Sunday, April 5, 2020

[Herpetology • 2020] Four New Burmese Species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Distantly Related Parapatric Clades from the Shan Plateau and Salween Basin

Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini 
Grismer, Wood, Quah, Thura, Oaks & Lin, 2020

An integrative taxonomic analysis based on morphology, color pattern, and the mitochondrial gene ND2 recovered four new species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker that are endemic to the Shan Plateau or Salween Basin in eastern MyanmarHemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini sp. nov. from the Shan Plateau is part of the earlier described “eastern Myanmar clade” renamed herein as the north lineage and H. kyaiktiyoensis sp. nov. and H. pinlaungensis sp. nov. of the Shan Plateau and H. zwegabinensis sp. nov. of the Salween Basin compose an entirely new Burmese clade herein referred to as the south lineage. Although the north and south lineages come within 46 km of one another on the Shan Plateau, they are not sister lineages but sequentially separated by two lineages from Yunnan, China and another from northwestern Thailand. Hemiphyllodactylus zwegabinensis sp. nov. is the first species of this genus to be recorded from the Salween Basin and is known only from a wind-blown cloud forest on the top of the insular, karstic mountain Zwegabin in Kayin State. All other Burmese species except for H. typus, are endemic to the various localities throughout the Shan Plateau. These four new species bring the total number of Hemiphyllodactylus in Myanmar to at least 10 which is certainly an extreme underestimate of the diversity of this genus given that we discover new species at every upland locality we survey.

Keywords: Reptilia, Myanmar, Burma, gecko, integrative taxonomy, phylogeny, upland endemism

 Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini sp. nov.
 Adult female paratype (LSUHC 14326) from Myintmahati Cave, Shan State, Myanmar.
Photo by Evan S. H. Quah. 

Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini sp. nov. 
Ngwe Lwin’s Slender Gecko

Etymology. The specific epithet recognizes and honors Mr. Ngwe Lwin, northern Program Manager of Fauna and Flora International in Myanmar. Mr. Ngwe Lwin has been supportive and invaluably instrumental in facilitating our field work in Myanmar since October of 2017.

Hemiphyllodactylus zwegabinensis sp. nov. 
Zwegabin Mountain Slender Gecko

Etymology. The specific epithet is a toponym referring to the type locality of Zwegabin Mountain.

 Hemiphyllodactylus kyaiktiyoensis sp. nov. 
Kyaiktiyo Mountain Slender Gecko

 Etymology. The specific epithet is a toponym referring to the type locality of Kyaiktiyo Mountain, Mon State, Myanmar.

Hemiphyllodactylus pinlaungensis sp. nov. 
Pinlaung Slender Gecko

Etymology. The specific epithet is a toponym referring to the type locality of Pinlaung City, Shan State, Myanmar.

L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Jr. Wood, Evan S. H. Quah, Myint K. Thura, Jamie R. Oaks and Aung Lin. 2020. Four New Burmese Species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Distantly Related Parapatric Clades from the Shan Plateau and Salween Basin. Zootaxa. 4758(1); 45–82. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4758.1.2

[Paleontology • 2020] Afrotapejara zouhri • A New Tapejarid (Pterosauria, Azhdarchoidea) from the mid-Cretaceous Kem Kem Beds of Takmout, southern Morocco

Afrotapejara zouhri
Martill, Smith, Unwin, Kao, McPhee & Ibrahim, 2020


A new pterosaur, Afrotapejara zouhri gen. et sp. is described on the basis of a partial rostral fragment from the Cretaceous Kem Kem beds of Takmout, near Erfoud in southern Morocco. The taxon is distinguished from all other Tapejaridae on the possession of a dorsal expansion of the rostral margin a short distance from the rostral tip. Tapejarid features include a downturned rostrum (autapomorphic), edentuly, expansion of the rostral median crest (autapomorphic) and the presence of small foramina on the lateral margins and occlusal surface. The new specimen is the fourth edentulous pterosaur taxon from the Kem Kem beds and is the first unambiguous occurrence of Tapejaridae in Africa.

Keywords: Pterosauria, Azhdarchoidea, Tapejaridae, Cretaceous, Africa, Morocco

Fig. 4. Holotype (specimen number FSAC-KK 5004) partial rostrum of Afrotapejara zouhri gen. et sp. nov. from the Kem Kem beds of Ikhf N’ Taqmout, Errachidia Province, southern Morocco.
A, right lateral view; B, left lateral view; C, occlusal view; D, dorsal view;
Scale bar = 50 mm.

Systematic palaeontology 

MONOFENESTRATA Lü et al., 2009 

PTERODACTYLOIDEA Plieninger, 1901 
TAPEJARIDAE Kellner, 1989 

Genus AFROTAPEJARA gen. nov.

Derivation of generic name. A combination of Afro for Africa and tapejara from the Brazilian pterosaur Tapejara

Afrotapejara zouhri gen. et sp. 

Derivation of specific name. After Dr Samir Zouhri, Moroccan palaeontologist based in Casablanca who has helped us so much in our work in Morocco. 

 David M. Martill, Roy Smith, David M. Unwin, Alexander Kao, James McPhee and Nizar Ibrahim. 2020. A New Tapejarid (Pterosauria, Azhdarchoidea) from the mid-Cretaceous Kem Kem Beds of Takmout, southern Morocco. Cretaceous Research. 112, 104424.  DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2020.104424 

Ibrahim helps discover new species of flying reptile from 100 million years ago

[Ichthyology • 2020] Epinephelus sicanus (Doderlein, 1882) • A Valid Species of Grouper (Perciformes: Serranidae: Epinephelinae) from the Mediterranean Sea

Epinephelus sicanus (Doderlein, 1882)

in Massa, Cerasa, Bellia, et al., 2020. 

During the editing of the paper “In memory of Pietro Doderlein” (Massa et al. 2018), consulting Doderlein’s bibliography, and highlighting some interesting documents and the material preserved in the Museum of Zoology of the University of Palermo (MZPA) (today named after Doderlein), a taxonomic anomaly was noticed about a grouper collected more than one hundred years ago. The aim of the present statement is to prove that the name Cerna sicana Doderlein, 1882 (presently as Epinephelus sicanus [Doderlein, 1882]) should be considered a valid species unless it is demonstrated that it is a synonym of another valid species. In 1882 Doderlein described Cerna sicana from a single specimen (Fig. 1). The holotype is a female, composed of three parts: MZPA-P/46 comprising the stuffed specimen bearing the external anatomical features (Fig. 1), MZPA-AN/440 comprising the dry gill arches and the heart (Fig. 2), and MZPA-AN/1233 comprising the vertebral column (Fig. 3). The eyes and the digestive and reproductive organs, originally stored in liquid, are lost. The specimen was collected in the central Mediterranean Sea along the coast of northern Sicily (Palermo), southern Italy, in December 1882 and deposited at the Museum of Zoology “P. Doderlein” of the University of Palermo. Later Doderlein (1889) moved the species to the genus Epinephelus Bloch, 1793. About his new species, Doderlein (1882) wrote (translated from Italian): “Serranus Cernioides, Brito Capello, and Serranus Caninus, Val., are those most related to this … It should be established if its characters could allow it to be described as a new species or if they could be anomalies of one of the previously cited species. In order to highlight the peculiar characters, I tentatively decide to name it Serranus or Cerna Sicana, after the locality where it was caught”. Doderlein (1889) wrote about the new species to D.S. Jordan[1] then at the Indiana University of Bloomington (USA), who replied that he considered E. sicanus as a valid species, and that Jordan noted two other adults and a third young specimen collected in Brazil, in 1865, in the Louis Agassiz collection, preserved in the Museum of Cambridge (presently Museum of Comparative Zoology—MCZ, Harvard University, USA) that he considered as possibly conspecific with E. sicanus. According to A. Williston (MCZ curator, pers. comm.) two likely candidates for these Jordan-Doderlein specimens are still present in the museum (voucher codes MCZ 9787 and MCZ 9788), identified as “Epinephelus (allied to nigritus, perhaps new)”. Soon after, Jordan & Eigenmann (1890) synonymized Cerna sicana with Epinephelus merus (Poey, 1868). Subsequently, Boulenger (1895) synonymized Epinephelus merus and E. sicanus with Epinephelus nigritus (Holbrook, 1855), apparently without observing the holotype of C. sicana as argued by Tortonese (1956).

[1]       Jordan (1891) described Symphodus doderleini with the following etymology: “We have given to it the new name of Symphodus doderleini, in honor of our excellent friend Prof. Pietro Doderlein of the University of Palermo”; this is a proof of the esteem that he had for him.
FIGURE 1. Holotype of Cerna sicana Doderlein, 1882 [presently Epinephelus sicanus (Doderlein, 1882)] (MZPA-P/46) preserved at the Museum of Zoology "P. Doderlein" of the University of Palermo.
Measures of the specimen after Doderlein (1882) (In brackets after Tortonese 1956): total length 86 cm (89 cm); standard length (72 cm); body height 26 cm (26 cm); head length 29 cm (26.5 cm);

Bruno Massa, Giuliano Cerasa, Enrico Bellia, Sabrina Lo Brutto and Bruno Massa. 2020. Epinephelus sicanus (Doderlein, 1882) (Perciformes: Serranidae: Epinephelinae), A Valid Species of Grouper from the Mediterranean Sea. Zootaxa. 4758(1); 191–195. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4758.1.10  

Saturday, April 4, 2020

[Herpetology • 2020] Riolama grandis & R. stellata Lizards from the Lost World: Two New Species and Evolutionary Relationships of the Pantepui Highland Riolama (Gymnophthalmidae)

Riolama stellata & R. grandis
Recoder, Prates, Marques-Souza, Camacho, Nunes, Vechio, Ghellere, McDiarmid & Rodrigues, 2020

The Pantepui region of northern South America harbours an endemic fauna that differs dramatically from those of the surrounding lowland rainforests and savannas. A component of this unique fauna is Riolama, a poorly known genus of microteiid lizards with four described and two undescribed species restricted to tepui mountains. We here implement an integrative approach to formally describe the two unnamed species and investigate the phylogenetic relationships and timing of diversification in Riolama using a fossil-calibrated molecular approach. Our results suggest that diversification initiated in Riolama during the Oligocene (c. 28 Mya), thereby characterizing the genus as an ancient lineage. This supports the Plateau biogeographic hypothesis to explain the diversification of the Pantepui fauna. Our divergence time estimation analysis also provides an updated temporal framework for the diversification of the highly diverse Gymnophthalmidae clade.

Keywords: diversity, endemism, herpetofauna, MRCA, taxonomy, tepui

 Riolama grandis in life.
 paratype (MZUSP 116629, field number MTR 40266), a juvenile male with 41.0 mm SVL.

Riolama grandis Recoder et al., sp. nov.
Riolama sp. nov. a, McDiarmid et al., 1988: 669. 
Riolama sp. A (Neblina), McDiarmid & Donnelly, 2005: 515, 540; Kok, 2015: 501, fig. 7.
"The Brown Giant"

Etymology: The specific epithet, grandis, is a Latin adjective, meaning ‘big’ or ‘large’, in reference to the larger body size of this new species compared to congeners

Paratopotype of Riolama stellata in life (MZUSP 116617, field number MTR 40309), an adult male with 41.9 mm SVL.  

Riolama stellata Recoder et al., sp. nov.
Riolama sp. nov. b, McDiarmid et al., 1988: 669. 
Riolama sp. B (Neblina), McDiarmid & Donnelly, 2005: 515, 540; Kok, 2015: 501, fig. 7.
"The Night Sky" 

Etymology: The specific epithet is the Latin adjective stellatus, which means ‘starred’, referring to the ventral and lateral colour pattern composed of light dots scattered on a dark background, which resemble a starry night sky.

Renato Recoder, Ivan Prates, Sergio Marques-Souza, Agustín Camacho, Pedro M. Sales Nunes, Francisco Dal Vechio, José Mario Ghellere, Roy W. McDiarmid and Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues. 2020. Lizards from the Lost World: Two New Species and Evolutionary Relationships of the Pantepui Highland Riolama (Gymnophthalmidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. zlz168. DOI:  10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz168 

Lagartos da Neblina: cientistas descrevem novas espécies do ponto mais alto do Brasil 
Novos lagartos do pico da Neblina

[Ichthyology • 2014] Papiliolebias ashleyae • A New Annual Fish (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) from the upper Rio Mamoré basin, Bolivia

Papiliolebias ashleyae 
 Nielsen & Brousseau, 2014 

Papiliolebias ashleyae n. sp. is described from Bolivia, departamento de Santa Cruz, Rio San Pablo, upper Mamoré basin. Papiliolebias ashleyae n. sp. is distinguished from other Papiliolebias species by a combination of characters: male overall color pattern of body, caudal- and pelvic-fins brownish red (vs. dark blue); transverse brownish red bars in dorsal and anal fins located between black and white bar at base of dorsal and anal fins and blue area in distal part of dorsal and anal fins (vs. absence of redbrown stripe on the remaining species of the genus, where the color of dorsal and anal fins is blue with a black stripe and white spots at the base of the fins); dorsal-fin origin at vertical through base of anal fin rays 9th-10th (vs. dorsal fin origin at vertical through base of anal fin rays 7th-8th in P. bitteri and 6th-9th in P. hatinne) and pelvic fins separated by small interspace of 4 mm (vs. not separated).

Fig. 1. Papiliolebias ashleyae, male, holotype, 34.7 mm SL: Bolivia, San José dos Chiquitos (in life).
Photo by D. Nielsen.

Papiliolebias ashleyae, n. sp.

Diagnosis: Papiliolebias ashleyae differs from the remaining species of Papiliolebias by a lower prepelvic length in males (43.6-44.7% SL vs. 44.9- 51.5% SL), a lower pre-pelvic length in females (43.3-46.8% SL vs. 48.2-51.7% SL), and by the color pattern of males which shows an overall redbrownish coloration, including the dorsal, caudal and pelvic fins basis (vs. overall color pattern dark blue, but never red-brown). It also presents a reddish-brown stripe on the basis of the dorsal and anal fins, with whitish blotches, and distal portion of anal- and caudal-fins bluish (vs. absence of reddish-brown stripe in the remaining species of the genus, where the caudal and anal-fin basis possess white and black spots); dorsal-fin origin at vertical through base of anal-fin rays 9th-10th (vs. 7th-8th in P. bitteri and 6th-9th in P. hatinne); body with brownish-red background and iridescent greenishblue scales, forming slender, oblique, ladder-like stripes (vs. oblique thick lines arranged parallel to each other); pelvic-fin red, with three spots (from basal to distal portion of fin): white, dark red and white (vs. dark blue without spots); third pelvic fin-rays transformed into a filament (vs. third pelvic-fin ray not transformed into a filament), and pelvic-fin separated by a small 4 mm interspace (vs. not separated).

Etymology: In honor of the daughter of Dr. Roger Brousseau, Ashley Kimberly Brousseau, who collected the first specimen of the species.

Dalton Tavares Bressane Nielsen and Roger Brousseau. 2014. Description of A New Annual Fish, Papiliolebias ashleyae (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) from the upper Rio Mamoré basin, Bolivia. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology. 20(1); 53-59. 

[Herpetology • 2020] Allobates pacaas • A New Nurse frog from Southwestern Amazonian Highlands, with Notes on the Phylogenetic Affinities of Allobates alessandroi (Aromobatidae)

Allobates pacaas 
Melo-Sampaio, Prates, Peloso, Recoder, Dal Vechio, et al., 2020. 

Few studies have focused on the diverse fauna of southwestern Brazilian Amazonia. This region, spared from large-scale human occupation until the second half of the twentieth century, has been threatened by expanding agriculture, logging, and mining. Here, we describe a new nurse frog (Allobates, Aromobatidae) from the open highland habitats of Serra dos Pacaás Novos, one of the few large remnants of relatively intact native vegetation in the Brazilian state of Rondônia. The new species is diagnosed by its metallic orange dorsal colouration, weakly expanded discs on hands, and presence of two subarticular tubercles on Finger IV. A phylogenetic analysis based on DNA sequence data recovered the new species as more closely related to nurse frogs from the Madeira and Tapajós River basins; this pattern may reflect a history of dispersal uphill from a lowland ancestor. Our results also indicate that the generic assignment of Allobates alessandroi (Grant and Rodriguez, 2001), a high-elevation species from the Andes of Peru, needs to be reassessed; we discuss the phylogenetic affinities of this species based on morphological attributes.

KEYWORDS: Amazon, amphibia, phylogeny, taxonomy, Allobates pacaas sp. nov.

Figure 4. Dorsal (a) and ventral (c) views of the female holotype of Allobates pacaas sp. nov. (MZUSP 158934) in life. Dorsal (b) and ventral (d) views of male paratype MZUSP 158938 in life.

Allobates pacaas sp. nov.

Etymology. Allobates pacaas is named in recognition of an important natural refuge in the Brazilian state of Rondônia. The region has experienced intense deforestation since the 1960s with large-scale loss of biodiversity (Fearnside 1987). The specific epithet is a noun in apposition to the genus.

Habitat where Allobates pacaas was found in the Serra dos Pacaás National Park.

Paulo R. Melo-Sampaio, Ivan Prates, Pedro L. V. Peloso, Renato Recoder, Francisco Dal Vechio, Sergio Marques-Souza and Miguel T. Rodrigues. 2020. A New Nurse frog from Southwestern Amazonian Highlands, with Notes on the Phylogenetic Affinities of Allobates alessandroi (Aromobatidae). Journal of Natural History. [Amphibian Taxonomy: Early 21st Century Case Studies] DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2020.1727972

[Entomology • 2020] Four New Species of Isepeolini (Hymenoptera; Apidae) from northern Chile

Isepeolus mankalunthata
Packer & Graham, 2020

Cleptoparasitic bees are less commonly collected than their hosts and often more difficult to identify and additional descriptions and treatment of diagnostic characteristics are needed.

Four new species of Isepeolini are described from northern Chile: Isepeolus mankalunthata Packer & Graham, new species; Melectoides licancabur Packer & Graham, new species, M. desiccata Packer & Graham new species and M. glaucodontus Packer & Graham new species. Putative host information is provided where possible, comments on the habitats of these bees are made and additional records of the tribe from Chile are listed.

Using traps left out for weeks to months in areas where bees are sparse is proving a useful technique to catch rare and undescribed species.

Keywords: Cleptoparasite, Colletes, Phylogeny, Host associations, Identification

Isepeolus mankalunthata Packer & Graham, new species,
male holotype - oblique dorso-lateral habitus. 

Isepeolus mankalunthata Packer & Graham sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the Aymara words for thief manka, and food lunthata, in reference to the cleptoparasitic nature of the bee.

Melectoides desiccata Packer & Graham, sp. nov.

Etymology: The type locality is in the driest desert in the world. Although the rainfall at this locality occurs regularly enough for some perennials to grow, annual amounts are very low and the vegetation extremely sparse (Fig. 9). Hence, the specific epithet refers to this degree of aridity.

Melectoides licancabur Packer & Graham, sp. nov.

Etymology: The species is named after Volcan Licancabur as the type locality is just beyond the northern slopes of the volcano which exceeds 5900 m in altitude. Licancabur means “mountain of the people” in the Atacameñan language.

Melectoides glaucodontus Packer & Graham, sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the greyish colour of the rutellum of the mandible.

Laurence Packer and Liam Graham. 2020. Four New Species of Isepeolini (Hymenoptera; Apidae) from northern Chile. BMC Zoology. 5: 3.  DOI: 10.1186/s40850-020-00052-8

Friday, April 3, 2020

[Paleontology • 2020] New Rhenopyrgid Edrioasteroids (Echinodermata) and Their Implications for Taxonomy, Functional Morphology, and Paleoecology

Rhenopyrgus viviani Ewin, Martin, Isotalo & Zamora, 2020 
Silurian (lower Telychian), Jupiter Formation, Anticosti Island, Canada.

 (1, 2) Rhenopyrgus grayae (Bather, 1915), Upper Ordovician, Ayrshire, Scotland
(holotype E23470);  
(6–7) Rhenopyrgus indet. 3; (9) Rhenopyrgus coronaeformis Rievers, 1961, Lower Devonian, Bavaria, Germany
(holotype SNSB-BSPG 1958 XV 50)

Illustration: Virgil Tanasa

Rhenopyrgids are rare, turreted edrioasterid edrioasteroids from the lower Paleozoic with a distinctive and apparently conservative morphology. However, new, well-preserved rhenopyrgid edrioasteroid material from Canada, along with a review of described taxa, has revealed broader structural diversity in the oral surface and enabled a re-evaluation of rhenopyrgid functional morphology and paleoecology.

The floor plates in Rhenopyrgus viviani n. sp., R. coronaeformis Rievers, 1961 and, R. flos Klug et al., 2008 are well fused to each other and the interradial oral plate and lack obvious sutures, thereby forming a single compound interradial plate. This differs from other rhenopyrgids where sutures are more apparent. Such fused oral surface construction is only otherwise seen in some derived edrioblastoids and in the cyathocystids, suggesting homoplasy.

Our analysis further suggests that the suboral constriction could contract but the flexible pyrgate zone could not. Thus, specimens apparently lacking a sub-oral constriction should not necessarily be placed in separate genera within the Rhenopyrgidae. It also supports rhenopyrgids as epifaunal mud-stickers with only the bulbous, textured, entire holdfasts (coriaceous sacs) anchored within the substrate rather than as burrow dwellers or encrusters.

Rhenopyrgus viviani n. sp. is described from the Telychian (lower Silurian) Jupiter Formation of Anticosti Island, Québec, Canada and is differentiated by a high degree of morphological variability of pedunculate plates, broader oral plates, and narrower distal ambulacral zones. Specimens lacking or with obscured diagnostic plates from the Ordovician of Montagne Noire, France, and the Ordovician and Silurian of Girvan, Scotland are also described.

Systematic paleontology 

Phylum Echinodermata de Bruguière, 1791 (ex. Klein, 1734) 
Class Edrioasteroidea Billings, 1858 
Order Edrioasterida Bell, 1976 
Suborder Edrioblastoidina Fay, 1962 

Family Rhenopyrgidae Holloway and Jell, 1983 

Genera included.— Rhenopyrgus Dehm, 1961; Heropyrgus Briggs et al., 2017.

Figure 3. Rhenopyrgidae; all whitened with ammonium chloride.
 (1, 2) Rhenopyrgus grayae, Upper Ordovician, Lady Burn Starfish Bed, Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland (holotype E23470): (1) details of oral surface with prominent collar plates and no suboral constriction apparent; black arrows highlight exposed floor plates in distal ambulacra; white arrow points to a small, exposed part of a plate of the suboral constriction, suggesting that suboral constriction could be contracted behind collar plates; (2) lateral view.
 (3, 4) Rhenopyrgus indet. 1, Silurian, Newland Formation, Newlands, Ayrshire, Scotland (E 62753): (3) lateral view of pyrgate zone, arrow points to enlarged plates interpreted here as collar plates; (4) oral view, black arrow highlights disarticulated large D-shaped oral ossicle.
(5) Rhenopyrgus indet. 2, Ordovician, Drummuck Series, Ardmillan, Girvan District, Ayrshire, Scotland (EE 16254); lateral view of pyrgate zone; note difference in size and morphology of the pyrgate ossicles suggesting it is different than R. grayae, which is found in similar age rocks that are geographically close; also note disarticulated ridged deltoidshaped plate closely associated with articulated pyrgate plates.
(6–8) Rhenopyrgus indet. 3: (6, 7) Foulon Formation (middle Floian), La Croix de Roquebrun, Saint-Nazaire-de-Ladarez, Hérault, France (UCBL-FSL 713312); (6) lateral view of whole specimen; (7) enlargement of the oral surface, showing confused plate articulation of this region; black arrow highlights possible oral ossicle; white arrows highlight collar plate series; (8) late Tremadocian, beneath Saint-Chinian Formation, Saint-Chinian, SW of Donnadieu, Babeau-Bouldoux, Hérault, France (UCBL-FSL 713316), lateral view.
(9–11) Rhenopyrgus coronaeformis Rievers, 1961, Lower Devonian, Emsian, Hunsrück Slate, Bavaria, Germany (holotype SNSB-BSPG 1958 XV 50): (9) detail of oral surface and proximal structures; (10) detail of oral surface; note complicated cover plate articulation surfaces; black arrow highlights grooved adambulacral margin of oral plate; (11) detail of coriaceous sac.
Abbreviations, O = oral plate. All scale bars represent 1 mm.

Genus Rhenopyrgus Dehm, 1961 

Type species.— Pyrgocystis (Rhenopyrgus) coronaeformis Rievers, 1961; Hunsrück Slate, Lower Devonian, (Emsian) of Germany.

Other species.— Rhenopyrgus coronaeformis Rievers, 1961; R. flos Klug et al., 2008; R. viviani n. sp.; R. sp. indet.1, formerly Pyrgocystis procera (Aurivillius) Bather, 1915; R. sp. indet. 2, R. sp. indet. 3, R. sp. indet. 4.; R. grayae (Bather, 1915); R. whitei Holloway and Jell, 1983; and R. piojoensis Sumrall et al., 2013.

Figure 5. Idealized reconstruction of Rhenopyrgus viviani n. sp. Silurian (lower Telychian), Jupiter Formation, Jupiter River, Anticosti Island, Canada. Note individuals with extended and contracted suboral constrictions and with only the coriaceous sac and very distal part of the pyrgate zone buried in the substrate.
Illustration: Virgil Tanasa

Rhenopyrgus viviani new species

Occurrence.— Cybèle Member to Pavillon Member, Jupiter Formation, Telychian, upper Llandovery, lower Silurian, Anticosti Island, Québec, Canada.

Etymology.— Named for the initial discoverer Mr. Travis Vivian.

Timothy A. M. Ewin, Markus Martin, Phillip Isotalo and Samuel Zamora. 2020. New Rhenopyrgid Edrioasteroids (Echinodermata) and Their Implications for Taxonomy, Functional Morphology, and Paleoecology. Journal of Paleontology. 94(1); 115-130.  DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2019.65

Newest member of echinoderm family revealed

Thursday, April 2, 2020

[PaleoIchthyology • 2020] Amakusaichthys goshouraensis • A New Ichthyodectiform Fish from the Upper Cretaceous (Santonian) Himenoura Group in Goshoura, Amakusa, Kumamoto, Japan

Amakusaichthys goshouraensis 
Yabumoto, Hirose & Brito, 2020

DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2018.1497022 
Illustrated by Takumi Yamamoto

A new ichthyodectiform fish, Amakusaichthys goshouraensis gen. et sp. nov. is described based on several specimens from the Late Cretaceous (Santonian) Hinoshima Formation of the Himenoura Group at Goshoura, Amakusa, Kumamoto in Kyushu, Japan. Amakusaichthys is hypothesized to form a clade with the genus Heckelichthys from the North Atlantic and western Tethyan regions. This new species is highly distinct from other ichthyodectiforms in having the long snout and small mouth with fine conical teeth, which indicates this group had greater diversity than it had been thought.

KEYWORDS: Amakusaichthys goshouraensis, Cretaceous, fish, Ichthyodectiformes, Japan, Santonian

Amakusaichthys goshouraensis gen. et sp. nov.

Illustrated by Takumi Yamamoto, 
supervised by Yoshitaka Yabumoto

Yoshitaka Yabumoto, Koji Hirose and Paulo M. Brito. 2020. A New Ichthyodectiform Fish, Amakusaichthys goshouraensis gen. et sp. nov. from the Upper Cretaceous (Santonian) Himenoura Group in Goshoura, Amakusa, Kumamoto, Japan. Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. 32(3); 362-375. DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2018.1497022

[Ichthyology • 2020] Cichla cataractae • A New Species of Peacock Bass (Cichliformes: Cichlidae) from the Essequibo Basin, Guyana and Venezuela

[upper]  Cichla cataractae
 Sabaj, López-Fernández, Willis, Hemraj, Taphorn & Winemiller, 2020

Falls Lukunani  ||  DOI: 10.1635/053.167.0106

[lower] Cichla ocellaris Bloch and Schneider 1801; C. orinocensis Humboldt 1821 & C. temensis Humboldt 1821

A new species of peacock bass, Cichla cataractae, is distinguished from all congeners by molecular evidence and unique patterns of adult and juvenile pigmentation. Juveniles (<150 mm SL) have sides of body dominated by a series of three conspicuous dark blotches with the one below soft dorsal fin largest, attenuated posteriorly (long teardrop shape) but distinctly separated from elliptical caudal blotch; same blotches eventually with pale border (ocellated) in largest juveniles. Adult pattern on sides dominated by two distinct dark blotches, each one ocellated; anterior blotch rounded, located below anterior base of spinous dorsal fin and not extending above anterior lateral line; posterior blotch highly irregular in shape, located below soft dorsal fin and often displaced dorsally; additional dark blotch below posterior base of spinous dorsal fin generally absent or small, ocellated or not, and level with anterior blotch; vertical bars on sides generally absent or faint; postorbital stripe always present, highly broken into irregular series of dark spots, each one usually ocellated. Cichla cataractae is endemic to the Essequibo Basin where it typically inhabits rocky shoals in river channels with swift current. The new species is sympatric with the more widely distributed C. ocellaris, a species that prefers lentic habitats. Molecular analysis supports C. cataractae as a distinct lineage in a clade of Cichla containing C. temensis, C. melaniae, C. mirianae, C. piquiti and C. pinima. The oldest extant specimens of the new species were collected by Carl H. Eigenmann in 1908 and documented in his seminal "The Freshwater Fishes of British Guiana" (Eigenmann, 1912).

KEYWORDS: biodiversity, biogeography, freshwater, neotropical, systematics, taxonomy

Fig. 1. Drawings of Cichla from Guyana and neighboring regions in Venezuela and Brazil as published in Schomburgk (1843). Scientific names assigned by William Jardine are followed by "Schomburgk Drawing" number, locality as published, and current status in parentheses.
A. Cychla argus, Valenciennes? (No. 47): Essequibo as well as Rios Branco and Negro (synonym of Cichla orinocensis Humboldt 1821). B. Cychla flavo-maculata (No. 45): Rio Negro and Padauiri (synonym of Cichla temensis Humboldt 1821).
C. Cychla nigro-maculata (No. 46): having same habits and residing in the same situations with the last [C. flavo-maculata] (synonym of C. ocellaris Bloch and Schneider 1801). D. Cychla trifasciata (No. 59): Rio Negro and in the Padauiri (synonym of C. temensis Humboldt 1821).

Fig. 5. Adults of Cichla cataractae, n. sp., all captured from same rocky shoals in Rupununi River, Essequibo Drainage, Guyana.
A. female (CSBD F 3613, holotype, 308 mm SL). B. likely gravid female (UMMZ 250942, paratype, 369 mm SL). C. breeding male with nuchal hump and bright red eye (UMMZ 250942, paratype, 365 mm SL). Photos by Kirk O. Winemiller.

Cichla cataractae, new species 
Falls Lukunani

Distribution and habitat.—Cichla cataractae is only known from the Essequibo River channel and its major left-bank (western) tributaries draining the Guiana Shield uplands such as the Cuyuní, Mazaruni, Burro Burro and Rupununi (Fig. 7). The species is strongly associated with rocky shoals in flowing channels of clear to mildly turbid rivers. This affinity for water flowing over rocks is the reason for its local name, Falls Lukunani. Adults and subadults are not normally found in floodplain habitats, but the species likely enters flooded marginal areas during some periods and life stages (e.g., as broodguarding adults or juveniles seeking food and refuge from predation).

Etymology.— Species name derived from cataractae, Latin for waterfall or rapids; treated as a noun in apposition. 

Local names.— In Guyana, Cichla cataractae is often distinguished as the Falls Lukunani whereas C. ocellaris is considered the Pond Lukunani.

Fig. 7. Distribution of  Cichla cataractae, n. sp., in the Essequibo Basin. Star denotes type locality. Base map by J. Armbruster.


Mark H. Sabaj, Hernán López-Fernández, Stuart C. Willis, Devya D. Hemraj, Donald C. Taphorn, and Kirk O. Winemiller. 2020. Cichla cataractae (Cichliformes: Cichlidae), New Species of Peacock Bass from the Essequibo Basin, Guyana and Venezuela. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 167(1); 69-86. DOI: 10.1635/053.167.0106  


[Botany • 2020] Peliosanthes ligniradicis (Asparagaceae) • A New Species from Arunachal Pradesh, NE India

Peliosanthes ligniradicis  

in Taram, Borah & Tanaka, 2020. 

A new species of Peliosanthes named Peliosanthes ligniradicis from Arunachal Pradesh, NE India, is described and illustrated here. It somewhat resembles P. subspicata described from NE India, but is distinguishable by the thicker, stilt-like, semi-woody roots, somewhat elongate (sub) moniliform stem, ovate-oblong or oblong perianth segments, and basally hexagonal and  apically 6-crenate.

Keywords: Convallariaceae, Eastern Himalaya, Nolinoideae, Ophiopogoneae, South Asia, taxonomy, Monocots

Peliosanthes ligniradicis

Momang Taram, Dipankar Borah and Noriyuki Tanaka. 2020. Peliosanthes ligniradicis, A New Species (Asparagaceae) from Arunachal Pradesh, NE India. Phytotaxa. 438(1); 43–48 DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.438.1.5

[Botany • 2020] Helicteres pegueroi (Malvaceae: Helicteroideae) • A New Species from the Dry Forests of the Dominican Republic

Helicteres pegueroi Mart.Gord. & Clase

in Martínez-Gordillo, Clase & Fragoso-Martínez, 2020.

A new species of Helicteres from the Dominican Republic is described and illustrated; increasing the number of species occurring in the Caribbean to five. The new species, Helicteres pegueroi, can be distinguished from H. jamaicensis and H. semitriloba by its habit and calyx and corolla colour, i.e. it is a shrub with red calyces and corollas; its pseudoactinomorphic flower due to a slight curvature at the base of the androgynophore; and its densely woolly, globose fruit. An artificial, dichotomous key is provided to distinguish the new species from the other species of the Caribbean region and Mexico. 

Keywords: Barahona, Helicteroideae, Hispaniola, Malvales, Sierra Martín García

FIGURE 1. Helicteres pegueroi. A: Branch with flowers. B: Dissected calyx with one lobe slightly different from the rest. C: Clawed petals. D: Androgynophore. E: Lanate fruit. F: Triangular seeds. G: Stipitated stellate trichomes from the stem and, H: lower surface of the leaf with trichomes lacking stipe. All drawn from Clase et al. 9925 (JBSD), by Ramiro Cruz Durán.

Helicteres pegueroi Mart.Gord. & Clase sp. nov.

 Frutex calycibus et corollis rubris, calyx nectario parietali completo et undulatus, corolla exserta, inflorescentia cincinnus biflorus, flores pedicellis nectariis patelliformibus, androgynophoro parce curvato ad basim, fructibus globosis dense lanatis.

Etymology:—The name of the new species honors the Dominican botanist Brigido Peguero, who is the head of the Botany department at the National botanical garden of Dominican Republic (Jardín Botánico Nacional “Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso”), and part of the editorial board of the journal Moscosoa. Professor Peguero has dedicated his academic life to the study of the Hispaniolan flora from different perspectives, such as: economic botany, ecology and taxonomy. Together with other botanists he has collected over 15, 000 specimens in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico. 

Distribution, habitat and phenology:— The new species is found in the Sierra Martín García, in the province of Barahona, from where it seems to be endemic. It is only known from dry forests at 600 m of elevation, sharing habitat with the following species: Bursera simaruba (L.) Sargent (1890: 260), Exostema caribaeum (Jacq.) Roemer & Schultes (1819: 19) and Guaiacum sanctum Linnaeus (1753: 382). Flowers from August to November. 

 Martha Martínez-Gordillo, Teodoro Clase and Itzi Fragoso-Martínez. 2020. Helicteres pegueroi (Malvaceae: Helicteroideae): A New Species from the Dry Forests of the Dominican Republic. Phytotaxa. 438(1); 1–5. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.438.1.1

Resumen: Una nueva especie del género Helicteres de República Dominicana es descrita e ilustrada; aumentando el número de especies distribuidas en el Caribe a cinco. La nueva especie, H. pegueroi, se distingue de H. jamaicensis y H. semitriloba por ser un arbusto con flores de cáliz y corola rojos; la flor es pseudoactinomórfica, debido a una ligera curvatura en la base del androginóforo y, la presencia de fruto densamente lanoso, globoso. Se proporciona una clave dicotómica para distinguir al nuevo taxón de las otras especies de la región del Caribe y México.