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Byblis guehoi (Byblidaceae), a new species from the Kimberley, Western Australia

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A new species of carnivorous plant from the Kimberley region of Western Australia north east of Broome, Byblis guehoi Lowrie & Conran, is described and illustrated. SEM micrographs of the seed, and chromosome data are also provided. The species is compact, multi-branched, glandular-leaved, bearing numerous flowers, and anchored to the soil by a solitary root system. When compared with other Byblis species, the new taxon is unique, differing in its particular combination of branching, floral, seed sculpturing characters, as well as being tetraploid.
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Telopea 12(1) 23–29
© 2007 Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust ISSN0312-9764
Byblis guehoi (Byblidaceae), a new species from
the Kimberley, Western Australia
Allen Lowrie1 and John G. Conran2
16 Glenn Place, Duncraig, Western Australia 6023 Australia
2Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity Environmental Biology, DP 312
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005 Australia
Author for correspondence: john.conran@adelaide.edu.au
Abstract
A new species of carnivorous plant from the Kimberley region of Western Australia north east
of Broome, Byblis guehoi Lowrie & Conran, is described and illustrated. SEM micrographs of
the seed, and chromosome data are also provided. The species is compact, multi-branched,
glandular-leaved, bearing numerous flowers, and anchored to the soil by a solitary root system.
When compared with other Byblis species, the new taxon is unique, differing in its particular
combination of branching, floral, seed sculpturing characters, as well as being tetraploid.
Introduction
In August 2004, an unusual compact, much-branching, glandular carnivorous plant
bearing many flowers and anchored to the soil by a solitary root system was discovered
by Russ Guého north east of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia
(Fig. 1). When compared with known taxa in Lowrie and Conran’s (1998) revision of
Byblis in northern Australia, plus seed and chromosome features for the genus (Conran
et al. 2002a, Conran et al. 2002b) the new taxon was clearly unlike any previously
described species (Table 1) and is here described as new.
Byblis guehoi Lowrie & Conran, sp. nov.
Affinis Byblide filifolia. Herba decumbens, ramulosa, e radice unica oriens. Pedicelli
foliis longiores. Corolla subroseo-malvina, abaxialiter albida. Semina favosa cristis
longitudinalibus denticulatis.
Holotype: WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 300 metres north of Bobbys Creek, near Beagle
Bay Mission, c. 137 road km NE of Broome, Dampier Peninsula, Kimberley, 16°57'39"S,
122°46'26"E, A. Lowrie 3215 & R. Guého, 6 September 2004 (PERTH). Isotype: MEL.
Paper from the Australian Systematic Botany Society Conference held
in Cairns, November 2006
24 Telopea 12(1): 2008 Lowrie and Conran
Table 1. Comparison of Byblis geuhoi and related taxa. *refers to erect terminal shoots or
branches; actual stems much longer but then decumbent or floating.
Feature B. guehoi B. aquatica B. filifolia B. liniflora B. rorida
Habitat wet/dry wetlands wetlands wetlands wet/dry
Height (cm) up to 10* up to 5* 20–60 5–15 6–30
Branching multiple, absent few, rare absent few, rare
common
Sessile glands covering absent absent absent absent present
shoot apex
Pedicels longer than leaves yes no no yes no
Sepal length cf petals >half <half >half >half <half
Petal colour abaxially white purple white to white white
yellow or
yellow and
mauve-striped
Petal margins dentate rounded rounded rounded dentate
to denticulate to denticulate
Filament colour purple pale lavender pale lavender pale lavender purple
Anther length cf filaments longer <half longer <half <half
Seed size (mm) 0.7–0.8 x 0.9–1.3 x 0.4–1.1x 0.5–0.9 x 0.5–0.8 x
0.5–0.6 0.4–.07 0.3–0.8 0.4–0.6 0.4–0.6
Seed furrowing absent present absent absent absent
Seed anticlinal sculpturing denticulate smooth smooth to denticulate denticulate
denticulate
Chromosome number (2n) 32 16 16 32 16
Fig. 1. Map showing the current single known locality for Byblis guehoi.
Byblis guehoi (Byblidaceae) Western Australia Telopea 12(1): 2008 25
Fig. 2. Byblis guehoi a, plant; b, flowering shoot apex; c, leaf section; d, sepal; e, petal; f, ov ary,
filaments, anthers and style-stigma; g, filaments-anthers, enlarged; h, seed capsule. Scale bars for
a = 10 mm, b–h = 1 mm. Drawn in 2006 by Allen Lowrie from live material collected from the
type location; voucher A. Lowrie 3215 & R. Guého (PERTH, MEL).
a
b
c
fg
deh
26 Telopea 12(1): 2008 Lowrie and Conran
Fig. 3. Habitat at the type locality. a, Acacia-Eucalyptus open woodland with low tussock grasses
and open sandy soil patches; b, Byblis guehoi growing on seasonally waterlogged but rapid-
drying sandy loam.
Byblis guehoi (Byblidaceae) Western Australia Telopea 12(1): 2008 27
Fig. 4. Byblis guehoi a, flower ; b, stamen detail showing deep colouring (purple) on the filaments
and abaxially on the anthers; c, seed; d, chromosomes. Scale bar for a = 10 mm, b = 5 mm,
c as indicated, d = 10 µm. Material grown at ADU from seed from the type locality; voucher
A. Lowrie 3215 & R. Guého (PERTH, MEL).
28 Telopea 12(1): 2008 Lowrie and Conran
Annual herb with one or more decumbent major axes 15–18 cm long, 2–3.5 mm
diam., developing from a solitary root system, each terminating in an erect leafy many
flowered head-like shoot, 6–8 cm tall, branching at random along their length and
producing new major axis innovations terminating in a leafy flowering shoot; flowers
under ideal moist growing conditions 15–20 mm diam., flowers produced as the dry
season approaches much smaller, to one third this size; leafy apices of all leafy flowering
shoots commonly producing a further compact 3 to 4 clusters of shorter stemmed leafy
flowering shoots, together spreading to 20–30 cm diam.; overall colour appearing hazy
(when viewed in full sunlight) because of the dense covering of translucent long and
short glandular indumentum over the green- or bronze-coloured major axes, leaves
and pedicels. Leaves filiform, shorter than the pedicels, 2.5–3.3 cm long, elliptic in
section, c. 1 mm wide × c. 0.5 mm thick at the base tapering towards the apex; entire
leaf length and circumference densely covered with long and short translucent glands.
Inflorescences solitary, erect to semi-erect, arising from the axils of the leaves, pedicels
longer than the leaves, 3.5–8 cm long, 1–1.5 mm diam. Sepals 5, green, lanceolate,
apically ± acute, outer surface glandular, 4.5–6 mm long, 0.8–1 mm wide near the base.
Petals 5, adaxial flower surface pinkish mauve, (R.H.S. colour chart1, purple-violet 88 C)
with faint darker mauve fan-like veining from the base, abaxial surfaces white, obovate,
margins entire, except for the apex which is irregularly serrate and dentate, 9–12 mm
long, 7–12 mm wide. Stamens 5, anthers longer than the supporting filaments, each
longitudinally positioned close to each other, releasing pollen in unison, 4–6 mm long,
filaments purple, clustered together, 1.5–2 mm long, anthers yellow with purple-brown
longitudinal tapering supporting filament extension between, 3.5–4 mm long, pollen
yellow. Ovary green, ± globose, 1–1.5 mm diam. Style pale mauve, solitary, decurved to
place the style below the anther cluster, longer than the stamens, 4.5–5 mm long, apically
dilated, stigma darker mauve. Capsule broadly obovoid, compressed a little across its
width, 3–4 mm long, 4–5 mm wide, sparsely glandular. Seeds black, shiny, irregularly
shaped, ± ovoid to elliptic in outline, 0.7–0.8 mm long, 0.5–0.6 mm diam., denticulate
longitudinal ridges and shallow transverse ridges between, producing honeycomb-like
sculpturing. (Figs 2–4).
Byblis guehoi (pronounced gay-ho-eye) is known currently only from the type location
near Beagle Bay Mission, Kimberley, Western Australia (Fig. 1), but is locally abundant
and not currently under threat. The vegetation consists of low native tussock grasses
with open sandy soil patches between (Fig. 2a), bordered by scattered Acacia tumida
F.Muell. ex Benth. (Mimosaceae) shrubs and trees, and taller Eucalyptus tetrodonta
F.Muell., E. miniata A.Cunn. ex Schauer and Corymbia bella K.D.Hill & L.A.S.Johnson
(Myrtaceae) woodland on the higher ground. The species is found in open ground on
an Orthic Tenosol soil consisting of a mixture of beige sand (a mix of amber colour
tones and glass-like granules) and loam silt (Fig. 2b). These soils generally show low
water retention capacity, are very nutrient-poor (Isbell et al. 1997), and, at the type
locality, B. guehoi grows in a part of the Bobbys Creek watershed that is waterlogged in
the wet season, but completely dry soon after.
1Royal Horticultural Society London. 1966. R.H.S. Colour Chart in association with the Flower
Council of Holland. Published by The Royal Horticultural Society LONDON and Flower Council of
Holland LEIDEN.
Byblis guehoi (Byblidaceae) Western Australia Telopea 12(1): 2008 29
Honours Russ Guého, the biologist, author, wildlife photographer and teacher from
Broome who first collected the new taxon.
Byblis guehoi is easily distinguished from all other Byblis species by its decumbent, multi-
branching, head-like many-flowered habit. Its apically dentate petals are reminiscent
of B. rorida, as is its more open, drier habitat, but it lacks the apical shoot glands and
short sepals of that species (Fig. 3a). Anther length (Fig. 3b) places it with the B. filifolia
complex but it differs in the seeds (Fig. 3c) and chromosome number (Fig. 3d). There
are also features such as chromosome number and long pedicels which suggest affinities
to B. liniflora, but phylogenetic relationships within the genus are currently unresolved
and the subject of ongoing research.
Acknowledgments
Russ Guého is thanked for his significant help through his field collections and
observations, data, personal comments and discussions since this species’ discovery.
DEC WA is thanked for permission to collect plant materials from lands under their
control. Peter Wilson is thanked for assistance with the Latin diagnosis. The School
of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Adelaide is thanked for the
provision of facilities to undertake part of the research.
References
Conran JG, Houben A & Lowrie A (2002a) Chromosome numbers in Byblidaceae. Australian
Journal of Botany 50: 583-586.
Conran JG, Lowrie A & Moyle-Croft J (2002b) A revision of Byblis (Byblidaceae) in south-
western Australia. Nuytsia 15: 11-20.
Isbell RF, McDonald WS & Ashton LJ (1997) Concepts and rationale of the Australian soil
classification. (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne).
Lowrie A & Conran JG (1998) A taxonomic revision of the genus Byblis (Byblidaceae) in
northern Australia. Nuytsia 12: 59-74.
Manuscript received 18 December 2006, accepted 27 August 2007
... The carnivorous plant genus Byblis, which is a member of the monogeneric family Byblicaceae, is mainly distributed in Australia and New Guinea (Conran 1996). Although the genus had traditionally consisted of only two species (Conran and Lowrie 1993), additional six species have been recorded in the last three decades (Lowrie and Conran 1998, Conran et al. 2002b, Lowrie and Conran 2008, Lowrie 2014. Up to the present, eight species have been recognized in this genus: Six annual species of B. aquatica Lowrie & Conran, B. filifolia Planch., B. guehoi Lowrie & Conran, B. liniflora Salisb., B. pilbarana Lowrie & Conran and B. rorida Lowrie & Conran, and two perennial species of B. gigantea Lindl. ...
... Up to the present, eight species have been recognized in this genus: Six annual species of B. aquatica Lowrie & Conran, B. filifolia Planch., B. guehoi Lowrie & Conran, B. liniflora Salisb., B. pilbarana Lowrie & Conran and B. rorida Lowrie & Conran, and two perennial species of B. gigantea Lindl. and B. lamellata Conran & Lowrie (Conran et al. 2002b, Lowrie and Conran 2008, Lowrie 2014. ...
... In cytogenetic work, chromosome numbers of six Byblis species have been reported (Conran et al. 2002a, Lowrie andConran 2008). The earliest chromosome count by Kress (1970) showed a chromosome number of 2n=18 in B. gigantea, while the second chromosome count by Kondo (1973) showed 2n=14 in the same species. ...
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... In this study, we examined carnivorous investment in Byblis guehoi Lowrie & Conran, a recently described, stem-forming, carnivorous plant from Western Australia that traps small insect prey using sticky mucilage secretions on its leaves and stem (Lowrie and Conran 2008). Byblis guehoi is an annual herb that typically forms sprawling, branched stems which produce multiple shoots that are sustained by a single root system (Lowrie and Conran 2008). ...
... In this study, we examined carnivorous investment in Byblis guehoi Lowrie & Conran, a recently described, stem-forming, carnivorous plant from Western Australia that traps small insect prey using sticky mucilage secretions on its leaves and stem (Lowrie and Conran 2008). Byblis guehoi is an annual herb that typically forms sprawling, branched stems which produce multiple shoots that are sustained by a single root system (Lowrie and Conran 2008). The number of stems, leaves, and flowers produced by individual plants presents highly variable, potential physiological constraints on individual plant carnivorous investments. ...
... B. guehoi is native to the Kimberley region of Western Australia (Lowrie and Conran 2008), which has a tropical monsoon climate. The species is widely cultivated in Singapore amongst carnivorous plant hobbyists. ...
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... Four species are widely distributed, with B. rorida occurring throughout the north-western Kimberley, B. filifolia being common throughout the Kimberley as well as the northern half of the Northern Territory, B. aquatica known from disjunctive areas in the north-western Northern Territory and far north-eastern Queensland, and B. liniflora being widespread throughout northern Australia as well as extending into southern Papua New Guinea (Lowrie 2014). In contrast, B. guehoi is known from only a small area on the Dampier Peninsula in the western Kimberley (Lowrie and Conran 2007), and B. pilbarana is restricted to seepage habitats in the semiarid north-western Pilbara in Western Australia (Lowrie 2014). ...
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... The chromosome counts in this study were essentially consistent with previous works (Peng and Kenton 1982; Conran et al. 2002a; Hoshi et al. 2007; Lowrie and Conran 2008; Fukushima et al. 2008). However, B. filifolia, which is thus far recognized as a diploid species, showed a tetraploidal chromosome number along with the diploid cytotype in the accessions we examined (Table 1). ...
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Conran, J.G., Lowrie, A. and Moyle-Croft, J. A revision of Byblis (Byblidaceae) in south-western Australia. Nuytsia 15(1): 11–19 (2002). The south-western Australian populations of Byblis (Byblidaceae) are revised. A new species, B. lamellata Conran & Lowrie, is recognised on habit, ecology and seed morphology and named for the populations between Arrowsmith River and Cataby. Byblis gigantea Lindl. and its synonym B. lindleyana Planch. are lectotypified. A generic description and a table of distinguishing features for all species is given. A key and distribution map are provided for the two species from the south-west of Western Australia.
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A taxonomic revision of the genus Byblis (Byblidaceae) in northern Australia
  • A Lowrie
  • J G Conran
Lowrie A & Conran JG (1998) A taxonomic revision of the genus Byblis (Byblidaceae) in northern Australia. Nuytsia 12: 59-74.
Concepts and rationale of the Australian soil classification
  • Rf Isbell
  • Ws Mcdonald
  • Lj Ashton
Isbell RF, McDonald WS & Ashton LJ (1997) Concepts and rationale of the Australian soil classification. (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne).