New Australian Taxa

Open-access, online, rapid taxonomy

ISSN: 2200-####

Introducing New Australian Taxa, a fully-online, fully open-access journal for the rapid publication of new Australian species

K.R. Thiele (1, 2*) & M.S. Harvey (3)

(1) School of Biological Sciences, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia.

(2) Western Australian Herbarium, Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, Western Australia 6983, Australia.

(3) Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum, Locked Bag 49, Welshpool DC,
Western Australia 6986, Australia.

*kevin.thiele@science.org.au

Abstract

With this paper we introduce New Australian Taxa and outline its scope, rationale, operation and governance. New Australian Taxa is one of the world's first fully-online journals. Papers are born-digital and born-online. They are authored on the New Australian Taxa website, and all subsequent steps (peer-review, editing, copy editing and publication) take place on that website. At no stage does a paper in New Australian Taxa need to exist as a document in a word-processing application (unless an author chooses to write some content off-line and paste it into the journal's online editing platform later). This fully-online processing substantially eases and accelerates workflows, and reduces the costs of production and publishing to a minimum. For these reasons, New Australian Taxa is also a diamond open access journal, with no access charges for authors or readers. New Australian Taxa is optimised for the rapid publication of new Australian taxa across all organismal groups (animals, fungi, plants etc.), and is part of an overarching strategy to substantially accelerate the discovery and taxonomic documentation of Australia's biodiversity.

Publication date and citation

Introducing New Australian Taxa

 

New Australian Taxa is an innovative new journal with a specific goal - to accelerate the documentation of Australia's biodiversity by providing an efficient and effective platform for the rapid publication of new species and other taxa.

 

Taxonomy—the discovery, documentation and classification of the Earth's species and other taxa—is a fundamentally important discipline. Taxonomists provide the 'map' by which others, from biodiversity and conservation scientists to the general public, navigate the complexities of the living world. Without the framework and map provided by taxonomy, many other critically important and impactful scientific research disciplines would be greatly compromised.

 

However, taxonomy is currently too slow given the scale of the task and the urgency created by a rapidly accelerating extinction crisis. In Australia the best estimate is that 70% of all marine and terrestrial species remain undiscovered and un-named, and at current rate (i.e. the average number of new species named per year) it will take more than four centuries to complete the task of documenting our biodiversity (Australian Academy of Science 2018).

 

As one small contribution towards solving this problem we offer New Australian Taxa, a platform for the rapid publication of new species. Three innovations in New Australian Taxa will contribute to speeding up the publication of new species.

 

Firstly, New Australian Taxa is a fully-online journal. Contributions are authored, reviewed, edited, copy-edited and published in an integrated online platform. At no stage does a contribution to New Australian Taxa need to exist as a document in a desktop word processor. Instead, the New Australian Taxa platform comprises a series of online forms with prescribed but flexible fields for all content. Once a paper has been authored, peer-reviewed, edited and approved for publication, it is automatically formatted and published directly on the same platform with no manual page-setting.To our knowledge this is a world-first.

 

Secondly, New Australian Taxa does not impose strict style and formatting constraints. A feature of virtually all journals, and all taxonomic journals, is tight editorial control over style including content, referencing, specimen citations etc. There are multiple standards for many aspects of style, resulting in different journals adopting different, and often idiosyncratic, style prescriptions. All authors are familiar with the problem of a paper formatted in a word processor for one journal, which then needs to be substantially and tediously re-formatted for another.

 

In New Australian Taxa, many of these style constraints are removed. There is no requirement for all contributions to be styled the same; the only requirement is that styles conform with best practice, do not hinder clear and unambiguous presentation of content, and are applied consistently within a contribution.

 

Thirdly, an important editorial and peer-review philosophy of New Australian Taxa is that content must be adequate but not excessive for high-quality taxonomy. In some communities of practice in taxonomy there has been a gradual escalation in expectations of adequacy of a taxonomic publication. Authors are often expected, by journal editors and reviewers, to describe new taxa in excessive detail, including the description of morphological characters that are not diagnostic in the group and the inclusion of numerous illustrations and line drawings of structures that are taxonomically superfluous or of limited diagnostic value. This substantially slows the publication of new species.

Authors, reviewers and editors of contributions to New Australian Taxa, by contrast, are enjoined to find a balance, ensuring high-quality taxonomy and the provision of adequate information for every new taxon while at the same time ensuring that descriptions of new taxa can be completed in a fast, efficient and effective manner. The end-goal—to contribute to an acceleration of taxonomic documentation while not compromising the quality of that documentation—will be kept in mind at all times.

 

Access

 

New Australian Taxa is a Diamond Open Access journal (Fuchs & Sandoval 20013); that is, there are no access charges for either authors or readers. The fully-online publishing platform allows this, by streamlining the handling of contributions and removing the need for manual page-setting and hence the running costs for the journal. As with many academic journals, editing and reviewing is unpaid. The only fixed costs of New Australian Taxa are the costs of running the website and maintaining an ISSN (borne by Taxonomy Australia) and minting DOIs.

 

Code-compliance

 

New Australian Taxa is fully compliant with the provisions for online publishing in the international codes of nomenclature for zoology, botany and mycology. Published contributions are made available in Portable Document Format (PDF) using the PDF/A archival standard. Being an online publication, all new taxa in zoology and mycology will require registration in appropriate registries (Zoobank, Mycobank). There is provision for recording a registration number or URL in the online editing form. Once published, contributions to New Australian Taxa can never be altered or edited in any way.

 

Each issue of New Australian Taxa will comprise a single contribution, paginated as a complete issue (that is, page numbers for every issue will start at 1). Published PDFs will be available from the New Australian Taxa Home page and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Each contribution will be lodged with the ISSN National Centre for Australia, as required under the provisions of the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).

 

Scope

 

Each issue of New Australian Taxa will comprise a single contribution. This may be the description of a single species or other taxon, a miscellany paper with a range of species, or a small taxonomic revision. In general, larger taxonomic revisions are likely to be more appropriately published in more conventional journals.

 

The scope of New Australian Taxa is restricted to taxonomic publications dealing with Australian terrestrial or marine taxa. The definition of 'Australian marine' is loose, and any taxonomic publications relating to Australia's surrounding oceans, including the Southern Ocean between Australia and Antarctica, will be accepted.

 

New Australian Taxa workflow

 

Contributions to New Australian Taxa are authored online. The starting point for authoring a contribution is the Author's Dashboard (Fig. 1) accessible from the Taxonomy Australia website (https://www.taxonomyaustralia.org.au/). The Dashboard is used to track papers through the authoring, peer-review and editing process to final publication. Contributions at any stage (except while undergoing peer review) are accessible from the Dashboard. A new paper can be commenced from the Dashboard. Access to the New Australian Taxa Dashboard requires that a user sign up to the Taxonomy Australia website and be logged in.

 

Papers are authored by writing formattable text in a series of editable fields (rich text boxes) on an editing form. Some fields (title, author fields, abstract) are mandatory; others (e.g. introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, acknowledgments, references) are optional, while others still are conditionally mandatory (e.g. for zoological and mycological papers registration with Zoobanks or Mycobank is mandatory, while for botanical papers registration is not required). Optional fields can be displayed or hidden from a checkbox list at the top of the form. This structure allows a paper to be customised from e.g. a simple, single-species paper with an introduction and taxon fields (see below) but no results or discussion section, to a fully-featured paper with materials and methods, discussion and results followed by a taxonomy section.

 

One formatting limitation of New Australian Taxa is that figures and plates are limited in number, must be a standard width (950 px) and will not be intercalated within the text but instead gathered into one or more blocks. Up to five captioned figures and plates may be included to illustrate the general section of the paper (introduction etc.). These will be page-set in a block before the Taxonomy section. Each figure or plate may be a collage.

 

Taxa are dealt with in a Taxonomy section. A paper may include zero to many taxa. Taxa are added to the Taxonomy section, then edited independently. As with the paper in general, each taxon section comprises a number of mandatory fields (name, typification, description), optional fields (synonymy, specimens examined) and conditionally mandatory fields (registration). A Notes field may include as many headings as required and is fully flexible. Each taxon may have up to five captioned figures and plates, and these will be page-set in a block after each taxon. Each figure or plate may be a collage.

 

Detailed instructions and guidance for authors are given as help text after each field, and in help pages accessible from the New Australian Taxa Home page and Author's Dashboard.

 

While a contribution is being edited it, and its individual taxon sections, may be saved and re-opened as many times as necessary. As each taxon is completed a checkbox allows it to be saved as 'Done'. Done taxa are marked as such in the taxon list in the body of the paper.

 

When a paper is complete, a checkbox allows it to be saved and submitted. A check of mandatory fields is completed before the paper can be successfully submitted. Once submitted, the paper will be marked 'In review' in the Dashboard. While papers are in review they may be viewed but not edited by the author(s).

 

Reviewing. As with authoring, all reviewing is done using online forms. In the reviewer's view of a paper each content field will be followed by a field for reviewer comments, corrections or suggestions. At the end of the paper, fields are provided for general review comments to authors and editors, and for a decision. A reviewer will be able to open, save, and return to their review as many times as necessary, until done. Once reviewed, the reviewer will record their decision, mark the paper as reviewed, and commit their review.

 

In keeping with the intent and approach of New Australian Taxa, reviewers are asked to carefully consider all review comments and to keep in mind at all times that the intention of New Australian Taxa is to facilitate the rapid, efficient and effective publication of new taxa. Reviewers are asked to take due regard of issues in a paper that reduce its taxonomic merit, but not to impose burdensome requirements that add minimal taxonomic value. In keeping also with the intent and approach of New Australian Taxa, reviewers are advised to assess internal stylistic consistency, adequacy and clarity within a contribution, but not to be concerned if the stylistic requirements within the paper unbder review differ from other papers in the journal.

 

Post-review workflow. Once a paper has cleared review, it will be listed as Reviewed in the Author's Dashboard. Authors will be able to read and deal with reviewer's comments and mark comments as Done. Once all review comments have been dealt with and the paper saved, it will proceed to copy edit. As with review, when a paper is in copy edit the paper authors will be able to view but not edit the paper. A copy editor will check for copy issues, style inconsistencies or lack of clarity, and ensure that the paper is ready for publication. After copy edit the paper will be available to the authors in proof. Final edits can be made, then the paper marked as ready for publication. At this point an editor will finalise publication details (citation and DOI registration) and the system will complete page-setting and create a final PDF.

 

Multi-authoring. A paper may have multiple authors. The primary author has full control of the paper including submission and dealing with the post-review workflow. The primary author may allow others to edit either the general section of the paper or individual taxa. Access by secondary authors to the paper is gained by the primary author sending a semi-secure URL. The URL is semi-secure because any recipient of the URL has edit rights to that portion of the paper, as long as they are a member of the Taxonomy Australia website and are logged in; the URL is unguessable, preventing casual or unauthorised access by others. Note that there are currently no safeguards against editing clashes if two users are editing the same portion of the paper at the same time. Ensuring that multi-authoring editing workflows do not cause editing clashes is the responsibility of the authors.

 

The New Australian Taxa community

 

New Australian Taxa is a community journal for the Australian taxonomic community. It has no publisher, but is supported by Taxonomy Australia, which represents and advocates for the taxonomic community.

 

In keeping with this, all contributors to New Australian Taxa are regarded as belonging to the New Australian Taxa community. Authors are expected to review and help edit and copy edit papers contributed by others, in their field of expertise. Note that editing as well as reviewing is a shared activity across the entire New Australian Taxa community. Two or more Executive Editors will have oversight of the process, but responsibility for ensuring the quality, smooth operation and timeliness of the workflow is broad-based.

 

Governance of New Australian Taxa

 

As a publication of Taxonomy Australia, overall governance of New Australian Taxa will lie with the Taxonomy Australia Steering Committee. This is a broad-based, representative committee, comprising representatives from key sector peak bodies, associations and subsectors (e.g. universities, early and mid-career researchers). Day-to-day governance will be the responsibility of the Executive Editors.

Figure 1. The New Australian Taxa Author's Dashboard. New papers may be commenced by clicking the Write a new paper button. Papers in progress and published are accessed using the Dashboard's flow-chart: clicking on any step in the flow-chart will provide access to a listing of papers at that step, with opportunity to view and/or edit the paper.

Acknowledgments

An acknowledgement

Taxonomy

Aname pulchella Harvey & Rix, sp. nov.

ZooBank LSID: http://zoobank.org/EditNomenclaturalAct/#####

 

Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Western Australia: Madura Caravan Park, 31°54’02"S, 127°01’14"E, 12 September 2017, J.M. Waldock, M.J. Hillyer, M.S. Harvey (WAM T144388).

 

Paratype: Australia: Western Australia: 1 male, Madura Caravan Park, 31°54’02"S, 127°01’14"E, 10 September 2017, M.J. Hillyer (WAM T144353).

Big & hairy. Spines. 8 eyes. All that good stuff.

Other material: Australia: Western Australia: 1 male, Dundas Nature Reserve, Mt Andrew Track, 32°30’57"S, 122°51’45”E, dry pitfall trap, mallee, 24 October 2009, S. Comer (WAM T101551); 1 male, Dundas Nature Reserve, Mt Andrew Track, 32°30`56"S, 122°51`43"E, October 2009, dry pitfall, S. Comer (WAM T101556).

SEQUENCE DATA

Intraspecific genetic divergence for this species was low, reaching only 0.?% at COI.

 

ETYMOLOGY

The species epithet refers to the beauty of this species (pulchellus, Latin, diminutive of pulchra, beautiful, pretty, fine, lovely) (Brown 1956).

Figure 2. Aname pulchella Harvey & Rix, sp. nov., holotype male (WAM T144388): A, cephalothorax, dorsal; B, abdomen, dorsal; C, eyes, dorsal; D, fovea, dorsal; E, sternum, ventral; F, cephalothorax, ventral; G, abdomen, ventral; H–L, left pedipalp: H, prolateral view; I, retrolateral view; J, tibia and tarsus, prolateral view; K, tibia and tarsus, ventral view; L, tibia and tarsus, retrolateral view; M–P, left leg I: M, prolateral view; N, tibia I, prolateral view; O, tibia I, retrolateral view; P, metatarsus I, prolateral view. Scale lines = 2 mm.

Tympanocryptis einasleighensis sp. nov.

Einasleigh earless dragon

Holotype. QM J96318, male, Richmond Rd, north of Esmeralda, Queensland, Australia (-18.5672, 145.5626).

 

Paratypes. (7 specimens) NMV D77187, male, Richmond Rd, north of Esmeralda, Queensland, Australia (-18.5649, 142.5646); QM J96320, male, Richmond Rd, north of Esmeralda, Queensland, Australia (-18.5645, 142.5651); QM J96322, male, Richmond Rd, north of Esmeralda, Queensland, Australia (-18.5616, 142.5682); NMV D74081, female, Richmond Rd, north of Esmeralda, Queensland, Australia (-18.5619, 142.5678); QM J96319, female, Richmond Rd, north of Esmeralda, Queensland, Australia (-18.5675, 142.5625); QM J96321, female, Richmond Rd, north of Esmeralda, Queensland, Australia (-18.5645, 142.5651); NMV D77265, female, Thornborough Rd, south of Thornborough, Queensland, Australia (-16.9991, 145.0312).

Description of holotype. SVL 54 mm. A medium-sized Tympanocryptis, with a stocky shape; short limbs, a round body, long head and blunt snout. Dorsal scales heterogeneous, with scattered enlarged scales; weakly imbricate. Enlarged scales are weakly imbricate, strongly keeled with keel terminating in weak spine; posterior edge of scale very narrowly raised. Small dorsal scales weakly imbricate, weakly to strongly keeled without terminating spine. Ventral scales weakly keeled. Indistinct, broken dorsolateral stripes running from the shoulders to pelvis. Vertebral stripe absent. Indistinct, diffuse crossbands between neck and base of tail, narrower than background colour. Approximately 12 dark bands on tail, narrower than intervening pale bands. Flanks with scattered cream flecks on darker background; lacking distinct lateral stripe. Dorsal head patterning weak and indistinct; lacks pale supra-orbital bar. Ventral patterning present; fine grey speckling under chin, extending posteriorly onto throat; lacks speckling on torso. Pre-anal pores 2, femoral pores absent; gular fold present.

Variation. Table 1 (as Species C). Vertebral, dorsolateral and lateral stripes usually absent. Broken, indistinct dorsolateral stripes in some individuals from the neck up to 1/3 of the way down the tail. If dorsal patterning present, consists of 5-6 dark narrow crossbands, poorly defined a much narrower than intervening pale background colour. Dorsal surface of head weakly or not patterned, sometimes with faint pale supra-ocular bar. Dorsal colour variable, ranging from red to light brown; spines on dorsal keeled scales varies from a light red-brown to a very dark brown-black. Males generally have stronger dorsal patterning than females. Flanks usually dark, sometimes with contrasting pale flecking or mottling. Ventral surface variable, from plain to mottling on head and gular region and in a few individuals the lateral portions of torso.

 

Comparison to other species. This distribution of T. einasleighensis sp. nov. appears not to overlap with any other Tympanocryptis species. It occupies the Einasleigh Uplands region of northern Queensland, with the closest sister taxa found over 180km away, to the south and west of Normanton (T. pentalineata, T. tetraporophora and T. intima). It can be distinguished from these species by the lack of five distinct longitudinal stripes (observed in T. pentalineata), lack of femoral pores (a key characteristic of T. tetraporophora) and scattered mucronate dorsal scales (normally in longitudinal rows in T. intima).

 

Habitat. Open eucalypt woodland on stony red rudosols or podosols, in rugged or undulating terrain.

 

Distribution. Currently known from several locations on the Einasleigh Uplands; along Richmond Rd and Inorunie Rd east of Croydon, Elizabeth Creek near Talaroo, the north-western area of Undara National Park and near Thornborough.

 

Etymology. Named for the bioregion this species occupies.

Tympanocryptis hobsoni sp. nov.

Hobson’s earless dragon

Holotype. QM J96313, male, Retro, Capella North, Queensland, Australia (-22.8606, 147.8763).

 

Paratypes. (8 specimens) QM J96314, male, Retro, Capella North, Queensland, Australia (-22.8604, 147.8761); QM J96315, male, Homelea Downs, north of Clermont, Queensland, Australia (-22.6918, 147.6768); NMV D77134, male, Homelea Downs, north of Clermont, Queensland, Australia (-22.6936, 147.6762); NMV D77135, female, Homelea Downs, north of Clermont, Queensland, Australia (-22.6948, 147.6776); QM J96317, male, Glendariwell, Gemfields, Queensland, Australia (-23.6034, 147.8247); NMV D77164, female, Glendariwell, Gemfields, Queensland, Australia (-23.6154, 147.8293); NMV D77136, male, Orana Downs, Orion, Queensland, Australia (-24.2579, 148.3510); QM J96316, female, Orana Downs, Orion, Queensland, Australia (-24.2597, 148.3468).

Description of holotype. SVL 51 mm. A medium-sized Tympanocryptis, with long limbs, a slender body, and somewhat dorsoventrally flattened skull with a blunt snout. Dorsal scales heterogeneous, with scattered enlarged scales; not imbricate. These enlarged scales are not imbricate, strongly keeled with keel terminating in spine and posterior edge of scales not raised. Small dorsal scales not imbricate, weakly keeled without terminating spine. Ventral scales are unkeeled on the head and neck, and weakly keeled on the torso. Narrow light grey dorsolateral stripes running from behind the eye to approximately a third of the way down the tail, gradually fading into background colour. Dorsolateral stripes approximately twice as wide as the vertebral stripe on the neck, narrowing to the same width as vertebral stripe on the back and tail. Continuous vertebral stripe running from neck to pelvis. Six dark brown-black dorsal crossbands between neck and base of tail, slightly narrower than pale background, disjunct across dorsal stripe. Approximately 12 dark bands on tail, approximately the same width as the intervening pale bands. Flanks with scattered cream flecks on dark background with a narrow pale lateral stripe. Dorsal surface of head strongly patterned with three dark transverse bars from supra-ocular region to snout; dark bars narrower than background colour; prominent white stripe from under eye to tympanum region. Ventral patterning absent. Pre-anal pores 2, femoral pores absent; gular fold present.

Variation. Table 1 (as Species B). Dorsolateral stripes variable, from narrow to wide and grey or cream; dorsolateral stripes often twice as wide and more prominent than vertebral stripe; dorsolateral stripes usually wider on neck becoming more narrow on back, often continuing anteriorly along neck onto head and culminating in ‘C’-shaped arc (bounded dorsally by black) to the dorso-posterior portion of the orbit. Length of dorsolateral stripes variable, terminating on first third of tail or sometimes continuing halfway down tail, while vertebral stripe terminates at pelvis. Lateral stripe usually narrow from axial to groin; although sometimes indistinct. Dorsal patterning consists of 5-6 dark crossbands usually similar width to pale crossbands but sometimes slightly narrower, usually disjunct across dorsal stripe. Dorsal head patterning usually strong although somewhat variable with some individuals having a diffuse dark transverse bars from supra-ocular region to snout and somewhat indistinct pale stripe from under eye to tympanum region. Ventral surface usually has mottling on head and gular region and in a few individuals the lateral portions of torso; some individuals lack ventral patterning. Males have longer tails and pre-anal pores can be difficult to distinguish in females.

 

Comparison to other species. The distribution of T. hobsoni sp. nov. is isolated from other Tympanocryptis taxa, with T. tetraporophora being the closest species (approximately 200 km to the west of the known range of T. hobsoni sp. nov.). However, T. hobsoni sp. nov. can easily be distinguished by the lack of femoral pores, compared with 2 femoral pores in T. tetraporophora. Additionally, T. hobsoni sp. nov. has an unusually long second toe on the hindlimbs (Table 1), compared with other Tympanocryptis species.

 

Habitat. Native grasslands or cropping fields (including wheat, sorghum and chickpea) on black vertosols.

 

Distribution. Currently known to exist in populations on cropping lands adjacent to the Dawson, Gregory, Capricorn and Peak Downs Highways on the Queensland Central Highlands, bordered by Orion in the south, Clermont in the north and Anakie in the west (Fig. 5).

 

Etymology. Named in recognition of the outstanding contributions of Rod Hobson to the conservation of Tympanocryptis species and Queensland herpetology, and his direct input into the collection and ecological understanding of this new species on the Central Highlands.

Tympanocryptis darlingensis sp. nov.

Darling earless dragon

Holotype. QM J96308 (formerly NMV D77151), male, Balonne Plains, south of St George, Queensland, Australia (-28.2638, 148.6748).

 

Paratypes. (9 specimens) NMV D77117, male, Stock route off Bollon Rd, Mitchell, Queensland, Australia (-26.4996, 147.9373); QM J96309, female, Stock route off Bollon Rd, Mitchell, Queensland, Australia (-26.4996, 147.9374); NMV D77147, male, Hortonvale, north of Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia (-27.9525, 145.7368); QM J96311, male, Hortonvale, north of Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia (-27.9482, 145.7405); QM J96310, female, Hortonvale, north of Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia (-27.9463, 145.7376); NMV D77143, female, Hortonvale, north of Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia (-27.9471, 145.7375); QM J96312, female, Balonne Plains, south of St George, Queensland, Australia (-28.2654, 148.6860); NMV D77153, female, Balonne Plains, south of St George, Queensland, Australia (-28.2654, 148.6838); NMV D77156, male, Myall Plains, Nindigully, Queensland, Australia (-28.3770, 148.6474).

Description of holotype. SVL 54 mm. A medium-sized Tympanocryptis, with a slender body and neck, moderately long limbs and tapered snout. Dorsal scales imbricate and heterogeneous, with scattered enlarged scales. These enlarged scales are strongly imbricate, strongly keeled with keel terminating in spine and posterior edge of scale very narrowly raised. Small dorsal scales weakly imbricate, weakly keeled without terminating spine. Ventral scales smooth to weakly keeled. Prominent light grey dorsolateral stripes running from the neck to approximately half way down tail, gradually fading into background colour, approximately same width as vertebral stripe. Continuous vertebral stripe running from neck to pelvis. Five dark brown-black dorsal crossbands between neck and base of tail, slightly narrow than intervening pale crossbands. Approximately 17 dark bands on tail, slightly wider than intervening pale bands. Flanks with scattered cream flecks on dark background with a narrow pale lateral stripe. Dorsal head patterning present with narrow pale supra-orbital bar. Ventral patterning present, with coarse grey mottling on the head tending for form linear white patches adjacent to jaw, faint grey mottling on upper chest and lateral areas of torso. Pre-anal pores: 2, femoral pores: 2; gular fold present.

Variation. Table 1 (as Species A). Dorsolateral stripes variable, from narrow to wide and grey or cream, often discontinuous where only visible on dark cross bands, approximately same width as vertebral stripe, which is often discontinuous or poorly defined. Length of dorsolateral stripes variable, terminating on first third of tail or sometimes continuing halfway down tail, while vertebral stripe terminates at pelvis. Usually a well-defined lateral stripe from axial to groin; although sometimes very narrow. Dorsal patterning consists of 5 dark crossbands usually wider than pale crossbands, often disjunct across dorsal stripe. Flanks from side of neck to base of tail has mottling often with dark dorsal crossbands terminating at pale lateral stripe. Dorsal head patterning present, usually with pale supra-ocular bar but sometimes very faint. Ventral surface usually has strong contrasting mottling on head and gular region and often the lateral portions of torso. Mottling on ventral surface of head is coarse and tends to form linear patches of white, towards gular region and adjacent to jaw. Some individuals have strong contrasting mottling extending onto the upper chest. Species has two femoral pores (one on each side), however, they are often difficult to find in females and sub-adults.

 

Comparison to other species. T. darlingensissp. nov., T. wilsoni and T.tetraporophora are morphologically very similar. Distribution and colour patterns are the key characters to distinguish T. darlingensis sp. nov. from the other two species. T. darlingensis sp. nov. is allopatric to T. wilsoni, which occurs east of Amby, QLD. The distribution of T. darlingensis sp. nov. is approximately~30km to the west, on the western side of the Maranoa River in Mitchell. These two species are very similar in appearance but can be somewhat distinguished based on colour and patterning,

T. darlingensissp. nov. is probably sympatric with T. tetraporophora, however samples of T. tetraporophora from the Darling Basin region may have been misidentified and may actually be T. darlingensis sp. nov. Body colour of T. darlingensis sp. nov. is generally slightly greyer or browner than the red-brown colour of T. tetraporophora from sympatric regions.

 

Habitat. Native grasslands or cropping fields (including wheat, sorghum and chickpea) on grey, brown or red-brown vertosols in Queensland. It is assumed to occupy similar habitat in New South Wales.

 

Distribution. The distribution of T. darlingensis sp. nov. is not yet fully understood but known to occur in the Mulga Lands and Darling Riverine Basin bioregions. Known locations from samples confirmed by molecular data include near Mitchell, Cunnamulla, St George and Nindigully in Queensland, and Lightning Ridge, Tilpa and White Cliffs in New South Wales (Fig. 4).

 

Etymology. Named for the Darling Riverine Plains and Darling Basin this species inhabits.

Aus fukdat

Hibbertia arenaria K.R.Thiele sp. nov.

Type: Western Australia [locality withheld for conservation reasons], 23 September 2001, J.W. Horn 4116 (holo: PERTH 06232922; iso: CANB, MEL).

Spreading to straggling shrubs to 0.5 m high; young branchlets comprising densely packed, thickened, pubescent, persistent leaf bases. Leaves erect at first then spreading, scattered, crowded at stem apices, oblong, 4–8 mm long, 1.4–2 mm wide, the margins strongly recurved to the thickened, prominent midrib, obscuring the abaxial lamina; adaxial surface not tuberculate, sparsely hairy to glabrous except for dense, curled-woolly hairs at base; abaxial surface {indumentum}; apex obtuse and pungently apiculate. Flowers sessile, terminal, closely subtended by crowded leaves; flower-subtending bracts 6–7, reddish-brown, scarious, narrowly triangular, acute, the primary bract 2.5–3.5 mm long. Sepals 5, ovate, 5–5.5 mm long, moderately to densely appressed-pubescent; midribs prominent; outer sepals pungently acuminate to shortly mucronate; inner sepals similar to the outer but less acuminate and broader. Petals 5, yellow, obovate, 5.5–8 mm long, deeply emarginate. Stamens 10, all on one side of the gynoecium, their filaments ±fused; anthers rectangular, c. 2 mm long, dehiscing by introrse, longitudinal slits. Staminodes absent. Carpels 2; ovaries compressed-globular, densely pubescent; styles curving excentrically from the carpel apex, 1.2–1.8 mm long. Ovules 4 per carpel. Fruiting carpels and seeds not seen.

Other specimens examined. WESTERN AUSTRALIA: [localities withheld for conservation reasons] 30 June 2005, G.F. Craig 6681 (PERTH 7313691); 23 Sep. 2001, J.W. Horn 4113 (PERTH 6232914); 24 Sep. 2001, J.W. Horn 4122 (PERTH 6232949); 8 Aug. 1978, D. Monk 326 (PERTH 3094065).

Diagnostic features. May be discriminated from all other species of Hibbertia in Western Australia by the combination of ericoid leaves, sessile flowers, silky sepals {check}, ten stamens and four ovules per carpel.

 

Phenology. Flowering specimens have been collected in June, August and September.

 

Distribution and habitat. Collected from scattered localities from west of Holt Rock eastwards towards 90 Mile Tank. Occurs on undulating plains on sandy, loamy or somewhat clayey soils over laterite, in proteaceous-myrtaceous kwongan heath dominated by species of Allocasuarina, Hakea, Melaleuca, Micromyrtus, Beaufortia, Banksia, Leptospermum, Isopogon, Petrophile and Callitris.

Conservation status. Hibbertia arenaria is known from only four localities, none of which is in a conservation reserve. A listing of Priority One under the Conservation Codes for Western Australian Flora (Smith and Jones, 2018) is recommended.

 

Etymology. From the Latin arenarius(a sandy place), in reference to the habitat in contradistinction to the rocky upland occupied by H. axillibarba.

 

Affinities. Hibbertia arenaria and H. axillibarba are superficially similar. They are very readily separated by their leaf shape: in H. arenaria the leaf margins are recurved to and closely abut the broad, prominent midrib, while in H. axillibarba the margins are recurved to each other (at least when dried) so that the midrib is hidden.

However, they are unlikely to be closely related. Ovule number appears to be conservative in natural groupings of Hibbertia; the two ovules of H. axillibarba and four in H. arenaria suggests that they are not close. Horn (2005) included H. arenaria in a molecular phylogeny of Hibbertia, where it grouped with H. ancistrotricha, a species that also has four ovules but a very different sepal indumentum (of hooked hairs), leaves that are obtuse and very shortly mucronate, and shortly pedicellate flowers. However, sampling of species in the Horn phylogeny was incomplete, and our knowledge of phylogenetic relationships in Hibbertiaremains preliminary.

Figure 1. Distribution of Hibbertia arenaria sp. nov. (circles) and H. axillibarba (star) in south-west Western Australia

References

Australian Academy of Science (2018) Discovering biodiversity: a decadal plan for taxonomy and biosystematics in Australia and New Zealand 2018-2027.

 

Fuchs, C. & Sandoval, M. (2013) The Diamond Model of open access publishing: why policy makers, scholars, universities, libraries, labour unions and the publishing world need to take non-commercial, non-profit open access seriously. tripleC 13(2): 428-443, 2013. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31269/triplec.v11i2.502