New shrew species discovery in Indonesia

This 2017 video is called Ferocious Shrews Fight For Mating Rights | Life Of Mammals | BBC Earth.

From Louisiana State University in the USA:

The naming of the shrew

Researchers discover the Sulawesi hairy-tailed shrew

March 11, 2020

Researchers at Louisiana State University have discovered a new species of shrew, which they have named the hairy-tailed shrew, or Crocidura caudipilosa.

“There was no doubt that this was a new species,” said LSU Museum of Natural Science Mammal Curator Jake Esselstyn whose work on Sulawesi Island in Indonesia led to the discovery published in the Journal of Mammalogy. “There isn’t another species on the island that has as much hair on its tail, in terms of shrews.”

The newly discovered shrew is slender with gray-brown fur on its back and silver-gray fur on its belly. Its tail is slightly longer than the combined length of its head and body and is covered with long bristles and hair, which make the distinctive tail very hirsute. In fact, no other shrew species in Indonesia, Malaysia or the Philippines is known to have such thick, long hair on its tail; however, some shrew species in Africa have very hairy tails. The scientists were also surprised to discover that this shrew climbs trees whereas most shrews live primarily on the ground, as far as anyone knows.

The Sulawesi hairy-tailed shrew was found on nine mountains across Sulawesi at various elevations from 1,500 feet to 4,800 feet.

“Tropical diversity is still not well documented even for mammals with a wide distribution on this island. This discovery shows how little we still know about mammal diversity,” Esselstyn said.

Puzzling pieces

The real challenge was figuring out which shrew is its closest relative and how this new species fits into the shrew family tree. Shrews‘ features do not change very much over time, which means closely related species tend to look very similar and are hard to distinguish from each other. This has posed a challenge for mammalogists in the past to discover new shrew species.

“Genetic data have revolutionized what we can distinguish between shrews. A lot of species are first recognized as being genetically distinct, then we look at its morphology, or physical features,” Esselstyn said.

Deforestation and degradation of natural habitats have also posed a challenge for discovering new species. For example, a few shrew specimens were collected in the early 20th century, but when scientists return to the same location where the early specimens were collected, the habitat is no longer a forest. It is a farm.

Despite these challenges, Esselstyn and his colleagues and students have also discovered several new mammals in Indonesia including the hog-nosed rat, the Sulawesi water rat and the slender root rat as well as the sky island moss shrew in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, at the LSU Museum of Natural Science, they continue to search and analyze specimens for more new species and to help put the pieces of the large tree of life puzzle together.

103 new beetle species discovered in Indonesia

This 29 May 2016 video in German with English subtitles is about very big Dorcus titanus, aka giant stag beetles, from Sulawesi island in Indonesia. This male is 94 millimeter.

Now, to much smaller beetles from Sulawesi.

From ScienceDaily:

Star Wars and Asterix characters amongst 103 beetles new to science from Sulawesi, Indonesia

March 7, 2019

Summary: A total of 103 new species of weevils are added to the genus Trigonopterus from Sulawesi. Whereas prior to the study, there had only been a single species from this group documented on the Indonesian island. Having remained undercover due to their tiny size (2-3 mm) and close superficial resemblance, a team of scientists managed to identify the novel species thanks to modern DNA analyses.

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been long known for its enigmatic fauna, including the deer-pig (babirusa) and the midget buffalo. However, small insects inhabiting the tropical forests have remained largely unexplored.

Such is the case for the tiny weevils of the genus Trigonopterus of which only a single species had been known from the island since 1885. Nevertheless, a recent study conducted by a team of German and Indonesian scientists resulted in the discovery of a total of 103 new to science species, all identified as Trigonopterus. The beetles are described in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

“We had found hundreds of species on the neighboring islands of New Guinea, Borneo and Java — why should Sulawesi with its lush habitats remain an empty space?” asked entomologist and lead author of the study Dr Alexander Riedel, Natural History Museum Karlsruhe (Germany).

In fact, Riedel knew better. Back in 1990, during a survey of the fauna living on rainforest foliage in Central Sulawesi, he encountered the first specimens that would become the subject of the present study. Over the next years, a series of additional fieldwork, carried out in collaboration with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), managed to successfully complete the picture.

“Our survey is not yet complete and possibly we have just scratched the surface. Sulawesi is geologically complex and many areas have never been searched for these small beetles,” said Raden Pramesa Narakusumo, curator of beetles at the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense (MZB), Indonesian Research Center for Biology.

Why have all these beetles remained overlooked for so long?

Unlike the all-time favourite stag beetles or jewel beetles, tiny beetles that measure no more than 2-3 millimeters seem to have been attracting little interest from entomologists. Their superficial resemblance does not help identification either.

In fact, the modern taxonomic approach of DNA sequencing seems to be the only efficient method to diagnose these beetles. However, the capacity for this kind of work in Indonesia is very limited. While substantial evidence points to thousands of undescribed species roaming the forests in the region, there is only one full-time position for a beetle researcher at the only Indonesian Zoological Museum near Jakarta. Therefore, international collaboration is crucial.

103 beetle names

Coming up with as many as 103 novel names for the newly described species was not a particularly easy task for the researchers either. While some of the weevils were best associated with their localities or characteristic morphology, others received quite curious names.

A small greenish and forest-dwelling species was aptly named after the Star Wars character Yoda, while a group of three species were named after Asterix, Obelix and Idefix — the main characters in the French comics series The Adventures of Asterix. Naturally, Trigonopterus obelix is larger and more roundish than his two ‘friends’.

Other curious names include T. artemis and T. satyrus, named after two Greek mythological characters: Artemis, the goddess of hunting and nature and Satyr, a male nature spirit inhabiting remote localities.

Additionally, the names of four of the newly described beetles pay tribute to renowned biologists, including Charles Darwin (father of the Theory of Evolution), Paul D. N. Hebert (implementer of DNA barcoding as a tool in species identification) and Francis H. C. Crick and James D. Watson (discoverers of the structure of DNA).

Six-legged déjà vu

Back in 2016, in another weevil discovery, Dr Alexander Riedel and colleagues described four new species from New Britain (Papua New Guinea), which were also placed in the genus Trigonopterus. Similarly, no weevils of the group had been known from the island prior to that study. Interestingly, one of the novel species was given the name of Star Wars’ Chewbacca in reference to the insect’s characteristically dense scales reminiscent of Chewie’s hairiness. Again, T. chewbacca and its three relatives were described in ZooKeys.

On the origin of Trigonopterus weevils

Sulawesi is at the heart of Wallacea, a biogeographic transition zone between the Australian and Asian regions. The researchers assume that Trigonopterus weevils originated in Australia and New Guinea and later reached Sulawesi. In fact, it was found that only a few populations would one day diversify into more than a hundred species. A more detailed study on the rapid evolution of Sulawesi Trigonopterus is currently in preparation.

Future research

To help future taxonomists in their work, in addition to their monograph paper in ZooKeys, the authors have uploaded high-resolution photographs of each species along with a short scientific description to the website Species ID.

“This provides a face to the species name, and this is an important prerequisite for future studies on their evolution,” explained the researchers.

“Studies investigating such evolutionary processes depend on names and clear diagnoses of the species. These are now available, at least for the fauna of Sulawesi.”

Tsunami disaster in Sulawesi, Indonesia

This 30 September 2018 video says about itself:

Tsunami struck the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The authorities mistakenly recalled the warning about the threat.

By John Braddock:

More than eight hundred dead after earthquakes and tsunami strike Indonesia

1 October 2018

The Indonesian government warned on Saturday that thousands of people may have perished after earthquakes and a tsunami struck the island of Sulawesi last Friday. The official death toll rose sharply to 832 on Sunday and is expected to increase again once rescuers reach more remote areas.

While reports remain scanty, it is clear that what is unfolding is a tragedy on a massive scale, devastating the lives of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of impoverished workers, farmers and their families. Some 2.4 million people live on the Palu-Koro fault and the worst hit cities are Donggala and Palu. About 17,000 people have been evacuated.

The main 7.5-magnitude quake struck at 6.02pm local time, followed by tsunami waves which were estimated at 6 metres high in some places. An earlier magnitude 6.1 quake in central Sulawesi killed several people, injured 10 and damaged dozens of houses.

The powerful tremor was felt in the far south of the island in its largest city Makassar and on neighbouring Kalimantan, Indonesia’s portion of Borneo. More than 150 aftershocks have hit the region, situated 1,300km [northeast] of Jakarta.

It is the most devastating earthquake to hit Indonesia in over a decade, and comes just seven weeks after the islands of Lombok and Bali were devastated by a series of quakes that killed at least 623 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings.

Palu has been left shattered. There is no electricity, and drinking water is in short supply. Video footage showed waves bringing down several buildings and inundating a large mosque which was half submerged in the rising waters. The town is strewn with debris from collapsed buildings and a large shopping mall is all but destroyed.

Some 821 of the recorded deaths occurred in Palu. Partially covered bodies have been shown lying near the shore, with survivors left to search through a tangle of corrugated steel roofing, timber and rubble. One man was seen carrying the muddy corpse of a small child. With the threat of disease increasing, mass graves are being prepared to bury the many dead.

Among the deceased was a 21 year-old air traffic controller, Anthonius Gunawan Agung, who heroically stayed in the swaying control tower at Palu airport to ensure that a plane carrying hundreds of passengers took off safely. He jumped from the tower and died before a medical helicopter could reach him.

The government has stated there is “no word” about casualties in Donggala, a city of some 300,000 people which remains completely cut-off after its main bridge collapsed. Jan Gelfand, a Jakarta-based Red Cross official said; “We have heard nothing from Donggala and this is extremely worrying…This is already a tragedy, but it could get much worse.”

A spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said at least 540 people had been badly injured, and many are still missing. There are ongoing concerns over the fate of hundreds of people who were preparing for a beach festival that had been due to start when the tsunami hit.

Palu is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami. Sutopo shared video showing the liquefaction of the land when the tsunami struck and said as it approached it had reached 800 kms/ hr. Most people were killed by the tsunami. The Guardian cited one local resident, Nining, who said; “Many corpses are scattered on the beach and floating on the surface of the sea.”

Hospitals have struggled to cope with the influx of casualties, setting up open-air clinics to treat the injured. Rescuers working to retrieve up to 50 people from the rubble of a hotel in Palu said they could hear the voices of people inside but did not have the heavy equipment needed to get to them.

Indonesian officials and aid agencies have struggled with battered communications, destroyed roads and landslides. Aid deliveries by sea have been disrupted since Palu’s port was badly damaged. Only a limited number of government planes carrying relief supplies have managed to land at the airport in Palu.

The shambolic character of the official response makes clear that fourteen years after the 2004 tsunami—which killed as many as 230,000 people throughout the Indian Ocean region, the majority of them in Indonesia—nothing has been done to prevent further calamities.

Governments throughout the region have instead intensified cutbacks to social spending, in line with the demands of international finance and the local ruling elites that they represent.

The Associated Press reported today that an early warning system, designed in the wake of the 2004 tsunami, has “been stalled in the testing phase” for over a decade. After severe funding reductions by successive governments, Indonesia’s disaster agencies have been unable to cobble together a paltry 1 billion rupiah ($A95,500) required to complete the project.

Louise Comfort, a University of Pittsburgh academic who was involved in the project commented today: “To me this is a tragedy for science, even more so a tragedy for the Indonesian people as the residents of Sulawesi are discovering right now. It’s a heartbreak to watch when there is a well-designed sensor network that could provide critical information.”

Some 22 buoys, which are a key component of the existing warning mechanism are no longer functioning. It is reportedly difficult, using the antiquated system, to provide any advanced warning of an impending tsunami, that would aid those in affected areas to escape.

Criticisms have been levelled against the country’s geophysics agency for lifting the tsunami warning just 34 minutes after it was first issued, which may have caused confusion and exacerbated the death toll.

Spokesman Rahmat Triyono claimed the agency followed standard operating procedure and made the call to “end” the warning based on data available from the closest tidal sensor, 200km from Palu. He said the tide gauge, which measures changes in the sea level, had only recorded an “insignificant” 6cm wave. “If we had a tide gauge or proper data in Palu it would have been better. This is something we must evaluate for the future,” Triyono said.

Indonesia, a 5,000-kilometre long archipelago comprising 17,000 islands, is one of the most quake-prone regions in the world, in a zone known as the Ring of Fire. Little has been done, however, to ensure that new dwellings are built to resist the frequent natural disasters.

Sutopo declared in August that Indonesians “do not have houses that are earthquake resistant especially for people in rural villages with weak economic conditions.” No government regulations required residential dwellings to be built to earthquake-resistant standards, and many construction workers are reportedly not aware of building practices required to mitigate damage.

There has been negligible aid or material assistance from any of the major powers or regional governments. Condolences, but no concrete promises, have been issued by the Australian and Singapore governments. Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) has sent a tiny five-person emergency aid team. Experience from previous disasters indicates that any international aid will be tardy, woefully inadequate, and dictated by geo-strategic considerations rather than concern for the thousands of victims.

Troops are being rushed to the area. Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, said the military was being called in to the region to help search-and-rescue teams get to victims and find bodies. However, their priority will be to prevent the outbreak of any anti-government sentiment as conditions inevitably deteriorate.

Troop deployments are a regular occurrence following such disasters. The government fears that they could become a focal point of broader anger over social inequality and poverty, amid ongoing political instability. Last year, Oxfam ranked Indonesia as the sixth most unequal country in the world. The four richest individuals have a combined wealth greater than the poorest 100 million people. Workers and the rural poor inevitably suffer the hardest in any such natural calamities.

The repeated occurrence of such catastrophes is not merely a natural phenomenon. Above all, it is an expression of the irrational character of the profit system, which subordinates social need to the profit requirements of a tiny corporate and financial elite, at the expense of the vast majority of the population.

INDONESIA PREPARES MASS BURIAL A mass burial of earthquake and tsunami victims is being prepared for hundreds of bodies in the Indonesian city of Palu. The death toll, now more than 800, is expected to rise as rescuers reach hard-hit areas. [AP]

Reports that entire villages have been buried in mud, possibly killing thousands of people, point to the true scale of the devastation triggered by last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island. They also highlight the indifference and inadequacy of the response of the Indonesian government and the global capitalist powers: here.

Eight days after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated central Sulawesi, Indonesia, the death toll continues to climb. The official figure has now surpassed 1,570 and there are more than 2,500 injured. Thousands more bodies, however, are thought to be buried in mud, under collapsed buildings, or swept out to sea: here.

Six new sponge species discovered in Indonesia

This video says about itself:

9 June 2012

HD video of scuba diving at Bunaken National Marine Park near Manado city at North of Sulawesi island in Indonesia. Fascinating walls covered with sponges, soft and hard corals, huge green turtles and tiny nudibranches, colorful anemones with clown fishes, eagle rays, morays etc.

From ScienceDaily:

Six new sponge species and new symbiotic associations from the Indonesian coral triangle

September 18, 2017

Summary: The Indonesian coral reefs, located in the so-called coral triangle, are considered amongst the richest and most biodiverse places on Earth. Surprisingly, this impressive species diversity is still poorly known. Biologists now report the presence of 94 species of sponges, including six new to science and two new symbiotic sponge associations.

Comprising more than 17,000 islands, the Indonesian archipelago is one of the world’s most biodiverse places on Earth.

Sponges, aquatic organisms whose bodies consist of numerous pores to allow the ingress of water, are key components of this richness and play a fundamental role in the survival of coral reef habitats. Furthermore, they are also known for their medicinal benefits.

Unfortunately, due to the paucity of taxonomic expertise, the sponges from the Indonesian reefs are often ignored in monitoring surveys and conservation programmes, while their diversity is largely underestimated.

Researchers from the Italian Università Politecnica delle Marche and Università degli Studi di Genova, PharmaMar, Spain, and University of Sam Ratulangi, Indonesia, describe six new species in their paper in the open access journal, ZooKeys.

Inspired by their extraordinary biodiversity, the researchers teamed up with the pharmaceutical company PharmaMar to conduct several expeditions in the waters of North Sulawesi Island.

The authors reported a total of 94 demosponge species belonging to 33 families living in the North Sulawesi Island. Amongst them, there are six species new to science and two previously unknown symbiotic relationships.

Seven of the recorded species were collected for the very first time since their original description.

However, these findings are still scarce, given the abundance of the sponges in similar localities in the Indonesian archipelago.

In conclusion, the authors note that the marine diversity in Indonesia is still far from being well known.

“Thanks to this impressive diversity, these areas are important spots for diving tourism and require the urgent development of sustainable tourism practices”, they say.

A completely new group of sponges has been discovered, which scientists believe could be a key indicator species in measuring future mining impact in a region targeted for deep-sea mining of polymetallic (metal-rich) nodules. They are likely to be the most abundant nodule-dwelling animal in the area: here.

New deep-sea sponge could play a starring role in monitoring ocean health. Plenaster craigi grows on metal-filled rocks that are a target for mining, by Carolyn Gramling, 7:00am, October 10, 2017.

Deep-sea marine sponges may hold key to antibiotic drug resistance: here.

Dutch colonial mass murder in Sulawesi, Indonesia

This video says about itself:

Apocalypse now! Captain Westerling

8 December 2016

Raymond Pierre Paul Westerling (31 August 1919 – 26 November 1987), nicknamed the Turk, was a Dutch military officer of the KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army). He waged a massacre in Sulawesi during the Indonesian National Revolution after World War II. He was also responsible for a coup attempt against the Indonesian government in January 1950, a month after the official transfer of sovereignty. Both actions were denounced as war crimes by the Indonesian authorities.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

‘More victims of mass executions in Sulawesi in 1947′

Today, 08:52

During mass executions by Dutch soldiers in Sulawesi, more Indonesians died in 1947 than was known so far. This is the conclusion of journalist Manon van den Brekel after months of investigation in the Indonesian island. According to her, not 1,200 but 1550 Indonesians were executed by troops led by the officers Jan Vermeulen, Jan Stufkens and Berthold Rijborz.

Van den Brekel, who works for De Correspondent site and others, concludes this in a new book about Dutch actions in Indonesia in the late 1940’s. On evidence of witnesses, she found five places of mass executions about which nothing could be found in Dutch official archives. She also found a place about which “summary information” was available in the Dutch National Archives.

The executions took place between mid-January and mid-February 1947. During that same period, also the infamous [self-styled war criminal] Captain Raymond Westerling participated in “purifications” in Sulawesi, which also executed people summarily, with the agreement of the Dutch government.

These actions are also estimated to have cost hundreds of Indonesians their lives, although the executions under Westerling’s leadership have never been investigated thoroughly, as has now been done with the actions of Vermeulen, Stufkens and Rijborz.

‘Many more witnesses’

Van den Brekel says to the NOS that she was amazed at the number of villagers on Sulawesi that could recall the events. She spoke for her research with over 90 witnesses, the youngest of whom was 75 years old. “But there were more.”

NOS correspondent Michel Maas sees the new execution figure as a footnote. “The Dutch army was guilty for a lot more executions than has been admitted,” he says. Indonesia says that there were 40,000 victims just in Sulawesi.

Dutch colonial murders in Palembang, Sumatra, Indonesia: here.

Hog-nosed rat discovery in Sulawesi, Indonesia

This 1 October 2015 is about a newly discovered rat species in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

From the Journal of Mammalogy:

A hog-nosed shrew rat (Rodentia: Muridae) from Sulawesi Island, Indonesia

Jacob A. Esselstyn, Anang S. Achmadi, Heru Handika, Kevin C. Rowe

29 September 2015


We document a new genus and species of shrew rat from the north peninsula of Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. The new taxon is known only from the type locality at 1,600 m elevation on Mt. Dako, in the district of Tolitoli.

It is distinguished from all other Indonesian murines by its large, flat, pink nose with forward-facing nares. Relative to other Sulawesi murines, the species has extremely large ears (~ 21% of head and body length), very long urogenital hairs, prominent and medially bowing hamular processes on the pterygoid bones, extremely long and procumbent lower incisors, and unusually long articular surfaces on the mandibular condyles.

Morphologically, the new taxon is most similar to a group of endemic Sulawesi rats known commonly as “shrew rats.” These are long faced, carnivorous murines, and include the genera Echiothrix, Melasmothrix, Paucidentomys, Sommeromys, and Tateomys. Our Bayesian and likelihood analyses of DNA sequences concatenated from 5 unlinked loci infer the new shrew rat as sister to a clade consisting of Melasmothrix, Paucidentomys, and Echiothrix, suggesting that Sulawesi shrew rats represent a clade.

The Sulawesi water rat, Waiomys mamasae, was sister to the shrew rats in our analyses. Discovery of this new genus and species brings known shrew rat diversity on Sulawesi to 6 genera and 8 species. The extent of morphological diversity among these animals is remarkable considering the small number of species currently known.

‘Dutch government knows names of Indonesians murdered during war of independence’

This video says about itself:

Court to rule on Dutch massacre in Indonesia

14 September 2011

A Dutch court is expected to rule if survivors of a massacre carried out more than 60 years ago will get compensation.

According to Indonesian researchers, Dutch troops wiped out almost the entire male population of a village in West Java, two years before the former colony declared independence in 1949.

Indonesia declared independence in 1945. The Dutch government recognized that only after four years of war later.

Most Indonesians do not know about the massacre that took place in Rawagede.

Only recently has a monument been built to remind residents that Dutch soldiers killed all the men of the village.

The only living witnesses are now in their 80s, and illiterate, after having to fend for themselves following the deaths of their husbands.

“There were dead bodies everywhere, many of which we found in the river after the shooting stopped,” said Cawi, a survivor.

Of the nine widows and survivors who have filed the case, three have died while waiting for the verdict.

The Dutch government has admitted that war crimes were committed in Rawagede but it says the survivors filed their claims for compensation too late.

They should have done this within 30 years after the atrocities were committed, says the Dutch government.

It is now up to the judge to decide whether it is justified to have a time limit on war crimes.

The massacre in Rawagede is not the only village where the Netherlands has an unresolved dark history.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vassen reports from Rawagede.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The Dutch government has a list of names of Indonesians who were executed in 1947 on the island of Sulawesi by Dutch soldiers, says online journalism platform De Correspondent. Those names are important in a lawsuit which relatives of the victims have filed against the government.

Five children of men who were shot claim damages. The government refused because these cases supposedly had been barred. On March 11 the court decided in favour of the children, but some of them must still prove that their father was actually among those executed.


Now De Correspondent writes that the government itself ever since the nineteen seventies has lists of some 180 names of men who were summarily executed in 1947. These lists, along with about sixty testimonies by both Dutch and Indonesian witnessses are in the National Archives.

‘Shot like dogs’

A letter to one ‘Paul’ is one of the hundreds of documents in the National Archives that focus on the mass executions. An excerpt:

“Dear Paul, (…) have witnessed this morning the confirmation of the power of Dutch bayonets in the Supa region. (…) Yesterday there was a large-scale action (…) to put an end to the evil of bandits and terrorists. Burned some villages, people gathered and based on denunciations by a bunch of spies then over two hundred people (…) shot like dogs, with revolvers.”

Sulawesi, which was called in colonial times Celebes, was regarded as a bulwark of resistance against Dutch rule. To prevent villagers from providing food and shelter to the insurgent nationalists, Dutch soldiers burned villages and male residents were summarily executed.


From documents in the National Archives it can be deduced that alone between January 14 and February 14 1947 at least 1200 people in South Sulawesi were killed illegally, says De Correspondent. This refers only to men who were not killed during battles with the Dutch armed forces.

The judge has already ordered the Dutch State twice before to give financial compensation to relatives of victims from Indonesia. In 2011 the surviving widows from the Javanese village Rawagade were vindicated, and the Netherlands in 2013 settled with widows from South Sulawesi. They each received a compensation of 20,000 euros.

New fanged frog species discovery in Indonesia

This video says about itself:

17 February 2013

Male Rough Guardian Frog (Limnonectes finchi) protect their tadpoles. Look carefully and you will see the tadpoles on this males back, Danau Girang Field Centre, Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysia. Endemic to Borneo.

From PLoS One:

A Novel Reproductive Mode in Frogs: A New Species of Fanged Frog with Internal Fertilization and Birth of Tadpoles

Djoko T. Iskandar, Ben J. Evans, Jimmy A. McGuire

December 31, 2014


We describe a new species of fanged frog (Limnonectes larvaepartus) that is unique among anurans in having both internal fertilization and birth of tadpoles. The new species is endemic to Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. This is the fourth valid species of Limnonectes described from Sulawesi despite that the radiation includes at least 15 species and possibly many more. Fewer than a dozen of the 6455 species of frogs in the world are known to have internal fertilization, and of these, all but the new species either deposit fertilized eggs or give birth to froglets.

See also here.

New bird species discovery in Indonesia

This video from Indonesia is about the newly discovered species Muscicapa sodhii.

From the Birds Alive newsletter:

Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa sodhii)

A new species of Muscicapa flycatcher, which has been observed on several occasions since 1997 in Sulawesi, is described. The authors collected two specimens in central Sulawesi in 2012, and based on a combination of morphological, vocal and genetic characters they describe it, named as Muscicapa sodhii, more than 15 years after the first observations. The new species is superficially similar to the highly migratory, boreal-breeding Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta, which winters in Sulawesi.

See also (in Indonesian) here.

Scientific description of the new species: here.

Indonesian widows get Dutch compensation for murdered husbands

Sulawesi war widows, photo by NOS

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Widows of Sulawesi get money

Thursday 16 Oct 2014, 12:26 (Update: 16-10-14, 12:32)

The Netherlands has paid compensation to eight widows of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Their men were summarily executed during the police actions in the nineteen forties.

Police actions‘ is a Dutch governmental euphemism for Dutch military offensives to stop Indonesian independence during the 1945-1949 war.

They will get 20,000 euros per person.

Last year it was established that the widows are entitled to the money. The Dutch State also offered an official apology for the executions. There is still a lawsuit over whether women are also entitled to a reimbursement of their legal costs.

The judgment of last year was about nine widows. One of them is now deceased. Other women who have lost their husbands through execution can get 20,000 euros as well. According to the Foreign Affairs department so far 21 of them have submitted claims.