Wednesday, November 22, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Dendrobium bannaense • A New Species (Orchidaceae; Epidendroideae) from Yunnan, China: Molecular and Morphological Evidence

 Dendrobium bannaense
Tian, Li, Yang & Huang, 2017


A new species, Dendrobium bannaense, is described from Yunnan, China, based on the molecular and morphological evidence. It belongs to section Dendrobium according to analysis of combined nrITS and plastid datasets (matK, rbcL, trnH-psbA, and trnL intron). Morphological analysis reveals that D. bannaense is similar to D. parishii, but differs in having a white lip with purplish stripes and without a deep purple blotch on either side; the disk is with 3 longitudinal ridges, extending from base to upper-middle part, and lower-middle part is thickened and swell as callus shape at the joint of lip and claw.

Keywords: Asian orchids, Dendrobiinae, Malaxideae, orchid flora of China, phylogeny, Monocots

Ying-Qiu Tian, Ling Li, Yu-Ying Yang and Yu-Bi Huang. 2017. Molecular and  Morphological Evidence for Dendrobium bannaense (Orchidaceae; Epidendroideae), A New Species from China.  Phytotaxa. 328(1); 67–76. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.328.1.3

[Ichthyology • 2017] Cirrhilabrus shutmani • A New Species of Fairy Wrasse (Teleostei: Labridae) from the Babuyan Islands, northern Philippines

Cirrhilabrus shutmani
Tea & Gill, 2017  


Cirrhilabrus shutmani, new species, is described on the basis of four specimens from Didicas Volcano, Babuyan Islands, Cagayan province, northern Philippines. The holotype and three paratypes were collected at a depth of 50–70 m, along denuded rubble slopes. The new species belong to a complex consisting of Cirrhilabrus blatteus, C. claire, C. earlei, C. jordani, C. lanceolatus, C. roseafascia, C. rubrisquamis and C. sanguineus. Aside from similar nuptial male colouration, the nine species share the following character combination: relatively short pelvic fins (not or barely reaching anal-fin origin, except for C. claire with relatively long pelvic fins); a pair of stripes on head (in both sexes); and, dorsal and anal fins without obvious stripes or spots. It differs from the other members of its group in lacking any stripes on the upper and lower body, and in having the following live colouration details: upper part of nape dusky red; dorsal and anal fin bright red with dusky markings; pelvic fins bright red, dusky anteriorly; caudal fin bright yellow basally with distal half bright red. We also present new distribution records for C. claire, C. earlei and C. lanceolatus, as well as a brief mention of a possibly new, related species from the Ogasawara Islands.

Keywords: Pisces, ichthyology; taxonomy; Didicas Volcano; colouration

FIGURE 3. Cirrhilabrus shutmani n. sp., male holotype, PNM 15354, 55.7 mm SL, from Didicas Volcano, Babuyan Islands, northern Philippines. Image reversed. Photo by B.P. Shutman.
FIGURE 4. Cirrhilabrus shutmani n. sp., male, approximately 50 mm TL, from Didicas Volcano, Babuyan Islands, northern Philippines. Specimen not retained. Photo by B.P. Shutman.

FIGURE 5. Cirrhilabrus shutmani n. sp., males,
A) approximately 57 mm TL, B) approximately 60 mm TL, C) approximately 65 mm TL, all from Didicas Volcano, Babuyan Islands, northern Philippines.
Specimens not retained. Photos by B.P. Shutman.

Cirrhilabrus shutmani n. sp. 
Magma Fairy-wrasse

Diagnosis. Cirrhilabrus shutmani shares similar meristic counts to the other species in its complex, but differs from congeners in the following live colouration details: upper part of nape dusky red; dorsal and anal fin bright red with dusky markings; pelvic fins bright red, dusky, and unmarked; caudal fin bright yellow basally with distal half bright red.

Etymology. Named in honour of Barnett Paul Shutman, who first provided photos as well as the type specimens of the new species (via Aquarium Iwarna, Singapore). The common name, magma fairy wrasse, alludes to its live colouration, as well as the type location of Didicas Volcano, an active volcano part of the “Pacific Ring of Fire” at the southern end of the Luzon Volcanic Arc. 

Distribution and habitat. Cirrhilabrus shutmani is known only from the type locality, Didicas Volcano in the Babuyan Islands at the northern tip of the Philippines (Figure 6). It appears to inhabit steep slopes comprised mostly of volcanic rubble at depths ranging from 50–70 m

FIGURE 8. Males of selected Cirrhilabrus species. All are in nuptial display except D, F and I.
A) Cirrhilabrus shutmani n. sp., aquarium specimen from Didicas Volcano, Babuyan Islands, northern Philippines (photo by D. Laux); B) C. earlei, aquarium specimen from Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands (photo by T. lauderdale); C) C. jordani, aquarium specimen from the Hawaiian Islands (photo by Y.K. Tea); D) C. blatteus, Israel, Gulf of Aqaba (photo by J.E. Randall); E) C. roseafascia, aquarium specimen from Coral Sea, Australia (photo by Y.K. Tea); F) C. lanceolatus, aquarium specimen from Scarborough Shoal, South China Sea, western Philippines (photo by B.P. Shutman); G) C. sanguineus, aquarium specimen from Mauritius (photo by H. Tanaka); H) C. rubrisquamis, aquarium specimen from the Maldives (photo by T. Lauderdale); I) C. claire, aquarium specimen from Mo’orea, French Polynesia (photo by Y.K. Tea).

 Yi-Kai Tea and  Anthony C. Gill. 2017. Cirrhilabrus shutmani, A New Species of Fairy Wrasse from the Babuyan Islands, northern Philippines (Teleostei: Labridae). Zootaxa. 4341(1); 77–88. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4341.1.6
The Magma Fairy Wrasse Is Now Officially Cirrhilabrus shutmani
The Magma Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus shutmani, Just Described From Northern Philippines via @anteksiler

[PaleoIchthyology • 2017] Eoanabas thibetana • Fossil Climbing Perch and Associated Plant Megafossils indicate A Warm and Wet Central Tibet During the late Oligocene

Eoanabas thibetana
Wu, Miao, Chang, Shi & Wang, 2017

Understanding the Tibetan Plateau’s palaeogeography and palaeoenvironment is critical for reconstructing Asia’s climatic history; however, aspects of the plateau’s uplift history remain unclear. Here, we report a fossil biota that sheds new light on these issues. It comprises a fossil climbing perch (Anabantidae) and a diverse subtropical fossil flora from the Chattian (late Oligocene) of central Tibet. The fish, Eoanabas thibetana gen. et sp. nov., is inferred to be closely related to extant climbing perches from tropical lowlands in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It has osteological correlates of a labyrinth organ, which in extant climbing perches gives them the ability to breathe air to survive warm, oxygen-poor stagnant waters or overland excursion under moist condition. This indicates that Eoanabas likewise lived in a warm and humid environment as suggested by the co-existing plant assemblage including palms and golden rain trees among others. As a palaeoaltimeter, this fossil biota suggests an elevation of ca. 1,000 m. These inferences conflict with conclusions of a high and dry Tibet claimed by some recent and influential palaeoaltimetry studies. Our discovery prompts critical re-evaluation of prevailing uplift models of the plateau and their temporal relationships with the Cenozoic climatic changes.

Systematic Palaeontology  

Teleostei Müller, 1845
Anabantiformes sensu Wiley and Johnson, 2010

Anabantoidei sensu Lauder and Liem, 1983
Anabantidae Bonaparte, 1839

Eoanabas thibetana gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. The generic name combines ‘Eo-’ (Greek, early/primeval) with ‘Anabas’, the type genus of Anabantidae from tropical Asia. The specific name refers to Tibet, China.

Holotype. IVPP V 22782, a complete skeleton, part and counterpart (Fig. 1a,b).

Paratypes. Sixteen specimens are designated as paratypes (Supplementary Information).

Locality and Horizon. Jiangnongtangga (type locality) and Songwori in south Nima Basin and Dayu in Lunpola Basin in central Tibet (Supplementary Figs 1 and 2). Middle-upper part of Dingqing Formation, late Oligocene (Chattian) (ca. 26~23.5 Ma)6, 20, 26.

Diagnosis. A labyrinth fish displaying anabantid characteristics including a posterior notch of the opercle bounded by spines, a V-shaped strut on inner side of opercle and six to nine anal-fin spines. It shares with Asian anabantids the following derived characters: broad infraorbitals 3–5 completely covering the cheek, a sensory canal pore just behind sphenotic/pterotic junction and pelvic plate lying flat; and it shares with African anabantids some derived characters, e.g., sensory canal opening in between the infraorbitals, supraorbital commissure of the sensory canal absent and male postocular contact organ present.

Figure 1 A new fossil climbing perch, Eoanabas thibetana gen. et sp. nov. from the upper Oligocene of central Tibet. It resembles its extant tropical relatives in having a labyrinth organ for air breathing and postocular contact organ in male fishes for stimulating the female during a mating clasp.
(a) Photograph and (b) line drawing of holotype (IVPP V22782a), image horizontally rotated. (c) Photograph and (d) line drawing of the head of IVPP V18412a, red area in (d) representing muscular attachment facet.

Abbreviations: alm, attachment facet of levator operculi muscle; Cbr1, ceratobranchial of first gill arch;, V-shaped struts on inner side of opercles.

Figure 2 Fossil climbing perch, Eoanabas thibetana gen. et sp. nov. from the upper Oligocene of central Tibet.
(a) Line drawing of the head of IVPP V18414a. (b) Photograph of IVPP V18414a. (c) Photograph of IVPP V18581a. (d) Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of relics of labyrinth organ in (c), arrows pointing the pores on the lamellae. (e) Computerized tomography of labyrinth organ (lateral view) of Anabas testudineus (OP 435). (f) Cleared and stained head showing the labyrinth organ and associated structures of Anabas testudineus (collection no. OP 432). (g) Cleared and stained specimen of Anabas testudineus (collection no. OP 433). (h) Osteological restoration of Eoanabas, purported male; not to scale.

Images in (c), (d) are horizontally rotated. Abbreviations: br, branchiostegal rays; hp1, hypural 1; m., muscle; php, parhypural.

Feixiang Wu, Desui Miao, Mee-mann Chang, Gongle Shi and Ning Wang. 2017. Fossil Climbing Perch and Associated Plant Megafossils indicate A Warm and Wet Central Tibet During the late Oligocene. Scientific Reports. 7, Article number: 878.  DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00928-9

[Entomology • 2017] Taxonomic and Biogeographic Revision of the New Guinean genus Ophiotettix Walker, 1871 (Tetrigidae: Metrodorinae: Ophiotettigini trib. nov.), with the Descriptions of 33 New Species

Ophiotettix storozhenkoiO. filiformaO. pulcherrima, et al

Tumbrinck & Skejo, 2017

Long-headed pygmy grasshoppers (genus Ophiotettix Walker, 1871) from the New Guinean region (New Guinea and adjacent islands) are taxonomically and biogeographically reviewed. For Ophiotettix and the morphologically similar genera Paraspartolus Günther, 1939, Spartolus Stål, 1877 and Threciscus Bolívar, 1887 a new tribe is erected, Ophiotettigini trib. nov. This tribe is close to Clinophaestini Storozhenko, 2013, which is placed here also under Metrodorinae. Bufonidinae syn. rev. are regarded to be synonymous with Batrachideinae, not Cladonotinae, as previously considered. Statuses of currently known taxa of Ophiotettix are reviewed. The genus now includes 40 species, seven of them previously described: O. buergersi Bolívar, 1929, O. cygnicollis Walker, 1871, O. limosina (Snellen van Vollenhoven, 1865), O. lorentzi Bolívar, 1929, O. modesta Bolívar, 1929 stat. rev., O. scolopax Bolívar, 1929, O. westwoodi Bolívar, 1929 stat. rev. 33 new species are described and illustrated, namely: O. amberiana sp. nov., O. bewana sp. nov., O. bomberaiensis sp. nov., O. brevicollis sp. nov., O. cheesmanae sp. nov., O. depressa sp. nov., O. filiforma sp. nov., O. flyriveriensis sp. nov., O. fritzpahli sp. nov., O. hansscholteni sp. nov., O. imbiana sp. nov., O. kaitani sp. nov., O. karimuiensis sp. nov., O. katharinae sp. nov., O. luce sp. nov., O. meggy sp. nov., O. mountnokensis sp. nov., O. parvicollis sp. nov., O. projecta sp. nov., O. pulcherrima sp. nov., O. pushkari sp. nov., O. quateorum sp. nov., O. rebrinae sp. nov., O. roesleri sp. nov., O. rohwedderi sp. nov., O. sanguinea sp. nov., O. schapinae sp. nov., O. stallei sp. nov., O. storozhenkoi sp. nov., O. subbrevicollis sp. nov., O. telefominensis sp. nov., O. tenuis sp. nov., and O. toxopei sp. nov. An annotated identification key to species is provided. Antennal morphology (especially morphology of five apical segments) is diagnostically important in the taxonomy of this group and provides the best morphological character for species delimitation. Function of modified antennae is not fully understood. Differences between species exist also in head morphology, facial colouration, and morphometrics. Pygmy Giraffhoppers are a diverse group occupying most biogeographical regions of New Guinea North of the Central range, while only few species inhabit areas south of the central range.

 Keywords: Orthoptera, Tetrigidae, pygmy grasshoppers, Discotettiginae, New Guinea, taxonomy, new species, widened antennal segments, long head, horn

Josef Tumbrinck and Josip Skejo. 2017.   Taxonomic and Biogeographic Revision of the New Guinean genus Ophiotettix Walker, 1871 (Tetrigidae: Metrodorinae: Ophiotettigini trib. nov.), with the Descriptions of 33 New Species. In: Telnov, D., Barclay, M.V.L. & Pauwels, O.S.G. [Ed.] Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea. 3; 525-580.

[Crustacea • 2017] Hexapleomera urashima • A Tanaidid Epibiotic (Crustacea: Tanaidacea) on Loggerhead Sea Turtles at Yakushima Island, Japan

Hexapleomera urashima
Tanabe, Hayashi, Tomioka & Kakui, 2017


We describe Hexapleomera urashima sp. nov. from the carapaces of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) on Yakushi-ma Island, southwestern Japan, the primary nesting site for the North Pacific population of this turtle. Hexapleomera urashima closely resembles H. edgari Bamber collected from Australian loggerheads (South Pacific population), sharing a uropod with four articles and maxillipedal endites with distal spiniform setae, but differs in having the maxillipedal coxa with two simple setae, the maxillipedal endite with two tiny dorsosubdistal and two distal spiniform setae, the labial palp fused to the outer lobe of the labium, and the basal article of pleopod 3 without inner setae. Several characters (e.g., size or presence/absence of a dorsal triangular process on the male fixed finger; number of inner setae on the pleopodal endopod), assumed to be diagnostic for species in Hexapleomera, actually vary within H. urashima, indicating that reassessment of species diagnoses is warranted. Hexapleomera urashima showed two COI haplotypes differing by one substitution, but separated from representatives of four other genera by 32.2–48.4% K2P distance. Indices of saturation substitution indicated that COI is not useful for phylogeny reconstruction within Tanaididae.

Keywords: Crustacea, Peracarida, Tanaidomorpha, Tanaidoidea, epibiont, morphological variation, DAMBE

Yuki Tanabe, Ryota Hayashi, Shinri Tomioka and Keiichi Kakui. 2017. Hexapleomera urashima sp. nov. (Crustacea: Tanaidacea), A Tanaidid Epibiotic on Loggerhead Sea Turtles at Yakushima Island, Japan.  Zootaxa. 4353(1); 146–160.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4353.1.9

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

[Ichthyology • 2017] Redescription and New Records of Jansen’s Goatfish, Parupeneus jansenii (Mullidae), from the Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean

 Parupeneus jansenii (Bleeker, 1856)
 Parupeneus heptacanthus (Lacepède, 1802)


For Jansen’s goatfish, Parupeneus jansenii (Mullidae), taxonomic knowledge has been rather poor and occurrence information restricted to a few localities only, with verified records from northern Sulawesi and Sunda Street (Indonesia), and Luzon (Philippines). This species is here included in the so-called “heptacanthus” group together with the Indo-Pacific cinnabar goatfish, P. heptacanthus, and five Indian Ocean congenerics, based on an evenly, symmetrically rounded posterior maxilla margin and similarities in meristic characters and preserved colour. In total 29 P. jansenii and 53 P. heptacanthus consisting of types, recently collected material from south-central Vietnam, southern Indonesia, and NE Australia, and geographically related reference material were studied along with single types of the other five heptacanthus-group species and P. angulatus, a morphologically similar Western Indian Ocean species. In total 62 quantitative meristic and morphometric characters including standard length (SL) were analysed after splitting the data into two size classes (small-sized fish, < 110 mm SL, vs. large-sized fish  > 110 mm SL) to account for size-related differences due to allometry. Diagnoses for P. jansenii and P. heptacanthus and a redescription for P. jansenii were prepared. Fresh-fish colour descriptions for both large- and small-sized voucher specimens of P. jansenii are provided and the effects of freshness status on colour patterns is documented. New records for P. jansenii for Vietnam, southern Indonesia and NE Australia (= first verified record for Australia) are reported and depth information (24–100 m depth range) is given for the first time. P. jansenii differs from the co-occurring P. heptacanthus - independently of size - in shallower body and caudal peduncle, smaller maximum head depth, shorter barbels, caudal and pelvic fins, shallower first dorsal fin, shallower first ray of second dorsal fin, and lack of small dark red or reddish-brown spot on or just below the eighth lateral-line scale. The populations of P. jansenii from Vietnam and Australia differ from each other in a single character, the height of the eighth dorsal-fin ray, but both overlap with the intermediate population from Indonesia. This comprehensive alpha-taxonomic approach provides a useful tool for uncovering the diversity of Parupeneus goatfishes.

Keywords: Pisces, heptacanthus species group, NE Australia, southern Indonesia, south-central Vietnam, morphometric characters, intraspecific variation, colour patterns

FIGURE 3. Parupeneus jansenii (left side) and P. heptacanthus (right side).
 (A) VNMN-I 4, 159 mm SL, Hon Ro landing site, Nha Trang City, Vietnam (Franz Uiblein); (B) VNMN-I 51, 135 mm SL, Binh Tan fish market, Nha Trang City, Vietnam (Tuan Anh Hoang); (C) CSIRO H 5972-19, 146 mm SL, Kedonganan, Jimbaran Bay (S coast of Bali), Indonesia (William T. White); (D) CSIRO H 8154-01, 81 mm SL, NE of Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia (Daniel C. Gledhill);
(EF) VNMN-I 49, 170 mm SL, Binh Tan fish market, Nha Trang, Vietnam (Tuan Anh Hoang); (G) CSIRO H 5972-17, 150 mm SL, Kedonganan, Jimbaran Bay (S coast of Bali), Indonesia (William T. White); (H) CSIRO H 7379-07, 122 mm SL, NE of Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia (Daniel C. Gledhill).

Genus Parupeneus Bleeker, 1863

Parupeneus jansenii (Bleeker, 1856)
Jansen’s goatfish 

Upeneus jansenii Bleeker, 1856 (type locality Manado, Sulawesi).
Parupeneus jansenii: Bleeker 1875; Randall 2004; Allen & Erdmann 2012

Description. Morphometric data as ratios of SL for large-sized fish, data for small-sized fish (including syntypes) in squared brackets: body elongated, its depth at first dorsal-fin origin 3.8–4.3 [3.9–4.5]; body depth at anal-fin origin 4.8–5.3 [4.8–5.4]; caudal peduncle depth 11–12 [11–13], subequal to interorbital length (10—12 [10–12]); maximum head depth 4.1–4.5 [4.2–4.9], subequal to barbel length (4.0–4.6 [3.9–4.6]); head depth through eye 4.7–5.2 [4.9–5.6]; head length 2.9–3.2 [3.0–3.2], larger than maximum depth of body and caudal-fin length (3.7–4.0 [3.5–4.0]); snout length 6.2–7.0 [6.6–8.0], shorter than postorbital length (8.0–9.4 [7.5–8.9]) in large-sized fish; orbit length 13–18 [13–15]; anal-fin height 7.2–8.4 [7.0–8.1]; second dorsal-fin height 7.3–9.3 [7.0–8.8]; pectoral-fin length 4.0–4.7 [4.3–4.6], subequal to barbel length and subequal to pelvic-fin length (4.6– 5.0 [4.3–4.9]) in small-sized fish.

Distribution, depth range, and size. Parupeneus jansenii occurs in the Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean in the area ranging from south-central Vietnam and northern Philippines to southwestern Indonesia and NE Australia, with verified records from Nha Trang Bay (this study), Luzon (Randall 2004), northern Sulawesi (type locality Manado), Sunda Strait off southern Sumatra (Randall 2004), southern Bali and southern Lombok (this study), and Torres Strait to Great Barrier Reef (this study). Depth range is 24–100 m, maximum size is 159 mm SL.

Parupeneus heptacanthus (Lacepède, 1802)
Cinnabar goatfish

Sciaena heptacantha Lacepède, 1802 (type locality not given)
Upeneus cinnabarinus Cuvier in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829
Upeneus pleurospilos Bleeker, 1853 (type locality Ambon, Moluccas, Indonesia)
Parupeneus heptacanthus Kim & Amaoka 2001, Randall 2004, Randall & Heemstra 2009, Allen & Erdman 2012

Franz Uiblein, Tuan Anh Hoang and Daniel Gledhill. 2017. Redescription and New Records of Jansen’s Goatfish, Parupeneus jansenii (Mullidae), from the Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean. Zootaxa. 4344(3); 541–559.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4344.3.6

[Entomology • 2017] The Bees of Michigan (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila), with Notes on Distribution, Taxonomy, Pollination, and Natural History

Lasioglossum pectorale (Smith, 1853)
Gibbs, Rightmyer & Isaacs, 2017


The state of Michigan occupies an area between the Great Plains and the northeastern United States, bordering four Great Lakes, with diverse biogeographical regions. Michigan also has the second most diverse agriculture in the country, with many crops that depend on bees for pollination. This unique combination provides a wide range of opportunities for bees to persist, yet there is no current published checklist of these important insects. This study was conducted to provide the first annotated checklist of the bee (Apoidea: Anthophila) fauna of Michigan, summarizing aspects of their taxonomy and behavior and to provide provisional conservation assessment. The list was compiled from a critical review of published literature, museum specimens, and database records, supplemented by new collections. In total, 465 species are included in the checklist, including 38 new records, however evidence for 13 species is poor, several more species require taxonomic revision, and the presence of additional species is expected. The exotic megachilid species Megachile apicalis Spinola, M. pusilla Pérez (=concinna Smith, auct.) and Osmia taurus Smith are reported from Michigan for the first time. New state records of native species include Anthidium tenuiflorae Cockerell and Nomada alpha alpha Cockerell, both previously undocumented from eastern North America, and Nomada sphaerogaster Cockerell, which has rarely been recognized. The taxonomy of some bee species is clarified by the formal publication of 11 new synonymies (some previously reported online or in manuscripts). The following list cites junior synonyms first followed by the valid name: Andrena chippewaensis Mitchell 1960 = A. (Simandrena) wheeleri Graenicher 1904; Osmia hendersoni Cockerell 1907 = O. (Melanosmia) tarsata Provancher 1888; Osmia michiganensis Mitchell 1962 = O. (M.) subarctica Cockerell 1912 (new status, removed from synonymy with O. (M.) tersula Cockerell 1912); Sphecodes persimilis Lovell and Cockerell 1907 = S. davisii Robertson 1897; Sphecodes knetschi Cockerell 1898 = S. dichrous Smith 1853; Sphecodes carolinus Mitchell 1956 = S. coronus Mitchell 1956; Sphecodes stygius Robertson 1893 = S. mandibularis Cresson 1872; Sphecodes prostygius Mitchell 1960 = S. fattigi Mitchell 1956; Stelis vernalis Mitchell 1962 = S. coarctatus Crawford 1916; and Stelis michiganensis Mitchell 1962 = S. foederalis Smith 1854. Poorly known Andrena (Cnemidandrena) are discussed, including A. parnassiae Cockerell, a new state record, A. robervalensis Mitchell, and the extralimital A. runcinatae Cockerell. Of these, only A. robervalensis was considered in the subgeneric revision, but we recognize all three as valid species pending further study. Nomada binotata (Robertson 1903) and N. quadrimaculata (Robertson 1903) are removed from synonymy with N. ovata (Robertson 1903), based on examination of the lectotypes. A new species, Triepeolus eliseae Rightmyer, the eastern representative of the verbesinae species group, is described. A putative undescribed species, Osmia aff. trevoris, is documented, but requires additional study for its status to be fully resolved. A rich bee fauna is documented that includes geographically-restricted species, rare and regionally-declining species, and economically-important species, providing information for ongoing conservation planning and future analysis of trends in bee populations.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, check list, faunal list, new species, nomenclature, pollinators, synonymies

Jason Gibbs, Molly G. Rightmyer and Rufus Isaacs. 2017. The Bees of Michigan (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila), with Notes on Distribution, Taxonomy, Pollination, and Natural History. Zootaxa. 4352(1); 1-160.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4352.1.1

[Botany • 2016] Floral Specialization for Different Pollinators and Divergent Use of the Same Pollinator Among Co-occurring Impatiens Species (Balsaminaceae) from Southeast Asia

Researchers have presented their results on specialization in pollination techniques in flowers of the genus Impatiens. For two months in 2014, they have studied 7 co-occurring species of the genus Impatiens in the Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 Ruchisansakun, Tangtorwongsakul, Cozien, et al. 2016.

Floral variation among closely related species is thought to often reflect differences in pollination systems. Flowers of the large genus Impatiens are characterized by extensive variation in colour, shape and size and in anther and stigma positioning, but studies of their pollination ecology are scarce and most lack a comparative context. Consequently, the function of floral diversity in Impatiens remains enigmatic. This study documents floral variation and pollination of seven co-occurring Impatiens spp. in the Southeast Asian diversity hotspot. To assess whether floral trait variation reflects specialization for different pollination systems, we tested whether species depend on pollinators for reproduction, identified animals that visit flowers, determined whether these visitors play a role in pollination and quantified and compared key floral traits, including floral dimensions and nectar characteristics. Experimental exclusion of insects decreased fruit and seed set significantly for all species except I. muscicola, which also received almost no visits from animals. Most species received visits from several animals, including bees, birds, butterflies and hawkmoths, only a subset of which were effective pollinators. Impatiens psittacina, I. kerriae, I. racemosa and I. daraneenae were pollinated by bees, primarily Bombus haemorrhoidalis. Impatiens chiangdaoensis and I. santisukii had bimodal pollination systems which combined bee and lepidopteran pollination. Floral traits differed significantly among species with different pollination systems. Autogamous flowers were small and spurless, and did not produce nectar; bee-pollinated flowers had short spurs and large floral chambers with a wide entrance; and bimodally bee- and lepidopteran-pollinated species had long spurs and a small floral chamber with a narrow entrance. Nectar-producing species with different pollination systems did not differ in nectar volume and sugar concentration. Despite the high frequency of bee pollination in co-occurring species, individuals with a morphology suggestive of hybrid origin were rare. Variation in floral architecture, including various forms of corolla asymmetry, facilitates distinct, species-specific pollen-placement on visiting bees. Our results show that floral morphological diversity among Impatiens spp. is associated with both differences in functional pollinator groups and divergent use of the same pollinator. Non-homologous mechanisms of floral asymmetry are consistent with repeated independent evolution, suggesting that competitive interactions among species with the same pollination system have been an important driver of floral variation among Impatiens spp.

Keywords: autogamy; bee pollination; butterfly pollination; floral asymmetry; nectar robbing; nectar spur; pollen placement; sympatry; tropics

Figure 3. Impatiens flowers, showing variation in colour and shape and floral visitors:
 I. muscicola (A); 
I. santisukii pollinated by Polytremis lubricans lubricans (B) and Bombus haemorrhoidalis (C);
I. racemosa pollinated by B. haemorrhoidalis (D);
I. chiangdaoensis pollinated by Notocrypta curvifascia (E) and visited by a nectar-robbing B. haemorrhoidalis (F);
 I. psittacina pollinated by B. haemorrhoidalis (G);
I. kerriae pollinated by B. haemorrhoidalis (H) and visited by Apis cerana (I), Macroglossum belis (J), and Aethopyga gouldiae (K).
  I. daraneenae pollinated by an unknown bee species (Apidae) (L).

Black arrow in (A) indicates the typical position of the shed anthers onto the lower lateral united petals, facilitating autonomous self-pollination. All other arrows indicate pollen placement sites on visiting bee species (C, D, G, H, L). Scale bar in (A) represents 1 mm, all other scale bars represent 10 mm.

Saroj Ruchisansakun, Pornpimon Tangtorwongsakul, Ruth J. Cozien, Erik F. Smets FMLS and Timotheüs van der Niet. 2016. Floral Specialization for Different Pollinators and Divergent Use of the Same Pollinator Among Co-occurring Impatiens Species (Balsaminaceae) from Southeast Asia. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 181(4); 651–666.  DOI: 10.1111/boj.12427

In a study in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, researchers (including 4  from Naturalis) have presented their results on specialization in pollination techniques in flowers of the genus Impatiens. For two months in 2014, they have studied 7 co-occurring species of the genus Impatiens (see video) in the Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Impatiens develops diff. floral shapes to specialize in pollination techniques + avoid competition! Blog+video

[Herpetology • 2017] Euspondylus excelsum • A New Species of Arboreal Microteiid Lizard of the Genus Euspondylus (Gymnophthalmidae: Cercosaurinae) from the Andean Slopes of central Peru with Comments on Peruvian Euspondylus

Euspondylus excelsum 
Chávez, Catenazzi & Venegas, 2017


We describe a new species of arboreal gymnophtalmid lizard from the eastern Andean slopes in central Peru. Euspondylus excelsum sp. nov. is assigned tentatively to this genus for the presence of a transparent and divided lower palpebral disc, a pair of prefrontals, striated, subimbricated and homogeneous dorsal scales, lateral scales reduced in proximity to ventrals, and a discontinuous series of femoral pores in males and females. We include a revision of the type material of E. maculatus and clarify morphological differences with the new species. Finally, we discuss the taxonomic status of Peruvian species of Euspondylus.

Keywords: Reptilia, Andes, new species, gymnophtalmid lizard, Cercosaurini, Squamata, taxonomy

Euspondylus excelsum sp. nov.

Etymology. The specific epithet “excelsum” is from Latin and means “tall”, in reference to the habitat of the new species in the canopy of the tropical rainforest.

FIGURE 2. Views of the holotype (CORBIDI 16457; SVL= 69.4 mm);
A) coloration in life; B) dorsal view of the coloration in preservative; C) ventral view of the coloration in preservative.
Photographs by Lesly Luján (A), and GermánChávez (B,C).

FIGURE 3. Views of the dorsum (left) and venter (right) of the paratypes in life,
 A–B) Adult male (CORBIDI 16465, SVL=83.7 mm); C–D) Adult female (CORBIDI 16463, SVL=81.4); E–F) Juvenile male (CORBIDI 16468, SVL=47.7). Photographs byLesly Luján. 

Germán Chávez, Alessandro Catenazzi and Pablo J. Venegas. 2017. A New Species of Arboreal Microteiid Lizard of the Genus Euspondylus (Gymnophthalmidae: Cercosaurinae) from the Andean Slopes of central Peru with Comments on Peruvian EuspondylusZootaxa. 4350(2); 301–316. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4350.2.6

Monday, November 20, 2017

[Crustacea • 2017] Birgus latro • Ruler of the Atoll: the World's Largest Land Invertebrate

A coconut crab (Birgus latro) kills an adult red- footed booby (Sula sula) on Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) 
 Laidre, 2017.   
 DOI: 10.1002/fee.1730  

Predation can exert life-or-death selection pressures on prey over evolutionary time. Even when the observed frequency of predation is low, predators may induce wide-spread avoidance behavior in prey, thereby creating “landscapes of fear” (Laundré et al. 2014), which indi-rectly transform species abundance and community composition. For some animals, especially in remote areas, we know little about their predatory capacities or their potential impact on communities.

The coconut crab (Birgus latro) inhabits remote coral atolls and is the world’s largest terrestrial invertebrate, growing to what Charles Darwin described as “a monstrous size” (Darwin 1845), with a leg span exceeding 1 m and a weight of up to 4 kg. Following a brief larval stage in the ocean, these crabs spend the rest of their life on land, first as juveniles wearing remodeled gastropod shells (Laidre 2012) – like their closest evolutionary relatives, the terrestrial hermit crabs (Laidre 2014) – and then as adults living shell- free. Historically, coconut crabs were distributed across the Indo- Pacific on islands that for millions of years lacked any human presence. However, due to anthropogenic impacts, especially harvesting by humans, coconut crabs have been driven to local extinc-tion in many parts of their original range. Few studies of this remarkable animal’s behavior have been undertaken since Darwin’s Beagle voyage, but anecdotes abound, including rumors that the crabs ate Amelia Earhart (Nuwer 2013; though see Krieger et al. 2016 for well- documented predation on invertebrates). A review of the biology of coconut crabs emphasized that “behavioral ecology studies are few” and stressed “the need for further systematic research” (Drew et al. 2010).


Figure 1. A coconut crab (Birgus latro) kills an adult red- footed booby (Sula sula) on Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) 

Mark E Laidre. 2017. Ruler of the Atoll: the World's Largest Land Invertebrate. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 15(9); 527–528.  DOI: 10.1002/fee.1730 

Giant coconut crab sneaks up on a sleeping bird and kills it

[Paleontology • 2017] The Squamation of the Eocene stem-Basilisk Geiseltaliellus maarius (Squamata: Iguanidae: Corytophaninae) from Messel, Germany

Geiseltaliellus maarius  Smith, 2009

life reconstruction by J. Eberhardt & A. Vogel  (SMF)
Smith, 2017SALAMANDRA. 53(4) 


 An exceptional new specimen of the stem-basilisk Geiseltaliellus maarius from the middle Eocene of Messel, Germany, preserves details of the squamation of this extinct species. The dorsum and extremities were covered by small, rhomoidal scales, about 0.2 mm in size in most places; somewhat larger scales were present on the lower extremities and on the head. Scales of the venter were arranged in transverse rows, unlike in extant Polychrus and Laemanctus. There is some evidence that the scales on the extremities possessed keels, as in extant basilisks and Polychrus. Keratin appears to be preserved in places. The “Oberhäutchen” is nearly featureless, probably the result of postmortem microbial decomposition; scale organs were not observed. Overall, the body of G. maarius possessed a fine, homogeneous squamation most similar to Basiliscus. Possible sexual dimorphism in the form of the parietal crest raises the prospect of a projecting median keel composed of skin in male G. maarius, although direct evidence on this point is currently lacking. The squamation of the tail is discussed in light of the pseudoautotomy shown by this species. 

Key words: Fossils, Corytophanidae, Eocene, scales, keratin.

Figure 1. Skeleton with skin shadows of Geiseltaliellus maarius, SMF ME 11380a (part).
 (A) Detail of temple region of head. (B) Detail of throat or shoulder region. (C) Detail of right lower leg scales (over tibia and fibula). (D) Detail of left lower leg scales (torn downward and preserved around toe). (E) Detail of digit IV of left pes. Scale bar is 5 mm.

Figure 8. Reconstruction of the squamation of male Geiseltaliellus maarius from Messel.
Juliane Eberhardt (SMF) drew the life reconstruction, colored by Anika Vogel (SMF). 

 K. T. Smith. 2017. The Squamation of the Eocene stem-basilisk Geiseltaliellus maarius (Squamata: Iguanidae: Corytophaninae) from Messel, Germany. SALAMANDRA. 53(4); 519–530.  


[Entomology • 2017] Taxonomic Review of the Oriental Flower Beetle Coilodera penicillata species complex (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae)

Coilodera grandimaculata   Qiu, Xu & Chen, 2017


The taxonomy of the Coilodera penicillata Hope, 1831 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) species complex, which is recognized by the black body and elytra with larger tomentose maculae, is revised. Six Indochinese species assigned to this complex, including Coilodera grandimaculata new species from Tibet, China. Coilodera nigroscutellaris Moser, 1902 revised status and C. formosana Moser, 1910 revised status formerly treated as two subspecies of C. penicillata Hope, 1831 are elevated to species rank. The distribution of C. penicillata in China is confirmed based on examination of specimens from Yunnan and Tibet, and almost all previous Chinese literature records should be referred to C. nigroscutellaris. Coilodera dives (Gory & Percheron, 1833) revised status previously synonymized with C. penicillata is herein considered as a valid species based on the examination of types and additional specimens, and C. miksici Antoine, 1986 new synonymy is regarded as a junior synonym of C. dives. A lectotype is designated for Coilodera dives (Gory & Percheron, 1833). The record of C. mearesii (Westwood, 1842) in southeastern China is attributed to a misidentification of C. nigroscutellaris, and it is here newly recoreded from Tibet near the Nepal-China border. Diagnosis characters and intraspecific variations are illustrated for all six species, new distribution records and a key to species are also presented. Ecological information is provided for all species.

 Keywords: Coleoptera, Taenioderini, Taenioderina, revision, new species, synonym, lectotype, commensalism, China

 Jian-Yue Qiu, Hao Xu and Li Chen. 2017. Taxonomic Review of the Oriental Flower Beetle Coilodera penicillata species complex (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae).  Zootaxa. 4350(3); 511–537. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4350.3.5