Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology is an international journal covering the evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology of Australasian fauna. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Paul Cooper

 

Current Issue

Australian Journal of Zoology

Volume 64 Number 4 2016

Graphical Abstract Image

Fergusoninidae is a family of mainly Australasian gall-forming flies that has a unique mutualism with a nematode. The larvae of these flies bear an unusual, sclerotised structure known as a ‘dorsal shield’. We constructed a phylogenetic tree and examined larval and gall morphology to investigate the shield‘s function.
Photo by Michaela Purcell.

Graphical Abstract Image

We examined diet composition and prey selection of two sympatric carnivorous marsupials, including the endangered Antechinus arktos (pictured). Both species were dietary generalists, although composition of invertebrates consumed differed between species and years of study. Such flexibility may be advantageous in Gondwanan rainforest subject to continued disturbance by climate change.
Photo by Gary Cranitch.

Graphical Abstract Image

Spawning of nurseryfish in the Adelaide River occurred from June to January as indicated by the presence of larvae in icthyoplankton nets. The development of the unusual rib anatomy was examined with 3D micro-computerised tomography scans. The bony protection of the swim bladder formed by the ribs is complete by 19 mm standard length.
Photo by Michael Hammer.


Marsupials and monotremes can be considered independent experiments in mammalian evolution. The discovery of the human male-determining gene SRY, how it works, how it evolved and defined our sex chromosomes, well illustrates how comparing these distantly related animals can help us understand fundamental aspects of mammalian biology.


Muscle fibre typing was conducted on the triceps, vasti and gastrocnemius muscles in the quokka (Setonix brachyurus) and the results compared with previous studies on the jerboa (a hopping eutherian) and the macaque (a quadruped) using similar methods. The results are discussed in terms of locomotor adaptations.

Graphical Abstract Image

Populations of the freshwater fish species, dwarf galaxias (Galaxiella pusilla) and little galaxias (Galaxiella toourtkoourt), have been occasionally found with enlarged heads associated with the accumulation of white cysts. In this study, histopathology and molecular techniques identified these cysts as metacercariae of Apatemon gracilis (Rudolphi, 1819), a cosmopolitan digenean trematode.
Photo by Rhys Coleman.


We compared the composition and abundance of small vertebrates between riparian, midslope and ridge habitats in a eucalypt forest in south-western Australia. The floristically rich and structurally diverse midslope and ridge habitats were favoured by mammal and reptile species. Protection of all three habitats would be necessary for biodiversity conservation.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 08 February 2017

ZO16078Habitat selection by two sympatric rodent species in an alpine resort

Lisa V. Beilharz and Desley A. Whisson
 
Graphical Abstract Image

We examined habitat selection by two rodent species in an alpine resort in Victoria. The broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus) and the bush rat (Rattus fuscipes) both selected for small woodland fragments within ski runs. Such fragments may provide important habitat and connectivity between larger habitat patches.
Photo by Desley Whisson.


Forest birds in the Blue Mountains in the 1980s were found to be relatively little affected by fire regime variation. Stronger influences on bird abundance and diversity were tree height, rainforest vegetation and nectar-rich flowers. However, increasing fire severity, extent and frequency from climate change is an evolving threat.

Published online 22 December 2016

ZO16052A plethora of planigales: genetic variability and cryptic species in a genus of dasyurid marsupials from northern Australia

Michael Westerman, Mark J. Blacket, Ashley Hintz, Kyle Armstrong, Patricia A. Woolley and Carey Krajewski
 
Graphical Abstract Image

Species recognition underpins all attempts to describe and conserve biodiversity. We used DNA, morphological and geographical data to clarify species boundaries and relationships in Planigale, a poorly studied group of small-bodied Australasian marsupials. Our results provide strong evidence for new planigale species and the partitioning of widespread taxa into geographically distinct evolutionary units.
Photo by G. Mifsud.

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