Natural History Sciences 2024-05-06T11:38:46+00:00 Giulia Bertoni Open Journal Systems <p>The scientific journal <strong>Natural History Sciences (NHS)</strong> was founded in 2014 to publish original research in all fields of natural sciences. The journal was historically preceded by Atti della Società Geologica residente in Milano (1855), Atti della Società italiana di Scienze naturali (1859) and Atti della Società italiana di Scienze naturali e del Museo civico di Storia naturale in Milano (1896) and continues their distinguished tradition.</p> <p>This journal does not apply charge for publication to Authors as it is supported by institutional funds.</p> <p>Natural History Sciences is available as library exchange: <a href=""></a></p> Erratum. First documented observation of differential dorsoventral coat colouration in wild boar <i>Sus scrofa</i> (Artyodactyla: Suidae) in Italy 2024-05-06T11:38:46+00:00 Francesco Gallozzi <p>This erratum corrects the article published in Natural History Sciences, 11 (1): 71-72, 2024 (<a href="">DOI: 10.4081/nhs.2024.721</a>).</p> 2024-05-07T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) A new record of the rare <i>Hypleurochilus bananensis</i> (Poll 1959) (Actinopterygii: Blenniidae) with a review of its distribution and ecology in Italian seas 2024-04-17T09:26:05+00:00 Francesco Tiralongo <p>This study documents the presence of <em>Hypleurochilus bananensis</em> in a new area within the Tyrrhenian Sea, located about 30 km south of the closest occurrence locality known to date. Providing novel insights into its habitat, the observations here reported, at “Caterina Beach” (Sant’Agnello) on 29th and 30th December 2023, revealed the presence of four individuals close to a port beach area, in an artificial habitat represented by rusted iron pipes. These findings contribute valuable data to the limited knowledge on this rare species, providing new distributional and habitat notes.</p> 2024-04-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) Antecedent description and depiction of the recently described cetacean behaviour of trap/tread-water feeding inferred from a nineteenth-century sighting of a ‘sea monster’ in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt 2024-04-17T08:21:27+00:00 Robert L. France <p>In 2017 and 2018, two groups of biologists published papers in which they independently described what was referred to as a ‘novel’ or ‘new’ feeding behaviour for cetaceans. Called ‘trap’ or ‘tread-water’ feeding, the behaviour was of interest as it was the first time that passive or stationary in contrast to lunge, and vertical as opposed to horizontal position, feeding had been observed by whales. A subsequent historical ecology paper suggested that the recently described behaviour had in fact been previously observed and documented by illustrators and writers in Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Because yesterday’s ‘sea monsters’ are today’s megafauna, recounted sightings of the former can provide early insight into whale behaviour. One such example is an 19th century sighting of a ‘sea monster’ in the Gulf of Suez, whose description and illustration are nearly identical to modern scientific reporting of whales engaged in trap/tread-water feeding. Such concordance is further evidence in support of a historical precedence with respect to observing and documenting this behaviour.</p> 2024-04-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) Gone with the wind? <i>Condica capensis</i> (Guenée 1852), a migrant species new for Italy (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) 2024-04-17T07:53:11+00:00 Giuseppe Rijllo Sara la Cava Giada Zucco Stefano Scalercio <p>Pushed by southern winds, many Lepidoptera can fly from the sub-Saharan region to Sicily or Calabria in a short time. Thanks to a long-term monitoring program, we found for the first time in Italy a migrating specimen of <em>Condica capensis</em> (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). This finding is likely linked to the strong winds blowing from North Africa just before the collection of the specimen. <em>Condica capensis</em> is considered to be a migrant to the European continent except for Spain, where it is resident. It is found across Africa, the Indian subcontinent, South-East Asia, and Australia.</p> 2024-04-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) Lichens from the <i>aurifodinae</i> of the upper Ticino river valley (N Italy) 2024-04-17T07:53:13+00:00 Gabriele Gheza Juri Nascimbene <p><em>Aurifodinae</em> were open-pit gold mines of the Roman age which left behind them elongated heaps of rounded stones. They are located in lowland semi-natural landscapes, and can be seen as screes at a lower altitude and in a milder climate than typical mountain screes. We investigated the lichen biota of the <em>aurifodinae</em> remains in the upper Ticino river valley (western Po Plain, Northern Italy), in a small, discontinuous, 6.5 ha wide area. Metamorphic siliceous stones prevail, while calcareous stones are rare and scattered. We recorded 35 infrageneric taxa, including three species new to Piemonte: <em>Cladonia conista</em>, <em>C. cryptochlorophaea</em>, and <em>Placidiopsis cinerascens</em>. Several taxa are also new to the submediterranean ecoregion and/or to the Ticino river valley. The function of <em>aurifodinae</em> as a refugium for saxicolous lichens in the lowlands and their potential role in creating wide areas with open dry habitats in the past centuries are discussed.</p> 2024-04-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) The Bezzi Diptera collection at the Museo di Storia Naturale di Milano: a list of the named genera and species, with their present status 2024-04-22T07:04:41+00:00 Carlo Monari <p>Mario Bezzi’s collection of Diptera is probably the most important dedicated to this order of insects preserved in Italy and, in a scientific-historical view, one of the most important in the world. The aim of this work is to provide a complete list of the genera and species originally used by Bezzi and readable on the collection labels handwritten by Bezzi himself. A brief description of the collection and the methods used to acquire and check the names is given. The results obtained are discussed. Finally, a complete checklist of the taxonomic names found, and their current status is provided.</p> 2024-04-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) Additional notes on the herpetofauna of Lefkada (Ionian Islands, Greece) 2024-04-17T09:17:51+00:00 Sabine Martini Marcus Schmitt <p>During two visits to the northeastern part of the Greek island of Lefkada, one in October 2022 and another in June 2023, 14 species of herpetofauna were recorded (two amphibian species, twelve reptile species), including one previously unrecorded species, the European cat snake <em>Telescopus fallax</em>. In addition, live specimens of Marginated tortoise <em>Testudo marginata</em> were found and location data for Dahl’s whip snake <em>Platyceps najadum</em> has been recorded. The observation localities of four species, <em>Testudo hermanni</em>, <em>Testudo</em> <em>marginata</em>, <em>Platyceps najadum</em> and <em>Telescopus fallax</em> are shown in an overview map.</p> 2024-04-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) <i>Amaranthus emarginatus</i> (Amaranthaceae) in Italy 2024-04-18T07:31:56+00:00 Duilio Iamonico Amara Noor Hussain Paola Fortini Gabriele Galasso <p><em>Amaranthus emarginatus</em> belongs to the <em>Amaranthus blitum</em> complex, a critical taxonomic group. Within the variability of <em>A. emarginatus</em>, two taxa are often accepted, ‘<em>emarginatus</em>’ and ‘<em>pseudogracilis</em>’, which differ by habitus, synflorescence structure, and leaf size. However, their taxonomic value is debated, and <em>A. emarginatus</em> itself is sometimes included in <em>A. blitum</em> as subspecies. In this paper, molecular, morphological, phytogeographical, and ecological data are discussed to assess the most correct rank of these taxa. We conclude that <em>A. emarginatus</em> deserves specific distinctness from <em>A. blitum</em>, and <em>A. pseudogracilis</em> can be regarded as a subspecies of the former. This choice reflects both the molecular data and geographical distributions of <em>A. blitum</em> and <em>A. emarginatus</em>, <em>i.e.</em>, Mediterranean area, Europe, and North Africa for the former vs. neotropics for the latter). Within <em>A. emarginatus</em>, in addition, to the different morphology, <em>A. emarginatus</em> var. <em>pseudogracilis</em> differs also on account of its ecological preferences, because it occurs in warm and humid areas, whereas <em>A.</em> <em>emarginatus</em> var. <em>emarginatus</em> is better adapted to cold and dry habitats. However, since molecular analyses cannot clearly separate the two taxa, we consider the subspecific rank as the most appropriate. We also found a further morphological difference in seed coat ornamentation, hitherto not pointed out: the shape of the peripheral cells is tetragonal in <em>A. emarginatus</em> subsp. <em>pseudogracilis</em>, but polygonal (cells with ≥ 5 sides) in subsp. <em>emarginatus</em>. Distributional maps and status assessment at regional level for the two taxa are provided. According to this revision, <em>A. emarginatus</em> subsp. <em>emarginatus</em> is to be regared as naturalized in central and southern Italy (Latium and Campania, respectively).</p> 2024-04-18T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) Status and distribution of Paraguayan Procyonidae and Mephitidae (Mammalia: Carnivora) 2024-04-10T08:19:20+00:00 Paul Smith Sergio D. Ríos <p>Two species of procyonid (<em>Nasua nasua</em> and <em>Procyon cancrivorus</em>) and one species of mephitid (<em>Conepatus chinga</em>) have long been documented to occur in Paraguay, but very little has been published about their ecology in the country since the early 19th Century works of Azara and Rengger. Data on the distribution and status of these species in the country is collated from museum specimens, published literature and reliable observations to provide a basis for future research. A hierarchical approach is taken towards types of record and maps are provided that distinguish these for all species. All three species remain common in the Chaco region west of the Paraguay River, and all are considered of Least Concern. However, this region is experiencing high levels of deforestation and data to assess the potential declines of the species is unavailable. The two species of procyonid are also widespread in the Oriental region, but the status of <em>Conepatus chinga</em> there is unclear. There are multiple reports from the Atlantic Forest region but documentation is limited to fecal molecular samples. Clarifying the distribution of that species in the Oriental region is a priority for research.</p> 2024-04-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s) First documented observation of differential dorsoventral coat colouration in wild boar <i>Sus scrofa</i> (Artyodactyla: Suidae) in Italy 2024-04-17T07:53:16+00:00 Francesco Gallozzi <p>Wild boar <em>Sus scrofa</em> usually shows a uniform brown coat, but different colour patterns have been observed with red, brown, black, and white morphs. Nevertheless, coat colour polymorphism is often associated with hybridization with domestic pigs. The melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene and the agouti (ASIP) gene are the most studied genes involved in pigmentation in mammals. Particularly, mutations in the ASIP locus are responsible for a differential dorsoventral colouration. Polymorphisms in at least one of these two loci have been detected in all domestic breeds in Europe, while wild-type genotypes have almost exclusively been identified in wild boar. Therefore, coat colour polymorphism and MC1R/ASIP mutations are often used to detect wild/domestic hybrids. Here, the first documented observation of differential dorsoventral coat colouration in <em>Sus scrofa</em> in the wild is reported in a juvenile in Abruzzo National Park (Italy), raising some concerns about possible wild boar x domestic pig hybridization in this protected area.</p> 2024-04-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 the Author(s)