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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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    Begonia henrilaportei 
    Scherber. & J. Duruisseau  


    Begonia henrilaportei Scherber. & J. Duruisseau, new species of Begoniaceae from the Masoala peninsula, in north-east Madagascar, is described and illustrated. It is provisionally placed in section Nerviplacentaria A. DC. and compared with Begonia lyallii A. DC. with which it presents morphological affinities. It is also compared with Begonia nana L’Hér. and Begonia bogneri Ziesenh. with which it has been mistaken in herbarium. A comparative table of characters is provided. The new species differs from these three species by having a caulescent habit with a creeping stem and linear-lanceolate blades with pinnate venation. The diagnostic characters, geographic distribution and a preliminary conservation assessment of the new species using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria are presented.

    Keywords: Begoniaceae; Begonia; Madagascar; Masoala; Taxonomy

    Fig. 2.– Begonia henrilaportei Scherber. & J. Duruisseau.
    A. Habit in the type locality; B. Leaf adaxial surface; C. Apex of stem; D. Leaf abaxial surface; E. Inflorescence showing female flower and male flower bud; F. Stamens.
    [Photos: A: J. Duruisseau; B-F: D. Scherberich]     DOI:  10.15553/c2016v711a3

    Begonia henrilaportei Scherber. & J. Duruisseau differs from all other Malagasy species by the unique combination of creeping stem, linear-lanceolate blades with pinnate venation, male flowers composed of 2 perianth segments and female flowers with 4 segments.

    Etymology. – This new species is dedicated to Henri Laporte, explorer, keen Begonia grower and collector, who discovered and introduced into cultivation many species from Madagascar. Henri died of severe malaria in December 2001, which he contracted on a trip to Madagascar.

     David Scherberich and Jacky Duruisseau. 2016. Begonia henrilaportei Scherber. & J. Duruisseau (Begoniaceae), A New Endemic Species from the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar.  Candollea. 71(1); 13-18.    DOI:  10.15553/c2016v711a3

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       Ochotona roylii, Langtang National Park, Nepal

    • A potential new subgenus represented by the O. syrinx group.
    • Uncover three potential new species.
    • Mitochondrial introgression was observed from O. cansus to O. curzoniae.

    The phylogeny of living pikas (Ochotonidae, Ochotona) remains obscure, and pika species diversity in southwestern China has never been well explored. In this study, 96 tissue samples from 11 valid species in three classified subgenera (Pika, Ochotona and Conothoa) from 23 locations were characterized using multilocus sequences of 7031bp. Two mitochondrial (CYT B and COI) and five nuclear gene segments (RAG1, RAG2, TTN, OXAIL and IL1RAPL1) were sequenced. We analysed evolutionary histories using maximum likelihood (RAxML) and Bayesian analyses (BEAST), and we also used molecular species delimitation analyses (BPP) to explore species diversity. Our study supported O. syrinx (O. huangensis) as a distinct clade from all named subgenera. Relationships among subgenera were not fully resolved, which may be due to a rapid diversification in the middle Miocene (∼13.90 Ma). Conflicting gene trees implied mitochondrial introgression from O. cansus to O. curzoniae. We uncovered three cryptic species from Shaanxi, Sichuan and Yunnan with strong support, suggesting an underestimation of species diversity in the “sky-island” mountains of southwest China.

    Keywords: Cryptic species; mitochondrial introgression; multilocus species delimitation; Ochotona

    This study inferred the phylogeny of 14 taxa including three cryptic species within a diverse assemblage. Our results supported the O. syrinx group as a distinct lineage beyond the four recognized subgenera, and thus this group may represent a distinct subgenus. Two and one cryptic new species were found in the O. syrinx group and O. thibetana, respectively, suggesting underestimated species diversity in the mountains of southwestern China. Additionally, our results supported mitochondrial introgression from O. cansus to O. curzoniae. Relationships among subgenera remain unresolved, calling for further studies using phylogenomic data. Nevertheless, the unresolved relationship at the root of the genus may be a result of accelerated uplift of the Himalaya and consequences of geographic isolation and rapid diversification.

    Narayan Prasad Koju, Kai He, Mukesh Kumar Chalise, Chris Ray, Zhongzheng Chen, Bin Zhang, Tao Wan, Shunde Chen and Xuelong Jiang. 2017. Multilocus approaches reveal Underestimated Species Diversity and Inter-specific Gene flow in Pikas (Ochotona) from southwestern China.
     Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.11.005

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    Eviota bilunula     Greenfield & Suzuki, 2016
    Eviota flebilis  Greenfield, Suzuki & Shibukawa, 2014

    A new species of dwarfgoby, Eviota bilunula, is described from Fiji. The new species is distinguished by having the cephalic sensory-canal pore system lacking only the IT pore (pattern 2), a dorsal/anal fin-ray formula of 7/7 or 8/7; all pectoral-fin rays unbranched, a 5th pelvic-fin ray of moderate length, a narrow dark bar at the caudalfin base, a red line extending down from under the eye to the jaws, five postanal ventral-midline spots, and two distinctive black crescent-shaped marks underneath the pectoral fin. The description is based on two specimens and a photograph of a third. The species is most similar to E. flebilis from Japan, which does not share the crescent-shaped marks. Eviota flebilis, previously known only from the holotype, is redescribed based on two additional specimens.

    Key words: taxonomy, systematics, ichthyology, coral-reef fishes, gobies, dwarfgoby, Pacific Ocean.

    Eviota bilunula, n. sp.  ||  Crescent Dwarfgoby
     Eviota cf. flebilis (non Greenfield, Suzuki & Shibukawa) Greenfield & Randall 2016: 42–44, figs. 44 & 45 (Viti Levu, Fiji).

    Etymology. The specific epithet is a nominative singular feminine adjective combining the Latin bi (two) and lunula (little moon), in reference to the two distinctive black crescent-shaped marks underneath the pectoral fin.

    Distribution. Known only from Fiji. Specimens were collected at 13.5 m depth.

    Eviota flebilis, Greenfield, Suzuki & Shibukawa, 2014
    Tearful Dwarfgoby

    Etymology. The specific epithet is a nominative singular feminine adjective from Latin for tearful, in reference to the characteristic tear-like red marking below the eye.

    Distribution. Collected and observed underwater only from Amami-oshima Island, Kerama Islands and Iriomote-jima, in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan (Suzuki et al. 2004). It has been photographed or collected from lagoon, slope, and drop-off coral-reef habitats.

    David W. Greenfield and Toshiyuki Suzuki. 2016. Eviota bilunula, A New Dwarfgoby Species from Fiji, with A Redescription of Eviota flebilis (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 24, 1–9.

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    Aegyptocetus tarfa 
    Bianucci & Gingerich 2011

    DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2011.607985

    A new protocetid archaeocete, Aegyptocetus tarfa, is represented by a nearly complete cranium and an associated partial skeleton. The specimen was recovered when marbleized limestone was imported commercially to Italy and cut into decorative facing stone. It came from middle Eocene Tethyan marine strata of the Gebel Hof Formation of Wadi Tarfa in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Exceptional preservation and preparation enables study of some internal features of the skull as well as its external morphology. The skull of Aegyptocetus is unusual in having the rostrum and frontal portions of the cranium deflected more ventrally relative to the braincase than is typical for archaeocetes. This ventral deflection, clinorhynchy, is a rare specialization related to feeding or hearing that is widely distributed across mammals. Aegyptocetus has well-developed ethmoidal turbinal bones, indicating retention of a functional sense of smell. It also has cranial asymmetry, thinning of the lateral walls of the dentaries, enlarged mandibular canals, and thinning of the anterolateral walls of the tympanic bullae, indicating enhanced ability to hear in water. Neural spines are long on thoracic vertebrae T1 through T8, suggesting that Aegyptocetus was able to support its weight on land like other protocetids. This combination of terrestrial and aquatic characteristics is consistent with interpretation of protocetids as semiaquatic. The pattern of tooth marks preserved on the ribs of Aegyptocetus indicates that the individual studied here was attacked by a large shark, but it is not certain whether this was the cause of death.

    Giovanni Bianucci and Philip D. Gingerich. 2011. Aegyptocetus tarfa, n. gen. et sp. (Mammalia, Cetacea), from the Middle Eocene of Egypt: Clinorhynchy, Olfaction, and Hearing in a Protocetid Whale. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.31(6); 1173–1188. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2011.607985

    Whale fossils show important characters of the transition to water via @physorg_com

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    Oreophryne anser   Kraus, 2016

    paratype of Oreophryne anser sp. nov. (BPBM 15737) from S slope Mt. Pekopekowana, Owen Stanley Mts., Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea


    Oreophryne presently represents the second-most-diverse genus of microhylid frogs, with 57 named species, most occurring on New Guinea and its satellite islands. Nonetheless, a diversity of species remains to be described. Using morphological, color-pattern, and advertisement-call data, I describe ten new species of Oreophryne from the Papuan Peninsula of New Guinea and adjacent islands, which together form the East Papuan Composite Terrane. All but two of these species can be placed into two species groups based on call type. I refer to these species groups as the O. anser group and the O. equus group, both being based on species described herein. Members of the Oreophryne anser group produce calls reminiscent of a goose honk, whereas members of the Oreophryne equus group produce calls reminiscent of a horse’s whinny. Description of three new species in the O. anser group requires me to first rediagnose O. loriae, which has previously been interpreted as including the frogs named herein as Oreophryne anser sp. nov. The honk call type has not previously been reported within Oreophryne, and the whinny call may be novel as well, although it is possibly derived from other New Guinean species having calls consisting of a slower series of peeps. Based on their unique call types, I hypothesize that both species groups are monophyletic. If true, each would appear endemic to the East Papuan Composite Terrane. Only five additional species of Oreophryne are known from this region that do not belong to one or the other of these two species groups; hence, these newly identified species groups represent the majority of diversity in Oreophryne from the Papuan Peninsula and its satellite islands.

    Keywords: Amphibia, Frog, Milne Bay, Owen Stanley Mountains, East Papuan Composite Terrane

    • Species with honk calls [O. anser group]
    Oreophryne loriae (Boulenger, 1898)  
     Oreophryne anser sp. nov. 
     Oreophryne philosylleptoris sp. nov.
     Oreophryne lemur sp. nov.

    • Species with whinny calls [O. equus group]
      Oreophryne equus sp. nov.
    Oreophryne penelopeia sp. nov. 
     Oreophryne meliades sp. nov. 
    Oreophryne banshee sp. nov. 
     Oreophryne picticrus sp. nov.

    • Species with other calls
    Oreophryne aurora sp. nov.
    Oreophryne matawan sp. nov.  

    Fred Kraus. 2016. Ten New Species of Oreophryne (Anura, Microhylidae) from Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa.  4195(1); 1–68.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4195.1.1

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    DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4194.1.1 


    We have compiled available records in the literature for medusozoan cnidarians and ctenophores of South America. New records of species are also included. Each entry (i.e., identified species or still as yet not determined species referred to as “sp.” in the literature) includes a synonymy list for South America, taxonomical remarks, notes on habit, and information on geographical occurrence. We have listed 800 unique determined species, in 958 morphotype entries: 5 cubozoans, 905 hydrozoans, 25 scyphozoans, 3 staurozoans, and 20 ctenophores. Concerning nomenclatural and taxonomical decisions, two authors of this census (Miranda, T.P. & Marques, A.C.) propose Podocoryna quitus as a nomen novum for the junior homonym Hydractinia reticulata (Fraser, 1938a); Euphysa monotentaculata Zamponi, 1983b as a new junior synonym of Euphysa aurata Forbes, 1848; and Plumularia spiralis Milstein, 1976 as a new junior synonym of Plumularia setacea (Linnaeus, 1758). Finally, we also reassign Plumularia oligopyxis Kirchenpauer, 1876 as Kirchenpaueria oligopyxis (Kirchenpauer, 1876) and Sertularella margaritacea Allman, 1885 as Symplectoscyphus margaritaceus (Allman, 1885).

    Keywords: Distribution, Faunistics, Hydroids, Hydromedusae, Scyphozoans, Siphonophores

    Oliveira, Otto M. P., Thaís P. Miranda, Enilma M. Araujo, Patricia Ayón, Cristina Cedeño-Posso, Amancay A. Cepeda-Mercado, Pablo Córdova, Amanda F. Cunha, Gabriel N. Genzano, Maria A. Haddad, Hermes Mianzan, Alvaro E. Migotto, Lucília S. Miranda, André C. Morandini, Renato M. Nagata, Karine B. Nascimento, Miodeli N. Júnior, Sergio Palma, Javier Quiñones, Carolina S. Rodriguez, Fabrizio Scarabino, Agustín Schiariti, Sérgio N. Stampar, Valquiria B. Tronolone and Antonio C. Marques.  2016. Census of Cnidaria (Medusozoa) and Ctenophora from South American Marine Waters.
     Zootaxa. 4194(1); 1–256.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4194.1.1

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    Figure 2. In-situ photographs
    AHippocampus bargibanti on Muricella sp. 3 (RMNH Coel. 39866, see Fig. 7), Turtles Reef, Raja Ampat (photo F.R. Stokvis) BHippocampus denise on Annella reticulata (RMNH Coel. 39880, see Fig. 10); W Mansuar, Raja Ampat (photo B.W. Hoeksema) CHippocampus pontohi (host not collected) Timur I, Bunaken (photo S.E.T. van der Meij) DHippocampus severnsi (host not collected) Siladen I, SE Siladen (photo B.T. Reijnen).

    An overview of the octocoral and hydrozoan host species of pygmy seahorses is provided based on literature records and recently collected field data for Hippocampus bargibanti, Hippocampus denise and Hippocampus pontohi. Seven new associations are recognized and an overview of the so far documented host species is given. A detailed re-examination of octocoral type material and a review of the taxonomic history of the alcyonacean genera Annella (Subergorgiidae) and Muricella (Acanthogorgiidae) are included as baseline for future revisions. The host specificity and colour morphs of pygmy seahorses are discussed, as well as the reliability of (previous) identifications and conservation issues.

    Keywords: Acanthogorgiidae, Alcyonacea, Annella, Anthozoa, Hippocampus, host specificity, Hydrozoa, Indo-Pacific, Muricella, new associations, Octocorallia, Subergorgiidae

    Figure 13. A rare occurrence, Hippocampus denise on Muricella sp. 2 (RMNH Coel. 39873) at Raja Ampat (photo F.R. Stokvis).

    Bastian T. Reijnen, Sancia E.T. van der Meij, Leen P. van Ofwegen. 2011. Fish, Fans and Hydroids: Host Species of Pygmy Seahorses. ZooKeys103: 1–26. DOI:  10.3897/ZooKeys.103.953

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    Oreophrynella seegobini
    Kok, 2009 

    Oreophrynella seegobini sp. nov. is described from 2088 m elevation on Maringma tepui in the Pakaraima Mountains of Guyana, at the Guyana-Brazil border. The new species is mainly distinguished from known congeners by small size, indistinct frontoparietal crests, prominent postorbital crests, prominent suborbital crests, well-developed webbing on hand and foot, dorsal skin minutely spiculate with scattered medium to large elevated tubercles, ventral skin anteriorly rugose with few flat granules, posteriorly tuberculate, blackish brown dorsal colour, and dark brownish orange ventral colour. Data on four specimens of O. macconnelli collected on the southeast slope of the tepui are provided.

    Key words: Oreophrynella seegobini sp. nov., endemism, Guiana Shield, taxonomy, tepuis

    Oreophrynella seegobini  Philippe J. R. Kok. 2009. A New Species of Oreophrynella (Anura: Bufonidae) from the Pantepui Region of Guyana, with Notes on O. macconnelli Boulenger, 1900Zootaxa. 2071; 35–49.

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    Puntigrus (Systomusnavjotsodhii  
    (Tan, 2012)

     Systomus navjotsodhii: MZB 17198, holotype, 41.7 mm SL, life colour.
    A, a pair near the rocky substratum; B, male near submerged river bank vegetation. Insitu photographs in type location, a hill stream habitat (Aug.2007).

    A deep-bodied tiger barb with broad black bars is described from hill stream habitats in the headwaters of the Katingan River in Central Kalimantan, Borneo. Systomus navjotsodhii differs from other tiger barbs in having four complete broad black bars and the deepest body (body depth at dorsal-fin origin 53.6–59.2 % SL). The species is named in memory of Navjot Sodhi.

    Key words:  taxonomy, tiger barb, cypriniformes, Southeast Asia, biodiversity

    Distribution. — Systomus navjotsodhii is currently only known from both the upper Katingan and Barito river basins in Central Kalimantan, Borneo (Fig. 4).

    Etymology. — Named after the late Professor Navjot S. Sodhi(1962–2011), for his inputs to conservation and ecological research in Southeast Asia, also for his considerable contributions and services to the editorship of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (as Editor-in-Chief from 1996 to 2001, Associate Editor from 2001 to 2005, and Editorial Board member from 2006 to 2011)

    Discussion. — Systomus navjotsodhii belongs to the group of tiger barbs with a rhomboidal body, which include S. anchisporus (Fig. 5A), S. partipentazona (Fig. 5B), S. pulcher (Fig. 5C), and S. tetrazona (Fig. 5D). These are unlike the tiger barbs with an elongated body form, viz. S.endecanalis, S. foerschi, S. hexazona, S. pentazona, and S. rhomboocellatus. This former (rhomboid) group possesses a unique colour pattern, consisting of four or five black bars, with a dorsal fin with black pigmentation; whereas the group with the elongate body has five or six black bars, with a hyaline dorsal fin. 

    Heok Hui Tan. 2012. Systomus navjotsodhii, A New Cyprinid Fish from Central Kalimantan, Borneo.  THE RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 25: 285–289.  

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     Hemidactylus asirensis Halfarraji 
    Šmíd, Shobrak, Wilms, Joger & Carranza, 2016

    In this study, we provide genetic, morphological, and geographical comparisons for 11 species of the southwestern Arabian radiation of Hemidactylus geckos, nine of which are endemic to the region. By using a coalescence-based species-tree reconstruction in combination with divergence time estimations and speciation probability testing, we show that most of the speciation events occurred in the Pliocene, which is more recent than previously thought based on calibrations of concatenated data sets. The current dating indicates that the changing climate at the beginning of the Pliocene, from hot and dry to cold and wet, is likely responsible for increased speciation in Hemidactylus. Analyses of geographic and altitudinal overlap of the species and their morphological differentiation show that most species do not occur in sympatry. Those that overlap geographically are usually differentiated by their altitudinal preference, head shape, body size, or their combination. Our results indicate that the topographically complex mountains of southwestern Arabia support a significant radiation of Hemidactylus geckos by allowing multiple allopatric speciation events to occur in a relatively small area. Consequently, we describe two new species endemic to the Asir Mountains of Saudi Arabia, H. alfarraji sp. n. and H. asirensis sp. n., and elevate two former subspecies of H. yerburii to species levelH. montanus and H. pauciporosus.

    Keywords: Allopatry; Diversity; Gekkonidae; Radiation; Species delimitation; Species tree; Speciation

    Figure 5: Holotypes and type localities of Hemidactylus alfarraji sp. n. and  H. asirensis sp. n.
    a General body habitus of H. alfarraji sp. n. holotype (NMP 75269); b detail of its head; c detail of its precloacal region with preanal pores visible; d lamellae under the toes of left hind limb; e type locality 32 km W of Najran (1969 m a.s.l.), Najran Province, Saudi Arabia.
    f General body habitus of H. asirensis sp. n. holotype (NMP 75271); g detail of its head; h detail of the precloacal region with preanal pores visible; i lamellae under the toes of left hind limb; j type locality Al Balhy (2376 m a.s.l.), Asir Province, Saudi Arabia 

    Jiří Šmíd, Mohammed Shobrak, Thomas M. Wilms, Ulrich Joger and Salvador Carranza. 2016. Endemic Diversification in the Mountains: Genetic, Morphological, and Geographical Differentiation of the Hemidactylus Geckos in southwestern Arabia. Organisms Diversity & Evolution.  DOI: 10.1007/s13127-016-0293-3

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    Spectrolebias brousseaui  
    Nielsen, 2013 


    Spectrolebias brousseaui is described from a temporary pool from the upper río Mamoré basin, Departamento Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The new species is distinguished from all congeners, by the overall dark blue coloration on the posterior two-thirds of body with bright blue iridescent spots vertically aligned in males. Spectrolebias brousseaui differs from all other species of the genus, except S. filamentosus, for having pelvic fins separated by a space (vs. pelvic fins in contact), long filaments at the tip of the dorsal and anal fins in males (vs. absence of filaments or presence only on dorsal fin in S. semiocellatus and S. inaequipinnatus, or the presence on the anal fin in S. chacoensis), and presence of contact organs on the scales of the flanks in males (vs. absence of contact organs on flanks in all remaining Spectrolebias species).

    Key words: Phylogeny; Spectrolebias filamentosus; Temporary pool

    Distribution. Known from the type locality in río San Pablo basin, a tributary of the río Mamoré, Departamento Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

    Habitat. The type locality lies at the plateau area (316 m.a.s.l.), just southwest of Llanos de Mojos, which occupy much of the río Mamoré basin in Bolivia (see Loubens et al., 1992). Water temperature at the surface of the pool was 31ºC, while at the depth of 1 m, 22ºC. In the marginal area of the pool, at the depth of 15 cm, water temperature was 35ºC. Only small specimens of Trigonectes sp. were collected in marginal areas. Specimens of Simpsonichthys brousseaui were collected in the deepest areas, at about 1 m deep. The pool presented dark water, pH 6.8 and water hardness 80 ppm. Other fish species collected syntopically were Trigonectes sp.

    Etymology. The specific name is in honor to Roger D. Brousseau, discoverer of the species.

    Nielsen, D.T.B. 2013. Spectrolebias brousseaui (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae: Cynolebiatinae), A New Annual Fish from the upper río Mamoré basin, Bolivia.
     Neotropical Ichthyology. 11(1); 81-84.  DOI: 10.1590/S1679-62252013000100009 

    RESUMO: Spectrolebias brousseaui é descrita de uma poça temporária localizada na região superior da bacia do río Mamoré, departamento de Santa Cruz, Bolívia. A espécie nova distingue-se de todos os congêneres pelo padrão de cor azul escuro nos dois terços posteriores do corpo com pontos azuis claros iridescentes alinhados verticalmente em machos. Spectrolebias brousseaui difere das outras espécies do gênero, exceto S. filamentosus, por ter as nadadeiras pélvicas separadas por um espaço (vs. nadadeira pélvicas juntas), longos filamentos nas extremidades das nadadeiras dorsal e anal em machos (vs. ausência de filamentos ou a presença apenas na nadadeira dorsal em S. semiocellatus e S. inaequipinnatus, ou pela presença de filamentos na nadadeira anal em S. chacoensis), e presença de órgão de contato nas escamas do flanco em machos (vs. ausência)

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    Cambarus (Depressicambarusclairitae 
    Schuster & Taylor, 2016


    Cambarus (Depressicambarusclairitae, new species, is an epigean crayfish from two drainages of the Locust Fork system in Blount and Jefferson counties, Alabama. It belongs to the halli Group in the subgenus Depressicambarus. The new species is morphologically most similar to Cambarus (Depressicambarus) englishi. They differ in a several morphological characters. Cambarus englishi has a more strongly recurved central projection, a wider areola, and a more distinct and set off rostral acumen than the new species. It also has light gray to white antennae while the antennae of the new species are brown. In addition to the description of the new species, the halli Group in Alabama is discussed.

    Keywords: Crustacea, CambarusDepressicambarusclairitaehalli Group, latimanus Group, new species, crayfish, Alabama

    The zebra crayfish, Cambarus (Depressicambarusclairitae, a new species discovered in Alabama tributaries of the Locust Fork. (photo: Guenter Schuster) 

    FIGURE 1. Cambarus (Depressicambarus) clairitae n. sp.: Holotype, Jefferson County, AL, dorsal view. 

    Etymology. Named in honor of our wives Claire Schuster and Rita Taylor, who have supported us faithfully since the beginning. They have endured weeks alone at home while we were in the field or in some museum chasing crayfishes. Without their continued support we would not have been able to follow our research paths. We are forever grateful to them. This honor is a small token of that appreciation.

    Common name. The suggested common or vernacular name for this species is the Zebra Crayfish because of its very distinct and contrasting light and dark coloration. This is especially evident on the dorsum of the abdomen where it resembles the stripes of a zebra.

    A new species of crayfish, Cambarus clairitae, belonging to the halli Group of the subgenus Depressicambarus in the genus Cambarus is described. It is most closely related to Cambarus englishi, and can be separated from it by the curvature of the central projection of the gonopod of the MI, by the shape the acumen and rostrum, by the width of the areola and by the color of the antennae and body. The two species are allopatric. Cambarus clairitae has only been found from two streams within the Locust Fork drainage. It was not common in either stream at any location, and should be considered for conservation status.

    Schuster, Guenter A. & Christopher A. Taylor. 2016. Cambarus (Depressicambarusclairitae, A New Species of Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from Alabama with A Review of the halli Group in the Subgenus DepressicambarusZootaxa. 4193(2): 332–346.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4193.2.8

    Meet the zebra crayfish, a new species discovered in Alabama

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    Rhododendron mechukae 
    A.A.Mao & A.Paul 

    DOI:  10.1017/S0960428612000364

    The new species Rhododendron mechukae A.A.Mao & A.Paul (Ericaceae) is described from India.

    A. A. Mao, Moonmoon Bhaumik, Ashish Paul, Sanjeeb Bharali and Mohammed Latif Khan. 2013. Rhododendron mechukae (Ericaceae), A New Species from  India.  Edinburgh Journal of Botany. 70(1); 57-60. DOI:  10.1017/S0960428612000364


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    Opistognathus solorensis, Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi 


    A new species of jawfish, Opistognathus ensiferus n. sp., is described based on a single specimen from Manauli Reef in the Gulf of Mannar, India. It is a member of a species group that also includes Opistognathus solorensis Bleeker (Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and Palau) and O. verecundus Smith-Vaniz (northwestern Australia). From these two species O. ensiferus n. sp. differs in lacking dark oral pigmentation, except inner lining of upper jaw and adjacent membranes with a single dark stripe (vs. two stripes) and in having a lateral line ending below the 6th or 7th segmented dorsal-fin ray (vs. below the 1st to 4th ray). Opistognathus solorensis is redescribed and in the absence of extant type specimens a neotype is designated. Two strikingly different color morphs are documented for O. solorensis, including the less common one which is almost entirely yellow.

    Keywords: Pisces, Opistognathidae, jawfish, Opistognathus ensiferus new species, India

    FIGURE 8. Opistognathus solorensis, Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi.
     Photograph by Ned DeLoach. 

    W.F. Smith-Vaniz. 2016. Opistognathus ensiferus, A New Species of Jawfish (Opistognathidae) from the Gulf of Mannar, India, with Redescription of O. solorensis BleekerZootaxa. 4196(2); 278-288.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4196.2.6

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      Australerpeton cosgriffi in its environment (Middle–Late Permian [260 million years ago], Rio do Rasto Formation, Paraná Basin, Brazil)
    Reconstruction by Rodolfo Nogueira.

    Stereospondyls are a diverse and morphologically distinctive clade of basal tetrapods that rapidly reached a global distribution and high abundance during the Early Triassic. Yet, the first stereospondyls appeared in the Middle–Late Permian of Gondwana, mostly represented by Rhinesuchidae. Australerpeton cosgriffi is a long-snouted representative of the group and one of the most complete temnospondyls known from the Permian of South America. The elements attributed to Au. cosgriffi were recovered from the Middle-Late Permian deposits of the Rio do Rasto Formation (Paraná Basin), in the Serra do Cadeado area of Brazil. Here, we review the cranial anatomy of the species, providing a comparative redescription, new anatomical data and previously unrecognized characters. Australerpeton cosgriffi is nested within Rhinesuchidae based on the anatomy of the tympanic cavity, but its long-snouted condition is unique amongst rhinesuchids. Based on the recovered information and new morphological data, the systematic position of Au. cosgriffi was assessed using a new matrix of 221 characters; of which 196 were selected from previous studies and the remaining are newly proposed. The results show Rhinesuchidae divided into Rhinesuchinae and Australerpetinae. A unique tympanic cavity formed by a well posteroventrally projected tabular horn, stapedial groove, well-developed oblique crest on the pterygoid, and a dorsal pterygoid crest (new term) characterizes the ear region of Rhinesuchidae. Australerpeton cosgriffi is the only undisputed Rhinesuchidae record outside southern Africa and the first long-snouted Stereospondyli, and thus is useful in helping to understand the diversification of the stereospondyls during the Middle/Late Permian of Gondwana.

    Keywords: Gondwana; long-snouted rhinesuchid; Palaeozoic; phylogenetics; Rio do Rasto Formation; systematics; Temnospondyli; tympanic cavity

    Estevan Eltink, Eliseu V. Dias, Sérgio Dias-da-Silva, Cesar L. Schultz and Max C. Langer. 2015. The Cranial Morphology of the Temnospondyl Australerpetoncosgriffi (Tetrapoda: Stereospondyli) from the Middle–Late Permian of Paraná Basin and the Phylogenetic Relationships of Rhinesuchidae.  Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 176(4);   835–860.  DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12339

    Paleontologists describe giant amphibian that lived 260 million years ago

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    Geosesarma batak 
      Manuel-Santos, Ng & Freitag, 2016 


    Two new and relatively large species of semi-terrestrial sesarmid crabs of the genus Geosesarma De Man, 1892, are described from Palawan Island, Philippines. They are distinguishable from congeners by the characteristic structure of their carapace, chelipeds, ambulatory legs and male first gonopods. Aspects of their ecology are briefly discussed.

    Key words: Crustacea, Brachyura, Decapoda, Sesarmidae, Geosesarma, Palawan, Philippines, taxonomy, new species

    Geosesarma tagbanua  Manuel-Santos, Ng & Freitag, 2016 

    Marivene Manuel-Santos, Peter K. L. Ng and Hendrik Freitag. 2016. Two New Species of Geosesarma De Man, 1892 (Crustacea: Brachyura: Sesarmidae) from Palawan, the Philippines. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 64: 335–342

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     Parotocinclus dani 
    Roxo, Silva & Oliveira, 2016  

    A new species of Parotocinclus is described from three small tributaries of the rio Tapajós basin, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by presenting the following characters: (1) a triangular dark blotch at the anterior base of the dorsal fin, (2) the absence of an adipose fin but presence of one small platelet at typical adipose-fin region, (3) the abdomen completely covered by dermal plates, (4) a pectoral girdle totally exposed, (5) a single series of bicuspid teeth, and (6) the higher number of bicuspid premaxillary and dentary teeth.

    Keywords: Biodiversity, Cascudinhos, freshwater, Neotropical fish, taxonomy

    Figure 1. Parotocinclus dani, MZUSP 120737, 27.3 mm SL, holotype from small tributary of rio Peixoto de Azevedo, rio Tapajós basin, municipality of Peixoto de Azevedo, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. 

    Distribution: The new species is known from three drainages of rio Tapajós in Mato Grosso State, Brazil (Fig. 4). Two from the rio Teles Pires, in the municipality of Paranaíta and from a small tributary of rio Peixoto de Azevedo, in the municipality of Peixoto de Azevedo.

    Etymology: The specific name “dani” is in honor of Daniela Fernandes Roxo, FF Roxo’s sister.

    Fábio Fernandes Roxo, Gabriel Souza da Costa e Silva and Claudio Oliveira. 2016. Description of A New Species of Parotocinclus (Siluriformes, Hypoptopomatinae) from the rio Tapajós basin.
    ZooKeys. 634; 125-136 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.634.9917

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    Janosikia ulmensis   (Gerhardt, 1903).
    DOI:  10.1111/zoj.12340  

    The endemic Canary Island lizard clade Gallotia, which includes the largest members of Europe's dominant reptile group, Lacertidae, is one of the classic examples of insular gigantism. For the first time we use fossil data to test the evolutionary reasons for the association between gigantism and herbivory. We describe an almost completely preserved skeleton of Janosikia ulmensis  comb. nov. from the early Miocene of Ulm, Germany (MN 2a, ∼ 22 Mya). We show that this species and Oligocene Pseudeumeces cadurcensis (Filhol, 1877) are in fact crown lacertids, and the first known pre-Quaternary record of the total clade of Gallotia. Pseudeumeces confirms the early origin of crown Lacertidae in the Palaeogene of Europe. More importantly, these fossil taxa show that large body size was already achieved on the European mainland by the early Miocene. Furthermore, Pseudeumeces and Janosikia were faunivorous, thus demonstrating that insularity, not large body size, was crucial to the evolution of herbivory in this lineage. Body size change in Gallotia was more complex than previously thought, encompassing size increase [e.g. in the extinct Gallotia goliath (Mertens, 1942)], but more commonly involving miniaturization. The physical environment may play a crucial role in modulating the evolution of body size in this natural laboratory.

    Keywords: Canary Islands; Europe; island rule; lacertid phylogeny– Palaeogene; Squamata

    Systematic Palaeontology
    Squamata Oppel, 1811 
    Lacertidae Oppel, 1811 

    Gallotiinae Cano, Baez, López-Jurado & Ortega, 1984 

    Janosikia gen. nov.

    Etymology: After Juraj Jánošík (20? January 1688–17 March 1713), famed leader of a Slovak band of highwaymen. They took from the rich and gave to the poor, but did not kill and even helped an injured priest. Jánošík was eventually captured and executed.

    Type species: Janosikia ulmensis comb. nov. (Gerhardt, 1903).

    Comment: Based on our phylogenetic analyses (see below), a new generic name is required for this species despite its similarity to Pseudeumeces cadurcensis. The attribution of the species to Pseudeumeces would render the latter paraphyletic.

    Janosikia ulmensis (Gerhardt, 1903) comb. nov.  

    Locality and horizon: Type locality of Ophisaurus ulmensis Gerhardt, 1903, north-west of Ulm, Germany. The fossils derive from white or grey calcareous marls of the of the Lower Freshwater Molasse, dated to the middle Agenian (MN 2a), lower Miocene (Heizmann et al., 1989).

    Figure 3.  Janosikia ulmensis  comb. nov., SMNS 96582.
     A, main prepared block of sediment, containing most cranial elements. B, reconstruction of the skull in dorsal view. C, life reconstruction of J. ulmensiscomb. nov. from the early Miocene of Germany. 

    Figure 9.  A, phylogenetic relationships of Pseudeumeces and Janosikia gen. nov. with other lacertid lizards. Single most-parsimonious tree. Bootstrap values shown on branches subtending nodes. B, evolution of size in Gallotiinae. Average skull size (and so average body size) increases progressively on stem of Gallotia, such that Janosikia ulmensis comb. nov. equals basal Gallotia stehlini in size. Skull size decreases several times in Gallotia, including Gallotia atlantica and the Gallotia galloti group. Nodes 1 (Gallotiinae), 2, 3, and 4 (Gallotia) are labelled. 


     Andrej Čerňanský, Jozef Klembara and Krister T. Smith. 2016. Fossil Lizard from central Europe Resolves the Origin of Large Body Size and Herbivory in Giant Canary Island Lacertids. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 176(4); 861–877. DOI:  10.1111/zoj.12340 

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    Characidium clistenesi 
     Melo & Espíndola, 2016  


    A new species of Characidium Reinhardt, 1867 endemic to tributaries of the upper rio Paraguaçu in the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil, is described. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners except C. bahiense, C. bimaculatum, C. laterale, C. nana, C. nupelia, and C. xavante, by having a conspicuous peduncular blotch in addition to the basicaudal spot on the base of the middle caudal-fin rays. Among other features, the new species differs from C. bahiense, C. laterale, C. nana, C. nupelia, and C. xavante by having a complete lateral line with 32–36 perforated scales (vs. lateral line short, with 9–11 perforated scales), and from C. bimaculatum by the body pigmentation pattern, with secondary bars present (vs. absent), total bars 11–16 (vs. 10–12), peduncular blotch rounded (vs. horizontally elongated), and mature males not having a darker dorsal fin (vs. proximal third of dorsal fin darker in mature males). Characidiumbimaculatum, a poorly known species from Northeastern Brazil, is redescribed.

    Keywords: Pisces, Northeastern Brazil, rio São Francisco, Bacia do Nordeste Oriental, Caatinga, semiarid biome

    Field underwater photographs of Characidium clistenesi sp. nov. taken in rio São José (voucher MZUSP 120487)

    Characidium clistenesi, new species 
    Piaba-charuto, charutinho 

    Characidiumbimaculatum (non Fowler, 1941): Leitão & Buckup, 2014: 21 (material examined, in part. MNRJ 23757, 23764, both from rio São José, Lençóis, Bahia). 
    Characidium cf. bimaculatum (non Fowler, 1941): Santos, 2003: 27, 75, 77, 78 (checklist and estimative of abundance of species from rio Paraguaçu, Chapada Diamantina).

    Etymology. The specific name is dedicated to our colleague Dr. Alexandre Clistenes de Alcântara Santos, in recognition of his long time of dedication in researching the natural history of the ichthyofauna of the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil.

    Marcelo R.S. Melo and Vinicius C. Espíndola. 2016. Description of A New Species of CharacidiumReinhardt, 1867 (Characiformes: Crenuchidae) from the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, and Redescription of Characidium bimaculatumFowler, 1941.
      Zootaxa.   4196(4); 552–568. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4196.4.5

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    Figure 1. Amblygobius nocturnus species group:
    A) A. calvatus n. sp., Miniloc Island, Palawan, Philippines; B) A. esakiae, Bali, Indonesia; C) A. cheraphilus n. sp., Alotau, Papua New Guinea; D) A. nocturnus, Alotau, Papua New Guinea (all G.R. Allen).


    Two new species belonging to the Indo-Pacific gobiid genus Amblygobius are described from mud-bottom habitats.Amblygobius calvatus n. sp. is described on the basis of 9 specimens, 23.7–48.0 mm SL, from the El Nido area of northern Palawan in the Philippines. Diagnostic features for the new species include usual counts of 15 segmented dorsal and anal-fin rays, scales entirely cycloid, no scales on the head (including the side of the nape and upper opercle), 80–86 longitudinal body scales, 24–26 transverse body scales, a strongly lanceolate caudal fin, a grayish-brown color in life with two orange-brown stripes on the head and body, 8–11 small black spots or saddles on the upper back, a blackish moustache-like marking above the upper lip, a horizontally oval orange-brown spot on the opercle, and a white pectoral-fin base with a central, horizontally-elongate, reddish-brown marking. Amblygobius cheraphilus n. sp. is described from 11 specimens, 14.6–32.9 mm SL, collected near the town of Alotau in Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. It differs from congeners on the basis of a combination of features, including usual counts of 13 segmented dorsal and anal-fin rays, scales entirely cycloid, no scales on the head except for the side of the nape, 56–60 longitudinal scales, 14–18 transverse scales, a moderately lanceolate caudal fin, a grayish color in life with two reddish-brown stripes on the head and body with the lower stripe containing a prominent oval dark-brown spot on the opercle and ending in a dark-brown spot on the caudal-fin base, a series of small brown saddles on the back and predorsal region, and a faint ocellus on the upper caudal-fin rays.

    Amblygobius calvatus Allen & Erdmann, 2016
    Amblygobius cheraphilus Allen & Erdmann, 2016

    Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdmann. 2016. Descriptions of Two New Gobies (Gobiidae: Amblygobius) from the tropical western Pacific Ocean. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 24; 10–23.

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