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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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    Cyrtodactylus soni  
     Le,  Nguyen, Le & Ziegler, 2016


    We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus on the basis of six specimens collected from the limestone forest of the Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. Cyrtodactylus soni sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by genetic distinction and morphological differences in number of femoral and precloacal pores, femoral scales, ventral scales, lamellae, subcaudals, and dorsal tubercle arrangement, as well as in size and color pattern. In the phylogenetic analyses, the new species is nested in a clade containing taxa from northwestern and northcentral Vietnam and northern Laos.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Cyrtodactylus soni sp. nov., karst forest, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy, Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve

    Dzung Trung Le, Truong Quang Nguyen, Minh Duc Le and Thomas Ziegler. 2016. A New Species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam.
    Zootaxa. 4162(2); 268–282. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4162.2.4


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    Toxicocalamus ernstmayri  
    O'Shea, Parker & Kaiser, 2015  


    We describe a new species of New Guinea vermivorous snake (Toxicocalamus) from a single specimen collected at Wangbin in the Star Mountains, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. The new species is the largest known member of the genusand can be differentiated from all other
     Toxicocalamus by a combination of the following characters: large size(total length of the holotype 1,200 mm), dorsal headscutes in the typical ‘‘colubrid-elapid dorsal nine-scutearrangement’’; separate, single preocular and pairedpostoculars; single anterior temporal and single orpaired posterior temporals; six supralabials, with thirdand fourth supralabial contacting the orbit; dorsalscales in 15–15–15 rows; 203 ventral scales, 29subcaudal scales; and a divided anal plate. Its erstwhilestatus, misidentified as Micropechis ikaheka  in the collection of the Museum of Comparative Zoology,demonstrates the need for detailed examination of existing collections and is indicative of hidden diversity  yet to be identified, not only in the field but also on theshelves of museum collections. We also providea revised key to the genus Toxicocalamus
    Key words: Elapidae, Toxicocalamus, New species,Papua New Guinea, Description, Taxonomy, Vermivory

     Mark O'Shea, Fred Parker and Hinrich Kaiser. 2015. A New Species of New Guinea Worm-eating Snake, Genus Toxicocalamus (Serpentes: Elapidae), from the Star Mountains of Western Province, Papua New Guinea, with a Revised Dichotomous Key to the Genus. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. [Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool.]. 161(6): 241–264.  DOI:  10.3099/0027-4100-161.6.241

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    We report a fossil snake from the middle Eocene (48 Ma) Messel Pit, in whose stomach is a lizard, in whose stomach is an insect. This is the second known vertebrate fossil containing direct evidence of three trophic levels. The snake is identified as a juvenile of Palaeopython fischeri on the basis of new characters of the skull; the lizard is identified as Geiseltaliellus maarius, a stem-basilisk; and the insect, despite preserved structural colouration, could not be identified more precisely. G. maarius is thought to have been an arboreal species, but like its extant relatives may have foraged occasionally on the ground. Another, larger specimen of G. maarius preserves plant remains in the digestive tract, suggesting that omnivory in this species may have been common in larger individuals, as in extant Basiliscus and Polychrus. A general picture of the trophic ecology of P. fischeri is not yet possible, although the presence of a lizard in the stomach of a juvenile individual suggests that this snake could have undergone a dietary shift, as in many extant boines.

    Keywords: Messel, Middle Eocene, Palaeopython fischeri, Geiseltaliellus maarius, Gut contents, Food chain

    Fig. 1 SMF ME 11332a, comprising a juvenile specimen of the snake Palaeopython fischeri and its prey. Arrow points to the tip of the snout of the lizard inside the snake 


    In conjunction with dietary data on extant basilisks (Corytophaninae) and phylogenetic position, the consumption of plant matter by larger individuals of G. maarius, an early stem relative of Corytophaninae (Smith 2009), suggests that this propensity might be primitive for Corytophaninae or Corytophaninae + (Polychrus + Anolis) as a whole. This interpretation would be strengthened if Conrad’s (2015) view of the relationships of Geiseltaliellus is correct. Available data suggest dietary shift from insectory to omnivory in G. maarius.

    Similarly, in conjunction with the presence of a crocodile in the large boid specimen from Messel studied by Greene (1983), the presence of an arboreal lizard in the alimentary canal of a juvenile individual of P. fischeri indicates that this dietary preference during juvenile stages and perhaps an ontogenetic dietary shift was present in boid snakes since the middle Eocene.

    Krister T. Smith and Agustín Scanferla. 2016. Fossil Snake Preserving Three Trophic Levels and Evidence for An Ontogenetic Dietary Shift. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments. DOI:  10.1007/s12549-016-0244-1


    Amazing ‘Nesting Doll’ Fossil Reveals Bug in Lizard in Snake via @NatGeo A Messel Turducken!!

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    Figure 1. Crested Quetzal (Pharomachrus antisianus) perched in a tree at level of the understory whit a Glassfrog (Hyalinobatrachium pallidum) in its bill, before to delivering prey to the female
    (photograph by M. Quiroga-Carmona, taken at February 18 of 2014).

    We report the predation of a glassfrog (Hyalinobatrachium pallidum) by a Crested Quetzal (Pharomachrus antisianus). The record was made in a locality in the Sierra de Perijá, near to the northern part of the border between Colombia and Venezuela, and consisted in observinga male P. antisianus vocalizing with a glassfrog in its bill. The vocalizations were answered by a female,
    which approached the male, took the frog with its bill and carried it into a cavity built on a landslide. Subsequent to this, the male remained near to the cavity until the female left it and together they abandoned this place. Based on the behavior observed in the couple of quetzals, and what has previously been described that this group of birds gives their young a diet rich in animal protein comprised of arthropods and small vertebrates, we believe that the couple was raising a brood at the time when the observation was carried out.

    KEY-WORDS: Anurophagy, diet, Hyalinobatrachium, Trogonidae, Trogoniformes.

    Marcial Quiroga-Carmona and Adrián Naveda-Rodríguez. 2014. Crested Quetzal (Pharomachrus antisianus) preying on a Glassfrog (Anura, Centrolenidae) in Sierra de Perijá, northwestern Venezuela. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia. 22(4), 419-421.

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    Diplycosia rigidifolia  
    P. W. Fritsch & C. M. Bush

    DOI: 10.1111/njb.01245  


    Diplycosia rigidifolia sp. nov. from Mount Kinabalu, Borneo, Sabah, Malaysia, is described and illustrated. This species is similar to D. urceolata, but differs by its shorter petiole, thicker, strictly elliptic leaf blades, longer pedicels, calyx lobes with sharply acuminate apex, and larger purplish black fruiting calyx. The species is known only from Mt Kinabalu in northern Sabah state, Malaysia.

    Peter W. Fritsch and Catherine M. Bush. 2016.  Diplycosia rigidifolia sp. nov. (Ericaceae) from Borneo, Sabah, Malaysia.  Nordic Journal of Botany. DOI: 10.1111/njb.01245 

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    Impatiens wawuensis  
     B. Ding & S. X. Yu


    We describe Impatiens wawuensis B. Ding & S. X. Yu, a new species from Mt. Wawu, Sichuan Province, China. The new species is superficially similar to I. oxyanthera in having an inflorescence consisting of two pink flowers with a reddish vein. Differences include smaller leaves and flowers, lower sepals with shorter and slightly incurved spur, lower petal of lateral united petals with an elongate linear auricle inserted into the spur, and a fusiform capsule that is sparsely verrucous. We also present for the new species its seed micromorphology and palynological features under Scanning Electron Microscopy.

    Keywords: Balsaminaceae, China, Impatiens, new species, Sichuan, Eudicots

    FIGURE 2. Impatiens wawuensis B. Ding & S. X. Yu.
    A. Habit. B. Flower, ventral view; C. Flower, lateral view. 

    Diagnosis: Similar to I. oxyanthera Hooker & Joseph Dalton (1908: 254) with the inflorescence comprising two pink flowers with a reddish vein, but differing from this species by smaller leaves and flowers, lower sepals with shorter and a slightly incurved spur, the lower petal of the lateral united petals with an elongate linear auricle inserted into the spur, and a fusiform capsule that is sparsely verrucous.

    Etymology:— The species epithet wawuensis refers to the locality of the type specimen: Wawu Shan Provincial Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China.

    Bo Ding, Sudhindra R. Gadagkar, Jia-Cai Wang, Mei Zhang, Hua Guo and Sheng-Xiang Yu. 2016. Impatiens wawuensis (Balsaminaceae): A New Species from Sichuan, China.
    Phytotaxa. 273(4);  293–298. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.273.4.5

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    Brasilianthus carajensis 
    Almeda & Michelangeli 

    FIGURE 3. Images of Brasilianthus carajensis. A. Brasilianthus carajensis on canga substrate. B. Habit of mature unpigmented plant. C. Habit of mature pigmented plant. D. Flowers with pale, nearly white, petals. E. Flower (at anthesis) with typical lilac/lavender petals. F. Habit showing foliar posture and shape.  
    All photographs by P.L.Viana. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.273.4.3


    A new monotypic genus, Brasilianthus carajensis, is described from Carajás Mineral Province where it is restricted to campo rupestre vegetation on ironstone outcrops (canga) that form island-like lenses nestled in the Amazon rainforest of southeastern Pará, Brazil. Among neotropical capsular-fruited Melastomataceae, Brasilianthus is distinguished by a unique combination of characters: annual habit; haplostemonous, 4-merous flowers; tubulose-subcylindric hypanthia with erect, narrowly obovate deciduous calyx lobes that are widest distally and well-spaced basally; short cupulate-campanulate anthers with a wide truncate apical pore; biaristate ventral staminal appendages; 4-locular ovary with an apex crowned by four persistent ± deltoid appendages; absence of placental intrusions in mature capsules; and subcochleate seeds with a costate testa. These morphological characters are congruent with DNA sequence data that show Brasilianthus nested within the Marcetia alliance of the tribe Melastomeae where it is sister to Nepsera aquatica. These two genera are in turn sister to Ernestia pullei and Appendicularia thymifolia. A comprehensive description of Brasilianthus is presented together with diagnostic illustrations, images of plants in the wild, a distribution map, SEM images of seeds, a geospatial conservation assessment based on IUCN criteria, and comparisons with generic relatives in the Marcetia alliance.

    Keywords: haplostemony, Marcetia alliance, phylogeny, Serra dos Carajás, canga, Eudicots

    Distinguished by its annual habit; haplostemonous, 4-merous flowers; tubulose-subcylindric hypanthium with erect, narrowly obovate calyx lobes; short cupulate-campanulate anthers with a wide apical pore; biaristate ventral staminal appendages; ovary apex crowned with four persistent erect ± deltoid appendages; 4-locular ovary; absence of placental intrusions; and subcochleate seeds with a prominently costate testa.

    Etymology:― The generic name, Brasilianthus, combines the country name, Brasil, and the Greek work for a flower, “anthus.” The specific epithet, carajensis, emphasizes the limited geographic distribution of this monotypic genus in the Carajás Mineral Province of southeastern Pará. 

     Frank Almeda, Fabián A. Michelangeli and Pedro L. Viana. 2016. Brasilianthus (Melastomataceae), A New Monotypic Genus Endemic to Ironstone Outcrops in the Brazilian Amazon. Phytotaxa. 273(4); 269–282.
     DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.273.4.3

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    Sinharaja Tree Snake |  Dendrelaphis sinharajensis 
    Wickramasinghe, 2016 

    Dendrelaphis sinharajensis sp. nov., live individual (unpreserved) from Kudawa; a prominent white patch on lateral head surrounding the eye region and neck, with its upper margin outlined by a black zigzag line.


    A new species of Dendrelaphis,Dendrelaphis sinharajensis sp. nov. is described, the sixth species of the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by its colour pattern and scalation. The species is a canopy-dweller known only from the Sinharaja World Heritage Site and its vicinity, in the lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Forest Reserve, snake, systematics, taxonomy, wet zone

    Diagnosis. I assign the new species tentatively to the genus Dendrelaphis because it possesses the following characteristics: slender body; rounded pupil; enlarged vertebral scales; head distinct from body; diurnal; predominantly arboreal. Within the genus, Dendrelaphis sinharajensis has a unique colour pattern of prominent cross bars in black and white and a red neck; black bars are paired, and create the margins of the white cross bars from neck to tail; vertebral stripe, postocular stripe, and ventrolateral stripe absent; prominent white patch on lateral head over eye region and neck, upper margin outlined by a black zigzag line; parietal stripe present; throat white with black blotches; venter off-white with irregular black spots all over. It further differs from all other species of this genus in the combination of the red neck and the conspicuous red/white cross bars. In addition to its
    colouration, the species can be readily distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characteristics: loreal scales absent; prefrontals large, contacting 2nd and 3rd supralabials; postoculars three, central scale smallest; anterior temporal large, contacts all three postaculars; posterior temporals three, central one largest, larger than anterior temporal, dorsally contacts parietal and ventrally contacts 8th supralabial; dorsal scale rows 13 at midbody, a small apical pit on each

    Etymology. The species epithet sinharajensis is derived from “Sinharaja”, referring to the forest where the species was discovered. The specific name is an adjective from the geographical name. 

    Suggested vernacular names. The vernacular names recommended for the species are Sinharaja haldanda, Sinharaja komberi muken, and Sinharaja tree snake in the languages Sinhala (native), Tamil, and English respectively.

    L. J. Mendis Wickramasinghe. 2016. A New Canopy-dwelling Species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Sinharaja, World Heritage Site, Sri Lanka. Zootaxa. 4162(3); 504–518. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4162.3.5

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     Potamotrygon albimaculata & P. jabuti  
     de Carvalho. 2016

    Stingrays from the rio Tapajós basin are reviewed based on material collected from its lower (i.e. from the mouth-lake to Itaituba), middle (from about the São Luiz rapids to the confluence of rios Juruena and Teles Pires), and upper (above the Juruena-Teles Pires confluence) segments. Two new species endemic to the mid and upper Tapajós, discovered long ago and common in the ornamental fish trade, are described. Potamotrygon albimaculata sp. nov. is part of the black stingray species group, and is diagnosed by its blackish brown dorsal disc color with numerous and generally evenly-spaced small whitish spots and faint ocelli, multiple rows of thorns broadly spread on dorsal and lateral tail, pelvic fins with broadly rounded apices, and two angular cartilages with the posterior far more slender but about as wide as the anterior angular. Potamotrygonjabuti sp. nov. is diagnosed by its marbled color pattern that undergoes remarkable change with growth as adults have elaborate designs of beige, golden to yellowish-orange spots or ocelli surrounded by a slender beige to golden mesh-like pattern, but neonates have simple, well-separated ocelli; this species also has a single to double row of tail thorns varying in their development, monognathic heterodonty with teeth of intermediate lateral rows of upper jaws larger and hexagonal, and two robust, more or less equally developed angular cartilages. Both species co-occur in the relatively fast-flowing mid and upper Tapajós basin, but mostly occupy different areas of the river, with P. albimaculata sp. nov. more abundant in its central troughs but foraging at its margins, whereas P. jabuti sp. nov. is also present in smaller streams over rocky, sandy and leafy substrates. The Tapajós basin includes at least seven stingray species, but additional species probably also occur. Potamotrygon motoro, P. orbignyi, P. humerosa, Potamotrygon sp., and Paratrygon aiereba are present in the lower Tapajós mouth-lake, which may also include Plesiotrygon and Heliotrygon species. In addition to the new species described herein, P. orbignyi and Paratrygon cf. aiereba occur in the mid and upper Tapajós, along with another form (Potamotrygon cf. scobina) known only from the region of the São Luiz rapids. Therefore, three additional new species may be present in the Tapajós basin, which has one of the most diverse stingray assemblages known together with the rios Negro and Tocantins-Araguaia.

    Keywords: Pisces, Potamotrygon albimaculata sp. nov., Potamotrygon jabuti sp. nov., Neotropical region, morphology, systematics, taxonomy, Brazilian Shield, endemism

    Marcelo R. de Carvalho. 2016. Description of Two Extraordinary New Species of Freshwater Stingrays of the Genus Potamotrygon endemic to the rio Tapajós Basin, Brazil (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae), with Notes on Other Tapajós Stingrays.
    Zootaxa. 4167(1): 1–63. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4167.1.1

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    Cnemaspis rajakarunai  
    Wickramasinghe, Vidanapathirana & Rathnayaka, 2016


    A new species of Cnemaspis, Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov. is described and is the fourth rock dwelling species belonging to the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: adult snout–vent length 36–40 mm; precloacal pores absent, large femoero-precloacal scales 22; femoral pores 7–8, enlarged femoral scales 6; ventral scales 146–186; supralabials (to midorbital position) 7; supralabials (to angle of jaws) 9; total lamellae on finger IV 19–22, shape of the basal lamellae on toe IV elliptical; and its unique colour pattern. The new species is recorded from Salgala Forest an unprotected lowland rain forest.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Endemic, new taxa, old world gecko, Sri Lanka

    L. J. Mendis Wickramasinghe, Dulan Ranga Vidanapathirana and R. M. Gayan Priyankara Rathnayaka. 2016. Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov., A Rock Dwelling Day-gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Salgala, an unprotected Lowland Rainforest in Sri Lanka.  Zootaxa.  4168(1); 92–108. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4168.1.4

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     Begonia lamxayiana Souvann.

     Begonia lamxayiana Souvann. is described and illustrated.

    KEYWORDS: Begonia, new species, Lao PDR, biodiversity, Taxonomy

    FIGURE 2.   Begonia lamxayiana Souvann. 
    A. Plant shoot with inflorescences; B. Inflorescences at stem; C. Cross section of ovary; D. Male flower, front view; E. Male flower, lateral view; F. Stipules; G. Female fl ower, lateral view; H. Female flower, front view.
    Photos by K. Souvannakhoummane from Lamxay et al. VL 2198.  

     Distribution and ecology.— Begonia lamxayiana is endemic to Khamkeut district, Bolikhamxai province. It is known only from type locality such as valley terrains or stream banks, on shaded steep slopes in very wet primary evergreen forest, associated with Magnolia sp., Alpinia sp., Zingiber sp., Anoectochilus sp., Bamboo, and terrestrial ferns, elevation ca. 570 m.

    Etymology.— The epithet is in honour of Assist. Prof. Dr. Vichith Lamxay, who collected the type specimens.

    Notes.— This species is similar to Begonia boisiana Gagnep. (found in Vietnam) but differs by having glandular hairs on the stem (vs. glabrous), leaves with bristles on the adaxial surface (vs. glabrous), zygomorphic androecium (vs. actinomorphic) and semi-persistent bracts, margin ciliate, pale green (vs. persistent bracts, margin dentate, pale purple or white). It is similar to B. cucphuongensis H.Q. Nguyen & Tebbitt (found in Vietnam) but differs by having leaves with bristles on the adaxial surface and dense glandular hairs along the veins abaxially (vs. both surfaces glabrous), anther apex emarginated (vs. truncate to rounded), female fl owers with 5 tepals (vs. female fl owers with 3 tepals) and stigmatic band kidney-shaped and papillose (vs. stigmatic lunate).

    Keooudone Souvannakhoummane, Mark Hughes and Soulivanh Lanorsavanh. 2016.  Begonia lamxayiana Souvann. (Begoniaceae): A New Species from Lao PDR.
    THAI JOURNAL OF BOTANY [วารสารพฤกษศาสตรไทย]. 8(1): 1–5.

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    • The presence of many putative undescribed species in Megophrys sensu lato is detected;
    • Multiple well-supported, geographically structured major clades in Megophrys sensu lato are resolved;
    • A revised classification of Megophrys sensu lato is proposed;
    Borneophrys is not a valid genus but rather a junior synonym of Megophrys;

    The horned toad assemblage, genus Megophrys sensu lato, currently includes three groups previously recognized as the genera Atympanophrys, Xenophrys and Megophrys sensu stricto. The taxonomic status and species composition of the three groups remain controversial due to conflicting phenotypic analyses and insufficient phylogenetic reconstruction; likewise, the position of the monotypic Borneophrys remains uncertain with respect to the horned toads. Further, the diversity of the horned toads remains poorly understood, especially for widespread species. Herein, we evaluate species-level diversity based on 45 of the 57 described species from throughout southern China, Southeast Asia and the Himalayas using Bayesian inference trees and the Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent (GMYC) approach. We estimate the phylogeny using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data. Analyses reveal statistically significant mito-nuclear discordance. All analyses resolve paraphyly for horned toads involving multiple strongly supported clades. These clades correspond with geography. We resurrect the genera Atympanophrys and Xenophrys from the synonymy of Megophrys to eliminate paraphyly of Megophrys s.l. and to account for the morphological, molecular and biogeographic differences among these groups, but we also provide an alternative option. Our study suggests that Borneophrys is junior synonym of Megophrys sensu stricto. We provide an estimation of timeframe for the horned toads. The mitochondrial and nuclear trees indicate the presence of many putative undescribed species. Widespread species, such as Xenophrys major and X. minor, likely have dramatically underestimated diversity. The integration of morphological and molecular evidence can validate this discovery. Montane forest dynamics appear to play a significant role in driving diversification of horned toads.
    Keywords: Atympanophrys; Borneophrys; Gene tree discordance; GMYC; Sympatric distribution; Xenophrys

    Jin-Min Chen, Wei-Wei Zhou, Nikolay A. Poyarkov Jr, Bryan L. Stuart, Rafe M. Brown, Amy Lathrop, Ying-Yong Wang, Zhi-Yong Yuan, Ke Jiang, Mian Hou, Hong-Man Chen, Chatmongkon Suwannapoom, Sang Ngoc Nguyen, Tang Van Duong, Theodore J. Papenfuss, Robert W. Murphy, Ya-Ping Zhang and Jing Che. 2016. A Novel Multilocus Phylogenetic Estimation reveals Unrecognized Diversity in Asian Horned Toads, Genus Megophrys sensu lato (Anura: Megophryidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.09.004

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    Aerodactylus scolopaciceps (Meyer, 1860)

    A) Broili (1938) specimen of Pterodactylus scolopaciceps (BSP 1937 I 18) demonstrating extensive soft tissue
     (scale bar = 20 mm) | DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110646.g002


    The taxonomy of the Late Jurassic pterodactyloid pterosaur Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 from the Solnhofen Limestone Formation of Bavaria, Germany is reviewed. Its nomenclatural history is long and complex, having been synonymised with both P. kochi (Wagner, 1837), and P. antiquus (Sömmerring, 1812). The majority of pterosaur species from the Solnhofen Limestone, including P. scolopaciceps are represented by juveniles. Consequently, specimens can appear remarkably similar due to juvenile characteristics detracting from taxonomic differences that are exaggerated in later ontogeny. Previous morphological and morphometric analyses have failed to separate species or even genera due to this problem, and as a result many species have been subsumed into a single taxon. A hypodigm for P. scolopaciceps, comprising of the holotype (BSP AS V 29 a/b) and material Broili referred to the taxon is described. P. scolopaciceps is found to be a valid taxon, but placement within Pterodactylus is inappropriate. Consequently, the new genus Aerodactylusis erected to accommodate it. Aerodactylus can be diagnosed on account of a unique suite of characters including jaws containing 16 teeth per-jaw, per-side, which are more sparsely distributed caudally and terminate rostral to the nasoantorbital fenestra; dorsal surface of the skull is subtly depressed rostral of the cranial table; rostrum very elongate (RI = ~7), terminating in a point; orbits correspondingly low and elongate; elongate cervical vertebrae (approximately three times the length of their width); wing-metacarpal elongate, but still shorter than the ulna and first wing-phalanx; and pteroid approximately 65% of the total length of the ulna, straight and extremely thin (less than one third the width of the ulna). A cladistic analysis demonstrates that Aerodactylus is distinct from Pterodactylus, but close to Cycnorhamphus Seeley, 1870, Ardeadactylus Bennett, 2013a and Aurorazhdarcho Frey, Meyer and Tischlinger, 2011, consequently we erect the inclusive taxon Aurorazhdarchidae for their reception.

    Figure 2. Pterodactylus specimens with soft tissue.
    A) Broili (1938) specimen of Pterodactylus scolopaciceps (BSP 1937 I 18) demonstrating extensive soft tissue (scale bar = 20 mm);
    B) soft tissue occipital head crest from a “Pterodactylus kochi” specimen (BSP 1883 XVI 1); i) photograph; ii) line drawing (scale bar = 20 mm).

    Systematic Palaeontology

    PTEROSAURIA Kaup, 1834
    MONOFENESTRATALü et al., 2010 

    PTERODACTYLOIDEAPlieninger, 1901


    AERODACTYLUSgen. nov.

    Type species: Aerodactylus scolopaciceps (Meyer, 1860).

    Content: The type species Aerodactylus scolopaciceps gen. nov. is the only species currently contained in Aerodactylus.

    Diagnosis: As for type and only species.

    Etymology: Aero = wind (Greek) + dactylus = finger (Greek), a common suffix in pterosaur names. The name derives from the Nintendo Pokémon Aerodactyl, a fantasy creature made up of a combination of different pterosaurian features. It seemed a pertinent name for a genus which has been synonymous with Pterodatylus for so long due to a combination of features.


    1850 Pterodactylus longirostris Meyer, p. 199 [48]
    When Meyer originally described the specimen he referred it to what is now known as Pterodactylus antiquus

    1860 Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, p. 33
    1883 Pterodactylus kochi (H. v. Meyer) Zittel p. 25
    1901 Pterodactylus scolopaciceps von Meyer; Seeley p. 105
    1938 Pterodactylus scolopaciceps H. v. Meyer; Broili p. 146
    1970 Pterodactylus scolopaciceps H. v. Meyer, 1850; Wellnhofer p.22
    1970 Pterodactylus kochi Wagner, 1837; Wellnhofer p. 22

    Holotype: BSP AS V 29 a/b: part and counterpart, with a complete skeleton of a small juvenile.

    Referred material: BSP 1883 XVI 1 (Fig. 2Bi, ii and 3D) and counterpart MCZ 1505: a complete skeleton of a large individual. BSP 1975 I 221: a complete skeleton on a slab, in left lateral view. BSP 1937 I 18 (Fig. 2A and 3E): a complete specimen with soft tissue, in dorsal and right lateral view. Example of Frey & Martill [20]: a complete specimen with soft tissue in right lateral view. NHMW 1975/1756: part and counterpart, a complete skeleton with soft tissue.

    Locality and horizon: Solnhofen Limestone, Malm Zeta 2, Solnhofen, Bavaria, Germany.

    The taxonomy of Pterodactylus is complex due to a suite of plesiomorphic characters that are retained in early ontogeny. Recently, Bennett referred “Pterodactylus longicollum” to the new genus; Ardeadactylus, and synonymised P. kochi with the type and (in our opinion) only species P. antiquus. This synonymy is likely to be erroneous considering that the focussed statistical analyses and a cladistics analysis presented here have demonstrated that “P. kochi” includes at least one other taxon. One such taxon within ‘P. kochi’ is “Pterodactylus scolopaciceps” Meyer 1860 [8]. “Pterodactylus scolopaciceps” is demonstrated to differ from Pterodactylus antiquus in the morphology of its skull and pteroid. Our statistical analysis finds that the two differ in the proportions of the orbit, humerus and pes, and so Aerodactylus gen. nov. is erected for the reception of “P.scolopaciceps”. Remaining specimens of P. kochi are found to have only a few proportions in common with P. antiquus. Notably, the cervical vertebrae of P. kochi are much shorter (nearly half the length when scaled to the same breadth) than those of P. antiquus, and thus we reject Jouve’s [24] and Bennett’s [2] synonymy. Further examination of the remaining specimens contained within P. kochi is required but our analysis suggests that it is generically distinct, and thus validates Diopecephalus Seeley, 1871 [52] (Vidovic and Martill in prep.). Furthermore “Germanodactylus rhamphastinus” is distinct from G. cristatus and requires further taxonomic evaluation. It is probable that “G. rhamphastinus” also belongs in Diopecephalus, as it has a straight dorsal rostrum, teeth beneath the nasoantorbital fenestra and short cervical vertebrae (Vidovic and Martill in prep.).

    Vidovic, S.U. and Martill, D.M. 2015. Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Upper Jurassic of Bavaria, Germany: The Problem of Cryptic Pterosaur Taxa in Early Ontogeny. PLoS ONE. 9(10): e110646. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110646

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    Countershading matches diffuse light in Psittacosaurus.

    Photograph: Jakob Vinther

    Countershading was one of the first proposed mechanisms of camouflage. A dark dorsum and light ventrum counteract the gradient created by illumination from above, obliterating cues to 3D shape. Because the optimal countershading varies strongly with light environment, pigmentation patterns give clues to an animal’s habitat. Indeed, comparative evidence from ungulates shows that interspecific variation in countershading matches predictions: in open habitats, where direct overhead sunshine dominates, a sharp dark-light color transition high up the body is evident; in closed habitats (e.g., under forest canopy), diffuse illumination dominates and a smoother dorsoventral gradation is found. We can apply this approach to extinct animals in which the preservation of fossil melanin allows reconstruction of coloration. Here we present a study of an exceptionally well-preserved specimen of Psittacosaurus sp. from the Chinese Jehol biota. This Psittacosaurus was countershaded with a light underbelly and tail, whereas the chest was more pigmented. Other patterns resemble disruptive camouflage, whereas the chin and jugal bosses on the face appear dark. We projected the color patterns onto an anatomically accurate life-size model in order to assess their function experimentally. The patterns are compared to the predicted optimal countershading from the measured radiance patterns generated on an identical uniform gray model in direct versus diffuse illumination. These studies suggest that Psittacosaurus sp. inhabited a closed habitat such as a forest with a relatively dense canopy.

    Jakob Vinther, Robert Nicholls, Stephan Lautenschlager, Michael Pittman, Thomas G. Kaye, Emily Rayfield, Gerald Mayr and Innes C. Cuthill. 2016.  3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur. Current Biology. 26, 1–7. 

    Scientists reveal most accurate depiction of a dinosaur ever created | Elsa Panciroli
    This Dinosaur Wore Camouflage via @NatGeo


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    Pseudopaludicola jaredi
    Andrade, Magalhães, Nunes-de-Almeida, Veiga-Menoncello, Santana, Garda, Loebmann, Recco-Pimentel, Giaretta & Toledo, 2016

    Figure 4. Specimens of Pseudopaludicola jaredi sp. n. in life from the municipality of Viçosa do Ceará, state of Ceará, Brazil. A) Male vertebral line absent; B) male with red vertebral line; C) male with red vertebral line; D) male vocalizing in the presence of a satellite male; E) couple in axillar amplexus; F) male and female highlighting the sexual dimorphism by the presence of the dark vocal sac in males. 


    A recently published phylogeny corroborated the monophyly of the genus Pseudopaludicola and revealed several potential undescribed taxa. In this first integrative taxonomic study within the genus Pseudopaludicola, we describe the sister clade to the remaining long-legged species (Pseudopaludicola saltica Pseudopaludicola murundu), the third recognized species of the monophyletic P. saltica clade, as a new species from northeastern Brazil. The new species is included in the P. saltica species group based on morphological (the presence of long hind limbs) and molecular evidence (mitochondrial genes). It is diagnosed by single, dark, subgular vocal sac with dark longitudinal folds in males, the presence of eleven pairs of chromosomes, and by an advertisement call composed of notes with up to seven non-concatenated pulses separated by regular interpulse intervals. We also describe the karyotype and tadpoles of the new species and compare them with the other long-legged species. Our populations are supported as an undescribed and independently evolving species within the P. saltica clade based on the generalized mixed Yule-coalescent (GMYC) species delimitation method. Although almost morphologically cryptic to P. saltica and P. murundu, this new species is distinguishable by means of acoustical and genetic traits.

    Key words: Advertisement call, GMYC, integrative taxonomy, karyotype, Pseudopaludicola saltica clade, species delimitation.I

     Felipe Silva de Andrade, Felipe de Medeiros de Magalhães, Carlos Henrique Luz Nunes-de Almeida, Ana Cristina Prado Veiga-Menoncello, Diego José Santana, Adrian Antonio Garda, Daniel Loebmann, Shirlei Maria Recco-Pimentel, Ariovaldo Antonio Giaretta and Luís Felipe Toledo. 2016.  A New Species of Long-legged Pseudopaludicola from northeastern Brazil (Anura, Leptodactylidae, Leiuperinae). SALAMANDRA52(2); 107–124

    Pesquisadores descrevem nova espécie de rã no Nordeste

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    Impatiens occultans Hook. f. 


    Impatiens occultans Hook. f. (Balsaminaceae) is newly recorded for China, from Gyirong County, Xizang Province. A morphological description and notes on its distribution and ecology are provided. A phylogenetic analysis yields a placement of the species that it is sister to I. tuberculata (sect. Racemosae) with which it agrees in having a navicular lower sepal without a spur and 4-colpate pollen grains, but differs in elliptic leaves, 1-flowered racemes, 4 lateral sepals and glabrous capsules.

    Keywords: Balsaminaceae, China, Impatiens, morphology, phylogeny, Eudicots

    Hui Guo, Lai Wei, Jia-Chen Hao, Yu-Fen Du, Lin-Jing Zhang and Sheng-Xiang Yu, 2016. Impatiens occultans (Balsaminaceae), A Newly Recorded Species from Xizang, China, and Its Phylogenetic Position. Phytotaxa. 275(1); 62–68. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.275.1.7

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    Obolopteryx eurycerca 
    Barrientos-Lozano & Rocha-Sánchez, 2016    
    DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4168.3.1


    The present contribution describes five new species of Phaneropterinae from Northeastern Mexico: Obolopteryxeurycerca n. sp., Barrientos-Lozano & Rocha-Sánchez, O. nigra n. sp., Barrientos-Lozano & Rocha-Sánchez, O. tamaholipana n. sp., Barrientos-Lozano & Rocha-Sánchez, O. huastecana n. sp., Barrientos-Lozano & Rocha-Sánchez, andO. tanchipae n. sp., Barrientos-Lozano & Rocha-Sánchez. Diagnostic characters are illustrated and information on distribution and ecology provided. Polymorphism and geographic variation of the genus Obolopteryx Cohn et al. 2014 are discussed.

    Keywords: Orthoptera, Mexico, Phaneropterinae, biodiversity, ecology

    Ludivina Barrientos-Lozano, Aurora Yazmín Rocha-Sánchez, Alejandro Zaldívar-Riverón and Alfonso Correa-Sandoval. 2016. Additional New Species of the Genus Obolopteryx Cohn et al. 2014 (Ensifera: Tettigoniidae) from Northeastern Mexico. Zootaxa. 4168(3); 401–452
    DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4168.3.1

    Cohn, T.J., Swanson, D.R. and Fontana, P. 2014. Dichopetala and new related North American genera: a study in genitalic similarity in sympatry and genitalic differences in allopatry (Tettigoniidae; Phaneropterinae: Odonturini). Miscellaneous publications. Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Miscellaneous publication No. 203, 1–180.

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    Chaunacops spinosus Ho & McGrouther, 2015

    A new deep-sea anglerfish of the genus Chaunacops is described based on three specimens collected from eastern Australia and New Caledonia. It differs from its congeners in having fine dermal spinules, mixed with simple and bifurcate ones, densely covering the body, four neuromasts on the pectoral series of the lateral line and a combination of other characteristics. Data for Chaunacops melanostomus based on 31 specimens newly collected from Western Australia are provided. An underwater observation of C. melanostomus made by a remotely operated vehicle is also provided.

    Keywords: Chaunacops spinosus n. sp; coffinfish; Ichthyology; Pisces; taxonomy; ROV

    H.-C. Ho and M. McGrouther. 2015. A New Anglerfish from eastern Australia and New Caledonia (Lophiiformes: Chaunacidae: Chaunacops), with New Data and Submersible Observation of Chaunacops melanostomus.
    Journal of Fish Biology. 86(3); 940–951. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.12607

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    Pethia sanjaymoluri 
    Katwate, Jadhav, Kumkar, Raghavan & Dahanukar, 2016 
       Sanjay's Black-tip Pethia  |  DOI:  10.1111/jfb.12980 


    Pethia sanjaymoluri, a new cyprinid, is described from the Pavana and Nira tributaries of Bhima River, Krishna drainage, Maharashtra, India. It can be distinguished from congeners by a combination of characteristics that includes an incomplete lateral line, absence of barbels, upper lip thick and fleshy, 23–25 lateral series scales, 7–12 lateral-line pored scales, 10 predorsal scales, 11–14 prepelvic scales, 17–20 pre-anal scales, 4½ scales between dorsal-fin origin and lateral line, four scales between lateral line and pelvic-fin origin, 8–15 pairs of serrae on distal half of dorsal-fin spine, 12–14 branched pectoral-fin rays, 4 + 26 total vertebrae, 4 + 5 predorsal vertebrae, 4 + 13 abdominal vertebrae, 13 caudal vertebrae and a unique colour pattern comprising a humeral spot positioned below the lateral line and encompassing the third and fourth lateral-line scales and one scale below, one caudal spot on 17th–21st lateral-line scales with a yellow hue on its anterior side and apical half of dorsal fin studded with melanophores making the fin tip appear black. Genetic analysis based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence suggests that the species is distinct from other known species of Pethia for which data are available.

    Keywords: barbel; freshwater cyprinid; Maharashtra; molecular phylogeny;osteology;taxonomy

    Pethia sanjaymoluri, in life showing body coloration and prominent black dorsal fin tip. 

    Etymology: The species is named after Sanjay Molur from the Zoo Outreach Organization, for his contribution to the conservation of threatened taxa in the South Asian region.

    Common name: Sanjay's Black-tip Pethia.

     Unmesh Katwate, Shrikant Jadhav, Pradeep Kumkar, R. Raghavan and Neelesh Dahanukar. 2016. Pethia sanjaymoluri, A New Species of Barb (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from the northern Western Ghats, India. Journal of Fish Biology.  88(5); 2027–2050.  DOI:  10.1111/jfb.12980 

    New fish species named in honour of South Indian Conservation Biologist

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    Briggsia damingshanensis  
     L. Wu& B. Pan  

    Briggsia damingshanensis L. Wu & B. Pan is described and illustrated as a new species of Gesneriaceae from Guangxi, China. It is similar to B. dongxingensis, but differs in its densely glandular-pubescent ovary, inconspicuous or absent bracts, pendulous and very slender peduncle, and sparsely pubescent stem and petiole.

     Wu Lei, Bo Pan, Jin-Cai Yang and Wei-An Xu. 2012. Briggsia damingshanensis (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from Guangxi, China.
    Annales Botanici Fennici. 49(1-2); 79-82.   DOI:  10.5735/085.049.0111

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