Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Discoveries of the week #31

The small-range millipedes Tasmaniosoma anubis sp. n., T. interfluminum sp. n. and T. nicolaus sp. n. are described, and the colour of live T. barbatulum Mesibov, 2010 is documented.

One of these tiny new millipedes (Tasmaniosoma anubis) is only known to occur within the city of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. The 1 cm-long species was discovered in a city park by two local naturalists. Its name Anubis is taken from the jackal-headed god of ancient Egypt, and the top of the genitalia of male T. anubis have branches which resemble the snout and ears of a jackal.
no DNA Barcodes

Hallodapomimus antennatus sp. n. (Hemiptera: Heteroptera, Miridae, Phylinae, Hallodapini) is described from a macropterous female found in Eocene Baltic amber. The new species can be recognized readily from the other species of the genus, mainly due to its unusual second antennal segment. A key for the identification of all known fossil Hallodapini is presented.

Don't expect a DNA barcode anytime soon from this new hemipteran species. This is not Jurassic Park. This specimen has been discovered in a piece of amber. Its name refers to the unusual flattened and widened second antennal segment.
no DNA Barcodes

Recent molecular genetic work, combined with morphological comparisons, on Malagasy members of the bat genus Miniopterus (Family Miniopteridae), has uncovered a number of cryptic species. Based on recently collected specimens and associated tissues, we examine patterns of variation in M. aelleni, the holotype of which comes from Ankarana in northernMadagascar. Using molecular genetic (mitochondrial cytochrome b) and morphological characters we describe a new species, M. ambohitrensis sp. nov. In northern Madagascar, M. ambohitrensis and M. aelleni are allopatric, but occur in relatively close geographical contact (approximately 40 km direct line distance) with M. ambohitrensis found at Montagne d’Ambre in montane humid forest and M. aelleni sensu stricto at Ankarana in dry deciduous forest. Morphologically, this new taxon is differentiated from M. aelleni based on pelage coloration, external measurements, craniodental differences, and tragus shape. Comparisons using 725 bp of cytochrome b found a divergence of 1.1% within M. aelleni sensu stricto, 0.8% within M. ambohitrensis, and 3.3% between these two clades. The two sister species do not demonstrate acoustical differences based on recordings made in a flight cage. Miniopterus ambohitrensis is known from four localities in the northern and central portions of Madagascar, all from montane regions and across an elevational range from about 800 to 1600 m; its calculated “Extent of occurrence” is 15,143 km2 . It is possible that this species is at least partially migratory.

The species name is derived from the geographical name of the type locality, which in
Malagasy is Ambohitra. In the Malagasy language, the root word of Ambohitra is vohitra meaning mountain or highlands, also providing an ecological context as the bat occurs at higher elevations. No barcodes unfortunately as the authors decided to sequence cyt b despite the fact that about 800 species of bats already have a proper COI barcode. 
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Macrobrachium indianum new species is described from the Pambar River, Kerala, S. India. The species shares certain characters with M. gurudeve Jayachandran & Raji, 2004, M. bombayense Almelker & Sankolli, 2006 and M. kulkarnii Almelker & Sankolli, 2006, while it differs remarkably from these three species in distinctive diagnostic characters: rostral formula 7–8/3–4 with 1 postorbital teeth, one tooth above orbit; carapace smooth with distal end of rostrum directed downwards; cephalothorax longer than rostrum; in second chelate leg, proximal cutting edge of movable finger with two weak denticles, one weak denticle in immovable finger, carpus longer than merus, merus shorter than propodus and longer than ischium; dactylus the shortest podomere. Five thick and a few thin reddish brown bands of chromatophores are seen on carapace. Pigmentation is found mid and ventro-laterally on abdominal segments, pereiopods have chromatophores at the distal part of podomeres.

A new species pf prawn named after India, the native country of both species and authors.
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The genus Platytenerus Miyatake, 1985 (Coleoptera: Cleridae) is redescribed and classified into the subfamily Neorthopleurinae Opitz, 2009. A phylogenetic tree is supplementally provided for Platytenerus based on twenty morphological and two geographical characters. A new species of the genus, Platytenerus iriomotensis sp. n. is described from Iriomote Island, Okinawa, Japan.

A new species of checkered beetles from Japan. The genus so far had only one representative in Japan. This descritions adds another one to that. The species name is derived from its type locality, Iriomote Island.
no DNA Barcodes

Dysphania geoffreyi is described as a new species, with records in China (Xizang and Yunnan provinces) and Bhutan. It differs from morphologically similar taxa by virtue of the clustered flowers in the inflorescence, indumentum set on the perianth, terminally concave pericarp papillae, and smaller seeds 0.5–0.6 mm in diameter. In total eight native Dysphania species are identified in Himalaya and Tibet, and revised distribution patterns of D. bhutanica, D. himalaica and D. tibetica are presented. The most significant reproductive features of all native Dysphania taxa are summarized. 

A new member of the goosefoot family. The species is named after Dr. Geoffrey Harper a former developmental physiologist at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
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