Tuesday, January 16, 2018

[Mammalogy • 2017] Cheirogaleus grovesi • A New Cheirogaleus (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus crossleyi Group) Species from Southeastern Madagascar


Cheirogaleus grovesi
McLain, Lei, Frasier, Taylor, Bailey, Robertson, Nash, Randriamanana, Mittermeier & Louis, 2017

 Primate Conservation. 31;

Abstract  
 A new species in the genus Cheirogaleus is described from Ranomafana and Andringitra national parks, Madagascar. Ranomafana National Park is a rainforest situated in a montane region, and Andringitra National Park is comprised of grassland, lowland and highland forests displaying great altitudinal variation. Both parks are known to harbor wide species diversity in flora and fauna. Genetic and morphometric analyses of the samples collected at these localities confirmed that this Cheirogaleus lineage represents a new species in the C. crossleyi group, and here we elevate it to species status as Cheirogaleus grovesi, for the British-Australian biological anthropologist, evolutionary biologist and taxonomist Colin Groves.

Key Words: Cheirogaleus, dwarf lemur, cryptic species, Madagascar


Figure 2. Illustration of Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2 and closely related species (Fig. 8 in Lei et al. 2014), Illustrations by Stephen D. Nash (Conservation International).
   Top left panel represents a lateral view of Cheirogaleus sp nov. 2 = C. grovesi, top right panel includes all lineages in the Cheirogaleus crossleyi group. 

Bottom photographs are of the holotype of Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2 (TRA8.81) at Andringitra National Park.
Photographs by Edward E. Louis, Jr. 





the holotype of Cheirogaleus grovesi sp. nov. (TRA8.81) at Andringitra National Park. 
Photographs by Edward E. Louis, Jr

 Cheirogaleus grovesi
 Formerly Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2, also CCS3/Crossleyi D (Lei et al. 2014), 
also Cheirogaleus sp. Ranomafana Andrambovato (Thiele et al. 2013).


Description. The dorsum, limbs, and head are rufous-brown. The areas around the orbits are brownish-black, with a white patch proximal to the fleshy part of the nose in the inter-ocular space. The pelage on the ventral surface of the mandible is white, which continues onto the rufous-grey pelage of the ventrum.

....

Distribution. Cheirogaleus grovesi is known from the national parks of Ranomafana and Andringitra, as well as surrounding areas, and likely occupies a fragmented range between the two parks across the Haute Matsiatra region of Madagascar. Observed at 754–999 m above sea level (Fig. 3).

Etymology. This species is named for the late British-Australian biological anthropologist, Professor Colin Groves (1942- 2017), in recognition of his more than forty years of work in the fields of primatology, evolutionary biology, morphological analysis, mammalian taxonomy and associated disciplines. Professor Groves embodied the true spirit of collaboration. His fastidious research on historical collections incorporated the work of those that preceded him, which he combined with the efforts of his contemporaries, creating compositions that span hundreds of years of scientific exploration. At the time of his passing, Professor Groves was widely regarded as the greatest living primate taxonomist.

Vernacular Names. Groves’, Andringitra, or Haute Matsiatra dwarf lemur.

   


 Adam T. McLain, Runhua Lei, Cynthia L. Frasier, Justin M. Taylor, Carolyn A. Bailey, Brittani A. D. Robertson, Stephen D. Nash, Jean Claude Randriamanana, Russell A. Mittermeier and Edward E. Louis Jr. 2017. A New Cheirogaleus (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus crossleyi Group) Species from Southeastern Madagascar. Primate Conservation. 31; 27-36.
 static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/1200343/27796558/1515535112763/PC31_McLain_et_al_New_Cheirogaleus_sp.pdf
New lemur species discovered by Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium scientists wowt.com/content/news/New-lemur-species-discovered-by-Henry-Doorly-Zoo-and-Aquarium-scientists-468401553.html



  

Big-Eyed, Fluffy-Tailed Lemur Species Discovered  on.natgeo.com/2CWqF9m via @NatGeo
There’s a new member of the lemur family  news.mongabay.com/2018/01/theres-a-new-member-of-the-lemur-family/ via @Mongabay

[Fungi • 2018] Genetic Diversity of the Genus Terfezia (Pezizaceae, Pezizales): New Species, Terfezia crassiverrucosa, and New Record from North Africa


Terfezia crassiverrucosa  
  Zitouni-Haouar, G. Moreno, Manjón, Fortas, & Carlavilla

in Zitouni-Haouar, Carlavilla, Moreno, Manjón & Fortas, 2018

Abstract

Morphological and phylogenetic analyses of large ribosomal subunit (28S rDNA) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS rDNA) of Terfezia samples collected from several bioclimatic zones in Algeria and Spain revealed the presence of six distinct Terfezia species: T. arenaria, T. boudieri, T. claveryi; T. eliocrocae (reported here for the first time from North Africa), T. olbiensis, and a new speciesTerfezia crassiverrucosa sp. nov., proposed and described here, characterized by its phylogenetic position and unique combination of morphological characters. A discussion on the unresolved problems in the taxonomy of the spiny-spored Terfezia species is conducted after the present results.

Keywords: desert truffles, Pezizaceae, phylogeny, taxonomy, Fungi


FIGURE 2. Macro- and microscopic characters of Terfezia crassiverrucosa.
a. ascocarp collected under Helianthemum hirtum. b. gleba, cross section. c,d. asci with spores. e–h. ascospores (f–h. scanning electron micrograph).

Bars: a–b = 1 cm, c–d = 10 µm, e = 5 µm, f–g = 5 µm, h = 2 µm.

Terfezia crassiverrucosa Zitouni-Haouar, G. Moreno, Manjón, Fortas, & Carlavilla, sp. nov.  

  Diagnosis:— Ascomata hypogeous, subglobose, substipitate with short basal attachment, <8 cm broad (Fig. 2a). Peridium smooth, light to dark brownish, 100–200 µm thick with emergent hyphae 6–10 µm broad at septa, pseudoparenchymatous, composed of subglobose, polygonal to irregularly oblong cells (9–) 12.5–38 × 15–60(–62) µm, with cell walls 1–2 µm thick. Gleba solid, fleshy, light pink to pale yellow with subglobose to elongate light pink to pale gray pockets of fertile tissue, separated by light yellow to pale orangish yellow sterile veins (Fig. 2b). Asci (4–6)–8– spored, hyaline, often ellipsoid to ovoid or at times subglobose, 51–60 × 60–81 µm, nonstalked (Fig. 2 c & d). Ascospores globose, first hyaline, turning light yellowish to bright orange with age, measuring (16–) 17–21 (–24) µm in diameter including ornamentation, consisting in more or less broad flat truncate to round-tipped warts (0.5–) 1–1.5 × 2–4.5 (– 6) µm, and relatively elongated rounded elements measuring 1–1.5 × 1.5–3 µm. The prominent, crowded ornamentation hides a fine reticulum on the spore surface formed between the warts (Fig. 2 c–h).

Etymology:— The epithet (Latin crassiverrucosa) refers to the large warts covering the spore surface of this species. 

Habitat:— Algerian arid area. In high steppe plains south of Constantine (Chrea, Tebessa), associated with Helianthemum sp. In high steppe plains south of Algiers (Bouchouat, Tiaret), found under Helianthemum hirtum and H. salicifolium associated mostly with Stipa parviflora on sandy loam alkaline soil, in sites also producing T. claveryi and T. eliocrocae. March, April.

  
 Fatima El-Houaria Zitouni-Haouar, Juan Ramón Carlavilla, Gabriel Moreno, José Luis Manjón and Zohra Fortas. 2018. Genetic Diversity of the Genus Terfezia (Pezizaceae, Pezizales): New Species and New Record from North Africa. Phytotaxa.  334(2); 183–194.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.334.2.7 

[Ornithology • 2018] Structural Absorption by Barbule Microstructures of Super Black Bird of Paradise Feathers


Magnificent Riflebird Ptiloris magnificus during courtship display.


in  McCoy, Feo, Harvey & Prum, 2018.
photo: Tim Laman || DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w 

Abstract
Many studies have shown how pigments and internal nanostructures generate color in nature. External surface structures can also influence appearance, such as by causing multiple scattering of light (structural absorption) to produce a velvety, super black appearance. Here we show that feathers from five species of birds of paradise (Aves: Paradisaeidae) structurally absorb incident light to produce extremely low-reflectance, super black plumages. Directional reflectance of these feathers (0.05–0.31%) approaches that of man-made ultra-absorbent materials. SEM, nano-CT, and ray-tracing simulations show that super black feathers have titled arrays of highly modified barbules, which cause more multiple scattering, resulting in more structural absorption, than normal black feathers. Super black feathers have an extreme directional reflectance bias and appear darkest when viewed from the distal direction. We hypothesize that structurally absorbing, super black plumage evolved through sensory bias to enhance the perceived brilliance of adjacent color patches during courtship display.

Magnificent Riflebird Bird of Paradise Ptiloris magnificus male displaying to female.
 photo: Tim Laman

Fig. 1  Six species of birds of paradise and one close relative.
a, b Species with normal black plumage patches. cg Species with super black plumage patches.

a Paradise-crow Lycocorax pyrrhopterus. b Lesser Melampitta Melampitta lugubris, a Papuan corvoid closely related to birds of paradise.
c Princess Stephanie’s Astrapia Astrapia stephaniae. d Twelve-wired Birds-of-Paradise Seleucidis melanoleucus. e Paradise Riflebird Ptiloris paradiseus during courtship display. f Wahnes’ Parotia Parotia wahnesi. g Superb Bird-of-Paradise Lophorina superba during courtship display with female (brown plumage).

Photos: a @Hanom Bashari/Burung Indonesia; b Daniel López-Velasco; c Trans Niugini Tours; d–f Tim Laman; g Ed Scholes.  DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w 

Fig. 3 Examples of normal and super black feather microstructure.
 a SEM micrograph of Lycocorax pyrrhopterus normal black feather with typical barbule morphology; scale bar, 200 µm. b SEM micrograph of Parotia wahnesi super black feather with modified barbule arrays; scale bar, 50 µm. c Gold sputter-coated normal black breast feather of Melampitta lugubris appears gold. d Gold sputter-coated super black breast feather of Ptiloris paradiseus retains a black appearance indicating structural absorption. SEM stubs are 12.8 mm in diameter.

A comparison of a normal feather, top left, and a feather from a paradise riflebird, top right.
The bottom panels are the feathers coated in gold. Notice how the riflebird’s still appears a deep black.
photos: Dakota McCoy 


Dakota E. McCoy, Teresa Feo, Todd Alan Harvey and Richard O. Prum. 2018. Structural Absorption by Barbule Microstructures of Super Black Bird of Paradise Feathers. Nature Communications. 9, Article number: 1. DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w

Evolved illusion: Blackest black gives bird of paradise an edge  news.yale.edu/2018/01/09/evolved-illusion-blackest-black-gives-bird-paradise-edge

[Paleontology • 2018] Caihong juji • A Bony-crested Jurassic Dinosaur with Evidence of Iridescent Plumage highlights Complexity in Early Paravian Evolution


Caihong juji 
Hu, Clarke, Eliason, Qiu, Li, Shawkey, Zhao, D’Alba, Jiang & Xu, 2018

  DOI:   10.1038/s41467-017-02515-y  
Illustration: Velizar Simeonovski

Abstract
The Jurassic Yanliao theropods have offered rare glimpses of the early paravian evolution and particularly of bird origins, but, with the exception of the bizarre scansoriopterygids, they have shown similar skeletal and integumentary morphologies. Here we report a distinctive new Yanliao theropod species bearing prominent lacrimal crests, bony ornaments previously known from more basal theropods. It shows longer arm and leg feathers than Anchiornis and tail feathers with asymmetrical vanes forming a tail surface area even larger than that in Archaeopteryx. Nanostructures, interpreted as melanosomes, are morphologically similar to organized, platelet-shaped organelles that produce bright iridescent colours in extant birds. The new species indicates the presence of bony ornaments, feather colour and flight-related features consistent with proposed rapid character evolution and significant diversity in signalling and locomotor strategies near bird origins.

Caihong juji  prepares to snatch its prey.
Illustration: Zhao Chuang





Fig. 1 Caihong juji holotype specimen (PMoL-B00175).
 Photographs of the slab (a) and counter slab (b) and line drawing (c) of the specimen based on both slabs. Photograph (d) and line drawing (e) of a composite of the rostrum of the skull and mandible exposed on the counter slab and the post-rostrum cranium exposed on the slab. Arrows indicate lacrimal crests. Question mark indicates uncertain identification. Scale bars: 10 cm a–c, 1 cm d and e.

 aof antorbital fenestra, cav caudal vertebra, cev cervical vertebra, dr dorsal rib, dv dorsal vertebra, ect ectopterygoid, emf external mandibular fenestra, en external naris, f feather, fu furcula, ga gastralia, hy hyoid, il ilium, is ischium, la left angular, lar left articular, lc left coracoid, lcr lacrimal crest, ld left dentary, lf left, frontal, lfe left femur, lh left humerus, lj left jugal, ll left lacrimal, lma left maxilla, lm left manus, ln left nasal, lp left pes, lpa left palatine, lpo left postorbital, lq left quadrate, lqj left quadratojugal, lr left radius, ls left scapula, lsp left splenial, lsa left surangular, lsq left squamosal, lt left tibiotarsus, lu left ulna, ma mandible, mf maxillary fenestra, o orbit, p parietal, pm premaxilla, pt pterygoid, pu pubis, rar right articular, rc right coracoid, rd right dentary, rfe right femur, rh right humerus, rm right manus, rp right pes, rpra right prearticular, rq right quadrate, rr right radius, rs right scapula, rt right tibiotarsus, ru right ulna, scl sclerotic bones, sk skull, sy synsacrum

Systematic palaeontology
Theropoda Marsh, 1881
Maniraptora Gauthier, 1986
Paraves Sereno, 1998

Caihong juji gen. et sp. nov.

 Etymology. Caihong is from the Mandarin ‘Caihong’ (rainbow), referring to the beautiful preservation of the holotype specimen of the animal and the array of insights it offers into paravian evolution; juji is from the Mandarin ‘ju’ (big) and ‘ji’ (crest), referring to the animal’s prominent lacrimal crests.

 Holotype. PMoL-B00175 (Paleontological Museum of Liaoning), a nearly complete skeleton with associated plumage preserved on a slab and counter slab from Gangou, Qinglong, northern Hebei Province, Tiaojishan Formation, early Late Jurassic, ~161 Myr.

 Diagnosis. A small theropod with the following autapomorphies within Paraves: accessory fenestra posteroventral to promaxillary fenestra, lacrimal with prominent dorsolaterally oriented crests, robust dentary with anterior tip dorsoventrally deeper than its midsection and short ilium (<50% of the femoral length, compared to considerably >50% in other theropods).

....

An artist's depiction of Caihong juji, a species of theropod dinosaur that lived 160 million years ago in what's now northeastern China.
Illustration: Velizar Simeonovski 


Dongyu Hu, Julia A. Clarke, Chad M. Eliason, Rui Qiu, Quanguo Li, Matthew D. Shawkey, Cuilin Zhao, Liliana D’Alba, Jinkai Jiang and Xing Xu. 2018. A Bony-crested Jurassic Dinosaur with Evidence of Iridescent Plumage highlights Complexity in Early Paravian Evolution. Nature Communications. 9, Article number: 217. DOI:   10.1038/s41467-017-02515-y

New 'Rainbow' Dinosaur May Have Sparkled Like a Hummingbird on.natgeo.com/2DyVWQR via @NatGeo
Little 'Rainbow' Dinosaur Discovered in China  shar.es/1NhEiQ via @LiveScience

  

Monday, January 15, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Rana lenca • An Integrative Assessment of the Taxonomic Status of Putative Hybrid Leopard Frogs (Anura: Ranidae) from the Chortís Highlands of Central America, with Description of A New Species


Rana lenca
 Luque-Montes, Austin, Weinfurther, Wilson, Hofmann & Townsend, 2018


Integrative taxonomy seeks to approach the complex topic of species diagnosis using independent, complementary lines of evidence. Despite their ubiquity throughout North and Central America, taxonomy of the American leopard frogs (Anura: Ranidae: Rana: subgenus Pantherana) remains largely unresolved, and this is arguably nowhere truer than in the Central American country of Honduras, where there are two nominal species, the taxonomy of which remains unresolved. Leopard frogs from several mountainous areas along the continental divide in Honduras have previously been considered putative hybrids between Rana brownorum and R. cf. forreri, as opposed to two alternate hypotheses: one that they represent a high-altitude eco-morph of a single widespread species that included both lowland forms, or a second that there is an undescribed highland species distinct from either of the recognized lowland forms. We examine this set of hypotheses using three independent lines of evidence. First, we used species distribution modelling to examine potential geographic isolation of the highland form and the two putative parental lowland species, and found strong ecological separation between the highland and lowland forms. Second, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA supports the distinction of the highland form from both putative parental species, with mtDNA data refuting the hypothesis that representatives of either species may represent a matrilineal founder. Morphologically, the highland form is significantly smaller than, and otherwise readily differentiated from, both R. brownorum and R. cf. forreri, as well as all other Rana found in Honduras and adjacent areas. As a result, we formally describe the highland leopard frog as a new species.

Key words: Amphibia, integrative taxonomy, mitochondrial DNA, Pantherana, phylogeny, rhodopsin, species distribution modelling




Rana lenca sp. nov.

Common English name. Lenca Leopard Frog
Common Spanish name. La Rana Lenca

Etymology. The name lenca is given in honour of the indigenous Lenca people, the traditional inhabitants of the mountainous region of south-western Honduras. 

Paratypes of Rana lenca from Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca, 1,640 m elevation, Departamento de Francisco Morazan,Honduras:
(1) adult female paratype (UF 166642; 64.3 mm SL); (2) Subadult female paratype (UF 166643) and tadpole (UF 166637).
Photos by Jason M. Butler. 

Unvouchered examples of Rana lenca; (1) adult male from the type locality; (2) adult female from the type locality; (3) adult male from the Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca; (4) adult female from the Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca. 

Unvouchered examples of Rana lenca;
 (1) adult male from the type locality; (2) adult female from the type locality; (3) adult male from the Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca; (4) adult female from the Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca; (5) adult male at edge of pond at type locality; (6) adult female floating amongst Pinus oocarpa needles in a spring-fed pool at Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca. 

Type locality of Rana lenca; San Pedro La Loma, 2010 m elevation, Depto. Intibuca, Honduras. in January 2008 (top) and during drought conditions in May 2015 (bottom). 


Ileana Luque-Montes, James D. Austin, Kayla D. Weinfurther, Larry David Wilson, Erich P. Hofmann and Josiah H. Townsend. 2018. An Integrative Assessment of the Taxonomic Status of Putative Hybrid Leopard Frogs (Anura: Ranidae) from the Chortís Highlands of Central America, with Description of A New Species.  Systematics and Biodiversity. In Press.   DOI  10.1080/14772000.2017.1415232 

[Arachnida • 2018] A Review of the Madagascan Pelican Spiders of the Genera Eriauchenius O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1881 and Madagascarchaea gen. n. (Araneae, Archaeidae)


Eriauchenius workmani O. P.-Cambridge, 1881

 Photo: Nikolaj Scharff/Smithsonian Institution

Wood & Scharff. 2018.  


Abstract
An endemic genus of Madagascan spiders (Araneae, Archaeidae, Eriauchenius) is revised. All 20 species of Eriauchenius are described and keyed, of which 14 are new speciesEriauchenius andriamanelo sp. n., Eriauchenius andrianampoinimerina sp. n., Eriauchenius goodmani sp. n., Eriauchenius harveyi sp. n., Eriauchenius lukemacaulayi sp. n., Eriauchenius milajaneae sp. n., Eriauchenius milloti sp. n., Eriauchenius rafohy sp. n., Eriauchenius ranavalona sp. n., Eriauchenius rangita sp. n., Eriauchenius rixi sp. n., Eriauchenius sama sp. n., Eriauchenius wunderlichi sp. n., Eriauchenius zirafy sp. n. Additionally, six species of the new genus Madagascarchaea gen. n. are described and keyed, of which four are new species: Madagascarchaea fohy sp. n., Madagascarchaea lotzi sp. n., Madagascarchaea moramora sp. n., Madagascarchaea rabesahala sp. n. Diagnostic characters for the Madagascan and African genera are described, and based on these characters and previous phylogenetic analyses the following species transfers are proposed: Eriauchenius cornutus (Lotz, 2003) to AfrarchaeaAfrarchaea fisheri (Lotz, 2003) and Afrarchaea mahariraensis (Lotz, 2003) to Eriauchenius. Finally, we propose that the distribution of Afrarchaea be restricted to South Africa. While several Madagascan specimens have previously been identified as Afrarchaea godfreyi (Hewitt, 1919), we argue that these are likely misidentifications that should instead be Eriauchenius.

Keywords: Afrarchaea, Palpimanoidea, new species, taxonomy


Suspended upside-down from a strand of silk, the male of species Eriauchenius workmani (right) slowly approaches the female (left) to mate. As he approaches, he makes sounds by quickly vibrating his pedipalps (a small, modified pair of legs) to court the female. She answers back by vibrating her pedipalps.
(photo: Jeremy Miller) 


  



 Hannah M. Wood and Nikolaj Scharff. 2018. A Review of the Madagascan Pelican Spiders of the Genera Eriauchenius O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1881 and Madagascarchaea gen. n. (Araneae, Archaeidae). ZooKeys. 727: 1-96.  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.727.20222


Madagascar's ancient 'pelican spiders' are as striking as they are strange @NMNH po.st/7gmWzS via @SmithsonianMag
18 New Terrifying Assassin Spider Species Look Like Pelicans  ibtimes.com/18-new-terrifying-assassin-spider-species-look-pelicans-2640474
18 species of pelican spiders with salad-tong faces discovered  newsweek.com/18-species-cannibal-spiders-salad-tong-faces-discovered-778660

[Botany • 2018] Thismia bokorensis • A New Species (Burmanniaceae) representing A New Generic Record for Cambodia [Flora of Bokor National Park VII]


Thismia bokorensis Suetsugu & Tsukaya

in Suetsugu, Tsukaya, Tagane, Chhang, Yukawa & Yahara, 2018.

The genus Thismia Griffith (1844: 221) of the tribe Thismieae, Burmanniaceae sensu APG IV (2016) or Thismiaceae of other authors, represents one of the most species-rich mycoheterotrophic genera and consists of more than 60 species (Jonker 1948, Merckx 2008). Considering that the majority of these species were collected only once (Jonker 1948), and that many new species have recently been discovered, especially from various Southeast Asian countries (e.g., Tsukaya & Okada 2012, Dančák et al. 2013, Nuraliev et al. 2014, 2015, Truong et al. 2014, Chantanaorrapint & Sridith 2015, Li & Bi 2013, Hroneš et al. 2015, Tsukaya et al. 2017, Suetsugu et al. 2017), many more undescribed species are probably still hidden in the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia.

Here, we describe a new species, Thismia bokorensis Suetsugu & Tsukaya, discovered during a botanical survey in Bokor National Park, Cambodia, in 2013. This is the first record of the genus Thismia for Cambodia. The newly discovered specimen apparently belongs to the section Thismia (formerly Euthismia Schltr.) subsect. Brunonithismia Jonker (1938: 242), in having free and spreading inner perianths, larger inner perianth lobes, and vermiform, creeping roots. After a careful examination, the unknown plant was found to have a significantly different floral morphology from all the other known species.  

FIGURE 1. Thismia bokorensis from the type locality.
A–B. Flowers. C. Flowering plant.  

Thismia bokorensis Suetsugu & Tsukaya, sp. nov.

Type:— CAMBODIA. Kampot Province: Bokor National Park, evergreen forest near a stream, ... elev. 370 m, 10 Aug. 2013, Tagane, Fuse, Yokota, Zhang & Chhang 5857 (holotype: TNS, in the spirit collection).

 Thismia bokorensis is similar to Thismia tentaculata Larsen & Averyanov (2007: 16) of Vietnam and Hong Kong in having the lateral appendage of the connective that does not exceed the apical part of the connective, three-toothed apical margin of the connective, and the shorter light yellow tentacles in inner perianth lobes.

 Habitat and ecology:— Only one individual was found in the evergreen forest, near a stream, at an elevation of 370 m. The forest was dominated by Scaphium affine (Malvaceae), Diospyros schmidtii (Ebenaceae), Ardisia sanguinolenta (Primulaceae), Epiprinus siletianus (Euphorbiaceae), Mallotus subpeltatus (Euphorbiaceae), Knema lenta (Myristaceae), Syzygium siamense (Myrtaceae), and Prismatomeris tetrandra (Rubiaceae). The roots of the specimen above were tangled to an old seed of Ixonanthus reticulata (Ixonanthaceae). The flowering specimen was collected in August.


Kenji Suetsugu, Hirokazu Tsukaya, Shuichiro Tagane, Phourin Chhang, Tomohisa Yukawa and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2018.  Flora of Bokor National Park VII: Thismia bokorensis (Burmanniaceae), A New Species Representing A New Generic Record. Phytotaxa.  334(1); 65–69. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.334.1.10

[PaleoMammalogy • 2017] Gomphotherium tassyi • A New Species of Gomphotherium (Proboscidea, Mammalia) from China and the Evolution of Gomphotherium in Eurasia


Gomphotherium tassyi
 Wang, Li, Duangkrayom, Yang, He & Chen, 2017


ABSTRACT
Gomphotherium is a stem taxon of Elephantida that was widespread in Africa, Eurasia, and North America during the Miocene. However, the evolution of this genus is greatly debated because of morphological variation among the species of Gomphotherium. In the present work, we describe a cranium and accompanying material of Gomphotherium from the late middle Miocene Hujialiang Formation of Linxia Basin, China. The new material shows dental similarities to G. subtapiroideum from the middle Miocene of Europe; however, it displays some cranial, mandibular, and dental feature combinations that are distinct from the known species of Gomphotherium. Therefore, a new speciesGomphotherium tassyi, is established. We further study the phylogeny of Gomphotherium by cladistic analysis and recognize four groups. The most basal ‘G. annectens group’ is a paraphyletic group that includes G. annectens, G. cooperi, G. sylvaticum, and G. hannibali. The African taxa, G. libycum and G. pygmaeus, constitute a monophyletic group that has not been named. The ‘G. angustidens group’ is a monophyletic group that includes G. inopinatum, G. mongoliense, G. connexum, and G. angustidens. In addition, the ‘derived Gomphotherium group,’ which includes G. subtapiroideum, G. tassyi, G. wimani, G. browni, G. productum, and G. steinheimense, was widely distributed in Eurasia and North America during the middle and late Miocene.


 


Shi-Qi Wang, Yu Li, Jaroon Duangkrayom, Xiang-Wen Yang, Wen He and Shan-Qin Chen. 2017.  A New Species of Gomphotherium (Proboscidea, Mammalia) from China and the Evolution of Gomphotherium in Eurasia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 37(3); DOI:  10.1080/02724634.2017.1318284   

[Paleontology • 2017] Pectodens zhenyuensis • A New Diapsid from the Middle Triassic of southern China


Pectodens zhenyuensis 
Li, Fraser, Rieppel, Zhao & Wang, 2017

   DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2017.12 

Abstract
The Middle and early Late Triassic of southern China is well known for a remarkable diversity of marine vertebrates, particularly reptiles, including an abundance of intriguing new forms (e.g., Jiang et al., 2005; Hu et al., 2011; Li et al., 2016). Here we describe a new diapsid from Yunnan Province. It possesses an elongate neck that exhibits a remarkable similarity to that of many Protorosauria, yet in other respects the skull and postcranium are much less derived.

The new taxon is part of the so-called Panxian-Luoping Fauna and the deposits correspond to the Upper Member of the Guanling Formation, comprising thin to medium bedded, gray to dark-gray laminated marly limestone and limestone, with several layers of bentonite intercalated in the fossil level at Panxian (Wan, 2002; Motani et al., 2008; Jiang et al., 2009). Their age is Pelsonian (middle Anisian, Middle Triassic) as is indicated by the conodont Nicoraella kockeli Zone (Sun et al., 2006; Zhang et al., 2009). A recent U-Pb study indicates the absolute age of these middle Anisian beds to be close to 244 Ma (Wang et al., 2014).


  Life restoration of Pectodens zhenyuensis
by Yu Wang. 

Figure 1: Pectodens zhenyuensis n. gen. n. sp., Photograph of the holotype IVPP V18578. 

Systematic paleontology
Reptilia
Archosauromorpha von Huene, 1946
?Protorosauria Huxley, 1871

Family incertae sedis

Genus Pectodens new genus
Type species: Pectodens zhenyuensis n. gen. n. sp. by monotypy.

Etymology: From the Latin pecto meaning to comb and dens meaning teeth; in reference to the comb-like nature of the marginal dentition.

Occurrence: Luoping County of Yunnan Province, China; Member II of the Guanling Formation, Anisian, Middle Triassic.

Pectodens zhenyuensis new species

Holotype: IVPP V18578. Almost complete articulated skeleton.

Etymology: In honor of Zhenyu Li, who contributed greatly to the collection of the specimen from the field.

....


Conclusions: 
A new, small terrestrial tetrapod is described from the Middle Triassic of Yunnan, China. Pectodens zhenyuensis n. gen. n. sp. bears very characteristic elongate teeth forming a comb-like marginal dentition. The elongate cervicals of Pectodens zhenyuensis n. gen. n. sp. with low neural spines together with the morphology of the cervical ribs are features consistent with protorosaurs, such as Macrocnemus. However, the imperforate puboischiadic plate, simple rounded proximal tarsals, and a straight 5th metatarsal are primitive characteristics. A key protorosaurian character is the long neck with elongated cervical ribs that typically extend across intervertebral articulations. It was mostly on the basis of these characters that Dinocephalosaurus from the Middle Triassic of China was referred to the protorosaurs (Li, 2003). Another long-necked form, Fuyuansaurus, also exhibits certain affinities with protorosaurs, in particular the tanystropheids (Fraser et al., 2013). Yet both taxa also display characters that are inconsistent with at least the tanystropheids. Unlike tanystropheids, but in common with Protorosaurus (personal observation, N.C. Fraser, 2013), both lack a thyroid fenestra in the pelvis.

The Middle Triassic vertebrate faunas of southern China are largely dominated by marine reptiles and fishes, but occasional terrestrial components (e.g., Macrocnemus fuyuanensis) are recovered from localities in the Zhuganpo Member of the Falang Formation (Li et al., 2007; Jiang et al. 2011). Likewise, Pectodens zhenyuensis n. gen. n. sp. exhibits no adaptations for an aquatic lifestyle; instead the long, slender limbs with pronounced articular ends, and elongate digits together with the claw-like distal phalanges speak to an entirely terrestrial existence. No fully terrestrial vertebrates have been documented previously from the Panxian-Luoping Fauna, although the archosaur Qianosuchus mixtus exhibits a combination of terrestrial and aquatic characteristics (Li et al., 2006). Pectodens is therefore the first fully terrestrial reptile reported from the Guanling Formation. The occurrence of terrestrial reptiles such as Macrocnemus and Pectodens are indicative of the proximity of the ancient coastline at the localities where they occur.


Chun Li, Nicholas C. Fraser, Olivier Rieppel, Li-Jun Zhao and Li-Ting Wang. 2017. A New Diapsid from the Middle Triassic of southern China. Journal of Paleontology. 91(6); 1306-1312.   DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2017.12


[Herpetology • 2018] Lygosoma samajayaUnrealized Diversity in An Urban Rainforest: A New Species of Lygosoma (Squamata: Scincidae) from western Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo)


 Lygosoma samajaya
Karin, Freitas, Shonleben, Grismer, Bauer & Das, 2018


Abstract

We collected two specimens of an undescribed species of Lygosoma from pitfall traps in an urban rainforest in Kuching and from the base of a forested hill in western Sarawak, East Malaysia. The new species is diagnosable from all south-east Asian congeners by morphological characters, and most closely resembles Lygosoma herberti from the Thai-Malay Peninsula. The new species shows substantial molecular divergence from its closest relatives in two protein-coding genes, one mitochondrial (ND1) and one nuclear (R35) that we sequenced for several south-east Asian congeners. We describe the new species on the basis of this distinct morphology and genetic divergence. It is the third species of Lygosoma known from Borneo, and highlights the continuing rise in lizard species diversity on the island. In addition, the discovery of this species from a small urban rainforest underscores the importance of preserving intact rainforest areas of any size in maintaining species diversity.

Keywords: Reptilia, Borneo; Sarawak; Scincidae; Lygosoma samajaya new species

FIGURE 3. Photo in life of the holotype of Lygosoma samajaya sp. nov.

Lygosoma samajaya sp. nov.

Etymology. The species epithet samajaya is a proper noun in apposition that refers to the locality of collection of the holotype at the Sama Jaya Forest Reserve in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. This name draws attention to the importance of small urban rainforest parks in sustaining species diversity.


Benjamin R. Karin, Elyse S. Freitas, Samuel Shonleben, L. Lee Grismer, Aaron M. Bauer and Indraneil Das. 2018.  Unrealized Diversity in An Urban Rainforest: A New Species of Lygosoma (Squamata: Scincidae) from western Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo). Zootaxa. 4370(4); 345–362.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4370.4.2

[Herpetology • 2017] Rhacophorus hoabinhensis • A New Species of Rhacophorus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from northern Vietnam


Rhacophorus hoabinhensis
Nguyen, Pham, Nguyen, Ninh & Ziegler, 2017

Ếch cây hòa bình  ||  DOI:  10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.170046 

Abstract
 We describe a new species of Rhacophorus based on two adult specimens collected from Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam. Rhacophorus hoabinhensis sp. nov. is distinguishable from its congeners on the basis of a combination of the following morphological characters: size small (SVL 31.1–32.5 mm in males); head slightly longer than wide; vomerine teeth absent; snout short (SNL/SVL 0.16); dorsal skin smooth; forearm and tarsus with dermal fringes; dermal appendage at vent present; webbing formula on fingers I12/3-12/3II1-2III1-1IV and on toes I3/4-1II1/2- 1III1/2-1IV1-1/2V; dorsal surface grey yellow with brown spots; lower jaw region dark grey, throat, chest and belly cream; anterior and posterior thighs, as well as ventral surface of tibia orange. The interspecific uncorrected genetic distances (16S rRNA gene) between the new species from Hoa Binh and other analyzed congeners varied from 9.8% to 17.4%. In the phylogenetic analyses, the new species revealed to be a representative of Rhacophorus and was nested within the R. hoanglienensis-orlovi species group.

Keywords: Rhacophorus hoabinhensis sp. nov., karst forest, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy, Hoa Binh Province 

Figure 2 Dorsal and ventral views of the adult male holotype (IEBR A.2016.18) of Rhacophorus hoabinhensis sp. nov. from Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam.

Figure 4 Rhacophorus hoabinhensis sp. nov. in its biotope in Hang Kia–Pa Co Nature Reserve, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam.

  Rhacophorus hoabinhensis sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet “hoabinhensis” refers to the type locality of the new species, Hoa Binh Province. For the common names we suggest Hoa Binh Treefrog (English), and Ếch cây hòa bình (Vietnamese). 

Distribution: R. hoabinhensis is currently is known only from the type locality in Hang Kia–Pa Co Nature Reserve, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam.

Natural history: Rhacophorus hoabinhensis appears to be closely associated with karstic environment. Specimens were found at night between 19:00 and 23:30h, near a small pond. The surrounding habitat was secondary karst forest, consisting of medium and small hardwoods mixed with shrubs and vines. Specimens were found on leaves and branches of trees, about 1.2–1.5 m above the ground. The advertisement call of the species was not heard. The air temperatures at the times of collection ranged from 14.8 to 18.9o C and relative humidity from 84% to 93%. Other rhacophorid species recorded in Hang Kia–Pa Co Nature Reserve were Raorchestes parvulus Boulenger, R. feae Boulenger, R. kio Ohler and Delorme, R. orlovi Ziegler and Köhler, Theloderma albopunctatum Liu and Hu, T. gordoni Taylor, and T. lateriticum Bain, Nguyen and Doan. Females and the tadpole of Rhacophorus hoabinhensis have not been recorded so far.



Tao Thien Nguyen, Cuong The Pham, Truong Quang Nguyen, Hoa Thi Ninh and Thomas Ziegler. 2017. A New Species of Rhacophorus (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Vietnam. Asian Herpetological Research. 8(4); 221–234. DOI:  10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.170046

Ếch cây hoà bình – Rhacophorus hoabinhensis