Friday, January 19, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Rediscovery of the Presumed-Extinct Dracaena umbraculifera || A Botanical Mystery Solved by Phylogenetic Analysis of Botanical Garden Collections


Dracaena umbraculifera  Jacq.

in Edwards, Bassüner, Birkinshaw, et al. 2018.
photograph by A. Lehavana  ||  stlpublicradio.org

Abstract
Extinction is the complete loss of a species, but the accuracy of that status depends on the overall information about the species. Dracaena umbraculifera was described in 1797 from a cultivated plant attributed to Mauritius, but repeated surveys failed to relocate it and it was categorized as Extinct on the IUCN Red List. However, several individuals labelled as D. umbraculifera grow in botanical gardens, suggesting that the species’ IUCN status may be inaccurate. The goal of this study was to understand (1) where D. umbraculifera originated, (2) which species are its close relatives, (3) whether it is extinct, and (4) the identity of the botanical garden accessions and whether they have conservation value. We sequenced a cpDNA region of Dracaena from Mauritius, botanical garden accessions labelled as D. umbraculifera, and individuals confirmed to be D. umbraculifera based on morphology, one of which is a living plant in a private garden. We included GenBank accessions of Dracaena from Madagascar and other locations and reconstructed the phylogeny using Bayesian and parsimony approaches. Phylogenies indicated that D. umbraculifera is more closely related to Dracaena reflexa from Madagascar than to Mauritian Dracaena. As anecdotal information indicated that the living D. umbraculifera originated from Madagascar, we conducted field expeditions there and located five wild populations; the species’ IUCN status should therefore be Critically Endangered because < 50 wild individuals remain. Although the identity of many botanical garden samples remains unresolved, this study highlights the importance of living collections for facilitating new discoveries and the importance of documenting and conserving the flora of Madagascar.

Keywords: Botanical garden, Dracaena reflexa, Dracaena umbraculifera, extinction, living collections, Madagascar, Mauritius, phylogeny reconstruction


The original illustration of Dracaena umbraculifera from Jacquin (1797) 

Dracaena umbraculifera in Ile Sainte-Marie in full flower
photograph by A. Lehavana 


Christine E. Edwards, Burgund Bassüner, Chris Birkinshaw, Christian Camara,  Adolphe Lehavana, Porter P. Lowry, James S. Miller, Andrew Wyatt and Peter Wyse Jackson. 2018. A Botanical Mystery solved by Phylogenetic Analysis of Botanical Garden Collections: the Rediscovery of the Presumed-Extinct Dracaena umbraculifera. Oryx. DOI: 10.1017/S0030605317001570 
ResearchGate.net/publication/322314426_rediscovery_of_the_presumed-extinct_Dracaena_umbraculifera



MoBot scientists use DNA testing to bring an African plant out of extinction news.stlpublicradio.org/post/mobot-scientists-use-dna-testing-bring-african-plant-out-extinction
Presumed-extinct 𝘋𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘢𝘦𝘯𝘢 𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘢 rediscovered! Botanical mystery solved by phylogenetic analysis of botanical garden collections  bit.ly/2ANB5WN 

[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 | Ichnotaxa • 2018] Gigandipus chiappei Theropod Assemblages and A New Ichnotaxon from the Jiaguan Formation, Lower Cretaceous of Guizhou Province, China


Gigandipus chiappei
Xing, Lockley, Klein, Zeng, Cai, Luo & Li, 2018


Highlights
1. First example of a Cretaceous track morphotype attributable to Gigandipus.
2. Second report largest avian theropod tracks Wupus from Lower Cretaceous.
3. The similarity between K1 and J1 theropod ichnotaxa in East Asia.

Abstract
A newly discovered Jiaguan Formation (Lower Cretaceous) tracksite from the Linjiang region of Guizhou Province, China, reveals the first example of a Cretaceous track morphotype attributable to the non-avian theropod ichnogenus Gigandipus, here named Gigandipus chiappei ichnosp nov. The theropod dominated locality also reveals the second report of the avian theropod ichnogenus Wupus, one of the largest avian traces currently known from the Lower Cretaceous. The Linjiang site provides evidence to support previous interpretations of a distinctive Lower Cretaceous theropod-dominated ichnofauna that was widespread in China and East Asia and highlights the similarity between Lower Cretaceous theropod ichnotaxa in East Asia and those found in the Lower Jurassic both in East Asia and elsewhere. These similarities in turn create various ichnotaxonomic challenges familiar to researchers working on theropod tracks, and we recommend caution in the naming of new theropod ichnotaxa at the ichnogenus level.

Keywords: Early Cretaceous; Jiaguan Formation; theropod tracks; Gigandipus; Wupus




 Gigandipus tracks

Theropoda Marsh, 1881
Gigandipodidae Lull, 1904

Gigandipus Hitchcock, 1856; Lull, 1904
Type ichnospecies G. caudatus Lull, 1904

Gigandipus chiappei ichnosp. nov.

Etymology. The specific name is in honor of Dr. Luis M. Chiappe, a distinguished paleontologist who is world-renowned on the origin and early evolution birds.

....


 Conclusions 
The Linjiang tracksite in the Jiaguan Formation of Guizhou Province reveals the first example of a Cretaceous track morphotype attributable to the non-avian theropod ichnogenus Gigandipus, here named G. chiappei ichnosp nov. The site also reveals only the second report of the avian theropod ichnogenus Wupus, which is one of the largest avian traces currently known from the Lower Cretaceous. The discovery underscores the importance of the Jiaguan Formation as a major source of tetrapod (theropod) data in the Sichuan Basin region from which little or no useful body fossil data have been recovered.
 Data from the Linjiang site provide growing support for a distinctive and widespread Lower Cretaceous theropod-dominated ichnofauna in China. This ichnofauna also shows notable similarities to other Lower Cretaceous theropod dominated ichnofaunas from East Asia, notably Korea. There are also taxonomically challenging similarities between these Lower Cretaceous ichnofaunas and those found in the Lower Jurassic both in East Asia and elsewhere. These challenges, which raise perennial “lumper-splitter” debates, suggest ichnologists should exercise caution naming new ichnotaxa, especially at the ichnogenus level.  


Lida Xing, Martin G. Lockley, Hendrik Klein, Rong Zeng, Sifu Cai, Xiuchun Luo and Chen Li. 2018. Theropod Assemblages and A New Ichnotaxon Gigandipus chiappei ichnosp. nov. from the Jiaguan Formation, Lower Cretaceous of Guizhou Province, China. Geoscience Frontiers. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.gsf.2017.12.012

  

[Botany • 2017] Dimorphanthera wickendeniana • A New Species (Ericaceae) from Papua, Indonesian New Guinea


  Dimorphanthera wickendeniana Argent 

in Argent & Conlon, 2017. 
  SIBBALDIA. 15 

ABSTRACT 
A new species of Dimorphanthera is described and figured. Collected in 1993 from Indonesian New Guinea (Papua) by the late Michael Wickenden, this plant is distinct in the unique combination of characters that it possesses.

Fig. 2 The plant flowering at RBGE.
Photo: Tony Conlon.

Dimorphanthera wickendeniana Argent species nova

Diagnosis: Distinct in the combination of characters: densely patently hairy stems; leaves with minutely crenulate margins; 3–5 pli-nerved venation; fasciculate inflorescences lacking a rhachis; laxly hairy corollas and a glabrous disk.

Ecology: Collected in the Lake Habbema region which is a sub-montane area with a mixture of open Papuacedrus forest and ericaceous shrubbery interspersed with open grassy areas at about 3,500m altitude. This plant was described as a tall shrub but would probably have been growing at a shrubbery margin. In cultivation it is a sprawling shrub.

Etymology: Named after the late Michael Wickenden, collector of this plant, horticulturist and naturalist who collected many rare and interesting plants for his plant nursery at Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.


George Argent and Tony Conlon. 2017. Dimorphanthera wickendeniana: A New Species from Papua, Indonesian New Guinea. SIBBALDIA: The Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture. 15; 147-150.

    

[Botany • 2018] Begonia namkadingensis • A New Species (Begoniaceae) in Limestone Area [Flora of Nam Kading National Protected Area III]


Begonia namkadingensis C.-J. Yang, Souladeth & Tagane

in Yang, Tagane, Souladeth, Okabe, Hu & Yahara, 2018
ສົ້ມກົບນໍ້າກະດິງ ||  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.334.2.8 

Abstract

A new species of Begonia (Begoniaceae), Begonia namkadingensis, is described. This species was collected on moist mossy limestone rocks in the Nam Kading National Protected Area in central Laos during our field survey in 2017. The species resembles B. pteridiformis, which is endemic to Peninsular Thailand, but can be distinguished by its smaller habit, fewer and smaller leaves, less hairy stems and leaves, narrower inner dorsal tepal of pistillate flowers, fewer stamens, and smaller fruits.

Keywords: DNA barcoding, flora, Laos, new species, sect. Lauchea, sect. Parvibegonia, taxonomy, Eudicots



Chen-Jui Yang, Shuichiro Tagane, Phetlasy Souladeth, Norikazu Okabe, Jer-Ming Hu and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2018. Flora of Nam Kading National Protected Area III: Begonia namkadingensis (Begoniaceae), A New Species in Limestone Area. Phytotaxa.  334(2); 195-199. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.334.2.8

ຕີພິມແລ້ວ, ພືດຊະນິດໃໝ່ຂອງໂລກ ຈາກປ່າສະຫງວນນໍ້າກະດິງ! 
ສົ້ມກົບນໍ້າກະດິງ (ຊື່ລາວ) ຫຼື Begonia namkadingensis C.-J. Yang, Souladeth & Tagane ຕະກຸນ Begoniaceae (2018) Phytotaxa 334(2)

[Entomology • 2018] Description of the Female of Dicterias atrosanguinea Selys 1853 (Odonata: Dicteriadidae), with Notes on Male Genital Ligula and Male Behavior


Dicterias atrosanguinea Selys, 1853

in Vilela,  Guillermo-Ferreira & Cordero-Rivera, 2018.

Abstract

The female of Dicterias atrosanguinea Selys, 1853 is described and illustrated based on two specimens collected in Pará and Amazonas States, Brazil. We compare the female with the most closely related species, Heliocharis amazona Selys, 1853, and present SEM images of the genital ligula for both D. atrosanguinea and H. amazona males. Additionally we provide behavioral observations on D. atrosanguinea males.

Keywords: Odonata, damselfly, female description, genital ligula, Brazil, Amazon, Dicteriadidae




Diogo Silva Vilela, Rhainer Guillermo-Ferreira and Adolfo Cordero-Rivera. 2018. Description of the Female of Dicterias atrosanguinea Selys 1853, with Notes on Male Genital Ligula and Male Behavior (Odonata: Dicteriadidae). Zootaxa. 4374(3); 441–450.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4374.3.7

[Ichthyology • 2017] Oxynoemacheilus ciceki • A New Nemacheilid Species (Teleostei, Nemacheilidae) from the Sultan Marsh, Kayseri Province, Turkey


Oxynoemacheilus ciceki  
Sungur, Jalili & Eagderi, 2017


Abstract
 A new species of nemacheilid fish, Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. is described from the Sultan Marsh, Kayseri Province, Turkey. The species differs from its congeners in the combination of the following characters: flank yellowish brown or pale gray with irregular spot; cheeks with numerous tiny spots; lacking scale; thinner caudal peduncle; complete lateral line; 4 central and 4 lateral pores in the supra-temporal canal; lower lip thick with a deep median interruption and marked furrows and small median incision in upper lip.

 Keywords: Freshwater fish, Taxonomy, Morphology, Loach.


Fig.1. Uncatalogued live specimen of Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n., Turkey: Kayseri prov.: Sultan Marsh.


Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. 

Diagnosis: Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. is distinguished from the other species of Oxynoemacheilus in the Kızılırmak basin by a combination of characters, none of them unique. Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. is distinguished from O. angorae by having flank yellowish brown or pale gray with irregular spots (vs. yellowish with a mid-lateral row of horizontally elongated fused blotches), cheeks with numerous tiny spots (vs. without pigmentation), without scale (vs. scaled), shorter pelvic fin (11.3- 13.6 vs. 14.9-17.0 %SL), lower mouth width (16.0- 22.0 vs. 20.6-26.7 %HL).

Etymology: The new species is named after Prof. Dr. Erdoğan Çiçek, for his valuable contribution to the knowledge of freshwater fishes of Turkey.

Distribution: Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. is knowns only from the Sultan Marsh, Kayseri Province (Fig. 6). This species mostly found slowflowing parts of streams in the Sultan Marsh. Pseudophoxinus elizavetae, Aphanius marassantensis, Seminemacheilus lendlii and Cobitis sp. coexist in the type locality with Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n.

Sevil Sungur, Paria Jalili and Soheil Eagderi. 2017. Oxynoemacheilus ciceki, New Nemacheilid Species (Teleostei, Nemacheilidae) from the Sultan Marsh, Kayseri Province, Turkey. Iranian Journal of Ichthyology. 4(4); 375-383.   DOI: 10.22034/iji.v4i4.258

[Mammalogy • 2018] Uncovering the Diversity of Dog-faced Bats from the Genus Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae), with the Redescription of C. milleri and the Description of Two New Species; Cynomops freemani & C. tonkigui


Cynomops freemani 
Moras, Gregorin, Sattler & Tavares, 2018


Abstract
Until recently the genus Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae) comprised six species of fast flying, aerial insectivorous bats distributed throughout the Neotropics. However, our revisionary study have shown that the diversity of this taxon was underestimated as molecular and morphological data supported the recognition of C. milleri as a full species and revealed two previously unrecognized, small species of Cynomops. These newly recognized taxa are Cynomops freemani sp. nov. from the Canal Zone region, Panama, sister taxon to C. mexicanus, and Cynomops tonkigui sp. nov. from the eastern Andes of Ecuador and Colombia, sister taxon of C. milleri. We also describe the calls of Cynomops freemani sp. nov. that may be useful for the recognition of these species during field inventories based on ultrasonic recording techniques. We elevate the currently known diversity of Cynomops to eight species, as we also revalidate C. milleri providing an emended diagnosis and a redescription of this taxon.

Keywords: Free-tailed bats, taxonomy, acoustic identification, Cynomops freemani sp. nov, Cynomops tonkigui sp. nov

Systematics
Family Molossidae Gervais 1856
Genus Cynomops Thomas 1920

Cynomops milleri (Osgood, 1914)
Miller’s Dog-faced Bat




two Freeman’s Dog-Faced bats Cynomops freemani discovered in Gamboa, Panama.
Photo: Elias Bader

Cynomops freemani, new species 
Freeman’s Dog-faced Bat

ETYMOLOGY: The name “freemani” is in honor to Dr. Patricia W. Freeman in recognition of her influential contributions to the study of the morphology, systematics, and evolutionary relationships of molossid bats (e.g. Freeman, 1981).

DISTRIBUTION: Cynomops freemani is known from lowlands (23–53 m a.s.l.) of the Pacific coast of the Canal Zone region in Panama (Fig. 3).


 Waorani dog-faced bat Cynomops tonkigui 
Photo: Diego Tirira

Cynomops tonkigui, new species 
Waorani Dog-faced Bat

ETYMOLOGY: The name “tonkigui” is used as a noun in apposition, and means "bat" in the Waorani language. The name honors the Waorani people who inhabit the type locality (Tirira, 2012)

DISTRIBUTION: Cynomops tonkigui is known from the lowlands (195–529 m a.s.l.) of northeastern South America, and the eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia (Fig. 3).


 Ligiane M. Moras, Renato Gregorin, Thomas Sattler and Valéria da C. Tavares. 2018. Uncovering the Diversity of Dog-faced Bats from the Genus Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae), with the Redescription of C. milleri and the Description of Two New Species. Mammalian Biology. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2017.12.005 

   

Two New Dog-Faced Bat Species Discovered in Panama and Ecuador newsdesk.si.edu/releases/two-new-dog-faced-bat-species-discovered-panama-and-ecuador
More sky puppies! Scientists discover two new species of dog-faced bat insider.si.edu/2018/01/sky-puppies-scientists-discover-two-new-species-dog-faced-bat 

[Herpetology • 2018] Nototriton costaricense • A New Moss Salamander, Genus Nototriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae), from the Cordillera de Talamanca, in the Costa Rica-Panama Border Region


Nototriton costaricense   Arias & Kubicki, 2018


Abstract

A new salamander belonging to the genus Nototriton, subgenus Nototriton, is described from the Caribbean slopes of the southeastern Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica, within Parque Internacional La Amistad, at an elevation ca. 1500 m a.s.l. This new taxon is distinguished from its congeners by its morphological characteristics and by its differentiation in DNA sequences of the 16S rRNA, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI), and cytochrome b mitochondrial genes. This new species represents the southernmost extension known for the genus Nototriton.

Keywords: Amphibia, caudate, Central America, Nototriton picadoi species group, Talamanca



FIGURE 5. Views of the nostrils of Nototriton costaricense sp. nov.
Photograph taken by Brian Kubicki.

Nototriton costaricense sp. nov. 
Southern Moss Salamander

....

Etymology. The specific epithet refers to the Spanish word meaning Costa Rican, “costaricense”. The name represents the fact that the holotype and species was discovered in Costa Rica. Given the close proximity of the type locality to the Costa Rica-Panama border, we speculate that one day it may indeed be discovered within Panama as well.




 Erick Arias and Brian Kubicki. 2018. A New Moss Salamander, Genus Nototriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae), from the Cordillera de Talamanca, in the Costa Rica-Panama border region. Zootaxa. 4369(4); 487–500.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4369.4.2
ResearchGate.net/publication/322308710_A_new_moss_salamander_genus_Nototriton_Caudata_Plethodontidae_from_the_Cordillera_de_Talamanca_in_the_Costa_Rica-Panama_border_region
A new species of Moss Salamander  CRAmphibian.com/2018/01/15/a-new-species-of-moss-salamander/ 
 twitter.com/frogs_friends/status/953263236467576832



Thursday, January 18, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Alseodaphnopsis: A New Genus of Lauraceae based on Molecular and Morphological Evidence


 Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li

in Mo, Li, Li,  Rohwer, Li & Li, 2018. 

Abstract
An investigation of a questionable species of the genus Alseodaphne led to the discovery of a new genus Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li & J. Li, gen. nov., separated from Alseodaphne Nees, and a new species Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li, sp. nov., endemic to Yunnan province, China. This new species is characterized by having big, axillary, paniculate inflorescences, as well as large, subglobose fruits. Based on DNA sequence data from two gene regions (nuclear ribosomal ITS and LEAFY intron II), we investigate its phylogenetic position within the Persea group. Phylogenies using maximum parsimony (MP) and Bayesian inference (BI) support the recognition of Alseodaphnopsis as a distinct genus but do not resolve well its relationship within the Persea group. The new genus is circumscribed, eight new combinations for its species are made, and a description and illustration of the new species are provided.


Fig 4. Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li sp. nov. 
A. Branchlet with inflorescences; B. Branchlet with immature infructescences; C. Branchlet with mature fruits; D-F. Mature fruits; G-H. Flowers. (Photos by J.W. Li). 

Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li & J. Li, gen. nov. 

Type: Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li 
(Nothaphoebe petiolaris Meisn., here designated)

Diagnosis: The new genus Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li et J. Li is obviously very close to the genus Alseodaphne Nees (s. str.), but differs from the latter morphologically by 1) twigs thick, 4–11 mm in diam., and not obviously whitish in color; 2) terminal buds usually perulate; 3) perianth lobes ± persistent at least in young fruit; 4) inflorescences relatively large, 8.5–35 cm long, many-flowered, with 3–4 orders of branching; 5) fruits medium to large size (3–5 cm), without ribs.

Etymology: Alseodaphnopsis alludes to the resemblance to traditional Alseodaphne (s. str.)

Distribution and habitat: Alseodaphnopsis includes nine species, mainly distributed in the northern marginal part of the tropical zone in southwestern China, but extending also to NE India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. As far as it is known, the species grow preferentially in forests on limestone mountains.

 New combinations.
Here, we make eight new combinations for the species in this new genus as follows:

1) Alseodaphnopsis andersonii (King ex Hook. f.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (SE & S Yunnan, SE Xizang); NE India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

2) Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (S Yunnan); India and Myanmar.

3) Alseodaphnopsis sichourensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

4) Alseodaphnopsis marlipoensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

5) Alseodaphnopsis rugosa (Merr. & Chun) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (Hainan, SE Yunnan).

6) Alseodaphnopsis hainanensis (Merr.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (Hainan); N Vietnam.

7) Alseodaphnopsis hokouensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

8) Alseodaphnopsis lanuginosa (Kosterm.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in N Vietnam.


Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li, sp. nov. 
Type: China. Yunnan Province: Pu’er City, Ximeng County, ca. 1300 m altitude, in seasonal rain forest, 20 November 2011, J. W. Li 1235 (fl.) (Holotype, Isotypes: HITBC!).

Diagnosis: This new species shows a superficial similarity to Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li in its big leaves and elongated petioles, but differs by its glabrous twigs, leaves and panicles as well as subglobose big fruit.


Yue-qing Mo, Lang Li, Jian-wu Li, Jens G. Rohwer, Hsi-wen Li and Jie Li. 2018. Alseodaphnopsis: A New Genus of Lauraceae based on Molecular and Morphological Evidence.  PLoS ONE. 12(10): e0186545.   DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186545

[Ichthyology • 2018] Review of the Lepidotrigla Gurnards (Scorpaeniformes: Triglidae) in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea off Myanmar with A Description of A New Species; Lepidotrigla psolokerkos


Lepidotrigla longipinnis Alcock, 1890,
Lepidotrigla psolokerkos Gomon & Psomadakis, 2018
 L. omanensis Regan, 1905 

RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY.  66

 Abstract
A 2015 trawl survey along the coast of Myanmar provided an opportunity to assess species of the triglid genus Lepidotrigla occurring in the country. Three species, L. longipinnis Alcock, 1890, L. omanensis Regan, 1905, and an undescribed species, were identified among the 15 voucher specimens retained. A formal description of the unnamed species, as well as descriptive accounts of the other two are provided. Lepidotrigla psolokerkos, new species, based on two specimens, resembles L. alcocki Regan, 1908 described from the Saya de Malho Bank in the central Indian Ocean, differing from it in having fewer oblique scale rows between the anal fin origin and the lateral line and broader covering of dark pigmentation on the inner surface of the pectoral fin. The known geographical ranges of L. longipinnis, reported in the literature as L. riggsi Richards & Saksena, 1977, and L. omanensis are extended to the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar. A key is provided for the three species occurring in the survey area.

 Key words. Indian Ocean, taxonomy, ichthyology, geographical distribution, depth range

Fig. 1. Myanmar species of Lepidotrigla.
A, Lepidotrigla longipinnis, NMV A31696-001, 121 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 111–104 m;
B, Lepidotrigla omanensis, NMV A31691-001, 110 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 149–164 m;
C, Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species, holotype, NMV A31698-001, 135 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 147–156 m. 

SYSTEMATICS 

Lepidotrigla longipinnis Alcock, 1890 
Proposed vernacular: Stellar Gurnard

Etymology. Initially proposed as a varietal name, longipinnis is an amalgamation of the Latin “longus” for long and “pinna” for fin, in reference to the longer pectoral fin that was considered by Alcock (1890) to distinguish what is now recognised as a distinct species from L. spiloptera Günther, 1860. 

Distribution. Confined to coastal waters of the northern Indian Ocean, from at least Bombay, India to just south of the equator off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia (Fig. 4) at depths of 70 to at least 107 m.


Lepidotrigla omanensis Regan, 1905 
Vernacular: Oman Gurnard 

Etymology. Regan’s (1905) omanensis was named for the collecting locality “the Sea of Oman” for his three type specimens. 
Distribution. Occurs in coastal waters of the northern Indian Ocean from the Gulf of Aden to the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar (Fig. 4) at depths of 41–335 m; apparently excluded from the Persian Gulf.


Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species 
Proposed vernacular: Skinny Gurnard

Etymology. The name psolokerkos is a conjunction of the Greek psolos for “dirt” and “kerkos” for tail in reference to the distinctive grey blotch dorsoposteriorly on the caudal fin of this species. 

Distribution. Known only from the two type specimens collected in the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar (Fig. 4) at depths of 151–255 m.

Fig. 4. Overall distributions of species of Lepidotrigla occurring in coastal waters of Myanmar based on specimens in collections: Lepidotrigla longipinnis (blue circles), Lepidotrigla omanensis (red squares) and Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species (yellow triangles).


Martin F. Gomon and Peter N. Psomadakis. 2018. Review of the Lepidotrigla Gurnards (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes: Triglidae) in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea off Myanmar with A Description of A New Species. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 66; 66–77.  lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/app/uploads/2018/01/66rbz066-077.pdf


[Entomology • 2018] Conogethes sahyadriensis • A New Indian Species of Shoot and Capsule Borer of the Genus Conogethes (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), Feeding on Cardamom


Conogethes sahyadriensis 
Shashank, Kammar, Mally & Chakravarthy, 2018


Abstract

A new speciesConogethes sahyadriensis sp. nov. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), feeding on cardamom, is described from India. The species status is supported by diagnostic morphology as well as by genetic data. A phylogenetic analysis based on the publicly available Conogethes COI barcode sequences finds C. sahyadriensis as sister to C. pluto, and it further reveals a number of clades that potentially represent additional undescribed species.The new species is delineated from closely related and superficially similar species of Conogethes.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Conogethes, yellow peach moth, shoot and capsule borer, India, cardamom, DNA barcode, phylogenetic analysis



 P. R. Shashank, Vasudev Kammar, Richard Mally and A. K. Chakravarthy. 2018. A New Indian Species of Shoot and Capsule Borer of the Genus Conogethes (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), Feeding on Cardamom.  Zootaxa. 4374(2); 215–234. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4374.2.3

[Herpetology • 2018] Systematics and Phylogeography of the Widely Distributed African Skink Trachylepis varia Species Complex: Trachylepis varia, T. damarana & T. laevigata



 Weinell & Bauer, 2018.

Highlights
• A molecular systematic study was conducted for the wide-ranging Trachylepis varia complex.
• Phylogenetic analyses support the existence of at least eight species within the Trachylepis varia complex.
• The Southern African members of the Trachylepis varia complex are phenotypically distinct.
• We update the taxonomy for the southern Africa members of the Trachylepis varia complex.
• Diversification within the Trachylepis varia complex began during the mid to late Miocene or early Pliocene.


Abstract
A systematic study of the Trachylepis varia complex was conducted using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers for individuals sampled across the species range. The taxonomic history of T. varia has been complicated and its broad geographic distribution and considerable phenotypic variation has made taxonomic revision difficult, leading earlier taxonomists to suggest that T. varia is a species complex. We used maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to estimate gene trees and a multilocus time-tree, respectively, and we used these trees to identify the major clades (putative species) within T. varia. Additionally, we used morphological and color pattern data to distinguish and revise the taxonomy of the southern African clades. The major clades recovered in the multilocus time-tree were recovered in each of gene trees, although the relationships among these major clades differed across gene trees. Genetic data support the existence of at least eight species within the T. varia complex, each of which originated during the mid to late Miocene or early Pliocene. We focus our systematic discussion on the southern African members of the T. varia complex, revive Trachylepis damarana (Peters, 1870) and T. laevigata (Peters, 1869), and designate lectotypes for T. damarana and T. varia.

Keywords: Africa, Lygosominae, Phylogenetics, Phylogeography, Trachylepis damarana, Trachylepis laevigata




Trachylepis varia (Peters, 1867)
Euprepes varius Peters, 1867

Trachylepis laevigata (Peters, 1869)
Euprepes laevigatus Peters, 1869

Trachylepis damarana (Peters, 1870)
Euprepes damaranus Peters, 1870

  Trachylepis damarana from Haenertsberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa.


Conclusions: 
We find strong evidence that Trachylepis varia, T. damarana, and T. laevigata are distinct species that occur in southern Africa and that five additional, species-level clades occur north of the Zambezi and Kunene rivers, although future studies are needed to determine whether Trachylepis nyikae and Trachylepis isellii should also be recognized. The allopatric distribution and morphological distinctiveness of T. isellii (Largen and Spawls, 2010) suggests that this species is probably valid and the presence of multiple endemic species on the Nyika Plateau (Poynton, 1997; Burrows and Willis, 2005) suggests that T. nyikae may also be a valid species. Additionally, little is known about the distribution or natural history of the undescribed species sampled in Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Tanzania. Lastly, next generation DNA sequencing may be useful in resolving deeper phylogenetic relationships within the T. varia complex and for distinguishing historical gene flow from incomplete lineage sorting. This study is the first to use genetic data to address species diversity, phylogenetic history, and taxonomic issues for the T. varia complex and is an example of how both genetic and phenotypic data can be used to resolve taxonomic problems and to estimate species ranges.


 Jeffrey L. Weinell and Aaron M. Bauer. 2018. Systematics and Phylogeography of the Widely Distributed African Skink Trachylepis varia Species Complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  120; 103-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.11.014