Thursday, October 26, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Ridleyandra merohmerea • A New Species (Gesneriaceae) from Kelantan, Peninsular Malaysia

Ridleyandra merohmerea  M.Y.Siti-Munirah & D.Zaharil

in Munirah & Dzulkafly, 2017

Ridleyandra merohmerea, a new species of Gesneriaceae, is described and illustrated. It is endemic in Peninsular Malaysia and known from a few populations along the Tuang River in the lowland dipterocarp forest of the Ulu Galas Forest Reserve in Kelantan, Peninsular Malaysia. Its conservation status is assessed as Critically Endangered.

Keywords: Conservation status, endemic, flora, Gesneriaceae, lowland dipterocarp forest, Malaysia, Ridleyandra

Figure 1. Habitat of Ridleyandra merohmerea. A habitat beside the river (plant show by red arrow) B plant habit C from left; Zaharil D, Mohd Hairul MA, Wan Syafik WP & Siti-Munirah MY; beside the habitat of Ridleyandra merohmerea DF occurs on steep slope and some on rocks just beside the river
(Photo by A–B, D–F Siti-Munirah MY C Zaharil D). 

Figure 2. Ridleyandra merohmerea Siti Munirah & Zaharil. A, B habit C leaf arrangement D petiole with hairs E flower from side view F peduncle with hairs G corolla curve H bracts I sepals J nectary K flower with five lobes L flower lobes dark red M corolla outer surface N corolla surface inside with stamens O pistil P stigma Q anthers R fruit capsule open S young fruit 
(Photo: A–K, M–S Siti-Munirah MY, L Zaharil D). 

Ridleyandra merohmerea M.Y.Siti-Munirah & D.Zaharil, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: In its leaf shape and flower lobe colour, Ridleyandra merohmerea most resembles R. iminii Siti-Munirah but it differs in its leaves that are flat above and not wavy (glossy above and wavy), petiole 1–2 cm long (1–4 cm), oblanceolate and falcate lamina (lamina lanceolate oblong and not falcate), peduncle 8–13 cm long with green to dark purple (5–8 cm, pale green), pedicels 1–2 cm long (2.5–3 cm). In flower colour also is similar to R. iminii but differs in the sepal dark purple outer surface (sepals light green), corolla tube completely bright red outside (fully white outside).

Etymology: From the local dialect of Kelantanese people, ‘merohmerea’ means ‘merah terang’ in Malay and bright red in English. This name was chosen in the hope it will attract more Kelantanese to be more interested, concerned and aware of the importance of forest biodiversity in Kelantan especially since recently there are so many controversies and issues about disturbance to forests in Kelantan that in some cases might result in destruction of this new unique discovery. Hopefully, this name will attract more stakeholders to understand the importance of protecting and conserving the forest and this beautiful species and to realise that yet more new species are waiting to be discovered.

 Mat Yunoh Siti Munirah and Zaharil Dzulkafly. 2017. Ridleyandra merohmerea (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from Kelantan, Peninsular Malaysia. PhytoKeys. 89; 1-10.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.89.20344

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