Contribution to the taxonomy of the genus Lycodon H. Boie in Fitzinger, 1827 (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) in China, with description of two new species and resurrection and elevation of Dinodon septentrionale chapaense Angel, Bourret, 1933.
ABSTRACT: While considerable progress has been made in the taxonomic studies of the genus Lycodon in Asia, questions remain to be clarified regarding the taxonomy of certain groups, particularly those containing species in China. Not only do many regions in China remain overlooked by herpetologists, resulting in the possibility of undiscovered new species, but the surveyed areas also have suspicious records of recognized congeners that require taxonomic confirmations. Combining both morphological and genetic data, we tackle these outstanding issues in the taxonomy of Lycodon in China. In particular, we discover two new species of Lycodon: one from the previously neglected hot-dry valley in the northern Hengduan Mountain Region close to Tibet, and another recluse and cryptic species from the L. fasciatus complex in the downtown park of a major city in southern Sichuan Province. Additionally, we clarify the distribution of L. septentrionalis in China and resurrect and elevate its junior synonym subspecies, Dinodon septentrionale chapaense, as a full, valid species, and we synonymize the recently described L. namdongensis to the resurrected L. chapaensiscomb. nov.. Lycodon chapaensiscomb. nov. thus represents a new national record of reptilian fauna of China. Lastly, based on literature review, we also correct some of the erroneous records of L. fasciatus and L. ruhstrati in China, point out remaining taxonomic issues of the genus for future research, and update the dichotomous key and distribution of the 20 species of Lycodon currently recorded from China.
Project description:A new species of colubrid snake, Lycodon cathaya sp. nov., is described based on two adult male specimens collected from Huaping Nature Reserve, Guangxi, southern China. In a phylogenetic analyses, the new species is shown to be a sister taxon to the clade composed of L. futsingensis and L. namdongensis with low statistical support, and can be distinguished from all known congeners by the significant genetic divergence in the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene fragment (p-distance ? 7.9%), and morphologically by the following combination of characters: (1) dorsal scales in 17-17-15 rows, smooth throughout; (2) supralabials eight, third to fifth in contact with eye, infralabials nine; (3) ventral scales 199-200 (plus two preventral scales), subcaudals 78; (4) loreal single, elongated, in contact with eye or not, not in contact with internasals; (5) a single preocular not in contact with frontal, supraocular in contact with prefrontal, two postoculars; (6) maxillary teeth 10 (4+2+2+2); (7) two anterior temporals, three posterior temporals; (8) precloacal plate entire; (9) ground color from head to tail brownish black, with 31-35 dusty rose bands on body trunk, 13-16 on tail; (10) bands in 1-2 vertebral scales broad in minimum width; (11) bands separate ground color into brownish black ellipse patches arranged in a row along the top of body and tail; (12) elliptical patches in 3-6 scales of the vertebral row in maximum width; (13) ventral surface of body with wide brownish black strip, margined with a pair of continuous narrow greyish white ventrolateral lines. With the description of the new species, 64 congeners are currently known in the genus Lycodon, with 16 species occurring in China.
Project description:One juvenile and one adult female wolf snake (Colubridae: Lycodon) were sampled at Yixian and Fuxi, Huangshan, Anhui, China in the summer of 2011 and 2012, respectively. The two specimens were identified as Lycodon liuchengchaoi based on external morphology and molecular data. This is a new reptile record in Anhui Province. In our laboratory, four eggs were laid and three neonates were hatched successfully. This is the first record of the laying and incubation of L. liuchengchaoi eggs. The five specimens were deposited at the Museum of Huangshan University (HUM20140001) and Guangdong Entomological Institute (HB-lcfsp12613, HB-lcfsp-ch1~3).
Project description:New taxonomic data for species belonging to Araniella Chamberlin & Ivie, 1942 and Neoscona Simon, 1864 occurring in the Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia are provided. Three species are described as new to science: A. mithra sp. nov. (??, northwestern, central and southwestern Iran), A. villanii sp. nov. (??, southwestern Iran, eastern Kazakhstan and northern India) and N. isatis sp. nov. (??, central Iran). Neoscona spasskyi (Brignoli, 1983) comb. nov., stat. res. is removed from the synonymy of N. tedgenica (Bakhvalov, 1978), redescribed and recorded from Iran and Turkmenistan for the first time. New combinations are established for this species, as well as for Araniella nigromaculata (Schenkel, 1963) comb. nov. (?, north-central China) (both ex. Araneus). Two new synonymies are proposed: Araniella tbilisiensis Mcheidze, 1997 syn. nov. is synonymized with A. opisthographa (Kulczy?ski, 1905), and Neoscona sodom Levy, 1998 syn. nov. is synonymized with N. theisi (Walckenaer, 1841); the latter is recorded from Iran, Georgia, and Russia (Northern Caucasus) for the first time.
Project description:Based on analyses of concatenated internal transcribed spacer regions of the nrDNA operon (ITS), large subunit rDNA (LSU), γ-actin and β-tubulin gene sequences the taxonomy of coniothyrium-like fungi belonging in the family Montagnulaceae, order Pleosporales, was re-assessed. Two new genera are proposed, Alloconiothyrium, to accommodate A. aptrootii sp. nov., and Dendrothyrium for D. longisporum sp. nov. and D. variisporum sp. nov. One new species is described in Paraconiothyrium, viz. Parac. archidendri sp. nov., while two species so far classified in Paraconiothyrium are transferred to Paraphaeosphaeria, viz. Paraph. minitans comb. nov. and Paraph. sporulosa comb. nov. In Paraphaeosphaeria five new species are described based on asexual morphs, viz. Paraph. arecacearum sp. nov., Paraph. neglecta sp. nov., Paraph. sardoa sp. nov., Paraph. verruculosa sp. nov., and Paraph. viridescens sp. nov. Macro- and micromorphological characteristics are fully described.
Project description:A new species of the genus Lycodon is described from Cao Bang Province, Vietnam, based on three individuals with distinct differences in morphology and molecular data. The new species is differentiated from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: dorsal scales in 17-17-15 rows, smooth throughout; supralabials usually eight (rarely nine); infralabials ten; one elongated loreal on each side, in contact with the eye; precloacal plate single; ventral scales 212-218 (plus one or two preventral scales); subcaudals 90 or 91; maxillary teeth 13 or 14; dorsal surface of body with 28 or 29 light body bands; dorsal surface of tail with 13 cream bands, forming a distinct blotch in the vertebral region. Based on phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence data, the new species is recovered as the sister species to a clade containing L. multizonatus and L. liuchengchaoi with strong support from the Bayesian analysis. The new species is at least 7.5% divergent from other species within this clade in uncorrected pairwise distance calculated using a fragment of more than 1000 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b. This discovery increases the number of Lycodon species known from Vietnam to 16.
Project description:Alpha taxonomy, and specifically the delimitation of species, is becoming increasingly objective and integrative. The use of coalescent-based methods applied to genetic data is providing new tools for the discovery and delimitation of species. Here, we use an integrative approach via a combination of discovery-based multivariate morphological analyses to detect potential new species. These potential species are then used as a priori species in hypothesis-driven validation analyses with genetic data. This research focuses on the harvestmen genus Sclerobunus found throughout the mountainous regions of western North America. Based on our analyses, we conduct a revision of Sclerobunus resulting in synonymy of Cyptobunus with Sclerobunus including transfer of S. cavicolens comb. nov. and elevation of both subspecies of S. ungulatus: S. ungulatus comb. nov. and S. madhousensis comb. nov., stat. nov. The three subspecies of S. robustus are elevated, S. robustus, S. glorietus stat. nov., and S. idahoensis stat. nov. Additionally, five new species of Sclerobunus are described from New Mexico and Colorado, including S. jemez sp. nov., S. klomax sp. nov., S. skywalkeri sp. nov., S. speoventus sp. nov., and S. steinmanni sp. nov. Several of the newly described species are single-cave endemics, and our findings suggest that further exploration of western North American cave habitats will likely yield additional new species.
Project description:The Chinese species of <i>Phorocardius</i> Fleutiaux, 1931 have been studied and six species are described as new: <i>P. alterlineatus</i> Ruan & Douglas, <b>sp. nov.</b>; <i>P. flavistriolatus</i> Ruan & Douglas, <b>sp. nov.</b>; <i>P. minutus</i> Ruan & Douglas, <b>sp. nov.</b>; <i>P. rufiposterus</i> Ruan & Douglas, <b>sp. nov.</b>; <i>P. yunnanensis</i> Ruan & Douglas, <b>sp. nov.</b>; and <i>P. zhiweii</i> Ruan, Douglas & Qiu, <b>sp. nov.</b> Lectotypes are designated for <i>Cardiophorus comptus</i> Candèze, 1860, <i>Cardiophorus contemptus</i> Candèze, 1860, <i>Phorocardius magnus</i> Fleutiaux, 1931, and <i>Cardiophorus manuleatus</i> Candèze, 1888. The holotype is identified for <i>Cardiophorus yanagiharae</i> Miwa, 1927. <i>Phorocardius florentini</i> (Fleutiaux, 1895) and <i>P. manuleatus</i> (Candèze, 1888) are newly reported from China; <i>P. comptus</i> (Candèze, 1860) is excluded from the Chinese fauna. A key to the 11 <i>Phorocardius</i> species known from China is given. <i>Phorocardius</i> is newly recorded from deep within the Palearctic Region. The procoxal cavities of <i>P. rufiposterus</i> Ruan & Douglas, sp. nov. are closed, which is different from all other species of <i>Phorocardius</i>. An annotated checklist of the 21 <i>Phorocardius</i> species of the world is provided. Additionally, <i>Phorocardius contemptus</i> (Candèze, 1860), <b>comb. nov.</b> is transferred from <i>Cardiophorus</i> to <i>Phorocardius</i>; four species are transferred from <i>Phorocardius</i> to <i>Displatynychus</i>: <i>Displatynychus bombycinus</i> (Candèze, 1895), <b>comb. nov.</b>, <i>Displatynychus pakistanicus</i> (Platia & Ahmed, 2016), <b>comb. nov.</b>, <i>Displatynychus sobrinus</i> (Laporte, 1840), <b>comb. nov.</b>, and <i>Displatynychus tibialis</i> (Platia & Ahmed, 2016), <b>comb. nov.</b>
Project description:In this study the peculiar Andean grass genus Aphanelytrum, with two species, is reduced to Poa subsect. Aphanelytrum comb. & stat. nov. A third species, Festuca reclinata, is assigned to the subsection, which shows states transitional between a more typical Poa and Aphanelytrum. Poa subgen. Poa supersect. Homalopoa sect. Dioicopoa subsect. Aphanelytrum comb. & stat. nov. is characterized in having stooling perennials with decumbent to spreading culm bases that continuously branch and often root at low to mid-culm nodes, glabrous spikelets with long rachillas 1.2-4.2 mm long, short glumes less than ½ the length of the florets, and lemmas with bifid apexes that are mucronate to short-awned. We provide for the three species taxonomic discussions, morphological and anatomical descriptions, keys, illustrations, and a list of specimens. Also, we provide two new names, Poa hitchcockiana nom. nov. and Poa sanchez-vegae nom. nov., and one new combination, Poa reclinata comb. nov. A new species, Poa auriculata sp. nov. from Peru, not thought to be a member of Poa subsect. Aphanelytrum, is presented. It is the first in the genus with prominent auricles. In addition, we place Poa apiculata in Poa subgen. Poa supersect. Homalopoa sect. Dioicopoa subsect. Tovarochloa comb. & stat. nov.