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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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    Myanmarorchestia peterjaegeri Hou, 2017

    Myanmarorchestia Hou, gen. n. with two new species is described from terrestrial habitats in Myanmar. This new genus is characterised by 4-dentate lacinia on left mandible, simple gnathopod I in both sexes, weakly chelate gnathopod II in male, simplidactylate pereopods and complex and lobed gills. Myanmarorchestia peterjaegeri Hou, sp. n. closely resembles M. seabri Hou, sp. n. in gnathopod II merus and carpus protuberant on posterior margin; however, the former is distinguished from the latter by palp of maxilla I with two articles, coxal gills convoluted, and telson with nicks on surface. Additionally, DNA barcodes of the new species are obtained to confirm their distinctiveness.

    Keywords: taxonomy, Myanmarorchestia, COI, Indo-West Pacific, leaf litter

    Figure 1. Life photo of Myanmarorchestia peterjaegeri Hou, sp. n., one of the female paratypes.
     photo:Peter Jäger. 

    Family Talitridae Rafinesque, 1815

    Genus Myanmarorchestia Hou, gen. n.
     Type species: Myanmarorchestiapeterjaegeri Hou, sp. n.

    Etymology: The generic name is derived from “Myanmar” in combination with the Orchestia stem.

    Diagnosis: Body size medium. Eyes rounded or sub-rounded, approximately 1/3 of head length. Antenna I reaching mid-point of peduncular article V of antenna II, flagellum a little shorter than peduncle. Antenna II 28% of body length, flagellum a little longer than peduncle. Mandible left lacinia mobilis 4-dentate. Maxilliped palp with four articles, first two articles broad; article III not lobate distomedially, article IV distinct, short, with apical spine and setae.

    Gnathopod I coxal plate with anterior process prominent, carpus lacking pellucid lobe, propodus simple, narrowed distally in both sexes. Gnathopod II sexually dimorphic; propodus of male transitional form, weakly chelate, with tumescence, propodus of female mitten-shaped. Pereopods simplidactylate, with two spines at hinge of unguis. Coxal gills present on gnathopod II and pereopods III–VI; each gill lobed and convoluted, one or two lobes with ridged margins or filamentous projections. Oostegites slender, present on gnathopod II and pereopods III–V.

    Epimeral plates acuminate posterodistally, ventral margins without armature, lacking submarginal pits. Pleopods well-developed, peduncles with plumose setae on exterior margins. Uropod I peduncle with large distolateral spine, outer ramus marginally bare. Uropod III ramus shorter than peduncle. Telson subtriangular shaped, apically notched, each lobe with one or two apical spines.

    Myanmarorchestia peterjaegeri Hou, sp. n.

    Etymology: The specific name honours Peter Jäger, the collector of specimens used in this study and an excellent scientist supporting the diversity research in Myanmar; noun (name) in genitive case.

    Diagnosis: Eyes sub-rounded (Fig. 1); maxilla I palp with two articles, terminal article very small; gnathopod II merus and carpus protuberant on posterior margin; coxal gills convoluted, with marginal filamentous projections; telson with nicks on surface.

    Myanmarorchestia seabri Hou, sp. n.

    Etymology: The specific name is derived from abbreviation of the Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS-SEABRI); noun in apposition.

    Diagnosis: Eyes rounded; maxilla I palp with one article; male gnathopod II merus and carpus protuberant on posterior margin, propodus with tumescence, sub-triangular; coxal gills convoluted; telson bare on surface.

     Zhonge Hou and Shuangyan Zhao. 2017. A New Terrestrial Talitrid Genus, Myanmarorchestia, with Two New Species from Myanmar (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Talitridae). ZooKeys. 705; 15-39.  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.705.15045

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    The 2011 East Japan earthquake generated a massive tsunami that launched an extraordinary transoceanic biological rafting event with no known historical precedent. We document 289 living Japanese coastal marine species from 16 phyla transported over 6 years on objects that traveled thousands of kilometers across the Pacific Ocean to the shores of North America and Hawai‘i. Most of this dispersal occurred on nonbiodegradable objects, resulting in the longest documented transoceanic survival and dispersal of coastal species by rafting. Expanding shoreline infrastructure has increased global sources of plastic materials available for biotic colonization and also interacts with climate change–induced storms of increasing severity to eject debris into the oceans. In turn, increased ocean rafting may intensify species invasions.

    Carlton, Chapman, Geller, et al., 2017. Science. 357(6358); 1402-1406.

    Marine sea slugs from a Japanese vessel from Iwate Prefecture, washed ashore in Oregon in April 2015.
     photo: John Chapman 

    A vessel carried by the Japanese tsunami washed ashore in Oregon, coated in gooseneck barnacles that colonized the boat as it floated across the North Pacific. Several Japanese species also survived the voyage, in the crevices inside and underneath the boat.
    photo: John Chapman  

    James T. Carlton, John W. Chapman, Jonathan B. Geller, Jessica A. Miller, Deborah A. Carlton, Megan I. McCuller, Nancy C. Treneman, Brian P. Steves and Gregory M. Ruiz. 2017. Tsunami-driven Rafting: Transoceanic Species Dispersal and Implications for Marine Biogeography.  Science. 357(6358); 1402-1406. DOI: 10.1126/science.aao1498

    Tsunami enabled hundreds of aquatic species to raft across Pacific via @physorg_com

    Long-distance life rafting: 
    When coastal ecosystems are affected by storms or tsunamis, organisms can be rafted across oceans on floating debris. However, such events are rarely observed, still less quantified. Carlton et al. chart the rafting journeys of coastal marine organisms across the Pacific Ocean after the 2011 East Japan earthquake and tsunami (see the Perspective by Chown). Of the nearly 300 mainly invertebrate species that reached the shores of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, most arrived attached to the remains of manmade structures.


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    Eutropis bibronii  (Gray, 1838)


    Among the eight species of Eutropis Fitzinger currently known from Sri Lanka, Eutropis bibronii (Gray, 1838) is among the least known. Hence, the occurrence of this species in Sri Lanka has been doubted by some authors since there were no confirmed records from live specimens for the past 70 years. The species has been previously reported mostly from northern regions of Sri Lanka. Here, we report the collection of a live Eutropis bibronii from the Chundikulam National Park in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka confirming its occurrence in the country.

    Keywords:  Reptilia, Bibron’s sand skink, Chundikulam National Park, reconfirmation, seashore

    Anslem de Silva, W. M. J. Sandaruwan, H. K. Sameera de Zoysa and Kanishka D.B. Ukuwela. 2017. An Authentic Record of Eutropis bibronii (Gray, 1838) (Reptilia: Scincidae) from Sri Lanka. Zootaxa. 4329(2); 175–182.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4329.2.4


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    Ieldraan melkshamensis 
    Foffa, Young, Brusatte, Graham & Steel, 2017

    Metriorhynchids are an extinct group of Jurassic–Cretaceous crocodylomorphs secondarily adapted to a marine lifestyle. A new metriorhynchid crocodylomorph from the Oxford Clay Formation (Callovian, Middle Jurassic) of England is described. The specimen is a large, fragmentary skull and associated single ramus of a lower jaw uniquely preserved in a septarian concretion. The description of the specimen reveals a series of autapomorphies (apicobasal flutings on the middle labial surface of the tooth crowns, greatly enlarged basoccipital tuberosities) and a unique combination of characters that warrant the creation of a new genus and speciesIeldraan melkshamensis gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous characters with the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous genus Geosaurus: tooth crowns that have three apicobasal facets on their labial surface, subtly ornamented skull and lower jaws elements, and reception pits along the lateral margin of the dentary (maxillary overbite). Phylogenetic analysis places this new species as the sister taxon to Geosaurus. The new taxon adds valuable information on the time of origin of the macrophagous subclade Geosaurini, which was initially thought to have evolved and radiated during the Late Jurassic. The presence of Ieldraan melkshamensis, the phylogenetic re-evaluation of Suchodus durobrivensis as a Plesiosuchus sister taxon and recently identified Callovian Dakosaurus-like specimens in the Oxford Clay Formation, indicate that all major Geosaurini lineages originated earlier than previously supposed. This has major implications for the evolution of macropredation in the group. Specifically, we can now demonstrate that the four different forms of true ziphodonty observed in derived geosaurins independently evolved from a single non-functional microziphodont common ancestor.

    Keywords: Ieldraan, Melksham monster, Geosaurus, Geosaurini, Jurassic, macrophagy

     Skull and left mandibular ramus of Ieldraan melkshamensis gen. et sp. nov. (NHMUK PV OR 46797).

    Systematic palaeontology 
    Superorder Crocodylomorpha Hay, 1930 (sensu Walker 1970) 
    Suborder Thalattosuchia Fraas, 1901 (sensu Young & Andrade 2009) 
    Family Metriorhynchidae Fitzinger, 1843 (sensu Young & Andrade 2009) 
    Subfamily Geosaurinae Lydekker, 1889 (sensu Young & Andrade 2009) 
    Tribe Geosaurini Lydekker, 1889 (sensu Cau & Fanti 2011)

     Subtribe Geosaurina subtr. nov.

     Type genus. Geosaurus Cuvier, 1824 (sensu Young et al. 2012).

     Geological range. Middle Callovian to Valanginian (34 myr duration). 
    Geographical range. European endemic (UK, Germany and France). 

     Genus Ieldraan gen. nov. 
    Type species. Ieldraan melkshamensis gen. et sp. nov. 

     Derivation of the name: Older One’. Ieldra, Old English for older; and an, Old English for one, referring to the stratigraphically older age of this new genus compared to its close relative Geosaurus

    Ieldraan melkshamensis sp. nov.  
    1888 Metriorhynchus moreli Eudes-Deslongchamps; Lydekker: 97.

    Derivation of name: ‘Older One from Melksham’, epithet translated from Latin, locative case.

    Based on our description of a long overlooked and misinterpreted specimen (NHMUK PV OR 46797), we establish the new taxon Ieldraan melkshamensis gen. et sp. nov. Despite the poor state of preservation, we demonstrate that this late Middle Jurassic taxon from the OCF shows remarkable similarities with the Late Jurassic genus Geosaurus. Ieldraan and Geosaurus are found to be sister taxa in a new European endemic, Callovian–Valanginian geosaurin lineage that we name Geosaurina subtr. nov. The morphology and stratigraphical occurrence of Ieldraan melkshamensis, combined with our phylogenetic analysis, demonstrate that numerous adaptations linked to macrophagy had already evolved in Geosaurini by the Callovian stage. This suggests that the diversification of the tribe was perhaps less abrupt than previously thought, but rather had a longer temporal and phylogenetic fuse. We also show that the evolution of ziphodonty followed a different path than previously hypothesized. The new information presented here indicates that four different true ziphodont morphologies in the derived Late Jurassic geosaurins independently evolved from a unique non-functional microziphodont common ancestor.

     Davide Foffa, Mark T. Young, Stephen L. Brusatte, Mark R. Graham and Lorna Steel. 2017. A New Metriorhynchid Crocodylomorph from the Oxford Clay Formation (Middle Jurassic) of England, with Implications for the Origin and Diversification of Geosaurini. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.  DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1367730


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    Gymnocranius obesus 
    Chen, Miki & Borsa, 2017

    Obese Large-eye Seabream  | DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2017.08.004  

    Two previously recorded new species of the large-eye seabream genus Gymnocranius (Gymnocranius sp. D and Gymnocranius sp. E) remain undescribed. Here we describe Gymnocranius sp. E as Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. This new species is morphologically distinct from all other known species under Gymnocranius by the following combination of characters: relatively deep body, with ratio of standard length to body depth 2.2–2.4; protruding large eye, with eye diameter about equal to or slightly larger than inter-orbital width; caudal fin moderately forked; no blue spots or wavy blue lines on cheek and snout in adults; fourth transversal dark bar on flank running from the sixth spine of the dorsal fin to the origin of the anal fin; anal, caudal and dorsal fins drab with yellowish to yellow margins. Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. is distinct from G. griseus, with which it has been previously confused by a relatively larger head, scales above lateral line without dark basal patch, and a smaller number of front scales on the dorsal side of the head. Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. is genetically distinct from its closest known relative, Gymnocranius sp. D by 104 diagnostic nucleotide characters, which translates into a 9.6% sequence divergence at the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. reaches a length of at least 295 mm. Its distribution, from the Ryukyu Islands to Bali, including Taiwan and the Flores Sea, mostly coincides with the western half of the Coral Triangle.

    Keywords: New species, Indo-West Pacific, Gymnocranius sp. D, Gymnocranius griseus

    Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. 
     Previously referred to as Gymnocranius sp. E [Borsa, et al., 2013],
    Gymnocranius sp. 1 [Anonymous, 2016],
    Gymnocranius griseus [Chiang, et al., 2014],
    and Gymnocranius grandoculis [Shao, 2016].

    Diagnosis: Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. differs from its morphologically close congeners G. griseus and Gymnocranius sp. D by the number of front scales on the top of the head, and by the dark-bar patterns on flanks. While the fourth transversal dark bar in G. obesus sp. nov. runs from the basis of the sixth spine of the dorsal fin down to the origin of the anal fin, the one in Ggriseus, when visible, runs down from the base of the sixth dorsal spine to the abdomen (Table 3). That in Gymnocranius sp. D descends from the sixth dorsal spine to the extremity of abdomen, before the anus (Table 3).

    Along the cytochrome b gene, the following apomorphic sites have nucleotides shared by all five specimens of G. obesus sp. nov. examined so far, that are not present in G. elongatus, G. euanus, G. grandoculis, G. griseus, G. oblongus, G. satoi, G. superciliosus and Gymnocranius sp. D: Nos. 61, 108, 117, 135, 153, 165, 300, 303, 318, 375, 501, 564, 627, 630, 684, 756, 765, 816, 967, 972, and 1032. These nucleotide sites can be used for the diagnosis of G. obesus sp. nov. relative to G. griseus and Gymnocranius sp. D.

    Etymology: Epithet obesus is the Latin translation of obese, a reference to the deep and relatively thick body shape of the specimens of this species. We propose the Obese Large-eye Seabream as vernacular name for G. obesus sp. nov.

    Fig. 1. Type series of Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. 
    A. Specimen NTUM 12079 (sample Let1006), holotype, standard length (SL) 270 mm, collected 3 October 2013 from off Fugang, Taitung, Taiwan (photographed by WJC). B. Specimen MUFS 25522, paratype, SL 295 mm, from off Anbo, Yaku-shima Island, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan (30°19′N, 130°39′E), 11 August 2008 (photographed by the MUFS fish team). C. Specimen MUFS 41271, paratype, SL 209 mm, purchased at Tomari-Fish Market (26°14′N, 127°41′E), Okinawa Island, Japan, 27 October 2012 (photographed by RM). D. Specimen MUFS 41272, paratype, SL 244 mm, purchased at the same place and same date (photographed by RM). E. Specimen NTUM 10766 (Let998), paratype, SL195 mm, from Fugang fishing port, Taiwan, 03 October 2013 (photographed by WJC). F. Specimen NTUM 10766 (Let999), paratype, SL220 mm, from Fugang fishing port, Taiwan, 03 October 2013 (photographed by WJC). G. Specimen NTUM 10766 (Let1004), paratype, SL192 mm, from Fugang fishing port, Taiwan, 03 October 2013 (photographed by WJC). H. Specimen NTUM 10766 (Let1005), paratype, SL239 mm, from Fugang fishing port, Taiwan, 03 October 2013 (photographed by WJC). 

     Wei-Jen Chen, Ryohei Miki and Philippe Borsa. 2017. Gymnocranius obesus, A New Large-eye Seabream from the Coral Triangle. Comptes Rendus Biologies. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2017.08.004 

    2017. Gymnocranius obesus, un nouveau bossu blanc du Triangle de Corail. 
    Résumé: Deux nouveaux bossus blancs du genre Gymnocranius, précédemment signalés comme Gymnocranius sp. D et Gymnocranius sp. E, restent non décrits. Nous décrivons ici Gymnocranius sp. E comme Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. Cette nouvelle espèce est morphologiquement distincte de toutes les autres espèces connues du genre Gymnocranius par la combinaison de caractères suivante : corps relativement haut, où le rapport de la longueur standard à la hauteur du corps est 2,2–2,4 ; œil saillant, large, dont le diamètre est approximativement égal ou légèrement supérieur à la distance interorbitaire ; nageoire caudale modérément fourchue ; pas de taches bleues ni de lignes bleues ondulées sur la joue et le museau chez les adultes ; quatrième barre transversale sombre sur le flanc allant de la base du sixième rayon de la nageoire dorsale à l’origine de la nageoire anale ; bord externe des nageoires anale, caudale et dorsale jaunâtre à jaune. Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. se distingue de G. griseus, avec lequel il a été précédemment confondu, par une tête relativement plus grande, des écailles au-dessus de la ligne latérale sans patch basal sombre, et un plus petit nombre d’écailles frontales sur le dos de la tête. Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. est génétiquement distinct de son plus proche parent connu, Gymnocranius sp. D, par 104 caractères nucléotidiques diagnostiques au gène mitochondrial du cytochrome b, ce qui se traduit par une divergence de séquence de 9,6 %. Gymnocranius obesus sp. nov. atteint au moins 295 mm de longueur. Sa distribution, des îles Ryukyu à Bali en passant par Taïwan et la mer de Flores, coïncide essentiellement avec la moitié ouest du Triangle de Corail.
    Mots clés: Nouvelle espèce, Indo-Pacifique ouest, Gymnocranius sp. D, Gymnocranius griseus

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    Paphiopedilum myanmaricum  Koopowitz & Iamwir.

    (2017) DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.324.1.9 


    A distinctively different and new species of Paphiopedilum Pfitzer belonging to subgenus Brachypetalum (Hallier) Pfitzer is described from Myanmar. Cribb (1998) enumerates only four species. Since then Govaerts & Cribb (2017) itemize seven species with an additional two varieties. This subgenus is confined to mainland South-east Asia extending from Thailand and Malaysia into Indochina and south-east China. It is not surprising, then that an additional species should also be found in neighboring Myanmar.

    Keywords: Paphiopedilum, Myanmar, southeast Asia, Orchidaceae, Monocots

    Harold Koopowitz, Prapanth Iamwiriyakul and Srisuda Laohapatcharin. 2017. Paphiopedilum myanmaricum, A New Species of Slipper Orchid (Cypripedioideae, Orchidaceae). Phytotaxa. 324(1); 97–100. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.324.1.9


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    Dendrobium chiangdaoense
    Promm., Kidyoo, Buddhawong & Suddee 

    เอื้องข้าวตอกเชียงดาว || DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.307.1.8


    Dendrobium chiangdaoense, a new species belonging to Dendrobium section Stachyobium is described and illustrated. It is only known from the type locality in mixed deciduous forest at ca. 800 m elev. on limestone hills in Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. It most closely resembles Ddixonianum, a more widespread northern Thailand species occurring in upper montane rain forest at 1,650–1,800 m elev.

    Keywords: Orchidaceae, Dendrobium sect. StachyobiumDendrobium chiangdaoense, new species, Monocots

    FIGURE 2. Dendrobium chiangdaoense (Buddhawong & Suddee 018); plants in natural habitat.
    photo by W. Buddhawong. 

    Dendrobium chiangdaoense (Buddhawong & Suddee 018); flowers and inflorescence.
    photo by W. Buddhawong. 

    Dendrobium chiangdaoense Promm., Kidyoo, Buddhawong & Suddee sp. nov. 

    Dendrobium chiangdaoense is most similar to D. dixonianum but differs in having bract longer than pedicel plus ovary, inflorescences not exceeding leaves, lateral sepals obliquely falcate-triangular not recurved, labellum bright green, apex of keel acute and not divided to lobes.

    Type:—THAILAND. Chiang Mai Province: Chiang Dao District, ..., ca. 800 m elev.,
    October 2015, Buddhawong & Suddee 018 (holotype BKF!).

    Distribution.—Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai Province). 

    Habitat & Ecology.—Epiphytic herb on tree trunks in mixed deciduous forest on limestone hills at ca. 800 m elev. Flowering from October to November. 

    Etymology.—The epithet “chiangdaoense” refers to the Chiang Dao District, the locality where the plants were found and collected.

    Phattaravee Prommanut, Manit Kidyoo, Wins Buddhawong and Somran Suddee. 2017. Dendrobium chiangdaoense (Orchidaceae), A New Species from Thailand.  Phytotaxa. 307(1); 84-88. 

    กล้วยไม้ชนิดใหม่ของโลก: เอื้องข้าวตอกเชียงดาว
    Dendrobium chiangdaoense Prommanut, Suddee, Buddhawong & Kidyoo
    เอื้องข้าวตอกเชียงดาวเป็นกล้วยไม้ชนิดใหม่ของโลก พบขึ้นตามต้นไม้ในป่าเต็งรังบนเขาหินปูนทางภาคเหนือของไทย ตีพิมพ์ในวารสาร Phytotaxa เล่มที่ 307(1) หน้าที่ 84–88 ปี 2017 โดยนายภัทธรวีร์ พรมนัส ดร. สมราน สุดดี นักวิทยาศาสตร์ชำนาญการพิเศษ สำนักงานหอพรรณไม้ (BKF) สำนักวิจัยการอนุรักษ์ป่าไม้และพันธุ์พืช กรมอุทยานแห่งชาติ สัตว์ป่าและพันธุ์พืช นายวิน พุทธวงศ์ นักวิจัยอิสระ และ รศ. ดร. มานิต คิดอยู่ ภาควิชาพฤกษศาสตร์ คณะวิทยาศาสตร์ จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย 
    ในประเทศไทยพบกล้วยไม้ชนิดนี้ได้ที่จังหวัดเชียงใหม่เท่านั้น คำระบุชนิด “chiangdaoense” หมายถึง ดอยเชียงดาว สถานที่ที่พบเป็นครั้งแรก กล้วยไม้ชนิดนี้เป็นพืชถิ่นเดียว (endemic species) ของไทย


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    Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis 
    Grismer, Wood, Thura, Zin, Quah, Murdoch, Grismer, Li, Kyaw & Ngwe, 2017

    A phylogenetic taxonomy of the gekkonid genus Hemiphyllodactylus based on molecular, morphological, and ecological data recovered 28 species, including three new species from the upland regions of the Shan Plateau in eastern Myanmar. Hemiphyllodactylus linnwayensis sp. nov. is a forest-adapted species that may also be a human commensal and H. montawaensis sp. nov. and H. tonywhitteni sp. nov. are karst forest-adapted species. The discovery of three new species from montane regions in eastern Myanmar extends the distribution of a larger monophyletic group of Hemiphyllodactylus westward to the eastern edge of the Ayeyrawady Basin through a series of semi-contiguous, parallel mountain ranges originating in western China and northern Thailand. The discovery of the karst forest-adapted H. montawaensis sp. nov. and H. tonywhitteni sp. nov. further emphasizes the unrealized herpetological diversity endemic to karst ecosystems and the need for increased field work throughout such habitats in South-East Asia.

    KEYWORDS: Phylogenetic taxonomy, new species, Myanmar, karst, Hemiphyllodactylus, Gekkonidae

    Figure 9. (a) Adult female paratype (LSUHC 13012) of Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis sp. nov. from the type locality of Montawa Cave 3.7 km south-west of Taunggyi, Taunggyi District, Shan State, Myanmar.  

    Hemiphyllodactylus tonywhitteni sp. nov.
     Phapant dwarf gecko

    Etymology:This specific epithet ‘tonywhitteni’ honours Dr Tony Whitten of Fauna & Flora International who has championed a broad range of conservation efforts in Indonesia and the Asia Pacific for well over a quarter of a century. His tireless efforts to conserve and help manage karst ecosystems have been a great inspiration to the senior author (LLG) herein.

    Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis sp. nov. 
    Montawa dwarf gecko

    Etymology: This specific epithet ‘montawaensis’ refers to the type locality of Montawa cave.

    Hemiphyllodactylus linnwayensis sp. nov.
    Linn-Way dwarf gecko

    Etymology:This specific epithet ‘linnwayensis’ refers to the type locality of Linn-Way Village.

    L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood Jr, Myint Kyaw Thura, Thaw Zin, Evan S. H. Quah, Matthew L. Murdoch, Marta S. Grismer, Aung Li, Htet Kyaw and Ngwe Lwin. 2017. Phylogenetic Taxonomy of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with Descriptions of Three New Species from Myanmar. Journal of Natural History. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2017.1367045 


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    Pithecopus araguaius 
     Haga, de Andrade, Bruschi, Recco-Pimentel & Giaretta, 2017


    The Neotropical frog genus Pithecopus comprises currently 10 species. A recent molecular phylogeny suggested the existence of two subclades within it, one of them including P. palliatus, P. azureus, P. hypochondrialis, and P. nordestinus (lowland species). Herein we describe a new species of this subclade from Pontal do Araguaia, in the Brazilian Cerrado in the Mato Grosso state. Recognition of the new species is supported by adult morphology, advertisement call and molecular data. The new species differs from Pithecopus highland species by its smaller head width and lack of the reticulate pattern on flanks. From lowland species, the new form differs by being significantly smaller in snout vent-length, advertisement call with the greatest number of pulses, and high genetic distance. Interestingly, we also report on occurrence of P. hypochondrialis (its sister species) at an adjacent site (about 3km). Also, we report on the occurrence of the new species in the Chapada dos Guimarães and Santa Terezinha, both also in the Mato Grosso state.

    Fig 4. Paratopotypes of Pithecopus araguaius sp. n. in life. Specimens from Pontal do Araguaia, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
    Adult males (A) AAG-UFU 4877, SVL = 31.4 mm; (B) AAG-UFU 4878, SVL = 33.6 mm; (C) AAG-UFU 3442, SVL = 32.8 mm and (D) AAG-UFU 3443, SVL = 31.0 mm. 

    Pithecopus araguaius sp. n. 

    Type locality: Pontal do Araguaia (418 m above sea level), Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

    Diagnosis: Pithecopus araguaius sp. n. is assigned to the genus Pithecopus (former Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis species group) by the following set of characters: (1) small body size; (2) dorsolateral macroglands (sensu) indistinct; (3) smooth skin on back and granulose on belly; 4) fingers and toes long and slender with terminal discs poorly developed; (5) grasping (opposable to the others) finger I and toe I. The new species differs from the highland Pithecopus species by its (6) smaller head width; and (7) lack of the reticulate pattern on flanks; and from the lowland species by having significant differences in its (8) smaller snout vent-length, and (9) call with a greater number of pulses.

    Etymology: The epithet araguaius it is masculine latinized form of the indigenous Tupi word “araguaia”, a reference to the Araguaia River, which cross the type-locality of the new species.

    Distribution: Based on the morphological and genetic similarities between populations from Pontal do Araguaia, Chapada dos Guimarães and Santa Terezinha (all MT), the specific identity between all three is well supported. Chapada dos Guimarães and Santa Terezinha are about 380 km west and 630 km north from the type-locality of P. araguaius sp. n., respectively. Based on the distribution provided by Bruschi et al. [2013], the range of the new species overlaps with that of P. hypochondrialis South, but not with those of P. azureus and P. nordestinus (see their Fig 2).


    Isabelle Aquemi Haga, Felipe Silva de Andrade, Daniel Pacheco Bruschi, Shirlei Maria Recco-Pimentel and Ariovaldo Antonio Giaretta. 2017. Unrevealing the Leaf Frogs Cerrado Diversity: A New Species of Pithecopus (Anura, Arboranae, Phyllomedusidae) from the Mato Grosso state, Brazil.   PLoS ONE. 12(9): e0184631. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184631

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    Hopea macrocarpa Poopath & Sookch. 

    in Poopath, Sookchaloem, Duangjai & Pooma. 2017
    ชันหอม  || DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2017.45.2.02 


    A new species of the important timber tree family Dipterocarpaceae, Hopea macrocarpa Poopath & Sookch., from Hala-Bala forest, Narathiwat, Thailand is described and illustrated. Hopea macrocarpa is morphologically similar to H. mengarawan Miq. from Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo in its leaf shape, leaf size, leaf blade texture and number of secondary nerves. The new species differs from H. mengarawan, however, by having bigger flower buds, bigger fruits and longer fruit stalks.

    KEYWORDS: Conservation assessment, Hala-Bala forest complex, Hopea, taxonomy.

    Figure 2.  Hopea macrocarpa Poopath & Sookch.:
     A. stilt roots & bark; B. resin; C. inner bark; D. inflorescences; E. flowers; F. fruit.
    Photographed by Manop Poopath.

     Hopea macrocarpa Poopath & Sookch., sp. nov. 
    Hopea sp., Poopath, Sookchaloem & Santisuk, Thai Forest Bull., Bot. 40: 80, 2012.
    Hopea sp. 1, Pooma, Poopath & M.F.Newman, Flora of Thailand Vol. 13(4): 617. 2017.

    Thailand.— PENINSULAR: Narathiwat
    [Sukhirin, Ban Phu Khao Thong, alt. 250 m, 15 May 2005, Poopath B105 (BKF); ibid, alt. 250 m, 11 July 2005, Poopath B118 (BKF); Waeng, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, alt. 220 m, 8 June 2004, ....].

    Distribution.— Endemic to Thailand, known only from Narathiwat Province. 

    Ecology.— Tropical rain forest, foot hills to ridges, 50–300 m alt., rather rare, associated with lowland Dipterocarps species, i.e. Dipterocarpus grandiflorus (Blanco) Blanco, Shorea parvifolia Dyer, S. singkawang (Miq.) Miq., Hopea pedicellata (Brandis) Symington, H. latifolia Symington, H. bracteata Burck and Vatica bella Slooten. 

    Vernacular.— Chan hom (ชันหอม). 

    Etymology.— The specific epithet ‘macrocarpa’ refers to the large fruit.

    Manop Poopath, Duangchai Sookchaloem, Sutee Duangjai, Rachun Pooma. 2017. Hopea macrocarpa (Dipterocarpaceae), A New Species from Peninsular Thailand. THAI FOREST BULL., BOT45(2); 94-98. DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2017.45.2.02


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    Fossil specimen of Phosphotriton sigei, an exceptionally preserved 40-35 million years old salamander (left part) and its internal organs conserved within it (right part). The skeleton, in grey, is perfectly preserved, as well as several soft organs such as the gut and lung. Within the stomach, the last meal of the animal is also preserved. Surprisingly, it fed on a frog, an extremely rare kind of prey for salamanders. Accessing the internal anatomy of this fossil without destroying it could only be achieved through modern synchrotron technology.


    Fossils are almost always represented by hard tissues but we present here the exceptional case of a three-dimensionally preserved specimen that was ‘mummified’ (likely between 40 and 34 million years ago) in a terrestrial karstic environment. This fossil is the incomplete body of a salamander, Phosphotriton sigei, whose skeleton and external morphology are well preserved, as revealed by phase-contrast synchrotron X-ray microtomography. In addition, internal structures composed of soft tissues preserved in three dimensions are now identified: a lung, the spinal cord, a lumbosacral plexus, the digestive tract, muscles and urogenital organs that may be cloacal glands. These are among the oldest known cases of three-dimensional preservation of these organs in vertebrates and shed light on the ecology of this salamander. Indeed, the digestive tract contains remains of a frog, which represents the only known case of an extinct salamander that fed on a frog, an extremely rare type of predation in extant salamanders. These new data improve our scarce knowledge on soft tissue anatomy of early urodeles and should prove useful for future biologists and palaeontologists working on urodele evolutionary biology. We also suggest that the presence of bat guano and carcasses represented a close source of phosphorus, favouring preservation of soft tissues. Bone microanatomy indicates that P. sigei was likely amphibious or terrestrial, and was probably not neotenic.

     Synchrotron tomography permitted access to the inside of the skeleton of Phosphotriton sigei. The skeleton and several organs are perfectly preserved.
    photo: Jérémy Tissier  

    Figure 1: Specimen MNHN.F.QU17755, holotype of Phosphotriton sigei. (A and B) Fossil in dorsal and ventral views. Some characteristics of urodeles, such as costal grooves or scaleless skin, are observable on the external aspect of the specimen. The cloaca and vertebral column are visible. The dotted line represents the position of the tomogram illustrated in Fig. 1C. (C) Tomogram of the tail part of the animal showing the muscles, in green, ventral and lateral to the vertebrae, and the spinal cord preserved inside the neural canal of a vertebra. Bony material is characterized by a dark grey shade, because of its light density, compared to the mineral matrix (grey or white) and void (black). Soft-tissues are also mostly darker than the mineral matrix, but are mainly recognizable by their structure and shape, on tomograms or in 3D. (D) 3D reconstruction of undetermined tail muscles, in green, which could attach to the ischium or femur. Dotted line represents the position of the tomogram illustrated in Fig. 1C.

    Ecology. The presence of anuran bones in the digestive tract of the fossil (Figs. 3C–3E) is evidence of a type of predation that is very rare in urodeles. Preying on frogs was reported in Amphiuma (Montaña, Ceneviva-Bastos & Schalk, 2014), a large and especially voracious extant urodele. Another voracious urodele, Necturus, has been reported (Hamilton, 1932) to have eaten other urodeles (Desmognatus and Eurycea), but not frogs. P. sigei was relatively small and the swallowed anuran, although small, was likely a metamorphosed individual, as shown by the well-shaped humeral condyle, but not a fully grown adult, as shown by the broad neural canal, assuming that the vertebrae belong to the same individual as the humerus. The straight diaphysis of the humerus and the position of the humeral condyle in line with the diaphysis suggest that the prey was a ranoid. Ranoids were already reported from the Phosphorites (Rage, 1984; Rage, 2016). The length of the humerus (five mm) suggests that the individual measured about 18–20 mm in snout-vent length.

    To further investigate the ecology of the animal, we studied the microanatomy of the femur, through a transverse virtual section of the diaphysis on tomograms, and calculated its compactness profile with the software Bone Profiler (Girondot & Laurin, 2003). Without much surprise, both inference models (based on backward elimination and forward selection procedures, respectively) presented by Laurin, Canoville & Quilhac (2009) suggest an amphibious or terrestrial lifestyle (see Supplemental Information). This would suggest that P. sigei was not neotenic because all extant neotenic urodeles are strictly aquatic.

    The only specimen of Phosphotriton sigei represents a peculiar case of exceptional preservation, in which several organs are preserved in three dimensions, in addition to the skeleton: lung, spinal cord, lumbosacral plexus, digestive tract, muscles, and an unidentified urogenital organ. In addition, the alimentary tract contains skeletal remains of a frog, which is a very rare prey for salamanders. Contrary to the above-cited case of arthropods (Schwermann et al., 2016a), we do not believe that the new data on soft anatomy will revolutionize our understanding of lissamphibian evolution, particularly because such characters have played a modest role in phylogenetic studies of lissamphibians. However, these data, such as the presence of a lung, proved critical to place the mummy in the phylogeny, and these data document the oldest known occurrence of anurophagy in urodeles.

    Jérémy Tissier​, Jean-Claude Rage and Michel Laurin. 2017. Exceptional Soft Tissues Preservation in A Mummified Frog-eating Eocene Salamander.   PeerJ. 5:e3861.  DOI:  10.7717/peerj.3861
    Jérémy Tissier, Jean-Claude Rage, Renaud Boistel, Vincent Fernandez, Nicolas Pollet, Géraldine Garcia and Michel Laurin. 2016. Synchrotron Analysis of A ‘Mummified’ Salamander (Vertebrata: Caudata) from the Eocene of Quercy, France. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 177(1); 147–164.   DOI:   10.1111/zoj.12341

    Ancient petrified salamander reveals its last meal via @physorg_com

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     Hypogeophis pti 
    Maddock, Wilkinson, Nussbaum & Gower, 2017


    A new species of indotyphlid caecilian amphibian, Hypogeophis pti sp. nov., is described based on a series of specimens from the Seychelles island of Praslin. The type series was collected in 2013 and 2014, and a referred specimen previously identified as H. brevis Boulenger, 1911 was collected from an unspecified Seychelles locality in 1957. The new species most closely resembles the Seychelles endemic Hypogeophis brevis in being short (maximum known total length in life ca. 120 mm) and long snouted, but differs by having a less anteriorly positioned tentacular aperture and fewer primary annuli and vertebrae. In having only 67–69 vertebrae, H. pti sp. nov. is the most abbreviated extant species of caecilian reported to date.

    Keywords:  Amphibia, herpetology, Indian Ocean, taxonomy, Vallée de Mai

    FIGURE 5. Hypogeophis brevis, specimens in life collected in 2014 on Mahé from two localities: (a) Casse Dents, specimen BMNH 2005.1984, 1985 or 1986, (b) Brûlée, BMNH 2005.1793.
    FIGURE 11. Hypogeophis pti sp. nov., paratype specimens in life collected from Fond Peper, Praslin, 2014. (a) BMNH 2005.1830 or 1832; (b) BMNH 2005.1833.

    Hypogeophis pti sp. nov.

    Etymology. The specific epithet is in reference to the very small size of the species, one of the smallest of known caecilians. ‘Pti’ is a typical spelling in Seychellois Creole of the French petit/petite (small, in English). For nomenclatural purposes the specific epithet is considered to be a noun in apposition. 

    Suggested ‘common’ name. Petite Praslin caecilian.

    Simon T. Maddock, Mark Wilkinson, Ronald A. Nussbaum and David J. Gower. 2017. A New Species of Small and Highly Abbreviated Caecilian (Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the Seychelles Island of Praslin, and A Recharacterization of Hypogeophis brevis Boulenger, 1911Zootaxa. 4329(4); 301–326.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4329.4.1


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    Etlingera hamiguitanensis  Naive


    Etlingera hamiguitanensis Naive, belonging to family Zingiberaceae, is described and illustrated from the Philippines as a new species. Although similar to Etlingera philippinensis, the new species is clearly distinguished by having a shorter and heart-shaped labellum. It is also allied to E. penicillata, however, the new species clearly distinguished by having red sterile bracts.

    KEY WORDS: Alpinioideae, Etlingera, Mindanao, Mount Hamiguitan, New species, Philippines.

    Etlingera hamiguitanensis Naive, sp. nov.

    Diagnosis:Etlingera hamiguitanensis is most similar to Etlingera philippinensis (Ridl.) R.M. Smith, but differs in the shape of the leaf (narrowly elliptic to narrowly obovate vs. broadly lanceolate), ligule (entire oblong, hyaline, reddish transluscent vs. entire triangular–oblong, papery, green) and in pubescent leaves abaxially (vs. glabrous). It also differs by having a shorter and bilobed labellum (vs. longer and entire) and by its 2–3 m tall leafy shoots (vs. 6–7 cm tall). It is also allied to Etlingera penicillata (K.Schum) A.D. Poulsen, but differs significantly in having a pubescent leaf abaxially, a much smaller leaf (30–46 × 5–9 cm vs. 67–74 × 12–14 cm), reddish, ovate to obovate sterile bracts (vs. spatulate, cream), hyaline, reddish, notched ligule (vs. entire, green ligule), inflorescence with larger, one to four flowers (vs. inflorescence with smaller, single flower) and a longer labellum (5.5–5.7 cm long vs. 3.6 to 4.2 cm long).

    Fig. 2. Flower of Etlingera hamiguitanensis.
    Fig. 3. Dissected flower of Etlingera hamiguitanensis. A. Sterile bracts, Fertile bracts. B. Bracteole. C. Calyx. D. Dorsal corolla lobe. E. Lateral corolla lobes. F. Stigma, Style, Epigynous gland. G. Anther, Filament. H. Labellum.
    Photo by Krystal Mae Acero

    Distribution: La Union, San Isidro, Davao Oriental. So far, only observed and documented from southern Philippines on Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Ecology: Etlingera hamiguitanensis grows as a terrestrial herb on slopes, in shady localities with closed canopy in the buffer zone of Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary at elevations of approximately 400– 600 m above sea level. The locality was known for its unique flora because of its ultramafic soil and the species was found in an area which are dominated by different fern species and is near the stream with humid environment.

    Etymology: This new species was named after Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, where the collection was made.

    Mark Arcebal K. Naive. 2017. Etlingera hamiguitanensis (Zingiberaceae; Alpinieae), A New Ginger Species from Davao Oriental, Philippines. Taiwania. 62(4); 340-344. DOI:  10.6165/tai.2017.62.340

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    Odontophrynus juquinha 
    Rocha, Sena, Pezzuti, Leite, Svartman, Rosset, Baldo & Garcia, 2017


    The Odontophrynus americanus species group is a complex of diploid and tetraploid species hardly distinguished by morphological characters. It currently consists of three allopatric diploid species (i.e. O. cordobae, O. lavillai, and O. maisuma) and one widely distributed tetraploid species (i.e. O. americanus). We herein describe a new diploid allopatric species from campo rupestre, a typical phytophysiognomy of the Espinhaço Range, Brazil. The new species is distinguishable by the diploid complement of 2n = 2x = 22 chromosomes, small to medium-sized dorsal dark brown blotches with low contrast on a light brown background, light mid-dorsal stripe absent or greatly interrupted in most specimens with yellowish coloration as the background of both head and flanks of the body, advertisement call with dominant frequency of 840–1080 Hz, pulse rate of 90.5–106.7 pulses/s, and small tadpoles (TL = 24.30–35.69 mm).

    Keywords:  Amphibia, taxonomy, morphology, karyotype, vocalization, tadpole, endemism, Serra do Cipó, campo rupestre

    FIGURE 1. Odontophrynus juquinha sp. nov. (paratype UFMG 13903; SVL = 46.2 mm); live adult male. Parque Nacional da Serra do Cipó, Municipality of Santana do Riacho, Minas Gerais State, Brazil.
    Photo by F. Leal. 

    Odontophrynus juquinha sp. nov.

     Odontophrynus americanus; Eterovick & Sazima (2000): 443; Eterovick & Fernandes (2001): 687; Eterovick & Fernandes (2002): 34; Eterovick & Barros (2003): 443; Eterovick (2003): 222; Eterovick & Sazima (2004): 99; Nascimento et al. (2005): 146; Soma et al. (2006): 23; Leite et al. (2008): 171; Eterovick et al. (2010): 8; Pimenta & Camara (2015): 218. 
    Odontophrynus sp.; Rosset et al. (2006): 472.

    Etymology. The specific epithet is a noun in apposition and honors “Juquinha das Flores ”, a hermit whose simplicity and gentleness made him a folkloric figure at Serra do Cipó, type locality of the new species. According to the legend, Juquinha nursed from a wolf, ate scorpions, was bitten by over a hundred snakes and his age exceeded a hundred years. He used to collect flowers and roots and trade them for general items or food. His love for the mountains and the joy he provided to those who met him made him a very popular and loved figure.

    Juquinha lived and died twice. The first time, he was found dead by his brother and woke up during his own funeral, strengthening the belief that he was immortal. In fact, he suffered from catalepsy, a rare disease that causes the heart to stop, as if the person had died. The second and actual death happened in 1983, at unknown age. In 1987, a homage statue to Juquinha was erected at the Serra do Cipó and became a tourist spot.

     Pedro C. Rocha, Letícia M. F. De Sena, Tiago L. Pezzuti, Felipe S. F. Leite, Marta Svartman, Sergio D. Rosset, Diego Baldo and Paulo C. De A. Garcia. 2017. A New Diploid Species Belonging to the Odontophrynus americanus Species Group (Anura: Odontophrynidae) from the Espinhaço range, Brazil. Zootaxa. 4329(4);  327–350. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4329.4.2

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    Parotia berlepschi  Kleinschmidt, 1897
    Scholes, Beehler & Laman. 2017. Taxonomic Status of Parotia berlepschi based on .... 

    photo: Tim Laman 


    Described from trade-skins of unknown origins, Parotia berlepschi Kleinschmidt, 1897 was the subject of a longstanding ornithological mystery that remained unresolved for well over a century. With few specimens and no known wild population, most taxonomic assessments over the last century have treated P. berlepschi as a subspecies of Parotia carolae Meyer, 1894. Following discovery of its geographical home in 2005, most authorities returned to giving P. berlepschi full species status. However, evidence supporting the delineation of P. berlepschi from P. carolae has not yet been fully articulated in the literature. Here, we assess phenotypic differentiation and the taxonomic status of P. berlepschi relative to P. carolae based on specimens and recordings of wild birds. With regard to external appearance and voice, which are important intersexual signals among polygynous birds-of-paradise, our analysis confirms that P. berlepschi is well-differentiated from P. carolae and should be treated as specifically distinct. Evidence for differentiation in courtship behavior is inconclusive and requires further study.

    Keywords:  Aves, New Guinea, Foja Mountains, Bronze Parotia, bird-of-paradise, courtship phenotype, lectotype

    male Berlepsch’s Six-wired Bird of Paradise, Parotia berlepschi.
    photo: Bruce Beehler 

    A male bronze parotia bird of paradise on the perch at his display court, holding a leaf fragment in his bill as part of his display.

     Parotia berlepschi Kleinschmidt, 1897 

    photo: Tim Laman  

    Edwin Scholes, Bruce M. Beehler and Timothy G. Laman. 2017. Taxonomic Status of Parotia berlepschi Kleinschmidt, 1897 based on Analysis of External Appearance, Voice and Behavior (Aves: Paradisaeidae). Zootaxa. 4329(6); 560–573.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4329.6.2

    “Lost Bird of Paradise Found, In Paradise | @GrrlScientist” by @GrrlScientist


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    Petrarctus jeppiaari Yang, Kumar & Chan, 2017


    A new species of slipper lobster of the genus Petrarctus Holthuis, 2002 was discovered from southwestern India during a survey of deep sea crustaceans. The new species closely resembles P. veliger Holthuis, 2002 from the Andaman Sea and western Pacific but differs mainly in the color marking on abdominal somite I, having a relatively lower cardiac tooth but with better developed tubercles on the abdomen, as well as a differently shaped anterior part of the thoracic sternum. Molecular genetic analysis also confirms the distinct taxonomic status of the new species. To fix the identity of the type species of the genus, a neotype of P. rugosus (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) was selected from a recently collected Indian specimen with color and genetic information.

    Keywords: Crustacea, Petrarctus, new species, slipper lobster, India

    Chien-Hui Yang, Appukuttannair Biju Kumar and Tin-Yam Chan. 2017. A New Slipper Lobster of the Genus Petrarctus Holthuis, 2002 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Scyllaridae) from Southwest Coast of India. Zootaxa. 4329(5); 477–486. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4329.5.5

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    Begonia fulgurata C.-I Peng, C.W.Lin & Phutthai

    Begonia fulgurata, a new species from northern Thailand, is here described and illustrated. Begonia fulgurata resembles B. integrifolia, a widespread species in Southeast Asia, in having tubers, erect stem with hairy leaves and a periodically dormant habit. However, the new species is sharply distinct in its lamina densely hirsute (vs sparsely puberulous) and with maroon patches and silvery white veins (vs uniformly green or with white spots); inflorescence densely clothed with glandular hairs (vs glabrous or puberulous); staminate flowers with 2, rarely 3 (vs 4) tepals; staminate and pistillate tepals glandular hairy (vs glabrous). As a deciduous species with basal tubers, together with an erect stem, ovate to broadly ovate leaves, 3-locular ovary, it may be mistaken as a dwarf plant of B. grandis, one of the most widely distributed species in China and the type species of sect. Diploclinium. However, B. fulgurata differs in its leaf upper side with fine silvery (vs green) veins; inflorescence densely glandular hairy (vs glabrous), staminate tepals 2 or rarely 3 (vs 4) and pistillate tepals 5 (vs 3), and ovary glandular hairy (vs glabrous).

    Keywords: Chiang Mai; endemic; new species; taxonomy

    Currently 54 species of Begonia are recognized in Thailand (Phutthai & Hughes 2016). Many are tuberous and periodically dormant during the dry season, such as some members in sect. DiplociniumParvibegoniaReichenheimiaHeeringia and Monophyllon. All of these species have axile placentae and many were discovered recently, e.g., Doorenbos et al. (1998), Phutthai & Sridith (2010), Phutthai et al. (2014), Phutthai & Hughes (2016). Here we report the discovery of a handsome new species, B. fulgurata, from northern Thailand with partial parietal placentation, which resemble some Begonia sect. Coelocentrum, a relatively large group now of over 70 species (Chung et al. 2014, Peng et al. 2014, 2015a, b) occurring on karst limestone in southern China and northern Vietnam. Members of sect. Coelocentrum are evergreen, stemless rhizomatous, and produce axillary inflorescences and unequally winged fruits. The new species, however, does not fit in sect. Coelocentrum because of its tuberous habit, periodically dormant and erect stems and apical inflorescence and subequal wings. Its overall appearance appears to be allied to sect. Diploclinium. We provide a detailed morphological description, a line drawing and a colour plate to aid in identification of this new species.

    Fig. 2 Begonia fulgurata C.-I Peng, C.W.Lin & Phutthai.
     a–b. Habit; c. staminate flower; d. pistillate flower; e. sterile plants with tubers on petiole and at base; f. portion of leaf; g. inflorescence; h. staminate flower and an immature capsule; i. cross section of the middle part of an ovary. 
    — Scale bars: c–d = 5 mm; e = 2 cm; f–h = 1 cm; i = 3 mm.
     — Photos: a: Wei-Min Lin; b: Advance Thailand Geographic; c–i: Ching-I Peng.

    Begonia fulgurata C.-I Peng, C.W. Lin & Phutthai, sp. nov.

     Type. Thailand, Chiang Mai Province, Doi Lohn (Lahn), west side, ..., Huay Gayo Subdistrict, Mae Awn District. Sterile specimen collected on 23 Oct. 2005, ....Type specimens pressed from plants brought back for cultivation in the experimental greenhouse of Academia Sinica, 26 Aug. 2008 (holo HAST; iso BKF).

    Etymology. The specific epithet fulgurata is derived from the fine, silvery-white venation on the leaf upper surface, which resembles lightning.

     C.-I Peng, C.-W. Lin and T. Phutthai. 2017. Begonia fulgurata (sect. Diploclinium, Begoniaceae), A New Species from northern Thailand. Blumea. 62; 163 –167. DOI:  10.3767/blumea.2017.62.03.01

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    Dicharax bison  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, 2017

    in Páll-Gergely, Hunyadi,  Sáng, Naggs & Asami, 2017. Revision of the Alycaeidae of China, Laos and Vietnam (Gastropoda: Cyclophoroidea) I. ....



    This is the first part of the revision of the Alycaeidae of China, Laos and Vietnam. Here we revise the species hitherto classified in Chamalycaeus Möllendorff, 1897 (genera Dicharax and Metalycaeus in this study). We show that no Chamalycaeus live in the region, and the alycaeid species of the investigated region can be classified into five genera: Alycaeus Baird, 1850, Dicharax Kobelt & Möllendorff, 1900, Dioryx Benson, 1859, Metalycaeus Pilsbry, 1900 and Pincerna Preston, 1907. We propose Dioryx dautzenbergi Páll-Gergely nom. nov. as a replacement name for Alycaeus (Dioryxmajor Bavay & Dautzenberg, 1900, non Alycæus (Dioryxgranum var. major Godwin-Austen, 1893Alycaeus anceyi Mabille, 1887A. eydouxi Venmans, 1956A. mouhoti L. Pfeiffer, 1862, A. rolfbrandti Maassen, 2006 and A. vanbuensis Bavay & Dautzenberg, 1900 are retained in AlycaeusAlycaeus costulosa Bavay & Dautzenberg, 1912 and A. maolanensis Luo, Zhang & Zhuo 2009 were transferred to Pincerna. We examined newly collected specimens and the type specimens of all species with the exception of the following: A. elevatus Heude, 1886A. expansus Heude, 1890Aneglectus Heude, 1885, Chamalycaeus libonensis Chen, Li & Luo 2003C. panshiensis Chen, 1989, C. tangmaiensis Chen & Zhang, 2001, C. zayuensis Zhang, Chen & Zhou, 2008Fifteen new species are described as follows: Dicharax (?) abdoui Páll-Gergely, n. sp.Dicharax (?) alticola Páll-Gergely & Hunyadin. sp.Dicharax (?) ellipticus Páll-Gergelyn. sp.Dicharax (?) immaculatus Páll-Gergely n. sp., Dicharax bison  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp.Dicharax draco  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp.Dicharax imitator  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp.Dicharax microcostatus Páll-Gergely n. sp., Dicharax micropolitus  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp.Dicharax robustus  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp.Metalycaeus (?) awalycaeoides  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp.Metalycaeus (?) ibex  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp.Metalycaeus laosensis Páll-Gergely n. sp., Metalycaeus oharai  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp.Metalycaeus (?) okuboi Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi n. sp. A total of twelve names are synonymised with valid species. In this revision we payed special attention to conchological characters hitherto neglected, such as the fine sculpture of the embryonic whorls and the fine structure of the microtunnels along the breathing tube. We described the radula and penis morphology of five Dicharax species.

    Keywords: Mollusca, taxonomy, systematics, distribution, Cyclophoridae, breathing apparatus

    Barna Páll-Gergely, András Hunyadi,  Đức Đỗ Sáng, Fred Naggs and Takahiro Asami. 2017. Revision of the Alycaeidae of China, Laos and Vietnam (Gastropoda: Cyclophoroidea) I: The Genera Dicharax and MetalycaeusZootaxa  4331(1);  1–124. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4331.1.1

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    Trachemys medemi
    Vargas-Ramírez, del Valle, Ceballos & Fritz, 2017


    South America was invaded by slider turtles (Trachemys spp.) twice, with one immigration wave estimated to have reached South America 8.6–7.1 million years ago (mya) and a second wave, 2.5–2.2 mya. The two widely disjunct South American subspecies of Trachemys dorbigni (northeastern and southern Brazil, Río de la Plata region of Argentina and Uruguay) are derived from the first dispersal pulse, while the two South American subspecies of Trachemys venusta (Colombia, Venezuela) originated from the second immigration event. We describe a new species of slider turtle from the lower Atrato river basin of Antioquia and Chocó departments, northwestern Colombia. This new species, the Atrato slider (Trachemys medemi n. sp.), is the first representative of the older immigration wave inhabiting northern South America. Using phylogenetic analyses of 3,242 bp of mitochondrial and 3,396 bp of nuclear DNA, we show that T. medemi is more closely related to T. dorbigni than to the geographically neighboring subspecies of Trachemys grayi and T. venusta from Central America and northern South America. The two subspecies of T. dorbigni are separated from the Atrato slider by the Andes and the Amazon Basin, and occur approximately 4,600 km and 3,700 km distant from T. medemi. According to molecular clock calculations, T. medemi diverged from the last common ancestor of the two subspecies of T. dorbigni during the Pliocene (4.1–2.8 mya), with T.dorbigni diversifying later (2.3–1.9 mya) in eastern South America beyond the Amazon basin. The divergence of the T. dorbigni subspecies overlaps with the estimated arrival of T. venusta in South America (2.5–2.2 mya). This time is characterized by massive climatic and environmental fluctuations with intermittent dispersal corridors in South America. According to their distribution, it seems likely that the ancestors of the extant subspecies of T. dorbigni dispersed along the eastern corridor, leaving a relict population northwest of the Andes with T. medemi. The distribution range of T. medemi is surrounded by taxa derived from the second southern range expansion of slider turtles, so that it can be concluded that T. venusta circumvented the habitats occupied by the ancestors of the Atrato slider when entering South America.

    Trachemys medemi n. sp., adult female (IGUN 01107), Ciénaga de Marriaga, Unguía, Chocó. 
    Photograph: Carlos del Valle

    Trachemys medemi n. sp., adult female (IGUN 01107), Ciénaga de Marriaga, Unguía, Chocó.
    Photograph: Carlos del Valle

    Trachemys medemi n. sp.

    Diagnosis: In addition to its genetic distinctiveness, Trachemys medemi differs from T. scripta and West Indian slider turtles (T. decorata, T. decussata, T. stejnegeri, T. terrapen) by posterior marginal scutes without median notch; males of T. medemi also have no elongated foreclaws. Trachemys medemi differs from these species, T. gaigeae and T. nebulosa by the presence of ocelli on all costal scutes; T. gaigeae, T. nebulosa, and T. taylori possess a reticulate carapacial pattern (which may be combined with ocelli in T. taylori); a reticulate pattern is lacking in T. medemi. Trachemys grayi, T. ornata, T. venusta, and T. yaquia have never wide brick-red supratemporal stripes as T. medemi.

    The two subspecies of T. dorbigni differ from T. medemi by their yellow to orange postorbital stripe, an irregular carapacial pattern with often open light wide elements and the much darker plastron with a solid dark or black central figure covering all or most of the plastron in adult turtles. Trachemys medemi differs from geographically neighboring taxa as follows: Compared to T. v. venusta, the postorbital stripe is brick-red (not yellowish or pale brownish red) and much wider, the ocellar pattern of the carapace is less distinct, and the dark plastral figure more extensive, encroaching on most of the plastron. In T. v. venusta, the plastral figure typically covers less than 30%–50% of the plastron and is normally confined to its central part. Trachemys venusta callirostris differs from T. medemi by its spotted chin pattern, a much wider dark plastral figure, and a postorbital stripe not in touch with the eye. Isolated dark plastral whorls do not occur in any of these taxa.

    Derivatio nominis: We dedicate this new species with deep respect to Federico Medem (1912–1984), born as Count Friedrich Johann von Medem in Remte (then Remten), Latvia, from an old German-Baltic noble family. After his immigration to Colombia (1950), Medem contributed significantly to the development of herpetology of that country, in particular to the knowledge of turtles and crocodiles. Among others, he highlighted the distinctiveness of the Atrato slider (Medem, 1958, 1962, 1975) and provided in 1962 a most detailed morphological description that is repeated in large parts here. Among others, he highlighted that the broad brick-red postorbital stripes of the Atrato slider are a distinctive character in which it differs from its Central American relatives.

      Proposed vernacular names: Atrato slider or Atrato slider turtle (English), 
    Pecho de Carey, Icotea del Atrato (Spanish).

      Distribution: Trachemys medemi is restricted to the lower Atrato river basin, northwestern Colombia (Figure 1), with records in the following municipalities: Acandí, Unguía, Río Sucio (Departamento del Chocó), Chigorodó, and Turbo (Departamento de Antioquia). In addition, there is a questionable record for Mutatá, Antioquia. Although this site was used for developing the distribution model, Mutatá is located outside the modeled range. The local occurrence of T. medemi therefore requires confirmation.

    According to Pritchard and Trebbau (1984), Federico Medem collected in the 1950s shells of “Pseudemys scripta callirostris” near the village of Necoclí (Antioquia), in a distance of less than 50 km from Turbo (Figure 1: locality 7). Based on these records, Pritchard and Trebbau (1984) suggested that the range of the Atrato slider is separated from that of T. v. callirostris by a low spur of the Cordillera that reaches the Gulf of Urabá close to Turbo. Based on our distribution model for T. medemi, which shows no overlap of the distribution ranges of the two taxa and includes Necoclí into the range of T. medemi, this record is surprising. Accordingly, also the TTWG (2017) identified this record and another one in close proximity with “T. v. venusta” (Figure 1).

     Conservation: Although turtle populations within the Natural Park Los Katíos and the National Protected Forest Reserve Río León are protected, T. medemi faces serious conservation problems elsewhere. Several threats have been identified. Intense illegal trade is known at least from 1982 to the present (Castaño-Mora, 1992; Ceballos & Brand, 2014). Thousands of sliders are annually collected for human consumption during the Holy Week, and this refers to T. medemi and T. v. callirostris. Forest burning to create pastures for livestock has also been reported as a threat (Bock et al., 2012; Ceballos & Brand, 2014). Until the conservation status of T. medemi is examined in more detail, we recommend to include it into the category “Vulnerable” of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because (i) T. medemi is a unique and endemic species of the turtle fauna of Colombia and South America; (ii) it is threatened by overexploitation; and (iii) it is confined to a small distribution range.

    Mario Vargas-Ramírez, Carlos del Valle, Claudia P. Ceballos and Uwe Fritz. 2017.  Trachemys medemi n. sp. from northwestern Colombia turns the Biogeography of South American Slider Turtles Upside Down. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 55(4); 326–339.  DOI: 10.1111/jzs.12179

    Neue Schmuckschildkröte in Kolumbien entdeckt  @derStandardat

    Nueva especie de tortuga fue hallada en las colecciones biológicas del Instituto Humboldt en Villa de Leyva, Boyacá.
    La tortuga dulceacuícola (Trachemys medemi) proveniente de la región del Pacífico, es proveniente de Río Sucio, Chocó, Parque Nacional Natural Los Katıos, Colombia y fue colectada en los años 70. Está contribución fue producto de la visita y trabajo colaborativo del Museo de Historia Natural de Senckenberg de Alemania y el Instituto de Genética de la Universidad Nacional a los colecciones biológicas del Instituto el año pasado en el cual nuestros colegas Mario Vargas (UNal) y Uwe Fritz (Senckenberg) son los autores.

      We describe a new species of slider turtle from the lower Atrato river basin of Antioquia and Chocó departments, northwestern Colombia. Using phylogenetic analyses of 3,242 bp of mitochondrial and 3,396 bp of nuclear DNA, we show that this new species, the Atrato slider (Trachemys medemi n. sp.), is more closely related to Trachemys dorbigni than to the geographically neighbouring subspecies of Trachemys grayi and Trachemys venusta from Central America and northern South America.

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    Lusius malfoyi
     Saunders & Ward, 2017

    Lusius malfoyi n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) is described. It is an endemic New Zealand species and the first species of the genus to be described from the Australasian region.

    KEYWORDS: Biodiversity, conservation, species description, taxonomy

    Figure 1. Lateral habitus. Scale bar = 2 mm.

    Lusius malfoyi Saunders and Ward, sp. nov.

    Etymology. Noun in the genitive case. This species is named after Lucius Malfoy, a character in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories, for two reasons. First, the study of parasitoid wasps can be described as an enjoyable and ‘magical’ experience. Second, the fictional namesake and his family have a sinister reputation in the Harry Potter stories. However, in the end their reputations are salvaged. This parallels the way in which many people view ‘wasps’ in a fearful way, even though only a small proportion of wasp species cause damage or harm. We hope that a more nuanced understanding of wasps can be achieved through educating people about their diversity, ecology and behaviour. 

    Distribution. Lusius malfoyi is widespread on the New Zealand mainland (North Island and South Island) but has not been collected from offshore islands. 

    Figure 2. Dorsal head and mesoscutum. Scale bar = 2 mm.

    Figure 3. Lateral mesosoma. Scale bar = 0.5 mm.

    Thomas E. Saunders and Darren F. Ward. 2017. A New Species of Lusius (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) from New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist. DOI: 10.1080/00779962.2017.1357427

    Lusius malfoyi wasp: New Zealand insect named after Harry Potter villain
    Wasp named after Harry Potter villain @CNNI


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    Junornis houi 
    Liu, Chiappe, Serrano, Habib, Zhang and Meng, 2017


    We describe an exquisitely preserved new avian fossil (BMNHC-PH-919) from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of eastern Inner Mongolia, China. Although morphologically similar to Cathayornithidae and other small-sized enantiornithines from China’s Jehol Biota, many morphological features indicate that it represents a new species, here named Junornis houi. The new fossil displays most of its plumage including a pair of elongated, rachis-dominated tail feathers similarly present in a variety of other enantiornithines. BMNHC-PH-919 represents the first record of a Jehol enantiornithine from Inner Mongolia, thus extending the known distribution of these birds into the eastern portion of this region. Furthermore, its well-preserved skeleton and wing outline provide insight into the aerodynamic performance of enantiornithines, suggesting that these birds had evolved bounding flight—a flight mode common to passeriforms and other small living birds—as early as 125 million years ago.


    Systematic Paleontology

    Aves Linnaeus, 1758  
    Pygostylia Chiappe, 2001  
    Ornithothoraces Chiappe, 1995  

    Enantiornithes Walker, 1981 

    Junornis houi gen. et sp. nov.

    Fig 1. Slab (BMNHC-PH 919a) (A) and counterslab (BMNHC-PH 919b) (B) of Junornis houi.

    Holotype: A nearly complete and articulated skeleton (BMNHC-PH 919; Beijing Museum of Natural History) contained in two slabs (a, b). While the skeleton is preserved as voids of the bony elements, it is surrounded by feather impressions defining the surface of its wings and body outline (Fig 1).

    Horizon and locality: Yixian Formation, Early Cretaceous (~ 126±4 mya); Liutiaogou Village, Daming Town, Ningchen County, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

    Etymology: The generic name Jun is derived from a Chinese character () meaning beautiful; ornis is Greek for bird. The species name, houi honors Dr. Hou Lianhai and his important contributions to Chinese paleornithology.

    Diagnosis: A small Cathayornis-like bird distinguishable from other similar enantiornithines by the following combination of characters: rounded craniolateral corner of sternum (more angular in Cathayornis yandica and Houornis caudatus); distinct trough excavating ventral surface of mediocranial portion of sternum; triangular process at base of sternal lateral trabecula (absent in H. caudatus and E. walkeri); sternal lateral trabecula broad (much wider than in C. yandica, E. walkeri, and H. caudatus) and laterally deflected (straight in C. yandica and E. walkeri); sternal intermediate trabecula nearly level with mid-shaft of lateral trabecula (significantly shorter in C. yandica, H. caudatus and E. walkeri); sternal xiphoid process level with lateral trabeculae (trabeculae project further caudal in H. cautus and C. yandica); costal processes of last two penultimate synsacral vertebrae three times wider than same process of last synsacral vertebra; and very broad pelvis.

    The discovery of Junornis houi, the first published record of a Jehol enantiornithine from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, extends the geographic distribution of these early birds into the eastern portion of this region. The well-preserved wings and overall plumage of BMNHC-PH 919 adds significant information to the poor evidence of wing shape in Enantiornithes. Multiple regressions of skeletal elements and remiges allow estimation of key aerodynamic parameters (aspect ratio and wing loading) for this new enantiornithine. The small size, low aspect ratio, and low wing loading of BMNHC-PH 919 indicate that Junornis houi and other similar enantiornithines could have used bounding as their typical flight mode, especially at high speeds. The general morphology of BMNHC-PH 919 thus supports previous interpretations indicating that most avian flight modes have very ancient origins; bounding flight might have evolved among enantiornithines more than 125 million years ago.

     Di Liu, Luis M. Chiappe, Francisco Serrano, Michael Habib, Yuguang Zhang and Qinjing Meng. 2017. Flight Aerodynamics in Enantiornithines: Information from A New Chinese Early Cretaceous Bird. PLoS ONE. 12(10): e0184637.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184637


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      Avicranium renestoi Pritchard & Nesbitt, 2017

    Illustration: Matt Celeskey‏ @clepsydrops 


    The Triassic Period saw the first appearance of numerous amniote lineages (e.g. Lepidosauria, Archosauria, Mammalia) that defined Mesozoic ecosystems following the end Permian Mass Extinction, as well as the first major morphological diversification of crown-group reptiles. Unfortunately, much of our understanding of this event comes from the record of large-bodied reptiles (total body length > 1 m). Here we present a new species of drepanosaurid (small-bodied, chameleon-like diapsids) from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of New Mexico. Using reconstructions of micro-computed tomography data, we reveal the three-dimensional skull osteology of this clade for the first time. The skull presents many archaic anatomical traits unknown in Triassic crown-group reptiles (e.g. absence of bony support for the external ear), whereas other traits (e.g. toothless rostrum, anteriorly directed orbits, inflated endocranium) resemble derived avian theropods. A phylogenetic analysis of Permo-Triassic diapsids supports the hypothesis that drepanosaurs are an archaic lineage that originated in the Permian, far removed from crown-group Reptilia. The phylogenetic position of drepanosaurids indicates the presence of archaic Permian clades among Triassic small reptile assemblages and that morphological convergence produced a remarkably bird-like skull nearly 100 Myr before one is known to have emerged in Theropoda.

    KEYWORDS: reptilia, phylogeny, convergence, Permo-Triassic extinction, evolutionary radiation, Triassic

    Avicranium renestoi Pritchard & Nesbitt, 2017 
    Illustration: Matt Celeskey‏ @clepsydrops 

    Figure 2. Line drawing of the restored skull of Avicranium renestoi based on the three-dimensional surface renderings of skull elements in AMNH FARB 30834.

    Figure 3. Reconstructed skull of Avicranium renestoi based on rearticulated three-dimensional surface rendering of the skull bones of AMNH FARB 30834.
    Callouts include (a) reconstructed endocast in dorsal view, (b) skull roof in dorsal view, (c) postorbital complex (consisting of postfrontal and postorbital) in anterior view, (d) braincase and stapes in posterior view, (e) palatal complex in ventral view, (f) left quadrate in posterior view and (g) braincase and stapes in left lateral view. All bones have been rearticulated based on the facets of the reconstructed elements.

    Abbreviations: fb, forebrain; mb, midbrain; pa, parietal; pf, postfrontal; pl, palatine; po, postorbital; pt, pterygoid; qu, quadrate; st, stapes; su, supratemporal. 

    Systematic palaeontology

      Avicranium renestoi, n. gen., n. sp.

      Etymology: Avicranium, from aves (Latin for bird) and cranium (Latin for cranium), in reference to the suite of bird-like morphologies present in the holotype skull; renestoi, for Silvio Renesto, who described much of the drepanosauromorph fossil record from Triassic Italy.

      Holotype: AMNH FARB 30834, partial skull and articulated cervical series. Additional drepanosaurid caudal vertebrae and limb fragments are preserved in the block, but are not clearly associated with the individual to which the skull and cervical vertebrae belong.

      Locality: Coelophysis Quarry (‘siltstone member’, Chinle Formation). Recovered during preparation of the holotype block of the shuvosaurid pseudosuchian Effigia okeeffeae by S.J.N. [12].

     Diagnosis: Specimens for anatomical comparisons are listed in appendix C. A drepanosaurid diapsid differing from Hypuronector limnaios, Megalancosaurus preonensis and Vallesaurus cenensis (the only drepanosauromorphs with skull material) in the complete absence of teeth, a dorsoventrally taller retroarticular process with a triangular shape in lateral view, and cervical neural spines with subequal anteroposterior lengths and transverse widths.

    Adam C. Pritchard and Sterling J. Nesbitt. 2017. A Bird-like Skull in A Triassic Diapsid Reptile Increases Heterogeneity of the Morphological and Phylogenetic Radiation of Diapsida. ROYAL SOCIETY OPEN SCIENCE.   DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170499 

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    Calumma gehringi
    Prötzel, Vences, Scherz, Vieites & Glaw, 2017

      Vertebrate Zoology. 67(2)

    Calumma guibei (Hillenius, 1959) is a high-altitude chameleon species from the Tsaratanana massif in north Madagascar. Since its description was based on a juvenile holotype, its taxonomic identity is uncertain and little is known about its morphology. A recent molecular study discovered several deep mitochondrial clades in the Tsaratanana region assigned to C. guibei and C. linotum (Müller, 1924). In this paper we study the taxonomy of these clades and clarify the identity of C. guibei. Using an integrative taxonomic approach including pho-lidosis, morphological measurements, osteology, and molecular genetics we redescribe C. guibeiand describe the new speciesC. gehringi sp. nov. which comprises two deep mitochondrial lineages. In terms of external morphology the new species differs from C. guibei by an elevated rostral crest, the shape of the notch between the occipital lobes (slightly connected vs. completely separated), presence of a dor-sal and caudal crest in males (vs. absence), and a longer rostral appendage in the females. Additionally, we analysed skull and hemipenis morphology using micro-X-ray computed tomography (micro-CT) scans and discovered further differences in skull osteology, including a large frontoparietal fenestra, and separated prefrontal fontanelle and naris in C. guibei. Furthermore, we provide a comparison of micro-CT scans with traditional radiographs of the skull. The hemipenes have ornaments of two pairs of long pointed cornucula gemina (new term), two pairs of dentulous rotulae, and a pair of three-lobed rotulae, and are similar in both species, but significantly different from other species in the C. nasutum group. Geographically, C. guibei has been recorded reliably from the higher elevations of the Tsaratanana Massif above 1580 m a.s.l., whereas C. gehringi sp. nov. is found at mid-altitude (730-1540 m a.s.l.) in Tsaratanana and the surrounding area.  

    Key words: Calumma guibeiCalumma gehringi sp. nov., Chamaeleonidae, micro-computed tomography, hemipenis morphology, skull structure, Madagascar, diceCT.

    Calumma gehringi sp. nov.male holotype ZSM 2851/2010, clade EII

    Fig. 2. Calumma gehringi sp. nov. colouration in life:
     (C, D) male holotype ZSM 2851/2010, clade EII; (E) male ZSM 2843/2010; (F) male ZSM 43/2016, clade EI.

    Calumma gehringi sp. nov.  

    Diagnosis. Calumma gehringi sp. nov. is a member of the phenetic C. nasutum group (Prötzel et al., 2016), because of the presence of a soft, dermal, unpaired rostral appendage, absence of gular or ventral crest and heterogeneous scalation at the lower arm, consisting mostly of tubercles of large diameter (0.4–0.9 mm). Within the genus it is a small-sized, grey to greenish chameleon (SVL 44.7 – 55.5 mm, TL 92.6–123.6 mm) that is characterized by a large rostral appendage of green or blue colour in males and yellow in females when unstressed, occipital lobes that are clearly notched but usually still slightly connected, distinctly elevated rostral crest, absence of axillary pits, presence of a dorsal crest in males, and a unique skull morphology. .....

    Available names. Apart from C. guibei there is no other valid species or synonym in the Calumma nasutum group with deeply notched occipital lobes.

    Etymology. We dedicate the new species to Philip Sebastian Gehring. His comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study on the Calumma nasutum group was the basis for the description of the new species, and will be instrumental to the resolution of the rest of this complex. The species epithet ‘gehringi’ is a patronym in the Latin genitive form.

     David Prötzel, Miguel Vences, Mark David Scherz, David Vieites and Frank Glaw. 2017. Splitting and Lumping: An Integrative Taxonomic Assessment of Malagasy Chameleons in the Calumma guibei complex results in the New Species C. gehringi sp. nov.  Vertebrate Zoology. 67(2); 231-249. 

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    Hemidactylus kangerensis
    Mirza, Bhosale & Patil, 2017

    A new large species of gecko superficially resembling Hemidactylus maculatus Duméril & Bibron and its allied large Hemidactylus is described from Eastern Ghats. The new species, Hemidactylus kangerensis sp. nov. can be easily distinguished from members of the H. maculatus complex based on the number of femoral pores, i.e. 18–21 on each side, separated medially by 4 non-pored scales. A phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequence of mitochondrial gene cytochrome b shows that the gecko is a member of the “H. prashadi” clade and is sister to H. maculatus, from which it differs in an uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence of 10%. The discovery of a new large gecko from Eastern Ghats advocates the need for biodiversity assessment across the neglected Eastern Ghats.

    Keywords: Hemidactylus maculatus; India; New species; Species complex; Taxonomy; mtDNA; cyt b

    Fig. 7. Hemidactylus kangerensis sp. nov. coloration in life, paratype female BNHS 2487.
     Photo: Zeeshan Mirza.

    Hemidactylus kangerensis sp. nov.

    Hemidactylus maculatus Sanyal & Dasgupta 1990: 18; Ingle 2003:2
    Hemidactylus subtriedrus Sanyal & Dasgupta 1990: 18–19; Javed et al., 2009: 368 (in part)
    Hemidactylus cf. maculatus Mahony 2009: 60–61; Javed et al., 2011: 10 (in part)
    Hemidactylus sp. Agarwal et al., 2011: 36; Mirza & Sanap 2014: 16 (in part

    Etymology: The species is named after Kanger Valley National Park, where the type locality is located.

    Suggested common name: Kanger valley rock gecko.

    Zeeshan A. Mirza, Harshal Bhosale and Rishikesh Patil. 2017. A New Large Species of Gecko of the Genus Hemidactylus Oken, 1817 (Reptilia: Sauria: Gekkonidae) from the Eastern Ghats, India. Comptes Rendus Biologies.  In Press.  DOI:  10.1016/j.crvi.2017.09.003


    Mangaluru: New species of gecko found in Eastern ghats - Bangalore Mirror  @bangaloremirror

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     Scinax onca
    Ferrão, Moravec, de Fraga, de Almeida, Kaefer & Lima, 2017 

    A new tree frog species of the genus Scinax from the interfluve between the Purus and Madeira rivers, Brazilian Amazonia, is described and illustrated. The new species is diagnosed by medium body size, snout truncate in dorsal view, ulnar and tarsal tubercles absent, nuptial pads poorly developed, skin on dorsum shagreen, dorsum light brown with dark brown spots and markings, white groin with black spots, anterior and posterior surfaces of thighs black, and iris bright orange. The advertisement call consists of a single short note, with 16−18 pulses and dominant frequency at 1572−1594 Hz. Tadpoles are characterized by body ovoid in dorsal view and triangular in lateral view, tail higher than body, oral disc located anteroventrally and laterally emarginated, dorsum of body uniformly grey-brown with dark brown eye-snout stripe in preservative, fins translucent with small to large irregular diffuse dark brown spots.

    Keywords: Amazonian rainforest, Amazonas, anuran diversity, Brazil, Rondônia, Scinax onca sp. n.

    Figure 5.   Colour variation in life of Scinax onca sp. n. from the Purus-Madeira Interfluve, Brazilian Amazonia.
     A–B INPA-H 34584 (holotype), adult male from the kilometre 350 of the BR-319 highway, State of Amazonas
     C–D INPA-H 34591, adult female from municipality of Porto Velho, State of Rondônia
    E–F INPA-H 26625, adult female from the Floresta Estadual Tapauá Reserve, municipality of Tapauá, State of Amazonas.

    Photographs A–D and F were taken after transport of the specimens to the camp, while the image of E was taken immediately in the field.

    Scinax onca sp. n.

    Diagnosis: A medium-sized species of Scinax characterized by the following combination of characters: (1) SVL 31.3−34.5 mm (n = 13) in males and 35.5−40.4 mm (n = 4) in females; (2) snout truncate in dorsal view, bluntly rounded in lateral view; (3) tarsal tubercles absent; (4) tubercles on lower jaw and knee absent; (5) skin on dorsum shagreen; (6) dentigerous processes of vomers triangular; (7) in life, ground colour of dorsum light brown with dark brown spots and markings; dorsolateral stripes or X-shaped blotch on dorsum absent; flanks light brown with or without dark brown spots; axillar region and groin white with black irregular spots; anterior and posterior surfaces of thighs black (usually bordered by an irregular white streak); webbing between toes black; belly white to yellow, with round dark brown spots; iris bright orange; (8) advertisement call consisting of a single pulsed note; note duration 102−121 ms; 16−18 pulses/note; dominant frequency 1572−1594 Hz; (9) tadpoles with body triangular in lateral view; labial tooth row formula 2(2)/3(1); labial arm absent.

    Etymology: The specific name onca refers to the Brazilian common name for the jaguarPantera onca (Linnaeus, 1758) due the blotchy colour pattern of the new species. Furthermore, the specific name is a reference to frequent encounters of P. onca during the fieldwork in the PMI. The name is used as a noun in apposition.

    Distribution and ecology: Scinax onca sp. n. is an exclusive forest dweller, known from two small areas located in the middle section of the PMI (State of Amazonas, Brazil), and two small areas lying in southern part of PMI, close to municipality of Porto Velho (Rondônia, Brazil). The maximum straight distance between the localities is around 500 km (Fig. 1). The middle PMI is covered by tropical lowland rainforest characterized by closed canopy with emergent trees whereas the southern part has a more open lowland rainforest formation with frequent palm trees.

    The new species is an explosive breeder. All specimens were encountered after (or during) heavy rains when aggregated at middle-sized or large temporary forest ponds. The ponds were not connected to streams. The males were calling from shrubs growing in or next to the water. Calling males adopted both horizontal and vertical positions on leaves and shrub trunks ca. 50–200 cm above the ground. Other tree frogs found in sympatry with S. onca sp. n. included Dendropsophus leucophyllatus (Beireis, 1783), D. marmoratus (Laurenti, 1768), D. minutus (Peters, 1872), D. parviceps (Boulenger, 1882), D. rhodopeplus (Boulenger, 1882), D. sarayacuensis (Shreve, 1935), Phyllomedusa vaillantii Boulenger, 1882, and Scinax sp. 7 (sensu Ferrão et al. 2016).

    Miquéias Ferrão, Jiří Moravec, Rafael de Fraga, Alexandre Pinheiro de Almeida, Igor Luis Kaefer and Albertina Pimentel Lima. 2017. A New Species of Scinax from the Purus-Madeira interfluve, Brazilian Amazonia (Anura, Hylidae). ZooKeys. 706; 137-162.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.706.14691