Jump to content
Forum for Epiphytic Myrmecophytes

Recommended Posts

Derrick   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Derrick   

D. bengalensis is a confirmed myrmecophytic   for what raison ?

  Confirmed by the extensive field studies of (Kaufmann 2002.) and (Orivel & Leroy 2011.)  See my recent book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

post-54-0-35734200-1453000408_thumb.jpg

This is a specimen of Dischidia litoralis from Daun Island in the Torres Strait.

 

post-54-0-11757400-1453000854_thumb.jpg

Flowering detail for this species.

 

I thought to add photos of this species, as they say "a picture is worth a thousand words" and as good as descriptions are its always good to see what  the specimen looks like. This is an excellent species for cultivation, fast growing,easy to propagate and quiet tolerant to fairly low winter minimum temperatures despite its tropical lowland island origin. The specimen above is growing in a 150mm squat pot in a medium to small orchid bark mix ( bark, coco chunks, charcoal and  perlite), a large two branched cutting was pegged down along the surface of the mix 12 months  ago during the start of our wet season and fed with foliar fertiliser and this is the result. Many thanks to fellow member Rita Kupke who sent me all the cuttings which resulted in 3 hanging pots like the one shown, I have also propagated some for friends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jeff   

Bonjour ROBERT

 

excellent picture

 

I do not see morphological features that could tell myrmecophytic ?

 

jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Robert,

 

Many thanks for this pictures!

This is really D. littoralis?

I have to ask myself about one plants in Nancy BG that I've myself put into D. cf. oiantha... I'll take a look next week.

 

All the best,

Aurélien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aurelian

 

Yes this is really D.littoralis. First live material collected on Daun Island in 1989 by Bruce Grey (QRS) on a survey trip sponsored by the Australian Orchid Foundation. The following website will give you a bit more information on this collection.   www.jstor.org/stable/41738836

 

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aurelien

 

I am fairly certain that my plant originated from this or another collection on Daun Island, as live plant material is difficult and expensive to bring into this country and often is does not survive the fumigation treatment through customs. The Torres Strait Islands which includes Daun Is. actually comes under Queensland and are part of Australia, so plant material can normally be exchanged.

 

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Derrick   

I do not see morphological features that could tell myrmecophytic ?

  Dischidia bengalensis is myrmecophytic in the sense that it is a regular inhabitant of ant gardens. Thus there is no requirement for any obvious morphological features that show its ant friendly tendencies.

  They may be expressed in physiological traits such as seed made attractive to ants by having specific pheromones (smells).

  D. litoralis Schltr. According to Rintz (1980.) http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/document/565582

  is merely a synonym of immensely widespread and variable D. bengalensis.

  Just to complicate matters. Forster & Liddle 1992, Resurrected D, littoralis. Using a different spelling.

  See Forster & Liddle. Resurrection of Dischidia littoralis Schltr. (1992)

  I cannot supply a link for this.

  Yet here the current world Dischidia expert Tatyana Livschultz (2005) refers the following Isotype, repeat Isotype to Dischidia bengalensis.

  http://plants.jstor.org/stable/10.5555/al.ap.specimen.p00218714

  Thus there seems to be some disagreement in the academic world.

  Nevertheless, as far as I am aware, there are NO ant gardens in Australia or New Guinea, so whatever we wish to call such 'species' from Australasia they are probably not myrmecophytic.

  Yet having said this, I noted that another Australasian species D.ovata was often found among Myrmecophyte guilds on various Milne Bay Islands. In the attached image D. ovata was growing among

  Anthorrhiza areolata, A. bracteata, Lecanopteris sinuosa and other epiphytes. Make of this what you wish.

 

 

 

  

post-3-0-37330700-1453085119_thumb.jpg

PS. The little tuberous plant is a baby Anthorrhiza.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jeff   

Bonjour

 

a real myrmecophyte seems to be a plant that provides housing, food or 2 at a time.

 

ant gardens comes close, but can it be said that all living Plant, within them, are myrmecophytes   like  philodendron - anthurium -phyllocactus for example  ?

 

jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Derrick   

a real myrmecophyte seems to be a plant that provides housing, food or 2 at a time.

ant gardens comes close, but can it be said that all living Plant, within them, are myrmecophytes   like  philodendron - anthurium -phyllocactus for example  ?

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Derrick   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Derrick

 

I got this plant from Rita Kupke in Mackay with name and location, next time I speak with her I will see if she can give me any more history about it. Nearly two years ago I got one of each Dischidia species that Iris Liddle had in Mareeba , D.litoralis was not among them, but other really interesting species were, including D.platyphylla, melanesica, imbricata and major all with collection numbers. Once my new shadehouse is finished I will have the time and space to photograph all these species and others and post the pictures and my cultivation methods for each.

 

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Derrick   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jeff   

Bonjour

 

DERRICK

see the definition  from WIKIPEDIA

 

Myrmecophyte (mər′mek•ə‚fīt; literally "ant-plant") is a plant that lives in a mutualistic association with a colony of ants. There are over 100 different genera of myrmecophytes.[1]These plants possess structural adaptations that provide ants with food and/or shelter. These specialized structures include domatia, food bodies, and extrafloral nectaries.[1] In exchange for food and shelter, ants aid the myrmecophyte in pollination, seed dispersal, gathering of essential nutrients, and/or defense.[1] Specifically, domatia adapted to ants may be called myrmecodomatia.[2]

 

so we can say that plants with nectaries can extrafloral renter in the true myrmecophyte category as the ant gardens seems to me far, may be a proto myrmecophyly certainly a mutualistic system, in these structure the plants possess no adaptation  , it is just  an aggregate, plants + carton nest ,plants supporting the nest, like the bee hive, hornet or wasp, now yes, there are  myrmecochory with surrounding plants  .

 

if D.litoralis  = D.bengalensis

the leaves form

bengalensis.jpg

 

the hair and the lobe corolla in this section

 

fleurdish2.png

jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Derrick   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jeff   

Bonjour

 

the link is broken ;)

 

for you  myrmecochory = myrmecophyly for me no , but it is just my opinion ;)

 

jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was speaking with Rita Kupke in Mackay this morning and asked her about this Dischidia litoralis-Duan Island. She informed my that she was given the initial piece by Dr.Ashley Field from the Cairns University, so I would conclude that all information concerning this plant to be fairly accurate.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jeff   

Bonjour

 

no possibility to see a flower section or to say us the corolla lobe form and the corolla hairs place ;)

to strengthen the opinion of this teacher, who must indeed be eminent .

 

I have 2 flower from D.litoralis and D.bengalensis

 

LITORALIS.jpg

 

BENGALENSIS.jpg

 

the first seem to me close to the ROBERT specimen's  D.litoralis

 

jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Australian Herbariums have have 8 samples of D.litoralis in their collections, 3 from Australia  and 5 from New Guinea.  From Australia 2 collections were made from Dauan Island,Mt.Cornwallis at 200masl. and one from Moa Island, Banks Peak at 400masl. From New Guinea 3 collections were made from the area around Lae, one from the Sepik District and one from around Medang.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jeff   

Bonjour ROBERT

 

these plants have the same flower ?

 

for the determination , the leaves are important but the flower so much ;)

 

jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×