Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Lombok


Polar ice core records attest to a colossal volcanic eruption that took place ca. A.D. 1257 or 1258, most probably in the tropics. Estimates based on sulfate deposition in these records suggest that it yielded the largest volcanic sulfur release to the stratosphere of the past 7,000 y. Tree rings, medieval chronicles, and computational models corroborate the expected worldwide atmospheric and climatic effects of this eruption. However, until now there has been no convincing candidate for the mid-13th century “mystery eruption.” Drawing upon compelling evidence from stratigraphic and geomorphic data, physical volcanology, radiocarbon dating, tephra geochemistry, and chronicles, we argue the source of this long-sought eruption is the Samalas volcano, adjacent to Mount Rinjani on Lombok Island, Indonesia. At least 40 km(3) (dense-rock equivalent) of tephra were deposited and the eruption column reached an altitude of up to 43 km. Three principal pumice fallout deposits mantle the region and thick pyroclastic flow deposits are found at the coast, 25 km from source. With an estimated magnitude of 7, this event ranks among the largest Holocene explosive eruptions. Radiocarbon dates on charcoal are consistent with a mid-13th century eruption. In addition, glass geochemistry of the associated pumice deposits matches that of shards found in both Arctic and Antarctic ice cores, providing compelling evidence to link the prominent A.D. 1258/1259 ice core sulfate spike to Samalas. We further constrain the timing of the mystery eruption based on tephra dispersal and historical records, suggesting it occurred between May and October A.D. 1257.

Concepts: Ignimbrite, Carbon, Lombok, Volcanoes, Pyroclastic flow, Ice core, Volcano, Volcanology


The avifauna of Indonesia is one of the richest in the world but the taxonomic status of many species remains poorly documented. The sole species of scops owl known from Lombok has long been assigned to the widespread Moluccan Scops Owl Otus magicus on the basis of superficial similarities in morphology. Field work in 2003 has shown that the territorial song of the scops owls inhabiting the foothills of Gunung Rinjani differs dramatically from that of O. magicus and is more similar to those of Rufescent Scops Owl O. rufescens and Singapore Scops Owl O. cnephaeus. Detailed comparisons of sound recordings and museum specimens with those of other scops owls in Wallacea and the Indo-Malayan region have confirmed the distinctiveness of the Lombok population. We describe Otus jolandae as a new species, the Rinjani Scops Owl. It is locally common at elevations from 25-1350 m. and occurs within Gunung Rinjani National Park. The new species is known from seven specimens collected by Alfred Everett in 1896. Otus jolandae represents the first endemic bird species from Lombok.

Concepts: Mount Rinjani, Palau Owl, Scops-owl, Lombok, Owls, Owl, Indonesia, Bird


Surveys of pupae and larvae of black flies were carried out in Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa and Flores in the Lesser Sunda Archipelago, Indonesia, where 10 species were known. A total of 14 simuliid species including four new species and five new records of the genus Simulium were collected, bringing the number of species from the Lesser Sunda Archipelago to 19. They are classified into four subgenera: two in Nevermannia, nine in Gomphostilbia, seven in Simulium and one in Wallacellum. One of four new species, Simulium (Simulium) baliense, is described based on females, males, pupae and larvae from Bali and Lombok. This new species, which is placed in the Simulium striatum species-group of the subgenus Simulium, is closely related to S. (S.) argyrocinctum De Meijere from Java and Sumatra, but it is distinguished from the latter species by the smaller number of the male enlarged upper-eye facets and larval abdomen lacking dorsal pairs of conical protuberances. The distribution record of S. (S.) upikae Takaoka & Davies from Flores is corrected as that of S. (S.) eximium De Meijere. Some aberrant characters of the pupal gill filaments of S. (G.) atratum De Meijere, S. (G.) floresense Takaoka, Hadi & Sigit and S. (G.) sunapii Takaoka, Sofian-Azirun & Suana are illustrated. Characteristics of the fauna of black flies in this archipelago are briefly noted. Keys to all 19 species are provided for females, males, pupae and larvae.

Concepts: Simuliidae, Nematocera, Lombok, Black fly, Simulium, Indonesia, Insect, Lesser Sunda Islands


Rasbora lateristriata is a primary freshwater fish described from Java Island of Indonesia but its taxonomy, phylogeny, and distributional boundary have not been fully studied. Rasbora baliensis was described as a species endemic to Balinese lakes but its taxonomic status has been controversial in relation to R. lateristriata. Here, we collected Rasbora fishes from various freshwater localities of Java Island, as well as five neighboring islands to conduct molecular and morphological analyses on their phylogenetic relationships. Both molecular analyses using two mitochondrial and two nuclear gene sequences and morphological analyses featuring the body color pattern consistently support that the currently recognized R. lateristriata forms a species complex including at least four major lineages that possibly represent different species. In one of the major lineages, Balinese individuals cluster with those from East Javanese, Lombok and Sumbawa localities, calling for taxonomic revision on R. baliensis. The other three major lineages occur in distinct regions of central, west-central, and western Java and they can be clearly distinguished by the combination of pigmentation patterns in the basicaudal blotch and the supra anal pigment. Our molecular phylogeny suggests west-to-east divergences of the R. lateristriata species complex in Java Island from the late Miocene to Plio-Pleistocene before it finally crossed Wallace’s Line, colonizing Lombok and Sumbawa Islands very recently.

Concepts: Fish, Phylogenetic tree, Lombok, Javanese language, Phylogenetics, Bali, Species, Indonesia


In this article I demonstrate what can be learnt from the indigenous healing knowledge and practices of traditional Sasak midwives on Lombok island in eastern Indonesia. I focus on the treatment of infertility, contrasting the differential experiences of Sasak women when they consult traditional midwives and biomedical doctors. Women’s and midwives' perspectives provide critical insight into how cultural safety is both constituted and compromised in the context of reproductive health care. Core components of cultural safety embedded in the practices of traditional midwives include the treatment of women as embodied subjects rather than objectified bodies, and privileging physical contact as a healing modality. Cultural safety also encompasses respect for women’s privacy and bodily dignity, as well as two-way and narrative communication styles. Local understandings of cultural safety have great potential to improve the routine practices of doctors, particularly in relation to doctor-patient communication and protocols for conducting pelvic exams.

Concepts: Knowledge, Sasak, Learning, Body, Balinese people, West Nusa Tenggara, Lombok


Although Indonesia has been rabies-infected since at least the 1880s, some islands remain rabies-free, such as Lombok. However, due to its adjacency to rabies-infected islands such as Bali and Flores, there is considerable risk of a rabies incursion. As part of a rabies risk assessment project, surveys were conducted to estimate the size of the dog population and to describe dog management practices of households belonging to different ethnic groups. A photographic-recapture method was employed and the number of unowned dogs was estimated. A total of 400 dog owning households were interviewed, 300 at an urban site and 100 at a rural site. The majority of the interviewed households belonged to the Balinese ethnic group. Owned dogs were more likely male, and non-pedigree or local breed. These households kept their dogs either fully restricted, semi-free roaming or free-roaming but full restriction was reported only at the urban site. Dog bite cases were reported to be higher at the urban site, and commonly affected children/young adults to 20 years old and males. A higher number of unowned dogs was observed at the urban site than at the rural site. Data generated within these surveys can inform rabies risk assessment models to quantify the probability of rabies being released into Lombok and resulting in the infection of the local dog population. The information gained is critical for efforts to educate dog owners about rabies, as a component of preparedness to prevent the establishment of rabies should an incursion occur.

Concepts: Estimation, Ethnic group, Lombok, Lesser Sunda Islands, Skinny Puppy, Indonesia, Balinese people, Bali


Previously free of rabies, Bali experienced an outbreak in 2008, which has since caused a large number of human fatalities. In response, both mass dog culling and vaccination have been implemented. In order to assess potential community-driven interventions for optimizing rabies control, we conducted a study exploring the relationship between dogs, rabies, and the Balinese community. The objectives of this study were to: i) understand the human-dog relationship in Bali; ii) explore local knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) relating to rabies; and iii) assess potential community-driven activities to optimize rabies control and surveillance.

Concepts: Dog, Mathematics, Lombok, Java, Knowledge, Balinese people, Bali, Indonesia


This study measured the levels of total mercury (tHg) in the whole tissues of cockles (Anadara granosa and A. antiquata) harvested from three estuaries of Western Lombok Island (WLI), Indonesia. This paper also evaluated the hazard level posed by the mercury in relation to the maximum residual limit for human consumption and to estimate the weekly intake and compare it with the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI). The tHg concentrations in A. granosa ranged from 0.020 to 0.070 mg kg(-1), and those in A. antiquata were between 0.032 and 0.077 mg kg(-1) at all locations. All samples of cockles harvested from WLI contain tHg below the permissible limit for human consumption. The maximum weekly intakes for total mercury by coastal people range from 0.28 to 1.08 µg kg(-1) b.w., and they are below the recommended values of PTWI (5.6 µg kg(-1) b.w.). If it is assumed that 100 % of the Hg in cockles is methyl mercury (MeHg), consumption of the indicated amounts at the measured values wouldn’t exceed the MeHg PTWI (1.6 µg kg(-1) b.w.).

Concepts: Lombok


A new species of the mysid crustacean genus Gastrosaccus Norman, 1868 (Mysida, Mysidae, Gastrosaccinae) is reported from a sandy shore of Lombok Island, Indonesia. These specimens resemble G. sorrentoensis Wooldridge & McLachlan, 1986 and G. yuyu Bamber and Morton, 2012 by the possession of an articulated process on the fifth abdominal somite together with a fringe of spine-like filaments on the posterodorsal margin of the carapace. The Lombok population differs from the known congeners by having comparatively fewer numbers of carpopropod segments on the endopod of the third to eighth thoracic limbs and the conformation in the telson and in the male third pleopod. Hence, G. lombokiensis sp. n. is proposed herein as a third species of “G. sorrentoensis” species group.

Concepts: Mysida, Species, Animal anatomy, Lombok, Lobster, Shrimp, Biology, Crustacean


The Batu Hijau copper-gold mine on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia operates a deep-sea tailings placement (DSTP) facility to dispose of the tailings within the offshore Senunu Canyon. The concentrations of trace metals in tailings, waters, and sediments from locations in the vicinity of the DSTP were determined during surveys in 2004 and 2009. In coastal and deep seawater samples from Alas Strait and the South Coast of Sumbawa, the dissolved concentrations of Ag, As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb and Zn were in the sub μg/L range. Dissolved copper concentrations ranged from 0.05 to 0.65μg/L for all depths at these sites. Dissolved copper concentrations were the highest in the bottom-water from within the tailings plume inside Senunu Canyon, with up to 6.5μg Cu/L measured in close proximity to the tailings discharge. In general, the concentrations of dissolved and particulate metals were similar in 2004 and 2009.

Concepts: Coast, Tin, Metal, West Nusa Tenggara, Lombok, Silver, Zinc