Sunday, May 16, 2021

[Paleontology • 2021] Niche Partitioning shaped Herbivore Macroevolution through the early Mesozoic

in Singh, Elsler, Stubbs, ... et Benton, 2021. 

The Triassic (252–201 Ma) marks a major punctuation in Earth history, when ecosystems rebuilt themselves following the devastating Permian-Triassic mass extinction. Herbivory evolved independently several times as ecosystems comprising diverse assemblages of therapsids, parareptiles and archosauromorphs rose and fell, leading to a world dominated by dinosaurs. It was assumed that dinosaurs prevailed either through long-term competitive replacement of the incumbent clades or rapidly and opportunistically following one or more extinction events. Here we use functional morphology and ecology to explore herbivore morphospace through the Triassic and Early Jurassic. We identify five main herbivore guilds (ingestion generalists, prehension specialists, durophagous specialists, shearing pulpers, and heavy oral processors), and find that herbivore clades generally avoided competition by almost exclusively occupying different guilds. Major ecosystem remodelling was triggered multiple times by external environmental challenges, and previously dominant herbivores were marginalised by newly emerging forms. Dinosaur dominance was a mix of opportunity following disaster, combined with competitive advantage in their new world.

Suresh A. Singh, Armin Elsler, Thomas L. Stubbs, Russell Bond, Emily J. Rayfield and Michael J. Benton. 2021. Niche Partitioning shaped Herbivore Macroevolution through the early Mesozoic. Nature Communications. 12: 2796. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-23169-x

[Paleontology • 2021] Parioscorpio venator Stranger than A Scorpion: A Reassessment of A problematic Arthropod from the Llandoverian Waukesha Lagerstätte, Wisconsin, USA


Parioscorpio venator  Wendruff, Babcock, Wirkner, Kluessendorf & Mikulic, 2020

in Anderson, Schiffbauer, Jacquet, ... et Mikulic, 2021. 
A relatively uncommon arthropod of the Waukesha lagerstätte, Parioscorpio venator, is redescribed as an arthropod bearing a combination of characters that defy ready classification. Diagnostic features include sub‐chelate ‘great appendages’, a lack of antennae, multiramous anterior trunk appendages, filamentous fan‐like rear trunk appendages, and apparently thin and poorly preserved pleural fields. Phylogenetic analysis resolves this organism as basal to crown‐group Mandibulata and Chelicerata, but its exact placement is inconclusive. Thus, we compare its morphology to several stem groups of arthropods in a discussion of its plausible taxonomic affinities. The examined specimens are probably carcasses and preserve a variety of soft‐tissue details, including muscle blocks in the head, eyes and eye facets, likely ventral nerve cords, a central gut tract and trunk legs with multiple filamentous elements organized into stiff bundles. The preservation habits of P. venator are characterized and compared to previous assessments of Waukesha lagerstätte taxa. Four preservation habits are observed: a phosphatized habit showing flattened to partly three‐dimensional mineralization in francolite; a mouldic habit largely left behind by removed francolite that shows no carbon enrichment despite a darkened colour; sheet‐like or speckled carbonaceous compressions; and scattered pyrite crystals. This redescription highlights both the palaeobiological value of ‘small’ lagerstätten typical of the middle Palaeozoic and the caution that must be taken when interpreting their more enigmatic constituents.

Keywords: stem‐group Arthropoda, taphonomy, phosphatization, nerve cord, appendage, morphology, tagma

Specimens upon which the rediagnosis and redescription of Parioscorpio venator Wendruff et al., 2020 are primarily based.
A, UWGM2793, a nearly complete specimen with an entire left great appendage. B, UWGM2785, a specimen with all cephalic appendages intact, including both great appendages, which are nearly complete; note that the posterior portion of the body is still buried beneath the matrix. C, UWGM2764, paratype and counterpart to UWGM2163, preserved as a thin film with the right great appendage barely visible on the upper right; no trunk appendages are preserved, which makes the posterior constriction of the axial trunk easy to see compared to other specimens. D–E, part and counterpart of UWGM2857, a nearly complete specimen with numerous head and trunk details.

F–G, part and counterpart of UWGM2854, which preserves many three‐dimensional limbs, but whose head is cut off by the border of the matrix. H, UWGM2798, a largely mouldic specimen showing excellent preservation of the cephalic appendages, including two complete great appendages. I–J, part and counterpart of UWGM2885, a nearly complete specimen which shows limited three‐dimensional preservation, but preserves many walking legs as dark compressions. All scale bars represent 5 mm.

Reconstructions of the morphology of Parioscorpio venator.
 A, whole body, from a three‐quarters dorsal view; note that the limbs can be seen through the thin, translucent tergopleural cuticle; the tentative preservation of the tergopleurae in most specimens raises this possibility. B, focus on the great appendage and second cephalic appendage and their attachment to the head; the reconstruction shows slight lateral displacement of the limbs to better envision their bases; note that the sclerotized portion of the first article of the great appendage is contained within a translucent membrane. C, illustration showing our reconstruction of a standard trunk limb; limb rami are labelled in roman (with alternative interpretations in smaller font), while individual filamentous bundles on the endopod and endopodal exite/exopod are labelled in italics; the exact proportions of the limb components vary based on the limb's placement on the body; this illustrated limb, with the racemose filamentous bundle considerably longer than the exopod/epipod or the walking portion of the endopod, is from the middle of the trunk.
© 2021 The Curators of the University of Missouri, a public corporation.

Evan P. Anderson, James D. Schiffbauer, Sarah M. Jacquet, James C. Lamsdell, Joanne Kluessendorf  and Donald G. Mikulic. 2021. Stranger than A Scorpion: A Reassessment of Parioscorpio venator, A problematic Arthropod from the Llandoverian Waukesha Lagerstätte. Palaeontology. DOI: 10.1111/pala.12534

Genus Parioscorpio gen. nov. 
Etymology. From Latin, pario, progenitor, and scorpio, scorpion.

Parioscorpio venator gen. et sp. nov. 
 Etymology. From Latin, venator, hunter. 
Types. Holotype, University of Wisconsin Geology Museum, Madison, Wisconsin, UWGM 2162. Paratype, UWGM 2163. Location. Waukesha Lime and Stone Company west quarry, north of State Highway 164, Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA.
 Horizon. Lower part of the Brandon Bridge Formation (Silurian: Llandovery, Telychian).

Andrew J. Wendruff, Loren E. Babcock, Christian S. Wirkner, Joanne Kluessendorf and Donald G. Mikulic. 2020. A Silurian ancestral scorpion with fossilised internal anatomy illustrating a pathway to arachnid terrestrialisation.  Scientific Reports. 10: 14. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-56010-z

Saturday, May 15, 2021

[Mollusca • 2021] Taxonomic Revision of A Radiation of South-east Asian Freshwater Mussels (Unionidae: Gonideinae: Contradentini + Rectidentini)

in Pfeiffer, Graf, Cummings & Page, 2021. 

The tribes Contradentini and Rectidentini (Unionidae) comprise a diverse clade of freshwater mussels endemic to South-east Asia. Our understanding of the diversity and phylogeny of this radiation has improved dramatically in recent years, but this systematic transformation has not yet benefited from comprehensive museum sampling or phylogenomic methods. A synthetic taxonomic revision of the Contradentini+Rectidentini that leverages these useful and accessible methods is needed. We set out to (1) generate a phylogenomic reconstruction of the supraspecific relationships of the Contradentini+Rectidentini using anchored hybrid enrichment, (2) revise the taxonomy and geographic boundaries of the generic and species-level diversity of the radiation, and (3) identify patterns of freshwater mussel diversity and distribution in this clade and discuss the processes that may have precipitated them. Our phylogenomic reconstruction using over 1600 loci, with a total alignment length of over a half a million nucleotides, recovers a well supported phylogeny of the clade that resolves four independent multispecies radiations endemic to the Mekong drainage. We examined, digitised, and imaged 1837 records from 15 natural history museums that provided the necessary data to document the morphological variation and geographic distributions of the focal taxa. We also analysed 860 COI sequences, 519 of which were generated in this study, to better understand the species boundaries and geographic distributions of the recovered clades. We recognise 54 valid species in the tribes Contradentini and Rectidentini, including 9 described herein as new to science. Out of this revision emerged several interesting biogeographic patterns that appear to have resulted from recent stream capture, historical confluence, and intradrainage barriers to dispersal. We hypothesise that these phenomena shaped the diversity and distribution of the Contradentini+Rectidentini, contributing to the formation of several characteristic freshwater mussel provinces in South-east Asia.

Fig. 10. Representatives of the genera of the Contradentini and Rectidentini.

Fig. 7. (A) UPGMA dendrogram of freshwater ecoregion Contradentini+Rectidentini assemblages.
(B) MNDS plot of phylogenetic b diversity (UniFrac) between drainages/landmass assemblages.
(C) Map of the South-east Asian subregion and its constituent freshwater ecoregions and provinces. Freshwater ecoregions (Abell et al. 2008) without known records of the Contradentini+Rectidentini assumed to be part of the greater province are denoted by a lighter shade.

Map of the South-east Asian subregion and its constituent freshwater ecoregions and provinces. Freshwater ecoregions (Abell et al. 2008) without known records of the Contradentini+Rectidentini assumed to be part of the greater province are denoted by a lighter shade.

Fig. 33. Representative specimens of Hyriopsis.
 Scale bar equals 1 inch (2.54 mm).

Fig. 20. Representative species of PressidensSolenaia and Trapezoideus. Scale bars equal 1 inch (2.54 mm).
Image of Trapezoideus lenya reproduced from Bolotov et al. (2020) (approximately to scale).

John M. Pfeiffer, Daniel L. Graf, Kevin S. Cummings and Lawrence M. Page. 2021. Taxonomic Revision of A Radiation of South-east Asian Freshwater Mussels (Unionidae: Gonideinae: Contradentini+Rectidentini). Invertebrate Systematics 35(4) 394-470. DOI:  10.1071/IS20044

[Paleontology • 2021] Bharitalasuchus tapani • A New Erythrosuchid Archosauriform (Archosauriformes: Erythrosuchidae) the Middle Triassic Yerrapalli Formation of south-central India

[upper] Erythrosuchus africanus Broom, 1905
[lower] Bharitalasuchus tapani 
Ezcurra, Bandyopadhyay & Gower, 2021 

Erythrosuchid archosauriforms are quadrupedal carnivorous reptiles with a proportionally huge skull. They represent one of the first evolutionary radiations of medium to large predatory diapsids after the Permo–Triassic mass extinction. Erythrosuchids are known from Lower–Middle Triassic rocks of South Africa, Russia, and China, and there have been preliminary reports from the Middle Triassic Yerrapalli Formation of south-central India. Here we describe, compare and figure for the first time these Indian erythrosuchid remains. We erect the new genus and species Bharitalasuchus tapani based on a holotype and paratype that preserve tooth-bearing cranial fragments, at least 17 presacral vertebrae, some ribs and probable intercentra, and partial shoulder and pelvic girdles and hindlimb and allow recognizing a series of autapomorphies and unique combination of character states among erythrosuchids. Our phylogenetic analysis recovered Bharitalasuchus tapani most closely related to Shansisuchus shansisuchus and Chalishevia cothurnata from the late Anisian of China and Ladinian of Russia, respectively. The phylogenetic affinities of this new taxon and a revision of the tetrapod assemblage of the Yerrapalli Formation shed light on the age of this unit. The presence of the Wadiasaurus-Rechnisaurus-Bharitalasuchus association in the Yerrapalli Formation closely resembles the Sinokannemeyeria-Shansisuchus dicynodont-erythrosuchid association of late Anisian to early Ladinian Chinese units. This evidence supports a post-early–middle Anisian age, even possibly early Ladinian, for the Yerrapalli Formation. The presence of possibly one of the last erythrosuchids in India would indicate that the clade still retained both a northern and southern Pangean distribution before its extinction.

Keywords: Archosauriformes, Erythrosuchidae, Phylogeny, Biostratigraphy, Pranhita-Godavari Basin

Martin D. Ezcurra, Saswati Bandyopadhyay and David J. Gower. 2021. A New Erythrosuchid Archosauriform the Middle Triassic Yerrapalli Formation of south-central India. Ameghiniana. 58(2), 132–168. DOI: 10.5710/AMGH.18.01.2021.3416
Paleontólogos liderados por un investigador del CONICET dan a conocer una nueva especie de reptil de la India de 240 millones de años de antigüedad, similar una criatura de Star Wars

[Entomology • 2021] Scoliokona baliensis • A New Species of the Genus Scoliokona Kallies et Arita, 1998 (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) from Bali, Indonesia

Scoliokona baliensis O. Gorbunov, 2021

 A new species, Scoliokona baliensis sp.n. from the island of Bali, Indonesia, is described and figured. The holotype of the new species was collected with using artificial sex attractant. It is deposited in the collections of the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. The female and the larval host plant are still unknown. This is the first record of the genus to the island of Bali. A new combination — Scoloikona stroehlei (Fischer, 2002), comb.n. is established. 
KEY WORDS. Lepidoptera, Paranthrenini, clearwing moths, Scoliokona, new species, Oriental Region, Indonesia. 

Scoliokona baliensis sp. n.:
2 — holotype, upside. Sesiidae picture № 0017–2020. Alar expanse 32.8 mm;
3 — ditto underside. Sesiidae picture № 0018–2020.

Type locality of Scoliokona baliensis sp. n. Indonesia, Bali, Tabanan, Lalah Linggah, ..., 50 m, 11.II.2020.
Photo by O. Gorbunov.
Scoliokona baliensis O. Gorbunov, sp.n.

HABITAT. The holotype was collected at the edge of a coconut plantation and a secondary rainforest (Fig. 1). 

DISTRIBUTION. The new species is known only from the type locality on the island of Bali, Indonesia. 

ETHYMOLOGY. This new species is named after the island Bali, Indonesia, where this species was collected. 

  O.G. Gorbunov. 2021. A New Species of the Genus Scoliokona Kallies et Arita, 1998 (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) from Bali, Indonesia. Russian Entomological Journal. 30(1); 93–99. DOI: 10.15298/rusentj.30.1.11

РЕЗЮМЕ. Приведено описание нового вида, Scoliokona baliensis sp.n. с острова Бали, Индонезия. Голотип нового вида был собран с помощью искусственных половых аттрактантов. Он хранится в коллекции Института проблем экологии и эволюции им. А.Н. Северцова Российской академии наук в Москве. Это первое указание рода для острова Бали. Установлено новое сочетание — Scoloikona stroehlei (Fischer, 2002), comb.n.
КЛЮЧЕВЫЕСЛОВА. Lepidoptera, Paranthrenini, бабочки-стеклянницы, Nokona, новыйвид, Ориентальный регион, Индонезия.

[Botany • 2021] Sonerila bolavenensis (Melastomataceae) ຊີດິນບໍລະເວນ • A New Species from the Bolaven Plateau, southern Laos

 Sonerila bolavenensis Soulad., Tagane & Suddee,
in Souladeth, Tagane, ... et Rueangruea, 2021.
ຊີດິນບໍລະເວນ || DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2021.49.1.13

A new species, Sonerila bolavenensis (Melastomataceae), from the Bolaven Plateau, southern Laos, is described and illustrated. Sonerila bolavenensis is easily recognized by its tiny stature up to 3 cm tall (including inflorescence), small ovate to rounded leaves 0.3–1.4 × 0.35–1 cm, petioles 0.2–0.8 cm long, and 1-flowered inflorescence. A vernacular name and preliminary conservation status are provided.

Keywords: Bolaven Plateau, Champasak Province, Dong Hua Sao NPA, flora, Indochina, taxonomy

 Sonerila bolavenensis Soulad., Tagane & Suddee.
A. habitat (on sandstone rock, growing with Begonia sp.); B & C. habit; D & E. colour variation of the abaxial leaf surface; F & G. flowers;
H. parts of type collection Souladeth et al. L3439 (left three from isotype [KAG155803]; right one from holotype [FOF0005189]). J. stem (some leaves removed) and tuber (from holotype [FOF0005189]).
Photos: A–E, G by Shuichiro Tagane, F by Sukid Rueangurea.

Sonerila bolavenensis Soulad., Tagane & Suddee, sp. nov.
Sonerila bolavenensis is similar to Sonerila vatphouensis (endemic to Laos) in having an acau-lescent habit, but differs in its small size up to 3 cm tall (vs 7 cm tall in S. vatphouensis), small lamina (0.3–1.4 × 0.3–1 cmvs 3.5–5.5 × 3–4.5 cm), 1-flowerederect inflorescence (vs (2–)3-flowered scorpioid cyme) and hypanthium sparsely covered with villous hairs (vs glabrous). Sonerila bolavenensis is also similar to S. tuberosa C.Hansen described from Stung Treng province, Cambodia, but differs in having a globose tuber covered with short dark brown hairs (vs bulb-shaped tuber, densely covered with pale brown intertwined curly hairs in S. tuberosa), shorter petioles (0.2–0.8 cm long vs 3–4 cm long), 1-flowered erect inflorescence (vs (1–)2–7-flowered scorpioid cyme), and hairy hypanthium (vs glabrous).

Distribution.— Laos (so far known only from the type locality).

Ecology.— Growing with Begonia sp. on the side of a large, shaded sandstone rock (Fig. 1A) in lower montane forest at 1,100 m elev. Observed flowering in December in 2019.

Etymology.— The specific epithet refers to the name of the plateau (Bolaven Plateau) where we collected the plant.
Vernacular name.— Seedin Bolaven (ຊີດິນບໍລະເວນ) (proposed here).
Phetlasy Souladeth, Shuichiro Tagane, Somran Suddee, Deuanta Kongxaysavath and Sukid Rueangruea. 2021. Sonerila bolavenensis, A New Species of Melastomataceae from Laos. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany). 49(1); 106-110. DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2021.49.1.13

ຊີດິນບໍລະເວນ: ແນະນຳພືດຊະນິດໃໝ່ຂອງໂລກ ອີກຊະນິດຈາກໂຄງການສຳຫຼວດພືດບໍລະເວນ  

[Herpetology • 2021] Dixonius mekongensis จิ้งจกดินแม่โขง • A New Sandstone-dwelling Leaf-toed Gecko (Gekkonidae: Dixonius) from the Thai-Lao Border

Dixonius mekongensis 
Pauwels, Panitvong, Kunya & Sumontha, 2021

จิ้งจกดินแม่โขง | Mekong Leaf-toed Gecko || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4969.3.5 

photo: Nonn Panitvong

We describe Dixonius mekongensis sp. nov. from sandstone formations in Khong Chiam District, Ubon Ratchathani Province, in extreme eastern Thailand along the Laotian border. The new species differs from all currently recognized Dixonius by the following combination of morphological characters and pattern: maximal known snout-vent length of 51.2 mm; 16 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; 32 to 34 paravertebral scales; 22 to 24 longitudinal rows of ventral scales across the abdomen; seven precloacal pores in males, no pores in females; a marked canthal stripe; and a spotted to uniform dorsal pattern. This description brings the number of Dixonius species to 13, with six species endemic to Thailand.

Keywords: Reptilia, Mekong River, Isan, Dixonius mekongensis sp. nov., taxonomy

Dixonius mekongensis 

photo: Nonn Panitvong

Olivier S. G. Pauwels, Nonn Panitvong, Kirati Kunya and Montri Sumontha. 2021. A New Sandstone-dwelling Leaf-toed Gecko (Gekkonidae: Dixonius mekongensis) from the Thai-Lao Border. Zootaxa. 4969(3); 526–538. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4969.3.5

  จิ้งจกดินแม่โขง Mekong Leaf-toed Gecko
  Dixonius mekongensis Pauwels, Panitvong, Kunya & Sumontha, 2021

[Entomology • 2021] Megalofaciatus foliotibialis & M. gibbosus • A Remarkable New Genus and Two New Species of the Gigantometopini (Hemiptera, Heteroptera, Miridae, Isometopinae) from Brunei

Megalofaciatus gibbosus Taszakowski, Kim & Herczek  

in Taszakowski, Kim, Damken, ... et Jung, 2021. 

The new genus Megalofaciatus gen. nov. represented by two new species M. foliotibialis Taszakowski, Kim & Herczek sp. nov. (the type species) and M. gibbosus sp. nov. Taszakowski, Kim & Herczek (Hemiptera, Heteroptera, Miridae, Isometopinae, Gigantometopini), is described from Brunei. Photographs of the adult males and genital structures, as well as detailed SEM micrographs, are presented. The first finding of the largely modified leg in Gigantometopini is also reported.

Keywords: Hemiptera, Asia, biodiversity, Borneo, distribution, jumping tree bugs, plant bugs, true bugs

Megalofaciatus gibbosus Taszakowski, Kim & Herczek  

Artur Taszakowski, Junggon Kim, Claas Damken, Rodzay A. Wahab, Aleksander Herczek and Sunghoon Jung. 2021. A Remarkable New Genus and Two New Species of the Gigantometopini (Hemiptera, Heteroptera, Miridae, Isometopinae) from Brunei. Zootaxa. 4970(1); 171–181. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4970.1.9

Friday, May 14, 2021

[Ornithology • 2021] Otus brookii brookii • Rediscovery of Rajah Scops-Owl (Strigiformes: Strigidae) on the Island of Borneo

Otus brookii brookii  (Sharpe, 1892)

in Card, Check & Boyce, 2021. 
DOI: 10.1676/20-50  
photo: Andy Boyce
The Bornean subspecies of Rajah Scops-Owl (Otus brookii brookii) has not been documented alive in the wild since its discovery in 1892 and there are no photographs of the bird in life. We report the rediscovery of this subspecies in the montane forests of Mount Kinabalu (Sabah, Malaysia) at an elevation of 1,650 m and provide the first photographs of this subspecies in the wild. Almost all basic elements of this species' ecology remain unknown, including vocalizations, distribution, breeding biology, and population size. Additionally, phylogeographic patterns of montane birds in Borneo and Sumatra, as well as plumage characters, suggest that O. b. brookii may be deserving of species classification. However, the rarity of O. b. brookii has made quantitative phylogenetic analysis impossible. Properly resolving the ecology, distribution, and taxonomic standing of O. b. brookii could have important conservation implications.

Key words: conservation, Malaysia, Sabah, Strigidae. 

(Bornean) Rajah Scops Owl (Otus brookii brookii) photographed at Kinabalu Park. Key features shown here include orange eyes and contrasting dark crown mottled brown and black.

photo: Andy Boyce

Emily Card, Courtney Check and Andy J. Boyce. 2021. Rediscovery of Rajah Scops-Owl (Otus brookii brookii) on the Island of Borneo. The Wilson J. of Ornithology. 132(3); 769-773. DOI: 10.1676/20-50

Bornean Rajah scops owl rediscovered after 125 years


[Botany • 2021] Chayamaritia vietnamensis (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species from Son La Province, northern Vietnam

Chayamaritia vietnamensis F.Wen, T.V.Do, Z.B.Xin & S.Maciej

in Xin, Fu, Maciejewski, ... et Wen, 2021. 

Chayamaritia vietnamensis, a new species from Son La Province, northern Vietnam, is described and illustrated. The phylogenetic study revealed that the new species is most closely related to C. banksiae and C. smitinandii. The morphological comparison suggests it as the third new species of Chayamaritia and distinguished from C. banksiae and C. smitinandii by a combination of morphological characters of leaf blades, bracts, calyx and corolla, especially its peltate leaf blades. This species is provisionally assessed as endangered (EN B1ab(iii), B2ab(iii)) using IUCN Categories and Criteria. Information on ecology, phenology and an identification key for the known Chayamaritia species are also provided.

Keywords: Cliff-dwelling, Flora of Vietnam, new taxon, taxonomy

Figure 2. Chayamaritia vietnamensis F.Wen, T.V.Do, Z.B.Xin & S.Maciej
A, B habitat C habit D adaxial (top) and abaxial (bottom) surface of leaf blade E cymes F peduncle G adaxial (top) and abaxial (bottom) surface of bracts H pistil, calyx and lateral view of corolla I opened corolla with stamens and staminodes J stamens with cohering anthers K pistil L adaxial (top) and abaxial (bottom) surface of calyx lobes.
Photos by Fang Wen, arranged by Zi-Bing Xin.

Chayamaritia vietnamensis F.Wen, T.V.Do, Z.B.Xin & S.Maciej, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: The new species can be easily distinguished from the known Chayamaritia species by its peltate leaf blades. Besides, it differs from C. banksiae by its leaf blades apex rounded and margin entire (vs. apex shortly acuminate and margin minutely dentate); bracts 3, apex rounded and margin entire (vs. 2, apex acuminate and margin dentate); calyx lobes inside glabrous and margin entire (vs. inside with white appressed hairs in upper half, margin coarsely dentate); corolla lobes margin entire (vs. margin being minutely dentate); lateral staminodes 2.5–4 mm long (vs. 5.5–11 mm long). It also differs from C. smitinandii by its leaf blades apex rounded and margin entire (vs. apex acuminate and margin minutely dentate); bracts 3, ovate narrow and apex rounded (vs. 2, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, somewhat falcate, apex acuminate); calyx lobes inside glabrous and margin entire (vs. inside densely pubescent, margin slightly toothed or appearing as large sessile glands on margin).

Etymology: The specific epithet “vietnamensis” is derived from Vietnam, which holds the first discovered and only known location for the species.

Figure 3. Three species of Chayamaritia
A C. banksiae D.J.Middleton B C. smitinandii (B.L.Burtt) D.J.Middleton C Chayamaritia vietnamensis F.Wen, T.V.Do, Z.B.Xin & S.Maciej
Photos by Fang Wen, arranged by Zi-Bing Xin.

Distribution and habitat: Chayamaritia vietnamensis is hitherto only known from the type locality, Xuan Nha Nature Reserve, Moc Chau District, Son La Province, northern Vietnam. It grows on rock surfaces surrounded by limestone areas in a subtropical evergreen seasonal rain forest.

 Zi-Bing Xin, Long-Fei Fu, Stephen Maciejewski, Zhang-Jie Huang, Truong Van Do and Fang Wen. 2021. Chayamaritia vietnamensis (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from Son La Province, northern Vietnam. PhytoKeys. 177: 43-53. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.177.63401


[Ichthyology • 2021] The Glyptothorax Catfishes (Teleostei: Sisoridae) of the Euphrates and Tigris with the Description of A New Species

Glyptothorax kurdistanicus (Berg, 1931)

in Freyhof, Kaya, et al., 2021.

The Glyptothorax species inhabiting the Euphrates and Tigris drainages are reviewed and six species are recognised, one of which is described herein as new species. Glyptothorax armeniacus is endemic to headwater streams in the Euphrates drainage. Glyptothorax kurdistanicus is endemic to the upper Tigris downstream to the Lesser Zab drainage. Glyptothorax cous and G. steindachneri are riverine species widespread in both the Euphrates and Tigris drainages. Glyptothorax silviae is endemic to Iran. Glyptothorax daemon, new species, from the Greater Zab and Yanarsu in the upper Tigris drainage, is distinguished by having the thoracic adhesive apparatus strongly elevated, 1.1–1.2 times longer than wide, without tubercles on the head, well developed anteromedial striae, the medial pit without striae, and a short adipose fin. Glyptothorax daemon is separated into two mitochondrial lineages, externally indistinguishable and separated by a minimum K2P distance of 2.0% in the DNA barcode region. These lineages are paraphyletic in our analysis indicating past introgressive hybridisation with G. cous. All six species are diagnosed and all, except unstudied Gsteindachneri, form distinct mitochondrial clades with between 1.2% and 3.4% minimum K2P distance between them. Species from the Euphrates and Tigris form a monophyletic mitochondrial group separated from 53 other Glyptothorax species studied from India and areas further east.

Keywords: Pisces, freshwater fish, taxonomy, Cytochrome oxidase I, Middle East

Glyptothorax kurdistanicus (Berg, 1931)

 Jörg Freyhof, Cüneyt Kaya, Younis Sabir Abdullah and Matthias F. Geiger. 2021. The Glyptothorax Catfishes of the Euphrates and Tigris with the Description of A New Species (Teleostei: Sisoridae). Zootaxa. 4969(3); 453–491. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4969.3.2

[Herpetology • 2021] Eutropis alcalai • A New Species of Sun Skink (Scincidae: Eutropis) from the Zamboanga Peninsula, southwestern Mindanao Island, Philippines

Eutropis alcalai  
Barley, Sanguila & Brown, 2021

Alcala’s Rough-scaled Sun Skink || 

We describe a new species of lizard in the genus Eutropis Fitzinger 1843 from the southwestern tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula on the western part of Mindanao Island, Philippines. The new species is related to Eutropis rugifera, which is a secretive, forest-adapted skink that ranges widely outside the Philippines from the western extent of its distribution on Nicobar Island (the type locality) through southern Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and the Mentawai islands, Borneo, Java, and as far east as Bali Island. The discovery of a new, morphologically distinct, and genetically highly divergent Sun Skink lineage in the low elevation forests of Zamboanga Peninsula creates a puzzling disjunct geographic distribution (E. rugifera has not been reported from the Sulu Archipelago). The new species is estimated to have diverged ~10–16 mya from E. rugifera, from which it appears to have an extralimital and isolated distribution. Considering the dynamic geological history and ancient continental origin of the Zamboanga Peninsula, colonization by the new species may have been facilitated by pre-Pleistocene overseas long-distance dispersal, saltatory range expansion and subsequent contraction/extinction in the Sulu Archipelago, and/or possibly paleotransport on the ancient crustal fragment of Zamboanga. The new species is known only from Zamboanga City’s primary surface water supply catchment at the lowest elevations inside the boundaries of Pasonanca Natural Park, despite the fact that there have been historical surveys of herpetological diversity at multiple sites to the northeast (Zamboanga, western Mindanao) and to the southwest (Sulu Archipelago). The new species, thus, may be limited to just the tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula, possibly rendering Pasonanca’s low elevation forests its most critical habitat resource for long term persistence and survival of the species. 

Keywords: IUCN Red List, Palawan microcontinent block, Pasonanca Natural Park, Sulu Archipelago, Surface catchment watershed biodiversity

Eutropis alcalai sp. nov. (holotype PNM 9878; formerly KU 315013; adult male, SVL 70.1 mm), photographed in life:
(a) close-up of anterior body region; (b) full body;
collected from Pasonanca Natural Park, Barangay Pasonanca, on the outskirts of Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Peninsula, western Mindanao Island.
Photos: Rafe M. Brown.

Eutropis alcalai sp. nov. 

Diagnosis.— Eutropis alcalai sp. nov. can be distinguished from its closest relative, E. rugifera, by its smoother head scales, with light embossing only, and keels limited to posterior margins of parietals, temporals and nuchals (vs. rugose to strongly keeled in E. rugifera), by absence (vs. presence) of contact between the postmental and second infralabial, by the presence of 29–32 (vs. 21–26) subdigital lamellae under the 4th toe, by the presence of seven infralabials (six in E. rugifera), the presence of differentiation in the precloacal scales series (two, medial precloacals enlarged, transversely expanded and bordered on either side by two undifferentiated scales) in E. alcalai sp. nov. (vs. six equal sized scales in E. rugifera), by equivalent length of 3rd and 4th fingers (vs. 4th finger longer than 3rd), and by its white chin and infralabial scales (vs. yellow to orange in E. rugifera).

Distribution.— This species is only known from Pasonanca Natural Park near Zamboanga City at the southwestern tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula. A closely related species (E. rugifera) occurs on Borneo (among other islands of the Sunda Region), and although neither species has been collected from the Sulu Archipelago, one of them may occur on its larger islands.

Etymology.— We take great pleasure in naming this distinctive new species for our colleague Angel C. Alcala, in recognition of his numerous foundational contributions to the natural history, systematics, ecology, and conservation of Philippine lizards of the family Scincidae (Alcala and Brown 1966, 1967; Alcala 1970; Brown and Alcala 1956, 1961, 1963a,b, 1980, 1986). Suggested common name: “Alcala’s Quinque-carinate (Five-keeled) Sun Skink,” or “Alcala’s Rough-scaled Sun Skink.”

Anthony J. Barley, Marites B. Sanguila and Rafe M. Brown. 2021. A New Species of Sun Skink (Reptilia: Scincidae: Eutropis) from the Zamboanga Peninsula, southwestern Mindanao Island, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology. DOI: 10.26757/pjsb2020b14012