Sunday, 20 September 2020

San Antonio Zoo unveils new Chupacabra exhibit

Well, some people claim to have seen it. The zoo on Thursday announced its new Chupacabra exhibit will open Saturday in an effort to get patrons' ...

Friday, 18 September 2020

NOVATAXA: A New Gecko Species (Squamata: Eublepharidae) from Guangxi, China


[Herpetology • 2020] Goniurosaurus gezhi • A New Gecko Species (Squamata: Eublepharidae) from Guangxi, China

Goniurosaurus gezhi Zhu, He & Li

in  Zhu, Chen, ... et He, 2020. 

Five species of geckos in the genus Goniurosaurus had been recorded from Guangxi, China. Here we describe a new species, Goniurosaurus gezhi sp. nov. Zhu, He & Li. The new species is similar to those found in Guangxi and Guizhou provinces of China and Northern Vietnam, but unique in a combination of the following characters: (1) three body bands between limb insertions; (2) precloacal pores 18–20; (3) body small (SVL=70.6–83.8 mm); (4) body color orange to yellow. We evaluated the phylogenetic position of this new species based on the 16S mitochondrial gene. Molecular phylogenies validate this new species as distinct to currently described lineages within Goniurosaurus. The type specimens are deposited in the Museum of Biology, East China Normal University (ECNU).

Keywords: Reptilia, Gekkota, taxonomy, 16S, karst, Guangxi, China

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NOVATAXA: A New Species of the Melanorivulus pictus Species-group (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) from the Rio Paraná Basin in Brazil


[Ichthyology • 2020] Melanorivulus larissae • A New Species of the Melanorivulus pictus Species-group (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) from the Rio Paraná Basin in Brazil

Melanorivulus larissae 
Ywamoto, Nielsen & Oliveira, 2020

A new species of the genus Melanorivulus belonging to the Melanorivulus pictus species group is herein described, from a tributary of the Rio Grande, Rio Paraná basin, São Paulo State, Brazil. The new species can be distinguished from all other species of the Melanorivulus pictus species group by the unique presence of sides of body of males light bluish gray with 10–12 oblique red bars, 8 of which chevron-like, bifurcated and complete, i.e., running from dorsum to ventral area, and 2–4 incomplete, with vertices of the chevron-like bars along midbody, pointing forward. Comments on the putative relationships of the new species, as well as concerning its conservation status, are presented.

Keywords: Cyprinodontiformes, Rio Grande basin, RivulusMelanorivulus apiamiciMelanorivulus leali, Cerrado, Killifishes

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NOVATAXA: Rediscovery of the Enigmatic Andean Frog Telmatobius halli


[Herpetology • 2020] Rediscovery of the Enigmatic Andean Frog Telmatobius halli Noble (Anura: Telmatobiidae), Re-description of the Tadpole and Comments on New Adult’s Characters, Type Locality and Conservation Status

Telmatobius halli Noble, 1938

in Cuevas, Formas, Alvarado-Rybak, Peñafiel-Ricaurte & Azat, 2020. 

We report the rediscovery of Telmatobius halli (Hall’s water frog), which had not been found since its description (over 80 years) since its type locality was not clearly established. “Aguas Calientes” near Ollagüe is hypothesized as the original type locality where Frank Gregory Hall collected the type material in 1935. The tadpole is re-described, and new data on the external and internal morphology of adults is provided. These new morphological data are compared with Telmatobius spp. inhabiting geographically close to T. halli in Chile and Bolivia. In addition, comments on its ecology, conservation, and taxonomic status in relation with other Telmatobius spp. inhabiting nearby areas in Ascotán and Carcote salt pans are provided. No evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Ranavirus infection was found in T. halli and a sympatric amphibian species. Our work supports the validity of T. halli and suggests this species should be considered as Data Deficient in the IUCN Red List assessment until taxonomic issues are resolved.

Keywords: Amphibia, Taxonomy, Telmatobius, aquatic frog, type locality, Northern Chile

Type locality of Telmatobius halli, near Ollagüe, Chile.
(C) Close up view of the warm spring. 

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NOVATAXA: Diminutive Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from A Sacred Grove in Odisha, eastern India


[Herpetology • 2020] Hemiphyllodactylus minimus • A Novel, Diminutive Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from A Sacred Grove in Odisha, eastern India

Hemiphyllodactylus minimus 
Mohapatra, Khandekar, Dutta, Mahapatra & Agarwal, 2020

We describe distinct new species of Hemiphyllodactylus from a sacred grove near Humma in Ganjam District of Odisha state, eastern India. Hemiphyllodactylus minimus sp. nov. is the smallest member of the genus and can be diagnosed from all peninsular Indian congeners by its small body size (SVL ≤32.2 mm, n=11), having 15–18 dorsal scales and eight or nine ventral scales at mid-body contained within one longitudinal eye diameter, nine or ten precloacal pores separated by 4–6 poreless scales from a series of six or seven femoral pores on each thigh in males, lamellar formula of manus 2222 and of pes 2332 & 2333, as well as subtle colour pattern differences. Additionally, the new species is 16.0–22.7 % divergent from all other peninsular Indian Hemiphyllodactylus in uncorrected ND2 sequence data. The new species is the first member of the genus described from Odisha state and also the first Hemiphyllodactylus known from < 100 m asl. The discovery of Hemiphyllodactylus minimus sp. nov. from a low elevation coastal locality in the Eastern Ghats open ups the possibilities that the genus could be more widespread than currently understood and potentially harbour many more distinct undescribed lineages. Therefore, dedicated fine-scale sampling efforts are needed to uncover the true diversity and distribution of Hemiphyllodactylus in the region.

Keywords: Reptilia, Biogeography, conservation, northern Eastern Ghats, taxonomy

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