Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Discoveries of the week #24

Garra jordanica, new species, is described from the northern Dead Sea basin in Jordan and Syria. It is related to G. ghorensis from the southern Dead Sea basin from which it is distinguished by having 8 1 /2 branched dorsal-fin rays; 33-35+2 lateral line scales; 5-7 scales between the pelvic-fin base and the anus; a large round, black blotch on the flank at the middle of the posterior extremity of the caudal peduncle; the pelvic fin not overlapping the anus in individuals larger than 70 mm SL; shorter barbels; and details in the arrangement of tubercles on the head. Garra jordanica also differs from G. ghorensis by a nearest neighbor distance of 4.1 % K2P in its COI barcode region. It had previously been postulated that G. ghorensis from southern Jordan has a close relationship to G. tibanica or to G. rufa. Of the two contradicting hypotheses our results support a closer relationship of G. ghorensis to G. rufa.

This genus belongs to the family Cyprinidae. These sucker-mouthed barbs are often kept in aquaria to keep down algae.  The infamous doctor fish of Kangal (Garra rufa) also belongs in this genus. This species has been integrated as spa treatment, where the fish feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis. However, this treatment is still debated on the grounds of efficacy and validity. The new species is named after the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and for the Jordan River.

Three new species of Tarsonemidae, Daidalotarsonemus oliveirai Rezende, Lofego & Ochoa, sp. n., Excelsotarsonemus caravelis Rezende, Lofego & Ochoa, sp. n. and Excelsotarsonemus tupi Rezende, Lofego & Ochoa, sp. n. are described and illustrated. Measurements for these species are provided, as well as drawings, phase contrast (PC), differential interference contrast (DIC) and low temperature scanning electron microscopy (LT-SEM) micrographs. Some characters, which have not been used or clearly understood, are described herein. Biological, ecological and agricultural aspects about the role of these species in the rainforest and its surrounding environment are briefly discussed.
Daidalotarsonemus oliveira

Three new species of a group called thread-footed mites or white mites. One species was named after Dr. Anibal Ramadan Oliveira a mite researcher. The second species was found at the place where the first Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil, at the end of 15th century. On their trip, they used caravels, which had characteristic big sails. The name caravelis was used in reference to several dorsal setae of this mite species which are held in the upright position resembling those sails. The third species was named in honor of a Tupi people, one of the most important native indigenous tribes in Brazil which used to live the coastal region where this mite species was found.
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The Neotropical genus Cephaloleia Chevrolat (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) includes 214 species distributed from the south of Mexico to Argentina. Cephaloleia beetles feed mostly on plants from the order Zingiberales. The interactions between Cephaloleia beetles and their Zingiberales host plants is proposed as one of the oldest and most conservative associations. Here we describe a new species of Cephaloleia (C. kuprewiczae sp. n.) that feeds on two species of bromeliads (Pitcairnia arcuata and P. brittoniana, Bromeliaceae: Pitcairnioideae). Cephaloleia kuprewiczae was previously described as Cephaloleia histrionica. This study includes evidence from DNA barcodes (COI), larval and adult morphology and insect diets that separates C. kuprewiczae from C. histrionica as a new species.

A new species of beetle that likes to fee on bromelia. It was found in a montane forest in Costa Rica. The new find was named after Erin K. Kuprewicz, who discovered it and its interaction with Pitcairnia (Bromeliaceae) host plants. 

As a result of an expedition to Ecuador in 2014, a new species of mite harvestman was discovered. This new species belonging to the genus Metagovea Rosas Costa, 1950 – Metagovea ligiae sp. n. – is described, based on male and female specimens from Napo Province, Ecuador. This is the fourth species described for the genus and the second from Ecuador. A simple terminology is proposed for the microtrichiae of the spermatopositor and genital characters in the family are discussed. The genus Brasiliogovea Martens, 1969 is consistently misspelled in the literature as Brasilogovea. The description of Metagovea ligiae offered opportunity to discuss some aspects of systematics of the family.

A new species of mite harvestmen which are considerable smaller (adults ranging from 1 to 6mm) than the more familiar "daddy long-legs" harvestmen. The new species was named after a friend and fellow arachnologist of the authors. They want to honor  Ligia Benavides for her work on Neotropical Neogoveidae.
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Metaeuchromius glacialis Li, sp. n. is described from the Tibetan glacier area of China. The new species is similar to M. circe Bleszynski by the distal projection of costa exceeding the apex of valva, and the phallus with strong spine-like cornuti in the male genitalia. Images of male adult, tympanal and scent organs as well as genitalia of the new species are provided.

A new grass moth species from rather high altitudes. Fittingly the species was named glacialis in reference to the environment it was found in.
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Rhododendron bailiense

Rhododendron Linnaeus (1753: 392) is one of the largest genera in the family of Ericaceae, which is subject to much ongoing taxonomic debate. About 1,025 species are recognized; these are distributed from the northern temperatezone, throughout tropical Southeast Asia, to northeastern Australia (Chamberlain et al. 1996). In China, there are 571 species classified in 6 subgenera, of which 405 species are endemic (Fang et al. 2005). Apart from Xinjiang and Ningxia, Rhododendrons have been documented in all other provinces (Ma et al. 2014; Wu et al. 2005). The Baili Rhododendron Nature Reserve is located in a highland region in NW Guizhou that extends over an area of approx. 130 km2, and is characterized by the dominance of Rhododendrons. Previous field investigations regarding Rhododendrons had reported about 35 species belonging to six subgenera, six sections and seven subsections, respectively (Chen et al., 2010). However, this conclusion remains unclear, as some of newly described species were actually hybrids between sympatrically dominant species there (e.g. Rhododendron delevayi, R. irroratum and R. decorum). In 2013, a joint project was launched via the staff from the Baili Rhododendron Nature Reserve, involving plant taxonomists from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Kunming Institute of Botany from Chinese Academy of Sciences, to clarify the Rhododendrons in that area. During field work on Baili Rhododendron Nature Reserve, a Rhododendron species with distinct leaves was brought to our attention and collected for further study. After careful examination of specimens and relevant literature, its status as a distinct new species was confirmed. This species shows strong affinities with R. auriculatum and R. chihsinianum, two species that have been traditionally placed in Subsection Auriculata in Subgenus Hymenanthes. This subsection is now considered to be synonymous with Subsection Fortunea.

The name of the new species refers to the site (Baili Rhododendron Nature Reserve) where it was first discovered and collected.
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h/t Matthias Geiger

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