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Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Moussalli A.,Museum Victoria | Herbert D.G.,KwaZulu Natal Museum | Herbert D.G.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2016

The genus Nata Watson, 1934 is a southern African endemic belonging to the Gondwanan family of carnivorous snails, Rhytididae. We present a molecular phylogeny of the genus based on two mitochondrial (16S and COI) and two nuclear genes (ITS2 and 28S RNA), and complement this with an appraisal of morphological characters relating to both the shell and soft parts. We identify four reciprocally monophyletic lineages for which valid names are already available, plus two undescribed species restricted to the Albany Thicket Biome. We show that Nata sensu lato may not be monophyletic. Rather there exist two deep lineages within Nata s.l., one lineage potentially sister to a clade dominated by the Australian and New Zealand radiation, and the other occupying a basal position within Rhytididae. Accordingly we recommend a revision recognising two genera, namely Nata s.s. and Natella respectively. Despite deep molecular divergences within Nata s.s., phenotypic evolution has been remarkably conserved, and contrasts greatly with that exhibited across other major lineages within the Rhytididae. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

A functional guide for the separation of foreign earthworm taxa (intentionally or coincidentally recorded in South African soils) from native South African taxa is provided. Forty-four earthworm species recorded from South African soils, known as ‘exotics’ or introduced, which were under secondary attention for many years, are placed in the annotated keys. The family characters for the indigenous Acanthodrilinae, Microchaetidae and Tritogeniidae, and generic/specific foreign taxa of the Benhamiinae, Eudrilidae, Glossoscolecidae, Lumbricidae, Megascolecidae and Ocnerodrilidae are highlighted, keyed and illustrated. An expansive glossary covering terminologies used in earthworm taxonomy is provided and a broad bibliography of South African earthworms is included in the references. © 2015, Council Natal Museum. All rights reserved.

Plisko J.D.,KwaZulu Natal Museum | Plisko J.D.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Zoology in the Middle East | Year: 2012

Short historical overview of the variable taxonomic rank of the family Microchaetidae is given. The dispersal of the South African endemic taxa based on paleo-geological evidence is noted. Present familial status and the generic composition are outlined. A correlation between specific features and the species distribution is indicated. Selected familial and generic diagnostic characters and their plesiomorphic and apomorphic conditions are discussed. The possible relationship between Microchaetidae and other families sensu various authors is marked out. © Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg.

Londt J.G.H.,KwaZulu Natal Museum | Londt J.G.H.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
African Entomology | Year: 2012

Empodiodes namibiensis sp. n. is described from four localities in northern Namibia (Kunene Region), while a new South African record for Empodiodes melanoscopaeus Londt, 1992 is provided along with a new key for the separation of the four known species of Empodiodes Oldroyd, 1972. New records of the following species from Namibia are provided and considered of special interest Damalis pollinosa Ricardo, 1925, Laphystotes albicans (Engel, 1932), Laphystotes ariel Londt, 2004 and Teratopomyia cyanea (Fabricius, 1781).

Herbert D.G.,KwaZulu Natal Museum | Herbert D.G.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
African Invertebrates | Year: 2012

All species of Chilodontidae known to occur in the south-western Indian Ocean are discussed (27 species, of which eight new, belonging to nine genera, of which three new). Keys to genera and species are provided. Observations on protoconch form, shell microsculpture, radula morphology, operculum shape and external anatomy are given, together with summary biological observations. The genus Agathodonta Cossmann, 1918 is not considered to be applicable to the extant species for which it has been recently used and a new genus is proposed for these living forms. Type specimens of a number of extralimital species examined for comparative purposes are illustrated.

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