African Zoology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az <p><em>African Zoology</em>, a peer-reviewed research journal, publishes original scientific contributions and critical reviews that focus principally on African fauna in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Research from other regions that advances practical and theoretical aspects of zoology will be considered. Rigorous question-driven research in all aspects of zoology will take precedence over descriptive research. The journal publishes full-length papers, critical reviews, short communications, letters to the editors as well as book reviews. Contributions based on purely observational, descriptive or anecdotal data will not be considered.</p><p>Other websites associated with this journal: <a title="http://www.nisc.co.za/products/59/journals/african-zoology" href="http://www.nisc.co.za/products/59/journals/african-zoology" target="_blank">http://www.nisc.co.za/products/59/journals/african-zoology</a></p> NISC (Pty) Ltd en-US African Zoology 1562-7020 The copyright belongs to the Zoological Society of Southern Africa. Milk evolution with emphasis on the Atlantogenata https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203412 <p>The milk composition of each species is unique, because it has evolved according to specific needs and adaptation to the environment. As milk data from more species became available, an evolutionary trend shows a phylogenetic distinction between Eutherian taxa regarding milk composition. For example, differences in the composition and properties of nutrients have been reported between carnivores and herbivores, as well as between ruminants and non-ruminants. Although limited, data of the three subclades of the Eutheria (Xenarthra, Afrotheria and Boreoeutheria) suggest that a phylogenetic distinction in milk composition may also exist between them. In this review, the validity of such a distinction is investigated with emphasis on the Atlantogenata.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: α-lactalbumin, casein, fatty acid, lactose, oligosaccharide</p> Gernot Osthoff Moses Madende Arnold Hugo Hendrik JB Butler Copyright (c) 2021-02-01 2021-02-01 55 4 257–266 257–266 Monitoring metals in South African harbours between 2008 and 2009, using resident mussels as indicator organisms https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203415 <p>More than 65% of the South African coastline is threatened as a result of pollution, a large proportion of which is land derived. To date the majority of published data on metal monitoring has been on limited regions or once-off sampling events. In this paper, we present the first data on metal exposure at sites along the eastern seaboard of South Africa in resident brown mussels (<em>Perna perna</em>) from six harbour sites (Cape Town, Durban, East London, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth and Richards Bay Harbours) over a two-year period (2008 and 2009). These data do not represent historical or the current metal exposure levels, but rather an indication of the degree of metal exposure fluctuations over two years at the same site. Metal accumulation of aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, lead, selenium, strontium, uranium and zinc was determined by thermo-inductive coupled plasma mass spectrophotometry. The results showed marked fluctuations in metal concentrations between years and identified Cape Town, Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth Harbours as those sites where mussels had the highest metal levels. Statistically significant variations in metal concentrations were observed between the two sampling periods and the six harbours. Metal concentrations decreased from 2008 to 2009, which was largely attributed to changes in ambient metal concentrations, as a result of variable non-point discharges of metals into the harbours and larger-scale oceanographic changes in upwelling events. The results further emphasise the necessity for annual monitoring of the South African marine environment.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> metal accumulation, pollution monitoring, bivalves, Perna perna</p> V Wepener N Degger Copyright (c) 2021-02-01 2021-02-01 55 4 267–277 267–277 Differences in metal compositions and concentrations of sympatric predatory fish and squid from the South Atlantic Ocean https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203416 <p>Metals occur naturally in the environment and in organisms. Organisms at higher trophic levels may contain metals at elevated concentrations, as a result of accumulation from anthropogenic and natural sources, potentially making them more susceptible to detrimental effects, as well as passing them on to consumers. The concentrations of thirty metals were quantified in hake (<em>Merluccius capensis</em>), kingklip (<em>Genypterus capensis</em>), monkfish (<em>Lophius vomerinus</em>) and chokka (<em>Loligo reynaudi</em>i) collected from the South Atlantic Ocean of South Africa in February 2017 and February 2019, using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Metal concentrations and composition in nektobenthic chokka differed significantly from the three demersal fish predators (hake, kingklip, and monkfish). Demersal fish metal concentrations and relative pattern compositions (fingerprints) were similar. Because the samples were collected within an 80 km radius, the differences are likely as a result of a combination of factors, such as diet, habitat (depth), and differences in the physiological regulation of metals between cephalopods and fish, rather than location. Based on South African estimated daily intake, total hazard quotient and European Union limits for mercury, cadmium and lead, these four economically important species from the South Atlantic Ocean are safe for human consumption. Plankton, herbivorous marine species, and larger predators, such as sharks and dolphins, should be studied to obtain further insight into metals as baseline for monitoring possible future pollution and effects from climate change, trophic transfer, toxic effects, and human consumer safety.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> cadmium, chokka squid, lead, mercury, muscle tissue, South Africa</p> Ryan C Uren Francois Bothma Carl D van der Lingen Hindrik Bouwman Copyright (c) 2021-02-01 2021-02-01 55 4 278–291 278–291 Gonadal development and intersex condition of marbled lungfish, <i>Protopterus aethiopicus</i> (Heckel, 1851), in contaminated sites in Lake Victoria, Uganda https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203685 <p>The first evidence of the impact of environmental contamination on populations of<em> Protopterus aethiopicus</em> (Heckel, 1851) in terms of body indices, cellular development (histology) and intersex condition in Lake Victoria, Uganda is provided. Specimens were obtained from the more polluted swampy areas receiving wastes from residential and industrial settings (Ggaba, n = 11; Port Bell, n = 10; and Jinja, n = 7), and rural, less polluted areas (Bukakata, n = 3; Kasensero, n = 4; and Bale, n = 2), and gonadosomatic indices, growth condition factor and the morphometric body characteristics were determined. Fish specimens in less polluted sites had better condition and shapes, regardless of sex, compared with those in more polluted sites of the lake. Most lungfish collected had a total length of 45–55 cm. Irrespective of sex of fish and level of pollution at collection sites, samples (n = 26) collected inshore (1 063.42 g ± 109.32 SE) were heavier than those collected (n = 11) offshore (680.09 g ± 108.85 SE), F<sub>(1, 35)</sub> = 6.288, p = 0.019. Mean values of gonadosomatic indices were significantly higher in less polluted sites, compared with chemically contaminated urban sites (F<sub>(5, 31)</sub> = 2.783, p = 0.034), suggesting better growth performance in the former. Spermatogenic cell development progressed as spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids and spermatozoa among males. For oogenic cells, development was through chromatin nucleolar, perinucleolar, cortical alveolar, early vitellogenic and late vitellogenic oocytes. Histological examinations revealed group asynchronous gonadal development and intersex condition among <em>P. aethiopicus</em> populations in Lake Victoria.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> asynchronous gonadal development, environmental contamination, gonadosomatic indices, lake pollution</p> Inuwa Badamasi Robinson Odong Charles Masembe Copyright (c) 2021-02-08 2021-02-08 55 4 292–302 292–302 Distribution and abundance of African elephants in Ngorongoro Crater, northern Tanzania https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203687 <p>We studied the distribution and abundance of African elephants in Ngorongoro Crater (NC), northern Tanzania to test whether male and female elephants select different habitats and to assess whether elephant abundance was related to monthly precipitation. From 2016 to 2017, we conducted thirteen total counts in the dry and wet seasons and collected data on elephant age, sex, social structure, and habitat use. Most elephants encountered in NC were male-only groups (70%). Elephant numbers were significantly greater in the wet season, compared with the dry season evidenced by a significant and positive linear relationship between elephant abundance and monthly rainfall. Elephants in the NC showed distinct sex segregation, with males preferring open habitats (swamps and grasslands) and female groups preferring closed habitats (bush-shrubland and <em>Vachellia xanthophloea</em> woodland). This study advances our understanding of elephant grouping patterns and sex-specific habitat usage in savannah ecosystems.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> habitat selection, Loxodonta africana, population structure, seasons, segregation, wildlife counts</p> John Kioko Alanna Horton Margo Libre Jennifer Vickers Emma Dressel Heather Kasey Pastory M Ndegeya Donatus Gadiye Bernard Kissui Christian Kiffner Copyright (c) 2021-02-08 2021-02-08 55 4 303–310 303–310 New insights into the taxonomic status, distribution and natural history of De Witte’s Clicking Frog (<i>Kassinula wittei</i> Laurent, 1940) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203688 <p><em>Kassinula</em> is a monotypic genus of small frog in the family Hyperoliidae, only represented by <em>Kassinula wittei.</em> This species morphologically resembles both <em>Kassina Girard</em>, 1853 and <em>Afrixalus Laurent,</em> 1944, and its taxonomic status has been debated for decades. It has previously been subsumed within <em>Kassina,</em> and is currently placed as a sister genus to <em>Afrixalus</em>, although it has not been included in any phylogenetic studies until now. This species is poorly represented in museum collections and is only known from fewer than 35 specimens from southern Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjacent Zambia. Newly collected material from central Angola, a range extension of 400–800 km west of previously known localities, allowed us to revisit the taxonomic placement of the genus with the aid of phylogenetic analysis and shed light on its geographic distribution, morphology and natural history. Although our phylogenetic analysis is limited to a single mitochondrial gene (16S), we place Kassinula in the subfamily Hyperoliinae and closely related to <em>Afrixalus</em>, with a high degree of confidence. Further phylogenetic studies are needed before formally synonymising <em>Afrixalus</em> with <em>Kassinula.</em></p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> A m ph ibia, A ngola, m iniaturisation, O ka vango, Hyperoliinae</p> Werner Conradie Chad Keates Javier Lobón-Rovira Pedro Vaz Pinto Luke Verburgt Ninda L Baptista James Harvey Timóteo Júlio Copyright (c) 2021-02-08 2021-02-08 55 4 311–322 311–322 Tarantulas (Araneae: Theraphosidae) in the pet trade in South Africa https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203811 <p>Many alien species have been introduced around the world as part of the pet trade, and some have escaped captivity and become invasive. In South Africa, many species of tarantula (Theraphosidae) are kept as pets. It is not known which species are traded, which are most popular, and whether their names are correctly applied. Online traders and physical pet stores were investigated between 2015 and 2016 to determine the extent or size of trade, species composition, most popular species, and their invasion history elsewhere. In total, 36 specimens, three individuals from 12 putative species, were also purchased for DNA barcoding targeting the COI gene region to quantify the accuracy of tarantula identification by traders. In total, 195 tarantula species were advertised for sale, and the most popular species were <em>Brachypelma albopilosum Valerio, </em>1980 (n = 199), <em>B. vagans Ausserer</em>, 1875 (n = 132), and <em>Grammostola rosea Walckenaer</em>, 1837 (n = 120). The composition of shared species differed between the sources and most of the species were advertised online. Only one of the popular species, <em>B. vagans</em>, has been recorded as being invasive elsewhere. Only 36% of the barcoded specimens matched existing barcodes in online repositories that had the same species name. The three individuals from 12 putative species were not in the same terminal clade as those of conspecifics in the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) and the NCBI GenBank reference sequences. A large proportion of the known tarantula species are traded in South Africa and must be included in management and risk assessments to avoid potential invasions.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: alien species, biological invasions, e-commerce, establishment success, COI, DNA barcoding</p> Tinyiko C Shivambu Ndivhuwo Shivambu Robin Lyle Adriaana Jacobs Sabrina Kumschick Stefan H Foord Mark P Robertson Copyright (c) 2021-02-10 2021-02-10 55 4 323–336 323–336 A Malagasy element in Continental Africa: a new subspecies of the rare <i>Amauris nossima</i> (Nymphalidae, Danainae) from the Kenyan coast https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203814 <p><em>Amauris nossima</em> Ward (Nymphalidae, Danainae) was known before this study only from Madagascar and the island of Mayotte, without clearly defined subspecies, but with five names considered invalid or infrasubspecific. It has generally been considered a rare species of butterfly classified by IUCN as vulnerable (Vu B1 + 2c). Here, it is reported for the first time from continental Africa. A new subspecies <em>A. nossima</em> mrima n. ssp. is described from two remnants of rain forest, Mrima and Buda, on the southern Kenyan coast, where it occurs sympatrically with Amauris ochlea Boisduval, widely distributed in East Africa. Their, previously predicted, sister-species status is confirmed by morphological (male and female genitalia) and partial mitochondrial (COI) data. The finding of <em>A. nossima</em> in Kenya opens the discussion on a possible recolonization of Africa from Madagascar, which would be an exception to a predominant biogeographical pattern of African origin of Malagasy butterflies via overseas dispersal.</p> <p align="LEFT"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>Keywords: </strong>biogeography, dispersal, endemic, Madagascar , new taxa</span></span></p> Tomasz W Pyrcz Steve Collins Dorota Lachowska-Cierlik David C Lees Szabolcs Sáfian Klaudia Florczyk Copyright (c) 2021-02-10 2021-02-10 55 4 337–350 337–350 Adding another piece to the southern African <i>Cercopithecus</i> monkey phylogeography puzzle https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203816 <p>The taxonomy and number of<em> Cercopithecus</em> monkey radiation events in southern Africa are still debated. To date, genetic studies have largely been limited to single specimens per taxon and a scattered geographical distribution. A recent study focusing on South African <em>Cercopithecus</em> monkeys showed that populations can be divided into three distinct genetic entities. Our current study aims to add new mtDNA and microsatellite data from a coastal population (Vamizi Island) in Mozambique to compare to existing data from South Africa. Our additional data allowed analysis of the number and timing of radiation events of<em> Cercopithecus</em> monkeys in southern Africa. Here we propose the occurrence of a single, north-south radiation event during the mid-Pleistocene along the Afromontane forest belt and that after the Last Glacial Maximum, samango populations reradiated into (re)established coastal forests on a more local scale. Our population genetic data support this pattern for both Mozambican, as well as South African samango monkey populations. By including mtDNA sequence data from Cercopithecus across Africa, we also discuss the hypothesis that the ‘Kingdon Line’ may explain the divergence of two major species in Africa within the<em> C. mitis/nictitans</em> group:<em> C. albogularis and C. mitis</em>.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: mid-Pleistocene radiation, Mozambique, phylogeography, samango monkey, South Africa</p> Birthe Linden Desiré L Dalton Taryn MC Ralph Isabel Silva Antoinette Kotze Peter J Taylor Copyright (c) 2021-02-10 2021-02-10 55 4 351–362 351–362 Teratological cases of the ocular patterns in the South African endemic trapdoor spider genus <i>Stasimopus</i> Simon (1892) (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Stasimopidae) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203819 <p>Teratology is the science that deals with the causes and patterns of deformities, abnormalities and defects in the physical development of animals. Teratological occurrences can be due to genetic or environmental conditions. Ocular teratologies are common in hypogean spiders. This communication reports on the occurrence of ocular teratologies of the South African endemic spider family, Stasimopidae. A total of 212 spiders from various museum collections were examined for cases of ocular teratologies. Six females and one male were found to display some form of teratology. The species found to exhibit these were <em>Stasimopus patersonae, S. robertsi, S. insculptus peddiensis, S. griswoldi,</em> and three unidentified specimens. The teratologies range from reduced eye size to numerous additional eyes. The exact cause of the teratologies is unknown. They could, however, be linked to embryonic trauma or developmental issues, juvenile injury, or unusual environmental conditions during embryonic development. The spiders all survived to adulthood, as in hypogeal spiders eye sight is not the most relied on sense. Understanding the causes of teratologies is important as it may enable researchers to predict the effect of increasing chemical use and global climate change on the embryology of spiders.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> arachnid, deformity, environmental impacts, hypogean, South Africa, teratology</p> Shannon Mitchell Catherine Sole Robin Lyle Copyright (c) 2021-02-10 2021-02-10 55 4 363–367 363–367 Interspecific competition for cliff ledges on the Magaliesberg between nesting Verreaux’s Eagles and roosting Chacma baboons https://www.ajol.info/index.php/az/article/view/203820 <p>Animals that share suitable rock ledges located on near-vertical cliff faces are compelled to interact when using this<br>scarce resource. Because interspecific and exploitative competition for suitable ledges may have a vital influence<br>on the survival and reproduction of Verreaux’s Eagles (Aquila verreauxii) and Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus),<br>an investigation into the reciprocal rock-ledge usages by the two species will improve our understanding of this<br>trait. In this study, we used camera traps stationed at four eagle nests to study interspecific interactions at nest<br>sites. At the first two eagle nests, no baboons were recorded, and two young birds fledged successfully. At the<br>third nest, the baboons only slept on the nest once the fledgling successfully left the nest. At the fourth nest, the<br>eagles did not breed and the birds (eight visits) and baboons (three visits) used the nest interchangeably over a<br>28-day period. Whereas the cliff-ledge provided a secure nest site for the Verreaux’s Eagles in the breeding season,<br>for Chacma baboons sleeping on an inaccessible ledge may limit predation by terrestrial predators (e.g. by leopard<br>Panthera pardus). This alternating usage of cliff ledges suggests that the two species probably co-use this limited<br>cliffside resource to increase their own fitness.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: apex predator, Aquila verreauxii, baboon-eagle co-use, competition, exploitative, interference competition, Papio ursinus</p> G Malan K Padayachee Copyright (c) 2021-02-10 2021-02-10 55 4 368–371 368–371