Tuesday, July 23, 2019

[PaleoOrnithology • 2019] Conflicto antarcticus • A Stem Anseriform from the early Palaeocene of Antarctica provides New Key Evidence in the Early Evolution of Waterfowl

Conflicto antarcticus  
Tambussi, Degrange, De Mendoza, Sferco & Santillana, 2019

Illustration by H. Santiago Druetta  facebook.com/HSantiagoDruetta

A new AnseriformesConflicto antarcticus gen. et sp. nov., represented by associated bones of a single individual, from the early Palaeocene of Antarctica is described. The new taxon is unlike any other known member of the order. Conflicto antarcticus is a medium-sized (2 kg) stem anseriform. The forelimb and pectoral girdle bones suggest that it was a flying bird, and the bones of the hindlimb show that it had elongated legs. The os quadratum represents a unique combination of features; some are similar to the features of the ancestral quadrate for galloanserines and some are similar to Anseriformes, but features such as the presence of three foramina are exclusive among Neornithes. The incisura or foramen nervi suracoracoidei is absent in C. antarcticus, as in most anatids and all Galliformes. Phylogenetic analysis shows that C. antarcticus + Anatalavis oxfordi is the most basal stem Anseriformes clade. This implies that the duck-type beak must have developed at an early stage of anseriform evolution. Conflicto antarcticus represents one (and possibly the most) substantial record of a non-marine Palaeocene bird from the Southern Hemisphere and supports the hypothesis that Neognathae had already diversified in the earliest Palaeocene.

Keywords: Antarctica, Anseriformes, Conflicto antarcticus, Palaeocene, phylogeny

The skull of Conflicto antarcticus gen. et sp. nov. A, left lateral view. B, right lateral view. The arrows point at the bulges of the os frontale.
Abbreviations: cnt, crista nuchalis transversa; fal, facies articularis lacrimalis; fg, fossae glandularum; fnII, nerve II exit foramen; fnV2-3, nerve V2–3 exit foramen; foc, fonticuli orbitocraniales; foi, fonticulus interorbitalis; fst, fossa subtemporalis; ft, fossa temporalis; na, nares; pbt, processus basipterygoideus; pc, prominentia cerebellaris; pco, processus coronoideus; plm, processus lateralis mandibulae; pp, processus paroccipitalis; ppo, processus postorbitalis; pr, processus retroarticularis; psn, pila supranasalis; rp, rostrum parasphenoidale; ta, tuba auditiva. Scale bar: 1 cm.


Aves Linnaeus, 1758
Neognathae Pycraft, 1900
Galloanseres Sibley & Ahlquist, 1990
Order Anseriformes (Wagler, 1831)

Incertae familiae

Conflicto gen. nov.

Derivation of name: Conflicto, from the Latin conflictus (contradiction, masculine in gender), owing to the controversial systematic position of the taxon. 

 Conflicto antarcticus sp. nov.

Derivation of name: Relative to the geographical area of origin, Antarctica.

Skeletal anatomy of Conflicto antarcticus gen. et sp. nov. MLP 07-III-1-1. Bones coloured in grey are missing. Some of the bones have been mirrored (e.g. os quadratum, os coracoideum) or restored based on both homologous bones (e.g. humerus) Scale bar: 5 cm.


Claudia P. Tambussi, Federico J. Degrange, Ricardo S. De Mendoza, Emilia Sferco and Sergrio Santillana. 2019. A Stem Anseriform from the early Palaeocene of Antarctica provides New Key Evidence in the Early Evolution of Waterfowl. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 186(3); 673–700. DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zly085  

Nueva clave para comprender la evolución del pico de pato conicet.gov.ar/nueva-clave-para-comprender-la-evolucion-del-pico-de-pato/

[Botany • 2019] Origin of Rosa × binaloudensis (Rosaceae), A New Natural Hybrid Species from Iran

Rosa × binaloudensis 

in Vaezi, Arjmandi & Sharghi, 2019. 

Rosa x binaloudensis, a new natural hybrid between R. beggeriana and R. persica is described and characterized after analyzing a set of morphological and molecular data. The putative hybrid with a small population occurs in the mountainous area of northeastern Iran. This taxon resembles R. beggeriana in having white corolla and pinnately compound leaves but its petals have red blotch at the base of each more similar to R. persica. In the morphological study we performed both the univariate and multivariate analyses. Results of Mann-Whitney U test show that among 62 vegetative and floral morphological traits used, 37 (59%) of the hybrid characters are parental-like, 14 (23%) traits are intermediate and 11 (18%) appear to be transgressive (both new and extreme characters). Multivariate analyses (PCoA) generally show that the hybrid is intermediate between its putative parents. In the molecular study we amplified, cloned, and sequenced ribotypes (nuclear rDNA-ITS region) of the hybrid, its putative parents and all members of the subgenus Rosa to detect their possible involvement in the hybridization. In addition to phylogenetic tree reconstruction, due to low molecular resolution among the ITS ribotypes, a phylogenetic network was also provided. Both the phylogenetic tree and haplotype network analysis confirmed the occurrence of the hybridization between the proposed parental species, R. beggeriana and R. persica. By using the chloroplastic trnL-F sequences, our phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that R. persica has played as a maternal role in the hybridization.

Keywords: Rosaceae, hybridization, morphology, molecular phylogeny, network, Eudicots

Rosa x binaloudensis

Jamil Vaezi, Ali Asghar Arjmandi and Hamid Reza Sharghi. 2019. Origin of Rosa x binaloudensis (Rosaceae), A New Natural Hybrid Species from Iran. Phytotaxa. 411(1); 23–38.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.411.1.2

[Botany • 2019] Persicaria rotundaPersicaria jucunda var. rotunda (Polygonaceae, Persicarieae), A Distinct Distylous Taxa raised to Specific Rank

Persicaria rotunda (Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun) Bo Li

in Guo, Chen, Chen & Li, 2019.

Persicaria jucunda (Meisn.) Migo var. rotunda (Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun) Bo Li was originally published in the genus Polygonum L. and treated as a variety of P. rotundum Meisn. [≡Persicaria jucunda (Meisn.) Migo]. After carefully comparing the macro- and micro-morphological characteristics of the achenes, leaf epidermis and tepals and the habitat between the variety and its typical variety, we confirmed that P. jucunda var. rotunda is clearly different from P. jucunda and should not be treated as a variety, but be raised to a specific rank as P. rotunda (Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun) Bo Li. The species is distylous and could be easily distinguished from all other Persicaria taxa by a combination of morphological characters, such as completely decumbent leafless basal branches, almost sessile leaves, linear-lanceolate with rounded leaf bases, spicate, short and dense inflorescences, slender pedicels longer than bracts and dimorphic flowers and achenes. P. rotunda is endemic to several large wetlands of eastern China and usually occurs as one of the dominant species in some plant communities.

Keywords: Distyly, micro-morphology, new combination, Polygonum, variety

Figure 1. Persicaria rotunda (Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun) Bo Li
A plant community with P. rotunda

Figure 1. Persicaria rotunda (Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun) Bo Li
 B close-up view of an individual in situ C an individual showing branches D leaves E leaf base F ocrea G inflorescences. Scale bars: 1 cm (E, F, G). 

Persicaria rotunda (Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun) Bo Li, comb. &, stat. nov.
Polygonum jucundum Meisn. var. rotundum Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 45(5): 714 (713–718; figs.). 2007. Type: CHINA. Anhui Province, Dongzhi County, Shengjin Lake, on riparian plains, Alt. 6–20 m, 4 October 2006, Z.Z.Zhou 0602 (holotype: PE!, isotype: ANU).
Persicaria jucunda (Meisn.) Migo var. rotunda (Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun) Bo Li, Phytotaxa. 91 (1): 24. 2013.

Diagnosis: This species is easily distinguished from other Persicaria taxa by its completely decumbent leafless basal branches, almost sessile leaves, truncate, linear-lanceolate leaf blades, spicate, short and dense inflorescences, pedicels longer than bracts and dimorphic flowers and achenes. It occurs as one of the dominant species of some lakeshore plant communities in several large wetlands of northern Jiangxi and south-western Anhui provinces, eastern China.

Figure 2. Line drawing of Persicaria rotunda (Z.Z.Zhou & Q.Y.Sun) Bo Li
A branches and inflorescences B ocrea and leaf C inflorescence D S-morph flower and its pistil E L-morph flower and its pistil F S-morph achene G L-morph achene.

Distribution and habitat: Persicaira rotunda is currently known only from several wetlands in north of Jiangxi Province and southwest of Anhui Province, eastern China and mainly grows in marshy and grassy areas around Daguan Lake, Lihu Lake, Longgan Lake, Poyang Lake Qingcao Lake, Shengjin Lake, Shimeng Lake and Wuchang Lake, which are several small to large lakes located near the Yangtze River. It usually occurs as one of the dominant species of some lakeshore plant communities (Fig. 1A).

 Yue-Ning Guo, Shao-Feng Chen, Ming-Lin Chen and Bo Li. 2019. Persicaria jucunda var. rotunda (Polygonaceae, Persicarieae), A Distinct Distylous Taxa raised to Specific Rank. PhytoKeys. 126: 127-138.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.126.35442

[Botany • 2019] Gentiana bolavenensis (Gentianaceae) • A New Species from Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area in southern Laos

Gentiana bolavenensis Nagah., Tagane & Soulad.

in Nagahama, Tagane, Souladeth, et al,, 2019. 
Wheed Bolaven | ຫວີດບໍລະເວນ || DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2019.47.2.02

A new species of GentianaGentiana bolavenensis (Gentianaceae) is described from Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area in southern Laos, with photographs, a vernacular name and a preliminary conservation status.

KEYWORDS:  Bolaven Plateau, flora, Gentianales, Indochina, taxonomy

 Figure 2. Gentiana bolavenensis Nagah., Tagane & Soulad.: 
A & B. habit; C. abaxial leaf surface; D. pale purple flower, top view; E. light pale blue flower, top view; F. flower opened; G. side view of flower bud; H. calyx opened out; J. outside of corolla opened; K. corolla opened out showing stamens; L. pistil.
Scale bars: H–L = 5 mm. H–L from Tagane et al. L2116 (FOF). 

Gentiana bolavenensis Nagah., Tagane & Soulad., sp. nov.

Gentiana bolavenensis is similar to G. ting-nung-hoae Halda and G. laotica, but differs from the former in having a larger size (9.5–18.3 cm tall in G. bolavenensis vs. 1–7(–10) cm tall in G. ting-nung-hoae), longer calyx tube and lobes (calyx tube 4 mm long, lobes 6–7 mm long, vs calyx tube 2.5 mm, lobes 2–3 mm long, respectively), longer stamens (ca 6 mm long vs 4–4.5 mm long) and shorter stigma (1 mm long vs 2–2.5 mm long), and from the latter in having light pale blue or pale purple corolla (vs whitish in G. laotica) and lanceolate, narrowly elliptic,oblanceolate leaves (vs obovate to obovate-oblong in G. laotica)

 Etymology.— The specific epithet refers to the Bolaven Plateau where we collected the plant.

Distribution.— Laos (so far known only from Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area; Fig. 1).

Ecology.— Three small populations each consisting of ca 20–30 individuals were found in the open grasslands on the top of Bolaven Plateau, at altitudes of 1,239 m, 1,260 m and 1,268 m (Fig. 2). From the latter two, we collected the above specimens.

Vernacular name.— Wheed Bolaven (ຫວີດບໍລະເວນ) (suggested here).

Ai Nagahama, Shuichiro Tagane, Phetlasy Souladeth, Anousone Sengthong and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2019. Gentiana bolavenensis (Gentianaceae), A New Species from Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area in southern Laos. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany). 47(2), 133-136. DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2019.47.2.02

Monday, July 22, 2019

[Botany • 2019] Recircumscription and Revision of the Genus Vanoverberghia (Zingiberaceae)

Vanoverberghia sepulchrei Merr. 

Vanoverberghia diversifolia Elmer.
Vanoverberghia sasakiana Funak. & H.Ohashi.

in Docot, Banag, Tandang, et al., 2019. 

The genus Vanoverberghia currently includes three species namely V. sepulchrei and V. rubrobracteata from the Philippines and V. sasakiana from Taiwan. New material targeting the Alpinia eubractea clade of the tribe Alpinieae was used to test the monophyly of Vanoverberghia. A combined analysis of the ITS and trnK/matK regions reveals that these three species form a strongly supported monophyletic clade with Alpinia diversifolia and Alpinia vanoverberghii. The morphological descriptions of all species were updated after examining recent collections and comparing with types and protologues. The original description of A. diversifolia did not include information on the flowers which are described here. The morphology of A. diversifolia and A. vanoverberghii is for most parts in accordance with the previous perception of the genus but a few characters are added and a recircumscription of Vanoverberghia is subsequently provided here. Vanoverberghia diversifolia is reinstated and A. vanoverberghii is combined in Vanoverberghia. Furthermore, collections from northern Luzon documents the presence of V. sasakiana and all species of Vanoverberghia thus occur in the Philippines. A key to the five species is provided including a comprehensive taxonomic revision and designation of three lectotypes.

Keywords: Alpinia; ITS; Lanyu; Luzon; new species record; trnK/matK

Vanoverberghia diversifolia Elmer.

Photo: D.N. Tandang.

Vanoverberghia rubrobracteata Docot & Ambida.

Photo: R.V.A. Docot.

Vanoverberghia sasakiana Funak. & H.Ohashi.

Photo: S.-W. Chung.

Vanoverberghia sepulchrei Merr.
 Photo: R.V.A. Docot.

 R.V.A. Docot, C.I. Banag, D.N. Tandang, H. Funakoshi and A.D. Poulsen. 2019. Recircumscription and Revision of the Genus Vanoverberghia (Zingiberaceae). Blumea. 64; 140–157. 
J.H.B. Ambida, A.M.A. Alviar, P.S.A. Co, F.G.M. Concepcion, C.I. Banag and R.V.A. Docot. 2018. A New Species of Vanoverberghia (Zingiberaceae) from the Philippines.  Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plant. DOI:  10.3767/blumea.2018.63.02.07

Saturday, July 20, 2019

[Herpetology • 2019] Proahaetulla antiqua • Discovery of A Deeply Divergent New Lineage of Vine Snake (Colubridae: Ahaetuliinae) from the southern Western Ghats of Peninsular India with A Revised Key for Ahaetuliinae

 Proahaetulla antiqua 
Mallik, Achyuthan, Ganesh, Pal, Vijayakumar & Shanker, 2019

The Western Ghats are well known as a biodiversity hotspot, but the full extent of its snake diversity is yet to be uncovered. Here, we describe a new genus and species of vine snake Proahaetulla antiqua gen. et sp. nov., from the Agasthyamalai hills in the southern Western Ghats. It was found to be a member of the Ahaetuliinae clade, which currently comprises the arboreal snake genera Ahaetulla, Dryophiops, Dendrelaphis and Chrysopelea, distributed in South and Southeast Asia. Proahaetulla shows a sister relationship with all currently known taxa belonging to the genus Ahaetulla, and shares ancestry with Dryophiops. In addition to its phylogenetic position and significant genetic divergence, this new taxon is also different in morphology from members of Ahaetuliinae in a combination of characters, having 12–13 partially serrated keels on the dorsal scale rows, 20 maxillary teeth and 3 postocular scales. Divergence dating reveals that the new genus is ancient, dating back to the Mid-Oligocene, and is one of the oldest persisting monotypic lineages of snakes in the Western Ghats. This discovery adds to the growing list of ancient lineages endemic to the Agasthyamalai hills and underscores the biogeographic significance of this isolated massif in the southern Western Ghats.

Fig 2. (A) Maximum likelihood tree showing the relationship of Proahaetulla antiqua gen. et sp. nov. within family Ahaetuliinae. Value on each node indicates the bootstrap support. (B) Photograph of holotype specimen in life. (C) Dorsal and lateral view of head. (D) Dentition arrangement of maxillary arch.


Ahaetuliinae Figueroa, McKelvy, Grismer, Bell, Lailvaux, 2016
Ahaetuliinae Pyron, Burbrink, Wiens, 2013 (invalid nomen).
Ahaetullinae Zheng & Wiens, 2015 (invalid nomen).

Proahaetulla gen. nov.

Type species, by present designation: Proahaetulla antiqua sp. nov., 
by monotypy.

Etymology: The generic epithet Proahaetulla gen. nov. stems from the generic nomen Ahaetulla indicating the early divergence of the lineage from the rest of the Ahaetuliinae members. Gender feminine. The specific epithet antiqua is Latin for ‘antique’ or old, a term alluding to the evolutionary age or antiquity of this new taxon.

Lineage diagnosis.
  1. Proahaetulla gen. nov. is a member of the subfamily Ahaetuliinae, and shares ancestry and a sister relationship with Aheatulla clade.
  2. It shows high genetic divergence and differs from members of the genus Ahaetulla (including A. nasuta, A. pulverulenta, A. prasina, A. anomala, A. fronticinta, A. fasciolata and A. mycterizans) with genetic distances of 14.1–17.4% on Cytb, 16.0–18.1% on ND4 and 5.2–6.5% on 16S genes.
  3. Morphologically, it is characterized by the presence of horizontally elliptical pupil; concave loreal region, enabling a near-binocular vision; snout produced forward to a fine point; and bright-green dorsum. Proahaetulla gen. nov. differs from Ahaetulla (A. anomala, A. nasuta, A. dispar, A. pulverulenta, A. mycterizans, A. fasciolata, A. fronticincta & A. prasina) in showing the following combination of morphological characters: 12–13 rows of mildly serrated, keeled dorsal scales starting from the nape till the dorsal scales that are situated in the row adjacent to the cloacal plate; strongest keels on the mid vertebral row (7th or 8th row) of scales; keels consecutively weaker in the paravertebral row of scales (dorsal scales smooth in most Ahaetulla, partly keeled near sacral region in A. perroteti); a set of 20 maxillary teeth (12–16 in Ahaetulla) and post-ocular scales 2–3 (2 in Ahaetulla); greenish yellow tongue with black speckles (vs. reddish, purplish or brownish tongue in Ahaetulla spp.).
  4. Proahaetulla gen. nov. differs from all the known genera in Ahaetuliinae as follows: pupil horizontally elliptical (vs. rounded in DendrelaphisChrysopelea); snout tip pointed (vs. rounded in DendrelaphisChrysopelea); dorsum verdant green (vs. never totally green in DendrelaphisChrysopeleaDryophiops); dorsal scales keeled (vs. smooth in DendrelaphisDryophiopsAhaetulla); vertebral scales not enlarged (vs. enlarged in Dendrelaphis); dorsal body scales without apical pits (vs. with apical pits in DendrelaphisChrysopeleaDryophiops); maxillary teeth 20 (vs. < 16 in Ahaetulla; > 22 in DendrelaphisChrysopelea); mid body scale rows 13–15 (vs. not less than 15 in DryophiopsAhaetulla; 17 in Chrysopelea) (Table 3).
 Proahaetulla antiqua gen. et sp. nov.

Relationships: The new lineage is a sister taxon to the genus Ahaetulla, as recovered in our phylogeny. Our tree topology varies slightly in comparison to previous reconstructions, likely due to the use of the different nucleotide substitution models for the analyses (Bayesian analysis with mixed substitution models vs. ML analysis with GTRG model). In addition, we were unable to include other available RAG1 sequences from the GenBank as they could not be aligned with our generated RAG1 sequences. Regardless of the variation in the topology within the Ahaetulla clade, there is very strong support for the node of interest (the relationship between Proahaetulla gen. nov. and Ahaetulla) in both the analyses. The generic status of Proahaetulla gen. nov. is further supported by the date of divergence (26.57 Ma) from its MRCA, indicating that it is the oldest lineage in the group, besides also differing from Ahaetulla and other genera in morphological characters.

Distribution: The new taxon was found only in the far south of the Western Ghats. It occurs in Agasthyamalai hills, where it was recorded in the high elevation wet forests (> 1200 m asl) at Agasthyamalai peak and in Pandimotta (Fig 5). The new taxon’s range is likely to encompass other high elevation regions of Agasthyamalai. This taxon also broadly overlaps in its latitudinal distributional range with A. cf. dispar and A. cf. nasuta.

Fig 5. Habitat at the type locality of Proahaetulla antiqua gen. et sp. nov., showing montane rainforests atop Agasthyamalai hills, southern Western Ghats.

Natural history: The holotype was collected from a tree branch inside a forest patch at an elevation of 1640 msl, on the way to Agasthyar peak. It was found resting coiled on a tree at ca. 1640 h about 2.5 meters above the forest floor. The paratype was sighted at night around 2200 h, sleeping on a shrub at a height of about 2 m from the ground, inside a dense forest patch at an elevation of 1224 msl in Pandimotta ca. 25 km north of the type locality. Members of Ahaetuliinae are mostly arboreal snakes with a few outliers such as Ahaetulla perroteti and A. dispar with environmental adaptations and a body plan suited for a life in open montane grasslands. The body morphology of this genus is similar to arboreal Ahaetulla and Dryophiops. Since both the specimens were found inside thickly wooded forests resting and showing activity on trees and shrubs, we speculate that this taxon is also adapted to a completely arboreal lifestyle.


Key to Ahaetuliinae

1a) pupil horizontal; canthus rostralis strongly concave … 2a
1b) pupil rounded; canthus rostralis not strongly concave … 4a

2a) mid-dorsum with 13–15 rows of keeled scales …. Proahaetulla gen. nov. (1 species)
2b) mid-dorsum with not < 15 rows of smooth scales … 3a

3a) dorsal scales without apical pits; ventrals smooth … Ahaetulla (9 species)
3b) dorsal scales with apical pits; ventrals keeled … Dryophiops (2 species)

4a) mid-dorsum with 13–15 rows of scales; ventrals keeled … Dendrelaphis (45 species)
4b) mid-dorsum with 17 rows of keeled scales; ventrals notched … Chrysopelea (5 species)

 Ashok Kumar Mallik, N. Srikanthan Achyuthan, Sumaithangi R. Ganesh, Saunak P. Pal, S. P. Vijayakumar and Kartik Shanker. 2019. Discovery of A Deeply Divergent New Lineage of Vine Snake (Colubridae: Ahaetuliinae: Proahaetulla gen. nov.) from the southern Western Ghats of Peninsular India with A Revised Key for Ahaetuliinae. PLoS ONE. 14(7): e0218851. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218851

Friday, July 19, 2019

[Mammalogy • 2019] Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis Discovery and Description of A Mysterious Asian Flying Squirrel (Rodentia, Sciuridae, Biswamoyopterus) from Mount Gaoligong, southwest China

Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis 
Li, Li, Jackson, Li, Jiang, Zhao, Song & Jiang, 2019

The flying squirrels of the tribe Pteromyini (Family Sciuridae) currently include 15 genera of which the genus Biswamoyopterus comprises two recognized species, B. biswasi Saha, 1981 and B. laoensis Sanamxay et al., 2013. These two species were each described from only one specimen that are separated from each other by 1,250 kilometres in southern Asia, where they occur in northeast India and central Lao PDR respectively. In 2017 and 2018, two specimens of Biswamoyopterus were discovered from Mount Gaoligong, west Yunnan province, southwest China (between the type locality of the two recognized species). This study aimed to evaluate the taxonomic status of these two newly acquired specimens of Biswamoyopterus by comparing their morphology with the two described species of the genus. The results of this study showed that the specimens from Yunnan province (China) differed from both B. laoensis and B. biswasi in both pelage colour and craniology, and should be recognised as a distinct speciesBiswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov., which is formally described here. This study contributes to the understanding of the flying squirrels of southern Asia and identifies an additional species that appears to be endemic to southwest China; however, more research is required to provide details of its ecology, distribution, and conservation status.

Keywords: Biodiversity, conservation, mammal, Pteromyini, systematics, taxonomy, threatened, wildlife, Yunnan

Figure 1. Known localities of three species of Biswamoyopterus.


Figure 4. Skins of the three known Biswamoyopterus species
A, B (ZSI 20705, holotype) Biswamoyopterus biswasi C, D (KIZ 034924, holotype) 
 Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov.
E, F (NUoL FES.MM.12.163, holotype) Biswamoyopterus laoensis. The images E, F were derived from Sanamxay et al. (2013).

 Figure 5. Skulls, left maxillary (above) and left mandibular (below) tooth rows of the three known Biswamoyopterus species.
A (ZSI 20705, holotype) Biswamoyopterus biswasi B (KIZ 034924, holotype)  Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov. C (NUoL FES.MM.12.163, holotype) Biswamoyopterus laoensis. The images of C were derived from Sanamxay et al. (2013).

Class Mammalia Linnaeus, 1758
Order Rodentia Bowdich, 1821

Family Sciuridae Fischer, 1817
Subfamily Sciurinae Fischer, 1817
Tribe Pteromyini Brandt, 1855

Genus Biswamoyopterus Saha, 1981

Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov. 
Common name: Mount Gaoligong Flying Squirrel. 
Chinese common name "高黎贡比氏鼯鼠".

Etymology: The specific name is derived from Mount Gaoligong, the type locality of the new species and –ensis, Latin for belonging to.

Diagnosis: Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from the other two described species of Biswamoyopterus by the following combination of traits: 1) The ear tufts at the base of the posterior margins of ears are bicolored, basally white and terminal black. The scrotum is dark brown which strongly contrasts with the yellowish-white abdominal pelage. 2) The muzzle is very short, and the zygomatic arch is distinctly expanding outward, making the outline of the skull short and wide. The outer margin of the nasal bone, the orbital margin of the frontal bone, and the post-orbital margin of the frontal bone are almost parallel to the midline of skull on the dorsal view. The central point of the posterior margin of the palatal bones lies in front of the posterior margin of M3. 3) M1 and M2 are sub-square in outline, and as large as P4. The hypoconid of P4-M2 are very developed, strongly pointed towards posterior buccal side.

Figure 6. Ear tufts of the three Biswamoyopterus species, the red arrow indicates the anterior tufts, and the yellow arrow indicates the posterior tufts
 A (ZSI 20705, holotype) Biswamoyopterus biswasi B (KIZ 034924, holotype)  Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov. C (NUoL FES.MM.12.163, holotype) Biswamoyopterus laoensis. The image C was derived from Sanamxay et al. (2013).

Distribution: Apart from the locality of the holotype, there are two more localities in Yunnan, China, where the Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov. was photographed. These include Linjiapu, 10 km west of the type locality; and Banchang, 9 km south of the type locality (Fig. 1). Although these three localities cover the east and west slopes of Mount Gaoligong (the watershed of the Irrawaddy River and the Nu River [Salween River]), they are all restricted in a small area of southern Mount Gaoligong.

Natural history: Little is known about the natural history of Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov. The holotype was collected from evergreen broad-leaved forest at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level. A set of photos taken in Linjiapu showed a Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis sp. nov. resting on the branches of Daphniphyllum sp. Petaurista yunanensis, P. elegans, and Hylopetes alboniger were also collected in the same habitat where the holotype was collected.

 Quan Li, Xue-You Li, Stephen M. Jackson, Fei Li, Ming Jiang, Wei Zhao, Wen-Yu Song and Xue-Long Jiang. 2019. Discovery and Description of A Mysterious Asian Flying Squirrel (Rodentia, Sciuridae, Biswamoyopterus) from Mount Gaoligong, southwest China. ZooKeys. 864: 147-160.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.864.33678
New species of flying squirrel from Southwest China added to the rarest and 'most wanted' |blog.pensoft.net/2019/07/18/new-species-of-flying-squirrel-from-southwest-china-added-to-the-rarest-and-most-wanted

[Mollusca • 2019] Calliostoma bullatum • Last Snails Standing Since the Early Pleistocene, A Tale of Calliostomatidae (Gastropoda) Living in Deep-water Coral Habitats in the north-eastern Atlantic

 Calliostoma bullatum (Philippi, 1844) on various substrates

in Hoffman, Beuck, van Heugten & Freiwald, 2019.

Three species in the gastropod genus Calliostoma are confirmed as living in Deep-Water Coral (DWC) habitats in the NE Atlantic Ocean: Calliostoma bullatum (Philippi, 1844), C. maurolici (Seguenza, 1876) and C. leptophyma Dautzenberg & Fischer, 1896. Up to now, C. bullatum was only known as fossil from Early to Mid-Pleistocene outcrops in DWC-related habitats in southern Italy; our study confirmed its living presence in DWC off Mauritania. A discussion is provided on the distribution of DWC-related calliostomatids in the NE Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea from the Pleistocene to the present.

Keywords: Mollusca, Calliostoma, deep-water coral associations, NE Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, systematics

FIGURES 9–14. Calliostoma bullatum on various substrates. 
9. MSM16-3/GeoB 14871 (ROV4). Grazing on hydroids. 10. MSM16-3/GeoB 14871 (ROV4). Elongated, muscular foot supports feeding on polyp tissue (Madrepora oculata). Operculum and dorsal groove on foot indicated by arrow. 
11. MSM16-3/GeoB 14873 (ROV7). Muscular foot enables elevation of body above substrate (live Lophelia pertusa). Epipodial sense organs spread directly below the shell (arrow). 12. MSM16-3/GeoB 14871 (ROV4). Feeding on apical portions of a live Madrepora oculata
13. MSM16-3/GeoB 14779 (ROV2). Two individuals feeding on Lophelia pertusa tissue; note the grazing tracks showing the bare, white coral skeleton devoid of polyp tissue in contrast to the orange to pale-pinkish live portions. 14. MSM16-3/GeoB 14891 (ROV9). Three individuals of different sizes all feeding on epibionts of Lophelia pertusa framework; note the grazing traces on adjacent live Lophelia pertusa portions (see arrow). 
[Figs 9-20 were taken by ROV “Sperre”, Tomas Lundälv, Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Infrastructure, Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg, Strömstad, Sweden].

FIGURES 15–20. Calliostoma bullatum on substrates.
 15. MSM16-3/GeoB 14871 (ROV5). Grazing on carnivorous sponge Cladorhiza corallophila; arrow indicating grazing effect. 16. MSM16-3/GeoB 14902 (ROV10). On framework encrusting sponge.
17. MSM16-3/GeoB 14902 (ROV10). Grazing on a valve of live Acesta excavata, which is colonised by epibionts; the two laser points are at a distance of 6 cm. 18. MSM16-3/GeoB 14902 (ROV10). Grazing on a valve of dead Acesta excavata (note in direct surrounding the free portions of epibionts on the valve and the white framework portions of Lophelia pertusa lacking any tissue).
 19. MSM16-3/GeoB 14902 (ROV10). Grazing on a gastropod shell (Ranella olearium). 20. MSM16-3/ GeoB 14891 (ROV9). Grazing on dead hydroid axis in close vicinity to a Solenogastres.

Leon Hoffman, Lydia Beuck, Bart van Heugten and André Freiwald. 2019. Last Snails Standing Since the Early Pleistocene, A Tale of Calliostomatidae (Gastropoda) Living in Deep-water Coral Habitats in the north-eastern Atlantic.  Zootaxa. 4613(1); 93–110. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4613.1.4

[Ornithology • 2019] Multiple Species within the Striated Prinia Prinia crinigeraBrown Prinia P. polychroa complex revealed through An Integrative Taxonomic Approach

(a-b) Prinia polychroa deignani 
(a) Sakaerat Environmental Research Station, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand, presumed female (DZUG 3547); 
(b) Thung Kamang, Phu Khieo, Chaiyaphum Prov., Thailand, (photo: );

(c) P. polychroa cooki Bagan, Myanmar; ( d) P. polychroa rocki Di Linh town, Da Lat Plateau, Lam Dong, Vietnam.

in Alström, Rasmussen, Sangster, Dalvi, Round, et al., 2019. 
(photos: Dave Sargeant, James Eaton & Le Manh Hung)

We re‐evaluated the taxonomy of the Striated Prinia Prinia crinigera‐Brown Prinia P. polychroa complex using molecular, morphological and vocal analyses. The extensive seasonal, sexual, age‐related, geographic, and taxon‐specific variation in this complex has never before been adequately studied. As no previous genetic or vocal analyses focused on this group, misinterpretation of taxonomic signals from limited conventional morphological study alone was likely. Using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, we found that P. crinigera sensu lato (s.l.) comprises two non‐sister groups of taxa (Himalayan crinigera and Chinese striata groups) that differ substantially morphologically and vocally, and that are broadly sympatric in Yunnan Province, China. Prinia polychroa cooki (Myanmar) and P. p. rocki (southern Vietnam) are each morphologically, vocally and genetically distinct. Thai, Cambodian and Laotian populations formerly ascribed to P. p. cooki are morphologically and vocally most similar to and most closely related to Javan P. p. polychroa, and require a new name, proposed here. Prinia p. bangsi of Yunnan is part of the crinigera group rather than of P. polychroa, and hence there is no evidence for sympatry between P. polychroa s.l. and P. crinigera s.l., nor of the occurrence of P. polychroa in mainland China or Taiwan. We recommend the recognition of five species in the complex, with the following suggestions for new English names: Himalayan Prinia P. crinigera sensu stricto (s.s.; with subspecies striatula, crinigera, yunnanensis and bangsi); Chinese Prinia P. striata (subspecies catharia, parumstriata and striata); Burmese Prinia P. cooki (monotypic); Annam Prinia P. rocki (monotypic); and Deignan's Prinia P. polychroa s.s. (subspecies Javan polychroa and the new Southeast Asian taxon). This study underscores the importance of using multiple data sets for the elucidation of diversity of cryptic bird species and their evolutionary history and biogeography.

Keywords: Cisticolidae, Sylvioidea, biodiversity, phylogeography, vocalizations, systematics, DNA, morphology

Figure 5 . Prinia polychroa ‘core cooki’ (here described as a new subspecies) ( a) Sakaerat Environmental Research Station, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand, 4 Jan 2014, presumed female (DZUG 3547); ( b) Thung Kamang, Phu Khieo, Chaiyaphum Prov., Thailand, 4 Feb 2012 (Dave Sargeant);
( c) P. polychroa cooki Bagan, Myanmar, 5 Apr 2016 (James Eaton); ( d) P. polychroa rocki Di Linh town, Da Lat Plateau, Lam Dong, Vietnam, 9 Jan 2017 (Le Manh Hung); 
( e) P. crinigera yunnanensis Bhutan, Mar 2017 (Shashank Dalvi); ( f) Prinia crinigera catharia Wenzhou, Zhejiang Prov., China, 20 Jul 2013 (Meijie Dai).


Prinia polychroa deignani, subsp. nov.
Sakaerat Environmental Research Station, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand,
4 Jan 2014, presumed female (DZUG 3547)

Prinia polychroa deignani, subsp. nov.

Distribution. Examined specimens of Prinia p. deignani are listed in Table 3 and Table S1, along with documented photographs and sound recordings. Based on these data, the new subspecies is confirmed to occur in scattered localities in northwest, central and eastern Thailand, southwestern Laos, and northwestern Cambodia. A sequenced specimen from Cambodia (NHMUK 1928.6.26.1198) is very similar in cyt b to the two sequenced Thai specimens.

 Etymology. We wish to honour Herbert Girton Deignan (1906 –1968) for his contributions to understanding of this complex specifically, and to Thai birds in general, by naming this new subspecies after him.

Based on our integrative taxonomic approach, analysing morphology, songs, DNA and geographical distributions, we recommend recognition of five species in the Prinia crinigera s.l. - P. polychroa s.l. complex, and suggest the following English names : Himalayan Prinia P. crinigera s.s. (with four subspecies) ; Chinese Prinia P. striata (with three subspecies) ; Burmese Prinia P. cooki (monotypic); Annam Prinia P. rocki (monotypic) and Deignan’s Prinia P. polychroa s.s. (with two subspecies), as summarised in Table 1 . We found no evidence that P. polychroa s.l. or s.s. occurs in mainland China , Taiwan, or India, or that P. striata occurs in India. Acceptance of this revision implies the existence of two new single - country endemics: P. cooki from Myanmar, and P. rocki from Vietnam. Prinia striata becomes endemic to mainland China and Taiwan. 

We describe a new subspecies of P. polychroa s.s., from Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. This study highlights the importance of taxonomic revisions of poorly studied polytypic birds using a modern integrative taxonomic approach to better estimate the true diversity of bird species.


Per Alström, Pamela C. Rasmussen, George Sangster, Shashank Dalvi, Philip D. Round, Ruying Zhang, Cheng‐Te Yao, Martin Irestedt, Hung Le Manh, Fumin Lei and Urban Olsson. 2019. Multiple Species within the Striated Prinia Prinia crinigera‐Brown Prinia P. polychroa complex revealed through An Integrative Taxonomic Approach. Ibis. DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12759