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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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     Fejervarya kalinga 
    Raj, Dinesh, Das, Dutta, Kar & Mohapatra, 2018

    The Dicroglossidae frogs of genus Fejervarya Bolkay, 1915 are morphologically cryptic and represented by one of the widespread group of frogs across the tropical Asia comprising about 45 species. Being morphologically cryptic, taxonomic status for many of the species remains uncertain. Recent studies using integrative taxonomic approach have revealed the existence of many novel and hitherto undescribed species. Herewith, we describe two new species of Fejervarya viz. Fejervarya kalinga sp. nov. and Fejervarya krishnan sp. nov. from peninsular India having morphological and phylogenetic distinctness. Detailed morphological descriptions and comparisons with the known congeners along with their systematic relationship inferred from phylogenetic analyses are presented herein. Taxonomic problems within the genus for the peninsular India and the pattern of phylogenetic relationships are also presented.

    Keywords: Cryptic Species, Eastern Ghats, Fejervarya, India, New Species, Phylogeny, South Asia, Western Ghats.

    Prudhvi Raj, K. P. Dinesh, Abhijit Das, Sushil K. Dutta, Niladri B. Kar and Pratyush P. Mohapatra. 2018. Two New Species of Cricket Frogs of the Genus Fejervarya Bolkay, 1915 (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from the Peninsular India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India.  118(1); 1-21. DOI:   10.26515/rzsi/v118/i1/2018/121436

    Scientists discover two new cricket frogs in India, take the list to over 30 species now  via @SciResMatters
    New frog species discovered in Peninsular India to help study impact of climate change via @NewIndianXpress

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    Talbotiella cheekii Burgt

    in van der Burgt, Molmou, Diallo, et al., 2018.

    Talbotiella cheekii Burgt, a new tree species from Guinea, is described and illustrated. It is a tree to 24 m high, with a stem diameter to 83 cm, and occurs in forest dominated by tree species of the Leguminosae subfamily Detarioideae, on rocky stream banks and rocky hill slopes, at an altitude of 100 – 600 m. It is estimated that 1600 – 2400 mature trees have been seen, in about twelve forest patches; more trees may be present in places not yet visited. One of the localities of the new species is situated at only 46 km northeast of the centre of the capital Conakry and 6 km northeast of the town centre of Coyah, part of the Conakry urban agglomeration. Its distribution is 1400 km further west from the previous westernmost distribution of the genus. The current extent of occurrence is 166 km2. Talbotiella cheekii is here assessed as Endangered (EN) following IUCN Red List categories.

    Key Words: Conservation, Endangered species, West Africa 

    Fig. 3 Talbotiella cheekii Burgt.
     A branch with inflorescences; B leaf upper surface; C infructescence with three fruits; D leaflet lower surface showing two glands; E stipule; F auriculate stipule; G flower.

     A, E, G from Burgt 2087; B, D, F from Burgt 2065; C from Molmou 988. drawn by Xander van der Burgt.

    Fig. 1. Talbotiella cheekii Burgt.
    A two flowers; B twig with inflorescences; C infructescence with two fruits; D leaves.

     A – B from Burgt 2087; C from Molmou 988; D from Burgt 2065. 
    PHOTOS: A, B, D Xander van der Burgt; C Martin Cheek.

    Talbotiella cheekii Burgt sp. nov.

    Recognition: Talbotiella cheekii is morphologically similar to T. batesii Baker f. The pedicels of T. cheekii are pink to red, 9 – 24 mm long; the bracteoles are 8 – 15 × 0.7 – 1.5 mm (the pedicels of T. batesii are white, 4 – 10.5 mm long; the bracteoles are 6 – 8.5 × 1.1 – 2.5 mm). The ovary of T. cheekii is reddish green to dark red, and glabrous with only the edges densely hairy (the ovary of T. batesii is pale pink, and densely hairy). The pod of T. cheekii is glabrous, the sutures sparsely hairy (the pod of T. batesii has the surfaces and suture moderately puberulous). The leaflet apex of T. cheekii is rounded to slightly emarginate (the leaflet apex of T. batesii is acute).

    DISTRIBUTION: Guinea (Map 1). Talbotiella cheekii occurs on the sandstone plateau in the northern part of Coyah Préfecture. Its distribution just extends into Dubreka and Kindia Préfectures.

    Etymology: Talbotiella cheekii is named after Dr Martin Cheek, Head of the Africa & Madagascar Team in the Identification and Naming Department of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The new species was discovered thanks to his long-standing commitment to the study of African plants. He has been studying the flora of Guinea on field expeditions since 2005, supported the restoration of the National Herbarium of Guinea, and described a new genus and four new species from the country (Cheek & Burgt 2010; Cheek & Haba 2016a, 2016b; Cheek & Williams 2016; Cheek et al. 2016). He is also involved in the designation of new protected areas in Guinea as part of Kew’s Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) Project (Darbyshire et al. 2017) and is supervising a Darwin Initiative-funded project on rare plant species conservation in the country.

    Vernacular Name: Linsonyi (from Burgt 2084); Meni (from Molmou 988); Wonkifong wouri khorohoi (from Burgt 2097), translated as the “Tree with hard wood from Wonkifong”. This last name was proposed by the people of Malassi village when the trees were shown to them. All three names are in the Susu language.

    Talbotiella cheekii is characterised by the long pedicels, pink to red in colour, the long and narrow bracteoles, the glabrous pod (only the margin sometimes has a few hairs) and the rounded to slightly emarginate leaflet apex. Apart from this, the leaves and leaflets of T. cheekii and T. batesii are more or less similar; both species have 9 – 14 pairs of leaflets per leaf. Of all previously described Talbotiella species, T. cheekii is morphologically most similar to T. batesii. This is remarkable, because T. batesii is the easternmost species of Talbotiella, occurring in southeast Cameroon, northeast Gabon and north Congo (Brazzaville), at 2900 to 3100 km distance from T. cheekii, the westernmost species. A molecular analysis might show, however, that T. cheekii is more closely related to a different species, for example to T. gentii from Ghana, geographically the nearest of the eight existing Talbotiella species.

    Two more plant species from the Leguminosae family have been newly discovered in Guinea in recent years: Eriosema triformum Burgt (Burgt et al. 2012), a pyrophytic herb with unifoliolate leaves, from submontane grassland, endemic to the Pic de Fon area in the Simandou Range, and Gilbertiodendron tonkolili Burgt & Estrella (Estrella et al. 2012), a tree from well-drained sandy and/or rocky soils on river banks and forest patches, first discovered in Sierra Leone, and later found to occur also in Guinea (e.g. the specimens Cheek 16172, 16583 and 16614; all in HNG and K).

    Xander M. van der Burgt, Denise Molmou, Almamy Diallo, Gbamon Konomou, Pepe M. Haba and Sékou Magassouba. 2018. Talbotiella cheekii (Leguminosae: Detarioideae), A New Tree Species from Guinea. Kew Bulletin.  73:26. DOI: 10.1007/s12225-018-9755-4

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    Pleurothallis hawkingii Karremans & J.E.Jiménez

    in Karremans & Jiménez, 2018.


    Two new species of Pleurothallis are described from the Cordillera de Guanacaste in northern Costa Rica. Both novelties belong to Pleurothallis sect. Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae, among which they can be recognised by their fasciculate inflorescence with numerous simultaneously produced flowers, a rare feature in the species-rich group. This feature is shared with Pleurothallis bothros, putatively their closest relative. Both novelties may be distinguished from that species by their non-spreading (vs. spreading), pale yellow to pinkish flowers (vs. green) and broad, oblique petals (vs. narrow, straight).Pleurothallis hawkingiican be easily distinguished from Pleurothallis vide-vallisby its broader panduriform lip with raised margins and depressed basal glenion (vs. narrow lanceolate lip, lacking raised margins, with the glenion raised on a high basal callus).

    Keywords: Monocots, Northern Costa Rica; Miravalles; new species; Pleurothallis; Stephen Hawking; taxonomy

    Pleurothallis hawkingii Karremans & J.E.Jiménez  sp. nov.

     Eponomy:— Honouring the English theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen William Hawking, who passed away the day this manuscript was submitted, 14 March 2018.


    Pleurothallis vide-vallis Karremans & J.E.Jiménez, sp. nov.

     Etymology:—From the Latin, videre, to see, and vallis, valley, referring to the Miravalles Volcano, which in Spanish means overlooking the valleys.

    Adam P. Karremans and José Esteban Jiménez. 2018. Pleurothallis hawkingii and Pleurothallis vide-vallis (Orchidaceae; Epidendroideae), Two New Species from Cordillera de Guanacaste in Costa Rica. Phytotaxa. 349(2); 185–191. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.349.2.10

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    Lobogonodes shiushioui Wu & Chang, 2018


    The present study re-assesses the characters of the Oriental genus Lobogonodes Bastelberger, 1909 based on all 8 species, including the newly described Lobogonodes shiushioui sp. nov. and the distinct species L. dactylotypa Prout, 1940 stat. rev.. Three synapomorphic characters based on the male genitalia are proposed: the presence of a sclerotized subscaphium, the U-shaped connection between the juxta and anellus lobe and the saccus process pointed anteriorly. A new key to the species in this genus is provided.

    Keywords: Lepidoptera, Cidariini, Microlygris, hair pencil, genitalia, cornutus, signum

    Shipher Wu and Wei-Chun Chang. 2018. Revising the Generic Characters of Lobogonodes Bastelberger, 1909, with Description of A New Species from Taiwan (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Larentiinae). Zootaxa.  4433(3); 434–444.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4433.3.2

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    Different marine vertebrates exploiting a bait ball of forage fish.

    in Goldbogen & Madsen, 2018.

    The extant diversity and rich fossil record of cetaceans provides an extraordinary evolutionary context for investigating the relationship between form, function and ecology. The transition from terrestrial to marine ecosystems is associated with a complex suite of morphological and physiological adaptations that were required for a fully aquatic mammalian life history. Two specific functional innovations that characterize the two great clades of cetaceans, echolocation in toothed whales (Odontoceti) and filter feeding in baleen whales (Mysticeti), provide a powerful comparative framework for integrative studies. Both clades exhibit gigantism in multiple species, but we posit that large body size may have evolved for different reasons and in response to different ecosystem conditions. Although these foraging adaptations have been studied using a combination of experimental and tagging studies, the precise functional drivers and consequences of morphological change within and among these lineages remain less understood. Future studies that focus at the interface of physiology, ecology and paleontology will help elucidate how cetaceans became the largest predators in aquatic ecosystems worldwide.

    Keywords: Scaling, Odontocetes, Mysticetes, Diving, Filter feeding, Echolocation

    Fig. 1. Illustration of different marine vertebrates exploiting a bait ball of forage fish.
    Among these species are many particulate feeders (e.g. cormorants, sea lions and dolphins), those that are largely limited to capturing one prey at a time. This contrasts with bulk filter feeding, characterized by the engulfment of large numbers of prey in a single mouthful, here represented by a humpback whale.
     Illustration by Alex Boersma.

    J. A. Goldbogen and P. T. Madsen. 2018. The Evolution of Foraging Capacity and Gigantism in Cetaceans. Journal of Experimental Biology. 221: jeb166033. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.166033 

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    Peliosanthes violacea  Wall. ex Baker

     in Tanaka. 2018. 

    Syntypes of Peliosanthes bakeri and four varieties (var. clarkei, var. minor, var. princeps and var. violacea) of P. violacea were reexamined to review their identities. As a result, it turned out that the syntypes of P. bakeri comprise two species, P. griffithii and P. subspicata sp. nov., and those of P. violacea include at least six species, Pgriffithii, Pkhasiana sp. nov.PmacrostegiaPsubspicataP. teta, and P. violacea. The two new species, P. khasiana from NE India and P. subspicata from Bangladesh and NE India are described and illustrated. The other four species recognised are taxonomically revised as to their identity, circumscription and distribution. In this connection, lectotypes for five taxa are designated. An identification key for the six species recognised is also provided.

    Keywords: tropical Asia, subtropical Asia, Monocots

    Peliosanthes violacea  Wall. ex Baker

    Noriyuki Tanaka. 2018. Taxonomic Revision of Peliosanthes bakeri and P. violacea (Asparagaceae), with Description of Two New Species from Bangladesh and India. Phytotaxa. 356(1); 34–48.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.356.1.3

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    Acantholipan gonzalezi 
    Rivera-Sylva, Frey, Stinnesbeck, Carbot-Chanona, Sanchez-Uribe & Guzmán-Gutiérrez, 2018

    Isolated bones and osteoderms of ankylosaurian dinosaurs recovered from Late Cretaceous sediments of northern Coahuila, northeastern Mexico, have been identified as remains of nodosaurids. Here, we summarize these discoveries and provide a review on Mexican Ankylosauria from a taxonomic perspective. We also present a new taxon, Acantholipan gonzalezi gen. et sp. nov. from the Pen Formation and provide a phylogenetic analysis integrating the new taxon. A. gonzalezi is the first named ankylosaur from Mexico that adds to the currently rare nodosaurid diversity from southern Laramidia.

    Keywords: Dinosaur, Nodosauridae, Pen Formation, Mexico, Endemism, Laramidia 

    Dinosauria Owen (1842)
    Ornithischia Seeley (1887)
    Thyreophora Nopcsa (1915)

    Ankylosauria Osborn (1923)
    Nodosauridae Marsh, 1890

    Acantholipan gen. nov.
     Acantholipan gonzalezi sp. nov.

     Etymology: Greek αγκάθι (acanthus) = spine; and the Spanish contraction of Lépai-Ndé (gray people) lipan, a tribe of Apaches from northern Mexico; gonzalezi = in honor of Arturo H. Gonzalez González, for his outstanding support to Mexican paleontology.

    Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva, Eberhard Frey, Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, Gerardo Carbot-Chanona, Iván E. Sanchez-Uribe and José Rubén Guzmán-Gutiérrez. 2018. Paleodiversity of Late Cretaceous Ankylosauria from Mexico and Their Phylogenetic Significance. Swiss Journal of Palaeontology DOI: 10.1007/s13358-018-0153-1

     Rivera-Sylva, H.E., Carpenter, K. and Aranda-Manteca, F.J. 2011, Late Cretaceous Nodosaurids (Ankylosauria: Ornithischia) from Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geológicas. 28(3); 271–278.

    Presenta el MUDE nueva especie de dinosaurio: Acantholipan Gonzalezi

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    in Hutter, Lambert, Andriampenomanana, et al., 2018

    • We estimated the first multi-locus phylogeny of Boophis frogs.
    • Found that the B. ulftunni group was nested within the B. majori group.
    • We erect the new B. blommersae group, composed of small, brown stream breeding frogs.
    • We illustrate examples of correlated and repeated evolution in coloration and ventral transparency.
    Boophis diversified within the Eastern highland forests of Madagascar.
    • Adaptation to these highland areas was important in their diversification.

    We investigate the molecular phylogeny of Boophis, a group of arboreal frogs from the Malagasy-Comoroan family Mantellidae. Based on newly acquired DNA sequences of five mitochondrial and five nuclear markers (7444 base pairs), we infer a phylogeny of Boophis with complete species-level taxon sampling. We reconstruct the phylogeny using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood and estimate divergence dates for the major clades of the genus. The phylogenetic analyses together support the monophyly of the two subgenera (Sahona and Boophis), and provide strong support for most previously identified species groups, except that the B. ulftunni group is nested within the B. majori group. We also erect a new species group related to the B. mandraka group, the B. blommersae group, composed of small-sized, brown stream-breeding frogs previously included within the B. majori group. Finally, we use the resulting phylogeny to illustrate striking examples of repeated evolution of coloration and ventral transparency and address the biogeographic history and broad pattern of species diversification in the genus. Ancestral area reconstructions provide evidence that Boophis diversified within the Eastern highland forests of Madagascar, and we suggest that adaptation to these highland areas was important in their diversification.

    Keywords: Amphibia; Anura; Biogeography; Dispersal; Madagascar; Phylogeny

    Carl R. Hutter, Shea M. Lambert, Zo F. Andriampenomanana, Frank Glaw and Miguel Vences. 2018. Molecular Phylogeny and Diversification of Malagasy Bright-eyed Tree Frogs (Mantellidae: Boophis). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. In Press.  DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.05.027

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    Pseudopaludicola florencei 
    Andrade, Haga, Lyra, Leite, Kwet, Baptista Haddad, Toledo & Giaretta, 2018

    The Neotropical genus Pseudopaludicola includes 21 species, which occur throughout South America. Recent studies suggested that the population of Andaraí, in the state of Bahia, is an undescribed species, related to P. pocoto. Herein we formally describe this new species from lowlands of eastern Brazil. Recognition of this new species is supported by adult morphology, advertisement call, karyotype, and molecular data. It is diagnosed mainly by its small size, terminal phalanges knobbed (lack any expansion of the digital tips), proportionally short hindlimbs, 11 pairs of chromosomes, and advertisement call composed of series of three-pulsed notes, emitted at a high rate. In addition, we report for the first time the presence of P. pocoto in the campo rupestre (rupestrian grasslands) of Chapada Diamantina, a population with a much darker dorsal coloration than the population from the type locality. We also redescribed the advertisement call of P. falcipes based on recordings from topotypic males.

    Keywords: Amphibia, Advertisement call, bioacoustics, integrative taxonomy, Pseudopaludicola pocoto, morphologically cryptic species

    FIGURE 3. Holotype and three paratypes of Pseudopaludicola florencei sp. nov. in life.
    (A) ZUEC 23521 (holotype, adult male, call voucher, SVL = 12.9 mm), (B) ZUEC 23523 (adult female, SVL = 15.5 mm), (C) ZUEC 23520 (adult male, call voucher, SVL = 13.2 mm), and (D) ZUEC 23522 (adult male, SVL = 12.8 mm).

    Pseudopaludicola florencei sp. nov.
    Pseudopaludicola sp. (Andaraí/BA): Duarte et al. 2010; Andrade et al. 2016
    Pseudopaludicola sp. 1 (Andaraí/BA): Veiga-Menoncello et al. 2014


    Etymology. The specific name honors Antoine Hercule Romuald Florence. Better known as Hercule Florence, a French artist, painter, polygrapher, and inventor, is acknowledged as the inventor of photography in Brazil in the 19th century. After his return from the Langsdorff’s expedition (from 1826 to 1829), Florence developed a system able to properly describe animal sounds, transcribing them into a five line music staff (Florence 1831, 1876; Toledo & Araújo 2017). Such method, termed as “Zoophonie” by Florence, was the first universal method of describing animal sounds and he is therefore designated as the “father of bioacoustics” (Vielliard 1993; Toledo & Araújo 2017). At least these two techniques (photography and zoophony = bioacoustics) are fundamental for species description nowadays (Köhler et al. 2017). Specifically, bioacoustics has proved to be efficient in clarifying the taxonomy of the genus Pseudopaludicola (as in the present study).

    Felipe Silva de Andrade, IIsabelle Aquemi Haga, Mariana Lúcio Lyra, Felipe Sá Fortes Leite, Axel Kwet, Célio Fernando Baptista Haddad,  Luis Felipe Toledo and Ariovaldo Antonio Giaretta. 2018. A New Species of Pseudopaludicola Miranda-Ribeiro (Anura: Leptodactylidae: Leiuperinae) from eastern Brazil, with Novel Data on the Advertisement Call of Pseudopaludicola falcipes (Hensel)Zootaxa. 4433(1); 71-100. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4433.1.4

    BBC News Brasil - Os sapos menores que uma moeda e típicos do Brasil - e que ainda estão sendo descobertos
    Os microssapinhos menores que uma moeda e típicos do Brasil - e que ainda estão sendo descobertos

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    Oryzias dopingdopingensis 
    Mandagi, Mokodongan, Tanaka & Yamahira, 2018

    DOI:  10.1643/CI-17-704 
    We describe Oryzias dopingdopingensis, a new species of ricefish, from Doping-doping River, a river in Malili in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The new riverine species is distinguished from lacustrine congeners in Malili Lakes by a combination of 33–36 scales along the lateral midline and body depths of 20.3–25.5% standard length (SL). Oryzias dopingdopingensis, new species, is also distinguished from all other Sulawesi Oryzias by a combination of 8–9 dorsal-fin rays, caudal peduncle depths of 10.2–11.4% SL, eye diameters of 8.5–9.9% SL, and maximum SL up to 35.8 mm. In breeding males, 5–8 black blotches or bars appear along the lateral midline. Analyses of mitochondrial ND2 sequences revealed that O. dopingdopingensis, new species, carry distinct haplotypes from those of the Malili lacustrine species, suggesting no hybridization between them, although Doping-doping River shares an estuarine region with the Malili Lake system. Instead, O. dopingdopingensis, new species, is in a monophyletic group with O. sarasinorum and O. eversi in western Sulawesi. However, unlike these two pelvic brooders, we observed that females of O. dopingdopingensis, new species, deposit eggs soon after spawning and exhibit no maternal care.

    Fig. 3. Live adult male (Top) and female (Bottom) of Oryzias dopingdopingensis in the laboratory.

    (Photographs by N. Hashimoto).

    Oryzias dopingdopingensis, new species 
    Doping-doping Ricefish
    New Japanese name: Dopindopin-medaka

    Etymology.— The specific name, dopingdopingensis, denotes the occurrence of this species in the Doping-doping River, the type locality.

    Ixchel F. Mandagi, Daniel F. Mokodongan, Rieko Tanaka and Kazunori Yamahira. 2018.A New Riverine Ricefish of the Genus Oryzias (Beloniformes, Adrianichthyidae) from Malili, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Copeia. 106(2):297-304. DOI:  10.1643/CI-17-704

    Kami mendiskripsikan Oryzias dopingdopingensis, satu jenis baru ikan padi dari sungai Doping-doping, sebuah sungai di Malili di Sulawesi Tengah, Indonesia. Jenis baru yang hidup di sungai ini dibedakan dari jenis yang hidup di danau-danau Malili dengan kombinasi dari 33–36 jumlah sisik sepanjang garis sisi dan lebar tubuh 20.3–25.5% SL. Oryzias dopingdopingensis, jenis baru ini, juga dibedakan dari semua Oryzias Sulawesi lainnya dengan kombinasi dari 8–9 jumlah jari-jari sirip belakang, lebar dari batang ekor 10.2–11.4% SL, diameter mata 8.5–9.9% SL, dan maksimal SL mencapai 35.8 mm. Jantan dalam masa perkembangbiakannya, 5–8 bercak-bercak hitam atau baris akan muncul di sepanjang garis sisi. Analisis urutan mitokondria ND2 memperlihatkan bahwa O. dopingdopingensis, jenis baru ini, memiliki haplotype yang berbeda dari jenis yang hidup di daerah danau Malili, Ini menunjukkan tidak terjadi hibridisasi diantara mereka, walaupun Sungai Doping-doping berbagi wilayah muara dengan Danau Malili system. Sebagai gantinya, O. dopingdopingensis, jenis baru ini, menjadi monofiletik dengan O. sarasinorum dan O. eversi di Sulawesi bagian barat. Tidak seperti dua “pelvic brooders”, bagaimanapun, kami mengamati bahwa betina dari O. dopingdopingensis, jenis baru ini, melepaskan telur-telurnya segera setelah pemijahan dan tidak menunjukkan “maternal care”.

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     Ambolestes zhoui
     Bi, Zheng, Wang, Cignetti, Yang & Wible, 2018

    Molecular estimates of the divergence of placental and marsupial mammals and their broader clades (Eutheria and Metatheria, respectively) fall primarily in the Jurassic period. Supporting these estimates, Juramaia—the oldest purported eutherian—is from the early Late Jurassic (160 million years ago) of northeastern China. Sinodelphys—the oldest purported metatherian—is from the same geographic area but is 35 million years younger, from the Jehol biota. Here we report a new Jehol eutherianAmbolestes zhoui, with a nearly complete skeleton that preserves anatomical details that are unknown from contemporaneous mammals, including the ectotympanic and hyoid apparatus. This new fossil demonstrates that Sinodelphys is a eutherian, and that postcranial differences between Sinodelphys and the Jehol eutherian Eomaia—previously thought to indicate separate invasions of a scansorial niche by eutherians and metatherians—are instead variations among the early members of the placental lineage. The oldest known metatherians are now not from eastern Asia but are 110 million years old from western North America, which produces a 50-million-year ghost lineage for Metatheria.

    Class Mammalia Linnaeus, 1758
    Infraclass Eutheria sensu Huxley, 1880

    Order incertae sedis
    Family incertae sedis

    Ambolestes gen. nov.

    Ambolestes zhoui sp. nov.

    Etymology: Ambo (Latin), both, in reference to the mixture of features previously held to be from eutherians and metatherians; lestes (Greek), robber, a common ending for Cretaceous eutherians. The specific name zhoui is given in reference to Zhonghe Zhou, for his pioneering studies of the Jehol biota.

    Shundong Bi, Xiaoting Zheng, Xiaoli Wang, Natalie E. Cignetti, Shiling Yang and John R. Wible. 2018. An Early Cretaceous Eutherian and the Placental–Marsupial Dichotomy. Nature.

    Chinese scientists identify new mammal ancestor

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    Electrorana limoae
    Xing, Stanley, Bai & Blackburn, 2018

    Illustration: Damir G. Martin || 

    Frogs are a familiar and diverse component of tropical forests around the world. Yet there is little direct evidence from the fossil record for the antiquity of this association. We describe four fossil frog specimens from mid-Cretaceous (~99 mya) amber deposits from Kachin State, Myanmar for which the associated fauna provides rich paleoenvironmental context. Microcomputed tomographic analysis provides detailed three-dimensional anatomy for these small frogs, which is generally unavailable for articulated anurans in the Mesozoic. These crown-group anuran specimens provide the earliest direct evidence for anurans in a wet tropical forest. Based on a distinct combination of skeletal characters, at least one specimen has clear similarities to living alytoid frogs as well as several Mesozoic taxa known from the Jehol Biota in China. Whereas many Mesozoic frogs are from seasonal and mesic paleoenvironments, these fossils provide the earliest direct evidence of anurans in wet tropical forests.


    Systematic Paleontology
    Order Anura Fischer von Waldheim, 1813.
    ? Alytoidea Fitzinger, 1843.

    Family undetermined.

    Genus Electrorana gen. nov.  
    Type species Electrorana limoae sp. nov.;  

    Etymology: Electrorana is feminine and derives from the Latin electrum (amber) and rana (frog). The specific epithet, limoae, is a matronym in the genitive singular for Mrs. Mo Li, who purchased and provided these specimens for study.

    Type locality and horizon: These amber-preserved specimens were acquired in the area of Angbamo in Kachin Province of northern Myanmar in August 2015. Burmese amber derives from late Albian–Cenomanian deposits (approx. 105–95 mya). Dating of zircons from the volcaniclastic matrix in these deposits provides an age of 98.8 ± 0.6 million years.

    Figure 1 Photograph images of four fossil frog specimens referred to Electrorana,
    including the holotype (A; DIP-L-0826) and three additional specimens (B: DIP-V-16119; C: DIP-V-16127; D: DIP-V-16121).
    Specimens in (B) and (D) are presented with two views of the amber specimen and the oval in (D) indicates the presence of the anuran specimen.
    Scale bars equal 5 mm.

    Illustration: Damir G. Martin 

    Lida Xing, Edward L. Stanley, Ming Bai and David C. Blackburn. 2018. The Earliest Direct Evidence of Frogs in Wet Tropical Forests from Cretaceous Burmese Amber.  Scientific Reports.   8, Article number: 8770

    Amber fossils provide oldest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests via @EurekAlert
    World's Oldest Rain Forest Frogs Found in Amber   @NatGeo
    Amber fossils provide oldest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests


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    Stenasellus tashanicus

     Khalaji-Pirbalouty, Fatemi, Malek-Hosseini & Kuntner, 2018

    A new stenasellid isopod is described from Tashan Cave, Khuzestan Province, south-west Iran, belonging to the genus Stenasellus Dollfus, 1897. The first recorded species of Stenasellidae from Iran, Stenasellus tashanicus sp. n., is diagnosed by the presence of antennae with a minute squama bearing paired, long, robust setae; a maxilliped endite with six coupling hooks; and slender appendix masculina with an acute apex. A revised generic diagnosis is provided with a key to the six known western Asian Stenasellus species.

    Keywords: Iran, Stenasellus, Stenasellidae, Stygobitic, Tashan Cave

    Figure 1. Tashan Cave. A Cave opening B a pool inside the cave
    C live specimen ofStenasellus tashanicus sp. n., in its habitat D Stenasellus tashanicus sp. n., and cave fish Garra tashanensis Mousavi-Sabet, Vatandoust, Fatemi & Eagderi, 2016.

    Aselloidea Latreille, 1802
    Family Stenasellidae Dudich, 1924
    Genus Stenasellus Dollfus, 1897

    Type species
    Stenasellus virei Dollfus, 1897, by monotypy.

    Diagnosis: Diagnoses to the genus can be found in Dollfus (1897) and Magniez (1966). The generic diagnosis presented here is more detailed than has been previously presented: Body lateral margins parallel and setose; pereonite VII longest; the antennal peduncle is 6-articulate, article VI longest, approximately 1.6 times the article V. Left mandible with incisor and lacinia mobilis bearing four cusps. Pereopod I with triangular carpus, dactylus elongated, an inferior margin with a row of contiguous scale-like flattened setae. Pereopods II-VII with an oval basis bearing some long distally plumose setae on the superior margin; dactylus shorter than elongated main unguis, bearing two secondary unguis. Pleopod I uniramous, protopod mesial margin with a simple RS or a single coupling hook, exopod elongated, mesial margin with a row distally plumose setae, distal margin fringed with a row of tiny simple short setae. Pleopod II exopod 2-articulate, article I short and without setae, article II longer than I, oval or round.


    Stenasellus tashanicus sp. n.

    Diagnosis: Body dorsal surface smooth, with scattered marginal setae. Antenna reaching to pereonite V posterior margin in male specimen, with a squama bearing three simple setae on the outer margin of the third article. Maxilla lateral and middle endites each bearing 11 curved pectinate RS; mesial margin of maxilliped endite with six coupling hooks. Appendix masculina slender, elongated, tapering to a curved acute apex; endopod of pleopods III–V distally bifurcated.

    Etymology: The name of this species comes from the type locality, the Tashan Cave, Iran.

    Habitat: The isopods were collected from two pools in the dark zone of the Tashan Cave (at 20 to 200 cm depths). They were observed in all life cycle stages. They were observed crawling on the floor and hiding inside the sediment and cavities of the pools, as well as swimming in the water column. Mousavi-Sabet et al. (2016) described a blind fish from this cave (see Fig. 1D).

     Valiallah Khalaji-Pirbalouty, Yaser Fatemi, Mohammad Javad Malek-Hosseini and Matjaž Kuntner. 2018. A New Species of Stenasellus Dollfus, 1897 from Iran, with A Key to the western Asian Species (Crustacea, Isopoda, Stenasellidae).  ZooKeys. 766: 39-50.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.766.23239

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    Hemidactylus paaragowli
     Srikanthan, Swamy, Mohan & Pal, 2018


    We describe a new species of rock-dwelling gecko, Hemidactylus paaragowli sp. nov., from the Agastyamalai Hill Range, in the southern Western Ghats. Morphological and molecular data support the distinctiveness of the species and its close relationship to other large-bodied, tuberculate Hemidactylus spp. from the H. prashadi group from India and Sri Lanka. This species belongs to a rupicolous complex and can be distinguished from other members of the group based on the following characters: 22–24 longitudinal rows of fairly regularly arranged, subtrihedral, weakly keeled, striated tubercles at midbody; 9–11 and 10–12 subdigital lamellae on the first and fourth digits, respectively, of both manus and pes; tail with transverse series of four enlarged tubercles on each tail segment; 10–12 femoral pores on each side separated by 16–18 scales without pores; 11–13 supralabials and 9–10 infralabials.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Hemidactylus paaragowli sp. nov., Hemidactylus prashadi group, Agastyamalai, Western Ghats, India

     Achyuthan N. Srikanthan, Priyanka Swamy, Ashwini V. Mohan and Saunak Pal. 2018. A Distinct New Species of Riparian Rock-dwelling Gecko (Genus: Hemidactylus) from the southern Western Ghats. Zootaxa.  4434(1); 141–157.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4434.1.9


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    [A, C]  Amolops larutensis (Boulenger, 1899)
    [B, D] Amolops gerutu 
    Chan, Abraham, Grismer & Grismer, 2018

      (A) female Amolops larutensis from Fraser's Hill, Pahang; (B) female A. gerutu from Chemerong, Pahang;
     (C) male A. larutensis from Fraser's Hill; (D) male A. gerutu from Sekayu, Terengganu;

    Previously, only one species of torrent frog (Amolops larutensis) was thought to occur throughout Peninsular Malaysia. However, genomic work has demonstrated that populations from eastern Peninsular Malaysia form two separate lineages that are genetically distinct from A. larutensis that is now restricted to the western half of Peninsular Malaysia. This study demonstrates that all three lineages can be morphologically distinguished from each other, thereby providing additional support for the recognition of the eastern lineages as two distinct species. These lineages are described herein as Amolops gerutu sp. nov. from the eastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, and A. australis sp. nov. from the southern-most state of Johor. In general, these two new species form a clade that is sister to A. larutensis and can be readily distinguished from it by having: (1) considerably denser and more pronounced dorsal tubercles, and (2) the posterodorsal surface of thighs having dense, dark stippling as opposed to broad vermiculations. Although differences in other morphometric characters were detected, their utility as diagnostic characters should be applied with caution due to the large intraspecific variation that overlaps among different species in many of the characters we measured. As such, we advocate for the use of tuberculation and pattern of the posterodorsal portion of the thighs as primary diagnostic characters. These characters can readily distinguish A. larutensis from the two new species. To differentiate A. australis sp. nov. from A. gerutu sp. nov. and A. larutensis, body size can be a good diagnostic character as A. australis sp. nov. is significantly smaller in both males (mean = 31.04 ± 1.59 mm) and females (mean = 46.48 ± 3.2 mm). Additionally, we show a strong positive correlation between body size and elevation, with populations from montane forests (>900 m asl) being considerably larger than populations at lower elevations.
    Keywords: Amphibia, Taxonomy, systematics, morphology, amphibian, cryptic species, body size

    Amolops gerutu sp. nov.
    Tuberculated Torrent Frog

    Amolops larutensis Sumarli, Grismer, Anuar, Muin & Quah, 2015, pp 4,9,12.

    Distribution. Besides the type locality, Amolops gerutu sp. nov. has been documented from a number of other localities east of the Titiwangsa mountain range including Gunung Stong Forest Reserve, in the state of Kelantan; Lata Tembakah, Lata Belatan, and Sekayu Recreational Forest in the state of Terengganu (Dring 1979; Sumarli et al. 2015); and Sungai Lembing, Sungai Pandan Waterfall, and Chemerong Amenity Forest in the state of Pahang. At Gunung Stong, A. gerutu sp. nov. occurs in syntopy with A. larutensis (Fig. 1).

    Natural history. Like most congeners, Amolops gerutu sp. nov. is a strict torrent specialist that only occurs within or along torrential zones of rocky streams from lowland to montane forests. During the day, frogs dwell in rock cracks and sheltered areas among boulder stacks along streams and are rarely seen out in the open. They can be seen in abundance at night, most frequently on boulders by splash zones and occasionally on adjacent low vegetation. When disturbed, frogs dive into the rapids and float downstream. Like other congeners, tadpoles of this species are gastromyzophorous (Pham et al. 2015) and can be seen clinging onto boulders in the splash zone. On such boulders, tadpoles are usually observed above or just below the water line.

    Etymology. The specific epithet “gerutu” (English pronunciation “gir-roo-too”) refers to the Malay word of the same construct, meaning “tubercle”, in reference to the pronounced dorsal tubercles that are diagnostic of this species.

    Amolops australis sp. nov.
    Southern Torrent Frog

    Amolops larutensis, Ahmad, Senawi & Lim 2004, p 26; Belabut & Hashim, 2005, p 200; Wood, Grismer, Youmans, Nasir, Ahmad & Senawi, 2008, p 118; Grismer & Pan, 2008, p. 277 (in part); Shahriza, Ibrahim, Anuar & Muin, 2012, p 558, 561.
    Staurois larutensis, Belabut & Hashim, 2004, pp. 67, 69.

    Distribution. Amolops australis sp. nov. is only known from the southern state of Johor where it has been confirmed to occur in Endau-Rompin National Park and Bantang River Amenity Forest. It is presumed to occur more widely in suitable habitats in the surrounding southern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

    Natural history. The natural history of this species is similar to that of Amolops gerutu sp. nov. and A. larutensis. No information is available for tadpoles.

    Etymology. The specific epithet is derived from the Latin word “ australis ”, meaning “southern” in English, and is applied in reference to the distribution of this species in southern Peninsular Malaysia that also represents the southern-most distributional limit of the entire genus.

    Chan Kin Onn, Robin Kurian Abraham, Jesse L. Grismer and L. Lee Grismer. 2018. Elevational Size Variation and Two New Species of Torrent Frogs from Peninsular Malaysia (Anura: Ranidae: Amolops Cope). Zootaxa. 4434(2); 250–264. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4434.2.2

    Kin Onn Chan, Alana M. Alexander, Lee L. Grismer, et al. 2017. Species Delimitation with Gene Flow: A Methodological Comparison and Population Genomics Approach to Elucidate Cryptic Species Boundaries in Malaysian Torrent Frogs.  Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14296 

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    Sitana gokakensis  S. thondalu 
    Deepak,Khandekar,Chaitanya & Karanth, 2018

    Two new cryptic species of the agamid genus Sitana Cuvier, 1829 from Peninsular India are described herein. Sitana gokakensis sp. nov. from Gokak, Karnataka closely resembles Sitana thondalu sp. nov. from Nagarjuna Sagar, Andhra Pradesh. The two species can be distinguished based on their subtle morphological differences, genetic difference and geographic distribution. Sitana gokakensis sp. nov. have a relatively depressed head compared to Sitana thondalu sp. nov. Additionally, the vertebral scale counts differ in females of the two new species (Sitana gokakensis sp. nov. 45–47 vs Sitana thondalu sp. nov. 49–53). Genetic divergence between them is comparable to those between previously described Sitana species. Furthermore, the two new species are distributed ca. 500 km apart and are endemic to their respective landscapes that lie in similar latitudes of peninsular India. We urge the use of large sample size in new species descriptions especially those dealing with cryptic species like Sitana. The discovery of the two new cryptic species from these rocky terrains in peninsular India highlights need for more herpetological exploration in this region.

    Keywords: Reptilia, cryptic species, DNA, fan-throated lizards, peninsular India, Sitana, taxonomy 

    FIGURE 9. Sitana gokakensis sp. nov. colouration in life. uncollected adult females from the type locality.

    Sitana gokakensis sp. nov.

    Etymology. The specific epithet is an adjectival toponym and refers to the Gokak plateau of Belagavi district in Karnataka, to which this species is endemic.
    Suggested common name. Gokak fan-throated lizard.

    Distribution. Sitana gokakensis sp. nov. is endemic to Gokak plateau in Belagavi district, Karnataka (Fig. 1). The samples collected from north and south outside this plateau (Nipani, Ramdurga, Bagalkot) were of S. laticeps. The Ghataprabha is a rocky river and a potential geographical barrier for this species.

    Sitana thondalu sp. nov.

    Etymology. The specific epithet is a noun in apposition, derived from the Telugu word thondalu for an agamid lizard in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states.
    Suggested English name. Nagarjuna Sagar fan-throated lizard

    Distribution. Sitana thondalu sp. nov. is found in Macherala and Nagarjuna Sagar, Guntur District, in Andhra Pradesh state. This species was only recorded from these two localities during this study (Fig. 1). The altitudinal distribution is between 180 and 200 m a.s.l.

     Sitana gokakensis sp. nov. colouration in life. 
    Holotype (BNHS 2490) in life.

     Sitana thondalu sp. nov. colouration in life. 
    Holotype (BNHS 2492) in life.

    V. Deepak,Akshay Khandekar,R. Chaitanya andPraveen Karanth. 2018. Descriptions of Two New Endemic and Cryptic Species of Sitana Cuvier, 1829 from peninsular India. Zootaxa. 4434(2); 327–365.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4434.2.5

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    Hynobius tosashimizuensis 
     Sugawara, Watabe, Yoshikawa & Nagano, 2018

    We describe a new species of lentic salamander of the genus Hynobius. From our examination of specimens from the Kyushu and Shikoku populations of Hynobius dunni, individuals of each population have distinct morphological and molecular traits. On this basis, we describe the Shikoku population as a new species. Morphological comparisons revealed that most individuals of H. dunni possessed distinct black spots on the dorsum, but that the new species lacks these spots. Furthermore, the mean snout–vent length was smaller for the new species than for the Kyushu population of H. dunni. Phylogenetic analyses with the use of fragments of the 16S rRNA and cytochrome b genes also distinguish the new species from individuals in the Kyushu population. The new species has been found in only seven artificial ponds, with approximately 80 clutches of eggs found each year. This endangered species might have the smallest distribution of all those in the genus Hynobius.

    Keywords: Cryptic species, Discriminant analysis, Endangered species, Lentic salamander, Mitochondrial DNA

    FIG. 4.—Holotype of Hynobius tosashimizuensis sp. nov. (TKPM-H131, adult male):
    (A) dorsal view, (B) ventral view, and (C) lateral view.

    Hynobius tosashimizuensis sp. nov.

    Etymology.— The specific epithet is derived from ‘‘Tosashimizu City,’’ Kochi Prefecture, where the new species occurs. Suggested common name in Japanese: Tosashimizu-sanshouo. 

    Hirotaka Sugawara, Takashi Watabe, Takaomi Yoshikawa and Masahiro Nagano. 2018. Morphological and Molecular Analyses of Hynobius dunni Reveal a New Species from Shikoku, Japan. Herpetologica. 74(2); 159-168.  DOI: 10.1655/Herpetologica-D-17-00002.1

    New species of salamander identified in Shikoku: study - The Mainichi

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    Figure 1. Plate of the male hybrid bird of paradise Paradisaea maria from Reichenow (1897). 

    Figure 2. Plates of Paradisaea guilielmi (upper) and P. raggiana augustaevictoriae (lower),
    the presumed parental species of P. maria, related to the original descriptions by Cabanis (1888).  

    Reproduced from the Biodiversity heritage library ( 
    in Koch, 2018.   DOI: 10.3897/zse.94.25139 

    The discovery of a rare hybrid specimen of Maria’s bird of paradise (Paradisaea maria, i.e., P. guilielmi × P. raggiana augustaevictoriae) in the ornithological collection of the Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum in Braunschweig (SNMB) is reported. Until today only six male specimens (deposited in the natural history museums in Berlin and New York) and presumably one female have been identified in collections world-wide. The male specimen in Braunschweig corresponds well in its plumage colouration with an historical illustration and photographs of the original type specimen from the 19th century housed at the Berlin collection. It shows intermediate characteristics between both parental species, viz. the Emperor bird of paradise (P. guilielmi) and the Raggiana bird of paradise (P. raggiana augustaevictoriae). In addition, we try to elucidate the circumstances how this rare specimen of hybrid origin, which formerly belonged to the natural history collection of the factory owner Walter Behrens from Bad Harzburg, came to the SNMB. Our unexpected discovery highlights the importance to maintain, support and study also smaller private natural history collections, since they may house historical voucher specimens of high scientific value.

    Key Words: Paradisaea maria, Ornithology, Natural history collections, New Guinea, Type specimens, Hybridisation, Private collector, Walter Behrens, Haus der Natur

     André Koch. 2018. Discovery of A Rare Hybrid Specimen Known as Maria’s Bird of Paradise at the Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum in Braunschweig. Zoosystematics and Evolution. 94(2): 315-324.  DOI: 10.3897/zse.94.25139

    Zusammenfassung: Es wird über die Entdeckung eines seltenen Exemplars des Hybrid-Paradiesvogels Paradisaea maria (d.h. Paradisaea guilielmi × P. raggiana augustaevictoriae), in der ornithologischen Sammlung des Staatlichen Naturhistorischen Museums in Braunschweig (SNMB) berichtet. Bis heute sind lediglich sechs männliche (aus den Museen in Berlin und New York) und vermutlich ein weibliches Exemplar in internationalen Naturkundesammlungen bekannt geworden. Das männliche Exemplar aus Braunschweig entspricht in seiner Gefiederfärbung einer historischen Abbildung und Fotos des ursprünglichen Typusexemplars aus dem 19. Jahrhundert, das sich im Berliner Museum befindet. Es zeigt deutlich intermediäre Merkmalsausprägungen zwischen den beiden Elternarten, dem Kaiserparadiesvogel (P. guilielmi) und dem Raggi-Paradiesvogel (P. raggiana augustaevictoriae). Die Umstände, wie dieser seltene Hybrid-Paradiesvogel, der ehemals Teil der Sammlung des Fabrikanten Walter Behrens aus Bad Harzburg war, in die SNMB-Sammlung gelangte, werden erläutert. Unsere unerwartete Entdeckung unterstreicht die Bedeutung, auch kleinere private naturkundliche Sammlungen zu bewahren, zu erhalten und zu erforschen, da sie historische Belegexemplare von hoher wissenschaftlicher Bedeutung enthalten können.

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    Corotoca fontesi Zilberman, 2018


    Corotoca Schiødte, 1853 is a Neotropical genus of termitophiles beetles, with five species, and its description marks the first record of insects associated with termites. A new species, Corotoca fontesi sp. nov., from Brazil, is described and illustrated, and a taxonomical problem regarding to the identification and nomenclatural status of two species, Corotoca phylo Schiødte, 1853 and Corotoca seeversi Fontes, 1977, is solved. Therefore, Corotoca seeversi is proposed as a new junior synonym of C. phylo, and the material identified as C. phylo housed in the Museum of Zoology of the University of São Paulo, Brazil (MZUSP) is recognized as a new species, Corotoca fontesi sp. nov. New morphological and sexual dimorphism data in the species, and solution of some messy informations about the genus present in the literature are also present.

    Keywords: Coleoptera, dimorphism, illustrations, morphology, taxonomy, termitophiles

    Bruno Zilberman. 2018. New Species and Synonymy in the Genus Corotoca Schiødte, 1853 (Coleoptera, Aleocharinae, Corotocini). Zootaxa. 4434(3); 547–560. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4434.3.9

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    Rhododendron rawatii  I. D. Rai& B. S. Adhikari

    in Rai & Adhikari, 2012.

    A new species of RhododendronR. rawatii is illustrated and described from the Western Himalaya. The species is sporadically found in the subalpine-timberline zone of Uttarakhand state. Fascicled white cottony hairs on the abaxial surface in between lateral veins of leaves, bright pink and shine-less corolla and comparatively large calyx with hairy margins distinguish the new species from its nearest ally R. fulgens. The populations of the species were found in two geographically distinct localities in the Rudraprayag and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand state. The distinguishing morphological characters, affinities with other species and various ecological aspects of the new species are discussed here.

    Rhododendron rawatii I. D. Rai & B. S. Adhikari sp. nov. 

    Etymology:— The epithet rawatii acknowledges Prof. Gopal Singh Rawat, one of the leading phytotaxonomists and ecologists of India.

     Ishwari Datt Rai and Bhupendra S. Adhikari. 2012. Rhododendron rawatii (Ericaceae), A New Species from the Western Himalaya, India. PHYTOTAXA. 71(1):10-16   DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.71.1.3

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    Panraogallus hezhengensis 
    Li, Clarke, Eliason, Stidham, Deng & Zhou, 2018

    Modifications to the upper vocal tract involving hyper-elongated tracheae have evolved many times within crown birds, and their evolution has been linked to a ‘size exaggeration’ hypothesis in acoustic signaling and communication, whereby smaller-sized birds can produce louder sounds. A fossil skeleton of a new extinct species of wildfowl (Galliformes: Phasianidae) from the late Miocene of China, preserves an elongated, coiled trachea that represents the oldest fossil record of this vocal modification in birds and the first documentation of its evolution within pheasants. The phylogenetic position of this species within Phasianidae has not been fully resolved, but appears to document a separate independent origination of this vocal modification within Galliformes. The fossil preserves a coiled section of the trachea and other remains supporting a tracheal length longer than the bird’s body. This extinct species likely produced vocalizations with a lower fundamental frequency and reduced harmonics compared to similarly-sized pheasants. The independent evolution of this vocal feature in galliforms living in both open and closed habitats does not appear to be correlated with other factors of biology or its open savanna-like habitat. Features present in the fossil that are typically associated with sexual dimorphism suggest that sexual selection may have resulted in the evolution of both the morphology and vocalization mechanism in this extinct species.

    Systematic paleontology
    AVES Linnaeus, 1758
    GALLIFORMES Linnaeus, 1758

    PHASIANIDAE Vigors, 1825

    Panraogallus hezhengensis gen et sp. nov.

    Etymology: The genus name is the pinyin of the Chinese characters meaning ‘coiling’ and the Latin for ‘chicken,’ referring to the preserved elongate trachea in this species. The specific epithet, ‘hezhengensis’ refers to Hezheng area in the Linxia Basin of Gansu Province where abundant fossils, including the holotype, have been collected.

    Specimen number: HMV 1876 (HMV, Hezheng Paleozoological Museum, Vertebrate Collection, Gansu Province, China).

    Locality and age: Baihua area near Zhuangkeji Township, Guanghe County, Gansu Province, China exposes the Liushu Formation that is late Miocene (7.25–11.1 Ma).

    Fig.1 Type specimen of Panraogallus hezhengensis (HMV 1876). It has coiled, super-elongated windpipe and lived in the late Miocene of Gansu Province in northwest China (Photo by Z. LI and reconstruction by X. GUO at IVPP)

    Zhiheng Li, Julia A. Clarke, Chad M. Eliason, Thomas A. Stidham, Tao Deng and Zhonghe Zhou. 2018. Vocal Specialization through Tracheal Elongation in An Extinct Miocene Pheasant from China. Scientific Reports. 8, Article number: 8099. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12739

    Song From The Distant Past, A New Fossil Pheasant From China Preserves A Super-Elongated Windpipe
    Song from the distant past, a new fossil pheasant from China preserves a super-elongated windpipe via @physorg_com
    Song from the distant past, a new fossil pheasant from China preserves a... via @EurekAlert
    El esqueleto fosilizado de un faisán con una tráquea súper larga via @natgeoesp

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    Tonza citrorrhoa  Meyrick, 1905
    Kobayashi & Sohn (2018) fam. nov.

    in Kobayashi, Matsuoka, Kimura, et al., 2018.
      DOI:   10.5852/ejt.2018.443


    The systematic position of Tonza Walker, 1864 is re-evaluated, based on the characteristics of immature stages and DNA barcodes. Larvae and pupae of Tonza citrorrhoa Meyrick, 1905 are described and illustrated for the first time. Larvae of this species form a loose web among the leaves and branches of the host plant, Putranjiva matsumurae Koidz. (Putranjivaceae Endl.). The immature stages of Tonza exhibit four unique apomorphies including: in the larva, the prolegs on A5 and A6 absent, and the seta L2 on the A1–A8 very small; in the pupa, four minute knobs are positioned in the middle portion on abdominal segments V and VI; while its caudal processes possess a W-shaped spine with numerous minute spines. These characteristics clearly distinguish Tonza from other yponomeutoid families and hence, we propose a new family group name, Tonzidae Kobayashi & Sohn fam. nov., for the genus Tonza. Existing DNA barcode data suggest a relationship with Glyphipterigidae Stainton, 1854. The family level status of Tonzidae fam. nov. provides a hypothesis that needs to be tested with larger molecular data.

    Keywords: Adenosma; Bedelliidae; DNA barcoding; Putranjiva matsumurae; leaf webber

    Class Hexapoda Blainville, 1816 
    Order Lepidoptera Linnaeus, 1758 

    Superfamily Yponomeutoidea Stephens, 1829 

    Family Tonzidae Kobayashi & Sohn fam. nov. 

    Type genus:Tonza Walker, 1864. 

    Fig. 1. Female adult of Tonza citrorrhoa Meyrick, 1905 (OPU-IN-LE 2018IV0005),
    host: Putranjiva matsumurae Koidz., from Yonaguni Is., Okinawa Pref., Japan.
    A. Adult specimen. B. Resting posture of adult, dorso-lateral view.
    Scale bar: 2 mm.

    Fig. 1. Female adult of Tonza citrorrhoa Meyrick, 1905 (OPU-IN-LE 2018IV0005), host: Putranjiva matsumurae Koidz., from Yonaguni Is., Okinawa Pref., Japan.  Scale bar: 2 mm.

    Fig. 3. Larvae and pupae of Tonza citrorrhoa Meyrick, 1905 on Putranjiva matsumurae Koidz.
    A. Tree of hostplant and larval webs. B. Later larva forming web on young leaves. C. Later larva, lateral view.

    Diagnosis Adult. Maxillary palpi three-segmented; ocelli and chaetosema absent (Fig. 8C–D); antennae slightly longer than or same length as forewing (Fig. 1); forewings with slightly protruding apex and tornus; forewing termen oblique or concave; only two radial sector veins present, RS1 on apex and RS2 on termen (Kobayashi et al. 2015; Fig. 1F); in the male genitalia (Kobayashi et al. 2015; Fig. 2A–D), uncus small with a pair of long processes; socii with long terminal setae; valva elongate with several small spines and plate arising from middle to base of valva; in the female genitalia (Kobayashi et al. 2015; Fig. 2E), lamella antevaginalis sclerotized, covering sternite VIII; antrum slender; inception of ductus seminalis at the middle of corpus bursae (after Kobayashi et al. 2015).


    Genus Tonza Walker, 1864 
    Tonza Walker, 1864: 1011 – Kobayashi et al. (2015: 68–69) (redescription). 

    Type species: T. purella Walker, 1864.

    1. Tonza purella Walker, 1864
    Distribution: Australia 

    2. Tonza citrorrhoa Meyrick, 1905
    Distribution: India; Sri Lanka; China (Taiwan); Japan (Kagoshima, Okinawa); Indonesia, identity not certain; Philippines, identity not certain

    3. Tonza callicitra Meyrick, 1913
    Distribution: Solomon Islands (Bougainville; type locality, types in NHMUK), New Guinea, New Ireland, New Britain, E. Sula: Mangole, Salomo Archipelago (Shortland I.).

    Shigeki Kobayashi, Haruka Matsuoka, Masaaki Kimura, Jae-Cheon Sohn, Yutaka Yoshiyasu and David C. Lees. 2018. Designation of A New Family Group Name, Tonzidae fam. nov., for the Genus Tonza (Lepidoptera, Yponomeutoidea), based on Immature Stages of Tonza citrorrhoaEuropean Journal of Taxonomy. 443; 1–32. DOI:   10.5852/ejt.2018.443

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    Pethia sahit
    Katwate, Kumkar, Raghavan& Dahanukar, 2018

    A new species of the cyprinid genus Pethia is described from the Hiranyakeshi, a tributary of the Krishna River system in the Western Ghats mountain ranges of peninsular India. The new species, Pethia sahit, is syntopic—and shoals together—with Pethia longicauda, a species described recently from the same river. Pethia sahit is distinguished from P. longicauda and its congeners by a combination of characters like, incomplete lateral line with 3–6 pored scales; 19–22 scales in lateral series; 4½ scales between dorsal-fin origin and lateral-line row and 2½ scales between lateral line row and pelvic-fin origin; intercalated scale row originates above and after the 6th scale of the lateral-line scale row; dorsal fin originating behind the pelvic-fin origin; 4+13 abdominal and 12 caudal vertebrae; dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, anal and caudal fins without any bands or spots, deep yellow-orange in color or deep red with a pale tint of orange in mature males; a dark-black vertically elongate humeral spot, overlapping the 4th lateral-line scale, extending over the base of one scale above and below the 4th scale; caudal peduncle spot dark, covering 14th–16th scales in lateral-line scale row. Genetic analysis based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene indicates that P. sahit and P. longicauda are not sister taxa. Further, P. sahit has no genetically proximate congener in the Western Ghats region, and differs from known congeners from south and southeast Asia, for which genetic data are available, with genetic distance ranging from 11.8–16.4%.

    Keywords: Pisces, freshwater fish; integrative taxonomy; Pethia; sympatry

    Unmesh Katwate, Pradeep Kumkar, Rajeev Raghavan and Neelesh Dahanukar. 2018. A New Syntopic Species of Small Barb from the Western Ghats of India (Teleostei: Cyprinidae).  Zootaxa. 4434(3); 529–546. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4434.3.8


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    Eviulisoma zebra Enghoff, 2018
    one of the strikingly marked species from the Udzungwa Mts. 

    Photograph by Martin Nielsen.


     Twenty-two new species of the genus Eviulisoma Silvestri, 1910, from the Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania, are described: Eviulisoma acaciae sp. nov., E. aequilobatum sp. nov., E. akkariae sp. nov., E. angulatum sp. nov., E. articulatum sp. nov., E. biquintum sp. nov., E. breviscutum sp. nov., E. cetafi sp. nov., E. chitense sp. nov., E. commelina sp. nov., E. coxale sp. nov., E. ejti sp. nov., E. grumslingslak sp. nov., E. kalimbasiense sp. nov., E. navuncus sp. nov., E. nessiteras sp. nov., E. ottokrausi sp. nov., E. paradisiacum sp. nov., E. sternale sp. nov. andE. zebra sp. nov. from the Udzungwa Mts,E. culter sp. nov. from the Rubeho Mts andE.kangense sp. nov. from the Kanga Mts. Eviulisoma kwabuniense Kraus, 1958, and E. dabagaense Kraus, 1958, both from the Udzungwa Mts, are redesribed based on new material. Notes are provided on E. iuloideum (Verhoeff, 1941) based on type material. Eoseviulisoma Brolemann, 1920, is synonymized under Eviulisoma, based on newly collected material of E. julinum (Attems, 1909), type species of Eoseviulisoma. New material of Suohelisoma ulugurense Hoffman, 1964, type species of Suohelisoma Hoffman, 1964, has revealed that the gonopod structure is more similar to that of Eviulisoma than originally thought, but Suohelisoma is retained as a valid genus. Four species groups are recognized among Eviulisoma species from the Udzungwa Mts, but the need for a revision of the entire genus is emphasized. Two types of epizootic fungi are recorded from Eviulisoma spp., and an enigmatic amorphous mass, which may be a kind of plugging substance, is recorded from the gonopod tips and excavated sixth sternum of several species. 

    Keywords: Taxonomy, new species, epizootic fungi, copulatory plug. 

    Fig. 1. Eviulisoma zebra sp. nov., one of the strikingly marked species from the Udzungwa Mts.
    Photograph by Martin Nielsen.

    Henrik Enghoff. 2018. A Mountain of Millipedes VII: The Genus Eviulisoma Silvestri, 1910, in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania, and related species from other Eastern Arc Mountains. With notes on Eoseviulisoma Brolemann, 1920, and Suohelisoma Hoffman, 1963 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae)European Journal of Taxonomy. 445: 1–90. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2018.445

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    Primitivus manduriensis 
    Paparella, Palci, Nicosia & Caldwell, 2018
       DOI:  10.1098/rsos.172411 

    A new marine lizard showing exceptional soft tissue preservation was found in Late Cretaceous deposits of the Apulian Platform (Puglia, Italy). Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov. is not only the first evidence of the presence of dolichosaurs in a southern Italian Carbonate Platform, filling a palaeogeographic gap in the Mediterranean Tethys, but also extends the range of this group to the upper Campanian–lower Maastrichtian. Our parsimony analysis recovers a monophyletic non-ophidian pythonomorph clade, including Tetrapodophis amplectus at the stem of Mosasauroidea + Dolichosauridae, which together represent the sister group of Ophidia (modern and fossil snakes). Based on Bayesian inference instead, Pythonomorpha is monophyletic, with Ophidia representing the more deeply nested clade, and the new taxon as basal to all other pythonomorphs. Primitivus displays a fairly conservative morphology in terms of both axial elongation of the trunk and limb reduction, and the coexistence of aquatic adaptations with features hinting at the retention of the ability to move on land suggests a semi-aquatic lifestyle. The exceptional preservation of mineralized muscles, portions of the integument, cartilages and gut content provides unique sources of information about this extinct group of lizards. The new specimen may represent local persistence of a relict dolichosaur population until almost the end of the Cretaceous in the Mediterranean Tethys, and demonstrates the incompleteness of our knowledge of dolichosaur temporal and spatial distributions.

    KEYWORDS: Squamata, Pythonomorpha, Apulian Platform, Cretaceous, soft tissue, ultraviolet radiation

    Figure 1. Holotype of Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov. (MPUR NS 161) at natural (a) and UV (b) light as exposed from the matrix in dorsal view. The imaging under UV radiations is a composite of two pictures. Scale bars: 5 cm. 

     Systematic palaeontology
    Reptilia Linnaeus, 1758
    Squamata Oppel, 1811
    Pythonomorpha Cope, 1869
    DOLICHOSAURIDAE Gervais, 1852

    Definition. Dolichosauridae is here defined as the group including all taxa sharing a more recent common ancestor with Dolichosaurus longicollis than with Aigialosaurus sp. In our study, this includes the following genera: Dolichosaurus, Pontosaurus, Primitivus gen. nov., Adriosaurus, Acteosaurus, and Aphanizocnemus (cf. Nopcsa [1903] and Conrad [2008]).

    Diagnosis. Dolichosauridae is here defined as the group of non-ophidian pythonomorphs characterized by the following combination of features: non-sutural contact between premaxilla and maxilla; jugal lacking large posterior process; postorbital portion of postfrontal + postorbital forming half or more of the posterior orbital margin; hypapophyses/hypapophyseal peduncles extending to the tenth presacral/precloacal vertebra or beyond (10–12 cervical vertebrae); 32–40 presacral/precloacal vertebrae; reduced scapula and coracoid; tail deep, laterally compressed (cf. Pierce & Caldwell [2004], Caldwell [2006,2000], Palci & Caldwell [2010]).

    Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov.

    Etymology. The genus is named after the famous red wine grape variety, ‘Primitivo’, native to and grown in great quantities in the Salento Peninsula (Puglia, southern Italy). The species name has been chosen to honour the full name of the wine, ‘Primitivo di Manduria’, which is not only produced around the town of Manduria (Taranto, Puglia), but also in other localities of the Salento Peninsula, including Nardò, where the specimen was found.

    Holotype. MPUR NS 161, an almost complete skeleton mostly in articulation, exposed in dorsal view, partially embedded in the rock, and missing the terminal portion of the tail and some elements of the skull. Together with the skeleton, there are abundant soft tissues preserved, including permineralized muscle fibres and integument. 

    Locality and stratigraphy. Nardò, Lecce (Puglia, southern Italy); higher portion of the informal geological unit ‘Calcari di Melissano’, Apulian Carbonate Platform.

    Age. Upper Campanian–lower Maastrichtian, based on microfossils.

    Diagnosis. The new taxon can be distinguished from other dolichosaurids by the following unique combination of features: contact between frontal and prefrontal limited in the dorsal view; sutural contact between the septomaxilla anterolateral margin and the maxilla; the septomaxilla posterolateral margin in contact with the nasal; 10 cervical vertebrae + 22 dorsal vertebrae (32 presacrals); bowtie-shaped astragalus (with both a dorsal and a ventral notch); calcaneum with a proximal concavity for articulation with the fibula; deeply imbricated, small sub-circular scales on the lateral sides of the trunk and limbs; larger diamond-shaped scales on the trunk dorsal region; transversally expanded subcaudal scales.

    Figure 12. Primitivus manduriensis three-dimensional model and life reconstruction. The specimen is preserved in sediments deposited in the shallower portion of an inner lagoon of the Apulian Carbonate Platform, and is inferred to have a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Three-dimensional model (a) and life reconstruction (b) created by Fabio Manucci.

    Ilaria Paparella, Alessandro Palci, Umberto Nicosia and Michael W. Caldwell. 2018. A New Fossil Marine Lizard with Soft Tissues from the Late Cretaceous of southern Italy.  Royal Society Open Science.   DOI:  10.1098/rsos.172411