Sunday, July 31, 2016

[Herpetology • 2007] Pseudocophotis kontumensis • A New Species of Pseudocophotis (Agamidae) from central Vietnam

Pseudocophotis kontumensis 

  Ananjeva, Orlov, Nguyen & Nazarov, 2007


A new agamid lizard, Pseudocophotis sp. nov. from central mountain region of Vietnam (Kon Tum Province) if described. The new species strongly differs from another agamid species of Eastern Himalaya-China-Indochina region by combination of pholidosis, morphometric characters and coloration.

Keywords: arboreal Agamidae; Draconinae; PseudocophotisPseudocalotesJapalura; central Vietnam; a new species

Ananjeva, Natalia B., Nikolai L. Orlov, Quang Truong Nguyen and Roman A. Nazarov. 2007. A New Species of Pseudocophotis (Agamidae: Acrodonta: Lacertilia: Reptilia) from central Vietnam. Russian Journal of Herpetology 14 (2):153-160

[Herpetology • 2016] Ansonia teneritas • From A Lost World: An Integrative Phylogenetic Analysis of Ansonia Stoliczka, 1870 (Anura: Bufonidae), with the Description of A New Species from Borneo

Ansonia teneritas 
Waser, Schweizer, Haas, Das, Jankowski, Min & Hertwig, 2016

 ‘Gracile Slender Toad’ 
  DOI: 10.1007/s13127-016-0294-2 

While the island of Borneo is considered a global biodiversity hotspot, the species richness in many groups remains unknown and appears underestimated. During herpetological surveys carried out in the interior of Sarawak, East Malaysia, several individuals of a small species of the genus Ansonia Stoliczka 1870 were collected on the Usun Apau plateau and in the Gunung Hose mountain range (Ansonia sp. Usun Apau). An integrative taxonomic approach comprising phylogenetic (2.4 kb mitochondrial rDNA fragment, Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood, >5.1 % to its closest relative) and morphometric analyses (25 measurements, multivariate ratio analysis and linear discriminant analysis), as well as morphological comparisons support the status of this operational taxonomic unit as a separate taxon at species level. The obtained phylogenetic hypothesis corroborates the two major clades within Ansonia found in previous studies. Within Clade One Ansonia sp. Usun Apau and the enigmatic Ansonia torrentis are part of a monophyletic group of the Bornean species Ansonia hanitschi, Ansonia minuta, Ansonia platysoma, Ansonia spinulifer, Ansonia vidua, and two additional undescribed taxa. This subclade must be considered as the result of an on-island radiation in the complex evolution of Ansonia. The new species is formally described including the identification of diagnostic morphometric traits. Ansonia sp. Usun Apau is endemic to two isolated mountain ridges in central Sarawak and must be considered as a new element of the unique diversity of the Bornean amphibian fauna that is potentially threatened by habitat loss at least in parts of its range.

Keywords: Ansonia teneritas; New species; Integrative taxonomy; Phylogeny; Diversity; Evolution; Morphometrics; Usun Apau; Borneo; Mitochondrial DNA

Fig. 5: Coloration in life of a female Ansonia teneritas sp. nov. from the type locality on the Usun Apau plateau  

Diagnosis: The new species is assigned to the genus Ansonia on the basis of a robustly supported phylogenetic hypothesis (Fig. 3) and the presence of the following morphological characters: body slender, subarticular tubercles indistinct, limbs long and slender, webbing membranous, parotid glands absent, and tympanum visible (Inger 1960, 1966).

Ansonia teneritas sp. nov. can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) SVL in males <22 mm, in females <25 mm; (2) snout clearly projecting in profile; (3) head depressed; (4) longitudinal interorbital ridges absent; (5) first finger short, not reaching base of tip of second finger when adpressed; (6) no sharp tarsal ridge; (7) skin flaps on posterior thigh near vent absent; (8) warts on temporal regions not enlarged; (9) coloration olive-green with a contrasting dark brown pattern on head and dorsum; (10) whitish pattern below the eye on upper lip; (11) white warts behind jaw joint, on shoulders and flanks; (12) iris bright red-orange with an irregular network of black reticulations.

Etymology: The species name teneritas, Latin for ‘tenderness’, refers to the gracile body shape and small body size of this species in comparison to congeners. We suggest the English name ‘Gracile Slender Toad’.

Ecological notes: The type locality of Ansonia teneritas sp. nov. is a small tributary of the upper reaches of the Sungei Julan, just above the spectacular falls of the Sungei Julan Valley on the northern side of the Usun Apau plateau (Fig. 8). The Usun Apau plateau is part of the Central Bornean plateau and forms the watershed between the Rejang and Baram river basins in central Sarawak (Hutchison 2005; Rousseau 1977). The Sungei Julan is a tributary of the Baram drainage system. It consist of several tablelands and smaller plateaus with an elevation of approximately 760–1000 m with sharply cut edges, precipitous cliffs, and deep marginal embayments (Hutchison 2005). The Usun Apau highlands were formed by extensive volcanic activity during the Upper Miocene to Quaternary, and the few mountains that stand over 300 m above the tablelands are relicts of former volcanoes (Hutchison 2005). As a result of their volcanic formation history the high tablelands of the central area are built up of dacite tuff and agglomerate, while the southern mountains are covered by basalt lava (Hutchison 2005; Campbell 1956). The area covers about 700 sq. km of forest and has been protected as the Usun Apau National Park since 2005.

Adult frogs of the following species were detected in the immediate vicinity of the stream and the surrounding forest: Ansonia longidigita Inger, 1960; Hylarana picturata (Boulenger 1920); Leptobrachella mjobergi Smith, 1925; Limnonectes cf. kuhlii (Tschudi, 1838); Limnonectes ibanorum (Inger 1964); Meristogenys sp., Metaphrynella sundana (Peters, 1867); Microhyla petrigena Inger and Frogner 1979; Occidozyga laevis (Günther 1858); Philautus hosii (Boulenger 1895); Philautus macroscelis (Boulenger 1896); Philautus cf. mjobergi Smith, 1925; Philautus tectus Dring, 1987; and Staurois parvus Inger and Haile, 1959.

Lea E. Waser, Manuel Schweizer, Alexander Haas, Indraneil Das, André Jankowski, Pui Yong Min and Stefan T. Hertwig. 2016. From A Lost World: An Integrative Phylogenetic Analysis of Ansonia Stoliczka, 1870 (Lissamphibia: Anura: Bufonidae), with the Description of A New Species. Organisms Diversity & Evolution. DOI: 10.1007/s13127-016-0294-2


[Ichthyology • 2016] Corydoras zawadzkii • A New Long-snouted Species of Corydoras Lacépède, 1803 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) from the rio Madeira basin, Brazil

Corydoras zawadzkii  
Tencatt & Ohara, 2016 
DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4144.3.9


A new species of Corydoras is described from the rio Aripuanã, rio Madeira basin, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by the presence of the following features: long mesethmoid, with anterior tip well developed, conspicuously larger than 50% of bone length; posterior margin of dorsal-fin spine with serrations directed towards tip of spine; one to two longitudinal black stripes on flanks; absence of a black blotch across the eyes (mask); absence of a large black blotch on dorsal fin; and transversal black bars on caudal fin. Comments on endemism in interfluvial region between Madeira and Tapajós rivers are briefly discussed.

Keywords: Pisces, Neotropical region, Amazon, fish, Corydoradinae, taxonomy

  Luiz Fernando Caserta Tencatt and Willian Massaharu Ohara. 2016. A New Long-snouted Species of Corydoras Lacépède, 1803 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) from the rio Madeira basin. Zootaxa. 4144 (3): 430-442. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4144.3.9

[Ichthyology • 2016] Corydoras brittoi & C. pavanelliae • Two New Species of Corydoras Lacépède, 1803 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) from the rio Madeira basin, Brazil

Corydoras brittoi C. pavanelliae
Fernando Tencatt & Ohara, 2016


Two new species of Corydoras are described from the rio Madeira basin, Brazil. The intermediate long-snouted new species can be distinguished from its congeners by presenting the following combination of features: posterior margin of dorsal-fin spine with laminar serrations directed towards the origin of the spine; presence of two longitudinal black stripes on flanks; anterior portion of dorsal fin with sparse black chromatophores, not forming any conspicuous pattern; absence of a conspicuous black marbled coloration pattern on head; black spots on caudal fin, some spots arranged, forming transversal bars; and brownish dorsal-fin spine. The short-snouted new speciescan be distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of features: short mesethmoid; posterior laminar expansion of infraorbital 2 very reduced, not in contact with compound pterotic; two or three longitudinal black stripes on flanks; absence of an oblique or vertical black blotch across the eye; anterior portion of dorsal fin with sparse black chromatophores, not forming any conspicuous pattern; and ventral surface of trunk naked or covered by sparse platelets.

Key words: Amazon; Corydoradinae; Mato Grosso; rio Aripuanã; Taxonomy

Corydoras brittoi, new species

Distribution. The new species is known from the rio Aripuanã basin, Mato Grosso State (Fig. 5).

Ecological notes. The type locality of Corydoras brittoi is located at 110 meters above sea level, and is a small clear water stream, with 2-3 m width and 0.5-2 m depth, with preserved riparian vegetation, swift water current, and bottom composed mainly of sand and dead leaves. Specimens of C. brittoi were observed at night during capture at shallow portions of the stream in small groups (5-15 individuals), and sometimes associated with a other new species described below.

Etymology. Corydoras brittoi is named in honor of Marcelo Ribeiro de Britto, a dear friend and mentor, for his extensive contributions to the taxonomy and systematics of the Corydoradinae. A genitive.

Corydoras pavanelliae, new species

Distribution. The new species is known from its type-locality, a tributary to the rio Aripuanã, Mato Grosso State (Fig. 5).

Ecological notes. The only known specimens of Corydoras pavanelliae were collected among C. brittoi specimens. For notes on its ecology, see Ecological notes of C. brittoi.

Etymology. Corydoras pavanelliae is named in honor of Carla Simone Pavanelli, advisor of the first author and dear friend, for her extensive contributions to the knowledge of the ecology and taxonomy of the Neotropical fishes. A genitive.

Luiz Fernando Caserta Tencatt and Willian Massaharu Ohara. 2016. Two New Species of Corydoras Lacépède, 1803 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) from the rio Madeira basin, Brazil. Neotrop. ichthyol. 14(1);  DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-20150063 

RESUMO: Duas espécies novas de Corydoras são descritas da bacia do rio Madeira, Brasil. A espécie nova de focinho longo intermediário pode ser distinguida de suas congêneres por apresentar a seguinte combinação de características: margem posterior do espinho da nadadeira dorsal com serrilhas laminares direcionadas para origem do espinho; presença de duas faixas pretas longitudinais nos flancos; porção anterior da nadadeira dorsal com cromatóforos pretos esparsos, sem formar nenhum padrão conspícuo; ausência de um padrão de coloração marmoreado de preto conspícuo na cabeça; manchas pretas na nadadeira caudal, algumas delas alinhadas, formando barras transversais; e espinho dorsal amarronzado. A espécie nova de focinho curto pode ser distinguida de suas congêneres por apresentar a seguinte combinação de características: mesetmóide curto; expansão laminar posterior do infraorbital 2 muito reduzida, sem contato com o pterótico composto; duas ou três faixas pretas longitudinais nos flancos; ausência de uma mancha preta oblíqua ou vertical através do olho; porção anterior da nadadeira dorsal com cromatóforos pretos esparsos, sem formar nenhum padrão conspícuo; e superfície ventral do tronco nua ou coberta por plaquetas esparsas.

[Herpetology • 2016] Anolis landestoyi • Discovery of a Giant Chameleon-Like Lizard (Anolis) on Hispaniola and Its Significance to Understanding Replicated Adaptive Radiations

Anolis landestoyi  
Mahler, Lambert, Geneva, Ng, Hedges, Losos & Glor, 2016
 DOI:  10.1086/687566 

We report a new chameleon-like Anolis species from Hispaniola that is ecomorphologically similar to congeners found only on Cuba. Lizards from both clades possess short limbs and a short tail and utilize relatively narrow perches, leading us to recognize a novel example of ecomorphological matching among islands in the well-known Greater Antillean anole radiation. This discovery supports the hypothesis that the assembly of island faunas can be substantially deterministic and highlights the continued potential for basic discovery to reveal new insights in well-studied groups. Restricted to a threatened band of mid-elevation transitional forest near the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this new species appears to be highly endangered.

Keywords: community assembly, determinism, conservation, island biogeography, Dominican Republic.

D. Luke Mahler, Shea M. Lambert, Anthony J. Geneva, Julienne Ng, S. Blair Hedges, Jonathan B. Losos and Richard E. Glor. 2016. Discovery of a Giant Chameleon-Like Lizard (Anolis) on Hispaniola and Its Significance to Understanding Replicated Adaptive Radiations.  American Naturalist. DOI:  10.1086/687566

A surprising new anole via @HarvardResearch @EurekAlertAAAS
New lizard found in Dominican Republic via @UofTNews 

[Botany • 2016] Magnolia llanganatensis • A New Species (Subsect. Talauma, Magnoliaceae) from Tungurahua, central Ecuador and A Key to Species of Magnolia of Ecuador

Magnolia llanganatensis  
 A. Vázquez & D. A. Neill 


Magnolia llanganatensis A. Vázquez & D. A. Neill (Magnoliaceae, subsection Talauma), a new species from the Cordillera de los Llangantes region of central Ecuador, near the Tungurahua-Pastaza border, is described and illustrated. It is distinguished from all other species of Magnolia subsection Talauma in having a (4–)5-carpellate fruit. It differs from Bolivian M. madidiensis A. Vázquez in having larger tree size, smaller size of terminal twig internodes, smaller leaf blades with acute apex vs. obtuse; larger number of foliar lateral veins per side, hypsophylls pubescent vs. glabrous; smaller number of carpels, and styles acute vs. apiculate. The new species is only known from the Río Zuñac watershed on the Tunguarahua side of the Cordillera Llanganates, while the latter is known only from Madidi National Park, La Paz, Bolivia. An updated key to Ecuadorian species of Magnolia subsection Talauma is provided.

Keywords: Cordillera de los Llanganates, Cubenses, Dugandiodendron, Macrophylla, oligomerization, oligocarpic, Pastaza.

 José Antonio Vázquez-García, David Alan Neill, Fausto Recalde and Mercedes Asanza. 2016. Magnolia llanganatensis, una especie nueva y clave para las especies ecuatorianas de Magnolia (subseción Talauma, Magnoliaceae). [Magnolia llanganatensis (Subsect. Talauma, Magnoliaceae), a new species from Tungurahua and a key to species of Magnolia of Ecuador] Botanical Sciences. 94(2).


Saturday, July 30, 2016

[Herpetology • 2014] Leptolalax sabahmontanus • A New Leptolalax (Anura, Megophryidae) from the Mountains of Sabah, Borneo

Leptolalax sabahmontanus 
Matsui, Nishikawa & Yambun, 2014.

 A new species of Leptolalax is described from Kinabalu National Park in western Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The new species had been assigned to L. dringi, L. gracilis, or L. fritinniens in the past. It differs from all congeners, including these species, by a unique combination of morphological characters, including small body size, rounded snout, narrower interorbital than upper eyelid, basal toe webbing, smooth skin with tiny tubercles on dorsum and dorsal side of head, small pectoral glands, absence of supraaxillary glands and ventrolateral glandular ridges, spotted venter, advertisement call consisting of long series of 1-149 notes, each composed of three or four pulses, and dominant frequency at 6.90-7.35 kHz, without prominent frequency modulation.

Keywords: Amphibia, Leptolalax sabahmontanus sp. n., advertisement call, Sabah, mtDNA phylogeny

 Masafumi Matsui, Kanto Nishikawa and Paul Yambun. 2014. A New Leptolalax from the Mountains of Sabah, Borneo (Amphibia, Anura, Megophryidae).
 Zootaxa. 3753(5):440-452. DOI: 10.11646/Zootaxa.3753.5.3

[Botany • 2016] Bidoupia phongii • A New Orchid Genus and Species (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae, Goodyerinae) from southern Vietnam

Bidoupia phongii  Aver., Ormerod et Duy. 

photo: Vũ Định An
DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.266.4.6

Species of subtribe Goodyerinae (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae) in the flora of Vietnam have been the subject of a series of taxonomic treatments (Seidenfaden 1992, Averyanov 1994, 2008, Averyanov & Averyanova 2003, Nguyen, Averyanov & Duong 2005). Nonetheless, the inventory of this group remains incomplete due to their sporadic distribution, rarity in nature, and deficiency of available herbarium and living collections. Additionally, almost all Goodyera-related species rarely flower either in nature or cultivation, which makes available observations scarce. As a result, new data on species and records for the flora of Vietnam are appearing continuously (Ponert et al. 2014, Averyanov et al. 2016) in addition to the already completed accounts. One more curious novelty from Goodyerinae discovered recently in southern Vietnam is described and illustrated below.

The unusual plant described here was discovered in 2010 during botanical investigations conducted by international team of botanists under leadership of Nong Van Duy, Vice Director of the Tay Nguyen Institute for Scientific Research, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in the northeastern part of Tay Nguyen Plateau (Central Highlands) of southern Vietnam. Phytogeographically, the largest part of this area coincides with the South Annamese floristic province of the Indochinese floristic region that is particularly rich in plant diversity and endemism (Averyanov et al. 2003). The new species is probably a local endemic of the Bidoup Range, the chain of high mountains along the border between Lam Dong and Khanh Hoa provinces in southern Vietnam. In this region, the species occurs with such typical local endemics as Arachnis annamensis (Rolfe 1905: 391) Smith (1912: 73), Vanda christensonia (Haager 1993: 39) L.M.Gardiner (2012: 49), Bulbophyllum clipeibulbum Vermeulen (2001: 51), Paphiopedilum delenatii Guillaumin (1924: 554) and Schoenorchis hangianae Averyanov & Duy (2015: 117). This species is rare and known thus far from just a single collection. It is noteworthy that the locality for this plant in primary forest is presently being seriously disturbed by road construction, logging and anthropogenic transformation. For these reasons, it is tentatively assessed as a highly endangered species due to loss of its habitat. It should be especially emphasized that this unique taxon could become extinct in the near future, and its conservation and protection needs further field investigation.

Keywords: Orchidaceae, Goodyerinae, Vietnam, Bidoup Nui Ba national park, plant taxonomy, plant diversity, nature protection, Monocots, Southern Vietnam


Bidoupia Aver., Ormerod & Duy, gen. nov. 

Type:— Bidoupia phongii Aver., Ormerod et Duy.
Monotypic genus endemic to southern Vietnam. 

Etymology:—The name to the Bidoup Mountains where the species was discovered. 

Generic diagnosis:— New genus allied to Dossinia, Ludisia, Macodes and Papuaea alliance, from which differs in a combination of morphological features such as black leaves (purple-brown below), flowers non-resupinate due to the ovary twisting 360°, subglobular hypochile closed by subquadrate connivent and firmly adpressed side lobes, long tube-shaped arcuate claw warty on flanges, bilobulate epichile with large wing-like lobules, lip with longitudinal internal keel rising abaxially, column with 2 large, down-directed keels as well as entire stigma, and long linear forward directed arcuate rostellum and anther cap beak. Bidoupia phongii Aver., Ormerod & Duy, sp. nov. (Fig. 1, 2) Herbaceous perennials with black leaves with white median stripe, purple-brown below. Scape shortly hairy, spike with lax spirally arranged, sessile, widely opening flowers with ovary twisting on 360°. Ovary sparsely hairy, strongly twisted. Sepals free, sparsely hairy outside; median sepal erect, lateral sepals horizontally spreading, twisted at the base. Petals oblique, connivent with dorsal sepal. Lip glabrous, trilobed, spurred; hypochile small subquadrate, closed by small quadrate side lobes connivent and firmly adpressed to each other; mesochile long, terete, strongly recurved; epichile with two large, wing-shaped, denticulate lobules; spur hemispheric, with 2 massive, stalked, clavate glands; lip inside with low longitudinal keel rising abaxially into prominent flat dent. Column short, at base with 2 large, down directed keels; stigma at front of column, entire, slightly convex; rostellum long, linear, forward directed and arcuate; anther cap with long, linear, arcuate beak. Alone species in the genus. 

Type:—VIETNAM. Lam Dong Province: Lac Duong district, Bidoup Ridge, primary humid, broad-leaved forest at 1526-1530 m, 12 December 2010, Nong Van Duy, VTN 1465/AL 91 (holotype: Herbarium of Tay Nguyen Institute of Scientific Research of Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology!; isotype: LE!; cultivated and flowered in the botanical garden of Tay Nguyen Institute of Scientific Research of Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology. Type specimen prepared from a cultivated plant, 27 August 2015). (Fig. 1, 2).

Etymology:— Named in honor of Nong The Duy Phong, son of the discoverer, Nong Van Duy. 

Habitat, phenology and conservation status:— Creeping terrestrial herbs in primary, humid, broad-leaved and mixed evergreen forests (with Pinus dalatensis and P. krempfii) on granite. 1500–1550 m. Flowering August– September. Rare. Estimated IUCN Red List status: EN/DD. 

Distribution:— Endemic thus far to the type locality.

 Leonid V. Averyanov, Paul A. Ormerod, Nong Van Duy, Tran Van Tien, Tao Chen and Dian-Xiang Zhang. 2016.  Bidoupia phongii, New Orchid Genus and Species (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae, Goodyerinae) from southern Vietnam. Phytotaxa. 266(4)DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.266.4.6

[Ichthyology • 2016] Gobius salamansa • A New Species of Goby (Gobiidae) from the Cape Verde Islands supported by A Unique Cephalic Lateral Line System and DNA Barcoding

Gobius salamansa  
 Iglésias, Frotté & Sellos, 2016


Gobius salamansa sp. nov., a new species of tropical eastern Atlantic goby (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Gobiinae) is described from the island of São Vicente in the Republic of Cabo Verde. With adults measuring less than 35 mm TL (total length) it is the smallest species among Gobius. It is easily distinguishable from its Atlantico-Mediterranean congeners thanks to a unique character: an additional posterior ocular head pore, newly named α’, part of the anterior oculoscapular canal and connected to pore α by a suborbital branch. The new species also possesses a rare character among gobiids: a continuous oculoscapular canal, undivided into anterior and posterior parts. The species is distinguishable from its relatives thanks to its distinctive multi-colored (white, red, black, yellow and brown) eyespot, located on the first dorsal fin; by a low number of soft rays on the second dorsal fin (11) and anal fin (9); by row r not divided into two sections; by a divided row d. The two type of specimens were collected at 0.2–0.6 m depth, at the entrance of cracks in compact volcanic boulders forming a rocky islet submerged at high tide. DNA barcoding based on COI of the species compared with sympatric gobiids and species of Atlantico-Mediterranean Gobius reveals a high nucleotide sequence divergence [Kimura’s (1980) two parameter distances of 16.5 %)], with Gobius ateriformis identified as its closest species. A dichotomous key for Gobius–Mauligobius from tropical eastern Atlantic is provided. It is the eleventh gobiid species, and the fourth endemic species, to be described in Cape Verde.

Keywords: Gobiinae, New species, Eastern Atlantic, Republic of Cabo Verde, Head pore

Diagnosis. The new species is characterized by a unique character among the gobiids: (1) an additional posterior ocular head pore, newly named α’, and connected to pore α by a suborbital branch of the anterior oculoscapular canal; (2) a distinctive multi-colored (white, red, black, yellow and brown) eyespot, located on the first dorsal fin. The new species is also characterised by the combination of the following characters: (1) the possession of pores on the oculoscapular (σ, λ, κ, ω, α, β, ρ, ρ1, ρ2), and preopercular (γ, δ, ε) head canals; (2) a canal section between pore ρ and ρ1 connecting the anterior and the posterior oculoscapular canals; (3) a divided row d; (4) row r not being split into two sections; (5) row x1 ending anteriorly behind pore β; (6) six transverse infraorbital rows of sensory papillae (1–6), with five anterior to the hyomandibular row b but only one above, and with the inferior sections of rows five and six well developed below row b; (7) row g ending behind row o; (8) six well developed upper free pectoral rays; (9) anterior nostril with a digitate process; (10) predorsal area and nape scaled; (11) 11 soft rays on the second dorsal, 9 soft rays on the anal fin; (12) 36–37 scales on LL; (13) a scaleless cheek and opercle. The new species also differs from close GobiusMauligobius relatives by the combination of the following characters: a white breast; a thin caudal peduncle, with a depth 45–50 % of caudal peduncle length; a long pectoral fin, 29–30 % of standard length; a long pelvic fin, 23–25 % of standard length; large eyes, 38–39 % of head length; a short snout, 25–26 % of head length, short interorbital width, 7.5–8.5 % of eye diameter.

Distribution and habitat. — Known presently only in the Bay of Salamansa at São Vicente, Cape Verde Islands, 16.909545° N, -24.938012° W. The specimens were observed in a subtidal area at the entrance of cracks in compact volcanic boulders forming a rocky islet submerged at high tide about one hundred meters from the beach. The basaltic rocks were covered with short seaweeds and coralline algae. The habitat was largely colonized by the subtidal blenniids Ophioblennius atlanticus (Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes 1836) and Scartella caboverdiana Bath 1990. The rocky islet was surrounded by sand, rock and coral bottom, 1–3 m depth, where individuals of G. ateriformis were common under rocks. The sea temperature was 24 C at the point of collection.

Etymology.— The epithet salamansa refers to the village of Salamansa, on the north of the island of São Vicente, Republic of Cabo Verde , which marks the location where the only two known specimens were collected. The specific name salamansa is proposed as a noun in apposition.

Samuel P. Iglésias, Lou Frotté and Daniel Y. Sellos. 2016. Gobius salamansa, A New Species of Goby (Gobiidae) from the Cape Verde Islands supported by A Unique Cephalic Lateral Line System and DNA Barcoding. Ichthyological Research.  63(3); 356–369. DOI: 10.1007/s10228-015-0505-4

[Botany • 2016] Henckelia wijesundarae • A New endemic Species (Gesneriaceae) from Sri Lanka, and lectotypification of Chirita walkerae and C. walkerae var. parviflora

 Henckelia wijesundarae 
Ranasinghe & Mich. Möller

A new species, Henckelia wijesundarae, endemic to Hiniduma, Galle, Sri Lanka, is described and illustrated. Diagnostic features of the new species are discussed and compared to the closely allied species H. walkerae. Based on fieldwork studies, we propose an IUCN conservation status of Critically Endangered (CR) for H. wijesundarae. At the same time we lectotypify the names Chirita walkerae (the basionym of H. walkerae) and C. walkerae var. parviflora (treated here in the synonymy of H. wijesundarae).

Keywords: Gesneriaceae, Henckelia, Chirita, Henckelia walkerae, Chirita walkerae, Chirita walkerae subsp. parviflora, Chirita walkerae var. parviflora, new species, lectotype, Sri Lanka, Hiniduma

Henckelia wijesundarae Ranasinghe & Mich. Möller, sp. nov. — Fig. 3 & 4.

Holotype: Sri Lanka, Southern Province, Galle District, Hiniduma, forest behind Nugagala Monastery, 208 m, 26 Jul 2013, Subhani Ranasinghe & Tharanga Wijewickrama 31 (PDA; isotypes: E, K).

= Chirita walkerae [“walkeri”] var. parviflora C. B. Clarke in Candolle & Candolle, Monogr. Phan. 5(1): 112. 1883 = Chirita walkerae [“walkeri”] subsp. parviflora (C. B. Clarke) W. L. Theob. & Grupe in Ceylon J. Sci., Biol. Sci. 10: 70. 1972. — Lectotype: see p. 220. — Chirita walkerae [“walkeri”] var. “β” in Thwaites, Enum. Pl. Zeyl.: 207. 1864.

Diagnosis — Henckelia wijesundarae Ranasinghe & Mich. Möller differs from H. walkerae (Gardner) D. J. Middleton & Mich. Möller by its less dense short straight hairs on the adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces, inconspicuous hydathodes (vs prominent ones in H. walkerae) on shallowly crenulate (vs serrate) leaf margins, 8–10 pairs (vs 12–(14) pairs) of lateral veins, calyx less than 2 cm long (vs more than 2 cm long), calyx lobes keeled, with a sharp ridge along the middle axis and hairs aggregated along this ridge (vs keel inconspicuous, hairs scattered throughout calyx lobe), shorter corolla, 3–4 cm long (vs 4–6 cm long), white (vs deep purple) corolla lobes, toothed (vs un toothed) filaments, distinctly spatulate (vs cuneate-truncate) stigma, and shorter fruit, 6–7 cm long (vs 8–13 cm long).

Phenology — Flowering specimens were collected from July to September; fruiting time is September to November.

Distribution and ecology — Currently known from Hiniduma, Galle, in SW Sri Lanka, at altitudes of 200–300 m, growing in shade on wet rock outcrops in lowland rainforest patches.

Eponymy — The specific epithet wijesundarae honours the great botanist, scientist and former Director General of the Botanic Gardens in Sri Lanka, Dr. Siril Wijesundara.

Fig. 4. Henckelia wijesundarae – A: habit; B: corolla front view; C: corolla longitudinal section; D: two inflorescences; E: two stamens with toothed filaments and coherent anthers and two lateral staminodes; F: leaf abaxial (left) and adaxial (right) surfaces; G: calyx showing lobes divided less than ½ length of calyx. 

 Subhani Ranasinghe, Richard Milne, Rohana Jayasekara, Sumudu Rubasinghe and Michael Möller. 2016. Henckelia wijesundarae (Gesneriaceae), A New endemic Species from Sri Lanka, and lectotypification of Chirita walkerae and C. walkerae var. parvifloraWilldenowia. 46(2); 213-224. DOI: 10.3372/wi.46.46202

Friday, July 29, 2016

[PaleoIchthyology • 2015] Pseudomegachasma gen. nov. • A New Clade of Putative Plankton-Feeding Sharks from the Upper Cretaceous of Russia and the United States

FIGURE 7. Stratigraphic distributions of elasmobranch families that contain planktivorous forms and highlighting Johnlongia and Pseudomegachasma, gen. nov., as well as Megachasma applegatei and M. pelagios to show parallel evolution and convergence of ‘megachasmid tooth pattern’ from ‘odontaspidid tooth pattern’ in each clade (*, excludes other odontaspidid taxa outside of this particular clade, i.e., Johnlonginae, subfam. nov.; stratigraphic data based on Friedman et al., 2010:fig. 3; Cappetta, 2012; Shimada et al., 2014). Sources of illustrated teeth (left, labial view; right, profile view; not to scale): Johnlongia (SSU 155/93 in this study; cf. Fig. 2 A, C); Pseudomegachasma , gen. nov. (Shimada, 2007:fig. 1B, C; see also Fig. 4A, E in this study); Megachasma applegatei (Shimada et al., 2014:fig. 3B, C); and M. pelagios (Taylor et al., 1983:fig. 8A, C).
 Shimada, Popov, Siversson, Welton & Long, 2015
  DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2015.981335 

Eorhincodon casei from Russia and Megachasma comanchensis from the United States are two Cretaceous taxa initially described as putative planktivorous elasmobranchs, but the type specimens of these two taxa were subsequently reinterpreted to represent taphonomically abraded teeth of an odontaspidid, Johnlongia Siverson (Lamniformes: Odontaspididae). Here, we redescribe the type materials of ‘E. casei’ and ‘M. comanchensis’ and describe additional specimens of these species from other Late Cretaceous localities in Russia and the United States. These specimens demonstrate that (1) the two fossil taxa are valid species; (2) they warrant the establishment of a new genus of presumed planktivorous sharks, Pseudomegachasma, gen. nov., to accommodate the two species; and (3) the new genus is sister to Johnlongia and together constitute a new subfamily Johnlonginae, subfam. nov., tentatively placed in the family Odontaspididae sensu stricto. This taxonomic placement indicates that the putative planktivorous clade was derived from a presumed piscivorous form (Johnlongia), with an implication that Pseudomegachasma, gen. nov., evolved a plankton-eating habit independent of the four known planktivorous elasmobranch clades (Rhincodontidae, Megachasmidae, Cetorhinidae, and Mobulidae). It also indicates that planktivorous diets evolved independently at least three times in the order Lamniformes (i.e., Megachasmidae, Cetorhinidae, and Odontaspididae), and more significantly, Pseudomegachasma, gen. nov., would represent the oldest known plankton-feeding elasmobranch in the fossil record. The present fossil record suggests that Pseudomegachasma, gen. nov., evolved in a relatively shallow-water environment in Russia in the early Cenomanian or earlier and subsequently migrated to the North American Western Interior Seaway by the mid-Cenomanian.

Today’s giant filter feeding elasmobranchs. From top left Whale Shark Rhincodon typus, [photo by Werner Mischler]; Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus, Doug Perrine; Reef Manta Manta alfredi, Kristy Cole, Underwater Escapades; Megamouth Shark Megachasma pelagiosWikimedia Commons.

 Kenshu Shimada, Evgeny V. Popov, Mikael Siversson, Bruce J. Welton and Douglas J. Long. 2015. A New Clade of Putative Plankton-Feeding Sharks from the Upper Cretaceous of Russia and the United States. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 35(5); e981335.  DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2015.981335

Pseudomegachasma, a newly discovered prehistoric #shark—with a giant mouth 
“False Megamouth” Shark Pioneered the Plankton-Feeding Lifestyle
Before Giant Plankton-Feeding Sharks, there were Giant Plankton-Feeding Sharks. via @deepseanews

[Botany • 2016] Cryptocoryne aura • A New Species (Araceae) from West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Cryptocoryne aura 
  Wongso & Ipor 

A new species, Cryptocoryne aura Wongso & Ipor, from West Kalimantan, Indonesia, is described and illustrated. It differs from other Cryptocoryne species primarily by having a transparent, ciliate membrane along the leaf margin and a short spathe with a yellow, forward-twisted limb. It has a chromosome number of 2n = 26, which has not hitherto been recorded within the genus. The morphology of the germinating seed is unique within the genus, the embryo emerging c. ⅓ from the distal end of the seed with 3(or 4) plumulary processes (prophylls).

Keywords: Araceae, Cryptocoryne, aroids, taxonomy, new species, chromosome number, seedlings, Indonesia, Borneo, Kalimantan

 Cryptocoryne aura Wongso & Ipor, sp. nov.

Holotype: Indonesia, Kalimantan Barat, West Kalimantan, Kabupaten Sekadau, Kecematan Nanga Taman, 26 Feb 2015, S. Wongso & I. B. Ipor SW1508 (BO; isotypes: C, L, M, SAR, Herbarium Universiti Malaysia Sarawak).

Diagnosis — Cryptocoryne aura differs from all other Cryptocoryne species by having the leaf blade margin with a distinct, whitish, slightly transparent, undulate membrane with whitish, short, ciliate trichomes. The germinating seed is unique within the genus in that the embryo emerges c. ⅓ from the distal end of the seed and bears 3(or 4) plumulary processes (prophylls). Its chromosome number of 2n = 26 has hitherto not been recorded for Cryptocoryne

Fig. 2. Cryptocoryne aura — A: habitat at type locality with slower-flowing water; B: close-up of plants in A.
 Photographed on 26 February 2015 by S. Wongso.

Fig. 3. Cryptocoryne aura, close-up of plants in Fig. 2. — A: newly opened spathes showing subobliquely twisted limb; B: older spathes showing forward-twisted limb. 
Photographed on 26 February 2015 by S. Wongso.

Etymology — The epithet alludes to the well-developed, slightly transparent, whitish membrane surrounding the leaf margin, which is likened to an aura.

Remarks — Cryptocoryne aura has a growth stature resembling that of Celliptica Hook. f. (Peninsular Malaysia) and Cbogneri Rataj (Sri Lanka) in having all parts of the plant of small size and a rosette of many leaves, indicating that the plants are situated in shallow water with the leaf blades just below the water surface. This common rosette phenomenon in these species is no doubt an adaptation to similar habitat niches and does not necessarily reflect a close phylogenetic relationship.

The morphology of the germinating embryo is unique for the genus, with the seeds having a rather thin and pointed distal end, with the embryo breaking through the testa c. ⅓ from this end with 3(or 4) plumulary processes (prophylls); the primary root emerges from the distal end of the seed, while secondary roots emerge along with the plumulary processes.

 Suwidji Wongso, Isa B. Ipor, Cheksum S. Tawan, Hendra Budianto, Jan D. Bastmeijer and Niels Jacobsen. 2016. Cryptocoryne aura (Araceae), A New Species from West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Willdenowia. 46(2); 275-282. DOI: 10.3372/wi.46.46209

[Crustacea • 2016] Fallicambarus schusteri • A New Burrowing Crayfish of the Genus Fallicambarus Hobbs, 1969 (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the Red River Drainage of the southcentral United States

Fallicambarus schusteri 
Taylor & Robison, 2016 


A new primary burrowing crayfish, Fallicambarus schusteri, is described from the Red River drainage of extreme southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas and is placed in the subgenus Fallicambarus. The species occurs in roadside ditches that seasonally flood and have silt and silt-loam dominated soils. Falllicambarus schusteri differs from all other members of the genus Fallicambarus in possessing a thin gradually tapering central projection and a wide triangular cephalic process on the first pleopod of form I males, a sufflamen on the cheliped, and an antennal scale that is widest at its midpoint.

Keywords: Crustacea, Fallicambarus, new species, primary burrower, Arkansas, Oklahoma

Christopher A. Taylor and Henry W. Robison. 2016. A New Burrowing Crayfish of the Genus Fallicambarus Hobbs, 1969 (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the Red River Drainage of the southcentral United States.  Zootaxa. 4144(4).4; 575–583.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4144.4.7

Thursday, July 28, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Living in A Japanese Onsen: Field Observations and Physiological Measurements of Hot Spring Amphibian Tadpoles, Buergeria japonica

Tadpoles living in Onsen: Tadpoles of the Japanese stream tree frog  Buergeria japonica can live in water the highest ever-recorded temperatures for any amphibian tadpole, 46.1 ºC (115 ºF), in the natural hot springs on Kuchinoshima, a Japanese island. The research from Hiroshima University directly connects the physical ability to adapt to environmental conditions and the ability to disperse over a wide geographic range.
 Image: Shohei Komaki DOI: 10.1163/15685381-00003052

The Japanese stream tree frog, Buergeria japonica, is widely distributed across the southern islands of Japan and Taiwan. While the species is known to inhabit hot springs, this has only been reported in Taiwan. To further understand the utilization of hot springs by B. japonica, we conducted field observations of tadpoles from a hot spring on Kuchinoshima Island, a tiny volcanic island of southwestern Japan. We found that tadpoles on Kuchinoshima Island inhabited hot spring pools with extremely high temperatures that exceeded temperatures in which any other amphibians have been found. In addition, we conducted thermal tolerance measurements and found that the thermal tolerance of B. japonica tadpoles was high. These findings suggest that high thermal tolerance of B. japonica is maintained even at the northern tip of its distribution, and this has allowed them to widen their available niche and inhabit a hot spring on the tiny island of Kuchinoshima.

Keywords: volcanic island; Rhacophorus; geothermal hot spring; thermal tolerance

  Shohei Komaki, Quintin Lau and Takeshi Igawa. 2016. Living in A Japanese Onsen: Field Observations and Physiological Measurements of Hot Spring Amphibian Tadpoles, Buergeria japonica  Amphibia-Reptilia.  DOI: 10.1163/15685381-00003052

Japanese tadpoles relax in hot springs: One type of juvenile frog can survive in hot onsen water

[Ichthyology • 2016] Eucyclogobius kristinae • A New Species of the Bay Goby Genus Eucyclogobius, Endemic to Southern California: Evolution, Conservation, and Decline

Eucyclogobius kristinae 
 Swift, Spies, Ellingson & Jacobs, 2016
Southern Tidewater Goby  |  
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158543 


A geographically isolated set of southern localities of the formerly monotypic goby genus Eucyclogobius is known to be reciprocally monophyletic and substantially divergent in mitochondrial sequence and nuclear microsatellite-based phylogenies relative to populations to the north along the California coast. To clarify taxonomic and conservation status, we conducted a suite of analyses on a comprehensive set of morphological counts and measures from across the range of Eucyclogobius and describe the southern populations as a new species, the Southern Tidewater Goby, Eucyclogobius kristinae, now separate from the Northern Tidewater Goby Eucyclogobius newberryi (Girard 1856). In addition to molecular distinction, adults of E. kristinae are diagnosed by: 1) loss of the anterior supratemporal lateral-line canals resulting in higher neuromast counts, 2) lower pectoral and branched caudal ray counts, and 3) sets of measurements identified via discriminant analysis. These differences suggest ecological distinction of the two species. Previous studies estimated lineage separation at 2–4 million years ago, and mitochondrial sequence divergence exceeds that of other recognized fish species. Fish from Santa Monica Artesian Springs (Los Angeles County) northward belong to E. newberryi; those from Aliso Creek (Orange County) southward constitute E. kristinae. The lagoonal habitat of Eucyclogobius has been diminished or degraded, leading to special conservation status at state and federal levels beginning in 1980. Habitat of the newly described species has been impacted by a range of anthropogenic activities, including the conversion of closing lagoons to open tidal systems in the name of restoration. In the last 30 years, E. kristinae has only been observed in nine intermittently occupied lagoonal systems in northern San Diego County; it currently persists in only three sites. Thus, the new species is in imminent danger of extinction and will require ongoing active management.

Eucyclogobius kristinae Southern Tidewater Goby has been found in only a few lagoons in San Diego County, making the newly described species critically endangered.
photo: Brenton Spies  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158543

Eucyclogobius kristinae new species, Swift, Spies, Ellingson and Jacobs

Southern Tidewater Goby.

Eucyclogobius kristinae, Swift, Spies, Ellingson, and Jacobs, new species

Gillichthys mirabilis, Metz 1912:41, misidentification, record from Aliso Creek, Laguna Beach, Orange County.
Eucyclogobius newberryi, Miller 1939, 1943, records from San Juan Creek, Orange County; Swift et al. 1989: 1–19, in part, biology, distribution, illustration; Earl et al. 2010: 103–114, phylogeography, distinctness of southern population; Ruber and Agoretta 2011: 31–41, in part, reanalysis of gobiid molecular phylogeny; Van Tassell 2011: 143, in part, list of Gobiiformes of the Americas.
Eucyclogobius (S), Ellingson et al. 2014: 472, convergence with western Pacific species.

Holotype: LACM 57334–2, female, 29.3 mm SL (Fig 5), California, San Diego County, coastal lagoon at mouth of Las Flores Canyon (Las Pulgas Canyon on some maps), about 15 km northwest of Oceanside

Fig 5. A, Photograph of holotype of Eucyclogobius kristinaen. sp., LACM 57334–2, 29.3 mm Standard Length from Las Flores Canyon lagoon on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton on 29 July 2011. See text for other data. B, Illustration of pigment patterns and some neuromast lines on the head and body of Eucyclogobius kristinae n. sp., LACM 42639–1, 33 mm SL, Aliso Creek, Orange County, CA.   

Diagnosis: Eucyclogobius kristinae is distinguished morphologically from the only other species in the genus, E. newberryi, by reduction (in fish over about 25 mm SL) of the anterior supraorbital canal and concomitant increase in number of exposed neuromasts (see analyses above), 8–12 in adult E. kristinae vs. 5–8 in E. newberryi (Fig 4B). The Southern Tidewater Goby averages about one fewer pectoral fin ray (18–19 vs. 19–21) and branched caudal rays 10–11 (9–12) vs. 12–13 (11–14) due to reduction in this count on the lower half of the caudal fin (Fig 3B). Morphologic measures proved efficiently diagnostic in combination (Fig 1B–1F). These include a longer anal spine and measures that contribute to greater girth, more anterior placement of pelvic fins and a more upturned mouth in E. kristinae, while E. newberryi has a more elongate snout with a more terminal mouth, longer pectoral fins and somewhat more elongate dorsal, anal, and caudal fins. Numerous fixed molecular characters have been identified between the two species, both in mitochondrial sequence, as well as in dramatic length difference and amplification of microsatellite loci. Thus, there are many means of efficient molecular diagnosis via PCR amplification assay.

Etymology: The species name is feminine in honor of Kristina D. Y. Louie whose untimely death in 2004 cut short a promising career dedicated to conservation genetics. Her Ph.D. dissertation and associated work contributed greatly to our studies of eastern Pacific phylogeography, as well as to a novel re-interpretation of the placement of Wallace’s Line across the islands of Indonesia.

The Southern Tidewater Goby, Eucyclogobius kristinae, has a history of genetic isolation (≥ 1 million years) from its sister, E. newberryi, from which it is separated by a geographic break across the Los Angeles Basin. It can be reliably diagnosed on the basis of meristics —e.g. exposed anterior supraorbital neuromasts on adults (Fig 4, neuromast row no. 1) and higher pectoral fin-ray counts in E. newberryi —as well as morphometric characters as identified by discriminant function analyses. Sequencing of mitochondrial control region or cytochrome b or amplification of any of the suite of microsatellite markers can also provide easy diagnosis, and simple PCR assays for species determination can be easily devised. Morphological distinctions suggest adaptations to a more benthic mode of life in E. kristinae. Sexual dimorphism associated with an enlarged jaw in adult males is presumptively used in mating burrow construction. Further work to better establish ecological distinction, sexual dimorphism, and/or behavioral differences between the two species is merited. E. kristinae is critically endangered as it appears to persist in only three sites based on the most recent surveys. Thus, immediate action is needed to prevent extinction of the species during California’s current and persistent drought. All management units of E. newberryi and E. kristinae should maintain state and federal endangered status until recovery has been demonstrated.

Camm C. Swift, Brenton Spies, Ryan A. Ellingson and David K. Jacobs. 2016. A New Species of the Bay Goby Genus Eucyclogobius, Endemic to Southern California: Evolution, Conservation, and Decline.   PLoS ONE. 11(7); e0158543. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158543


New species of tiny endangered fish found only at Camp Pendleton