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Everything posted by Derrick

  1. A fantastic new seed source.

    I am posting this here primarily for Jay Vannini whom is among the very best cultivators of ant-plants on our planet, but his disdain for Facebook means he is probably missing an invaluable communications source because it is evident that noone on this site has the initiative to share even very important ant-plant news. I will now set some background. Papua New Guinea is not a developed country and survival there is very demanding especially in remote areas. I was asked to talk to the kids in the mission school about their local ant-plants. Many of the trees in the mission grounds were replete with myrmecophytic guilds. The school had no desks and seats and not a book or writing paper etc. to be seen. When I got home I sent the school a carton of story books but the postage just to the Alotau post office cost more than the contents. Thus expect to pay very well for initial seed offers. Yet even in very distant villages the locals have limited modern communications using smartphones and solar powered chargers. A couple of years ago I was able to reach some of the very remote islands out in the Solomon Sea which are home to a number of rubiacious ant-plants. One of our principal local ecoguides was Enoch Bulunamur who is based in the mission grounds near Siasiada Village on the mainland. He is now very interested in ant-plants and is discovering ever more new to cultivation species (indeed some not even published yet) and many are now being cultivated in the Breakthrough Mission grounds. On my visit we found Anthorrhiza areolata, A. bracteosa, A. recurvispina and what I have tentatively labelled Myrmecodia tuberosa "siasiada village" because it appears to be different from all other Huxley & Jebb 'variants' and other taxa of lesser importance. Since then Enoch has discovered ever more populations of hydnophytums some of which are yet to be published species and one that may be placed in another possibly even a new genus. Most species are not in cultivation. Enoch is now offering seed but I have advised him that he should sell first offers to the highest bidder because of course such rarities are an investment to suitably capable cultivators. This is a huge learning curve for Enoch and if he is succesful then there is a strong possibility he can extend his contacts throughour the PNG mainland so that cultivators can acquire a whole new world of interest. Already Enoch has contacts on the mainland that are reporting ripening hydnophyte seed. It is important to understand that Enoch has very very limited capital to build this venture. Currently communication to Enoch is only through Facebook. I suggest Facebook's "Ant-plant Cultivation" https://www.facebook.com/groups/1498448190449446/about/ as the best site for communication with Enoch Bulunamur but Epiphytic Myrecophyte Images https://www.facebook.com/groups/498723016920977/ offers the best site regarding accurate information regarding the various taxa. There is risk in importing seed thus it is best that it be in the hands of very capable cultivators that also ensure Enoch has the best means of getting such seed to their destination in viable condition.
  2. A fantastic new seed source.

    Enoch has or will have access to seed of the following species not yet in cultivation as far as I am aware. Anthorrhiza areolata. A. bracteosa, A. recurvispina, Hydnophytum orichalcum (a Jebb & Huxley unpublished species but possibly not a Hydnophytum, thus particularly interesting, H. petiolatum var argentatum which is a Jebb & Huxley unpublished new variety from Normanby Island. Myrmecodia "gurney" with reputedly pink fruits, M. tuberosa "siasiada village" which is probably a new 'variant' or may prove to be a new species. Among those fairly common in cultivation are Hydnophytum moseleyanum, the ant-fern Lecanopteris sinuosa (ripe spores survive posting fairly well and Myrmecodia platytyrea subsp. antoinii. He has also found populations of one of the large leafed Hydnophytum species that may be something new but a number of species are in cultivation. Photos of them all are recorded in https://www.facebook.com/groups/498723016920977/. Also bear in mind that Huxley and Jebb's M. tuberosa 'variants' may prove to be full species after future DNA studies. Dischidia nummularia, D. ovata and others are also possibles.
  3. 34 Myrmecodia tuberosa "dahlii" Kokopo, Gazelle Peninsula, East New Britain Island, PNG..JPG]
  4. Fiji Photo's 054, Squamellaria wilsonii, Taveuni Island, Fiji..JPG]
  5. Squamellaria wilsonii

    S.wilsonii was sunk by Jebb (1991) into S. imberbis. However, a 2016 Squamellaria revision by Chomicki et al., used morphology and molecular phylogenetics to re-seperate the two species. Therefore, S. wilsonii is now considered to be the species endemic to Taveuni island while the somewhat similar looking S.imberbis is endemic only to nearby Vanua Levu island. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0151317
  6. All of these images were taken in or near Kutini-Payamu better known under its former name of Iron Range National Park, Cape York Peninsula, North Queensland, Australia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kutini-Payamu_%28Iron_Range%29_National_Park IMG_0099b Myrmecodia tuberosa (papuana form) Iron Range National Park. Cape York Peninsula, North Queensland, Australia..JPG]
  7. Dischidia litoralis Schltr. (Friedrich Richard Rudolf Schlechter) published in Die Flora der Deutschen Schutzgebiete in der Südsee p359, (1905.) http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/451883#page/357/mode/1up . Reduced to synonymy of D. bengalensis by (Rintz 1980) but see Forster & Liddle, Resurrection of Dischidia littoralis Schltr. (1992.) Yet here, Livschultz 2005 refers herbarium specimens to D. bengalensis. Type. http://plants.jstor.org/stable/10.5555/al.ap.specimen.k000910994 Isotype. http://plants.jstor.org/stable/10.5555/al.ap.specimen.p00218714 Rintz 1980 a better URL. http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/document/565582 Description. It is sometimes a seaside inhabitant (litoralis means of the sea shore.) It occurs on tiny Australian islands, e.g. Dauan Island in Torres Strait, It is also reported from Madang, & Morobe Provinces on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. D. bengalensis is a confirmed myrmecophytic species.
  8. I see Iridomyrmex is still being used incorrectly in ant-plant websites. For example the Australian/New Guinea species is now Philidris cordata and has been for over two decades. However, it has been suggested that New Guinea specimens differ from Australian ones, so there may be a further name change. The Fijian endemic Iridomyrmex nagasau is now Philidris nagasau Shattuck 1992, p18. REVIEW OF THE DOLICHODERINE ANT GENUS IRIDOMYRMEX MAYR WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF THREE NEW GENERA (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-6055.1992.tb00453.x/pdf
  9. This quite unusual and large specimen was photographed on a Pandanus tree in a small area of somewhat savanna-like grasslands. Much of the 'natural' vegetation still extant along this road is regrowth rain forest. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandanus The specimen formed a guild with a Myrmecodia species and ubiquitous Dischidia nummularia. Location was along the unsealed road along the northern edge of Milne Bay from Alotau to East Cape near the tip of the Papuan Peninsula. Note the 'bubbled' growth.
  10. Ensure that you scroll to the paper's end to see the domatia structures. Also, note that the taxonomy used raises some interesting questions.
  11. These plants were in shade and too far away for my fill in flash to help. It formed a guild with my possible H.moseleyanum and Dischidia nummularia.
  12. Mounting of ant plants

    I wonder if a small transparent container can be mounted above plants so that after suitably periodic fillings, nutrient containing water can slowly percolate down to the region between tuber bases and their mounts and/or basal root systems. The outlet from the water reservoir might merely be one or more small holes that permits a suitably slow flow down the mount surface, or a wick or even a combinations of both. Evening watering may help. From seeing hydnophytes respond positively and very rapidly to brief evening/night showers on Cape York Peninsula in the long dry season, it seems that hydnophyte roots are very efficient in regards to absorbing rainfall. Certainly root growth in the above plants is not natural.
  13. Here are the only two reports of pink fruits found in M.beccarii that I have been able to find. "Widespread both in and out of rainforest. Flowers white, fruit pink. [seed sample taken, seeds lab. 11 Oct 1976. Pollen, NSW, 28 Oct 1976." Collected by a C. H. Gittens, in the Kutini Payamu (Iron Range) National Park Region, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia. Ripe fruits quickly dry to a brown colour, so it is now impossible to check the accuracy of this claim. However, I strongly suspect it is an error. M.tuberosa also occurs in this region and its fruits have been described as pink. However, I consider them more translucent red than pink. Therefore, I suspect that M.tuberosa fruits have been inadvertently matched to a M.beccarii specimen. http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/b77cae0e-e22e-4a27-9458-72bb098d2c00. Here is another claim of pink fruits in M.beccarii. http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/ec05ac5c-37a3-482b-a841-f7f450edeffe "Cairns Inlet. Back mangrove, on Rhizophora. Leaves fleshy, midgreen (sic). Flowers white. Fruits pink, seeds 3. Photos with specimen at BRI. This is a collection made by Dr Camilla Huxley during her early ant-plant studies. That both dates are in 1976 may also be a revealing coincidence. I have examined numerous populations including those on Rhizophora not only along Cairns Inlet, but in numerous other sites for hundreds of kilometers along the Queensland coast. I have yet to see a single pink fruit. See xerophilia.ro for a pictorial series of M.beccarii And see M.beccarii growing on Rhizophora stilted mangroves on Trinity (Cairns) Inlet http://myrmecodia.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/157-myrmecodia-beccarii-northern-form-near-cairns-north-queensland-australia/ In summation, I strongly suspect there are no populations or even single plants with pink fruits, but my health allowing, I intend to check more populations.
  14. Correct name Dischidia pectenoides H. Pearson published in the Journal of the Linnean Society, Botany, vol.35, p377, (1902). With a Type Description in Latin as was then required. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/335444#page/392/mode/1up Synonym, Dischidia vidalii Becc. (Odoardo Beccari) a name used in Malesia Raccolta 2, pp272/3, (1886) with no type description, thus it is nom nud (a naked name.) http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/151443#page/408/mode/1up See bottom of p272. More background, An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants, vol.3, p343, (1923.) (Enum. Philipp. Fl.) or sometimes (EPFP.) http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/33502741#page/355/mode/1up Journal of Botany British and Foreign, vol.40, p270, (1902). http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/35243293#page/343/mode/1up Journal Linnean Soc. Vol 35, p376, (1901/1904) http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/335444#page/391/mode/1up. With hints of possibly more saccate species. Description. Domatia leaves are particularly inflated and again of the double cavity form seen in D. complex and it has attractive red flowers, probably a rarity in this little known genus where most flowers appear to be white. Habitat/Range. The Zambales Range and Bataan, Rizal, and Laguna Provinces on Luzon Island, Northern Philippines, where it frequently grows on the dead stems of climbing bamboo. Also frequently spelt pectinoides which is WRONG. Edit. Furthermore, I can find no illustration in Malesia 2 that could be accepted as a leptotype.
  15. Correct name Dischidia pectenoides H. Pearson published in the Journal of the Linnean Society, Botany, vol.35, p377, (1902.) http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/335444#page/392/mode/1up
  16. from the Ant Gardens chapter by Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson in their fascinating book "Journey of the ants". "ant gardens, which constitute the most complex and sophisticated of all symbioses between ants and flowering plants." Its a short but highly interesting read. See, http://www.primitivism.com/ant-gardens.htm Link now fixed. To say "in these structure the plants possess no adaptation" is quite wrong. Indeed, such plants have evolved very sophisticated methods of manipulating ants but as I have already explained, this is not necessarily obvious in gross plant forms. For example how do you expect to see the ant manipulative pheromones that the seeds of dedicated ant garden plants posses. Furthermore, some ant garden plant seed resembles the shape but not the colour (vision is not important to ants) of ant pupae which allied with their pheromones induce the ants to take the seed into their ant carton nests where they may germinate. Furthermore, obligate ant garden plant species may have specific adaptations to their rather specialised habitats but I am not ware of studies that inquire into this particular question. Furthermore. the quote above surely answers the question of whether dedicated ant garden plant species are myrmecophytic.
  17. http://www.amazon.com/Les-fourmis-plantes-exemple-coevolution/dp/2850040460
  18. http://www.writeopinions.com/myrmecodia
  19. Myrmecodia as an interest

    See the 2015 hits. http://www.writeopinions.com/myrmecodia
  20. Thanks Robert. I expect many of us will be looking forward to seeing images of Dischidia species documented by experts such as the Liddles, whom were also well supported by Dr Paul Forster who was well informed regarding these (and other) Malesian species.
  21. Myrmecodia from Wasur National Park-Merauke-Papua Province

    Frank. The tree with the whitish bark is probably a Paperbark Melaleuca species. They prefer lowland soils that are very swampy in the wet season and are extremely popular sites for hydnophytes and other ant-plants.
  22. In English. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/insects-and-plants-pierre-jolivet/1113114101?ean=9781877743108 http://www.alibris.com/search/books/isbn/9781877743108
  23. Hello Robert. I also think that your plant has a high probability of being from the Forster & Liddle collection. The late David Liddle had and his wife still has an enormous collection of Hoya & Dischidia in their famous Mareeba Nursery in far North Queensland and I expect he would have dearly wanted specimens of anything new. I see Forster & Liddle spelt it as littoralis but Schlechter in the original description used only one t. Ooops corrected my spelling.
  24. A myrmecophyte is defined as a plant that lives with a colony of ants, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrmecophyte Providing housing and or food are NOT the only ways that may form mutualistic symbiotic ant and plant associations. True ant garden epiphytes are defined as those integrated into epiphytic carton nests as seed by ants. Certain ant species collect the seed of their mutualistic plant partners and deliberately plant them in their carton nests. This behaviour is induced primarily by ant-manipulative pheromones (scents) emitted by the seed. Surely, a development that is coevolutionary. (Kaufmann 2003 & Orivel & Leroy 2011). Thus such plants are myrmecophytic and because the plants help ant garden nests avoid collapse (read Kaufmann), they are in a collective sense even a little myrmecodomic. Kaufman, Eve. 2002. Southeast Asian ant gardens: diversity, ecology, ecosystematic significance, and evolution of mutualistic ant-epiphyte associations. PhD Thesis. http://publikationen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/volltexte/2003/273/pdf/KaufmannEva.pdf this is the best link i currently have for the Orivel et Leroy article. http://www.myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=452&layout=default
  25. Even on Cape York, Queensland, a slightly restricted area, there is some variation in leaf shape. Here is one example, but not a particularly good one from near the tip of the Cape. Note also the difference in the tuber surface that is typical of these far north variants.