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new & recent described Flora & Fauna species from all over the World esp. Asia, Oriental, Indomalayan & Malesiana region

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    Shuangbaisaurus anlongbaoensis 
    Wang, You, Pan & Wang, 2017 

    A new crested theropod, Shuangbaisaurus anlongbaoensis gen. et sp. nov., is reported. The new taxon is recovered from the Lower Jurassic Fengjiahe Formation of Shuangbai County, Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, and is represented by a partial cranium. Shuangbaisaurus is unique in possessing parasagittal crests along the orbital dorsal rims. It is also distinguishable from the other two lager-bodied parasagittal crested Early Jurassic theropods (Dilophosaurus and Sinosaurus) by a unique combination of features, such as higher than long premaxillary body, elevated ventral edge of the premaxilla, and small upper temporal fenestra. Comparative morphological study indicates that “Dilophosaurus” sinensis could potentially be assigned to Sinosaurus, but probably not to the type species. The discovery of Shuangbaisaurus will help elucidate the evolution of basal theropods, especially the role of various bony cranial ornamentations had played in the differentiation of early theropods.

    Key words:   Chuxiong; Early Jurassic; crest; dinosaur; theropod

    Fig. 2 Cranium of Shuangbaisaurus anlongbaoensis (CPM C2140ZA245) in right lateral view. 

    Dinosauria Owen, 1842 
    Saurischia Seeley, 1887 
    Theropoda Marsh, 1881

     Shuangbaisaurus gen. nov. 

    EtymologyShuangbai” is the Chinese name of the county where the holotype was recovered, and this county was first established in West Han Dynasty (AD 109). “Sauros” is Greek for lizard.

    Type species Shuangbaisaurus anlongbaoensis sp. nov. 

    Diagnosis As for type and only known species (see below). 

    Shuangbaisaurus anlongbaoensis gen. et sp. nov. 

    Etymology Anlongbao” is the Chinese name of the town where the holotype was recovered, and it literally means dragon-placing fort. 

    Holotype CPM C2140ZA245, a partial skull with lower jaw. Type locality and horizon Liuna Village, Anlongbao Town, Shuangbai County, Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. The specimen was from the dark purple muddy siltstones in the lower part of the Lower Jurassic Fengjiahe Formation.

     Diagnosis Basal theropod distinguished by having parasagittal crests at least along orbital dorsal rims. Shuangbaisaurus also possesses a unique combination of features, including elevated ventral edge of the premaxilla (also present in Dilophosaurus and LFGT LDM-L10 of Sinosaurus), higher than long premaxillary body (also present in LFGT LDM-L10 of Sinosaurus, but longer than high in Dilophosaurus and KMV 8701 of Sinosaurus), and small upper temporal fenestra with its diameter shorter than the transverse width of the parietals in between and about half the length of the skull table posterior to the orbit

     WANG Guo-Fu, YOU Hai-Lu, PAN Shi-Gang and WANG Tao. 2017. A New Crested Theropod Dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of Yunnan Province, China.

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      Eigenmannia sayona
    Peixoto & Waltz, 2017
    DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-20150199 


    A new species of the Eigenmannia trilineata species group is described from the río Orinoco basin, Venezuela. The new species is distinguished from congeners by a unique set of characters including an ossified basibranchial 1; 198-217 anal-fin rays; suborbital depth, 21.3-26.1% HL; length of anterodorsal process of maxilla equal to the width of the posterior nostril; premaxilla with 17 teeth distributed in three rows; hyaline pectoral and anal fins; and number of scale series above lateral line, 9-10. It raises the number of species allocated to the Eigenmannia trilineata species group to 13 and the number of species within the genus to 18.

    Keywords: Biodiversity; Electric-fishes; Taxonomy; Tuvira.

    Fig. 1 Holotype ofEigenmannia sayona, new species, MZUSP 96497, 131.8 mm LEA, Venezuela, Bolivar, Cedeño, río Orinoco, río Parguaza, near the community of Puente Parhueña. a. Lateral view of head and body; b. Lateral view of head. 

    Etymology. The specific epithet “sayona” is assigned to the new species in reference to “La Sayona”, a spirit of philanderous vengeance in Venezuelan lore. A noun in apposition.

    Geographic distribution. Eigenmannia sayona is known from río Orinoco basin, from río Parguaza, río Apure, and Laguna de Castilleros, Venezuela.

    Luiz A. W. Peixoto and Brandon T. Waltz. 2017. A New Species of the Eigenmannia trilineata (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) Species Group from the río Orinoco Basin, Venezuela. Neotropical Ichthyology. 15(1); e150199. DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-20150199.

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    Pygmarrhopalites kovali  
    Vargovitsh, 2017



    Springtails of the principalis-group of the genus Pygmarrhopalites from the W Caucasian caves in Abkhazia are described: Pygmarrhopalites dbari sp. nov. from Psyrtskha Cave in Novy Afon and Pygmarrhopalites kovali sp. nov. from caves of Tsebelda Karst Massif. They differ from epigean relatives mainly by troglomorphies: reduced pigmentation, elongated appendages and modified foot complex. These new species as well as a great portion of endemic Caucasian speleofauna have highly restricted distribution and require protection. A new record of Arrhopalites abchasicus Vargovitsh, 2013 in Novoafonskaya Cave is added.

    Keywords: Collembola, springtails, Symphypleona, taxonomy, new record, troglomorphic, Caucasus Mountains, Abkhazia

    Pygmarrhopalites kovali, habitus of mounted male. 

    Robert S. Vargovitsh. 2017. Two New Troglobiont Pygmarrhopalites Species of the principalis group (Collembola: Arrhopalitidae) from the West Caucasus. Zootaxa. 4250(1); 23-42.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4250.1.2

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    Rhacophorus zhoukaiyae 
     Pan, Zhang, Wang, Wu,  Kang, Qian, Li, Zhang, Chen, Rao, Jiang & Zhang, 2017

    Anhui Tree Frog | 

    A new species of rhacophorid of the genus Rhacophorus is described from the Dabie Mountains of west Anhui, east China. The new species, Rhacophorus zhoukaiyae sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: 1) the ventral surface and front-and-rear of the femur is paler yellowish and decorated with irregular grayish blotching, and without obvious spots on the dorsum of the hand and foot webbing; 2) the outer metatarsal tubercle is small; 3) outer fingers are half-webbed and outer toes two third webbed; 4) the skin on the dorsum is smooth and without compressed warts; 5) the throat, chest and belly are pure paler yellowish; 6) the dorsal part of the fingers and toes are grayish-white; 7) the iris is golden-yellow. In addition, the phylogenetic tree showed that all the individuals of R. zhoukaiyae sp. nov. clustered into one distinct clade which suggested the validity of this species. This results could also be used to the support of species delimitation. Currently, this species is known only from mid-elevation montane evergreen forest in the Dabie Mountains of west Anhui, China.

    Keywords:  Rhacophorus;  Rhacophorus zhoukaiyae sp. nov.;  phylogeny;  Rhacophoridae;  Dabie Mountains

    Figure 3: Rhacophorus zhoukaiyae sp. nov.
    (A) Dorsolateral view and (B) Ventral view of the live adult male holotype AHU-RhaDb-150420-01;
    C) Dorsolateral view and (D) Dorsal view of the live adult femaleparatypes AHU-RhaDb-150418-03. 

    Etymology: The new species is named after Professor Kaiya ZHOU (School of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China). The suggested English name is the Anhui Tree Frog.

    Distribution: This species is currently only distributed in the Dabie Mountains area in Jinzhai County, Anhui Province, China. Currently, the natural habitats of this species are the freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, ponds, and irrigated land.

    Tao PAN, Yanan ZHANG, Hui WANG, Jun WU,  Xing KANG, Lifu QIAN, Kai LI, Yu ZHANG, Jinyun CHEN, Dingqi RAO, Jianping JIANG and Baowei ZHANG. 2017. A New Species of the Genus Rhacophorus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Dabie Mountains in East China. Asian Herpetological Research. 2017(1); 1-13. 

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    Pareas macularius Theobald, 1868

    FIGURE 3. An adult specimen of the keeled-scaled type of the spotted snail-eater from evergreen forest in Kaeng Krachan National Park, Phetchaburi Province, western Central Thailand.
    Photograph: Ton Smits.

     The genus Pareas Wagler, 1830, consists of about fifteen species of small snail-eating snakes distributed in China, South and Southeast Asia. Until recently, two Pareas-species ornamented with characteristic bicolored spots were recognized, Pmargaritophorus (Jan in Bocourt, 1866) and Pareas macularius Theobald, 1868. However, P. macularius was synonymized with P. margaritophorus by Huang (2004), reducing the speciosity of the bicolored-spotted snail-eaters to a single species. This claim was tested by examining more than 60 fresh road-killed specimens of bicolored-spotted snail-eaters from northern Thailand. They were either completely smooth-scaled, or had rows of weakly keeled dorsals. The smooth-scaled specimens differed significantly from the keeled-scaled in a number of characters. The holotype of P. margaritophorus corresponded closely to the smooth-scaled specimens, whereas the holotype of Pareas macularius corresponded to the keeled-scaled ones. It was, thus, shown that P. macularius is a valid species and the synonymization as claimed by Huang (2004) was refuted. P. macularius is distinguished from P. margaritophorus by having the 7–13 most median rows of dorsal scales feebly keeled at midbody, by the form and color of the nuchal collar, its larger size, the larger number of ventral shields, and the high incidence of an intense black blotch on the last, largest supralabial. A preliminary distribution map for the two species is provided. 

    KEY WORDS: northern Thailand, Pareas macularius, Pareas margaritophorus, Southeast Asia, taxonomy

    Sjon Hauser. 2017. On the Validity of Pareas macularius Theobald, 1868 (Squamata: Pareidae) As A Species Distinct from Pareas margaritophorus (Jan in Bocourt, 1866)Tropical Natural History. 17(1); 147-174. 

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    FIGURES 7–10.  Digitonthophagus spp., Male dorsal habitus.
     7. Digitonthophagus bonasus, alloreferent (Tamil Nadu State, India); 8. D. uks, holotype;
    D. sahelicus, holotype; 10. D. catta, alloreferent (Tamil Nadu State, India).

    Moretto & Génier, 2017. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4248.1.1 


    The taxonomy and systematics of the genus Digitonthophagus Balthasar (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Onthophagini) is revised. A detailed study of the male genitalia combined with external morphology suggests that the variability, previously recognized, for Dgazella is hiding a species complex within the Afrotropical region and the Arabian Peninsula. The current study recognizes 16 species; 13 from the Afrotropical region and Arabian Peninsula and three from the eastern portion of the Saharo-Arabian region and the continental Indomalayan region. Species are organized into six species groups based on the results of the morphology-based phylogenetic analysis. The following 12 species are described as newD. aksumensis Génier new species; D. biflagellatus Génier new speciesD. dilatatus Génier new species; D. eucatta Génier new species; D. falciger Génier new speciesD. fimator Génier new speciesD. namaquensis Génier new species; D. petilus Génier new speciesD. sahelicus Moretto new species; D. uks Génier new species; D. ulcerosus Génier new species; and D. viridicollis Génier new species. In order to stabilize nomenclature, lectotypes are designated for Scarabaeus bonasus Fabricius, 1775; Scarabaeus catta Fabricius, 1787, and Onthophagus gazella lusinganus d’Orbigny. A neotype is designated for Scarabaeus dorcas Olivier, 1789 whose status and synonymy need to be altered in order to clarify the status of Scarabaeus gazella auctorum, the widely introduced species with economic importance. A naming scheme is presented for the sclerites of the internal sac. External and male genitalia are illustrated and distribution maps are provided for each species.

    Keywords: Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae, DigitonthophagusOnthophagusDigitonthophagus gazella, Nomenclature, taxonomy, distribution, Afrotropical region, Indomalayan region, biological control of dung, pasture improvement

    Philippe Moretto and François Génier. 2017. Digitonthophagus Balthasar, 1959: Taxonomy, Systematics, and Morphological Phylogeny of the Genus Revealing An African Species Complex (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Zootaxa.   4248(1); 1-110. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4248.1.1

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    Hoplomyzon cardosoi Carvalho, Reis & Friel, 2017

    Fig. 1 Hoplomyzon cardosoi, holotype, MCNG 375, 18.5 mm SL, Caño La Raya, Zulia, Venezuela.  Dorsal, left side lateral and ventral views.


    A new miniature species of banjo catfish of the genus Hoplomyzon is described from the Lake Maracaibo Basin in Venezuela. The new species is distinguished from all its congeners by the straight anterior margin of the mesethmoid (vs. a medial notch); a smooth and straight ventral surface of the premaxilla (vs. presence of bony knobs on the ventral surface of premaxilla); absence of teeth on dentary (vs. teeth present on dentary); configuration of ventral vertebral processes anterior to anal fin, which are composed of single processes anterior to anal-fin pterygiophore (vs. paired process); presence of several filamentous barbel-like structures on the ventral surface of head of adults (vs. small papillous structures in the ventral surface of head of adults); and 8 anal-fin rays (vs. 6 or 7). An extensive osteological description is made of the holotype using high-resolution x-ray computed microtomography (HRXCT).

    Keywords: Endemism; Ernstichthys intonsus; Miniaturization; Synapomorphy; Taxonomy

    Distribution and habitat. Known from three tributaries, which drain southwestern portions of Lake Maracaibo Basin in Zulia State, Venezuela. The Caño raya at type locality is a medium size stream (~12m wide) with mostly slow flowing white waters running over sand intercalated with riffles of fast flowing waters over pebbles; little marginal and floating vegetation.

    Etymology. Hoplomyzon cardosoi is named in honor and memory of a dear colleague who prematurely passed away, Alexandre Rodrigues Cardoso, for his humbleness, positive attitude, and dedicated friendship, and furthermore for his contributions to the taxonomy of Neotropical fishes, including the family Aspredinidae.

    Tiago P. Carvalho, Roberto E. Reis and John P. Friel. 2017.  A New Species of Hoplomyzon (Siluriformes: Aspredinidae) from Maracaibo Basin, Venezuela: Osteological Description Using High-resolution Computed Microtomography of A Miniature Species.   Neotropical Ichthyology. 15(1);  DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-20160143 

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    (AChoerophryne alpestris upper montane moss fields, Central Cordillera, terrestrial;(DChoerophryne proboscidea hill forest forest, northern lowlands, scansorial.

    Photographs: S Richards (A, D) DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3077 

    Mountain ranges in the tropics are characterised by high levels of localised endemism, often-aberrant evolutionary trajectories, and some of the world’s most diverse regional biotas. Here we investigate the evolution of montane endemism, ecology and body size in a clade of direct-developing frogs (Choerophryne, Microhylidae) from New Guinea.

    Phylogenetic relationships were estimated from a mitochondrial molecular dataset using Bayesian and maximum likelihood approaches. Ancestral state reconstruction was used to infer the evolution of elevational distribution, ecology (indexed by male calling height), and body size, and phylogenetically corrected regression was employed to examine the relationships between these three traits.

    We obtained strong support for a monophyletic lineage comprising the majority of taxa sampled. Within this clade we identified one subclade that appears to have diversified primarily in montane habitats of the Central Cordillera (>1,000 m a.s.l.), with subsequent dispersal to isolated North Papuan Mountains. A second subclade (characterised by moderately to very elongated snouts) appears to have diversified primarily in hill forests (<1,000 m a.s.l.), with inferred independent upwards colonisations of isolated montane habitats, especially in isolated North Papuan Mountains. We found no clear relationship between extremely small body size (adult SVL less than 15 mm) and elevation, but a stronger relationship with ecology—smaller species tend to be more terrestrial.

    Orogeny and climatic oscillations have interacted to generate high montane biodiversity in New Guinea via both localised diversification within montane habitats (centric endemism) and periodic dispersal across lowland regions (eccentric endemism). The correlation between extreme miniaturisation and terrestrial habits reflects a general trend in frogs, suggesting that ecological or physiological constraints limit niche usage by miniaturised frogs, even in extremely wet environments such as tropical mountains.

    Figure 2: Representative species of Choerophryne. (A) Choerophryne alpestris upper montane moss fields, Central Cordillera, terrestrial; (B) Choerophryne spA7 hill forest, southern foothills, scansorial; (C) Choerophryne spB1 lower montane forest, Foja Mountains, terrestrial; (D) Choerophryne proboscidea hill forest forest, northern lowlands, scansorial.

    Photographs: S Richards (A, B, D) and T Laman (C). 

    Our new phylogeny and ecophenotypic data for the microhylid frog genus Choerophryne indicates that montane areas have been colonised via a complex suite of biogeographic processes, especially upslope colonisation and speciation in presumably novel highland habitats and dispersal between montane islands, and that the relative importance of these processes has differed across even closely related lineages. Choerophryne also shows a correlation between extremely small size and utilisation of terrestrial habitats, mirroring a global pattern that suggests that, in frogs, ecological or physiological constraints largely limit extremely miniaturised taxa to terrestrial microhabitats in tropical areas.

    Paul M. Oliver, Amy Iannella, Stephen J. Richards and Michael S.Y. Lee. 2017. Mountain Colonisation, Miniaturisation and Ecological Evolution in A Radiation of Direct-developing New Guinea Frogs (Choerophryne, Microhylidae). PeerJ. 5:e3077. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3077

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    Impatiens tatoensis  Gogoi & W.Adamowski


    Impatiens tatoensis Gogoi & W.Adamowski, a new species from Northeast India with affinities to I. spirifera Hook.f. & Thomson is described and illustrated. We provide a lectotypification for the name Impatiens spirifera Hook.f. & Thomson as well as a description and illustrations of the species.

    Keywords: Impatiens, Balsaminaceae, New species, Arunachal Pradesh

    Impatiens tatoensis Gogoi & W.Adamowski sp. nov.

    Habitat and Ecology: Impatiens tatoensis is endemic to West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It grows at an altitude of c. 1800 m above sea level, in the margin of moist evergreen subtropical forest along with Polygonum chinense L., Pilea sp., and Elatostema sp. 

    Etymology: The species epithet denotes the type locality of Tato of West Siang, Arunachal Pradesh.

    Fig. 2. Impatiens tatoensis:
    A, habit; B, flower lateral view; C, flower dorsal view; D, flower bud lateral view; E, bract; F, lateral sepals; G, dorsal petal lateral view; H, dorsal petal dorsal view; I, lateral petals ventral view; J, lateral petals dorsal view; K, lower sepal; L, stamens; M, capsule; N, seeds (scale in mm). Images by R. Gogoi (R. Gogoi 30536). 

    Rajib Gogoi, Souravjyoti Borah and Wojciech Adamowski. 2017. Impatiens tatoensis (Balsaminaceae): A New Species from Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India and Notes on Lectotypification of the Name I. spirifera Hook.f. & Thomson.  Telopea. 20; 21-27. DOI: 10.7751/telopea11012

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    Neotrygon vali   Borsa, 2017


    The blue-spotted maskray from Guadalcanal Island (Solomon archipelago) is morphologically distinct from Neotrygon kuhlii with which it was previously confused and it is genetically distinct from all other species in the genus Neotrygon. It is here described as a new species, Neotrygon vali sp. nov., on the basis of its nucleotide sequence at the cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1) gene locus. It is unique in the genus Neotrygon by the possession of nucleotide T at nucleotide site 420 and G at nucleotide site 522 of the CO1 gene.

    Keywords: new species, CO1 gene, molecular diagnosis, taxonomy  

    Figure 1. Guadalcanal maskray Neotrygon vali   sp. nov. 
    showing the pigmentation patterns that differentiate it from N. kuhlii from Vanikoro.

     Photographed by M.A. Rosenstein near Mbike Wreck, November 2014. 

     Etymology:vali” is the word for stingray in Gela, one of the languages spoken in Guadalcanal. Epithet vali is intended to refer to the common name of the species among Guadalcanal fishers and it is a noun in apposition. Proposed vernacular names: Guadalcanal maskray (English); vali Guadalcanal (Gela); pastenague masquée à points bleus de Guadalcanal (French).

    Philippe Borsa. 2017. Neotrygon vali (Myliobatoidei: Dasyatidae), A New Blue-spotted Maskray from the Solomon Archipelago Described from Its DNA Barcode.  bioRxiv preprint. DOI: 10.1101/106682

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    Sporophila iberaensis 
    Di Giacomo& Kopuchian, 2016 

    Iberá Seedeater |  DOI:  10.1101/046318 

     We describe a new species of capuchino of the genus Sporophila (Emberizidae) of the Esteros del Ibera, province of Corrientes, in northeastern Argentina. This species would have remained unidentified due to lack of ornithological explorations in the central area of the Esteros del Iberá. It has been confused with immature individuals of other Sporophila species. We made observations of behavior and habitat, playback experiments, comparative analyzes of the vocalizations and plumage with other sympatric species of the same genus, and we found this species, which we have named Sporophila iberaensis, inhabiting wet grasslands from the edges of the marshes, having a unique vocal repertoire and a unique plumage. Because of its restricted geographical distribution and the threats that have their habitat, this new species should be categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

    Key words: Argentina, conservation, Iberá wetland, new species, grassland birds, Sporophila, vocalizations

    FIG. 1. Plumage patterns of males Iberá’s Seedeater Sporophila iberaensis sp. nov. and their habitat in Esteros del Iberá, Corrientes, Argentina.
    Top left: An individual with incomplete collar. Top right: An individual with incipient dorsal collar and a detail of the grass Paspalum rufum whose seeds are eaten for seedeaters. Bottom left: An individual with full collar and fresh plumage at the beginning of the breeding season, and a detail of the grass Andropogon lateralis, the dominant plant of the Ibera’s grasslands. Bottom right: individual with full collar but with worn plumage as observed towards the end of the breeding season (based on holotype MACN-72854).
    Background: Typical habitat of S. iberaensis with wet grasslands dominated by Andropogon lateralis and Paspalum sp. 12 around a marsh.
    Original painting by Aldo Chiappe. DOI:  10.1101/046318 

    Sporophila iberaensis, sp. nov. 
    Iberá Seedeater, Capuchino del Iberá (Spanish),  Caboclinho-do-Iberá (Portuguese)

    Etymology.- The specific epithet is a latinized adjectival form referring to the species main range at the ecosystem of the Esteros del Iberá (Iberá’s marshes) in the province of Corrientes, Argentina. “Iberá” is a term derivate from guaraní native language that means “glittering waters”. Esteros del Iberá is a complex mosaic of lagoons, rivers, wet grasslands and subtropical forests with an extension of 14,000 and most of the area is protected as a Provincial Reserve, including private and government properties. By naming this species, we wish to draw attention for the conservation of the Esteros del Iberá as an remarkable reservoir of a rich cultural and natural diversity of our country.

    Adrian Di Giacomo, Bernabe López-Lanús and Cecilia Kopuchian. 2017. A New Species of Seedeater (Emberizidae: Sporophila) from the Iberá grasslands, in northeast Argentina.   bioRxiv. 046318. DOI:  10.1101/046318

     Di Giacomo, A. S, and C. Kopuchian 2016. Una nueva especie de capuchino (Sporophila: Thraupidae) de los Esteros del Iberá, Corrientes, Argentina. Nuestras Aves. 61: 3-5.

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    Channa pomanensis 
    Gurumayum & Tamang, 2016


    This paper describes a new species of Channa from the Poma River (Brahmaputra River basin) in Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India. The new species can be differentiated from its congeners occurring in Eastern Himalayan region in India and northern and southern Rakhine State, Myanmar in having the following combination of characters: 7 oblique bands on body, generally extending to lateral line; a thin preorbital streak; black to brown and broad to thin postorbital streak confluence with brown to dusky cross band running across the occipital region; light brown spots (somewhat elongate) scattered along the flank, mostly below lateral line (more distinct in live); presence of two cycloid scales on either underside of lower jaw; absence of numerous large black spots on postorbital region of head and opercle; transverse scale rows above lateral line 4½–5½; transverse scale rows between lateral line and anal-fin origin 7½–8½; pelvic fins present; lateral line scales 47–51; dorsal-fin rays 36–38; anal-fin rays 25–26; total vertebrae 42–45; and predorsal scales 7–8. 

    Key words: snakehead, new species, taxonomy, Poma River, Brahmaputra basin.

    Figure 3: A, Channa pomanensis, ZSI/APRC P-1066, holotype, 111.6 mm SL; India, Arunachal Pradesh, showing live coloration. B, Channa gachua, ZSI/APRC P-1437, 95.6 mm SL; India: Assam: Sonitpur district: Boroi River at Boroighat (Brahmaputra basin) 

    Figure 1: Channa pomanensis, ZSI/APRC P-1066, holotype, 111.6 mm SL; India, Arunachal Pradesh,
    showing: A. dorsal view; B. lateral view; C. ventral view. 

    Distribution:– At present only known from the Poma River (Brahmaputra basin) about 12 km towards west to Itanagar, Papum Pare district, Arunachal Pradesh. 

    Etymology:– The new species is named after the Poma River from where the species was collected, Papum Pare district, Arunachal Pradesh. 

    Shantabala Devi Gurumayum and Lakpa Tamang. 2016. Channa pomanensis, A New Species of Snakehead (Teleostei: Channidae) from Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India. Species. 17(57); 175-186

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    Figure 1: Cave loaches [Barbatula sp.adapted to life in constant darkness are of recent origin but genetically divergent from surface populations residing in the same drainage.
     (A) Two cave loaches in their natural habitat. (B) Adult male loach with typical adaptations to living in caves: reduced eyes, enlarged barbels and pale body coloration. (C) Typical epigean loach from the surface population in the Danube.

    Subterranean biodiversity in Europe is spectacularly rich, with the Western Balkans being home to about 400 cave species, representing the highest number of species per area worldwide. Nonetheless, cave fishes, which are the most commonly found vertebrates in underground habitats, have not been described from Europe so far. Here, we report the first European record of a cave fish population, a loach of the genus Barbatula, found in the Danube–Aach system, an underground karst water system in Southern Germany. The fish exhibit traits typically observed in organisms adapted to subterranean life including reduced eyes and pale body coloration. The newly discovered population also represents globally the northernmost cave fish found so far. The geological history of the region implies that the Danube–Aach system was colonized post-glacially. A recent origin of the cave fish is supported by genetic analyses, because the subterranean population shares COI gene haplotypes with adjacent surface stone loach (Barbatula barbatula) populations. Nonetheless, population genetic analyses based on microsatellites indicated that cave fish are genetically isolated from populations in surface habitats and exhibit reduced genetic variability. Hence, the newly discovered European cave loaches do not represent individuals displaced from surface populations, but they follow a unique evolutionary trajectory towards cave life.

    Figure 1: Cave loaches [Barbatula sp.adapted to life in constant darkness are of recent origin but genetically divergent from surface populations residing in the same drainage.  
     (A) Two cave loaches in their natural habitat. (B) Adult male loach with typical adaptations to living in caves: reduced eyes, enlarged barbels and pale body coloration. (C) Typical epigean loach from the surface population in the Danube.  

    Figure 1 Cave loaches adapted to life in constant darkness are of recent origin but genetically divergent from surface populations residing in the same drainage.
    (A) Two cave loaches in their natural habitat. (B) Adult male loach with typical adaptations to living in caves: reduced eyes, enlarged barbels and pale body coloration. (C) Typical epigean loach from the surface population in the Danube. (D) Neighbour-joining tree of Cytochrome oxidase subunit1 (COI) sequences for European stone loaches. European loaches form three clusters comprising sequences from Rhine, Danube and Elbe drainages. Loaches from the Danube–Aach cave system (AC, highlighted in orange) share haplotypes with individuals from the southern lineage sampled in the upper Rhine and Danube drainage, individuals from GenBank identified by their accession numbers. Numbers at major nodes indicate bootstrap values (>50%, 1000 replicates). (E) Graphical representation of an analysis of genetic population structure. Inferred genomic ancestry in three genetic clusters (y-axis) is depicted by red, green and blue colors for all individuals (x-axis). With prior information on the sample location of individuals, three clearly distinct genetic clusters separate cave loaches from both surface populations upstream (Danube) and downstream (Radolfzeller Aach) in the same drainage. Without prior information on the sample location of individuals, cave fish are grouped with the upstream but clearly separated from the downstream loach population.

      Jasminca Behrmann-Godel, Arne W. Nolte, Joachim Kreiselmaier, Roland Berka and Jörg Freyhof. 2017. The First European Cave Fish. Current Biology. 27(7); R257–R258. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.048


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    Gracixalus jinggangensis 
    Zeng, Zhao, Chen, Chen, Zhang & Wang, 2017 

    Jinggang Tree Frog  | DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4250.2.3 


    A new species, Gracixalus jinggangensis sp. nov., is described based on a series of specimens collected from Mount Jinggang, Jiangxi Province, southeastern China. The new species is distinguished from all other known congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: relatively small body size, SVL 27.9–33.8 mm in nine males and 31.6 mm in a single female; upper eyelid and dorsum lacking spines; skin of dorsal and lateral surface of head, body and limbs rough with sparsely scattered with tubercles; ventral skin granular; tibiotarsal projection absent; finger webbing rudimentary; toes with moderately developed webbing; brown to beige above in life, with an inverse Y-shaped dark brown marking extending from the interorbital region to the middle of dorsum; males with a single, subgular vocal sac, barely visible nuptial pads with minute granules on the dorsal surface of the bases of first and second fingers. The new species is also genetically divergent from all other Gracixalus for which comparable 16S rRNA gene sequences are available. The discovery of Gracixalus jinggangensis sp. nov. represents the twelfth known species in the genus.

    Keywords: Amphibia, Gracixalus jinggangensis sp. nov., morphology, mitochondrial DNA, taxonomy

    The adult male holotype SYS a004811 of Gracixalus jinggangensis sp. nov. in life, showing a single subgular vocal sac. 

    Etymology. The specific epithet “jinggangensis” refers to the locality of the holotype, Mount Jinggang, Jiangxi Province, China. We propose the common English name “Jinggang Tree Frog” for this species.

    Zhao-Chi Zeng, Jian Zhao, Chun-Quan Chen, Guo-Ling Chen, Zhong Zhang and Ying-Yong Wang. 2017.  A New Species of the Genus Gracixalus (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Mount Jinggang, southeastern China.  
     Zootaxa.   4250(2); 171–185.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4250.2.3

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    Leptobotia micra Bohlen & Šlechtová, 2017

    FIGURE 2. Leptobotia micra, PR China: Guangxi prov.; upper River Li; a)‒c) holotype, SNHM 10308, male, 45.6 mm SL, d)‒e) paratype ZRC 55399, female, 45.8 mm SL.


    Leptobotia micra, new species, is described from the upper Li River (Pearl River basin) around Guilin in Guangxi province, southern China. The new species is evidently the smallest species of Leptobotia, with females of 45‒46 mm SL bearing oocytes. It can be distinguished from all other species of Leptobotia by a combination of the following characters: no dark bars or dorsal saddles on body, a row of white dots along dorsal midline, 4+34 vertebrae, a predorsal distance of 58.1‒59.0% SL, eye diameter 1.8‒2.0 % SL, pelvic fins not reaching anus, an emarginated caudal fin (length of median rays 1.3‒1.4 times in length of lower lobe) and the anus positioned distinctly closer to anal-fin origin than to pelvic-fin base.

    Keywords: Pisces, Cypriniformes, Cobitoidea, taxonomy, Pearl River basin, River Li

    Etymology. From micros, greek for ‘small’. The name refers to the fact that the species is the smallest known species of the genus, with females as small as 45 mm SL developing oocytes. An adjective.

    Jörg Bohlen and Vendula Šlechtová. 2017. Leptobotia micra, A New Species of Loach (Teleostei: Botiidae) from Guilin, southern China. Zootaxa. 4250(1); 90–100.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4250.1.7

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    Etlingera frederikii A.D.Poulsen

    A new species, Etlingera frederikii, is described and illustrated, and is the first record of the genus in the Bougainville Region. Etlingera frederikii and E. cevuga, which occurs in Fiji and Samoa, are the two most easterly species in the distribution range of the genus. The new species differs from Etlingera cevuga in its much larger leaves, with a conspicuously silky-haired band on the ligule; the smaller, narrowly ovoid to cylindrical inflorescence with pale brown bracts (not hemiglobose with reddish brown bracts); and fewer, smaller flowers.

    Fig. 1. Photographs of Etlingera frederikiiA, Clump of leafy shoots; B, leafy shoot with two ligules (white triangles indicating sericeous bands) and leaf bases; C, inflorescence in situ; D, inflorescence excavated; E, fertile bract; F, bracteole; G, calyx; H, flower, lateral view (calyx removed).
    A and B, Poulsen et al. 2880, made in Lae Botanic Gardens; C–H, the type, Poulsen et al. 2593. Photographs by A. D. Poulsen.  DOI: 10.1017/S0960428617000026    

    Etlingera frederikii A.D.Poulsen, sp. nov. 

    Etymology. Named in honour of H.R.H. Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, who was the patron of the Danish Expedition Fund that planned and executed the Galathea 3 circumnavigation during which this new species was discovered. The Crown Prince has himself participated in expeditions to Central China and Northeast Greenland and has also supported an expedition to Borneo in 2002 led by the first author. 

    Distribution. Bougainville Island. So far, documented only from the type locality in ridge forest at 850 m. It is likely to occur naturally on the neighbouring island to the south-east, Choiseul, in the Solomon Islands. A cultivated plant with a dried-up inflorescence in a garden in Buka Town, Buka Island (just north of Bougainville Island) is very likely of the same species.

    Vernacular name. Rurutate (Rotokas language). Uses not known. 

    Etlingera frederikii A.D.Poulsen

     A. D. Poulsen and B. B. Bau. 2017. A New Species of Etlingera (Zingiberaceae) from Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea.  Edinburgh Journal of Botany. DOI: 10.1017/S0960428617000026

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    Kani maranjandun 
    Kumar,  Raj & Ng, 2017

    A new genus and new species of tree crab is described from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in Kerala, southern India.Kani maranjandun gen., n. sp., is substantially different from all congeners in a suite of characters, notably the diagnostic carapace and male abdominal structure, as well as the conspicuously elongated ambulatory legs. The species is wholly arboreal, living in tree-hollows or the canopy.
    Keywords: freshwater crabs, Kerala, new taxa, systematics

    When approached by members of the Kani tribe, the crabs climb up the trunk of Cinnamomum verum, the tribesmen then cut a series of holes in trees to climb up after them.

    Appukuttannair Biju Kumar,  Smrithy Raj and Peter K. L. Ng. 2017. Description of A New Genus and New Species of A Fully Arboreal Crab (Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinucidae) from the Western Ghats, India, with Notes on the Ecology of Arboreal Crabs. J. Crustacean Biol. rux012. DOI:  10.1093/jcbiol/rux012 

    New species of tree living crab found in Western Ghats via @EurekAlert
    New species of tree living crab found in Western Ghats 
    New species of tree living crab found in Western Ghats @physorg_com

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     Species of Macrhybopsis aestivalis species complex from eastern North America. AMacrhybopsis hyostoma, Female, 34 mm SL, Alabama, Limestone County, Elk River. BMacrhybopsis boschungi, Female, 50 mm SL, Alabama, Dallas County, Cahaba River. CMacrhybopsis etnieri, Female, 44 mm SL, Alabama, Bibb County, Cahaba River. DMacrhybopsis pallida, Female, 36 mm SL, Alabama, Escambia County, Conecuh River. EMacrhybopsis tomellerii, Female, 51 mm SL, Mississippi, Covington County, Pascagoula River drainage.


    For many years the North American cyprinid fish Macrhybopsis aestivalis (common name: Speckled Chub) was regarded as a single widespread and morphologically variable species, occurring in rivers throughout much of the Mississippi Valley and geographically adjacent eastern Gulf slope drainages, west to the Rio Grande basin in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. Eisenhour (1997) completed a morphological study of western populations of the Speckled Chub, the results of which appeared thereafter in published form (Eisenhour 1999, 2004). He demonstrated the existence of five valid species west of the Mississippi River (aestivalismarconisaustralistetranemahyostoma), of which the name aestivalis was shown to be restricted to the population occurring in the Rio Grande and the geographically adjacent Rio San Fernando system, in northeastern Mexico. Eisenhour (2004) considered populations throughout the middle Mississippi Valley and its major tributaries to be a single morphologically variable species (hyostoma), and he also indicated that populations of Macrhybopsis from eastern Gulf slope drainages may represent a complex of species. Genetic confirmation of Eisenhour’s conclusions regarding western species appeared in the publication by Underwood et al. (2003), who also showed that western populations of M. hyostoma, as presently recognized, are genetically much more complex than previously considered.

         Meanwhile, the present authors were involved in a companion study of eastern populations of Macrhybopsis, for which a genetic summary of the eastern Gulf coast species was published by Mayden & Powers (2004). Based on their findings, four species were recognized from southeastern drainages (identified as species A–D), although no formal taxonomic descriptions were included. Their genetic data, in combination with meristic, morphometric and other morphological data presented herein, form the basis for a revised classification of eastern Macrhybopsis populations, including formal descriptions of the four new species from eastern Gulf coast drainages.

    Keywords: Pisces, Cyprinidae, Macrhybopsis, new species, eastern Gulf slope drainages, genetics, morphology, biogeography

    FIGURE 1. Species of Macrhybopsis aestivalis species complex from eastern North America.
    AMacrhybopsis hyostoma, UAIC 11060.03, Female, 34 mm SL, Alabama, Limestone County, Elk River, 28 September 1994. BMacrhybopsis boschungi, UAIC 10845.03, Female, 50 mm SL, Alabama, Dallas County, Cahaba River, 12 July 1993. CMacrhybopsis etnieri, UAIC 11053.01, Female, 44 mm SL, Alabama, Bibb County, Cahaba River, 24 June 1994. DMacrhybopsis pallida, UAIC 10855.04, Female, 36 mm SL, Alabama, Escambia County, Conecuh River, 15 July 1993. EMacrhybopsis tomellerii, UAIC 11364.03, Female, 51 mm SL, Mississippi, Covington County, Pascagoula River drainage, 18 February 1994. 

    Systematic accounts 

    • Macrhybopsis hyostoma (Gilbert 1884) 
    Shoal Chub
    Etymology. The species name hyostoma is derived from the words hyo (=hog) and stoma (=mouth), in reference to the underlying position of the mouth relative to the projecting snout. 

    • Macrhybopsis boschungi Gilbert & Mayden sp. nov. 
    Mobile Chub

    Etymology. Named for the late Dr. Herbert T. Boschung, Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Alabama, for his many contributions over the years to southeastern ichthyology in general and the state of Alabama in particular, including co-authorship of Fishes of Alabama (Boschung & Mayden 2004). 
    It should be noted here that the vernacular name “Mobile Chub” used here differs from the name “Gulf Chub” applied by Boschung & Mayden (2004: 209; plate 21A). Considering its geographical distribution, we consider the former name to be more appropriate for the species.

    • Macrhybopsis etnieri Gilbert & Mayden sp. nov.
    Coosa Chub

    Etymology. Named for Dr. David A. Etnier, Emeritus Professor of Zoology at the University of Tennessee, for his many contributions to southeastern ichthyology and aquatic biology, including co-authorship of the definitive book on the fishes of Tennessee.

    FIGURE 1. Species of Macrhybopsis aestivalis species complex from eastern North America.
    AMacrhybopsis hyostoma, UAIC 11060.03, Female, 34 mm SL, Alabama, Limestone County, Elk River, 28 September 1994. BMacrhybopsis boschungi, UAIC 10845.03, Female, 50 mm SL, Alabama, Dallas County, Cahaba River, 12 July 1993. CMacrhybopsis etnieri, UAIC 11053.01, Female, 44 mm SL, Alabama, Bibb County, Cahaba River, 24 June 1994. DMacrhybopsis pallida, UAIC 10855.04, Female, 36 mm SL, Alabama, Escambia County, Conecuh River, 15 July 1993. EMacrhybopsis tomellerii, UAIC 11364.03, Female, 51 mm SL, Mississippi, Covington County, Pascagoula River drainage, 18 February 1994. 

     Macrhybopsis pallida Gilbert & Mayden sp. nov. 
    Pallid Chub

    Etymology. The species name pallida is in reference to the generally pallid body pigmentation characteristic of this species. 

    • Macrhybopsis tomellerii Gilbert & Mayden sp. nov. 
    Gulf Chub

    Etymology. Named for Joseph R. Tomelleri, biological illustrator living in Leawood, Kansas, whose unsurpassed and meticulously rendered color illustrations of North American freshwater fishes have graced the pages of numerous scientific publications (including the present one), as well as books such as Fishes of the Central United States (Tomelleri & Eberle 1990) and Fishes of Alabama (Boschung & Mayden 2004). 

    C.R. Gilbert, R.L. Mayden and S.L. Powers. 2017. Morphological and Genetic Evolution in eastern Populations of the Macrhybopsis aestivalis complex (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae), with the Descriptions of Four New Species.
       Zootaxa. 4247(5); 501–555.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4247.5.1


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    Daspletosaurus horneri 
     Carr, Varricchio, Sedlmayr, Roberts & Moore, 2017 

    Holotype (MOR 590). Illustration: Dino Pulerà.
    DOI: 10.1038/srep44942  

    A new species of tyrannosaurid from the upper Two Medicine Formation of Montana supports the presence of a Laramidian anagenetic (ancestor-descendant) lineage of Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurids. In concert with other anagenetic lineages of dinosaurs from the same time and place, this suggests that anagenesis could have been a widespread mechanism generating species diversity amongst dinosaurs, and perhaps beyond. We studied the excellent fossil record of the tyrannosaurid to test that hypothesis. Phylogenetic analysis places this new taxon as the sister species to Daspletosaurus torosus. However, given their close phylogenetic relationship, geographic proximity, and temporal succession, where D. torosus (~76.7–75.2 Ma) precedes the younger new species (~75.1–74.4 Ma), we argue that the two forms most likely represent a single anagenetic lineage. Daspletosaurus was an important apex predator in the late Campanian dinosaur faunas of Laramidia; its absence from later units indicates it was extinct before Tyrannosaurus rex dispersed into Laramidia from Asia. In addition to its evolutionary implications, the texture of the facial bones of the new taxon, and other derived tyrannosauroids, indicates a scaly integument with high tactile sensitivity. Most significantly, the lower jaw shows evidence for neurovasculature that is also seen in birds.

    Figure 1: Skull and jaws of the holotype (MOR 590) of Daspletosaurus horneri sp. nov.;
     (A) photograph and, (B) labeled line drawing of skull and jaws in left lateral view; (C) photograph and, (D) labeled line drawing of occiput and suspensorium in caudal view; (E) photograph and, (F) labeled line drawing of skull in dorsal view. Scale bars equal 10 cm. Abbreviations: MOR, Museum of the Rockies. 

    Figure 2: Phylogenetic position and synapomorphies of Daspletosaurus, based on parsimony analysis.
     (A) Phylogenetic relationships of tyrannosaurines calibrated to geological time. Full consensus trees in Extended Data. Synapomorphies of the Daspletosaurus lineage from: (B) maxilla of MOR 1130; (C) lacrimal of MOR 1130; (D) postorbital of CMN 11594; (E) vomer of MOR 590; (F) palatine of MOR 1130; and (G) frontoparietal complex of MOR 590. Abbreviations: AMNH FARB, American Museum of Natural History, Fossil Amphibians, Reptiles, and Birds; As, Asia CMN, Canadian Museum of Nature; K/Pg, Cretaceous-Paleogene; LA, Laramidia; MOR, Museum of the Rockies. 

    Figure 3: The growth series of Daspletosaurus horneri sp. nov., based on parsimony analysis.
     Unambiguously optimized derived phylogenetic characters were recovered as synontomorphies at two of the five growth stages, which are labeled at the corresponding numbers. Scale bar equals 10 cm. Abbreviations: AMNH FARB, American Museum of Natural History, Fossil Amphibians, Reptiles, and Birds; MOR, Museum of the Rockies. 

    Theropoda Marsh, 1881
    Tyrannosaurinae Matthew and Brown, 1922 (sensu Sereno et al., 2005)

    Daspletosaurus Russell, 1970
    Daspletosaurus. All species more closely related to Daspletosaurus torosus than to Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Daspletosaurus horneri sp. nov.

    Etymology: Horneri, Latinized form of Horner, in honor of Jack Horner, in recognition of his successful field program in the Two Medicine Formation that has recovered many new species of dinosaurs that are critical for our understanding of the palaeobiology of dinosaurs in Laramidia, support in the preparation and curation of these specimens, and to acknowledge that his mentoring efforts have launched many professional scientific careers.

    Figure 4: The craniofacial epidermis of Daspletosaurus horneri sp. nov., based on comparison with its closest living relatives, crocodylians and birds. Figure 4 Bone texture indicates large zones of large, flat scales and subordinate regions of armor-like skin and cornified epidermis; integumentary sense organs occur on the flat scales that cover the densest regions of neurovascular foramina. The region outside of the crocodylian-like skin is reconstructed with small scales after fossilized skin impressions of tyrannosaurids.
     Illustration: Dino Pulerà.  

    Thomas D. Carr, David J. Varricchio, Jayc C. Sedlmayr, Eric M. Roberts and Jason R. Moore. 2017. A New Tyrannosaur with Evidence for Anagenesis and Crocodile-like Facial Sensory System.
     Scientific Reports. 7, 44942 (2017). DOI: 10.1038/srep44942 

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     a sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) pollinating a flower of Camellia petelotii; note contact of the pollen-bearing beak with stigmas


    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Properties of floral nectar have been used to predict if a plant species is pollinated by birds. To see whether winter-flowering plants evolve nectar properties corresponding to bird pollinators, nectar properties of several Camellia species (including the golden-flowered tea), as well as the role of floral visitors as effective pollinators, were examined.

    METHODS: Potential pollinators of Camellia petelotii were identified at different times of day and under various weather conditions. A bird exclusion experiment was used to compare the pollination effectiveness of birds and insects. Nectar sugar components (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) from C. petelotii growing wild and another seven Camellia species and 22 additional cultivars (all in cultivation) were examined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

    KEY RESULTS: The sunbird Aethopyga siparaja and honeybees were the most frequent floral visitors to C. petelotii. Honeybee visits were significantly reduced in cloudy/rainy weather. The fruit and seed set of flowers with birds excluded were reduced by 64%, indicating that bird pollination is significant. For the wild populations of C. petelotii, a bagged flower could secrete 157 μL nectar; this nectar has a low sugar concentration (19%) and is sucrose-dominant (87%). The eight Camellia species and 22 cultivars had an average sugar concentration of around 30% and a sucrose concentration of 80%, demonstrating sucrose-dominant nectar in Camellia species.

    CONCLUSIONS: The nectar sugar composition of Camellia species was characterized by sucrose dominance. In addition, the large reduction in seed set when birds are excluded in the golden-flowered tea also supports the suggestion that these winter-flowering plants may have evolved with birds as significant pollinators.

    Key words:  bird pollination, Camellia petelotii, effective pollinators, insect pollination, nectar properties, sucrose content, Theaceae, winter flowering

    Shi-Guo Sun, Zhi-Huan Huang, Zhi-Bao Chen and Shuang-Quan Huang. 2017. Nectar Properties and the Role of Sunbirds as Pollinators of the Golden-flowered Tea (Camellia petelotii).  American Journal of Botany.   DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1600428

    Nectar properties & the role of #sunbirds as pollinators of the golden-flowered tea… #botany #pollination #AmJBot @Botanical_   

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