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Taxa discovered on Panay

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Photo by S. S. Krehenwinkel, 2009, with permission

New whip scorpion
Telyphonoides panayensis gen. et sp. nov., Arachnida, Uropygi, Telyphonidae

Description: see Krehenwinkel, H., E. Curio, J. Tacud & J. Haupt (2009): On Telyphonoides panayensis gen. et sp. nov. (Arachnida: Uropygi: Telyphonidae), a new genus and a new species of whip scorpions from Panay Island (Philippines). Arthropoda Selecta 18: 139-143.

Telyphonoides panayensis, a new giant whip scorpion
The discovery of a spectacular new species of lowland whip scorpion (Telyphonoides panayensis, Arachnida, Uropygi, Telyphonidae) from Panay Island, the largest member of this group in the Philippines so far, is the latest of species descriptions by the PESCP. As detailed by Krehenwinkel, Curio, Tacud & Haupt (2009, Arthropoda Selecta 18: 139-143) the new whip scorpion represents even a new genus that is set aside by morphological characters from four species of Telyphonus in the country. There is only one other, yet small-sized species of whip scorpion (Glyptogluteus augustinus) of a different lineage known from Panay. Knowledge of the whip scorpions, a very ancient, circumtropical group of spiders, in the Philippines is still very incomplete..

Talitrus curioi sp. nov., new species of landhopper

A new species of landhopper, a member of the group known as ‘beachhoppers’ from the sea shore, is described from the soil litter of primary and secondary upland forest of the NW Panay Peninsula (Javier & Coleman 2010, Zoosyst. Evol. 86: 41-48). It differs uniquely in its sexual dimorphism from all other known members of the Talitridae. The new landhopper shows some resemblance to other Talitrus species from South African forests though the phylogeny of this group of forest-dwellers that have their origin in the sea remains to be elucidated..

Description: see Javier, S. N. &  C. O. Coleman (2010): Talitrus curioi (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Talitridae), a new species of landhopper from the rainforests of the Philippines. Zoosyst. Evol. 86: 41-48.

Two new shrew species described:
Panay Shrew, Crocidura panayensis and
Batak Shrew, Crocidura batakorum

The description of two new shrew species is adding to the Philippine mammal fauna two new endemites that belong to two separate lineages of different origin. The Panay Shrew (Crocidura panayensis) from the upland forest of the NW Panay Peninsula  is one of two firmly established mammalian endemites of Panay Isld., the other being the Panay Cloud Rat (Crateromys heaneyi), yet still more small mammal species may be in the pipeline. Because of the extant Negros Shrew (C. negrosensis) known since long the find of a new shrew on Panay that has evolved in parallel since the separation of these two Visayan islands is not too surprising. - The second new species, the tiny Batak Shrew (Crocidura batakorum), is one of two endemic shrews of Palawan..

Description see Hutterer, R. (2007). Records of shrews from Panay  and Palawan, Philippines, with the description of two new species of Crocidura (Mammalia: Soricidae). Lynx  N.S., 38: 5-20 (two colour plates).

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Photo by M. Gaulke

  New island race of the 
Mangrove Cat Snake
Boiga dendrophila levitoni

Description see Gaulke, M., Demegillo, A. & G. Vogel (2003/2004): Eine neue Unterart der Mangroven-Nachtbaumnatter von den Philippinen. A new subspecies of the Mangrove Cat Snake from the Philippines. Herpetofauna, 25 (143): 5-16.

Head of Boiga dendrophila levitoni. Photo by M. Gaulke

A beautiful black and yellow coloured snake endemic to Panay. Discovered by the able Filipino scouts  of the PESCP

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Photo by M. Gaulke

New gecko
Luperosaurus  corfieldi sp. nov.

Description: see Gaulke, M., H. Roesler & R. M. Brown (2007). A new species of Luperosaurus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Panay Island, Philippines, with comments on the taxonomic status of Luperosaurus cumingii (Gray, 1845). Copeia, 2007/2: 413-425.

A rare nocturnal gecko endemic to Panay, found in primary lowland rainforest. So far, almost nothing is known on its biology. L. corfieldi is a medium sized stout forest-dweller found in tree holes and under bark, the only gecko of the genus Luperosaurus on Panay and an endemite of this island, as known so far, while another species L.  cumingii, comprising possibly several new species,  had long been known to occur on  other Philippine islands. Other Luperosaurus species are known from other parts of the Oriental Faunal Region.

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Photo by M. Gaulke

Another new gecko
Gekko ernstkelleri sp. n.

Description: see Roesler, H., C. D. Siler, R. M. Brown, A. D. Demegillo & M. Gaulke (2006): Gekko ernstkelleri sp. n. - a new gekkonid lizard from Panay Island, Philippines. Salamandra 42 (4): 197-211. 

Gekko ernstkelleri, a cave-dweller, is the third species of the genus Gekko on Panay and the only endemite of its genus there. The new species is known so far from the entrance of caves and rocky outcrops in NW Panay.

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Photo by C. Siler, from Siler et al. 2007, with permission: one of two colour patterns observed in the paratopotypes 

New frog
Platymantis paengi sp. nov.

Description: see Siler, C.D., C. W. Linkem, A. C. Diesmos & A. C. Alcala (2007). A new species of Platymantis (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) from Panay Island, Philippines. Herpetologica 63: 351-364.

Platymantis paengi sp. nov., the Panay Limestone Frog, has been described from the Municipality of Pandan, NW Panay,  Mt. Lihidan, in PESCP's area of operation and with PESCP's logistic help, by Siler et al. (2007). This find adds to the growing number of Platymantis frogs known from Panay and underscores the Philippines  (27 species) to be one of two major centers of the genus' diversity , with the second one in the Solomons, Bismarck and Admiralty archipelagos. Few other species have been found on other islands from Indonesia east to Fiji in the SW Pacific. The new species is the fourth Platymantis species of Panay.

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Photo by M. Gaulke

New snake
Lycodon fausti sp. nov.

Description: see M. Gaulke (2002). A new species of Lycodon on Panay Island, Philippines (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae). Spixiana 25: 85-92.

A new species of Wolf Snake, Lycodon fausti sp. nov., described  for Panay Island. It is the first endemic Lycodon known to occur in the West Visayas whilst the introduced (alien) L. aulicus was known from there for a long time. A number of other Lycodon species endemic to the Philippines are known from other than the W. Visayan islands. The genus Lycodon comprises many other species of the Oriental Faunal Region down to the SW Pacific.  The species is named in honour of  Dr. R. Faust, the late president of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the major sponsor of the PESCP.

Taxa discovered on Panay earlier

The Panay monitor or Mabitang, Varanus mabitang: discovered in 2001

New distributional records of known taxa

First evidence of the King Cobra, Opiophagus hannah, occurring on Panay: in 2002

The Steere's (or Oriental) honey buzzard Pernis steerei, a Philippine endemite, was first recorded on Pany in 2004, near Mt. Banderahan.
Synonyms: Pernis ptilorhyncus, formerly Barred Honey-buzzard P. celebensis of Sulawesi and the Philippines.
A display flight of Steere's honey-buzzard Pernis steerei was first seen in April 2004 in the NW Panay Peninsula near its highest elevation, Mt. Banderahan. The undulating flight upward with a wing-quiver 'sky dance' at its peak, with fully extended wings, and an unbroken downward swoop, thus forming one bigger undulation, differs characteristally from the similar but simpler display flight of European Honey-buzzard P. apivorus. Circumstances indicate that the display serves some nuptial or territorial function. The observation by Gewers et al. (2006, Forktail 22: 163-165) is at the same time the first distributional record of the species for Panay Island.

The observation by Gewers et al. (2006, Forktail 22: 163-165) was sadly corroborated by a bird shot dead in Barangay Cubay in 2006 (E. Curio, T. Kuenzel, unpublished).

A Philippine Sail-fin Lizard Hydrosaurus pustulatus with a forked tail, originating from a broken tail with a regrowing larger end (regeneration) was observed in Panay Island, thus confirming that also agamid lizards can regenerate their tail upon injury (colour pictures, Gaulke & Demegillo 2006, Sauria, 2006: 4, also published in our 13th annual project report, 2007).

The large Chinese Bullfrog Hoplobatrachus rugulosus, a likely invasor (= alien species) of the Philippines, was found for the first time in NW Panay after it had been found previously in Luzon by other researchers (Gaulke & Operiano 2006, Sauria 2006: 51, also published in our 13th annual project report, 2007).

A Banded Philippine Burrowing Snake Oxyrhabdion leporinum visayanum was first found in  Panay at a river in the NW of island, after it had been known already from nearby Cebu and Negros Islands, a not too surprising discovery (Gaulke & Operiano 2006, Sauria, 2006: 52, also published in our 13th annual project report, 2007). Both species illustrated in colour.

More than 164 years ago C. L. Koch had first described the whip scorpion Minbosius manilanus (Arachnida, Uropygi) from Manila, Luzon. This Philippine endemite was believed to have been found on Panay Island  for the first time, in stomachs of  older-age Marine Toads or "Hawaiian Frogs" (Bufo marinus), South American invasors  (Haupt 2007, Senckenbergiana biologica 87: 135-136). Meanwhile, however, further examination showed that the specimens were in fact immatures of a new species, the Giant Whip Scorpion Telyphonoides panayensis gen.et sp. nov (see details).
As a group, the whip scorpions are found in the tropics the world over though on Panay Island they have escaped the eyes of all of PESCP's researchers and staff for more than 12 years. Even now, and in spite of intense night time search at the collecting sites yielding the Marine Toads mentioned (Malumpati area of the NW Panay Peninsula), the species has proved so elusive that all five individuals found had fallen prey to the toads whilst not a single one had been a collector's hit.

The Colasisi of Panay Island, a race of one of the two Philippine endemic Hanging Parrot species (Loriculus philippensis regulus), has been found breeding for the first time in the upland of the NW Panay Peninsula near Research Station Sibaliw. The nest hole in a dead tree stump, with eggs placed on green leaves, was used three times in succession, possibly by the same pair of birds, in one year. This is the second breeding record of the Colasisi, a previous one was from the island of Bohol (L. p. worcesteri). (Hembra, S.S., E. Curio & J. Jamangal 2008: Papageien 21: 173-174. German)

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Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project  -  Conservation Biology Unit, Ruhr-University Bochum
Last amendment: 23 May 2010