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Karuthedathu D.,Jaya Emerald | Praveen P.,B303 | Palot M.J.,Western Ghats Regional Center
Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society | Year: 2012

Studies on marine birds of India are scarce and available information is based mainly on wind-blown bird data and a few isolated off-shore trips. An attempt was made in recent years to address this lacuna by conducting off-shore trips from the coasts of Karnataka and Kerala to monitor marine birds. We report the significant results from these studies and demonstrate a simple and sustainable methodology for similar future surveys. The study indicates the presence of a good number of pelagic birds off the south-west coast of India belonging to ten species, including a few significant records for the two states. Comparison with prior wind-blown records suggests a negative correlation for a large number of species indicating that such off-shore surveys are the only way to document the status of pelagic birds in our waters. This study also indicates the presence of both boreal and austral breeders wintering and summering in our region respectively. We highlight the potential threats to marine birds in the Arabian Sea and emphasise the need for such future studies. We summarise the hurdles, improvements, and actions in executing such surveys, potentially involving collaboration of larger regional agencies involved in marine research. © Bombay Natural History Society 2012. Source

Keloth R.,Western Ghats Regional Center | Kamalanathan V.,National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

A new genus and one new species of Scelioninae (Hymenoptera: Platygastroidea: Platygastridae) is described and illustrated from India: Chakra Rajmohana and Veenakumari, gen. nov. and Chakra sarvatra Rajmohana and Veenakumari, sp. nov. The new genus is most similar to Opisthacantha Ashmead and differs from it in the presence of a unique sculpture on the head and mesosoma: large and round tubercles separated by sinuous, narrow furrows; the position of lateral ocelli; the dorsally extended prominent interantennal prominence and the fore wing with stigmal and postmarginal veins distinctly longer than the marginal vein. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

Dinesh K.P.,Indian Institute of Science | Vijayakumar S.P.,Indian Institute of Science | Vijayakumar S.P.,Tata Institute of Fundamental Research | Channakeshavamurthy B.H.,Western Ghats Regional Center | And 3 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

We carried out a large-scale phylogenetic analysis of fejervaryan (dicroglossid frogs with 'Fejervaryan lines' on the ventral side of the body) frogs, distributed in South and SE Asia, using published and newly generated sequences of unidentified individuals from the northern Western Ghats. The results corroborate the presence of a larger fejervaryan clade with a sis-ter relationship to a clade composed of Sphaerotheca. Two sister clades could be discerned within the lager fejervaryan clade. The unidentified individuals formed a monophyletic group and showed a strong support for a sister relationship with Minervarya sahyadris. The species was found to be highly divergent (16S rRNA-4% and tyr-1%) from its sister lin-eage Minervarya sahyadris, and the clade composed of these two lineages were found to be deeply nested within the larger clade of Fejervarya. Based on this, the genus Minervarya Dubois, Ohler and Biju, 2001 is synonymized under the genus Fejervarya Bolkay, 1915. The unidentified lineage is recognized, based on phylogenetic position, genetic divergence and morphological divergence, as a distinct species and named here as Fejervarya gomantaki sp. nov. The presence of rictal glands was observed to be a synapomorphic character shared by the nested clade members, Fejervarya sahyadris and Fe-jervarya gomantaki sp. nov. Based on the presence of rictal gland and small size, Minervarya chilapata, a species from a lowland region in the Eastern Himalayas, is synonymized under Fejervarya and evidence for morphological separation from the new species, Fejervarya gomantaki sp. nov. is provided. For the fejervaryan frogs, currently three generic names (Frost, 2015) are available for the two phylogenetic subclades; the genus Fejervarya Bolkay, 1915 for the species of fe-jervaryan frogs having distribution in the South East Asia; the genus Zakerana Howlader, 2011 for the species of fejer-varyan frogs having distribution in the South Asia and the genus Minervarya Dubois, Ohler and Biju, 2001 nested within the 'Zakerana clade'. In the phylogenetic analysis Minervarya sahyadris, the new species described herein as Fejervarya gomantaki sp. nov. are nested within the 'Zakerana clade', if the 'Zakerana clade' for the fejervaryan frogs having distri-bution in the South Asia is provided a generic status the nomen 'Minervarya' should be considered as per the principle of priority of the ICZN Code. Taking into consideration the overlapping distribution ranges of members of the sister clades within the larger fejervaryan clade and the absence of distinct morphological characteristics, we also synonymize the ge-nus Zakerana Howlader, 2011, a name assigned to one of the sister clades with members predominantly distributed in South Asia, under the genus Fejervarya Bolkay, 1915. We discuss the need for additional sampling to identify additional taxa and determine the geographical ranges of the members of the sister clades within Fejervarya to resolve taxonomy within this group. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press. Source

Glyptothorax malabarensis, a new species of the Asian catfish family Sisoridae, is described from a hill stream of an upper tributary of the west-flowing Valappattanam River drainage of Kerala State, India. It is distinguished from its congeners in Peninsular India by the following combination of characters: body depth 19.6-9.9% SL, caudal peduncle length 14.3-14.7% SL and caudal peduncle depth 12.4-12.7% SL (caudal peduncle depth 86.4-88.1% of its length); thoracic adhesive apparatus approximately pentagonal, as long as broad, without a median depression; skin of head and body minutely granulated; and a coloration in life consisting of a black background with three flesh-red or orange transverse bands on body, in preservative changing to dark grey with black mottling and three yellowish-white transverse bands. Copyright © 2010. Source

Biju S.D.,University of Delhi | Bocxlaer I.V.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Mahony S.,University of Delhi | Dinesh K.P.,Western Ghats Regional Center | And 4 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

A taxonomic revision of the genus Nyctibatrachus is presented. As a result,we recognize 27 species, 12 of which are new to science and described herein. Three 'lost' species-Nyctibatrachus sanctipalustris, Nyctibatrachus sylvaticus and Nannobatrachus kempholeyensis are rediscovered after their original descriptions and the latter two species are neotypified. Four species are lectotypified (Nannobatrachus beddomii, Nyctibatrachus deccanensis, Nyctibatrachus major and Nyctibatrachus sanctipalustris). The taxonomic revision and description of new species is based on new morphological, behavioural, ecological and molecular data from available type specimens and/or recent collections from throughout the distribution range of Nyctibatrachus. Specimens from the type localities of all previously described species were collected and discussed along with the type specimens. Nyctibatrachus sholai is considered a junior subjective synonym of N. deccanensis. Nyctibatrachus sanctipalustris modestus is resurrected from synonymy, but allocated to the genus Fejervarya. A new gland, the subocular gland is introduced to anuran morphological terminology. Both the courtship behaviour and ovipositional sites of four species are described for the first time. The process of fertilisation was carried out in the absence of physical contact between males and females in all four species. Furthermore, previously unreported parental care behaviour is documented for the genus, including biparental egg attendance (probably clutch hydration) and egg guarding (active predator defense). A brief outline of tadpole development from egg to metamorph is provided for Nyctibatrachus aliciae, with figures of the major developmental stages. © 2011 Magnolia Press. Source

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