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Thread: Two widely variable nepenthes

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    Hello Nep nuts,

    After looking at nearly every photo of Nepenthes sanguinea and Nepenthes alata in Bobz's photo gallery, I was left wondering; How many forms of sanguinea and alata are out there?! They vary so much, you'd think you could split all the variations into 20 new species!! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] Why do they vary so much? What makes people think they are just variations, and not different species? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img]

    Examples:

    Two Nepenthes alata. look at how different they look!




    What keeps them as the same species?


    Sanguinea varies even more. I have seen adult, pure green pitchers, and adult, pitch black pitchers [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] Size also varies too, i have seen adult sanguineas with 4 inch pitchers, and some with over 12 inch pitchers! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img]

    Please clear things up for me [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    Hey Spec, good question. Here's my take on it, which may or may not be accurate!
    I don't think nep species are defined by the pitchers. The reason I think this is because, as far as I know, nep species are defined the same way other plant species are, and other plants don't have pitchers. Botanists use leaf design, flower structure, pollen structure, seed structure, and things like that to define plant species.
    Therefore, if two neps share all the same characteristics listed above, they are the same species, regardless of whether their pitchers look the same.
    So while you may be able to identify a species by the pitcher, you can't define a species by the pitcher.

    Hopefull a real botanist will be able to put this a little better than I have (if, in fact, I'm right, that is). [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    17 Nash Rd.
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    Hi Spectabilis and Everyone,
    Coloration is not a critical factor in describing a species. Taxonomists have a set of criteria that are used when describing a species. Such details as the tooth under the lid in N. alata, leaf attachment, leaf and pitcher structure, glandular distribution and many other details are more useful. Some individual plants and colonies in nature will show distinctions, but still may have all the characteristics needed to fit the archetype.
    Rafflesiana also displays variations that have horticulturists giving them varietal names, like the pure "white" form called 'nivea' or the nearly solid brownish purple form called 'nigropurpurea'. I don't think these names are scientifically valid, but the form 'elongata' is valid, as whole colonies of an elongated raff exists in nature- and they too exhibit the same color variations as a 'standard' example of the species.
    Hopefully this has been helpful...?...

    Trent

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    im not to familiar with plant taxonimy but maybe i can use a different analogy with a group that im more familiar with that will show the same thing. go to www.kingsnake.com look under the classifieds for ball pythons. you can take 2 ball pythons, one pure white(called a "snow ball") and one normal, if there is such a thing as a normal colored ball python, most people not familiar with snakes would call them different species based on color alone but any one familiar with snakes will almost instantly know its a ball python even though the colors and patterns of both snakes is COMPLETLY different. this is much the same as comparing Nepenthes like Rafflesiana's with its large number of varieties, they may appear different but a trained eye will tell you they are all the same species. this help?

    Rattler
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    Yes, that did help... But I'm still not satisfied [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]

    This would again bring into question Burkei being the same species as ventricosa... Leaf shape, flowers, everything, are the same, 'cept the pitchers, which are green- speckled red... For all we know ventricosa could be an albino form of burkei! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]

    rattler_mt,

    I have never heard of an albino snake called "snowball". Yet, I have heard the term, bannana [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] (seriously, a zoo called albino snakes bannana snakes [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] ) Usually they just say, "Amelanistic" [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    Amelanistic what most think of as albino is lack of black pigment.
    snowballs are what you get when you cross a ball python lacking yellow(axanthic) and one lacking black(amelanistic) which leaves a pure white ball python. simple genetics.

    Rattler
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    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
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    Snow snakes , like corns, balls and pine snakes, I think, can be pretty cool looking, as they don't have the pink eyes that turn people off from albinos. I understand what rattler is saying as you could color a ball python any color and I know enough about snakes to glance and say, "Hey a ball python."
    The alata forms look a little different than just pitcher color. Compare the one called "boschiana mimic" with it's bulbous base to others. Is the Palawan Island form the one that was changed to N. philppinesis?
    When Mr. Phill Mann had more time for email, I was emailing him about mirabilis echinostoma and was remarking on how that could not be a different species with that peristome. But if all the other parts are a match, I guess a larger peristome does not do it. His comment was that it was the alata complex that really needed more work.

    Regards,

    Joe

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    No question more taxonomic study needs to be done. alata 'boschiana mimic' displays all the features used to describe an alata, the bulbous lower part negates nothing in the taxonomic description. The 'Boschiana mimic" part of the name is purely horticultural-it does not look anything like boschiana to me-I don't know what it's supposed to be mimicking! Right now we have a bunch of the Sibuyan Island alata-seed raised, and they have a distinctive look. I don't know if it would qualify as a new species: I'm beginning to think every island in the Phillippines has its own form of alata!
    As for burkei and ventricosa: I believe there are vascular differences in the leaves and stems that keep them seperate.

    Trent

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