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something in the root of Selaginella

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  • Wim de Winter
    Often when inspecting ferns under higher magification, all kinds of interesting creatures appear to be adhering to them: bug, spiders, snails, mosses and
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 6, 2008
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      Often when inspecting ferns under higher magification, all kinds of interesting creatures appear to be adhering to them: bug, spiders, snails, mosses and hepatics, fungi, snails, termites (often still alive). I still have a lovely mossy spider waiting for me, taken from the root masses (mosses) of a Philippine Calymmodon. Whole tropical rain forestal meso-ecosystems I can study in this way without even leaving my desk.

      Sometimes though, I cannot discern wether the extras belong to my fern or are unrequested aliens. Generally I do gazing such things for a few few minutes before thinking: o well, still a pile of Selaginellas to be identified, and turning on. But sometimes the things just "catch", such as this  one that I found on a Selaginella silvestris from Honduras. It's sitting in the middle of the rhizophore, that appears to be split lengthwise, snugly clasping the thing. It's beautiful, with a golden shine and iridescent cells.

      Unlikely anyone sees anything recognizable in it, but still it's nice.

      Wim
    • Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins
      Dear Wim and all, Fascinating but deadly - this is the egg-case of the primaeval scourge of Pterodotus, the ancient Greek pteridologist who discovered not a
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 7, 2008
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        Dear Wim and all,
        Fascinating but deadly - this is the egg-case of the primaeval
        scourge of Pterodotus, the ancient Greek pteridologist who discovered
        not a lot. He who would have given all the ferns of Greece for a pot
        free of this terrible beast - nowadays known under the ICFN as
        Eetyafernia insidoutia Hook.f., nom. cons. But I think from the
        general shine and irridescence it must belong to a new subspecies,
        subsp. dewinteri Fras.-Jenk and gang-ji.
        It starts in that way - along the rhizophore and gradually
        expands to cover whole plants, adjacent pots and during the warm rainy
        season (Ah, only joking - it's Britain, right?), may even cover whole
        greenhouses, especially those frequented by Pteridologists. Alarming
        really, as the only cure is fumigation with that most handy and well
        tested cure-all, hyrdrofluoric acid - followed by burial of the debris
        in secure canisters in deep mines below 20,000 ft. under Arizona or
        somewhere handy like that.
        Anyway, whatever you do, don't inform the Ministry as they will
        then ban all fern-cultivation except in the secure Ministry gardens
        beneath Whitehall (admission 150 dollars per minute, discount 0.1% for
        registered pteridologists with 400 or more publications to their
        name). If they knew that even one unidentified, possibly zoological
        organism findable at 1000x magnification were sighted on a S. American
        rootin a European garden - that would be it, game-up - final warning
        to the criminal band of pteridologists to cease all activity and turn
        themselves in!
        So ssshhh! - for heaven's sake don't tell anyone AT ALL about your
        remarkable discovery. Some things are best left unsaid. Big sister
        is watching us!
        Christodotus, Cat Man Doo.
      • Wim de Winter
        Good heavens! That lecture about body-snatchers I missed from the bio-systematics course realy must have been imortant after all...
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 8, 2008
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          Good heavens! That lecture about body-snatchers I missed from the
          bio-systematics course realy must have been imortant after all...
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