Wednesday, July 31, 2019

[Botany • 2019] Dichotomous Keys to the Species of Solanum L. (Solanaceae) in continental Africa, Madagascar (incl. the Indian Ocean islands), Macaronesia and the Cape Verde Islands

Solanum terminale Forssk. (African non-spiny Clade) B Solanum madagascariense Dunal (African non-spiny Clade) C Solanum mauritianum Scop. (Brevantherum Clade) D Solanum laxum Spreng. (Dulcamaroid Clade) E Solanum trisectum Dunal (Normania Clade) F Solanum diphyllum L. (Geminata Clade) 

in Knapp, Vorontsova & Särkinen, 2019. 
 Photos A, C, D, E, F, by S. Knapp B by M.S. Vorontsova.

Solanum L. (Solanaceae) is one of the largest genera of angiosperms and presents difficulties in identification due to lack of regional keys to all groups. Here we provide keys to all 135 species of Solanum native and naturalised in Africa (as defined by World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions): continental Africa, Madagascar (incl. the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius, La Réunion, the Comoros and the Seychelles), Macaronesia and the Cape Verde Islands. Some of these have previously been published in the context of monographic works, but here we include all taxa. The paper is designed to be used in conjunction with the web resource Solanaceae Source ( and hyperlinks provide access to online descriptions, synonymy and images (where available) of each species. All taxa treated and specimens seen are included in searchable Suppl. material 1, 2.

Keywords: Africa, Aldabra, Azores, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Comoros, cultivated plants, identification, keys, Madagascar, Madeira, Mauritius, La Réunion, Seychelles, Solanum, weeds

Figure 2. A, B Solanum wendlandii Hook.f. (Allophyllum-Wendlandii Clade) C Solanum tarderemotum Bitter (Morelloid Clade) D Solanum scabrum Mill. (Morelloid Clade) E Solanum pyracanthos Lam. (Leptostemonum Clade) F Solanum aculeastrum Dunal (Leptostemonum Clade) G Solanum nigriviolaceum Bitter (Leptostemonum Clade) H Solanum usambarense Bitter & Dammer (Leptostemonum Clade).
Photos A, B, F, G H by M.S. Vorontosova C, D, E by S. Knapp. 

Figure 3. A Solanum terminale Forssk. (African non-spiny Clade) B Solanum madagascariense Dunal (African non-spiny Clade) C Solanum mauritianum Scop. (Brevantherum Clade) D Solanum laxum Spreng. (Dulcamaroid Clade) E Solanum trisectum Dunal (Normania Clade) F Solanum diphyllum L. (Geminata Clade) G Solanum tuberosum L. (Potato Clade) H Solanum laciniatum Aiton (Archaeosolanum Clade).
 Photos A, C, D, E, F, G, H by S. Knapp B by M.S. Vorontsova.

 Sandra Knapp, Maria S. Vorontsova and Tiina Särkinen. 2019. Dichotomous Keys to the Species of Solanum L. (Solanaceae) in continental Africa, Madagascar (incl. the Indian Ocean islands), Macaronesia and the Cape Verde Islands. PhytoKeys. 127: 39-76. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.127.34326

[Botany • 2019] Recircumscription and Revision of the Genus Vanoverberghia (Zingiberaceae)

Vanoverberghia sepulchrei Merr. 

Vanoverberghia diversifolia Elmer.
Vanoverberghia sasakiana Funak. & H.Ohashi.

in Docot, Banag, Tandang, et al., 2019. 

The genus Vanoverberghia currently includes three species namely V. sepulchrei and V. rubrobracteata from the Philippines and V. sasakiana from Taiwan. New material targeting the Alpinia eubractea clade of the tribe Alpinieae was used to test the monophyly of Vanoverberghia. A combined analysis of the ITS and trnK/matK regions reveals that these three species form a strongly supported monophyletic clade with Alpinia diversifolia and Alpinia vanoverberghii. The morphological descriptions of all species were updated after examining recent collections and comparing with types and protologues. The original description of A. diversifolia did not include information on the flowers which are described here. The morphology of A. diversifolia and A. vanoverberghii is for most parts in accordance with the previous perception of the genus but a few characters are added and a recircumscription of Vanoverberghia is subsequently provided here. Vanoverberghia diversifolia is reinstated and A. vanoverberghii is combined in Vanoverberghia. Furthermore, collections from northern Luzon documents the presence of V. sasakiana and all species of Vanoverberghia thus occur in the Philippines. A key to the five species is provided including a comprehensive taxonomic revision and designation of three lectotypes.

Keywords: Alpinia; ITS; Lanyu; Luzon; new species record; trnK/matK

Vanoverberghia diversifolia Elmer.

Photo: D.N. Tandang.

Vanoverberghia rubrobracteata Docot & Ambida.

Photo: R.V.A. Docot.

Vanoverberghia sasakiana Funak. & H.Ohashi.

Photo: S.-W. Chung.

Vanoverberghia sepulchrei Merr.
 Photo: R.V.A. Docot.

 R.V.A. Docot, C.I. Banag, D.N. Tandang, H. Funakoshi and A.D. Poulsen. 2019. Recircumscription and Revision of the Genus Vanoverberghia (Zingiberaceae). Blumea. 64; 140–157.  DOI: 10.3767/blumea.2019.64.02.05  
J.H.B. Ambida, A.M.A. Alviar, P.S.A. Co, F.G.M. Concepcion, C.I. Banag and R.V.A. Docot. 2018. A New Species of Vanoverberghia (Zingiberaceae) from the Philippines.  Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plant. DOI:  10.3767/blumea.2018.63.02.07

[PaleoIchthyology • 2019] Scheenstia bernissartensis (Actinopterygii: Ginglymodi) from the Early Cretaceous of Bernissart, Belgium, with An Appraisal of Ginglymodian Evolutionary History

Scheenstia bernissartensis (Traquair, 1911)

in Cavin, Deesri & Olive, 2019. 

Lepidotes bernissartensis is a species of holostean ray-finned fish from the Barremian–Aptian of Bernissart, Belgium, described by Traquair in 1911. We provide here a revision of its anatomy, which led us to include this species in the genus Scheenstia, and to consider L. brevifulcratus and L. arcuatus, both from the same site, synonymous with S. bernissartensis. We performed two cladistic analyses in order to assess the phylogenetic position of S. bernissartensis and to do an updated appraisal of the evolutionary history of the ginglymodians. Scheenstia is included in the Lepidotidae, and placed in a pectinated position between the basal genus Lepidotes and the more derived members of the family (other species of Scheenstia, Isanichthys and Camerichthys). The nodes within the lepidotids are weakly supported. Although S. bernissartensis is not directly related to S. mantelli from the Wealden of Europe, the two species have similar palaeoenvironments and stratigraphical ranges. Taken as a whole, the ginglymodians experienced several episodes of diversification that are spatially and temporally restricted. The oldest episode involved basal ginglymodians and occurred in the Middle Triassic, in marine environments along the northern margin of the Tethys. A second episode affected the Semionotidae and occurred in freshwater environments of North America and Europe in the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. The remaining Semionotiformes, Macrosemiidae and Callipurbeckidae, ranged from the Triassic to the Early Cretaceous and were mostly marine. Among the Lepisosteiformes, two clades, the Lepidotidae and the Lepisosteoidi, show episodes of diversification, first in marine and then in freshwater environments.

Keywords: Lepisosteiformes, Lepidotidae, osteology, cladistic analysis, evolutionary history

Scheenstia bernissartensis. A–D, IRSNB P 1205, lectotype,
photograph of the specimen (A) and interpretative drawing of the skull (B);
photograph (C) and interpretative drawing (D) of the palate in ventral view. E, F, IRSNB P 1207, photograph of the specimen (E) and interpretative drawing of the skull (F).

Systematic palaeontology

Holostei Muller, 1844 (sensu Grande 2010)
Ginglymodi Cope, 1872 (sensu Grande 2010)

Lepisosteiformes Hay, 1929 (sensu L opezArbarello 2012)
Lepidotidae Owen, 1860

Scheenstia López-Arbarello & Sferco, 2011

Scheenstia bernissartensis (Traquair, 1911)

Lionel Cavin, Uthumporn Deesri and Sébastien Olive. 2019. Scheenstia bernissartensis (Actinopterygii: Ginglymodi) from the Early Cretaceous of Bernissart, Belgium, with An Appraisal of Ginglymodian Evolutionary History. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2019.1634649   

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

[Botany • 2019] Gentiana bolavenensis (Gentianaceae) • A New Species from Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area in southern Laos

Gentiana bolavenensis Nagah., Tagane & Soulad.

in Nagahama, Tagane, Souladeth, et al,, 2019. 
Wheed Bolaven | ຫວີດບໍລະເວນ || DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2019.47.2.02

A new species of GentianaGentiana bolavenensis (Gentianaceae) is described from Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area in southern Laos, with photographs, a vernacular name and a preliminary conservation status.

KEYWORDS:  Bolaven Plateau, flora, Gentianales, Indochina, taxonomy

 Figure 2. Gentiana bolavenensis Nagah., Tagane & Soulad.: 
A & B. habit; C. abaxial leaf surface; D. pale purple flower, top view; E. light pale blue flower, top view; F. flower opened; G. side view of flower bud; H. calyx opened out; J. outside of corolla opened; K. corolla opened out showing stamens; L. pistil.
Scale bars: H–L = 5 mm. H–L from Tagane et al. L2116 (FOF). 

Gentiana bolavenensis Nagah., Tagane & Soulad., sp. nov.

Gentiana bolavenensis is similar to G. ting-nung-hoae Halda and G. laotica, but differs from the former in having a larger size (9.5–18.3 cm tall in G. bolavenensis vs. 1–7(–10) cm tall in G. ting-nung-hoae), longer calyx tube and lobes (calyx tube 4 mm long, lobes 6–7 mm long, vs calyx tube 2.5 mm, lobes 2–3 mm long, respectively), longer stamens (ca 6 mm long vs 4–4.5 mm long) and shorter stigma (1 mm long vs 2–2.5 mm long), and from the latter in having light pale blue or pale purple corolla (vs whitish in G. laotica) and lanceolate, narrowly elliptic,oblanceolate leaves (vs obovate to obovate-oblong in G. laotica)

 Etymology.— The specific epithet refers to the Bolaven Plateau where we collected the plant.

Distribution.— Laos (so far known only from Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area; Fig. 1).

Ecology.— Three small populations each consisting of ca 20–30 individuals were found in the open grasslands on the top of Bolaven Plateau, at altitudes of 1,239 m, 1,260 m and 1,268 m (Fig. 2). From the latter two, we collected the above specimens.

Vernacular name.— Wheed Bolaven (ຫວີດບໍລະເວນ) (suggested here).

Ai Nagahama, Shuichiro Tagane, Phetlasy Souladeth, Anousone Sengthong and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2019. Gentiana bolavenensis (Gentianaceae), A New Species from Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area in southern Laos. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany). 47(2), 133-136. DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2019.47.2.02

[Entomology • 2019] Sinopyrophorus schimmeli • Sinopyrophorinae, A New Subfamily of Elateridae (Coleoptera, Elateroidea) with the First Record of A Luminous Click Beetle in Asia and Evidence for Multiple Origins of Bioluminescence in Elateridae

Sinopyrophorus schimmeli Bi & Li

in Bi, He, Chen, Kundrata & Li, 2019.

The new subfamily Sinopyrophorinae within Elateridae is proposed to accommodate a bioluminescent species, Sinopyrophorus schimmeli Bi & Li, gen. et sp. nov., recently discovered in Yunnan, China. This lineage is morphologically distinguished from other click-beetle subfamilies by the strongly protruding frontoclypeal region, which is longitudinally carinate medially, the pretarsal claws without basal setae, the hind wing venation with a well-defined wedge cell, the abdomen with seven (male) or six (female) ventrites, the large luminous organ on the abdominal sternite II, and the male genitalia with median lobe much shorter than parameres, and parameres arcuate, with the inner margin near its apical third dentate. Molecular phylogeny based on the combined 14 mitochondrial and two nuclear genes supports the placement of this taxon far from other luminescent click-beetle groups, which provides additional evidence for the multiple origin of bioluminescence in Elateridae. Illustrations of habitus and main diagnostic features of S. schimmeli Bi & Li, gen. et sp. nov. are provided, as well as the brief description of its luminescent behavior.

Keywords: China, mitochondrial genome, molecular phylogeny, new genus, new species, taxonomy

Figures 2–3. Habitus of Sinopyrophorus schimmeli Bi & Li, gen. et sp. nov. 
paratypes 2 male 3 female. a, dorsal view; b, ventral view; c, lateral view. 

Figures 4–16. Sinopyrophorus schimmeli Bi & Li, gen. et sp. nov. 
 Male 4 head (anterior view) 5 labrum and mandibles (dorsal view) 6 labium 7 maxilla 8 prothorax 9 scutellum (dorsal view) 10 mesoventrite (ventral view) 11 mesoventrite (lateral view) 12 tarsomeres II–IV (lateral view) 13 tarsal claw (lateral view) 14 hind wing 15 ventrites IV–VII 16 abdominal luminescent organ (pale area above ventrite I). a, dorsal view; b, ventral view; c, lateral view. Scale bars: 0.25 mm (4–11); 0.1 mm (12, 13); 1 mm (14); not to scale (15, 16).

Sinopyrophorus Bi & Li, gen. nov.

Sinopyrophorus He et al., 2019: 565
[nomen nudum; published without description, unavailable name according to the ICZN (1999, Art. 13)].

Type species: Sinopyrophorus schimmeli Bi & Li, sp. nov., here designated.

Diagnosis: Head with frontoclypeal region (Fig. 4) strongly protruding, longitudinally strongly carinate medially; antennomeres II and III short, subequal in length; clicking mechanism (i.e., prosternal process fitting into mesoventral cavity) fully developed; prosternal process straight in lateral view, pretarsal claw (Fig. 13) lacking setae at base; hind wing (Fig. 14) with well-defined wedge cell; abdomen with seven (male) or six (female) ventrites; large transverse luminous organ present on abdominal sternite II (Fig. 16); aedeagus (Fig. 20) with parameres arcuate and median lobe much shorter than parameres.

Etymology: The generic name is derived from the Latin prefix sino-, which means Chinese, and Pyrophorus, a bioluminescent click-beetle genus from Central and South America. Gender masculine.

Distribution: China: Western Yunnan.

Sinopyrophorus schimmeli Bi & Li, sp. nov.

Etymology: This species is named in honor of late Mr. Rainer Schimmel, a specialist in Elateridae, who kindly provided valuable comments at the beginning of this study.

Sinopyrophorinae Bi & Li, subfam. nov.

 Type genus: Sinopyrophorus Bi & Li, gen. nov., here designated.

Diagnosis: The molecular phylogenetic analysis (Fig. 1) and morphology (Figs 2–23) justify the establishment of a new monogeneric subfamily Sinopyrophorinae Bi & Li, subfam. nov. within Elateridae. Sinopyrophorinae are easily recognizable by the strongly protruding frontoclypeal region (Fig. 4), which is medially distinctly longitudinally carinate, antennomeres II and III subequal in length and together less than half as long as antennomeres IV–XI, pronotal hind angles (Fig. 8) acute, produced posterolaterally, prosternal process (Fig. 8c) straight in lateral view, tarsomeres III and IV (Fig. 12) with ventral lobes, abdomen with seven (male) or six (female) ventrites, with a luminous organ (Fig. 16) on sternite II, and aedeagus (Fig. 20) with a median lobe shorter than phallobase, and arcuate parameres.

 Wen-Xuan Bi, Jin-Wu He, Chang-Chin Chen, Robin Kundrata and Xue-Yan Li. 2019. Sinopyrophorinae, A New Subfamily of Elateridae (Coleoptera, Elateroidea) with the First Record of A Luminous Click Beetle in Asia and Evidence for Multiple Origins of Bioluminescence in Elateridae.  ZooKeys. 864: 79-97.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.864.26689

The first bioluminescent click beetle discovered in Asia represents a new subfamily via @Pensoft @EurekAlert

Monday, July 29, 2019

[Ichthyology • 2019] Knodus nuptialis • A New Species of Knodus Eigenmann (Characiformes: Characidae: Stevardiinae) from Rio Xingu Basin, Brazil, with Comments on Nuptial Tubercles and Gill Gland in Characiform Fishes

Knodus nuptialis 
Menezes & Marinho, 2019

Knodus nuptialis n. sp. is described from the Rio Curuá drainage, Rio Xingu basin, Brazil. It can be diagnosed from its congeners by having dentary teeth decreasing gradually in size posteriorly, outer premaxillary teeth row with five cusps, 12–15 branched anal-fin rays and a single humeral spot. The species presents notable sexual dimorphism consisting of densely concentrated nuptial tubercles on head, body, and fins, gill-gland, and bony hooks in the anal fin of mature males. It was found that these sexually dimorphic features are useful and functional in males of the new species only during the reproductive season and after this period, they become atrophied, and eventually disappear. The list of characiform species presenting breeding tubercles is updated and nine species and two genera of the Characidae, Deuterodon and Bryconacidnus, are for the first time reported to have breeding tubercles.

Fig 1. Type specimens of Knodus nuptialis. Brazil, Pará, Altamira, Rio 13 de Maio at PCH Salto do Três de Maio, tributary of Rio Curuá, Rio Xingu basin
 (A) holotype, preserved coloration, MZUSP 124829, 46.5 mm SL, male;
(B) paratype MZUSP 124828, female, 50.8 mm SL.

Knodus nuptialis, new species

Diagnosis: Knodus nuptialis can be distinguished from all congeners, except K. deuteronoides Eigenmann in Eigenmann and K. tiquiensis Ferreira and Lima, by having the dentary teeth arranged in a continuous series, with teeth decreasing gradually in size posteriorly (versus arranged in a discontinuous series with the anterior teeth conspicuously larger, followed by abruptly smaller teeth posteriorly). Knodus nuptialis differs from K. deuteronoides by having 3–5 (rarely 3) premaxillary teeth in the outer row (versus 2–3 (rarely 3)), 4 scale rows below lateral line (versus 3), the origin of the dorsal fin closer to snout tip than to caudal-fin base (versus dorsal-fin origin in the middle of the distance between snout tip and caudal-fin base), the origin of the anal fin posterior to vertical crossing base of last dorsal-fin ray (versus anal-fin origin anterior to vertical crossing base of last dorsal-fin ray in K. deuteronoides; data from [13], and midlateral dark stripe reaching humeral spot (versus not reaching, humeral spot with a pale area behind; data from [14]. The new species can be distinguished from K. tiquiensis by having a single humeral spot (versus two) and the relatively narrow midlateral stripe (versus broad stripe). Knodus nuptialis can be further distinguished from all congeners, except K. deuterodonoides, K. figueiredoi Esguícero and Castro, K. geryi Lima, Britski and Machado, K. meridae Eigenmann, K. orteguasae Fowler, and K. tiquiensis, by having 12–15 branched anal-fin rays (versus 16–26). It can be further distinguished from K. figueiredoi by having inner premaxillary teeth with 5 to 8 cusps (versus 3), from K. meridae and K. orteguasae by having 4 scale rows between lateral line and pelvic-fin origin (versus 2 ou 3) and from K. deuterodonoides and K. tiquiensis by the features aforementioned. The presence of densely concentrated nuptial tubercles in mature males may also help to diagnose the new species.

Fig 10. Type locality of Knodus nuptialis. Rio 13 de Maio, tributary of Rio Curuá, upper Rio Xingu basin at Serra do Cachimbo.

Fig 9. Geographic distribution of Knodus nuptialis.
 Rio 13 de Maio, tributary of Rio Curuá, upper Rio Xingu basin at Serra do Cachimbo, state of Pará, Brazil. Shaded area corresponds to rio Tapajós basin.

Etymology: The species name nuptialis is from the Latin meaning pertaining to marriage, in allusion to the presence of a series of sexual dimorphic traits (hooks, gill glands and nuptial tubercles) during the breeding season of this species. 

Distribution: Knodus nuptialis is so far known from the Rio 13 de Maio, tributary of Rio Curuá, upper Rio Xingu basin in the state of Pará, Brazil (Figs 9 and 10).

Naércio A. Menezes and Manoela M. F. Marinho. 2019. A New Species of Knodus Eigenmann (Characiformes: Characidae: Stevardiinae) with Comments on Nuptial Tubercles and Gill Gland in Characiform Fishes. PLoS ONE. 14(7): e0217915. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217915

Friday, July 26, 2019

[Crustacea • 2019] Faxonius bellator Systematics and Description of A New Species of Faxonius Ortmann, 1905 (Decapoda: Astacidea: Cambaridae) from the Red River System of Kentucky and Tennessee

Faxonius bellator 
Bloom, McCall, Schuster & Blanton, 2019

Screaming Eagle Crayfish  || DOI: 10.1093/jcbiol/ruy100 

Faxonius barrenensis (Rhoades, 1944) is endemic to the Green River system of Kentucky and Tennessee, USA and closely related to Faxonius mirus (Ortmann, 1931), which is restricted to Tennessee River tributaries in Tennessee and Alabama. A crayfish with morphological affinities to these species (Faxonius sp.) occurs in the Red River system (Cumberland River Drainage) of Kentucky and Tennessee. Whether the latter represents a disjunct population of F. barrenensis, F. mirus, or a distinct species, has not been tested. Whether the shared morphological traits reflect shared ancestry or convergence is unknown. We used molecular and morphological data, including two mitochondrial (COI and 16S) and two nuclear (28S and GAPDH) genes and a standard suite of phenotypic measurements to examine the phylogenetic relationships and the taxonomic status of Faxonius sp., relative to F. barrenensis, F. mirus, and other species of Faxonius Ortmann, 1905. All gene datasets recovered focal taxa as a clade, implying their morphological similarities likely reflect shared ancestry. In all mitochondrial and combined gene trees, Faxonius sp. was recovered as genetically divergent from F. barrenensis and F. mirus. Faxonius sp. is phenotypically distinguished from F. barrenensis and F. mirus based on several characteristics including shorter rostrum, longer abdomen, wider areola, and straight margins on both mandibles (toothed in F. mirus; toothed and straight in F. barrenensis); Form I males have a strong angular shoulder on the gonopod, in comparison to F. barrenensis. Given these findings, we describe Faxonius sp. as Faxonius bellator n. sp. Faxonius bellatorn. sp. has been collected at only four localities, suggesting it has a small range and warrants conservation concern.


Family Cambaridae Hobbs, 1942

Genus Faxonius Ortmann, 1905

Dorsal view of Form I male Faxonius bellator n. sp.
Photograph by C. Williams. 

Faxonius bellator n. sp.

Etymology: The specific epithet, bellator, is Latin for “soldier,” reflecting the new species being primarily found on Fort Campbell US Army Base.

Common name: Screaming Eagle Crayfish, named after the special designation presented to the 101st Airborne Division, whose headquarters are located at Fort Campbell US Army Base.

Erin T. Bloom, Brittany L. McCall, Guenter A. Schuster and Rebecca E. Blanton. 2019. Systematics and Description of A New Species of Faxonius Ortmann, 1905 (Decapoda: Astacidea: Cambaridae) from the Red River System of Kentucky and Tennessee, USA. Journal of Crustacean Biology. 39(1); 40–53. DOI: 10.1093/jcbiol/ruy100

Austin Peay-led research team names new crayfish species for 101st Airborne

[Crustacea • 2019] The Alpheid Shrimp Genus Nennalpheus Banner & Banner, 1981 (Malacostraca: Decapoda: Caridea) in the Tropical eastern Atlantic, with Description of A New Species from Gabon and New Records of N. sibogae (De Man, 1910) in the Indo-West Pacific

Nennalpheus sibogae (De Man, 1910)

in Anker, 2019. 

The alpheid shrimp Nennalpheus Banner & Banner, 1981, hitherto known only from a few records in the tropical western Pacific, is recorded for the first time from the tropical eastern Atlantic, as well as from the Indian Ocean. Nennalpheus gabonensis sp. nov. is described based on a single but complete male specimen collected in mediocre visibility conditions at 11 m depth on a rocky reef north of Libreville, Gabon. The new species presents a substantial number of morphological differences from the two other species of Nennalpheus, especially in the armature of the cheliped fingers. The previously known distribution range of Nennalpheus sibogae (De Man, 1910), the type species of the genus, is extended significantly to include the Central Pacific (Hawaiian Archipelago) and the Indian Ocean (Glorioso Islands in the Scattered Islands group, and Mayotte Island in the Comoro Archipelago). In addition, new illustrations of N. sibogae are provided, including the previously not figured mouthparts and high-quality, contrasting background colour photographs. Field observations indicate that Nennalpheus is able to produce a weak snapping sound by rapidly closing one or both chelipeds, a previously suspected, but never observed behaviour.

Keywords: Crustacea, Alpheidae, Nennalpheus, caridean shrimp, new species, new records, Atlantic Ocean, Central Pacific, Indian Ocean, coral reef, tooth-fossa system, snapping

Nennalpheus sibogae (De Man, 1910) 

Arthur Anker. 2019. The Alpheid Shrimp Genus Nennalpheus Banner & Banner, 1981 in the Tropical eastern Atlantic, with Description of A New Species from Gabon and New Records of N. sibogae (De Man, 1910) in the Indo-West Pacific (Malacostraca: Decapoda: Caridea). Zootaxa. 4646(1)87–100.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4646.1.5

Thursday, July 25, 2019

[Herpetology • 2019] Dipsadoboa montisilva • A New Species of Tree Snake (Dipsadoboa, Serpentes: Colubridae) from ‘Sky Island’ Forests in northern Mozambique, with Notes on other Members of the Dipsadoboa werneri group

Dipsadoboa montisilva Branch, Conradie & Tolley

in Branch, Bayliss, Bittencourt-Silva, Conradie, Engelbrecht, et al., 2019. 

A new species of tree snake Dipsadoboa montisilva Branch, Conradie & Tolley sp. nov. (Serpentes: Colubridae) is described from the ‘sky islands’ of Mount Mabu and Mount Ribáuè in northern Mozambique. Features of scalation, colour, body form and habitat distinguish the new species from other Dipsadoboa. This is supported by a phylogenetic analysis using one mitochondrial marker (cytochrome b) that shows the new Mozambican species is divergent from other sampled Dipsadoboa, including D. flavida and D. aulica, the only congeners known to occur in Mozambique. Morphologically, the new Dipsadoboa forms part of the D. werneri-shrevei complex from east and southeast Africa, but differs in having higher subcaudal counts, a different temporal pattern and only two supralabials entering the orbit. Phylogenetically, it occurs in a clade with D. shrevei and D. werneri. The status of D. shrevei in East Africa is reassessed, particularly in terms of the poorly-known Dipsadoboa shrevei kageleri from northern Tanzania. It is morphologically well defined from D. shrevei shrevei and utilises a different habitat. Although based on limited genetic data, it appears to be well-defined from typical D. shrevei and is accordingly raised to specific status. The only Tanzanian record for typical D. shrevei from Mtene, Rondo Plateau in southeast Tanzania is well isolated from the species’ range to the west (e.g. Zambia, Angola) and the published scalation features, particularly ventral counts, do not fully accord with D. shrevei. The Rondo Plateau population is treated as Dipsadoboa incerta sedis, and because we return D. shrevei to its binomial status, we can no longer consider D. shrevei as occurring in Tanzania. Biogeographically, the Rondo Plateau population may have a stronger affinity to the new Mozambican species. The discovery of isolated populations of the new species in mid-altitude forest remnants on Mt Mabu and Mt Ribáuè emphasizes the high conservation importance of the Mozambique forest ‘sky islands’ from which numerous other endemic new species have been recently discovered. These species are impacted by ongoing habitat destruction through slash and burn clearing for subsistence agriculture.

Keywords: Reptilia, Dipsadoboa, Serpentes, Colubridae

Dipsadoboa montisilva sp. nov. Holotype, adult male, PEM R21122,
Mt Mabu Forest Base Camp, Zambezia Province, Mozambique. 
whole body in life, showing uniform olive-brown dorsal coloration and showing the weakly-keeled orange ventrals, whose coloration suffuses onto the three adjacent lateral body scale rows. 

Dipsadoboa montisilva Branch, Conradie & Tolley sp. nov. 
Montane Forest Tree Snake

Synonymy: Dipsadoboa sp. (Timberlake et al. 2012; Bayliss et al. 2014) 
Dipsadoboa cf. shrevei (Conradie et al. 2016).

Etymology. The name is derived from the Latin words ‘montem’ = mountain and ‘silva’= forest, which is in reference to the isolated mountain forest habitat in which it is found on Mt Mabu, Zambezia Province, Mozambique. The name is in the masculine form.

 William R. Branch, Julian Bayliss, Gabriela B. Bittencourt-Silva, Werner Conradie, Hanlie M. Engelbrecht, Simon P. Loader, Michele Menegon, Cristóvão Nanvonamuquitxo and Krystal A. Tolley. 2019. A New Species of Tree Snake (Dipsadoboa, Serpentes: Colubridae) from ‘Sky Island’ Forests in northern Mozambique, with Notes on other Members of the Dipsadoboa werneri group. Zootaxa. 4646(3); 541–563. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4646.3.6
 Werner Conradie, Gabriela Bittencourt-Silva, Hanlie M. Engelbrecht, Simon P. Loader, Michele Menegon, Cristóvão Nanvonamuquitxo , Michael Scott and Krystal A. Tolley. 2016. Exploration into the hidden world of Mozambique’s sky island forests: new discoveries of reptiles and amphibians. Zoosystematics and Evolution. 92(2): 163-180. DOI: 10.3897/zse.92.9948

[Botany • 2019] Camellia chinmeii (Theaceae) • A New Species of Camellia sect. Paracamellia in Taiwan

 Camellia chinmeii S.L. Lee & T.Y.A. Yang

in Lee & Yang, 2019.
 DOI: 10.6165/tai.2019.64.321
A new species of Camellia chinmeii S.L. Lee & T.Y.A. Yang (Theaceae; sect. Paracamellia Sealy) is described. Camellia chinmeii has sessile flowers, six to ten perules, four or five white, early deciduous petals, yellow radiating stamens separate to the base or nearly so, style 6-7 mm long and fused 1/2 to 2/3 from the base, densely tomentose ovary. The fruit is a globose, beaked or unbeaked capsule.

Keyword: Camellia chinmeii, New species, Section Paracamellia, Theaceae, Taiwan

Fig. 1. Camellia chinmeii S.L. Lee & T.Y.A. Yang.
A. Habit; B. leaf, adaxial surface; C-G. perules; H-J. petals; K. stamens and carpel, moving out tepals; L. style and stigma; M-P. fruits, M. immatured, olive colour, N-P. matured, brown colour, P. seeds.

Fig. 2. Camellia chinmeii S.L. Lee & T.Y.A. Yang.
A. Ms. Chin-Mei Hung stood in front of the tree of C. chinmeii in field; B. flower; C. fruit opening with the seeds inside; D. fruit; E. style and stigma; F. stamens; G. perules, petals and stamens, from left to right. (Photos, A, B, C, D taken by Shih-Lin Lee, and E, F, G taken and arranged by Yi-Fu Wang)

Camellia chinmeii S.L. Lee & T.Y.A, Yang, sp. nov. 

Diagnosis: Similar to Camelia brevistyla, but differing in having fewer stamens, fewer filaments free from each other, longer styles and smaller fruit. It is also similar to Camellia confusa, but has smaller leaves and flowers, fewer stamens and smaller fruit. It is also similar to Camellia hengchuensis, but has thin leaves and globose fruit. It is also similar to Camellia kissi, but differs in having the filaments free from each, longer styles and globose fruit.

Distribution and ecology: Endemic to Taiwan. Camellia chinmeii mainly occurs in mountainous areas between 2000 and 2350 m on gentle slopes in forests on Mt. Weishangshan, Nantou County, in central Taiwan.

 Etymology: The specific epithet, chinmeii, honors Ms. Chin-Mei Hung, wife of the first author, who first recognized Camellia chinmeii as a new taxon in 2010; she passed away during a field trip on 6 December 2014.


Shih-Lin Lee and Tsung Yu Aleck Yang. 2019. Camellia chinmeii, A New Species of Camellia sect. Paracamellia in Taiwan. Taiwania. 64(3); 321-325.  DOI: 10.6165/tai.2019.64.321


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

[Botany • 2019] Rhaptopetalum rabiense (Lecythidaceae) • A New Species of Rhaptopetalum from south-western Gabon

Rhaptopetalum rabiense  Kenfack & Nguema

in Kenfack & Nguema, 2019.

Rhaptopetalum rabiense Kenfack & Nguema, sp. nov. from the Rabi forest in south-western Gabon is described, illustrated and assigned a provisional conservation status of “Critically Endangered”. An identification key to the five Gabonese species of Rhaptopetalum is also provided.

Keywords: ForestGEO, Gabon, IUCN Red List, new species, permanent plot, Rabi, rainforest, taxonomy

Figure 1. Rhaptopetalum rabiense 
A flowering twig B close-up of the lower surface showing the indumentum and the punctate lamina C detail of inflorescence and stem showing lenticels D flower bud E opened flower F flower with pseudocorolla and stamens removed showing superior ovary G longitudinal section of F showing pendulous ovules H fruiting branch. 

Figure 2. Rhaptopetalum rabiense 
A flowering branch B lateral view of the flower C flower view from above showing the poricidal anthers and the gynoecium D fruiting branch. Photographs by Diosdado Nguema.

Rhaptopetalum rabiense Kenfack & Nguema, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Rhaptopetalum rabiense is similar to R. belingense by its dome-shaped ovary, its entire calyx margin, its apex placentation and smooth fruits, but differs by its pubescent (vs. glabrous) young branches, its longer pedicel (5–7 mm vs. 3 mm) articulated 1 mm below the calyx (vs. articulated directly below the calyx), and its uni-ovulated loci (vs. multi-ovulated) (Table 1).

 David Kenfack and Diosdado Ekomo Nguema. 2019. A New Species of Rhaptopetalum (Lecythidaceae) from south-western Gabon. PhytoKeys. 128: 39-46. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.128.34640

[Herpetology • 2019] Hemidactylus varadgirii • A Novel Member of the Hemidactylus brookii complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India

Hemidactylus varadgirii 
 Chaitanya, Agarwal, Lajmi & Khandekar, 2019

A new rupicolous gecko from the Hemidactylus brookii complex is described from the forests and plateaus of Amboli, in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. This medium sized (average adult SVL 56.2±5.0 to at least 62 mm), nocturnal species is superficially similar to other congeners from the ‘H. brookii’ clade, but can be distinguished from them in having 17 or 18 fairly regular longitudinal rows of enlarged, conical, keeled tubercles at midbody, extending from posterior part of the head to groin; tubercles in parasagittal rows smaller, feebly keeled and more rounded; approximately six rows of tubercles on either side of parasagittal tubercle rows, highly enlarged, remarkably conical and strongly keeled; lamellae divided in a straight transverse series—seven or eight lamellae beneath fourth digit (manus and pes) and five or six beneath first digit (manus and pes). Males with nine or ten (rarely eight) femoral pores separated by four or five poreless scales; supralabials 11–13; infralabials 8–11. Molecular data based on the mitochondrial ND2 gene supports the distinctiveness of this species and helps ascertain its phylogenetic position within the ‘H. brookii’ group of the Indian Hemidactylus radiation.

Keywords: Reptilia, Hemidactylus brookii complex, H. murrayi clade, cryptic species, Amboli

R. Chaitanya, Ishan Agarwal, Aparna Lajmi and Akshay Khandekar. 2019. A Novel Member of the Hemidactylus brookii complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India. Zootaxa. 4646(2); 236–250.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4646.2.2