Pacific Science Volume 54, Number 1, 2000

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Pacific Science is a quarterly publication devoted to the biological and physical sciences of the Pacific Region.

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    SEM Studies on Vessels in Ferns. 16. Pacific Tree Ferns (Blechnaceae, Cyatheaceae, Dicksoniaceae)
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2000-01) Carlquist, Sherwin ; Schneider, Edward L.
    Scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies of tracheary elements of one species each of Sadleria (Blechnaceae), Alsophila (Cyatheaceae), Cibotium, and Dicksonia (Dicksoniaceae) showed that metaxylem of both roots and stems contains vessels with scalariform lateral wall pitting and scalariform perforation plates in which perforations are like lateral wall pits in size and shape. In Cyatheaceae and Dicksoniaceae, rhizome tracheary elements are short, contorted, with numerous facets. Several end wall facets of any given tracheary element in all genera studied can be perforation plates. At upper and lower ends of perforation plates, perforations have pit membrane remnants that contain porosities of various sizes, from large (nearly as big as the perforation) to extremely small (at the limit of resolution); the porosities are mostly circular in outline. No tracheids were observed with certainty. All tree ferns studied lack modifications of perforation plates like those of xeric ferns. The rhizome tracheary elements of Cyatheaceae are like those of Dicksoniaceae, but fusiform tracheary elements like those of many fern families occur in Sadleria (Blechnaceae); this correlates with the close grouping of Cyatheaceae with Dicksoniaceae in recent phylogenies that show Blechnaceae well removed from the tree fern families Cyatheaceae and Dicksoniaceae.
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    Reexamination of an Anomalous Distribution: Resurrection of Ramphotyphlops becki (Serpentes: Typhlopidae)
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2000-01) Shea, Glenn M. ; Wallach, Van
    Ramphotyphlops becki (Tanner, 1948), restricted to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, is resurrected from the synonymy of Ramphotyphlops willeyi (Boulenger, 1900), from the Loyalty Islands, on the basis of consistent differences in external morphology and visceral anatomy. New records of Ramphotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803) are reported from Vanuatu and the Loyalty Islands.
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    A New High-Elevation Bavayia (Reptilia: Squamata: Diplodactylidae) from Northeastern New Caledonia
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2000-01) Bauer, Aaron M. ; Jones, Julia P.G. ; Sadlier, Ross A.
    A new species in the diplodactylid gecko genus Bavayia is described from the northern ranges of Province Nord, New Caledonia. The new gecko is a gracile, large-bodied form distinguished from its congeners by the morphology of digit I of the manus and pes, and the presence of two long rows of preanal pores that extend onto the thigh. The two known specimens are from high elevation in closed forest. This is the first species of diplodactylid gecko apparently restricted to high elevations in New Caledonia and joins a growing group of high-elevation skinks that have been described in recent years.
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    The Scincid Lizard Genus Marmorosphax (Reptilia: Scincidae) from New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific: Description of a New Species Restricted to High-Altitude Forest in Province Sud
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2000-01) Sadlier, Ross A. ; Bauer, Aaron M.
    A new species of lizard in the genus Marmorosphax is described from between 900 and llOO m on Mt. Ouin in the south of New Caledonia. It is the second species of skink discovered in recent times that is restricted to high-altitude habitats in that region of the island. The new species is similar to Marmorosphax tricolor (Bavay), but is more gracile in appearance and shows subtle differences in coloration and scalation. The conservation status of this species is assessed. Because of its apparently restricted distribution and habitat preference, it is of particular conservation concern and is here regarded as potentially vulnerable.
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