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Anthorrhiza caerulea

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Anthorrhiza caerulea C. R. Huxley & Jebb published in Blumea 36 (1) 1991.

  This species has densely spined, conical, horizontal-growing tubers to 35 x 15 cm. with entrance holes on tuber bottoms and apexes near stems. Stems one, rarely two, topped with particularly large leaves reaching 21 x 8.5 cm.

  Habitats: Lower montane forests at 2000-3000 m. (6562-9843 ft.) perched in low to high positions especially on large Antarctic Beech Nothofagus trees.

  Range/Records: PNG; Morobe Province, north summit of Mt Shungol, Lat. 6.8583° S, Long. 146.725° E.  Also on Mt. Kaindi on roadside 200 yards below Edie Creek turning (often spelt Eddie).

  According to Huxley & Jebb 1991 always occupied by Anonychomyrma scrutator (as Iridomyrmex) ants, a species that does not make ant-carton.

However, Maeyama, & Matsumoto (2008) report the obligatory ant occupant as a carton manufacturing Dolichoderus sp.  Furthermore. “It was frequently observed that occupant ants gathered the seeds of A. caerulea and buried them in their carton trails on the bark of host trees and a DNA analysis of genetic relationships within populations revealed that plants within discrete ant territories consisted of close relatives.  Therefore, it was inferred that the descendants of A. caerulea were dispersed only within the territory of a certain ant colony.” (Maeyama & Matsumoto 2008.)  However, I suggest there are probably occasional longer distance distributions by birds.

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