Saturday, August 31, 2019

[Botany • 2019] Sapria myanmarensis • A New Species and A Newly Recorded Taxon of the Genus Sapria (Rafflesiaceae) [Contributions to the Flora of Myanmar IV]

Sapria myanmarensis Nob. Tanaka, Nagam., Tagane & M.M. Aung

in Tanaka, Nagamasu, Tagane, et al., 2019. 

In the course of our intensive floristic inventories for the flora of Myanmar, a new species of the genus Sapria (Rafflesiaceae), Sapria myanmarensis Nob. Tanaka, Nagam, Tagane & M.M. Aung is described and photographed. In addition, S. himalayana Griff. f. albovinosa Bänziger & B. Hansen is newly recorded in the country. A key to the species of Sapria presently occurring in Myanmar is provided.

Keyword: Burma, Inventory, Myanmar, Parasitic plant, Rafflesiaceae, Sapria myanmarensis, Sapria himalayana f. albovinosa

Fig. 1. Sapria myanmarensis (female flower) from the type locality (Mu Mu Aung & Aung Khaing Win MY3336) A: Fully opened flower. B: Side view of flower. C: Longitudinal section of a flower attached to a Tetrastigma root. D: Upper surface of disk and ramenta on collar. E: Inner surface of perigone tube.
 Scales: 3 cm for A, B and C; 1 cm for D and E. (Photographs: Mu Mu Aung).

Fig. 2. Sapria myanmarensis (male flower). A: Fully opened flower. B: Flower bud. C: Longitudinal section of flower. D: Central column viewed from the bottom showing stamens. E: Side view of central column and a tangential section of the disk from a flower bud.
Scales: 3 cm for A and B; 1 cm for C, D and E. 
Photographs: A–B, Mu Mu Aung, C–D, Win Nwe (Mu Mu Aung & Win Nwe MM140); E, S. Tagane (Tagane et al. MY1103).

Sapria myanmarensis Nob. Tanaka, Nagam., Tagane & M.M. Aung, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Similar to Sapria himalayana Griff., but it is distinguished from it by a combination of features including vermilion perigone lobes with white-colored warts distributed only basally, a shorter perigone tube (1.5–2 cm vs. 3–4 cm in S. himalayana), a flat central disk (not bowl- or pan-shaped), a greater diameter of the disk crest (4–4.5 cm in diam. vs. 3.5–3.9 cm in diam. in S. himalayana) and crateriform ramenta. 

Distribution: Endemic to Myanmar. Thus far known only from northwestern part (Kachin State and Sagaing Region). 

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the name of the country. 

Vernacular name (Myanmar): Taung Kyar, meaning “mountain lotus flower”.

Fig. 4. Sapria himalayana f. albovinosa (female flower).
A: Side view of flower. B: Fully opened, slightly senescent flower from the top. C: Central column and bowl-shaped disk. D: Inner surface of perigone tube (central column removed).
Scales: 5 cm for A and B; 2 cm for C and D.
 Photographs: N. Tanaka (Tanaka et al. 2813).

Nobuyuki Tanaka, Hidetoshi Nagamasu, Shuichiro Tagane, Mu Mu Aung, Aung Khaing Win and Phyu Phyu Hnin. 2019. Contributions to the Flora of Myanmar IV: A New Species and A Newly Recorded Taxon of the Genus Sapria (Rafflesiaceae). Taiwania. 64(4); 357-362. DOI: 10.6165/tai.2019.64.357

[Invertebrate • 2019] Polyclad Fauna of Agatti Island, Lakshadweep, India: New Records and Description of Two New Species • Pseudoceros agattiensis & P. stellans

Pseudoceros agattiensis
Bayyana,  Manjebrayakath, Saravanane & Sudhakar, 2019

The present paper deals with the first study of polyclad fauna from Agatti Island, Lakshadweep. Through this study, Pseudobiceors apricus, Pseudobiceros hymanae and Pseudoceros bolool are recorded for the first time from Lakshadweep waters while Pseudoceros bicolor is recorded for the first time from Indian waters. Description of two new species, Pseudoceros agattiensis sp. nov. and Pseuodoceros stellans sp. nov. is also provided with good quality photographs of external and internal details. Pseudoceros agattiensis sp. nov. is characterized by a brown to black background colour, with minute white spots, marginal band thick and black with minute white spots present at very edge of the margin, three dorsal longitudinal white bands, out of which, two are laterally branched. Pseudoceros stellans sp. nov. displays a brown background colour with a black marginal band and completely covered with lighter microdots and a unique pattern of white dorsal blotches. This study adds to the knowledge of Indian polyclads, which are still an understudied group from Indian waters.

Keywords: Platyhelminthes, Pseudoceros, Marine flatworm, Taxonomy, novel species

Pseudoceros agattiensis sp. nov. (in-situ Holotype [IO/IT/POY/00005]) from Agatti Island.

Pseudoceros agattiensis sp. nov. Dixit

Etymology: The specific name refers to Agatti Island in Lakshadweep, where type specimen was collected.

Pseudoceros stellans sp. nov. Dixit

Etymology: From the Latin stellans (adjective) — starry or star studded; for stars like appearance on dorsum.

Sharad Bayyana, Hashim Manjebrayakath, N. Saravanane and M. Sudhakar. 2019. Polyclad Fauna of Agatti Island, Lakshadweep, India: New Records and Description of Two New Species. Zootaxa. 4657(2); 246–260. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4657.2.2

[Entomology • 2018] Review of the Bamboo-feeding Genus Agrica Strand (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae), with Description of Two New Species from China

Agrica bisubula
 Luo, Yang & Chen, 2018

The bamboo-feeding leafhopper genus Agrica Strand (Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae) is reviewed. Two new species, Agrica bisubula sp. nov. and A. longispina sp. nov. from China (Guizhou), are described and illustrated. The male genitalia of A. arisana (Matsumura, 1914) are described for the first time. A key is provided to distinguish known species of the genus.

Keywords: leafhopper, morphology, taxonomy, distribution, Hemiptera

Qiang Luo, Lin Yang and Xiang-Sheng Chen. 2018. Review of the Bamboo-feeding Genus Agrica Strand (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae), with Description of Two New Species from China. Zootaxa. 4418(1); 75–84.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4418.1.4

[Botany • 2019] Euphorbia rimireptans (Euphorbiaceae, Articulofruticosae) • A New Species from the Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Euphorbia rimireptans Swanepoel, R.W.Becker & Alma Möller

in Swanepoel, Becker, Mӧller & de Cauwer, 2019. 

Euphorbia rimireptans, here described as a new species, is known only from the northern part of the Skeleton Coast (part of the Namib Desert) in the Kaokoveld Centre of Endemism, northwestern Namibia. These perennial shrublets grow on rocky outcrops of latite under harsh desert conditions. Diagnostic characters for E. rimireptans include the procumbent, sometimes pendant habit, the soft, rubber-like terete or slightly tapering branches that are curved or ± straight, frequently orientated in the same direction from the base, and the glabrous or sparsely hairy capsule, which releases verrucose ovoid seeds. A comparison of some of the more prominent morphological features to differentiate between E. rimireptans and its possible nearest relative, E. giessii, is provided. 

Keywords: endemism, flora, Kaokoveld Centre of Endemism, latite, Namib Desert, taxonomy

FIGURE 2. Euphorbia rimireptans. A. Staminate cyathia. B. Pistillate cyathia, in different stages of development. C. Capsule. D. Inflorescences, staminate plant. Photographs by W. Swanepoel.

FIGURE 1. Habit of Euphorbia rimireptans. A. Pendant. B. Procumbent, all branches orientated in one direction, showing grey base. C. Procumbent, branches intertwined. Photographs by W. Swanepoel.

FIGURE 4. Euphorbia rimireptans plant (foreground, centre) in its natural habitat. Photograph by W. Swanepoel.

Euphorbia rimireptans Swanepoel, R.W.Becker & Alma Möller sp. nov. 

Diagnosis:— Succulent shrublet up to 0.5 m in its greatest diam., similar to E. giessii, from which it differs in being procumbent, sometimes pendant (vs. erect, up to 0.8 m high); branches, shorter and thinner (up to 0.5 m long, 2.8–6.0 mm diam.), soft, rubber-like, terete or only slightly tapering [vs. longer and thicker (up to 0.8 m long, 4–12 mm diam.), rigid, firm, tapering]; leaf lamina not panduriform, of uniform thickness, glabrous (vs. somewhat panduriform, thickened towards apex, densely hairy at base adaxially); bracts dissimilar to the leaves, hairy adaxially at base only, otherwise glabrous (vs. bracts similar to the leaves, hairy adaxially); gland shape mostly variable on each involucre, oblong, oblong-elliptic, elliptic, reniform, ovate or flabellate (vs. gland shape uniform on each involucre, oblongelliptic, elliptic or sub-circular); staminate flowers with filaments glabrous, shorter (0.4–0.8 mm long), anther theca pale yellow [vs. filaments glabrous or with long hairs, longer (0.9–1.2 mm long), anther theca pale green]; capsule glabrous or sparsely hairy, rarely dotted, pedicel ± 0.6 mm diam. (vs. sparsely to densely hairy, seldom glabrous, conspicuously dotted, pedicel ± 1.1 mm diam.); seed verrucose.

Etymology:— The specific epithet is derived from Latin and refers to the habit of Euphorbia rimireptans: ‘rimireptans’ = creeping from rock fissures.

FIGURE 3. Euphorbia rimireptans plant that was pressed as the type specimen, showing subtuberous root. Photograph by W. Swanepoel.

Wessel Swanepoel, Rolf W. Becker, Alma Mӧller and Vera de Cauwer. 2019. Euphorbia rimireptans (Euphorbiaceae, Articulofruticosae), A New Species from the Skeleton Coast, Namibia. Phytotaxa. 414(4); 165–173. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.414.4.2


Friday, August 30, 2019

[Herpetology • 2019] Ansonia kyaiktiyoensis • Discovery of the Westernmost Population of the Genus Ansonia Stoliczka (Anura, Bufonidae) with the Description of A New Species from the Shan Plateau of eastern Myanmar

Ansonia kyaiktiyoensis 
Quah, Grismer, Wood,  Thura, Oaks & Lin, 2019

A new species of Ansonia is described from the Shan Plateau of Myanmar based on an integrative taxonomic analysis that differentiates it from all other congeners. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on the mitochondrial genes 12S and 16S rRNA and tRNA-val recover Ansonia kyaiktiyoensis sp. nov. as the sister species to A. inthanon from Thailand but differs from it and other congeners by at least a 5.0% sequence divergence. It is further differentiated by the following combination of morphological characters: (1) maximum SVL 24 mm in males and females; (2) first finger shorter than second; (3) absence of interorbital and tarsal ridges; (4) presence of light-coloured interscapular spot; (5) presence of yellow rictal tubercle; (6) absence of wide, light-coloured patch below eye; (7) presence of large, discrete, bright-yellow submandibular spots along the underside of lower jaw; (8) iris yellow-gold; (9) presence of markings on the snout consisting of streaks below the eye to the lip, and on the canthus rostralis to the nostril; (10) dorsum grey-brown with orange-beige spots, a dark-brown X-shaped marking on the back surrounding the interscapular spot, and dark-coloured markings on rump; (11) fore- and hind limbs with orange-beige cross-bars; and (12) venter light-gray with yellow spotting, especially near flanks and underside of hind limbs. Ansonia kyaiktiyoensis sp. nov. is the westernmost known record for the genus and the only species west of the Salween Basin. Its discovery echoes the increasing number of herpetological discoveries being made in upland regions fringing the Ayeyarwady and Salween Basins.

Keywords: Amphibia, Burma, endemism, amphibian, phylogenetics, systematics, montane, Ayeyarwady Basin, Salween Basin

Ansonia kyaiktiyoensis sp. nov.

Evan S. H. Quah, L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Jr. Wood,  Myint Kyaw Thura, Jamie R. Oaks and Aung Lin. 2019. Discovery of the Westernmost Population of the Genus Ansonia Stoliczka (Anura, Bufonidae) with the Description of A New Species from the Shan Plateau of eastern Myanmar.  Zootaxa. 4656(3); 545–571. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4656.3.11

Thursday, August 29, 2019

[Botany • 2019] Ceropegia jinshaensis (Apocynaceae) • A New Species from northwestern Yunnan, China

Ceropegia jinshaensis D.T.Liu & Z.K.Wu

in Wu, Cai, Cai & Liu, 2019. 

Ceropegia jinshaensis D.T.Liu & Z.K.Wu (Asclepiadoideae, Apocynaceae), a new species from northwestern Yunnan along the upper Yangtze river of China, is described and illustrated. This species is similar to C. meleagris H. Huber, C. dorjei C. E. C. Fischer and C. aridicola W. W. Smith, but can be distinguished easily by its leaf shape and floral features, especially the corolla shape and size, the interior of corolla tube and coronal characters.

Keywords: Apocynaceae, Ceropegia, new species, Yunnan, Yangtze River

Figure 1. Ceropegia jinshaensis sp. nov. A plant B flower with young follicles C leaf D corolla tube dissected showing corolla interior and corona position E side view of corona F front view of corona. Drawn by Rongmei Zhang from holotype.

 Figure 2. Morphological comparisons of Ceropegia jinshaensis and closely related species:
 A–F C. jinshaensis A plant B, C leaves and flowers D immature follicles E front view of flower showing pentagonal canopy F dissected corolla tube showing interior of basal corolla tube and corona
G leaves and flower of C. aridicola.
Photographed by Z.K. Wu.

Ceropegia jinshaensis D.T.Liu & Z.K.Wu, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: This species differs from the Nepalese C. meleagris by having heart-shaped leaves, a small and narrowed upper part of corolla tube, corolla lobes coherent at the top to form a pentagonal canopy and glabrous internal surface of corolla. It also differs from C. dorjei by having smaller corolla and differs from C. aridicola W. W. Smith by having a different shape of leaf apex, smaller flower, different corolla color and canopy structure.

Etymology: Ceropegia jinshaensis is named after its type locality, which lies along the Jinsha River.

Vernacular name: Chinese mandarin: jin sha jiang diao deng hua (金沙江吊灯花).

Distribution and habitat: Ceropegia jinshaensis is currently known from two localities in NW Yunnan and grows on the open stony slope of dry-hot valley along the Jinsha River dominant by Opuntia monacantha (Willd.) Haw., Vitex negundo L. thicket and with Hibiscus aridicola J. Anthony, Hemerocallis fulva (L.) L. and Munronia pinnata (Wall.) W. Theob.

 Zhi-Kun Wu, Jie Cai, Lei Cai and De-Tuan Liu. 2019. Ceropegia jinshaensis (Apocynaceae), A New Species from northwestern Yunnan, China.  PhytoKeys. 130: 41-48. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.130.34311

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

[Entomology • 2019] New Taxa of Crickets (Orthoptera: Grylloidea: Gryllinae, Phaloriinae and Pteroplistinae) from northern Borneo (Belait and Sandakan)

Tembelingiola belaitensis Tan, Gorochov & Wahab

in Tan, Gorochov, Wahab, et al., 2019. 

Three species new to science of the Gryllid subfamilies Gryllinae and Pteroplistinae are described from Brunei: (1) Mimicogryllus splendens Tan, Gorochov & Wahab, sp. nov., (2) Pteroplistes bruneiensis Tan, Gorochov & Wahab, sp. nov., and (3) Tembelingiola belaitensis Tan, Gorochov & Wahab, sp. nov. A new species of cricket of the subfamily Phaloriinae is also described from Sandakan, eastern Sabah: Vescelia sepilokensis Tan, Gorochov, Japir & Chung, sp. nov.

Keywords: Brunei Darussalam, new species, Sabah, taxonomy, Orthoptera

 Ming Kai Tan, Andrej V. Gorochov,  Rodzay Bin Haji Abdul Wahab, Razy Japir and Arthur Y.C. Chung. 2019. New Taxa of Crickets (Orthoptera: Grylloidea: Gryllinae, Phaloriinae and Pteroplistinae) from northern Borneo (Belait and Sandakan).  Zootaxa. 4661(1); 101–117. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4661.1.4

[Ichthyology • 2019] Gymnothorax andamanensis • A New Short Brown Unpatterned Moray Eel (Muraenidae: Muraeninae) from Andaman waters, India

Gymnothorax andamanensis 
Mohapatra, Kiruba-Sankar, Praveenraj & Mohanty, 2019

Gymnothorax andamanensis sp. nov., a new short brown moray eel, is described here on the basis of two specimens collected from Port Mout, Port Blair, South Andaman (11.659327°N; 92.696148°E), caught using baited hand-lines in a sandy habitat at a depth of less than 2 m. The species is characterized in having the dorsal-fin origin before the gill opening, pre-anal length 2.1–2.2, jaw pores with black rim, two branchial pores, predorsal vertebrae 3, preanal vertebrae 57 and total vertebrae 135–136, teeth smooth, three large fang-like median intermaxillary teeth, biserial maxillary and uniserial vomerine teeth, and dentary teeth biserial with two teeth in each side in the second row of the dentary. The new species is compared with all 10 short brown unpatterned moray eels known from the world and two from Indian waters.

Keywords: Anguilliformes, South Andaman, Pisces, new species

Anil Mohapatra, R. Kiruba-Sankar, J. Praveenraj and Swarup Ranjan Mohanty. 2019. A New Short Brown Unpatterned Moray Eel Gymnothorax andamanensis (Muraenidae: Muraeninae) from Andaman waters, India. Zootaxa. 4661(1); 189–196. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4661.1.11

[Botany • 2019] Diastema fimbratiloba (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species of Diastema from the eastern Andean Slopes of Peru

Diastema fimbratiloba Moonlight & J.L.Clark

in Clark & Moonlight, 2019. 

striking new species of DiastemaD. fimbratiloba, is described from Ucayali Region, along the eastern Andean slopes in central Peru. The new species has a fimbriate lower corolla lobe, a feature not previously documented in the genus. We also provide a general comparison of the newly described species and morphologically related species in the context of the taxonomy and phylogeny of the poorly known genus Diastema.

Keywords: Diastema, Gesneriaceae, Peru.

Diastema fimbratiloba Moonlight & J.L.Clark, sp. nov.
Photograph taken by P. W. Moonlight 
of the type collection in the field.

Diastema fimbratiloba Moonlight & J.L. Clark, sp. nov.
 A, Habit; B, dissected corolla tube, showing the androecium; C, abaxial view of the calyx lobes; D, gynoecium, side view; E, nectary and base of the gynoecium, side view; F, stigma, side view; G, anthers, bottom view. Scale bars: A, 3 cm; B–D, 6 mm; E–G, 3 mm. Illustration by C. Banks from the type collection.

Diastema fimbratiloba Moonlight & J.L.Clark, sp. nov. 

Etymology. The species is named for the distinctive fimbriations on the lower corolla lobe. Fimbriations are common in several genera of New World Gesneriaceae (especially Drymonia Mart.), but no currently known described species in Diastema is known for this feature. It is possible that other species of Diastema have fimbriate corolla margins (cf. note above regarding the population without collection from Atalaya, Peru), but this is a difficult character to evaluate from collections, because the flowers are delicate and ephemeral. As a result, corolla features in Diastema are not readily available on most herbarium specimens.

J. L. Clark and P. W. Moonlight. 2019. A New Species of Diastema (Gesneriaceae) from the eastern Andean Slopes of Peru. Edinburgh Journal of Botany: An International Journal of Plant Systematics and Biodiversity. DOI:  10.1017/S0960428619000192  

[Herpetology • 2019] Pristimantis nelsongalloi • A New Species of Terrestrial-breeding Frog of the Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Terrarana: Craugastoridae) from the eastern Andean Slopes of the southern Ecuador

Pristimantis nelsongalloi
Valencia, Valladares-Suntasig, Tipantiza-Tuguminago & Dueñas, 2019

A new frog of the genus Pristimantis is described from a montane cloud forest at 9 de Octubre (2°14’52” S, 78°16’37” W; 1778 m) province of Morona Santiago in the upper basin of the Upano River, southeastern Ecuador. The description of the new species is based on the examination of eleven adult males and three adult females. The new taxon can be readily distinguished from other congeneric species that inhabit the eastern Andes of Ecuador by the unique combination of the following characters: small body (adult males SVL 12.0–17.0 mm, adult females SVL 18.5–21.7 mm); skin of dorsum finely shagreen with two subconical scapular tubercles, weak and discontinuous dorsolateral folds in the middle of the back; large tympanum 70–93% of eye diameter; snout subacuminate in dorsal view, rounded in profile; upper eyelid bearing four or five small and flat supraocular tubercles; males lacking vocal slits and nuptial pads; all discs on fingers and toes lanceolate. Additionally, we provide information on the advertisement call and natural history of the new species.

Keywords: Andes, Ecuador, Pristimantis bicantusPristimantis nelsongalloi sp. nov., Craugastoridae, Anura, Amphibia

Pristimantis nelsongalloi sp. nov.

Jorge H. Valencia, Francisco Valladares-Suntasig, Luis Tipantiza-Tuguminago and Manuel R. Dueñas. 2019. A New Species of Terrestrial-breeding Frog of the Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Terrarana: Craugastoridae) from the eastern Andean Slopes of the southern Ecuador. Zootaxa. 4658(3); 509–525. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4658.3.4

[Herpetology • 2019] Noblella losamigos • A New Species of Terrestrial-Breeding Frog (Strabomantidae, Noblella) from the Upper Madre De Dios Watershed, Amazonian Andes and Lowlands of Southern Peru

Noblella losamigos 
Santa-Cruz, von May, Catenazzi, Whitcher, Tejeda & Rabosky, 2019

 We describe and name a new species of Noblella Barbour, 1930 (Strabomantidae) from southern Peru. Key diagnostic characteristics of the new species include the presence of a short, oblique fold-like tubercle on the ventral part of the tarsal region, two phalanges on finger IV, and an evident tympanum. The elevational distribution of the new species spans 1250 m (240–1490 m) from lowland Amazon rainforest to montane forest on the eastern slopes of the Andes. 

Keywords: amphibians; ecomorphology; miniaturization; systematics; taxonomy

Figure 3. Photographs of live specimen of Noblella losamigos sp. n. (A–C) Adult male paratype MUSM 37355 (SVL 9.5 mm). Photographs by Rudolf von May

Noblella losamigos sp. n.  

Diagnosis: A new species of Noblella characterized by (1) skin on dorsum smooth to finely shagreen, skin on belly smooth, discoidal fold absent, dorsolateral folds absent; (2) tympanic annulus visible below skin, with the upper portion (1/4) covered by a supratympanic fold; tympanic membrane evident; columella present (Figure 6); (3) snout short, rounded in dorsal view and bluntly rounded to subtruncate in profile; (4) upper eyelid with minute tubercles, cranial crests absent; (5) dentigerous process of vomers absent; (6) vocal slits present; nuptial pads absent; .... 

Etymology: The specific epithet is a toponym used in apposition and it refers to the type locality. Los Amigos Biological Station is located next to Los Amigos Conservation Concession, on the lower Los Amigos River watershed. Both the station and the conservation concession were established by the Amazon Conservation Association, which is a nonprofit organization that (along with its Peruvian counterpart, Conservación Amazónica—ACCA) promotes scientific research, education, and conservation in the western Amazon. 

Figure 4. Photographs of live specimens of Noblella losamigos sp. n. (A,B) Adult male paratype MUSM 37357 (SVL 10.3 mm). (C,D) Adult female paratype MUSM 37356 (SVL 9.7 mm).
Photographs by Roy Santa-Cruz.

Figure 8. Photographs of live specimens of Noblella losamigos sp. n. (A) Dorsal view and (B) ventral view of MUBI 17413, adult male paratype (SVL 9.6 mm); (C) dorsal view and (D) ventral view of CORBIDI 17520, adult male paratype (SVL 11.1 mm); (E) dorsal view and (F) ventral view of CORBIDI 17521, adult male paratype (SVL 9.6 mm).
Photographs by A. Catenazzi.

Figure 9. Photographs of live specimens of Noblella losamigos sp. n. (A) Dorsal view and (B) ventral view of MUSM 30427, adult female paratype (SVL 11.6 mm); (C) dorsal view and (D) ventral view of MVZ:Herp:292684, adult female paratype (SVL 13.2 mm); (E) dorsal view and (F) ventral view of CORBIDI 17522, adult female paratype (SVL 13.6 mm). Photographs by A. Catenazzi.

Roy Santa-Cruz, Rudolf von May, Alessandro Catenazzi, Courtney Whitcher, Evaristo López Tejeda and Daniel L. Rabosky. 2019.  A New Species of Terrestrial-Breeding Frog (Amphibia, Strabomantidae, Noblella) from the Upper Madre De Dios Watershed, Amazonian Andes and Lowlands of Southern Peru.  Diversity. 11; 0145. DOI: 10.3390/d11090145  
New species of minute leaf-litter frog from Peru - Catenazzi Lab

Monday, August 26, 2019

[Arachnida • 2019] Taxonomic Revision of the Colombian Tityus (Archaeotityus) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) Species: A Morphological and Morphometric Approach, with A Description of A New Species

Tityus tayrona Lourenço, 1991

in Moreno-González, González & Flórez, 2019. 

We present a taxonomic revision of the Colombian Tityus (Archaeotityus) species based on morphological and morphometric evidence. We examined more than 385 specimens and evaluated new and previously used qualitative and quantitative morphological characters. We redescribe the Colombian species and present morphological characters for both sexes and an emended diagnosis for the subgenus Tityus (Archaeotityus). We describe a new species Tityus guane sp. nov. from Santander department, Colombia, Tityus betschi Lourenço 1992 is synonymized with Tityus parvulus Kraepelin, 1914, and Tityus wayuu Rojas-Runjaic & Armas, 2007 is synonymized with Tityus tayrona Lourenço, 1991. We measured 186 specimens and performed a multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) for 34 selected morphometric ratios for each sex. We found that a few morphological ratios support species level distinctions within the Colombian species. We provide updated distributional maps with new records and an identification key for both sexes. Furthermore, we provide an updated checklist for the subgenus and a discussion about the character systems used within Tityus (Archaeotityus). The new morphological characters proposed and the traditional morphometry examined with a PCA are useful for studying Tityus (Archaeotityus) taxonomy.

Keywords: Arachnida, Scorpions, South America, Neotropical region, Scorpiones

Jairo A. Moreno-González, Ranulfo González O. and Eduardo Flórez D.. 2019. Taxonomic Revision of the Colombian Tityus (Archaeotityus) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) Species: A Morphological and Morphometric Approach, with A Description of A New Species. Zootaxa. 4660(1); 1–94.   DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4660.1.1

Sunday, August 25, 2019

[PaleoMammalogy • 2019] Casatia thermophila • A New Monodontidae (Cetacea, Delphinoidea) from the lower Pliocene of Italy Supports A Warm-water Origin for Narwhals and White Whales

Casatia thermophila
Bianucci, Pesci, Collareta & Tinelli, 2019

Illustration: A. Gennari.

A new taxon of monodontid cetacean, Casatia thermophila, gen. et sp. nov., is here described on the basis of a partial skull from lower Pliocene (5.1–4.5 Ma) marginal-marine deposits of Tuscany (central Italy). This new taxon belongs to Monodontidae based on the presence of a medial exposure of the maxillae anterior and lateral to the external bony nares; it mainly differs from all other named monodontids by the presence of a median depression of the premaxillae anterior to the premaxillary sac fossae and by a medial margin of the premaxillary-maxillary suture that does not parallel the anterolateral profile of the external bony nares. Our phylogenetic analysis, the first including all taxa of Monodontidae, recovers Casatia as a crown monodontid, more closely related to Delphinapterus than to Monodon and sister group of an unnamed taxon from the North Sea. The holotype of Casatia represents the first and only fossil monodontid from the Mediterranean Basin. Taking its place beside abundant fossils of strongly thermophilic marine vertebrates, such as the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, and the extinct sirenian Metaxytherium subapenninumCasatia thermophila represents the strongest evidence supporting the hypothesis that monodontids once thrived in low-latitude, warm-water habitats. On the basis of our phylogenetic reconstruction, early relatives of the extant monodontids might have adapted independently to the high-latitude, cold-water environments they currently master. The definitive disappearance of the Neogene thermophilic monodontids could be attributed to the cooling episode that accompanied the onset of long-term Northern Hemisphere glaciation around 3 Ma.

Life reconstruction of Casatia thermophila, gen. et sp. nov., swimming in the coastal waters off present-day Tuscany in early Pliocene times (5.1–4.5 Ma). Behind the cetacean, two individuals of the sirenian Metaxytherium subapenninum are approaching the shallow sea floor, likely attracted by the presence of abundant seagrasses. The coexistence of monodontids (C. thermophila) and sea cows (M. subapenninum) in the warm marginalmarine waters of the central Mediterranean Basin during the early Pliocene reflects the composition of the fossil vertebrate assemblage from Arcille, where a sirenian specimen was collected from the same horizon as the holotype of C. thermophila.
Illustration: A. Gennari

CETACEA Brisson, 1762
ODONTOCETI Flower, 1867

CASATIA, gen. nov.

Type and Only Known Species— Casatia thermophila, sp. nov.

Etymology— The genus name honors Simone Casati, prominent amateur paleontologist who discovered most of the fossil vertebrates from Arcille (the locality where the holotype of Casatia thermophila was found) and author of several academic and popularizing works on the Pliocene marine vertebrates of Tuscany (Casati, 2007; Bianucci et al., 2009; Cigala-Fulgosi et al., 2009; Oddone et al., 2009; Casati and Oddone, 2011; Collareta et al., 2017, 2018).


Etymology— The species name is from the Greek ‘thermós’ (= hot) and ‘philos’ (= loving), considering the warm-water habits of this extinct cetacean.

Map of the Northern Hemisphere showing the distribution of extant Delphinapterus (pink area) and congeneric Quaternary fossils (pink squares), extant Monodon (blue area) and congeneric Quaternary fossils (blue squares), and the extinct Casatia (arrow) and other Neogene monodontid genera (green squares).

Giovanni Bianucci, Fabio Pesci, Alberto Collareta and Chiara Tinelli. 2019. A New Monodontidae (Cetacea, Delphinoidea) from the lower Pliocene of Italy Supports A Warm-water Origin for Narwhals and White Whales. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.  DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2019.1645148