Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Discoveries of the week #43

Reproduction in arthropods is an interesting area of research where intrasexual and intersexual mechanisms have evolved structures with several functions. The mating plugs usually produced by males are good examples of these structures where the main function is to obstruct the female genitalia against new sperm depositions. In spiders several types of mating plugs have been documented, the most common ones include solidified secretions, parts of the bulb or in some extraordinary cases the mutilation of the entire palpal bulb. Here, we describe the first case of modified setae, which are located on the cymbial dorsal base, used directly as a mating plug for the Order Araneae in the species Maeota setastrobilaris sp. n. In addition the taxonomic description of M. setastrobilaris sp. n. is provided and based on our findings the geographic distribution of this genus is extended to the Northern hemisphere.

A new jumping spider from Mexico.The species name refers to the anatomy of some brittles used as a mating plug,
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Despite the alarming rates of deforestation and forest fragmentation, Madagascar still harbors extraordinary biodiversity. However, in many arthropod groups, such as spiders, this biodiversity remains mostly unexplored and undescribed. The first subsocial Madagascan species of the theridiid spider genus Anelosimus were described in 2005 when six new species were found to coexist in the Périnet forest fragment within Andasibe-Mantadia NP. However, this discovery was based only on a few specimens and the extent of this Madagascan radiation has remained unknown. We here report on a thorough survey of >350 colonies from Périnet, and three pilot surveys into additional Madagascar forests (Ambohitantely, Ranamofana, and Montagne d’Ambre). The morphological, molecular and natural history data from these surveys facilitated a revised taxonomy and phylogenetic hypothesis of Madagascan Anelosimus. This subsocial clade currently comprises six previously known (A. andasibe Agnarsson & Kuntner, 2005, A. may Agnarsson, 2005, A. nazariani Agnarsson & Kuntner, 2005, A. sallee Agnarsson & Kuntner, 2005, A. salut Agnarsson & Kuntner, 2005, A. vondrona Agnarsson & Kuntner, 2005) and 10 new species: A. ata sp. n., A. buffoni sp. n., A. darwini sp. n., A. hookeri sp. n., A. huxleyi sp. n., A. lamarcki sp. n., A. moramora sp. n., A. tita sp. n., A. torfi sp. n., A. wallacei sp. n.. With the exception of A. may and A. vondrona, all other species appear to be single forest endemics. While additional sampling is necessary, these data imply a much higher local richness and endemism in Madagascan forests than in any other comparable area globally. The phylogenetic results establish a sister clade relationship between the subsocial Anelosimus in Madagascar and the American ‘eximius group’, and between the solitary A. decaryi on Madagascar and a solitary American clade. These findings imply duplicate colonizations from America, an otherwise rare biogeographical pattern, calling for more detailed investigation of Anelosimus biogeography.

Madagascar is home to an incredible amount of often endemic biodiversity and spiders are no exception to this. But contrary to a lot of charismatic vertebrate groups comprehensive research into spider diversity is largely lacking. This study looks into one genus of cobweb spiders and 10 new species are described most of which restricted to very small areas implying a much higher hidden diversity.

Material of the paederine genera Domene Fauvel, 1873 and Lathrobium Gravenhorst, 1802 from the Dayao Mountains, southern China, is examined. Eight species are identified, three of them described previously and five undescribed. Four species are described and illustrated for the first time: Domene hei Peng & Li, sp. n., Lathrobium jinxiuense Peng & Li, sp. n., L. kuan Peng & Li, sp. n. and L. leii Peng & Li, sp. n. One probably undescribed species of Lathrobium remains unnamed.

A number of new rove beetles from the Dayao Mountains, China. The first species is named to honor a colleague that helped collecting, the second after the type locality. The third name means 'broad' and refers to a rather wide structure in the morphology. The last species was named after another field trip helper.
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Scapheremaeus gibbus, Scapheremaeus luxtoni
Scapheremaeus gibbus

Two new species of oribatid mites of the genus Scapheremaeus (Oribatida, Cymbaeremaeidae), S. gibbus sp. n. and S. luxtoni sp. n., are described from New Zealand. Scapheremaeus gibbus sp. n. is morphologically most similar to S. humeratus Balogh & Mahunka, 1967, but differs from the latter by the number of notogastral, genital and adanal setae, morphology of bothridial setae, position of adanal lyrifissures and absence of humeral processes. Scapheremaeus luxtoni sp. n. is morphologically most similar to S. yamashitai Aoki, 1970, but differs from the latter by the morphology of notogastral and rostral setae, morphology of leg solenidia φ2 and development of humeral processes. The species Scapheremaeus zephyrus Colloff, 2010 is recorded for the first time in New Zealand. An identification key to the known New Zealand species of Scapheremaeus is provided.

The species of the mite order Oribatida are of economic importance as hosts of various tapeworm species, but also as important contributors to the breakdown of organic material in the soil, very similar to earthworms. Mites are among the most diverse and successful of all the invertebrate groups. About 40 000 species have been described and there are many colleagues that say this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are two newcomers from New Zealand. One named after some anatomical structure and the other to honor acarologist Malcolm Luxton.
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Paracolomerus gonglius, Phyllocoptruta beggerianae, Rhyncaphytoptus fuyuniensis
Paracolomerus gonglius

Three new species of eriophyoid mites from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, are described and illustrated. They are Paracolomerus gonglius sp. n. and Phyllocoptruta beggerianae sp. n. collected on Rosa beggeriana Schrenk ex Fisch. & C. A. Mey. (Rosaceae), and Rhyncaphytoptus fuyuniensis sp. n. collected on Cotoneaster ignavus E. L. Wolf (Rosaceae). All eriophyoid mites described here are vagrants on the undersurface of leaves and any apparent damage was not observed.

And even more new mites. This publication presents three new species from China. They belong to a group that has been recognized as containing important agricultural and forestry pests. The first and third species were named after the type locality, number two after its host plant, Rosa beggeriana.
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Convolvulus austroafricanus, Convolvulus iranicus, Convolvulus peninsularis, Convolvulus xanthopotamicus
A global revision of Convolvulus L. is presented, Calystegia R.Br. being excluded on pragmatic grounds. One hundred and ninety species are recognised with the greatest diversity in the Irano-Turanian region. All recognised species are described and the majority are illustrated. Distribution details, keys to species identification and taxonomic notes are provided. Four new species, Convolvulus austroafricanus J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, sp. nov., Convolvulus iranicus J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, sp. nov., Convolvulus peninsularis J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, sp. nov. and Convolvulus xanthopotamicus J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, sp. nov., one new subspecies Convolvulus chinensis subsp. triangularis J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, subsp. nov., and two new varieties Convolvulus equitans var. lindheimeri J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, var. nov., Convolvulus glomeratus var. sachalitarum J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, var. nov. are described. Convolvulus incisodentatus J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, nom. nov., is provided as a replacement name for the illegitimate Convolvulus incisus Choisy. Several species treated as synonyms of other species in recent publications are reinstated including C. chinensis Ker-Gawl., C. spinifer M.Popov., C. randii Rendle and C. aschersonii Engl. Ten taxa are given new status and recognised at new ranks: Convolvulus namaquensis (Schltr. ex. A.Meeuse) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov., Convolvulus hermanniae subsp. erosus (Desr.) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov., Convolvulus crenatifolius subsp. montevidensis (Spreng.) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov., Convolvulus fruticulosus subsp. glandulosus (Webb) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov., Convolvulus capituliferus subsp. foliaceus (Verdc.) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov., Convolvulus hystrix subsp. ruspolii (Dammer ex Hallier f.) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov., Convolvulus hystrix subsp. inermis (Chiov.) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov., Convolvulus rottlerianus subsp. stocksii (Boiss.) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, comb. et stat. nov., Convolvulus calvertii subsp. ruprechtii (Boiss.) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov., Convolvulus cephalopodus subsp. bushiricus (Bornm.) J.R.I.Wood & R.W.Scotland, stat. nov. The status of various infraspecific taxa is clarified and numerous taxa are lectotypified. This account represents a new initiative in terms of taxonomic monography, being an attempt to bring together the global approach of the traditional monograph with the more pragmatic and identification-focussed approach of most current floras while at the same time being informed by insights from molecular systematics.

Not much left to say for me. A comprehensive monograph on this genus the belongs to the family of plants known as Morning glory.
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