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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

Wed 01 Feb 2006

Freezer maintenance

Category : people

Bursting through the door to the wet collection (I do a lot of this), I stumbled upon Luan Keng and Martin emptying one of our freezers today. They scraped off the accumulated ice and managed to toss out a couple of bucket-loads. Then they relabeled some items for easier retrieval and repacked the freezer. When they had finished, they had recovered about 20% of the space, an amazing feat!

I was encouraged by this effort to haul a bucket of ice to the showers for disposal and help them re-stack the packages.

Why are there specimens in the freezer? Well some tissue are awaiting researchers DNA work and is best not preserved in formalin or alcohol. Others are occasional specimens bought in - migrating birds crashing into windows, roadkills, specimen batches meant to be processed by a specific individual, etc. It's an invaluable utility for surprising contributions to the museum have included pangolins, part of a dugong, macaques, birds of a variety of sizes and colours and loads of fish.

The packages, packets or tubes each come with a label of some sort, even if just a piece of paper scribbled on in the field. It usually contains critical information - the location of collection, the date, collector's name and other field notes - this same information is transcribed to a label. Every specimen or lot of specimens has a label.

Often, a package bears the name of a researcher, and no disposal or processing can be conducted without the person's consent. It's taboo to do otherwise and researchers all respect that. You never know what the person had in mind!

Once a year, we empty the freezer and batch process the entire lot (with permission) and it's amazing what is revealed! This time was merely a maintenance exercise but still, Luan Keng and Martin managed to uncover someone's stash of maggie mee!

Thanks to Marcus Ng for the pictures!

Posted at 5:57PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Wed 01 Feb 2006

Three new species of Gastromyzon from Brunei

Category : pub

H. H. Tan & Z. H. Sulaiman, 2006. Three new species of Gastromyzon (Teleostei: Balitoridae) from the Temburong River basin, Brunei Darussalam, Borneo. Zootaxa 1117: 1-19.

Abstract - Three new species of Gastromyzon from Brunei Darussalam, on the island of Borneo, are described from recent collections and from older museum specimens.

Gastromyzon cranbrooki, new species, is superficially similar to G. borneensis, but differs in having a distinct secondary rostrum; body brown with 9-10 grey bars, head dorsum dark brown with thin grey reticulate pattern; and 56-60 scales on lateral line.

Gastromyzon aeroides, new species, is similar to G. punctulatus, but differs in having the body uniform brown, dorsum uniform brown; head dorsum with very fine cream reticulate pattern (similar to a cream head with brown spots and blotches); dorsal, caudal and anal fins blue in life; and 47-65 scales in lateral line.

Gastromyzon venustus, new species, is similar to G. pariclavis, but differs in having both the body and head dorsum plain brown; dorsal, caudal and anal fins red in life; and 58-63 scales in lateral line.

More about Gastromyzon cranbrooki - this "species is named for the Earl of Cranbrook, in recognition of his contributions to the study of biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Gastromyzon cranbrooki is the most common Gastromyzon species in the riffle zones of Sungai Belalong. Most specimens were obtained from a rocky area about 15 metres wide, just 20 metres upstream of the Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre ...."

Posted at 10:24AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Wed 01 Feb 2006

Taxonomic review of the tree snail Amphidromus albers

Category : pub

Chirasak Sutcharit & Somsak Panha, 2006. Taxonomic review of the tree snail Amphidromus albers, 1850 (Pulmonata: Camaenidae) in Thailand and adjacent areas: subgenus Amphidromus. Journal of Molluscan Studies (2006) 72: 1 - 30.

Abstract - "Extensive series of Amphidromus Albers, 1850 were collected from low-altitude areas (30 - 500 m above sea level) in Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia between 1993 and 2004. Data on shell colour, genital and spermatophore morphology, and radular structure are presented.

Five species of Amphidromus (Amphidromus) are reviewed, of which four occur in Thailand. Intraspecific variation between populations of Amphidromus (Amphidromus) atricallosus (Gould, 1843) is considered; three subspecies are accepted and a new subspecies described.

Subspecies of A. (A. ) inversus (Mueller, 1774) and A. (A. ) schomburgki (Pfeiffer, 1861) are reconsidered, and a new subspecies of the latter is described. A dichotomous key to the species and subspecies of Amphidromus (Amphidromus) in Thailand is provided."

Thanks to Chan Sow Yan for the alert!

Posted at 10:07AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,