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We describe a cryptic new species of Norops Wagler, 1830, Norops caceresae, from mixed transitional and broadleaf cloud forest formations in the Lenca Highlands of southwestern Honduras. This population was previously considered conspecific with Norops crassulus (Cope, 1864) of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, despite it being entirely disjunct (> 100 km) from any of those populations. Recent molecular work revealed consistent, deep mitochondrial and nuclear distinctiveness between this population and all other anoles of the N. crassulus species group, prompting a thorough morphological investigation of this population. This new species is most similar in external morphology to N. crassulus sensu stricto, but is readily distinguished by molecular distinctiveness, distribution, and morphology.
In non-mammalian amniotes, the parasphenoid is a midline dermal element with a narrow rostral portion, the cultriform process, linked to the interorbital septum and an expanded distal portion, the alae or wings, forming part of the ventral skull base. In mammals, the parasphenoid has not been found in extant monotremes and only a handful of reports of a reduced parasphenoid (a remnant of the cultriform process) have been made for extant marsupials and placentals. Most reports are in serially-sectioned perinatal specimens where the contrast between the intramembranous origin of the parasphenoid and the overlying endochondral basisphenoid facilitates delimiting the different elements forming the skull base. The only report of a parasphenoid remnant in adult marsupials is in the white-eared opossum, Didelphis albiventris, and it was published more than 100 years ago. Here, we report the results of a survey of 576 specimens of Didelphidae and 115 other Marsupialia in the extant collections of the Section of Mammals, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. We observed what we interpret as a parasphenoid remnant in some juveniles and adults from ten of the 27 didelphid species studied: Didelphis albiventris, Didelphis marsupialis, Didelphis virginiana, Marmosa murina, Monodelphis arlindoi, Monodelphis domestica, Philander opossum, Thylamys elegans, Thylamys pusilla, and Thylamys venustus. This element was variable in its presence within the collection, as well as in its size, form, and position. In our largest specific sample, the Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana, a parasphenoid was present in 55% of 238 specimens. It is uncertain if the variable occurrence reflects a true absence of the parasphenoid or its loss during specimen preparation. Outside of Didelphidae, we noted a substantial parasphenoid in the microbiothere Dromiciops gliroides, contributing to a midline septum that partially divides the nasopharynx into two channels, and a probable small one in the macropodid Thylogale sp.
The genus DruceiellaViette, 1949 (Lepidoptera, Exoporia, Hepialidae), is re-described for seven species. Monophyly of the genus is supported by four autapomorphies: 1) a posteriorly emarginated eighth tergite with extended right lobe in the male; 2) a white-edged cubital spot on the forewing; 3) white scales on cross-vein CuA1–CuA2 in the male forewing; and 4) cubital spot extending posteriorly from CuA2 but not reaching the anal vein or posterior wing margin. The previously named species Druceiella amazonensisViette, 1950, Druceiella metellus (Druce, 1890), and Druceiella momus (Druce, 1890) are validated, and
(Schaus, 1901) is a new junior synonym of Druceiella metellus (Druce, 1890). Three new species are proposed: Druceiella beckeri, Druceiella hillmani, and Druceiella mielkei.
The immediate sister group of Druceiella was not determined, but potential candidate taxa were identified as Pfitzneriana Viette, 1952, and ‘Phassus’ [incertae sedis] guianensisSchaus, 1940. The distribution of Druceiella species between Central America and southern Bolivia-Brazil is explained as the result of vicariance followed by subsequent dispersal and sympatry of some species.