A rediscovery almost 140 years after its discovery.
In a joint work by Euler L.F. Menezes, Samuel C. O. Giordania, Mauro S. Rosim & and Paulo M. Gonella, this species was found again after almost 140 years from its discovery and kilometers away from the habitat of the species description.
The species was described by Barbosa Rodrigues, in 1882, occurring in the region known as Zona da Mata Mineira and had never been seen again.
Now, with the record made by the authors, for a rupestrian field, it was possible to make a more detailed study of the morphology of this species and, based on the assessment made, consider it critically endangered.
Fertile samples were collected, herborized and deposited in herbaria.
The specimen used by the author of the description was not deposited in a herbarium, but was illustrated and found in Flora Brasiliensis, 1902.
Until this new discovery, there was no in-depth morphological study and a more complete description, with a gap in the habitat and distribution area, which led to the inclusion of the species as Data Deficient (DD), in the Minas Gerais Red List.
36 espécies de Bulbophyllum são registradas para o estado de Minas Gerais, nos domínios dos Biomas Mata Atlântica, Cerrado e nos campos rupestres no área montanhosa conhecida como Serra do Espinhaço.
A espécie permaneceu sem coleta por tantos anos que poderia ter sido considerada como extinta pois o habitat de sua região original foi bastante destruído no século passado.
As novas populações foram encontradas no município de Diamantina, MG, em pequenos fragmentos de mata de galeria, em campos rupestres em altitude a partir de 1050m e a 2km de distância destas foram observados crescendo como epífitas e também como rupícolas em rochas sombreadas.
Distribution map of Bulbophyllum barbatum in Minas Gerais, SE Brasil
A, A habit.
B, flower in frontal view with retracted lip
C, flower in frontal view with distended lip
D, Flower in side view with floral bract
E, flower in dorsal view with floral bract
F, sepals in adaxial, dorsal (left) and lateral (both right) views
G, lip in adaxial view
H, Flower dissected with sepals and lip removed, showing columns and petals in ventral (left) and dorsal (right) views
I, Flower dissected with all sepals and petals removed, showing column in lateral view
Barbosa Rodrigues (1882) reports flowering in May, while in the new records flowering was observed earlier, in March and April.
Preliminary conservation status:
Critically endangered - CR B2ab(iii)
Bulbophyllum barbatum is probably extinct at the type site, as it has not been collected in the region in the last 139 years.
Similar to other regions of the Atlantic Forest, the region around the city of Juiz de Fora has suffered intense deforestation in recent centuries, with the conversion of the original forests into pastures and agricultural lands.
The new populations were found in small mountainous forest fragments isolated between fields and rocky outcrops of the rupestrian fields, therefore a naturally fragmented habitat.
Both new areas were used in the past for diamond mining and are currently not protected, being situated close to the city of Diamantina and tourist attractions such as waterfalls, being susceptible to frequent anthropogenic fires.
Only about 40 mature individuals were observed in each of the new subpopulations, which also makes the species susceptible to poaching and overgathering.
Bulbophyllum barbatum in situ
Rupicolous growth (A, B, E) and epiphytic (C, D)
E . Individual growth of B. barbatum (right)
growing together with B. carassence (indicated by the arrow)