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Sudesh Batuwita, Sampath Udugampala, Madura de Silva, Jiaojiao Diao, Udeni Edirisinghe,
Volume 1, Issue 2 (12-2019)

The amphibian fauna of Sri Lanka comprises 120 species, including 107 (~90.0%) endemic species. They belong to five families: Bufonidae, Dicroglossidae, Ichthyophiidae, Microhylidae, and Rhacophoridae. Based on distribution, we recognized five zoogeographic zones for them, Central Hills, Dry Zone, Knuckles Range, Lowland Wet Zone, and Rakwana Hills. Fifty three species were reported from the Central Hills (48 endemics [90.6%] and 42 [79.2%] threatened species). 47 species were recorded from the Lowland Wet Zone, including 36 (76.6%) endemics and 28 (59.6%) threatened species. The Knuckles Range had 25 species, of which, 19 (76.0%) were endemics and 15 (60.0%) are threatened species. 19 species were reported from Dry Zone including seven endemics (36.8%) and four threatened species (21.1%). Out of 29 species, which inhabited in the Rakwana Hills, 26 were endemics (~89.7%) including 24 (82.8%) threatened species. Species diversity along the elevational gradient was also observed with the highest species richness in the mid-elevational localities. Family Ichthyophiidae can be considered as the least studied family. Recent rediscoveries and studies have helped to reduce the number of extinct species from 21 to 18. It is speculated that some of the other extinct species have to be rediscovered or probably were misidentified as other species. About 90% of Sri Lankan amphibians occur in the regions with the highest human populations where there are established agricultural lands. Loss of habitats, competition due to anthropogenic species and invasive species, pollution (cause for malformations, parasites, and other diseases), and climate change appear to be major threats.

Keyvan Abbasi, Mehdi Moradi, Alireza Mirzajani, Morteza Nikpour, Yaghobali Zahmatkesh, Asghar Abdoli, Hamed Mousavi-Sabet,
Volume 1, Issue 2 (12-2019)

The Anzali Wetland is one of the most important water bodies in Iran, due to the Caspian migratory fish spawning, located in the southern Caspian Sea basin, Iran. During a long-term monitoring program, between 1994 to 2019, identification and distribution of fish species were surveyed in five different locations inside the Anzali Wetland and eleven related rivers in its catchment area. In this study 72 fish species were recognized belonging to 19 orders, 21 families and 53 genera, including 66 species in the wetland and 53 species in the rivers. Among the 72 identified species, 34 species were resident in freshwater, 9 species were anadromous, 9 species live in estuarine and the others exist in different habitats. These species include 4 endemic species, 50 native species and 18 exotic species to Iranian waters. The number of species in different locations inside the Anzali Wetland was comparatively similar while it had high variation in different rivers. Twenty fish species are new records for the Anzali Wetland basin, including 10 estuarine, 5 ornamental, 2 riverine, one anadromous, one euryhaline and a small exotic fish.

Sudesh Batuwita, Sampath Udugampala, Udeni Edirisinghe,
Volume 2, Issue 2 (6-2020)

We reviewed the species referred to Eutropis carinata complex from Sri Lanka. We provided the data on the lectotype of Eutropis carinata along with a discussion on its synonyms. Examination of the lectotype of Sincus carinatus Schneider, 1801 (= Eutropis carinata), shows this taxon is not conspecific with Mabuya carinata lankae Deraniyagala, 1953 (= Eutropis carinata lankae). Therefore, we resurrected Eutropis lankae (Deraniyagala) as a valid species from Sri Lanka. Based on the available data, we here tentatively recognize Tiliqua rubriventris Hardwicke and Gray, 1829 (= Eutropis rubriventris) as a valid species. Also, a new species of the genus Eutropis Fitzinger is described from Sri Lanka. The new species was previously confused with E. carinata (Schneider) and may be the source of earlier records of E. beddomei (Jerdon) from the Central Hills of Sri Lanka. The new species, Eutropis resetarii sp. nov. differs from the lectotype of E. carinata by the following characters: widely (vs. narrowly) separated supranasal scales, first supraocular not in contact (vs. in contact) with frontal, third pair of chin shields separated slightly or not touching the second pair of chin shields (vs. in contact broadly with the second pair) and 30 (vs. 32) scale rows across the midbody. Eutropis resetarii sp. nov. is distinguished from E. lankae by the following characters: first loreal does not reach the dorsal surface of snout (vs. reaches in E. lankae); lower preocular larger (vs. smaller) than the anterior loreal scale; lateral border of postmental in complete contact with the first and the second (vs. first and partially the second) infralabials; third pair of chin shields not in contact or in narrow (vs. broad) contact with second pair of chin shields; palm and sole scales rounded, more or less juxtaposed (vs. tubercle-like imbricate scales); and having greater external ear opening size, 40–46% (vs. 23–38%) of eye diameter. Eutropis resetarii sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other congeners by a combination of the following characters: in having widely separated supranasals and prefrontals, lacking postnasals, prefrontals reaching lateral sides of snout, only the first supraocular in contact with frontal, six or seven supraciliaries, lower preocular as large as first loreal, two primary temporals, upper pretemporal smaller than lower and both touching parietals, parietals completely separated by interparietal; two post-supralabials, first and second pairs of chin shields separated by a single scale, third pair of chin shields not in contact or in narrow contact with second pair of chin shields; juxtaposed rounded palm and sole scales, comparatively robust digits, having greater external ear opening size (40–46% of eye diameter) and presence of 14–15 subdigital lamellae under 4th digit of pes. The new species has been recorded from the highest elevations (from ~1000 m to ~1600 m), while E. lankae has a wider distribution from coast to ~900 m. The distributional ranges of these two species are therefore allopatric.

Boris Kryštufek,
Volume 2, Issue 3 (9-2020)

It is a truism that mammalian systematics is a dynamic field of research and that new species are still being discovered. The rate of change, however, is truly spectacular and the number of mammal species, estimated at 5,416 in 2005 (Wilson and Reeder, 2005) reached 6,495 just 13 years later (Burgin et al., 2018), i.e. an astonishing rise of 20%. Behind this progress is the wide application of new research tools, above all, highly effective DNA-based methods capable of reconstructing evolutionary pathways and delimiting morphologically cryptic species. Faunal revisions are as badly needed in this time of taxonomic revolution as ever before. They are of particular value when done by experts active in the fields of taxonomy research and species delimitation. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to receive a new publication of this kind which focuses on the rodents of Taiwan ...

Dr Raju Vyas,
Volume 3, Issue 1 (3-2021)

The Blanford’s Rock Agama, Psammophilus blanfordanus is an Indian endemic species of Agamidae. A pair of the species  was kept in captivity for six months for a breeding biology study. The female laid six eggs (average size 12.61 x 8.13 mm) in the month of August and hatchlings emerged after 34 days of incubation. Ambient temperature ranged between 27.5 to 31.5 °C. Average hatchling size was 24.15 mm snout to vent length and 33.63 mm tail length. All of the six eggs hatched.

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