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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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     Tribolonotus parkeri  
    Rittmeyer & Austin, 2017  


    We describe two new species of the scincid lizard genus Tribolonotus from the islands of Buka and Choiseul in the Solomon Archipelago, closely related to, and previously included within, T. pseudoponceleti. One species, Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov., is endemic to Buka Island and was revealed in our previous study via taxonomically focused analyses of both next-generation sequencing data and morphology. Here, we also further support the validity of this species by more taxonomically comprehensive Bayesian species delimitation of three Sanger sequenced nuclear loci. The second species, Tribolonotus choiseulensis sp. nov., is endemic to Choiseul Island and was revealed by an expanded morphological data analysis. These results suggest that numerous other species found on multiple island groups in the Solomon Archipelago may similarly represent complexes of multiple, closely related species, and that the biodiversity of the region is vastly underestimated.

    Keywords: Buka Island, Choiseul Island, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tribolonotus pseudoponceleti, Reptilia

    FIGURE 5. Photograph of an adult male paratype of Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov. (LSUMZ 93500) in life. 

    Tribolonotus parkeri sp. nov.

    Distribution.Tribolonotusparkeri sp. nov. is only known from Buka Island, North Solomons Province, Papua New Guinea (geologically and biogeographically part of the Solomon Archipelago; Fig. 1).

    Etymology. The specific epithet was chosen to honor Fred Parker in recognition of his substantial contributions to herpetology in Papua New Guinea, and his collections of much of the type series of the species.

    Tribolonotus choiseulensis sp. nov.

    Distribution. Tribolonotus choiseulensis sp. nov. is currently known only from the northwestern tip of Choiseul Island, Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands (Fig. 1). However, we suspect that this apparently restricted distribution on Choiseul is an artifact of limited sampling, and that T. choiseulensis sp. nov. likely occurs in suitable habitats throughout the island. 

    Etymology. The specific epithet refers to the type locality on Choiseul Island, Solomon Islands, and its status as the only currently known species of the genus Tribolonotus endemic to the island. 

    Eric N. Rittmeyer and Christopher C Austin. 2017. Two New Species of Crocodile Skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Tribolonotus) from the Solomon Archipelago.
     Zootaxa. 4268(1); 71–87.   DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4268.1.4

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     Wang, Liu, Liu, Chang, Wang & Zhang, 2017  DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.05.003 

    • The phylogenetic relationship of Eared Pheasants was resolved based on 45 loci.
    • Asymmetric historical gene flow occurred between both parapatric and allopatric sister species.
    • Allopatric sister species exhibit significantly divergent ecological niches whereas parapatric sister species show niche conservatism.
    • Ecological divergence may have been the main factor that promoted ecological niche divergence.

    One of the most contentious theories in current ecology is the ecological niche conservatism, which is defined as conservatism among closely related species; however, the ecological niche can also be shifted, as documented in several cases. Genetic drift and ecological divergent selection may cause ecological niche divergence. The current study aims to test whether the ecological niche is conserved or divergent and to determine the main factor that drives ecological niche divergence or conservation. We analyzed the phylogenetic relationship, ecological niche model (ENM) and demographic history of Eared Pheasants in the genus Crossoptilon (Galliformes: Phasianidae) to test niche conservatism with respect to different geographically distributed patterns. The phylogenetic relationship was reconstructed using ∗BEAST with mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) and 44 unlinked autosomal exonic loci, and ENMs were reconstructed in MAXENT using an average of 41 occurrence sites in each species and 22 bioclimatic variables. A background similarity test was used to detect whether the ecological niche is conserved. Demographic history was estimated using the isolation with migration (IM) model. We found that there was asymmetric gene flow between the allopatric sister species Crossoptilon mantchuricum and C. auritum and the parapatric sister species C. harmani and Ccrossoptilon. We found that ecological niches were divergent, not conserved, between Cmantchuricum and Cauritum, which began to diverge at approximately 0.3 million years ago. However, the ecological niches were conserved between C. crossoptilon and C. harmani, which gradually diverged approximately half a million years ago. Ecological niches can be either conserved or divergent, and ecological divergent selection for local adaptation is probably an important factor that promotes and maintains niche divergence in the face of gene flow. This study provides a better understanding of the role that divergent selection has in the initial speciation process. The platform combined demographic processes and ecological niches to offer new insights into the mechanism of biogeography patterns.

    Keywords: Crossoptilon; Eared-pheasant; Divergent selection; Ecological niche modeling; Genetic drift; Gene flow

    Fig. 1. Map of the study area indicating the occurrence points used in for the background similarity test of Ecological Niche Models (ENMs) and the location of DNA samples used in demographic analyses. (The occurrence points (circles) were from bird-watching records (, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility ( and our unpublished survey data. Occurrence points that were far from each other (at least 10 km) and were randomly chosen in ArcGIS software were used for the background similarity test. The study area was the minimal convex polygon of those occurrence points with an additional 200 km. Triangles represent the locations of DNA samples. The area surrounded by the black dashed line was the study area used for the background similarity test. 

    Pengcheng Wang, Yang Liu, Yinong Liu, Yajing Chang, Nan Wang and Zhengwang Zhang. 2017. The Role of Niche Divergence and Geographic Arrangement in the Speciation of Eared Pheasants (Crossoptilon, Hodgson 1938). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.05.003

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    Melitaea acentria Lukhtanov, 2017

    Photos by V. Lukhtanov    DOI: 10.3897/CompCytogen.v11i2.12370 

    Specimens with intermediate morphology are often considered to be the result of ongoing interspecific hybridization; however, this conclusion is difficult to prove without analysis of chromosomal and/or molecular markers. In the butterfly genus Melitaea, such an intermediacy can be detected in male genitalia, and is more or less regularly observed in localities where two closely related, presumably parental species are found in sympatry. Here I analyze a high altitude Melitaea population from Mt. Hermon in north Israel and show that its male genitalia are clearly differentiated from those found in phenotypically similar M. persea and M. didyma, but in some aspects intermediate between them. This hybrid-like population is unique because, although M. didyma is present on Mt. Hermon, the true, low-altitude M. persea has never been reported from Israel. Cytogenetic analysis revealed no apomorphic chromosomal characters to distinguish the Mt. Hermon population from other known taxa of the M. persea and M. didyma species groups. At the same time, DNA barcode-based phylogeographic study showed that this population is ancient. It was estimated to originate 1–1.6 million years ago in the Levantine refugium from a common ancestor with M. persea. Generally, the data obtained are incompatible with interpretation of the studied population as a taxon conspecific with M. persea or M. didyma, or a swarm of recent hybrids between M. persea and M. didyma, although the possibility of ancient homoploid hybrid speciation cannot be ruled out. I also argue that the name Melitaeamontium assigned to butterflies from north Lebanon cannot be applied to the studied taxon from Mt. Hermon. Here I describe this morphologically and ecologically distinct entity as a new species Melitaeaacentria sp. n., and compare it with other taxa of the M.persea complex.

    Keywords: Chromosomes, COI, DNA barcoding, genitalia, homoploid hybrid speciation, interspecific hybridization, Middle East, Melitaea casta, Melitaea eberti, Melitaea higginsi, Melitaea deserticola, Melitaea trivia, morphology, nomenclature, taxonomy

    Figure 2. Melitaea acentria sp. n.
    holotype, male, 17949_A06, Israel, Mt. Hermon; upperside holotype, male; underside male, 25453_E09, Israel, Mt. Hermon d paratype, female, 25453_E11, Israel, Mt. Hermon  
    Photos by V. Lukhtanov    DOI: 10.3897/CompCytogen.v11i2.12370

    Melitaea acentria Lukhtanov, sp. n.

     Holotype: (Fig. 2a, b), male, BOLD process ID BPAL2191-13, field # CCDB-17949_A06, GenBank accession number # KY777529; Israel, Mt. Hermon, 2050 m, 01 June 2013, A. Novikova leg., deposited in the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Science (St. Petersburg).

    Figure 3. Melitaea acentria in nature. Female. Israel, Mt. Hermon, 1800 m, 07 May 2016.
    Photos by V. Lukhtanov
     DOI: 10.3897/CompCytogen.v11i2.12370 

    Figure 13. Melitaeaacentria and its habitat. Israel, Mt. Hermon, 2040 m, 22 June 2013.  

    Distribution: Melitaeaacentria is known to occur at high altitudes (1730–2060 m above the sea level) of Mt. Hermon (Fig. 11). Within these altitudes it is sympatric and syntopic with M. trivia syriaca, M. deserticola and M. cinxia. At the altitudes 1730–1780 m there is an essential overlapping of the M. acentria and M. didyma liliputana ranges where both species were found to fly together in early May 2016. Two other Melitaea species known from Mt. Hermon, M. collina and M. telona, were found to fly mostly at lower altitudes 1000–1600 m.

    Etymology: The name acentria is a noun of the feminine gender. This name originates from the Greek prefix “a” that means “not” and from the Latin word “centrum” (centre) derived from the Greek “κέντρον” (kentron, a sharp point). Acentria is the Internet nickname of Asya Novikova who collected the samples initiated this research.This name indicates also the peripheral position of the new species within the distribution range of the M. persea species complex.

    Figure 2. Melitaea acentria sp. n. and M. persea persea.
    Macentria sp. n., holotype, male, sample 17949_A06, Israel, Mt. Hermon; upperside Macentria sp. n., holotype, male, sample 17949_A06, Israel, Mt. Hermon; underside Macentria sp. n., paratype, male, sample 25453_E09, Israel, Mt. Hermon Macentria sp. n., paratype, female, sample 25453_E11, Israel, Mt. Hermon
    e M. perseapersea, male, 17966_A10, Iran, Fars prov., Fasa area, 20 km W Estahban, 2200 m, 9-11 May 2007, B. Denno coll., MGCL accession # 2010-20 f M. persea persea, female, 17951_B01, Iran, Fars prov., 20 km N Darab, 2100-2300 m, 24.05.1999, leg. P. Hofmann, MGCL g M. persea persea, male, 17966_A11, Iran, Fars prov., Fasa area, 20 km W Estahban, 2200 m, 9–11.05.2007, MGCL accession # 2008-43 h M. persea persea, male, 17951_B02, Iran, Char Mahall-o-Bahtiyari, Umg. Shahr-e-Kord, 2000 m, 28 May 2002, leg. P. Hofmann, MGCL.

    Scale bar corresponds to 10 mm in all figures. 
    Photos by V. Lukhtanov    DOI: 10.3897/CompCytogen.v11i2.12370

    Figure 10.Melitaea persea persea, presumptive hybrid between M. interrupta and M. persea, M. persea paphlagonia, M. higginsi, M. didyma liliputana and M. interrupta.
    aMelitaea perseapersea, female, 17951_B03, Iran, Esfahan, Kuh-e-Marsenan, near Zefre, 2000 m, 26 May 2002, leg. Hofmann, MGCL b presumptive hybrid female between M. interrupta and M. persea, 17966_F12, Armenia, Zhangezur Range, Megri district, Litchk, 1800 m, 23 July 1999, A. Dantchenko leg., MGCL c M. persea paphlagonia, male, 17951_F11, Iran, Khorasan, Kuh-e-Binalut, 15 km SW Zoshk, 2300–2500 m, 7 June 1999, leg. P. Hofmann, MGCL d M. persea paphlagonia, male, 17951_F11, Iran, Khorasan, Kuh-e-Binalut, 15 km SW Zoshk, 2300-2500 m, 7 June 1999, leg. P. Hofmann, MGCL e M.higginsi, male, 17966_A12, Afghanistan, Hindukush, Panchir Valley, 20 June 2004, M.J.Simon collection, MGCL f M. higginsi, female, 17950_H10, Afghanistan, Badakhshan, Mt. Yamak N of Anjuman Pass, 3500-4000 m, 1-25 July 2004 M.J.Simon collection, MGCL g M. didyma liliputana, male, 17968_E10, Israel, Mt. Hermon h M. interrupta, male, 17966_F11, Armenia Armenia, Zhangezur Range, Kadjaran, 2500 m, 21–22 July 1999, leg. A. Chuvilin, MGCL; the wing underside is with black scales along the veins.
    Scale bar corresponds to 10 mm in all figures. Photos by V. Lukhtanov    DOI: 10.3897/CompCytogen.v11i2.12370

    The Melitaeapersea species complex consists of the following taxa:

    • M. persea Kollar, 1849
    M. persea persea Kollar, 1849 (East Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Daghestan in Russian Caucasus, western, central and nothern parts of Iran)
    M. persea paphlagonia Fruhstorfer, 1917 (NE Iran, probably also S. Turkmenistan)

    • M. eberti Koçak, 1980 (N. Iran)

    • M. higginsi Sakai, 1978 (Afghanistan)

    • M. acentriaLukhtanov sp. n. (Mt. Hermon in Israel, definitely also the neighboring territories of Syria and Lebanon)

    The identity and taxonomic status of the M. persea-similar samples from north Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan remain still unclear. The populations from Lebanon characterized by the mitochondrial haplogroup P2 (Fig. 9) could actually represent (i) a distinct subspecies of M. persea, (ii) an undescribed subspecies of M. acentria, or even (iii) an undescribed species. Further morphological, molecular and chromosomal studies are required to select between these hypotheses.

     Vladimir A. Lukhtanov. 2017. A New Species of Melitaea from Israel, with Notes on Taxonomy, Cytogenetics, Phylogeography and Interspecific Hybridization in the Melitaea persea complex (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae). Comparative Cytogenetics. 11(2); 325-357.  DOI: 10.3897/CompCytogen.v11i2.12370

    New butterfly species discovered in Israel for the first time in 109 years


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     Amblyrhynchus cristatus godzilla
    Miralles, Macleod, Rodríguez, Ibáñez, Jiménez-Uzcategui, Quezada, Vences & Steinfartz, 2017  
    DOI:  10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx007 

    Marine iguanas are among the most highly emblematic taxa of the Galápagos archipelago but have paradoxically received little attention from taxonomists. Amblyrhynchus is currently considered as a monotypic genus with a total of seven subspecies, A. cristatus cristatus, A. c. nanus, A. c. venustissimus, A. c. albemarlensis, A. c. hassi, A. c. mertensi and A. c. sielmanni. Although consensually followed for more than half a century, this classification does not properly reflect the main natural subdivisions inferred by more recent molecular evolutionary studies. We integrate population genetics, phylogenomics and comparative morphology to propose an updated taxonomy reflecting the evolutionary history of this group. We recognize a single species with 11 divergent population clusters at the level of subspecies: A. c. albermarlensis is recognized as a junior synonym of A. c. cristatus, and five new subspecies are described: Amblyrhynchus cristatus godzilla subsp. nov. (San Cristóbal-Punta Pitt),A. c. jeffreysi subsp. nov. (Wolf and Darwin), A. c. hayampi subsp. nov. (Marchena), A.c. trillmichi subsp. nov. (Santa Fé) and A. c. wikelskii subsp. nov. (Santiago). Recognizing the genetically divergent population clusters as subspecies also highlights several of them as management units in need of conservation efforts, such as the two subspecies endemic to San Cristóbal.

    Keywords: Amblyrhynchus, Galápagos, integrative taxonomy, management units (MUs), Marine Iguana, new subspecies. 

    Fig 5: Overview of the phenotypic diversity among Amblyrhynchus cristatus subspecies: (A–C) Amblyrhynchus cristatus hassi from Santa Cruz (SFM 57412, 57407, 57408) (D–F) A. cwikelskii subsp. nov. from Santiago (SFM 57447, 57448, 57446), (G–N) A. c. cristatus from Fernandina (OUMNH 6176, CAS 11512, 11511, 11510) and Isabela (SFM 64179, 11258, 65996, 65998), (O–Q) A. c. mertensi from San Cristóbal (SFM 57427, 57430, 57424), (R) A. c. trillmichi subsp. nov. (uncollected living specimen), (S) A. c. godzilla subsp. nov. (uncollected living specimen). HT: holotype, NT: neotype, PT: paratype.
    Fig 6: Overview of the phenotypic diversity among Amblyrhynchus cristatus subspecies.(A–D) Amblyrhynchus cristatus venustissimus from Champion (CAS 11062) and Española (SFM 57415, 49853, 57413), (E–G) A. c. sielmanni (CAS 12565, SFM 57417, CAS 12570), (H–J) A. c. nanus from Genovesa (NHM 1946.8.30.20, SFM 57432, SFM 57445), (K–N) A. c. hayampi subsp. nov. from Marchena (CAS 12467, 12458, 12449, 12471), (O–U) A. c. jeffreysi subspnov. from Wolf (CAS 12690, CAS-SUR 4777, CAS 12693, CAS 12961) and Darwin (CAS 12694, 12696, 12695). HT: holotype, PT: paratype.

    Amblyrhynchus cristatus Bell, 1825 

    Amblyrhynchus cristatus cristatus Bell, 1825 (Figs 5G–N, 7)
    Amblyrhynchus cristatus nanus Garman, 1892 (Figs 6H–J, 7)
    Amblyrhynchus cristatus venustissimus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1956 (Figs 6A–D, 7)
    Amblyrhynchus cristatus hassi Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1962 (Figs 5A–C, 7)
    Amblyrhynchus cristatus mertensi Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1962 (Figs 5O–Q, 7)
    Amblyrhynchus cristatus sielmanni Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1962 (Figs 6E–G, 7)

    Fig 7: Photographic plate showing the different subspecies of Marine Iguana (living mature males exclusively).
    (A) Amblyrhynchus cristatus nanus, Genovesa, (B) A. c. hayampi subsp. nov., Marchena, (C) A. c. sielmanni, Pinta, (D, E) A. c. venustissimus, Española and Floreana, respectively, (F) A. c. trillmichi subsp. nov., Santa Fé, (G) A. c. hassi, Santa Cruz, (H) A. c. cristatus, Fernandina, (I) A. c. cristatus, Isabela, (J) A. c. mertensi, San Cristóbal, (K) A. c. godzilla subsp. nov., San Cristóbal, (L) A. c. wikelskii subsp. nov., Santiago.
    Pictures from A. Ibañez (E, K), M. Krueger (A), H. Snell (B, D, H), S. Steinfartz (C, I, L), M. Vences (G, J), M. Vitousek (F).  DOI:  10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx007   

    Fig 8: Distribution of the different subspecies of Galápagos marine iguanas according to the classification of Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1962) and the new taxonomy proposed herein. The orange dot on the southern coast of San Cristóbal represents the population of putative migrant specimens of A. c. venustissimus.

    Amblyrhynchus cristatus hayampi subsp. nov. (Figs 6K–N, 7, 9B)

    Etymology: The subspecific epithet hayampi refers to the word used to designate the common iguana in Kichwa (a Quechuan language representing one of the three official languages of Ecuador and currently spoken by a million people in South America).

    Geographic distribution: Marchena and very likely its satellite islets (Fig. 8).

    Amblyrhynchus cristatus jeffreysi subsp. nov. (Figs 6O–U, 7, 9A)

    Etymology: The subspecies name is a patronym for Jeffreys Málaga, a ranger of the Galápagos National Park with an outstanding interest and enthusiasm for the fauna and flora of the Galápagos, and especially for marine iguanas. Jeffreys Málaga has been awarded several times ‘Guardaparque del Año,’ or Park Warden of the Year and has been an essential part of our team during several excursions to the Galápagos.

    Geographic distribution: Wolf, Darwin (tentative assignment), Roca Redonda and very likely their satellite islets (Fig. 8).

    Amblyrhynchus cristatus godzilla subsp. nov. (Figs 5S, 7, 10)

    Etymology: The subspecific epithet refers to the fictional saurian monster from the eponym movie franchise, Godzilla, created by Tomoyuki Tanaka (IMDb, 2016). Explicitly mentioned in the title sequence of the 1990s American remake (Emmerich, 1998), the physical appearance and swimming behaviour of marine iguanas were a significant source of inspiration to the creature′s designer (Patrick Tatopoulos, personal communication). The name is an invariable noun in apposition.

    Geographic distribution: Northern (north-eastern) part of San Cristóbal and the satellite islets off the northern coast of San Cristóbal (Fig. 8).

    Amblyrhynchus cristatus trillmichi subsp. nov. (Figs 5R, 7)

    Etymology: The subspecific epithet refers to Prof. Dr. Fritz Trillmich, a foremost biological researcher in Germany who has spent a lifetime working on the biology of the Galápagos islands. For many years Fritz Trillmich worked together with Martin Wikelski on the island of Santa Fé, where their research on the local population produced important insights into the behaviour and ecology of marine iguanas. In addition to undertaking his own research, Fritz Trillmich is Professor Emeritus of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Bielefeld where he continues to inspire and mentor generations of young researchers who will continue his legacy for years to come.

    Geographic distribution: Santa Fé and very likely its satellite islets (Fig. 8).

    Amblyrhynchus cristatus wikelskii subsp. nov. (Figs 5D–F, 7, 9C)

    Etymology: The subspecies name is a patronym for Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski in recognition of his outstanding research on marine iguanas for several decades. Martin Wikelski has been fascinated by marine iguanas, which served as a study system for his behavioural and ecological research from his PhD onwards. He has published important papers on marine iguana ecology and conservation, for instance demonstrating the devastating effects of an oil spill on this species, and showing that marine iguanas can shrink in response to starvation induced by El Niño–based climate fluctuations.

    Geographic distribution: Santiago, Rábida and very likely their satellite islets (Fig. 8).

    Aurélien Miralles, Amy Macleod, Ariel Rodríguez, Alejandro Ibáñez, Gustavo Jiménez-Uzcategui, Galo Quezada, Miguel Vences and Sebastian Steinfartz. 2017. Shedding Light On the Imps of Darkness: An Integrative Taxonomic Revision of the Galápagos Marine Iguanas (Genus Amblyrhynchus).    Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.   DOI:  10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx007

    Godzilla of the Galápagos and other speciation stories

    Godzilla marine iguana discovered on Galapagos
    Conservation of threatened iconic marine iguanas improved by a new taxonomy

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    Trachylepis gonwouoi 
    Allen, Tapondjou, Welton & Bauer, 2017  


    A new species of skink, Trachylepis gonwouoi sp. nov. is described from Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo. It differs from all other species of Trachylepis in Central-West Africa by a combination of number of keels on dorsal scales (3–5); moderate SVL (maximum size of 80 mm); number of scale rows at midbody (28–34); number of supracilliaries (6–10); a well defined lateral white stripe, bordered by black, extending from under the eye to the insertion of the hind limb; and a ventral color in life of bright blue-green. Trachylepis gonwouoi sp. nov. was found in association with disturbed forest at elevations from 50 to 1050m. This species is syntopic with T. affinis and T. maculilabris. In order to aid in the identification of Trachylepis in West and Central Africa with the addition of T. gonwouoi sp. nov., we provide an updated key to the Trachylepis found from Mauritania through the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This key combines previous literature that treated Western and Central African taxa separately and represents the most comprehensive key for Trachylepis in West-Central Africa to date.

    Keywords: Skink, Cameroon, Central-West Africa, systematics, key, Reptilia

    Kaitlin E. Allen, Walter P. Tapondjou N., Luke J. Welton and Aaron M. Bauer. 2017. A New Species of Trachylepis (Squamata: Scincidae) from Central Africa and A Key to the Trachylepis of West and Central Africa.
     Zootaxa. 4268(2); 255–269. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4268.2.5

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    Danxiaorchis yangii   B. Y. Yang et Bo Li


    Danxiaorchis yangii (Calypsoinae, Epidendreae, Epidendroideae), a holomycotrophic new species from Jinggangshan National Nature Reserve, western Jiangxi, eastern of China, is here illustrated and described based on both morphological and phylogenetic evidences. The new species can be easily distinguished from D. singchiana by its much smaller flowers and larger Y-shaped callus adaxially bearing a additional obovoid appendage, and by its four pollinia narrowly elliptic in shape and equal in size.

    Keywords: Danxiaorchis, Jinggangshan Mountains, Jiangxi orchids, phylogenetic analysis, Monocots


    FIGURE 3. Morphology of Danxiaorchis yangii B. Y. Yang et Bo Li, sp. nov. (A–I).
    A. Flowering in nature habitat and rhizome (showed in the black circle); B. Front view of a flower; C. Bottom view of labellum, showing two sacs; D. Front view of the Y-shaped appendage of labellum; E. Upper view of a labellum with column; F. Side view of a labellum with column; G. Side view of the Y-shaped appendage of the labellum; H. Capsule; I, Pollinarium.
     Scale bars: B = 1 cm; C, D, E = 5 mm; F, G, I = 1 mm; H = 1 cm.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.306.4.5

     Danxiaorchis yangii B. Y. Yang et Bo Li, sp. nov. 

     Diagnosis:— Danxiaorchis yangii obviously differs from D. singchiana in its Y-shaped callus adaxially bearing a remarkable obovoid appendage, and in its four pollinia narrowly elliptic in shape and equal in size.

    Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the family name of the first author, Pro. Boyun Yang, who devotes himself to the conservation of orchids biodiversity in Jiangxi Province, China.

    Distribution and habitat:— To date, the species was discovered only from Jinggangshan National Nature Reserve in western Jiangxi, eastern of China. It occurs in nearly the same longitude as D. singchiana but in higher latitude (Fig. 4). D. yangii frequently grows at the margin of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, under mixed shrubs and bamboo forest, in wet places at elevations of 360 m a.s.l.

     With the characteristic large Y-shaped appendage on its labellum, D. yangii is a certainty member of the genus Danxiaorchis, and it was well supported by molecular phylogenetic analyses based on combined datasets of ITS and matK (Fig. 1). After thorough morphological comparison between D. yangii and D. singchiana, we found that D. yangii can be easily distinguished from D. singchiana in many aspects (Fig. 3). Superficially the plants of i. yangii are shorter than those of D. singchiana, and its flowers are much smaller, whereas its Y-shaped appendages are much larger than those of D. singchiana. Besides, the adaxial side of the Y-shaped appendages in D. singchiana is flat or slightly raised, while in D. yangii, the adaxial side additionally bears a remarkable obovoid appendage with its size ca. 3.0–3.5 mm in diameter (Fig. 3 G vs. b). Furthermore, there is an essential difference between D. yangii and D. singchiana: the four pollinia of D. yangii are narrowly elliptic in shape and equal in size, while those of D. singchiana are subobovoid-globose with two pollinia unequal in size in each pair (Fig. 3 I vs. c). Consequently, we found out that D. yangii can be treated as a distinct species, which is the second species in Danxiaorchis.

    Boyun Yang, Shihe Xiao, Yawen Jiang, Huolin Luo, Dongjin Xiong, Junwen Zhai and Bo Li. 2017. Danxiaorchis yangii sp. nov. (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae), the Second Species of DanxiaorchisPhytotaxa. 306(4); 287–295.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.306.4.5

    Danxiaorchis (J.W. Zhai, F.W. Xing et Z.J. Liu in Zhai et al. 2013)
    Zhai, J.W., Zhang, G.Q., Chen, L.J., Xiao, X.J., Liu, K.W., Tsai, W.C., Hsiao, Y.Y., Tian, H.Z., Zhu, J.Q., Wang, M.N., Wang, F.G., Xing, F.W. and Liu, Z.J. 2013. A new orchid genus, Danxiaorchis, and phylogenetic analysis of the tribe Calypsoeae. PloS One. 8: e60371. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060371

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    Lucianovenator bonoi 
    Martínez & Apaldetti, 2017 


    Coelophysoids are the most abundant theropod dinosaurs known from the Late Triassic through Early Jurassic represent the earliest major radiation of Neotheropoda. Within Coelophysoidea sensu lato the most stable clade is Coelophysidae, small theropods characterized by long neck and light and kinetic skull. Coelophysids are the most abundant basal non-Tetanurae neotheropods known worldwide, but until recently they were unknown from South America. We report here a new coelophysid neotheropod, Lucianovenator bonoi gen. et sp. nov., from the late Norian-Rhaetian Quebrada del Barro Formation, northwestern Argentina. A phylogenetic analysis recovers Lucianovenator bonoi nested into the monophyletic group Coelophysidae in an unresolved clade together with Coelophysis rhodesiensis and Camposaurus arizonensis. The presence of Lucianovenator in the late Norian-Rhaetian of Argentina increases the poor and scarce record of Triassic South American neotheropods, suggesting that the virtual absence of theropods in the fossil record during the Rhaetian is probably a taphonomic/stratigraphic bias instead of a decline in diversity and abundance after the Norian. Finally, the new find corroborates the American endemism in the Late Triassic and worldwide distribution during the Early Jurassic of coelophysid neotheropods, supporting the extreme faunal homogeneity hypothesized for Early Jurassic continental biotas.

    Ricardo N. Martínez and Cecilia Apaldetti. 2017. A Late Norian-Rhaetian Coelophysid Neotheropod (Dinosauria, Saurischia) from the Quebrada del Barro Formation, Northwestern Argentina. Ameghiniana.  in press. DOI: 10.5710/AMGH.09.04.2017.3065  

    `Lucianovenator bonoi´, el dinosaurio hallado en Caucete, único en su tipo de Sudamérica
    Es un carnívoro de comienzos del Jurásico, considerado entre los más primitivos antecesores de las aves actuales. Fue presentado este viernes. Por qué lleva ese nombre.
    Dinosaurio de   San Juan, único en Sudamérica  @LosAndesDiario

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    Gymnotocinclus canoeiro 
    Roxo, Silva, Ochoa & Zawadzki, 2017


    Gymnotocinclus canoeiro n. sp. of the Hypoptopomatinae is described from small tributaries of the upper rio Tocantins basin. It is distinguished from G. anosteos by having five characters: (1) the presence of body dermal plates, (2) the pectoral girdle not exposed in ventral view, (3) the pelvic spine longer than pectoral spine in males, (4) the pectoral fin with seven to eight branched rays, and (5) the presence of an adipose fin. Furthermore, maximum likelihood (ML) analysis was used to estimate a molecular phylogeny from previously published data of one nuclear (F-Reticulon 4) and three mitochondrial (16S RNA, COI and CytB) genes. The phylogenetic results revealed the new species as a sister taxon of Gymnotocinclus anosteos within the Otothyrini. We also included samples of Nannoplecostomus eleonorae that appeared sister group to all other Neoplecostomini species, and Plesioptopoma curvidens that appeared within the Neoplecostomini forming a sister clade to all species of Neoplecostomus, except N. ribeirensis and the species of Pareiorhina, except P. rudolphi.

    Keywords: Cascudinhos, catfish, freshwater fishes, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy, Pisces

    FIGURE 5. Live specimen of Gymnotocinclus canoeiro, holotype, MZUSP 121544, 51.5 mm SL. 

    Etymology. The specific name “canoeiro” is from Portuguese language for those person or people who handle and/or build canoes. The name is a reference to the indigenous people Avá-Canoeiro, a once numerous and powerful indigenous people inhabiting the upper rio Tocantins valley. The Avá-Canoeiro are now restricted to some small villages due to a series of gradual and abrupt murders, diseases, and the lack of legal hunting territories (Pequeno, 2005). Recently, the Avá-Canoeiro were known as the invisible people due to the fact that some of the few survivors used to live for more than a decade in caves to avoid contact with civilization, just leaving the caves at night to collect and chase food. 

    Distribution. Gymnotocinclus canoeiro is known from a single locality of a small tributary of the rio das Almas, which flows to the rio Paranã, rio Tocantins basin, Brazil (Fig. 7). 

    Ecological notes. The new species Gymnotocinclus canoeiro is found in a shallow and small clear water river, with rocky outcrops forming small waterfalls and substrates of rocks and sand,. In several portions of the stream where the new species was found, the marginal vegetation was well preserved, and due to the large trees there is poor light penetration. The species was found at the bottom of the river associated with substrates of rocks and wood.  

     Fábio F. Roxo, Gabriel S. C. Silva, Luz E. Ochoa and Cláudio H. Zawadzki. 2017. Description of A New Species of Gymnotocinclus from the rio Tocantins Basin with Phylogenetic Analysis of the Subfamily Hypoptopomatinae (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Zootaxa. 4268(3); 337–359.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4268.3.2


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    Selaginella guihaia   X.C.Zhang

    Selaginella guihaia sp. nov. (Selaginellaceae), a new species of spikemoss from southern China and northern Vietnam around the Gulf of Tonkin (Beibu Gulf), is described and illustrated. Morphological and molecular comparisons of the new species with other similar species (S. doederleinii, S. ornata and S. trachyphylla) are provided. The morphological and molecular evidence clearly indicates S. guihaia is a distinct species. Morphologically S. guihaia differs from other species by its obviously white–margined leaves, the ventral leaves scabrous on upper surfaces throughout the basiscopic or also rarely present on upper halves, and the ovate axillary leaves.

    Keywords: Lycopodiophyta, lycophytes, taxonomy, new species, rbcL, ITS

    Figure 2. Selaginella guihaiaX.C.Zhang
    A Habit B Dorsal leaf C Ventral leaf D Part of main stem showing ventral leaves, dorsal leaves, and strobili E Part of main stem showing ventral leaves, axillary leaves, and strobili F Megasporophyll G Microsporophyll
     (Drawn by C.Z. Ji from Beijing Youth Expedition 0980, PE). 

    Figure 4.Selaginella guihaia X.C.Zhang, sp. nov.
    A Dorsal view of branch B Ventral view of branch. C Strobilus D Rhizophore E Habit. 

    Selaginella guihaia X.C.Zhang, sp. nov.

    Diagnosis: The new species is similar to Selaginella doederleiniiS. ornata and S. trachyphylla in the habit and the morphology of dorsal leaves, ventral leaves, axillary leaves and sporophylls. However, S. guihaia can be easily recognized by its obvious white–margined leaves. The white-margin is about three cells wide in S. guihaia, but it is only one cell wide in S. doederleiniiS. ornata, and S. trachyphylla.

    Type: China, Guangxi: Pingxiang, Mt. Daqingshan, alt. 600m, 27 Aug 1986, Beijing Youth Expedition 0980 (Holotype: PE![No. 1365103]) (Figure 3).

    Distribution and ecology: Widely distributed in southern China (Guangxi and Hainan) and northern Vietnam around the Gulf of Tonkin (Beibu Gulf), growing in evergreen broad–leaved forests at 250 to 1000 m a.s.l. (Figures 4, 5).

    Etymology: The specific epithet “guihaia” alludes to the ancient Chinese name for the remote geographic region where the species occurs.

     Yu-Dong Wu, Hong-Rui Zhang and Xian-Chun Zhang. 2017. Selaginella guihaia (Selaginellaceae): A New Spikemoss Species from southern China and northern Vietnam around the Gulf of Tonkin. PhytoKeys. 80; 41-52.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.80.11126

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    Burmagomphus chiangmaiensis Makbun, 2017


    Burmagomphus chiangmaiensis sp. nov. (holotype: Ban Luang, Chom Thong, Chiang Mai province, Thailand, 890-900 m, 14 v 2012) is described and illustrated. It can be differentiated from its most similar congener, B. apricus from China, by shape of posterior hamulus, yellow trapezoid band on occiput, and larger size.

    Keywords: dragonfly, Anisoptera, Gomphidae, Burmagomphus, new species, Thailand, Odonata

    Noppadon Makbun. 2017. A New Species of the Genus Burmagomphus Williamson (Odonata: Gomphidae) from Northern Thailand. Zootaxa. 4269(1); 133–136. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4269.1.7

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    Macrobrachium jelskii (Miers, 1877)  


    Macrobrachium jelskii is a freshwater shrimp endemic to South America, occurring in all major Brazilian basins. It is used in various activities, such as fishing, fishkeeping and even as food for humans and animals, and therefore its distribution is affected by anthropic influence. Misidentification of M. jelskii is recurrent because of its morphological similarity to some sympatric species such as M. amazonicum and M. acanthurus. Thus, the aim of this study is to redescribe M. jelskii, proposing some characteristics that allow for a clearer differentiation of this species when compared to other similar congeneric species that occur in South America. The informative characters were the size and the shape of the rostrum, the ratio of the carpus and chela, the ratio of the chela and carapace length and the shape of the carpus of the second pereiopod, as well as the ratio between the length of the internal pair of posterior spine of telson and median apex of the posterior margin of telson. Although the intraspecific variability is high, the combination of the characters mentioned herein, including a morphological key, is very useful and makes it easier to differentiate between these three species.

    Keywords: Crustacea, Decapoda, identification key, Macrobrachium amazonicum, Macrobrachium acanthurus, South America

    Ana Luiza Vera-Silva, Fabrício L. Carvalho and Fernando Luis Mantelatto. 2017. Redescription of the Freshwater Shrimp Macrobrachium jelskii (Miers, 1877) (Caridea, Palaemonidae). Zootaxa. 4269(1); 44–60. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4269.1.2

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    Phrynium yunnanense    Y.S.Ye & L.Fu


    Phrynium yunnanense, a new species from Yunnan, China, is described and illustrated. It is closely related to P. hainanense T.L.Wu & S.J.Chen and P. pedunculiferum D.Fang, but it is distinguished by having long peduncle (20–45 cm), bright orange bracts and fruits. A comparison table and the line illustration are presented.

    Keywords: new species, Phrynium hainanense, Phrynium pedunculiferum, taxonomy, Monocots

    Phrynium yunnanense Y.S.Ye & L.Fu, sp. nov.  

     Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to Yunnan Province in China.

    Lin Fu, Yu-Shi Ye and Jing-Ping Liao. 2017. Phrynium yunnanense (Marantaceae), A New Species from Yunnan, China.  Phytotaxa. 307(1); 89-94. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.307.1.9


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    Altrichthys alelia 
    Bernardi, Longo & Quiros, 2017 

    DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.675.12061 


    A new species of damselfish, Altrichthys alelia sp. n. is described from specimens collected in shallow water (1–8m depth) off Busuanga Island, Palawan Province, Philippines. It differs from the other two species in the genus, A. curatus and A. azurelineatus, in various features including having golden upper body lacking dark edges of dorsal and caudal fins, higher modal number of tubed lateral line scales, as well as differences in two mitochondrial markers, one nuclear marker, and RAD markers.

    Keywords: Apelagic fishes, Acanthochromis, CO1, Control region, RAD markers

    Figure 3. Altrichthys alelia in its natural environment, near a common nesting substrate, the coral Porites cylindrica

    Alelia’s damselfish
    Altrichthys alelia Bernardi, Longo, & Quiros, sp. n.

     Type locality: San José, Busuanga Island, Philippines. 

    Diagnosis and description: A species of Altrichthys distinguished by the following combination of characters: dorsal rays XIV, 13–14; anal rays II, 15, tubed lateral line scales 14–15 (Table 1); preorbital and sensory pores small and numerous, usually more than 30, adult coloration in life pale green on upper half grading to white on lower part; iris silvery; pale yellow to gold outer margin of dorsal and upper and lower edges of caudal fin. Fins mainly white to translucent. Juveniles up to 16mm in length are mostly white with a prominent yellow stripe along the lateral line (Figure 3). Adults are generally of the same size as other Altrichthys adults, approximately 70–80mm TL. Altrichthys alelia differs from A. curatus by having long filaments at the trailing edges of the dorsal and caudal fins, and from A. azurelineatus by lacking any black lining of the outer edges of dorsal and caudal fins. These black margins are represented by yellow/gold margins in A. alelia (Figure 4). Pored lateral line scales easily distinguish A. curatus (17–18) and A. azurelineatus (10-14). Counts for A. alelia are most similar to and overlap A. azurelineatus counts, but exhibit a higher mode (15).

    Distribution: Known from northern Busuanga Island at San José, Palawan Province, Philippines (Figure 2).
    Habitat: Collected off live and extensive thickets of corals mostly Porites cylindrica.

    Etymology: The name Altrichthys alelia derives from the combined first names of Alessio Bernardi and Amalia Bernardi, who greatly helped during field-work on Altrichthys.

    Common name: We suggest Alelia’s damselfish as a literal translation of the scientific name.

     Giacomo Bernardi, Gary C. Longo and T.E. Angela L. Quiros. 2017. Altrichthys alelia, A New Brooding Damselfish (Teleostei, Perciformes, Pomacentridae) from Busuanga Island, Philippines.   ZooKeys. 675: 45-55.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.675.12061

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    Begonia tepuiensis Moonlight& Jara  


    Novel phylogenetic data is used to show that the poorly-known species Begonia glandulifera and Begonia mariannensis form a clade with Begonia buddleiifolia, the type species of Begonia section Pilderia. A unique combination of characters is identified in this group and used to re-circumscribe the section to include these species, and two morphologically similar species: Begonia jenmanii, and Begonia humillianaA new species is described herein as Begonia tepuiensis sp. nov. from a single tepui in the Amazonas State of Venezuela. A full taxonomic revision and key to the species of Begonia section Pilderia is presented and we assign all species to IUCN Red List categories.

    Keywords: Andes, Begonia section Pilderia, Neotropics, Phylogeny, Guyana Shield, Trinidad and Tobago, Eudicots

    Begonia section Pilderia (Klotzsch) A.DC. 
     Distribution:— Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Perú, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela. 

    1. Begonia buddleiifolia A.DC. (1859)
    2. Begonia glandulifera Griseb. (1860) 
    3. Begonia humillima L.B.Sm. & Wassh. (1973)  
    4. Begonia jenmanii Tutin (1940) 
    5. Begonia mariannensis Wassh. & T. McClellan (1995) 

    6. Begonia tepuiensisMoonlight & Jaraspec. nov.

    Etymology:— The genus Begonia is relatively poorly known from the tepuis of northern Amazonia. We name this species B. tepuiensis as it is only the third Begonia species described exclusively from tepuis after B. steyermarkii L.B.Sm. & B.G.Schub and B. nubicola L.B.Sm. & B.G.Schub.

    FIGURE 6. Begonia tepuiensis Moonlight & Jara. 
    A. Habit, flowering top; B. Habit, shoot with rooting nodes; C. Female flower (side view); D. Stigma (front view); E. Stigma (back view); F. Bract; G. Detail of leaf hairs, upper lamina; H. Detail of leaf hairs, lower lamina. 

    Drawn from type collection R.S. Cowen & J.J. Wurdack 31443 by Claire Banks. 

    P.W. Moonlight and A. Jara-Muñoz. 2017. A Revision and Recircumscription of Begonia Section Pilderia including One New Species. Phytotaxa. 307(1); 1-22.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.307.1.1.

    Resumen: Se usaron nuevos datos filogenéticos para mostrar que las especies pobremente conocidas: Begonia glandulifera y Begonia mariannensis forman un clado con Begonia buddleiifolia, la especie tipo de Begonia sección Pilderia. Se identificaron una combinación única de caracteres en este grupo, que fueron usados para re-circunscribir la sección incluyendo estas especies, y dos especies morfológicamente similares: Begonia jenmanii y Begonia humilliana. Se describe una nueva especieBegonia tepuiensis sp. nov. de un tepui en el estado Amazonas de Venezuela. Se presenta también una revisión taxonómica completa y una clave para las especies de Begonia sección Pilderia y asignamos todas las especies a categorías de la Lista Roja de la UICN.

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    Kalanchoe hypseloleuce  Friis & M. G. Gilbert

    A new species of Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe hypseloleuce Friis & M. G. Gilbert, was found during field work in Ethiopia in 2015, and is established here. It is characterised by its tall stature (2 – 3 m), entire, sessile, lanceolate leaves and pure white flowers with abaxially minutely papillose corolla lobes (otherwise, the plant is glabrous). It is not obviously related to any previously known species, but an earlier, incomplete specimen has been cited as K. prittwitzii Engl. in the literature. K. hypseloleuce was collected on limestone in Acacia-Commiphora woodland and bushland at c. 1400 m a.s.l. It occurs in the southern part of the eastern Ethiopian escarpment in the Arsi and Eastern Harerghe zones of the Oromo Regional State. K. hypseloleuce is documented with images and maps, its climate envelope has been modelled, and a conservation assessment made. With the current level of threat, this could be Vulnerable to Near Threatened (VU-NT). Given the threat from habitat degradation is not imminent, we recommend the species to be listed as Near Threatened (NT).

    Key Words: Acacia-Commiphora bushland, Afromontane forest, conservation, limestone, monocarpic, taxonomy, transitional semi-evergreen bushland 

    Fig. 1.  Kalanchoe hypseloleuce
    flowering specimens in E Arsi zone, Ethiopia; in the background fruiting Acacia senegal and flowering and fruiting Grewia schweinfurthii; in the foreground flowering Rhus natalensisdetail of inflorescence. 

    Kalanchoe hypseloleuce Friis & M. G. Gilbert, sp. nov.

    ETYMOLOGY. Our new epithet, hypseloleuce, is a compound of two Greek adjectives. The first, ψηλός, ή, όν, ‘high, lofty, (metaphorically) stately’, refers to the impressive height of the plant, it being one of the tallest known species of Kalanchoe in Africa. The second, λευκός, -ή, -όν, ‘light, bright, (of colour) white’, refers to the pure white flowers. The connecting vowel –o– is in agreement with Rec. 60G(a2) of the Code (McNeill et al. 2012). The generic name, Kalanchoe Adans. (Adanson 1763: 248), is said to be an adaptation of a Chinese name for a species in the genus (Harvey 1862) or derived from a Hindi word ‘kalanka’, meaning ‘rust’ or ‘spot’ (Quattrocchi 2000). In botanical literature, Kalanchoe is treated as feminine and, in agreement with Art, 23.5 of the Code, the feminine form of the terminal adjective is used. 

    Ib Friis, Michael G. Gilbert, Paulo van Breugel, Odile Weber and Sebsebe Demissew. 2017. Kalanchoe hypseloleuce (Crassulaceae), A New Species from eastern Ethiopia, with Notes on its Habitat. Kew Bulletin. 72:30.  DOI:  10.1007/s12225-017-9704-7

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    The monophyletic Morpho sulkowskyi butterfly group, endemic of Andean cloud forests, was studied to test the respective contributions of Mio-Pliocene intense uplift period and Pleistocene glacial cycles on Andean biodiversity. We sampled nine taxa covering the whole geographical range of the group. Two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes were analysed using a Bayesian method. We established a dated phylogeny of the group using a relaxed clock method and a wide-outgroup approach. To discriminate between two hypotheses, we used a biogeographical probabilistic method. Results suggest that the ancestor of the M. sulkowskyi group originated during the Middle–Late Miocene uplift of the Eastern Cordillera in northern Peru. Biogeographical inference suggests that the M. sulkowskyi and Morpho lympharis clades diverged in the northern Peruvian Andes. The subsequent divergences, from the Late Miocene to the Late Pliocene, should have resulted from a dispersal towards the Northern Andes (M. sulkowskyi clade), after the closure of the West Andean Portal separating the Central and Northern Andes, and a southwards dispersal along the Peruvian and Bolivian Eastern Cordilleras (M. lympharis clade). Only a few divergences occurred at the very end of the Pliocene or during the Pleistocene, a period when the more recent uplifts interfered with Pleistocene glacial cycles.

    Figure 1.  Map of the region where field studies were carried out, with habitus of the taxa calderoni, zachi and nieva (m: male; f: female; f1 and f2: female morphs within the calderoni population). N1 and N2: sampling areas along the upper Río Nieva. Other localities where specimens were collected: AP: Abra Patricia; EF: El Afluente; OP: Oso Perdido; PM: Abra Pardo Miguel; V: Venceremos. Two specimens of nieva were also collected at Santa Cruz del Mirador (M), at ca. 20 km ESE from El Afluente. 

    Simple relationships between Andean uplift and the diversification of various plant and animal groups, implying pre-Pleistocene driving processes, have been supposed by various authors. Doan (2003), for example, proposed the south-to-north speciation hypothesis, where the process of speciation should be related to the south-to-north progression of uplift throughout the Andes. Other authors emphasized the possible role of a rapid uplift that occurred during the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene, but often without establishing clear links between dated divergences and local geologic events (e.g. Casner & Pyrcz 2010; Mulch et al. 2010; Matos-Maraví et al. 2013; Lagomarsino et al. 2016). From a geological point of view, the concept of a progressive, general south-to-north uplift is an oversimplified view of a much more complex reality (Sempere et al. 2008). In the Central Andes, palaeo-elevation histories differ not only between the south and the north, but also between the western and the eastern cordilleras, notably in northern Peru (Picard et al. 2008; Eude et al. 2015; Margirier et al. 2015). The idea that the Northern Andes, as a whole, uplifted later than the Central Andes, as suggested by Doan (2003), and often admitted by other authors, is not supported by geological studies that also demonstrate that the timing of palaeo-elevation differed between the three Colombian Cordilleras (Restrepo- Moreno et al. 2009). Consistent with many other examples, notably the clearwing Oleriina butterflies (De-Silva et al. 2016), the M. sulkowskyi group illustrates the diversity of diversification histories throughout the Andes. It also demonstrates that Mio-Pliocene orogenic and Pleistocene climatic diversification drivers should not be opposed.

    Romain Nattier, Claire Capdevielle-Dulac, Catherine Cassildé, Arnaud Couloux, Corinne Cruaud, Gilbert Lachaume, Gerardo Lamas, Jean-François Silvain and Patrick Blandin. 2017. Phylogeny and Diversification of the Cloud Forest Morpho sulkowskyi Group (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) in the Evolving Andes.  Zoologica Scripta.  DOI: 10.1111/zsc.12226


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    Pangasius silasi 
    Dwivedi, Gupta, Singh, Mohindra, Chandra, Easawarn, Jena & Lal, 2017 

    Among 22 species of the genus Pangasius, distributed in Southeast and South Asia, only one species, Pangasius pangasius, is known to exist in South Asia. Phylogenetic analysis based upon COI and Cytb sequences suggested that the P. pangasius species clade consists of two subclades. Based upon the genetic and the following morphological evidence, we conclude that these DNA sequence based sister subclades represent two distinct species, P. pangasius and an undescribed species from river Krishna, named as Pangasius silasi. Morphologically, P. silasi is differentiated from its congener P. pangasius by a combination of characters, such as vomero-palatal teeth confluent as an uninterrupted curved band (vs two lunate vomero-palatal teeth patches on each side with a wide gap in the center) and vertebral count of 48 (vs 44). For several morphological characters, P. silasi is also distinct from P. myanmar, which is reported from Myanmar and has overlapping distribution with P. pangasius. Finally, the vomero-palatine dentition in P. silasi is distinct from the dentition structures reported for all the other Pangasius species. The biogeographical significance of finding this new species, P. silasi, in a river of the Indian peninsula is also discussed in this report.

    Keywords: Pangasius, River Krishna, DNA sequences, Molecular phylogeny, Morphology, Biogeography

    Fig. 4: Lateral view of the Pangasius silasi (a) holotype (NBFGR/PP 76, 321.2 mm SL) Fresh condition and (b) Formalin Preserved. c Paratype, fresh condition (NBFGR/PP 78, 379.5 mm SL) 

     Pangasius silasi sp. nov
    The specimens of Pangasius sp. nov., (named as Pangasius silasi) PP 72–78 and PSH 01 (eight specimens.), 247.8–407.4 mm SL, were collected through the fish landings from Krishna River at Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, 16°53′N 79°26′E; Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India; Lal et al., 3 May 2013 (Fig. 4). This water body is shared between the Two Indian states, Andhra Pradesh (district Guntur) and Telangana (district Nalgonda). These specimens were studied for morphomeristic measurements and DNA sequence analysis. For future reference, the designated holotype PP 76 (321.2 mm SL) and paratype PP 78 (SL 379.5 mm SL) are preserved in NBFGR repository. Paratype (NBFGR Acc. No. NBFGR/PP 71) has been deposited with Museum of Zoological Survey of India, Kolkatta (ZSI FF 5621).

    Distribution: At present P. silasi is known only from the type locality, the Krishna River at Nagarjuna Sagar Dam in Telangana, India.

    Etymology of Nomenclature: The species name of P. silasi is derived from the name of Dr. E.G. Silas, who has made important contributions to taxonomy of Indian fish species, their biogeography and evolutionary divergence with the eminent scientist Prof. S. L. Hora.

    Arvind K. Dwivedi, Braj Kishor Gupta, Rajeev K. Singh, Vindhya Mohindra, Suresh Chandra, Suresh Easawarn, Joykrushna Jena and Kuldeep K. Lal. 2017. Cryptic Diversity in the Indian Clade of the Catfish Family Pangasiidae Resolved by the Description of A New Species. Hydrobiologia. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-017-3198-z

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    Deserticossus pulverulentus (Püngeler, 1898)


    Three new species and one new subspecies of the genus Deserticossus Yakovlev, 2006 are described: Deserticossus doroshkini Yakovlev & Witt sp. nov. from eastern Kazakhstan (Tarbagatai Mts.), D. selevini Yakovlev & Witt sp. nov. from southeastern Kazakhstan (Malye Boguty Mts.), D. kamelini Yakovlev & Witt sp. nov. from Kyrgyzstan (Fergana Valley), and D. tsingtauana didenkoi Yakovlev & Witt subsp. nov. from Russia (Southern Siberia, Buryatia Republic). The described species and subspecies of Deserticossus are listed, with notes on the type material, synonymies, and distribution for each taxon.
    Keywords: Cossidae, fauna, new species, Deserticossus, Lepidoptera, Russia

    Roman V. Yakovlev and Thomas J Witt. 2017. Three New Species and One New Subspecies of Deserticossus Yakovlev, 2006 (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, with World Catalogue of the Genus. Zootaxa.  4269(3); 379–395.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4269.3.3

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    Begonia suaviola Jara


    Two New species of Begonia section Semibegoniella (C.DC) Barkley & Baranov (Begoniaceae) are described from the Colombian Western Cordillera. Illustrations of distinguishing characters, photos of living plants and a key to the Colombian Begonias with tepals fused are included.

    Keywords: Begonia suaviolaBegonia silverstonii, Western Cordillera, Eudicots

    Begonia suaviola Jara sp. nov.

    Etymology:— The epithet come from the Latin word suavium (=kiss), because the common name of this plant in Valle del Cauca is “besito”, the Spanish word for kiss.

    Begonia silverstonii Jara sp. nov. 

    Etymology:— The epithet honors the botanist Philip A. Silverstone-Sopkin, who has collected and studied intensely the Valle del Cauca flora, from his position in the Herbarium (CUVC) in Cali (Valle del Cauca, Colombia).  

    O. A. Jara-Muñoz. 2016. Two New Species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from the Colombian Western Cordillera. Phytotaxa. 257(1); 81 – 88. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.257.1.6

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    Psammogobius pisinnus  Allen, 2017

    A new miniature species of gobiid fish, Psammogobius pisinnus n. sp., is described from West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea on the basis of 10 specimens, 10.8–17.9 mm SL. Diagnostic features include dorsal-fin rays VI + I,9 (rarely I,10), the third dorsal-fin spine sometimes with a short, filamentous extension; anal-fin rays I,9 (rarely I,8); pectoral-fin rays 16–19 (usually 17); the pelvic fins reaching the anal-fin origin; the pelvic frenum weakly developed; longitudinal scales 25–28; the tongue distinctly bilobed, and a live color pattern that is generally light gray to whitish with three broad brown saddles on the dorsal half of the body. The new species differs from the three previously described species of Psammogobius (P. biocellatus, P. knysnaensis, and P. viet) on the basis of its tiny adult size (less than 20 mm vs, about 70–80 mm SL), fully marine habitat (vs. brackish estuaries and tidal streams), possession of cheek and opercular scales (scaleless in other species, except P. biocellatus with scales on the upper portion of the opercle), only 5–7 predorsal scales (vs. 10–16), and color pattern. The new species is also reported from the northern Great Barrier Reef of Australia on the basis of a single specimen.

    Key words: taxonomy, systematics, ichthyology, coral-reef fishes, Indo-Pacific Ocean

    Figure 3. Psammogobius pisinnus, underwater photographs, approx. 13–17 mm SL, all West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea (G.R. Allen), except lower right taken at Flynn Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia (M. Onishi). 

    Psammogobius pisinnus, n. sp.
    Sandslope Goby

    Diagnosis. A species of Psammogobius with the following combination of characters: dorsal-fin rays VI+I,9 (rarely I,10), third dorsal-fin spine sometimes with short filamentous extension; anal-fin rays I,9 (rarely I,8); pectoral-fin rays 16–19 (usually 17); pelvic fins reaching anal-fin origin; pelvic frenum weakly developed; longitudinal scales 25–28; predorsal scales 5–7; cheek and opercle scaled; tongue distinctly bilobed with a deep cleft between lobes; small maximum size of less than 20 mm SL. Color in life light gray to whitish with three broad brown saddles on dorsal half of body, the anteriormost darkest and positioned below first dorsal fin; operculum and cheek mottled dark brown; whitish streak on middle pectoral-fin rays. Inhabits sand slopes near coral reefs.

    Etymology. The species is named pisinnus (Latin: small or little) with reference to the exceptionally small maximum size in comparison to congeners. 

     Gerald R. Allen. 2017. Psammogobius pisinnus, A New Species of Reef Goby (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from Papua New Guinea and Australia. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 26, 80–85.  DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.571211

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