ResearchPad - animal-wings https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Wing morphology predicts individual niche specialization in <i>Pteronotus mesoamericanus</i> (Mammalia: Chiroptera)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7639 Morphological variation between individuals can increase niche segregation and decrease intraspecific competition when heterogeneous individuals explore their environment in different ways. Among bat species, wing shape correlates with flight maneuverability and habitat use, with species that possess broader wings typically foraging in more cluttered habitats. However, few studies have investigated the role of morphological variation in bats for niche partitioning at the individual level. To determine the relationship between wing shape and diet, we studied a population of the insectivorous bat species Pteronotus mesoamericanus in the dry forest of Costa Rica. Individual diet was resolved using DNA metabarcoding, and bat wing shape was assessed using geometric morphometric analysis. Inter-individual variation in wing shape showed a significant relationship with both dietary dissimilarity based on Bray-Curtis estimates, and nestedness derived from an ecological network. Individual bats with broader and more rounded wings were found to feed on a greater diversity of arthropods (less nested) in comparison to individuals with triangular and pointed wings (more nested). We conclude that individual variation in bat wing morphology can impact foraging efficiency leading to the observed overall patterns of diet specialization and differentiation within the population.

]]>
<![CDATA[Incidence of deformities and variation in shape of mentum and wing of Chironomus columbiensis (Diptera, Chironomidae) as tools to assess aquatic contamination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f776d5eed0c4843861ef

Constantly, aquatic ecosystems are under pressure by complex mixtures of contaminants whose effects are not always easy to evaluate. Due to this, organisms are sought in which early warning signs may be detected upon the presence of potentially toxic xenobiotic substances. Thereby, the study evaluated the incidence of deformities and other morphometric variations in the mentum and wing of Chironomus columbiensis exposed to water from some of the Colombian Andes affected by mining, agriculture, and cattle raising. Populations of C. columbiensis were subjected throughout their life cycle (24 days) for two generations (F1 and F2). Five treatments were carried out in controlled laboratory conditions (water from the site without impact, site of mining mercury, mining mercury + cyanide, cattle raising, and agriculture) and the respective control (reconstituted water). Thereafter, the percentage of deformities in the mentum was calculated, and for the morphometric analysis 29 landmarks were digitized for the mentum and 12 for the wing. As a result, four types of deformities were registered in the C. columbiensis mentum, like absence of teeth, increased number of teeth, fusion and space between teeth, none of them detected in the individuals from the control. Additionally, the highest incidence of deformity in F1 occurred in the treatment of mining mercury, while for F2 this took place in the treatments of mining mercury + cyanide, cattle raising and agriculture. Differences were also found with respect to the morphometric variations of the mentum and wing of C. columbiensis among the control and the treatments with water from the creeks intervened. The treatments of mining mercury + cyanide and agriculture had the highest morphological variation in the mentum and wing of C. columbiensis. The results suggest that the anthropogenic impacts evaluated generate alterations in the oral apparatus of the larval state of C. columbiensis and in the adult state provoke alterations in the wing shape (increased width and reduced basal area). These deformities may be related to multiple stress factors, among them the xenobiotics metabolized by the organisms under conditions of environmental contamination.

]]>
<![CDATA[Evolutionary relationships of courtship songs in the parasitic wasp genus, Cotesia (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390ba6d5eed0c48491db08

Acoustic signals play an important role in premating isolation based on sexual selection within many taxa. Many male parasitic wasps produce characteristic courtship songs used by females in mate selection. In Cotesia (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae), courtship songs are generated by wing fanning with repetitive pulses in stereotypical patterns. Our objectives were to sample the diversity of courtship songs within Cotesia and to identify e underlying patterns of differentiation. We compared songs among 12 of ca. 80 Cotesia species in North America, including ten species that have not been recorded previously. For Cotesia congregata, we compared songs of wasps originating from six different host-foodplant sources, two of which are considered incipient species. Songs of emergent males from wild caterpillar hosts in five different families were recorded, and pattern, frequency, and duration of song elements analyzed. Principal component analysis converted the seven elements characterized into four uncorrelated components used in a hierarchical cluster analysis and grouped species by similarity of song structure. Species songs varied significantly in duration of repeating pulse and buzz elements and/or in fundamental frequency. Cluster analysis resolved similar species groups in agreement with the most recent molecular phylogeny for Cotesia spp., indicating the potential for using courtship songs as a predictor of genetic relatedness. Courtship song analysis may aid in identifying closely related cryptic species that overlap spatially, and provide insight into the evolution of this highly diverse and agriculturally important taxon.

]]>
<![CDATA[Geolocator deployment reduces return rate, alters selection, and impacts demography in a small songbird]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab869d5eed0c484027f3c

In the past few years, miniature light-level geolocators have been developed for tracking wild bird species that were previously too small to track during their full annual cycle. Geolocators offer an exciting opportunity to study the full annual cycle for many species. However, the potential detrimental effects of carrying geolocators are still poorly understood, especially for small-bodied birds. Here, we deployed light-level geolocators on common yellowthroat warblers (Geothlypis trichas). Over two years, we monitored return rates and neighborhood demography for 40 warblers carrying a geolocator and 20 reference birds that did not carry a geolocator. We compared the two groups with long-term data from 108 unmanipulated birds breeding at the same location in previous and subsequent years. Overall, we found that individuals carrying a geolocator were less likely to return to the study site in the following year (21% to 33% returned, depending on inclusion criteria) than either contemporaneous controls (55%) or long-term controls (55%). Among birds marked with geolocators, we also detected viability selection for greater wing length, whereas this pattern was not present in control birds. Finally, in each year after geolocator deployment, inexperienced breeders colonized vacant territories and this demographic effect persisted for two years after deployment. Sexual selection and ornamentation are strongly age-dependent in this system, and behavioral data collected after geolocator deployment is likely to differ systematically from natural conditions. Clearly geolocators will continue to be useful tools, but we suggest that future studies should carefully consider the potential for biased returns and the ecological validity of behavioral data collected from geolocator marked populations.

]]>
<![CDATA[A molecular, morphological, and physiological comparison of English and German populations of Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed75ad5eed0c484f13fa1

The bluebottle blow fly Calliphora vicina is a common species distributed throughout Europe that can play an important role as forensic evidence in crime investigations. Developmental rates of C. vicina from distinct populations from Germany and England were compared under different temperature regimes to explore the use of growth data from different geographical regions for local case work. Wing morphometrics and molecular analysis between these populations were also studied as indicators for biological differences. One colony each of German and English C. vicina were cultured at the Institute of Legal Medicine in Frankfurt, Germany. Three different temperature regimes were applied, two constant (16°C & 25°C) and one variable (17–26°C, room temperature = RT). At seven time points (600, 850, 1200, 1450, 1800, 2050, and 2400 accumulated degree hours), larval lengths were measured; additionally, the durations of the post feeding stage and intrapuparial metamorphosis were recorded. For the morphometric and molecular study, 184 females and 133 males from each C. vicina population (Germany n = 3, England n = 4) were sampled. Right wings were measured based on 19 landmarks and analyzed using canonical variates analysis and discriminant function analysis. DNA was isolated from three legs per specimen (n = 61) using 5% chelex. A 784 bp long fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene was sequenced; sequences were aligned and phylogenetically analyzed. Similar larval growth rates of C. vicina were found from different geographic populations at different temperatures during the major part of development. Nevertheless, because minor differences were found a wider range of temperatures and sampling more time points should be analyzed to obtain more information relevant for forensic case work. Wing shape variation showed a difference between the German and English populations (P<0.0001). However, separation between the seven German and English populations at the smaller geographic scale remained ambiguous. Molecular phylogenetic analysis by maximum likelihood method could not unambiguously separate the different geographic populations at a national (Germany vs England) or local level.

]]>
<![CDATA[Biomechanics of the peafowl’s crest reveals frequencies tuned to social displays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c08422ad5eed0c484fcc09a

Feathers act as vibrotactile sensors that can detect mechanical stimuli during avian flight and tactile navigation, suggesting that they may also detect stimuli during social displays. In this study, we present the first measurements of the biomechanical properties of the feather crests found on the heads of birds, with an emphasis on those from the Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus). We show that in peafowl these crest feathers are coupled to filoplumes, small feathers known to function as mechanosensors. We also determined that airborne stimuli with the frequencies used during peafowl courtship and social displays couple efficiently via resonance to the vibrational response of their feather crests. Specifically, vibrational measurements showed that although different types of feathers have a wide range of fundamental resonant frequencies, peafowl crests are driven near-optimally by the shaking frequencies used by peacocks performing train-rattling displays. Peafowl crests were also driven to vibrate near resonance in a playback experiment that mimicked the effect of these mechanical sounds in the acoustic very near-field, reproducing the way peafowl displays are experienced at distances ≤ 1.5m in vivo. When peacock wing-shaking courtship behaviour was simulated in the laboratory, the resulting airflow excited measurable vibrations of crest feathers. These results demonstrate that peafowl crests have mechanical properties that allow them to respond to airborne stimuli at the frequencies typical of this species’ social displays. This suggests a new hypothesis that mechanosensory stimuli could complement acoustic and visual perception and/or proprioception of social displays in peafowl and other bird species. We suggest behavioral studies to explore these ideas and their functional implications.

]]>