The 'pitchers' of carnivorous pitcher plants are exquisite examples of convergent evolution. An open question is whether the living communities housed in pitchers also converge in structure or function. Using samples from more than 330 field-collected pitchers of eight species of Southeast Asian Nepenthes and six species of North American Sarracenia, we demonstrate that the pitcher microcosms, or miniature ecosystems with complex communities, are strikingly similar. Compared to communities from surrounding habitats, pitcher communities house fewer species. While communities associated with the two genera contain different microbial organisms and arthropods, the species are predominantly from the same phylogenetic clades. Microbiomes from both genera are enriched in degradation pathways and have high abundances of key degradation enzymes. Moreover, in a manipulative field experiment, Nepenthes pitchers placed in a North American bog assembled Sarracenia-like communities. An understanding of the convergent interactions in pitcher microcosms facilitates identification of selective pressures shaping the communities.
Human movement into insect vector and wildlife reservoir habitats determines zoonotic disease risks; however, few data are available to quantify the impact of land use on pathogen transmission. Here, we utilise GPS tracking devices and novel applications of ecological methods to develop fine-scale models of human space use relative to land cover to assess exposure to the zoonotic malaria Plasmodium knowlesi in Malaysian Borneo. Combining data with spatially explicit models of mosquito biting rates, we demonstrate the role of individual heterogeneities in local space use in disease exposure. At a community level, our data indicate that areas close to both secondary forest and houses have the highest probability of human P. knowlesi exposure, providing quantitative evidence for the importance of ecotones. Despite higher biting rates in forests, incorporating human movement and space use into exposure estimates illustrates the importance of intensified interactions between pathogens, insect vectors and people around habitat edges.
A new gall-inducing genus and species of felt scales (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Eriococcidae) found on the leaves and twigs of Matayba guianensis (Sapindaceae) in Brazil is described: Bystracoccus Hodgson gen n. and B. mataybae Hodgson, Isaias & Oliveira sp. n. This is the first record of an eriococcid inducing leaf and stem galls on Sapindaceae and is only the second example of a member of the Eriococcidae to induce stem galls in which the insects diapause during the dry (winter) season. Only the adult female, second-instar female and crawler are known. The species overwinters as the first-instar nymph in pit galls on the twigs but spends the rest of the year associated with two-chambered galls on the leaves. It has recently become clear that South America has a rich felt-scale insect fauna many of which induce galls. It has proved very difficult to place this new genus in a family as it appears to fall between the Eriococcidae and Beesoniidae but is here placed in the eriococcids based on the similarity of the first-instar nymphs and the abundance of this family in the Neotropics. However, the dorsum of the abdomen of the mature adult female becomes heavily sclerotised, forming a round plug-like structure that completely fills the gall orifice. This structure shows remarkable morphological similarities to that of the beesoniid Danumococcus parashoreae Takagi & Hodgson found on Parashorea tomentella (Dipterocarpaceae) in Sabah, Malaysia, with which it is compared along with other eriococcid genera known from South America.
A new species of karst-adapted gekkonid lizard of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch is described from Gua Gunting and Gua Goyang in a karst region of Merapoh, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia whose unique limestone formations are in immediate danger of being quarried. The new species differs from all other species of Cnemaspis based on its unique suite of morphological and color pattern characters. Its discovery underscores the unique biodiversity endemic to karst regions and adds to a growing list of karst-adapted reptiles from Peninsular Malaysia. We posit that new karst-adapted species endemic to limestone forests will continue to be discovered and these regions will harbor a significant percentage of Peninsular Malaysia's biodiversity and thusly should be conserved rather than quarried.
A new species of Philautus is described from western Sarawak. The new species was collected in lower montane forest in two national parks in Sarawak and recorded from another park. It differs from its congeners by a unique combination of morphological characters, including a long, acuminate snout, long legs, and comparatively extensive toe webbing. The advertisement call of the new species differs from all calls of other species that have been analyzed so far. Comparison of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene sequence corroborates its distinct specific status.
A new cavernicolous, arachnophilous thread-legged bug (Phasmatocoris labyrinthicus sp. nov.; Reduviidae: Emesini) is described from Kartchner Caverns, a limestone cavern in Kartchner Caverns State Park near Benson, Arizona, USA. Cavernicolous emesines are recorded from caves in many parts of the world and are distributed across several genera, but are generally uncommon. P. labyrinthicus shows no obvious troglomorphy but ecological evidence suggests it is, at minimum, a cave-limited troglophile. The species seems to be low-humidity intolerant, due to its occurrence in a cave within a desert region, effectively confines the population to the cave, and the species may thus actually be troglobitic by default. Arachnophily in emesines is more common, including in Phasmatocoris Breddin, but has been previously documented in only a single cavernicolous species, Bagauda cavernicola Paiva, reported from India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. However, unlike P. labyrinthicus, B. cavernicola is apparently not morphologically adapted for its arachnophilous association. P. labyrinthicus is the only known troglophilic emesine that is also a morphologically adapted and behaviorally functional arachnophile. The only other known cavernicolous Phasmatocoris (P. xavieri Gil-Santana, Alves, Barrett and Costa) is recorded from a sandstone cave in Brazil. P. xavieri exhibits morphological features indicative of a potentially arachnophilous habit, but its ecology has not been studied. Adults of P. labyrinthicus share characteristics with the species Phasmatocoris praecellens Bergroth, P. minor McAtee and Malloch, P. xavieri, P. spectrum Breddin, and P. rapax McAtee and Malloch. Phasmatocoris is primarily a Neotropical genus and the discovery of P. labyrinthicus represents a significant range extension for the genus, being the first Nearctic species identified, with its geographically nearest relative an undescribed species from Mazatlan, Mexico, over 1,000 km to the south.
A new species of lowland karst dwelling Cnemaspis Strauch 1887, C. grismeri sp. nov. is described from the southeastern base of the Banjaran Bintang in northern Peninsular Malaysia. It is differentiated from its congeners by a unique combination of characters including size, coloration and scalation. Cnemapis grismeri sp. nov. is most closely related to C. mcguirei, an upland species endemic to the Banjaran Bintang. This phylogeographic pattern is also seen in the upland and lowland Banjaran Bintang species of Cyrtodactylus bintangtinggi and C. bintangrendah, respectively (Grismer et al. 2012). The discovery of yet another endemic gekkonid in the poorly explored karst regions of Peninsular Malaysia underscores the necessity for concentrated collecting efforts in these unique landscapes.
Fauna of Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda) of Sabah state of Malaysia, Borneo Island, was evaluated for the first time. Samples from 40 locations were studied, and 31 species of Cladocera were revealed, including three species of Sididae, one species of Daphnidae, one species of Moinidae, four species of Macrothricidae, two species of Ilyocryptidae, and 20 species of Chydoridae. One species of Ilyocryptidae, Ilyocryptus yooni Jeong, Kotov and Lee, 2012, is recorded for Malaysia for the first time, and one more, Anthalona sp., is probably new for science. Of 31 species recorded for Sabah, only three are true planktonic species and 28 are substrate-associated species. Absence of large natural lakes, habitats with most rich cladoceran fauna, can be an important factor limiting diversity of Cladocera in Sabah.
A new species of Sesiidae, tribe Osminiini from Peninsular Malaysia, Heterosphecia pahangensis Skowron, displaying numerous bee-mimicking features, is described. DNA barcodes showed significant differences with related taxa. However, the paucity of Sesiidae barcodes from Southeast Asia prevents meaningful taxonomic comparisons. The closest match out of published data on Sesiidae barcodes is Heterosphecia bantanakai, Arita & Gorbunov (2000a) from the tribe Osminiini, which has 9.98% sequence divergence from Heterosphecia pahangensis. Photographs of the moth in its natural habitat are shown. Behavioural aspects, such as mud-puddling and mode of flight, are described and presented in a video.
Four new species of semiterrestrial gecarcinucid crabs are described from limestone and sandstone habitats in southwestern Sarawak, Malaysia: Terrathelphusa aglaia n. sp., T. cerina n. sp., T. kundong n. sp., and T. mas n. sp. The taxonomy of T. kuchingensis (Nobili, 1901) is discussed, its precise identity ascertained from fresh material, and its actual distribution determined. This increases the number of Terrathelphusa species in Borneo to eight.
A new species of scincid lizard, Lipinia sekayuensis sp. nov. from Hutan Lipur Sekayu, Terengganu State in northeastern Peninsular Malaysia is most similar to L. surda (Boulenger) but differentiated from it and all other species of Lipinia by having the combination of an adult SVL of 42.3 mm; six supralabials; five infralabials; four supraoculars; prefrontals widely separated; two loreals; fused frontoparietals; lower eyelids bearing a large, transparent disc; 21 midbody scale rows; 56 paravertertebral scale rows; 65 ventral scale rows; enlarged, precloacal scales; 10 subdigital lamellae on the third finger; 11, 15, and seven lamellae on the third, fourth, and fifth toes, respectively; distal subdigital lamellae keeled; a median row of slightly enlarged, subcaudal scales present; a generally unicolor, dark-brown dorsum bearing nine very faint, diffuse, darker stripes; and an external ear opening replaced by a scaly, auditory depression.
A newly discovered, diminutive, cave-dwelling, lowland species of the colubrid snake genus Lycodon Boie is described from a limestone cave along the Thai-Malaysian border in the state of Perlis, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia. Lycodon cavernicolus sp. nov. is most closely related to L. butleri Boulenger, an endemic, upland, forest-dwelling species from Peninsular Malaysia of the fasciatus group but is separated from L. butleri and all other species of the L. fasciatus group and the closely related L. ruhstrati group by having the combination of 245 (male) and 232 (female) ventral scales; 113 (male) and 92 (female) paired, subcaudal scales; a single precloacal plate; nine or 10 supralabials; 10 or 11 infralabials; a maximum total length of 508 mm (female); a relative tail length of 0.25-0.27; an immaculate venter in juveniles and dark-brown, posterior, ventral scale margins in adults; and dorsal and caudal bands in juveniles white. The discovery of L. cavernicolus sp. nov. adds to a rapidly growing list of newly discovered reptiles from karst regions and limestone forests of Peninsular Malaysia, underscoring the fact that these areas should be studied before they are quarried as they harbor a significant portion of the Peninsular Malaysia's herpetological diversity.
A new species of stream toad of the genus Ansonia is described from Gunung Murud, Pulong Tau National Park, of northern Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo. Ansonia vidua, sp. nov., is morphologically distinguished from its Bornean congeners by the following combination of characters: medium size (SVL of adult females 33.5-34.4 mm); body uniformly black-brown in life; absence of a visible pattern on dorsum or limbs; presence of two low interorbital ridges; shagreened skin on dorsum, sides and upper surfaces of the limbs with numerous homogeneously small, rounded warts; first finger shorter than second; reduced webbing between the toes and an absence of a sharp tarsal ridge. Uncorrected genetic distances between related taxa of > 4.3% in 16S rRNA gene support its status as a hitherto undescribed species.
We describe two new species and provide one new species record of the family Comesomatidae from a submarine canyon habitat on the Southern Hikurangi margin, New Zealand. Vasostoma hexodontium n. sp. is characterized by having an amphideal fovea with three turns, buccal cavity with six teeth and gubernaculum with long and straight caudal apophyses. Sabatieria dispunctata n. sp. is characterized by the absence of cuticle punctations, large amphideal fovea with 4.5 turns, pharynx with posterior bulb, absence of pre-cloacal supplements, strongly arcuate and cuticularized spicules, simple gubernaculum with short caudal apophyses, and vulva opening directed posteriorly. Laimella subterminata Chen & Vincx, 2000, which was originally described from the Beagle Channel and the Magellan Strait (Chile), is recorded from the Southwest Pacific for the first time.
The Oriental pselaphine genus Horniella Raffray, 1905 (tribe Tyrini: subtribe Somatipionina) is redefined and revised. Twenty-five new species are described: H. centralis Yin & Li, sp. n., H. confragosa Yin & Li, sp. n., H. dao Yin & Li, sp. n., H. hongkongensis Yin & Li, sp. n., H. nakhi Yin & Li, sp. n., H. schuelkei Yin & Li, sp. n., H. sichuanica Yin & Li, sp. n., H. simplaria Yin & Li, sp. n., and H. tianmuensis Yin & Li, sp. n. from China, H. himalayica Yin & Li, sp. n. from Nepal and North India, H. asymmetrica Yin & Li, sp. n., H. burckhardti Yin & Li, sp. n., H. intricata Yin & Li, sp. n., H. kaengkrachan Yin & Li, sp. n., H. khaosabap Yin & Li, sp. n., H. loebli Yin & Li, sp. n., H. phuphaman Yin & Li, sp. n., H. prolixo Yin & Li, sp. n., and H. schwendingeri Yin & Li, sp. n. from Thailand, H. philippina Yin & Li, sp. n. from the Philippines, H. awana Yin & Li, sp. n., H. gigas Yin & Li, sp. n., H. pilosa Yin & Li, sp. n., and H. smetanai Yin & Li, sp. n. from Malaysia, and H. cibodas Yin & Li, sp. n. from Indonesia. The two previously described species, H. hirtella Raffray, 1901 (type species) from Sri Lanka and H. falcis Yin & Li, 2010 from China are redescribed, and a lectotype is designated for H. hirtella. Illustrations of habitus and important diagnostic features, an identification key, and distributional maps for all species are provided. Eleven unidentified species represented only by females are left unnamed. Illustrations of the habitus and the genital complex, and label data of these species are given to facilitate future study. All available data indicates that species of Horniella typically inhabit leaf litter of various kinds of forests, and can be most efficiently collected by sifting and use of Winkler-Moczarski extractors.
An integrative taxonomic analysis of three newly discovered populations of the gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus Gray from Merapoh, Pahang; Gunung Stong, Kelantan; and Gunung Tebu, Terengganu indicate they are part of the C. pulchellus complex and each is a new species and thusly named Cyrtodactylus sharkari sp. nov., C. jelawangensis sp. nov., and C. timur sp. nov., respectively. Each species bears a unique suite of morphological and color pattern characters separating them from each other and all other nominal species in the C. pulchellus complex. Their phylogenetic relationships to each other and other species in the C. pulchellus complex were unexpected in that they are not in accordance with the general distribution of the species in this complex, underscoring the intricate historical biogeography of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. These descriptions highlight our current lack of knowledge concerning the herpetological diversity and distribution of species in northeastern Peninsular Malaysia.
Pycnotarsobrentus inuiae Maruyama & Bartolozzi, gen. nov. and sp. nov. (Brentinae: Eremoxenini) is described from the Lambir Hills National Park, Borneo (Sarawak, Malaysia) based on specimens collected from Crematogaster difformis F. Smith, 1857 ant nests in the myrmecophytic epiphytic ferns Platycerium crustacea Copel. and Lecanopteris ridleyi H. Christ. A second species of Pycnotarsobrentus is known from Malaysia but is represented by only one female and consequently not yet described pending discovery of a male. Pycnotarsobrentus belongs to the tribe Eremoxenini and shares some character states with the African genus Pericordus Kolbe, 1883. No species of Eremoxenini with similar morphological modifications are known from the Oriental region.
A new species of Bent-toed Gecko Cyrtodactylus guakanthanensis sp. nov. of the C. sworderi complex is described from a limestone forest in Perak, Peninsular Malaysia whose karst formations at the type locality are within an active quarry. Cyrtodactylus guakanthanensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other Sundaland species by having the following suite of character states: adult SVL 77.7-82.2 mm; moderately sized, conical, weakly keeled, body tubercles; tubercles present on occiput, nape, and limbs, and extend posteriorly beyond base of tail; 37-44 ventral scales; no transversely enlarged, median, subcaudal scales; proximal subdigital lamellae transversely expanded; 19-21 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe; abrupt transition between posterior and ventral femoral scales; enlarged femoral scales; no femoral or precloacal pores; precloacal groove absent; wide, dark postorbital stripes from each eye extending posteriorly to the anterior margin of the shoulder region thence forming a transverse band across the anterior margin of the shoulder region; and body bearing five (rarely four) wide, bold, dark bands. Destruction of the karst microhabitat and surrounding limestone forest will extirpate this new species from the type locality and perhaps drive it to complete extinction given that it appears to be restricted to the particular microhabitat structure of the type locality and is not widely distributed throughout the karst formations. As with plants and invertebrates, limestone forests are proving to be significant areas of high herpetological endemism and should be afforded special conservation status rather than turned into cement.
We present the first checklist of praying mantids (Mantodea) of Borneo, with special reference to the specimens collected during the Scientific Expedition to Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary 2008. With 118 confirmed species in 56 genera (including subgenera), Borneo is the island with the highest mantodean diversity known to date. In Lanjak Entimau 38 specimens representing 17 genera and 18 species were collected around the station lights and in surrounding secondary and primary forest. A new synonymy in the genus Deroplatys is established. The observed diversity patterns among Bornean mantids are discussed with reference to the biogeographic history of the Sunda Shelf since the Miocene.
An illustrated identification key is provided to 100 genera of Phlaeothripinae from China and Southeast Asia, together with a diagnosis for each genus, and comments on the species diversity. One new genus with a new species, Akarethrips iotus gen.n. & sp.n., and two new species, Heliothripoides boltoni sp.n. and Terthrothrips strasseni sp.n., are described from specimens collected in Peninsular Malaysia and Java respectively. Three Phlaeothripinae genera are synonymised, Mychiothrips Haga & Okajima syn.n. of Veerabahuthrips Ramakrishna, Syringothrips Priesner syn.n. of GigantothripsZimmermann, and Sauridothrips Priesner syn.n. of Gynaikothrips Zimmermann. In addition, four nomenclatural changes are included, Adelphothrips ignotus (Reyes) comb.n. transferred from Mesothrips, Karnyothrips palmerae (Chen) comb.n from Xylaplothrips, Xylaplothrips bogoriensis (Karny) comb.n from Brachythrips, and Oidanothrips notabilisFeng, Guo & Duan considered as a new synonym of Oidanothrips frontalis (Bagnall).