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  • Author: O. Zinenko x
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Capture-mark-recapture data was used to infer growth rates of the Nikolsky’s viper, Vipera berus nikolskii (Vedmederja, Grubant et Rudaeva, 1986), in the Eastern Ukraine. We have found that growth rate is negatively correlated with age. The difference in growth rates before maturation is not significant between different sexes. Growth rates decrease rapidly after maturation in males and females, however adult males retain significantly higher average growth rates. There is large dispersion of growth rates in the group of adult females, which is caused, probably, by alteration of complete arrest of growth in the years with reproduction and more intensive growth in the years without it. Asymptotic snout-ventral length estimated after Von Bertalanffy model was 680 mm in females and 630 mm in males. Females mature after fifth and males mature after fourth hibernation. The larger females in vipers can not be the result of higher growth rates in females, but are the outcome of a combination of other factors including different maturation time and size (older and being larger), and, perhaps, longer life span due to lower mortality. Growth rates of the Nikolsky’s viper in the nature are higher than in other species in the group of small Eurasian vipers.


A part of the COI mitochondrial barcoding gene was sequenced from seven species of different taxonomical groups: Ambystoma mexicanum (Amphibia, Ambystomatidae), Darevskia lindholmi, Lacerta agilis exigua (Reptilia, Lacertidae), Erinaceus roumanicus (Mammalia, Erinaceidae), Macrobiotus sp. 1 and 2 (Eutardigrada, Macrobiotidae) and Cameraria ohridella (Insecta, Gracillariidae). The sequences were compared with available sequences from databases and positioned on phylogenetic trees when the taxa had not yet been sequenced. The presence of Mexican axolotls in herpetoculture in Ukraine was confirmed. The partial COI genes of the Crimean rock lizard and an eastern sub-species of the sand lizard were sequenced. We demonstrated the presence of two tardigrade mitochondrial lineages of the Macrobiotus hufelandi group in the same sample from the Zeya Natural Reserve in the Far East: one was nearly identical to the Italian M. macrocalix, and the other one is similar to M. persimilis and M. vladimiri. We also confirmed the presence of the invasive haplotype “A” of the horse chestnut leaf miner in Ukraine, in line with the hypothesized route of invasion from Central Europe.