Friday, June 6, 2008

New species in 2008

ResearchBlogging.orgThe biodiversity of this planet is immense, and we are a long, long way from having all of the species out there discovered and described. Systematists, taxonomists, and museum collections have a major, vitally important role in biology (despite this, they are facing major problems). To illustrate this point, I have compiled a list of the new species described in the scientific literature so far in 2008. I have restricted myself to vertebrates, and I have included only species that are newly discovered taxa - no splitting of previously known taxa was considered. So, take your guesses as to how many brand new species of fish, amphibian, mammal, reptile, and bird have been described in the first five months of 2008? Go ahead and guess...


After surveying 157+ issues of 60+ journals, I have compiled a list of 130 fish, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, and birds described so far this year! By the time you read this, that number will already be out of date, because new descriptions continue to be published even as I was working on this compilation! In addition, there are many obscure journals out there that I know I missed. So, at least 130 species have been described in 152 days. Amazing!

First, lets review some stats on these totals, then I'll step through each group in turn and highlight a few interesting species. I should mention that certain journals (Zootaxa, Russian Journal of Herpetology, Amphibia-Reptilia) were not available as full text to me via my library's resources, so some of these data are partial.


As I mentioned, I surveyed over 157 issues of 60+ journals. Only 19 of them contained new species descriptions, however. They were, with number of new species contained:

Amphibia-Reptilia - 2
Copeia - 9
Herpetologica - 6
Ichthyological Research - 8
Journal of Fish Biology - 3
Journal of Ichthyology - 1
Journal of Herpetology - 5
Journal of Ichthyology - 3
Journal of Mammology - 1
Journal of Zoology - 1
Mammalian Biology - 2
Neotropical Ichthyology - 8
Pacific Science - 1
Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington - 3
Russian Journal of Herpetology - 2
Wilson Journal of Ornithology - 1
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society - 2
Zoological Science - 1
Zootaxa - 71

While certain jounals such as Copeia and Neotropical Ichthyology publish a large number of species descriptions, by far the biggest and best resource for taxonomy is the journal Zootaxa. Zootaxa accounted for over 50% of the new species described, and publishes so frequently that I had to go back and update my list twice since I started it several weeks ago (my cutoff date was 30-May). Unfortunately, my university's library doesn't subscribe to Zootaxa, so a large chunk of my list is missing data. In some cases I couldn't even get the species name (only genus) of the new taxa being described, as the authors didn't put it in the abstract. Access problems aside, check out Zootaxa for their frequent updates across all range of animal taxa.

Species names

Another bit of information that interests me is the naming of species. For those papers that I could access, I read the etymology of their given species names and categorized them four ways - description, if the species is named for some intrinsic character that describes it; person, if the species is named for a person or organization; habitat, if the species is named for its unique habitat; and region, if the species is named for its geographic region. The results:

Person - 28 (41.8%)
Description - 23 (34.3%)
Region - 13 (19.4%)
Habitat - 3 (4.5%)

So, if you get buddy-buddy with a taxonomist, you stand a pretty good chance of getting a species named after you! A couple of names caught my eye. Leptodactylus coca, a South American frog, was named because it was collected solely in coca plantations. Chrysichthys acsiorum, an African catfish, was named after ACSI, the All Catfish Species Inventory, a colloborative effort to describe the world's substantial catfish fauna. ACSI contributed many species to this new species list, and will continue to do so in the future.


One key analysis I wanted from this data was the distribution of new species discoveries across the globe - what areas are producing more new species?

For 54 land taxa, here is the range breakdown:

Argentina 2
Bolivia 1
Brazil 5
Chile 1
China 3
Congo 2
Cuba 1
Ghana 1
India 1
Indonesia - Sulawesi 2
Madagascar 2
Malaysia 5
Mexico 1
New Caledonia 1
Panama 2
Peru 11
Sri Lanka 1
Taiwan 2
Tanzania 1
Thailand 1
Vietnam 6
Yemen 1

Peru is the big winner here, with fully 20% of the new land taxa described.

For the fish, 72 taxa broke down into 38 freshwater species and 34 marine species. The freshwater species were distributed as follows:

Argentina 1
Belize 1
Borneo 1
Brazil 11
Central America 1
China 7
Guyana 1
India 1
Lake Tanganyika 2
Mexico 1
Montenegro 1
Nicaragua 3
Sumatra 2
Suriname 1
Venezuela 3

Here, Brazil has the largest number of new descriptions, with 29% of the new freshwater fish species described, including many catfish species from ACSI.

The marine species break down as:

Antarctica 1
Australia 5
Baffin Bay 1
China 1
Indian Ocean 1
Indonesia 1
Indo-Pacific 14
Japan 2
New Caledonia 1
North Atlantic 1
Philippines 1
Red Sea 1
Sao Tome 1
Suriname 1
Thailand 1
Vietnam 1

Many of the new marine species seem concentrated in the tropical regions of the Pacific.

Overall, three big countries - Brazil, China, and Peru, account for 30% of the new species descriptions! These are countries of exceptional diversity, and we can expect many more species to be described from there in the future.

I also lumped the data into continents (excluding the marine taxa):

Europe - 1
North America - 2
Australia - 7
Africa - 9
Asia - 41
Neotropics - 49

It's remarkable that new vertebrates are still found at all in North America and Europe, but they are. In North America, a new species of darter of the genus Crystallaria was discovered in West Virginia. A frog of the genus Pseudacris was described from the Southeast US. This taxa barely made the list, and probably qualifies as a split rather than a whole new taxa. However, it got its own new species description in Zootaxa, which I can't access, so here it remains for now. In Europe, a goby in the genus Pomatoschistus was described from the Balkans. The authors also indicate more species are likely to be described from this area.


I was interested in the distribution of holotype ages. Holotypes are the defined type specimen - they represent the original specimen that represents a species and is used to make the description. Almost every paper also includes paratypes - a series of specimens described along with the holotype - but the holotype is the specimen a new species name is attached to. I thought it was also generally the first specimen of a new species collected, but my readings on these papers indicated that was not always the case. Sometimes a newer specimen was described but older museum specimens were later attached to that species. In any case, the year the holotype was collected gives you some indication of the delay between the physical discovery of a new species and its recognition as such with publication in the literature. My results follow:

(You'll have to click to view large, blogger does horrible things to small photos)

Most of 2008's new species descriptions come from holotypes collected in the last six years or so. No holotypes from 2008 are yet described, due to the length of time it takes to describe a new species thoroughly, and review and publication delays in the journals. In fact, I'm surprised there are as many 2007 holotypes as there are, given these delays. Also interesting are the outliers - the earliest holotype described was collected in 1912. Both the 1912 holotype and the 1946 holotype come from a paper describing several new species in the catfish genus Cathorops. Obviously it didn't take these authors 96 years to publish - these holotypes were designated by re-examination of previously collected specimens in museum collections. As you'll see later, some species are discovered solely by examination of museum specimens!

Collection method

I was very interested to get the stories of how each new species was discovered, but many papers do not go into any detail at all about how the species was located. Many often say simply 'the object of this paper is to describe a new species from...' with no mention of whether it was collected as part of an expedition, it was collected specifically because it was previously recognized to be new, etc. I was able to parse out a few distinctions.

Six of the newly described species were collected after observations of the species in the wild and recognition that it was new. These include the only bird to make the list, the Togian White-eye (Zosterops somadikartai), and a new species of elephant-shrew that was observed on trail cameras.

At least 23 of the new species appear to have been collected as part of various organized collecting trips, and were not recognized or targeted specifically beforehand. Around 29 of the species were collected for or were accompanied by systematic revisions of the genera they belong to, and were recognized upon examination of those groups.

Most interesting of all, ten of the new species were not collected by the authors at all, but were found by re-examination of museum specimens previously collected. These include the examples mentioned above. There couldn't be a better example of the utility and necessity of maintaining and adding to museum collections.

Breakdown by Class

So now on to the goods... what are the new species described? Here is the breakdown by class. For simplicity's sake, I lumped everything into these five 'classic' classes. Don't berate me about paraphyletic taxa, please...

Fish - 74 (56.9%)
Amphibian - 20 (15.4%)
Mammal - 6 (4.6%)
Reptile - 29 (22.3 %)
Bird - 1 (0.8%)

Its obvious there is some disparity in distribution of new species descriptions, with fish winning hands down. One may wonder (as I did, of course) if these disparities are simply due to the relative diversity of these different groups. So, how do these numbers compare with the overall number of already described species? These numbers are difficult to come by, as there is no one accurate count and the numbers are increasing all the time (I haven't distributed 2008's 130 new ones amongst these totals). I took the largest and most precise estimates I could find in a few quick online searches. If anyone knows better results, let me know.

Fish - 30200 (49.0%) [Source - Fishbase]
Amphibian - 6184 (10.0%) [Source -AMNH]
Mammal - 5500 (8.9%) [Source - Learn Animals]
Reptile - 8730 (14.2%) [Source - Reptile Database]
Bird - 10980 (17.8%) [Source - Birdlife International Checklist]

So, side by side, new versus known, we get:

Fish - 56.9 vs 49.0 %
Amphibian - 15.4 vs 10.0 %
Mammal - 4.6 vs 8.9 %
Reptile - 22.3 vs 14.2 %
Bird - 0.8 vs 17.8 %

Here we can crude estimate of how well 'known' the various vertebrate classes are. My favorite group, birds, are severely underrepresented as new species discoveries. Only one bird has been described so far this year and I'm sure any bird people reading this have already heard about it - the Togian White-Eye. Birds are bright, noisy, mobile, and are by far the easiest among these classes to observe and identify. I think it is a pretty accurate statement to say then that the bird fauna of the world is probably the most completely described of any of the five main classes of vertebrates. There are still new species out there, and descriptions of newly discovered species will continue into the future, but birds will continue to have the lowest discovery rate among vertebrates.

Mammals are underrepresented as new species discoveries as well, although not to the degree that birds are. Mammals also have the lowest overall diversity of the five main vertebrate classes. Despite this, I expected a little better showing among mammals, mainly from rodents and bats, diverse groups with lots of extremely cryptic species. As you'll see later, these two groups do account for most of the few new mammal descriptions. Of all of the five groups of vertebrates, I know least about mammals, but I do believe the mammalian fauna of the world to be pretty well described and studied for species much bigger than large rodents. I'm sure there still remains many cryptic species out their to be described, and perhaps bigger species hiding in the tropical jungles of the world.

Reptiles, amphibians, and fish are all overrepresented as new species discoveries. These speciose groups are where the most work remains to be done. Certain regions of the world still see new discoveries every time someone goes in to survey, and I know professors with lists of undescribed species waiting attention. I'd predict that fish have the farthest to go - underwater areas being the most difficult to survey, but we can expect many more finds out of all of these groups.

I'll step through each group in turn:


The new species of 'fish' include one new species of hagfish (Myxini). Hagfish are not fish at all but a lineage basal to vertebrates. Lacking jaws and a vertebral column, hagfish don't even qualify as Vertebrata, but are including here because they are at least Craniata. Eptatretus lopheliae (Myxinidae) is described from specimens collected by submersible off the coast of North Carolina. Thus it holds perhaps a rare distinction among the new fish species described here as having observations and descriptions of in situ behavior and natural history. All too often we know so little about newly described species except where they were collected. Check out the following figure to see some of the images captured:

Eptatretus lopheliae (Myxini: Myxinidae)
(click to view large)

Of the remaining fish, 10 are Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes - sharks, rays, and chimaeras) and 63 are Osteichthyes (bony fishes). The new Chondrichthyes species include two species of wobbegong sharks (Orectolobiformes: Orectolobidae) from waters off Australia, three species of angel shark (Squatiniformes: Squatinidae) from waters off Australia and Indonesia, four species of skate (Rajiformes) from Pacific waters and one freshwater stingray (Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae) from Suriname. I'm a fan of both angel sharks and wobbegongs, but unfortunately those were described in Zootaxa so no pictures to present here. Instead, you get a specimen picture of Potamotrygon boesemani (Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae), the new species from Suriname. If only they had included a live picture, freshwater stingrays can be quite beautiful and this one like it could be as well.

Potamotrygon boesemani (Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae)

The 63 new species of Osteichthyes come from 10 different orders. Perciformes had the most, with 27 new species described. Perciformes is also the largest fish order (and largest vertebrate order) with over 7000 species, and contains such groups as perch, bass, gobies, salmon, cichlids, and tuna. Siluriformes, the catfish, also had a high number of species, with 16 newly described species, many due to ACSI. Other groups with high numbers of new species include Characiformes and Cypriniformes (minnows).

One new species that I don't think I would want to meet alone in a dark alley would be this toothy beast, Gymnothorax baranesi (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae). This new moray, the only representative in this post from the eel order, was collected in the Red Sea. It measured a little less than a meter in length, so perhaps I don't have to worry about its toothy maw all that much.

Gymnothorax baranesi (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae)

Five new species of Characiformes (four from Brazil) and six new species of Cypriniformes (all from China!) were described. These minnow-like fish aren't too flashy, so I'm not writing much more about them here, except to note that two of the new Cyprinid species hold the distinction of being the only species in this list assigned to a whole new genus! Hongshuia banmo and H. paoli represent this brand-new genus from a river in China. See an article here about them, but the article is another Zootaxa piece so no pictures are available.

Two new species of rivuline killifish (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae) were described. Killifishes make up some of the most colorful freshwater fish out there (see here and here). The two new species, Leptolebias itanhaensis and Rivulus planaltinus, both from Brazil, are unfortunately only depicted in the papers in black-and-white, but their bold patterns are apparent.

Rivulus planaltinus (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae)
Leptolebias itanhaensis (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae)

Moving from the colorful to the bizarre, we find three new species of scorpionfish and relatives, from the order Scorpaeniformes. One, Scorpaena brevispina (Scorpaenidae) is a standard-looking scorpionfish from Japanese waters. This species was discovered when a large fish collection was moved between museums, and was originally collected in the early 1980's. The other two new species from this order are snailfishes from the family Liparidae - Careproctus kidoi and Genioliparis kafanovi. These are truly crazy-looking large-headed, mostly deep-sea fish. Wikipedia describes them as having 'thin, loose gelatinous skin' and their primary means of locomotion is their pectoral, rather than caudal fin. I know nothing about these guys but I can tell you I've designated them for further reading. Check out these new species and also look at other members of the family here.

Scorpaena brevispina (Scorpaeniformes: Scorpaenidae)

Genioliparis kafanovi (Scorpaeniformes: Liparidae)
Careproctus kidoi (Scorpaeniformes: Liparidae)

The majority of the remaining new fish species are split between two orders, Perciformes and Siluriformes. Perciformes had the most of any fish order, 27 new species, of which a few of the more colorful forms are shown here. They include a cichlid from Lake Tanganyika (Cichlidae: Benthochromis), a species of clingfish inhabiting crinoids from the Indo-Pacific (Gobiesocidae: Discotrema), and five new species of damselfish described from the south Pacific (Pomacentridae: Chromis).

Benthochromis horii (Perciformes: Cichlidae)

Discotrema monogrammum (Perciformes: Gobiesocidae)

Chromis species (Perciformes: Pomacentridae)
click to view large
Here's one for the weird. Another new Perciformes species, Chiasmodon lavenbergi (Chiasmodontidae), was described from deep waters of the Western Pacific. The specimen doesn't look like much:

Chiasmodon lavenbergi (Perciformes: Chiasmodontidae)
But, the common name, swallowerfish, prompted me to look up photos of its congeners. Chiasmodon niger, the Great Swallower, opens its jaws...

... to swallow enormous prey. (Source)
Here is another specimen of C. lavenbergi, bloated with prey:

Siluriformes, the catfish, are one of my favorite fish groups, and had the second-largest number of new species at 16. Two catfish papers serve well to illustrate the sheer amount of work and detail that goes into describing species. Just look, they've named every possible pore and measurement:

Rhamdella cainguae (Siluriformes: Heptapteridae)

Siluriformes: Doradidae: Rhinodoras

This painful attention to detail is what allows us to make more than just qualitative judgements between different species. I've always thought that ornithologists have it easy when it comes to new species descriptions. This guy doesn't have a colorful plumage to separate it from its congeners:

(Siluriformes: Doradidae)

One new species is this plain catfish. As you might guess from the name, Nanobagrus, its actually quite small - 29 mm, or just over an inch in length. That qualifies it as one of the smallest new species described (one of the frogs might be smaller).

Nanobagrus immaculatus (Siluriformes: Bagridae)

I'd just like to mention two more new catfish to round out the new fish species. These two species come from the South American family Trichomycteridae, which also contains the infamous Candiru, which should scare everyone out of the water. These two species are not nearly so feared, in fact they are not even parasites. The first, Ituglanis mambai, is a subterranean species coming from a region of Brazil with large numbers of cave-dwelling catfish.

Ituglanis mambai (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae)

The second species is Trichomycterus igobi. The title of the description paper proudly proclaims: "the largest head in Trichomycteridae". I hope T. igobi is proud.

Trichomycterus igobi (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae)


20 new species of amphibian have been described, of which 3 are salamanders (Caudata) and 17 are frogs (Anura). No caecilians (Gymnophiona) are present, at least so far this year.

The salamanders all came from Asia. Two were Hynobiids from Taiwan, the third Salamandrid of the genus Paramesotriton (Warty Newts).

Hynobius fuca (Caudata: Hynobiidae)

New frog diversity is centered in the neotropics, with eleven of the seventeen new descriptions, the balance coming from Africa and Asia.

Odontophrynus maisuma (Anura: Leptodactylidae), Brazil

Variation in the new Brazilian Hylid, Hypsiboas caipora (Anura: Hylidae)

***As a post-script, I just discovered the AmphibiaWeb new species list. Of course there are people out there doing this job, and doing it better, so their list is much more complete and lengthier. I won't discuss it now. ***


Only six new species of mammals have been described this year. I was expecting a few more, especially given that the diverse and cryptic groups Rodentia and Chiroptera (bats) surely have many more species to give. Four of the six new species were indeed from those two groups, including this new species of goblin:

In fact, this bizarre figure is a detail of the skull from a new species of bat from Madagascar:

Miniopterus petersoni (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae)

Two bats and two nondescript mice are complemented by a new species of possum from Peru, and finally this guy, who actually made headlines. A large new species of sengi, or elephant-shrew, was captured on film by camera traps in Tanzania, and was subsequently tracked down and described. See photos of the expedition here.

Rhynchocyon udzungwensis (Macroscelidae: Macroscelididae)


The 29 new reptile species can be broken down into several major groups:

One new species of Amphisbaenian from Brazil, discovered by following a tractor as it plowed a field. Amphisbaenians are (mostly) limbless and subterranean squamates, and this one is no different.

Four new species of snakes (Serpentes). All were in journals inaccessible to me, but they include a new Colubrid in Malaysia and a new Viperid in Vietnam.

Five new members of Iguania. These include two new species of Liolaemid from Argentina, and three new species of anole (Polychrotidae) from Panama and Peru.

Anolis cuscoensis (Iguania: Polychrotidae)

Four new species in Scincomorpha, including two new skinks (Scincidae) from southeast Asia, a new night lizard (Xantusiidae) from Mexico, and a new microteiid (Gymnophthalmidae) from Peru.

Eutropis tammanna (Scincomorpha: Scincidae)

The biggest chunk of new species, fifteen, comes from the best group of squamates, the Gekkota. These include a new Bavayia from New Caledonia, two new Gekko from Thailand and China, four new Cyrtodactylus from southeast Asia, and two new Phyllodactylus from Peru.

Phyllodactylus thompsoni (Gekkota: Phyllodactylidae)

Phyllodactylus delsolari (Gekkota: Phyllodactylidae)

Cyrtodactylus wallacei (Gekkota: Gekkonidae)

Bavayia goroensis (Gekkota: Diplodactylidae)


Just one new species of bird has been described so far, the already mentioned Zosterops somadikartai:

Zosterops somadikartai (Passeriformes: Zosteropidae)
(by Agus Prijono)

Do not despair, bird lovers, there will surely be plenty more new species of bird discovered. Indeed, just have a look at this collection of undescribed taxa over on Birdforum. They even hint at more Zosterops being described later this year.

Well, that rounds out the new species described in the first five months of 2008. Except, of course, for all of the species descriptions I missed in obscure journals. I hope you enjoyed this little sampling of biodiversity.

If this post wasn't long enough already, here is the complete new species list in all its glory


Eptatretus lopheliae
Potamotrygon boesemani
Sinobatis bulbicauda
Sinobatis filicauda

Sinobatis caerulea

Dipturus wuhanlingi
Orectolobus floridus
Orectolobus parvimaculatus

Squatina albipunctata
Squatina pseudocellata

Squatina legnota

Albula oligolepis
Gymnothorax baranesi
Leporinus venerei
Hemigrammus parana
Hyphessobrycon sp.

Hyphessobrycon rutiliflavidus

Characidium heirmostigmata
Oreonectes polystigmus
Oreonectes microphthalmus

Triplophysa lixianensis

Garra findolabium
Hongshuia banmo

Hongshuia paoli

Leptolebias itanhaensis
Rivulus planaltinus

Aulopus diactithrix
Nectamia ignitops
Nectamia luxuria

Nectamia similis
Nectamia viria
Chiasmodon lavenbergi
Kali caribbaea

Kali colubrina

Kali falx

Amphilophus chancho
Amphilophus flaveolus

Amphilophus astorquii

Benthochromis horii

Discotrema monogrammum
Discotrema zonatum

Gorogobius stevcici
Pomatoschistus montenegrensis

Stiphodon carisa

Nuchequula flavaxilla
Nuchequula glenysae

Nuchequula longicornis

Nandus andrewi
Crystallaria cincotta
Chromis abyssus
Chromis brevirostris

Chromis circumaurea

Chromis degruyi

Chromis earina

Samariscus multiradiatus
Careproctus kidoi
Genioliparis kafanovi
Scorpaena brevispina
Cathorops belizensis
Cathorops higuchii
Cathorops kailolae
Nanobagrus immaculatus
Pseudobagrus brachyrhabdion

Pseudomystus heokhuii

Chrysichthys acsiorum
Rhinodoras armbrusteri
Rhinodoras gallagheri
Rhamdella cainguae
Neoplecostomus corumba
Neoplecostomus selenae
Neoplecostomus yapo

Pseudancistrus reus

Ituglanis mambai
Trichomycterus igobi

Arthroleptis krokosua
Bufo eichwaldi
Ameerega altamazonica
Hypsiboas caipora
Pseudacris fouquettei

Alsodes norae
Leptodactylus coca
Odontophrynus maisuma

Pristimantis leucorrhinus

Boophis ulftunni
Xenopus sp.
Rhacophorus sp.
Phrynopus miroslawae
Phrynopus nicoleae
Phrynopus sp. 1

Phrynopus sp. 2

Strabomantis aramunha

Hynobius glacialis
Hynobius fuca

Paramesotriton zhijinensis

Zosterops somadikartai

Miniopterus petersoni
Tylonycteris pygmaeus
Philander olrogi
Rhynchocyon udzungwensis
Eligmodontia typus
Hylomyscus walterverheyeni

Amphisbaena uroxena
Bavayia goroensis
Goniurosaurus catbaensis
Cnemaspis perhentianensis
Cyrtodactylus wallacei

Cyrtodactylus stresemanni

Cyrtodactylus takouensis

Cyrtodactylus huynhi

Gekko nutaphandi

Gekko wenxianensis

Hemidactylus sp
Luperosaurus sp.

Pristurus sp.

Tarentola crombiei

Phyllodactylus thompsoni
Phyllodactylus delsolari

Liolaemus tandiliensis
Liolaemus scrocchii

Anolis apletophallus
Anolis cryptolimifrons

Anolis cuscoensis

Petracola waka
Eutropis tammanna
Sphenomorphus langkawiensis

Lepidophyma cuicateca
Dendrelaphis haasi
Cryptelytrops honsonensis
Fimbrios smithi
Pseudoboa martinsi


The complete reference list for all of the new species is far too long for me to want to post here, but here are the references mentioned above. If you want any reference, just leave me a message.

Leptodactylus coca
Angulo, A, and S Reichle. 2008. Acoustic signals, species diagnosis, and species concepts: the case of a new cryptic species of Leptodactylus (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae) from the Chapare region, Bolivia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 152(1): 59-77.

Antunes AP, Faivovich J, Haddad CF. 2008. A New Species of Hypsiboas from The Atlantic Forest of Southeastern Brazil (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae). Copeia: Vol. 2008, No. 1 pp. 179–190

Balushkin, AV, and OS Voskoboinikova. 2008. Revision of the genus Genioliparis Andriashev et Neelov (Liparidae, Scorpaeniformes) with description of a new species G. kafanovi sp.n. from the Ross Sea (Antarctica). Journal of Ichthyology. 48(3): 201-208.

Bauer, A.M., Jackman, T.R., Sadlier, R.A., Shea, G., Whitaker, A.H. (2008). A New Small-Bodied Species of Bavayia (Reptilia: Squamata: Diplodactylidae) from Southeastern New Caledonia1. Pacific Science, 62(2), 247. DOI: 10.2984/1534-6188(2008)62[247:ANSSOB]2.0.CO;2

Bichuette, ME, and E Trajano. 2008. Ituglanis mambai, a new subterranean catfish from a karst area of central Brazil, rio Tocantins basin (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Neotropical Ichthyology. 6(1): 9-15.

Bockmann, FA, and AM Miquelarena. 2008. Anatomy and phylogenetic relationships of a new catfish species from northeastern Argentina with comments on the phylogenetic relationships of the genus Rhamdella Eigenmann and Eigenmann 1888 (Siluriformes: Heptapteridae). Zootaxa. 1780: 1-54.

Costa, WJEM. 2008. Monophyly and taxonomy of the Neotropical seasonal killifish genus Leptolebias (Teleostei: Aplocheiloidei: Rivulidae) with the description of a new genus. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 153(1): 147-160.

Costa WJ, Brasil GC (2008) A New Pelvicless Killifish Species of the Genus Rivulus, Subgenus Melanorivulus (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae), from the Upper Tocantins River Basin, Central Brazil. Copeia: Vol. 2008, No. 1 pp. 82–85

Craig MT, Randall JE (2008) Two New Species of the Indo-Pacific Clingfish Genus Discotrema (Gobiesocidae). Copeia: Vol. 2008, No. 1 pp. 68–74

Das, I, A de Silva, and CC Austin. 2008. A new species of Eutropis (Squamata: Scincidae) from Sri Lanka. Zootaxa. 1700: 35-52.

Fernholm B, Quattrini AM (2008) A New Species of Hagfish (Myxinidae: Eptatretus) Associated with Deep-Sea Coral Habitat in the Western North Atlantic. Copeia: Vol. 2008, No. 1 pp. 126–132

Goodman, SM, HM Bradman, CP Maminirina, KE Ryan, LL Christidis, B Appleton. 2008. A new species of Miniopterus (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae) from lowland southeastern Madagascar. Mammalian Biology. 73(3): 199-213.

Chrysichthys acsiorum
Hardman M (2008) A New Species of Catfish Genus Chrysichthys from Lake Tanganyika (Siluriformes: Claroteidae). Copeia: Vol. 2008, No. 1 pp. 43–56

Hayden CJ, Brown RM, Gillespie G, Iqbal Setiadi M, Linkem CW, et al. (2008) A NEW SPECIES OF BENT-TOED GECKO CYRTODACTYLUS GRAY, 1827, (SQUAMATA: GEKKONIDAE) FROM THE ISLAND OF SULAWESI, INDONESIA. Herpetologica: Vol. 64, No. 1 pp. 109–120.

Hee Ng H (2008) A New Species of Nanobagrus (Teleostei: Bagridae) from Southern Borneo. Copeia: Vol. 2008, No. 1 pp. 93–98

Indrawan M, Rasmussen PC, Sunarto (2008) A New White-Eye (Zosterops) from the Togian Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology: Vol. 120, No. 1 pp. 1–9

Knudsen, SW, PR Moller. 2008. Careproctus kidoi, a new Arctic species of snailfish (Teleostei: Liparidae) from Baffin Bay. Ichthyological Research. 55(2): 175-182.

Lai JS, Lue KY (2008) TWO NEW HYNOBIUS (CAUDATA: HYNOBIIDAE) SALAMANDERS FROM TAIWAN. Herpetologica: Vol. 64, No. 1 pp. 63–80

Lemmon, EM, AR Lemmon, JT Collins, and DC Cannatella. 2008. A new North American chorus frog species (Amphibia: Hylidae: Pseudacris) from the south-central United States. Zootaxa. 1675: 1-30.

Marceniuk, AP, and R Betancur-R. 2008. Revision of the species of the genus Cathorops (Siluriformes: Ariidae) from Mesoamerica and the Central American Caribbean, with description of three new species. Neotropical Ichthyology. 6(1): 25-44.

Miller, PJ, and R Sanda. 2008. A new West Balkanian sand-goby (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Journal of Fish Biology. 72(1): 259-270.

Motomura, H, and H Senou. 2008. A new species of the scorpionfish genus Scorpaena (Scorpaenidae) from Izu Peninsula, Pacific coast of Japan. Journal of Fish Biology. 72(7): 1761-1772.

Mott T, Rodrigues MT, de Freitas MA, Silva TF (2008) New Species of Amphisbaena with a Nonautotomic and Dorsally Tuberculate Blunt Tail From State of Bahia, Brazil (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae). Journal of Herpetology: Vol. 42, No. 1 pp. 172–175

Poe S, Yañez-Miranda C, Lehr E (2008) Notes on Variation in Anolis boettgeri Boulenger 1911, Assessment of the Status of Anolis albimaculatus Henle and Ehrl 1991, and Description of a New Species of Anolis (Squamata: Iguania) Similar to Anolis boettgeri. Journal of Herpetology: Vol. 42, No. 2 pp. 251–259

Prokofiev, AM. 2008. Two new species of swallowerfishes of the genera Chiasmodon and Kali (Chiasmodontidae). Journal of Ichthyology. 48(3): 158-165.

Pyle, RL, JL Earle, and BD Greene. 2008. Five new species of the damselfish genus Chromis (Perciformes: Labroidei: Pomacentridae) from deep coral reefs in the tropical western Pacific. Zootaxa. 1671: 3-31.

Rosa, RS, MR de Carvalho, and C de Almeida Wanderly. 2008. Potamotrygon boesemani (Chondrichthys: Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae), a new species of neotropical freshwater stingray from Surinam. Neotropical Ichthyology. 6(1): 1-8.

Rosset SD (2008) New Species of Odontophrynus Reinhardt and Lütken 1862 (Anura: Neobatrachia) from Brazil and Uruguay. Journal of Herpetology: Vol. 42, No. 1 pp. 134–144

F. Rovero, G. B. Rathbun, A. Perkin, T. Jones, D. O. Ribble, C. Leonard, R. R. Mwakisoma, N. Doggart. 2008. A new species of giant sengi or elephant-shrew (genus Rhynchocyon) highlights the exceptional biodiversity of the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania. Journal of Zoology 2008 274:2 126

Sabaj MH, Taphorn DC, Castillo G. OE (2008) Two New Species of Thicklip Thornycats, Genus Rhinodoras (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Doradidae). Copeia: Vol. 2008, No. 1 pp. 209–226

Smith, DG, E Brokovich, and S Einbinder. 2008. Gymnothorax cincotta, a new moray eel (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) from the Red Sea. Zootaxa. 1678: 63-68.


Takahashi, T. 2008. Description of a new cichlid fish species of the genus Benthochromis (Perciformes: Cichlidae) from Lake Tanganyika. Journal of Fish Biology. 72(3): 603-613.

Venegas PJ, Townsend JH, Koch C, Böhme W (2008) Two New Sympatric Species of Leaf-Toed Geckos (Gekkonidae: Phyllodactylus) from the Balsas Region of the Upper Marañon Valley, Peru. Journal of Herpetology: Vol. 42, No. 2 pp. 386–396

Welsh, SA, and RM Wood. 2008. Crystallaria cincotta, a new species of darter (Teleostei: Percidae) from the Elk River of the Ohio River drainage, West Virginia. Zootaxa. 1680: 62-68.

Wosiaki, WB, and M de Pinna. 2008. Trichomycterus igobi, a new catfish species from the rio Iguacu drainage: the largest head in Trichomycteridae (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Neotropical Ichthyology. 6(1): 17-23.

Zhang, E, X Qiang, and J Lan. 2008. Description of a new genus and two new species of labeonine fishes from South China (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Zootaxa. 1682: 33-44.


  1. Nick - this is an excellent summary! Keep up the good work.

  2. Very well done, thanks!

  3. Nick -- found this blog because every so often over the last few years I Goggle "new species" to see what I can come up with -- thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks, guys! I appreciate the comments.

  5. Your readers may be interested in, a new business that allows you to have a newly described species named after you or a loved one, while supporting scientific research in the process. Contact me and I’ll send you the full press kit. Cheers!

  6. Hi, Nick. My name is Andrew. I'm biologist (entomologist) and naturalist from Ukraine (Europe). I found your post, when I was preparing list of new mammals species. You can chec it after link: (it's not spam:) ). It is different than yours.
    Your article is very good :).

    A. Z.

  7. Hi.
    The list is very interesting. But I think in many cases not complete.
    Only in the Cichlidae I found 8 new species additional. That are:
    Dicrossus gladicauda
    Australoheros charrua
    Australoheros guarani
    Australoheros forquilha
    Australoheros minuano
    Apistogramma barlowi
    Apistogramma erythrura
    Crenicichla zebrina
    And I'm not sure that the my list is complete

  8. Oh, I know it is most certainly not complete, even for the narrow time window I restricted it to. For 2008 as a whole there must be hundreds more species. Can you provide citations for those? It will help me look in the appropriate journals next time I try this.


  9. Hi.
    Of course I can and I hope it will help you.
    - gladicauda: Schindler & Stack Vertebrate Zoology, 58 (1)
    - charrua, guarani, forquilha, minuano: Rican & Kullander Zootaxa
    - barlowi Römer & Hahn Vertebrate Zoology 58 (1)
    - erythrura Staeck & Schindler Vertebrate Zoology 58 (2)
    - zebrina Montana, Lopez-Ferreira & Taphorn Zootaxa 1856
    and additional
    - Haplochromis vonlinnei van Oijen & de Zeeuw Zool.Meded. 82 (17).
    Another comment I would tell you. Your interessets are very wide spreaded (how in my early time 40 years ago). A such big systematic group isn't good handling. Therefore you should limit your group. Further you should look for new names in the very good reference journal "Zoological Record". You can many work reduce. A great difficult is the "new wave" that scientists of such countries as China, Iran etc. publish in their own language.
    Good luck!

  10. Thanks again! I forgot all about Zoological Record, that should come in handy in the future. I may drop fish next time I do this and stick to tetrapods. Who knows. I don't have the free time to do this for a while yet.


  11. Very helpful... Knowing just that much more about the life all around us.