Pacific Science, Volume 63, Number 2, 2009

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    A New Name for the Hawaiian Antipatharian Coral Formerly Known as Antipathes dichotoma (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Antipatharia).
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2009-04) Opresko, Dennis M.
    A Hawaiian species of antipatharian coral previously identified as Antipathes dichotoma Pallas, 1766, is described as Antipathes griggi Opresko, n. sp. The species forms tall, bushy colonies with elongate, upright terminal branches, often arranged uniserially. Spines are conical, mostly 0.20 to 0.26 mm tall, apically bifurcated, multilobed to jagged in appearance, and covered over most of their surface with small roundish to elongate papillae. Minute secondary spines may occur on some of the thicker branches. Polyps are 1 to 1.6 mm in transverse diameter. The species resembles A. fruticosa Gray in branching pattern, size of spines, and presence of secondary spines but differs in morphology and density of the spines (thicker, more crowded primary spines and fewer secondary spines in A. griggi). Other related species differ from A. griggi in having more widely spreading and irregularly arranged branches, no secondary spines, and either smaller spines with fewer apical lobes (A. curvata van Pesch, A. arborea Dana, and A. galapagensis Deichmann) or larger spines with the apical lobes arranged in a somewhat coronate pattern [A. spinulosa (Schultze) and A. lentipinna Brook].
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    Andvakia discipulorum, A New Species of Burrowing Sea Anemone from Hawai‘i, with a Revision of Andvakia Danielssen, 1890.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2009-04) Daly, Marymegan ; Goodwill, Roger H.
    We describe Andvakia discipulorum Daly & Goodwill, n. sp., from an intertidal mudflat of Ka¯ne‘ohe Bay, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. Members of this species are inconspicuous, being small and having a column covered with sand. In comparison with other species of the genus, Andvakia discipulorum, n. sp., presents distinct arrangement of mesenteries, sizes of nematocysts, and musculature. We also provide a redescription of Andvakia boninensis based on specimens collected from Saipan, Mariana Islands. These descriptions provide an opportunity to revise and update the taxonomy of Andvakia and to address the systematics of family Andvakiidae. We determine that Andvakia is the senior synonym of Decaphellia and reject earlier hypotheses of synonymy between Andvakia and Capneopsis, Ilyactis, and Octophellia. A tabular key to the species of Andvakia is provided.
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    Evidence of a Possible Decline since 1989 in False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens) around the Main Hawaiian Islands.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2009-04) Reeves, Randall R. ; Leatherwood, Stephen ; Baird, Robin W.
    Recent evidence indicates that there is a small, demographically isolated, island-associated population of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) around the main Hawaiian Islands. Although it is known that false killer whales in Hawai‘i are sometimes killed or seriously injured in the Hawai‘i-based longline fishery, it is not known whether such interactions have resulted in a reduction in population size or whether other factors have been negatively influencing population size. We report the results of an aerial survey in June and July 1989, the purpose of which was to obtain a minimum count of the number of false killer whales around the main Hawaiian Islands. The false killer whale was the third most commonly seen species of odontocete off the island of Hawai‘i during the survey, representing 17% of sightings. Groups of more than 300 individuals were seen on three different days, with minimum counts of 380, 460, and 470 individuals in these groups. The encounter rate, relative species ranking, and average group size from the 1989 survey were all substantially greater than those from more recent aerial and ship-based surveys. The largest group observed in 1989 (470) contained almost four times as many whales as estimated for the entire main Hawaiian Islands from recent aerial surveys (121 individuals, CV ¼ 0.47) or mark-recapture analyses (123 individuals, CV ¼ 0.72). Therefore, the population of false killer whales around the main Hawaiian Islands may have declined substantially since 1989. The cause or causes of such a decline are uncertain.
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    An Invasive Species of Lizard in the Federated States of Micronesia.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2009-04) Buden, Donald W.
    Distribution of the introduced scincid lizard Carlia ailanpalai Zug in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is reviewed. It is common in open grassy areas but seldom occurs in mature forest. Preliminary surveys indicate that it is well established in Yap, though less frequently encountered at increasing distance from Colonia, the main settlement, and it is unrecorded in the extreme northern and southern parts of Yap. It is the most common species of lizard in open, grassy, ruderal habitats throughout Weno Island, Chuuk, being nearly the only species encountered in the commercial district, but it is unknown elsewhere in Chuuk State. The only record for Kosrae is a single specimen collected in 1988 (first record for the FSM), but there is no evidence of an established population. There are no records for Pohnpei State. Guam is likely the primary source for the Yap and Chuuk populations (and Kosrae specimen), but the time of initial introduction is unknown. Carlia ailanpalai appears to have spread rapidly, at least on Weno, Chuuk, where it has become the predominant lizard in open habitats islandwide, possibly since the late 1960s. How C. ailanpalai interacts with other species in the FSM requires further study, but preliminary surveys of distribution and relative abundance suggest that it has a negative impact on populations of Emoia jakati and, to a lesser extent, on other Emoia species as well. Populations of C. ailanpalai in the FSM meet the criteria for invasive species status as it is defined by numerous U.S. government agencies and international conservation groups.
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    Critically Endangered Fijian Crested Iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) Shows Habitat Preference for Globally Threatened Tropical Dry Forest.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2009-04) Morrison, Clare ; Keppel, Gunnar ; Thomas, Nunia ; Rounds, Isaac ; Harlow, Peter S.
    Tropical dry forests are a unique and threatened ecosystem in the Pacific and globally. In Fiji, the endangered Fijian crested iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) is endemic to tropical dry forests. Yadua Taba Island contains one of the best remaining stands of tropical dry forest in the Pacific along with the largest (and only secure) population of B. vitiensis in Fiji and has been proposed as a translocation source for iguana conservation. In this study we determined the major vegetation types on Yadua Taba and identified forest habitat preferences of B. vitiensis to (1) characterize the island’s habitats for tropical dry forest regeneration monitoring and (2) understand which forest types are preferred by iguanas for future translocation projects. Vegetation data were collected using reconnaissance, entitation, line transects, and aerial photos. Iguana abundance data were collected by nocturnal surveys of permanent transects. Six major vegetation types were identified of which tropical dry forest was the largest (46% of the island), followed by a combination of rocky cliff–shrubland/grassland vegetation (26%). Our conservative estimate of B. vitiensis population size on Yadua Taba is 12,000 iguanas, the majority of which occur in tropical dry forest. Superabundance of the dry forest understory tree Vavaea amicorum, the favorite fruit species of iguanas, may help account for the high density of iguanas observed. These results highlight the ecological link between tropical dry forest and B. vitiensis and emphasize the importance of rehabilitation or conservation of tropical dry forest habitat in potential iguana translocation sites as part of the management plan for B. vitiensis throughout the Fiji Islands.