Monday, December 5, 2016

[Botany • 2010] Hohenbergia mesoamericana • the First Record of the Genus (Bromeliaceae) for Mesoamerica

Hohenbergia mesoamericana
  I. Ramírez, Carnevali et Cetzal

Hohenbergia mesoamericana I. Ramírez, Carnevali et Cetzal is proposed as new, described, and illustrated. Because the genus was previously known only from the Antilles, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil, this new species represents the first record of Hohenbergia for Mexico and Mesoamerica. The new species is morphologically similar to the Jamaican H. spinulosa Mez in having the bracts subtending the spikes far exceeding them (especially the lowermost) and green petals, but differs in several characters, including a more elongate peduncle and rachis resulting in a less dense infl orescence, shorter floral bracts, and pedicellate spikes. The conservation status of the new species is evaluated as critically endangered (CR) according to IUCN criteria. 

Key words: Bromelioideae, biogeographical disjunction, conservation, IUCN criteria, Mexico, Yucatán Peninsula.

Ivón M. Ramírez-Morillo, Germán Carnevali and William Cetzal-Ix. 2010. Hohenbergia mesoamericana (Bromeliaceae), First Record of the Genus for Mesoamerica. (Hohenbergia mesoamericana (Bromeliaceae), primer registro del género para Mesoamérica). Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad. 81: 21- 26.

Resumen. Hohenbergia mesoamericana I. Ramírez, Carnevali et Cetzal se propone como especie nueva, se describe y se ilustra. El género era conocido solamente de las Antillas, Brasil, Venezuela y Colombia; por ello, este nuevo taxón representa el primer registro de Hohenbergia para Mesoamérica y México. Hohenbergia mesoamericana es morfológicamente similar a H. spinulosa Mez de Jamaica, por presentar las brácteas de las espigas muy largas (especialmente las basales) y los pétalos verdes. Sin embargo, difi ere de ella en varios caracteres, incluyendo el pedúnculo y raquis de la infl orescencia más largos, brácteas fl orales más cortas y espigas pediceladas. El estado de conservación de la especie nueva es evaluado como críticamente amenazado (CR) según los criterios del IUCN.
Palabras clave: Bromelioideae, conservación, criterios IUCN, disyunción geográfi ca, México, península de Yucatán. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

[Botany • 2014] Jailoloa halmaherensis, Manjekia maturbongsii & Wallaceodoxa raja-ampat • Three New Genera of Arecoid Palm (Arecaceae) from eastern Malesia

Fig. 7. Wallaceodoxa raja-ampat Heatubun & W. J. Baker.
A crown; B inflorescence, inset showing congested floral triads; C indumentum on petiole base; D close-up of indumentum; E fruit; F endocarp.
Photos: C.D. Heatubun DOI: 10.1007/S12225-014-9525-X

 Recent botanical exploration in eastern Malesia has resulted in the discovery of three spectacular palm taxa that have proved difficult to assign to genus. New evidence from molecular phylogenetic research indicates that these taxa should now be recognised as three monotypic genera. Here, we describe these genera as new to science, all of which are members of subtribe Ptychospermatinae (Areceae: Arecoideae). Jailoloa Heatubun & W. J. Baker is restricted to ultramafic vegetation in a single site in Halmahera and is Critically Endangered due to nickel mining. Manjekia W. J. Baker & Heatubun is scattered throughout the limestone vegetation of Biak Island, east of the Bird's Head Peninsula of New Guinea, and is Endangered, although parts of its distribution fall within a protected area. Wallaceodoxa Heatubun & W. J. Baker, named to mark the centenary of Alfred Russel Wallace's death, is found on Gag and Waigeo, two of the Raja Ampat Islands west of the Bird's Head Peninsula, where it is Critically Endangered due to its small and rapidly reducing population. Full morphological descriptions are provided with detailed comparisons with related genera, alongside a revised key to the genera of Ptychos-permatinae. These new genera are unexpected additions to the palm flora of Malesia, and demand urgent conservation attention.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Eastern Indonesia, Maluku, Moluccas, New Guinea, Palmae

Jailoloa halmaherensis (Heatubun) Heatubun & W. J. Baker

Manjekia maturbongsii (W. J. Baker & HeatubunW. J. Baker & Heatubun

Wallaceodoxa Heatubun & W. J. Baker
Wallaceodoxa raja-ampat Heatubun & W. J. Baker sp. nov. 

named to mark the centenary of Alfred Russel Wallace's death, is found on Gag and Waigeo, two of the Raja Ampat Islands west of the Bird's Head Peninsula, where it is Critically Endangered due to its small and rapidly reducing population. 

Type: Indonesia, Raja Ampat Islands Regency, Waigeo Island, Waisai, Kelurahan Warmasen, behind Kantor Bupati, forest on right side of road to Pari Convention Centre Building (tanjakan gedung Pari), 15 April 2011, Heatubun et al. 1126 (holotype MAN!; isotypes BO!, K!).

ETYMOLOGY. The generic name commemorates Alfred Russel Wallace, the great English naturalist and codiscoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, who visited Waigeo in the Raja Ampat Islands in 1860 during his celebrated Malay Archipelago travels (Wallace 1869; van Wyhe 2013). This eponymy marks the centenary of his death on 7 November 1913. The generic name is derived by suffixing Wallace’s surname with the Greek word (-doxa) to mean “to the glory of Wallace”

Charlie D. Heatubun, Scott Zona and William J. Baker. 2014.  Three New Genera of Arecoid Palm (Arecaceae) from eastern Malesia.
 Kew Bulletin. 69(3):9525. DOI: 10.1007/S12225-014-9525-X

[Ichthyology • 2016] Eigenmannia besouro • A New Species of the Eigenmannia trilineata species-group (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) from the rio São Francisco basin, northeastern Brazil

Eigenmannia besouro 
Peixoto & Wosiacki, 2016


A new species of the Eigenmannia trilineata species-group is described from the rio São Francisco basin, Brazil. It is distinguished from closely related species by a unique set of characters, including a subterminal mouth, the presence of ii,13–14 pectoral-fin rays, a coronomeckelian bone that is 30% the length of Meckel’s cartilage, the specific pattern of the dentition of the premaxilla and dentary, and the more anterior origin of the superior midlateral stripe. Comments on species of the E. trilineata species-group are presented.

Keywords: Pisces, diversity, glass knifefish, electric fish, species group

FIGURE 1. Eigenmannia besouro, MZUSP 57890, holotype, 91.9 mm LEA, Brazil, Bahia, São Desidério, rio São Francisco, rio Grande. (A) Left lateral view of body; (B) Head. 

Distribution. Eigenmannia besouro is known from tributaries of the left margin of rio São Francisco, Bahia, northeastern Brazil (Fig. 5).

Etymology. The species name, besouro (‘beetle’ in Portuguese) is in honor of Manoel Henrique Pereira, known as Besouro Mangangá (‘The Mangangá Beetle’), a native of the Recôncavo region of Bahia, and a legendary figure in the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira; a noun in opposition.

Peixoto, Luiz A. W. & Wolmar B. Wosiacki. 2016. Eigenmannia besouro, A New Species of the Eigenmannia trilineata species-group (Gymnotiformes: Sternopygidae) from the rio São Francisco basin, northeastern Brazil. Zootaxa. 4126(2); 262–270.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4126.2.6


[Paleontology • 2016] Litorosuchus somnii • A New Armored Archosauriform (Diapsida: Archosauromorpha) from the Marine Middle Triassic of China, with Implications for the Diverse Life Styles of Archosauriforms Prior to the Diversification of Archosauria

 Litorosuchus somnii 
 Li, Wu, Zhao, Nesbitt, Stocker & Wang, 2016  

Reptiles have a long history of transitioning from terrestrial to semi-aquatic or aquatic environments that stretches back at least 250 million years. Within Archosauria, both living crocodylians and birds have semi-aquatic members. Closer to the root of Archosauria and within the closest relatives of the clade, there is a growing body of evidence that early members of those clades had a semi-aquatic lifestyle. However, the morphological adaptations to a semi-aquatic environment remain equivocal in most cases. Here, we introduce a new Middle Triassic (245–235 Ma) archosauriform, Litorosuchus somnii, gen. et sp. nov., based on a nearly complete skeleton from the Zhuganpo Member (Ladinian [241–235 Ma]) of the Falang Formation, Yunnan, China. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that Litorosuchus is a stem archosaur closely related to the aberrant Vancleavea just outside of Archosauria. The well-preserved skeleton of L. somnii bears a number of morphological characters consistent with other aquatic-adapted tetrapods including: a dorsally directed external naris, tall neural spines and elongate chevrons in an elongated tail, a short and broad scapula, webbed feet, long cervical vertebrae with long slender ribs, and an elongated rostrum with long and pointed teeth. Together these features represent one of the best-supported cases of a semi-aquatic mode of life for a stem archosaur. Together with Vancleavea campi, the discovery of L. somnii demonstrates a growing body of evidence that there was much more diversity in mode of life outside Archosauria. Furthermore, L. somnii helps interpret other possible character states consistent with a semi-aquatic mode of life for archosauriforms, including archosaurs.

Keywords: Adaptation; Morphology; Phylogeny; Reptile; Semi-aquatic

Systematic paleontology
Diapsida (Osborn 1903).
Archosauromorpha (von Huene 1946) sensu (Benton 1985).

Archosauriformes (Gauthier et al. 1988).

Litorosuchus somnii gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology: From Latin litoralis, indicating the coastal region where the archosauriform may have lived and Greek soukhos crocodile. From Latin somnium —“dream” in reference to a dream the first author (Li) had the day after he searched for a name for the animal, in which he saw an archosauriform wandering on the beach.


Holotype: IVPP V 16978, a nearly complete skull and skeleton embedded in a slab of limestone with much of its right lateral side exposed.

Locality and horizon: Jiyangshan, west of Huangnihe River, southeast Fuyuan County, Yunnan Province, China; Zhuganpo Member of the Falang Formation, Late Middle Triassic (Ladinian (241–235 Ma)) (Chen 1985).

Diagnosis: A medium-sized reptile (snout to tip of the tail length = ∼2.0 m), differing from other non-archosaur archosauriforms in having the following unique combination of character states: premaxilla bearing only two anteriorly positioned teeth with a short diastema anterior to and a long diastema posterior to the teeth, respectively; posterodorsal (maxillary) process of the premaxilla long and extending just posteriorly; nasal process of the premaxilla extending posteriorly beyond the posterodorsal margin of the external naris; large caniniform tooth in each tooth-bearing bone (shared with V. campi); midline length of the snout (measured from anterior edge of the orbit to the anterior tip of the premaxilla) more than twice that of the post-snout region (shared with species of Chanaresuchus, Q. mixtus, and D. fuyuanensis); T-shaped prefrontal with an elongate and bar-like descending process extending as ventrally as the lacrimal; lacrimal excluded by the prefrontal from the orbit; interfenestral region of the skull roof very narrow, less than one fifth of interorbital width; body completely covered by variously shaped osteoderms in certain regions (e.g., spine-like dorsal osteoderms on caudal vertebrae 10 to 13); tail long, about 60 % of the total length; vertical ridge present on the lateral surface of the neural spine of caudal vertebrae 9 to 35; cervical ribs slender and elongate; astragalus-calcaneum contact a simple butt joint, calcaneal tuber nearly absent. Asterisks denote autapomorphies.

Chun Li, Xiao-chun Wu, Li-jun Zhao, Sterling J. Nesbitt, Michelle R. Stocker and Li-Ting Wang. 2016.  A New Armored Archosauriform (Diapsida: Archosauromorpha) from the Marine Middle Triassic of China, with Implications for the Diverse Life Styles of Archosauriforms Prior to the Diversification of Archosauria.
The Science of Nature [Naturwissenschaften].  103: 95. DOI: 10.1007/s00114-016-1418-4


[Herpetology • 2014] Calotes manamendrai • A New Calotes Species from Sri Lanka with a Redescription of Calotes liolepis Boulenger, 1885

Manamendra-Arachchi’s Whistling Lizard  | Calotes manamendrai 
Amarasinghe & Karunarathna, 2014 

FIG. 4. — Calotes manamendrai sp. nov., a live female (not collected) at the type locality (Riverstone, Knuckles massif, Sri Lanka).

Based on morphological evidence, we describe a new species of agamid lizard of the genus Calotes that is restricted to a single site on the northern face of the Knuckles massif (~1000 m above sea level) of Sri Lanka. The genus Calotes consists of eight species in Sri Lanka, six of which appear to form an endemic radiation. The new species, Calotes manamendrai, most closely resembles Calotes liolepis Boulenger, 1885, which is widely distributed in mid-elevations in the central highlands, lowland rain forests, and a few isolated moist forests in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Females of Calotes manamendrai sp. nov. differ from the females of Calotes liolepis in having nonenlarged pectoral scales; keeled dorsal scales on the body; smaller midgular scales than the rest of the throat scales; brown color, seven distinct stripes each side on gular area; black color shoulder pit; and upper arm with carinate ventral scales. Finally, we provide a complete redescription for Calotes liolepis based on the adult female syntypes.

Keywords: Agamidae, Biogeography, Calotes manamendrai sp. nov, Conservation, Knuckles massif, Systematics

Etymology.— The species epithet is an eponym Latinized in the genitive singular, honoring Kelum Nalinda Manamendra–Arachchi for his generous teaching and guidance in taxonomic studies for the first two authors as well as his remarkable contributions to herpetology, zooarchaeology, and biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka. Suggested English name: Manamendra-Arachchi’s Whistling Lizard; Sinhala (local) name: Manamendra-Arachchige Uruwan Katussa.

 A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe and D. M. S. Suranjan Karunarathna. 2014. A New Calotes Species from Sri Lanka with a Redescription of Calotes liolepis Boulenger, 1885.
 Herpetologica. 70(3); 323-338. DOI:  10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-D-13-00087

Saturday, December 3, 2016

[Mammalogy • 1998] A Revision of the Genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with Description of New Species, Zaglossus attenboroughi, and Subspecies

Zaglossus attenboroughi 
Flannery & Groves, 1998  

A systematic revision of monotremes of the genus Zaglossus has revealed unexpected morphological diversity. Statistical and non-metric analysis indicate that three species can be recognised: Zaglossus bruijnii (Peters and Doria, 1876), which inhabits the Vogelkop, Fak Fak and possibly the Charles Louis Mountains regions; Zaglossus bartoni Thomas, 1907, which occurs on the central cordillera between the Paniai Lakes and the Nanneau Range, as well as the Huon Peninsula; and Zaglossus attenboroughi n. sp. from the Cyclops Mountains. Four distinct subspecies of Z. bartoni can be discerned. The three subspecies inhabiting the central cordillera increase in size from east to west: Z. bartoni smeenki n. ssp. of the Nanneau Range being the smallest, the nominotypical form intermediate in size, and Z. bartoni diamondi n. ssp. the largest. Zaglossus b. clunius inhabits the Huon Peninsula.

 Flannery, T.F. and C.P. Groves. 1998. A Revision of the Genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with Description of New Species and Subspecies. Mammalia. 62(3); 387–390. DOI:  10.1515/mamm.1998.62.3.367 

Jonathan E.M. Baillie , S amuel T. Turvey and Carly Waterman. 2009. Survival of Attenborough’s long-beaked Echidna Zaglossus attenboroughi in New Guinea. Oryx. 43(1); 146–148. DOI:  10.1017/S0030605309002269


[Botany • 2016] Borneocola spp. • A New Genus (Zingiberaceae) from Borneo

Floral bracts (B Red and coriaceous in Scaphochlamys pusilla (C) Scarious and marcescent in Borneocola petiolatus.
Variegation on labellum (E) White labellum with red streaks beside the band in Scaphochlamys concinna (F) Lilac labellum without coloured streaks beside the band in Borneocola petiolatus
Photographs by Y.Y. Sam.   DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.75.9837

A new genus from Borneo, Borneocola Y.Y.Sam, is described here. The genus currently contains eight species previously classified as members of the Scaphochlamys Baker. The finding is based on the results of the morphological and molecular studies of Scaphochlamys throughout its geographical range and its closely allied sister groups, Distichochlamys M.F.Newman and Myxochlamys A.Takano & Nagam. Borneocola is nested within the tribe Zingibereae and its monophyly is strongly supported by both ITS and matK sequence data. The genus is characterised by several thin, translucent and marcescent floral bracts, absence of coloured streaks on the labellum and capitate stigma with two dorsal knobs. The genus is distributed in northwest Borneo and all species are very rare and highly endemic.

Keywords: DistichochlamysMyxochlamysScaphochlamys, morphology, phylogeny, taxonomy

Borneocola Y.Y.Sam, gen. nov.

 Diagnosis: Similar to Scaphochlamys and MyxochlamysBorneocola has thin, translucent and marcescent floral bracts, absence of coloured streaks on labellum and two dorsal knobs on the stigma versus the coriaceous and persistent floral bracts, coloured streaks on labellum and absence of dorsal knobs on the stigma in Scaphochlamys. The mucilage on the floral bracts and the versatile anther of Myxochlamys are absent in Borneocola.

Type species: Borneocola reticosus (Ridl.) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
 Gastrochilus reticosa Ridl., J. Straits Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. 44: 195 (1905).

Morphology: The Borneocola and Scaphochlamys species look similar in their vegetative morphologies. They are mostly small-sized gingers without the conspicuous pseudostem, with one to several leaves arranged spirally and tightly on a very short stem at the base. So far, all the Borneocola species examined are unifoliate. Similarly, most of the Scaphochlamys species also bear one leaf except for several species which have leafy shoots composed of multiple leaves, for example, S. grandis, S. lanceolata, S. kunstleri, S. malaccana and S. minutiflora. The basal part of the leaves is covered with a few bladeless sheaths which are rather different for both groups in terms of their texture and colour. For Scaphochlamys, the sheaths are coriaceous, green, green with a red tinge or red and mostly persistent until the end of flowering (Figure 4A, B). On the other hand, the sheaths of Borneocola are thinner in texture with a lighter shade of green or brown. The thin sheaths normally dry up early (Figure 4C) and sometimes they are completely shredded during the time of flowering.

Figure 4.: Bladeless sheaths Green and coriaceous in Scaphochlamys klossii (Peninsular Malaysia) Red and coriaceous in Scaphochlamys abdullahii (Peninsular Malaysia) Papery and marcescent in Borneocola calcicola (Sarawak).
Photographs by Y.Y. Sam.   DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.75.9837

Figure 5. AC Floral bracts A Green and coriaceous in Scaphochlamys klossii B Red and coriaceous in Scaphochlamys pusilla C Scarious and marcescent in Borneocola petiolatus. 
 DF Variegation on labellum D White labellum with purple lines beside the median band in Scaphochlamys malaccana E White labellum with red streaks beside the band in Scaphochlamys concinna F Lilac labellum without coloured streaks beside the band in Borneocola petiolatus.
 Photographs by Y.Y. Sam.   DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.75.9837 

The inflorescences of Borneocola and Scaphochlamys are terminal, stalked and consisted of few to many floral bracts. The differences lie in the characteristics of the floral bracts and flowers. Borneocola species have thin, translucent, early decaying and marcescent floral bracts. The colours of the bracts can be pink, pale brown, pale or light green (Figure 5A). On the contrary, the bracts of Scaphochlamys are coriaceous and sometimes hard in texture. They are usually green, green tinged red, red or reddish brown and remain fresh throughout the flowering (Figure 5B, C).

Etymology: This new genus is named after the island of Borneo and -cola (Latin) means dweller or inhabitant. This is to recognise the extremely rich and unique biodiversity that is found in Borneo.

Distribution: Borneo. The genus is currently known to occur only in the northwest and possibly central Borneo. Eight species are recorded from Sarawak, Malaysia and many more are undescribed.

1. Borneocola argenteus (R.M.Sm.) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
Scaphochlamys argentea R.M.Sm., Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 44: 209 (1987).
Scaphochlamys depressa Mas Izzaty, A.Ampeng & K.Meekiong, Folia Malaysiana 14(2): 19 (2013).

2. Borneocola biru (Meekiong) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
Scaphochlamys biru Meekiong, Folia Malaysiana 16(1): 37 (2015).

3. Borneocola calcicola (A.D.Poulsen & R.J.Searle) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
Scaphochlamys calcicola A.D.Poulsen & R.J.Searle, Gard. Bull. Singapore 57: 29 (2005).

4. Borneocola iporii (Meekiong & A.Ampeng) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
Scaphochlamys iporii Meekiong & A.Ampeng, Folia Malaysiana 12(1): 19 (2011).

5. Borneocola petiolatus (K.Schum.) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
Haplochorema petiolatum K.Schum. in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV, 46 (Heft 20): 90 (1904). Scaphochlamys petiolata (K.Schum.) R.M.Sm., Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 44: 210 (1987).

6. Borneocola reticosus (Ridl.) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
Gastrochilus reticosa Ridl., J. Straits Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. 44: 195 (1905).
  Boesenbergia reticosa (Ridl.) Merr., Bibl. Enum. Born. Pl. 122 (1921).
  Scaphochlamys reticosa (Ridl.) R.M.Sm., Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 44: 209 (1987).

7. Borneocola salahuddinianus (Meekiong, A.Ampeng & Ipor) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
Scaphochlamys salahuddiniana Meekiong, A.Ampeng & Ipor, Folia Malaysiana 12(1): 22 (2011).

8. Borneocola stenophyllus (I.H.Ooi & S.Y.Wong) Y.Y.Sam, comb. nov.
Scaphochlamys stenophylla I.H.Ooi & S.Y.Wong, Willdenowia 44(2): 241-245 (2014).

Incompletely known species

Scaphochlamys anomala (Hallier f.) R.J.Searle, Edinburgh J. Bot. 67: 85 (2010).

Kaempferia anomala Hallier f., Bull. Herb. Boissier 6: 357 (1898).
  Gastrochilus anomalum (Hallier f.) K.Schum. in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV, 46 (Heft 20): 92 (1904). Boesenbergia anomala (Hallier f.) Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12: 315 (1913).

Gastrochilus hallieri (Hallier f.) Ridl., J. Straits Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. 32: 109 (1899), nom. illegit.

 Yen Yen Sam, Atsuko Takano, Halijah Ibrahim, Eliška Záveská and Fazimah Aziz. 2016. Borneocola (Zingiberaceae), A New Genus from Borneo. PhytoKeys. 75; 31-55. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.75.9837


[Paleontology • 2016] Molecular Evidence of Keratin and Melanosomes in Feathers of the Early Cretaceous Bird Eoconfuciusornis

The fossilized remains of Eoconfuciusornis, a beaked bird with no teeth, still contains traces of its original color.

Image: Xiaoli Wang.  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1617168113  

We report fossil evidence of feather structural protein (beta-keratin) from a 130-My-old basal bird (Eoconfuciusornis) from the famous Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota, which has produced many feathered dinosaurs, early birds, and mammals. Multiple independent molecular analyses of both microbodies and associated matrix recovered from the fossil feathers confirm that these microbodies are indeed melanosomes. We use transmission electron microscopy and immunogold to show localized binding of antibodies raised against feather protein to matrix filaments within these ancient feathers. Our work sheds new light on molecular constituents of tissues preserved in fossils.

Microbodies associated with feathers of both nonavian dinosaurs and early birds were first identified as bacteria but have been reinterpreted as melanosomes. Whereas melanosomes in modern feathers are always surrounded by and embedded in keratin, melanosomes embedded in keratin in fossils has not been demonstrated. Here we provide multiple independent molecular analyses of both microbodies and the associated matrix recovered from feathers of a new specimen of the basal bird Eoconfuciusornis from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. Our work represents the oldest ultrastructural and immunological recognition of avian beta-keratin from an Early Cretaceous (∼130-Ma) bird. We apply immunogold to identify protein epitopes at high resolution, by localizing antibody–antigen complexes to specific fossil ultrastructures. Retention of original keratinous proteins in the matrix surrounding electron-opaque microbodies supports their assignment as melanosomes and adds to the criteria employable to distinguish melanosomes from microbial bodies. Our work sheds new light on molecular preservation within normally labile tissues preserved in fossils.

Keywords: keratinous protein, immunogold, ChemiSTEM, melanosome, Early Cretaceous

Yanhong Pan, Wenxia Zheng, Alison E. Moyer, Jingmai K. O’Connor, Min Wang, Xiaoting Zheng, Xiaoli Wang, Elena R. Schroeter, Zhonghe Zhou and Mary H. Schweitzer. 2016. Molecular Evidence of Keratin and Melanosomes in Feathers of the Early Cretaceous Bird Eoconfuciusornis. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1617168113  

Keratin and melanosomes preserved in 130-million-year-old bird fossil via @physorg_com
Feathers on This 130-Million-Year-Old Fossil Still Contain Traces of Color

[Ichthyology • 2016] Lubricogobius tunicatus • A New Species of Goby (Pisces: Gobiidae) from Papua New Guinea and the First Record of L. ornatus from the East Indies

Tunicate Goby | Lubricogobius tunicatus 
Allen & Erdmann, 2016


A new species of goby, Lubricogobius tunicatus, is described from Milne Bay Province, eastern Papua New Guinea, on the basis of 10 adult specimens, 9.1–11.5 mm SL. Diagnostic features include 9 (rarely 10) segmented dorsal-fin rays, 6–7 segmented anal-fin rays, the presence of both anterior and posterior nostrils, the greatest body depth 3.1–3.7 in SL, overall coloration typically pale yellow to whitish (rarely brown), and an exceptionally small maximum size of about 11.5 mm SL. Lubricogobius tunicatus is most similar in appearance to L. nanus Allen, 2015, another diminutive species from Papua New Guinea that differs in having 10–11 dorsal-fin rays and 8–9 anal-fin rays. The new species is apparently invariably associated with a species of tunicate (Polycarpa sp.) on silty-sand bottoms in depths of about 20–28 m. In addition, L. ornatus Fourmanoir, 1966, originally described from Vietnam and also recorded from the Ryukyu Islands in Japan, northern Australia, and New Caledonia, is reported for the first time from the East Indies, based on two specimens collected at Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Key words: ichthyology, taxonomy, systematics, coral-reef fishes, Indo-Pacific Ocean

Figure 3. Lubricogobius tunicatus, approximately 9–11 mm SL, underwater photographs taken at the type locality, Normanby Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea (G.R. Allen & M.V. Erdmann). 

Etymology. The new species is named tunicatus (Latinized adjective from tunicate) referring to its commensal host. The specific epithet is a masculine singular adjective in the genitive case.

Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdmann. 2016. Lubricogobius tunicatus, A New Species of Goby (Pisces: Gobiidae) from Papua New Guinea and the First Record of L. ornatus from the East Indies. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 24; 24–34. 


[Botany • 2016] Tridimeris chiapensisPhylogenetic Analyses and Morphological Characteristics support the Description of A Second Species of Tridimeris (Annonaceae) from the karst forest of southern Mexico

Tridimeris chiapensis Escobar-Castellanos & Ortiz-Rodr.

Based on phylogenetic and morphological evidence, Tridimeris chiapensis Escobar-Castellanos & Ortiz-Rodr., sp. n. (Annonaceae), a new species from the karst forest of southern Mexico, is described and illustrated. The new species differs from Tridimeris hahniana, the only described species in the genus, in that the latter has flowers with sepals densely tomentose outside, one (rarely two) carpel(s) per flower and fruits densely covered with golden-brown hairs, while Tridimeris chiapensis has flowers with glabrous sepals outside, two to five carpels per flower and glabrous fruits. Furthermore, a shallow triangular white patch at the base of the inner petals is found in T. chiapensis, a morphological character shared with the sister genus Sapranthus but absent in T. hahniana. Geographically, both species occur allopatrically. With just one known locality and seven individuals of Tridimeris chiapensis recorded in one sampling hectare, and based on application of the criteria established by the IUCN, we conclude tentatively that the species is critically endangered.

Keywords: Dimery, Neotropical, Miliuseae, tropical rainforest

Diagnosis: Tridimeris chiapensis is phylogenetically related to Tridimeris hahniana with which it shares axillary and dimerous flowers and large and fleshy fruits. However, Tridimeris chiapensis differs in having flowers with glabrous sepals, a triangular white patch near the base of inner petals and 2-5 carpels per flower and glabrous fruits (Fig. 3), while T. hahniana has flowers with sepals densely tomentose outside, 1 or 2 carpels per flower and fruits densely covered with golden-brown hairs.

Etymology: The specific epithet is in honor of the Mexican state of Chiapas where the species was found.

Figure 3. Tridimeris chiapensis  Escobar-Castellanos & Ortiz-Rodr.
 A Dimerous flower B Large and fleshy fruits C Flower showing the pollen release and a triangular white patch at the base of the inner petals E Leafy branches.
Photographs by Marcos Escobar-Castellanos.   DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.74.10371

Andres Ernesto Ortiz-Rodriguez, Marcos Alberto Escobar-Castellanos and Miguel Angel Pérez-Farrera. 2016. Phylogenetic Analyses and Morphological Characteristics support the Description of A Second Species of Tridimeris (Annonaceae).
 PhytoKeys. 74: 79-85. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.74.10371


[Botany • 2016] Strobilanthes agasthyamalana • An Enigmatic New Species (Acanthaceae) from Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve of Southern Western Ghats, India

Strobilanthes agasthyamalana  Sasidh., Dantas & Robi

Strobilanthes agasthyamalana is described and illustrated here from the Pongalapara region of Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, southern Western Ghats. It is similar to S. foliosa and S. lanata in floral, seed and vegetative characters. However, it differs from S. foliosa by its adaxially hirsute and abaxially woolly leaves, bracts and bracteoles, pubescent corolla and villous style, and it differs from S. lanata by its glabrous stem, adaxially hirsute leaves, pubescent corolla, villous style and glabrous seeds.

Key Words: Kerala; kurinji; Strobilanthinae

Fig 2 Strobilanthes agasthyamalana.
A habit; B inflorescence enlarged; C mature inflorescence; D leaf portion enlarged; E tip of corolla lobe enlarged; F corolla split open; G gynoecium with style and stigma; H stamens. photos: A. J. ROBI. 

N. Sasidharan, P. Sujanapal, K. J. Dantas and A. J. Robi. 2016. An Enigmatic New Species, Strobilanthes agasthyamalana (Acanthaceae), from Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve of Southern Western Ghats, India.
 Kew Bulletin. 71:51. DOI: 10.1007/s12225-016-9667-0