Friday, September 30, 2016

[Paleontology • 2016] Extreme Modification of the Tetrapod Forelimb in a Triassic Diapsid Reptile, Drepanosaurus unguicaudatus


In this illustration set 212 million years ago in what is today New Mexico, a Drepanosaurus rips away tree bark with its massive claw and powerful arm.
Painting by Victor Leshyk  @VictorLeshyk 

Highlights
- Three-dimensional fossils of the Triassic diapsid Drepanosaurus are described
- Fossils support hypothesis that the forelimb is unique among tetrapods
- The radius and ulna are unequal in length, and two carpals are longer than the radius
- Forelimb range of motion and large claws suggest specialized hook-and-pull digging

In Brief
Pritchard et al. describe new fossils of the Triassic diapsid Drepanosaurus. Previously known from a single crushed skeleton, the new three-dimensional fossils show a unique forelimb with asymmetric radii and ulnae and elongate carpals. The forelimb and enlarged second manual ungual suggest a digging similar to modern anteaters.

SUMMARY
The tetrapod forelimb is one of the most versatile structures in vertebrate evolution, having been coopted for an enormous array of functions. However, the structural relationships between the bones of the forelimb have remained largely unchanged throughout the 375 million year history of Tetrapoda, with a radius and ulna made up of elongate, paralleling shafts contacting a series of shorter carpal bones. These features are consistent across nearly all known tetrapods, suggesting that the morphospace encompassed by these taxa is limited by some sort of constraint(s). Here, we report on a series of three-dimensionally preserved fossils of the small-bodied (<1 m) Late Triassic diapsid reptile Drepanosaurus, from the Chinle Formation of New Mexico, USA, which dramatically diverge from this pattern. Along with the crushed type specimen from Italy, these specimens have a flattened, crescent-shaped ulna with a long axis perpendicular to that of the radius and hyperelongate, shaft-like carpal bones contacting the ulna that are proximodistally longer than the radius. The second digit supports a massive, hooked claw. This condition has similarities to living ‘‘hook-and-pull’’ digging mammals and demonstrates that specialized, modern ecological roles had developed during the Triassic Period, over 200 million years ago. The forelimb bones in Drepanosaurus represent previously unknown morphologies for a tetrapod and, thus, a dramatic expansion of known tetrapod forelimb morphospace.



Adam C. Pritchard, Alan H. Turner, Randall B. Irmis, Sterling J. Nesbitt and Nathan D. Smith. 2016. Extreme Modification of the Tetrapod Forelimb in a Triassic Diapsid Reptile.  Current Biology. 

212-Million-Year-Old Reptile Had Anteater-Like Arms | Popular Science http://po.st/G4rKRT via @PopSci

[Ichthyology • 2016] Etmopterus alphus • A New Lanternshark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae) from the south-western Indian Ocean


Etmopterus alphus  
  Ebert, Straube, Leslie & Weigmann, 2016   

   DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2016.1198275 

Abstract

A new species of lanternshark, Etmopterus alphus (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae), is described from the south-western Indian Ocean. The new species resembles other members of the ‘Etmopterus lucifer’ clade in having linear rows of dermal denticles and most closely resembles E. molleri from the south-western Pacific. The new species is fairly common along the upper continental slopes off central Mozambique, at depths between 472 and 558 m, and is also found on the southern Madagascar Ridge in 650–792 m depth. It can be distinguished from other members of the E. lucifer clade by a combination of characteristics, including arrangement of flank and caudal markings, dimension of flank markings and shape, size and arrangement of dermal denticles along the body. Molecular analysis further supports the distinction of E. alphus from other members of the E. lucifer clade.

Keywords: Chondrichthyes, elasmobranch, Etmopterus lucifer clade, Madagascar Ridge, molecular analysis, Mozambique, new species, 



Ebert, D.A., Straube, N., Leslie, R.W. and Weigmann, S. 2016. Etmopterus alphus n. sp.: A New Lanternshark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae) from the south-western Indian Ocean.
 African Journal of Marine Science.   DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2016.1198275

[Ichthyology • 2014] Schistura shuensis • A New Species of Loach (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae) from Myanmar


Schistura shuensis 
 Bohlen & Šlechtová, 2014 

Abstract
Schistura shuensis, new species, is described from Shu stream on the eastern slope of the Rakhine range in Myanmar. It reaches up to 39.1 mm SL and is diagnosed by a combination of the following characters: males with suborbital flap, bearing tubercles on its posterior part, females with suborbital groove; caudal fin deeply forked (mean length of median caudal-fin rays 57 % of length of upper caudal lobe); caudal peduncle shallow (depth 11-12 % SL and 49-63 % of body depth); and presence of 6-9 indistinct dark brown bars on body.




 Joerg Bohlen and Vendula Šlechtová. 2014. Schistura shuensis, A New Species of Loach from Myanmar (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae).  Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. 24(3): 217-223.


[Botany • 2016] Gastrodia cooperae & G. molloyi • Two New Species of Gastrodia (Gastrodieae, Orchidaceae) endemic to New Zealand


Gastrodia cooperae and G. molloyi 
Lehnebach & J.R.Rolfe 
DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.277.3.2

Abstract

Two new species of GastrodiaGastrodia cooperae and G. molloyi are described. These species are endemic to New Zealand and can be distinguished from other New Zealand Gastrodia by the length of the column and the colour of the labellum tip. Gastrodia cooperae is known from only three localities and it is ranked as Threatened: Nationally Critical.

Keywords: AFLP, conservation, myco-heterotrophy, new species, orchid, threatened flora, Monocots




Carlos A. Lehnebach, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Jasmine Gibbins and Peter Ricthie. 2016. Two New Species of Gastrodia (Gastrodieae, Orchidaceae) endemic to New Zealand.
 Phytotaxa. 277(3); 237–254. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.277.3.2

Thursday, September 29, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Out of Borneo, Again and Again: Biogeography of the Stream Toad Genus Ansonia Stoliczka (Anura: Bufonidae) and the Discovery of the First Limestone Cave-dwelling Species, Ansonia khaochangensis, from southern Thailand


 Ansonia khaochangensis  
Grismer, Wood, Aowphol, Cota, Grismer, Murdoch, Aguilar & Grismer, 2016 

Cave-dwelling Stream-Toad | คางคกห้วยถ้ำ
(เขาช้าง)พังงา
 
 DOI:  
10.1111/bij.12886 


Abstract

Subsequent to the Miocene (approximately 35 Mya), Borneo has served as an insular refuge and a source of colonization for a broad range of species emigrating to others parts of Sundaland. A phylogeny-based historical biogeographical hypothesis for the Stream Toad genus Ansonia supports multiple instances of an out-of-Borneo scenario. An ancestral range estimation indicates that in situ speciation of Ansonia on the island of Borneo during the Late Miocene and Pliocene (approximately 2–13 Mya) eventually resulted in an invasion of the Philippines, Sumatra, and two independent invasions of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. When collecting material for the biogeographical analysis, a new species of Ansonia, Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. was discovered in a limestone cave from the Khao Chang karst tower in Phangnga Province, in southern Thailand. Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. can be differentiated from all other species of Ansonia by having a unique combination of morphological and colour pattern characteristics. Phylogenetic evidence based on the mitochondrial genes 12S and 16S indicates that it is nested within a clade of other species distributed north of the Isthmus of Kra. The cave lifestyle of this new species is a unique and a significant departure from lotic environments common to most other species of Ansonia. The reproductive biology of this species is unknown.




Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov.
Cave-dwelling Stream-Toad

Diagnosis. Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. can be differentiated from all other species of Ansonia by the combination of the following characters: maximum SVL of 35.5 mm (34.0–35.3 mm) for females and 32.0 mm (31.9–32.0 mm) for males; snout projecting beyond lower jaw; tympanum visible; vocal sac opening on right; no white or yellow tubercle at rictus; no tuberculate, interorbital ridges; finger and toe tips rounded, bulbous but not forming discs; first finger not reaching disc of second; webbing formula on foot I 1, II ½–2, III 1½–2, IV 2–2, V 1; tarsal ridge present; inner and outer metatarsal tubercles present; submandibular tubercles absent; dorsal tubercles present but small, low, and rounded; no dorsolateral row of enlarged tubercles on sides or back; no oblique flap of skin on either side of vent; abdomen and gular region coarsely granular; iris black; no light spots on the gular region or abdomen; no suborbital or postorbital white markings; no light interscapular spot; no light crossbars on hind limbs, no light vertebral stripe. These character states are scored across all species of Ansonia in Table 4.



 

Distribution. Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. is known only from the type locality at Takua Pa District, Phang Nga Province, southern Thailand (Fig. 1).

Natural history. Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. is only known from the Khao Chang tower karst formation that rises precipitously to an elevation of 125 m and frames the northwest border of the city of Phang Nga (Fig. 6). Along the southeast face of the karst formation is the massive Phung Chang Cave that has a subterranean water system that runs beneath the karst tower. This southeast face is also riddled with several smaller caves. Approximately 0.5 km southwest of the mouth of Phung Chang Cave is a very small opening at the base of the karst tower that winds its way inward for approximately 20 m wherein we found A. khaochangensis sp. nov. (Fig. 6). During the day, specimens were found only within the recesses of the cave on the vertical cave walls as high as 3 m above the cave floor. To escape, toads were able to move sideways up the cave walls in an attempt to wedge themselves into narrow cracks near the celling. Toads were also observed in the cave at night but would venture out to climb on the outside of the karst tower. Some specimens were found as high as 10 m above the forest floor both on the karst and sitting on the leaves of small plants growing out of the karst. The distinctive, virtually monochromatic, brown coloration of this species appears to be a result of substrate matching in that frogs are reasonably well-camouflaged on the limestone substrate. We interpret this as an indication that this microhabitat is not something that is occasionally utilized and that this genus, which has a lotic life style elsewhere, has adapted to this microhabitat over a long period of time in that it split off from its sister lineage approximately 5.5 Mya (Fig. 3).

The reproductive biology of this species is completely unknown. Most other Ansonia require fast-moving lotic systems and all require water for tadpole development. We assume that there are other sources of underground water that these toads must be using for reproduction because there are no above-ground systems nearby that we could find. Fieldwork is currently being planned to investigate this species’ presumably unique reproductive biology.

Etymology. The specific epithet khaochangensis is in reference to the type locality of this species in the Khao Chang tower karst formation.




L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood Jr, Anchalee Aowphol, Michael Cota, Marta S. Grismer, Matthew L. Murdoch, Cesar Aguilar and Jesse L. Grismer. 2016. Out of Borneo, Again and Again: Biogeography of the Stream Toad Genus Ansonia Stoliczka (Anura: Bufonidae) and the Discovery of the First Limestone Cave-dwelling Species.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.  DOI:  10.1111/bij.12886 


[Botany • 2000] Corybas ecarinatus | เอื้องอัญมณี • A New Orchid Species (Orchidaceae) from Peninsular Thailand


 Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenf.

Abstract

A new species of the genus Corybas is proposed. It is the first record of the genus from Thailand.



Corybas ecarinatus K. Anker & G. Seidenf. sp. nov.

Ex affinitate Corybas praetermissi J. Dransf. & J. Comber (Comber 1990), a quo folia magis orbicularia, roseo-venosa, flores multo minores, discolores, sepalo postico albo, ecristato, sepalis lateralibus petalisque purpureis differt. 


Katja Anker and Gunnar Seidenfaden. 2000. Corybas ecarinatus sp, now (Orchidaceae) from Thailand. Nordic Journal of Botany. 20(5); 557–559.
DOI: j.1756-1051.2000.tb01604.x



รัฐวิทย์ สราวุธวินัย, พัฒน ทวีโภค, ครรชิต ธรรมศิริ และ สันติ วัฒฐานะ. 2556. รูปแบบการสืบพันธุ์ของกล้วยไม้เฉพาะถิ่นของภาคใต้ของไทย Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenfaden [Breeding System of an Endemic orchid from Southern Thailand Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenfaden]. 
บทความวิจัย เสนอในการประชุมหาดใหญ่วิชาการ ครั้งที่ 4 
10 พฤษภาคม 2556 (112); 25-31. 
Ratthawit Sarawutwinai, Patana Thavipoke, Kanchit Thammasiriand Santi Watthana

[Botany • 2016] Lifting the Curtain on Our Knowledge of New Guinean Benstonea (Pandanaceae)


FIGURE 2. AB. Benstonea ihuanaC. Benstonea rostellataD. Benstonea papuanaE. Benstonea permicron.
A. Photo: P. Homot. B. Photo: T. Laman. C. From Heatubun1253 (Photo: C. Heatubun). D. Heatubun et al. 1017 (Photo: C. Heatubun). E. Mustaqim et al. 1529 (Photo: W. Mustaqim) 

Abstract
New Guinea is one of the centres of diversity of Benstonea (Pandanaceae), a genus distributed from India to Fiji. Ten species were previously recognised on this island and further field observations, accompanied by the study of available herbarium material have brought new insights into species delimitations within a group of caespitose species with a solitary terminal infructescence. The taxonomical identity of Benstonea odoardoi is elucidated and is considered here as a synonym of Benstonea lauterbachii. Three new combinations and a new name—based on names of Pandanus species previously treated as synonyms of Benstonea odoardoi—are proposed for four distinct species belonging to this group of caespitose species and restricted to Indonesian New Guinea and Papua New Guinea. Finally, Pandanus bintuniensis is here considered as a synonym of Benstonea permicron.

 Key words: taxonomy, Indonesian New Guinea, Pandanus, Papua New Guinea


Benstonea odoardoi is a synonym of the large tree B. lauterbachii
• Benstonea lauterbachii (Schumann & Warburg in Warburg 1900: 81) Callmander & Buerki in Callmander et al.(2012: 335).

Three new combinations, a new name and a new synonymy within caespitose species of Benstonea with solitary terminal syncarps

• Benstonea eumekes (H. St. John ex B.C. Stone) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov. 
• Benstonea ihuana (Martelli) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov.
• Benstonea rostellata (Merr. & L.M. Perry) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov.

• Benstonea papuana Callm. & Buerki, nom. nov.




 Martin W Callmander, Ary P Keim, Charlie D. Heatubun, Peter Homot and Sven Buerki. 2016. Lifting the Curtain on Our Knowledge of New Guinean Benstonea (Pandanaceae).
Phytotaxa. 275(2); 168-174. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.275.2.8

[Entomology • 2016] Idiocnemis schorri • A New Damselfly Species (Odonata: Platycnemididae) from southern Papua New Guinea


Idiocnemis schorri  
 Gassmann, Richards & Polhemus, 2016  


  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4171.3.5 

Abstract

Idiocnemis schorri sp. nov. is described from the Hindenburg and Muller Ranges and the Kikori River Basin of southern Papua New Guinea. The new species differs from all congeners by, among other characters, a unique colour pattern on the thorax. Characters of males and females are illustrated and compared to those of similar species from the Idiocnemis bidentata group. The new species is found along small, shallow rainforest streams and is currently known only from the Trans-Fly Foreland and Papuan Gulf Foreland areas of endemism.

Keywords: Odonata, Zygoptera, new species, Hindenburg Range, Muller Range, Kikori River Basin, Papua New Guinea


Dirk Gassmann, Stephen J. Richards and Dan A. Polhemus. 2016. Idiocnemis schorri sp. nov., A New Damselfly Species from southern Papua New Guinea (Odonata: Platycnemididae). 
Zootaxa. 4171(3); 491–504. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4171.3.5

[Ichthyology • 2016] Puntius euspilurus • A New Fish Species (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from Kerala, India


 Puntius euspilurus 
Plamoottil, 2016 

Abstract
 Puntius euspilurus, a new fish species of the family Cyprinidae, is described from Wayanad of Kerala, India. It is distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characters: body elongated, rounded and slender, barbels feeble and never reach orbit or nostrils; last simple dorsal fin ray feebly osseous and flexible, 23- 24 lateral line scales, 2½ scales between lateral line and ventral fin and elongated pectoral fin which reaches to ventral fin.

Keywords: Western Ghats, Taxonomy, Mananthavady River, Puntius nigronotus



Distribution: Currently known to occur only at its type locality in Kerala, India.

Etymology: The specific epithet ‘euspilurus’ is a Greek word, (eu- well; spilos- blot; urus- tail), referring to distinct black basal spot on caudal fin.


CONCLUSION: 
Puntius euspilurus is an edible freshwater fish residing in the water bodies of Wayanad. It may be a unique fish showing similarity with [Puntiusmahecola barbs. Elongated body with feebly osseous\ last simple dorsal ray separates this fish from other fishes of the family. It prefers rapidly flowing shallow and clear waters. According to local fishermen it appears in great numbers in paddy fields during the onset of southwest monsoon. The new species is said to occur only in unpolluted areas. Protection of water bodies is inevitable for the survival of the new species. 


Mathews Plamoottil. 2016. Puntius euspilurus, A New Fish Species (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from Kerala, India. International Journal of Research Studies in Biosciences (IJRSB). 4(9); 1-6. DOI:  10.20431/2349-0365.0409001 https://www.arcjournals.org/pdfs/ijrsb/v4-i9/1.pdf

[Arachnida • 2016] Stenaelurillus digitus & S. gabrieli • Two New Species of Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886 (Araneae: Salticidae: Aelurillina) from India


 Stenaelurillus lesserti   Reimoser, 1934  
male from Kuchimudi
photo: K. S. Nafin. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4171.2.5

Abstract


Stenaelurillus digitus sp. nov. and Stenaelurillus gabrieli sp. nov. are described from India. New distributional records for Stenaelurillus albus Sebastian et al., 2015 and Stenaelurillus lesserti Reimoser, 1934 and maps for these species are given.

Keywords: Araneae, jumping spiders, Oriental region, taxonomy, systematics


Prajapati, Dhruv A., Prashanthakumara S. Murthappa, Pradeep M. Sankaran and Pothalil A. Sebastian. 2016. Two New Species of Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886 from India (Araneae: Salticidae: Aelurillina). Zootaxa. 4171(2); 321–334. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4171.2.5

[Herpetology • 2016] A Revision and Key for the Tribe Diaphorolepidini (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) and Checklist for the Genus Synophis


Synophis niceforomariae  
Pyron, Arteaga, Echevarría, & Torres-Carvajal, 2016  

DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4171.2.4    facebook.com/TropicalHerping

Abstract

The genus Synophis contains a number of enigmatic species, distributed primarily in the Andean highlands of northern South America. Their extreme crypsis and rarity has precluded detailed study of most species. A recent flurry of collection activity resulted in the accession of many new specimens, and the description of 4 new species in 2015, doubling the number of described taxa. However, lingering questions remain regarding the assignment of many new and historical specimens, the morphological limits and geographical ranges of the species, and their phylogenetic relationships. We analyze new and existing morphological and molecular data to produce a new molecular phylogeny and revised morphological descriptions. We validate the previously unavailable tribe name Diaphorolepidini Jenner, Pyron, Arteaga, Echevarría, & Torres-Carvajal tribe nov., describe a 9th species Synophis niceforomariae Pyron, Arteaga, Echevarría, & Torres-Carvajal sp. nov., and offer new Standard Names in English and Spanish for the group: Andean Shadow Snakes and Culebras Andinas de la Sombra, respectively. A variety of features such as vertebrae and hemipenes show an interesting range of variation in the group, which should be evaluated in future studies, to refine species limits and diagnoses further. Cryptic and undiscovered diversity undoubtedly remains, and we hope this summary provides a robust basis for future work.

Keywords: Reptilia, species delimitation, taxonomy, phylogeny, morphological, molecular, systematics, Diaphorolepidini, SynophisSynophis niceforomariae, Andean Shadow Snakes



Pyron, R. A., Alejandro Arteaga, Lourdes Y. Echevarria and Omar Torres-Carvajal. 2016.
A Revision and Key for the Tribe Diaphorolepidini (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) and Checklist for the Genus SynophisZootaxa. 4171(2); 293–320. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4171.2.4

[Ichthyology • 2016] Pethia sanjaymoluri • A New Species of Barb (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from the northern Western Ghats, India


Pethia sanjaymoluri 
Katwate, Jadhav, Kumkar, Raghavan & Dahanukar, 2016 
 
 
Sanjay's Black-tip Pethia  |  DOI:  10.1111/jfb.12980 

Abstract

Pethia sanjaymoluri, a new cyprinid, is described from the Pavana and Nira tributaries of Bhima River, Krishna drainage, Maharashtra, India. It can be distinguished from congeners by a combination of characteristics that includes an incomplete lateral line, absence of barbels, upper lip thick and fleshy, 23–25 lateral series scales, 7–12 lateral-line pored scales, 10 predorsal scales, 11–14 prepelvic scales, 17–20 pre-anal scales, 4½ scales between dorsal-fin origin and lateral line, four scales between lateral line and pelvic-fin origin, 8–15 pairs of serrae on distal half of dorsal-fin spine, 12–14 branched pectoral-fin rays, 4 + 26 total vertebrae, 4 + 5 predorsal vertebrae, 4 + 13 abdominal vertebrae, 13 caudal vertebrae and a unique colour pattern comprising a humeral spot positioned below the lateral line and encompassing the third and fourth lateral-line scales and one scale below, one caudal spot on 17th–21st lateral-line scales with a yellow hue on its anterior side and apical half of dorsal fin studded with melanophores making the fin tip appear black. Genetic analysis based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence suggests that the species is distinct from other known species of Pethia for which data are available.

Keywords: barbel; freshwater cyprinid; Maharashtra; molecular phylogeny; osteology; taxonomy


Pethia sanjaymoluri, in life showing body coloration and prominent black dorsal fin tip. 

Etymology: The species is named after Sanjay Molur from the Zoo Outreach Organization, for his contribution to the conservation of threatened taxa in the South Asian region.

Common name: Sanjay's Black-tip Pethia.


 Unmesh Katwate, Shrikant Jadhav, Pradeep Kumkar, R. Raghavan and Neelesh Dahanukar. 2016. Pethia sanjaymoluri, A New Species of Barb (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from the northern Western Ghats, India. Journal of Fish Biology.  88(5); 2027–2050.  DOI:  10.1111/jfb.12980 


New fish species named in honour of South Indian Conservation Biologist
https://sites.google.com/site/neeleshdahanukar2/publications/new-taxonomic-descriptions