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  1. Earlier
  2. Facebook.

    Hello Jay. Yes its a strange world we live in. Many of my valued inputs come from the resident of a remote village in Papua New Guinea that lacks almost all modern amenities, not even mains electricity. Yet communication with the outside world is now possible due to solar power, mobile phones and of course satellites. I occasionally browse the chat group forums where much is of 'the blind leading the blind' type of discourse. It tells me there is a prime need for a modern article covering the cultivation of epiphytic myrmecodomic species. Such a tome would first need to lay the basics of the plant groups covered. For example, the most pertinent of the five ecophysiological types of bromeliads (trichomes and their microbiota, roots and/or phytotelm nutrient intake strategies etc.) The structure of some epiphytic orchid roots. Drought tolerance or avoidance strategies such as in some Hydnophytum (they tend to keep their leaves) & Myrmecodia species (which tend to drop their leaves in drought.) The basics of CAM at least. Also the need for better feeding for those species that are ant inhabited species in nature. I suspect that those with a background cultivating carnivorous plants get this wrong. For succulent plant hobbyists the need of myrmecodomic plants for high humidity which is essential for their survival of frequent droughts up in their tree habitats. I am not qualified to do such a project but you Jay are probably among the world's best to do so. Perhaps send to the USA C&S soc or even publish a booklet. I await with intense interest your new website. Best wishes Derrick. .
  3. Hi all, I thought I'd share some of my young plants, some (youngest ones) still grown together in a container with high humidity, others divided into small groups/separately. I'm also adding the latest nepenthes Truncata 'red leaves' pitcher which is being grown next to the ant plants. Shimi
  4. There is as yet unpublished DNA research that at least one species currently named a Hydnophyum is actually an Anthorrhiza. Thus one wonders about this plants DNA and what it might reveal.
  5. My Facebook group has received a photo of what I think is Myrmephytum selebicum reputedly from "the Sulawesi area". It is a better match to Beccari's image in Malesia two than the plant in Satoshi's photos taken on Mindano Island. It suggests there may be genetic differences between the populations of these two regions. EDIT. There is a typo in the provenance, correctly it is Bukidnon. https://www.facebook.com/groups/498723016920977/
  6. Facebook.

    Hi, Derrick. Thanks very much for providing a link to your FB forum for those interested in this group of plants. Sadly, the evidence thus far suggests that most of the small community growing hydnophytines and other myrmecophytes is not a particularly vocal one. Certainly there appears to be more participation online by people who interact with them in the field (i.e. enthusiasts located in Malesia and some foreign researchers) and that that community does indeed seem to prefer engagement on Fakebook. As you noted, I specifically avoid that site. I find the founder a dishonest hypocrite and his product to be a loathsome parasite of the needy, the narcissistic and the very lonely, while providing only marginal real value to the arts, commerce and science. Its impact on global society and civilized discourse is, IMO, overwhelmingly negative. It richly deserves both the heavy boot of burro-cracy on its fat neck and to be the target of multiple, multi-billion dollar class actions. That opinion aside, I will be launching my own tropical natural history oriented website with a couple good friends in a few weeks that will also carry information on cultivating offbeat plants, including all genera of hydnophytines. Like others I know, I am disheartened that this particular forum did not develop the enthusiastic following that some of us believe it warranted. Sincerely, J
  7. Avonia journal

    Congratulations Derrick but at this time any issues of Avonia after 2014 appear to be available only to members of the German society. And what percent of their content is in some language other than German?
  8. Facebook.

    If one only followed this platform, one could surely be forgiven for thinking that almost nothing new was happening in the world of epiphytic ant-plants. If it were not for those very very few participants herein such as Jay Vannini there would be almost nothing of any value in these pages, which is why I now seldom visit. Sadly Jay will not participate in Facebook. Yes, they do have a bad reputation for their data mining of users, but I enjoy feeding them misinformation. At least with Facebook there are some very interesting inputs, yet it is very evident that little comes from cultivators. However, there is no reason why members that use both groups can not use a little initiative and report herein news gleaned from my forum. I am on record that I am very happy to share information but in fairness to my sources, it is polite to note where such news was obtained. Running Epiphytic Myrmecophyte Images takes up quite a percentage of my time. I do not wish to double my workload. https://www.facebook.com/groups/498723016920977/
  9. Avonia journal

    Part two has now been published.
  10. RE: Is Dischidia pectenoides or D. vidalii the correct name . I asked the editors of the International Plant Name Index being the accepted world authority to adjudicate on this question. Due to a footnote of Beccari's in Malesia 2, p272/3 which reads. "Che a me sembra una specie ascidifera ben distincta, per la forma della foglie ramenta molto quella di Zamboanga." Essentially it refers to distinct ramenta on the species leaves, and although a minor detail, it may be considered sufficient to warrant Beccari's name having precedence. Obvously it is a debatable argument so IPNI refered this question to their full editing panel. Ramenta are thin brownish chaffy scales upon the leaves or young shoots of some plants, especially upon the petioles and leaves of ferns. http://www.ipni.org/ This is IPNI's considered opinion. From IPNI Feedback <ipnifeedback@kew.org> To IPNI Feedback <ipnifeedback@kew.org>, David Goyder <D.Goyder@kew.org>, derrick.rowe@slingshot.co.nz <derrick.rowe@slingshot.co.nz> Copy Herbarium <herbarium@kew.org>, Kanchi Gandhi (Contact) <gandhi@oeb.harvard.edu>, Kirsten Cowley (Contact) <kirsten.cowley@csiro.au>, Nicky Nicolson <n.nicolson@kew.org> Date Today 02:00 Good afternoon, Having discussed this at our group meeting, we have agreed - as David mentioned in his email - that the description of the leaves, although minimal, is valid. We therefore consider Dischidia vidalii Becc. a valid name. With best wishes, The IPNI editors - Plant & Fungal Names, Biodiversity Informatics & Spatial Analysis, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew TW9 3DS, United Kingdom Tel. 020 8332 5223, Email: ipnifeedback@kew.org
  11. Thanks for sharing this interesting species, Andreas!
  12. Thank you, Derrick. Fascinating read.
  13. Lecanopteris from spores?

    hi andreas how fast do they grow in culture , does the media need to be wet for the gametophytes to mate? I'e grown staghorns in-vivo and also just started them in-vitro..they sure germinate faster in-vitro thx steve
  14. Lecanopteris from spores?

    thx frank
  15. Lecanopteris from spores?

    Hi Sromes1, Welcome to the forum! Sorry, I have zero experience growing staghorns - either sporophytes or gametophytes. So I can't really offer any comparisons to growing them as compared to Lecanopteris I thought the propagation of Lecanopteris by spores was way too time consuming for me compared to taking rhizome cuttings. Others here surely have better skills at growing ferns from spores than me and should have better answers for you than me. Frank
  16. Lecanopteris from spores?

    frank , I've grown staghorns from spores..are these any different to start, are these slow growing/
  17. An Australian entomologist friend who first introduced me to ant-plants in Australia, told me years ago about a population of plants he had discovered north of Weipa on the the Gulf of Carpentaria on the west side of Cape York Peninsula, Australia. It was a population of myrmecodias with WHITE FRUITS. Back then, it was not well known that M.beccarii was first typified and described from "a very rare specimen" found somewhere on the gulf coast back in the 1880's. Thus initially there seemed to be a possibility that it might be a species new to science. However, now that we know M.beccarii is found as far north as the Iron Range region (which is only slightly to the south of Weipa but on the other side of the peninsula) and that M.beccarii had existed on the gulf coast, it seemed most probable that it might be that species. Thus in 2015 I spent a few days in the region hoping to find a population that had been reported as common specimens. Sadly, although numerous sites were found that seemed ideal habitat, not a single Myrmecodia was found, even in locations where Dischidia nummularia a very common cohabitant was very frequent. The Melaleuca forests (prime M.beccarii habitat) showed signs of intense bush fires and the nearby Rio Tinto strip mining areas were off limits so these are possible reasons why no specimens were found. I have attempted to advise the Australia Botanical authorities of the probable presence of a unique population (very possibly genetically distinct) but I have been ignored. The following link is for the actual herbarium specimens collected from the gulf coast habitat by my friend but they have been incorrectly labelled as the very widepread species M. platytyrea subsp antoinii. which they most certainly are not (it has orange fruits). http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/151fcb20-a39b-4cba-b8a8-ccf03066bf33 The Australian botanical community seem very determined not to accept their error, possibly because of the enormous power of the Rio Tinto mining empire that is completely denuding vast areas of pristine forest by removing meters of topsoil and ALL of its lifeforms so that they may then remove many meters of the underlying bauxite (aluminium ore). Now I have indisputable proof from Rio Tinto's own site analysis that Myrmecodia beccarii does (or now DID?) exist in these lands. http://www.riotinto.com/documents/SoE_Vol3_EPBC_assessment_report_part_1.pdf
  18. Avonia journal

    The December 2017 issue of the prestigious German journal Avonia has an article with photos about the ant-plants of Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. It is presented with what I hope is enough background information to encourage others to follow in my footsteps. The next issue will cover part two; the islands.
  19. A very rare field trip opportunity

    Enoch has advised this is not such a joint arrangement as Wayaki suggests. However, the reality is that Enoch (who is a rapid learner) after leading both my and Dr Andreas Wistuba's tours of Papua New Guinea's ant-plant habitats is totally indispensible to such tours. I am very tempted to do such a tour myself but I am currently awaiting a hip replacement operation and I am an old man.
  20. Squamellaria vanuatuensis

    As always, thanks so much for always keeping up the hunt for the missing Grail, Derrick! J
  21. I have just acquired a Facebook contact in Vanuatu whom intends to search for this rather hydnophytum like species.
  22. A very rare field trip opportunity

    Here is an email recently arrived from Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. "Hello Derrick and merry xmas to you. I am writing up a tour program with Enoch Bulunamur to do an ant plant tour and wondering if possible can you connect us to people you know off. My gmail add; waiyaki.nemani @gmail.com. Please advice if this is good to you. Thanks." This is a very rare and unique opportunity to see a large range of myrmecodomic species in habitat with spectacular scenery and wildlife. Furthermore, I can very confidently recommend your experienced guides. Both my and Dr Andreas photos provide hints of what you will see and Enoch is finding ever more populations that may prove to be new to science.
  23. What a beautiful specimen--it's like a giant caterpillar! Thanks for the photo.
  24. Again, beautiful shots. The embossed leaves are very interesting and reminiscent of Squamellaria guppyana. I think Frank mentioned there are two closely related species from this group in this region. Did you find both?
  25. Hydnophytum spec. from "inland mangrove" near Siasiada village Certainly related to Hydnophytum radicans.
  26. Definitely a beautiful specimen. Makes me want to start growing Lecanopteris (again). Thanks for posting.
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