Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A new silky ant: Sericomyrmex radioheadi

Credit: Ana Ješovnik
The ants of the genus Sericomyrmex -- literally translated as 'silky ants' -- belong to the fungus-farming ants, a group of ants that have figured out how to farm their own food. The silky ants are the less well-known relatives of the famous leaf-cutter ants.

At only four million years, Sericomyrmex is an evolutionary youngster, the most recently evolved genus of fungus-farming ants, and an example of adaptive radiation which is a process in which organisms diversify quickly into a multitude of forms, making these ants good candidates for studies into speciation and evolution.

The new species has been named after the famous British band Radiohead in honor of the musicians' environmental efforts, especially in raising climate-change awareness. This is one of my favorite bands which makes this even more exciting to me.

For the experts: The genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini) is a Neotropical group of fungus-farming ants known for its problematic taxonomy, caused by low morphological variability across the species, vague and old species descriptions, and an outdated and incomplete key published in 1916. Recent molecular studies revealed that Sericomyrmex is the product of a rapid recent radiation, with a divergence date of 4.3 million years ago. Here we present a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the genus Sericomyrmex based on morphology and a recently published molecular phylogeny. We discuss and illustrate morphological characters for Sericomyrmex workers, males, queens, and larvae. We report 18 standard morphological measurements and 5 indices for 529 workers, 50 queens, and 39 males, which we employ in morphometric analyses. The revised genus Sericomyrmex comprises eleven species, including three new species, here described as S. maravalhas sp. n., S. radioheadi sp. n., and S. saramama sp. n. We also redescribe S. amabilis Wheeler, S. bondari Borgmeier, S. lutzi Wheeler, S. mayri Forel, S. opacus Mayr, S. parvulus Forel, S. saussurei Emery, and S. scrobifer Forel. The number of recognized species (11) is lower than the previously recognized 19 species and 3 subspecies. The following species and subspecies are synonymized: under S. opacus [=S. aztecus Forel syn. n., S. zacapanus Wheeler syn. n., and S. diego Forel syn. n.]; under S. bondari [=S. beniensis Weber syn. n.]; under S. mayri [=S. luederwaldti Santschi syn. n., S. moreirai Santschi syn. n., S. harekulli Weber syn. n., S. harekulli arawakensis Weber syn. n., S. urichi Forel syn. n.]; under S. saussurei [=S. burchelli Forel syn. n., S. impexus Wheeler syn. n., S. urichi maracas Weber syn. n.]; and under S. parvulus [=S. myersi Weber syn. n.]. We provide a key to Sericomyrmex species for the worker caste and information on the geographic distributions of all species.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A new pistol shrimp: Synalpheus pinkfloydi

Pistol shrimps, or snapping shrimps, have an ability to generate substantial amounts of sonic energy. By closing its enlarged claw at rapid speed the shrimp creates a high-pressure cavitation bubble, the implosion of which results in one of the loudest sounds in the ocean - strong enough to stun or even kill a small fish.

A newly discovered conspicuously coloured pistol shrimp found on the Pacific coast of Panama has now been named Synalpheus pinkfloydi in recognition of the discoverers' favourite rock band -- Pink Floyd.

As a lifetime fan of the band I can only applaud my colleague for this decision.

For the experts: A new, conspicuously coloured species of the alpheid genus Synalpheus Spence Bate, 1888, is described based on material collected on the Pacific coast of Panama. Synalpheus pinkfloydi sp. nov. is closely related to the western Atlantic S. antillensis Coutière, 1909, the two taxa being transisthmian, cryptic sister species. Both species are characterised by the distal areas of their major and minor chelae coloured in an intense, almost glowing pink-red. The morphological differences between S. pinkfloydi sp. nov. and S. antillensis Coutière, 1909 are subtle, being limited to the slightly different proportions of the merus of both chelipeds, distodorsal armature of the major cheliped merus, relative length of the antennal scaphocerite, and body size. However, they are genetically different with a 10.2% sequence divergence in COI. Based on molecular clock estimates, these transisthmian taxa diverged around 6.8–7.8 mya, i.e. well before the final closure of the Isthmus of Panama 2.5–3 mya.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A new frog: Pristimantis attenboroughi

Credit: Dr. Edgar Lehr from publication
One extraordinarily diverse genus of frogs, Pristimantis, includes 465 recognized species, 131 of them from Peru. The mountainous terrain of the Andes probably led to the evolution of so many different ground-dwelling frogs, in which the eggs develop directly into tiny baby frogs without going through a tadpole phase.

The new species inhabits several localities across the Pui Pui Protected Forest, a nature reserve located at elevations between 3400 and 3936 m in central Peru. Its name was dedicated to Sir David Frederick Attenborough in honor for his educational documentaries on wildlife, especially on amphibians (e.g., Life in Cold Blood, Fabulous Frogs), and for raising awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.

For the experts: We describe a new species of Pristimantis from upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest and its close surroundings, Región Junín, central Peru. The description of the new species is based on 34 specimens found at elevations between 3400 and 3936 m a.s.l. Pristimantis attenboroughi sp. n. is characterized by a snout–vent length of 14.6–19.2 mm in adult males (n = 21), 19.2–23.0 mm in adult females (n = 10), and is compared morphologically and genetically with other taxonomically and biogeographically relevant species of Pristimantis. The new species is characterized by having narrow digits that lack circumferential grooves, irregularly shaped, discontinuous dorsolateral folds, and absence of both tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus. The high similarity in morphology between P. attenboroughi sp. n. and members of the Andean genera Phrynopus and Bryophryne provides an example for convergent evolution, and highlights the importance of using molecular data to justify generic assignment. Pristimantis attenboroughi sp. n. is most similar to Phrynopus chaparroi from the Región Junín, suggesting that the generic placement of this species needs to be revised. Phylogenetically the new species belongs to the Pristimantis danae species Group, a clade that includes several Pristimantis species distributed in the montane forests of central Peru, including P. albertus, P. aniptopalmatus, P. ornatus, and P. stictogaster.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A new snail: Gastrocopta sharae

Credit: Dr. Rodrigo B. Salvador from publication
The genus Gastrocopta comprises of a number of minute air-breathing land snails. These little animals usually measure less than 2 mm. They are cave-dwelling invertebrates, which in general, receive scarce attention from researchers. Given their size and the environment they live in it should come as no surprise that little is known about them. It also means that the closer researchers look the more new species they will likely find.

Inspired by where the snails were found the researchers named it after Shar, a fictional goddess of darkness, caverns, and secrets, from the Faerûnian pantheon of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game.

For the experts: A sample of land and freshwater snails, mainly pulmonates, was recently collected in caves in Goiás and Bahia states, Brazil. Twenty-one species were found in the material. The following species are reported for the first time for Goiás state: Cecilioides consobrina (Ferussaciidae), Dysopeas muibum and Stenogyra octogyra (Subulinidae), Entodina jekylli and Prohappia besckei (Scolodontidae; also reported for the first time for Bahia state), Pupisoma dioscoricola (Valloniidae). A new species from Goiás is described herein: Gastrocopta sharae sp. n. (Gastrocoptidae). The new records and species addressed here constitute important findings, helping to fill distributional gaps and improving the knowledge of the local molluscan fauna, an essential step for future conservation efforts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A new plasterer bee: Lonchopria heberti

Members of the bee family Colletidae are also called plasterer bees because of their way to smooth the walls of their nest cells with secretions which dry into a cellophane-like lining. The majority of the 2000 known species in this family live in South America and Australia. No surprise that this new species was found in Chile. 

The species is named after the inventor of DNA barcoding: Paul Hebert who happens to be my boss. The species had gone unnoticed until the authors used DNA barcoding and detected a deep genetic divergence between this species and Lonchopria similis, prompting the search for standard morphological differences and thereby speeding up species discovery.

For the experts: We compare the diversity of bees in the Chilean fauna as understood from traditional taxonomy-based catalogues with that currently known from DNA barcodes using the BIN system informed by ongoing morphology-based taxonomic research. While DNA barcode surveys of the Chilean bee fauna remain incomplete, it is clear that new species can readily be distinguished using this method and that morphological differentiation of distinct barcode clusters is sometimes very easy. We assess the situation in two genera in some detail. In Lonchopria Vachal one “species” is readily separable into two BINs that are easily differentiated based upon male mandibular and genitalic morphology (characters generally used in this group) as well as female hair patterns. Consequently, we describe Lonchopria (Lonchopria) heberti Packer and Ruz, new species. For Liphanthus Reed, a large number of new species has been detected using DNA barcoding and considerable additional traditional morphological work will be required to describe them. When we add the number of BINs (whether identified to named species or not) to the number of Chilean bee species that we know have not been barcoded (both described and new species under study in our laboratories) we conclude that the bee fauna of Chile is substantially greater than the 436 species currently known. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

A new gall midge: Contarinia n. sp.

Photo by SRDC 
Members of the fly family Cecidomyiidae are known as gall midges or gall gnats. Their larvae feed within plant tissue and release chemicals that induce abnormal plant growths called galls. These flies are minute, many of them are less than 1 mm long. They are characterized by hairy wings and have long antennae. More than 6,000 species are currently known to science but this is likely a gross underestimate.

Researchers at the Saskatoon Research and Development Centre (SRDC), along with colleagues at the University of Guelph, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency now found a new Cecidomyiid damaging canola in northeastern Saskatchewan and east-central Alberta. The new species, which has yet to be named and scientifically described, belongs to the genus Contarinia. It is similar in appearance to the swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii, a gall midge native to Europe and Asia, was first found as a pest of plants in the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family in Ontario in 2000. This was the first reported occurrence of this pest species in North America. It is now widely distributed in Ontario and Quebec and has been detected in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and several U.S. states. 

The potential threat posed by the new species needs to be determined. This summer researchers will try to determine the midge’s range and learn more about its life cycle in order to find out if it causes yield losses as well.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A new amoeba: Arcella gandalfi

Image by Jordana C. Féres & Alfredo L. Porfírio Sousa
Thecamoebians are one of 30-45 lineages of amoebae known to science. During their evolution, they have developed the ability to produce an outer carapace or shell for their own protection.

Most amoebae in the genus Arcella  vary considerably in morphology, typically being hemispherical or disk-shaped. Some resemble an Asian rice hat, while others are crown-like with denticulations, small ridges resembling bristles or spines around the edges. The genus comprises some 200 species and is one of the most diverse genera among thecamoebians.

The new species was named after a famous wizard as its carapace resembles the hat worn by Gandalf (Lord of the Rings).

For the experts: Arcellinida are free-living lobose amoebae that produce an outer shell (test). Here, we describe a conspicuous new species, Arcella gandalfi sp. nov, from Brazilian continental waters, along with a morphological and biometrical characterization. Test diameter and test height are on average 81 and 71 respectively. This new species has an apical conical extension, which differentiates it from other Arcella species. A. gandalfi seems to be closely-related to A. brasiliensis, due to the distinct marginal ring (test brim) present only in these two species. Since A. gandalfi is easily identified by morphological features and due to its apparent geographic restriction to South America, we discuss its possible use as a new flagship species.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A new gecko: Geckolepis megalepis

Image Credit: F. Glaw
Many lizards can drop their tails when grabbed, but one group of geckos has devised a different method to escape predation. The skin of fish-scale geckos is specially adapted to tearing. The large scales are attached only by a relatively narrow region that tears with ease, and beneath them they have a pre-formed splitting zone within the skin itself. Together, these features make them especially good at escaping from predators. Although several other geckos are able to lose their skin like this if they are grasped really firmly, Geckolepis are apparently able to do it actively, and at the slightest touch. And while others might take a long time to regenerate their scales, fish-scale geckos can grow them back, scar-free, in a matter of weeks.

The new species was found in northern Madagascar and its name was build from the two Greek stems mégas, meaning ‘very large’ and lepís, meaning ‘scale’, and refers to the large size of the scales of this species in comparison to other geckos.

For the experts: The gecko genus Geckolepis, endemic to Madagascar and the Comoro archipelago, is taxonomically challenging. One reason is its members ability to autotomize a large portion of their scales when grasped or touched, most likely to escape predation. Based on an integrative taxonomic approach including external morphology, morphometrics, genetics, pholidosis, and osteology, we here describe the first new species from this genus in 75 years: Geckolepis megalepis sp. nov. from the limestone karst of Ankarana in northern Madagascar. The new species has the largest known body scales of any gecko (both relatively and absolutely), which come off with exceptional ease. We provide a detailed description of the skeleton of the genus Geckolepis based on micro-Computed Tomography (micro-CT) analysis of the new species, the holotype of G. maculata, the recently resurrected G. humbloti, and a specimen belonging to an operational taxonomic unit (OTU) recently suggested to represent G. maculata. Geckolepis is characterized by highly mineralized, imbricated scales, paired frontals, and unfused subolfactory processes of the frontals, among other features. We identify diagnostic characters in the osteology of these geckos that help define our new species and show that the OTU assigned to G. maculata is probably not conspecific with it, leaving the taxonomic identity of this species unclear. We discuss possible reasons for the extremely enlarged scales of G. megalepis in the context of an anti-predator defence mechanism, and the future of Geckolepis taxonomy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A new crab: Harryplax severus

Credit: Jose C. E. Mendoza
The crab family Christmaplacidae has only been recently described (2014) and so far comprised one species found in an underwater cave at Christmas Island hence the name. Now a new crab from a different Pacific region was added to this family.

The new species is a tiny crab measuring less than a centimeter in both length and width and can be found deep in coral rubble or under subtidal rocks, perhaps also in cavities. To survive in the dark depths, the species has evolved with reduced eyes, well developed antennae, and long, slender legs. For the time being it is known only from the island of Guam.

The new genus is named primarily in honor of the field collector Harry T. Conley, who collected many interesting crustaceans in the rubble beds of Guam, including the new species. The name is also an allusion to a famous namesake, Harry Potter. The species name severus is an allusion to a notorious and misunderstood character in the Harry Potter novels, Professor Severus Snape, for his ability to keep one of the most important secrets in the story, just like the new species which has eluded discovery for nearly 20 years after being collected first. 

For the experts: Harryplax severus, a new genus and species of coral rubble-dwelling pseudozioid crab is described from the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. The unusual morphological features of its carapace, thoracic sternum, eyes, antennules, pereopods and gonopods place it in the family Christmaplacidae Naruse & Ng, 2014. A suite of characters on the cephalothorax, pleon and appendages distinguishes H. severus gen. & sp. n. from the previously sole representative of the family, Christmaplax mirabilis Naruse & Ng, 2014, described from Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. This represents the first record of Christmaplacidae in the Pacific Ocean. With the discovery of a second genus, a revised diagnosis for Christmaplacidae is provided.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A new hermit crab: Pylopaguropsis mollymullerae

Pylopaguropsis mollymullerae, Image from publication
Hermit crabs belong to the crustacean superfamily Paguroidea. There are about 1,100 known species of them. The abdomen of those crabs is soft, unlike the hard, calcified ones seen in other crabs. In order to protect it from predators these crabs salvage empty seashells and carry them around. When in danger they can retract their whole body in it.

A new species of hermit crab was found off Bonaire, an island off Venezuela’s coast in the southern Caribbean. The new species was named to acknowledge the efforts of the collector, photographer and environmentalist, Ellen Muller, who when informed of the intended honor, preferred that the name of her granddaughter, Molly Muller, be used, in the hopes to inspire her to continue the tradition of protecting the fragile marine diversity in Bonaire.

For the experts: A new secretive, yet brightly colored hermit crab species of the family Paguridae, Pylopaguropsis mollymullerae sp. n., is fully described based on specimens from the reefs of Bonaire, Lesser Antilles, southern Caribbean Sea. Populations of this new species were discovered and photographed in the Bonaire National Marine Park under a large coral ledge, at a depth of 13.7 m, living in crevices known by scuba divers to serve as den to a pair of “flaming reef lobsters” Enoplometopus antillensis, or a “broad banded moray” Channomuraena vittata. This new species is only the second species of Pylopaguropsis Alcock, 1905 known from the western Atlantic, the 20th named worldwide, and belongs in the teevana group of species of the genus. It is remarkably similar, and herein considered geminate, to the tropical eastern Pacific congener, P. teevana (Boone, 1932), the two being characterized and uniquely different from all other species of the genus, by the striking and deeply excavated, scoop-like ventral surface of the chela of the right cheliped. Minor differences separate this new species from P. teevana in the relative length of the antennal acicles (exceeding the corneas versus not exceeding the corneas in P. teevana); dorsal armature of the right chela (smooth or with scattered minute tubercles versus with numerous small tubercles in P. teevana); surface shape of the lateral face of the dactyl of right pereopod 3 (evenly convex versus flattened in P. teevana); and coloration (red bright red stripes versus brown stripes in P. teevana). The highly visible color pattern of bright red stripes on white background typical of decapods known to have cleaning symbioses with fish, dense setation on the flagella of the antennae, and preference for a crevicular habitat, combined with brief in situ nocturnal observations, suggests the possibility that P. mollymullerae sp. n. engages in “cleaner” activities or functions as a “den commensal” with moray eels. The morphology and possible meaning of the observed behavior is discussed. A tabular summary of the distribution, habitat, and published information on all species of Pylopaguropsis is presented. Supplemental photographs and a video of live P. mollymullerae sp. n. are included.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A new firefly: Araucariocladus hiems

Fireflies or sometimes named lightning bugs are no flies. They represent a family of beetles (Lampyridae) whose members have the ability to use bioluminescence during twilight to attract mates or prey. They produce a "cold light", with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies. This chemically produced light from the lower abdomen may be yellow, green, or pale red. So far about 2000 firefly species have been found and described.

The latest addition was found in the rain forests of Brazil. Both the genus and the species name are new.  The genus name Araucariocladus was derived from Araucaria, the genus name of the Brazilian pine, and cladus, which is Greek for division, referring to characteristic antennal branches. The species name was derived from the Latin word for winter because remarkably the species occurs during the subtropical winter of the Southeastern Atlantic Rainforest.

For the experts: Here we describe Araucariocladus hiems gen. et sp. nov. (Lampyridae: Amydetinae), a firefly species endemic to high montane forests, and occurring during June, a relatively cool and dry month in the Southeastern Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. We tentatively place it in Psilocladina McDermott, and discuss the limitations of its classification. We also provide illustrations of key structural features of the new taxa and discuss its affinities.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A new poison-dart frog: Ameerega shihuemoy

Poison dart frogs are a group of frogs in the family Dendrobatidae which are native to tropical Central and South America. These little frogs often have brightly colored bodies and the coloration is correlated with their toxicity. The more colourful the more poisonous. A new species was found in Peru.

The species name shihuemoy corresponds to the Harakmbut word for "poison dart frog". The local Amarakaeri from Amazonian Peru coexist with the new species and their language belongs to the Harakmbut linguistic group.

For the experts: We describe and name a new species of poison-dart frog from the Amazonian slopes of the Andes in Manu Province, Madre de Dios Department, Peru; specifically within the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and the buffer zone of Manu National Park. Ameerega shihuemoy sp. nov. is supported by a unique combination of characters: black dorsum with cream to light orange dorsolateral lines, blue belly reticulated with black, and the lack of axillary, thigh and calf flash marks. Within Ameerega, it shares the general appearance of A. altamazonica, A. boliviana, A. hahneli, A. ignipedis, A. petersi, A. picta, A. pongoensis, A. pulchripecta, A. simulans, A. smaragdina, and A. yungicola; each possessing a granular black to brown dorsum, a light labial bar, a conspicuous dorsolateral line running from the snout to the groin, and a metallic blue belly and underside of arms and hind limbs. From most of these species it can be distinguished by lacking flash marks on the axillae, thighs, and calves (absent in only A. boliviana and A. smaragdina, most A. petersi, and some A. pongoensis), by having bright cream to orange dorsolateral stripes (white, intense yellow, or green in all other species, with the exception of A. picta), and by its blue belly reticulated with black (bluish white and black in A. boliviana, green and blue with black marbling in A. petersi, and green and blue lacking black marbling in A. smaragdina). Its mating call also shows clear differences to morphologically similar species, with a lower note repetition rate, longer space between calls, and higher fundamental and dominant frequencies. Phylogenetic analyses based on the 16S mitochondrial rRNA fragment also support the distinctiveness of the new species and suggest that A. shihuemoy is most closely related to Ameerega macero, A. altamazonica, A. rubriventris, and two undescribed species (Ameerega sp. from Porto Walter, Acre, Brazil, and Ameerega sp. from Ivochote, Cusco, Peru). Genetically, the new species is most similar to the sympatric A. macero, from which it clearly differs in characteristics of its advertisement call and coloration. The new species is found near rocky streams during the dry season and near temporary water bodies during the rainy season. Tadpoles are found in lentic water along streams, or in shallow, slow-moving streams. Given its small geographic range, we recommend that A. shihuemoy should be considered 'Near threatened' (NT) according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A new catfish: Oreoglanis hponkanensis

The fish family Sisoridae belongs to the catfishes. These exclusively Asian catfishes live in fast-moving waters and often have adaptations that allow them to adhere to objects in their habitats, e.g. a thoracic adhesive apparatus or plaited paired fins.

The new species was found during a survey at the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary in Myanmar. The authors named the species after the sanctuary.

For the experts: During a survey of the Mali Hka River drainage in Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary in December 2015, a new species was collected and is described herein as Oreoglanis hponkanensis. It is a member of the O. siamensis species group and can be distinguished from its congeners in having a unique combination of the following characters: lower lip with median notch and posterior margin entire, caudal fin emarginate, nasal barbel reaching about half the distance to eye, tip of maxillary barbel rounded, posterior margin of maxillary barbel entire, absence of pale elliptical patches on sides of body below adipose fin, absence of patch on base of first dorsal fin ray, caudal fin brown with two round, bright orange patches in middle, branched dorsal fin rays 5, branched anal fin rays 2, vertebrae 40, pectoral fin surpassing pelvic fin origin, pelvic fin length 21–26% SL, caudal peduncle length 25–33% SL, caudal peduncle depth 3–5% SL, adipose fin base length 34–39% SL, and dorsal to adipose distance 12–16% SL.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A new asteraceae: Espeletia praesidentis

Image from publication
A new plant species from Northeastern Colombia has been named Espeletia praesidentis, in honour of efforts made by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to build peace in his country after over five decades of conflict.

The new species discovered is endemic to Colombia and is only known from the Páramo de Presidente, at elevations of 3400-3600 m. Although a large population of several hundreds of individuals growing in the grasslands of the páramo were observed, this particular area is not under any protection, and there are signs of grazing activity. In addition, the proximity of extensive potato plantations suggests that the species is probably critically endangered.

For the experts: A new species of Espeletia from the Páramo de Presidente in northeastern Colombia is described. The species is named Espeletia praesidentis after the name of the páramo, and it is dedicated to the President Juan Manuel Santos, for his persistent efforts in working for peace for Colombia. The new species is closely related to Espeletia dugandii, but differs in the shape and colour of the leaves and arrangements of the capitulescences. A large population was found, but its total extension is yet to be determine.

Monday, January 9, 2017

A new basslet: Tosanoides obama

Tosanoides obama - Image from publication

This might be old news to some already but I am catching up on my holiday vacation.

A new fish of the large family Serranidae was first discovered and collected on a dive to 90 m at the Kure Atoll, 1900 km northwest of Honolulu. Kure is the northernmost of the Hawaiian Islands, and is the highest latitude coral atoll in the world. Deep coral reefs at depths of 50 to 150 m, in the so-called "Twilight Zone" (also known as mesophotic coral ecosystems), are among the most poorly explored of all marine ecosystems. Located deeper than divers using conventional scuba gear can safely venture, these reefs represent a new frontier for coral-reef research.

The new species was named obama in honor of Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the United States, in recognition of his efforts to protect and preserve the natural environment, particularly through his decision to expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument several weeks after the discovery of this new species in this region.

For the experts: The new species Tosanoides obama is described from two specimens collected at a depth of 90–92 m off Kure Atoll and Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It differs from the other two species of this genus in life color and in certain morphological characters, such as number of pored lateral-line scales, pectoral-fin rays, snout length, anterior three dorsal-fin spine lengths, dorsal-fin profile, and other characters. There are also substantial genetic differences from the other two species of Tosanoides (d ≈ 0.10 in mtDNA cytochrome oxidase I). The species is presently known only from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.