Sunday, December 31, 2023

[Arachnida • 2023] Stenaelurillus megamalai & S. neyyar • Two New Stenaelurillus Species (Araneae: Salticidae: Aelurillina) from Western Ghats, India

Stenaelurillus neyyar
Sudhin, Sen & Caleb, 2023

Two new species – Stenaelurillus megamalai sp. nov. (♂♀) from the colorful group and Stenaelurillus neyyar sp. nov. (♂♀) from the black and white group – are described from the southern Western Ghats of India. Detailed morphological descriptions, illustrations, as well as the distribution maps are provided. New distributional data for three other species, Stenaelurillus albus Sebastian, Sankaran, Malamel & Joseph, 2015, S. arambagensis (Biswas & Biswas, 1992) and S. wandae Logunov, 2020 are also provided.

Key Words: Jumping spider, Kerala, species discovery, Tamil Nadu, taxonomy

Stenaelurillus neyyar sp. nov.
A. Male, dorsal view; B. Same, ventral view; C. Same, lateral view; D. Female dorsal view; E. Same, ventral view; F. Same, lateral view; G. Male, frontal view; H. Female, frontal view.
 Scale bars: 1 mm (A–H).

Puthoor Pattammal Sudhin, Souvik Sen and John T. D. Caleb. 2023. Two New Stenaelurillus Species (Araneae, Salticidae, Aelurillina) from Western Ghats, India. Zoosystematics and Evolution. 99(1): 123-133. DOI: 10.3897/zse.99.97985

[Ichthyology • 2023] Schindleria qizma • A New Species of Schindleria (Gobiiformes: Gobiidae) from the Red Sea (Saudi Arabia) with a specialized caudal-fin complex

Schindleria qizma
Ahnelt, Macek & Robitzch, 2023

Species of the gobiid genus Schindleria are among the smallest and fastest reproducing vertebrates of the oceans. We describe a new species, Schindleria qizma, from the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia. It is an extreme example of progenesis, within the already paedomorphic genus, with morphological traits clearly differentiating it from its congeners. Schindleria qizma has a unique, unflexed notochord with a straight urostyle of which the tip is inserted into the hypural cartilage, rather than the typical flexed notochord with an upturned urostyle of the other species of Schindleria. Schindleria qizma belongs to the short dorsal-fin type of Schindleria. It is further characterized by an elongated but relatively deep body; a short dorsal fin originating just slightly anterior to the anal fin (predorsal-fin length 59.4% of SL vs. preanal-fin length 60.2% of SL); a head continuously increasing in depth posteriorly with a straight dorsal profile; a short snout (18.6% of head length); large eyes (34.4% of head length); a short pectoral-radial plate (6.3% of SL); 13 dorsal-fin rays; 11 anal-fin rays; 0–2 procurrent rays (where the last procurrent ray is short, if present); an anal fin with the first anal-fin ray situated opposite the second dorsal-fin ray; toothless oral jaws; females with few (10–11, total) but very large (4.6% of SL) eggs and with a conspicuous urogenital papilla characterized by a wide urogenital opening flanked by two long, bilobed projections; a dorsally pigmented swim-bladder; blackish, iridescent eyes, capped by a silvery layer with irregular rows of black dots or blotches; and no additional external pigmentation on its body, at least in preserved specimens.

Keywords: Gobiiformes, paedomorphosis, progenesis, miniaturization

Schindleria qizma, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: A member of the SDF group of Schindleria, which can be distinguished from all members of the LDF group by a combination of following characters: (i) the dorsal fin about the same or nearly the same length of the anal fin (vs. dorsal fin distinctly longer than anal fin), (ii) a relatively short (5.8 % of SL vs. 8.7% of SL) and deep (2.2% of SL vs. 1.5% of SL) caudal peduncle, (iii) a straight (vs. flexed) urostyle, fewer procurrent rays (0–2 vs. 5–8), and absence of teeth in both jaws (vs. both jaws with teeth).

Etymology: The name ‘qizma’ comes from the Arabic word ‘qizm’ (مزق), which means dwarf. It is a noun in apposition and refers to the very small size of the species.

Harald Ahnelt, Oliver Macek and Vanessa Robitzch. 2023. A New Species of Schindleria (Teleostei: Gobiiformes: Gobiidae) from the Red Sea (Saudi Arabia) with a specialized caudal-fin complex. Vertebrate Zoology. 73: 313-323. DOI: 10.3897/vz.73.e97515

[Mammalogy • 2023] Ctenomys pulcer • A New Species of the highly polytypic South American Rodent Ctenomys (Ctenomyidae) increases the Diversity of the magellanicus clade

Ctenomys pulcer 
Verzi, De Santi, Olivares, Morgan, Basso & Brook, 2023

The subterranean rodent Ctenomys is the most polytypic South American mammal genus and one of the most speciose and rapidly diversifying mammal genera in the world. Its systematics is unstable due to the underlying accelerated diversification processes that give rise to evolutionary lineages at different stages of differentiation and to remarkable morphological homogeneity even among long-differentiated species. As a result, species boundaries are often difficult to define. Diversity of this genus in the coastal area of central Argentina has been extensively studied, with two independent lineages currently recognized while a distinct third population had not been previously detected. Through a phylogenetic analysis based on combined morphological and molecular evidence, Bayesian estimates of divergence times, and morphometric and morphological assessments, we recognize this third population as an independently evolving lineage. The new species, Ctenomys pulcer sp. nov., is here described for both the living fauna and the fossil record of the Pampean region of central Argentina. According to phylogenetic results, Ctenomys pulcer sp. nov. belongs to the essentially Patagonian magellanicus clade, and would have diverged from its sister species, Ctenomys bidaui, during the middle Pleistocene (ca. 0.4 Ma). Its current distribution in the fixed and semifixed dunes of the coastal Pampean region is assumed to represent a relict of a wider and continuous distribution of potentially suitable environments during the late Pleistocene. Ctenomys pulcer sp. nov. occurs in a particularly fragile natural system subjected to profound disturbances caused by diverse anthropic actions and therefore measures for the conservation of its habitat will be indispensable.

Keywords: Ctenomyidae, early Holocene-Recent, Pampean region, phylogeny, systematics

Superfamily Octodontoidea Waterhouse, 1839

Family Ctenomyidae Lesson, 1842

Genus Ctenomys Blainville, 1826

Ctenomys pulcer sp. nov.

Etymology: From Latin pulcer, in Spanish hermoso (beautiful) in reference to the type locality Monte Hermoso.

Diego H. Verzi, Nahuel A. De Santi, A. Itatí Olivares, Cecilia C. Morgan, Néstor G. Basso and Federico Brook. 2023. A New Species of the highly polytypic South American Rodent Ctenomys increases the Diversity of the magellanicus clade. Vertebrate Zoology. 73: 289-312. DOI: 10.3897/vz.73.e96656

Saturday, December 30, 2023

[Botany • 2023] Piper kerrii, P. phangngaense & P. rugocarpum (Piperaceae) • Three New Species, Two New Records and additional Taxonomic Notes of Piper from Thailand

Piper rugocarpum Y.Banchong and Suwanph.,
Piper kerrii Suwanph. and Y.Banchong, 
Piper phangngaense Suwanph. and Hodk., 

in Suwanphakdee, Karapan, Banchong et Hodkinson, 2023.

We revised the genus Piper (Piperaceae) for the forthcoming volume of the Flora of Thailand. Three new species, namely P. kerrii, P. phangngaense and P. rugocarpum are described and illustrated. In addition, two records of species new to Thailand, P. laosanum and P. obtusissimum, are presented. New complete taxonomic descriptions of P. crassipes and P. obtusissimum are provided. We also designate lectotypes and epitypes of P. laosanum and P. obtusissimum, respectively. An emended key to species including the new species, new records for Thai Piper species and additional taxonomic notes are provided.
Keywords: asian Piper, Flora of Thailand, new species, Piperaceae, tropical plants

Piper kerrii Suwanph. and Y.Banchong, sp. nov.

Etymology This species is named in honour of A. F. G. Kerr (1877– 1942), who is recognized as the ‘founding father’ of Thai botany. He was the first botanist to collect Piper specimens from Ranong province.

Piper phangngaense Suwanph. and Hodk. sp. nov.

Etymology The specific epithet of this species refers to its type locality (Sri Phang-Nga National Park, Phangnga province, Thailand).

Piper rugocarpum Y.Banchong and Suwanph., sp. nov.

Etymology The specific epithet refers to the distinguishing character of the fruit surface which is rugate when dry.

New records for Thailand 
Piper laosanum C.DC. (De Candolle 1910)
Phitsanulok province, Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park

Piper obtusissimum Miq. (Miquel 1843–1844).
Narathiwat province, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary

Chalermpol Suwanphakdee, Sunate Karapan, Yuthana Banchong and Trevor R. Hodkinson. 2023. Three New Species, Two New Records and additional Taxonomic Notes of Piper (Piperaceae) from Thailand. Nordic Journal of Botany. e04099. DOI: 10.1111/njb.04099

[Botany • 2023] Impatiens neo-orchioides (Balsaminaceae) • A striking New Balsam from Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Western Ghats, India

 Impatiens neo-orchioides V.Ravich., Murug., B.Karthik, Tharani & Premk., 

in Ravichandran, Murugesan, Tharani, Karthik et Premkumar, 2023.

Impatiens neo-orchioides (Balsaminaceae), remarkable new species from the Western Ghats of Nilgiri hills, Tamil Nadu state, India is described and illustrated here. The new species is morphologically similar to I. orchioides Bedd., but differs mainly by folded leaves, pink–coloured petals, presence of spur, c. 1.5 cm long pedicels and 3-lobed lateral united petals with pink hairs at throat. Detailed description, distribution, conservation status and colour photographic plates are provided here to facilitate the easy identification of the new species.

Keyword: Bangitappal, Impatiens orchioides, Mukurthi National Park, New species, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, Taxonomy

 Impatiens neo-orchioides V.Ravich., Murug., B.Karthik, Tharani & Premk.
A. Habit. B. Leaf front view. C. Leaf back view. D. Inflorescence. E. Flower front view. F. Flower side view close up G. & H. Dorsal petal front and back view. I. Lateral united petals. J. Lateral sepal. K. Bract L. Spur. M. Pedicel with ovary. N. Anther column. O. Tuber.
Photographs by M. Premkumar.

Impatiens neo-orchioides V.Ravich., Murug., B.Karthik, Tharani & Premk., sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Impatiens neo-orchioides resembles I. orchioides Bedd. in having scapigerous growth form with radical leaves, flower structure, ovate-lanceolate bracts but differs mainly by coriaceous folded back leaves (vs chartaceous, flat leaves), pink colour flowers with pink hairs at throat (vs light to deep maroon colour flowers with glabrous throat), presence of spur (vs absence of spur), 2–2.5 cm long pedicels (vs 1–1.5 cm long pedicels), pinkish dorsal petal (vs greenish dorsal petal), 3-lobed lateral united petal with pink hairs at throat (2-lobed lateral united petal without hairs at throat). (Table 1 & Fig. S1) 

Etymology: The species is named after its closely allied species I. orchioides as it resembles in the flower structure

Vellingiri Ravichandran, Maruthakutty Murugesan, Ravichandran Tharani, Bannari Karthik and Mayandi Premkumar. 2023. Impatiens neo-orchioides, A striking New balsam (Balsaminaceae: Scapigerae) from Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Western Ghats, India. Taiwania. 68(2); 161-165. DOI: 10.6165/tai.2023.68.161

[Botany • 2022] Asplenium danxiaense (Aspleniaceae: Aspleniineae) • A New Tetraploid Fern Species from Guangdong, China, based on Morphological and Molecular Data

Asplenium danxiaense K.W.Xu, 

in Xu, Lin, Guo, Zhou, Liao et Mao, 2022. 

The Asplenium coenobiale complex is distributed in Eastern Asia and Southeast Asia with its distribution center in southwestern China. In this study, we carried out a detailed morphological, cytological, and phylogenetic study by adding two samples from Danxia landform in Guangdong. The sequences of five chloroplast markers and one nuclear marker of the A. coenobiale complex were analyzed with maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference, respectively. The morphological and phylogenetic analyses support the recognition of a new species (Asplenium danxiaense K.W.Xu sp. nov.) of the A. coenobiale complex from a cave of Danxia mountain, Guangdong province, southern China. This new species can be distinguished from A. coenobiale and A. pulcherrimum by having scales narrowly triangular to lanceolate, apex ending in a short apical tail, basal basiscopic pinnule usually largest, fertile segment scarce, and exospore length usually more than 50 μm and shows significant molecular differences from other species in this complex. A detailed description and illustrations are presented.

Keywords: cave, cryptic species, Danxia landform, southern China

Asplenium danxiaense K.W.Xu sp.  nov. 
A. Danxia landform in the type locality of the new species. B. Habitat of the new species in a cave.
C. Habit. D. Abaxial view of lamina. E. Abaxial view of lamina apex. F. Adaxial view of lamina. E. Rhizome and root.

Ke-Wang Xu, Chen-Xue Lin, Jian-Qiang Guo, Xin-Xin Zhou, Wen-Bo Liao and Ling-Feng Mao. 2022. Asplenium danxiaense sp. nov. (Aspleniaceae, Aspleniineae), A New Tetraploid Fern Species from Guangdong, China, based on Morphological and Molecular Data. European Journal of Taxonomy. 798(1); 162-173. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2022.798.1679

Thursday, December 28, 2023

[Entomology • 2023] Ultragryllacris jiaranaisakuli, U. chandra & U. intermediata • Revision of the Genus Ultragryllacris (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae: Gryllacridinae), with Description of New Species


จิ้งหรีดต้นไม้ท้ายใหญ่ตะนาวศรี  Ultragryllacris jiaranaisakuli, 
 จิ้งหรีดต้นไม้ท้ายใหญ่หน้าดำ  U. chandra,
จิ้งหรีดต้นไม้ท้ายใหญ่หน้าแดง U. intermediata 
 Dawwrueng, Gorokhov & Suwannapoom, 2023

The genus Ultragryllacris was revised. All its species and subspecies, including U. jiaranaisakuli sp. nov., U. chandra sp. nov. from Western Thailand and U. intermediata sp. nov. from Northern Thailand are here described and redescribed. They are known from Thailand and China. The new species differs from all the other representatives of this genus mainly in different body coloration, shape of projection of male 9th abdominal tergite and sclerotized area of female subgenital plate. The following taxonomical changes are also proposed: U. pulchra alboclypeata Gorochov et Dawwrueng, 2015, U. p. nan Ingrisch, 2018 and U. p. rubricapitis Bin et Bian, 2021 are raised to species status (U. alboclypeata stat. nov., U. nan stat. nov. and U. rubricapitis stat. nov.) due to some characteristic structures in both male and female; U. triangula Ingrisch, 2018 is downgraded to subspecies of U. alboclypeata (U. a. triangula stat. nov.). Previously unknown male of U. a. alboclypeata and female of U. nan are described. A key to all known species is given.

Keywords: Orthoptera, Stenopelmatidae, Gryllacridinae, new species, taxonomy

Ultragryllacris jiaranaisakuli sp. nov. จิ้งหรีดต้นไม้ท้ายใหญ่ตะนาวศรี
Ultragryllacris chandra sp. nov. จิ้งหรีดต้นไม้ท้ายใหญ่หน้าดำ
Ultragryllacris intermediata sp. nov. จิ้งหรีดต้นไม้ท้ายใหญ่หน้าแดง

Pattarawich Dawwrueng, Andrei V. Gorokhov and Chatmongkon Suwannapoom. 2023. Revision of the Genus Ultragryllacris (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae: Gryllacridinae), with Description of New Species.  Zootaxa. 5389(4); 445-458. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5389.4.3

[Botany • 2023] Thrixspermum alboluteum, T. flammeum, T. praetermissum, etc. (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae: Aeridinae) • Taxonomic Notes on Thrixspermum, with Five New Species from Thailand


Thrixspermum simile Toolmal, Schuit. & Culham, 
T. flammeum Toolmal, Schuit. & Culham, 
T. polystictum Toolmal, Schuit. & Suddee,  
 T. praetermissum Toolmal, Schuit. & Suddee, 
T. alboluteum Toolmal, Schuit. & Culham, 

in Toolmal, Suddee, Culham, Utteridge et Schuiteman, 2023. 

Five new species of Thrixspermum (Orchidaceae) are described from Thailand, two from sect. Dendrocolla: T. alboluteum (South-West floristic region), T. praetermissum (East); and three from sect. Thrixspermum: T. simile (South-East), T. flammeum (East), T. polystictum (East). Descriptions, illustrations, notes on distribution, ecology, phenology, conservation status, and morphological comparisons with allied species are provided. Thrixspermum musciflorum and its variety nilagiricum are reduced to the synonymy of T. formosanum. Thrixspermum album is reduced to the synonymy of T. pulchellum. We select a lectotype and an epitype for T. trichoglottis (Hook.f.) Kuntze and provide a detailed description of this common but so far incompletely known species.

Aeridinae, section Dendrocolla, section Thrixspermum, Monocots

Thrixspermum flammeum Toolmal, Schuit. & Culham

Thrixspermum simile Toolmal, Schuit. & Culham

Thrixspermum polystictum Toolmal, Schuit. & Suddee  

Thrixspermum alboluteum Toolmal, Schuit. & Culham 

 Thrixspermum praetermissum Toolmal, Schuit. & Suddee

Nopparut Toolmal, Somran Suddee, Alastair Culham, Timothy M. A. Utteridge and André Schuiteman. 2023. Taxonomic Notes on Thrixspermum (Orchidaceae: Aeridinae), with Five New Species from Thailand.  Phytotaxa. 601(3); 223–262. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.601.3.3

[Entomology • 2020] Pyralis cardinalis • A charismatic New Species related to P. regalis [Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775 (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

[4–7] Pyralis cardinalis Kaila, Huemer, Mutanen, Tyllinen & Wikström, 
[8–9] P. regalis [Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775

in Wikström, Huemer, Mutanen, Tyllinen et Kaila, 2020.

The informal Pyralis regalis complex, including species of the genus Pyralis Linnaeus, 1758 (Pyralidae), with a bright white or silvery pattern on the forewing, is reviewed, supplemented by observations of the externally distinguished P. perversalis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1849), which also exhibits similarities in genitalia and DNA barcodes.
We describe Pyralis cardinalis Kaila, Huemer, Mutanen, Tyllinen & Wikström, sp. nov., based on specimens ranging from Denmark and Sweden in the West to Japan and South Korea in the East. A neotype is designated for the predominantly South European P. regalis [Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775. Lectotypes are designated for Asopia kacheticalis Christoph, 1893 and Pyralis princeps Butler, 1889. Pyralis regalis ssp. sagarrai Leraut, 2005 is considered a valid species, stat. nov.

Pyralis cardinalis sp. nov., holotype, ♂, habitus.

Pyralis cardinalis Kaila, Huemer, Mutanen, Tyllinen & Wikström, sp. nov.

Pyralis sp., habitus.
4–7. Pyralis cardinalis sp. nov., 4. ♂, Finland, V, Kemiönsaari, leg. J. Tyllinen. 5. ♀, A, Lemland, leg. B. Wikström & K. Vaalamo; 6. ♂, Finland, U, Kirkkonummi, leg. J. Junnilainen; 7. ♂, Finland, U, Raasepori, leg. L. Kaila.
8–11. P. regalis. 8. ♂, Greece, Lesvos, leg. L. Kaila & J. Kullberg. 9. ♀, Slovenia, Granska Gora, leg. B. Wikström; 10. ♂, Italy, Tuscany, Cortona, leg. B. Wikström. 11. Bulgaria, 5 km S. Blagoevgrad, ♀, leg. B. Å. Bengtsson.

Bo Wikström, Peter Huemer, Marko Mutanen, Juha Tyllinen and Lauri Kaila. 2020. Pyralis cardinalis, A charismatic New Species related to P. regalis [Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775, First Recognized in Finland (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae). Nota Lepidopterologica. 43: 337-364. DOI: 10.3897/nl.43.54916

[Fungi • 2023] Paraisaria cascadensis & P. pseudoheteropoda (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) • New Species and New Combinations in the Genus Paraisaria from the U.S.A., supported by polyphasic analysis

Paraisaria cascadensis Tehan, Dooley & Spatafora,
 Paraisaria pseudoheteropoda Tehan & Spatafora,

in Tehan, Dooley, Barge, McPhail et Spatafora, 2023. 
Molecular phylogenetic and chemical analyses, and morphological characterization of collections of North American Paraisaria specimens support the description of two new species and two new combinations for known species. P. cascadensis sp. nov. is a pathogen of Cyphoderris (Orthoptera) from the Pacific Northwest USA and P. pseudoheteropoda sp. nov. is a pathogen of cicadae (Hemiptera) from the Southeast USA. New combinations are made for Ophiocordyceps insignis and O. monticola based on morphological, ecological, and chemical study. A new cyclopeptide family proved indispensable in providing chemotaxonomic markers for resolving species in degraded herbarium specimens for which DNA sequencing is intractable. This approach enabled the critical linkage of a 142-year-old type specimen to a phylogenetic clade. The diversity of Paraisaria in North America and the utility of chemotaxonomy for the genus are discussed.

Key words: Ascomycota, chemotaxonomy, Cicada, Cordyceps, Cyphoderris, entomopathogen, Ophiocordyceps, Prionus

 Paraisaria cascadensis Tehan, Dooley & Spatafora, sp. nov.

Etymology: cascadensis occurring in the Cascade Mountain range in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

Host: Cyphoderris monstrosa (Prophalangopsidae, Orthoptera).

Habitat: Specimens occur on hypogeous adult hump-winged grigs, Cyphoderris monstrosa, in coniferous forest.

 Paraisaria pseudoheteropoda Tehan & Spatafora, sp. nov.

Etymology: pseudoheteropoda resembling another cicada-pathogenic species, Paraisaria heteropoda.

Host: Nymphs of Cicadidae (Hemiptera).

Habitat: Specimens occur on hypogeous nymphs of cicadae at the base of coniferous and deciduous trees, especially oaks.

Richard M. Tehan, Connor B. Dooley, Edward G. Barge, Kerry L. McPhail and Joseph W. Spatafora. 2023. New Species and New Combinations in the Genus Paraisaria (Hypocreales, Ophiocordycipitaceae) from the U.S.A., supported by polyphasic analysis.  MycoKeys. 100: 69-94. DOI: 10.3897/mycokeys.100.110959

[Herpetology • 2023] Odorrana confusa • Redefinition of the Odorrana versabilis Group (Anura: Ranidae), with A New Species from China

Odorrana confusa 
Song, Zhang, Qi, Lyu, Zeng, Zhu, Huang, Luan, Shu, Gong, Liu & Wang, 2023

Chebaling Bamboo-leaf Frog | 车八岭竹叶蛙  ||  DOI: 10.3724/ahr.2095-0357.2023.0019
Taxonomic studies of the Odorrana versabilis group have been consistently disorganized, and they have often been incorrectly associated with an abandoned subgenus or genus Bamburana in existing literature. In this study, we conducted an integrative taxonomic analysis using molecular phylogenetic analysis of two mitochondrial gene fragments (16S rRNA and CO1) and morphological examination of 41 specimens collected during herpetological surveys in southern China. Our results confirmed the monophyly of O. versabilis group which exhibited distinct morphological traits. We also identified a cryptic lineage sister with O. exiliversabilis. Additionally, our study revealed that O . trankieni was nested within O. nasuta. Consequently, we redefined the morphological characteristics of the O. versabilis group, described a new species in this group, O. confusa sp. nov., and proposed that O. trankieni be considered a junior synonym of O. nasuta. One of the most significant findings of this study was the observation of distinct morphological changes in adult males across all species within the O . versabilis group between the non-breeding and breeding seasons. This study contributes to research on various aspects of Asian amphibian fauna, including taxonomy, ecology, evolution, and physiology.
Keywords:  morphological changes, Odorrana confusa sp. nov., Odorrana nasuta, Odorrana trankieni, species group, taxonomic revision

Holotype of Odorrana confusa sp. nov. in life
on (A) dorsolateral view, (B) dorsal view, (C) ventral view, (D) head, (E) hand, (F) foot, (G) nuptial pad and (H) habitat.
Photos by Jian WANG and Shuo QI.

Odorrana confusa Song, Zhang, Qi, Lyu, Zeng and Wang sp. nov.
Rana versabilis — Ding et al., 1980; Zou, 1983.
Odorrana exiliversabilis — Fei et al., 2001.
Odorrana (Bamburana) exiliversabilis — Fei et al., 2005, 2009.
Odorrana versabilis — Rao et al., 2013; Li et al., 2018; Gong and Wu, 2020.
Bamburana versabilis — Yang et al., 2018.
Diagnosis: Odorrana confusa sp. nov. is distinguishable from its congeners based on the following combination of characteristics: (1) well-developed dorsolateral folds; (2) prominent morphological changes in adult males between the non-breeding and breeding seasons, during the breeding seasons, elongation of the snout beyond the lower jaw, lateral swelling of shoulder regions, dorsolateral fold swelling, and increased robustness of the forelimbs; (3) shagreened skin with occasional conical or sharp tubercles behind the sacrum, around dorsolateral folds, or on the rictal, temporal, and loreal regions, or the upper and lower lips; (4) tympanum distinct and round, not concave or just slightly concave, not forming an external auditory canal in both sexes; (5) tips of fingers expanding into disks; (6) edge of web on toe Ⅳ reaching the disk; (7) dorsal skin behind sacral vertebrae slightly smooth, with either no or few tubercles in both sexes; (8) flanks with messy stains and numerous tubercles; (9) rictal glands and lower jaws of adult male with numerous prominent white conical spinules, especially during breeding seasons; and (10) body size large, with the SVL of adult males and females averaging 68.5 mm (64.4‒72.5 mm) and 70.9 mm (67.0‒73.9 mm), respectively.

Etymology: The specific name, confusa, is derived from the feminine form of the Latin adjective “confusus,” meaning “confused” or “mixed.” This refers to the chronical taxonomic confusion of this newly discovered species with the Odorrana exiliversabilis .

Suggested common name: “Chebaling bamboo-leaf frog” in English and “车八岭竹叶蛙 (chē bā lǐng zhú yè wā)” in Chinese.

Distribution: The phylogenetic and morphological findings suggested that Odorrana confusa sp. nov. is endemic to China, specifically in Chebaling, Mt Nankun and Mt Longtou in Guangdong, Mt Jinpen in Jiangxi, and Mt Daiyun in Fujian (Figure S1). Further research is required to better understand the precise distribution of this species.

Morphological comparisons of adult males of
(A) Odorrana confusa sp. nov., (B) O. exiliversabilis, (C) O. nasuta and (D) O. versabilis between (1) the non-breeding season and (2) the breeding season in life.
Photos by Yingyong WANG, Jian WANG, Zhaochi ZENG, Zhitong LYU, and Yongheng ZHU.

Six species of Odorrana versabilis group in life.
(A) Odorrana confusa sp. nov., (B) O. exiliversabilis, (C) O . nasuta, (D) O. tormota, SYS a002708, (E) O. versabilis and (F) O . yentuensis.
 Photos by Yingyong WANG, Shuo QI, Zhitong LYU, and Yongheng ZHU.

Odorrana versabilis group 
Odorrana nasuta Li, Ye and Fei, 2001

 Revision of Odorrana exiliversabilis 
Odorrana exiliversabilis Li, Ye and Fei, 2001

Etymology: The specific name, exiliversabilis, is derived from the combination of “exili-” and “versabilis,” indicating that this species is smaller in body size than Odorrana versabilis.

Suggested common name: “Little Bamboo-leaf Frog” in English and “小竹叶蛙 (xiǎo zhú yè wā)” in Chinese.

Hanming SONG, Siyu ZHANG, Shuo QI, Zhitong LYU, Zhaochi ZENG, Yongheng ZHU, Minghai HUANG, Fuchen LUAN, Zufei SHU, Yuening GONG, Zhifa LIU and Yingyong WANG. 2023. Redefinition of the Odorrana versabilis Group, with A New Species from China (Anura, Ranidae, Odorrana). Asian Herpetological Research. DOI: 10.3724/ahr.2095-0357.2023.0019

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

[Mammalogy • 2023] An evolutionarily distinct Ringed Seal in the Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland

Kangia ringed seals Pusa hispida hispida in the Ilulissat Icefjord system, West Greenland 
(c) Pelage of Kangia (left) and typical Arctic ringed seals (right).

in Rosing-Asvid, Löytynoja, Momigliano, Hansen, ... et Olsen, 2023.
 All photographs by Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.
The Earth's polar regions are low rates of inter- and intraspecific diversification. An extreme mammalian example is the Arctic ringed seal (Pusa hispida hispida), which is assumed to be panmictic across its circumpolar Arctic range. Yet, local Inuit communities in Greenland and Canada recognize several regional variants; a finding supported by scientific studies of body size variation. It is however unclear whether this phenotypic variation reflects plasticity, morphs or distinct ecotypes. Here, we combine genomic, biologging and survey data, to document the existence of a unique ringed seal ecotype in the Ilulissat Icefjord (locally ‘Kangia’), Greenland; a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is home to the most productive marine-terminating glacier in the Arctic. Genomic analyses reveal a divergence of Kangia ringed seals from other Arctic ringed seals about 240 kya, followed by secondary contact since the Last Glacial Maximum. Despite ongoing gene flow, multiple genomic regions appear under strong selection in Kangia ringed seals, including candidate genes associated with pelage coloration, growth and osmoregulation, potentially explaining the Kangia seal's phenotypic and behavioural uniqueness. The description of ‘hidden’ diversity and adaptations in yet another Arctic species merits a reassessment of the evolutionary processes that have shaped Arctic diversity and the traditional view of this region as an evolutionary freezer. Our study highlights the value of indigenous knowledge in guiding science and calls for efforts to identify distinct populations or ecotypes to understand how these might respond differently to environmental change.

Keywords: arctic, diversity, indigenous knowledge, local adaptation, marine mammal

Unusual population of ringed seals in the Ilulissat Icefjord system, West Greenland.
 (a) Kangia ringed seals hauling out on sea ice.
(b) The dynamic Ilulissat Icefjord system. (c) Pelage of Kangia (left) and typical Arctic ringed seals (right).
 (d) Kangia ringed seal instrumented with a satellite tag (image edited to remove person in background. Original image provided in (d). (e) Typical Arctic ringed seal instrumented with a satellite tag (movement data not shown).
 All photographs by Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.

The discovery of a distinct ringed seal ecotype in the Ilulissat Icefjord adds to a growing list of Arctic marine species with newly detected genetic and/or phenotypic diversity (Bringloe et al., 2020; Jacobsen et al., 2022; Laidre et al., 2022; Madsen et al., 2016; Mathiesen et al., 2017; Tempestini et al., 2020). The Arctic environment is highly dynamic, with marine systems characterized by long- and short-term fluctuations in glacial extent and run-off, marine-freshwater clines, sea-level changes and isostatic rebound. These processes might facilitate both regional and local speciation, perhaps down to the scale of individual fjord systems or larger marine-terminating glacier fronts. Thus, while our study is the first to demonstrate the existence of a distinct Kangia ringed seal ecotype in the Ilulissat Icefjord, similar intraspecific diversity and differentiation may exist elsewhere in both ringed seals and other Arctic marine species. Across the Arctic, marine-terminating glaciers, deep fjord systems and polynyas sustain high biological productivity and provide important foraging and resting habitats for marine organisms (Heide-Jørgensen et al., 2016; Lydersen et al., 2014; Meire et al., 2017). These areas may have constituted important high-latitude refugia and even micro-evolutionary speciation factories through glacial and interglacial periods, potentially supporting uniquely adapted populations of otherwise wide-spread and seemingly panmictic Arctic marine organisms. Some local populations may not easily respond to climate change by simply tracking their habitat northward, whereas others may harbour the adaptive potential providing species-level resistance to current climate warming. Our findings highlight the need for dedicated scientific efforts and thorough sampling to record and understand regional and local drivers of intraspecific diversity in the Arctic to provide information for nature management.

Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid, Ari Löytynoja, Paolo Momigliano, Rikke Guldborg Hansen, Camilla Hjorth Scharff-Olsen, Mia Valtonen, Juhana Kammonen, Rune Dietz, Frank Farsø Rigét, Steve H. Ferguson, Christian Lydersen, Kit M. Kovacs, David M. Holland, Jukka Jernvall, Petri Auvinen and Morten Tange Olsen. 2023. An evolutionarily distinct Ringed Seal in the Ilulissat Icefjord. Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.17163