Abstract Background: Balaenopterid mysticetes represent the most successful family-rank group of this clade. Their evolutionary history is characterized by a rich fossil record but the origin of the living genera is still largely not understood. Recent discoveries in the southern border of the North Sea revealed a number of well preserved fossil balaenopterid whales that may help resolving this problem. In particular, skull NMR 14035 shares morphological characters with the living humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae and, for this reason, its characteristics are investigated here.
Methods: The comparative anatomical analysis of the new specimen formed the basis of a new phylogenetic analysis of the Mysticeti based on a matrix including 350 morphological character states scored for 82 Operational Taxonomic Units. The stratigraphic age of the specimen was determined based on the analysis of the dinocyst assemblage recovered in the associated sediment. We assessed clade diversity in Balaenopteridae by counting the numbers of clades in given time intervals and then plotted the results.
Results: Nehalaennia devossi n. gen. et sp. is described for the first time from the late Tortonian (8.7–8.1 Ma) of the Westerschelde (The Netherlands). This new taxon belongs to Balaenopteridae and shows a surprisingly high number of advanced characters in the skull morphology. Nehalaennia devossi is compared to a large sample of balaenopterid mysticetes and a phylogenetic analysis placed it as the sister group of a clade including the genus Archaebalaenoptera. The inclusion of this fossil allowed to propose a phylogenetic hypothesis for Balaenopteridae in which (1) Eschrichtiidae (gray whales) represents a family of its own, (2) Balaenopteridae + Eschrichtiidae form a monophyletic group (superfamily Balaenopteroidea), (3) Cetotheriidae is the sister group of Balaenopteroidea, (4) living Balaenoptera species form a monophyletic group and (5) living M. novaeangliae is the sister group of Balaenoptera. Our work reveals a complex phylogenetic history of Balaenopteridae and N. devossi informs us about the early morphological transformations in this family. Over time, this family experienced a number of diversity pulses suggesting that true evolutionary radiations had taken place. The paleoecological drivers of these pulses are then investigated.
Figure 3: Dorsal view of the holotype skull of Nehalaennia devossi (NMR 999100014035). (A) Photographic representation. (B) Interpretation. Scale bar equals 10 cm.
Holotype: Specimen 999100014035 of the collection of the Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam.
Etymology: The genus name is one of the spellings of the name of the Keltic pagan goddess of the sea which was also accepted by Romans when they conquered what is now the most southern province of The Netherlands. The species name is given to honor Dr. John de Vos for his lifelong contribution to Dutch paleontology and his leading role in creating the unique bond and trust between Dutch professional and amateur paleontologists. Differential diagnosis: Nehalaennia devossi differs from Archaebalaenoptera castriarquati in having a rounded anterior border of the supraoccipital, anterior half of the supraoccipital not strongly compressed transversely, widely concave posterior border of the maxilla, shorter and wider ascending process of the maxilla, significantly shorter nasal bones and anterior border of the supraorbital process of the frontal anterolaterally concave. It differs from Plesiobalaenoptera quarantellii in showing a lower superior portion of the periotic, shorter and wider ascending process of the maxilla, more slender lateral process of the maxilla with deeper antorbital notch, posterior end of the posterior process of the periotic more robust and round. It differs from ‘Megaptera’ hubachi in having a ventrally concave glenoid fossa of the squamosal with the postglenoid process projecting ventrally and forming a c. 90° angle with the zygomatic process of the squamosal, in having a rounded anterior border of the supraoccipital, and in lacking exposure of the alisphenoid in the temporal fossa. It differs from ‘Balaenoptera’ bertae in having a wider and rounder anterior border of the supraoccipital, in having an anterolaterally concave anterior border of the supraorbital process of the frontal, in having a vertically-oriented postglenoid process of the squamosal making the glenoid fossa of the squamosal more concave in lateral view. It differs from Incakujira anillodefuego in having a rounder and wider anterior border of the supraoccipital, in having a comparatively shorter and slender supraorbital process of the frontal and a comparatively shorter zygomatic process of the squamosal, in having the premaxilla terminating anteriorly to the nasal. It differs from ‘Megaptera’ miocaena in having a narrower anterior border of the supraoccipital, comparatively longer ascending process of the maxilla with ‘primary dorsal infraorbital foramina’, more concave glenoid fossa of the squamosal. It differs from Fragilicetus velponi in lacking a squamosal bulging into the temporal fossa, in having a wider anterior border of the supraoccipital, in having a less strongly protruding posterolateral corner of the exoccipital, in having a rounded dorsal border of the periotic. It differs from Protororqualus cuvieri in having a wider and rounder anterior border of the supraoccipital, in having shorter zygomatic process of the squamosal, in having a wider space between the posterior border of the maxilla and the anterior border of the supraorbital process of the frontal, and in having an anterolaterally concave anterior border of the supraorbital process of the frontal. The same differences are observed when Nehalaennia devossi is compared against ‘Balaenoptera’ cortesi var. portisi. It differs from Parabalaenoptera baulinensis in having shorter and wider ascending process of the maxilla, rounded supraoccipital and shorter nasal bones. Nehalaennia devossi differs from the genus Balaenoptera in having a rounded anterior border of the supraoccipital, rounded posterior end of the ascending process of the maxilla, anterolaterally concave anterior border of the supraorbital process of the frontal, alisphenoid not exposed in the temporal fossa. It differs from Megaptera novaeangliae in having zygomatic process of the squamosal less diverging from the longitudinal axis of the skull, anterior border of the pars cochlearis of the periotic not strongly protruded, and more concave glenoid fossa of the squamosal in lateral view.
Artistic reconstruction of Nehalaennia devossi shows two individuals during feeding upon schooling fishes. The leatherback turtle is used as a reference to show the hypothesized size of the rorqual. Credits for the illustration: Remie Bakker, Manimal Works, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Michelangelo Bisconti, Dirk K. Munsterman and Klaas Post. 2019. A New Balaenopterid Whale from the late Miocene of the Southern North Sea Basin and the Evolution of Balaenopterid Diversity (Cetacea, Mysticeti). PeerJ. 7:e6915 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.6915
A new species of the dicroglossid frog genus Limnonectes is described from recent and historical museum specimens collected in central and southern Laos and northeastern Thailand.Limnonectes savan sp. nov. has males that bear a caruncle on top of the head, and most closely resembles L. dabanus from adjacent southern Vietnam and eastern Cambodia. However, the new species is readily distinguished from L. dabanus, and all other caruncle-bearing species of Limnonectes in mainland Southeast Asia, by its adult and larval morphology, mitochondrial DNA, and advertisement call. Its description brings the total number of caruncle-bearing species of Limnonectes to six.
Figure 3. Limnonectes savan sp. nov. in life A lateral view of holotype male (NCSM 76288) B lateral view of paratype female (NUOL 00061) C ventral view immediately prior to preservation of paratype male (NCSM 76303) D ventral view immediately prior to preservation of paratype female (NCSM 76301).
Figure 5. Limnonectes savan sp. nov. A oviposition site with dead palm frond in situ in Savannakhet Province, Laos B eggs (NCSM 76494) prior to preservation adhered to underside of dead palm frond that is visible in previous image C eggs (NCSM 76494) in preservative with jelly layer D eggs (NCSM 76494) in preservative after removal from jelly layer.
Figure 6. Limnonectes savan sp. nov. larvae A in situ in puddle in wet gully in semi-evergreen forest in Savannakhet Province, Laos; one exemplar larva in preservative (NCSM 76492) at Gosner Stage 31, TL 18.4 mm in B oral view C dorsal view D lateral view and E ventral view.
Limnonectes(Elachyglossa) savan sp. nov.
Limnonectes sp. Chan-ard, 2003: 120.
Diagnosis: Assigned to the genus Limnonectes on the basis of its inferred phylogenetic position (Fig. 1), the presence of fang-like odontoid processes on the lower jaw (Emerson et al. 2000; Lambertz et al. 2014), and having males with hypertrophied heads (Lambertz et al. 2014). Assigned to the subgenus Elachyglossa (following Ohler and Dubois 1999; Lambertz et al. 2014) on the basis of its close phylogenetic position to the subgenerotype L. gyldenstolpei (Fig. 1). A medium-sized Limnonectes having the combination of adult males with SVL 39.0–56.2, adult females with SVL 38.9–55.2; males with hypertrophied head; males with interorbital caruncle consisting of low-profile swelling without a free posterior margin, extending from level of anterior margin of eye to level midway between posterior margin of eye and tympanum; odontoid processes on anterior margin of lower jaw larger in males than in females; horizontal diameter of tympanum equal to eye in adult males, ¾ of eye diameter in subadult males, immature males, and females; enlarged, rounded, tubercles on dorsum, becoming more elongated dorsolaterally; dark brown or gray spotting on throat, belly, and ventral surfaces of forelimbs and hindlimbs; and ova with pigmented poles.
Etymology: The specific epithet savan means paradise in the Lao language, and is a commonly used, truncated form of the name for Savannakhet Province, Laos, that contains the holotype and most paratype localities of the new species. The specific epithet savan is a noun in apposition.
Suggested common names: Savan Fanged Frog (English), Kop Hone Savan (Lao), Kop Panomdongrak (Thai).
Figure 8. Habitat ofLimnonectes savan sp. nov. in Savannakhet Province, Vilabouli District, Laos in December 2008 at A Houay Khalai Stream, Ban Khalai Village, and B Houay Hong Stream, Ban Houay Hong Village.
Distribution, natural history:
Limnonectes savan is known to occur in central and southern Laos (Khammouan, Savannakhet, and Champasak Provinces), and northeastern Thailand (Ubon Ratchatani; Fig. 7). Chan-ard (2003) also reported it (as Limnonectes sp.) from Amnat Charoen Provinces in northeastern Thailand. The species occurs in hill and semi-evergreen forest from 254–790 m elevation, and is usually associated with small (1–3 m wide) streams (Fig. 8); based on 51 specimens sampled at night (1900h–2251h), 38 (74.5%) were found in streams (permanent streams with rocky or sandy substrates, or intermittent streams), nine (17.7%) were found in puddles, two (3.9%) were found in ponds, and two (3.9%) were found on the forest floor, away from an obvious body of water. Nineteen (37.3%) of the 51 specimens were sampled in water, with the remaining 32 individuals (62.7%) found on substrates of soil, leaf litter, rocks or logs.
Limnonectes savan breeds in puddles on the forest floor during the rainy season. A chorus of calling males, including paratype male NCSM 76299, was observed in a wet gully under roots and dead leaves in semi-evergreen forest at 1935 h on 28 June 2009. Egg clutch NCSM 76494 was found adhering to the underside of a submerged dead palm frond in a puddle in the same wet gully on 1 July 2009 (Fig. 5). Larvae NCSM 76491 (n=13), NCSM 76492 (n=28), and NCSM 76493 (n=43) were sampled from small puddles (0.2–1 m diameter) in the same wet gully during 28 June–1 July 2009 (Fig. 6).
Limnonectes savan occurs in sympatry with L. lauhachindai in Ubon Ratchathani Province in northeastern Thailand (Appendix 1), but its geographic distribution appears to be parapatric to that of L. dabanus in southern Laos, and to that of L. gyldenstolpei in central and southern Laos and northeastern Thailand (Appendix 1).
Somphouthone Phimmachak, Stephen J. Richards, Niane Sivongxay, Sengvilay Seateun, Yodchaiy Chuaynkern, Sunchai Makchai, Hannah E. Som and Bryan L. Stuart. 2019. A New Caruncle-bearing Fanged Frog (Limnonectes, Dicroglossidae) from Laos and Thailand. ZooKeys. 846: 133-156. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.846.33200
The enigmatic blind cave eel Ophisternon candidum is one of Australia’s least known fishes and is one of only three vertebrates in Australia with an entirely subterranean existence. For more than half a century, O. candidum was thought to be restricted to some 100 km of coastal cave systems in north-western Australia. Herein we report on two new populations, each separated by hundreds of kilometres, and provide the first complete list of all known records of subterranean Ophisternon in Western Australia. Using morphological and molecular data, we show that these populations are conspecific, with one population showing evidence of genetic differentiation. Geological and biogeographic explanations are explored, along with conservation considerations. All populations face actual and potential threats, especially from mining activities, and there is a need for management and conservation strategies specific to each population.
Keywords: anchialine, Barrow Island, biogeography, Cape Range, conservation, genetics, Pilbara.
Ophisternon candidum Western Australian Museum (WAM) P.34487-001 (364-mm total length) photographed live in an aquarium.
Glenn I. Moore, William F. Humphreys and Ralph Foster. 2018. New Populations of the Rare Subterranean Blind Cave Eel Ophisternon candidum (Synbranchidae) reveal Recent Historical Connections throughout north-western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research. DOI:10.1071/MF18006
Abstract: The rare blind cave eel Ophisternon candidum is restricted to a few populations and was originally described on the basis of only two specimens. The holotype and paratype were re-examined to provide revised and additional morphometrics. Nine more recently collected specimens, across a range of sizes, were also examined to provide an updated and expanded description of morphometrics for the species. Sensory head pores were identified and described for the first time in this species and a series of fresh colour photographs of both juvenile and adult specimens are provided suggesting ontogenetic ocular degeneration and vascularisation that may have evolved in response to a life in darkness.
Keywords: Anchialine, Pilbara, X-ray, Head pores, Anommatophasma
Glenn I. Moore. 2018. New morphological data and live photographs of the rare subterranean blind cave eel Ophisternon candidum (Synbranchidae) from north-western Australia. Ichthyological Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10228-018-0647-2
Brasilodon quadrangularis (Cynodontia, Probainognathia) is an iconic non-mammaliaform cynodont from the Late Triassic of Brazil (Riograndia Assemblage Zone, Candelária Sequence), being considered as the sister taxon of Mammaliaformes. Although its phylogenetic position is very important, several aspects of its postcranial anatomy remain unclear or unstudied. Here, we present a detailed description of the postcranial elements referred to Brasilodon, including previously mentioned specimens and new ones, which add relevant information about its postcranial morphology and provide a new insight into the anatomical transition between advanced non-mammaliaform cynodonts and early mammaliaforms. Functional and ecological implications are also investigated, based on the postcranial morphology and muscular reconstructions. The postcranium of Brasilodon differs from most non-mammaliaform cynodonts and presents similarities with tritylodontids, early mammaliaforms and extant therians, such as a ventrally oriented scapular glenoid facet, a distinct and ossified greater humeral tubercle, lack of ectepicondylar foramen, olecranon process, hemispherical humeral and femoral heads and a prominent intertrochanteric crest. The humeral torsion, the length of the deltopectoral crest, the large bicipital groove and the well-developed lesser tubercle, indicate that the forelimb of Brasilodon was hold in a semi-sprawling position, with well-developed adductor muscles to maintain the body off the ground. The short femoral neck and the strong medial projection of the femoral head indicate the femur was held in a more erect posture than in basal non-mammaliaform cynodonts. The anterodorsally projected iliac blade with reduced postacetabular process, reduction of the anterior part of the pubis, medially located lesser trochanter indicate a basically mammalian pattern of pelvic musculature, able to swing the femur in a nearly parasagittal plane.
Fig 13. Paleoartistic reconstruction of Brasilodon quadrangularis (left) and Riograndia guaibensis (right), two abundant probainognathian cynodonts from the Riograndia Assemblage Zone of the Candelária Sequence, Santa Maria Supersequence (Brazil), which exhibits different morphologies in skull, dentition and locomotor apparatus.
Illustration: Jorge Blanco.
The postcranium of Brasilodon quadrangularis differs from other non-mammaliaform cynodonts and is similar to early mammaliaforms and extant therians (e.g., hemispherical humeral and femoral head, distinct greater tubercle of the humerus, circular acetabulum, salient intertrochanteric crest of the femur). The morphology of the ulnar condyle of the humerus and olecranon process of the ulna suggests more abilities for extension and flexion of the elbow, a necessary component for a parasagittal locomotion. However, the humeral torsion, the length of the deltopectoral crest, the large bicipital groove and the well-developed lesser tubercle, indicate that the forelimb of B. quadrangularis was hold in a semi-sprawling position, with well-developed adductor muscles to maintain the body off the ground. The short femoral neck and the strong medial projection of the femoral head indicate the femur was held in a more erect posture than in basal non-mammaliaform cynodonts. The anterodorsally projected iliac blade with reduced postacetabular process, enlarged obturator foramen, reduction of the anterior part of the pubis, prominent and distinctive greater trochanter, medially located lesser trochanter, narrow intertrochanteric fossa represent a further continuation of trends that indicates a basically mammalian pattern of pelvic musculature, able to swing the femur in a nearly parasagittal plane.
Although fossorial or semifossorial habits appear to have been common in derived non-mammaliaform probainognathians (i.e., Riograndia, Irajatherium and Kayentatherium), the postcranial study of B. quadrangularis shows more generalized adaptations and highlights that distinctive ecological strategies (Fig 13) were developed among small-sized non-mammaliaform cynodonts.
Morgan L. Guignard, Agustin G. Martinelli and Marina B. Soares. 2019. The Postcranial Anatomy of Brasilodon quadrangularis and the Acquisition of Mammaliaform Traits Among Non-mammaliaform Cynodonts. PLoS ONE. 14(5): e0216672. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216672
Zamia brasiliensisCalonje & Segalla, a new subterranean-stemmed species of Zamia (Zamiaceae) from Mato Grosso and Rondônia, Brazil, is described and illustrated. It is compared to two morphologically similar species with adjacent geographic distributions: Z. boliviana from the Cerrado biome, and the Amazonian species Z. ulei. The new species shares unarmed petioles with Z. boliviana but is readily distinguishable by its much broader leaflets. Z. brasiliensis has leaflets somewhat resembling those of juvenile individuals of Z. ulei, but the latter species is easily differentiated by the presence of prickles on its petiole.
Keywords: Cerrado-Amazon Rainforest, Cycad, Endangered species, Endemic species, Gymnosperm, IUCN Red List
FIGURE 1. Vegetative characteristics of Zamia brasiliensis. A. Adult individual. B. Leaf, C. Middle leaflet. D. Cataphyll. E. Base of unarmed petiole.
FIGURE 2. Reproductive characteristics of Zamia brasiliensis. A. Abaxial side of microsporophyll. B. Adaxial side of microsporophyll. C. Cross section of pollen strobilus, abaxial side. D. Apex of pollen strobilus showing characteristic orange-brown tomentum E. Pollen strobili, near mature and immature, and new leaf showing inflexed ptyxis. F. Seed strobilus shortly after receptivity phase. G. Mature seed sclerotesta. H. Mature seed with sarcotesta. I. Mature seed strobilus, adaxial side. J. Distal half of mature seed strobilus. A–G based on material from Itaúba, Mato Grosso, H–J from Cacoal, Rondônia.
FIGURE 3. Zamia brasiliensis in habitat. A. Submontane semideciduous forest habitat during the dry season (September 2018) at the type locality in Itaúba, Mato Grosso. Photographed with Rosane Segalla. B. Habit of plant at type locality. C. Woodland savanna (Cerradão) habitat in Cacoal (Rondônia) at the beginning of the rainy season (November 2018). Plants most common at boundaries of Cerradão and more open ‘campo cerrado’ habitats. D. Plant growing among grasses in woodland savanna.
Photo credits: A, C, D—Rosane Segalla; B—Márcio Cassiano de Jesus.
Zamia brasiliensis Calonje & Segalla sp. nov.
Diagnosis:— Zamia brasiliensis is distinguishable from Z. boliviana in having much broader leaflets and from Z. ulei in having unarmed petioles.
Etymology:— Zamia brasiliensis is the only species of Zamia endemic to Brazil. The specific epithet refers to its distribution which is restricted to this country.
Rosane Segalla and Michael Calonje. 2019. Zamia brasiliensis, A New Species of Zamia (Zamiaceae, Cycadales) from Mato Grosso and Rondônia, Brazil. Phytotaxa. 404(1); 1–11.
The taxon Nematopogon adansoniella (de Villers, 1789), originally described from the south-western Alps, is re-evaluated. Based on DNA barcode examinations and morphological characters Nematopogon prolai Hartig, 1941 from the Apennines (central Italy) is recognized as a separate species and a lectotype is designated. Another cryptic species is Nematopogon garganellus sp. nov. from Monte Gargano (Puglia) and from Basilicata (southern Italy). Diagnostic morphological characters of the three species are outlined and, as far as known, information on distribution, habitat and bionomy is added.
Key Words: Lepidoptera, Nematopogoninae, DNA barcoding, Italy, Apennines, Monte Gargano, new species, lectotype designation
Nematopogon Zeller, 1839
Nematopogon adansoniella (de Villers, 1789)
Nematopogon prolai (Hartig, 1941)
Nematopogon garganellus sp. nov.
Rudolf Bryner and Peter Huemer. 2019. [Revision of the Nematopogon adansoniella species group with Description of A New Species from the Mountainous Regions of southern Italy.] Revision der Nematopogon adansoniella-Artengruppe mit Beschreibung einer neuen Art aus den Bergregionen Süditaliens (Lepidoptera, Adelidae). Alpine Entomology. 3: 93-104. DOI: 10.3897/alpento.3.33651
Zusammenfassung:Das ursprünglich aus den Südwestalpen beschriebene Taxon Nematopogon adansoniella (de Villers, 1789) wird neu bewertet. Auf Grund von DNA-Barcodeuntersuchungen sowie morphologischen Merkmalen wird Nematopogon prolai Hartig, 1941 aus dem Apennin (Mittelitalien) als eigenständige Art anerkannt und ein Lectotypus wird festgelegt. Als weitere, kryptische Art wirdNematopogon garganellus sp. nov. vom Monte Gargano (Puglia) und aus der Basilicata (Süditalien) neu beschrieben. Die morphologischen und genitalmorphologischen Unterscheidungsmerkmale der drei Arten werden aufgezeigt und, soweit bekannt, Angaben zu Verbreitung, Lebensraum und Bionomie gemacht.
Stump-toed frogs (genus Stumpffia Boettger, 1881) are a diverse group of small-bodied frogs endemic to Madagascar. Seven species of this genus occur on Marojejy, a steep massif in northeastern Madagascar. Here we examine the elevational distribution, phylogenetic position, biogeographic origin, and genetic differentiation of this Stumpffia assemblage. We show that none of these species is another’s closest relative, but rather they are all independent lineages that probably colonised the Marojejy Massif through repeated immigration events. All of the lineages on Marojejy are most closely related to species south and southwest of the massif, except one lineage, formerly known as Stumpffia sp. Ca07, but here assigned to S. sorata as a deep conspecific lineage (and referred to as S. cf. sorata), which occurs also in Sorata, 90 km north of Marojejy. The species on Marojejy are typically restricted to narrow elevational ranges, but at least two species, S. cf. sorata and S. tridactyla, occur over elevations spanning 1000 metres. We assessed the genetic variability of these populations, and found considerable haplotype separation in fragments of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA and nuclear Rag-1 genes, suggesting some disruption of gene flow associated with elevation. We discuss the biogeographic implications of our findings and, based on previously published data, the evolution of non-overlapping bioacoustic parameters among the diverse assemblage of Stumpffia species on the Marojejy massif.
Figure 3. Schematic graph showing known elevational distribution of species of Stumpffia on the Marojejy Massif, along with photos of the habitat at various elevations and the elevational profile of the track up the Marojejy summit, with the collection sites mentioned in the text and Supplementary materials.
Figure 2. Stumpffia species occurring in Marojejy National Park: (a) Stumpffia sp. Ca7 (here considered as S. cf. sorata: ZSM 555/2016 (ZCMV 15182); (b) Stumpffia roseifemoralis, ZSM 529/2016 (ZCMV 15172); (c) Stumpffia grandis (not assigned to voucher specimen); (d) Stumpffia diutissima, ZSM 547/2016 (ZCMV 15117); (e) Stumpffia sp. Ca11, ZSM 551/2016 (ZCMV 15214); (f) Stumpffia cf. sorata, ZSM 544/2016 (ZCMV 15181); (g) Stumpffia tridactyla (specimen collected, but specimen number uncertain); (h) Stumpffia achillei, ZSM 536/2016 (ZCMV 15149).
Andolalao Rakotoarison, Mark D. Scherz, Molly C. Bletz, Jary H. Razafindraibe, Frank Glaw and Miguel Vences. 2019. Diversity, Elevational Variation, and Phylogeographic Origin of Stump-toed Frogs (Microhylidae: Cophylinae: Stumpffia) on the Marojejy Massif, northern Madagascar. SALAMANDRA. 55(2); 115-123.
We describe the new gecko species Paroedura neglecta sp. n. from the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in western Madagascar, belonging to the P. bastardi/tanjaka clade. The species in this clade are characterized by three light dorsal crossbands on the dorsum of juveniles and subadults whereas all other Paroedura species have four such bands. The new species differs from all species in the P. bastardi complex in having the nostril in contact with the rostral scale. It is most similar to the sympatric P. tanjaka, from which it differs by the presence of prominent dorsal tubercles arranged in regular longitudinal rows (versus rather irregular rows of dorsal tubercles), smaller size, details of the dorsal colour pattern and strong genetic divergence.
Paroedura neglectasp. n.from Tsingy de Bemaraha, Madagascar, in life: (A) Paratype specimen (subadult male) of P. neglecta sp. n. (ZSM 18/2006; SVL 50.4 mm) from Andranopasazy in dorsolateral view, and (B) in portrait.
[lower right] Paroedura tanjaka
Paroedura neglecta sp. n.
Remarks: This species was previously treated
as Paroedura sp. n. (Bemaraha-Andafiabe) by Jackman et al. (2008),
as Paroedura sp. (aff. tanjaka) by Bora et al. (2010), and
as Paroedura sp. (Bemaraha) by Glaw et al. (2018).
Diagnosis: The new species can be distinguished from most other currently recognized Paroedura species by the presence of only three broad light crossbands on the dorsum (between forelimbs and hindlimbs) in juveniles and subadults versus four light crossbands in all other species except for P. bastardi, P. ibityensis, P. tanjaka (which all have only three crossbands) and P. oviceps and P. vahiny (in which the juvenile colouration is still unknown). In addition it can be distinguished from P. androyensis, P. bastardi, P. ibityensis, P. lohatsara, P. maingoka, P. picta, and P. vahiny by having the nostril in contact with the rostral scale; from P. gracilis by absence of a raised vertebral ridge on the dorsum and shorter forelimbs which do not extend forward beyond tip of snout; from P. masobe by much smaller eyes and absence of a dorsal row of paired spines on the tail; from P. fasciata, P. homalorhina, P. hordiesi, P. vahiny, and P. spelaea by presence of spines on the original tail (versus absence); from P. gracilis, P. homalorhina, P. kloki, P. maingoka, P. masobe, P. oviceps from its type locality (Nosy Be), P. picta, P. spelaea, and P. vahiny by the presence of prominent dorsal tubercles arranged in regular longitudinal rows (versus rather irregular rows of dorsal tubercles). Paroedura neglecta is most similar to P. tanjaka, with which it occurs in syntopy in the Tsingy de Bemaraha. Both species share the character of nostril in contact with the rostral scale, presence of only three broad light crossbands on dorsum of juveniles, and similar general colouration. The new species differs from P. tanjaka by the presence of prominent dorsal tubercles arranged in regular longitudinal rows (versus rather irregular rows of dorsal tubercles; Fig. 3), more clearly outlined dorsal crossbands in adults (versus crossbands in adults mostly resolved into irregular blotches and flecks; Fig. 3), smaller size (maximum SVL 61 mm versus 102 mm; see Nussbaum & Raxworthy 2000), and strong genetic divergence (see phylogenetic tree in Jackman et al. 2008). Paroedura neglecta differs genetically from all species in the genus (note: P. vahiny sequences are not available) by pronounced differences in the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial cox1 gene (see Table 1 in Glaw et al. 2018; 18.9–19.6% uncorrected pairwise distance to its sister species, P. tanjaka).
Available names: The types of the three available junior synonyms in the genus, Diplodactylus porogaster Boulenger, 1896 (synonym of P. androyensis); Diplodactylus robustus Boulenger, 1896 (synonym of P. picta); Phyllodactylus madagascariensis Mocquard, 1895 (synonym of P. picta), were not studied, but are obviously very different from P. neglecta described herein according to their original descriptions (Mocquard 1895, Boulenger 1896). The paratypes of Paroedura guibeae Dixon & Kroll, 1974 (synonym of P.bastardi) studied by us differ from P. neglecta by having the nostril separated from the rostral scale and the same is apparently true for all specimens in the type series (see Nussbaum & Raxworthy 2000).
Etymology: The species epithet is derived from the Latin adjective ‘neglectus’ meaning neglected. It refers to the fact that although identified as an unnamed species shortly after its collection (see Jackman et al. 2008), we refrained from describing it earlier for sentimental reasons only, due to the somewhat imperfect condition of the voucher specimens.
Jörn Köhler, Miguel Vences, Mark D. Scherz and Frank Glaw. 2019. A New Species of Nocturnal Gecko, Genus Paroedura, from the karstic Tsingy de Bemaraha Formation in western Madagascar. SALAMANDRA. 55(2); 73–81.
A new species of the lizard genus Stenocercus Duméril & Bibron, 1837 is described based on six specimens from Serra da Canastra, Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. Similar to S. tricristatus (Duméril, 1851), S. dumerilii (Steindachner, 1867), S. quinarius Nogueira & Rodrigues, 2006, and S. squarrosus Nogueira & Rodrigues, 2006, the new species has a pyramidal head and an enlarged, dorsally projected post-supraciliary scale, like a small horn. It is most similar to S. tricristatus, from which it differs in having a more elongated head in ventral view; a larger number of scales around midbody; a distinctly enlarged, smooth preauricular scale; and probably a larger body size. Moreover, the new species has distinctly keeled scales, with phylloid and mucronate dorsals; no enlarged supraoculars; no neck folds; a vertebral, and a pair of dorsolateral and (weak) lateral crests. A redescription of S. tricristatus is presented for comparison with the new species.
Key words: Minas Gerais, new species, Serra da Canastra, Squamata, taxonomy
Figures 1–3. (1) Drawing of Stenocercus tricristatus from Plate XXII in Duméril (1851); (2) photograph (by O.A.V. Marques) of a live adult specimen of Stenocercus canastra sp. nov. (holotype, MZUSP 88873); (3) photograph (by CCN) of a live juvenile specimen ofS. canatra sp. nov. (MZUSP 94456).
Stenocercus canastra sp. nov.
Stenocercus cf. tricristatus; Teixeira et al. 2016: 411, 413.
Diagnosis: Stenocercus canastra sp. nov. is characterized by the following combination of features: (1) Dorsal head scales keeled. (2) Interparietal distinct, moderately enlarged; parietals about as large as, or smaller than interparietal; postparietals large, with a prominent keel; other posterior head scales variable in size. (3) Internasals six. (4) No distinctly enlarged supraoculars, but medial ones larger than lateral ones; all with pronounced keels. (5) An enlarged canthal on each side, in contact anteriorly with two elongate scales that form a double canthal ridge. (6) An enlarged, prominent, pointed scale immediately posterior to supraciliaries; no projecting, blade-like, angulate temporal scales. (7) Gulars and ventrals distinctly keeled. (8) Parietal eye distinct. (9) Neck folds absent. (10) Dorsals phylloid, keeled, mucronate, and imbricate; scales on flanks similar to dorsals. (11) A prominent serrate vertebral crest, a slightly less prominent dorsolateral crest, and an even less prominent lateral crest. (12) Mite pockets absent. (13) Scales on posterior surface of thighs imbricate, keeled. (14) Tail nearly cylindrical to moderately compressed, verticils absent. (15) Dorsal coloration with numerous, bold, dark brown rhomboid marks forming a longitudinal series on back, and dark brown vertical bands on flanks; head with at least a dark brown spot between nostrils, and a large, rhomboid spot between eyes; no sexual dimorphism in color pattern. (16) Scales around midbody 39–41, ventrals between anterior margin of forelimbs and anterior margin of hind limbs 25–28. (17) Ear opening bordered anteriorly by a distinctly enlarged, smooth scale. Stenocercus canastra sp. nov. is distinguished from all other Stenocercus except S. dumerilii, S. tricristatus, S. quinarius and S. squarrosus by the presence of an enlarged, prominent post-supraciliary scale (Figs 5–9); from all others except S. tricristatus, S. quinarius and S. squarrosus by a moderately enlarged interparietal (although not as large as in the Tropidurini; Figs 10–11). It is distinguished from S. dumerilii, S. quinarius and S. squarrosus (character states in parentheses) by the presence of a prominent, serrate vertebral crest (in contrast to a low vertebral crest); two, rarely 3, supraciliaries (4, rarely 3); ear-opening bordered anteriorly by a distinctly enlarged scale projecting over tympanum (no enlarged scale projecting over tympanum; Figs 12–17); dorsals distinctly keeled and mucronate (dorsals with a low keel, not or hardly mucronate); 9–10 scales across midbody from one dorsolateral row to the other (11–13 in S. dumerilii, 13–15 in S. quinarius and S. squarrosus); ventrals between anterior level of fore- and hind limbs 24–28 (28–32 in S. dumerilii, 30–34 in S. quinarius, 28–34 in S. squarrosus); scales on chin subequal and imbricate, or only most anterior ones smaller and subimbricate (scales on chin smaller, polygonal, and subimbricate anteriorly, grading into larger, pointed, and imbricate posteriorly; Figs 18–22); tail 1.4–1.8 times SVL (1.2–1.4 times in S. dumerilii, 1.0–1.1 in S. quinarius and 0.8–0.9 in S. squarrosus); and color pattern (Table 1). From S. tricristatus it differs in presenting head width 0.78–0.89 times head length (0.96); 39–41 scales around midbody (33); and ear-opening bordered anteriorly by a distinctly enlarged, smooth scale (scale not larger than adjacent temporal scales, keeled). Moreover, it probably reaches a larger body size (adult males ≥ 70 mm in S. canastra sp. nov. versus 58 mm in the holotype of S. tricristatus).
Distribution: Stenocercus canastra sp. nov. is only known from Serra da Canastra National Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil (Figs 23–24). Besides the type series, two additional individuals of S. canastra sp. nov. were observed, but not collected, in an area very close to (less than 1 km N) the type-locality (O. Marini, pers. comm.).
Etymology: The specific epithet canastra is a noun in apposition and refers to the mountains (‘Serra da Canastra') where all specimens were collected.
Teresa C. Avila-Pires, Cristiano de C. Nogueira and Marcio Martins. 2019. A New ‘horned' Stenocercus from the Highlands of southeastern Brazil, and Redescription of Stenocercus tricristatus (Reptilia: Tropiduridae). Zoologia. 36: 1-16. DOI: 10.3897/zoologia.36.e22909
Abstract A deciduous shrub previously included in Ficus talbotii for many years, is now regarded as a new species, Ficus pongumphaii. It is morphologically distinct from F. talbotii with as typical characters the densely brown pubescent to tomentose or villous on leafy twig; the elliptic, suborbicular to obovate leaf blades that are brown tomentellous on the upper surface and brown floccose tomentose to villous underneath; the pedunculate figs are obovate, brown floccose or villous outside and have internal hairs. The leaf anatomy shows a multiple epidermis on both surfaces; enlarged lithocysts on both sides of the lamina, which are more abundant adaxially and with very few abaxially. The species, endemic to Thailand, is named after the great Thai dendrologist, Associate Professor Somnuek Pongumphai.
Keywords: Ficus; Moraceae; leaf anatomy; new species
Fig. 1 Ficus pongumphaiiChantaras. & Sungkaew. a. Twig with leaves and figs; b. figs; c. fig in longitudinal section; d. staminate flower; e. stamen; f. sessile pistillate flower; g. pedicelled pistillate flower (B. Chantarasuwan 180910-4, THNHM).
— Drawing: Pajaree Inthachup, 2015.
Fig. 2 Photos of live Ficus pongumphaii Chantaras. & Sungkaew. a. Habit in natural habitat; b–d. twigs with leaves and figs; e. fig; f. fig in longitudinal section. — Photos by Bhanumas Chantarasuwan.
Ficus pongumphaii Chantaras. & Sungkaew, sp. nov.
Shrub, at least up to 3 m high. Leafy twig brown pubescent to tomentose to villous. Leaf lamina elliptic to suborbicular to obovate, upper surface whitish or brown tomentellous, lower surface brown floccose tomentose to villous. Fig pedunculate, basal bracts persistent, strigose. Receptacle obovate, brown floccose or villous. Synconial internal hairs present. Epidermis multi-layers. Enlarged lithocysts abundant adaxially and only few abaxially.
— Type: B. Chantarasuwan 180910-4 (holo THNHM; iso L), Thailand, Lop Buri, Thawung, Wat Khao Samorkhorn, 18 Sept. 2010.
Distribution & Habitat — A species seemingly endemic to Thailand, occurring on limestone hills at a 30–600 m elevation.
Bhanumas Chantarasuwan, Sarawood Sungkaew, Kanchana Pruesapan, Pieter Baas and P.C. van Welzen. 2019. Ficus pongumphaii (Moraceae), A New Species from Thailand, Compared with the Ambiguous Species F. talbotii. Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants. DOI: 10.3767/blumea.2019.64.02.02