Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A total of 2536 adult mosquitoes were collected, belonging to 9 genera and 10 species; the dominant species in the study were: Aedes quadrivittatus, Wyeomyia adelpha, Wy. arthrostigma, and Culex restuans. Highest richness was recorded in the dry season, whereas higher abundance was detected during the rainy season. The urban forest had the highest species richness (n = 7) when compared to all other sites. Species composition cluster analyses show that there is a high degree of similarity in species numbers across sites and seasons throughout the year. However, when considering the abundance of such species, the well-preserved montane cloud forest showed significantly higher abundance. Moreover, the urban forest is only 30 % similar to other sites in terms of species abundances, indicating a possible isolating role of the urban environment. Mosquito assemblage was differentially influenced by land-use change and seasonality, but at the same time the assemblage is rather homogeneous across the studied landscape, suggesting a high degree of spatial connectivity. Information generated in this study is potentially useful in the development of urban planning and surveillance programs focused mainly on mosquito species of medical and veterinary importance.DOI 10.1186/s13071-015-1086-9

All haemosporidian infections in chestnut-capped brush finches belonged to Haemoproteus and Plasmodium species. Prevalence and parasitaemia of avian malaria were higher during the rainy season, while aggrega-tion remained similar. Both prevalence and parasitaemia were higher in the urban forest. Prevalence was lower in the well-preserved cloud forest during the dry season. Parasitaemia was negatively associated to bush cover. Our results suggest that an increase in land use intensity reduces seasonal fluctuations in parasite transmission, and that infections are more frequent and more severe for birds inhabiting urban environments. DOI: 

Avian Malaria Responses to Different Forestry Practices and Habitat Structure

We used, to our knowledge for the first time, continuous forest structural parameters to quantify habitat structure, and found significant effects of habitat structure on parasite prevalence that previously have been undetected. We found three times higher prevalence for blackcaps compared with chaffinches. Parasite intensity varied significantly within host species depending on forest type, being lowest in beech forests for both host species. Structurally complex habitats with a high degree of entropy had a positive effect on the likelihood of acquiring an infection, but the effect on prevalence was negative for forest sections with a south facing aspect. For blackcaps, forest gaps also had a positive effect on prevalence, but canopy height had a negative one. Our results suggest that forest types and variations in forest structure influence the likelihood of acquiring an infection, which subsequently has an influence on host health status and body condition; however, responses to some environmental factors are host-specific. DOI:

Eyeless Rays in the Gulf of Mexico: a new species?

Additionally to the eyeless characteristic, both regular (presence of eye) and eyeless (absence of eye) morphotypes have contrasting quantitative values and qualitative features for different phenotypic traits (color, teeth number, pelvic fin and spiracle form). Mature female and male eyeless morphotype had functional internal reproductive structures. Using the bar code gene, we found conclusive evidence that the eyeless morphotype belongs to the species D. americana. This is the first report on reproductively functional eyeless individuals of this species or close relatives elsewhere, which live sympatrically with regular D. americana individuals in the southern Gulf of Mexico. 

 DOI: 10.3856/vol44-issue3-fulltext-x