Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2023-07-17
Page range: 27-42
Abstract views: 797
PDF downloaded: 15

A flower in paradise: citizen science helps to discover Thismia paradisiaca (Thismiaceae), a new species from the Chocó Biogeographic region in Colombia

Semillero de Investigación en Plantas y Afines-PHYTOS, Grupo de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Recursos Naturales-BIONAT; Herbario de la Universidad de Caldas-FAUC, Calle 65 No. 26-10, Edificio Bicentenario, 3 piso, Manizales, Colombia
Universidad de Salamanca, 340007 Salamanca España; Instituto de Investigaciones en Estratigrafía IIES-Universidad de Caldas, Calle 65 # 26-10, Edificio Orlando Sierra, 2 piso, Manizales, Colombia
Floral biology Chocó Biogeographic Colombia dipteran Neotropic Thismia Monocots


A new species, Thismia paradisiaca (Thismiaceae), discovered on the basis of a record at the iNaturalist platform is described and illustrated. The new species is recorded for the Pacific slope of the Western Cordillera of the Andes. It is assigned to sect. Ophiomeris, differing from all the other species of the section by having dimorphic stamens, incurved upper outer tepal, and lateral outer tepals slightly revolute at their bases. In addition, pollen morphology of T. paradisiaca is described, and interaction of pollen with a dipteran found inside the floral chamber is discussed. Finally, a distribution map of the genus in Colombia and a taxonomic key for the subgen. Ophiomeris are provided.


  1. Aguilar-Cano, J., Guzmán-Guzmán, S. & Lopero-Toro, A. (2023) Thismia andicola sp. nov. (Thismiaceae): a new species from the northern Andes in Colombia. Phytotaxa 579: 107–116.
    Beentje, H. (2016) The Kew Plant Glossary, an illustrated dictionary of plant terms. 2nd ed. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 184 pp.
    Berg, C.C., Akkermans, R.W.A.P. & van Heusden, C.H. (1990) Cecropiaceae: Coussapoa and Pourouma, with an introduction to the family. Flora Neotropica Monograph 51: 1–208.
    Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.) (2019) Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, D.C. Available from:
    Chantanaorrapint, S. (2008) Thismia angustimitra, a new species from Thailand. Blumea 53: 524–526.
    Chantanaorrapint, S. & Suddee, S. (2018) Thismia thaithongiana (Dioscoreaceae: Thismieae), a new species of mycoheterotroph from an unusual habitat. Phytotaxa 333 (2): 287–292.
    Chantanaorrapint, S., Tetsana, N., Tripetch, P. & Suddee, S. (2019) Thismia submucronata (Thismiaceae), a new species from Mainland Southeast Asia. Taiwania 64: 240–244.
    Chantanaorrapint, S. & Seelanan, T. (2021) Thismia clavigeroides (Thismiaceae), a new mycoheterotrophic species from Thailand. Systematic Botany 46 (1): 18–23.
    Dancák, M., Hroneš, M. & Sochor, M. (2020a) Thismia minutissima (Thismiaceae), a remarkable new mycoheterotrophic species from Sarawak, Borneo. Kew Bulletin 75: 29.
    Dančák, M., Hroneš, M. & Sochor, M. (2020b) Thismia: the rarest of the rare? Ranges of some Bornean species are much larger than previously believed. Phytotaxa 455 (4): 245–261.
    De Roux, J.M., Noguera-Urbano, E.A. & Ramírez-Chaves, H.E. (2019) The vulnerable Colombian weasel Mustela felipei (Carnivora): new record from Colombia and a review of its distribution in protected areas. Therya 10: 207–210.
    Erdtman, G. (1969) Handbook of palynology: morphology, taxonomy, ecology; an introduction to the study of pollen grains and spores. New York, Hafner, 486 pp.
    Engels, M.E., Muscat, E., Moroti, M. de T. & Smidt, E. de C. (2022) Thismia mantiqueirensis (Thismiaceae), a new species of Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Phytotaxa 570: 223–228.
    Faegri, K. & Van Der Pijl, L. (1979) The principles of pollination ecology. Pergamon Press, Oxford, 244 pp.
    Goebel, K. & Süssenguth, K. (1924) Beiträge zur Kenntnis der südamerikanischen Burmanniaceen. Flora 117: 55–90.
    Gonella, P.M., Rivadavia, F. & Fleschmann, A. (2015) Drosera magnifica (Droseraceae): the largest New World sundew, discovered on Facebook. Phytotaxa 220 (3): 257–267.
    Griffith, W. (1844) On the root parasites referred by authors to Rhizantheae, and their allies. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 1: 221–223.
    Groom, P. (1895) On Thismia aseroe (Beccari) and its mycorhiza. Annals of Botany 9: 327–361.
    Guo, X., Zhao, Z., Mar, S.S., Zhang, D. & Saunders, R.M.K. (2019) A symbiotic balancing act: arbuscular mycorrhizal specificity and specialist fungus gnat pollination in the mycoheterotrophic genus Thismia (Thismiaceae). Annals of Botany 124 (2): 331–342.
    Hroneš, M., Rejžek, M., Sochor, M., Svátek, M., Kvasnica, J., Egertová, Z., Pereira, J.T., Nilus, R. & Dančák, M. (2018) Two new species of Thismia subsect. Odoardoa (Thismiaceae) from Borneo. Plant Ecology Evolution 151: 110–118.
    Jones, C.D., Glon, M.G., Cedar, K., Paiero, S.M., Pratt, P.D. & Preney, T.J. (2019) First record of Paintedhand Mudbug (Lacunicambarus polychromatus) in Ontario and Canada and the significance of iNaturalist in making new discoveries. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 133 (2): 160–166.
    Jonker, F.P. (1938) A monograph of the Burmanniaceae. Mededeelingen van het Botanisch Museum en Herbarium van de Rijks Universiteit te Utrecht 51: 1–279.
    Kumar, P., Gale, S.W., Li, J.H., Bouamanivong, S. & Fischer, G.A. (2017) Thismia nigricoronata, a new species of Burmanniaceae (Thismieae, Dioscoreales) from Vang Vieng, Vientiane Province, Laos, and a key to subgeneric classification. Phytotaxa 319 (3): 225–240.
    Li, H.Q. & Bi, Y.K. (2013) A new species of Thismia (Thismiaceae) from Yunnan, China. Phytotaxa 105 (1): 25–28.
    Larsen, K. & Averyanov, L.V. (2007) Thismia annamensis and Thismia tentaculata, two new species of Thismiaceae from central Vietnam. Rheedea 17 (1&2): 13–19.
    Luján, M., Idárraga, A. & Hammel, B. (2018) Clusia hirsuta, a new species from Clusia sect. Retinostemon and the first description of trichomes in the genus. Novon 26 (2): 154–158.
    Maas, P.J.M., Maas-van de Kamer, H., van Benthem, J., Snelders, H.C.M. & Rübsamen, T. (1986) Burmanniaceae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 42: 1–189.
    Maas, P.J.M. & Maas-van de Kamer, H. (1988) Burmanniaceae. Flora de Colombia 7: 33–125.
    Mancinelli, W.S., Blum, C.T. & Smidt, E. de C. (2012) Thismia prataensis (Thismiaceae), a new species from the Brazilian Atlantic rain forest. Systematic Botany 37: 879–882.
    Mar, S.S. & Saunders, R.M.K. (2015) Thismia hongkongensis (Thismiaceae): a new mycoheterotrophic species from Hong Kong, China, with observations on floral visitors and seed dispersal. PhytoKeys 46: 21–33.
    Merck, V.S.F.T. & Smets, E.F. (2014) Thismia americana, the 101st anniversary of a botanical mystery. International Journal of Plant Sciences 175: 165–175.
    Mesaglio, T., Sauquet, H., Coleman, C., Wenk, E. & Cornwell, W.K. (2023) Photographs as an essential biodiversity resource: drivers of gaps in the vascular plant photographic record. New Phytologist 238 (4): 1685–1694.
    Miers, J. (1847) On a new genus of plants of the family Burmanniaceae. Proceedings of Linnean Society of London 1: 328–329.
    Morrone, J.J., Escalante, T., Rodríguez-Rapia, G., Carmona, A., Arana, M. & Mercado-Gómez, J.D. (2022) Biogeographic regionalization of the Neotropical region: New map and shapefile. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 94 (1): e20211167.
    Nuraliev, M.S., Beer, A.S., Kuznetsov, A.N. & Kuznetsova, S.P. (2014) Thismia mucronata (Thismiaceae), a new species from Southern Vietnam. Phytotaxa 167 (3): 245–255.
    Nuraliev, M.S., Beer, A.S., Kuznetsov, A.N. & Kuznetsova, S.P. (2015) Thismia puberula (Thismiaceae), a new species from Southern Vietnam. Phytotaxa 234 (2): 133–142.
    Nuraliev, M.S., Yudina, S.V., Shepeleva, E.A., Truong, B.V., Do, T.X., Beer, A.S. & Remizowa, M.V. (2021) Floral structure in Thismia (Thismiaceae: Dioscoreales): new insights from anatomy, vasculature and development. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 195: 501–531.
    Olson, D.M., Dinerstein, E., Wikramanayake, E.D., Burgess, N.D., Powell, G.V.N., Underwood, E.C., D’amico, J.A., Itoua, I., Strand, H.E., Morrison, J.C., Loucks, C.J., Allnutt, T.F., Ricketts, T.H., Kura, Y., Lamoreux, J.F., Wettengel, W.W., Hedao, P. & Kassem, K.R. (2001) Terrestrial ecoregions of the World: A new map of life on Earth: A new global map of terrestrial ecoregions provides an innovative tool for conserving biodiversity. BioScience 51: 933–938.[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2
    Poulsen, M.V.A. (1889) Une nouvelle phanérogame sans chlorophylle (Thismia glaziovii). Note préliminaire. Revue Générale de Botanique 1: 549–550.
    Poulsen, M.V.A. (1890) Thismia glaziovii nov. sp. Bidrag til de brasilianske Saprofyters Naturhistorie. Oversigt over det kongelige danske videnskabernes selskabs forhandlinger og dets medlemmers arbeider 1890: 18–38.
    POWO (2023) Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Available from: (accessed: 14 April 2023).
    Punt, W., Hoen, P.P., Blackmore, S., Nilsson, S. & Le Thomas, A. (2007) Glossary of pollen and spore terminology. Review Palaeobotany and Palynology 143: 1–81.
    QGIS Development Team (2020) QGIS Geographic Information System: Open Source Geospatial Foundation Project. Available from: (accessed 12 July 2023).
    Rangel-Ch., J.O. (ed.) (2004) Colombia Diversidad Biótica IV: El Chocó biogeográfico/Costa Pacífica. Editorial Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Bogotá, D.C. 997 pp.
    Rosa, R.M., Cavallari, D.C. & Salvador, R.B. (2022) iNaturalist as a tool in the study of tropical molluscs. PLoS ONE 17 (5): e0268048.
    Schneider, C.A., Rasband, W.S. & Eliceiri, K.W. (2012) NIH Image to ImageJ: 25 years of image analysis. Nature Methods 9 (7): 671–675.
    Silva, D.F. da & Braga, J.M.A. (2022) Thismia petasiformis (Thismiaceae), a new fairy lantern species from the Brazilian Amazon Forest. Phytotaxa 564: 221–229.
    Silva, D.F. da, Engels, M.E. & Soares-Lopes, C.R.A. (2020) Novelties in Thismia (Thismiaceae) from South Brazilian Amazon with the description of a new species. Phytotaxa 429: 261–273.
    Silva, D.F. da, Ríos, R.C., Cruz, V.J.M.V. da, Souza, I. de & Braga, J.M.A. (2022) Thismia cordata (Thismiaceae), a new fairy lantern species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Phytotaxa 571: 76–84.
    Silva, D.F. da, Honório, M., Silva, C.G., Teixeira-Silva, M.A., Silveira, M. & Braga, J.M.A. (2023a) Two new species of Thismia (Thismiaceae) from the Brazilian Amazon Forest. Phytotaxa 587 (3): 269–282.
    Silva, D.F. da, Ribeiro, R.S. & Braga, J.M.A. (2023b) Thismia pseudomelanomitra (Thismiaceae), a new mycoheterotrophic species from Brazilian Amazon Forest. Phytotaxa 597 (2): 175–183.
    Siti-Munirah, M.Y. & Dome, N. (2022) Thismia latiffiana (Thismiaceae), an unusual new species from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. PhytoKeys 188: 105–114.
    Siti-Munirah, M.Y. & Dome, N. (2023) Thismia kenyirensis (Thismiaceae), a new species from Taman Negeri Kenyir, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. PhytoKeys 221: 61–72.
    Siti-Munirah, M.Y., Suhaimi-Miloko, Z. & Zubir Ahmad, M.I. (2021) Thismia belumensis (Thismiaceae), a remarkable new species from The Royal Belum State Park, Gerik, Perak, Peninsular Malaysia. PhytoKeys 172: 121–134.
    Standley, P.C. (1927) New plants from Central America. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 17 (7): 159–171.
    Stone, B.C. (1980) Rediscovery of Thismia clavigera (Becc.) F. v. M. (Burmanniaceae). Blumea 26: 419–425.
    Sochor, M., Hroneš, M. & Dančák, M. (2018) New insights into variation, evolution and taxonomy of fairy lanterns (Thismia, Thismiaceae) with four new species from Borneo. Plant Systematics and Evolution 304: 699–721.
    Sujanapal, P., Robi, A.J., Dantas, K.J., Sumod, M. & Merckx, V.S.F.T. (2017) Thismia (Thismiaceae): the first record of the mycoheterotrophic genus to the Flora of India with a new species revealing the phytogeographical significance of Western Ghats. Blumea 62: 97–102.
    Warming, E. (1901) Sur quelques Burmanniacées recueillies au Brésil par le Dr. A. Glaziou. Oversigt Over Det Kgl. Danse Videnskabernes Selskabs Forhandlinger 1901: 173–188.
    Winterton, S.L. (2020) A new bee-mimicking stiletto fly (Therevidae) from China discovered on iNaturalist. Zootaxa 4816 (3): 361–369.
    Yudina, S.V., Vislobokov, N.A. & Nuraliev, M.S. (2021) Evidences of a mixed pollination strategy in Vietnamese species of Thismia (Thismiaceae: Dioscoreales). Wulfenia 28: 109–128.