A new species of Aspidistra (Ruscaceae s.l., Asparagales) from southern Vietnam, field observations on its flowering and possible pollination by flies (Phoridae)
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- Vislobokov, N.A., Kuznetsov, A.N. & Sokoloff, D.D. Plant Syst Evol (2013) 299: 347. doi:10.1007/s00606-012-0725-2
The genus Aspidistra with almost 100 species is the most diverse in southern China and northern Vietnam. We describe a new species Aspidistra phanluongii N.Vislobokov from southern Vietnam. Species of Aspidistra are herbs characteristic of Southeast Asian forests. Flowering of these plants can be considered cryptic. There are no recorded field observations on phenology, biology of flowering or pollination of Aspidistra. Previously proposed pollinators of Aspidistra include collembolans, amphipods, fungus gnats (Diptera: Mycetophilidae, Sciaridae) and even slugs. We present observation data on the flowering of A. phanluongii in the wild. Flowers were visited by flies of Megaselia (Phoridae) and ants. Megaselia flies, well-known pollinators of numerous tropical plant species, are shown to be likely pollinators of Aspidistra phanluongii. The present study does not provide evidence of pollination by fungus gnats.