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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Biogeographia – The Journal of Integrative Biogeography is the scientific journal of the Italian Biogeography Society (SIB, [in Italian only]). Since 1970, it publishes original research and reviews on any topic in biogeography.


Hidden in the bark: the unexpected presence of the leaf-toed gecko, Euleptes europaea (Gené, 1839) (Squamata, Sphaerodactylidae), in Sicily

We report the first observations regarding the presence of the leaf-toed gecko, Euleptes europaea, in Sicily. During field activities for environmental impact assessment several leaf-toed gecko individuals were found in a restricted coastal area in the north-west of the island, near the city of Palermo. Further surveys were then carried out to better assess the presence of the species. A total of 21 E. europaea individuals were observed in a small area of approximately 4.4 hectares, consisting of mixed eucalyptus and pine reforestation. Out of the 21 individuals, there were 14 males, 5 females, and 2 whose sex could not be determined. Additionally, at least two pregnant females were observed. Leaf-toed geckos were found exclusively under eucalyptus bark, syntopic with two other Gekkota species (Tarentola mauritanica and Hemidactylus turcicus). The presence of such a breeding population of E. europaea is probably limited to a small area. However, our results do not allow us to clearly assess either its origin or its actual distribution and demography, therefore new field investigations are necessary.

Global chorotypes of European black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae)

Data on the distribution of 238 European black fly taxa recorded in 97 operational geographical units (OGUs), of which 54 are European, were taken from published primary and secondary sources, summarised, numerically analysed and evaluated for chorotype identification. In continental Europe, 225 species have been recorded, of which 91 were registered only on the mainland. On the European islands, 70 species have been recorded, 13 of which are exclusively there; among them, 10 are European endemics (5 on the Mediterranean islands and 5 in Macaronesia). The individual species were recorded in 1–64 OGUs, the observed frequency distribution of species, according to the occupied OGUs, is strongly asymmetric and skewed to the right. This distribution does not fit the Fisher’s log-series distribution, the zero-truncated negative binomial, or the zero truncated Poisson distributions. The prevailing number of European black flies has a clear tendency to occupy small ranges. More than half of all species (128) are known from six or fewer OGUs (median = 6) and more than one-third of the species (35.5%) are from only 1–3 OGUs. One-quarter of all species, including 11 species complexes, are known from 14 or more OGUs (Q3 = 14). Only 12 species (~ 5%) are known from 39 or more OGUs; half of them being recognised species complexes. A wide range can be considered a property of a species complex, and by abduction, a taxon with such a range can be considered a species complex. Splitting a species complex into separate species can result in a range-splitting effect, i.e. the disintegration of the original large range into a number of overlapping or non-overlapping smaller species ranges can result in existing chorotypes disappearing or new ones arising. Cluster analysis C1 (CLC = complete linkage clustering, Baroni-Urbani & Buser index of similarity) provided 30 significant clusters, 26 of them isolated, with 1 to 24 species each (median = 5.5). Cluster analysis C2 (CLC, Jaccard’s index of similarity) provided 53 significant clusters, 26 of them isolated, with 1 to 20 species each (median = 3). The cophenetic correlation coefficient rcoph between C1 and C2 was 0.8015, indicating a high agreement between the two classifications. In an expert assessment based on cluster analysis, 29 global chorotypes were distinguished. According to the overall range extent and its location on the continents, the chorotypes were arranged into seven groups as follows: Holarctic (26 spp., American–European, Pan-Holarctic, Holarctic boreal, Palaearctic–East Beringian chorotypes), Palaearctic (40 spp., Pan-Palaearctic, Euro–Asian, Sibero–European), West–Central Palaearctic group (10 spp., Central Asian–Euro–Mediterranean, Central Asian–Turano–Euxinian, Turano–Caucasian), Western Palaearctic (18 spp., Euro–Mediterranean, Mediterranean–Macaronesian, Macaronesian–West Mediterranean), European (86 spp., Pan-European, Western European, Northern European, Central European, Apenninian, Balkan, Eastern European), Mediterranean group (53 spp., Pan-Mediterranean, West Mediterranean, East Mediterranean, Euxinian, Crimean, Caucasian), and the Macaronesian group (5 spp., Azorean, Madeiran, Canarian). The main result of the analysis of ranges of European black flies is the description of 29 global chorotypes. The analysis shows that the chorological structure of the European black fly fauna is complex and it varies significantly in different parts of the continent and adjacent islands. This can be the start for further zoogeographical, phylogeographical and other analyses in this area of research.


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