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.
Coral reefs are some of the most important and ecologically diverse marine environments. At the base of the reef ecosystem are dinoflagellate algae, which live symbiotically within coral cells. Efforts to understand the relationship between alga and coral have been greatly hampered by the lack of an appropriate dinoflagellate genetic transformation technology. By making use of the plasmid-like fragmented chloroplast genome, we have introduced novel genetic material into the dinoflagellate chloroplast genome. We have shown that the introduced genes are expressed and confer the expected phenotypes. Genetically modified cultures have been grown for 1 year with subculturing, maintaining the introduced genes and phenotypes. This indicates that cells continue to divide after transformation and that the transformation is stable. This is the first report of stable chloroplast transformation in dinoflagellate algae.
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.
Six new species of marpissoid jumping spiders from Sarawak, Borneo, are described in the new genus Tisaniba Zhang & Maddison. They are the type species, T. mulu Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., as well as the species T. bijibijan Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., T. dik Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., T. kubah Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., T. selan Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., and T. selasi Zhang & Maddison sp. nov. The spiders are small and brown to black, living in leaf litter in the tropical forest. Phylogenetic analyses based on 28s and 16sND1 genes indicate that they are a distinctive group within the marpissoids. Diagnostic illustrations and photographs of living spiders are provided for all species.
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.
Cyrtodactylus metropolis sp. nov. from Batu Caves massif, Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia is differentiated from all congeners by having a unique suite of morphological and color pattern characteristics. Remarkably, this species has been overlooked despite a plethora of field studies at Batu Caves from 1898 to the present and no specimens had ever been examined until now. As with all other limestone forest-adapted Cyrtodactylus in Peninsular Malaysia, C. metropolis sp. nov. is not a cave-adapted species but is far more common on the exterior surfaces of the Batu Caves limestone massif and its surrounding limestone vegetation. We suggest that researchers devote time exploring the exterior surfaces of limestone massifs as well the interiors of their caves.
Lepidocephalus has been assumed to include only two species and confined to peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia. However, based on records and collections reported herein, the genus contains five species and is most common in the Chao Phraya basin of Thailand. Large rivers seem to be the preferred habitat, and difficulty in collecting these rivers may account for the paucity of specimens in collections. The known range of these five species includes western and southern Borneo, Java, Sumatra, peninsular Malaysia, and central Thailand.
The genus Cerithideopsis is most common in mangrove and salt marsh habitats of the New World tropics, but there is also a small radiation in the Indo-West Pacific region. Previously, these Indo-Pacific snails have generally been classified as Cerithidea largillierti (Philippi, 1848). Molecular phylogenetic analysis (partial sequences of mitochondrial COI and 16S rRNA, and nuclear 28S rRNA) of 15 specimens from 8 localities between Japan and Australia reveal three clades, among which there are small morphological differences and which show allopatric distributions. Cerithideopsis largillierti sensu stricto is restricted to Japan and China, while the two other species are described as new: C. australiensis occurs in tropical Australasia and C. malayensis is found from Malaysia to Java and the Philippines. All occur on mud and in pools with leaf litter, in the shaded landward and middle zones of mangrove forests, and do not climb the trees. The species accounts include full synonymies, detailed descriptions of shells based on 82 museum samples, descriptions of living animals, distribution records and maps, and notes on habitat and conservation status.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Two new species of Ancyronyx Erichson, 1847 (Coleoptera: Elmidae) are described from Borneo: A. pulcherrimus (Brunei) and A. reticulatus (Sabah). Habitus views, illustrations of important characters as well as plastron structures of Ancyronyx reticulatus are presented and discussed.
Three new species of Dasyrhicnoessa Hendel, 1934 and one of Pseudorhicnoessa Malloch, 1914 from the Indo-Pacific area are described and the male terminalia illustrated. Among these new species, Dasyrhicnoessa paradoxa sp. nov. and Pseudorhicnoessa longicerca sp. nov. are especially noteworthy for the morphological peculiarities of the male terminalia.
T. iban sp. nov. is described from the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Both sexes can be distinguished from all other species of Telosticta by the form of the antehumeral markings.
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.