Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Discoveries of the week

A new species of marine interstitial wormshrimp, Ingolfiella maldivensis, is described from coral sand on the inner and outer reef off Magoodhoo island, Faafu atoll, Maldives. Six females were found and compared to other species from the Maldives and those bordering the Indian Ocean and beyond. Morphological resemblance ties it to a species from the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Both species are found in shallow sublittoral interstitial spaces.

Obviously this new species was named after the group of islands where it was found, in the Republic of the Maldives. Wormshrimps are actually amphipods that live exclusively subterranean in most forms of aquatic habitats.
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Tomopaguropsis ahkinpechensis

A new hermit crab species of the family Paguridae, Tomopaguropsis ahkinpechensis sp. n., is described from deep waters (780–827 m) of the Gulf of Mexico. This is the second species of Tomopaguropsis known from the western Atlantic, and the fifth worldwide. The new species is morphologically most similar to a species from Indonesia, T. crinita McLaughlin, 1997, the two having ocular peduncles that diminish in width distally, reduced corneas, dense cheliped setation, and males lacking paired pleopods 1. The calcified figs on the branchiostegite and anterodorsally on the posterior carapace, and the calcified first pleonal somite that is not fused to the last thoracic somite, are unusual paguroid characters. A discussion of the affinities and characters that define this new species is included, along with a key to all five species of Tomopaguropsis.

The species name is derived from the Mayan “Ah-Kin-Pech” (meaning “place of snakes and ticks”), a name given to a settlement where nowadays the Mexican city Campeche,, can be found. The new species was found near Campeche Bank.
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Cynegetis chinensis
The first species of the genus Cynegetis Chevrolat is recorded from China. Cynegetis chinensis Wang & Ren, sp. n. is described from the Ningxia Province in North China. A key to the known species of Cynegetis is given. Diagnostic similarities and differences between Cynegetis and Subcoccinella Agassiz & Erichson are discussed and illustrated.

Cynegetis is a small genus, containing only two species occuring in the Palaearctic region. The group was not known to occur in China until some comprehensive investigations of Chinese ladybird collections revealed this new species, hence the name 'chinensis'.
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Dorstenia luamensis
A new species of Dorstenia L. (Moraceae), D. luamensis M.E.Leal, is described from the Luama Wildlife Reserve, west of Lake Tanganyika and north of the town of Kalemie in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This species is endemic to the region and differs from any of the other species by its fernlike lithophytic habit and lack of latex. A description and illustration of this species is presented here. Dorstenia luamensis M.E.Leal inhabits moist and shady vertical rock faces close to small waterfalls in the forest; the species is distributed in small populations within the type locality, and merits the conservation status of endangered (EN).

A new member to the large fig family. The genus Dorstenia is the second largest in the family with 105 species. It is unique among all Moraceae due to extremely diverse growth habits and life forms. The species name of the 106th member of the genus refers the Luama Wildlife Reserve where the new species was collected.
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Pilea matthewii, Pilea miguelii, Pilea nicholasii, Pilea nidiae
Pilea matthewii

Four new species of Pilea (Urticaceae) from the Andes of Venezuela are described and illustrated: Pilea matthewii sp. nov., P. miguelii sp. nov., P. nicholasii sp. nov., and P. nidiae sp. nov. The affinities of these species and their positions within the informal classifications of Pilea proposed by Weddell and Killip are discussed. Notes on other species of Pilea found in Venezuela also are presented.

The genus Pilea is another large genus with over 700 species. It belongs to the nettle family. Member species are found worldwide in tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas although the group is absent from Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
All four species are named in honor of researchers that participated at various field expeditions in which the new species were collected.
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Tynanthus densiflorus, Tynanthus espiritosantensis
Tynanthus densiflorus
Tynanthus is a genus of lianas that is broadly distributed through the Neotropics. Two new species of Tynanthus from Brazil are here described and illustrated: T. densiflorus, from Amazonas, and T. espiritosantensis, from Espírito Santo. T. densiflorus is recognized by the conspicuous interpetiolar glandular fields, a feature rarely found in Tynanthus, and the dense thyrses. Tynanthus espiritosantensis, on the other hand, is recognized by the bromeliad-like prophylls of the axillary buds and the lax thyrses. Information on the distribution, conservation status and morphologically similar species are provided.

Two new species of lianas. The term liana does not represent a taxonomic grouping, but is rather a description of the way the plant grows, much like the terms tree or shrub. Lianas may be found in many different plant families, here the family Bignoniaceae. The names refer to the density of flowers and the type locality respectively.
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