Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 June 2022 | 14(6): 21311–21314



ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)

#7635 | Received 28 August 2021 | Final received 22 March 2022 | Finally accepted 17 May 2022




Pelatantheria insectifera (Rchb.f.) Ridl. (Orchidaceae): a new generic record for Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India


V. Ashok Kumar 1, P. Janaki Rao 2, J. Prakasa Rao 3, S.B. Padal 4  & C. Sudhakar Reddy 5


1–4 Department of Botany, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530003, India.

5 Forest Biodiversity and Ecology Division, National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation, Balanagar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500037, India.

1, 2, 3 (corresponding author), 4, 5




Editor: Pankaj Kumar, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, Tai Po, Hong Kong S.A.R., China. Date of publication: 26 June 2022 (online & print)


Citation: Kumar, V.A., P.J. Rao, J.P. Rao, S.B. Padal & C.S. Reddy (2022). Pelatantheria insectifera (Rchb.f.) Ridl. (Orchidaceae): a new generic record for Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 14(6): 21311–21314.


Copyright: © Kumar et al. 2022. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Space (DOS) No. BT/Coord.II/10/02/2016.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: Authors are thankful to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Space (DOS) for the financial assistance of this research through a project entitled “Biodiversity Characterisation at Community level in India using Earth Observation Data”. Authors are also thankful to the forest department for their help during the field studies. Our special thanks to K. Samuel & P. Eswara Rao for their great help in the field studies and Y. Samuel for technical support.





Abstract: The monopodial orchid Pelatantheria insectifera is reported here as a new generic record for the state of Andhra Pradesh (India). Further, detailed diagnostic description, colour photo plates for easy identification and note on ecology were provided.


Keywords: Orchid, Sileru Forest Range, Visakhapatnam.



Orchidaceae is the second largest family in the flowering plants, with about 28,000 species distributed in the world (Chase et al. 2003, 2015; Willis 2017; Fay 2018). They are distributed throughout the world except the hot desert and Antarctica (Kumar et al. 2007). India represents a total of 1,256 orchids belonging to 155 genera of which 388 orchids are endemic to Western Ghats (Singh et al. 2019) and a total of 54 species belonging to 30 genera of orchids are reported from Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh (Venkaiah et al. 2020).

The genus Pelatantheria Ridl. is an epiphytic or lithophytic orchid distributed in Indo-Malesia region (Jalal et al. 2012; Govaerts et al. 2022). It is known to contain eight species, viz., P. ctenoglossum Ridl., P. eakroensis Haager, P. rivesii (Guillaumin) Tang & F.T.Wang, P. woonchengii P.O’Byrne, P. scolopendrifolia (Makino) Aver., P. bicuspidata Tang & F.T.Wang, P. insectifera (Rchb.f.) Ridl., and P. cristata (Ridl.) Ridl., which are distributed throughout Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, and western Malaysia (Jalal et al. 2012; Govaerts et al. 2021). In India only one species P. insectifera is reported from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, and Uttarakhand (Jalal et al. 2012). But, so far it is not reported from Andhra Pradesh.


Materials and Methods

Field explorations were carried out from August 2020 to December 2020 for the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Space (DOS) biodiversity project in RV Nagar and Sileru Forest Range in the Eastern Ghats region of Andhra Pradesh. First and second authors found an interesting species of orchid in Sileru Forest Range. After critical examination at the laboratory with dissection microscope, literature study (Jalal et al. 2012; Singh et al. 2019), and consultation of type at K, it was identified as Pelatantheria insectifera (Figure 1). Voucher specimen was deposited in Herbarium AUV, Department of Botany, Andhra University (Image 2) and this species was also introduced into the University Botanical Garden on the stem barks of Mangifera indica L. and Melaleuca citrina (Curtis) Dum. Cours. for further observations and ex situ conservation practices. All the photographs were taken by Canon 500D, photo plate was prepared by using CS6 Photoshop software and location map was prepared by using Arc Map software.



Pelatantheria insectifera (Rchb.f.) Ridl., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 32: 373 (1896); Sarcanthus insectifer Rchb.f., Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 15: 159 (1857). (Image 1).

Type: Myanmar, Moulmein, Parish 267 (K000942423, digital image)

Specimen examined: India, Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam District, Sileru Range, 17.956 N; 82.046 E, 466 m, 11 November 2020, V. Ashok Kumar & P. Janaki Rao 23358 (AUV). 

Monopodial tufted epiphytic herb. Stem scandent, stout, terete, up to 70 cm. Roots at nodes, vermiform, alternative, ca. 40×3 mm, straw yellow. Leaves sessile, coriaceous, deeply channelled, ca. 6×2 cm, distichous, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, unequally bilobed apex, base amplexicaul, sheathing the stem entire. Racemes axillary, ca. 2 cm long, 3‒5 flowered. Floral bract green, broadly triangular, obtuse, 2×2.2 mm; Pedicel ca. 8×1 mm, pale green at base and purple tinged at tip. Flowers small, ca. 1.8 cm. Sepals 3, greenish-yellow and purple tinged, oblong-ovate or oblong-obovate, 3-veined, mid vain prominent, greenish yellow, acute or sub-acute, entire, dorsal sepal ca. 5×3 mm, lateral sepals ca. 6×3.4 mm. Petals 3, one is modified in to lip, lateral 2 are spreading, 3-nerved, mid vain prominent, oblong or oblanceolate, truncate or obtuse, sub-acute, ca. 6×2.3 mm. Lip sessile ca. 1×0.8 cm, fleshy, 3 lobed, discoid at middle, magenta colour; lateral lobes whitish yellow, magenta tinged, ca. 2×4 mm, incurved, lobulated or obscurely bilobulate. Middle lobe ca. 8×7 mm, magenta coloured, porrect, cordate, truncate or rounded, mid vain discoid. Spur ca. 5x3 mm, whitish yellow, compressed, conical, projected downwards, and hairy at mouth. Column broad and stout, white, obovate, ca. 2x1.6 mm, with long stelidia, columnar processes long, slender, 2 horned, stigma triangular ovate and closed to column arms. Pollinia 2, placed on a broad viscidium, yellow, ca. 3×3 mm, subglobose. Capsules clavate, ca. 2.2 cm long.

Flowering and fruiting: October–December

Habitat & Ecology: Scarcely found in the moist deciduous forest of the study area as small nest-like clusters on tree trunks of Mangifera indica L., Terminalia alata Heyne ex Roth, Schleichera oleosa (Lour.) Merr. and Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels. Habitat was dominated by trees such as Anogeissus latifolia (Roxb. ex DC.) Wall. ex Guillem. & Perr., Diospyros sylvatica Roxb., Haldina cordifolia (Roxb.) Ridsdale, Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L., Polyalthia cerasoides (Roxb.) Bedd., Protium serratum (Wall. ex Colebr.) Engl., Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb., Xylia xylocarpa (Roxb.) Taub. Apart from trees, a few middle story vegetation like Barleria cristata L., Clerodendrum infortunatum L., Colebrookea oppositifolia Sm., Lantana camara L., climbers: Bauhinia vahlii Wight & Arn., Combretum ovalifolium Roxb., Dioscorea oppositifolia L., and understory vegetation such as Achyranthes bidentata Blume, Adiantum lunulatum Burm. f., Sida rhombifolia L., Senna hirsuta (L.) H.S.Irwin & Barne, Triumfetta rhomboidea Jacq. were commonly seen in the habitat of this orchid.



Native to Himalaya and Indo-China (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam). In India: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal (Jalal et. al. 2012; Govaerts et al. 2022).



Occurrence of P. insectifera in Sileru Range of Andhra Pradesh was not unexpected as it falls very near to the state border with Odisha, where this species is known to exist and has similar forest type. The present study observes that, several epiphytic orchids like Acampe ochracea (Lindl.) Hochr., Acampe praemorsa (Roxb.) Blatt. & Mc Cann, Dendrobium aphyllum (Roxb.) C.E.C.Fisch., Luisia zeylanica Lindl., Oberonia ensiformis (Sm.) Lindl., Rhynchostylis retusa (L.) Blume, Vanda tessellata (Roxb.) Hook. ex G.Don, & Vanda testacea (Lindl.) Rchb.f. and ground orchids like Goodyera procera (Ker Gawl.) Hook., Habenaria furcifera Lindl., & Liparis nervosa (Thunb.) Lindl. were luxuriantly growing in the Sileru and R.V.Nagar forest ranges due to the suitable bioclimatic conditions. There is a need for intensive explorations for orchid diversity in this area.



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