Zoology

  • Article | | open

    There has been a lack of multi-year landscape-scale studies on the effect of neonicotinoids on honeybee health. Here, Osterman et al. show that clothianidin exposure via seed-treated rapeseed has no negative impact on honeybee colony development, microbial pathogens/symbionts or immune gene expression.

    • Julia Osterman
    • , Dimitry Wintermantel
    • , Barbara Locke
    • , Ove Jonsson
    • , Emilia Semberg
    • , Piero Onorati
    • , Eva Forsgren
    • , Peter Rosenkranz
    • , Thorsten Rahbek-Pedersen
    • , Riccardo Bommarco
    • , Henrik G. Smith
    • , Maj Rundlöf
    •  & Joachim R. de Miranda
  • Article | | open

    Reversible phenotypic plasticity is expected to be favoured by long lifespan, as this increases the environmental variation individuals experience. Here, the authors develop a model showing how phenotypic plasticity can drive selection on lifespan, leading to coevolution of these traits.

    • Irja I. Ratikainen
    •  & Hanna Kokko
  • Article | | open

    The structure and distribution of strain-level diversity in host-associated bacterial communities is largely unexplored. Here, Ellegaard and Engel analyze strain level diversity of the honey bee gut microbiota, showing that bees from the same colony differ in strain but not phylotype composition.

    • Kirsten M. Ellegaard
    •  & Philipp Engel
  • Article | | open

    The utility of UV vision for visualizing habitat structure is poorly known. Here, the authors use optical models and multispectral imaging to show that UV vision reveals sharp visual contrasts between leaf surfaces, potentially an advantage in navigating forest environments.

    • Cynthia Tedore
    •  & Dan-Eric Nilsson
  • Article | | open

    Theory predicts that mating systems influence the relative strength of sexual selection before and after mating. Here, Morimoto and colleagues demonstrate that higher polyandry weakens precopulatory while strengthening post-copulatory sexual selection on males in Drosophila melanogaster.

    • Juliano Morimoto
    • , Grant C. McDonald
    • , Emelia Smith
    • , Damian T. Smith
    • , Jennifer C. Perry
    • , Tracey Chapman
    • , Tommaso Pizzari
    •  & Stuart Wigby
  • Article | | open

    Despite technological advances, chromosome-level assemblies of mammalian genomes are still rare. Here, the authors use PacBio, Chicago and Hi-C approaches to generate a highly contiguous and partially-phased genome assembly for the water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis

    • Wai Yee Low
    • , Rick Tearle
    • , Derek M. Bickhart
    • , Benjamin D. Rosen
    • , Sarah B. Kingan
    • , Thomas Swale
    • , Françoise Thibaud-Nissen
    • , Terence D. Murphy
    • , Rachel Young
    • , Lucas Lefevre
    • , David A. Hume
    • , Andrew Collins
    • , Paolo Ajmone-Marsan
    • , Timothy P. L. Smith
    •  & John L. Williams
  • Article | | open

    The potential impact of neonicotinoid field exposure on bumblebee microbiota remains unclear. In a landscape—scale study, Wintermantel et al. show that whilst exposure to clothianidin impacts Bombus terrestris performance, it does not affect levels of gut bacteria, viruses or intracellular parasites.

    • Dimitry Wintermantel
    • , Barbara Locke
    • , Georg K. S. Andersson
    • , Emilia Semberg
    • , Eva Forsgren
    • , Julia Osterman
    • , Thorsten Rahbek Pedersen
    • , Riccardo Bommarco
    • , Henrik G. Smith
    • , Maj Rundlöf
    •  & Joachim R. de Miranda
  • Article | | open

    Although components of animal mating signals are often studied separately, many animals produce complex multimodal displays. Here, the authors show that the courtship display of male broad-tailed hummingbirds consists of synchronized motions, sounds, and colors that occur within just 300 milliseconds.

    • Benedict G. Hogan
    •  & Mary Caswell Stoddard
  • Article | | open

    Vertebrate adaptation to high-altitude life has been extensively investigated, while invertebrates are less well-studied. Here, the authors find signals of adaptive evolution in genomes of migratory locusts from the Tibetan Plateau, and implicate a PTPN1 coding mutation in their hypoxia response.

    • Ding Ding
    • , Guangjian Liu
    • , Li Hou
    • , Wanying Gui
    • , Bing Chen
    •  & Le Kang
  • Article | | open

    Numerous microbial symbionts, both commensal and pathogenic, are associated with honey bees. Here, the authors genomically characterize this ‘metagenome’ of the British honey bee, identifying a diversity of commensal microbes as well as known and putative pathogens

    • Tim Regan
    • , Mark W. Barnett
    • , Dominik R. Laetsch
    • , Stephen J. Bush
    • , David Wragg
    • , Giles E. Budge
    • , Fiona Highet
    • , Benjamin Dainat
    • , Joachim R. de Miranda
    • , Mick Watson
    • , Mark Blaxter
    •  & Tom C. Freeman
  • Article | | open

    Cotton bollworm is an important agricultural pest with widespread resistance to insecticides. Here Wang et al. identifies CYP6AEs from cotton bollworm involved in detoxifying plant toxins and chemical insecticides through the CRISPR-Cas9-based reverse genetics approach in conjunction with in vitro metabolism.

    • Huidong Wang
    • , Yu Shi
    • , Lu Wang
    • , Shuai Liu
    • , Shuwen Wu
    • , Yihua Yang
    • , René Feyereisen
    •  & Yidong Wu
  • Article | | open

    Perceptual constancy requires neural representations selective for object identity, yet tolerant of identity-preserving transformations. Here, the authors show that sound identity is represented robustly in auditory cortex and that behavioral generalization requires precise timing of identity information.

    • Stephen M. Town
    • , Katherine C. Wood
    •  & Jennifer K. Bizley
  • Article | | open

    Animal physiology, including reproduction, could respond to climate change in complex ways. Here, the authors use experiments with an insect model system to show that simulated heatwaves harm male reproductive potential by reducing sperm number and viability, an effect which persisted into the next generation

    • Kris Sales
    • , Ramakrishnan Vasudeva
    • , Matthew E. Dickinson
    • , Joanne L. Godwin
    • , Alyson J. Lumley
    • , Łukasz Michalczyk
    • , Laura Hebberecht
    • , Paul Thomas
    • , Aldina Franco
    •  & Matthew J. G. Gage
  • Article | | open

    The biogeographic drivers of reptile diversity are poorly understood relative to other animal groups. Here, using a dataset of distributions of African squamates, the authors show that environmental filtering explains diversity in stressful habitats while competition explains diversity in benign habitats.

    • Till Ramm
    • , Juan L. Cantalapiedra
    • , Philipp Wagner
    • , Johannes Penner
    • , Mark-Oliver Rödel
    •  & Johannes Müller
  • Article | | open

    Humans infer the trustworthiness of others based on subtle facial features such as the facial width-to-height ratio, but it is not known whether other primates are sensitive to these cues. Here, the authors show that macaque monkeys prefer to look at human faces which appear trustworthy to humans.

    • Manuela Costa
    • , Alice Gomez
    • , Elodie Barat
    • , Guillaume Lio
    • , Jean-René Duhamel
    •  & Angela Sirigu
  • Article | | open

    Individual animals have vocal signatures, but are the same signatures consistent across behavioral contexts? Here, the authors use behavioral experiments and acoustic analyses to show that zebra finches have distinct vocal signatures for different call types, such as aggression and long-distance contact.

    • Julie E. Elie
    •  & Frédéric E. Theunissen
  • Article | | open

    The skin of the African bush elephant features micrometer-wide channels whose function is water and mud retention for thermal regulation and protection from parasites. Here authors use microscopy and modelling to show that the channels are fractures of the animal thick and brittle skin outermost layer.

    • António F. Martins
    • , Nigel C. Bennett
    • , Sylvie Clavel
    • , Herman Groenewald
    • , Sean Hensman
    • , Stefan Hoby
    • , Antoine Joris
    • , Paul R. Manger
    •  & Michel C. Milinkovitch
  • Article | | open

    More than half of solar radiation is at near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Here, Medina et al. show that among Australian birds NIR reflectivity is higher in species from hot, arid environments and their biophysical modelling further shows that this can reduce water loss from evaporative cooling.

    • Iliana Medina
    • , Elizabeth Newton
    • , Michael R. Kearney
    • , Raoul A. Mulder
    • , Warren P. Porter
    •  & Devi Stuart-Fox
  • Article | | open

    Evidence for a parasitic lifestyle in extinct species tends to be indirect. Here, the authors provide direct evidence through X-ray examination of approximately 30–40 million year old fossil fly pupae, revealing 55 parasitation events by four newly described wasp species.

    • Thomas van de Kamp
    • , Achim H. Schwermann
    • , Tomy dos Santos Rolo
    • , Philipp D. Lösel
    • , Thomas Engler
    • , Walter Etter
    • , Tomáš Faragó
    • , Jörg Göttlicher
    • , Vincent Heuveline
    • , Andreas Kopmann
    • , Bastian Mähler
    • , Thomas Mörs
    • , Janes Odar
    • , Jes Rust
    • , Nicholas Tan Jerome
    • , Matthias Vogelgesang
    • , Tilo Baumbach
    •  & Lars Krogmann
  • Article | | open

    Major royal jelly protein 1 (MRJP1) is the most abundant glycoprotein in royal jelly (RJ). Here the authors isolated MRJP1 from RJ and determined the 2.65 Å resolution crystal structure of the 16-molecule oligomer, which also contained 24-methylenecholesterol and apisimin bound to MRJP1.

    • Wenli Tian
    • , Min Li
    • , Huiyuan Guo
    • , Wenjun Peng
    • , Xiaofeng Xue
    • , Yifan Hu
    • , Yang Liu
    • , Yazhou Zhao
    • , Xiaoming Fang
    • , Kai Wang
    • , Xiuting Li
    • , Yufeng Tong
    • , Michael A. Conlon
    • , Wei Wu
    • , Fazheng Ren
    •  & Zhongzhou Chen
  • Article | | open

    During ‘meiotic drive’, some chromosomes can bias their spindle orientation and thus be retained in the egg. Here, the authors find that this phenomenon can be driven by microtubule force asymmetry on chromosomes with differently sized centromeres and kinetochores.

    • Tianyu Wu
    • , Simon I. R. Lane
    • , Stephanie L. Morgan
    •  & Keith T. Jones
  • Article | | open

    The Southern (SWR) and Northern (NWR) are two subspecies of the White Rhinoceros with the NWR being almost extinct. Here, using assisted reproduction technology, the authors produce and cryopreserve SWR purebred and NWR-SWR hybrid embryos developed to the blastocyst stage, and also generate embryonic stem cell lines, in an attempt to save genes of the NWR.

    • Thomas B. Hildebrandt
    • , Robert Hermes
    • , Silvia Colleoni
    • , Sebastian Diecke
    • , Susanne Holtze
    • , Marilyn B. Renfree
    • , Jan Stejskal
    • , Katsuhiko Hayashi
    • , Micha Drukker
    • , Pasqualino Loi
    • , Frank Göritz
    • , Giovanna Lazzari
    •  & Cesare Galli
  • Article | | open

    Some animals have multimodal locomotive capabilities to survive in different environments. Inspired by nature, Chen et al. build a centimeter-scaled robot that is capable of walking on water, underwater, on land, and transiting among all three, whose ‘feet’ break water by modifying surface tension.

    • Yufeng Chen
    • , Neel Doshi
    • , Benjamin Goldberg
    • , Hongqiang Wang
    •  & Robert J. Wood
  • Article | | open

    ‘Conformist bias’, in which individuals learn a common behavioural variant more often than expected by chance, has not been demonstrated convincingly in non-human animals. This study analyses song recordings and models of cultural evolution to show conformist bias in swamp sparrow populations.

    • Robert F. Lachlan
    • , Oliver Ratmann
    •  & Stephen Nowicki
  • Article | | open

    Spider aggregate glue avoids failure in humid environments but the fundamental mechanism behind it is still unknown. Here, the authors demonstrate that humidity-dependent structural changes of glycoproteins and sequestering of liquid water by low molecular mass compounds prevents adhesion failure of the glue in humid environments.

    • Saranshu Singla
    • , Gaurav Amarpuri
    • , Nishad Dhopatkar
    • , Todd A. Blackledge
    •  & Ali Dhinojwala
  • Article | | open

    Whales, dolphins and porpoises are adapted to various aquatic habitats. Here, Zhou et al. show that polymorphisms associated with renal function and the urea cycle have undergone selection in the freshwater Yangtze finless porpoise and provide genomic evidence of incipient speciation.

    • Xuming Zhou
    • , Xuanmin Guang
    • , Di Sun
    • , Shixia Xu
    • , Mingzhou Li
    • , Inge Seim
    • , Wencai Jie
    • , Linfeng Yang
    • , Qianhua Zhu
    • , Jiabao Xu
    • , Qiang Gao
    • , Alaattin Kaya
    • , Qianhui Dou
    • , Bingyao Chen
    • , Wenhua Ren
    • , Shuaicheng Li
    • , Kaiya Zhou
    • , Vadim N. Gladyshev
    • , Rasmus Nielsen
    • , Xiaodong Fang
    •  & Guang Yang
  • Article | | open

    How do social insect colonies regulate tasks after the developmental stage and in response to changing environments? Here, Crall et al. use automated individual tracking to reveal that task switching after a major colony disturbance helps to maintain collective foraging performance in bumble bees.

    • James D. Crall
    • , Nick Gravish
    • , Andrew M. Mountcastle
    • , Sarah D. Kocher
    • , Robert L. Oppenheimer
    • , Naomi E. Pierce
    •  & Stacey A. Combes
  • Article | | open

    Aquaculture, conservation, and biological research are reliant on the successful breeding of animals in captivity. Here, Farquharson et al. report that, in captivity, captive-born animals have decreased reproductive success compared to wild-born individuals, across diverse species and contexts.

    • Katherine A. Farquharson
    • , Carolyn J. Hogg
    •  & Catherine E. Grueber
  • Article | | open

    Archaeopteryx had a mix of traits seen in non-flying dinosaurs and flying birds, leading to debate on whether it had powered flight. Here, Voeten et al. compare wing bone architecture from Archaeopteryx and both flying and non-flying archosaurs, supporting that Archaeopteryx had powered flight but with a different stroke than that of modern birds.

    • Dennis F. A. E. Voeten
    • , Jorge Cubo
    • , Emmanuel de Margerie
    • , Martin Röper
    • , Vincent Beyrand
    • , Stanislav Bureš
    • , Paul Tafforeau
    •  & Sophie Sanchez
  • Article | | open

    Advances in animal magnetoreception have been limited by a lack of tractable vertebrate laboratory models. Here, the authors demonstrate light-independent magnetoreception in mature zebrafish and medaka, as well as magnetosensitive locomotion in juvenile medaka associated with neuronal activation in the lateral hindbrain.

    • Ahne Myklatun
    • , Antonella Lauri
    • , Stephan H. K. Eder
    • , Michele Cappetta
    • , Denis Shcherbakov
    • , Wolfgang Wurst
    • , Michael Winklhofer
    •  & Gil G. Westmeyer
  • Article | | open

    Venom can be used both offensively for prey capture and defensively to deter predators. Here, Walker and colleagues demonstrate that the assassin bug Pristhesancus plagipennis has two distinct venom glands that produce venoms with distinct compositions that can be elicited by different stimuli.

    • Andrew A. Walker
    • , Mark L. Mayhew
    • , Jiayi Jin
    • , Volker Herzig
    • , Eivind A. B. Undheim
    • , Andy Sombke
    • , Bryan G. Fry
    • , David J. Meritt
    •  & Glenn F. King
  • Article | | open

    Amphibian skin microbe communities have been putatively associated with the severity of chytrid fungal disease. Here, the authors show that different types of disease dynamics (enzootic versus epizootic) are associated with different microbiota in the host populations.

    • Kieran A. Bates
    • , Frances C. Clare
    • , Simon O’Hanlon
    • , Jaime Bosch
    • , Lola Brookes
    • , Kevin Hopkins
    • , Emilia J. McLaughlin
    • , Olivia Daniel
    • , Trenton W. J. Garner
    • , Matthew C. Fisher
    •  & Xavier A. Harrison
  • Review Article | | open

    Gene expression and behaviours are intimately related, and their interactions can play out over timescales from developmental to evolutionary. Here, the authors review how temporal aspects of gene expression mediate behavioural responses to the environment, a key question in behavioural genomics.

    • Clare C. Rittschof
    •  & Kimberly A. Hughes
  • Article | | open

    Dietary carotenoids have been proposed to have physiological benefits in addition to contributing to coloration. Here, Koch et al. compare immune and antioxidant functions in yellow, carotenoid-rich vs. white, carotenoid-deficient canaries and find no difference, suggesting a limited physiological role of carotenoids.

    • Rebecca E. Koch
    • , Andreas N. Kavazis
    • , Dennis Hasselquist
    • , Wendy R. Hood
    • , Yufeng Zhang
    • , Matthew B. Toomey
    •  & Geoffrey E. Hill
  • Article | | open

    Three alternatives have been proposed for the ecological state of the ancestral snake: fossorial (burrowing), aquatic, or terrestrial. Here, the authors use an integrative geometric morphometric approach that suggests evolution from terrestrial to fossorial in the most recent common ancestor of extant snakes.

    • Filipe O. Da Silva
    • , Anne-Claire Fabre
    • , Yoland Savriama
    • , Joni Ollonen
    • , Kristin Mahlow
    • , Anthony Herrel
    • , Johannes Müller
    •  & Nicolas Di-Poï
  • Article | | open

    The phylogeny of beetles, which represent ~25% of known extant animal species, has been a challenge to resolve. Here, Zhang et al. infer a time-calibrated phylogeny for Coleoptera based on 95 protein-coding genes in 373 species and suggest an association between the hyperdiversification of beetles and the rise of angiosperms.

    • Shao-Qian Zhang
    • , Li-Heng Che
    • , Yun Li
    • , Dan Liang
    • , Hong Pang
    • , Adam Ślipiński
    •  & Peng Zhang
  • Article | | open

    Physical structure is known to contribute to the appearance of bird plumage through structural color and specular reflection. Here, McCoy, Feo, and colleagues demonstrate how a third mechanism, structural absorption, leads to low reflectance and super black color in birds of paradise feathers.

    • Dakota E. McCoy
    • , Teresa Feo
    • , Todd Alan Harvey
    •  & Richard O. Prum
  • Article | | open

    Substantial evidence now supports the idea that the ancestral bat was a small, night flying predator capable of laryngeal echolocation. Here, the authors confirm this hypothesis using phylogenetic comparative analyses and further suggest an underlying tradeoff between echolocation and vision in both ancient and modern species and an association between sensory specialization and diet.

    • Jeneni Thiagavel
    • , Clément Cechetto
    • , Sharlene E. Santana
    • , Lasse Jakobsen
    • , Eric J. Warrant
    •  & John M. Ratcliffe
  • Article | | open

    The ‘pace of life’ depends on both metabolic rate and life history traits; however, whether these evolve similarly in response to the environment is not clear. Here, Auer et al. show parallel evolution of metabolic rate and a suite of life history traits in response to predator environment in Trinidadian guppies.

    • Sonya K. Auer
    • , Cynthia A. Dick
    • , Neil B. Metcalfe
    •  & David N. Reznick
  • Article | | open

    Bacterial symbionts are increasingly known to influence behaviour and fitness in insects. Here, Frago et al. show that plants fed on by aphids with symbionts have altered volatile chemical profiles, leading to reduced parasitoid attack of aphids.

    • Enric Frago
    • , Mukta Mala
    • , Berhane T. Weldegergis
    • , Chenjiao Yang
    • , Ailsa McLean
    • , H. Charles J. Godfray
    • , Rieta Gols
    •  & Marcel Dicke
  • Article | | open

    Africanized honey bees (AHB) are notoriously aggressive, but in Puerto Rico they have a ‘gentle’ phenotype. Here, Avalos et al. show that there has been a soft selective sweep at several loci in the Puerto Rican AHB population and suggest a role in the rapid evolution of gentle behaviour.

    • Arian Avalos
    • , Hailin Pan
    • , Cai Li
    • , Jenny P. Acevedo-Gonzalez
    • , Gloria Rendon
    • , Christopher J. Fields
    • , Patrick J. Brown
    • , Tugrul Giray
    • , Gene E. Robinson
    • , Matthew E. Hudson
    •  & Guojie Zhang
  • Article | | open

    To avoid being eaten, poisonous prey animals must rely on fast passage of toxins across a predator’s oral tissue, a major barrier to large molecules. Here, Raaymakers et al. show that antimicrobial peptides co secreted with frog toxins enhance intoxication of a snake predator by permeabilizing oral cell layers.

    • Constantijn Raaymakers
    • , Elin Verbrugghe
    • , Sophie Hernot
    • , Tom Hellebuyck
    • , Cecilia Betti
    • , Cindy Peleman
    • , Myriam Claeys
    • , Wim Bert
    • , Vicky Caveliers
    • , Steven Ballet
    • , An Martel
    • , Frank Pasmans
    •  & Kim Roelants
  • Article | | open

    The globally-distributed Ranidae (true frogs) are the largest frog family. Here, Hammond et al. present a draft genome of the North American bullfrog, Rana (Lithobates) catesbeiana, as a foundation for future understanding of true frog genetics as amphibian species face difficult environmental challenges.

    • S. Austin Hammond
    • , René L. Warren
    • , Benjamin P. Vandervalk
    • , Erdi Kucuk
    • , Hamza Khan
    • , Ewan A. Gibb
    • , Pawan Pandoh
    • , Heather Kirk
    • , Yongjun Zhao
    • , Martin Jones
    • , Andrew J. Mungall
    • , Robin Coope
    • , Stephen Pleasance
    • , Richard A. Moore
    • , Robert A. Holt
    • , Jessica M. Round
    • , Sara Ohora
    • , Branden V. Walle
    • , Nik Veldhoen
    • , Caren C. Helbing
    •  & Inanc Birol
  • Article | | open

    Hummingbirds are known to defy the predicted scaling relationships between body and wing size. Here, Skandalis et al. develop a ‘force allometry’ framework to show that, regardless of wing size, hummingbird species have the same wing velocity during flight.

    • Dimitri A. Skandalis
    • , Paolo S. Segre
    • , Joseph W. Bahlman
    • , Derrick J. E. Groom
    • , Kenneth C. Welch Jr.
    • , Christopher C. Witt
    • , Jimmy A. McGuire
    • , Robert Dudley
    • , David Lentink
    •  & Douglas L. Altshuler
  • Article | | open

    Elevated temperatures can cause anemones to bleach, with unknown effects on their associated symbiotic fish. Here, Beldade and colleagues show that climate-induced bleaching alters anemonefish hormonal stress response, resulting in decreased reproductive hormones and severely impacted reproduction.

    • Ricardo Beldade
    • , Agathe Blandin
    • , Rory O’Donnell
    •  & Suzanne C. Mills
  • Article | | open

    Biomechanical understanding of animal gait and maneuverability has primarily been limited to species with more predictable, steady-state movement patterns. Here, the authors develop a method to quantify movement predictability, and apply the method to study escape-related movement in several species of desert rodents.

    • Talia Y. Moore
    • , Kimberly L. Cooper
    • , Andrew A. Biewener
    •  & Ramanarayan Vasudevan