1. A new genus and species of mole has been described from Tibet. The location is near the main road from Lhasa to Yunnan, but you need a special permit to get there. The description is not up to ICZN standards because the authors mentioned the name, Alpiscaptulus medogensis, in the abstract, which is specifically (and very inconveniently) prohibited.
2. There is a new proposal to split Gulf of Mexico population of Bryde’s whale into a new species. The paper is not on sci-hub yet so I don’t know how good the evidence is; from the abstract it looks like the authors only compared whales from different parts of the Atlantic.
3. A new bat, Myotis nimbaensis, described from Mt. Nimba; it looks very similar to M. welwitschii.
4. There is a new paper (Ojeda et al., Zoologica Scripta) on species limits in Phyllotis xanthopygius group, proposing but not describing two new species. I have the PDF if anybody wants it.
5. A 2020 paper I never mentioned here: a proposal to split meadow vole into three species: W, E and Florida. Western (M. drummondii) and eastern (M. pennsylvanicus s. str.) are very widespread and easy to see, but M. dukecampbelli is extremely rare and localized. In 2010 I spent a whole week in Lower Suwannie NWR where it occurs while studying alligators, and managed to see it only once. Might be a bit easier with a thermal scope.
6. Speaking of Florida splits, there was a 2010 dissertation proposing to split the Florida subspecies of least shrew as Cryptotis floridanus (actually, it’s a bit more complicated; the two forms are largely sympatric). It was never properly published or followed up, but is now beginning to make its way into checklists, so have a look.
7. An interesting paper on the systematics of some Himalayan Myotine bats, lumping a few taxa.
The relevant rule in the Code is referring to meeting/presentation abstracts as not fulfilling the publication requirement. Names appearing in journal article abstracts are fine, assuming the remainder of the article meets all the other requirements (providing a diagnosis/definition, designating a type specimen, etc.). Some journals do have format restrictions that prevent names from appearing in article abstracts or titles though.
The Society for Marine Mammalogy checklist now includes Rice’s Whale. We got great looks on a birding pelagic out of Alabama in 2009, now I need to find a regular one.
Bryde’s whale (B. e. brydei) and Eden’s whale (B. e. edeni) are subspecies of Bryde’s whale (B. edeni). They say more study of the complex is needed.
Ganges and Indus river dolphins are both full species again.
Forgot a link to the checklist
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
I have skimmed the B. ricei paper, so I can provide a few more details
The phylogeny used included individuals from throughout the global distribution of the Bryde’s-Eden’s complex, and B. ricei is sister to B. edeni, and both form a clade that is sister to B. brydei.
They also examined cranial morphology, and the nasal-vertex region of ricei are clearly separable from other members of the complex. So the morphological evidence is pretty good for the split, not that shape of nasal bones is going to help folks here in identifying a whale at sea 😛
The big caveats in interpreting the paper are the following: no nuclear DNA is included, and I am not sure the full distribution is understood. B. edeni seems to be entirely absent from the tropical/north Atlantic, however some sampled whales from this area did register as B. brydei. So outside the one identified core foraging range in the Gulf of Mexico, I am not sure one can safely assign identity to a member of this complex elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic. B. ricei and B. brydei could be sympatric in at least part of there range.
My guess is that B. ricei may also occur in the gulf stream, as I recall there is a skull from North Carolina that belongs to this complex that has been long postulated to be an undescribed species.
FYI, there is more work underway on this complex. So hopefully more clarity will be available soon.