Friday, June 30, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Roscoea megalantha • A New Species (Zingiberaceae) from eastern Bhutan and India

Roscoea megalantha  Tosh.Yoshida & R.Yangzom

A new species of Roscoea is described and illustrated. Roscoea megalantha Tosh.Yoshida & R.Yangzom occurs in the Eastern Zone of Bhutan and neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh in India. A distribution map and an IUCN conservation assessment are given. A key to the three species of Roscoea found in Bhutan is provided.

Keywords. Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan, IUCN conservation assessment, new species, Roscoea.

Roscoea megalantha Tosh.Yoshida & R.Yangzom, sp. nov. 

Roscoeae purpureae Sm. affinis, sed dorsali petalo reflexo, labelli ungue distincto et profunde canaliculato, labelli limbo late ovato vel rotundato, atque calcaribus connectivi praeditis projectris reflexis filiformibus differt.  

Etymology. The epithet comes from the Greek for large flower.

T. Yoshida, R. Yangzom and M. F. Newman. 2017. Roscoea megalantha (Zingiberaceae), A New Species from eastern Bhutan and India.  Edinburgh Journal of Botany.  DOI: 10.1017/S0960428617000142 

[PaleoMammalogy • 2017] Coronodon havensteini • The Origin of Filter Feeding in Whales

Coronodon havensteini  
Geisler, Boessenecker, Brown & Beatty, 2017

Illustration: A. Gennari DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.003 

• A new species of 30 million year old whale has been found near Charleston, South Carolina
• This new species is a relative of modern baleen-bearing whales but retains teeth
• Its molars are large, multi-cusped, and overlapping and were used for filter feeding
• Filter feeding evolved before baleen; early whales had teeth and baleen

As the largest known vertebrates of all time, mysticetes depend on keratinous sieves called baleen to capture enough small prey to sustain their enormous size. The origins of baleen are controversial: one hypothesis suggests that teeth were lost during a suction-feeding stage of mysticete evolution and that baleen evolved thereafter, whereas another suggests that baleen evolved before teeth were lost. Here we report a new species of toothed mysticete, Coronodon havensteini, from the Oligocene of South Carolina that is transitional between raptorial archaeocete whales and modern mysticetes. Although the morphology and wear on its anterior teeth indicate that it captured large prey, its broad, imbricated, multi-cusped lower molars frame narrow slots that were likely used for filter feeding. Coronodon havensteini is a basal, if not the most basal, mysticete, and our analysis suggests that it is representative of an initial stage of mysticete evolution in which teeth were functional analogs to baleen. In later lineages, the diastema between teeth increased—in some cases, markedly so—and may mark a stage at which the balance of the oral fissure shifted from mostly teeth to mostly baleen. When placed in a phylogenetic context, our new taxon indicates that filter feeding was preceded by raptorial feeding and that suction feeding evolved separately within a clade removed from modern baleen whales.

Keywords: Mysticeti; filter feeding; baleen; oligocene; South Carolina; toothed mysticete

Order Cetacea 
 Suborder Mysticeti 

Coronodon havensteini gen. et sp. nov.

Holotype: CCNHM 108. Nearly complete, 1.0-m-long skull, mandibles, 14 vertebrae, and partial ribs (Figures 1, 2, and 3; Figures S1–S3; Tables S1 and S2).

Etymology: Coronodon havensteini. Genus is Greek for “crown tooth,” referring to the multi-cusped molars. The species name recognizes Mark Havenstein, who discovered the holotype.

Locality and Age: Wando River near Highway 41 Bridge, South Carolina, Berkeley County. Ashley Formation, Oligocene, uppermost Rupelian. 

Diagnosis: Coronodon has the following mysticete synapomorphies: supraoccipital level with temporal fossa (character 25: state 1), broad basioccipital crests (39: 2), all cusps of posterior teeth subequal (99: 1), upturned antorbital process of maxilla (100: 1), and splayed basal cusps on posterior teeth (206: 1). Like some archaeocetes, its rostrum is twisted counterclockwise in anterior view (Figure 3). Coronodon havensteini is unique in having anterior lower molars labially overlapping posterior lower molars.  ....

Figure 1. Cranium and Upper Dentition of Coronodon havensteini sp. et gen. nov.
(A–E) Cranium in (A) lateral and (B) dorsal views. For comparison, (C) shows a dorsal view of the archaeocete Zygorhiza kochii (USNM 11962). Also shown of Coronodon are the left P3 in (D) labial and (E) lingual views. (F and G) Left M2 in (F) labial and (G) lingual views. (H and I) Right bulla in (H) dorsal view and left petrosal in (I) ventrolateral view. Portions in gray are reconstructed.
ap, anterior process of petrosal; cp, conical apophysis; fr, fenestra rotunda; Fr, frontal; lt, ventrolateral tuberosity; mf, fossa for malleus; Mx, maxilla; Na, nasal; ol, outer lip of bulla; os, occipital shield; Pa, parietal; pc, pars cochlearis; pbf, posterior facet for bulla; pgp, postglenoid process; pp, posterior process of bulla; Px, premaxilla; sp, sigmoid process; Sq, squamosal; sc, sagittal crest; Vo, vomer; zy, zygomatic process; VII canal for facial nerve. Scale bars in (A)–(C), 10 mm. Scale bars in (D)–(I), 5 mm. Blue denotes dental wear and red denotes dental erosion.

Coronodon havensteini  Geisler, Boessenecker, Brown & Beatty, 2017 

In this reconstruction, the two main whales in the center are Coronodon havensteini, the lower two in the background are Echovenator sandersi), and the birds in the sky are Pelagornis sandersi (false toothed birds with a wingspan near 6.5 m).
Illustration: Alberto Gennari  

Jonathan H. Geisler, Robert W. Boessenecker, Mace Brown and Brian L. Beatty. 2017. The Origin of Filter Feeding in Whales. Current Biology. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.003
Ancient South Carolina whale yields secrets to filter feeding's origins via @physorg_com

[PaleoIchthyology • 2017] Scalacurvichthys naishi • A New Pycnodont Fish from the Late Cretaceous of Israel

Scalacurvithys naishi 
Cawley & Kriwet, 2017

Illustration: Ashley Patch 


A new pycnodont fish from the early–mid Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous, of the ‘Ein Yabrud quarry near the village of Beit Eil in Israel is the first pycnodont fish to be described from this locality. Due to the locality where it was found, Scalacurvithys naishi gen. et sp. nov. is considered an inhabitant of reefal waters interspersed with lagoons in the eastern Tethys Sea. Scalacurvichthys naishi is notable for its protruding, hook-shaped first dorsal ridge scale above a large triangular dermatocranium, a deeply sloped and antero-posteriorly shortened skull and bifurcated cloacal scales. The bifurcating scales are a new character previously unknown in pycnodontomorph fishes but have been discovered in two more taxa, which indicates a new type of character that will be useful for future phylogenetic analyses of pycnodontomorph fishes. The new taxon is a member of Pycnodontidae and we conducted a phylogenetic analysis to establish its relationships to other pycnodont fishes. Our results reveal that Scalacurvichthys naishi is a well-resolved member of the subfamily Pycnodontinae.

Keywords: Tethys, Cenomanian, Pycnodontomorpha, phylogeny, morphology, taxonomy

Systematic palaeontology

Class Osteichthyes Huxley, 1880
Subclass Actinopterygii Cope, 1887

Series Neopterygii Regan, 1923 
Division Halecostomi Regan, 1923 sensu Patterson, 1973 

Order Pycnodontiformes Berg, 1937
Family Pycnodontidae sensu Nursall, 1996
cf. Subfamily Pycnodontinae Poyato-Ariza & Wenz, 2002 

Genus Scalacurvichthys gen. nov.

Type species: Scalacurvichthys naishi sp. nov.

Age: Early–middle Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous.

Diagnosis: Pycnodontid fish with the following autapomorphic characters: large triangular dermocranium; large anteriorly curved first dorsal ridge scale which protrudes above the skull roof; 11 dorsal axonosts; single post-cloacal ventral ridge scale; position of anal fin (preanal length/standard length) being at 70–79%; large, anterior and posterior bifurcating cloacal scales. Unique combination of plesiomorphic and derived characters: body outline intermediate between discoid and fusiform; body height 50% of standard length (SL); dermocranial fenestra absent; premaxillary bone with two teeth and no olfactory fenestra; 21 neural vertebrae excluding the caudal peduncle; 30–31 caudal fin rays; four epurals and 10 hypochordals in the caudal endoskeleton; hypochordals six, seven and eight seem to be fused into a large fan-shaped ossification.

Derivation of name: The genus name is derived from the Latin noun ‘scala’ meaning ‘scale’, the Latin adjective ‘curva’ meaning ‘curved’ in allusion to the raised, anterior-facing first dorsal ridge scale protruding above the skull roof, characteristic of this genus, and the Greek noun ‘ἰχθύς’ meaning ‘fish’.

Figure 1. A, Scalacurvichthys naishi  gen. et sp. nov., holotype (SMNK-PAL. 8613).
B, camera lucida drawing of Scalacurvichthys naishi gen. et sp. nov.; dashed lines indicate the restoration of incompletely preserved structures; bones shaded in grey are reconstructions while the rest of the drawing is the original specimen. Scale bars = 1 cm.

Scalacurvichthys naishi sp. nov.

Age: Bet Meir or the slightly younger Amminadava Formation, middle part of the Judea Group, early to middle Cenomanian, early Late Cretaceous.

Type locality: Limestone quarry near the village of Beit El, Binyamin Region, West Bank, Israel.

Stratigraphical range: Early–middle Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous.

Derivation of name: The name of the new species is dedicated to Dr Darren Naish who is currently writing a book on the entire vertebrate fossil record and is prolific in publishing research on dinosaurs, pterosaurs and marine reptiles amongst many other groups of tetrapods.

John J. Cawley and Jürgen Kriwet. 2017. A New Pycnodont Fish, Scalacurvichthys naishi gen. et sp. nov., from the Late Cretaceous of Israel. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Online edition.   DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1330772

[Entomology • 2017] Zorotypus asymmetricus • A New Species (Insecta: Zoraptera) from Brunei Darussalam, Borneo

Zorotypus asymmetricus Kocarek, 2017

A new species of Zoraptera from Borneo is described and figured. Zorotypus asymmetricus sp. nov. was discovered in lowland mixed dipterocarp forest in Ulu Temburong, Brunei Darussalam. The species represents the third known species occurring on Borneo and it can be easily distinguished from others by the asymmetrical cerci: the right cercus is strongly enlarged and curved.

Keywords: Zoraptypus, Zoraptera, Zorotypidae, new species, Borneo, Indomalayan region

Zorotypus asymmetricus sp. nov. 
1, male habitus of living specimen; 17, living apterous male; 18, rotting logs in Sungai Esu stream valley where Z. asymmetricus sp. nov. was collected.

Diagnosis. The new species is similar to Zorotypus sinensis Hwang, 1974, Z. medoensis Hwang 1976, Z. impolitus Mashimo, Engel, Dallai, Beutel & Machida 2013 and Z. weiwei (Hwang 1974, 1976; Mashimo 2013; Wang et al. 2016), but it can be easily distinguished from them by the asymmetrical cerci, with the right cercus noticeably enlarged and sickle-shaped (Figs. 9–11), the species-specific shape of the male genitalia (Fig. 13), and the presence of 7‒8 stout, long spines on the ventral surface of metafemur. The body is typically matte dark brown with the exception of pale yellowish gray tibiae and tarsi on all legs and antennomeres VI‒IX.

Etymology. The name refers to the asymmetrical cerci and asymmetrical abdominal sternite S9 in males.

 Distribution and occupied habitat. Zorotypus asymmetricus sp. nov. was collected under the bark of rotting logs in shade in the valley of Sungai Esu stream (Fig. 18). The species is currently known only from Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei Darussalam, but we expect its occurrence in similar habitats throughout Borneo.

 Petr Kočárek, Rodzay A. Wahab and Siti R. A. Kahar. 2017. Zorotypus asymmetricus sp. nov. from Brunei Darussalam, Borneo (Insecta: Zoraptera).
 Zootaxa. 4286(2);  285–290. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4286.2.11

[Entomology • 2017] Ciglianacris submontana • A New Genus of Andean Melanoplinae (Orthoptera: Acrididae): Studies in Colombian Caelifera and Adjacent Territories

Ciglianacris submontana
 Cadena-Castañeda & Cardona-Granda, 2017 


A new genus and species of neotropical melanoplines living in the submontane forests of the Colombian Andes is hereby described. This genus is closely related to the genera of the genus group Scotussae and the Andean genera Bogotacris and Chibchacris, distributed in the paramo ecosystems of Colombia and Venezuela.

Keywords: Orthoptera, Dichroplini, Scotussae, Bogotacris, Chibchacris, phallic complex, submontane forest, Colombia

Oscar J. Cadena-Castañeda and Juan Manuel Cardona-Granda. 2017. Studies in Colombian Caelifera and Adjacent Territories: Ciglianacris, A New Genus of Andean Melanoplinae (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Zootaxa. 4286(2); 267–276. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4286.2.9

Thursday, June 29, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Eutrema giganteum • A New Species (Brassicaceae) from Sichuan, southwest China

  Eutrema giganteum G.Q. Hao, Al-Shehbaz & J. Quan Liu 

Eutrema giganteum (Brassicaceae), a new species from Hengduan Mountains in Sichuan Province, southwest China, is described, and its relationships to the closely related E. yunnanense is discussed based on morphological, cytological, and molecular data. It is similar morphologically to E. yunnanense but is readily distinguished by having robust (vs. slender), erect (vs. decumbent), and branched (vs. mostly simple), and rather tall stems (60–110 cm vs. 20–60 cm); curved (vs. straight), smooth (vs. torulose), and shorter fruit (5–8 mm vs. 8–15 mm); and fewer ovules per ovary (1–4 vs. 6–10). All examined individuals from different populations of E. giganteum clustered into a single clade sister to E. yunnanense in phylogenetic analyses using the combined nuclear ITS and plastid DNA datasets. Our cytological studies revealed that the chromosome number of E. giganteum is 2n = 44, with a genome size of 1160 (±8) Mb, while that of E. yunnanense is 2n = 28, with a genome size of 718 (±15) Mb. Multiple lines of evidence support the recognition of E. giganteum as a distinct species well differentiated from E. yunnanense.

Keywords: Brassicaceae, Cruciferae, Eutrema giganteum, new species, Eutrema yunnanense, molecular phylogeny

Figure 1. Eutrema giganteum G.Q. Hao, Al-Shehbaz & J. Quan Liu. sp. nov.
AB Habit C Leaves D Inflorescence E Flowers F Fruit.

Eutrema giganteum G.Q. Hao, Al-Shehbaz & J. Quan Liu, sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the remarkably huge plant size. The erect stem can extend to around 60–110 (–140) cm, higher than all the other Eutrema species.

Distribution and habitat: Eutrema giganteum is currently known from Hengduan Mountains in western Sichuan, China, including Xiling Snow Mountain, Jiajin Mountain, Erlang Mountain, and Gongga Mountain (Fig. 2). It grows in shady, humid forests at elevation of 2200–2900 m.

 Guoqian Hao, Changbing Zhang, Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, Xinyi Guo, Hao Bi, Junyin Wang and Jianquan Liu. 2017.  Eutrema giganteum (Brassicaceae), A New Species from Sichuan, southwest China. PhytoKeys. 82: 15-26.  DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.82.12329

[Paleontology • 2017] Europatitan eastwoodi • A New Sauropod from the lower Cretaceous of Iberia in the Initial Radiation of Somphospondylans in Laurasia

Europatitan eastwoodi
Fernández-Baldor​, Canudo​, Pedro Huerta​, Moreno-Azanza​ & Montero​, 2017

.  DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3409 


The sauropod of El Oterillo II is a specimen that was excavated from the Castrillo de la Reina Formation (Burgos, Spain), late Barremian–early Aptian, in the 2000s but initially remained undescribed. A tooth and elements of the axial skeleton, and the scapular and pelvic girdle, represent it. It is one of the most complete titanosauriform sauropods from the Early Cretaceous of Europe and presents an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the radiation of this clade in the Early Cretaceous and study the paleobiogeographical relationships of Iberia with Gondwana and with other parts of Laurasia. The late Barremian–early Aptian is the time interval in the Cretaceous with the greatest diversity of sauropod taxa described in Iberia: two titanosauriforms, Tastavinsaurus and Europatitan; and a rebbachisaurid, DemandasaurusThe new sauropod Europatitan eastwoodi n. gen. n. sp. presents a series of autapomorphic characters in the presacral vertebrae and scapula that distinguish it from the other sauropods of the Early Cretaceous of Iberia. Our phylogenetic study locates Europatitan as the basalmost member of the Somphospondyli, clearly differentiated from other clades such as Brachiosauridae and Titanosauria, and distantly related to the contemporaneous Tastavinsaurus. Europatitan could be a representative of a Eurogondwanan fauna like Demandasaurus, the other sauropod described from the Castrillo de la Reina Formation. The presence of a sauropod fauna with marked Gondwananan affinities in the Aptian of Iberia reinforces the idea of faunal exchanges between this continental masses during the Early Cretaceous. Further specimens and more detailed analysis are needed to elucidate if this Aptian fauna is caused by the presence of previously unnoticed Aptian land bridges, or it represents a relict fauna from an earlier dispersal event.

Figure 10: First caudal vertebra (MDS-OTII,2) of Europatitan eastwoodi n. gen. n. sp.
(A) Anterior view. (B) Right lateral view. (C) Posterior view. (D) Dorsal view. (E) Ventral view.

 ACDL, anterior centrodiapophyseal lamina; POSZG, postzygapophyses; PRDL, prezygodiapophyseal lamina; PRZG, prezygapophyses; SPOL, spinopostzygapophyseal lamina; SPRL, spinoprezygapophyseal lamina. Scale: 10 cm.

Figure 2: Quarry map of the partial skeleton of Europatitan eastwoodi n. gen. n. sp. from the late Barremian–early Aptian, Early Cretaceous, of El Oterillo II site, Spain.
The arrow indicates an iguanodontoid ilium (Contreras et al., 2007). Circular symbols correspond to splinters, and triangles to isolated teeth of theropods.

illustration: Davide Bonadona

Order SAURISCHIA Seeley, 1887
Infraorder SAUROPODA Marsh, 1878
NEOSAUROPODA Bonaparte, 1986

Titanosauriformes Salgado, Coria & Calvo, 1997
Somphospondyli Wilson & Sereno, 1998

Genus Europatitan gen. nov. 

Etymology: In reference to Europe, the continent where it was found, and the titans, ancient Greek deities known for their gigantic size, endowed with great power.

Type Species: Europatitan eastwoodi sp. nov. 

Etymology: Dedicated to US actor Clint Eastwood, the protagonist of the film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” which was partially filmed near Salas de los Infantes.

Type Locality and Horizon: The site of El Oterillo II is located in the province of Burgos in northern Spain, 2.5 km to the west of the village of Barbadillo del Mercado in Salas de los Infantes (Fig. 1), Burgos Province, Spain; Urbión Group, Castrillo de la Reina Fm., lower Cretaceous, regarded as late Barremian–early Aptian in age (Martín-Closas & Alonso Millán, 1998).

Holotype: MDS-OTII,1 to MDS-OTII-32. The disarticulated carcass of a single specimen consisting of the following material: one tooth, five cervical vertebrae, one dorsal vertebra, nine caudal vertebrae, 11 cervical ribs, five dorsal ribs, seven hemal arches, the two scapulae, the left coracoid, the left metacarpals I and III, the two pubes, and the two ischia.


Fidel Torcida Fernández-Baldor​, José Ignacio Canudo​, Pedro Huerta​, Miguel Moreno-Azanza​ and Diego Montero​. 2017. Europatitan eastwoodi, A New Sauropod from the lower Cretaceous of Iberia in the Initial Radiation of Somphospondylans in Laurasia.  
 PeerJ. 5:e3409.  DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3409

El Europatitan eastwoodi, un nuevo saurópodo hallado en la Sierra de La Demanda... via @burgosconecta  @gabi_iglesia  


[Botany • 2017] Monoon vietnamensis • A New Species (Annonaceae) from Central Vietnam

Monoon vietnamensis N.S. Lý

Monoon vietnamensis N.S. Lý, a new species of Annonaceae, is described and illustrated from Mount Dầu, Quảng Ngãi Province, central Vietnam. It is morphologically similar to M. bornensis and M. anomalum, but differs by much larger and oblongelliptic to obovate-elliptic leaves, with 12–14(16) pairs of nerves and a cuneate leaf base; much longer and narrowly ovate to linear ovate petals, with sparsely scattered short hairs outside; inner petals slightly longer than the outer petals; and much longer fruiting pedicels. A key to the species of Monoon in Vietnam is provided.

Fig-1. Monoon vietnamensis (from the holotype).
A: Plant In natural habit. — B: Inflorescences on main trunk. — C: Infructescences on main trunk. — D: Twig. — E: Detail of cymes on woody tubercles. — F: Inflorescence close to base of trunk. — G: Top view of flower. — H: Side view of flower. — I: Old branch with mature leaves. — J: Lower view of sepals. — K, and K2: Top and side views of stamens and carpels. — L: Side view of torus showing sepals, stamens and carpels. — M: Top view of carpels, torus after anthesis. — N: Petals: N1 -outer, N2-inner. — O: Close-up of carpels (alcohol materials). — P: Close-up of stamens (alcohol materials). — Q: Detail of infructes- cence. — R: Fruit (longitudinal-section). — S. Seed (longitudinal-section).
 Scale bars: 10 mm for J, Kv K2, Land M; 1 mm for O and P; 1 cm for R and S. 

Ngọc-Sâm Lý. 2017. Monoon vietnamensis (Annonaceae), A New Species from Central Vietnam. Annales Botanici Fennici. 54(1-3); 153–158. DOI: 10.5735/085.054.0324

[Arachnida • 2017] Nineteen New Species of Amphidraus Simon, 1900 (Salticidae: Euophryini) from Colombia, with Comments About their Conservation

Amphidraus zaque Galvis, 2017


The Andean region of Northern South America is widely recognized as a hotspot with extreme levels of diversity, endemism, and threat. In a taxonomic study on jumping spiders from Colombia, nineteen new species of Amphidraus Simon, 1900 were found, all of which with small-scale endemic distributional patterns. Sixteen of these new species are described from the Andean region, eight of which being restricted to the Cundiboyacense high-Andean plateau (A. bochica sp. nov., A. guatavita sp. nov., A. mae sp. nov., A. pae sp. nov., A. sie sp. nov., A. sotairensis sp. nov., A. tisquesusa sp. nov. and A. tundama sp. nov.), in the Boyacá and Cundinamarca departments. The eight remaining Andean species are distributed out of this high-Andean plateau, in the Eastern Mountain Range of Boyacá (A. chie sp. nov., A. somondoco sp. nov. and A. sua sp. nov.), Cundinamarca (A. quinini sp. nov. and A. zaque sp. nov.), Huila (A. guaitipan sp. nov.) and Santander (A. zipa sp. nov.) departments, and in the Central Mountain Range of Risaralda department (A. quimbaya sp. nov.). Additionally, A. sikuani sp. nov. is described from the Eastern department of Meta, and A. colombianus sp. nov. and A. tanimuca sp. nov. from the Amazonian department of Vaupés. Finally, a map with these new records is included, along with a short comment about conservation of biota in the Andean region.

Keywords: Araneae, Cundiboyacense high-Andean plateau, endemism, hotspot, jumping spiders

Amphidraus zaque sp. nov.,  male holotype (ICN–Ar 3378) 

William Galvis. 2017. Nineteen New Species of Amphidraus Simon, 1900 (Salticidae: Euophryini) from Colombia, with Comments About their Conservation.
 Zootaxa. 4286(1); 1-40. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4286.1.1

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Seidenfadeniella salimii • A New Plant Species (Orchidaceae) from South Western Ghats, India

Seidenfadeniella salimii  J.Mathew, T.K.Hride, V.B.Sreek. & K.Madhus.

An epiphytic orchid species, Seidenfadeniella salimii, is described as a new taxon from Kerala, part of South Western Ghats, India.

Keywords: Seidenfadeniella, Orchidaceae, Kerala, new species, South Western Ghats

Figure 2. Seidenfadeniella salimii. (A–C) Inflorescence. (D) Leaves. (E) Fruits. A–E. Type locality, 24 December 2011, photographed by PM Salim Pichan, 0404.

Seidenfadeniella salimii J.Mathew, T.K.Hride, V.B.Sreek. & K.Madhus. sp. nov. 

Etymology: The species is named in honour of environmentalist Mr P.M. Salim, MS. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Kalpatta, Wayanad, Kerala, India, who first collected specimens of this species, and also for his contribution to plant taxonomy.

Jose Mathew, T.K. Hrideek, V.B. Sreekumar and K. Madhusudhanan. 2017. Seidenfadeniella salimii (Orchidaceae): A New Plant Species from South Western Ghats, India. Webbia: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography. 71(1); 69-71. DOI:  10.1080/00837792.2016.1158410

[Entomology • 2017] Systematics of Simothraulopsis Demoulin, 1966 (Ephemeroptera: Leptophlebiidae)

Simothraulopsis diamantinensis Mariano, 2010


In the present paper, based on specimens from different regions of Brazil, we review the current knowledge of the Neotropical genus Simothraulopsis. A phylogenetic study was performed in order to address the relationships between all species and to test the monophyly of Simothraulopsis. For this purpose, 48 characters related to the external morphology of adults and nymphs were investigated. As a result, four new species are described; Simothraulopsis caliginosus sp. nov., S. dominguezi sp. nov., S. eurybasis sp. nov., S. inaequalis sp. nov. New taxonomic and biological information are added to this genus. Nymphs of S. diamantinensis Mariano, 2010 and S. janae Mariano, 2010 are described for the first time and several new distributional records for Brazil are provided. Additionally, keys for male imagos and nymphs of the genus are proposed. The phylogenetic analysis corroborated the monophyly of Simothraulopsis, however, the division in two subgenera as previously proposed was not recovered in our reconstruction.

Keywords: Ephemeroptera, aquatic insects, mayflies, cladistic, Neotropical region, identification keys

Jeane M. C. Do Nascimento, Frederico F. Salles and Neusa Hamada. 2017. Systematics of Simothraulopsis Demoulin, 1966 (Ephemeroptera: Leptophlebiidae).    Zootaxa. 4285(1); 1–81. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4285.1.1 

[Botany • 2017] Warneckea albiflora • A New Species of Warneckea subgenus Carnosae (Melastomataceae—Olisbeoideae) from Coastal Dry Forest in northern Mozambique

Warneckea albiflora  R.D. Stone & N.P. Tenza


Described and illustrated is Warneckea albiflora R.D. Stone & N.P. Tenza, another localized endemic of coastal dry forest near Quiterajo in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province. In Flora Zambesiaca the new species would key to Memecylon sansibaricum Taub. [≡Warneckea sansibarica (Taub.) Jacq.-Fél.], but is distinguished by its elliptic-lanceolate, attenuate–acuminate leaves and white flowers borne on pedicels 3.5–4 mm long (versus leaves elliptic and rounded to shortly and obtusely acuminate, pedicels 6–15 mm long, and flowers pale blue to deep blue in Warneckea  sansibarica). Because of its evidently very limited occurrence as well as on-going anthropogenic threats, Warneckea albiflora is provisionally assessed as Critically Endangered (CR) B1ab(iii) according to IUCN criteria. A key is provided to the Mozambican species of Warneckea.

Keywords: Africa, Melastomataceae, Mozambique, new species, plant conservation, plant taxonomy, Warneckea, Eudicots

 Living material of Warneckea albiflora (same individual as the type collection), Flowering branchlet
Photograph by John E. Burrows.

Warneckea albiflora R.D. Stone & N.P. Tenza, sp. nov.
Type:— MOZAMBIQUE. Cabo Delgado: Quiterajo, track through middle of Namacubi (Banana) Forest, elev. 125 m, 27 Nov 2008, J.E. Burrows & S.M. Burrows 10833 (holotype BNRH!, isotype K[K000738569]!).

Distribution and habitat:— Known only from the Namacubi (Banana) Forest west of Quiterajo, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique (for maps see Fig. 2 in Timberlake et al. 2011 and Fig. 2 in Stone 2013). According to data provided on specimen labels, the habitat is in dry, semi-deciduous coastal forest dominated by Guibourtia schliebenii (Harms) J. Léonard and Pteleopsis myrtifolia (M.A. Lawson) Engl. & Diels, on sandy soil at elevations of 90–120 m. 

 Phenology:— Flowers in late November. Fruiting period unknown. 

 Conservation status:— Warneckea albiflora is known from a single location that is not in a protected area. The EOO is estimated as 12 km2 and the AOO as 16 km2 (assuming a 4 km2 grid-cell size). Ongoing threats include continued clearing for subsistence agriculture, cutting of poles, uncontrolled fires, and possible road construction for oil-and-gas development which would increase access to and clearance of the forest (Timberlake et al. 2011; Cheek & Darbyshire 2014). Accordingly, W. albiflora is provisionally assessed as Critically Endangered, CR B1ab(iii). 

 Etymology:— The epithet albiflora is an adjective referring to the white flowers of this species, this being the main diagnostic feature separating it from the closely related W. sansibarica

Discussion:—Warneckea albiflora is placed in W. subgenus Carnosae 

Robert Douglas Stone and Ntombiphumile Perceverence Tenza. 2017. Warneckea albiflora, A New Species of Warneckea subgenus Carnosae (Melastomataceae—Olisbeoideae) from coastal dry forest in northern Mozambique. Phytotaxa. 311(2); 168–174. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.311.2.4

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

[Ornithology • 2017] Amazona gomezgarzai • A New Parrot Taxon from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico — Its Position within Genus Amazona based on Morphology and Molecular Phylogeny

Amazona gomezgarzai
 Silva​, Guzmán, Urantówka & Mackiewicz, 2017


Parrots (Psittaciformes) are a diverse group of birds which need urgent protection. However, many taxa from this order have an unresolved status, which makes their conservation difficult. One species-rich parrot genus is Amazona, which is widely distributed in the New World. Here we describe a new Amazona form, which is endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula. This parrot is clearly separable from other Amazona species in eleven morphometric characters as well as call and behavior. The clear differences in these features imply that the parrot most likely represents a new species. In contrast to this, the phylogenetic tree based on mitochondrial markers shows that this parrot groups with strong support within A. albifrons from Central America, which would suggest that it is a subspecies of A. albifrons. However, taken together tree topology tests and morphometric analyses, we can conclude that the new parrot represents a recently evolving species, whose taxonomic status should be further confirmed. This lineage diverged from its closest relative about 120,000 years ago and was subjected to accelerated morphological and behavioral changes like some other representatives of the genus Amazona. Our phylogenies, which are so far the most comprehensive for Amazona taxa enabled us to consider the most feasible scenarios about parrot colonization of the Greater and Lesser Antilles and Central America from South America mainland. The molecular dating of these migrations and diversification rate were correlated with climatic and geological events in the last five million years, giving an interesting insight into Amazon parrot phylogeography and their evolution in general.

Figure 4: Photograph of the male holotype (C and A—individual on the right) and female paratype (B and A—individual on the left) of the new Amazona.

Amazona gomezgarzai, sp. nov. (Figs. 2–7)

Holotype. Adult male, MEXICO, the Yucatán Peninsula, south of Becanchén in Tekax Municipality. The holotype is represented by the feathers of the male, which were deposited in the collection of the Laboratorio de Ornitología, Facultad de Ciencias Biologícas, Universidad Autonóma de Nuevo León, Mexico and were assigned catalog number: MGG01-Amazona gomezgarzai-holotipo. Article 72.5.1 of the Code of Zoological Nomenclature (henceforth CODE) permits the use of animal parts in the designation of a type specimen. Upon death of the living bird, its preserved body will be paired to the feathers for a complete body. This complies with Article 16.4.2 of the CODE, which states that where the holotype is an extant individual, a statement of the intent to deposit the individual in a collection upon its death accompanied by a statement indicating the name and location of that collection is sufficient.

Paratype. Adult female collected in the same locality as the holotype. Like the holotype, feathers from this specimen have been deposited in the collection and have assigned catalog number: MGG02-Amazona gomezgarzai-alotipo. Upon its death, it will be added to the collection in Laboratorio de Ornitología, Facultad de Ciencias Biologícas, Universidad Autonóma de Nuevo León, Mexico.

Etymology. We take extreme pride in naming this parrot after Miguel Angel Gómez Garza, a Mexican veterinarian born in Monterrey (Nuevo León, Mexico) in 1960. Gómez Garza’s interest in the ecology of the parrots of Mexico spans decades and culminated in the publication of a work specifically dealing with the psittacines of that country (Gómez Garza, 2014). During his professional lifetime, Gómez Garza has been deeply involved in rehabilitating confiscated wildlife. For the last thirty years, in his private veterinary clinic (Veterinaria del Valle) in Monterrey, he has honorably supported the wildlife protection agency of the Republic of Mexico, Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA), providing medical attention to confiscated wildlife suitable for being returned to their natural habitat. As a researcher in the Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia of the Universidad Autonóma de Nuevo León, he is presently working on a veterinary protocol for confiscated psittacines intended for reintroduction to the wild. He brought the existence of this unique member of the genus Amazona to our attention and to him science and we owe a debt of gratitude. We suggest the common name in English: blue-winged Amazon and in Spanish: Loro de alas azules.

Distribution. The new Amazona is endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula in southern Mexico. To date, its presence is confined to an area roughly 100 km2 that is centered south of Becanchén in Tekax Municipality, Yucatán. No part of the range is presently protected in any form.

Habitat. The new Amazona is found in tropical caducifolius and subcaducifolius forest. It is also found in disturbed patches of native vegetation and in small, cultivated fields with scattered trees. It is found below 300 m above sea level.

Natural history. Miguel A. Gómez Garza first sighted this parrot in the field in trees of the Leucaena genus at heights of approximately 6 m in the beginning of 2014 during a visit to the south of Becanchén, in the municipality of Tekax. The parrots occurred in small flocks of three to five individuals and fed on the tender pods produced by this tree. During a follow up visit in August 2014, Gómez Garza also sighted pairs with their fledged young. This field work confirmed the rarity of the species and that it was far less common than the other two species found in the same area, Amazona albifrons nana and Amazona xantholora.

In normal parrot fashion, the new Amazona is diurnal, beginning the day at sunrise. It is generally secretive when resting, using its plumage as camouflage. In contrast, it is vocal and noisy in flight. The flight is moderately fast with the mechanism that is typical of the genus Amazona with wing-beats never exceeding the horizontal axis.

The new Amazona is found in small flocks of less than 12 individuals, which were studied in the field. Pairs and their progeny have a tendency to remain together and are discernible in groups. Like all members of the genus Amazona, this parrot is herbivore. Its diet consists of seeds, fruits, flowers and leaves obtained in the tree canopy. It also consumes tender shoots of native trees and the pods of leguminous trees including uaxim (Leucaena glauca), bukut (Cassia grandis) and katsín (Acasia gaumeri).

Very little is known about this parrot’s biology. There is no conservation program currently in effect to preserve this parrot but its long-term existence impinges on the local communities and making them aware of this parrot’s value as a result of its uniqueness, its potential as a bird watching attraction and the fact that it is present only locally. Its small range and rarity should make its conservation a priority.

Tony Silva​, Antonio Guzmán, Adam D. Urantówka and Paweł Mackiewicz. 2017. A New Parrot Taxon from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico — Its Position within Genus Amazona based on Morphology and Molecular Phylogeny. PeerJ. 5:e3475. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3475

This New Parrot Species Sounds Like a Hawk via @NatGeo