SciCombinator

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

Journal: ZooKeys

13

A total of ca 800,000 occurrence records from the Australian Museum (AM), Museums Victoria (MV) and the New Zealand Arthropod Collection (NZAC) were audited for changes in selected Darwin Core fields after processing by the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA; for AM and MV records) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF; for AM, MV and NZAC records). Formal taxon names in the genus- and species-groups were changed in 13-21% of AM and MV records, depending on dataset and aggregator. There was little agreement between the two aggregators on processed names, with names changed in two to three times as many records by one aggregator alone compared to records with names changed by both aggregators. The type status of specimen records did not change with name changes, resulting in confusion as to the name with which a type was associated. Data losses of up to 100% were found after processing in some fields, apparently due to programming errors. The taxonomic usefulness of occurrence records could be improved if aggregators included both original and the processed taxonomic data items for each record. It is recommended that end-users check original and processed records for data loss and name replacements after processing by aggregators.

13

We present a pinned insect manipulator (IMp) constructed of LEGO® building bricks with two axes of movement and two axes of rotation. In addition we present three variants of the IMp to emphasise the modular design, which facilitates resizing to meet the full range of pinned insect specimens, is fully customizable, collapsible, affordable and does not require specialist tools or knowledge to assemble.

Concepts: Design, Rotation, IMP

11

Fossil elytra of a small trechine carabid are reported from the Oliver Bluffs on the Beardmore Glacier at lat. 85°S. They were compared with counterparts from the extant genera Trechisibus, Tasmanorites, Oxytrechus and Pseudocnides. The fossils share some characters but are sufficiently different to be described as a new genus and species. We named the new species Antarctotrechus balli in honour of George E. Ball who made major contributions to the study of carabids through his own research and the training of students while at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The closest extant relatives to the extinct Antarctotrechus balli are species of Trechisibus, which inhabit South America, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and Tasmanorites, which inhabit Tasmania, Australia. Plant fossils associated with Antarctotrechus balli included Nothofagus (southern beech), Ranunculus (buttercup), moss mats and cushion plants that were part of a tundra biome. Collectively, the stratigraphic relationships and the growth characteristics of the fossil plants indicate that Antarctotrechus balli inhabited the sparsely-vegetated banks of a stream that was part of an outwash plain at the head of a fjord in the Transantarctic Mountains. Other insects represented by fossils in the tundra biome include a listroderine weevil and a cyclorrhaphan fly. The age of the fossils, based on comparison of associated pollen with (40)Ar/(39)Ar dated pollen assemblages from the McMurdo Dry Valleys, is probably Early to Mid-Miocene in the range 14-20 Ma. The tundra biome, including Antarctotrechus balli, became extinct in the interior of Antarctica about 14 Ma and on the margins of the continent by 10-13 Ma. Antarctotrechus balli confirms that trechines were once widely distributed in Gondwana. For Antarctotrechus balli and other elements of the tundra biome it appears they continued to inhabit a warmer Antarctica for many millions of years after rifting of Tasmania (45 Ma) and southern South America (31 Ma).

Concepts: Plant, Beetle, South America, Antarctica, Ground beetle, Victoria Land, Transantarctic Mountains, Beardmore Glacier

11

The smallest known beetle Scydosella musawasensis Hall is recorded for the second time. Precise measurements of its body size are given, and it is shown that the smallest examined representative of this species has a length of 325 µm.

Concepts: Insect, Space, Beetle, Beetles, Endopterygota, Weevil

10

Although the caterpillars are well-known for the stings and magnificent coloration, the systematics of Limacodidae is historically neglected and chaotic due to the difficulty in matching the larval with adult stages as well as the very conservative and convergent adult morphology. One of the biggest taxonomic problems surrounds a collective group from Southeastern Asia, termed the “green limacodid moths”, which harbours at least 90 species placed in the genus Parasa Walker, 1859 and 14 “subunits”. The P. undulata group was previously composed of 3 species from China and Taiwan, and characterized only by wing pattern. This species group is extensively studied herein with two new species described, i.e. P. viridiflamma sp. n. (Taiwan) and P. minwangi sp. n. (S. China), and discovery of female genitalia of three species, presenting new phylogenetic insights in this potentially paraphyletic genus. In addition, one limacodid larva was found to be feeding exclusively on Picea (Pinaceae) in Taiwan. Its identity, Parasa pygmy Solovyev, 2010 in P. undulata group, is confirmed through matching its COI sequence to the adult. This discovery is also biologically significant because the previous known host breadth of Parasa was of polyphagy on various angiosperm plant families. This case, therefore, represents the first record of conifer-feeding behavior in this family as well as the first of specialized herbivory in the genus. Meanwhile, the background match between Picea leaves and larval coloration is shared with other Picea-feeding insects. This phenomenon is worth of further investigation in the aspect of convergent evolution of crypsis associated with a particular plant.

Concepts: Biology, Species, Insect, Larva, Phylogenetics, Lepidoptera, Caterpillar, Butterfly

10

A new species of Stenoloba from the olivacea species group, Stenoloba solaris, sp. n. (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae), is described from Yunnan, China. Illustrations of the male holotype and its genitalia are provided. A diagnostic comparison is made with Stenoloba albistriata Kononenko & Ronkay, 2000, Stenoloba olivacea (Wileman, 1914), and Stenoloba benedeki Ronkay, 2001 (Fig. 4).

Concepts: 1918, 1922, 1917, Noctuidae, 1946, Noctuoidea, January 31, 1951

8

The genus Cleptes Latreille, 1802 from China is revised and illustrated for the first time. Seventeen species of Cleptes are recorded. Nine species are new to science, Cleptes albonotatus sp. n., Cleptes eburnecoxis sp. n., Cleptes flavolineatus sp. n., Cleptes helanshanus sp. n., Cleptes niger sp. n., Cleptes shengi sp. n., Cleptes sinensis sp. n., Cleptes tibetensis sp. n., and Cleptes villosus sp. n.,and two species are reported as new to China, Cleptes metallicorpus Ha, Lee & Kim, 2011, and Cleptes seoulensis Tsuneki, 1959.

Concepts: China, Han Chinese, People's Republic of China, Overseas Chinese

8

Recent investigations of Southeast Asian white toothed shrews belonging to the genus Crocidura have revealed discrepancies between the results of morphological and molecular studies. The following study concerns three species of Crocidura occurring in Vietnam, namely Crocidura attenuata, Crocidura tanakae and Crocidura wuchihensis, and an undescribed fourth species revealed by molecular analysis. For many years Crocidura attenuata has been known to occur in Vietnam but, until very recently, the morphologically similar and comparably sized Crocidura tanakae was believed to be restricted to Taiwan. Following several molecular studies over the last few years, this species is now believed to be considerably more widespread and recognised as occuring also in Vietnam. The results of one of these recent molecular studies also revealed the presence of an undescribed species of Crocidura, similar in size and morphology to Crocidura wuchihensis, which is herein described. Data are provided on geographical variation in Vietnam and the problems of defining morphologically similar yet molecularly disparate species are discussed.

Concepts: DNA, Southeast Asia, Species, Mammal, Vietnamese language, Vietnam, Shrew, Crocidura

7

As the species Haploclastus devamatha Prasanth & Jose, 2014 is indistinguishable from Thrigmopoeus psychedelicus Sanap & Mirza, 2014, the latter is herein considered junior synonym of the former. Occurrence of polychromatism in H. devamatha is noted, and two distinct colour morphs of the species are recognised, a pink form and a blue form. The natural history and conservation of the species are discussed and its known distribution is updated.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Species, Color, Taxonomic rank, Zoology, Zoological nomenclature, Pink

7

A new echiuran, Arhynchite hayaoi sp. n., is described from newly collected specimens from sandy flats of the Seto Inland Sea, Japan, together with many museum specimens, including those once identified as Thalassema owstoni Ikeda, 1904 or Arhynchite arhynchite (Ikeda, 1924). The new species is clearly distinguishable from its congeners by the smooth margin of gonostomal lips and lack of rectal caecum. Brief references are also made to the morphological distinction between the new species and Thalassema owstoni, originally described from the deep bottom on the Japanese Pacific coast.

Concepts: Japan, Pacific Ocean, Annelid, Honshū, Shikoku, Inland Sea, Sea of Japan, Echiura