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The problem of urban ticks has arisen from the increased rate of urbanization that has taken place since WWII. Expansion of municipal boundaries encompasses adjacent territories so that large areas of wilderness, together with all their inhabitants, find themselves incorporated into city limits. Current strategies of conservation and preservation of biodiversity include the creation of green corridors and other forms of connectivity between wilderness and urban areas, and between green patches within cities. All this allows various mammals and birds to migrate from their native habitats into and between various parts of the cities and to establish permanent urban populations. Middle-sized and larger animals provide adult ticks with blood meal, thus creating suitable conditions for the establishment and persistence of tick populations. Independent tick populations can persist in urban forests, parks, private properties, old cemeteries etc. Over the last decades, tick populations that originated from those in natural habitats around the cities have become a permanent component of urban fauna. Among such ticks, the European wood tick, Ixodes ricinus is the most important species for European cities, while the deer tick, I. scapularis is of great significance for the cities of the East Coast of the United States. The taiga tick, I. persulcatus is the most important species for cities and towns in the territory of the Russian Federation within the tick range. All these and some other ticks aggressively attack humans and their pets inside cities. The tick species especially adapted to life in urban areas are those that can live and reproduce in man-made buildings. The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (family Ixodidae), the pigeon ticks from the reflexus group of the genus Argas, and Ornithodoros ticks (family Argasidae) which produce urban and semi-urban populations are the main urban tick pests and vectors. House infestation by ticks can be followed by human infection with pathogens transmitted by these species or severe allergic responses. Some tick hosts, mammals as well as birds, maintain tick-transmitted pathogens and serve as competent reservoir hosts. Urban populations of these animals can participate in the circulation of some pathogens within municipal boundaries. Thus the enlargement of urban green areas followed by their population by wild mammals and birds create good opportunities for the establishment of urban populations of tick vectors with the resulting threat to the health of urban dwellers and their pets. At the same time, our understanding of the real scope and complexity of the problem of urban ticks is far from being sufficient. Finding the ways of protecting the environment without increasing the risk to human health in present-day cities is a pressing and challenging problem of our time.
Kartsev V.M., Terehov Ya. A.
In field experiments, honeybees learned to discriminate between rewarded and unrewarded feeders differing in color. After learning, familiar feeders were presented with another background or the place of presentation was shifted a few meters away. Both innovations led to decreasing the average percentage of correct choices. This decrease is considered to be evidence of “contextual isolation”. The isolation was partial, because the discrimination of learned colors partially remained under new conditions. Most likely, this is the first example of partial contextual isolation. Significant individual differences were revealed. Some individuals demonstrated spontaneous color preferenda while the others did not. Four bees of 34 were unable to learn a rewarded color during 30-40 visits.
In the foothills and Skalistyi (Rocky) Mountain Ridge lying between the Kuban and Laba rivers, 190 bird species were recorded during summer seasons, including 162 species definitely or probably nesting there. However, 8 species among them have now disappeared as breeding ones, while another 11-14 species are on the verge of extinction. During the same last decades, at least 14 new bird species have appeared in the region. Xerophlious birds dominate among the declining and extinct species, whereas mostly limnophilous birds extend their ranges, probably due to current climate change, to certain peculiarities of human impacts on their habitats in the steppe and forested steppe zones, as well as thanks to protection of rare birds in the recent years. A complex mosaic of paragenetic landscapes (forests, meadows, rivers and cliffs) formed in the foothills generates preconditions for gradual adaptation of many bird species to populating new and adjacent habitats, as well as to their subsequent resettlement to neighboring regions: from foothill to mountain areas and vice versa. As a result of range extension of many bird species through the foothills of the northern Caucasus, specific zones of secondary contact and intergradation of some conspecific populations are being formed. All these areas deserve special studies and analyses to determine particular characteristics of faunogenesis, ecogenesis, microevolution, systematics and taxonomy of the forms involved. Forested mountains of the Skalistyi Mountain Ridge are dominated by European and Euro-Chinese bird species. Therefore, this area is attributed to the Kuban district of the Caucasus region of the Crimea-Cauca-sus zoogeographic province. Representatives of the Nomadic type of fauna are characteristic of the arid North Jurassic depression and cuestas of the Skalistyi Ridge. These features of the regional avifauna allow is to distinguish a special, Circassian district of the East Caucasus region of the Sumerhy province. Foothills support a mixed avifauna of forest, forested steppe, steppe, as well as alluvial and estuary species. Therefore, they belong to the Trans-Kuban district of the Terek-Kuban region of the Forested steppe transition zone.
Vasilenko S.V., Beljaev E.A.
The species of the genus Xanthorhoe (Hubner 1813 [ “1796”]) of the incursata group from the Asian part of Russia are considered: X. pseudoannotinata Vasilenko 2007, X. uralensis Choi 2003, X. elenae Vasilenko sp. n., X. sajanaria (Prout 1914) and X. derzhavini (Djakonov 1931). Fill specific status of X. pseudoannotinata stat. resur. is restored. The taxon X. sajanaria djakonovi Vasilenko 1995 is synonymised with the nominative subspecies X. sajanaria sajanaria (Prout 1914). The scope and diagnosis of the subspecies X. derzhavinijakuta Vasilenko 1995 are reconsidered. Diagnostic features of and an identification key to the male and female genitalia of the species in question are given. Peculiarities of the distribution and biology of the Palearctic species are reviewed. Morphological species subgroups within this group and probable centers of origin of species are discussed.
Davidiana G.E., Savitsky V. Yu.
The merkli group of the weevil genus Plinthus is reviewed. Plinthus navarsati Davidian et Savitsky sp. n. is described from northeastern Turkey. New data on the morphology and geographical distribution of P. merkli Frivaldszki 1894, P cavazzutii Meregalli 1985 and P latipennis Meregalli 1985 are given, with a key to all 4 species of the merkli group.
Kurina I.V., Veretennikova E.E., Salisch L.V., Egorova M.L., Dolginrf V.N., Udaloi A.V., Golovatskay E.A.
Assemblages of zoo-indicators were studied in the peat deposits of a floodplain terrace eutrophic peatland located on the bank of Bakchar River, within the southern taiga zone of western Siberia. The peat deposits were formed by minerotrophic peat dated 8500 cal yr BP. A detailed analysis of fossil animal remains (testate amoebae, oribatid mites and molluscs) was carried out in three peat layers formed under contrasting environmental conditions. These peat layers used for the analysis of zoo-indicators were selected, based on data concerning plant macrofossils of the peat and the dynamics of hydrological indices such as: the peat humification index and the water table depth (WTD) calculated using rhizopod analysis. A thorough study of zoo-indicator paleo-assemblages allowed us to reconstruct increased water levels in the eutrophic peatland during the periods 5900-5400 and 4000-3900 cal yr BP; moreover, in the first case the water regime was flowing, to change for stagnant in the second. A period of a decreased water level in the peatland was also revealed, between 4900-4800 cal yr BP.
Kislyakov I.V., Ivanitskii V.V.
The variability and spatial distribution of chaffinch songs in Moscow city parks was studied using recordings in 2014 and 2015. The area of Moscow City is 870 km
Krivosheina N.P., Morozov N.S., Khudyakov V.V.
The first data on blood-sucking ectoparasitic larvae of Neottiophilumpraeustum (Meig.) which develop in bird nests are presented in Russia, with the Fieldfare, Turduspilaris L., serving as a host example. Larval development takes not more than 10-12 days, with no puparia formed in summer until late autumn. However, both in body structure and life mode, Neottiophilum larvae resemble those of calliphorid flies. The main diagnostic characters of Neottiophilum larvae that make them distinguished from calliphorid ones are the spiracular disc of the posterior spiracles being positioned dorsal, not ventral, to the stigmal plate and lying outside, not inside, its peritreme. In addition, the anterior spiracles are at most not with 3-8, but with 14-15 spiracular chambers.
ЛАПШИН Н.В., РЫМКЕВИЧ Т.А.