Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Discoveries of the week

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi, a globally important hotspot of avian endemism, has been relatively poorly studied ornithologically, to the extent that several new bird species from the region have been described to science only recently, and others have been observed and photographed, but never before collected or named to science. One of these is a new species of Muscicapa flycatcher that has been observed on several occasions since 1997. We collected two specimens in Central Sulawesi in 2012, and based on a combination of morphological, vocal and genetic characters, we describe the new species herein, more than 15 years after the first observations. The new species is superficially similar to the highly migratory, boreal-breeding Gray-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta, which winters in Sulawesi; however, the new species differs strongly from M. griseisticta in several morphological characters, song, and mtDNA. Based on mtDNA, the new species is only distantly related to M. griseisticta, instead being a member of the M. dauurica clade. The new species is evidently widely distributed in lowland and submontane forest throughout Sulawesi. This wide distribution coupled with the species' apparent tolerance of disturbed habitats suggests it is not currently threatened with extinction.

This publication confirms the discovery of a new bird species more than 15 years after the elusive animal was first seen on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The Latin name the team gave the bird pays homage to the late ecologist and ornithologist Navjot Sodhi, who was one of the authors' former mentor and a professor at the National University of Singapore. Several animal species have been named after Sodhi, including a snail, a fish and a new genus and species of crab.
DNA Barcodes available (once released, but I started to share my finds with GenBank on a regular basis)

A new species of paracalanid calanoid copepod Parvocalanus leei sp. n., is described from specimens collected in shallow waters of Western Korea. The new species is closely similar to Parvocalanus arabiensis (Kesarkar & Anil, 2010), P. crassirostris (F. Dahl, 1894), P. latus Andronov, 1972, and P. scotti (Früchtl, 1923) in having two short terminal spines on the distal segment of the fifth leg and a similar rostrum in the female, but can be readily distinguished from its congeners by the body size, relative length of antennules, segmentation of endopod of leg 1, and pattern of ornamentation of spinules on legs 1 to 4 in the female. The taxonomic position of Parvocalanus arabiensis and the validity of the genus Parvocalanus Andronov, 1970 are also discussed.

A new copepod species from Western Korea named after Mrs. Jungah Lee, wife of the senior author, as a token of appreciation for her encouragement and support to him.
no DNA Barcodes

A new fern-feeding aphid species, Micromyzus platycerii, collected in Sakaerat Research Station in Thailand, is described.

Science knows about 66 species of fern-feeding aphids worldwide. Most of them are specialized on ferns and occur in tropical and subtropical regions and their geographical ranges overlap considerably. This new species is named for the host plant from which it was collected: Platycerium coronarium.
no DNA Barcodes

Three new species of the pygostenine genus Doryloxenus Wasmann, viz., D. aenictophilus sp. n. (from Zhejiang), D. tangliangi sp. n. (from Zhejiang), and D. songzhigaoi sp. n. (from Yunnan), are described, illustrated and distinguished from the Asian congeners. An identification key to the Chinese species is given.

Members of this beetle genus are commonly found in a symbiotic relationship with army ants. The name of the first new species is a combination of the generic name of the ant host, and the Greek stem ‘philos’, meaning ‘to be fond of’. The name of the second species is dedicated to Dr. Liang Tang, who found the colony of the associated host ants. Species number three is named after Mr. Zhi-Gao Song, the senior author’s father.
no DNA Barcodes

Hypsugo was regarded as a subgenus of Pipistrellus by many authors, but its generic distinctiveness is now widely accepted. According to recent taxonomic arrangements, nine species are known to occur in Southeast Asia. During the investigation of material recently collected from Lao PDR and Vietnam we identified an additional species and hence describe it here as Hypsugo dolichodon n. sp. It resembles H. pulveratus, but is larger with conspicuously long canines and differs considerably in the DNA barcode gene sequence.

From the Greek words “dolichos” for enlarged and “oodontos” which means tooth the species epithet refers to the long upper canine of the new species which separates it from its South East Asian congeners. The proposed English name for the new species is Long-toothed Pipistrelle.

A new troglobitic species of the amphipod family Artesiidae Holsinger, 1980 is described from a cave in the municipality of Santa Maria da Vitória, in the Brazilian state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil. Spelaeogammarus titan sp. nov. differs from the others in the genus by its body length, rising up to 18.3 mm, the antenna 1 with accessory flagellum 6-articulate, propodus of the first gnathopod 1.8 X longer than basis, the largest in the genus, coxa 5 with posterior lobe slightly concave, inner ramus of pleopods with 10 to 13 setae, outer ramus of uropod 3 with 22 simple setae, and telson with 1 apical plus 3 subapical stout setae in each lobe. With this study, the knowledge of Spelaeogammarus is improved to 5 species, all of them exclusive to caves in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. A comparative table with the diagnostic characters of the species of Spelaeogammarus is provided.

A new species of cave-dwelling amphipods. The species name refers to the  rather large size of this species compared to its congeners.
no DNA Barcodes

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