Kew Bulletin

, 69:9525 | Cite as

Three new genera of arecoid palm (Arecaceae) from eastern Malesia

  • Charlie D. Heatubun
  • Scott Zona
  • William J. Baker


Recent botanical exploration in eastern Malesia has resulted in the discovery of three spectacular palm taxa that have proved difficult to assign to genus. New evidence from molecular phylogenetic research indicates that these taxa should now be recognised as three monotypic genera. Here, we describe these genera as new to science, all of which are members of subtribe Ptychospermatinae (Areceae: Arecoideae). Jailoloa Heatubun & W. J. Baker is restricted to ultramafic vegetation in a single site in Halmahera and is Critically Endangered due to nickel mining. Manjekia W. J. Baker & Heatubun is scattered throughout the limestone vegetation of Biak Island, east of the Bird’s Head Peninsula of New Guinea, and is Endangered, although parts of its distribution fall within a protected area. Wallaceodoxa Heatubun & W. J. Baker, named to mark the centenary of Alfred Russel Wallace’s death, is found on Gag and Waigeo, two of the Raja Ampat Islands west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, where it is Critically Endangered due to its small and rapidly reducing population. Full morphological descriptions are provided with detailed comparisons with related genera, alongside a revised key to the genera of Ptychospermatinae. These new genera are unexpected additions to the palm flora of Malesia, and demand urgent conservation attention.


Biodiversity Eastern Indonesia Maluku Moluccas New Guinea Palmae 



The authors thank Theo Ampnir, Haji Arief, Deby Arifiani, Steve Bachman, Jim Clarkson, John Dransfield, Marthinus Iwanggin, Neville Kemp, Tariq Khalil, Krisma Lekitoo, Daud Leppe, Piter Matani, Rudi Maturbongs, Tobias Paiki, Herman Remetwa, Himmah Rustiami, Ernesto Sugiharto, Muhidin Tafalas, Tim Utteridge and Fransiska Wanma for advice and support. Fieldwork in Halmahera was conducted under the auspices of Solway Industries through PT. Ground Risk Management and PT. Ekologika Consultants. Two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was funded by Balai Penelitian Kehutanan Manokwari, the BAT Biodiversity Partnership, the Bentham–Moxon Trust, the International Palm Society, Tobu, Universitas Papua and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


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Copyright information

© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlie D. Heatubun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Scott Zona
    • 3
  • William J. Baker
    • 2
  1. 1.Fakultas Kehutanan dan Pusat Penelitian Lingkungan HidupUniversitas PapuaManokwariIndonesia
  2. 2.Royal Botanic Gardens, KewSurreyUK
  3. 3.Department of Biological Sciences OE167Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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