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Diastema sp. ... resolved.

Diastema is a genus in the Gesneriaceae family. We have at least one species of that genus present in the Santa Lucía reserve. It's a common herbaceous plant that grows along the trails (especially on trail walls) at elevations between 1.400m and 1.900m. Occasionally hummingbirds visit the flowers, but they are unlikely to be the principal pollinators.

For years we assumed based on older IDs that the species we have are either Diastema scabrum or Diastema racemiferum. So itwas confirmed by some projects over the past years and also by IDs on inaturalist.org. But last week things changed.



Suddenly all our Diastema sp. were id'ed as Diastema incisum a species considered Critically Endangerd by the IUCN. And they weren't identified by just anyone, but by John L. Clark, the master of the Gesneriaceae family himself.


What happened?


Well, he explained that himself in a post that he attached to the respective inaturalist observations. One story as they are common in science. Apparently it is a "re-discovered" species that was described 200 years ago. It will hence "lose" its status as Critically Endangered as it is likely that many other Diastema sp. in the region turn out to be Diastema incisum.


Here are the details.



Gotta love science!

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