|Microcoelia nguemae |
in Farminhão, Biteau, Yakhouba, Savignac, Simo-Droissart, Droissart, Sonké et Stévart, 2023.
Microcoelia and the monospecific Taeniorrhiza and Chauliodon are notable among Afrotropical angraecoid orchids for being leafless. However, the affinity among these genera was not addressed in previous molecular phylogenetic studies, thus precluding the understanding of how many times has leaflessness evolved in angraecoids. The discovery of an additional species ascribable to Taeniorrhiza in Gabon, and a revision of all material referrable to this genus in herbarium collections, created the possibility to investigate the phylogenetic position of Taeniorrhiza relative to Microcoelia and Chauliodon. Based on phylogenetic inference using ITS-1 and two plastid regions (matK/trnK, trnL-trnF), and including 20 of the 34 species of Microcoelia recognised prior to our study, we here demonstrate that Taeniorrhiza and Chauliodon are deeply imbedded in Microcoelia, and are thus treated here as synonyms of the last. Accordingly, we describe the novelty from Gabon as a new species of Microcoelia: Microcoelia nguemae sp. nov. The new species is illustrated with colour photographs, and also with line drawings. Its preliminarily IUCN conservation status is provided. The novelty is notable for the dorsiventrally asymmetric distribution of pneumathodes along its roots and for bearing the longest lip spur in this Afro-Malagasy epiphytic genus. The new phylogenetic framework suggests a single origin of leaflessness in Afrotropical angrecoids and reveals the informative value of the rostellum to reconstruct relationships within Microcoelia. This serves as the basis of a newly proposed sectional treatment for Microcoelia, recognising 37 species, one new section, a new status for the defunct genus Encheiridion and the redefinition of Microcoelia sect. Microcoelia and sect. Brachyglossa.
Keywords: Epidendroideae, epiphyte, Madagascar, shadehouse, systematics, Tropical Africa
João Farminhão, Jean Philippe Biteau, Diallo Yakhouba, Marie Savignac, Murielle Simo-Droissart, Vincent Droissart, Bonaventure Sonké and Tariq Stévart. 2023. A Single Origin of Leaflessness in Afro-Malagasy angraecoids (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae). TAXON. DOI: 10.1002/tax.12932