Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Discoveries of the week #22

Brazilian cave diversity, especially of invertebrates, is poorly known. The Bodoquena Plateau, which is located in the Cerrado Biome in central Brazil, has approximately 200 recorded caves with a rich system of subterranean water resources and high troglobitic diversity. Herein we describe a new troglobitic species of Girardia that represents the first obligate cave-dwelling species of the suborder Continenticola in South America. Specimens of the new species, which occur in a limestone cave in the Bodoquena Plateau, in the Cerrado biome, are unpigmented and eyeless. Species recognition in the genus Girardia is difficult, due to their great morphological resemblance. However, the new species can be easily recognized by a unique feature in its copulatory apparatus, namely a large, branched bulbar cavity with multiple diverticula.

This is a new species of free-living freshwater flatworms. The species name refers to a number of excrescences in a cavity of the male genitalia.
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A small bodied, free-living marine nematode, Rhynchonema dighaensis sp. nov., is described from the intertidal sand of the east coast of India. It is characterized by having a small buccal cavity, longer left spicule and symmetrical dorsal gubernaculum apophysis. Other species of the genus are discussed with their type locality. A modified key has been prepared for species of Rhynchonema with an illustrated guide. Species of Rhynchonema primarily differ from each other by the shape and size of the spicules, shape of the gubernaculum and dorsal apophysis, size of the buccal cavity and position of the amphid.

A new free-living nematod species named after the type locality Digha in West Bengal, India.
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Platypalpus graecoides sp. n. (Italy), P. pyreneensis sp. n. (Andorra), and P. silvahumidus sp. n. (Czech Republic) are described. All three species are illustrated and keyed. Platypalpus hallensis Grootaert & Stark, 1997 is first reported from France and Spain.

These are three new member of a huge genus (~500 species) in the family of dance flies. One species was named after its similarity with another species (Platypalpus graecus), another after the location the type was found (Pyrenees). The last species name depicts the typical biotope of this species (silva = forest, humidus = damp).
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The taxonomic treatment of Begoniaceae for the state of Bahia, Brazil, led to the recognition of three new species of Begonia with narrow distributions, which are described and illustrated here: B. delicata Gregório & J.A.S. Costa, sp. nov. is a herb restricted to the region of the Recôncavo; B. elianeae Gregório & J.A.S. Costa, sp. nov. is a shrub endemic to the Atlantic forest of the southern part of the state; and B. paganuccii Gregório & J.A.S. Costa, sp. nov. is a subshrub known only from the type material, collected in the Piedmont of Paraguaçu. Notes on morphology, comparisons with morphologically similar species, etymology, geographic distribution, habitat and phenological data for each species are also presented. Furthermore, keys are provided as an aid to separating the new species from congeneric species that occur in their surroundings. Due to the sparse knowledge of the new species, there is as yet insufficient data to accurately assess their conservation status.

Three new members for one of the larger angiosperm genera. Begonia comprises currently about 1500 species and quite a few are known as ornamental plants. All three new species are from Brazil. One name refers to the fragility and delicacy of the plant. The second one was named  in honour of Dr. Eliane de Lima Jacques, a botanist who has contributed extensively to the knowledge of  Begonia in Brazil. The third species was named in honour of Dr. Luciano Paganucci de Queiroz, expert on the flora of Bahiaand collector of the type material.
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Four new species of “non-spiny” Solanum from South America are described. Solanum longifilamentum Särkinen & P.Gonzáles, sp. nov. (Morelloid clade) is widespread from Ecuador to Bolivia and is most similar to S. macrotonum Dunal from Central and northern South America. Solanum antisuyo Särkinen & S.Knapp, sp. nov. (Morelloid clade) is found on the eastern Andean slopes in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia and is most similar to the widespread lower elevation species S. polytrichostylum Bitter. Solanum arenicola Särkinen & P.Gonzáles, sp. nov. (Morelloid clade) is found in low elevation habitats on the eastern Andean slopes and in Amazonia of Peru and Bolivia and is most similar to the higher elevation species S. aloysiifolium Dunal of Bolivia and Argentina. Solanum mariae Särkinen & S.Knapp, sp. nov. (Potato clade) is endemic to Cajamarca Department in Peru, and is most similar to the widespread S. caripense Dunal. Complete descriptions, distributions and preliminary conservation assessments of all new species are given.

Another large genus in the plant world with the centre of diversity in South America. Therefore, it comes to no surprise that these four new species are from South America as well. The first species is named after is unusual long filaments. Number two's name refers to the Quechua word Antisuyo, for the eastern region of the Inca territory where the species is most abundant. The third is named for its habitat preference as as it prefers growing on sand (cola = “live on”, and arena = “sand”). The last species is named after biologist Maria Baden who collected the first specimen.
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A new nemacheilid loach species, Triplophysa qilianensis, is described from Heihe River in Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai, China. It can be distinguished from all other species of Triplophysa by the following combination of characters: body long and compressed; skin smooth, scaleless; head short (20.1–23.1% of stand length); head convex from the position of posterior nostrils; posterior chamber of air bladder completely degenerated; intestine short, bending in zigzag patter posterior to stomach; unbranched rays of pelvic fin ii; caudal fin forked, upper lobe and lower lobe equal in length; and pointed fin tips. A key to the known species of Triplophysa from the Heihe River is provided.

Every week a new fish species it seems. Quite interesting to witness the rate of discovery in a vertebrate group other than frogs and toads. This new loach was named after the type locality, Pinyin Qilian in China.
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