Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Maskray

A new species of ray has been discovered in Ningaloo Marine Park. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Some New Species

A new killifish from Mozambique has medical research potential. (News source.)

A new frog from Vietnam is named after a Hong Kong hedge fund manager. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Searching for New Species

A very interesting article here on scientists in search of rare and new species.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Bird from Borneo

A new bird has been photographed in Borneo, but not yet described. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Couple of New Species

A new chameleon from Tanzania, and a "strawberry" colored (not flavored) crab from Taiwan.

[Edit: Also, via Kevin Stewart, Arapaima may be more than one species.]

Labels: , , ,

Friday, December 25, 2009

New Cockroach, Probably

Two high school students working with DNA sequencing databases have discovered what is probably a new species of cockroach in New York. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Warbler

A new warbler has been discovered in Vietnam and Laos. (News source, via Kevin Stewart.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

NatGeo's Top 10

NatGeo has released their top 10 new species list for 2009.

Labels:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

New King Crabs

Four new species of king crabs have been described. (Eurekalert)

Labels: ,

New Texas Plant

An amateur naturalist has discovered a news species of plant in the Austin, TX, area. (News source, via Kevin Stewart)

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Smallest Orchid

The smallest orchid in the world has been discovered in Ecuador, nestled in the roots of a larger plant.

"The plant is just 2.1mm wide, and instantly supercedes the species Platystele jungermannioides as the world's smallest orchid. The petals are so thin that they are just one cell thick and transparent." (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Chameleon Almost Dinner

A new chameleon, Kinyongia magomberae, was discovered after a researcher ran across a twig snake that regurgitated the lizard. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Lungless Caecilian

A new species of caecilian, Caecilita iwokramae, has been determined to be lungless. While not the first such caecilian, apparently it is distinctly different from the other lungless caecilian. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Steve Irwin's Tree Snail

A new tree snail with a colorful shell (including khaki highlights) has been named after the late Steve Irwin. Crikey steveirwini is found in northern Queensland. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Largest Orb-Weaver

The largest orb-weaving spider has been described from Maputaland (in coastal South Africa) and Madagascar. The female of Nephila komaci has a legspan up to 12cm. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Friday, October 02, 2009

Giant NJ Leech Described

It's been known for several years, but finally the researchers have named and described the giant NJ leech as Haemopis ottorum. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Aussie Inverts

850 new invertebrates have been described by Australian researchers from caves and other underground habitats. (News source.) Via Kevin Stewart.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Marine Discoveries

New species have been discovered in the deep sea around the Canary Islands. (News source.)

A new ghostshark has been described from off southern California / Baja. (Eurekalert.)

Scientists netted a 20-foot giant squid from the Gulf of Mexico. (News source.)

A large forest of a rare black coral was discovered in the waters off Italy. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Mount Bosavi Expedition

A BBC documentary crew sent to PNG's Mount Bosavi found among other critters, a new species of frog (news source), and a new giant rat (news source).

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mozambique: New Species

A video on some new species from a Mozambique rainforest, here.

Labels:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Some New Discoveries

A few new invertebrates were discovered "during a cave diving expedition to explore the Tunnel de la Atlantida, the world's longest submarine lava tube on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands..." (News source.)

The "green bomber" is a new marine annelid that casts off glowing green appendages to fool predators. (News source.)

Several interesting fossils, including "stone tools, a remarkably preserved primate skull and the claws, jawbone and other bones of several species of Caribbean sloths" were discovered in an underwater cave in the Dominican Republic. (News source.)

A new pitviper (not rattlesnake, as the news account states) was discovered in Cao Bang province, Vietnam. (News source.)

Labels: , , ,

Rat-Eating Pitcher Plant

A new large pitcher plant has been discovered in the Philippines. (News source.)

Interestingly, it was first reported by missionaries, which intrigued the botanists and inspired the search for it.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 02, 2009

New Canadian Fish

A new species of cisco, Coregonus googelii, has been described from Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. (News source.) (Via Kevin Stewart)

Labels: ,

Friday, July 31, 2009

Deep Sea Discovery

A new crinoid was discovered in the Bahamas. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bare-Faced Bulbul

A new "bald" songbird has been discovered in Laos. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Horned Lizards

California's coast horned lizard, Phrynosoma coronatum, has been split into three species. (Eurekalert.)

Labels: ,

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Monitor Lizard

A new monitor lizard has been described from the Talaud Islands of Indonesia. The new species, Varanus lirungensis, is apparently related to the mangrove monitor, V. indicus. (News source. Image: André Koch, ZFMK)

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rediscovered Whale to be Announced

A rediscovered "new species" of whale will be announced at the Indian Ocean Cetacean Symposium, currently under way in the Maldives. It was first discovered in 1963 by a Sri Lankan scientist, but "mistakenly categorised as a similar species that had been discovered a decade earlier." (News source.)

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Old Specimens are New Species

Two old museum specimen of Samoan bats have turned out to be undescribed species, probably now extinct. (News source.) Download AMNH paper here. (Via Kevin Stewart.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

New North American Salamander

A tiny new salamander has been discovered in the Appalachians. It has been named Urspelerpes brucei. (News source.)

A new genus and species of lungless salamander (family Plethodontidae) from the Appalachian highlands of the south-eastern United States
C. D. Camp, W. E. Peterman, J. R. Milanovich, T. Lamb, J. C. Maerz, D. B. Wake
Journal of Zoology
Published Online: Jun 22 2009 12:04PM

Labels: ,

New Florida Scarab Beetle

Polyphylla starkae has been described from the scrubs of Polk County, Florida. One significance of the discovery "is that it shows the contributions that citizen scientists — volunteers who don't have years of education and formal training who collect data in natural areas — can make." (News source.)

Labels: ,

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Bat in Comoros

A new small bat, named Miniopterus aelleni, has been discovered in the Comoros. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ecuador: Possible New (Small) Species

A team from Conservation International has come up with a number of possible new reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates in the forested mountains of Cordillera del Condor. Photos here. (Via Kevin Stewart)

Labels: , , ,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pink-Winged Moth

New insects aren't uncommon, but an Arizona entomologist has discovered a new moth among a genus of normally dull moths that has pink underwings. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Name a Jellyfish

You can submit suggestions for the species name of the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New Tree Kangaroo?

A California man may have discovered a new species of tree kangaroo in New Britain, and is going back to collect physical evidence. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New Shark

A small one, but still, a new species: Hemitriakis indroyonoi, a houndshark. (Zootaxa)

Labels: ,

New Viper

Atheris mabuensis, from northern Mozambique. (Zootaxa)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bunch of Frogs

Approx. 200 new frogs have been identified in Madagascar. (News source, via Kevin Stewart)

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Tree

A new acacia tree from Ethiopia "raises hope for finding new species elsewhere." (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Different Worms Look the Same

The common segmented worm Lumbriculus variegatus is actually two separate species that often live side by side. (Press release.)

Labels: ,

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Horseshoe Bat

A new horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus) has been described from China. (Abstract here.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More on Unknown Seals

A bit more from a news article on the recent paper on possible unknown pinnipeds.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pinniped Discovery Potential

Darren Naish has posted details on a new paper on the possibility of new pinnipeds, here.

The paper itself:

Woodley, M. A., Naish, D. & Shanahan, H. P. 2009. How many extant pinniped species remain to be described? Historical Biology doi:10.1080/08912960902830210

Labels: ,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Name a Shrimp

The Australian Marine Conservation Society is auctioning the rights to name a new species of deep sea shrimp. (News source.)

Labels:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Bird: Solomon Islands

Note on a new bird, the Vanikoro White-eye, discovered recently, here, along with brief discussion on as yet undiscovered species.

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Dracula" Fish

A small fish discovered in Burma has a pair of small fangs. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Giraffes: Splitting Species?

An interview here that notes the ongoing research into whether the single recognized giraffe species should be split into several species...

Labels: ,

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Species Paper

Kevin Stewart passes this along:

Discoveries of new mammal species and their implications for conservation and ecosystem services
Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.
February 19, 2009, published online
(abstract)

From the abstract: "
In light of recent discoveries of many new species of poorly-studied organisms, we examine the biodiversity of mammals, a well known “charismatic” group. Many assume that nearly all mammal species are known to scientists. We demonstrate that this assumption is incorrect. Since 1993, 408 new mammalian species have been described, ?10% of the previously known fauna. Some 60% of these are “cryptic” species, but 40% are large and distinctive. ..."

You can download the list of 408 new mammal species here.

And, you can download a 2007 paper (Global Trends and Biases in New Mammal Species Discoveries) here.

Labels:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Psychedelic Frogfish

A new frogfish has been described; Histiophryne psychedelica may be a coral mimic. (Eurekalert.)

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Amphipod in Ohio

A new species of amphipod (a small crustacean) may have been discovered in a cave pool in Summit County, Ohio. Research is underway. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rat News

Someone caught a big rat (possibly a bamboo rat) in China, six pounds with a 12 inch tail. The image is the standard "hold it close to the camera so it looks bigger" style, but still interesting. (News source.)

A new species of mountain rat was discovered in Mindanao island, Philippines. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Journey to Description

It took almost 10 years from the first photograph of an undescribed species of Grammonus in Hawaiian waters before an actual specimen could be placed in a museum collection and described. The fish was photographed and even collected in the interval, but one circumstance or another prevented its examination by experts. The paper:

Grammonus nagaredai, a New Viviparous Marine Fish (Ophidiiformes: Bythitidae) from the Hawaiian Islands
John E. Randall and Marc James Hughes
Pacific Science 63(1): 137-146 (2009)

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lemur Article

Discovery of Sympatric Dwarf Lemur Species in the High-Altitude Rain Forest of Tsinjoarivo, Eastern Madagascar: Implications for Biogeography and Conservation
M. B. Blanco, et al.
Folia Primatologica, vol. 80(1): 1-17, 2009

Abstract:
The number of species within the Malagasy lemur genus Cheirogaleus is currently under debate. Museum collections are spotty, and field work, supplemented by morphometric and genetic analysis, is essential for documenting geographic distributions, ecological characteristics and species boundaries. We report here field evidence for 2 dwarf lemur species at Tsinjoarivo, an eastern-central high-altitude rain forest: one, from a forest fragment, displaying coat and dental characteristics similar to C. sibreei (previously described only from museum specimens) and the other, from the continuous forest, resembling individuals of Cheirogaleus found today at Ranomafana National Park, further to the south. This study represents the first confirmation of a living population of grey-fawn, C.-sibreei-like, dwarf lemurs in Madagascar.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hot Spots, New Species, Etc.

Some research here on locating hot spots of species diversity for conservation focus.

408 new mammal species have been discovered since 1993, according to a new paper. The authors then go on with dire warnings for humanity.

And, new birds are waiting to be discovered in the eastern Himalayas.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Strange Toad

New herps aren't uncommonly discovered, but here's an odd-looking toad recently found in Tanzania. (Gallery image.)

Labels: ,

Chinese Babbler

A new bird has been discovered in China. (News source.)

"A new fist-sized, babbler bird species has been discovered in a series of underground caves in China" ...
"Ornithologists Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu first saw the bird, dark with white spots on its breast, in 2005 and has since then established its identity as an unknown species. They labeled it the Nonggang babbler, scientific name Stachyris nonggangensis, named for the region of China where the bird was found."

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Climbing Catfish

A new climbing catfish has been described from Venezuela. The species "has a specialized pelvic fin that decouples from its body and moves backward and forward independently." This is "used in combination with a grasping mouth to move like an inchworm up rocks." (News source.)

Labels: ,

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Marine Species from Australia

A joint US/Australia marine expedition near Tasmania has lead to a number of new species discoveries. NatGeo has some pics.

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Papers: Civets and Lemurs

Via Kevin Stewart, a couple of new papers to mention:

Lemur Diversity in Madagascar
Mittermeier, et al.
International Journal of Primatology (2008) 29: 1607-1656

This is a review of the taxonomic status of lemurs, recognizing 99 species and subspecies. It also notes several controversial areas, and points to potential new species (as yet undescribed).

The taxonomy of the endemic golden palm civet of Sri Lanka
Colin P. Groves, et al.
Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society (2009) 155: 238-251

This is the citation for the golden palm civet paper noted in a previous blog posting. Paradoxurus stenocephalus, a new species, is described, and a possible new species is identified but not yet described.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Civets

A Sri Lankan "hobbyist" studies the native civets, leading to the rediscovery of one species and the discovery of a new species. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Galapagos Iguana (More to Come?)

The media is jumping on the designation of the "rosada," a pink-tinted Galapagos land iguana, as a new species. See details at Discover News, and New Scientist.

Interesting, though, is a paper from this past November, noting that five populations of land iguanas in the Galapagos "represent distinct conservation units (one of them being the recently discovered rosada form) and could warrant species status." So, perhaps a couple more species to come?

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Tanzanian Herp Hotspot

17 new species of reptiles and amphibians are reported from the South Nguru Mountains in Tanzania. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Abstracts: The Munzala

A Voucher Specimen for Macaca munzala: Interspecific Affinities, Evolution, and Conservation of a Newly Discovered Primate

Charudutt Mishra and Anindya Sinha

International Journal of Primatology
Vol. 29, no. 3 (June 2008): 743-756

Abstract: Sinha, A., Datta, A., Madhusudan, M. D., & Mishra, C. (2005. Macaca munzala: A new species from western Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India. International Journal of Primatology, 26, 977989) discovered Arunachal macaques (Macaca munzala), a species new to science, in the eastern Himalaya of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. They depicted the holotype and paratypes of the species in photographs, and a specimen of the species had been unavailable for preservation and examination. In March 2005, we obtained an entire specimen of an adult male Macaca munzala, which we propose as a voucher specimen for the species. We provide detailed morphological and anatomical measurements of the specimen and examine its affinities with other macaques. Macaca munzala appears to be unique among macaques in craniodental size and structure, baculum, and aspects of caudal structure, while exhibiting affinities with the other members of the sinica-group to which it belongs. We summarize our insights on the origins and phylogeny of Macaca munzala. Finally, we review the current conservation status of the macaques, which are threatened by extensive hunting in the only 2 districts of Arunachal Pradesh where they are documented to occur.

----------

In search of the munzala: distribution and conservation status of the newly-discovered Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala

R. Suresh Kumar, Nabam Gama, R. Raghunath, Anindya Sinha and Charudutt Mishra

Oryx
Vol. 42 (2008): pp. 360-366

Abstract: The recently-described Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala is so far known only from western Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India. Here we present the first conservation status assessment for the species. Our surveys enumerated a total of 569 individuals in the Tawang and West Kameng districts of the State. The species seems to be tolerant of anthropogenic habitat change but is vulnerable to hunting. A low infant to adult female ratio suggests that not all adult females reproduce at any given time, and females do not give birth every year. The macaques are persecuted largely in response to crop damage, with the practice of keeping them as pets providing an added incentive to hunting. The species is, however, able to attain remarkably high densities in the absence of hunting. Crop damage by the macaque is widespread; patterns of crop damage are similar across altitudinal zones and do not seem to be correlated with macaque density. The species will need to be protected in human-modified landscapes, and the issues of crop damage and retaliatory persecution need to be addressed urgently.

Labels: , , ,

2008 Abstract: Long-tailed Rattlesnake

A New Long-Tailed Rattlesnake (Viperidae) From Guerrero, Mexico

Jonathan A. Campbell and Oscar Flores-Villela

Herpetologica
Vol. 64, no. 2 (June 2008): pp. 246-257

Abstract: A distinctive new species of rattlesnake is described from the western versant of the Sierra Madre del Sur of Guerrero, Mexico. This long-tailed rattlesnake cannot be confused with any other species of rattlesnake and is most similar to Crotalus stejnegeri and C. lannomi. The Guerrero species possesses a strikingly distinct color pattern and differs from all other rattlesnakes in aspects of lepidosis. Mexico continues to be the origin of newly discovered species that provide important insights into the evolution or ecology of particular groups. A few examples from recent decades include Exiliboa placata, a monotypic, relictual dwarf boa (Bogert, 1968), Rhadinophanes monticola, a monotypic, highland colubrid (Myers and Campbell, 1981), and Pseudoeurycea aquatica, the only aquatic bolitoglossine salamander (Wake and Campbell, 2001).

Labels: ,

2008 Abstract: Neofelis

Species distinction and evolutionary differences in the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) and Diard's clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Per Christiansen

Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 89, no. 6 (Dec. 2008): pp. 1435-1446

Abstract: Based on examination of molecular data and pelage patterns, it has recently been suggested that the island populations of the clouded leopard, traditionally considered a subspecies, may, in fact constitute a separate species. In this paper, I demonstrate that the island populations deviate strongly from the mainland populations in a large number of cranial, mandibular, and dental characters. The differences far exceed those that have been documented for subspecies within other pantherine felids, and are congruent with a separate species, to which the name Sundaland clouded leopard, Neofelis diardi, has been given, although the name Diard's cat has priority based on historical precedence. I suggest that the vernacular name Diard's clouded leopard be adopted for Neofelis diardi. In contrast, mainland populations diverge less from each other, and are congruent with 1 species (Neofelis nebulosa) and 2 subspecies, the western (N. n. macrosceloides) and eastern (N. n. nebulosa) clouded leopard. Neofelis deviates from other large felids in many aspects of craniodental morphology, and most likely also in several behavioral aspects. Diard's clouded leopard appears more derived with respects to saber-toothed craniodental features than the clouded leopard, indicating that the former may have gone farther than the latter in convergently evolving craniomandibular features traditionally considered characteristic of primitive saber-toothed felids.

[Thanks to Kevin Stewart for the heads up...]

Labels: ,

Monday, December 22, 2008

Googling for Species

Scientists have used Google Earth to locate an unexplored habitat, leading to the discovery of new species in Mozambique. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Giant Irukandji Described

A "giant" in the dangerously venomous Irukandji jellyfish family has been described. Morbakkafenneri has a body up to 15 cm and tentacles up to a meter long. The species was discovered in 1985, but hasn't been officially described until now. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Frog: Blue Bones, Green Blood

A new Cambodian bush frog has been discovered, this one having green blood and turquoise bones. Biliverdin (metabolic waste usually processed in the liver) is passed into the bloodstream, which may help with camouflage (the skin being translucent) and also might make the frog unpalatable to predators. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vanuatu Species

NG has a photogallery of a few species from the Pacific island: In 2006 a biological survey collected 10000 specimens, 2000 of which may be new to science.

Labels: ,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mekong Discoveries

The WWF is noting that over 1000 new species have been discovered in the Great Mekong region of southeast Asia, over the last decade. (News source.)

And video of the Laotian rock rat (one of those discoveries) here.

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Crocodiles

The African dwarf crocodile has been split into three species, after genetic investigation. These are now Osteolaemus tetraspis, from Central Africa's Ogooué Basin, Osteolaemus osborni, from the Congo Basin, and an as-yet unnamed species from West Africa. Details here.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 08, 2008

Name a Species Auctions

Purdue has a bat for naming-rights auction, and will have some turtles up soon, also. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Dolphin Identified

A new paper presents evidence for a new species of cetacean, the Southern Australian bottlenose dolphin. (News source.) Species has not yet been described.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Flying Lemurs

Genetic and morphological characters show that the colugos in Indonesia represent several new species. (Eurekalert.)

"Scientists had recognized just two species of these enigmatic mammals, the Sunda colugo and the Philippine colugo. However, the new findings show that the Sunda colugo, found only in Indochina and Sundaland, including the large islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, actually represents at least three separate species."

Labels:

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Two New Small Mammals

A new bat (Mormopterus francoismoutoui) and elephant shrew (Elephantulus pilicaudus) have been described in Journal of Mammalogy. Via Kevin Stewart, the abstracts are as follows:

Specific Status of Populations in the Mascarene Islands
Referred to Mormopterus Acetabulosus (Chiroptera: Molossidae),
with Description of a New Species


S. M. Goodman, B. Jansen Van Vuuren, F. Ratrimomanarivo, J.-M. Probst, and R. C. K. Bowie
Journal of Mammalogy, 89(5):1316–1327, 2008

On the basis of molecular and morphological evidence, Mormopterus acetabulosus, hitherto considered an endemic to the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius and La Réunion), is shown to comprise 2 closely related taxa. The holotype of M. acetabulosus is from Mauritius and the new taxon described herein is from La Réunion. M. acetabulosus from Mauritius is notably larger than members of this genus from La Réunion, and several soft-part and cranial characters distinguish these 2 taxa. This conclusion is supported by examination of mitochondrial DNA control region data for 141 bats, which shows these 2 groups to be reciprocally monophyletic, separated by an average of 5.01% uncorrected sequence divergence. Two nuclear intron regions (7th intron of the beta fibrinogen gene and thyrotropin) also were included, but showed limited genetic variation and no fixed differences between the 2 taxa. These 2 species of Mormopterus are common on Mauritius and La Réunion, often living in caves or synanthropically, and are not considered a conservation concern.

A New Species of Elephant-Shrew (Afrotheria: Macroscelidea:
Elephantulus) from South Africa


H. A. Smit, T. J. Robinson, J. Watson, and B. Jansen Van Vuuren
Journal of Mammalogy, 89(5):1257–1269, 2008

Elephant-shrews (also called sengis, order Macroscelidea) are small-bodied insectivorous mammals with a strictly African distribution. Fifteen species currently are recognized, of which 9 occur in the southern African subregion. On the basis of molecular, cytogenetic, and morphological evidence, Elephantulus edwardii, the only strictly South African endemic species, is shown to comprise 2 closely related taxa. The new Elephantulus taxon described herein is from the central Nama-Karoo region of Western Cape and Northern Cape Provinces. Important genetic distinctions underpin its delimitation. Sequence data from the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene and the hypervariable control region as well as 7th intron of the nuclear fibrinogen gene show these 2 taxa to be reciprocally monophyletic. They are separated by 13.8% sequence divergence (uncorrected) based on the 2 mitochondrial segments, and 4.2% based on the nuclear intron sequences. In addition, fixed cytogenetic differences include a centromeric shift, heterochromatic differences on autosomal pairs 1–6, and the number of nucleolar organizer regions. The new species has several subtle morphological and phenotypic characters that distinguish it from its sibling species E. edwardii, the most striking of which is the presence of a tail-tuft, as well as the color of the flanks and the ventral pelage. The abundance, detailed distribution of the new form, and its life-history characteristics are not known, and further studies clearly are needed to determine its conservation status.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 24, 2008

7 New Glassfrogs

Seven new glassfrogs have been described from Ecuador. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Legless Lizard

The description for a new legless lizard from Brazil has been published. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Friday, October 17, 2008

Longest Insect Discovered

A stick insect, collected in Borneo and held in private hands until recently given to the Natural History Museum in London, has been described and determined to be the longest species yet. It is more than half a meter in length. It's eggs are also of interest, as they are "winged", probably to facilitate dispersion from heights (like maple seeds). (News source.)

Labels: ,

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mihi Itch

A fascinating paper (download free) from Zootaxa discusses the use of this term to denote those scientists who name trivial variants in order to see their own names in print.

Labels: ,

Shark Species

Two new species of swellsharks have been described from the North Pacific. (Zootaxa abstract)

Also, I've listed some new reptiles and amphibians from this past month here.

Labels: , ,

New Bat

From Zootaxa (September 2008), a new species of freetail bat from Australia has been described as Mormopterus eleryi.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Blog Monkey Project

There's an effort to raise money for Dr. Marc van Roosmalen, with the intent of describing a recently discovered woolly monkey as the "blog monkey." Details here.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

100 New Elasmobranchs

100 new species of sharks and rays have been described from an 18-month survey of Australian waters. A summit will be discussing their conservation. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Iguana Species

The latest issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B includes the description of a new species of iguana (Brachylophus bulabula) from Ovalau Island, Fiji. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Giant Clam

Researchers have discovered a new species of living giant clam, Tridacna costata, in the Red Sea. Fossil evidence suggests that the species once accounted for 80% of giant clams in the Red Sea, but now makes up less than 1% and is probably endangered. (Eurekalert.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Giant Grouper

A new species of giant grouper was discovered when genetic research showed that Atlantic and Pacific populations were different species. (News source.)

Labels: ,

NG on Bolivian River Dolphin

NG has a brief note on the "new" species here.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ebaying for Species Discoveries

An entomologist bought an insect in amber off Ebay, which turned out to be an undescribed species. (News source.) [Note: If you want to try this yourself, have fun; just don't buy amber from China. Most of it is fake.]

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Marc von Roosmalen Names New Species

Two new species described on Marc von Roosmalen's website:

The black dwarf lowland tapir (Tapirus pygmaeus), here.
The fair brocket deer (Mazama ochroleuca), here.

Labels:

Friday, August 15, 2008

BBC Series Shows Fish Discovery

The BBC series Pacific Abyss shows the discovery of several new species of damselfish. (News source.)

"The most spectacular recovery was of the bright blue damselfish found 120m down off Palau. This was described recently in the scientific literature by team-member Dr Richard Pyle, from the Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii.
"The fish has been named Chromis abyssus in honour of the TV series.
"The story is a more complicated one, however, because Dr Pyle first saw this fish more than a decade ago. Other researchers, too, had sightings, including one from a small submersible and another from a Remotely Oerated Vehicle (ROV).
"It was during the BBC filming, though, that nine specimens were finally captured, allowing for an official scientific submission this year."

Labels: , ,

Gabon: New Bird

Smithsonian scientists have published the description of a new bird, the olive-backed forest robin (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus), from Gabon in Africa. (Eurekalert.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Submarine to the Abyss

An exploration of the Cayman Trough in search of new species is part of the 3-year plan for some British scientists, using a robotic submarine and a remotely-operated vehicle. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Nationalism Arises over Snake Description

Some folks on Barbados are upset that a University of Pennsylvania herpetologist has named a tiny thread snake from that island after his wife. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Smallest Snake Discovered

A tiny threadsnake discovered in Barbados appears to be the smallest snake species as yet discovered. Adults average just under four inches in length. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Species of Fungus-Eating Ants

They like their mushrooms... (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Fish Sighted in Hawaii?

From the news:

"A team of Hawaii scientists may have discovered a new species of fish in the Northwest Hawaiian islands. They're a NOAA team that returned this week from an expedition to study the beautiful fish and marine life there." ...
"Dr. Jeff Drazen detailed, 'One of the animals we observed on this expedition was a fish called an eel pout. We don't know the species for certain, but it belongs to a family of fishes that have never been documented in the Hawaiian Islands.'" ...
"These were at a depth of 10,000 feet. ... 'They were attracted to the bait and they seemed to eat some of the other animals that were also attracted,' said Drazen."
"The research team plans to head back out to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands next year to catch some specimens-of eel pout and possibly other fish!"

Labels: ,

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Manta?

The Save Our Seas Foundation is claiming a new species of manta ray, though it hasn't actually been described yet.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another Mouse Lemur

A new species of mouse lemur has been described from Madagascar. (News source.)

"The small nocturnal mouse lemur species has been named Microcebus macarthurii, MacArthur`s mouse lemur. The animals live in eastern Madagascar in the dense, evergreen mountainous rainforests of the Makira region. They were discovered by the Malagasy scientists when inventorying the lemur fauna of the area. Since the project is being supported by the MacArthur Foundation from the USA the new species has been named after the Foundation."

Labels: ,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Nonggang Babbler

A new species of small bird has been described from China, near the border with Vietnam. (New source.)

Labels: ,