Friday, May 25, 2018

[Paleontology • 2018] Parahenodus atancensis • A New Placodont from the Upper Triassic of Spain provides New Insights on the Acquisition of the Specialized Skull of Henodontidae

Parahenodus atancensis
 de Miguel Chaves, Ortega & Pérez‐García, 2018

   DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1218 
Illustration: Eloy Manzanero

Henodus chelyops Huene is considered to be a highly autapomorphic cyamodontoid placodont with specialized trophic adaptations relative to all the other members of Placodontia. It has been exclusively found in the Carnian (Upper Triassic) of Tübingen (Germany). Here we present a partial skull identified as a new cyamodontoid placodont from the Upper Triassic of El Atance (Guadalajara Province, Spain), Parahenodus atancensis gen. et sp. nov. It is recognized as the sister taxon of H. chelyops, both taxa composing the clade Henodontidae. An emended diagnosis for H. chelyops and Henodontidae is given here. Parahenodus atancensis shares with H. chelyops several cranial characters considered until now to be autapomorphic for the latter, but it also retains some states common in most cyamodontoids. Thus, the discovery of P. atancensis provides new information on the acquisition process of the highly specialized skull of the Henodontidae.

Key words: Placodontia, Cyamodontoidea, Henodontidae, Parahenodus atancensis, El Atance.


PLACODONTIFORMES Neenan et al., 2013

Type species. Henodus chelyops Huene, 1936.

Included species. Henodus chelyops, Parahenodus atancensis gen. et sp. nov.

Emended diagnosis. Clade of Cyamodontida characterized by the following exclusive characters: flat skull; maxillae without tooth plates but with a deep ventral longitudinal groove; palatines with a single posterior tooth plate; upper temporal fenestrae reduced to absent; parietals broad and fan-shaped; presence of contact between the jugals and the squamosals; palatines separated from one another by long pterygoids; cephalic condyle of the quadrates posteriorly expanded and abutting a ventral flange of the squamosals.

Distribution. Upper Triassic (Carnian to Norian) of Europe (southern Germany and central Spain).

Genus HENODUS Huene, 1936 
Type species. Henodus chelyops Huene, 1936.


FIG. 1. Skull MUPA ATZ0104, holotype of the cyamodontoid placodont Parahenodus atancensis gen. et sp. nov., from the Upper Triassic of El Atance.
A, dorsal view. B, ventral view. C, schematic interpretation of the skull in dorsal view. D, schematic interpretation of the skull in ventral view.
Scale bars represent: 20 mm (A–D) 

Type species. Parahenodus atancensis sp. nov. 

Parahenodus atancensis sp. nov. 

Derivation of name. Para (paqa), Greek for ‘near’ or ‘beside’, implying morphological closeness to Henodus Huene, 1936; atance, from El Atance, the fossil site; and ensis, a Latin adjectival suffix meaning ‘pertaining to’.

FIG. 2. Strict consensus tree obtained from our phylogenetic analysis based on the cranial data matrix of Neenan et al. (2015) showing the position of the cyamodontoid placodont Parahenodus atancensis gen. et sp. nov., from the Upper Triassic of El Atance. Bootstrap frequencies that exceed 50% (top) and Bremer support values (bottom) are indicated.


Carlos de Miguel Chaves,  Francisco Ortega and Adán Pérez‐García. 2018. A New Placodont from the Upper Triassic of Spain provides New Insights on the Acquisition of the Specialized Skull of Henodontidae.  Papers in Palaeontology.  DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1218

Describen una nueva especie de placodonto que habitó en Guadalajara durante el Triásico Superior via @divulgauned

[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.  

[Paleontology • 2018] Early Evolution of Modern Birds Structured by Global Forest Collapse at the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

a hypothetical surviving bird lineage -- small-bodied and specialized for a ground-dwelling lifestyle -- fleeing a burning forest in the aftermath of the asteroid strike that eliminated non-avian dinosaurs and destroyed global forests.

in Field, Bercovici, Berv, et al., 2018.
Illustration: Phillip M. Krzeminski 

• The end-Cretaceous mass extinction devastated forest habitats globally
• Tree-dwelling birds failed to persist across the end-Cretaceous extinction event
• All bird groups that survived the end-Cretaceous extinction were non-arboreal
• The early ancestors of many modern tree-dwelling bird groups were ground-dwelling

The fossil record and recent molecular phylogenies support an extraordinary early-Cenozoic radiation of crown birds (Neornithes) after the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction. However, questions remain regarding the mechanisms underlying the survival of the deepest lineages within crown birds across the K-Pg boundary, particularly since this global catastrophe eliminated even the closest stem-group relatives of Neornithes. Here, ancestral state reconstructions of neornithine ecology reveal a strong bias toward taxa exhibiting predominantly non-arboreal lifestyles across the K-Pg, with multiple convergent transitions toward predominantly arboreal ecologies later in the Paleocene and Eocene. By contrast, ecomorphological inferences indicate predominantly arboreal lifestyles among enantiornithines, the most diverse and widespread Mesozoic avialans. Global paleobotanical and palynological data show that the K-Pg Chicxulub impact triggered widespread destruction of forests. We suggest that ecological filtering due to the temporary loss of significant plant cover across the K-Pg boundary selected against any flying dinosaurs (Avialae) committed to arboreal ecologies, resulting in a predominantly non-arboreal post-extinction neornithine avifauna composed of total-clade Palaeognathae, Galloanserae, and terrestrial total-clade Neoaves that rapidly diversified into the broad range of avian ecologies familiar today. The explanation proposed here provides a unifying hypothesis for the K-Pg-associated mass extinction of arboreal stem birds, as well as for the post-K-Pg radiation of arboreal crown birds. It also provides a baseline hypothesis to be further refined pending the discovery of additional neornithine fossils from the Latest Cretaceous and earliest Paleogene.

This illustration shows a hypothetical surviving bird lineage -- small-bodied and specialized for a ground-dwelling lifestyle -- fleeing a burning forest in the aftermath of the asteroid strike that eliminated non-avian dinosaurs and destroyed global forests.
 Illustration: Phillip M. Krzeminski

 Daniel J. Field, Antoine Bercovici, Jacob S. Berv, Regan Dunn, David E. Fastovsky, Tyler R. Lyson, Vivi Vajda and Jacques A. Gauthier. 2018. Early Evolution of Modern Birds Structured by Global Forest Collapse at the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction. Current Biology.  In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.04.062
What the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs meant for birds via @CellPressNews @EurekAlert
When the dinosaurs died, so did forests—and tree-dwelling birds via @physorg_com

[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] Scaphochlamys disticha (Zingiberaceae) • A New Species with Distichous Inflorescence from Peninsular Malaysia

Scaphochlamys disticha  Y.Y.Sam & H.Ibrahim

in Sam & Ibrahim, 2018


A new species of ginger, Scaphochlamys disticha Y.Y.Sam & H.Ibrahim, sp. nov., from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia is described and illustrated; colour plates and conservation status are also provided. The species is characterised by its large inflorescence with distichously arranged floral bracts. 

Figure 1. A–G Scaphochlamys disticha: A Habit B Leafy shoots close together C Rhizome and stilt roots D Distichous leaf sheaths E Thin and broad margin of leaf sheath F Inflorescence G Flower
H–J Sklossii var. klossii H Habit I Inflorescence J Flower K Scalcicola.

Photographs A, C–D, H–K by YY Sam; B, E–G by K Imin.

Figure 2. Scaphochlamys disticha: A Habit B Inflorescence CFloral bract D First bracteole E Second bracteole F Flower G Dorsal corolla lobe H Lateral corolla lobe I Staminode J Ovary and calyx K Labellum L Stamen M Stigma N Fruit O Seed.
Drawn by MN Aidil from Sam et al. FRI 69123.

Scaphochlamys disticha Y.Y.Sam & H.Ibrahim, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Similar to S. klossii Holttum var. klossii by its ascending rhizomes supported by fine stilt roots, leafy shoots with multiple leaves, successive shoots emerging within the leaf axil, long leaf sheath with broad and thin edges and elliptic leaf blades. The most distinct feature of S. disticha is its distichous floral bracts which are easily recognised from the spirally arranged bracts in S. klossii var. klossii. Other morphological characteristics which can be used to separate S. disticha are the spathulate bracts versus involute bracts observed in S. klossii var. klossii and smaller flowers (35–40 mm long vs. 42–50 mm long). The thick woolly hairs covering the sheath, petiole and inflorescence in S. klossii var. klossii are absent from S. disticha.


Distribution: Endemic in Peninsular Malaysia, Terengganu, Ulu Terengganu Tambahan Forest Reserve.

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the Latin ‘disticha’ referring to the distichously arranged floral bracts.

Habitat and ecology: The plants are found in lowland dipterocarp forest growing abundantly in the bright but shady conditions provided by the canopy openings. A search of the surrounding area found the population to be highly localised, restricted to the mid slope of the valley at Sekayu Waterfall. Scaphochlamys disticha flowers gregariously after the northeast monsoon ends in February–March.

 Yen Yen Sam and Halijah Ibrahim. 2018. Scaphochlamys disticha (Zingiberaceae), A New Species with Distichous Inflorescence from Peninsular Malaysia. PhytoKeys. 99: 85-92. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.99.22287

[Entomology • 2018] Taxonomic Revision of the Genus Oodera Westwood, 1874 (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Pteromalidae, Cleonyminae), with Description of Ten New Species

Head (frontal)
 Oodera ahoma (Mani & Kaul) b O. circularicollis sp. n. c O. felix sp. n.
O. fidelis sp. n. e O. florea sp. n. O. formosa (Giraud)
O. gracilis Westwood b O. heikewernerae sp. n. c O. hoggarensis Hedqvist 

in Werner & Peters, 2018.
  [Scale bars: 1 mm.]   DOI:  10.3897/jhr.63.12754 

The world species of Oodera Westwood, 1874 (Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae: Cleonyminae: Ooderini) are revised. We examined 115 specimens of this rarely collected genus and based on morphological characters assign 110 specimens to 20 recognised species, of which the following ten are described as new: Oodera circularicollis sp. n. (Morocco), O. felix sp. n. (Central African Republic), O. fidelis sp. n. (Vietnam), O. florea sp. n. (Thailand), O. heikewernerae sp. n. (Botswana and South Africa), O. leibnizi sp. n. (Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Phillippines), O. mkomaziensis sp. n. (Tanzania), O. namibiensis sp. n. (Namibia), O. niehuisorum sp. n. (Egypt and Israel), and O. srilankiensis sp. n. (Sri Lanka). Oodera monstrum Nikol’skaya, 1952, syn. n., is synonymised under O. formosa (Giraud, 1863). Five specimens could not be assigned to species and are treated as Oodera sp. Redescriptions are provided for all previously described valid species. Oodera albopilosa Crosby, 1909 is excluded from Oodera and transferred to Eupelmus Dalman, 1820 (Eupelmidae) as E. albopilosa (Crosby, 1909) n. comb. Oodera rufimana Westwood, 1874 and O. obscura Westwood, 1874 are treated as nomina dubia because we were unable to locate type specimens and the original descriptions are not sufficiently informative to clarify the taxonomic status of these names. Several specimens from North America are identified as introduced specimens of the European species O. formosa. We provide images and diagnostic characters for all 20 included species and an identification key to species.

Keywords: Taxonomy, parasitoid wasps, identification key, new species

Figure 5. Head (frontal) I a Oodera ahoma (Mani & Kaul) (imaged specimen: OAh01, holotype) b O. circularicollis sp. n. (OCi01, holotype) c O. felix sp. n. (OFe01, holotype)
d O. fidelis sp. n. (OFi01, holotype) e O. florea sp. n. (OFl01, holotype) f O. formosa (Giraud) (OFo03).

Figure 6. Head (frontal) II a O. gracilis Westwood (imaged specimen: OGr01) b O. heikewernerae sp. n. (OHe01, holotype) c O. hoggarensis Hedqvist (OHo02, paratype)
d O. leibnizi sp. n. (OLe03, paratype) e O. longicollis (Cameron) (OLo01) f O. madegassa Bouček (OMad01, holotype).
Scale bars: 1 mm.

Figure 17. Geographic distribution of the genus Oodera. Countries from which Oodera was recorded are highlighted in dark grey. Stars indicate record localities. Record localities of O. pumilae Yang and O. regiae Yang are not exact but placed in the centre of the respective Chinese province from which the species was recorded.

 Jennifer Werner and Ralph S. Peters. 2018. Taxonomic Revision of the Genus Oodera Westwood, 1874 (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Pteromalidae, Cleonyminae), with Description of Ten New Species. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 63: 73-123.  DOI:  10.3897/jhr.63.12754

[Arachnida • 2018] Charinus kakum • A New Species of Charinus (Amblypygi: Charinidae) from Ghana, with Notes on West African Whip Spiders

Charinus kakum  Harms, 2018

The fauna of whip spiders (Amblypygi) in Western Africa is poorly known but probably diverse. Here, I describe the new species Charinus kakum sp. n. based on female morphology, and accompanied by DNA sequence data. The species is small and differs from other African species of Charinus in the low number of pseudosegments on leg IV, female genital features, spination patterns of the pedipalp, and small body size. It was collected from wet tropical rainforest in Kakum National Park, Ghana and is only the fourth species of Charinus to be recorded from the highly diverse Western African biodiversity hotspot. With a total body length of not even 6 mm it is also one of the smallest whip spiders in the world.

Key Words: Amblypygid, Arachnida, Kakum National Park, new species, taxonomy

Figure 2. Female holotype of Charinus kakum sp. n.: A, habitus dorsal; B, genital operculum in ventral view. Arrow indicates the position of the ventral sac covers; C, opisthosoma in dorsal view; D, eggs carried by the female (removed from the genital operculum for imaging).

 Figure 3. Female holotype of Charinus kakum sp. n.: A, details of habitus in dorsal view; B, details of habitus in ventral view; C, carapace in dorsal view; D, prosomal sternites in ventral view.

Charinidae Quintero, 1986
Charinus Simon, 1892

Type species: Phrynus australianus L. Koch, 1867, by original designation.

Taxonomic remarks: Weygoldt (2000a) defined Charinus based on the armature of the pedipalp: with three large dorsal spines on the tibia of which the first one is the largest and the others decrease proximally in length; spine 1 sometimes followed distally by one to three spinelets, pedipalp basitarsus with two spines of which the distal spine is largest. Charinus also differs from the closely related Sarax in lacking ventral sac covers (Rahmadi and Kojima 2010). The genus currently includes more than 70 species (Vasconcelos and Ferreira 2017) but is in need of revision (Weygoldt 2000a, b). Nonetheless, the new species aligns well with the current genus diagnosis and is placed here until such revision has been carried out.

Charinus kakum sp. n.

Diagnosis: Charinus kakum sp. n. differs from the cave-inhabiting species C. milloti Fage, 1939 and C. fagei Weygoldt, 1972 in low number of tibial segments on leg IV (5 in C. millotei and C. fagei vs. 3 in C. kakum), trichobothria patterns of leg IV (compare with Weygoldt 1972, 2000a), small body size (prosoma length 2.6 in C. kakum), and shorter legs; from the island species C. africanus Hansen 1921 through the female genital operculum which has a steep ventral flexure at about two third of its length in C. africanus (Weygoldt 1972; Miranda et al. 2016b) but is uniform in C. kakum, and body size (ca. 8.0–8.5 mm in C. africanus and 5.8 in C. kakum; Hansen 1921).


Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the type locality, Kakum National Park in Ghana.

Distribution: Only known from the type locality by a single female individual. The wider distribution remains unknown and unfortunately no other specimens could be collected, despite targeted searches in the vicinity of the type locality.

 Danilo Harms. 2018. A New Species of Charinus (Amblypygi: Charinidae) from Ghana, with Notes on West African Whip Spiders.  Evolutionary Systematics. 2: 45-53.  DOI: 10.3897/evolsyst.2.24505


Thursday, May 24, 2018

[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

[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