derrick.rowe's picture

Hydnophytum longistylum

Observed: 29th July 2011 By: derrick.rowederrick.rowe’s reputation in Plants
71 Hydnophytum longistylum, Tunurua mangrove swamp, Bougainville Island.
Description:

Although a long awaited Hydnophytum revision has yet to be published, there are hints on herbarium sheets that this name is to be subsumed under H. moseleyanum.
http://apps.kew.org/herbcat/getImage.do?imageBarcode=K000772003. Although it is very different in its outward morphology to H. moseleyanum there are certain similarities especially internally and plants of both 'names' are often ant inhabited.

Identifications
  • None (Hydnophytum sp.)
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
  •  
    Likely ID
    Hydnophytum longistylum Becc.
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

derrick.rowe's picture

The tubers with larger

The tubers with larger mesomorphic leaves best viewable in the original sized photo are Myrmecodia tuberosa "salomonensis". The Solomon Island form of this ochlospecies. Incidentally, the spelling is correct with an a.

derrick.rowe's picture

Affinities????

The tuber has certain similarities with the Australian endemic Hydnophytum ferrugineum that occurs on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula. Idle speculation perhaps but I do wonder if there is some genetic connection with this Solomon Island taxon.

jhn7's picture

Exciting!

Are they found in Papua New Guinea? How could you establish a link? Do they float (although the sea distance seems enormous for any to remain viable) or could they have been deliberately taken there in the past?

By the way on iSpot you do not need to write 'none', just put the scientific name if there is no common name.

Janet
Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)

derrick.rowe's picture

Re Exciting!

1/ New Guinea holds most Myrmecodia spp and is almost certainly the center from which the genus spread. Probably much the same for hydnophytums that however, are far more widespread (Andaman Islands to Taiwan.) However, Hydnophytum is very probably not a monophyletic clade so we await its eventual split into more than one genus.
Australia was joined to New Guinea and other islands in past ice ages (Google Sahul for background)that explains why Oz shares so many life forms.
Also there is emerging bio-geological evidence that there have been long island archipelagos from southern asia into the south west Pacific that provides a new hypothesis of how Fiji's three endemic Iguana taxa got to those far flung islands. If proven correct it will influence ideas of how 'hydnophytums' and the bizarre endemic Squamellaria species got to the remote Fijian Islands.
The fruits of probably all Hynophytinae are eaten by birds, thus permitting some wide dispersal but seed is distributed locally by ants especially symbiotic mutualist taxa. Not being a bird expert I do wonder what bird species could transport seed over immense ocean distances. Do seabirds eat juicy fruits? Many hydnophyta grow litorally.
Yes, it seems my "None" has created some confusion. Cheers from downunder.

jhn7's picture

Thank you

It must be amazing to be at the forefront of newly discovered science, even if as you say it is so specialized as to not be accessible to a large audience.
I've been struggling to research these species to be able to agree with you as I'm afraid I haven't personal experience to substanciate your observations. I just think they are all so astonishing and deserve to be acknowledged. Thank you for posting them.

Janet
Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)

derrick.rowe's picture

Fascinating ecophysiologies and more.

Hello Janet. Here are a few sources on the WWW.
This article provides insights into some of the survival strategies of these amazing plants.
http://www.cactusexplorers.org.uk/Explorer5/Cactus%20Explorer%205_comple...

This article provides a broader overview of myrmecophytes.
http://xerophilia.ro/ See page 62.

This series is devoted to bromeliad myrmecophytes.
http://www.bromeliad.org.au/news/BSA0411.htm
http://www.bromeliad.org.au/news/BSA0611.htm
http://www.bromeliad.org.au/news/BSA0811.htm
http://www.bromeliad.org.au/news/BSA1011.htm

jhn7's picture

Thank you!

I'd looked at the cactusexplorers site and the article but not the others, thank you and all the very best.
I see you are continuing the good work. Brilliant!

Janet
Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)