22 de octubre de 2020

Genus Moraea: Characteristics

Floral scales sometimes present on inner, tapering upper surface of perianth often in the form of a partial hood/ arch, but shape, size and presence varies widely between species
Uniting characteristic: Outer and (sometimes very reduced) inner whorl of tepals

Ingresado el 22 de octubre de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 7 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

21 de octubre de 2020

Genus Agapanthus: Comparison

Ingresado el 21 de octubre de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Genus Isoxya: Comparison

I. tabulata: Abdominal spikes projecting outwards, to the sides around the abdominal perimeter
I. cicatricosa: Abdominal spikes much shorter, more rounded and concentrated in the inner margin pointing upwards

Ingresado el 21 de octubre de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de octubre de 2020

Family Thomisidae comparison

*Small to medium sized circular depressions on upper abdomen

Larger and most prominent in UmPhafa observation
Smallest in Kerkenberg observation

*Colouration on flanks of cephalothorax carapace and median abdominal surface adaxial to cephalothorax, as well as circular colouration on leg joints

Darkest and most prominent in Hela Hela observation
Lighter in UmPhafa observation
Different in Kerkenberg observation (bands of pale orange on abdomen)

*Raised ridge between cephalothorax and Pedipalps housing eyes

Most prominent in Hela Hela observation
Slightly less prominent in Kerkenberg observation
Near absent in UmPahafa observation

Ingresado el 18 de octubre de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de octubre de 2020

Flowers attracting smaller Coleoptera (Nitidulidae and Glaphyridae)

Cup/ bowl shaped flowers, with shallow - moderate indents and no deep floral chambers for trapping
Nectar guides as concentric radius around floral organs (centre) or linearly radial
Anthers just below recurve of petals

Ingresado el 07 de octubre de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 2 observaciones | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de agosto de 2020

Zaluzianskya capensis: Morphological and habitual similarities and differences from specimens in 2 widely separated localities

Z. capensis (Loc: Nondela, Northern Drakensberg, KZN)
*Hairy/ pubescent stems and leaf margins
*Elongated, lanceolate leaves, with smooth margins
*Inflorescence an indeterminate corymb, bracts sparsely hairy, mostly clasping

Z. capensis (Loc: Cape Peninsula, Western Cape)
*Hairy/ pubescent stems and leaf margins, shorter hairs scattered on leaf under and upperside
*Leaves shorter, feintly oblong, margins with well defined, lobe-like teeth
*Inflorescence an indeterminate corymb, bracts densely hairy and recurved at tips

Conclusions:
The increased amount of hairs on Z. capensis in the Cape Peninsula is most probably a response to heat stress. Narrower river and drainage zones result in less shady, moist habitats which this species thrives in, hence hairier plants in Cape Peninsula to diffuse sunlight
Differences in bract shape is possibly a response to increased numbers of nectarivorous insects in the Cape as a function of a more diverse availability of macro-nutrients and thus greater competition between flowering plants. More recurved bracts exclude all but the intended pollinator (Hawk Moth)
Differences in leaf and margin shape are probably a response to differences in seasonal ambient air temp and moisture levels.

Ingresado el 25 de agosto de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de julio de 2020

Order Thysanoptera: Interaction with flower of the Asteraceae Family

Multiple Thrips (Order Thysanoptera) seen engulfed in liquid collecting at the inner base of the petals in Dimorphotheca caulescens
Communal pollination/ feeding by this Order of Insects from Asters is well documented on iNat, but as of yet this is the 1st record of such a mass gathering/ communal feeding resulting in large scale mortality
Questions:
1.) Is this indeed a mass mortality of Thrips on this flower, or some other event (e.g. mass ovipositing in unique micro-niche [liquid collection])
1.) Is such an event among Thrips during communal feeding, such as in this instance, a common occurence?
2) Are such events restricted to just this species, Genus, or Family of flower? Equally, are they restricted to just this one geographical area (Koppie), or does it have a broader range of occurence?

Further reading:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318982877_Pollination_Potential_of_Thrips_Insecta_Thysanoptera_-_an_overview

Ingresado el 24 de julio de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de junio de 2020

Summer to Winter flowering progression of Psammophytes: Sandstone Fynbos

1st:
Empodium plicatum
HYPOXIDACEAE
Root type unknown, possibly a corm as with most plants in Family Hypoxidaceae
Grows in sandy soils, in flatlands where vegetation is fairly sparse
First flower - April 16 2020

2nd:
Oxalis polyphylla
OXALIDACEAE
Shorter roots than other Oxalis, lacks long taproot with secondary thickening. Contains adventitious/ lateral roots
Grows in sandy soil, often near base of rocks
Oxalis commutata
OXALIDACEAE
Long taproot with secondary cortex thickening
Grows only in highly sandy deposits at base of rocks and next to paths
First flower - April 22 2020
Oxalis punctata
OXALIDACEAE
Root type unknown, possibly adventitious like O. polyphylla
Grows on boulders, in shallow sand/ silt hollows

3rd:
Albuca fragrans
ASPARAGACEAE
Root type unknown, possibly a taproot
Grows on shallow rocky flats, at higher altitudes
First flower - April 22 2020

4th:
Lachenalia punctata
ASPARAGACEAE
Root type unknown, possibly a taproot
Grows in highly sandy deposits at base of rocks and next to paths
First flower - April 23 2020

5th:
Euphorbia tuberosa
EUPHORBIACEAE
Root type unknown but likely tuberous as per species name
Grows in varying altitudes, in sandy to silty sand soils in undulating terrain with sparse vegetation, usually present near rocky areas
First flower - May 3 2020

6th:
ASTERACEAE
Senecio, Cullumia

ANALYSIS//

Ingresado el 14 de junio de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de mayo de 2020

Life stage and flowering of Stachys aethiopica

1st observation:
Peak of basalt, Karoo-dolerite buttress, KZN
Specimen features
*Plant in flower
*Small, tufted herb, very short, with a basal coverage of only 5 -10 cm's (Primary growth completed?)
*No sign of secondary growth (elongation)
*Plant growing in exposed, fire-prone area

2nd observation:
Rocky, undulating slopes, Cape Sandstone, Western Cape
Specimen features
*Plant in flower
*Plant > 30 cm in height, with well defined internodes. Leaves and flowers in well-defined whorls and plant has a scrambling habit, depending partially on other plants in the scrub for support.
*Plant has completed secondary growth
*Plant growing under rocky ledge, surrounded by scrub. Unexposed area but still fire prone

Notes:

This species flowers both before and after the secondary growth phase has been completed. Variables to consider in this instance would be temp and climate differences (big difference in altitudes between 2 obs), as well as species response to habitat physiognomy (1st ob - open grassland; 2nd ob - Fynbos scrub). However, it is nevertheless interesting to note that completion of secondary growth is not always a pre-condition to flowering. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that in some plants, primary growth involves thickening and leaf development only at the base (growth of basal cover), whilst secondary growth entails an elongation of the internodes and defining of the plants flower and leaf arrangement.

Ingresado el 23 de mayo de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de mayo de 2020

Genus comparison: Plectranthus and Stachys (Lamiaceae)

Plectranthus (Spurflower)
*2 spur-like appendages, erect/ semi-erect, adjoined to the rim of the upper corolla tube hood
*Lack a leafy calyx at base of corolla tube

Stachys (Hedgenettles)
*Lack any appendages on the side of the upper corolla hood. Outer lower tepal lobes sometimes shrunk, superficially resemble spurs but aren't
*Very leafy calyx, immediately subtending at the base of the tube

Ingresado el 12 de mayo de 2020 por anthonywalton anthonywalton | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario