The newly defined Agrilus quadripunctatus species-group comprising nine species from Indo-Malay and Australasian regions is revised. A key to species is provided and complemented with illustrations of habitus. The following four new species are described: Agrilus calabai sp. nov.; A. jaechi sp. nov.; A. luzonicola sp. nov.; A. salakot sp. nov.
The ambiguity of crossability in Andrographis paniculata (AP) was pointed out in the present research. Accordingly, the effects of different style length and crossing time on intraspecific crossability of seven AP accessions in 21 possible combinations were investigated. The best results came out between 08:00 to 11:00 h for manual out-crossing of AP, while the time from 12:00 to 18:00 h showed a decreasing trend. Moreover, 12 mm style length was found as the most proper phenological stage in terms of stigmatic receptivity to perform out-crossing in this plant. All in all, AP behaved unlikely in each combination, and a significant difference was observed in crossability of AP accessions (P < 0.01). The lowest and highest crossability rate was found in hybrids 21 (11261NS × 11344K) and 27 (11322PA × 11350T) with 0.25% and 13.33%, respectively. Furthermore, a significant negative relationship between style length and crossibility (r² = 0.762(∗∗)) was recorded in this research. As a final conclusion, crossing time and proper style length can improve the intraspecific crossability in the species, considerably. Despite all the mentioned contrivances, we still believe that a genetic incongruity should be involved as an additional obstacle in crossability of those combinations that failed or responded deficiently to outcrossing.
Homalomena galbana Baharuddin S. & P.C. Boyce is described from the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, representing the first species of the Homalomena Supergroup to be recorded from Sabah, and the first mesophytic species of the Supergroup to be described from Borneo. The species is illustrated and a brief discussion on the pollination role of interpistillar staminodes is presented.
Species composition of seaweed and distribution were investigated in the coastal waters of Bintulu, Sarawak. The seaweed samples were collected during low tide between May 2011 and May 2012 from the six different stations. In total 54 species of seaweeds were identified from study areas of Bintulu coastal waters. Among them, 23 species were from Rhodophyta with 11 families, 15 species were from Phaeophyta with 2 families and 16 species were from Chlorophyta with 10 families: Seventeen species of seaweeds were recorded from the Tanjung Batu, while 23 species from Pantai Telekom, 14 species from Golden Beach, 26 species from Kuala Similajau, 12 species from Kuala Nyalau and 21 species from Batu Mandi. Seaweeds abundance was high in rocky substrate and Rhodophyta (11 families and 23 species) was the common and highest group of seaweeds in this coastal areas. Present study recorded high diversified seaweed species at the rocky shore area compare to reef area.
Pseudopsyra is a genus of Phaneropterinae katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae), currently comprising of four species - two species each from southern China and Peninsular Malaysia (Hebard, 1922; Liu & Kang, 2006; Tan & Kamaruddin, 2013, 2014). The revision of Pseudopsyra by Liu & Kang (2006) provided a redescription of the genus, a new diagnosis and a key to known species. Subsequently, more surveys were conducted in Peninsular Malaysia and yield another species, representing the lowest latitudinal limits of this genus thus far (Tan & Kamaruddin, 2013). Continued surveys between the upper and lower latitudinal limits of the genus yield a new species: Pseudopsyra taksini sp. nov. from the Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve, Thailand. The orthopteran diversity at Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve remains understudied with numerous new species described recently, including other genus of Phaneropterinae (Tan & Artchawakom, 2014; Tan et al., 2015). With emphasis of using sexual parts for evidence of reproductive isolation in species delimitation, the discovery of a new species of Pseudopsyra also represents the first record of the genus from Thailand. It is not surprising that more undescribed species of Pseudopsyra can be found across the Indo-China region.
It is hypothesized that despite sharing a similar habitat, the Muong indigenous and Vietnamese wild pigs may reveal different gastric morphology. Due to the protective nature of procuring these pigs, a total of 12 Muong indigenous pigs and nine Vietnamese wild pigs stomach collected post mortem were analysed for selected biometric parameters and histology. The result indicated that the stomach of the Vietnamese wild pig is broader with a bigger capacity and greater proportion of proper gastric glands. Interestingly, the stomach mass correlated well with live body weight in both breeds apart from possessing similar histomorphometry of the gastric gland regions. On the other hand, the thicker (P < 0.05) submucosa in the Vietnamese wild pig is attributed to the presence of numerous loose connective tissues, abundant blood vessels, adipose tissues and nerve plexus. The appearance of lymphoid follicles underneath the tubular gastric glands in the Vietnamese wild pig exceeded that of Muong indigenous pigs. This finding suggested that the difference in feeding behavior as well as immunity. In conclusion, adaptations found in the Vietnamese wild pig indicated that this breed is equipped with a bigger and effectively functional stomach to suit its digestive physiology and immunity in the wild.
In tropical regions, different species of fiddler crabs coexist on the mangrove floor, which sometimes makes it difficult to define species-specific habitat by visual inspection. The aim of this study is to find key environmental parameters which affect the distribution of fiddler crabs and to determine the habitats in which each species was most abundant. Crabs were collected from 19 sites within the mudflats of Sepang-Lukut mangrove forest. Temperature, porewater salinity, organic matter, water content, carbon and nitrogen content, porosity, chlorophyll content, pH, redox potential, sediment texture and heavy metals were determined in each 1 m2 quadrate. Pearson correlation indicated that all sediment properties except pH and redox potential were correlated with sediment grain size. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that Uca paradussumieri was negatively correlated with salinity and redox potential. Sand dwelling species, Uca perplexa and Uca annulipes, were highly dependent on the abundance of 250 μm and 150 μm grain size particles in the sediment. Canonical Discriminative Analysis (CDA) indicated that variation in sediment grain size best explained where each crab species was most abundant. Moreover, U. paradussumieri commonly occupies muddy substrates of low shore, while U. forcipata lives under the shade of mangrove trees. U. annulipes and U. perplexa with the high number of spoon tipped setae on their second maxiliped are specialized to feed on the sandy sediments. U. rosea and U. triangularis are more common on muddy sediment with high sediment density. In conclusion, sediment grain size that influences most sediment properties acts as a main factor responsible for sediment heterogeneity. In this paper, the correlation between fiddler crab species and environmental parameters, as well as the interaction between sediment characteristics, was explained in order to define the important environmental factors in fiddler crab distributions.
Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes capture a wide range of arthropod prey for nutritional benefit, using complex combinations of visual and olfactory signals and gravity-driven pitfall trapping mechanisms. In many localities throughout Southeast Asia, several Nepenthes different species occur in mixed populations. Often, the species present at any given location have strongly divergent trap structures and preliminary surveys indicate that different species trap different combinations of arthropod prey, even when growing at the same locality. On this basis, it has been proposed that co-existing Nepenthes species may be engaged in niche segregation with regards to arthropod prey, avoiding direct competition with congeners by deploying traps that have modifications that enable them to target specific prey types. We examined prey capture among 3 multi-species Nepenthes populations in Borneo, finding that co-existing Nepenthes species do capture different combinations of prey, but that significant interspecific variations in arthropod prey combinations can often be detected only at sub-ordinal taxonomic ranks. In all lowland Nepenthes species examined, the dominant prey taxon is Formicidae, but montane Nepenthes trap few (or no) ants and 2 of the 3 species studied have evolved to target alternative sources of nutrition, such as tree shrew feces. Using similarity and null model analyses, we detected evidence for niche segregation with regards to formicid prey among 5 lowland, sympatric Nepenthes species in Sarawak. However, we were unable to determine whether these results provide support for the niche segregation hypothesis, or whether they simply reflect unquantified variation in heterogeneous habitats and/or ant communities in the study sites. These findings are used to propose improvements to the design of field experiments that seek to test hypotheses about targeted prey capture patterns in Nepenthes.
The diversity of beetle assemblages in different habitat types (primary forest, logged forest, acacia plantation and oil palm plantation) in Sabah, Malaysia was investigated using three different methods based on habitat levels (Winkler sampling, flight-interception-trapping and mist-blowing). The overall diversity was extremely high, with 1711 species recorded from only 8028 individuals and 81 families (115 family and subfamily groups). Different degrees of environmental changes had varying effects on the beetle species richness and abundance, with oil palm plantation assemblage being most severely affected, followed by acacia plantation and then logged forest. A few species became numerically dominant in the oil palm plantation. In terms of beetle species composition, the acacia fauna showed much similarity with the logged forest fauna, and the oil palm fauna was very different from the rest. The effects of environmental variables (number of plant species, sapling and tree densities, amount of leaf litter, ground cover, canopy cover, soil pH and compaction) on the beetle assemblage were also investigated. Leaf litter correlated with species richness, abundance and composition of subterranean beetles. Plant species richness, tree and sapling densities correlated with species richness, abundance and composition of understorey beetles while ground cover correlated only with the species richness and abundance of these beetles. Canopy cover correlated only with arboreal beetles. In trophic structure, predators represented more than 40% of the species and individuals. Environmental changes affected the trophic structure with proportionally more herbivores (abundance) but fewer predators (species richness and abundance) in the oil palm plantation. Biodiversity, conservation and practical aspects of pest management were also highlighted in this study.
Changes in species composition in two 4-ha plots of lowland dipterocarp rainforest at Danum, Sabah, were measured over ten years (1986-1996) for trees > or = 10 cm girth at breast height (gbh). Each included a lower-slope to ridge gradient. The period lay between two drought events of moderate intensity but the forest showed no large lasting responses, suggesting that its species were well adapted to this regime. Mortality and recruitment rates were not unusual in global or regional comparisons. The forest continued to aggrade from its relatively (for Sabah) low basal area in 1986 and, together with the very open upper canopy structure and an abundance of lianas, this suggests a forest in a late stage of recovery from a major disturbance, yet one continually affected by smaller recent setbacks. Mortality and recruitment rates were not related to population size in 1986, but across subplots recruitment was positively correlated with the density and basal area of small trees (10-< 50cm gbh) forming the dense understorey. Neither rate was related to topography. While species with larger mean gbh had greater relative growth rates (rgr) than smaller ones, subplot mean recruitment rates were correlated with rgr among small trees. Separating understorey species (typically the Euphorbiaceae) from the overstorey (Dipterocarpaceae) showed marked differences in change in mortality with increasing gbh: in the former it increased, in the latter it decreased. Forest processes are centred on this understorey quasi-stratum. The two replicate plots showed a high correspondence in the mortality, recruitment, population changes and growth rates of small trees for the 49 most abundant species in common to both. Overstorey species had higher rgrs than understorey ones, but both showed considerable ranges in mortality and recruitment rates. The supposed trade-off in traits, viz slower rgr, shade tolerance and lower population turnover in the understorey group versus faster potential growth rate, high light responsiveness and high turnover in the overstorey group, was only partly met, as some understorey species were also very dynamic. The forest at Danum, under such a disturbance-recovery regime, can be viewed as having a dynamic equilibrium in functional and structural terms. A second trade-off in shade-tolerance versus drought-tolerance is suggested for among the understorey species. A two-storey (or vertical component) model is proposed where the understorcy-overstorey species' ratio of small stems (currently 2:1) is maintained by a major feedback process. The understorey appears to be an important part of this forest, giving resilience against drought and protecting the overstorey saplings in the long term. This view could be valuable for understanding forest responses to climate change where drought frequency in Borneo is predicted to intensify in the coming decades.
We present evidence that a relatively widespread and common bat from South East Asia comprises two morphologically cryptic but acoustically divergent species. A population of the bicoloured leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros bicolor) from Peninsular Malaysia exhibits a bimodal distribution of echolocation call frequencies, with peaks in the frequency of maximum energy at ca. 131 and 142 kHz. The two phonic types are genetically distinct, with a cytochrome b sequence divergence of just under 7%. We consider the mechanisms by which acoustic divergence in these species might arise. Differences in call frequency are not likely to effect resource partitioning by detectable prey size or functional range. However, ecological segregation may be achieved by differences in microhabitat use; the 131kHz H. bicolor is characterized by significantly longer forearms, lower wing loading, a lower aspect ratio and a more rounded wingtip, features that are associated with greater manoeuvrability in flight that may enable it to forage in more cluttered environments relative to the 142 kHz phonic type. We suggest that acoustic divergence in these species is a consequence of social selection for a clear communication channel, which is mediated by the close link between the acoustic signal and receptor systems imposed by the highly specialized nature of the hipposiderid and rhinolophid echolocation system.
The ultrastructure of Sarcocystis sp. from the Malaysian house rat, Rattus rattus diardii, was studied with the electron microscope. The thin, uniformly-dense primary cyst wall had a row of vesicular invaginations which were also seen along the wall of the villi-like projections or cytophaneres. Within the villi were spherical bodies and hollow, curled structures. The ground substance beneath the primary cyst wall extended into the cyst as thin septa or trabeculae separating the tightly-packed zoites into compartments. Merozoites had a double-layered membrane, a conoid, 2 conoidal rings, 22 subpellicular microtubules, 6 rhoptries, 80-100 micronemes, scattered lipid droplets, and sac-like mitochrondrion, beside which was a Golgi apparatus. A micropore was occasionally seen at the anterior third of the zoite whereas the nucleus occupied the posterior third. Metrocytes were few in number and peripheral in location.
A new small, semi-arboreal toad of the genus Pelophryne is described from western Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, on the basis of molecular and morphological evidence. Of the two morphotypes recognized in the genus, the new species belongs to the one in which the tips of the fingers are expanded into truncate discs. Among the species in the morphotype, the new species is most similar to P. murudensis, but differs from it by body size, relative hindlimb length, and dorsal coloration. The new species is currently known only from a limited area on Gunung (= Mt.) Penrissen, and future measures of its habitat conservation are necessary.
Asian arowana, Scleropages formosus is a highly valued aquarium fish in the world, particularly in Asian countries, and has been listed as one of the most highly endangered species. This is a freshwater, carnivorous, fairly large mouth breeding fish belonging to the family Osteoglossidae. Arowana can be found in different colour varieties such as green, red, silver and golden. Among these varieties, Malaysian golden is the most valuable fish and is endemic to the Krian riverine system, Malaysia. However, overexploitation, habitat change and pollution have caused a serious decline of this arowana variety. Recently, arowana aquaculture industry is expanding rapidly in Southeast Asian countries. However, difficulties in an accurate differentiation of sex and strains, causing imbalanced stocking ratios for optimum spawning, remain major obstacles in maximizing arowana production. In addition, problems in sustainable water sources of suitable quality and prevention of diseases need to be addressed. Recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) and bioremediation are two possible technologies that could be used to minimize pollution and ensure adequate high-quality water for arowana culture. In addition, the application of appropriate molecular markers for sex and strain identification is also an important strategy required for the improvement of captive breeding. This review discusses several issues such as the importance of arowana as an aquarium fish, its market demand, current problems in the arowana aquaculture industry and the possible technologies to enhance reproductive capacity and increase culture production. ?
Fisheries bycatch is a widespread and serious issue that leads to declines of many important and threatened marine species. However, documenting the distribution, abundance, population trends and threats to sparse populations of marine species is often beyond the capacity of developing countries because such work is complex, time consuming and often extremely expensive. We have developed a flexible tool to document spatial distribution and population trends for dugongs and other marine species in the form of an interview questionnaire supported by a structured data upload sheet and a comprehensive project manual. Recognising the effort invested in getting interviewers to remote locations, the questionnaire is comprehensive, but low cost. The questionnaire has already been deployed in 18 countries across the Indo-Pacific region. Project teams spent an average of USD 5,000 per country and obtained large data sets on dugong distribution, trends, catch and bycatch, and threat overlaps. Findings indicated that >50% of respondents had never seen dugongs and that 20% had seen a single dugong in their lifetimes despite living and fishing in areas of known or suspected dugong habitat, suggesting that dugongs occurred in low numbers. Only 3% of respondents had seen mother and calf pairs, indicative of low reproductive output. Dugong hunting was still common in several countries. Gillnets and hook and line were the most common fishing gears, with the greatest mortality caused by gillnets. The questionnaire has also been used to study manatees in the Caribbean, coastal cetaceans along the eastern Gulf of Thailand and western Peninsular Malaysia, and river dolphins in Peru. This questionnaire is a powerful tool for studying distribution and relative abundance for marine species and fishery pressures, and determining potential conservation hotspot areas. We provide the questionnaire and supporting documents for open-access use by the scientific and conservation communities.