Wednesday, August 23, 2017

[PaleoMammalogy • 2017] Inermorostrum xenops • A Toothless Dwarf Dolphin (Odontoceti: Xenorophidae) Points to Explosive Feeding Diversification of Modern Whales (Neoceti)

Inermorostrum xenops
Boessenecker, Fraser, Churchill & Geisler, 2017


Toothed whales (Odontoceti) are adapted for catching prey underwater and possess some of the most derived feeding specializations of all mammals, including the loss of milk teeth (monophyodonty), high tooth count (polydonty), and the loss of discrete tooth classes (homodonty). Many extant odontocetes possess some combination of short, broad rostra, reduced tooth counts, fleshy lips, and enlarged hyoid bones—all adaptations for suction feeding upon fishes and squid. We report a new fossil odontocete from the Oligocene (approx. 30 Ma) of South Carolina (Inermorostrum xenops, gen. et sp. nov.) that possesses adaptations for suction feeding: toothlessness and a shortened rostrum (brevirostry). Enlarged foramina on the rostrum suggest the presence of enlarged lips or perhaps vibrissae. Phylogenetic analysis firmly places Inermorostrum within the Xenorophidae, an early diverging odontocete clade typified by long-snouted, heterodont dolphins. Inermorostrum is the earliest obligate suction feeder within the Odontoceti, a feeding mode that independently evolved several times within the clade. Analysis of macroevolutionary trends in rostral shape indicate stabilizing selection around an optimum rostral shape over the course of odontocete evolution, and a post-Eocene explosion in feeding morphology, heralding the diversity of feeding behaviour among modern Odontoceti.

KEYWORDS: Xenorophidae, Odontoceti, Neoceti, suction feeding, Oligocene

Etymology. The generic name is from the Latin inermus, meaning weapon-less or defenceless, and rostrum, meaning snout, referring to the absence of teeth in the rostrum. The species name derives from Greek for strangexeno, and faceops, referring to the highly derived facial morphology of the holotype.

Robert W. Boessenecker, Danielle Fraser, Morgan Churchill and Jonathan H. Geisler. 2017. A Toothless Dwarf Dolphin (Odontoceti: Xenorophidae) Points to Explosive Feeding Diversification of Modern Whales (Neoceti). Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0531

This ancient dwarf dolphin may have slurped its food like a walrus


[Crustacea • 2017] Terrapotamon thungwa • A Second New Species of Terrestrial Long-legged Terrapotamon Ng, 1986 (Brachyura: Potamidae) from Karst Forests in Peninsular Thailand

 Terrapotamon thungwa
Promdam, Yeesin & Ng. 2017

ปูเขาหินปูนแดงทุ่งหว้า || RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 65 

 A new species of potamid crab of the genus Terrapotamon Ng, 1986, is described from karst forests in Satun, Peninsular Thailand. Terrapotamon thungwa n. sp. has very long ambulatory legs and superficially resembles T. longitarsus, the only other long-legged species in the genus. They can easily be distinguished by life colouration, carapace features, as well as structures of the epistome, male thoracic sternum, cheliped and male first gonopod. 

Key words: Freshwater crab, new species, Potamidae, Peninsular Thailand, karst, caves, taxonomy

Family Potamidae Ortmann, 1896
Subfamily Potamiscinae Bott, 1970, sensu Yeo & Ng, 2004
Genus Terrapotamon Ng, 1986

Terrapotamon thungwa n. sp.

Fig. 1. Terrapotamon thungwa n. sp., colour in life from Satun, Thailand.
A–C, holotype male (44.6 × 35.0 mm) (ZRC 2016.0595).

Fig. 8. Terrapotamon thungwa n. sp., observed in the cave at Ban Namtok Than Plio, Amphoe Thung Wa, Satun, Thailand. A, paratype male (41.1 × 33.3 mm) (PSUZC-CRU-0072).

Fig. 8. Terrapotamon thungwa n. sp., observed in the cave at Ban Namtok Than Plio, Amphoe Thung Wa, Satun, Thailand.  B, C, paratype female (29.4 × 23.8 mm) (PSUZC-CRU-0073).

Fig. 9B, Terrapotamon thungwa n. sp., specimen observed in cave in Ban Namtok Than Plio, Amphoe Thung Wa, Satun, Thailand.

Fig. 6. Terrapotamon longitarsus  Lheknim & Ng, 2016 paratype male (40.8 × 32.5 mm) (PSUZC 20150726-01.01), Satun, Thailand.

Etymology. The name is derived from the type locality at Amphoe Thung Wa. The name is used as a noun in apposition. 

Remarks. The long ambulatory legs of T. thungwa n. sp. is a character shared only by one other species of Terrapotamon, T. longitarsus Lheknim & Ng, 2016, also from the Satun area in Peninsular Thailand. It is surprising to find two similar species occurring in the same area, but the differences between the two species are very marked and leave no doubt they are separate taxa. Terrapotamon thungwa can most easily be separated in its bright red overall coloration in life (Figs. 1, 8A) (purple in T. longitarsus; Fig. 6); ....

Habitat. All the specimens of Terrapotamon thungwa were obtained from the karst landscape of Satun. From the material collected, it would appear that the area and habitat where T. thungwa occurs overlaps with T. longitarsus. Both species were found inside and outside the caves as well as in the karst forest. In the dark zone inside the cave, adults of T. thungwa were observed climbing on the cave walls (Fig. 8B, C), with a small specimen observed in a pool on the cave floor (Fig. 9A, B). Up to five specimens have been observed on the cave floor. Adult males of both two species were observed in rock pools at the bottom of deep crevices in the karst forest, while a small specimen of T. longitarsus were seen at a sheltered rock pool near the cave entrance (Fig. 9C, D). The crabs use these collected pools to replenish their gill chambers.


Rueangrit Promdam, Pun Yeesin and Peter K. L. Ng. 2017. A Second New Species of Terrestrial Long-legged Terrapotamon Ng, 1986 (Crustacea: Brachyura: Potamidae) from Karst Forests in Peninsular Thailand. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 65; 404–415.

Vachira Lheknim and Peter K.L. Ng. 2016. A New Species of Long-legged Terrestrial Terrapotamon Ng, 1986 (Crustacea: Brachyura: Potamidae) from Limestone Formations in Satun, southern Thailand.  Zootaxa. 4200(1); 143–152. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4200.1.6

[Botany • 2017] Bulbophyllum physometrum sect. Physometra • A New Species and New Section in Bulbophyllum (Orchidaceae; Epidendroideae; Malaxideae) from northern Thailand

Bulbophyllum physometrum J.J.Vermeulen, Suksathan & Watthana

สิงโตต่างหู  || DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.302.2.7 

In 2010, the second author found a possible new species of Bulbophyllum in Mae Hong Son Province, northern Thailand. Three years later, Pitak Panyachan (Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden) found the same species on a fallen tree some six km from the first locality. Living plants were collected and brought back to QSBG in Chiang Mai for further investigation. A year later, the plants flowered and proved to be a species of Bulbophyllum new to science.

Keywords: Orchidaceae, Bulbophyllum, Thailand, Monocots

FIGURE 2. Bulbophyllum physometrum; flowering inflorescense.
(origin: Thailand, Suksathan 4243). Photo by P. Suksathan.

Bulbophyllum sect. Physometra J.J.Vermeulen, Suksathan & Watthana, sect. nov. 

Bulbophyllum physometrum J.J.Vermeulen, Suksathan & Watthana, sp. nov.  

Etymology:— Physos (Gr.) = blister, metra (Gr.) = womb.

Vernacular name:— “Sing to tang hoo (สิงโตต่างหู)”, meaning “Dangle Earings ู Bulbophyllum”. 

Jaap J. Vermeulen, Piyakaset Suksathan and Santi Watthana. 2017. A New Species and New Section in Bulbophyllum (Orchidaceae; Epidendroideae; Malaxideae). 
Phytotaxa. 302(2); 174–180. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.302.2.7

อ.ส.พ. พบกล้วยไม้ไทยชนิดใหม่ของโลก 

ดร.ปิยเกษตร สุขสถาน รักษาการรองผู้อำนวยการองค์การสวนพฤกษศาสตร์ เปิดเผยว่า ทางองค์การสวนพฤกษศาสตร์ (อ.ส.พ.) ได้แถลงถึงการค้นพบกล้วยไม้ไทยหายาก สายพันธุ์ใหม่ของโลก “สิงโตต่างหู” ที่มีชื่อวิทยาศาสตร์ว่า Bulbophyllum physometrum J.J. Vermeulen, Suksathan, & Watthana ซึ่งค้นพบโดย ดร. ปิยเกษตร สุขสถาน นักพฤกษศาสตร์ขององค์การฯ และได้ตีพิมพ์ลงในวารสารสากล Phytotaxa ฉบับที่ 302(2) เดือนมีนาคม 2560 นี้ ร่วมกับผู้เชี่ยวชาญกล้วยไม้จากเนเธอร์แลนด์ Dr. Jaap Vermeulen และ ดร. สันติ วัฒฐานะ จากมหาวิทยาลัยเทคโนโลยีสุรนารี
กล้วยไม้ดังกล่าวเป็นกลุ่มกล้วยไม้สิงโตกลอกตา (Bulbophyllum) ขนาดเล็กที่เรียกกันว่า “มินิเอเจอร์ ออร์คิด” มีลำลูกกล้วยรูปร่างกลมแบนและเป็นร่องคล้ายซาลาเปาขนาดเพียง 1.2 – 1.4 เซนติเมตรเท่านั้น มีใบ 2 ใบ ช่อดอกผอมบางแทงออกจากใต้ลำลูกกล้วย ตอนปลายมีดอกเป็นกลุ่ม 5 – 9 ดอก ตัวดอกมีขนาดเล็กมาก มีเส้นผ่านศูนย์กลางราว 2 – 3 มิลลิเมตร ลักษณะพิเศษของสิงโตชนิดนี้คือ ส่วนรังไข่ของดอกปลายยอดที่เป็นหมันนั้นได้พัฒนาขยายตัวบวมพองออกจนมีขนาดใหญ่คล้ายโคมจีนหรือลูกบอลลูน เมื่อประกอบกับดอกปกติอื่นๆ โดยรอบจึงดูเหมือนตู้มหูหรือต่างหูที่มีตุ้มตรงปลายและแกว่งไกวไปมาได้เป็นอิสระ จึงเป็นที่มาของชื่อ “สิงโตต่างหู” ซึ่งมีการวิวัฒนาการของดอกเพื่อล่อแมลงในรูปแบบใหม่ที่ไม่เคยมีรายงานมาก่อนเลยในกล้วยไม้
กล้วยไม้ชนิดนี้เป็นพืชหายากถิ่นเดียวของไทย ซึ่งมีรายงานพบได้เฉพาะในจังหวัดแม่ฮ่องสอนเท่านั้น สถานภาพในธรรมชาติมีจำนวนน้อยมาก เนื่องจากถิ่นที่อยู่ในป่าดิบเขาของมันถูกทำลายจากกิจกรรมต่างๆ ของมนุษย์ รวมถึงการเปลี่ยนแปลงของสภาพภูมิอากาศโลก และเนื่องจากความแปลกประหลาดและหายากนี้เอง ทำให้มีความต้องการจากนักสะสมทั่วโลก กระทั่งมีการประกาศขายแล้วในเว็บไซต์ดังอย่าง eBay ซึ่งถือว่าผิดกฎหมายไซเตสอย่างแน่นอน จากปัจจัยร่วมดังกล่าวจึงน่าเป็นห่วงอย่างยิ่งว่า “สิงโตต่างหู” อาจลดจำนวนลงและสูญพันธุ์ไปจากธรรมชาติในไม่ช้า ทั้งนี้ทาง อ.ส.พ. กำลังทำการศึกษาวิจัยหาทางขยายพันธุ์อย่างเร่งด่วน แข่งกับการลดลงของสายพันธุ์ และกระแสความต้องการเพื่อเป็นหลักประกันความอยู่รอดในอนาคตของกล้วยไม้สุดพิเศษชนิดนี้

น่ายินดี! พบกล้วยไม้ไทยพันธุ์ใหม่ของโลก 'สิงโตต่างหู' มีแค่แม่ฮ่องสอน

[Herpetology • 2017] Species Delimitation with Gene Flow: A Methodological Comparison and Population Genomics Approach to Elucidate Cryptic Species Boundaries in Malaysian Torrent Frogs

DOI: 10.1111/mec.14296 


Accurately delimiting species boundaries is a non-trivial undertaking that can have significant effects on downstream inferences. We compared the efficacy of commonly-used species delimitation methods (SDMs) and a population genomics approach based on genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to assess lineage separation in the Malaysian Torrent Frog Complex currently recognized as a single species (Amolops larutensis). First, we used morphological, mitochondrial DNA and genome-wide SNPs to identify putative species boundaries by implementing non-coalescent and coalescent-based SDMs (mPTP, iBPP, BFD*). We then tested the validity of putative boundaries by estimating spatiotemporal gene flow (fastsimcoal2, ABBA-BABA) to assess the extent of genetic isolation among putative species. Our results show that the A. larutensis complex runs the gamut of the speciation continuum from highly divergent, genetically isolated lineages (mean Fst = 0.9) to differentiating populations involving recent gene flow (mean Fst = 0.05; Nm > 5). As expected, SDMs were effective at delimiting divergent lineages in the absence of gene flow but overestimated species in the presence of marked population structure and gene flow. However, using a population genomics approach and the concept of species as separately evolving metapopulation lineages as the only necessary property of a species, we were able to objectively elucidate cryptic species boundaries in the presence of past and present gene flow. This study does not discount the utility of SDMs but highlights the danger of violating model assumptions and the importance of carefully considering methods that appropriately fit the diversification history of a particular system.

Keywords: Amolops, migration rate, fastsimcoal2, site frequency spectrum, gene flow, single-nucleotide polymorphism 

Kin Onn Chan, Alana M. Alexander, Lee L. Grismer, Yong-Chao Su, Jesse L. Grismer, Evan S. H. Quah and Rafe M. Brown. 2017. Species Delimitation with Gene Flow: A Methodological Comparison and Population Genomics Approach to Elucidate Cryptic Species Boundaries in Malaysian Torrent Frogs.  Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14296 

[Crustacea • 2017] A Case of Appalachian Endemism: Revision of the Cambarus robustus complex (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in the Kentucky and Licking River Basins of Kentucky, USA, with the Description of Three New Species

Cambarus (Puncticambarusguenteri
 Loughman, Henkanaththegedara, Fetzner & Thoma, 2017


The amazing levels of freshwater biodiversity found in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States are among the highest recorded globally. Localized endemics make up much of this diversity, with numerous fish, freshwater mussels, salamanders and crayfish often being restricted to a single watershed, and in some instances, subwatersheds. Much of this diversity is the product of the processes of vicariance and historical stream drainage patterns. Herein, we describe three new crayfish species, all previously members of the Cambarus robustus complex, which occur in the Appalachian portion of the Kentucky and Licking river basins in Kentucky, USA. All three species differ from each other morphologically, genetically, and zoogeographically, fulfilling the requirements of the integrated species concept. Cambarus guenteri occurs in the southern tributaries of the Kentucky River mainstem as well as throughout the South Fork Kentucky River. Cambarus taylori is a narrow endemic, which only occurs in the Middle Fork Kentucky River. Cambarus hazardi, which has the widest distribution of the three new species, occurs in the North Fork Kentucky River, Red River, and upper reaches of the Licking River basin. Stream piracy events between the Cumberland and South Fork Kentucky River, as well as the Licking, Red and North Fork Kentucky rivers, are theorized to be important in the evolution of this complex. Cambarus guenteri is proposed as currently stable, though both C. taylori and C. hazardi are considered imperiled at this time due to habitat destruction throughout both of their respective ranges.

Keywords: Cambarus, endemicity, Kentucky, new species, systematics, taxonomy, Crustacea

Cambarus (Puncticambarusguenteri, new species

Etymology. It is with great pleasure that we name this species in honor of Dr. Guenter A. SchusterProfessor Emeritus, Eastern Kentucky University. Dr. Schuster dedicated his professional career to teaching undergraduates, graduate students and professional biologists about the diversity, biology, and conservation of freshwater invertebrates, with a particular influence on biologists from the bluegrass state, and he is a coauthor of the definitive work on the crayfishes of Kentucky. He instilled in those he educated a sense of wonder and appreciation for these organisms, which has undoubtedly led to the conservation of more than one freshwater mussel or crayfish. The common name for C. guenteri is the Redbird Crayfish in reference to the Redbird River drainage where large populations of C. guenteri occur.

Common name. Redbird Crayfish.

Cambarus (Puncticambarushazardi, new species

Etymology. Cambarus hazardi is named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, noted American Naval Commander, and the name sake of Perry County Kentucky and the County Seat, Hazard Kentucky. The common name Brawny Crayfish is in reference to the powerfully built stature of C. hazardi.

Common name. Brawny Crayfish

Cambarus (Puncticambarustaylorinew species

Etymology. It is our honor and privilege to name this crayfish after Dr. Christopher A. Taylor from the Illinois Natural History Survey. Dr. Taylor has been one of the most active crayfish researchers in the United States for the past two decades and a leader in crayfish conservation, co-authored the seminal work on Kentucky’s crayfishes, Crayfishes of Kentucky, and has been instrumental in bringing the conservation concerns of North America’s crayfishes to light with his many publications. The common name Cutshin Crayfish is in reference to Cutshin Creek watershed, which harbors the species.

Common name. Cutshin Crayfish

Zachary J. Loughman, Sujan M. Henkanaththegedara, James W. Fetzner, Jr. and Roger F. Thoma. 2017. A Case of Appalachian Endemism: Revision of the Cambarus robustus complex (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in the Kentucky and Licking River Basins of Kentucky, USA, with the Description of Three New Species.  Zootaxa. 4269(4); 460-494.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4269.4.4

[Entomology • 2017] Anisogomphus yingsaki • A New Gomphid Species (Odonata: Gomphidae) from Thailand

 Anisogomphus yingsaki  Makbun‎, 2017

แมลงปอเสือต่างลายขาว | DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4306.3.10 


Anisogomphus yingsaki sp. nov. (holotype male: Ban Na Kha, Ban Muang, Sakon Nakhon province, Thailand, altitude 170–175 m, 22-vi-2016) is described and illustrated. The new species is most similar to A. bivittatus from India and Nepal, and also A. flavifacies, and A. resortus from China in the shape of anal appendages. However, it can be separated from all of these by a combination of the following characters: shape of antehumeral stripes, abdominal pattern, shape of vesica spermalis and female valvula vulvae. The behavior of the new species, including crepuscular activity, is briefly discussed.

Keywords: Odonata, dragonfly, Odonata, Anisoptera, Gomphidae, Anisogomphus, new species, Thailand

Noppadon Makbun‎. 2017. Anisogomphus yingsaki (Odonata: Gomphidae) sp. nov., A New Gomphid Species from Thailand. Zootaxa. 4306(3); 437–443. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4306.3.10

[Paleontology • 2017] Serikornis sungei • A New Jurassic Theropod from China Documents A Transitional Step in the Macrostructure of Feathers

Serikornis sungei
Lefèvre, Cau, Cincotta, Hu, Chinsamy, Escuillié & Godefroit, 2017

 Illustration: E. Willoughby
Genuine fossils with exquisitely preserved plumage from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of northeastern China have recently revealed that bird-like theropod dinosaurs had long pennaceous feathers along their hindlimbs and may have used their four wings to glide or fly. Thus, it has been postulated that early bird flight might initially have involved four wings (Xu et al. Nature 421:335–340, 2003; Hu et al. Nature 461:640–643, 2009; Han et al. Nat Commun 5:4382, 2014). Here, we describe Serikornis sungei gen. et sp. nov., a new feathered theropod from the Tiaojishan Fm (Late Jurassic) of Liaoning Province, China. Its skeletal morphology suggests a ground-dwelling ecology with no flying adaptations. Our phylogenetic analysis places Serikornis, together with other Late Jurassic paravians from China, as a basal paravians, outside the Eumaniraptora clade. The tail of Serikornis is covered proximally by filaments and distally by slender rectrices. Thin symmetrical remiges lacking barbules are attached along its forelimbs and elongate hindlimb feathers extend up to its toes, suggesting that hindlimb remiges evolved in ground-dwelling maniraptorans before being co-opted to an arboreal lifestyle or flight.

Keywords: Paraves, Birds, Feathers, Barbules, Jurassic, Flight evolution 

 the basal bird Serikornis sungei sp. nov. [PMOL-AB00200] from the Middle-Late Jurassic of north-eastern China. 

Fig. 1 Photograph and drawing of the basal bird Serikornis sungei sp. nov. from the Middle-Late Jurassic of north-eastern China.
 a PMOL-AB00200 photograph. b Line drawing.

 Abbreviations: cev cervical vertebrae, co coracoids, cv caudal vertebrae, fu furcula, il ilium, is ischium, lf left femur, lfi left fibula, lh left humerus, lma left manus, lpes left pes, lr left radius, ls left scapula, lt left tibia, lu left ulna, pu pubis, ra radiale, rf right femur, rh right humerus, rma right manus, rpes right pes, rr right radius, rt right tibia, ru right ulna, sk skull

Systematic palaeontology

Theropoda Marsh, 1881
Maniraptora Gauthier, 1986
Paraves Sereno, 1997; Avialae Gauthier, 1986

Serikornis sungei gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology: Serikos, ancient Greek for silk, because the body is almost covered with plumulaceous-like feathers; Ornis, ancient Greek for bird; named in honour of Sun Ge, for his contribution to our knowledge of Jurassic and Cretaceous ecosystems in Asia.

Holotype: PMOL-AB00200 is a single complete articulated skeleton with associated integumentary structures preserved on a slab. The counterpart is missing, but most of the skeleton is preserved on the main slab.

Locality and horizon: PMOL-AB00200 was collected in the Tiaojishan Formation (Oxfordian, Upper Jurassic; Chu et al. 2016) from Daxishan village, Linglongta (Jianchang County, Liaoning Province, China).

Diagnosis: Serikornis is characterized by the following combination of characters (autapomorphies are marked with an asterisk): four anterior maxillary teeth twice as long as the others regarding the crown height*; coracoid tuber well-developed and laterally projected from the lateral margin of the coracoid and forming a subglenoid shelf along the caudoventral margin of the bone; the distal end of the lateral process of the coracoid is thicker than the proximal part and forms a ventral rounded bump; ventrodistal process of ischium narrow, hook-like, strongly deflected caudodorsally and set at the distal end of the ischium*; smooth ventral side of coracoid devoid of small pits.


Illustration: Emily Willoughby

Ulysse Lefèvre, Andrea Cau, Aude Cincotta, Dongyu Hu, Anusuya Chinsamy, François Escuillié and Pascal Godefroit. 2017. A New Jurassic Theropod from China Documents A Transitional Step in the Macrostructure of Feathers. The Science of Nature. 104:74. DOI: 10.1007/s00114-017-1496-y 


[Crustacea • 2017] Pseudosesarma glabrum • A New Species of Pseudosesarma Serène & Soh, 1970 (Brachyura: Sesarmidae) from Cochin in southwestern India

Pseudosesarma glabrum Ng, Rani & Nandan, 2017


A new species of mangrove sesarmid crab of the genus Pseudosesarma Serène & Soh, 1970, is described from Cochin, southwest India. The species superficially resembles P. edwardsii (De Man, 1887), known from Myanmar and many parts of India; the proportions of the carapace and male pleon also ally it with P. crassimanum (De Man, 1887) from Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Pseudosesarma glabrum n. sp., however, is easily separated from P. edwardsii and P. crassimanum primarily by the almost glabrous dorsal surface of the carapace and the distinctive form of its male first gonopod.

Keywords: Kerala, India, taxonomy, Sesarmidae, mangroves

Peter K. L. Ng, Varghese Rani and S. Bijoy Nandan. 2017. A New Species of Pseudosesarma Serène & Soh, 1970 (Crustacea: Brachyura: Sesarmidae) from Cochin in southwestern India.
  Zootaxa.  4311(2); 263–270. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4311.2.7

[Gastropoda • 2017] A Review of the Land Snail Genus Alycaeus (Gastropoda, Alycaeidae) in Peninsular Malaysia

 Alycaeus alticola sp. n., BOR/MOL 8398 Alycaeus charasensis sp. n., BOR/MOL 8399 Alycaeus clementsi sp. n., BOR/MOL 8364 Alycaeus costacrassa sp. n., BOR/MOL 6811 Alycaeus expansus sp. n., BOR/MOL 6367Alycaeus kurauensis sp. n., BOR/MOL 6851  T Alycaeus regalis sp. n., BOR/MOL 6881 V Alycaeus senyumensis sp. n., BOR/MOL 6249.
All photographs by Junn Kitt Foon.

Foon & Liew, 2017

A total of 11 species and 1 subspecies of Alycaeus were recognised in Peninsular Malaysia prior to this study. However, these taxonomic descriptions of Alycaeus taxa were based on limited numbers of examined materials, where a whole spectrum of morphological variations were not accounted for and diagnoses were often provided without sufficient comparison between congeners from across the peninsula. We reviewed Peninsular Malaysian Alycaeus through the examination of 5137 specimens in 522 collection lots from all major museum collections and literature sources. Based on these examined materials, we utilised a more comprehensive revised set of 39 shell and operculum characters, as well as living animal colour to describe all Alycaeus species in this paper. We also noted their habitat and ecology, as well as updated the distribution of each species. Of the 12 previously described taxa, 10 are reconfirmed as present on Peninsular Malaysia (Alycaeus balingensis, Alycaeus carinata, Alycaeus conformis, Alycaeus gibbosulus, Alycaeus kapayanensis, Alycaeus kelantanensis, Alycaeus liratulus, Alycaeus perakensis perakensis, Alycaeus perakensis altispirus and Alycaeus thieroti) and 2 are confirmed as absent from the peninsula (Alycaeus jagori and Alycaeus pyramidalis). A new record of Alycaeus robeleni is reported for Peninsular Malaysia. One species, Chamalycaeus jousseaumei is confirmed as present on the peninsula and is reassigned to Alycaeus. The subspecies Alycaeus perakensis altispirus Möllendorff, 1902, is elevated to species. Examined Peninsular Malaysian materials that do not fit previously recognised species are described as new species. A total of 11 new species are proposed (Alycaeus selangoriensis sp. n., Alycaeus costacrassa sp. n., Alycaeus ikanensis sp. n., Alycaeus alticola sp. n., Alycaeus charasensis sp. n., Alycaeus kurauensis sp. n., Alycaeus regalis sp. n., Alycaeus virgogravida sp. n., Alycaeus senyumensis sp. n., Alycaeus expansus sp. n., Alycaeus clementsi sp. n.). Overall, 23 species of Alycaeus are now recognised in Peninsular Malaysia.

Keywords: land snail, shell morphology, operculum, Alycaeinae, limestone karsts, Southeast Asia

Figure 7. Photographs of 18 living Alycaeus species. 
AAlycaeus balingensis Tomlin, 1948, BOR/MOL 8356 Alycaeus liratulus (Preston, 1907), BOR/MOL 8334 Alycaeus thieroti Morgan, 1885b, BOR/MOL 6835 Alycaeus conformis Fulton, 1902, BOR/MOL 6809 Alycaeus gibbosulus Stoliczka, 1872, BOR/MOL 6850 Alycaeus gibbosulus Stoliczka, 1872, BOR/MOL 8526 Alycaeus jousseaumei Morgan, 1885a, BOR/MOL 8341 Alycaeus jousseaumei Morgan, 1885a, BOR/MOL 8336 J Alycaeus alticola sp. n., BOR/MOL 8398 K Alycaeus charasensis sp. n., BOR/MOL 8399 L Alycaeus clementsi sp. n., BOR/MOL 8364 
All photographs by Junn Kitt Foon.

Figure 7. Photographs of 18 living Alycaeus species.  
Alycaeus costacrassa sp. n., BOR/MOL 6811 N Alycaeus expansus sp. n., BOR/MOL 6367 O Alycaeus kapayanensis Morgan, 1885b, BOR/MOL 13005 P Alycaeus kelantanensis Sykes, 1902, BOR/MOL 8325 Q Alycaeus kelantanensis Sykes, 1902, BOR/MOL 6200 R Alycaeus kurauensis sp. n., BOR/MOL 6851 S Alycaeus perakensis Crosse, 1879a, BOR/MOL 6852 T Alycaeus regalis sp. n., BOR/MOL 6881 U Alycaeus selangoriensis sp. n., BOR/MOL 6371 VW Alycaeus senyumensis sp. n., BOR/MOL 6249.
 All photographs by Junn Kitt Foon.

 Junn Kitt Foon and Thor-Seng Liew. 2017. A Review of the Land Snail Genus Alycaeus (Gastropoda, Alycaeidae) in Peninsular Malaysia. 
 ZooKeys. 692; 1-81. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.692.14706

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Theloderma pyaukkya • A New Cryptic Species of the Theloderma asperum Complex (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Myanmar

Theloderma pyaukkya Dever, 2017

I describe a new species of Theloderma from two regions in Myanmar (Chin State in western Myanmar and Kachin State in northern Myanmar). Highly similar in appearance and size to Theloderma albopunctatum and Theloderma asperum, the new species differs by the presence of small, bilateral vocal sac openings absent in T. albopunctatum and T. asperum. Molecular phylogenetic analysis from two mitochondrial and four nuclear gene fragments infers that individuals are members of a unique genetic lineage within the T. asperum Complex.

FIG. 6. Theloderma pyaukkya sp. nov., paratype CAS 234869, adult male, dorsolateral view. 

Theloderma pyaukkya sp. nov. 
Burmese Camouflaged Tree Frog

Etymology.— Specific epithet pyaukkya (pronounced pee-ew-cha) is Burmese for camouflaged, which reflects the frog’s cryptic coloration.

Jennifer A. Dever. 2017. A New Cryptic Species of the Theloderma asperum Complex (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Myanmar. Journal of Herpetology. 51(3); 425–436.  DOI: 10.1670/17-026


[Crustacea • 2017] New Sibling Species and New Occurrences of Squat Lobsters (Crustacea, Decapoda) from the western Indian Ocean

AMunida limula Macpherson & Baba, 1993, ♂, 3.4 mm, Madagascar.
 B. Munida mesembria sp. nov., paratype, ♀, 6.5 mm, Mozambique. 
C. Munida micra sp. nov., holotype, ♂, 3.7 mm, Mozambique. 
DMunida muscae Macpherson & de Saint Laurent, 2002, ♂, 3.2 mm, Madagascar. 

Macpherson, Rodríguez-Flores & Machordom, 2017   


Numerous specimens of squat lobsters belonging to the families Munididae, Munidopsidae and Eumunididae were collected during several cruises along the eastern coasts of Africa. The study of these specimens revealed the presence of 10 new species (one Eumunida Smith, 1883, eight Munida Leach, 1820 and one Munidopsis Whiteaves, 1874). We describe and illustrate these new species, providing some new data on occurrences and colour patterns for previously described taxa. We have also included molecular data from two mitochondrial markers (16S rRNA and COI) to support the taxonomic status of different species. Some deep-sea species show a clear increase in their geographic range distribution. Finally, a key to known species of the genus Munida from the western and central Indian Ocean is also presented.

Keywords: Eumunididae; Munididae; Munidopsidae; COI; 16S

Fig. 12. Dorsal view. Colours in life. AMunida limula Macpherson & Baba, 1993, ♂, 3.4 mm, Madagascar, ATIMO VATAE, Stn TP12. B. Munida mesembria sp. nov., paratype, ♀, 6.5 mm, Mozambique, MAINBAZA, Stn CP3130. C. Munida micra sp. nov., holotype, ♂, 3.7 mm, Mozambique, MAINBAZA, Stn CC3165. DMunida muscae Macpherson & de Saint Laurent, 2002, ♂, 3.2 mm, Madagascar, MIRIKY, Stn DW3179. 

Enrique Macpherson, Paula C. Rodríguez-Flores and Annie Machordom. 2017.   New Sibling Species and New Occurrences of Squat Lobsters (Crustacea, Decapoda) from the western Indian Ocean.  European Journal of Taxonomy.   1–61.  DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2017.343

[Entomology • 2017] Dendrobia gen. nov. • A New Genus and other New Species of Agraeciini (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae; Conocephalinae) from the Eastern Arc Mountains, East Africa

Dendrobia amaniensis  
Hemp, Ingrisch & Heller, 2017


The genus Dendrobia n. gen. is erected to include Dendrobia amaniensis n. sp. from the East Usambara Mountains as type species. A second species in this genus, Dendrobia octopuncata n. sp., is described from the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania. Dendrobia n. gen. is a canopy dweller found only high up on trees in closed submontane and montane forest. The peak frequency of its song is lower than in all other known African Agraeciini, correlating with the large resonant areas in the tegmina. Two new Afroanthracites species, Afroanthracites ngologolo n. sp. and Afroanthracites nguru n. sp. are described from the Eastern Arc Mountains in Tanzania. These species are dwellers of understory vegetation in closed forest in the Udzungwa and Nguru Mountains respectively.

Keywords: Orthoptera, new genus, new species, Eastern Arc Mountains, East Africa, bioacoustics

Claudia Hemp, Sigfrid Ingrisch and Klaus-Gerhard Heller. 2017. A New Genus and other New Species of Agraeciini from the Eastern Arc Mountains, East Africa (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae; Conocephalinae; Agraeciini). Zootaxa. 4311(1); 1–22. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4311.1.1

[Herpetology • 2017] Nasikabatrachus bhupathi • A New Species of the Genus Nasikabatrachus (Anura, Nasikabatrachidae) from the eastern Slopes of the Western Ghats, India

Nasikabatrachus bhupathi 
Janani, Vasudevan, Prendini, Dutta & Aggarwal, 2017

We describe a new species of the endemic frog genus Nasikabatrachus, from the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, in India. The new species is morphologically, acoustically and genetically distinct from N. sahyadrensis. Computed tomography scans of both species revealed diagnostic osteological differences, particularly in the vertebral column. Male advertisement call analysis also showed the two species to be distinct. A phenological difference in breeding season exists between the new species (which breeds during the northeast monsoon season; October to December), and its sister species (which breeds during the southwest monsoon; May to August). The new species shows 6 % genetic divergence (K2P) at mitochondrial 16S rRNA (1330 bp) partial gene from its congener, indicating clear differentiation within Nasikabatrachus. Speciation within this fossorial lineage is hypothesized to have been caused by phenological shift in breeding during different monsoon seasons—the northeast monsoon in the new species versus southwest monsoon in N. sahyadrensis. It is postulated that proximate triggers of breeding behavior and highly stenotopic adaptation of Nasikabatrachus tadpoles to inhabit cascades during monsoonal stream flows, have led to allopatry on the eastern and western slopes of the Western Ghats, thereby promoting speciation in this ancient genus.

Figure 3. Holotype of Nasikabatrachus bhupathi. (a) dorsolateral view; (b) anterior view of head showing fleshy protuberance on the snout; (c) underside of foot, showing hypertrophied shovel-shaped inner metatarsal tubercle; (d) underside of hand showing palmar tubercles.

Nasikabatrachus bhupathi sp. nov.

Etymology: The species epithet commemorates Dr. S. Bhupathy, a noted scientist and a field herpetologist, who passed away due to an ill-fated accident while conducting herpetological surveys in Agasthyamalai, Western Ghats on April 28, 2014.

Figure 10. External morphology of tadpoles of Nasikabatrachus bhupathi.
 (a) dorsal view; (b) ventral view at stage 36, with developing hind limbs, vent tube still present; (c) dorsal view at stage 41, with completely developed hind limbs and visible forelimb bud; (d) dorsal view at stage 42, with both forelimbs erupted; (e) ventral view at stage 42, where one of the forelimbs had erupted completely and the other is yet to erupt, absence of vent tube; (f) dorsal view at stage 43, with transforming snout; (gci) stage 44¢45, showing ventral and dorsal side, transforming oral disc and tail stub; (j) developed imago showing pigmentation pattern of brown and black mottles.


S. Jegath Janani, Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Elizabeth Prendini, Sushil Kumar Dutta and Ramesh K. Aggarwal. 2017. A New Species of the Genus Nasikabatrachus (Anura, Nasikabatrachidae) from the eastern Slopes of the Western Ghats, India. Alytes. 34: 1-19.