Septriyanto Dirgantara

Myrmecodia from Wasur National Park-Merauke-Papua Province

17 posts in this topic

Hello all, My Name is Septriyanto Dirgantara. I'm lecturer in Department of Pharmacy from Cenderawasih University, Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia.

This is my first post. Ants plant is my thesis project and I must isolation the chemical coumpound, last week I was collected several species of myrmecodia from Wasur National Park in Merauke Region, Papua Province of Indonesia. Any body can help me what this species?

Myrmecodia tuberosa (Jack) or M.tuberosa subspecies???

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And the last, thank you for Mr.Andreas Wistuba, who initiated this forum. Awesome..!!!

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Welcome to the forum, Septriyanto.

It is difficult to make any sort of educated guess as to the identity of most myrmecodias from Indonesian Papua without closeups of caudex, stem, petioles, fruit (if present). From afar, yes, it resembles something from tuberosa complex.

It's great to have someone doing fieldwork in Papua as a member of this community. As you know, so many intriguing species from your region.

Cheers,

J

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http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/record/525214

1. Download this PDF document if you do not already have it.

2. Search for M. tuberosa 'muelleri' and compare your specimens to it.

3. If it does not fit, compare it with the other variants mentioned here.

H&J note and I quote,- "Myrmecodia tuberosa ‘muelleri’ (sic) includes a wide range of material from
most parts of lowland New Guinea. It forms a continuum which approaches M. tuberosa
‘pulvinata’, (sic) M. tuberosa ‘lanceolata’
(sic) and M. tuberosa ‘papuana’ (sic). These three
variants are perhaps only local forms of M. tuberosa 'muelleri' (sic). They are defined by
combinations of characters which overlap to some extent, e. g. the numerous stem
spines of M. tuberosa ‘papuana' (sic) unquote.

the club-like spines of M. tuberosa ‘pulvinata’, or
the 1-vesiculate pollen of both those taxa. There are also differences in habitat preference.
 

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Hi Septriyanto, good to have you in the group.

 

I echo J's thoughts - it will take a lot of details to get a positive identification for your Myrmecodia.

 

I will say that looking at locality data in the Huxley and Jebb revision of the genus Myrmecodia a likely candidate for your identification is their Myrmecodia tuberosa 'lanceolata'.  In fact, one of their data points for a collection of this variant is "08 15'  140 44' Merauke, Mopa".  They also show another data point as " 08 06' Merauke, Okaba"

 

There is a data point for a collection of M. tuberosa 'muelleri' just to the east in PNG and H & J indicate that these two  taxons may intergrade.

 

Unfortunately H & J do not have drawings for either of these plants in their revision of Myrmecodia..

 

May I ask what kind of tree is that that the ant-plants are growing in in the first two photos?    And in the last photo is that fire damage to the trunk of that tree?

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Bonjour

 

I also agree with JAY and FRANK

 

I add  leaves and flower section ( to see the ring hair , anther and stigma place )

 

jeff

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Thank you Jay, Derrick, Frank and Jeff for your attention. Sorry for my late post...

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These are the close up of stem, caudex and leaves on my collection sample.

To Frank, the ant plants are growing on the beech tree ("bus" = local name). Yes Frank, it is caused by forest fire due to the prolonged summer last year...

Thank you,

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Selamat datang, Septriyanto!

 

Your thesis theme is a really good choice, congratulations ;)

 

I think also that you have seen the common M. tuberosa "muelleri", typical with its long white petioles and strong leaves.

Thus, even if this species is common, it's not so common to see so big and old specimens.

 

All the best,

 

Aurélien

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Terima kasih Aurelien...

Have you ever stay in Indonesia or just visited?

Yeah, my thesis project to isolation secondary metabolites for traditional medicine based on the "empirical data" local wisdom in Papua.

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Terima kasih Aurelien...

Have you ever stay in Indonesia or just visited?

Yeah, my thesis project to isolation secondary metabolites for traditional medicine based on the "empirical data" local wisdom in Papua.

 

Sama sama.

I visited Sulawesi Tenggara about one year ago.

 

Interesting subject and goal!

Does Hydnophytum or Myrmecodia ever used from traditional medicine?

 

All the best,

Aurélien

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Aurelien,

Yes many local people in Papua use ants plant (local name= "sarang semut") to treat several diseases and it has been used for the treatment diarrhea, gout, diabetic and especially as beverages suplement for mothers after childbirth.

Now, many researcher in Indonesia have proved that the extract of ants plants has anticancer activity, althought just only up to preclinical test...

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Hello Septriyanto,

 

Interesting informations. I hope however that these discoveries will not impact too much wild populations in the future...

 

Best wishes,

Aurélien

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Aurelien,

Yes, I hope so... Now Papuan people in Indonesia are already selling this plant at the market as a "Papua herbal medicine".

I found this "fact" from Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura, Wamena to Merauke...

And I also aggree with you this phenomenon will definitely have an impact in the future...

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Most of the published pharmacological studies from Indonesia use a name Myrmecodia pendans which is a misspelling.

Correctly it is,

Myrmecodia pendens Merr. & L. M. Perry (Elmer Drew Merrill & Lily May Perry) published in the Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 26(1) p32, (1945).

(J. Arnold Arbor.) http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/8443428#page/36/mode/1up.

It is also listed in C. R. Huxley & Jebb's Myrmecodia revision Blumea 37(2) p296, (1993).

Even on remote Rossel Island in the Louisiades at the far southeast end of  political Papua New Guinea, ant plants, in this instance Anthorrhiza recurvispina are used for much the same purposes.

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Yes, it's true Derrick, most of them used Myrmecodia pendens as a research subject... I don't know why just Myrmecodia pendens? Even thought many species from Myrmecodia. Derrick, based on your data how many species from genus myrmecodia until now?

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Hi Septriyanto,

 

Our knowledge is mostly based on the 1993's revision of the genus by Huxley and Jebb:

 

http://myrmecodia.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/445-myrmecodia-revision-by-huxley-jebb-1993/

 

This paper recognize 26 species.

 

You can also see this database (Kew Gardens, UK):

http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/qsearch.do;jsessionid=3FC5C49FA734D01A57FCE1AC5E6C5655

 

Names in bold indicate accepted names, plain list indicates non accepted names.

This database is really serious, I use it for all species included in it. All Rubiaceae (i.e. Hydnophytum and Myrmecodia) are, but for example, Apocynaceae (Dischidia, Hoya) not.

 

The best,

Aurélien

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Thank you very much Aurelien,

I'm very happy for the help and confirmation from you all... Because, I'm not a botanist or biologist.

Based on your experience, can you tell me why the variations of myrmecodia tuberosa subspecies are so widely than another species likes M.pendens or M.beccarii?

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May I ask what kind of tree is that that the ant-plants are growing in in the first two photos?    And in the last photo is that fire damage to the trunk of that tree?

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.

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