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Posts posted by Derrick

  1. Of course otherwise known as the Spice Islands.  Bacan Island (Batjan in Dutch) sits relatively close to Halmahera Island (see maps) so perhaps there should not be much regional variation in hydnophyte species even though there is a probability that after seed has arrived over longer distances by birds, symbiotic ant species take over control of local distribution as found in the study by Maeyama et al. (2000.)



    Maeyama T.  Matsumoto T. 2000.  Genetic relationship of myrmecophyte (Anthorrhiza caerulea) individuals within and among territories of the arboreal ant (Dolichoderus sp.) detected using random amplified polymorphic DNA markers.  Austral Ecology Vol. 25, 3, pp273- 282. Downloadable.

  2. FRANK  what is this  book?


    H. spathulatum Valeton, Icones Bogoriensis t.340 (1912). Type:- Batjan, Moluccas. Smith sn. 2/9/1900 (BO).  Not all leaves are spathulate in these images. Icones Bogoriensis does not appear to be digitized, so I have no further information. 

     Hello Jeff.  You are missing the clues.  The Ic, Bog: XXIV. on the top left of Frank's illustration has already supplied the answer.

     Hello Frank.  This is impressive detective work. Is it possible for others of us to get digitized copies of Ic. Bog. (myrmecophyte info?) from the WWW.  

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    Tillandsia butzii Carl Christian Mez published in Das Pflanzenreich IV. 32(Heft 100) 1935. This is a nomen conservandum against T. inanis Lindley & Paxton published in Paxton's Flower Garden 1, 1850.  Normally the first published name has precedence over any later duplications; however, because the name T. butzii was well known while that of T. inanis was largely unknown, it was proposed and accepted that the later name be continued in scientific use. (Wit 2008.)

      Ecology. This species trophic association with ants was first suggested by Schimper as far back as 1888 and observations of this species and T. caput-medusae in habitat also found that ants were probably feeding them. (Benzing 1970.)  In 1979 explorer-botanist, Werner Rauh noted it “housed colonies of large biting ants.”

      Description: Another pseudobulbous CAM-using epiphyte (Zotz & Hietz 2001.) often with rather green leaves.  I suspect that an occurrence of greener leaves, hence improved photosynthesis (other criteria aside) is to enable improved use of ant fed nutrients.  Again, upper leaf sections turn red before the appearance of pink and violet flowers.

      Habitats: Open, dry-forests at altitudes of 800-2810 m. (2625-9219 ft.) “Indeed, the two species of Tillandsia of atmospheric habit and dense trichome cover (T. juncea, T. butzii) were those growing on the thinner and presumably more exposed branches.” (Hietz 1997.)  Where access to leachates would be minimal.   Range: Southern Mexico and Central America (Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.)

      Varieties. The formal description of Mexican var. roseiflora Ehlers was published in Bromelie 2, 2002.  It differs from var. butzii by having rose-red flowers instead of violet and its leaves are thinner and longer.

     Some clones have proven hardy in frost free New Zealand regions but it will prefer more moisture and shade than silvery-leafed examples and of course we expect colder temperature tolerances in plants from higher altitudes.

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    Tillandsia caput-medusae E Morren published in La Belgique Horticole 30, 1880.  Common names Octopus Plant and Medusa's Head. DNA indicates it is sister species to ant-house T. paucifolia.  (Chew et al. 2010.)

      This is another species whose trophic association with ants was first suggested by Schimper as far back as 1888 (cited by Benzing 1970.)  Observations on this species and T. butzii in habitat provided compelling evidence that ants were helping to feed both.  (Benzing 1970.) Explorer botanist Werner Rauh (1979) merely noted that it “housed colonies of large biting ants

      Description: An attractive species with rosettes of thick, channelled leaves to 25 cm (9.8 inches) long emerging from a markedly inflated pseudobulb.  Flower-stalk bracts become bright red, while flowers are violet and pollinated by Hummingbirds.

      Habitats: From sea level to 2300 metres (7546 ft.)  In the northern parts of their range (Mexico), they often occur in very exposed locations in arid, tropical deciduous forests but to the south (hence closer to the equator) in shadier, wetter forests.  This distribution is reflected in leaf colour with northern forms being much whiter than southern, greener forms.  It is the only succulent Tillandsia occurring in the arid State of Sonora in north-west Mexico.  In some habitats, they cohabit with the ant-house orchid Myrmecophila christinae var. christinae.

      Range: Mexico and throughout Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.)

     The following bacteria were found living on the leaves of this species in Costa Rica. Aeromonas spp., Agrobacterium radiobacter, Bacillus brevis, B. cereus, B. circulans, B. pumilus, B. subtilis, Bulkolderia cepacea, Enterobacter agglomerans, Erwinia spp., Pseudomonas luteola, P. maltophila, Sphingobacterium multivorum, and Yersinia aldovae. (Brighigna et al. 2000)

      An easy to maintain, extremely drought tolerant species, offsetting readily and flowering from spring to early summer. In the wild, plants fall from their hosts after a few clonal generations because of ever-increasing weight; however, with appropriate care, they can be grown into very large clusters. Rosettes live for a few years after flowering while producing basal offsets.

  5. may be also , T.caput-medusae and T.butzii

    The introduction to Bromeliaceae article, specifically the introduction to tillandsias chapter, lists both of these and all other members of Gardener's  pseudobulbous clade, plus one she omitted to include.  Most are considered to be myrmecodomic (ant-house) species but the number of ant occupants tend to be far less than in most other ant-house myrmecophytes.  There are also some phytotelm (water holding 'tank') species that are regularly ant occupied.

  6. If one clicks on Subrosa's thumbnail image you will get a larger size that shows older leaves heavily speckled in tiny white dots. This is something very new to me; never seen in habitat myrmecodias. Perhaps a virus picked up in cultivation; it is nothing like the occasional 'corkiness' dots seen in cultivated  and wild myrmecodias. 

  7. An image might help; it would certainly give an indication of which family and perhaps species of ant-plant you are referring to but I am guessing it might be a Myrmecodia.  By Andy are you referring to Dr Andreas?  The location of where it was/is being grown will provide possible leads to local pests.

      High salt buildups near any epiphytic plants in habitat is extremely unlikely, possibly impossible; however, having said that it may not be impossible that (very large?) ant colonies could deposit enough nutrient rich decomposing ant-compost in ant-house species or in ant gardens for such events to occur if only very rarely, perhaps in dry seasons.  I doubt if such has ever been scientifically tested.

  8. However, I do not think it's H. spathulatum.

    1.) The caudex with it's ridges looks highly characteristic and unique. I think, Valeton would have mentioned this characteristic in his description.

    2.) The leaves on Satoshi's pictures look ovate and not spathulate to me

    "BECCARI described three species of this group: H. tortuosum Becc., H. petiolatum Becc., both from New Guinea, and H. ovatum Miq. from the island of Ternate. I have already added two new species: H. bracteatum VAL. and H. Kochii VAL. (see New Guinea part VIII, third volume, 1911). The sixth species that I have described was gathered by Mr. SMITH in the island of Batjan and has been cultivated for some time in the botanical garden where it grew very well despite its being damaged. Therefore, the description is based on herbarium specimens. It is easy to see that this species has much in common with H. ovatum Miq. and maybe even more with H. tortuosum (see BECC. table. 37, figs. 3 and 4 that are nearly identical with mine)."

      If living material was used, then Theodoric Valeton certainly could describe salient features of the external tuber.) The Tropicos database notes that no type has been designated.  http://www.tropicos.org/Name/100204745

  9. Myrmecodia tuberosa William Jack published in Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 14, 1823. Synonym M. echinata Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupré in the Voy Uranie 472, 1830.  (Full title Voyage autour du monde fait par ordre du Roi sur les corvettes de S. M. l'Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820.)

    1823 will of course have precedence over 1830, all being equal.


    Records of Moluccas Island Hydnophytum collections.

    H. inerme (Gaudichaud-Beaupré) Bremekamp in Blumea 5, 1942, synonym H. gaudichaudii (Gaudich.) Beccari, in Malesia

    Raccolta 2, 1884, basionym Myrmecodia inermis Gaudich,in Botanique 472,1830. However, this is almost certainly an

    unrecorded (?) synonym for H. formicarum which surely does not fit this most unusual specimen?

    H. ovatum Miq., Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugd.-Bat. 4:257 (1869) Beccari Malesia 2:p143 (1885). Type:- Ternate, Moluccas.

    Teysmann & de Vriese sn. (L) Leaves are ovate, cordate at base and probably small; therefore, this seems a very

    unlikely match. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol xxvi. p26 (1945.) states, flowers are inclosed in alveoli.

    H. spathulatum Valeton, Icones Bogoriensis t.340 (1912). Type:- Batjan, Moluccas. Smith sn. 2/9/1900 (BO). Not all

    leaves are spathulate in these images. Icones Bogoriensis does not appear to be digitized, so I have no further information.

    H. moseleyanum Becc, Malesia 2:150 (1885). [Figs. 3.1, 5.1] Type: Manus Is. Papua New Guinea. Moseley sn. 3/1875 (K)

    Surely not a match?

  11. https://www.facebook.com/PortMoresbyNaturePark

    Follow my conversation.  One hopes it may lead to many possibilities in Papua New Guinea.


    It is not possible to supply a direct link.  First one must click on the above URL which will take you to The Nature Park's page.  Then click on my post currently in Recent Posts column on the right hand side of the page.   Eventually my post will probably get buried by later posts but using Facebook's search facility should find it.

  12. Thank you Jay for this information that I have passed it to Andy who hopes to be down that way in the near future. I will keep everyone posted on any developments.

      Facebook has its pros and cons.  Its largest fault is provided by the many 'leaders' that set up ill conceived groups and who have insufficient knowledge to entertain their members and do not insist on adequate standards of input from their 9% (assuming that their 1% of the 90/9/1 Internet participation rule know their chosen subject). Yet Facebook with its enormous outreach (2.5 billion members) has certainly helped us get to where we are now. 

      Incidentally, in the early Facebook days, I joined a small ant-plant group with from memory about twenty members, most of whom were waiting for someone else to entertain them, so inputs were virtually zero.  I soon left the group but I told them why I was doing so; my intention being purely didactic but it seems not to have helped them because as far as I am aware it no longer exists.

  13. A very warm welcome Jay.  I consider this is an important breakthrough for the ant-plant community.  Furthermore, the Neomirandea sp. sounds fascinating and something completely new to me. I tried Googling for more information but found little on the WWW.  Explorer-photographer Andy Siekkinen (on Facebook) is going to look for this when he is next in Chiapas, so he may be able to confirm if it is ant occupied.  Any idea what trees it grows in? 

    Incidentally, there is an enormous amount of ant-plant information on the Facebook group.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/myrmecophytes/

  14. Furthermore avoid uncooked foods especially salads and ensure any fruits are well washed in sterilized water.   There are records of New Zealanders after visiting Fiji, becoming seriously ill with Eosinophilic meningitis that is mostly caused by ingesting the larvae of a nematode parasite named Angiostrongylus cantonensis, a species that can occur in raw or undercooked snails, slugs, freshwater prawns, frogs, fish or by eating fresh produce such as lettuce that a slug or snail carrying the parasite has crawled on.  Once ingested, the larvae make their way into blood vessels to eventually reach the spinal cord where they die. An eosinophilic reaction develops in response to the dying larvae, and spreads rapidly through spinal fluid.  It is prevalent mainly in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Basin.


  15. Well I have an import permit. For seeds, all he'd need to do really is just attach the label to the package. That's about it. ....I think.


    Ah, I see.  In parts of inland Bougainville especially, they are still lacking many, indeed most benefits of the modern world that we take for granted.  Luckily that excellent company Digicel and its extremely economical mobile phone systems are both helping the island leapfrog into the modern world, nevertheless, I would advise being as helpful as possible.  They are smart people but they have an enormous learning curve.  

  16. There are pluses and minuses for both groups.  Time will tell if this group can outlast Facebook. I do wonder how soon it will be when members become far more demanding of what they want from images and Facebook goes the way of Yahoo.

      The Facebook myrmecophyte group is still growing rapidly having 219 members as I write but many are members of so many other groups they tend not to become truly part of our (or any?) Internet community.  Furthermore, they are perhaps far too generalist in their interests and seem insufficiently specialized to be able to add much to our 'conversations' yet those that are also members of other groups (such as epiphytes in general, hoyas, ferns, orchids, gesneriads, cactaceae and many other possibles) can use Facebook's SHARE facility to bring to our groups attention, images of myrmecophyte interest, but it is a battle getting them to do so.  Facebook provides a truly vast worldwide audience with enormously more myrmecophyte images than I would ever be able to photograph.  Members most certainly can benefit from better networking. 

      Of course having degrees of specialization does not mean one cannot also have an interest of other subjects. I certainly do.  Dischidia Guy epitomizes the usefulness of specialization to our groups. We most certainly need more like him. 

      For both groups, getting more participation will probably always be a problem.     In a bid to provide a possible incentive and also to learn where members interests truly reside, my strategy from now on is to primarily respond only to members initiatives.

  17. I ordered a package of seeds when the announcement was made and they have been held by USDA for well over one week. Of course, no one has any answers and when you call they don't give you any real information. I fear the seeds will be no good if they ever get released.  Perhaps Bosco can send with permits? It would decrease the delay.

    I do not like your chances.  Next year is the vote for possible (probable?) independence from Papua New Guinea.  It will probably take many years for Bougainville to acquire the governmental systems for the issuing of permits.

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