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Tai Po, Hong Kong

Xue G.-X.,Zhengzhou University of Light Industry | Lo Y.F.P.,Kadoorie Conservation China
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

The purpose of this paper is to restore Erionota acroleuca (Wood-Mason & de Nicéville, 1881) as a valid name, and to establish Erionota acroleuca apicalis de Jong & Treadaway, 1992 as a new subspecific combination, with its immature biology briefly introduced. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.

Wang Y.,Sun Yat Sen University | Zhao J.,Sun Yat Sen University | Yang J.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Zhou Z.,CAS Institute of Zoology | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Given their recent worldwide declines and extinctions, characterization of species-level diversity is of critical importance for large-scale biodiversity assessments and conservation of amphibians. This task is made difficult by the existence of cryptic species complexes, species groups comprising closely related and morphologically analogous species. The combination of morphology, genetic, and bioacoustic analyses permits robust and accurate species identification. Using these methods, we discovered two undescribed Xenophrys species, namely Xenophrys lini sp. nov. and Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. from the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains, southeast China. These two new species can be reliably distinguished from other known congeners by morphological and morphometric differences, distinctness in male advertisement calls, and substantial genetic distances (>3.6%) based on the mitochondrial 16s and 12s rRNA genes. The two new species, together with X. jinggangensis, are sympatric in the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains but may be isolated altitudinally and ecologically. Our study provides a first step to help resolve previously unrecognized cryptic biodiversity and provides insights into the understanding of Xenophrys diversification in the mountain complexes of southeast China. © 2014 Wang et al.

Sung Y.-H.,University of Hong Kong | Karraker N.E.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Hau B.C.H.,University of Rhode Island
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

Harvesting pressure on Asian freshwater turtles is severe, and dramatic population declines of these turtles are being driven by unsustainable collection for food markets, pet trade, and traditional Chinese medicine. Populations of big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) have declined substantially across its distribution, particularly in China, because of overcollection. To understand the effects of chronic harvesting pressure on big-headed turtle populations, we examined the effects of illegal harvesting on the demography of populations in Hong Kong, where some populations still exist. We used mark-recapture methods to compare demographic characteristics between sites with harvesting histories and one site in a fully protected area. Sites with a history of illegal turtle harvesting were characterized by the absence of large adults and skewed ratios of juveniles to adults, which may have negative implications for the long-term viability of populations. These sites also had lower densities of adults and smaller adult body sizes than the protected site. Given that populations throughout most of the species' range are heavily harvested and individuals are increasingly difficult to find in mainland China, the illegal collection of turtles from populations in Hong Kong may increase over time. Long-term monitoring of populations is essential to track effects of illegal collection, and increased patrolling is needed to help control illegal harvesting of populations, particularly in national parks. Because few, if any, other completely protected populations remain in the region, our data on an unharvested population of big-headed turtles serve as an important reference for assessing the negative consequences of harvesting on populations of stream turtles. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

Wang Y.,Sun Yat Sen University | Yang J.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Liu Y.,Sun Yat Sen University
Asian Herpetological Research | Year: 2013

Sphenomorphus tonkinensis is a recently described new species based on specimens collected from northern Vietnam and Hainan, China. Herein, we report 13 additional specimens of S. tonkinensis from five new localities in Guangxi, Guangdong and Jiangxi, southern China. These specimens were compared with the type specimens of S. tonkinensis, which allows us to revise the diagnostic characteristics of this newly described species. Additional information on morphological variation, distribution and reproductive biology are provided, which extends our understanding of the natural history of S. tonkinensis.

Yuan L.-Y.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology | Chan B.P.L.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Zhang E.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

A detailed morphological comparison of the currently recognized subspecies, Acrossocheilus iridescens longipinnis and A. i. iridescens, shows that there are differences in body coloration of juveniles and some osteological characters, in addition to the structure of the first branched dorsal-fin ray and the shape of the distal edge of the dorsal fin which are currently used to distinguish them. These differences support the taxonomic elevation of the two subspecies to species. Based on examination of the type specimens of Acrossocheilus stenotaeniatus, and comparison with A. longipinnis, it is concluded that A. longipinnis is a senior synonym of A. stenotaeniatus. Acrossocheilus longipinnis is redescribed. The current generic classification of the two species is discussed based on the body coloration of juveniles and ontogenetic color change. Copyright © 2001-2012 Magnolia Press.

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