Monday, August 2, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Rhinella moralesi • A New Species of Toad (Anura: Bufonidae: Rhinella) from Northern Peru

Rhinella moralesi
Lehr, Cusi, Rodrigues, Venegas, García-Ayachi and Catenazzi, 2021

We describe a new species of Rhinella from montane forests between 1788 and 2305 m a.s.l. in the Departamentos Amazonas and San Martín, Peru. We tentatively assign the new species to the Rhinella festae species Group based on morphological similarities with its other 19 members. It is characterised by large size (maximum SVL 91.6 mm in females), a pointed and protruding snout that is posteroventrally inclined, absence of a visible tympanic annulus and tympanic membrane, long parotoid glands in contact with upper eyelid, presence of a dorsolateral row of enlarged tubercles, outer dorsolateral tarsus surface with a subconical ridge of fused tubercles, and absence of subgular vocal sac and vocal slits in males. One specimen from Departamento Amazonas tested positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Keywords: amphibia; Rhinella festae species Group; earless; cloud forest; Departamento Amazonas; Departamento San Martín; Río Abiseo National Park; chytrid fungus

Figure 3. Life specimens in dorsolateral views of
(A) Rhinella moralesi sp. nov. (holotype, MUSM 15959, SVL 67.6 mm, male),
(B) R. chavin (MUSM 20027, SVL 64.9, female)
(C) R. yanachaga (MUSM 31100, juvenile), and
(D) R. multiverrucosa (MTD 44749, SVL 68.9 mm, female).
Photos by A. Catenazzi, (A) E. Lehr (B,C), and M. Lundberg (D).


Figure 6. Adult females and juveniles of Rhinella moralesi sp. nov.
Female (CORBIDI 20372, SVL 91.6 mm) in dorsal (A) and ventral (B) views,
female (CORBIDI 713, SVL 90.6 mm) in dorsal (E) and ventral (F) views.
Juvenile (CORBIDI 20301, SVL 26.9 mm) in lateral (C) and ventral (D) views, and
juvenile (CORBIDI 18862, SVL 41.3 mm) in lateral (G) and ventral (H) views.
Photos by P.J. Venegas (E–H) and L.A. García-Ayachi (A–D).


Family Bufonidae Gray, 1825

Genus Rhinella Fitzinger, 1826

Rhinella moralesi sp. nov. 
Lehr, Cusi, Rodrigues, Venegas, García-Ayachi and Catenazzi, 2021

Etymology: We dedicate the new species to our late colleague and friend Professor Victor Morales in recognition of his contributions to Neotropical herpetology.

 Edgar Lehr, Juan C. Cusi, Lily O. Rodriguez, Pablo J. Venegas, Luis A. García-Ayachi and Alessandro Catenazzi. 2021. A New Species of Toad (Anura: Bufonidae: Rhinella) from Northern Peru. Taxonomy. 1(3); 210-225. DOI: 10.3390/taxonomy1030015

[Botany • 2021] Thottea aroangensis (Aristolochiaceae) • A New Species from central Vietnam

Thottea aroangensis T.A. Le, D. Dien & Tagane

in Le, Dinh, ... et Tagane, 2021. 
Tốt hoa a roàng || DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.513.1.5

Thottea aroangensis T.A. Le, D. Dien & Tagane (Aristolochiaceae) is described based on the specimen collected from the A Roang commune, A Luoi district, Thua Thien Hue province, central Vietnam. This species is characterized by subshrub habit 70–90 cm tall, inflorescence at base of stem close to ground level, campanulate and obscurely lobed perianth ca. 2.6 cm long, inside of perianth tube with creamy white patches, and 20 stamens in 2 whorls, by which combination it is clearly distinguished from the other species of Thottea in Vietnam and its surrounding countries. Morphological descriptions, photographs, a distribution map, vernacular name, and preliminary conservation status are provided for T. aroangensis.

Keywords: angiosperms, flora, Indochina, Piperales, taxonomy, Thua Thien Hue

Thottea aroangensis T.A. Le, D. Dien & Tagane.
C. Inflorescence with flowers and immature fruits; D. Flowers (lateral view); E. Flower (front view); F. Flower corolla removed, showing stamens and pistil; G. Corolla dissected showing the coloration of inner surface.

Thottea aroangensis T.A. Le, D. Dien & Tagane.
A. Habit; B. Leaves (abaxial surface).

Thottea aroangensis T.A. Le, D. Dien & Tagane, sp. nov. 

 TYPE:—VIETNAM. Thua Thien Hue province: A Luoi district, A Roang commune, 16°07′39.17″N, 107°24′39.59″E, ± 850 m a.s.l., 18 April 2021, Dien Dinh, Quoc Tuan Doan, Quang Hoa Anh Nguyen, Tuan Anh Le LTA 1101 (holotype VNMN!). 

Thottea aroangensis is characterized by subshrub habit 70–90 cm tall, inflorescence at base of stem close to ground level, campanulate perianth ca. 2.6 cm long, inside of perianth tube with creamy white patches, obscure perianth lobes very broadly triangular ca. 0.5 cm long, and 20 stamens in 2 whorls, which the combination of characters clearly distinguished it from all the previously known species of the genus.

Etymology:—The specific epithet is derived from its type locality, A Roang commune, located in A Luoi district, Thua Thien Hue province, central Vietnam. 

Vernacular name:—Tốt hoa a roàng

Tuan Anh Le, Dien Dinh, Quac Tuan Doan, Quang Hoa Anh Nguyen and Shuichiro Tagane. 2021. Thottea aroangensis, A New Species of Aristolochiaceae from central Vietnam. Phytotaxa. 513(1); 69–74. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.513.1.5

[Herpetology • 2021] Glyphoglossus huadianensis • A New Species of Glyphoglossus Günther, 1869 (Anura: Microhylidae) from Western Yunnan, China

Glyphoglossus huadianensis 
 Zhang, Liu, Zhang, Hui, Xiao & Rao, 2021

A new species of microhylid frog of the genus Glyphoglossus Günther, 1869 is described from Huadianba, Cangshan Mountain, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. Glyphoglossus huadianensis, new species, is compared with congeners from China and other parts of Southeast Asia, and was distinguished from the others by the following combination of characters: adult male body size up to 37.8 mm; pupil rounded; supratympanic fold distinct; tympanum concealed; toe tips obtuse; subarticular tubercles prominent and rounded; foot webbing extensive; outer metatarsal tubercle present; dorsum tuberculate, yellowish-brown/earth-yellow; and a pair of conspicuous large round spots in groin. The new species is the tenth species of Glyphoglossus to be described, and the second known from China.

Keywords: Glyphoglossus huadianensis sp. n.;  taxonomy;  morphology;  China

Figure 4: Views of holotype of Glyphoglossus huadianensis sp. n. (KIZA00254) in preservative:
dorsal (A), ventral view (B), lateral (C), posterior of thighs and region around vent (D), tympanum (E), mandible (F), vomerine teeth (G), features of dorsal skin (H), ventral view of hand (I) and foot ( J).

Photographs of holotype of Glyphoglossus huadianensis sp. n. (KIZA00254) and its habitat,
showing (A) dorsal view, (B) lateral view, (C) be in the wild, and (D) habitat.
Photographs by Hong HUI.

Glyphoglossus huadianensis sp. n.  

Diagnosis: The new species of Glyphoglossus is medium-sized (average SVL 36.5 mm in adult males; body size of taxa of Glyphoglossus ranges from 26.9 ± 3.3 mm to 61.3 ± 0.7 mm; Table 4), and shares the following combination of characters with its congeners: flattened body; wide head; short snout; small eyes; maxillary and vomerine teeth present; paired dermal folds across palate; a crescentic, inner metatarsal tubercle present (Inger, 1966; Manthey and Grossmann, 1997; Parker 1934).

The new species can be diagnosed from other congeners by the combination of the following characters: adult male body size larger than 34 mm (SVL range of 34.8–37.8 mm); pupil rounded; supratympanic fold distinct; tympanum concealed; toe tips obtuse; subarticular tubercles prominent and rounded; webbing between toes extensive, extending up to the second subarticular tubercle on toe IV; outer metatarsal tubercle present; dorsum tuberculate; and a pair of conspicuous large round spots in groin. 

Etymology: The name huadianensis refers to Huadianba, the locality where the new species was first found. Its Chinese common name is “huā diàn xiǎo xiá kǒu wā” ( 花甸小狭口蛙 ). 

Dongru Zhang, Shuo Liu, Lixia Zhang, Hong Hui, Heng Xiao and Dingqi Rao. 2021. A New Species of Glyphoglossus Günther, 1869 (Anura: Microhylidae) from Western Yunnan, China. Asian Herpetological Research. DOI: 10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.200106

[Ichthyology • 2021] Moenkhausia cambacica • A New Species of Moenkhausia (Characiformes: Characidae) from the rio Madeira basin, Brazil, with Comments on the Evolution and Development of the Trunk Lateral Line System in Characids

Moenkhausia cambacica
 Marinho, Ohara & Dagosta, 2021

A new species of Moenkhausia is described from the rio Machado drainage, Amazon basin, Brazil. It is diagnosed from congeners by its color pattern, consisting of the concentration of chromatophores on the anterior portion of body scales, the horizontally elongate blotch on caudal peduncle, a bright golden coloration of the dorsal portion of eye when alive, and a dark line crossing the eye horizontally. The new species has variable morphology regarding trunk lateral-line canals. Most fully grown individuals do not have enclosed bony tube in many lateral line scales, resembling early developmental stages of tube formation of other species. This paedomorphic condition is interpreted as a result of developmental truncation. Such evolutionary process may have been responsible for the presence of distinct levels of trunk lateral line reductions in small characids. Variation in this feature is common, even between the sides of the same individual. We reassert that the degree of trunk lateral-line tube development must be used with care in taxonomic and phylogenetic studies, because reductions in the laterosensory system may constitute parallel loss in the Characidae. We suggest the new species to be categorized Near Threatened due to the restricted geographical distribution and continuing decline in habitat quality.

Keywords: Developmental Truncation; Evolution; Intraspecific Variation; Paedomorphy; Scale

Live coloration of Moenkhausia cambacica, paratype, MZUSP 125793, Brazil, Rondônia State, Municipality of Vilhena, rio Madeira basin, upper rio Machado drainage.

Paratypes of Moenkhausia cambacica, MZUSP 125793, freshly collected, showing other aspects of its live coloration, Brazil, Rondônia State, Municipality of Vilhena, rio Madeira basin, upper rio Machado drainage.

Moenkhausia cambacica, new species
Diagnose. Moenkhausia cambacica is distinguished from all congeners, except M. chlorophthalma Sousa, Netto-Ferreira & Birindelli, 2010, M. petymbuaba Lima & Birindelli, 2006, M. plumbea Sousa, Netto-Ferreira & Birindelli, 2010, and M. parecis Ohara & Marinho, 2016 by the presence of a large dark blotch on each scale of the second to seventh longitudinal series of body which are formed by a higher concentration of cromatophores on the anterior portion of scales (vs. pigmentation absent or, when present, concentrated at the middle or posterior margin of scales, forming stripes or a reticulate pattern). Moenkhausia cambacica can be readily distinguished from all the aforementioned species by having a conspicuous, well-defined, horizontally elongate blotch on the caudal peduncle, extending to middle caudal-fin rays, not reaching the upper and lower edges of the caudal peduncle (vs. caudal peduncle blotch absent or poorly defined, continuous with the longitudinal stripe of body in M. clorophthalma, M. petymbuaba, and M. plumbea; round blotch in M. parecis). Additionally, it can be distinguished from M. petymbuaba by the absence of a conspicuous longitudinal black stripe on body (vs. black stripe present), from M. plumbea and M. clorophthalma by the absence of a dark, diffuse, slightly concave midlateral stripe on body in live specimens (vs. dark stripe present), and from M. parecis by a shorter upper jaw length (41.5–48.8% HL vs. 50.6–55.0% HL), and, in life, by having a bright golden coloration of the dorsal portion of the eye and a dark shaded line crossing the eye horizontally (vs. eye entirely bright blue, with no horizontal dark line).

Etymology. The specific name, cambacica, is after the one of the Brazilian popular name for Coereba flaveola (Linnaeus, 1758), a small neotropical bird whose coloration resembles that of the new species, which is bright yellow underparts, dark back coloration and a dark line crossing the region of the eye horizontally, contrasting with a light area above it. A noun in apposition.

Type-locality of Moenkhausia cambacica, tributary of igarapé Ávila, upper rio Machado, rio Madeira basin, Vilhena, Rondônia, Brazil.

Manoela Maria Ferreira Marinho, Willian Massaharu Ohara and Fernando Cesar Paiva Dagosta. 2021. A New Species of Moenkhausia (Characiformes: Characidae) from the rio Madeira basin, Brazil, with Comments on the Evolution and Development of the Trunk Lateral Line System in Characids. Neotropical Ichthyology. 19(2); DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-2020-0118   

Resumo: Uma espécie nova de Moenkhausia é descrita da drenagem do rio Machado, bacia Amazônica, Brasil. É diagnosticada das congêneres pelo padrão de coloração, que consiste na concentração de cromatóforos na porção anterior das escamas do corpo, em uma mancha horizontalmente alongada no pedúnculo caudal, na coloração dourada brilhante da porção dorsal do olho quando vivo e na faixa escura que atravessa o olho horizontalmente. A nova espécie apresenta variação na morfologia do canal da linha lateral do corpo. A maioria dos indivíduos totalmente desenvolvidos não possuem tubo ósseo fechado em muitas escamas da linha lateral, assemelhando-se aos estágios iniciais do desenvolvimento da formação do tubo de outras espécies. Essa condição pedomórfica é interpretada como resultado do truncamento do desenvolvimento. Tal processo evolutivo pode ter sido responsável pelos diferentes níveis de redução do canal sensorial de pequenos caracídeos. A variação neste caráter é comum, até entre os lados do mesmo indivíduo. Por isso, reafirmamos que o grau de desenvolvimento do canal sensorial do corpo deve ser usado com cuidado em estudos taxonômicos e filogenéticos, porque reduções no sistema látero-sensorial podem significar perdas paralelas em Characidae. Sugerimos que a espécie nova seja categorizada como Quase Ameaçada devido à distribuição geográfica restrita e ao declínio contínuo da qualidade do habitat.
Palavras-chave: Desenvolvimento Truncado; Escama; Evolução; Pedomorfose; Variação Intraespecífica

[Herpetology • 2021] Minervarya pentali • DNA Barcoding and Systematic Review of Minervaryan Frogs (Dicroglossidae: Minervarya) of Peninsular India: Resolution of A Taxonomic Conundrum with Description of A New Species

Minervarya pentali   
Garg & Biju, 2021

Pental’s Minervaryan Frog || 
The genus Minervarya is among the most widely distributed, commonly occurring, and taxonomically confusing groups of dicroglossid frogs in India. Recent studies have provided evidence that this genus contains complexes of morphologically conserved but genetically divergent taxa—some widely distributed across South and Southeast Asia, and many particularly restricted to the Western Ghats region of the Indian Peninsula—posing several challenges in resolving long-standing taxonomic confusions. Here, we present a systematic review of minervaryan species found in Peninsular India, based on extensive DNA barcoding with nearly 400 samples from the entire range of the genus, including 277 new samples and topotypic material for most available names from the study area, combined with detailed morphological studies. As a result, we recognise 18 species in Peninsular India, including a new species described herein as Minervarya pentali sp. nov. Due to the comprehensive nature of the study, including comparisons with all available types, certain long-standing taxonomic uncertainties on the status of ten previously known taxa are resolved. Rana (Tomopterna) parambikulamana Rao, 1937 (= Minervarya parambikulamana), Rana (Hylorana) sauriceps Rao, 1937 (= Minervarya sauriceps), and Fejervarya kudremukhensis Kuramoto, Joshy, Kurabayashi, and Sumida, 2008 “2007” (= Minervarya kudremukhensis), are considered as junior subjective synonyms of Rana (Rana) limnocharis mysorensis Rao, 1922 (= Minervarya mysorensis); Nyctibatrachus sanctipalustris var. modestus Rao, 1920 (= Minervarya modesta) is proposed to be a synonym of Rana limnocharis syhadrensis Annandale, 1919 (= Minervarya syhadrensis); while Rana murthii Pillai, 1979 (= Minervarya murthii) and Fejervarya mudduraja Kuramoto, Joshy, Kurabayashi, and Sumida, 2008 “2007” (= Minervarya mudduraja) are considered as junior subjective synonyms of Rana nilagirica Jerdon, 1853 (= Minervarya nilagirica). At the same time, Rana brevipalmata Peters, 1871 (= Minervarya brevipalmata), previously known only from its original description and the type specimen, is recognised as a distinct species referable to live populations in the Western Ghats. The study results in taxonomic stability of all the currently recognised members of the genus in Peninsular India. Significant geographical range extensions of species previously known from single localities are also provided based on morphologically and genetically confirmed records. Additionally, we classify all the recognised species into eight species-groups, with the aim of facilitating a better working taxonomy and future systematic studies on minervaryan frogs across their entire known range in Asia.

Keywords: amphibia;  distribution;  Fejervarya;  integrative taxonomy;  Minervarya pentali sp. nov.;  morphology;  species groups;  Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot

Minervarya pentali sp. nov. 
Pental’s Minervaryan Frog 

Etymology: The species is named after Prof. Deepak Pental, a renowned Indian Plant Genetist and former Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi, in appreciation of his contributions to science. We also acknowledge his support and encouragement in setting-up of the Systematics La b at Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi. The species epithet pentali is treated as a noun in the genitive case.

 Sonali Garg and S. D. Biju. 2021. DNA Barcoding and Systematic Review of Minervaryan Frogs (Dicroglossidae: Minervarya) of Peninsular India: Resolution of A Taxonomic Conundrum with Description of A New Species. Asian Herpetological Research. 12(X): ... DOI:  10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.210023


[Herpetology • 2021] Pristimantis petersioides • A New Cryptic Species of the Pristimantis lacrimosus group (Anura, Strabomantidae) from the eastern Slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes

Pristimantis petersioides
Carrión-Olmedo & Ron, 2021

With 566 species, the neotropical genus Pristimantis is the most speciose vertebrate genus. As a result of its striking diversity, taxonomic reviews remain a challenge. Herein, we present an updated phylogeny of the Pristimantis lacrimosus group and describe a new species from Llanganates and Sangay National Parks. We also report, for the first time, the phylogenetic position of Pristimantis degener, P. eugeniae, P. katoptroides, and P. petersi. Based on our phylogeny, we add two species to the Pristimantis lacrimosus group. Through the integration of molecular and bioacoustic evidence, we describe a new species which was hidden under “Pristimantis petersi”. Pristimantis petersioides sp. nov. is most closely related to Pristimantis petersi and an undescribed species from Peru. It can be distinguished from P. petersi by its advertisement call and large genetic differences (uncorrected p-genetic distances 7.9% to 8.4% for gene 16S). Moreover, the new species and P. petersi are not sister species. We suggest assigning the new species to the Endangered Red List category because it has a small distribution range with deforestation as result of agriculture and other anthropogenic influences.

Key Words: Amphibia, Bioacoustics, Conservation, Diversity, National Parks, Phylogeny, Taxonomy

Figure 3. Holotype of Pristimantis petersioides sp. nov. QCAZ58939, adult female, SVL = 22.02 mm. Sangay National Park, Sardinayacu, Ecuador.
A lateral view of live individual, B dorsal view of live individual, C dorsal view of preserved individual, D ventral view of preserved individual.
 Photographs A, B by Juan Carlos Sánchez, C, D by Julio C. Carrión-Olmedo

Pristimantis petersioides sp. nov.
 Eleutherodactylus petersi Lynch & Duellman 1980 (in part)
Pristimantis petersi Batallas & Brito 2016
Pristimantis petersi Brito et al. 2017

Suggested common name: English: Sardinayacu’s Rain Frog. 
Spanish: Cutín de Sardinayacu

Diagnosis: The assignment of the new species to the genus Pristimantis is based on the phylogeny (Fig. 1). Pristimantis petersioides sp. nov. is characterized by the following combination of characters: (1) Skin on dorsum smooth to shagreen with or without scattered small tubercles, head with or without one interorbital small tubercle, skin of venter shagreened to weakly areolate; discoidal fold present, ill-defined; dorsolateral folds absent; (2) tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus present, round, its length 2/5 to 1/2 of eye diameter; its upper border weakly concealed by inconspicuous supratympanic fold; (3) snout rounded to truncate in dorsal view, truncate in lateral view, bearing a small rostral papilla; (4) interorbital space flat, broader than upper eyelid; upper eyelid with one distinct subconical tubercle surrounded by lower, indistinct rounded tubercles; cranial crests absent; (5) vomerine odontophores low to prominent, oblique, moderately separated, posteromedial to choanae; (6) males with prominent, subgular vocal sac and vocal slits; (7) first finger shorter than second; all fingers long, discs broadly expanded, rounded to truncate; all fingers bearing a hyperdistal tubercle (Fig. 4B); (8) fingers with narrow lateral fringes; (9) few ulnar tubercles; (10) no knee and heel tubercles, outer tarsal fold bearing one to three indistinct tubercles; (11) two metatarsal tubercles, inner oval, 3x the size of outer conical and elliptical metatarsal tubercle; supernumerary plantar tubercles numerous; (12) all toes with hyperdistal tubercles; toes with narrow lateral fringes; basal toe webbing absent, discs broadly expanded, Toe IV much longer than Toe III (disc on Toe III reaches proximal edge of penultimate subarticular tubercle on Toe IV, disc on Toe V exceeds the distal edge of penultimate subarticular tubercle on Toe IV), discs as expanded as those on fingers (Fig. 4A); (13) SVL 22.8 ± 1.4 mm (20.4–24.8 mm; n = 15) in females, 18.5 ± 1.5 mm (15.8–23.9 mm; n = 39) in males.

Figure 5. Live specimens of Pristimantis petersioides sp. nov. and most similar species.
Pristimantis petersioides sp. nov., QCAZ58938, adult male (SVL 17.99 mm), B Pristimantis petersi, QCAZ63455, adult male (SVL 16.49 mm), C Pristimantis sp., QCAZ62940, adult male (SVL 23.45 mm), D Pristimantis bromeliaceus, QCAZ56454, adult male (SVL 21.93 mm) E Pristimantis schultei, QCAZ51551, adult male (SVL 24.60 mm).
 Photographs by Juan Carlos Sánchez A, by David Velalcázar B, by Valeria Chasiluisa C, by Jorge Brito D, by Diego Paucar E.

Figure 7. Variation in live adult individuals of Pristimantis petersioides sp. nov.
A QCAZ59471 (SVL 17.45 mm), B QCAZ59455 (SVL 18.2 mm),
C QCAZ58943 (SVL 17.73 mm), D QCAZ59456 (SVL 19.05 mm),
E QCAZ58938 (SVL 17.99 mm), F QCAZ59458 (SVL 21.84 mm),
G QCAZ58941 (SVL 20.42 mm), H QCAZ59466 (SVL 19.06 mm).
 Dorsolateral view on the left, ventral view on the right.
Photographs A and H by Santiago R. Ron, B–G by Juan Carlos Sánchez.
Etymology: The specific epithet is a masculine noun in apposition. The suffix oides is derived from the Greek eidos meaning similar. The name makes reference to the similarity between the new species and its sister species, Pristimantis petersi.

Distribution and natural history: Pristimantis petersioides sp. nov. is known from six localities in the eastern Andean slopes of central Ecuador between 1221–2300 m (Fig. 9). It inhabits the Eastern Andean Foothills Forest and Eastern Montane Forest natural regions (as defined by Ron et al. 2019). It has been recorded in primary forest and, less frequently, in secondary forest. Individuals were found during nocturnal surveys, usually perching on ferns, herbs, or Heliconia leaves, branches, or inside bromeliads up to 350 cm above the ground, usually near water bodies. Three amplectant pairs were found on January and February 2015 in Sardinayacu and Zarentza.

 Julio C. Carrión-Olmedo and Santiago R. Ron. 2021. A New Cryptic Species of the Pristimantis lacrimosus group (Anura, Strabomantidae) from the eastern Slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. Evolutionary Systematics 5: 151-175. DOI: 10.3897/evolsyst.5.62661

[Paleontology • 2021] Burkesuchus mallingrandensis • New Transitional Fossil (Crocodyliformes: Mesoeucrocodylia) from late Jurassic of Chile sheds light on the Origin of Modern Crocodiles


Burkesuchus mallingrandensis 
Novas, Agnolin, Lio, Rozadilla, Suárez, de la Cruz, de Souza Carvalho, Rubilar-Rogers & Isasi, 2021

Illustration: Gabriel L. Lio

We describe the basal mesoeucrocodylian Burkesuchus mallingrandensis nov. gen. et sp., from the Upper Jurassic (Tithonian) Toqui Formation of southern Chile. The new taxon constitutes one of the few records of non-pelagic Jurassic crocodyliforms for the entire South American continent. Burkesuchus was found on the same levels that yielded titanosauriform and diplodocoid sauropods and the herbivore theropod Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, thus expanding the taxonomic composition of currently poorly known Jurassic reptilian faunas from Patagonia. Burkesuchus was a small-sized crocodyliform (estimated length 70 cm), with a cranium that is dorsoventrally depressed and transversely wide posteriorly and distinguished by a posteroventrally flexed wing-like squamosal. A well-defined longitudinal groove runs along the lateral edge of the postorbital and squamosal, indicative of a anteroposteriorly extensive upper earlid. Phylogenetic analysis supports Burkesuchus as a basal member of Mesoeucrocodylia. This new discovery expands the meagre record of non-pelagic representatives of this clade for the Jurassic Period, and together with Batrachomimus, from Upper Jurassic beds of Brazil, supports the idea that South America represented a cradle for the evolution of derived crocodyliforms during the Late Jurassic.

Systematic paleontology
Archosauria Cope, 1869.
Crocodyliformes Hay, 1930.
Mesoeucrocodylia Whetstone and Whybrow, 1980.

Photographs and line drawings of the cranium (SGO.PV 17700) of Burkesuchus mallingrandensis in (A, B) dorsal; (C,D) posterior; and (E,F) left lateral views.
ae, foramen aereum; an, surface for articulation with nasal; ap, surface for articulation with prefrontal; cq, cranioquadrate passage; dp, descending process of the postorbital; eam, external auditory meatus; for, foramen magnum; fos, blind fossae; fr, frontal; gr, longitudinal groove for the upper earlid; ot, otoccipital; par, parietal; q, quadrate; qj, quadratojugal; par, parietal; po, postorbital; poc, paraoccipital process; sf, supratemporal fenestra; sfor, supratemporal foramen; soc, supraoccipital; sq, squamosal; suf, subtympanic foramen; tub, ventral tubercle of paraoccipital process; va, vagi foramen; vlw, ventrolateral wing of the squamosal; XII, exit foramina for the hypoglossal nerve. Scale bar: 1 cm.

Burkesuchus mallingrandensis nov. gen. et sp.

Diagnosis: Small-sized crocodyliform diagnosed on the following combination of characters (autapomorphies marked by an asterisk*): cranial roof bones ornamented by grooves and pits; frontals fused and subtriangular in contour, with strongly convergent lateral margins anteriorly; frontals anteroposteriorly short (transverse width representing approximately 90% of its length)*; squamosal posteroventrally flexed forming a wide bony wing and delimiting the posterior opening of the meatal chamber, which is reduced to a small duct*; supratemporal foramen small; squamosal and quadrate widely exposed on occipital surface of cranium; paraoccipital processes of otoccipital relatively small; foramina for cranial nerves IX-XII dorsally limited by the paraoccipital process; and dorsal vertebrae with kidney-shaped prezygapophyses.

Etymology: Genus name honours Mr. Coleman Burke (New York, USA), who generously supported the field exploration in which the fossils were discovered; and suchus, from Latin, crocodile; species name mallingrandensis, refers to Mallín Grande, a beautiful region in southern Chile adjacent to the fossil locality.

Locality and horizon: The holotype and referred specimens of Burkesuchus were collected from beds of the Toqui Formation, cropping out in the mountains flanked by the Maitenes and Horquetas rivers, south of General Carrera Lake (Fig. 1). The rock succession consists of a 300–320 m thick sequence of conglomerates with intercalated tuffs. Burkesuchus fossils occur in an approximately 100 m succession of alternating green volcaniclastic pebbly sandstones and sandy sedimentary breccias, with intercalations of lapilli tuffs and red ignimbrites with eroded tops. The U-Pb SHRIMP age of 147 ± 1.0 Ma was obtained from zircon samples from the ignimbrite that immediately underlies the fossil-bearing levels, indicating a Tithonian age (latest Jurassic) for Burkesuchus and its associated fauna. Other fossil vertebrates currently documented from these beds include titanosauriform and diplodocoid sauropods, along with the herbivorous theropod Chilesaurus diegosuarezi.

Locality map, geological context, and skeletal reconstruction of Burkesuchus mallingrandensis. Skeletal reconstruction based on holotype and paratype specimens.


Cladogram showing the phylogenetic position of Burkesuchus mallingrandensis.

Fernando E. Novas, Federico L. Agnolin, Gabriel L. Lio, Sebastián Rozadilla, Manuel Suárez, Rita de la Cruz, Ismar de Souza Carvalho, David Rubilar-Rogers and Marcelo P. Isasi. 2021. New Transitional Fossil from late Jurassic of Chile sheds light on the Origin of Modern Crocodiles. Scientific Reports.  11: 14960. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-93994-z


Sunday, August 1, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Leptophis spp. • Molecular Phylogeny of Neotropical Parrot Snakes (Serpentes: Colubridae) supports underestimated Species Richness

in Torres-Carvajal & Terán, 2021. 

• We infer the largest phylogeny of Leptophis to date.
• Widespread Leptophis ahaetulla sensu lato is composed of multiple species.
• Species within L. ahaetulla have evolved distinct color patterns.
• Widespread L. depressirostris possibly contains two species.

Tetrapod taxa with broad geographic distributions across the Neotropics are often composed of multiple evolutionary lineages. In this paper, we present the most complete phylogeny of Leptophis to date and assess morphology-based species limits within the broadly distributed green parrot snake Leptophis ahaetulla sensu lato, which occurs from Mexico to Argentina. Although L. ahaetulla sensu stricto, L. nigromarginatus and L. occidentalis were recovered as paraphyletic, tree topology tests failed to reject their monophyly. Monophyly of L. bocourti, L. coeruleodorsus, L. cupreus, L. depressirostris, L. marginatus, L. riveti and L. sp. nov. was strongly supported. Our phylogenetic trees support recognition of multiple species within Leptophis ahaetulla sensu lato and suggest that color evolution and the uplift of the Andes played an important role in the diversification of parrot snakes.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Neotropics, Snakes, Systematics, Tree-topology tests

Photographs correspond to live specimens of Leptophis bocourti (bottom) and L. occidentalis (top) from Ecuador 
and were taken from


Omar Torres-Carvajal and Claudia Terán. 2021. Molecular Phylogeny of Neotropical Parrot Snakes (Serpentes: Colubrinae: Leptophis) supports underestimated Species Richness. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 164, 107267. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107267

Saturday, July 31, 2021

[Botany • 2021] Rhynchoglossum ausculum (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species from South-Western Thailand

 Rhynchoglossum ausculum Patthar. & Poopath  

in Pattharahirantricin et Poopath, 2021. 
ช่อสายศิลา || DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2021.49.2.01

The new species of Rhynchoglossum ausculum, from South-Western Thailand is described and illustrated. An emended key to the Thai species of Rhynchoglossum is provided.

Keywords: conservation, endemic, personate flower, Rhynchoglossum obliquum

Rhynchoglossum ausculum Patthar. & Poopath: 
A. habit; B. flower; C. calyx outside shown marked of the base of hairs from inside of calyx; D. calyx, inside showing pubescent hairs; E. opened flower; F. stamen; G. pistil; H. capsule with calyx and style persistent; J. opened calyx of capsule; K. capsule with style persistent.
All from Poopath et al. 2588 (BKF). 
Drawn by Mahsarahka Rungkrajang.

Rhynchoglossum ausculum Patthar. & Poopath: 
A. habit; B. flowers; C. opened flower, with ventral part of corolla tube removed; D. ventral part of corolla tube; E. capsule.
Photos by Manop Poopath.

Rhynchoglossum ausculum Patthar. & Poopath, sp. nov.

Similar to Rhynchoglossum obliquum in its personate flower and white to pale purple corolla, but differs by having 4 fertile stamens, the lower lip having 2 bluish purple to dark blue patches, the ventral surface of the corolla tube having a pale yellow stripe from the middle of throat downwards, and in having several tufts of hairs in the tube (vs 2 fertile and 2 sterile stamens, only a white to yellow spot at the centre of the lower lip, and without tufts of hairs inside). It is also similar to Rhynchoglossum mirabilis and R. saccatum in its 4 fertile stamens, but differs by having the mouth of the corolla tube closed, the tube itself dilated and dorsoventrally compressed, and the lower and upper lips nearly equal(vs ringent corolla, tube dilated and not dorsoventrally compressed, lower lip longer than upper lip).


Ecology.— Shaded areas on limestone, mixed deciduous forest, 30–60 m elevation. Flowering and fruiting in October–November.

Etymology.— The specific epithet ‘ausculum’ refers to the appearance of the flower being like that of a human mouth, as the upper and lower lips are subequal.

Nannapat Pattharahirantricin and Manop Poopath. 2021. Rhynchoglossum ausculum (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from South-Western Thailand. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany). 49(2), 157-162.  DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2021.49.2.01