Sunday, May 28, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Bulbophyllum jingdongense • A New Species in the Cirrhopetalum alliance (Orchidaceae) from South China and Laos

Bulbophyllum jingdongense 
A. Q. Hu, D. P. Ye & Jian W. Li


Bulbophyllum jingdongense, a new species from South China and Laos belonging to the Cirrhopetalum alliance (Orchidaceae), is described and illustrated. It is morphologically distinct from all other known species in the alliance on account of the following diagnostic characters: pseudobulbs compressed subglobose; sepals and petals with dense, reddish-purple papillae on abaxial surfaces; lateral sepals basally connivent along their lower edges, the upper edges strongly incurved and connivent at the middle and then becoming separate again towards their incurved, horn-shaped, obtuse apex; column with a single orange-yellow gland below the stigma; and stelidia well-developed, 2.5–3 mm long, truncate at base, acuminate, merging with the column wings on each side of the column. The conservation status of B. jingdongense is assessed and taxonomic notes are provided.

Keywords: Bulbophyllum, Cirrhopetalum alliance, new species, taxonomy, Monocots


Bulbophyllum jingdongense A. Q. Hu, D. P. Ye & Jian W. Li, sp. nov.  

Distribution:— Bulbophyllum jingdongense is currently only recorded from Yunnan Province in Southwest China and Khammouane Province in central Laos.

FIGURE 2. Bulbophyllum jingdongense, sp. nov.:
 A. Plants in natural habitat at holotype locality in Jingdong County, Yunnan Province, South China. B. Plants epiphytic on a pine tree in Jingdong County. C. Living collection from Nakai District, Khammouane Province, central Laos, brought into cultivation at the Biotechnology and Ecology Institute, Laos. D. Close-up of habit with inflorescence. E. Close-up of a single inflorescence. F. Close-up of the column, highlighting the orange-yellow gland below the stigma.
 (A, D, E & F from holotype A.Q.Hu et al. 803, photographed by A.Q. Hu; B from paratype Jian-Wu Li 4494, photographed by Jian W. Li; C from paratype HNL-KFBG 0409, photographed by S.W. Gale). 

 Ai-Qun Wu, De-Ping Ye, Stephan W. Gale, Richard M. K. Saunders, Gunter A. Fischer and Jian-Wu Li. 2017. Bulbophyllum jingdongense (Orchidaceae), A New Species in the Cirrhopetalum alliance from South China and Laos. Phytotaxa. 307(3); 199-204. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.307.3.4

A New Species of Orchid Found in Jingdong, Yunnan 


[Ichthyology • 2017] Palatogobius incendius • A New Mesophotic Goby (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from the Caribbean, and the First Record of Invasive Lionfish Preying on Undescribed Biodiversity

Palatogobius incendius 
Tornabene, Robertson & Baldwin, 2017


A new species of deep-reef fish in the goby genus Palatogobius is described from recent submersible collections off Curaçao and Dominica. Video footage of schools of this species reveal predation by the invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois spp.), the first record of undescribed fauna potentially being eaten by lionfish outside of its native range. We present molecular phylogenetic data for all valid species of Palatogobius and related genera, as well as a taxonomic key to the species of Palatogobius and a generic key to Palatogobius and related genera in the western Atlantic. Lastly, we discuss ecological and behavioral aspects of some deep-reef fishes in light of potential threats from invasive lionfish.

Fig 2. Palatogobius incendius, live in aquarium, USNM 415430, 18.3 mm SL, Curacao. Photo by Barry Brown. 

Fig 1. Palatogobius incendius, prior to preservation.
A) USNM 436470, tissue CUR15135, 19 mm SL, Curacao; B) USNM 436483, tissue CUR15148, 21 mm SL, Curacao; C) USNM 431354, tissue CUR14029, 22 mm SL, Curacao; D) USNM 435318, 18.1 mm, Curacao. Photos by Carole C. Baldwin. 

Palatogobius incendius Tornabene, D. Ross Robertson & Baldwin, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Side of body with yellow/orange stripe along lateral midline, stripe continuing onto and extending entire length of caudal fin; second dorsal fin I,14–16; anal fin I,14–17; pectoral fin 18–20; no teeth on vomer; body scales absent except for occasionally 2 to 3 cycloid scales on base of caudal fin; interorbital pore C absent; interorbital pores D paired; eye diameter 7.0–9.0% SL.

Etymology: The specific epithet incendius is an adjective formed from the Latin root incendium meaning ‘fire.’ The scientific and proposed common names refer to the bright orange, yellow and reddish-pink coloration on the body, head and fins.

Fig 6. School of Palatogobius incendius at type locality, sta. CURASUB15-30, 152 m depth, Curacao. 

Habitat and distribution: Palatogobius incendius has been collected on deep reefs from Curacao (119–128 m) and Dominica (88–168 m) and observed off Roatan, Honduras (94–201 m). The species occurs exclusively in hovering schools ranging in size from as small as 5 to 10 individuals (rare) to 50->200 individuals (Fig 6). Schools are most frequently found at the top or bottom of vertical walls off Curaçao and Dominica, but off Roatan we observed more than a dozen schools of P. incendius collectively comprising as many as 1000 individuals over a long, gradually inclining stretch of sand and small rocks from ~150–170 m depth. Over this stretch, P. incendius co-occurred with many individuals of P. grandoculus, which were closer to the bottom rather than hovering well off the bottom like P. incendius. Schools of P. incendius generally comprise individuals at multiple life stages, ranging from moderately developed larvae (~9 mm SL) to adults. Off Dominica we also observed larger swarms of minuscule fish (~5 mm TL) that could possibly be very recently recruited P. incendius larvae, given their size, abundance and depth range. Individuals in these swarms were too small to be captured, and were observed traveling only a few cm off the bottom rather than hovering in a cloud well above the substrate. These schools of post-larvae were 1–2 m wide and up to 5 m long, and moved steadily upslope at approximately 0.15 m/s, navigating laterally around obstacles in a fashion superficially similar to a wide chain of marching army ants.

Luke Tornabene and Carole C. Baldwin. 2017. A New Mesophotic Goby, Palatogobius incendius (Teleostei: Gobiidae), and the First Record of Invasive Lionfish Preying on Undescribed Biodiversity. PLoS ONE. 12(5): e0177179.  DOI:  10.1371/journal.pone.0177179

[Botany • 2017] Begonia ignita • A New Species (sect. Petermannia, Begoniaceae) with Orange Flowers from Sulawesi, Indonesia

Begonia ignita  C.W.Lin & C.I Peng

 Begonia ignita C.W.Lin & C.I Peng, a new species of Begonia sect. Petermannia from Sulawesi, Indonesia, is here described and illustrated. It is distinct from other species in Begonia section Petermannia by a character combination including a procumbent stem ascending only at the apex, symmetric or subsymmetric leaves, the presence of a pale band or maculation running parallel to the leaf margin, and orange tepals. A detailed comparison with a morphologically similar species, the Sulawesi endemic Begonia mendumiae M.Hughes, is provided. 

Keywords. Begonia ignitaBmendumiae, Indonesia, new species, Sulawesi

Fig. 2. Begonia ignita C.W.Lin & C.I Peng.
A, B. Habit, showing variation in leaf colours. C, D. 5-tepaled pistillate flower (occasional), face and side views. E. Inflorescence, showing 2-tepaled staminate flowers. F. Staminate flower, face view. G. 4-tepaled pistillate flower in inflorescence. H. 2-tepaled pistillate flower (occasional). I. Cross section of ovary showing axile, bilamellate placentae. (Photos: Y.-Z. Siaw) 

Begonia ignita C.W.Lin & C.I Peng, sp. nov. § Petermannia 

This species is distinct from other species in Begonia section Petermannia by a character combination including a procumbent stem ascending only at the apex, symmetric or subsymmetric leaves, the presence of a pale band or maculation running parallel to the leaf margin, and orange tepals.
 TYPE: Collected in Indonesia, Sulawesi, precise locality unknown, grown in cultivation in Bogor Botanic Gardens and vouchered on 9 October 2016 as Wisnu H. Ardi WI 117 (holotype BO; isotype SING). (Fig. 1, 2)

Distribution. Only known from cultivation; likely endemic to Sulawesi (see Notes). 

Etymology. The specific epithet refers to the flame-coloured tepals (Latin: igneus – flame-coloured).

C.-W. Lin, D.C. Thomas, W.H. Ardi and C.-I Peng. 2017. Begonia ignita (sect. Petermannia, Begoniaceae), A New Species with Orange Flowers from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. 69(1); 89–95. DOI: 10.3850/S2010098116000081

Saturday, May 27, 2017

[Botany • 2017] A Revision of Hoya (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae) of Papuasia. Part I: Ten New Species, One New Subspecies and One New Combination

Hoya edholmiana, H. evelinae, H. krusenstierniana H. carrii
Simonsson & Rodda  

 The large majority of Hoya R.Br. species known from Papuasia were described in the first half of the 20th century and most of these are endemic. Along with Borneo and the Philippines the region is a centre of diversity of the genus. Since 2006 herbarium materials have been studied for a revision of Hoya of New Guinea along with field investigations on Papuasian Hoya since 2010. In the present paper we publish ten new species, Hoya brassii P.I.Forst. & Liddle ex Simonsson & Rodda, H. carrii P.I.Forst. & Liddle ex Simonsson & Rodda, H. edholmiana Simonsson & Rodda, H. evelinae Simonsson & RoddaH. juhoneweana Simonsson & Rodda, H. krusenstierniana Simonsson & Rodda, H. koteka Simonsson & Rodda, H. stenakei Simonsson & Rodda, H. versteegii Simonsson & Rodda and H. yvesrocheri Simonsson & Rodda, one subspecies, H. juhoneweana ssp. lindforsiana Simonsson & Rodda, and make one new combinationH. urniflora (P.I.Forst.) Simonsson & Rodda, which is also lectotypified. 

Keywords: Indonesia, Marsdenieae, Papua New Guinea

Hoya brassii P.I.Forst. & Liddle ex Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov.

Etymology. Named after Leonard John Brass (1900–1971), an Australian botanist who collected the type specimen in 1936 on the Fly River Expedition of the American Museum of National History (the second Archbold New Guinea Expedition).

Hoya carrii P.I.Forst. & Liddle ex Simonsson & Rodda sp. nov.

Etymology. Named after C. E. Carr (1892–1936), who first collected the taxon in 1935, and again in 1936, on a collecting expedition supported by the British Museum, London, which started in 1934. He died of malaria in June 1936, just a few months after discovering the second locality of Hoya carrii.

Hoya edholmiana Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

 Etymology. Named after the siblings CharlizeDiesel and Evelize Edholm of Sweden, supporters of the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya evelinae Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov.

Etymology. Named after the late Mrs Evelina Eriksson (1932–2009) of Sweden who supported the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya juhoneweana Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 
subsp. juhoneweana 

Etymology. Named after the first author’s colleague, Foreting Juhonewe, who is also from Hoboc village. He has been of great importance for this research. He has eagerly tried to find more of this rare and diminishing Hoya and promoted its conservation in situ amongst his clan’s people.

Hoya juhoneweana subsp. lindforsiana Simonsson & Rodda, subsp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after Constantinus Lindfors in Sweden, a supporter of the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya krusenstierniana Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after the Krusenstiern family, supporters of the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya koteka Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after its elongated style-head that resembles the traditional koteka, or penis-gourd traditionally worn by male natives of New Guinea.

Hoya stenakei Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after the late Mr Sten-Åke Svensson (1947 – 2011) of Sweden, whose children supported the first author’s work in PNG.

Hoya versteegii Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov.

Etymology. Named after its collector, G. Versteeg (1876–1943).

Hoya yvesrocheri Simonsson & Rodda, sp. nov. 

Etymology. Named after the Yves Rocher Foundation which supported the first author’s Hoya Project for five years during 2011–2015.

N. Simonsson Juhonewe and M. Rodda. 2017. Contribution to A Revision of Hoya (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae) of Papuasia. Part I: Ten New Species, One New Subspecies and One New Combination. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. 69(1); 97–147.  

[Botany • 2017] Acropogon mesophilus • A Rare and Threatened New Species (Malvaceae, Sterculioideae) from the Mesic Forest of New Caledonia [Novitates Neocaledonicae VI]

Acropogon mesophilus  Munzinger & Gâteblé


A new species, Acropogon mesophilus Munzinger & Gâteblé (Malvaceae, Sterculioideae), is described from New Caledonia. This species is endemic to non-ultramafic areas, along the southwestern coast of Grande-Terre. The species has large leaves, widely ovate to ovate, and entire, and might be confused with only two other endemic species, namely A. bullatus (Pancher & Sebert) Morat and A. veillonii Morat. However, A. mesophilus differs from the other two species most evidently by its leaves 3-nerved, flat, and with truncate to rounded bases, versus leaves 5-nerved, bullate, and with cordate bases. A line drawing and color photos are provided for the new species, along with a discussion of its morphological affinities and a preliminary risk of extinction assessment of Endangered.

Keywords: Acropogon, Malvaceae, mesic forest, New Caledonia, new species, Sterculioideae, taxonomy, threatened species, Eudicots

Acropogon mesophilus Munzinger & Gâteblé spec. nov.A. Overview of a single big tree. B. Flowering branch. C. Leaves. D. Inflorescence. E. Male (left) and female (right) flowers. 

Acropogon mesophilus Munzinger & Gâteblé, spec. nov. 

Type:— NEW CALEDONIA. Province Sud: Boulouparis, Camp Brun, le long de la Diahot, 130 m, 21°49’29.85”S, 165°54’50.71”E, 30 September 2015, Gâteblé 711 (holotype P-01069417!; isotypes G!, K!, MEL!, MPU-028533!, MO!, NOU-081994!, NOU-081995!, P-01069418!). 

Diagnosis:— Acropogon mesophilus Munzinger & Gâteblé differs from A. bullatus and A. veillonii by its flat, ovate leaf blade, with base truncate to rounded, three main palmate veins and many evident domatia, and by its yellow sepals with 2–4 grayish-purple stripes per calyx lobe.

Etymology:— The plant is named after the mesic forests where it grows.

FIGURE 2.— Acropogon mesophilus Munzinger & Gâteblé spec. nov. (A–F), A. bullatus (G) & A. veillonii (H):
A. Overview of a single big tree. B. Flowering branch. C. Leaves. D. Inflorescence. E. Male (left) and female (right) flowers. F. Follicles. G–H. Inflorescences.

Gâteblé 711 (A–B), Gâteblé et al. 685 (C), Gâteblé 719 (D), Le Borgne 58 (E–F), Gâteblé & Butaud 733 (G), photos by G. Gâteblé (A–D & G), T. Le Borgne (E–F) & J.-F. Butaud (H).   DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.307.3.2 

Jérôme Munzinger and Gildas Gâteblé. 2017. Novitates Neocaledonicae VI: Acropogon mesophilus (Malvaceae, Sterculioideae), A Rare and Threatened New Species from the Mesic Forest of New Caledonia. Phytotaxa. 307.3; 183-190. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.307.3.2

[Cnidaria • 2017] Sinularia mesophotica • Search for Mesophotic Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and Their Phylogeny. II. A New Zooxanthellate Species from Eilat, northern Red Sea

Sinularia mesophotica 
Benayahu, McFadden, Shoham & van Ofwegen, 2017   

An octocoral survey conducted in the mesophotic coral ecosystem (MCE) of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea) yielded a new species of the speciose reef-dwelling genus Sinularia. It features encrusting colony morphology with a thin, funnel-shaped polypary. Sinularia mesophotica sp. n. (family Alcyoniidae) is described and compared to the other congeners with similar morphology. Both the morphological and molecular examination justified the establishment of the new species, also assigning it to a new genetic clade within Sinularia. The results highlight its unique phylogenetic position within the genus, and this is the first described species of a mesophotic zooxanthellate octocoral.

Keywords: Octocorallia, taxonomy, new species, mesophotic coral ecosystem, Eilat, Red Sea

Figure 4. Underwater photographs of Sinularia mesophotica sp. n. A patch of colonies 

Systematic description

Order Alcyonacea Lamouroux, 1912
Family Alcyoniidae Lamouroux, 1912

Genus Sinularia May, 1898

Sinularia mesophotica sp. n.

Figure 1. Sinularia mesophotica sp. n.; A Holotype ZMTAU Co 37425 B paratypes ZMTAU Co 37492.
Scale bar: 1 cm (A also applies to B). 

Diagnosis: The holotype is part of an encrusting colony with a thin, funnel-shaped polypary, also featuring a curly margin (Fig. 1A). In a side-view its maximum dimensions are 5 × 2.5 cm. Polyps with tentacle rods and collaret sclerites (Fig. 2A–C). Tentacle rods up to 0.10 mm long (Fig. 2A). Collaret consists of almost straight spindles, up to 0.20 mm long (Fig. 2B), and shorter bent ones, up to 0.14 mm long (Fig. 2C). Surface layer of the polypary with clubs (Fig. 2D), some featuring a central wart, while in others it is less discernible, or even absent. Clubs vary from 0.10 mm long to 0.25 mm long, and a few with poorly developed heads attain 0.27 mm (Fig. 2E). Surface layer of the colony base contains clubs up to 0.22 mm; some similar to those of polypary, and others have wide heads (Fig. 3A). Polypary and base interior bear spindles, some branched, up to 3.2 mm long (Fig. 3B), with well-spaced simple tubercles (Fig. 3C).

Etymology: The new species name reflects its mesophotic habitat.

Figure 4. Underwater photographs of Sinularia mesophotica sp. n.  B funnel-shaped morphology of colonies. 

Yehuda Benayahu, Catherine S. McFadden, Erez Shoham and Leen P. van Ofwegen. 2017. Search for Mesophotic Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and Their Phylogeny. II. A New Zooxanthellate Species from Eilat, northern Red Sea. ZooKeys. 676: 1-12.  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.676.12751

Friday, May 26, 2017

[Paleontology • 2017] Luskhan itilensis • Plasticity and Convergence in the Evolution of Short-Necked Plesiosaurs

Luskhan itilensis 
Fischer, Benson, Zverkov, Soul, Arkhangelsky, Lambert, Stenshin, Uspensky & Druckenmiller, 2017

  Reconstruction by Andrey Atuchin.

• A new unusual pliosaur marine reptile is described from the Cretaceous of Russia
• Ecomorphological convergence is assessed in short-necked plesiosaurs
• Pliosaurs repeatedly evolved longirostrine piscivorous forms
• Profound convergence characterizes the evolution of short-necked plesiosaurs

Plesiosaurs were the longest-surviving group of secondarily marine tetrapods, comparable in diversity to today’s cetaceans. During their long evolutionary history, which spanned the Jurassic and the Cretaceous (201 to 66 Ma), plesiosaurs repeatedly evolved long- and short-necked body plans. Despite this postcranial plasticity, short-necked plesiosaur clades have traditionally been regarded as being highly constrained to persistent and clearly distinct ecological niches: advanced members of Pliosauridae (ranging from the Middle Jurassic to the early Late Cretaceous) have been characterized as apex predators, whereas members of the distantly related clade Polycotylidae (middle to Late Cretaceous) were thought to have been fast-swimming piscivores. We report a new, highly unusual pliosaurid from the Early Cretaceous of Russia that shows close convergence with the cranial structure of polycotylids: Luskhan itilensis gen. et sp. nov. Using novel cladistic and ecomorphological data, we show that pliosaurids iteratively evolved polycotylid-like cranial morphologies from the Early Jurassic until the Early Cretaceous. This underscores the ecological diversity of derived pliosaurids and reveals a more complex evolutionary history than their iconic representation as gigantic apex predators of Mesozoic marine ecosystems suggests. Collectively, these data demonstrate an even higher degree of morphological plasticity and convergence in the evolution of plesiosaurs than previously thought and suggest the existence of an optimal ecomorphology for short-necked piscivorous plesiosaurs through time and across phylogeny.

Keywords: Plesiosauria, Thalassophonea, convergence, ecomorphology, morphospace, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Luskhan itilensis, plasticity, evolution

Luskhan itilensis 
  Reconstruction by Andrey Atuchin. 

Plesiosauria Blainville, 1835 
Pliosauridae Seeley, 1874
Thalassophonea Benson & Druckenmiller, 2014 
Brachaucheninae Williston, 1925 sensu Benson & Druckenmiller

Luskhan itilensis gen. et sp. nov

Etymology: The Volga river area is the heartland of Golden Horde from the Mongol Empire. In Mongolian and Turkic mythology, ‘‘luuses’’ are spirits and masters of water, and ‘‘khan’’ means chief. ‘‘Itil’’ is the ancient Turkic name of the Volga.

Holotype, Horizon, and Locality: YKM 68344/1_262, a nearly complete, three-dimensionally preserved skeleton excavated in 2002 by one of us (G.N.U.) in the upper portion of the Speetoniceras versicolor Zone, upper Hauterivian, Lower Cretaceous on the right bank of the Volga river, 3 km north of the Slantsevy Rudnik village, western Russia. The horizon is level g-5 in local stratigraphy

Valentin Fischer, Roger B.J. Benson, Nikolay G. Zverkov, Laura C. Soul, Maxim S. Arkhangelsky, Olivier Lambert, Ilya M. Stenshin, Gleb N. Uspensky and Patrick S. Druckenmiller. 2017. Plasticity and Convergence in the Evolution of Short-Necked Plesiosaurs. Current Biology. DOI:  10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.052 

New species of fossil marine reptile, by Valentin Fischer @UniversiteLiege via @EurekAlert

[Ornithology • 2017] The Role of Niche Divergence and Geographic Arrangement in the Speciation of Eared Pheasants (Crossoptilon, Hodgson 1938)

 Wang, Liu, Liu, Chang, Wang & Zhang, 2017  DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.05.003 

• The phylogenetic relationship of Eared Pheasants was resolved based on 45 loci.
• Asymmetric historical gene flow occurred between both parapatric and allopatric sister species.
• Allopatric sister species exhibit significantly divergent ecological niches whereas parapatric sister species show niche conservatism.
• Ecological divergence may have been the main factor that promoted ecological niche divergence.

One of the most contentious theories in current ecology is the ecological niche conservatism, which is defined as conservatism among closely related species; however, the ecological niche can also be shifted, as documented in several cases. Genetic drift and ecological divergent selection may cause ecological niche divergence. The current study aims to test whether the ecological niche is conserved or divergent and to determine the main factor that drives ecological niche divergence or conservation. We analyzed the phylogenetic relationship, ecological niche model (ENM) and demographic history of Eared Pheasants in the genus Crossoptilon (Galliformes: Phasianidae) to test niche conservatism with respect to different geographically distributed patterns. The phylogenetic relationship was reconstructed using ∗BEAST with mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) and 44 unlinked autosomal exonic loci, and ENMs were reconstructed in MAXENT using an average of 41 occurrence sites in each species and 22 bioclimatic variables. A background similarity test was used to detect whether the ecological niche is conserved. Demographic history was estimated using the isolation with migration (IM) model. We found that there was asymmetric gene flow between the allopatric sister species Crossoptilon mantchuricum and C. auritum and the parapatric sister species C. harmani and Ccrossoptilon. We found that ecological niches were divergent, not conserved, between Cmantchuricum and Cauritum, which began to diverge at approximately 0.3 million years ago. However, the ecological niches were conserved between C. crossoptilon and C. harmani, which gradually diverged approximately half a million years ago. Ecological niches can be either conserved or divergent, and ecological divergent selection for local adaptation is probably an important factor that promotes and maintains niche divergence in the face of gene flow. This study provides a better understanding of the role that divergent selection has in the initial speciation process. The platform combined demographic processes and ecological niches to offer new insights into the mechanism of biogeography patterns.

Keywords: Crossoptilon; Eared-pheasant; Divergent selection; Ecological niche modeling; Genetic drift; Gene flow

Fig. 1. Map of the study area indicating the occurrence points used in for the background similarity test of Ecological Niche Models (ENMs) and the location of DNA samples used in demographic analyses. (The occurrence points (circles) were from bird-watching records (, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility ( and our unpublished survey data. Occurrence points that were far from each other (at least 10 km) and were randomly chosen in ArcGIS software were used for the background similarity test. The study area was the minimal convex polygon of those occurrence points with an additional 200 km. Triangles represent the locations of DNA samples. The area surrounded by the black dashed line was the study area used for the background similarity test. 

Pengcheng Wang, Yang Liu, Yinong Liu, Yajing Chang, Nan Wang and Zhengwang Zhang. 2017. The Role of Niche Divergence and Geographic Arrangement in the Speciation of Eared Pheasants (Crossoptilon, Hodgson 1938). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.05.003

Thursday, May 25, 2017

[Ichthyology • 2017] Compsaraia iara • A New Species of Deep-Channel Electric Knifefish Compsaraia (Apteronotidae, Gymnotiformes) from the Amazon River

Compsaraia iara
Bernt & Albert, 2017
  DOI: 10.1643/CI-16-529 
The deep channels of large rivers throughout the humid Neotropics are occupied by diverse and abundant assemblages of electric knifefishes. Historically this habitat has been poorly sampled, but extensive benthic trawling efforts in the Brazilian Amazon in the 1990s produced large numbers of electric fishes especially in the family Apteronotidae. A large number of these specimens, initially identified as Porotergus, have been found to belong within Compsaraia, a genus with two species described from the Orinoco and western Amazon. From this material we describe a new species, from the Amazon River in Brazil, and provide a new diagnosis for the genus. This species is readily distinguished from congeners by a short, rounded snout and small, subterminal mouth with reduced dentition. This species inhabits large rivers in the Eastern and Central Amazon between Ilha Grande de Gurupá and the mouth of the Rio Içá. This description brings the total number of valid apteronotid species to 95.

Fig. 3. Detail of head and pigmentation for Compsaraia samueli (top), MUSM 37172, 241 mm TL, and Compsaraia iara, FMNH 128428, 235 mm TL in lateral view (A), dorsal view (B), and ventral view (C). Scale bar equals 1 cm. 

Compsaraia iara, new species

Etymology.— This species is named for the Iara, a water nymph from Tupi-Brazilian folklore said to reside in the rivers of the Brazilian Amazon and often blamed for the disappearance of fishermen. A noun in apposition. 

Maxwell J. Bernt and James S. Albert. 2017. A New Species of Deep-Channel Electric Knifefish Compsaraia (Apteronotidae, Gymnotiformes) from the Amazon River.
 Copeia. 105(2); 211-219.  DOI: 10.1643/CI-16-529

[Botany • 2017] Macrosolen brunsing • A A New Hemiparasitic Shrub (Loranthaceae)from Brunei Darussalam [Novitates Bruneienses, 8]

Macrosolen brunsing  Y.W.Low & Ariffin

 Macrosolen brunsing Y.W.Low & Ariffin is described and illustrated here as a new species of aerial hemiparasite based on two collections from the Ladan Hills Forest Reserve, Tutong, Brunei Darussalam. The new species differs from all Macrosolen taxa enumerated in Borneo by its distinct linear leaves ((4–)8–14.5 cm long, 0.1–0.2(–0.25) cm wide). 

Keywords. Borneo, endemic, linear-leaved, Malesia, new species

Fig. 2. Macrosolen brunsing Y.W.Low & Ariffin.
A. Pendulous flowering branch showing distichous almost needle-like linear leaves and a terminal inflorescence. B. Close-up of mature flower buds that somewhat resemble bowling pins. C. Close-up of open flowers. D. Close-up of fruits. All from type Y.W. Low et al. LYW 1081. (Photos: Y.W. Low) 

Macrosolen brunsing Y.W.Low & Ariffin, sp. nov. 
Similar to Macrosolen brevitubus Barlow but differs in having narrow linear leaves ((4–)8–14.5 cm long, 0.1–0.2(–0.25) cm wide), and inflorescence a raceme of two opposite pairs of flowers.

– TYPE: Brunei, Tutong District, Rambai, Ladan Hills Forest Reserve, Nyamokning Dam, BRUN-SING botanical exploration campsite on the edge of forest near water body, lowland mixed dipterocarp forest on yellow sandy clay soils, 75 m asl, 22 August 2016, Y.W. Low, M.I. Siti Nur Bazilah, A.K. Muhd. Ariffin, A. Watu, E. Jangarun, P. Azlan, K. Muhd. Khairul Nizam & Z.A. Muhd. Wafiuddin LYW 1081 (holotype BRUN (including spirit material as part of a single specimen); isotypes E, K, L, SAN, SAR, SING [[SING0166300] & spirit material [SING0202921]). (Fig. 1, 2)

Etymology. The epithet brunsing is composed by merging two herbaria acronyms together, namely BRUN (the Brunei National Herbarium) and SING (Herbarium of the Singapore Botanic Gardens). This new species is named for the two herbaria to celebrate the close working relationship between the two herbaria that can be traced back to the early 80’s. The on-going MoU programme “The Botanical Survey of Brunei Darussalam” continues this cooperation.

 Y.W. Low, A.K. Muhammad Ariffin, A.A. Joffre and D. Duratul Ain. 2017. Novitates Bruneienses, 8. Macrosolen brunsing (Loranthaceae), A New Hemiparasitic Shrub from Brunei Darussalam. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. 69(1); 67–73.


[Invertebrate • 2017] Overview of the Ferdina-like Goniasteridae (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) Including A New Subfamily, Ferdininae, Three New Genera and Fourteen New Species

Ferdina mena  Mah, 2017


Recent assignment of some goniasterid-like Ophidiasteridae into the Goniasteridae has led to further re-evaluation of other ophidiasterids as possible goniasterids. This led to the discovery of new genera and species supported by a distinctive set of characteristics which support a new subfamily, the Ferdininae, a group originally outlined by Marsh and Price (1991) within the Goniasteridae. The historical Ophidiasteridae is paraphyletic and includes several nominal ophidiasterid genera (e.g., Fromia, Neoferdina, etc.). Newly described material has led to the inclusion of six genera,within this group, of which three, Bathyferdina n. gen.Eosaster n. gen., and Kanakaster n. gen.are newly describedFourteen new species in five genera are described. This includes Bathyferdina aireyae n. gen., n. sp.Eosaster nadiae n. gen., n. sp.Ferdina mena n. sp.Kanakaster balutensis n. gen., n. sp.Kanakaster convexus n. gen., n. sp.Kanakaster discus n. gen., n. sp.Kanakaster larae n. gen., n. sp.Kanakaster plinthinos n. gen., n. sp.Kanakaster solidus n. gen., n. sp.Neoferdina annae n. sp.Neoferdina antigorum, n. sp.Neoferdina momo, n. sp.Neoferdina oni, n. sp., and Paraferdina plakos, n. sp. Identification keys, synopses, and description of these taxa are included.

Keywords: New species, mesophotic zone, Ophidiasteridae, New Caledonia, South Africa, Indian Ocean, Eosaster n. gen., Ferdina, Bathyferdina n. gen., Kanakaster n. gen., Neoferdina, Paraferdina, Echinodermata

  In situ image of living Ferdina mena (not collected) Aliwal Shoal, South Africa
 (image by Georgina Jones). 

  Ferdina mena nov. sp.

 Etymology. The species descriptor is taken from the Malagasy word mena for red, alluding to this species’ red spots in each interradius. 

Christopher L. Mah. 2017. Overview of the Ferdina-like Goniasteridae (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) Including A New Subfamily, Three New Genera and Fourteen New Species. Zootaxa. 4271(1); 1–72.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4271.1.1

[Ichthyology • 2017] Pempheris familia • A New Species of Pempheris (Perciformes: Pempheridae) endemic to the Ogasawara Islands, Japan

Pempheris familia  Koeda & Motomura, 2017

    DOI:  10.1007/s10228-017-0586-3 

Pempheris familia sp. nov. is described on the basis of two specimens collected from the Ogasawara Islands, Japan. The new species is most similar to Pempheris japonica Döderlein in Steindachner and Döderlein 1883, endemic to Japanese and Korean waters, in having adherent scales with strong ctenii on the lateral and ventral surfaces of the body, each scale expanded basally and distally due to central narrowing, the abdomen with a U-shaped cross-sectional outline, a large ventral fenestra between the coracoid and cleithrum, 10 dorsal-fin soft rays and 35 or 36 anal-fin soft rays. However, Pempheris familia can be distinguished from P. japonica by the following combination of characters: 84–88 pored lateral-line scales; 14 or 15 scale rows above the lateral line; 50–55 predorsal scales; 26 circumpeduncular scales; and a distinct blackish blotch on the pectoral-fin base. Pempheris familia appears to be endemic to the Ogasawara Islands.

Keywords: Sweeper, Taxonomy, Morphology, New species, Coral reefs 

Fig. 1 Fresh specimens of Pempheris familia sp. nov. from Ototo-jima Island, Ogasawara Islands, Japan.
KAUM–I. 74713, holotype, 153.1 mm SL (upper); NSMT-P 124563, paratype, 139.5 mm SL (lower); photo by K. Kuriiwa  

Pempheris familia sp. nov.
(Standard Japanese name: Bonin-hatampo) 

Diagnosis. A species of Pempheris with the following combination of characters: lateral and ventral body scales strongly ctenoid, adherent, with distinct basal and distal portions; abdomen cross-sectional outline U-shaped; large ventral fenestra between coracoid and cleithrum; 10 dorsal-fin soft rays; 35–36 anal-fin soft rays; 84–88 pored lateral-line scales; 14–15 scale rows above lateral line; 50–55 predorsal scales; 26 circumpeduncular scales; body orange-copper; blackish blotch on fins limited to tip of dorsal, anal and caudal fins; distinct blackish blotch on pectoral-fin base.

Etymology. The specific name of the new species, familia, means “family” in Greek. The Ogasawara Islands include ca. 30 islands, many of them having been given family-like names; for example, Chichi-jima = father island, Haha-jima = mother island, Ane-jima = older sister island. Ototo-jima, where the type specimens were collected, and Ani-jima, where the underwater photographs were taken, refer to younger and older brothers, respectively.

Fig. 2 Underwater photographs of Pempheris familia sp. nov. from Ani-jima Island, Ogasawara Islands, Japan.
Single individual (upper); school in an underwater rock recess (lower) (ca. 10 individuals) 

 Keita Koeda and Hiroyuki Motomura. 2017. A New Species of Pempheris (Perciformes: Pempheridae) endemic to the Ogasawara Islands, Japan.
  Ichthyological Research.  DOI:  10.1007/s10228-017-0586-3