Three new plant and fungus species described in 2013

Nepenthes kitanglad is an endangered tropical pitcher plant found only on Mount Kitanglad in the Philippines. Specimens had been reported in 2009 as N. saranganiensis, but closer examination found that the plants from Mount Kitanglad formed a distinct species – see Martin Cheek and Matthew Jebb, “Recircumscription of the Nepenthes alata group (Caryophyllales: Nepenthaceae), in the Philippines, with four new species” (photo: Stewart McPherson)

Ampelocissus asekii is a vine found in the mountain forests of Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea. It was recognised as a distinct species based on herbarium studies – see Jun Wen, Robert Kiapranis, and Michael Lovave, “Ampelocissus asekii J. Wen, R. Kiapranis & M. Lovave, a new species of Vitaceae from Papua New Guinea

Amanita augusta is a mushroom found in California and the Pacific Northwest of North America. It was formerly known under the European name A. franchetii, but was long suspected to be and is now confirmed as a distinct species – see Dimitar Bojantchev and R. Michael Davis, “Amanita augusta, a new species from California and the Pacific Northwest” (photo: Darvin DeShazer)


2 thoughts on “Three new plant and fungus species described in 2013

  1. Only three?

    It is not like our commonly encountered western Amanita augusta (now), formerly franchetii and aspera (then), was a “newly discovered” species; we have known that it was not the European form for decades. North American mycology is rife with latin names based upon European fungi that really don’t occur here. Placeholder names, we call them. Expect many more new latin names for commonly encountered and well-recognized fungal species, as well as many cryptic species that have been lumped under one name, usually a European concept.

    Finding a truly new to science species is something else again.

    • Thanks for commenting! Yes, obviously there are many more; I just picked 3 species to talk about.

      And it is true that many of the newly described species are known organisms, as you say — the science lies in demonstrating that they really are of a different species. So I agree that there will be many more cases like Amanita augusta to come.

      The completely off-the-wall novel like-nothing-else-on-earth species are much rarer, but they still get discovered. It usually takes expensive fieldwork, though.

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