[Experimental] List of manuscripts available for review volunteers
Background. The ‘whirling’ defensive behavior of Pholcus ancoralis (L. Koch, 1865) was studied in a forest and laboratory in Mo’orea, French Polynesia. This behavior involves fast web-borne gyration to dissuade predators and is widespread in the Pholcidae family.
Methods. Different local predators (Anterhyncium rufipes, Lipinia noctua, and Thorelliola ensifera) were placed in two-chambered systems with P. ancoralis individuals and qualitative data on whirling frequency and duration were obtained.
Results. Potter wasps (Anterhyncium rufipes) triggered whirling in 50% of trials and moth skinks (Lipinia noctua) triggered whirling in 20% of trials. The average durations of the behavior triggered by each were 853 and 455 seconds, respectively. Pacific horned jumping spiders (Thorelliola ensifera) triggered whirling in 10% of trials with an average duration of only 20 seconds.
Discussion. Wasps triggered whirling the most frequently and of a long average duration. This has not been seen in other studied pholcids. This difference in predator specificity of whirling may be due to differences in habitat between pholcid species.
Background. The experience of ‘sensed presence’ – a feeling or sense that another entity, individual or being is present despite no clear sensory or perceptual evidence – is known to occur in the general population, appears more frequently in religious or spiritual contexts, and seems to be prominent in certain psychiatric or neurological conditions and may reflect specific functions of social cognition or body-image representation systems in the brain. Previous research has relied on ad-hoc measures of the experience and no specific psychometric scale to measure the experiences exists to date.
Methods. Based on the phenomenological description in the literature, we created the 16-item Sensed Presence Questionnaire (SenPQ). We recruited participants from i) a general population sample, and; ii) a sample including specific selection for religious affiliation, to complete the SenPQ and additional measures of well-being, schizotypy, social anxiety, social imagery and spiritual experience. We completed an analysis to test internal reliability, the ability of the SenPQ to distinguish between religious and non-religious participants, and whether the SenPQ was specifically related to positive schizotypical experiences and social imagery. A factor analysis was also conducted to examine underlying latent variables.
Results. The SenPQ was found to be reliable and valid, with religious participants significantly endorsing more items than non-religious participants and the scale showing a selective relationship with construct relevant measures. Principal components analysis indicates two underlying factors interpreted as reflecting ‘benign’ and a ‘malign’ sensed presence experiences.
Discussion. The SenPQ appears to be a reliable and valid measure of sensed presence experience although further validation in neurological and psychiatric conditions in warranted.
Background. Natural hybridization plays a fundamental role in the evolution of various plant taxa, occasionally results in the formation of an entirely novel species. Since hybrids combine parental genotypes, they generate phenotypic traits that are often intermediate between their parental taxa, and these traits frequently serve as evidence for hybridization in morphological analyses. Ligularia × maoniushanensis was named as a natural hybrid species between L.duciformis and L. paradoxa mainly based on the morphological, reproductive traits and ISSR markers.
Methods. We investigated the taxonomic status and genetic structure of L. × maoniushanensis based on three cpDNA (psbA-trnH, trnL-rpl32 and trnQ-5’rps16), nuclear internal transcribed spacer (nrITS), SSR and ISSR markers.
Results. NrITS data analysis clearly distinguished two putative parental species and sympatric species, also supported the hypothesis that L. × maoniushanensis is a hybrid offspring between L. duciformis and L. paradoxa. Moreover, several morphologically identified individuals of L. duciformis and L. paradoxa could be introgressive. For cpDNA data, the hybridization was unidirectional in Mt. Maoniu where L. paradoxa was the mother of hybrids, while the hybridization was bidirectional and asymmetrical in Heihai Hu. STRUCTURE analysis of SSR data detected two distinct clusters of three taxa. NewHybrids analysis showed most individualsof L. × maoniushanensis had relatively high posterior probability as F2 hybrids that are not sufficient for hybrid generation determination. NewHybrids results of ISSR data were consistent with the SSR results.
Conclusions. Our data provided convincing evidence for hybridization and introgression between L. duciformis and L. paradoxa. The results of genetic structure demonstrated that L. × maoniushanensis is currently a mixture of hybrid offspring. Under frequent hybridization, these hybrid offspring would remain hybrid swarms with no reproductive isolation from their parents, which might impede the normal formation of a new species.
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