Saturday, April 30, 2016

[Botany • 2016] Miliusa malnadense • A New Species of Miliusa (Annonaceae) from the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India

Miliusa malnadense

Within Magnoliales, Annonaceae is the most species-rich family (Chatrou et al. 2012). Miliusa Leschenault ex De Candolle (1832: 213) is placed in tribe Miliusae, subfamily Malmeoideae, according to the recent infrafamilial classification (Chatrou et al. 2012). Chaowasku et al. (2014) provided insights into the evolutionary relationships of tribe Miliusae, and Chaowasku & Keßler (2013) reconstructed the phylogeny of Miliusa with four well-supported clades. Miliusa is distributed across the Austro-Malesian region with most species exhibiting a restricted distribution to certain areas (Mols & Kessler 2003). Species known from India exhibit a high degree of endemism (Kundu 2006).


FIGURE 2. Miliusa malnadense.
. Twig showing new foliage and bud. B. Leaf. C. Monocarps. D. Lateral section of mature flower. E. Mature flower.
Photographs by Navendu Page.

Miliusa malnadense Page & Nerlekar, sp. nov., 
This species can be distinguished by the presence of pubescent young branches, coppery red young leaves, inner petals glabrous outside, apices and margins densely puberulous inside and purple coloured, carpels elongated, curved and pubescent throughout its length, ovoid-oblong stigma and globose monocarps 

Etymology:— The specific epithet ‘‘malnadense’’ refers to the Kartanaka part of the Western Ghats from Shimoga to Kodagu which is the currently known distribution range of this species.

Distribution and associated species :— Miliusa malnadense is so far known only from the Kudremukh national park in the Western Ghats mountain range which is one of the global biodiversity hotspots (Myers et al. 2000). Miliusa malnadenseis  probably  restricted  to  forests  at  elevations  above  1000  m  in  the  Shola-Grassland  ecosystem  that  harbor  significant proportion of endemic taxa (Robin & Nandini 2012). Associated species observed in the type locality were species of the genus Ochlandra Thwaites, Lasianthus Jack, Cinnamomum Schaeffer, Myristica dactyloides Gaertner, Euonymus indicus B.Heyne ex Wall. and Schefflera micrantha (C.B.Clarke) Gamble.

Conservation status:— Data Deficient.

 Navendu Page and Ashish Nerlekar. 2016. A New Species of Miliusa (Annonaceae) from the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. Phytotaxa. 245(1):79-83 .  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.245.1.10

New species of evergreen tree for India