Friday, December 9, 2022

[Herpetology • 2022] Cnemaspis agayagangai, C. fantastica, C. rudhira, etc. • A Multitude of Spots! Five new microendemic species of the Cnemaspis gracilis Group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from massifs in the Shevaroy landscape, Tamil Nadu, India

 Cnemaspis salimalii
Cnemaspis rudhira
Cnemaspis agayagangai 
 Cnemaspis fantastica
 Cnemaspis pachaimalaiensis 

Agarwal, Thackeray & Khandekar, 2022

South Asian Cnemaspis are one of the most diverse clades of gekkonids in South Asia with their highest diversity in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. These geckos include only a few nocturnal species and are largely diurnal or cathemeral and restricted to relatively cool habitats. One of the prominently diurnal subgroups in South Asian Cnemaspis is the bangara clade, which includes six species distributed in southern India on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, the southern Eastern Ghats and Palghat Gap. In this paper, we describe five more species of the bangara clade from the Shevaroyan landscape, including three from Kollimalai and one each from Yercaud and Pachaimalai, all in Tamil Nadu. These new species show 4.6–19.7 % uncorrected sequence divergence on the mitochondrial ND2 gene from each other and known species of the bangara clade and are morphologically diagnosable in body size, the number of paravertebral tubercles between limb insertions, the number of dorsal tubercle rows, the number of ventral scale rows across the belly, the number of femoral and precloacal pores and poreless scales separating these series, and aspects of colouration. The discovery of these five new species adds to the growing discoveries of cool-adapted species in southern India outside the Western Ghats and highlights the role of sky-islands in diversification. The Shevaroyan landscape shows high levels of microendemism with eight species distributed in an area of < 2000 km2, and all these species restricted to much smaller areas of actual distribution. With an area of < 500 km2 respectively, the massif of Pachaimalai has a single endemic and the massifs of Yercaud and Kollimalai have three endemic Cnemaspis species each.

Keywords: Endemic species, integrative taxonomy, microendemism, mountains, southern India, species radiation, taxonomy


Maximum likelihood tree of the bangara clade of South Asian Cnemaspis based on a partial fragment of ND2 with photographs of the species in life (not to scale) and sketches showing dorsal colour pattern of head and forebody (not to scale); note that C. salimalii sp. nov. and C. thackerayi have the same pattern. Bootstrap support and Posterior Probability (only values ≥ 65 % and 0.99 shown) depicted at nodes, outgroups not shown.

Colouration in life:
A Cnemaspis salimalii sp. nov., adult male (holotype, NRC-AA-1204); B Cnemaspis agayagangai sp. nov., adult male (holotype, NRC-AA-1213); 
C Cnemaspis fantastica sp. nov., adult male (holotype, NRC-AA-1222); D Cnemaspis pachaimalaiensis sp. nov., adult male (holotype, NRC-AA-1230).
Photos by Tejas Thackeray.

Cnemaspis salimalii sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is a patronym honouring the eminent ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali (1896–1987) for his immense contributions to field research and conservation in India.

Suggested Common Name: Salim Ali’s dwarf gecko.

Cnemaspis agayagangai sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is for the type locality of the new species, the Agaya Gangai Waterfalls, and is used as a noun in apposition.

Suggested Common Name: Agaya Gangai dwarf gecko.

Cnemaspis fantastica sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the Greek phantastikós, alluding to the spectacular colouration of the new species.

Suggested Common Name: Fantastic dwarf gecko.

Cnemaspis pachaimalaiensis sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is a toponym for the Pachaimalai hills in Trichy district of Tamil Nadu, the type and currently only known locality for this species.

Suggested Common Name: Pachaimalai dwarf gecko.

A Colouration in life of Cnemaspis rudhira sp. nov. showing sexual dichromatism: top adult female (paratype, NRC-AA-1247), bottom adult male (holotype, NRC-AA-1238), photo by Tejas Thackeray;
B Habitat at the type locality of Cnemaspis rudhira sp. nov. showing general habitat, rocky outcrop in evergreen forest. Photo by Akshay Khandekar.

Cnemaspis rudhira sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is from the Sanskrit rudhira which means blood, alluding to the blood-red colouration of this beautiful species, and is used as a noun in apposition.

Suggested Common Name: Scarlet dwarf gecko.

Ishan Agarwal, Tejas Thackeray and Akshay Khandekar. 2022. A Multitude of spots! Five new microendemic species of the Cnemaspis gracilis group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from massifs in the Shevaroy landscape, Tamil Nadu, India. Vertebrate Zoology. 72: 1137-1186. DOI: 10.3897/vz.72.e94799 

South Asian Cnemaspis has already become the most diverse vertebrate genus in India with more than 70 described species from the country. Yet again, we describe five more stunning new species (of the Cnemaspis gracilis complex) from multiple massifs in the Shevaroyan landscape, Tamil Nadu. All five are endemic to their respective type localities.
1) Cnemaspis salimalii sp. nov. (Salim Ali’s dwarf gecko): described from high elevation forests of Kolli hills in Namakkal district. As the name suggests, we named the new species after eminent ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali for his immense contributions to field research and conservation in India.
2) Cnemaspis rudhira sp. nov. (Scarlet dwarf gecko): described from Yercaud in Salem district. The species name rudhira is a Sanskrit word which means blood, alluding to the blood-red colouration of this beautiful species.
3) Cnemaspis agayagangai sp. nov. (Agayagangai dwarf gecko): described from mid-elevation forests on the eastern slope of Kolli hills in Namakkal district. Named after its type locality, the Agaya Gangai Waterfalls.
4) Cnemaspis fantastica sp. nov. (Fantastic dwarf gecko): described from mid-elevation forests on the western slope of Kolli hills. The species name is derived from the Greek phantastikós, alluding to the spectacular colouration of the new species.
5) Cnemaspis pachaimalaiensis sp. nov. (Pachaimalai dwarf gecko): described from the Pachaimalai hills in Trichy district and named after its type locality. The new species is the first known endemic vertebrate from Pachaimalai hill. 

[Paleontology • 2022] A 2-Million-year-old Ecosystem in Greenland uncovered by environmental DNA

the rich plant and animal assemblages of the Kap København Formation in North Greenland.

in Kjær, Pedersen, Sanctis, Cahsan, Korneliussen, ... et Willerslev, 2022. 
 — image: Beth Zaiken/

Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene epochs 3.6 to 0.8 million years ago had climates resembling those forecasted under future warming. Palaeoclimatic records show strong polar amplification with mean annual temperatures of 11–19 °C above contemporary values. The biological communities inhabiting the Arctic during this time remain poorly known because fossils are rare5. Here we report an ancient environmental DNA6 (eDNA) record describing the rich plant and animal assemblages of the Kap København Formation in North Greenland, dated to around two million years ago. The record shows an open boreal forest ecosystem with mixed vegetation of poplar, birch and thuja trees, as well as a variety of Arctic and boreal shrubs and herbs, many of which had not previously been detected at the site from macrofossil and pollen records. The DNA record confirms the presence of hare and mitochondrial DNA from animals including mastodons, reindeer, rodents and geese, all ancestral to their present-day and late Pleistocene relatives. The presence of marine species including horseshoe crab and green algae support a warmer climate than today. The reconstructed ecosystem has no modern analogue. The survival of such ancient eDNA probably relates to its binding to mineral surfaces. Our findings open new areas of genetic research, demonstrating that it is possible to track the ecology and evolution of biological communities from two million years ago using ancient eDNA.

Kurt H. Kjær, Mikkel Winther Pedersen, Bianca De Sanctis, Binia De Cahsan, Thorfinn S. Korneliussen, Christian S. Michelsen, Karina K. Sand, Stanislav Jelavić, Anthony H. Ruter, Astrid M. A. Schmidt, Kristian K. Kjeldsen, Alexey S. Tesakov, Ian Snowball, John C. Gosse, Inger G. Alsos, Yucheng Wang, Christoph Dockter, Magnus Rasmussen, Morten E. Jørgensen, Birgitte Skadhauge, Ana Prohaska, Jeppe Å. Kristensen, Morten Bjerager, Morten E. Allentoft, Eric Coissac, PhyloNorway Consortium, Alexandra Rouillard, Alexandra Simakova, Antonio Fernandez-Guerra, Chris Bowler, Marc Macias-Fauria, Lasse Vinner, John J. Welch, Alan J. Hidy, Martin Sikora, Matthew J. Collins, Richard Durbin, Nicolaj K. Larsen and Eske Willerslev. 2022. A 2-Million-year-old Ecosystem in Greenland uncovered by environmental DNA. Nature. 612; 283–291. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05453-y
The lost world: The cover shows an artist’s impression of the rich ecosystem that existed in parts of northern Greenland some 2 million years ago. The ecosystem is reconstructed from ancient DNA in this week’s issue by Eske Willerslev and colleagues. Working at the Kap København Formation in Peary Land, the researchers gathered sediment samples rich in organic material from 5 different geological sites. By extracting and sequencing DNA from these samples, they were able to piece together a picture of the flora and fauna present around 2 million years ago. The team found evidence of open boreal forest mixed with Arctic species such as cedar, spruce and birch, as well as signs of animals including hares, mastodons, reindeer and geese. The evidence affirms that this part of Greenland, now a polar desert, was 11–17 °C warmer than it is today and suggests it was home to an ecosystem composition that no longer exists anywhere in the world.
 — Cover image: Beth Zaiken/

Thursday, December 8, 2022

[Paleontology • 2022] Zuul crurivastator • Palaeopathological Evidence for Intraspecific Combat in Ankylosaurid Dinosaurs

Zuul crurivastator Arbour & Evans, 2017

in Arbour, Zanno & Evans, 2022. 

Ankylosaurid dinosaurs were heavily armoured herbivores with tails modified into club-like weapons. These tail clubs have widely been considered defensive adaptations wielded against predatory theropod dinosaurs. Here we argue instead that ankylosaurid tail clubs were sexually selected structures used primarily for intraspecific combat. We found pathological osteoderms (armour plates) in the holotype specimen of Zuul crurivastator, which are localized to the flanks in the hip region rather than distributed randomly across the body, consistent with injuries inflicted by lateral tail-swinging and ritualized combat. We failed to find convincing evidence for predation as a key selective pressure in the evolution of the tail club. High variation in tail club size through time, and delayed ontogenetic growth of the tail club further support the sexual selection hypothesis. There is little doubt that the tail club could have been used in defence when needed, but our results suggest that sexual selection drove the evolution of this impressive weapon. This changes the prevailing view of ankylosaurs, suggesting they were behaviorally complex animals that likely engaged in ritualized combat for social dominance as in other ornithischian dinosaurs and mammals.

Keywords: Dinosauria, Ankylosauria, sexual selection, animal weaponry

Victoria M. Arbour, Lindsay E. Zanno and David C. Evans. 2022. Palaeopathological Evidence for Intraspecific Combat in Ankylosaurid Dinosaurs. Biol. Lett. 18: 20220404. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2022.0404

[Botany • 2022] Argostemma ehuangzhangense (Rubiaceae) • A New Species from Guangdong, China

Argostemma ehuangzhangense   H.G.Ye, Jia Liu & W.B.Liao,

in Liu, Liu, Zhao, Fan, Ye, Wang & Liao, 2022. 
粤西雪花  ||  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.214.89276

Argostemma ehuangzhangense, a new Rubiaceae species from E’huangzhang Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province, China, is here described and illustrated. A morphological comparison between the new species and its putative relatives, A. lamxayanum, A. laotica and A. verticillatum, is presented. The new species is mostly similar to A. laotica, but they can be distinguished from each other since Argostemma ehuangzhangense presents solitary flower (vs. 2-flowered inflorescences), flower lobes 4 (vs. 5) and anthers opening by longitudinal slits (vs. apical pores). In a preliminary IUCN Red List status of Argostemma ehuangzhangense this species is assigned as Vulnerable (VU).

Keywords: Argostemma ehuangzhangense, China, Guangdong, new species, Rubiaceae

Argostemma ehuangzhangense
A flower B fruit C style and stigma D habit of a mature plant E multicellular trichomes present on the stem, pedicel and ovary F corolla G organization of stamens H stamen
(Drawn from living plants by Yun-Xiao Liu).

Argostemma ehuangzhangense
A individuals in their natural habitat B flowering individuals C fruiting individuals D side view of an individuals with tuber E leaf blade adaxial surface view F leaf blade abaxial surface view G flower, internal corolla surface view H folwer, external corolla surface view I capsule, top view J stamen K style and stigma tightly enclosed by stamens L ovary longitudinal section view.
(photographs (A–G) were taken by Wan-Yi Zhao in the original habitat area of E’huangzhang 
and photographs (H–L) were taken by Jia Liu in SYS Herbarium in May 2018).

 Argostemma ehuangzhangense H.G.Ye, Jia Liu & W.B.Liao, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Argostemma ehuangzhangense is similar to A. lamxayanum and A. laotica in its habit and pseudo-verticillate leaves, but differs in having terminal solitary 4-merous flowers, short anthers (1.2–1.5 mm long) opening by longitudinal slits.

Distribution: Argostemma ehuangzhangense is endemic to E’huangzhang Nature Reserve, southwestern Guangdong Province. It is currently known only from two populations recorded in county of Dianbai and city of Yangchun.

Habitat: Growing along river on wet sandstone under the evergreen broad-leaf forest at 400–750 m a.s.l.

Etymology: The specific epithet ‘ehuangzhangense’ is derived from the type locality, E’huangzhang Nature Reserve of the Guangdong Province, in China. This area is the oldest geological platform in the Guangdong Province, in which many endemic species occur (Wang et al. 2003; 2004; Ding et al. 2018). The new species is also expected to occur in the Yunkaishan National Nature Reserve, Maoming City, because this area shares a similar tectonic history with E’huangzhang. Therefore, we proposed for the vernacular name of the species as yuèxīxuěhuā (粤西雪花).

 Zhong-Cheng Liu, Jia Liu, Wan-Yi Zhao, Qiang Fan, Hua-Gu Ye, Lei Wang and Wen-Bo Liao. 2022. Argostemma ehuangzhangense (Rubiaceae), A New Species from Guangdong, China. PhytoKeys. 214: 75-82. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.214.89276

[Botany • 2022] Schoenorchis mishmensis (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae) • A New Species from Mishmi Hills, Lower Dibang Valley District, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Schoenorchis mishmensis 

 in Gogoi, Mega & Chowlu, 2022. 

A new species of Schoenorchis, belonging to the family Orchidaceae is described from tropical mixed evergreen forests of Mishmi Hills, (Arunachal Pradesh, India). It is allied to Schoenorchis micrantha and S. brevirachis but differs in the size and shape of plant, the size of the leaf blade, inflorescence and flower. A detailed description with taxonomic notes, colour photos and information on the habitat, conservation status are provided.

Keywords: Monocots, Schoenorchis micrantha, plant taxonomy, Flora of India, Orchids Germplasm

Khyanjeet Gogoi, Pranab Mega and K. Chowlu. 2022. Schoenorchis mishmensis sp. nov. (Orchidaceae) from Mishmi Hills, Lower Dibang Valley District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Phytotaxa. 575(1); 97–103. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.575.1.7

[Entomology • 2022] Calvisia (Calvisia) khlongsokana • A New Species of Calvisia (Phasmida: Lonchodidae: Necrosciinae) from Thailand and Myanmar and Notes on C. (Calvisia) sangarius from Peninsular Malaysia

Calvisia (Calvisia) khlongsokana
Bresseel, Constant, Jiaranaisakul & Hübner, 2022

colourful new species of Calvisia Stål, 1875, Calvisia (Calvisia) khlongsokana sp. nov., is described from Southwest Thailand and South Myanmar based on both sexes, nymphs and eggs. The new species is placed in the subgenus C. (Calvisia) Stål, 1875 and compared to the closely related species C. (Calvisia) sangarius (Westwood, 1859). The female of C. (Calvisia) sangarius (Westwood, 1859) and both sexes and egg of C. (Calvisia) khlongsokana sp. nov. are illustrated and a distribution map for both species is provided. Females of the new species occur in two distinct colour forms presumed to be aposematic. Several hypotheses are provided for the natural occurrence of these two morphs with frequency-dependant selection as a possible driver.

Keywords: Stick insect, Phasmatodea, aposematism, sexual dichromatism, sex-limited polymorphism.

Joachim Bresseel, Jérôme Constant, Kawin Jiaranaisakul and Christian Hübner. 2022. A New Species of Calvisia (Calvisia) from Thailand and Myanmar and Notes on C. (Calvisia) sangarius from Peninsular Malaysia (Phasmida, Lonchodidae, Necrosciinae). Belgian Journal of Entomology. 133:1-23. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

[Herpetology • 2021] Gonyosoma hainanense • A New Snake Species of the Genus Gonyosoma Wagler, 1828 (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Hainan Island, China

(D-F) Gonyosoma hainanense Peng, Zhang, Huang, Burbrink & Wang, 
(G) Gonyosoma boulengeri (Mocquard, 1897)

in Peng, Zhang, Huang, Burbrink, Chen, Hou, Zhu, Yang & Wang, 2021. 
Hainan Rhinoceros Snake | 海南尖喙蛇  ||  DOI:  10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.085 

A new species of the genus Gonyosoma Wagler, 1828 is described herein based on six specimens from the Diaoluoshan Mountains, Hainan Island, Hainan Province, China. The new species, Gonyosoma hainanense sp. nov., is most similar to its continental sister species, Gonyosoma boulengeri (Mocquard, 1897). Both taxa have a scaled protrusion on the anterior portion of the rostrum, distinct from other congeners. However, Gonyosoma hainanense sp. nov. can be distinguished from G. boulengeri by two significant morphological characters: (1) black orbital stripe absent in adults (vs. present in G. boulengeri); and (2) two loreals (vs. one loreal in G. boulengeri). The new species is also genetically divergent and forms a unique clade from its sister species and all other congeners based on sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b (cyt b).

Phylogenetic tree, holotype of Gonyosoma hainanense sp. nov., and comparisons with Gonyosoma boulengeri (Mocquard, 1897)
 A: Phylogeny of genus Gonyosoma derived from partial cyt b sequences. Bayesian posterior probabilities (left) and bootstrap support (right) are shown at corresponding nodes.
 Head (B, C, F) and general (D, E) views of holotype (ANU20190002). G: Head of adult male of Gonyosoma boulengeri (collection number: HSR2010073, from Yunnan Province, China). F and G: Differences in black orbital stripe and loreals.
Photos by M. Hou (B–F) and S. Huang (G).

Gonyosoma hainanense sp. nov. L. Peng, Y. Zhang, S. Huang, F. T. Burbrink, and J. Wang, 2021

 Suggested English name: Hainan Rhinoceros Snake.
Suggested Chinese name: 海南尖喙蛇  (Bopomofo: hǎi nán jiān huì shé). 
Diagnosis: The new species, Gonyosoma hainanense sp. nov., can be distinguished by the following characters: (1) Long pointed rostral appendage covered with small smooth scales; (2) SVL 652–927 mm in adults; (3) Dorsal scales slightly keeled, 19-19-15(13); (4) Ventral and subcaudal scales strongly angulated laterally; (5) Ventral scales 216–221; (6) Subcaudals paired, 122–135; (7) Anal plate divided; (8) One preocular, two postoculars; (9) Supralabials 9/9, fourth to sixth in contact with eye; (10) Infralabials 10–12, first five in contact with first pair of chin shields; (11) Temporals 2+2+3 (rarely 2+3+3); (12) Black orbital stripe absent in adults; (13) Two loreals oriented longitudinally.

Etymology: The specific name refers to the province of its type locality, i.e., Hainan Island, Hainan Province, China.

Distribution and natural history: Gonyosoma hainanense sp. nov. is currently known only from the Diaoluoshan Mountains (type locality) and the Jianfengling Mountains of Hainan Island, Hainan Province, China. This species inhabits subtropical rainforests (Supplementary Figure S1G) at elevations between ~200 and 900 m a.s.l., particularly in valleys with streams. It is generally arboreal and nocturnal (Zhao et al., 1998; Zhao, 2006). Furthermore, it is oviparous with a clutch size of six (white) eggs and an incubation period of 62 days (20 April–21 June 2019). Neonates and juveniles are gray, with black orbital stripes. Captive individuals (ANU20190003) consume mice. Wild individuals are preyed on by Lycodon rosozonatus (Supplementary Figure S1A–F). Coloration gradually changes to green as the snake matures, and the black orbital stripes gradually fade.

Li-Fang Peng, Yong Zhang, Song Huang, Frank T. Burbrink, Jin-Min Chen, Mian Hou, Yi-Wu Zhu, Hang Yang and Ji-Chao Wang. 2021. A New Snake Species of the Genus Gonyosoma Wagler, 1828 (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Hainan Island, China. Zoological Research. 42(4); 487-491. DOI:  10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.085  

[Botany • 2022] Impatiens chenmoui (Balsaminaceae) • A New Species from southern Yunnan, China

Impatiens chenmoui   Zheng W. Wang, Xiao C. Li & Q.Wang ter, 

in Wang, Wang, Xu, Zhang & Li. 2022. 
陈谋凤仙花  ||  DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.214.94898

Impatiens chenmoui (Balsaminaceae), a new species from southern Yunnan, China, was described and illustrated based on morphological and molecular evidence. This new species is morphologically most similar to Impatiens oblongata Ruchis. & Niet, but can be distinguished by 7–9 pairs of leaf veins, glabrous perianth, obovate upper petal, and capsule with trichome.

Keywords: China, Impatiens chenmoui, morphology, phylogeny, sect. Uniflorae

Impatiens chenmoui sp. nov.
A habit B, C flower with long spur D, E flower with spur nearly absent F leaf base G capsule H dorsal petal I spur J lateral sepals K united lateral petals L ovary surrounded by stamens.

Impatiens chenmoui sp. nov.
A habit B, C united lateral petals D ovary surrounded by stamens E flower front view F, G lateral sepals H spur I dorsal petal J–L leaves M seed N capsule O, P long-spurred flower side view Q non-spurred flower side view.


 Impatiens chenmoui Zheng W. Wang, Xiao C. Li & Q.Wang ter, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Impatiens chenmoui is most similar to I. oblongata Ruchis. & Niet, but is distinguished by the glabrous dorsal petal, pedicel, and bracts, longer pedicel and spur, and fewer lateral sepals

Distribution and ecology: This new species was found under evergreen broad-leaved forest at an elevation of 1500–1700 m on the limestone mountain ridge, and was currently known as only one population in Mengla County, Yunnan, China. This distribution area is very close to the border with Myanmar and Laos. We assume that this species should be also distributed in Myanmar and Laos due to their similar habitat.

Etymology: The specific epithet “Chenmoui” was dedicated to the famous Chinese collector and botanist, Chen Mou (陈谋) (1903–1935) who was one of the founders of the first botanical garden cataloged by the Classification System of Plants in China, and died during the collection trip through southern Yunnan, China. The Chinese name was given as “陈谋凤仙花”.

Zheng-wei Wang, Qi Wang, Ru-hua Xu, Yu Zhang and Xiao-chen Li. 2022. Impatiens chenmoui (Balsaminaceae), A New Species from southern Yunnan, China. PhytoKeys. 214: 83-95. DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.214.94898

[Herpetology • 2022] Odontophrynus toledoi • A New Species of Odontophrynus (Anura: Odontophrynidae) from the southern portion of the Mantiqueira Mountains, Brazil

Odontophrynus toledoi  
Moroti, Pedrozo, Severgnini, Augusto-Alves, Dena, Martins, Nunes & Muscat, 2022

Using an integrative approach (morphology of the adult and larvae, bioacoustics, osteology, karyotype, and molecular data), we described a new tetraploid species of Odontophrynus to the Mantiqueira mountain range, in southeastern Brazil. The data suggest that Odontophrynus toledoi sp. nov., O. juquinha and Odontophrynus sp. (aff. juquinha) comprise a clade with specimens distributed along three distinct mountain ranges in Brazil: Mantiqueira (O. toledoi sp. nov.) and Espinhaço (O. juquinha) mountains, both in southeastern Brazil, and Diamantina Plateau (O. aff. juquinha), in northeastern Brazil. The new species is morphologically similar and closely related to O. juquinha, but is distinguished in morphology (both adult and larval), karyotype (O. toledoi sp. nov. is tetraploid and O. juquinha is diploid), and corroborated by phylogenetic inferences. We also show that these species do not exchange haplotypes in the 16s gene. Furthermore, although the raw acoustic parameters of Odontophrynus toledoi sp. nov. and O. juquinha overlap at the limits of their ranges, we found a clear difference in the acoustic space structure. 

Keywords: Atlantic Forest, burrowing toad, integrative taxonomy, species delimitation, species description

Class Amphibia Linnaeus, 1758
Order Anura Fischer Von Waldheim, 1813

Family Odontophrynidae Lynch, 1969

Genus Odontophrynus Reinhardt & Lütken, 1862

Odontophrynus toledoi sp. nov.

Odontophrynus toledoi sp. nov., holotype, ♂ (ZUEC-AMP 24833), in life.
A. Lateral view. B. Dorsal view. Scale bar = 5 mm.

Odontophrynus toledoi sp. nov. in life. A. Tadpole. B. Metamorph.
Diagnosis: Odontophrynus toledoi sp. nov. is a medium-sized species belonging to the genus Odontophrynus based on the phylogenetic position and a combination of morphological characters: granular skin on the dorsum and venter, head wider than long, snout truncate in profile, tympanum hidden, first subarticular tubercle on toe I enlarged, inner metatarsal tubercle large, tarsal fold short (Savage & Cei 1965; Caramaschi & Napoli 2012). The new species belongs to the Odontophrynus americanus species group based on phylogenetic affinities and the combination of the following characters: absence of large dorsal, tibia and forearm glandular warts, with postorbital, temporal, and parotoid glandular warts not distinctly developed but with a series of small glandular warts of irregular size and shape, forming glandular ridges longitudinally oriented, on postorbital-parotoid regions (Caramaschi & Napoli 2012). Odontophrynus  toledoi  is  distinguished  from  the  remaining  species  belonging  to  the  O.  americanus group by the following combination of characters: (1) medium sized (SVL = 40.4–51.8 mm in males and 45.0–54.5 mm in females of O. toledoi; Table 1); (2) head wider than long (HW/HL = 1.31); (3) dorsal surface of head, arms, body and limbs dark brown with arms and limbs with light brown stripes; (4) light mid-dorsal stripe present or interrupted in most of the specimens; (5) yellowish stripe between the eyes, resembling a ‘)’ shape; (6) increased number of longitudinally oriented dorsal glandular ridges; (7) karyotype with 2n = 4X = 44, with fundamental number = 88; (8) advertisement call with dominant frequency of 775–1033 Hz; (9) pulse rate of 89–132 pulses/s; (10) large tadpoles (mean TL = 42.91–56.18 mm); (11) one–two submarginal papillae on the posterior labium of each side of the oral disc near the  posterior  emargination;  and  (12)  spiracle  sinistral,  short,  inner  wall  fused  to  the  body  with  small  distal portion free.

Etymology: The specific epithet honors Professor Luís Felipe Toledo for his contribution in solving the mysteries of the natural history of Neotropical amphibians, especially those from southeastern Brazil and mostly within the Atlantic Forest, where the new species resides.

Odontophrynus toledoi sp. nov. displaying defensive behaviors (A–B) of burrowing and (C) puffing up the body and stiff leg synergistically. D. The coloration of the species also provides crypsis by camouflage in the microhabitat where it lives.

Matheus de Toledo Moroti, Mariana Pedrozo, Marcos Rafael Severgnini, Guilherme Augusto-Alves, Simone Dena, Itamar Alves Martins, Ivan Nunes and Edelcio Muscat. 2022. A New Species of Odontophrynus (Anura, Odontophrynidae) from the southern portion of the Mantiqueira Mountains. European Journal of Taxonomy. 847(1), 160–193. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2022.847.1991

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

[Botany • 2022] Phyllarthron arenicola (Bignoniaceae: Coleeae) • A New Dry Forest Species from North-Western Madagascar


Phyllarthron arenicola Rakotoaris. & Rabarij.,  

in Rakotoarisoa, Rabarijaona & Goyder, 2022

Phyllarthron is a genus of large trees and shrubs with 18 currently recognised Malagasy species and one further species restricted to the Comoro Archipelago (P. comorense DC.). Most of the species occur in sub-humid and humid parts of Madagascar, with only five currently recognised species in dry and semi-arid zones. The species newly described here occurs in dry shrubby vegetation on white sand. The number, shape and relative proportions of the leaf articles, and the presence of pubescence on the leaves, fruit, flower and the young shoots immediately distinguishes this species from others in the genus.
Key Words: Bongolava Forest Corridor, dry and semi-arid zones, white sand

Phyllarthron arenicola  .
A fruiting branch; B flowering branch. From S. E. Rakotoarisoa 839 (holotype).
Drawn by Roger Lala Andriamiarisoa. 

Phyllarthron arenicola. A habitat; B flowering branch; C fruiting branch.
photos: A, B Solofo E. Rakotoarisoa; C Feno Rakotoarison 

Phyllarthron arenicola Rakotoaris. & Rabarij. sp. nov. 

RECOGNITION. Phyllarthron arenicola differs from P. bernierianum in its shorter phyllodes (2 – 6 cm vs 3 – 12.5 cm) which are pubescent on both surfaces rather than glabrous, and the corolla which is distinctly pubescent both externally and internally, rather than minutely scabrid-velutinous.

ETYMOLOGY. Arenicola or sand-dweller, named after the white sand substrate in which the species occurs.

VERNACULAR NAME. Tohiravina (Tsimihety).

Solofo E. Rakotoarisoa, Romer N. Rabarijaona and David J. Goyder. 2022. A New Dry Forest Species, Phyllarthron arenicola (Bignoniaceae: Coleeae), from North-Western Madagascar. Kew Bulletin. DOI: 10.1007/s12225-022-10067-8