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Top 10 - 2010

Attenborough's Pitcher

(The spectacular traps of the tropical pitcher plant, Nepenthes attenboroughii) Images courtesy of Alastair S. Robinson

Name:  Nepenthes attenboroughii

Common Name:  None

Family:  Nepenthaceae

How it made the Top 10:  It is a charismatic plant species and produces one of the largest pitchers known at 30x16 cm, comparable in size to an American football.  It is also carnivorous, feeding on insects trapped by the fluid contained in the pitchers.  Endemic to the island of Palawan, Philippines, it is known only from a single locality and the authors suggest it be Red Listed as Critically Endangered.

Reference:  Robinson, A.S., A.S. Fleischmann, S.R. McPherson, V.B. Heinrich, E.P. Gironella and C.Q. Peña. 2009. A spectacular new species of Nepenthes L. (Nepenthaceae) pitcher plant from central Palawan, Philippines. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 159:195-202.

Type Material:  Holotype and paratype – Palawan State University, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines.

Type Locality:  "Philippines, Palawan, Mount Victoria."

Etymology:  "The specific epithet, attenboroughii, is a commemorative, genitive noun in apposition taken from the patronym Attenborough. We have chosen to name this species after broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, whose outstanding television documentaries have made the world’s natural history accessible and understandable to millions.  As a keen enthusiast of the genus and a patron of Philippine conservation efforts, it is fitting that this spectacular new species be dedicated to him on the occasion of his 80th birthday."

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