Tuesday, September 26, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Naja peroescobari • A New Species of Naja Laurenti, 1768 (Squamata: Elapidae): The “Cobra-preta” of São Tomé Island, Gulf of Guinea

Naja (Boulengerina) peroescobari  
Ceríaco, Marques, Schmitz & Bauer, 2017

Photo: T. Pisoni. 
DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4324.1.7 


The Cobra-Preta (black snake in Portuguese) of Sao Tomé Island in the Gulf of Guinea has historically been referred to as Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca (Squamata: Elapidae). Its presence on the island has been traditionally explained as an introduction from the mainland by Portuguese settlers, supposedly to control the rat population. This explanation has been widely accepted by local authorities and even international conservation agencies. The taxonomic identity of this snake has remained undisputed by all taxonomists who have published about it, with the exception of L. Capocaccia in 1961. Arguments supporting the human introduction hypothesis are weak and are contradicted by historical, morphological and molecular data. Further, the biogeographic history of the Gulf of Guinea oceanic islands and recent insights on the taxonomic identity and evolutionary history of other taxonomic groups occurring there suggest that the Cobra-Preta, in fact, represents a distinct lineage of the melanoleuca group, endemic to São Tomé. We here describe the Cobra Preta as a new species. The new species differs from N. (B.) melanoleuca, its sister species, by a distinct coloration ventral pattern and the type of contact of the sublingual scales. Data on the toxicology, distribution, ecology, folklore and conservation status of the new species are presented.

Keywords: Reptilia, NajaBoulengerina, taxonomy, São Tomé & Príncipe, conservation, Naja (Boulengerina) peroescobari sp. nov.

FIGURE 4. Holotype of Naja (Boulengerina) peroescobari sp. nov. (MUHNAC / MB 03 – 001065).

FIGURE 5. Live picture of Naja (Boulengerina) peroescobari  sp nov. from near Santa Josefina. Specimen not collected. Photo by Tiziano Pisoni. 

Luis M. P. Ceríaco, Mariana P. Marques, Andreas Schmitz and Aaron M. Bauer. 2017. The “Cobra-preta” of São Tomé Island, Gulf of Guinea, is A New Species of Naja Laurenti, 1768 (Squamata: Elapidae). Zootaxa. 4324(1); 121–141.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4324.1.7


[Entomology • 2017] Coeliccia duytan • A New Species of Damselfly (Odonata: Platycnemididae) from the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Coeliccia duytan  Phan, 2017


Coeliccia duytan sp. nov. (holotype male, from Chu Mom Ray National Park, Kon Tum Province, the Central Highlands of Vietnam, deposited in zoological collection of Duy Tan University) is described based on both sexes. The new species is closely related to C. hayashii Phan & Kompier, 2016 by the extensive rectangular pruinosity on the synthorax but differs in lacking a pale antehumeral stripe, genital ligula with flagella pointed at tip and the shape of cerci.

Keywords: Odonata, Platycnemididae, Coeliccia duytan sp. nov., Vietnam

FIGURE 4. Coeliccia duytan sp. nov. in nature (4a) male; (4b) female.

Coeliccia duytan sp. nov.

Etymology. This specific epithet is derived from my office Duy Tan University; duytan, a noun in apposition.

Habitat and Ecology. This is a shy species, usually perching ca. 20–30 cm high in dark forest underlain with decomposing leaf litter. It was found at streams (4–6m width) with large stones in pristine forest. At the type locality, this species occurs with two other congeners C. mientrung Kompier & Phan, 2017 and C. dydima (Selys, 1863) (new record for Vietnam, unpublished).  

Quoc Toan Phan. 2017. Coeliccia duytan sp. nov. from the Central Highlands of Vietnam (Odonata: Platycnemididae). Zootaxa. 4324(1); 195–200.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4324.1.12

[Paleontology • 2017] Burianosaurus augustai • A Basal Ornithopod Dinosaur from the Cenomanian of the Czech Republic

 Burianosaurus augustai 
 Madzia, Boyd & Mazuch, 2017

During their long evolutionary history, neornithischian dinosaurs diverged into several clades with distinctive adaptations. However, the early evolution within Neornithischia and the resolution of the phylogenetic relationships of taxa situated near the base of the clade remain problematic. This is especially true for those taxa traditionally placed at the base of Ornithopoda, either as ‘hypsilophodontids’ or at the base of the diverse clade Iguanodontia. Recent studies are improving our understanding of the anatomy and relationships of these taxa, with discoveries of several new non-ankylopollexian ornithopods from South America and Europe providing key insights into early ornithopod evolution and palaeobiogeography. Here, we describe a new basal ornithopod, Burianosaurus augustai gen. et sp. nov., based on a well-preserved femur from the upper Cenomanian strata (Korycany Beds of the Peruc-Korycany Formation) of the Czech Republic. The new taxon is diagnosed by a unique suite of characters and represents the only occurrence of a Cenomanian non-avian dinosaur in Central Europe north of the Alpine Tethyan areas. Histological examination of the type specimen reveals the presence of a loosely packed Haversian system which suggests relatively mature bone from a possible young adult. Phylogenetic analyses of two different data sets, selected to test the placement of B. augustai in various parts of the neornithischian tree, reconstruct B. augustai as a basal ornithopod, firmly nested outside Ankylopollexia. These results also support a diverse Elasmaria as a basal clade within Ornithopoda and reconstruct Hypsilophodon outside Ornithopoda as the sister taxon to Cerapoda. However, the relationships of ‘hypsilophodontids’ within Neornithischia remain contentious.

Keywords: Ornithopoda, Dinosauria, phylogeny, Cenomanian, Czech Republic

[2017] Figure 1. The holotype left femur (NMP Ob 203) of Burianosaurus augustai gen. et sp. nov.

[2005] Fig. 3. Left femur of cf. Iguanodontidae gen. et sp. indet. (Ornithischia, Ornithopoda), IGP MZHLZ/2003/1, in posterior (A), lateral (B), medial (C), ante− rior (D), and distal (F) views, with transverse cross−section through the femoral shaft (E).
(Fejfar, Košťák, Kvacek, et al. 2005) app.pan.pl/article/item/app50-295.html

Systematic palaeontology
Dinosauria Owen, 1842
Ornithischia Seeley, 1887
Neornithischia Cooper, 1985
Ornithopoda Marsh, 1881
Genus Burianosaurus gen. nov.
2005 cf. Iguanodontidae gen. et sp. indet.
Fejfar, Košťák, Kvacek, Mazuch, & Moucka: 297, fig. 3.

Age. Late Cenomanian, early Late Cretaceous.

Derivation of name. The name Burianosaurus is derived from the surname of the Czech palaeoartist Zdenek Burian (1905–1981) who greatly influenced the perception of dinosaurs during most of the twentieth century, and saῦro & (sauros), the Greek word for ‘reptile’ or ‘lizard’.

 Burianosaurus augustai sp. nov.

Holotype. NMP Ob 203, a well-preserved, nearly complete left femur.

Derivation of name. The name augustai refers to the prominent Czech palaeontologist and prolific science populariser Josef Augusta (1903–1968).

 Burianosaurus augustai sp. nov.
 Illustration: Edyta Felcyn

Only two definitive non-avian dinosaur specimens have been described from the Czech Republic to date: NMP Ob 203, a well-preserved left femur from the upper Cenomanian (Upper Cretaceous), introduced by Fejfar et al. (2005) under temporary catalogue number IGP MZHLZ/ 2003/1, and IGS-MJ-0001 (currently DGSMU Pa 222), an isolated tetanurine tooth crown from the Oxfordian (Upper Jurassic) published by Madzia (2014).

A re-evaluation of the phylogenetic relationships of NMP Ob 203 demonstrates that this specimen actually represents a non-ankylopollexian ornithopod, here named Burianosaurus augustai gen. et sp. nov. Analysis of a modified version of the Boyd (2015) basal neornithischian data set reconstructs Baugustai as a basal member of Ornithopoda, positioned more rootward than the rhabdodontomorphs but more derived than the Gondwanan elasmarians. The new taxon can be distinguished from all other ornithopods by a unique suite of morphological characters present in the femur. From a palaeobiogeographical perspective, B. augustai represents the only occurrence of a non-avian dinosaur from the Cenomanian of Central Europe north of the Alpine Tethyan areas (Fejfar et al. 2005; Csiki-Sava et al. 2015). This discovery adds to the growing body of work demonstrating the importance of the European fossil record for studying the evolution of non-ankylopollexian ornithopods (e.g. Ősi et al. 2012; Ruiz-Omeñaca et al. 2012).

Daniel Madzia, Clint A. Boyd and Martin Mazuch. 2017. A Basal Ornithopod Dinosaur from the Cenomanian of the Czech Republic. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. DOI:  10.1080/14772019.2017.1371258

Reconstruction of the possible form of the first "Czech" dinosaur, which was named Burianosaurus augustai. Only the femur is preserved from the specimen, so based on data on related species.... Illustration: Edyta Felcyn,
První český dinosaurus se změnil: byl primitivnější a nebyl zakrslý  technet.idnes.cz/cesko-kosti-dinosaurus-burianosaurus-augustai-f57-/veda.aspx via @iDNEScz

We describe the first dinosaur skeletal remains found in the Czech Republic, consisting of one complete femur and indeterminable bone fragments. They were recovered from the upper Cenomanian near-shore marine sediments deposited on the slopes of an ancient archipelago, several kilometres north of the larger Rhenish-Bohemian Island that was situated in what is now the middle of Europe. Sediments yielding dinosaur remains are of late Cenomanian age, Inoceramus pictus-I. pictus bohemicus inoceramid zone of the local lithostratigraphic unit, the Peruc-Korycany Formation. These are the first uncontested dinosaurian fossils reported from this formation and also the first Cenomanian dinosaur record in Central Europe. They document a small ornithopod belonging to an iguanodontid species comparable with similar Late Cretaceous European forms. The herbivorous dinosaur lived among a vegetation transitional between salt marsh flora, with abundant halophytic conifer Frenelopsis alata; and an alluvial plain assemblage dominated by lauroid angiosperms.
Key words: Dinosauria, Iguanodontidae, palaeoenvironment, vegetation, Cenomanian, Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic, Europe.

Oldřich Fejfar, Martin Košťák, Jiří Kvaček, Martin Mazuch, and Michal Moučka. 2005. First Cenomanian dinosaur from Central Europe (Czech Republic). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 50(2); 295-300.  app.pan.pl/article/item/app50-295.html

[Crustacea • 2017] Athanas alpheusophilus (Decapoda: Alpheidae) • A New Alpheus-associated Shrimp from the Russian Coast of the Sea of Japan

Athanas alpheusophilus Marin, 2017


A new alpheid shrimpAthanas alpheusophilus sp. nov., is described on the basis of numerous mature specimens collected from burrows of Alpheus brevicristatus De Haan, 1844 in Vityaz Bay, which is part of Posjeta Bay on the Russian side of the Sea of Japan. The new species belongs to “Athanas dimorphus” species complex and can be clearly separated from Athanas japonicus Kubo, 1936 and relative species by unique combination of morphological features of male and female pereiopods I (chelipeds) and some other features. Moreover, Athanas alpheusophilus sp. nov. is the first species of the genus Athanas Leach, 1814 reported as a symbiont of larger burrowing snapping shrimps of the genus Alpheus Fabricius, 1798 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alpheidae). Some taxonomic remarks on A. japonicus and related species are provided and Athanas lamellifer Kubo, 1940 is revalidated based on morphology of the male pereiopods I.

Keywords:  Crustacea, Malacostraca, Decapoda, Alpheidae, shrimp, Athanas, new species, commensalism, Alpheus-associated, Sea of Japan, Russia, North-West Pacific

 Ivan Marin. 2017. Athanas alpheusophilus sp. nov. (Decapoda: Alpheidae)— A New Alpheus-associated Shrimp from the Russian coast of the Sea of Japan. Zootaxa. 4324(1); 50–62.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4324.1.3

[Mammalogy • 2017] Murina hkakaboraziensis • A New Species of Murina (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, Sub-Himalayan Forests of northern Myanmar

Murina hkakaboraziensis
Soisook, Thaw, Kyaw, Oo, Pimsai, Suarez-Rubio & Renner, 2017

ค้างคาวจมูกหลอดคากาโบราซี || Hkakabo Razi Tube-nosed Bat || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4320.1.9


A new species of Murina of the suilla-type is described from the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, Kachin, Upper Myanmar, an area that is currently being nominated as a World Heritage Site. The new species is a small vespertilionid, with a forearm length of 29.6 mm, and is very similar to M. kontumensis, which was recently described from Vietnam. However, it is distinguishable by a combination of external and craniodental morphology and genetics. The DNA Barcode reveals that the new species clusters sisterly to M. kontumensis but with a genetic distance of 11.5%. A single known specimen of the new species was collected from a lowland forest area in the plains of the Hkakabo Razi landscape, south-eastern Himalaya. Additional information on ecology, echolocation, and conservation are included. The high cryptic diversity of the genus Murina in Southeast Asia, as well as the Hkakabo Razi Landscape being a bat diversity hotspot, is highlighted.

Keywords:  Mammalia, cryptic species, Hkakabo Razi, Myanmar, new species, Southeast Asia

FIGURE 1. The appearance of the face, ear and pelage (a), dorsal pelage (b), and ventral pelage (c) of Murina hkakaboraziensis sp. nov., ♂PS160218.6, holotype, from Kachin, Myanmar.

Murina hkakaboraziensis sp. nov. 

Etymology. The species is named after the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, where the only known specimen was collected. The proposed English name is ‘Hkakabo Razi Tube-nosed Bat

Ecology and distribution. The new species, M. hkakaboraziensis sp. nov., was collected in a mist net set at the edge of a lowland semi-evergreen forest at the transition zone to an open space grassland, which undergoes an annual burn (Fig. 5). The new species was the only bat captured in the mist net. However, on the same night, four other insectivorous bats, Rhinolophus affinis, R. pusillus, Aselliscus stoliczkanus and Hipposideros pomona were captured in nearby mist nets and harp traps. Four other vespertilionids, M. cyclotis, M. feae, M. cf. eleryi, Kerivoula hardwickii, and K. furva were also captured in the same area on other nights. Currently, the new species is only known from the holotype collected from the type locality in the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, Kachin, northern Myanmar.

The discovery of Murina hkakaboraziensis sp. nov., as well as a recently described Kerivoula furva (Kuo et al. 2017), indicates that the Hkakabo Razi Landscape is extremely understudied in terms of bats. Based only on a single scientific expedition in 2016, 37 species of bats were recorded from HRL (P. Soisook, unpublished data) representing approximately 40% of bats in Myanmar. Nevertheless, the 2016 expedition focused only on a limited geographical area and elevation of the HRL. Future surveys to cover the variety of habitats, particularly at the higher elevations, would be of interest. 

The vespertilionid community in the HRL appears to be a geographical connection and a unique mix of species those found widespread in the Indochinese Region (e.g. M. cyclotis, M. feae, M. cf. eleryi, K. kachinensis, K. hardwickii, and K. furva), and those from the Indian Region (e.g. M. cf. jaintiana, M. cf. pluvialis). It indicates the importance of primary forests, and ongoing biogeographical processes of the HRL, underlining the significance of Myanmar’s endeavour to nominate the area as a Natural World Heritage Site. 

FIGURE 5. The edge of a lowland semi-evergreen forest at the transition zone to an open space grassland where the specimen of Murina hkakaboraziensis sp. nov. was captured. Photograph by Sai Sein Lin Oo.

Pipat Soisook, Win Naing Thaw, Myint Kyaw, Sai Sein Lin Oo, Awatsaya Pimsai, Marcela Suarez-Rubio and Swen C. Renner. 2017. A New Species of Murina (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from sub-Himalayan Forests of northern Myanmar.   Zootaxa. 4320(1); 159–172. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4320.1.9
Hao-Chih Kuo, Pipat Soisook, Ying-Yi Ho, Gabor Csorba, Chun-Neng Wang and Stephen J. Rossiter. 2017. A Taxonomic Revision of the Kerivoula hardwickii complex (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) with the Description of A New Species.   Acta Chiropterologica. 19(1); 19-39.  DOI: 10.3161/15081109ACC2017.19.1.002


Monday, September 25, 2017

[PaleoMammalogy • 2017] Inticetus vertizi • A New Odontocete (Toothed Cetacean) from the Early Miocene of Peru Expands the Morphological Disparity of Extinct Heterodont Dolphins

Inticetus vertizi
Lambert, de Muizon, Malinverno, Celma, Urbina & Bianucci, 2017

A key step in the evolutionary history of Odontoceti (echolocating toothed cetaceans) is the transition from the ancestral heterodont condition – characterized by the presence of double-rooted cheek teeth bearing accessory denticles – to the homodont dentition displayed by most extant odontocete species. During the last few decades, new finds and the reassessment of specimens in collections revealed an increased morphological disparity amongst the Oligo–Miocene heterodont odontocetes. Based on a partly articulated skeleton from late Early Miocene (Burdigalian, 18.8–18.0 Ma) beds of the Chilcatay Formation (Pisco Basin, Peru), we describe a new genus and species of heterodont odontocete, Inticetus vertizi, in the new family Inticetidae. This large dolphin is characterized by, amongst other things, a long and robust rostrum bearing at least 18 teeth per quadrant; the absence of procumbent anterior teeth; many large, broad-based accessory denticles in double-rooted posterior cheek teeth; a reduced ornament of dental crowns; the styliform process of the jugal being markedly robust; a large fovea epitubaria on the periotic, with a correspondingly voluminous accessory ossicle of the tympanic bulla; and a shortened tuberculum of the malleus. Phylogenetic analyses (with and without molecular constraint; with and without down-weighting of homoplastic characters) yielded contrasting results, with Inticetus falling either as a stem Odontoceti or as an early branching member of a large Platanistoidea clade. With its large size, robust rostrum and unusual dental morphology, and the absence of conspicuous tooth wear, Inticetus increases the morphological and ecological disparity of Late Oligocene–Early Miocene heterodont odontocetes. Finally, this new taxon calls for caution when attempting to identify isolated cetacean cheek teeth, even at the suborder level.
Keywords: Cetacea, Odontoceti, heterodont, Miocene, Burdigalian, Peru

Figure 4. Cranium and mandibles of Inticetus vertizi, MUSM 1980 (holotype). A, left lateral view; B, corresponding explanatory line drawing. Scale bar = 200 mm.

Figure 17. Cranium and mandibles of Inticetus vertizi, MUSM 1980 (holotype). A, detail of the posterior part of the right lower quadrant including cheek teeth C8–12, in medial view. 

Systematic palaeontology

Order Cetacea Brisson, 1762
Pelagiceti Uhen, 2008a
Neoceti Fordyce & Muizon, 2001
Suborder Odontoceti Flower, 1867

Family Inticetidae fam. nov.
Type genus. Inticetus gen. nov.

 Genus Inticetus gen. nov.
Type species. Inticetus vertizi sp. nov.
Derivation of name. From Inti, the sun deity of the Inca Empire, and cetus, whale in Latin, for the typical, subcircular and ray-like arrangement of accessory denticles in posterior cheek teeth of MUSM 1980, reminiscent of artistic reconstructions of the rising sun.

 Inticetus vertizi sp. nov.

Derivation of name. Honouring the discoverer of the holotype MUSM 1980, the Peruvian artist Álvaro Suárez Vértiz.

Olivier Lambert, Christian de Muizon, Elisa Malinverno, Claudio Di Celma, Mario Urbina and Giovanni Bianucci. 2017. A New Odontocete (Toothed Cetacean) from the Early Miocene of Peru Expands the Morphological Disparity of Extinct Heterodont Dolphins. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. DOI:  10.1080/14772019.2017.1359689

[Herpetology • 2017] A Taxonomic Revision of the Philautus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) of Sumatra with the Description of Four New Species; P. amabilis, P. polymorphus, P. thamyridion & P. ventrimaculatus

Philautus amabilis, P. thamyridion & P. ventrimaculatus
Wost, Riyanto, Hamidy, Kurniawan, Smith & Harvey, 2017 

This paper is the first taxonomic treatment of Sumatran Philautus since the early 20th century. We redescribe P. cornutus and P. petersi from new specimens, restrict P. petersi to Great Natuna Island, and reinstate the name P. larutensis for the populations on Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, and Sumatra. We then synonymize P. similis with P. larutensis. We report Sumatran populations of P. kerangae and P. refugii, two species previously thought to be endemic to Borneo and discuss the presence of P. aurifasciatus on the island. We describe four new species of Philautus collected during large-scale herpetological surveys of Sumatra between 2013 and 2015 and propose a hypothesis of their relationship to the other Sunda Shelf Philautus on the basis of 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid sequences. Additionally, we provide a key to the Philautus of Sumatra. In the course of this work we transfer P. vittiger from Java to the genus Chiromantis.

Keywords: Anuran taxonomy, Biodiversity, Biogeography, Sunda Shelf

Philautus amabilis, P. polymorphus, P. thamyridion & P. ventrimaculatus

Wost, Riyanto, Hamidy, Kurniawan, Smith & Harvey, 2017

 Previously Described Species 

• Philautus cornutus (Boulenger 1920)
• Philautus kerangae Dring 1987
• Philautus larutensis (Boulenger 1900)  
• Philautus petersi (Boulenger 1900) 
• Philautus refugii Inger and Stuebing 1996

New Species 

FIG. 10.—Philautus amabilis. MZB.Amph.26879, holotype, male, 20.79 mm snout–vent length (SVL), Bur Ni Telong Aceh (A and B). MZB.Amph.26887, female, 22.46 mm SVL, Gunung Marapi, Bengkulu (C and D). UTA-A 63816, male, 20.64 mm SVL, Gunung Sibuatan, Sumatera Utara (E and F).

• Philautus amabilis sp. nov.

Etymology.—The name amabilis is a masculine adjective from Latin meaning lovely. It is an apt description of this charming species.

FIG. 11.—Philautus polymorphus. MZB.Amph.26789, holotype, male 25.30 mm snout–vent length (SVL), Gunung Patah, Sumatera Selatan (A). MZB.Amph.26755, female, 25.89 mm SVL, Gunung Kerinci, Jambi (B). UTA-A 63953, female 28.93 mm SVL, Gunung Dempo, Sumatera Selatan (C). UTAA 63935, male, 21.28 mm SVL, Sumatera Barat Province, Gunung Marapi (D). MZB.Amph.26814, female, 26.04 mm SVL, Bukit Kaba, Bengkulu (E). UTAA 63909, female, 23.02 mm SVL, Gunung Daun, Bengkulu (F).

• Philautus polymorphus sp. nov.

Etymology.—The name polymorphus is a masculine adjective derived from the Greek words poly, meaning many, and morph, meaning shape or form. The name refers to the high levels of phenotypic variation displayed in this species.

FIG. 12.—Philautus thamyridion. MZB.Amph.26763, holotype, male 17.88 mm, Gunung Pesawaran, Lampung (A and B). UTA-A 63987, paratype, female, 19.82 mm snout–vent length (SVL), Gunung Pesawaran, Lampung (C). UTA-A 63976, female, 19.91 mm SVL, Gunung Daun, Bengkulu (D). MZB.Amph.26796, male, 17.37 mm SVL Gunung Patah, Sumatera Selatan (E). UTA-A 63982, male, 15.42 mm SVL, vicinity of Ngarip, Lampung, showing black spot surrounding vent and black coloration on inferior surface of tarsus (F).

• Philautus thamyridion sp. nov. 

Etymology.—The new name, thamyridion, is a masculine noun in apposition and is a diminutive of the proper name Thamyris, a boastful singer of Greek mythology. The name refers to this species’ small size and loud distinctive call.

FIG. 13.—Philautus ventrimaculatus. MZB.Amph.26815, holotype, female, 21.61 mm snout–vent length (SVL), Gunung Dempo, Sumatera Selatan (A and B). UTA-A 63882, paratype, female, 21.22 mm SVL, Gunung Dempo, Sumatera Selatan (C and D). UTA-A 63873, female, 16.87 mm SVL, Gunung Patah, Sumatera Selatan (E and F).  

• Philautus ventrimaculatus sp. nov. 

Etymology.—The specific name ventrimaculatus is a masculine adjective derived from the latin words venter, referring the stomach, and macula, meaning spot. The name is in reference to the distinctive pattern on the venter of this species.

Elijah Wost, Awal Riyanto, Amir Hamidy, Nia Kurniawan, Eric N. Smith and Michael B. Harvey. 2017. A Taxonomic Revision of the Philautus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) of Sumatra with the Description of Four New Species. Herpetological Monographs. 31(1); 70-113.  DOI: 10.1655/HERPMONOGRAPHS-D-16-00007 


Specimens of the newly described species — Philautus amabilis, Philautus polymorphus, Philautus thamyridion and Philautus ventrimaculatus — were collected from 2013 to 2015 in jungles over 1,000 meters above sea level.
Four new toads discovered in Sumatra  news.mongabay.com/2017/09/four-new-toads-discovered-in-sumatra/   @Mongabay

[Hexapoda • 2017] Turkmenocampa mirabilis • A Striking New Genus and Species of Troglobitic Campodeidae (Diplura) from Central Asia

Turkmenocampa mirabilis Sendra & Stoev, 2017 

A striking new genus and species of Campodeidae (Diplura), Turkmenocampa mirabilis Sendra & Stoev, gen.n., sp.n., found in Kaptarhana cave in Eastern Turkmenistan is described. This represents the first record of Diplura from Central Asia and also the first terrestrial troglobiont found in Turkmenistan. The new taxon shows several unique characters such as the lack of crests on the telotarsus, the presence of a side-shoot process and the shape of barbs on the ventral side of the laminar telotarsal processes hitherto unknown in other members of this family. Although T. mirabilis is tentatively placed in the subfamily Plusiocampinae, its true affinities remain uncertain. The new finding provides further support to the importance of Kaptarhana as a refuge for a number of endemic invertebrates.

Keywords: Turkmenistan, Koytentag Mountain, Turkmenocampa mirabilis, identification key, Plusiocampinae, cave fauna

Figures 1–2. Turkmenocampa mirabilis Sendra & Stoev, sp. n.
 1 Dorsal view of the frontal process and right side of the head, holotype 2 Head, ventral view, E23 female paratype. Scale bars: 0.2 mm.

A two-pronged bristletail of the family Campodeidae.
photo: Alberto Sendra

Turkmenocampa Sendra & Stoev, gen. n.

 Type species: Turkmenocampa mirabilis Sendra & Stoev, sp. n.

Etymology: Turkmenocampa is a composite name comprising “Turkmeno”-referring to the type locality and the suffix ‘-campa’ traditionally used in Campodeidae taxonomy. Gender: feminine.

Turkmenocampa mirabilis Sendra & Stoev, sp. n.

Etymology: mirabilis’ is a Latin adjective meaning “unusual, amazing, wonderful, remarkable”. The specific epithet refers to the unique micro-sensilla in the cupuliform organ which resemble sponges and micro-corals.

Habitat: Although Turkmenocampa mirabilis has so far been found only in the larger gallery of the cave, some 200–250 m inside the cave, it might well be that it also inhabits the other main passage of the cave. The species is a troglobiont, all records deriving from the aphotic zone of the cave. No specimens were however observed during the exploration of the cave, those that were trapped being found in humid locations, rich in guano.

Entrance of the cave Kaptarhana, Lebap Province, Eastern Turkmenistan.
photo: Aleksandr Degtyarev

 Alberto Sendra, Boris Sket and Pavel Stoev. 2017. A Striking New Genus and Species of Troglobitic Campodeidae (Diplura) from Central Asia.  Subterranean Biology. 23; 47-68.  DOI:  10.3897/subtbiol.23.14631
Strange troglodyte species found in Turkmenistan cave  upi.com/6632360t ข้อมูลจาก @upi


[Ichthyology • 2017] Pomacentrus flavioculus • A New Species of Damselfish (Teleostei: Pomacentridae) from Fiji and Tonga

Pomacentrus flavioculus
Allen, Erdmann & Pertiwi, 2017


Pomacentrus flavioculus n. sp. is described on the basis of 140 specimens, 17.1–86.8 mm SL, from Fiji and Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean. The new species was formerly identified as Pomacentrus imitator (Whitley, 1964), which now appears to be restricted to the Coral Sea. The new species clearly differs from P. imitator on the basis of several color-pattern features, including a bright yellow ring that encircles the pupil, a more uniform body color (vs. contrasting pale scale centers and dark scale margins), a yellowish caudal fin (vs. whitish), and a small orange marking immediately above the large black spot that covers the pectoral-fin base (absent in P. imitator). Although meristic and morphological features are broadly similar, P. flavioculus has a strong mode of 14 anal-fin rays vs. 15 in P. imitator. Additionally, P. flavioculus usually has a greater preanal distance and almost always has a longer pelvic-fin spine. A phylogenetic analysis of concatenated mtDNA sequences shows the new species is 8.4% divergent (average pairwise distance) from its nearest relatives and is part of the broad Pomacentrus philippinus species complex.

Figure 1. Pomacentrus flavioculus, Lau Archipelago, Fiji, underwater photographs:
A) approx. 70 mm SL, B) approx. 55 mm SL, C) subadult, approx. 45 mm SL, D) juvenile, approx. 20 mm SL (G.R. Allen).

Pomacentrus flavioculus, n. sp. 
Yelloweye Damselfish

Etymology. The new species is named flavioculus (Latin: yellow eye) with reference to the diagnostic yellow ring that encircles the pupil.

Distribution. The new species is known only from Fiji and Tonga (Fig. 3), where it is commonly encountered in depths of about 4–30 m. It occurs on both outer reefs and in lagoons, usually adjacent to steep coral formations with abundant ledges and overhangs.

Gerald R. Allen, Mark V. Erdmann and P.D. Pertiwi. 2017. Pomacentrus flavioculus, A New Species of Damselfish from Fiji and Tonga (Teleostei: Pomacentridae). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 28, 22–33.  DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.896910

[Crustacea • 2017] Diogenes heteropsammicola • A New Species of Hermit Crab (Decapoda, Anomura, Diogenidae) Replaces A Mutualistic Sipunculan in A Walking Coral Symbiosis

 Diogenes heteropsammicola 
 Igawa & Kato, 2017


Symbiont shift is rare in obligate mutualisms because both the partners are reciprocally dependent on and specialized to each other. In the obligate accommodation–transportation mutualism between walking corals and sipunculans, however, an unusual saltatory symbiont shift was discovered. In shallow waters of southern Japan, an undescribed hermit crab species was found living in corallums of solitary scleractinian corals of the genera Heterocyathus and Heteropsammia, replacing the usual sipunculan symbiont. We described the hermit crab as a new species Diogenes heteropsammicola (Decapoda, Anomura, Diogenidae), and explored its association with the walking corals. This hermit crab species obligately inhabits the coiled cavity of the corals, and was easily distinguished from other congeneric species by the exceedingly slender chelipeds and ambulatory legs, and the symmetrical telson. Observations of behavior in aquaria showed that the new hermit crab, like the sipunculan, carries the host coral and prevents the coral from being buried. This is an interesting case in which an organism phylogenetically distant from Sipuncula takes over the symbiotic role in association with a walking coral. The hermit crab species is unique in that its lodging is a living solitary coral that grows with the hermit crab in an accommodation–transportation mutualism.

Fig 6. Diogenes heteropsammicola sp. nov. in life. A, an individual in an aquarium, carrying the coral. 

Fig 6. Diogenes heteropsammicola sp. nov. in life. B, an individual removed from its host coral. Scale bar: 1 mm.

Taxonomic account
Genus Diogenes Dana, 1851

Diogenes heteropsammicola sp. nov.

Fig 7. Behavior of Diogenes heteropsammicola sp. nov.
A–C, sequence of behaviors to recover from an overturned to upright position in which the hermit crab leans out of the overturned coral (A), grasps the bottom with its ambulatory legs and left cheliped (B), and turns the coral upright using the pleon (C); D–F, sequence of behaviors to overcome burial in sediment, whereby the buried hermit crab (D) pushes away the sediment using its chelipeds and ambulatory legs (E), and then crawls away (F). 

Remarks: Diogenes heteropsammicola sp. nov. belongs to the D. edwardsii species group because of the intercalary rostriform process being smooth on the lateral margins, the antennal peduncle distinctly overreaching the distal corneal margin, and the antennal flagellum bearing a pair of long setae on the distal margin of each article ventrally. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species in this group by its exceedingly slender chelipeds and ambulatory legs, its symmetrical telson, red and white coloration, and the unique symbiotic habit with solitary corals.

Etymology: The new species is named after its mutualistic relationship with the solitary scleractinian corals of the genera Heteropsammia, keeping in mind that this hermit crab is also associated with Heterocyathus corals.

Distribution: At present, known only from Oshima Strait, between Kakeroma Island and Amami-Oshima Island, Kagoshima, Japan, depths of 60–80 m, and Ikomo Bay, western coast of Kakeroma Island, depth of 31 m.

Momoko Igawa and Makoto Kato. 2017. A New Species of Hermit Crab, Diogenes heteropsammicola (Crustacea, Decapoda, Anomura, Diogenidae), Replaces A Mutualistic Sipunculan in A Walking Coral Symbiosis. PLoS ONE. 12(9); e0184311.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184311

New hermit crab uses live coral as its home