Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (8): 22225.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022225

• Special Feature: 2021 New Taxa Collection • Previous Articles     Next Articles

New vertebrate forms discovered in China in 2021

Jianping Jiang1,4,*(), Bo Cai1, Bin Wang1, Weitao Chen2, Zhixin Wen3, Dezhi Zhang3   

  1. 1. Herpetological Biodiversity and Conservation Lab, 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. Mangkang Biodiversity and Ecological Station, Tibet Ecological Safety Monitor Network, Changdu, Xizang 854500
  • Received:2022-04-26 Accepted:2022-06-16 Online:2022-08-20 Published:2022-08-31
  • Contact: Jianping Jiang


Aims: To collate and report new vertebrate species discovered in China in 2021.

Methods: This paper summarized the basic information of new vertebrates published in literature in 2021, including 83 papers and one website (

Results: In 2021, 95 vertebrate species were newly discovered in China, including 80 new species and 15 national new record species. Among them, there were 15 new species of fish, 28 new species of amphibian, 31 new species and 10 national new record species of reptiles, 1 new species and 3 national new record species of bird, 5 new species and 2 national new record species of mammal. Among them, cold-blooded vertebrates accounted for 88%, suggesting that they are the focus of future taxonomic research of vertebrates; most of amphibians and reptiles are Anuran and Squamata, having 27 and 40 species, accounted 96% and 98% of the total new species of them, respectively. All newly added mammals belong to small types. The distribution of these new vertebrates involves 30 provincial regions, including 33 species in Yunnan, 11 species in Sichuan, 10 species in Guangxi, 7 species in Xizang and Guangdong, 6 species in Taiwan, totally accounting for 70.5% of the total new vertebrates. Only 5 or fewer species were discovered in other provincial regions. A total of 84 species (accounting for 88%) have been supported from molecular systematics, suggesting that the application of molecular systematics technology is still an important method for the classification of taxa. Most of the species of new vertebrates discovered in China in 2021 were published by Chinese scholars, except for the 3 new national record species of birds, the rest were officially published in English journals, of which 3 journals in China have published 21 new species and 2 new records.

Conclusion: This work provides comprehensive basic information for the classification and protection of vertebrates in China, also indicates that taxonomic studies, particularly the cold-blooded vertebrates, should be the continuous focus of biodiversity research in China. An integrative taxonomic approach, including molecular genetic data, should be more important in future studies.

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