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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

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05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

Fri 01 Jul 2005

"Contributions to biodiversity exploration and research in Sri Lanka"

Category : pub

Hot off the press! - 30 Jun 2005: The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 12: Contributions to biodiversity exploration and research in Sri Lanka. 434pp. Eds. D. C. J. Yeo, P. K. L. Ng & R. Pethiyagoda.

Related links

The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology webpage.
"New frog species found in Sri Lanka." Reuters, carried by CNN, 29 June 2005.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Exploring Sri Lanka's biodiversity. Rohan Pethiyagoda.
  • New species records of Sri Lankan mosses. Benito C. Tan.
  • Plant biogeography and conservation of the south-westem hill forests of Sri Lanka. I. A. U. N. Gunatilleke, C. V. S. Gunatilleke and M. A. A. B. Dilhan.
  • The Darwin Initiative Project on Sri Lankan landsnails: patterns of diversity in Sri Lankan forests. Fred Naggs, Dinarzarde Raheem, Kithsiri Ranawana and Yasantha Mapatuna.
  • Presence of the alpheid shrimp genus Potamalpheops Powell, 1979 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea) in South Asia, with description of a new species from Sri Lanka. Arthur Anker.
  • Lancaris, a new genus of freshwater shrimp from Sri Lanka (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae). Yixiong Cai and Mohomed M. Bahir.
  • Descriptions of ten new species of freshwater crabs (Crustacea: Brachyura: Parathelphusidae: Ceylonthelphusa, Mahatha, Perbrinckia) from Sri Lanka. Mohomed M. Bahir and Peter K. L. Ng.
  • A revision of the genus Oziotelphusa Mčller, 1887 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Parathelphusidae), with descriptions of eight new species. Mohomed M. Bahir and Darren C. J. Yeo.
  • A conservation assessment of the freshwater crabs of Sri Lanka. Mohomed M. Bahir, Peter K. L. Ng, Keith Crandall and Rohan Pethiyagoda.
  • A review of the barbs of the Puntius filamentosus group (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) of southern India and Sri Lanka. Rohan Pethiyagoda and Maurice Kottelat.
  • The identity of the south Indian barb Puntius mahecola (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Rohan Pethiyagoda and Maurice Kottelat.
  • Molecular phylogenetics of Sri Lankan Ichthyophis (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae), with discovery of a cryptic species. David J. Gower, Mohomed M. Bahir, Yasantha Mapatuna, Rohan Pethiyagoda, Dinarzarde Raheem and Mark Wilkinson.
  • The Sri Lankan shrub-frogs of the genus Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae), with description of 27 new species. Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi and Rohan Pethiyagoda.
  • Description of eight new species of shrub-frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus) from Sri Lanka. Madhava Meegaskumbura and Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi.
  • Reproduction and terrestrial direct development in Sri Lankan shrub frogs (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae: Philautus). Mohomed M. Bahir, Madhava Meegaskumbura, Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Christopher J. Schneider and Rohan Pethiyagoda.
  • Description of five new species of Cyrtodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Sri Lanka. Sudesh Batuwita and Mohomed M. Bahir.
  • Calotes desilvai, a new species of agamid lizard from Morningside Forest, Sri Lanka. Mohomed M. Bahir and Kalana P. Maduwage.
  • Otocryptis nigristigma, a new species of agamid lizard from Sri Lanka. Mohomed M. Bahir and Anjana Silva.
  • A conservation assessment of the Sri Lankan Agamidae (Reptilia: Sauria). Mohomed M. Bahir and Thilina Surasinghe.
  • Interspecific variation in Moschiola, the Indian chevrotain. C. P. Groves and E. Meijaard.
  • An second extinct big cat from the Late Quaternary of Sri Lanka. Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Rohan Pethiyagoda, Rajith Dissanayake and Madhava Meegaskumbura.

Posted at 11:19AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Fri 01 Jul 2005

New species frogs, freshwater crabs, snails and lizards from Sri Lanka

Category : pub

"New frog species found in Sri Lanka." Reuters, carried by CNN 29 June 2005.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) -- Sri Lankan biologists have found dozens of new species of tree frog over the last decade in the island's dwindling rainforests, but warn many known species are either extinct or on the verge of disappearing because of man.

Researchers from Sri Lanka's privately-funded Wildlife Heritage Trust found 35 new species of frog -- increasing the number of known frog species on the Indian Ocean island by a third -- but also found 19 species are now extinct.

"(They) have gone extinct largely because of the loss of their habitat... The land has now been converted to other uses like tea and rubber," biologist Rohan Pethiyagoda, whose team's research has been published in The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology [Supplement No. 12], told Reuters on Wednesday.

"The long-term prospect is pretty bleak," he added. "We know that 11 of these species are on the brink. They are likely to disappear in the next few years unless extensive conservation measures are taken."

Asia's tsunami offered a small silver lining for the tiny frogs, which range from iridescent green to pale blue in color and cling to foliage with bulbous, sucker-like toes.

The Sri Lankan government has banned rebuilding on a narrow strip of land along much of the island's coastline after December's disaster killed nearly 40,000 people here, and the new coastal buffer zone will offer some species sanctuary.

"It's not going to protect the vast majority of species, but it will certainly protect 10 of them, and 10 is a big number, so it will help," Pethiyagoda said.

Sri Lanka is home to 105 species of frog, 86 of which still survive today, which compares to around 4,500 known species of frog worldwide.

But most live in the largely unprotected rainforests of Sri Lanka's southwest, and not in the the island's national wildlife reserves, which tend to be drier, less biologically diverse and home to large mammals such as elephants, bears and leopards.

"What is most staggering is that out of the 34 species of frogs altogether that are extinct worldwide, half should happen to be in this tiny little island," Pethiyagoda said.

His team also found 17 new types of freshwater crabs, while fellow international researchers have also identified 50 new species of snail and seven new lizards.

Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.

Posted at 11:17AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Fri 01 Jul 2005

Hopea sangal wood slices varnished

Category : education

1st July 2005 - After a vacumn down by Research Officer N. Sivasothi, Raffles Museum volunteer Adrian Loo set to work to varnish the wood slices from the ill-fated Hopea sangal tree.

The slices had been collected back from by Mr K L Yeo on 22nd June 2005 from the "Eastern Union Trading and Sawmill" who had pressure-soaked the wood in Chromated Copper Arsenic (CCA) solution.

The wood pieces were vacumned to remove the CCA-soaked sawdust and the varnishing further contributes as a penetrating stain to reduce dislodgeable arsenic from the wood. This varnish will be reapplied annually and when exhibited, warning signs will advise against contact with the wood, as is done for existing mounted zoological exhibits which share the presence of arsenic-based poisons to ensure their long-term condition.

Posted at 8:22AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Fri 01 Jul 2005

Partners of Presidents Roundtable visit

Category : visitors

NUS is hosting the Association of American Universities (AAU) - Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Presidents Roundtable and the APRU 9th Annual Presidents Meeting from the 30 June - 2 July 2005. The partners of the presidents visited the Raffles Museum during a campus tour this morning and were guided by Research Officer N. Sivasothi.

Interstingly, they mentioned seeing the moth Lyssa zampa - they had seen several on the ceiling in one of the rooms at the Istana the previous night, when they attended a welcome dinner hosted by President S R Nathan!

Photo by Greasi Simon.

Posted at 8:22AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,