Thursday, May 24, 2018

[Paleontology • 2017] Redescription of A Remarkably Large Gryposaurus notabilis (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae) from Alberta, Canada

Two large raging bull gryposaurs fight for supremacy of the herd in violent clash on alluvial plains of Canada, 76 million years ago. 

 Bertozzo, Dal Sasso, Fabbri, et al., 2017. 
 Memorie della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano. 43.
Illustration: Davide Bonadonna. 


 MSNM V345 is a partial skeleton of the North American hadrosaur species Gryposaurus notabilis, Lambe 1914, dis-covered in 1922 in the Dinosaur Park Formation of Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada. It was shipped in several crates to the Museo di Storia Naturale di Milano (MSNM), Italy, where it arrived in October 1958. Careless transportation during its long journey to Milan meant that the skeleton arrived extremely damaged and required heavy restoration work by MSNM staff.

A preliminary study of the specimen was conducted by Vittorio Vialli in 1960 while part of it was still under preparation. That study was followed by a more detailed, although still partial, osteological description by Giovanni Pinna in 1979. On the centennial of the species’ discovery, we decided to examine the specimen in even greater detail in order to improve knowledge on the dinosaur’s skeletal anatomy and help clarify the taxonomy of the genus.

Here, we redescribe the dinosaur’s osteology, focusing on unpublished elements, such as metapodials, phalanges, sacral vertebrae, and some caudal vertebrae, recently discovered to be located at the MSNM. Isolated appendicular elements found at the same quarry and tentatively referable to other individuals of the same taxon or to other dinosaur species are also briefly mentioned. Histological analysis of a core obtained from the femur revealed that it was made of fibrolamellar bone with a high number of Haversian systems. The presence of an external fundamental system indicates that the individual was fully adult at the moment of death.

Of note, the skeletal remains present with traces of at least four pathological conditions: a cavity in the predentary is speculated to be the result of osteomyelitis; the fifth dorsal vertebra is fused to the left rib through a overgrowth of bone, and is interpreted as osteosclerosis subsequent to a fracture; the neural spine of the 26th caudal vertebra is fractured and healed, and the centrum has a strap of bone growing up to the side of the preceding centrum, explainable as idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.

A review of the skeletal reconstructions of the genus is also presented, followed by a summary of the skin remains and remarks on other anatomical traits. Altogether, the new data obtained on MSNM V345 have allowed us to present a more accurate and up-to-date skeletal reconstruction and in vivo restoration of G. notabilis.

Keywords: Hadrosauridae, Cretaceous, osteology, palaeopathology, anatomical illustration. 

Two large raging bull gryposaurs fight for supremacy of the herd in violent clash on alluvial plains of Canada, 76 million years ago. Digital painting by Davide Bonadonna.

 Nelle piane alluvionali del Canada, 76 milioni di anni fa, due grossi maschi bellicosi di griposauro danno vita a un violentissimo scontro per la supremazia all’interno del branco. Illustrazione digitale e di Davide Bonadonna

Reconstruction of Gryposaurus based on specimen MSNM V345.
drawing: Marco Auditore.

Specimen MSNM V345 is a large, robust individual of Gryposaurus notabilis. Our re-examination of all its bones housed at the MSNM has allowed us to revise previous estimates on the completeness of the skeleton, which now reaches 32.68% (39.54% when taking into account the hid-den cranial bones, and 48.37% when duplicating existing counterlateral elements). The skull of MSNM V345 is one of the largest known for Gryposaurus. Our recalculation of the size of the skeleton, which takes into account the spaces occupied in vivo by intervertebral and epiphyseal cartilage, gives us an overall length of 800 cm in a neutral pose and a height at the hip of 315 cm. The osteology of the individual shows features related to other G. notabilis specimens: a dorsoventrally narrow orbit, infratemporal fenestra twice higher than wide, a well-developed nasal arch, wide and irregular ventral embayment of the jugal, a long and narrow quadratojugal, a predentary with nine large denticles placed asymmetrically, and a tall neural spine on the second caudal vertebra.

The advanced ontogenetic age of the skeleton – which likely belonged to a senile individual – is corroborated by palaeohistological analysis showing the presence of EFSs and several generations of Haversian systems in a femur, indicative of a specimen that was fully adult at time of death.

Finally, this individual was affected by several skele-tal disorders. The predentary bears a large, central fora-men located in the caudomedian plane of the bone. The histology of this anomaly reveals the presence of large resorption cavities and a randomised pattern of osteocytes, indicators of osteomyelitis. The transverse process of dorsal vertebra 5 is fused with the proximal region of the rib, affected by an abnormal overgrowth of bone tissue. CT-scanning of this vertebra indicates hyper-trophied osteosclerosis likely consequent to traumatic fracture. The caudal vertebrae 25 and 26 had their cen-tra fused together, with that of vertebra 25 broken into two halves. CT-scanning indicates that this condition might represent skeletal hyperostosis or haemangioma.

Gryposaurus notabilis is one of the first hadrosaurs depicted for the general audience. Nevertheless, it is not as popular as other duck-billed dinosaurs, such as EdmontosaurusParasaurolophus, or Corythosaurus. We have proposed new skeletal and in vivo restorations using the anatomical data obtained from our analysis.


Filippo Bertozzo, Cristiano Dal Sasso, Matteo Fabbri, Fabio Manucci and Simone Maganuco. 2017.  Redescription of A Remarkably Large Gryposaurus notabilis (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae) from Alberta, Canada. Memorie della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano. 43.

[Botany • 2018] Taxonomic Status of Begonia promethea (sect. Petermannia, Begoniaceae) in Borneo

Begonia promethea Ridl.

 in Kiew, Julia, Ling, et al., 2018.
Gardens' Bulletin Singapore. 70(1)

The rediscovery of Begonia promethea Ridl. for the first time since its description in 1906 led to the discovery that the later described B. beccarii Warb. is synonymous with it and that it belongs in Begonia sect. Petermannia. It is a rare, endangered species known only from three localities, two locations from the Kuching Division, Sarawak, Malaysia and another one from West Kalimantan, Indonesia. A detailed, illustrated description and a distribution map of Begonia promethea are provided. We suggest an IUCN conservation category of EN B2ab(iii). Lectotypes for both names are designated.

Keywords. Begonia beccarii, conservation, Sarawak, taxonomy  

Fig. 2. Habit of Begonia promethea Ridl. in Bengkayang, West Kalimantan. [WEKBOE 185.]
 Photo: A. Randi

Begonia promethea Ridl., J. Straits Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. 46: 259 (1906). 
– TYPE: Borneo, Sarawak, Bau District, Buso, Bukit Tundong, September 1903, ...

Begonia beccarii Warb., syn. nov., ...


Etymology. The meaning of the specific epithet is obscure. Prometheus was the Greek god who fashioned clay to create the first people, and who was chained to a rock to have his liver pecked out by an eagle for all eternity as a punishment for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humanity. Ridley gives no hint as to the connection between him and this begonia, but we speculate it may be due to the isolated sandstone rocks on which the species grows, where Ridley noted he ‘could reach but few plants of it’.

R. Kiew, S. Julia, C.Y. Ling, A. Randi, D. Girmansyah and M. Hughes. 2018. Taxonomic Status of Begonia promethea (sect. Petermannia, Begoniaceae) in Borneo. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore. 70(1);  155–161.

[Ichthyology • 2018] Corydoras benattii From the Inside Out: A New Species of Armoured Catfish Corydoras (Siluriformes, Callichthyidae) with the Description of Poorly‐explored Character Sources

Corydoras benattii  Espindola, Tencatt, Pupo, Villa-Verde & Britto, 2018

Photo by  Hans Evers

A new species of the armoured catfish genus Corydoras is described from the Xingu–Tapajos ecoregion, Brazilian Amazon. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by having the following combination of features: short mesethmoid, with anterior tip poorly developed, smaller than 50% of bone length; posterior margin of pectoral spine with serrations directed towards spine tip or perpendicularly oriented; infraorbital 2 only in contact with sphenotic; ventral laminar expansion of infraorbital 1 poorly or moderately developed; flank midline covered by small dark brown or black saddles with similar size to remaining markings on body; relatively larger, scarcer and more sparsely distributed dark brown or black spots on body; absence of stripe on flank midline; caudal fin with conspicuous dark brown or black spots along its entire surface; slender body; and strongly narrow frontals. A more comprehensive description of poorly‐explored internal character sources, such as the gross morphology of the brain, Weberian apparatus and swimbladder capsule elements is presented.

Keywords: Brazilian Amazon, Corydoradinae, Corydoras sp. C22, gross brain morphology, taxonomy, Xingu–Tapajos ecoregion

Figure 1: Corydoras benattii sp. nov. in (a) aquarium and (b) natural habitat, uncatalogued specimens, both near Altamira, lower Rio Xingu Basin. 

Figure 2: Corydoras benattii sp. nov., MZUSP 121671, holotype, 25·4 mm standard length, Brazil, Mato Grosso, Canarana–Gaúcha do Norte, Rio Culuene, tributary to Rio Xingu Basin.

Corydoras benattii, sp. nov.

Corydoras sp. 4. Castilhos & Buckup, 2011: 241 (species list).
Corydoras sp. C22. Evers, 1994: 755, Fig. 2 (species catalogue). Glaser et al., 1996: 92 (photos, species catalogue). Evers & Schäfer, 2004: 11, 12 (photos, species catalogue). Füller & Evers, 2005: 281, 285, 294 (species catalogue).
Corydoras sp. aff. C22. Glaser et al., 1996: 90 (photos, species catalogue).

Geographical distribution: Corydoras benattii occurs in both the Rio Xingu and Rio Tapajós basins, Brazilian Amazon (Fig. 10). In the Rio Xingu basin, it is known in Mato Grosso State from tributaries to the Rio Culuene, a clearwater tributary of the upper Rio Xingu (type locality) and in Pará State from the Rio Fresco sub drainage (Rio Trairão and Igarapé Manguari), middle Rio Xingu and from the lower Rio Xingu basin near Altamira. In the Rio Tapajós basin, it occurs in the Rio Peixoto de Azevedo, a tributary to the Rio Teles Pires, Mato Grosso and from Rio Cururu, a tributary to the Rio São Manuel, Pará.

Habitat notes: Specimens of Corydoras benattii were found in lotic habitats in the Rio Culuene, Rio Xingu basin and Rio Braço Norte, tributary to Rio Peixoto de Azevedo, Rio Tapajós basin (Fig. 11). Both localities have muddy‐brown water with clay and sandy substrata. Most specimens were captured in the small forest streams of black or clearwater, or in marginal ponds.

Etymology: The specific name, benattii, honours the late Laert Benatti for his humanitarian work, providing fresh water from artesian wells to poor communities in Brazil. Case is genitive.

V. C. Espíndola, L. F. C. Tencatt, F. M. Pupo, L. Villa‐Verde and M. R. Britto. 2018. From the Inside Out: A New Species of Armoured Catfish Corydoras with the Description of Poorly‐explored Character Sources (Teleostei, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae). Journal of Fish Biology.   DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13602


[Botany • 2018] Saxifraga luoxiaoensis (Saxifragaceae) • A New Species from Hunan and Jiangxi, China

Saxifraga luoxiaoensis W. B. Liao, L. Wang & X. J. Zhang

in Zhang, Liu, Meng, et al., 2018.


Saxifraga luoxiaoensis, a new species of the genus Saxifraga sect. Irregulares (Saxifragaceae) from Hunan and Jiangxi, China, is described and illustrated. This new species is most similar to S. daqiaoensis, which can be easily distinguished from the later by its leaf margin 7- or 9-lobed and winged capsule. The systematic position of this species within Saxifraga sect. Irregulares is assessed based on molecular phylogenetic analysis of the chloroplast regions sequences together with morphological comparisons.

Keywords: China, Hunan and Jiangxi, molecular phylogeny, new species, Saxifraga, Eudicots

FIGURE 2. Saxifraga luoxiaoensis W. B. Liao, L. Wang & X. J. Zhang.
A. Habitat; B. adaxial surface of leaves; C. abaxial surface of leaves; D. plants and inflorescence; E. rhizomes and petiole; F. flowers; G. semiannular disc; H. fruits on dry specimen; I. young fruit.

Saxifraga luoxiaoensis W. B. Liao, L. Wang & X. J. Zhang, sp. nov. 

Type:— CHINA. Jiangxi Province, Suichuan County, Daijiapu Town, in wet limestone under of gully, Elev. 1466 m, May 2016, W. Y. Zhao, Q. L. Ding, X. J. Zhang et al., LXP-13-16785 (SYS!).

 Diagnosis:— Saxifraga luoxiaoensis is similar to S. daqiaoensis, S. epiphylla and S. mengtzeana. S. epiphylla differs from the new species chiefly in that it produces a foliar embryo in the sinus of the basal leaf blades. The leaf blades of S. mengtzeana has no foliar embryo, but it has blades glabrous adaxially. S. daqiaoensis differs from the new species in its peltate leaves and leaf margin remotely shallowly dentate or subentire. The most distinctive characters of S. luoxiaoensis is the winged capsule. 

 Distribution and ecology:— The new species Saxifraga luoxiaoensis occurs in the centre of Luoxiao mountain range between Hunan and Jiangxi province, China, and grows on moist rocks nearby valleys, alt. 1200–1900 m. 

 Etymology:—The specific epithet is derived from Luoxiao mountain range.

Xin-Jian Zhang, Zhong-Cheng Liu, Kai-Kai Meng, Qiao-Ling Ding, Lei Wang and Wen-Bo Liao. 2018. Saxifraga luoxiaoensis (Saxifragaceae), A New Species from Hunan and Jiangxi, China. Phytotaxa. 350(3); 291–296. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.350.3.8

[Botany • 2018] Jasminum ledangense • One New Species and Two New Records of Jasminum (Oleaceae) in Peninsular Malaysia

 Jasminum ledangense Kiew

 Gardens' Bulletin Singapore. 70(1)  

 Jasminum ledangense Kiew is a new species restricted to Gunung Ledang, Johor and Jasminum carissoides Kerr and J. nervosum Lour. are new records for Malaysia. Jasminum carissoides is restricted to limestone in Kedah (Langkawi) and Perlis and also occurs in Peninsular Thailand, while a narrow-leaved form of J. nervosum is found on limestone in Kedah (Langkawi). Jasminum insularum Kerr is confirmed as a distinct species. It is extremely rare and known from just three specimens, the type from Peninsular Thailand, one from Kelantan and another from Pahang in Malaysia. Descriptions are provided for these species. 

Keywords. Gunung Ledang, small-leaved jasmines, Thailand

Fig. 2. Jasminum ledangense Kiew.
A. Habit. B. Flowering cyme. From Ong et al. FRI 75292.

Photos: Ong P.T.

Jasminum ledangense Kiew, sp. nov.

 In its narrowly lanceolate leaves with a pair of veins from the base and forming a submarginal vein with an additional 3–4 lateral veins in the upper half, in the filiform calyx teeth and star-like flowers, it resembles Jasminum nervosum but it is different in its coriaceous leaves (not membranous as in J. nervosum), 3 times longer than wide (not 2.5 times longer than wide), longer petioles 0.5–1 cm long (not 0.2–0.5 cm long), obscure venation except for the midrib prominent beneath (not conspicuous but plane above and beneath), pedicels 6–20 mm long (not 2–5 mm long), corolla tube 2–2.5 times longer than the lobes (not 3–3.5 times longer) with lobes 1.5–2 mm wide (not 2.5–3 mm wide) and fruit lobes 11–12 × 7–8 mm (not c. 6 × 4 mm). 
– TYPE: Peninsular Malaysia, Johor, Gunung Ledang, .... February 2012, Ong et al. FRI 75292 (holotype KEP; isotypes K, BKF).  

Distribution. Endemic in Peninsular Malaysia, known only from Gunung Ledang, Johor (formerly known as Mt Ophir, Malacca). 

Ecology. Primary hill or montane forest, from 375 m to the summit at 1140 m elevation. Gunung Ledang is a well-collected mountain peak and the fact that only four collections have been made in the last 120 years indicates that it is a very rare species. 

Etymology. Referring to its only known locality, Gunung Ledang, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

 R. Kiew. 2018. One New Species and Two New Records of Jasminum (Oleaceae) in Peninsular Malaysia. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore. 70(1); 109–118.  

[PaleoMammalogy • 2018] Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch • Late-surviving Stem Mammal Links the Lowermost Cretaceous of North America and Gondwana

 Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch 
Huttenlocker, Grossnickle, Kirkland, Schultz  & Luo, 2018

 Illustration: Jorge A. Gonzalez

Haramiyida was a successful clade of mammaliaforms, spanning the Late Triassic period to at least the Late Jurassic period, but their fossils are scant outside Eurasia and Cretaceous records are controversial. Here we report, to our knowledge, the first cranium of a large haramiyidan from the basal Cretaceous of North America. This cranium possesses an amalgam of stem mammaliaform plesiomorphies and crown mammalian apomorphies. Moreover, it shows dental traits that are diagnostic of isolated teeth of supposed multituberculate affinities from the Cretaceous of Morocco, which have been assigned to the enigmatic ‘Hahnodontidae’. Exceptional preservation of this specimen also provides insights into the evolution of the ancestral mammalian brain. We demonstrate the haramiyidan affinities of Gondwanan hahnodontid teeth, removing them from multituberculates, and suggest that hahnodontid mammaliaforms had a much wider, possibly Pangaean distribution during the Jurassic–Cretaceous transition.

The new species Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch is estimated to have weighed 2.5 pounds and probably grew to be about the size of a small hare.
 Illustration: Jorge A. Gonzalez

Mammaliaformes sensu Rowe (1986) 
Haramiyida Hahn, Sigogneau-Russell and Wouters (1989) 

Hahnodontidae Sigogneau-Russell (1991) 

Cifelliodon gen. nov.

Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch sp. nov.  

Etymology. Cifelli’s tooth (Latin: -odon) of the Yellow Cat (Ute language: yellow, wahkar; cat, moosuch). Genus name honours Richard Cifelli for his contributions to Cretaceous mammal research in the American West.

Holotype. An exceptionally preserved skull, UMNH VP 16771 (Natural History Museum of Utah, Vertebrate Paleontology Collection).

Locality and horizon. The holotype is from the ‘Andrew’s Site’ quarry in the Lower Cretaceous Yellow Cat Member, Cedar Mountain Formation, Grand County, Utah, USA15. Radiometric dating places the age between approximately 139 and 124 million years old.

Diagnosis. Medium-to-large Mesozoic mammaliaform with broad, shallow skull and rostrum and a reduced marginal tooth count; dental formula: I2:C1:PC4; ultimate upper molars with high anterobuccal cusp and low, broad posterolingual cusp connected by a low ridge; septomaxilla absent; incisive foramina enlarged and positioned posteriorly on palate behind the level of the last (posterior) incisor pair; massive pterygoid transverse process that extends far ventral to the palatal surface; attenuated lacrimal anterior process with limited nasolacrimal contact; prominent sagittal crest; extensive occipital exposure of parietal and postparietal; plesiomorphic retention of a tabular bone; differs from Hahnodon in its larger size and higher aspect ratio of the rear molar in occlusal view (slightly more triangular than oval, with posterior apex).

The new species Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch is estimated to have weighed 2.5 pounds and probably grew to be about the size of a small hare.
 Illustration: Jorge A. Gonzalez 

Adam K. Huttenlocker, David M. Grossnickle, James I. Kirkland, Julia A. Schultz and Zhe-Xi Luo. 2018. Late-surviving Stem Mammal Links the Lowermost Cretaceous of North America and Gondwana. Nature.  DOI:  10.1038/s41586-018-0126-y
A 3D view of early mammals

[Entomology • 2018] Microgomphus farrelli • A New Species of Dragonfly (Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphidae) Based on Adults of Both Sexes and Larvae from Northern Thailand

Microgomphus farrelli  
Makbun & Fleck, 2018. 


The new gomphid species, Microgomphus farrelli sp. nov., is described and illustrated on the basis of male and female adult specimens and larvae collected from Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son province, Northern Thailand. It is compared with other species of the genus. Based on the larvae this species is most closely related to Microgomphus svihleri (Asahina, 1970), comb. nov., which is the senior and valid synonym of Microgomphus thailandicus Asahina, 1981, syn. nov.

Keywords: Odonata, dragonfly, Anisoptera, Gomphidae, Microgomphus, new species, Thailand

  Noppadon Makbun and Günther Fleck. 2018. Description of Microgomphus farrelli sp. nov. (Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphidae) Based on Adults of Both Sexes and Larvae from Northern Thailand. Zootaxa. 4422(3); 442–450. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4422.3.10

[Ichthyology • 2018] Pseudolithoxus kinja • Biogeography and Species Delimitation of the Rheophilic Suckermouth Catfish Genus Pseudolithoxus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), with the Description of A New Species from the Brazilian Amazon

Pseudolithoxus kinja
 Bifi, de Oliveira, Rapp Py-Daniel & Collins, 2018 

in Collins, Bifi, de Oliveira, Ribeiro, Lujan, Rapp Py-Daniel & Hrbek, 2018

The rapids-dwelling suckermouth catfish genus Pseudolithoxus was previously only known from the Guiana-Shield-draining Orinoco and Casiquiare river systems of Colombia and Venezuela, but new records have expanded this range considerably further into the Amazon basin of Brazil, and include occurrences from rivers draining the northern Brazilian Shield. These highly disjunct records are now placed in an evolutionary and phylogeographic context using a dated species tree constructed from mitochondrial (Cytb) and nuclear (RAG1) gene sequence data. Due to mito-nuclear discordance, we also delimit the putative species using statistical coalescent models and a range of additional metrics. We infer that at least two species of Pseudolithoxus are present in the Amazon basin: P. nicoi, previously only recorded from the río Casiquiare, but now also reported from the upper rio Negro, and a new species, which we describe herein from south-draining Guiana Shield and north-draining Brazilian Shield. Our data reject a simple model of Miocene vicariance in the group following uplift of the Uaupés Arch separating the Orinoco and Amazon systems, and instead suggest more complex dispersal scenarios through palaeo-connections in the Pliocene and also via the contemporary rio Negro and rio Madeira in the late Pleistocene.

Key words: aquatic, biodiversity, ichthyology, Neotropics, phylogeny, rio Negro, taxonomy

Figure 1. Pseudolithoxus kinja, holotype, 148.0 mm SL, INPA 3220; adult male in alcohol, rio Uatum~a, Amazonas, Brazil.

Pseudolithoxus kinja sp. nov. 
Bifi, de Oliveira, Rapp Py-Daniel & Collins


ETYMOLOGY:Kinja’, meaning the ‘true people’, is how the Waimiri-Atroari indigenous people refer to themselves. The Kinja people inhabit areas surrounding the rio Uatum~a and part of the rio Negro in the states of Amazonas and Roraima, Brazil. The ethnic term ‘Waimiri-Atroari’ was adopted in the beginning of the 20th century. The epithet ‘kinja’ pays homage to this brave people who survived three attempts of genocide in the last century, and survive and thrive today in their protected area. Treated as a noun in apposition.

Rupert A. Collins, Alessandro G. Bifi, Renildo R. de Oliveira, Emanuell D. Ribeiro, Nathan K. Lujan, Lúcia H. Rapp Py-Daniel and Tomas Hrbek. 2018. Biogeography and Species Delimitation of the Rheophilic Suckermouth Catfish Genus Pseudolithoxus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), with the Description of A New Species from the Brazilian Amazon.   Systematics and Biodiversity. DOI:  10.1080/14772000.2018.1468362 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

[Entomology • 2018] Drepanosticta adenani • A New Species (Odonata: Zygoptera: Platystictidae) from the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

Drepanosticta adenani  Dow & Reels, 2018


Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov. (holotype ♂, from a tributary of Sungai Jela, Nanga Segerak area, Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sri Aman Division, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, 18 vii 2016, deposited in the Natural History Museum, London) is described from both sexes.

Keywords: Odonata, Zygoptera, Platystictidae, Drepanosticta, adenani, Borneo, Sarawak, Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, new species

FIGURES 1–2. Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov.:
(1) Holotype male, head dorsal-frontal view; (2) paratype female (SAR16_PST12), head dorsal-frontal view. 

FIGURES 6–11. Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov., synthorax in lateral view:
(6) holotype male; (7) paratype female (SAR16_PST12). Markings of terminal abdominal segments:
(8) holotype male, lateral view; (9) paratype female (SAR16_PST12), lateral view;
(10) holotype male, dorsal view; (11) paratype female (SAR16_PST12), dorsal view. 

Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov.

Etymology. The species epithet adenani, a noun in the genitive case, is a dedication to the late Tan Sri Adenan bin Satem (27 January 1944–11 January 2017), Chief Minister of Sarawak from 2014–2017, in recognition of his support for biodiversity research and conservation in Sarawak, and for starting the Research for Intensified Management of Bio-rich Areas (RIMBA) project, which includes LEWS.  

Rory A. Dow and Graham T. Reels. 2018. Drepanosticta adenani sp. nov., from the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak (Odonata: Zygoptera: Platystictidae). Zootaxa. 4379(3); 429–435.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4379.3.6

[Herpetology • 2018] Anomaloglossus meansi • A New Pantepui Species of the Anomaloglossus beebei Group (Anura, Aromobatidae)

Anomaloglossus meansi 
Kok, Nicolaï, Lathrop & MacCulloch, 2018

Recent extinctions and drastic population declines have been documented in the Guiana Shield endemic frog genus Anomaloglossus, hence the importance to resolve its alpha-taxonomy. Based on molecular phylogenies, the literature has long reported the occurrence of an undescribed species in the Pakaraima Mountains of Guyana in the Pantepui region. We here describe this new taxon and demonstrate that in addition to divergence at the molecular level the new species differs from congeners by a unique combination of morphological characters, notably a small size (maximum SVL in males 18.86 mm, maximum SVL in females 21.26 mm), Finger I = Finger II when fingers adpressed, Finger III swollen in breeding males, fringes on fingers absent, toes basally webbed but lacking fringes, in life presence of a thin dorsolateral stripe from tip of snout to tip of urostyle, and a black throat in preserved males (immaculate cream in females). Virtually nothing is known about the ecology of the new species. We suggest the new species to be considered as Data Deficient according to IUCN standards.

Keywords: Aromobatidae, diversity, Guiana Shield, Guyana, Pakaraima Mountains

Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n. in life.
A female paratype ROM 43332, dorsal view B female paratype ROM 43329, dorsolateral view C male paratype CPI 11000, dorsolateral view. Photographs (A, B) by AL; photograph (C) courtesy D. Bruce Means. 

Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n.

Anomaloglossus sp. Ayanganna Grant et al. 2006: 120–121, 2017: S66.
Anomaloglossus cf. praderioi Kok 2010: 66.
Anomaloglossus sp. B Kok et al. 2012: supplementary information.

Diagnosis: The following characteristics pertain to preserved specimens unless otherwise noted. A medium-sized Anomaloglossus differing from other species in the genus by the following combination of characters: (1) mean SVL in males 18.53 mm (18.15–18.86 mm, n = 3), mean SVL in females 19.15 mm (17.66–21.26, n = 5); (2) skin on dorsum shagreened, venter smooth; (3) tympanic annulus visible anteroventrally; (4) Fingers I and II subequal in length, FI = FII when fingers adpressed; (5) tip of Finger IV not surpassing the base of the distal subarticular tubercle on Finger III when fingers adpressed; (6) distal subarticular tubercle on Finger III and IV present; (7) Finger III swollen in males (conspicuous pre- and postaxial swelling in breeding males); (8) fringes on fingers absent; (9) toes basally webbed, fringes on toes absent; (10) tarsal keel well defined, slightly tubercle-like and weakly curved at proximal end; (11) black arm gland absent, glandular supracarpal pad present in both sexes (larger and more glandular in males); (12) cloacal tubercles absent; (13) pale paracloacal mark present; (14) in life, thin dorsolateral stripe present, from tip of snout to tip of urostyle (not visible, or only barely distinguishable in preservative); (15) ventrolateral stripe absent, but presence of irregular white blotches on the lower flank; (16) oblique lateral stripe absent; (17) sexual dichromatism in throat colour pattern: throat heavily pigmented with melanophores in males (dark brown to black in life), immaculate cream in females (yellowish-orange in life); (18) sexual dichromatism in ventral colour pattern: belly pigmented with melanophores in males, immaculate cream in females; (19) in life, iris metallic reddish bronze with fine dark brown reticulation; (20) large intestine extensively pigmented; (21) testes cream, unpigmented; (22) mature oocytes partly pigmented; (23) median lingual process small, longer than wide, tapered; (24) maxillary teeth present, small.

Figure 4. Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n. in life.
A female paratype ROM 43332, dorsal view B female paratype ROM 43329, dorsolateral view C male paratype CPI 11000, dorsolateral view.
Photographs (A, B) by AL; photograph (C) courtesy D. Bruce Means. 

Figure 5. Habitat of Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n. on the Wokomung Massif
A photograph (looking NE) of the highest part of the massif; the plateau in the centre of the photo is the tallest part of the entire Wokomung Massif
B cloud forest at about 1385 m elevation, habitat of Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n.
Photographs courtesy D. Bruce Means.

Distribution and natural history: The only localities documented for the new species are depicted in Figure 2. Specimens were collected in cloud forest (Figure 5), on the ground or low vegetation. Most were collected after nightfall, although one adult and one juvenile were collected during daylight. Specimens were collected on mountain flanks, not summits; at 1490 m on Ayanganna, and at 1234 m, 1371 m and 1411 m on Wokomung. The majority of specimens (eight) were collected at 1234 m on Wokomung. Fewer were collected at higher elevations; only one each at 1490 m on Ayanganna, 1371 m and 1411 m on Wokomung. This may have been because of habitat differences; high-canopy open forest at lower elevation and dense, low-canopy vegetation at higher elevations.

Etymology: It is a great pleasure to name this new species after our friend and colleague D. Bruce Means, indefatigable explorer of the “islands in the sky”, and who collected one specimen of the new species and contributed with photographs and data. Thanks to his extensive fieldwork, Bruce Means greatly contributed to our understanding of the distribution, ecology, and taxonomy of Pantepui amphibians and reptiles. The specific epithet should be treated as a noun in the genitive case.

 Philippe J.R. Kok, Michaël P.J. Nicolaï, Amy Lathrop and Ross D. MacCulloch. 2018.  Anomaloglossus meansi sp. n., A New Pantepui Species of the Anomaloglossus beebei Group (Anura, Aromobatidae). ZooKeys. 759: 99-116.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.759.24742


[Herpetology • 2018] Atractus atlas A Giant on the Ground: Another Large-bodied Atractus (Serpentes: Colubridae: Dipsadinae) from Ecuadorian Andes, with Comments on the Dietary Specializations of the Goo-eaters Snakes

Atractus atlas
Passos, Scanferla, Melo-Sampaio, Brito & Almendariz, 2018

 ‘Atlas Ground Snake  -  Culebra Tierrera del Atlas’ 
DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201820170976 
Body-size is significantly correlated with the number of vertebrae (pleomerism) in multiple vertebrate lineages, indicating that somitogenesis process is an important factor dictating evolutionary change associated to phyletic allometry and, consequently, species fitness and diversification. However, the role of the evolution of extreme body sizes (dwarfism and gigantism) remains elusive in snakes, mainly with respect to postnatal ontogeny in dietary preferences associated with evolution of gigantism in many lineages. We described herein a new species in the highly diversified and species-rich genus Atractus on the basis of four specimens from the southeastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. The new species is morphologically similar and apparently closely related to two other allopatric giant congeners (A. gigas and A. touzeti), from which it can be distinguished by their distinct dorsal and ventral coloration, the number of supralabial and infralabial scales, the number of maxillary teeth, and relative width of the head. In addition, we discuss on the ontogenetic trajectories hypotheses and dietary specializations related to evolution of gigantism in the goo-eaters genus Atractus.

Key words: Atractus gigas; Atractus touzeti; dietary shift; goo-eater snakes; macrostomy; postnatal ontogeny

Figure 1: General view in life of the holotype of Atractus atlas sp. nov. (MEPN 14203). SVL 820 mm, CL 106 mm + N (amputated tail).

Atractus atlas sp. nov. 
Atractus sp. ̶ Almendáriz, Simmons, Brito y Vaca-Guerrero. 2014.
 Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8(1): 60.

Diagnosis: Atractus atlas can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) smooth dorsal scale rows 17/17/17; (2) postoculars two; (3) loreal moderately long, contacting second to fourth supralabials; (4) temporal formula usually 1+2; (5) supralabials eight, fourth and fifth contacting eye; (6) infralabials eight, first four contacting chinshields; (7) maxillary teeth eight; (8) gular scale rows usually four; (9) preventrals usually four; (10) ventrals 158–169 in females; (11) subcaudals 28– 33 in females; (12) in preservative, dorsum yellow ocher with a series of alternating black bands (2–3 scales long), connected or not to the opposite band on the vertebral region; (13) ventral surface of body mostly pale buff scattered with conspicuous black marks (blotches, spots and dots); (14) maximum body size moderate in females 820 mm SVL; (15) tail size moderately long in females (12.2–15.0% SVL); (16) midbody diameter in females 18.0–21.4 mm.


Etymology: The Latinized specific epithet “atlas” (Άτλας) represents a Titan from the Greek mythology that was condemned by Zeus to support the entire world (or the heaven in some variations of the ancient legend) forever on their shoulders as punishment for attacking the Mount Olympus. The legend is also related to excess of obligations and duties or the huge efforts to complete certain difficult tasks. We employed herein this name alluding to the large body-size of the new species (it is among the five species of the genus that reach the largest body-size; see Passos et al. 2010a), as well as in reference to the tremendous endeavor for attaining the real diversity of Atractus, not only for discovering undescribed species, but also for recognition of a lot of synonymies in the old and even recent literature, or frequent species misidentifications in collections and public repositories (see Passos et al. 2017). We propose the vernacular name of Atractus atlas to be ‘Atlas Ground Snake’ in English and ‘Culebra Tierrera del Atlas’ in Spanish.

Distribution and natural history: Southeastern portions of Ecuadorian Andes, from Zúñac in the province of Morona Santiago, south to Paquisha, Guayzimi Alto and Reserva Biológica Cerro Plateado in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe. Atractus atlas occurs in Mountain rainforest at 1800–2100 m asl (Fig. 5). 
The holotype (MEPN 14203) was found resting under leaf litter locally called “bamba” at 10:46 am during thermoregulatory activity with direct incidence of sunlight. The vegetation covering the type-locality is composed by a type of cloud forest denominated “Western Mountain Forest”. This forest formation usually remains cloudy in the early hours of the morning, afternoons, or even all day long, depending on the season, and is comprised by trees of 15–20 m covered with bryophytes, bromeliads and abundant moss. The plant layer sits on a plateau of sandstone, and grows on a substrate of very acid sand soil poor in nutrients. 
The paratype (DHMECN 12361) is a roadkill found in the early hours of the morning dead on the Macas–Riobamba road. The vegetal formation in this locality is characterized as a premontane evergreen forest of the southern portion of Cordillera Oriental of the Ecuadorian Andes (Ministerio del Ambiente 2013), in which the trees have abundant orchids and bromeliads and the tree canopy reaches 30 m where the dominant trees species are romerillo (Prumnopitys montana), cedro (Cedrela montana) and royal palm (Dictyocaryum lamarckianum).

Figure 7: General view of an uncollected specimen of Atractus sp. eating an earthworm in the field at Parque Nacional Sangay (1785 m asl), province of Morona Santiago, Ecuador. This specimen had about 750 mm of total length. Black arrow indicates the quadrate-mandibular joint displaced backward during swallowing process. Photo by Hérnan Orellana.

Paulo Passos, Agustín Scanferla, Paulo R. Melo-Sampaio, Jorge Brito and Aan Almendariz. 2018. A Giant on the Ground: Another Large-bodied Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadinae) from Ecuadorian Andes, with Comments on the Dietary Specializations of the Goo-eaters Snakes. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. - Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences).  DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201820170976