Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Discoveries of the week #45

This will be the last issue of the Discoveries of the week in its current form. I have decided to change the format a little and use another blog of mine exclusively for the introduction of newly described species. Starting tomorrow you will find at least one new species a day under a different address. My hope is to interest not only colleagues and collaborators but also non-professionals and the general public in all the diversity of life that is discovered daily. 

So, for the last time in this format and on this blog:

The Iranian species of Paraschistura are reviewed, and diagnoses are presented for all eleven recognized species. Paraschistura bampurensis, P. cristata, P. kessleri, P. nielseni and P. turcmenica are considered valid; P. sargadensis is a synonym of P. kessleri and P. turcomanus is a synonym of P. turcmenica. Six new species are described. Paraschistura abdolii, new species, from the Sirjan basin and the western tributaries of the Hamun-e Jaz Murian basin is distinguished by having a very slender body and scales restricted to the caudal peduncle and to the back in front of the dorsal-fin origin in few individuals. Paraschistura aredvii, new species, from the Zohreh drainage, is distinguished by having scales on the back, no suborbital flap and the pelvic-fin origin posterior to the dorsal-fin origin. Paraschistura hormuzensis, new species, from the Minab drainage, is distinguished by having scales on the back, a pointed snout and a triangular suborbital flap in males. Paraschistura naumanni, new species, from the Kol drainage, the Mond drainage and the Lake Maharlo basin, is distinguished by having scales on the back, no suborbital flap in males and the pelvic-fin origin below the dorsal-fin origin. Paraschistura pasatigris, new species, from the Karun and Karkheh drainages, is distinguished by having scales on the back and a suborbital flap in males pointed downwards. Paraschistura susiani, new species, from the Jarahi drainage, is distinguished by having scales on the back and a roundish suborbital flap in males. The presence of an additional undescribed species is suggested from the Mond River drainage by the molecular data presented. All species, except unstudied P. kessleri are also characterized by fixed diagnostic nucleotide substitutions in the mtDNA COI barcode region. Paraschistura Prokofiev, 2009 is given precedence over Metaschistura Prokofiev, 2009.

Yes, I do have a soft spot for new fish species as regular readers of this blog might have guessed already. After all I am a fish researcher by trade. This new publication comes with six new loach species from different drainage systems in Iran. Iran is home to eleven species of this recently described genus, the new species are included in that number.

A new species of flea of the genus Ctenidiosomus Jordan, 1931 (Siphonaptera: Pygiopsyllidae) is described from Phyllotis osilae J. A. Allen, 1901, from Salta Province, Argentina. This is the first time that Ctenidiosomus has been recorded in Argentina. A key to species of males of Ctenidiosomus is presented.

A new flea species found on birds and small mammals in Argentina. The specific name is derived from the Latin term austrinus (southern) because this new species represents the southern-most record of any known species of the genus.
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With 1,400 described species, Megaselia is one of the most species-rich genera in the animal kingdom, and at the same time one of the least studied. An important obstacle to taxonomic progress is the lack of knowledge concerning the phylogenetic structure within the genus. Classification of Megaselia at the level of subgenus is incomplete although Schmitz addressed several groups of species in a series of monographs published from 1956 to 1981. Another problem is the lack of molecular phylogenetic analyses to support morphology-based conclusions. As a contribution towards addressing these problems, we here circumscribe a previously unrecognized monophyletic lineage of Megaselia consisting of species similar to M. lucifrons. We base this taxonomic decision on morphological study of an extensive phorid material from Sweden, complemented by molecular analyses of select exemplars using two markers (COI and 28S). We name the clade the lucifrons species group, and show that it contains three distinct species. Our results also demonstrate that Megaselia subnitida Lundbeck, 1920, previously treated as a synonym of M. lucifrons Schmitz, 1918, is a separate species, and we remove it from synonymy. The third species in the group was previously unknown; we describe it here as M. albalucifrons sp. n.

Scuttle flies are one of the most diverse families of flies. There are currently more than 4,000 described species, and experts think that this may represent as little as 10% or less of the true diversity. The largest genus in this family is Megaselia and it just got another new member from Sweden.

Agaporomorphus julianeae sp. n. is described from the Biological Field Station Panguana, in Huànuco province of central Peru. The new species belongs to the A. knischi-group sensu Miller 2005. Together with A. knischi Zimmermann, 1921 and A. colberti Miller & Wheeler, 2008 this is the third species of the genus with broadly enlarged male antennomeres. The new species can be separated from A. colberti and A. knischi by the smaller please expanded male antennomere VIII, and the form of the median lobe. Important species characters (median lobe, male antennae, metafemur, colour pattern) of the new species and A. knischi are figured, and the habitat, a temporary blackwater forest pond, and its species rich water beetle coenosis are illustrated and described in detail. The Brazilian A. mecolobus Miller, 2001, only known from the type material from Sao Paulo, is here recorded for Minas Gerais. Habitus photos of four additional Agaporomorphus species and Hydrodytes opalinus (Zimmermann, 1921) are provided. Altogether ten species of Agaporomorphus are now known.

A new diving beetle species named after Juliane Diller, deputy director of the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich, and head and owner of the Biological Field Station Panguna, in recognition of her longstanding efforts in biological research and nature conservation in Peru.
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Trachionus mandibularoides

The genus Trachionus Haliday, 1833 (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Alysiinae, Dacnusini) is reported for the first time from China. The genus is represented by four new species from Shaanxi province (NW China), which are described and illustrated. An identification key to the species in China is presented, a key to the genera of the Trachionus group and notes on the relationships with other Palaearctic species are added.

More braconid wasps. The four new species belong to a genus which includes parasitoids of the larvae of the fly genus Phytobia. All names were chosen based on unique morphological features.
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Bolanthus turcicus
A new species Bolanthus turcicus Koç & Hamzaoğlu, sp. nov. was discovered on Hasan Mountain (Turkey, Aksaray province) where it grows on volcanic stony slopes and alpine steppe. its description, images, chorology and ecology, and threat category are provided in this article. It was compared with a closely related species, Bolanthus minuartioides (Jaub. & Spach) Hub.-Mor., B. huber-morathii C.Simon, B. spergulifolius (Jaub. & Spach) Hub.-Mor., B. frankenioides (Boiss) Bark., B. mevlanae Aytaç based on its general morphology and seed micromorphology.

The name of this new species of the carnation family gives it away - it was discovered in Turkey. It is an endemic species known only from the type gathered on the Hasan Mountain.
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