Friday, April 28, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Hidden in the Heart of Borneo-Shedding Light on Some Mysteries of An Enigmatic Lizard: First Records of Habitat Use, Behavior, and Food Items of Lanthanotus borneensis Steindachner, 1878 in Its Natural Habitat

Fig. 4. Female Lanthanotus borneensis on land in situ.


A short assessment of the behavior, habitat and habitat use of the sole member of its monotypic family, the Earless Monitor lizard Lanthanotus borneensis was undertaken for the first time. Field data of this important species were lacking for more than a century since its description in 1878. Nearly nothing is known about life history or even its natural habitat. The only previously known facts were taken from a few captive animals held in the early 60s and 70s of the last century. Metric data of size, weight, body temperature, and sex ratio of 19 individuals were examined. Natural food items were identified. The population structure of a subpopulation was estimated. A brief survey of the additional herpetofauna is given for the area.

Keywords: Squamata; Lanthanotidae; Lanthanotus borneensis; habitat; measurements; behavior; nutrition; possible threats

Christian Georg Langner. 2017. Hidden in the Heart of Borneo-Shedding Light on Some Mysteries of An Enigmatic Lizard: First Records of Habitat Use, Behavior, and Food Items of Lanthanotus borneensis Steindachner, 1878 in Its Natural Habitat. Russian Journal of Herpetology 24(1); 1–10.

[Herpetology • 2017] Distinction of Gracixalus carinensis from Vietnam and Myanmar, with Description of A New Species, Gracixalus sapaensis, from northwestern Vietnam

Gracixalus sapaensis  Matsui, Ohler, Eto & Tao, 2017

Figure 3. Dorsal (A) and dorsolateral (B) views of male holotype (MNHN 1999. 5961) of Gracixalus sapaensis sp. nov. in life.

Gracixalus carinensis was originally described from Myanmar, but samples of the species reported in molecular phylogenetic works were all from Vietnam, far apart from the type locality. Moreover, the voucher specimens used for sequencing seem to have never been critically studied. We newly sequenced specimens from Vietnam and also closely examined morphology of vouchers. As a result, we confirmed that samples treated under this name from Vietnam constitute a single species. Although no molecular data are available for topotypic samples from Myanmar, detailed morphological comparisons revealed that samples from Vietnam are constantly separated from the topotypic samples of G. carinensis by much poorly developed toe webbing. We thus consider the Vietnamese samples as an undescribed species and describe them as Gracixalus sapaensis sp. nov.

Gracixalus sapaensis sp. nov. 

Synonymy. Philautus carinensis: Ohler, Marquis, Swan & Grosjean, 2000, Herpetozoa, 13: 71-87;
Aquixalus (Aquixalus) carinensis: Delorme, Dubois, Grosjean & Ohler, 2005, Bulletin Mensuel de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon, 74: 166;
 Kurixalus carinensis: Nguyen, Ho & Nguyen, 2009, Herpetofauna of Vietnam: 527;
Gracixalus carinensis: Li, Che, Murphy, Zhao, Zhao, Rao & Zhang, 2009, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 53: 509.

Etymology. The specific epithet is derived from Sa Pa, a district in Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam, where the new species occurs.

Range. Known only from northwestern Vietnam (fig. 5): Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Dak Lak (Nguyen et al., 2009, as Aquixalus). The known localities vary from 1250-2340 m in altitude. 

Natural history. Ohler et al. (2000) reported the new species to occur at all the vegetation types they classified (agriculture, scrub, submontane forest, and montane forest) from 1260-2020 m a.s.l. on Fan Si Pan mountains. Specimens were usually found sitting on leaves, rarely branches, up to 2 m from the ground, in the vicinity of mountain streams (median distance observed 3 m). They also reported the new species (as Philautus carinensis) to breed mainly in October-November unlike Ph. odontotarsus (now Kurixalus), and Ph. jinxiuensis and Ph. gracilipes (both now Gracixalus) that breed in July. 

Masafumi Matsui, Annemarie Ohler, Koshiro Eto and Nguyen Thien Tao. 2017. Distinction of Gracixalus carinensis from Vietnam and Myanmar, with Description of A New Species. ALYTES. 33(1-4); 25-37.

[Fungi • 2017] Melansporella juglandiumMelansporellaceae: A Novel Family of Diaporthales (Ascomycota)

Melansporella juglandium  C.M. Tian & Z. Du


Melansporellaceae fam. nov. is introduced to accommodate a genus of diaporthalean fungi that is a phytopathogen causing walnut canker disease in China. The family is typified by Melansporella gen. nov. It can be distinguished from other diaporthalean families based on its irregularly uniseriate ascospores, and ovoid, brown conidia with a hyaline sheath and surface structures. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Melansporella juglandium sp. nov. forms a monophyletic group within Diaporthales (MP/ML/BI=100/96/1) and is a new diaporthalean clade, based on molecular data of ITS and LSU gene regions. Thus, a new family is proposed to accommodate this taxon.

Keywords: diaporthalean fungi, fungal diversity, new taxon, Sordariomycetes, systematics, taxonomy, Fungi

FIGURE 2. Melansporella juglandium  C.M. Tian & Z. Du
 A. Habit of ascostroma and conidiomata on twig. BC. Habit of conidiomata on twig. D. Transverse section through a conidioma. E, IJ. Longitudinal section through conidiomata. FH. Habit of ascomata on twig. KL. Conidiophores and conidia. MN. Conidia. OP. Asci and ascospores. QR. Ascospores.

 Scale bars: A = 5 mm, B–G, J = 500 μm, H, I = 1 mm, K–R = 20 μm.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.305.3.6 

Melansporellaceae C.M. Tian & Z. Du, fam. nov.  
MycoBank 820305
Type genus:— 

Melansporella C.M. Tian & Z. Du, gen. nov. 
MycoBank MB 820306
Type species:— Melansporella juglandium.

Etymology:— referring to the dark conidia.
Description:— Perithecia immersed in the substrate, arranged irregularly, ostioles convergent and erumpent through the disc. Asci oblong or fusoid, irregularly uniseriate, 8-spored. Ascospores fusoid, 1-septate, hyaline, lacking appendages. Pycnidial conidiomata with a single locule. Conidiophores hyaline to light brown, simple. Conidiogenous cells cylindrical. Conidia ovoid, brown, sheathed, with surface structures.

Melansporella juglandium C.M. Tian & Z. Du, sp. nov. 
 MycoBank MB820307

Etymology:— juglandium, referring to Juglans regia, the only host known for this species.


Zhuo Du, Kevin D. Hyde, Qin Yang, Ying-Mei Liang and Cheng-Ming Tian. 2017. Melansporellaceae: A Novel Family of Diaporthales (Ascomycota).   Zootaxa. 305(3); 191–200.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.305.3.6

[Paleontology • 2017] A New Phylogeny of Stegosauria (Dinosauria, Ornithischia)


The stegosaurs are some of the most easily recognizable dinosaurs, but are surprisingly rare as fossils. Consequently much remains unknown about their palaeobiology, and every new stegosaurian find contributes to our understanding of the evolution of the clade. Since the last attempt to examine the evolutionary relationships of Stegosauria, new specimens have come to light, including the most complete individual of Stegosaurus ever found, new taxa have been described and, perhaps most importantly, new methods for analysis of cladistic datasets have been produced. In the light of these new data and technological advances, the phylogenetic relationships of the stegosaurs and basal armoured dinosaurs are investigated. The inclusion of continuous data results in much better resolution than was previously obtained, and the resulting single most parsimonious tree supports re-erection of the genera Miragaia and Hesperosaurus, which had previously been synonymized with Dacentrurus and Stegosaurus respectively. The recently described genus Alcovasaurus is resolved as a basal thyreophoran, but this is most likely a consequence of a very high degree of missing data and the questionable ontogenetic stage of the specimen. Examination of the effects of continuous data on the analysis suggest that while it contains a phylogenetic signal congruent with that of discrete data and provides better resolution than discrete data alone, it can affect topologies in unpredictable ways, particularly in areas of the tree where there are large amounts of missing data. The phylogeny presented here will form the basis for future work on the palaeobiology of the plated dinosaurs.

Illustration: Davide Bonadonna 

Thomas J. Raven and Susannah C. R. Maidment. 2017. A New Phylogeny of Stegosauria (Dinosauria, Ornithischia).  Palaeontology. 60(3); 401–408. DOI: 10.1111/pala.12291 

[Entomology • 2017] Preliminary Molecular Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Monobasic Subfamily Calinaginae (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae)

Figure 2. Bayesian phylogeny of Calinaga estimated in BEAST using concatenated data. Purple squares are calibration points (root: 75 ± 3; Satyrinae + Charaxinae 70 ± 3.5, Charaxes + Euxanthe 22 ± 1). Monophyly was enforced on nodes marked with orange squares. The inset map shows the biogeographic regions used in DIVA analysis: A) Southwestern China ecozone, B) Himalaya-Tibetan plateau region, C) Northern Sino-Himalaya, D) Southern Sino-Himalaya, E) Indochina. Colored dots correspond to haplogroups on the tree.

Calinaga (Moore 1857) is a rare and enigmatic Asian butterfly genus whose phylogenetic placement within Nymphalidae has only recently been established. The evolutionary history of Calinaga species however remains unknown. Here we explore the phylogeography of Calinaga using 1310 bp of sequence data from two molecular (mtDNA barcode and ribosomal protein S5 nuclear gene) and two morphological traits (genitalia and wing pattern). Within the proposed phylogenetic framework, we estimate the ages of divergence within the genus and reconstruct their historical biogeography. We found strong support for monophyly of Calinaga and support for the most recent accepted species in the genus. Our results indicate that the common ancestor of Calinaga first split in the Eocene (~43 million years ago) in southern China, probably as a consequence of geological and environmental impacts of the collision of the Indian and Asian subcontinents. In the Oligocene/Miocene, the extrusion of Indochina from the continent caused further dramatic orogenetic changes that promoted isolation and speciation events within the genus while Pleistocene climatic changes also influenced the distribution and further speciation. A dispersal–vicariance analysis suggests that vicariance events have played a far more important role than dispersal in the distribution of extant species.

Key Words: Calinaga, Calinaginae, Nymphalidae, mtDNA, butterfly, Indochina, Oligocene

Figure 1. (A) Approximate geographic distributions (Shirôzu 1960, Lang 2012) and sampling localities (circles) for the species of Calinaga included in this study (with the exception of the sample CBUD-INDIN for which we do not have an exact locality). Species as initially identified are highlighted and shown in different colours. Note that many of these initially attributed names subsequently proved erroneous. The map was obtained using Quantum GIS 2.8.2 based on a map from Natural Earth (
(B) Median-Joining Network of mtDNA. Circle size proportional to haplotype frequency; number of nucleotide substitutions indicated along connections, except for single or double substitutions. In both figures the species are highlighted and shown in different colours as initially identified. 

The genus Calinaga probably originated in the South-East Tibet in Eocene following the immense geological and environmental impact caused by the collision between Indian and Asian subcontinents. The extrusion of Indochina from the continent during the Oligocene/Miocene further prompted dramatic orogenetic changes that promoted isolation and speciation events in the genus. More recently, in the Pleistocene, climatic changes further modified the distribution of species and probably facilitated vicariant speciation events.

Since we did not sample or sequence specimens from all of the available names under Calinaga, we cannot make any definitive statements about the number of valid species warranted to be recognized as such, although the existence of many superfluous names is evident. From the names of the genus and the species coined by early British lepidopterists including F. Moore, it is apparent that they drew inspiration from Hindu mythological characters. In Sanskrit, Nāga refers to mythical reptilian creatures found in Indian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism and Janism) who were often worshipped as deities. Among them, “Kaliya” (or Kalya, “Kalia-Naga”, Calinaga) was a particularly notorious and poisonous one living in Yamuna river in Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh). After an encounter with Krishna, Kaliya surrendered and was sent to exile (Bhagavata Purana, 16:10). It seems that the modern taxonomy of Calinaga is in need of a Krishna to conquer these superfluous names and cleanse its taxonomy albeit after careful examination of the types and sequencing of additional material.

 Valentina Todisco, Vazrick Nazari and Paul D.N. Hebert. 2017. Preliminary Molecular Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Monobasic Subfamily Calinaginae (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae). Zoosystematics and Evolution. 93(2); 255-264. DOI: 10.3897/zse.93.10744

Origins of an enigmatic genus of Asian butterflies carrying mythological names decoded

[Ichthyology • 2017] Oxynoemacheilus hazarensis • A New Species from Lake Hazar in Turkey, with Remarks on O. euphraticus (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae)

Oxynoemacheilus hazarensis 
 Freyhof & Özuluğ, 2017 

Oxynoemacheilus hazarensis, new species, from Lake Hazar in the Turkish Tigris drainage, is distinguished from other Oxynoemacheilus in the Tigris drainage by having the combination of a slightly emarginate caudal fin, no suborbital groove in males, an incomplete lateral line, no scales on the back and flank in front of the anus, the maxillary barbel reaching beyond the middle of the eye, an incision in the middle of the upper lip, and the colour pattern on the flank mottled, not interrupted by an unpigmented zone along the lateral line. Oxynoemacheilus euphraticus from the Euphrates and Tigris drainages is a valid species: it is discussed and re-diagnosed against Oargyrogramma.
Keywords: Pisces, Freshwater biodiversity, exploration, Southeastern Anatolia

FIGURE 5. Oxynoemacheilus hazarensis, not preserved, about 65 mm SL; Turkey: North-eastern shore of Lake Hazar. 

Distribution. Oxynoemacheilus hazarensis was found in Lake Hazar, a large tectonic lake in eastern Turkey, and one of the sources of the Tigris. It may be endemic to Lake Hazar.

Etymology. The species is named for its type locality, Lake Hazar. An adjective. 

Remarks. If this is confirmed by intensive field-work in the region, O. hazarensis would be the third fish species endemic to Lake Hazar after Aphanius asquamatus (Cyprinodontidae) and Alburnus heckeli (Cyprinidae).

Jörg Freyhof and Müfit Özuluğ. 2017. Oxynoemacheilus hazarensis, A New Species from Lake Hazar in Turkey, with Remarks on O. euphraticus (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae). Zootaxa. 4247(4); 378–390. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4247.4.2

[Botany • 2017] More New Rattans (Calamus, Arecaceae) from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands

Calamus pintaudii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf.


As part of current research on the taxonomy of the palms (Arecaceae or Palmae) of New Guinea, ten new species of the rattan genus Calamus are described and illustrated here: Calamus baiyerensis, Calamus capillosus, Calamus erythrocarpus, Calamus heatubunii, Calamus jacobsii, Calamus katikii, Calamus kostermansii, Calamus papyraceus, Calamus pintaudii and Calamus superciliatus. An eleventh species, Calamus novae-georgii, from the neighbouring Solomon Islands is also included here. The palm flora of New Guinea now includes 62 species of Calamus, 34 of which have been described since 2002, demonstrating the remarkable scale of botanical discovery on the island. 

Key words: Calamoideae, Indonesia, lianas, Palmae, palms, Papua New Guinea, Papuasia, South-East Asia

FIGURE 1. Calamus baiyerensis. A. Leaf sheath with ocrea. B. Leaf apex. C. Mid-leaf portion. D. Primary branch of staminate inflorescence. Scale bar: A = 3 cm; B, C = 6 cm; D = 4 cm. All from Zieck NGF 36252. Drawn by Lucy T. Smith. 

Taxonomic treatment 

1. Calamus baiyerensis W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 
Type:—PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Western Highlands Province: Baiyer River Subdistrict, Rouna River (Baiyer River valley) near Kambukom village, 1160 m, 23 July 1971, Zieck NGF 36252 (holotype CANB!, isotypes BH, LAE). 

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the very robust, clustering habit, the sparsely armed sheath with patchy dark indumentum, the ocrea encircling the stem that disintegrates into fibres and the very robust inflorescence with robust rachillae with funnel-shaped bracts.

Etymology:— The species epithet reflects the type locality in the Baiyer River valley.  
Distribution:— Known only from the type locality in the Baiyer River valley, Western Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.

2. Calamus capillosus W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 
Type:— INDONESIA. West Papua Province: surroundings of Ayawasi, ca. 450 m, 28 July 1995, Ave 4048 (holotype L!, isotype BO). 

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the sheaths densely armed with very fine, hair-like spines, the regularly pinnate leaves with numerous bristles on veins and margins, the very long flagelliform inflorescences, the long, unbranched peduncle, the lax primary branches, and the staminate inflorescence branched to only two orders. 

Etymology:— The species epithet refers to the very hairy appearance of the leaf sheaths, due to the abundance of fine, hair-like spines, and the numerous hair-like bristles on the leaflets.
Distribution:—Known only from the type locality near Ayawasi in the Bird’s Head Peninsula.

3. Calamus erythrocarpus W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 
Type:— PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Central Province: Sogeri Subdistict, near Jawarere (Subitana), 450 m, 3 September 1968, Zieck NGF 36176 (holotype LAE!, isotype BH, L!) 

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the moderately robust, clustering habit, the subcirrate leaf with few broadly lanceolate, cucullate leaflets, the longest leaflets at the base of the leaf, the leaf apex bearing a vestigial leaflet pair remnant or a short cirrus, the leaf sheaths armed only with few, minute spines, the short inflorescences lacking peduncular bracts, the rachis bracts significantly exceeding the primary branches and splitting to the base (not tattering), and the rounded red fruit covered with unchannelled, erose-margined scales.

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the red colour of the fruit. 
Distribution:— Known from many gatherings at a single locality in hills 35 km east of Port Moresby, Central Province. 
Habitat:— Rain forest on lower slopes and bottom of a creek valley, ca. 460 m.


FIGURE 8. Calamus novae-georgii. A. Leaf sheath. B. Leaf apex. C. Mid-leaf portion. D. Infructescence apex with primary branch. E. Staminate rachilla. F. Staminate flower bud in longitudinal section. G. Staminate flower bud. H. Fruit attached to pisillate rachilla, showing stalk-like first bracteole. I. Seed whole and in longitudinal section.
Scale bar: A, D = 3 cm; B, C = 4 cm; E = 5 mm; F, G = 2.2 mm; H, I = 
7 mm.
A–D, H, I from Qusa 124; E–G from Qusa 123. Drawn by Lucy T. Smith. 

4. Calamus heatubunii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 
Type:— INDONESIA. West Papua Province: Kota Sorong, Klasaman km 14, Klasagan, 50 m, 2 February 2013, Baker et al. 1392 (holotype K!, isotypes AAU!, BO!, BRI!, L!, MAN!). 

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the few, broad, leathery leaflets, typically arranged in a single, divaricate group, the well-developed, purple-brown ocrea armed with numerous, solitary triangular spines, and the short, erect inflorescences lacking a flagelliform tip with compact, but not congested branching.

Etymology:— Calamus heatubunii is named for our friend and long-time collaborator in New Guinea palm research, Prof. Charlie D. Heatubun of Universitas Papua, Manokwari, Indonesia.
Distribution:— Recorded from several localities near to Sorong and from Waigeo in the Raja Ampat Islands in far western New Guinea.
Habitat:— Lowland forest, including secondary, hill and swamp forest, 45–180 m.

 5. Calamus jacobsii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov.
 Type:— PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Morobe: south-east of Lae on the coast, opposite Lasanga Island, 500–600 m, 11 November 1973, Jacobs 9561 (holotype L!, isotypes LAE). 
Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the leaves and leaf sheaths drying brown, the unarmed leaf sheath, the very short petiole, the few, subregularly arranged, elliptic leaflets, and the non-flagelliform staminate inflorescence that is branched to 4 orders.

Etymology:—The species is named for Marius Jacobs (1929–1983), a senior botanist of the Rijksherbarium, Leiden and collector of the type specimen. Jacobs died at the age of 53, unexpectedly cutting short his career in plant taxonomy and conservation in Malesia (Kalkman 1983).
Distribution:— Known from two localities in mountains south of Lae, Papua New Guinea.
Habitat:— Primary forest at an elevation of 500–600 m.

6. Calamus katikii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 
Type:—PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Morobe Province: Wau Subprovince, Kodama Range, Mount Walker, Korpera River, 1829 m, 16 November 1981, Katik LAE 74954 (holotype LAE!, isotypes NSW, USF). 

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the slender habit, ecirrate leaves with very few (ca. 4 pairs) grouped leaflets, the sparsely armed, flagellate leaf sheaths, the short inflorescence with flagelliform tip and large fruit relative to the size of the plant.

Etymology:— This species is named for Paul Katik, renowned botanist, formerly of the Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute, and collector of the type specimen.
Distribution:— Known only from a single collection from the Kodama Range, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.
Habitat:— Montane, mossy forest at ca. 1800 m.

7. Calamus kostermansii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 

Type:— INDONESIA. Papua Province: Fak-Fak, Timika, sago swamp, between Timika and port, km 23, 10 m,16 February 1998, Baker et al. 848 (holotype K!, isotypes BO!, MAN!, BH!, L!). 

Diagnosis:— Similar to Calamus longipinna, but differs in the dense chocolate brown caducous indumentum on sheaths, short triangular spines on sheaths, tough ocrea that disintegrates into fibres at the margin and the more elongate and short-spiny rachis bracts.

Etymology:— This species is named for A.J.G.H. Kostermans (1906–1994), the celebrated Dutch-Indonesian botanist whose specimen drew our attention to the existence of this species.
Distribution:— Known from only two localities in central and western Indonesian New Guinea.
Habitat:— Riverine and swamp habitats, ca. 10 m elevation.

8. Calamus novae-georgii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 
Type:—SOLOMON ISLANDS. New Georgia: MundaNoro Road, 12 September 1991, Qusa 124 (BSIP 22101) (holotype K!). 

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the sheaths with dense chocolate-brown indumentum and abundant straw-coloured spines, the long, slender, flagelliform inflorescence, the fine, zig-zag rachillae and the stalk-like first bracteole in the dyad of the pistillate inflorescence.

Etymology:— The species epithet reflects the type locality on New Georgia Island. 
Distribution:— Known only from New Georgia Island in the Solomon Islands.
Primary, lowland forest on hills, ridges and flat plains

9. Calamus papyraceus W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 
Type:— PAPUA NEW GUINEA. East Sepik Province: WewakAngoram area, Maprik Subdistrict, Prince Alexander Range, SE side of Mt. Turu above Ambakanja village, 600 m, 19 August 1959, Pullen 1506 (holotype CANB!, isotype LAE). 

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the slender habit, the regularly pinnate leaves, the leaf sheaths with collars of fine, caducous spines, the long, disintegrating papery ocrea armed with fine spines, the erect, congested inflorescence lacking a flagelliform tip with dry, papery bracts, erect primary branches and short pistillate rachillae, and typically conventional calamoid sympodial floral clusters producing a single fruit per cluster in the pistillate plant.

Etymology:— The species epithet refers to the papery texture of the ocrea and of the inflorescence bracts.
Distribution:— Known from a single locality near Mt. Turu in the Prince Alexander Range in East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea.

Calamus pintaudii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf.
A. Leaf sheath with tattering ocrea. B. Leaf apex. C. Mid-leaf portion D. Primary branch of pistillate inflorescence. E. Staminate rachilla. F. Fruit on rachilla. G. Fruit. H. Seed in two views. I. Seed in longitudinal section. 
Scale bar: A, F = 3 cm; B–D = 4 cm; E = 1.5 cm; G–I = 1.5 cm.
A, D from Zieck NGF 36189; B, C, E–I from Pintaud et al. 671. Drawn by Lucy T. Smith.

 10. Calamus pintaudii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov.
Type:— PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Chimbu Province: Kundiawa, Daman Nanga (Sino Pass) Village, 2200 m, 30 October 2012, Pintaud et al. 671 (holotype K!, isotypes LAE, P, Binatang-RC). 

Diagnosis:—Distinguished by the robust, clustering habit, the sheath drying orange-brown with dense indumentum, densely armed with needle-like spines, the papery, fragile ocrea almost encircling the sheath, but soon disintegrating, and the robust inflorescence with robust rachillae with funnel-shaped bracts.

Etymology:— The species epithet honours our friend and colleague, the late Jean-Christophe Pintaud (1970– 2015), French palm biologist and collector of the type specimen (see Anthelme et al. 2016).
Distribution:— Recorded from three widely separated localities in the eastern end of the central mountain chain of Papua New Guinea between Mt. Wilhelm and Mt. Suckling.
Habitat:— Primary montane forest, 600–1400 m

11. Calamus superciliatus W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., sp. nov. 
Type:— INDONESIA. West Papua Province: Tambrouw Regency, Fef District, forest above Fef, 730 m, 24 January 2013, Baker et al. 1370 (holotype K!, isotypes BO!, MAN!, L!). 

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by the leaf sheaths densely armed with fine, planar spines that form a tuft of longer spines at the sheath mouth, the relatively few leaflets (9–12 pairs) arranged in few, divaricate groups, and the lax, flagelliform inflorescence with few primary branches (1–3).

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the fine, prolonged, erect spines that emerge around the mouth of the leaf sheath.
Distribution:— Known from two localities near Fef in the Tamrau mountains.
  Habitat:— Lower montane forest at 700–900 m.

William J. Baker and John Dransfield. 2017. More New Rattans from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands (Calamus, Arecaceae).   Phytotaxa. 305(2); 61–86.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.305.2.1

[Porifera • 2017] Cinachyrella anatriaenilla • A New Tetillid Sponge with Microacanthoxeas from American Samoa in the South Pacific

Cinachyrella anatriaenilla 
 Fernandez, Kelly & Bell, 2017 


Several sponges from American Samoa, collected by the Coral Reef Research Foundation, Republic of Palau, were tentatively identified by one of us as Acanthotetilla cf. seychellensis (Thomas 1973), due to the possession of relatively small acanthose oxeas, compared to those of other species of the genus Acanthotetilla Burton 1959. These sponges were later compared to Cinachyrella australiensis (Carter 1886), taking into account the lack of conspicuous spination on the acanthose oxeas and general features of spiculation and skeletal organisation. The specimens were later considered to represent a new species of the genus Cinachyrella Wilson 1925, after a careful comparison was made between the American Samoan specimens and C. australiensis which also contains small acanthose oxeas. Several recent molecular phylogenetic studies have confirmed the generic assignment of one of the American Samoan specimens as belonging to Cinachyrella. Cinachyrella anatriaenilla sp. nov., described herein, is the fifth of 40 Cinachyrella spp. that contain lightly spined microacanthoxeas.

Keywords: Porifera, Tetractinellida, Spirophorina, Tetillidae, Acanthotetilla, new species

Cinachyrella anatriaenilla sp. nov., morphology: Specimen in situ surrounded by several other sponges. 

Etymology. Named for the possession of highly characteristic small anatriaenes (anatriaene + illa— female adjectival suffix in Latin related to diminutive of a name).

Julio C.C. Fernandez, Michelle Kelly and Lori J. Bell. 2017.   Cinachyrella anatriaenilla sp. nov., A New Tetillid Sponge with Microacanthoxeas from American Samoa in the South Pacific.    Zootaxa.  4258(1); 81–90.   DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4258.1.6

[Arachnida • 2017] Bothriurus delmari & B. aguardente • Two New Species of Bothriurus Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae) from Northeastern Brazil

Bothriurus delmari  
Santos-da-Silva, Carvalho & Brescovit, 2017


Two new species of Bothriurid scorpions, Bothriurus delmari n. sp. and Bothriurus aguardente n. sp., are described from Bahia, Northeastern Brazil. These species are included in the asper group owing to the peculiar hemispermatophore morphology. These two newly described species increases to 47 the number of known and valid Bothriurus species. Additionaly, the known distribution of Bothriurus asper is updated.

Keywords: Scorpiones, scorpions, taxonomy, asymmetric hemispermatophore, Caatinga, geographic distribution

 Juvenile of Bothriurus delmari n. sp. from Morro do Chapéu, Bahia (CHNUFPI 1737) 
Bothriurus delmari n. sp.

Etymology. The specific name is a patronym in honor of Delmar Lopes Alvim, a geographer, theologian, sociologist and environmentalist that attended in the preparation of the Parque Estadual de Morro of Chapéu and develops socio-educational and environmental actions with local community.

Distribution. Known only for the municipality of Morro do Chapéu, in the northern region of the Chapada Diamantina, one of the semiarid Caatinga ecoregions, in the State of Bahia, Northeastern Brazil. ...

Botriurus aguardente n. sp. 

Etymology. The name honors the municipality of Abaíra, known as the "city of cachaça" (cachaça or aguardente refers to alcoholic drinks obtained by destilation from sugar cane juice, in Brazil). The municipality is named after the Abaíra aguardente and its economy persist mainly of the trade of this beverage.

Distribution. Known only for the Serra do Barbado, district of Catolés in the municipality of Abaíra, in the central region of the Chapada Diamantina, one of the semiarid Caatinga ecoregions, in the State of Bahia, Northeastern Brazil. ....  

Andria de Paula Santos-da-Silva, Leonardo Sousa Carvalho and Antonio Domingos Brescovit. 2017. Two New Species of Bothriurus Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae) from Northeastern Brazil. Zootaxa. 4258(3); 238–256.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4258.3.2

[Ichthyology • 2017] Adelotremus deloachi • A New Species of the Fangblenny Adelotremus from Indonesia, with Supplemental Description of A. leptus (Blenniidae: Nemophini)

Adelotremus deloachi 
Smith-Vaniz, 2017 


A new fangblenny, Adelotremus deloachi, is described on the basis of three specimens, 29‒35 mm SL, from Bali and Lembeh Strait, Indonesia. All these specimens were collected in 10‒17 m depth on sandy slopes. The new species differs from Adelotremus leptus, its Red Sea and only congener, in having a pair of mid-dorsal supratemporal pores (vs. a single pore), dorsal-fin spines X (vs. IX) and precaudal and caudal vertebra 12 + 23 (vs. 13 + 19). The discovery of a second species requires slight modification of the diagnosis of the genus. Unlike the five other nemophine genera, Adelotremus differs most notably in having the third infraorbital bone and associated sensory pores absent, and the combination of ventral margin of gill opening opposite the dorsalmost 5th or 6th pectoral-fin ray, total dorsal-fin elements 28‒29 and interorbital pores 2. With a total of four specimens of Adelotremus, it is now apparent that several features of the cephalic pore arrangement of the genus are different from that found in Petroscirtes, its presumed sister genus. Recent color photographs indicate that both species of Adelotremus exhibit marked sexual dichromatism with males having a conspicuous ocellus anteriorly in the dorsal fin that is absent in females.

Keywords: Pisces, taxonomy, Pisces, Blenniidae, Adelotremus, new species

FIGURE 1. Adelotremus deloachi holotype, ZMA 23004, male, 32.0 mm SL, Bali, Indonesia.
 Photograph by Ned DeLoach. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4258.2.7

FIGURE 2. Adelotremus deloachi paratype, USNM 438965, female, 29.4 mm SL, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia.
Photograph by Ned DeLoach. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4258.2.7

 Adelotremus deloachi new species 
Spotfin fangblenny

Distribution. Known only from Bali and Lembeh Strait but undoubtedly more widely distributed in Indonesia. 

Etymology. This new species is named Aledotremus deloachi in honor of Ned DeLoach in recognition and appreciation of his books, magazine articles and photographs that celebrate the beauty and diversity of reef fishes, all of which have encouraged numerous divers and fish watchers to become more aware of the importance of protecting the threatened marine environment and fauna


William F. Smith-Vaniz. 2017. A New Species of the Fangblenny Adelotremus from Indonesia, with Supplemental Description of A. leptus (Teleostei: Blenniidae: Nemophini).
Zootaxa. 4258(2): 179–186.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4258.2.7

Thursday, April 27, 2017

[Paleontology • 2017] New Specimens of Anchiornis huxleyi (Theropoda, Paraves) from the late Jurassic of northeastern China


Four new specimens of Anchiornis huxleyi (PKUP V1068, BMNHC PH804, BMNHC PH822, and BMNHC PH823) were recently recovered from the late Jurassic fossil beds of the Tiaojishan Formation in northeastern China. These new specimens are almost completely preserved with cranial and postcranial skeletons. Morphological features of Anchiornis huxleyi have implications for paravian character evolution and provide insights into the relationships of major paravian lineages. Anchiornis huxleyi shares derived features with avialans, such as a straight nasal process of the premaxilla and the absence of an external mandibular fenestra in lateral view. However, Anchiornis huxleyi lacks several derived deinonychosaurian features, including a laterally exposed splenial and a specialized raptorial pedal digit II. Morphological comparisons strongly suggest Anchiornis is more closely related to avialans than to deinonychosaurians or troodontids. Anchiornis huxleyi exhibits many conservative paravian features, and closely resembles Archaeopteryx and other Jurassic paravians from Jianchang County, such as Xiaotingia and Eosinopteryx. The other Jianchang paravian, Aurornis xui, is likely a junior synonym of Anchiornis huxleyi.

Rui Pei, Quanguo Li, Qingjin Meng, Mark Norell and Keqin Gao. 2017. New Specimens of Anchiornis huxleyi (Theropoda, Paraves) from the late Jurassic of northeastern China. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 411.  URI:


[Paleontology • 2017] Isaberrysaura mollensis • A New Primitive Neornithischian Dinosaur from the Jurassic of Patagonia with Gut Contents

 Isaberrysaura mollensis
Salgado, Canudo, Garrido, Moreno-Azanza, Martínez, Coria & Gasca, 2017

DOI: 10.1038/srep42778 

We describe a new species of an ornithischian dinosaur, Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov. The specimen, consisting in an almost complete skull and incomplete postcranium was collected from the marine-deltaic deposits of the Los Molles Formation (Toarcian-Bajocian), being the first reported dinosaur for this unit, one of the oldest from Neuquén Basin, and the first neornithischian dinosaur known from the Jurassic of South America. Despite showing a general stegosaurian appearance, the extensive phylogenetic analysis carried out depicts Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov. as a basal ornithopod, suggesting that both Thyreophora and neornithischians could have achieved significant convergent features. The specimen was preserved articulated and with some of its gut content place in the middle-posterior part of the thoracic cavity. Such stomach content was identified as seeds, most of them belonging to the Cycadales group. This finding reveals a possible and unexpected role of this ornithischian species as seed-dispersal agent.

Figure 2: Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov. holotype.
 Skull in dorsal (a and b, photograph and drawing respectively), and left lateral (c and d, photograph and drawing respectively) views. (e) Premaxillary tooth; (f,g) maxillary teeth (g inverted).
amf, anterior maxillary fossa; aof, antorbital fossa; aso, anterior supraorbital; d, dentary; ef, elliptical fossa; f, foramina; fr, frontal; ift, infratemporal fenestra; j, jugal; mx, maxilla; n, nasals; o, orbit; pd, predentary; pdb, postdentary bones; pmx, premaxilla; po, postorbital; pso: posterior supraorbital; prf, prefrontal; qj, quadratojugal; sq, squamosal; stf, supratemporal fenestra. 1–7 denticles. 

Figure 3 Gut content of Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov.
(a–c), seeds of cycads (c), and other seeds (s); rib (r). (d,e) Detail of seeds of cycads: sarcotesta (sa), sclerotesta (sc), coronula (c), nucellus (n). (f) Location of the gut content in the reconstructed skeleton of Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov.  

Systematic palaeontology

Ornithischia Seeley, 1887
Genasauria Sereno, 1986

Neornithischia Sereno, 1986

Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology: In honour of Isabel Valdivia Berry, who reported the finding of the holotype material.

Holotype: MOZ-Pv 6459. A skeleton comprising a nearly complete skull, and a partial postcranium (still unprepared) consisting of 6 cervical vertebrae, 15 dorsal vertebrae, a sacrum with a partial ilium and an apparently complete pubis, 9 caudal vertebrae, part of a scapula, ribs, and unidentifiable fragments.

Type locality and horizon: The holotype comes from the locality of Los Molles (Neuquén Province, Argentina) (Fig. 1). The specimen was found in the marine-deltaic deposits of the Los Molles Formation (Toarcian-Bajocian), which in this sector reaches a thickness of approximately 1,042 m. The fossil-bearing level is composed of laminated pelites rich in ammonitiferous concretions and vertebrate remains, located some 40 m below the contact with the overlying unit (Lajas Formation, Bajocian-Bathonian). The presence of the ammonite Sonninia altecostata allows the fossil-bearing level to be situated biochronologically in the early Bajocian. In palaeoenvironmental terms, the sedimentary succession comprises a large-scale progradational deltaic system, dominated by wave action and the influence of storms. The dinosaur remains described here, the first reported from this unit, are among the oldest from Neuquén Basin.

Leonardo Salgado, José I. Canudo, Alberto C. Garrido, Miguel Moreno-Azanza, Leandro C. A. Martínez, Rodolfo A. Coria and José M. Gasca. 2017. A New Primitive Neornithischian Dinosaur from the Jurassic of Patagonia with Gut Contents. Scientific Reports. 7: 42778. DOI: 10.1038/srep42778

[Botany • 2017] A Taxonomic Revision of Herminium L. (Orchidoideae, Orchidaceae)

Figure 5. Flowers of representive species of Herminium.
  Herminium monorchis B H. latilabre C H. forceps
H. fallax Hlanceum Hedgeworthii G H. monophyllum H. quinquelobum H. pugioniforme

Herminium (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae) is a medium-sized genus widespread in the northern hemisphere, with a clear centre of diversity in the Himalayas. We present a comprehensive taxonomic revision of Herminium based on field observations and morphological studies, for which we examined about 2500 specimens. We recognize 49 species grouped into six formal sections, including one new speciesHerminium tibeticum, from Tibet. We provide an identification key to the species, descriptions of the species, notes on ecology and distribution, and complete nomenclature for each species, including typifications. We here designate lectotypes for five species and reduce four taxa to synonymy.

Keywords: Herminium tibeticum, key, morphology, synonyms, taxonomy

Figure 2. Habitat of Herminium.
Herminium choloranthum (Terrestrial) Hquinquelobum (Epiphytic on tree trunk). 

Bhakta Bahadur Raskoti, André Schuiteman, Wei-Tao Jin and Xiao-Hua Jin. 2017. A Taxonomic Revision of Herminium L. (Orchidoideae, Orchidaceae).
  PhytoKeys. 79: 1-74.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.79.11215