Thursday, May 24, 2018

[PaleoMammalogy • 2018] Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch • Late-surviving Stem Mammal Links the Lowermost Cretaceous of North America and Gondwana

 Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch 
Huttenlocker, Grossnickle, Kirkland, Schultz  & Luo, 2018

 Illustration: Jorge A. Gonzalez

Haramiyida was a successful clade of mammaliaforms, spanning the Late Triassic period to at least the Late Jurassic period, but their fossils are scant outside Eurasia and Cretaceous records are controversial. Here we report, to our knowledge, the first cranium of a large haramiyidan from the basal Cretaceous of North America. This cranium possesses an amalgam of stem mammaliaform plesiomorphies and crown mammalian apomorphies. Moreover, it shows dental traits that are diagnostic of isolated teeth of supposed multituberculate affinities from the Cretaceous of Morocco, which have been assigned to the enigmatic ‘Hahnodontidae’. Exceptional preservation of this specimen also provides insights into the evolution of the ancestral mammalian brain. We demonstrate the haramiyidan affinities of Gondwanan hahnodontid teeth, removing them from multituberculates, and suggest that hahnodontid mammaliaforms had a much wider, possibly Pangaean distribution during the Jurassic–Cretaceous transition.

The new species Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch is estimated to have weighed 2.5 pounds and probably grew to be about the size of a small hare.
 Illustration: Jorge A. Gonzalez

Mammaliaformes sensu Rowe (1986) 
Haramiyida Hahn, Sigogneau-Russell and Wouters (1989) 

Hahnodontidae Sigogneau-Russell (1991) 

Cifelliodon gen. nov.

Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch sp. nov.  

Etymology. Cifelli’s tooth (Latin: -odon) of the Yellow Cat (Ute language: yellow, wahkar; cat, moosuch). Genus name honours Richard Cifelli for his contributions to Cretaceous mammal research in the American West.

Holotype. An exceptionally preserved skull, UMNH VP 16771 (Natural History Museum of Utah, Vertebrate Paleontology Collection).

Locality and horizon. The holotype is from the ‘Andrew’s Site’ quarry in the Lower Cretaceous Yellow Cat Member, Cedar Mountain Formation, Grand County, Utah, USA15. Radiometric dating places the age between approximately 139 and 124 million years old.

Diagnosis. Medium-to-large Mesozoic mammaliaform with broad, shallow skull and rostrum and a reduced marginal tooth count; dental formula: I2:C1:PC4; ultimate upper molars with high anterobuccal cusp and low, broad posterolingual cusp connected by a low ridge; septomaxilla absent; incisive foramina enlarged and positioned posteriorly on palate behind the level of the last (posterior) incisor pair; massive pterygoid transverse process that extends far ventral to the palatal surface; attenuated lacrimal anterior process with limited nasolacrimal contact; prominent sagittal crest; extensive occipital exposure of parietal and postparietal; plesiomorphic retention of a tabular bone; differs from Hahnodon in its larger size and higher aspect ratio of the rear molar in occlusal view (slightly more triangular than oval, with posterior apex).

The new species Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch is estimated to have weighed 2.5 pounds and probably grew to be about the size of a small hare.
 Illustration: Jorge A. Gonzalez 

Adam K. Huttenlocker, David M. Grossnickle, James I. Kirkland, Julia A. Schultz and Zhe-Xi Luo. 2018. Late-surviving Stem Mammal Links the Lowermost Cretaceous of North America and Gondwana. Nature.  DOI:  10.1038/s41586-018-0126-y
A 3D view of early mammals

[Entomology • 2018] Microgomphus farrelli • A New Species of Dragonfly (Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphidae) Based on Adults of Both Sexes and Larvae from Northern Thailand

Microgomphus farrelli  
Makbun & Fleck, 2018. 


The new gomphid species, Microgomphus farrelli sp. nov., is described and illustrated on the basis of male and female adult specimens and larvae collected from Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son province, Northern Thailand. It is compared with other species of the genus. Based on the larvae this species is most closely related to Microgomphus svihleri (Asahina, 1970), comb. nov., which is the senior and valid synonym of Microgomphus thailandicus Asahina, 1981, syn. nov.

Keywords: Odonata, dragonfly, Anisoptera, Gomphidae, Microgomphus, new species, Thailand

  Noppadon Makbun and Günther Fleck. 2018. Description of Microgomphus farrelli sp. nov. (Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphidae) Based on Adults of Both Sexes and Larvae from Northern Thailand. Zootaxa. 4422(3); 442–450. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4422.3.10

[Ichthyology • 2018] Pseudolithoxus kinja • Biogeography and Species Delimitation of the Rheophilic Suckermouth Catfish Genus Pseudolithoxus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), with the Description of A New Species from the Brazilian Amazon

Pseudolithoxus kinja
 Bifi, de Oliveira, Rapp Py-Daniel & Collins, 2018 

in Collins, Bifi, de Oliveira, Ribeiro, Lujan, Rapp Py-Daniel & Hrbek, 2018

The rapids-dwelling suckermouth catfish genus Pseudolithoxus was previously only known from the Guiana-Shield-draining Orinoco and Casiquiare river systems of Colombia and Venezuela, but new records have expanded this range considerably further into the Amazon basin of Brazil, and include occurrences from rivers draining the northern Brazilian Shield. These highly disjunct records are now placed in an evolutionary and phylogeographic context using a dated species tree constructed from mitochondrial (Cytb) and nuclear (RAG1) gene sequence data. Due to mito-nuclear discordance, we also delimit the putative species using statistical coalescent models and a range of additional metrics. We infer that at least two species of Pseudolithoxus are present in the Amazon basin: P. nicoi, previously only recorded from the río Casiquiare, but now also reported from the upper rio Negro, and a new species, which we describe herein from south-draining Guiana Shield and north-draining Brazilian Shield. Our data reject a simple model of Miocene vicariance in the group following uplift of the Uaupés Arch separating the Orinoco and Amazon systems, and instead suggest more complex dispersal scenarios through palaeo-connections in the Pliocene and also via the contemporary rio Negro and rio Madeira in the late Pleistocene.

Key words: aquatic, biodiversity, ichthyology, Neotropics, phylogeny, rio Negro, taxonomy

Figure 1. Pseudolithoxus kinja, holotype, 148.0 mm SL, INPA 3220; adult male in alcohol, rio Uatum~a, Amazonas, Brazil.

Pseudolithoxus kinja sp. nov. 
Bifi, de Oliveira, Rapp Py-Daniel & Collins


ETYMOLOGY:Kinja’, meaning the ‘true people’, is how the Waimiri-Atroari indigenous people refer to themselves. The Kinja people inhabit areas surrounding the rio Uatum~a and part of the rio Negro in the states of Amazonas and Roraima, Brazil. The ethnic term ‘Waimiri-Atroari’ was adopted in the beginning of the 20th century. The epithet ‘kinja’ pays homage to this brave people who survived three attempts of genocide in the last century, and survive and thrive today in their protected area. Treated as a noun in apposition.

Rupert A. Collins, Alessandro G. Bifi, Renildo R. de Oliveira, Emanuell D. Ribeiro, Nathan K. Lujan, Lúcia H. Rapp Py-Daniel and Tomas Hrbek. 2018. Biogeography and Species Delimitation of the Rheophilic Suckermouth Catfish Genus Pseudolithoxus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), with the Description of A New Species from the Brazilian Amazon.   Systematics and Biodiversity. DOI:  10.1080/14772000.2018.1468362 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

[Entomology • 2018] Drepanosticta adenani • A New Species (Odonata: Zygoptera: Platystictidae) from the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

Drepanosticta adenani  Dow & Reels, 2018


Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov. (holotype ♂, from a tributary of Sungai Jela, Nanga Segerak area, Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sri Aman Division, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, 18 vii 2016, deposited in the Natural History Museum, London) is described from both sexes.

Keywords: Odonata, Zygoptera, Platystictidae, Drepanosticta, adenani, Borneo, Sarawak, Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, new species

FIGURES 1–2. Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov.:
(1) Holotype male, head dorsal-frontal view; (2) paratype female (SAR16_PST12), head dorsal-frontal view. 

FIGURES 6–11. Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov., synthorax in lateral view:
(6) holotype male; (7) paratype female (SAR16_PST12). Markings of terminal abdominal segments:
(8) holotype male, lateral view; (9) paratype female (SAR16_PST12), lateral view;
(10) holotype male, dorsal view; (11) paratype female (SAR16_PST12), dorsal view. 

Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov.

Etymology. The species epithet adenani, a noun in the genitive case, is a dedication to the late Tan Sri Adenan bin Satem (27 January 1944–11 January 2017), Chief Minister of Sarawak from 2014–2017, in recognition of his support for biodiversity research and conservation in Sarawak, and for starting the Research for Intensified Management of Bio-rich Areas (RIMBA) project, which includes LEWS.  

Rory A. Dow and Graham T. Reels. 2018. Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov., from the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak (Odonata: Zygoptera: Platystictidae). Zootaxa. 4379(3); 429–435.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4379.3.6

[Herpetology • 2018] Anomaloglossus meansi • A New Pantepui Species of the Anomaloglossus beebei Group (Anura, Aromobatidae)

Anomaloglossus meansi 
Kok, Nicolaï, Lathrop & MacCulloch, 2018

Recent extinctions and drastic population declines have been documented in the Guiana Shield endemic frog genus Anomaloglossus, hence the importance to resolve its alpha-taxonomy. Based on molecular phylogenies, the literature has long reported the occurrence of an undescribed species in the Pakaraima Mountains of Guyana in the Pantepui region. We here describe this new taxon and demonstrate that in addition to divergence at the molecular level the new species differs from congeners by a unique combination of morphological characters, notably a small size (maximum SVL in males 18.86 mm, maximum SVL in females 21.26 mm), Finger I = Finger II when fingers adpressed, Finger III swollen in breeding males, fringes on fingers absent, toes basally webbed but lacking fringes, in life presence of a thin dorsolateral stripe from tip of snout to tip of urostyle, and a black throat in preserved males (immaculate cream in females). Virtually nothing is known about the ecology of the new species. We suggest the new species to be considered as Data Deficient according to IUCN standards.

Keywords: Aromobatidae, diversity, Guiana Shield, Guyana, Pakaraima Mountains

Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n. in life.
A female paratype ROM 43332, dorsal view B female paratype ROM 43329, dorsolateral view C male paratype CPI 11000, dorsolateral view. Photographs (A, B) by AL; photograph (C) courtesy D. Bruce Means. 

Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n.

Anomaloglossus sp. Ayanganna Grant et al. 2006: 120–121, 2017: S66.
Anomaloglossus cf. praderioi Kok 2010: 66.
Anomaloglossus sp. B Kok et al. 2012: supplementary information.

Diagnosis: The following characteristics pertain to preserved specimens unless otherwise noted. A medium-sized Anomaloglossus differing from other species in the genus by the following combination of characters: (1) mean SVL in males 18.53 mm (18.15–18.86 mm, n = 3), mean SVL in females 19.15 mm (17.66–21.26, n = 5); (2) skin on dorsum shagreened, venter smooth; (3) tympanic annulus visible anteroventrally; (4) Fingers I and II subequal in length, FI = FII when fingers adpressed; (5) tip of Finger IV not surpassing the base of the distal subarticular tubercle on Finger III when fingers adpressed; (6) distal subarticular tubercle on Finger III and IV present; (7) Finger III swollen in males (conspicuous pre- and postaxial swelling in breeding males); (8) fringes on fingers absent; (9) toes basally webbed, fringes on toes absent; (10) tarsal keel well defined, slightly tubercle-like and weakly curved at proximal end; (11) black arm gland absent, glandular supracarpal pad present in both sexes (larger and more glandular in males); (12) cloacal tubercles absent; (13) pale paracloacal mark present; (14) in life, thin dorsolateral stripe present, from tip of snout to tip of urostyle (not visible, or only barely distinguishable in preservative); (15) ventrolateral stripe absent, but presence of irregular white blotches on the lower flank; (16) oblique lateral stripe absent; (17) sexual dichromatism in throat colour pattern: throat heavily pigmented with melanophores in males (dark brown to black in life), immaculate cream in females (yellowish-orange in life); (18) sexual dichromatism in ventral colour pattern: belly pigmented with melanophores in males, immaculate cream in females; (19) in life, iris metallic reddish bronze with fine dark brown reticulation; (20) large intestine extensively pigmented; (21) testes cream, unpigmented; (22) mature oocytes partly pigmented; (23) median lingual process small, longer than wide, tapered; (24) maxillary teeth present, small.

Figure 4. Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n. in life.
A female paratype ROM 43332, dorsal view B female paratype ROM 43329, dorsolateral view C male paratype CPI 11000, dorsolateral view.
Photographs (A, B) by AL; photograph (C) courtesy D. Bruce Means. 

Figure 5. Habitat of Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n. on the Wokomung Massif
A photograph (looking NE) of the highest part of the massif; the plateau in the centre of the photo is the tallest part of the entire Wokomung Massif
B cloud forest at about 1385 m elevation, habitat of Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n.
Photographs courtesy D. Bruce Means.

Distribution and natural history: The only localities documented for the new species are depicted in Figure 2. Specimens were collected in cloud forest (Figure 5), on the ground or low vegetation. Most were collected after nightfall, although one adult and one juvenile were collected during daylight. Specimens were collected on mountain flanks, not summits; at 1490 m on Ayanganna, and at 1234 m, 1371 m and 1411 m on Wokomung. The majority of specimens (eight) were collected at 1234 m on Wokomung. Fewer were collected at higher elevations; only one each at 1490 m on Ayanganna, 1371 m and 1411 m on Wokomung. This may have been because of habitat differences; high-canopy open forest at lower elevation and dense, low-canopy vegetation at higher elevations.

Etymology: It is a great pleasure to name this new species after our friend and colleague D. Bruce Means, indefatigable explorer of the “islands in the sky”, and who collected one specimen of the new species and contributed with photographs and data. Thanks to his extensive fieldwork, Bruce Means greatly contributed to our understanding of the distribution, ecology, and taxonomy of Pantepui amphibians and reptiles. The specific epithet should be treated as a noun in the genitive case.

 Philippe J.R. Kok, Michaël P.J. Nicolaï, Amy Lathrop and Ross D. MacCulloch. 2018.  Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n., A New Pantepui Species of the Anomaloglossus beebei Group (Anura, Aromobatidae). ZooKeys. 759: 99-116.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.759.24742


[Herpetology • 2018] Atractus atlas A Giant on the Ground: Another Large-bodied Atractus (Serpentes: Colubridae: Dipsadinae) from Ecuadorian Andes, with Comments on the Dietary Specializations of the Goo-eaters Snakes

Atractus atlas
Passos, Scanferla, Melo-Sampaio, Brito & Almendariz, 2018

 ‘Atlas Ground Snake  -  Culebra Tierrera del Atlas’ 
DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201820170976 
Body-size is significantly correlated with the number of vertebrae (pleomerism) in multiple vertebrate lineages, indicating that somitogenesis process is an important factor dictating evolutionary change associated to phyletic allometry and, consequently, species fitness and diversification. However, the role of the evolution of extreme body sizes (dwarfism and gigantism) remains elusive in snakes, mainly with respect to postnatal ontogeny in dietary preferences associated with evolution of gigantism in many lineages. We described herein a new species in the highly diversified and species-rich genus Atractus on the basis of four specimens from the southeastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. The new species is morphologically similar and apparently closely related to two other allopatric giant congeners (A. gigas and A. touzeti), from which it can be distinguished by their distinct dorsal and ventral coloration, the number of supralabial and infralabial scales, the number of maxillary teeth, and relative width of the head. In addition, we discuss on the ontogenetic trajectories hypotheses and dietary specializations related to evolution of gigantism in the goo-eaters genus Atractus.

Key words: Atractus gigas; Atractus touzeti; dietary shift; goo-eater snakes; macrostomy; postnatal ontogeny

Figure 1: General view in life of the holotype of Atractus atlas sp. nov. (MEPN 14203). SVL 820 mm, CL 106 mm + N (amputated tail).

Atractus atlas sp. nov. 
Atractus sp. ̶ Almendáriz, Simmons, Brito y Vaca-Guerrero. 2014.
 Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8(1): 60.

Diagnosis: Atractus atlas can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) smooth dorsal scale rows 17/17/17; (2) postoculars two; (3) loreal moderately long, contacting second to fourth supralabials; (4) temporal formula usually 1+2; (5) supralabials eight, fourth and fifth contacting eye; (6) infralabials eight, first four contacting chinshields; (7) maxillary teeth eight; (8) gular scale rows usually four; (9) preventrals usually four; (10) ventrals 158–169 in females; (11) subcaudals 28– 33 in females; (12) in preservative, dorsum yellow ocher with a series of alternating black bands (2–3 scales long), connected or not to the opposite band on the vertebral region; (13) ventral surface of body mostly pale buff scattered with conspicuous black marks (blotches, spots and dots); (14) maximum body size moderate in females 820 mm SVL; (15) tail size moderately long in females (12.2–15.0% SVL); (16) midbody diameter in females 18.0–21.4 mm.


Etymology: The Latinized specific epithet “atlas” (Άτλας) represents a Titan from the Greek mythology that was condemned by Zeus to support the entire world (or the heaven in some variations of the ancient legend) forever on their shoulders as punishment for attacking the Mount Olympus. The legend is also related to excess of obligations and duties or the huge efforts to complete certain difficult tasks. We employed herein this name alluding to the large body-size of the new species (it is among the five species of the genus that reach the largest body-size; see Passos et al. 2010a), as well as in reference to the tremendous endeavor for attaining the real diversity of Atractus, not only for discovering undescribed species, but also for recognition of a lot of synonymies in the old and even recent literature, or frequent species misidentifications in collections and public repositories (see Passos et al. 2017). We propose the vernacular name of Atractus atlas to be ‘Atlas Ground Snake’ in English and ‘Culebra Tierrera del Atlas’ in Spanish.

Distribution and natural history: Southeastern portions of Ecuadorian Andes, from Zúñac in the province of Morona Santiago, south to Paquisha, Guayzimi Alto and Reserva Biológica Cerro Plateado in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe. Atractus atlas occurs in Mountain rainforest at 1800–2100 m asl (Fig. 5). 
The holotype (MEPN 14203) was found resting under leaf litter locally called “bamba” at 10:46 am during thermoregulatory activity with direct incidence of sunlight. The vegetation covering the type-locality is composed by a type of cloud forest denominated “Western Mountain Forest”. This forest formation usually remains cloudy in the early hours of the morning, afternoons, or even all day long, depending on the season, and is comprised by trees of 15–20 m covered with bryophytes, bromeliads and abundant moss. The plant layer sits on a plateau of sandstone, and grows on a substrate of very acid sand soil poor in nutrients. 
The paratype (DHMECN 12361) is a roadkill found in the early hours of the morning dead on the Macas–Riobamba road. The vegetal formation in this locality is characterized as a premontane evergreen forest of the southern portion of Cordillera Oriental of the Ecuadorian Andes (Ministerio del Ambiente 2013), in which the trees have abundant orchids and bromeliads and the tree canopy reaches 30 m where the dominant trees species are romerillo (Prumnopitys montana), cedro (Cedrela montana) and royal palm (Dictyocaryum lamarckianum).

Figure 7: General view of an uncollected specimen of Atractus sp. eating an earthworm in the field at Parque Nacional Sangay (1785 m asl), province of Morona Santiago, Ecuador. This specimen had about 750 mm of total length. Black arrow indicates the quadrate-mandibular joint displaced backward during swallowing process. Photo by Hérnan Orellana.

Paulo Passos, Agustín Scanferla, Paulo R. Melo-Sampaio, Jorge Brito and Aan Almendariz. 2018. A Giant on the Ground: Another Large-bodied Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadinae) from Ecuadorian Andes, with Comments on the Dietary Specializations of the Goo-eaters Snakes. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. - Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences).  DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201820170976

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Petrocodon asterocalyx (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species from Guangxi, China

Petrocodon asterocalyx  F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & R.L.Zhang

in Zhang, Fu, Li, et al., 2018
  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.343.3.6


Petrocodon asterocalyx F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & R.L.Zhang, a new species from the Danxia landform area in Guangxi, South China, is described and illustrated based on molecular and morphological data. The molecular evidence shows that the new species is recovered in a weakly supported clade. Within this clade, the new one is morphologically similar to P. hancei (Hemsl.) A.Weber & Mich.Möller and P. coriaceifolius (Y.G.Wei) Y.G.Wei & Mich.Möller, and it can be distinguished from the former by calyx lobes 20–40 × 2–3 mm, corolla 2.5–3.0 cm long, filaments sparsely erectly pubescent, anthers sparsely pubescent, staminodes 3, and stigmas 2; from latter by leaf blades rhombic-oblong or rhombic, base shallowly cuneate, margin crenulate to serrate, calyx lobes linear, 20–40 × 2–3 cm, and anthers 3.5–3.8 mm long, sparsely pubescent and elliptical.

Keywords: Danxia landform, endemism, flora of Guangxi, new taxon, taxonomy, Eudicots

FIGURE 3 Petrocodon asterocalyx. (A) habitat, (B) habit, (C) cymes, (D) the lateral view of flower and bud, (E) top view of flower, (F)stigma, (G) opened corolla, and (H) anthers and filaments. 

Petrocodon asterocalyx F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & R.L.Zhang, sp. nov.

Etymology:— The epithet, “asterocalyx”, means that the calyx lobes of this new species are actinomorphic and the whole calyx looks like a star.

Rui-Li Zhang, Long-Fei Fu, Shu Li, Yi-Gang Wei, Stephen Maciejewski, Michael LoFurno and Fang Wen. 2018. Petrocodon asterocalyx, A New Species of Gesneriaceae from Guangxi, China. Phytotaxa. 343(3); 259–268. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.343.3.6

[Herpetology • 2018] Gracixalus guangdongensis • A New Species of Gracixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Guangdong Province, southeastern China

Gracixalus guangdongensis
Wang, Zeng, Lyu, Liu & Wang, 2018


A new species of tree frog, Gracixalus guangdongensis sp nov., is described based on a series of specimens collected from Dawuling Forest Station, Mount Nankun and Nanling Nature Reserve of Guangdong Province, southeastern China. The new species is distinguished from all known congeners by a significant genetic divergence at the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene fragment examined (p-distance ≥ 4.6%) and the following combination of morphological characters: relatively small body size (SVL 26.1–34.7 mm in adult males, 34.9–35.4 mm in adult females); upper eyelid and dorsum lacking spines; supratympanic fold and tympanum distinct; dorsal and lateral surface rough, sparsely scattered with tubercles; ventral skin granular; tibiotarsal projection absent; toe-webbing moderately developed, finger webbing rudimentary; heels slightly overlapping when flexed hindlimbs are held at right angles to the body axis; brown to beige above, with an inverse Y-shaped dark brown marking extendeing from the interorbital region to the centre of the dorsum; males with a single subgular vocal sac and protruding nuptial pads with minute granules on the dorsal surface of the base of first finger. The discovery and description of Gracixalus guangdongensis sp. nov. represents the 14th species known in this genus.

Keywords: Amphibia, Gracixalus guangdongensis sp. nov., mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene, Rhacophoridae, taxonomy, southern China

 Gracixalus guangdongensis sp. nov. mating behavior and sexual dimorphism: a pair on the bamboo stem prior to amplexus, the male (with distinctly visible nuptial pad on the first finger) above and female (with a larger body size than the male and without nuptial pads) below

Jian Wang, Zhao-Chi Zeng, Zhi-Tong Lyu,  Zu-Yao Liu and Ying-Yong Wang. 2018. Description of A New Species of Gracixalus (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Guangdong Province, southeastern China.  Zootaxa. 4420(2); 251–269. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4420.2.7

Monday, May 21, 2018

[Ichthyology • 2018] Corydoras benattii From the Inside Out: A New Species of Armoured Catfish Corydoras (Siluriformes, Callichthyidae) with the Description of Poorly‐explored Character Sources

Corydoras benattii  Espindola, Tencatt, Pupo, Villa-Verde & Britto, 2018

Photo by  Hans Evers

A new species of the armoured catfish genus Corydoras is described from the Xingu–Tapajos ecoregion, Brazilian Amazon. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by having the following combination of features: short mesethmoid, with anterior tip poorly developed, smaller than 50% of bone length; posterior margin of pectoral spine with serrations directed towards spine tip or perpendicularly oriented; infraorbital 2 only in contact with sphenotic; ventral laminar expansion of infraorbital 1 poorly or moderately developed; flank midline covered by small dark brown or black saddles with similar size to remaining markings on body; relatively larger, scarcer and more sparsely distributed dark brown or black spots on body; absence of stripe on flank midline; caudal fin with conspicuous dark brown or black spots along its entire surface; slender body; and strongly narrow frontals. A more comprehensive description of poorly‐explored internal character sources, such as the gross morphology of the brain, Weberian apparatus and swimbladder capsule elements is presented.

Keywords: Brazilian Amazon, Corydoradinae, Corydoras sp. C22, gross brain morphology, taxonomy, Xingu–Tapajos ecoregion

Figure 1: Corydoras benattii sp. nov. in (a) aquarium and (b) natural habitat, uncatalogued specimens, both near Altamira, lower Rio Xingu Basin. 

Figure 2: Corydoras benattii sp. nov., MZUSP 121671, holotype, 25·4 mm standard length, Brazil, Mato Grosso, Canarana–Gaúcha do Norte, Rio Culuene, tributary to Rio Xingu Basin.

Corydoras benattii, sp. nov.

Corydoras sp. 4. Castilhos & Buckup, 2011: 241 (species list).
Corydoras sp. C22. Evers, 1994: 755, Fig. 2 (species catalogue). Glaser et al., 1996: 92 (photos, species catalogue). Evers & Schäfer, 2004: 11, 12 (photos, species catalogue). Füller & Evers, 2005: 281, 285, 294 (species catalogue).
Corydoras sp. aff. C22. Glaser et al., 1996: 90 (photos, species catalogue).

Geographical distribution: Corydoras benattii occurs in both the Rio Xingu and Rio Tapajós basins, Brazilian Amazon (Fig. 10). In the Rio Xingu basin, it is known in Mato Grosso State from tributaries to the Rio Culuene, a clearwater tributary of the upper Rio Xingu (type locality) and in Pará State from the Rio Fresco sub drainage (Rio Trairão and Igarapé Manguari), middle Rio Xingu and from the lower Rio Xingu basin near Altamira. In the Rio Tapajós basin, it occurs in the Rio Peixoto de Azevedo, a tributary to the Rio Teles Pires, Mato Grosso and from Rio Cururu, a tributary to the Rio São Manuel, Pará.

Habitat notes: Specimens of Corydoras benattii were found in lotic habitats in the Rio Culuene, Rio Xingu basin and Rio Braço Norte, tributary to Rio Peixoto de Azevedo, Rio Tapajós basin (Fig. 11). Both localities have muddy‐brown water with clay and sandy substrata. Most specimens were captured in the small forest streams of black or clearwater, or in marginal ponds.

Etymology: The specific name, benattii, honours the late Laert Benatti for his humanitarian work, providing fresh water from artesian wells to poor communities in Brazil. Case is genitive.

V. C. Espíndola, L. F. C. Tencatt, F. M. Pupo, L. Villa‐Verde and M. R. Britto. 2018. From the Inside Out: A New Species of Armoured Catfish Corydoras with the Description of Poorly‐explored Character Sources (Teleostei, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae). Journal of Fish Biology.   DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13602


[Herpetology • 2018] Amphisbaena hoogmoedi • A New Four-pored Amphisbaena Linnaeus, 1758 (Amphisbaenia, Amphisbaenidae) from Brazilian Amazon

Amphisbaena hoogmoedi
Oliveira, Vaz-Silva, Santos-Jr, Graboski, Teixeira, Dal Vechio & Ribeiro,  2018


A new species of Amphisbaena is described from the Brazilian Amazon, within the area impacted by the Teles Pires hydroelectric power plant, Jacareacanga municipality, State of Pará. Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov. can be diagnosed from its congeners by the following combination of characters: snout convex in profile view, sligthly compressed not keeled; pectoral scales arranged in regular annuli; conspicuous autotomic site between 7th–8th caudal annuli; 247–252 dorsal half-annuli; 27 caudal annuli; tail length 9.5–10.4% of snoutvent length; four precloacal pores arranged in sequence; three supralabials; a rounded tail; 22–24 dorsal segments in midbody annulus; postmalar row absent; head length 2.1–2.9% of snout-vent length; prefrontals length 46.6–49.5% of head length; prefrontals suture length 38–44.6% of head length; small malar length 10.6–13.4% of ventral length of head ; second infralabial length 33.8–38.5% of head length; ventral length of head 2.7–2.9% of snout-vent length; mouth length 80.2–81.8% of head length; third infralabial length 16.4–19.6% of head length; snout length 62.5–78.6% of head length; ocular length 23.4–26.2% of head length; mental length 23.2–25.4% of ventral length of head; postmental length 27.2–31.3% of ventral length of head; frontals suture length 23.4–32.3% of head length; postocular width 25–31.9% of maximun width of head; first supralabial length 24.9–30.6% of head length; second supralabial length 27.7–30% of head length and second supralabial height 26.9–28.8% of maximun head height. The hemipenis is bilobed, capitate and with lateral lamellae on the lobes; with a centrally-positioned spermatic groove, bifurcated at the base of the lobes, and with each branch extending to the tip of organ.

Keywords: Reptilia, taxonomy, morphology, hemipenis, osteology, skull

Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov. (holotype, MZUSP 106219). Dorsal view. 

Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov.

Etymology. Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov. is named in honor of Dr. Marinus S. Hoogmoed (National Natuurhistorisch Museum, Leiden, the Netherlands, currently at the Goeldi Museum, Belém, Pará, Brazil), for his contribution to the knowledge of the Neotropical herpetofauna especially to the amphisbaenian taxonomy.

 Distribution and habitat. Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov. is known so far only for the type locality in Jacareacanga municipality, on the right bank of the Teles Pires River, State of Pará, Brazil (Figs. 7 and 8). According to WWF (2016), the region covering the area of the Teles Pires hydroelectric power plant consists of Tropical and Subtropical Moist deciduous forests, an eco-region of Tropical Dry Forest with a variety of habitats (alluvial forests and patches of open areas). The new species was collected in the Rain Forest Submontane, Rain Forest Alluvial, and semideciduous forest Submontane.

Elaine C. S. Oliveira, Wilian Vaz-Silva,  Alfredo P. Santos-Jr, Roberta Graboski, Rocha Jr. Teixeira,  Francisco Dal Vechio and Síria Ribeiro.  2018. A New Four-pored Amphisbaena Linnaeus, 1758 (Amphisbaenia, Amphisbaenidae) from Brazilian Amazon. Zootaxa. 4420(4); 451–474.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4420.4.1

[Botany • 2018] Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi (Phyllanthaceae) • A New Nickel Hyperaccumulator from Sabah (Borneo Island) with Potential for Tropical Agromining

Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi Welzen, R.W.Bouman & Ent

in Bouman, van Welzen, Sumail, et al., 2018.

Background: Nickel hyperaccumulator plants are of much interest for their evolution and unique ecophysiology, and also for potential applications in agromining—a novel technology that uses plants to extract valuable metals from soil. The majority of nickel hyperaccumulators are known from ultramafc soils in tropical regions (Cuba, New Caledonia and Southeast Asia), and one genus, Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), is globally the most represented taxonomic entity. A number of tropical Phyllanthus-species have the potential to be used as ‘metal crops’ in agromining operations mainly because of their ease in cultivation and their ability to attain high nickel concentrations and biomass yields. 

Results: One of the most promising species globally for agromining, is the here newly described species Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi. This species can be classifed in subgenus Gomphidium on account of its staminate nectar disc and pistillate entire style and represents the most western species of this diverse group. The fower structure indicates that this species is probably pollinated by Epicephala moths. 

Conclusions: Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi is an extremely rare taxon in the wild, restricted to Lompoyou Hill near Kinabalu Park in Sabah, Malaysia. Its utilization in agromining will be a mechanism for conservation of the taxon, and highlights the importance of habitat and germplasm preservation if rare species are to be used in novel green technologies. 

Keywords: Epicephala pollination, Nickel hyperaccumulation, Phyllanthaceae, Phyllanthus subgenus Gomphidium, Sabah

Fig. 2 Detail of Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi plants.
a Inflorescences of P. rufuschaneyi, note the difference between main stem and side stem with at the base small structures that signal phyllanthoid branching; b fruit capsules of P. rufuschaneyi. Images by A. van der Ent

Fig. 3 Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi Welzen, R.W.Bouman & Ent:
a a branch with only scars of cataphylls and cataphyllary stipules present at the base of branchlets as these are caducous (drawn from herbarium specimen with leaves glued sideways and staminate flowers sometimes upright instead of hanging); b detail of sidebranch with leaves and staminate flowers in natural position; c staminate flower; d staminate flower with part of sepals removed showing disc glands and androecium; e pistillate flower; f pistillate flower with part of sepals removed showing disc glands and ovary; g fruit

(a, c, d Daim Endau 225; b Lomudin Tadon g257; e, f SNP 32987; g Lomudin Tadon 257; all SNP). Drawing by Esmée Winkel (2017)

Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi Welzen, R.W.Bouman and Ent, sp. nov.

—TYPE: MALAYSIA. Sabah, near Kampong Nalumad, eastern boundary Kinabalu Park, Lompoyou Hill, Antony Van der Ent et al. SNP 32987! (holo SNP; iso L). 
Paratype: SNP 22039!, Lompoyou Hill, Sabah, Malaysia (Figs. 2, 3, 4). 

This species is most similar to P. securinegoides from the Philippines, from which it can be distinguished by its smaller leaves, staminate fowers with connate flaments and pistillate fowers with connate tubular stigmas

Etymology: The specific epithet “rufuschaneyi” honours Dr. Rufus L. Chaney (b. 1942), an agronomist who is widely credited for inventing phytomining (agromining) (Chaney 1983), leading to the technology being patented (Chaney et al. 1998). Dr. Chaney has worked for 47 years at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (USA) on risk assessment for metals in soils and crops, and the food-chain transfer and bioavailability of soil and crop metals to humans. He published over 490 publications and won the Gordon Award for Lifetime Achievement and Excellence in Phytoremediation Research. The fact that P. rufuschaneyi is the most promising tropical Ni ‘metal crop’ presently known, makes this recognition fitting.

Distribution, habitat and ecology: Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi is known only from two populations; one (very small) population at the foot of Bukit Hampuan, and another larger population on Lompoyou Hill approximately 5 km from the first population. The habitat in both localities is open secondary scrub that has been affected by recurring forest fires (Fig. 1). Lompoyou Hill is close to the villages of Nalumad and Pahu. The hill (400 m asl) has been burnt at least once as a result of an uncontrolled forest fire in 1998. Prior to burning, the site was already disturbed by logging. The area has a short and open scrub community (dominated by shrubs 1–3 m tall) with pioneer species such as Macaranga kinabaluensis Airy Shaw (Euphorbiaceae). In this habitat type several other Ni hyperaccumulator plant species occur, including Phyllanthus balgooyi, Actephila alanbakeri, Mischocarpus sundaicus Blume (Sapindaceae), and Xylosma luzonensis Clos (Salicaceae). The local conditions are xeric, and the soils are shallow and heavily eroded with limited amounts of organic matter. In pot experiments P. rufuschaneyi responded negatively to increasing organic matter amendments (Nkrumah et al. 2017). Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi occurs exclusively on these young eroded soils (hypermagnesian Cambisols) that occur at low elevation (700 m asl) on strongly serpentinised bedrock. These soils have extremely high magnesium (Mg) to calcium (Ca), circum-neutral pH, and high available Ni as a result of the disintegration of phyllosilicates and re-sorption onto secondary iron (Fe)-oxides or high-charge clays (Echevarria 2018). In Sabah, Ni hyperaccumulator plant species are restricted to these soils with a pH > 6.3 and relatively high total soil Ni concentrations > 630 μg g−1 (Van der Ent et al. 2016b).

Roderick Bouman, Peter van Welzen, Sukaibin Sumail , Guillaume Echevarria, Peter D. Erskine and Antony van der Ent. 2018. Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi: A New Nickel Hyperaccumulator from Sabah (Borneo Island) with Potential for Tropical Agromining.  Botanical Studies: An International Journal. 59:9.  DOI: 10.1186/s40529-018-0225-y

Sunday, May 20, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Coelogyne victoria-reginae (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae, Arethuseae) • A New Species from Chin State, Myanmar

Coelogyne victoria-reginae Q.Liu & S.S.Zhou

in Zhou, Tan, Jin, et al., 2018.

Coelogyne victoria-reginae, a new species of section Proliferae, from Natma Taung (Mt.Victoria) National Park, Chin State, Myanmar, is described and illustrated. It is morphologically similar to C. prolifera, but the clustered pseudobulbs, pure brownish- red flowers and column wing with irregular notches at the apex of the new species differ from the other species. A preliminary risk-of-extinction assessment shows that the new species is regarded as EN C2a[i] according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.

Keywords: NatmaTaung (Mt. Victoria) National Park, risk of extinction assessment, section Proliferae, taxonomy

Figure 2. Coelogyne victoria-reginae.
A Habitat B Plant C Inflorescence D Flower E Lateral view of labellum F Front view of labellum G Front and lateral view of column H Abaxial and adaxial anther cap. I. Pollinarium
 (Photographed by Q. Liu) 

Figure 1. Coelogyne victoria-reginae.
A Plant B Inflorescence C Lateral view of labellum D Pollinarium E Abaxial and adaxial anther cap F Sepals and petals G Front view of flower H Front and lateral view of column.
All from the type collection (Qiang Liu, M17-18) and drawn by Lan Yan. 

Figure 3. A Coelogyne schultesii (A-1 Plant A-2 Inflorescence A-3 Flower)
Coelogyne ecarinata (B-1 Plant B-2 Inflorescence B-3 Flower)
Coelogyne victoria-reginae (C-1 Plant C-2 Inflorescence C-3 Flower)
(Photographed by Q. Liu).

Coelogyne victoria-reginae Q.Liu & S.S.Zhou, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Coelogyne victoria-reginae is closely related to C. prolifera by having the elliptic mid-lobe with two lamellae terminating at 2/3 on to mid-lobe, ovate or oblong lateral lobes. However, the new species can be distinguished from the latter by the ovoid pseudobulb and 1.1–1.4 cm apart on rhizome, flower brownish-red, lateral sepals (10–11 ×5.5–6.0 mm) significantly larger than dorsal sepal (7.0–8.0 × 4.5–5.0 mm).

Etymology: The new species is named after Victoria Mountain region, NatmaTaung National Park, Chin State, South-western Myanmar, where it was discovered in a vast area of mountain forest.

Distribution and habitat: Coelogyne victoria-reginae is only known from the type locality. It grows as an epiphyte on tree trunks in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, which is dominated by Lithocarpus xylocarpus (Kurz) Markg. (Fagaceae).

 Shi-Shun Zhou, Yun-Hong Tan, Xiao-Hua Jin, Kyaw Win Maung, Myint Zyaw, Ren Li, Rui-Chang Quan and Qiang Liu. 2018. Coelogyne victoria-reginae (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae, Arethuseae), A New Species from Chin State, Myanmar.   PhytoKeys. 98: 125-133.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.98.23298