Sunday, February 28, 2021

[Botany • 2020] Notes on Tricalysia elmar sp. nov. (Rubiaceae, Coffeeae), and Cloud Forest of the Cameroon Highlands

Tricalysia elmar Cheek

in Cheek, Causon, et al., 2020. 
Background and aims – This paper reports a further discovery in the context of a long-term botanical survey in the Cross River-Sanaga interval of west-central Africa, focussing on species discovery and conservation.

Methods – Normal practices of herbarium taxonomy have been applied to study the material collected. The relevant collections are stored in the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London and at the Institute of Research in Agronomic Development – National Herbarium of Cameroon.

Key results – Species new to science recently discovered from the cloud (submontane) forests of the Cameroon Highlands in Cameroon are reviewed. Most of these species are rare, highly localised, and threatened by habitat destruction. These discoveries increase the justification for improved conservation management of surviving habitat. Tricalysia elmar Cheek (Coffeeae-Rubiaceae) is described as an additional cloud forest species new to science. Its taxonomic position is discussed, and it is compared with similar species of the genus. Restricted so far to four locations, Mt Kupe, Bali Ngemba, Lebialem and Nta Ali, its conservation status is assessed as Endangered (EN B1+2ab(iii)) according to the 2012 criteria of IUCN.

Keywords: accrescent floral disc, conservation, Cross-Sanaga Interval, submontane forest, Tropical Important Plant Areas

Tricalysia elmar Cheek.
 A. Habit. B. Domatia on leaf abaxial surface. C. Stipules. D. Inflorescence with calyculi, foliar and stipular lobes, flower bud, open flower and flower after corolla drop. E. Corolla lobe tip showing scattered hairs. F. Calyx and 3rd order (distal) calyculus. G. Longitudinal section of flower showing disc, ovary, and base of style. H. Stamens, outer face with anther lobe bases (left) and inner face (right). I. Fruits in situ. J. Fruit apex showing calyx surrounding accrescent disc.
Scale bars: A = 5 cm; B, H, F, G = 2 mm; C, J = 5 mm; D, I = 1 cm; E = 500 μm. A–H from Cheek7619 (K); I–J from Etuge1735 (K), all drawn by Andrew Brown.

Tricalysia elmar Cheek, sp. nov.

Diagnosis – Similar to Tricalysia ferorum Robbr. of Sect. Probletostemon (K.Schum.) Robbr. in the large, conspicuous, dome-like accrescent disc in the fruit, differing in the entire, united distal calyculus (distal bracts not free) and the glabrous style and anthers (not hairy); differing from all species of Sect. Tricalysia in the dome-like accrescent disc in the fruit.

Etymology – Named (indeclinable word in apposition; art. 23.1 and 23.2 of the code, Turland et al. 2018) for Prof. Elmar Robbrecht (1946–) of the Meise Botanic Garden and Herbarium, Belgium, the noted global specialist in Rubiaceae who monographed and laid the systematic foundations for all future research on the genus Tricalysia.

Martin Cheek, Isla Causon, Barthelemy Tchiengue and Eden House. 2020. Notes on Tricalysia elmar sp. nov. (Rubiaceae, Coffeeae), and Cloud Forest of the Cameroon Highlands. Plant Ecology and Evolution. 153(1); 167-176. DOI: 10.5091/plecevo.2020.1661

[Ichthyology • 2021] Island Colonization by A ‘Rheophilic’ Fish: the Phylogeography of Garra ceylonensis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in Sri Lanka

 Garra ceylonensis   

in Sudasinghe, Dahanukar, Raghavan, ... et Meegaskumbura, 2021.

Despite exhibiting multiple morphological adaptations to living in swiftly flowing water (rheophily), Garra ceylonensis is one of the most widely distributed freshwater fish in Sri Lanka. It is thus an ideal organism to reconstruct the evolutionary history of a widespread, yet morphologically specialized, freshwater fish in a tropical-island setting. We analysed the phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships of G. ceylonensis based on two mitochondrial and one nuclear genes. G. ceylonensis is shown to be monophyletic, with a sister-group relationship to the Indian species Garra mullya. Our results suggest a single colonization of Sri Lanka by ancestral Garra, in the late Pliocene. This suggests that the Palk Isthmus, which was exposed for most of the Pleistocene, had a hydroclimate unsuited to the dispersal of fishes such as Garra. G. ceylonensis exhibits strong phylogeographic structure: six subclades are distributed as genetically distinct populations in clusters of contiguous river basins, albeit with two exceptions. Our data reveal one or more Pleistocene extirpation events, evidently driven by aridification, with relict populations subsequently re-colonizing the island. The phylogeographic structure of G. ceylonensis suggests inter-basin dispersal largely through headwater capture, likely facilitated by free-swimming post-larvae. The Peninsular-Indian species G. mullya comprises two genetically distinct parapatric clades, which may represent distinct species.

Keywords: biogeography, dispersal, freshwater fish, Labeoninae, phylogeny, Pleistocene, torrent fish

Garra ceylonensis Bleeker, 1863

Hiranya Sudasinghe, Neelesh Dahanukar, Rajeev Raghavan, Tharani Senavirathna, Dipeshwari J Shewale, Mandar S Paingankar, Anjalie Amarasinghe, Rohan Pethiyagoda, Lukas Rüber and Madhava Meegaskumbura. 2021. Island Colonization by A ‘Rheophilic’ Fish: the Phylogeography of Garra ceylonensis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in Sri Lanka. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. blaa221. DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/blaa221



[Entomology • 2021] Aethalopteryx strohlei • A New Species of Aethalopteryx Schoorl, 1990 (Lepidoptera, Cossidae, Zeuzerinae) from Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia


 Aethalopteryx strohlei 
Yakovlev, 2020

The article describes a new species, Aethalopteryx strohlei Yakovlev sp. nov. (Lepidoptera, Cossidae, Zeuzerinae) from the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.  

Key words: Biodiversity, Africa, taxonomy, new species, Aethalopteryx, fauna, Carpenter-Moths, Lepidoptera, Cossidae. 

 Habitat of  Aethalopteryx strohlei Yakovlev sp. nov.
(photo by M. Ströhle).

 Adult Male  Aethalopteryx strohlei Yakovlev sp. nov. 

Aethalopteryx strohlei Yakovlev sp. nov.

Diagnosis. It is necessary to note that the representatives of the genus Aethalopteryx have very simple genitalia, so it is not possible to make diagnostic distinctions basing on the male genital morphology. However, the species of the genus have significant external features: the size and color of the wings. The new species clearly differs from most species of the genus in the small size, and in this characteristic it is close to the East-African species group distributed in Somali and Kenia: A. steniptera (Hampson, 1916), A. simillima (Hampson, 1916), A. elf Yakovlev, 2011, and A. sulaki Yakovlev, 2011. But the dark, contrast color of the wings and the big round spot between veins CuA2 and CuP (postdiscally) are its clear distinction from the close small East-African species.
Distribution. Known only from South-Western Ethiopia (Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region). 

Etymology. The new species is named after my colleague and friend Mr. Manfred Ströhle (Weiden), a remarkable connoisseur of the Palearctic and African Lepidoptera, the collector of the type series of the new species.

Roman V. Yakovlev. 2020. New Species of Aethalopteryx Schoorl, 1990 (Lepidoptera, Cossidae, Zeuzerinae) from Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Ecologica Montenegrina. 38; 210-214.  DOI: 10.37828/em.2020.38.29

[Crustacea • 2020] Lacunipotamon yuanshi & L. cymatile • The Freshwater Crab Genus Lacunipotamon (Decapoda, Brachyura, Potamidae), with Descriptions of Two New Species from southwestern China

 Lacunipotamon yuanshi L. cymatile
Huang, Shih & Ahyong, 2020

The poorly known genus Lacunipotamon Dai, Song, He, Cao, Xu & Zhong, 1975, is studied and reviewed. Two new species, Lacunipotamon yuanshi sp. nov. and Lacunipotamon cymatile sp. nov. from Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, respectively, are described based on morphology and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences. Both superficially resemble Lacunipotamon albusorbitum Dai, Song, He, Cao, Xu & Zhong, 1975, the type and previously only known species in the genus, but can be distinguished by the combination of live colour, size, maxilliped III, male thoracic sternum, male pleon, male gonopod, and female gonopore characters. Phylogenetic analysis of the molecular data corroborates the novelty of the two species.

Keywords: Lacunipotamon; COI; new species; Potamidae; systematics; China; freshwater crab

 Chao Huang, Hsi-Te Shih and Shane T. Ahyong. 2020.The Freshwater Crab Genus Lacunipotamon Dai, Song, He, Cao, Xu & Zhong, 1975 (Decapoda, Brachyura, Potamidae), with Descriptions of Two New Species from southwestern China. Crustaceana.  93(11-12); 1361–1379. DOI: 10.1163/15685403-bja10067
院士潭蟹(Lacunipotamon yuanshi
与蓝潭蟹(Lacunipotamon cymatile

[Ichthyology • 2020] Strophidon tetraporus • A Review of the Genus Strophidon (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae), with Description of A New Species

 Strophidon tetraporus  Huang & Liao

in Huang, Mohapatra, ... et Liao, 2020. 

Strophidon McClelland is a muraenid genus with characteristic appearance of a very elongated body, a large mouth cleft and anteriorly placed eyes. The nomenclature and taxonomic history of species within Strophidon are contentious and its members are easily misidentified. In the present study, species of the genus Strophidon are revised based on morphological and molecular data, and five species are considered valid, including S. dawydoffi Prokofiev, S. dorsalis (Seale), S. sathete (Hamilton), S. ui Tanaka and a new species, S. tetraporus. Strophidon tetraporus sp. nov. is described based on 15 specimens from Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam with the unique characteristic of the constant presence of the fourth infraorbital pore among species of Strophidon. The intraspecific variation of vertebral formula within S. dorsalis is discussed based on molecular data. Muraena macrurus Bleeker and Thyrsoidea longissima Kaup are synonyms of S. sathete that can be distinguished from the most similar congener S. ui by a longer tail, smaller eyes and more inner maxillary and inner dentary teeth. A key to identify species of Strophidon is provided. The distribution and maximum size of each species are also re‐evaluated.

Keywords: Muraenidae, new species, phylogeny, redescription, Strophidon, taxonomy

Genus Strophidon McClelland 1844

Strophidon dorsalis (Seale, 1917)

Strophidon sathete (Hamilton, 1822)

Strophidon ui Tanaka, 1918

Strophidon tetraporus sp. nov. Huang & Liao
Common name: Four Pores Slender Giant Moray

Etymology: Name from Greek words tetra (four) and póros (pore), in reference to the uniquely constant presence of the fourth infraorbital pore in this species of Strophidon. A noun in apposition.

Wen‐Chien Huang, Anil Mohapatra, Pham The Thu, Hong‐Ming Chen and Te‐Yu Liao. 2020. A Review of the Genus Strophidon (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae), with Description of A New Species. Journal of Fish Biology. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.14514 

[Entomology • 2021] New Record of Megalestes gyalsey Gyeltshen, Kalkman & Orr, 2017 (Zygoptera: Synlestidae) from India, with First Description of Female and Larva

Megalestes gyalsey Gyeltshen, Kalkman & Orr, 2017

in Payra, Dawn, Subramanian, et al., 2021. 
Megalestes gyalsey Gyeltshen, Kalkman & Orr, 2017 is recorded for the first time from India, extending the known geographic range of the species. This report is based on the collection of 5 individuals (4 males, 1 female) from Jang waterfall, Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh and 2 males from Neora Valley National Park, Kalimpong district, West Bengal. The female of M. gyalsey is described for the first time with notes on the variation in the male. A probable larva of the species is also described and illustrated.

Keywords: Odonata, Range extension, damselfly, Synlestidae, larva

Arajush Payra, Prosenjit Dawn, K. A. Subramanian, C. K. Deepak, Kailash Chandra and Basudev Tripathy. 2021. New Record of Megalestes gyalsey Gyeltshen, Kalkman & Orr, 2017 (Zygoptera: Synlestidae) from India, with First Description of Female and Larva. Zootaxa. 4938(2); 233–242. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4938.2.4

[Entomology • 2021] Hexacentrus formosanus • A New Species of Genus Hexacentrus Serville, 1831 (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Hexacentrinae) from Taiwan


Hexacentrus formosanus Chen et He

in Chen, Xie, .. et He, 2021.  

There are 29 species or subspecies in genus Hexacentrus occurring in Asia, Africa and Australia. Because of its similar appearance, it is not easy to distinguish them by traditional methods. In this study, we collected samples and sequenced COI genes from wide range. By reconstructing the gene tree, we found one new species, Hexacentrus formosanus Chen et He sp. nov., from Taiwan. The new species is similar to H. expansus or H. inflatissimus, but differs from the former in male Cu2 vein of left tegmina curved and slender, and spectrum of male left tegmina slender and subsquare; differs from the later by body size smaller and female tegmina narrow and short. The type specimens are deposited in National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan (NMNS). H. japonicus hareyamai is treated as species level, H. hareyamai stat. nov.

Keywords: Orthoptera, China, Taiwan, Hexacentrus, taxonomy, new species, COI, songs

Po-Wei Chen, Hui-Cong Xie, Xue Wu, Chu-Ze Shen and Zhu-Qing He. 2021. A New Species of Genus Hexacentrus Serville, 1831 from Taiwan (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Hexacentrinae). Zootaxa. 4933(4); 543–556. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4933.4.5

Thursday, February 25, 2021

[Ichthyology • 2021] Phylogenetic Relationships, Genetic Diversity and Biogeography of Menhadens, Genus Brevoortia (Clupeiformes, Clupeidae)

in Pozzobon, Gonçalves, Anderson, .. et Dario, 2021.
upper photo by Brian Gratwicke

• First phylogenetic study including all six currently valid species of Brevoortia.
• The genus is monophyletic and species are grouped as pairs in three major clades.
 • Divergence times were estimated and a biogeographic scenario is proposed.
• Gene flow occurs between different species within each major clade.
• Species-specific clades were not observed, and taxonomy of the genus needs revision.

Brevoortia Gill 1861 is a genus of the Clupeidae (Teleostei) that includes six species of fishes commonly known as menhadens in eastern North America and “savelhas” or “saracas” in southeastern South America. Species of Brevoortia are important components of the marine food web of coastal ecosystems in the Atlantic and contribute significantly to fisheries. In this study, the first phylogenetic and biogeographic hypotheses including all species of Brevoortia are presented. A total of 113 specimens were analyzed using three molecular markers (two mitochondrial: COI and 16s; and one nuclear: RAG2). Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference were employed to estimate phylogenetic relationships. A Bayesian multispecies coalescent approach was used to estimate a dated phylogeny, which supported biogeographic analyses of ancestral geographic ranges. Results corroborate previous hypotheses that the four North Atlantic species are grouped in two clades, one composed of B. tyrannus (Latrobe, 1802) and B. patronus Goode, 1878, and the second including B. smithi Hildebrand, 1941 and B. gunteri Hildebrand, 1948. The South Atlantic B. aurea (Spix and Agassiz, 1829) and B. pectinata (Jenyns, 1842) form a third clade, which is sister to the clade composed of B. smithi and B. gunteri. The monophyly and validity of the six nominal species of Brevoortia were not supported. Results also indicate that Brevoortia originated in the North Atlantic during the middle Miocene (about 15 Mya). A cooling event of the tropical Atlantic at around 10 Mya likely facilitated the range expansion of the genus to the South Atlantic, whereas a significant warming of the tropical Atlantic waters during the late Miocene at 6-7 Mya possibly promoted the isolation between the northern and southern counterparts of that ancestral lineage. The relevance of the Florida Peninsula in association with sea level fluctuations for the diversification within Brevoortia is also discussed.

Keywords: Alosa, Biodiversity, Molecular systematics, Panama Isthmus, Teleostei, Tethyan Seaway

Brevoortia tyrannus Atlantic menhaden.
photo: Brian Gratwicke

Allan Pierre Bonetti Pozzobon, Pablo Rodrigues Gonçalves, Joel D. Anderson, Luiz A. Rocha, Juan M. Diaz de Astarloa and Fabio Di Dario. 2021. Phylogenetic Relationships, Genetic Diversity and Biogeography of Menhadens, Genus Brevoortia (Clupeiformes, Clupeidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. In Press, 107108. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107108 

[Entomology • 2021] Giavarhynchus amicorum • A New Genus and Species of Anophthalmous Otiorhynchini (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Entiminae) from Greece, with A New Synonymy and New Combinations

Giavarhynchus amicorum Bellò, Osella et Ruzzier,

in Bellò, Colonnelli, ... et Ruzzier, 2021.
A new genus of Entiminae, an endogean weevil of the tribe Otiorhynchini, Giavarhynchus Bellò, Osella & Ruzzier, gen. n., and its type species Giavarhynchus amicorum Bellò, Osella & Ruzzier, sp. n. are described. The new taxon is readily distinguished from all other members of the tribe due to the unique combination of lack of eyes, elongate rostrum with a ventral transverse furrow and excised lateral margins located at apical third, punctation of pronotum of two distinct sizes arranged in a distinctive pattern, interval 7 of elytra protruding from base of pronotum and crenulate basally, metafemora bearing a spine-like tooth much larger than that of pro- and mesofemora, female tibiae granulate on inner margin, bisinuous mesotibiae. The following synonymy is proposed: Nematocerus Reiche, 1849 (= Cyrtozemia Pascoe, 1872, syn. n.; = Holcorhinosoma Voss, 1939, syn. n.). New combinations are: Nematocerus cognatus (Marshall, 1916), comb. n.; Nematocerus dispar (Pascoe, 1872), comb. n.; Nematocerus pilipes (Morimoto, 2015), comb. n., all from Cyrtozemia; Nematocerus subtuberculatus (Voss, 1939), comb. n. from Holcorhinosoma. New tribal placement is: Pseudocratopus Hustache, 1921 from Otiorhynchini to Peritelini. New subgeneric placement is that of Otiorhynchus deceptorius Białooki, Germann & Pelletier, 2017 and of Otiorhynchus incisirostris Białooki, Germann & Pelletier, 2017 from Otiorhynchus (Lixorrhynchus) Reitter, 1914 to Otiorhynchus (Aranihus) Reitter, 1912.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Entiminae, Otiorhynchini, taxonomy, new genus, new species, new synonymy, new combinations, Greece

Cesare Bellò, Enzo Colonnelli, Leonardo Forbicioni, Giuseppe Osella and Enrico Ruzzier. 2021. A New Genus and Species of Anophthalmous Otiorhynchini from Greece, with A New Synonymy and New Combinations (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Entiminae).  Zootaxa. 4938(1); 69–84. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4938.1.3

[Paleontology • 2021] Dzharatitanis kingi • First Rebbachisaurid Sauropod Dinosaur from Asia

Dzharatitanis kingi 
Averianov & Sues, 2021

Dzharatitanis kingi gen. et sp. nov. is based on an isolated anterior caudal vertebra (USNM 538127) from the Upper Cretaceous (Turonian) Bissekty Formation at Dzharakuduk, Uzbekistan. Phylogenetic analysis places the new taxon within the diplodocoid clade Rebbachisauridae. This is the first rebbachisaurid reported from Asia and one of the youngest rebbachisaurids in the known fossil record. The caudal is characterized by a slightly opisthocoelous centrum, ‘wing-like’ transverse processes with large but shallow PRCDF and POCDF, and the absence of a hyposphenal ridge and of TPRL and TPOL. The neural spine has high SPRL, SPDL, SPOL, and POSL and is pneumatized. The apex of neural spine is transversely expanded and bears triangular lateral processes. The new taxon shares with Demandasaurus and the Wessex rebbachisaurid a high SPDL on the lateral side of the neural spine, separated from SPRL and SPOL. This possibly suggests derivation of Dzharatitanis from European rebbachisaurids. This is the second sauropod group identified in the assemblage of non-avian dinosaurs from the Bissekty Formation, in addition to a previously identified indeterminate titanosaurian.

Fig 1. Dzharatitanis kingi, USNM 538133 (holotype), anterior caudal vertebra
in posterior (A), right lateral (B), and anterior (C) views.
Scale bar = 10 cm.

Systematic paleontology
Sauropoda Marsh, 1878 
Neosauropoda Bonaparte, 1986 
Diplodocoidea Marsh, 1884 
Rebbachisauridae Bonaparte, 1997 

Genus Dzharatitanis gen. nov.
Diagnosis: Differs from Limaysaurus and Tataouinea by convex anterior centrum articular surface. Differs from Lavocatisaurus and Limaysaurus by absence of pleurocoel on centrum. Differs from Comahuesaurus by ‘wing-like’ transverse process. Differs from Amazonsaurus by dorsally directed ventral surface of transverse process. Differs from Cathartesaura, Comahuesaurus, Demandasaurus, Itapeusaurus, and Tataouinea by shallow PRCDF. Differs from Cathartesaura, Itapeusaurus, Katepensaurus, and Tataouinea by absence of TPRL. Differs from Comahuesaurus, Demandasaurus, and Nigersaurus by absence of ventral contact between prezygapophyses. Differs from Comahuesaurus, Demandasaurus, Itapeusaurus, Limaysaurus, Nigersaurus, and Tataouinea by absence of ventral contact between postzygapophyses. Differs from Demandasaurus and Tataouinea by absence of hyposphenal ridge. Differs from Amazonsaurus, Cathartesaura, Katepensaurus, Limaysaurus, Nigersaurus, and Tataouinea by absence of SPRL and SPOL contact. Differs from Amazonsaurus, Cathartesaura, Katepensaurus, Limaysaurus, Nigersaurus, Tataouinea, and Rebbachisaurus by large SPDL on lateral side of neural spine separate from SPRL and SPOL. Differs from Amazonsaurus, Cathartesaura, Comahuesaurus, Itapeusaurus, Lavocatisaurus, and Limaysaurus by presence of lateral process of neural spine. Differs from Rebbachisaurus by proximodistally shorter and anteroposteriorly wider neural spine, which is convex anteriorly in lateral view, and by much wider PRSL.
Occurrence: Central Asia; Late Cretaceous (Turonian).

Etymology: From the Dzharakuduk locality in Uzbekistan and Greek τιτάν (titan), a pre-Olympian god in ancient Greek mythology. The generic name is in the feminine gender.

Dzharatitanis kingi sp. nov. 
 2015 Titanosauria indet.: figure 7 in [2].

Holotype: USNM 538127, nearly complete anterior caudal vertebra. Found by David J. Ward and Hans-Dieter Sues during the URBAC (Uzbekistan/Russian/British/American/Canadian) joint paleontological expedition working in Uzbekistan in 1997.

Type locality and horizon: Dzharakuduk, 32 km SW of Mynbulak, Navoi Viloyat, Uzbekistan. The Bissekty Formation, exposed along the Dzharakuduk escarpment, extends from approximately 42°06’22.60’’ N and 62°37’09.00’’ E to 42°05’44.22’’ N and 62°41’06.49’’ E. Age: Late Cretaceous (Turonian). For additional geological details see Redman and Leighton [5].

Etymology: In memory of our colleague and friend Dr. Christopher King (1943–2015) who did much work on the geology of Cretaceous strata in Central Asia.

Remarks: USNM 538127 is likely the first caudal vertebra because of its slightly opisthocoelous centrum and the absence of chevron facets. First caudals with opisthocoelous centra are known for several rebbachisaurids (see Comparison).

Alexander Averianov and Hans-Dieter Sues. 2021. First Rebbachisaurid Sauropod Dinosaur from Asia.   PLoS ONE. 16(2): e0246620. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246620

New diplodocus-like dinosaur from Uzbekistan as the first rebbachisaurid found in Asia.

[Crustacea • 2021] Caridina thachlam • Deep into Darkness: The First Stygobitic Species of Freshwater Shrimp of the Genus Caridina (Decapoda: Atyidae) from Northern Vietnam

Caridina thachlam 
Do, Cao & von Rintelen, 2021

The first stygobitic species of atyid freshwater shrimps from Vietnam is described from Cuc Phuong National Park, Northern Vietnam. Caridina thachlam sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by a suite of morphological characters such as strongly reduced eyes without eyestalk, short and almost unarmed rostrum and slender pereiopods. Molecular phylogenetic data from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S ribosomal RNA genes also support the distinctiveness of the new species from all other species that we have examined.

 Keywords: Crustacea, Caridina thachlam sp. nov., atyid shrimp, new species, Cuc Phuong National Park

Caridina thachlam sp. nov. 

Do Van Tu, Cao Thi Kim Thu and Thomas von Rintelen. 2021. Deep into Darkness: The First Stygobitic Species of Freshwater Shrimp of the Genus Caridina (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae) from Northern Vietnam. Zootaxa. 4933(3); 422–434. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4933.3.8

[Botany • 2019] Dictyanthus stevensii (Apocynaceae; Asclepiadoideae; Gonolobinae) • A New Species from Chimalapas Region, Oaxaca, Mexico

Dictyanthus stevensii Gonz.-Martínez, Lozada-Pérez et L.O. Alvarado 

in González-Martínez, Lozada-Pérez & Alvarado-Cárdenas, 2019.
(Illustrated by César Adrián González Martínez). 

A new species of the genus Dictyanthus is herein described and illustrated, more than 30 years since the last paper describing new species of this genus. Dictyanthus stevensii sp. nov. is known only from the Zoque forest in the Chimalapas region in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. This species differs from all other species because it has the smallest flowers within the genus. It is morphologically related to D. eximius, a microendemic species of Chiapas. Information on the distribution and habitat of this new species is given, and its conservation status is proposed as Critically Endangered B2ab(ii). An identification key to Dictyanthus species in southern and southerneast Mexico is also provided.

Keywords: conservation, endemic, Matelea, taxonomy, Zoque forest, Eudicots

Holotype of Dictyanthus stevensii.
A. Herbarium specimen showing the inflorescences in monochasia and the size of flowers; bar 4 cm; B. Base of the blade abaxially, with three colleters and petiole with mixed indumentum of short straight trichomes and uncinated trichomes; C. Flower. The parallel vertical venation can be observed in the tube of the corolla; bar 2.5 mm; D. Corolla with concentric venation in the limb and reticulated towards the lobes with short straight trichomes on the veins; showing the gynostegium. The corpusculum and the apex of one lobe of the corona are shown exerting the corolla tube; bar 2.5 mm.

Dictyanthus stevensii.
A. Habit of the plant with inflorescences; B. Flower; C. Corona and gynostegium; D. Pollinarium.
A‒D based on salomón Maya J. 3463 (MEXU) 
(Illustrated by César Adrián González Martínez). 

Morphological comparison of the flower of some species of Dictyanthus related to Dictyanthus stevensii, based on herbarium specimens.
A. D. hamatus, Diego 6672 (FCME); B. D. eximius, stevens 26651 (MEXU);
C. D. tuberosus, Pringle 4482 (MEXU); E. Dictyanthus stevensii, salomón Maya J. 3463 (MEXU);
bar = 1 cm. 

Dictyanthus stevensii Gonz.-Martínez, Lozada-Pérez et L.O. Alvarado sp. nov. 

Dictyanthus stevensii is morphologically related to D. eximius (Stevens 1988: 1552) Stevens (2000: 243) but differs by having a row of uncinated and interpetiolar trichomes, the indumentum of young stems consists of uncinated and straight trichomes only, corolla green with undulate margin, the lobes of the corona are oblong with spatulate, rounded apex or slightly bilobulated, the apex is exerted from the corolla tube and with the anthers vertices slightly exerted.

Etymology:— The specific epithet honors Dr. Warren Douglas Stevens (b. 1944), botanist, collector and investigator at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Stevens has greatly contributed to the knowledge and taxonomy of the subfamily Asclepiadoidae. Among his contributions, his participation as editor in chief of the Flora of Nicaragua is one of the most important. He has also described over 130 new species from many genera of Asclepiadoideae and other families, mostly from Mexico and Central America. He carried out the most exhaustive taxonomic revision of Dictyanthus (Stevens 1975, 1988) and recognized it as an independent genus from Matalea s.l., based on morphological evidence (Stevens 1999, 2000). In addition, he described six new species for the genus and provided new information about this genus in the Mexican Flora (Stevens 1988).

César Adrián González-Martínez, Lucio Lozada-Pérez and Leonardo O. Alvarado-Cárdenas. 2019. Dictyanthus stevensii (Apocynaceae; Asclepiadoideae; Gonolobinae), A New Species from Chimalapas Region, Oaxaca, Mexico. Phytotaxa. 394(1):79-88. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.394.1.5  

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

[Herpetology • 2020] Gonatodes machelae • A New Diurnal Gecko in the Genus Gonatodes (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) from Margarita Island, Venezuela

Gonatodes machelae 
Rivero-Blanco & Schargel, 2020

We describe a new species of diurnal gecko, Gonatodes machelae sp. nov., from Cerro El Copey, Margarita Island, Venezuela. The new species is distinguished from all congeners by a combination of the following characters: small size, subcaudal pattern C (1’1’’), typically three lateral scale rows on the digits, and aspects of coloration. The new species exhibits polychromatism similar to what has been described in some other species of Gonatodes. It is found in humid forests and shrublands from about 450 m to 900 m above sea level.

Keywords: Reptilia, Caribbean, Gekkota, Reptilia, endemic, taxonomy

Figure 2. Individuals in life of Gonatodes machelae sp. nov. from Cerro El Copey, Margarita Island, Venezuela.
An adult male with dark markings on the head (top), an adult male without dark markings on the head (middle), and an adult female (bottom).
Photos by W. Schargel.

Figure 1. Photos of the head in dorsal (top left) and ventral (top right) views and of the left hand (bottom left) and left foot (bottom right) of the holotype of Gonatodes machelae sp. nov. The scale sutures on the anterior portion of the ventral view of the head were accentuated with black lines.

Figure 4. Habitat of Gonatodes machelae sp. nov. in Cerro El Copey, Margarita Island, Venezuela (top). Juvenile specimen of G. machelae found inside the tank bromeliad Glomeropitcarnia erectiflora.
Photos by G. Rivas.

Gonatodes machelae sp. nov.

Etymology. The new species is dedicated by Carlos Rivero-Blanco to Machela, wife for 53 years and counting, in recognition to her support while studying different species of Gonatodes in the field, including the new species in Cerro El Copey. 

Carlos Rivero-Blanco and Walter E. Schargel. 2020. A New Diurnal Gecko in the Genus Gonatodes (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) from Margarita Island, Venezuela. Zootaxa. 4729(3); 429–439. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4729.3.9

Resumen: Describimos una nueva especie de gecko diurno, Gonatodes machelae sp. nov. proveniente del Cerro El Copey, Isla de Margarita, Venezuela. La nueva especie se diferencia de todas las especies en el género por la combinación de los siguientes caracteres: tamaño pequeño, patrón subcaudal C (1’1’’), típicamente tres hileras de escamas laterales en los dígitos, y en aspectos de su coloración. La nueva especie exhibe un policromatismo similar al que ha sido descrito en algunas otras especies de Gonatodes. Se encuentra en bosques y matorrales húmedos en elevaciones desde 450 a 900 m sobre el nivel del mar.