|New microsatellite markers for Myotis daubentonii and Eptesicus nilssonii (Vespertilionidae, Chiroptera)|
Smirnov D.G., Titov S.V., Baishev F.Z.
New microsatellite markers were developed and characterized for two vespertilionid species: three loci for Myotis daubentonii (MmCCA, MdTTA, MdTTTA) and two loci for Eptesicus nilssonii (EnTCA, EnTCTA). The usefulness of these markers were assessed by screening a sample of wing membrane biopsy of 136 specimens of M. daubentonii and 206 specimens of E. nilssonii, collected in Samara Province, Penza Province and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area (Russia). All the loci were highly polymorphic. Both moderately and highly polymorphic loci were identified with 3-15 alleles segregating per locus (mean in M. daubentonii 3.45±0.29, in E. nilssonii 6.07±0.38). The minimal heterozygosity was found in locus MmCCA (HO=0.284±0.034, HE=0.305±0.035), while all the rest of loci had moderate and high heterozygosity. These polymorphic markers will provide a valuable tool for assessment of population genetics of these two species.
|Cytogenetic characteristics of pikas Ochotona hyperborea and O. mantchurica (Lagomorpha, Mammalia) in the Amur River Basin|
Kartavtseva I.V., Vakurin A.A., Lissovsky A.A., Frisman L.V.
Most pikas of the genus Ochotona have clear cytogenetic differentiations; therefore, karyotype characteristics offer good diagnostic features in this group. The northern pika O. hyperborea is one of the most widely distributed pika species in the Russian Far East. Cytogenetic data on pikas from new localities from the Amur River Basin were obtained for elaborating on the species’ identification. Chromosome staining showed that pikas from the Bastak Nature Reserve (Jewish Autonomous Region, Russia) differ from the previously studied O. hyperborea. In addition, chromosome morphology for O. hyperborea from the Bastak Nature Reserve and from the Soktahan Range in the Amur Region (Russia) was found to be slightly different. The variation found in the C-stained chromosomes can be explained by the geographic reasons. The Manchurian pika O. mantchurica from the right bank of the Shilka River (Zabaikalskiy Territory, Russia) had diploid number of chromosomes 2n=39. This is an X0 karyotype variant with a single X chromosome that has been found in Ochotonidae for the first time.
|Automated monitoring of vocal rutting activity in red deer (Cervus elaphus)|
Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Golosova O.S.
Vocal performances represent an important part of advertising male reproductive potential in red deer. Stag total vocal activity in rut period was studied on daily and weekly basis in two translocated herds of Siberian red deer Cervus elaphus sibiricus, kept at two farms in Central Russia (“Tver” and “Kostroma”). On both farms, stag rutting calls were recorded for 5 min each hour of a 24-hour period for the duration of 70-day rut period of 2013 using two automated recording systems, with simultaneous recording ambient temperature. Spectrographic analysis revealed that total number of calls was 30 times higher at Tver than at Kostroma (4341 and 145 calls respectively). Although the correlation between the daily average ambient temperatures in both farms was positive and highly significant, the average numbers of calls per hour did not correlate between herds. Over the course of the season, calling activity was single-humped at Tver and two-humped at Kostroma. In relation to daily activity patterns, the number of calls per hour had one peak between 18:00–09:00 at Tver and two peaks at Kostroma (between 07:00–09:00 and between 16:00–18:00). The estimation of the effect of ambient temperature together with the effect of the week during the rut and time of day revealed that temperature does not have a significant effect on the number of stag rutting calls in either herd. Substantial differences in stag vocal activity between the farms could be due to herd composition and time passed since translocation.
|Records of Bison priscus Bojanus (Artiodactyla, Bovidae) skeletons in Western Siberia|
Shpansky A.V., Svyatko S.V., Reimer P.J., Titov S.V.
Two skeletons of Bison priscus Bojanus skeletons are described from Pleistocene localities of Grigorievka (Irtysh River, Pavlodar Region) and Krasniy Yar (Ob River, Tomsk Region), south-east of West Siberian Plain. The skulls and postcranial skeletons of these individuals are compared with skulls and large sample of limb bones from the same localities, and with archival data from other sites in Western Siberia. The study showed that the skeletons belonged to individuals of different sex and geological age. The individual from Krasniy Yar has been determined as an old female with a geological age of 45 ka. The skeleton from Grigorievka apparently belongs to a male and it originates from the beginning of Middle Neopleistocene deposits. Long bone dimensions have a large overlap in males and females. Most suitable for sex determination are measurements of the relative diaphyseal width of radius, tibia, and metacarpals.
|Spacing and parental behavior in the Mongolian vole (Microtus mongolicus)|
Dontsova P.S., Smorkatcheva A.V., Bazhenov Y.A.
The relationship between parental care patterns and mating system in voles has not been fully elucidated. Whereas mating and parental strategies have been reported for many New World arvicolines, such information is lacking for most Palearctic voles. Nothing is known about the social organization of Microtus mongolicus inhabiting mesic habitats of Central Asia. We investigated spacing of free-ranging M. mongolicus in Zabaykalsky Kray using mark-recapture method, and we assessed the parental care exhibited by Mongolian voles in laboratory. Home ranges (HR) and movement distances of overwintered males exceeded those of other categories of voles. HR overlapped within sexes and between sexes in linear habitat at high population density as well as in non-linear habitat at low density. The revealed pattern of spacing is consistent with promiscuous mating system. In laboratory, both the parent-litter separation tests and undisturbed observations of animals in large enclosures showed that most males displayed paternal behavior at the level comparable to that of socially monogamous species. Our results demonstrate that monogamous mating system cannot be inferred from biparental care detected in captivity.
|Behavioral differentiation and hybridization of the European and Asian forms of Harting’ vole Microtus hartingi (Rodentia, Arvicolinae)|
Zorenko T.A., Atanasov N., Golenishchev F.N.
The final isolation of Europe from Asia took place comparatively not long ago — in the early Holocene – late Pleistocene which led to the division of Microtus hartingi area into two isolated parts (Asian–Central and West Anatolia and European–southern Balkans). The Northern Mediterranean was influenced by considerable climatic and habitat fluctuations that caused fragmentation of a potential area of Microtus hartingi and promoted microevolutionary processes. The purpose of the work was evaluation of the range disjunction influence on diversification of the species. We analyzed (1) copulatory behavior, (2) exploratory activity and ability to overcome the stress, (3) growth and development of pups, and also (4) hybridization success in the two nominal forms of M. hartingi — M. h. lydius and M. h. strandzensis. Considerable changes in behavior of individuals of two subspecies were obtained. As a result of the hybridization of the two forms, viable and prolific posterity of F1 was received, but the subsequent cross breeding including backcrossing sterility of males and high mortality of posterity began to be established. The testes and the epididymis of the hybrids were with smaller weight in comparison with parents’ subspecies, especially M. h. lydius, reduced quantity of spermatozoa and small percent mobile of them which confirmed the lower level of spermatogenesis. We assume that evolution of the phenotypic characteristics of the voles was supported by gene drift and probably by the selection, induced by the stress more strongly, than changes in the genotypic characteristics, e.g. distinctions on cytochrome b and the karyotype are not significant. This can be explained as an influence of specific ecological conditions and fragmentation of the habitats in the Northern Mediterranean Region. Until recently M. h. lydius and M. h. strandzensis were considered as subspecies. However, they reached considerable degree of a divergence and the question of their specific status has to be considered additionally.
|Early Middle Pleistocene Ellobius (Rodentia, Cricetidae, Arvicolinae) from Armenia|
A large mole vole from the early Middle Pleistocene of Armenia shows morphological features and hyposodonty intermediate between basal Early Pleistocene E. tarchancutensis and the late Middle Pleistocene to Recent southern mole vole E. lutescens. The occlusal morphology of the first lower molar is similar to Early Pleistocene forms but hypsodonty values do not overlap either with Early Pleistocene mole voles (higher in the described form) or with extant E. lutescens (lower in the described form); these features characterise the Armenian form as a new chronospecies Ellobius (Bramus) pomeli sp.n., ancestral to the extant southern mole vole. Three phyletic lineages leading to two extant Asian species and to Pleistocene North African group of mole voles are suggested within Ellobius (Bramus).
|Comparative analysis of the subcutaneous musculature in some hystricomorph rodents (Rodentia: Hystricomorpha)|
The structure of the subcutaneous musculature (m. cutaneus trunci) in three species of hystricomorph rodents (Hystricomorpha): Dasyprocta leporina (Linnaeus, 1766), Chinchilla lanigera Bennett, 1829, and Octodon degus (Molina, 1782), was studied. The members of two other suborders of Rodentia, Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout, 1769) (suborder Myomorpha) and Spermophilus citellus (Linnaeus, 1766) (suborder Sciuromorpha), were also included in the morphological analysis for comparative purposes. In these two forms, the m. cutaneus trunci is more simple and formed by a single muscular layer, terminating on the medial side of the humerus (medial head). This structure of the subcutaneous muscle is usually considered as more primitive, and probably close to its initial state which is characteristic of ancestral forms of Rodentia. In all hystricomorphs studied, a considerable differentiation and complication of the subcutaneous muscle is observed. In this case, a lateral head of the m. cutaneus trunci, inserting on the lateral aspect of the forelimb, is developed. The appearance of the pars thoracoabdominalis in the structure of the subcutaneous muscle is also a specific feature of the hystricomorph rodents. At the same time, in D. leporina and C. lanigera, a medial head of the m. cutaneus trunci is still well expressed, but in O. degus, it is almost lost. It can be assumed that the progressive development and complication of the subcutaneous muscle in the evolution of hystricomorphs was largely conditioned by the requirement to improve their locomotor functions during a broad adaptive radiation of this group.
|Recent record of Annamite striped rabbit Nesolagus timminsi (Mammalia, Leporidae) from Vietnam|
Abramov A.V., Tikhonov A.N., Orlov N.L.