Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 57(3), pp. 219–232, 2011

Title: Parasitoids of the bedeguar gall (Diplolepis rosae): Effect of host scale on density and prevalence

Authors: László, Z.1 and Tóthmérész, B.2

Authors' addresses: 1Department of Taxonomy and Ecology, Babes-Bolyai University, Str. Clinicilor nr. 5–7, 400006 Cluj-Napoca, Romania; E-mail:
2Ecological Department, University of Debrecen, P. O. Box 71, H-4010 Debrecen, Hungary; E-mail:

Abstract: Host plants have significant effects on parasitoid and herbivore distribution. There are just a few reports on tritrophic interactions. We aimed to study the relationships between rose host shrub and Bedeguar gall density with special attention to densities and prevalence of parasitoids at two scales: host shrub and gall. We found that gall density was inversely density dependent of shrub density. Parasitoid density was density dependent of both rose shrub and gall scales, while prevalence of parasitoids was density dependent at the shrub scale, but density independent at the gall scale. This pattern is likely to occur when parasitoids prefer those shrubs which are infected with galls and avoid uninfected shrubs and support optimal foraging theory.

Key words: tritrophic interactions, gall wasp, Rosa spp., parasitism, optimal foraging theory

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Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 57(3), pp. 233–246, 2011

Title: Mitochondrial 16S and 12S rRNA sequence analysis in four salmonid species from Romania

Authors: Dudu, A., Georgescu, S. E., Popa, O., Dinischiotu, A. and Costache, M.

Authors' address: University of Bucharest, Faculty of Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 91–95, Splaiul Independentei, RO-050095 Bucharest, Romania, E-mail:,,

Abstract: In this study we proposed a phylogenetic analysis based on molecular markers of 16S rRNA and 12S rRNA mitochondrial genes in four salmonid species from Romania. For this purpose, a PCR amplification of one fragment from each mitochondrial gene mentioned above was performed, followed by direct sequencing, the analysis of nucleotide variation and a phylogenetic analysis of 4 species. The analyzed species are Salmo trutta fario, S. labrax, Salvelinus fontinalis and Thymallus thymallus. For a more accurate phylogenetic classification of these species within the Salmonidae family, the analysis was performed using similar sequences from GenBank Database from 14 salmonids and one osmerid species used as an outgroup. Three methodologies namely neighbor joining, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood were used for phylogenetic reconstruction by each gene separately and the mitochondrial data combined. The phylogenetic analysis using mitochondrial rRNA genes as markers has allowed an overview about the positions occupied by Romanian salmonids within the Salmonidae family. This study has interesting implications for understanding the evolution and diversification of this group of fish and is the first molecular study on salmonid species from Romania.

Key words: salmonids, mitochondrial, rRNA, molecular phylogeny

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Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 57(3), pp. 247–254, 2011

Title: Choosy outsiders? Satellite males associate with sexy hosts in the European tree frog Hyla arborea

Authors: Berec, M.1 and Bajgar, A.2

Authors' addresses: 1Faculty of Agriculture, University of South Bohemia, Branisovská 31, 370 05 Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic, E-mail:
2Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of South Bohemia, Branisovská 31, 370 05 Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic

Abstract: In many frog species there is a strong bias in mating success towards larger, more competitive males as a result of female preference for some male attribute related to social status or competitive ability. Less successful males attempt to increase their reproductive success by adopting alternative mating tactics. We investigated the behaviour of satellite males in the European tree frog Hyla arborea, specifically the relationship between size and mating tactics of males and if the association of satellite males with callers is accidental or size-dependent. Our results show that smaller males become satellites more often than larger males and that calling males associated with satellites are significantly larger than males with no satellites around them. These results suggest that males have good information about their competitors and hence their own mating opportunities and use this information to choose the most successful reproductive tactic available, and that satellite males associate with hosts with whom they have the highest probability of mating success.

Key words: European tree frog, Hyla arborea, satellite behaviour, mate choice, reproductive tactic

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Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 57(3), pp. 255–268, 2011

Title: Exploratory analyses of foraging habitat selection of the Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)

Authors: Palatitz, P.1, Fehérvári, P.1,2, Solt, Sz.1, Kotymán, L.3, Neidert, D.4 and Harnos, A.2

Authors' addresses: 1MME/BirdLife Hungary, H-1121 Budapest, Költõ u. 21, Hungary, E-mail:
2Department of Biomathematics and Informatics, Faculty of Veterinarian Sciences, Szent István University, H-1071 Budapest István u. 2, Hungary
3Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Plant Protection Institute, Department of Zoology, H-1022 Budapest, Herman Ottó u. 15, Hungary
4Körös–Maros National Park, H-5040 Szarvas, Anna liget, Hungary

Abstract: The foraging habitat selection of Red-footed Falcons (Falco vespertinus) was investigated in a characteristic Hungarian habitat between 2006–2008. Potentially available habitat types were assessed within a 10 km2 study site with remote sensing technologies. Altogether 18 adult birds were equipped with tail-mount VHF radio-tags and individually followed until visual contact to record location and foraging behaviour. Foraging areas were assessed with 100% Minimum Convex Polygons (MCP), global Manly's selectivity measures were used to detect population level habitat preference, and the eigenanalysis of selection ratios was carried out to partition the variability in individual habitat preference. We found large individual variability in the extent of foraging areas. Females had significantly smaller foraging areas compared to males, while males at the largest colony had significantly larger foraging areas compared to males of the smaller colonies. Global Manley's selectivity measures showed that birds significantly avoided intertilled crops, water surface, woods and artificial surfaces. The eigenanalysis of selection ratios partitioned individual habitat selection rates into two distinct groups; the first using grasslands and alfalfa while the second group of birds preferring grasslands and cereals. Positive habitat preference towards arable habitat types, indicate that species specific conservation efforts of this declining raptor should also focus on agricultural land use practices.

Key words: Red-footed Falcon, radio-telemetry, foraging habitat selection, design III eigenanalysis, Manley's selectivity

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Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 57(3), pp. 269–276, 2011

Title: Intersexual size and plumage differences in tree sparrows (Passer montanus) – A morphological study based on molecular sex determination

Authors: Mónus, F.1, Szabó, K.2, Lózsa, A.3, Pénzes, Z.3, 4 and Barta, Z.1

Author's address: 1Department of Evolutionary Zoology, University of Debrecen, H-4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1, Hungary; E-mail:
2Institute of Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Szent István University, H-1077 Budapest, Rottenbiller u. 50, Hungary
3Institute of Genetics, HAS Biological Research Center, H-6701 Szeged, Temesvári krt. 62, Hungary
4Department of Ecology, University of Szeged, H-6701 Szeged, Közép fasor 52, Hungary

Abstract: We investigated intersexual morphological differences in tree sparrows (Passer montanus), a species being considered as sexually monomorphic. Molecular sexing of the birds was performed by PCR amplification of the sex chromosome-linked CHD1 gene introns. All measured traits (body weight, wing, tail and tarsus length, bill size and the size of the black throat patch, i.e. badge hereafter) were greater in males than in females and the sex of about 90% of the individuals was correctly categorized by means of a discriminant analysis based on the morphological measurements. Nevertheless, wing length alone was equally good predictor of the sex. Other measured traits had only moderate discriminant value. Our results do not support that tree sparrows can be sexed based on the size of their badge alone. However, some of our results suggest intersexual differences in the function of the badge.

Key words: intersexual differences, morphology, sex determination, tree sparrow, Passer montanus

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Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 57(3), pp. 277–289, 2011

Title: Northern birch mouse (Sicista betulina) in Lithuania, findings in the diet of Tawny owl (Strix aluco)

Authors: Balciauskas, L., Balciauskiene, L. and Alejunas, P.

Authors' address: Nature Research Centre, Akademijos 2, LT-08412 Vilnius-21, Lithuania, E-mail:

Abstract: In the period 1996–2009, 31 individual remains of Sicista betulina were found during analysis of Tawny Owl diet in north, west, central and south-west Lithuania, based on pellets and food remains in nest-boxes after the breeding period. In general, the proportion of S. betulina in the diet was 0.6%, with district annual averages of up to 6.25–7.14% of mammal items. Remains of S. betulina were found near spruce, but not in deciduous forests, mainly in forested landscape and in the less anthropogenous habitats. The presence of this species in the diet was related to which other small mammal occurred as the dominant prey species – S. betulina was present when a significantly smaller proportion of Microtus voles and higher proportion of alternative prey (S. araneus) in the diet occurred.

Key words: Northern Birch Mouse, Sicista betulina, Tawny owl, Strix aluco, owl diet, Lithuania

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Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 57(3), pp. 291–304, 2011

Title: Feeding habits of sympatric mustelids in an agricultural area of Hungary

Authors: Lanszki, J.1 and Heltai, M.2

Authors' addresses: 1University of Kaposvár, Department of Nature Conservation, H-7401 Kaposvár, P.O. Box 16, Hungary, E-mail:
2Szent István University, Institute for Wildlife Conservation, H-2103 Gödöllõ, Páter K. u. 1, Hungary, E-mail:

Abstract: The feeding ecology of the badger (Meles meles) and its interspecific trophic relationship with the sympatric marten (Martes foina and M. martes) were investigated in a temperate climate agricultural area of southwestern Hungary. On the basis of food remains found in scats (over four years, badger n = 166, marten n = 545), both predators consumed the most abundant and accessible foods according to the season. No significant differences were found between predators concerning the consumption of small mammals as primary foods (mean; badger 59.3% and marten 48.0%) and other food types, except birds. Regarding plants as secondary foods, badgers consumed mainly maize, while martens ate predominately fruits. Both mustelids preferred open-field living common vole and avoided forest-living bank vole; both consumed primarily small (< 50 g) (97% vs 94%), open-field living (78% vs 55%) and terrestrial (98% vs 86%) prey species, but marten preyed more on arboreal animals. Diets were diverse, but the trophic niche, especially of the badger, was very narrow. The mean food overlap between predators was high (67.1%). Considering that the chosen primary or secondary food resources are unlimited in central European agricultural areas, it is not possible to prove food resource partitioning between mustelids. Interspecific differences in feeding habits are rather the consequences of individual patterns than niche segregation.

Key words: Meles meles, Martes, prey preference, trophic niche overlap, food partitioning

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