Friday, December 31, 2021

[Ichthyology • 2021] Barbodes sellifer & B. zakariaismaili • Two New Species of Barbodes (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from the Malay Peninsula and Comments on ‘Cryptic Species’ in the B. binotatus Group

 Barbodes sellifer  
Kottelat & Lim, 2021


 Barbodes sellifer, new species, is described from Singapore, the southern Malay Peninsula and Riau (Sumatra). It is distinguished by having, among others, a large triangular to rectangular blotch between the dorsal fin and the midlateral row of scales (+1). Barbodes zakariaismaili, new species, is described from the Jelai watershed of the Pahang drainage. It is distinguished, among others, by having an elongated blotch on the anterior third of scale rows 0 and +1, and a narrow, faint bar between dorsal-fin origin and scale row +1. The existence of the supposed B. binotatus cryptic species is discussed; it does not satisfy any of the criteria under different concepts and this terminology should not be used. Among others, it is made of diagnosable units, and the morphological disparity among the supposed ‘cryptic’ taxa is not substantially lower than among non-‘cryptic’ relatives. It is simply a taxonomically difficult group. 

Key words. Barbodes, Singapore, Malaysia, cryptic species

Fig. 3. Barbodes sellifer, new species, ZRC 21699, 42.4 mm SL; Malaysia: Terengganu: Sekayu. (Photograph by M. Kottelat).
Fig. 3. Barbodes sellifer, new species, about 60 mm SL; Singapore: Nee Soon swamp forest (type locality). Live specimen, in situ, January 2005, not preserved. (Photograph by Nick Baker).

 Barbodes sellifer, new species 

Diagnosis. Barbodes sellifer, new species, is distinguished from all other species that have been placed in the B. binotatus group by the presence in adults of a large triangular to rectangular blotch extending downwards from in front of and below the base of the dorsal fin in adults (sometimes incomplete or narrower); juveniles have a midlateral row of 3–5 black spots, with the second spot vertically elongated, contacting a small spot below branched dorsal-fin rays 1–2.

 Etymology. Sellifer is a Latin adjective meaning ‘bearing a saddle’ (feminine: sellifera, neuter: selliferum).

The forest stream (a) inhabited by Barbodes sellifer, new species, in the type locality, Nee Soon swamp-forest in Singapore; 
and a view from the surface (b) showing a congregation of many individuals of B. sellifer (with the distinct black subdorsal blotch) with a few Rasbora elegans (with the two black spots on the side).
(Photographs by K. K. P. Lim, March 2005).

Barbodes zakariaismaili, new species 

Diagnosis. Barbodes zakariaismaili, new species, is distinguished from all other species of the B. binotatus group by its unique colour pattern in adults, including a faint longitudinally elongate blackish midlateral mark from the upper extremity of the gill opening to below the dorsal-fin origin; a black spot below the anterior part of the dorsal-fin base, extending downwards to the midlateral row as a narrow triangular mark; and a blackish spot at the end of the caudal peduncle. Other characters useful for identification, but not unique to the species, are: slender body (depth 2.9–3.1 times in SL); interobital area convex; eye not flush with dorsal profile, relatively small (4–5 times in head length, 1.5–1.9 times in interorbital distance); juveniles with a conspicuous reticulate pattern made of black pigments on scale pockets.

 Etymology. The species is named for Mohd. Zakaria-Ismail in appreciation for his work on the fish fauna of Malaysia. A noun in the genitive, indeclinable.

Maurice Kottelat and Kelvin K. P. Lim. 2021. Two New Species of Barbodes from the Malay Peninsula and Comments on ‘Cryptic Species’ in the B. binotatus Group (Teleostei: Cyprinidae).  RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 69; 522–540.

[Herpetology • 2022] The Delusion of Stripes: A Century-old Mystery of Five-lined Sun Skinks (Reptilia: Scincidae: Eutropis) of Peninsular India elucidated

(A) Eutropis beddomei (Jerdon, 1870);
(B) E. vertebralis (Boulenger 1887) [formerly E. trivittata];
(C) E. nagarjunensis (Sharma 1969);
(E) E. trivittata (Hardwicke & Gray 1827) [formerly E. dissimilis]

in Amarasinghe, Ganesh, Mirza, Campbell, ... et Supriatna, 2022.
 Illustration: A.A.T. Amarasinghe. 

We re-evaluate the taxonomic identities of five-lined skinks of the genus Eutropis (E. trivittata, E. beddomei, E. nagarjunensis, and E. bibronii) inhabiting the Indian subcontinent. Previously it has been considered that E. trivittata is distributed in the western India and E. dissimilis in the northern India (from north-eastern India up to Pakistan). Based on our analysis, we revealed that the illustration (iconotype) of the untraceable type specimen of E. trivittata depicted by Hardwicke in Gray (1834) from “Dumdum” near Kolkata, West Bengal matches the typical E. dissimilis, also described from “Bengal”. The senior synonym, E. trivittata is a morphologically unique species, which is also supported by divergence in the mitochondrial 12S and 16S regions. E. trivittata is clearly separated with divergences of 5–7% from E. beddomei, E. vertebralis and E. nagarjunensis for 16S rRNA. After placing E. dissimilis with the synonymy of E. trivittata, the taxonomic status of the western Indian ‘E. trivittata’ required to be clarified. Therefore, we resurrect Mabuia vertebralis Boulenger, 1887, a junior synonym of western Indian E. trivittata, and redescribe its holotype collected from “Belgaum”, Karnataka. Although, morphologically closest to E. beddomei, Eutropis vertebralis comb. nov. is a sister taxon to E. nagarjunensis with divergence of 4% in the same mitochondrial regions. Based on our update of the currently confirmed localities for E. vertebralis comb. nov. and E. trivittata, we conducted a Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) using the Maximum Entropy algorithm to predict their distribution range, and we discuss their conservation status.

Keywords: Holotype, Iconotype, Morphometric, Neotype, Resurrection, Synonymy, Systematics

 Dorsolateral and lateral stripes (A1–E1); vertebral and dorsolateral stripes (A2–E2) and body colouration of

Eutropis beddomei group 
[(A) Eutropis beddomei, (B) E. vertebralis [formerly E. trivittata], and (C) E. nagarjunensis)]; 
 (D) E. bibronii; and (E) E. trivittata [formerly E. dissimilis

 Illustration: A.A.T. Amarasinghe.

Eutropis vertebralis (Boulenger 1887a) comb. nov.

Eutropis trivittata (Hardwicke & Gray 1827).

The five-lined Eutropis in Indian Peninsula are composed of four species: E. beddomeiE. vertebralisE. bibronii, and E. nagarjunensis. Although, these four species are morphologically similar, E. bibronii is an evolutionary divergent species from the rest of three. After placing E. dissimilis in the synonymy of E. trivittata and resurrecting E. vertebralis from the synonymy of E. trivittata, the populations previously treated as (i) E. dissimilis must be assigned as E. trivittata, and (ii) E. trivittata must be assigned as E. vertebralis. Our study also shows the influence of distribution modeling and its narrow correspondence with species delimitation. We further suggest that whenever possible, such modeling should be associated in integrative studies describing new taxa or revisions of species clades. The conservation status of E. trivittata will remain as Least Concern (LC) while E. vertebralis can be treated as a Vulnerable (VU) species.


A.A. Thasun Amarasinghe, S.R. Ganesh, Zeeshan A. Mirza, Patrick D. Campbell, Olivier S.G. Pauwels, Silke Schweiger, Alexander Kupfer, Harshil Patel, Suranjan Karunarathna, Kaushik Deuti, Ivan Ineich, Jakob Hallermann, A. Abinawanto and Jatna Supriatna. 2022. The Delusion of Stripes: A Century-old Mystery of Five-lined Sun Skinks (Reptilia: Scincidae: Eutropis) of Peninsular India elucidated. Zoologischer Anzeiger. 296; 71-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcz.2021.11.004

[Ichthyology • 2021] Osteology of Tucanoichthys tucano Géry & Römer, An Enigmatic Miniature Fish (Characiformes: Characidae) from the Amazon Basin, Brazil

Tucanoichthys tucano Géry & Römer, 1997

in Mattox & Conway, 2021.  

Miniaturization, the evolution of extremely small adult body size, is a common phenomenon across the lineages of freshwater fishes, especially in the Neotropics where over 200 species are considered miniature (≤26 mm in standard length [SL]). Close to 30% of all miniature Neotropical freshwater fishes belong to the family Characidae, several of which are of uncertain phylogenetic placement within the family. We investigate the skeletal anatomy of Tucanoichthys tucano, a species of uncertain phylogenetic position from the upper Rio Negro basin, reaching a maximum known size of 16.6 mm SL. The skeleton of Tucanoichthys is characterized by the complete absence of ten skeletal elements and marked reduction in size and/or complexity of others, especially those elements associated with the cephalic latero-sensory canal system. Missing elements in the skeleton of Tucanoichthys include those that develop relatively late in the ossification sequence of the non-miniature characiform Salminus brasiliensis, suggesting that their absence in Tucanoichthys can be explained by a simple scenario of developmental truncation. A number of the reductions in the skeleton of Tucanoichthys are shared with other miniature characiforms, most notably species of Priocharax and Tyttobrycon, the latter a putative close relative of Tucanoichthys based on molecular data.

Keywords: developmental truncation, miniaturization, Neotropics, Priocharax, skeleton, Tyttobrycon

Tucanoichthys tucano.
 A. Male in life, photographed in aquarium, not measured, not preserved (photo by F. Schäfer).
 B. Female in life, photographed in aquarium, not measured, not preserved (photo by F. Schäfer).
C. TCWC 20316.02, 15.2 mm SL, alcohol preserved specimen.
D. TCWC 20316.01, 15.5 mm SL, c&s specimen, lateral view of whole skeleton (hyopalatine arch, opercular series and shoulder girdle of right side, and gill arches removed).

 George M. T. Mattox and Kevin W. Conway. 2021. Osteology of Tucanoichthys tucano Géry and Römer, An Enigmatic Miniature Fish from the Amazon Basin, Brazil (Teleostei: Characiformes: Characidae). Vertebrate Zoology. 71: 645-667. DOI: 10.3897/vz.71.e71886

[Mammalogy • 2021] Shrews (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae) from A Biodiversity Hotspot, Mount Nimba (West Africa), with A Field Identification Key to Species



in Denys, Jacquet, Kadjo, ... et Monadjem, 2021. 

In this study, we collected 226 shrew specimens originating from 16 localities on the Guinean and Liberian sides of Mount Nimba. We surveyed all major vegetation zones from 400 to 1600 m above sea level (asl), including forest and savannah habitats. We recorded 11 species, whose identifications were confirmed by genetic analyses and classical morphometrics. Furthermore, we provide cytogenetic data for five of these species. The shrew community at Mount Nimba is composed of a mix of both savannah- and forest-dependent species, which is related to the peculiar position of Mount Nimba situated at the transition between lowland rainforest to the south and Guinean woodlands to the north. We recorded 11 species of shrews in syntopy in lowland rainforest, seven in edaphic savannah and mountain forest, and five in high-altitude savannah at 1600 m asl. Based on morphometric analyses, we show that these syntopic species separate along a size axis, allowing species to occupy different ecological niches, which we speculate allows them to access different food resources. We also highlight that Crocidura theresae Heim de Balsac, 1968 from Mount Nimba has a different karyotype from that described in Côte d’Ivoire. Finally, we develop a novel identification key for shrews from Mount Nimba using external characters and standard body measurements, allowing it to be used in the field on live specimens. In total 12 shrew species are now known from Mount Nimba, which highlights its exceptional position as a tropical African biodiversity hotspot.

KEYWORDS: Soricidae, CrociduraSuncus, community, cytogenetics, barcoding, morphometrics, morphology, Africa, Guinea, Liberia, biosphere reserve

Examples of habitats where pitfall traps were placed on the Guinean and Liberian Nimba:
A, gallery forest and swamp, camp 4 (Liberia); B, pitfall, altitude savannah with Loudetia kagerensis, Mare d’hivernage site (1642m) (Guinea);
C, pitfall, Selingbala (Guinea): mesophyllous secondary forest; D, pitfall, Gbie (Guinea): gallery forest with Parinari excelsa Sabine,1824, Carapa procera DC., 1824 and Pseudospondias microcarpa (A. Rich.) Engl., 1883, Maranthochloa purpurea (Ridl.) Milne-Redh.

Nimba shrews skins with field numbers:
A, MNHN-ZM-2014-900 (LB07) C. buettikoferi Jentink, 1888 Camp 4;
B, MNHN-ZM-2012-1079 (NIM217) C. grandiceps Hutterer, 1983 Gouan;
C, MNHN-ZM-2012-1158 (NIM201) C. olivieri (Lesson, 1827) Gbié;
D, MNHN-ZM-2012-1111 (NIM232) C. muricauda (Miller, 1900) Gouan;
E, MNHN-ZM-2012-1180 (NIM 301) C. theresae Heim de Balsac, 1968 Gouan;
F, MNHN-ZM-MO-1981-492 C. nimbae Heim de Balsac, 1956 Holotype Zouguepo;
G, MNHN-ZM-MO-1981-483 C. eburnea Heim de Balsac, 1958 Mt Tonkui;
H, MNHN-ZM-2012-1123 (NIM 219) C. obscurior Heim de Balsac, 1958 Gouan. 

Christiane Denys, François Jacquet, Blaise Kadjo, Alain Didier Missoup, Vladimir Aniskine, Joelle Goüy de Bellocq, Barré Soropogui, Mory Douno, Morlaye Sylla, Violaine Nicolas, Aude Lalis and Ara Monadjem. 2021. Shrews (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla) from A Biodiversity Hotspot, Mount Nimba (West Africa), with A Field Identification Key to Species.   ZOOSYSTEMA. 43(30); 729-757. 

[Crustacea • 2021] Nanhaipotamon longhaiense • A New Species of Freshwater Crab of the Genus Nanhaipotamon Bott, 1968 (Decapoda, Brachyura, Potamidae) from Longhai, Fujian Province, China

  Nanhaipotamon longhaiense
Cai, Tan & Zou, 2021

A new species of freshwater crab of the genus Nanhaipotamon Bott, 1968 is described from Xiaye Village, Chengxiang Town, Longhai County, Zhangzhou City, Fujian Province, China. The new species is distinguished from congeners by the combination of characters of its carapace, third maxilliped, unequal chelipeds, triangular male abdomen and unique male first gonopod. Molecular evidence derived from partial mitochondrial 16S rRNA and COI genes also support the species as new.

Keywords: freshwater crab, new species, Oriental region, taxonomy

  Nanhaipotamon longhaiense sp. nov. Holotype male (25.2 × 21.5 mm) (NCU MCP 417701).
A overall habitus B frontal view of cephalothorax.
Scale bars: 1 cm. 

  Nanhaipotamon longhaiense sp. nov. holotype male (25.2 × 21.5 mm) (NCU MCP 417701)
A ventral view of anterior thoracic sternum, telson, and male pleonal somites 4–6
B ventral view of sterno-pleonal cavity with G1 in situ
C the fourth ambulatory leg D left third maxilliped.
Scale bars: 5 mm.

Family Potamidae Ortmann, 1896

Nanhaipotamon Bott, 1968

Nanhaipotamon longhaiense sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Carapace subquadrate, regions indistinct, anterolateral regions slightly rugose; cervical groove shallow and wide, H-shaped groove shallow; postorbital cristae sharp, almost fused with epigastric cristae (Figs 1A, 3A). External orbital angle triangular, separated from anterolateral margin by wide, concave notch; epibranchial teeth small, granular; anterolateral margin lined with conspicuous granules (Figs 1A, 3A). Third maxilliped merus with shallow median depression, exopod flagellum slightly longer than 1/3 exopod length (Fig. 2D). Chelipeds strongly unequal; fingers with small gap when closed (Figs 1A, 3A). G1 slender, inner distal angle semicircular, inner margin of terminal segment convex, distal margin flat, outer distal angle blunt, laterally bent outwards at angle of about 60° (Figs 4A–D, 5A). Female vulvae ovate, medium-sized, wholly within sternite 6, opening directed inward (Fig. 3B).

 Mao-Rong Cai, Qi-Hong Tan and Jie-Xin Zou. 2021. A New Species of Freshwater Crab of the Genus Nanhaipotamon Bott, 1968 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura, Potamidae) from Longhai, Fujian Province, China. ZooKeys. 1062: 11-30. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1062.71171

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

[Ichthyology • 2021] Schizodon trivittatus • Integrative Taxonomy reveals A New Species of Neotropical Headstanding Fish in Genus Schizodon (Characiformes: Anostomidae)

Schizodon trivittatus
Garavello, Ramirez, de Oliveira, Britski, Birindelli & Galetti, 2021


Schizodon encompasses approximately 15 species of Neotropical headstanding fishes. Integrative taxonomy, combining molecular and morphometric analyses with traditional taxonomic methods, was used to investigate Schizodon vittatus and its potential new sister species. Molecular differences between the two species in the barcode are greater than intra-specific variation recovered in species of Schizodon, and the two species represent distinct lineages for approximately one million years. The two species are morphologically very similar, and the meristic data showed great overlap. Morphometric analyses also showed overlap among the putative species but indicated differences in caudal-peduncle depth, orbital diameter, and length of anal-fin rays. Color pattern seems to provide a clear diagnostic feature for the two species. Schizodon vittatus usually has four dark brown transversal bars on body, and its sister species has three conspicuous bars, with the fourth, if present, inconspicuous and dorsal to the lateral line. Schizodon vittatus is redescribed based on the type and recently collected specimens, its type locality is revisited, and its known distribution restricted to the Araguaia and Tocantins drainages. The new species, sister to S. vittatus, distributed in the Xingu and Tapajós drainages, is described. A key for the identification of the Amazon clade species of Schizodon is provided.

Keywords: Amazon; Identification key; Ostariophysi; Systematics; Taxonomy

Schizodon trivittatus, new species.
A. holotype, MZUSP 115362, 285.0 mm SL, Brazil, Mato Grosso, São José do Couto, Culuene river, Xingu River tributary;
 B–C. LIA uncatalogued, Xingu river at Altamira, Pará.
 Specimen A alcohol preserved, B–C photographed live 
Scale bars = 10 mm. 
(B, photo by José Birindelli; C, photo by Leandro Sousa).

Schizodon trivittatus, new species

Diagnosis. Schizodon trivittatus is distinguished from S. isognathus, S. jacuiensis, S. knerii, S. nasutus, S. platae, and S. scotorhabdotus, by having conspicuous dark transversal bars on the trunk formed by the epidermal and dermal pigment (vs. vertical bars absent or inconspicuous and formed exclusively by dermal pigment); from S. australis, S. borellii, S. corti, S. dissimilis, S. fasciatus, S. intermedius, by having a dark midlateral stripe on caudal peduncle (vs. caudal peduncle and base of median caudal-fin rays pale in S. borellii, S. dissimilis, S. intermedius, or a single rounded spot in S. australis, S. corti, S. fasciatus); and from S. vittatus by lacking a dark transversal bar ventral to the adipose fin or having an inconspicuous bar restricted to the region dorsal to the lateral line (vs. possessing a conspicuous dark transversal bar ventral to the adipose fin that extends ventral to the lateral line).

Geographical distribution. Schizodon trivittatus occurs widely in the Xingu and Tapajós drainages, including their tributaries, in Mato Grosso and Pará states, Brazil (Fig. 7).

Etymology. The name trivittatus is an adjective in allusion to the presence of three dark vertical bars on the trunk exhibited by the new species, its main diagnostic feature.
Júlio C. Garavello, Jorge L. Ramirez, Alexandre K. de Oliveira, Heraldo A. Britski, José L. O. Birindelli and Pedro M. Galetti Jr. 2021. Integrative Taxonomy reveals A New Species of Neotropical Headstanding Fish in Genus Schizodon (Characiformes: Anostomidae).  Neotrop. ichthyol. 19(4); DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-2021-0016  
Resumo: Schizodon engloba aproximadamente 15 espécies de peixes neotropicais. A taxonomia integrativa, combinando análises moleculares e morfométricas com métodos taxonômicos tradicionais, foi utilizada para investigar Schizodon vittatus e sua potencial espécie irmã. As diferenças moleculares (DNA barcoding) entre as duas espécies são maiores do que a variação intraespecífica observada em espécies congêneres, e as duas espécies representam linhagens distintas por aproximadamente um milhão de anos. As duas espécies são morfologicamente muito similares e os dados merísticos mostram grande sobreposição. As análises morfométricas também mostraram sobreposição entre as duas espécies, mas indicaram diferenças na altura do pedúnculo caudal, no diâmetro interorbital, e no comprimento dos raios da nadadeira anal. O padrão de colorido parece fornecer uma característica diagnóstica clara para as duas espécies. Schizodon vittatus normalmente possui quatro faixas escuras transversais no corpo e sua espécie irmã tem três faixas, com a quarta, se presente, inconspícua e dorsal à linha lateral. Schizodon vittatus é redescrita com base no tipo e em espécimes coletados recentemente; sua localidade tipo é revisitada e a sua distribuição conhecida é restringida às drenagens do Araguaia e Tocantins. A nova espécie, irmã de S. vittatus e distribuída nas drenagens do Xingu e Tapajós, é descrita. Uma chave para a identificação das espécies do clado amazônico de Schizodon é apresentada.
Palavras-chave: Amazônia; Chave de identificação; Ostariophysi; Sistemática; Taxonomia

[Ichthyology • 2021] Satanoperca setepele • A New Species of Satanoperca (Cichliformes: Cichlidae) from the Rio Tocantins Basin, Brazil

Satanoperca setepele
 Ota, Deprá, Kullander, Graça & Pavanelli, 2021

A new species of Satanoperca is described from the Rio Araguaia, Rio Tocantins basin, Brazil, and non-native records are available in the upper Rio Paraná basin. It differs from congeneric species by color pattern characters, such as head and flank marks. It is included in the Satanoperca jurupari species group, characterized by the absence of black rounded blotches on the flank, and low meristic values. A description of the ontogeny of melanophore marks of the S. jurupari species group revealed two different types of arrangement on the flank and numerous melanophore marks on the head. A discussion on morphologically diverse assemblages in the S. jurupari species group is also provided.

Keywords: Freshwater; Neotropical region; Non-native species; Pigmentation; Taxonomy

Fresh uncataloged specimens of Satanoperca setepele.
A. Lajeado Reservoir. B. Rio Paranaíba. C. Upper Rio Paraná floodplain.

Satanoperca setepele, new species

Diagnosis. Satanoperca setepele differs from S. acuticeps, S. daemon, and S. lilith by the absence of black rounded blotches on the flank (vs. presence: one in S. lilith; two in S. daemon; three in S. acuticeps). It is distinguished from S. leucosticta and S. mapiritensis by the absence of small light blotches on the head (vs. presence). It differs from S. curupira by the presence of two oblique stripes on the lachrymal, one at the superior and another at the inferior margin (vs. 3–7 dark-brown oblique stripes across the lachrymal), dark brown markings absent of cheek and opercular series (vs. irregular pattern of dark-brown stripes present on the cheek and opercular series), by the longitudinal band present and conspicuous in preserved specimens (vs. lateral band absent or inconspicuous in preserved specimens), and by presence of 15–19, mode 18, gill rakers on ceratobranchial 1 (vs. 14–16, mode 15). It differs from S. rhynchitis by the presence of 27–29 scales on E1 series (vs. 26). It differs from S. pappaterra by having the dorsal melanophore patches continuous with flank bars, as conspicuous as, and indistinguishable from them (vs. dorsal melanophore patches continuous with flank bars, but much more conspicuous, and clearly distinguishable from them), and longitudinal band as conspicuous as flank bars along its entire length (vs. longitudinal band much more conspicuous at meeting with flank bars and lateral melanophore patches). From S. jurupari, by the following combination of characters: head always without markings (spots, blotches or stripes) on cheek and opercular series, in both living and preserved specimens (vs. frequently light spots, in living specimens; or dark-brown stripes, in preserved specimens), longitudinal band and flank bars very conspicuous, in preserved specimens (vs. both less conspicuous), longitudinal band as conspicuous as flank bars, in preserved specimens (vs. longitudinal band less conspicuous than flank bars), frequently six flank bars, more visible in juvenile specimens (vs. frequently seven flank bars), and supra-cleithrum smooth, without serrations (vs. frequently with serrations) (Fig. 2). Additionally, S. setepele can be distinguished from the remaining species in the S. jurupari group, except S. pappaterra and S. rhynchitis, by the interorbital and nasal stripes not fragmented into spots and fading with growth (vs. fragmented into spots with growth) (Fig. 3), by the presence, in adults, of double scale series on the caudal-fin inter-radial membranes (vs. all caudal-fin inter-radial scale series single), and a secondary scale series on the caudal-fin inter-radial membranes (i.e., between the branches of a ray; vs. secondary series absent).

Geographical distribution. Satanoperca setepele is known from the Rio Tocantins basin, including its major tributary, the Rio Araguaia, from Rio Cristalino, Cocalinho (in the Rio Araguaia) and Reservatório Serra da Mesa, Niquelândia (in the Rio Tocantins), to the mouth of the Rio Itacaíunas, Marabá. Non-native records are available from the upper Rio Paraná basin (Fig. 8).
Ecological notes and habitat. Stomachs of Satanoperca setepele from the upper Rio Paraná floodplain mainly contained debris (30–60% of frequency), and aquatic and terrestrial insect larvae, mollusks, and higher plants with less frequency (0–30%) (Hahn et al., 1997; 2004). Localities include rivers (rare occurrence), permanent and temporary lagoons (moderate occurrence), and natural canals (Agostinho et al., 1997); and S. setepele is considered sedentary or with restricted displacements (Suzuki et al., 2004).

Etymology. The specific name setepele (literal translation “sete-pele”, in Portuguese; seven skins, in English) refers to a Brazilian designation for demon, representing its shapeshifter capacity. The name is given in allusion to the folklore around Satanoperca [Greek Σατάν (satan, demon); πέρκα (pérkē, Perca)]. A noun in apposition.

Renata Rúbia Ota, Gabriel de Carvalho Deprá, Sven Kullander, Weferson Júnio da Graça and Carla Simone Pavanelli. 2021. A New Species of Satanoperca (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the Rio Tocantins Basin, Brazil.  Neotropical Ichthyology. 19(4) DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-2021-0116   

Resumo: Uma nova espécie de Satanoperca é descrita do rio Araguaia, bacia do rio Tocantins, Brasil, e registros não-nativos estão disponíveis para a bacia do alto rio Paraná. Pode ser diagnosticada de suas congêneres por caracteres do padrão de colorido como marcas na cabeça e flanco. É incluída no grupo Satanoperca jurupari pela ausência de máculas pretas arredondadas no flanco e menores valores de contagens. Uma descrição da ontogenia das marcas melanofóricas do grupo S. jurupari revelou dois tipos diferentes de arranjos no flanco e várias marcas melanofóricas na cabeça. Uma discussão sobre assembleias morfologicamente diversas no grupo S. jurupari também é fornecida.
Palavras-chave: Água doce; Espécies não-nativas; Pigmentação; Região Neotropical; Taxonomia

Sunday, December 26, 2021

[Paleontology • 2021] Cymbospondylus youngorum • Early Giant reveals faster Evolution of Large Body Size in Ichthyosaurs than in Cetaceans

  Cymbospondylus youngorum 
Sander, Griebeler, Klein, Juarbe, Wintrich, Revell & Schmitz, 2021

 Artwork by Stephanie Abramowicz

Body sizes of marine amniotes span six orders of magnitude, yet the factors that governed the evolution of this diversity are largely unknown. High primary production of modern oceans is considered a prerequisite for the emergence of cetacean giants, but that condition cannot explain gigantism in Triassic ichthyosaurs. We describe the new giant ichthyosaur Cymbospondylus youngorum sp. nov. with a 2-meter-long skull from the Middle Triassic Fossil Hill Fauna of Nevada, USA, underscoring rapid size evolution despite the absence of many modern primary producers. Surprisingly, the Fossil Hill Fauna rivaled the composition of modern marine mammal faunas in terms of size range, and energy-flux models suggest that Middle Triassic marine food webs were able to support several large-bodied ichthyosaurs at high trophic levels, shortly after ichthyosaur origins.

  Cymbospondylus youngorum sp. nov.

Ichthyosaurs evolved large body sizes earlier in their history than cetaceans.The Fossil Hill Fauna of the Middle Triassic of Nevada, USA, is critical for recognizing this pattern. It features the first ocean giant among tetrapods, only 3 million years after ichthyosaurs first appeared. Whales took comparatively longer to attain similarly large body sizes.
 Artwork by Stephanie Abramowicz

P. Martin Sander, Eva Maria Griebeler, Nicole Klein, Jorge Velez Juarbe, Tanja Wintrich, Liam J. Revell and Lars Schmitz. 2021. Early Giant reveals faster Evolution of Large Body Size in Ichthyosaurs than in Cetaceans. SCIENCE. 374, 6575. DOI: 10.1126/science.abf5787

 Early marine giant
The largest animals to have ever lived occupied the marine environment. Modern cetaceans evolved their large size over tens of millions of years in response to the increased productivity of cold marine waters. However, whales were not the first marine giants to evolve. Sander et al. describe a 244-million-year-old fossil ichthyosaur that would have rivaled modern cetaceans in size (see the Perspective by Delsett and Pyenson). The animal existed at most 8 million years after the emergence of the first ichthyosaurs, suggesting a much more rapid size expansion that may have been fueled by processes after the Permian mass extinction. —SNV

Structured Abstract

The iterative evolution of secondarily marine tetrapods since the Paleozoic offers the promise of better understanding how the anatomy and ecology of animals change when returning to the sea. Recurring patterns of convergence in the geological past may suggest predictability of evolution when transitioning from full-time life on land to full-time life in the ocean. Ichthyosaurs (fish-shaped marine reptiles of the Mesozoic) and today’s cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are two of the most informative lineages to exemplify secondary returns to the sea. The notable resemblance in body shape and lifestyle of ichthyosaurs and cetaceans contrasts with their separation in time by nearly 200 million years, providing an often-cited example of convergent evolution. Ichthyosaurs arose 249 million years ago and populated the oceans for the next 150 million years. Cetaceans did not evolve until about 56 million years ago. As tail-propelled swimmers, ichthyosaurs and cetaceans evolved not only convergent body shapes but also large body sizes.

The integration of fossil and extant data can improve understanding of aquatic adaptation and gigantism as patterns of convergent evolution, particularly when interpreted in an ecological context. Our paleontological fieldwork in the Fossil Hill Member (Middle Triassic, Nevada, USA) provided the basis for the marine reptile data and resulted in finds of giant ichthyosaurs as part of the pelagic Fossil Hill Fauna. We compiled data for both fossil and living whales from the extensive literature. Together, these data provide the basis for computational analyses of maximum body size and its evolution over time. Modeling of energy flux in the Fossil Hill Fauna helps in understanding how the Fossil Hill ecosystem could have supported several large to giant tetrapod ocean consumers so early in ichthyosaur evolutionary history.

We describe an ichthyosaur with a 2-m-long skull from the Fossil Hill Fauna as a new species of Cymbospondylus. At present, this is the largest known tetrapod of its time, on land or in the sea, and is the first in a series of ocean giants. The Fossil Hill Fauna includes several other large-bodied ichthyosaurs in the Cymbospondylus radiation. The body-size range in this Triassic fauna rivals the range seen in modern whale faunas, from a total length of about 2 m in Phalarodon to more than 17 m in the new species. As preserved in the fossil record, the Fossil Hill Fauna represents a stable trophic network and could even have supported another large ichthyosaur if it bulk fed on small, but abundant, prey such as ammonoids. In absolute time, the new ocean giant lived 246 million years ago, only about 3 million years after the appearance of the first ichthyosaurs. Our research suggests that ichthyosaurs evolved large body size very early on in the clade’s history, comparatively earlier than whales.

Ichthyosaurs and cetaceans both evolved very large body sizes, yet their respective evolutionary pathways toward gigantism were different. Ichthyosaurs seem to have benefited from the abundance of pelagic conodonts and ammonoids after the recovery from the end-Permian mass extinction, even in the absence of modern primary producers. Cetaceans took different routes, but all appear to be related to trophic specialization, including the loss of teeth in baleen whales (Mysticeti) and the evolution of raptorial feeding and deep diving in toothed whales (Odontoceti).

[Crustacea • 2021] Cambarus ectopistes • A New Stream-dwelling Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the French Broad, Pigeon, and Nolichucky River Watersheds in the Appalachian Mountain Region of North Carolina and Tennessee, USA

Cambarus ectopistes
 Loughman & Williams, 2021 

The Cataloochee Crayfish, Cambarus ectopistes sp. nov., is a large, stream-dwelling crayfish that occupies a narrow noncontiguous distribution within the Appalachian Mountain region running through the Upper Tennessee River basin, in the French Broad, Pigeon, and Nolichucky watersheds along the Tennessee and North Carolina border. It is split from the southernmost extent of the C. robustus species complex, and is morphologically and genetically most similar to a second undescribed member of the group endemic to the upper Nolichucky River watershed in North Carolina. Cambarus ectopistes sp. nov. can be distinguished from other members of the C. robustus complex and co-distributed congeners by a combination of characters, including body size, coloration, and morphology of the chela and rostrum. The new species is typically found in channel and edge habitats of moderate to large perennial streams with large cobbles and boulders.

Keywords: Crustacea, Cambarus robustus, Nolichucky River, Pigeon River, species complex

Zachary J. Loughman and Bronwyn W. Williams. 2021. Cambarus ectopistes sp. nov., A New Stream-dwelling Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the French Broad, Pigeon, and Nolichucky River Watersheds in the Appalachian Mountain Region of North Carolina and Tennessee, USA. Zootaxa. 5082(4); 322-340. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5082.4.2

[Phycology • 2021] Brilliantia kiribatiensis • A New Genus and Species of Cladophorales (Chlorophyta) from the remote Coral Reefs of the Southern Line Islands, Pacific Ocean

 Brilliantia kiribatiensis
Leliaert, Kelly, Janouškovec, Fox, Johnson, ... et Smith, 2021

The marine green alga Brilliantia kiribatiensis gen. et sp. nov. is described from samples collected during two expeditions (2009, 2013) from the coral reefs of the Southern Line Islands, Republic of Kiribati, Pacific Ocean. Phylogenetic analysis of sequences of the large- and small-subunit rDNA and the rDNA internal transcribed spacer region revealed that Brilliantia is a member of the Boodleaceae (Cladophorales), containing the genera Apjohnia, Boodlea, Cladophoropsis, Chamaedoris, Phyllodictyon and Struvea. Within this clade it formed a distinct lineage, sister to Struvea elegans, but more distantly related to the bona-fide Struvea species (including the type S. plumosa). Brilliantia differs from the other genera by having a very simple architecture forming upright, unbranched, single-celled filaments attached to the substratum by a rhizoidal mat. Cell division occurs by segregative cell division only at the onset of reproduction. Based on current sample collection, B. kiribatiensis seems to be largely restricted to the Southern Line Islands, although it was also observed on neighboring islands, including Orona Atoll in the Phoenix Islands of Kiribati, and the Rangiroa and Takapoto Atolls in the Tuamotus of French Polynesia. This discovery highlights the likeliness that there is still much biodiversity yet to be discovered from these remote and pristine reefs of the central Pacific.

Keywords: 18S nuclear ribosomal DNA, Chlorophyta, Cladophorales, molecular phylogeny, Siphonocladales, Ulvophyceae

 Brilliantia kiribatiensis gen. et sp. nov. 

Frederik Leliaert, Emily L. A. Kelly, Jan Janouškovec, Michael D. Fox, Maggie D. Johnson, Farran M. Redfern, Taati Eria, Andreas F. Haas, Enric Sala, Stuart A. Sandin and Jennifer E. Smith. 2021. Brilliantia kiribatiensis, A New Genus and Species of Cladophorales (Chlorophyta) from the remote Coral Reefs of the Southern Line Islands, Pacific Ocean. Journal of Phycology. DOI: 10.1111/jpy.13230

[Herpetology • 2021] Rediscovery of Laura’s Glassfrog Nymphargus laurae (Anura: Centrolenidae) with New Data on its Morphology, Colouration, Phylogenetic Position and Conservation in Ecuador

Nymphargus laurae Cisneros-Heredia & McDiarmid, 2007; 
N. humboldti Guayasamin, Cisneros-Heredia, McDiarmid & Hutter, 2020; N. siren (Lynch and Duellman, 1973)

in Sánchez-Carvajal, Reyes-Ortega, Cisneros-Heredia & Ortega-Andrade​, 2021.  

We report the rediscovery of Laura’s Glassfrog, Nymphargus laurae Cisneros-Heredia & McDiarmid, 2007, based on two specimens collected at the Colonso-Chalupas Biological Reserve, province of Napo, Ecuador. The species was described and known from a single male specimen collected in 1955 at Loreto, north-eastern Andean foothills of Ecuador. Limited information was available about the colouration, systematics, ecology, and biogeography of N. laurae. We provide new data on the external morphology, colouration, distribution and comment on its conservation status and extinction risk. We discuss the phylogenetic relationships of N. laurae, which forms a clade together with N. siren and N. humboldti. The importance of research in unexplored areas must be a national priority to document the biodiversity associated, especially in protected areas.

Figure 4: Nymphargus laurae (INABIO15383),
(A) dorsal view, (B) side view, (C) front view and (D) ventral view.

We provide new information about Nymphargus laurae, a species previously known from a single specimen collected decades ago. Our new specimens collected at the Colonso-Chalupas Biological Reserve increase the geographic range of the species along the north-eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. New insights into the morphology, colouration, and phylogeny of N. laurae demonstrate its distinctiveness among other ocellated glassfrogs, with which it is not closely related because it is part of a clade with N. siren and N. humboldti. Although now known from a second locality, the geographic range of N. laurae is still limited and habitat loss and fragmentation are threatening the long-term survival of populations outside of protected areas, thus we suggest that the species’ extinction risk should be categorised as Endangered at the global and national level and conservation actions are urgently encouraged. The importance of research in unexplored areas must be a national priority to document the biodiversity associated, especially for range-restricted species and in little-explored protected areas.

María José Sánchez-Carvajal, Grace C. Reyes-Ortega, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia and H. Mauricio Ortega-Andrade​. 2021. Rediscovery of Laura’s Glassfrog Nymphargus laurae (Anura: Centrolenidae) with New Data on its Morphology, Colouration, Phylogenetic Position and Conservation in Ecuador.  PeerJ. 9:e12644. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.12644

[Herpetology • 2021] Osteocephalus melanops • A New Species of Osteocephalus Steindachner, 1862 (Anura, Hylidae) from Brazilian Amazonia

Osteocephalus melanops
Melo-Sampaio, Ferrão & Moraes, 2021

Treefrogs of the genus Osteocephalus have been the focus of several taxonomic and phylogenetic studies, especially in the last two decades. These recent studies have shown that the diversity of this charismatic Amazonian genus is still largely underestimated. Through the evidence of morphological and molecular data, we describe a new species of the Osteocephalus alboguttatus species group from the Purus-Madeira Interfluve, southwestern Brazilian Amazonia. The new species differs from other Osteocephalus by having a small body size (snout–vent length 32.1–44.1 mm), skin texture non-sexually dimorphic, dorsum smooth with a few scattered small tubercles, vocal sac single and subgular, frontoparietal ridges not externally visible, and a dark tan brown iris with lighter vermiculation. The rapid increase in the number of new frog species described from the Purus-Madeira Interfluve highlight the importance of sampling poorly explored and remote areas in Amazonia, as well as the value of supporting taxonomic research to accelerate species documentation in face of the biodiversity crisis.

KEY WORDS: Amazonas; Arapixi Extractive Reserve; bamboo-dominated forests; Osteocephalus alboguttatus species group; Purus-Madeira Interfluve; taxonomy

Color in life of Osteocephalus melanops.
(A, B) Dorsal view and close-up of the iris of the male holotype MNRJ 93639;
(C) lateral view of the female paratopotype MNRJ 93640;
(D) lateral view of the female paratype UFAC-RB 5553.
Photographs: Paulo R. Melo-Sampaio.

Osteocephalus melanops, sp. nov.

Diagnosis. A small-sized species of Osteocephalus characterized by: 1) SVL of adults 32.1–44.1 mm; 2) skin texture of dorsum non–sexually dimorphic, smooth with a few scattered small tubercles; 3) skin texture of flanks shagreened; 4) canthus rostralis rounded; 5) frontoparietal ridges not externally visible; 6) supratympanic fold thin, from the posterior edge of the eye, sloping in an arch toward the arm insertion, not reaching tympanum posteroventrally; 7) webbing on inner edge of third finger slightly extending beyond penultimate subarticular tubercle; 8) distal subarticular tubercle on finger IV bifid; 9) dorsum light tan with irregular blotches; 10) throat, chest, and abdomen uniformly cream to white; 11) large cream subocular spot; 12) flanks creamy white, with variable amount of dark vermiculation; 13) vocal sac single, subgular; 14) tibiofibular bones green in preservative; 15) in life, iris dark tan brown, with variable amount of lighter vermiculation.

Etymology. The specific epithet melanops is derived from Greek ‘‘melanos-’’ meaning black and ‘‘ops-’’ meaning eye. The name is a reference to intense dark coloration of the species’ irises.

Dorsal view of species from Osteocephalus alboguttatus species group.
(A, B) Osteocephalus alboguttatus, unvouchered specimen and QCAZ 15972, respectively.
(C, D) Osteocephalus heyeri, SINCHI 0727 and CZPB 1625, respectively.
(E–I) Osteocephalus subtilis, unvouchered specimen (D), SINCHI 00485 (E), MTR 28225 (F), MTR 28100 (G), and CORBIDI 6176 (H), respectively;
Osteocephalus cf. subtilis, an unvouchered specimen (I).

 Photographs: Morley Read— (A); Santiago Ron— (B); Germán Chávez (C, E); Alexandre Almeida (D); Pedro Peloso (F, G); Pablo Venegas (H); Jhon Jairo Lopez Rojas (I).

Paulo Roberto Melo-Sampaio, Miquéias Ferrão and Leandro João Carneiro de Lima Moraes. 2021. A New Species of Osteocephalus Steindachner, 1862 (Anura, Hylidae), from Brazilian Amazonia. Breviora. 572(1); 1-21. DOI: 10.3099/0006-9698-572.1.1