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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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    Hydrophis platurus xanthos 
    Bessesen & Galbreath, 2017

    ambush posture; floating at the sea surface at night in a sinusoidal shape, head below, mouth agape. 
    We describe a distinctive new subspecies of sea snake from the occasionally anoxic inner-basin waters of Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, based on combined data garnered between 2010 and 2017 for 154 specimens, 123 free-ranging and 31 museum-held. The yellow sea snake, Hydrophis platurus xanthos Bessesen & Galbreath, subsp. n., is diagnosed by a notably smaller body size and nearly uniform yellow coloration, which contrasts with the black and yellow striae and tail spots or bands typical of the species. Within the modest geographic range (circa 320 km2), nearly all specimens possess both diagnostic character states. Bathymetrics appear to restrict genetic flow between this allopatric population and conspecifics in the broader Eastern Pacific. In perspicuous contrast to typical H. platurus, H. p. xanthos shows no association with drift lines, and feeds at night in turbulent waters, assuming a sinusoidal ambush posture never previously reported for the species. This evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) warrants taxonomic recognition and active protection.

    Keywords: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, sea snake, yellow color morph, platurus, type specimens, taxonomy

    Figure 2: Hydrophis platurus xanthos sharply contrasts typical H. platurus in color, body size and behavior.
    A Scaled size comparison of yellow sea snake, TL 43 cm (left), and yellow-bellied sea snake, TL 69 cm (right; note the use of Vetrap as a calming mask and sickly condition of the specimen) B ambush posture of H. p. xanthos; floating at the sea surface at night in a sinusoidal shape, head below, mouth agape C although predominantly yellow, xanthic individuals often possess black spots along the dorsum.
    Hydrophis platurus xanthos subsp. n.

    Diagnosis: Here we describe a new, allopatric subspecies, Hydrophis platurus xanthos subsp. n., or yellow sea snake, from the inner basin of Costa Rica’s Golfo Dulce. The new subspecies is diagnosed based on a dramatic color character state, as well as by a marked difference in body size. Aspects of behavior also appear to be unique.

    Etymology: From Greek xanthos, “yellow,” to highlight a diagnostic feature of this subspecies.

    Geographic distribution: The breeding population of Hydrophis platurus xanthos appears confined to approximately 320 in the northern half of the Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. A spatial gap up to 22 km separates the yellow sea snakes from the usually bi- or tricolored oceanic population, and appears to restrict genetic exchange (Bessesen 2012, Fig. 1).

    Hydrophis platurus xanthos is a well-defined evolutionary subspecies inhabiting a small area of unusual geography. Given unique aspects of its behavioral ecology, it could well represent an intrinsically genetically isolated taxon of recent origin, in which case a species designation would be appropriate. We have been appropriately conservative here, in defining it at a subspecific level. This provides footing for protective strategies, while allowing future research to refine its taxonomic rank.

     Brooke L. Bessesen and Gary J. Galbreath. 2017. A New Subspecies of Sea Snake, Hydrophis platurus xanthos, from Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.
     ZooKeys. 686: 109-123.  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.686.12682


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    Gerrhopilus persephone Kraus, 2017 


    I describe four new species of blindsnake of the genus Gerrhopilus from islands off the southeastern tip of New Guinea and from New Ireland to the northeast. All have ventral keels on the rostral scale, and most have previously been assigned in their respective museum collections to the species G. depressiceps. Examination of available specimens shows G. depressiceps to be a composite of species, and I emend the diagnosis of that species based on the holotype and one additional specimen from northeastern New Guinea. The species described as new here differ from G. depressiceps and from each other in a series of features, including shape of the snout, shape of the rostral scale, numbers of mid-dorsal scale rows, reduction patterns in longitudinal scale rows, body mass, degree of eye development, and color pattern. The new species all inhabit islands remote from the known range of G. depressiceps on New Guinea and have likely been separated from that species for millions of years.

     Keywords: Reptilia, Gerrhopilus depressiceps, External morphology, D’Entrecasteaux Islands, Milne Bay Province, New Ireland

    Fred Kraus. 2017. New Species of Blindsnakes (Squamata: Gerrhopilidae) from the offshore islands of Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa.  4299(1); 75-94.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4299.1.3


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    Schismatogobius ninja  Maeda, Saeki & Satoh, 2017

    Three species of Schismatogobius de Beaufort 1912, distinguished by their morphology and mitochondrial DNA sequences, were found in freshwater streams in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. Although two species were previously known from Japan (S. roxasi Herre 1936 and S. ampluvinculus Chen, Shao, and Fang 1995), the taxonomy needs to be revised. To identify these species, the holotype morphology of S. marmoratus (Peters 1868), S. bruynisi de Beaufort 1912, and S. roxasi, originally described from the Philippines and Indonesia, were examined and re-described here, because relatively little information about their diagnostic characters was provided in the original descriptions. The three Japanese species were identified as S. ampluvinculus, S. marmoratus, and a new species. They were distinguished from each other and from their congeners by the banding pattern of the body, markings on the pectoral fins, pigment patterns on the ventral surface of the head and pelvic fin, body depth at the pelvic-fin origin, pre-anal length, and pectoral-fin ray counts. Although the new species had been regarded as S. roxasi in previous publications, we show that it is actually not S. roxasi and that it also differs from all other nominal species of Schismatogobius. This is described as a new speciesSchismatogobius ninja. Additionally, this is the first record of S. marmoratus from Japan.

    Keywords: Schismatogobius, Gobiidae, New species, Mitochondrial genome, Ryukyu Archipelago 

    Fig. 7:  Schismatogobius ninja sp. nov. immediately after fixation.
    a NSMT-P 127395, holotype (male, 30.4 mm SL), b URM-P 48711, paratype (male, 21.5 mm SL), c NSMT-P 127408, paratype (female, 21.8 mm SL), d NSMT-P 127400, paratype (19.6 mm SL) (photo by K. Maeda) 

    Schismatogobius ninja Maeda, Saeki, and Satoh, sp. nov.
    (Japanese name: Eso-haze)

    Diagnosis. The new species is distinguished by a combination of the following characters: pectoral-fin rays 15–16 (usually 15); body relatively slender (depth at pelvic-fin origin 16.9–19.5% of SL); trunk relatively short (pre-dorsal length 35.5–39.1% of SL; pre-anal length 53.2–56.7% of SL; pre-anal-fin length 58.4–61.0% of SL; length of second dorsal-fin base 26.5–29.0% of SL; length of anal-fin base 22.3–25.9% of SL); two dark brown, transverse bands on posterior half of the body; pectoral fin with 1–5 black spots along each ray; pectoral fin often with one large, black vertical blotch on upper part, but blotch not extending to distal part; isthmus and gular region almost cream or white, often with some melanophores, but not densely pigmented; pelvic fin usually almost without pigmentation, but often lightly pigmented in larger males.

    Distribution. All specimens described here with mitochondrial DNA sequences were collected from Okinawa Island in the Ryukyu Archipelago. Thirty-five non-type specimens collected from Okinawa, Ishigaki, and Iriomote islands were also identified as the new species, Schismatogobius ninja. Many authors reported “eso-haze” (regarded as Schismatogobius roxasi) in Japan and the range often included Amami-oshima Island, in addition to Okinawa, Ishigaki, and Iriomote islands (Yoshigou 2014). These records need to be verified by reexamination of the specimens. This species seems to have often been misidentified as “Schismatogobius ampluvinculus (see Distribution section of S. ampluvinculus). In conclusion, the verified localities of S. ninja in Japan are Okinawa, Ishigaki, and Iriomote islands, but it may be found on some other islands in the Ryukyu Archipelago.

    Ecology. All specimens were collected from the lower freshwater reaches of the streams, at 50 to 1,300 m from the upper limit of tidal fluctuations. This species was found on coarse sand and gravel bottoms of shallow areas (depth usually 5–30 cm) around rapids. Typical habitat was at the ends of the rapids (transitional areas from rapid to pool) with steady flow. These gobies usually stay on the bottom and often bury half of their body in the substratum (Fig. 10e). They prefer substrates with free gravel granules which can be moved easily by water flow, and they do not inhabit silty substrates. Body markings perfectly camouflage them on the gravel bottom of their habitats (Fig. 10e); therefore, they are hard to detect if they remain motionless.

    Schismatogobius ninja is often found with S. ampluvinculus, and sometimes with Schismatogobius marmoratus. The most abundant syntopic species was Rhinogobius nagoyae Jordan and Seale 1906. Other gobies, such as Stiphodon percnopterygionus Watson and Chen 1998, Sicyopterus lagocephalus (Pallas 1770), Glossogobius illimis Hoese and Allen 2012, and Luciogobius ryukyuensis Chen, Suzuki, and Senou 2008 and amphidromous pipefish, Microphis leiaspis (Bleeker 1854), were also frequently observed with Schismatogobius ninja.

    Etymology. Although the new species shows attractive coloration when viewed against a simple background, they are very cryptic against the gravel substrates of their habitats. The stealthy capacity of this species reminds us of Japanese “ninja,” which were known as masters of camouflage. Therefore, the new species is named Schismatogobius ninja. The new specific name is a noun in apposition.

    Fig. 10: Live Schismatogobius ninja sp. nov. observed in streams on Okinawa Island
     (a, d, e 16 Mar. 2015; b 11 Oct. 2010; c 16 June 2008) (photos by K. Maeda)

    Taxonomy of Japanese species

    Schismatogobius ninja Maeda, Saeki, and Satoh, sp. nov.
    (Japanese name: Eso-haze)

    Schismatogobius ampluvinculus Chen, Shao, and Fang 1995
    (Japanese name: Shima-eso-haze) 

     Schismatogobius marmoratus (Peters,1868)
    (New Japanese name: Kaeru-eso-haze)

    Fig. 13 Live Schismatogobius ampluvinculus observed in streams on Okinawa Island (16 June 2015, 13 Aug. 2015) and Iriomote Island (10 Aug. 2006),   and Schismatogobius marmoratus observed in streams on Okinawa Island (d16 Mar. 2015; 29 Aug. 2009) (photos by K. Maeda)

    Ken Maeda, Toshifumi Saeki, Chuya Shinzato, Ryo Koyanagi and Nori Satoh. 2017. Review of Schismatogobius (Gobiidae) from Japan, with the Description of A New Species.
     Ichthyological Research. xx; 1–22. DOI: 10.1007/s10228-017-0593-4

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    Pseudotanganikallabes prognatha Wright, 2017

      DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13374 


    The examination of material representing one of Lake Tanganyika's six previously recognized endemic catfish lineages, has revealed the presence of an additional genus of clariid, described here as Pseudotanganikallabes new genus. This genus is represented by a single species, Pseudotanganikallabes prognatha sp. nov., which is distinguished from all other clariids by its lack of an infraorbital series, the presence of multiple osseous connections between the swim bladder capsules and elements of the neurocranium, the absence of an ethmoid notch, the presence of a very large, egg-shaped occipital fontanelle and the extension of the lower lip beyond the margin of the upper jaw. A combination of additional external and molecular characters serves to further distinguish this taxon from all currently recognized clariid species. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial (cytb) and nuclear (18S-ITS1-5.8S-ITS2-28S) sequence data supports the creation of a new genus for this species, as it appears to represent an independent, monophyletic lineage within the family Clariidae.

    Key words: Africa; catfish; Clariidae; Lake Tanganyika; rift lake; taxonomy.

    Fig. 4. (a) Dorsal, (b) lateral and (c) ventral views of the holotype of Pseudotanganikallabes prognatha (SAIAB-80226). Scale bar = 1 cm. 

    Type species: Pseudotanganikallabes prognatha new genus and species.
    Content: Pseudotanganikallabes prognatha sp. nov.; monotypic

    Etymology: From the Greek pseudo (𝜓𝜀𝜐𝛿ή𝜍), meaning lying or false and the genus Tanganikallabes, in reference to the superficial resemblance between these two genera. Gender: feminine.

    Geographical distribution: All known specimens referred to Pseudotanganikallabes were collected on the southeast, Zambian coast of Lake Tanganyika.


    Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the prefix pro, in this case meaning anterior to and the Greek gnathos (𝛾ν΄𝛼𝜃o𝜍), meaning jaw, in reference to the distinctive protrusion of the lower jaw of this species. Gender: feminine.

    Distribution: Currently known from localities along the southeastern coast of Lake Tanganyika: .... East of Mpulungu.

    J. J. Wright. 2017. A New Diminutive Genus and Species of Catfish from Lake Tanganyika (Siluriformes: Clariidae).  Journal of Fish Biology. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13374

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    Megacormus xichu
    González-Santillán, González-Ruiz & Escobedo-Morales, 2017


    The fifth species of the genus, Megacormus xichu sp. nov., is described and compared to the other species. An identification key to these species as well as a distributional map with localities taken from the literature are provided.

    Keywords: Scorpiones, Scorpion, Xichú, distributional map, literature, Charco Azul

    Edmundo González-Santillán, Juan Manuel González-Ruiz and Luis A. Escobedo-Morales. 2017. A New Species of Megacormus (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae) from An Oak-Pine Forest in Guanajuato, México with An Identification Key to the Species in the Genus.
     Zootaxa. 4299(2); 221–237.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4299.2.3

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    Gonatodes rayito 
    SchargelRivas,García-Pérez,Rivero-Blanco,Chippindale & Fujita, 2017


    Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. is described from the western versant of the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela. Like most species of Gonatodes the new species is sexually dichromatic and is one of only a few in the genus in which individuals have a conspicuous, pale middorsal stripe. The new species is similar to, and has been confused in the past with, G. petersi and G. vittatus. It differs from both species in several aspects of color pattern, and also from G. vittatus in size and scale counts. The validity of Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. is also strongly supported by a phylogenetic analysis using a fragment of the ornithine decarboxylase nuclear gene.

    Keywords: Gonatodes rayito sp. nov., Gonatodes petersi, Gonatodes vittatus, lizard, gecko, Gekkota, taxonomy, Reptilia, Squamata, Sphaerodactylidae

    Male Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. (MCNG 2231, holotype); 
    Female Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. (MCNG 2237)
    photos: Juan E. García-Pérez

    FIGURE 4. Male specimens of Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. (top, photo of the holotype by JEGP);
    G. vittatus (middle, photo by Marcial Quiroga-Carmona) from Valencia, Carabobo;
    and G. petersi (bottom, photo by JEGP) from Finca El Deseo, Zulia. All localities are in Venezuela

    FIGURE 5. Female specimens of Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. (top, photo of MCNG 2237 by JEGP),
     G. vittatus (middle, photo by Marcial Quiroga-Carmona), from Valencia, Carabobo;
    and G. petersi (bottom, photo by JEGP), from Finca El Deseo, Zulia. All localities are in Venezuela.

    Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. 

     Gonatodes petersi Donoso-Barros: Esqueda (2004) [two specimens, ULABG 4726, 4741, from near Santa Apolonia, Mérida, Venezuela] 
    Gonatodes vittatus (Lichtenstein): Rivas et al. (2006) [in part, specimens from Mérida] 
    Gonatodes v. vittatus (Lichtenstein): Rivero-Blanco (1967) [specimens of G. v. vittatus reported in sympatry with G. albogularis in “Sur del Lago” are likely G. rayito based on locality. The two live specimens of G. v. vittatus pictured from “La Azulita” are also G. rayito]

    Etymology. The specific name is the Spanish word meaning “little lightning” or “little ray”, a name informally coined by the late naturalist Dr. Richard Schargel for individuals of this species as well as of G. petersi and G. vittatus. The name refers to the notion that, because males of this group of species have a conspicuous middorsal white stripe, when they flee they resemble a “little white lightning.” Richard kept many species of Gonatodes in captivity and also helped support the first author on his research on the genus.

    Walter E. Schargel, Gilson A. Rivas,Juan E. García-Pérez,Carlos Rivero-Blanco,Paul T. Chippindale andMatthew K. Fujita. 2017. A New Species of Gonatodes (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) from the western versant of the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela.
    Zootaxa. 4291(3); 549–562.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4291.3.7

    Resumen:Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. es descrita de la vertiente oeste de la Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela. Al igual que la mayoría de las especies de Gonatodes, la nueva especie es sexualmente dicromática y es una de las pocas en el género en que los individuos poseen una línea vertebral clara conspicua. La nueva especie es similar a, y ha sido confundida en el pasado con, G. petersi y G. vittatus. Se diferencia de ambas especies en varios aspectos en el patrón de la coloración, y también de G. vittatus en el tamaño y en conteo de escamas. La validez de Gonatodes rayito sp. nov. es también corroborada por un análisis filogenético en el que se usó un fragmento de un gen nuclear (ODC, por sus siglas en inglés). 

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    Etmopterus lailae
    Ebert, Papastamatiou, Kajiura & Wetherbee, 2017

    Laila’s Lanternshark || DOI:   10.11646/zootaxa.4237.2.10 


    A new species of lanternshark, Etmopterus lailae (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae), is described from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, in the central North Pacific Ocean. The new species resembles other members of the “Etmopterus lucifer” clade in having linear rows of dermal denticles, and most closely resembles E. lucifer from Japan. The new species occurs along insular slopes around seamounts at depths between 314–384 m. It can be distinguished from other members of the E. lucifer clade by a combination of characteristics, including a longer anterior flank marking branch, arrangement of dermal denticles on the ventral snout surface and body, flank and caudal markings, and meristic counts including number of spiral valve turns, and precaudal vertebrate. A key to species of the Etmopterus lucifer-clade is included.

    Keywords: Pisces, Chondrichthyes, elasmobranch, Etmopterus lucifer clade, new species, central North Pacific Ocean

    FIGURE 1. Etmopterus lailae new species, immature male holotype (BPBM 40183).

    Etmopterus lailae, new species 
    Laila’s Lanternshark

    Distribution. The new species presently is known only from the Koko and South Kanmu seamounts, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and at a depth range of 314–384 m. 

    Etymology. The new species is named after Laila Mostello-Wetherbee, shark enthusiast and daughter of coauthor Brad Wetherbee. The proposed common name is Laila’s Lanternshark. 

    David A. Ebert, Yannis P. Papastamatiou, Stephen M. Kajiura and Bradley M. Wetherbee. 2017. Etmopterus lailae sp. nov., A New Lanternshark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae) from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Zootaxa. 4237(2); 371-382. DOI:   10.11646/zootaxa.4237.2.10

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    Reconstruction of the possible sequence of events that led to the preservation of the carcass of the sauropod Austrosaurus mckillopi in the Eromanga Sea.
    Austrosaurus as a living animal on land; (B) freshly deceased Austrosaurus prior to bloating; (C) bloated Austrosaurus carcass washed out to sea, where it was possibly scavenged by marine reptiles like Kronosaurus; (D) the partially defleshed but still effectively intact thoracic portion of the Austrosaurus carcass is picked at by sharks as it sinks to the seafloor; (E) the thoracic portion of the Austrosaurus carcass is buried along with several ammonites (Beudanticeras) and bivalves (Inoceramus), which were possibly drawn to the carcass as it decayed.
    Reconstruction by Travis R. Tischler.

     Poropat, Nair, Symeet al. 2017. Reappraisal of Austrosaurus mckillopi Longman, 1933. ... DOI: 10.1080/03115518.2017.1334826

    Austrosaurus mckillopi was the first Cretaceous sauropod reported from Australia, and the first Cretaceous dinosaur reported from Queensland (northeast Australia). This sauropod taxon was established on the basis of several fragmentary presacral vertebrae (QM F2316) derived from the uppermost Lower Cretaceous (upper Albian) Allaru Mudstone, at a locality situated 77 km west-northwest of Richmond, Queensland. Prior to its rediscovery in 2014, the type site was considered lost after failed attempts to relocate it in the 1970s. Excavations at the site in 2014 and 2015 led to the recovery of several partial dorsal ribs and fragments of presacral vertebrae, all of which clearly pertained to a single sauropod dinosaur. The discovery of new material of the type individual of Austrosaurus mckillopi, in tandem with a reassessment of the material collected in the 1930s, has facilitated the rearticulation of the specimen. The resultant vertebral series comprises six presacral vertebrae—the posteriormost cervical and five anteriormost dorsals—in association with five left dorsal ribs and one right one. The fragmentary nature of the type specimen has historically hindered assessments of the phylogenetic affinities of Austrosaurus, as has the fact that these evaluations were often based on a subset of the type material. The reappraisal of the type series of Austrosaurus presented herein, on the basis of both external morphology and internal morphology visualized through CT data, validates it as a diagnostic titanosauriform taxon, tentatively placed in Somphospondyli, and characterized by the possession of an accessory lateral pneumatic foramen on dorsal vertebra I (a feature that appears to be autapomorphic) and by the presence of a robust ventral mid-line ridge on the centra of dorsal vertebrae I and II. The interpretation of the anteriormost preserved vertebra in Austrosaurus as a posterior cervical has also prompted the re-evaluation of an isolated, partial, posterior cervical vertebra (QM F6142, the ‘Hughenden sauropod’) from the upper Albian Toolebuc Formation (which underlies the Allaru Mudstone). Although this vertebra preserves an apparent unique character of its own (a spinopostzygapophyseal lamina fossa), it is not able to be referred unequivocally to Austrosaurus and is retained as Titanosauriformes indet. Austrosaurus mckillopi is one of the oldest known sauropods from the Australian Cretaceous based on skeletal remains and potentially provides phylogenetic and/or palaeobiogeographic context for later taxa such as Wintonotitan wattsi, Diamantinasaurus matildae and Savannasaurus elliottorum.

    Fig. 11. Reconstruction of the possible sequence of events that led to the preservation of the carcass of the sauropod Austrosaurus mckillopi in the Eromanga Sea. (AAustrosaurus as a living animal on land; (B) freshly deceased Austrosaurus prior to bloating; (C) bloated Austrosaurus carcass washed out to sea, where it was possibly scavenged by marine reptiles like Kronosaurus; (D) the partially defleshed but still effectively intact thoracic portion of the Austrosaurus carcass is picked at by sharks as it sinks to the seafloor; (E) the thoracic portion of the Austrosaurus carcass is buried along with several ammonites (Beudanticeras) and bivalves (Inoceramus), which were possibly drawn to the carcass as it decayed.
    Reconstruction by Travis R. Tischler. 

    The sauropod taxon Austrosaurus mckillopi is of historical significance to Australian palaeontology as the first Cretaceous dinosaur recognized in Queensland, and the first Cretaceous sauropod ever reported from the entire continent. The augmentation, articulation and description of the type material have helped to shed light on the phylogenetic position of Austrosaurus, unequivocally placing it within Titanosauriformes, and probably as a member of Somphospondyli. The identification of an autapomorphic auxiliary pneumatic foramen in dorsal vertebra I means that the referral of other sauropod specimens to Austrosaurus should be possible in the future, although this feature is not presently observable in any other Australian sauropod specimen. The morphological congruence of the posteriormost cervical vertebra of Austrosaurus with QM F6142 (the ‘Hughenden sauropod’) might represent grounds for the referral of the latter to the former, although this can not be demonstrated unequivocally. Lastly, despite its fragmentary nature, Austrosaurus appears to share several features with the type specimens of both Diamantinasaurus and Savannasaurus, possibly indicating a close phylogenetic relationship.

    The fragmentary nature of the type series of Austrosaurus has impeded, and will continue to restrict, efforts to precisely resolve its phylogenetic position within Titanosauriformes. Consequently, the palaeobiogeographic significance of Austrosaurus is poorly understood, a situation worsened by the relative rarity of Early Cretaceous titanosauriforms in South America and the lack of such in Antarctica. Nevertheless, the presence of numerous titanosauriform lineages in the Early Cretaceous of South America provides some context for Australian Early Cretaceous titanosauriforms like Austrosaurus, and also for the mid-Cretaceous Winton Formation fauna, which appears to have been dominated by titanosaurs with amphicoelous (rather than procoelous) caudal vertebrae.

    Stephen F. Poropat, Jay P. Nair, Caitlin E. Syme, Philip D. Mannion, Paul Upchurch, Scott A. Hocknull,  Alex G. Cook, Travis R. Tischler and Timothy Holland. 2017. Reappraisal of Austrosaurus mckillopi Longman, 1933 from the Allaru Mudstone of Queensland, Australia’s First Named Cretaceous Sauropod Dinosaur. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. DOI: 10.1080/03115518.2017.1334826

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    The skeleton of the poūwa, Cygnus sumnerensis (Forbes, 1890) 

    Rawlence, Kardamaki, Easton, et al. 2017.
     Ancient DNA and Morphometric Analysis Reveal Extinction and Replacement of New Zealand's Unique Black Swans.  Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  DOI:  10.1098/rspb.2017.0876 

    Prehistoric human impacts on megafaunal populations have dramatically reshaped ecosystems worldwide. However, the effects of human exploitation on smaller species, such as anatids (ducks, geese, and swans) are less clear. In this study we apply ancient DNA and osteological approaches to reassess the history of Australasia's iconic black swans (Cygnus atratus) including the palaeo-behaviour of prehistoric populations. Our study shows that at the time of human colonization, New Zealand housed a genetically, morphologically, and potentially ecologically distinct swan lineage (Cygnus sumnerensis, Poūwa), divergent from modern (Australian) C. atratus. Morphological analyses indicate C. sumnerensis exhibited classic signs of the ‘island rule’ effect, being larger, and likely flight-reduced compared to C. atratus. Our research reveals sudden extinction and replacement events within this anatid species complex, coinciding with recent human colonization of New Zealand. This research highlights the role of anthropogenic processes in rapidly reshaping island ecosystems and raises new questions for avian conservation, ecosystem re-wilding, and de-extinction.

    KEYWORDS:  ancient-DNA, Australia, black swan, Chatham Islands, Cygnus atratus, Cygnus sumnerensis, Q1 extinction, island rule, New Zealand, Poūwa, recolonization

    The skeleton of the extinct poūwa.
    Jean-Claude Stahl / Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa 
    The mounted bones of an extinct poūwa.
    Photo: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

    Nicolas J. Rawlence, Afroditi Kardamaki, Luke J. Easton, Alan J. D. Tennyson, R. Paul Scofield and Jonathan M. Waters. 2017. Ancient DNA and Morphometric Analysis Reveal Extinction and Replacement of New Zealand's Unique Black Swans.
     Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  DOI:  10.1098/rspb.2017.0876


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     [upper] Pyrrhula crassa  Rando, Pieper, Olson, Pereira& Alcover, 2017 
    [lower] P. pyrrhula & P. murina. 

     possible aspect in life illustration: Pau Oliver. 


    A new species of extinct bullfinch, Pyrrhula crassa n. sp., is described from bones found in Furna do Calcinhas, a small cave situated at Caldeira, a volcano located in the southeastern portion of the Graciosa Island (Azores archipelago, North Atlantic Ocean). It is the first extinct passerine bird to be described from this archipelago. Both skull and post-cranial bones are larger in the new species than in its relatives, the Eurasian Bullfinch (P. pyrrhula) and the Azores Bullfinch or “Priolo” from São Miguel Island (P. murina), the new species being the largest known in this genus. The morphology of its humerus and the estimated wing length and surface area seem to indicate a flying ability similar to that of the extant P. murina. The possible sources of colonization of the genus into Azores, causes and chronology of extinction of the new species are discussed

    Keywords: Aves, Fringillidae, Pyrrhula

    FIGURE 5. A: Skull and mandible, lateral view. From top to bottom: Pyrrhula pyrrhula, LARC 2328; P. murina, SPEA 120; Pyrrhula crassa n. sp., based on premaxilla MCMa 2006.016 and mandible MCMa 2002.016. The missing parts have been added using the equivalent parts of P. murina. Scale = 1 cm.
    B: From top to bottom: aspect of extant P. pyrrhulaP. murina; and possible aspect in life of Pyrrhula crassa n. sp. (colours are speculative). Art by Pau Oliver.

    Systematic paleontology
    Order Passeriformes Linnaeus, 1758
    Family Fringillidae (Vigors, 1825)
    Subfamily Carduelinae Vigors, 1825

    Tribe Pyrrhulini
    Genus Pyrrhula Brisson, 1760

    Pyrrhula crassa n. sp.

     Etymology. From Latin, crassa, thick, referring to the large size of the species and particularly to its notably heavy bill. 
    Vernacular names proposed: Greater Azores Bullfinch (English) – Priolo maior dos Açores (Portuguese).

     J. C. Rando, H. Pieper, Storrs L. Olson, F. Pereira and J. A. Alcover. 2017. A New Extinct Species of Large Bullfinch (Aves: Fringillidae: Pyrrhula) from Graciosa Island (Azores, North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa. 4282(3); 567–583.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4282.3.9

    Resumo Uma nova espécie extinta de Pyrrhula, P. crassa n. sp., é descrita a partir de ossos encontrados em a Furna do Calcinhas, uma pequena caverna situada na Caldeira, vulcão localizado no sudoeste da ilha Graciosa (Arquipélago dos Açores, Atlântico Norte). É a primeira ave Passeriforme extinta descrita neste arquipélago. Tanto o crânio e os ossos do seu esqueleto pós-craniano são maiores que os dos seus parentes, o dom-fafe Pyrrhula pyrrhula e o priolo Pyrrhula murina. A nova espécie é a maior do gênero. A morfologia do úmero e o tamanho estimado das suas asas indica uma capacidade para o voo semelhante a o priolo. As possíveis fontes de colonização dos Açores por Pyrrhula e as causas e cronologia da extin- ção da espécie nova são discutidas.

    A new bird which humans drove to extinction discovered in Azores   @physorg_com
    New species of Pyrrhula described for Graciosa Island

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    Brachycephalus coloratus 
    Ribeiro, Blackburn, Stanley, Pie & Bornschein, 2017

     DOI:  10.7717/peerj.3603 


    We describe two new species of miniaturized toadlet in the Brachycephalus pernix group of Brachycephalus (Anura: Brachycephalidae) from the Atlantic Forest of the state of Paraná, southern Brazil. The first new species is distinguished from all congeners by the pale red coloration from the head to the pelvic region, with sides of the body and thighs dorsally yellowish green. It is known only from the type locality in a cloud forest at altitudes ranging between 1,144–1,228 m a.s.l. The second species, although more closely related to B. izecksohni, is morphologically similar to B. brunneus in its overall brown coloration, but distinct from that species in the color of the iris (black with conspicuous golden spots, instead of entirely black). It was found on three mountains, at altitudes between 1,095–1,320 m a.s.l., and in vegetation types including cloud forest, montane forest, and secondary forest. The two new species exhibit neither vertebral fusions nor osteoderms, but one has both a distinct neopalatine and well-developed odontoids on the maxillae. We discuss the conservation status of both species.

    Figure 1: Holotype of Brachycephalus coloratus in life (MHNCI 10273). 

    Brachycephalus coloratus sp. nov

    Etymology. The specific epithet is from the Latin coloratus (“colored”, “variegated”) in reference to the unique combination of colors found in the species.

    Figure 7: Holotype of Brachycephalus curupira in life (MHNCI 10280). 

    Brachycephalus curupira sp. nov.

    Etymology. The specific epithet is a noun in apposition and refers to the homonymous mythical character in Brazilian folklore whose aim is to protect the forests. Although usually portrayed as a red-headed boy with feet pointing backwards, the curupira becomes invisible and produces sounds that confuse those walking in his forests. This confusion is a fitting description of our situation while trying to locate calling males of this elusive species (see Remarks below).

    Luiz F. Ribeiro, David C. Blackburn, Edward L. Stanley, Marcio R. Pie and Marcos R. Bornschein. 2017. Two New Species of the Brachycephalus pernix group (Anura: Brachycephalidae) from the State of Paraná, southern Brazil. PeerJ. 5:e3603. DOI:  10.7717/peerj.3603

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    Fig. 2. Remains of the Ban Saphan Hin crocodyliform from the Khok Kruat Formation,
    Ban Saphan Hin, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand.
    A, B, C, Photographs and interpretive drawings of the caudal end of left lower jaw, NRRU4001-33, in lateral (A), dorsal (B), and medial (C) views; D, E, F, Photographs of the fragmentary rostral symphyseal of the right mandible, NRRU4001-29, in medial (D), dorsal (E), and lateral (F) views with the interpretive drawing of dorsal view; G, H, I, J, Photographs of the fragmentary right mandible, NRRU4001-35, in medial (G), dorsal (H), and lateral (I) views with the interpretive drawing of dorsal view and the close up of tooth crown attached to NRRU4001-35 (J); K, L, Photographs of the left postorbital and the anterior end of left squamosal, NRRU4001-36, in the lateral view with the interpretive drawing (K) and the dorsal view (L); M, Photograph of the dorsal view of the osteoderm NRRU4001-19, the white dotted line shows its middle ridge. In interpretive drawings, outlines and sutures were drawn by lines thicker than lines for ridges, shelves and pits and repaired areas were shown by horizontal stripes.

     Scale bars of J, K and L equal 1 cm, all other scale bars equal 5 cm. Abbreviations: ae, anterior edge; an, angular; ar, articular; c, concavity that receives a maxillary tooth; de, dentary; dpa, descending process of articular; fio, foramina for the passage of the nervus intermandibularis oralis; gf, glenoid fossa; lf?, possible lingual foramen; po, postorbital; pof, postorbital foramen; rap, retroarticular process; sa, surangular; sp, splenial; sq, squamosal; tc, isolated tooth crown. 

    We describe remains of a new crocodyliform found from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) Khok Kruat Formation, northeastern Thailand. Remains consist of two caudal ends of mandibles, two rostral symphyseal parts of right rami of mandibles, a dorsal part of postorbital, a cranial end of squamosal and one osteoderm. Phylogenetic analyses supported inclusion of this crocodyliform into the Eusuchia as it shares several morphological characters with other eusuchians, such as a dorsocaudally oriented retroarticular process, smooth lateral surface of the caudoventral region of mandible, and a craniocaudally oriented ridge on the dorsal surface of retroarticular process. The shape of symphyseal region showed this crocodyliform had a longirostrine snout shape, which is uncommon in early eusuchians. Finding of this crocodyliform draws back the oldest record of Asian eusuchians, which was Tadzhikosuchus, approximately 30 million years and it is the only Mesozoic eusuchian found in East and Southeast Asia.

    Keywords: Khok Kruat Formation; Aptian; Eusuchia; Thailand; Asia

    Systematic paleontology
    MESOEUCROCODYLIA Whetstone and Whybrow, 1983
    NEOSUCHIA Clark, 1986
    EUSUCHIA Huxley, 1875
    gen et sp. indet.

     Morphological comparison and phylogenetic analysis showed the Ban Saphan Hin crocodyliform is a member of Eusuchia. But due to its fragmentary nature its phylogenetic position within Eusuchia is currently uncertain. The Ban Saphan Hin crocodyliform indicates longirostrine snout shape evolved during the early stage of eusuchian, which is probably independent from that of gavialoids. Moreover it draws back the oldest record of Asian eusuchians from the Santonian, Tadzhikosuchus found from Tadzhikistan, to the Aptian, approximately 30 million years ( Storrs and Efimov, 2000), and it is the only Mesozoic eusuchian found in East and Southeast Asia. This situation reflects the patchy fossil record of Mesozoic crocodyliform in these areas. The Late Cretaceous crocodyliforms of East Asia were reported only from Mongolia (Storrs and Efimov, 2000; Turner, 2015). Further sampling effort is required to reveal the complex evolutionary history of Asian Mesozoic neosuchians.

    Tai Kubo, Masateru Shibata, Wilailuck Naksri, Pratueng Jintasakul and Yoichi Azuma. 2017. The Earliest Record of Asian Eusuchia from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation of northeastern Thailand. Cretaceous Research. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2017.05.021

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    FIGURE 1. Images of Lavoisiera species. DE. L. arachnoidea (unvouchered image). F. L. belinelloi (Almeda et al. 8532). GL. bradeana (Almeda et al. 9718). H. L. canastrensis (Almeda et al. 7878). IL. caryophyllea (Almeda et al. 9172). JKL. chamaepitys (Almeda et al. 8500). LL. confertiflora (Almeda et al. 9725).
     Image credits: F–L. Frank Almeda; D–E. Karina Fidanza.


    A systematic monograph is presented for Lavoisiera, a Brazilian endemic genus of 41 species that is centered in the campo rupestre ecoregion in the Brazilian Planalto south of the Amazon basin, mostly west of the Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Rainforest), and east of the Pantanal. The stronghold for species diversity is the state of Minas Gerais with 36 species, 30 of which are endemic there. This study represents the first comprehensive monograph of the genus based on field work across its distributional range, complemented by examination of over 3620 specimens from 35 herbaria. An evaluation of taxonomic characters used in the long-standing sectional classification of the genus has led to its abandonment because it is based on artificial characters and does not provide a sound working hypothesis of infrageneric relationships. Eight new species are described: Lavoisiera arachnoidea, L. belinelloi, L. canastrensis, L. daviesiana, L. minima, L. rundeliana, L. setosa, and L. vestita; lectotypifications are provided for L. caryophyllea, L. chamaepitys, L. glandulifera, L. pulchella, and L. senae; and 44 epithets are relegated to synonymy. An identification key, full synonymy, descriptions, habitat and phenological information, distribution maps, diagnostic illustrations, images of representative species in the field, and geospatial conservation assessments are provided for all species based on IUCN criteria. SEM images of seed morphology are presented for nearly half of the species along with camera lucida drawings of meiotic chromosome figures for selected species, and an index to numbered collections examined.

    Keywords: campo rupestre, Cerrado biome, conservation, endemism, Myrtales, neotropics, Eudicots

    Lavoisiera macrocarpa Naudin (1844)

    Lavoisiera macrocarpa (Almeda et al. 9173).
    Images:  Frank Almeda.

    FIGURE 1. Images of Lavoisiera species. DE. L. arachnoidea (unvouchered image). F. L. belinelloi (Almeda et al. 8532). G. L. bradeana (Almeda et al. 9718). H. L. canastrensis (Almeda et al. 7878). I. L. caryophyllea (Almeda et al. 9172). JK. L. chamaepitys (Almeda et al. 8500). L. L. confertiflora (Almeda et al. 9725). Image credits: F–L. Frank Almeda; D–E. Karina Fidanza.

    Angela B. Martins and Frank Almeda. 2017. A Monograph of the Brazilian Endemic Genus Lavoisiera (Melastomataceae: Microlicieae).
     Phytotaxa.  315(1); 1–194. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.315.1.1

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    Hyphessobrycon platyodus
     Ohara, Abrahão & Espíndola, 2017 

     DOI:  10.1111/jfb.13383


    A new species of Hyphessobrycon is described from the Rio Juma, a tributary of the lower Rio Aripuanã–Rio Madeira basin, Amazonas, Brazil. Hyphessobrycon platyodus can be distinguished from its congeners by the: presence of an elongated dorsal fin in adult males, 25–28 branched anal-fin rays and absence of dark blotches from the dorsal fin and caudal peduncle. The presence of multicuspid teeth in species of Characidae and its relation with feeding habits are briefly commented on.

    Key words: Amazon; endemism; Hyphessobrycon loweae-group; sexual dimorphism; tooth cusps.

    Fig. 2. Hyphessobrycon platyodus, MZUSP 117607, male, paratype, immediately after capture. 

    Etymology: The specific epithet platyodus derives from the Greek, platyflatodontooth, in allusion to the compressed teeth with many cusps, an unusual feature in Hyphessobrycon.

    Distribution: Hyphessobrycon platyodus is known only from Rio Juma drainage, upstream of the Paredão Waterfall, a tributary of the Rio Aripuanã, Rio Madeira basin, Apuí, Amazonas, Brazil. 

    W. M. Ohara, V. P. Abrahão and V. C. Espíndola. 2017. Hyphessobrycon platyodus (Teleostei: Characiformes), A New Species from the Rio Madeira Nasin, Brazil, with Comments on How Multicuspid Teeth Relate to Feeding Habits in Characidae.   Journal of Fish Biology. DOI:  10.1111/jfb.13383

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     Pristimantis puipui
    Pristimantis bounides  &  P. humboldti 
     Lehr, von May, Moravec & Cusi, 2017 


    We describe three new species of Pristimantis from the upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest and its close surroundings (Región Junín, central Peru) and compare them morphologically and genetically with other taxonomically and biogeographically relevant species of Pristimantis. All three new species have the skin on dorsum shagreen with scattered tubercles, discontinuous dorsolateral folds, tuberculate flanks, and the skin on venter areolate. Pristimantis bounides sp. nov. is known from two localities outside the Pui Pui Protected Forest in upper montane forests between 3350 and 3463 m a.s.l. and is characterized by a snout–vent length of 18.2–21.0 mm in males (n = 3), and 21.6–24.4 mm in females (n = 4), by having a tympanum, males with vocal slits, and discs of digits slightly expanded with circumferential grooves. In life, dorsal and lateral ground coloration is pale grayish brown, orange brown, yellowish brown or reddish brown with dark grayish-brown marmorations, and a pale gray, pale greenish gray or creamish white venter with or without dark gray mottling. Pristimantis humboldti sp. nov. is known from one locality inside the Pui Pui Protected Forest, in upper montane forest at 3318 m a.s.l., and is characterized by a snout–vent length of 17.2–20.6 mm in males (n = 3), and 19.7–25.7 mm in females (n = 6), by having a tympanum, males with vocal slits, and discs of digits expanded with circumferential grooves. In life, dorsal and lateral ground coloration is orange brown with brownish-olive blotches, orange brown with grayish-brown blotches and flecks, reddish brown with grayish-brown blotches or grayish brown with orange brown blotches; throat, chest, belly, anterior and ventral surfaces of thighs, tibia, and axilla are dark gray and pale gray mottled with white and pale gray spots of different sizes and density. Pristimantis puipui sp. nov. is known from one locality inside the Pui Pui Protected Forest, in the puna at 3890 m a.s.l., and is characterized by a snout–vent length of 16.1–17.1 mm in males (n = 3), and 20.6–22.4 mm in females (n = 4), by lacking a tympanum, lacking males with vocal slits, and tips of digits narrow without circumferential grooves. In life, dorsal and lateral ground coloration is pale orange brown, reddish brown or grayish brown with or without grayish-brown mottling, and the venter is pale cream and pale gray mottled. A molecular phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences inferred that the three new species belong to the Pristimantis danae species Group distributed in the montane forests and high Andean grasslands of central Peru, including P. albertus, P. aniptopalmatusP. ornatus, and P. stictogaster. With the three new species, 133 species of Pristimantis are currently known from Peru, eight of which inhabit the puna.

    Keywords: Amphibia, Andes, cloud forest, puna, frogs, DNA barcoding, molecular phylogeny, Pristimantis bounides sp. nov., Pristimantis humboldti sp. nov., Pristimantis puipui sp. nov.

    The Hill Dweller Rubber Frog, Pristimantis bounides, is known from two sites at elevations of 10,991 feet and 11,362 feet. The species name “bounides” is derived from the Greek noun “bounos,” which means “dweller of the hills” and refers to the habitat of the mountain forests where this frog was found. It is an area of mixed vegetation including large layers of mosses, small bushes, trees, and Peruvian feather grass.
    Image: Rudolf von May

    The Humboldt’s Rubber Frog, Pristimantis humboldti, is known from a single site at 10,886 feet. The species name is the patronym of the German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), who traveled and studied the New World between 1799 and 1804.
     Image: Rudolf von May 

    The Pui Pui Rubber Frog, Pristimantis puipui, is known from a single site near Laguna Sinchón, which marks the approximate center of the Pui Pui Protected Forest, at an elevation of 12,762 feet above sea level. The species name is derived from the Quechua words “pui pui,” meaning “eyes of water,” a reference to the many lakes of the Pui Pui Protected Forest.
     Image: Jiri Moravec 

     Edgar Lehr, Rudolf Von May, Jiří Moravec and Juan Carlos Cusi. 2017. Three New Species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from upper Montane Forests and High Andean Grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru.
     Zootaxa.  4299(3); 301–336.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4299.3.1

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    Corythoraptor jacobsi
    Lü, Li, Kundrát, Lee, Sun, Kobayashi, Shen, Teng & Liu, 2017

    A new oviraptorid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Ganzhou, bringing oviraptrotid diversity of this region to seven taxa, is described. It is characterized by a distinct cassowary-like crest on the skull, no pleurocoels on the centra from the second through fourth cervical vertebrae, a neck twice as long as the dorsal vertebral column and slightly longer than the forelimb (including the manus). Phylogenetic analysis recovers the new oviraptorid taxonCorythoraptor jacobsi, as closely related to Huanansaurus from Ganzhou. Osteochronology suggests that the type specimen of Corythoraptor had not reached stationary growth stage but died while decreasing growth rates. The histology implies that it would correspond to an immature individual approximately eight years old. We hypothesize, based on the inner structure compared to that in modern cassowaries, that the prominent casque of Corythoraptor was a multifunction-structure utilized in display, communication and probably expression of the fitness during mating seasons.

    Figure 1: The holotype ofCorythoraptor jacobsi gen. et sp. nov. (JPM-2015-001). (a) Photograph. (b) Outline drawings. (c) Close up of the skull and lower jaw, showing the pneumatic cassowary-like crest (Only skull and lower jaw elements are labeled). (d) Skeletal reconstruction (missing parts are in grey).

     Abbreviations: aof, antorbital fenestra; cav. caudal vertebrae; cr. cervical ribs; cv. cervical vertebrae; dv. dorsal vertebrae; fe, femur; fi. fibula; h, humerus; il, ilium; is, ischium; l, lacrimal; lj, lower jaw; ltf, lower temporal fenestra; m, maxilla; n, nasal; nar, narial opening; o, orbit; oc, occipital condyle; p, parietal; pm, premaxilla; po, postorbital; ps, pes; psc, pneumatic skull crest; pu. pubis; q, quadrate; ra, radius; sk, skull; sq, squamosal; stf, super temporal fenestra; ti, tibia; ul, ulna. Scale bar = 8 cm in (c) and 100 cm in (d).

    Systematic palaeontology

    Oviraptorosauria Barsbold, 1976.
    Oviraptoridae Barsbold, 1976.

    Corythoraptor jacobsi gen. et sp. nov.

    Etymology: The generic name Corythoraptor refers to a raptor bearing a “cassowary-like crest” on its head, and the specific name is in honor of Professor Louis L. Jacobs, who has contributed to dinosaur research and has given excellent mentoring to three authors (JLü, YL and YK) when they were Ph.D. students at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA.

    Type locality and horizon: A site in the vicinity of the Ganzhou Railway Station (GPS coordinates are provided on request from the first author), Ganzhou City; Campanian-Maastrichtian; Nanxiong Formation (Upper Cretaceous).

     Diagnosis: An oviraptorosaurian dinosaur with the following unique combination of characters: ratio of the length of the tomial margin of the premaxilla to the premaxilla height (ventral to the external naris) is 1.0–1.4; inclination of the anteroventral margin of the premaxilla relative to the horizontally positioned ventral margin of the jugal posterodorsal; antorbital fossa bordered anteriorly by the maxilla; narial opening much longer than width; infratemporal fenestra dorsoventrally elongate, narrow anteroposteriorly; the supranarial process of the premaxilla bears two processes: a short posterodorsally extending process, forming the anterodorsal margin of the external nasal opening, and a long process, forming most of the anterodorsal process of the premaxilla; distinct cassowary-like helmet on the skull; long axis of the external narial opening parallel to the dorsal margin of antorbital fenestra; straight anterodorsal margin of dentary in lateral view; a deep fossa, sometimes with associated pneumatopore on lateral surface of dentary; no pleurocoels on the centra from the second through fourth cervical vertebrae; the length of the neck twice as long as the dorsal vertebral column, and slightly longer than the entire forelimb length (including the manus); less pronounced deltopectoral crest of humerus, forming an arc rather than being quadrangular; ratio of the length of the manus to the length of the humerus plus the radius between 0.50 and 0.65; the ungual of digit III less curved than other unguals; lesser trochanter (cranial trochanter) completely fused with the greater trochanter and distal ends of shafts of metatarsal II straight and metatarsal IV laterally deflected. 

    Corythoraptor jacobsi gen. et sp. nov. is assigned to oviraptorid dinosaurs based on the following characters: proximal caudals with pneumatized centra; ischium with its posterior profile concave3; premaxilla pneumatized; the subantorbital portion of the maxilla inset medially; the palate extending below the cheek margin; the external naris overlapping most of the antorbital fossa rostrodorsally; the bones of the skull roof pneumatized; the pubic shaft concave cranially, the mandibular symphysis tightly sutured; the shortened preorbital region, and the toothless jaws.


    Figure 2: The cranial casque of Corythoraptor jacobsi and recent cassowaries. (a–c) the crested skull of Corythoraptor and head appearance restorations. (d) a close-up (see dotted rectangle in a and b) of eroded bony shell in the posterolateral casque of Corythoraptor. (e) the crested skull of the recent cassowary (Casuarius uniappendiculatus; Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, Germany: MfN-ZMB 93274). (f) a keratinous helmet over the skull of the recent cassowary (unnumbered specimen of Casuarius casuarius from the osteological collections of ZOO Protivín, Czech Republic). (g,h) coronal cuts through the cassowary skull – (g) Casuarius casuarius MfN-ZMB 36820, (h) Casuarius casuarius: MfN-ZMB 36885 (see dotted lines in f); note transition in strut-like trabecular arrangement. (i) close-up to contact between keratinous and skeletal components of the casque in recent cassowary, unnumbered specimen of Casuarius sp. from the osteological collections of Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, USA.

    Abbreviations: cq, casque; cr, cranium; exs, external surface; kesh, keratinous sheath; or, orbit; tr, trabeculae.

    Figure 5: The living scene of Corythoraptor jacobsi gen. et sp. nov.
    Drawn by Zhao Chuang


    Junchang Lü, Guoqing Li, Martin Kundrát, Yuong-Nam Lee, Zhenyuan Sun, Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, Caizhi Shen, Fangfang Teng and Hanfeng Liu. 2017. High Diversity of the Ganzhou Oviraptorid Fauna Increased by A New “Cassowary-like” Crested Species.
      Scientific Reports. 7, Article number: 6393. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05016-6

    Introducing Corythoraptor jacobsi. via @ferwen

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    Eekaulostomus cuevasae 
    Cantalice & Alvarado-Ortega,  2016

    Eekaulostomus cuevasae gen. and sp. nov. is described and identified here as a new member of the superfamily Aulostomoidea. The single specimen known of this species is part of a newly fossil assemblage collected in the marine sediments belonging to the early Paleocene Tenejapa-Lacandón geological unit, exploited in the Belisario Domínguez quarry, near Palenque town, State of Chiapas, southeastern Mexico. E. cuevasae represents the oldest aulostomoid as far known and the first fossil species of this superfamily collected in America. E. cuevasae differs from other aulostomoids in the presence of two spines preceding the soft rays of both dorsal and anal fins; the star-like scales covering the entire body and part of the snout; as well as the relative large number of principal rays in the caudal fin. The recognition of E. cuevasae as the stem group of Aulostomoidea increases the temporal and geographic distribution of this superfamily up to Danian and within the Caribbean region, when a large part of Chiapas was under the sea after the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event. This finding also provides evidences suggesting the membership of Aulostomoidea within the order Gasterosteiformes, in which the scutes covering the trunk and the robust spines in unpaired fins are recurrent features.

      Keywords: new species; Aulostomoidea; fossil; Paleocene; Chiapas; Mexico

    Figure 2: Holotype. IGM 4716, almost complete specimen exposing the right lateral side of the body.  

    Systematic Paleontology
    Superfamily AULOSTOMOIDEAsensu Greenwood et al., 1966
    Family EEKAULOSTOMIDAE fam. nov.
    Genus EEKAULOSTOMUSgen. nov.
    Type species. Eekaulostomus cuevasae sp. nov.,  

    Derivation of name. The genus name includes the Mayan word “Eek” (= star), the Greek word "aulos" (= αὐλός, that is the name of an ancient flute), and the Latin word "stoma" (= mouth). The name refers to a "fish with a star-like scutes and flute-shaped mouth."
    Eekaulostomus cuevasae sp. nov.
    Derivation of name. The specific epithet of this fish honors our colleague, Martha Cuevas García, whose dedication and newly passion for the fossils led us to find the only specimen of Eekaulostomus cuevasae.

    Occurrence. Paleocene (Danian, ≈ 63Ma) marine strata of the Tenejapa-Lacandón geological unit. Belisario Domínguez quarry, Salto de Agua Municipality, State of Chiapas, southeastern Mexico (Alvarado-Ortega et al., 2015).

    Diagnosis. Aulostomoidea fish with rigid star-like scutes covering the whole trunk and part of the snout; pelvic fin placed anteriorly, just behind the postcleithrum; two spines in front of the soft rays of dorsal and anal fins; eight soft rays in both anal and dorsal fins; caudal fin formula iv+I+7—5+I+iii.
    Fossils referring to the superfamily Aulostomoidea had been collected more than 200 years ago in Eocene and younger marine deposits along Europe. Although the extant aulostomoids form part of large modern cladistics essays, some are based on morphological evidences and others on molecular data; unfortunately, the fossil aulostomoids have never been phylogenetically studied. This situation has prevented the generation of a robust classification of the aulostomoids, and at the same time, has fueled the differences and contradictions between the phylogenetic hypotheses already published. It is so, that it is desirable to make these European fossils part of future cladistic studies; however, first we have to fulfill the task of re-describing them accurately using modern and homogeneous criteria. Only up to the present day, the distribution of fossil aulostomoids was restricted to Europe. Although this fact has not interested paleontologists outside of Europe to further collaborate in studies concerning the diversity evolution of aulostomoids; the goal of this paper is to provide the first tangible evidence that in the past, this fish group was also an inhabitant of the American seas.

    From now on, we must take more seriously the paleontological surveys on late Cretaceous and early Paleocene sites with marine sediments present throughout the tropical region of America. As present study shows, fossils may exist that allow us to delve into the details of the evolution of the fishes on both sides of Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event. Sadly, during the joint INAH-UNAM project, from which this article was drawn, no other fossil aulostomoid was recovered; however, the collection effort applied in Belisario Domínguez (where Eekaulostomus cuevasae gen. and sp. nov. came) as well as in its coeval and neighbor quarry, División del Norte, both with Danian marine sediments, really is far from reaching saturation.

    The re-examination of the relationships of the Aulostomoidea executed here, using datasets previously generated by other authors and including Eekaulostomus cuevasae gen. and sp. nov., might not be the best way to achieve the desired understanding on the evolutionary processes of these fishes; however, this exercise significantly contributes to this goal. On the one side, the undeniable position of this new species as a primitive aulostomoid member, together with its deep morphological differences with other extinct and living taxa formally, or putatively, included in such superfamily, trace possible trends in morphological changes experienced by these fishes since the Paleocene to the present. This essay also widens the geographical scenario where the evolution of these fishes took place, extending from Europe to the tropical region of America.

      Cantalice, Kleyton Magno and Alvarado-Ortega, Jesús. 2016. Eekaulostomus cuevasae gen. and sp. nov., An Ancient Armored Trumpetfish (Aulostomoidea) from Danian (Paleocene) Marine Deposits of Belisario Domínguez, Chiapas, southeastern Mexico. Palaeontologia Electronica. 19.3.53A: 1-24

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    Melanorivulus nelsoni 
    Deprá, Silva & Graça, 2017


    Melanorivulus nelsoni, new species, is described from a stream draining into the upper rio Paraguai basin, in the municipality of Juscimeira, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. It is distinguished from all other congeners, except M. pictus (Costa) and M. planaltinus (Costa & Brasil), by the lack of the pelvic fin and girdle (although only in M. nelsoni they are invariably absent). Furthermore, M. nelsoni is distinguished from all other congeners, except M. pindoramaM. pinima and M. rutilicaudus, by having 10 transverse series of scales. Additional characters are provided to distinguish M. nelsoni from these and other congeners. The analysis of a large number of M. pictus specimens showed that this species occasionally exhibits a single or no pelvic fins. We found phenotypical evidence that the absence of pelvic fins in Melanorivulus species is likely genetically controlled by an allele that, when in heterozygosity, may result in unpredictable phenotypes. Data gathered from literature, along with our own results, suggest that the Cyprinodontiformes, especially the Cynolebiidae and the Cyprinodontidae, have a particularly high probability of evolving absence of pelvic fins, which is usually associated with body elongation. We suggest that in the case of Cyprinodontiformes this evolutionary trend might be related to the shape and position of the vertical fins.

    Keywords: Pisces, Cerrado, Development, Evolutionary trends, Hind limb, Rivulidae, Taxonomy, tbx4

     Gabriel de Carvalho Deprá, Hugmar Pains Silva and Weferson Júnio da Graça. 2017. A New Pelvic-less Species of Melanorivulus Costa (Cyprinodontiformes: Cynolebiidae), with A Discussion on the Pelvic-fin Absence in Killifishes.
     Zootaxa. 4300(1); 111–124. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4300.1.6

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    Kaempferia noctiflora Nopporncharoenkul & Jenjitt. 

    เปราะดอกขาวเชียงใหม่ | DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.316.1.6 


    Kaempferia noctiflora, another precocious flowering species of Kaempferia subgen. Protanthium (Zingiberaceae) from Northern Thailand is described and illustrated. Pure white flowers with nocturnal anthesis and a tinged purplish red patch along the midvein of the upper surface of the leaves are the unique characters of this new taxon. The morphological characters of K. noctiflora are compared to closely related species and a key to Thai precocious flowering Kaempferia species is also provided.

    Keywords: Chiang Mai province, endemic species, new taxa, precocious flowering Kaempferia, taxonomy, Monocots

    Nattapon Nopporncharoenkul and Thaya Jenjittikul. 2017. Kaempferia noctiflora (Zingiberaceae), A New Species from Northern Thailand. Phytotaxa.  316(1); 67–72. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.316.1.6

    Kaempferia noctiflora Nopporncharoenkul & Jenjitt. 
    พืชชนิดใหม่ของโลก...ถูกค้นพบครั้งแรกที่จังหวัดเชียงใหม่และตีพิมพ์ตามหลักอนุกรมวิธานพืชโดย ผศ.ดร. ทยา เจนจิตติกุล และ นายณัฐพล นพพรเจริญกุล จากภาควิชาพฤกษศาสตร์ คณะวิทยาศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยมหิดล
    สำหรับ specific epithet “noctiflora” มาจากคำภาษาละติน “noctis” ซึ่งแปลว่า night (กลางคืน) และคำว่า “flos/floris” ในภาษาละตินหมายถึง flower (ดอกไม้) 
    “เราเดินทางจากกรุงเทพถึงเชียงใหม่ในตอนเย็น จากนั้นลงพื้นที่ต่อเพื่อศึกษาลักษณะและเวลาการบานของเปราะดอกขาวเชียงใหม่ เช้าวันรุ่งขึ้นก็กลับมาอีกครั้งเพื่อเก็บรายละเอียดที่เหลือเพิ่มเติม” เนื่องจากดอกของเปราะดอกขาวเชียงใหม่บานเต็มที่ในช่วงหัวค่ำ ทำให้การลงพื้นที่สำรวจพืชชนิดนี้เกิดขึ้นทั้งกลางวันและกลางคืน
    ถึงอย่างนั้น...ความยากความท้าทายของการสำรวจไม่ใช่เพียงแค่การลงพื้นที่ในตอนกลางคืน แต่เป็น “เวลา” อีกด้วย
    ดอกพืชชนิดนี้ออกเหนือดินในขณะที่ไม่มีใบและออกใบตอนที่ไม่มีดอก หรือพูดง่ายๆ ว่า เห็นดอกไม่เห็นใบ เห็นใบไม่เห็นดอก หรืออาจจะไม่เห็นทั้งดอกและใบ เพราะมีช่วงพักตัวใต้ดินยาวถึง 8 เดือน ยังไม่พอ...พืชชนิดนี้ยังมีระยะเวลาการออกดอกไม่เกิน 15 วัน (ในรอบปี) และในแต่ละปี first flowering date ก็ขึ้นอยู่กับสภาพอากาศอีกด้วย ซึ่งหมายความว่า ถ้าเราเดินทางไปสำรวจผิดเวลา เราจะไม่เจออะไรเลย!
    Phytotaxa Vol 316 No 1. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.316.1


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    Allanagrus orientalis 
      Manickavasagam & Palanivel, 2017


    Allanagrus Noyes & Valentine (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) is reviewed and two new species, Allanagrus orientalis Manickavasagam & Palanivel sp. n. and A. montanus Manickavasagam & Palanivel sp. n., are described from Tamil Nadu, India. Allanagrus mayeri (Girault), A. gladius (Girault) and A. aurum (Girault) from Australia are redescribed, the latter only from photographs of the holotype, and the type species, A. magniclava from New Zealand, is illustrated. A key to the seven recognized species is provided.

    Keywords: Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, fairyfly, new species, world key, India

    S. Palanivel, S. Manickavasagam and John T. Huber. 2017. Review of Allanagrus Noyes & Valentine (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) with A Key to Species.
      Zootaxa. 4299(4); 507–520.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4299.4.2

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