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Australian Journal of Zoology
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Australian Journal of Zoology is an international journal covering the evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology of Australasian fauna. More

Editor-in-Chief: Paul Cooper



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Published online 21 January 2015
Cats (Felis catus) are more abundant and are the dominant predator of woylies (Bettongia penicillata) after sustained fox (Vulpes vulpes) control 
Nicola J. Marlow, Neil D. Thomas, Andrew A. E. Williams, Brian Macmahon, John Lawson, Yvette Hitchen, John Angus and Oliver Berry

Cat abundance was significantly higher in two mesic sites that were baited for fox control for two decades than in two unbaited sites. Cat predation on a threatened species, the woylie (Bettongia penicillata), in the baited sites exceeded fox predation by more than 300%. Increased cat predation may become an unintended consequence of fox control for fauna protection elsewhere in Australia.
Photo by Neil Thomas.

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Published online 21 January 2015
Daily changes in food availability, but not long-term unpredictability, determine daily torpor-bout occurrences and frequency in stripe-faced dunnarts (Sminthopsis macroura) 
Alexandra M. Leslie, Mathew Stewart, Elizabeth Price and Adam J. Munn

We investigated the effect of unpredictable food availability on torpor use by stripe-faced dunnarts (Sminthopsis macroura). Long-term unpredictability in food supplies did not affect torpor-bout frequency compared to predictable food restriction. Instead, dunnarts appeared to adjust torpor frequency in response to the amount of food offered on each day.
Photo by Alex Leslie.

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Published online 21 January 2015
Ecology of the rare but irruptive Pilliga mouse, Pseudomys pilligaensis. IV. Habitat ecology 
Hideyuki Tokushima and Peter J. Jarman

We determined preferences of the Pilliga mouse, Pseudomys pilligaensis, for habitat attributes through phases of a population irruption, and characterised refuge sites. Its habitat selection changed with phases of the irruption. Mice preferred ground cover with higher proportions of sand and shrubs in the Low phase of the irruption.
Photo by Hideyuki Tokushima.

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Published online 15 January 2015
Prevalence of beak and feather disease virus in wild Platycercus elegans: comparison of three tissue types using a probe-based real-time qPCR test 
Justin R. Eastwood, Mathew L. Berg, Briana Spolding, Katherine L. Buchanan, Andrew T. D. Bennett and Ken Walder

Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) is a serious threat to parrot populations globally. Here, we show that BFDV is a prevalent and widespread infection in wild populations of crimson rosellas (Platycercus elegans). In addition, we highlight the importance of sample type when conducting viral testing in wild birds.
Photo by Raoul Ribot.

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Published online 24 December 2014
Increased lyrebird presence in a post-fire landscape 
Anna Doty, Clare Stawski, Julia Nowack, Artiom Bondarenco and Fritz Geiser

We observed a marked increase in superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) numbers after a controlled burn in Guy Fawkes River National Park, New South Wales. The low-intensity fire cleared brush and low-level vegetation, and therefore may have attracted superb lyrebirds immediately after the fire due to ease of movement and foraging effort.
Photo by Gerhard Körtner.

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blank image Australian Journal of Zoology
Volume 62 Number 6 2014
Golden Anniversary of the Australian Society of Herpetologists

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Golden Anniversary of the Australian Society of Herpetologists 
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Paul Cooper
pp. 415-416

Herpetology (the study of frogs and reptiles) is a rapidly growing area of research which has had a long history within Australia. This special issue of the Journal commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, and contains a selection of papers on diverse herpetological projects.
Image courtesy of the Australian Society of Herpetologists.


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New approaches to cataloguing and understanding evolutionary diversity: a perspective from Australian herpetology 
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Paul Oliver , J. Scott Keogh and Craig Moritz
pp. 417-430

The ongoing accumulation of genetically divergent lineages that remain of uncertain taxonomic status and evolutionary significance is a major issue in evolutionary biology and conservation. Improved frameworks to systematically capture taxonomically unrecognised lineage diversity, increasing dissemination of biodiversity metadata, and emerging genomic technologies provide new opportunities to address this issue.
Photo by Paul Oliver.


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From lineages to webs: a history of the Australian Society of Herpetologists 
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Glenn M. Shea
pp. 431-447

The Australian Society of Herpetologists was founded in 1964 as Australian herpetology changed through the spread of university-based herpetological workers and students, together with a new generation of museum scientists. Over half a century, it has grown with and nurtured herpetological research in Australia.


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A thermal profile of metabolic performance in the rare Australian chelid, Pseudemydura umbrina 
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Sophie G. Arnall , Gerald Kuchling and Nicola J. Mitchell
pp. 448-453

To help understand how future climates might impact the critically endangered western swamp turtle (Pseudemydura umbrina), we produced a thermal response curve for the species by measuring standard metabolic rates. Our curve predicts a decline in performance beyond approximately 30°C, which is consistent with observations in the field and laboratory.
Photo by Gerald Kuchling.


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Reconstructed paternal genotypes reveal variable rates of multiple paternity at three rookeries of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Western Australia 
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J. N. Tedeschi , N. J. Mitchell , O. Berry , S. Whiting , M. Meekan and W. J. Kennington
pp. 454-462

We investigated levels of multiple paternity in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from three rookeries in Western Australia. We found highly variable rates unrelated to female population size (25% at Bungelup Beach, 86% at Gnaraloo Bay and 36% at Dirk Hartog Island).
Photo by Kasey Darts.


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Reproduction and population ecology of the vulnerable western sawshelled turtle, Myuchelys bellii, in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia 
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Darren P. Fielder , Duncan J. Limpus and Colin J. Limpus
pp. 463-476

The biology and life-history traits of the vulnerable western sawshelled turtle, Myuchelys bellii, are presented for the first time. The long-term study (2002–2010) revealed delayed age at first breeding (males: 10 years, females: 20 years), low reproductive effort (14.3 eggs per female) and high survivorship (lifespan of over 40 years). Current threats and management actions are discussed.
Photo by Robert Ashdown.


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Foraging behaviour of the endangered Australian skink (Liopholis slateri) 
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Megan A. McKinney , Christine A. Schlesinger and Chris R. Pavey
pp. 477-482

Slater’s skinks (Liopholis slateri), observed over a 7-month period, exhibited predominantly ambush predation. Juveniles foraged more frequently and further from burrows than adults. Ants were the most common prey item and juveniles targeted small ants more often than adults, moving further to capture these prey.
Photo by Megan McKinney.


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Predation of two common native frog species (Litoria ewingi and Crinia signifera) by freshwater invertebrates 
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Natasha J. Wilson , Jamie E. Seymour and Craig R. Williams
pp. 483-490

Invertebrates can be important predators of amphibian eggs and tadpoles, but have been less well-studied than vertebrate predators. To determine the rate of consumption, common invertebrate predators (identified through field site surveys) were offered frog eggs and tadpoles in feeding trials. Freshwater crayfish and notonectids were identified as significant predators.
Photo by Natasha J. Wilson.


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Mating behaviour in pygmy bluetongue lizards: do females ‘attract' male lizards? 
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Mehregan Ebrahimi , Stephanie S. Godfrey , Aaron L. Fenner and C. Michael Bull
pp. 491-497

Male lizards usually play an important role in mating behaviour. We discovered that female Australian pygmy bluetongue lizards (Tiliqua adelaidensis) moved around burrows when fewer male lizards visited them during the breeding season. We confirm that there are two mating strategies – selective and opportunistic – for this species as previously reported.
Photo by Aaron Fenner.


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Biology of the invasive delicate skink (Lampropholis delicata) on Lord Howe Island 
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David G. Chapple , Kimberly A. Miller , Kirilee Chaplin , Louise Barnett , Michael B. Thompson and Rebecca D. Bray
pp. 498-506

We conducted the first detailed investigation of the invasive delicate skink (Lampropholis delicata) on Lord Howe Island (LHI), and examined its potential impact on the native biota. We conclude that, based on its distribution and abundance, the delicate skink has the potential to impact the diverse endemic invertebrate fauna on LHI.
Photo by Nick Clemann.

    | Supplementary Material (68 KB)

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Piles of scats for piles of DNA: deriving DNA of lizards from their faeces 
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S. K. Pearson , S. S. Tobe , D. A. Fusco , C. M. Bull and M. G. Gardner
pp. 507-514

Non-invasive genetic sampling using scats has a well established role in conservation biology, but has rarely been applied to reptiles. We evaluated various storage and DNA-extraction methods and identified a reliable method of deriving genotypes and sequences from gidgee skink, Egernia stokesii, scats. Results highlight the opportunity for using scat-derived DNA in lizard studies, particularly for species that deposit scats in piles.
Photo by Dale Burzacott.

    | Supplementary Material (125 KB)

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Random non-coding fragments of lizard DNA: anonymous nuclear loci for the Australian skink, Tiliqua rugosa, and their utility in other Egernia-group species 
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Talat Hojat Ansari , Terry Bertozzi , Jessica Hacking , Steven J. B. Cooper and Michael G. Gardner
pp. 515-518

We developed 48 anonymous nuclear loci from the Australian skink, Tiliqua rugosa. These loci amplified across three lineages of T. rugosa (47 loci), in T. adelaidensis (37 loci) and in Egernia stokesii (34 loci). The loci showed variability within T. rugosa (22 loci) and among the three species (27 loci).
Photo by Mike Gardner.


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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    ZO14037  Accepted 11 February 2015
    Factors influencing the importation and establishment in Australia of the European hare Lepus europaeus
    Philip Stott

    ZO14009  Accepted 30 January 2015
    Population structure and genetic diversity of the black-footed rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis MacDonnell Ranges race).
    Laura Ruykys, Melanie Lancaster

    ZO14088  Accepted 29 January 2015
    The Endoparasites of Liasis fuscus (Serpentes: Pythonidae) from the Adelaide River floodplain, Northern Territory, Australia
    Eridani Mulder, Lesley Warner

    ZO14093  Accepted 21 January 2015
    Searching behaviour of Dolichogenidea tasmanica in response to susceptible instars of Epiphyas postvittana
    Maryam Yazdani, Richard Glatz, Michael Keller


The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 19 June 2014
A molecular and morphological investigation of species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships in Australian free-tailed bats Mormopterus (Chiroptera : Molossidae)

T. B. Reardon, N. L. McKenzie, S. J. B. Cooper, B. Appleton, S. Carthew and M. Adams

2. Published 7 November 2014
Regional seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in feral and stray cats (Felis catus) from Tasmania

Bronwyn A. Fancourt and Robert B. Jackson

3. Published 21 August 2014
The koala immunological toolkit: sequence identification and comparison of key markers of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) immune response

Katrina Morris, Peter J. Prentis, Denis O'Meally, Ana Pavasovic, Alyce Taylor Brown, Peter Timms, Katherine Belov and Adam Polkinghorne

4. Published 22 December 2014
Delineation of conservation units in an endangered marsupial, the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus), in South Australia/western Victoria, Australia

You Li, Melanie L. Lancaster, Susan M. Carthew, Jasmin G. Packer and Steven J. B. Cooper

5. Published 7 November 2014
When the ‘native cat’ would ‘plague’: historical hyperabundance in the quoll (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae) and an assessment of the role of disease, cats and foxes in its curtailment

David Peacock and Ian Abbott

6. Published 16 April 2014
Does artificial light influence the activity of vertebrates beneath rural buildings?

Philip Borchard and David J. Eldridge

7. Published 21 August 2014
Variation in platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) life-history attributes and population trajectories in urban streams

M. Serena, G. A. Williams, A. R. Weeks and J. Griffiths

8. Published 22 December 2014
Taxonomy of rock-wallabies, Petrogale (Marsupialia: Macropodidae). IV. Multifaceted study of the brachyotis group identifies additional taxa

Sally Potter, Robert L. Close, David A. Taggart, Steven J. B. Cooper and Mark D. B. Eldridge

9. Published 19 June 2014
Muscular anatomy of the tail of the western grey kangaroo, Macropus fuliginosus

Rebekah Dawson, Nick Milne and Natalie M. Warburton

10. Published 26 May 2014
The herpetofauna of Kioloa, New South Wales: baseline observational data collected 30 years ago and inspired by R. E. Barwick

Klaus Henle, Will Osborne and Frank Lemckert

11. Cats (Felis catus) are more abundant and are the dominant predator of woylies (Bettongia penicillata) after sustained fox (Vulpes vulpes) control

Nicola J. Marlow, Neil D. Thomas, Andrew A. E. Williams, Brian Macmahon, John Lawson, Yvette Hitchen, John Angus and Oliver Berry

12. Published 16 April 2014
Long-term persistence and vicariance within the Australian Monsoonal Tropics: the case of the giant cave and tree geckos (Pseudothecadactylus)

Paul M. Oliver, Rebecca J. Laver, Katie L. Smith and Aaron M. Bauer

13. Published 16 April 2014
Orientation of tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) nests and their position on branches optimises thermoregulation and cryptic concealment

Stuart Rae and Duncan Rae

14. Published 16 April 2014
A virological investigation into declining woylie populations

Carlo Pacioni, Cheryl A. Johansen, Timothy J. Mahony, Mark A. O'Dea, Ian D. Robertson, Adrian F. Wayne and Trevor Ellis

15. Published 26 May 2014
The evolution of morphogenetic fitness landscapes: conceptualising the interplay between the developmental and ecological drivers of morphological innovation

Charles R. Marshall

16. Published 16 April 2014
Isolation and characterisation of microsatellite loci in the bush stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius), a declining Australian bird

Robert A. B. Mason, Catherine Price, Walter E. Boles, Karen-Anne Gray, Edwina Rickard, Mark D. B. Eldridge and Rebecca N. Johnson

17. Published 19 June 2014
First record of ‘climbing’ and ‘jumping’ by juvenile Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes, 1846 (Galaxiidae) from south-western Australia

Paul G. Close, Tom J. Ryan, David L. Morgan, Stephen J. Beatty and Craig S. Lawrence

18. Published 26 May 2014
Abnormal development in embryos and hatchlings of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, from two reservoirs in south-east Queensland

Anne Kemp

19. Published 21 August 2014
The population genetics of the western purple-crowned fairy-wren (Malurus coronatus coronatus), a declining riparian passerine

Anja Skroblin, Andrew Cockburn and Sarah Legge

20. Published 7 November 2014
Weight watching in burrows: variation in body condition in pygmy bluetongue lizards

Leili Shamiminoori, Aaron L. Fenner and C. Michael Bull

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Volume 62 (6)

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