Friday, May 5, 2017

[Mammalogy • 2017] Tarsius spectrumgurskyae & T. supriatnai • Two New Tarsier Species (Tarsiidae, Primates) and the Biogeography of Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tarsius supriatnai 
 Shekelle, Groves, Maryanto & Mittermeier, 2017 

 We name two new tarsier species from the northern peninsula of Sulawesi. In doing so, we examine the biogeography of Sulawesi and remove the implausibly disjunct distribution of Tarsius tarsier. This brings tarsier taxonomy into better accordance with the known geological history of Sulawesi and with the known regions of biological endemism on Sulawesi and the surrounding island chains that harbor portions of the Sulawesi biota. The union of these two data sets, geological and biological, became a predictive model of biogeography, and was dubbed the Hybrid Biogeographic Hypothesis for Sulawesi. By naming these species, which were already believed to be taxonomically distinct, tarsier taxonomy better concords with that hypothesis and recent genetic studies. Our findings bring greater clarity to the conservation crisis facing the region. 

Keywords: Biodiversity, bioacoustics, cryptic species, duet call, Manado form, Gorontalo form, Libuo form, taxonomy

Tarsius spectrumgurskyae sp. nov.

Type locality: Manado, North Sulawesi 

Diagnosis: As with many species of Eastern Tarsier, the clearest field diagnosis of living specimens is from a spectrogram of its duet call or through playback tests (Figs. 2 and 3). As there is no known case of sympatry among extant tarsiers, the best diagnosis of museum and other deceased specimens is by provenance, or genetic analysis, although some diagnostic morphological characters are indicated.

Etymology: Gursky’s spectral tarsier. This species is named in honor of Dr. Sharon Gursky, who has dedicated most of her professional life to studying the behavioral ecology of this species. Most of her work on this species was published using a taxonomy that is now superseded, in which her population was classified as Tarsius spectrum. Ongoing reclassification, therefore, created an unfortunate disconnect between the species name used in her publications, and the most up-to-date taxonomic revision. Thus, by naming this species Tarsius spectrumgurskyae, it forever links the names Tarsius and spectrum with the population of animals that she studied. 
Local Name: Tangkasi, Wusing 

 Jatna’s tarsier Tarsius supriatnai n. sp. (left) and  Gursky’s spectral tarsier Tarsius spectrumgurskyae n. sp.  (right). 

Illustrations by Stephen D. Nash.  

Jatna’s tarsier Tarsius supriatnai n. sp. 
photo by R. Mittermeier

Tarsius supriatnai sp. nov.

Type locality: Bumbulan, Gorontalo. 

Diagnosis: See above for T. spectrumgurskyae, duet call and provenance are absolutely diagnostic. Genetics diagnose a T. spectrumgurskyae T. supriatnai clade from all others and are hypothesized to be themselves distinct. Driller et al. (2015) estimated a divergence date of 0.3 mya for the separation of the two. 

Morphology: Tarsius supriatnai is very similar morphologically to T. spectrumgurskyae n. sp. (see under that species), differing in the generally larger bare spot at the base of the ear, the less shortened hindfoot, the very long tail, and longer middle finger. 

Etymology: Jatna’s tarsier. This species is named in honor of Dr. Jatna Supriatna, who has dedicated most of his professional life to the conservation of Indonesian biodiversity, and has sponsored much of the foreign collaborative work done on tarsiers.
 Local Name: Mimito 

Distribution: On the northern peninsula from the Isthmus of Gorontalo westward at least as far as Sejoli, and probably as far as Ogatemuku (see Driller et al. 2015), but not as far as Tinombo (Fig. 1). 

Myron Shekelle, Colin P. Groves, Ibnu Maryanto and Russell A. Mittermeier. 2017. Two New Tarsier Species (Tarsiidae, Primates) and the Biogeography of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Primate Conservation. (31): Published electronically prior to print.  

Two new species of tarsier, rumored to be inspiration for Yoda, announced on Star Wars Day @mongabay

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