Louteridium donnell-smithii, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

In conjunction with a long-term project to study the 400+ species of the family Acanthaceae (shrimp plants) in Mexico and adjacent regions, a monograph of Louteridium, a genus of 11 species of shrubs and trees, is nearing completion in collaboration with Dr. Erin Tripp (University of Colorado). Most of the species occur only in Mexico, are rare, and have large and mostly nocturnal flowers that are visited by hummingbirds in the late afternoon and early morning and by bats during dark hours. Although the phylogeny of these species, based on analyses of DNA, was poorly resolved by Sanger sequencing, a next-generation analysis using RADseq data yielded a fully resolved tree that corresponds well with both morphological and ecological characteristics of the species.

Academy Contributors

Tom Daniel, PhD
Curator of Botany, Emeritus


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