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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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    Strobilanthes namkadingensis Soulad. & Tagane 

    A new species of Acanthaceae, Strobilanthes namkadingensis Soulad. & Tagane from Nam Kading National Protected Area, Bolikhamxay Province, central Laos, is described and illustrated. It is characterized by long spicate inflorescences consisting of 6-32 flowers, yellow corolla, the absence of long white hairs on the bracts and 4–6 seeds per capsule. Three DNA barcode regions of the partial genes for the large sub-unit ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase (rbcL) and maturase K (matK) and internal transcribed spacers (ITS) are also provided.

    Keywords: DNA barcoding, Indochina, Laos, Sericocalyx, taxonomy

    Figure 2. Strobilanthes namkadingensis Soulad. & Tagane.
    A flowering branch B abaxial leaf surface C inflorescence D flower E side view of corolla F floral bracts G corolla opened out H fruit with calyx J longitudinal section of capsule showing seeds
    (from Tagane et al. L426, FU). All scale bars: 5 mm.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.81.13203

    Strobilanthes namkadingensis Soulad. & Tagane, sp. nov.

    Diagnosis: Strobilanthesnamkadingensis is distinguished from all the previously known species of Laos and its surrounding countries including China, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam clearly by a combination of 6–32 flowered spikes up to 10.5 cm long, yellow corolla, the absence of long white hairs on the bracts and 4–6-seeded capsule. In the region, S. namkadingensis is similar to Strobilanthes squalens S.Moore of Vietnam and Sericocalyx thailandicus Bremek. of Thailand in having yellow corolla and long-beaked floral bracts, but distinguished by its long spikes (vs. less than 3 cm long), broader floral bracts (obovate-elliptic to broadly elliptic vs. lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate), smaller corolla (1.9–2.1 cm long vs. less than 1.7 cm long), and the absence of long white hairs on the bracts.

    Distribution: Laos, Bolikhamxay Province (so far known only from Nam Kading National Protected Area).

    Habitat and ecology: Strobilanthes namkadingensis is found in semi-shaded understory of semi-evergreen forest beside a dried stream; at alt. 146 m. The flowering and fruiting specimen was collected in December.

    Etymology: This specific epithet namkadingensis refers to the type locality.

     Phetlasy Souladeth, Shuichiro Tagane, Meng Zhang, Norikazu Okabe and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2017. Flora of Nam Kading National Protected Area I: A New Species of Yellow-flowered Strobilanthes (Acanthaceae), S. namkadingensisPhytoKeys. 81; 11-17.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.81.13203

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    Karkata ghanarakta  &  Karkata kusumbha 
    Pati, Rajesh, Raj, Sheeja, Kumar & Sureshan, 2017
    DOI:  10.1080/00222933.2017.1324054

    A new genus of freshwater crab, Karkata gen. nov., with two speciesKghanarakta sp. nov. (type species) and Kkusumbha sp. nov., and two new species each of Pilarta Bahir and Yeo, 2007 (P. aroma sp. nov. and P. punctatissima sp. nov.) and Cylindrotelphusa Alcock, 1909 (C. breviphallus sp. nov. and C. longiphallus sp. nov.), are described from Kerala, India. Additionally, C. granulata (Pillai, 1951) comb. et stat. nov. is recognised as a distinct species. Karkata gen. nov. is distinguished from other Indian gecarcinucid genera by a suite of carapace and gonopod characters, including a moderately arched, smooth carapace, the presence of a prominent suture between male thoracic sternites 2, 3 and 3, 4, the absence of a flagellum on the third maxilliped exopod, a very short terminal segment of the male first gonopod (G1), and a short distal segment of the male second gonopod (G2). Karkata ghanarakta sp. nov. is differentiated from K. kusumbha sp. nov. by the shape of the G1 subterminal segment and its live colouration. Pilarta punctatissima sp. nov. is distinct among the congeners mainly by its densely punctate carapace, densely setose anterolateral and posterolateral margins of the carapace, stouter G1 terminal segment, and relatively long G2 distal segment whereas P. aroma sp. nov. can be separated from P. anuka Bahir and Yeo, 2007 by its relatively smooth carapace, deep H-shaped groove, relatively long G1 terminal segment, and almost straight outer margins of the G1 terminal and subterminal segments. Cylindrotelphusa breviphallus sp. nov. is differentiated from C.longiphallus sp. nov. and C. steniops (Alcock, 1909) by its stout G1, with a stout, short terminal segment. Cylindrotelphusa longiphallus sp. nov. is distinguished from the congeners by its shallow, narrow cervical grooves and relatively slender ambulatory legs. An identification key to the species of Karkata, Pilarta and Cylindrotelphusa is provided.

    KEYWORDS: taxonomy, Crustacea, Gecarcinucidae, Western Ghats, identification key

    Family GECARCINUCIDAE Rathbun, 1904

    Karkata gen. nov. 
    Type species Karkata ghanarakta sp. nov. 

    Etymology The genus name, Karkata, means ‘crab’ in Sanskrit and Malayalam. Gender feminine. Used as a noun in apposition.

    Karkata gen. nov. comprises two new species: K. ghanarakta sp. nov. (type species) and K. kusumbha sp. nov.

    Karkata ghanarakta sp. nov.
    Etymology The species epithet, ghanarakta, is derived from the Sanskrit for ‘maroon’, referring to the maroon colouration of the live crabs. Used as a noun in apposition.

    Karkata kusumbha sp. nov. 
    Etymology The species epithet, kusumbha (Sanskrit for ‘safflower’), alludes to the orange-red colouration of the live crabs that resemble the colour of the flowers of safflower. Used as a noun in apposition.

    Pilarta Bahir and Yeo, 2007 

    Pilarta aroma sp. nov. 
    Etymology Aroma’ means ‘hairless’ in Sanskrit. Used as a noun in apposition, alluding to the smooth or hairless carapace and chelipeds of the crab.

    Pilarta punctatissima sp. nov. 
    Etymology The species epithet, punctatissima, is derived from the Latin for ‘most punctate’, referring to the densely punctate carapace of the crab.

    Cylindrotelphusa Alcock, 1909 

    Cylindrotelphusa breviphallus sp. nov. 

    Etymology The species name is derived from the Latin ‘brevi’ for short, and the Greek ‘phallus’ for the penis, used as per the general convention in brachyuran names, referring to the short male gonopods (intromittent organs that are not analogous to a penis) of the crab. The name is used as a noun in apposition.

    Cylindrotelphusa longiphallus sp. nov. 

    Etymology The species name is derived from the Latin ‘longi’ for long, and the Greek ‘phallus’ for the penis, used as per the general convention in brachyuran names, alluding to the long male gonopods (intromittent organs that are not analogous to a penis) of the crab. The name is used as a noun in apposition.

    S. K. Pati, L. Rajesh, Smrithy Raj, V. U. Sheeja, A. Biju Kumar & P. M. Sureshan. 2017. Karkata, A New Genus of Gecarcinucid Freshwater Crab with Two New Species, and Four New Species of Pilarta Bahir and Yeo, 2007 and Cylindrotelphusa Alcock, 1909 (Decapoda: Brachyura) from Kerala, India. Journal of Natural History. DOI:  10.1080/00222933.2017.1324054

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    Blythia hmuifang 
    Vogel,  Lalremsanga & Vanlalhrima, 2017 


    A second species of the genus Blythia Theobald, 1868, Blythia hmuifang sp. nov., is described on the basis of four specimens originating from Mizoram, India. It differs from Blythia reticulata, the other known species in the genus, by having fewer ventral scales (114–117 vs. 129–149), by having fewer subcaudal scales in males (20–21 vs. 22–32), by the greater proportion of tail length/total length (0.109–0.116 vs. 0.075–0.098), by the colour of the venter (bright orange-red in smaller specimens, cream in the largest specimen vs. black in all ages) and the colouration of the supralabials (lower half pale vs. dark), plus other smaller differences in the colouration and the hemipenis. The distribution of Blythia reticulata is discussed. Morphological data of eight recently collected specimens from Mizoram are given and compared to other populations.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Colubridae, India, Blythia hmuifang sp. nov., Blythia reticulata, distribution

    Gernot Vogel,  Hmar Tlawmte Lalremsanga and  Vanlalhrima Vanlalhrima. 2017. A Second Species of the Genus Blythia Theobald, 1868 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Mizoram, India.  Zootaxa. 4276(4); 569–581.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4276.4.8


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    Hieracium joannei Szeląg


    Hieracium joannei, a new, apomictic species in H. sect. Cernua is described from the Şureanu Mountains, Southern Carpathians, Romania, and illustrated with photos of the holotype and living plants in the locus classicus. Hieracium zanogae (= H. tubulare), previously considered to be endemic to the Retezat Mountains, has been found in the Parâng Mountains. This is the easternmost occurrence of the species, disjoined ca 50 km from the nearest localities in the Retezat Mountains. A key for the species of H. sect. Cernua in Romania is provided.

    Key words: Carpathians, Compositae, Hieracium, taxonomy

    Figure 3. Hieracium joannei: flowering plants in the locus classicus.

    Hieracium joannei Szeląg, sp. nov. 

     Type:— Romania. Southern Carpathians, Şureanu Mountains, SE slope of Muntele Pravăţ ridge. ...


    Distribution and habitats:— Endemic to the Şureanu Mountains, Southern Carpathians, known only from the type gathering; nevertheless its occurrence in the adjacent Parâng Mountains has been expected. The population of Hieracium joannei was composed of a few hundred flowering plants growing on a south-facing slope covered bygrassy vegetation and Brucenthalia spiculifolia, and on siliceous rocks and crevices along the Picea abies forest margin. 

    Mode of reproduction:— Agamospermous. 

    Etymology:—The new species is named in honour of Dr. hab. Jan (Latin: Joannes) Bodziarczyk, University of Agriculture in Cracow, who accompanied me on a field trip to Romania in July 2014. 

    Zbigniew Szeląg. 2017. A New Species and A New Range Extension in Hieracium sect. Cernua (Asteraceae) from Romania. Phytotaxa. 309(2); 173–178.   DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.309.2.9


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    Luzonocoptis antenna  Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, 2017

    A new diplommatinid genusLuzonocoptis Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, gen. n. is erected for two new speciesLuzonocoptis antenna Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n. and L. angulata Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n. Both species inhabit the northeastern part of Luzon Island, Philippines. The genus Luzonocoptis gen. n. is mostly characterized by a very slender shell with 14–18 whorls, a strongly expanded peristome, an interrupted, weak columellar lamella, the absence of any additional plicae or lamellae, and a rachidian tooth having five cusps.

    Keywords: Land snail, Luzon, rock habitat, systematics, taxonomy

    Diplommatinidae Pfeiffer, 1856

    Genus Luzonocoptis Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, gen. n.

     Diagnosis: Shell sinistral; apex blunt, club-like; shell very slender with 14–18 whorls, rather regularly, finely ribbed; aperture round with a weak columellar lamella visible from standard apertural view; columellar lamella interrupted, its inner, short portion blunt thorn or tubercle-like, situated inside post-constriction bay; other inner plicae and lamellae absent; outer surface of operculum matt, smooth; inner surface with a very slightly elevated arcuate ridge; rachidian tooth with five cusps (central one blunt, larger than other four cusps), marginal teeth with four pointed cusps.

    Differential diagnosis: Luzonocoptis gen. n. differs from Palaina Semper, 1865 (type species: Diplommatina macgillivrayi Pfeiffer, 1854) by the unique shell shape, the strongly expanded peristome, and most importantly, the presence of a columellar tooth, which continues to a strongly developed lamella (see Yamazaki et al. 2013 and Neubert and Bouchet 2013). The most similar diplommatinid genus in terms of shell characters is Hungerfordia. Luzonocoptis gen. n. differs from Hungerfordia by the presence of an interrupted columellar lamella, and the rachidian tooth, which possess five well-developed cusps. In contrast, the columellar lamella of Hungerfordia is not interrupted, and the rachidian tooth is simpler, with a single, or three cusps.

    Etymology: The first part of the name derives from the name of the island (Luzon), where the included new species have been found. The second part (“-coptis”) refers to the similarity with Middle American urocoptid taxa in terms of shell size, shape, colour and habitat. Gender feminine.

    Type species: Luzonocoptis antenna sp. n.
    Content: Luzonocoptis antenna sp. n. and L. angulata sp. n.

    Distribution: This genus is known so far from northeastern Luzon Island. The distance between the type localities of the two species is approximately 34 km in a straight line.

    Luzonocoptis antenna Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n.

    Diagnosis: A tall, yellowish, very slender diplommatinid with club-shaped apex, dense, low ribs on the last whorl, rounded lower whorls, strongly expanded and reflected peristome that is strongly oblique to the shell axis, and a weak interrupted columellar lamella.

    Etymology: The shell shape of this new species (wide aperture, very slender upper whorls, and a club-shaped apex) resembles a radio antenna. The specific epithet antenna to be used as a noun in apposition.

    Habitat and distribution: Living specimens were found on a limestone rock wall. This species is known from the type locality only, which is situated ca. 34 km in a straight line from the type locality of L. angulata sp. n.

    Luzonocoptis angulata Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n.

    Diagnosis: A tall, yellowish, moderately slender diplommatinid with club-shaped apex, widely spaced, sharp ribs on the last whorl, angled lower whorls, strongly expanded peristome that is slightly oblique to the shell axis, and a weak interrupted columellar lamella.

    Etymology: The specific epithet angulata (Latin: angled) refers to the keeled lower whorls, which distinguishes this species from L. antenna sp. n.

    Habitat and distribution: Empty shells were found at the base of a limestone rock wall. This species is known from the type locality only, which is situated ca. 34 km in a straight line from the type locality of L. antenna sp. n.

     Barna Páll-Gergely, András Hunyadi and Takahiro Asami. 2017. A New Diplommatinid Genus and Two New Species from the Philippines (Gastropoda, Caenogastropoda, Cyclophoroidea). ZooKeys.  678; 1-10.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.678.13059

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     Cymatognathus aureolateralis 
    Kimura, Johnson, Peristiwady & Matsuura, 2017 

    Wavy Jaw Slopefish || DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4277.1.4 


    A new genus and species of the percoid family Symphysanodontidae, Cymatognathus aureolateralis are described based on three specimens collected from North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The new species shares with the confamilial genus Sym-physanodon the unique supraneural and spinous dorsal-fin pterygiophore insertion pattern usually of 0/0/0+2+1/1/, T-shaped first supraneural, foreshortened base of the penultimate ventral procurrent caudal-fin ray, well-developed outer tooth patches at anterior tips of both jaws as well as along the medial surface of most of the length of the coronoid process of the dentary. The new species, however, is distinguishable from members of Symphysanodon by the following diagnostic characters: posterior tip of coronoid process of dentary abruptly depressed, so that teeth on anterior portion appear as an elevated patch, anterior tip of upper jaw not notched, and posterior nostril horizontally slit-like. Although the new species superficially resembles the members of the genus Giganthias (Giganthiidae) and some members of the subfamily Anthiadinae (Serranidae) in the unique characters it shares with Symphysanodon, it differs from Giganthias in having the above-mentioned unique pterygiophore insertion pattern and tips of all dorsal- and pelvic-fin spines smooth (vs. pterygiophore insertion pattern 0/0/2/1+1/1/, and tips of second, third and/or fourth dorsal- and pelvic-fin spines serrated), and from the members of Anthiadinae in having two flat opercular spines (vs. three) and 10 + 15 = 25 vertebrae (vs. 10 + 16–18 = 26–28). A revised diagnosis of the Symphysanodontidae is presented.

    Keywords: Pisces, new genus, new species, familial diagnosis, Sulawesi, Bitung

    Cymatognathus aureolateralis sp. nov., holotype, MZB 19251, 181 mm SL, Bitung, North Sulawesi, Indonesia 

    Etymology: The name “ Cymatognathus ” is derived from the Greek kymatos (wave) and gnathos (jaw) in reference to the characteristic wavy upper contour of the lower jaw.  The specific name “aureolateralis” is derived from Latin aurum ( gold) and lateralis (side) in reference to the bright yellow marking laterally on body.

    Seishi Kimura, G. David Johnson, Teguh Peristiwady and Keiichi Matsuura. 2017. A New Genus and Species of the family Symphysanodontidae, Cymatognathus aureolateralis (Actinopterygii: Perciformes) from Indonesia. Zootaxa. 4277(1); 51–66. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4277.1.4

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    Altumia delicata
    Benayahu, McFadden & Shoham, 2017

    This communication describes a new octocoralAltumia delicata gen. n. & sp. n. (Octocorallia: Clavulariidae), from mesophotic reefs of Eilat (northern Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea). This species lives on dead antipatharian colonies and on artificial substrates. It has been recorded from deeper than 60 m down to 140 m and is thus considered to be a lower mesophotic octocoral. It has no sclerites and features no symbiotic zooxanthellae. The new genus is compared to other known sclerite-free octocorals. Molecular phylogenetic analyses place it in a clade with members of families Clavulariidae and Acanthoaxiidae, and for now we assign it to the former, based on colony morphology. The polyphyletic family Clavulariidae is, however, in need of a thorough revision once the morphological distinctions among its phylogenetically distinct clades are better understood.

    Keywords: Octocorallia, new genus, taxonomy, mesophotic coral ecosystem, Eilat, Red Sea

    Family Clavulariidae Hickson, 1894
    Subfamily Clavulariinae Roxas, 1933

    Altumia gen. n.

    Diagnosis: Clavulariinae with a thin and soft encrusting base, sometimes resembling a short stolon. Polyps erect when expanded, separate from each other; the stolon may feature a few polyps, occasionally only one. Polyps fully retractile into base of the colony, forming low truncated dome-shaped mounds. No sclerites in any part of the colony. Colonies lack symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae). Type species:Altumia delicata sp. n. by original designation and monotypy.

    Etymology: The generic name is derived from the Latin ‘altum’, deep, referring to the habitat of the new genus at MCE depths and beyond. Gender female.

    Figure 2: Altumia delicata gen. n. sp. n. holotype ZMTAU CO 37427.
    A Colony growing over a branch of a black coral B close up of holotype. Scale 10 mm at A, 1 mm at B. 

    Altumia delicata sp. n.

     Holotype: ZMTAU CO 37427, Israel, Gulf of Aqaba, Eilat, 29°30'38.31"N, 34°55'59.30"E, 132 m, 30 May 2016, collected by ROV, coll. M. Weis; paratype: ZMTAU CO 37495, Israel, Gulf of Aqaba, Eilat, 29°30'37.29"N, 34°55'59.28"E, 118 m, 8 March 2017, collected by ROV, coll. M. Weis

    Diagnosis: The ethanol-preserved holotype is comprised of thin patches of short stolon-like crusts growing over the dead branch of a black coral (Antipatharia) (Figure 2A), almost invisible to the naked eye. The milky-white, thin (<0.5 mm) crusts are a few mm long (Figure 2B), very soft, almost slime-like. Polyps completely retracted and practically invisible in the preserved colonies. No sclerites observed in any part of the colony.

    Intraspecific variability: There are no differences between the holotype and the paratype except for the size of the colonies.

    Etymology: The species name is formed from the Latin ‘delicata’, delicate, referring to the fine texture of the colonies and their polyps. Gender female.

    Figure 3: Altumia delicata gen. n. sp. n. live colonies.
    A, B colonies growing over branch of black coral with expanded polyps C colonies growing on PVC net (arrow heads). 

     Yehuda Benayahu, Catherine S. McFadden and Erez Shoham. 2017. Search for Mesophotic Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and Their Phylogeny: I. A New Sclerite-Free Genus from Eilat, northern Red Sea. ZooKeys. 680: 1-11.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.680.12727

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    Impatiens arunachalensis 
    Hareesh, A.Joe, M.Sabu & R.Gogoi


    Impatiens arunachalensis, a new species of Impatiens is described from the Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, northeast India. Detailed descriptions, distribution, and discussion of ecology along with colour photographs are provided.

    Keywords: Arunachal Pradesh, Balsaminaceae, Impatiens, India, new species, Siang, Eudicots

    Impatiens arunachalensis Hareesh, A.Joe, M.Sabu & R.Gogoi sp. nov. 

    The new species is similar to I. arguta but differs in having prominent ovate to ovate-elliptic leaves, pedunculate flowers, broadly orbicular dorsal petals without a horn; a pouch-shaped lower sepal, suddenly constricted straight spur with coiled or annular tip and notched apex, and recurved basal lobes of lateral united petals with reddish-brown blotches.

    Etymology:— The specific epithet ‘arunachalensis’ references the name of the state where this species is found. 

    Vadakkoot Sankaran Hareesh, Alfred Joe, Rajib Gogoi and Mamiyil Sabu. 2017.  Impatiens arunachalensis (Balsaminaceae), A New Species from northeastern India. Phytotaxa. 305(1); 47–51.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.305.1.7

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    Alpheopsis paratrigona  Anker, 2017 


    The present study deals with four species of the alpheid shrimp genus Alpheopsis Coutière, 1897 characterised by the presence of at least one strong carina on the dorsal surface of the carapace. Alpheopsis trigona (Rathbun, 1901) is redescribed based on the holotype from Puerto Rico and additional material from US Virgin Islands and Florida. Two new species closely related to A. trigona, viz. Alpheopsis paratrigona sp. nov. and Alpheopsis gotrina sp. nov., are described, the first based on material from several localities in the tropical western Atlantic, and the second from the Pacific coast of Panama and Colombia. The three species together form a distinctive transisthmian clade within Alpheopsis, the A. trigona species complex, characterised by the presence of several strong longitudinal carinae on the carapace and very distinctive colour pattern. A more distantly related species, Alpheopsis aristoteles sp. nov., characterised by the presence of only one strong mid-dorsal carina in the anterior region of the carapace, is described based on material from São Tomé Island in the tropical eastern Atlantic.

    Keywords: Crustacea, Caridea, marine shrimp, biodiversity, East Pacific, West Atlantic, East Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Guinea

    Family Alpheidae Rafinesque, 1815 
    Alpheopsis Coutière, 1897 

    Alpheopsis paratrigona sp. nov.

    Etymology. The specific name refers to the general resemblance of the new species to A. trigona.

    Alpheopsis paratrigona sp. nov., male holotype (cl 4.5 mm) from Portobelo, Caribbean coast of Panama (MZUSP34222).
    Photograph: A. Anker. 

    Alpheopsis gotrina sp. nov.

    Etymology. The new species’ name is an anagram of the specific epithet of its presumed closest relative, A. trigona.

    Alpheopsis aristoteles sp. nov.

    Etymology. The new species is named after the great Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristoteles (384–322BCE), and also the first naturalist who attempted a classification of animals based on morphology, anatomy and reproductive systems, in his famous “History of Animals” (Aristoteles 350 BCE).

    Arthur Anker. 2017. Strongly Carinate Species of Alpheopsis Coutière, 1897 of the Tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific, with Redescription of A. trigona(Rathbun, 1901) and Description of Three New Species (Malacostraca: Decapoda: Alpheidae). Zootaxa. 4277(2); 199–227. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4277.2.2

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    Flowers of some Passiflora series Laurifoliae.


    Within the huge diversity of genus Passiflora, series Laurifoliae constitutes a strikingly uniform group, widely distributed in neotropical rain forests, at low to moderate elevations. Given its morphological and ecological unity, Killip mentionned it as an «exceedingly difficult» group. The lack of clear morphological criteria has not helped in delimiting it, and the confusion has grown with the addition of new species and criteria. As a preliminary step in the study of diversity within series Laurifoliae, we re-examine its morphological delimitation, assessing how its current 29 species (including the highly similar P. pachyantha and P. killipiana) conform to 20 criteria from different authors. Three criteria (indumentum on vegetative parts, stipule glands, membranous limen) appear to be irrelevant, because they are either too variable or rarely recorded in the species descriptions. Using the 17 remaining ones, 24 typical species show very limited variations, five of them differing by only one criterion. Among them, we retain terete to angular stem, setaceous or linear stipules soon deciduous, petiolar glands in one pair, leaves oblong, neither peltate nor lobate, three glandular bract over 1 cm long and free, flowers pendent, with two campanulate outer series of filaments (most other series much reduced or aborted). Five species, P. guazumaefolia, P. kikiana, P. odontophylla, P. ischnoclada, and P. maliformis, differ by three to nine traits, not found in the typical representatives of the series, so they can be excluded from it. Passiflora kikiana should be classified into series Kermesinae. For the four other ones, a satisfactory solution implies a more global study, involving other series.

    Keywords: Violales, Malpighiales, Passifloraceae, Passiflora, Eudicots

    Figure 1. Flowers of the series Laurifoliae.
    A: Passiflora acuminata (photo: J. B. Fernandes da Silva); B: P. ambigua (photo: R. Aguilar); C: P. venusta (photo: D. Scherberich); D: P. cerasina (photo: M. Vecchia); E: P. crenata (photo: M. Rome); F: P. fissurosa (photo: M. de Souza); G: P. laurifolia (photo: F. Booms); H: P. nigradenia (photo: D. Scherberich); I: P. nitida (photo: M. Rome); J: P. popenovii (photo: G. Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge) ; K: P. rufostipulata (photo: C. Houel); L: P. gabrielliana (photo: M. Rome) : M: P. ischnoclada (photo: C. Houel); N: P. kikiana in Cervi (2010); O: P. guazumaefolia (photo: J. Ocampo); P: P. odontophylla (flower of the type specimen). 

    Several diagnostic characters used by Killip and Cervi (indumenta on vegetative organs, glandular stipules, bracts rounded at apex (with reservation), limen presence and shape), appear to be variable in the series, so they can still be used to differentiate species of the series, not to delimit the series. As a variable quantitative trait, leaf width is also questionable. The criteria “campanulate calyx tube” and “tubular or filamented operculum” are characters shared by all species of supersection Laurifolia. We can also exclude them from the definition of series Laurifoliae. These modifications allow restoring a homogeneous series Laurifoliae, which could be defined as follows:

     Series Laurifoliae — Plants glabrous to pubescent. Stems terete to angular, wingless, sometimes corky on old parts. Stipules linear to setaceous, early deciduous. Petiole with two discoid to oblong sessile glands (except in populations of P. popenovii). Leaves unlobate, oblong-lanceolate, entire to glandular-serrulate, not peltate. Bracts three, in involucre, free at base, more than 1 cm long and glandular. Flowers pendent. Outer series of filaments two, campanulate (most other series much reduced or aborted).

     Currently, series Laurifoliae includes 24 species corresponding to the above criteria: P. acuminata, P. ambigua, P. capparidifolia, P. cerasina, P. chaparensis, P. crenata, P. fernandezii, P. fissurosa, P. gabrielliana, P. gleasonii, P. kapiriensis, P. killipiana, P. laurifolia, P. metae (when type effectively deposited), P. nigradenia, P. nitida, P. pachyantha, P. pergrandis, P. phellos, P. popenovii, P. riparia, P. rufostipulata, P. tolimana, and P. venusta.

    Maxime Rome and Geo Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge. 2017. Delimitation of the Series Laurifoliae in the Genus Passiflora (Passifloraceae). Phytotaxa. 309(3); 245–252.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.309.3.5

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    Lampetra soljani
    Tutman, Freyhof, Dulčić, Glamuzina & Geiger, 2017


    Lampetra soljani, new species, is described from the lower Neretva River in the Adriatic Sea basin. Previously it was identified as L. zanandreai. Based on morphological similarity and mitochondrial genetic data, it is related to L. lanceolata and L. ninae from the Black Sea basin. Lampetra soljani is distinguished from all other species of Lampetra by having a marmorate flank pattern in live, fully grown ammocoetes, and in some adults (vs. plain colour pattern). Lampetra soljani is distinguished from other Lampetra species by having three velar tentacles, 54–57 trunk myomeres between the last branchial opening and the anus, no posterial teeth and a bicuspid middle endolateral tooth. Lampetra soljani is also well distinguished by COI barcode data from its congeners. The new species is widespread in the Neretva River drainage and lampreys from Lake Skadar basin are likely to belong to this species also.

    Keywords: Pisces, Freshwater biodiversity, Mediterranean basin, Dinaric Biodiversity Hotspot

    Lampetra soljani, FSJF 3650, paratypes

    FIGURE 4. pre-spawning adults, from the top, 124 mm TL, 128 mm TL;   FIGURE 8. about 120 mm TL;
    Bosnia and Herzegovina: side-arm of Neretva River east of Čapljina; 16–17 Jan. 2015.

    Etymology. Named in honour of Tonko Šoljan (1907–1980) in appreciation of his contribution to the knowledge and development of ichthyology in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Pero Tutman, Jörg Freyhof, Jakov Dulčić, Branko Glamuzina and Matthias Geiger. 2017. Lampetra soljani, A New Brook Lamprey from the southern Adriatic Sea basin (Petromyzontiformes: Petromyzontidae).  Zootaxa. 4273(4); 531–548.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4273.4.4

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    Himalayapotamon garhwalense
    Pati & Singh, 2017

     DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4237.1.11


    A new species of potamid freshwater crab, Himalayapotamon garhwalense n. sp., is described from a stream near Khanda in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, India. The new species is differentiated from all congeners by a suite of carapace and gonopod features, including the short, stout and conical G1 terminal joint with gradually tapered distal portion. Himalayapotamon Pretzmann, 1966, is now represented by 11 species including H. garhwalense n. sp. An identification key to the species in the genus is provided.

    Keywords: Crustacea, taxonomy, new species, identification key, India

    Himalayapotamon garhwalense n. sp., holotype male (ZSI, WRC-C. 1178). A, dorsal view; B, frontal view; C, ventral view. Scale bar = 10 mm. 

    Family Potamidae Ortmann, 1896
    Subfamily Potaminae Ortmann, 1896
    Himalayapotamon Pretzmann, 1966
    Himalayapotamon garhwalense n. sp.

    Etymology. The specific epithet refers to Garhwal, an administrative division of the Indian state of Uttarakhand, where the crab seems to be endemic

     S. K. Pati and Singh, S., 2017, A New Species of Freshwater Crab of the Genus Himalayapotamon Pretzmann, 1966 (Decapoda, Brachyura: Potamidae: Potaminae) from Uttarakhand, northern India. Zootaxa. 4237(1); 191-200.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4237.1.11

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    Liuixalus feii 
    Yang, Rao & Wang, 2015 


    A new tree frog species of the genus Liuixalus was described from Heishiding Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province, China based on a combination of morphological characters and molecular phylogenetic analyses. Liuixalus feii sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of following characters: small size (SVL 16.2–17.6 mm in adult males and 18.0–18.7 mm in adult females); snout obtusely pointed; tympanum distinct, about half size of eye diameter; nostril closer to eye than to the tip of snout; fingers free of webbing; toe III longer than toe V; toes weakly webbed; tibiotarsal articulation reaching the naris or loreal; dorsal skin smooth and scattered with fine granulars; a subtle longitudinal median ridge present on dorsum; weak skin folds present on dorsal surface of body and thighs; supratympanic fold distinct and curved; ventral surface dull white with more or less irregular dark spots; iris bicolored. The new species appears to be forest-dependent and to date has only been found on the forest floor in primary forests at elevations between 350–800 m. Based on our molecular analyses, we consider Liuixalus catbaensis as a junior synonym of L. calcarius. Thus, with the description of the new species, the genus Liuixalus hitherto contains five recognized species, four of which are endemic to China.

    Keywords: Amphibia, Rhacophoridae, Liuixalus, new species, taxonomy, China

    FIGURE 5. Liuixalus feii sp. nov. from its type locality, showing the color variation in life.
    A: SYS a003049, adult male; B: SYS a002158, adult male; C: adult female, photographed on 2 May 2010, not collected; D: adult male, photographed on 29 May 2009, not collected. 

    FIGURE 6. A: a male individual of Liuixalus feii sp. nov., photographed on 2 May 2010, not collected; B: L. hainanus from Diaoluoshan, NR Hainan (type locality); C: L. ocellatus from Wuzhishan NR, Hainan (type locality); D: L. romeri from Hong Kong (type locality); E: paratype of L. calcarius from Cat Ba Island, Vietnam; F: L . cf. romeri from Mt. Shiwan, Guangxi. 

    Etymology. The specific epithet “feii” is a patronymic noun in the genitive singular; derived from the name of Professor Liang Fei of the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, in recognition of his long-term great contribution to the advancement of amphibian research in China. For the common name, we suggest “Fei’s Small Tree Frog” in English, “Fei Shi Xiao Shu Wa” in Chinese.  

    Jian-Huan Yang, Ding-Qi Rao and Ying-Yong Wang. 2015. A New Species of the Genus Liuixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from southern China. ZOOTAXA. 3990(2); 247–258.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3990.2.5

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     Austrolebias nigripinnis  (Regan, 1912)


    Austrolebias Costa is a genus of annual fish inhabiting temporary wetlands in the Chaco-Pampasic region of southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina (Costa, 2006, Nielsen & Pillet, 2015, Alonso et al., 2016). Currently, about 45 species of Austrolebias are known (Costa, 2006, Volcan et al., 2014, Nielsen & Pillet, 2015), and of these, 24 occur in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil, distributed across the Rio Uruguay basin and the Patos-Mirim lagoon system and adjacent coastal areas (Volcan et al., 2015).

    Keywords: Pisces, Cyprinodontiformes, Cynolebiidae

    Male Austrolebias nigripinnis, Rio Quaraí, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. 

     Matheus V. Volcan, Ândrio C. Gonçalves and Luis E. K. Lanés. 2017. First Record of Blackfin Pearlfish Austrolebias nigripinnis (Regan, 1912) (Cyprinodontiformes, Cynolebiidae) from Brazil. Zootaxa. 4254(3): 387–390.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4254.3.9

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    Pueraria grandiflora  Bo Pan& Bing Liu

    A new species, Pueraria grandiflora, (Fabaceae, Phaseoleae), is described and illustrated. It resembles Pueraria tuberosa, but differs in lobed leaflets, larger flowers, single or once branched inflorescences, and flowering and fruiting season. This species is only known from dry-hot valleys in Sichuan and Yunnan, and is rare and narrowly distributed.

    Key words: Dry-hot valley, Fabaceae, Phaseoleae, tuber

    FIGURE 1. Pueraria grandiflora(from type locality).
    A. Habit. B. Flowers. C. Entire leaflets. D. Tubers. E. Tuber opened up. F. Sagittate stipule. G. Lobed leaflets.
     Photos by Bo Pan and Bing Liu. 

    Pueraria grandiflora Bo Pan & Bing Liu, sp. nov. 

    Etymology: The species epithet refers to the large flowers of this species, the largest within the genus to date.  

    Bo Pan, Bing Liu, Zhi-Xiang Yu and Yong-Qiong Yang. 2015. Pueraria grandiflora (Fabaceae), A New Species from Southwest China. Phytotaxa. 203(3); 287–291. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.203.3.8 

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     Lycodon sidiki  
    Wostl, Hamidy, Kurniawan & Smith, 2017 


    Herein we describe a new species of Lycodon H. Boie in Fitzinger (Squamata: Colubridae) from Aceh Province, Sumatra. This brings the number of species known to occur on the Sunda Shelf to seven. The new species is readily diagnosed from the other congeners in the region by the lack of a preocular scale, the presence of keeled dorsal scales and a banded venter. It is superficially similar to L. butleri from the Malaysian Peninsula in coloration and to L. subcinctus in head scalation. Genetically, the new species is most similar to a group of species from Mainland Southeast Asia and China. We also note the presence of several deeply divergent lineages within Lycodon that may warrant the recognition as distinct genera. The genus is in need of a comprehensive molecular and morphological review.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Biodiversity, molecular phylogeny, Sunda Shelf, systematics

    FIGURE 3. Lateral aspect of the head of theLycodon sidiki spec. nov. holotype. Note the lack of a preocular scale.
    Scale bar  = 5 mm 

    FIGURE 2. Lycodon sidiki spec. nov. Holotype, MZB.Ophi.5980, 548 mm SVL. 

    Diagnosis.This species of Lycodon is recognized by the presence of keeled scales, an elongate loreal scale that reaches the orbit, the absence of a preocular scale, an undivided anal scale, and a banded venter.

    FIGURE 2. Lycodon sidiki spec. nov. Holotype, MZB.Ophi.5980, 548 mm SVL.

    Etymology. This species is named in honor of Irvan Sidik, Indonesian herpetologist, a colleague, and friend, for his numerous contributions to the herpetology of the Sunda Shelf, and his promotion of scientific collections and the study of snakes.

    Elijah Wostl, Amir Hamidy, Nia Kurniawan and Eric N. Smith. 2017. A New Species of Wolf Snake of the Genus Lycodon H. Boie in Fitzinger (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Aceh Province of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Zootaxa. 4276(4); 539–553.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4276.4.6

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    Chinlestegophis jenkinsi
    Pardo, Small & Huttenlocker, 2017 

    Research into modern amphibian origins is increasingly focusing on the limbless caecilians, a poorly studied group whose pre-Cenozoic fossils are limited to two species. We describe tiny fossils from the Triassic of Colorado with a mixture of traits found in caecilians and extinct Permian–Triassic temnospondyls: Stereospondyli. Computed 3D tomography shows how skull bones organized around internal structures, and we suggest how these may have become fused or simplified in caecilians. The fossils’ association with burrows highlights ecological diversity of Triassic amphibians as well as when and how burrowing evolved in the stereospondyl ancestors of caecilians. Our narrative for research on amphibian origins highlights the importance of stereospondyls, the most numerous and anatomically diverse amphibian group of the Triassic.

    The origin of the limbless caecilians remains a lasting question in vertebrate evolution. Molecular phylogenies and morphology support that caecilians are the sister taxon of batrachians (frogs and salamanders), from which they diverged no later than the early Permian. Although recent efforts have discovered new, early members of the batrachian lineage, the record of pre-Cretaceous caecilians is limited to a single species, Eocaecilia micropodia. The position of Eocaecilia within tetrapod phylogeny is controversial, as it already acquired the specialized morphology that characterizes modern caecilians by the Jurassic. Here, we report on a small amphibian from the Upper Triassic of Colorado, United States, with a mélange of caecilian synapomorphies and general lissamphibian plesiomorphies. We evaluated its relationships by designing an inclusive phylogenetic analysis that broadly incorporates definitive members of the modern lissamphibian orders and a diversity of extinct temnospondyl amphibians, including stereospondyls. Our results place the taxon confidently within lissamphibians but demonstrate that the diversity of Permian and Triassic stereospondyls also falls within this group. This hypothesis of caecilian origins closes a substantial morphologic and temporal gap and explains the appeal of morphology-based polyphyly hypotheses for the origins of Lissamphibia while reconciling molecular support for the group’s monophyly. Stem caecilian morphology reveals a previously unrecognized stepwise acquisition of typical caecilian cranial apomorphies during the Triassic. A major implication is that many Paleozoic total group lissamphibians (i.e., higher temnospondyls, including the stereospondyl subclade) fall within crown Lissamphibia, which must have originated before 315 million years ago.

    Keywords: burrow, Gymnophiona, temnospondyl, tetrapod, Triassic

    Chinlestegophis jenkinsi, a tiny subterranean carnivore, is an ancient relative of frogs and salamanders.
    (Illustration/Jorge Gonzalez)

    Systematic Paleontology. 

    Tetrapoda Haworth, 1825
     Temnospondyli Zittel, 1888
    Stereospondyli Zittel, 1887

     Chinlestegophis jenkinsi gen. et sp. nov. 

    Etymology. Jenkins’s amphibian-serpent from the Chinle.
    Chinle” for the Triassic Chinle Formation; “stego-” (Greek) meaning cover or roof, but commonly applied to temnospondyl amphibians and other early tetrapods; “-ophis” (Greek) meaning serpent. The species name honors paleontologist Farish Jenkins, whose work on the Jurassic Eocaecilia inspired the present study.

    Jason D. Pardo, Bryan J. Small and Adam K. Huttenlocker. 2017. Stem Caecilian from the Triassic of Colorado Sheds Light On the Origins of Lissamphibia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. in press.  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1706752114

    Tiny fossils reveal backstory of the most mysterious amphibian alive today
    The discovery fills a significant gap in the evolutionary history of frogs, toads and other amphibians

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    Kinyongia itombwensis, Kinyongia tolleyae,
    Kinyongia rugegensis 
    Hughes, Kusamba, Behangana& Greenbaum, 2017

    The Albertine Rift (AR) is a centre for vertebrate endemism in Central Africa, yet the mechanisms underlying lineage diversification of the region’s fauna remain unresolved. We generated a multilocus molecular phylogeny consisting of two mitochondrial (16S and ND2) and one nuclear (RAG1) gene to reconstruct relationships and examine spatiotemporal diversification patterns in the AR endemic forest chameleon, Kinyongia adolfifriderici (Sternfeld, 1912). This widely distributed species was revealed to be a complex of four genetically distinct and geographically isolated species. Three new species are described based on molecular analyses and morphological examinations. We find that Kinyongia rugegensis sp. nov. (Rugege Highlands) and Kinyongia tolleyae sp. nov. (Kigezi Highlands) form a well-supported clade, which is sister to K. gyrolepis (Lendu Plateau). Kinyongia itombwensis sp. nov. (Itombwe Plateau) was recovered as sister to K. adolfifriderici (Ituri Rainforest). The phylogeographic patterns we recovered for Kinyongia suggest that speciation stemmed from isolation in forest refugia. Our estimated diversification dates in the Miocene indicate that most species of Kinyongia diverged prior to the aridification of Africa following climate fluctuations during the Pleistocene. Our results highlight the AR as a focal point of diversification for Kinyongia, further elevating the global conservation importance of this region.

    Keywords: biodiversity, biogeography, Burundi, conservation, Democratic Republic of the Congo, diversification, molecular systematics, new species, phylogeography, Uganda.

    Kinyongia tolleyae sp. nov. in life. Adult male lateral view (UTEP 21488);  

    Kinyongia itombwensis sp. nov. in life. (A) Adult female lateral view (UTEP 20371)

    Kinyongia rugegensis sp. nov. in life.  Adult female (gravid) lateral view of holotype (UTEP 21485)


    Daniel F. Hughes, Chifundera Kusamba, Mathias Behangana and Eli Greenbaum. 2017. Integrative Taxonomy of the Central African forest chameleon, Kinyongia adolfifriderici (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae), Reveals Underestimated Species Diversity in the Albertine Rift. Zool J Linn Soc. zlx005. DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx005

    Team discovers 3 chameleon species   @physorg_com


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    Myotis attenboroughi
    Moratelli, Wilson, Novaes, Helgen & Gutiérrez, 2017 

    We describe a new species of Myotis (Vespertilionidae, Myotinae) from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago Island. The new species (Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov.) can be distinguished from all other Neotropical congeners by cranial features and cytochrome-b gene sequences. Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov. is allied morphologically with species in the albescens group (like M. nigricans), and is sister to a clade including M. cf. handleyi, M. nesopolus, and 3 possibly undescribed species from Central and South America. A review of Myotis collections from the Caribbean confirms M. nyctor for Barbados and Grenada; M. dominicensis for Dominica and Guadeloupe; M. martiniquensis for Martinique; M. pilosatibialis and M. riparius for Trinidad; and M. attenboroughi for Tobago. The occurrence of M. attenboroughi on Trinidad is still an open question.

    Keywords: Caribbean, Lesser Antilles, Myotis attenboroughi, Myotis nigricans, Neotropics, Sir David Attenborough’s Myotis

    The newly described, Sir David Attenborough's Myotis —Myotis attenboroughi—(Moratelli et al.,2017), represents the first, and only known, endemic mammalian species on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Molecular, morphological and morphometric analyses conducted by Moratelli et al., now confirms that the Black Myotis on Tobago (see photo), traditionally assigned, Myotis nigricans, is actually a previously unknown species now named, Myotis attenboroughi, in honour of famed naturalist, Sir David Attenborough. This tiny bat, the Sir David Attenborough's Myotis, Trinidad and Tobago's only known endemic mammalian species, consumes moths and other small flying insects. This species is known to roost in caves, tree-hollows, and if neither of these is available, the attics of buildings.
     Photo: Geoffrey Gomes (Trinibats) 

    Why isn't the bat named for Tobago? In this particular case, this new designation is a result of a species split (simply put). In zoological nomenclature, this occurs when new findings warrant a species being split into subspecies or new species, which is the case here. If this specimen described for Tobago was indeed an originally described, nominal species, as distinct from a species or subspecies subsequently distinguished from it, then it may be named Tobagoi or Trinitatis (as some local bats are named), or something along those lines.
    Photo: Steve Parker


    Ricardo Moratelli, Don E. Wilson, Roberto L. M. Novaes, Kristofer M. Helgen and Eliécer E. Gutiérrez. 2017. Caribbean Myotis (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae), with Description of A New Species from Trinidad and Tobago.
     J Mammal. gyx062.  DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx062 
    T&T goes batty over first endemic mammalian species | Loop News

    Describimos una nueva especie de Myotis (Vespertilionidae, Myotinae) de la República de Trinidad y Tobago, isla de Tobago. La nueva especie (Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov.) se distingue de otros congéneres Neotropicales en sus rasgos craneanos y secuencias del gen citocromo b. Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov. es morfológicamente similar a especies del grupo albescens (tal como M. nigricans) y es hermana de un clado que incluye a M. cf. handleyi, M. nesopolus, y tres especies, posiblemente no descritas, de Centro y Sud América. Una revisión de las series de Myotis del Caribe confirma a M. nyctor para Barbados y Granada; M. dominicensis para Dominica y Guadalupe; M. martiniquensis para Martinica; M. pilosatibialis y M. riparius para Trinidad; y M. attenboroughi para Tobago. La presencia de M. attenboroughi en Trinidad sigue siendo hoy un enigma.

    Singular bat Zoologists have named a newly discovered species of bat after the veteran British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough. Scientists analysed museum records of specimens of 377 Caribbean bats, and found that a species apparently endemic to the island of Tobago is morphologically and genetically different from the mainland species (Myotis nigricans) to which it had been assigned taxonomically for almost a century. Taxonomist Ricardo Moratelli and his team named the bat (pictured) Myotis attenboroughi in honour of the naturalist, who has inspired generations of wildlife biologists. The findings were published on 7 June (R. Moratelli et al. J. Mammal.; 2017).


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    Fejervarya kadarFejervarya manoharani,
    Fejervarya neilcoxi Fejervarya cepfi

    Garg & Biju, 2017


    The Rufescent Burrowing Frog, Fejervarya rufescens, is thought to have a wide distribution across the Western Ghats in Peninsular India. This locally abundant but secretive species has a short breeding period, making it a challenging subject for field studies. We sampled 16 populations of frogs morphologically similar to F. rufescens in order to understand the variation among populations found across the Western Ghats. Our study shows significant morphological and genetic differences among the sampled populations, suggesting that F. ‘rufescens’ is a complex of several undescribed species. Using evidence from morphology and genetics, we confirm the presence of five distinct species in this group and formally describe four as new. The new species were delineated using a phylogeny based on three mitochondrial genes (16S, COI and Cytb) and a haplotype network of a nuclear gene (Rag1). Hereafter, the distribution of F. rufescens is restricted to the state of Karnataka and adjoining regions of northern Kerala. Three new species (Fejervarya kadar sp. nov., Fejervarya manoharani sp. nov. and Fejervarya neilcoxi sp. nov.) are from regions south of Palghat gap in the state of Kerala, and one (Fejervarya cepfi sp. nov.) from the northern Western Ghats state of Maharashtra. These findings indicate that Fejervarya frogs of the Western Ghats are more diverse than currently known. Our results will also have implications on the conservation status of F. rufescens, which was previously categorized as Least Concern based on its presumed wide geographical distribution. Furthermore, in order to facilitate a better taxonomic understanding of this region’s fejervaryan frogs, we divide all the known Fejarvarya species of the Western Ghats into four major groups—Fejervarya nilagirica group, Fejervaryarufescens group, Fejervaryasahyadris group and Fejervarya syhadrensis group, based on their morphological affinities.

    Keywords: Amphibians, bioacoustics, multi-gene DNA barcoding, India, integrative taxonomy, molecular phylogeny, new species, species diversity, Western Ghats

    Taxonomic accounts and description of new species 

    Fejervarya rufescens (Jerdon, 1853) 
    Rufescent Burrowing Frog (Daniels 2005)

    Original name: Pyxicephalus rufescens Jerdon, 1853. Catalogue of reptiles inhabiting the Peninsula of India, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 22: 522–534. 

    Fejervarya kadar sp. nov. 
    Kadar Burrowing Frog

    Etymology. The species is named after the Kadar tribe of Kerala, who live in the Vazhachal forest where the type series was collected. We enjoyed their support and hospitality during amphibian field studies in the region. The specific epithet kadar is treated as an invariable noun in apposition to the generic name. 

    Fejervarya manoharani sp. nov. 
    Manoharan’s Burrowing Frog 
    Etymology: This species is named for Mr TM Manoharan, who severed as the Head of Kerala Forest Department for over a decade, for providing encouragement as well as personal financial support to SDB during the initial phases of his scientific career. The species epithet manoharani is treated as a noun in the genitive case. 

    Fejervarya neilcoxi sp. nov. 
    Neil Cox’s Burrowing Frog

    Etymology: This species is named for Dr Neil Cox, Manager of the IUCN-Conservation International Biodiversity Assessment Unit. Neil has been associated with the IUCN Red List in a variety of capacities including species assessment and management, and the new species is named particularly in appreciation of his contribution towards the Global Amphibian Assessment. The species epithet neilcoxi is treated as a noun in the genitive case.

    Fejervarya cepfi sp. nov. 
    CEPF Burrowing Frog

    Etymology. The species is named after the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) for its effort to protect global biodiversity hotspots by providing grants in general, and specifically for a grant supporting research and conservation planning in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot through the Project Western Ghats Network of Protected Areas for Threatened Amphibians (WNPATA) to SDB (University of Delhi). The specific epithet cepfi is treated as a noun in the genitive case.

      Sonali Garg and S.D. Biju. 2017.  Description of Four New Species of Burrowing Frogs in the Fejervarya rufescens complex (Dicroglossidae) with notes on Morphological Affinities of Fejervarya Species in the Western Ghats. 
    Zootaxa. 4277(4); 451–490.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4277.4.1


     S K. Kiran, V. S. Anoop, K. C. Sivakumar, Raghunathan Dinesh, J. P. Mano, Deuti Kaushik and George Sanil. 2017. An Additional Record of Fejervarya manoharani Garg and Biju from the Western Ghats with A Description of Its Complete Mitochondrial Genome. Zootaxa. 4277(4); 491–502.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4277.4.2

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    Skeletal and life restorations of the Ruyangosaurus giganteus holotype by Nima Sassani.
    Osteoderms hypothesized based on Vidal, Ortega, and Sanz (2014). Beige elements are based on undescribed material likely referable to the holotype specimen. Scale bar equals 4m.


    For many years the precise taxonomy of Titanosauria has been a puzzle, and even today only certain segments of this vast clade are well-understood. The phylogenetic positions of many titanosaurs are murky, though specimens often still await rigorous analysis. One of the largest examples is the massive Chinese titanosaur Ruyangosaurus giganteus – though largely incomplete, the holotype is distinct enough to indicate strong phylogenetic affinities with a specific subgroup of titanosaurs. A review of previous literature on Ruyangosaurus, referred tentatively to Andesauridae, shows that this classification is based on three weak, non-diagnostic characters. Ruyangosaurus differs from taxa traditionally included in Andesauridae in at least 20 characters of the torso, femur, and tibia. Several plesiomorphies of Ruyangosaurus are extremely rare in titanosauria except for the clade Lognkosauria and its close relatives. The vertebra initially described as a posterior cervical is most likely an anterior dorsal, with a strong resemblance to that of Puertasaurus. The posterior dorsal of Ruyangosaurus shares synapomorphies with Mendozasaurus and Dreadnoughtus. The femur clusters close to the femora of Malawisaurus, Traukutitan, and Pitekunsaurus. Ruyangosaurus is here recovered as a lognkosaurian, with significant implications for the distribution and evolution of that group and the paleobiology of Mid-Cretaceous China.

    Fig. 15. Skeletal and life restorations of the Ruyangosaurus giganteus holotype by Nima Sassani. Osteoderms hypothesized based on Vidal, Ortega, and Sanz (2014). Beige elements are based on undescribed material likely referable to the holotype specimen. Scale bar equals 4m.

    Ruyangosaurus giganteus represents a new and unusual radiation of Lognkosauria in Asia in the early part of the Late cretaceous period, coinciding with a time of Africa’s final separation from South America and gradual collision with Asia. Its unique morphology implies a close relationship to Puertasaurus, and it is possible it may form a subclade within Lognkosauria with NotocolossusPitekunsaurus, and Puertasaurus, with MendozasaurusDreadnoughtus and Futalognkosaurus forming another sub-clade. However, Ruyangosaurus differs from all other lognkosaurs and the rest of titanosauria in having neural fossae separated from the neural canal by laminae, in having a strange quartet of nearly flat “spider laminae” on the posterior neural arch of the posterior dorsal, and in having the intraprezygapophyseal lamina located far higher on the neural arch in the anterior dorsal. As there is a paucity of Ruyangosaurus material,diagnosis of many features is not possible, though it shows a particularly strong affinity with Puertasaurus in anterior dorsal morphology and with Lognkosauria and Lithostrotia in general asit lacks defined hypantra and hyposphenes. Based on the dorsal material, the Ruyangosaurus holotype is a very large sauropod, exceeding Futalognkosaurus and Dreadnoughtus in size.Based on the dimensions of the anterior dorsal, it likely also exceeded Notocolossus, though wasprobably smaller than Puertasaurus and the recently discovered titanosaur species in the MPEF collections still awaiting description. This newly excavated taxon from Argentina’s Chubut province is known from multiple specimens in an excellent state of preservation, which appearstrongly lognkosaurian in morphology, among which the largest femur appears to be roughly 2.6 m in length

    Nima Sassani and Gunnar Tyler Bivens. 2017. The Chinese Colossus: An Evaluation of the Phylogeny of ​Ruyangosaurus giganteus​ and Its Implications for Titanosaur Evolution.   PeerJ Preprints. 5:e2988v1. DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2988v1


     Lü J, Xu L, Jia S, Zhang X, Zhang J, Yang L, You H and Ji Q. 2009. A New Gigantic Sauropod Dinosaur from the Cretaceous of Ruyang, Henan, China. Geological Bulletin of China. 28(1); 1-10.

    Ruyangosaurus giganteus (Lü et al., 2009) ... Art by Zhao Chuang

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    Eremias dzungarica 
    Orlova, Poyarkov, Chirikova, Nazarov, Munkhbayar, Munkhbayar & Terbish, 2017

    Dzungarian Racerunner || DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4282.1.1 


    We provide an integrative analysis of the diversity of the E. multiocellataE. przewalskii species complex in Central and Middle Asia using morphological and molecular (COI DNA-barcoding) data. We report preliminary data on mtDNA variation within this group and clarify the taxonomic status and distribution of the members of the species complex. We also provide a description of a new Eremias species from Eastern Kazakhstan and western Mongolia, where it occurs in sympatry with E. multiocellata sensu stricto, from which it can be clearly differentiated using both morphological and molecular characters. The new species, described as Eremias dzungarica sp. nov., is assigned to the subgenus Pareremias on the basis of the following features: subocular not reaching mouth edge; one frontonasal; two supraoculars; the row of small granular scales between supraoculars and frontal with frontoparietals absent; distance between the femoral pore rows being wide; femoral pore rows not reaching knee-joint; coloration pattern with light colored ocelli with black edging. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners on the basis of the following morphological attributes: a medium-sized lacertid lizard, maximum snout-vent length (SVL) = 64.5 mm, tail being ca. 1.5 times longer than body length (SVL), hindlimbs relatively long (hindlimb length to SVL ratio 0.46); subocular scale not reaching mouth edge, in touch with 6–8 supralabials; males with bright coloration consisting of 2–3 dorsolateral rows of light-colored ocelli with thick black edging; the ventral row of ocelli in life is greenish to bluish; dorsal pattern consisting of black irregular blotches along the middorsal line. We also report on the high genetic and morphological diversity of E. multiocellata in Mongolia and China, synonymize E. m. bannikowi with the nominative form E. m. multiocellata, discuss variation within E. przewalskii, synonymize E. p. tuvensis with the nominative form E. przewalskii, provide new data on E. cf. reticulata and E. m. tsaganbogdensis, confirm validity and clarify distribution ranges of E. stummeri, E. szczerbaki and E. yarkandensis and discuss further progress on taxonomic studies of the E. multiocellataE. przewalskii species complex.

    Keywords: Reptilia, Eremias dzungarica sp. nov., Biogeography, Sauria, Multi-ocellated Racerunner, Gobi Racerunner, Middle Asia, Central Asia, morphology, mitochondrial DNA, COI, phylogeography, distribution

    FIGURE 6. Holotype ofEremias dzungarica sp. nov. (ZMMU R-12845) in life in lateral view. 

    Eremias dzungarica

    Etymology. The specific name “dzungarica” is a Latin toponymic adjective in the nominative singular (feminine gender), referring to the distribution of the new species covering the area of Dzungaria, now in easternmost Kazakhstan, northern part of Chinese Xinjiang and the westernmost part of Mongolia (Dzungarian Gobi).

    Reccomended vernacular name. We recommend the following common name in English: Dzungarian Racerunner. Recommended common name in Mongolian: Züüngaryn gürvel; in Russian: Dzhungarskaya yaschurka.

    Valentina F. Orlova, Nikolay A. Jr. Poyarkov, Maritina A. Chirikova, Roman A. Nazarov, Munkhbaatar Munkhbayar, Khorlooghiyn Munkhbayar and Khayankhyarvagijn Terbish. 2017. MtDNA Differentiation and Taxonomy of Central Asian Racerunners of Eremias multiocellata-E. przewalskii Species Complex (Squamata, Lacertidae).
     Zootaxa. 4282(1); 1-42. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4282.1.1

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    Sedum danjoense 
    Takuro Ito, H. Nakanishi & G. Kokub. 


    We compared Sedum formosanum with related species using morphological traits and molecular phylogenetic analysis of nrITS sequences. Morphological comparisons revealed that the plants historically treated as S. formosanum in the Danjo Islands of Japan had 4-merous flower; 8 stamens; narrow triangular sepals of equal size; horizontal carpels when matured; and an irregular branching form. These traits differed from those of S. formosanum in other regions, which has 5-merous flowers; 10 stamens, thick spatulate sepals of unequal size; erect carpels when matured; and a trichotomous branching form. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that plants known as S. formosanum in the Danjo Islands were sister group to S. tetractinum, which are endemic to China and belong to a different clade than S. formosanum, which are found in other regions. Based on the present morphological comparisons and phylogenetical analyses, we describe plants from the Danjo Islands as a new speciesSedum danjoense, which is distinct from S. formosanum.

    Keywords: East Asia, ITS, Phylogeny, Sedum formosanum, Succulent, Eudicots

    FIGURE 3. Sedum danjoense Takuro Ito, H. Nakanishi & G. Kokub.
     A. Habitat and habit. B. Inflorescence. C. Adaxial surface. D. Abaxial surface. E. Flower. F. Sepals. G. Carpels. H. Branching.

    Scale bars are 25 mm for A, 5 mm for B–H [A. Wild individuals in Yorishima island photo by Yoshiro Chichibu in May 1989; B. Cultivated in Nagasaki Subtropical Botanical Garden photo by Kiyotaka Minota in Sep. 2011; C-H. Takuro Ito 3658 in Oct. 2016] 

    Sedum danjoense Takuro Ito, H. Nakanishi & G. Kokub., sp. nov.  
     Type:— JAPAN. The Kyusyu, the Danjo Islands, Yorishima Island, 25 October 2016 (cultivated in Nagasaki Subtropical Botanical Garden after collecting its natural habit in 1989), Takuro Ito 3658. (holotype TNS!).

    Etymology:— The epithet refers to the Japanese name of type locality of the Danjo Islands.
    Japanese common name:—Danjo-mannen-gusa (nov.).

     Distribution and habitat:— Endemic to the Danjo Islands (Kyusyu), on sunny, coastal rocky slopes exposed to direct sunlight; in typical coastal vegetation within “a community of Miscanthus condensatus Hackel (1899: 639)– Crepidiastrum lanceolatum (Houtt.) Nakai (1920: 150)” similar to those in other regions of Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. Itow & Nakanishi (1990) mentioned that this species was distributed throughout the Danjo Islands (as S. formosanum), and thus further field surveys are required on the islands.

    Takuro Ito, Hiroki Nakanishi, Yoshiro Chichibu, Kiyotaka Minoda and Goro Kokubugata. 2017. Sedum danjoense (Crassulaceae), A New Species of Succulent Plants from the Danjo Islands in Japan. Phytotaxa. 309(1); 23–34. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.309.1.2

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    Isthmura corrugata
    Comte, Pineda, Rovito & Manzano, 2017

    DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4277.4.7 


    We describe a new plethodontid salamander species of the genus Isthmura, known only from one locality in the mountainous region of central Veracruz, Mexico. Like its congeners, Isthmura corrugata sp. nov. has a large and robust body, but it is easily distinguished from the other species in the genus by the absence of any spot or mark on the dorsum (except by dull reddish brown coloration on eyelids) and by extremely well-marked costal grooves separated by very pronounced costal folds. Based on an mtDNA phylogeny, the new species is most closely related to the geographically distant I. boneti and I. maxima but occurs very near I. naucampatepetl and I. gigantea on the eastern slope of Cofre de Perote, Veracruz. The region where I. corrugata occurs contains a high number of plethodontid salamander species and is threatened by human activity.

    Keywords: Amphibia, Isthmura corrugata sp. nov., morphology, Neotropics, phylogeny, salamander

    FIGURE 2. Holotype of Isthmura corrugata.
    A) Lateral and B) Ventral view. C) Coloration and form of costal grooves. D) Left hand (up) and left foot (down). E) Details of the head. F) Dorsal view.
    Photographs by A. Sandoval-Comte.

    Isthmura corrugata sp. nov. 
    Suggested English name: Corrugated Salamander.
    Suggested Spanish name: Salamandra corrugada.

    Etymology. The specific epithet makes reference to the extremely pronounced grooves along the body, giving these salamanders a corrugated appearance

    Adriana Sandoval Comte, Eduardo Pineda, Sean M. Rovito and Ricardo Luria Manzano. 2017. A New Species of Isthmura (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from the Montane Cloud Forest of Central Veracruz, Mexico. Zootaxa. 4277(4); 573–582. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4277.4.7


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    Trichomycterus ytororo
    Terán, Ferrer, Benitez, Alonso, Aguilera & Mirande, 2017

    live specimens (A). holotype CI–FML 7241, 94.2 mm. (B–D). paratype CI–FML 7241, 60.9 mm SL.
    Argentina, Misiones, Jardín América, Tabay stream, Paraná River basin. 


    A new species assigned to the genus Trichomycterus from the area of the waterfalls of Tabay stream, Paraná River basin, Misiones, Argentina, is described. Trichomycterus ytororo sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species in the genus by the presence of 31–35 dorsal procurrent caudal-fin rays and the combination of some external characters such as: coloration, number of pectoral–fin rays and pores of the laterosensory canals. The new taxon belongs to a presumably monophyletic group of species composed of T. crassicaudatus, T. igobi, and T. stawiarski based on the presence of 24 or more thickly ossified and rigid procurrent caudal-fin rays with a slender distal tip extending along the tips of at least ten neural spines.

    Fig 4. Geographic distribution of the species assigned to the Trichomycterus stawiarski group: T. crassicaudatus (green symbols), T. igobi (white symbols), T. stawiarski (yellow symbols) and T. ytororo (red symbol). Stars represent the type localities. Some triangles symbols represent more than one collection locality. Numbers 1, 2, 3 indicate the Paraguay, Paraná and Iguazú Rivers, respectively.

    Fig 5. Type locality of Trichomycterus ytororo; Tabay waterfalls, Tabay stream, Jardín América, Misiones, Argentina.

    Ecological notes: The Tabay stream basin through 192 km from its headwaters at Campo Viera to its mouth on the Paraná River, at Jardín América (Fig 4). The stream bed is mainly composed of basaltic bedrock, in which sections with waterfalls and pools alternates all along its run. At the type locality (Tabay waterfall; Fig 5), the stream is surrounded by remnants of the Paranaense riparian forest, with its left margin degraded due to a camping site. This waterfall consists of three consecutive falls, the main one is 10m high and 20–50m wide, which drains into a narrow gorge. All specimens of Trichomycterus ytororo were captured above the waterfalls at shallow areas (about 1 meter depth or less) or in rapids witha predominantly rocky bottom and strong current. Trichomycterus davisi was the single congener recorded at the type locality, which was not collected syntopically with T. ytororo.

     Distribution: Trichomycterus ytororo is so far known only from its type locality, the Tabay waterfalls in the Tabay stream (Fig 5), a tributary of the left bank of the Paraná River, province of Misiones, northeast of Argentina (Fig 4).

    Etymology: The specific epithet ytororo derived from the indigenous language Guaraní (“ytororõ”) which means “waterfall” in reference to the habitat occupied by the new species. A noun in apposition.

    Guillermo Enrique Terán, Juliano Ferrer, Mauricio Benitez, Felipe Alonso, Gastón Aguilera and Juan Marcos Mirande. 2017. Living in the Waterfalls: A New Species of Trichomycterus (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) from Tabay Stream, Misiones, Argentina.
     PLoS ONE. 12(6); e0179594.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179594