• Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter.

      Bjorkman-Chiswell, Bojun T.; Kulinski, Melissa M.; Muscat, Robert L.; Nguyen, Kim A.; Norton, Briony, A.; Symonds, Matthew R. E.; Westhorpe, Gina E.; Elgar, Mark A.; University of Melbourne; James Cook University (Springer, 2004-05-01)
      The orb-weaving spider Nephila edulis incorporates into its web a band of decaying animal and plant matter. While earlier studies demonstrate that larger spiders utilise these debris bands as caches of food, the presence of plant matter suggests additional functions. When organic and plastic items were placed in the webs of N. edulis, some of the former but none of the latter were incorporated into the debris band. Using an Y-maze olfactometer, we show that sheep blowflies Lucilia cuprina are attracted to recently collected debris bands, but that this attraction does not persist over time. These data reveal an entirely novel foraging strategy, in which a sit-and-wait predator attracts insect prey by utilising the odours of decaying organic material. The spider’s habit of replenishing the debris band may be necessary to maintain its efficacy for attracting prey.
    • When Dads Help: Male Behavioral Care During Primate Infant Development

      Huck, Maren; Fernández-Duque, Eduardo; Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA; German Primate Centre , Department Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Göttingen, Germany; Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral, Conicet, Argentina (Springer, 2012)
      In contrast to birds, male mammals rarely help to raise the offspring. Of all mammals, only among rodents, carnivores, and primates, males are sometimes intensively engaged in providing infant care (Kleiman and Malcolm 1981). Male caretaking of infants has long been recognized in nonhuman primates (Itani 1959). Given that infant care behavior can have a positive effect on the infant’s development, growth, well-being, or survival, why are male mammals not more frequently involved in “building babies”? We begin the chapter defining a few relevant terms and introducing the theory and hypotheses that have historically addressed the evolution of paternal care. We then review empirical findings on male care among primate taxa, before focusing, in the final section, on our own work on paternal care in South American owl monkeys (Aotus spp.). We conclude the chapter with some suggestions for future studies.
    • White Syndrome in Acropora muricata: nonspecific bacterial infection and ciliate histophagy

      Sweet, Michael J.; Bythell, John C.; University of Derby; Molecular Health and Disease Laboratory; College of Life and Natural Sciences; University of Derby; Kedleston Road Derby DE56 0TA UK; University of the South Pacific; Laucala Campus; Suva Fiji (2015-02-23)
      Selective antibiotic treatment of white syndrome (WS)-affected corals (Acropora muricata) from Fiji was used to identify 3 potential bacterial pathogens of the disease. Interestingly, the suite of bacterial associates of the disease was different to that recently identified using identical primer sets for WS on the GBR and in the Solomon Islands. In addition to the three bacterial pathogenic candidates and as previously shown for WS and more recently for white band disease (WBD) in the Caribbean, all samples of the disease were specifically associated with the histophagous ciliate Philaster lucinda. From the pattern of disease progression and histopathology in relation to the selective elimination of microbial groups, we conclude that these ‘white’ dis-eases are a result of a nonspecific bacterial infection and a ‘secondary’ infection by the P. lucinda ciliate. Although we have not observed the initiation of infection, a nonspecific, multispecies bacterial infection appears to be a corequirement for WS lesion progression and we hypothesize that the bacterial infection occurs initially, weakening the defences of the host to predation by the ciliates. Such ciliate histophagy gives rise to the characteristic white band of denuded coral skeleton that gives these diseases their names. The characteristics of the microbial communities of WBD and WS appear identical, and since the bacterial associates of WS vary geographically (and/or tempo-rally), there appears to be no logical distinction between WS in the Indo-Pacific and WBD in the Caribbean.
    • Xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL]: a novel long-acting acylated analogue of xenin-25 with promising antidiabetic potential

      Gault, Victor A.; Martin, Christine M.; Flatt, Peter R.; Parthsarathy, Vadivel; Irwin, Nigel (Springer, 2015-06-01)
      AIMS: Xenin-25 is co-secreted with glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) from intestinal K-cells following a meal. Xenin-25 is believed to play a key role in glucose homoeostasis and potentiate the insulinotropic effect of GIP.METHODS: This study investigated the effects of sub-chronic administration of the stable and longer-acting xenin-25 analogue, xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL] (25 nmol/kg), in diabetic mice fed with a high-fat diet.RESULTS: Initial studies confirmed the significant persistent glucose-lowering (p < 0.05) and insulin-releasing (p < 0.05) actions of xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL] compared with native xenin-25. Interestingly, xenin-25 retained significant glucose-lowering activity in GIP receptor knockout mice. Twice-daily intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL] for 14 days had no significant effect on food intake or body weight in high-fat-fed mice. Non-fasting glucose and insulin levels were also unchanged, but overall glucose levels during an i.p. glucose tolerance and oral nutrient challenge were significantly (p < 0.05) lowered by xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL] treatment. These changes were accompanied by significant improvements in i.p. (p < 0.05) and oral (p < 0.001) nutrient-stimulated insulin concentrations. No appreciable changes in insulin sensitivity were observed between xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL] and saline-treated high-fat mice. However, xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL] treatment restored notable sensitivity to the biological actions of exogenous GIP injection. Consumption of O2, production of CO2, respiratory exchange ratio and energy expenditure were not altered by 14-day twice-daily treatment with xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL]. In contrast, ambulatory activity was significantly (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001) increased during the dark phase in xenin-25[Lys(13)PAL] mice compared with high-fat controls.
    • Xestospongia testudinaria nighttime mass spawning observation in Indonesia.

      RÖTHIG, Till; VOOLSTRA, Christian R; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST); Red Sea Research Center, Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; Red Sea Research Center, Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (The Japanese Coral Reef Society, 2016-10-13)
    • Yaoundé-like virus in resident wild bird, Ghana

      Williams, Richard; Vázquez, Ana; Asante, Ivy; Bonney, Kofi; Odoom, Shirley; Puplampu, Naiki; Ampofo, William; Sánchez-Seco, María Paz; Tenorio, Antonio; Peterson, A. Townsend; et al. (Academic journals, 2012-03-09)
      Tissue and swab samples from 551 wild birds collected in Ghana (October-November 2007) were assayed for alphaviruses, flaviviruses, and influenza A viruses using polymerase chain (PCR) techniques. One pool sample tested positive for Flavivirus RNA; further testing revealed that the amplified sequence was Yaoundé virus (YAOV), or closely related to it. YAOV is an apparently rare Flavivirus closely related to medically important human pathogens Japanese Encephalitis virus and West Nile virus. It is known only from West Africa. This is the first detection from Ghana, and only the second detection from a bird. Samples were negative for alphaviruses and Influenza A virus.
    • Year-long monitoring of physico-chemical and biological variables provide a comparative baseline of coral reef functioning in the central Red Sea.

      Roik, Anna; Röthig, Till; Roder, Cornelia; Ziegler, Maren; Kremb, Stephan G.; Voolstra, Christian R.; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (2016-11-09)
    • 'Yellow syndrome' in scleractinian corals throughout Bintan Riau District, Kepulauan Province, Indonesia.

      Johan, Ofri; Budianto, Agus; Sweet, Michael J.; Research Institute for Ornamental Fish Culture; Research Center for Oceonography-Indonesian Institute for Science; University of Derby (Center for Fisheries Research and Development, 2017-06)
      Coral disease surveys were conducted in Bintan, Kepulauan Riau Province. The purpose was to identify the abundance of corals showing signs of Yellow Syndrome (YS) disease and to describe similar pathological signs to that of AYBD throughout Bintan District. Three belt transects (2 m x 50 m in size) were set up to determine the abundance of coral reef attacked by YS disease. Line intercept transects were used to determine the percentage of live corals in the surveyed areas. The survey showed that the YS disease syndrome attacked 8 different genera i.e. Acropora, Montipora, Porites, Pavona, Turbinaria, Favia, Platygyra, and Favites. The highest attack happened at Mapur Island (0.06 kol/m2 ) on Porites lutea, Turbinaria peltata, T. mesenterina, Acropora bruggemanni, and Pavona frondifera. The survey also indicated that there may have been at least two types of YS i.e. the first type caused by a boring and/or over-growing sponge species and the second type caused by a kind of pathogenic microbe. Regardless the causal agent of YS, the severity of YS attack on coral urged immediate action to be undertaken and should include initial microscopic and histology examinations. Based on this initial microscopic and histology examinations it was found out that YS bears a close resemblance to the Arabian Yellow Band Disease. This study, however, argued that the word “disease” may have been incorrectly used without identifying a specific causal agent.