Wednesday, May 31, 2017

[Fungi • 2017] Kalbionora palaeotropica • A New Genus and Species (Malmideaceae, Ascomycota) from Coastal Forests in Southeast Asia and Australia

Kalbionora palaeotropica Sodamuk, Leavitt & Lumbsch

A new species and genus, Kalbionora palaeotropica, is described for a crustose lichen occurring in coastal forests in Thailand, Vietnam, and northeastern Australia. It is morphologically similar to Malmidea and Eugeniella, but differing in morphological and chemical characters. The single known species in the new genus contains atranorin, zeorin, the stictic acid chemosyndrome and chlorinated xanthones. Morphologically it is characterized by having asci of the Catillaria-type, a yellowish brown colour, a granulose epihymenium, dark brown hypothecium, hyaline, 1–3 transversely septate ascospores. Molecular data strongly support a phylogenetic position in Malmideaceae, sister to a clade including MalmideaSavoronala and two species currently placed in Lecidea s. lat. (including L. cyrtidia and L. plebeja).

Key words: Lecanorales, lichens, mangroves, taxonomy, tropical diversity


Kalbionora palaeotropica Sodamuk, Leavitt & Lumbsch, gen. et, sp. nov.

 Type: THAILAND, Trat Province: Muang District, Nhong Sa Nho Subdistrict, the route to Nature Education Center Ban Pak Khlong Nam Chiew, on the bark of Ceriops tagal (Perr.) C.B.Rob., 2014, M. Sodamuk RAMK-24530 (holotype: RAMK; isotypes: F, S).

Figure 1. Morphology and anatomy of Kalbionora palaeotropica
Ahabit cross-section through thallus showing cortex and algal layer cross-section through apothecium showing dark brown hypothecium hymenium, and transversely septate ascospores (holotype).
Scale bars: 0.5 cm (A, B), 20 µm (C), 0.1 mm (D), 10 µm (E), 5 µm (F). 

 Diagnosis: Characterized by having asci of the Catillaria-type, yellowish brown, granulose epihymenium, exciple consisting of prosoplectenchymatous cells, dark brown hypothecium, hyaline, 1-3 transversely septate ascospores, and the presence of atranorin, zeorin, and the stictic and arthothelin chemosyndromes.

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the occurrence of the species in the Paleotropics, whereas the genus is named after our colleague Klaus Kalb who has made tremendous contributions to our knowledge of tropical lichens and who has been enormously helpful to colleagues in Thailand.

 Mattika Sodamuk, Kansri Boonpragob, Pachara Mongkolsuk, Anders Tehler, Steven D. Leavitt and H. Thorsten Lumbsch. 2017. Kalbionora palaeotropica, A New Genus and Species from Coastal Forests in Southeast Asia and Australia (Malmideaceae, Ascomycota).
  MycoKeys. 22: 15-25.  DOI:  10.3897/mycokeys.22.12528

[Ichthyology • 2017] The Species of Hemiancistrus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Ecuador

Hemiancistrus landoni Eigenmann 1916  


At the Fish Collection of the Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, three species traditionally grouped in the genus Hemiancistrus were identified: H. annectens (Regan 1904), H. landoni Eigenmann 1916, and a new species described here. The new species inhabits exclusively in the Esmeraldas River Basin, Pacific slope, northwestern Ecuador. It is easily recognized by the completely naked abdomen, with rounded, dark spots, and a different color pattern on the dorsal and caudal fins. A comparative analysis of bones related to the opercular mobility, shows important differences between H. annectens, H. landoni, and the new species, suggesting that H. annectens does not belong to the genus Hemiancistrus or the Ancistrini group. According to the characteristics observed in these bones, H. annectens shows greater similarity to those reported in species of the Hypostomini group, supporting its inclusion in this group, but placing it in the genus Hypostomus requires further analysis. On the other hand, the conditions observed on the bones of Hemiancistrus landoni and the new species suggest that both are inside of the Ancistrini group. The new species is placed in the genus Hemiancistrus tentatively, pending future analysis.

Keywords: fishes, taxonomy, systematic, freshwater, biodiversity, Pisces

Partial lateral view of Hemiancistrus landoni, MEPN 17952, 78.9 mm SL. 

Hypostomus annectens (Regan 1904)

Hemiancistrus landoni Eigenmann 1916  

Hemiancistrus furtivus new species

Geographical distribution. The specimens were caught in the Esmeraldas River Basin, Provinces of Esmeraldas and Pichincha (Fig. 5). 

Etymology. The name of the species is taken from the Latin word furtivus meaning: attempting to pass unnoticed or hidden, and alludes to the fact that the species was not detected before despite being in the Ecuadorian Pacific region, one of the best known ichthyologically. An adjective. 

Francisco Provenzano R. and Ramiro Barriga S. 2017. The Species of Hemiancistrus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Ecuador.  Zootaxa. 4272(2) ; 221–235.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4272.2.4

[Tunicata • 2017] Rhopalaea bilobata • A New Species of Sea Squirt (Ascidiacea: Diazonidae) from the Andaman Islands, India

 Rhopalaea bilobata 
Mondal, Raghunathan & Mondal, 2017 

 Rhopalaea bilobata, a new species of the class Ascidiacea, under the family Diazonidae has been described from the Andaman Islands of Andaman & Nicobar, India. The species was found in sandy bottoms, reef areas and artificial structures at a depth range of 10–40 m. This species has bilobed anal border, six lobed branchial and atrial siphons, transparent thorax with pigmented spots at the anus, between the two siphons and at the anterior end of endostyle, and ramified basal test. The species is closely related to R. idonetaRmacrothorax and R. tenuis in several sets of anatomical and morphological features.

Keywords: Anal border, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Ascidians, Rhopalaea, Tunicata.

Etymology: The species bears distinctive triangular bilobed anal border.

Distribution: India: Havelock Island, Trilby Island and Pongibalu of Andaman Islands.
Jhimli Mondal, C. Raghunathan and Tamal Mondal. 2017. A New Species of Sea Squirt, Rhopalaea bilobata (Ascidiacea: Diazonidae) from the Andaman Islands, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa.  9(5); 10187–10193.  DOI: 10.11609/jott.2620.9.5.10187-10193

[Ichthyology • 2017] Palatogobius incendius • A New Mesophotic Goby (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from the Caribbean, and the First Record of Invasive Lionfish Preying on Undescribed Biodiversity

Palatogobius incendius 
Tornabene, Robertson & Baldwin, 2017


A new species of deep-reef fish in the goby genus Palatogobius is described from recent submersible collections off Curaçao and Dominica. Video footage of schools of this species reveal predation by the invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois spp.), the first record of undescribed fauna potentially being eaten by lionfish outside of its native range. We present molecular phylogenetic data for all valid species of Palatogobius and related genera, as well as a taxonomic key to the species of Palatogobius and a generic key to Palatogobius and related genera in the western Atlantic. Lastly, we discuss ecological and behavioral aspects of some deep-reef fishes in light of potential threats from invasive lionfish.

Fig 2. Palatogobius incendius, live in aquarium, USNM 415430, 18.3 mm SL, Curacao. Photo by Barry Brown. 

Fig 1. Palatogobius incendius, prior to preservation.
A) USNM 436470, tissue CUR15135, 19 mm SL, Curacao; B) USNM 436483, tissue CUR15148, 21 mm SL, Curacao; C) USNM 431354, tissue CUR14029, 22 mm SL, Curacao; D) USNM 435318, 18.1 mm, Curacao. Photos by Carole C. Baldwin. 

Palatogobius incendius Tornabene, D. Ross Robertson & Baldwin, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Side of body with yellow/orange stripe along lateral midline, stripe continuing onto and extending entire length of caudal fin; second dorsal fin I,14–16; anal fin I,14–17; pectoral fin 18–20; no teeth on vomer; body scales absent except for occasionally 2 to 3 cycloid scales on base of caudal fin; interorbital pore C absent; interorbital pores D paired; eye diameter 7.0–9.0% SL.

Etymology: The specific epithet incendius is an adjective formed from the Latin root incendium meaning ‘fire.’ The scientific and proposed common names refer to the bright orange, yellow and reddish-pink coloration on the body, head and fins.

Fig 6. School of Palatogobius incendius at type locality, sta. CURASUB15-30, 152 m depth, Curacao. 

Habitat and distribution: Palatogobius incendius has been collected on deep reefs from Curacao (119–128 m) and Dominica (88–168 m) and observed off Roatan, Honduras (94–201 m). The species occurs exclusively in hovering schools ranging in size from as small as 5 to 10 individuals (rare) to 50->200 individuals (Fig 6). Schools are most frequently found at the top or bottom of vertical walls off Curaçao and Dominica, but off Roatan we observed more than a dozen schools of P. incendius collectively comprising as many as 1000 individuals over a long, gradually inclining stretch of sand and small rocks from ~150–170 m depth. Over this stretch, P. incendius co-occurred with many individuals of P. grandoculus, which were closer to the bottom rather than hovering well off the bottom like P. incendius. Schools of P. incendius generally comprise individuals at multiple life stages, ranging from moderately developed larvae (~9 mm SL) to adults. Off Dominica we also observed larger swarms of minuscule fish (~5 mm TL) that could possibly be very recently recruited P. incendius larvae, given their size, abundance and depth range. Individuals in these swarms were too small to be captured, and were observed traveling only a few cm off the bottom rather than hovering in a cloud well above the substrate. These schools of post-larvae were 1–2 m wide and up to 5 m long, and moved steadily upslope at approximately 0.15 m/s, navigating laterally around obstacles in a fashion superficially similar to a wide chain of marching army ants.

Luke Tornabene and Carole C. Baldwin. 2017. A New Mesophotic Goby, Palatogobius incendius (Teleostei: Gobiidae), and the First Record of Invasive Lionfish Preying on Undescribed Biodiversity. PLoS ONE. 12(5): e0177179.  DOI:  10.1371/journal.pone.0177179

[Neuroscience • 2017] Mosaic Organization of Body Pattern Control in the Optic Lobe of Squids

oval squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) displaying a distinct body pattern at the spawning site offshore in northeastern Taiwan. Body patterning in oval squids is neurally controlled and functions as a conspecific visual signal. Their skin coloration is diverse and can change in a fraction of a second depending on behavioral context. New work reveals a novel mechanism underlying neural control of dynamic body patterning for communication in this species. 
Photo by Chun-Yen Lin


Cephalopods in nature undergo highly dynamic skin coloration changes that allow rapid camouflage and intraspecies communication. The optic lobe is thought to play a key role in controlling the expansion of the chromatophores that generate these diverse body patterns. However, the functional organization of the optic lobe and neural control of the various body patterns by the optic lobe are largely unknown. We applied electrical stimulation within the optic lobe to investigate the neural basis of body patterning in the oval squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana. Most areas in the optic lobe mediated predominately ipsilateral expansion of chromatophores present on the mantle, but not on the head and arms; furthermore, the expanded areas after electrical stimulation were positively correlated with an increase in stimulating voltage and stimulation depth. These results suggest a unilaterally dominant and vertically converged organization of the optic lobe. Furthermore, analyzing 14 of the elicited body pattern components and their corresponding stimulation sites revealed that the same components can be elicited by stimulating different parts of the optic lobe and that various subsets of these components can be coactivated by stimulating the same area. These findings suggest that many body pattern components may have multiple motor units in the optic lobe and that these are organized in a mosaic manner. The multiplicity associated with the nature of the neural controls of these components in the cephalopod brain thus reflects the versatility of the individual components during the generation of diverse body patterns.

 Neural control of the dynamic body patterning of cephalopods for camouflage and intraspecies communication is a fascinating research topic. Previous studies have shown that the optic lobe is the motor command center for dynamic body patterning. However, little is known about its neural organization and the mechanisms underlying its control of body pattern generation. By electrically stimulating the optic lobe of the oval squids and observing their body pattern changes, surprisingly, we found that there is no somatotopic organization of motor units. Instead, many of these components have multiple motor units within the optic lobe and are organized in a mosaic manner. The present work reveals a novel neural control of dynamic body patterning for communication in cephalopods.

Keywords: chromatophores, dynamic skin coloration, electrical stimulation, motor units, oval squids

 This image shows an oval squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) displaying a distinct body pattern at the spawning site offshore in northeastern Taiwan. Body patterning in oval squids is neurally controlled and functions as a conspecific visual signal. Their skin coloration is diverse and can change in a fraction of a second depending on behavioral context. New work reveals a novel mechanism underlying neural control of dynamic body patterning for communication in this species.

(Photo taken by Chun-Yen Lin.) DOI:  10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0768-16.2016 

 Tsung-Han Liu and Chuan-Chin Chiao. 2017. Mosaic Organization of Body Pattern Control in the Optic Lobe of Squids. Journal of Neuroscience. 37(4); 768-780. DOI:  10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0768-16.2016

[Mammalogy • 2017] Glaucomys oregonensis • Genetic Data Reveal A Cryptic Species of New World Flying Squirrel

Glaucomys oregonensis  (Bachman, 1839)

Photograph by N. Kerhoulas.

The genus Glaucomys (New World flying squirrels) is currently considered to be comprised of 2 species, the northern flying squirrel (Gsabrinus) and the southern flying squirrel (Gvolans). We synthesize new information from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences and microsatellite data to demonstrate that the genus consists of 3, rather than 2 species, and that Glaucomys sabrinus, as currently recognized, is actually composed of 2 separate, apparently non-hybridizing species. Control region mtDNA data from 185 individuals across North America revealed 2 distinct clades embedded within Gsabrinus: a widespread “Continental” lineage and a more geographically restricted “Pacific Coastal” lineage. The geographic distributions of these 2 lineages are largely mutually exclusive, with sympatry observed at only 3 sites in the Pacific Northwest. Analysis of 8 microsatellite loci showed no evidence of hybridization between the 2 lineages of G. sabrinus in the region of sympatry. This lack of gene flow is noteworthy given that populations of the Continental lineage of G. sabrinus have been shown to hybridize with G. volans in southeastern Canada. Finally, phylogenetic analyses and estimates of divergence times show that G. volans and Continental G. sabrinus are actually sister taxa that diverged from one another more recently than either did from Pacific Coastal G. sabrinus. We propose that these observations provide strong evidence for a third, previously unrecognized species of North American flying squirrel, whose geographic range extends along the Pacific Coast from southern British Columbia to southern California. Glaucomys oregonensis (Bachman, 1839), whose type locality is in Oregon, is the senior available name for this taxon. We propose that this newly recognized species be given the common name “Humboldt’s flying squirrel.”

Keywords: cryptic speciation, Glaucomys oregonensisGlaucomys sabrinusGlaucomys volans, Humboldt’s flying squirrel, microsatellites, phylogeography, Rodentia, Sciuridae

Brian S. Arbogast, Katelyn I. Schumacher, Nicholas J. Kerhoulas, Allison L. Bidlack, Joseph A. Cook and G. J. Kenagy. 2017. Genetic Data Reveal A Cryptic Species of New World Flying Squirrel: Glaucomys oregonensis Journal of Mammalogy. DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx055 

Meet This Newly Discovered Flying Squirrel via @NatGeo

[Entomology • 2017] Neotibicen similaris apalachicola • A New Neotibicen Cicada Subspecies (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from the southeastern USA Forms Hybrid Zones with A Widespread Relative Despite A Divergent Male Calling Song

Neotibicen similaris apalachicola
Marshall & Hill, 2017  


A morphologically cryptic subspecies of Neotibicen similaris (Smith and Grossbeck) is described from forests of the Apalachicola region of the southeastern United States. Although the new form exhibits a highly distinctive male calling song, it hybridizes extensively where it meets populations of the nominate subspecies in parapatry, by which it is nearly surrounded. This is the first reported example of hybridization between North American nonperiodical cicadas. Acoustic and morphological characters are added to the original description of the nominate subspecies, and illustrations of complex hybrid song phenotypes are presented. The biogeography of N. similaris is discussed in light of historical changes in forest composition on the southeastern Coastal Plain.

Keywords: Hemiptera, Acoustic behavior, sexual signals, hybridization, hybrid zone, parapatric distribution, speciation

Neotibicen similaris apalachicola, n. subsp., dorsal view, (holotype specimen 08.US.FL.TRA.03). 

Neotibicen similaris apalachicola, n. subsp.

Etymology. Named for the Apalachicola River of the Florida panhandle. The subspecies epithet is a noun in apposition and need not agree in gender with its genus following the Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN, 1999), articles and 31.2.1.

 David C. Marshall and Kathy B. R. Hill. 2017. A New Neotibicen Cicada Subspecies (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from the southeastern USA Forms Hybrid Zones with A Widespread Relative Despite A Divergent Male Calling Song.  
 Zootaxa. 4272(4); 529–550. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4272.4.3

[Herpetology • 2017] The Advertisement Call and Comments on the Distribution of Eleutherodactylus bilineatus Bokermann, 1975 (Amphibia, Anura), An Endemic Frog of Bahia State, Brazil

 Eleutherodactylus bilineatus Bokermann, 1975

Advertisement calls can be used to aid solving taxonomic problems and understanding the evolution of certain groups. In this study, the advertisement call of Eleutherodactylus bilineatus is described. It is composed by two different notes with a total duration of 0.529–4.241 seconds and dominant frequency of 1.72–3.45 kHz. Additionally, new data is provided on the geographical distribution of Eleutherodactylus bilineatus and the most inland record for this species.

Keywords: Atlantic Forest, bioacoustics, vocalization, Holoadeninae, range extension

Figure 1. Different individuals of Eleutherodactylus bilineatus showing some variation of the dorsal pattern of the species. 
A and B RPPN Mata do Passarinho, Macarani C Estação Ecológica Wenceslau Guimarães and D Serra do Corcovado, Almadina, Bahia, Brazil

 (photographs A, B and D Iuri R. Dias, C Rafael O. Abreu). 

 Iuri Ribeiro Dias, Caio Vinicius de Mira-Mendes, Carlos Augusto Souza-Costa, Flora Acuña Juncá and Mirco Solé. 2017. The Advertisement Call and Comments on the Distribution of Eleutherodactylus bilineatus Bokermann, 1975, An Endemic Frog of Bahia State, Brazil (Amphibia, Anura).  ZooKeys. 677: 151-159. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.677.12309

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

[Entomology • 2017] Austrolecanium cryptocaryae • A Newly Recognised Australian Endemic Species of Austrolecanium Gullan & Hodgson 1998 (Hemiptera: Coccidae) from Queensland

Austrolecanium cryptocaryae  Lin & Cook


Austrolecanium cryptocaryae Lin & Cook sp. n. is described based on adult female morphology and DNA sequences from mitochondrial and nuclear loci. This Australian endemic species was found on the underside of leaves of Cryptocarya microneura (Lauraceae) in Queensland. All phylogenetic analyses of four independent DNA loci and a concatenated dataset show that A. cryptocaryae is monophyletic and closely related to A. sassafras Gullan & Hodgson, the type species of Austrolecanium Gullan & Hodgson. The adult female of A. cryptocaryae is described and illustrated and a table is provided of the characters that differ among adult females of the three species of Austrolecanium currently recognised (A. cappari (Froggatt), A. cryptocaryae sp. n. and A. sassafras).

Keywords: Coccomorpha, Coccoidea, Paralecaniini, Cryptocarya, COI DNA barcode, taxonomy, Hemiptera, Queensland

An adult female of Austrolecanium cryptocaryae sp. n. on a leaf of Cryptocarya microneura (Lauraceae) in Queensland, Australia.
Photo by L.G. Cook.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4272.1.6

Etymology. The other two species of Austrolecanium are named after their host plants, so we continue this tradition here. The species epithet cryptocaryae is derived from the genus name of the host plant, Cryptocarya microneura, and means "of Cryptocarya".

 Yen-Po Lin, Zheng Y. Ding, Penny J. Gullan and Lyn G. Cook. 2017. A Newly Recognised Australian Endemic Species of Austrolecanium Gullan & Hodgson 1998 (Hemiptera: Coccidae) from Queensland. Zootaxa.  4272(1); 119–130.   DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4272.1.6

[Botany • 2017] Calliandra mayana • A New Narrowly Endemic Species (Leguminosae, Mimosoideae) from Campeche, Mexico

Calliandra mayana  H.M. Hern.


A new species of Calliandra (Leguminosae, Mimosoideae, tribe Ingeae) from a restricted locality of Campeche, Mexico is herein described and illustrated. The species appears to be closely related to C. molinae, a species from Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, from which it may be distinguished by being allopatric, and by a more limited development of suberose bark in stems and branches, comparatively smaller leaflets, consistently glabrous leaflets and corollas, and by the scarcely villous pods. Calliandra mayana appears to be restricted to an extremely small seasonally flooded savannah surrounded by tropical deciduous forest and, based on IUCN criteria, it is provisionally considered Critically endangered.

Keywords: Calakmul, Calliandra belizensis, Fabaceae, Flora Mesoamerica, legumes, Eudicots

Figure 2. Calliandra mayana in its habitat.
A. Habit. B. Main stem. C. Branch. D. Inflorescence with three flowers beginning anthesis. E. Branchlets showing remains of inflorescences damaged by Lepidoptera and Coleoptera larvae (arrows). Voucher: H.M. Hernández et al. 4122 (MEXU). 

Calliandra mayana H.M. Hern., sp. nov. 

Calliandra mayana is closely related to C. molinae from which may be distinguished by being smaller shrubs up to 4 m (vs. 7 m), by the branchlets with bark slightly suberose (vs. thickly suberose), by the smaller petioles, rachis, rachillae and leaflets and less numerous pairs of pinnae and leaflets (vs. leaf parts larger and more numerous), and by the glabrous leaflets and corollas (vs. pubescent leaflets and villous corollas). 

Type:— MEXICO. Campeche, municipality Hopelchén, 9 km S of Pachuitz, 20 August 2016 (fl), H.M. Hernández et al. 4122 (holotype: MEXU 1446712!; isotypes: CICY!, ENCB!, K!, MEXU!, MO!, NY!, TEX!, US!, XAL!). 

Etymology:— This species in named to honour the Maya, an indigenous people that has continuously inhabited parts of south-eastern Mexico and Central America during several millennia. The Maya civilization flourished in the Yucatan Peninsula, Chiapas, Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador, from 2000 BC to 950 AD.

Distribution and habitat:— Calliandra mayana is currently known only from an extremely small seasonally flooded savannah area surrounded by forest in Calakmul, eastern Campeche, Mexico, close to the Quintana Roo border, at 80 meters elevation (Figure 4). The Calakmul area is the largest tract of well-preserved tropical deciduous and sub-deciduous forest in Mesoamerica.

Héctor M. M. Hernández and Carlos Gómez-Hinostrosa.  2017. Calliandra mayana (Leguminosae, Mimosoideae), A New Narrowly Endemic Species from Campeche, Mexico.  Phytotaxa.  307(4); 278–284. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.307.4.5



[Cnidaria • 2017] Sinularia mesophotica • Search for Mesophotic Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and Their Phylogeny. II. A New Zooxanthellate Species from Eilat, northern Red Sea

Sinularia mesophotica 
Benayahu, McFadden, Shoham & van Ofwegen, 2017   

An octocoral survey conducted in the mesophotic coral ecosystem (MCE) of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea) yielded a new species of the speciose reef-dwelling genus Sinularia. It features encrusting colony morphology with a thin, funnel-shaped polypary. Sinularia mesophotica sp. n. (family Alcyoniidae) is described and compared to the other congeners with similar morphology. Both the morphological and molecular examination justified the establishment of the new species, also assigning it to a new genetic clade within Sinularia. The results highlight its unique phylogenetic position within the genus, and this is the first described species of a mesophotic zooxanthellate octocoral.

Keywords: Octocorallia, taxonomy, new species, mesophotic coral ecosystem, Eilat, Red Sea

Figure 4. Underwater photographs of Sinularia mesophotica sp. n. A patch of colonies 

Systematic description

Order Alcyonacea Lamouroux, 1912
Family Alcyoniidae Lamouroux, 1912

Genus Sinularia May, 1898

Sinularia mesophotica sp. n.

Figure 1. Sinularia mesophotica sp. n.; A Holotype ZMTAU Co 37425 B paratypes ZMTAU Co 37492.
Scale bar: 1 cm (A also applies to B). 

Diagnosis: The holotype is part of an encrusting colony with a thin, funnel-shaped polypary, also featuring a curly margin (Fig. 1A). In a side-view its maximum dimensions are 5 × 2.5 cm. Polyps with tentacle rods and collaret sclerites (Fig. 2A–C). Tentacle rods up to 0.10 mm long (Fig. 2A). Collaret consists of almost straight spindles, up to 0.20 mm long (Fig. 2B), and shorter bent ones, up to 0.14 mm long (Fig. 2C). Surface layer of the polypary with clubs (Fig. 2D), some featuring a central wart, while in others it is less discernible, or even absent. Clubs vary from 0.10 mm long to 0.25 mm long, and a few with poorly developed heads attain 0.27 mm (Fig. 2E). Surface layer of the colony base contains clubs up to 0.22 mm; some similar to those of polypary, and others have wide heads (Fig. 3A). Polypary and base interior bear spindles, some branched, up to 3.2 mm long (Fig. 3B), with well-spaced simple tubercles (Fig. 3C).

Etymology: The new species name reflects its mesophotic habitat.

Figure 4. Underwater photographs of Sinularia mesophotica sp. n.  B funnel-shaped morphology of colonies. 

Yehuda Benayahu, Catherine S. McFadden, Erez Shoham and Leen P. van Ofwegen. 2017. Search for Mesophotic Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and Their Phylogeny. II. A New Zooxanthellate Species from Eilat, northern Red Sea. ZooKeys. 676: 1-12.  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.676.12751

[Botany • 2017] A Revision of Hoya (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae) of Papuasia. Part I: Ten New Species, One New Subspecies and One New Combination

Hoya edholmiana, H. evelinae, H. krusenstierniana H. carrii
Simonsson & Rodda  

 The large majority of Hoya R.Br. species known from Papuasia were described in the first half of the 20th century and most of these are endemic. Along with Borneo and the Philippines the region is a centre of diversity of the genus. Since 2006 herbarium materials have been studied for a revision of Hoya of New Guinea along with field investigations on Papuasian Hoya since 2010. In the present paper we publish ten new species, Hoya brassii P.I.Forst. & Liddle ex Simonsson & Rodda, H. carrii P.I.Forst. & Liddle ex Simonsson & Rodda, H. edholmiana Simonsson & Rodda, H. evelinae Simonsson & RoddaH. juhoneweana Simonsson & Rodda, H. krusenstierniana Simonsson & Rodda, H. koteka Simonsson & Rodda, H. stenakei Simonsson & Rodda, H. versteegii Simonsson & Rodda and H. yvesrocheri Simonsson & Rodda, one subspecies, H. juhoneweana ssp. lindforsiana Simonsson & Rodda, and make one new combinationH. urniflora (P.I.Forst.) Simonsson & Rodda, which is also lectotypified. 

Keywords: Indonesia, Marsdenieae, Papua New Guinea

Hoya brassii P.I.Forst. & Liddle ex Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov.

Etymology. Named after Leonard John Brass (1900–1971), an Australian botanist who collected the type specimen in 1936 on the Fly River Expedition of the American Museum of National History (the second Archbold New Guinea Expedition).

Hoya carrii P.I.Forst. & Liddle ex Simonsson & Rodda sp. nov.

Etymology. Named after C. E. Carr (1892–1936), who first collected the taxon in 1935, and again in 1936, on a collecting expedition supported by the British Museum, London, which started in 1934. He died of malaria in June 1936, just a few months after discovering the second locality of Hoya carrii.

Hoya edholmiana Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

 Etymology. Named after the siblings CharlizeDiesel and Evelize Edholm of Sweden, supporters of the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya evelinae Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov.

Etymology. Named after the late Mrs Evelina Eriksson (1932–2009) of Sweden who supported the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya juhoneweana Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 
subsp. juhoneweana 

Etymology. Named after the first author’s colleague, Foreting Juhonewe, who is also from Hoboc village. He has been of great importance for this research. He has eagerly tried to find more of this rare and diminishing Hoya and promoted its conservation in situ amongst his clan’s people.

Hoya juhoneweana subsp. lindforsiana Simonsson & Rodda, subsp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after Constantinus Lindfors in Sweden, a supporter of the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya krusenstierniana Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after the Krusenstiern family, supporters of the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya koteka Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after its elongated style-head that resembles the traditional koteka, or penis-gourd traditionally worn by male natives of New Guinea.

Hoya stenakei Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after the late Mr Sten-Åke Svensson (1947 – 2011) of Sweden, whose children supported the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya versteegii Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov.

Etymology. Named after its collector, G. Versteeg (1876–1943).

Hoya yvesrocheri Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after the Yves Rocher Foundation which supported the first author’s Hoya Project for five years during 2011–2015.

N. Simonsson Juhonewe and M. Rodda. 2017. Contribution to A Revision of Hoya (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae) of Papuasia. Part I: Ten New Species, One New Subspecies and One New Combination. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. 69(1); 97–147.  

[Botany • 2017] Satyrium liltvedianum • A Newly Discovered Orchid Species from the Kogelberg Mountains of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa

Satyrium liltvedianum Van der Niet

• A new orchid species was discovered in the well-botanised Kogelberg Mountains.
• The new species was not present among historical museum collections.
• The new species resembles other Satyrium species, but is phylogenetically distinct.
• The compound β-Linalool dominates the floral scent, indicative of moth pollination.

Individuals of plant populations with traits which are inconsistent with any existing species description may represent intraspecific variants, products of hybridisation, or a novel species. To distinguish among these possibilities for a population of unusual Satyrium individuals from the Kogelberg Mountains in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), morphological traits and floral scent were documented, and phylogenetic analyses implemented. Plants from the Kogelberg population were characterised by long-spurred white flowers and a bifid rostellum. Floral scent was dominated by the common floral monoterpene volatile β-linalool. Although these traits characterise several southern African members of the genus, DNA sequences from the nuclear and plastid genomes of an accession from the Kogelberg population were highly distinct from other Satyrium species. The Kogelberg accession occupied an isolated phylogenetic position within the ‘Satyrium clade’ and was not sister to any other species with similar traits. There was weak support for membership of a clade of species with which plants from the Kogelberg population share the possession of lateral sepals that project at a perpendicular angle to the median sepal, and cover the side of the labellum, and which also produce β-linalool as dominant scent compound. Given the congruence of phylogenetic relationships inferred from plastid and nuclear DNA sequences respectively, a hybrid status of the Kogelberg population was rejected. Based on these results, the new species, Satyrium liltvedianum, which is uniquely characterised by the size, shape and orientation of sepals and lateral petals, is described in this study. Other Satyrium species with similar floral traits are pollinated by crepuscular moths, which therefore can also be inferred for the new species. A dichotomous key to the white-flowered, long-spurred Satyrium species of South Africa is provided. The restricted distribution range, a typical phenomenon for many CFR plant species, in combination with the isolated phylogenetic position, suggests that S. liltvedianum represents a palaeoendemic species.

Keywords: β-Linalool; Moth pollination; Orchidaceae; Palaeoendemic; Floral scent

Fig. 1. Satyrium liltvedianum in situ on 10 November 2009 at the type locality in the Kogelberg Mountains after the veld fire, showing maroon coloration of the stem, sheathing leaves and abaxial side of the bracts.

Photograph by Herbert Stärker. 

Satyrium liltvedianum Van der Niet sp. nov. is morphologically similar to S. candidum, but differs from this species by having lateral sepals that overlap with the outside surface of the labellum and project at a ninety-degree angle from the median sepal instead of projecting from the same plane, and lateral sepals and petals that are approximately equal in size instead of smaller lateral petals than lateral sepals, and a median sepal that is narrower and longer than the lateral sepals instead of more or less similarly-sized.

TYPE.— Western Cape Province, 3418 (Somerset West): Steenbras Catchment area near Rockview Dam, Kogelberg Mountains (–BB), 18 Nov 2009, W.R. Liltved 120 (NBG, holo.).

Distribution: S. liltvedianum is known from a single population in the Steenbras Catchment area of the Kogelberg Mountains.

Etymology: This species is named in honour of William Rune Liltved (1960–) who, over the past two decades, has made an invaluable contribution to recording the orchids of the Cape Floristic Region. This work culminated in publication of the book, The Cape Orchids ( Liltved and Johnson, 2012).

Conservation status: Similar to several other orchids from the CFR, S. liltvedianum is known only from a single localised population of about 50 individuals (Linder and Kurzweil, 1999). The species is therefore considered highly vulnerable.

There are many reasons why efforts to discover and describe species should be ongoing. Only recognised taxa can be adequately conserved; the success of scientific research often depends on sound taxonomic classification; beneficial properties of species can only be communicated if a species has a formal name; and recently Dijkstra (2016) argued that because naming species is inherent to human nature, continued exploration for the vast majority of species that are still unknown will improve our consciousness of the natural world. Much of Earth's biotic diversity is currently highly threatened and many species are on the brink of extinction, or have recently gone extinct (Wake and Vredenburg, 2008; Barnosky et al., 2011;  McCallum, 2015), which provides a great sense of urgency to taxonomic enterprise. Several studies, including this study, have shown that new species are regularly still discovered in the field (e.g. Linder and Hitchcock, 2006 ;  Steiner, 2011). Therefore, taxonomy cannot solely rely on historical herbarium or museum collections, even from within relatively well-botanised areas such as the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve of the CFR, only 70 km from the city of Cape Town.

T. Van der Niet. 2017. Satyrium liltvedianum: A Newly Discovered Orchid Species from the Kogelberg Mountains of the Cape Floristic Region (South Africa).  South African Journal of Botany. 111; 126-133. DOI:   10.1016/j.sajb.2017.03.018
New species named after the man who co-wrote the ultimate Cape orchid book   @SciBraai