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Seychellois names given to new fern species

Seychellois names given to new fern species ( The Seychelles National Herbarium named two newly-discovered ferns after two renowned Seychellois who are contributing immensely to the Seychelles natural environment and to its conservation.

In 2011, the Seychelles National Herbarium made an impressive discovery when Bruno Senterre, a Belgium national working with the National Herbarium, came across a new fern species on Mont Cotton in the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahe. At first glance, the species has similar features to that of Angiopteris madagascariensis, a common fern typical to Seychelles and other islands in the region such as Madagascar and Mauritius. But it turned out, after close analysis at the Kew Gardens in London and the National Herbarium in Paris, that it was in fact a new fern species discovered in Seychelles.

The National Herbarium remained impressed by such a discovery and wanted to make a point in naming the new species to a Seychellois. The new fern species is now called Angiopteris chongsengiana (batonmonsennyerdgranbwa) in honor of Lindsay Chong-Seng, a naturalist who is dedicating his time to the protection of the environment in Seychelles. Angiopteris chongsengiana is now listed as a species of the Marattiaceae family.

In another discovery, the National Herbarium found out that one the ferns discovered on Montagne Panneau, commonly known as Mont Harrison in July 2011, was misnamed. Ptisana franxinea (ptibatonmonsennyer), as it is called in Creole, according to the National Herbarium has similar features to that of the fern species found on Ascension Island in the Atlantic and not to the Marattiaceae family. Thus the name has been removed and replaced with Ptisana laboudalloniana, in honor of another key figure who is contributing to the Seychelles natural environment and conservation, Victorin Laboudallon.

The names of these two new species of ferns were kept under lock and key at the National Herbarium until the announcement in a ceremony on Thursday, March 6, at the National History Museum. Both Victorin Laboudallon and Lindsay Chong-Seng said they are “honored to be part of this great scientific discovery.” The National Herbarium said that these two new discoveries are “a giant leap for Seychelles and science.”

PHOTO (L-R): Charles Morel Herbarium Curator, Victorin Laboudallon, and Lindsay Chong-Seng


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