Friday, June 30, 2023

[Botany • 2023] Allium murat-sonayii (Amaryllidaceae) • A New Species from Türkiye

Allium murat-sonayii Balos, Sonay & C. Çeçen, 
 in Balos, Sonay, Çeçen, et Akan, 2023. 
Allium murat-sonayii Balos, Sonay & C. Çeçen is described as a new species from Elazığ Province, Eastern Türkiye. Diagnostic characteristics, a comprehensive description, photographs and a distribution map are provided. Based on morphological features, it belongs in Allium subgen. Allium sect. Allium. It is similar to A. stearnianum, A. stearnianum subsp. vanense, A. aybukeae, A. gemiciana, A. yamadagensis and A. dictyoprasum, but differs from them by several morphological characters, such as bulblets color, stem length, leaf, umbel shape, perigon colour, outer and inner tepal, anther colour, filaments and ovary.

Keywords: Elazığ, Karakoçan, morphology, Sarıcan, taxonomy, Monocots

Allium murat-sonayii Balos, Sonay & C. Çeçen

Mehmet Maruf Balos, Veysel Sonay, Cahit Çeçen, Hasan Akan. 2023. Allium murat-sonayii (Amaryllidaceae), A New Species from Türkiye. Phytotaxa. 600(1); 43-51. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.600.1.6

[Herpetology • 2021] Leptobrachella jinshaensis • A New Species of the Asian Leaf Litter Toad Genus Leptobrachella Smith, 1925 (Anura: Megophryidae) from northwest Guizhou Province, China

Leptobrachella jinshaensis 
Cheng, Shi, Li, Liu, Li & Wang, 2021

Jinsha Leaf Litter Toad | 金沙掌突蟾  ||  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1021.60729

A new species of the Asian leaf litter toad genus Leptobrachella is described from Guizhou Province, China. Molecular phylogenetic analyses support the new species as an independent lineage deeply nested in the Leptobrachella clade. The new species is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following morphological characters: body size medium (SVL 29.7–31.2 mm in five adult males); dorsal skin shagreened, some of the granules forming longitudinal short skin ridges; tympanum distinctly discernible, slightly concave; supra-axillary, femoral, pectoral and ventrolateral glands distinctly visible; absence of webbing and lateral fringes on fingers; toes with narrow lateral fringes but without webbing; heels overlapping when thighs are positioned at right angles to the body; tibia-tarsal articulation reaching the middle of eye when leg stretched forward. The discovery highlighted the underestimated species diversity in the Leptobrachella toads in southwestern China.

Keywords: Leptobrachella jinshaensis sp. nov., molecular phylogenetic analyses, morphology, Taxonomy

Photos of the holotype CIBCS20200516004 of Leptobrachella jinshaensis sp. nov. in life
A dorsal view B ventral view C dorsal view of hand D ventral view of hand E ventral view of foot.

Colour variation in Leptobrachella jinshaensis sp. nov.
 A dorsal view of the male specimen CIBJS20200516002 B dorsal view of the male specimen CIBJS20200516005 C ventral view of the male specimen CIBJS20200516005 D ventral view of the male specimen CIBJS20200516003.

Leptobrachella jinshaensis sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Leptobrachella jinshaensis sp. nov. is assigned to the genus Leptobrachella based on molecular phylogenetic analyses and the following morphological characters: medium size, rounded finger tips, the presence of an elevated inner palmar tubercle not continuous to the thumb, the presence of macroglands on body (including supra-axillary, pectoral, and femoral glands), vomerine teeth absent, tubercles on eyelids, and the anterior tip of snout with a vertical white bar.
Leptobrachella jinshaensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: body of medium size (SVL 29.7–31.2 mm in five adult males); dorsal skin shagreened, some of the granules forming longitudinal short skin ridges; tympanum distinctly discernible, slightly concave; supra-axillary, femoral, pectoral, and ventrolateral glands distinctly visible; absence of webbing and lateral fringes on fingers; toes with narrow lateral fringes and without webbing; heels overlapping when thighs positioned at right angles to the body; tibia-tarsal articulation reaching the middle eye when leg stretched forward.

Etymology: The specific name jinshaensis refers to the distribution of this species, Jinsha County, Guizhou Province, China. We suggest its English common name “Jinsha Leaf Litter Toads” and Chinese name “Jin Sha Zhang Tu Chan (金沙掌突蟾)”.

 Yan-Lin Cheng, Sheng-Chao Shi, Jiaqi Li, Jing Liu, Shi-Ze Li and Bin Wang. 2021. A New Species of the Asian Leaf Litter Toad Genus Leptobrachella Smith, 1925 (Anura, Megophryidae) from northwest Guizhou Province, China. ZooKeys. 1021: 81-107. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1021.60729

Thursday, June 29, 2023

[Herpetology • 2023] Oligosoma aureocola • A New Species of Oligosoma (Squamata: Scincidae) from northern Southland, Aotearoa New Zealand

Oligosoma aureocola  
Knox, Patterson & Chapple, 2023

A species of diurnal skink from the Mataura Range and Mid Dome in central northern Southland, Aotearoa/New Zealand is described as Oligosoma aureocola sp. nov. It is a small species, coloured mid- to dark brown with smooth longitudinal stripes, and lives along rocky alpine ridges, low-stature shrublands, and tussock grasslands. This skink is a conspicuous species, easily sighted basking and foraging in talus or alpine plants such as golden spear grass (Aciphylla aurea).

Keywords: Reptilia, Oligosoma aureocola sp. nov., Mataura skink, Scincidae, Reptilializard, alpine, Southland, Murihiku, New Zealand

Oligosoma aureocola sp. nov. 

Carey Knox, Geoff B. Patterson and David G. Chapple. 2023. Oligosoma aureocola sp. nov. (Reptilia: Scincidae) from the northern Southland high country of Aotearoa/New Zealand.  Zootaxa. 5285(2); 271-292. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5285.2.3

[Arachnida • 2023] Pholcus xiuyan • Pholcid Spiders of the Pholcus phungiformes Species-group (Araneae: Pholcidae) from Liaoning Province, China: An Overview, with Description of A New Species


Pholcus xiuyan Zhao, Zheng & Yao,

in Zhao, Jiang, Yang, He, Zheng et Yao, 2023. 

Species of the Pholcus phungiformes group exhibit high diversity in Liaoning Province of northeastern China. This paper summarizes the current knowledge on this species-group from this area. A checklist of 22 species recorded from this province is given, accompanied with a distribution map of the species. Pholcus xiuyan Zhao, Zheng & Yao, sp. nov. (♂♀) is described as new to science, and P. yuhuangshan Yao & Li, 2021 is reported from Liaoning for the first time.

Keywords: Biodiversity, daddy-long-legs spider, morphology, Northeast Asia, taxonomy

Pholcus xiuyan sp. nov., living specimens and habitat
A, B females and juveniles on rock walls C habitat, arrow indicates collecting site.

 Pholcus xiuyan Zhao, Zheng & Yao, sp. nov.
Remarks: This new species is assigned to the phungiformes group by the following combination of characters: the male chelicerae with frontal apophyses (arrow fa in Fig. 4D), the male palpal tibia with a prolatero-ventral projection (Fig. 3A), the procursus with dorsal spines (arrows in Fig. 3D), the uncus with a “pseudo-appendix” (arrow 2 in Fig. 4C), and the epigyne with a knob (Fig. 4A).

 Fangyu Zhao, Tian Jiang, Lan Yang, Qiaoqiao He, Guo Zheng and Zhiyuan Yao. 2023. Pholcid Spiders of the Pholcus phungiformes Species-group (Araneae, Pholcidae) from Liaoning Province, China: An Overview, with Description of A New Species. ZooKeys. 1156: 1-14. DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.1156.98331

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

[Arachnida • 2023] Mallinella shahu • A New Species of Mallinella Strand, 1906 (Araneae: Zodariidae) from South China

Mallinella shahu Liu,  

in Jiang, Yao, Xiao et Liu, 2023. 
Background: Only one zodariid species, Storenomorpha lushanensis Yu & Chen, 2009 was found from Jiangxi Province. No other Mallinella species have been recorded from this Province.

New information: A new species, Mallinella shahu sp. n. is described from Jiangxi Province, China. Morphological illustrations, living photos and distribution map are given.

Keywords: Jiangxi Province, spider, taxonomy, zodariid species

Mallinella shahu sp. n., living specimen.
A & B male; C & D female.

Mallinella shahu Liu sp. nov.

Diagnosis: The male of this new species is similar to that of Mallinella pseudokunmingensis Yu & Zhang, 2019 (Yu and Zhang (2019): 4, figs. 1, 4, 6−18) in having a strong digitiform retrolateral tibial apophysis and the flattened embolus, but can be distinguished from it by the abdomen with four pairs of small yellowish marks (vs. four pairs of large yellowish marks) (cf. Fig. 1A; Yu and Zhang (2019): 4, fig. 1), the conductor with the blunt apex (vs. spine-like) (cf. Fig. 3A; Yu and Zhang 2019: 4, fig. 6), the thick median apophysis covering less than half of tegulum (vs. thin, more than or nearly half of tegulum) (cf. Fig. 3A−C; Yu and Zhang (2019) 2019: 4, fig. 7). The female of the new species resembles M. pseudokunmingensis (Yu and Zhang (2019): 4, figs. 2, 3, 5, 6, 19−23) in having the lateral border forming a heart-shaped structure and the oval spermathecae, but it can be easily distinguished by the anterior three pairs of separated small marks (vs. touching large marks) (cf. Fig. 2A; Yu and Zhang (2019): 4, fig. 2) and the W-shaped epigynal plate (vs. V-shaped) (cf. Fig. 3E; Yu and Zhang (2019): 4, figs. 19, 20) and the erect insemination duct (vs. slanting) (cf. Fig. 3G; Yu and Zhang (2019): 4, fig. 22).

Etymology: The species name is derived from the name of the type locality; noun in apposition.

Distribution: Known from Ji’an and Ganzhou cities in Jiangxi Province, China (Fig. 5). It seems that this species has a wide distribution in this Province based on recent fieldwork.

Zimin Jiang, Yanbin Yao, Yonghong Xiao and Keke Liu. 2023. A New Species of Mallinella Strand, 1906 (Araneae, Zodariidae) from South China. Biodiversity Data Journal. 11: e105513. DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.11.e105513

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

[Botany • 2023] Pinanga subterranea (Arecaceae: Arecoideae: Areceae) • A New Arecoid Palm from Borneo that Flowers Underground

Pinanga subterranea Randi & W.J.Baker, 

in Randi, Petoe, Kuhnhäuser, Chai, Bellot et Baker, 2023.

A new acaulescent species of Pinanga (Arecoideae: Areceae: Arecinae) is described and illustrated here. This remarkable new species is the first palm described as flowering and fruiting underground, highlighting Borneo as a hotspot for palm diversity. 

Pinanga subterranea.
 (a) Mature, fruiting individual, with leaf litter and soil partially removed around base to expose tip of infructescence; (b) base of plant, with top layer of soil removed to expose ripe red fruits (left) and unripe green-brown fruits (right); (c) ripe fruits. Scale bar = 1 cm; (d) partially excavated infructescence bearing young fruits; (e) bearded pig (Sus barbatus), a seed disperser of Pinanga subterranea.
Localities: (a–c) Gunung Niut Natural Reserve, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, (d) Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak, Malaysia, (e) Bako National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Photographs: (a–c) Agusti Randi, (d) William J. Baker, (e) Benedikt G. Kuhnhäuser.

Population of mature Pinanga subterranea in Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak, Malaysia.
 Photograph: William J. Baker.

Pinanga subterranea Randi & W.J.Baker, sp.nov.

Diagnosis: This species is superficially similar to P. tenacinervis J.Dransf. (1980) but can be easily distinguished by its solitary habit (vs. clustering in P. tenacinervis), stem, crownshaft and inflorescence that are usually subterranean(vs. all above ground), and erect, usually subterranean infructescence (vs. pendulous, aerial).

Etymology: The specific epithet “subterranea” is derived from the Latin word subterraneus, meaning “underground.” This reflects the position of the stem, inflorescences and crownshaft below ground level. 

Habitat: Mainly recorded from lowland mixed dipterocarp forest valleys and on slopes near streams. On clay soils on chalk, red clay soils, or sandy clay soils, up to 650 m elevation.

Vernacular nam: Pinang Tanah (Malay, West Kalimantan). Pinang Pipit, Muring Pelandok (Kendorih language, Central Kalimantan).Tudong Pelandok (Iban language, Sarawak).  

Agusti Randi, Peter Petoe, Benedikt G. Kuhnhäuser, Paul P.K. Chai, Sidonie Bellot and William J. Baker. 2023. Pinanga subterranea, A New Arecoid Palm from Borneo that Flowers Underground. PALMS, the Journal of the IPS.
Benedikt G. Kuhnhäuser, Agusti Randi, Peter Petoe, Paul P. K. Chai, Sidonie Bellot and William J. Baker. 2023. Hiding in plain sight: The underground palm Pinanga subterranea. PLANTS, PEOPLE, PLANET. DOI: 10.1002/ppp3.10393

[Botany • 2023] Hunzikeria gypsophila (Solanaceae: Petunieae) • A New microendemic Species of Hunzikeria from the Gypsum Outcrops of southern Jalisco, Mexico

Hunzikeria gypsophila  Ortiz-Brunel & Díaz-Martínez, 

in Ortiz-Brunel, Díaz-Martínez, Ruíz-Sánchez et Rodríguez, 2023.
Hunzikeria is a petunioid genus of Solanaceae that includes three species. The genus presents a disjunct distribution between South and North America. Hunzikeria coulteri and H. texana occur in North America, while H. steyermarkiana is reported from Venezuela. During botanical explorations in western Mexico, we found a population of Hunzikeria that differed from the three known species. Believing that we had found an undescribed species, we collected samples and prepared herbarium vouchers. We compared our material with morphological descriptions and herbarium specimens of the other species in the genus. Our results indicate that we discovered a new species, named here as Hunzikeria gypsophila. This new species is a microendemic gypsophyte that inhabits two gypsum ravines in southern Jalisco, Mexico. Hunzikeria gypsophila differs from the other three species in being a subshrub of taller stature and having petiolate leaves, wider leaf blades, longer corolla tubes, and broader corolla limbs. The most morphologically similar species is H. steyermarkiana, which differs in having anthers of equal size, while all the North American species have didynamous anthers. Hunzikeria shows a clear affinity for sedimentary soils and H. gypsophila is the first species recorded on gypsum. The gypsum outcrops of western Mexico have a unique flora, which likely became isolated due to volcanic activity. With this new find, Hunzikeria comprises four species. We provide a key for their identification and a distribution map for Mexico.

Keywords: disjunct distribution, gypsophyte, tropical dry forest

Hunzikeria gypsophila.
A. Adult plant. B. Flower. C. Flower and stigma detail. D. Anthers and stigma. E. Capsule. F. Seed.
Illustration by Fátima Bracamontes based on the type material (J. P. Ortiz-Brunel & P. Díaz 1677).

Mexican Hunzikeria species.
A. Hunzikeria coulteri. B. Hunzikeria texana.
C–F. Hunzikeria gypsophila.
Photographs by Alejandra Martínez-Blancas (A), Miguel González-Botello (B), and Juan Pablo Ortiz-Brunel (C–F).
Hunzikeria gypsophila Ortiz-Brunel & Díaz-Martínez, sp. nov. 

Hunzikeria gypsophila is a subshrub taller than H. coulteri, H. steyermarkiana, and H. texana (40–60 vs. 15–20 cm), has longer petioles (12–23 vs. 5–12 mm) and wider leaf blades (16–27 vs. 1.5–13 mm), develops longer corolla tubes (35–48 vs. 10–25 mm), and has broader corolla limb diameter (38–52 vs. 15–23 mm).

Etymology:—The specific epithet refers to the preference of the plants for growing only on gypsum soil

Juan Pablo Ortiz-Brunel, Paulina Díaz-Martínez, Eduardo Ruíz-Sánchez and Aarón Rodríguez. 2023. A New microendemic Species of Hunzikeria (Petunieae, Solanaceae) from the Gypsum Outcrops of southern Jalisco, Mexico. Phytotaxa. 600(1); 7-15. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.600.1.2

[Botany • 2023] Adiantum viscosum (Pteridaceae) • A New Species endemic to sclerophyllous forest of Central Chile

Adiantum viscosum A. Cádiz-Véliz & A.E. Villarroel, 

in Cádiz-Véliz, Palma-Villalobos, Villarroel et Muñoz-Schick, 2023. 
Adiantum viscosum (Pteridaceae) is a new species of fern endemic to Central Chile that inhabits the sclerophyllous forest of the Valparaíso Region. Adiantum viscosum is morphologically similar to A. gertrudis and A. glanduliferum, but it differs by the presence of capitate and glandular trichomes throughout the aerial portion of the plant (pinnules, rachis, petioles and petiolules), which produce a sticky and aromatic resin. We provide a description of the species based on morphological analysis, insights about its ecology and habitat, distribution map, illustrations, a proposal for a conservation category according IUCN criteria, and a taxonomic key to the species of the genus Adiantum present in Chile.

Keywords: ferns, biodiversity hotspot, mediterranean flora, taxonomy, Pteridophytes

Adiantum viscosum;
 (A) habit; (B) frond; (C) fertile frond; (D) detail of a fertile pinnule and false indusia; (E) detail of rachis covered with trichomes; (F–G) details of a pinnule covered with glandular and capitate trichomes; (H) detail of petiole and scales.
Photographs: A. Cádiz-Véliz.

Adiantum viscosum A. Cádiz-Véliz & A.E. Villarroel, sp. nov.  

Diagnosis: — Adiantum viscosum differs from A. gertrudis and A. glanduliferum by the presence of capitate and glandular trichomes covering the entire aerial part of the plant, including pinnules, rachis, petioles and petiolules, which produce a sticky and aromatic resin.

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the viscous resin produced by the glandular trichomes.

Arón Cádiz-Véliz, Bárbara Palma-Villalobos, Alejandro E. Villarroel and Mélica Muñoz-Schick. 2023. Adiantum viscosum (Pteridaceae), A New Species endemic to sclerophyllous forest of Central Chile.  Phytotaxa. 599(3); 183-192. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.599.3.5 

[PaleoOrnithology • 2023] Eudyptula wilsonae • Pliocene Fossils support A New Zealand Origin for the Smallest Extant Penguins (Sphenisciformes: Spheniscidae)

Eudyptula wilsonae
Thomas, Tennyson, Marx & Ksepka, 2023

Artwork by Simone Giovanardi
A late Pliocene (3.36–3.06 Ma) exposure of the Tangahoe Formation on the North Island of New Zealand preserves close fossil relatives of many extant seabird clades. Here, we report an extinct member of the little penguin (Eudyptula Bonaparte, 1856) lineage from the Tangahoe Formation—the smallest extinct crown penguin yet known. Eudyptula wilsonae n. sp. is based on the nearly complete skulls of an adult and a fledged but immature individual. Both skulls show more slender proportions than modern little penguins and precede genome-derived estimates for the divergence between Eudyptula minor minor Forster, 1781 (endemic to New Zealand) and Eudyptula m. novaehollandiae Stephens, 1826 (native to Australia and recently established in New Zealand). This raises the possibility that the fossil taxon represents a lineage directly ancestral to extant little penguins. Our results support a Zealandian origin for little penguins, with subsequent Pleistocene dispersal to Australia and a more recent Holocene range expansion of Eudyptula m. novaehollandiae back into New Zealand.

Eudyptula wilsonae n. sp. 


Daniel B. Thomas, Alan J.D. Tennyson, Felix G. Marx and Daniel T. Ksepka. 2023. Pliocene Fossils support A New Zealand Origin for the Smallest Extant Penguins. Journal of Paleontology. First View, 1 - 11. DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2023.30

[Botany • 2023] Desmopsis terriflora • An Extraordinary New Species of Annonaceae with Flagelliflory


Desmopsis terriflora G.E.Schatz, T.Wendt, Ortiz-Rodr. & Martínez-Velarde, 

in Martínez-Velarde, Rodrigues-Vaz, Soulé, Nge, Schatz, Couvreur et Ortiz-Rodriguez, 2023. 

Flagelliflory refers to the production of inflorescences exclusively on long, whip-like branches which emerge from the main trunk and extend along the ground or below it. It is the rarest type of cauliflory and only a few cases have been reported in the world. Here, a new species of Annonaceae with flagelliflory is described and illustrated. The phylogenetic relationships of the new species were inferred using a hybrid-capture phylogenomic approach and we present some notes on its reproductive ecology and pollen characteristics. The new species, namely Desmopsis terriflora sp. nov., is part of a clade composed of Mexican species of Stenanona with long, awned petals. Desmopsis terriflora is distinguished by its flageliflorous inflorescences, basely fused sepals, thick red petals, reduced number of ovules per carpel, pollen grains with a weakly rugulate to fossulate exine ornamentation, and its globose, apiculate fruits with a woody testa. The morphological characteristics of the flagella suggest that these are specialized branches rather than inflorescences, and the absence of ramiflory implies an exclusively reproductive function. The flowers are infrequently visited by insects, their potential pollinators being flies and ants.

Key words: Anatomy, Cauliflory, Mexico, phylogeny, tropical rain forest

Desmopsis terriflora G.E.Schatz, T.Wendt, Ortiz-Rodr. & Martínez-Velarde
 A multiple flagella emerging from the base of the main trunk B flagella lying on the rocky ground C, D lateral inflorescences on the flagellum E flower in anthesis F monocarps G male flower releasing pollen H female flower.

 Desmopsis terriflora G.E.Schatz, T.Wendt, Ortiz-Rodr. & Martínez-Velarde, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Desmopsis terriflora is similar to Stenanona flagelliflora since both species have flowers and inflorescences growing exclusively on flagella. Desmopsis terriflora differs from it by the combination of larger-sized individuals, flowers with rigid petals, food bodies at the base of the inner petals, fused sepals, a greater number of carpels and ovules per carpel, by its monocarps with a hard and woody testa, and its flagella up to 15 meters in length (Table 2).

Etymology: The specific epithet “terriflora” refers to its flowers emerging from the ground.

María Fernanda Martínez-Velarde, Carlos Rodrigues-Vaz, Vincent Soulé, Francis J. Nge, George E. Schatz, Thomas L. P. Couvreur and Andrés Ernesto Ortiz-Rodriguez. 2023. Desmopsis terriflora, An Extraordinary New Species of Annonaceae with Flagelliflory. PhytoKeys. 227: 181-198. DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.227.102279

Sunday, June 25, 2023

[Botany • 2023] Begonia stilpnophylla (Begoniaceae) • A New Species from Indonesia and Timor-Leste

 Begonia stilpnophylla D.C.Thomas & Ardi, 

in Thomas, Ardi, Santana, Pinto, Wei, Martins et Conaboy, 2023.

A new rhizomatous, lithophytic species of Begonia (Begoniaceae – Begonia sect. Jackia) is described from material collected from limestone areas in the Indonesian and Timor-Leste parts of the island of Timor, Lesser Sunda Isles. Photographs, a provisional conservation status assessment of the new species, and an identification key to species of Begonia sect. Jackia in the Lesser Sunda Isles are provided.
Keywords: Endemism, Limestone karst

 Begonia stilpnophylla D.C.Thomas & Ardi, sp. nov.
A, Habit; B, leaf, abaxial surface; C, leaf, adaxial surface; D, rhizome and stipules; E, leaf margin with reflexed teeth; F, dichasial-cymose inflorescence; G, female flower, side view; H, female flower, front view; I, male flower, front view; J, stamens; K, fruit; L, ovary, cross-section; M, seed. Scale bars: B, C and F, 10 cm; D, 2 cm; E, G and K, 1 cm; H, 5 mm; I, 12 mm; J, 1 mm; L, 3 mm; M, 300 μm. All photographs of D. C. Thomas 3494, taken by D. C. Thomas.

Begonia stilpnophylla D.C.Thomas & Ardi, sp. nov. 
[Section Jackia]

This species is morphologically similar to Begonia pseudomuricata Girm. from Bali but differs by its more strongly compressed rhizome internodes (2–5 mm vs c.10 mm long),glabrous petioles (vs sparsely to moderately densely hairy), smaller tepals of the male flowers (outer 10–11 × 8–9 mm, inner 12–14 × 6 mm vs outer 12–15 × 11–12 mm, inner15–19 × 7 mm) and female flowers (outer 7–8 × 7–8 mm, inner 5 × 2–4 mm vs outer10–11 × 9–10 mm, inner 9–10 × 3–4 mm).

Habitat and ecology. In crevices and on ledges on limestone cliffs, cave entrances and limestone boulders, in semi-shade, from 250 to 1300 m elevation.

Etymology. Greek, stilpnos (‘sparkling’, ‘glittering’) and -phyllos (‘-leafed’) – a reference to the way light reflects from the lower leaf surface.

 D.C. Thomas, W.H. Ardi, F. Santana, P. Pinto, F. Loke Wei, N.B. Martins and N. Conaboy. 2023. A New Species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Edinburgh Journal of Botany.DOI: 10.24823/EJB.2023.1973

[Herpetology • 2023] Cyrtodactylus chumuensis & C. arndti • The Discovery of Two New Species in the Cyrtodactylus irregularis Group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) highlights that Hidden Diversity remains in the Largest Clade of the Mega-diverse Genus Cyrtodactylus

Cyrtodactylus chumuensis &
Cyrtodactylus arndti  
Ngo, Hormann, Le, Pham, Phung, Do, Ostrowski, Nguyen & Ziegler, 2023

The Cyrtodactylus irregularis group, originally considered to consist of only one taxon, has been split into 26 species. We herein present the distribution of all species within the group in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and describe two new species based on integrative analyses. Cyrtodactylus chumuensis sp. nov. is discovered from Dak Lak Province and distinguished from the remaining taxa by more than 11.86% genetic divergence and by the following distinct morphological characters: size medium (SVL 67.5 mm); enlarged femoral scales on each thigh 4–5, femoral pores 0–2 in males; precloacal pores 6–7 in males; ventral scale rows 43–45; lamellae under toe IV 17–21. Cyrtodactylus arndti sp. nov. is described from Binh Dinh Province and genetically differentiated from its congeners by a minimum of 11.42% and by the following characters: adult size medium (SVL 73.4–80.8 mm); enlarged femoral scales on each thigh 5–11; femoral pores 0–2 in males; 6 precloacal pores in males, females with 6 pitted precloacal pores; ventral scale rows 26–38; lamellae under toe IV 17–22; subcaudal scales transversely enlarged. Additionally, we highlight the potential cryptic diversity with the taxon currently regarded as C. pseudoquadrivirgatus and understudied areas in Vietnam where new species will likely  be discovered.
Keywords: Cyrtodactylus chumuensis sp. nov., Cyrtodactylus arndti sp. nov., molecular phylogeny, taxonomy, Vietnam 

Cyrtodactylus chumuensis sp. nov., holotype, ♂ (IEBR R.4928), in life.
Cyrtodactylus arndti sp. nov., holotype, ♂ (IEBR R.4930), in life.

Cyrtodactylus chumuensis sp. nov.

Diagnosis: The new species can be distinguished from remaining congeners of the irregularis species group by a combination of the following characters: maximum SVL 67.5 mm; dorsal pattern with 6 irregularly shaped and short longitudinal stripes on the neck; nuchal band thin, interrupted, reaching the posterior margin of the orbits; the absence of transversely enlarged median subcaudal scales; 4 or 5 enlarged femoral scales on each thigh, 17–19 distinctly enlarged precloacal scales; males with 0 or 1 femoral pore on each thigh, 6 or 7 precloacal pores in a continuous series, ˄-shaped; ventral scales 43–45; dorsal tubercles in 20 irregular longitudinal rows; precloacal groove absent; internasal scales 2; supralabials 8–14; infralabials 9–11; number of subdigital lamellae on fourth finger 16–19 and on fourth toe 19–21.

Etymology: The new species is named after its type locality, Chu Mu Mountain in Dak Lak Province. We propose the following common names: Chu Mu Bent-toed Gecko (English), Thạch sùng ngón chư mư (Vietnamese).

 Cyrtodactylus arndti sp. nov.

Diagnosis: The new species of Cyrtodactylus is distinguished from remaining congeners of the C. irregularis species group by a combination of the following characters: SVL: 73.4–80.9 mm; dorsal pattern with 6 or 7 irregularly shaped bands; moderately broad nuchal band; original tail with irregular transverse bands; subcaudals transversely enlarged; 5–11 enlarged femoral scales; males with 0–2 pitted femoral pores, those absence in females; males with 6 precloacal pores, females with 6 pitted precloacal pores, pore-bearing scales arranged in a single ˄-shaped series; ventral scales 26–38; dorsal tubercles in 17–20 irregular longitudinal rows; precloacal groove absent; supralabials 8–13; infralabials 8–12; number of subdigital lamellae on fourth finger 15–20 and on fourth toe 17–22.

Etymology: We name this species in honor of our colleague, Prof. Dr. Hartmut Arndt, Institute of Zoology, University of Cologne, Germany, in recognition of his support for biodiversity research in Vietnam. As common names, we suggest Arndt’s Bent-toed Gecko (English) and Thằn lằn ngón arndt (Vietnamese).

Hanh Thi Ngo, Helene Hormann, Minh Duc Le, Cuong The Pham, Trung My Phung, Dang Trong Do, Sabrina Ostrowski, Truong Quang Nguyen and Thomas Ziegler. 2023.  The Discovery of Two New Species in the Cyrtodactylus irregularis Group highlights that Hidden Diversity remains in the Largest Clade of the Mega-diverse Genus CyrtodactylusEuropean Journal of Taxonomy. 875, 70–100. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2023.875.2141

Saturday, June 24, 2023

[PaleoMammalogy • 2023] Bridging two Oceans: Small Toothed Cetaceans (Odontoceti) from the Late Miocene Chagres Formation, eastern Caribbean (Colon, Panama)

cf. Acrophyseter sp.,
Scaphokogiinae indet.,
Nanokogia isthmia
Piscolithax sp., 
Isthminia panamensis 

in Benites-Palomino, Vélez-Juarbe, De Gracia & Jaramillo, 2023.
Illustration by Jaime Bran

Fossil cetaceans are often found in Miocene marine outcrops across the globe. However, because this record is not homogeneous, the dissimilar increase in occurrences, along with the sampling bias has created regions with extensive records and others with great scarcity. Among these, the Caribbean has remained enigmatic due to the lack of well-preserved cetacean fossils. Here, we report new Caribbean fossil cetaceans from the Upper Miocene Chagres Formation exposed along Piña beach, Eastern Panama, including a scaphokogiine kogiid, an Acrophyseter-like physeteroid and the phocoenid Piscolithax. Along with previous records of the iniid Isthminia panamensis and the kogiine Nanokogia isthmia, the Chagres cetacean fauna shows some similarities with other Late Miocene cetacean communities such as the Californias in the North Pacific, although their closest affinities lie with the eastern South Pacific Pisco Formation, Peru. Such findings indicate that though deep and intermediate Caribbean–Pacific water interchange was reduced by the Middle Miocene due to the shallowing of the Central American Seaway, shallow waters marine connection that persisted until the Pliocene might have facilitated the dispersal of coastal species across both sides of the Isthmus.

Keywords: Miocene, odontocetes, Panama, Chagres Formation, Pisco Formation


Aldo Benites-Palomino, Jorge Vélez-Juarbe, Carlos De Gracia and Carlos Jaramillo. 2023. Bridging two Oceans: Small Toothed Cetaceans (Odontoceti) from the Late Miocene Chagres Formation, eastern Caribbean (Colon, Panama). Biol. Lett. 1920230124. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2023.0124

[Botany • 2023] Begonia saxifragoides (Begoniaceae) • One New Species and Two New Records of Begonia from northern Vietnam


Begonia saxifragoides  T.N. Bon & C.W. Lin, 

in Bon, Do, Le, Lo, Zimmer et Lin, 2023. 
Surveys in montane forests in northern Vietnam have revealed one new species and two new records of BegoniaThe new species, Begonia saxifragoides resembles B. minhaniae but is distinguished by the orbicular to reniform (vs. broadly ovate) leaves with rounded (vs. acute to acuminate) apex, the petioles densely covered with pilose or villous (vs. subappressed tomentose), ovary trigonous-globose (vs. trigonous-ellipsoid) and wings pilose or glandular hairs (vs. glabrous or sparsely tomentose). The newly recorded species from Vietnam were B. laotica Y.H.Tan & H.B.Ding previously known from Laos, and B. adscendens C.B.Clarke from India, Myanmar and Laos.

Keywords: biodiversity, endemism, Indochina, limestone, taxonomy, Eudicots 

Begonia saxifragoides T.N. Bon & C.W. Lin 


Trinh Ngoc Bon, Thi Thanh Ha Do, Thi Hanh Le, Minh Duc Lo, Heidi Zimmer and Che-Wei Lin. 2023. Begonia saxifragoides sp. nov. and Two New Records of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from northern Vietnam. Phytotaxa. 600(1); 16-24. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.600.1.3