Monday, February 29, 2016

[Botany • 2015] Yunorchis pingbianensis • A New Myco-Heterotrophic Genus, Yunorchis, from Yunnan, southern China and the Molecular Phylogenetic Relationships of the Tribe Calypsoeae (Epidendroideae, Orchidaceae) Inferred from Plastid and Nuclear DNA Sequences


Yunorchis pingbianensis 
Z. J. Liu, G. Q. Zhang et M. H. Li
A. Flowering in nature habitat; B. Flowering plant; C. Inflorescence; D. Pedicel and ovary; E. Lip, bottom view; F. Flower, front view; G. Floral part.

Abstract

We identified a new holomycotrophic orchid that is related to the myco-heterotrophic Calypsoeae. Because chloroplast genes are primarily lacking or are highly divergent, key morphological characters are either reduced or lost from many myco-heterotrophs, and the phylogenetic relationships of weakly supported paraphyletic Calypsoeae within Epidendroideae have been poorly understood in previous molecular systematic studies. Using chloroplast rbcL, psaB, and matK and nuclear Xdh and ITS sequences, we determined the circumscription and systematic positions of the new orchid and the tribe. The results indicate that the epidendroid taxa include most of the clades that are successively sister to the grade of clades representing previously recognized tribes. Calypsoeae comprising four well-supported clades with 12 genera (except for the previous temporarily placed Wullschlaegelia) is supported as a monophyletic and sister clade to Epidendreae (excluding Coeliinae). The new orchid is nested in Calypsoeae and is a sister to Dactylostalix and/or Calypso. This new holomycotrophic orchid presents a subumbel inflorescence that grows underground, and flower with a long pedicel reputing the ground to open and two fragments at the base of the hook, which are obviously morphologically different from those of Calypsoeae. To accommodate this species in the current generic circumscription, a new genus Yunorchis was created.


Fig 4. Yunorchis pingbianensis  Z. J. Liu, G. Q. Zhang et M. H. Li:
A. Flowering in nature habitat; B. Flowering plant; C. Inflorescence; D. Pedicel and ovary; E. Lip, bottom view; F. Flower, front view; G. Floral part; H. Pollinarium.

Conclusions: 
The new orchid entity is restricted to Pingbian County in southern Yunnan, China, and is characterized by plants that have subumbel inflorescences growing underground. The flowers of these plants have a long pedicel rupturing the ground, a sac-shaped labellum, and a sac mouth that is connate on the front half of the edges, forming a hook that has two fragments at the base. These features distinguish the new orchid from all of the other known orchids.

Based on the combined sequences of the chloroplast genes rbcL, psaB, and matK and the nuclear low-copy protein-coding gene Xdh, the subfamily-wide molecular analysis revealed better topology and higher support compared to previous studies, with strong evidence that Calypsoeae is a monophyletic sister tribe to Epidendreae (except for Coelia) and that Wullschlaegelia is not a member of Calypsoeae. Based on the combined sequences of the chloroplast genes rbcL and matK and the nuclear ITS gene, the subfamily-wide molecular analysis revealed that Calypsoeae comprises four well-supported clades with 12 genera. The newly identified orchid has several distinct features, and molecular analyses indicate that this plant represents an independent lineage under the tribe Calypsoeae. This lineage should be treated as a new genus in the Calypso Clade with the following classification:


Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Calypsoeae

Yunorchis pingbianensis Z. J. Liu, G. Q. Zhang et M. H. Li, gen. et sp. nov. (Figs 3 and 4) [urn:lsid:ipni.org:names: 77145331–1] Type: China, Yunnan, Pingbian, in a forest, alt. 2100 m, 2013. 5.31. Z. J. Liu 7103 (holotype, NOCC).

Etymology: The generic name alludes to the type locality, Yunnan, and incorporates the Greek name for orchid; Yunorchis refers to an orchid genus in Yunnan province, China. The specific epithet pingbianensis refers to the type of species of Yunorchis that grows in Pingbian county of Yunnan.

Diagnosis: This new remarkable genus is distinct from all known orchid genera; it comprises an entire plant with a subumbel inflorescence growing underground, flowers that each have a long pedicel that ruptures the ground to open and that has a sac-shaped labellum, a sac mouth that is connate on the front half edges, forming a hook and two fragments at the base of the hook, and four waxy pollinia in two pairs, each containing two pollinia that are unequal in size, and there are no conspicuous caudicles that are attached directly to a common viscidium.


Guo-Qiang Zhang, Ming-He Li, Yong-Yu Su, Li-Jun Chen, Si-Ren Lan and Zhong-Jian Liu. 2015. A New Myco-Heterotrophic Genus, Yunorchis, and the Molecular Phylogenetic Relationships of the Tribe Calypsoeae (Epidendroideae, Orchidaceae) Inferred from Plastid and Nuclear DNA Sequences.
PLOS ONE. 
 10(4):E0123382. DOI:  10.1371/journal.pone.0123382

Sunday, February 28, 2016

[Ornithology • 2016] Leucocarbo chalconotus & L. stewarti • Genetic and Morphological Evidence for Two Species of Leucocarbo Shag (Pelecaniformes, Phalacrocoracidae) from southern South Island of New Zealand


An Otago shag Leucocarbo chalconotus breeding colony, showing (from left) juvenile, pied and dark bronze variations. 
watercolor painting by Derek ONLEY  DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12376

  Leucocarbo stewarti Foveaux shag (top), Leucocarbo chalconotus Otago shag (middle) and Leucocarbo onslowi Chatham Island shag
watercolor painting by Derek ONLEY   

Leucocarbo shags are a species-rich seabird clade exhibiting a southern circumpolar distribution. New Zealand's endemic Stewart Island shag, Leucocarbo chalconotus (G. R. Gray, 1845), comprises two regional groups (Otago and Foveaux Strait) that show consistent differences in relative frequencies between pied (black and white) and bronze (wholly dark) plumages, the extent and colour of facial carunculation, body size (based on postcranial morphometrics), and breeding season. Moreover, previous genetic research on modern and historical specimens utilizing mitochondrial DNA control-region sequences has also shown that the Otago and Foveaux lineages may not be sister taxa; instead, in several analyses the Otago lineage is sister to the endemic Chatham Island shag, Leucocarbo onslowi (Forbes, 1893). We present new ancient DNA analyses of the type specimens for the Otago and Foveaux Strait lineages of L. chalconotus, including a phylogenetic reanalysis of the available ancient, historical, and modern control-region sequence data for these lineages (including L. onslowi), and additional statistical analyses incorporating new morphometric characters. These analyses indicate that under the diagnosable species concept the two lineages of Stewart Island shag represent two separate species, which we now recognize as the Otago shag, Leucocarbo chalconotus (G. R. Gray, 1845), and the Foveaux shag, Leucocarbo stewarti (Ogilvie-Grant, 1898).

Keywords: ancient DNA; Chatham Island shag; Foveaux shag; Leucocarbo chalconotus; Leucocarbo onslowi; Leucocarbo stewarti; morphometrics; osteology; Otago shag; Stewart Island shag


Figure 1. Distributional and morphological data for Otago, Foveaux, and Chatham Island shags.
A, map of New Zealand showing the location of the Chatham Islands and Otago/Foveaux Strait study sites. Blue circles represent the prehistoric distribution of Otago shag outside the study area. B, distribution of Chatham Island shag breeding colonies and roosting sites (green circles). The Chatham Island shag exhibits pied plumage only (white pie chart) with pronounced bright orange caruncles in breeding plumage (orange pie chart). C, distribution of Otago (blue circles) and Foveaux (red circles) shag breeding colonies and roosting sites. Otago shag populations have 20–30% pied morphs (pie charts; black: dark-bronze; white: pied) and 50:50% small bright orange caruncles : dark orange scattered papillae in prenuptial breeding plumage (pie charts; yellow: small bright orange caruncles; grey: dark orange scattered papillae) compared with 50–60% pied morph and dark orange scattered papillae in prenuptial breeding plumage in the Foveaux shag.
In (C), multiple breeding colonies and roosting sites are represented at the following locations (from north to south): Otago Peninsula including Long Beach, Aramoana, Otago Harbour, Taiaroa Head, Boulder Beach, Papanui Beach, Allans Beach, Wharekakahu Island, and Gull Rocks; Seal Rocks and Ruapuke Island; Easy Harbour and Shag Rock. In (C), the Leucocarbo shag species illustrating plumage characters are: pied morph (Otago shag), bronze morph (Foveaux shag), small caruncles (Otago shag), and scattered papillae (Foveaux shag). Figure adapted from Rawlence et al. (2014).DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12376 


Pelecaniformes
Phalacrocoracidae Reichenbach, 1760

Leucocarbo Bonaparte, 1857
[type species (by subsequent designation, Ogilvie-Grant, 1898)
Carbo bougainvillii Lesson, 1837]

Leucocarbo chalconotus otago shag || Gracalus chalconotus G. R. Gray, 1845
Diagnosis. A species of Leucocarbo most closely related to L. stewarti and L. onslowi but distinguished from these species by the plumage characters and allometries outlined in Table 1.

Distribution. Formerly the eastern South Island, NZ. Leucocarbo chalconotus bones have been recorded from Late Quaternary and archaeological deposits along the entire eastern coastline of South Island (e.g., Worthy, 1998a; Smith, 2011). Now restricted to Otago from Lake Ki-Wainono to The Sisters (based on historical museum skins and modern specimens), with modern vagrants north to Banks Peninsula (see Fig. 1). Rare modern beach wrecks on Stewart Island (Rawlence et al., 2015).


  Leucocarbo stewarti Foveaux shag (top), Leucocarbo chalconotus Otago shag (middle) and Leucocarbo onslowi Chatham Island shag
watercolor painting by Derek ONLEY   


Leucocarbo stewarti foveaux shag || Phalacrocorax stewarti Ogilvie-Grant, 1898
Diagnosis. A species of Leucocarbo most closely related to L. chalconotus and L. onslowi but distinguished from these species by the plumage characters and allometries outlined in Table 1.

Distribution. Restricted to Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island (based on historical museum skins and modern specimens). Leucocarbo stewarti bones have been recorded from Late Quaternary and archaeological deposits from this region (e.g., Worthy, 1998b). Rare archaeological and modern beach wrecks in Otago (Rawlence et al., 2014, 2015).

Type Localities: The type locality of Gracalus chalconotus G. R. Gray, 1845 is currently considered to be Otago Province. However, the Otago Province included Southland and Foveaux Strait until 1861. We consider that the likely type locality is in fact Karitane, where the type specimen was likely collected by Percy Earl in 1843 (Scofield et al., 2012). Although Earl spent the majority of his time at Karitane, Earl only travelled as far south as the Clutha River, which is still within the range of the Otago lineage, but may have had Māori collect for him elsewhere (Scofield et al., 2012).
The type locality of Phalacrocorax stewarti Ogilvie-Grant, 1898 is Bluff (a town in Southland), where specimens were collected by Baron A. von Hugel on 13 February 1875 (Ogilvie-Grant, 1898 contra Stewart Island, Gill et al., 2010). Ogilvie-Grant (1898) designated three syntypes (NHMUK 1880.5.3.1, 1880.5.3.2, and 1880.5.3.6), all pied morphs. Warren (1966) only segregated and listed the syntype 1880.5.3.6 for inclusion in the NHMUK type collection, but this action does not affect the status of the remaining unselected syntypes. NHMUK 1880.5.3.1 and 1880.5.3.2 are currently labelled as Phalacrocorax campbelli huttoni (reflecting a previous taxonomic treatment) and we did not attempt to obtain DNA from them. As all three syntypes were collected from the same locality at the same time, and 1880.5.3.6 clusters with individuals from Foveaux Strait (Figs. 4, 6, Appendix 1), we refer 1880.5.3.1 and 1880.5.3.2 to L. stewarti.


Nicolas J. Rawlence, R. Paul Scofield, Hamish G. Spencer, Chris Lalas, Luke J. Easton, Alan J. D. Tennyson, Mark Adams, Eric Pasquet, Cody Fraser, Jonathan M. Waters and Martyn Kennedy. 2016. Genetic and Morphological Evidence for Two Species of Leucocarbo Shag (Aves, Pelecaniformes, Phalacrocoracidae) from southern South Island of New Zealand. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12376 





Otago shag new species | Otago Daily Times: New Zealand https://shar.es/14U32I 
Meet our 'newest' endangered bird species http://nzh.tw/11591270 via @nzherald

[Botany • 2014] Nymphaea siamensis Puripany. | บัวจงกลนี • A New Species of Waterlily native to Thailand


บัวจงกลนี | Nymphaea siamensis  Puripany.  

Abstract 
Morphological and genetic comparison between Nymphaea siamensis and other Nymphaea species were conducted. N. siamensis is a new species of Nymphaea found in Thailand. Lacking carpels and anthers, its indeterminate flowers feature multiple whorls of pink petals. The species could be propagated vegetatively via bulblets and shows closest similarities to Nymphaea ‘Nilubon’, an unclassified landrace found in the northeast of Thailand. N. siamensis and N. ‘Nilubon’ have similar leaf, stem and root morphology. Like N. siamensis, N. ‘Nilubon’ also produces bulblets. However, flowers of N. ‘Nilubon’ have purple petals and are complete with both stamens and pistils. N. siamensis differs from the other Nymphaea species in its lack of locules, which made it difficult to be classified. Nonetheless, its morphological characters appear closer to species in the subgenus Brachyceras than in the subgenus Lotos. As a consequence, the species may be classified under the subgenus Brachyceras of the genus Nymphaea. Cluster and neighbor joining analyses of 34 polymorphic RAPD alleles revealed that N. siamensis was most similar to N. ‘Nilubon’ in our study. In addition, parsimony analysis revealed that it might have a separate origin from the other Nymphaea species in our studies. We propose that N. siamensis be qualified as a new plant species native to Thailand.

Keywords: Nymphaea siamensis, new species, nomenclature, morphology, RAPD



Puripunyavanich, V., La-ongsri, W., Boonsirichai, K. and Chukiatman, P. 2014. Nymphaea siamensis, the New Species of Waterlily in Thailand. Acta Hortic. 1035, 87-98. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1035.10

บัวจงกลนี (Nymphaea sp.) มีชื่อปรากฏในเอกสารมาตั้ง แต่สมัยสุโขทัย ปัจจุบันยังไม่สามารถจำแนกชนิดได้ อาจจะเป็นชนิดใหม่ และเป็นพืชเฉพาะถิ่นของไทย หรือเป็นบัวพันธุ์ผสมโดยฝีมือคนไทยในช่วงสมัยรัชกาลที่ 5

[PaleoOrnithology • 2016] Dromornis murrayi • The Extinct Flightless Mihirungs (Aves, Dromornithidae): Cranial Anatomy, A New Species, and Assessment of Oligo-Miocene Lineage Diversity




ABSTRACT
Giant flightless fowl (Aves, Dromornithidae) similar to the Northern Hemisphere gastornithids and weighing up to 350–650 kg evolved on Gondwana and existed in what is now Australia from the Eocene to the late Quaternary. Understanding cranial morphology of dromornithids has until now been based almost wholly on species of Dromornis, with that of species in three other genera either previously unknown or very fragmentary. Here we rectify this deficiency and describe a well-preserved cranium from the middle Miocene Bullock Creek Local Fauna referred to Ilbandornis woodburnei, rich, fragmentary crania, quadrates, pterygoids, and mandibles for the Oligo-Miocene Barawertornis tedfordi Rich, and additional material of the species of Ilbandornis. The morphological similarity of this cranial material suggests that the emu-sized B. tedfordi is a smaller precursor to and differs little from species of IlbandornisDromornis murrayi, n. sp., from late Oligocene–Early Miocene sites at Riversleigh, based on cranial and postcranial elements, is the oldest and smallest species in its genus. Placed in the context of other data, these observations suggest that the dromornithids comprised only two lineages throughout the Oligo-Miocene. The Barawertornis-Ilbandornis lineage attained maximum diversity in the middle Miocene Bullock Creek and late Miocene Alcoota local faunas (LF), with two species in each, but the Dromornis lineage seems to have been monotypic throughout its temporal range. The low diversity of these giant galloanseres in Australia mirrors that of the giant herbivorous ratites (ostriches and kin), which similarly have low diversity where they coevolved with diverse mammalian faunas.


Dromornis murrayi, A newly discovered flightless bird, reached 1.5 metres high and weighed up to 250 kilograms.
Illustration: Brian Choo/ Flinders University

Trevor H. Worthy, Warren D. Handley, Michael Archer and Suzanne J. Hand. 2016. The Extinct Flightless Mihirungs (Aves, Dromornithidae): Cranial Anatomy, A New Species, and Assessment of Oligo-Miocene Lineage Diversity. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.  DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2015.1031345

Researcher discovers ancestor of biggest bird ever http://phy.so/375346820 via @physorg_com

[Ornithology • 2016] Integrative Taxonomy reveals Europe’s Rarest Songbird Species, the Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch Fringilla polatzeki


Figure 1. (a) adult male Fringilla teydea polatzeki, Gran Canaria (J. A. Luksenburg); (b) adult male F. teydea teydea, Tenerife (I. Merrill);
sonagrams of (c) song of F. t. polatzeki (G. Sangster); (d) song of F. t. teydea (G. Sangster);
oscillograms of (e) same song of F. t. polatzeki; (f) same song of F. t. teydea;
sonagrams of (g); social call of F. t. polatzeki (M. S. Robb); (h) flight call of F. t. polatzeki (M. S. Robb); (i) social call of F. t. teydea (G. Sangster); (j) flight call of F. t. teydea (M. S. Robb).

ABSTRACT

The conservation of endangered taxa often critically depends on accurate taxonomic designations. The status of the Gran Canaria population of the Blue Chaffinch Fringilla t. polatzeki has not been reevaluated since the early 1900s when this taxon was described as a subspecies and combined with the much more common Tenerife Blue Chaffinch F. t. teydea in a single species. We show that multiple diagnostic differences in plumage, songs, calls and morphometrics distinguish F. t. polatzeki from F. t. teydea. Preliminary playback experiments suggest that F. t. polatzeki is able to discriminate between songs of both taxa. Along with previously reported differences in mitochondrial DNA, these findings show that the blue chaffinches on Gran Canaria and Tenerife represent two highly distinctive species: F. polatzeki and F. teydea. Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch is Europe’s rarest passerine species and should be classified as Critically Endangered. Its long-term survival in the wild currently depends on a very small (<20 sq.km.) area in southwest Gran Canaria. Reclassification of Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch as a species increases the urgency of ongoing conservation efforts. Our study underscores the critical importance of taxonomic clarification of threatened taxa that are currently classified as ‘subspecies’. 

 George Sangster, Felipe Rodríguez-Godoy, C. S. Roselaar, Magnus S. Robb and Jolanda A. Luksenburg. 2016. Integrative Taxonomy reveals Europe’s Rarest Songbird Species, the Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch Fringilla polatzeki. JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY.   DOI:  10.1111/jav.00825

[Ornithology • 2014] Rufous-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis bakeri and Pale-billed Parrotbill P. atrosuperciliaris in Thailand


Plate 2. Painting of Rufous-headed Parrotbill [นกปากนกแก้วหัวสีส้ม] Paradoxornis bakeri and Black-browed (Pale-billed) Parrotbill [นกปากนกแก้วคิ้วดำ] P. atrosuperciliaris based on field notes made in Mae Moei National Park on 25 June 2000 and field notes and photographs subsequently during 20–21 July 2014.
P. Round, K. Komolphalin, W. Limparungpatthanakij & A. J Pierce, 2014 || Illustration: K. Komolphalin

When Lekagul & Round (1991) was published, Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis atrosuperciliaris was known from the far north of Thailand but Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill P. ruficeps was listed only as a hypothetical species which was thought likely to occur in Thailand because it was found in both south and east Myanmar, and in north Laos. Since that time, King & Robson (2008) have examined the taxonomic status of P. ruficeps and proposed that the three subspecies be rearranged with P. r. ruficeps (Bhutan) being separated from P. r. bakeri (north-east India and Myanmar) and P. r. magnirostris (Laos and Vietnam), with P. ruficeps taking the new common name White-breasted Parrotbill and P. bakeri becoming Rufous-headed Parrotbill with magnirostris as a subspecies. In the same paper they proposed P. atrosuperciliaris be renamed Pale-billed Parrotbill.

We document the discovery of a population of Rufous-headed Parrotbill P. bakeri in Mae Moei National Park (NP), Tha Song Yang district, Tak province, west Thailand. We also confirm a range extension of the Pale-billed Parrotbill P. atrosuperciliaris at the same site.

...........

 Philip Round, Kamol Komolphalin, Wichyanan Limparungpatthanakij and Andrew J Pierce. 2014. Rufous-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis bakeri and Pale-billed Parrotbill P. atrosuperciliaris in Thailand. BirdingASIA. 22; 32-36. 

 facebook.com/WeranutN/posts/10204741918772543


[Herpetology • 2016] Volcanic Ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Eruptions affects Running Performance and Body Condition of Phymaturus Lizards in Patagonia, Argentina


Figure 2. Photographs of the species and the study sites showing the main landscape elements and ash deposition in the southern–central steppe of Rio Negro Province, Argentina.
Abi-Saad farm (A, C) where Phymaturus sinervoi occurs and Ojo de Agua (B, D) where P. excelsus occurs.
  DOI:  10.1111/bij.12778 

Abstract
The Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption of 4 June 2011 dispersed about 100 million tonnes of pyroclastic materials resulting in ash accumulations of 30 cm depth on the Patagonian steppe, an area occupied by several lizard species. Herein we analysed, by experimental trials, the effects of ash and slope on running performance of two endemic and vulnerable species, Phymaturus excelsus and Phymaturus sinervoi, restricted to volcanic rock outcrops in Patagonia. We also determined the effect of ash fall on body condition by comparing the same populations before and after the volcanic eruption. Locomotion of P. excelsus, adapted to rocky and steep outcrops, was more affected in a negative way by ash. In contrast, P. sinervoi, which lives in mixed habitats with flat rocks and sandy substrates, ran more slowly on the inclined surface but was unaffected by ash, suggesting the two species are well adapted to the habitats they occupy. In spite of impacts of ash deposition on locomotion and potentially the feeding, reproduction and dispersal activity of P. excelsus, lizards captured 18 months after ash deposition showed improved body condition. Our study site for P. sinervoi received less ash deposition and hence body condition was similar before and after ash fall. We hypothesize that negative effects of ash on lizards were counteracted by competitive release; ash deposition caused an acute and significant increase in mortality of herbivorous competitors such as hares and sheep that feed upon the same flowers and fruits included in the Phymaturus diet.

Keywords: body condition; disturbance; maximum running speed; Phymaturus excelsus; Phymaturus sinervoi




Nora R. Ibargüengoytía, Facundo Cabezas-Cartes, Jorgelina M. Boretto, Carla Piantoni, Erika L. Kubisch, Mariela S. Fernández, Rafael A. Lara-Resendiz, Fausto R. Méndez-de la Cruz, Alejandro Scolaro and Barry Sinervo. 2016. Volcanic Ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Eruptions affects Running Performance and Body Condition of Phymaturus Lizards in Patagonia, Argentina. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. DOI:  10.1111/bij.12778 


[Crustacea • 2016] Five New Species of Freshwater Crabs of the Genera Ghatiana Pati & Sharma, 2014, and Gubernatoriana Bott, 1970 (Decapoda, Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae) from the Western Ghats, India; Ghatiana atropurpurea, Ghatiana splendida, Gubernatoriana alcocki, Gubernatoriana thackerayi & Gubernatoriana waghi


FIGURE 2. Live crabs of new species of Ghatiana and Gubernatoriana.
A, Ghatiana atropurpurea n. sp. from Amboli; B, Ghatiana splendida n. sp. from Chaukul;
C, Gubernatoriana alcocki  n. sp. from Vankusawade; D, Gubernatoriana thackerayi n. sp. from Raghuvir Ghat; C, Gubernatoriana waghi n. sp. from Malshej Ghat.

Photos: A, B, A. Kamdar; C, B.V. Jadhav; D, S. Bhosale; E, R. Shah. 
 Pati, Thackeray & Khaire. 2016

Abstract

Five new species of gecarcinucid freshwater crabs, Ghatiana atropurpurea n. sp., Ghatiana splendida n. sp., Gubernatoriana alcocki Pati n. sp., Gubernatoriana thackerayi Pati n. sp., and Gubernatoriana waghi Pati n. sp. are described from the Western Ghats in Maharashtra and Goa states of India.

Ghatiana atropurpurea n. sp. can be differentiated from other species of Ghatiana Pati & Sharma, 2014 by the shape and colour of its carapace, and the sigmoid-shaped male first pleopod (G1). Ghatiana splendida n. sp. is separated from its congeners mainly by its long anterolateral margin of the carapace and short terminal article of the G1. Besides, the colour pattern (deep pink carapace and chelipeds, orange ambulatory legs) of G. splendida n. sp. is exceptional among its congeners. Gubernatoriana alcocki n. sp. is unique among species of Gubernatoriana Bott, 1970 due to its inwardly curved tip of the terminal article of the G1. The stout and cone-shaped terminal article of the G1 of Gubernatoriana thackerayi n. sp. is characteristic among its congeners. In addition, G. thackerayi n. sp. has a unique colouration amongst congeners (violet-red carapace and ambulatory legs, orange-red chelipeds). Gubernatoriana waghi n. sp. can be distinguished from its congeners by the quadrate-shaped carapace, narrow frontal margin, pointed tips of the cheliped fingers, short terminal article of the G1 and very short or vestigial terminal article of the male second pleopod (G2). The body colour (burnt orange carapace and ivory coloured chelipeds and ambulatory legs) of G. waghi n. sp. is also important to distinguish live crabs of the genus. Key to the species of Ghatiana and Gubernatoriana is provided.

Keywords: Crustacea, taxonomy, new species, western India

Ghatiana atropurpurea from Amboli 
photo: Arjun Kamdar

Gubernatoriana waghi was discovered in Malshej Ghat
photo: Rachit Shah  indianaturewatch.net

S.K. Pati, T. Thackeray and A. Khaire. 2016. Five New Species of Freshwater Crabs of the Genera Ghatiana Pati & Sharma, 2014, and Gubernatoriana Bott, 1970 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae Rathbun, 1904) from the Western Ghats, India.
Zootaxa. 4083(4);  http://mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/zootaxa.4083.4.7
ResearchGate.net/publication/295626478_Five_new_species_of_freshwater_crabs_of_the_genera_Ghatiana_Pati_Sharma_2014_and_Gubernatoriana_Bott_1970_Crustacea_Decapoda_Brachyura_Gecarcinucidae_Rathbun_1904_from_the_Western_Ghats_India



Shiv Sena chief's younger son discovers new species of crabs in Western Ghats https://shar.es/1Csg5J  

[Crustacea • 2014] Description of Ghatiana, A New Genus of Freshwater Crab, with Two New Species and A New Species of Gubernatoriana (Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae) from the Western Ghat Mountains, India


Figure 8. Newly described crabs from their natural habitats. (A) Ghatiana aurantiaca sp. nov., from laterite rocks in Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, Raigad district; (B) Ghatiana hyacintha sp. nov., from bank of a stream in Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary, Kolhapur district; (C) Gubernatoriana triangulus sp. nov., from bank of a stream in Tahmini Ghat, Pune district.
Pati & Sharma, 2014 DOI:  10.1080/00222933.2013.859315

Abstract
A new genus of freshwater crab, Ghatiana, with two new species, Ghatiana aurantiaca and Ghatiana hyacintha, and a new species of Gubernatoriana Bott, 1970, are described from the Western Ghat Mountains in Maharashtra State, India. Ghatiana is most similar to Gubernatoriana by its wide, highly arched carapace and by the shape of the male abdomen. Nevertheless, the new genus can be distinguished from Gubernatoriana by the broadness of carapace, length of male abdomen, shape of sixth abdominal somite, length of telson and length of G1 terminal article. Ghatiana aurantiaca sp. nov. and G. hyacintha sp. nov. are distinguished by differences in body colour, carapace width, and G1 morphology, whereas Gubernatoriana triangulus sp. nov. is distinguished from two other known species [Gubernatoriana gubernatoris (Alcock, 1909) and Gubernatoriana pilosipes (Alcock, 1909)] by its triangular G1 subterminal segment and by its carapace morphology. Keys to the species of both the genera are provided.

Keywords: freshwater crabs, taxonomy, new genus, new species, India


Figure 8. Newly described crabs from their natural habitats. (A) Ghatiana aurantiaca sp. nov.,from laterite rocks in Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, Raigad district; (B) Ghatiana hyacintha sp. nov., from bank of a stream in Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary, Kolhapur district; (C) Gubernatoriana triangulus sp. nov., from bank of a stream in Tahmini Ghat, Pune district.



S.K. Pati and R.M. Sharma. 2014. Description of Ghatiana, A New Genus of Freshwater Crab, with Two New Species and A New Species of Gubernatoriana (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae) from the Western Ghat Mountains, India, Journal of Natural History. 8:21-22, 1279-1298, DOI:  10.1080/00222933.2013.859315
researchgate.net/publication/262576257_Description_of_Ghatiana_a_new_genus_of_freshwater_crab_with_two_new_species_and_a_new_species_of_Gubernatoriana_Crustacea_Decapoda_Brachyura_Gecarcinucidae_from_the_Western_Ghat_Mountains_India

  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

[Entomology • 2016] Mayacephalus dickmanorumStudies in Guatemalan Ensifera: A New Cone-headed Katydid Genus (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) from eastern Guatemala


Mayacephalus dickmanorum
Cadena-Castañeda, Monzón-Sierra & Cortés-Torres. 2016 zootaxa.4084.2.9

Abstract

Mayacephalus dickmanorum n. gen. et n. sp., from eastern Guatemala is described in this contribution. This new genus highlights from other related ones by its short tegmina; unusual for the tribe Copiphorini, and only present in three neotropical genera: Toledopizia, Brachycaulopsis and Daedalellus, being closer to the first one.

Keywords: Orthoptera, Copiphorini, Copiphora, Toledopizia, brachypterous, Central America


Oscar J Cadena-Castañeda; José Monzón-Sierra and Carolina Cortés-Torres. 2016. Studies in Guatemalan Ensifera: Mayacephalus (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) A New Cone-headed Katydid Genus. Zootaxa. 4084(2); http://www.mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/zootaxa.4084.2.9

[Herpetology • 2016] Odorrana mutschmanni • A New Species of Odorrana (Anura: Ranidae) from the karst forests in northeastern Vietnam


Odorrana mutschmanni  
Pham, Nguyen, Le, Bonkowski & Ziegler, 2016

Abstract

A new species of Odorrana is described from the karst forests in northeastern Vietnam based on morphological differences and molecular divergence. Morphologically, the new species is distinguishable from its congeners on the basis of a combination of the following diagnostic characters: (1) size large (SVL 85.9–91.6 mm in males, 108.7–110.1 mm in females); (2) head longer than wide; (3) vomerine teeth present; (4) external vocal sacs absent; (5) snout short (SL/SVL 0.16–0.17); (6) tympanum large (TD/ED 0.70 in males, 0.68 in females); (7) dorsal surface of head and anterior part of body smooth, posterior part of body and flanks with small tubercles; (8) supratympanic fold present; (9) dorsolateral fold absent; (10) webbing formula I0–0II0–0III0–1/2IV1/2–0V; (11) in life, dorsum green with dark brown spots; (12) flanks greyish brown with dark brown spots; (13) throat and chest grey, underside of limbs with large dark brown spots, edged in white, forming a network. In the phylogenetic analyses, the new species is unambiguously nested within the O. andersonii group, and placed as the sister taxon to O. wuchuanensis.

Keywords: Amphibia, Odorrana mutschmanni sp. nov., karst forest, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy, Cao Bang Province

FIGURE 2. Dorsolateral view of the holotype (IEBR 3723, male) of Odorrana mutschmanni sp. nov. in life.


Cuong The Pham, Truong Quang Nguyen, Minh Duc Le, Michael Bonkowski and Thomas Ziegler. 2016. A New Species of Odorrana (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) from Vietnam. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

[Botany • 2016] Rafflesia consueloae • The Smallest among Giants; A New Species (Rafflesiaceae) from Luzon Island, Philippines


Rafflesia consueloae 
  Galindon, Ong & Fernando 

Figure 2. Colour illustration of Rafflesia consueloae Galindon, Ong & Fernando based on the holotype, Fernando & Galindon 3373 (PUH).
Colour illustration by Ms Yasmin S. Ong.

Abstract
A new species of Rafflesia (Rafflesiaceae) from Luzon Island, Philippines, Rafflesia consueloae Galindon, Ong & Fernando, is described and illustrated. It is distinct from all other species of Rafflesia in its small-sized flowers, the upright perigone lobes, and prominently cream-white disk surface that is often devoid of processes. Its small-sized flowers, with an average diameter of 9.73 cm when fully expanded, make it the smallest of the largest flowers in the world.

Keywords: Conservation, ecology, holoparasitic plants, taxonomy

Figure 1. Distribution of the six species of Rafflesia on Luzon Island, Philippines, including the new species, Rafflesia consueloae.
All Rafflesia images were drawn by Ms Yasmin S. Ong, five of which were originally published in David et al. (2011). Their use here is with permission of the book publisher, the Energy Development Corporation. All images are scaled relative to the actual sizes of each species.

Introduction
Rafflesia R.Br. (Rafflesiaceae) is a genus of endophytic, holoparasitic plants, well-known for producing the largest flowers on record (Kuijt 1969, Meijer 1985, 1997, Nais 2001). The Philippines is one of the centers of diversity of the genus (Barcelona et al. 2009b, Pelser et al. 2013), with at least 12 species thus far recorded from the archipelago (Teschemacher 1842, Blanco 1845, Hieronymus 1885, Barcelona and Fernando 2002, Fernando and Ong 2005, Barcelona et al. 2006, 2008a, 2008b, 2009a, 2009b, 2011, 2014, Galang and Madulid 2006, Balete et al. 2010, Pelser et al. 2013), eight of which were described only since 2002. Of all known Philippine species, five are recorded from Luzon Island, viz., Rafflesia aurantia Barcelona, Co & Balete (Barcelona et al. 2009a) from Quirino Province; R. baletei Barcelona & Cajano (Barcelona et al. 2006) from Camarines Sur Province; R. lagascae Blanco (Blanco 1845, Barcelona et al. 2009, 2011 [as R. manillana Teschem.], Pelser et al. 2013) from Cagayan, Bataan, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, and Camarines Norte Provinces; R. leonardi Barcelona & Pelser (Barcelona et al. 2008a, 2011) from Cagayan and Kalinga Provinces, and R. philippensis Blanco (Blanco 1845, Barcelona et al. 2009) [as R. banahawensis Madulid, Villariba & Agoo (2007), and as R. banahaw Barcelona, Pelser & Cajano (2007)] from Laguna and Quezon Provinces (Figure 1).

In this paper, we describe Rafflesia consueloae, the 6th species from Luzon Island, and the 13th for the entire Philippine archipelago.


Rafflesia consueloae, A few minutes after full bloom, note immaculate surface.
Photo by Biodiversity Research Laboratory, UP Biology

Figure 3. Rafflesia consueloae Galindon, Ong & Fernando.
Open flower Longitudinal section of flower showing details of ramenta Cross section through column neck showing undersurface of disk with anthers and dense fine bristles Longitudinal section of female bud showing ovary
 A–C Fernando & Galindon 3373 D Fernando & Galindon 3378 E Fernando & Galindon 3376.
All photographs by Edwino S. Fernando.

Taxonomy
Rafflesia consueloae Galindon, Ong & Fernando, sp. nov.

urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:77153385-1

Diagnosis: This species is distinct from all other Rafflesia species in its small-sized flowers (average of 9.73 cm diameter), the upright perigone lobes, and the prominently cream-white disk surface which is often devoid of processes. On Luzon Island, it overlaps in the size of mature buds and number of anthers with Rafflesia baletei and Rafflesia aurantia (Table 1).

Distribution: Endemic to the Philippines. Luzon Island, Nueva Ecija Province, Municipality of Pantabangan. The species is currently known only from two mountain sites with remnants of tropical lowland evergreen rain forests, Mt Balukbok and Mt Pantaburon, about 2 km apart, all within the Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed.

Rafflesia consueloae population, 22 Feb 2014 [11 days after discovery].
Note the pink flags to indicate where R. consueloae in various stages of development and decay were located. Eventally more than 160 individuals were counted in this sub-site alone.

  Photo by Biodiversity Research Laboratory, UP Biology  ||  up.edu.ph




Etymology: The specific epithet honors Ms Consuelo ‘Connie’ Rufino Lopez, lifelong partner of industrialist Oscar M. Lopez, and a plant lover in her own right. Both delight in culturing, growing and tending their garden which includes more than 100 species of trees, orchids and other plants. With her demure but strong personality, traits which Rafflesia consueloae possess, she provides the inspiration for Mr Lopez’s pursuit of biodiversity conservation in the Philippines.

Conservation status: Following the IUCN Categories and Criteria (IUCN 2012), we regard this species as Critically Endangered (CR B1+2bc). The extent of occurrence of the two small populations of R. consueloae is less than 100 km2. Both populations are under the jurisdictional control of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed Protected Area Management Board. The First Gen Hydro Power Corporation operates the Pantabangan hydroelectric facilities in the area and helps provide support in monitoring the surrounding forests and its biodiversity. However, the continued protection of the R. consueloae populations and other biodiversity in the area needs to be ensured as some local people still hunt wildlife there and forest fires are likely in the dry season. The vertebrate wildlife may also play a role in the biology of the R. consueloae.

How new Tetrastigma hosts get infected with Rafflesia seeds remains unknown. Several species of wildlife such as tree shrews, rodents, squirrels, wild pigs, elephants, and even ants have been suggested as potential seed dispersers of Rafflesia (Emmons et al. 1991, Hidayati et al. 2000, Nais 2001, Pelser et al. 2013); that these wildlife species might play an important role in the completion of the Rafflesia’s life cycle through the infection of new Tetrastigma hosts, had long been suspected but remains unproven. However, using motion-activated camera traps set up around fruits of R. consueloae, we were able to photograph at least two species of rodents feeding on different occasions (unpublished data, this study). What role these rodents and other wildlife species play in the life cycle of R. consueloae is subject of further study. The current two sites are known hunting grounds of wildlife by some members of the local community. Given the restricted range of this new species, hunting of wildlife might further exacerbate its fragile existence. Also, hunting might increase the chances of forest fires occurring, which are likely in the dry season based on personal observations and interviews with locals.


John Michael M. Galindon, Perry S. Ong and Edwino S. Fernando. 2016. Rafflesia consueloae (Rafflesiaceae), The Smallest among Giants; A New Species from Luzon Island, Philippines. PhytoKeys. 61: 37-46. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.61.7295

UP [University of the Philippines] biologists discover “the smallest among giant flowers”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Tropidurus lagunablanca, T. tarara & T. teyumirim • Three New Species of the Tropidurus spinulosus group (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from Eastern Paraguay


Tropidurus lagunablancaT. tarara T. teyumirim
Carvalho, 2016 

FIGURE 3. Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp.  B. Adult male (not collected). E. Female (AMNH-R 176293, paratype);  G. Biological station inside the Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, showing the trees used by T. lagunablanca, n. sp., at the type locality.
FIGURE 5. Tropidurus tarara, n. sp. A. Adult male (MNHNP 12044, holotype), B. Adult female (AMNH-R 176305, paratype). E. Natural Cerrado landscapes from Reserva Natural Cerrados del Tagatiya and sur-roundings, Department of Concepción, Paraguay. 
FIGURE 7. Tropidurus teyumirim, n. sp. A. Adult male (MNHNP 12045, holotype). B. Adult female (AMNH-R 176285, paratype). G. Exposed sedimentary rocks used by T. teyumirim, n. sp., along the margins of the Arroyo Corrientes at a site known as Salto Mbocarusu, located in the Parque Nacional Ybycui.

ABSTRACT
Tropidurus Wied, 1825, is one of the most ubiquitous lizard genera endemic to South America. Herpetologists from different regions of the continent have progressively mapped new populations, including undescribed species hidden under widely distributed nominal taxa. Currently, four monophyletic species groups are recognized in Tropidurus (T. bogerti group [monotypic], T. semitaeniatus group [four species], T. spinulosus group [five species], and T. torquatus group [16 species]), but none have been comprehensively revised taxonomically. During a collection expedition carried out in Paraguay in 2013, I recognized three new, distinct morphotypes among populations of the Tropidurus spinulosus group formerly assigned to T. guarani Alvarez et al., 1994. To delimit these new taxa, I analyzed coloration patterns, and quantified meristic and morphometric variables, comparing freshly collected samples with specimens housed in five museum collections. In this paper, I describe and illustrate the allopatric Tropidurus lagunablanca, n. sp., T. tarara, n. sp., and T. teyumirim, n. sp., and provide notes on their distribution limits, natural history, and conservation status.


André Luiz Gomes de Carvalho. 2016. Three New Species of the Tropidurus spinulosus group (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from Eastern Paraguay. AMERICAN MUSEUM NOVITATES. 3853:1-44. DOI:  10.1206/3853.1

[Herpetology • 2016] Tropidurus sertanejo • A New Tropidurus (Tropiduridae) from the Semiarid Brazilian Caatinga: Evidence for Conflicting Signal between Mitochondrial and Nuclear Loci Affecting the Phylogenetic Reconstruction of South American Collared Lizards


(AB)  Tropidurus sertanejo
Carvalho, Sena, Peloso, Machado, Montesinos, Silva, Campbell & Rodrigues, 2016

FIGURE 2. Syntopic species of Tropidurus found at the Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural (RPPN) Fazenda Pé da Serra, Serra do Arame, Ibotirama, Bahia, Brazil, and their respective habitats:
(A, B) Tropidurus sertanejo, n. sp. (MZUSP 104274, allotype); (C, D) T. hispidus (MZUSP 104276); (E, F) T. pinima (MZUSP 104271).
DOI:  10.1206/3852.1 

ABSTRACT
Tropidurus Wied, 1825, is one of the most ubiquitous lizard genera distributed in open habitats of tropical and subtropical South America. Nevertheless, the broad representation of specimens of this group in scientific collections is hardly reflected in our knowledge of its taxonomic diversity. Most species currently assigned to Tropidurus began to be uncovered in the early 1980's and additional populations in need of formal taxonomic treatment have been cataloged ever since. Herein, we name Tropidurus sertanejo, n. sp., a new species of the T. torquatus group endemic to the semiarid Brazilian Caatinga. Tropidurus sertanejo, n. sp., is currently known from two isolated populations in the municipalities of Caetité and Ibotirama, State of Bahia, Brazil. This is the only species of the T. torquatus group lacking granular mite pockets on the lateral neck, and it is also diagnosable by having a conspicuous bronze-colored head, a light-brown dorsal body with small pale salmon spots, and small body size in comparison with most congeners. Phylogenetic analyses recovered a paraphyletic Tropidurus, but firmly supported T. sertanejo, n. sp., as member of a monophyletic T. torquatus species group. Trees generated by independent analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data conflicted with our total evidence phylogenetic hypotheses. Since topological disagreements were detected among phylogenetic trees resulting from maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) reconstructions, and MP analyses do not require distinct evolutionary models or partition schemes to be defined prior to conduction of phylogenetic reconstruction, these factors were considered unlikely to explain all the variation in the observed results, favoring the interpretation of conflicting phylogenetic signal. Because detailed information on the distribution, population size, and ecological requirements of T. sertanejo, n. sp., are currently unavailable, we recommend the species to be listed as “data deficient” following the rules proposed by IUCN.


André L.G. Carvalho, Marco A. Sena, Pedro L.V. Peloso, Fabio A. Machado, Rachel Montesinos, Hélio R. Silva, Gwyneth Campbell and Miguel T. Rodrigues. 2016.  A New Tropidurus (Tropiduridae) from the Semiarid Brazilian Caatinga: Evidence for Conflicting Signal between Mitochondrial and Nuclear Loci Affecting the Phylogenetic Reconstruction of South American Collared Lizards.
  AMERICAN MUSEUM NOVITATES. 3852:1-66.  DOI:  10.1206/3852.1