Measuring just 2.1 millimeters wide, the world’s smallest orchid has been discovered hiding in the roots of another plant, reports the Independent.
The miniscule orchid, so small that its petals are only one cell thick, was discovered in the Cerro Candelaria Reserve, a place known for possessing many of the world’s tiniest orchids.
The orchid was discovered by expert orchid hunter, Dr. Lou Jost. “It’s an exciting feeling to find a new species. People think everything has been discovered but there’s much more,” he told the Independent.
Cerro Candelaria Reserve was established in partnership with the World Land Trust out of the UK and Ecuador’s EcoMinga Foundation. The reserve is 2113 hectares and possess a number of endemic orchids, including an orchid genus found no where else. The reserve is also home to threatened species like the spectacled bear and the mountain tapir.
(10/14/2009) Classical musical genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, probably never expected his music to inspire mycologists, but fungi researchers have announced in the journal Mycologia that two new species of glowing mushroom are named after movements in the composer’s Requiem: Mycena luxaeterna (eternal light) and Mycena luxperpetua (perpetual light).
(08/11/2009) A newly discovered carnivorous plant in the central Philippines is large enough to catch a rat, according to a story by the BBC. Nepenthes attenboroughii, named after naturalist and broadcast David Attenborough, is a member of the pitcher plant family, so-called because it is shaped like a large pitcher. The plant preys on insects and animals that fall into its gaping maw.
(04/15/2009) A California researcher has named a new species of lichen after President Barack Obama. Kerry Knudsen of the University of California-Riverside (UCR) named the lichen Caloplaca obamae.