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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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    Dakotaraptor steini
    DePalma, Burnham, Martin, Larson & Bakker, 2015

    Most dromaeosaurids were small- to medium-sized cursorial, scansorial, and arboreal, sometimes volant predators, but a comparatively small percentage grew to gigantic proportions. Only two such giant “raptors” have been described from North America. Here, we describe a new giant dromaeosaurid,Dakotaraptor steini gen. et sp. nov., from the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota. The discovery represents the first giant dromaeosaur from the Hell Creek Formation, and the most recent in the fossil record worldwide. A row of prominent ulnar papilli or “quill knobs” on the ulna is our first clear evidence for feather quills on a large dromaeosaurid forearm and impacts evolutionary reconstructions and functional morphology of such derived, typically flight-related features. The presence of this new predator expands our record of theropod diversity in latest Cretaceous Laramidia, and radically changes paleoecological reconstructions of the Hell Creek Formation.

    Keywords: Maastrichtian, maniraptoran, Laramidia, flightless, ulnar papillae, paleoecology





    Etymology.— Dakota, referring to the geographic location of the discovery as well as the Dakota First Nations Tribe, plus raptor, Latin for “plunderer”. The specific name honors paleontologist Walter W. Stein.

    Locality and horizon.— Upper Hell Creek Formation (Upper Maastrichtian), no more than 20 m below the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary, Harding County, South Dakota, U.S.A. The fossils were discovered in medium- to fine-grained sandstone with clay-pebble laminae that was part of a low-energy stream channel facies. While the type strata were deposited in an active fluvial system, transport energy was sufficiently low that it was not uncommon to find bones >10 cm in length from various other taxa still articulated with their adjacent elements, and plant matter that bore virtually no taphonomic alteration. In several instances, articulated or associated small vertebrate skeletons were recovered. No other theropod bones were recovered from the type substratum except for Dakotaraptor. Flora at the study locality places the site within the HC III floral zone (Johnson, 2002). 

    Figure 3. Wing elements of Dakotaraptor holotype (PBMNH.P.10.113.T) compared with Deinonychus (AMNH 3015, YPM 5220, YPM 5206).
    A, Deinonychus wing compared to the reconstructed left wing of Dakotaraptor (B). C, left ulna of Dakotaraptor in dorsal (top) and lateral (bottom) views, and D, patch of reactive bone on the ulna caused by physical trauma. Arrow points to the deep radial sulcus. E, Dakotaraptor right metacarpal II (1) compared with that of Deinonychus (2), in (top to bottom) distal, medial, and dorsal views.

    Figure 4. Reconstructed Dakotaraptor wing and plumage, with avian and theropod comparisons.
    A, enlarged view of the quill knobs on the Dakotaraptor holotype ulna (PBMNH.P.10.113.T), compared with quill knobs in Velociraptor (B) and Concavenator (C); D, conservative reconstruction of the wing plumage for Dakotaraptor based on quill knob placement and comparison with other dromaeosaurid and bird wings; E, quill knobs on a modern Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) ulna, and (F), X-ray of a modern Barred Owl (Strix varia) wing showing attachment of the remiges on the quill knobs. The flattened dorsal surface of Dakotaraptor’s metacarpal II would have provided a stable shelf for the primary remiges that laid across it, a possible driving force for evolving the flat surface.
    B modified from Turner and others, 2007; C modified from Ortega, Escaso, and Sanz, 2010; F courtesy Smalley’s Animal Hospital.

    Dakotaraptor wing reconstruction.
    Photo: R. DePalma

    Dakotaraptor steini

    A giant, feathered dromaeosaurid exhibited by gracile and robust morphotypes was unexpected and thus is an important addition to the Hell Creek fauna. It fills the gap in body size distribution between the small maniraptorans and large tyrannosaurids previously documented in the formation, while adding to the known diversity of Hell Creek maniraptorans. Dakotaraptor also records a fourth event in which dromaeosaurids achieved atypically large body size. Moreover, the presence of quill knobs, indicative of elongate, stiffened feathers on the forearms, is unprecedented in giant dromaeosaurids and requires a reexamination of trends in quill knob evolution. The functional morphology of the long feathers, possibly of modern avian aspect as implied by known Asian forms, must also be considered. Subsequent studies of Dakotaraptor and the Hell Creek fauna may aid in our understanding of the circumstances that prompted dromaeosaurids to retain ligamental architecture for feather attachment, and may also provide information critical to a more accurate understanding of the lost capacity for flight.

    Robert A. DePalma, David A. Burnham, Larry D. Martin, Peter L. Larson and Robert T. Bakker. 2015. The First Giant Raptor (Theropoda: Dromaeosauridae) from the latest Cretaceous (Hell Creek Formation, South Dakota), Paleontological Contributions. 14.

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    Rhinolophus luctoides
    Volleth, Loidl, Mayer, Yong, Müller & Heller, 2015
     DOI: 10.3161/15081109ACC2015.17.1.001

    In the family Rhinolophidae, the members of the trifoliatus clade are easily recognisable by a unique noseleaf structure and a fluffy fur. Within this group, Rhinolophus luctus is the largest species with currently six recognized subspecies, distributed from India to Bali. We investigated genetic (karyotype, mitochondrial DNA sequence) and morphological characters from a Peninsular Malaysian sample. Although the diploid number was 2n = 32 in all specimens, karyotype analysis revealed two largely different chromosomal sets, with a Y-autosome translocation present only in one of the taxa. Morphological examination revealed differences concerning size of the baculum and length of the lower toothrow. Based on these results, a new species is described [Rhinolophus luctoides] and the former subspecies distributed on the Malayan Peninsula, Rhinolophus luctus morio, is elevated to species rank, Rhinolophus morio.

     Keywords: Rhinolophus luctoidesRhinolophus morioRhinolophus trifoliatus, Y-autosome translocation, synaptonemal complex, baculum, echolocation frequency, FISH, mtDNA


    In 2005, the number of recognized species of the monotypic family Rhinolophidae (horseshoe bats) was 77 (Simmons, 2005). Since then, at least 19 new species have been described on the basis of morphological differences, corroborated by molecular (12 species) and karyological (one species) data, at present resulting in a total of about 96 species (Yoshiyuki and Lim, 2005; Soisook et al., 2008; Wu et al., 2008, 2009, 2011; Zhou et al., 2009; Benda and Vallo, 2012; Taylor et al., 2012; Kerbis Peterhans et al., 2013; Patrick et al., 2013, Soisook et al., 2015). This rapid increase in species number reflects the notion that the general morphological uniformity in the genus Rhinolophus masks subtle species specific differences, which can be recognized only through detailed studies. Representative examples, where species initially have been proposed on the basis of DNA sequence divergences that were subsequently confirmed by morphological data, can be found in South Africa (Taylor et al., 2012; Jacobs et al., 2013) and South-East Asia (Patrick et al., 2013). Based on morphological features, the genus Rhinolophus is divided into 15 groups (Csorba et al., 2003). Among these, most easily recognized are the members of the R. trifoliatus group by their long, fluffy fur and a unique noseleaf structure with lateral lappets at the base of the sella. This clade, which corresponds to the subgenus Aquias Gray 1847 (Guillén-Servent et al., 2003), is distributed from the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia. The mem bers of the trifoliatus group are clearly distinguished by their body size. In addition to the smallsized species R. sedulus and the medium-sized R. trifoliatus, large-sized members are found throughout the whole distributional range, from Sri Lanka to Nepal on the Indian subcontinent in the west, to the southern parts of China in the east and north, and to the Indonesian islands Java, Sumatra and Bali in the south. The first large-sized specimen from Java was described as R. luctus by Temminck in 1835.

    However, quite a large number of subspecies or closely related species has been described subsequently, which were all subsumed as subspecies of R. luctus by Tate in 1943. A short summary of the complicated history of this taxon can be found in Topál and Csorba (1992). The Indian R. beddomei, formerly a subspecies of R. luctus, was elevated to species rank for the reason of a different shape of the upper canine and general size differences (Topál and Csorba, 1992). A deviating diploid chromosome number (see below) and smaller body size led Yoshiyuki and Harada (1995) to re-establish the specific rank of R. formosae Sanborn, 1939. However, there are still six different names, which have originally been designated as names for species, subspecies or races but are now all subsumed under the species name Rhinolophus luctus. Simmons (2005) accepted perniger, lanosus, spurcus as inhabitants of the northern parts of the distributional range, as well as luctus, morio and foetidus as subspecies of R. luctus, whereas geminus was considered as synonymous with luctus. The assignment of a specimen to a certain R. luctus subspecies can presently be done only by the sampling locality as distinct morphological differences have not been described.

    The members of the trifoliatus clade are not only clearly separated by morphological features from their congeners, but also by a cytogenetic feature, i.e., a low diploid chromosome number (2n). Typically, the genus Rhinolophus is karyologically characterized by a high 2n with the majority of species showing a diploid number higher than 56. Apart from the exceptional case of R. hipposideros with its three karyotypic variants 2n = 54, 56 and 58 (reviewed in Volleth et al., 2013), only a small number of species with a diploid chromosome number smaller than 56 has been reported so far. According to Csorba et al. (2003) they belong to four species groups: (1) the rouxi group (R. rouxi 2n = 56, R. sinicus 2n = 36, R. thomasi 2n = 36), (2) the pearsoni group (R. pearsoni 2n = 42 and 44, R. yunanensis 2n = 46) and (3) the euryotis group (R. rufus 2n = 40) (Zhang, 1985; Zima et al., 1992; Rickart et al., 1999; Gu et al., 2003; Ao et al., 2007; Mao et al., 2007; Wu et al., 2009). The fourth group with 2n lower than 56 is the R. trifoliatus clade.

    Up to now, only conventionally stained chromosomes of two R. luctus subspecies have been described. A non-differentially stained karyotype with 2n = 32, a submetacentric X and an acrocentric Y from a single male specimen assigned to R. l. perniger was reported by Harada et al. (1985) from northern Thailand. From a central Thailand province, a female specimen designated as R. l. morio with 2n = 32 was described having a karyotype similar to R. l. perniger, however, without presenting a karyotype image (Hood et al., 1988). A karyotype comprising 2n = 32 chromosomes has also been reported for R. beddomei from India (Naidu and Gururaj, 1984; Koubínová et al., 2010). Further, according to the differing diploid number of 52 (Ando et al., 1980, 1983), the former R. luctus subspecies formosae is now treated as a separate species (Yoshiyuki and Harada, 1995). The only species from the trifoliatus group for which a differentially stained karyotype has been published is the smallest species of the clade, R. sedulus, with a diploid number of 2n = 28 (Volleth et al., 2014).

    During our chromosomal study of members of the trifoliatus group from Peninsular Malaysia, we were intrigued to find two distinctly different chromosomal sets among our ‘R. luctus’ sample. Initially, the discovery of an unusual sex chromosome system in the first specimen called for the investigation of additional specimens. The second individual, however, unexpectedly carried a different karyotype. In the present paper we report on morphological, karyological and mitochondrial DNA sequence differences found between these two cryptic rhinolophid species from Peninsular Malaysia. The results show that two forms exist in close geographic proximity, which according to genetic features represent distinct species.


    Rhinolophus luctoides sp. nov.
     Volleth, Loidl, Mayer, Yong, Müller & Heller, 2015

    Etymology: The name luctoides was chosen because this species, regarding external appearance, is very similar to subspecies of R. luctus.

    Habitat: Rhinolophus luctoides was found in selectively logged Dip tero carp Rain Forest at elevations higher than 600 m, 5 km NE of the Field Studies Centre (FSC) of Ulu Gombak, and in Montane Rain Forest of Gent ing Highlands and Cameron Highlands. The hab itat of the Gombak valley, where the FSC is situated, has been described in detail by Medway (1966). The surroundings of the FSC have been reported as one of the locations with the highest species richness of bats in the Old World (Sing et al., 2013).

    Rhinolophus morio Gray, 1842 status revivisco

    The skull dimensions of the holotype of R. morio Gray, 1842 from Singapore, deposited in the Natural History Museum London, are similar to those of the two lowland specimens collected by us in the vicinity of Kuala Lumpur (Templer Park, Rawang). Concerning the ratio of lower toothrow to mandible length, the taxon morio comes close to subspecies of R. luctus (perniger, foetidus, lanosus). However, morio differs clearly in the ratio zygomatic width to mandible length from the above mentioned subspecies. In this respect, morio resembles other genera in the trifoliatus clade, i.e. R. trifoliatus, R. sedulus and R. beddomei (Table 3). By reason of these cranial proportions and the characteristic karyotype with the unique Y-autosomal translocation (see below), we elevate the taxon morio to species rank (Rhinolophus morio stat. rev.).

    Marianne Volleth, Josef Loidl, Frieder Mayer, Hoi-Sen Yong, Stefan Müller and Klaus-Gerhard Heller. 2015. Surprising Genetic Diversity in Rhinolophus luctus (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) from Peninsular Malaysia: Description of a New Species Based on Genetic and Morphological Characters.  Acta Chiropterologica. 17(1):1-20. DOI: 10.3161/15081109ACC2015.17.1.001

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     Rhinolophus francisi thailandicus Soisook & Bates, 2015
    ค้างคาวมงกุฎสามใบพัดเทาดำ |Thailand Woolly Horseshoe Bat

    A new species of woolly horseshoe bat in the Rhinolophus trifoliatus species group is described from Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. Two specimens from Central and West Kalimantan, Indonesia are referred to this species. A fourth specimen from western Thailand is referable to this species but on the basis of ~10% genetic divergence at the cytochrome oxidase-I gene is described as a separate subspecies. Morphologically and acoustically the two subspecies are similar. With a forearm length of 52.90–54.70 mm, a skull length of 24.27–26.57 mm and a call frequency of 49.2–50.0 kHz, the new species overlaps in size and call frequency with the sympatric R. trifoliatus. However, it differs significantly in having a dark noseleaf and a uniformly dark brown pelage, resembling, but being intermediate in size between R. sedulus and R. luctus, which have a skull length of 18.99–20.17 and 26.35–32.07 mm, respectively. It also differs from R. trifoliatus in the shape and size of the rostral inflation. It can be distinguished from R. beddomei (forearm length 55.00–63.44 mm) and R. formosae (forearm length 53.85–62.40 mm), which are endemic to the Indian Subcontinent and Taiwan, respectively, by its relatively smaller body size. Acoustic and genetic data are included in the comparison between the species. Both character states support the conclusions based on morphology. Further surveys in intact evergreen forest together with a re-examination of museum specimens may reveal that this species is widespread in Southeast Asia.

    Key words: Borneo, evergreen forest, Malaysia, Indonesia, new species, Rhinolophus, trifoliatus-group, Southeast Asia, Thailand


     Rhinolophus is the single extant genus in the family Rhinolophidae. With at least 87 species cur-rently recognised, it is also one of the most diverse among bat genera and is widely distributed through-out much of the Old World (Simmons, 2005; Yoshiyuki and Lim, 2005; Soisook et al ., 2008; Wu et al., 2008, 2009; Wu and Thong, 2009; Zhou et al., 2009; Taylor et al., 2012). Within the genus, the species have been arranged into several groups based mainly on morphological characters (e.g., shape of the sella, noseleaf and cranial features). This has led to differences of opinion regarding the systematics (e.g., Guillén et al., 2003). None theless, the most widely accepted and most comprehensive review of the Rhinolophidae can be found in Csorba et al. (2003).  

    For echolocation, all species of Rhinolophus, and the sister genus Hipposideros, use a high duty cycle, long and narrow band, constant frequency (CF) com ponent, which is adapted for the detection of fluttering insects (Kalko and Schnitzler, 1998). Recent studies of the echolocation characters of the ‘CF bats’ strongly suggest that acoustic characters are useful for species identification (Francis and Haber setzer, 1998; Francis et al., 1999; Kingston et al., 2001; Thabah et al., 2006; Soisook et al., 2008; Hughes et al., 2010; Ith et al., 2011; Taylor et al., 2012; Thong et al., 2012). Moreover, acoustic divergence within species, which may result from the isolation of populations and adaptation due to local environment, can result in genetic drift and in some cases has led to speciation (Kingston and Rossiter, 2004; Chen et al., 2009; Taylor et al., 2012). 

    Species in the ‘trifoliatus-group’ are characterised by the presence of a lateral lappet on each side of the base of the sella of the noseleaf. Currently, the group is widely distributed from the Indian subcon-tinent, eastwards to Southeast and eastern Asia, and is represented by five species (Csorba et al., 2003; Simmons, 2005). Until this study, three species of this group were known to occur in Southeast Asia, namely R. luctus, R. trifoliatus and R. sedulus(Francis, 2008) whilst two species, R. beddomei and R. formosae, were thought to be geographically more restricted, recorded from the Indian Subcontinent and Taiwan, respectively (Csorba et al., 2003; Simmons, 2005).

    In 2010, R. beddomei was reported for the first time from Southeast Asia based on the morphological characters of a single specimen collected from evergreen forest in western Thailand (Soisook et al., 2010). However, the authors acknowledged that the smaller size of the Thai specimen and the disjunct distribution suggested that additional specimens could confirm this as a different species (Soisook et al., 2010). Fortunately, recent field surveys by a network of researchers in Southeast Asian countries using harp traps in forest habitats has provided additional material. This, combined with a re-examination of a specimen collected from Sabah in 1983 by Charles M. Francis and housed in the Natural History Museum, London makes a more thorough comparative study possible. Francis’s specimen was provisionally identified and labelled R. trifoliatus (see also Payne et al., 1985). 

    With a larger sample size and with acoustic and genetic data available to compare with other congeneric species, these specimens have proved to be distinct from other taxa within the group and are described here as a new species.    


    Francis’s Woolly Horseshoe Bat | Rhinolophus francisi 
     Soisook, Struebig, Bates & Miguez, 2015

    Rhinolophus francisi Soisook, Struebig, Bates and Miguez, sp. nov.

    Type locality: Gunung Trus Madi, Sabah, Malaysia (approx. 5º34’N, 116º29’E), at an elevation of about 1,600 m a.s.l.

    Etymology: The species is named in honour of Charles M. Francis, who, for many years, has contributed greatly to the taxonomic study of Southeast Asian bats. He also collected the holotype of this species from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo in 1983. The proposed English name is ‘Francis’s Woolly Horseshoe Bat’.

    Ecology and conservation notes: In Borneo, the type specimen from Gunung Trus Madi in Sabah was caught in a mist net set in forest on a mountain ridge (C. M. Francis, personal communication). It was found along with seven other bat species during the expedition in 1983 (Sheldon and Francis, 1985). A second individual was captured in undisturbed evergreen forest of Maliau Basin and subsequently released. The specimens from Kalimantan were collected in undisturbed (Tanjung Puting National Park; Gunung Palung National Park), and logged evergreen forest (Nanga Tayap — specimens subsequently released), at sites where both R. sedulus and R. trifoliatus were also present (Struebig et al., 2006). In Thailand, a single specimen from Mae Nam Pha Chi was captured in a harp trap set over a seasonal streamlet surround ed by dense primary evergreen forest at an elevation of 431 m a.s.l. It was found at dawn in the same trap as Nycteris tragata, R. microglobosus, Myotis muricola, Kerivoula papillosa and Phoniscus jagorii (Soisook et al., 2010). The collection sites of Trus Madi, Tanjung Puting and, Mae Nam Pha Chi are legally protected forests, as are survey sites Maliau Basin and Gunung Palung. However, the hunting of mammals may still be a problem across this region, and is considered as major threat to wildlife.

    Distribution: Rhinolophus francisi is currently known from only six records; with two records in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo; three in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) and a single record in Thailand (see below). The species may be distributed more widely in these regions, but has been rarely captured despite extensive surveys. Genetic data also suggest that this species is likely to occur in Vietnam, although this needs to be confirmed.

    Thailand Woolly Horseshoe Bat | Rhinolophus francisi thailandicus
     Soisook and Bates, 2015

    Rhinolophus francisi thailandicus Soisook and Bates subsp. nov.

    Holotype: PSUZC-MM.2008.51 (field number PS080420.6), adult male, body in alcohol, skull and baculum extracted, collected by Pipat Soisook, Tuanjit Srithongchuay, Piyawan Niyomwan and Priwan Srisom, on 20 April, 2008.

    Type locality: Pu Nam Ron Stream, Mae Nam Pha Chi WS., Ratchaburi Province, Western Thailand (13º15’N, 99º2’E, 431 m a.s.l.).

    Etymology: The subspecific name, thailandicus, means ‘of or from Thailand’ indicating where this subspecies is found. The proposed English name of the subspecies is ‘Thailand Woolly Horseshoe Bat’.

    FIG. 1. Face, noseleaf and ventral pelage (a, b), sella (c) and dorsal pelage (d) of Rhinolophus francisi sp. nov., ♂PSUZC-MM.2008.51 (holotype of thailandicus subsp. nov.) from Thailand. Not to scale

    ค้างคาวมงกุฎสามใบพัดเทาดำRhinolophus francisi เป็นค้างคาวขนาดใหญ่ ขนาดลำตัวใกล้เคียงกับค้างคาวมงกุฎสามใบพัดแต่ต่างกันตรงที่ สีของแผ่นจมูก หู ปีกและขนบางส่วน ของค้างคาวมงกุฎสามใบพัดเป็นสีเหลือง ขณะที่อวัยวะต่างๆ เหล่านี้ของค้างคาวมงกุฎสามใบพัดเทาดำ จะมีสีเทาอมน้ำตาล เป็นค้างคาวหายาก พบกระจายพันธุ์ได้ในประเทศมาเลเซีย (รัฐซาบาห์) อินโดนีเซีย (จังหวัดกาลีมันตันตะวันตก และจังหวัดกาลีมันตันกลาง) และไทย (จังหวัดราชบุรี) โดยก่อหน้านี้เมื่อ ปี ค.ศ. 2010 ค้างคาวชนิดนี้เคยได้รับการรายงานการพบว่าเป็น new record ของค้างคาวชนิด Rhinolophus beddomeiเป็นครั้งแรกในประเทศไทย แต่จากการศึกษาเพิ่มเติมอย่างต่อเนื่องหลังจากนั้นก็พบว่าแท้จริงแล้วเป็นค้างคาวชนิดใหม่ของโลก และเป็นชนิดเดียวกับตัวอย่างที่พบในบอร์เนียว แต่ประชากรที่พบในประเทศไทยนั้นมีความแตกต่างทางพันธุกรรมจากตัวอย่างในบอร์เนียว จึงได้ตั้งชื่อเป็นชนิดย่อย ชื่อว่า Rhinolophus francisi thailandicus

    Pipat Soisook, Matthew Struebig, Sephy Noerfahmy, Henry Bernard, Ibnu Maryanto, Shiang-Fan Chen, Stephen J Rossiter, Hao-Chih Kuo, Kadambari Deshpande, Paul J. J. Bates, Dan Sykes and Roberto Portela Miguez. 2015. Description of A New Species of the Rhinolophus trifoliatus-group (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) from Southeast Asia.
    Acta Chiropterologica. 17(1): 21-36  DOI: 10.3161/15081109ACC2015.17.1.002

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    Actaea grimaldii Ng & Bouchet, 2015


    A new species of xanthid crab, Actaea grimaldii, is described from the coral reefs of Papua New Guinea. This species has a distinctive red and white coloration and is closest to Actaea spinosissima Borradaile, 1902, from the Indian Ocean. However, the new species can be distinguished by the arrangement of spines on the carapace, chelipeds and ambulatory legs, and the structure of the male gonopods. Actaeagrimaldii sp. nov. has also been confused with A. polyacantha (Heller, 1861), but differs markedly in the carapace armature.

    Keywords: Crustacea, Xanthidae, Papua New Guinea, Actaea, new species.

    Infraorder Brachyura Latreille, 1802
    Superfamily Xanthoidea MacLeay, 1838

    Family Xanthidae MacLeay, 1838
    Subfamily Actaeinae Alcock, 1898

    Genus Actaea De Haan, 1833

    Actaea grimaldii sp. nov.
    Figs 1–5
    Actaea peronii var. squamosa – Calman 1900: 10 (not Actaea squamosa Henderson, 1893).
    Actaea spinosissima – Odhner 1925: 59 (part). — Serène 1984: 115, pl. 14F. — Davie 2002: 511 (not
    Actaea spinosissima Borradaile, 1902).

    Etymology: The species name is in honour of His Serene Highness Albert II, Prince of Monaco, patron of the PAPUA NIUGINI Expedition and several other biodiversity expeditions of the “Our Planet Reviewed” programme conducted by MNHN and Pro-Natura International. The red and white colour pattern of the new species also alludes to the colours associated with the House of Grimaldi.

    Distribution: This species is known for certain from the Moluccas and Papua New Guinea, and is probably also present in Australia.

    Peter K.L. Ng and Philippe Bouchet. 2015. Actaeagrimaldii, A New Species of Reef Crab from Papua New Guinea (Crustacea, Brachyura, Xanthidae). European Journal of Taxonomy. 140: 1–18. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2015.140

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    Boophis boppa Hutter& Lambert, 2015


    We describe a new species of Boophis treefrog from Ranomafana National Park in the southern central east of Madagascar. This region has remarkably high anuran diversity, and along with neighbouring sites, hosts more than 35 Boophis species. Boophis boppa sp. nov. is part of the B. ankaratra sub-clade (herein named the B. ankaratra complex), previously identified within the monophyletic B. albipunctatus species group. It occurs sympatrically with two other species of the complex (B. ankaratra and B. schuboeae). Morphological differentiation of species within the B. ankaratra clade remains elusive, but species are well characterized by distinct advertisement calls, with B. boppa having the longest note duration and inter-note intervals when compared to closely related species. Furthermore, it has moderate differentiation in mitochondrial DNA, with pairwise distances of 1.9–3.7% to all other species in sequences of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA marker. Additional evidence is given by the lack of haplotype sharing with related species for the nuclear exon DNAH-3. All examples of syntopic occurrence in this complex involve species with strongly different advertisement calls, while allopatric species have more similar calls. Such a pattern might result from adaptive call co-evolution but could also be the result of non-adaptive processes. Thorough clarification of the systematics of the B. ankaratra sub-clade is required, and we outline future directions for both bioacoustic and genetic research.

    Keywords: Amphibia, Anura, Ranomafana National Park, new species, reinforcement, Boophis boppa, taxonomy

    Boophis boppa sp. nov.
    Suggested common English name. Boppa’s Bright-eyed treefrog
    Suggested common Malagasy name. Fity maso hazo Sahona ny Boppa

    Etymology. This species in named in honor of Nicholas Jay Pritzker, devoted grandfather, father and husband, brilliant businessman, philanthropist, amateur scientist, committed conservationist; and board member, supporter and long-time friend of Conservation International. The name ‘Boppa’ is an affectionate nickname used by his children and grandchildren. This dedication is courtesy of his youngest son Isaac, who has generously supported amphibian research in Madagascar, including this study and future taxonomic research as well. The species name is used as an invariable noun in apposition to the genus name. 

    Natural history: Boophis boppa was locally abundant but thus far only found in undisturbed, primary forests along fast moving streams and was occasionally found along slow flowing tributaries adjacent to fast streams. Males of the species typically were calling at night from the surfaces of vegetation less than three meters in height (Fig. 12A–B). Females of B. boppa were rarely encountered and were only observed while in amplexus (Fig. 12C). We also confirm that Boophis boppa is syntopic with Boophis ankaratra at Maharira and that the two species can be found calling less than a meter apart. This is also consistent with Andreone et al. (2007), which found B. boppa (i.e. Boophis aff. ankaratra) and B. ankaratra to occur sympatrically. Other syntopic species of Boophis at Maharira include: B. madagascariensis, B. majori, B. aff. marojezensis, B. aff. picturatus, B. popi, and B. reticulatus. 

     Carl R. Hutter and Shea M Lambert. 2015. A New Species of Bright-eyed Treefrog (Mantellidae) from Madagascar, with comments on Call Evolution and Patterns of Syntopy in the Boophis ankaratra complex. ZOOTAXA.4034(3):531-555.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4034.3.6

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    FIGURE 5. Photographs in life of Tympanocryptis cephalus species-group members (left to right, top to bottom):
    aTcephalus (photo—G. Harold), bTgigas (M. Peterson), cTdiabolicus sp. nov. (M. Peterson), dTfortescuensis sp. nov. (G. Harold), eTpseudopsephos sp. nov. —plain form (G. Harold), fTpseudopsephos sp. nov.—with charcoal wash on dorsum (G. Harold).

    Recent work on species complexes of the pebble-mimic dragons of the Australian genus Tympanocryptis has greatly clarified evolutionary relationships among taxa and also indicated that species diversity has been severely underestimated. Here we provide a morphological and molecular appraisal of variation in the T. cephalus species-group and find evidence for recognizing five species-level lineages from Western Australia. Four species-level lineages are strongly supported with a combined mitochondrial and nuclear DNA Bayesian analysis (a fifth population from the Gascoyne region lacked tissue samples). Morphologically, we found subtle, yet consistent, differences among the populations in scalation, color and pattern. True T. cephalus Günther is restricted to the coastal Pilbara region and characterized by five dark blotches on the dorsum, keeled ventrals, and other characters. Two other lineages within the Pilbara, from the Hamersley range and Fortescue/northern Pilbara region, differed from T. cephalus senso stricto by possessing a more elongate body and a plain dorsum. Furthermore, the Hamersley lineage differed from the Fortescue lineage by possessing slightly more reddish coloration and feeble keeling on the snout. Although there are few specimens and no tissue samples available for the Gascoyne population, these individuals are larger, have rugose scales on the snout, and possess scattered enlarged tubercles with three large blotches on the dorsum. The name T. cephalus gigas Mitchell is available for this population. The most widespread lineage, and the one best represented in collections and in field guides, occurs throughout central Western Australia. These Goldfield populations are characterized by a protruding snout, narrow rostral, and uniform reddish-brown coloration, often with a dark wash. Based on the genetic and morphological differences, we redescribe T. cephalus, resurrect and elevate T. gigas to a full species and designate a neotype for this taxon, and describe three lineages as new species (T. diabolicus sp. nov., T. fortescuensis sp. nov., T. pseudopsephos sp. nov.).

    Keywords: Reptilia, agamid lizard, cryptic species, Gascoyne, morphology, mtDNA, nDNA, neotype, Pilbara, taxonomy, Tympanocryptis diabolicus sp. nov., Tympanocryptis fortescuensis sp. nov., Tympanocryptis gigas, Tympanocryptis pseudopsephos sp. nov.

    Doughty, Paul, Luke Kealley, Luke Shoo & Jane Melville. 2015. Revision of the Western Australian Pebble-mimic Dragon Species-Group (Tympanocryptis cephalus: Reptilia: Agamidae). Zootaxa. 4039(1): 85–117. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4039.1.3

    FIGURE 5. Photographs in life of Tympanocryptis cephalus species-group members (left to right, top to bottom):
      a) T. cephalus (photo—G. Harold), b) T. gigas (M. Peterson), c) T. diabolicus sp. nov. (M. Peterson), d) T. fortescuensis sp. nov. (G. Harold), e) T. pseudopsephos sp. nov. —plain form (G. Harold), f) T. pseudopsephos sp. nov.—with charcoal wash on dorsum (G. Harold).

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    Aletheiana tenella
    Ng, & Lukhaup, 2015

    A new genus and new species of free-living hymenosomatid crab, Aletheiana tenella, is described from Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The two known Sulawesi hymenosomatid species, Cancrocaeca xenomorpha Ng, 1991, and Sulaplax ensifer Naruse, Ng & Guinot, 2008, are both from cave habitats. Aletheiana gen. nov. is most similar to Neorhynchoplax Sakai, 1938 (from freshwater and intertidal habitats in the Indo-West Pacific), and Sulaplax, but can be distinguished by its front possessing only one subventral rostral lobe, the base of the antenna is positioned between the base of the ocular peduncle and antennular fossa, the posterior margin of the epistome has two low, rounded median lobes, the merus of the third maxilliped is elongated, the ambulatory dactylus has a prominent subdistal spine, the cutting edges of the chela are armed with distinct teeth proximally, and the male abdomen is slender and elongate with the telson linguiform.

    Key words: Hymenosomatidae, Aletheiana tenella, new genus, new species, taxonomy, Sulawesi

    Ng, Peter K. L. and Christian Lukhaup. 2015. Aletheiana tenella, A New Genus and New Species of Freshwater hymenosomatid Crab (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) from Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Zootaxa. 4039(1): 118–128. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4039.1.4

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    Malayodracon gen. nov. 
    Denzer, Manthey, Mahlow & Böhme, 2015

    FIGURE 5. Malayodracon robinsonii from Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, West Malaysia.
    Photo: U. Manthey. 
    DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4039.1.5 ||

    The generic assignment of the draconine lizard Gonocephalus robinsonii from the highlands of West-Malaysia has been uncertain since the original description. Here we present a study based on morphology, previously published karyotype data and molecular phylogenetics using 16S rRNA sequences to evaluate the systematic status of G. robinsonii. As a result we describe Malayodracon gen. nov. to accommodate the species.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Gonocephalus, phylogeny, cranial morphology, Malayodracon gen. nov., Malayodracon robinsonii comb. nov., Dendragama boulengeri

    Malayodracon gen. nov. 
    Type species: Gonyocephalus robinsonii Boulenger, 1908;
    Type locality: Gunong (=Gunung / Mt.) Tahan (5,200 ft / 1,585 m), Pahang, Malaysia; the holotype (by monotypy) is deposited in the British Museum Natural History BMNH 1946.8.14.81 (previously BMNH 1906.2.28.8); collected by H.C. Robinson. 
    Taxon — Malayodracon robinsonii (Boulenger, 1908)
    Gonyocephalus robinsonii— Boulenger 1908: 65; Boulenger 1912: 67
    Gonyocephalus robinsoni — Smith 1922: 269
    Gonocephalus robinsoni — Smith 1930: 24; Smirnova 2003: 128
    Goniocephalus robinsoni — Smith 1935: 133; Sly 1976: 156; Bourret 1947 “2009”: 211
    Gonocephalus robinsonii — Smedley 1931: 110; Wermuth 1967: 61; Moody 1980: 299; Denzer & Manthey 1991: 312; Manthey & Denzer 1992a: 16; Manthey & Schuster 1992: 65; Manthey & Grossmann 1997: 189; Chan-ard et al. 1999: 102; Diong et al. 2000: 73; Honda et al. 2002; Denzer & Manthey 2009: 256; Grismer 2011: 258; Pyron et al. 2013
    (Gonocephalus inc. sed.) robinsonii — Manthey 2010: 46

    Distribution. Malayodracon robinsonii is restricted in its distribution from mid to high altitude areas of the peninsular Malaysian highlands (approx. 600–1500 m asl) inhabiting submontane and montane forests. M. robinsonii shares this isolated distribution with several other reptile species that are restricted to the Cameron Highlands or the central mountain ranges of Malaysia (Fraser and Larut Hills; Genting Highlands) such as Trimeresurus nebularis Vogel, David & Pauwels, 2004, Hebius sanguineus (Smedley, 1931), Macrocalamus tweediei Lim, 1963 and Collorhabdium williamsoni Smedley, 1931. Endemism on genus and species level is comparatively high in this geographical area.
    Malayodracon robinsonii has been reported from Genting Highlands (Ulu Kali), Cameron Highlands (Tanah Rata, Gunung Brinchang, Gunung Beremban, Gunung Jesar) and further north from its type locality Gunung Tahan.

    Etymology. The name Malayodracon was chosen to express that the type and currently only known species of the genus is restricted to Malaysia (latinized malaya, male form malayo owing to the gender of the ending -dracon) and constitutes a genus belonging to the subfamily Draconinae (gr. drakon / δράκων; a serpent in Greek mythology; latinized dracon = engl. dragon). 

    Denzer, Wolfgang, Ulrich Manthey, Kristin Mahlow & Wolfgang Böhme. 2015. The Systematic Status of Gonocephalus robinsonii Boulenger, 1908 (Squamata: Agamidae: Draconinae). Zootaxa. 4039(1)129–144. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4039.1.5

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    FIGURE 2. Besleria macropoda, epiphyllous position of flowers and fruits.
    A. Shoot. B. Inflorescence with open flowers. C. Infructescence showing fruits with split and reflexed carpel walls exposing red placentae and seeds. D. Sulcate petiole and leaf base clasping the peduncle above the sunken midrib.
    (Photos by A. Berger; voucher: Berger & Etl 1443.).DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.233.2.2


    Besleria macropoda, a rare and poorly known gesneriad endemic to Costa Rica, was recently collected for the first time on the southern slopes of the Fila Costeña (Puntarenas Province, SE Costa Rica). The collection considerably widens the geographic distribution to the southeastern part of Costa Rica. Moreover, the following unique characters not previously addressed in the literature were observed and are documented here: (1) The elongate peduncles of the inflorescences are clamped in a channel formed by the sunken midrib of the leaf, rendering the flowers and fruits positioned in the center of the leaf blade. The epiphyllous appearance of the inflorescence on the leaf surface enhances contrasting colors that may aid the pollination and/or fruit dispersal. (2) The fruits split open irregularly, with the fleshy carpel lobes becoming reflexed. This fruit dehiscence deviates from the indehiscent berries that typically characterize Besleria. This results in displaying a globose head of red placental tissue covered by tiny, red seeds. A preliminary survey of Besleria fruits suggests that this peculiar fruit type is present in at least 15 species representing almost 8% of the genus. Fruit morphology of Besleria is therefore less uniform than previously recognized and the “indehiscent berry” can no longer serve as a distinctive generic character of Besleria, which necessitates consideration in floras and identification keys. In addition, a list of herbarium specimens, lectotypification, a distribution map, IUCN red list assessment and an amended key to diagnose Besleria relative to Gasteranthus are provided.

    Keywords: Besleria, Gesneriaceae, fruit morphology, epiphylly, Eudicots, Costa Rica

    The recent collection of Besleria macropoda widens the known distribution considerably and highlights two unique characters not previously addressed. The inflorescences/infructescences are functionally epiphyllous possibly aiding in pollination and/or fruit dispersal. Fruit dehiscence deviates from indehiscent berries that typically characterize Besleria: the fruits appear ruptured and split open irregularly, with the fleshy carpel lobes becoming reflexed. This results in displaying a globose head of red placental tissue embedded with tiny, red seeds. In addition to B. macropoda, this specific fruit type was found in 14 other species of the genus. Fruit morphology of Besleria is thus less uniform than previously understood, and the “indehiscent berry” can no longer serve as a distinctive generic character of Besleria, which necessitates consideration in generic keys such as in regional floras. However, further fieldwork is necessary to fully understand the distribution, phylogenetic context, and functional implications of this particular fruit type and fruit dehiscence.

    Andreas Berger, John J. Clark and Anton Weber. 2015. Besleria macropoda (Gesneriaceae): Lectotypification, Distribution, Functional Epiphylly and Discordant Fruit Morphology of  A Rare Costa Rican Endemic. Phytotaxa. 233(2): 139–152. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.233.2.2

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    Omura’s whale Balaenoptera omurai
    from Cerchio et al. 2015,  DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150301
    courtesy of New England Aquarium ||

    The Omura’s whale (Balaenoptera omurai) was described as a new species in 2003 and then soon after as an ancient lineage basal to a Bryde’s/sei whale clade. Currently known only from whaling and stranding specimens primarily from the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, there exist no confirmed field observations or ecological/behavioural data. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first genetically confirmed documentation of living Omura’s whales including descriptions of basic ecology and behaviour from northwestern Madagascar. Species identification was confirmed through molecular phylogenetic analyses of biopsies collected from 18 adult animals. All individuals shared a single haplotype in a 402 bp sequence of mtDNA control region, suggesting low diversity and a potentially small population. Sightings of 44 groups indicated preference for shallow-water shelf habitat with sea surface temperature between 27.4°C and 30.2°C. Frequent observations were made of lunge feeding, possibly on zooplankton. Observations of four mothers with young calves, and recordings of a song-like vocalization probably indicate reproductive behaviour. Social organization consisted of loose aggregations of predominantly unassociated single individuals spatially and temporally clustered. Photographic recapture of a female re-sighted the following year with a young calf suggests site fidelity or a resident population. Our results demonstrate that the species is a tropical whale without segregation of feeding and breeding habitat, and is probably non-migratory; our data extend the range of this poorly studied whale into the western Indian Ocean. Exclusive range restriction to tropical waters is rare among baleen whale species, except for the various forms of Bryde’s whales and Omura’s whales. Thus, the discovery of a tractable population of Omura’s whales in the tropics presents an opportunity for understanding the ecological factors driving potential convergence of life-history patterns with the distantly related Bryde’s whales.

     KEYWORDS:Omura’s whale, Balaenoptera omurai, distribution, feeding ecology, breeding ecology, acoustic behaviour

    Figure 3. Images of Madagascar Balaenoptera omurai displaying details of pigmentation and external appearance.
    Five different individuals are pictured: underwater video frame captures of an adult female with calf sighted on 9 November 2013 that had just completed a feeding lunge (first row), and a lone adult on 22 October 2014 (second row), and above surface photographs from three adults sighted on 13 November 2014 (third row), 9 November 2013 (fourth row) and 12 December 2012 (fifth row). Visible features: (A) asymmetrical coloration of the lower jaw, with lightly pigmented right jaw and darkly pigmented left jaw; (B) asymmetrical coloration of the gape (inferred by inner lower lip), with lightly pigmented left gape and darkly pigmented right gape; (C) leading edge of pectoral fin white from tip to shoulder; (D) the apparent absence of lateral rostral ridges, with only faint indications detectable at some angles; (E) lightly pigmented blaze originating anterior to the eye, present only on the right side, with dark eye and ear stripe, two additional dark stripes and a light inter-stripe wash; (F) lightly pigmented chevron anterior to dorsal fin, present on both sides but asymmetrical and most prominent on right where it displays a double banded pattern; (G) highly falcate dorsal fin with gradual sloping insertion into dorsum.

    Figure 4. An Omura’s whale subsurface lunge feeding, displaying several of the features detailed in figure 3.

    Prior to our discovery of Omura’s whales in Madagascan waters, there was a complete absence of field data on this species. Here we have presented evidence supporting the species identification of the small rorqual that we have observed as B. omurai, along with details on the external body appearance, and initial observations on habitat use, local distribution, feeding ecology, reproductive ecology and vocal behaviour. Notably, this represents to our knowledge, the first identified population tractable for field study. In the absence of a detailed description of the external appearance of B. omurai, it has been difficult for field biologists to confidently distinguish the species from congeners, particularly Bryde’s whales. We believe that this difficulty was primarily because of the lack of observations, and now with the detailed description we have provided it should be no more difficult to distinguish Omura’s whales in the field than it would be to distinguish fin whales from sei whales, or sei whales from Bryde’s whales, provided adequate observations and documentation.

    Salvatore Cerchio, Boris Andrianantenaina, Alec Lindsay, Melinda Rekdahl, Norbert Andrianarivelo and Tahina Rasoloarijao. 2015. Omura’s Whales (Balaenoptera omurai) off northwest Madagascar: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation Needs.
    Royal Society Open Science. 2: 150301.   DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150301

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      Pseudocerastes urarachnoidesis a fascinating viper and as yet has been reported only in western Iran. An elaborated arachnid-like caudal structure is a unique feature of this viper, hence gives it the common name “Iranian spider-tailed viper”. During tail wagging, the structure is reminiscent of a moving spider. Tail movements are used for two different purposes in snakes: defense via tail vibration and hunting via both caudal luring and caudal distraction. Caudal luring in snakes is the wriggling or wagging of the posterior part of tail, in the presence of a potential prey, with conspicuous color pattern while the rest of body is cryptically colored. Previous studies have speculated on the role of caudal structure of P. urarachnoides in hunting. Our 2.5-year study has revealed that development of the structure of the caudal lure is commenced after birth and is linearly correlated to snout-vent length. The caudal lure attracts some species of birds. Caudal luring behavior is carried out both in the presence and absence of birds. The findings are reported for the first time and confirmed by direct observation of undisturbed individuals in the field.

      Keywords: caudal luring, Iranian spider-tailed viper, prey attraction, Pseudocerastes urarachnoides.

     Behzad Fathinia, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar Rastegar Pouyani, Fatemeh Todehdehghan and Fathollah Amiri. 2015. Avian Deception Using An Elaborate Caudal Lure in Pseudocerastes urarachnoides (Serpentes: Viperidae).
    AMPHIBIA-REPTILIA. 36(3); 223 – 231. DOI:  10.1163/15685381-00002997

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    Hemiphyllodactylus zugi
    Thạch sùng dẹp zug | Zug’s  Slender Gecko 
    Nguyen, Lehmann, Le, Duong, Bonkowski & Ziegler, 2013


    We describe a new species of the genus Hemiphyllodactylus on the basis of four specimens from Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Hemiphyllodactylus zugi sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining congeners by a combination of the following characters: a bisexual taxon; average SVL of adult males 41 mm, of adult female 46.6 mm; chin scales bordering mental and first infralabial distinctly enlarged; digital lamellae formulae 3-4-4-4 (forefoot) and 4-5-5-5 (hindfoot); femoral and precloacal pore series continuous, 18–21 in total in males, absent in female; cloacal spur single in males; dorsal trunk pattern of dark brown irregular transverse bands; dark lateral head stripe indistinct; upper zone of flank with a series of large light spots, edged above and below in dark grey; caecum and gonadal ducts unpigmented.

    Keywords: Slender Gecko, karst forest, phylogeny, taxonomy, Cao Bang Province, Ha Lang District

    Hemiphyllodactylus zugi 

    Etymology. We name the new species in honour of Professor Dr. George Zug, National Museum of Natural History,  Smithsonian  Institution  (Washington  DC,  USA),  in  recognition  of  his  contribution  to  herpetological  research  in  Southeast  Asia,  particularly  the  genus  Hemiphyllodactylus.  As  common  names  we  suggest  Zug’s  Slender Gecko (English), Zugs Halbblattfingergecko (German), and Thạch sùng dẹp zug (Vietnamese).

    Natural history. Hemiphyllodactylus zugi inhabits disturbed secondary limestone forests near a residential area at elevations between 435–601 m. Specimens were found at night on a wooden fence, tree bark and leaves near cave entrances or on a limestone boulder near a forest path, ca. 0.5–1.5 m above the ground. 

    Distribution. The species is currently known only from Cao Bang Province in northern Vietnam (Fig. 4). This species is expected to be found in the contiguous limestone forests in Guangxi Province, China as in the case of Gekko adleriNguyen, Wang, Yang, Lehmann, Le, Ziegler & Bonkowski, a recently described species from the border region between China and Vietnam (Nguyen et al. 2013).  

    Truong Quang Nguyen, Tanja Lehmann, Minh Duc Le, Ha Thuy Duong, Michael Bonkowski & Thomas Ziegler. 2013. A New Species of Hemiphyllodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from northern Vietnam. Zootaxa. 3736 (1): 089–098

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    Hemiphyllodactylus tehtarik 
    Grismer, Wood, Anuar, Muin, Quah, McGuire, Brown, Tri & Thai, 2013

    Conserving the planet's biodiversity is greatly handicapped, in that only a small fraction of it (∼14–75%) has been described so far. Integrative taxonomy is making significant inroads in light of this challenge by incorporating multiple data sets across a wide range of disciplines that simultaneously elucidate phylogenetic structure and delimit species-level lineages within a unified species concept. An integrative taxonomic approach to the classification of the gekkonid genus Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 reveals that it is far more diverse than posited by a recent taxonomic revision based solely on morphology, and that it is composed of at least 19 species, most of which are montane upland or insular endemics. Three new species (Hemiphyllodactylus dushanensis sp. nov., Hemiphyllodactylus jinpingensis sp. nov., and Hemiphyllodactylus longlingensis sp. nov.) from southern China previously considered to be subspecies of Hemiphyllodactylus yunnanensis (Boulenger, 1903) are elevated to full species status, and 10 new species-level lineages ranging from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia are identified. One new species, Hemiphyllodactylus tehtarik sp. nov. from Gunung Tebu, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia, is described herein, and is differentiated from all other species of Hemiphyllodactylus on the basis of morphology, colour pattern, and an 18.1–31.5% sequence divergence from all other congeners. Hemiphyllodactylus larutensis (Boulenger, 1900) is removed from the synonymy of H. harterti (Werner, 1900). Using an integrative taxonomic approach imbues the revised classification of Hemiphyllodactylus with more objectivity, stability, and phylogenetic history, while identifying undescribed species-level lineages in potential need of conservation.

    Keywords: conservation; cryptic species; Gekkonidae; Hemiphyllodactylus tehtarik sp. nov.; Hemiphyllodactylus; integrative taxonomy; Malaysia; new species

    Systematics and taxonomy
    The Harterti group
    Currently, there are three species of Hemiphyllodactylus recognized from Peninsular Malaysia (Grismer, 2011a): the widely distributed unisexual H. typus and the bisexual, upland species Hemiphyllodactylus harterti (Werner, 1900) from the Banjaran Bintang, and Hemiphyllodactylus titiwangsaensis Zug, 2010, from the Banjaran Titiwangsa. The latter two species are endemic to their respective mountain ranges, and make up the harterti group (Fig. 4). We report on a gravid gekkonid collected during an expedition to Gunung Tebu in the Banjaran Timur found at 600 m a.s.l. We assign this specimen to the genus Hemiphyllodactylus for having undivided, U-shaped, terminal lamellar pads on digits 2–5 of the hands and feet, free terminal phalanges that are not united with the lamellar pad, a clawless, vestigial first digit on the hands and feet, lidless eyes with vertical pupils, and for lacking a ventrolateral fringe or fold of skin extending between the axilla and the groin. However, this specimen is not referable to any known species of Hemiphyllodactylus in that it has a rust–orange, unicoloured dorsal body pattern, no white postorbital spots, and a lamellar foot formula of 3-4-5-4: characters not known from any other Hemiphyllodactylus. Additionally, it bears a unique combination of other morphological and colour pattern characters that separate it from all other known congeners. We consider this specimen to be a member of the harterti group given that it is the sister lineage of H. larutensis (see below), and describe it herein as a new species.

    Tebu Mountain Slender-toed Gecko

    Distribution: Hemiphyllodactylus tehtarik sp. nov. is known only from the type locality on Gunung Tebu, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia (Fig. 4), but is expected to range more widely throughout this portion of the Banjaran Timur.

    Natural history: The holotype was seen at night on the leaf of a palm tree (Licuala sp.), approximately 1 m above the ground, along the edge of a small stream coursing through large granite boulders. During a first attempt to capture it, the lizard dropped to the ground and escaped, but was captured later that night on a different leaf of the same tree. The holotype is an adult female carrying two eggs, indicating that the reproductive season of this species extends at least through August. From only a single female, it cannot be determined if H. tehtarik sp. nov. is unisexual or bisexual.

    Etymology: This species is named after a traditional Malaysian tea, Teh Tarik, which bears the rich orangish coloration of the holotype.

    It is a well-established fact that the world's biodiversity is woefully underestimated (Mora et al., 2011), and that most species with broad distributions across environmentally heterogeneous regions are rarely a single species, but rather complexes of generally cryptic species. This is especially true in tropical regions such as Southeast Asia, the dynamic and complex environmental history of which (Hall, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2012; Woodruff, 2003, 2010; Bird, Taylor & Hunt, 2005; Outlaw & Volker, 2008; Reddy, 2008; Cannon, Morley & Bush, 2009; Cannon, 2012; Gower et al., 2012; Morley, 2012; Richardson, Costion & Muellner, 2012) has contributed greatly to the phylogenetic and phylogeographic structuring of a number of wide-ranging clades thought previously to be single species (e.g. Matsui et al., 2005; Stuart, 2006; Inger, Stuart & Iskandar, 2009; Wood et al., 2009, 2010; Grismer et al., 2010b, 2012a; Malhotra et al., 2011; Brown et al., 2012; Johnson et al., 2012; Nishikawa et al., 2012; Loredo et al., 2013). The infusion of a molecular phylogenetic data set into the morphology-based classification of the wide-ranging genus Hemiphyllodactylus not only contributes to this growing body of knowledge, but highlights the inherent tendency of morphological data sets to underestimate biodiversity in taxonomic revisions of widespread groups. Zug's (2010) characterization of Hemiphyllodactylus as a ‘low diversity taxon’ is emblematic of this problem, in that this group's diversity was underestimated conservatively by as much as 113–162%. The molecular phylogeny of Hemiphyllodactylus (Fig. 1) facilitated an independent test of the morphology-based taxonomy (Zug, 2010), identified a minimum of ten (perhaps as many as 13) additional lineages for consideration of species-level designation, and resulted in a less subjective and more stable classification upon which others can build. Some (i.e. Isaac, Mallet & Mace, 2004) posit that studies such as these: (1) result in taxonomic inflation because they tend to use lineage-based species concepts as opposed to a more ‘stable’ biological species concept; (2) impede macroevolutionary studies because they generate asymmetric taxonomies across groups, making them incomparable; and (3) generate unnecessary challenges for conservation efforts. We argue that rather than inflating taxonomies, an integrative approach based on a unified lineage concept (de Queiroz, 1998) actually reveals the true structure of biodiversity, and will ultimately enhance conservation efforts by bringing to the forefront the entities (i.e. species, management units, etc.) in actual need of conserving. The resulting taxonomies are not only more species rich, but are more stable because they are inextricably bound to methodologically and conceptually less biased molecular data sets, and are delivered from the pluralistic outdated biological species concept that is difficult or impossible to apply to allopatric lineages, and often misrepresents the history (e.g. see Frost & Kluge, 1994).

    Recent taxonomic work across the broad spectrum of life is revealing that nature is considerably more diverse than a polytypic species concept (Mayr, 1963) would lead us to believe. And if we are to forward a sincere effort in an attempt to stem the biodiversity crisis, we need to know upon what to focus our efforts. The very broad distribution (from the Mascarene Islands to Hawaii) and generally conserved morphology of Hemiphyllodactylus illustrates the limits of a morphological taxonomy in the delimitation of species boundaries for such groups. Considerable work on this group is still necessary before we gain a clear understanding of its diversity. The genetics of many of the known populations from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and throughout the islands of Indonesia, for example, remain unsampled. As additional material becomes available, we will use the phylogentic taxonomy hypothesized here as a foundation upon which to build future taxonomies. Infusing this taxonomy with molecular estimates of phylogeny allows for a more fine-grained analysis and greater potential for discovering species-level lineages and distinct management units that may be of special concern and in need of conservation (Hodkinson et al., 2012).

    L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood Jr, Shahrul Anuar, Mohd Abdul Muin, Evan S. H. Quah, Jimmy A. McGuire, Rafe M. Brown, Ngo Van Tri and Pham Hong Thai. 2013. Integrative Taxonomy uncovers High Levels of Cryptic Species Diversity in Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) and the Description of A New Species from Peninsular Malaysia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 169(4); 849–880. DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12064

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    A new species of the genus Hemiphyllodactylus is described from Luang Prabang Province, northern Laos. Hemiphyllodactylus kiziriani sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining congeners by morphology, coloration, and a significant genetic divergence of greater than 20% (ND2 gene). The new species from Laos is characterized by the following features: SVL of adult males 35.1–40.1 mm, of adult females 36.3–40.8 mm; dorsal scale rows 18–27; ventral scale rows 11–15; chin scales bordering mental and first infralabial distinctly enlarged; digital lamellae formulae 3-4-4-4 (forefoot) and 4-4/5-4/5-4 (hindfoot); femoral pores 0–4, total precloacal pores 10–13 in males, 8–10 pitted precloacal scales in females; cloacal spurs present in both sexes; dorsal trunk pattern dark brown with two rows of irregular transverse bands; dark lateral head stripe distinct; upper zone of flank with a dark brown stripe; caecum and gonadal ducts unpigmented.

    Keywords: Slender Gecko, karst forest, phylogeny, taxonomy, Luang Prabang Province

    Truong Q. Nguyen, Andreas Botov, Minh D. Le, Liphone Nophaseud, George Zug, Michael Bonkowski and Thomas Ziegler. 2014. A New Species of Hemiphyllodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from northern Laos. Zootaxa. 3827(1):45-56. DOI:

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    A new species of gekkonid lizard Hemiphyllodactylus engganoensis sp. nov. from Pulau Enggano, southwestern Sumatra, Indonesia is differentiated from all other congeners by having the unique combination of a maximum SVL of 37.3 mm; six chin scales; no enlarged postmentals; five circumnasal scales; three or four scales between the supranasals; 12 supralabials; 24 dorsal scales; 15 ventral scales; a lamellar hand formula of 4554 or 4454; a lamellar foot formula of 4555; four subdigital lamellae on the first finger; four or five subdigital lamellae on the first toe; a continuous, femoroprecloacal pore series of 42; five cloacal spurs in males; no enlarged subcaudal scales; no dark postorbital stripes or striping on body; small dark blotches on dorsum; a yellowish postsacral mark bearing anteriorly projecting arms; and a pigmented caecum and gonads. Hemiphyllodactylus engganoensis sp. nov. is part of the speciose H. typus group.

    Key words: Gekkonidae, Hemiphyllodactylus, Hemiphyllodactylus engganoensis sp. nov., Sumatra, new species

    Hemiphyllodactylus engganoensis sp. nov.
    Pulau Enggano Dwarf Gecko | Cicak Kerdil Enggano 

     L Lee Grismer, Awal Riyanto, Djoko T Iskandar and Jimmy A Mcguire. 2014. A New Species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Pulau Enggano, southwestern Sumatra, Indonesia. Zootaxa. 3821(1):485-95.

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    Dixonius taoi
    Botov, Trung, Truong, Bauer, Brennan & Ziegler, 2015
    FIGURE 3. Dorsolateral view of Dixonius taoi sp. n. from Phu Quy Island, Vietnam. Adult male holotype (A: IEBR A.2014.26) and adult female paratype with partially regenerated tail (B: IEBR A2014.27).
    Photos: Phùng Mỹ Trung. || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4040.1.4


    We describe a new species of Dixonius on the basis of five specimens from Phu Quy Island, Binh Thuan Province, in southern Vietnam. The new species can be distinguished from congeners based on molecular and morphological differences. Diagnostic features are: small size (SVL up to 44 mm); 7 or 8 supralabials; 11 or 12 rows of keeled tubercles on dorsum; 21–23 ventral scale rows; 5 or 6 precloacal pores in males; a canthal stripe running from rostrum through the eye and terminating behind the head; second pair of postmentals about one third to one half size of first pair; ground color of dorsum brown, with one or two rows of light yellow or orange spots in one or two rows along flanks, and irregular bands or a reticulated network of dark marks on dorsum. This is the fifth species of Dixonius known to occur in Vietnam. 

    Keywords: Reptilia, Dixonius taoi sp. nov., coastal forest, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy, Binh Thuan Province, southern Vietnam, South China Sea

    Etymology. The new species is named in honor of our colleague and friend Dr. Nguyen Thien Tao from the Vietnam National Museum of Nature in Hanoi, in recognition of his numerous and groundbreaking scientific contributions towards a better understanding of the herpetofauna of Vietnam.

    Distribution. Phu Quy Island, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam (Fig. 4).

    FIGURE 3. Dorsolateral view of Dixonius taoi sp. n. from Phu Quy Island, Vietnam. Adult male holotype (A: IEBR A.2014.26) and adult female paratype with partially regenerated tail (B: IEBR A2014.27).
    Photos: Trung My Phung. || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4040.1.4

    Natural history. The type series were found in secondary forest just above sea level (Fig. 5). The predominant vegetation, which is interspersed with large volcanic stones, consists of small prickly shrubs and species of the families Pandanaceae, Ebenaceae, and Fabaceae. The geckos were collected during a rainy night, when they had left their shelters between stones and shrubs. A few specimens were found in the small shrubs in agricultural lands. Most of the forests in this area have been destroyed, and only a few small patches are left along the coast.

    Botov, Andreas, Trung M. Phung, Truong Q. Nguyen, Aaron M. Bauer, Ian G. Brennan and Thomas Ziegler. 2015. A New Species of Dixonius (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Phu Quy Island, Vietnam. Zootaxa. 4040(1): 48–58. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4040.1.4

    Loài thằn lằn mới phát hiện trong đêm mưa
    Trong cơn mưa nặng hạt, giữa đêm tối mịt mùng, nhà nghiên cứu Phùng Mỹ Trung lặng lẽ tìm kiếm ở đám cây bụi nằm sát biển và điều kỳ diệu đã đến - anh tìm ra loài mới thằn lằn chân ngón tạo.

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    Thismia brunneomitra
     Hroneš, Kobrlová & Dančák


    A new species of Thismia (Thismiaceae) from northwest Borneo is described and illustrated. Thismia brunneomitrawas discovered in 2015 in lowland mixed dipterocarp forest in the Ulu Temburong National Park, Temburong district of Brunei Darussalam. The new species is characterized by brown to blackish flowers with twelve darker vertical stripes on the perianth tube, inner tepal lobes that are connate to form a mitre with three very short processes at the apex, three-toothed apical margin of the connective and large wing-like appendage of the connective. An updated determination key of Thismia species found in Borneo is included.

    Keywords: mycoheterotrophy, Malesia, mixed dipterocarp forest, Sarcosiphon, Monocots

    Primary tropical rainforests of Borneo are one of the most species-rich ecosystems in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots (Myers et al. 2000). The island harbours some 15,000 vascular plant species in an area of 743,330, of which ca. 37% are endemic (Raes et al. 2009). The lowland mixed dipterocarp forest represents the dominant natural forest habitat in Borneo (Primack & Corlett 2005). Unfortunately, these forests are threatened by large-scale timber extraction, as they contain several economically important tree species (Bryan et al. 2013). Thus, a combination of unique biodiversity and rapid deforestation has highlighted Borneo as a priority for nature conservation.

    One of the most intriguing inhabitants of the primary tropical forests of Borneo are small mycoheterotrophic herbs from the genus Thismia Griffith (1844: 221; Thismiaceae, or alternatively Burmanniaceae; for discussion see Merckx et al. 2006). Species of this genus are achlorophyllous plants with very specific and complex morphology. 

    Currently, almost 60 species are recognized in the genus (Hroneš 2014, Hunt et al. 2014, Mar & Saunders 2015, Chantanaorrapint & Sridith 2015). Species of Thismia have scattered distribution through the (sub-)tropical areas of the Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America (Jonker 1938, Maas et al. 1986, Hunt et al. 2014). Along with Thailand, Borneo represents one of the species diversity centres of the genus (Dančák et al. 2013, Chantanaorrapint et al. 2015).

    According to Jonker (1938), Bornean species with free perianth lobes and creeping rhizomes are treated as section Thismia, while species with connate perianth lobes forming mitre-like flowers and dense coralliform rhizomes are treated as section Sarcosiphon (Blume 1850: 65) Jonker (1938: 251). In Borneo, two species from this section are known: T. episcopalis (Beccari 1877: 250) F. Mueller (1891: 235) and T. goodii Kiew (1999: 179). 

    During our recent expedition to Ulu Temburong in January and February 2015, we found a species of Thismia with fused tepals, which turned out to be another taxonomic novelty. This finding is only the second record of the family Thismiaceae for Brunei Darussalam (see Dančák et al. 2013).


    FIGURE 2. Thismia brunneomitra.
    AB. Habit of the plant. C. Habit of the immature plant. D. Elongated stem with a capsule after the anthesis. 

    Habitat and ecology:— Shaded understory of lowland mixed dipterocarp forest. The only known site is in a ravine of a small stream. The terrain is steep, rocky and somewhat disturbed, with patches of bare mineral soil. Plants were found primarily in these bare patches with several individuals growing on a rock crevice just next to the stream in association with Diplazium cordifolium Blume (1828: 190), Epipremnum falcifolium Engler (1898: 11), Mapania monostachya Uittien (1935: 194), Schismatoglottis asperata Engler (1879: 297) and Selaginella involvens agg. Several other mycoheterotrophic species were recorded around, within a distance of 5 m: Epirixanthes elongata Blume (1823: 82), E. papuana J.J.Smith (1912: 486), Sciaphila densiflora Schlechter (1912: 87), S. secundiflora Thwaites ex Bentham (1855: 10) and Gymnosiphon aphyllus agg.

    Distribution:— Thismia brunneomitra was found near the Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre in the Temburong district of Brunei Darussalam. The only known population occurs on the right bank of the small stream Sungai Mata Ikan, approximately 100 m from its confluence with the Belalong River and near the “Ashton trail” forest circuit.

    Conservation status:— Population of T. brunneomitra occurs within the designated research zone of Ulu Temburong National Park, to which public access is restricted. The type locality and its surroundings are thus protected from logging or other destructive anthropogenic activities. However, given that after a thorough search, no more than 15 individuals were noticed, and that the population is situated near relatively frequented forest trail, we suggest evaluating the species as critically endangered (CR) according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (IUCN 2012).

    Etymology:— Name of the species is composed from Latin words brunneus (brown) and Greek mitra, referring to the typical colour and shape of the flowers.

    Michal Hroneš, Lucie Kobrlová, Vojtěch Taraška, Ondřej Popelka, Radim Hédl, Rahayu Sukmaria Sukri, Faizah Metali and Martin Dančák. 2015. Thismia brunneomitra, Another New Species of Thismia (Thismiaceae) from Ulu Temburong, Brunei Darussalam. Phytotaxa. 234(2): 172–178. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.234.2.7

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    Probrachylophosaurus bergei 
    Fowler & Horner, 2015
      Illustration: John Conway || DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141304

    Brachylophosaurini is a clade of hadrosaurine dinosaurs currently known from the Campanian (Late Cretaceous) of North America. Its members include: Acristavus gagslarsoni, which lacks a nasal crest; Brachylophosaurus canadensis, which possesses a flat paddle-shaped nasal crest projecting posteriorly over the dorsal skull roof; and Maiasaura peeblesorum, which possesses a dorsally-projecting nasofrontal crest. Acristavus, from the lower Two Medicine Formation of Montana (~81–80 Ma), is hypothesized to be the ancestral member of the clade. Brachylophosaurus specimens are from the middle Oldman Formation of Alberta and equivalent beds in the Judith River Formation of Montana; the upper Oldman Formation is dated 77.8 Ma.

    Methodology/Principal Findings
    A new brachylophosaurin hadrosaur, Probrachylophosaurus bergei (gen. et sp. nov.) is described and phylogenetically analyzed based on the skull and postcranium of a large individual from the Judith River Formation of northcentral Montana (79.8–79.5 Ma); the horizon is equivalent to the lower Oldman Formation of Alberta. Cranial morphology of Probrachylophosaurus, most notably the nasal crest, is intermediate between Acristavus and Brachylophosaurus. In Brachylophosaurus, the nasal crest lengthens and flattens ontogenetically, covering the supratemporal fenestrae in large adults. The smaller nasal crest of Probrachylophosaurus is strongly triangular in cross section and only minimally overhangs the supratemporal fenestrae, similar to an ontogenetically earlier stage of Brachylophosaurus. Sutural fusion and tibial osteohistology reveal that the holotype of Probrachylophosaurus was relatively more mature than a similarly large Brachylophosaurus specimen; thus, Probrachylophosaurus is not simply an immature Brachylophosaurus.

    The small triangular posteriorly oriented nasal crest of Probrachylophosaurus is proposed to represent a transitional nasal morphology between that of a non-crested ancestor such as Acristavus and the large flat posteriorly oriented nasal crest of adult Brachylophosaurus. Because Probrachylophosaurus is stratigraphically and morphologically intermediate between these taxa, Probrachylophosaurus is hypothesized to be an intermediate member of the Acristavus-Brachylophosaurus evolutionary lineage.

    Systematic Paleontology

    Dinosauria Owen, 1842

    Ornithischia Seeley, 1888
    Ornithopoda Marsh, 1881

    Hadrosauridae Cope, 1869
    Hadrosaurinae Cope, 1869
    Brachylophosaurini Gates et al., 2011
    Definition: Modified from Gates et al. [3]: Hadrosaurine ornithopods more closely related to Brachylophosaurus, Probrachylophosaurus, Maiasaura, or Acristavus than to Gryposaurus or Saurolophus.

    Referred material: UCMP 130139, a partial skull and skeleton originally described as the holotype of Brachylophosaurus goodwini [9], and later assigned to Brachylophosaurus canadensis [1, 23]. Due to the lack of a preserved nasal, and the presence of deep frontal depressions, the specimen cannot be confidently assigned to any current genus of Brachylophosaurini.

    Horizon and locality: UCMP 130139 was collected from the Judith River Formation of Kennedy Coulee, Hill County, northcentral Montana, in beds equivalent to the lower Oldman Formation, with a published height of approximately 15 m above the Marker A Coal of the Taber Coal Zone of the Foremost Formation [9]. However, a remeasured section shows that the site was actually only a few meters above the Marker A Coal, and lies within the Herronton Sandstone Zone (Mark Goodwin and David Evans personal communication, 2014).

    Brachylophosaurus canadensis Sternberg, 1953

    Holotype: CMN 8893

    Referred Material: FMNH PR 862 (partial skull); MOR 720 (braincase); MOR 794 (nearly complete articulated skeleton); MOR 940 (braincase); MOR 1071 (monodominant bonebed); TMP 90.104.01 (complete skull and articulated partial skeleton).

    Horizons and localities: CMN 8893, FMNH PR 862, and TMP 90.104.01 were collected from the Oldman Formation of southeastern Alberta. CMN 8893 and FMNH PR 862 were collected in Dinosaur Provincial Park; TMP 90.104.01 was collected near Onefour and the Milk River. Of these Albertan specimens, the exact stratigraphic position is known only for CMN 8893: the Comrey Sandstone Zone (Unit 2) of the Oldman Formation. MOR 720 was collected from the upper Judith River Formation in badlands surrounding the Missouri River north of Winifred, Fergus County, central Montana. MOR 794, MOR 940, and MOR 1071 were collected from the Judith River Formation of Malta, northern Montana, in beds equivalent to the Comrey Sandstone Zone of the Oldman Formation.

    Probrachylophosaurus gen. nov.

    Etymology: Pro- (Latin) before, -brachylophosaurus (Greek) short-crested lizard, in reference to the new taxon’s stratigraphic position below that of Brachylophosaurus canadensis.

    Probrachylophosaurus bergei sp. nov.

    Etymology: Species name bergei in memory of Sam Berge, co-owner of the land where the specimen was discovered, and friend and relative of many members of the Rudyard, Montana community, who have supported paleontologic research for decades. Pronunciation: berg-ee-i

    In the early years of dinosaur paleontology, specimens were collected as isolated points, each so morphologically unique that their evolutionary relationships were difficult to determine. As more fossil specimens are collected, the gaps in morphology that previously separated species are being filled. With larger sample sizes resulting in more continuous series of fossils with good stratigraphic resolution, variations in morphology can be analyzed in a more complete context, and attributed to ontogeny, evolution, taphonomic alteration, biogeography, or individual variation. A better understanding of stratigraphy and advancements in radiometric dating enable precise temporal correlation of geographically separated localities. Taxa can then be placed in temporal sequence, allowing tests of evolutionary hypotheses.

    A precise stratigraphic framework is critical for determining whether morphological variations of adult specimens are due to evolution or are variations within a roughly contemporaneous population. If closely related taxa do not overlap stratigraphically, the pattern is more parsimonious with anagenesis than cladogenesis. Recent research has greatly increased the sample size and stratigraphic resolution of specimens from the Judith River and Hell Creek Formations of Montana and their Canadian equivalents, revealing several potential anagenetic lineages in Campanian and Maastrichtian ornithischians.

    Because Probrachylophosaurus bergei is stratigraphically older than all Brachylophosaurus canadensis specimens, it is hypothesized to represent a basal brachylophosaur morphology, early in the evolution of this lineage from a non-crested ancestor. Thus, the small crest of Probrachylophosaurus would represent a transitional nasal morphology between a non-crested ancestor such as Acristavus and the larger crests of adult Brachylophosaurus. The fourth member of Brachylophosaurini, Maiasaura, would represent a cladogenic event, diverging from the lineage that led to Brachylophosaurus at a currently unknown point.

    Elizabeth A. Freedman Fowler and John R. Horner. 2015. A New Brachylophosaurin Hadrosaur (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) with an Intermediate Nasal Crest from the Campanian Judith River Formation of Northcentral Montana. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141304  @PLOSPaleo @theJohnConway

    MSU News - MSU team finds new dinosaur species, reveals evolutionary link:
    New 'short-crested lizard' found in Montana via @physorg_com

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    Fig. 1. Thismia hexagonavar. grandifloraTsukaya, M. Suleiman & H. Okada var. nov. in its native habitat (type locality). A, Flowers of T. h. var. grandiflora. B, Gross morphology of T. h. var. grandiflora (scale = 1 cm).

    Thismia hexagona Dančák, Hroneš, Koblová et Sochor was recently reported from Brunei Darussalam. It is characterized by its unique yellow and brown coloration and sharply hexagonal flower annulus. Here, we also report its discovery during a botanical expedition in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. The Malaysian individuals differ from the original description of T. hexagona in the opening angle and size of the perianth lobes. We therefore propose it as a new variety, Thexagona var. grandiflora Tsukaya, M. Suleiman & H. Okada var. nov. Detailed morphological characters are provided. 

    Key words: Borneo, mycoheterotroph, new locality, Sabah, Thismia hexagona, Thismiaceae

    Taxonomic treatment
    Thismia hexagona var. grandiflora Tsukaya, M.Suleiman & H. Okada, var. nov. —Fig. 1.

    Thismia hexagona var. grandiflora differs from Thexagona var. hexagona in having much longer perianth lobes that open perpendicularly to the floral axis.

    Typus. MALAYSIA, Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah: 04°44'29"N, 116°57'55"E, 235 m alt., from the Studies Center to Seraya Camp, Maliau Basin Conservation Area, 15 Aug. 2013, H. Tsukaya, M. Suleiman & H. Okada KKT-1 (holo-BORH, iso-TI, KYO; part of specimen preserved in 50% ethanol, at all three herbaria).

    Fig. 1. Thismia hexagona var. grandiflora Tsukaya, M. Suleiman & H. Okada var. nov. in its native habitat (type locality).
     A, Flowers of Th. var. grandifloraB, Gross morphology of Th. var. grandiflora (scale = 1 cm).

    The genus Thismia Griff. (Thismiaceae) comprises more than 45 mycoheterotrophic species (Jonker 1948; Merckx 2008; Merckx et al. 2013), including several species described within the past decade, such as T. mullarensis from Central Kalimantan (Tsukaya & Okada 2005), T. betung-kerihunensis from West Kalimantan (Tsukaya & Okada 2012a), andT. hexagona from Brunei (Dančák et al. 2013). The majority of these species appear to have been collected only once or a few times. Since mycoheterotrophs are highly dependent on the activities of both the fungi and the trees that sustain them, the richness of the mycoheterotroph flora is a good indicator of the floristic richness of the forests in which they occur (Merckx et al. 2013). In other words, mycoheterotrophs are easily affected by ecosystem destruction.

    To conserve the biodiversity of tropical forests, we need additional information on the distribution of such vulnerable mycoheterotrophs. In our floristic studies in the Kalimantan area of Borneo we found one new genus, several new species, and a new variety of mycoheterotrophs (Tsukaya & Okada 2005, 2012a, 2012b, 2013a, 2013b, Tsukaya et al. 2011). Because Kalimantan has a rich diversity of mycoheterotrophs, we compared the mycoheterotroph floras of Kalimantan and Sabah, Borneo, starting with a botanical expedition in Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, with permission from the Maliau Basin Management Committee (YS/MBMC/2013/50) and Sabah Biodiversity Council [access license JKM/MBS.1000-2/2(152)]. We chose this area because Dr. Tim Utteridge, of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, kindly showed one of us (HT) photographs of Thismia that he took in the conservation area. We suspected the photos to represent a new species of Thismia, based on other photos of Thismia taken by a professional photographer in Sabah, until the report of a new species T. hexagona, which looks similar, was published by Dančák et al. (2013). During our survey, we found three populations of T. hexagona flowering in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area. This is the first report ofT. hexagona from Sabah. Because our collections have much longer perianth lobes than the typical variety, we describe them as T. hexagona var. grandiflora Tsukaya, M. Suleiman et H. Okada.


    Hirokazu Tsukaya, Monica Suleiman and Hiroshi Okada. 2014. A New Variety of Thismia hexagona Dančák, Hroneš, Koblová et Sochor (Thismiaceae) from Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. Acta Phytotax. Geobot.65(3): 141–145.

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    Hoplias mbigua
    Azpelicueta, Benítez, Aichino & Mendez, 2015
    Fig. 3. Hoplias mbigua, lateral views. Different pigmentation patterns:
     a) opercular membrane completely pigmented, 293 mm SL (standard length, snout to hypural joint); b) 77 mm SL; c) specimen with 270 mm SL, very concave head and extremely large eye.

    We describe Hoplias mbigua, a new species of the genus from the lower Paraná, in Misiones, with tooth-bearing plates on dorsal surface of basihyal and basibranchials and medial margins of contralateral dentaries converging towards the mandibular symphysis in ventral view, characters that permit to include the species in the H. malabaricus group. The presence of five brown bands transversely placed on lower jaw distinguishes the new species from its congeners, excluding H. microlepis (vs. lower jaw straight or with small black or brown dots uniformly distributed). The number of circunpeduncular scales in H. mbigua is 20 whereas H. teres and H. malabaricus have 18 circunpeduncular scales and H. microlepis 22-24 and 12-16 gill rakers on first epibranchial (vs. about 9). Hoplias mbigua has convex dorsal profile between head and dorsal fin whereas H. teres has straight dorsal profile. Hoplias mbigua has a large supraopercle, with its anterior margin contacting the infraorbitals 5 and 6 whereas H. cf. malabaricus has a short supraopercle, with an anterior margin scarcely extended before anterior opercular margin. Hoplias mbigua has a large toothplate on basihyal and basibranchials instead of two lines of tooth-plates at sides of bones in H. cf. malabaricus.

    Keywords: Characiformes, Hoplias, lower Paraná.

    Fig. 3.Hoplias mbigua, lateral views. Different pigmentation patterns: a) opercular membrane completely pigmented, 293 mm SL (standard length, snout to hypural joint); b) 77 mm SL; c) specimen with 270 mm SL, very concave head and extremely large eye.

    ETYMOLOGY: The name mbigua is a guaraní word that refers to an aquatic, riverine bird. This word is the nickname of Isabelino Rodríguez, who worked during many years in the Proyecto Biología Pesquera Regional. A noun in apposition.

    DISTRIBUTION: Hoplias mbigua is known from different localities in the lower Paraná: arroyo Yabebiry, Nemesio Parma, Corpus, Garupá, Puerto Maní in the province of Misiones and Ituzaingó in the province of Corrientes.

    Azpelicueta, M. de las Mercedes; Benítez, Mauricio F.; Aichino, Danilo R. and Mendez, C. M. Damián. 2015. A New Species of the Genus Hoplias (Characiformes, Erythrinidae), A Tararira from the lower Paraná River, in Misiones, Argentina. Acta zoológica lilloana, 59(1-2): 71–82.

    Resumen “Una nueva especie del género Hoplias (Characiformes, Erythrinidae), una tararira del Río Paraná bajo, en Misiones, Argentina”. Describimos Hoplias mbigua, una nueva especie del género, procedente del bajo Paraná en Misiones, con dientes en la superficie dorsal de los basibranquiales y basihial y los márgenes del dentario convergiendo hacia la sínfisis mandibular en vista ventral, caracteres que permiten incluirla en el grupo de H. malabaricus. La presencia de 5 bandas pardas transversales en la mandíbula inferior distinguen esta especie de sus congéneres, excluyendo H. microlepis (vs. mandíbula inferior lisa o con pequeñas manchas negras o pardas uniformemente distribuidas). El número de escamas circunpedunculares en H. mbigua es 20 mientras que H. teres y H. malabaricus tienen 18 y H. microlepis 22-24 escamas circunpedunculares y 12-16 rastrillos branquiales en el primer epibranquial (vs. alrededor de 9). Hoplias mbigua tiene perfil dorsal convexo entre cabeza y aleta dorsal y H. teres tiene perfil dorsal recto entre cabeza y aleta dorsal. Hoplias mbigua tiene supraopérculo grande, con su margen anterior en contacto con los infraorbitales 5 y 6 mientras H. cf. malabaricus tiene supraopérculo corto, con el margen anterior apenas extendido delante del margen anterior del opérculo. Hoplias mbigua tiene placa grande con dientes, sobre basihial y basibranquiales en lugar de las dos hileras de placas dentadas en los laterales de los huesos en H. cf. malabaricus.

    Palabras clave: Characiformes, Hoplias, bajo Paraná.

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