Monday, February 28, 2022

[Herpetology • 2021] Cyrtodactylus namtiram • A New Species of Cyrtodactylus Gray (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Manipur State, northeast India, with A Critical Review highlighting extensive errors in Literature Covering Bent-toed Geckos of the Indo-Burma Region


Cyrtodactylus namtiram Kamei & Mahony, 

Cyrtodactylus montanus 
Agarwal, Mahony, Giri, Chaitanya, & Bauer, 2018

in Mahony & Kamei, 2021 '2022'. 

A new species of Cyrtodactylus is described from Tamenglong District in northwestern Manipur State, northeast India. The new species is diagnosed from other congeners based on a combination of morphological characters and molecular data (NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene, ND2). Molecular analyses placed the new species as the sister taxon to C. montanus. Due to inconsistencies in the hierarchical clade terminology for Cyrtodactylus species in the Indo-Burma region, recommendations are made for stabilising the terminology and the names for various levels of clades. Based on this revised terminology, the new species was found to be nested within the gansi group of the khasiensis clade, within the Indo-Burma radiation of Cyrtodactylus. A large number of errors and inconsistencies in literature covering species of the Indo-Burma radiation were discovered, particularly in summary tables of measurements and meristic data. Other notable errors found included incorrect identifications of type specimens in figure captions, errors in museum catalogue numbers of type series, incorrect GPS coordinates for type localities, a variety of issues involving GenBank accession numbers and associated data, and many others. We highlight these specific errors and inconsistencies and attempt to clarify or correct them where possible. Suggestions and recommendations are given for authors, journal editors and reviewers on how to improve the accuracy and consistency of morphological and molecular data provided in taxonomic and molecular phylogenetic papers. We also encourage authors and scientific journals to follow or enforce the basic citation guidelines set by NCBI when using sequences downloaded from GenBank, which have been largely overlooked, or ignored. It is hoped that the issues discussed here will be taken as a reminder that errors in peer reviewed papers are an inevitability, and that users of this literature must always carefully assess the accuracy of others’ data when it is important for the interpretation of their results to reduce the propagation of errors in the literature.
KEYWORDS: Cyrtodactylus, lizard, herpetology, taxonomy, Genbank, literature errors

Cyrtodactylus namtiram sp. nov. adult male holotype (BNHS 2751) in life from Tamenglong District, Nagaland State, northeast India:
(a). dorsolateral view; (b). close-up of head, left side; (c). ventral view while under anaesthesia, scale bar = 10 mm. Photos taken ex-situ.
(d). habitat at the type locality.

Cyrtodactylus namtiram Kamei and Mahony, sp. nov.

Based on the relatively deep genetic distance (Figure 2) between the newly collected Manipur specimens (BNHS 2751) and its closest relatives, and morphological evidence (presented below), we recognise it as a unique, previously unnamed species-level taxon. Despite only a single specimen being available for study, we justify the description of a new species based on this voucher for the following reasons: 1) the specimen is sufficiently morphologically diagnosable against all related taxa; 2) morphologically diagnostic new species of Cyrtodactylus are regularly described based on a single specimen (e.g. C. aequalis Bauer, 2003, C. chrysopylos, 2003, C. guwahatiensis Agarwal, Mahony, Giri, Chaitanya and Bauer, 2018, C. mandalayensis, C. meersi Grismer, Wood, Quah, Murdoch, Grismer, Herr, Espinoza, Brown and Lin, 2018, C. myaleiktaung, C. nyinyikyawi Grismer, Wood, Thura, Win and Quah, 2019; Agarwal et al. 2018b; Bauer 2003; Grismer et al. 2018c; 2018d, 2019a; Mahony 2009); 3) the species appears to occur in low density since three visits were made to the type locality and apparently suitable habitat was surveyed over several nights, but only a single specimen was found; 4) the species was found outside of the region’s protected area network, so it may be under threat from anthropogenic habitat modification. The formal description of the species is hoped to encourage efforts by herpetologists to extend surveys in the region to assess potential conservation threats to this gecko.
Etymology: The specific epithet is a toponym for the type locality of the species and is treated as a non-Latin noun in apposition. Northeast India witnessed continuous declines in forest and forest habitats due to various factors, but the rural communities are gradually becoming biodiversity conservation-oriented. Local communities are increasingly seeing their forests as a commodity with long-term value worth protecting. We name this species for its type locality to demonstrate the value of Namtiram’s forests as an important refuge for Manipur’s poorly explored biodiversity. We hope that naming the species after the Village will help promote a sense of ownership, pride, and relatability for the local community.
Suggested common name: Namtiram Bent-toed Gecko.

  Cyrtodactylus montanus in life showing variation of dorsal makings and colouration. Photos taken in-situ of six different uncollected adult individuals from the Jampui Hills, North District, Tripura State, northeast India:
(a). adult female from Phuldungsei Village, nearby the type locality of C. montanus; (b–f). from the vicinity of Vanghmun Village:
(b and c). adult females; (d–f). adult males.

Stephen Mahony and Rachunliu G. Kamei. 2022 '2021'. A New Species of Cyrtodactylus Gray (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Manipur State, northeast India, with A Critical Review highlighting extensive errors in Literature Covering Bent-toed Geckos of the Indo-Burma Region. Journal of Natural History. 55(39-40); 2445-2480. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2021.1994667 

[Herpetology • 2022] Diploderma yangi • A New Species of Diploderma (Squamata: Agamidae) from the upper Salween River in Eastern Tibet, China

Diploderma yangi  
Wang, Zhang & Li, 2022

Zayu Mountain Dragon |  察隅龙蜥  ||  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5099.2.3 

A new species of Diploderma is described from the upper Salween River Valley in eastern Tibet, China based on morphological and genetic data. The new species is morphologically most similar and phylogenetically closely related to D. laeviventre, but it can be easily diagnosed by having distinct conical scales on the post rictal region of the head, distinctively keeled ventral head and body scales, and different coloration of gular spots and dorsolateral stripes in both sexes. The taxonomic discovery further highlights the underestimated diversity of the genus and the importance of habitat conservation of the neglected hot-dry valley ecosystems in the Hengduan Mountain Region of China.
Key words: Cryptic diversity, Draconinae, IUCN, Lizard, Vulnerable

Diploderma yangi sp. nov. in life.
A1: holotype male SWFU 005414; A2: paratype female SWFU 005412;
B1: unvouchered topotypic male; B2: unvouchered topotypic female.
Photos by Xiaolong Liu and Jiansheng Peng.

Diploderma yangi

Etymology. The new species name is derived from the last name of Chinese herpetologist, Dr. Datong Yang, from Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. We name the new species after Dr. Yang in hon-oring his pioneer works and lifetime contributions to the herpetological research in the Hengduan Mountain Region in China. We suggested Zayu Mountain Dragon as its English common name, and 察隅龙蜥 (Pinyin: Chá Yú Lóng Xî) as its Chinese common name.

Habitat at the type locality of Diploderma yangi sp. nov. near Cawarong Village, Zayu County, Tibet, China.
Photo by Xiaolong Liu.

Kai Wang, Yinpeng Zhang and Xianqi Li. 2022. A New Species of Diploderma (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) from the upper Salween River in Eastern Tibet, China.  Zootaxa. 5099(2); 201-220. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5099.2.3

[Herpetology • 2022] Kurixalus qionglaiensis • A New Species of the Genus Kurixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Sichuan Province, southwestern China

Kurixalus qionglaiensis 
Guo, Zhong, Leung, Wang & Hu, 2022 

Qionglai Frilled Tree Frog | 邛崃原指树蛙  ||  DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.293

Combining morphological and molecular data, we describe a new amphibian species of the genus Kurixalus Ye, Fei, & Dubois, 1999 from the Qionglai Mountain within the western margin of the Sichuan Basin in China. Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov. can be diagnosed based on a combination of the following morphological characters: medium-sized within genus (snout-vent length (SVL) in males 28.9−33.3 mm); tympanum distinct, subequal to half of eye diameter; snout pointed, prominence on tip; iris golden with brown spots; slight nuptial pad on first finger in males; background coloration of dorsal surface brown, lateral body and femoral yellow; white, dark brown edged triangular markings on cheek; chin shaded dark brown; pair of large symmetrical dark patches on chest; belly clouded brown and scattered black spots; toes moderately webbed, formula Ⅰ 2–2 Ⅱ 1.5–2.5 Ⅲ 1.5–2.5 Ⅳ 2.5–1.5 Ⅴ; tibia length slightly shorter than half of SVL, tibiotarsal articulation reaching posterior border of eye; single external vocal sac present. Based on the 16S rRNA gene, the genetic distance between the new species and its sister taxon K. idiootocus (Kuramoto & Wang, 1987) was 4%. At present, the new species is known only from a single location at an elevation of ~600 m in Pingle Town, Qionglai City, Sichuan, southwestern China. This location can represent a new northernmost geographical limit of the genus Kurixalus.

Seven tree frogs were collected in the Qionglai Mountains of Sichuan Province in southwestern China. Although these frogs were morphologically similar to frilled tree frogs (genus Kurixalus Ye, Fei, & Dubois, 1999) from the mountains of southern China, northeast India, Indochina, and Indonesia (Figure 1A), no species in the genus has been recorded north of N30°. Based on a combination of morphological characters and molecular data (see detailed comparison below), these specimens are described as a new species herein, named Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov. This species represents a sister taxon to K. idiootocus (Kuramoto & Wang, 1987), with a mean 16S rRNA genetic distance of 4%, which is sufficient to indicate species-level divergence in Anura (Vieites et al., 2009).

  Bayesian inference tree based on concatenated sequences of 16S rRNA gene. Node support is presented as Bayesian posterior probability (PP). Specimens are indicated by the GenBank accession Nos. 

A: Current distribution map of the genus Kurixalus, retrieved from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN;
 Localities of species classified as Clade A in this study: (1) Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov.; (2) K. raoi; (3) K. lenquanensis; (4) K. gracilloides; (5) K. eiffingeri; (6) K. idiootocus; (7) K. berylliniris; and (8) K. wangi.  

Adult male Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov. (holotype CIB 118031) in preservative. B: Dorsal view. C: Ventral view. D. Left hand. E: Right foot.
F: Dorsolateral view of Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov. (paratype CIB 118032) in life. G: Bamboo and scrub forests near stream at type locality. 

A: Current distribution map of the genus Kurixalus, retrieved from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; Localities of species classified as Clade A in this study: (1) Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov.; (2) K. raoi; (3) K. lenquanensis; (4) K. gracilloides; (5) K. eiffingeri; (6) K. idiootocus; (7) K. berylliniris; and (8) K. wangi.  

Photos by K. W. Leung, M.-J. Zhong, and C.-P. Guo.

Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov. Guo, Zhong, Leung, Wang & Hu  
Qionglai Frilled Tree Frog
Qióng Lái Yuán Zhǐ Shù Wā (邛崃原指树蛙).
Diagnosis: The new species is assigned to the Kurixalus genus based on the following morphological characters: small body size; vomerine teeth present; inner and outer fingers not opposed; serrated dermal fringes along outer edge of forearm and tarsus; rough dorsal and lateral surface with tubercles; white tipped dermal tubercles on posterior thigh (Fei et al., 2009; Zeng et al., 2021).

Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all known congeners by a combination of the following morphological characters: medium-sized within genus (SVL: 28.9–33.3 mm in adult males; n=7); snout pointed and projecting; tympanum subequal to half of eye diameter; iris golden with brown spots; weak nuptial pad present on first finger in males; background coloration of dorsal surface brown, lateral body and femoral yellow; white, dark brown edged triangular markings on cheek; chin shaded dark brown; pair of large symmetrical dark patches present on chest; ventral surface shaded brown; toes moderately webbed, formula Ⅰ 2–2 Ⅱ 1.5–2.5 Ⅲ 1.5–2.5 Ⅳ 2.5–1.5 Ⅴ; tibia length slightly shorter than half of SVL, tibiotarsal articulation reaching posterior border of eye; single external vocal sac present.

Etymology: The specific epithet “qionglaiensis” refers to the locality of the holotype in the Qionglai Mountain, Sichuan Province, southwestern China.

Ecological and natural history notes: Loud calls from adult males were heard during the field survey. Four individuals were found calling on shrub leaves ~0.5 m above the ground in a bamboo forest (Figure 1F). Three other individuals were found sitting on bamboo plants ~1 m above the ground. Bufo gargarizans Cantor, 1842 and Rana omeimontis Ye & Fei, 1993 were also encountered at the type locality.

There were no still water pools or other small water bodies in the surrounding area, but there were many bamboo plants and tree holes in the biotope. Rainfall accumulation in small depressions, tree holes, and bamboo stems could provide favorable conditions for reproductive activity of the new species. However, due to the scarcity of females and eggs discovered during the field survey, other details about reproductive behavior remain unknown.

Distribution: We formally report a new northernmost geographical limit of the genus Kurixalus (Figure 1A). Kurixalus qionglaiensis sp. nov. appears to be restricted to bamboo and scrub forests (Figure 1G) at elevations of ~600 m a.s.l., and likely inhabits similar habitats in the Sichuan Basin.

Chun-Peng Guo, Mao-Jun Zhong, Ka Wah Leung, Xiao-Yi Wang, Jun-Hua Hu. 2022. A New Species of the Genus Kurixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Sichuan Province, southwestern China. Zoological Research. 43(1); 90-94. DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.293

[Botany • 2021] New Circumscriptions Add Two northern Andean Species to Kohleria (Gesneriaceae)

Kohleria andina (Fritsch) J.L. Clark & Jost, 

in Clark & Jost, 2021. 

Recent studies of type specimens and exploratory research expeditions in the northern Andes have resulted in an updated circumscription and recognition for two species of Kohleria (Gesneriaceae) in Ecuador and Colombia. A change in the rank from a variety to species is recognized for Kohleria anisophylla (Fritsch) Wiehler. The combination Kohleria andina (Fritsch) J.L. Clark & Jost, comb. nov. is provided here and a lectotype is designated. The updated circumscriptions of these two species are supported by morphology and geographic distribution. The presence of an epiphytic habit for Kohleria is discussed. Field images based on recent expeditions are provided to support the circumscriptions presented here.

Keywords: Colombia, Ecuador, Gesneriaceae, Kohleria, taxonomy

Kohleria andina (Fritsch) J.L. Clark & Jost
A lateral view of flower B female phase of mature flower C male phase of mature flower D habit
(A–D Clark et al. 7750). Photos by J.L. Clark.

New generic placement requires new combination and lectotypification for Kohleria andina

Kohleria andina (Fritsch) J.L. Clark & Jost, comb. nov.

Revised species circumscription for Kohleria anisophylla

Kohleria anisophylla (Fritsch) Wiehler

 John L. Clark and Lou Jost. 2021. New Circumscriptions Add Two northern Andean Species to Kohleria (Gesneriaceae). PhytoKeys. 179: 99-110. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.179.65990

Resumen: Los estudios recientes de las colecciones tipo y las expediciones exploratorias en el norte de los Andes han dado como resultado la actualización en la circunscripción y reconocimiento de dos especies de Kohleria (Gesneriaceae) en Ecuador y Colombia. Se reconoce el cambio de rango de variedad a especie para Kohleria anisophylla (Fritsch) Wiehler. Se presenta la nueva combinación Kohleria andina (Fritsch) J.L. Clark & Jost, comb. nov. con la designación de su lectotipo. La circunscripción actualizada de estas dos especies está soportada por caracteres morfológicos y distribución geográfica. Se discute la presencia del hábito epífito en Kohleria. Se presentan imágenes obtenidas en las expediciones de campo para soportar las circunscripciones propuestas aquí.

[Botany • 2022] Conamomum vietnamense (Zingiberaceae) • A New Species from Tay Nguyen, Vietnam

Conamomum vietnamense N.S.Lý & T.S. Hoang, 

in Ly, Hoang, ... et Newman, 2022. 

Conamomum vietnamense, a new species of Zingiberaceae, is described and illustrated from Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), Vietnam. It is most similar to C. odorum and C. rubidum, but differs in having well-developed stilt roots, elliptic leaf blades, narrowly ovate bracts, abaxially pubescent bracteoles, longer calyx with 2 truncate lobes, broadly obovate to orbicular glabrous labellum, longer filament and glabrous style. Data on distribution, habitat, vernacular name, conservation status and a colour plate of the new species, along with a key to distinguish the species of Conamomum in Cambodia and Vietnam are given.

Keywords: Amomum, Cambodia, Conamomum, Lao PDR, new species, Vietnam, Monocots


Conamomum vietnamense N.S.Lý & T.S. Hoang


Ngoc-Sam Ly, Thanh-Son Hoang, Oudomphone Insisiengmay, Thomas Haevermans and Mark F. Newman. 2022. Conamomum vietnamense (Zingiberaceae), A New Species from Tay Nguyen, Vietnam.  Phytotaxa. 531(2); 129-135. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.531.2.5


Sunday, February 27, 2022

[Entomology • 2022] Taxonomic Changes and Review of the Genera Tipulamima Holland, 1893 and Macrotarsipodes Le Cerf, 1916 stat. rev. (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae: Sesiinae)

Tipulamima pterotarsa (Meyrick, 1933)

in Bartsch & Sáfián, 2022. 
In this study, two genera of Afrotropical Sesiidae, Tipulamima Holland, 1893 and Macrotarsipodes Le Cerf, 1916 stat. rev., are redefined and redescribed, the latter being resurrected from synonymy with the former as a valid genus. Both genera are confirmed to belong to the tribe Synanthedonini. The genera closest to Tipulamima are unknown. Macrotarsipodes is related to Macrotarsipus Hampson, [1893] from Southeast Asia and Lepidopoda Hampson, 1900 from Africa and Southeast Asia. The latter genus as well as Pedalonina are transferred to Synanthedonini. Uranothyris Meyrick, 1933 syn. nov. is regarded as a subjective junior synonym of Tipulamima. Checklists of the species assigned to Tipulamima and Macrotarsipodes are provided. One new species, Tipulamima hesperia sp. nov., from Guinea and Ghana and the previously unknown male of T. pterotarsa (Meyrick, 1933) comb. nov. (Uranothyris) are described and depicted. The following new combinations are introduced: Macrotarsipodes leptosceles (Bradley, 1968) comb. nov. (Synanthedon), M. pedunculata (Hampson, 1910) comb. nov. (Ichneumenoptera), M. sexualis (Hampson, 1910) comb. nov. (Macrotarsipus), M. tricinctus Le Cerf, 1916 comb. rev., Synanthedon malimba (Beutenmüller, 1899) comb. nov. (Sesia), Malgassesia ivondro (Viette, 1955) comb. nov. (Tipulamima), M. opalimargo (Le Cerf, 1913) comb. nov. (Sesia), Lepidopoda aericincta (Meyrick, 1928) comb. nov. (Aegeria), L. cyanospira (Meyrick, 1928) comb. nov. (Aegeria), L. dasysceles (Bradley, 1968) comb. nov. (Synanthedon), L. erythromma (Hampson, 1919) comb. nov. (Synanthedon), L. festiva (Beutenmüller, 1899) comb. nov. (Sesia), L. flavipalpis Hampson, 1910 comb. rev., L. nuba (Beutenmüller, 1899) comb. nov. (Sesia), L. rubripicta (Hampson, 1919) comb. nov. (Synanthedon), L. waterloti (Le Cerf, 1913) comb. nov. & stat. nov. (Macrotarsipodes), Episannina sylphina (Hampson, 1919) comb. nov. (Lepidopoda) (Synanthedonini), Chamanthedon auronitens (Le Cerf, 1913) comb. nov. (Sesia), Pyranthrene hypocalla (Le Cerf, 1937) comb. nov. (Tipulamima), P. nigriceps (Hampson, 1919) comb. nov. (Tipulamima) (Osminiini). Junior subjective synonyms are: Aegeria rubripalpis Meyrick, 1932 syn. nov. of L. rubripicta, Aegeria mercatrix Meyrick, 1931 syn. nov. of L. aericincta and Aegeria pyrostoma Meyrick, 1927 syn. rev. of L. erythromma. Lectotypes of Tipulamima haugi (Le Cerf, 1917), T. flammipes (Hampson, 1910) and Macrotarsipodes sexualis comb. nov. are designated. Clerodendrum paniculatum L. (Lamiaceae) is reported as a host plant of Tipulamima for the first time. The larvae of three species of Macrotarsipodes and several species of Lepidopoda are known to be pests of Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. (Convolvulaceae).

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Afrotropical Region, clearwing moths, Clerodendrum paniculatum, Ipomoea batatas, Lepidopoda, Macrotarsipus, Malgassesia, Pheromones, Pyranthrene, Uranothyris

Daniel Bartsch and Szabolcs Sáfián. 2022. Taxonomic Changes and Review of the Genera Tipulamima Holland, 1893 and Macrotarsipodes Le Cerf, 1916 stat. rev. (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae: Sesiinae). Zootaxa. 5094(1); 103-128. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5094.1.4

[Paleontology • 2022] A Pathological Ulna of Amurosaurus riabinini (Hadrosauridae: Lambeosaurinae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Far Eastern Russia

 Amurosaurus riabinini  Bolotsky & Kurzanov, 1991

in Bertozzo, Bolotsky, Bolotsky, Poberezhskiy, ... et Murphy, 2022.
Illustration: Andrey Atuchin
Bone fractures are the most common type of injuries preserved in the dinosaur fossil record. Poor healing of deep lesions could lead to infection and misalignment of the fracture parts, causing the animals to limp and jeopardising their survival. A wide variety of fossilised fractures have been identified in dinosaur remains, and the type of bone response can provide information about their resilience and ability to survive even major traumatic events. Here we describe a pathological ulna of the lambeosaurine dinosaur Amurosaurus riabinini, from the Udurchukan Formation (Maastrichtian, Upper Cretaceous) of Blagoveshchensk (Amur Region, Russia). Its distal region is hypertrophied and swollen, and the distal articular surface is engulfed within a large overgrowth of newly formed bone. CT-scanning identifies an oblique fracture resulting from an impact, implying that the swollen portion corresponds to callus formation. The bone was still healing prior to the moment of death, although the misalignment of the fracture parts appears to have resulted in a malunion of the two fragments. During locomotion, the wrist would have suffered from a continuous weight-bearing pressure that placed stress upon the fracture site and probably caused the animal to limp and perhaps walk on three limbs.

KEYWORDS: Fracture, dinosaurs, Maastrichtian, lambeosaurinae, physical impairment, palaeopathology

Filippo Bertozzo, Ivan Bolotsky, Yuri L. Bolotsky, Alexey Poberezhskiy, Alastair Ruffell, Pascal Godefroit and Eileen Murphy. 2022. A Pathological Ulna of Amurosaurus riabinini from the Upper Cretaceous of Far Eastern Russia. Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2022.2034805 

[Herpetology • 2022] Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis • A New Species of the Genus Brachytarsophrys Tian & Hu, 1983 (Anura, Megophryidae) from Guizhou Province, China

Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis  
Li, Liu, Yang, Wei & Su, 2022

Qiannan Short-legged Toad | 黔南短腿蟾 ||  DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.10.e79984

The toads of the genus Brachytarsophrys Tian & Hu, 1983 are distributed in southern China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and northern Thailand. Seven species of the genus have been recognised, of which five of them are known from China so far.

New information: 
Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis sp. nov., a new species of the short-legged toad genus is here described from southern Guizhou Province, China. Diagnostic characters of the new species are illustrated and comparisons with its congeners are provided. Its validity is also affirmed by its distinct mitochondrial gene sequence divergence with all congeners and its monophyly recovered in the mitochondrial gene-based phylogenetic analyses.

Keywords: Megophryidae, new taxon, phylogenetic analysis, morphology

Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis sp. nov. the holotype male [CIB LB20210806054] in life.
A dorsal view; B ventral view;
C dorsal view of hand (insert: the nuptial pad on the dorsal surface of the first finger);D ventral view of hand; E ventral view of foot.

Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis sp. nov. Colour variations of the female in life
A dorsal view of CIB LB20210806055; B ventral view of CIB LB20210806055;
C dorsal view of CIB LB20210806055; D ventral view of CIB LB20210806056.

Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis Li, Liu, Yang, Wei, & Su, sp. n.

Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis sp. nov. could be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following morphological characters: (1) body size small (SVL 70.1 mm in male and 80.1 – 84.9 mm in females); (2) tongue pyriform, feebly notched posteriorly; (3) tibiotarsal articulation reaching to commissure of jaw when leg stretched forward; (4) toes about one third to two thirds webbed in males; (5) male with a single subgular vocal sac and a brown nuptial pad present on the dorsal surface of the first finger.

Distribution: Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis sp. nov. is known from the type locality, Libo County, Guizhou Province, China at elevations between 1100 – 1200 m a.s.l.

Ecology: Brachytarsophrys qiannanensis sp. nov. inhabits a mountain stream (Fig. 6) covered by evergreen broadleaf forest, there being only a small amount of water on the surface of the stream. Advertisement call of males can be heard from beneath the rocks at night and the females were frequently found near large rocks.

Etymology: The specific name qiannanensis refers to the distribution of this species, Qiannan Autonomous Prefecture, the County to where the type locality of the species belongs. We propose the common English name “Qiannan Short-legged Toad” and Chinese name “Qian Nan Duan Tui Chan (黔南短腿蟾)”.

 Shize Li, Jing Liu, Guiping Yang, Gang Wei and Haijun Su. 2022. A New Toad Species of the Genus Brachytarsophrys Tian & Hu, 1983 (Anura, Megophryidae) from Guizhou Province, China. Biodiversity Data Journal. 10: e79984. DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.10.e79984

[Botany • 2021] Begonia markiana (Begoniaceae, sect. Platycentrum) • A New Species from Lower Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Begonia markiana Taram, Wahlsteen & D.Borah, 

in Taram, Wahlsteen & Borah, 2022. 

The new species Begonia markiana is described and illustrated. It is similar to B. cathcartii but can easily be distinguished by a lamina with a dark central spot and a densely pilose upper surface in combination with a short dorsal capsule wing. A phylogenetic analysis based on three chloroplast regions placed the new species together with other continental species in section Platycentrum. Both morphology and molecular data suggest the new species as a member of the section Platycentrum.

Keyword: Begonia annulata, Begonia cathcartii, chloroplast DNA, ndhA, new species, ndhF-rpl32, phylogeny, Platycentrum

Begonia markiana Taram, Wahlsteen & D.Borah.
A. Habit. B. Stipule. C. Leaf. D & E. Male flowers. F & G. Female flowers. H. Inner tepal. I. Outer tepal. J. Dry capsule. K. Fresh capsule.
 All scale bars indicate 1 cm. From M. Taram & O. Taku 5442.

Begonia markiana Taram, Wahlsteen & D.Borah, sp. nov. 

Type: INDIA. Arunachal Pradesh, Lower Dibang Valley District, Mayodia, 2000 m, 09 September 2021, M. Taram & O.Taku 5442 (holotype: CAL; Isotype: CAL). 

Diagnosis. Begonia markiana is similar to B. cathcartii Hook.f. & Thomson (Fig. 3) but can easily be distinguished by the lamina with a dark central spot (versus unicolored) and the densely pilose upper surface (versus sparsely strigose), and a short dorsal capsule wing (circa 10 mm versus 15–24 mm).

Etymology: The species epithet honors Mark Hughes (UK) who is one of the leading scholars untangling the knots of the genus Begonia in the Old World and his contribution to the knowledge of the genus in northeast India, especially. 

Distribution and ecology: So far, B. markiana is only known from the Mayodia area in the Lower Dibang River District in Arunachal Pradesh, India. It grows by stream sides in large patches, hanging from vertical rocks.

Begonia cathcartii Hook.f. & Thomson
 in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Momang Taram, Eric Wahlsteen and Dipankar Borah. 2022. Begonia markiana (Begoniaceae), A New Species from Lower Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. Taiwania. 67(2); 165‒170.

[Herpetology • 2022] Stumpffia bishopi • Discovery of Frogs of the Stumpffia hara Species Group (Microhylidae: Cophylinae) on Montagne d’Ambre in northern Madagascar, with Description of A New Species

Stumpffia bishopi 
 Rakotoarison, Glaw, Rasolonjatovo, Razafindraibe, Vences & Scherz, 2022

The stump-toed frogs of the Madagascar-endemic genus Stumpffia are mostly diminutive in size, but there is one group of comparatively large frogs within the genus, which we herein refer to as the Stumpffia hara species group. Each of the four known members of this species group is endemic to a single location of deciduous dry forest with exposed karstic limestone rock. Here, we report on the discovery of members of this species group on Montagne d’Ambre, a rainforest-covered extinct volcano in the North of Madagascar that has a rich Stumpffia fauna but has been thought to lack members of the S. hara species group until now. We found two members of the species group, one at the peak, and one in transitional and dry deciduous forest on the west and northern slopes of the mountain. The high-elevation species is new to science, and we here describe it as Stumpffia bishopi sp. nov. It occupies a highly distinct position in the phylogeny of these frogs, characterized by ≥ 9.8% uncorrected pairwise distance from all other nominal Stumpffia in a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene. It is also the smallest of the members of the S. hara species group. Our genetic results show that the low-elevation species is Stumpffia megsoni, constituting a range expansion of that species and considerably expanding our understanding of its morphology and ecology. We report its advertisement call for the first time. Our results highlight the importance of continued surveys of even well-sampled localities, with special attention on the high elevation sites of northern massifs and collection of voucher specimens, and how much there still remains to understand about even the largest of Madagascar’s small frogs.

Key Words: New species, Stumpffia bishopi sp. nov., phylogeny, montane rainforest, body size, bioacoustics

Stumpffia bishopi sp. nov. in life
 a–c. Holotype ZSM 106/2018 in a. Dorsolateral view; b. Dorsal view; c. Ventral view;
d–f. Paratype UADBA 60224 (ex-ZSM 108/2018) in d. Anterodorsolateral view; e. Dorsal view; f. Ventral view. The orange spot on the left ventral thigh in (f) is probably a trombiculid mite.
Not to scale.

 Stumpffia bishopi sp. nov.

Diagnosis: A moderately small species of Stumpffia from high elevation of Montagne d’Ambre in northern Madagascar. It is assigned to the Stumpffia hara species group on the basis of its molecular phylogenetic affinities. The new species is diagnosed by the unique combination of the following characters: (1) Small-sized species (SVL 14.2–16.6 mm); (2) manus with four fingers (first finger slightly reduced in length) and pes with five toes (first toe not reduced in length); (3) enlarged inner metacarpal tubercle; (4) terminal phalanges of fingers without enlarged discs, those of toes with very slightly enlarged discs; (5) relative hand length HAL/SVL 0.38; (6) relative foot length FOTL/SVL 0.62; (7) dorsum smooth; (8) supratympanic fold distinct; (9) colouration in life dorsally various shades of brown, ventrally with white and black flecks on a taupe to burnt orange background.

Etymology: The species name is a patronym honouring the late Phil Bishop, Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago, who dedicated his life to research on and protection of amphibians. He was an inspirational and incredibly enthusiastic colleague, and we were sorry to lose him far too soon.

Distribution and conservation status: Stumpffia bishopi sp. nov. is known only from the Montagne d’Ambre, northern Madagascar, at high elevations of ca 1330–1480 m above sea level (Fig. 4). The conservation status of the species is in line with other endemics of Montagne d’Ambre: it is known from a single threat-defined location, the protected area of Montagne d’Ambre National Park. Although the extent of occurrence is small enough to qualify for the Critically Endangered category, there are only mild on-going declines to the extent or quality of the habitat, and no known fluctuations in population size or distribution. A change in the protected area’s status would jeopardise the survival of the species, however, so we conservatively recommend listing it as Near Threatened.

 Andolalao Rakotoarison, Frank Glaw, Safidy M. Rasolonjatovo, Jary H. Razafindraibe, Miguel Vences and Mark D. Scherz. 2022. Discovery of Frogs of the Stumpffia hara species group (Microhylidae, Cophylinae) on Montagne d’Ambre in northern Madagascar, with Description of A New Species. Evolutionary Systematics. 6(1): 21-33. DOI: 10.3897/evolsyst.6.76382

Saturday, February 26, 2022

[Paleontology • 2022] Cranial Muscle Reconstructions Quantify Adaptation for High Bite Forces in Oviraptorosauria

in Meade & Ma, 2022. 

Oviraptorosaurians are an unusual and probably herbivorous group of theropod dinosaurs that evolved pneumatised crania with robust, toothless jaws, apparently adapted for producing a strong bite. Using 3D retrodeformed skull models of oviraptorid oviraptorosaurians Citipati, Khaan, and Conchoraptor, along with the earliest diverging oviraptorosaurian, Incisivosaurus, we digitally reconstruct jaw adductor musculature and estimate bite force to investigate cranial function in each species. We model muscle length change during jaw opening to constrain optimal and maximum gape angles. Results demonstrate oviraptorids were capable of much stronger bite forces than herbivorous theropods among Ornithomimosauria and Therizinosauria, relative to body mass and absolutely. Increased bite forces in oviraptorid oviraptorosaurians compared to the earliest diverging oviraptorosaurian result from expanded muscular space and different cranial geometry, not changes in muscular arrangement. Estimated optimal and maximum possible gapes are much smaller than published estimates for carnivorous theropods, being more similar to the herbivorous therizinosaurian theropod Erlikosaurus and modern birds. Restrictive gape and high bite force may represent adaptation towards exploiting tough vegetation, suggesting cranial function and dietary habits differed between oviraptorids and other herbivorous theropods. Differences in the relative strength of jaw adductor muscles between co-occurring oviraptorids may be a factor in niche partitioning, alongside body size.

Luke E. Meade and Waisum Ma. 2022. Cranial Muscle Reconstructions Quantify Adaptation for High Bite Forces in Oviraptorosauria. Scientific Reports. 12: 3010. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-06910-4