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Concept: Cayman Islands


The increasing burden of dengue, and the relative failure of traditional vector control programs highlight the need to develop new control methods. SIT using self-limiting genetic technology is one such promising method. A self-limiting strain of Aedes aegypti, OX513A, has already reached the stage of field evaluation. Sustained releases of OX513A Ae. aegypti males led to 80% suppression of a target wild Ae. aegypti population in the Cayman Islands in 2010. Here we describe sustained series of field releases of OX513A Ae. aegypti males in a suburb of Juazeiro, Bahia, Brazil. This study spanned over a year and reduced the local Ae. aegypti population by 95% (95% CI: 92.2%-97.5%) based on adult trap data and 81% (95% CI: 74.9-85.2%) based on ovitrap indices compared to the adjacent no-release control area. The mating competitiveness of the released males (0.031; 95% CI: 0.025-0.036) was similar to that estimated in the Cayman trials (0.059; 95% CI: 0.011 - 0.210), indicating that environmental and target-strain differences had little impact on the mating success of the OX513A males. We conclude that sustained release of OX513A males may be an effective and widely useful method for suppression of the key dengue vector Ae. aegypti. The observed level of suppression would likely be sufficient to prevent dengue epidemics in the locality tested and other areas with similar or lower transmission.

Concepts: Yellow fever, Grand Cayman, Release, Cayman Islands, Aedes aegypti, Dengue fever, Mosquito, Aedes


Southern stingrays, Dasyatis americana, have been provided supplemental food in ecotourism operations at Stingray City Sandbar (SCS), Grand Cayman since 1986, with this site becoming one of the world’s most famous and heavily visited marine wildlife interaction venues. Given expansion of marine wildlife interactive tourism worldwide, there are questions about the effects of such activities on the focal species and their ecosystems. We used a combination of acoustic telemetry and tag-recapture efforts to test the hypothesis that human-sourced supplemental feeding has altered stingray activity patterns and habitat use at SCS relative to wild animals at control sites. Secondarily, we also qualitatively estimated the population size of stingrays supporting this major ecotourism venue. Tag-recapture data indicated that a population of at least 164 stingrays, over 80% female, utilized the small area at SCS for prolonged periods of time. Examination of comparative movements of mature female stingrays at SCS and control sites revealed strong differences between the two groups: The fed animals demonstrated a notable inversion of diel activity, being constantly active during the day with little movement at night compared to the nocturnally active wild stingrays; The fed stingrays utilized significantly (p<0.05) smaller 24 hour activity spaces compared to wild conspecifics, staying in close proximity to the ecotourism site; Fed stingrays showed a high degree of overlap in their core activity spaces compared to wild stingrays which were largely solitary in the spaces utilized (72% vs. 3% overlap respectively). Supplemental feeding has strikingly altered movement behavior and spatial distribution of the stingrays, and generated an atypically high density of animals at SCS which could have downstream fitness costs for individuals and potentially broader ecosystem effects. These findings should help environmental managers plan mitigating measures for existing operations, and develop precautionary policies regarding proposed feeding sites.

Concepts: Dasyatidae, Grand Cayman, Natural environment, Wildlife, Cayman Islands, Dasyatis, Stingray, Southern stingray


Coral reefs are damaged by natural disturbances and local and global anthropogenic stresses. As stresses intensify, so do debates about whether reefs will recover after significant damage. True headway in this debate requires documented temporal trajectories for coral assemblages subjected to various combinations of stresses; therefore, we report relevant changes in coral assemblages at Little Cayman Island. Between 1999 and 2012, spatiotemporal patterns in cover, densities of juveniles and size structure of assemblages were documented inside and outside marine protected areas using transects, quadrats and measurements of maximum diameters. Over five years, bleaching and disease caused live cover to decrease from 26% to 14%, with full recovery seven years later. Juvenile densities varied, reaching a maximum in 2010. Both patterns were consistent within and outside protected areas. In addition, dominant coral species persisted within and outside protected areas although their size frequency distributions varied temporally and spatially. The health of the coral assemblage and the similarity of responses across levels of protection suggested that negligible anthropogenic disturbance at the local scale was a key factor underlying the observed resilience.

Concepts: Cayman Islands, Coral reef


Unsustainable wildlife trade affects biodiversity and the livelihoods of communities dependent upon those resources. Wildlife farming has often been proposed to promote sustainable trade but characterizing markets and understanding consumer behaviour remain neglected, but essential, steps with important implications for its design and evaluation. We used sea turtle trade in the Cayman Islands as a case study - where turtle meat for consumption has been produced for almost 50 years, to explore consumer preferences towards wild-sourced (illegal) and farmed (legal) products and potential conservation implications. Combining methods innovatively (including indirect questioning and choice experiments), we conducted a nationwide trade assessment. Whilst 30% of resident households had consumed turtle in the previous 12 months, the purchase and consumption of wild products was relatively rare (e.g. 64-742 resident households consumed wild turtle meat, representing 0.3-3.5% of resident households), although representing an important threat to wild turtles in the area due to reduced populations. We found marked differences among groups of consumers with price and source of product playing an important role in their decisions. Despite the long-term practice of farming turtle, some consumers showed a strong preference for wild products, demonstrating limitations of wildlife farming as a single tool for sustainable wildlife trade. By using a diversified toolset to investigate demand for wildlife products, we obtained insights about consumer behaviour that can be used to develop conservation demand-focused initiatives. Lack of long-term social-ecological assessments, a common issue worldwide, hinders the evaluation and learning potential of wildlife farming as conservation tool. This information is key to understanding under which conditions different interventions (e.g. bans, wildlife farming, social marketing) are likely to succeed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Grand Cayman, Agriculture, Turtle, Cayman Islands, Preference, Sustainability, Biodiversity, Conservation biology


The original Article mistakenly coded the constitutional rights of Australia as containing a governmental duty to protect the environment (blue in the figures); this has been corrected to containing no explicit mention of environmental protection (orange in the figures). The original Article also neglected to code the constitutional rights of the Cayman Islands (no data; yellow in the figures); this has been corrected to containing a governmental duty to protect the environment (blue in the figures).Although no inferences changed as a result of these errors, many values changed slightly and have been corrected. The proportion of the world’s nations having constitutional rights to a healthy environment changed from 75% to 74%. The proportions of nations in different categories given in the Fig. 1 caption all changed except purple countries (3.1%): green countries changed from 47.2% to 46.9%; blue countries changed from 24.4% to 24.2%; and orange countries changed from 25.3% to 25.8%. The proportion of the global atmospheric CO2emitted by the 144 nations changed from 72.6% to 74.4%; the proportion of the world’s population represented by the 144 nations changed from 84.9% to 85%. The values of annual average CO2emissions for blue countries changed from 363,000 Gg to 353,000 Gg and for orange countries from 195,000 Gg to 201,000 Gg. The proportion of threatened mammals endemic to a single country represented by the 144 countries changed from 91% to 84%. Figures 1-3 have been updated to show the correct values and map colours and the Supplementary Information has been updated to give the correct country codes.

Concepts: Environment, Color, Green, Country, Grand Cayman, Environmentalism, Cayman Islands, Sovereign state


When Marcus McGilvray left school aged 18, he wanted to see the world. He started with India, Nepal and the Cayman Islands and spent 18 months globetrotting.

Concepts: Grand Cayman, English-speaking countries and territories, Cayman Islands, Africa


Soil from George Town, Grand Cayman Island, yielded the bacteriophage Belinda, isolated on Bacillus thuringiensis DSM 350. We present here the analysis of the complete genome sequence of 162,308 bp, with 298 predicted genes. The genome also contains three tRNA genes. Belinda belongs to the C1 cluster of Bacillus phages.

Concepts: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Plasmid, Bacteriophage, Virus, DNA, Genome, Bacteria


The anareolate New World subfamily Cladomorphinae Bradley & Galil, 1977 is reviewed and keys to the six tribes currently included are presented; these are: Cladomorphini Bradley & Galil, 1977, Cladoxerini Karny, 1923, Cranidiini Günther, 1953, Pterinoxylini n. trib., Hesperophasmatini Bradley & Galil, 1977 and Haplopodini Günther, 1953 rev. stat.. New diagnoses are presented for all these tribes and possible relationships within Cladomorphinae are discusssed. Morphology of the genitalia and egg-structures indicate Cladomorphinae as presently treated to be polyphyletic. Two subordinate groups are recognized within present Cladomorphinae, which differ considerably in numerous morphological characters of the insects and eggs. The first group and here regarded as Cladomorphinae sensu stricto is formed by the mostly South American Cladomorphini + Cranidiini + Cladoxerini, while the second group is formed by the predominantly Caribbean Hesperophasmatini + Pterinoxylini n. trib. + Haplopodini.        Members of the first group (= Cladomorphini sensu stricto) share the dorsally carinate basitarsus in which the two dorsal carinae are melted with another, increasingly elongated gonapophyses VIII of females which are noticeably longer than gonapophyses IX and lamellate as well as strongly displaced medioventral carina of the profemora. Cranidiini + Cladomorphini share the strongly elongated and filiform gonapophyses VIII and presence of gonoplacs in the females, specialized poculum of males and presence of a median line in the eggs. Cranidiini differs from all other tribes of Cladomorphinae by the entirely unarmed legs of both sexes, distinctly broadened and leaf-like body and prominent longitudinal keel of the mesosternum of females, prominently enlarged poculum and spinulose phallus of males as well as the conspicuous narrowing of the posteromedian gap of the internal micropylar plate of the eggs and noticeably separated median line. Cladomorphini is characteristic for the specialized vomer and poculum of males and distinct opercular structures of the eggs. Certain representatives of Cladomorphini indicate relationships to the “Phanocles-group” of Diapheromerinae: Diapheromerini, hence Cladomorphini as presently treated may be paraphyletic. The exclusively South American Cladoxerini (= Baculini n. syn.) differs from the other two tribes of Cladomorphinae sensu stricto by the distinctly serrate profemora of both sexes and conspicuously shortened antennae of females, which consist of less than 30 segments and are much shorter than the profemora in females. Genital morphology, such as the elongated gonapophyses VIII and presence of gonoplacs in females, as well as the lamellate medioventral carina of the profemora indicate close relation to Cladomorphini. Cranidiini appears to be the sister-taxon of Cladomorphini + Cladoxerini. The tribe Baculini Günther, 1953 is synonymised with Cladoxerini (n. syn.), on the basis that the type-genera of both tribes are congeneric, with Baculum Saussure, 1861 being a junior synonym of Cladoxerus St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1827 (n. syn.). The genus Tersomia Kirby, 1904 is removed from Hesperophasmatini and transferred to Cladoxerini. Wattenwylia Toledo Piza, 1938 is removed from Pachymorphinae: Gratidiini and transferred to Cladoxerini. A detailed new diagnosis is presented for Cranidiini along with a detailed differentiation and the tribe is shown to be monotypical, only containing its type-genus Cranidium Westwood, 1843. All Caribbean genera subsequently added to Cranidiini are removed and transferred to Haplopodini rev. stat..        The three tribes Hesperophasmatini + Pterinoxylini n. trib. + Haplopodini rev. stat. are closely related and might form a monophyletic clade within Cladomorphinae sensu lato. They differ from Cladomorphinae sensu stricto by the short gonapophyses VIII and reduced gonoplacs of females, unspecialized poculum of males and lack of a micropylar line in the eggs. Haplopodini Günther, 1953 is re-established (rev. stat.) and comprises almost exclusively Caribbean genera previously placed in Hesperophasmatini by Bradley & Galil (1977) or Cranidiini by Zompro, (2004). Aploploides Rehn & Hebard, 1938, Diapherodes Gray, 1835, Haplopus Burmeister, 1838 and Paracranidium Brock, 1998 were misplaced in Cranidiini and are transferred to Haplopodini. On the basis of numerous morphological characters of the insects and eggs Hesperophasmatini is removed from Pseudophasmatidae: Xerosomatinae and re-transferred to its previous position in the subfamily Cladomorphinae sensu lato. A detailed newdiagnosis of Hesperophasmatini is presented, but is only provisional since the true diversity is as yet only fractionally known. The lack of a gula distinguishes Hesperophasmatini from all other tribes. The genus Laciphorus Redtenbacher, 1908 is removed from Hesperophasmatini and transferred to Diapheromeridae: Diapheromerinae: Diapheromerini. The new tribe Pterinoxylini n. trib. is established to contain only the type-genus Pterinoxylus Audinet-Serville, 1838. It is closely related and perhaps the sister taxon of Hesperophasmatini, with which it shares the presence of rough sensory areas on the probasisternum and profurcasternum. It differs from Hesperophasmatini and Haplopodini by the presence of a tympanal region (= stridulatory organ) in the alae of females and the alveolar eggs, which possess peripheral opercular and polar structures. Haplopodini is likely to be the sister group of Pterinoxylini n. trib. + Hesperophasmatini.        The tribe Haplopodini rev. stat. is revised at the species level and comprises eight almost exclusively Caribbean genera, four of which are newly described. All eight genera now contained in Haplopodini are described in detail, differentiated from their closest relatives and their relationships and systematic position within Haplopodini are discussed. Keys and maps showing their distributions are presented along with a discussion of the distributional patterns. Detailed descriptions, differential diagnoses, synonymic listings, illustrations, material listings and measurements are given of all 26 currently known species and subspecies of Haplopodini. Four new genera are described within Haplopodini. The monotypical Apteroplopus n. gen. (type-species: Dyme grosse-tuberculata Brunner v. Wattenwyl, 1907) from Honduras is the only taxon of the tribe represented in Central America. It is only known from the male which differs from all other genera by being entirely apterous. Cephaloplopus n. gen. (type-species: Cephaloplopus pulchellus n. sp.) and Parhaplopus n. gen. (type-species: Haplopus cubensis Saussure, 1868) occur only on Hispaniola and Cuba. Both are closely related to Haplopus Burmeister, 1838 but in addition to having noticeably different eggs, both genera differ from Haplopus in several morphological characters. The monotypical Venupherodes n. gen. (type-species: Platycrana venustula Audinet-Serville, 1838) is endemic to Cuba, and in females being apterous resembles the second exclusively Cuban genus Aploploides Rehn & Hebard, 1938. It however differs from all other members of Haplopodini by the laterally expanded mesonotum of females, which overlaps the mesopleurae, as well as the morphology of the eggs. Two species-groups are recognized within Diapherodes Gray, 1835. The gigantea species-group comprises the species from the Lesser Antilles, which are: D. angulata (Fabricius, 1793), Diapherodes dominicae (Rehn & Hebard, 1938), D. gigantea gigantea (Gmélin, 1789), D. gigantea saintluciae n. ssp. and Diapherodes martinicensis Lelong & Langlois, 2005. The three species of the jamaicensis species-group, which are D. achalus (Rehn, 1904), D. jamaicensis (Drury, 1773) and D. laevicollis Redtenbacher, 1906, are restricted to the two Greater Antillean islands Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Haplopus Burmeister, 1838 is the most widely distributed genus being represented on all islands of the Greater Antilles except Jamaica, and also in the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Florida Keys, Dry Tortugas and as far southwest as the Cayman Islands and Swan Islands.        Nine new species and one new subspecies are described: Cephaloplopus alope n. sp. and Haplopus sobrinus n. sp. from Cuba, Cephaloplopus euchlorus n. sp., Cephaloplopus laetus n. sp., Cephaloplopus pulchellus n. sp., Haplopus brachypterus n. sp., Haplopus intermedius n. sp. and Parhaplopus navarroi n. sp. from Hispaniola, Haplopus woodruffi n. sp. from Cayman Brac (Cayman Islands) and Diapherodes gigantea saintluciae n. ssp. from Saint Lucia. Seven of these are described from both sexes but Cephaloplopus alope n. sp. and Haplopus sobrinus n. sp. are only known from the females and Cephaloplopus laetus n. sp. only from the males. The previously unknown males of Diapherodes angulata (Fabricius, 1793), Diapherodes laevicollis Redtenbacher, 1908, Haplopus bicuspidatus de Haan, 1842 and Parhaplopus cubensis (Saussure, 1868) as well as the previously unknown female of Parhaplopus evadne (Westwood, 1859) n. comb. are described and illustrated for the first time. Descriptions and illustrations of the eggs of eleven species are presented: Cephaloplopus euchlorus n. sp., Cephaloplopus pulchellus n. sp., Diapherodes achalus (Rehn, 1904), Diapherodes dominicae (Rehn & Hebard, 1938), Diapherodes gigantea gigantea (Gmélin, 1789), Diapherodes martinicensis Lelong & Langlois, 2005, Diapherodes jamaicensis (Drury, 1773), Haplopus bicuspidatus de Haan, 1842, Haplopus micropterus St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1825, Parhaplopus navarroi n. sp. and Venupherodes venustula (Audinet-Seville, 1838) n. comb.. Type specimens of the newly described taxa are deposited in the collections of ANSP, NHMUK, IIBZ, FSCA, MCZC, MNHN and USNM.        Six species are transferred to other genera (n. comb.): Bacteria grossetuberculata (Brunner v. Wattenwyl, 1907) to Apteroplopus n. gen.; Haplopus cubensis Saussure, 1868 and Haplopus evadne Westwood, 1859 to Parhaplopus n. gen.; Diapherodes venustula (Audinet-Serville, 1838) to Venupherodes n. gen.; Haplopus jamaicensis (Drury, 1773) and Haplopus achalus Rehn, 1904 to Diapherodes Gray, 1835. Mantis angulata Fabricius, 1793 and Diapherodes gigantea dominicae Rehn & Hebard, 1938 are removed from synonymy with D. gigantea (Gmélin, 1789) and shown to be valid species (n. stat.).        Fifteen new synonymies are revealed amongst the species studied: Diapherodes longiscapha Redtenbacher, 1908 = Diapherodes achalus (Rehn, 1904) n. syn.; Haplopus grayi Kaup, 1871 = Diapherodes angulata (Fabricius, 1793) n. syn.; Diapherodes glabricollis Gray, 1835 = Diapherodes jamaicensis (Drury, 1773) n. syn.; Diapherodes pulverulentus Gray, 1835 = Diapherodes jamaicensis (Drury, 1773) n. syn.; Diapherodes christopheri Westwood, 1859 = Diapherodes jamaicensis (Drury, 1773) n. syn.; Haplopus murinus Redtenbacher, 1908 = Diapherodes jamaicensis (Drury, 1773) n. syn.; Haplopus bituberculatum de Haan, 1842 = Haplopus micropterus (St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1825) n. syn.; Haplopus cythereus Westwood, 1859 = Haplopus micropterus (St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1825) n. syn.; Haplopus ligiolus Redtenbacher, 1908 = Haplopus micropterus (St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1825) n. syn.; Haplopus ligia Westwood, 1859 = Haplopus micropterus (St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1825) n. syn.; Haplopus mayeri Caudell, 1905 = Haplopus scabricollis (Gray, 1835) n. syn.; Aplopus similis Rehn, 1904 = Haplopus scabricollis Gray, 1835 n. syn.; Diapherodes spinipes Gray, 1835 = Haplopus micropterus (St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1825) n. syn.; Haplopus obtusus Redtenbacher, 1908 = Haplopus micropterus (St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1825) n. syn. and Haplopus juvenis Redtenbacher, 1908 = Venupherodes venustula (Audinet-Serville, 1838) n. syn..        The previously presumed lost holotype of Cyprocrana microptera St. Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1825 (= Phasma angulata Stoll, 1813), was traced in the collection of RMNH. The designation of a neotype has become necessary for Mantis angulata Fabricius, 1793 (in MNCN) and Platycrana venustula Audinet-Serville, 1838 (in MNHU). Lectotypes are designated for eight species: Diapherodes longiscapha Redtenbacher, 1908; Diapherodes scabricollis Gray, 1835; Haplopus christopheri Westwood, 1859; Haplopus cytherea Westwood, 1859; Haplopus juvenis Redtenbacher, 1908; Haplopus ligiolus Redtenbacher, 1908; Haplopus ligia Westwood, 1859 and Haplopus murinus Redtenbacher, 1908.

Concepts: March 2, March 4, Male, Sex, Female, Species, Cayman Islands


Post-catastrophe recovery and financial liquidity have long challenged small Caribbean islands. These states are vulnerable to multifarious natural hazards that often cause considerable socio-economic dislocation. Such events inflict heavy losses on businesses and households, and significantly disrupt all aspects of government operations. After Hurricane Ivan devastated the economies of some islands in September 2004-with estimated losses of as much as 200 per cent of gross domestic product in some cases-regional governments, aided by the World Bank and international donors, approved the creation of a regional catastrophe insurance scheme. This parametric-based mechanism is underpinned by derivatives-based catastrophe modelling whose outputs determine policy triggers and pay outs. Hazard models, particularly catastrophe models, are not widely accepted as yet. Despite recent advancements, major concerns have rendered them peripheral tools for many establishments. This paper reviews the region’s vulnerabilities and examines constraints on the application of these models and suggests a means of improving their efficacy and acceptability.

Concepts: Investment, North America, Metaphysics, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Hazard, Risk


Allele frequency distributions in the Caymanian population were determined using the AmpFlSTR® Identifiler® PCR amplification kit. Little evidence of departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium or the association of alleles of different loci was detected. Comparison with relevant population groups supports the Caymanian population having a distinct allelic distribution. The 15 Identifiler® loci provide combined power of discrimination and exclusion values of 0.999999999999999995 and 0.9999992, respectively, proving suitable for the forensic and paternity testing requirements of the Cayman Islands.

Concepts: Genetic drift, Genealogical DNA test, Hardy–Weinberg principle, Cayman Islands, Genetics, Evolution, Genetic genealogy, Allele frequency