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.
The marine mysid species Rhopalophthalmus longipes Ii, 1964 is reported from Malaysian waters for the first time. Specimens are described and illustrated in detail based on material collected by epibenthic sledge from the seagrass meadows of Pulau Tinggi, Johor. Specimens exhibit a slight difference from Ii's type material by possessing a rounded process bearing two small protrusions apically near the middle distal end of the third segment of antennal peduncle. In addition, its telson armed with 7-9 moderately strong setae at the lateral margin.
Fungal pathogens are implicated in driving tropical plant diversity by facilitating strong, negative density-dependent mortality of conspecific seedlings (C-NDD). Assessment of the role of fungal pathogens in mediating coexistence derives from relatively few tree species and predominantly the Neotropics, limiting our understanding of their role in maintaining hyper-diversity in many tropical forests. A key question is whether fungal pathogen-mediated C-NDD seedling mortality is ubiquitous across diverse plant communities. Using a manipulative shadehouse experiment, we tested the role of fungal pathogens in mediating C-NDD seedling mortality of eight mast fruiting Bornean trees, typical of the species-rich forests of South East Asia. We demonstrate species-specific responses of seedlings to fungicide and density treatments, generating weak negative density-dependent mortality. Overall seedling mortality was low and likely insufficient to promote overall community diversity. Although conducted in the same way as previous studies, we find little evidence that fungal pathogens play a substantial role in determining patterns of seedling mortality in a SE Asian mast fruiting forest, questioning our understanding of how Janzen-Connell mechanisms structure the plant communities of this globally important forest type.
Resource allocation within trees is a zero-sum game. Unavoidable trade-offs dictate that allocation to growth-promoting functions curtails other functions, generating a gradient of investment in growth versus survival along which tree species align, known as the interspecific growth-mortality trade-off. This paradigm is widely accepted but not well established. Using demographic data for 1,111 tree species across ten tropical forests, we tested the generality of the growth-mortality trade-off and evaluated its underlying drivers using two species-specific parameters describing resource allocation strategies: tolerance of resource limitation and responsiveness of allocation to resource access. Globally, a canonical growth-mortality trade-off emerged, but the trade-off was strongly observed only in less disturbance-prone forests, which contained diverse resource allocation strategies. Only half of disturbance-prone forests, which lacked tolerant species, exhibited the trade-off. Supported by a theoretical model, our findings raise questions about whether the growth-mortality trade-off is a universally applicable organizing framework for understanding tropical forest community structure.
Whistles emitted by Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Zhanjiang waters, China, were collected by using autonomous acoustic recorders. A total of 529 whistles with clear contours and signal-to-noise ratio higher than 10 dB were extracted for analysis. The fundamental frequencies and durations of analyzed whistles were in ranges of 1785-21 675 Hz and 30-1973 ms, respectively. Six tonal types were identified: constant, downsweep, upsweep, concave, convex, and sine whistles. Constant type was the most dominant tonal type, accounting for 32.51% of all whistles, followed by sine type, accounting for 19.66% of all whistles. This paper examined 17 whistle parameters, which showed significant differences among the six tonal types. Whistles without inflections, gaps, and stairs accounted for 62.6%, 80.6%, and 68.6% of all whistles, respectively. Significant intraspecific differences in all duration and frequency parameters of dolphin whistles were found between this study and the study in Malaysia. Except for start frequency, maximum frequency and the number of harmonics, all whistle parameters showed significant differences between this study and the study conducted in Sanniang Bay, China. The intraspecific differences in vocalizations for this species may be related to macro-geographic and/or environmental variations among waters, suggesting a potential geographic isolation among populations of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.
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.
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.
Males of certain species belonging to the Bactrocera dorsalis complex are strongly attracted to, and readily feed on methyl eugenol (ME), a plant secondary compound that is found in over 480 plant species worldwide. Amongst those species is one of the world's most severe fruit pests the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis s.s., and the former taxonomic species Bactrocera invadens, Bactrocera papayae and Bactrocera philippinensis. The latter species have been recently synonymised with Bactrocera dorsalis based on their very similar morphology, mating compatibility, molecular genetics and identical sex pheromones following consumption of ME. Previous studies have shown that male fruit fly responsiveness to lures is a unique phenomenon that is dose species-specific, besides showing a close correlation to sexual maturity attainment. This led us to use ME sensitivity as a behavioural parameter to test if Bactrocera dorsalis and the three former taxonomic species had similar sensitivity towards odours of ME. Using Probit analysis, we estimated the median dose of ME required to elicit species' positive response in 50% of each population tested (ED50). ED50 values were compared between Bactrocera dorsalis and the former species. Our results showed no significant differences between Bactrocera dorsalis s.s., and the former Bactrocera invadens, Bactrocera papayae and Bactrocera philippinensis in their response to ME. We consider that the Bactrocera males' sensitivity to ME may be a useful behavioural parameter for species delimitation and, in addition to other integrative taxonomic tools used, provides further supportive evidence that the four taxa belong to one and the same biological species, Bactrocera dorsalis.
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.
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.
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.
The highly social (eusocial) corbiculate bees, comprising the honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees, are ubiquitous insect pollinators that fulfill critical roles in ecosystem services and human agriculture. Here, we conduct wide sampling across the phylogeny of these corbiculate bees and reveal a dynamic evolutionary history behind their microbiota, marked by multiple gains and losses of gut associates, the presence of generalist as well as host-specific strains, and patterns of diversification driven, in part, by host ecology (for example, colony size). Across four continents, we found that different host species have distinct gut communities, largely independent of geography or sympatry. Nonetheless, their microbiota has a shared heritage: The emergence of the eusocial corbiculate bees from solitary ancestors appears to coincide with the acquisition of five core gut bacterial lineages, supporting the hypothesis that host sociality facilitates the development and maintenance of specialized microbiomes.