Wednesday, April 25, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii • A New Species of Succulent Plants (Crassulaceae) from northwestern Querétaro, Mexico


Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii Add  E. Pérez-Calix & R.Torres

in Pérez-Calix & Torres-Colín, 2018. 

Abstract

Pachyphytum (Crassulaceae) is a genus of perennial plants with ca. 20 species endemic to central Mexico. Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii is described here as a new species. It is compared to P. garciae, which is morphologically similar. The new species is endemic to the northwestern region of the state of Querétaro where it was found on limestone walls. It is assigned the category of endangered (EN).

Keywords: Arroyo Seco, sect. Diostostemon, sect. Ixiocaulon, Eudicots


FIGURE 2. Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii:
A) habit; B) petal color; C) calyx lobes; D) inflorescence peduncle and floral bracts. 

FIGURE 2. Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii: A) habit; B) petal color; C) calyx lobes; D) inflorescence peduncle and floral bracts. P. garciae: E) habit; F) petal color; G) calyx lobes; H) inflorescence peduncle and flowers bracts.

Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii E. Pérez-Calix & R.Torres, sp. nov.,

 Type:— MEXICO. Querétaro: municipio Arroyo Seco, cerca de 2.9 km al sur de Santa María de Cocos, 800 m elevation, 21°18’24.64” N, 99°38’26.54” O, 3 November 2015, E. Pérez 6616 (holotype IEB!, isotypes MEXU!, QMEX!).

Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii is morphologically similar to P. garciae, which differs in that its leaves are up to 1.3 cm longer and 0.5 cm wider; the bracts of the peduncle are 6‒7.5 mm longer and 2‒3.5 wider; calyx lobes are also larger and corolla lobes are white with an abaxial red spot in the middle.

....

Distribution and habitat:— Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii is endemic to the northwest region of Queretaro, near the border with Guanajuato where one population that lives on vertical walls of limestone sedimentary rock has been recorded in the canyon of the Atarjea river. The climate of the region is subhumid, semi-warm (sensu García 1973). The vegetation corresponds to the deciduous tropical forest (sensu Zamudio et al. 1992). Some of its elements are Celtis iguanaea and various representatives of Leguminosae. The walls where the plant grows are also habitat by populations of Agave sp., Hechtia sp., Echeveria sp. and Sedum corynephyllum.


Etymology:— The specific epithet is dedicated to the memory of Rogelio Mariano Cárdenas-Soriano (Cuautla, Morelos, 1961 - Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, 2010). Rogelio worked as a scientific illustrator in the Bajío Regional Center of the Institute of Ecology, A.C., from 1995 until his death, and elaborated a series of illustrations, published in the fascicles of Flora del Bajío and of adjacent regions; he also drew new taxa for science, which were published in various specialized journals in botany.


Emmanuel Pérez Calix and Rafael Torres Colín. 2018. Pachyphytum rogeliocardenasii (Crassulaceae), A New Species from northwestern Querétaro, Mexico. Phytotaxa. 348(1); 56–62. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.348.1.7

[Botany • 2018] A Revision of Xylopia L. (Annonaceae): The Species of Tropical Africa


 Xylopia aethiopica from Gabon Xylopia longipetala from Mali, representing a record for the country not otherwise documented Xylopia piratae from Ivory Coast Xylopia odoratissima from Zambia Xylopia arenaria from Tanzania

in Johnson & Murray, 2018.

Abstract
A revision of the 45 species of the pantropical genus Xylopia in Tropical Africa includes descriptions of six new species and a new section of the genus. The fruits and seeds of Xylopia show specializations that promote vertebrate dispersal, primarily by hornbills and monkeys. Over half of the African species have an Area of Occupancy (AOO) less than 80 km2, suggesting that they are in need of protection. African species are classified into five sections. Section Neoxylopia , with four species, is centered in the Guineo-Congolian Region and includes Xylopia globosa sp. nov. Section Ancistropetala, with three species, occurs in the same region. Both of these sections are endemic to Africa. Section Xylopia, which extends to Madagascar and the American tropics, has only a single species in Africa, X. aethiopica. The three species of section Verdcourtia sect. nov. are restricted to the East African coast and Madagascar. The largest number of African species, (34) belong to section Stenoxylopia, in which the seeds lack the arils found in the other sections and instead have a fleshy sarcotesta. Section Stenoxylopia is divided into two informal groups, one centered in eastern and southern Africa (X. odoratissima group) and the other centered in the wetter forests of western and central Africa (X. acutiflora group). Five new species are described in section StenoxylopiaXylopia nilotica sp. nov. from Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda, Xylopia calva sp. nov. from Nigeria and Cameroon, which is allied to X. phloiodora, and Xylopia monticola sp. nov. from Nigeria and Cameroon, X. piratae sp. nov. from Ivory Coast and Ghana, and X. unguiculata sp. nov. from Gabon. The latter three species are segregates of the former Xylopia acutiflora s. l. One new combination is made at the species level, X. shirensis comb. nov. Keys, descriptions, illustrations, distribution maps, and an index to numbered collections document diversity and assist with species identification. The name Unona oliveriana Baill. was found to pre-date the name Unona lepidota Oliv., requiring the combination Meiocarpidium oliverianum comb. nov.

Keywords: Xylopia, pantropical Annonaceae, Tropical Africa, long distance dispersal, bird/monkey syndrome, X. aethiopica, conservation, new species

Figure 3. Flowers of representative Xylopia species.
A Flower from type collection of Xylopia globosa from Gabon B Xylopia tenuipetala from Mozambique C Xylopia quintasii from Gabon D Xylopia aethiopica from Gabon E Xylopia longipetala from Mali, representing a record for the country not otherwise documented F Xylopia piratae from Ivory Coast G Xylopia odoratissima from Zambia H Xylopia arenaria from Tanzania I Xylopia collina from Tanzania.
A, D by Thomas L. P. Couvreur B by Frances Chase C by Ehoarn Bidault E by Philip Birnbaum F by Céline Pirat G by Warren McClelland H and I by D. M. Johnson.

Xylopia globosa D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

Xylopia nilotica D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

 Xylopia calva D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

 Xylopia monticola D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

Xylopia piratae D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray, sp. nov.

Figure 4. Fruits and seeds of representative Xylopia species.
A Xylopia staudtii from Democratic Republic of the Congo B Xylopia aethiopica from Republic of the Congo C Xylopia quintasii from Cameroon D Xylopia tenuipetala from Mozambique E Xylopia collina from Mozambique F Xylopia gracilipes from Mozambique G Xylopia hypolampra from Gabon H Xylopia tanganyikensis from Tanzania.

A by Quentin Luke B by David Harris C, G by Thomas L. P. Couvreur D by Jonathan Timberlake E, F by Mervyn Lötter H by Noriko Itoh. C reproduced with permission of Thomas L. P. Couvreur and of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists D reproduced with the permission of Jonathan Timberlake and of the Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.


 David M. Johnson and Nancy A. Murray. 2018. A Revision of Xylopia L. (Annonaceae): The Species of Tropical Africa.  PhytoKeys. 97: 1-252.  DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.97.20975


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Vietnamophryne gen. nov. • A New Genus and Three New Species of Miniaturized Microhylid Frogs from Indochina (Anura: Microhylidae: Asterophryinae)


 Vietnamophryne occidentalis
Poyarkov, Suwannapoom, Pawangkhanant, Aksornneam, Duong, Korost & Che, 2018

อึ่งถ้ำแคระเชียงราย ||  DOI:  10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.019 

Abstract  
We report on the discovery of a new genus of microhylid subfamily Asterophryinae from northern and eastern Indochina, containing three new speciesVietnamophryne Gen. nov. are secretive miniaturized frogs (SVL<21 mm) with a mostly semi-fossorial lifestyle. To assess phylogenetic relationships, we studied 12S rRNA-16S rRNA mtDNA fragments with a final alignment of 2?591 bp for 53 microhylid species. External morphology characters and osteological characteristics analyzed using micro-CT scanning were used for describing the new genus. Results of phylogenetic analyses assigned the new genus into the mainly Australasian subfamily Asterophryinae as a sister taxon to the genus Siamophryne from southern Indochina. The three specimens collected from Gia Lai Province in central Vietnam, Cao Bang Province in northern Vietnam, and Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand proved to be separate species, different both in morphology and genetics (genetic divergence 3.1%≤P≤5.1%). Our work provides further evidence for the “out of Indo-Eurasia” scenario for Asterophryinae, indicating that the initial cladogenesis and differentiation of this group of frogs occurred in the Indochina Peninsula. To date, each of the three new species of Vietnamophryne Gen. nov. is known only from a single specimen; thus, their distribution, life history, and conservation status require further study.

Keywords: Vietnamophryne Gen. nov., Vietnamophryne inexpectata sp. nov., Vietnamophryne orlovi sp. nov., Vietnamophryne occidentalis sp. nov., Siamophryne, Gastrophrynoides, mtDNA, micro-CT scanning, Vietnam, Thailand, Herpetofauna, Amphibia, Biogeography, Taxonomy, Indochina


Figure 2 Bayesian inference dendrogram of Asterophryinae derived from analysis of 2 591-bp long 12S rRNA – 16S rRNA mtDNA gene fragments Voucher specimen IDs and GenBank accession numbers are given in Table 1. Sequence of Rhacophorus schlegelii was used as an outgroup. Numbers near branches represent posterior probability (PP) or bootstrap support values (BS, 1 000 replicates) for BI/ML inferences, respectively. Photos by N. A. Poyarkov and Y. Lee.

Amphibia Linnaeus, 1758 
Anura Fischer von Waldheim, 1813 
Microhylidae Günther, 1858 
Asterophryinae Günther, 1858 

Figure 5 Three male holotypes of Vietnamophryne Gen. nov. species in life
A: Vietnamophryne inexpectata sp. nov. (ZMMU A-5820); B: Vietnamophryne orlovi sp. nov. (ZMMU A-5821); C: Vietnamophryne occidentalis sp. nov. (ZMMU A-5822).

Vietnamophryne Gen. nov.

Type species: Vietnamophryne inexpectata sp. nov. 
Other included species: Vietnamophryne orlovi sp. nov.; Vietnamophryne occidentalis sp. nov.

Etymology: The generic nomen Vietnamophryne is derived from “Vietnam”, the name of the country where the representatives of this genus were first recorded and where two of the three known species of the genus occur; and Greek noun “phryne” (Φρύνη; feminine gender), meaning “toad” in English; this root is often used in generic names in Asterophryinae frogs. Gender of the new genus is feminine. 

Suggested common names: We suggest the name “Indochinese Dwarf Frogs” as a common name of the new genus in English, “Nhái Lùn” as a common name of the new genus in Vietnamese, and “Eung Tham Khaera, อึ่งถ้ำแคระ” as a common name of the new genus in Thai.


 Vietnamophryne inexpectata sp. nov

Etymology: The specific name “inexpectata” is a Latin adjective in the nominative singular meaning “unexpected”; referring to the surprising discovery of this frog species in 2016, which belongs to the mainly Australasian subfamily Asterophryinae; until recently (Suwannapoom et al., 2018) members of Asterophryinae were not recorded from mainland Southeast Asia or eastern Indochina. 

Suggested common names. We recommend the following common names for the new species: “Tay Nguyen Dwarf Frog” (English) and “Nhái Lùn Tây Nguyên” (Vietnamese). 

Vietnamophryne orlovi sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific name “orlovi” is a Latinized patronymic in genitive singular; the name of the new species is given in honor of Dr. Nikolai L. Orlov (ZISP, St. Petersburg, Russia) for recognition of his outstanding contribution to the knowledge of herpetofauna of Indochina. 

Suggested common names: We recommend the following common names for the new species: “Orlov’s Dwarf Frog” (English) and “Nhái Lùn Ðông Bac” (Vietnamese). 


[upper] Male holotype of Vietnamophryne occidentalis sp. nov. (ZMMU A-5822) in life A: Dorsal view; B: Ventral view. 
[lower] Microhabitat at type locality of V. occidentalis sp. nov. in Doi Tung Mt., Chiang Rai Province, Thailand
 (Photos by P. Pawangkhanant and M. Naidaungchan)

Vietnamophryne occidentalis sp. nov. (ZMMU A-5822).

Vietnamophryne occidentalis sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific name “occidentalis” is a Latin adjective in the nominative singular meaning “western”; referring to the type locality of the new species in western Indochina (Chiang Rai Province of Thailand) – to date, the westernmost area where members of the subfamily Asterophryinae are recorded. 

Suggested common names: We recommend the following common names for the new species: “Chiang Rai Dwarf Frog” (English) and “Eung Tham Khaera Chiang Rai, อึ่งถ้ำแคระเชียงราย” (Thai).


Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr., Chatmongkon Suwannapoom, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Akrachai Aksornneam, Tang Van Duong, Dmitriy V. Korost and Jing Che. 2018. A New Genus and Three New Species of Miniaturized Microhylid Frogs from Indochina (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae: Asterophryinae). Zoological Research.  DOI:  10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.019


[Botany • 2018] the All-spice Genus Pimenta (Myrtaceae) from Hispaniola • One New Species, Pimenta berciliae, Two New Combinations and Taxonomic Notes


Pimenta berciliae

in Vasconcelos, Lucas & Peguero, 2018.

Abstract
One new species and two new combinations are here published as taxonomic updates on the all-spice genus Pimenta (Myrtaceae) for the flora of Hispaniola, Greater Antilles. Pimenta berciliae is a small tree, the type of which was found in the vicinity of the National Botanical Gardens in Santo Domingo. Natural populations of this species are restricted to a small area in Samaná and Cordillera Septentrional, and the preliminary assessment of its conservation status indicates an endangered species. Additionally, Eugenia yumana and Eugenia samanensis are here formally transferred to Pimenta after molecular and morphological analyses demonstrate that they belong to this latter genus. Two new combinations, Pimenta yumana and Pimenta samanensis are here provided. These three additions to the flora of Pimenta in Hispaniola increase the known diversity of the genus on the island and are important to better understand the diversity of the all-spice genus in the region.

Keywords: Caribbean, Eugenia, Myrteae, Eudicots

  

Thais N.C. Vasconcelos, Eve J. Lucas and Brigido Peguero. 2018.  One New Species, Two New Combinations and Taxonomic Notes on the All-spice Genus Pimenta (Myrtaceae) from Hispaniola. Phytotaxa. 348(1); 32–40.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.348.1.4

[Mammalogy • 2018] Into the Light: Atypical Diurnal Foraging Activity of Blyth’s Horseshoe Bat, Rhinolophus lepidus (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) on Tioman Island, Malaysia


Rhinolophus lepidus Blyth, 1844

in Chua & Aziz, 2018

 Abstract  
Diurnal flight and foraging activity in insectivorous bats are atypical behaviours that have been recorded from islands with few avian predators and from locations with extended daylight hours. We present the first known observations of diurnal activity of Rhinolophus lepidus in forests on Tioman Island, Malaysia, recorded using visual surveys and acoustic monitoring. The bats were flying during the day and at night, and feeding buzzes detected suggest that they were actively foraging during the day. This appears to be a regular phenomenon on Tioman Island. The absence of resident diurnal avian predators that hunt below the forest canopy may account for the diurnal activity of R. lepidus in forests there.

Keywords: acoustic monitoring; daylight; foraging behaviour; tropical forest




Figure 2: In situ image and characteristic features of the day-flying bats of Tioman Island, Malaysia.
(A) Day-flying insectivorous bat flying a low circuit in Paya, Tioman Island, Malaysia. (B and C) Frontal and lateral views of diurnal Rhinolophus lepidus displaying characteristic features of the species, i.e. pointed lancelet with concave sides, triangular connecting process and hair with light tips.


Marcus A.H. Chua and Sheema Abdul Aziz. 2018. Into the Light: Atypical Diurnal Foraging Activity of Blyth’s Horseshoe Bat, Rhinolophus lepidus (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) on Tioman Island, Malaysia. Mammalia. DOI: 10.1515/mammalia-2017-0128


[Botany • 2018] Kindia gangan • A New Cliff-dwelling Genus (Pavetteae, Rubiaceae) with Chemically Profiled Colleter Exudate from Mt Gangan, Republic of Guinea


Kindia gangan Cheek

in Cheek, Magassouba, Howes, Doré, Doumbouya, et al​., 2018.
Photos: Martin Cheek.

 Abstract

A new genus Kindia (Pavetteae, Rubiaceae) is described with a single species, Kindia gangan, based on collections made in 2016 during botanical exploration of Mt Gangan, Kindia, Republic of Guinea in West Africa. The Mt Gangan area is known for its many endemic species including the only native non-neotropical Bromeliaceae Pitcairnia feliciana. Kindia is the fourth endemic vascular plant genus to be described from Guinea. Based on chloroplast sequence data, the genus is part of Clade II of tribe Pavetteae. In this clade, it is sister to Leptactina sensu lato (including Coleactina and Dictyandra). K. gangan is distinguished from Leptactina s.l. by the combination of the following characters: its epilithic habit; several-flowered axillary inflorescences; distinct calyx tube as long as the lobes; a infundibular-campanulate corolla tube with narrow proximal section widening abruptly to the broad distal section; presence of a dense hair band near base of the corolla tube; anthers and style deeply included, reaching about mid-height of the corolla tube; anthers lacking connective appendages and with sub-basal insertion; pollen type 1; pollen presenter (style head) winged and glabrous (smooth and usually hairy in Leptactina); orange colleters producing a vivid red exudate, which encircle the hypanthium, and occur inside the calyx and stipules. Kindia is a subshrub that appears restricted to bare, vertical rock faces of sandstone. Fruit dispersal and pollination by bats is postulated. Here, it is assessed as Endangered EN D1 using the 2012 IUCN standard. High resolution LC-MS/MS analysis revealed over 40 triterpenoid compounds in the colleter exudate, including those assigned to the cycloartane class. Triterpenoids are of interest for their diverse chemical structures, varied biological activities, and potential therapeutic value.

Taxonomic Treatment

Kindia Cheek, gen nov.

Type: Kindia gangan Cheek

Diagnosis: differs from Leptactina s.l. in a corolla tube with a slender proximal part and an abruptly much wider, longer distal part (not more or less cylindrical, or gradually widening); a glabrous, winged pollen-presenter (not hairy, non-winged); an epilithic habit (not terrestrial, growing in soil); a conspicuous opaque red colleter exudate (not translucent and colourless or slightly yellow); and type 1 pollen (not type 2) (De Block & Robbrecht, 1998).

Figure 1: Photographs showing the cliff-dwelling habitat and the habit of Kindia gangan at Mt Gangan, Kindia, Guinea. (A) plants scattered on high sandstone cliff (Cheek 18345); (B) plant habit on cliff face (Cheek 18541A); (C) frontal view of flower (Cheek 18541A); (D) side view of inflorescence showing cupular bract (Cheek 18541A); (E) opened fruit showing ripe seeds (Cheek 18345). Photos taken by Martin Cheek.

Figure 1: Photographs showing the cliff-dwelling habitat and the habit of Kindia gangan at Mt Gangan, Kindia, Guinea.
(A) plants scattered on high sandstone cliff (Cheek 18345); (B) plant habit on cliff face (Cheek 18541A).
Photos taken by Martin Cheek.

Figure 1: Photographs showing the cliff-dwelling habitat and the habit of Kindia gangan at Mt Gangan, Kindia, Guinea.
 (C) frontal view of flower (Cheek 18541A); (D) side view of inflorescence showing cupular bract (Cheek 18541A); (E) opened fruit showing ripe seeds (Cheek 18345). Photos taken by Martin Cheek.

Local names and uses: None are known. The local communities in the area when interviewed in November 2017, stated that they had no uses nor names for the plant (D Molmou & T Doré, pers. obs., 2017).

Etymology: The genus is named for the town and prefecture of Kindia, Guinea’s fourth city, and the species is named for Mt Gangan to its north, which holds the only known location for the species. Both names are derived as nouns in apposition.

Distribution République de Guinée, Kindia Prefecture, northeastern boundary of Mt Gangan area, west of Kindia-Telimélé Rd (Fig. 5).

Ecology: 
The area of the Mt Gangan complex in which we found plants of Kindia consists of two parallel ranges of small sandstone table mountains separated by a narrow N–S valley that appears to be a geological fault. Bedding of the sandstone is horizontal. Uneven erosion on some slopes has resulted in the formation of frequent rock ledges, overhangs and caves. In contrast, other flanks of the mountains are sheer cliffs extending 100 m or more high and wide. It is on the cliff areas at 230–540 m a.s.l that K. gangan occurs as the only plant species present, usually as scattered individuals in colonies of (1–3–)7–15 plants, on the bare expanses of rock that are shaded for part of the day due to the orientation of the cliffs or to overhangs or due to a partial screen of trees in front of the rockfaces. Pitcairnia feliciana (Bromeliaceae), in contrast is found in fully exposed sites where there is, due to the rock bedding, a horizontal sill in which to root. These two species can grow within metres of each other if their cliff microhabitats occur in proximity. The rock formations create a variety of other microhabitats, including vertical fissures, caves, shaded, seasonally wet ledges, and are inhabited by sparse small trees, shrubs, subshrubs, perennial and annual herbs, many of which are narrow endemic rock specialists. We speculate that the seed of this species might be bat-dispersed because of the greenish yellow-white colour of the berries (less attractive to birds than fruits which are e.g., red or black) and the position of the plants high on cliff faces, where nothing but winged creatures could reach them, apart from those few plants at the base of the cliffs. However, fruit dispersal is not always effected since we found numerous old dried intact fruits holding live seeds on the plants at the type locality in February 2016. It is possible that the robust, large white flowers are pollinated by a small species of bat since in June and September we saw signs of damage to the inner surface of the corolla inconsistent with visits by small insects. The damage takes the form of brown spots on the inner surface of the corolla tube. Freshly opened flowers do not have these spots, nor do all flowers, only those few which show slight damage. The very broad, short corolla is not consistent with pollination by sphingid moths (which prefer long, slender-tubed flowers), but this cannot be ruled out.


Conclusions: 
Kindia, an endangered subshrub, restricted to bare, vertical rock faces of sandstone is described and placed in Clade II of tribe Pavetteae as sister to Leptactina s.l. based on chloroplast sequence data. The only known species, K. gangan, is distinguished from the species of Leptactina s.l. by a combination of characters: an epilithic habit; several-flowered axillary inflorescences; distinct calyx tube as long as the lobes; a infundibular-campanulate corolla tube with narrow proximal section widening abruptly to the distal section; presence of a dense hair band near base of the corolla tube; anthers and style deeply included, reaching about mid-height of the corolla tube; anthers lacking connective appendages and with sub-basal insertion; pollen type 1; pollen presenter winged and glabrous; orange colleters, which encircle the calyx-hypanthium, occur at base and inside the calyx and stipules and produce vivid red exudate. High resolution LC-MS/MS analysis revealed over 40 triterpenoid compounds in the colleter exudate, including those assigned to the cycloartane class. Triterpenoids are of interest for their diverse chemical structures, varied biological activities, and potential therapeutic value.


Martin Cheek, Sékou Magassouba, Melanie-Jayne R. Howes, Tokpa Doré, Saïdou Doumbouya, Denise Molmou, Aurélie Grall, Charlotte Couch and Isabel Larridon​. 2018. Kindia (Pavetteae, Rubiaceae), A New Cliff-dwelling Genus with Chemically Profiled Colleter Exudate from Mt Gangan, Republic of Guinea.  PeerJ. 6:e4666. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4666


Monday, April 23, 2018

[Paleontology • 2018] Peritresius martini • A New Species of Peritresius Leidy, 1856 (Testudines: Pan-Cheloniidae) from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian) of Alabama, USA, and the Occurrence of the Genus within the Mississippi Embayment of North America


Peritresius martini  Gentry, Parham, Ehret & Ebersole, 2018


Abstract
Late Cretaceous members of Peritresius belong to a diverse clade of marine adapted turtles currently thought to be some of the earliest representatives of the lineage leading to modern hard-shelled sea turtles (Pan-Cheloniidae). Prior studies have suggested that Peritresius was monospecific, with a distribution restricted to Maastrichtian deposits in North America. However, new Peritresius specimens identified from Alabama and Mississippi, USA, show that the genus contains two taxa, Peritresius ornatus, and a new species Peritresius martini sp. nov. These two taxa are characterized by the presence of a generally cordiform carapace with moderately serrated peripherals, well-developed ventral flanges beginning at the third peripheral, squarish umbilical and lateral plastral fontanelles, and a narrow bridge formed by the contact between the hyoplastron and hypoplastron. Peritresius martini sp. nov. can be distinguished by its lack of dermal ornamentation and the presence of a ‘rib-free’ 10th peripheral. These new specimens represent the first occurrences of Peritresius from the Late Cretaceous Mississippi Embayment and extend the temporal range of this genus back to the early Campanian. When tested within a global phylogenetic context, Peritresius is placed on the stem of Cheloniidae (Pan-Cheloniidae) along with Ctenochelys and Allopleuron hofmanni. The heavily vascularized and uniquely sculptured dermal elements of P. ornatus are interpreted here as potentially relating to thermoregulation and therefore may have been one of the key factors contributing to the survival of Peritresius into the Maastrichtian, a period of cooling when other lineages of Campanian marine turtles (e.g., Protostegids, Toxochelys, and Ctenochelys) went extinct.


Systematic Paleontology
Reptilia Laurenti, 1768 
Testudines Batsch, 1788

Cryptodira Cope, 1868 
Chelonioidea Baur, 1893

Pan-Cheloniidae Joyce, Parham, and Gauthier, 2004

Genus Peritresius Leidy, 1856 

Type species: Peritresius ornatus Baird, 1964, figs 1–8, Navesink Formation (upper Maastrichtian), Burlington County, New Jersey, USA.

Amended diagnosis: Cretaceous pan-cheloniid differentiated from Allopleuron hofmanni in having a more broadly rounded carapace, a decreased distance between the axillary and inguinal notches of the plastron, a lack of elongate, finger-like lateral projections of the hypoplastron, and the relatively constant width of peripheral elements 3–11. Differentiated from pan-cheloniids such as Ctenochelys by a greatly expanded contact between the left and right epiplastra, significantly reduced contact between the hyo- and hypoplastron due to the presence of large central and lateral plastral fontanelles, and a highly domed carapace as evidenced by the broad angle (90°-120°) formed by the dorsal and ventral facets of peripherals 3–8. Specimens can be diagnosed as Peritresius by the following combination of features: generally cordiform carapace having peripheral elements with moderate lateral serrations; a single mid-sagittal keel on the dorsal surface of the carapace (ch.116/3) consisting of 7 keeled neurals (ch.126/1) with epineural ossifications situated at the junctures of neurals 3–4, 5–6, and 7-suprapygal 1; reduction in peripheral height moving posteriorly from peripheral 4; ratio between the axillary-inguinal distance of the plastron and the length of hyo-hypoplastral contact >2.5:1 (plastral index is this value * 100); and thyroid fenestra subdivided by pronounced contact between the pubes and ischia (ch.224/1).

Fig 3. Peritresius martini sp. nov., carapace, ALMNH 6191 (holotype) from the upper Campanian of Alabama, USA. (1) carapace in dorsal view and plastron in ventral view; (2) left peripherals 3–6, 9, & 11 in posterior view; (3) 10X magnified view of the dorsal surface of right peripheral 10; (4) hypothetical reconstruction of the complete shell with the preserved elements shown in gray. Abbreviations: p, peripheral; pyg, pygal; spg, suprapygal.





  


Peritresius martini sp. nov.

Etymology: martini: for the discoverer and initial preparator of the holotype specimen, Mr. George Martin of Auburn, Alabama.

Differential diagnosis: As for genus but can be distinguished from Peritresius ornatus by a lack of sculpturing on the dermal surfaces of the carapacial elements, a less pronounced lateral keel of the anterior peripherals, and a ‘rib-free’ 10th peripheral (ch.133/2).

Holotype: ALMNH 6191 (Figs 3–5), includes peripherals 3–6 and 8–11 of the right side, peripherals 8–11 of the left side, pygal, partial 1st suprapygal, right epiplastron, right hyoplastron, both hypoplastra, both xiphiplastra, and an articulated pelvic girdle.

Type locality: Site ALn-8, Dry Cedar Creek, Lowndes County, Alabama, USA.

Type stratum: Lower Ripley Formation, lower Globotruncana aegyptiaca Interval Zone, upper Campanian.

....

Remarks: 
A confluent thyroid fenestra has been suggested as a derived characteristic of crown cheloniids based on the subdivided thyroid fenestra of many early cryptodires and the absence of such a division in fossil chelonioids like Toxochelys latiremis and Lophochelys spp. Zangerl 1953 [2] ([49]). However, the presence of a divided thyroid fenestra in Peritresius spp., A. hofmanni, and certain extant cheloniids such as Caretta caretta may indicate this feature was lost early in pan-chelonioid evolution and later reacquired in select lineages of pan-cheloniids. It is also possible that Late Cretaceous sea turtles, such as Toxochelys and Peritresius, represent distinct radiations of marine adapted turtle potentially due to multiple invasions of marine environments by Testudines during the latter half of the Cretaceous, with the plesiomorphic condition retained in one lineage (Peritresius) and lost in another (Toxochelys). Testing the latter scenario using only morphology based phylogenetics would require an extensive review of the pelvic elements of fossil and extant Testudines in order to ensure that any character set or coding strategy regarding the arrangement of these elements was sufficiently inclusive to provide meaningful resolution between members of clades containing highly convergent lineages (i.e. marine turtles). Such a review is beyond the scope of the present study but is certainly an area of chelonioid evolution in need of further examination.

Peritresius ornatus Leidy, 1856 
Chelone ornata Leidy [1856]: 105, pl. 18, fig 10.
Peribresius [sic, errore] ornatus. Cope in Cook [1869]: 735.
Peritresius ornatus Cope [1869]: 88; 1870: 150.
Prochonias nodosus Cope [1870]: 158, 159.
Taphrosphys nodosus Cope [1870]: 167, 244, pl. 1, fig 16.
Peritresius ornatus = ? Taphrosphys nodosus Hay [1908]: 122, 210.
Peritresias [sic] ornatus Miller [1955]: 908.
Peritresius ornatus Baird [1964]

Fig 9. Time-calibrated, strict consensus phylogeny of select fossil and extant Testudine species.

Conclusions: 
A new species of Cretaceous marine turtle from the southeastern United States (Peritresius martini sp. nov.) is herein described based on material collected from the upper Campanian of Alabama, USA. Peritresius martini sp. nov. differs from Peritresius ornatus in having a ‘rib-free’ 10th peripheral, a less pronounced lateral keel on the anterior peripherals, and an unsculptured carapace and plastron. The heavily vascularized and sculptured dermal elements characteristic of P. ornatus are interpreted here as potentially indicative of a thermoregulatory capability and may have been one of the key factors contributing to the survival of Peritresius into the Maastrichtian, a period of cooling when other lineages of Campanian marine turtles (e.g., Protostegids, Toxochelys, and Ctenochelys) went extinct.


Andrew D. Gentry , James F. Parham, Dana J. Ehret and Jun A. Ebersole. 2018. A New Species of Peritresius Leidy, 1856 (Testudines: Pan-Cheloniidae) from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian) of Alabama, USA, and the Occurrence of the Genus within the Mississippi Embayment of North America.  PLoS ONE. 13(4): e0195651.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195651


   

[Paleontology • 2018] Shirerpeton isajii • The First Record of Albanerpetontid Amphibians (Amphibia: Albanerpetontidae) from East Asia


Shirerpeton isajii
Matsumoto & Evans, 2018

llustration: Takumi Yamamoto

Abstract  
Albanerpetontids are an enigmatic fossil amphibian group known from deposits of Middle Jurassic to Pliocene age. The oldest and youngest records are from Europe, but the group appeared in North America in the late Early Cretaceous and radiated there during the Late Cretaceous. Until now, the Asian record has been limited to fragmentary specimens from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. This led to speculation that albanerpetontids migrated into eastern Asia from North America in the Albian to Cenomanian interval via the Beringian land bridge. However, here we describe albanerpetontid specimens from the Lower Cretaceous Kuwajima Formation of Japan, a record that predates their first known occurrence in North America. One specimen, an association of skull and postcranial bones from a single small individual, permits the diagnosis of a new taxon. High Resolution X-ray Computed Microtomography has revealed previously unrecorded features of albanerpetontid skull morphology in three dimensions, including the presence of a supraoccipital and epipterygoids, neither of which occurs in any known lissamphibian. The placement of this new taxon within the current phylogenetic framework for Albanerpetontidae is complicated by a limited overlap of comparable elements, most notably the non-preservation of the premaxillae in the Japanese taxon. Nonetheless, phylogenetic analysis places the new taxon closer to Albanerpeton than to Anoualerpeton, Celtedens, or Wesserpeton, although Bootstrap support values are weak. The results also question the monophyly of Albanerpeton as currently defined.


Fig 2. Shirerpeton isajii gen. et sp. nov., SBEI 2459, holotype block.
A, digital photograph showing surface view of the specimen after manual preparation; B, rendered view of the surface from μCT data showing identifications of exposed elements.

Abbreviations: Br, braincase elements; Fr, frontal; L.La, left lacrimal; L.Mx, left maxilla; L.N, left nasal; L.Pa, left parietal; LPf, left prefrontal; L.Sm, left septomaxilla; L.Sq, left squamosal; R.La, right lacrimal; R.Pa, right parietal; R.Pf, right prefrontal; R.Sq, right squamosal;?, unidentified element. Scale bars = 5 mm.

Fig 3. Shirerpeton isajii gen. et sp. nov., skull reconstruction.
A-D, Model construction. 3-D models constructed using printouts of the individually segmented elements from the μCT data (mirrored as needed: nasal, parietal, possible supratemporal) and fitted into modelling clay. A, dorsal; B, right lateral; C, left lateral; D, left anterolateral showing the relations of the nasal, lacrimal, and maxilla in the narial margin. The tip of the rostrum is roughly reconstructed in modelling clay. E, outline reconstruction of the skull in dorsal view, based on the 3-D model in A-D. Note that the suspensorial elements are omitted as their positions are uncertain.
Abbreviations: Fr, frontal; J, jugal; La, lacrimal; Mx, maxilla; N, nasal; Pa, parietal; Pf, prefrontal; S.O, supraoccipital;? St, possible supratemporal.

 Systematic palaeontology
Lissamphibia  
Albanerpetontidae  

Shirerpeton gen. nov.

Etymology: From the Japanese Shiro, white, partly for Shiramine, the type locality, but also because the family name, Albanerpetontidae, derives from the original French locality of La Grive-Saint-Alban, with Alba/Alban (Latin) meaning white.

Shirerpeton isajii sp. nov.

Holotype: Shiramine Board of Education Ishikawa Prefecture, SBEI 2459, a small block bearing most of a disarticulated but associated skull with some postcranial elements (Fig 2A). The specimen is housed in the Shiramine Institute of Paleontology, Hakusan Board of Education, Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.

Etymology: Species name honours Dr Shinji Isaji, Chiba Prefecture Museum, Japan, for his longstanding work on the fossils, geology, and palaeoenvironment of the Kuwajima Formation.

....

    

Fig 41. Skull roofing bones in albanerpetontids (not to scale).
A, Shirerpeton isajii; B, Celtedens ibericus; C, Albanerpeton inexpectatum; D, Albanerpeton pannonicum.

Conclusions: 
The recovery of the new Japanese specimens sheds new light on albanerpetontid morphology and biogeography, but raises as many questions as it resolves. There is clearly much more to discover about these enigmatic little tetrapods, in terms of their morphology, relationships, and evolutionary history. Recent discoveries have demonstrated that the group had a more extensive temporal and geographical distribution in Asia than previously understood. Awareness of this among researchers may lead to further discoveries.


Ryoko Matsumoto and Susan E. Evans. 2018.  The First Record of Albanerpetontid Amphibians (Amphibia: Albanerpetontidae) from East Asia. PLoS ONE. 13(1); e0189767. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189767


化石:1.3億年前、新種の両生類 石川で3個体分 - 毎日新聞  mainichi.jp/articles/20180407/ddn/012/040/020000c
Amphibian fossil in Ishikawa recognized as new species: The Asahi Shimbun  asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201804210005.html

[Ichthyology • 2018] Revision of the Australian Wet Tropics Endemic Rainbowfish Genus Cairnsichthys (Atheriniformes: Melanotaeniidae), with Description of A New Species, Cairnsichthys bitaeniatus


Cairnsichthys bitaeniatus 
Hammer, Allen, Martin, Adams, Ebner, Raadik & Unmack, 2018


Abstract

The freshwater melanotaeniid genus Cairnsichthys is endemic to a relatively small area of specialised habitat within the Wet Tropics bioregion of north-eastern Queensland, Australia. It was previously considered as monotypic, including only a single species, C. rhombosomoides (Nichols & Raven, 1928). The recent discovery of an apparently-isolated population in the Daintree rainforest, approximately 120 km north of the known range extent, prompted a detailed investigation of its taxonomic status using a combined lines of evidence approach. We provide compelling evidence from multiple nuclear genetic markers (52 allozyme loci), mitochondrial DNA sequence data (1141 bp cytochrome b) and morphology (examination of a suite of 38 morphometric and meristic characters) that supports north-south splitting of C. rhombosomoides. Accordingly, we describe the northern population as a distinct speciesCairnsichthys bitaeniatus sp. nov., on the basis of 25 specimens, 34.7–65.6 mm SL. The new species differs morphologically primarily by having a more slender and narrow shape, featuring a flatter, straighter predorsal profile and shorter second dorsal fin base; possession of slightly smaller scales, reflected in higher counts of lateral scales and predorsal scales; typically more vertebrae; and colour differences including a more robust, short black stripe across the upper operculum, a pronounced yellow patch on the anteroventral body and usually a more conspicuous second dark stripe on the lower body, with adult males generally having yellowish compared to reddish fins. We also provide a generic diagnosis for Cairnsichthys and a redescription of C. rhombosomoides. Information on the known distribution, habitats and conservation status of species in the genus is summarised, the new species being of particular concern as a narrow range endemic with specific environmental requirements.

Keywords: Pisces, fishes, freshwater biodiversity, conservation, taxonomy, molecular systematics, northern Australia




Michael P. Hammer, Gerald R. Allen, KeithC. Martin, Mark Adams, Brendan C. Ebner, Tarmo A. Raadik and Peter J. Unmack. 2018. Revision of the Australian Wet Tropics Endemic Rainbowfish Genus Cairnsichthys (Atheriniformes: Melanotaeniidae), with Description of A New Species. Zootaxa. 4413(2); 271–294. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4413.2.3