Monday, April 30, 2018

[Paleontology • 2018] Shirerpeton isajii • The First Record of Albanerpetontid Amphibians (Amphibia: Albanerpetontidae) from East Asia

Shirerpeton isajii
Matsumoto & Evans, 2018

llustration: Takumi Yamamoto

Albanerpetontids are an enigmatic fossil amphibian group known from deposits of Middle Jurassic to Pliocene age. The oldest and youngest records are from Europe, but the group appeared in North America in the late Early Cretaceous and radiated there during the Late Cretaceous. Until now, the Asian record has been limited to fragmentary specimens from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. This led to speculation that albanerpetontids migrated into eastern Asia from North America in the Albian to Cenomanian interval via the Beringian land bridge. However, here we describe albanerpetontid specimens from the Lower Cretaceous Kuwajima Formation of Japan, a record that predates their first known occurrence in North America. One specimen, an association of skull and postcranial bones from a single small individual, permits the diagnosis of a new taxon. High Resolution X-ray Computed Microtomography has revealed previously unrecorded features of albanerpetontid skull morphology in three dimensions, including the presence of a supraoccipital and epipterygoids, neither of which occurs in any known lissamphibian. The placement of this new taxon within the current phylogenetic framework for Albanerpetontidae is complicated by a limited overlap of comparable elements, most notably the non-preservation of the premaxillae in the Japanese taxon. Nonetheless, phylogenetic analysis places the new taxon closer to Albanerpeton than to Anoualerpeton, Celtedens, or Wesserpeton, although Bootstrap support values are weak. The results also question the monophyly of Albanerpeton as currently defined.

Fig 2. Shirerpeton isajii gen. et sp. nov., SBEI 2459, holotype block.
A, digital photograph showing surface view of the specimen after manual preparation; B, rendered view of the surface from μCT data showing identifications of exposed elements.

Abbreviations: Br, braincase elements; Fr, frontal; L.La, left lacrimal; L.Mx, left maxilla; L.N, left nasal; L.Pa, left parietal; LPf, left prefrontal; L.Sm, left septomaxilla; L.Sq, left squamosal; R.La, right lacrimal; R.Pa, right parietal; R.Pf, right prefrontal; R.Sq, right squamosal;?, unidentified element. Scale bars = 5 mm.

Fig 3. Shirerpeton isajii gen. et sp. nov., skull reconstruction.
A-D, Model construction. 3-D models constructed using printouts of the individually segmented elements from the μCT data (mirrored as needed: nasal, parietal, possible supratemporal) and fitted into modelling clay. A, dorsal; B, right lateral; C, left lateral; D, left anterolateral showing the relations of the nasal, lacrimal, and maxilla in the narial margin. The tip of the rostrum is roughly reconstructed in modelling clay. E, outline reconstruction of the skull in dorsal view, based on the 3-D model in A-D. Note that the suspensorial elements are omitted as their positions are uncertain.
Abbreviations: Fr, frontal; J, jugal; La, lacrimal; Mx, maxilla; N, nasal; Pa, parietal; Pf, prefrontal; S.O, supraoccipital;? St, possible supratemporal.

 Systematic palaeontology

Shirerpeton gen. nov.

Etymology: From the Japanese Shiro, white, partly for Shiramine, the type locality, but also because the family name, Albanerpetontidae, derives from the original French locality of La Grive-Saint-Alban, with Alba/Alban (Latin) meaning white.

Shirerpeton isajii sp. nov.

Holotype: Shiramine Board of Education Ishikawa Prefecture, SBEI 2459, a small block bearing most of a disarticulated but associated skull with some postcranial elements (Fig 2A). The specimen is housed in the Shiramine Institute of Paleontology, Hakusan Board of Education, Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.

Etymology: Species name honours Dr Shinji Isaji, Chiba Prefecture Museum, Japan, for his longstanding work on the fossils, geology, and palaeoenvironment of the Kuwajima Formation.



Fig 41. Skull roofing bones in albanerpetontids (not to scale).
A, Shirerpeton isajii; B, Celtedens ibericus; C, Albanerpeton inexpectatum; D, Albanerpeton pannonicum.

The recovery of the new Japanese specimens sheds new light on albanerpetontid morphology and biogeography, but raises as many questions as it resolves. There is clearly much more to discover about these enigmatic little tetrapods, in terms of their morphology, relationships, and evolutionary history. Recent discoveries have demonstrated that the group had a more extensive temporal and geographical distribution in Asia than previously understood. Awareness of this among researchers may lead to further discoveries.

Ryoko Matsumoto and Susan E. Evans. 2018.  The First Record of Albanerpetontid Amphibians (Amphibia: Albanerpetontidae) from East Asia. PLoS ONE. 13(1); e0189767. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189767

化石:1.3億年前、新種の両生類 石川で3個体分 - 毎日新聞
Amphibian fossil in Ishikawa recognized as new species: The Asahi Shimbun

[Arachnida • 2018] First record of Africactenus Hyatt, 1954 and Redescriptions of Two Poorly Known Species of Ctenus Walckenaer, 1805 (Araneae, Ctenidae, Cteninae) from India

 Ctenus indicus Gravely, 1931

in Sankaran & Sebastian, 2018. 


The ctenid genus Africactenus Hyatt, 1954 is recorded for the first time from India. Africactenus unumus sp. nov. is described and illustrated based on male specimens. Detailed redescriptions and illustrations of Ctenus cochinensis Gravely, 1931 (both male and female) and Ctenus indicus Gravely, 1931 (only female) are provided and their distribution in India is updated.

Keywords: Araneae, distribution, first record, new species, redescription, taxonomy

 Ctenus indicus Gravely, 1931; Female (live), fronto-dorsal (ADSH201037).

 Photo by Jimmy Paul.

Pradeep M. Sankaran and Pothalil A. Sebastian. 2018. First record of Africactenus Hyatt, 1954 and Redescriptions of Two Poorly Known Species of Ctenus Walckenaer, 1805 (Araneae, Ctenidae, Cteninae) from India. Zootaxa. 4388(3); 395–406.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4388.3.5

[Entomology • 2018] Palaearctic Osmia Bees of the Subgenus Hoplosmia (Megachilidae, Osmiini): Biology, Taxonomy and Key to Species

Osmia (Hoplosmia) distinguenda (Tkalcu, 1974)

in Müller, 2018.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4415.2.4 


Hoplosmia, a subgenus of the osmiine bee genus Osmia (Megachilidae), comprises 21 species restricted to the Palaearctic region. Analysis of female pollen loads and field observations indicate that probably all O. (Hoplosmia) species are specialized on Asteraceae except for one pollen generalist species, which exhibits a preference for the pollen of Cistaceae. Among the Asteraceae specialists, differences exist with respect to the three main Asteraceae subfamilies exploited for pollen, with some species exclusively visiting Carduoideae, others exploiting only Asteroideae and Cichorioideae and again others collecting pollen on Asteroideae, Carduoideae and Cichorioideae. All O. (Hoplosmia) species build their brood cells within preexisting cavities: several species exclusively nest in empty snail shells, few species use small cavities in rock and stones and the remaining species colonize linear cavities in dead wood and plant stems or nest in abandoned burrows of other bees and wasps. Chewed leaves serve as material to construct brood cell partitions and nest plug except for two species, which use mud as nest building material. The taxonomic revision of O. (Hoplosmia) revealed the existence of an undescribed species, O. centaureae spec. nov., which occurs in a small area that ranges from the Dead Sea over the Jordan Valley to northernmost Israel. Due to clear morphological gaps and widely disjunct distribution with the nominotypical subspecies, O. pinguis carbo (Zanden 1974) is elevated to species rank. Based on morphology and biology, three species groups are recognized within Hoplosmia. Identification keys for all O. (Hoplosmia) species are given including the hitherto unknown male or female sex of three species.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Apiformes, Asteraceae, Cistaceae, host-plant choice, Hymenoptera, nesting behaviour, oligolecty, polylecty, snail-shell nesting

Andreas Müller. 2018. Palaearctic Osmia Bees of the Subgenus Hoplosmia (Megachilidae, Osmiini): Biology, Taxonomy and Key to Species. Zootaxa. 4415(2); 297–329. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4415.2.4

[Ichthyology • 2018] Revision of the Australian Wet Tropics Endemic Rainbowfish Genus Cairnsichthys (Atheriniformes: Melanotaeniidae), with Description of A New Species, Cairnsichthys bitaeniatus

Cairnsichthys bitaeniatus 
Allen, Hamme & Raadik, 2018

in Hammer, Allen, Martin, et al., 2018.


The freshwater melanotaeniid genus Cairnsichthys is endemic to a relatively small area of specialised habitat within the Wet Tropics bioregion of north-eastern Queensland, Australia. It was previously considered as monotypic, including only a single species, C. rhombosomoides (Nichols & Raven, 1928). The recent discovery of an apparently-isolated population in the Daintree rainforest, approximately 120 km north of the known range extent, prompted a detailed investigation of its taxonomic status using a combined lines of evidence approach. We provide compelling evidence from multiple nuclear genetic markers (52 allozyme loci), mitochondrial DNA sequence data (1141 bp cytochrome b) and morphology (examination of a suite of 38 morphometric and meristic characters) that supports north-south splitting of C. rhombosomoides. Accordingly, we describe the northern population as a distinct speciesCairnsichthys bitaeniatus sp. nov., on the basis of 25 specimens, 34.7–65.6 mm SL. The new species differs morphologically primarily by having a more slender and narrow shape, featuring a flatter, straighter predorsal profile and shorter second dorsal fin base; possession of slightly smaller scales, reflected in higher counts of lateral scales and predorsal scales; typically more vertebrae; and colour differences including a more robust, short black stripe across the upper operculum, a pronounced yellow patch on the anteroventral body and usually a more conspicuous second dark stripe on the lower body, with adult males generally having yellowish compared to reddish fins. We also provide a generic diagnosis for Cairnsichthys and a redescription of C. rhombosomoides. Information on the known distribution, habitats and conservation status of species in the genus is summarised, the new species being of particular concern as a narrow range endemic with specific environmental requirements.

Keywords: Pisces, fishes, freshwater biodiversity, conservation, taxonomy, molecular systematics, northern Australia

FIGURE 5. Large adult pair of Cairnsichthys bitaeniatus sp. nov. from Little Cooper Creek, photographed in an aquarium (ca. 50–60 mm SL); the upperfish is the male (MH).

Cairnsichthys bitaeniatus Allen, Hammer & Raadik, sp. nov.
Daintree rainbowfish


Michael P. Hammer, Gerald R. Allen, Keith C. Martin, Mark Adams, Brendan C. Ebner, Tarmo A. Raadik and Peter J. Unmack. 2018. Revision of the Australian Wet Tropics Endemic Rainbowfish Genus Cairnsichthys (Atheriniformes: Melanotaeniidae), with Description of A New Species. Zootaxa. 4413(2); 271–294. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4413.2.3

[Ichthyology • 2018] Hisonotus devidei • A New Species (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the São Francisco Basin, Brazil

 Hisonotus devidei 
Roxo, Silva & Melo, 2018

A recent expedition to headwaters of the Rio Pandeiros, a left‐bank tributary of the Rio São Francisco revealed the presence of a fourth species of Hisonotus from that basin. Hisonotus devidei sp. nov. differs from congeners by the presence of conspicuous dark blotches of distinct shapes irregularly arranged along lateral and dorsal surfaces of the body and scattered throughout all fins, by possessing small plates in lateral portions of the abdomen and adjacent areas between pelvic fins without development of dermal plates and by morphometric ratios. The putative phylogenetic placement of the new species is discussed based on morphological comparisons with species of related Hypoptopomatinae genera and the Hisonotus species diversity within the Rio São Francisco Basin is compared with that of adjacent basins.

Keywords: cascudinhos, freshwater, Hypoptopomatinae, Neotropics, taxonomy

Figure 1 Hisonotus devidei sp. nov., MZUSP 123294, holotype, female, 28·9 mm standard length, Córrego Catolé, Rio Pandeiros, Rio São Francisco basin.

Hisonotus devidei sp. nov

Etymology: The epithet devidei honours Renato Devidé, a dear friend and collector of the species, for his immeasurable contribution during more than 30 years as an academic technician in the LBP fish collection, assisting and coordinating expeditions that resulted in numerous scientific publications, theses and dissertations in the fields of ecology, cytogenetics, population genetics, taxonomy, systematics and evolution of Neotropical fishes.

F. F. Roxo, G. S. C. Silva and B. F. Melo. 2018. Hisonotus devidei, A New Species from the São Francisco basin, Brazil (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Journal of Fish Biology. DOI:  10.1111/jfb.13599

[Mammalogy • 2018] Into the Light: Atypical Diurnal Foraging Activity of Blyth’s Horseshoe Bat, Rhinolophus lepidus (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) on Tioman Island, Malaysia

Rhinolophus lepidus Blyth, 1844

in Chua & Aziz, 2018

Diurnal flight and foraging activity in insectivorous bats are atypical behaviours that have been recorded from islands with few avian predators and from locations with extended daylight hours. We present the first known observations of diurnal activity of Rhinolophus lepidus in forests on Tioman Island, Malaysia, recorded using visual surveys and acoustic monitoring. The bats were flying during the day and at night, and feeding buzzes detected suggest that they were actively foraging during the day. This appears to be a regular phenomenon on Tioman Island. The absence of resident diurnal avian predators that hunt below the forest canopy may account for the diurnal activity of R. lepidus in forests there.

Keywords: acoustic monitoring; daylight; foraging behaviour; tropical forest

Figure 2: In situ image and characteristic features of the day-flying bats of Tioman Island, Malaysia.
(A) Day-flying insectivorous bat flying a low circuit in Paya, Tioman Island, Malaysia. (B and C) Frontal and lateral views of diurnal Rhinolophus lepidus displaying characteristic features of the species, i.e. pointed lancelet with concave sides, triangular connecting process and hair with light tips.

Marcus A.H. Chua and Sheema Abdul Aziz. 2018. Into the Light: Atypical Diurnal Foraging Activity of Blyth’s Horseshoe Bat, Rhinolophus lepidus (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) on Tioman Island, Malaysia. Mammalia. DOI: 10.1515/mammalia-2017-0128

[Cnidaria • 2018] Tempuractis rinkai • First Detailed Record of Symbiosis Between a Sea Anemone (Anthozoa: Actiniaria: Edwardsiidae) and Homoscleromorph Sponge

Tempuractis rinkai  Izumi, Ise & Yanagi, 2018

in Izumi, Ise, Yanagi, Shibata & Ueshima, 2018.  
 DOI:  10.2108/zs170042 

A new species in a new genus of sea anemone, Tempuractis rinkai gen. et sp. nov., was discovered at several localities along the temperate rocky shores of Japan. The new species is approximately 4 mm in length and has been assigned to family Edwardsiidae, because it has eight macrocnemes, lacks sphincter and basal muscles, and possesses rounded aboral end. The sea anemone, however, also has a peculiar body shape unlike that of any other known taxa. This new species resembles some genera, especially Drillactis and Nematostella, in smooth column surface without nemathybomes or tenaculi, but is distinguishable from them by several morphological features: the presence of holotrichs and absence of nematosomes. Furthermore, this edwardsiid species exhibits a peculiar symbiotic ecology with sponges. Therefore, a new genus, Tempuractis, is proposed for this species. In the field, T. rinkai sp. nov. was always found living inside homosclerophorid sponge of the genus Oscarella, which suggests a possible obligate symbiosis between Porifera and Actiniaria. The benefit of this symbiosis is discussed on the basis of observations of live specimens, both in the aquarium and field. This is the first report of symbiosis between a sea anemone and a homoscleromorph sponge.

KEYWORDSJapan; edwardsiid; intertidal; marine invertebrates; overhang; species description; symbiotic relationship; taxonomy; transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

External view of Tempuractis rinkai gen. et sp. nov. and its host sponge Oscarella sp. collected from Misaki, Kanagawa,
including a holotype (NSMT-Co 1573) and four paratypes (CMNH-ZG 08969 to 08972).

Order ACTINIARIA Hertwig, 1882 
Family Edwardsiidae Andres, 1881 

Tempuractis gen. nov. 
Izumi, Ise and Yanagi
(Japanese name: tempura-isoginchaku-zoku)

Etymology. Tempura is a deep-fried, batter-coated nugget of seafood and/or vegetables in Japanese cuisine. This word comprises the first half of the Japanese name of the type species of this genus, as the shape of the actiniarian when embedded in a sponge tissue resembles shrimp tempura. The siffix -actis is commonly used in actiniarian genus names, meaning radiation of sunshine in Greek. The new genus name is feminine in gender.

Tempuractis rinkai sp. nov. 
Izumi, Ise and Yanagi, 2018
(New Japanese name: tempura-isoginchaku)

Etymology. The species epithet is dedicated to marine biological stations around Japan. The first specimens of this species were collected from a rocky shore in front of the Misaki Marine Biological Station (the University of Tokyo). This station is called “Misaki rinkai jikkenjo” in Japanese (“rinkai” means seaside and “jikkennjo” means research facility). Other specimens were collected during a subsequent faunistic survey in collaboration with other marine biological stations: Sugashima Marine Biological Laboratory (Nagoya University) and Sado Marine Biological Station (Niigata University).

図1.今回の記載に用いられたテンプライソギンチャクTempuractis rinkai gen. et sp. nov.(三崎新井浜海岸産)。 a:ノリカイメン科の1種Oscarella sp.(中央のベージュ色のかたまり。全体で1個体)の中に群生している本種。生時は、触手のみをカイメンから出している。 b:テンプライソギンチャク1個体が、カイメンの鞘状構造の中に棲息している。刺激を与えないように観察すると、図の矢印が示す通り徐々に触手を出す

Takato Izumi, Yuji Ise, Kensuke Yanagi, Daisuke Shibata and Rei Ueshima. 2018. First Detailed Record of Symbiosis Between a Sea Anemone and Homoscleromorph Sponge, With a Description of Tempuractis rinkai gen. et sp. nov. (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria: Edwardsiidae). Zoological Science. 35(2); 188-198. DOI:  10.2108/zs170042

カイメンと共生する新属新種のイソギンチャク - 東京大学 大学院理学系研究科・理学部


[Botany • 2018] Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii • A New Species of Succulent Plants (Crassulaceae) from northwestern Querétaro, Mexico

Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii Add  E. Pérez-Calix & R.Torres

in Pérez-Calix & Torres-Colín, 2018. 


Pachyphytum (Crassulaceae) is a genus of perennial plants with ca. 20 species endemic to central Mexico. Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii is described here as a new species. It is compared to P. garciae, which is morphologically similar. The new species is endemic to the northwestern region of the state of Querétaro where it was found on limestone walls. It is assigned the category of endangered (EN).

Keywords: Arroyo Seco, sect. Diostostemon, sect. Ixiocaulon, Eudicots

FIGURE 2. Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii:
A) habit; B) petal color; C) calyx lobes; D) inflorescence peduncle and floral bracts. 

FIGURE 2. Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii: A) habit; B) petal color; C) calyx lobes; D) inflorescence peduncle and floral bracts. P. garciae: E) habit; F) petal color; G) calyx lobes; H) inflorescence peduncle and flowers bracts.

Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii E. Pérez-Calix & R.Torres, sp. nov.,

 Type:— MEXICO. Querétaro: municipio Arroyo Seco, cerca de 2.9 km al sur de Santa María de Cocos, 800 m elevation, 21°18’24.64” N, 99°38’26.54” O, 3 November 2015, E. Pérez 6616 (holotype IEB!, isotypes MEXU!, QMEX!).

Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii is morphologically similar to P. garciae, which differs in that its leaves are up to 1.3 cm longer and 0.5 cm wider; the bracts of the peduncle are 6‒7.5 mm longer and 2‒3.5 wider; calyx lobes are also larger and corolla lobes are white with an abaxial red spot in the middle.


Distribution and habitat:— Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii is endemic to the northwest region of Queretaro, near the border with Guanajuato where one population that lives on vertical walls of limestone sedimentary rock has been recorded in the canyon of the Atarjea river. The climate of the region is subhumid, semi-warm (sensu García 1973). The vegetation corresponds to the deciduous tropical forest (sensu Zamudio et al. 1992). Some of its elements are Celtis iguanaea and various representatives of Leguminosae. The walls where the plant grows are also habitat by populations of Agave sp., Hechtia sp., Echeveria sp. and Sedum corynephyllum.

Etymology:— The specific epithet is dedicated to the memory of Rogelio Mariano Cárdenas-Soriano (Cuautla, Morelos, 1961 - Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, 2010). Rogelio worked as a scientific illustrator in the Bajío Regional Center of the Institute of Ecology, A.C., from 1995 until his death, and elaborated a series of illustrations, published in the fascicles of Flora del Bajío and of adjacent regions; he also drew new taxa for science, which were published in various specialized journals in botany.

Emmanuel Pérez Calix and Rafael Torres Colín. 2018. Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii (Crassulaceae), A New Species from northwestern Querétaro, Mexico. Phytotaxa. 348(1); 56–62. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.348.1.7

[Botany • 2018] A Revision of Xylopia L. (Annonaceae): The Species of Tropical Africa

 Xylopia aethiopica from Gabon Xylopia longipetala from Mali, representing a record for the country not otherwise documented Xylopia piratae from Ivory Coast Xylopia odoratissima from Zambia Xylopia arenaria from Tanzania

in Johnson & Murray, 2018.

A revision of the 45 species of the pantropical genus Xylopia in Tropical Africa includes descriptions of six new species and a new section of the genus. The fruits and seeds of Xylopia show specializations that promote vertebrate dispersal, primarily by hornbills and monkeys. Over half of the African species have an Area of Occupancy (AOO) less than 80 km2, suggesting that they are in need of protection. African species are classified into five sections. Section Neoxylopia , with four species, is centered in the Guineo-Congolian Region and includes Xylopia globosa sp. nov. Section Ancistropetala, with three species, occurs in the same region. Both of these sections are endemic to Africa. Section Xylopia, which extends to Madagascar and the American tropics, has only a single species in Africa, X. aethiopica. The three species of section Verdcourtia sect. nov. are restricted to the East African coast and Madagascar. The largest number of African species, (34) belong to section Stenoxylopia, in which the seeds lack the arils found in the other sections and instead have a fleshy sarcotesta. Section Stenoxylopia is divided into two informal groups, one centered in eastern and southern Africa (X. odoratissima group) and the other centered in the wetter forests of western and central Africa (X. acutiflora group). Five new species are described in section StenoxylopiaXylopia nilotica sp. nov. from Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda, Xylopia calva sp. nov. from Nigeria and Cameroon, which is allied to X. phloiodora, and Xylopia monticola sp. nov. from Nigeria and Cameroon, X. piratae sp. nov. from Ivory Coast and Ghana, and X. unguiculata sp. nov. from Gabon. The latter three species are segregates of the former Xylopia acutiflora s. l. One new combination is made at the species level, X. shirensis comb. nov. Keys, descriptions, illustrations, distribution maps, and an index to numbered collections document diversity and assist with species identification. The name Unona oliveriana Baill. was found to pre-date the name Unona lepidota Oliv., requiring the combination Meiocarpidium oliverianum comb. nov.

Keywords: Xylopia, pantropical Annonaceae, Tropical Africa, long distance dispersal, bird/monkey syndrome, X. aethiopica, conservation, new species

Figure 3. Flowers of representative Xylopia species.
A Flower from type collection of Xylopia globosa from Gabon B Xylopia tenuipetala from Mozambique C Xylopia quintasii from Gabon D Xylopia aethiopica from Gabon E Xylopia longipetala from Mali, representing a record for the country not otherwise documented F Xylopia piratae from Ivory Coast G Xylopia odoratissima from Zambia H Xylopia arenaria from Tanzania I Xylopia collina from Tanzania.
A, D by Thomas L. P. Couvreur B by Frances Chase C by Ehoarn Bidault E by Philip Birnbaum F by Céline Pirat G by Warren McClelland H and I by D. M. Johnson.

Xylopia globosa D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

Xylopia nilotica D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

 Xylopia calva D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

 Xylopia monticola D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

Xylopia piratae D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

Figure 4. Fruits and seeds of representative Xylopia species.
A Xylopia staudtii from Democratic Republic of the Congo B Xylopia aethiopica from Republic of the Congo C Xylopia quintasii from Cameroon D Xylopia tenuipetala from Mozambique E Xylopia collina from Mozambique F Xylopia gracilipes from Mozambique G Xylopia hypolampra from Gabon H Xylopia tanganyikensis from Tanzania.

A by Quentin Luke B by David Harris C, G by Thomas L. P. Couvreur D by Jonathan Timberlake E, F by Mervyn Lötter H by Noriko Itoh. C reproduced with permission of Thomas L. P. Couvreur and of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists D reproduced with the permission of Jonathan Timberlake and of the Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

 David M. Johnson and Nancy A. Murray. 2018. A Revision of Xylopia L. (Annonaceae): The Species of Tropical Africa.  PhytoKeys. 97: 1-252.  DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.97.20975

Friday, April 27, 2018

[Hexapoda • 2018] Oligotomidae (Insecta: Embioptera) of Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, Philippines, with Description of A New Species

Aposthonia borneensis (Hagen, 1885)

in Lucañas & Lit, 2018.


The diversity of webspinners (Insecta: Embioptera) in Mt. Makiling, Los Baños was studied. Four species were recorded: Aposthonia borneensis (Hagen), A. merdelynae Lucañas & Lit n. sp., Oligotoma humbertiana (Saussure) and O. saundersii (Westwood). Each was illustrated and described. The new species differs from its congeners by relatively smaller size, subcylindrical left basal cercus with an inner lobe, and enlarged membranous area of the 10RP. A dichotomous key was devised to aid in identification of each species.

Keywords: Embioptera, Aposthonia, diversity, Oligotoma, taxonomy, webspinners

 Aposthonia borneensis (Hagen, 1885)

Cristian C. Lucañas and Ireneo L. Lit, Jr. 2018. Oligotomidae (Insecta: Embioptera) of Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, Philippines, with Description of A New Species. Zootaxa. 4415(1); 173–182. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4415.1.9

Thursday, April 26, 2018

[Ichthyology • 2018] A Taxonomic Review of Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1788) (Lampridiformes; Lampridae) with Descriptions of Three New Species; Lampris australensis, L. incognitus & L. megalopsis

Lampris immaculatus (Gilchrist 1905),  Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1788)
 Lampris australensis n. sp.Lampris lauta (Lowe 1838)   
 Lampris megalopsis n. sp.,  & Lampris incognitus n. sp. 

 Underkoffler, Luers, Hyde & Craig, 2018


The genus Lampris (Lampridae) currently comprises two species, Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1788) and Limmaculatus (Gilchrist 1905) commonly known as Opah and Southern Opah, respectively. Hyde et al. (2014) presented DNA sequence data which revealed the presence of five distinct, monophyletic lineages within L. guttatus. In this paper, we present morphological and meristic data supporting the presence of five species previously subsumed within L. guttatus (Brünnich 1788). We restrict Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1788), resurrect L. lauta (Lowe 1838), and describe three new species of Lampris. A key to the species of Lampris is provided.

Keywords: Pisces, Opah, moonfish, taxonomy

FIGURE 4. Species of the genus Lampris.
A) Lampris immaculatus*, B) Lampris guttatus, uncatalogued, 118 cm TL †,
C) AM I.24492-001, holotype, Lampris australensis n. sp. 67.3 cm SL, D) MMF 42253, Lampris lauta, 90.5 cm SL,
E) USNM 402733, holotype, Lampris megalopsis n. sp., 85.3 cm SL, F) USNM 402731, holotype, Lampris incognitus n. sp., 82.8 cm SL.

 (*Photograph by Dianne J. Bray, Lampris immaculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Feb 2018, († Photograph courtesy of Patrice Francour).

 Lampris immaculatus (Gilchrist 1905) 
Common name: Southern Opah  

Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1788)
Common Name: North Atlantic Opah

Lampris lauta Lowe 1860
Common name: East Atlantic Opah

Etymology. The specific epithet lauta was taken from the Latin lautus meaning “elegant”.

Lampris australensis, n. sp. 
Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1788)
Lampris guttatus Lineage 4. Hyde et al. 2014.
Common name: Southern Spotted Opah  

Etymology. The specific epithet is taken from the Latin australis meaning “southern” in reference to the known range of the species in the southern hemisphere.

Lampris incognitus n. sp. 
Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1778)
Lampris guttatus Lineage 5. Hyde et al. 2014.
Common name: Smalleye Pacific Opah

Etymology. From the Latin incognitus, meaning, “unknown, strange.”

Lampris megalopsis, n. sp. 
Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1778)
Lampris guttatus Lineage 3. Hyde et al. 2014.
Common Name: Bigeye Pacific Opah

Etymology. The specific epithet is taken from the Greek mega, meaning, “big or large”, and ops meaning “eye” in reference to its comparatively large eye.

Karen E. Underkoffler, Meagan A. Luers, John R Hyde and Matthew T. Craig. 2018. A Taxonomic Review of Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1788) (Lampridiformes; Lampridae) with Descriptions of Three New Species. Zootaxa. 4413(3); 551-565. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4413.3.9

[Mammalogy • 2018] Integrative Taxonomy Resolves Three New Cryptic Species of Small southern African Horseshoe Bats (Rhinolophus)

Rhinolophus gorongosae
Taylor, Macdonald, Goodman, Kearney, Cotterill, Stoffberg, Monadjem, Schoeman, GuytonNaskrecki & Richards, 2018 

photo: Piotr Naskrecki 
Examination of historical and recent collections of small Rhinolophus bats revealed cryptic taxonomic diversity within southern African populations previously referred to as R. swinnyi Gough, 1908 and R. landeri Martin, 1832. Specimens from Mozambique morphologically referable to R. swinnyi were phylogenetically unrelated to topotypic R. swinnyi from the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa based on cytochrome b sequences and showed distinctive echolocation, baculum and noseleaf characters. Due to their genetic similarity to a previously reported molecular operational taxonomic unit (OTU) from north-eastern South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia, we recognize the available synonym (R. rhodesiae Roberts, 1946) to denote this distinct evolutionary species. This new taxon is genetically identical to R. simulator K. Andersen, 1904 based on mtDNA and nuclear DNA sequences but can easily be distinguished on morphological and acoustic grounds. We attribute this genetic similarity to historical introgression, a frequently documented phenomenon in bats. An additional genetically distinct and diminutive taxon in the swinnyi s.l. group (named herein, Rhinolophus gorongosae sp. nov.) is described from Gorongosa National Park, central Mozambique. Specimens from Mozambique referable based on morphology to R. landeri were distinct from topotypic landeri from West Africa based on mtDNA sequences, and acoustic, noseleaf and baculum characters. This Mozambique population is assigned to the available synonym R. lobatus Peters, 1952.


Family Rhinolophidae Bell, 1836
Genus Rhinolophus Lacépède, 1799

Rhinolophus gorongosae sp. nov. 
Least horseshoe bat

Etymology: The species derives its name from the Gorongosa district of Mozambique, in particular Gorongosa National Park, a biologically diverse region of southern Africa.

Rhinolophus rhodesiae Roberts, 1946
Roberts’s horseshoe bat

Etymology: The name refers to the location in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where the type specimen was collected.

in flight behaviour of Rhinolophus lobatus.

Photograph by P. Naskrecki

Rhinolophus lobatus Peters, 1852
Peters’s horseshoe bat

Etymology: The Latin word lobatus means lobed, perhaps referring to the general shape of the noseleaf.

Peter J. Taylor, Angus Macdonald, Steven M. Goodman, Teresa Kearney, Fenton P. D. Cotterill, Sam Stoffberg, Ara Monadjem, M. Corrie Schoeman, Jennifer Guyton, Piotr Naskrecki and Leigh R. Richards. 2018. Integrative Taxonomy Resolves Three New Cryptic Species of Small southern African Horseshoe Bats (Rhinolophus). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.  DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zly024
Descoberta de novas espécies de morcegos no Parque Nacional da Gorongosa e no Norte de Moçambique
A new study just published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society described a new bat species in southern Africa, named Rhinolophus gorongosae; it seems to occur only in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique and possibly also on nearby Mount Mecula. Using genetic and morphological techniques, R. gorongosae was found to be distinct from neighboring horseshoe bat populations. With a mass of only 5 g this “dwarf” becomes Africa’s smallest horseshoe bat.