Thursday, January 18, 2018

[Mammalogy • 2018] Uncovering the Diversity of Dog-faced Bats from the Genus Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae), with the Redescription of C. milleri and the Description of Two New Species; Cynomops freemani & C. tonkigui

Cynomops freemani 
Moras, Gregorin, Sattler & Tavares, 2018

Until recently the genus Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae) comprised six species of fast flying, aerial insectivorous bats distributed throughout the Neotropics. However, our revisionary study have shown that the diversity of this taxon was underestimated as molecular and morphological data supported the recognition of C. milleri as a full species and revealed two previously unrecognized, small species of Cynomops. These newly recognized taxa are Cynomops freemani sp. nov. from the Canal Zone region, Panama, sister taxon to C. mexicanus, and Cynomops tonkigui sp. nov. from the eastern Andes of Ecuador and Colombia, sister taxon of C. milleri. We also describe the calls of Cynomops freemani sp. nov. that may be useful for the recognition of these species during field inventories based on ultrasonic recording techniques. We elevate the currently known diversity of Cynomops to eight species, as we also revalidate C. milleri providing an emended diagnosis and a redescription of this taxon.

Keywords: Free-tailed bats, taxonomy, acoustic identification, Cynomops freemani sp. nov, Cynomops tonkigui sp. nov

Family Molossidae Gervais 1856
Genus Cynomops Thomas 1920

Cynomops milleri (Osgood, 1914)
Miller’s Dog-faced Bat

two Freeman’s Dog-Faced bats Cynomops freemani discovered in Gamboa, Panama.
Photo: Elias Bader

Cynomops freemani, new species 
Freeman’s Dog-faced Bat

ETYMOLOGY: The name “freemani” is in honor to Dr. Patricia W. Freeman in recognition of her influential contributions to the study of the morphology, systematics, and evolutionary relationships of molossid bats (e.g. Freeman, 1981).

DISTRIBUTION: Cynomops freemani is known from lowlands (23–53 m a.s.l.) of the Pacific coast of the Canal Zone region in Panama (Fig. 3).

Cynomops tonkigui, new species 
Waorani Dog-faced Bat

ETYMOLOGY: The name “tonkigui” is used as a noun in apposition, and means "bat" in the Waorani language. The name honors the Waorani people who inhabit the type locality (Tirira, 2012)

DISTRIBUTION: Cynomops tonkigui is known from the lowlands (195–529 m a.s.l.) of northeastern South America, and the eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia (Fig. 3).

 Ligiane M. Moras, Renato Gregorin, Thomas Sattler and Valéria da C. Tavares. 2018. Uncovering the Diversity of Dog-faced Bats from the Genus Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae), with the Redescription of C. milleri and the Description of Two New Species. Mammalian Biology. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2017.12.005 


Two New Dog-Faced Bat Species Discovered in Panama and Ecuador

[Botany • 2018] Alseodaphnopsis: A New Genus of Lauraceae based on Molecular and Morphological Evidence

 Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li

in Mo, Li, Li,  Rohwer, Li & Li, 2018. 

An investigation of a questionable species of the genus Alseodaphne led to the discovery of a new genus Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li & J. Li, gen. nov., separated from Alseodaphne Nees, and a new species Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li, sp. nov., endemic to Yunnan province, China. This new species is characterized by having big, axillary, paniculate inflorescences, as well as large, subglobose fruits. Based on DNA sequence data from two gene regions (nuclear ribosomal ITS and LEAFY intron II), we investigate its phylogenetic position within the Persea group. Phylogenies using maximum parsimony (MP) and Bayesian inference (BI) support the recognition of Alseodaphnopsis as a distinct genus but do not resolve well its relationship within the Persea group. The new genus is circumscribed, eight new combinations for its species are made, and a description and illustration of the new species are provided.

Fig 4. Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li sp. nov. 
A. Branchlet with inflorescences; B. Branchlet with immature infructescences; C. Branchlet with mature fruits; D-F. Mature fruits; G-H. Flowers. (Photos by J.W. Li). 

Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li & J. Li, gen. nov. 

Type: Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li 
(Nothaphoebe petiolaris Meisn., here designated)

Diagnosis: The new genus Alseodaphnopsis H. W. Li et J. Li is obviously very close to the genus Alseodaphne Nees (s. str.), but differs from the latter morphologically by 1) twigs thick, 4–11 mm in diam., and not obviously whitish in color; 2) terminal buds usually perulate; 3) perianth lobes ± persistent at least in young fruit; 4) inflorescences relatively large, 8.5–35 cm long, many-flowered, with 3–4 orders of branching; 5) fruits medium to large size (3–5 cm), without ribs.

Etymology: Alseodaphnopsis alludes to the resemblance to traditional Alseodaphne (s. str.)

Distribution and habitat: Alseodaphnopsis includes nine species, mainly distributed in the northern marginal part of the tropical zone in southwestern China, but extending also to NE India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. As far as it is known, the species grow preferentially in forests on limestone mountains.

 New combinations.
Here, we make eight new combinations for the species in this new genus as follows:

1) Alseodaphnopsis andersonii (King ex Hook. f.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (SE & S Yunnan, SE Xizang); NE India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

2) Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (S Yunnan); India and Myanmar.

3) Alseodaphnopsis sichourensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

4) Alseodaphnopsis marlipoensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

5) Alseodaphnopsis rugosa (Merr. & Chun) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (Hainan, SE Yunnan).

6) Alseodaphnopsis hainanensis (Merr.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (Hainan); N Vietnam.

7) Alseodaphnopsis hokouensis (H. W. Li) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in China (SE Yunnan).

8) Alseodaphnopsis lanuginosa (Kosterm.) H. W. Li & J. Li, comb. nov. 
Distributed in N Vietnam.

Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis H. W. Li & J. Li, sp. nov. 
Type: China. Yunnan Province: Pu’er City, Ximeng County, ca. 1300 m altitude, in seasonal rain forest, 20 November 2011, J. W. Li 1235 (fl.) (Holotype, Isotypes: HITBC!).

Diagnosis: This new species shows a superficial similarity to Alseodaphnopsis petiolaris (Meisn.) H. W. Li & J. Li in its big leaves and elongated petioles, but differs by its glabrous twigs, leaves and panicles as well as subglobose big fruit.

Yue-qing Mo, Lang Li, Jian-wu Li, Jens G. Rohwer, Hsi-wen Li and Jie Li. 2018. Alseodaphnopsis: A New Genus of Lauraceae based on Molecular and Morphological Evidence.  PLoS ONE. 12(10): e0186545.   DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186545

[Ichthyology • 2018] Review of the Lepidotrigla Gurnards (Scorpaeniformes: Triglidae) in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea off Myanmar with A Description of A New Species; Lepidotrigla psolokerkos

Lepidotrigla longipinnis Alcock, 1890,
Lepidotrigla psolokerkos Gomon & Psomadakis, 2018
 L. omanensis Regan, 1905 


A 2015 trawl survey along the coast of Myanmar provided an opportunity to assess species of the triglid genus Lepidotrigla occurring in the country. Three species, L. longipinnis Alcock, 1890, L. omanensis Regan, 1905, and an undescribed species, were identified among the 15 voucher specimens retained. A formal description of the unnamed species, as well as descriptive accounts of the other two are provided. Lepidotrigla psolokerkos, new species, based on two specimens, resembles L. alcocki Regan, 1908 described from the Saya de Malho Bank in the central Indian Ocean, differing from it in having fewer oblique scale rows between the anal fin origin and the lateral line and broader covering of dark pigmentation on the inner surface of the pectoral fin. The known geographical ranges of L. longipinnis, reported in the literature as L. riggsi Richards & Saksena, 1977, and L. omanensis are extended to the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar. A key is provided for the three species occurring in the survey area.

 Key words. Indian Ocean, taxonomy, ichthyology, geographical distribution, depth range

Fig. 1. Myanmar species of Lepidotrigla.
A, Lepidotrigla longipinnis, NMV A31696-001, 121 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 111–104 m;
B, Lepidotrigla omanensis, NMV A31691-001, 110 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 149–164 m;
C, Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species, holotype, NMV A31698-001, 135 mm SL, Myanmar, off Ayeyarwady Delta, 147–156 m. 


Lepidotrigla longipinnis Alcock, 1890 
Proposed vernacular: Stellar Gurnard

Etymology. Initially proposed as a varietal name, longipinnis is an amalgamation of the Latin “longus” for long and “pinna” for fin, in reference to the longer pectoral fin that was considered by Alcock (1890) to distinguish what is now recognised as a distinct species from L. spiloptera Günther, 1860. 

Distribution. Confined to coastal waters of the northern Indian Ocean, from at least Bombay, India to just south of the equator off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia (Fig. 4) at depths of 70 to at least 107 m.

Lepidotrigla omanensis Regan, 1905 
Vernacular: Oman Gurnard 

Etymology. Regan’s (1905) omanensis was named for the collecting locality “the Sea of Oman” for his three type specimens. 
Distribution. Occurs in coastal waters of the northern Indian Ocean from the Gulf of Aden to the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar (Fig. 4) at depths of 41–335 m; apparently excluded from the Persian Gulf.

Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species 
Proposed vernacular: Skinny Gurnard

Etymology. The name psolokerkos is a conjunction of the Greek psolos for “dirt” and “kerkos” for tail in reference to the distinctive grey blotch dorsoposteriorly on the caudal fin of this species. 

Distribution. Known only from the two type specimens collected in the Andaman Sea off south-eastern Myanmar (Fig. 4) at depths of 151–255 m.

Fig. 4. Overall distributions of species of Lepidotrigla occurring in coastal waters of Myanmar based on specimens in collections: Lepidotrigla longipinnis (blue circles), Lepidotrigla omanensis (red squares) and Lepidotrigla psolokerkos new species (yellow triangles).

Martin F. Gomon and Peter N. Psomadakis. 2018. Review of the Lepidotrigla Gurnards (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes: Triglidae) in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea off Myanmar with A Description of A New Species. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 66; 66–77.

[Entomology • 2018] Conogethes sahyadriensis • A New Indian Species of Shoot and Capsule Borer of the Genus Conogethes (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), Feeding on Cardamom

Conogethes sahyadriensis 
Shashank, Kammar, Mally & Chakravarthy, 2018


A new speciesConogethes sahyadriensis sp. nov. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), feeding on cardamom, is described from India. The species status is supported by diagnostic morphology as well as by genetic data. A phylogenetic analysis based on the publicly available Conogethes COI barcode sequences finds C. sahyadriensis as sister to C. pluto, and it further reveals a number of clades that potentially represent additional undescribed species.The new species is delineated from closely related and superficially similar species of Conogethes.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Conogethes, yellow peach moth, shoot and capsule borer, India, cardamom, DNA barcode, phylogenetic analysis

 P. R. Shashank, Vasudev Kammar, Richard Mally and A. K. Chakravarthy. 2018. A New Indian Species of Shoot and Capsule Borer of the Genus Conogethes (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), Feeding on Cardamom.  Zootaxa. 4374(2); 215–234. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4374.2.3

[Herpetology • 2018] Systematics and Phylogeography of the Widely Distributed African Skink Trachylepis varia Species Complex: Trachylepis varia, T. damarana & T. laevigata

 Weinell & Bauer, 2018.

• A molecular systematic study was conducted for the wide-ranging Trachylepis varia complex.
• Phylogenetic analyses support the existence of at least eight species within the Trachylepis varia complex.
• The Southern African members of the Trachylepis varia complex are phenotypically distinct.
• We update the taxonomy for the southern Africa members of the Trachylepis varia complex.
• Diversification within the Trachylepis varia complex began during the mid to late Miocene or early Pliocene.

A systematic study of the Trachylepis varia complex was conducted using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers for individuals sampled across the species range. The taxonomic history of T. varia has been complicated and its broad geographic distribution and considerable phenotypic variation has made taxonomic revision difficult, leading earlier taxonomists to suggest that T. varia is a species complex. We used maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to estimate gene trees and a multilocus time-tree, respectively, and we used these trees to identify the major clades (putative species) within T. varia. Additionally, we used morphological and color pattern data to distinguish and revise the taxonomy of the southern African clades. The major clades recovered in the multilocus time-tree were recovered in each of gene trees, although the relationships among these major clades differed across gene trees. Genetic data support the existence of at least eight species within the T. varia complex, each of which originated during the mid to late Miocene or early Pliocene. We focus our systematic discussion on the southern African members of the T. varia complex, revive Trachylepis damarana (Peters, 1870) and T. laevigata (Peters, 1869), and designate lectotypes for T. damarana and T. varia.

Keywords: Africa, Lygosominae, Phylogenetics, Phylogeography, Trachylepis damarana, Trachylepis laevigata

Trachylepis varia (Peters, 1867)
Euprepes varius Peters, 1867

Trachylepis laevigata (Peters, 1869)
Euprepes laevigatus Peters, 1869

Trachylepis damarana (Peters, 1870)
Euprepes damaranus Peters, 1870

  Trachylepis damarana from Haenertsberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

We find strong evidence that Trachylepis varia, T. damarana, and T. laevigata are distinct species that occur in southern Africa and that five additional, species-level clades occur north of the Zambezi and Kunene rivers, although future studies are needed to determine whether Trachylepis nyikae and Trachylepis isellii should also be recognized. The allopatric distribution and morphological distinctiveness of T. isellii (Largen and Spawls, 2010) suggests that this species is probably valid and the presence of multiple endemic species on the Nyika Plateau (Poynton, 1997; Burrows and Willis, 2005) suggests that T. nyikae may also be a valid species. Additionally, little is known about the distribution or natural history of the undescribed species sampled in Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Tanzania. Lastly, next generation DNA sequencing may be useful in resolving deeper phylogenetic relationships within the T. varia complex and for distinguishing historical gene flow from incomplete lineage sorting. This study is the first to use genetic data to address species diversity, phylogenetic history, and taxonomic issues for the T. varia complex and is an example of how both genetic and phenotypic data can be used to resolve taxonomic problems and to estimate species ranges.

 Jeffrey L. Weinell and Aaron M. Bauer. 2018. Systematics and Phylogeography of the Widely Distributed African Skink Trachylepis varia Species Complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  120; 103-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.11.014

[Paleontology • 2018] Phylogenetic Reassessment of Pisanosaurus mertii Casamiquela, 1967, A Basal Dinosauriform from the Late Triassic of Argentina

Pisanosaurus mertii Casamiquela, 1967
in Agnolín & Rozadilla. 2018. 

Illustration: Gabriel Lio  ||  DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1352623
Pisanosaurus mertii was originally described on the basis of an incomplete skeleton from the early Late Triassic (Carnian) of northern Argentina. It is consistently regarded by most authors as a very basal ornithischian, the sister group of remaining members of the clade. The referral to Ornithischia is based mainly on tooth-bearing bones and tooth morphology. On the other hand, the postcranium is recognized as strikingly plesiomorphic for ornithischians, and even for dinosaurs. The recent description of non-dinosaurian dinosauriforms of the clade Silesauridae having ornithischian-like dentition invites a review of the phylogenetic affinities of Pisanosaurus. In this regard, an overview of the holotype specimen allows a reanalysis of previous anatomical interpretations of this taxon. The phylogenetic analysis presented here suggests that Pisanosaurus may be better interpreted as a member of the non-dinosaurian Silesauridae. It shares with silesaurids reduced denticles on the teeth, teeth fused to maxilla and dentary bone, sacral ribs shared between two sacral vertebrae, lateral side of proximal tibia with a fibular flange, and dorsoventrally flattened pedal ungual phalanges. The present analysis indicates that Pisanosaurus should be removed from the base of the Ornithischia and should no longer be considered the oldest representative of this dinosaurian clade.

Keywords: Pisanosaurus mertii, Ornithischia, Silesauridae, Late Triassic, Argentina

 Comparative silhouette of Pisanosaurus mertii based on available material.
A, modified from Bonaparte (1976); B, present study.
Not to scale. Bones in grey indicate non-preserved elements. 

Federico L. Agnolín and Sebastián Rozadilla. 2018. Phylogenetic Reassessment of Pisanosaurus mertii Casamiquela, 1967, A Basal Dinosauriform from the Late Triassic of Argentina.  Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.  DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1352623

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Nototriton costaricense • A New Moss Salamander, Genus Nototriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae), from the Cordillera de Talamanca, in the Costa Rica-Panama Border Region

Nototriton costaricense   Arias & Kubicki, 2018


A new salamander belonging to the genus Nototriton, subgenus Nototriton, is described from the Caribbean slopes of the southeastern Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica, within Parque Internacional La Amistad, at an elevation ca. 1500 m a.s.l. This new taxon is distinguished from its congeners by its morphological characteristics and by its differentiation in DNA sequences of the 16S rRNA, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI), and cytochrome b mitochondrial genes. This new species represents the southernmost extension known for the genus Nototriton.

Keywords: Amphibia, caudate, Central America, Nototriton picadoi species group, Talamanca

FIGURE 5. Views of the nostrils of Nototriton costaricense sp. nov.
Photograph taken by Brian Kubicki.

Nototriton costaricense sp. nov. 
Southern Moss Salamander


Etymology. The specific epithet refers to the Spanish word meaning Costa Rican, “costaricense”. The name represents the fact that the holotype and species was discovered in Costa Rica. Given the close proximity of the type locality to the Costa Rica-Panama border, we speculate that one day it may indeed be discovered within Panama as well.

 Erick Arias and Brian Kubicki. 2018. A New Moss Salamander, Genus Nototriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae), from the Cordillera de Talamanca, in the Costa Rica-Panama border region. Zootaxa. 4369(4); 487–500.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4369.4.2
A new species of Moss Salamander

[Botany • 2018] Begonia namkadingensis • A New Species (Begoniaceae) in Limestone Area [Flora of Nam Kading National Protected Area III]

Begonia namkadingensis C.-J. Yang, Souladeth & Tagane

in Yang, Tagane, Souladeth, Okabe, Hu & Yahara, 2018
ສົ້ມກົບນໍ້າກະດິງ ||  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.334.2.8 


A new species of Begonia (Begoniaceae), Begonia namkadingensis, is described. This species was collected on moist mossy limestone rocks in the Nam Kading National Protected Area in central Laos during our field survey in 2017. The species resembles B. pteridiformis, which is endemic to Peninsular Thailand, but can be distinguished by its smaller habit, fewer and smaller leaves, less hairy stems and leaves, narrower inner dorsal tepal of pistillate flowers, fewer stamens, and smaller fruits.

Keywords: DNA barcoding, flora, Laos, new species, sect. Lauchea, sect. Parvibegonia, taxonomy, Eudicots

Chen-Jui Yang, Shuichiro Tagane, Phetlasy Souladeth, Norikazu Okabe, Jer-Ming Hu and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2018. Flora of Nam Kading National Protected Area III: Begonia namkadingensis (Begoniaceae), A New Species in Limestone Area. Phytotaxa.  334(2); 195-199. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.334.2.8

ຕີພິມແລ້ວ, ພືດຊະນິດໃໝ່ຂອງໂລກ ຈາກປ່າສະຫງວນນໍ້າກະດິງ! 
ສົ້ມກົບນໍ້າກະດິງ (ຊື່ລາວ) ຫຼື Begonia namkadingensis C.-J. Yang, Souladeth & Tagane ຕະກຸນ Begoniaceae (2018) Phytotaxa 334(2)

[Ornithology • 2018] Structural Absorption by Barbule Microstructures of Super Black Bird of Paradise Feathers

Magnificent Riflebird Ptiloris magnificus during courtship display.

in  McCoy, Feo, Harvey & Prum, 2018.
photo: Tim Laman || DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w 

Many studies have shown how pigments and internal nanostructures generate color in nature. External surface structures can also influence appearance, such as by causing multiple scattering of light (structural absorption) to produce a velvety, super black appearance. Here we show that feathers from five species of birds of paradise (Aves: Paradisaeidae) structurally absorb incident light to produce extremely low-reflectance, super black plumages. Directional reflectance of these feathers (0.05–0.31%) approaches that of man-made ultra-absorbent materials. SEM, nano-CT, and ray-tracing simulations show that super black feathers have titled arrays of highly modified barbules, which cause more multiple scattering, resulting in more structural absorption, than normal black feathers. Super black feathers have an extreme directional reflectance bias and appear darkest when viewed from the distal direction. We hypothesize that structurally absorbing, super black plumage evolved through sensory bias to enhance the perceived brilliance of adjacent color patches during courtship display.

Magnificent Riflebird Bird of Paradise Ptiloris magnificus male displaying to female.
 photo: Tim Laman

Fig. 1  Six species of birds of paradise and one close relative.
a, b Species with normal black plumage patches. cg Species with super black plumage patches.

a Paradise-crow Lycocorax pyrrhopterus. b Lesser Melampitta Melampitta lugubris, a Papuan corvoid closely related to birds of paradise.
c Princess Stephanie’s Astrapia Astrapia stephaniae. d Twelve-wired Birds-of-Paradise Seleucidis melanoleucus. e Paradise Riflebird Ptiloris paradiseus during courtship display. f Wahnes’ Parotia Parotia wahnesi. g Superb Bird-of-Paradise Lophorina superba during courtship display with female (brown plumage).

Photos: a @Hanom Bashari/Burung Indonesia; b Daniel López-Velasco; c Trans Niugini Tours; d–f Tim Laman; g Ed Scholes.  DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w 

Fig. 3 Examples of normal and super black feather microstructure.
 a SEM micrograph of Lycocorax pyrrhopterus normal black feather with typical barbule morphology; scale bar, 200 µm. b SEM micrograph of Parotia wahnesi super black feather with modified barbule arrays; scale bar, 50 µm. c Gold sputter-coated normal black breast feather of Melampitta lugubris appears gold. d Gold sputter-coated super black breast feather of Ptiloris paradiseus retains a black appearance indicating structural absorption. SEM stubs are 12.8 mm in diameter.

A comparison of a normal feather, top left, and a feather from a paradise riflebird, top right.
The bottom panels are the feathers coated in gold. Notice how the riflebird’s still appears a deep black.
photos: Dakota McCoy 

Dakota E. McCoy, Teresa Feo, Todd Alan Harvey and Richard O. Prum. 2018. Structural Absorption by Barbule Microstructures of Super Black Bird of Paradise Feathers. Nature Communications. 9, Article number: 1. DOI:  10.1038/s41467-017-02088-w

Evolved illusion: Blackest black gives bird of paradise an edge

[Arachnida • 2018] A Review of the Madagascan Pelican Spiders of the Genera Eriauchenius O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1881 and Madagascarchaea gen. n. (Araneae, Archaeidae)

Eriauchenius workmani O. P.-Cambridge, 1881

 Photo: Nikolaj Scharff/Smithsonian Institution

Wood & Scharff. 2018.  

An endemic genus of Madagascan spiders (Araneae, Archaeidae, Eriauchenius) is revised. All 20 species of Eriauchenius are described and keyed, of which 14 are new speciesEriauchenius andriamanelo sp. n., Eriauchenius andrianampoinimerina sp. n., Eriauchenius goodmani sp. n., Eriauchenius harveyi sp. n., Eriauchenius lukemacaulayi sp. n., Eriauchenius milajaneae sp. n., Eriauchenius milloti sp. n., Eriauchenius rafohy sp. n., Eriauchenius ranavalona sp. n., Eriauchenius rangita sp. n., Eriauchenius rixi sp. n., Eriauchenius sama sp. n., Eriauchenius wunderlichi sp. n., Eriauchenius zirafy sp. n. Additionally, six species of the new genus Madagascarchaea gen. n. are described and keyed, of which four are new species: Madagascarchaea fohy sp. n., Madagascarchaea lotzi sp. n., Madagascarchaea moramora sp. n., Madagascarchaea rabesahala sp. n. Diagnostic characters for the Madagascan and African genera are described, and based on these characters and previous phylogenetic analyses the following species transfers are proposed: Eriauchenius cornutus (Lotz, 2003) to AfrarchaeaAfrarchaea fisheri (Lotz, 2003) and Afrarchaea mahariraensis (Lotz, 2003) to Eriauchenius. Finally, we propose that the distribution of Afrarchaea be restricted to South Africa. While several Madagascan specimens have previously been identified as Afrarchaea godfreyi (Hewitt, 1919), we argue that these are likely misidentifications that should instead be Eriauchenius.

Keywords: Afrarchaea, Palpimanoidea, new species, taxonomy

Suspended upside-down from a strand of silk, the male of species Eriauchenius workmani (right) slowly approaches the female (left) to mate. As he approaches, he makes sounds by quickly vibrating his pedipalps (a small, modified pair of legs) to court the female. She answers back by vibrating her pedipalps.
(photo: Jeremy Miller) 


 Hannah M. Wood and Nikolaj Scharff. 2018. A Review of the Madagascan Pelican Spiders of the Genera Eriauchenius O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1881 and Madagascarchaea gen. n. (Araneae, Archaeidae). ZooKeys. 727: 1-96.  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.727.20222

Madagascar's ancient 'pelican spiders' are as striking as they are strange @NMNH via @SmithsonianMag
18 New Terrifying Assassin Spider Species Look Like Pelicans
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[Mammalogy • 2017] Cheirogaleus grovesi • A New Cheirogaleus (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus crossleyi Group) Species from Southeastern Madagascar

Cheirogaleus grovesi
McLain, Lei, Frasier, Taylor, Bailey, Robertson, Nash, Randriamanana, Mittermeier & Louis, 2017

 Primate Conservation. 31;

 A new species in the genus Cheirogaleus is described from Ranomafana and Andringitra national parks, Madagascar. Ranomafana National Park is a rainforest situated in a montane region, and Andringitra National Park is comprised of grassland, lowland and highland forests displaying great altitudinal variation. Both parks are known to harbor wide species diversity in flora and fauna. Genetic and morphometric analyses of the samples collected at these localities confirmed that this Cheirogaleus lineage represents a new species in the C. crossleyi group, and here we elevate it to species status as Cheirogaleus grovesi, for the British-Australian biological anthropologist, evolutionary biologist and taxonomist Colin Groves.

Key Words: Cheirogaleus, dwarf lemur, cryptic species, Madagascar

Figure 2. Illustration of Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2 and closely related species (Fig. 8 in Lei et al. 2014), Illustrations by Stephen D. Nash (Conservation International).
   Top left panel represents a lateral view of Cheirogaleus sp nov. 2 = C. grovesi, top right panel includes all lineages in the Cheirogaleus crossleyi group. 

Bottom photographs are of the holotype of Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2 (TRA8.81) at Andringitra National Park.
Photographs by Edward E. Louis, Jr. 

the holotype of Cheirogaleus grovesi sp. nov. (TRA8.81) at Andringitra National Park. 
Photographs by Edward E. Louis, Jr

 Cheirogaleus grovesi
 Formerly Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 2, also CCS3/Crossleyi D (Lei et al. 2014), 
also Cheirogaleus sp. Ranomafana Andrambovato (Thiele et al. 2013).

Description. The dorsum, limbs, and head are rufous-brown. The areas around the orbits are brownish-black, with a white patch proximal to the fleshy part of the nose in the inter-ocular space. The pelage on the ventral surface of the mandible is white, which continues onto the rufous-grey pelage of the ventrum.


Distribution. Cheirogaleus grovesi is known from the national parks of Ranomafana and Andringitra, as well as surrounding areas, and likely occupies a fragmented range between the two parks across the Haute Matsiatra region of Madagascar. Observed at 754–999 m above sea level (Fig. 3).

Etymology. This species is named for the late British-Australian biological anthropologist, Professor Colin Groves (1942- 2017), in recognition of his more than forty years of work in the fields of primatology, evolutionary biology, morphological analysis, mammalian taxonomy and associated disciplines. Professor Groves embodied the true spirit of collaboration. His fastidious research on historical collections incorporated the work of those that preceded him, which he combined with the efforts of his contemporaries, creating compositions that span hundreds of years of scientific exploration. At the time of his passing, Professor Groves was widely regarded as the greatest living primate taxonomist.

Vernacular Names. Groves’, Andringitra, or Haute Matsiatra dwarf lemur.


 Adam T. McLain, Runhua Lei, Cynthia L. Frasier, Justin M. Taylor, Carolyn A. Bailey, Brittani A. D. Robertson, Stephen D. Nash, Jean Claude Randriamanana, Russell A. Mittermeier and Edward E. Louis Jr. 2017. A New Cheirogaleus (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus crossleyi Group) Species from Southeastern Madagascar. Primate Conservation. 31; 27-36.
New lemur species discovered by Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium scientists


Big-Eyed, Fluffy-Tailed Lemur Species Discovered via @NatGeo
There’s a new member of the lemur family via @Mongabay