Saturday, September 30, 2023

[Herpetology • 2023] Leptobrachella wumingensis • A New Species of the Genus Leptobrachella Smith 1925 (Anura: Megophryidae) from Guangxi, China

Leptobrachella wumingensis 

in Chen, Peng, Li et Yu, 2023. 
 Wuming Leaf Litter Toad | 武鸣掌突蟾  ||  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1178.106038

A new species of Leptobrachella, L. wumingensis sp. nov., was described from the Damingshan National Nature Reserve, Wuming District, Nanning City, Guangxi, China based on morphological, molecular and bioacoustic data. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S mtDNA fragments revealed that the new species is closely related to L. damingshanensis. Uncorrected p-distances between the new species and all homologous DNA sequences available for the 16S gene of Leptobrachella are greater than 7.1%. Morphologically, L. wumingensis sp. nov. differs from its congeners in several ways, including a medium body size (SVL 26.0–26.7 mm in males, 30.6–34.8 mm in females), lack of toe webbing and lateral fringes, shagreened and granular dorsal surface, pale brown dorsum with darker brown markings, iris bicolored, with the upper half copper and fading to silver in the lower half, and the presence of small irregular black spots and tangerine tubercles on the flanks. Furthermore, we found the new species to have two types of advertisement calls and relatively high dominant frequencies, making it distinct from its congeners.

Key words: Bioacoustics, molecular analyses, morphological characters, sympatric species, taxonomy

Morphological characters of Leptobrachella wumingensis sp. nov. (NNU 01058)
A dorsal view B ventral view C, D lateral view E ventral view of hand F ventral view of foot.

 Leptobrachella wumingensis sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Leptobrachella wumingensis sp. nov. is classified under Leptobrachella based on specific morphological features, including its relatively small body size, presence of an inner metacarpal tubercle, macro-glands on the supra-axillary and femoral glands, lack of vomerine teeth, and a whitish vertical bar on the anterior tip of the snout, according to previous studies (Dubois 1983; Lathrop et al. 1998; Delorme et al. 2006; Matsui 2006). Leptobrachella wumingensis sp. nov. can be differentiated from other species in its genus by a combination of the following characters: (1) medium size (SVL 26.0–26.7 mm in males, 30.6–34.8 mm in females); (2) absence of toe webbing and lateral fringes; (3) shagreened and granular dorsal surface; (4) pale brown dorsum with darker brown markings; (5) iris bicolored, with the upper half copper and fading to silver in the lower half; (6) presence of small irregular black spots and tangerine tubercles on the flanks; and (7) two types of advertisement callings and high dominant frequencies.

Leptobrachella wumingensis sp. nov.
A dorsolateral view of NNU 01086 B dorsolateral view of NNU 01059
C dorsolateral view of NNU 00285 D NNU 201907009 in habitat (photo taken in situ)
E NNU 00283 in habitat (photo taken in situ) F eggs (NNU 01059).
Etymology: The specific name ‘wumingensis’ is derived from the type locality, Wuming District, Nanning City, Guangxi, China. The proposed common name in English is Wuming Leaf Litter Toad, and in Chinese, it is called Wu Ming Zhang Tu Chan (武鸣掌突蟾).


Wei-Cai Chen, Wan-Xiao Peng, Peng Li and Gui-Dong Yu. 2023. A New Species of the Genus Leptobrachella Smith 1925 (Amphibia, Anura, Megophryidae) from Guangxi, China. ZooKeys. 1178: 1-16. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1178.106038

[Botany • 2022] Acantholimon assadii (Plumbaginaceae) • A New Species from Flora of Iran


Acantholimon assadii 

in Bordbar et Mirtadzadini, 2022. 
A new species, Acantholimon assadii from mountainous slopes of N of Kerman, Zarend, Kerman Province, south-east of Iran is here described and illustrated. The new species is morphologically distinguished from the other species of Acantholimon sect. Acantholimon by short spike-like inflorescence, length and width of bract and bracteoles, shape of bract and bracteoles, color of calyx and corolla.

Keywords: Acantholimon sect. Acantholimon, Irano-Turanian region, endemism,  mountain flora, Eudicots

 Acantholimon assadii from its type locality.
A) Habit and habitat; B) close-up view of spikelets.

Firouzeh Bordbar and Mansour Mirtadzadini. 2022. Acantholimon assadii (Plumbaginaceae), A New Species from Flora of Iran. Phytotaxa. 574(1); 99-104. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.574.1.7

[Botany • 2023] Begonia betancurii (Begoniaceae, sect. Ruizopavonia) • A New Species from the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia

Begonia betancurii 

in Jara-Muñoz, Moonlight et Zabala-Rivera, 2023.
A new species of Begonia section Ruizopavonia is here described and illustrated, and a key for the Colombian species of the section is also provided. The new species grows on the eastern side of the eastern Colombian Cordillera and can be recognized among species in the same section bearing staminate flowers with 4 tepals and pistillate flowers with 3 tepals by the larger outer tepals on both the staminate and pistillate flowers (>9.5 mm long). We assess the new species as Endangered (EN) under IUCN criteria; its protection is therefore recommended.

Keywords: Eudicots, Begoniaceae, Ruizopavonia, Colombia

O.A. Jara-Muñoz, P.W. Moonlight, J.C. Zabala-Rivera. 2023. ‏A New Species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. Phytotaxa. 616(2); 169-175. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.616.2.6

[Botany • 2018] Microlicia frankii (Melastomataceae: Microlicieae) • A New Species from Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais, Brazil


 Microlicia frankii R. Pacifico & Fidanza, 

in Pacifico et Fidanza, 2018.
Photographs by G. Camargo.

Microlicia frankii is described, illustrated, and compared with M. ericoides and M. juniperina. It is distinguished by its reduced habit (3–15 cm in height), leaves linear-oblong 2–5 mm long, glandular-punctate on both surfaces, flowers apical and solitary, calyx lobes narrowly-triangular 3.5–7 mm long, petals magenta, isomorphic stamens, and tetrasporangiate thecae. The new species is probably endemic to Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Keywords: Cerrado, rupestrian grassland, endemism, neotropics, Eudicots

 Microlicia frankii R. Pacifico & Fidanza
A. Habit. B. Leaf abaxial surface. C. Floral bud. D. Flower. E. Petal adaxial surface. F. Stamen. G. Gynoecium.
Scales: A. 5 mm. B. 1 mm. C. 2 mm. D-E. 3 mm. F-G. 1 mm.
 Drawn from J.R. Pirani et al. 5609 (SPF).

 Microlicia frankii R. Pacifico & Fidanza
A. Habit. B. Close-up on two flowers. C. Fruiting branch.
Photographs by G. Camargo.

Microlicia frankii R. Pacifico & Fidanza, sp. nov.

Ricardo Pacifico and Karina Fidanza. 2018. Microlicia frankii (Melastomataceae: Microlicieae), A New Species from Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais, Brazil.  Phytotaxa. 361(3); 279–286. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.361.3.3

[Entomology • 2023] Tamanduamyia bichuettae • A Second New Species of Tamanduamyia Rafael & Limeira-de-Oliveira (Diptera: Mythicomyiidae: Mythicomyiinae) from Brazil, with Discussion of the Possible First Cave Dwelling Record of a Micro-bee Fly

Tamanduamyia bichuettae
Lamas, Mendes, Falaschi & Evenhuis, 2023

A new species of Tamanduamyia (Diptera, Mythicomyiidae, Mythicomyiinae) is described from Serra do Ramalho, Carinhanha, Bahia, Brazil, Tamanduamyia bichuettae sp. nov. The type series was actively collected with falcon tubes when resting at the entrance of a limestone cave in the rock exudations. The species is described and illustrated in detail, including the male terminalia and female spermathecae. This is the first record of a micro-bee fly species in the state of Bahia (Brazil) and may also represent the first recorded association of a Mythicomyiidae species with cave environments.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Limestone cave, Neotropical Region, Tamanduamyia, Taxonomy, Micro-bee flies

Tamanduamyia bichuettae sp. nov. 
a male habitus (holotype); b female habitus (paratype). Scale bar: 1 mm

Collection area of Tamanduamyia bichuettae sp. nov. 
a–c Entering zones of the cave. The specimens were found lying on the entrance walls

Tamanduamyia bichuettae sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is a patronym honoring Prof. Dr. Maria Elina Bichuette from Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar)—a great researcher, reference in the studies of cave fauna, in the struggle for the conservation of Brazilian caves and an example, especially for young Brazilian female zoologists.

Carlos José E. Lamas, Luanna L. Mendes, Rafaela L. Falaschi and Neal L. Evenhuis. 2023. A Second New Species of Tamanduamyia Rafael and Limeira-de-Oliveira (Diptera, Mythicomyiidae, Mythicomyiinae) from Brazil, with Discussion of the Possible First Cave Dwelling Record of a Micro-bee fly.  Neotropical Entomology. 52; 560–570. DOI: 10.1007/s13744-023-01054-0


[Entomology • 2023] Neoleptophlebia uncinata • A New Species of Neoleptophlebia Kluge, 1997 (Ephemeroptera: Leptophlebiidae) from eastern China

 Neoleptophlebia uncinata Zhou,

in Wang, Yang et Zhou, 2023.
The genus Neoleptophlebia Kluge, 1997 includes five Asian species. Three of them were reported from northeastern Asia and two were found from Chinese Taiwan Island, leaving a huge geographic gap on the Chinese mainland. Here we find a new one, which is named N. uncinata Zhou sp. nov., from Nanjing municipality, eastern China. Via field collecting and indoor rearing, all life stages were obtained, and its nymphs are found living in small creeks (with a width less than 1 m) and shallow waters (with a depth less than 30 cm). Diagnostically, the imago of this new species has larger lateral penial appendages than its congeners, and its nymph has subequal broadened segments II and III of maxillary and labial palpi. Biogeographically, this species bridges two northern and southern groups of the genus.

Keywords: Ephemeroptera, mayfly, phylogeny, taxonomy, new species, China 

Nymphal structures of Neoleptophlebia uncinata sp. nov.:
(A) habitus (dorsal view); (B) habitus (ventral view); (C) nymphal exuviate of holotype (dorsal view). 

Adults of Neoleptophlebia uncinata sp. nov.:
(A) male imago (habitus); (B) male subimago (habitus);
(C) female imago (habitus); (D) female subimago (habitus).

Adults of Neoleptophlebia uncinata sp. nov.:
 (E) male abdomen (dorsal view); (F) male abdomen (ventral view);
(G) female abdomen (dorsal view); (H) female abdomen (ventral view).

Kai-Chen Wang, Qaing-Yi Yang and Chang-Fa Zhou. 2023. A New Neoleptophlebia Kluge, 1997 Species from eastern China (Ephemeroptera: Leptophlebiidae).  Zootaxa. 5343(4); 375-385.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5343.4.5

[Herpetology • 2019] Achalinus yunkaiensis • A New Species of the Genus Achalinus (Serpentes: Xenodermidae) from southwestern Guangdong Province, China

Achalinus yunkaiensis  J. Wang, Y. Li & Y.Y. Wang, 

in Wang, Li, Zeng, Lyu, Sung, Li, Lin et Wang, 2019. 
Yunkai Mountain’s Odd-scaled Snake | 云开脊蛇  ||  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4674.4.6 

A new species of xenodermatid snake, Achalinus yunkaiensis J. Wang, Y. Li & Y.Y. Wang, sp. nov. was described based on a series of specimens collected from Dawuling Forestry Station located in the Yunkai Mountains of western Guangdong Province. It can be distinguished from known congeners by a significant genetic divergence at the mitochondrial CO1 gene fragment examined (p-distance ≥ 12.0%) and the following combination of characters: (1) dorsal scales strongly keeled, in 23 rows throughout the body, the most outer row on each side smooth and significantly enlarged; (2) tail relatively shorter, TaL/TL ratio 18.5–20.0%; (3) maxillary teeth 20–22; (4) length of suture between internasals subequal to that between the prefrontals; (5) nasal divided into two sections by nasal cleft, posterior one half as long as anterior; (6) loreal elongated, nearly twice as wide as high; (7) supralabials six; (8) infralabials six; (9) temporals 2+2+3 (rarely 2+2+4), the two anterior temporals in contact with eye; (10) ventrals 151–162, subcaudals 49–56 arranged in single row, not paired; (11) cloacal entire; (12) uniform brown (in adults) or black (in juveniles) above, tinged weakly iridescent, with a longitudinal dark-colored vertebral line; (13) light brown (in adults) or greyish white (in juveniles) beneath; and (14) dorsum with a longitudinal dark brown vertebral stripe from posterior margin of parietals to tail tip. Currently, 13 species are known in the genus Achalinus, with seven from mainland China.

Keywords: Reptilia, Achalinus yunkaiensis sp. nov., China, morphology, molecular analyses, taxonomy

Achalinus yunkaiensis sp. nov.
 General aspect in life of the adult male holotype, SYS r001903.

Achalinus yunkaiensis J. Wang, Y. Li & Y.Y. Wang, sp. nov. 

Etymology. The specific epithet, yunkaiensis, is in reference to the type locality, Dawuling Forestry Station and adjacent Xianrendong Scenic Area in Guangdong Province, China located in the Yunkai Mountains. For the common name, we suggest “Yunkai Mountain’s Odd-scaled Snake” or “Yunkai Mountain’s Burrowing Snake”, and Chinese name “Yun Kai Ji She (云开脊蛇)”.

Coloration and head scalation differences among: 
A. adult Achalinus yunkaiensis sp. nov., SYS r001443; B. juvenile A. yunkaiensis sp. nov., SYS r001503;
C. A. rufescens, SYS r001689 from Shimentai Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province;
D. A. spinalis, SYS r001327 from Mt. Badagong, Sangzhi, Hunan Province.

Jian Wang, Yao Li, Zhao-Chi Zeng, Zhi-Tong Lyu, Yik-Hei Sung, You-Yu Li, Chao-Yu Lin, Ying-Yong Wang. 2019. A New Species of the Genus Achalinus from southwestern Guangdong Province, China (Squamata: Xenodermatidae). Zootaxa. 4674(4); 471–481. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4674.4.6

[Botany • 2018] Onosma erzincanica (Boraginaceae: Lithospermeae) • A New Scree Species from Turkey

Onosma erzincanica Binzet & Eren,  

in Binzet et Eren, 2018.

A new species of Onosma (Boraginaceae: Lithospermeae) from the Erzincan province of eastern Anatolia, O. erzincanica, is described and illustrated. It belongs to the Haplotricha informal group which comprises the species with basal leaves covered by simple setae only. The species appears to be endemic to scree and is very narrowly distributed. The closest relative of O. erzincanica is O. obtusifolia Hausskn. & Sint. ex Riedl, which also occurs in Turkey. In addition to the its restriction to screes, it is primarily distinguished from O. obtusifolia by its golden yellow, shorter (14–17 mm) and clavate corollas, longer pedicels (2–5 mm), shorter filaments (ca. 4 mm), acute cauline leaves and having stems covered not only with 2–5 mm long patent setae but also with short hairs, and chartaceous to membranous leaves, calyx and bracts when dried. The geographical distribution of O. erzincanica and O. obtusifolia are mapped and an identification key for those species is provided. Pollen and nutlet micrographs of O. erzincanica are presented using scanning electron microscopy. The site conditions and conservation status of O. erzincanica are also considered.

Keywords: Eudicots, Flora of Turkey, Irano-Turanian, Munzur Mountains, steppe, taxonomy

Onosma erzincanica Binzet & Eren sp. nov.

Rıza Binzet and Özkan Eren. 2018. Onosma erzincanica (Boraginaceae: Lithospermeae), A New Scree Species from Turkey. Phytotaxa. 356(2); 117 DOI:10.11646/phytotaxa.356.2.2

[Entomology • 2021] Metajalysus clavatus, M. graziae & M. pilosus • Revision of the Neotropical Stilt Bug Genus Metajalysus Štusák (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Berytidae), with Descriptions of Three New Species

Metajalysus spp. 
 Henry & Dellapé, 2021

The stilt bug genus Metajalysus Štusák is revised and three new species are recognized. A neotype of the type species, M. horvathi Štusák, is designated and the new species M. clavatus, n. sp. from Argentina, M. graziae, n. sp. from Argentina and Bolivia, and M. pilosus, n. sp. from Ecuador are described. Digital images of the adult male and female and male genitalia are provided and a key to the species of the genus is given.

Key words: Insecta, New World, true bugs, distribution, hosts, identification key

Thomas J. Henry and Pablo M. Dellapé. 2021. Revision of the Neotropical Stilt Bug Genus Metajalysus Štusák (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Berytidae), with Descriptions of Three New Species. Zootaxa. 4958(1); 690-701. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4958.1.44

Friday, September 29, 2023

[Botany • 2022] Gastrochilus pseudocalceolaris (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae) • A New Species of epiphytic Orchid from India

Gastrochilus pseudocalceolaris S. Dey, L. Phom, Av. Bhattacharjee, Moaakum & K. Eshuo,

in Dey, Phom, Bhattacharjee, Moaakum et Eshuo, 2022. 

The article deals with description of a new species of epiphytic orchid, viz. Gastrochilus pseudocalceolaris S. Dey, L. Phom, Av. Bhattacharjee, Moaakum & K. Eshuo, along with detailed description, photographs, photo-plates, and taxonomic note. The new species, collected from Mt. Yingyushang, Longleng district, Nagaland in India, is morphologically most similar to Gastrochilus calceolaris (Buch.-Ham. ex Sm.) D. Don, but differs in having much shorter stem and features of labellum. The types have been stored to CAL for future reference.

Keywords: Gastrochilus acaulis, Gastrochilus calceolaris, Nagaland, Orchidaceae, Monocots

Gastrochilus pseudocalceolaris S. Dey, L. Phom, Av. Bhattacharjee, Moaakum & K. Eshuo

Santanu Dey, Limamanen Phom, Avishek Bhattacharjee, Moaakum and Kazhuhrii Eshuo. 2022. Gastrochilus pseudocalceolaris, A New Species of epiphytic Orchid from India. Phytotaxa. 574(4); 295-300. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.574.4.5

[Herpetology • 2018] Cyrtodactylus thathomensis • A New Karst-dwelling Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Xiangkhoang Province, northeastern Laos

Cyrtodactylus thathomensis 
 Nazarov, Pauwels, Konstantinov, Chulisov, Orlov & Poyarkov, 2018

We describe a new karst-dwelling Cyrtodactylus from Ban Thathom, Xiangkhoang Province, northeastern Laos. The new species can be distinguished from other congeners by having four dark dorsal bands between limb insertions, a discontinuous nuchal loop, 10 precloacal pores in males or 10–12 precloacal pits (females) separated by a diastema from a series of enlarged femoral scales bearing 18 or 19 pores (male) or 8–10 pits (females) along each femur, 14–18 dorsal tubercle rows at midbody, no precloacal groove, 30–36 midbody scale rows across belly between ventrolateral skin folds, transversely enlarged subcaudal plates, and a maximal known snout-vent length of 75.5 mm. Our description brings to 22 the number of Cyrtodactylus species recorded from Laos.

Keywords: Indochinese region, Karst, Limestone, Herpetology, Taxonomy,  New species

Male holotype of Cyrtodactylus thathomensis sp. nov. (ZMMU R-14919)
A: General view of holotype in situ; B: Precloacal region with row of femoral and precloacal pores separated by diastema; C: Postcloacal spurs (see arrow); D: Lateral side of the head with supralabials and infralabials scalation; E: Ventral surface of the head with mental scalation; F: Dorsum surface with the rows of enlarged tubercles.
Photos by E.L. Konstantinov (A) and R.A. Nazarov (B–F).

 Live female paratype of Cyrtodactylus thathomensis sp. nov. (ZISP 29731) in dorsal view
(Photo by E.L. Konstantinov)

Cyrtodactylus thathomensis sp. nov. 

Diagnosis: Cyrtodactylus thathomensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other congeneric species by its medium body size (maximal known SVL 75.5 mm); dorsal tubercles in 14–18 rows at midbody; midbody scale rows 30–36 across belly between ventrolateral skin folds; a continuous series of 10–12 pore-bearing (male) or pitted (females), enlarged precloacal scales, separated by a diastema from a series of enlarged femoral scales bearing 18 or 19 pores (male) or 1–9 pits (females) on each femur; absence of precloacal groove; transversely enlarged median subcaudal scales; and four dark dorsal bands between limb insertions.

Etymology: The specific epithet “thathomensis” is a Latinized toponymic adjective, referring to the type locality of the new species, Ban Tha-Thom. We suggest the following common names: Ki Chiem Thathom (Lao), Tuk Khai Thathom (Thai), Thathom Bent-toed Gecko (English), Tatomskiy Krivopalyi Gekkon (Russian), Thathomkromvingergekko (Dutch), and Cyrtodactyle de Thathom (French).

Roman A. Nazarov, Olivier S.G. Pauwels, Evgeniy L. Konstantinov, Anatoliy S. Chulisov, Nikolai L. Orlov, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr. 2018. A New Karst-dwelling Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from Xiangkhoang Province, northeastern Laos. Zoological Research. 39(3); 202-219. DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.010 

[Botany • 2020] Memecylon afroschismaticum (Melastomataceae: Olisbeoideae) • A New Species endemic to the East African Rift region of Rwanda, Burundi and western Tanzania

Memecylon afroschismaticum R.D.Stone,

 in Stone, 2020. 
Drawn by Sandie Burrows.

Background – A new species of Memecylon (Melastomataceae–Olisbeoideae) from Rwanda, Burundi and western Tanzania is described in connection with preparing the family treatment for the Flore d’Afrique centrale.

Methods – Standard herbarium practices were applied.

Key results – Memecylon afroschismaticum R.D.Stone is described and illustrated. This new species is remarkable for being endemic to forests of the East African Rift region avoided by all but a few other species of African Memecylon. A close relationship with M. flavovirens Baker (type of M. sect. Obtusifolia Engl.) is suggested by its corolla being narrowly conical-acute in bud and anther connectives with dorsal oil-gland and acute posterior extremity. However, its elliptic-ovate and distinctly acuminate leaves resemble those of M. myrianthum Gilg (of M. sect. Polyanthema Engl.) and M. verruculosum Brenan (of M. sect. Buxifolia R.D.Stone). The known location in western Tanzania is formally protected within the Mahale Mountains National Park, but the subpopulations in Rwanda and Burundi are unprotected and presumably threatened by high human population density and subsistence agriculture. The estimated area of occupancy is also quite small (12 km2). Memecylon afroschismaticum is thus provisionally assessed as Endangered [EN B1ab(iii)+B2ab(iii)] in accordance with IUCN criteria.

Keywords: Burundi, East African Rift, Melastomataceae, Memecylon afroschismaticum, new species, plant taxonomy, Rwanda, Tanzania

Memecylon afroschismaticum.
A . Flowering branch. B . Leaf. C . Section of branchlet showing axillary cyme. D . Floral bud. E . Anther dissected from oral bud, side view (left), top view (right). F . Fruit.
A from Bridson 287 (BR); B–E from Runyinya 935 (K); F from Harley 9597 (K). 
Drawn by Sandie Burrows.

Memecylon afroschismaticum R.D.Stone, sp. nov.

Etymology – The epithet afroschismaticum is a neuter adjective meaning “of the East African Rift region.

 Robert Douglas Stone. 2023. Memecylon afroschismaticum sp. nov. (Melastomataceae–Olisbeoideae) endemic to the East African Rift region of Rwanda, Burundi and western Tanzania. Plant Ecology and Evolution. 153(1); 160-166. DOI:10.5091/plecevo.2020.1657

[Botany • 2023] Miconia burkeae (Melastomataceae) • A New dioecious Tree from the Montane Forests of the Peruvian Andes

Miconia burkeae J. C. Angulo & Michelang., 

in Angulo et Michelangeli, 2023.

We describe Miconia burkeae, a new dioecious species of Miconia section Cremanium from the Peruvian Andes. The new species shares the presence of nearly sessile and glabrescent leaves with two other Andean species in section Cremanium, M. lilacina and M. opacifolia, but differs in leaf shape and texture, as well as other characters. The occurrence of dioecy in Miconia is discussed.

Keywords: Cremanium, dioecy

Miconia burkeae J. C. Angulo & Michelang., sp. nov.

Etymology.—The epithet is an homage to Dr. Janelle Burke, who has contributed substantial work and time to the advancement of understanding Andean Miconia, particularly the dioecious ones.

Juan C. Angulo and Fabián A. Michelangeli. 2023. Miconia burkeae (Melastomataceae), A  New dioecious Tree from the Montane Forests of the Peruvian Andes. Brittonia. DOI: 10.1007/s12228-023-09759-7  
Resumen: Describimos Miconia burkeae, una nueva especie dioca de Miconia sección Cremanium de los Andes Peruanos. La nueva especie comparte la presencia de hojas casi sésiles y glabrescentes con otras dos especies de sección Cremanium, M. lilacina y M. opacifoli, pero difiere en la textura y forma de las hojas entre otros caracteres. Se discute la presencia de diocismo en Miconia.
Palabras clave: Cremanium, diocismo

[Paleontology • 2023] Uniquely preserved Gut Contents illuminate Trilobite Palaeophysiology

Bohemolichas incola  

in Kraft, Vaškaninová, Mergl, Budil, Fatka et Ahlberg, 2023.

Artwork: Jiri Svoboda.

Trilobites are among the most iconic of fossils and formed a prominent component of marine ecosystems during most of their 270-million-year-long history from the early Cambrian period to the end Permian period1. More than 20,000 species have been described to date, with presumed lifestyles ranging from infaunal burrowing to a planktonic life in the water column2. Inferred trophic roles range from detritivores to predators, but all are based on indirect evidence such as body and gut morphology, modes of preservation and attributed feeding traces; no trilobite specimen with internal gut contents has been described3,4. Here we present the complete and fully itemized gut contents of an Ordovician trilobite, Bohemolichas incola, preserved three-dimensionally in a siliceous nodule and visualized by synchrotron microtomography. The tightly packed, almost continuous gut fill comprises partly fragmented calcareous shells indicating high feeding intensity. The lack of dissolution of the shells implies a neutral or alkaline environment along the entire length of the intestine supporting digestive enzymes comparable to those in modern crustaceans or chelicerates. Scavengers burrowing into the trilobite carcase targeted soft tissues below the glabella but avoided the gut, suggesting noxious conditions and possibly ongoing enzymatic activity.
a, Internal mould of specimen (inventory no. 8) in the nodule (coated with ammonium chloride). b–d, Scan model of the same specimen in dorsal (b), ventral (c) and left lateral (d) view. Exoskeleton in cream, hypostome in gold, digestive tract contents in shades of red and blue. The red dotted line indicates an anomalous position of segments five and six. Voxel size, 11.35 µm (applies for all figures and extended data). Scale bar, 10 mm.

a, In ventral view. b,c, Left lateral view of scan model of exoskeleton with hypostome reconstructed in life position (b) and reconstruction of the digestive tract (c). Locomotory (including spines) and respiratory appendages suppressed for clarity. Hypostome in a and c is transparent; exoskeleton in c is transparent.

Bohemolichas feeding on the sea floor, moments before it is engulfed, buried and preserved by an underwater mud flow.
Artwork: Jiri Svoboda.

The described specimen of Bohemolichas provides by far the most detailed source of information to date concerning the diet and the feeding mode of trilobites. This information includes indirect but robust evidence for a high-pH gut environment, aligning Bohemolichas with extant crustaceans and xiphosurans, and suggesting that such a digestive physiology may be primitive for the euarthropod crown group. It appears to have been an indiscriminate feeder on small, shelly, benthic invertebrates, most likely by scavenging rather than active hunting. Bohemolichas gives a unique glimpse of the role of lichid trilobites in an Ordovician marine ecosystem and provides evidence for the great antiquity of pH-neutral digestive physiology in arthropods.

Petr Kraft, Valéria Vaškaninová, Michal Mergl, Petr Budil, Oldřich Fatka and Per E. Ahlberg. 2023. Uniquely preserved Gut Contents illuminate Trilobite Palaeophysiology.  Nature.  DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06567-7