12 8 New Species from Eastern mindanao 2What a โ€œhighโ€ way to conclude the year 2022 due to this newly described pitcher plant named ๐‘๐‘’๐‘๐‘’๐‘›๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘Ž that was found in the tropical upper montane forest, nearing the summit of Mt. Candalaga in the Municipality of Maragusan, Davao de Oro.

12 8 New Species from Eastern mindanao 1๐‘. ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘Ž is the 38th species of Nepenthes in Mindanao and is a Critically Endangered one according to IUCN criteria. The figure, on the other hand, has made the island of Mindanao, on top for having the highest concentration of pitcher plants in the country.

๐‘. ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘Ž is similar to ๐‘. ๐‘—๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘’, a pitcher plant that is endemic to Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental but the two species differ in morphology. The said new species have 2-3 longitudinal veins running in parallel with the midrib, an orbicular lid and a non-bifid lid spur tip among others.

The scientific stride was made by the researchers of Central Mindanao University (CMU), particularly authored by Mr. Noel Lagunday, who came to conduct a biodiversity expedition during the reconnaissance climb led by DENR-XI Regional Director in April 30-May 3, 2021.

The said climb aims to gather date that would contribute to the pace in proposing the said mountain as a Protected Area or a Critical Habitat of threatened species.

According to CMU, the said mountain is characterized by having three vegetation types namely: tropical lowland evergreen rainforest, tropical lower montane rainforest and tropical upper montane rainforest. The latter is the part where the new species was observed.

Apart from ๐‘. ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘Ž, the mountain is also home to endemic species of flora including ๐‘๐‘’๐‘๐‘’๐‘›๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘›๐‘’๐‘๐‘ข๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ข๐‘š and other noteworthy species of Begonia and ๐‘€๐‘’๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘›๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™๐‘Ž ๐‘ ๐‘๐‘.)