Wednesday, December 7, 2016

[Botany • 2016] Rafflesia parvimaculata • A New Species of Rafflesia (Rafflesiaceae) from Peninsular Malaysia

Rafflesia parvimaculata 
Sofiyanti, Mat-Salleh, Khairil, Zuhailah, Mohd. Ros & Burslem 

FIGURE 2. Morphology of Rafflesia parvimaculata sp. nov. A. Mature bud, B. Male flower fully open, C. Inner side of floral perigone tube of male flower, D. Unbranched ramenta, E. Upper surface of disk showing processes of male flower, F. Lower surface of disk showing anthers (insert : pollen grain).
Scale bars: A, C 5 cm; B 10 cm; D 1 cm; E, F 2,5 cm (Specimens : A not collected; B–E LJ4 a1; F LJ4 f3).


The new species Rafflesia parvimaculata is described from Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. This species is characterized by its numerous small white warts on the perigone lobes, and also by its slender, unbranched, capitate ramenta that are white in color and densely arranged inside the floral perigone tube. These unique characters distinguish R. parvimaculata from other Rafflesia species. The discovery of this new species brings the total number of Rafflesia species described from Peninsular Malaysia to five

Keywords: Rafflesia, Pahang, numerous warts, white ramenta, Eudicots

Rafflesia parvimaculata Sofiyanti, Mat-Salleh, Khairil, Zuhailah, Mohd. Ros & Burslem sp. nov.  

Rafflesia parvimaculata has numerous small warts on the perigone lobe and the window. These warts have a well-spaced arrangement on both structures. Ramenta are slender, unbranched, capitate, white in color and densely arranged. These unique characters are the characteristics of this new species.

 Type:─ MALAYSIA : Peninsular Malaysia, Pahang, Lata Jarum. 03 55.92º N, 102 01.99 º E. 29 December 2005, LJ4 a1. Male. (Holotype UKMB!).

Distribution and ecology: — Rafflesia parvimaculata is an endoparasitic species that grows on the root or stem of Tetrastigma sp. (Vitaceae). The specimen of Tetrastigma was not collected. This new species was collected in hill dipterocarp forest at an elevation of 200 to 400 m a.s.l. in the Lata Jarum Forest, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. A photograph of a Rafflesia from Perak (Peninsular Malaysia) (Courtesy of Siti Munirah M.Y, FRIM that has been deposited in the Kew Herbarium shows similar morphological characters to this new species, especially in the presence of numerous white small warts on the perigone lobes. Therefore we tentatively suggest that Rafflesia parvimaculata may also occur in Perak, although further exploration in this region is required to verify this conclusion.

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the numerous small warts on the perigone lobes. It is derived from the Latin parvi (small) and maculate (stain, spot, wart).

Phenology:— Flowers were observed by us in February, March, September and December. Variation in the size of buds observed in February suggests that the flower can be found throughout the year independently of season.

 Nery Sofiyanti, Kamarudin Mat-Salleh, Khairil Mahmud, Nor Zuhailah Mazlan,  Mohd. Ros. Albukharey Hasein and  David F.R.P. Burslem. 2016. Rafflesia parvimaculata (Rafflesiaceae), A New Species of Rafflesia from Peninsular Malaysia. Phytotaxa. 253(3);  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.253.3.4