherzadeh, Takeshi Inoue, Hajime Ogino, Asao Fujiyama, Hamidreza Chitsaz, Hossein Baharvand, Kiyokazu Agata
Background: Planarians are non-parasitic Platyhelminthes (flatworms) famous for their regeneration ability and for having a well-organized brain. Dugesia japonica is a typical planarian species that is widely distributed in the East Asia. Extensive cellular and molecular experimental methods have been developed to identify the functions of thousands of genes in this species, making this planarian a good experimental model for regeneration biology and neurobiology. However, no genome-level information is available for D...
2018: Zoological Letters
J Matthias Starck, Lisa Mehnert, Anja Biging, Juliana Bjarsch, Sandra Franz-Guess, Daniel Kleeberger, Marie Hörnig
Background: Ticks can survive long periods without feeding but, when feeding, ingest large quantities of blood, resulting in a more than 100-fold increase of body volume. We study morphological adaptations to changes in opisthosoma volume during feeding in the castor bean tick, Ixodes ricinus . We aim to understand the functional morphological features that accommodate enormous changes in volume changes. Methods: Using light and electron microscopy, we compare the cuticle and epidermis of the alloscutum, the epithelium of the midgut diverticula, and the tracheae of adult female ticks when fasting, semi-engorged, and fully engorged...
2018: Zoological Letters
Eri Okamoto, Hieu Van Mai, Atsushi Ishimatsu, Mikiko Tanaka
Background: Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that use their pectoral fins to move on land. Their pectoral fins are specifically modified for terrestrial locomotion. Studies of the anatomy and kinematics of adult mudskippers suggest that modifications of the pectoral fins, such as their protrusion and elongation of the proximal radials, may provide greater control and flexibility in pectoral fin-based locomotion. However, it is unknown when and how the unique features of these pectoral fins form during the development of mudskippers, which begin life as a planktonic organism...
2018: Zoological Letters
Yuko Matsuo, Amami Yamanaka, Ryota Matsuo
Background: The terrestrial slug Limax has long been used as a model for the study of olfactory information processing and odor learning. Olfactory inputs from the olfactory epithelium are processed in the tentacular ganglion and then in the procerebrum. Glutamate and acetylcholine are the major neurotransmitters used in the procerebrum. Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRFamide) has been shown to be involved in the regulation of the network activity of the procerebrum. Although there are thought to be various RFamide family peptides other than FMRFamide that are potentially recognized by anti-FMRFamide antibody in the central nervous system of mollusks, identifying the entire repertoire of RFamide peptides in Limax has yet to be achieved...
2018: Zoological Letters
Antonio Cádiz, Nobuaki Nagata, Luis M Díaz, Yukari Suzuki-Ohno, Lázaro M Echenique-Díaz, Hiroshi D Akashi, Takashi Makino, Masakado Kawata
Background: Geographical patterns and degrees of genetic divergence among populations differ between species, reflecting relative potentials for speciation or cladogenesis and differing capacities for environmental adaptation. Identification of factors that contribute to genetic divergence among populations is important to the understanding of why some species exhibit greater interpopulation genetic divergence. In this study, we calculated the mean pairwise genetic distances among populations as species' average genetic divergence by a phylogeny using nuclear and mitochondrial genes of 303 individuals from 33 Cuban Anolis species and estimated species ages by another phylogeny using nuclear and mitochondrial genes of 51 Cuban and 47 non-Cuban Anolis species...
2018: Zoological Letters
Yuko Kagawa-Nagamura, Keiko Gengyo-Ando, Masamichi Ohkura, Junichi Nakai
Background: Tyramine, known as a "trace amine" in mammals, modulates a wide range of behavior in invertebrates; however, the underlying cellular and circuit mechanisms are not well understood. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans ( C. elegans ), tyramine affects key behaviors, including foraging, feeding, and escape responses. The touch-evoked backward escape response is often coupled with a sharp omega turn that allows the animal to navigate away in the opposite direction...
2018: Zoological Letters
Jeane Siswitasari Mulyana, Toshiharu Iwai, Masaharu Takahashi, Achmad Farajallah, Yusli Wardiatno, Chiemi Miura, Takeshi Miura
Background: Pearl production by transplantation in Akoya pearl oyster ( Pinctada fucata ) is a biotechnology developed in Japan that skillfully utilizes the pearl-forming ability of oysters. In this method, cultured pearls are formed from a pearl nucleus and a small piece of mantle transplanted into the gonads of recipient pearl oysters. In this study, we hypothesized that the sex of the recipient pearl oyster might affect the quality of pearl produced. While some previous studies have examined the sex of Akoya pearl oyster, detailed information is lacking...
2018: Zoological Letters
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