The unexpected finding of Parapholidoptera castaneoviridis in south-eastern Romania (Insecta, Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae).
ABSTRACT: The Balkano-Anatolian genus Parapholidoptera comprises 21 species and the westernmost one, Parapholidoptera castaneoviridis, previously recognized to occur in western Turkey, north-eastern Greece and south-eastern Bulgaria is recorded for the first time from south-eastern Romania, almost 300 km away from the closest known locality. Illustrations and measurements of morphological characters are given and the male calling song from this new, northernmost population is described.
Project description:Described from the steppe zones north of the Black Sea, Caucasus, and central Asia, Gryllotalpa stepposa Zhantiev was recently recorded from a few localities in Greece, R. Macedonia, and Bulgaria. In May 2015, several specimens were collected from Ivrinezu Mare in Romania, which suggested a continuous distribution area of the species, stretching from the central Balkans to central Asia. Thus, to reveal its actual range of occurrence, a survey of several Orthoptera collections became mandatory and, as expected, a large number of misidentified specimens of Gryllotalpa stepposa were discovered, providing new data on the species distribution in south-eastern Europe, including also the first records of this mole cricket in Serbia and Hungary. Here a full locality list is presented of this species west of Ukraine and Moldova and the current geographic distribution of the genus Gryllotalpa in the Balkans is revised. A key for distinguishing the mole crickets in south-eastern Europe and a distribution map for this region are presented.
Project description:A new, morphologically cryptic species of phaneropterine bush-crickets is described from the grasslands of the Romanian Eastern Carpathians. Despite the morphological and acoustic similarities with the recently described Isophya nagyi Szövényi, Puskás & Orci, I. bucovinensissp. n. is characterized by a peculiar male calling song, with faster syllable repetition rate (160-220 syllables per minute, at 22-27°C) and less complex syllable structure (composed of only two elements instead of three observable in I. nagyi). The morphological description of the new species is supplemented with an oscillographic and spectrographic analysis of the male calling song and male-female pair-forming acoustic duet. An acoustic signal-based identification key is provided for all the presently known species of the Isophya camptoxypha species group, including the new species.
Project description:AIM: Our aims were to assess the phylogeographic patterns of genetic diversity in eastern Mediterranean water frogs and to estimate divergence times using different geological scenarios. We related divergence times to past geological events and discuss the relevance of our data for the systematics of eastern Mediterranean water frogs. LOCATION: The eastern Mediterranean region. METHODS: Genetic diversity and divergence were calculated using sequences of two protein-coding mitochondrial (mt) genes: ND2 (1038 bp, 119 sequences) and ND3 (340 bp, 612 sequences). Divergence times were estimated in a Bayesian framework under four geological scenarios representing alternative possible geological histories for the eastern Mediterranean. We then compared the different scenarios using Bayes factors and additional geological data. RESULTS: Extensive genetic diversity in mtDNA divides eastern Mediterranean water frogs into six main haplogroups (MHG). Three MHGs were identified on the Anatolian mainland; the most widespread MHG with the highest diversity is distributed from western Anatolia to the northern shore of the Caspian Sea, including the type locality of Pelophylax ridibundus. The other two Anatolian MHGs are restricted to south-eastern Turkey, occupying localities west and east of the Amanos mountain range. One of the remaining three MHGs is restricted to Cyprus; a second to the Levant; the third was found in the distribution area of European lake frogs (P. ridibundus group), including the Balkans. MAIN CONCLUSIONS: Based on geological evidence and estimates of genetic divergence we hypothesize that the water frogs of Cyprus have been isolated from the Anatolian mainland populations since the end of the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), i.e. since c. 5.5-5.3 Ma, while our divergence time estimates indicate that the isolation of Crete from the mainland populations (Peloponnese, Anatolia) most likely pre-dates the MSC. The observed rates of divergence imply a time window of c. 1.6-1.1 million years for diversification of the largest Anatolian MHG; divergence between the two other Anatolian MHGs may have begun about 3.0 Ma, apparently as a result of uplift of the Amanos Mountains. Our mtDNA data suggest that the Anatolian water frogs and frogs from Cyprus represent several undescribed species.
Project description:European brown hare, Lepus europaeus, from Central and Eastern European countries (Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Lithuania, Romania, Georgia and Italy) were sampled, and phylogenetic analyses were carried out on two datasets: 1.) 137 sequences (358 bp) of control region mtDNA; and 2.) 105 sequences of a concatenated fragment (916 bp), including the cytochrome b, tRNA-Thr, tRNA-Pro and control region mitochondrial DNA. Our sequences were aligned with additional brown hare sequences from GenBank. A total of 52 and 51 haplotypes were detected within the two datasets, respectively, and assigned to two previously described major lineages: Anatolian/Middle Eastern (AME) and European (EUR). Furthermore, the European lineage was divided into two subclades including South Eastern European (SEE) and Central European (CE). Sympatric distribution of the lineages of the brown hare in South-Eastern and Eastern Europe revealed contact zones there. BAPS analysis assigned sequences from L. europaeus to five genetic clusters, whereas CE individuals were assigned to only one cluster, and AME and SEE sequences were each assigned to two clusters. Our findings uncover numerous novel haplotypes of Anatolian/Middle Eastern brown hare outside their main range, as evidence for the combined influence of Late Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and anthropogenic activities in shaping the phylogeographic structure of the species. Our results support the hypothesis of a postglacial brown hare expansion from Anatolia and the Balkan Peninsula to Central and Eastern Europe, and suggest some slight introgression of individual haplotypes from L. timidus to L. europaeus.
Project description:The genus Troglostrongylus includes nematodes infecting domestic and wild felids. Troglostrongylus brevior was described six decades ago in Palestine and subsequently reported in some European countries (Italy, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina). As the diagnosis by the first-stage larvae (L1) may be challenging, there is a possibility of confusion with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus. Hence, the knowledge on the distribution of this neglected feline parasite is still scarce. The present paper reports the first case of T. brevior infection in Romania. In July 2017, a road-killed juvenile male Felis silvestris, was found in in Covasna County, Romania. A full necropsy was performed and the nematodes were collected from the trachea and bronchioles. Parasites were sexed and identified to species level, based on morphometrical features. A classical Baermann method was performed on the lungs and the faeces to collect the metastrongyloid larvae. Genomic DNA was extracted from an adult female nematode. Molecular identification was accomplished with a PCR assay targeting the ITS2 of the rRNA gene.Two males and one female nematodes were found in the trachea and bronchioles. They were morphologically and molecularly identified as T. brevior. The first-stage larvae (L1) recovered from the lung tissue and faeces were morphologically consistent with those of T. brevior. No other pulmonary nematodes were identified and no gross pulmonary lesions were observed.This paper represents the first report of Troglostrongylus brevior infection in Romania, so far representing the second northernmost location for this genus in Europe. The diversity of species infecting wild and domestic felids and the differences regarding the clinical significance of these nematodes highlight the need for a more intense surveillance and proper diagnosis of feline lungworm infections, especially in countries where more species were demonstrated to be present. Furthermore, an increased awareness between clinicians is needed for a correct diagnostic approach to feline lungworm diagnosis.
Project description:A description of four new species of Dolichopoda Bolivar, 1880 (Orthoptera, Rhaphidophoridae) from Eastern Aegean region (Southern Sporades), including Western Turkey, is reported. This brings to a total of 11 the number of Dolichopoda species recorded for caves of the Aegean area. Overall, these species show a high degree of morphological homogeneity and they are very close to Dolichopoda paraskevi Boudou-Saltet, 1973 from Crete and Dolichopoda naxia Boudou-Saltet, 1972 from Cyclades (Naxos Island). The Western Turkish species are morphologically not closely related to the other Anatolian species; this suggests an independent origin for the taxa occurring in the Southern Taurus and Black Sea regions. These new data help to better define the already high level of diversity of the Hellenic Dolichopoda and strengthen the hypothesis that the central area of dispersal for the genus would correspond to the ancient Aegean plate.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Little is known regarding initiation of insulin therapy in type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Central and South-Eastern European countries. Therefore, we conducted a survey to characterise the prescribing practices of specialist diabetes healthcare professionals in this region and assessed factors that influence clinical decision-making regarding insulin initiation in T2D.<h4>Methods</h4>A cross-sectional survey sampled 211 specialist diabetes healthcare prescribers from five Central and South-Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, and Slovenia). A structured questionnaire was developed which surveyed current clinical practices and influencing factors, barriers to insulin initiation, and combination therapy prescribing preferences.<h4>Result</h4>Only 9.4% (20 of out of 211 respondents) of healthcare professionals would initiate insulin therapy in T2D patients at the recommended HbA1c threshold of 7-7.9% [53-63 mmol/mol]. Large regional differences were evident in insulin initiation thresholds (??9.0% [??75 mmol/mol]: Bulgaria 80.8% vs. Slovenia 13.3%). Psychological distress was recorded as the major barrier to insulin initiation. Health insurance regulations were ranked more important than personal clinical experience and clinical guidelines in clinical decision-making. Information from peers was more influential than manufacturer information, clinical experience, and continuous medical education, respectively, for insulin initiation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Despite large regional variation, there is widespread delay of insulin initiation from specialist diabetes healthcare professionals in Central and South-Eastern Europe.
Project description:The genital anatomy of Orcula jetschini (Romania), Orcula zilchi (Bulgaria), and Orcula wagneri (Albania) is described. Based on anatomical features (morphology of the penial caecum) shell characters (sculpture and shape) and unpublished molecular data the genus Orcula is subdivided into three subgenera. Orcula zilchi was classified within the monotypic subgenus Orcula (Hausdorfia) subgen. n.; Orcula jetschini, Orcula wagneri, and Orcula schmidtii were classified to Orcula (Illyriobanatica) subgen. n. (type species: Pupa schmidtii) whereas the other Orcula species remain in the nominotypical subgenus. Orcula (Hausdorfia) is known from South-Eastern Bulgaria and North-Western Turkey, Orcula (Illyriobanatica) inhabits Western Romania, North-Western Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro. The nine species of Orcula (Orcula) are known mainly from the Alps and the Western Carpathians (from Eastern France to Eastern Hungary and Slovakia). The occurrence of only one Orcula species namely Orcula jetschini is verified from Romania. Available information suggests that data on the Romanian occurrence of Orcula dolium and Orcula gularis were based on wrongly identified specimens. Sphyradium dobrogicum (=Orcula dobrogica) is considered as a synonym of Sphyradium doliolum.
Project description:New Mydidae species are described from the Afrotropical and Oriental regions including the first records of this family from several countries in eastern Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) and Mauritania in western Africa as well as Nepal and Thailand in Asia. The new species are, Leptomydinae: Leptomydas notossp. n. (south-western India), Leptomydas raptisp. n. (south-central Nepal), Leptomydas tigrissp. n. (north-central Thailand); Syllegomydinae: Mydaselpidini: Mydaselpis ngurumanisp. n. (south-eastern Kenya, north-eastern Tanzania), Vespiodes phaiossp. n. (south-eastern Kenya); Syllegomydinae: Syllegomydini: Syllegomydas (Notobates) astrictussp. n. (Kenya), Syllegomydas (Notobates) heothinossp. n. (Kenya and Uganda), Syllegomydas (Syllegomydas) elachyssp. n. (northern Zimbabwe). Syllegomydas (Syllegomydas) proximus Séguy, 1928 is recorded from western Mauritania and re-described. Syllegomydas (Notobates) dispar (Loew, 1852), which was previously listed as incertae sedis in the Afrotropical Diptera catalogue, is re-described and illustrated based on examination of the type specimens and several additional specimens from Mozambique. Cephalocera annulata Brunetti, 1912 and Syllegomydas bucciferus Séguy, 1928, described from north-eastern India and previously unplaced in the Oriental Diptera catalogue, are newly combined with Leptomydas Gerstaecker, 1868 and together with Leptomydas indianus Brunetti, 1912, also from north-eastern India, placed in Leptomydinae. Comments on the possible synonymy of the genera of Mydaselpidini are made. Illustrations and photographs are provided to support the descriptions and future identification. A provisional dichotomous key to Mydidae genera occurring in eastern Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda) and the Oriental Region is provided. Distribution, occurrence in biodiversity hotspots and high-biodiversity wilderness areas, and seasonal incidence are discussed for all species.
Project description:To better define the structure and origin of the Bulgarian paternal gene pool, we have examined the Y-chromosome variation in 808 Bulgarian males. The analysis was performed by high-resolution genotyping of biallelic markers and by analyzing the STR variation within the most informative haplogroups. We found that the Y-chromosome gene pool in modern Bulgarians is primarily represented by Western Eurasian haplogroups with ? 40% belonging to haplogroups E-V13 and I-M423, and 20% to R-M17. Haplogroups common in the Middle East (J and G) and in South Western Asia (R-L23*) occur at frequencies of 19% and 5%, respectively. Haplogroups C, N and Q, distinctive for Altaic and Central Asian Turkic-speaking populations, occur at the negligible frequency of only 1.5%. Principal Component analyses group Bulgarians with European populations, apart from Central Asian Turkic-speaking groups and South Western Asia populations. Within the country, the genetic variation is structured in Western, Central and Eastern Bulgaria indicating that the Balkan Mountains have been permeable to human movements. The lineage analysis provided the following interesting results: (i) R-L23* is present in Eastern Bulgaria since the post glacial period; (ii) haplogroup E-V13 has a Mesolithic age in Bulgaria from where it expanded after the arrival of farming; (iii) haplogroup J-M241 probably reflects the Neolithic westward expansion of farmers from the earliest sites along the Black Sea. On the whole, in light of the most recent historical studies, which indicate a substantial proto-Bulgarian input to the contemporary Bulgarian people, our data suggest that a common paternal ancestry between the proto-Bulgarians and the Altaic and Central Asian Turkic-speaking populations either did not exist or was negligible.