Wednesday, June 30, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Scinax pixinguinha • A New Species of Scinax Wagler (Anura, Hylidae) from the Atlantic Forest, Southeastern Brazil

 Scinax pixinguinha
Lacerda, Ferreira, Araujo-Vieira, Zocca & Lourenço, 2021

The Scinax catharinae clade comprises the S. perpusillus and S. catharinae groups. The S. catharinae group has 38 species, mostly from Brazil's Atlantic Forest. We describe a new species of S. catharinae group based on external morphology, color pattern, and bioacoustics. The new species calls from herbaceous vegetation of slow-flowing streams from Santa Teresa, State of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. The new species is distinguished from species of the S. catharinae group by the following combination of characters: male SVL 24.8–28.3 mm and female SVL 31.2–38.6 mm; males with hypertrophied forearms and inguinal glands; interocular region with a dark blotch not exceeding beyond the anterior margin of tympanic level; black blotches on a whitish-green background on the inguinal region and hidden surfaces of legs; call type A of 0.301–0.883 s, and 12–30 notes emitted at a rate of 31.4–42.0 notes/s. We also provide remarks on its natural history and conservation status.

 Scinax pixinguinha (MNRJ 93666; SVL 26.7 mm)
 the bright yellow night coloration during fieldwork  

Scinax pixinguinha, new species

Etymology.— Alfredo da Rocha Vianna Filho (1897–1973), popularly known as Pixinguinha, was a Brazilian musician and the most famous Choro player. Choro or Chorinho is a Brazilian genre of popular music originated in the 19th century. In Portuguese Choro or Chorinho means ‘‘cry’’ or ‘‘little cry,’’ respectively. Ironically, Chorinho is a contagious music commonly played during joyous moments in Brazil. Brazilians usually say Pixinguinha was a kind of magician who learned how to convert tears of Choro (cry) into tears of happiness. Because 72% of the Atlantic Forest original cover has been deforested, discoveries of new species also has the power to momentarily change part of our conservationist sadness into happiness and motivation. Thus, the specific epithet of S. pixinguinha is a noun in apposition in honor of the talented Brazilian musician—Pixinguinha.

João Victor Andrade Lacerda, Rodrigo B. Ferreira, Katyuscia Araujo-Vieira, Cássio Zocca and Ana Carolina C. Lourenço. 2021. A New Species of Scinax Wagler (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae) from the Atlantic Forest, Southeastern Brazil. Ichthyology & Herpetology. 109(2); 522-536. DOI: 10.1643/h2020091 

[Mollusca • 2021] Varadia amboliensis • A New Helicarionoidean Semi-slug Genus (Stylommatophora: Helicarionoidea) from India’s Western Ghats


Varadia amboliensis Bhosale, Thackeray, Muley et Raheem

in Bhosale, Saadi, Wade, Thackeray, ... et Raheem, 2021. 

We here describe a new Indian helicarionoidean genus, Varadia Bhosale & Raheem gen. nov., containing the single species Varadia amboliensis Bhosale, Thackeray, Muley & Raheem gen. et sp. nov. This new semi-slug is endemic to the northern and central Western Ghats and is primarily a forest-living species. We describe and figure the shell, reproductive system, radula, spermatophore and external morphology of this new species, and detail its known distribution. We explore its relationships to other helicarionoideans using phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data for part of the ribosomal RNA gene cluster and discuss the morphology of the new genus in relation to other, primarily South Indian, helicarionoidean taxa. Based on characters of the reproductive system, particularly the male genitalia and the gametolytic sac, we provisionally place Varadia gen. nov. in the Macrochlamydinae (Ariophantidae). This is consistent with the results of our molecular phylogenetic analyses. The combination of large size, broad, densely tuberculated shell lobes and a shell with ca 4 whorls and a disproportionately large body whorl makes V. amboliensis gen. et sp. nov. unique among the helicarionoidean taxa of the Western Ghats. The new semi-slug is also highly distinctive in the morphology of its male genitalia.

Keywords: Varadia amboliensis gen. et sp. nov., Macrochlamydinae, taxonomy, phylogenetics, ribosomal RNA gene cluster

Live individual of Varadia amboliensis from the site near Amboli waterfall.
Image: O. Yadav.

Phylum Mollusca Linnaeus, 1758
Class Gastropoda Cuvier, 1795
Subclass Heterobranchia sensu Bouchet et al., 2017

Order Stylommatophora sensu Bouchet et al., 2017 

Superfamily Helicarionoidea Bourguignat, 1877
Family Ariophantidae Godwin-Austen, 1888
Subfamily Macrochlamydinae Godwin-Austen,1888

Varadia Bhosale & Raheem gen. nov.
Diagnosis: Only known large semi-slug species from the Western Ghats having broad shell lobes (covering nearly all of the dorsal shell surface when fully extended) and a depressed, discoid shell with a large body whorl. Shell thin, glossy golden brown, with 4–4½ rapidly increasing whorls and barely raised spire. Extensive, largely free penial sheath enclosing substantial part of male genitalia. When sheath is in situ and penis in relaxed state, male genitalia constitute a single elongate, irregularly-shaped mass, with all of penis and epiphallic caecum, most of epiphallus and part of flagellum enclosed by sheath; only vas deferens and most of flagellum is visible outside intact sheath. Penial sheath divisible into thick proximal part and thin distal part, with transition between these two parts occurring between distal penis and epiphallic caecum. With penial sheath removed, following evident: region extending from penis to epiphallic caecum long and cylindrical, with distinctive S-shaped bend in penis and associated band of muscle running along length of penis; proximal ¾ of epiphallus held in long, conspicuous loop; and penial retractor muscle with two branches, one inserting subterminally on epiphallic caecum and one inserting on apex of loop of epiphallus. Inner wall of penis divisible into three regions: proximal penis (one major and several minor longitudinal pilasters), mid-penis (several minor longitudinal pilasters) and distal penis (a few minor pilasters with associated regular transverse ridges in interspaces). Inner wall of epiphallic caecum shows one long major longitudinal pilaster, a large mass of reticulate ridges proximally and several minor longitudinal pilasters distally. Gametolytic gland elongated and long; gametolytic sac 3–3.5 times as long as gametolytic duct. Amatorial organ absent. Spermatophore consists of elongated, soft capsule and long tail-pipe, with U-shaped bend at capsule–tail-pipe junction and funnel-like opening at tip of tail-pipe; surface smooth apart from four ribs running obliquely along length of tail-pipe and short spines near end of tail-pipe.

Etymology: The new genus is named in honour of the herpetologist Dr Varad Giri, who has made a major contribution to the modern study and conservation of the Indian herpetofauna; masculine.

Varadia amboliensis Bhosale, Thackeray, Muley & Raheem gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology: Named after the type locality, Amboli, in the Sindhudurg District of southern Maharashtra, India. In recent years, Amboli has emerged as a hotspot for the discovery of new species (particularly reptiles and amphibians) in the northern Western Ghats.

Amrut R. Bhosale, Ahmed J. Saadi, Christopher M. Wade, Tejas U. Thackeray, Asif S. Tamboli, Suhas K. Kadam, Dipak V. Muley and Dinarzarde C. Raheem. 2021. Varadia, A New Helicarionoidean Semi-slug Genus from India’s Western Ghats (Stylommatophora: Helicarionoidea). European Journal of Taxonomy. 757(1), 50-79. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2021.757.1413


[Botany • 2021] Thismia sitimeriamiae (Thismiaceae) • An Extraordinary New Species from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia

Thismia sitimeriamiae Siti-Munirah, Dome & Thorogood

in Siti-Munirah, Dome & Thorogood, 2021. 

We describe an extraordinary new species in the genus Thismia from the Terengganu State of Malaysia in the Malay Peninsula. The new species, which we name Thismia sitimeriamiae, is distinct from all other Thismia species known to science, most notably in its unique mitre configuration formed by the inner tepals and its floral surface morphology characterised by conspicuous orange trichomes. We discuss our findings in the context of underestimated species diversity in the genus Thismia and implications for their conservation. We recommend assigning T. sitimeriamiae the conservation status as Critically Endangered (CR) according to IUCN criteria.

Keywords: conservation, forestry, mycoheterotrophy, species diversity, taxonomy

Figure 2. Illustration of Thismia sitimeriamiae Siti-Munirah, Dome & Thorogood  
A cross section of perianth showing pendulous stamens (above) and slender pistil (beneath) B pistil C aerial view of flower showing mitre and portions of apical part of floral tube and outer tepals D fruit E stamen (showing outer side of connective) F flower, lateral view G habit, showing inflorescence (flower) and roots.
All illustrated from FRI 91118 (excluding D, in situ).

Figure 1. Thismia sitimeriamiae Siti-Munirah, Dome & Thorogood  
A the habitat in Gunung Sarut, in the State of Terengganu (PM)
B the habit of flowering specimen C a fruiting specimen (in situ).


Figure 3. Thismia sitimeriamiae Siti-Munirah, Dome & Thorogood
A habit with roots B flower, view from below C aerial view of floral tube (mitre removed) D flower, aerial view E mitre, lateral view F ovary and pistil, lateral view G flower, lateral view H mitre, lateral view I stellate trichomes on the outer surface of floral tube.
All from FRI 91118 (A–F) and a plant photographed in situ (G–I). Images not to scale (see dimensions in description and Figure 2).

Thismia sitimeriamiae Siti-Munirah, Dome & Thorogood, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Thismia sitimeriamiae has a unique combination of morphological traits, by which it differs from all its congeners including its orange colour, its surface characteristics and its floral architecture: the flower is strigose with pale orange simple and stellate trichomes covering the outer surface of the floral tube, mitre and ovary; the upper surface of the annulus is covered by very short trichomes; the outer tepals are reduced and inconspicuous and the inner tepals are curved upwards, connate, forming an umbrella/parasol-like mitre with a flattish apex.

Distribution: Endemic to Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. Currently known only from the type locality (Map 1).

Ecology: Lowland dipterocarp forest on moist soil in shade at an elevation of 209 m a.s.l. Flowering and fruiting from December to February.

Etymology: Thismia sitimeriamiae is dedicated to Siti Meriam, the mother of the second author (Dome Nikong), in honour of her unparalleled support for the conservation activities pursued by Dome Nikong and her help in maintaining his plant collections.

 Mat Yunoh Siti-Munirah, Nikong Dome and Chris J. Thorogood. 2021. Thismia sitimeriamiae (Thismiaceae), An Extraordinary New Species from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. PhytoKeys. 179: 75-89. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.179.68300


Monday, June 28, 2021

[Ichthyology • 2021] Corydoras bethanae • A New Arc-striped Species of Corydoras Lacépède, 1803 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) from the Peruvian Amazon

A. Corydoras bethanae, female holotype, río Blanco, Department of Loreto, Peru.
B. Corydoras arcuatus unpreserved aquarium specimen.
Bentley, Grant & Tencatt, 2021
Photos by Steven Grant & Hans-Georg Evers.

A new Corydoras is described from the Blanco and Ucayali river basins in Peru. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by having the following features: (I) posterior margin of dorsal-fin spine with laminar serrations directed towards the origin of the spine; (II) a long, wide, arched, and continuous black stripe, which runs parallel to the dorsal profile of the body, extending at least from the region below anterior origin of dorsal fin to the anterior half of the ventral caudal-fin lobe; (III) a black stripe transversally crossing the eye, forming the typical mask-like blotch; mask clearly not fused to arched stripe in most specimens; some specimens with mask separated from arched stripe by a thin line around the suture between neurocranium (in the region composed by the posteroventral margin of parieto-supraoccipital plus the posterodorsal margin of the compound pterotic) and first dorsolateral body plate; (IV) posterior margin of pectoral-fin spine with laminar serrations directed towards the origin of the spine; (V) pointed snout, presenting a long mesethmoid, with anterior tip larger than 50% of the entire length of the bone; and (V) ventral surface of trunk covered by small, non-coalescent platelets. A discussion on the possible positive adaptive value of the arc-striped color pattern is also provided.

Keywords: Pisces, Aposematism, Corydoradinae, mimicry, río Blanco, taxonomy

FIGURE 2. A. Corydoras bethanae, holotype alive, MUSM 69403, female, 51.2 mm SL, Peru, Department of Loreto, río Blanco. B. Corydoras arcuatus unpreserved aquarium specimen. C. Corydoras granti unpreserved aquarium specimen from Peru, río Tapiche.
Photos A and C by Steven Grant, B by Hans-Georg Evers.

FIGURE 6. Live coloration of paratypes of Corydoras bethanae, BMNH 2017.5.25.1-21, showing A. female, and B. male. Fin coloration affected by background colors. Arrows indicate gap in arc-stripe around the suture between neurocranium.
Photos by Steven Grant.

FIGURE 8. Photos of the habitat of Corydoras bethanae, new species, showing A. its type-locality, the río Blanco, and B. the confluence of río Blanco (left) with río Tapiche, both in Peru.
Photo A by Mark Breeze, and B by Tom Christoffersen.

Rebecca Frances Bentley, Steven Grant and Luiz Fernando Caserta Tencatt. 2021. A New Arc-striped Species of Corydoras Lacépède, 1803 (Teleostei: Callichthyidae) from the Peruvian Amazon. Zootaxa. 4948(2); 184–200. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4948.2.2  

[Botany • 2021] Orophea sichaikhanii (Annonaceae) ต่างหูคลองเงิน • A New Species from southern Thailand, with A Key to the Species of Orophea in Thailand and Notes on Some Species

Orophea sichaikhanii Damth., Aongyong & Chaowasku.

in Damthongdee, Aongyong & Chaowasku, 2021. 
ต่างหูคลองเงิน || DOI: 10.5091/plecevo.2021.1780

Background and aims – Recent botanical expeditions in Ranong Province, southern Thailand yielded unidentifiable collections of Orophea subgenus Sphaerocarpon (Annonaceae). To elucidate the taxonomic status of these collections, detailed morphological examinations and comparisons with morphologically similar species are made.

Material and methods – This study followed standard practices of herbarium taxonomy. Specimens of Orophea spp. in BKF, CMUB, L, and QBG herbaria were studied. Digitised type specimens deposited in BM, E, G, K, and L herbaria were accessed. A stereo microscope was used for morphological observations and measurements.

Key results – A new species Orophea sichaikhanii is described and illustrated. The Peninsular Malaysian O. hastata and O. kingiana are the species most similar to the new species. Orophea sichaikhanii is different from O. hastata in several traits: indumentum on ovaries and young twigs; length of pedicels, inner petals, and inner petal claw; and inner petal colour and tip. The new species differs from O. kingiana by having dissimilar colour and tip of inner petals; lower number of stamens and carpels per flower; and glabrous ovaries. Additionally, a key to the species of Orophea in Thailand and notes on certain species are provided.

Keywords: Annonaceae, Miliuseae, morphology, new species, Orophea, subgenus Sphaerocarpon, systematics, taxonomy, southern Thailand

Figure 3 – Flower and floral organs of Orophea sichaikhanii Damth., Aongyong & Chaowasku.
A. Flower with one inner petal removed. B. Outer petal: adaxial (below) and abaxial (above) sides. C. Inner petal: adaxial side (right), showing glands (paired slits), and abaxial side (left). D. Stamen: adaxial (left) and abaxial (right) sides. E. Flower with petals removed. F. Flower with petals and stamens removed. G. Carpel, showing glabrous ovary and globose stigma. H. Flower with petals, stamens, and carpels removed, showing torus and adaxial side of sepals. I. Same as (H), but showing abaxial side of sepals. All from Sichaikhan 6 (CMUB).

Orophea sichaikhanii Damth., Aongyong & Chaowasku.
 A. Inflorescence and flowers. B. Infructescence and globose monocarp. C. Twig, showing upper leaf surface. D. Twig, showing lower leaf surface.
Photographs by Kithisak Aongyong (A) and Geerawit Sichaikhan (B–D). 

Orophea sichaikhanii Damth., Aongyong & Chaowasku, sp. nov.

Etymology –This species is named after Geerawit Sichaikhan, who collected the specimens. He is an electrical engineer, but has a strong interest in plant diversity, especially in the area where he was born and has lived (Ban Khlong Ngoen).

Anissara Damthongdee, Kithisak Aongyong and Tanawat Chaowasku. 2021. Orophea sichaikhanii (Annonaceae), A New Species from southern Thailand, with A Key to the Species of Orophea in Thailand and Notes on Some Species. Plant Ecology and Evolution. 154(2); 307-315. DOI: 10.5091/plecevo.2021.1780

[Botany • 2021] Zingiber magang & Z. tamii (Zingiberaceae) • Two New Species from central Vietnam


 Zingiber tamii N.S.Lý & Škorničk.

in Ly, Do, Cao, ... et Leong-Skornickova, 2021. 

Zingiber magang and Z. tamii, two new species of Zingiber sect. Cryptanthium (Zingiberaceae) from central Vietnam are described and illustrated. Information on their distribution, ecology, phenology, uses and vernacular names are provided. A preliminary IUCN conservation assessment of each of these species is proposed. A key to species of Zingiber sect. Cryptanthium in Vietnam is also given.

Keyword: Annamite range, endemic species, monocots, taxonomy, Zingiber sect. Cryptanthium

Fig. 2. Zingiber magang N.S.Lý & Škorničk. 
A. Habit. B. Detail of pseudostem. C. Basal part of the plant with an inflorescence. D. Inflorescence with flowers (top view). E. Fertile bract (basal part of the inflorescence), flower enclosed in fertile bract (middle part of the inflorescence), bract, bracteole. F. corolla lobes, labellum, ovary with floral tube and stamen (calyx removed), calyx. G. Stamen from side and front view, ovary with epigynous glands. H. Young fruit from outside and when open with young seed in between.
Photos Ngọc-Sâm Lý from the type Lý-1327.

Fig. 1. Zingiber magang N.S.Lý & Škorničk. 
A. Habit. B. Basal part of the plant with an inflorescence. C. Inflorescence with a flower (side view).
Photos Ngọc-Sâm Lý from the type Lý-1327.

Zingiber magang N.S.Lý & Škorničk. sp. nov. 

 Zingiber magang is rather distinct from its congeners by combination of leafy shoots composed of only 3–5 prominently petiolate leaves with weakly plicate and somewhat shiny leathery laminae, and inflorescences with basal part of basal bracts convex and slightly inflated giving it somewhat bullate appearance. 

Vernacular names and uses: This species is locally known as magang (Kinh minority), Pagieng or Pagang (Co, Ca Dong and Hre minorities). Rhizomes of this species are harvested, crushed and applied for healing wounds and bone fractures. 

Etymology: The specific epithet “magang” is derived from the common name applied to this species by local people from Kinh tribe in Quảng Ngãi province


Fig. 4. Zingiber tamii N.S.Lý & Škorničk.
A. Basal portion of flowering plant showing rhizome, inflorescence and leafless sheaths. B. Fertile bracts (external and internal view), bracteole, flower in side view with bracteole attached. C. Flowerin side view with calyx removed. D. Flower dissection (from left): floral tube with ovary and stamen attached (calyx removed), ovary with epigynous glands, calyx, dorsal corolla lobe, two lateral corolla lobes, labellum with basally connate lateral staminodes
 Photos Ngọc-Sâm Lý from the type Lý-1323.

Fig. 3. Zingiber tamii N.S.Lý & Škorničk.
A. Plant habit. B. Leaves and petioles. C. Inflorescence with a flower (side view). D. Inflorescence with a flower (semi-top view).
Photos Ngọc-Sâm Lý from the type Lý-1323.

Zingiber tamii N.S.Lý & Škorničk. sp. nov. 

 Similar to Z. vuquangense N.S.Lý et al. by overall similarity in leafy shoots consisting of prominently petiolate, broadly elliptic and prominently plicate laminae, but differs by overall smaller size 0.5–0.7 m, shorter ligules 3–5 mm long, smaller abaxially glabrous laminae 15.8–21.5 × 7.5–9.5 cm, narrowly ovate bracts, shorter calyx 10–12 mm long, pale yellow and externally sparsely puberulous corolla lobes, pale yellow lateral staminodes and ovate to elliptic ovate very dark purple labellum with small yellow blotches and yellow margin (compared to larger size 1.2–1.8 m, ligules 12–30 mm long, larger laminae abaxially densely pubescent along midrib 26–50.8 × 9–14.7 cm, oblong to club-shaped bracts, longer calyx 17–18 mm long, bright yellow and glabrous corolla lobes, lateral staminodes yellow with pink purple apex and obovate pink-purple labellum with pale yellow spots in Z. vuquangense).  

Distribution and habitat: Near streams and in the moist and shady understorey of primary and secondary tropical broadleaved forests between 520–930 m elevation. 

 Eponymy: This species is named in honour of Mr. Trương Quang Tâm, a forestry engineer at Institute of Tropical Biology.

Ngọc-Sam Ly, Dang-Giap Do, Ngọc-Giang Cao, Ba-Vuong Truong, Van-Thanh Nguyen and Jana Leong-Skornickova. 2021. Zingiber magang and Z. tamii (Zingiberaceae), Two New Species from central Vietnam. Taiwania. 66(2); 232‒240. 

[Mollusca • 2021] Lirapex felix • A New Peltospirid Snail (Gastropoda: Neomphalida) adds to the Unique Biodiversity of Longqi Vent Field, Southwest Indian Ridge

Lirapex felix
Chen, Han, Copley & Zhou, 2021

The biodiversity of deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean remains poorly characterised compared with that of their Pacific and Atlantic counterparts. Although the Longqi hydrothermal vent field is the most extensively explored vent site on the ultra-slow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge, it is still a source of new discoveries. Here, we report and formally describe a new peltospirid snail from Longqi – Lirapex felix sp. nov. Known from only two specimens, it differs from other named Lirapex species by a depressed spire and the lack of coil loosening on the body whorl. Examinations of the external anatomy and radular characteristics agree with its placement in Lirapex, which is also supported by a molecular phylogeny reconstructed using the barcoding fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene. This is the fifth peltospirid snail known to inhabit the Longqi field, three of which (including Lirapex felix sp. nov.) have been found nowhere else. There is growing evidence that the Longqi field represents a biogeographically unique site among Indian Ocean vents. The discovery of Lirapex felix sp. nov. adds to the unique biodiversity of Longqi field, with implications for conservation in the light of potential deep-sea mining.

KEYWORDS: deep sea, hydrothermal vent, Indian Ocean, Mollusca, new species

 Lirapex felix sp. nov. 

Chong Chen, Yuru Han, Jonathan T. Copley and Yadong Zhou. 2021. A New Peltospirid Snail (Gastropoda: Neomphalida) adds to the Unique Biodiversity of Longqi Vent Field, Southwest Indian Ridge. Journal of Natural History. 55(13-14); 851-866. DOI:  10.1080/00222933.2021.1923851

[Botany • 2021] Kalanchoe darainensis (Crassulaceae) • A New Species from northeastern Madagascar

Kalanchoe darainensis D.-P. Klein & Callm.

in Klein, Shtein, Nusbaumer et Callmander, 2021. 

A new species of small, rosulate and upright-flowered Kalanchoe Adans. (Crassulaceae) from northeastern Madagascar is described and illustrated: Kalanchoe darainensis D.-P. Klein & Callm. Morphologically, Kalanchoe darainensis is most similar to Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelln. and Kalanchoe globulifera H. Perrier which are known from the northwestern Tsaratanana Massif, c. 100 km southwest of Daraina. Detailed notes on the habitat and ecology of Kalanchoe darainensis are provided, as well as a short taxonomical overview of allied species of the Kalanchoe subg. Kalanchoe from Madagascar, including an identification key to those species. Despite its restricted distribution in the protected Antsahabe massif, the new species is preliminary assessed as “Least concern” [LC] using the IUCN Red List Criteria. 

KEYWORDS: Crassulaceae, Kalanchoe, Madagascar, Daraina, Loky-Manambato, new species

Kalanchoe darainensis D.-P. Klein & Callm.
A. Habit; B. Basal leaf; C. Dissection of corolla, showing androecium and gynoecium; D. Flower; E. Inflorescence; F. Anther with flattened spheroid connective gland.
 [Ranirison 749, TEF] [Drawings: R.L. Andriamiarisoa]

Kalanchoe darainensis D.-P. Klein & Callm.
A. Rosulate growth with succulent, bright green to olive leaves; B. Terminal, scarlet red and many-flowered dichasial cymes; C. Leaves entirely covered with short to long glandular hairs.
[A – B: Ranirison 749; C: Callmander et al. 241] 
[Photos: A – B: P. Ranirison; C: M. Callmander]

David-Paul Klein, Ronen Shtein, Louis Nusbaumer and Martin W. Callmander. 2021. Kalanchoe darainensis (Crassulaceae), A New Species from northeastern Madagascar. Candollea. 76(1); 117-123. DOI: 10.15553/c2021v761a12

Sunday, June 27, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Underestimated Diversity of Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Sauria: Gekkonidae) on Karst Landscapes in Sarawak, East Malaysia, Borneo

Bornean species of rock geckos. 
A—Cnemaspis kendallii | B—Cnemaspis nigridia 
 | D—Cnemaspis paripari | E—Cnemaspis leucura 
 | G—Cnemaspis Sp. 2 | H—Cnemaspis Sp. 3.
in Nashriq & Das, 2021. 

The paraphyletic group of Old World rock gecko genus Cnemaspis, currently comprises ~180 described species from Africa and Asia.  The south-east Asian clade with 63 described species, is most diverse on the Thai-Malay Peninsula, with just five species known from Borneo, an island biodiversity hotspot.  Karst regions are known as centres for species endemism, and vast areas of caves and karst exist across northern Borneo.  Fieldwork from 2017 to 2020 recovered additional undescribed species of Cnemaspis from areas of karst forests in western and northern Sarawak.  These discoveries emphasize the importance of preserving areas of limestone karst within rainforest areas for maintaining species diversity, as well as accelerating research on documenting the biota.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Borneo, Cnemaspis, Karst, Sarawak, Systematics

Cnemaspis paripari, photographed at Wind Cave, Sarawak.
 photo: Indraneil Das.

Bornean species of rock geckos. 
A—Cnemaspis kendallii | B—Cnemaspis nigridia | C—Cnemaspis dringi | D—Cnemaspis paripari| E—Cnemaspis leucura | F—Cnemaspis Sp. 1 | G—Cnemaspis Sp. 2 | H—Cnemaspis Sp. 3.
photo: A, B, D, F, H—Indraneil Das; C—Joshua Matta; E—Pui Yong Min; G—Hayden Davis

 Izneil Nashriq and Indraneil Das. 2021. Underestimated Diversity of Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Sauria: Gekkonidae) on Karst Landscapes in Sarawak, East Malaysia, Borneo. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13(7); 18792–18799. DOI: 10.11609/jott.7195.13.7.18792-18799.

  Kumpulan paraphyletic cicak batu genus Cnemaspis dari Dunia Lama, kini dianggarkan mempunyai ~180 spesis dikenal pasti dari Afrika dan Asia. Klad Asia tenggara dengan 63 spesis terhurai, dilihat lebih pelbagai di semenanjung Thai-Malay, dengan hanya lima spesis dikenal pasti dari Borneo, sebuah pulau kaya dengan kepelbagaian hidupan. Kawasan batu kapur diketahui sebagai kawasan tumpuan spesis endemik, dengan jumlah bilangan kawasan gua dan batu kapur yang besar di utara Borneo. Kerja lapangan daripada 2017 hingga 2020 telah menambahkan bilangan spesis Cnemaspis dari kawasan hutan batu kapur di barat dan utara Sarawak. Penemuan ini menekankan kepentingan memelihara kawasan batu kapur dalam hutan hujan tropika untuk menjaga kepelbagaian spesis, serta meningkatkan kajian dan dokumentasi biota. 


[Ichthyology • 2021] Acroteriobatus andysabini & A. stehmanni • Resolution of the Acroteriobatus leucospilus Species Complex, with A Redescription of A. leucospilus (Norman, 1926) (Rhinopristiformes, Rhinobatidae) and Descriptions of Two New western Indian Ocean Species of Acroteriobatus

Acroteriobatus leucospilus (Norman, 1926)

in Weigmann, Ebert & Séret, 2021.
Recent sampling efforts and examinations of museum material provided evidence for a complex of species within Acroteriobatus leucospilus (Norman, 1926). The present manuscript contains a redescription of A. leucospilus involving the syntypes and additional material, as well as formal descriptions of two new species of Acroteriobatus Giltay, 1928. All specimens of both new species were found in the western Indian Ocean. Individuals of the first new species, hereafter referred to as Acroteriobatus andysabini sp. nov., were identified originating from Madagascar, and specimens of the second new species, hereafter referred to as Acroteriobatus stehmanni sp. nov., were only found off Socotra Islands at the junction between the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Both new species appear to be endemic to the respective region and allopatric to A. leucospilus and occur in coastal waters to at least 80 m and 43 m depth, respectively. They differ from A. leucospilus in a number of characteristics including the maximum size and coloration in fresh. Acroteriobatus andysabini sp. nov. is a large species growing to more than 100 cm total length (TL) and with elongated bluish-gray spots on snout giving “stripe-nosed” appearance; numerous small bluish-gray spots on pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, and caudal fins; brown spots on trunk and fin bases; lateral tail folds striped orange and white; and ventral surface largely white but with a V-shape pattern of faint to dark speckled black spots on snout tip. Acroteriobatus stehmanni sp. nov. is a small species growing to ~62 cm TL and with sparse patterning with small bluish-gray circular spots confined to snout tip, posterior pectoral-fin margins, a pair on midbody, and few on posterior pelvic-fin margins, rather indistinct small to larger dark brown spots, and lateral tail folds and ventral surface white. Acroteriobatus leucospilus is a medium-sized species growing to ~96 cm TL and with patterning similar to A. andysabini sp. nov. but ventral surface uniformly white and lateral tail folds white or striped blue and brown. Taxonomical differences include nasal lamellae counts (42–48 in A. andysabini sp. nov. vs. 43–48 in A. stehmanni sp. nov. vs. 37–41 in A. leucospilus), snout angle (76–85° vs. 71–77° vs. 68–81°), and dorsal head length (24.2–33.5% vs. 17.2–22.8% TL vs. 24.0–29.2% TL). A key to the species of Acroteriobatus is given for the first time.

Keywords: Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii, Systematics, Guitarfishes, Taxonomy, Morphology

Family Rhinobatidae Bonaparte 1835

Genus Acroteriobatus Giltay, 1928

Type species: Rhinobatus (Syrrhina) annulatus Smith 
in Müller & Henle, 1841 
by subsequent designation

Acroteriobatus andysabini sp. nov.,
Fig. 1 SAIAB 97396, juvenile male holotype, 565 mm TL fresh, in total dorsal view taken directly after catching. Photograph by Elaine Heemstra, NRF-SAIAB
Fig. 2 SAIAB 97396, juvenile male holotype, 550 mm TL, in total dorsal view. Scale bar: 5 cm. Photograph courtesy Marsha Englebrecht. 
Fig. 3 SAIAB 97396, juvenile male holotype, 550 mm TL, in total ventral view. Scale bar: 5 cm. Photograph courtesy Marsha Englebrecht.

Acroteriobatus andysabini sp. nov. Weigmann, Ebert & Séret

Diagnosis: A large Acroteriobatus species distinguished by the following combination of characters: dorsal surface smooth, without prominent thorns or tubercles, except for enlarged granular denticles partially around orbital rims and irregularly distributed along midline from nape to somewhat anterior to first dorsal-fin origin; absent between dorsal fins and upper caudal fin. Snout semi-translucent with elongated bluish-gray spots giving “stripe-nosed” appearance, numerous small bluish-gray spots covering disc and pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, and caudal fins on a brown background with larger, slightly darker, indistinct brown spots covering the tail and fin bases; outer edges of pelvic-fin margins white, lateral tail folds striped orange and white; ventral surface white, except for a V-shape pattern of faint to dark speckled black spots on snout tip. Nasal lamellae 42–48; upper jaw tooth row count ~80–87; 179–185 post-synarcual centra; 195–200 total vertebral segments; 64–68 total pectoral skeleton radials.

Distribution: Acroteriobatus andysabini sp. nov. is presently only known from the coastal waters surrounding Madagascar and may be endemic to this region (Fig. 13). Records are from off Tôlanaro, Anosy region, and Cape Andavaka (southeastern Madagascar), Toliara and Ankilibe (southwestern Madagascar), and Antongil Bay (northeastern Madagascar). Its depth range is from shallow coastal waters to at least 80 m. Fricke et al. (2018) reported A. leucospilus as a new species record for Madagascar but commented that the species had been misidentified previously as Rhinobatos (= Acroteriobatus) annuulatus by several earlier authors.

Etymology: The species name andysabini is in honor of Andy Sabin for his gracious support of the Lost Sharks project at the Pacific Shark Research Center.

 Acroteriobatus stehmanni sp. nov.
Fig. 16
ZMH 25557, adult female paratype, 602 mm TL fresh, in total dorsal view taken directly after catching. Scale bar: 5 cm. The photograph was taken and kindly provided by Matthias Stehmann. 
Fig. 17 ZMH 25558, adult female paratype, 594 mm TL fresh, in total dorsal view taken directly after catching. Scale bar: 5 cm. The photograph was taken and kindly provided by Matthias Stehmann. 

Fig. 14
ZMH 25553, adult male holotype, 597 mm TL, in total dorsal view. Scale bar: 5 cm. 
Fig. 15 ZMH 25553, adult male holotype, 597 mm TL, in total ventral view. Scale bar: 5 cm

Acroteriobatus stehmanni sp. nov. Weigmann, Ebert & Séret
Diagnosis: A small Acroteriobatus species distinguished by the following combination of characters: dorsal surface smooth, without prominent thorns or tubercles, except for slightly enlarged granular denticles partially around orbital rims and rather regularly distributed along midline from nape to or to somewhat anterior to first dorsal-fin origin; absent between dorsal fins and upper caudal fin. Snout semi-translucent with a few, somewhat elongated bluish-gray spots only giving it a very reduced stripe-nosed appearance, patterning with small bluish-gray circular spots generally sparse and confined to symmetrical patterns on snout tip, posterior pectoral-fin margins, a pair of tiny spots on midbody behind occipital joint, and few spots on posterior pelvic-fin margins; indistinct brown spots on the body and dorsal and caudal fins; ventral surface white except for a blackish blotch and two tiny black spots on ventral snout tip in smallest juvenile paratype. Nasal lamellae 43–48; upper jaw tooth row count ~64–78; 181–186 post-synarcual centra; 194–200 total vertebral segments; 63–67 total pectoral skeleton radials.

Distribution: Acroteriobatus stehmanni sp. nov. is presently only known from the coastal waters surrounding the Socotra Islands and may be endemic to this region (Fig. 13). It is known from 36 to 43 m depth.

Etymology: The species is named in honor of Dr. Matthias F.W. Stehmann for his invaluable contributions to chondrichthyan taxonomy, particularly with respect to skates. He taught SW and BS chondrichthyan taxonomy, collected all type specimens of the new species, and kindly provided fresh photographs of two of them.

Acroteriobatus leucospilus, underwater photograph showing the vivid live coloration.

photograph by Dennis King.

Acroteriobatus leucospilus (Norman, 1926)
(Blue-spotted guitarfish)
Diagnosis: A medium-sized Acroteriobatus species distinguished by the following combination of characters: dorsal surface smooth, without prominent thorns or tubercles, except for slightly enlarged granular denticles partially around orbital rims and rather regularly distributed along midline from nape to near first dorsal-fin origin; absent between dorsal fins and upper caudal fin. Snout semi-translucent with elongated bluish spots giving stripe-nosed appearance, numerous small bluish spots covering snout, pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, and caudal fins but not central disc on a sandy brown background with darker brown spots of varying sizes covering the disc, tail, fin bases, and fins, sometimes giving the caudal peduncle a striped appearance; outer edges of pectoral- and pelvic-fin margins blue, lateral tail folds white or striped blue and brown; ventral surface white. Nasal lamellae 37–41; upper jaw tooth row count ~60–75; 187–192 post-synarcual centra; 200–205 total vertebral segments; 63–70 total pectoral skeleton radials.

Distribution: Acroteriobatus leucospilus so far has been recorded from off the central Transkei coast (Eastern Cape Province) to the northern KwaZulu-Natal Province (South Africa) and Mozambique. Ebert et al. (2021), based on the examined material, extended its range to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Fig. 13). It is known from 0 to 100 m depth (Compagno et al. 1989; Séret et al. 2016; Weigmann 2016) but seems to be most abundant in depths of around 20 fathoms or 37 m (Wallace 1967).

Simon Weigmann, David A. Ebert and Bernard Séret. 2021. Resolution of the Acroteriobatus leucospilus Species Complex, with A Redescription of A. leucospilus (Norman, 1926) and Descriptions of Two New western Indian Ocean Species of Acroteriobatus (Rhinopristiformes, Rhinobatidae). Marine Biodiversity. 51, 58. DOI: 10.1007/s12526-021-01208-6