Thursday, March 30, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Dixonius kaweesaki | จิ้งจกดินสามร้อยยอด • A New Limestone-dwelling Leaf-toed Gecko (Gekkonidae: Dixonius) from Khao Sam Roi Yot Massif, peninsular Thailand


Dixonius kaweesaki  
Sumontha, Chomngam, Phanamphon, Pawangkhanant, Viriyapanon, Thanaprayotsak & Pauwels, 2017

   จิ้งจกดินสามร้อยยอด | Sam Roi Yot Leaf-toed Gecko  ||  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4247.5.2

Abstract

We describe Dixonius kaweesaki sp. nov. from Khao Daeng, a limestone mountain in Khao Sam Roi Yot massif, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, peninsular Thailand. It is diagnosed from all other species by a combination of maximal SVL of 41.6 mm; 12 or 13 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; 24 longitudinal rows of ventrals across the abdomen; a continuous series of 9–11 precloacal pores in males, no pores in females; and two bold dark stripes from the snout to the base of the tail separated by a contrasting light vertebral stripe. It is the eighth species in the genus Dixonius. Lastly, we discuss the type locality of Phyllodactylus paviei, currently regarded as a junior subjective synonym of Dixonius siamensis.

Keywords: Reptilia, Thai-Malay Peninsula, Khao Sam Roi Yot, Dixonius kaweesaki sp. nov.


FIGURE 4. Live adult male Dixonius kaweesaki sp. nov. in situ (individual not collected).
Photo. by M. Sumontha. 

Etymology. The specific epithet honors the Thai naturalist Kaweesak (Toi) Keeratikiat from Bangkok, in recognition to his help in our herpetological field surveys, and who collected the type series. We suggest the following common names: Djing-djok din Sam Roi Yot (Thai; จิ้งจกดินสามร้อยยอด), Sam Roi Yot Leaf-toed Gecko (English), Dixonius de Sam Roï Yot (French), Samroiyot Blattfingergecko (German).


Sumontha, Montri, Nirut Chomngam, Eakarit Phanamphon, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Chutinton Viriyapanon, Wanlada Thanaprayotsak and Olivier S. G. Pauwels. 2017. A New Limestone-dwelling Leaf-toed Gecko (Gekkonidae: Dixonius) from Khao Sam Roi Yot Massif, peninsular Thailand. Zootaxa. 4247(5); 556–568.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4247.5.2

[Entomology • 2016] ตั๊กแตนคูหารัตน์ | Mimadiestra sirindhornae sp. nov. from northeastern Thailand (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae: Aemodogryllinae)


ตั๊กแตนคูหารัตน์ |  Mimadiestra sirindhornae 
Dawwrueng, Storozhenko & Artchawakom, 2016 

ABSTRACT
 Mimadiestra sirindhornae sp. nov. is described from Sakaerat Environmental Research Station, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. The new species is easily distinguished from M. biloba by the shape of the projection of male 7th abdominal tergite, by the shape of male paraprocts and by blackish brown body.

KEY WORDS: taxonomy, Thailand, Orthoptera, Rhaphidophoridae, Diestramimini, new species,  Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn




Genus Mimadiestra Storozhenko and Dawwrueng, 2014

Mimadiestra sirindhornae sp. nov.

Distribution. Thailand (Nakhon Ratchasima Province). 

Etymology. The specific epithet is a patronym for Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
Thai Name. Takkatan Kuharat (ตั๊กแตนคูหารัตน์), name given by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn. 

Habitats. The new species was collected at 350-450m altitude from leaves of a bush about 20-40 cm above ground.


        Pattarawich Dawwrueng, Sergey Yu. Storozhenko and Taksin Artchawakom. 2016. Mimadiestra sirindhornae sp. nov. from Thailand (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae: Aemodogryllinae). The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal. 10(2); 61-66.


[Botany • 2017] Dancing Butterflies of the East Himalayas: New Meconopsis Species; M. gakyidiana & M. merakensis, from East Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh and South Tibet


Meconopsis gakyidiana  
T. Yoshida, R. Yangzom & D.G. Long


Abstract

The region from eastern Bhutan to Arunachal Pradesh of India and the adjacent south-eastern Tibet and northern Myanmar seems to be one of the last frontiers not only for Meconopsis hunting but also for other botanical exploration. Although there remain political difficulties for foreigners to approach the unsettled border between India and China, including the famous Tsari valley with its prominently rich flora, which was visited by Frank Ludlow, George Sherriff, Frank Kingdon-Ward and a few other plant hunters before 1950, some botanical and horticultural treasures in this region have gradually been revealed to recent travellers. As a result of examining the photographs taken by these travellers and our own botanical field research in eastern Bhutan in 2014, accompanied
by subsequent herbarium studies, two species new to science are described. The first, from eastern Bhutan and adjacent Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet, has long been cultivated under the names M. grandis or M. grandis GS600, and has recently been described as M. grandis subsp. orientalis (Grey-Wilson, 2010). It is the national flower of Bhutan. However, the type of M. grandis from Sikkim belongs to a species quite distinct from the eastern populations and the latter is now described as a new species, Meconopsis gakyidiana. The second novelty, Meconopsis merakensis, is newly described from eastern Bhutan and adjacent Arunachal Pradesh. In the past this species was confused with the closely allied M. prainiana. The two species are isolated geographically, M. prainiana being found only much further to the north-east, in south-eastern Tibet, including the Tsari valley. The title of this article is based on a comparison made by Frank Kingdon-Ward of Meconopsis flowers with butterflies in Tibet (see below).

Fig. 2 Colony of Meconopsis gakyidiana, surrounded by yellow-flowered M. paniculata, at Tsejong, Merak, east Bhutan, alt. 4,000m. Photo: T. Yoshida (2014), 1, vii. 


• Meconopsis gakyidiana T. Yoshida, R. Yangzom & D. G. Long, nom. et stat. nov.; nom. nov. for Meconopsis grandis Prain subsp. orientalis Grey-Wilson, Sibbaldia 8, 81 (2010).
Type: NE Bhutan, Cho La, Ludlow, Sherriff & Hicks 20801 (BM, holotype). Meconopsis grandis auct. non Prain, G. Taylor, The Genus Meconopsis 68 (1934), pro parte.



Diagnosis: M. baileyi Prain affinis, sed flore crateriformi, petalis manifeste concavis, thecis aurantiacis, atque stylo longiore difert. 
M. gakyidiana is similar to M. baileyi, but differs from the latter in the bowl-shaped flower with distinctly concave petals, orange-coloured thecae and longer style.


Distribution: Eastern Bhutan, western Arunachal Pradesh of India, southern Xizang (Tibet) of China; 3,700–4,300m in elevation. Habitat: Open shrubberies, lush pastures, beside rubble walls in grazing grounds, rarely on the sunny edge of sub-alpine forests; often forming a loose tuft with short rhizomes and gregariously growing together with shrubs and other tall herbs.



• Meconopsis merakensis T. Yoshida, R. Yangzom & D.G. Long, sp. nov. 
Type: East Bhutan: Trashigang district, Merak region, loose rocky area above Tsejong, 4,290m

Diagnosis: M. prainianae Kingdon-Ward affinis, sed capsulis longioribus et subcylindricis differt. 
M. merakensis differs from M. prainiana in its longer and sub-cylindrical fruit capsules.


Distribution: Eastern Bhutan: Merak and Sakten regions of Tashigang district; India: western Arunachal Pradesh, region around Orka La and Bhangajang, Tawang district, Mago district; 3,800–4,500m in elevation. 

Habitat: West, north-west or north-east facing steep rocky slopes, partly moss-covered boulder slopes or grassy and rocky slopes above tree-line, exposed to intermittent foggy rains of summer monsoon; rooting deep among rocks with scanty soil.

•  Meconopsis merakensis var. merakensis
•  Meconopsis merakensis var. albolutea T. Yoshida, R. Yangzom & D. G. Long, var. nov. 


Meconopsis elongata at its type locality in Bhutan 

CONCLUSIONS 
As stated in the introduction above, parts of the vast mountain ranges between Bhutan, northern Myanmar and south-west China remain very poorly explored botanically, even for such showy plants as Meconopsis. The new discoveries reported here demonstrate that diligent field work, using the modern technology of digital photography, can reveal plants new to science and often not brought into cultivation in the past. Sometimes these plants have been collected by early explorers, but those collections were often too limited to allow detailed scientific study without further material. However, when re-examined in conjunction with new specimens and images, proper scientific investigation can reveal new botanical treasures.


Toshio Yoshida, Rinchen Yangzom and David Long. 2017. Dancing Butterflies of the East Himalayas: New Meconopsis Species from East Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh and South Tibet. SIBBALDIA: The Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture. 14; 69-96. 

 The National Flower of Bhutan found to be a New Species!  shar.es/1Q2yqX

[PaleoOrnithology • 2017] Exceptional Preservation of Soft Tissue in A New Specimen of Eoconfuciusornis and Its Biological Implications


Figure 1. Photograph of Eoconfuciusornis indet. STM7-144, preserved in right lateral view; scale bar equals 20 mm
Figure 5. In vivo reconstruction of a male and female pair of Eoconfuciusornis. Artwork by Michael Rothman.


Abstract
We report on an exceptional specimen of Eoconfuciusornis preserving rare soft-tissue traces of the ovary and wing. Ovarian follicles preserve a greater hierarchy than observed in Jeholornis and enantiornithines, suggesting confuciusornithiforms evolved higher rates of yolk deposition in parallel with the neornithine lineage. The preserved soft tissues of the wing indicate the presence of a propatagium and postpatagium, whereas an alular patagium is absent. Preserved remnants of the internal support network of the propatagium bear remarkable similarity to that of living birds. Soft tissue suggests the confuciusornithiform propatagium could maintain a cambered profile and generate lift. The feathers of the wing preserve remnants of their original patterning; however, this is not strongly reflected by observable differences under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The tail plumage lacks elongate rectrices, suggesting that the earliest known confuciusornithiforms were sexually dimorphic in their plumage.

Keywords: Huajiying, Jehol Biota, Aves, Confuciusornithiformes, propatagium, feathers


Figure 1. (a) Photograph of Eoconfuciusornis indet. STM7-144, preserved in right lateral view; scale bar equals 20 mm.
Inset SEM images (all scale bars equal 2 μm); (b) left-wing coverts (sample 2_2) preserving black eumelanosomes; (c) coronal feathers (sample 2_1) preserving grey eumelanosomes; (d) dark spot of secondaries (sample A) preserving black eumelanosomes; (e) light part of secondaries (sample C) preserving grey mouldic eumelanosomes; (f) tail feathers (sample 2_3) preserving black eumelanosomes; (g) crural feathers (sample 2_4) preserving grey eumelanosomes; (h) submalar feathers (sample G) preserving phaeomelanosomes. Yellow dots indicate location of each sample. 

 

Figure 2. (a) Interpretative drawing of Eoconfuciusornis indet. STM7-144; (b) ovarian follicles; (c) remnants of the internal structure of the propatagium with underlying feathers; (d) preserved pattern in the greater coverts; (e) secondary remiges. Scale bar equals 10 mm in (a) and 5 mm in all insets. Anatomical abbreviations: al, alular metacarpal; ca, caudal vertebrae; ce, cervical vertebrae; cm, carpometacarpus; co, coracoid; cv, wing coverts; de, dentary; dv, dorsal vertebrae; f, frontal; fe, femur; g, gastralia; gc, greater coverts; hu, humerus; il, ilium; is, ischium; l, left; lc, lesser coverts; ma, major metacarpal; mc, marginal coverts; mi, minor metacarpal; mt, metatarsal; p1-3, manual phalanges; pb, pubis; pm, premaxilla; pp, postpatagium; prp, propatagium; py, pygostyle; ra, radius; ri, ribs; s, synsacrum; sc, scapula; sl, scleral ossicles; sr, secondary remiges; st, sternum; tbt, tibiotarsus; tmt, tarsometatarsus; ul, ulna; u, uncinate process. Yellow indicates preserved remnants of maturing ovarian follicles; dermal and epidermal tissue remnants are indicated in tan; remains of collagen fibres are brown. Dark grey indicates body feathers and the dorsal layer of wing coverts; light grey indicates the greater coverts and secondaries with preserved patterning. White dashed boxes represent areas enlarged in insets. 

Figure 5. In vivo reconstruction of a male and female pair of Eoconfuciusornis.
Artwork by Michael Rothman. 

Xiaoting Zheng, Jingmai K. O’Connor, Xiaoli Wang, Yanhong Pan, Yan Wang, Min Wang and Zhonghe Zhou. 2017. Exceptional Preservation of Soft Tissue in A New Specimen of Eoconfuciusornis and Its Biological Implications. National Science Review. nwx004. DOI: 10.1093/nsr/nwx004

Scientists make new discovery about bird evolution
 Summary: A team of scientists has described the most exceptionally preserved fossil bird discovered to date, in a newly published article. The new specimen from the rich Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (approximately 131 to 120 million years old) is referred to as Eoconfuciusornis, the oldest and most primitive member of the Confuciusornithiformes, a group of early birds characterized by the first occurrence of an avian beak.


[Botany • 2017] Oreocharis caobangensis • A New Species (Gesneriaceae) from Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam


Oreocharis caobangensis
T.V.Do, Y.G.Wei & F.Wen


Abstract

A new species of Oreocharis (Gesneriaceae) from Cao Bang province, northern Vietnam is described and illustrated. The new species, Oreocharis caobangensis, is most similar to O. lungshengensis, but it can be easily distinguished from the latter by its petioles densely brownish villous, lateral veins 6–8 pair on each leaf blade, bracts smaller (1.5–2 mm long), corolla outside pubescent and pistil glabrous, 18–20 mm long.

Keywords: Flora of Vietnam, Gesneriaceae, new taxon, Oreocharis, Eudicots, Vietnam


Habit of Oreocharis caobangensis.

Photograph by F. Wen 

Oreocharis caobangensis T.V.Do, Y.G.Wei & F.Wen, sp. nov.  

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to Cao Bang Province in northern Vietnam where Oreocharis caobangensis was found. The type location of this new species is in Phia Oac-Phia Den National Park, a famous national park in Cao Bang Province.


Truong Van Do, Yi-Gang Wei and Fang Wen. 2017. Oreocharis caobangensis (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam.
Phytotaxa. 302(1); 65–70. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.302.1.6

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Sipaneopsis (Sipaneeae, Ixoroideae): A Unique Flowering process in the Family Rubiaceae and Its Taxonomic Significance


Sipaneopsis maguirei
 Inflorescence with flowers at different stages of anthesis.


Abstract  

The process of anthesis of Sipaneopsis is unique within the Rubiaceae, and is here described and illustrated in detail for the first time. During the initial stage of anthesis the flowers are small, with the corolla lobes already open and erect before tube elongation, and the corolla lobe basal appendages are appressed against each other, forming a convex structure at the corolla mouth obstructing the entrance of visitors and pollinators. At the final stage of anthesis, the corolla lobes reflex and become perpendicular to the tube, and their basal appendages become erect, not touching each other, allowing visitors and pollinators to access the corolla tube and the nectar disk. Neobertiera and Sipaneopsis are unique within the tribe Sipaneeae in having indehiscent dry fruits and recent molecular phylogenies positioned them as sister taxa. Sipaneopsis is distinguished from Neobertiera in having flowers consistently homostylous (vs. distylous or rarely tristylous in Neobertiera), stamens inserted at the middle of the corolla tube (vs. at variable positions), and five triangular appendages at the base of each corolla lobe (vs. corolla lobes thickened at base, without appendages). The differences in flower morphology and process of anthesis between the two genera (which most likely influence their different pollination syndromes) provide an important set of significant taxonomic and diagnostic characters that can be used to distinguish them.

Keywords: Guiana Shield, French Guiana, Guyana, Surinam, Brazil, South America, Neobertiera, taxonomy, Eudicots


Sipaneopsis maguirei. Inflorescence with flowers at different stages of anthesis. 

Piero G. Delprete. 2017.  Sipaneopsis (Sipaneeae, Ixoroideae): A Unique Flowering process in the Family Rubiaceae and Its Taxonomic Significance. Phytotaxa. 302(1); 40–48. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.302.1.3

Fig. 1. Selected genera of Sipaneeae. A, Sipanea wilson-brownei; B–C, Sipanea veris; B, habit; C, detail of open corolla with exserted style; D–E, Chalepophyllum guyanense; D, habit with axillary inflorescences; E, detail of open corollas and flower buds; F, Sipaneopsis maguirei, inflorescence with two flowers on front with open corolla lobes before tube elongation, and flower in the back with tube in intermediate phase of expansion; G, Limnosipanea palustris; H, Maguireothamnus tatei.
 A and H photos, S. Mori; B–G photos; P. Delprete. 

Delprete, P.G. & Cortés-B., R. 2004. A phylogenetic study of the tribe Sipaneeae (Rubiaceae, Ixoroideae), using trnL-F and ITS sequence data. Taxon. 53: 347–356.  DOI: 10.2307/4135613


[Mammalogy • 2017] A Taxonomic Revision of the Kerivoula hardwickii complex (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) with the Description of A New Species, Kerivoula furva, from Taiwan


 Kerivoula furva 
Kuo, Soisook, Ho, Csorba, Wang & Rossiter, 2017

Abstract
Since its discovery, the taxonomic status of the only species of Kerivoula (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae: Kerivoulinae) to be found on Taiwan has been confused. Previous studies have assigned this species to either Kerivoula hardwickii or K. titania, both of which occur on continental SE Asia. This uncertainty supports repeated suggestions in the literature that specimens of K. hardwickii collected and/or sampled across SE Asia are likely to represent multiple cryptic taxa. To address these issues, we combined new and existing data from the genus Kerivoula on Taiwan and continental Asia, and performed diagnostic analyses in steps. First, phylogenetic reconstructions based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA revealed a well-supported group comprising all taxa currently recognized as K. hardwickii, together with the Taiwanese Kerivoula and Kerivoula kachinensis to the exclusion of all other congeneric species. Second, focusing on all members of this monophyletic clade (i.e., K. hardwickii complex) together with K. titania, we used multivariate statistical methods to separate taxa based on morphometric data. Our results provide strong evidence that among these bats, the Taiwanese Kerivoula is a new species that also occurs on continental Asia, for which we provide a formal description and name. In addition, we show that the subspecies K. hardwickii depressa should be elevated to species status [Kerivoula depressa]. We discuss our findings and the caveats of this and similar studies. 

  

FIG. 4. Photographs of Kerivoula furva sp. n., showing (a) a live individual (no voucher) as well as
 (b) dorsal and (c) ventral views of the skin specimen of holotype (NMNS 17595).

Scale bars in (b–c) =10 mm. Photo (a) by Cheng-Han Chou 

Kerivoula furva sp. n.

Etymology: The proposed English name is ‘Dark woolly bat’.The name refers to the very dark pelage of the new species.



Hao-Chih Kuo, Pipat Soisook, Ying-Yi Ho, Gabor Csorba, Chun-Neng Wang and Stephen J. Rossiter. 2017. A Taxonomic Revision of the Kerivoula hardwickii complex (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) with the Description of A New Species.   Acta Chiropterologica. 19(1); 19-39.  DOI: 10.3161/15081109ACC2017.19.1.002



[Paleontology • 2017] Sauropod Tooth Morphotypes from the Upper Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin (Portugal)


 Heart-shaped teeth, Pencil-shaped teeth,
Compressed Cone-chisel-shaped teeth, Spatulate teeth,
from the Upper Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin.

DOI:  10.1002/spp2.1075  
Giants of Portugal by Carlosdino  Carlosdino.deviantART.com  

Abstract
The Upper Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin has yielded an important fossil record of sauropods, but little information is available about the tooth morphotypes represented in this region. A large sample of teeth, both unpublished and published, is described and discussed here. Four main tooth morphologies are identified: spatulate, heart-shaped, pencil-shaped, and compressed cone-chisel-shaped. Heart-shaped teeth are considered to be exclusive to a non-neosauropod eusauropod, tentatively referred to Turiasauria. The spatulate teeth can be attributed to members of the Macronaria; they have a complex cingulum, more than one lingual facet and a labial ridge. The compressed cone-chisel-shaped teeth are also attributed to macronarians and the presence of an axially twisted apex through an arc of 30°–45° suggests putative affinities with Europasaurus and basal titanosauriforms. The variability observed in the overall morphology and wrinkling pattern of the compressed cone-chisel-shaped teeth may be due to factors related to the tooth position or to the ontogeny of individuals. Finally, pencil-shaped teeth with high slenderness index values, oval and apically located wear facets, subcylindrical crowns and lacking carinae, are tentatively assigned to Diplodocoidea. The diversity of tooth morphologies is in accordance with the known palaeobiodiversity of the Portuguese Late Jurassic sauropod fauna, which is composed of non-neosauropod eusauropods (turiasaurs), diplodocoids (diplodocids) and macronarians (camarasaurids and probably brachiosaurids). The Late Jurassic sauropod fossil record of the Iberian Peninsula presents the broadest tooth morphospace range in the world from this period, suggesting a wide niche partition for sauropods, and corresponding high taxonomic diversity.

Keywords: tooth morphology; Lusitanian Basin; Upper Jurassic; Sauropoda; Eusauropoda; Neosauropoda


  


Pedro Mocho, Rafael Royo-Torres, Elisabete Malafaia, Fernando Escaso and Francisco Ortega. 2017. Sauropod Tooth Morphotypes from the Upper Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin (Portugal). Papers in Palaeontology.  DOI:  10.1002/spp2.1075 

La diversidad de dinosaurios de Portugal es mayor de lo que se pensaba agenciasinc.es/Noticias/La-diversidad-de-dinosaurios-de-Portugal-es-mayor-de-lo-que-se-pensaba via @agencia_sinc


[Botany • 2017] Plastid Phylogenomics and Adaptive Evolution of Gaultheria series Trichophyllae (Ericaceae), A Clade from Sky Islands of the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains


Fig. 5. Habit, leaf morphology, flowers, and fruit in selected species of Gaultheria series Trichophyllae.
 
A: Gaultheria marronina (L. Lu et al. LL-2011-37) showing prostrate habit and white slightly open fruit with maroon capsule; B: G. dolichopoda (L. Lu et al. LL-2014-25) showing erect habit, blue fruit, and long pedicel; C: G. trichophylla var. trichophylla (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-47) showing leaves with long marginal setae; D: G. cardiosepala (L. Lu et al. LL-2014-44) showing urceolate white corolla; E: G. stenophylla (L. Lu et al. LL-2014-8) showing campanulate white corolla with two-awned anther thecae; F: G. trichophylla var. tetracme (L. Lu & M. Y. Zhang LL-2015-14) showing campanulate pink corolla and leaves with notable marginal setae; G: G. ciliisepala (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-20) showing open fruit with green capsule; H: G. cardiosepala (L. Lu et al. 6-0516) showing closed white fruit; I: G. stenophylla (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-7) showing nearly closed blue fruit; J: G. ciliisepala (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-20) showing open blue fruit; K: G. crassifolia (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-13) showing closed blue fruit; L: G. stenophylla (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-7) showing nearly closed blue fruit.

Photographs: A, C, E, H, J, K, L by L. Lu; B by J. Cai; D, F, G, I by M. Y. Zhang.
 
KIB.ac.cn  DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.01.015

Highlights
• Phylogenetic relationships of Gaultheria series Trichophyllae are reconstructed with plastid phylogenomic analyses.
• Eight sequence divergence hotspot regions are screened across the plastid genomes of the studied individuals.
• Morphological characters important for species delimitation in G. series Trichophyllae are traced onto the phylogeny.

Abstract
Gaultheria series Trichophyllae Airy Shaw is an angiosperm clade of high-alpine shrublets endemic to the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains and characterized by recent species divergence and convergent character evolution that has until recently caused much confusion in species circumscription. Although multiple DNA sequence regions have been employed previously, phylogenetic relationships among species in the group have remained largely unresolved. Here we examined the effectiveness of the plastid genome for improving phylogenetic resolution within the G. series Trichophyllae clade. Plastid genomes of 31 samples representing all 19 recognized species of the series and three outgroup species were sequenced with Illumina Sequencing technology. Maximum likelihood (ML), maximum parsimony (MP) and Bayesian inference (BI) phylogenetic analyses were performed with various datasets, i.e., that from the whole plastid genome, coding regions, noncoding regions, large single-copy region (LSC) and inverted-repeat region a (IRa). The partitioned whole plastid genome with inverted-repeat region b (IRb) excluded was also analyzed with ML and BI. Tree topologies based on the whole plastid genome, noncoding regions, and LSC region datasets across all analyses, and that based on the partitioned dataset with ML and BI analyses, are identical and generally strongly supported. Gaultheria series Trichophyllae form a clade with three species and one variety that is sister to a clade of the remaining 16 species; the latter comprises seven main subclades. Interspecific relationships within the series are strongly supported except for those based on the coding-region and IRa-region datasets. Eight divergence hotspot regions, each possessing >5% percent variable sites, were screened across the whole plastid genome of the 28 individuals sampled in the series. Results of morphological character evolution reconstruction diagnose several clades, and a hypothesis of adaptive evolution for plant habit is postulated.

Keywords: Plastid genome; Character evolution; Gaultheria; Phylogenetic relationships


Fig. 5. Habit, leaf morphology, flowers, and fruit in selected species of Gaultheria series Trichophyllae.
A: Gaultheria marronina (L. Lu et al. LL-2011-37) showing prostrate habit and white slightly open fruit with maroon capsule; B: G. dolichopoda (L. Lu et al. LL-2014-25) showing erect habit, blue fruit, and long pedicel; C: G. trichophylla var. trichophylla (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-47) showing leaves with long marginal setae; D: G. cardiosepala (L. Lu et al. LL-2014-44) showing urceolate white corolla; E: G. stenophylla (L. Lu et al. LL-2014-8) showing campanulate white corolla with two-awned anther thecae; F: G. trichophylla var. tetracme (L. Lu & M. Y. Zhang LL-2015-14) showing campanulate pink corolla and leaves with notable marginal setae; G: G. ciliisepala (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-20) showing open fruit with green capsule; H: G. cardiosepala (L. Lu et al. 6-0516) showing closed white fruit; I: G. stenophylla (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-7) showing nearly closed blue fruit; J: G. ciliisepala (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-20) showing open blue fruit; K: G. crassifolia (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-13) showing closed blue fruit; L: G. stenophylla (L. Lu et al. LL-2013-7) showing nearly closed blue fruit. 

Photographs: A, C, E, H, J, K, L by L. Lu; B by J. Cai; D, F, G, I by M. Y. Zhang.
 
KIB.ac.cn  DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.01.015

Ming-Ying Zhang, Peter W. Fritsch, Peng-Fei Ma, Hong Wang, Lu Lu and De-Zhu Li. 2017. Plastid Phylogenomics and Adaptive Evolution of Gaultheria series Trichophyllae (Ericaceae), A Clade from Sky Islands of the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 110; 7–18. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.01.015

[Crustacea • 2017] Euastacus vesper • A New Giant Spiny Crayfish (Decapoda, Parastacidae) from the Great Dividing Range, New South Wales, Australia


Euastacus vesper
McCormack & Ahyong, 2017

DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4244.4.6 

Abstract

Euastacus vesper sp. nov., is described from the upper Cudgegong River, Coricudgy State Forest, New South Wales, Australia. The new species occurs in the western drainage of the Great Dividing Range, and is most closely related to E. spinifer (Heller, 1865), which occurs on the eastern side of the range. Euastacus vesper differs from E. spinifer by its considerably smaller maximum size (OCL 67.9 mm versus 116.7 mm), greater degree of thoracic spination loosely arrayed in three instead of two rows and absence of the antennular basipodite and coxopodite spines. Observations on burrowing, ecological preferences and biology are presented.

Keywords: Crustacea, Euastacus, Parastacidae, spiny crayfish, freshwater, Australia


 Euastacus vesper sp. nov., male paratype (ACP1130), Cudgegong River. 

Etymology. Named vesper (Latin), meaning “western”, alluding to the western distribution of the new species relative to its closest relative, E. spinifer.
Suggested common Name: the Cudgegong Giant Spiny Crayfish

Distribution. Presently known only from the Cudgegong River and its tributaries; 743–1123 m a.s.l.


McCormack, Robert B. and Shane T. Ahyong. 2017. Euastacus vesper sp. nov., A New Giant Spiny Crayfish (Crustacea, Decapoda, Parastacidae) from the Great Dividing Range, New South Wales, Australia. Zootaxa. 4244(4); 556–567. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4244.4.6


A New Spiny Crayfish in Western Drainage, NSW.

[Entomology • 2017] Coeliccia mientrung spec. nov. from Central Vietnam (Odonata: Platycnemididae)


Coeliccia mientrung 
 Kompier & Phan, 2017

Abstract

Coeliccia mientrung spec. nov. is described from central Vietnam. Detailed differences from the very similar C. pyriformis Laidlaw, 1932, are provided. The female of C. pyriformis is described for the first time.
Keywords: Odonata, Platycnemididae, Coeliccia mientrung spec. nov., Coeliccia pyriformis, new species, Vietnam


FIGURE 4. Male Coeliccia mientrung in nature, 5.VIII.2016, Bach Ma National Park, Thua Thien—Hue Prov. Note three–colored eyes, white spots in prothorax, short truncated antehumeral stripes and limited yellow on S9. 


Etymology. The specific name mientrung, a noun in apposition, refers in Vietnamese to the area of central Vietnam where the species occurs

 Tom Kompier and Quoc Toan Phan. 2017. Coeliccia mientrung spec. nov. from Central Vietnam (Odonata: Platycnemididae). Zootaxa. 4247(2); 131–140. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4247.2.4


[PaleoBotany • 2017] Protofrullania cornigera • A Fossil Genus of the Frullaniaceae (Porellales, Jungermanniopsida) from the mid-Cretaceous of Myanmar


Protofrullania cornigera Heinrichs


Highlights
• A liverwort inclusion in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber is described.
• The fossil is interpreted as a stem group element of extant Frullaniaceae.
• The fossil genus Protofrullania gen. nov. is established.
• Diagnostic are strap-shaped underleaves producing an apical rhizoid bundle.
• Protofrullania cornigera sp. nov. was an epiphyte.

Abstract
Recent findings established the Albian-Cenomanian amber of Myanmar (Burmese amber) as an important source of Mesozoic cryptogams. Here, we describe an inclusion within Burmese amber as Protofrullania cornigera gen. et sp. nov. in the extant family Frullaniaceae (Porellales, Jungermanniopsida). Diagnostic characters include its incubous leaves consisting of a dorsal lobe and a ventral lobule forming a watersac, and strap-shaped, prominent underleaves producing a rhizoid bundle from the uppermost sector of the long, narrow disc. Bark fragments connected to some of the rhizoid bundles provide evidence that the fossil was an epiphyte.

Keywords: Bryophytes; Liverworts; Mesozoic; Seed-free land plants


Fig. 1. Holotype of Protofrullania cornigera gen. et sp. nov. in Burmese amber (GZG.BST.21956).
A. Upper sector of plant in ventral view. The arrowhead points to a bubble not belonging to the fossil. B. Branch in dorsal view. C. Underleaf (arrowhead) accompanied by watersacs. DE. Branches in ventro-lateral view with helmet-shaped watersacs. Arrowhead points to an underleaf. Most leaf lobes detached or turned back. F. Detail of plant in ventral view. Arrowheads indicate underleaves. G. Detail of plant in ventral view. Each white arrowhead points to an underleaf, black arrowhead indicates a rhizoid bundle.

Scale bars: 300 μm (A), 150 μm (B, D, F); 50 μm (C), 100 μm (E, G). 

Systematic palaeontology

Classification Marchantiophyta, Jungermanniopsida, Porellales, Frullaniaceae

Protofrullania Heinrichs, gen. nov.

Etymology. The name indicates a stem group element of Frullaniaceae.

Diagnosis. Plants with incubous leaves consisting of a dorsal lobe and a ventral lobule forming a watersac by enclosure of the anatomical dorsal leaf surface, lobule with narrow stem insertion, and strap-shaped, prominent underleaves carrying a rhizoid bundle in their uppermost sector.

Type species: Protofrullania cornigera Heinrichs, sp. nov.
Holotype. Geoscientific Collections of the Georg August University Göttingen, collection number GZG.BST.21956;  
Locality. Amber mines near Tanai, Ledo Road, 105 km northwest of Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar.

Etymology. The species name points to the ciliately toothed upper sector of the underleaves.
Specific diagnosis. Species of Protofrullania with ciliately toothed underleaves.


Jochen Heinrichs, Kathrin Feldberg, Julia Bechteler, Patrick Müller, Matthew A.M. Renner, Jiří Váňa, Alfons Schäfer-Verwimp and Alexander R. Schmidt. 2017. A Fossil Genus of the Frullaniaceae (Porellales, Jungermanniopsida) from the mid-Cretaceous of Myanmar.
 Cretaceous Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2017.02.023

[Herpetology • 2017] The Phytotelm Tadpoles of Microhyla arboricola (Anura: Microhylidae) from Vietnam, with Comments on Reproductive Biology and Development


Microhyla arboricola Poyarkov, Vassilieva, Orlov, Galoyan, Tran, Le, Kretova & Geissler, 2014


Abstract

The reproductive biology of Microhyla arboricola (Microhylidae) was studied in two regions of the southern Annamite Mountains in Vietnam. M. arboricola is an obligate phytotelm-breeder that reproduces in water-filled tree hollows in montane evergreen forests. Clutches are attached above the water level in the hollows and contain 5–37 pigmented, relatively large eggs. Larvae hatch at markedly advanced stages and develop in water until metamorphosis is completed. The developing tadpoles are obligately oophagous and feed on conspecific eggs and embryos. M. arboricola tadpoles differ from tadpoles of pond-dwelling Microhyla species in their external morphology (extremely long tails, dorsolateral position of the eyes, dark pigmentation), digestive tract morphology (large, extensible larval stomach and short intestine), and oral morphology. The larval chondrocranium and hyobranchiumof Marboricola is described. M. arboricola shares its habitat with other hollow-breeding species of anurans. To date, M. arboricola is the only known arboreal species of the genus Microhyla that has a unique reproductive mode. The ecological niche of this species differs greatly from those occupied by other microhylids of Indochinese Peninsula.

Keywords: Amphibia, embryonization, oophagy, phytotelmata, Southeast Asia, tadpole


Adult Microhyla arboricola in a tree hollow 


 Anna B. Vassilieva, Vitaly L. Trounov, Nikolay A. J. Poyarkov and Eduard A. Galoyan. 2017. The Phytotelm Tadpoles of Microhyla arboricola (Anura: Microhylidae) from Vietnam, with Comments on Reproductive Biology and Development.    
Zootaxa.  4247(4); 413–428.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4247.4.4