Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Discoveries of the week

And another weekly dose of new discoveries. Readers have started to send me copies of their publications including new descriptions. I am happy to post them here in this weekly column as well.

Turcinoemacheilus bahaii
Turcinoemacheilus minimus
Three new species of Turcinoemacheilus are described from Iran and Turkey raising the number of species in this genus to six, five of them in the Middle East. Turcinoemacheilus bahaii, new species, from the Zayandeh River in Iran is distinguished by having the anus situated in a posterior position and a dark brown blotch on each side of the anal-fin base in both sexes. Turcinoemacheilus minimus, new species, from the upper Euphrates drainage in Turkey is distinguished by having the anus situated in an anterior position, a slender and long caudal peduncle and a very small maximum size (up to 38 mm SL). Turcinoemacheilus saadii, new species, from the Karoun drainage in Iran is distinguished by having the anus situated in an anterior position and an unique colour pattern of large dark brown saddles. In the Middle East, all Turcinoemacheilus species are well distinguished by molecular characters and show between 5.3 and 8.5 % K2P sequence divergence in their COI barcode region.
Turcinoemacheilus saadii

Not one but three new species of dwarf loaches were described recently as a result of an German-Iranian-Turkish collaboration. All descriptions are the result of combined analysis of morphological and molecular data.


Valencia robertae
Valencia robertae, new species, from the lower Pinios in northern Peloponnese and Mornos Rivers in southern mainland of Greece is distinguished from V. letourneuxi and V. hispanica by having short lateral bars or vertically elongated small blotches along the midlateral body and an almost triangular anal fin in females, prominent lateral bars between the axial blotch and the caudal-fin base and a long anal fin reaching almost or to the first caudal-fin rays in males larger than 27 mm SL. It is also distinguished by 32 fixed, diagnostic nucleotide substitutions in the mtDNA COI barcode region.

I have to admit that killifish belong to the list of my favorite freshwater fish. Aside from my professional interest in fishes I am a freshwater aquarium enthusiast. This passion grew during my childhood when my dad and I filled the entire house with a number of tanks in which we kept and bred a plethora of freshwater fishes. We never kept killifish for some reason although they are beautiful little creatures, and nowadays so many of them are endangered that I would not dare to keep some in a tank at my home.

The new species is named for Roberta Barbieri, who studied the Greek Valencia species for many years and is engaged in the conservation of the two species.
DNA Barcodes available (there are also some sequences on BOLD but unfortunately not publicly available)


Hylarana centropeninsularis
We describe a new species of ranid frog from the Hylarana signata complex in Peninsular Malaysia based on morphological and genetic differentiation. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) adult males reaching 37.4–37.6 mm snout–vent length; (2) nuptial pads absent in males; (3) humeral glands in males large; (4) webbing on toes reduced, one phalanx free of web on postaxial side of Toe II and pre-axial side of Toe V; (5) dorsolateral stripe straight, continuous, red to orange in color; (6) middorsal region black, unmarked; (7) flanks black, coloration unstratified; (8) flanks, dorsal surfaces of limbs, and upper lip with large, round, yellow spots; (9) venter grayish-brown, with light spots on throat and light reticulations on ventrum. The new species is phenotypically most similar to Hylarana siberu but differs by having larger, more-dense, and more-rounded spots on the flanks and dorsal side of limbs, larger spots along the entire upper lip, and having light, distinct spots on the throat and light reticulations on the ventrum. We use mitochondrial data to estimate genealogical relationships and genetic divergences between the new species, H. siberu, a related and undescribed Sumatran population, and other members of the H. signata complex. These data unequivocally support the specific recognition of the new taxon and provide insights into its evolutionary relationships.

The name was chose to reflect that the species is currently only known from the Central Peninsular Malaysia. Older records show that a comparable frog had been collected in the area 10 years earlier, but it was written off then as a species from an Indonesian island about 450 miles to the west. 
no DNA Barcode (there should be molecular data for this study but I couldn't find anything in GenBank or BOLD)


Metaphire tengjhihensis
The Metaphire formosae species group is a member of the Pheretima complex of the family Megascolecidae. It is composed of 12 nominal taxa, Metaphire bununa Tsai et al., 2000, Metaphire feijani Chang & Chen, 2004, Metaphire formosae (Michaelsen, 1922), Metaphire glareosa Tsai et al., 2000, Metaphire nanaoensis Chang & Chen, 2005, Metaphire paiwanna paiwanna Tsai et al., 2000, Metaphire paiwanna hengchunensis (James et al., 2005), Metaphire paiwanna liliumfordi Tsai et al., 2000, Metaphire tahanmonta Chang & Chen, 2005, Metaphire taiwanensis Tsai et al., 2004, Metaphire trutina Tsai et al., 2003, and Metaphire yuhsi (Tsai, 1964). In this study, we describe a new species, Metaphire tengjhihensis sp. nov., and two new subspecies, Metaphire nanaoensis truku ssp. nov. and Metaphire taiwanensis tsaii ssp. nov., belonging to this species group. DNA barcodes (partial sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, COI) from type specimens of M. feijani, M. tengjhihensis sp. nov., M. nanaoensis truku ssp. nov., M. tahanmonta and M. taiwanensis tsaii ssp. nov. have been deposited in GenBank in previous studies and are explicitly linked to the type specimens for the first time, enabling unambiguous identification using both morphology and DNA barcodes. Finally, we comment on the systematics of the M. formosae species group and suggest an integrative taxonomic approach that combines morphology and DNA barcodes for future descriptions of new species of Amynthas and Metaphire.

This species was named after its type locality Tengjhih, a National Forest Recreation Area in Taiwan.
DNA Barcodes available



During several days of entomological expedition, as part of a thesis on the phylogeny of Phaegopterina, the first author collected in Northwestern Argentina (provinces of Jujuy and Salta) a series of Mazaeras species previously treated as Mazaeras janeira (Schaus, 1892). The second author, after an expedition in the southern Bolivia (departments of Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz), had a series of specimens of the same taxon also identified as M. janeira (Schaus, 1892).  Examination of the male genitalia of the Argentinean specimens showed several differences with the male genitalia of  the lectotype of M. janeira. Molecular analysis with specimens of the two taxa confirmed the discrimination. The new  species is described and a comparison based both on morphological characters and DNA barcodes with closely related  species is provided. The new species can be found in northwestern Argentina (Salta and Jujuy provinces) and southern Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija departments) in Yungas montane forest. 

The name of this species is derived from the meridional Yungas area on the western slopes of the Andes stretching from northern Peru to northwestern Argentina. 
no DNA Barcode (there might be some data on BOLD but they are not publicly available)


Hieracium sinoaestivum
Hieracium sinoaestivum Sennikov sp. nov. is described as new to science and illustrated. This presumably apomictic species is solely known from two old collections made in a single locality in the Shanxi Province of China. It belongs to the hybridogenous group Hieracium sect. Aestiva (Hieracium sect. Prenanthoidea × Hieracium sect. Umbellata) and is most similar to Hieracium veresczaginii from southern Siberia. The new species occurs at low altitudes in the forest belt of L├╝lian Mts. and belongs to taiga forest elements.

Today's newcomer post ends with a new hawkweed species. Its name is derived from Sino, a prefix meaning 'from China', and aestivum, which refers to the sectional placement of the species. Hieracium is a large genus with a pretty messy taxonomy. The International Plant Names Index holds more than 12,000 named taxa, including subspecies and synonyms.
no DNA Barcode




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