Several new species of flora and fauna were discovered in Mount Hamiguitan, Davao Oriental, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has announced.
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said several new species were unearthed in Mindanao as part of the three-year biodiversity research project implemented by Central Mindanao University (CMU) and supported by the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).
“We would also like to report that over in Davao Oriental, PCAARRD reported that their Biodiversity S&T (science and technology) program recently has yielded the discovery of several news species that were discovered as part of their project and these are mostly in Mount Hamiguitan, Davao Oriental,” he said during his weekly report on Friday, April 16.
He said the following new species and new species records for both flora and fauna in Mindanao were discovered:
- Orchidaceae, terrestrial orchid species, called Dilochia deleoniae
- Flowering plant called Hypericum perryongii Galindon, sp. nov
- Flowering plant called Gymnosiphon syceorosensis (Burmaniaceae)
- Grass fern called Actinostachys minuta Amoroso & Coritico
- A type of snout beetle called Metapocyrtus (Artapocyrtus) bronsi sp. nov.
- A pygmy grasshopper called, Arulenus validispinus
De la Peña said Dilochia deleoniae was recently discovered in Mt. Hamiguitan Range in Davao Oriental.
“This endemic species prefers to open in partly shaded habitat, where it is found in clumps or scattered,” he said.
While,Hypericum perryongii Galindon, sp. nov was found in a narrow summit of Mount Hamiguitan.
“This species is flowering during June until late July and fruiting in August,” the DOST chief said.
He said the new species of grass fern “is an epiphyte on the trunk of the tree fern with embedded between adventitious roots.”
One of the significant accomplishments of the research project was also the discovery of a new species of snout beetle, de la Peña said.
Metapocyrtus (Artapocyrtus) bronsi sp. nov. “is named after the Mandaya word “bronsi,” meaning bronze, the prominent color of the scale markings on the integument,” he said.
The CMU’s research team, led by Dr. Victor B. Amoroso, “was also able to collect a pygmy grasshopper called Arulenus validispinus, which had not been recorded for more than a century,” he said.
This species is commonly known as the four-spined pygmy devil, he noted.
“Other discoveries such as the Gymnosiphon syceorosensis (Burmaniaceae), a type of flowering plant that obtains nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi, was discovered in Mt. Hamiguitan and considered as the second new species for the Philippines. Because only one population of G. syceorosensis was discovered, no estimation of its abundance or overall distribution can be made,” de la Peña said.
The CSU’s three-year research project aims to update, assess and monitor the biodiversity and evaluate the physico-chemical properties of selected mountain ecosystems in Mindanao for conservation and sustainable development, he said.
He said the assessment of biodiversity was conducted in selected mountain ecosystems such as Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental, Mt. Apo in North Cotabato, Mt. Pantaron Range in Bukidnon, and Mt. Tago Range in Bukidnon.
“This research provided an avenue to explore the different ecosystems in a landscape approach, using biodiversity and forest condition assessments as basis,” he said.