Monday, July 26, 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


[Botany • 2021] Vaccinium exiguum (Ericaceae: Vaccinieae) • A New Species from the Ultramafic Summit of Mt. Victoria, Palawan Island, Philippines

Vaccinium exiguum M.N.Tamayo, R.Bustam. & P.W.Fritsch

in Tamayo, Bustamante et Fritsch, 2021.

Vaccinium exiguum from the ultramafic summit of Mt. Victoria, Palawan Island, Philippines is here described as a new species of Ericaceae. It closely resembles V. hamiguitanense but is distinct by having much shorter petioles and leaves, longer and glabrous calyx lobes with serrate lobe margins, a larger corolla with deeper sulcations, and longer stamens with spurs oriented laterally. Vaccinium exiguum represents the third Vaccinium species found on the Island of Palawan and 36th in the Philippines.

Keywords: Ericales, endemic species, Malesia, sect. Bracteata, Vaccinioideae

Figure 2.Vaccinium exiguum M.N.Tamayo, R.Bustam. & P.W.Fritsch 
 A flowering branchlet B leaf, abaxial view C lateral view of flower showing ribbed corolla D distal portion of pedicel, as well as hypanthium, calyx lobes and style E stamen in oblique-lateral view showing spurs F stamen in ventral view G cross section of ovary showing seven locules.
Illustrated by Maverick N. Tamayo.

Figure 1. Vaccinium exiguum M.N.Tamayo, R.Bustam. & P.W.Fritsch
A ultramafic summit of Mt. Victoria B flowering branchlets in situ.
Photo A by Alastair Robinson. Photo B by Rene Alfred Anton Bustamante.

Vaccinium exiguum M.N.Tamayo, R.Bustam. & P.W.Fritsch, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Vaccinium exiguum closely resembles V. hamiguitanense, but is distinct by having shorter petioles (0.5–1.0 mm vs. 1.2–1.8 mm), shorter leaves (4.9–9.3 mm vs. 8.8–16.0 mm), longer calyx lobes (1.8–2.0 mm vs. 1.1–1.3 mm) that are glabrous (vs. merely ciliate) with serrate calyx lobe margins (vs. entire), a larger corolla (6.0–7.0 × 4.0–5.0 mm vs. 4.6–5.0 × ca. 2.6 mm) with deeper (vs. shallow) sulcations, and longer stamens (3.5–4.0 mm vs. 2.8–3.5 mm) with spurs oriented laterally (vs. slightly upcurved and oriented ± apically). The calyx lobes of V. exiguum are unique amongst Philippine species in that they are nearly as long as or longer than the hypanthium. Unlike V. hamiguitanense, V. exiguum has a corolla that appears distinctly star-shaped in cross section because of its deep sulcations.

Etymology: The epithet “exiguum” refers to the overall small stature and leaf morphology of the new species.

Distribution and habitat: Vaccinium exiguum is currently known from a single individual from a single location at the exposed ultramafic forest summit of Mt. Victoria, Palawan Island, Philippines at ca. 1700 m elevation.


 Maverick N. Tamayo, Rene Alfred Anton Bustamante and Peter W. Fritsch. 2021. Vaccinium exiguum (Ericaceae, Vaccinieae), A New Species from the Ultramafic Summit of Mt. Victoria, Palawan Island, Philippines. PhytoKeys. 179: 145-154. DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.179.68323

𝑽𝒂𝒄𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒖𝒎 𝒆𝒙𝒊𝒈𝒖𝒖𝒎


[Entomology • 2021] Caenis gretathunbergae, C. oromo, et al. • New Records and Taxa of Caenidae (Insecta: Ephemeroptera) from Ethiopia, with Particular Regard to the River Awash Region

Caenis gretathunbergae 
 Malzacher, 2021

Four new species of Caenis and a new subspecies of Afrocaenis major are described from Ethiopia: Afrocaenis major ginchicas sp. n. (imagines and larvae), Caenis gretathunbergae sp. n. (imagines and larvae), Caenis oromo sp. n. (larvae), Caenis grafi sp. n. (larvae) and Caenis afrocaenoides sp. n. (imagines), as well as the larval stages of the formerly described Caenis nervulosa Malzacher, 1990. Additionally, a few males of the Palaearctic species Caenis horaria (Linnaeus, 1758) are recorded for the Afrotropical Region. A larval key to the five Ethiopian species with known larvae is provided.

Figs. 16–17. Caenis gretathunbergae sp. n., habitus of larva. – 16. Macro photograph. 17. SEM.

Fig. 15. Caenis gretathunbergae sp. n., male, habitus. 

Peter Malzacher. 2021. New Records and Taxa of Caenidae (Insecta: Ephemeroptera) from Ethiopia, with Particular Regard to the River Awash Region. Integrative Systematics: Stuttgart Contributions to Natural History. 4(1); 1-23. DOI:  10.18476/2021.826615

[Botany • 2021] Begonia lophura & P. villosula (Begoniaceae, section Platycentrum) • Two New Species of Begonia from the Central Highlands of Vietnam

  Begonia lophura T. S. Hoang & C.W. Lin

in Hoang et Lin, 2021.
Two new species of Begonia L., namely Begonia villosula T.S.Hoang & C.W.Lin and B. lophura T.S.Hoang & C.W.Lin, from the Central Highlands of Vietnam, are described and illustrated. They are assigned to Begonia sect. Platycentrum based on several characters including axillary inflorescence, 4-tepaled staminate flower and 5-tepaled pistillate flower with bilocular ovary, each with two placentae. Begonia villosula resembles B. thomsonii, but it is different in its leaf margins crenate to crenulate (vs. irregularly serrulate), stamens 80–120 (vs. 35–70), pistillate flower 4-tepaled (vs. 5-tepaled) and ovary hirsute (vs. villous). Begonia lophura is somewhat similar to B. pavonina, but it is different in having widely ovate (vs. ovate) and abaxially red hirsute (vs. glabrous) leaves, bracts persistent (vs. caducous), tepals hirsute (vs. glabrous) in both of staminate and pistillate flowers, capsule scabrous (vs. glabrous) and abaxial wing strongly swollen (vs. thin, not swollen). The conservation status of the two new species are assessed as Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List criteria.

Keywords: Eudicots, Asia, biodiversity, endemism, taxonomy, morphology 

Begonia lophura T. S. Hoang & C.W. Lin

Begonia villosula T. S. Hoang & C.W. Lin 

 Thanh Son Hoang and Che-Wei Lin. 2021. Two New Species of Begonia (sect. Platycentrum, Begoniaceae) from the Central Highlands of Vietnam: B. villosula and B. lophura Phytotaxa. 510(3); 263–274. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.510.3.6
𝐵. 𝑣𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑢𝑙𝑎 and 𝐵. 𝑙𝑜𝑝ℎ𝑢𝑟𝑎

[Botany • 2021] Shoubiaonia yunnanensis (Amaryllidaceae) • A New Genus from Yunnan Province, China

Shoubiaonia yunnanensis W.H. Qin, W.Q. Meng & K. Liu

in Qin, Meng, Zhang, ... et Liu, 2021. 
Shoubiaonia yunnanensis is described here as a new genus and species of Amaryllidaceae from Yunnan Province, southwest China. Phylogenetic analyses based on DNA sequences of nuclear ribosomal ITS and three plastid regions (matK, ndhF and rbcL) strongly support Shoubiaonia as a member in the tribe Lycorideae of the Eurasian clade of Amaryllidaceae. However, morphologically S. yunnanensis is readily distinguished from the other genera in the Eurasian clade by its 2-valved spathe, 3-lobed stigma, ovary with two ovules per locule and silver black, subglobose seeds. The new genus is the second genus of the subfamily Amaryllidoideae distributed in natural habitat in China.

Keywords: Amaryllidaceae, new genus, Shoubiaonia, Shoubiaonia yunnanensis

Shoubiaonia yunnanensis W.H. Qin, W.Q. Meng & K. Liu. gen. & sp. nov.

Etymology: The genus epithet Shoubiaonia honors Pro. Shoubiao Zhou from Anhui Normal University, who worked on plant diversity and taxonomy, including Amaryllidaceae and Gesneriaceae, and made important contributions to the subtropical flora in China.

Vernacular name: Shou biao suan shu (守标蒜属) (Chinese), Yun nan shou biao suan (云南守标蒜) (Chinese).

Wei-Hua Qin, Wei-Qi Meng, Dong Zhang, Ying Wang, Zhong-Lin Li, Lu Sun and Kun Liu. 2021. A New Amaryllidaceae Genus, Shoubiaonia, from Yunnan Province, China. Nordic Journal of Botany. DOI: 10.1111/njb.02703


Sunday, July 25, 2021

[Paleontology • 2021] Osteological Revision of the Holotype of the Middle Jurassic Sauropod Dinosaur Patagosaurus fariasi Bonaparte, 1979 (Sauropoda: Cetiosauridae)

Patagosaurus fariasi Bonaparte, 1979

in Holwerda, Rauhut et Pol, 2021.
Illustration: Joschua Knuppe

Middle Jurassic sauropod taxa are poorly known, due to a stratigraphic bias of localities yielding body fossils. One such locality is Cerro Cóndor North, Cañadón Asfalto Formation, Patagonia, Argentina, dated to latest Early−Middle Jurassic. From this locality, the holotype of Patagosaurus fariasi Bonaparte 1986 is revised. The material consists of the axial skeleton, the pelvic girdle, and the right femur. Patagosaurus is mainly characterised by a combination of features mainly identified on the axial skeleton, including the following: 1) cervical centra with low Elongation Index; 2) high projection of the postzygodiapophyseal lamina; 3) deep anterior pleurocoels that are sometimes compartmentalized in cervicals; 4) high projection of the neural arch and spine in dorsal vertebrae and anterior(most) caudal vertebrae; 5) deep pneumatic foramina in posterior dorsals which connect into an internal pneumatic chamber; and 6) anterior caudal vertebrae with ‘saddle’ shaped neural spines. Diagnostic features on the appendicular skeleton include: 1) a transversely wide and anteroposteriorly short femur; 2) a medial placement of the fourth trochanter on the femur; and 3) an anteroposteriorly elongated ilium with a rounded dorsal rim, with hook-shaped anterior lobe. The characters that are diagnostic for Patagosaurus are discussed, and the osteology of Patagosaurus is compared to that of Early and Middle Jurassic (eu)sauropods from both Laurasia and Gondwana.

KEYWORDS: Sauropoda, Eusauropoda, Patagosaurus, Gondwana, Middle Jurassic, Patagonia, pneumaticity

Femke M. Holwerda, Oliver W. M. Rauhut and Diego Pol. 2021. Osteological Revision of the Holotype of the Middle Jurassic Sauropod Dinosaur Patagosaurus fariasi Bonaparte, 1979 (Sauropoda: Cetiosauridae).  Geodiversitas. 43 (16); 575-643. DOI: 10.5252/geodiversitas2021v43a16.

[Mollusca • 2021] Snails Riding Mantis Shrimps: Ectoparasites evolved from Ancestors Living as Commensals on the Host’s Burrow Wall

Caledoniellid snails and their hosts.
 Close-up of the female Caledoniella sp. 1and egg capsules.; Monogamous pair and their egg capsules of Caledoniella sp. 1 (AORI_YK#2959) on the abdomen of the host mantis shrimp Gonodactylellus sp. 1 from Edateku Island, Amami-Oshima, Japan.
 Apical and ventral views of “Sigaretornus” sp. from the burrow of the mantis shrimp Bigelowina phalangium, Nakatsu, Oita, Japan.; “Sigaretornus” sp. attached to the burrow wall of B. phalangium at Nakatsu, with the commensal bivalve Divariscintilla toyohiwakensis Yamashita, Haga & Lützen, 2011.

in Goto, Takano, ... et Kano, 2021.
 Photos: R. Goto.

• Snails of the genus Caledoniella are highly adapted ectoparasites on mantis shrimps.
• They originated from commensal ancestors that lived on the host burrow wall.
• Contrary to previous classifications, Caledoniella is placed within Truncatelloidea.
• Five families, including Caledoniellidae, are redefined in Truncatelloidea.
• Symbiotic mode of life has evolved multiple times in this superfamily.

The molluscan class Gastropoda includes over 5,000 parasitic species whose evolutionary origins remain poorly understood. Marine snails of the genus Caledoniella (Caledoniellidae) are obligate parasites that live on the abdominal surface of the gonodactylid mantis shrimps. They have highly modified morphological characteristics specialized to the ectoparasitic lifestyle that make it difficult to infer their close relatives, thereby posing a question about their current systematic position in the superfamily Vanikoroidea. In the present study, we performed molecular phylogenetic analyses using three nuclear and three mitochondrial gene sequences to unveil the phylogenetic position of these enigmatic snails. The resulting trees recovered Caledoniella in the superfamily Truncatelloidea and within a subclade of commensal species that live on the burrow wall of marine benthic invertebrates. More specifically, Caledoniella formed the sister clade to a commensal snail species living in mantis-shrimp burrows and they collectively were sister to Sigaretornus planus (formerly in the family Tornidae or Vitrinellidae), a commensal living in echiuran burrows. This topology suggests that the species of Caledoniella achieved their ectoparasitic mode of life through the following evolutionary pathway: (1) invasion into the burrows of benthic invertebrates, (2) specialization to mantis shrimps, and (3) colonization of the host body surface from the host burrow wall with the evolution of the parasitic nature. The final step is likely to have been accompanied by the acquisition of a sucker on the metapodium, the loss of the radula and operculum, and the formation of monogamous pair bonds. The present molecular phylogeny also suggested parallel evolution of planispiral shells in a subclade of Truncatelloidea and enabled us to newly redefine the families Caledoniellidae, Elachisinidae, Teinostomatidae, Tornidae and Vitrinellidae.
Keywords: Adaptation, Caledoniella, Parasitism, Symbiosis, Stomatopoda, Truncatelloidea

Caledoniellid snails and their hosts.
 Close-up of the female Caledoniella sp. 1and egg capsules.; Monogamous pair and their egg capsules of Caledoniella sp. 1 (AORI_YK#2959) on the abdomen of the host mantis shrimp Gonodactylellus sp. 1 from Edateku Island, Amami-Oshima, Japan.
 Apical and ventral views of “Sigaretornus” sp. from the burrow of the mantis shrimp Bigelowina phalangium, Nakatsu, Oita, Japan.; “Sigaretornus” sp. attached to the burrow wall of B. phalangium at Nakatsu, with the commensal bivalve Divariscintilla toyohiwakensis Yamashita, Haga & Lützen, 2011.
 Photos: R. Goto.


 Ryutaro Goto, Tsuyoshi Takano, Douglas J. Eernisse, Makoto Kato and Yasunori Kano. 2021. Snails Riding Mantis Shrimps: Ectoparasites evolved from Ancestors Living as Commensals on the Host’s Burrow Wall. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 163, 107122. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107122 

[Botany • 2021] Amomum fangdingii (Zingiberaceae) • A New Species from Guangxi, China [Taxonomic Studies on Amomum in China III]

Amomum fangdingii X.E.Ye, Škorničk. & N.H.Xia 

in Ye, Leong-Škorničková, Bai et Xia, 2021. 
A plant formerly misidentified as Amomum maximum in Guangxi, China, is described here as a new species, namely A. fangdingii. A detailed description, distribution map and illustrations are provided together with a taxonomic key distinguishing A. fangdingii from eight morphologically similar species characterised by cincinnate inflorescences occurring in Cambodia, China, Laos and Vietnam.

Keywords: Amomum maximum, A. velutinum, gingers, misidentification, Monocots. 

FIGURE 2. Amomum fangdingii X.E.Ye, Škorničk. & N.H.Xia 
(A) Habit, (B) Bladeless leaf sheaths with crisped margins, (C) Infructescence, (D) Dissection of a flower (from left to right): calyx (split open), corolla lobes, ovary with epigynous glands, style and pedicel, labellum, floral tube with stamen and two minute lateral staminodes (front view, side view & back view).
Photos by Ye Xing-Er; (A)-(C) based on X.E. Ye 160, (D) based on X.E. Ye 12.

FIGURE 1. Amomum fangdingii X.E.Ye, Škorničk. & N.H.Xia 
(A) Habit, (B) Leaves, (C) Ligule, (D) Rhizome with inflorescences, (E) Bladeless leaf sheaths with crisped margins, (F) Flower (front view), (G) Flower (side view), (H) A single inflorescence and dissection of a cincinnus (from left to right): cincinnus, bract, single flower, single flower bud, bracteole, (I) Infructescence.
Photos (A)-(H) by Ye Xing-Er; based on X.E. Ye 127. 
Photo (I) by Chen Juan; based on J.B. Ni & J. Chen 061008.

Amomum fangdingii X.E.Ye, Škorničk. & N.H.Xia sp. nov.

Xing-Er Ye, Jana Leong-Škorničková, Lin Bai and Nian-He Xia. 2021. Taxonomic Studies on Amomum (Zingiberaceae) in China III: Amomum fangdingii, A New Species from Guangxi. Phytotaxa. 490.3; 263–270. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.490.3.4  

[Herpetology • 2021] First National Record of Gracixalus quangi and G. yunnanensis (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Thailand

 Gracixalus quangi Rowley, Dau, Nguyen, Cao & Nguyen, 201
 G. yunnanensis Yu, Li, Wang, Rao, Wu & Yang, 2019
Habitat of Gracixalus quangi (A) and G. yunnanensis (B)located in Doi Phu Kha NP., Nan Province, Thailand.  
in Lorphengsy, Nguyen, Poyarkov, ... et Suwannapoom, 2021. 
Photos by P. Pawangkhanant.

Background: The bushfrog genus Gracixalus Delorme, Dubois, Grosjean & Ohler, 2005 is found in southern and south-western China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. It is presently comprised of 17 species. In Thailand, only two species have been recorded, namely G. carinensis (Boulenger) and G. seesom (Massui, Khonsue, Panha & Eto). The latter of these two species is currently known to be endemic to the country.

New information: Based on recent field work conducted in 2019 in Doi Phu Kha National Park, Nan Province of northern Thailand, we are reporting two new records of the genus Gracixalus, G. quangi and G. yunnanensis, from Thailand, based on morphological and molecular evidence. In addition, this is the first study to report on the identification of a female specimen of G. yunnanensis. Furthermore, morphological data and natural history notes of the aforementioned species in Thailand have been provided, along with updated locations for the distribution of both species.

Keywords: Gracixalus quangi, G. yunnanensis, new record, 16s rRNA, Nan Province

Figure 2. Male Gracixalus quangi (AUP-00388) collected from Doi Phu Kha NP, Nan Province, Thailand. A. Lateral view; B. Ventral view.  
Figure 4. Male of G. yunnanensis (AUP-1985) in life. A. Lateral view; B. Dorsal view; C. Volar view of the left hand; D. Plantar view of the right foot.
Photos by P. Pawangkhanant.

Male Gracixalus quangi (AUP-00388) collected from Doi Phu Kha NP, Nan Province, Thailand. A. Lateral view; B. Ventral view.  
Male of G. yunnanensis (AUP-1985) in life. A. Lateral view; B. Dorsal view. 
Habitat of Gracixalus quangi (A) and G. yunnanensis (B) located in Doi Phu Kha NP., Nan Province, Thailand. 
 Photos by P. Pawangkhanant.

 Sengvilay Lorphengsy, Tan Van Nguyen, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Yun-He Wu, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Supaporn Passorn, Jing Che and Chatmongkon Suwannapoom. 2021. First national record of Gracixalus quangi Rowley, Dau, Nguyen, Cao & Nguyen, 2011 and G. yunnanensis Yu, Li, Wang, Rao, Wu & Yang, 2019 (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Thailand. Biodiversity Data Journal. 9: e67667. DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.9.e67667

Saturday, July 24, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Gonocephalus liogaster, Gekko (Ptychozoon) cicakterbang, Dasia grisea, Oligodon signatus, et al.• Photographic Records of Reptiles from Yala and Narathiwat Provinces Reveal Seven New Species for Thailand

กิ้งก่าดงตาสีฟ้า | Gonocephalus liogaster
ตุ๊กแกบินมลายู | Gekko (Ptychozooncicakterbang
ตุ๊กแกเรียวมลายู Gekko (Sundagekkobrowni 
งูปี่แก้วหัวศร | Oligodon signatus
in Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Yala and Narathiwat Provinces. 

in Pawangkhanant, Smits, Dugdale, ... et Poyarkov, 2021. 
Photos by P. Pawangkhanant, I. Dugdale and T. Smits. 

We report seven new country records of species of reptiles on the basis of recent herpetological surveys between 2015 – 2019 in southern Thailand: Gekko (PtychozooncicakterbangDasia grisea, and Sphenomorphus sungaicolus from Yala Province; Gonocephalus liogasterGekko (SundagekkobrowniOligodon signatus, and Xenochrophis maculatus from Narathiwat Province. Our recent findings bring the total number of reptiles recorded in Thailand to 452 species. Furthermore, our results suggest that further intensified herpetological research efforts and international collaborations are required to increase our knowledge on the herpetofaunal diversity in the tropical rain forests of southern Thailand near the border with peninsular Malaysia.

Keywords: Gonocephalus liogaster; Gekko cicaktebang; Gekko browni; Dasia grisea; Sphenomorphus sungaicolus; Oligodon signatus; Xenochrophis maculatus; new records; distribution; taxonomy; southern Thailand

Gonocephalus liogaster in Hala Bala WS, Narathiwat Province, Thailand in situ:
two adult males observed on 6 April 2019 (A, B; UTADC 9572 and UTADC 9573, respectively);
one adult female observed on 5 April 2019 (C; UTADC 9575);
one subadult (sex unknown; UTADC 9576) observed on 7 April 2019 (D).
Photos by T. Smits.

Gekko (Ptychozooncicakterbang in Betong District, Yala Province, Thailand (A – D) and 
Gekko (Sundagekkobrowni in Sirindhorn Waterfall, Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Narathiwat Province, Thailand (E, F):
 A, General dorsal view in situ (UTADC 9570b), B, dorsal head ventral view (UTADC 9570c); C, ventral head view (UTADC 9570d); D, cloacal region and ventral tail view (UTADC 9570e);
E, lateral view in situ (UTADC 9571a); F, dorso-lateral view in situ (UTADC 9571b).
Photos by P. Pawangkhanant (A – D) and I. Dugdale (E – F).

Sphenomorphus sungaicolus in Betong District, Yala Province, Thailand. 
general lateral view in situ (UTADC 9578a)
Photo by P. Pawangkhanant.
Reptile: Squamata: 
Family Agamidae Gray, 1827 
Gonocephalus liogaster (Günther, 1872) 
Tropical Forest Dragon | กิ้งก่าดงตาสีฟ้า 

Family Gekkonidae Gray, 1825 
Gekko (Ptychozooncicakterbang (Grismer, Wood, Grismer, Quah, Thy, Phimmachak, Sivongxay, Seateun, Stuart, Siler, Mulcahy, Anamza et Brown, 2019) 
Malaysia Parachute Gecko | ตุ๊กแกบินมลายู

Gekko (Sundagekko) browni Russell, 1979 
Brown’s Gecko | ตุ๊กแกเรียวมลายู

Family Scincidae Gray, 1825 
Dasia grisea (Gray, 1845) 
Gray Dasia | จิ้งเหลนต้นไม้ลายแถบ 

Sphenomorphus sungaicolus Sumarli, Grismer, Wood, Ahmad, Rizal, Ismail, Izam, Ahmad et Linkem, 2016
 Malaysian Riparian Skink | จิ้งเหลนภูเขามลายู

Family Colubridae Oppel, 1811 
Oligodon signatus (Günther, 1864) 
Banded Kukri Snake | งูปี่แก้วหัวศร 

Family Natricidae Bonaparte, 1838
 Xenochrophis maculatus (Edeling, 1864)
 Spotted Keelback | งูลายสอหลังจุด

(A – C) Gonocephalus liogaster in situ in Hala Bala WS, Narathiwat Province; 

(A – C) Gekko (Ptychozooncicakterbang in Betong District, Yala Province; 

 (E) Gekko (Sundagekkobrowni in Sirindhorn Waterfall, Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Narathiwat Province; 
(A – B) Oligodon signatus in situ in Hala Bala WS., Narathiwat Province. 

Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ton Smits, Ian Dugdale, Kanokwan Yimyoo, Tan Van Nguyen, Chatmongkon Suwannapoom and Nikolay A. Poyarkov. 2021. Photographic Records of Reptiles from Yala and Narathiwat Provinces Reveal Seven New Species for Thailand. Russian Journal of Herpetology. 28(3); 152-162. DOI: 10.30906/1026-2296-2021-28-3-152-162


Friday, July 23, 2021

[Paleontology • 2021] Powered Flight in Hatchling Pterosaurs: Evidence from Wing Form and Bone Strength

in Naish, Witton et Martin-Silverstone, 2021. 
llustrations: Mark P. Witton 

Competing views exist on the behaviour and lifestyle of pterosaurs during the earliest phases of life. A ‘flap-early’ model proposes that hatchlings were capable of independent life and flapping flight, a ‘fly-late’ model posits that juveniles were not flight capable until 50% of adult size, and a ‘glide-early’ model requires that young juveniles were flight-capable but only able to glide. We test these models by quantifying the flight abilities of very young juvenile pterosaurs via analysis of wing bone strength, wing loading, wingspan and wing aspect ratios, primarily using data from embryonic and hatchling specimens of Pterodaustro guinazui and Sinopterus dongi. We argue that a young Sinopterus specimen has been mischaracterised as a distinct taxon. The humeri of pterosaur juveniles are similar in bending strength to those of adults and able to withstand launch and flight; wing size and wing aspect ratios of young juveniles are also in keeping with powered flight. We therefore reject the ‘fly-late’ and ‘glide-early’ models. We further show that young juveniles were excellent gliders, albeit not reliant on specialist gliding. The wing forms of very young juveniles differ significantly from larger individuals, meaning that variation in speed, manoeuvrability, take-off angle and so on was present across a species as it matured. Juveniles appear to have been adapted for flight in cluttered environments, in contrast to larger, older individuals. We propose on the basis of these conclusions that pterosaur species occupied distinct niches across ontogeny.

Visual summary of how basic, size-dependent flight parameters (wing loading, wingspan and aspect ratio) could have influenced pterosaur ecology throughout ontogeny. The animals shown here are giant azhdarchids, species which likely had the largest ontogenetic mass differentials of any pterosaurs (see text) and thus potentially the broadest ecological range across their various growth stages. Azhdarchids were primarily terrestrial pterosaurs, which is reflected in this figure, though the environments and points made here are generalised: they do not expressly pertain to any azhdarchid taxon. Ontogenetic niche exploitation may have differed in other environments.

Darren Naish, Mark P. Witton and Elizabeth Martin-Silverstone. 2021. Powered Flight in Hatchling Pterosaurs: Evidence from Wing Form and Bone Strength. Scientific Reports. 11: 13130. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-92499-z

Newly-hatched pterosaurs may have been able to fly