Recently Discovered Taxa

Discovered Taxa

Five new species – 2016 in preparation

New praying mantids discovered on Panay

During a first census of the praying mantids (Mantodea) on Panay, five new species were discoverd, all of them confined to the remaining forests. The mantids known to occur on Panay so far were briefly introduced in our 18th annual report. The description of the new taxa is currently being prepared by our Project Manager, a specialist for this group.

Six new species

New moth species of the genus Cyana – (Walker, 1854)

In his newest paper, the unrivalled expert on Philippine moths Johannes H. Lourens has revised the grouping of 17 Cyana species of the tiger moth subfamily Lithosiinae. He thereby described six new species, including one from Palawan named after the founder of PhilinCon: Cyana curioi. The other new species come from Palawan, Luzon, Mindanao, Leyte and Samar, and from Panay and Negros.
For the moth aficionado: the tiger moth family (Arctiidae) occurs in the Philippines with the mind-boggling number of about 350 species, part of which are distributed widely across Sundaland, though 10 of the said Lithosiine assemblage are endemic to the Philippines. The distribution of the 17 Cyana species permits to draw tentative conclusions about their grouping into five lineages that historically, while speciating, have branched out from Luzon southward, from the Visayas north- and southward, and from Mindanao northward.

Photo by J. H. Lourens, 2012, with permission

a: Cyana curioi male, paratype
b: Cyana ibabaoae male, paratype
c: Cyana ibabaoae
female, paratype

Description: Lourens, J. H. (2011): Six new Philippine species of the genus Cyana Walker, 1854 and a review of the geminipuncta-group, with emphasis on endemic development lines on various islands (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Lithosiinae). Nachr. entomol. Ver. Apollo, N. F. 32: 69-96.

A new species of tailless whip scorpion or whip spider

Sarax curioi sp. nov., Arachnida, order Amblypygi

A female whip spider carrying nine eggs, found by PhilinCon staff on the forest floor near Malumpati, NW Panay Peninsula, Municipality of Pandan, turned out to be a new species, identified and described by Brazilian researchers (see reference below).
The new species is the second of the genus Sarax (familiy Charinidae) found in the Philippines, alongside with S. brachydactylus, a species with a wider distribution across the Philippines (on Palawan, Luzon and Cebu), in Malaysia and Cambodia. A third species of Philippine whip spider is the large Charon grayi, known for long from a number of places, including Panay. These cryptic nocturnal species possess a pair of specialized thin legs (“whips”) which serve as antennas, and strong, inward-bent pedipalps (see Wikipedia), resembling the forelegs of a praying mantis and adapted to catching live prey.

Description: Giupponi, A. P. L. & G. S. Miranda (2012): A new species of Sarax Simon, 1892 from the Philippines (Arachnida: Amblypygi: Charinidae). Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (Annals Brazilian Acad. Sciences) 84: 165-173. [DOI]

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

Description: 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.

A new giant whip scorpion

Telyphonoides panayensis gen. et sp. nov., Arachnida, Uropygi, Telyphonidae

The description 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 one of the latest of species discoveries by PhilinCon. 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 the four species of Telyphonus in the country. There is only one other, small-sized species of whip scorpion (Glyptogluteus augustus) of a different lineage known from Panay. Knowledge of whip scorpions, a very ancient, circumtropical group of arachnids, in the Philippines is still very incomplete. 


new species of landhopper; new genus described in 2012:

Curiotalitrus curioi gen. nov. (Synonym: Talitrus curioi Javier & Coleman, 2010)

From the upland of the NW Panay Peninsula Javier & Coleman (2010) had described a new species of terrestrial landhopper (Talitrus curioi). This is the first species of the highly diverse assemblage of amphipods within the order Crustacea or “shellfish” found on Panay. Amphipods are commonly known as scuds, side swimmers or, depending on their habitat, as sandhoppers, beachhoppers or landhoppers. While amphipods usually are an important component of marine or freshwater ecosystems (see Wikipedia), the described species of Panay is terrestrial. It has managed to colonize damp soil litter in primary and secondary upland forests.
The sexual dimorphism of the species differs from all known members of the genus Talitrus. The recent reevaluation of the morphology of the species by Lowry & Coleman led to the conclusion that it is so different from the rest of the family that a new genus, Curiotalitrus, had to be erected. The whole family Talitridae of the beach- and landhoppers now consists of 60 genera in total, with the new species being accordingly renamed Curiotalitrus curioi.
Further collecting in the upland of other Philippine islands will show whether there exist still other genera, or at the very least, relatives of the new species. If new forms were different species or even genera, one would have to conclude that the beach-hoppers have colonized the uplands several times independently. The new landhopper shows some resemblance to Talitrus species from South African forests. The phylogeny of this group of crustacean forest-dwellers that originated from marine species still needs to be elucidated.

First description as a new species:  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. [DOI]

New description as a distinct genus: Lowry, J., K. & C. O. Coleman (2012):  A new terrestrial talitrid genus from the Philippine Islands (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Talitrida, Talitridae) and the designation of two informal subgroups. Zootaxa 3400: 64-68.

two new shrew species described

Panay Shrew: Crocidura panayensis and
Batak Shrew: Cocidura batakorum

The description of two new shrew species is adding to the Philippine mammal fauna two new endemics 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 endemics of Panay Island, the other being the Panay Cloud Rat (Crateromys heaneyi). Yet, additional small mammal species may be in the pipeline. Because of the extant Negros Shrew (C. negrosensis), which is known for long, the finding 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:  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).

New island race of the

Mangrove Cat Snake: Boiga dendrophila levitoni

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

Description: 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.

Photo by M. Gaulke
Photo by M. Gaulke, Head of Boiga dendrophila levitoni
Photo by M. Gaulke

Description: 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. [DOI]

New gecko

Luperosaurus corfieldi sp. nov,

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. It is the only gecko of the genus Luperosaurus on Panay and an endemic of this island, as known so far, while another species, L. cumingii, possibly comprising 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. 

New gecko

Gekko ernstkelleri sp. nov.

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

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. 

Photo by M. Gaulke
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.

The Panay Limestone Frog has been described from the Municipality of Pandan, NW Panay, Mt. Lihidan, in PhilinCon’s area of operation and with logistic help from our project, 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. A few other species have been found on other islands from Indonesia to Fiji in the SW Pacific. The new species is the fourth Platymantis species of Panay.

Description: 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. [DOI]

New snake

Lycodon fausti sp. nov.

A new species of wolf snake, Lycodon fausti sp. nov., has been described for Panay Island. It is the first endemic Lycodon known to occur in the Western 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 West Visayan islands. The genus Lycodon comprises many other species in the Oriental Faunal Region down to the SW Pacific. The species is named in honor of Dr. R. Faust, the late president of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the longtime sponsor of our project.

Photo by M. Gaulke

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

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, Ophiophagus hannah, occurring on Panay: in 2002 .

The Steere’s (or Oriental) honey buzzard Pernis steerei, a Philippine endemic, was first recorded on Panay in 2004. A display flight of this raptor 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. This observation 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 on Panay Island, thus confirming that agamid lizards can also regenerate their tail upon injury (color pictures in Gaulke & Demegillo, Sauria, 2006: 4, also published in our 13th annual project report, 2007).  

The large Chinese Bullfrog Hoplobatrachus rugulosus, a likely invasive (= alien) species in the Philippines, was found for the first time in NW Panay after it had been found previously in Luzon by other researchers (Gaulke & Operiano, 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, Sauria, 2006: 52, also published in our 13th annual project report, 2007).  

More than 164 years ago C. L. Koch had first described the whip scorpion Minbosius manilanus (Arachnida, Uropygi) from Manila, Luzon. This Philippine endemic was believed to have been found on Panay Island for the first time, in stomachs of older-age Marine Toads (Rhinella marina), 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 around the world, though on Panay Island they have escaped the eyes of all of our project’s researchers and staff for more than 12 years. In spite of intense night time search at the collecting sites yielding the mentioned Marine Toads (Malumpati area of the NW Panay Peninsula), the species has proved so elusive that the first five individuals found had fallen prey to the toads whilst not a single one had been a collector’s hit until H. Krehenwinkel found the type specimens.

The Colasisi of Panay Island (Loriculus philippensis regulus), a race of one of the two Philippine endemic Hanging Parrot species, has been found breeding for the first time in the upland of the NW Panay Peninsula near the Sibaliw Research Station. 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).

The Steere’s (or Oriental) honey buzzard Pernis steerei, a Philippine endemic, was first recorded on Panay in 2004. A display flight of this raptor 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. This observation 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 on Panay Island, thus confirming that agamid lizards can also regenerate their tail upon injury (color pictures in Gaulke & Demegillo, Sauria, 2006: 4, also published in our 13th annual project report, 2007).  

The large Chinese Bullfrog Hoplobatrachus rugulosus, a likely invasive (= alien) species in the Philippines, was found for the first time in NW Panay after it had been found previously in Luzon by other researchers (Gaulke & Operiano, 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, Sauria, 2006: 52, also published in our 13th annual project report, 2007).  

More than 164 years ago C. L. Koch had first described the whip scorpion Minbosius manilanus (Arachnida, Uropygi) from Manila, Luzon. This Philippine endemic was believed to have been found on Panay Island for the first time, in stomachs of older-age Marine Toads (Rhinella marina), 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 around the world, though on Panay Island they have escaped the eyes of all of our project’s researchers and staff for more than 12 years. In spite of intense night time search at the collecting sites yielding the mentioned Marine Toads (Malumpati area of the NW Panay Peninsula), the species has proved so elusive that the first five individuals found had fallen prey to the toads whilst not a single one had been a collector’s hit until H. Krehenwinkel found the type specimens.

The Colasisi of Panay Island (Loriculus philippensis regulus), a race of one of the two Philippine endemic Hanging Parrot species, has been found breeding for the first time in the upland of the NW Panay Peninsula near the Sibaliw Research Station. 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).