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Fernando Rivadavia

The complex D.hirtella-complex! Exploring central Brazil

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Hello all,

A few weeks ago I explored eastern & northeastern Goiás state, central Brazil, together with friend & CPer Vitor Batista. I've visited this CP-rich area a few times in the past, especially to study the D.hirtella-complex. This region is the center of diversity for this group. Although only 2 varieties have been described (D.h.var.hirtella and var.lutescens), at least 2 more are out there -- as well as novel hybrids, making IDs more complicated!

D.h.var.hirtella and D.h.var.lutescens grow over wide ranges in Brazil, with the former occurring further E while the latter grows further W. Up until this trip, I only knew of one place where the ranges of these 2 varieties overlapped and both even grew sympatrically: the Serra dos Pirineus in Goiás. Vitor & I have now discovered a second place, about 150km to the SE, near the town of Cristalina, where both varieties also grow side-by-side.

Here’s a view of a habitat near Cristalina where the different D.hirtella varieties grew, as well as numerous other CPs (including D.communis, G.aurea, G.filiformis, U.nigrescens):

ViewsofCPhabitatssite1Cristalina.jpg

D.h.var.hirtella is characterized by green to reddish rosettes of spatulate-cuneate leaves. The flower scapes are red and usually have a very steep curve at the base. The lower 2/3 of the scapes (or all of it) are covered with numerous crisp red hairs and the upper half with glandular hairs.

Look at the spatulate-cuneate leaves and red scapes with red hairs of D.h.var.hirtella:

D.hirtellaCV2.jpg

Notice the deeply ascending scape on this D.h.var.hirtella:

DhirtellaS.Pirineus3.jpg

Here’s a flower of D.h.var.hirtella (notice the red hairs on the scape):

D.hirtellaCV15.jpg

Here are numerous plants growing over a dried layer of algae (it’s a flooded habitat in the wet season):

D.hirtellaCV11.jpg

Here’s another carpet of D.h.var.hirtella growing in sand with gravel, covered in a layer of dried algae:

D.hirtellaCV4.jpg

D.h.var.lutescens usually has deep wine-red rosettes, but may also be greenish-red. The leaves are usually narrower, more spatulate-linear than in D.h.var.hirtella. The flower scapes are usually erect or only slightly ascending at the base. The scapes are yellowish in color (often reddish near the top) with very long crisp white hairs near the base, which very quickly thin out and become much shorter about halfway up the scape.

Here are some shots of D.h.var.lutescens:

D.lutescenssite2Cristalina8.jpg

D.lutescenssite2Cristalina2.jpg

DlutescensS.Pirineus4.jpg

Here’s the flower of D.h.var.lutescens (notice the reddish scape apex with white hairs):

DlutescensS.Pirineus7.jpg

One of the new varieties resembles an intermediate between D.h.var.hirtella and var.lutescens, and I call it D.hirtella var.”Corumba” (which is the name of a town close to where I 1st found it). It has narrow red to wine-red leaves with scapes ascending (less than in D.h.var.hirtella and more than in D.h.var.lutescens). I’ve found this form growing from central E Goiás to SE Tocantins state. In some populations the scapes are red with short red hairs, like in D.h.var.hirtella. In other populations the scapes are reddish only near the base and yellowish above, covered with very long red hairs. I am not yet sure if these represent two different varieties. Although I have found both in isolated populations, there is a chance the short-haired form could be a hybrid between the long-haired form and D.hirtella – or else the long-haired form could be a hybrid between the short-haired form and D.h.var.lutescens.

Here are two pics of the D.hirtella var.”Corumba” with short red hairs on red scapes – or could it be a hybrid between D.h.var.hirtella and D.h. var.”Corumba” with long red hairs on yellowish scapes?

DspCorumbaS.Pirineus7.jpg

Dsp.CorumbaCV5.jpg

Here’s a pic of the D.h. var.”Corumba” with long red hairs on yellowish scapes (reddish near the base) – or could it be a hybrid between D.h.var.lutescens and D.h. var.”Corumba” with short red hairs on red scapes?

DspCorumbaS.Pirineus1.jpg

And here’s a comparison between D.h.var.hirtella (L), var.lutescens ® and the long-haired var.”Corumba” (center):

DhirtellaLDspCorumbaCDlutescensRS.Pirineus3.jpg

The other new variety has erect scapes and short white hairs, and thus I call it D.hirtella var.”white”. Again there are apparently two forms of this variety. One has narrower leaves and longer delicate scapes, native to dry sandy-clayish slopes in NE Goiás where it always grows with D.montana var.montana. The other form has more spatulate leaves and shorter & thicker scapes, native to central E Goiás where it grows in sandy soil with lots of gravel, sympatrically with D.montana var.montana, D.h. var.hirtella, or D.h. var.lutescens.

Here’s a view of the Chapada dos Veadeiros. The base of that hill is the typical habitat of the D.hirtella var.”white” with delicate scapes:

Viewsatkm20toS.JorgeCV1.jpg

And here are the plants growing at the base of a similar hill:

DspwhitehirtellardtoS.JorgeCV7.jpg

Here are 2 closeups of the short-scaped D.h. var.”white” rosette near Cristalina:

Dsp.whitehirtellasite1Cristalina7.jpg

Dsp.whitehirtellasite1Cristalina13.jpg

I was initially very confused with the ID of D.hirtella var.”white” because, as I realized later, I was mixing it up with what turned out to be a new Drosera hybrid: D.h. var.lutescens X D.communis. I have seen this hybrid at all of the few sites where both taxa grew in close proximity in Goiás and Mato Grosso states. The hybrid has semi-erect spatulate leaves and ascending scapes with white hairs.

At the Chapada dos Veadeiros in 1995 I found plants that I was not able to identify immediately, but looking at my own pictures years later I realized they were similar to D.h. var.lutescens X D.communis. The only problem is that I’d only seen D.h. var.hirtella and D.communis at that site, and I’d never seen D.h. var.lutescens on those highlands. I returned to this site with Vitor, expecting to discover D.h. var.lutescens somewhere in the vicinity. But what I found was a small number of D.h. var.”Corumba”. Considering that D.h. var.hirtella and D.communis often grow near each other and that I’ve never seen hybrids between them, I think it’s more likely that the hybrid is D.h. var.”Corumba” X D.communis. But there were only a few D.h. var.”Corumba” and such a large number of hybrids… Either way, either of these hybrids is a botanical novelty!

Here’s a shot of the mysterious hybrid at the Chap.dos Veadeiros:

DhirtellaXcommunisG.pygmaeaCV2.jpg

Here you can see D.h.var.hirtella (lower right) and the mystery hybrid (upper left)

DcommunisLD.hirtellaXcommunisRCV1.jpg

And here’s a comparison between D.h.var.hirtella (L), D.communis ®, and their possible hybrid (center). Notice the absence of hairs on the scapes of D.communis:

DhirtellaJD.communisKhybridCCV2.jpg

Regarding the D.hirtella-complex, probably the most exciting discovery Vitor & I made (other than finding a new area where the ranges of D.h. var.hirtella and var.lutescens overlap) was the confirmation that there are natural hybrids between D.h. var.hirtella, var.lutescens! At both the Serra dos Pirineus and Cristalina, where the 2 varieties grow together, we saw a few rare specimens which were certainly hybrids. The plants were reddish with white hairs on ascending scapes. I had seen and photographed this hybrid on previous trips to the Serra dos Pirineus, but had not been able to differentiate it from D.hirtella var.”white” and from D.h. var.lutescens X D.communis. This is only the 2nd confirmed Drosera hybrids in S.America (the other being D.grantsaui X D.tomentosa).

Here are 2 shots of D.h. var.hirtella X D.h. var.lutescens:

DlutescensXDhirtellaS.Pirineus1.jpg

DlutescensXDhirtellaS.Pirineus6.jpg

And here’s a comparison between D.h. var.hirtella (L), D.h. var.lutescens ®, and their hybrid (center):

DhirtellaLDlutescensRtheirhybridCS.Pirineus2.jpg

Last of all, here’s something we probably stepped on while looking at some nearby D.hirtella at Cristalina -- and which probably took a few shots at us, but luckily it was a cold morning and it just didn’t seem to have much energy… Anybody know what it is? It wiggled its tail as if it was a rattlesnake, but there was no rattle. It looked more like a trick to attract prey, imitating a worm.

SnakeS.Pirineus1.jpg

Enjoy,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Wonderful photos once again. Those scapes are astonishing. Do you have any climate data for some of the regions in which these plants grow? I've never had much success growing South American CPs, which is a source of constant frustration to me.

Cheers,

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Hey Fernando,

Beautiful photos and an excellent report indeed!

I don't know why you claimed to be jeaulous with Stew: he's hiking on dangerous Philippine mountains discovering huge Nepenthes species that all look similar (boring) but are well separated from each other. While you can hike on save (?) Brazilian mountains discovering tiny Drosera species that all look different in detail but are closely related and create a terrible hybrid mess! ;) To me it seems you can have at least equal fun and much more headaches with D. hirtella complex , haha! ;)

All the best,

Andreas

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Hi Fernando,

I liked this topic, with clear photos and very didactic text. I was with a doubt: How to distinguish D. hirtella var. lutescens from D. hirtella var. hirtella without the scapes?

Thanks.

Carlos.

P.S. Very cool snake!!! :D

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hey fernando

great job, as usual. is this hirtella var "corumba" what you used to call "sp.corumba"? this is one of the few brazilian plants which didnt thrive for me...

thanks

matt

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Hello everyone,

I'm glad you're enjoying the pics! ;)

Matt, yes this is the same plant. Whether it's a variety or species is still in question.

And I just found out it's much more widespread than I thought. Did you get seeds of the D.hirtella var.hirtella from Jalapão (Tocantins state) last year? I just checked the herbarium specimens and realized they were ALL D.sp."corumbá"! There were no D.hirtella var.hirtella there at all.

Carlos, the leaves are more spatulate in D.hirtella and more obovate in D.lutescens.

Andreas, I'm jealous of anyone exploring for rare CPs in the field! :)

Greg, it's a savanna area with dry winters & wet summers, temps varying maybe 5-25 in winter and 15-35 in summer.

So does anyone know what the snake is?

Take care,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Hi Fernando,

thanks... I have some that are sown. I wait that I obtain to differentiate them to break it of these characteristics ("olho-no-olho" :lol: ). The snake I distrust that it is a "dormideira" (Dipsas albifrons) 8)

Regards.

Carlos.

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Hello Carlos,

The head was very different from your picture. Check this other one out:

SnakeS.Pirineus2.jpg

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Hi Fernando,

The species can not be this (beautiful snake 8) ), but I already saw "dormideira" very similar to its (it had it in the hands, much similar to a "jararaca", only that she is not dangerous for human beings). I did not photograph :lol:

You who are biologist, know somebody person in the Butantã Institut?

Um abraço.

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Hi,

thanks for the great pictures of the plants. :)

Fantastic landscape.

Allways great reports from you.

Best reagards,

Dani

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Gorgeous pics!!!!!

In the next life I hope to be a drosera hirtella var. 'Corumba' :shock:

thanks for sharing Fernando & Vitor!!!!

greetings from Italy

AndreaS

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I would agree with it being posionous. The head is very wide and triangular, I would say bothrops or a simalar species.

It could also be the one previously menchioned ( "dormideira" (Dipsas albifrons) The one pictured looks to be very young.

Awesome plants!

Shawn

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The hybrids are very interesting.

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Hello Alex!

I was told a few days ago that it is a Bothrops neuwiedi, very poisonous!

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

P.S. And this weekend I saw a huge rattlesnake - very scary!

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Hello to all,

Looking back at some of my old posts, I see that this new forum fornat is now limiting the number of pictures per post! Since many of py pics don't appear anymore on the original post, only the links, I will include them here at the end for you, continuing from where the pics left off...

Best Wishes, Fernando Rivadavia

-------------------------------------------------

And here’s a comparison between D.h.var.hirtella (L), D.communis ®, and their possible hybrid (center). Notice the absence of hairs on the scapes of D.communis:

DhirtellaJD.communisKhybridCCV2.jpg

Regarding the D.hirtella-complex, probably the most exciting discovery Vitor & I made (other than finding a new area where the ranges of D.h. var.hirtella and var.lutescens overlap) was the confirmation that there are natural hybrids between D.h. var.hirtella, var.lutescens! At both the Serra dos Pirineus and Cristalina, where the 2 varieties grow together, we saw a few rare specimens which were certainly hybrids. The plants were reddish with white hairs on ascending scapes. I had seen and photographed this hybrid on previous trips to the Serra dos Pirineus, but had not been able to differentiate it from D.hirtella var.”white” and from D.h. var.lutescens X D.communis. This is only the 2nd confirmed Drosera hybrids in S.America (the other being D.grantsaui X D.tomentosa).

Here are 2 shots of D.h. var.hirtella X D.h. var.lutescens:

DlutescensXDhirtellaS.Pirineus1.jpg

DlutescensXDhirtellaS.Pirineus6.jpg

And here’s a comparison between D.h. var.hirtella (L), D.h. var.lutescens ®, and their hybrid (center):

DhirtellaLDlutescensRtheirhybridCS.Pirineus2.jpg

Last of all, here’s something we probably stepped on while looking at some nearby D.hirtella at Cristalina -- and which probably took a few shots at us, but luckily it was a cold morning and it just didn’t seem to have much energy… Anybody know what it is? It wiggled its tail as if it was a rattlesnake, but there was no rattle. It looked more like a trick to attract prey, imitating a worm.

SnakeS.Pirineus1.jpg

Enjoy,

Fernando Rivadavia

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