Wednesday, June 28, 2017

[PaleoIchthyology • 2017] Scalacurvichthys naishi • A New Pycnodont Fish from the Late Cretaceous of Israel

Scalacurvithys naishi 
Cawley & Kriwet, 2017


A new pycnodont fish from the early–mid Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous, of the ‘Ein Yabrud quarry near the village of Beit Eil in Israel is the first pycnodont fish to be described from this locality. Due to the locality where it was found, Scalacurvithys naishi gen. et sp. nov. is considered an inhabitant of reefal waters interspersed with lagoons in the eastern Tethys Sea. Scalacurvichthys naishi is notable for its protruding, hook-shaped first dorsal ridge scale above a large triangular dermatocranium, a deeply sloped and antero-posteriorly shortened skull and bifurcated cloacal scales. The bifurcating scales are a new character previously unknown in pycnodontomorph fishes but have been discovered in two more taxa, which indicates a new type of character that will be useful for future phylogenetic analyses of pycnodontomorph fishes. The new taxon is a member of Pycnodontidae and we conducted a phylogenetic analysis to establish its relationships to other pycnodont fishes. Our results reveal that Scalacurvichthys naishi is a well-resolved member of the subfamily Pycnodontinae.

Keywords: Tethys, Cenomanian, Pycnodontomorpha, phylogeny, morphology, taxonomy

Systematic palaeontology

Class Osteichthyes Huxley, 1880
Subclass Actinopterygii Cope, 1887

Series Neopterygii Regan, 1923 
Division Halecostomi Regan, 1923 sensu Patterson, 1973 

Order Pycnodontiformes Berg, 1937
Family Pycnodontidae sensu Nursall, 1996
cf. Subfamily Pycnodontinae Poyato-Ariza & Wenz, 2002 

Genus Scalacurvichthys gen. nov.

Type species: Scalacurvichthys naishi sp. nov.

Age: Early–middle Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous.

Diagnosis: Pycnodontid fish with the following autapomorphic characters: large triangular dermocranium; large anteriorly curved first dorsal ridge scale which protrudes above the skull roof; 11 dorsal axonosts; single post-cloacal ventral ridge scale; position of anal fin (preanal length/standard length) being at 70–79%; large, anterior and posterior bifurcating cloacal scales. Unique combination of plesiomorphic and derived characters: body outline intermediate between discoid and fusiform; body height 50% of standard length (SL); dermocranial fenestra absent; premaxillary bone with two teeth and no olfactory fenestra; 21 neural vertebrae excluding the caudal peduncle; 30–31 caudal fin rays; four epurals and 10 hypochordals in the caudal endoskeleton; hypochordals six, seven and eight seem to be fused into a large fan-shaped ossification.

Derivation of name: The genus name is derived from the Latin noun ‘scala’ meaning ‘scale’, the Latin adjective ‘curva’ meaning ‘curved’ in allusion to the raised, anterior-facing first dorsal ridge scale protruding above the skull roof, characteristic of this genus, and the Greek noun ‘ἰχθύς’ meaning ‘fish’.

Figure 1. A, Scalacurvichthys naishi  gen. et sp. nov., holotype (SMNK-PAL. 8613).
B, camera lucida drawing of Scalacurvichthys naishi gen. et sp. nov.; dashed lines indicate the restoration of incompletely preserved structures; bones shaded in grey are reconstructions while the rest of the drawing is the original specimen. Scale bars = 1 cm.

Scalacurvichthys naishi sp. nov.

Age: Bet Meir or the slightly younger Amminadava Formation, middle part of the Judea Group, early to middle Cenomanian, early Late Cretaceous.

Type locality: Limestone quarry near the village of Beit El, Binyamin Region, West Bank, Israel.

Stratigraphical range: Early–middle Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous.

Derivation of name: The name of the new species is dedicated to Dr Darren Naish who is currently writing a book on the entire vertebrate fossil record and is prolific in publishing research on dinosaurs, pterosaurs and marine reptiles amongst many other groups of tetrapods.

John J. Cawley and Jürgen Kriwet. 2017. A New Pycnodont Fish, Scalacurvichthys naishi gen. et sp. nov., from the Late Cretaceous of Israel. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Online edition.   DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1330772

[Botany • 2017] Roscoea megalantha • A New Species (Zingiberaceae) from eastern Bhutan and India

Roscoea megalantha  Tosh.Yoshida & R.Yangzom

A new species of Roscoea is described and illustrated. Roscoea megalantha Tosh.Yoshida & R.Yangzom occurs in the Eastern Zone of Bhutan and neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh in India. A distribution map and an IUCN conservation assessment are given. A key to the three species of Roscoea found in Bhutan is provided.

Keywords. Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan, IUCN conservation assessment, new species, Roscoea.

Roscoea megalantha Tosh.Yoshida & R.Yangzom, sp. nov. 

Roscoeae purpureae Sm. affinis, sed dorsali petalo reflexo, labelli ungue distincto et profunde canaliculato, labelli limbo late ovato vel rotundato, atque calcaribus connectivi praeditis projectris reflexis filiformibus differt.  

Etymology. The epithet comes from the Greek for large flower.

T. Yoshida, R. Yangzom and M. F. Newman. 2017. Roscoea megalantha (Zingiberaceae), A New Species from eastern Bhutan and India.  Edinburgh Journal of Botany.  DOI: 10.1017/S0960428617000142 

[Botany • 2017] Seidenfadeniella salimii • A New Plant Species (Orchidaceae) from South Western Ghats, India

Seidenfadeniella salimii  J.Mathew, T.K.Hride, V.B.Sreek. & K.Madhus.

An epiphytic orchid species, Seidenfadeniella salimii, is described as a new taxon from Kerala, part of South Western Ghats, India.

Keywords: Seidenfadeniella, Orchidaceae, Kerala, new species, South Western Ghats

Figure 2. Seidenfadeniella salimii. (A–C) Inflorescence. (D) Leaves. (E) Fruits. A–E. Type locality, 24 December 2011, photographed by PM Salim Pichan, 0404.

Seidenfadeniella salimii J.Mathew, T.K.Hride, V.B.Sreek. & K.Madhus. sp. nov. 

Etymology: The species is named in honour of environmentalist Mr P.M. Salim, MS. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Kalpatta, Wayanad, Kerala, India, who first collected specimens of this species, and also for his contribution to plant taxonomy.

Jose Mathew, T.K. Hrideek, V.B. Sreekumar and K. Madhusudhanan. 2017. Seidenfadeniella salimii (Orchidaceae): A New Plant Species from South Western Ghats, India. Webbia: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography. 71(1); 69-71. DOI:  10.1080/00837792.2016.1158410

[Botany • 2017] Monoon vietnamensis • A New Species (Annonaceae) from Central Vietnam

Monoon vietnamensis N.S. Lý

Monoon vietnamensis N.S. Lý, a new species of Annonaceae, is described and illustrated from Mount Dầu, Quảng Ngãi Province, central Vietnam. It is morphologically similar to M. bornensis and M. anomalum, but differs by much larger and oblongelliptic to obovate-elliptic leaves, with 12–14(16) pairs of nerves and a cuneate leaf base; much longer and narrowly ovate to linear ovate petals, with sparsely scattered short hairs outside; inner petals slightly longer than the outer petals; and much longer fruiting pedicels. A key to the species of Monoon in Vietnam is provided.

Fig-1. Monoon vietnamensis (from the holotype).
A: Plant In natural habit. — B: Inflorescences on main trunk. — C: Infructescences on main trunk. — D: Twig. — E: Detail of cymes on woody tubercles. — F: Inflorescence close to base of trunk. — G: Top view of flower. — H: Side view of flower. — I: Old branch with mature leaves. — J: Lower view of sepals. — K, and K2: Top and side views of stamens and carpels. — L: Side view of torus showing sepals, stamens and carpels. — M: Top view of carpels, torus after anthesis. — N: Petals: N1 -outer, N2-inner. — O: Close-up of carpels (alcohol materials). — P: Close-up of stamens (alcohol materials). — Q: Detail of infructes- cence. — R: Fruit (longitudinal-section). — S. Seed (longitudinal-section).
 Scale bars: 10 mm for J, Kv K2, Land M; 1 mm for O and P; 1 cm for R and S. 

Ngọc-Sâm Lý. 2017. Monoon vietnamensis (Annonaceae), A New Species from Central Vietnam. Annales Botanici Fennici. 54(1-3); 153–158. DOI: 10.5735/085.054.0324

[Entomology • 2017] Systematics of Simothraulopsis Demoulin, 1966 (Ephemeroptera: Leptophlebiidae)

Simothraulopsis diamantinensis Mariano, 2010


In the present paper, based on specimens from different regions of Brazil, we review the current knowledge of the Neotropical genus Simothraulopsis. A phylogenetic study was performed in order to address the relationships between all species and to test the monophyly of Simothraulopsis. For this purpose, 48 characters related to the external morphology of adults and nymphs were investigated. As a result, four new species are described; Simothraulopsis caliginosus sp. nov., S. dominguezi sp. nov., S. eurybasis sp. nov., S. inaequalis sp. nov. New taxonomic and biological information are added to this genus. Nymphs of S. diamantinensis Mariano, 2010 and S. janae Mariano, 2010 are described for the first time and several new distributional records for Brazil are provided. Additionally, keys for male imagos and nymphs of the genus are proposed. The phylogenetic analysis corroborated the monophyly of Simothraulopsis, however, the division in two subgenera as previously proposed was not recovered in our reconstruction.

Keywords: Ephemeroptera, aquatic insects, mayflies, cladistic, Neotropical region, identification keys

Jeane M. C. Do Nascimento, Frederico F. Salles and Neusa Hamada. 2017. Systematics of Simothraulopsis Demoulin, 1966 (Ephemeroptera: Leptophlebiidae).
  Zootaxa. 4285(1); 1–81. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4285.1.1 

[Botany • 2017] Warneckea albiflora • A New Species of Warneckea subgenus Carnosae (Melastomataceae—Olisbeoideae) from Coastal Dry Forest in northern Mozambique

Warneckea albiflora  R.D. Stone & N.P. Tenza


Described and illustrated is Warneckea albiflora R.D. Stone & N.P. Tenza, another localized endemic of coastal dry forest near Quiterajo in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province. In Flora Zambesiaca the new species would key to Memecylon sansibaricum Taub. [≡Warneckea sansibarica (Taub.) Jacq.-Fél.], but is distinguished by its elliptic-lanceolate, attenuate–acuminate leaves and white flowers borne on pedicels 3.5–4 mm long (versus leaves elliptic and rounded to shortly and obtusely acuminate, pedicels 6–15 mm long, and flowers pale blue to deep blue in Warneckea  sansibarica). Because of its evidently very limited occurrence as well as on-going anthropogenic threats, Warneckea albiflora is provisionally assessed as Critically Endangered (CR) B1ab(iii) according to IUCN criteria. A key is provided to the Mozambican species of Warneckea.

Keywords: Africa, Melastomataceae, Mozambique, new species, plant conservation, plant taxonomy, Warneckea, Eudicots

 Living material of Warneckea albiflora (same individual as the type collection), Flowering branchlet
Photograph by John E. Burrows.

Warneckea albiflora R.D. Stone & N.P. Tenza, sp. nov.
Type:— MOZAMBIQUE. Cabo Delgado: Quiterajo, track through middle of Namacubi (Banana) Forest, elev. 125 m, 27 Nov 2008, J.E. Burrows & S.M. Burrows 10833 (holotype BNRH!, isotype K[K000738569]!).

Distribution and habitat:— Known only from the Namacubi (Banana) Forest west of Quiterajo, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique (for maps see Fig. 2 in Timberlake et al. 2011 and Fig. 2 in Stone 2013). According to data provided on specimen labels, the habitat is in dry, semi-deciduous coastal forest dominated by Guibourtia schliebenii (Harms) J. Léonard and Pteleopsis myrtifolia (M.A. Lawson) Engl. & Diels, on sandy soil at elevations of 90–120 m. 

 Phenology:— Flowers in late November. Fruiting period unknown. 

 Conservation status:— Warneckea albiflora is known from a single location that is not in a protected area. The EOO is estimated as 12 km2 and the AOO as 16 km2 (assuming a 4 km2 grid-cell size). Ongoing threats include continued clearing for subsistence agriculture, cutting of poles, uncontrolled fires, and possible road construction for oil-and-gas development which would increase access to and clearance of the forest (Timberlake et al. 2011; Cheek & Darbyshire 2014). Accordingly, W. albiflora is provisionally assessed as Critically Endangered, CR B1ab(iii). 

 Etymology:— The epithet albiflora is an adjective referring to the white flowers of this species, this being the main diagnostic feature separating it from the closely related W. sansibarica

Discussion:—Warneckea albiflora is placed in W. subgenus Carnosae 

Robert Douglas Stone and Ntombiphumile Perceverence Tenza. 2017. Warneckea albiflora, A New Species of Warneckea subgenus Carnosae (Melastomataceae—Olisbeoideae) from coastal dry forest in northern Mozambique. Phytotaxa. 311(2); 168–174. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.311.2.4

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

[Ornithology • 2017] Amazona gomezgarzai • A New Parrot Taxon from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico — Its Position within Genus Amazona based on Morphology and Molecular Phylogeny

Amazona gomezgarzai
 Silva​, Guzmán, Urantówka & Mackiewicz, 2017


Parrots (Psittaciformes) are a diverse group of birds which need urgent protection. However, many taxa from this order have an unresolved status, which makes their conservation difficult. One species-rich parrot genus is Amazona, which is widely distributed in the New World. Here we describe a new Amazona form, which is endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula. This parrot is clearly separable from other Amazona species in eleven morphometric characters as well as call and behavior. The clear differences in these features imply that the parrot most likely represents a new species. In contrast to this, the phylogenetic tree based on mitochondrial markers shows that this parrot groups with strong support within A. albifrons from Central America, which would suggest that it is a subspecies of A. albifrons. However, taken together tree topology tests and morphometric analyses, we can conclude that the new parrot represents a recently evolving species, whose taxonomic status should be further confirmed. This lineage diverged from its closest relative about 120,000 years ago and was subjected to accelerated morphological and behavioral changes like some other representatives of the genus Amazona. Our phylogenies, which are so far the most comprehensive for Amazona taxa enabled us to consider the most feasible scenarios about parrot colonization of the Greater and Lesser Antilles and Central America from South America mainland. The molecular dating of these migrations and diversification rate were correlated with climatic and geological events in the last five million years, giving an interesting insight into Amazon parrot phylogeography and their evolution in general.

Figure 4: Photograph of the male holotype (C and A—individual on the right) and female paratype (B and A—individual on the left) of the new Amazona.

Amazona gomezgarzai, sp. nov. (Figs. 2–7)

Holotype. Adult male, MEXICO, the Yucatán Peninsula, south of Becanchén in Tekax Municipality. The holotype is represented by the feathers of the male, which were deposited in the collection of the Laboratorio de Ornitología, Facultad de Ciencias Biologícas, Universidad Autonóma de Nuevo León, Mexico and were assigned catalog number: MGG01-Amazona gomezgarzai-holotipo. Article 72.5.1 of the Code of Zoological Nomenclature (henceforth CODE) permits the use of animal parts in the designation of a type specimen. Upon death of the living bird, its preserved body will be paired to the feathers for a complete body. This complies with Article 16.4.2 of the CODE, which states that where the holotype is an extant individual, a statement of the intent to deposit the individual in a collection upon its death accompanied by a statement indicating the name and location of that collection is sufficient.

Paratype. Adult female collected in the same locality as the holotype. Like the holotype, feathers from this specimen have been deposited in the collection and have assigned catalog number: MGG02-Amazona gomezgarzai-alotipo. Upon its death, it will be added to the collection in Laboratorio de Ornitología, Facultad de Ciencias Biologícas, Universidad Autonóma de Nuevo León, Mexico.

Etymology. We take extreme pride in naming this parrot after Miguel Angel Gómez Garza, a Mexican veterinarian born in Monterrey (Nuevo León, Mexico) in 1960. Gómez Garza’s interest in the ecology of the parrots of Mexico spans decades and culminated in the publication of a work specifically dealing with the psittacines of that country (Gómez Garza, 2014). During his professional lifetime, Gómez Garza has been deeply involved in rehabilitating confiscated wildlife. For the last thirty years, in his private veterinary clinic (Veterinaria del Valle) in Monterrey, he has honorably supported the wildlife protection agency of the Republic of Mexico, Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA), providing medical attention to confiscated wildlife suitable for being returned to their natural habitat. As a researcher in the Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia of the Universidad Autonóma de Nuevo León, he is presently working on a veterinary protocol for confiscated psittacines intended for reintroduction to the wild. He brought the existence of this unique member of the genus Amazona to our attention and to him science and we owe a debt of gratitude. We suggest the common name in English: blue-winged Amazon and in Spanish: Loro de alas azules.

Distribution. The new Amazona is endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula in southern Mexico. To date, its presence is confined to an area roughly 100 km2 that is centered south of Becanchén in Tekax Municipality, Yucatán. No part of the range is presently protected in any form.

Habitat. The new Amazona is found in tropical caducifolius and subcaducifolius forest. It is also found in disturbed patches of native vegetation and in small, cultivated fields with scattered trees. It is found below 300 m above sea level.

Natural history. Miguel A. Gómez Garza first sighted this parrot in the field in trees of the Leucaena genus at heights of approximately 6 m in the beginning of 2014 during a visit to the south of Becanchén, in the municipality of Tekax. The parrots occurred in small flocks of three to five individuals and fed on the tender pods produced by this tree. During a follow up visit in August 2014, Gómez Garza also sighted pairs with their fledged young. This field work confirmed the rarity of the species and that it was far less common than the other two species found in the same area, Amazona albifrons nana and Amazona xantholora.

In normal parrot fashion, the new Amazona is diurnal, beginning the day at sunrise. It is generally secretive when resting, using its plumage as camouflage. In contrast, it is vocal and noisy in flight. The flight is moderately fast with the mechanism that is typical of the genus Amazona with wing-beats never exceeding the horizontal axis.

The new Amazona is found in small flocks of less than 12 individuals, which were studied in the field. Pairs and their progeny have a tendency to remain together and are discernible in groups. Like all members of the genus Amazona, this parrot is herbivore. Its diet consists of seeds, fruits, flowers and leaves obtained in the tree canopy. It also consumes tender shoots of native trees and the pods of leguminous trees including uaxim (Leucaena glauca), bukut (Cassia grandis) and katsín (Acasia gaumeri).

Very little is known about this parrot’s biology. There is no conservation program currently in effect to preserve this parrot but its long-term existence impinges on the local communities and making them aware of this parrot’s value as a result of its uniqueness, its potential as a bird watching attraction and the fact that it is present only locally. Its small range and rarity should make its conservation a priority.

Tony Silva​, Antonio Guzmán, Adam D. Urantówka and Paweł Mackiewicz. 2017. A New Parrot Taxon from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico — Its Position within Genus Amazona based on Morphology and Molecular Phylogeny. PeerJ. 5:e3475. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3475

This New Parrot Species Sounds Like a Hawk via @NatGeo

[Herpetology • 2017] Rediscovery and Range Extension of the Guinean Skink Trachylepis keroanensis (Chabanaud, 1921) (Squamata: Scincidae)

Trachylepis keroanensis  (Chabanaud, 1921)


 We report the rediscovery of the skink Trachylepis keroanensis (Chabanaud, 1921) 90 years after its description. For the first time pictures of live specimens are shown and the known, now extended, distribution is presented. The clear morphological differences (body shape, colouration and most notably ratio tail length to body length) towards Trachylepis perrotetii (Duméril & Bibron, 1839), which justify the species status, are confirmed.

Fig. 1. Photographs of live specimens Trachylepis perrotetii (ZMB 83362: A & B) and Trachylepis keroanensis (ZFMK 96261: C & D).

Photographs of live specimens Trachylepis keroanensis (ZFMK 96261: C & D; ZMB 82943: E & F).

 Johannes Penner, Joseph Doumbia, N’Goran Germain Kouamé, Laurent Chirio, Laura Sandberger-Loua, Wolfgang Böhme and Michael F. Barej. 2017 Rediscovery and Range Extension of the Guinean Skink Trachylepis keroanensis (Chabanaud, 1921) (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae).  
 Bonn zoological Bulletin. 66(1); 55–60. 


[Herpetology • 2017] Sphaerotheca pashchima • A New Species of Burrowing Frog (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from western India

Sphaerotheca pashchima
Padhye, Dahanukar, Sulakhe, Dandekar, Limaye & Jamdade, 2017  

Sphaerotheca pashchima, a new species of burrowing frog, is described from western India. It can be diagnosed from all its congeners based on a combination of characters including interorbital width less than upper eyelid width, snout to nostril distance less than half of eye diameter, nostril nearer to snout than to eye, internarial distance greater than inter orbital distance, snout rounded, dorsum rough and warty, finger 2 length equal to or less than finger 4 length, finger 1 less finger 3 length, outer metatarsal tubercle absent, tibio tarsal tubercle absent, length of inner metatarsal tubercle more than three times the inner toe length and reduced webbing. We also provide 16S rRNA gene sequence for S. pashchima sp. nov. and show that it is genetically distinct from species of Sphaerotheca for which genetic data is available.

Keywords: Amphibia, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy.



Image 2. Sphaerotheca pashchima sp. nov.  in life.
(a) holotype (BNHS 6000, male, 41.0mm SUL) from Ambodi Village, (b) from Kutwalwadi (specimen not collected), (c) from Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (specimen not collected), and (d) from Akole near Sangamner (BNHS 6015, male, 40.8mm SUL).

Sphaerotheca pashchima sp. nov.
 Suggested common name: Western Burrowing Frog

Holotype: BNHS 6000, male (41.0mm SUL),, India: Maharashtra: Saswad-Waghapur Road, Ambodi Village (18.3500N, 74.0410E, 747m), coll. S. Sulakhe et al.

Diagnosis: Sphaerotheca pashchima sp. nov. differs from all other congeners based on the following combination of characters: interorbital width less than upper eyelid width; snout to nostril distance less than half of eye diameter; nostril nearer to snout than to eye; internarial distance greater than inter orbital distance; snout rounded; dorsum rough and warty; finger 2 length equal to or less than finger 4 length; finger 1 less finger 3 length; outer metatarsal tubercle absent; tibio tarsal tubercle absent; length of inner metatarsal tubercle more than three times the inner toe length; and webbing formula I1--2-II1-3-III2-3½IV3½-2+V.

Etymology: Pashchim’ (Sanskrit), means ‘west’ and is used to signify the distribution of the species in western India. Name is noun in apposition.

Habitat and ecology: S. pashchima is found widely distributed in western India. It inhabits variety of habitats from high to low rainfall areas. In high rainfall areas it is sympatric to S. dobsonii. It is also found in semi arid and arid parts of Deccan plateau. In semi arid and arid areas it breeds in temporary rain water pools immediately after the first flash rains. Adults gather in large numbers at potential breeding habitats. Tadpoles are bottom dwelling and frequently come to the surface of water for breathing. Juveniles are cannibalistic; a larger one devours the smaller one of its own species.

Distribution: Western parts of peninsular India from the states Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka (Image 3).

Image 3. Distribution of Sphaerotheca paschima sp. nov. Western Ghats mountafn ranges are shown fn green.
Dahanukar et al. (2017) provide a review of the species under the genus Sphaerotheca and identify three morphological groups for eight valid species in the genus. They also assign genetic barcode for S. breviceps, S. dobsonii and S. pluvialis so as to aid future studies in unambiguous identification of these three species. We describe S. pashchima sp. nov. from the S. breviceps group, which is morphologically distinct from all its congeners. We also provide genetic barcode as identity of the new species.
It is essential to note that earlier reports of S. breviceps by Padhye & Ghate (2002), Padhye et al. (2002), Dharne et al. (2004), Dahanukar & Padhye (2005), and Padhye & Ghate (2012) should be attributed to S. pashchima sp. nov. based on current study.
Dahanukar et al. (2017) mention that the sequence GU191122 for specimen identity as S. rolandae from Rajasthan is not of good quality and with several gaps; however, partial sequence comparison suggests that the species is misidentified and is likely to be S. pashchima sp. nov. indicating its presence in Rajastan.

Anand Padhye, Neelesh Dahanukar, Shauri Sulakhe, Nikhil Dandekar, Sunil Limaye and Kirti Jamdade. 2017. Sphaerotheca pashchima, A New Species of Burrowing Frog (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from western India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 9(6); 10286–10296. DOI: 10.11609/jott.2877.9.6.10286-10296 


[Fungi • 2017] Gymnosporangium przewalskii (Pucciniales, Basidiomycota) from China and Its Life Cycle

Gymnosporangium przewalskii  Y. M. Liang & B. Cao


In an investigation of rust fungi in Qinghai Province, northwestern China, the novel rust species Gymnosporangium przewalskii was identified based on morphology and phylogenetic analyses. Phylogenetic analyses using the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) and the large subunit (LSU) rRNA partial gene revealed that G. przewalskii is monophyletic and distinct from other Gymnosporangium species. The life cycle of this new taxon was clarified based on molecular data. Its spermogonial and aecial stages occurred on Sorbus koehneana, and its telial stage was found on Juniperus przewalskii.

Keywords: phylogeny, rust, systematics, taxonomy, Fungi

 Gymnosporangium przewalskii on Juniperus przewalskii (holotype, BJFC-R01859). Telia emerge from the branches in saffron yellow gelatinous form under moist conditions.

Gymnosporangium przewalskii Y. M. Liang and B. Cao, sp. nov. 

Etymology:— The epithet “przewalskii”, referring to the telial host “Juniperus przewalskii”.

 Hosts:— 0, I on Sorbus koehneana C. K. Schneider; III on Juniperus przewalskii.
 Distribution:— China (Qinghai and Sichuan Prov.).

Bin Cao, Fu-Zhong Han, Cheng-Ming Tian and Ying-Mei Liang. 2017. Gymnosporangium przewalskii sp. nov. (Pucciniales, Basidiomycota) from China and Its Life Cycle.  Phytotaxa. 311(1); 67–76.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.311.1.6

Monday, June 26, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Sedum danjoense • A New Species of Succulent Plants (Crassulaceae) from the Danjo Islands in Japan

Sedum danjoense 
Takuro Ito, H. Nakanishi & G. Kokub. 


We compared Sedum formosanum with related species using morphological traits and molecular phylogenetic analysis of nrITS sequences. Morphological comparisons revealed that the plants historically treated as S. formosanum in the Danjo Islands of Japan had 4-merous flower; 8 stamens; narrow triangular sepals of equal size; horizontal carpels when matured; and an irregular branching form. These traits differed from those of S. formosanum in other regions, which has 5-merous flowers; 10 stamens, thick spatulate sepals of unequal size; erect carpels when matured; and a trichotomous branching form. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that plants known as S. formosanum in the Danjo Islands were sister group to S. tetractinum, which are endemic to China and belong to a different clade than S. formosanum, which are found in other regions. Based on the present morphological comparisons and phylogenetical analyses, we describe plants from the Danjo Islands as a new speciesSedum danjoense, which is distinct from S. formosanum.

Keywords: East Asia, ITS, Phylogeny, Sedum formosanum, Succulent, Eudicots

FIGURE 3. Sedum danjoense Takuro Ito, H. Nakanishi & G. Kokub.
 A. Habitat and habit. B. Inflorescence. C. Adaxial surface. D. Abaxial surface. E. Flower. F. Sepals. G. Carpels. H. Branching.

Scale bars are 25 mm for A, 5 mm for B–H [A. Wild individuals in Yorishima island photo by Yoshiro Chichibu in May 1989; B. Cultivated in Nagasaki Subtropical Botanical Garden photo by Kiyotaka Minota in Sep. 2011; C-H. Takuro Ito 3658 in Oct. 2016] 

Sedum danjoense Takuro Ito, H. Nakanishi & G. Kokub., sp. nov.  
 Type:— JAPAN. The Kyusyu, the Danjo Islands, Yorishima Island, 25 October 2016 (cultivated in Nagasaki Subtropical Botanical Garden after collecting its natural habit in 1989), Takuro Ito 3658. (holotype TNS!).

Etymology:— The epithet refers to the Japanese name of type locality of the Danjo Islands.
Japanese common name:—Danjo-mannen-gusa (nov.).

 Distribution and habitat:— Endemic to the Danjo Islands (Kyusyu), on sunny, coastal rocky slopes exposed to direct sunlight; in typical coastal vegetation within “a community of Miscanthus condensatus Hackel (1899: 639)– Crepidiastrum lanceolatum (Houtt.) Nakai (1920: 150)” similar to those in other regions of Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. Itow & Nakanishi (1990) mentioned that this species was distributed throughout the Danjo Islands (as S. formosanum), and thus further field surveys are required on the islands.

Takuro Ito, Hiroki Nakanishi, Yoshiro Chichibu, Kiyotaka Minoda and Goro Kokubugata. 2017. Sedum danjoense (Crassulaceae), A New Species of Succulent Plants from the Danjo Islands in Japan. Phytotaxa. 309(1); 23–34. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.309.1.2

[Ornithology • 2017] Zosterops White-eyes in Continental South-East Asia. 1: Proposed Refinements to the Regional Definition of Oriental White-eye Z. palpebrosus

Zosterops erwini  (Chasen, 1934)

Grounds exist for accepting that the previously unrecognised paratypes of Zosterops (palpebrosusauriventer Hume in Hume & Davison, 1878, from a population inhabiting the coastal lowlands of the Malacca Straits, are all still held by the Natural History Museum, Tring, and that the overall type series is a taxonomic composite. Comparative morphology and a re-reading of original collecting details combine to revise Hume’s identifcation of his paratypes. Their population is re-named and its geographical range redefned, with suggested outcomes for species limits. The term ‘continental’ here includes the islands of South-East Asian shelf waters, i.e., as far the Greater Sundas and their satellites.

Figure 1. Zosterops (palpebrosus) ‘auriventer’ (= erwini), mangrove zone, Khlong Thom district, Krabi Province, peninsular Thailand, i.e., at the proven end-point of erwini range closest to the type locality of nominate auriventer 
(© P. D. Round / Wetlands Trust)

Zosterops palpebrosus erwini Chasen, 1934: holotype NHMUK 1947.60.60, adult male (label data), collected by P. M. de Fontaine on Panjang Island (02° 45’N, 108° 54’E), South Natuna archipelago, South China Sea, on 19 August 1931. Described on pages 96–97 of Chasen, F. N. 1934. Nine new races of Natuna birds. Bull. Rafes Mus. 9: 92–97. 


 Moyle et al. (2009) published genetic evidence of one or more species boundaries between the Indian Subcontinent and Lesser Sundas range extremes of conventionally identifed Z. palpebrosus. One proposal draws on morphology and habitat-based arguments for uncoupling the name auriventer from supposed Oriental White-eyes inhabiting the Malacca Straits and neighbouring coasts, and the consequent retraction of the re-named population’s mainland range southward. This opens a large, terrestrial range gap between inner tropical, mangrove-haunting erwini and williamsoni, and northern, mainly upland forest siamensis. Atention is also drawn to likely habitat-based parapatry between mainly coastal erwini and inland forest buxtoni ‘subspecies’ in eastern Sumatra, and to previously undescribed morphological diferences between erwini and the neighbouring coastal whiteeye population of western mainland Borneo.

 These potential taxonomic boundaries all require more data from the feld, particularly on vocalisations, especially song; also sampling for more phylogenetic analysis—to be undertaken before degradation of habitats that could be crucial to understanding fnally eliminates such opportunities. It is proposed that sampling be broad enough to address at least: (1) the level of relatedness of coastal erwini and williamsoni, and of this pair with siamensis, the nearest neighbouring mainland taxon currently accepted as part of true western and northern continental Z. palpebrosus, against the proposition that they are not conspecifc; (2) relatedness of erwini and buxtoni on Sumatra, against the proposition that they are not conspecifc; and (3) status of the coastal Bornean population, relative to both erwini and buxtoni.

D. R. Wells. 2017. Zosterops White-eyes in Continental South-East Asia. 1: Proposed Refinements to the Regional Definition of Oriental White-eye Z. palpebrosus.
 Bull. B.O.C. 137(2); 100-109. 

[Entomology • 2017] New Species in the Treehopper Genus Bocydium Latreille, with Description of Nymphal Stages and Observations on their Natural History

Bocydium mae Flórez-V, 2017


Six new species of Bocydium Latreille are described, and life history notes are provided based on field data from the Central and Western Cordilleras of the Colombian Andes. Information on host plants, treehopper-ant mutualisms, and behavior of adults and nymphs are provided for most newly discovered species (B. bilobum Flórez-V sp. nov.B. hadronotum Flórez-V sp. nov.B. mae Flórez-V sp. nov.B. sakakibarai Flórez-V sp. nov.B. sanmiguelense Flórez-V sp. nov., and B. tatamaense Flórez-V sp. nov.) in addition to two previously known species of Bocydium. A key to species of the genus is presented, along with photographs of primary type specimens for all species described by Dr. Albino M. Sakakibara. A nomenclatural change is proposed for B. cubitale Richter, 1954 syn. nov., herein considered junior synonym of B. bullife-rum Goding, 1930.

Keywords: Hemiptera, Stegaspidini, taxonomy, biology, host plant

nymphs of Bocydium mae sp. nov. 
(Photo by Kenji Nishida)

 Camilo Flórez-V and Olivia Evangelista. 2017. New Species in the Treehopper Genus Bocydium Latreille, with Description of Nymphal Stages and Observations on their Natural History. Zootaxa.  4281(1) ; 22–57. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4281.1.4

[Mammalogy • 2017] Caribbean Myotis (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae), with Description of A New Species, Myotis attenboroughi, from Trinidad and Tobago

Myotis attenboroughi
Moratelli, Wilson, Novaes, Helgen & Gutiérrez, 2017 

We describe a new species of Myotis (Vespertilionidae, Myotinae) from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago Island. The new species (Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov.) can be distinguished from all other Neotropical congeners by cranial features and cytochrome-b gene sequences. Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov. is allied morphologically with species in the albescens group (like M. nigricans), and is sister to a clade including M. cf. handleyi, M. nesopolus, and 3 possibly undescribed species from Central and South America. A review of Myotis collections from the Caribbean confirms M. nyctor for Barbados and Grenada; M. dominicensis for Dominica and Guadeloupe; M. martiniquensis for Martinique; M. pilosatibialis and M. riparius for Trinidad; and M. attenboroughi for Tobago. The occurrence of M. attenboroughi on Trinidad is still an open question.

Keywords: Caribbean, Lesser Antilles, Myotis attenboroughi, Myotis nigricans, Neotropics, Sir David Attenborough’s Myotis

The newly described, Sir David Attenborough's Myotis —Myotis attenboroughi—(Moratelli et al.,2017), represents the first, and only known, endemic mammalian species on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Molecular, morphological and morphometric analyses conducted by Moratelli et al., now confirms that the Black Myotis on Tobago (see photo), traditionally assigned, Myotis nigricans, is actually a previously unknown species now named, Myotis attenboroughi, in honour of famed naturalist, Sir David Attenborough. This tiny bat, the Sir David Attenborough's Myotis, Trinidad and Tobago's only known endemic mammalian species, consumes moths and other small flying insects. This species is known to roost in caves, tree-hollows, and if neither of these is available, the attics of buildings.
 Photo: Geoffrey Gomes (Trinibats) 

Why isn't the bat named for Tobago? In this particular case, this new designation is a result of a species split (simply put). In zoological nomenclature, this occurs when new findings warrant a species being split into subspecies or new species, which is the case here. If this specimen described for Tobago was indeed an originally described, nominal species, as distinct from a species or subspecies subsequently distinguished from it, then it may be named Tobagoi or Trinitatis (as some local bats are named), or something along those lines.
Photo: Steve Parker


Ricardo Moratelli, Don E. Wilson, Roberto L. M. Novaes, Kristofer M. Helgen and Eliécer E. Gutiérrez. 2017. Caribbean Myotis (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae), with Description of A New Species from Trinidad and Tobago.
 J Mammal. gyx062.  DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx062 
T&T goes batty over first endemic mammalian species | Loop News

Describimos una nueva especie de Myotis (Vespertilionidae, Myotinae) de la República de Trinidad y Tobago, isla de Tobago. La nueva especie (Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov.) se distingue de otros congéneres Neotropicales en sus rasgos craneanos y secuencias del gen citocromo b. Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov. es morfológicamente similar a especies del grupo albescens (tal como M. nigricans) y es hermana de un clado que incluye a M. cf. handleyi, M. nesopolus, y tres especies, posiblemente no descritas, de Centro y Sud América. Una revisión de las series de Myotis del Caribe confirma a M. nyctor para Barbados y Granada; M. dominicensis para Dominica y Guadalupe; M. martiniquensis para Martinica; M. pilosatibialis y M. riparius para Trinidad; y M. attenboroughi para Tobago. La presencia de M. attenboroughi en Trinidad sigue siendo hoy un enigma.

Singular bat Zoologists have named a newly discovered species of bat after the veteran British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough. Scientists analysed museum records of specimens of 377 Caribbean bats, and found that a species apparently endemic to the island of Tobago is morphologically and genetically different from the mainland species (Myotis nigricans) to which it had been assigned taxonomically for almost a century. Taxonomist Ricardo Moratelli and his team named the bat (pictured) Myotis attenboroughi in honour of the naturalist, who has inspired generations of wildlife biologists. The findings were published on 7 June (R. Moratelli et al. J. Mammal.; 2017).