Sunday, September 25, 2016

[Ichthyology • 2015] Aequidens superomaculatum • A New Species (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the upper Orinoco and Río Negro, Venezuela

Aequidens superomaculatum  
  Hernández-Acevedo, Machado-Allison & Lasso, 2015 


A new species, Aequidens superomaculatum, is described from the Casiquiare Canal drainage and the upper reaches of the Orinoco and Negro rivers (Venezuela). This new species shares with others of the genus a vermiculated color pattern on the cheek, snout and preopercle and a high vertebral count, but it differs from congeners in having a continuous lateral stripe, and in having the lateral dark pigment blotch positioned high on both sides of the body.

Key words. Fishes, Taxonomy, Aequidens, Orinoco Basin, Amazon Basin.

Jaime H. Hernández-Acevedo, Antonio Machado-Allison y Carlos A. Lasso. 2015. Aequidens superomaculatum (Teleostei: Cichlidae) una nueva especie del alto Orinoco y Río Negro, Venezuela. Biota Colombiana. 16(2); 96-106.
 Jaime H. Hernández-Acevedo, Antonio Machado-Allison y Carlos A. Lasso. 2015. Aequidens superomaculatum (Teleostei: Cichlidae): A New Species from the upper Orinoco and Río Negro, Venezuela. Biota Colombiana. 16 (2): 96-106.

Resumen: Se describe una nueva especie, Aequidens superomaculatum, proveniente de la cuenca del Caño o Brazo Casiquiare y la parte alta de las cuencas de los ríos Orinoco y Negro (Venezuela). Esta nueva especie comparte con otras especies del género previamente descritas, la presencia de un patrón de coloración vermiculado en la mejilla, hocico y preopérculo y un conteo vertebral alto, pero se diferencia de estas especies por la presencia de una banda lateral continua y la posición superior de la mancha lateral en ambos lados del cuerpo.

Palabras clave. Peces. Taxonomía. Aequidens. Orinoquia. Amazonia.

[Ichthyology • 2014] Schistura shuensis • A New Species of Loach (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae) from Myanmar

Schistura shuensis 
 Bohlen & Šlechtová, 2014 

Schistura shuensis, new species, is described from Shu stream on the eastern slope of the Rakhine range in Myanmar. It reaches up to 39.1 mm SL and is diagnosed by a combination of the following characters: males with suborbital flap, bearing tubercles on its posterior part, females with suborbital groove; caudal fin deeply forked (mean length of median caudal-fin rays 57 % of length of upper caudal lobe); caudal peduncle shallow (depth 11-12 % SL and 49-63 % of body depth); and presence of 6-9 indistinct dark brown bars on body.

 Joerg Bohlen and Vendula Šlechtová. 2014. Schistura shuensis, A New Species of Loach from Myanmar (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae).  Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. 24(3): 217-223.

[Botany • 2016] Species Limits, Geographical Distribution and Genetic Diversity in Johannesteijsmannia (Arecaceae)

Figure 1. Map of Malesia (A) with the distribution of Johannesteijsmannia drawn in green, following Dransfield et al. (2008). (B) The beautiful leaves of J. magnifica are pictured in the upper left–hand corner (Photograph: John Dransfield). Sampling localities for all species (C).
  DOI: 10.1111/boj.12470 

Four species are recognized in the understorey palm genus Johannesteijsmannia (Arecaceae), all of which occur in close geographical proximity in the Malay Peninsula. We hypothesize that overlapping distributions are maintained by a lack of gene flow among species and that segregation along morphological trait or environmental axes confers ecological divergence and, hence, defines species limits. Although some species have sympatric distributions, differentiation was detected among species in morphological and genetic data, corroborating current species delimitation. Differences in niche breadth were not found to explain the overlapping distribution and co-existence of Johannesteijsmannia spp. Four species formed over the last 3 Mya, showing that diversity accumulated within a short time frame and wide range expansion has not occurred, potentially due to a lack of time for dispersal or the evolution of traits to facilitate movement. An assessment of genetic diversity is presented and, as expected, the widest distribution in the genus harbours the highest genetic diversity.

Keywords: Malesia; niche; Palmae; phylogenetics; speciation

Christine D. Bacon, Su Lee Look, Natalia Gutiérrez–Pinto, Alexandre Antonelli, Hugh T. W. Tan, Prakash P. Kumar, Saw Leng Guan, John Dransfield and William J. Baker. 2016. Species Limits, Geographical Distribution and Genetic Diversity in Johannesteijsmannia (Arecaceae).  Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 182(2) [Special Issue: Palms – emblems of tropical forests];  318–347. DOI: 10.1111/boj.12470 

[Botany • 2015] Durio johoricus • A New Species and A New Variety of Durio Adans. (Malvaceae) from Peninsular Malaysia

Durio johoricus  Salma 


 A new species of Durio, D. johoricus Salma, sp. nov. and one new variety, D.
singaporensis Ridl. var. jerangauensis Salma, var. nov. are described.

Keywords : Durio, Bombacaceae, Peninsular Malaysia, new species

Durio johoricus, flowers at base of trunk

•  Durio johoricus Salma sp. nov.  
Diagnosis: Durione malaccensi floribus rubris, petalis intus pilis densis stellatis, tubo staminali
intus pilis stellatis squamis fimbriatis, fructibus rubris, arillis semina totus obtectis differt.

Distribution: Endemic in Peninsular Malaysia, known only from Johor. Living specimens have also been observed in the Endau-Rompin FR, Selai FR and Segamat FR.

Ecology: In mixed dipterocarp forest, on hill slopes and rocky hills up to 170 m a.s.l.

Etymology: The species is named after the Johor state, the locality where it was found.

•  Durio singaporensis Ridl. var. jerangauensis Salma var. nov.  

Diagnosis: A varietate typica petalibus maioribus (7.7-9 cm longis nec 5-7 cm longis), epicalyce non persistenti, fructibus magnis (10-13 cm longis nec 4-9 cm) ellipsoideis apice acuto differt.

 I. Salam. 2015. A New Species and A New Variety of Durio Adans. (Malvaceae) from
Peninsular Malaysia. Malayan Nature Journal. 67(4); 421-418.

Salma Idris. 2016. Diversity and Utilization of Durian in Malaysia. 

[Herpetology • 2006] Laticauda frontalis (de Vis, 1905) and Laticauda saintgironsi n. sp. from Vanuatu and New Caledonia (Serpentes: Elapidae: Laticaudinae) — A New Lineage of Sea Kraits?

Laticauda saintgironsi 
Cogger & Heatwole, 2006



The sea krait Laticauda colubrina is the most widespread member of its genus, extending from the Bay of Bengal through much of Asia and the Indo-Malayan Archipelago to New Guinea and many islands of the western Pacific Ocean. Unconfirmed records of the species may extend the range to the western coast of Central America. The species is subject to marked geographic variation in a number of morphological and meristic characters that have to date defied finer taxonomic resolution. Two members of this complex previously subsumed under the specific name colubrina are here formally elevated to full species status. One species — Laticauda saintgironsi n.sp. — consists of those populations of L. colubrina s.l. found around the coast and in the coastal waters of the main island of New Caledonia. The second species — Laticauda frontalis (de Vis, 1905) — is a dwarf species found in sympatry and syntopy with Laticauda colubrina in Vanuatu and the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia.


 Harold G. Cogger and Harold F. Heatwole. 2006. Laticauda frontalis (de Vis, 1905) and Laticauda saintgironsi n.sp. from Vanuatu and New Caledonia (Serpentes: Elapidae: Laticaudinae) — A New Lineage of Sea Kraits?
Records of the Australian Museum. 58: 245–256.

[Botany • 2000] Corybas ecarinatus | เอื้องอัญมณี • A New Orchid Species (Orchidaceae) from Peninsular Thailand

 Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenf.


A new species of the genus Corybas is proposed. It is the first record of the genus from Thailand.

Corybas ecarinatus K. Anker & G. Seidenf. sp. nov.

Ex affinitate Corybas praetermissi J. Dransf. & J. Comber (Comber 1990), a quo folia magis orbicularia, roseo-venosa, flores multo minores, discolores, sepalo postico albo, ecristato, sepalis lateralibus petalisque purpureis differt. 

Katja Anker and Gunnar Seidenfaden. 2000. Corybas ecarinatus sp, now (Orchidaceae) from Thailand. Nordic Journal of Botany. 20(5); 557–559.
DOI: j.1756-1051.2000.tb01604.x

รัฐวิทย์ สราวุธวินัย, พัฒน ทวีโภค, ครรชิต ธรรมศิริ และ สันติ วัฒฐานะ. 2556. รูปแบบการสืบพันธุ์ของกล้วยไม้เฉพาะถิ่นของภาคใต้ของไทย Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenfaden [Breeding System of an Endemic orchid from Southern Thailand Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenfaden]. 
บทความวิจัย เสนอในการประชุมหาดใหญ่วิชาการ ครั้งที่ 4 
10 พฤษภาคม 2556 (112); 25-31. 
Ratthawit Sarawutwinai, Patana Thavipoke, Kanchit Thammasiriand Santi Watthana

Saturday, September 24, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Cyrtodactylus varadgirii • A New Species of the Cyrtodactylus (Geckoella) collegalensis (Beddome, 1870) complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Western India

Cyrtodactylus varadgirii 

Agarwal, Mirza, Pal, Maddock, Mishra & Bauer, 2016

A new species of Cyrtodactylus (Geckoella) from the C. collegalensis complex is described based on a series of specimens from western and central India. Morphological and molecular data support the distinctiveness of the new form, which can be diagnosed from other Cyrtodactylus (including other Geckoella) species by its small body size (snout to vent length to 56 mm), the absence of precloacal and femoral pores, no enlarged preanal or femoral scales, and a dorsal scalation consisting wholly of small, granular scales. The new species is most closely related to C. collegalensis, C. speciosus and C. yakhuna, from which it differs by the presence of a patch of enlarged roughly hexagonal scales on the canthus rostralis and beneath the angle of jaw, its relatively long limbs and narrow body, and a dorsal colour pattern of 4–6 pairs of dark spots.

Keywords: Reptilia, Cyrtodactylus, Geckoella, Geckoella speciosus, India, cyt b, ND2

Agarwal, Ishan, Zeeshan A. Mirza, Saunak Pal, Simon T. Maddock, Anurag Mishra and Aaron M. Bauer. 2016. A New Species of the Cyrtodactylus (Geckoellacollegalensis (Beddome, 1870) complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Western India.
Zootaxa. 4170(2): 339–354.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4170.2.7

[Botany • 2016] Lifting the Curtain on Our Knowledge of New Guinean Benstonea (Pandanaceae)

FIGURE 2. AB. Benstonea ihuanaC. Benstonea rostellataD. Benstonea papuanaE. Benstonea permicron.
A. Photo: P. Homot. B. Photo: T. Laman. C. From Heatubun1253 (Photo: C. Heatubun). D. Heatubun et al. 1017 (Photo: C. Heatubun). E. Mustaqim et al. 1529 (Photo: W. Mustaqim) 

New Guinea is one of the centres of diversity of Benstonea (Pandanaceae), a genus distributed from India to Fiji. Ten species were previously recognised on this island and further field observations, accompanied by the study of available herbarium material have brought new insights into species delimitations within a group of caespitose species with a solitary terminal infructescence. The taxonomical identity of Benstonea odoardoi is elucidated and is considered here as a synonym of Benstonea lauterbachii. Three new combinations and a new name—based on names of Pandanus species previously treated as synonyms of Benstonea odoardoi—are proposed for four distinct species belonging to this group of caespitose species and restricted to Indonesian New Guinea and Papua New Guinea. Finally, Pandanus bintuniensis is here considered as a synonym of Benstonea permicron.

 Key words: taxonomy, Indonesian New Guinea, Pandanus, Papua New Guinea

Benstonea odoardoi is a synonym of the large tree B. lauterbachii
• Benstonea lauterbachii (Schumann & Warburg in Warburg 1900: 81) Callmander & Buerki in Callmander et al.(2012: 335).

Three new combinations, a new name and a new synonymy within caespitose species of Benstonea with solitary terminal syncarps

• Benstonea eumekes (H. St. John ex B.C. Stone) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov. 
• Benstonea ihuana (Martelli) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov.
• Benstonea rostellata (Merr. & L.M. Perry) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov.

• Benstonea papuana Callm. & Buerki, nom. nov.

 Martin W Callmander, Ary P Keim, Charlie D. Heatubun, Peter Homot and Sven Buerki. 2016. Lifting the Curtain on Our Knowledge of New Guinean Benstonea (Pandanaceae).
Phytotaxa. 275(2); 168-174. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.275.2.8

Friday, September 23, 2016

[Ichthyology • 2016] Pethia sanjaymoluri • A New Species of Barb (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from the northern Western Ghats, India

Pethia sanjaymoluri 
Katwate, Jadhav, Kumkar, Raghavan & Dahanukar, 2016 
Sanjay's Black-tip Pethia  |  DOI:  10.1111/jfb.12980 


Pethia sanjaymoluri, a new cyprinid, is described from the Pavana and Nira tributaries of Bhima River, Krishna drainage, Maharashtra, India. It can be distinguished from congeners by a combination of characteristics that includes an incomplete lateral line, absence of barbels, upper lip thick and fleshy, 23–25 lateral series scales, 7–12 lateral-line pored scales, 10 predorsal scales, 11–14 prepelvic scales, 17–20 pre-anal scales, 4½ scales between dorsal-fin origin and lateral line, four scales between lateral line and pelvic-fin origin, 8–15 pairs of serrae on distal half of dorsal-fin spine, 12–14 branched pectoral-fin rays, 4 + 26 total vertebrae, 4 + 5 predorsal vertebrae, 4 + 13 abdominal vertebrae, 13 caudal vertebrae and a unique colour pattern comprising a humeral spot positioned below the lateral line and encompassing the third and fourth lateral-line scales and one scale below, one caudal spot on 17th–21st lateral-line scales with a yellow hue on its anterior side and apical half of dorsal fin studded with melanophores making the fin tip appear black. Genetic analysis based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence suggests that the species is distinct from other known species of Pethia for which data are available.

Keywords: barbel; freshwater cyprinid; Maharashtra; molecular phylogeny; osteology; taxonomy

Pethia sanjaymoluri, in life showing body coloration and prominent black dorsal fin tip. 

Etymology: The species is named after Sanjay Molur from the Zoo Outreach Organization, for his contribution to the conservation of threatened taxa in the South Asian region.

Common name: Sanjay's Black-tip Pethia.

 Unmesh Katwate, Shrikant Jadhav, Pradeep Kumkar, R. Raghavan and Neelesh Dahanukar. 2016. Pethia sanjaymoluri, A New Species of Barb (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from the northern Western Ghats, India. Journal of Fish Biology.  88(5); 2027–2050.  DOI:  10.1111/jfb.12980 

New fish species named in honour of South Indian Conservation Biologist

[Botany • 2014] Haniffia santubongensis • A New Haniffia Species (Zingiberaceae) and A New Generic record from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

 Haniffia santubongensis  
 S.Y. Wong & P.C. Boyce    
 DOI: 10.1186/s40529-014-0051-9

Haniffia Holttum is a genus of three described species of terrestrial gingers hitherto restricted to Peninsular Thailand and various localities in Peninsular Malaysia.

With generic placement confirmed using nrITS, trnK and matK plastid sequence data, Haniffia santubongensis S.Y. Wong & P.C. Boyce is described as a taxonomically novel species representing a new generic record for Borneo, to where it is endemic to Mount Santubong, Kuching Division, NW Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. An identification key to all species is given and H. santubongensis is illustrated from living plants.

Haniffia santubongensis is the fourth species of Haniffia so far described, and the first occurring on sandstone.

Keywords: Haniffia santubongensis; Mount Santubong; Phylogeny; Taxonomy

Figure 2. Haniffia santubongensis S.Y. Wong & P. C. Boyce.
A. Plant in habitat. B. Detail of ligule; note the blackish colour of the free portion. C. Inflorescence. D. Single flower; note the bifid tips to the lateral staminodes and the yellow callus in the middle of the labellum. E. Infructescence. F. Detail of single fruit; note the semi-glossy slightly warty surface, and the prominent floral remains.

Sin Yeng Wong, Im Hin Ooi and Peter C Boyce. 2014. A New Haniffia Species (Zingiberaceae) and A New Generic record from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.
Botanical Studies. 55:51  DOI: 10.1186/s40529-014-0051-9

[Paleontology • 2016] Jeddaherdan aleadonta • The First Iguanian Lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

Jeddaherdan aleadonta 
Apesteguía, Daza, Simões&  Rage, 2016 



The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa.

KEYWORDS: Acrodonta, biogeography, Cretaceous, Gondwana, phylogeny, Squamata

Figure 1. The estimated silhouette of the skull of MNHN.F.MRS51.1 is based on Uromastyx aegyptia (FMNH 78661).
Scale bar equals 5 mm.    DOI:  10.1098/rsos.160462 

Systematic palaeontology

Squamata Oppel, 1811
Iguanomorpha Sukhanov, 1961
Iguania, Cope, 1864

Acrodonta, Cope, 1864

Jeddaherdan gen. nov.

Type species: †Jeddaherdan aleadonta sp. nov.

Included species: †Jeddaherdan aleadonta

  Etymology: Jeddaherdan refers to its close relationships with Uromastyx, meaning in the Amazigh berber language from Morocco, grandfather (jeddiof Uromastyx (aherdan); ‘aleadonta’, meaning ‘dice teeth’ in reference to the cube-like dentition.

 Holotype: MNHN.F.MRS51.1: isolated left partial mandible with teeth (figures 1 and 3).

  Type locality and stratigraphy: Cenomanian (Late Cretaceous) beds from the Kem Kem region of Southeastern Morocco, Gara Tabroumit (figure 2). These deposits have superbly preserved fossils, including fishes, amphibians, crocodyliforms and dinosaurs [56–59].The expeditions carried on by René Lavocat (1909–2007) resulted in hundreds of specimens collected from 1948 to 1951, preserved in the collections of the MNHN. They belong to the three Kem Kem localities worked by Lavocat, (Gara Tabroumit, Kouah Trick and Gara Sbaa). The material described herein was among the fossils collected from the first locality, and had been originally misinterpreted as a fish jaw in the collection. No specific data for the age of Gara Tabroumit is available, so the age for the specimen can range between the base of the Cenomanian to the Early Turonian (ca 90–100.5 MYA).

Life reconstruction of Jeddaherdan aleadonta.
PaleoArt: Jorge González. 

Sebastián Apesteguía, Juan D. Daza, Tiago R. Simões and Jean Claude Rage. 2016. The First Iguanian Lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa.
 Royal Society Open Science.  DOI:  10.1098/rsos.160462 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

[Ichthyology • 2016] Schistura notasileum • A New River Loach (Cypriniformes: Nemacheilidae) from the main channel of the upper Mekong in Yunnan

Schistura notasileum   
Endruweit, Yang & Liu, 2016


Nemacheilid loaches are a common element of fish assemblages of Southeast Asian streams. In particular, streams in tropical and subtropical regions with a gravelly to rocky substrate and a swift current are typically inhabited by several species of nemacheilid loaches. Up to six different species are reported to occur syntopically (Kottelat 1990). The vast majority of these loaches are allocated within the diverse genus Schistura, which accommodates about 200 valid species (Kottelat 2012). River loaches of the genus Schistura are defined as having the mouth moderately arched; the lower lip medially notched, not forming lateral labial pads; air bladder without a secondary chamber, and a maximum size between 25 mm and 120 mm SL (Kottelat 1990).

Numerous species of Schistura are reported from the Mekong drainage. The upper part of the Mekong, referred to as Lancangjiang in Chinese, shelters merely 10 species of Schistura, namely S. amplizona, S. bannaensis, S. breviceps, S. conirostris, S. kengtungensis, S. kloetzliae, S. latifasciata, S. macrocephalus, S. porthos, and S. sexnubes (Zhu 1989; Kottelat 1990, 2000, 2001; Chen et al. 2005; Endruweit 2011, 2014a, 2014b). This may be due to the rather complex taxonomy of this group of fishes as well as to unfavorable climatic conditions, since a large part of the upper Mekong lies in temperate to alpine regions with low water temperatures. At higher elevations, Schistura are gradually replaced by Triplophysa. Eight of the 10 species of Schistura inhabiting the Lancangjiang are distributed in the very south of Yunnan Province, subtropical Xishuangbanna and adjacent Puer Prefecture (Zhu 1989; Kottelat 1990, 2001; Chen et al. 2005; Endruweit 2011, 2014b). The remaining two species were reported from the temperate Lincang Prefecture (Zhu 1989; Endruweit 2014a). During a recent ichthyofaunistic survey of the Mekong basin in Dali Prefecture, which is located north of Lincang Prefecture, 10 specimens of Schistura were obtained from baited traps left over night in the Mekong main channel. River loaches of the genus Schistura were hitherto unknown from the Mekong so far upstream. These specimens, which could not be allocated to any species reported from the Mekong or adjacent drainages, are herein described. 


Distribution. Known only from the type locality.

Ecology. The type series of Schistura notasileum was obtained by using baited traps that were left over night in a water depth of about 10 m on the ground of the Mekong main channel. Coexisting fish species were Triplophysa brevicauda, Schizopyge lissolabiata, Schizothorax lantsangensis, Abbottina rivularis, Pseudorasbora parva, and Glyptothorax zanaensis. The turbid, green-brownish, slowly moving water had a temperature of 11 ºC, a pH of 8.3, and a conductivity of 510 µS/cm. Schistura notasileum was absent in typical Schistura habitats like small gravelly tributaries or along the banks of the main channel.

Etymology. Named after the kingdom of Nanzhao that was centered in Dali and flourished during the 8th and 9th centuries. The specific epithet is derived from the Greek notio vasileio, a transcription of Southern Kingdom or Nanzhao; latinized; a noun in apposition. 

Marco Endruweit, Junxing Yang and Shuwei Liu. 2016. A New River Loach from the main channel of the upper Mekong in Yunnan (Cypriniformes: Nemacheilidae).
Zootaxa. 4168(3); 594–600. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4168.3.13