Tuesday, July 31, 2018

[Entomology • 2018] Panorpa bashanicola • An Enigmatic New Species of Panorpa Linneaus (Mecoptera, Panorpidae) from the Bashan Mountains


Panorpa bashanicola
Hua, Tao & Hua, 2018


Abstract
A new species of Panorpidae, Panorpa bashanicola sp. n., is described and illustrated from the Bashan Mountains in central China. The new species is characterized by the following characters: vertex black, with two pale longitudinal stripes and four pale rounded spots; vein 1A ending before the origin of Rs; meso- and metanotum pale, and the pale color extending to tergum III in V-shape; male epandrium emarginate distally in deep U-shape; hypovalves without basal stalk, completely represented by a pair of short hypovalves, extending to distal third of gonocoxite, with five black stout setae in distal portion; paramere simple, S-shaped; a bundle of long hairs between dorsal and ventral valves of aedeagus; dorsal valves of aedeagus much longer than ventral valves and curved ventrally, with distal portion foot-shaped; female medigynium twice as long as wide, with stout axis extending over one-third its length beyond main plate.

Keywords: China, Hubei, Oriental Region, Mecoptera, Panorpa, Panorpidae, Shaanxi


Figure 2. Panorpa bashanicola sp. n., adults in dorsal view.
A Male B Female.

Panorpa bashanicola sp. n.

Diagnosis: The new species can be readily distinguished from its congeners by the following characters: vertex black, with two pale longitudinal stripes and four pale rounded spots; vein 1A ending before the origin of Rs; one cross-vein between veins 1A and 2A; meso- and metanotum pale, and the pale color extending to tergum III in a V-shape; male epandrium emarginate distally in a deep U-shape; hypovalves extending to the distal third of gonocoxite, with five stout black setae on the distal portion; paramere simple, S-shaped; a bundle of long hairs between the dorsal and ventral valves of aedeagus; dorsal valves of aedeagus much longer than ventral valves and curved ventrally, with distal portion foot-shaped; female medigynium twice as long as wide, with stout axis extending over one-third its length beyond main plate.

Etymology: The specific epithet, bashanicola, refers to its type locality, Bashan Mountains.

Distribution: China (Shaanxi and Hubei).


 Yuan Hua, Shi-Heng Tao and Bao-Zhen Hua. 2018. An Enigmatic New Species of Panorpa Linneaus from the Bashan Mountains (Mecoptera, Panorpidae). ZooKeys. 777: 109-118. DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.777.26056


[Ichthyology • 2018] Dysommina orientalis • A New Species of the Genus Dysommina (Anguilliformes: Synaphobranchidae: Ilyophinae) from the Western Pacific


Dysommina orientalis
Tighe, Ho & Hatooka, 2018


Abstract
Dysommina orientalis, a new species of Ilyophine eel from off Taiwan and Japan is described and illustrated. The species had long been recognized as Dysommina rugosa in the western Pacific and is distinguished from D. rugosa by a lower number of predorsal vertebrae, a higher number of total vertebrae, shorter head length, smaller eye size, reduced vomerine dentition, and an increased number of both mandibular and maxillary teeth, as well as significant differences in DNA sequence in COI and 16S.

Keywords: Pisces, Teleostei, taxonomy, Dysommina orientalis sp. nov., distribution




Kenneth A Tighe, Hsuan-Ching Ho and Kiyotaka Hatooka. 2018. A New Species of the Genus Dysommina (Teleostei: Anguilliformes: Synaphobranchidae: Ilyophinae) from the Western Pacific. Zootaxa. 4454(1); 43–51.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4454.1.6

[Botany • 2018] Pleurothallis chicalensis • A New Species in Subsection Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from northwestern Ecuador


Pleurothallis chicalensis M. Jiménez & Baquero

Jiménez, Baquero, Wilson & Iturralde, 2018. 

 Photo by Andreas Kay.  EcoMingaFoundation.wordpress.com

Abstract
 A new species of Pleurothallis in subsection Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae from Ecuador is described, illustrated and its relationship with other species is discussed. Pleurothallis chicalensis is compared with P. dewildei, from which is distinguished by the ovate leaves, the yellow flowers with broadly obovate synsepal and the transversely cordate lip with apiculate apex.

Key words: Andes, Carchi, Pleurothallis bovilingua, Pleurothallis dewildei, taxonomy


Figure 2. Pleurothallis chicalensis flower.
 Photo by Andreas Kay.  

Pleurothallis chicalensis M. Jiménez & Baquero, sp. nov. 

Diagnosis: Similar to Pleurothallis dewildei Luer & R. Escobar, from which it differs in the ovate leaves, the yellow flowers with broadly obovate synsepal and the widely cordate, apiculate lip with involute margins versus the narrowly ovate leaves, purple flowers with ovate synsepal and the broadly cordateovate lip with obtuse, saccate apex of P. dewildei.

Eponymy: Named after Chical, a small town in El Carchi Province of Ecuador close to the type locality. 


Marco M. Jiménez, Luis E. Baquero, Mark Wilson and Gabriel A. Iturralde. 2018. Pleurothallis chicalensis, A New Species in Subsection Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) from northwestern Ecuador. LANKESTERIANA. 18(2); 103–109. DOI:  10.15517/lank.v18i2.34050

  
Resumen: Una especie nueva de Pleurothallis de la subsección Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae de Ecuador es descrita, ilustrada y su afinidad con otras especies es discutida. Pleurothallis chicalensis se compara con P. dewildei, de la cual difiere por las hojas ovadas, las flores amarillas con el sinsépalo ampliamente obovado y el labelo transversalmente cordado con el ápice apiculado. 

[Invertebrate • 2018] Diversity and Evolution of the Stygobitic Speleonerilla nom. nov. (Nerillidae, Annelida) with Description of Three New Species from Anchialine Caves in the Caribbean and Lanzarote


Speleonerilla saltatrix (Worsaae et al. 2004)
 Speleonerilla Worsaae, Sterrer & Iliffe, 2018

in Worsaae, Gonzalez, Kerbl, Nielsen, Jørgensen, et al., 2018. 

Abstract
Anchialine caves have revealed a variety of highly adapted animals including several records of nerillid annelids. However, only one stygobitic lineage, Speleonerilla nom. nov. (previously known as Longipalpa), seems obligate to this environment. We here provide new information on this lineage including the description of three new species, two new records, and the first phylogeny of the genus. All species have been collected from the water column of anchialine caves in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Canary Islands, contrary to their benthic and interstitial nerillid relatives. New species were described combining light, scanning electron, and confocal laser scanning microscopy and named after traditional dances from their corresponding countries. Speleonerilla isa sp. n. is morphologically the most divergent species, characterized by the presence of nine segments, two pairs of spermioducts, and parapodial cirri present on all segments. Speleonerilla calypso sp. n. and S. salsa sp. n. are mainly distinguished from S. saltatrix by the presence of one additional pair of nephridia and are diagnosed based on unique combinations of characters including the specific arrangements of trunk ciliation, parapodial cirri, and number of chaetae. Two additional records from anchialine caves in Northeast Cuba and México were not described due to limited available material. Phylogenetic analyses of four molecular markers recovered the East Atlantic S. isa as sister to a clade containing the West Atlantic species, the interrelationship of which did not further reflect the geographical distances within the Caribbean. Evolutionary adaptations are discussed, such as the long ciliated palps and pygidial lobes of Speleonerilla used for swimming and their high tolerance to changing salinities when apparently feeding on bacteria in the halocline of the anchialine cave systems.

Keywords: Interstitial, Cave fauna, Meiofauna, Troglomorphism, Stygofauna 


Drawing of Speleonerilla saltatrix (Worsaae et al. 2004),
scale bar 100 μm

Family Nerillidae Levinsen, 1883

Genus Speleonerilla Worsaae, Sterrer & Iliffe, 2018. 
Speleonerilla is new replacement name for Longipalpa Worsaae, Sterrer & Iliffe, 2004 
[preoccupied: Longipalpa Pagenstecher, 1900 (Insecta: Lepidoptera) (see Pagenstecher,1900)].  
  
Remarks: A new generic name, Speleonerilla nov. nom., is here proposed in order to eliminate the homonymy between the genera Longipalpa Pagenstecher, 1900, junior synonymy of Bytharia Walker, 1865 (Geometridae, Lepidoptera) (see Walker, 1865) and Longipalpa Worsaae, Sterrer and Iliffe, 2004 (Nerillidae, Annelida).
....

Speleonerilla calypso sp. n.

Etymology: The species is named after the dance calypso, which originated in Trinidad & Tobago and later spread to other Caribbean Islands, including the Bahamas.


Speleonerilla salsa sp. n.

Etymology: The species is named after the dance salsa, the musical roots of which lie in Eastern Cuba.


Speleonerilla isa sp. n.

Etymology: The species is named after the Canarian traditional folk dance “isa” from Lanzarote.


Katrine Worsaae, Brett C. Gonzalez, Alexandra Kerbl, Sofie Holdflod Nielsen, Julie Terp Jørgensen, Maickel Armenteros, Thomas M. Iliffe and Alejandro Martínez. 2018. Diversity and Evolution of the Stygobitic Speleonerilla nom. nov. (Nerillidae, Annelida) with Description of Three New Species from Anchialine Caves in the Caribbean and Lanzarote. Marine Biodiversity  DOI:  10.1007/s12526-018-0906-5 

Monday, July 30, 2018

[Ichthyology • 2018] Platichthys solemdali • A New Flounder Species (Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes) From the Baltic Sea


Platichthys solemdali 
Momigliano, Denys,  Jokinen & Merilä, 2018
photo: Mats Westerbom 

The European flounder Platichthys flesus (Linnaeus, 1758) displays two contrasting reproductive behaviors in the Baltic Sea: offshore spawning of pelagic eggs and coastal spawning of demersal eggs, a behavior observed exclusively in the Baltic Sea. Previous studies showed marked differences in behavioral, physiological, and life-history traits of flounders with pelagic and demersal eggs. Furthermore, a recent study demonstrated that flounders with pelagic and demersal eggs represent two reproductively isolated, parapatric species arising from two distinct colonization events from the same ancestral population. Using morphological data we first established that the syntypes on which the original description of P. flesus was based belong to the pelagic-spawning lineage. We then used a combination of morphological and physiological characters as well as genome-wide genetic data to describe flounders with demersal eggs as a new species: Platichthys solemdali sp. nov. The new species can be clearly distinguished from P. flesus based on egg morphology, egg and sperm physiology as well as via population genetic and phylogenetic analyses. While the two species do show some minor morphological differences in the number of anal and dorsal fin rays, no external morphological feature can be used to unambiguously identify individuals to species. Therefore, we developed a simple molecular diagnostic test able to unambiguously distinguish P. solemdali from P. flesus with a single PCR reaction, a tool that should be useful to fishery scientists and managers, as well as to ecologists studying these species.


Family Pleuronectidae Rafinesque 1815

Genus Platichthys Girard 1854

Platichthys solemdali sp. nov.
  Baltic flounder

Diagnosis: Platichthys solemdali sp. nov. is diagnosable from P. stellatus by the absence of stripes on the dorsal and anal fin rays [Figures 6A, 2B; vs. presence of stripes for P. stellatus (Morrow, 1980)]. It can be distinguished with more than 99.999% certainty from P. flesus using genotypes of at least three of the outlier loci which were genotyped in this study (Loci 886, 3599, and 1822) by comparison with publically available reference data deposited in the Dryad digital repository (Momigliano et al., 2017a). P. solemdali sp. nov. (N = 50) has 46–59 dorsal fin rays vs. 51–66 for P. flesus recorded in this study, in Voronina (1999) and in Galleguillos and Ward (1982), and 35–41 anal fin rays vs. 35–45 in P. flesus from this study, Voronina (1999) and Galleguillos and Ward (1982). Hence, none of these meristic characters provide unambiguous species diagnosis. However, reproductive traits (viz. egg morphology and buoyancy, as well as sperm physiology) are unambiguous diagnostic characters. Eggs of P. solemdali sp. nov. become neutrally buoyant at salinities between 16 and 21.5 psu and are 0.99 ± 0.05 mm in diameter (Table 6; Figure 7), whereas the eggs of P. flesus in the Baltic Sea are larger (1.3–1.5 mm) and reach neutral buoyancy between 11 and 18 psu (Table 6; Nissling et al., 2002). Spermatozoa of P. solemdali sp. nov. activate at minimum salinities between 2 and 4 psu, in contrast to a required salinity above 10 psu for P. flesus (Table 7).

Geographic distribution:   P. solemdali sp. nov. is endemic to the Baltic Sea, where it has a wide distribution in coastal and bank areas across the region up to the Gulf of Finland and the southern Bothnian Sea. Confirmed individuals of P. solemdali sp. nov. have been sampled as far south as Öland (SD 27) (species identity confirmed via genetic analyses, Figure 1) and Hanö Bay (SD 25) (based on egg morphology, see Wallin, 2016; Nissling et al., 2017). In a recent paper Orio et al. (2017) suggested that environmental conditions in the entire southern Baltic Sea are suitable for demersal spawning flounders, and already Mielck and Künne (1935) reported ripe female flounders with small eggs from shallow low-saline (6–7‰) areas in the southern Baltic Sea (Oder Bank, SD 24). However, the current occurrence of Psolemdali sp. nov. in the southern regions is poorly known and, hence, it is still unclear whether the species is found throughout the coastal Baltic Sea area.

Habitat: P. solemdali sp. nov. lives in brackish water of varying salinities in the coastal zone at 0.5–50 m depth on soft and hard bottoms.

Etymology: This species is dedicated to Per Solemdal (1941–2016) who was the first researcher to study the Baltic Sea flounder's eggs and sperm in connection to salinity and discovered that “the specific gravity of the eggs is a fixed population characteristic which is almost unchangeable” (Solemdal, 1973) laying the foundations on which many subsequent studies on local adaptation and speciation of Baltic Sea marine fishes were built.



Paolo Momigliano, Gaël P. J. Denys, Henri Jokinen and Juha Merilä. 2018. Platichthys solemdali sp. nov. (Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes): A New Flounder Species From the Baltic Sea.  Frontiers in Marine Science.  DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00225

[Herpetology • 2018] Conspicuously Concealed: Revision of the Arid Clade of the Gehyra variegata (Gekkonidae) Group in Western Australia Using An Integrative Molecular and Morphological Approach, with the Description of Five Cryptic Species


Figure 4: Live images of members of the arid clade of the Gehyra variegata group. 
(A) Gehyra variegata, Carey Downs, WA; (B) Gpurpurascens, Ilkurlka, WA; (E) Gehyra capensis sp. nov., Cape Range, WA; (F) G. capensis sp. nov., Cape Range, WA;
(G) 
Gehyra ocellata sp. nov., Barrow Island, WA; (H) G. pilbara, Woodie Woodie, WA 

Kealley, Doughty​, Pepper, et al., 2018. 
(photos: B. Maryan, R.J. Ellis).

Abstract 
The methods used to detect and describe morphologically cryptic species have advanced in recent years, owing to the integrative nature of molecular and morphological techniques required to elucidate them. Here we integrate recent phylogenomic work that sequenced many genes but few individuals, with new data from mtDNA and morphology from hundreds of gecko specimens of the Gehyra variegata group from the Australian arid zone. To better understand morphological and geographical boundaries among cryptic forms, we generated new sequences from 656 Gehyra individuals, largely assigned to G. variegata group members over a wide area in Western Australia, with especially dense sampling in the Pilbara region, and combined them with 566 Gehyra sequences from GenBank, resulting in a dataset of 1,222 specimens. Results indicated the existence of several cryptic species, from new species with diagnostic morphological characters, to cases when there were no useful characters to discriminate among genetically distinctive species. In addition, the cryptic species often showed counter-intuitive distributions, including broad sympatry among some forms and short range endemism in other cases. Two new species were on long branches in the phylogram and restricted to the northern Pilbara region: most records of the moderately sized G. incognita sp. nov. are near the coast with isolated inland records, whereas the small-bodied saxicoline G. unguiculata sp. nov. is only known from a small area in the extreme north of the Pilbara. Three new species were on shorter branches in the phylogram and allied to G. montium. The moderately sized G. crypta sp. nov. occurs in the western and southern Pilbara and extends south through the Murchison region; this species was distinctive genetically, but with wide overlap of characters with its sister species, G. montium. Accordingly, we provide a table of diagnostic nucleotides for this species as well as for all other species treated here. Two small-bodied species occur in isolated coastal regions: G. capensis sp. nov. is restricted to the North West Cape and G. ocellata sp. nov. occurs on Barrow Island and other neighbouring islands. The latter species showed evidence of introgression with the mtDNA of G. crypta sp. nov., possibly due to recent connectivity with the mainland owing to fluctuating sea levels. However, G. ocellata sp. nov. was more closely related to G. capensis sp. nov. in the phylogenomic data and in morphology. Our study illustrates the benefits of combining phylogenomic data with extensive screens of mtDNA to identify large numbers of individuals to the correct cryptic species. This approach was able to provide sufficient samples with which to assess morphological variation. Furthermore, determination of geographic distributions of the new cryptic species should greatly assist with identification in the field, demonstrating the utility of sampling large numbers of specimens across wide areas.

Figure 4: Live images of members of the arid clade of the Gehyra variegata group.
(A) Gehyra variegata, Carey Downs, WA (WAM R119207; photo credit—B. Maryan); (B) Gpurpurascens, Ilkurlka, WA (B. Maryan);
(C) Gmontium, Skull Springs, WA (WAM R175332; R.J. Ellis); (D) G. montium, Port Hedland, WA (WAM R174324; P. Doughty);
(E) G. capensis sp. nov., Cape Range, WA (B. Maryan); (F) G. capensis sp. nov., Cape Range, WA (WAM R174314; R.J. Ellis);
 (G) G. ocellata sp. nov., Barrow Island, WA (R.J. Ellis); (H) G. pilbara, Woodie Woodie, WA (R.J. Ellis).

Composition of taxonomic groups within Australian Gehyra.

1. australis group (australisborroloolacatenatadubiakoirapamelarobusta)

2. *Relict species (xenopusspheniscuslazellimoritzipulingka)

3. variegata group:
 a. nana clade
(nanagirloorloogranulumkimberleyimultiporosaoccidentalisparananapluraporosapseudopunctata)

 b. Arid clade
  i. variegata species-group (variegatapilbaraminutamontiumversicolorcapensis sp. nov., crypta sp. nov., ocellata sp. nov.)
 ii. purpurascens species-group (purpurascenseinasleighensisincognita sp. nov.)
 iii. unguiculata sp. nov.
 iv. punctata

Notes:
Names used for various groups of Australian Gehyra species discussed in this and other recent papers (Ashman et al., 2018; Doughty et al., 2018).
* Species that do not fall neatly into either the australis or variegata groups, and tend to have relictual distributions.

Figure 4: Live images of members of the arid clade of the Gehyra variegata group.
(E) G. capensis sp. nov., Cape Range, WA (B. Maryan); (F) G. capensis sp. nov., Cape Range, WA (WAM R174314; R.J. Ellis); 
(G) 
G. ocellata sp. nov., Barrow Island, WA (R.J. Ellis); (H) G. pilbara, Woodie Woodie, WA (R.J. Ellis).

Gehyra capensis sp. nov.
North West Cape Gehyra
variegata B1 of Ashman et al. (2018)

Diagnosis. A small-bodied (to 46.0 mm SVL) species with a relatively long snout, internarial usually (72%) present, lower postnasal larger than upper, two pairs of chin shields, second infralabial notched by parinfralabial scales, usually six (occasionally seven) subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe and males with 9–12 (mean 10.8) pre-cloacal pores. Background colour pinkish-grey with dark brown irregularly shaped spots or bars with numerous smaller pale white spots not in contact with dark markings, canthal, loreal and temporal stripes on head present (no post-orbital stripes) and ventrum not stippled. Genetically diagnosed from other arid clade members by the ND2 sites in Table 3.
....

Distribution. Restricted to the North West Cape of WA (Fig. 1B).

Habitat and ecology. Recorded from spinifex and low shrubs on limestone rocks. Also encountered under logs and sheets of tin on the ground, and on human-made structures indicating a penchant for climbing behaviour.

Etymology. The specific name refers to the North West Cape of WA to which this species is restricted.


Gehyra crypta sp. nov.
Western Cryptic Gehyra
Clade 3 or III of Sistrom, Donnellan & Hutchinson (2013)
variegataB3 of Ashman et al. (2018)

Diagnosis. A moderately sized (to 56.5 mm SVL) species with moderately short snout, internarial usually (80%) present, lower and upper postnasals of similar size, two pairs of chin shields, second or third infralabial notched by parinfralabial scales, usually six or seven (rarely eight) subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe and males with 10–16 (mean 12.4) pre-cloacal pores. In preservative, light grey to dark brown with highly variable pattern: from isolated dark and pale bars to dark network with white spots to patternless, head stripes present but with lower post-orbital stripe at most a spot and ventrum moderately to heavily stippled. Genetically diagnosed from other arid clade members (except G. ocellata sp. nov.) by the ND2 sites in Table 3.

Distribution. Most records are from the southern and western Pilbara, with the northernmost records from the Burrup Peninsula, then inland through Millstream–Chichester National Park through the Hamersley Range to 50 km west of Newman. In the mid-west and WA Goldfields there are scattered genotyped records inland, away from the west coast, through the Gascoyne and Murchison bioregions, with the southernmost records from 150 km north of Kalgoorlie and the easternmost record near Laverton (see Fig. 1B).

Habitat and ecology. Possibly generalist habits. Collected from mulga woodlands and acacia shrubs, from under logs, granite and tin on hard soils. Also observed climbing on vertical surfaces of human-made structures and sheltering under bark on trees.

Etymology. The species epithet is derived from the Greek kruptos, meaning ‘hidden.’ The name alludes to this species similarity to other species in the arid clade of the G. variegata group. Used as an adjective.


Gehyra ocellata sp. nov.
Pilbara Island Gehyra
variegataB2 of Ashman et al. (2018)

Diagnosis. A small-bodied (to 49.0 mm SVL) species with moderately short snout, internarial absent or present, lower postnasal larger than upper, two pairs of chin shields, second infralabial notched by parinfralabial scales, usually six (occasionally seven) subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe and males with 10–12 (mean 11.1) pre-cloacal pores. Background colour light to medium reddish-brown with numerous pale spots with fewer brown irregular markings, head stripes poorly defined or absent and ventrum with little or no stippling. Genetically diagnosed from other arid clade members (except G. crypta sp. nov.) by the ND2 sites in Table 3.

Distribution. Restricted to islands off the Pilbara coast near Karratha, including Barrow, Varanus, Trimouille and Hermite (Fig. 1B).

Habitat and ecology. Observed to inhabit termite mounds (P. Kendrick, R. J. Teale, 2018, personal communication). Otherwise poorly known, as most records are associated with oil and gas buildings and structures. Several records mention ‘under limestone slab.’

Etymology. The species epithet ocellata (New Latin) refers to the spotted appearance of this species. Used as an adjective.


Figure 4: Live images of members of the arid clade of the Gehyra variegata group. (A) Gehyra variegata, Carey Downs, WA (WAM R119207; photo credit—B. Maryan); (B) G. purpurascens, Ilkurlka, WA (B. Maryan); (C) G. montium, Skull Springs, WA (WAM R175332; R.J. Ellis); (D) G. montium, Port Hedland, WA (WAM R174324; P. Doughty)

Gehyra incognita sp. nov.
Northern Pilbara Cryptic Gehyra
variegataC2 of Ashman et al. (2018)

Diagnosis. A moderately sized (to 52.0 mm SVL) species with moderately short snout, internarial present or absent, lower postnasal larger or equal to upper, two pairs of chin shields, second infralabial notched by parinfralabial scales, usually six (rarely five or seven) subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe and males with 10–16 (mean 12.0) pre-cloacal pores. In preservative, background colour medium grey to dark brown with poorly contrasting pattern of small dark and pale spots occasionally forming bars or networks, well-defined head stripes and ventrum heavily stippled. Genetically diagnosed from other arid clade members by the ND2 sites in Table 3.
....

Distribution. Most records are from genotyped individuals that occur near the Pilbara coast and have been collected along the Great Northern Highway. From 40 km east of Roebourne to Whim Creek and to Port Hedland area. Three inland isolated locations: Millstream–Chichester National Park, Woodstock–Abydos Protected Reserve (formerly Station; with several specimens genotyped) and from 40 km north of Marble Bar (see Fig. 1C).

Habitat and ecology. Likely arboreal. Habitat notes for quadrats that used pitfall traps for the Pilbara Biodiversity Survey (McKenzie, van Leeuwen & Pinder, 2009) mention tall acacia shrubs over Triodia, and substrates that included floodplain, clayey or silty sand and red sandy loam. The only other habitat notes from collectors are two records from Triodia plains, with no mention of rocky habitats.

Etymology. The specific name is derived from the Latin incognitus meaning ‘unknown,’ in reference to the heretofore complete ignorance of this species’ existence prior to genetic analyses. Used as an adjective.


Gehyra unguiculata sp. nov.
Crescent-marked Pilbara Gehyra
variegataC1 of Ashman et al. (2018)

Diagnosis. A small-bodied (to 39.0 mm SVL) species with moderately short snout, internarial present (67%) or absent (33%), lower postnasal larger or equal to upper, two pairs of chin shields, second infralabial notched by parinfralabial scales, usually six (occasionally seven) subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe and males with 11–13 (mean 12.3) pre-cloacal pores. In preservative, background colour light tan to medium brown with crescent-shaped dark brown bars with pale spots posteriorly, crown with pale white spots, usually poorly defined head stripes and ventrum with only light stippling towards lateral edges. Genetically diagnosed from other arid clade members by the ND2 sites presented in Table 3.
....

Distribution. Only known from two locations 30 km apart in the north-eastern Pilbara near Shay Gap, north of the De Grey River (Fig. 1C).

Habitat and ecology. Several specimens were captured in pitfall traps at sites PHYC03 and PHYC07 as part of the Pilbara Biodiversity Survey (McKenzie, van Leeuwen & Pinder, 2009). Descriptions for these sites were of scree on or near granite outcrops or hills of basalt.

Etymology. Unguiculata is Latin (diminutive) for fingernail (or claw) and refers to the resemblance of the dorsal pattern elements of this species to small fingernails. Used as an adjective.


Conclusions:
The systematics of Gehyra is intrinsically difficult owing to their conservative form, ability to shift habitat preferences from trees to rocks (Ashman et al., 2018), rapid evolution of body size (Doughty et al., 2012; Sistrom et al., 2012), a large specimen burden, few photographs in life and colours and pattern lost rapidly in preservative, among others. We generated relatively short sequences of the ND2 mtDNA gene for over 650 specimens, combining these with previously genotyped specimens and examining hundreds of specimens for morphology. We were able to make progress by combining these data with previous phylogenomic work that included hundreds of nDNA loci and that firmly established the existence of cryptic species, but based on few specimens. This combined approach is especially suited for cryptic species, as a good understanding of the geographical and morphological limits of cryptic species requires examination of many specimens over a wide area. The combined approach we advocate here culminated in the description of five new species, and clarified the distributions of previously described species as well.

Although great progress has been made on this group taxonomically, there is still further work to be done. Owing to the difficulty of describing these new species, it is clear that photographs in life are an essential part of Gehyra specimen preparation because they capture the patterning, a key component of the phenotype, and should be routinely taken when collecting them. Genetic samples (e.g. tail tip in ethanol) of Gehyra taken in the field are also essential to determine which species occurs in a specific location, especially where two or more cryptic forms overlap. Both these technologies (digital photography and genetic analyses) were not available only several decades ago, and images and tissue samples should be routinely collected by field workers today. Refinement of the diagnoses and descriptions beyond that presented here based on new phenotypic and genetic information are welcome, and may even reveal further cryptic forms within this difficult group.


Luke Kealley, Paul Doughty​, Mitzy Pepper, J. Scott Keogh, Mia Hillyer and Joel Huey. 2018. Conspicuously Concealed: Revision of the Arid Clade of the Gehyra variegata (Gekkonidae) Group in Western Australia Using An Integrative Molecular and Morphological Approach, with the Description of Five Cryptic Species. PeerJ. 6:e5334.  DOI:  10.7717/peerj.5334

[Botany • 2018] Ptilotus yapukaratja (Amaranthaceae) • A New Species from the Gascoyne Bioregion of Western Australia


Ptilotus yapukaratja R.W.Davis & T.Hammer

in Davis & Hammer, 2018.  

Ptilotus yapukaratja. plant in situ, showing habit and habitat.  
Image by K. Millet from K. Millet 346. 

Ptilotus yapukaratja R.W.Davis & T.Hammer, sp. nov. 

Diagnostic features: Ptilotus yapukaratja can be distinguished from all other Ptilotus R.Br. species by the following combination of characters: a rigid habit, glabrous incurved leaves, bracts longer than bracteoles, two fertile stamens, an excentrically placed style on the ovary, and a hairy ovary.
....


Ptilotus yapukaratja. a close-up showing an inflorescence with an open flower.
Image by K. Millet from K. Millet 346.

Distribution and habitat: Currently only known from north of Lorna Glen Station, where it is found at the base of breakaways on shallow rocky slopes in open scrub on brown clayey-sandy soils. 

Conservation status: To be listed as Priority One under Conservation Codes for Western Australian Flora (M. Smith perscomm.). Ptilotus yapukaratja is only known from the one remote location north of Lorna Glen Station. 

Etymology. The epithet derives from the Matuwa words yapu (rock) and karatja (belonging to), referring to the rocky habitat where the species occurs.


Robert W. Davis and Timothy A. Hammer. 2018. Ptilotus yapukaratja (Amaranthaceae), A New Species from the Gascoyne Bioregion of Western Australia. Nuytsia: The Journal of the Western Australian Herbarium. 29; 157–160. 

    

[Entomology • 2018] Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa • The First Troglobiotic Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) from Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan


Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa 
Naka & Maruyama, 2018

「洞窟性アリ」DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4450.1.10 

Abstract
Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa sp. nov., a new troglobiotic (true cave-dwelling) ant species, from a limestone cave on the island of Okinawa (Okinawa-jima), Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan is described. This is the first discovery of a troglobiotic ant in Japan and the second verified record worldwide. This species has only been found in a cave area with heavy guano deposits, and some worker ants were observed carrying guano. The evidence for categorizing this new species as troglobiont is discussed.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, cave-dwelling species, guano, island, limestone cave, Myrmicinae, Okinawa-jima, Ryukyu Archipelago, troglobiont.


FIGURES 1–4. holotype worker of Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa sp. nov. 1) whole body in lateral view; 2) head; 3) head capsule; 4) mesosoma and fore segments of abdomen. Scales= 1.0 mm.

FIGURES 5–8. habitat photos of Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa sp. nov.5) guano hall where the type series found; 6) the nest entrance; 7) two workers walking together; 8) worker carrying a guano ball.



Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa Naka & Maruyama, sp. nov.

Diagnosis. This species is distinguished from the other East Asian species by having the most elongate body, the longest antennae and legs, and the most reduced eyes. Among the Japanese species, it is most similar to A. irrigua Watanabe & Yamane, 1999 described from Ryukyu Archipelago. It differs from A. irrigua in lighter color, smaller eyes (EL 0.19 x TmL vs. 0.38 x TmL), basal margin of mandible with weaker serration, and scapes more elongate and slim (SL 2.28 x HW vs. 1.53 x HW).

Etymology. The specific epithet is a Ryukyuan dialect “gamagumayaa” (= cave-dwelling hermit), referring to the habitat of the new species.

Biological notes. The type series of Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa is based on workers probably from a single nest, collected in a limestone cave on the island of Okinawa. All specimens were found in a guano hall (Fig. 5), an area of approximately 25 m2 (2–3 m in height), approximately 20 m from the cave entrance. The hall is completely dark, and during the study period (August to October 2017), it was consistently cooler (< 25°C during the day) than the exterior of the cave (28–32°C). The cave contains no pools or streams but is generally wet, and the substrate is clay soil.  


Takeru Naka  and Munetoshi Maruyama. 2018.  Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa sp. nov.: The First Troglobiotic Ant from Japan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Zootaxa. 4450(1); 135–141.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4450.1.10

日本で初めて、世界で 2 例目となる「洞窟性アリ」の発見 


[Entomology • 2018] Garreta australugens & G. namalugens • Two New Species of Garreta Janssens, 1940 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) from Southern Africa


Garreta namalugens
 Davis & Deschodt, 2018


Abstract
Two new, putative, closely-related species of dung beetles are described in the genus Garreta Janssens, 1940 (tribe Gymnopleurini). Garreta australugens new species, is known from various dung types in the southeast lowlands of Africa (validated for South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe with a probable record from Botswana). It is, here, separated at species level from its putative closest relative, Garreta lugens (Fairmaire, 1891), recorded from the lowlands of northeast Africa (validated for Kenya with additional records from Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania). These two taxa were formerly considered to comprise a single species. All specimens in the type series of Garreta namalugens new species, were recorded at low altitude in arid, rocky mountains from west central to northwest Namibia, mostly on dung in communal middens of the Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis (Pallas, 1766)).

Keywords: Coleoptera, dung beetle, Namibia, Garreta, new species, northeast Africa, Scarabaeinae, southeast Africa




Adrian L. V. Davis and Christian M. Deschodt. 2018. Two New Species of Garreta Janssens, 1940 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) from Southern Africa. Zootaxa. 4450(2); 242–248. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4450.2.4


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Hypogeophis montanus • A New Species of Small, Long-snouted Hypogeophis Peters, 1880 (Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the Highest Elevations of the Seychelles Island of Mahé


Hypogeophis montanus
Maddock, Wilkinson & Gower, 2018

Montane Mahé caecilian || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4450.3.3 

Abstract
A new species of indotyphlid caecilian amphibian, Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov., is described based on a series of specimens from the Seychelles island of Mahé, collected from two localities in 2013 and 2015. The new species most closely resembles the Seychelles (Mahé) endemic H. brevis in being short (maximum known total length in life ca. 110 mm) and long snouted, but differs by having more vertebrae, a relatively smaller head, and substantially distinct mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences. Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov. is known from higher elevations (718–731 m) than H. brevis (ca. 350–650 m), and its elevationally restricted distribution on a single small island likely renders it threatened under IUCN Red List criteria. Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov. is the third species of small and long-snouted caecilian reported from the Seychelles. Along with H. brevis and H. pti, H. montanus sp. nov. is among the smallest known species of caecilian and possibly has the smallest global distribution.

Keywords: Amphibia, herpetology, Hypogeophis brevis, Hypogeophis pti, Indian Ocean, Morne Seychellois, systematics, taxonomy


FIGURE 4. Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov. holotype (BMNH 2005.1824) in life.

Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov.

 Etymology. The specific epithet is in reference to the restricted, high elevation distribution of the species, known only from above 700 m, on the highest mountains in the Seychelles. For nomenclatural purposes the specific epithet is considered to be a noun in apposition.

 Suggested ‘common’ names. Montane Mahé caecilian; montane hypogeophis (English), 
leverdter nwanr montanny (Creole).




Simon T. Maddock, Mark Wilkinson and David J. Gower. 2018. A New Species of Small, Long-snouted Hypogeophis Peters, 1880 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the Highest Elevations of the Seychelles Island of Mahé. Zootaxa. 4450(3); 359–375. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4450.3.3
 twitter.com/SeyAmphibians/status/1023138744738689024


[Paleontology • 2018] Lingwulong shenqi • A New Middle Jurassic Diplodocoid Suggests An Earlier Dispersal and Diversification of Sauropod Dinosaurs


Lingwulong shenqi
Xu, Upchurch, Mannion, Barrett, Regalado-Fernandez, Mo, Ma & Liu, 2018


Abstract
The fragmentation of the supercontinent Pangaea has been suggested to have had a profound impact on Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate distributions. One current paradigm is that geographic isolation produced an endemic biota in East Asia during the Jurassic, while simultaneously preventing diplodocoid sauropod dinosaurs and several other tetrapod groups from reaching this region. Here we report the discovery of the earliest diplodocoid, and the first from East Asia, to our knowledge, based on fossil material comprising multiple individuals and most parts of the skeleton of an early Middle Jurassic dicraeosaurid. The new discovery challenges conventional biogeographical ideas, and suggests that dispersal into East Asia occurred much earlier than expected. Moreover, the age of this new taxon indicates that many advanced sauropod lineages originated at least 15 million years earlier than previously realised, achieving a global distribution while Pangaea was still a coherent landmass.


Systematic paleontology
Sauropoda Marsh, 1878
Neosauropoda Bonaparte, 1986
Diplodocoidea (Marsh, 1884)

Dicraeosauridae Janensch, 1929

Lingwulong shenqi gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology: Lingwu, after the region where the specimens were found; long, the Mandarin Chinese for ‘dragon’; and shenqi, the Mandarin Chinese for ‘amazing’, reflecting the unexpected discovery of a dicraeosaurid in the Middle Jurassic of China.

Horizon and locality: Yanan Formation, late Early to early Middle Jurassic (late Toarcian–Bajocian), Lingwu Geopark, near Ciyaopu, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China.

Diagnosis: Autapomorphies: prefrontal anterior process directed laterally; orbital dorsal margin strongly ornamented by deep, longitudinal grooves and tubercles; long-axes of the free tips of the basal tubera directed anteromedially; capitate process mediolaterally long (length:height ratio c. 5.0); occipital condyle articular surface wide transversely (width:height ratio c. 1.54); lateral surface of cervical prezygapophyseal process bears a ridge formed by a linear array of tubercles; subcircular facet-like region at the summit of metapophyses in middle cervical-anterior dorsal vertebrae; small process projects anterodorsally from the anterior margin of the transverse process, near its distal end, in anterior dorsal vertebrae; anterior dorsal metapophyses twisted along their length; anterior caudal neural spines bear subtriangular facet-like areas, extending from summit to spine mid-height.




Fig. 1 Cranial material of Lingwulong shenqi. Braincase in:
 left lateral (a), dorsal (b), occipital (c), and ventral (d) views. Dentary teeth in occlusal view (e). The 5th and 6th left dentary tooth crowns in labial view (f).

 Abbreviations: bpp, basipterygoid process; bt, basal tubera; f, frontal; fps, frontoparietal suture; gt, grooves and tubercles; pf, prefrontal; llp, ‘leaf’-like process; oc, occipital condyle; p, parietal; pcp, capitate process; paf, proatlantal facet; pag, proatlantal groove; pfap, prefrontal anterior process; po, postorbital; povp, postorbital ventral process; pp, paroccipital process; sc, sagittal crest; so, supraoccipital; sq, squamosal; sqhp, squamosal hook-like process; sqvp, squamosal ventral process; stf, supratemporal fenestra; wf, wear facet. Scale bars = 20 mm for a–e and 10 mm for f

Fig. 2 Skeletal reconstruction and exemplar skeletal remains of Lingwulong shenqi.
 Silhouette showing preserved elements (a); middle cervical vertebra in left lateral (b) and anterior (c) views; anterior dorsal vertebra in left lateral (d) and anterior (e) views; posterior dorsal vertebra in lateral view (f); sacrum and ilium in left lateral view (g); anterior caudal vertebra in left lateral (h) and anterior (i) views; right scapulocoracoid in lateral view (j); right humerus in anterior view (k); left pubis in lateral view (l); right ischium in lateral (m) views; right femur in posterior view (n); and right tibia in lateral view (o).

Abbreviations: ap, ambiens process; ar, acromial ridge; ip, iliac peduncle; naf, notch anterior to glenoid; np, neural spine; podl, postzygodiapophyseal lamina; ppr, prezygapophyseal process ridge; prp, prezygapophysis; pvf, posteroventral fossa; slf, shallow lateral fossa; spol, spinopostzygapophyseal lamina; sprl, spinoprezygapophyseal lamina; wls, wing-like structure. Scale bars = 100 cm for a and 5 cm for b–o

Fig. 3 Time-calibrated evolutionary tree for Eusauropoda. Agreement subtree produced in TNT, with additional diplodocid taxa incorporated (see Supplementary Note 4). All macronarian taxa have been combined into a single lineage, and non-sauropod sauropodomorphs have been removed, in order to enhance clarity (see Supplementary Fig. 13 for the full version of this tree). Silhouettes of dinosaurs drawn by Scott Hartman, Mike Taylor, and Mathew Wedel, and available at Phylopic (phylopic.org) under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Global paleogeographic reconstructions from the Paleobiology Database (paleobiodb.org)
  


Xing Xu, Paul Upchurch, Philip D. Mannion, Paul M. Barrett, Omar R. Regalado-Fernandez, Jinyou Mo, Jinfu Ma and Hongan Liu. 2018. A New Middle Jurassic Diplodocoid Suggests An Earlier Dispersal and Diversification of Sauropod Dinosaurs. Nature Communications. 9, 2700.  DOI:  10.1038/s41467-018-05128-1

'Amazing Dragon' Fossil Upends Origins of World's Largest Dinosaurs on.natgeo.com/2JQPINr @NatGeoScience