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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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    Thismia bokorensis Suetsugu & Tsukaya

    in Suetsugu, Tsukaya, Tagane, Chhang, Yukawa & Yahara, 2018.

    The genus Thismia Griffith (1844: 221) of the tribe Thismieae, Burmanniaceae sensu APG IV (2016) or Thismiaceae of other authors, represents one of the most species-rich mycoheterotrophic genera and consists of more than 60 species (Jonker 1948, Merckx 2008). Considering that the majority of these species were collected only once (Jonker 1948), and that many new species have recently been discovered, especially from various Southeast Asian countries (e.g., Tsukaya & Okada 2012, Dančák et al. 2013, Nuraliev et al. 2014, 2015, Truong et al. 2014, Chantanaorrapint & Sridith 2015, Li & Bi 2013, Hroneš et al. 2015, Tsukaya et al. 2017, Suetsugu et al. 2017), many more undescribed species are probably still hidden in the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia.

    Here, we describe a new species,ThismiabokorensisSuetsugu & Tsukaya, discovered during a botanical survey in Bokor National Park, Cambodia, in 2013. This is the first record of the genus Thismia for Cambodia. The newly discovered specimen apparently belongs to the section Thismia (formerly Euthismia Schltr.) subsect. Brunonithismia Jonker (1938: 242), in having free and spreading inner perianths, larger inner perianth lobes, and vermiform, creeping roots. After a careful examination, the unknown plant was found to have a significantly different floral morphology from all the other known species.  

    FIGURE 1. Thismiabokorensisfrom the type locality.
    A–B. Flowers. C. Flowering plant.  

    Thismia bokorensis Suetsugu & Tsukaya, sp. nov.

    Type:— CAMBODIA. Kampot Province: Bokor National Park, evergreen forest near a stream, ... elev. 370 m, 10 Aug. 2013, Tagane, Fuse, Yokota, Zhang & Chhang 5857 (holotype: TNS, in the spirit collection).

     Thismia bokorensis is similar to Thismia tentaculata Larsen & Averyanov (2007: 16) of Vietnam and Hong Kong in having the lateral appendage of the connective that does not exceed the apical part of the connective, three-toothed apical margin of the connective, and the shorter light yellow tentacles in inner perianth lobes.

     Habitat and ecology:— Only one individual was found in the evergreen forest, near a stream, at an elevation of 370 m. The forest was dominated by Scaphiumaffine (Malvaceae), Diospyrosschmidtii (Ebenaceae), Ardisiasanguinolenta (Primulaceae), Epiprinussiletianus (Euphorbiaceae), Mallotussubpeltatus (Euphorbiaceae), Knemalenta (Myristaceae), Syzygiumsiamense (Myrtaceae), and Prismatomeristetrandra (Rubiaceae). The roots of the specimen above were tangled to an old seed of Ixonanthusreticulata (Ixonanthaceae). The flowering specimen was collected in August.

    Kenji Suetsugu, Hirokazu Tsukaya, Shuichiro Tagane, Phourin Chhang, Tomohisa Yukawa and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2018.  Flora of Bokor National Park VII: Thismiabokorensis (Burmanniaceae), A New Species Representing A New Generic Record. Phytotaxa.  334(1); 65–69. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.334.1.10

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    Eriauchenius workmani O. P.-Cambridge, 1881

     Photo: Nikolaj Scharff/Smithsonian Institution

    Wood & Scharff. 2018.  

    An endemic genus of Madagascan spiders (Araneae, Archaeidae, Eriauchenius) is revised. All 20 species of Eriauchenius are described and keyed, of which 14 are new speciesEriauchenius andriamanelo sp. n., Eriauchenius andrianampoinimerina sp. n., Eriauchenius goodmani sp. n., Eriauchenius harveyi sp. n., Eriauchenius lukemacaulayi sp. n., Eriauchenius milajaneae sp. n., Eriauchenius milloti sp. n., Eriauchenius rafohy sp. n., Eriauchenius ranavalona sp. n., Eriauchenius rangita sp. n., Eriauchenius rixi sp. n., Eriauchenius sama sp. n., Eriauchenius wunderlichi sp. n., Eriauchenius zirafy sp. n. Additionally, six species of the new genus Madagascarchaea gen. n. are described and keyed, of which four are new species: Madagascarchaea fohy sp. n., Madagascarchaea lotzi sp. n., Madagascarchaea moramora sp. n., Madagascarchaea rabesahala sp. n. Diagnostic characters for the Madagascan and African genera are described, and based on these characters and previous phylogenetic analyses the following species transfers are proposed: Eriauchenius cornutus (Lotz, 2003) to AfrarchaeaAfrarchaea fisheri (Lotz, 2003) and Afrarchaea mahariraensis (Lotz, 2003) to Eriauchenius. Finally, we propose that the distribution of Afrarchaea be restricted to South Africa. While several Madagascan specimens have previously been identified as Afrarchaea godfreyi (Hewitt, 1919), we argue that these are likely misidentifications that should instead be Eriauchenius.

    Keywords: Afrarchaea, Palpimanoidea, new species, taxonomy

    Suspended upside-down from a strand of silk, the male of species Eriauchenius workmani (right) slowly approaches the female (left) to mate. As he approaches, he makes sounds by quickly vibrating his pedipalps (a small, modified pair of legs) to court the female. She answers back by vibrating her pedipalps.
    (photo: Jeremy Miller) 


     Hannah M. Wood and Nikolaj Scharff. 2018. A Review of the Madagascan Pelican Spiders of the Genera Eriauchenius O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1881 and Madagascarchaea gen. n. (Araneae, Archaeidae). ZooKeys. 727: 1-96.  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.727.20222

    Madagascar's ancient 'pelican spiders' are as striking as they are strange @NMNH via @SmithsonianMag
    18 New Terrifying Assassin Spider Species Look Like Pelicans
    18 species of pelican spiders with salad-tong faces discovered

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    Impatiens nilalohitae  Hareesh & M.Sabu

    in Hareesh & Sabu. 2017.  

    Impatiens nilalohitae is described from Arunachal Pradesh, Northeastern India. The new species shows similarities with I. adamowskiana and I. rugosipetala, but differs by having a 10–15-flowered inflorescence, dark purple flowers, and four lateral sepals, among other characters. A detailed description and colour photographs, as well as remarks on geographic distribution and ecology, are provided.

    Keywords: Arunachal Pradesh, Balsaminaceae, Impatiens, new species, Monocots

    Impatiens nilalohitae Hareesh & M.Sabu sp. nov.

    Impatiens nilalohitae Hareesh & M.Sabu sp. nov. 

    Impatiens nilalohitae is phenotypically similar to I. adamowskiana but differs by having a non-winged stem, setaceous stipular gland, 10– 15-flowered inflorescence, dark purple flower, four lateral sepals, and spur with a notched apex. It is also similar to I. rugosipetala but differs by having 10–15-flowered inflorescence, dark purple flower with non-rugose petals, four lateral sepals, lower sepal with an acute apex, and a spur with a notched apex.

    Etymology—The specific epithet refers to the purple colour (nilalohita in Sanskrit) of the flower and the abaxial leaf blade surface.

    Vadakkoot Sankaran Hareesh and Mamiyil Sabu. 2017. Impatiens nilalohitae (Balsaminaceae): A New Species from Northeastern India. Phytotaxa. 323(2); 189–193.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.323.2.7

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    Rana lenca
     Luque-Montes, Austin, Weinfurther, Wilson, Hofmann & Townsend, 2018

    Integrative taxonomy seeks to approach the complex topic of species diagnosis using independent, complementary lines of evidence. Despite their ubiquity throughout North and Central America, taxonomy of the American leopard frogs (Anura: Ranidae: Rana: subgenus Pantherana) remains largely unresolved, and this is arguably nowhere truer than in the Central American country of Honduras, where there are two nominal species, the taxonomy of which remains unresolved. Leopard frogs from several mountainous areas along the continental divide in Honduras have previously been considered putative hybrids between Rana brownorum and R. cf. forreri, as opposed to two alternate hypotheses: one that they represent a high-altitude eco-morph of a single widespread species that included both lowland forms, or a second that there is an undescribed highland species distinct from either of the recognized lowland forms. We examine this set of hypotheses using three independent lines of evidence. First, we used species distribution modelling to examine potential geographic isolation of the highland form and the two putative parental lowland species, and found strong ecological separation between the highland and lowland forms. Second, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA supports the distinction of the highland form from both putative parental species, with mtDNA data refuting the hypothesis that representatives of either species may represent a matrilineal founder. Morphologically, the highland form is significantly smaller than, and otherwise readily differentiated from, both R. brownorum and R. cf. forreri, as well as all other Rana found in Honduras and adjacent areas. As a result, we formally describe the highland leopard frog as a new species.

    Key words: Amphibia, integrative taxonomy, mitochondrial DNA, Pantherana, phylogeny, rhodopsin, species distribution modelling

    Rana lenca sp. nov.

    Common English name. Lenca Leopard Frog
    Common Spanish name. La Rana Lenca

    Etymology. The name lenca is given in honour of the indigenous Lenca people, the traditional inhabitants of the mountainous region of south-western Honduras. 

    Paratypes of Rana lenca from Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca, 1,640 m elevation, Departamento de Francisco Morazan,Honduras:
    (1) adult female paratype (UF 166642; 64.3 mm SL); (2) Subadult female paratype (UF 166643) and tadpole (UF 166637).
    Photos by Jason M. Butler. 

    Unvouchered examples of Rana lenca; (1) adult male from the type locality; (2) adult female from the type locality; (3) adult male from the Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca; (4) adult female from the Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca. 

    Unvouchered examples of Rana lenca;
     (1) adult male from the type locality; (2) adult female from the type locality; (3) adult male from the Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca; (4) adult female from the Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca; (5) adult male at edge of pond at type locality; (6) adult female floating amongst Pinus oocarpa needles in a spring-fed pool at Reserva Biologica Cerro Uyuca. 

    Type locality of Rana lenca; San Pedro La Loma, 2010 m elevation, Depto. Intibuca, Honduras. in January 2008 (top) and during drought conditions in May 2015 (bottom). 

    Ileana Luque-Montes, James D. Austin, Kayla D. Weinfurther, Larry David Wilson, Erich P. Hofmann and Josiah H. Townsend. 2018. An Integrative Assessment of the Taxonomic Status of Putative Hybrid Leopard Frogs (Anura: Ranidae) from the Chortís Highlands of Central America, with Description of A New Species.  Systematics and Biodiversity. In Press.   DOI  10.1080/14772000.2017.1415232 

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    Gomphotherium tassyi
     Wang, Li, Duangkrayom, Yang, He & Chen, 2017

    Gomphotherium is a stem taxon of Elephantida that was widespread in Africa, Eurasia, and North America during the Miocene. However, the evolution of this genus is greatly debated because of morphological variation among the species of Gomphotherium. In the present work, we describe a cranium and accompanying material of Gomphotherium from the late middle Miocene Hujialiang Formation of Linxia Basin, China. The new material shows dental similarities to G. subtapiroideum from the middle Miocene of Europe; however, it displays some cranial, mandibular, and dental feature combinations that are distinct from the known species of Gomphotherium. Therefore, a new speciesGomphotherium tassyi, is established. We further study the phylogeny of Gomphotherium by cladistic analysis and recognize four groups. The most basal ‘G. annectens group’ is a paraphyletic group that includes G. annectens, G. cooperi, G. sylvaticum, and G. hannibali. The African taxa, G. libycum and G. pygmaeus, constitute a monophyletic group that has not been named. The ‘G. angustidens group’ is a monophyletic group that includes G. inopinatum, G. mongoliense, G. connexum, and G. angustidens. In addition, the ‘derived Gomphotherium group,’ which includes G. subtapiroideum, G. tassyi, G. wimani, G. browni, G. productum, and G. steinheimense, was widely distributed in Eurasia and North America during the middle and late Miocene.


    Shi-Qi Wang, Yu Li, Jaroon Duangkrayom, Xiang-Wen Yang, Wen He and Shan-Qin Chen. 2017.  A New Species of Gomphotherium (Proboscidea, Mammalia) from China and the Evolution of Gomphotherium in Eurasia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 37(3); DOI:  10.1080/02724634.2017.1318284   

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    Caihong juji 
    Hu, Clarke, Eliason, Qiu, Li, Shawkey, Zhao, D’Alba, Jiang & Xu, 2018

      DOI:   10.1038/s41467-017-02515-y  
    Illustration: Velizar Simeonovski

    The Jurassic Yanliao theropods have offered rare glimpses of the early paravian evolution and particularly of bird origins, but, with the exception of the bizarre scansoriopterygids, they have shown similar skeletal and integumentary morphologies. Here we report a distinctive new Yanliao theropod species bearing prominent lacrimal crests, bony ornaments previously known from more basal theropods. It shows longer arm and leg feathers than Anchiornis and tail feathers with asymmetrical vanes forming a tail surface area even larger than that in Archaeopteryx. Nanostructures, interpreted as melanosomes, are morphologically similar to organized, platelet-shaped organelles that produce bright iridescent colours in extant birds. The new species indicates the presence of bony ornaments, feather colour and flight-related features consistent with proposed rapid character evolution and significant diversity in signalling and locomotor strategies near bird origins.

    Fig. 1 Caihong jujiholotype specimen (PMoL-B00175).
     Photographs of the slab (a) and counter slab (b) and line drawing (c) of the specimen based on both slabs. Photograph (d) and line drawing (e) of a composite of the rostrum of the skull and mandible exposed on the counter slab and the post-rostrum cranium exposed on the slab. Arrows indicate lacrimal crests. Question mark indicates uncertain identification. Scale bars: 10 cm a–c, 1 cm d and e.

     aof antorbital fenestra, cav caudal vertebra, cev cervical vertebra, dr dorsal rib, dv dorsal vertebra, ect ectopterygoid, emf external mandibular fenestra, en external naris, f feather, fu furcula, ga gastralia, hy hyoid, il ilium, is ischium, la left angular, lar left articular, lc left coracoid, lcr lacrimal crest, ld left dentary, lf left, frontal, lfe left femur, lh left humerus, lj left jugal, ll left lacrimal, lma left maxilla, lm left manus, ln left nasal, lp left pes, lpa left palatine, lpo left postorbital, lq left quadrate, lqj left quadratojugal, lr left radius, ls left scapula, lsp left splenial, lsa left surangular, lsq left squamosal, lt left tibiotarsus, lu left ulna, ma mandible, mf maxillary fenestra, o orbit, p parietal, pm premaxilla, pt pterygoid, pu pubis, rar right articular, rc right coracoid, rd right dentary, rfe right femur, rh right humerus, rm right manus, rp right pes, rpra right prearticular, rq right quadrate, rr right radius, rs right scapula, rt right tibiotarsus, ru right ulna, scl sclerotic bones, sk skull, sy synsacrum

    Systematic palaeontology
    Theropoda Marsh, 1881
    Maniraptora Gauthier, 1986
    Paraves Sereno, 1998

    Caihong juji gen. et sp. nov.

     Etymology. Caihong is from the Mandarin ‘Caihong’ (rainbow), referring to the beautiful preservation of the holotype specimen of the animal and the array of insights it offers into paravian evolution; juji is from the Mandarin ‘ju’ (big) and ‘ji’ (crest), referring to the animal’s prominent lacrimal crests.

     Holotype. PMoL-B00175 (Paleontological Museum of Liaoning), a nearly complete skeleton with associated plumage preserved on a slab and counter slab from Gangou, Qinglong, northern Hebei Province, Tiaojishan Formation, early Late Jurassic, ~161 Myr.

     Diagnosis. A small theropod with the following autapomorphies within Paraves: accessory fenestra posteroventral to promaxillary fenestra, lacrimal with prominent dorsolaterally oriented crests, robust dentary with anterior tip dorsoventrally deeper than its midsection and short ilium (<50% of the femoral length, compared to considerably >50% in other theropods).


    An artist's depiction of Caihong juji, a species of theropod dinosaur that lived 160 million years ago in what's now northeastern China.
    Illustration: Velizar Simeonovski 

    Dongyu Hu, Julia A. Clarke, Chad M. Eliason, Rui Qiu, Quanguo Li, Matthew D. Shawkey, Cuilin Zhao, Liliana D’Alba, Jinkai Jiang and Xing Xu. 2018. A Bony-crested Jurassic Dinosaur with Evidence of Iridescent Plumage highlights Complexity in Early Paravian Evolution. Nature Communications. 9, Article number: 217. DOI:   10.1038/s41467-017-02515-y

    New 'Rainbow' Dinosaur May Have Sparkled Like a Hummingbird via @NatGeo


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    Magnificent Riflebird Ptiloris magnificus during courtship display.

    in  McCoy, Feo, Harvey & Prum, 2018.
    photo: Tim Laman || DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w 

    Many studies have shown how pigments and internal nanostructures generate color in nature. External surface structures can also influence appearance, such as by causing multiple scattering of light (structural absorption) to produce a velvety, super black appearance. Here we show that feathers from five species of birds of paradise (Aves: Paradisaeidae) structurally absorb incident light to produce extremely low-reflectance, super black plumages. Directional reflectance of these feathers (0.05–0.31%) approaches that of man-made ultra-absorbent materials. SEM, nano-CT, and ray-tracing simulations show that super black feathers have titled arrays of highly modified barbules, which cause more multiple scattering, resulting in more structural absorption, than normal black feathers. Super black feathers have an extreme directional reflectance bias and appear darkest when viewed from the distal direction. We hypothesize that structurally absorbing, super black plumage evolved through sensory bias to enhance the perceived brilliance of adjacent color patches during courtship display.

    Magnificent Riflebird Bird of Paradise Ptiloris magnificus male displaying to female.
     photo: Tim Laman

    Fig. 1  Six species of birds of paradise and one close relative.
    a, b Species with normal black plumage patches. cg Species with super black plumage patches.

    a Paradise-crow Lycocorax pyrrhopterus. b Lesser Melampitta Melampitta lugubris, a Papuan corvoid closely related to birds of paradise.
    c Princess Stephanie’s Astrapia Astrapia stephaniae. d Twelve-wired Birds-of-Paradise Seleucidis melanoleucus. e Paradise Riflebird Ptiloris paradiseus during courtship display. f Wahnes’ Parotia Parotia wahnesi. g Superb Bird-of-Paradise Lophorina superba during courtship display with female (brown plumage).

    Photos: a @Hanom Bashari/Burung Indonesia; b Daniel López-Velasco; c Trans Niugini Tours; d–f Tim Laman; g Ed Scholes.  DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w 

    Fig. 3 Examples of normal and super black feather microstructure.
     a SEM micrograph of Lycocorax pyrrhopterus normal black feather with typical barbule morphology; scale bar, 200 µm. b SEM micrograph of Parotia wahnesi super black feather with modified barbule arrays; scale bar, 50 µm. c Gold sputter-coated normal black breast feather of Melampitta lugubris appears gold. d Gold sputter-coated super black breast feather of Ptiloris paradiseus retains a black appearance indicating structural absorption. SEM stubs are 12.8 mm in diameter.

    A comparison of a normal feather, top left, and a feather from a paradise riflebird, top right.
    The bottom panels are the feathers coated in gold. Notice how the riflebird’s still appears a deep black.
    photos: Dakota McCoy 

    Dakota E. McCoy, Teresa Feo, Todd Alan Harvey and Richard O. Prum. 2018. Structural Absorption by Barbule Microstructures of Super Black Bird of Paradise Feathers. Nature Communications. 9, Article number: 1. DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w

    Evolved illusion: Blackest black gives bird of paradise an edge

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    Terfezia crassiverrucosa  
      Zitouni-Haouar, G. Moreno, Manjón, Fortas, & Carlavilla

    in Zitouni-Haouar, Carlavilla, Moreno, Manjón & Fortas, 2018


    Morphological and phylogenetic analyses of large ribosomal subunit (28S rDNA) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS rDNA) of Terfezia samples collected from several bioclimatic zones in Algeria and Spain revealed the presence of six distinct Terfezia species: T. arenaria, T. boudieri, T. claveryi; T. eliocrocae (reported here for the first time from North Africa), T. olbiensis, and a new speciesTerfezia crassiverrucosa sp. nov., proposed and described here, characterized by its phylogenetic position and unique combination of morphological characters. A discussion on the unresolved problems in the taxonomy of the spiny-spored Terfezia species is conducted after the present results.

    Keywords: desert truffles, Pezizaceae, phylogeny, taxonomy, Fungi

    FIGURE 2. Macro- and microscopic characters of Terfezia crassiverrucosa.
    a. ascocarp collected under Helianthemum hirtum. b. gleba, cross section. c,d. asci with spores. e–h. ascospores (f–h. scanning electron micrograph).

    Bars: a–b = 1 cm, c–d = 10 µm, e = 5 µm, f–g = 5 µm, h = 2 µm.

    Terfezia crassiverrucosa Zitouni-Haouar, G. Moreno, Manjón, Fortas, & Carlavilla, sp. nov.  

      Diagnosis:— Ascomata hypogeous, subglobose, substipitate with short basal attachment, <8 cm broad (Fig. 2a). Peridium smooth, light to dark brownish, 100–200 µm thick with emergent hyphae 6–10 µm broad at septa, pseudoparenchymatous, composed of subglobose, polygonal to irregularly oblong cells (9–) 12.5–38 × 15–60(–62) µm, with cell walls 1–2 µm thick. Gleba solid, fleshy, light pink to pale yellow with subglobose to elongate light pink to pale gray pockets of fertile tissue, separated by light yellow to pale orangish yellow sterile veins (Fig. 2b). Asci (4–6)–8– spored, hyaline, often ellipsoid to ovoid or at times subglobose, 51–60 × 60–81 µm, nonstalked (Fig. 2 c & d). Ascospores globose, first hyaline, turning light yellowish to bright orange with age, measuring (16–) 17–21 (–24) µm in diameter including ornamentation, consisting in more or less broad flat truncate to round-tipped warts (0.5–) 1–1.5 × 2–4.5 (– 6) µm, and relatively elongated rounded elements measuring 1–1.5 × 1.5–3 µm. The prominent, crowded ornamentation hides a fine reticulum on the spore surface formed between the warts (Fig. 2 c–h).

    Etymology:— The epithet (Latin crassiverrucosa) refers to the large warts covering the spore surface of this species. 

    Habitat:— Algerian arid area. In high steppe plains south of Constantine (Chrea, Tebessa), associated with Helianthemum sp. In high steppe plains south of Algiers (Bouchouat, Tiaret), found under Helianthemum hirtum and H. salicifolium associated mostly with Stipa parviflora on sandy loam alkaline soil, in sites also producing T. claveryi and T. eliocrocae. March, April.

     Fatima El-Houaria Zitouni-Haouar, Juan Ramón Carlavilla, Gabriel Moreno, José Luis Manjón and Zohra Fortas. 2018. Genetic Diversity of the Genus Terfezia (Pezizaceae, Pezizales): New Species and New Record from North Africa. Phytotaxa.  334(2); 183–194.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.334.2.7 

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    Cheirogaleus grovesi
    McLain, Lei, Frasier, Taylor, Bailey, Robertson, Nash, Randriamanana, Mittermeier & Louis, 2017

     Primate Conservation. 31;

     A new species in the genus Cheirogaleus is described from Ranomafana and Andringitra national parks, Madagascar. Ranomafana National Park is a rainforest situated in a montane region, and Andringitra National Park is comprised of grassland, lowland and highland forests displaying great altitudinal variation. Both parks are known to harbor wide species diversity in flora and fauna. Genetic and morphometric analyses of the samples collected at these localities confirmed that this Cheirogaleus lineage represents a new species in the C. crossleyi group, and here we elevate it to species status as Cheirogaleus grovesi, for the British-Australian biological anthropologist, evolutionary biologist and taxonomist Colin Groves.

    Key Words: Cheirogaleus, dwarf lemur, cryptic species, Madagascar

    Figure 2. Illustration of Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2 and closely related species (Fig. 8 in Lei et al. 2014), Illustrations by Stephen D. Nash (Conservation International).
       Top left panel represents a lateral view of Cheirogaleus sp nov. 2 = C. grovesi, top right panel includes all lineages in the Cheirogaleus crossleyi group. 

    Bottom photographs are of the holotype of Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2 (TRA8.81) at Andringitra National Park.
    Photographs by Edward E. Louis, Jr. 

    the holotype of Cheirogaleus grovesi sp. nov. (TRA8.81) at Andringitra National Park. 
    Photographs by Edward E. Louis, Jr

     Cheirogaleus grovesi
     Formerly Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2, also CCS3/Crossleyi D (Lei et al. 2014), 
    also Cheirogaleus sp. Ranomafana Andrambovato (Thiele et al. 2013).

    Description. The dorsum, limbs, and head are rufous-brown. The areas around the orbits are brownish-black, with a white patch proximal to the fleshy part of the nose in the inter-ocular space. The pelage on the ventral surface of the mandible is white, which continues onto the rufous-grey pelage of the ventrum.


    Distribution. Cheirogaleus grovesi is known from the national parks of Ranomafana and Andringitra, as well as surrounding areas, and likely occupies a fragmented range between the two parks across the Haute Matsiatra region of Madagascar. Observed at 754–999 m above sea level (Fig. 3).

    Etymology. This species is named for the late British-Australian biological anthropologist, Professor Colin Groves (1942- 2017), in recognition of his more than forty years of work in the fields of primatology, evolutionary biology, morphological analysis, mammalian taxonomy and associated disciplines. Professor Groves embodied the true spirit of collaboration. His fastidious research on historical collections incorporated the work of those that preceded him, which he combined with the efforts of his contemporaries, creating compositions that span hundreds of years of scientific exploration. At the time of his passing, Professor Groves was widely regarded as the greatest living primate taxonomist.

    Vernacular Names. Groves’, Andringitra, or Haute Matsiatra dwarf lemur.


     Adam T. McLain, Runhua Lei, Cynthia L. Frasier, Justin M. Taylor, Carolyn A. Bailey, Brittani A. D. Robertson, Stephen D. Nash, Jean Claude Randriamanana, Russell A. Mittermeier and Edward E. Louis Jr. 2017. A New Cheirogaleus (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus crossleyi Group) Species from Southeastern Madagascar. Primate Conservation. 31; 27-36.
    New lemur species discovered by Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium scientists


    Big-Eyed, Fluffy-Tailed Lemur Species Discovered via @NatGeo
    There’s a new member of the lemur family via @Mongabay

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     Weinell & Bauer, 2018.

    • A molecular systematic study was conducted for the wide-ranging Trachylepis varia complex.
    • Phylogenetic analyses support the existence of at least eight species within the Trachylepis varia complex.
    • The Southern African members of the Trachylepis varia complex are phenotypically distinct.
    • We update the taxonomy for the southern Africa members of the Trachylepis varia complex.
    • Diversification within the Trachylepis varia complex began during the mid to late Miocene or early Pliocene.

    A systematic study of the Trachylepis varia complex was conducted using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers for individuals sampled across the species range. The taxonomic history of T. varia has been complicated and its broad geographic distribution and considerable phenotypic variation has made taxonomic revision difficult, leading earlier taxonomists to suggest that T. varia is a species complex. We used maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to estimate gene trees and a multilocus time-tree, respectively, and we used these trees to identify the major clades (putative species) within T. varia. Additionally, we used morphological and color pattern data to distinguish and revise the taxonomy of the southern African clades. The major clades recovered in the multilocus time-tree were recovered in each of gene trees, although the relationships among these major clades differed across gene trees. Genetic data support the existence of at least eight species within the T. varia complex, each of which originated during the mid to late Miocene or early Pliocene. We focus our systematic discussion on the southern African members of the T. varia complex, revive Trachylepis damarana (Peters, 1870) and T. laevigata (Peters, 1869), and designate lectotypes for T. damarana and T. varia.

    Keywords: Africa, Lygosominae, Phylogenetics, Phylogeography, Trachylepis damarana, Trachylepis laevigata

    Trachylepis varia (Peters, 1867)
    Euprepes varius Peters, 1867

    Trachylepis laevigata (Peters, 1869)
    Euprepes laevigatus Peters, 1869

    Trachylepis damarana (Peters, 1870)
    Euprepes damaranus Peters, 1870

      Trachylepis damarana from Haenertsberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

    We find strong evidence that Trachylepis varia, T. damarana, and T. laevigata are distinct species that occur in southern Africa and that five additional, species-level clades occur north of the Zambezi and Kunene rivers, although future studies are needed to determine whether Trachylepis nyikae and Trachylepis isellii should also be recognized. The allopatric distribution and morphological distinctiveness of T. isellii (Largen and Spawls, 2010) suggests that this species is probably valid and the presence of multiple endemic species on the Nyika Plateau (Poynton, 1997; Burrows and Willis, 2005) suggests that T. nyikae may also be a valid species. Additionally, little is known about the distribution or natural history of the undescribed species sampled in Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Tanzania. Lastly, next generation DNA sequencing may be useful in resolving deeper phylogenetic relationships within the T. varia complex and for distinguishing historical gene flow from incomplete lineage sorting. This study is the first to use genetic data to address species diversity, phylogenetic history, and taxonomic issues for the T. varia complex and is an example of how both genetic and phenotypic data can be used to resolve taxonomic problems and to estimate species ranges.

     Jeffrey L. Weinell and Aaron M. Bauer. 2018. Systematics and Phylogeography of the Widely Distributed African Skink Trachylepis varia Species Complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  120; 103-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.11.014

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    Pisanosaurus mertii Casamiquela, 1967
    in Agnolín & Rozadilla. 2018. 

    Illustration: Gabriel Lio  ||  DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1352623
    Pisanosaurus mertii was originally described on the basis of an incomplete skeleton from the early Late Triassic (Carnian) of northern Argentina. It is consistently regarded by most authors as a very basal ornithischian, the sister group of remaining members of the clade. The referral to Ornithischia is based mainly on tooth-bearing bones and tooth morphology. On the other hand, the postcranium is recognized as strikingly plesiomorphic for ornithischians, and even for dinosaurs. The recent description of non-dinosaurian dinosauriforms of the clade Silesauridae having ornithischian-like dentition invites a review of the phylogenetic affinities of Pisanosaurus. In this regard, an overview of the holotype specimen allows a reanalysis of previous anatomical interpretations of this taxon. The phylogenetic analysis presented here suggests that Pisanosaurus may be better interpreted as a member of the non-dinosaurian Silesauridae. It shares with silesaurids reduced denticles on the teeth, teeth fused to maxilla and dentary bone, sacral ribs shared between two sacral vertebrae, lateral side of proximal tibia with a fibular flange, and dorsoventrally flattened pedal ungual phalanges. The present analysis indicates that Pisanosaurus should be removed from the base of the Ornithischia and should no longer be considered the oldest representative of this dinosaurian clade.

    Keywords: Pisanosaurus mertii, Ornithischia, Silesauridae, Late Triassic, Argentina

     Comparative silhouette of Pisanosaurus mertii based on available material.
    A, modified from Bonaparte (1976); B, present study.
    Not to scale. Bones in grey indicate non-preserved elements. 

    Federico L. Agnolín and Sebastián Rozadilla. 2018. Phylogenetic Reassessment of Pisanosaurus mertii Casamiquela, 1967, A Basal Dinosauriform from the Late Triassic of Argentina.  Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.  DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1352623

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    Nymphister kronaueri 
    von Beeren & Tishechkin, 2017 

    For more than a century we have known that a high diversity of arthropod species lives in close relationship with army ant colonies. For instance, several hundred guest species have been described to be associated with the Neotropical army ant Eciton burchellii Westwood, 1842. Despite ongoing efforts to survey army ant guest diversity, it is evident that many more species await scientific discovery.

    We conducted a large-scale community survey of Eciton-associated symbionts, combined with extensive DNA barcoding, which led to the discovery of numerous new species, among them a highly specialized histerid beetle, which is formally described here. Analyses of genitalic morphology with support of molecular characters revealed that the new species is a member of the genus Nymphister. We provide a literature review of host records and host-following mechanisms of Eciton-associated Haeteriinae demonstrating that the new species uses an unusual way of phoretic transport to track the nomadic habit of host ants. Using its long mandibles as gripping pliers, the beetle attaches between the ants’ petiole and postpetiole. The beetles specifically attach to medium-sized ant workers, thus participating as hitchhikers in the regular colony emigrations of the single host species Eciton mexicanum Roger, 1863.

    By providing tools for reliable species identification via morphology and DNA barcodes for hitherto unknown army ant guest species, we set the baseline for studies targeting the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in these species-rich host-symbiont communities.

    Keywords: Phoresy, Social parasitism, Myrmecophile, Eciton, Host specificity, Nymphister, Army ants, Specialization, Symbiosis

    Nymphister kronaueri 

    Etymology. We dedicate this species to Daniel Kronauer, an avid field biologist and long-time army ant researcher, who discovered the species during an Eciton mexicanum s. str. colony emigration.

    Distribution. Known only from the type locality, i.e. La Selva Biological Station, a lowland Atlantic rainforest in Costa Rica.


    Despite the enduring efforts to explore the microcosm of army ant-associated arthropods, a large proportion of unknown biodiversity still exists today. Myrmecophile communities of army ant species other than E. burchellii and E. hamatum have not been intensively studied, and thus it can be expected that many more species with fascinating adaptations still await scientific discovery. The present study is an example demonstrating the benefits of a combined approach, using morphology and DNA barcodes, to discover and describe new species in ant-myrmecophile communities.

    Christoph von Beeren and Alexey K. Tishechkin. 2017. Nymphister kronaueri von Beeren & Tishechkin sp. nov., An Army Ant-associated Beetle Species (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Haeteriinae) with An Exceptional Mechanism of Phoresy. BMC Zoology. 2:3.   DOI: 10.1186/s40850-016-0010-x

    Newly discovered beetle catches a ride on the backs of army ants to get around via @Mongabay
    Newly discovered beetle species catches a ride on the back of army ants via @physorg_com


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    Hemidactylus vanam
    Chaitanya,  Lajmi & Giri, 2018

    distinct new gecko of the genus Hemidactylus is described from the Meghamalai massif in Tamil Nadu, India. This large sized (average SVL 88.2±16.0 to at least 112.2 mm), cryptic, rock-dwelling species is superficially similar to its tuberculate South Asian congeners of comparable size, but can be distinguished from them in having 17–19 longitudinal rows of fairly regularly arranged, strongly keeled, striated tubercles with the two most medial parasagittal rows smaller, flatter, strongly keeled and rounded, increasing in size laterally and becoming strongly conical at the flanks; 8–10 and 10–12 sub-digital lamellae under the first and fourth digits respectively of both manus and pes; 17–22 femoral pores on each side separated medially by a diastema of 10–11 poreless scales; 11–15 supralabials and 9–14 infralabials. Molecular data supports the distinctiveness of this species and helps ascertain its phylogenetic position within the larger Indian Hemidactylus clade.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Hemidactylus vanam sp. nov., H. prashadi group, cryptic species, Western Ghats, eastern escarpment

    R. Chaitanya, Aparna Lajmi and  Varad B. Giri. 2018. A New Cryptic, Rupicolous Species of Hemidactylus Oken, 1817 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Meghamalai, Tamil Nadu, India. Zootaxa. 4374(1);  49–70.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4374.1.3

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    Begonia namkadingensis C.-J. Yang, Souladeth& Tagane

    in Yang, Tagane, Souladeth, Okabe, Hu & Yahara, 2018
    ສົ້ມກົບນໍ້າກະດິງ ||  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.334.2.8 


    A new species of Begonia (Begoniaceae), Begonia namkadingensis, is described. This species was collected on moist mossy limestone rocks in the Nam Kading National Protected Area in central Laos during our field survey in 2017. The species resembles B. pteridiformis, which is endemic to Peninsular Thailand, but can be distinguished by its smaller habit, fewer and smaller leaves, less hairy stems and leaves, narrower inner dorsal tepal of pistillate flowers, fewer stamens, and smaller fruits.

    Keywords: DNA barcoding, flora, Laos, new species, sect. Lauchea, sect. Parvibegonia, taxonomy, Eudicots

    Chen-Jui Yang, Shuichiro Tagane, Phetlasy Souladeth, Norikazu Okabe, Jer-Ming Hu and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2018. Flora of Nam Kading National Protected Area III: Begonia namkadingensis (Begoniaceae), A New Species in Limestone Area. Phytotaxa.  334(2); 195-199. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.334.2.8

    ຕີພິມແລ້ວ, ພືດຊະນິດໃໝ່ຂອງໂລກ ຈາກປ່າສະຫງວນນໍ້າກະດິງ! 
    ສົ້ມກົບນໍ້າກະດິງ (ຊື່ລາວ) ຫຼື Begonia namkadingensis C.-J. Yang, Souladeth & Taganeຕະກຸນ Begoniaceae (2018) Phytotaxa 334(2)

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    Cynomops freemani 
    Moras, Gregorin, Sattler & Tavares, 2018 

    Until recently the genus Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae) comprised six species of fast flying, aerial insectivorous bats distributed throughout the Neotropics. However, our revisionary study have shown that the diversity of this taxon was underestimated as molecular and morphological data supported the recognition of C. milleri as a full species and revealed two previously unrecognized, small species of Cynomops. These newly recognized taxa are Cynomops freemani sp. nov. from the Canal Zone region, Panama, sister taxon to C. mexicanus, and Cynomops tonkigui sp. nov. from the eastern Andes of Ecuador and Colombia, sister taxon of C. milleri. We also describe the calls of Cynomops freemani sp. nov. that may be useful for the recognition of these species during field inventories based on ultrasonic recording techniques. We elevate the currently known diversity of Cynomops to eight species, as we also revalidate C. milleri providing an emended diagnosis and a redescription of this taxon.

    Keywords: Free-tailed bats, taxonomy, acoustic identification, Cynomops freemani sp. nov, Cynomops tonkigui sp. nov

    Family Molossidae Gervais 1856
    Genus Cynomops Thomas 1920

    Cynomops milleri (Osgood, 1914)
    Miller’s Dog-faced Bat

    two Freeman’s Dog-Faced bats Cynomops freemani discovered in Gamboa, Panama.
    Photo: Elias Bader

    Cynomops freemani, new species 
    Freeman’s Dog-faced Bat

    ETYMOLOGY: The name “freemani” is in honor to Dr. Patricia W. Freeman in recognition of her influential contributions to the study of the morphology, systematics, and evolutionary relationships of molossid bats (e.g. Freeman, 1981).

    DISTRIBUTION: Cynomops freemani is known from lowlands (23–53 m a.s.l.) of the Pacific coast of the Canal Zone region in Panama (Fig. 3).

    Cynomops tonkigui, new species 
    Waorani Dog-faced Bat

    ETYMOLOGY: The name “tonkigui” is used as a noun in apposition, and means "bat" in the Waorani language. The name honors the Waorani people who inhabit the type locality (Tirira, 2012)

    DISTRIBUTION: Cynomops tonkigui is known from the lowlands (195–529 m a.s.l.) of northeastern South America, and the eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia (Fig. 3).

     Ligiane M. Moras, Renato Gregorin, Thomas Sattler and Valéria da C. Tavares. 2018. Uncovering the Diversity of Dog-faced Bats from the Genus Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae), with the Redescription of C. milleri and the Description of Two New Species. Mammalian Biology. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2017.12.005 


    Two New Dog-Faced Bat Species Discovered in Panama and Ecuador

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    Nototriton costaricense   Arias& Kubicki, 2018


    A new salamander belonging to the genus Nototriton, subgenus Nototriton, is described from the Caribbean slopes of the southeastern Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica, within Parque Internacional La Amistad, at an elevation ca. 1500 m a.s.l. This new taxon is distinguished from its congeners by its morphological characteristics and by its differentiation in DNA sequences of the 16S rRNA, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI), and cytochrome b mitochondrial genes. This new species represents the southernmost extension known for the genus Nototriton.

    Keywords: Amphibia, caudate, Central America, Nototriton picadoi species group, Talamanca

    FIGURE 5. Views of the nostrils of Nototriton costaricense sp. nov.
    Photograph taken by Brian Kubicki.

    Nototriton costaricense sp. nov. 
    Southern Moss Salamander


    Etymology. The specific epithet refers to the Spanish word meaning Costa Rican, “costaricense”. The name represents the fact that the holotype and species was discovered in Costa Rica. Given the close proximity of the type locality to the Costa Rica-Panama border, we speculate that one day it may indeed be discovered within Panama as well.

     Erick Arias and Brian Kubicki. 2018. A New Moss Salamander, Genus Nototriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae), from the Cordillera de Talamanca, in the Costa Rica-Panama border region. Zootaxa. 4369(4); 487–500.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4369.4.2
    A new species of Moss Salamander

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    Conogethes sahyadriensis 
    Shashank, Kammar, Mally & Chakravarthy, 2018


    A new speciesConogethes sahyadriensis sp. nov. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), feeding on cardamom, is described from India. The species status is supported by diagnostic morphology as well as by genetic data. A phylogenetic analysis based on the publicly available Conogethes COI barcode sequences finds C. sahyadriensis as sister to C. pluto, and it further reveals a number of clades that potentially represent additional undescribed species.The new species is delineated from closely related and superficially similar species of Conogethes.

    Keywords: Lepidoptera, Conogethes, yellow peach moth, shoot and capsule borer, India, cardamom, DNA barcode, phylogenetic analysis

     P. R. Shashank, Vasudev Kammar, Richard Mally and A. K. Chakravarthy. 2018. A New Indian Species of Shoot and Capsule Borer of the Genus Conogethes (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), Feeding on Cardamom.  Zootaxa. 4374(2); 215–234. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4374.2.3

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    Lepidotrigla longipinnis Alcock, 1890,
    Lepidotrigla psolokerkos Gomon & Psomadakis, 2018
     L. omanensis Regan, 1905 


    A 2015 trawl survey along the coast of Myanmar provided an opportunity to assess species of the triglid genus Lepidotrigla occurring in the country. Three species, L. longipinnis Alcock, 1890, L. omanensis Regan, 1905, and an undescribed species, were identified among the 15 voucher specimens retained. A formal description of the unnamed species, as well as descriptive accounts of the other two are provided. Lepidotrigla psolokerkos, new species, based on two specimens, resembles L. alcocki Regan, 1908 described from the Saya de Malho Bank in the central Indian Ocean, differing from it in having fewer oblique scale rows between the anal fin origin and the lateral line and broader covering of dark pigmentation on the inner surface of the pectoral fin. The known geographical ranges of L. longipinnis, reported in the literature as L. riggsi Richards & Saksena, 1977, and L. omanensis are extended to the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar. A key is provided for the three species occurring in the survey area.

     Key words. Indian Ocean, taxonomy, ichthyology, geographical distribution, depth range

    Fig. 1. Myanmar species of Lepidotrigla.
    A, Lepidotrigla longipinnis, NMV A31696-001, 121 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 111–104 m;
    B, Lepidotrigla omanensis, NMV A31691-001, 110 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 149–164 m;
    C, Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species, holotype, NMV A31698-001, 135 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 147–156 m. 


    Lepidotrigla longipinnis Alcock, 1890 
    Proposed vernacular: Stellar Gurnard

    Etymology. Initially proposed as a varietal name, longipinnis is an amalgamation of the Latin “longus” for long and “pinna” for fin, in reference to the longer pectoral fin that was considered by Alcock (1890) to distinguish what is now recognised as a distinct species from L. spiloptera Günther, 1860. 

    Distribution. Confined to coastal waters of the northern Indian Ocean, from at least Bombay, India to just south of the equator off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia (Fig. 4) at depths of 70 to at least 107 m.

    Lepidotrigla omanensis Regan, 1905 
    Vernacular: Oman Gurnard 

    Etymology. Regan’s (1905) omanensis was named for the collecting locality “the Sea of Oman” for his three type specimens. 
    Distribution. Occurs in coastal waters of the northern Indian Ocean from the Gulf of Aden to the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar (Fig. 4) at depths of 41–335 m; apparently excluded from the Persian Gulf.

    Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species 
    Proposed vernacular: Skinny Gurnard

    Etymology. The name psolokerkos is a conjunction of the Greek psolos for “dirt” and “kerkos” for tail in reference to the distinctive grey blotch dorsoposteriorly on the caudal fin of this species. 

    Distribution. Known only from the two type specimens collected in the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar (Fig. 4) at depths of 151–255 m.

    Fig. 4. Overall distributions of species of Lepidotrigla occurring in coastal waters of Myanmar based on specimens in collections: Lepidotrigla longipinnis (blue circles), Lepidotrigla omanensis (red squares) and Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species (yellow triangles).

    Martin F. Gomon and Peter N. Psomadakis. 2018. Review of the Lepidotrigla Gurnards (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes: Triglidae) in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea off Myanmar with A Description of A New Species. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 66; 66–77.

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     Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li

    in Mo, Li, Li,  Rohwer, Li & Li, 2018. 

    An investigation of a questionable species of the genus Alseodaphne led to the discovery of a new genus Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li & J. Li, gen. nov., separated from Alseodaphne Nees, and a new species Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li, sp. nov., endemic to Yunnan province, China. This new species is characterized by having big, axillary, paniculate inflorescences, as well as large, subglobose fruits. Based on DNA sequence data from two gene regions (nuclear ribosomal ITS and LEAFY intron II), we investigate its phylogenetic position within the Persea group. Phylogenies using maximum parsimony (MP) and Bayesian inference (BI) support the recognition of Alseodaphnopsis as a distinct genus but do not resolve well its relationship within the Persea group. The new genus is circumscribed, eight new combinations for its species are made, and a description and illustration of the new species are provided.

    Fig 4. Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li sp. nov. 
    A. Branchlet with inflorescences; B. Branchlet with immature infructescences; C. Branchlet with mature fruits; D-F. Mature fruits; G-H. Flowers. (Photos by J.W. Li). 

    Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li & J. Li, gen. nov. 

    Type: Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li 
    (Nothaphoebe petiolaris Meisn., here designated)

    Diagnosis: The new genus Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li et J. Li is obviously very close to the genus Alseodaphne Nees (s. str.), but differs from the latter morphologically by 1) twigs thick, 4–11 mm in diam., and not obviously whitish in color; 2) terminal buds usually perulate; 3) perianth lobes ± persistent at least in young fruit; 4) inflorescences relatively large, 8.5–35 cm long, many-flowered, with 3–4 orders of branching; 5) fruits medium to large size (3–5 cm), without ribs.

    Etymology: Alseodaphnopsis alludes to the resemblance to traditional Alseodaphne (s. str.)

    Distribution and habitat: Alseodaphnopsis includes nine species, mainly distributed in the northern marginal part of the tropical zone in southwestern China, but extending also to NE India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. As far as it is known, the species grow preferentially in forests on limestone mountains.

     New combinations.
    Here, we make eight new combinations for the species in this new genus as follows:

    1) Alseodaphnopsis andersonii (King ex Hook. f.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
    Distributed in China (SE & S Yunnan, SE Xizang); NE India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

    2) Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
    Distributed in China (S Yunnan); India and Myanmar.

    3) Alseodaphnopsis sichourensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
    Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

    4) Alseodaphnopsis marlipoensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
    Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

    5) Alseodaphnopsis rugosa (Merr. & Chun) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
    Distributed in China (Hainan, SE Yunnan).

    6) Alseodaphnopsis hainanensis (Merr.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
    Distributed in China (Hainan); N Vietnam.

    7) Alseodaphnopsis hokouensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
    Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

    8) Alseodaphnopsis lanuginosa (Kosterm.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
    Distributed in N Vietnam.

    Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li, sp. nov. 
    Type: China. Yunnan Province: Pu’er City, Ximeng County, ca. 1300 m altitude, in seasonal rain forest, 20 November 2011, J. W. Li 1235 (fl.) (Holotype, Isotypes: HITBC!).

    Diagnosis: This new species shows a superficial similarity to Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li in its big leaves and elongated petioles, but differs by its glabrous twigs, leaves and panicles as well as subglobose big fruit.

    Yue-qing Mo, Lang Li, Jian-wu Li, Jens G. Rohwer, Hsi-wen Li and Jie Li. 2018. Alseodaphnopsis: A New Genus of Lauraceae based on Molecular and Morphological Evidence.  PLoS ONE. 12(10): e0186545.   DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186545

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      Dimorphanthera wickendeniana Argent 

    in Argent & Conlon, 2017. 
      SIBBALDIA. 15 

    A new species of Dimorphanthera is described and figured. Collected in 1993 from Indonesian New Guinea (Papua) by the late Michael Wickenden, this plant is distinct in the unique combination of characters that it possesses.

    Fig. 2 The plant flowering at RBGE.
    Photo: Tony Conlon.

    Dimorphanthera wickendeniana Argent species nova

    Diagnosis: Distinct in the combination of characters: densely patently hairy stems; leaves with minutely crenulate margins; 3–5 pli-nerved venation; fasciculate inflorescences lacking a rhachis; laxly hairy corollas and a glabrous disk.

    Ecology: Collected in the Lake Habbema region which is a sub-montane area with a mixture of open Papuacedrus forest and ericaceous shrubbery interspersed with open grassy areas at about 3,500m altitude. This plant was described as a tall shrub but would probably have been growing at a shrubbery margin. In cultivation it is a sprawling shrub.

    Etymology: Named after the late Michael Wickenden, collector of this plant, horticulturist and naturalist who collected many rare and interesting plants for his plant nursery at Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.

    George Argent and Tony Conlon. 2017. Dimorphanthera wickendeniana: A New Species from Papua, Indonesian New Guinea. SIBBALDIA: The Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture. 15; 147-150.


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    Dracaena umbraculifera  Jacq.

    in Edwards, Bassüner, Birkinshaw, et al. 2018.
    photograph by A. Lehavana  ||

    Extinction is the complete loss of a species, but the accuracy of that status depends on the overall information about the species. Dracaena umbraculifera was described in 1797 from a cultivated plant attributed to Mauritius, but repeated surveys failed to relocate it and it was categorized as Extinct on the IUCN Red List. However, several individuals labelled as D. umbraculifera grow in botanical gardens, suggesting that the species’ IUCN status may be inaccurate. The goal of this study was to understand (1) where D. umbraculifera originated, (2) which species are its close relatives, (3) whether it is extinct, and (4) the identity of the botanical garden accessions and whether they have conservation value. We sequenced a cpDNA region of Dracaena from Mauritius, botanical garden accessions labelled as D. umbraculifera, and individuals confirmed to be D. umbraculifera based on morphology, one of which is a living plant in a private garden. We included GenBank accessions of Dracaena from Madagascar and other locations and reconstructed the phylogeny using Bayesian and parsimony approaches. Phylogenies indicated that D. umbraculifera is more closely related to Dracaena reflexa from Madagascar than to Mauritian Dracaena. As anecdotal information indicated that the living D. umbraculifera originated from Madagascar, we conducted field expeditions there and located five wild populations; the species’ IUCN status should therefore be Critically Endangered because < 50 wild individuals remain. Although the identity of many botanical garden samples remains unresolved, this study highlights the importance of living collections for facilitating new discoveries and the importance of documenting and conserving the flora of Madagascar.

    Keywords: Botanical garden, Dracaena reflexa, Dracaena umbraculifera, extinction, living collections, Madagascar, Mauritius, phylogeny reconstruction

    The original illustration of Dracaena umbraculifera from Jacquin (1797) 

    Dracaena umbraculifera in Ile Sainte-Marie in full flower
    photograph by A. Lehavana 

    Christine E. Edwards, Burgund Bassüner, Chris Birkinshaw, Christian Camara,  Adolphe Lehavana, Porter P. Lowry, James S. Miller, Andrew Wyatt and Peter Wyse Jackson. 2018. A Botanical Mystery solved by Phylogenetic Analysis of Botanical Garden Collections: the Rediscovery of the Presumed-Extinct Dracaena umbraculifera. Oryx. DOI: 10.1017/S0030605317001570

    MoBot scientists use DNA testing to bring an African plant out of extinction
    Presumed-extinct 𝘋𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘢𝘦𝘯𝘢 𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘢 rediscovered! Botanical mystery solved by phylogenetic analysis of botanical garden collections 

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    Dicterias atrosanguinea Selys, 1853

    in Vilela,  Guillermo-Ferreira & Cordero-Rivera, 2018.


    The female of Dicterias atrosanguinea Selys, 1853 is described and illustrated based on two specimens collected in Pará and Amazonas States, Brazil. We compare the female with the most closely related species, Heliocharisamazona Selys, 1853, and present SEM images of the genital ligula for both D. atrosanguinea and H. amazona males. Additionally we provide behavioral observations on D. atrosanguinea males.

    Keywords: Odonata, damselfly, female description, genital ligula, Brazil, Amazon, Dicteriadidae

    Diogo Silva Vilela, Rhainer Guillermo-Ferreira and Adolfo Cordero-Rivera. 2018. Description of the Female of Dicteriasatrosanguinea Selys 1853, with Notes on Male Genital Ligula and Male Behavior (Odonata: Dicteriadidae). Zootaxa. 4374(3); 441–450.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4374.3.7

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    Oxynoemacheilus ciceki  
    Sungur, Jalili & Eagderi, 2017

     A new species of nemacheilid fish, Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. is described from the Sultan Marsh, Kayseri Province, Turkey. The species differs from its congeners in the combination of the following characters: flank yellowish brown or pale gray with irregular spot; cheeks with numerous tiny spots; lacking scale; thinner caudal peduncle; complete lateral line; 4 central and 4 lateral pores in the supra-temporal canal; lower lip thick with a deep median interruption and marked furrows and small median incision in upper lip.

     Keywords: Freshwater fish, Taxonomy, Morphology, Loach.

    Fig.1. Uncatalogued live specimen of Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n., Turkey: Kayseri prov.: Sultan Marsh.

    Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. 

    Diagnosis: Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. is distinguished from the other species of Oxynoemacheilus in the Kızılırmak basin by a combination of characters, none of them unique. Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. is distinguished from O. angorae by having flank yellowish brown or pale gray with irregular spots (vs. yellowish with a mid-lateral row of horizontally elongated fused blotches), cheeks with numerous tiny spots (vs. without pigmentation), without scale (vs. scaled), shorter pelvic fin (11.3- 13.6 vs. 14.9-17.0 %SL), lower mouth width (16.0- 22.0 vs. 20.6-26.7 %HL).

    Etymology: The new species is named after Prof. Dr. Erdoğan Çiçek, for his valuable contribution to the knowledge of freshwater fishes of Turkey.

    Distribution: Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n. is knowns only from the Sultan Marsh, Kayseri Province (Fig. 6). This species mostly found slowflowing parts of streams in the Sultan Marsh. Pseudophoxinus elizavetae, Aphanius marassantensis, Seminemacheilus lendlii and Cobitis sp. coexist in the type locality with Oxynoemacheilus ciceki sp. n.

    Sevil Sungur, Paria Jalili and Soheil Eagderi. 2017. Oxynoemacheilus ciceki, New Nemacheilid Species (Teleostei, Nemacheilidae) from the Sultan Marsh, Kayseri Province, Turkey. Iranian Journal of Ichthyology. 4(4); 375-383.   DOI: 10.22034/iji.v4i4.258

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    Gigandipus chiappei
    Xing, Lockley, Klein, Zeng, Cai, Luo & Li, 2018

    1. First example of a Cretaceous track morphotype attributable to Gigandipus.
    2. Second report largest avian theropod tracks Wupus from Lower Cretaceous.
    3. The similarity between K1 and J1 theropod ichnotaxa in East Asia.

    A newly discovered Jiaguan Formation (Lower Cretaceous) tracksite from the Linjiang region of Guizhou Province, China, reveals the first example of a Cretaceous track morphotype attributable to the non-avian theropod ichnogenus Gigandipus, here named Gigandipus chiappei ichnosp nov. The theropod dominated locality also reveals the second report of the avian theropod ichnogenus Wupus, one of the largest avian traces currently known from the Lower Cretaceous. The Linjiang site provides evidence to support previous interpretations of a distinctive Lower Cretaceous theropod-dominated ichnofauna that was widespread in China and East Asia and highlights the similarity between Lower Cretaceous theropod ichnotaxa in East Asia and those found in the Lower Jurassic both in East Asia and elsewhere. These similarities in turn create various ichnotaxonomic challenges familiar to researchers working on theropod tracks, and we recommend caution in the naming of new theropod ichnotaxa at the ichnogenus level.

    Keywords: Early Cretaceous; Jiaguan Formation; theropod tracks; Gigandipus; Wupus

     Gigandipus tracks

    Theropoda Marsh, 1881
    Gigandipodidae Lull, 1904

    Gigandipus Hitchcock, 1856; Lull, 1904
    Type ichnospeciesG. caudatus Lull, 1904

    Gigandipus chiappei ichnosp. nov.

    Etymology. The specific name is in honor of Dr. Luis M. Chiappe, a distinguished paleontologist who is world-renowned on the origin and early evolution birds.


    The Linjiang tracksite in the Jiaguan Formation of Guizhou Province reveals the first example of a Cretaceous track morphotype attributable to the non-avian theropod ichnogenus Gigandipus, here named G. chiappei ichnosp nov. The site also reveals only the second report of the avian theropod ichnogenus Wupus, which is one of the largest avian traces currently known from the Lower Cretaceous. The discovery underscores the importance of the Jiaguan Formation as a major source of tetrapod (theropod) data in the Sichuan Basin region from which little or no useful body fossil data have been recovered.
     Data from the Linjiang site provide growing support for a distinctive and widespread Lower Cretaceous theropod-dominated ichnofauna in China. This ichnofauna also shows notable similarities to other Lower Cretaceous theropod dominated ichnofaunas from East Asia, notably Korea. There are also taxonomically challenging similarities between these Lower Cretaceous ichnofaunas and those found in the Lower Jurassic both in East Asia and elsewhere. These challenges, which raise perennial “lumper-splitter” debates, suggest ichnologists should exercise caution naming new ichnotaxa, especially at the ichnogenus level.  

    Lida Xing, Martin G. Lockley, Hendrik Klein, Rong Zeng, Sifu Cai, Xiuchun Luo and Chen Li. 2018. Theropod Assemblages and A New Ichnotaxon Gigandipus chiappei ichnosp. nov. from the Jiaguan Formation, Lower Cretaceous of Guizhou Province, China. Geoscience Frontiers. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.gsf.2017.12.012


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    Thismia thaithongiana
     Chantanaorr. & Suddee

    in Chantanaorrapint & Suddee, 2018.

    With more than 60 currently accepted species, Thismia Griffith (1844: 221) is the largest genus of the tribe Thismieae of Dioscoreaceae (sensu APG 2016, or Thismiaceae of other authors). The genus is widely distributed mainly in the tropical and subtropical regions with a concentration of species in Southeast Asia (ca. 30 species) including the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Thailand and Vietnam. In last decade, many new taxa have been described from Southeast Asia (e.g. Larsen & Averyanov 2007, Chantanaorrapint 2008 2012, Tsukaya & Okada 2012, Dančák et al. 2013, Nuraliev et al. 2014 2015, Truong et al. 2014, Tsukaya et al. 2014, Chantanaorrapint & Sridith 2015, Hroneš et al. 2015, Chantanaorrapint et al. 2016, Sochor et al. 2017). Members of the genus are small mycoheterotrophic herbs with a highly reduced habit and usually grow among leaf litter in shady wet forests.

    Keywords: Doi Hua Mot; Umphang; mycoheterotrophic; taxonomy; Thailand; Thismia; Monocots

    พิศวงตานกฮูกหรือพิศวงไทยทองThismia thaithongiana Chantanaorr. & Suddee ตีพิมพ์ในวารสาร Phytotaxa. 333(2): 287–292. 2018. คำระบุชนิดตั้งให้เป็นเกียรติแก่ รศ.ดร.อบฉันท์ ไทยทอง

     Sahut Chantanaorrapint and Somran Suddee. 2018. Thismia thaithongiana (Dioscoreaceae: Thismieae), A New Species of Mycoheterotroph from An Unusual Habitat. Phytotaxa. 333(2); 287–292. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.333.2.14