Marcgravia evenia

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Marcgravia evenia
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Marcgraviaceae
Genus: Marcgravia
M. evenia
Binomial name
Marcgravia evenia
Krug & Urb.

Marcgravia evenia is a species of flowering vine in the family Marcgraviaceae. Within this family it belongs to the Galetae group, which is characterized by a long inflorescence axis and boat shaped nectaries.[1] The plant is endemic to Cuba. The inflorescence of M. evenia is extraordinary. At the upper end of the pendant inflorescence are several concave bracts set at an angle to reflect and focus sonar pulses from bats, helping the bats to locate the flowers.. In the middle of the inflorescence is a discoid circle (or single-whorled umbel) of about twenty tubular tetramerous flowers. Below these is a second set of bracts very different from the reflective ones These are modified into extrafloral nectaries which is why the bats are interested, and can be enlisted as pollinators. Inflorescences with two different kinds of bracts are quite rare.[2][3] although the common poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcerima) is one such.

Bat ecology[edit]

Marcgravia evenia relies on Monophyllus, a Cuban nectar-feeding bat,[4] for pollination. This plant has evolved bowl shaped leaves which act as reflectors for a bat's biosonar.[5] This helps the bats to find the plants with greater ease and hence pollinate them with more frequency. The shape of the leaves also helps to guide the bats in locating the hidden feeders.[6] The reflectors are convergent with those of a Bornean pitcher plant, Nepenthes hemsleyana, that attracts bats to its pitchers as roosting sites and uses bat guano as a source of nutrition.[7]


  1. ^ Dressler, Stefan (2000). "A New Species of Marcgravia (Marcgraviaceae) from Amazonia with Some Notes on the Galeatae Group Including a Key". Willdenowia. 30 (2): 369–374. doi:10.3372/wi.30.30214. JSTOR 3997403. S2CID 86449574.
  2. ^ Kaufman, Rachel (July 28, 2011). "Bats Drawn to Plant by"Echo Beacon"". Retrieved July 28, 2011.[dead link]
  3. ^ Dressler, Stefan ,Guide to the Genera Lianas and Climbing Plants in the Neotropics - Marcgraviaceae (November 2017)
  4. ^ Lake, John (29 July 2011). "National Geographic and European Scientists Name New 'Talking Plant'". Blogcritics. Archived from the original on 5 August 2011.
  5. ^ Simon, Ralph; Holderied, Marc W.; Koch, Corinna U.; von Helversen, Otto (29 July 2011). "Floral Acoustics: Conspicuous Echoes of a Dish-Shaped Leaf Attract Bat Pollinators". Science. 333 (6042): 631–633. Bibcode:2011Sci...333..631S. doi:10.1126/science.1204210. PMID 21798950. S2CID 5035286.
  6. ^ Gill, Victoria (29 July 2011). "Plants Evolved a Bat Beckoning Beacon". BBC Nature. Archived from the original on 29 July 2011.
  7. ^ Schöner, Michael G.; Schöner, Caroline R.; Simon, Ralph; Grafe, T. Ulmar; Puechmaille, Sébastien J.; Ji, Liaw Lin; Kerth, Gerald (July 2015). "Bats Are Acoustically Attracted to Mutualistic Carnivorous Plants". Current Biology. 25 (14): 1911–1916. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.05.054. PMID 26166777.

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