Thursday, August 16, 2018

[Ichthyology • 2018] Trichomycterus rosablanca • A New Species of Hipogean Catfish (Siluriformes, Trichomycteridae) from the Colombian Andes

Trichomycterus rosablanca 
Mesa S., Lasso, Ochoa & DoNascimiento, 2018

DOI:  10.21068/c2018.v19s1a09 

Trichomycterus rosablanca is described as a new troglobitic catfish species from caves in southeastern Santander, Colombia. These caves are drained by the Carare River of the Magdalena River basin. The new species is characterized by the advanced condition in the typical troglomorphisms found in other congeneric cave-dwelling species, such as absence of eyes and pigmentation. Trichomycterus rosablanca is diagnosed by the following putative autapomorphies: 1) presence of a circular foramen in the main body of the interopercle, dorsal to the interopercular plate supporting the odontodes, and 2) presence of a single sensory pore in the posteriormost section of the infraorbital canal. Trichomycterus rosablanca can be distinguished from all known Trichomycterus species from Colombia by having the supraorbital canal interrupted in the nasal section, resulting in the pattern of s1, s2, s3, and s6 sensory pores, and the lachrimal/antorbital bone not enclosing the anteriormost section of the infraorbital canal. The genetic distinctiveness of Trichomycterus rosablanca is confirmed by GMYC and genetic distance method analyses of the cytochrome C oxidase subunit I gene sequence. The description of this species places Colombia as the second most diverse country in the continent in terms of number of cave fish species and calls the attention on the conservation efforts needed to guarantee the permanence of this remarkable diversity of hypogean fishes.

Keywords: Cave fish. Karstic. Middle Magdalena River basin. Santander.

Figure 7. Live specimens of Trichomycterus rosablanca
 (left picture corresponds to one specimen coming from IAvH-P 15811 lot of paratypes). 
Photographs by Felipe Villegas.

Trichomycterus rosablanca, new species

Etymology. The specific name is used as a noun in apposition in reference to the Rosablanca karstic formation where the type locality is found.

Lina M. Mesa S., Carlos A. Lasso, Luz E. Ochoa and Carlos DoNascimiento. 2018. Trichomycterus rosablanca (Siluriformes, Trichomycteridae) A New Species of Hipogean Catfish from the Colombian Andes [Trichomycterus rosablanca (Siluriformes, Trichomycteridae) una especie nueva de bagre hipogeo de los Andes colombianos]Biota Colombiana. 19 (Sup. 1); 95-116. DOI:  10.21068/c2018.v19s1a09

Resumen: Se describe Trichomycterus rosablancauna especie nueva de bagre troglobio de cuevas en el suroriente de Santander, Colombia. Estas cuevas son drenadas por el río Carare, de la cuenca del río Magdalena. La especie nueva se caracteriza por la condición avanzada en los troglomorfismos típicos encontrados en otros congéneres habitantes de cuevas, como ausencia de ojos y pigmentación. Trichomycterus rosablancaes diagnosticado por las siguientes autapomorfías putativas: 1) presencia de un foramen circular en el cuerpo principal del interopérculo, dorsal a la placa interopercular soportando los odontodes, y 2) presencia de un único poro sensorial en la sección más posterior del canal infraorbital. Trichomycterus rosablanca puede ser distinguida de todas las especies conocidas de Trichomycterus de Colombia por tener el canal supraorbital interrumpido en la sección nasal, resultando en el patrón de poros sensoriales s1, s2, s3 y s6 y el hueso lacrimal/antorbital no encerrando la sección más anterior del canal infraorbital. La identidad genética de Trichomycterus rosablanca es confirmada por análisis GMYC y de distancia genética de la secuencia génica de la subunidad I de la citocromo C oxidasa. La descripción de esta especie ubica a Colombia como el segundo país más diverso en el continente en términos del número de especies de peces cavernícolas y llama la atención sobre los esfuerzos de conservación necesarios para garantizar la permanencia de esta extraordinaria diversidad de peces hipogeos. 
Palabras clave: Cárstico. Cuenca media del río Magdalena. Pez cavernícola. Santander.

[Botany • 2016] Billolivia cadamensis (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species from central Vietnam

Billolivia cadamensis Q. D. Nguyen, N. L. Vu & H. T. Luu

in Nguyen, Dinh, Nguyen, Vu & Luu, 2016.

 A new species, Billolivia cadamensis Q. D. Nguyen, N. L. Vu & H. T. Luu, sp. n. of the family Gesneriaceae is described from Quang Ngai Province, central Vietnam. The new taxon is close to B. tichii but differs in shorter stem, abaxially glabrous bracts, calyx divided into 5 lobes to base, outside pubescent apical half of corolla tube, oblong or deltoid corolla lobes, dense hairs on apical 3/4 of the ovary and white corolla lobes. A key to all already known species from Billolivia of Vietnam is given.

Keywords: Gesneriaceae, Billolivia, new species, Vietnam.


Figure 1. Billolivia cadamensis Q. D. Nguyen, N. L. Vu & H. T. Luu, sp. n. 
A. Habit. B. Petioles. C. Abaxial lamina. D. Adaxial lamina. E. Inflorescence. F. Corolla lobes. G. Calyx. H: Longisection of corolla. I. Disc, ovary and style.  J. Cross section of ovary. K. Fruit. L. Cross section of fruit. 
Photos: Nguyen Quoc Dat and Nguyen Hieu Cuong. 
Design: Luu Hong Truong.

Billolivia cadamensis Q. D. Nguyen, N. L. Vu & H. T. Luu, sp. n.

Allied to B. tichii in general appearance but different in having much shorter stem, glabrous bracts, calyx divided into 5 lobes to base, outside pubescent apical half of corolla tube, oblong or deltoid corolla lobes, dense hairs on apical 3/4 of the ovary and white corolla lobes.

Etymology: Named after the location (Ca Dam Mountain) where the new species was found.
Proposed Vietnamese name: Lưu hoa cà đam.

Nguyen Quoc Dat, Dinh Nhat Lam, Nguyen Hieu Cuong, Vu Ngoc Long and Luu Hong Truong. 2016. Billolivia cadamensis (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from central Vietnam. Tap chi Sinh hoc. 38(4); 492-496. DOI: 10.15625/0866-7160/v38n4.8837


[Botany • 2018] Floral Evolution by Simplification in Monanthotaxis (Annonaceae) and Hypotheses for Pollination System Shifts

(c) Monanthotaxis couvreurii, flower showing basally fused stamens; (d) Monanthotaxis whytei, cauliflorous flower with nine hardly visible staminodes alternating with nine stamens; (e) flowers of Monanthotaxis poggei showing four petals and eight stamen, each in a single whorl; (f,g) Monanthotaxis diclina, female flower with one petal removed showing many carpels, and fruits showing multiple seeds per monocarp; (h) Monanthotaxis paniculata fruits with single seed per monocarp. 
in Hoekstra, Wieringa, Smets & Chatrou, 2018.   
— Photographs: (c,f–h) Thomas L.P. Couvreur; (d) Lubbert Y.T. Westra; (e) Bart T. Wursten.

Simplification by reduction has occurred many times independently in the floral evolution of angiosperms. These reductions have often been attributed to changes in reproductive biology. In the angiosperm plant family Annonaceae, most species have flowers with six petals, and many stamens and carpels. In the genus Monanthotaxis several deviations from this pattern have been observed, including flowers that contain three petals and three stamens only. New DNA sequences were generated for 42 specimens of Monanthotaxis. Five chloroplast markers and two nuclear markers for 72 out of 94 species of Monanthotaxis were used to reconstruct a phylogeny of the genus, which revealed several well-supported, morphologically distinct clades. The evolution of four quantitative and two qualitative floral characters was mapped onto this phylogeny, demonstrating a reduction in flower size and number of flower parts in Monanthotaxis. A large variation in stamen forms and numbers, strong correlations between petal size, stamen and carpel number, combined with a non-gradual mode of evolution and the sympatric co-occurrence of Monanthotaxis species from different clades suggest that the high diversity in the African rainforest of this genus is caused by switches in pollination systems.

Figure 1 Flower morphology of outgroups (a) and flowers and fruits of Monanthotaxis (b–h).
(a) Uvaria scabrida, flower showing many stamens and carpels; (b) Monanthotaxis bidaultii male flower showing three petals and three stamen; (c) Monanthotaxis couvreurii, flower showing basally fused stamens; (d) Monanthotaxis whytei, cauliflorous flower with nine hardly visible staminodes alternating with nine stamens; (e) flowers of Monanthotaxis poggei showing four petals and eight stamen, each in a single whorl; (f,g) Monanthotaxis diclina, female flower with one petal removed showing many carpels, and fruits showing multiple seeds per monocarp; (h) Monanthotaxis paniculata fruits with single seed per monocarp.
— Photographs: (a) Paul H. Hoekstra, (b) Ehoarn Bidault; (c,f–h) Thomas L.P. Couvreur; (d) Lubbert Y.T. Westra; (e) Bart T. Wursten.

Paul H. Hoekstra, Jan J. Wieringa, Erik Smets and Lars W. Chatrou. 2018. Floral Evolution by Simplification in Monanthotaxis (Annonaceae) and Hypotheses for Pollination System Shifts. Scientific Reports. 8(12066).   DOI:   10.1038/s41598-018-30607-2 1

'Small is Beautiful': floral evolution in Monanthotaxis, a tiny-flowered yet species-rich African genus of #Annonaceae. Just out in Scientific Reports, . @PirieMike @tlpcouvreur @timutteridge @RenskeOnstein @hsauquet_rbgsyd

[Botany • 2018] Chusquea gouveiensis (Poaceae, Bambusoideae) • A New Species of Chusquea subg. Chusquea from Minas Gerais, Brazil: Morphological Evidence and Phylogenetic Placement within the Euchusquea clade

Chusquea gouveiensis

in Araújo Vidal, Welker, Castro Oliveira, Mota, Oliveira & Clark. 2018.

Chusquea gouveiensis is a new species of tropical woody bamboo from Brazil, herein described and illustrated. It is classified within C. subg. Chusquea, mainly based on its scandent habit, triangular central bud with vertical orientation, extra-or infravaginal branching, and lemma margins free at the apex. The new species is most similar to C. gracilis because they share culm leaves with undifferentiated sheaths and blades with a folded or twisted apex, and foliage leaves and spikelets of similar length. However, C. gouveiensis is distinguished from C. gracilis by having branch complements of 40‒90 usually ascending subsidiary branches (vs. 70‒195 mostly horizontally oriented subsidiary branches), synflorescences weakly paniculate to racemose (vs. paniculate), glumes I and II collectively 0.3‒0.7 mm long (vs. 0.1‒0.2 mm long), and glumes III and IV awned and abaxially pilose to pubescent at the apex (vs. mucronate and glabrous). The two species also differ in distribution: C. gouveiensis is only known from the region of Gouveia and Diamantina, in the southern portion of the Espinhaço Range in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, in forest fragments at 1,200‒1,300 m.a.s.l., whereas C. gracilis occurs in the southern Brazilian states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, in mixed ombrophilous forests between 550 and 880 m.a.s.l. Based on nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and plastid DNA sequence data (ndhF and trnD-trnT), a sixth lineage within the Euchusquea clade was identified, herein named clade VI—Chusquea meyeriana clade, comprising a significant portion of the Brazilian species of Chusquea. The new species has phylogenetic affinities with the C. meyeriana informal group and is also distinct from C. gracilis in the phylogeny.

Keywords: Monocots, Chusqueinae, Espinhaço Range, molecular evidence, taxonomy, woody bamboos

Kaio Vinicius de Araújo Vidal, Cassiano A. Dorneles Welker, Iasmin Laiane de Castro Oliveira, Aline Costa da Mota, Reyjane P. Oliveira and Lynn G. Clark. 2018. A New Species of Chusquea subg. Chusquea (Poaceae—Bambusoideae—Bambuseae) from Minas Gerais, Brazil: Morphological Evidence and Phylogenetic Placement within the Euchusquea clade. Phytotaxa. 365(1); 73–88. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.365.1.3

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Andinia tingomariana (Orchidaceae, Pleurothallidinae) • A New Species of Andinia from Huánuco, Peru, and The First Peruvian Locality for Andinia schizopogon

Andinia tingomariana A.Diaz & Mark Wilson

in Diaz Hernández, Horna, Godo & Wilson, 2018.
 DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.361.2.7 

A new species of Andinia in subgenus Andinia from Tingo María National Park is described, illustrated and compared to the most similar species pair.  Andinia tingomariana is distinguished by unguiculate, reniform, ciliate petals, a longer column without the terminal dilation and a trilobed, ciliate lip in which the narrow, semi-auriculate lateral lobes project upward around the column, adnate in the middle, creating a furrowed surface. The floral morphology of the new species is compared to that of the phylogenetically unrelated Salpistele group of Stelis and possible convergent evolution of pollination syndromes is discussed. Finally, the first confirmed locality of A. schizopogon is reported and a preliminary list of Andinia species in Peru is provided.

Keywords: Andinia, Peruvian orchid flora, Salpistele, Stelis, pleurothallid taxonomy, Monocots

Andinia tingomariana A.Diaz & Mark Wilson, sp. nov.

Etymology:— Named for the type locality in Parque Nacional Tingo María, Huánuco, Peru.

FIGURE 2. Andinia tingomariana; Partial side view, Lateral view and Rear view.
 Photographs by Alex Diaz.

 FIGURE 3. Andinia tingomariana in situ on a liana.
Photograph by Alex Diaz.

Tingo Maria National Park in the central Amazonian forest of Peru

Alex Gustavo Diaz Hernández, Luis Antonio Ocupa Horna, Luis Enrique Yupanqui Godo and Mark Wilson. 2018. A New Species of Andinia (Orchidaceae, Pleurothallidinae) from Huánuco, Peru, and The First Peruvian Locality for Andinia schizopogonPhytotaxa. 361(2); 222–232.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.361.2.7

Esta es la nueva especie de orquídea descubierta en la selva de Huánuco | FOTOS via @elcomercio_peru
Andinia tingomariana: Una nueva orquídea en la selva de Perú  @lavanguardia
New species of orchid discovered in Peruvian jungle via @YahooNews

[Entomology • 2018] Notes on Ditomina, with Description of Two New Genera [Parapenthus & Indocarterus gen. n.] and A New Species [I. inexspectatus sp. n.] (Coleoptera, Carabidae) from the Middle East and India

Parapenthus solitarius (Peyron, 1858)

in Kataev & Wrase, 2018. 

Two new monotypical genera of the subtribe Ditomina are described: Parapenthus gen. n. for Ditomus solitarius Peyron, 1858 from the Middle East, which was treated previously either within Penthus Chaudoir, 1843 or within Penthophonus Reitter, 1900, and Indocarterus gen. n. for I. inexspectatus sp. n. from the west of the Indian state of Maharashtra (type locality: Wai env., 70 km S of Pune). The possible genesis of Indocarterus gen. n. is discussed because it is the single genus of the subtribe distributed in the Oriental (Indo-Malayan) region in isolation from the other Ditomina which all occur in the West Palaearctic. It is assumed that the ancestor of this genus was isolated in the Indian Peninsula from the Tethyan area probably during the early stages of the diversification of Ditomina. In addition, the enigmatic genus Proditomus Schauberger, 1934 and its single species, P. mirus Schauberger, 1934, known only from the female holotype, are re-described and illustrated. Setation of the parameres and medial lobe in Ditomina is described for the first time. Previously, setae on the aedeagus of Carabidae, mostly on the parameres, were observed only in many basal lineages and, as exception, within Harpalinae, in some Lebiini and Panagaeini. A key to the genera and subgenera of Ditomina is provided.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Carabidae, Harpalini, Ditomina, Parapenthus gen. n., Indocarterus gen. n., Proditomus, setation of aedeagus, India, Middle East, new genus, new species, key to genera and subgenera

Boris M. Kataev and David W. Wrase. 2018. Notes on Ditomina, with Description of Two New Genera and A New Species (Coleoptera, Carabidae) from the Middle East and India. Zootaxa. 4459(2); 350–368. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4459.2.8

[Botany • 2018] Bauhinia proboscidea (Fabaceae: Cercidoideae) • A New Species from Costa Rica and Panama, with notes on B. beguinotii, B. gorgonae and B. pansamalana

Bauhinia proboscidea P. Juárez, R. Flores & M.A. Blanco

in Juárez, Flores & Blanco, 2018. 

Bauhinia proboscidea, a new species from Costa Rica and Panama, is described and illustrated, and compared to the closely related B. pansamalana of southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. It is also compared with B. beguinotii, with which has been confused in herbaria. Bauhinia gorgonae, endemic to Gorgona Island in Colombia and which has been classified as a variety of B. beguinotii, is here considered a separate species. A key to the Neotropical species of Bauhinia with three fertile stamens is provided. Some observations on the morphology and reproductive biology of B. proboscidea are presented. Global-level assessments of the conservation status according to IUCN Red List criteria indicate that B. proboscidea and B. beguinotii (which was previously assessed using some misidentified records) should both be considered as species of Least Concern (LC), B. gorgonae should be considered as Endangered (EN), and B. pansamalana should be considered Not Threatened (NT). Country-level conservation assessments are also provided for all four species. The homology of the “intrastipular spines” of Bauhinia is briefly discussed.

Keywords: Central America, conservation, intrastipular spines, IUCN Red List categories, taxonomy, reproductive biology, Eudicots

FIGURE 2. Bauhinia proboscidea
A. Staminate flower. B. Perfect (hermaphrodite) flower. C. Apex of fertile stamens of staminate flower with incurved filaments and open anthers. D. Detail of perfect flower, showing recurved fertile anthers and pistil with incurved style. E. Detail of staminodes (red and yellow, with white abortive anthers), filaments of fertile stamens (dark red) and pistillode (green) in staminate flower. F. Immature fruits. G. Two-flowered inflorescence, with one perfect flower and one staminate flower; the perfect flower (left) has already shed its petals. H. Detail of stem node showing intrastipular spine with liquid secretion.
F from Flores et al. 3835 (PMA) by R. Flores; all other photos from Juárez 1241 (USJ) by P. Juárez.

FIGURE 1. Bauhinia proboscidea.
A. Fruiting branch. B. Perfect (hermaphrodite) flower; note recurved fertile stamens and incurved style. C. Staminate flower; note apically incurved fertile stamens. D. Apex of staminodes and bases of free portion of filaments of fertile stamens in staminate flower. E. Apex of fertile stamen filaments and anthers of staminate flower. F. Floral diagram of perfect flower. G. Pair of intrastipular spines at a node (leaf scar on opposite side of stem, not visible), with liquid secretion. A based on type specimen (Juaìrez 420, USJ, CR, MO); B–F based on photographs of Juárez 1241 (USJ).
Drawn by P. Juaìrez.

Bauhinia proboscidea P. Juárez, R. Flores & M.A. Blanco, sp. nov.

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the prominent staminal tube and the projecting pistil (the latter in hermaphroditic flowers), which together resemble a snout or proboscis of an animal. The recurved fertile stamens of hermaphroditic flowers also bear a superficial resemblance to the tusks of elephants Loxodonta spp., order Proboscidea).





Pedro Juárez, Rodolfo Flores and Mario A. Blanco. 2018.  Bauhinia proboscidea (Fabaceae: Cercidoideae), A New Species from Costa Rica and Panama, with notes on B. beguinotiiB. gorgonae and B. pansamalana.  Phytotaxa. 361(1); 25-40. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.361.1.2


Resumen: Se describe e ilustra Bauhinia proboscidea, una nueva especie de Costa Rica y Panamá, y se compara con la cercanamente emparentada B. pansamalana del sur de México, Guatemala y Honduras. También se compara con B. beguinotii, con la cual se ha confundido en los herbarios. Bauhinia gorgonae, endémica de la Isla Gorgona en Colombia, se considera aquí como una especie independiente de B. beguinotii, de la cual se ha clasificado como una variedad. Se brinda una clave para las especies neotropicales de Bauhinia con tres estambres fértiles. Se presentan algunas observaciones sobre la morfología y biología reproductiva de B. proboscidea. Evaluaciones a nivel global del estado de conservación de acuerdo con los criterios de la Lista Roja de UICN, indica que tanto B. proboscidea como B. beguinotii (que había sido previamente evaluada usando algunos registros mal identificados) deben ser consideradas como especies de Preocupación Menor (LC), B. gorgonae debe considerarse como En Peligro (EN), y B. pansamalana debe considerarse como No Amenazada (NT). También se presentan evaluaciones de conservación a nivel de país para las cuatro especies. Se discute brevemente la homología de las “espinas intraestipulares” de Bauhinia.

[Herpetology • 2018] Theloderma petilum | ปาดหลังยาวภูสวนทราย (Anura, Rhacophoridae) • A New Country Record for Thailand

Theloderma petilum (Stuart & Heatwole, 2004)

in Phusaensri, Kaewboribut, Phummisutthigoon, et al., 2018. 
ปาดหลังยาวภูสวนทราย  ||

We here report the first finding of a specimen of the treefrog Theloderma petilum (Stuart & Heatwole, 2004) in Thailand. To date, only four other individuals of this species were known from Laos and Vietnam. The female specimen of T. petilum collected at Huay Tap Ko Sod of Baan Huay Nam Phak, Na Haeo District, Loei...

ปาดหลังยาวภูสวนทราย Theloderma petilum (Stuart & Heatwole, 2004) เพศเมีย

Alytes. 36(1-4)  

ปาดหลังยาวภูสวนทราย เป็นชนิดสัตว์สะเทินน้ำสะเทินบกที่พบครั้งแรกในประเทศไทย ถือเป็นบันทึกแหล่งการกระจายแหล่งที่ 3 เพิ่มเติมจากที่พบในสาธารณรัฐสังคมนิยมเวียดนาม และสาธารณรัฐประชาธิปไตยประชาชนลาว 
ในประเทศไทยถูกค้นพบโดย คณะวิจัยที่มีประกอบด้วย ผศ. ดร. ประทีป ด้วงแค คณะวนศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยเกษตรศาสตร์ ร่วมกับนักวิชาการจากรมอุทยานแห่งชาติ สัตว์ป่า และพันธุ์พืช และ มหาวิทยาลัยขอนแก่น ได้รับตีพิมพ์ในวารสาร Alytes 36 (1-4) ระหว่างหน้าที่ 289-299 ในปี พ.ศ. 2561

Samret Phusaensri, Thanawhat Kaewboribut, Sukpaporn Phummisutthigoon, Nithina Kaewtongkum, Montri Youjaruen, Pongsathorn Tongpun, Hathaipat Khongcharoensuk, Pechrkawin Nurngsomsri, Chantip Chuaynkern, Prateep Duengkae and Yodchaiy Chuaynkern. 2018. Theloderma petilum (Anura, Rhacophoridae): A New Country Record for Thailand. Alytes. 36(1-4); 289–299.

การค้นพบพืชชนิดใหม่ของโลก และชนิดสัตว์สะเทินน้ำสะเทินบกครั้งแรกในประเทศไทย
ระหว่างเดือนมิถุนายน ถึงเดือนสิงหาคม พ.ศ. 2561
ของอาจารย์ภาควิชาชีววิทยาป่าไม้ คณะวนศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยเกษตรศาสตร์

Abstract: A small rhacophorid, Philautus petilus known from only the female holotype, is recorded for the first time outside of the type locality in Laos. Three specimens, containing the first known males of the species, were collected from Muong Nhe Nature Reserve in Dien Bien Province, northwestern Vietnam. The Vietnamese specimens are identified as P. petilus based on morphological similarities with the holotype from Laos. In addition, our molecular data verify the transfer of this species from Philautus to the genus Theloderma.

Keywords: Philautus, Theloderma, New record, Phylogeny, Taxonomy, Muong Nhe Nature Reserve, Dien Bien Province

 Tao Thien Nguyen, Dzung Trung Le, Son Hung Lan Nguyen, Masafumi Matsui and Truong Quang Nguyen. 2014. First Record of Philautus petilus Stuart and Heatwole, 2004 (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Vietnam and Its Phylogenetic Position. Current Herpetology. 33(2); 112-120. 

Bryan L. Stuart and Harold Heatwole. 2004. A New Philautus (Amphibia: Rhacophoridae) from northern Laos. Asiatic Herpetological Research. 10: 17-21. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

[Diplopoda • 2018] A Redescription of the Poorly Known Cave Millipede Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985 (Diplopoda, Julida, Mongoliulidae), with An Overview of the Genus Skleroprotopus Attems, 1901

Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985

inVagalinski, Meng, Bachvarova & Stoev, 2018. 

We redescribe the poorly known Chinese millipede Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985 recorded from Shi-Hua (Stone Flower) Cave, Fangshan County, Beijing. The species’ original description is in Chinese in an obscure outlet which significantly hampers its recognition from its congeners. Here, based on newly collected material, we provide the first scanning electron micrographs of important taxonomic traits. In addition to its type locality, we report the species also from Yun-Shui (Cloud Water) Cave, situated in the same county, some 18 km away. We propose the genus Senbutudoiulus Miyosi, 1957 to be a junior subjective synonym of Skleroprotopus Attems, 1901, syn. n., and introduce the following new combination: Skleroprotopus platypodus (Miyosi, 1957), comb. n. (former Senbutudoiulus).

Keywords: China, new record, new synonymy, troglobiomorphism

Figure 2. Living specimens of Skleroprotopus membranipedalis in Shi-Hua Cave.

Genus Skleroprotopus Attems, 1901
Mongoliulus Pocock, 1903
Paraprotopus Verhoeff, 1939
Nesoprotopus Verhoeff, 1939
Senbutudoiulus Miyosi, 1957, syn. n.

Diagnosis: A genus of Mongoliulidae, most similar to the genus Ansiulus Takakuwa, both sharing a number of characters such as: ozopores in all body-rings, an anterior gonopod with an unsegmented telopodite (except for S. schmidti) and a slightly to considerably higher coxite carrying a well-developed flagellum, and a bifid (except for S. simplex) posterior gonopod consisting of a slender solenomerital process and a broader, shield-like, apically setose, caudal process. Differs from Ansiulus mostly by the complete absence of telopodites on posterior gonopods and by the strongly reduced telopodites of male leg-pair 7 (except for S. sidegatakedensis).

Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985
Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985: 154–156, figs 1–8.

Diagnosis: Differs from congeners mostly by the flattened, blade-like, basolateral process on the caudal face of the anterior gonopod, and by the completely pigmentless ocelli.

Redescription: Measurements: males 49–51 mm in length, 2.5–2.6 mm in height at mid-body, body ring formula 62+(1–2)+T; females 49–60 mm, 2.4–2.8 mm, and (61–67)+(1–2)+T, respectively.

Colouration in life (Fig. 2): light brown-beige, head whitish; metazonites with darker, narrow, concentric bands, passing just behind the ozopores; repugnatorial glands reddish-brown in living specimens, becoming brown-greyish in ethanol.

 Boyan Vagalinski, Kaibaryer Meng, Darina Bachvarova and Pavel Stoev. 2018. A Redescription of the Poorly Known Cave Millipede Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985 (Diplopoda, Julida, Mongoliulidae), with An Overview of the Genus Skleroprotopus Attems, 1901. Subterranean Biology.  26: 55-66.  DOI:  10.3897/subtbiol.26.26225

[Paleontology • 2018] Caelestiventus hanseni • extends the Desert-dwelling Pterosaur Record Back 65 Million Years

Caelestiventus hanseni 
Britt, Dalla Vecchia, Chure, Engelmann, Whiting & Scheetz, 2018

Illustration: Michael Skrepnick 

Pterosaurs are the oldest known powered flying vertebrates. Originating in the Late Triassic, they thrived to the end of the Cretaceous. Triassic pterosaurs are extraordinarily rare and all but one specimen come from marine deposits in the Alps. A new comparatively large (wing span >150 cm) pterosaur, Caelestiventus hanseni gen. et sp. nov., from Upper Triassic desert deposits of western North America preserves delicate structural and pneumatic details not previously known in early pterosaurs, and allows a reinterpretation of crushed Triassic specimens. It shows that the earliest pterosaurs were geographically widely distributed and ecologically diverse, even living in harsh desert environments. It is the only record of desert-dwelling non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs and predates all known desert pterosaurs by more than 65 Myr. A phylogenetic analysis shows it is closely allied with Dimorphodon macronyx from the Early Jurassic of Britain.

Fig. 4: Reconstructions of Caelestiventus hanseni  and Dimorphodon macronyx.
a, Schematic silhouette of a dimorphodontid pterosaur in dorsal view. b, Preserved skull and mandible elements of Chanseni. The left maxillojugal is completed with the premaxillary process from the right maxilla. The right mandibular ramus is mirrored and is completed with the rostral end from the left ramus. Missing teeth have been reconstructed. The right nasal and frontoparietal are mirrored. c, Skull and mandible of the largest D. macronyx reconstructed (from Sangster, 2003) and modified incorporating our observations.

 Scale bars: 0.5 m in a and 10 mm in b and c. 
a, angular; aof, antorbital fenestra; d, dentary; fr, frontal; j, jugal; l, lacrimal; mx, maxilla; mdf, medially deflected flange; n, nasal; nvf, neurovascular foramen; pa, parital; pmx, premaxilla; sa, surangular; utf, upper temporal fenestra; vf, ventral flange.

Systematic palaeontology. 
Pterosauria Kaup, 1834 
Dimorphodontidae Seeley, 1870 

Caelestiventus hanseni gen. et sp. nov. 

Etymology. Caelestiventus hanseni comes from the Latin language: caelestis, ‘heavenly or divine’, and ventus, ‘wind’, referring to the volant nature of pterosaurs, and ‘hanseni’, honouring Robin L. Hansen, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) geologist, who facilitated work at the Saints & Sinners Quarry


Illustration: Michael Skrepnick 

Caelestiventus hanseni is the first record of a desert-dwelling, non-pterodactyloid pterosaur, predating by >65Ma all known desert occurrences of pterosaurs. It shows that in the Late Triassic—early in their evolution and diversification—pterosaurs were widely distributed and lived in a broad range of habitats, including inland deserts far (>800 km) from the sea. Despite their morphological similarity, C. hanseni and D. macronyx lived in very different environments. Dimorphodon was an island dweller45 in a humid climate46 and was preserved in the marine Blue Lias (Hettangian–Sinemurian) of southern England (Sangster, 2003). C. hanseni indicates that dimorphodontids originated by the Late Triassic and survived the end-Triassic extinction event

Brooks B. Britt, Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia, Daniel J. Chure, George F. Engelmann, Michael F. Whiting and Rodney D. Scheetz. 2018.  Caelestiventus hanseni gen. et sp. nov. Extends the Desert-dwelling Pterosaur Record Back 65 Million Years. Nature Ecology & Evolution.  DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0627-y

Rare triassic pterosaur discovered by BYU paleontologists via @@BYU
Utah Pterosaur Was Desert-Dwelling Badass...Pelican? - Dead Things

[Herpetology • 2018] Rhadinaea nuchalis • A New Rare Species of the Rhadinaea decorata group (Squamata, Colubridae) from the Sierra Madre del Sur of Guerrero, Mexico

Rhadinaea nuchalis 
García-Vázquez, Pavón-Vázquez, Blancas-Hernández, Blancas-Calva & Centenero-Alcalá, 2018

A new species of the Rhadinaea decorata group is described based on two specimens from the Sierra Madre del Sur, Guerrero, Mexico. The new species differs from all other members of the genus Rhadinaea by having: eight supralabials; 149–151 (male) ventrals; 63–77 (male) subcaudals; two large pale nuchal blotches, forming an incomplete collar that occupies two scales laterally and is bissected along the dorsal midline; a postocular pale marking consisting of a well-defined, narrow line beginning behind the upper posterior margin of the eye and extending posteriorly nearly horizontally until connecting with the nuchal blotches; and the dark ground color of the flanks extending to the lateral portion of the ventrals. The large nuchal blotches distinguish the new species from the other members of the R. decorata group, except for R. cuneata and some individuals of R. hesperia (pale nuchal marking one-scale wide in R. marcellae, absent in the other species). The condition of the postocular pale marking distinguishes it from R. cuneata and R. hesperia (postocular pale marking wedge-shaped in R. cuneata, not connected with the pale post-cephalic markings in R. hesperia). Furthermore, the number of subcaudals and the coloration of the lateral portion of the ventrals distinguish it from R. omiltemana and R. taeniata, the remaining congeners found in Guerrero (85–90 in males of R. omiltemana and 91–121 in R. taeniata; dark color of the flanks not reaching ventrals in the former species, occasionally and faintly in R. taeniata). Additionally, a new combination for R. stadelmani is proposed. The new species is the first described in the genus Rhadinaea in more than 40 years.

Keywords: Description, reptile, snake, systematics, taxonomy

Figure 1. Head of Rhadinaea nuchalis sp. n. Holotype (MZFC-HE 22161) in dorsal (A), left lateral (B), and ventral (C) views.

Figure 3. Rhadinaea nuchalis sp. n., holotype (MZFC-HE 22161) in life.

Rhadinaea nuchalis sp. n. 

Diagnosis: A colubrid snake of the Rhadinaea decorata group (sensu Myers 1974) that may be distinguished from all other members of the genus Rhadinaea by the following combination of character states: eight supralabials; 149–151 ventrals in males; 63–77 subcaudals in males; presence of two large pale nuchal blotches, forming an incomplete collar that occupies two scales laterally and bissected along the dorsal midline; postocular pale marking consisting of a well-defined and narrow line beginning anteriorly behind the upper posterior margin of the eye and extending posteriorly nearly horizontally until connecting with the nuchal blotches; and ground color of the flanks extending to the lateral portion of the ventrals.

Etymology: The specific name nuchalis comes from the Latin nucha, meaning nape. It makes reference to the large nuchal blotches present in the new species.

Figure 7. Habitat of Rhadinaea nuchalis sp. n. in the type locality.

 Uri Omar García-Vázquez, Carlos J. Pavón-Vázquez, Jean Cristian Blancas-Hernández, Epifanio Blancas-Calva and Eric Centenero-Alcalá. 2018. A New Rare Species of the Rhadinaea decorata group from the Sierra Madre del Sur of Guerrero, Mexico (Squamata, Colubridae). ZooKeys. 780: 137-154.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.780.25593