A new species of miniature orchid has been discovered in a Colombian national park.
The tiny flower, found at Los Farallones de Cali National Nature Park in the Colombian department of Valle del Cauca, is less than seven millimetres in size.
The national park has about 430 different species of orchids, of which 17 are endemic to Los Farallones.
The discovery of the miniature orchid, Lepanthes farallonensis (Haelterman, Gal-Tar. & Zuluaga), was reported in the academic journal of the University of Costa Rica, and authored by Robinson Galindo, Pacific director of National Natural Parks (Parques Nacionales Naturales), in coordination with Professor Luis Baquero of the University of the Americas in Quito and the biodiversity research group of the University del Valle headed by Professor Alejandro Zuluaga.
Galindo said: “The discovery of this new orchid species is a great achievement for National Natural Parks, as we continue contributing to the knowledge of biodiversity, increasing the catalogue of species found in protected areas, and increasing our efforts with our counterparts in other territories for their conservation.”
According to researchers, the new orchid species is sensitive to climate change, however it is also an indicator of good health in the forest at the present time.
Like other plants in the region, they have a similar shape to their pollinators, in this case bees.
In March this year, three new orchid species of the genus Epidendrum were discovered at Los Farallones de Cali National Nature Park and Munchique National Natural Park in the department of Cauca: Epidendrum acuminatisepalum, Epidendrum aurimurinus and Epidendrum medusichilum.
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