Sunday, November 19, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Strophurus trux • A New Species of Gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from central Queensland, Australia

 Strophurus trux  Vanderduys, 2017

Golden-eyed Gecko  ||  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4347.2.7


A new species of diplodactylid gecko in the genus Strophurus Fitzinger, from central Queensland, Australia, is described herein as Strophurus trux sp. nov. It is similar to the recently described Strophurus congoo Vanderduys from north Queensland and apparently shares a habitat preference for Triodia hummock open woodlands. It is notably different from the latter in possessing a vivid yellow to golden eye. It is only known from one small area of the Brigalow Belt Bioregion, although it is expected to occur more widely than the one area in which it has been found. It is likely that it is endemic to the Brigalow Belt Bioregion.

Keywords: Reptilia, Brigalow Belt, Triodia, Golden-eyed Gecko

Strophurus trux sp. nov.
Golden-eyed Gecko

Etymology. The specific epithet " trux " is Latin for wild, savage, harsh and pitiless, including instruments of human savagery, and also of the scene of such cruelty (Lewis & Short 1879; Glare 1982). This name was Chosen in reference to the only location known for Strophurus trux sp. nov. It is in the proximity of the "Marlborough stretch", a section of the old Bruce Highway in Central Queensland with notoriety as a wild and dangerous place in the 1960s and 1970s because of a series of murders and shootings (Gibson 2002) and its general remoteness.

FIGURE 1. Holotype QMJ94287 male Strophurus trux sp. nov. showing the scattered peppering of dark grey to black spots and faint reticulations on the dorsal surface. Also clearly visible is the relatively clear demarcation of tone along the lateral surface of the tail. 

FIGURE 3. Bright yellow to golden-brown eyes of Strophurus trux sp. nov. which lend it the common name golden-eyed gecko; QMJ94285 above, QMJ95524 below. 

FIGURE 7. (a) Male QMJ95524 showing bolder markings than other specimens; (b) female QMJ95523; (c–d) male QMJ94284.

FIGURE 8. Male Strophurus williamsi QMJ94288 collected 235 m from S. trux sp. nov. QMJ94287, showing distinguishing features where the two species are sympatric; orange eyes with the pupil surrounded by a black over white reticulum, relatively bold dorsal pattern, enlarged orange tubercles on dorsal and caudal surfaces. 

Eric Vanderduys. 2017. A New Species of Gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from central Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa. 4347(2); 316–330.   DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4347.2.7

[Mammalogy • 2017] Ototylomys chiapensis • A New Species of Big-eared Climbing Rat, Genus Ototylomys (Cricetidae: Tylomyinae), from Chiapas, Mexico

Ototylomys chiapensis
 Porter, Beasley, Ordóñez-Garza, Lindsey, Rogers, Lewis-Rogers, Sites, & Bradley, 2017

La Pera Big-eared Climbing Rat; Rata orejuda trepadora de La Pera  ||  DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx096 

An allopatric population of big-eared climbing rats (Ototylomys) from the Northern Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, is described as a new species. The new taxon is part of a unique montane rainforest community that includes several other endemic species in the limited geographic range between the Río Grijalva and the Central Depression of Chiapas. Several cranial, external, and molecular characters distinguish this new species of big-eared climbing rat from its more widely distributed congener, Ototylomys phyllotis. We performed principal component and discriminate function analyses of cranial measurements, and found that specimens of the new species consistently could be distinguished from other Ototylomys with strong statistical support. Compared with exemplars of Ototylomys from elsewhere in their range, the new species possesses a karyotype that differs by 3 additional biarmed chromosome pairs, is fixed or nearly fixed for distinct electromorphs at 12 allozyme loci, and the mean genetic distance exceeds 14%, based on comparisons of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene between the new species of Ototylomys and representatives of O. phyllotis. The restricted distribution in montane karst rainforest suggests that the species and its habitat may be a matter of conservation concern.


Family Cricetidae Fischer, 1817
Subfamily Tylomyinae Reig, 1984

Tribe Tylomyini Reig, 1984

Genus Ototylomys Merriam, 1901

Ototylomys chiapensis, new species
La Pera Big-eared Climbing Rat; Rata orejuda trepadora de La Pera

Ototylomys phyllotis connectens: Baker et al. 1971 [1973]:82 (part, faunal report based on a specimen collected in 1969, here reidentified as O. chiapensis).
Ototylomys phyllotis connectens: Hall 1981:629 (part, marginal locality record based on Baker et al. 1971 [1973]).
Ototylomys phyllotis: Lawlor 1982:3 (part, karyotypic report based on Engstrom and Tucker, cited as in litt.).
Ototylomys sp.: Rogers, Engstrom, and Arellano 2004:439 (allozyme data from 2 specimens included in the present study).
Ototylomys sp. nov.: Dudley and Parish 2006:4 (referenced as endemic to El Pozo [= La Pera]).

Ototylomys chiapensis paratype (MVZ 161246).
Photograph by Duke S. Rogers.

Etymology: The specific name refers to the species distribution in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Distribution: Known only from the type locality and from 26 km N Ocozocoautla, both in the Mexican state of Chiapas (Figs. 1 and 2). The latter locality is in the municipality of Ocozocoautla de Espinoza at ca. 760 m elevation in the Reserva de la Biosféra Selva El Ocote, and is measured along the “old road” northwest of the city of Ocozocoautla de Espinoza (Johnson et al. 1976; Johnson and Savage 1995; Lamoreux et al. 2015).

Calvin A. Porter, Nia E. Beasley, Nicté Ordóñez-Garza, Laramie L. Lindsey, Duke S. Rogers, Nicole Lewis-Rogers, Jack W. Sites, Jr. and Robert D. Bradley. 2017. A New Species of Big-eared Climbing Rat, Genus Ototylomys (Cricetidae: Tylomyinae), from Chiapas, Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy. 98(5); 1310–1329.  DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx096

Una población alopátrica de rata orejuda trepadora (Ototylomys) de las Tierras Altas del Norte de Chiapas, México se describe como una nueva especie. El nuevo taxón es parte de una comunidad única de bosque lluvioso montano que incluye varias especies endémicas en el área de distribución geográfica limitada entre el Río Grijalva y la Depresión Central de Chiapas. Varios caracteres craneales, externos, y moleculares distinguen la nueva rata orejuda trepadora de su congénere más ampliamente distribuido, Ototylomys phyllotis. Se realizaron análisis de componentes principales y de función discriminante de los caracteres craneales, y se encontró que los especímenes de La Pera fueron consistentemente distinguidos de otros Ototylomys con un fuerte soporte estadístico. En comparación con ejemplares de Ototylomys del rango, la nueva especie posee un cariotipo que difiere por 3 pares adicionales de cromosomas biarmados, está fijo o casi fijo por distintos electromorfos en 12 loci alozímicos. Adicionalmente, la media de la distancia genética comparada del gen mitochondrial citocromo b entre la nueva especie de Ototylomys y representantes de O. phyllotis, excede el 14%. La distribución restringida en el bosque lluvioso montano kárstico sugiere que la especie y su hábitat pueden ser de importancia para la conservación.

New rat species discovered, named at Sternberg via @hayspost

Saturday, November 18, 2017

[Botany • 2017] A Revision of Middletonia (Gesneriaceae) in Thailand

Middletonia gebosa C.Puglisi: A. Habit, showing young fruit; B. Flowers; Mreticulata (Barnett) C.Puglisi: D. Habit; E. Flowers.
Photographs by Preecha Karaket (A, C–E) and David Middleton (B). 

Puglisi & Middleton. 2017. DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2017.45.1.07


The genus Middletonia in Thailand is revised. We recognise four species, including the newly described Middletonia glebosa C.Puglisi and the resurrected M. reticulata (Barnett) C.Puglisi. A key to the species, full descriptions and proposed conservation assessments are provided. 

KEYWORDS: taxonomy, new species, Flora of Thailand

Figure 1. Middletonia gebosa C.Puglisi: A. Habit, showing young fruit; B. Flowers; M. reticulata (Barnett) C.Puglisi: D. Habit; E. Flowers.
Photographs by Preecha Karaket (A, C–E) and David Middleton (B).

Taxon. 65: 286. 2016. 
Type species: Middletonia multiflora (R.Br.) C.Puglisi.

Five species, found in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Four in Thailand.

1. Middletonia evrardii (Pellegr.) C.Puglisi, Taxon. 65: 286. 2016

Distribution.— Lao PDR, Vietnam.
Thailand.— EASTERN: Nakhon Ratchasima, CENTRAL: Nakhon Nayok
 Ecology.— Evergreen forest.

Note.— The material from Thailand differs slightly from the Vietnamese material, especially in the leaf shape which is more elongated and with an acute apex in the Thai specimens. As there are rather few specimens from throughout the distribution range, with no floral material from Thailand available for dissection, further collections are necessary to assess whether the Thai and Vietnamese plants belong to one or more species.

2. Middletonia glebosa C.Puglisi, sp. nov. 

Similar to Middletonia regularis in having the inflorescences shorter than the leaves and to Middletonia reticulata in the shortly caulescent habit. Differs from both in having a dense indumentum on the adaxial side of the leaf, with glands and eglandular hispid hairs (upperleafsurface glabrescent or minutely glandular in Middletonia regularis, glabrescent in M. reticulata), and in the short, non-twisted, lumpy and irregular fruit (longer, weakly to strongly twisted, smooth and regular in M. regularis and M. reticulata). 

Type: Thailand, Sukhothai, Ram Kham Haeng National Park, Khao Luang, alt. 520 m, 11 Oct. 2012, fr., Middleton, Karaket, Suddee & Triboun 5559 (holotype E [E00547434]; isotypes BK, BKF [SN201922]).  

Distribution.— Cambodia.
Thailand.— NORTHERN: Sukhothai. 
 Ecology.— Mixed deciduous forest with bamboo on granite bedrock.

Etymology.— The specific epithet is the Latin adjective glebosus, -a, -um, which means “lumpy” and refers to the peculiar surface of the capsule.

Notes.— In Ram Kham Haeng National Park this species grows in a mixed population with Middletonia reticulata. The two are readily told apart in the field by Middletonia glebosa having softer, paler leaves, a shorter inflorescence, generally slightly smaller flowers, and the curious short, straight, lumpy fruit. The species is known only from Ram Kham Haeng National Park and a single collection made around 150 years ago in Cambodia. The Cambodian collection, placed in Paraboea regularis by Xu et al. (2008), is only in fruit so the identification will need to be verified with flowering material. However, the fruit of this species is rather distinctive.

3. Middletonia regularis (Ridl.) C.Puglisi, Taxon. 65: 287. 2016.

Distribution.— Malaysia. 
Thailand.— PENINSULA: Surat Thani, Phangnga; SOUTH-WESTERN: Kanchanaburi.

Ecology.— Lowland evergreen forest on limestone soils. 

Note.— The protologue of Paraboea monticola suggests the flowers to be much larger: “lobes … 6–9 × c. 6.5 mm”. However, none of the material available for this study had lobes longer than 3.3 mm. 

4. Middletonia reticulata (Barnett) C.Puglisi, comb. nov.
Boea reticulata Barnett, Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 20: 20. 1961.
Type: Thailand, Chiang Mai, Mae Wang

Ecology.— Mixed deciduous forest on granite bedrock. 

Distribution.— Currently endemic to Thailand but possibly also occurring in Lao PDR and Myanmar.
Thailand.— NORTHERN: Mae Hong Son; Chiang Mai; Lamphun; Lampang; Phrae; Sukhothai. 

 Note.— This species is resurrected from synonymy of Middletonia multiflora (R.Br.) C.Puglisi from which it differs in the distinctively reticulate venation pattern covered in loose brown indumentum on the lower surface of the leaves, and in the auriculate leaf base. Middletonia multiflora has a denser indumentum on the leaf and the tertiary venation is less densely reticulate and less visible altogether. Middletonia multiflora is widespread along the northern distribution of the genus (from India to Vietnam), but none of the material from Thailand studied can be attributed to M. multiflora.

Carmen Puglisi and David J. Middleton. 2017. A Revision of Middletonia (Gesneriaceae) in Thailand. THAI FOREST BULL., BOT. 45(1); 35–41. DOI: 10.20531/tfb.2017.45.1.07

[Botany • 2017] Magnolia montebelloensis • A New Species in Section Magnolia from Lagunas de Montebello National Park, Chiapas, México, with A Key to Magnoliaceae of Chiapas

Magnolia montebelloensis   A.Vázquez & Pérez-Farr.

 Vázquez-García, Pérez-Farrera, Gómez-Domínguez, Muñiz-Castro & Sahagún-Godínez, 2017


A new species of Magnolia, from the Lagunas de Montebello National Park, in the central highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, is described and illustrated. Magnolia montebelloensis belongs to section Magnolia; it differs from M. poasana in its smaller habit, densely pubescent terminal twig internodes, stipules and spathaceous bracts, shorter peduncular internodes and more numerous stamens. A key, an ecological and a conservation assessment of the eight Chiapan species of Magnoliaceae are included. Magnolia montebelloensis grows in montane rain forest and is contrasted with other Chiapan Magnolia species regarding their climate and vegetation preferences. It was assessed as critically endangered (CR) according to IUCN B1ab(ii,iii) and B2ab(iii) criteria. Half of Magnolia species in Chiapas occur in protected natural areas, and thus immediate action is required to protect the other four species, M. faustinomirandae, M. mayae, M. sharpii and M. zamudioi. Seven out of the eight Magnolia species (88%) are not found in ex-situ collections despite being endangered or critically endangered.

Keywords: Magnolia guatemalensisMagnolia hondurensisMagnolia poasana, “Tajchack” (Tzeltal language), Magnoliids

FIGURE 4. Magnolia montebelloensis. A. Flower after male phase. B. Flower manually forced open with stamens removed. C. Flower bud with densely hirsute spathaceous bract and early vegetative buds. D. Leaf stipule in late vegetative bud. E. Gynoecium with early axillary leaf buds and terminal internode; sepals, petals and stamens removed. F. Developing fruit. G–H. Fruits during dehiscence. Illustration by Esaú Vázquez-Verdejo. A–C & E from the holotype. D, F–G from Vázquez-García et al. 10107; H from Vázquez-García et al. 10108.

FIGURE 2. Magnolia montebelloensis. A. Tree, standing at the base Miguel Muñiz & Antonio Vázquez. B. Stipule on late leaf bud. C. Leaves. D. Flower bud with spathaceous bract and early axillary leaf buds. E–F. Flowers forced open with and without stamens, respectively. G. Flower after male phase. H. Developing gynoecium, with axillary leaf buds. I. Developing fruit. Photographs by Antonio Vázquez, A–C & I from Vázquez-García et al. 10107; & D–H, from the holotype.

Magnolia montebelloensis A.Vázquez & Pérez-Farr., sp. nov.

Eponymy:—This species is named after the Lagunas de Montebello National Park, the type locality. 

J. Antonio Vázquez-García, Miguel Ángel Pérez-Farrera, Héctor Gómez-Domínguez, Miguel Ángel Muñiz-Castro and Eduardo Sahagún-Godínez. 2017. Magnolia montebelloensis, A New Species in Section Magnolia from Lagunas de Montebello National Park, Chiapas, México, with a key to Magnoliaceae of Chiapas.  Phytotaxa. 328(2); 101-114. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.328.2.1

[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.

[Arachnida • 2017] Revision of Hindumanes Logunov, 2004 (Araneae: Salticidae: Lyssomaninae), with Description of A New Species, H. wayanadensis, from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India

Hindumanes karnatakaensis   (Tikader & Biswas, 1978)

 Sudhin, Nafin & Sudhikumar, 2017


The monotypic genus Hindumanes Logunov, 2004 is revised. We present fresh specimens of Hindumanes karnatakaensis (Tikader & Biswas, 1978), the type species, and describe Hindumanes wayanadensis sp. nov. from the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of the Western Ghats, Kerala, India. This paper provides the first description of the male of H. karnatakaensis and a redescription of its female. We also transfer the genus from Asemoneinae Maddison, 2015 to Lyssomaninae Blackwall, 1877. The relationship between Hindumanes and Lyssomanes Hentz, 1845 and the zoogeography of the subfamily are discussed. The distribution records of the genus are mapped.

Keywords: Araneae, long-legged jumping spider, subfamily placement, zoogeography, relict, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, biodiversity hotspot

Puthoor Pattammal Sudhin, Karunnappilli Shamsudheen Nafin and Ambalaparambil Vasu Sudhikumar. 2017. Revision of Hindumanes Logunov, 2004 (Araneae: Salticidae: Lyssomaninae), with description of a new species from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India. Zootaxa. 4350(2); 317–330.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4350.2.7

Friday, November 17, 2017

[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.  


[Herpetology • 2017] Gephyromantis angano • A New Frog Species of the Subgenus Asperomantis (Anura, Mantellidae, Gephyromantis) from the Bealanana District of northern Madagascar

Gephyromantis (Asperomantis angano 
 Scherz, Vences, Borrell, Ball, Nomenjanahary, Parker, Rakotondratsima, Razafimandimby, Starnes, Rabearivony & Glaw, 2017

A recent study on a group of rough-skinned Gephyromantis frogs from Madagascar (Anura: Mantellidae: Mantellinae) established a new subgenus, Asperomantis, with five described species and one undescribed candidate species. Based on newly collected material from the Bealanana District, we address the taxonomy of this candidate species, and reveal that it consists of two populations with low genetic and morphological divergence but considerable bioacoustic differences that are obvious to the human ear. As a result, we describe some of the specimens formerly assigned to Gephyromantis sp. Ca28 as Gephyromantis angano sp. n. and assign the remaining specimens from a locality between Bealanana and Antsohihy to a new Unconfirmed Candidate Species, G. sp. Ca29. Gephyromantis angano sp. n. is a small species that strongly resembles G. asper and G. ceratophrys, but it differs from these and all other Gephyromantis species by a unique, clinking advertisement call. The new species may be highly threatened by habitat fragmentation, but at present we recommend it be treated as Data Deficient until more data are available to assess its distribution. We discuss the curious relationship between G. angano sp. n. and G. sp. Ca29, which we suspect may represent a case of incipient speciation. We also identify two additional new Unconfirmed Candidate Species of Gephyromantis based on sequence data from other specimens collected during our surveys in the Bealanana District.

Key Words: Amphibia, Bioacoustics, Incipient speciation, Candidate species, Mantellinae

Figure 5. The holotype of Gephyromantis angano sp. n., ZSM 68/2016 (MSZC 0172) in life in
 (a) dorsal, (b) ventral, and (c) lateral view. Scale bars indicate 10 mm.

Gephyromantis (Asperomantisangano sp. n.
Gephyromantis sp. Ca28 — Perl et al. (2014)

Diagnosis: Gephyromantis species assigned to the subgenus Asperomantis based on the presence of small dermal spines on the elbow and heel, presence of inner and outer dorsal ridges as defined by Vences and Glaw (2001), Type 2 femoral glands sensu Glaw et al. (2000)Glaw et al. (2000), moderately enlarged finger and toe tips, absence of webbing between fingers, moderate webbing between toes, presence of paired blackish sub-gular vocal sacs in males, and a distinct whitish spot in the middle of the tympanic field (Vences et al. 2017). DNA sequence data from a fragment of the 16S gene supports this assignment. Gephyromantis angano sp. n. is characterized by the following suite of morphological characters: (1) adult SVL 29.1–30.5 mm, (2) TD/ED 0.61–0.71, (3) small supraocular spines, (4) large femoral glands consisting of numerous small granules, (5) moderately raised dorsal ridges, (6) granular dorsal skin, (7) relatively short hindlimbs (HIL/SVL 1.73–1.81 in males), and (7) its unique call (see above).

Within the subgenus AsperomantisGephyromantis angano sp. n. can be distinguished from G. ambohitra, G. spinifer, and G. tahotra by its smaller size (male SVL < 30 mm, vs. >31 mm, female SVL up to 30.5 mm vs. >32 mm); from G. spinifer by its less granular dorsal skin and smaller supraocular spines; from G. asper and G. ceratophrys by its generally shorter hindlimbs in males (HIL/SVL 1.73–1.81 vs. 1.77–2.11); and from G. ceratophrys by more granules per femoral gland (26–69 vs. 14–20). Bioacoustically, it is distinguished from all of these species by its call duration (41–98 ms vs. 5–44 ms in G. asper and G. ceratophrys, and 98–274 ms in Gambohitra and Gtahotra), unpulsed calls (vs. pulsed in G. ambohitra and G. tahotra), calls repeated faster than in Gceratophrys, and dominant frequency (3703–3875 Hz vs. 1435–3366 Hz in G. ambohitra, and G. tahotra).

Figure 6. Variation in Gephyromantis angano sp. n.
(a) UADBA-A uncatalogued (MSZC 0032), adult male (FGG = 69/56), (b) UADBA-A uncatalogued (MSZC 0053), juvenile, (c) ZSM 67/2016 (MSZC 0021), adult male (FGG = 30/26), (d) UADBA-A uncatalogued (MSZC 0091), adult male (FGG = 57/55), (e) Université d’Antsiranana uncatalogued (MSZC 0088), adult female (not in the type series), (f) ZSM 69/2016 (MSZC 0112), adult female. Insets show specimens in ventral view. Not to scale. 

Figure 7. Map of northern Madagascar indicating the known distribution of Asperomantis species. Colours correspond to species in Fig. 4. Three arc second SRTM basemap from Jarvis et al. (2008).

Etymology: Angano is a Malagasy word meaning ‘fable’. The new material for this species was collected on Expedition Angano, a research expedition to the Bealanana District of northern Madagascar to assess the impacts of forest fragmentation on the reptiles and amphibians. The epithet is used as an invariable noun in apposition to the genus name.

Natural history and distribution: One specimen of this species has been collected in Antsahan’i Ledy, and numerous specimens of this species were encountered during fieldwork on the Ampotsidy mountains (Fig. 7). Calling males were generally found in association with slow flowing water, in the case of the holotype at the source of a spring, in close syntopy with Boophis madagascariensis and a Mantidactylus (Brygoomantis) species. Males called up to 1 m above the ground from fern fronds and other low foliage. Females were found both near to and away from water, during the day and at night, but were less commonly encountered. No eggs were observed, but highly ovigerous females were found in January (e.g. Fig. 6e). The call of the species is loud and carries over long distances, so that it can be heard alongside the calls of Boophis madagascariensis from well outside of some small forest fragments in the vicinity of Ampotsidy. In a small forest fragment where vouchers of Gephyromantis (Asperomantis) tahotra were collected (1368 m a.s.l.), G. angano sp. n. could also be heard; this appears to be the first ever record of any two Asperomantis species occurring in close syntopy (Vences et al. 2017).

 Mark D. Scherz, Miguel Vences, James Borrell, Lawrence Ball, Denise Herizo Nomenjanahary, Duncan Parker, Marius Rakotondratsima, Elidiot Razafimandimby, Thomas Starnes, Jeanneney Rabearivony, Frank Glaw. 2017. A New Frog Species of the Subgenus Asperomantis (Anura, Mantellidae, Gephyromantis) from the Bealanana District of northern Madagascar. Zoosystematics and Evolution. 93(2); 451-466.  DOI:  10.3897/zse.93.14906


[Herpetology • 2017] Dibamus floweri • A New Species of Dibamus Duméril & Bibron 1839 (Squamata: Dibamidae) from A Hill Station in Peninsular Malaysia

 Dibamus floweri 
 Quah, Anuar, Grismer & Grassby-Lewis, 2017


A new species of worm-like lizard, Dibamus floweri, is described from Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, in the central highlands of Peninsular Malaysia based on the following unique combination of characters: maximum SVL of 112 mm; tail length 11.4–15.2% of SVL; labial and nasal sutures absent; rostral suture present but incomplete; a single postocular; four scales bordering the posterior edge of first infralabial; no enlarged, medial, sublabial scale; 21 scale rows around midbody; 23 scale rows around the body immediately posterior to head; 21 scale rows around the body immediately anterior to vent; 175–194 ventral scales; 23–46 subcaudal scales and light coloured bands on body. Dibamus floweri, new species, is the third species of dibamid discovered in Peninsular Malaysia and is the first montane species. Its discovery underscores the importance of uplands regions as important habitats for herpetological diversity and their understudied nature. 

Key words: herpetofauna, montane, new species, taxonomy, conservation, systematics

Dibamidae Boulenger, 1884
Dibamus Duméril & Bibron, 1839

Dibamus floweri, new species
Flower’s blind lizard

Diagnosis. Dibamus floweri, new species, differentiated from all other congeners by this combination of characters: maximum SVL of 112 mm; tail length 11.4–15.2% of SVL; labial, nasal sutures absent; rostral suture present but incomplete; single postocular; four scales bordering posterior edge of first infralabial; no enlarged, medial, sublabial scale; 21 midbody scale rows; 23 transverse scale rows just posterior to head; 21 transverse scale rows just anterior to vent; 175–194 ventral scales; 23–46 subcaudal scales; relative size of frontal to frontanasal 1.1–1.5; relative size of interparietal to surrounding scales 1.3–1.8; and light coloured bands on the body. These characters are scored across all nominal species of Dibamus in Table 2.

Etymology: The specific epithet, floweri, is in honour of Major Stanley Smyth Flower, who was one of the pioneers for herpetological discoveries in the Malay Peninsula. He made many notable discoveries over the course of his explorations in the region and his natural history observations well over a century ago were very detailed and contributed tremendously to improving our understanding of the ecology and behaviour of many species to this day.

 Distribution: Dibamus floweri, new species, is presently known only from Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia at elevations between 1,207 and 1,500 m (Fig. 3). 

  (A) Holotype of Dibamus floweri, new species (LSUHC 12481) from Fraser’s Hill, Pahang (Photograph by Rupert Grassby-Lewis).
(B) Paratype of Dibamus floweri, new species (ZRC 2.7240) from Fraser’s Hill, Pahang at ease. Photographs by Evan Quah.
(F) Leaf litter microhabitat at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang where the paratype of Dibamus floweri, new species, was found.

Natural history: Both specimens were found while digging through leaf litter that had accumulated along the banks of roads. The holotype was discovered at night in a drainage ditch along Jalan Girdle in a damp and shaded area. The paratype was uncovered during the day underneath approximately 3 cm beneath the soil (Fig. 2F), and in the same pile of leaf-litter, the skink, Larutia miodactyla (Boulenger, 1903) was also found. When handled, both specimens flared up their body scales, giving them a wrinkled appearance (Fig. 1C). This behaviour is interpreted as a defensive, anti-predator mechanism employed by Dibamus to mimic a possible non-palatable species of worm (Darevsky, 1992). The other two Peninsular Malaysian species, D. booliati and D. tiomanensis display the same behaviour when agitated (Das & Yaakob, 2003; Diaz et al., 2004; Grismer, 2011).

Evan S. H. Quah, Shahrul Anuar M. S., L. Lee Grismer and Rupert Grassby-Lewis. 2017. 
A New Species of Dibamus Duméril & Bibron 1839 (Squamata: Dibamidae) from A Hill Station in Peninsular Malaysia. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 65; 681–690. 

[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

[Botany • 2017] Rafflesia kemumu • A New Species (Rafflesiaceae) from Northern Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia

Rafflesia kemumu  Susatya, Hidayati & Riki


Rafflesia kemumu is a new species described from Northern Bengkulu in Sumatra, Indonesia. The species resembles R. gadutensis in size of the open flower, but differs from it with regard to the color and wart ornamentation on the upper surface of the perigone lobes, color and presence/absence of warts on the upper surface of the diaphragm, blots pattern on the two concentric rings of windows near the diaphragm opening, types and distribution of ramenta, number and shapes of processes, and number of anthers. The new species has orange to dark orange perigone lobes with warts of two sizes, in which smaller warts are often merged, and surround larger ones, and 23 slender, conical processes with rounded apex, arranged in two concentric rings (15 and 7 processes each) and a single process in the center of the disc. Rafflesia kemumu has no warts at its upper surface of diaphragm, simple and compound toadstool ramenta on its upper perigone tube and the lower part of the lower surface of its diaphragm and broccoli-like ramenta distributed from the base to the upper part of the perigone tube.

Keywords: Bengkulu, processes, Rafflesia, ramenta, Sumatra, Eudicots

The color of perigone lobes and their wart patterns on the first day of flowering for Rafflesia kemumu.

Photo by S. Riki. 

Rafflesia kemumu Susatya, Hidayati & Riki, spec. nov.

Differs from a related species R. gadutensis by the absence of warts on the upper surface of the diaphragm, the pattern and arrangement of warts of windows near the diaphragm opening, and the presence of compound toadstool ramenta on the upper part of the perigone tube. 

Etymology:— The specific epithet is named after a village near the location where the holotype specimen was collected, Kemumu. The people of Kemumu rely on the continuity of a water supply from the Palak Siring watershed for their rice fields.

Agus Susatyaม Siti Nur Hidayati and Septian Riki. 2017. Rafflesia kemumu (Rafflesiaceae), A New Species from Northern Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia. Phytotaxa. 326(3); 211–220. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.326.3.5  

Rafflesia kemumu (Rafflesiaceae), e new species from Northern Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia
 Ditjen Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam dan Ekosistem