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1st know pics of U.viscosa


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#1 Fernando Rivadavia

 
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Posted 09 October 2012 - 23:49 PM

Hello everyone,

My colleague Paulo Baleeiro in Brazil, who is currently studying the U.amethystina-tricolor-tridentata complex for his PhD, has just returned from a trip to N Brazil where he found several cool CPs. For me, the most interesting of all was U.viscosa, a species published in 1986 and which I was never lucky enough to find in the wild.

Although somewhat-widespread in Central and northern S.America, U.viscosa was only known from herbarium specimens. No pics of live plants were available on the internet.

Peter Taylor describes this species as a perennial, but I personally suspect it is annual, judging from the habitat. U.viscosa is an aquatic plant with scapes 6-50cm in length. Peter Taylor placed it in its own monotypic section, Sprucea, as you can see below:

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

So the bad news is that Paulo's pics of U.viscosa unfortunately were out of focus.

But the good news is that he realized that pics taken by our friend Patrice in French Guiana (and previously mistaken for U.amethystina) were in fact of U.viscosa!

Take a look at Patrice's pics on his blog:

http://guyane-l.over...a_-8352578.html


More pics soon, hopefully! :wink:



Best Wishes,
Fernando Rivadavia

#2 Fernando Rivadavia

 
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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:59 AM

So am I the only person here excited with the 1st ever pics of an obscure Utric?? :)

In case not, here's another one by Paulo Baleeiro:

Posted Image

Yeah, it's a bit out-of-focus, But hey, there are only a few pics of U.viscosa out there, so take it and don't complain, LOL! :sarcastic_hand:


Best Wishes,
Fernando Rivadavia

#3 Daniel O.

 
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Posted 18 October 2012 - 22:54 PM

Nice rediscovery, congratulations to Paulo and Patrice.

Best regards,
Dani

Edited by Daniel O., 18 October 2012 - 22:58 PM.


#4 Nicole

 
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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:43 PM

So am I the only person here excited with the 1st ever pics of an obscure Utric?? :)

NO! :wink:
I'm always excited when I see pics of Utrics that I've never seen before! It's nice and a great find, but it also reminds me a little bit of a deformed blanchetii... :laugh2:

Best regards,
Nicole
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#5 Carlos Rohrbacher

 
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Posted 29 October 2012 - 23:33 PM

Oh, nice species, needs new picures.

#6 Patrice

 
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Posted 13 July 2013 - 02:47 AM

Hi dear friends and cp-enthousiasts,

I published some more pictures of this intriguing plant on my homepage this year.

Fernando, you seem to be right : this plant is certainly an annual. I live in Fr.Guyana, and most of the savanas down here (wich are biotopes for our plants ) burn down every year, because of the bushfires we have.

after a fire, the savana is a stumpy field, the soil is rock hard, and nothing else than grasses seem to grow there....but wait until the rainy season arrives, and then , you will see many species appear !

concerning U.viscosa, I was lucky to discover why this plant is named like that : it's because it is covered with a very sticky substance, wich help the plant to....catch it's predators !

I'm not certain that I'm right, but the fact is that many of the plants in the fields were covered with trapped insects (grasshoppers in this case) , and they are not able to free themselves from this mortal trap.

I dont know if the plant are covered with trichomes to absorb the insect's nutrients, but the fact is that this plant is also able to catch preys ( on it's surface ) under water !

what do you think about it ?

see the pictures on my site, at this adress : http://guyane-l.over-blog.com/

Edited by Patrice, 13 July 2013 - 02:49 AM.


#7 Fernando Rivadavia

 
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Posted 13 July 2013 - 04:46 AM

Hello Patrice,

Congratulations on the great pics & amazing observations!!

It seems like all species at this site may be annuals, including U.viscosa. I admit I find it very odd for U.nana and U.hispida to be annuals, since they're usually perennials in places I've seen them. If the water is so deep, does this mean that U.nana is completely submerged?

Is this whole site submerged in water or are there parts of the savana that are above water? Does D.sessilifolia grow at this site but has not appeared yet (or are seedlings visible underwater already)?

What about D.capillaris? Is it underwater too? I did suspect the tiny D.capillaris form (previously know as D.biflora) native to N Brazil (same as the one in Surinam, I imagine) was capable of growing as an annual, after getting the chance to study it a few times in the state of Roraima, both in the wet and dry seasons.

I've also seen this sticky substance on the flower scapes of species from section Setiscapella, especially U.nigrescens. I also think it is a defensive strategy to keep other bugs off their flowers scapes (and not for carnivorous purposes), but I find it hard to imagine that this viscous fluid could capture grasshoppers. Are you sure the grasshoper wasn't holding on to the scape with it's claws as you tried to pull it away?


Best wishes and thanks!
Fernando


P.S. Just to be sure, in your description, you meant to write SUNRISE and not sunset, correct?

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia, 13 July 2013 - 04:46 AM.


#8 Patrice

 
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Posted 14 July 2013 - 00:34 AM

Hi all,

@ Fernando : thanks for your comments, and corrections (yes, I meant sunrise, of course...my frenglish is so bat, I'm sorry for the confusion)

concerning the water level : the savana is covered with water, that's true. But the area in the middle of the savana is at a higher level than the margins.
On the elevated part of the biotope, you'll find many carnivorous plants, like U.nana or U.hispida, plants wich you'll not find in the areas were U.subulata or U.viscosa grow.

It's the same for Drosera capillaris : it did not grow under water in this savana, but I saw it growing submerged in other places.
Also, I never saw any Drosera sessilifolia down here, even if I suspect more Drosera to be present in Fr.Guyana.
If cultivated, "our" french Guyanese plants live as a perenial (if the substrate is kept wet all year)
If the substrate dry out, the plants survive by producing great amounts of seeds, and willl spred like U.spatulata did it in our collections.

It really seem that D.capilllaris has adapted it's life cyclus to the local conditions.
Also, one must know that our savanas are close to the ocean : they cover a small bend of the country (20 to 40Km) and follow the margins of the country on the ocean side : alll the rest of the country is covered by deep primary forest.
People live only on this small bend....here we have a density of human population of 0.46 inhabitants per sq.Km !

The savanas are influenced by the tide of the sea, and their elevation is something like 3m above ocean level in most cases ! you can feel the influence of the tide up to 30 to 40Km inside of the country, if you are on a river (well, our "rivers" are often as large as 1 to 2 Km in the conntact area to the ocean...)

Concerning the grasshopper caught by the U.viscosa(s) : I'm certain that this little insect was not grabbing the scape...I give the plants a litttle push, each time I saw an insect "caught" on it, and each time, the hopper didn't move....but as I was walkint torought the grasses, many houndreds of them tried to flee from me by hopping around.

Also, I tried to "free" the hoppers (two of them, at least)...well....how can I say....they lost their legs...unfortunately...sorry for them....and as the were pulled free from the plants, they immediately escaped.
The hopper on the picture with my hand was the first I tried to free : I saw him doing movements, to escape, but he was really caught by the plant.

I'm also very surprised about this observation, of course, as you are. But you can believe me : the insect was caught by the plants.
Tomorrow I'll be in the fields, and willl make further examinations. And of course I'll tell you about it.

I'm working on a Google-Earth presentation to schow all the areas were you can find CPs here, with the limits of the different biotopes I explored (please let me some time for doing it).

#9 Fernando Rivadavia

 
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Posted 14 July 2013 - 19:12 PM

Bonjour Patrice,

Thank you so much for the extra information!


concerning the water level : the savana is covered with water, that's true. But the area in the middle of the savana is at a higher level than the margins.
On the elevated part of the biotope, you'll find many carnivorous plants, like U.nana or U.hispida, plants wich you'll not find in the areas were U.subulata or U.viscosa grow.


By "elevated" you mean it is above the water level, right?


Also, I never saw any Drosera sessilifolia down here, even if I suspect more Drosera to be present in Fr.Guyana.


Ah, I'd forgotten! I'm sure it's just a matter of time until you find it though, it must be there somewhere.


Also, one must know that our savanas are close to the ocean : they cover a small bend of the country (20 to 40Km) and follow the margins of the country on the ocean side : alll the rest of the country is covered by deep primary forest.


Interesting! So you've only seen CPs around this coastal plain of Fr.Guiana? As for the interior parts of the country, I'm sure there must be pockets of open vegetation such as the ones where I discovered Drosera amazonica a few years ago. Also, I know for sure from Google Earth that there are many interesting inselbergs, probably covered with annual CPs in the wet season, such as the ones in the pics below:

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2854747
http://www.panoramio...r=kh.google.com
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2854073
http://www.panoramio...r=kh.google.com


Concerning the grasshopper caught by the U.viscosa(s) : I'm certain that this little insect was not grabbing the scape...I give the plants a litttle push, each time I saw an insect "caught" on it, and each time, the hopper didn't move....


So was it dead already? Maybe this mucilage suffocates them really fast as it coats their spiracles (entrance to their tracheae)? Either way, I'd guess this is defensive and not predatory.

Also, I tried to "free" the hoppers (two of them, at least)...well....how can I say....they lost their legs...unfortunately...sorry for them....and as the were pulled free from the plants, they immediately escaped.


So (just to be sure) you're saying that it was difficult to separate the insects from the scapes, not from the mucilage, correct? (that is, the insect wasn't just coated with mucilage, but literally adhered to the scape?)

I'm working on a Google-Earth presentation to schow all the areas were you can find CPs here, with the limits of the different biotopes I explored (please let me some time for doing it).


Cool, I can't wait!! Thanks again for sharing with us pics from such an unknown place and congratulations on the amazing discoveries!


Best wishes,
Fernando

#10 Sockhom

 
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Posted 15 July 2013 - 12:12 PM

Very interesting. Expecially the grasshopper capture.
Keep on the good work GL.

All the best,

François.

#11 Patrice

 
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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:31 AM

Hi dear friends,

well, I hope you understood all of my writings...I made a small video (link is below) , but here are some answers :

@ Fernando:
1) By "elevated" you mean it is above the water level, right?
No ! in the central area of this savana, the water level is about 2 to 5 cm, whilst the water level of the areas wich surround this central area is about 10 to 20cm in deepness.

2) So you've only seen CPs around this coastal plain of Fr.Guiana?
No, again ;-)
I've seen most of them in the coastal plain area, but I've been on the Nourague Inselberg, where I observed U.hispida (you can see some pictures of this plant on my homepage) . On this Inselberg is a scientific station, from the CNRS, and I was there for a maintenance of their solar system, and to repair their hydraulic turbine. Also, it's one of the places where U.choristotheca grow, also Catopsis berteroniana, wich I both didn't had time to find, unfortunately (helicopter time is costfull...) ; I hope I can return there one day, but with my new job, it will be rather difficult : we are building a brand new city for 15 000 people down here, and that take time...

On my site I give an explanation about these kind of areas, and why you find CPs there 17 000 years ago, or so, a gigantic savana covered the country (like Gran Sabana/Venezuela) , and these stations are relict stations from these ancient times.

3) So was it dead already? Maybe this mucilage suffocates them ?
no again....it couldn't move, or free himself from this sticky mucilage. he wanted to flee, but he could not !

4) So (just to be sure) you're saying that it was difficult to separate the insects from the scapes, not from the mucilage, correct? (that is, the insect wasn't just coated with mucilage, but literally adhered to the scape?
Yes ! it adhered to the plant's scape : he was glued to it.
Imagine you are grabbing a piece of wood, covered with glu : it was exactly the same

5) Either way, I'd guess this is defensive and not predatory
yes, certainly. to prevent damages to the plant : grasshoppers (and other insects) sometimes eat plants, and this is a good way for the plant to defend itself

Hi François !
6) Very interesting. Expecially the grasshopper capture.

well, here is a video of it :

I just hope you understand what I'm saying. If you don't it's because it's french, or german !

#12 Fernando Rivadavia

 
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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:10 AM

Wow, I feel so honored, thank you for that special video Patrice!! :) I especially liked that 360 of the habitat which you did at the end, merci! Thanks also for taking the time to answer all of my questions.

I found some pics of the Nourague Inselberg on the internet, it looks amazing! I'm surprised you found U.hispida there, as I would not expect this species to grow on inselbergs.

In your video, I could not see any drops of mucilage on the scapes of U.viscosa. They seemed "dry" and not wet like in this picture:

Posted Image

I could not see any long shadows, so I'm guessing the video was taken around mid-day, while the pic above (taken at sunrise) represented mucilage mixed with morning dew?



Best wishes,
Fernando


#13 Laurent

 
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Posted 17 July 2013 - 22:06 PM

Very interesting video Patrice,Laurent.

#14 Guest_Andreas Eils_*

 
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Posted 18 July 2013 - 23:28 PM

Wow Patrice,

ich bin begeistert! :biggrin: Ein Video in drei Sprachen! Unfortunately I only understand German and Anglais! ;-) And I first thought what a boring Utricularia...UNTIL I saw the poor grasshopper which stuck on the flower stem. :blink: Uh, how scary - flower scapes which catch and digest grasshoppers! Hehe... ;-)

It´s a nice site by the way...but the proximity of a busy road is somehow shocking!

Uh, da ist eine Straße! Genau: Savannen sind genau neben der Straße!


:lol:


Cordialement

Andreas

#15 Patrice

 
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Posted 20 July 2013 - 02:20 AM

hello everyone,

many thanks to all the people interested in my comments, and about a plant wich appears to be very interesting, once you know it's "secrets"

@ Fernando :
I found some pics of the Nourague Inselberg on the internet, it looks amazing! I'm surprised you found U.hispida there, as I would not expect this species to grow on inselbergs.


It is an amazing experience to see an "island" like this after a flight over the jungle...during one hour, I flew over the jungle, wich was nothing else than a green ocean...and then, suddenly, a gigantic mountain made of pure rock appears, like if it was thrown there by a giant's hand.
On my homepage (section "cp biotopes") you'll see a picture I shot from the heli(copter) : you'll see how massive this granitic rock is. Also, one must imagine that these rocky mountains were, billions of years before today, the top of the so-called "Guyana schield", wich is the rocky mother-substrate of the south-american continent.
By the way : Inselberg is a german word, wich mean litteraly "island-mountain", or better, "mountain wich look like an island (in an ocean of green, in this case)"

U.hispida grow (also) on places like these, and sometimes, the shape and color of the corolla can change : on an Inselberg in the south of the country, the corollas are violet, with a yellow blotch (see pictures on my site)

I could not see any long shadows, so I'm guessing the video was taken around mid-day, while the pic above (taken at sunrise) represented mucilage mixed with morning dew?


You are right, Fernando. The day I made the video, I woke up at 5 o'clock in the morning to be present as early as posssible on the site. In fact, I wanted to see an sunrise over a savana, and observe what happens at that time : the picture was schot at 7 o'clock exactly, at a moment during wich the humidity of the air is so intense that "smog" is build, and raises up from the ground : this is due to the intense gap of temperature between air temperature and water temperature.
I observed the same phaenomon (of smog building) many times in another case, over the jungle : in this case, it is the evapo-transpiration due to the plants, wich can be directly observed with nacked eyes over the trees.


On the picture you down-linked, the drops are made of _pure_ morning dew ; I insist on the word "pure", because the plant is covered with mucilage, but this mucilage dont build drops like a drosera do, for example : the viscosa mucilage build a very thin layer on the surface of the flowerstalk, and there are no visible drops.
Next time I go out, I'll take my binocular to see how the surface of a fresh plant looks like. I dont expect to be able to take pictures, because I dont have a specialized fixture to mount my camera on the binocular.

The video was taken around midday, that's why you dont see the "dew" on the plants : the air temperature was much more elevated than after sunrise : 32°C at midday, against 23°C at sunrise


@ Andreas :
[size=4] [/size][color=#666666][font=tahoma, helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=3]Ein Video in drei Sprachen! Unfortunately I only understand German and Anglais![/size][/font][/color]

Well, I did so to spread knowledge, even if my englich is not of the best : but as I always say, "communication is nothing else than the fine art of trying to be understooden"

Uh, how scary - flower scapes which catch and digest grasshoppers!


Well, it is not certain that the "preys" are "preys"...nore that they are digested. As Fernando and I suggested, it is certainly a way for the plant to defend itself against predators, and so not to be eaten by thoose insects.

It´s a nice site by the way...but the proximity of a busy road is somehow shocking!


Hum....you know, I'm interested in things that I name "contact areas", like in Europe the areas covered with vegetation between two busy roads, like an "autobahn" (a highway) ; I was always wondering how a biotope could develop itself in places like these, and wich plants grow there.

Also, somehow on the same way, our savanas are "contact areas" between the "human-mecanical-civilization" and "pure nature", and because of this perticuliar position, they are very little explored : what can you see (and know) about a place you go thorough at high speed ?
That's why I discovered this U.viscosa station, wich is the 3rd known of Fr.Guyana, because nobody took it's time to get out (of the car) to explore the surroundings...

But, one must know that the explanation of this phaenomon is easy : exploring savanas can be difficult, because you have to cross small streams before you get to it, and the sun is rather hot, and intense on the aequator.
Also, day temperatures are year-round over 26°C, humidity level is between 80 and 95%, like in a greenhouse, and doing efforts under these rather harsh conditions need a certain type of "mind".
And, last but not least, who is interested in "small pink flowers" ? only some botanists, and we, the CP community....
For example, on the other side of the road, houses will be built....who cares about the pink flowers ? nobody.

I told about my job : I'm building (not alone, of course) a city for 15 000 people down here : what can some small pink flowers do against gigantic dozers, and billions of "dollars" ? not much....that's why I try to lift some secrets, before it is too late.

Btw : go onto my site, and feel free to visit the "biotope" section : you'll see a cut thorough the soil, and you'll be able to observe how fragile the savana's biotopes are.

Edited by Patrice, 20 July 2013 - 02:26 AM.


#16 Patrice

 
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Posted 20 July 2013 - 02:20 AM

please cancel the double-posting....sorry

Edited by Patrice, 20 July 2013 - 02:30 AM.


#17 Fernando Rivadavia

 
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Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:49 AM

Hello Patrice,

On my homepage (section "cp biotopes") you'll see a picture I shot from the heli(copter) : you'll see how massive this granitic rock is.


Oh wow, I hadn't seen this, great section you put together there, congrats!


U.hispida grow (also) on places like these, and sometimes, the shape and color of the corolla can change : on an Inselberg in the south of the country, the corollas are violet, with a yellow blotch (see pictures on my site)


In Brazil U.hispida is rather uniform, but in N S.America it seems to go a little crazy -- it's so variable there!



On the picture you down-linked, the drops are made of _pure_ morning dew ; I insist on the word "pure", because the plant is covered with mucilage, but this mucilage dont build drops like a drosera do, for example : the viscosa mucilage build a very thin layer on the surface of the flowerstalk, and there are no visible drops.


Hmmm, now that I think about it, I think this is probably also the case with U.pusilla, U.nigrescens, U.subulata and maybe others from section Setiscapella. They don't always have mucilage on the scapes and I've wondered why. Could it be that all the times I saw this it was early in the morning or in very humid conditions?


The video was taken around midday, that's why you dont see the "dew" on the plants : the air temperature was much more elevated than after sunrise : 32°C at midday, against 23°C at sunrise
...

But, one must know that the explanation of this phaenomon is easy : exploring savanas can be difficult, because you have to cross small streams before you get to it, and the sun is rather hot, and intense on the aequator.
Also, day temperatures are year-round over 26°C, humidity level is between 80 and 95%, like in a greenhouse, and doing efforts under these rather harsh conditions need a certain type of "mind".


And don't you love it when people later ask you about the great "vacation" you had, as if you were sitting by a pool at a 5 star hotel? :)


I told about my job : I'm building (not alone, of course) a city for 15 000 people down here : what can some small pink flowers do against gigantic dozers, and billions of "dollars" ? not much....that's why I try to lift some secrets, before it is too late.


And we are very thankful that you've spent so much time under the burning sun wading through flooded savannas to teach us more about these rare plants -- MERCI!!! :)


Best wishes,
Fernando