Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Discoveries of the week #29

A new soft scale (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Coccidae) species, Pulvinaria caballeroramosae Tanaka & Kondo, sp. n., is described from specimens collected on twigs of Ficus soatensis Dugand (Moraceae) in Bogota, Colombia. The new species resembles P. drymiswinteri Kondo & Gullan, described from Chile on Drimys winteri J.R. Forst. & G. Forst. (Winteraceae), but differs in the distribution of preopercular pores on the dorsum, the presence of dorsal tubular ducts, dorsal microducts, and reticulation on the anal plates; and in its feeding habits, i.e., P. caballeroramosae feeds on the twigs whereas P. drymiswinteri feeds on the leaves of its host. A key to the Colombian species of Pulvinaria Targioni Tozzetti is provided.

This new species of scale insect is named after Dr. Andrea Amalia Ramos Portilla and Mr. Alejandro Caballero who originally discovered it on the streets of Bogota, Colombia.
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Three new species of Epicephala Meyrick, 1880 are described based on specimens reared from fruits of Phyllanthus microcarpus (Benth.): Epicephala microcarpa sp. n. and E. laeviclada sp. n. from Guangxi and Hainan, and Epicephala tertiaria sp. n. from Guangdong and Guangxi. Photographs of adults and illustrations of genital structures are provided.

The first of these new lepidoptera species is named after its host plant (Phyllanthus microcarpus), the second was named for the same relationship but this time the species name is a combination of the Latin words laevis for smooth and cladus for branch referring to some host plant features. The third species was also found on the same host species and since it was the third discovered its species name is derived from the Latin word tertiarius which means the third.
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90 species of Euplectrus are treated: 55 newly described, all from Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), and 35 previously described species, of which 20 occur in ACG. Three of the previously described species (E. brasiliensis Ashmead, E. hircinus (Say), E. ronnai (Brèthes)) have unknown status, owing to missing or severely damaged type material. The new species, all authored by C. Hansson, are: Euplectrus alejandrovalerioi, E. alexsmithi, E. alvarowillei, E. andybennetti, E. andydeansi, E. annettewalkerae, E. billbrowni, E. bobwhartoni, E. carlosarmientoi, E. carlrettenmeyeri, E. charlesmicheneri, E. charlesporteri, E. chrisdarlingi, E. chrisgrinteri, E. corriemoreauae, E. daveroubiki, E. davesmithi, E. davidwahli, E. dianariasae, E. donquickei, E. eowilsoni, E. garygibsoni, E. gavinbroadi, E. gerarddelvarei, E. henrytownesi, E. howelldalyi, E. hugokonsi, E. iangauldi, E. jacklonginoi, E. jesusugaldei, E. jimwhitfieldi, E. jjrodriguezae, E. johnheratyi, E. johnlasallei, E. johnnoyesi, E. josefernandezi, E. lubomirmasneri, E. markshawi, E. mikegatesi, E. mikeschauffi, E. mikesharkeyi, E. ninazitaniae, E. pammitchellae, E. paulhansoni, E. paulheberti, E. paulhurdi, E. philwardi, E. robbinthorpi, E. ronaldzunigai, E. roysnellingi, E. scottshawi, E. sondrawardae, E. sydneycameronae, E. victoriapookae, E. wonyoungchoi. The species are described or redescribed, and thoroughly and uniformly illustrated, and included in two identification keys, one for females and one for males. Lectotypes are designated for eight species: Euplectrus catocalae Howard (♂), E. junctus Gahan (♀), E. leucotrophis Howard (♂), E. marginatus Ashmead (♀), E. pachyscaphus Girault (♀), E. platyhypenae Howard (♂), E. semimarginatus Girault (♀), Heteroscapus ronnai Brèthes (♂). One synonym is established: Euplectrus walteri Schauff is a junior synonym of E. testaceipes (Cameron). Brief image notes and host records are provided on the natural history of the wasps as well as the details of their morphology. Hosts are known for 74 Euplectrus species.

A huge number of new species for an interesting genus within the hymenoptera. Larvae of these species are living as ectoparasitoids on caterpillars. This big step forward in the taxonomy of the group is the result of the tremendous DNA barcoding efforts in Costa Rica driven by the tireless Dan Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs. I am not commenting on the species names because there are so many of them but you might find some familiar sounding names among them.

Cyanea konahuanuiensis
Cyanea konahuanuiensis Sporck-Koehler, M. Waite, A.M. Williams, sp. nov., a recently documented, narrowly endemic species from the Hawaiian Island of O‘ahu, is described and illustrated with photographs from the field. The closest likely relatives to the species, current conservation needs, and management future are discussed. It is currently known from 20 mature plants from two subpopulations and is restricted to a drainage below the Kōnāhua-nui summit (K1), the highest summit of the Ko‘olau Mountains, located on Windward O‘ahu. It differs from all other Cyanea species by its combination of densely pubescent leaves, petioles, and flowers; sparsely pubescent to glabrous stems, long calyx lobes, and staminal column being adnate to the corolla.
The species name pays homage to the twin-peaked Kōnāhua-nui Pu‘u, the tallest peaks in the Ko‘olau Mountain range on east O‘ahu, Hawaii. After seeking counsel with Hawaiian cultural practitioners the authors propose to give the species the Hawaiian name Hāhā mili‘ohu, meaning “The Cyanea that is caressed by the mist”.
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Syzygium pyneei
A new species of Syzygium Gaertn. (Myrtaceae), S. pyneei Byng, V. Florens & Baider, is described from Mondrain Reserve on the island of Mauritius. This species is endemic to the island and differs from any other species by its combination of cauliflory, relatively large flowers, light green to cream hypanthium, light pink stamens, short thick petioles, coriaceous leaves and round, cuneate or sub-cordate to cordate leaf bases. Syzygium pyneei Byng, V. Florens & Baider is known from only two individuals from the type locality and merits the conservation status of Critically Endangered (CR C2a(i,ii); D).

This new species of a large genus within the Myrtaceae is named after a prominent botanist from the island of Mauritius, Kersley Pynee. He also co-collected the type specimens.
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Chionolaena barclayae
A new species and a new record for Chionolaena are recorded from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia adding to the two species of the genus already known from that mountain complex.

And the third new plant species for this week. This one is known only from a single collection dating back to 1959. The species name honors one of the collectors Harriet G Barclay.
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