Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 1021-1025.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021214

• 2020 New Taxa Collection • Previous Articles     Next Articles

New vertebrate forms discovered in China in 2020

Bin Wang1#, Bo Cai1#, Weitao Chen2#, Zhixin Wen3#, Dezhi Zhang3#, Shunping He4,*(), Fumin Lei3,5,*(), Qisen Yang3,*(), Jianping Jiang1,*()   

  1. 1 Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041
    2 Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Guangzhou 510380
    3 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    4 Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072
    5 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2021-05-25 Accepted:2021-08-01 Online:2021-08-20 Published:2021-08-11
  • Contact: Shunping He,Fumin Lei,Qisen Yang,Jianping Jiang
  • About author:First author contact:

    # Co-first authors


Aim: To review the new species and new national records of vertebrates discovered in China in 2020.

Methods: We compiled and analyzed the taxonomic literature on China's fauna published in 2020.

Results: In 2020, 100 new species and nine new national records of vertebrates were discovered in China. These include: 24 new species of fishes; 41 new species and four new national records of amphibians; 30 new species and four new national records of reptiles; one new species of bird; and four new species and one new national record of mammals. Of these newly recorded vertebrate species, molecular genetic data were used to evaluate 92 of the species described, which constituted 84.4% of the total number of newly recorded species. Most of these species are within the classes Amphibia and Reptilia; the orders Anura and Squamata constituted 70% of the total newly recorded vertebrate species. Geographically, more than 60% of the newly recorded vertebrate species were discovered in southwestern China; Yunnan, Xizang, Hunan, Guizhou, and Sichuan provinces each had 10 or more new species described in 2020. The majority of the species were described by Chinese researchers and most of their findings were published in English language journals.

Conclusion: These results indicate that taxonomic studies, particularly those of the basal groups of vertebrates, should be the continuous focus of biodiversity research in China. Future studies should adopt an integrative taxonomic approach and include molecular genetic data.

Key words: vertebrates, new species, new record, China