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Thread: Thai species glands

  1. #1

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    Hi everybody,

    Knowing how nectar glands - and how they are scattered on the lid underside surface - are one of the ways to identify Nepenthes species, I tried to see the glands of N. smilesii (clone from Phu Kradung) and N. viking (clone from Ao Panga) with my microscope. I wanted to make a drawing of them, but then I made a "crazy" trial. Why not trying to just take my digital camera and take a picture of what I could see inside the microscope? I did it. It worked !!

    I give you here the links to the two photos. And I ask you to please try and do the same with the unidentified Nepenthes you're growing under the name "thorelii". N. smilesii seems to be very widespread and very variable, so if we find a more reliable way to distinguish it, like the shape of its nectar glands (as you can see they're crater-shaped), it would be a great thing.
    I hope N. smilesii is the only one in Thailand with this kind of glands ! N. Viking has more spheric glands, and I wouldn't be surprised if they look exactly the same as N. mirabilis. But in this last species the glands are scattered everywhere and uniformely under the lid, while in N. viking they're mainly on the two sides.

    By the way, together with the other pictures of the yahoo album, you'll be able to give a look to my three Heliamphora, that under the sodium lamp are giving now great results. Rob, the tatei is the one I had from you!
    cheers,
    Marcello

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph.....src=ph

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph....acb.jpg

  2. #2

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    Great work Marcello. We've been studying the growth habit our Vikings, mirabilis, thorelii, and kampotiana (and even rafflesiana!). The leaf and stem structure places Viking closer to N. mirabilis - in our opinion.
    The glandular strucure exam is a brilliant approach to distinguishing these closely related species! One thing we are convinced of; Viking is NOT a natural hybrid of mirabilis and rafflesiana.
    We have a few of the almost "true" forms of thorelii from the Mansell's, it would be interesting to see their glandular structure. We don't have a microscope...

    Nice Heliamphora!

  3. #3

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    Hi1
    i'm quite sure N. viking is just derived from N. mirabilis (when they're young they look exactly the same) like N. echinostoma or N. rowanae.

    Big shame that you don't have a microscope, as your thorelii (and the Geoff's ones), together with some Nong' specimens, are the most doubtful ones, I mean some of those very rare specimens that could really be the true thorelii...please find a microscope !![img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Marcello

  4. #4
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Hi Marcello

    I'm a bit late but welcome to the forums. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] That's a very interesting topic and photos.

    I hope to get a microscope one day. That could have a lot of uses for ID going beyond what we can see with the naked eye.

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and photos.
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

  5. #5

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    Our clones are very similar to Jeff's at Plants With Attitude. We don't think they are pure thorelii, but a hybrid with the Thai thorelii. Are Nong's Tigers considered smilesii (anamensis)? They are the same species as what is found on Phu Kradung?

  6. #6

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    Veeeeeery interesting topic, this is the main problem!

    it's indeed true that even the specimens that are around in cultivation, under the name thorelii but that are not N. smilesii, could be hybrids between the true thorelii and other species (But I still haven't seen true natural hybrids of thai species in any pictures, I've only heard some rumors about them, I suspect that usually thai species grow in specific territories - one place for one species - or they have different flowering times... ), but we don't even know at the moment how a true thorelii looks like. We can only observe the specimens from clear locations in the wild and see if they're new or old species. Until someone will go to the place where the true thorelii has been collected to be described (Guia Toan, Vietnam, see my website).

    Most of Nong's thorelii (tiger, red brilliants, neothorel etc) seems to be N. smilesii (the younger traps - about 8 cm - look the same in all the specimens of N. smilesii, a characteristic that I noticed in this species and helps to identify it. Even if very variable when adult, while it's still young the pitchers of different specimen look very much the same and quite peculiar).

    I just have some doubts about what he calls "new species" in the first page of the last edition of its website.
    That has different colours and pitcher shape.
    I also have some doubts about the spotted plants from Cambodia, they look like smilesii in the shape but not in the color.

    Especially because I never saw - if I well remeber - a spotted smilesii (but I didn't see so many plants in the wild). They usually have a uniform or veined tint (orange, red, green, yellow) and they're just spotted inside the pitcher. But the cambodian smilesii could just be different...we can't know it until we clear up at least the gland problem. If the glands of all these forms look the same, they could be the same species or not. If the glands are different, they ARE different species.

    I've seen a lot of plants on phu kradung, but not as many as you could see in the wet season. Plus, the form from phu kradung could be slightly different from the forms of other sites (in cultivation you don't see this because all our smilesii are coming from phu kradung for sure!). But still, ALMOST all the plants I've seen around in cultivation, including nong's site, are smilesii or very similar (careful: I said "almost". The big surprise is hidden in the 3-4 plants we don't know anything about). Nong is now helping me and is trying to find a microscope, as he was also very excited by the possibility to clear up these problems...if you also find a microscope, just go and take pics of the glands of your plants...!!!

    Another problem: thai plant sellers will go and find in the wild the only specimen of N. mirabilis (or any other species) that looks different from all the others in that site and will tell the buyer that it could be a new species. While what we see is just an extreme specimen from a place and a colony that we didn't see, so we can't judge its real identity . N. neothorel is a clear example. It clearly is a very strange form of N. smilesii. And it was infact described as coming from "a colony of N. thorelii, in the middle of which this strange plants was growing".

    Nong also expressed his problems with this. He's between us, growers far from his Country, and the local people, who are not nep expert, who will just collect plants and will not even tell you where they collected them, as they're afraid you could go and rip off their new business. Nong is already doing a great job from this point of view, as he doesn't just think about business but he's trying to clear up all the misteries from the nep lover point of view.
    Marcello

  7. #7

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    By the way, Marcello, we must commend you for the excellent work you have done to create a truly informative website!

    You mentioned the regional aspect of these Thai species. Has anyone considered that the reason for the variation between 'Tiger', 'Red Brilliant', and those plants found at phu kradung and on other plateaus is altitude. Sort of a highland form/lowland form?

  8. #8

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    Trent-"By the way, Marcello, we must commend you for the excellent work you have done to create a truly informative website!"

    Oh, I'm only obsessed. That wacko site is just the result of that.

    Trent-"You mentioned the regional aspect of these Thai species. Has anyone considered that the reason for the variation between 'Tiger', 'Red Brilliant', and those plants found at phu kradung and on other plateaus is altitude. Sort of a highland form/lowland form?"

    It could be, I don't know. As long as we don't see these plants in the natural habitat many things will remain obscure. I'll probably go back to Thailand next winter, to see Nong' collection and visit the tens of sites that are now on my maps.
    The last time I went, there were just two red spots on my "mental" map. Now I've a lot of info/places to work on (see "the maps" [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img].
    Just imagine what could come out once I check all those sites about which we don't know anything !!

    Actually, a nice curiosity: about 70 percent of visitors of my website come from Asia. I suppose they're all Thai! If any of those guys is going to the places indicated on my maps, please take pictures and tell us what you've seen !!!!

    AND OF COURSE RESPECT NATURE. SEEDS AND CUTTINGS ARE A GREAT WAY TO RESPECT NATURE BY SPREADING THESE PLANTS IN CULTIVATION AROUND THE WORLD AND AVOIDING A MORE UNRESPECTING, DANGEROUS, ILLEGAL "WHOLE PLANT" COLLECTION.

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