Tuesday, May 22, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Atractus atlas A Giant on the Ground: Another Large-bodied Atractus (Serpentes: Colubridae: Dipsadinae) from Ecuadorian Andes, with Comments on the Dietary Specializations of the Goo-eaters Snakes

Atractus atlas
Passos, Scanferla, Melo-Sampaio, Brito & Almendariz, 2018

 ‘Atlas Ground Snake  -  Culebra Tierrera del Atlas’ 
DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201820170976 
Body-size is significantly correlated with the number of vertebrae (pleomerism) in multiple vertebrate lineages, indicating that somitogenesis process is an important factor dictating evolutionary change associated to phyletic allometry and, consequently, species fitness and diversification. However, the role of the evolution of extreme body sizes (dwarfism and gigantism) remains elusive in snakes, mainly with respect to postnatal ontogeny in dietary preferences associated with evolution of gigantism in many lineages. We described herein a new species in the highly diversified and species-rich genus Atractus on the basis of four specimens from the southeastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. The new species is morphologically similar and apparently closely related to two other allopatric giant congeners (A. gigas and A. touzeti), from which it can be distinguished by their distinct dorsal and ventral coloration, the number of supralabial and infralabial scales, the number of maxillary teeth, and relative width of the head. In addition, we discuss on the ontogenetic trajectories hypotheses and dietary specializations related to evolution of gigantism in the goo-eaters genus Atractus.

Key words: Atractus gigas; Atractus touzeti; dietary shift; goo-eater snakes; macrostomy; postnatal ontogeny

Figure 1: General view in life of the holotype of Atractus atlas sp. nov. (MEPN 14203). SVL 820 mm, CL 106 mm + N (amputated tail).

Atractus atlas sp. nov. 
Atractus sp. ̶ Almendáriz, Simmons, Brito y Vaca-Guerrero. 2014.
 Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8(1): 60.

Diagnosis: Atractus atlas can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) smooth dorsal scale rows 17/17/17; (2) postoculars two; (3) loreal moderately long, contacting second to fourth supralabials; (4) temporal formula usually 1+2; (5) supralabials eight, fourth and fifth contacting eye; (6) infralabials eight, first four contacting chinshields; (7) maxillary teeth eight; (8) gular scale rows usually four; (9) preventrals usually four; (10) ventrals 158–169 in females; (11) subcaudals 28– 33 in females; (12) in preservative, dorsum yellow ocher with a series of alternating black bands (2–3 scales long), connected or not to the opposite band on the vertebral region; (13) ventral surface of body mostly pale buff scattered with conspicuous black marks (blotches, spots and dots); (14) maximum body size moderate in females 820 mm SVL; (15) tail size moderately long in females (12.2–15.0% SVL); (16) midbody diameter in females 18.0–21.4 mm.


Etymology: The Latinized specific epithet “atlas” (Άτλας) represents a Titan from the Greek mythology that was condemned by Zeus to support the entire world (or the heaven in some variations of the ancient legend) forever on their shoulders as punishment for attacking the Mount Olympus. The legend is also related to excess of obligations and duties or the huge efforts to complete certain difficult tasks. We employed herein this name alluding to the large body-size of the new species (it is among the five species of the genus that reach the largest body-size; see Passos et al. 2010a), as well as in reference to the tremendous endeavor for attaining the real diversity of Atractus, not only for discovering undescribed species, but also for recognition of a lot of synonymies in the old and even recent literature, or frequent species misidentifications in collections and public repositories (see Passos et al. 2017). We propose the vernacular name of Atractus atlas to be ‘Atlas Ground Snake’ in English and ‘Culebra Tierrera del Atlas’ in Spanish.

Distribution and natural history: Southeastern portions of Ecuadorian Andes, from Zúñac in the province of Morona Santiago, south to Paquisha, Guayzimi Alto and Reserva Biológica Cerro Plateado in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe. Atractus atlas occurs in Mountain rainforest at 1800–2100 m asl (Fig. 5). 
The holotype (MEPN 14203) was found resting under leaf litter locally called “bamba” at 10:46 am during thermoregulatory activity with direct incidence of sunlight. The vegetation covering the type-locality is composed by a type of cloud forest denominated “Western Mountain Forest”. This forest formation usually remains cloudy in the early hours of the morning, afternoons, or even all day long, depending on the season, and is comprised by trees of 15–20 m covered with bryophytes, bromeliads and abundant moss. The plant layer sits on a plateau of sandstone, and grows on a substrate of very acid sand soil poor in nutrients. 
The paratype (DHMECN 12361) is a roadkill found in the early hours of the morning dead on the Macas–Riobamba road. The vegetal formation in this locality is characterized as a premontane evergreen forest of the southern portion of Cordillera Oriental of the Ecuadorian Andes (Ministerio del Ambiente 2013), in which the trees have abundant orchids and bromeliads and the tree canopy reaches 30 m where the dominant trees species are romerillo (Prumnopitys montana), cedro (Cedrela montana) and royal palm (Dictyocaryum lamarckianum).

Figure 7: General view of an uncollected specimen of Atractus sp. eating an earthworm in the field at Parque Nacional Sangay (1785 m asl), province of Morona Santiago, Ecuador. This specimen had about 750 mm of total length. Black arrow indicates the quadrate-mandibular joint displaced backward during swallowing process. Photo by Hérnan Orellana.

Paulo Passos, Agustín Scanferla, Paulo R. Melo-Sampaio, Jorge Brito and Aan Almendariz. 2018. A Giant on the Ground: Another Large-bodied Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadinae) from Ecuadorian Andes, with Comments on the Dietary Specializations of the Goo-eaters Snakes. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. - Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences).  DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201820170976

[Botany • 2018] Petrocodon asterocalyx (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species from Guangxi, China

Petrocodon asterocalyx  F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & R.L.Zhang

in Zhang, Fu, Li, et al., 2018
  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.343.3.6


Petrocodon asterocalyx F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & R.L.Zhang, a new species from the Danxia landform area in Guangxi, South China, is described and illustrated based on molecular and morphological data. The molecular evidence shows that the new species is recovered in a weakly supported clade. Within this clade, the new one is morphologically similar to P. hancei (Hemsl.) A.Weber & Mich.Möller and P. coriaceifolius (Y.G.Wei) Y.G.Wei & Mich.Möller, and it can be distinguished from the former by calyx lobes 20–40 × 2–3 mm, corolla 2.5–3.0 cm long, filaments sparsely erectly pubescent, anthers sparsely pubescent, staminodes 3, and stigmas 2; from latter by leaf blades rhombic-oblong or rhombic, base shallowly cuneate, margin crenulate to serrate, calyx lobes linear, 20–40 × 2–3 cm, and anthers 3.5–3.8 mm long, sparsely pubescent and elliptical.

Keywords: Danxia landform, endemism, flora of Guangxi, new taxon, taxonomy, Eudicots

FIGURE 3 Petrocodon asterocalyx. (A) habitat, (B) habit, (C) cymes, (D) the lateral view of flower and bud, (E) top view of flower, (F)stigma, (G) opened corolla, and (H) anthers and filaments. 

Petrocodon asterocalyx F.Wen, Y.G.Wei & R.L.Zhang, sp. nov.

Etymology:— The epithet, “asterocalyx”, means that the calyx lobes of this new species are actinomorphic and the whole calyx looks like a star.

Rui-Li Zhang, Long-Fei Fu, Shu Li, Yi-Gang Wei, Stephen Maciejewski, Michael LoFurno and Fang Wen. 2018. Petrocodon asterocalyx, A New Species of Gesneriaceae from Guangxi, China. Phytotaxa. 343(3); 259–268. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.343.3.6

[Herpetology • 2018] Gracixalus guangdongensis • A New Species of Gracixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Guangdong Province, southeastern China

Gracixalus guangdongensis
Wang, Zeng, Lyu, Liu & Wang, 2018


A new species of tree frog, Gracixalus guangdongensis sp nov., is described based on a series of specimens collected from Dawuling Forest Station, Mount Nankun and Nanling Nature Reserve of Guangdong Province, southeastern China. The new species is distinguished from all known congeners by a significant genetic divergence at the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene fragment examined (p-distance ≥ 4.6%) and the following combination of morphological characters: relatively small body size (SVL 26.1–34.7 mm in adult males, 34.9–35.4 mm in adult females); upper eyelid and dorsum lacking spines; supratympanic fold and tympanum distinct; dorsal and lateral surface rough, sparsely scattered with tubercles; ventral skin granular; tibiotarsal projection absent; toe-webbing moderately developed, finger webbing rudimentary; heels slightly overlapping when flexed hindlimbs are held at right angles to the body axis; brown to beige above, with an inverse Y-shaped dark brown marking extendeing from the interorbital region to the centre of the dorsum; males with a single subgular vocal sac and protruding nuptial pads with minute granules on the dorsal surface of the base of first finger. The discovery and description of Gracixalus guangdongensis sp. nov. represents the 14th species known in this genus.

Keywords: Amphibia, Gracixalus guangdongensis sp. nov., mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene, Rhacophoridae, taxonomy, southern China

 Gracixalus guangdongensis sp. nov. mating behavior and sexual dimorphism: a pair on the bamboo stem prior to amplexus, the male (with distinctly visible nuptial pad on the first finger) above and female (with a larger body size than the male and without nuptial pads) below

Jian Wang, Zhao-Chi Zeng, Zhi-Tong Lyu,  Zu-Yao Liu and Ying-Yong Wang. 2018. Description of A New Species of Gracixalus (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Guangdong Province, southeastern China.  Zootaxa. 4420(2); 251–269. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4420.2.7

Monday, May 21, 2018

[Ichthyology • 2018] Corydoras benattii From the Inside Out: A New Species of Armoured Catfish Corydoras (Siluriformes, Callichthyidae) with the Description of Poorly‐explored Character Sources

Corydoras benattii  Espindola, Tencatt, Pupo, Villa-Verde & Britto, 2018

Photo by  Hans Evers

A new species of the armoured catfish genus Corydoras is described from the Xingu–Tapajos ecoregion, Brazilian Amazon. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by having the following combination of features: short mesethmoid, with anterior tip poorly developed, smaller than 50% of bone length; posterior margin of pectoral spine with serrations directed towards spine tip or perpendicularly oriented; infraorbital 2 only in contact with sphenotic; ventral laminar expansion of infraorbital 1 poorly or moderately developed; flank midline covered by small dark brown or black saddles with similar size to remaining markings on body; relatively larger, scarcer and more sparsely distributed dark brown or black spots on body; absence of stripe on flank midline; caudal fin with conspicuous dark brown or black spots along its entire surface; slender body; and strongly narrow frontals. A more comprehensive description of poorly‐explored internal character sources, such as the gross morphology of the brain, Weberian apparatus and swimbladder capsule elements is presented.

Keywords: Brazilian Amazon, Corydoradinae, Corydoras sp. C22, gross brain morphology, taxonomy, Xingu–Tapajos ecoregion

Figure 1: Corydoras benattii sp. nov. in (a) aquarium and (b) natural habitat, uncatalogued specimens, both near Altamira, lower Rio Xingu Basin. 

Figure 2: Corydoras benattii sp. nov., MZUSP 121671, holotype, 25·4 mm standard length, Brazil, Mato Grosso, Canarana–Gaúcha do Norte, Rio Culuene, tributary to Rio Xingu Basin.

Corydoras benattii, sp. nov.

Corydoras sp. 4. Castilhos & Buckup, 2011: 241 (species list).
Corydoras sp. C22. Evers, 1994: 755, Fig. 2 (species catalogue). Glaser et al., 1996: 92 (photos, species catalogue). Evers & Schäfer, 2004: 11, 12 (photos, species catalogue). Füller & Evers, 2005: 281, 285, 294 (species catalogue).
Corydoras sp. aff. C22. Glaser et al., 1996: 90 (photos, species catalogue).

Geographical distribution: Corydoras benattii occurs in both the Rio Xingu and Rio Tapajós basins, Brazilian Amazon (Fig. 10). In the Rio Xingu basin, it is known in Mato Grosso State from tributaries to the Rio Culuene, a clearwater tributary of the upper Rio Xingu (type locality) and in Pará State from the Rio Fresco sub drainage (Rio Trairão and Igarapé Manguari), middle Rio Xingu and from the lower Rio Xingu basin near Altamira. In the Rio Tapajós basin, it occurs in the Rio Peixoto de Azevedo, a tributary to the Rio Teles Pires, Mato Grosso and from Rio Cururu, a tributary to the Rio São Manuel, Pará.

Habitat notes: Specimens of Corydoras benattii were found in lotic habitats in the Rio Culuene, Rio Xingu basin and Rio Braço Norte, tributary to Rio Peixoto de Azevedo, Rio Tapajós basin (Fig. 11). Both localities have muddy‐brown water with clay and sandy substrata. Most specimens were captured in the small forest streams of black or clearwater, or in marginal ponds.

Etymology: The specific name, benattii, honours the late Laert Benatti for his humanitarian work, providing fresh water from artesian wells to poor communities in Brazil. Case is genitive.

V. C. Espíndola, L. F. C. Tencatt, F. M. Pupo, L. Villa‐Verde and M. R. Britto. 2018. From the Inside Out: A New Species of Armoured Catfish Corydoras with the Description of Poorly‐explored Character Sources (Teleostei, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae). Journal of Fish Biology.   DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13602


[Herpetology • 2018] Amphisbaena hoogmoedi • A New Four-pored Amphisbaena Linnaeus, 1758 (Amphisbaenia, Amphisbaenidae) from Brazilian Amazon

Amphisbaena hoogmoedi
Oliveira, Vaz-Silva, Santos-Jr, Graboski, Teixeira, Dal Vechio & Ribeiro,  2018


A new species of Amphisbaena is described from the Brazilian Amazon, within the area impacted by the Teles Pires hydroelectric power plant, Jacareacanga municipality, State of Pará. Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov. can be diagnosed from its congeners by the following combination of characters: snout convex in profile view, sligthly compressed not keeled; pectoral scales arranged in regular annuli; conspicuous autotomic site between 7th–8th caudal annuli; 247–252 dorsal half-annuli; 27 caudal annuli; tail length 9.5–10.4% of snoutvent length; four precloacal pores arranged in sequence; three supralabials; a rounded tail; 22–24 dorsal segments in midbody annulus; postmalar row absent; head length 2.1–2.9% of snout-vent length; prefrontals length 46.6–49.5% of head length; prefrontals suture length 38–44.6% of head length; small malar length 10.6–13.4% of ventral length of head ; second infralabial length 33.8–38.5% of head length; ventral length of head 2.7–2.9% of snout-vent length; mouth length 80.2–81.8% of head length; third infralabial length 16.4–19.6% of head length; snout length 62.5–78.6% of head length; ocular length 23.4–26.2% of head length; mental length 23.2–25.4% of ventral length of head; postmental length 27.2–31.3% of ventral length of head; frontals suture length 23.4–32.3% of head length; postocular width 25–31.9% of maximun width of head; first supralabial length 24.9–30.6% of head length; second supralabial length 27.7–30% of head length and second supralabial height 26.9–28.8% of maximun head height. The hemipenis is bilobed, capitate and with lateral lamellae on the lobes; with a centrally-positioned spermatic groove, bifurcated at the base of the lobes, and with each branch extending to the tip of organ.

Keywords: Reptilia, taxonomy, morphology, hemipenis, osteology, skull

Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov. (holotype, MZUSP 106219). Dorsal view. 

Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov.

Etymology. Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov. is named in honor of Dr. Marinus S. Hoogmoed (National Natuurhistorisch Museum, Leiden, the Netherlands, currently at the Goeldi Museum, Belém, Pará, Brazil), for his contribution to the knowledge of the Neotropical herpetofauna especially to the amphisbaenian taxonomy.

 Distribution and habitat. Amphisbaena hoogmoedi sp. nov. is known so far only for the type locality in Jacareacanga municipality, on the right bank of the Teles Pires River, State of Pará, Brazil (Figs. 7 and 8). According to WWF (2016), the region covering the area of the Teles Pires hydroelectric power plant consists of Tropical and Subtropical Moist deciduous forests, an eco-region of Tropical Dry Forest with a variety of habitats (alluvial forests and patches of open areas). The new species was collected in the Rain Forest Submontane, Rain Forest Alluvial, and semideciduous forest Submontane.

Elaine C. S. Oliveira, Wilian Vaz-Silva,  Alfredo P. Santos-Jr, Roberta Graboski, Rocha Jr. Teixeira,  Francisco Dal Vechio and Síria Ribeiro.  2018. A New Four-pored Amphisbaena Linnaeus, 1758 (Amphisbaenia, Amphisbaenidae) from Brazilian Amazon. Zootaxa. 4420(4); 451–474.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4420.4.1

[Botany • 2018] Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi (Phyllanthaceae) • A New Nickel Hyperaccumulator from Sabah (Borneo Island) with Potential for Tropical Agromining

Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi Welzen, R.W.Bouman & Ent

in Bouman, van Welzen, Sumail, et al., 2018.

Background: Nickel hyperaccumulator plants are of much interest for their evolution and unique ecophysiology, and also for potential applications in agromining—a novel technology that uses plants to extract valuable metals from soil. The majority of nickel hyperaccumulators are known from ultramafc soils in tropical regions (Cuba, New Caledonia and Southeast Asia), and one genus, Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), is globally the most represented taxonomic entity. A number of tropical Phyllanthus-species have the potential to be used as ‘metal crops’ in agromining operations mainly because of their ease in cultivation and their ability to attain high nickel concentrations and biomass yields. 

Results: One of the most promising species globally for agromining, is the here newly described species Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi. This species can be classifed in subgenus Gomphidium on account of its staminate nectar disc and pistillate entire style and represents the most western species of this diverse group. The fower structure indicates that this species is probably pollinated by Epicephala moths. 

Conclusions: Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi is an extremely rare taxon in the wild, restricted to Lompoyou Hill near Kinabalu Park in Sabah, Malaysia. Its utilization in agromining will be a mechanism for conservation of the taxon, and highlights the importance of habitat and germplasm preservation if rare species are to be used in novel green technologies. 

Keywords: Epicephala pollination, Nickel hyperaccumulation, Phyllanthaceae, Phyllanthus subgenus Gomphidium, Sabah

Fig. 2 Detail of Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi plants.
a Inflorescences of P. rufuschaneyi, note the difference between main stem and side stem with at the base small structures that signal phyllanthoid branching; b fruit capsules of P. rufuschaneyi. Images by A. van der Ent

Fig. 3 Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi Welzen, R.W.Bouman & Ent:
a a branch with only scars of cataphylls and cataphyllary stipules present at the base of branchlets as these are caducous (drawn from herbarium specimen with leaves glued sideways and staminate flowers sometimes upright instead of hanging); b detail of sidebranch with leaves and staminate flowers in natural position; c staminate flower; d staminate flower with part of sepals removed showing disc glands and androecium; e pistillate flower; f pistillate flower with part of sepals removed showing disc glands and ovary; g fruit

(a, c, d Daim Endau 225; b Lomudin Tadon g257; e, f SNP 32987; g Lomudin Tadon 257; all SNP). Drawing by Esmée Winkel (2017)

Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi Welzen, R.W.Bouman and Ent, sp. nov.

—TYPE: MALAYSIA. Sabah, near Kampong Nalumad, eastern boundary Kinabalu Park, Lompoyou Hill, Antony Van der Ent et al. SNP 32987! (holo SNP; iso L). 
Paratype: SNP 22039!, Lompoyou Hill, Sabah, Malaysia (Figs. 2, 3, 4). 

This species is most similar to P. securinegoides from the Philippines, from which it can be distinguished by its smaller leaves, staminate fowers with connate flaments and pistillate fowers with connate tubular stigmas

Etymology: The specific epithet “rufuschaneyi” honours Dr. Rufus L. Chaney (b. 1942), an agronomist who is widely credited for inventing phytomining (agromining) (Chaney 1983), leading to the technology being patented (Chaney et al. 1998). Dr. Chaney has worked for 47 years at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (USA) on risk assessment for metals in soils and crops, and the food-chain transfer and bioavailability of soil and crop metals to humans. He published over 490 publications and won the Gordon Award for Lifetime Achievement and Excellence in Phytoremediation Research. The fact that P. rufuschaneyi is the most promising tropical Ni ‘metal crop’ presently known, makes this recognition fitting.

Distribution, habitat and ecology: Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi is known only from two populations; one (very small) population at the foot of Bukit Hampuan, and another larger population on Lompoyou Hill approximately 5 km from the first population. The habitat in both localities is open secondary scrub that has been affected by recurring forest fires (Fig. 1). Lompoyou Hill is close to the villages of Nalumad and Pahu. The hill (400 m asl) has been burnt at least once as a result of an uncontrolled forest fire in 1998. Prior to burning, the site was already disturbed by logging. The area has a short and open scrub community (dominated by shrubs 1–3 m tall) with pioneer species such as Macaranga kinabaluensis Airy Shaw (Euphorbiaceae). In this habitat type several other Ni hyperaccumulator plant species occur, including Phyllanthus balgooyi, Actephila alanbakeri, Mischocarpus sundaicus Blume (Sapindaceae), and Xylosma luzonensis Clos (Salicaceae). The local conditions are xeric, and the soils are shallow and heavily eroded with limited amounts of organic matter. In pot experiments P. rufuschaneyi responded negatively to increasing organic matter amendments (Nkrumah et al. 2017). Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi occurs exclusively on these young eroded soils (hypermagnesian Cambisols) that occur at low elevation (700 m asl) on strongly serpentinised bedrock. These soils have extremely high magnesium (Mg) to calcium (Ca), circum-neutral pH, and high available Ni as a result of the disintegration of phyllosilicates and re-sorption onto secondary iron (Fe)-oxides or high-charge clays (Echevarria 2018). In Sabah, Ni hyperaccumulator plant species are restricted to these soils with a pH > 6.3 and relatively high total soil Ni concentrations > 630 μg g−1 (Van der Ent et al. 2016b).

Roderick Bouman, Peter van Welzen, Sukaibin Sumail , Guillaume Echevarria, Peter D. Erskine and Antony van der Ent. 2018. Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi: A New Nickel Hyperaccumulator from Sabah (Borneo Island) with Potential for Tropical Agromining.  Botanical Studies: An International Journal. 59:9.  DOI: 10.1186/s40529-018-0225-y

Sunday, May 20, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Coelogyne victoria-reginae (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae, Arethuseae) • A New Species from Chin State, Myanmar

Coelogyne victoria-reginae Q.Liu & S.S.Zhou

in Zhou, Tan, Jin, et al., 2018.

Coelogyne victoria-reginae, a new species of section Proliferae, from Natma Taung (Mt.Victoria) National Park, Chin State, Myanmar, is described and illustrated. It is morphologically similar to C. prolifera, but the clustered pseudobulbs, pure brownish- red flowers and column wing with irregular notches at the apex of the new species differ from the other species. A preliminary risk-of-extinction assessment shows that the new species is regarded as EN C2a[i] according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.

Keywords: NatmaTaung (Mt. Victoria) National Park, risk of extinction assessment, section Proliferae, taxonomy

Figure 2. Coelogyne victoria-reginae.
A Habitat B Plant C Inflorescence D Flower E Lateral view of labellum F Front view of labellum G Front and lateral view of column H Abaxial and adaxial anther cap. I. Pollinarium
 (Photographed by Q. Liu) 

Figure 1. Coelogyne victoria-reginae.
A Plant B Inflorescence C Lateral view of labellum D Pollinarium E Abaxial and adaxial anther cap F Sepals and petals G Front view of flower H Front and lateral view of column.
All from the type collection (Qiang Liu, M17-18) and drawn by Lan Yan. 

Figure 3. A Coelogyne schultesii (A-1 Plant A-2 Inflorescence A-3 Flower)
Coelogyne ecarinata (B-1 Plant B-2 Inflorescence B-3 Flower)
Coelogyne victoria-reginae (C-1 Plant C-2 Inflorescence C-3 Flower)
(Photographed by Q. Liu).

Coelogyne victoria-reginae Q.Liu & S.S.Zhou, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Coelogyne victoria-reginae is closely related to C. prolifera by having the elliptic mid-lobe with two lamellae terminating at 2/3 on to mid-lobe, ovate or oblong lateral lobes. However, the new species can be distinguished from the latter by the ovoid pseudobulb and 1.1–1.4 cm apart on rhizome, flower brownish-red, lateral sepals (10–11 ×5.5–6.0 mm) significantly larger than dorsal sepal (7.0–8.0 × 4.5–5.0 mm).

Etymology: The new species is named after Victoria Mountain region, NatmaTaung National Park, Chin State, South-western Myanmar, where it was discovered in a vast area of mountain forest.

Distribution and habitat: Coelogyne victoria-reginae is only known from the type locality. It grows as an epiphyte on tree trunks in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, which is dominated by Lithocarpus xylocarpus (Kurz) Markg. (Fagaceae).

 Shi-Shun Zhou, Yun-Hong Tan, Xiao-Hua Jin, Kyaw Win Maung, Myint Zyaw, Ren Li, Rui-Chang Quan and Qiang Liu. 2018. Coelogyne victoria-reginae (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae, Arethuseae), A New Species from Chin State, Myanmar.   PhytoKeys. 98: 125-133.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.98.23298


Saturday, May 19, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Kinosternon vogti • A Distinctive New Species of Mud Turtle from Western México

 Kinosternon vogti 

López-Luna, Cupul-Magaña, Escobedo-Galván, González-Hernández, Centenero-Alcalá, Rangel-Mendoza, Ramírez-Ramírez & Cazares-Hernández, 2018

The genus Kinosternon in Mexico is represented by 12 species of which only 2 inhabit the lowlands of the central Pacific region (Kinosternon chimalhuaca and Kinosternon integrum). Based on 15 standard morphological attributes and coloration patterns of 9 individuals, we describe a new microendemic mud turtle species from the central Pacific versant of Mexico. The suite of morphological traits exhibited by Kinosternon sp. nov. clearly differentiates it from other species within the genus Kinosternon by a combination of proportions of plastron and carapace scutes, body size, and a large yellow rostral shield in males. The new species inhabits small streams and ponds in and near the city of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. Unfortunately, natural populations are unknown so far. The habitat is damaged by urban growth, and only one female is known. The available information would suggest that Kinosternon vogti sp. nov., is one of the most threatened freshwater turtle species. An urgent conservation program is necessary as well as explorations in the area to find viable populations of the species.

Keywords: Reptilia, Testudines, Kinosternidae, Kinosternon vogti sp. nov., microendemism, endangered species, Jalisco

Order: Testudines 
Suborder: Cryptodira 
Family: Kinosternidae 

Kinosternon vogti sp. nov. 
Vallarta Mud Turtle, Casquito de Vallarta

Etymology. — With great pleasure we name this new species in honor of one of the most important and enthusiastic researchers of freshwater chelonians of the 21st century, Professor Richard Carl Vogt. ‘‘Dick,’’ as his friends know him, has been involved for more than 40 yrs in studies of high scientific impact, mentoring along the way younger scientists in the study of freshwater turtles across the American continents, in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America.

Marco A. López-Luna, Fabio G. Cupul-Magaña, Armando H. Escobedo-Galván, Adriana J. González-Hernández, Eric Centenero-Alcalá, Judith A. Rangel-Mendoza, Mariana M. Ramírez-Ramírez and Erasmo Cazares-Hernández. 2018. A Distinctive New Species of Mud Turtle from Western México.  Chelonian Conservation and Biology. In-Press.  DOI: 10.2744/CCB-1292.1 

Resumen: El género Kinosternon en México está representado por 12 especies, de las cuales solo dos habitan las tierras bajas de la región Pacífico central (Kinosternon chimalhuaca K. integrum). Con base en la evaluación de quince atributos morfológicos y la coloración de nueve individuos, describimos una nueva especie de tortuga lodo micro-endémica del Pacífico central de México. El conjunto de rasgos morfológicos exhibidos por Kinosternon sp. nov., lo diferencia claramente de otras especies dentro del género Kinosternon por una combinación de proporciones de escudos de plastrón y caparazón, tamaño del cuerpo y un escudo rostral de color amarillo en los machos. La nueva especie habita pequeños arroyos y estanques en y cerca de la ciudad de Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. No se conocen poblaciones naturales hasta el momento. El hábitat está dañado por el crecimiento urbano, y solo se conoce una hembra. La información disponible sugeriría que Kinosternon vogti sp. nov., es una de las especies de tortugas de agua dulce más amenazadas. Es necesario un programa de conservación urgente, así como exploraciones en el área para encontrar poblaciones viables de la especie.

[Ichthyology • 2018] Hypostomus renestoi • Redescription of Hypostomus latirostris (Regan, 1904) with the Recognition of A New Species of Hypostomus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the upper rio Paraguay Basin, Brazil

Hypostomus renestoi Zawadzki, da Silva & Troy, 2018

Hypostomus latirostris  (Regan, 1904)

 DOI:  10.23788/IEF-1079 

Hypostomus latirostris was originally described by Regan (1904) from “River Jungada [= rio Jangada], Matto Grosso and Goyaz”; however, the species is rarely mentioned in taxonomic works on Hypostomus from Paraguay. Herein, the two syntypes of Plecostomus latirostris were examined showing critical differences between them. After the analysis of a large sample of recently collected specimens from the upper rio Paraguay basin we concluded that the two syntypes from the rio Jangada indeed belong to different species. Hypostomus latirostris is redescribed and a lectotype is designated herein. The other syntype (now a paralectotype of H. latirostris) is designated as paratype of Hypostomus renestoi, new speciesHypostomus renestoi can be differentiated from H. latirostris by having robust teeth (vs. slender); by having 28-77 teeth on the premaxilla (vs. 79-111) and 25-64 on the dentary (vs. 79-109); by having small and more conspicuous dark spots (vs. larger and less conspicuous dark spots); by having dorsal and mid-dorsal series of plates with moderate hypertrophied odontodes (vs. lacking hypertrophied odontodes on lateral series of plates); and usually by attaining a smaller size. 

Fig. 7. Hypostomus renestoi, MCP 49767, holotype, 121.8 mm SL; Brazil: Mato Grosso State: rio Diamantino, upper rio Paraguay basin. Photographed alive.
Fig. 2. Hypostomus latirostris, NUP 3975, 127.0 mm SL; Brazil: Mato Grosso State: rio Jangada, upper rio Paraguay basin. Photographed alive. 

Hypostomus latirostris (Regan, 1904)

Plecostomus pantherinus (not Kner, 1854): Boulenger, 1892: 9. 
Plecostomus latirostris Regan, 1904: 213, Pl. 11, Fig. 1. Type locality: Rio Jungada [= Jangada], Matto Grosso and Goyaz [Brazil]. Syntypes: BMNH 1892.4.20.26-27 (2); Gosline, 1947: 115 (brief comments). 
Hypostomus latirostris – Burgess, 1989: 431 (checklist); Isbrücker, 1980: 25 (checklist); Montoya-Burgos et al., 2002: 374 (Fig. 2; molecular phylogeny); Montoya-Burgos, 2003: 1859, Fig. 2; molecular phylogeny); Weber, 2003: 359 (checklist); Ferraris, 2007: 255 (checklist); Cardoso et al., 2012: 74 (Fig. 2; molecular phylogeny). 
Hypostomus sp. – Werner et al., 2005: 197 (L224, photo 3; neighborhood rio Cuiabá) and 302 (L388, photo 1; waters flowing to rio Cuiabá near Cuiabá). 
Hypostomus sp. 2 – Veríssimo et al., 2007: 6 (checklist, Manso Reservoir, upper rio Paraguay basin, Brazil). 
Hypostomus cf. latirostris - Renesto et al., 2007: 870 (allozymes).

Distribution and habitat. Hypostomus latirostris is known from several localities along the rio Cuiabá basin (Fig. 4). Regan (1904) pointed out the rio Jangada as the type locality. Records of H. latirostris were made in all the extension of the rio Manso and also in the rio Cuiabá basin. The rio Manso and the rio Cuiabazinho are the formers to rio Cuiabá. The rio Cuiabá basin is mainly located upstream the Brazilian Pantanal. Most specimens were collected before and after the construction of the Manso Reservoir. The rio Cuiabá basin has clear water, with rocky and sandy substrate, and variable remnant riparian vegetation. The individuals were collected whether in rapids or in lentic environments. Juveniles were usually collected in oxbow lakes in the rio Cuiabá basin and streams. Specimens of H. latirostris were collected co-occurring with H. boulengeri, H. cochliodon, H. khimaera, H. latifrons, H. piratatu, H. regani, H. ternetzi, H. peckoltoides, and H. mutucae.

Hypostomus renestoi, new species 

Plecostomus latirostris Regan, 1904: 213 (partim). Type locality: Rio Jungada, Matto Grosso [Brazil]. Syntypes: BMNH 1892.4.20.26-27 (2). 
Hypostomus sp.: Werner et al., 2005: 302 (L389, photo 2; waters flowing to rio Cuiabá near Cuiabá). 
Hypostomus sp. 3 – Renesto et al., 2007: 870 [allozymes]. 
Hypostomus sp. 4 – Veríssimo et al., 2007: 6 (checklist, Manso Reservoir, upper rio Paraguay basin, Brazil).

Diagnosis. Hypostomus renestoi is distinguished from the species of the H. cochliodon group (sensu Zawadzki & Hollanda Carvalho, 2015) by having viliform teeth and angle between dentaries usually larger than 80° (vs. spoon- or shovel-shaped teeth and angle between dentaries about 80°); from H. affinis, H. ancistroides, H. arecuta, H. argus, H. aspilogaster, H. borellii, H. boulengeri, H. carinatus, H. careopinnatus, H. carvalhoi, H. commersoni, H. crassicauda, H. delimai, H. derbyi, H. dlouhyi, H. faveolus, H. formosae, H. hemiurus, H. interruptus, H. itacua, H. laplatae, H. niceforoi, H. nigrolineatus, H. nigropunctatus, H. paucimaculatus, H. piratatu, H. plecostomus, H. pantherinus, H. punctatus, H. pusarum, H. scabryceps, H. seminudus, H. subcarinatus, H. tapijara, H. variostictus, H. velhochico, and H. watwata by lacking keels on median lateral series of plates (vs. having moderate or strong keels along lateral series of plates); from H. alatus, H. albopunctatus, H. chrysostiktos, H. fluviatilis, H. francisci, H. margaritifer, H. luteomaculatus, H. lexi, H. luteus, H. margaritifer, H. meleagris, H. microstomus, H. multidens, H. myersi, H. niger, H. regani, H. roseopunctatus, H. scaphyceps, H. sertanejo, H. strigaticeps, H. tietensis, and H. variipictus by having dark spots on a clearer background (vs. pale spots or vermiculations on a darker background); from H. asperatus, H. brevicauda, H. goyazensis, H. heraldoi, H. hermanni, H. iheringii, H. kuarup, H. lima, H. luetkeni, H. macrops, H. mutucae, H. nigromaculatus, H. paulinus, H. topavae, H. unae, and H. wuchereri by having dorsal and mid-dorsal series of plates with moderate hypertrophied odontodes (vs. lacking conspicuous odontodes on lateral series of plates); from H. angipinnatus, H. agna, H. isbrueckeri, H. laplatae, H. latifrons, H. nigropunctatus, H. uruguayensis, and H. vaillanti by having one plate bordering supraoccipital (vs. three to seven); from H. bolivianus, H. fonchii, and H. perdido by having bicuspid teeth (vs. unicuspid teeth); from H. peckoltoides by having dark large spots on body and fins (vs. wide dark transverse bars on body and bands on fins); from H. ternetzi by having ventral unbranched caudal-fin ray length smaller to equal to predorsal length (vs. unbranched caudal-fin ray length clearly larger than predorsal length); from H. latirostris by having: robust teeth (vs. slender); by having 28-77 teeth on premaxilla (vs. 79-111) and 25-64 on dentary (vs. 79-109); small and more conspicuous dark spots (vs. larger and less conspicuous dark spots); dorsal and mid-dorsal series of plates with moderate hypertrophied odontodes (vs. lacking conspicuous odontodes on lateral series of plates); and usually by attaining a smaller size. 

Ecological notes. Sometimes very small black dots due to encysted metacercariae on trunk, belly and fins (Figs. 5, 7). 

Distribution and habitat. Hypostomus renestoi was mainly collected in the rio Cuiabá and its tributaries (Fig. 8). As a small- to medium-sized species, the specimens were collected in small- and medium-sized streams, with ranges from 1.5 to 6 m wide, as well as records were also from the margins or shallow stretches of the larger Cuiabá and Manso rivers. The area sampled presented varied vegetation of degraded areas by mining practices, recreation, pasture, agriculture, and often a small riparian vegetation. The streams usually had as substrate sand, clay, gravel and rocks. Several specimens were collected in rapids on mouth of the tributaries to the rio Manso. With the construction of Manso Reservoir the lower stretches of some tributaries of the rio Manso are nowadays flooded by the lake reservoir. 

Etymology. The specific epithet renestoi is in honor of the professor Erasmo Renesto, Brazilian ichthyologist, due to his contributions to the genetic field of the Neotropical fishes.

 Cláudio Henrique Zawadzki, Hugmar Pains da Silva and Waldo Pinheiro Troy. 2018. Redescription of Hypostomus latirostris (Regan, 1904) with the Recognition of A New Species of Hypostomus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the upper rio Paraguay Basin, Brazil. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.  DOI:  10.23788/IEF-1079

[Herpetology • 2018] Molecular Systematics and Historical Biogeography of the Genus Gerrhonotus (Squamata: Anguidae)

in García‐Vázquez, Nieto‐Montes de Oca, Bryson, et al. 2018. 
   DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13241 

Multiple geological and climatic events have created geographical or ecological barriers associated with speciation events, playing a role in biological diversification in Mexico. Here, we evaluate the influence of Neogene geological events and of Pleistocene climate change in the diversification of the genus Gerrhonotus using molecular dating and ancestral area reconstruction.

Location: Mexico and south‐central United States.

A multilocus sequence dataset was generated for 86 individuals of Gerrhonotus from most Mexican biogeographical provinces and belonging to five of the seven currently recognized species, as well as two putative undescribed species. Phylogeographical structure was explored using Poisson‐Tree‐Processes molecular species delimitation. Divergence events were estimated based on the fossil record using a relaxed uncorrelated lognormal clock. Ancestral areas were estimated at divergence events across the tree using a probabilistic Bayesian approach.

Extensive geographical structure was evident within three well‐supported clades. These clades probably diverged from each other in the early to mid‐Miocene, and their divergence was followed by six divergences in the late Miocene and eight divergences in the Pliocene. The ancestral origin of Gerrhonotus with keeled dorsal scales (keeled‐scale Gerrhonotus) was reconstructed to be across the Pacific Coast Province. Our phylogenetic analyses did not support the monophyly of Gerrhonotus.

Main conclusions: 
Miocene and Pliocene geomorphology, perhaps in conjunction with climate change, appears to have induced allopatric divergence on a relatively small spatial scale in this genus. The late Miocene–Pliocene reduction in the highlands along the Tehuantepec fault probably created a large marine embayment that led to an early divergence in a clade of Gerrhonotus. Our analysis suggests uplifting of the Trans‐Mexican Volcanic Belt during this same time period resulted in additional diversification. This was followed by more recent, independent colonization events in the Pliocene from the Mexican Plateau to the Sierra Madre Oriental, Sierra Madre Occidental, Tamaulipas and Edwards Plateau provinces. A genus Gerrhonotus with the keeled‐scale species in addition to Coloptychon rhombifer (= G. rhombifer) is strongly supported. Inclusion of the smooth dorsal‐scale species in the genus is uncertain and maintained only tentatively.

Keywords: ancestral area reconstruction, Coloptychon,  divergence dating, diversification, Gerrhonotus, Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexican Plateau, Trans‐Mexican Volcanic Belt

Biogeographical studies seek to explain the distributions of species in terms of historical factors and contemporary ecology. The genus Gerrhonotus has proven to be an insightful model for studying these factors in a widely distributed group. Extreme climatic oscillations during the Pleistocene, a key driver of diversification between lineages in some taxa (León‐Paniagua et al., 2007), do not appear to have substantially affected diversification in Gerrhonotus. Instead, Miocene and Pliocene geomorphology, perhaps in conjunction with climate change, appears to have induced allopatric divergence on a relatively small spatial scale in this genus. There is strong support for a genus Gerrhonotus composed of the keeled‐scale species in the genus in addition to Coloptychon rhombifer (= G. rhombifer), whereas inclusion of the smooth‐scale Gerrhonotus into the genus should be regarded as tentative. Gerrhonotus infernalis, G. liocephalus and G. ophiurus may each be composed of multiple evolutionary independent lineages.

Uri O. García‐Vázquez, Adrián Nieto‐Montes de Oca, Robert W. Bryson Jr., Walter Schmidt‐Ballardo and Carlos J. Pavón‐Vázquez. 2018. Molecular Systematics and Historical Biogeography of the Genus Gerrhonotus (Squamata: Anguidae). Journal of Biogeography.  DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13241

[Ichthyology • 2018] Austrolebias wichi • An Endangered New Species of Seasonal Killifish of the Genus Austrolebias (Cyprinodontiformes: Aplocheiloidei) from the Bermejo River Basin in the Western Chacoan Region, northwestern Argentina

Austrolebias wichi

 Alonso, Terán, Calviño, García, Cardoso & García, 2018
Austrolebias wichi, new species, is herein described from seasonal ponds of the Bermejo river basin in the Western Chacoan district in northwestern Argentina. This species was found in a single pond, a paleochannel of the Bermejo River, which is seriously disturbed by soybean plantations surrounding it. Despite intensive sampling in the area, this species was only registered in this pond where it was relatively scarce. Therefore, we consider this species as critically endangered. This species is the sister species of A. patriciae in our phylogenetic analyses and is similar, in a general external aspect, to A. varzeae and A. carvalhoi. It can be distinguished among the species of Austrolebias by its unique color pattern in males. Additionally, from A. varzeae by presenting a supraorbital band equal or longer than the infraorbital band (vs. shorter) and from A. patriciae by the convex dorsal profile of head (vs. concave). Further diagnostic characters and additional comments on its ecology and reproduction are provided.

Fig 1. Live pictures of males in left lateral view.
Austrolebias wichi sp. nov. (C) Austrolebias varzeae, picture by Matheus Volcan;
Austrolebias patriciae from type locality, not preserved, picture by Daniel W. Fromm. 

Fig 2. Live pictures of females in left lateral view.
 Austrolebias wichi sp. nov. (B) Austrolebias varzeae, picture by Matheus Volcan;
Austrolebias patriciae from type locality, not preserved, picture by Daniel W. Fromm.

Austrolebias wichi, new species

Diagnosis: Distinguished from all other congeners except from Austrolebias patriciae by a supraorbital bar longer or equal than infraorbital bar (vs. always shorter than infraorbital bar). Austrolebias wichi can be distinguished from Austrolebias patriciae by head dorsal profile on lateral view concave (vs. convex), the absence of filamentous rays markedly overpassing the interradial membrane distal margin of dorsal and anal fin in adult males (vs. present), by presenting small numerous whitish dots on unpaired fins in males (vs. fewer and bigger), infraorbital and supraorbital bands thinner than pupil and pointed distal portion (vs. equal or wider than pupil and rounded distal portion), dorsal-fin origin posterior to anal fin origin in females (vs. anterior) (Fig 1).

Female colour pattern similar to A. patriciae, with grey pinkish background having irregular grey blotches and some dark blue blotches over the caudal peduncle and body flank and differing from A. varzeae, which presents an orange background with minute black and grey relatively rounded, irregular blotches (Fig 2), and from A. araucarianus which presents a yellowish brown pale flank, with vertically elongated dark grey to black spots, often forming short narrow bars [Costa, 2014].
Fig 1. Live pictures of males in left lateral view. (A-B) Austrolebias wichi sp. nov. (C) Austrolebias varzeae, picture by Matheus Volcan; D) Austrolebias patriciae from type locality, not preserved, picture by Daniel W. Fromm.

 Fig 2. Live pictures of females in left lateral view. (A) Austrolebias wichi sp. nov. (B) Austrolebias varzeae, picture by Matheus Volcan; (C) Austrolebias patriciae from type locality, not preserved, picture by Daniel W. Fromm.

Etymology: The name wichi is a reference to the occurrence of the new species in the Western Chacoan region where the Wichí indigenous people inhabits in several settlements very close to the type locality.

Ecology: The ponds in the region have marked dry and wet seasons; the rains are concentrated during the summer, with about 75% of the total rains concentrated from December to March, and almost no rains from May to September [Arias, 1996] (Table 2). This determines that the seasonal ponds present water approximately from December to April, depending on the pond and the variability among years, (persobs.) (Fig 6).

The seasonal aquatic environment where the new species was collected is part of a long paleochannel which is interrupted by a road. Despite intensive sampling efforts in this area and in the Western Chacoan region we were only able to collect this species in the portion of the paleochannel immediately next to the road. Physicochemical parameters measured on January 2006 where pH 6,9 and a conductivity of 70 μsiemens/cm. This environment generally presents abundant aquatic vegetation. Other syntopic killifish species are: Papiliolebias bitteri (Costa 1989) and Trigonectes aplocheiloides Huber, 1995, which are the most abundant species, followed in abundance by Austrolebias vandenbergi (Huber, 1995) and A. wichi, which is very scarce in this environment, and some years we could not even collect a single specimen of this species while there were other annual fishes in the pond. Also, very few Neofundulus paraguayensis (Eigenmann & Kennedy, 1903) were collected in this pond. Nearby, a couple of hundred of metres from this environment there is another pond where we collected Austrolebias monstrosus (Huber, 1995) but this species was not found syntopically with A. wichi. There are many seasonal ponds in this area where annual fish are very abundant; nevertheless, the only place where we found A. wichi is the type locality. The only noticeable difference between this environment and other seasonal ponds in the area may be that this is a very profound (about 1 meter depth) and big environment.

From mid autumn, winter, and spring the pond is completely dry and the top layer of substrate, which consist of slime with some vegetal rests, is very dry (Fig 7). The presence of domestic cattle in this area is evident in the bottom of the dry pond and the impact of this alteration in the bottom structure over the killifish populations is unknown.

Fig 6. Type locality of Austrolebias wichi sp. nov. (A) January 2006. (B) January 2014. (C) April 2017. (D) August 2012. 

Fig 7. Detail of the bottom of the pond where Austrolebias wichi n. sp. is found. August 2012. Picture courtesy of Marcos Mirande.

Felipe Alonso, Guillermo Enrique Terán, Pablo Calviño, Ignacio García, Yamila Cardoso and Graciela García. 2018.   An Endangered New Species of Seasonal Killifish of the Genus Austrolebias (Cyprinodontiformes: Aplocheiloidei) from the Bermejo River Basin in the Western Chacoan Region. PLoS ONE. 13(5): e0196261.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196261