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Gen Comp Endocrinol ; 287: 113324, 2020 Feb 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31733208


There is growing interest in the use of glucocorticoid (GC) hormones to understand how wild animals respond to environmental challenges. Blood is the best medium for obtaining information about recent GC levels; however, obtaining blood requires restraint and can therefore be stressful and affect GC levels. There is a delay in GCs entering blood, and it is assumed that blood obtained within 3 min of first disturbing an animal reflects a baseline level of GCs, based largely on studies of birds and mammals. Here we present data on the timing of changes in the principle reptile GC, corticosterone (CORT), in four reptile species for which blood was taken within a range of times 11 min or less after first disturbance. Changes in CORT were observed in cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus; 4 min after first disturbance), rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus; 2 min 30 s), and rock iguanas (Cyclura cychlura; 2 min 44 s), but fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) did not exhibit a change within their 10-min sampling period. In both snake species, samples taken up to 3-7 min after CORT began to increase still had lower CORT concentrations than after exposure to a standard restraint stressor. The "3-min rule" appears broadly applicable as a guide for avoiding increases in plasma CORT due to handling and sampling in reptiles, but the time period in which to obtain true baseline CORT may need to be shorter in some species (rattlesnakes, rock iguanas), and may be unnecessarily limiting for others (cottonmouths, fence lizards).

Zootaxa ; 4623(1): zootaxa.4623.1.1, 2019 Jun 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31716271


A herpetological survey of the Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary in Kachin State, Myanmar resulted in the discovery of a new species of Cyrtodactylus Gray along the eastern watershed of the Mokso Mountains. An integrative taxonomic analysis based on the mitochondrial ND2 gene, morphology, and color pattern recovered this new species, Cyrtodactylus mombergi sp. nov., as the sister taxon to an undescribed species from Miao, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses recovered notable genetically divergent (4.7%) phylogeographic structure between northern and southern populations of C. mombergi sp. nov. across only 14 km of continuous habitat. Conversely, genetic divergence did not exceed 9.2% between C. mombergi sp. nov. and the undescribed species from Miao from across 355 km of habitat. Cyrtodactylus mombergi sp. nov. belongs to a well-supported, mitochondrial clade of 18 other species which now compose an expanded and redefined C. gansi group. Cyrtodactylus mombergi sp. nov. is only the third species of Bent-toed Gecko reported from Kachin State and indicates that additional herpetological surveys are needed in unexplored forested areas.

Lagartos , Animais , Teorema de Bayes , Ecossistema , Florestas , Índia , Mianmar , Filogenia
PeerJ ; 6: e5575, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30258710


A phylogenetic taxonomy of species in the Cyrtodactylus peguensis group from the Ayeyarwady Basin of Myanmar is constructed based on color pattern, morphology, and molecular systematic analyses using the mitochondrial gene NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2. Newly collected samples from the type locality of C. peguensis and other localities indicate that this clade is endemic to central Myanmar and contains at least seven species, four of which are undescribed. Three species, including C. peguensis occur in the low hills of the Bago Yoma Range within the central portion of the Ayeyarwady Basin. Two of these, C. myintkyawthurai sp. nov. from the northern and central Bago Yoma and C. meersi sp. nov. which is syntopic with C. peguensis in the southern Bago Yoma are described herein. As more lowland hilly areas bordering, and within the Ayeyarwady Basin are surveyed, more new species of this group are likely to be discovered. These discoveries continue the recent surge of descriptions of new species of Cyrtodactylus that are being discovered in Myanmar.

Gen Comp Endocrinol ; 243: 89-95, 2017 03 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27823955


Stress is believed to be an important factor mediating animal behavior. Here we explore the relationship between concentrations of a stress hormone and defensive behavior of a snake. The cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) is an abundant, large-bodied pitviper that is well known for its intense defensive behaviors. The defensive behaviors and hormonal ecology of cottonmouths have been studied extensively, but the interaction between these is not well understood. We conducted field trials, recording the snake's behavior and obtaining blood samples to quantify plasma CORT concentrations, both upon first encountering a snake and after a 30min standardized confinement stressor. We found that snakes with elevated levels of baseline CORT at first encounter were more likely to strike than exhibit a threat display when approached in the field. However, this behavior was not related to the magnitude of the snake's CORT increase following confinement, suggesting that more stress-prone snakes are not more defensive. Post-stressor antipredator behavior was also not related to any of our CORT measures. This study suggests that baseline CORT levels can be important correlates of defensive behavior. If this is a causative relationship, environmental challenges that increase baseline stress levels of populations may elevate cottonmouth defensive behavior. This would increase costs associated with defensive behavior (energetic, lost opportunity, etc.) and have important consequences for animal-human interactions.

Agressão/fisiologia , Agkistrodon/fisiologia , Corticosterona/sangue , Comportamento Predatório/fisiologia , Estresse Fisiológico , Agkistrodon/sangue , Animais
Oecologia ; 181(3): 749-56, 2016 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27000944


As species become increasingly exposed to novel challenges, it is critical to understand how evolutionary (i.e., generational) and plastic (i.e., within lifetime) responses work together to determine a species' fate or predict its distribution. The introduction of non-native species imposes novel pressures on the native species that they encounter. Understanding how native species exposed to toxic or distasteful invaders change their feeding behavior can provide insight into their ability to cope with these novel threats as well as broader questions about the evolution of this behavior. We demonstrated that native eastern fence lizards do not avoid consuming invasive fire ants following repeated exposure to this toxic prey. Rather fence lizards increased their consumption of these ants following exposure on three different temporal scales. Lizards ate more fire ants when they were exposed to this toxic prey over successive days. Lizards consumed more fire ants if they had been exposed to fire ants as juveniles 6 months earlier. Finally, lizards from populations exposed to fire ants over multiple generations consumed more fire ants than those from fire ant-free areas. These results suggest that the potentially lethal consumption of fire ants may carry benefits resulting in selection for this behavior, and learning that persists long after initial exposure. Future research on the response of native predators to venomous prey over multiple temporal scales will be valuable in determining the long-term effects of invasion by these novel threats.

Formigas , Lagartos , Animais , Evolução Biológica , Comportamento Alimentar