Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History - latest Issue
Volume 6, Issue 07, 2016
Comparative morphometric analysis of a juvenile papionin (Primates : Cercopithecidae) from Kromdraai ASource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 1 –17 (2016)More Less
This study investigates the taxonomic and morphometric affinities of a newly catalogued fossil papionin from Kromdraai A. The juvenile specimen (KA 5993), which preserves the face and cranial base anterior to the spheno-occipital synchondrosis, is notable for its small size and well-developed maxillary fossae. Geometric morphometric analyses were conducted to test the hypothesis that KA 5993 represents a juvenile of Papio (hamadryas) angusticeps, the only small- to medium-sized papionin definitively recognized at Kromdraai. Three-dimensional landmarks and semilandmarks were collected from a digital 3D model of the KA 5993 specimen. The comparative sample comprised 232 juvenile and adult crania representing five extant papionin genera and two specimens of Papio (h.) angusticeps. To broaden comparisons, developmental simulation was used to estimate the subadult and adult morphologies of KA 5993.Sliding surface semilandmarkswere used to compare the zygomaxillary morphology of KA 5993 with juveniles of Lophocebus and Papio. The affinities of the KA 5993 specimen were assessed using Procrustes distances and principal components analysis. Additionally, its dental measurements were compared to those of extant and fossil papionins. Results show that KA 5993 represents a small member of the genus Papio. Its juvenile and estimated adult facial proportions are most similar to those of the extant Kinda baboon (Papio hamadryas kindae). It is distinguished from extant Papio by the presence of deeply excavated suborbital fossae with anteriorly projecting margins and from P. (h.) angusticeps by the narrower breadth and deeper excavation of its suborbital fossa; its greater relative facial breadth; and some qualitative and metric traits of the permanent dentition. These findings provide only limited support for the hypothesis that KA 5993 represents a juvenile of P. (h.) angusticeps. Rather, it may represent a previously unknown subspecies of P. hamadryas, possibly ancestral to the central African Papio clade that includes the modern Kinda baboon. Future studies including additional juvenile and adult specimens of P. (h.) angusticeps are necessary to clarify the taxonomic status of this specimen. In the interim, we provisionally refer this juvenile specimen to Papio hamadryas ssp. indet.
A consideration of garden hunting by Iron Age farmers in the Limpopo Valley and surrounding regions of southern AfricaSource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 18 –25 (2016)More Less
Animals are often attracted to the cultivated gardens of farmers, who would hunt these pests to protect their crops from damage. This is known as garden hunting. Since the concept of garden hunting was first described more than three decades ago, a number of anthropological studies have been undertaken in different parts of the world on hunting practices of farmers in their fields. Ethnographies from southern Africa also indicate that Bantu-speaking farmers spend a considerable amount of time and energy protecting their gardens from small, medium and even large animals. Archaeologists have also applied the concept of garden hunting to faunal samples in various parts of the world, but not yet in southern Africa. In an effort to highlight the potential archaeological significance of garden hunting in Africa, we investigate faunas from the Limpopo Valley and surrounding regions. While we could not find any conclusive evidence for garden hunting, based on circumstantial evidence we nonetheless suggest that it must have been a regular activity.
Source: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 26 –38 (2016)More Less
This research presents an interpretation of the faunal remains from MNR 74, a small 13th century AD settlement located in the Limpopo Valley, east of Musina in South Africa. Archaeological excavations undertaken in 2013 yielded material that connects the site to the larger socio-political interaction sphere of the Mapungubwe polity (c. AD 1220-1290). The widespread impact of the development of social complexity in the Limpopo Valley is best understood through a regional approach. However, only a limited number of archaeozoological reports from Mapungubwe period settlements are available. The data from MNR 74 provide a valuable addition to our understanding of regional faunal use patterns. Here, subsistence strategies focused on herding (cattle and sheep/goats), while wild animals were intermittently hunted, trapped and collected. The presence of a possible black rat (Rattus rattus), together with traded glass beads, confirm that the people at MNR 74 participated in broader Indian Ocean trade networks.
Source: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 39 –73 (2016)More Less
In this paper, we present the results of a preliminary analysis of the fossil bovids present at X Cave on Bolt's Farm in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa. The X Cave faunal sample derives from ex situ deposits and includes a relatively large component of postcranial specimens. From the bovid taxa represented the deposit seems to be younger than 2.5 Ma, although the taxa identified do not represent a confined time period. The sample represents a palaeoenvironment consisting of grassland and woodland, as well as stable water sources and rocky elements. The bovid specimens were most likely collected by carnivores, although it may be possible that other agents also contributed.
Description of a new genus and species of Psebiini Lacordaire, 1868 from South Africa (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Cerambycinae)Author Anders BjornstadSource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 74 –76 (2016)More Less
A new genus and species of Psebiini, Australopsebium muellerae gen. nov., spec. nov., from the Eastern Cape province, South Africa, is described. The new genus is characterized by bifurcation of the distal antennomeres, a trait otherwise unknown among the known genera of Psebiini.
A new genus and species of grasshopper from the Grassland Biome of northeast KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Orthoptera: Acridoidea: Caelifera, Lentulidae)Author H.D. BrownSource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 77 –85 (2016)More Less
A distinctive new grasshopper, Parasilvanidium masoni gen. et. spec. nov., is described from northeast KwaZulu-Natal. It was collected from the Blinkwater Nature Reserve, which is situated amongst undulating mountainous topography in a sub-escarpment mistbelt grassland biozone referred to as 'Gs 9' by Mucina and Rutherford (2006), with some of the whale back mountains found here ranging from 900-1542 m (Danse Kop) above sea level and covered in grassland with discontinuous belts of xerophilous scarp forest present on the upper hill slopes (designated as Foz 5 by Mucina and Rutherford, idem). As depicted in a satellite Google Earth aerial image (Google Earth, 2014),the summit zones here are split into two large, flat grassy plateaux, i.e., Blinkwater and Misgunst, which are blanketedin pure-stand, sourveld grassland (Aristida junciformis) to the exclusion of other grasses and which is universally referred to as 'ngongoni veld in the province (see Acocks, 1975). Further afield, the lower-lying surrounds are largely farmed with blocks of exotic gum trees (Eucalyptus) and pine trees (Pinus patula) for commercial timber production,which in parts have been invaded by, and become intermingled with, scarp forest on the upper slopes. This new grasshopper taxon is readily referable to the subfamily Lentulinae in the family Lentulidae, within which it perhaps exhibits a distant affinity with the established species, Silvanidium armstrongi Brown, 2012: 57, which also happens to be an inhabitant of nature reserves such as Ferncliffe and Doreen Clark in the far West. However, the new taxon differs significantly from this species in a number of key characters, especially in respect of its rather divergent and extraordinary internal male genitalia, as well as possession of a more thickset subgenital plate, and with some other unique external morphological features present in its make up, as are described below.
First record of Phrenapatinae (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in South Africa, with remarks on native or introduced occurrenceAuthor W. SchawallerSource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 86 –90 (2016)More Less
Phrenapatinae (Tenebrionidae) were unknown from South Africa so far. Recently, Scolytocaulus mussardi (Ardoin,1976) (Penetini) was collected in the Limpopo province of South Africa from under bark of Pinus, not in native forest, but in a plantation. Native versus introduced occurrence in South Africa is discussed. It is most likely that Scolytocaulus was introduced into South Africa together with Pinus from unknown origin, not recently, but probably towards the beginning of afforestation nearly one hundred years ago. The five African species of Scolytocaulus are depicted.
Revision of Campter Krüger and description of Campteropsis, a related new genus from South Africa (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae: Lithosiini)Author M. KrugerSource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 98 –108 (2016)More Less
The genus Campter Krüger, 2015 is revised and its original concept narrowed. The type species, Eilema goniophorum Hampson, 1900 (as Ilema) is redescribed, and three species are described as new: C. latefasciatus spec. nov. and C. punctifascia spec. nov. from the southern Cape, and C. obliquilinea spec. nov. from Limpopo, South Africa. The closely related genus Campteropsis gen.nov. is erected with C. asaphogramma gen. et spec. nov. from Swaziland and adjoining parts of Mpumalanga province, South Africa, as type species. Two further species are described as new: C. orthogramma spec. nov. from the Natal Drakensberg and C. goniogramma spec. nov. from the Soutpansberg, Limpopo. The placement of the East African Eilema melasoneum Hampson, 1900 (as Ilema) in Campter proposed by Krüger (2015) is revoked; there is currently no available genus for this taxon. Relevant parts of the key to genera in Krüger (2015) are updated, and keys to the species of Campter and Campteropsis are provided, as are illustrations of adults and genitalia and distribution maps. The study is complemented by a gazetteer.
Melittia fiebigi spec. nov. and Afromelittia caerulea spec. nov., two new Melittiini from southern Africa (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae)Author Daniel BartschSource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 109 –115 (2016)More Less
Two new species of Melittiini from southern Africa are described. Melittia fiebigi spec. nov. from the Soutpansberg, Limpopo Province, is similar to M. rufodorsa Hampson, 1910 and M. ignidiscata Hampson, 1910 stat. rev. The latter as well as M. oedipoides Strand, 1913 stat. rev. are resurrected from the synonymy with Melittia oedipus Oberthür, 1878. Afromelittia caerulea spec. nov. from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga province, differs considerably from all known members of the genus by the completely opaque, bright blue-metallic hind wings. Furthermore, Afromelittia haematopis (Fawcett, 1916) comb. nov., originally described in Melittia Hübner, , is transferred to Afromelittia Gorbunov & Arita, 1997.
Source: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 116 –145 (2016)More Less
A check-list of 39 species of Gelechiidae bred from acacia in Kenya is given. Data on biology and distribution are provided for each species. Eight species are described as new: Anarsia fasciella spec. nov., Polyhymno striella spec. nov., Polyhymno albifulvella spec. nov., Leuronoma undulella spec. nov., Leuronoma nakurensis spec. nov., Leuronoma leuconigrella spec. nov., Aristotelia rhopalovalva spec. nov., and Neotelphusa flaviterminella spec. nov. Adults and genitalia of the new species and taxa closely related to them are illustrated. Three closely related species: Anarsia subfulvescens Meyrick, 1918, Anarsia balioneura Meyrick, 1921 and Anarsia citromitra Meyrick, 1921 are compared both externally and in the structure of their genitalia. A new combination is proposed for Lanceopenna pentastigma Janse, 1960: Aphanostola pentastigma (Janse, 1960), comb. nov.
Author Wolfram MeySource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6, pp 146 –198 (2016)More Less
The present study is based on material preserved in museum collections, as well as specimens obtained in the course of faunistic work conducted in recent years, and includes all cossid taxa recorded from southwestern Africa thus far. A total of 47 species representing 13 genera are treated. For each genus a differential diagnosis is provided. The following taxonomic changes are proposed: Lichtensteiniana punctulata (Walker, 1856) stat. nov., comb. nov.; Coryphodema coelebs (Clench, 1959), syn. nov. of C. seineri (Grünberg, 1910); Brachylia eberti Yakovlev, 2011 syn. nov. of B. eutelia Clench, 1959; Aethalopteryx forsteri (Clench, 1959), syn. nov. of A. tristis (Gaede, 1915), and Aethalopteryx simplex (Aurivillius, 1905) comb. nov. (from Azygophleps). The species of Rethona Walker, 1855 are revised and illustrations of the adults are provided. Ten new species are described: Lichtensteiniana maritima spec. nov., L. orania spec. nov., Brachylia camparia spec. nov., B. contusa spec. nov., B. minor spec. nov., B. lineata spec. nov., B. fusca spec.nov., B. plumbata spec. nov., Meyoarabiella karooensis spec. nov., and Azygophleps asylasiformis spec. nov. The original description of Phalaena asylas Cramer, 1779 was rechecked. The correct interpretation of this species is still pending. The genitalia of the new species and the adult moths are illustrated. A checklist of all species recorded from the sub-region and a key to all genera occurring in southern Africa are provided.
The Notodontidae of South Africa including Swaziland and Lesotho (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae), A. Schintlmeister & T. Witt. (Eds.) : book reviewAuthor Martin KrugerSource: Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 6 (2016)More Less
Moths in the family Notodontidae, popularly known as prominents, are perhaps best known for their often bizarrely shaped larvae; there are about 5000 described species worldwide. The Afrotropical notodontid fauna was last comprehensively revised in 1928 by M. Gaede as part of theMacrolepidoptera of the World series edited by A. Seitz, and the present title is an important contribution towards a long overdue revision of the family in this part of the world.