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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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    Fig. 2. Mitochondrial genealogy of mountain vipers (Montivipera). Bayesian 50% majority rule consensus tree of oriental mountain vipers (Montivipera), resulting from a partitioned analysis with three mt-genes (CYTB, COX1, ND5). Numbers identify nodes supported by Bayesian posterior probabilities and Maximum Likelihood Bootstrap values. Stars indicate nodes that are not supported by ML. Each drawing illustrates the typical mountain viper phenotypes of the corresponding haplo-group. Evolutionary lineages inhabiting lowland habitats are indicated by the green bar. All other haplo-groups are only known from high mountain areas.
     (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.04.025

    • We provide novel insights into the phylogeny of Montivipera and identify new cryptic taxa.
    • Climatic oscillations during Plio–Pleistocene favoured genetic isolation and were drivers of allopatric speciation.
    • Mountains have played a crucial role as filters for dispersal and as multiple refugia.
    • We found high concordance between Montivipera haplotype distributions and plant refugia.

    The Near and Middle East is a hotspot of biodiversity, but the region remains underexplored at the level of genetic biodiversity. Here, we present an extensive molecular phylogeny of the viperid snake genus Montivipera, including all known taxa. Based on nuclear and mitochondrial data, we present novel insights into the phylogeny of the genus and review the status of its constituent species. Maximum likelihood methods revealed a montane origin of Montivipera at 12.3 Mya. We then analyzed factors of mountain viper diversity. Our data support substantial changes in effective population size through Plio–Pleistocene periods. We conclude that climatic oscillations were drivers of allopatric speciation, and that mountain systems of the Near and Middle East have strongly influenced the evolution and survival of taxa, because climatic and topographical heterogeneities induced by mountains have played a crucial role as filters for dispersal and as multiple refugia. The wide diversity of montane microhabitats enabled mountain vipers to retain their ecological niche during climatic pessima. In consequence the varied geological and topographical conditions between refugia favoured genetic isolation and created patterns of species richness resulting in the formation of neoendemic taxa. Our data support high concordance between geographic distributions of Montivipera haplotypes with putative plant refugia.

    Keywords: Montivipera; Near East and Middle East; Phylogeny; Divergence times; Phylogeography; Allopatric speciation

    Nikolaus Stümpel, Mehdi Rajabizadeh, Aziz Avcı, Wolfgang Wüster and Ulrich Joger. 2016.  Phylogeny and Diversification of Mountain Vipers (Montivipera, Nilson et al. 2001) triggered by multiple Plio-Pleistocene Refugia and High-Mountain Topography in the Near and Middle East. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  101; 336–351. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.04.025

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    Polyceratocarpus askhambryan-iringae 
    A.R. Marshall & D.M. Johnson

    Polyceratocarpus askhambryan-iringae, an endemic tree species of Annonaceae from the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, is described and illustrated. The new species is identified as a member of the genus Polyceratocarpus by the combination of staminate and bisexual flowers, axillary inflorescences, subequal outer and inner petals, and multi-seeded monocarps with pitted seeds. From P. scheffleri, with which it has previously been confused, it differs in the longer pedicels, smaller and thinner petals, shorter bracts, and by generally smaller, less curved monocarps that have a clear stipe and usually have fewer seeds. Because P. askhambryan-iringae has a restricted extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and ongoing degradation of its forest habitat, we recommend classification of it as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List.

    Keywords: East Africa, Eastern Arc, endemism, Ndundulu, Polyceratocarpus

    Figure 2.Polyceratocarpus askhambryan-iringae drawings of A tree architecture B fresh fruits C fresh flower below D fresh ramiflorous flower buds EF dry and fresh bisexual flower (one petal removed) G fresh bisexual flower above H dried stamens IJ fresh and dry carpels lacking stigmas K dried carpel with stigma, plus photographs of L fresh leaves M fruit and N flower.
    Drawings by Sue Sparrow, A by Andrew Marshall, E and K by Andrew Brown, from the following specimens: Marshall 2070 (B); Marshall 2117 (C-E and G-L) and Luke 11279 (F). Scale bars: 20 mm unless stated.DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.63.6262

    Andrew R. Marshall, Thomas L.P. Couvreur, Abigail L. Summers, Nicolas J. Deere, W.R. Quentin Luke, Henry J. Ndangalasi, Sue Sparrow and David M. Johnson. 2016. A New Species in the Tree Genus Polyceratocarpus (Annonaceae) from the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania. PhytoKeys. 63: 63-76. DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.63.6262

    Schoolkids name a new tree species from Tanzania while fundraising for tropical forests via  @Scienmag

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    Fig. 1. Distribution range of Macaca fascicularis aurea (Mfa; black) and M. fascicularis fascicularis (Mff; gray). Black, white, and gray circles indicate the Mfa, Mff, and hybrid locations of the samples collected in this study.

    Macaca fascicularis aurea (Mfa) is the only macaque which has been recorded to use stone tools to access encased foods. They live in close contact with M. fascicularis fascicularis (Mff) in southwestern Thailand and the hybrids were reported [Fooden, 1995]. Although Mff and Mfa can be seen in the same habitat types, tool-use behavior has never been reported in Mff. Thus, comparing the morphological characteristics and genetics between Mfa and Mff should help elucidate not only the morphological differences and genetic divergence between these subspecies but also potentially the relationship between genetics and their tool use behavior. We surveyed Mfa and Mff in Myanmar and Thailand, ranging from 16° 58′ to 7° 12′ N. Fecal or blood samples were collected from eight, five, and four populations of MfaMff, and Mff × Mfa morphological hybrids along with three individuals of captive Chinese M. mulatta (Mm), respectively, for mtDNA and Y-chromosome (TSPY and SRY genes) DNA sequence analyses. In addition, eight populations were captured and measured for 38 somatometric dimensions. Comparison of the somatic measurements revealed that Mfa had a statistically significantly shorter tail than Mff (P < 0.05). Based on the mtDNA sequences, Mfa was separated from the Mm/Mff clade. Within the Mfa clade, the mainland Myanmar population was separate from the Mergui Archipelago and Thailand Andaman seacoast populations. All the morphological hybrids had the Mff mtDNA haplotype. Based on the Y-chromosome sequences, the three major clades of Mm/Indochinese Mff, Sundaic Mff, and Mfa were constructed. The hybrid populations grouped either with the Mm/Indochinese Mff or with the Mfa. Regarding the genetic analysis, one subspecies hybrid population in Thailand (KRI) elicited tool use behavior, thus the potential role of genetics in tool use behavior is raised in addition to the environmental force, morphological suitability, and cognitive capability.

    Keywords: Burmese long-tailed macaque; Andaman seacoast; mtDNA; TSPY; SRY

    Srichan Bunlungsup, Hiroo Imai, Yuzuru Hamada, Michael D. Gumert, Aye Mi San and Suchinda Malaivijitnond. 2015. Morphological Characteristics and Genetic Diversity of Burmese Long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis aurea).
    American Journal of Primatology. 78(4); 441–455. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22512

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    Figure 1. (a) Site LS5 at low tide, Piak Nam Yai, facing north along the island's east coast. The site is situated beneath the large boulder on the left. (b) Use-damage on tools collected after use by PNY macaques, showing (clockwise from top) pitting, crushing and fracture damage, with the use-wear highlighted by dashed white lines in each instance. Modified from Haslam et al. (2013, Fig. 4). (c) Burmese long-tailed macaque using a stone tool to open and eat oysters from an intertidal basalt boulder, Piak Nam Yai, Thailand. (d) LS5B during excavation, with a buried boulder visible at the base of the excavation (along with the rising water table), and the boulder that overhangs the site present at the left of the photograph. The scale on the buried boulder is 5 cm.

    More than 3 million years of excavated archaeological evidence (Harmand et al., 2015) underlies most major insights into the evolution of human behaviour. However, we have seen almost no use of archaeological excavation to similarly broaden our under- standing of behaviour in other animal lineages. The few published examples include recovery of a late Holocene assemblage of stones from the Ivory Coast, attributed to the agency of both humans (Homo sapiens) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) (Mercader et al., 2002, 2007), and exploration of the occupation sites of non- tool-using species such as penguins (Emslie et al., 2014) and other birds (Burnham et al., 2009). The development of viable methods for identifying and interpreting past non-human tool use landscapes is essential if we are to gain a better understanding of technological evolution within other animals, including our close relatives, the primates. Recently, the growth of primate archaeology has built on the close phylogenetic relationship between humans and other primates to begin filling in this lacuna (Haslam et al., 2009; Carvalho, 2011; Stewart et al., 2011; Haslam, 2012, 2014; Visalberghi et al., 2013; Haslam et al., 2014; McGrew et al., 2014; Benito-Calvo et al., 2015; Luncz et al., 2015; Kühl et al., 2016).

    Here, we present the first report on an archaeologically exca- vated Old World monkey tool use site, which was created by wild Burmese long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis aurea) (Bunlungsup et al., 2016) during shellfish-processing activities in coastal Thailand. These macaques use stone and shell pounding tools to access a wide variety of coastal and inter-tidal resources, including shellfish, crabs and nuts (Fig. 1) (Malaivijitnond et al., 2007; Gumert et al., 2009, 2011; Gumert and Malaivijitnond, 2012; Tan et al., 2015), and previous work has demonstrated that use-wear on the stone tools permits reconstruction of past ma- caque activities (Haslam et al., 2013). Uncovering the history of this foraging behaviour opens up opportunities to study its evolution within the macaque lineage and, more broadly, to retrieve comparative data for researchers studying human and primate coastal exploitation (e.g., Marean, 2014; Russon et al., 2014).


    Figure 2. 3D scans of selected macaque tools excavated from LS5, Piak Nam Yai, Thailand: (a) PNY065, (b) PNY064, (c) PNY076, (d) PNY079, (e) PNY080, (f) PNY062, (g) PNY082. (a) and (c–g) have crushing and/or fracture wear on their narrow ends; (b) and (e–f) have pitting wear on the tool face. Each tool is shown with both a photorealistic and surface-only scan, to illustrate use damage.

     Michael Haslam, Lydia Luncz, Alejandra Pascual-Garrido, Tiago Falótico, Suchinda Malaivijitnond and Michael D Gumert. 2016. Archaeological Excavation of Wild Macaque Stone Tools. Journal of Human Evolution.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.05.002

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    Figure 1: Map of sampling locations of the five killer whale types included in this study.
    Map of sampling locations of the five killer whale types included in this study. Sampling locations and inset photographs illustrating favoured prey species are colour-coded by ecotype: ‘transient’ (blue) and type B1 (purple) are predominantly mammal-eating; ‘resident’ (brown) and type C (orange) are predominantly fish-eating; type B2 (green) is known to feed on penguins. The map is superimposed on a colour grid of sea-surface temperature (SST). The Antarctic ecotypes primarily inhabit waters 8–16 °C colder than the North Pacific ecotypes. The relationship among these types and their estimated divergence times based on mitochondrial genomes are shown in the superimposed chronogram. Boxes 1–4 indicate pairwise comparisons spanning points along the ‘speciation continuum’ used to investigate the build up of genomic differentiation.

    Analysing population genomic data from killer whale ecotypes, which we estimate have globally radiated within less than 250,000 years, we show that genetic structuring including the segregation of potentially functional alleles is associated with socially inherited ecological niche. Reconstruction of ancestral demographic history revealed bottlenecks during founder events, likely promoting ecological divergence and genetic drift resulting in a wide range of genome-wide differentiation between pairs of allopatric and sympatric ecotypes. Functional enrichment analyses provided evidence for regional genomic divergence associated with habitat, dietary preferences and post-zygotic reproductive isolation. Our findings are consistent with expansion of small founder groups into novel niches by an initial plastic behavioural response, perpetuated by social learning imposing an altered natural selection regime. The study constitutes an important step towards an understanding of the complex interaction between demographic history, culture, ecological adaptation and evolution at the genomic level.

    Andrew D. Foote, Nagarjun Vijay, María C. Ávila-Arcos, Robin W. Baird, John W. Durban, Matteo Fumagalli, Richard A. Gibbs, M. Bradley Hanson, Thorfinn S. Korneliussen, Michael D. Martin, Kelly M. Robertson, Vitor C. Sousa, Filipe G. Vieira, Tomáš Vinař, Paul Wade, Kim C. Worley, Laurent Excoffier, Phillip A. Morin, M. Thomas P. Gilbert and Jochen B.W. Wolf. 2016. Genome-Culture Coevolution promotes Rapid Divergence of Killer Whale Ecotypes. Nature Communications. 7, Article number: 11693. DOI:  /10.1038/ncomms11693

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    Pink Pipefish |  Festucalex rufus
     Allen & Erdmann, 2015

    Fig. 3. Underwater photograph of Festucalex rufus, female holotype 37.8 mm SL, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo by G. R. Allen.
    Fig. 4. Underwater photograph of Festucalex rufus, female, approximately 38 mm SL, East Cape area, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo by N. DeLoach.

    A new species of syngnathid pipefish, Festucalex rufus is described from Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea on the basis of four specimens, 26.5-37.8 mm SL collected from coral reef habitat in 10-20 m depth. It is distinguished from other members of the genus on the basis of a combination of features including a short snout (2.8-3.2 in head length), relatively low pectoral-ray count (10-11), and a lateral trunk ridge that terminates on the penultimate trunk ring. It is a small species with observed and collected individuals generally less than 40 mm SL and the single brood-pouch male collected measures 36.3 mm SL.

    Fig. 2. Festucalex rufus, preserved holotype, 37.8 mm SL, showing close-up view of head.
    Fig. 3. Underwater photograph of Festucalex rufus, female holotype 37.8 mm SL, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.
    Photos by G. R. Allen.

     Allen, G.R. and Erdmann, M.V. 2015. Festucalex rufus, A New Species of Pipefish (Syngnathidae) from Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology. 21(1); 47-51.

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    Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri
    Perrichot, Wang & Engel, 2016
    DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.075

    • A unicorn ant with oversized mandibles is described from Cretaceous amber of Myanmar
    • The exaggerated head structures composed a highly specialized trap for large prey
    • Haidomyrmecine ants were probably solitary specialist predators
    • Some basal lineages had a refined ecology shortly following the advent of ants

    Ants comprise one lineage of the triumvirate of eusocial insects and experienced their early diversification within the Cretaceous. Their ecological success is generally attributed to their remarkable social behavior. Not all ants cooperate in social hunting, however, and some of the most effective predatory ants are solitary hunters with powerful trap jaws. Recent evolutionary studies predict that the early branching lineages of extant ants formed small colonies of ground-dwelling, solitary specialist predators, while some Cretaceous fossils suggest group recruitment and socially advanced behavior among stem-group ants. We describe a trap-jaw ant from 99 million-year-old Burmese amber with head structures that presumably functioned as a highly specialized trap for large-bodied prey. These are a cephalic horn resulting from an extreme modification of the clypeus hitherto unseen among living and extinct ants and scythe-like mandibles that extend high above the head, both demonstrating the presence of exaggerated morphogenesis early among stem-group ants. The new ant belongs to the Haidomyrmecini, possibly the earliest ant lineage, and together these trap-jaw ants suggest that at least some of the earliest Formicidae were solitary specialist predators. With their peculiar adaptations, haidomyrmecines had a refined ecology shortly following the advent of ants.

     Life-like reconstruction of new Late Cretaceous Worker Ants Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri

    Systematic Paleontology

    Ceratomyrmex New Genus

    Diagnosis. Differs from all other extinct and living ants by the presence, in workers, of a long cephalic horn arising from between the antennal insertions and curved forward and by very long, scythe-like mandibles, their tips reaching above head near to the horn’s apex. The horn is spatulate apically, and its undersurface is densely setose, with a semi-circular brush of peglike spicules along edges. Two pairs of long trigger hairs are each flanking the apical portion of mandibles. The combination of distinct ocelli and subpetiolar process also serves to distinguish the genus from other haidomyrmecines.

    Type Species. C. ellenbergeri, new species.
    See Supplemental Information for description of type and additional material.

    Etymology. Derived from Greek ‘‘keratos,’’ meaning ‘‘horned,’’ and ‘‘myrmex,’’ meaning ‘‘ant.’’ The specific epithet is a patronym for Sieghard Ellenberger who provided some of the fossils. 

    Vincent Perrichot, Bo Wang and Michael S. Engel. 2016. Extreme Morphogenesis and Ecological Specialization among Cretaceous Basal Ants.
     Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.075

    New Cretaceous fossils shed light on the early evolution of ants via @physorg_com

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    The genus Heteropsis Westwood, 1850 is monophyletic and contains the most diverse evolutionary radiation of butterflies in the Malagasy Region, with 46 up to now known species (53 accepted taxa) and at least 23 undescribed species in collections to date. Mixed species in historical descriptions and lost types in this genus have hindered taxonomic progress until now. A lectotype female is thus designated for the only surviving syntype that can be found for Mycalesis andravahana Mabille, 1878. Mycalesis difficilis Mabille, 1880 and three names of Oberthür, 1916 lectotypified here, Henotesia undulosaHenotesia undulosa var. luctuosa and Henotesia andravahana var. macrophthalma, newly become its synonyms. A lectotype is also specified for Gallienia alaokola Oberthür, 1916. These acts now clarify potential confusion among the minimum of five species that these two nominal taxa represent, and thus facilitate description of related species compromised by the original descriptions (for one of which, the name Henotesia andravahana ab. marmorata Aurivillius, 1925 is unavailable). To solidify description of similar species, lectotypes are also designated for the following nominal species of Oberthür, 1916: Culapa comoranaCpauperCulapa (“var. ou espèce séparée”) pseudonarcissusC. laeta, C. laetifica, C. anceps, C. undulata, C. turbans, C. curvatula, C. ornata, C. pallida, and of Oberthür, 1923: C. houlbertiana, and also for Mycalesis iboina Ward, 1870, Mstrigula Mabille, 1877, Mmaeva Mabille, 1878, M. ankoma Mabille, 1878, Mirrorata Mabille, 1880 and Mbutleri Mabille, 1880. The following 19 new species are described within Heteropsis from Madagascar, which are organised within species groups that are briefly characterised and discussed: in the Htexocellata group, Heteropsis mimetica Lees & Kremen, sp. nov.; in the Ht. antahala group, Heteropsis hazovola Lees & Raharitsimba, sp. nov.; in the Ht. drepana group, Heteropsis harveyi Lees & Kremen, sp. nov.; Heteropsis vanewrighti Lees, sp. nov.; Heteropsis westwoodi Lees, sp. nov., Heteropsis pauliani Lees, sp. nov.; Heteropsis imerina Lees, sp. nov.; in the Htsubsimilis group, Heteropsis kremenae Lees, sp. nov.; Heteropsis avaratra Lees & Kremen, sp. nov. Heteropsis sogai Lees, sp. nov., and in the Htstrigula group, Heteropsis tornado Lees, Allaoui & Aduse-Poku, sp. nov., Heteropsis lanyvary Lees, sp. nov.; Heteropsis barbarae Lees & Kremen, sp. nov.; Heteropsis menamenoides Lees, sp. nov.; Heteropsis roussettae Lees & Kremen, sp. nov.; Heteropsis tianae Lees & Kremen, sp. nov.; Heteropsisoberthueri Lees, sp. nov.; Heteropsis borgo Lees, sp. nov. and Heteropsis vertigo Lees & Raharitsimba, sp. nov. Counting the resulting synonymy of Heteropsis difficilis (Mabille, 1880), with Htandravahana (Mabille, 1878), this brings the Malagasy Heteropsis fauna to 64 species, about 2/3 of which are here revised.

    Keywords: Lepidoptera, adaptive radiation, Malagasy Region, Henotesia, Masoura, Admiratio, Henotesia, Mycalesis, Culapa, Telinga

    David C. Lees. 2016. Heteropsis (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae: Satyrini: Mycalesina): 19 New Species from Madagascar and Interim Revision. Zootaxa. 4118(1)DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4118.1.1

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    Boeica ornithocephalantha 
    F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & T.V.Do

     A new species, Boeica ornithocephalantha F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & T.V.Do (Gesneriaceae), is described from the northern part of Vietnam. This new species is most similar to Boeica ferruginea Drake, but clearly differs from the latter by the unusual corolla. A provisional IUCN conservation assessment is provided.

    Keywords. Boeica, Gesneriaceae, IUCN conservation assessments, Vietnam 

    Distribution. Only known from Pu Hu Nature Reserve, near En Village, Quan Hóa town, Quan Hóa district, Thanh Hóa province, Vietnam.

    Habitat. Primarily growing on shaded slopes in valleys above streams, often locally common, at low altitude. It occurs on rocks covered with humus under evergreen forest, not prone to human disturbance.
    Etymology. The scientific name is due to the perception by the authors that the lateral view of the mature corolla looks like the head of a bird. The epithet, “ornithocephalantha”, is composed of the Greek elements ‘ornitho-’ for bird, ‘cephal-’ for head and ‘-antha’ for flower.

    Provisional IUCN Conservation Assessment. Vulnerable VU B2ab(ii,iii).

    Fig. 1. Boeica ornithocephalantha F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & T.V.Do.
    A. Top view of plant. B. Upward view of plant.D. Front view of cyme. (Photos: Fang Wen)

    F. Wen, T.V. Do, X. Hong, S. Maciejewski and Y.G. Wei. 2016. Boeica ornithocephalantha (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from northern Vietnam. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 68(1): 139–144. DOI:  10.3850/S2382581216000107

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    Clinanthus milagroanthus 
    S. Leiva & Meerow

    Clinanthus milagroanthus S. Leiva & Meerow, sp. nov. is described from the Department of La Libertad in Peru. The new species is most closely related to C. mirabilis (Ravenna) Meerow, with further affinities to C. viridiflorus (R. & P.) Meerow. It can be distinguished from C. mirabilis by its wider leaves, the much more brightly colored and wide spreading limb, and the much lighter colored perigone tube (yellowish green vs. dark green in C. mirabilis). A conspicuous bulge just proximal to the midpoint of the tube is a unique character of the new species.

    Keywords: Geophyte, Andes, Clinantheae, new species, taxonomy

    Figure 2. Clinanthus milagroanthusS. Leiva & Meerow.
    A Habit B Inflorescence showing spathe bracts C Flowers D Bulbs E Capsules F Known distribution of C. milagroanthus in Peru (red star).
    All photos of S. Leiva & M. Leiva 5795, HAO.

    Vernacular name: “cebolla de peña.”

    Etymology: The specific epithet honors Ms. Milagros Leiva Salinas, a student of Human Medicine, who has been studying the phytochemistry of Peruvian genera of Amaryllidaceae.

    Segundo Leiva and Alan W. Meerow. 2016. A New Species of Clinanthus from northern Peru (Asparagales, Amaryllidaceae, Amarylloideae, Clinantheae). PhytoKeys. 63: 99-106. DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.63.8895

    Resumen: Clinanthus milagroanthus S. Leiva & Meerow, sp. nov. se describe desde el Departamento de La Libertad, Perú. La nueva especie es más estrechamente relacionada con C. mirabilis (Ravenna) Meerow, con adicionales afinidades con C. viridiflorus (R. & P.) Meerow. Se puede distinguir de C. mirabilis por sus hojas más anchas, el limbo mucho más amplio de colores brillantes, y el color de tubo perigonio mucho más claro (color amarillento vs. verde verde oscuro en C. mirabilis). Una protuberancia visible casi proximal al punto medio del tubo es un carácter único de la nueva especie.

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    Impatiophila sp
    Fu, Toda, Li, Zhang & Gao, 2016


    Breeding habits of essential dependence on flowers for larval food resources have evolved repeatedly in separate lineages of the Drosophilidae. However, flowers of Impatiens L. have never been recognized as hosts for drosophilid flies until recently: two Hirtodrosophila species, H. actinia (Okada) and H. yapingi Gao, were found feeding and breeding on Impatiens flowers. During our recent field surveys in central and southern China, a great number of drosophilid flies morphologically resembling the two species were collected, almost exclusively from flowers of Impatiens (family Balsaminaceae) and the family Gesneriaceae. In the present study, these specimens were identified on the basis of morphological characters and/or partial DNA sequences of the mitochondrial COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene, used as a barcoding marker). As a result, 39 new species were recognized. We then reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among most of them, based on concatenated DNA sequences (3047 nucleotide sites) of two mitochondrial (COI and COII, i.e., cytochrome c oxidase subunits I and II, respectively) and three nuclear genes (ATPsyn-alpha, alphaTub84B and Hsc70cb, i.e., ATP synthase alpha, alpha-Tubulin at 84B and Hsc70Cb isoform H, respectively). In the resulting Bayesian and ML (maximum likelihood) trees, three well-supported clades were recognized, with a few species having remained uncertain for their phylogenetic positions. We also conducted a cladistic analysis with data of adult morphological characters to investigate the phylogenetic positions of a few species of which DNA sequence data were not available, and to investigate the classification of species groups with definition of their diagnoses. In consequence, we established a new genus, Impatiophila, for the species visiting flowers of Impatiens and Gesneriaceae, described all the new species, and revised the taxonomy of some known species.

    Keywords: Diptera, China; Gesneriaceae; Grafting analysis; Impatiens; Species group; Taxonomy

    Zhao Fu, Masanori J. Toda, Nan-Nan Li, Ya-Ping Zhang and Jian-Jun Gao. 2016. A New Genus of Anthophilous Drosophilids, Impatiophila (Diptera, Drosophilidae): Morphology, DNA Barcoding and Molecular Phylogeny, with Descriptions of Thirty-nine New Species. Zootaxa. 4120(1); DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4120.1.1

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    Fig 4. Live adult representatives for each species in the Furcifer verrucosus and F. oustaleti complexes. Letters correspond to clades on all other figures in this paper; males (m) on left and females (F) on right.
      (a) F. verrucosus clade A (m: Fort Dauphin; f: Tsiaroa-Ampasy), (b) F. verrucosus clade B (m: Mangoky River; f: Ankatsakantsa Sud), (c) F. oustaleti clade C (m: Ambanja; f: Anoalakely), (d) F. oustaleti clade D (m and f: Mahabibo).


    The Malagasy giant chameleons (Furcifer oustaleti and Furcifer verrucosus) are sister species that are both broadly distributed in Madagascar, and also endemic to the island. These species are also morphologically similar and, because of this, have been frequently misidentified in the field. Previous studies have suggested that cryptic species are nested within this chameleon group, and two subspecies have been described in F. verrucosus. In this study, we utilized a phylogeographic approach to assess genetic diversification within these chameleons. This was accomplished by (1) identifying clades within each species supported by both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, (2) assessing divergence times between clades, and (3) testing for niche divergence or conservatism. We found that both F. oustaleti and F. verrucosus could be readily identified based on genetic data, and within each species, there are two well-supported clades. However, divergence times are not contemporary and spatial patterns are not congruent. Diversification within F. verrucosus occurred during the Plio-Pleistocene, and there is evidence for niche divergence between a southwestern and southeastern clade, in a region of Madagascar that shows no obvious landscape barriers to dispersal. Diversification in F. oustaleti occurred earlier in the Pliocene or Miocene, and niche conservatism is supported with two genetically distinct clades separated at the Sofia River in northwestern Madagascar. Divergence within F. verrucosus is most consistent with patterns expected from ecologically mediated speciation, whereas divergence in F. oustaleti most strongly matches the patterns expected from the riverine barrier hypothesis.

    Fig 4. Live adult representatives for each species in the F. verrucosus and F. oustaleti complexes. Letters correspond to clades on all other figures in this paper; males (m) on left and females (F) on right.
     (a) F. verrucosus clade A (m: Fort Dauphin; f: Tsiaroa-Ampasy), (b) F. verrucosus clade B (m: Mangoky River; f: Ankatsakantsa Sud), (c) F. oustaleti clade C (m: Ambanja; f: Anoalakely), (d) F. oustaleti clade D (m and f: Mahabibo).


    We found that there are two well-supported clades within both Furcifer oustaleti and F. verrucosus, using both mitochondrial and nuclear data. However, there are no clear morphological distinctions between the genetic clades found within each species. We thus hesitate in describing new species at this time, especially since nuclear and morphological support for each clade is low, but note that additional genetic data may strengthen the case for dividing these taxa into additional species.

    This study has also clarified the range of the Malagasy giant chameleons. The range of the F. verrucosus complex is restricted to southern and southwestern Madagascar, and the species complex is found only as far north as the Mangoky River in the southwest. However, the F. oustaleti complex has a large distribution, ranging as far south as Marolinta and throughout central and northern Madagascar. Additionally, clades within F. verrucosus have a parapatric distribution, whereas clades within F. oustlaeti are allopatrically distributed across the Sofia river. Diversification in the F. verrucosus complex occurred during the Plio-Pleistocene, niche divergence is supported, and the sister clades are parapatrically distributed. In contrast, diversification within F. oustaleti occurred earlier, either in the Pliocene or Miocene, clades are allopatrically distributed across the Sofia River in Madagascar, and niches between the sister clades are conserved. Divergence within F. verrucosus is most consistent with patterns expected from ecologically mediated speciation, whereas divergence in F. oustaleti most strongly matches the patterns expected from the riverine barrier hypothesis.

    Antonia M. Florio and Christopher J. Raxworthy. 2016. A Phylogeographic Assessment of the Malagasy Giant Chameleons (Furcifer verrucosus and Furcifer oustaleti).
     PLoS ONE. 11(6): e0154144. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154144

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    Hemidactylus laevis Adult specimen. One of the rarest gecko species of the world - this is the first picture of live adult specimen of Hemidactylus laevis (Sanaag, Somaliland). Until now, this gecko was known only from one specimen from Gaan Libah. It belongs to H. laticaudatus group.
    photo: Tomas Mazuch


    Hemidactylus laevis, a gekkonid lizard originally described from the Gaan Libah Mountains in Somaliland, is recorded herein from Erigavo, Sanaag Region, in the same state, which represents the second-ever known specimen and locality for this species in more than 100 years since its description. The species is endemic to Somaliland. Data on morphology and natural history, as well as the first life photographs are provided. Based on morphological data we conclude the species to be closely related to Hlaticaudatus. Additionally, H. fragilis from southern Somalia and extreme south-east Ethiopia is resurrected from the synonymy of Hfrenatus based on morphological data.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Distribution, Ethiopia, Hemidactylus frenatusHemidactylus laticaudatus, Horn of Africa, Somalia

    FIGURE 2. (A) Live female of Hemidactylus laevis (NMP 75148) from Erigavo, Somaliland; (B) detail of the head of the same specimen; (C) unvouchered adult specimen from the same locality; (D) habitat of both specimens (Hotel Sanaag); (E) immediate surroundings of the Hotel Sanaag; (F) typical landscape around Erigavo (5 km NW of the town); (G) Daalloh forest in Cal Madow Mountains, supposed primary habitat of H. laevis. This type of montane forest (ca. 1600–2100 m a.s.l.) is very similar to the forest from upper parts of Gaan Libah (ca. 1550–1700 m a.s.l.), the type locality of H. laevis.

     Tomas Mazuch, Jiri Smid and Aaron M. Bauer. 2016. Rediscovery and A New Record of Hemidactylus laevis (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Somaliland, with Notes on and Resurrection of Hemidactylus fragilis.   Zootaxa. 4117(4):529. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4117.4.5

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    Fig 11. Life reconstruction of Gladocephaloideus jingangshanensis
    (drawn by Zhao Chuang).


    Although there are nine genera of ctenochasmatoids reported from the Jehol Biota, at present each is known from a specimen that has either a skull or a relatively complete postcranial skeleton. A nearly complete juvenile specimen of Gladocephaloideus from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Sihedang, Lingyuan of Liaoning Province is the most complete ctenochasmatoid preserved to date with a skull and postcranial skeleton. Based on the holotype (IG-CAGS 08–07) and the nearly complete new specimen (JPM 2014–004), the diagnosis of Gladocephaloideus is amended: approximately 50 teeth in total with sharp tips; small nasoantorbital opening, occupying approximately 13% of total skull length; ratio of prenarial rostrum length to skull length approximately 0.63; deep groove along the mid-line of the mandibular symphysis; length to width ratio of the longest cervical vertebra = 4.1; ratio of femur length to tibia length = 0.61; tibia as long as the wing-phalange 1. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Gladocephaloideus within the clade Ctenochasmatidae. Gladocephaloideus has a closer relationship to the Chinese Pterofiltrus rather than to other ctenochasmatid pterosaurs. Microstructure of limb bones implies that JPM 2014–004 represents an early juvenile of Gladocephaloideus jingangshanensis, and that the type specimen is not a fully grown specimen either. We assume that the holotype may equate to the late juvenile or sub-adult developmental stage of Gladocephaloideus.

    Systematic paleontology

    Pterosauria Kaup, 1834 
    Pterodactyloidea Plieninger, 1901 
    Archaeopterodactyloidea Kellner, 2003 
    Ctenochasmatoidea Unwin, 1995 

    Gladocephaloideus Lü, Ji, Wei, Liu, 2012 
    Gladocephaloideus jingangshanensis Lü, Ji, Wei, Liu, 2012

    Specimen: A nearly complete skeleton with a skull and lower jaws (JPM-2014-004). The specimen is housed in the collections of Jinzhou Paleontological Museum, Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province of China.

    Locality and horizon: Sihedang, Lingyuan of Liaoning Province, Jiufotang Formation. 

    Amended diagnosis: A ctenochasmatoid pterosaur distinguished by the following unique combination of characters: rostrum relatively slender, the distal end of the parietal crest large; about 50 teeth in total, and all the teeth with sharp tips; nasoantorbital opening small, reaching approximately 13% of skull length; ratio of prenarial rostrum length to skull length approximately 0.63; deep groove along the mid-line on the dorsal surface of the mandibular symphysis; length to width ratio of the longest cervical vertebra = 4.1; ratio of femur length to tibia length = 0.61; tibia as long as wing-phalange 1; length ratio of metatarsal III to tibia about 0.4.


    The new material of Gladocephaloideus provides much more information on the postcranial morphology, such as the length ratios of femur to tibia, length-to-width ratio of the cervical vertebra, and the length relationships of wing phalanges and tibia. The dense, slender, sharp teeth suggest that Gladocephaloideus is a fish eater (Fig 11). Phylogenetic analysis shows that Gladocephaloideus is more closely related to Pterofiltrus than to other ctenochasmatoids, and they form a clade. The description of a new specimen of Gladocephaloideus from the Jiufotang Formation and the holotype IG-CAGS 08–07 from the Yixian Formation substantially expand the geographic range of this taxon, and increase the known diversity of the pterosaur assemblage from this area. Therefore, the discovery of new material of Gladocephaloideus indicates that the toothed pterosaurs from western Liaoning are widely distributed and more diverse than previous thought. Bone microstructure indicates that JPM 2014–004 represents an early juvenile stage of Gladocephaloideus jingangshanensis and the holotype, IG-CAGS-08-07, is also not fully mature. The holotype bone tissues document an initial stage of skeletal maturation equivalentto a late juvenile or sub-adult stage.

    Junchang Lü, Martin Kundrát and Caizhi Shen. 2016. New Material of the Pterosaur Gladocephaloideuset al., 2012 from the Early Cretaceous of Liaoning Province, China, with Comments on Its Systematic Position. PLoS ONE. 11(6): e0154888. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154888

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    Lentipes kolobangara 
    Keith, Lord, Boseto & Ebner, 2016

     A new species of Lentipes, a freshwater Sicydiinae goby, is described from streams of Solomon Islands. It differs from other species of the genus by a combination of characters including an urogenital papilla lacking lateral lobes and retractable into a sheath-like groove, the number of pectoral fin rays, the number of scales, the number of tricuspid teeth in the upper jaw, and a specific body colour in male.
    Key words: Gobiidae; Lentipes kolobangara; Solomon Islands; Freshwater; New species

    Diagnosis: The new species has 17-18 pectoral rays, a second dorsal fin I10, an anal fin I9-10, and few scales in zigzag (7-9), transverse forward (1-6) and transverse back series (4-8). The urogenital papilla is retractable into a sheath-like groove in male and is without lobes or other expanded tissue. The male is characterised by few tricuspid teeth in the upper jaw (8-15) and 2-5 recurved canines posterior to tricuspid teeth, ctenoid scales on anterior body region strongly ossified, and the base of the first dorsal fin not reaching the base of the second dorsal fin origin. The male has also a specific body colour with a red slim mustache on the snout reaching the eye and the base of the pectoral fins and the first third of their membrane are red.

    Distribution: Currently known only from the Solomon Islands of Choiseul, Kolobangara, Ranongga and Makira.

    Ecology: Lentipes kolobangara was collected in swift, clear, high-gradient streams with a rocky and boulder-strewn bottom between 50 and more than 600 m above sea level. It is presumed to be amphidromous as is the majority of the subfamily.

    Etymology: The name of the species is dedicated to Kolobangara Island, where most of the specimens were caught. Kolobangara also means, in Kolobangara Island dialect, "water king" which is suited for this colourful species.

    Remarks: streams of the solomon islands are particularly rich in Lentipes species, as four species are known from this area including: L. solomonensis and L. kaaea, both with enlarged lobes associated with the urogenital papillae in male, and L. multiradiatus and Lentipes kolobangara (Keith et al., 2015; this paper), both having a urogenital papilla in male that is retractable into a sheath-like groove and without enlarged lobes. Jenkins et al. (2008) provided a picture of this last species but named it L. kaaea, despite the difference inurogenital papillae.

    Philippe Keith, Clara Lord, David Boseto and Brendan C. Ebner. 2016. A New Species of Lentipes (Gobiidae) from the Solomon Islands. Cybium. 40(2): 139-146, 2016

    Résumé: Nouvelle espèce de Lentipes (Gobiidae) des îles Salomon.
    Une espèce nouvelle de Lentipes, gobie Sicydiinae d’eau douce, est décrite des îles Salomon. Elle diffère des autres espèces du genre par plusieurs caractères dont une papille urogénitale sans lobes latéraux et rétractable dans une cavité, le nombre de rayons aux nageoires pectorales, le nombre d’écailles, le nombre de dents tricuspides à la mâchoire supérieure et une coloration caractéristique des mâles.  

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    Ovabunda andamanensis 
     Janes, McFadden & Chanmethakul, 2014 

    A survey of xeniid octocorals was carried out in the waters off Southwestern Thailand in September, 2007. Microscopic investigation of the colonies revealed that three specimens belonged to the genus Ovabunda. Gross morphological examination is presented here accompanied by scanning electron micrographs of the sclerites. Molecular phylogenetic analysis showed identical genotypes at mtMutS, COI, and 28S rDNA for all three specimens and supports their generic assignment. Colony size and shape, sclerite size, and pinnule arrangement differ from nominal species of Ovabunda and thus a new species, Ovabunda andamanensisis introduced here. This work also presents a new eastern geographical record for the genus Ovabunda.

    Keywords: Cnidaria, Coelenterata, phylogeny, sclerites, SEM, soft coral, taxonomy

    Systematic section
    Order Alcyonacea Lamouroux, 1812
    Family Xeniidae Ehrenberg, 1828

    Genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001: 49–52
    Ovabunda andamanensis sp. n.

    Figure 1. In situ images of Ovabunda andamanensis sp. n.
    type material Holotype (PMBC 11860):  a colony (smallest) b close up of polyps.
    Paratype (PMBC 11862): 
    c colony (smallest) d close up of polyps.

    Etymology: The name is derived from the collection location, the Andaman Sea.

    Distribution and ecology: This species was collected from Koh Doc Mai (Fig. 6) and Koh Phi Phi, Hin Bida located along the eastern coast of Phuket Island, Thailand. Colonies occur in low abundance, spaced 1-2 meters apart on small ledges of vertical walls growing among sea fans, corallimorpharians, and Dendronephthya sp. soft corals. Ovabunda andamanensis sp. n. has also been observed in situ in the Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar (T. Chanmethakul, personal observation).

    Michael P. Janes, Catherine S. McFadden and Thanongsak Chanmethakul. 2014. A New Species of Ovabunda (Octocorallia, Xeniidae) from the Andaman Sea, Thailand with Notes on the Biogeography of this Genus. ZooKeys. 431: 1-17. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.431.7751  

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    Thaioneura gen. n. 
     Song, Li & Dietrich, 2016

    Figures 31. AD Thaioneura nigrilinea sp. n. EH Thaioneura sinuata sp. n. IL Thaioneura suphanburia sp. n.
    A, E, I Habitus, dorsal view; B, F, J Habitus, lateral view C, G, K Head and thorax, dorsal view D, H, L Face.


    A new genus of tribe Erythroneurini from Thailand,Thaioneura gen. n., including three new species: Thaioneura nigrilinea sp. n. (type species), Thaioneurasinuata sp. n. and Thaioneura suphanburia sp. n., is described and illustrated and a key to species is provided. The new genus exhibits a pattern of interspecific variation in the hind wing venation that has not been observed in other genera of the tribe.

    Keywords: Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha, morphology, taxonomy, new taxa

    Thaioneura gen. n.

    Type species: Thaioneura nigrilinea sp. n.

    Etymology: The new genus name was formed by combining the name of the country in which all known specimens were collected, “Thailand” with the common suffix for generic names in this tribe, “-neura”. The gender is feminine.

    Study of 31 leafhopper specimens representing 3 new species revealed that the new genus described here exhibits two different patterns of hind wing venation that are stable within species but variable between species. Hind wing vein CuA of Thaioneura nigrilinea separates from MP distally and is connected to CuP near the wing apex (Fig. 2). This is the usual venational pattern seen in the vast majority of Erythroneurini. However, the other two new species (Thaioneura sinuata; Thaioneura suphanburia) have vein CuA of the hind wing completely confluent with MP distally and vein CuP free distally (Figs 12, 22). This latter pattern also occurs in the Oriental genera Diomma Motschulsky (see Chiang and Knight 1990) and Watara Dworakowska. The two known species of Watara show the pattern consistently but some species of Diomma have CuA completely confluent with MP while others have these two veins divergent near the wing apex. Therefore, variation in hind wing venation is known to occur but is rare in other genera of Erythroneurini. Despite the observed variation in hind wing venation, placement of the three new species described here into a single genus is strongly justified by the unique dorsal color pattern and combination of features of the male genitalia. Nevertheless, the particular pattern of variation exhibited among Thaioneura species is not known to occur in other erythroneurine genera and further collecting and morphological study is needed to determine whether such variation occurs in other genera. The type species of Thaioneura, T. nigrilinea, has the usual venational pattern found in other Erythroneurini and, therefore, presumably represents the plesiomorphic condition for the new genus while the other two species are more apomorphic. This hypothesis should be tested by future phylogenetic analyses of Erythroneurini.

     Yuehua Song, Zizhong Li and Christopher H. Dietrich. 2016. A New Erythroneurine Leafhopper Genus from Thailand (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, Typhlocybinae), with Description of Three New Species. ZooKeys 595: 7-16. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.595.8159

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    Gambeya korupensis  
      Ewango & Kenfack


    Gambeya korupensisEwango & Kenfack (Sapotaceae: Chrysophylloideae), a new rain forest tree species from the Southwest Region in Cameroon, is described and illustrated. A distribution map is provided. G. korupensis has the leaf blade below pubescent on the midribs and secondary nerves, flowers with a pedicel 0.5 – 1 mm long, and a fruit which is ovoid, attenuate at the apex, 5-ridged, verrucose between the ridges, and bright red at maturity. The conservation status of G. korupensis is assessed as Vulnerable according to IUCN criteria.

    Key Words: Chrysophyllum; conservation; IUCN Vulnerable; Korup National Park

    Fig. 2 Gambeya korupensis. A habit, flowering shoots with leaves; B flower bud with two sepals removed to display corolla; C corolla opened flat; D part of corolla; E stamen, adaxial (left) and abaxial (right) views; F lateral view of flower at later stage showing elongated sepals; G lateral view of flower with two sepals removed, showing ovary and style; H diagram showing aestivation of sepals; shaded sepals are those removed in G; J gynoecium, with hairs partly removed to show position of ovary; K enlargement of lobed stigma; L fruiting shoot with leaf; M fruit, apical view; N fruit, vertical cross-section; P seed, three views; Q hairs on leaf abaxial surface, in situ; R selection of hairs from petiole, viewed from side; S selection of hairs from sepal, viewed from above.
    A – K, Q – S from Burgt 763 L – P from Burgt 950. drawn by andrew p. brown. 

    Corneille E. N. Ewango , David Kenfack, Moses Nsanyi Sainge, Duncan W. Thomas and Xander M. van der Burgt. 2016. Gambeya korupensis (Sapotaceae: Chrysophylloideae), A New Rain Forest Tree Species from the Southwest Region in Cameroon. Kew Bulletin. 71:28. DOI: 10.1007/s12225-016-9633-x

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    Dendrogramma was the iconic deep-sea animal of 2014, voted among the top-ten new species described that year . The two species described are mushroom shaped animals, diploblastic, with an apparent gastrovascular system that extends from the base of the stalk to bifurcating canals that radiate through the flat disc . The authors could not assign the new genus to any known animal group with certainty, leading to numerous media reports that it belonged to an entirely new phylum. Here we use phylogenomic data from newly collected specimens to show that Dendrogramma is a cnidarian, specifically a benthic siphonophore in the family Rhodaliidae. Although an entire Dendrogramma colony has not been found, we hypothesise that the mushroom-like bodies are bracts, possibly used to aid buoyancy or as defensive appendages to protect feeding gastrozooids or gonads.

    Timothy D. O’Hara, Andrew F. Hugall, Hugh MacIntosh, Kate M. Naughton, Alan Williams and Adnan Moussalli. 2016. Dendrogramma is A Siphonophore. Current Biology. 26(11); pR457–R458. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.051

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     A short review of the genus Cleisostoma in the flora of Vietnam is presented with 9 sections and 28 species among which 9 are locally endemic. Present data show the territory of Vietnam as the richest center of diversity for the genus. Two monotypic sections (GastrochilopsisPterogyne) and three species (Cleisostoma lecongkietiiCphitamiiCtricornutum) are described as new for science, two species (CsubulatumClinearilobatum) are reported on the base of voucher specimens as a new record for the flora of Vietnam.

    KEY WORDS: Cleisostoma, flora of Vietnam, new taxa, Orchidaceae, plant diversity, plant taxonomy

    Leonid V. Averyanov, Nguyen Thien Tich and Nguyen Van Canh. 2015. New Species of the Genus Cleisostoma in the Flora of Vietnam. Taiwania. 60(3):107‒116. DOI: 10.6165/tai.2015.60.107

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