Friday, August 31, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Polygala veadeiroensis (Polygalaceae) • A New Species of Polygala endemic to Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás, Brazil

Polygala veadeiroensis  J. F. B. Pastore

in Pastore, 2018. 

 A new species, Polygala veadeiroensis (Polygalaceae) subgenus Polygala section Timutua DC. series Timoutoideae, is described from Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás State, Brazil. The infrageneric placement and its conservation status are assessed and its habitat and phenology are included. The new species is compared with its morphologically allied species, P. carphoides and P. cuspidata. Illustrations, photos of floral parts under magnification, and a distribution map are also provided.

Key Words: endemic species, subgenus Polygala, taxonomy 

Fig. 1. Polygala veadeiroensis. A habit; B raceme; C bract; D bracteole; E two upper outer sepals; F lower outer sepal; G androecium and lateral petals; H gynoecium; J fruit with persistent calyx; K, L seed.
From Pastore & Suganuma 417 (the type). 
Drawn by Carla Texeira de Lima.

Polygala veadeiroensis J. F. B. Pastore sp. nov. 
Type: Brazil, Goiás, Chapada dos Veadeiros, Cavalcante, estrada [Rodovia GO-118], entre Cavalcante e Santa Teresina de Goiás, 14°03'27"S 47º30'16"W, 6 March 2003, Pastore & Suganuma 417 (holotype CTBS!; isotype CEN!).

recognition: The crested keel places Polygala veadeiroensis within Polygala subgenus Polygala, in addition the spiciform raceme, yellowish spots on floral parts, sepals with acuminate apex, winged stems, and verticillate leaves at proximal nodes are all associated with species belonging to Polygala section Timutua series Timoutoideae Chodat. Polygala veadeiroensis is morphologically most similar to P. carphoides Chodat, from which it is readily separable by its leaves 2.5 – 4 × 1.1 – 1.9 cm, racemes 2 – 3 × 0.8 cm, and linear bracts 2.3 – 2.5 mm long (vs leaves 0.4 – 0.9 × 0.1 – 0.3 cm, racemes 0.5 – 1.5 × 0.35 – 0.5 cm, and lanceolate bracts 0.7 – 1.5 mm long in P. carphoides). On the other hand P. veadeiroensis can be easily recognised by the short bracts when compared with P. cuspidata (2.3 – 2.5 cm vs 4.8 – 9 cm in P. cuspidata).

Fig. 2. Polygala veadeiroensis. A bract; B bracteoles; C flower; D two upper outer sepals; E lower outer sepal; F one of the two inner sepals (wings); G keel; H androecium and lateral petals; J gynoecium; K style; L fruit with persistent calyx; M capsule; N seed; P appendage.
All from Pastore & Suganuma 417. photos: J. Floriano B. Pastore.

Fig. 3 Polygala veadeiroensis and its habitat.
A and D habit; B raceme; C flower in a young raceme; E habitat.
All from Pastore & Mota 5308 (CTBS). photos: J. Floriano B. Pastore.

Distribution: Most of the analysed specimens of Polygala veadeiroensis (except Pastore & Suganuma 648 and Cardoso et al. 2531) are likely to be derived from the same stretch of c. 20 km along the GO-118 road between Alto Paraíso de Goiás and Teresina de Goiás, on the borders of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (CVNP). However, other populations are likely to occur inside the CVNP (Map 1).

Habitat: Polygala veadeiroensis occurs in rocky field areas, called campo limpo rupestre, in sandy soil; altitudes between c. 1,200 – 1,500 m. Fig. 3E.

Conservation status: Although Polygala veadeiroensis is likely to have a wider occurrence inside the area of CVNP (beyond the area estimated here), using the available data to determine the conservation status suggests the criterion VU (2B: a, b3) of IUCN (2012). The known area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 2,000 km2 (c. 228 km2) and because the only known habitat is quite near the interstate roads GO-118 and GO-239, a continued decline of habitat quality and quantity is anticipated.

Etymology: Polygala veadeiroensis refers to the Chapada Veadeiros region in the northeast of the Goiás State in Brazil.

J. F. B. Pastore. 2018. Polygala veadeiroensis (Polygalaceae), A New Species of Polygala endemic to Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás, Brazil. Kew Bulletin. 73:37.  DOI: 10.1007/s12225-018-9759-0

[PaleoMammalogy • 2018] Neoglyptatelus uruguayensis • A New Species of Neoglyptatelus (Xenarthra, Cingulata) from the Late Miocene of Uruguay Provides New Insights on the Evolution of the Dorsal Armor in Cingulates

Neoglyptatelus uruguayensis 
Fernicola, Rinderknecht, Jones, Vizcaíno & Porpino, 2018

DOI: 10.5710/AMGH.02.12.2017.3150

The genus Neoglyptatelus Carlini, Vizcaíno and Scillato-Yané has been considered a member of Glyptatelinae, a group encompassing the purportedly basal-most glyptodonts. It is up to now represented by two species from Colombia: Neoglyptatelus originalis Carlini, Vizcaíno and Scillato-Yané, from the middle Miocene (a carapace fragment, isolated osteoderms and postcranial bones), and Neoglyptatelus sincelejanus Villarroel and Clavijo, from the middle or late Miocene (a partial carapace and a caudal armor). More scarce material assigned to this genus was recovered from the late Miocene of Uruguay and Brazil. In this article, we describe a new species, Neoglyptatelus uruguayensis, from the late Miocene Camacho Formation, Uruguay, based on an almost complete carapace and several postcranial bones. We conducted a phylogenetic analysis based on 167 morphological characters (23 new ones and 144 from previous analysis) scored for 19 taxa, encompassing some of the best known glyptodontid genera, one pampathere and four armadillos (including the enigmatic genus Pachyarmatherium Downing and White). In the most parsimonious tree that was obtained, Neoglyptatelus forms a clade with Pachyarmatherium (Pachyarmatheriidae), which is the sister group of the glyptodonts + pampatheres clade; consequently, it is not a glyptodont, as previously believed. This result, together with the known stratigraphic and geographic distribution of Neoglyptatelus and Pachyarmatherium, suggests that this new cingulate clade originated in South America and that Pachyarmatherium reached North America during the Plio—Pleistocene. The carapace of Neoglyptatelus and Pachyarmatherium comprises pelvic and scapular shields overlapping each other without separate intervening transverse mobile bands, an arrangement that differentiates both genera from the remaining cingulates.

Keywords: Carapace, Movement, Pachyarmatheriidae, Glyptatelinae, Phylogeny, Caparazón, Movimiento, Pachyarmatheriidae, Glyptatelinae, Filogenia

Figure 2. Complete specimen of the holotype of Neoglyptatelus uruguayensis (MHNM 1642).
1, dorsal view; 2, lateral view; 3, life reconstruction.
Scale bar= 50 mm.

Order CINGULATA Illiger, 1811

Type genus. Pachyarmatherium Downing and White, 1995.

Genus NEOGLYPTATELUS Carlini, Vizcaíno, and Scillato-Yané, 1997
Type species. Neoglyptatelus originalis Carlini, Vizcaíno, and ScillatoYané, 1997

Neoglyptatelus uruguayensis sp. nov.

Derivation of name. uruguayensis; from Uruguay, to emphasize its geographic provenance.

 Juan C. Fernicola, Andrés Rinderknecht, Washington Jones, Sergio F. Vizcaíno and Kleberson Porpino. 2018. A New Species of Neoglyptatelus (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Cingulata) from the Late Miocene of Uruguay Provides New Insights on the Evolution of the Dorsal Armor in Cingulates [UNA NUEVA ESPECIE DE NEOGLYPTATELUS (MAMMALIA, XENARTHRA, CINGULATA) DEL MIOCENO TARDÍO DE URUGUAY PROPORCIONA NUEVAS PERSPECTIVAS SOBRE LA EVOLUCIÓN DEL CAPARAZÓN DORSAL EN LOS CINGULADOS]Ameghiniana. 55(3):233-252. DOI: 10.5710/AMGH.02.12.2017.3150

Resumen: El género Neoglyptatelus Carlini, Vizcaíno and Scillato-Yané ha sido considerado un miembro de los Glyptatelinae, un grupo que supuestamente incluye a los gliptodontes basales. Actualmente, está representado por dos especies halladas en Colombia: Neoglyptatelus originalis Carlini, Vizcaíno and Scillato-Yané, del Mioceno medio (fragmento de caparazón, osteodermos aislados y elementos postcraneanos) y Neoglyptatelus sincelejanus Villarroel y Clavijo del Mioceno medio o tardío (parte de un caparazón y coraza caudal). Osteodermos aislados asignados a este género fueron recuperados en el Mioceno tardío de Uruguay y Brasil. En este trabajo, nosotros describimos una nueva especie, Neoglyptatelus uruguayensis, del Mioceno tardío de la Formación Camacho, Uruguay, a base de una coraza casi completa y distintos elementos postcraneanos. Nuestro estudio filogenético se sustenta en 167 caracteres óseos (23 nuevos y 144 utilizados previamente) relevados en 19 taxones, que incluyen los géneros de gliptodontes mejor conocidos, un pampaterio y cuatro armadillos, incluyendo Pachyarmatherium Downing y White. En el árbol más parsimonioso obtenido Neoglyptatelus forma con Pachyarmatherium un clado (Pachyarmatheriidae) hermano del grupo formado por pampaterios + gliptodontes, por lo cual no es un gliptodonte como se sostenía previamente. Este resultado, junto al conocimiento estratigráfico y geográfico de Neoglyptatelus y Pachyarmatherium, sugiere que los Pachyarmatheriidae se habrían originado en América del Sur y que durante el Plio—Pleistoceno Pachyarmatherium arribó a América del Norte. El caparazón de Neoglyptatelus y Pachyarmatherium contiene un escudo escapular y otro pélvico que solapan directamente entre sí, sin mediar bandas movibles transversas; este arreglo morfológico es único entre los cingulados.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

[Crustacea • 2018] Eurindicus bhugarbha • The Discovery of Euryrhynchidae (Decapoda) in India, with the Description of A New Genus and Species

 Eurindicus bhugarbha
de Grave, Arjun & Raghavan, 2018

A new genus and species of Euryrhynchidae is described from Kerala, India. This freshwater shrimp family was previously only known from northern South America and West Africa. Although the inclusion of the genus in Euryrhynchidae is unequivocal (e.g. shape of the accessory ramus of the antennular flagellum, frontal margin of the carapace, telson ornamentation), the presence of a number of unique characters makes the relative placement of the genus within the family unclear, but likely basal to the other genera. The new genus can be easily distinguished from all others within the family by these characters, e.g. the upper antennular flagellum and its accessory ramus being joined over three divisions, the presence of a reduced carpo-propodal brush and a well-developed branchiostegal groove.

Keywords: Crustacea, Euryrhynchidae, systematics, subterranean, India, new genus

Order Decapoda Latreille, 1802
Infraorder Caridea Dana, 1852
Family Euryrhynchidae Holthuis, 1950

Eurindicus bhugarbha gen nov., sp. nov. Holotype, male (pocl 3.2 mm), BNHS CAR 1. 
 whole animal shortly after capture.

Eurindicus gen. nov. 

Type species. Eurindicus bhugarbha sp. nov., by present designation and monotypy.

Etymology. Eurindicus is an arbitrary combination of ‘Eur-’ the first three letters of the family Euryrhynchidae, and ‘-indicus’, from India, based on the geographic distribution of the genus, this being the first record of the family in India; gender masculine.

Eurindicus bhugarbha sp. nov.

Etymology. The species name ‘bhugarbha’ means underground in Malayalam, the native language spoken in the State of Kerala in southern India, used as a noun in apposition.

 Sammy De Grave, Charambilly Purushothaman Arjun and Rajeev Raghavan. 2018. The Discovery of Euryrhynchidae (Crustacea: Decapoda) in India, with the Description of A New Genus and Species. Zootaxa. 4462(3); 367–378.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4462.3.4

[Botany • 2018] Floral Evolution by Simplification in Monanthotaxis (Annonaceae) and Hypotheses for Pollination System Shifts

(c) Monanthotaxis couvreurii, flower showing basally fused stamens; (d) Monanthotaxis whytei, cauliflorous flower with nine hardly visible staminodes alternating with nine stamens; (e) flowers of Monanthotaxis poggei showing four petals and eight stamen, each in a single whorl; (f,g) Monanthotaxis diclina, female flower with one petal removed showing many carpels, and fruits showing multiple seeds per monocarp; (h) Monanthotaxis paniculata fruits with single seed per monocarp. 
in Hoekstra, Wieringa, Smets & Chatrou, 2018.   
— Photographs: (c,f–h) Thomas L.P. Couvreur; (d) Lubbert Y.T. Westra; (e) Bart T. Wursten.

Simplification by reduction has occurred many times independently in the floral evolution of angiosperms. These reductions have often been attributed to changes in reproductive biology. In the angiosperm plant family Annonaceae, most species have flowers with six petals, and many stamens and carpels. In the genus Monanthotaxis several deviations from this pattern have been observed, including flowers that contain three petals and three stamens only. New DNA sequences were generated for 42 specimens of Monanthotaxis. Five chloroplast markers and two nuclear markers for 72 out of 94 species of Monanthotaxis were used to reconstruct a phylogeny of the genus, which revealed several well-supported, morphologically distinct clades. The evolution of four quantitative and two qualitative floral characters was mapped onto this phylogeny, demonstrating a reduction in flower size and number of flower parts in Monanthotaxis. A large variation in stamen forms and numbers, strong correlations between petal size, stamen and carpel number, combined with a non-gradual mode of evolution and the sympatric co-occurrence of Monanthotaxis species from different clades suggest that the high diversity in the African rainforest of this genus is caused by switches in pollination systems.

Figure 1 Flower morphology of outgroups (a) and flowers and fruits of Monanthotaxis (b–h).
(a) Uvaria scabrida, flower showing many stamens and carpels; (b) Monanthotaxis bidaultii male flower showing three petals and three stamen; (c) Monanthotaxis couvreurii, flower showing basally fused stamens; (d) Monanthotaxis whytei, cauliflorous flower with nine hardly visible staminodes alternating with nine stamens; (e) flowers of Monanthotaxis poggei showing four petals and eight stamen, each in a single whorl; (f,g) Monanthotaxis diclina, female flower with one petal removed showing many carpels, and fruits showing multiple seeds per monocarp; (h) Monanthotaxis paniculata fruits with single seed per monocarp.
— Photographs: (a) Paul H. Hoekstra, (b) Ehoarn Bidault; (c,f–h) Thomas L.P. Couvreur; (d) Lubbert Y.T. Westra; (e) Bart T. Wursten.

Paul H. Hoekstra, Jan J. Wieringa, Erik Smets and Lars W. Chatrou. 2018. Floral Evolution by Simplification in Monanthotaxis (Annonaceae) and Hypotheses for Pollination System Shifts. Scientific Reports. 8(12066).   DOI:   10.1038/s41598-018-30607-2 1

'Small is Beautiful': floral evolution in Monanthotaxis, a tiny-flowered yet species-rich African genus of #Annonaceae. Just out in Scientific Reports, . @PirieMike @tlpcouvreur @timutteridge @RenskeOnstein @hsauquet_rbgsyd

[Botany • 2018] Bauhinia proboscidea (Fabaceae: Cercidoideae) • A New Species from Costa Rica and Panama, with notes on B. beguinotii, B. gorgonae and B. pansamalana

Bauhinia proboscidea P. Juárez, R. Flores & M.A. Blanco

in Juárez, Flores & Blanco, 2018. 

Bauhinia proboscidea, a new species from Costa Rica and Panama, is described and illustrated, and compared to the closely related B. pansamalana of southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. It is also compared with B. beguinotii, with which has been confused in herbaria. Bauhinia gorgonae, endemic to Gorgona Island in Colombia and which has been classified as a variety of B. beguinotii, is here considered a separate species. A key to the Neotropical species of Bauhinia with three fertile stamens is provided. Some observations on the morphology and reproductive biology of B. proboscidea are presented. Global-level assessments of the conservation status according to IUCN Red List criteria indicate that B. proboscidea and B. beguinotii (which was previously assessed using some misidentified records) should both be considered as species of Least Concern (LC), B. gorgonae should be considered as Endangered (EN), and B. pansamalana should be considered Not Threatened (NT). Country-level conservation assessments are also provided for all four species. The homology of the “intrastipular spines” of Bauhinia is briefly discussed.

Keywords: Central America, conservation, intrastipular spines, IUCN Red List categories, taxonomy, reproductive biology, Eudicots

FIGURE 2. Bauhinia proboscidea
A. Staminate flower. B. Perfect (hermaphrodite) flower. C. Apex of fertile stamens of staminate flower with incurved filaments and open anthers. D. Detail of perfect flower, showing recurved fertile anthers and pistil with incurved style. E. Detail of staminodes (red and yellow, with white abortive anthers), filaments of fertile stamens (dark red) and pistillode (green) in staminate flower. F. Immature fruits. G. Two-flowered inflorescence, with one perfect flower and one staminate flower; the perfect flower (left) has already shed its petals. H. Detail of stem node showing intrastipular spine with liquid secretion.
F from Flores et al. 3835 (PMA) by R. Flores; all other photos from Juárez 1241 (USJ) by P. Juárez.

FIGURE 1. Bauhinia proboscidea.
A. Fruiting branch. B. Perfect (hermaphrodite) flower; note recurved fertile stamens and incurved style. C. Staminate flower; note apically incurved fertile stamens. D. Apex of staminodes and bases of free portion of filaments of fertile stamens in staminate flower. E. Apex of fertile stamen filaments and anthers of staminate flower. F. Floral diagram of perfect flower. G. Pair of intrastipular spines at a node (leaf scar on opposite side of stem, not visible), with liquid secretion. A based on type specimen (Juaìrez 420, USJ, CR, MO); B–F based on photographs of Juárez 1241 (USJ).
Drawn by P. Juaìrez.

Bauhinia proboscidea P. Juárez, R. Flores & M.A. Blanco, sp. nov.

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the prominent staminal tube and the projecting pistil (the latter in hermaphroditic flowers), which together resemble a snout or proboscis of an animal. The recurved fertile stamens of hermaphroditic flowers also bear a superficial resemblance to the tusks of elephants Loxodonta spp., order Proboscidea).





Pedro Juárez, Rodolfo Flores and Mario A. Blanco. 2018.  Bauhinia proboscidea (Fabaceae: Cercidoideae), A New Species from Costa Rica and Panama, with notes on B. beguinotiiB. gorgonae and B. pansamalana.  Phytotaxa. 361(1); 25-40. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.361.1.2


Resumen: Se describe e ilustra Bauhinia proboscidea, una nueva especie de Costa Rica y Panamá, y se compara con la cercanamente emparentada B. pansamalana del sur de México, Guatemala y Honduras. También se compara con B. beguinotii, con la cual se ha confundido en los herbarios. Bauhinia gorgonae, endémica de la Isla Gorgona en Colombia, se considera aquí como una especie independiente de B. beguinotii, de la cual se ha clasificado como una variedad. Se brinda una clave para las especies neotropicales de Bauhinia con tres estambres fértiles. Se presentan algunas observaciones sobre la morfología y biología reproductiva de B. proboscidea. Evaluaciones a nivel global del estado de conservación de acuerdo con los criterios de la Lista Roja de UICN, indica que tanto B. proboscidea como B. beguinotii (que había sido previamente evaluada usando algunos registros mal identificados) deben ser consideradas como especies de Preocupación Menor (LC), B. gorgonae debe considerarse como En Peligro (EN), y B. pansamalana debe considerarse como No Amenazada (NT). También se presentan evaluaciones de conservación a nivel de país para las cuatro especies. Se discute brevemente la homología de las “espinas intraestipulares” de Bauhinia.

[Botany • 2018] Aphyllorchis maliauensis (Orchidaceae) • A New Species from the Maliau Basin, Sabah, Borneo

Aphyllorchis maliauensis Suetsugu, M. Suleiman & Tsukaya

in Suetsugu, Suleiman, Anthony & Tsukaya, 2018.

Aphyllorchis Blume (1825: 16) comprises approximately 30 species distributed from Sri Lanka, the western Himalayas, and China through Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines eastward to New Guinea and Australia (Hsieh et al. 2013, Tian et al. 2013). Aphyllorchis species are leafless and mycoheterotrophic, with erect, unbranched stems, racemose inflorescences, multiple resupinate flowers, petals similar to sepals but shorter and narrower and lips divided into hypochile and epichile (Tian et al. 2013). As in most other mycoheterotrophs (Suetsugu 2017, Suetsugu & Nishioka 2017, Suetsugu et al. 2017), the diversity of Aphyllorchis species could be underestimated since the short flowering season and inconspicuous habit make them easily overlooked in the wild (Hsieh et al. 2013).

Figure 1. Aphyllorchis maliauensis (from the holotype). A. Flowering plant. B. Flower.
Photographed by Kenji Suetsugu.

Aphyllorchis maliauensis (from the holotype).
Figure 2. A. Flowering plant. 
Bar = 3cm.

Figure 3. A. Flower and ovary. B. Flower. C. Lip and column. D. Dorsal sepal. E. Lateral sepal. F. Lateral petal. G. Lip. H. Column. I. Anther cap. 

A–B. Scale bar = 1 cm. C–H = 5 mm. I = 1 mm. 
Drawings by Kumi Hamasaki.

Aphyllorchis maliauensis Suetsugu, M. Suleiman & Tsukaya, sp. nov.  

Aphyllorchis maliauensis is similar to A. montana Reichenbach (1876: 57) but differs in having larger narrowly ovate to lanceolate sepals and larger lanceolate lateral petals.

Distribution, phenology, and conservation status:— Fewer than 10 individuals of Aphyllorchis maliauensis were observed at two locations in the wet understory of a kerangas forest in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, which is dominated by Agathis species and dipterocarps. In addition, only one individual of A. maliauensis was observed in the Imbak Canyon Conservation Area, Sabah, under a lowland dipterocarp forest. Aphyllorchis maliauensis flowers in mid-August in both populations. Furthermore, it is likely that A. maliauensis is distributed more widely because it seems to have sometimes been misidentified as the more widespread species, A. montana, which has similar gross morphology. For example, the Aphyllorchis sp. recorded as A. montana by Beaman et al. (2001; Sarawak, Borneo) and Wood (2003; Sabah, Borneo) appears identical to A. maliauensis, judging from their photographs.

However, the original descriptions and subsequent literature clearly indicate that there is little morphological variation in A. montana sensu Reichenbach (1876), despite its extensive distribution, which includes Sri Lanka, Assam, southern India, the Philippines, Borneo, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and Indonesia (Reichenbach 1886, Hooker 1890, Schlechter 1906, Ames 1908, Hayata 1911, Downie 1925, Fukuyama 1934, Roy et al. 2009, Aravindhan et al. 2013, Rao & Kumar 2015, Fig. 4). Because the morphological differences between A. maliauensis and A. montana are clear and stable, A. maliauensis should be treated as an independent species rather than as an infraspecific taxon of A. montana. Conducting additional surveys for A. maliauensis during the flowering season would reveal its precise distribution.

Kenji Suetsugu, Monica Suleiman, Florina Anthony and Hirokazu Tsukaya. 2018. Aphyllorchis maliauensis (Orchidaceae), A New Species from the Maliau Basin, Sabah, Borneo. Phytotaxa. 367(1); 85–90. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.367.1.10

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Telescopus pulcher • New Records of One of the Least Known Snakes (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Horn of Africa

Telescopus pulcher (Scortecci, 1935)

in Mazuch, Šmíd, Price, et al., 2018. 

Telescopus pulcher is an enigmatic colubrid snake only known from the holotype and paratype specimens described from ‘Migiurtinia’ in Puntland (Somalia) in 1935. Herein we recorded the third and fourth-ever known specimens of this species from the Toon village, Woqooyi Galbeed Region, and 15 km southeast of Sheikh, Saahil Region, Somaliland. The species is endemic to Somaliland and adjoining parts of Ethiopia and Puntland. Data on morphology and natural history, as well as the first photographs of live specimens are provided. We also provide a detailed description of the paratype. The coloration of the species resembles that of the vipers of the genus Echis and we hypothesize that T. pulcher mimics these common and sympatric vipers in the Horn of Africa.

 Keywords: Reptilia, Distribution, Somaliland, Migiurtinophis, Somalia, Tarbophis, Migiurtinia, Echis, Batesian mimicry

Photograph of live Telescopus pulcher. the juvenile (NMP 75609) from 15 km southeast of Sheikh, Somaliland.  

 Tomáš Mazuch, Jiří Šmíd, Thomas Price, Petra Frýdlová, Ahmed I. Awale, Hassan S. A. Elmi and Daniel Frynta. 2018. New Records of One of the Least Known Snakes, Telescopus pulcher (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Horn of Africa. Zootaxa. 4462(4); 483–496. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4462.4.2

Monday, August 27, 2018

[Paleontology • 2018] Invictarx zephyri • A New Nodosaurid Ankylosaur (Dinosauria: Thyreophora) from the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico

 Invictarx zephyri 
McDonald​ & Wolfe, 2018

   DOI:  10.7717/peerj.5435 
Illustration by Kara Kelley

Nodosauridae is a clade of armored dinosaurs with a rich fossil record and long history of study in North America. Nodosaurid fossils have been collected throughout the western United States and Canada. Here, we report three new nodosaurid specimens from the Upper Cretaceous (lower Campanian) Allison Member of the Menefee Formation, San Juan Basin, northwestern New Mexico. The three specimens belong to a new genus and species, Invictarx zephyri, characterized by a unique combination of features pertaining to the morphology of the osteoderms. Among the three specimens there are representative cervical/pectoral and thoracic osteoderms, as well as components of a probable co-ossified pelvic shield. The new tax on is most similar to Glyptodontopelta mimus from the Maastrichtian of New Mexico.

Figure 1: Stratigraphic occurrences of Invictarx zephyri and other ankylosaurs from the San Juan Basin.
Generalized stratigraphic column of Upper Cretaceous strata in the San Juan Basin, northwestern New Mexico, showing the stratigraphic positions of the nodosaurids I. zephyri and Glyptodontopelta mimus and the ankylosaurids Ahshislepelta minor, Nodocephalosaurus kirtlandensis, and Ziapelta sanjuanensis. Ankylosaur occurrence data are from Sullivan & Lucas (2015).
Nodosaurid silhouette by Scott Hartman (, and ankylosaurid silhouette by Andrew A. Farke (, both available from PhyloPic. Stratigraphic column is derived from data in Miller, Carey & Thompson-Rizer (1991), Molenaar et al. (2002), Sullivan & Lucas (2006), and Fowler (2017).

Illustration by Kara Kelley 

Systematic paleontology
Dinosauria Owen, 1842, sensu Baron, Norman & Barrett, 2017
Ornithischia Seeley, 1888, sensu Sereno, 2005

Thyreophora Nopcsa, 1915, sensu Sereno, 2005
Ankylosauria Osborn, 1923, sensu Sereno, 2005
Nodosauridae Marsh, 1890, sensu Sereno, 2005

Invictarx zephyri gen. et sp. nov.

Holotype: WSC 16505, incomplete postcranial skeleton including fragments of a dorsal rib, six complete or partial identifiable osteoderms (WSC 16505.1–WSC 16505.6), and fragments of additional osteoderms.

Referred specimens: Natural History Museum of Utah (UMNH) VP 28350, incomplete postcranial skeleton including three dorsal vertebrae, fragments of dorsal ribs, distal end of left humerus, distal end of left ulna, proximal ends of left and right radii, incomplete metacarpal, numerous incomplete but identifiable osteoderms, and fragments of additional osteoderms; UMNH VP 28351, incomplete postcranial skeleton including fragments of several dorsal centra, fragments of dorsal ribs, numerous incomplete but identifiable osteoderms, and fragments of additional osteoderms.

Etymology: Invictarx is derived from the Latin words invictus (“invincibleunconquerable”) and arx (“fortress”), in reference to the well-armored nature of ankylosaurian dinosaurs. The specific name, zephyri, is the genitive form of the Latin masculine noun zephyrus, “west wind,” in reference to the blustery conditions that prevail among the outcrops where the specimens were discovered. The full name may be translated as “unconquerable fortress of the western wind.”

Locality: All specimens were collected in San Juan County, New Mexico, on land administered by the U.S. BLM. Precise locality data are on file at WSC, UMNH, and the BLM.

Horizon: All specimens were collected from outcrops of the Juans Lake Beds (Miller, Carey & Thompson-Rizer, 1991) (Fig. 1), upper part of the Allison Member, Menefee Formation; lower Campanian, Upper Cretaceous (Molenaar et al., 2002; Lucas et al., 2005).

Specific diagnosis (as for genus by monotypy): nodosaurid ankylosaur distinguished by the following unique combination of characters: (1) observable on WSC 16505, UMNH VP 28350, and UMNH VP 28351 cervical/pectoral, thoracic, and pelvic osteoderms exhibit overall smooth surface texture, with little or no projecting rugosity, with abundant pits distributed randomly over the entire external surface, and with no neurovascular grooves or a small number of bifurcating and non-bifurcating neurovascular grooves distributed randomly, similar to Glyptodontopelta mimus but lacking the dense pattern of dendritic grooves that characterizes that taxon (Burns, 2008; Burns & Currie, 2014); (2) observable on WSC 16505 and UMNH VP 28351 some thoracic osteoderms exhibit a low, rounded keel with a deep groove extending craniocaudally along the apex, also present in the ankylosaurids Anodontosaurus lambei (Fig. 13G in Penkalski (2018)) and Platypelta coombsi (Fig. 13O in Penkalski (2018)) (P. Penkalski, 2018, personal communication), but absent in G. mimus (Burns, 2008); and (3) observable on UMNH VP 28351 probably possessed a co-ossified pelvic shield consisting of polygonal osteoderms of uniform size (Category 3 of Arbour, Burns & Currie (2011)), similar to some other nodosaurids, including Nodosaurus textilis (Lull, 1921), Stegopelta landerensis (Moodie, 1910), G. mimus (Ford, 2000; Burns, 2008), and Europelta carbonensis (Kirkland et al., 2013), as well as the ankylosaurid Aletopelta coombsi (Ford & Kirkland, 2001; Arbour & Currie, 2016).

The new nodosaurid I. zephyri provides further insight into the poorly known vertebrate fossil record of the Allison Member of the Menefee Formation. Although the known material is fragmentary, the osteoderms exhibit a unique combination of characters. The occurrence of Invictarx in the early Campanian of southern Laramidia aligns with previous hypotheses that nodosaurids were present in Laramidia throughout the Late Cretaceous, even as ankylosaurids suffered a local extinction and later reinvaded from Asia (Arbour, Zanno & Gates, 2016).

Andrew T. McDonald​ and Douglas G. Wolfe. 2018. A New Nodosaurid Ankylosaur (Dinosauria: Thyreophora) from the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico. PeerJ. 6:e5435.  DOI:  10.7717/peerj.5435

[Botany • 2018] Lectotypification of Thismia arachnites (Thismiaceae), A Mysterious Species Newly Reported for Thailand

Thismia arachnites Ridl.

in Chantanaorrapint, 2018. 

Thismia arachnites Ridl., previously known only from Perak, Malaysia, is newly reported in tropical lowland forest in south-eastern and peninsular Thailand. A detailed description and photographs are provided. In addition, a lectotype is also designated here.

Key Words: Distribution, mycoheterotrophic, Thai-Malay Peninsula, typification 

Fig. 2. Thismia arachnites Ridl.
A – C plants in natural habitat, A – B from Tarutao Island, Satun province, C from Khao Cha Mao Waterfall, Chantaburi province; D flower (side view); E longitudinal section of flower.
Photos: S. Chantanaorrapint.

Thismia arachnites Ridl. (Ridley 1905: 197). 
Type: illustration of Thismia arachnites, Malaysia, Perak Hills, tea gardens, Feb. 1904,
 drawn by H. N. Ridley (lectotype K!, selected here, Fig. 1).

DISTRIBUTION: Malaysia and Thailand. 
HABITAT AND ECOLOGY: In Thailand, Thismia arachnites was found growing on humus, in lowland evergreen forests; alt. 50 – 250 m.

Thismia arachnites Ridl.

Sahut Chantanaorrapint. 2018. Lectotypification of Thismia arachnites (Thismiaceae), A Mysterious Species Newly Reported for Thailand. Kew Bulletin. DOI: 10.1007/s12225-018-9765-2