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Journal of Plant Systematics
Volume 23: 61–68
Publication date: 27 May 2020
Utricularia gaagudju, a new species for the Northern
Territory, and a recircumscription of U. kimberleyensis
Richard W. JobsonA and Wayne Cherry
National Herbarium of New South Wales, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, Mrs Macquaries Road, NSW 2000 Australia.
ACorresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new species of Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae) is recognised for the Northern Territory. A description of
Utricularia gaagudju R.W.Jobson & Cherry is provided along with a new circumscription for the Western
Australian species U. kimberleyensis to which it was previously assigned. Diagnostic features are illustrated,
and distribution, habitat, and conservation status are discussed.
Taylor (1989) placed U. kimberleyensis within section Pleiochasia Kamiénski of subgen. Polypompholyx sensu
Müller & Borsch (2005) which, based on molecular data, is now expanded to include section Pleiochasia sensu
lato (Jobson et al. 2003). After the molecular phylogenetic study of Jobson et al. (2017), U. kimberleyensis was
moved to the newly assigned section Lasiocaules R.W.Jobson & Baleeiro. Based mainly on similarity of their
basisolute bracts and bracteoles, Taylor (1989) considered U. kimberleyensis to be most closely related to the
Kimberley endemic U. georgei P.Taylor and differentiated these two species based on the lack of raised palette
ridges and deeply three-lobed lower corolla lip of the latter species.
Taylor’s (1989) concept of Utricularia kimberleyensis C.A.Gardner was quite variable and included entities
distributed from the west Kimberley in Western Australia to eastern Arnhem land in the Northern Territory,
all possessing two short prominent ridges at the base of the corolla lower lip limb in either orange, yellow, or
white (Lowrie 2013; Jobson et al. 2017, 2018).
The molecular phylogeny of Jobson et al. (2017) provides strong evidence that U. kimberleyensis is polyphyletic
which led to the separation and description of the white palate ridged taxon U. bidentata R.W.Jobson & Baleeiro
which was found to be allied with U. dunlopii P.Taylor and U. wannanii R.W.Jobson & Baleeiro in their clade
F3. Utricularia bidentata as currently defined has a distribution scattered across the north Kimberley region
with disjunct records in the Edith River area of the Northern Territory (Jobson et al. 2017).
All other accessions of U. kimberleyensis used in the phylogenetic study of Jobson et al. (2017) were placed
sister to U. georgei P.Taylor in clade F2. Within clade F2, U. kimberleyensis formed two sister clades exhibiting
an allopatric distribution; the first contained two accessions from the Kimberley region, and these possessed
orange ridges at the base of the corolla lower lip and a fully glabrous peduncle (Jobson et al. 2017). The second
clade was an assemblage of accessions possessing yellow ridges at the base of the corolla lower lip, hispid lower
62 Telopea 23: 61–68, 2020 Jobson and Cherry
peduncle, and a distribution across the Top End of the Northern Territory. The latter taxon is here described
as the new species Utricularia gaagudju R.W.Jobson & Cherry. When specimens were compared against the
U. kimberleyensis type material (C.A.Gardner 1412, PERTH 01625179; Fig 1.) we found that the accessions in
group 1 matched the type specimen in both morphology and geography.
Taxonomic descriptions and illustrations of U. kimberleyensis provided in Taylor (1989) and Lowrie (2013)
combine Utricularia gaagudju, U. kimberleyensis, and U. bidentata; the latter of which is discussed in Jobson
et al. (2018).
In addition to the molecular evidence of Jobson et al. (2017) we here use morphological evidence to support
separation of the new species Utricularia gaagudju from U. kimberleyensis and provide descriptions for both species.
Utricularia kimberleyensis C.Gardner, For. Dep. Bull. W. Austral. No. 32: 90 (1923)
Type: Ashton Creek, Head of Charnley River, Kimberley, W.A., C.A.Gardner 1412; lecto: PERTH 01625179!;
isolecto: NSW 58108!; PERTH 3779696 [as Gardner 912]!.
Illustrations: R.Erickson, Pl. Prey t. 17, fig. 4 (1968). P.Taylor, Kew Bull., Addit. Ser. 14: fig. 15: 2–4 (1989);
A.Lowrie, Carn. Pl. Aust. Mag. Op. Vol 3, fig. 12.69: B (2013).
Small to medium-sized, annual or probably rarely perennial, terrestrial herb. Rhizoids capillary, simple, up
to 5 mm long, tapering from 0.3 mm thick at base to 0.08 mm near apex, numerous from base of peduncle.
Stolons few, filiform, hollow, c. 7–12 mm long, 0.1–0.2 mm thick. Leaves few, from base of peduncle, and 1 or
2 at stolon node, petiolate; lamina obovate or orbicular, 1–2 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, no nerve observed, apex
rounded. Traps stalked, globose, few at base of peduncle and 1 at nodes and internodes of stolon, ± uniform,
ovoid, 1–3 mm long; mouth basal, with a short, broad, dorso-lateral, sometimes fimbriate appendage up to
c. 0.4 mm long; ventral wing appendages deeply fimbriate, 1–1.5 mm long. Inflorescence erect, 50–200 mm
tall, solitary; peduncle terete, glabrous, solid, 0.2–0.5 mm diam. Scales absent. Bracts and bracteoles basally
connate, unequal, basisolute; bracts 0.7–1.5 mm long, lanceolate with apex acute; bracteoles shorter, ovate
with apex rounded. Flowers 1–2, pedicels erect, filiform, slightly tapering apically, 8–15 mm long. Calyx lobes
unequal; upper lobe c. 3.2 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, ovate with apex rounded; lower lobe c. 1.8 mm long 1.5 mm
wide with apex emarginate. Corolla mauve, 12–18 mm long; upper lip limb 3.5–5.2 mm long, constricted near
middle, superior part obovate with apex bilobed with rounded apices, inferior part ovate, ciliate on margin;
lower lip limb, obovate in outline, 5–11 mm long, apex shallowly 3-lobed, with two prominently raised orange
ridges at base and 2 slightly longer, raised dark mauve ridges on either side; palate shortly pubescent, with
raised margin; spur cylindrical from a conical base, straight, constricted at the middle, tapering to a narrowly
rounded apex, at c. 120° to lower-lip limb. Staminal filaments slightly curved, c. 1.6 mm long, anther thecae sub-
distinct. Ovary globose, c. 1.1 mm long; style short (half as long as ovary); stigma with lower lip transversely
elliptic, upper lip smaller, deltoid. Capsule globose, 4.1 mm diam., walls thin, dehiscing by a single, ventral,
longitudinal, marginally thickened slit. Seeds not seen. Pollen: 3-colporate, c. 32 × 32 m (R.W. Jobson 2667 &
W. Cherry; R.L. Barrett 563). Figs 1, 2a, c, e.
Additional specimens examined: WESTERN AUSTRALIA: KIMBERLEY: 4.2 km E of New Theda Station
Homestead, R.L. Barrett 3256 & M.D. Barrett, 21 Feb 2006 (PERTH); Theda Station, R.W. Jobson 2667 &
W. Cherry, 16 Apr 2015 (NSW); Karunjie Station, west of confluence of Nugget Creek and Chapman River,
K.R. Thiele 4987, 4 Jun 2014 (PERTH); south of Mount Barnett Roadhouse, P. Docherty 286, 15 Apr 2012
(PERTH); 8 km SE of Beverley Springs Homestead, R.L. Barrett 563, 11 Apr 1993 (PERTH); north of Beverley
Springs Homestead, K.F. Kenneally 1993, 12 Aug 1974 (PERTH); north of old Mitchell River Station, B.L.
Koch 575, 9 Jun 1987 (PERTH); On Theda Station, K.F. Kenneally 6717, 20 May 1978 (PERTH); north-west of
Barton Plains Outcamp on Drysdale River, K.F. Kenneally 5296, 24 Jun 1976 (PERTH); south of Coucal Gorge,
Drysdale River National Park, A.S. George 13912, 16 Aug 1975 (PERTH).
Phenology: Flowers and fruits recorded from April to August.
Distribution and ecology: Endemic to the Kimberley regions of northern Western Australia. Abundant
in north-west Kimberley between Charnley River and Drysdale River National Park, and occasional in the
central Kimberley. Grows in wet sand in grassland (Fig. 4a).
Utricularia gaagudju, a new species for the Northern Territory Telopea 23: 61–68, 2020 63
Fig. 1. Lectotype of Utricularia kimberleyensis C.A.Gardner (PERTH 01625179).
64 Telopea 23: 61–68, 2020 Jobson and Cherry
Fig. 2. Utricularia kimberleyensis (a, c, e) and U. ga ag udju (b, d, f): a & b, corolla frontal view; c & d, corolla lateral view;
e & f, peduncle base. Scale bars: a–f = 3 mm. Material used: a, c, e from Jobson 2667 & Cherry (NSW 909478); b, d, f from
Jobson 2683 & Cherry, (NSW 909516). Images: all by W. Cherry.
Utricularia gaagudju, a new species for the Northern Territory Telopea 23: 61–68, 2020 65
Fig. 3. Utricularia gaagudju. a, habit; b, ower dorsal view; c, ower frontal view; d, ower lateral view; e, upper lip
frontal view; f, spur ventral view; g, stamen lateral view; h, stamen dorsal view; i, rhizomes; j, bladder-trap lateral view;
k, peduncle base showing hairs; l, leaf dorsal view; m, bracts and bracteoles; n, immature fruits capsule; o, lower calyx
lobe; p, fruit capsule lateral view; q, seed. Scale bars: a = 60 mm; b–d = 10 mm; e, f, l = 6 mm; g & h = 2.5 mm; i = 15 mm;
j = 33 mm; k & q = 2 mm; m = 3 mm; n–p = 5 mm. Material used: All from Jobson 2683 & Cherry (NSW 927127 spirit,
NSW 909516 sheet) except q from Murfet 5942 & Lowrie (AD 216176).
66 Telopea 23: 61–68, 2020 Jobson and Cherry
Fig. 4. Habitat of a, U. kimberleyensis (Kimberley: eda Station, R.W. Jobson 2667 & W. Cherry), and b, U. gaagudju (type
site). Images: all by R.W. Jobson.
Conservation status: Utricularia kimberleyensis, as circumscribed here, has a distribution across the north-
west and central Kimberley region of Western Australia. It occurs within the conservation areas Drysdale
River and Mitchell River National Parks, and it is also known to occur in Prince Regent National Park (R.L.
Barrett pers. communication). Although it is patchy within colonies, it is locally abundant (R.W. Jobson pers.
observation), and is not considered threatened.
Utricularia gaagudju, a new species for the Northern Territory Telopea 23: 61–68, 2020 67
Notes: Gardner’s original collection number (Gardner 912) was used for the specimen lodged in his personal
herbarium, whereas he allocated a different number (Gardner 1412) for an identical specimen now lodged at
PERTH. As was Gardner’s custom for his early collections (~1921), the latter collection number was exactly
500 higher than the former (Wilson 1988). Taylor (1989) cited the type of the name Utricularia kimberleyensis
as ‘Australia, W. Australia, Charnley River, C.A.Gardner 1412 (PERTH holo.; NSW iso.).’ We here treat this as
effective lectotypification. Taylor’s citation meets the relevant requirements of ICN Art. 7.11, and therefore his
use of the terms ‘holo’ and ‘iso’ are correctable under ICN Art. 9.10.
Utricularia gaagudju R.W.Jobson & Cherry, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Similar to U. kimberleyensis C.A.Gardner but differs in having a light purple corolla, a lower corolla
lip with an entire margin and two yellow central ridges at the base, and a basally hispid peduncle.
Type: Australia: Northern Territory: 55 km NE of Pine Creek, on the Kakadu Hwy., R.W. Jobson 2683 &
W. Cherry, 17 April 2015 (holo: NSW 909516; iso: DNA, NSW 927127).
Illustration: P.Taylor, Kew Bull., Addit. Ser. 14: fig. 15: 1, 5–9, as U. kimberleyensis (1989). A.Lowrie, Carn. Pl.
Aust. Mag. Op. Vol 3, fig. 12.69: C–D, as U. kimberleyensis (2013).
Medium-sized, probably annual, terrestrial herb. Rhizoids capillary, simple, up to 20 mm long, tapering from
0.4 mm thick at base to 0.09 mm near apex, numerous from base of peduncle. Stolons few, filiform, hollow,
c. 20–30 mm long, 0.2–0.3 mm thick. Leaves numerous, from base of peduncle, and 1 or 2 at stolon node,
petiolate; lamina obovate or linear-obovate, 2–5 mm long, 1–2.2 mm wide, with a single nerve, apex rounded.
Traps stalked, globose, numerous at base of peduncle and 1 at nodes and internodes of stolon, ± uniform,
ovoid, 1.2–7.2 mm long; mouth basal, with a short, broad, dorso-lateral, deeply fimbriate appendage 1–3 mm
long, sometimes folded downwards adnate to the mouth; ventral wing appendages deeply fimbriate, 3–5 mm
long. Inflorescence erect, 150–270(300) mm tall, solitary or in pairs; peduncle terete, glabrous above, hispid
below, solid, 0.5–0.1 mm diam. Scales absent. Bracts and bracteoles 0.8–1.4 mm long, basally connate, unequal,
basisolute, bracts lanceolate with apex acute, bracteoles shorter, ovate with apex rounded. Flowers 1–2, pedicels
erect, filiform, slightly tapering apically, 8–25 mm long. Calyx lobes unequal; upper lobe c. 3 mm long, 2.2 mm
wide, broadly ovate with apex rounded; lower lobe c. 1.7 mm long 1.2 mm wide with apex emarginate. Corolla
light purple, 12–13 mm long; upper lip limb 3.5–4 mm long, constricted near middle, superior part obovate with
apex emarginate, inferior part ovate, ciliate on margin; lower lip limb, transversely elliptic in outline, 6–7.5 mm
long, with apex rounded, with two prominently raised yellow (becoming white near each base) ridges at base,
and 2 longer raised purple ridges on either side, bordered by 2–4 darker streaks around edge; palate shortly
pubescent, with raised margin; spur cylindrical from a conical base, slightly curved forward, restricted at the
middle, tapering to a narrowly rounded or truncate apex, at c. 90° to lower-lip limb. Staminal filaments curved,
c. 1.5 mm long, anther thecae sub-distinct. Ovary globose, c. 1.5 mm long; style short (half as long as ovary);
stigma with lower lip transversely elliptic, upper lip smaller, deltoid. Capsule globose, 3.5 mm diam., walls thin,
dehiscing by a single, ventral, longitudinal, broadly thickened slit. Seeds obovoid, c. 0.5 mm long, 0.22 mm
wide. Pollen: 3-colporate, c. 36 × 36 m (R.W. Jobson 2683 & W. Cherry). Figs. 2b, d, f; 3.
Additional specimens examined: NORTHERN TERRITORY: B I: Big Pig Swamp, C.R.
Mitchell 1449 & R.K. Harwood, 4 May 1998 (DNA); Site BI-9, K.G. Brennan 4682 & I.D. Cowie, 13 Mar 2001
(DNA); D G D: 3.2 km NNE of Adelaide River, R.W. Jobson 3185 & P.C. Baleeiro, 18 Apr
2016 (NSW); NE of Jabiru on Road to Oenpelli, R.W. Jobson 2218 & P.C. Baleeiro, 19 Apr 2014 (NSW); 140 km
NE of Pine Creek on Kakadu Hwy, R.W. Jobson 2204 & P.C. Baleeiro, 18 Apr 2014 (NSW); Howard River
about 6 km out on Gunn Point road, D.E. Murfet 5942 & A. Lowrie, 2 Mar 2008 (AD); 38 km N of Katherine
on Stuart Highway, D.E. Murfet 5581 & A. Lowrie, 3 Mar 2007 (AD); c. 6 miles NE of Pine Creek, L.G. Adams
1743, 27 Mar 1967 (CANB).
Etymology: The specific epithet is a noun in apposition that refers to the Australian Aboriginal language
Gaagudju formerly spoken in Arnhem Land, in the vicinity, and the namesake of, Kakadu National Park.
Phenology: Flowers and fruits recorded in March and April.
Distribution and ecology: Northern Territory from Pine Creek to Jabiru, Daly Basin, and Darwin region.
Also collected on Bathurst and Melville Islands. Grows in silty areas near boggy creeks with sedges and grasses
Conservation status: Widely distributed across the Top End of the Northern Territory and protected within
Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. Not considered threatened.
Notes: Utricularia gaagudju was previously confused with U. kimberleyensis C.A.Gardner, with the most
salient difference involving colour of the corolla (light purple v. mauve), the margin of corolla lower lip (entire
68 Telopea 23: 61–68, 2020 Jobson and Cherry
v. slightly three-lobed), the raised central palate ridges (yellow v. orange) (Fig. 2a, b), the corolla spur (curved
forward v. straight – Fig. 2c, d), and the peduncle (basal third hispid v. glabrous – Fig. 2e, f). The two species
tend to differ in habitat, with U. kimberleyensis typically found growing in low grassland in alluvial silt on
sand flats derived from sandstone (Fig. 4a), while U. gaagudju grows in silty areas near boggy creek-lines on
sandstone substrate (Fig. 4b). The third member of Taylor’s circumscription of U. kimberleyensis (Taylor 1989)
involves U. bidentata (Jobson et al. 2018), which can be distinguished from the two above mentioned species
based on the size and colour of the two central ridges at the base of the corolla lower lip (not raised relative to
adjacent ridges and yellow / orange v. prominently raised relative to adjacent ridges and white).
We thank the staff at AD, BRI, CANB, DNA and PERTH, for providing specimens and material for loan. We
are grateful to Catherine Wardrop (NSW) for providing the illustration presented in this paper. We also thank
Paulo Baleeiro (UQ) for help in the field, and Matt and Russell Barrett (JCU Cairns and NSW respectively),
and Ian Cowie (DNA) for providing information on morphology and distribution. This work was supported
by grants to RJ from the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) National Taxonomy Research Grant
Program (NTRGP) (RFL212-45), and Bush Blitz Tactical Taxonomy Grant (TTC215-23). Scientific Purposes
permits were obtained through the Commonwealth, Northern Territory, and Western Australian Governments.
Jobson RW, Baleeiro PC, Barrett MD (2018) Six new species of Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae) from Northern
Australia. Telopea 21, 57–77. http://dx.doi.org/10.7751/telopea12630
Jobson RW, Baleeiro PC, Reut MS (2017) Molecular phylogeny of subgenus Polypompholyx (Utricularia;
Lentibulariaceae) based on three plastid markers: diversification and proposal for a new section. Australian
Systematic Botany 30, 259–278. https://doi.org/10.1071/SB17003
Jobson RW, Playford J, Cameron KM, Albert VA (2003) Molecular phylogeny of Lentibulariaceae inferred from
plastid rps16 intron and trnL-F DNA sequences: implications for character evolution and biogeography.
Systematic Botany 28: 157–171. https://doi.org/10.1043/0363-6445-28.1.157
Lowrie A. Carnivorous Plants of Australia–Magnum Opus. Vol. 3. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole,
Müller K, Borsch T (2005) Phylogenetics of Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae) and molecular evolution of the trnK
intron in a lineage with high substitutional rates. Plant Systematics and Evolution 250, 39–67. https://doi.
Taylor P (1989) The genus Utricularia. Kew Bulletin Additional Series XIV. (HMSO: London)
Wilson PG (1988) The early collecting numbers of Charles A. Gardner. Australian Systematic Botany Society
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Manuscript submitted 28 November 2019, accepted 29 April 2020