Pacific Science, Volume 60, Numbers 1, 2006

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    Association Affairs
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-01)
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    A New Species of Extinct Parrot (Psittacidae: Eclectus) from Tonga and Vanuatu, South Pacific.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-01) Steadman, David W.
    A new extinct species of parrot, Eclectus infectus Steadman, is described from 21 bones from archaeological (late Holocene) and paleontological (late Pleistocene) sites on three islands in the Kingdom of Tonga, with limited referred material (ulna, tibiotarsus) from a late Holocene archaeological site on Malakula, Vanuatu. Probably, therefore, the range of E. infectus also included at least the intervening island group of Fiji. The extinction of E. infectus occurred since the arrival of people in this region ca. 3,000 yr ago and presumably was due to human impact. A single, very fragmentary parrot tibiotarsus from Rota (Mariana Islands) may pertain to an indeterminate species of Eclectus. The only extant species of Eclectus is E. roratus, which occurs from the Solomon Islands westward to the Moluccas. Eclectus infectus provides the first evidence of the genus east of the Solomon Islands, although its biogeographic implications are not unique. Within Oceania (outside New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands), human activities have eliminated the easternmost species in at least 17 other genera of land birds.
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    A New Genus and Species of Diplodactylid Gecko (Reptilia: Squamata: Diplodactylidae) from Northwestern New Caledonia.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-01) Bauer, Aaron M. ; Jackman, Todd ; Sadlier, Ross A. ; Whitaker, Anthony H.
    A new genus and species of diplodactylid gecko, Oedodera marmorata Bauer, Jackman, Sadlier & Whitaker, is described from low-elevation maquis habitat near Paagoume`ne in the northwest of the Province Nord, New Caledonia. The new gecko is a robust form that is superficially similar to members of the genus Bavayia Roux but differs in several digital characteristics, the presence of a patch (versus 1–2 rows) of precloacal pores, and a uniquely swollen neck. In addition, molecular data indicate that the new form is the basal member of the entire radiation of New Caledonian diplodactylids. The new species is at risk due to wildfires, introduced predators and perhaps competitors, and planned mine development into part of its range.
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    Bryoliths (Bryozoa) in the Gulf of California.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-01) James, D.W. ; Foster, M.S. ; O’Sullivan, J.
    Populations of Diaperoforma californica (d’Orbigny) bryoliths were discovered in rhodolith beds, a sand habitat, and on a cobble bottom in the Gulf of California, Mexico, the first known observation of a modern free-living cyclostome bryozoan in the Northern Hemisphere. Densities ranged from a mean of 9.2 to 22.6 individuals/0.06 m2. Bryoliths from the deepest site were irregularly shaped and had the highest variation in shape; those from shallow sites were spheroidal. Water motion and bioturbation move the bryoliths and may determine their morphology. Schizomavella robertsonae (Soule, Soule & Chaney) bryoliths also occurred occasionally in one rhodolith bed sampled. Fossilized bryolith specimens of the cyclostome Diaperoforma californica (d’Orbigny) were found in a Pleistocene deposit near modern habitats.
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    Anguilla marmorata (Giant Mottled Eel) Discovered in a New Location: Natural Range Expansion or Recent Human Introduction?
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-01) Handler, Alex ; James, Shelley A.
    Freshwater eels in the family Anguillidae spend a majority of their adult life in freshwater but migrate to the ocean to spawn and die. Because freshwater eels are believed to have a long larval period in the open ocean, it is unclear how the present global distribution of species arose. A stock of freshwater eels of the family Anguillidae was found on Palmyra Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean, in June 2003. In October 2003, a single eel specimen was caught using a hand net from this small group of eels on Palmyra Atoll. Morphological and molecular characters (12S and 16S mitochondrial rRNA and cytochrome b mtDNA sequences) were used to identify the species as Anguilla marmorata Quoy & Gaimard. The discovery of these eels on Palmyra supports the hypothesis of natural range expansion from the Indo-Pacific eastward to the Gala´pagos through the Line Islands, but further analysis of oceanic currents and more variable genes are required to assess whether humans are involved in the recent spread of Anguilla marmorata to these new locations.