Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Discoveries of the week

Megaselia shadeae
A new Megaselia species, M. shadeae, with a large, central, pigmented and bubble-like wing spot and a greatly enlarged radial wing vein fork, is described from Zurquí de Moravia, Costa Rica. As part of the Zurquí All Diptera Biodiversity Inventory (ZADBI) project, it represents the first of an incredible number of new phorid species to be described from this one Costa Rican cloud forest site. A new, streamlined method of description for species of this enormous genus of phorid flies is presented.

The genus Megaselia is extremely rich in species (>2000) and has been characterized as an "open-ended taxon" due to its diversity and the complexity in describing new species. This single genus contains about half of the species of the Phoridae family, a majority of which are hitherto undescribed. This study not only provides a species description but also proposes an innovative method for streamlining Megaselia species descriptions to save hours of literature reviews and comparisons. The new species was named for the first author's niece.
no DNA Barcodes available

Seven new species of the genus Dongodytes
Credit: Mingyi Tian; CC-BY 4.0

Recent cave biodiversity surveys carried out in Du’an County and its adjacent areas of northwestern Guangxi, China, have revealed some exciting scientific findings. In a very limited area seven new species of the cavernicolous trechine genus Dongodytes Deuve, 1993 were found and are described: Dongodytes (s. str.) elongatus sp. n., D. (s. str.) troglodytes sp. n., D. (s. str.) lani sp. n., D. (Dongodytodes) brevipenis sp. n., D. (Dongodytodes) jinzhuensis sp. n., D. (Dongodytodes) inexpectatus sp. n. and D. (Dongodytodes) yaophilus sp. n. Diagnoses and notes on the genus, subgenera, and two known species in Du’an Karst, Dongodytes (s. str.) baxian Tian, 2011 and D. (Dongodytodes) deharvengi Tian, 2011, are also given. A key to subgenera and all species of Dongodytes is provided. To date, Dongodytes becomes one of the richest in species genera of subterranean carabid trechines in China with 12 species which are arranged into two subgenera. Dongodytes (s. str.) Deuve is composed of seven species, four of which from Du’an County, each of other three from Bama, Fengshan and Tian’e Counties, respectively. All species of the subgenus Dongodytodes Tian, 2011 are recorded from Du’an Karst. By having 10 species (nine Dongodytes and one Libotrechus Uéno, 1998), Du’an Karst holds the richest specific diversity of cavernicolous Trechinae in China. Dongodytes species are distributed in a very limited area of the river Hongshui He drainages in northwestern Guangxi, and the river acts as a natural barrier of Dongodytes dispersal at only a specific level. However, all members of Dongodytodes are recorded from the eastern or northern bank of Hongshui He.

Like most cave dwelling species, Dongodytes cave beetles show specific adaptations, such as the lack of eyes and colour, traits common among cave living organisms. The new species belong to the genus Dongodytes whose members are easily recognizable by their extraordinary slender and very elongated body. Members of this genus are usually very rare in caves, with only five species reported from China.
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Hemibrycon sanjuanensis

Hemibrycon sanjuanensis, new species, is described from the upper San Juan River drainage, Pacific versant, Colombia. It is distinguished from H. boquiae, H. brevispini, H. cairoense, H. colombianus, H. mikrostiktos, H. metae, H. palomae, H. rafaelense and H. tridens by the presence of a circular or oblong humeral spot that is located two scales posterior to the opercle (vs. 3–4 scales in H. palomae, H. rafaelense, H. brevispini and H. cairoense, and 0–1 scales, in H. metae and H. boquiae). It further differs from H. colombianus in having a round or oblong humeral spot (vs. rectangular). It differs from H. beni, H. dariensis, H. divisorensis, H. helleri, H. huambonicus, H. inambari, H. jabonero, H. jelskii, H. mikrostiktos, H. polyodon, H. quindos, H. raqueliae, H. santamartae, H. surinamensis, H. taeniurus, H. tridens, and H. yacopiae in having melanophores on the posterior margins of the scales along the sides of body (vs. lacking melanophores on margins of scales along entire length of the sides of body). The new species differs from all congeners mentioned above in having, among other features, six teeth in the outer premaxillary row arranged in a straight line (vs. five or fewer teeth not arranged in straight line except H. cairoense with two to six teeth in the outer premaxillary row).

The genus Hemibrycon has its greatest diversity in Andean streams and high mountain habitats with a few exception such as the new species. This new representative is named for the San Juan River Basin, a Pacific drainage, where the type series was collected.
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Ochetostethomorpha secunda

Ochetostethomorpha secunda sp. nov. from Namibia, the second species of the South African endemic genus is described, illustrated, and compared with O. nollothensis Schumacher, 1913. The new species is the third of the subfamily Sehirinae known from Namibia. Moreover, a DNA barcode sequence was generated for this new species (827 bp of cytochrome oxidase I) and was deposited in GenBank.

It is always nice to find a new description that is associated with a DNA Barcode. Unfortunately, both GenBank numbers provided lead nowhere. They are simply not released yet. Don't get me wrong. That's not a GenBank's fault. They need to be informed by the authors that the paper is available and therefore the sequences need to be released as well. I know that GenBank staff is screening papers as well and will make data available if they find published work associated with their accession numbers, however, that is tedious work and frankly, it shouldn't be them doing that. We need to make this a habit. Once our manuscripts are accepted we should inform GenBank about the release (and release BOLD data) or even better: we release once sequences are uploaded. I personally don't see any reasons to hold back sequence data. In this case I have notified GenBank of the publication. They are pretty quick in sequence release - but again, it is neither their nor my job to find out about releases. Maybe journals could help with that, either by following up on this or changing their rules accordingly.
This little hemipteran was named secunda to indicate that it is the second species of the genus.
DNA Barcode data theoretically available.

Corynoneura ecphora

A new species of Corynoneura Winnertz (1846) from Oriental China, C. ecphora sp. n. is described and illustrated as male. A distribution map of adult males in Oriental China is given. A key to known males of Oriental China is provided.

A new member of the family chironomidae. This taxon is extremely large and some people suggest that it might contain 10000 or more species. Having seen a large number of unnamed BINs over the last years of School Malaise Trap Program I don't doubt that at all. Non-biting midges are notoriously difficult to identify but at the same time very important indicator species for water quality.
The species name is derived from the Latin word ecphora, a projection in buildings, referring to sternapodeme (ingrowths from the exoskeleton of most arthropods that support the internal organs).
no DNA Barcodes available

Lophophysema eversa
We describe Lophophysema eversa sp. nov. (Porifera, Hexactinellida, Hyalonematidae) based on a single specimen collected from the South China Sea at a depth of 3683 m. The new species can be distinguished from the three known congeners by its unusual body shape with basalia on the side of the body, the lack of macramphidiscs, the combination of the pinular pentactins having spiny tangential rays and the pinular ray of atrialia longer than dermalia and canalaria. This is the first record of the genus Lophophysema from the South China Sea. We also use a partial sequence of the 16S rRNA gene to confirm the family assignment of the new specimen.

The species name for this sponge is derived from the Latin word "eversus", meaning everted, referring to the notably everted surface of the central cavity. Molecular data (16S) are available but no DNA Barcodes.
no DNA Barcodes available

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