1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Genus: Senegalia Raf.
      1. Senegalia menabeensis (Villiers & Du Puy) Boatwr.

        Acacia menabeensis is a member of the pea and bean family (Leguminosae) and is native to Madagascar. It belongs to the group of Madagascan acacias which have bottle-brush-like inflorescences. The scented flowers are a source of nectar and pollen for bees, and the gum exuded by the plant when damaged is thought to be eaten by lemurs. There are only six herbarium specimens of A. menabeensis, the most recent from a collection made in 1996.

    [KSP]
    General Description
    Acacia menabeensis is a Critically Endangered shrub, which is restricted to Madagascar.

    Acacia menabeensis is a member of the pea and bean family (Leguminosae) and is native to Madagascar. It belongs to the group of Madagascan acacias which have bottle-brush-like inflorescences. The scented flowers are a source of nectar and pollen for bees, and the gum exuded by the plant when damaged is thought to be eaten by lemurs. There are only six herbarium specimens of A. menabeensis, the most recent from a collection made in 1996.

    Species Profile

    Geography and distribution

    Restricted to Madagascar (Toliara Province), where it is only known to occur in a small area north of Morondava, which includes the small, private reserve of Kirindi (Kirindy) Forest. It has been found at 20–500 m above sea level.

    Description

    Overview: A deciduous shrub or tree, with prickles, growing up to 5 m tall. The mature stem is smooth and grey-brown, and the twigs are pale grey, with numerous tough prickles up to 5 mm long.

    Leaves: The leaves are feather-like, yellowish and hairy, with a stalk (main axis) with curved prickles underneath and a gland near the petiole base. There are up to 30 pairs of segments, which are whitish and hairy, and numerous leaflets (about 17–40 pairs per segment), which are up to 2.5 mm long on mature stems.

    Flowers: The bottle-brush-shaped inflorescences are axillary, about 1.5–4.0 cm long and elongate towards the tip of new growths. The flowers are more or less densely spaced, about 4–5 mm long (including the stamens) and scented. The calyx and corolla are green, and the numerous stamens are pale greenish cream. The anthers are cream.

    Fruits: The seed pods are oblong, slightly curved, flattened (but raised at the margin and over each seed), 8.0–10.0 cm long, 1.2–1.5 cm wide and straw-coloured. The seeds are discoid or elliptic in outline, 6–7 mm long and 5–7 mm wide, with a horse-shoe shape-like line surrounding the areole (pleurogram).

    The story behind the name

    The type specimen (holotype) of Acacia menabeensis, which is held in the Paris Herbarium (Herbier National de Paris), was originally described as Acacia minutifoliain 1879 by French botanist Emmanuel Drake. However, this name is illegitimate as there is another A. minutifolia described by Ferdinand von Mueller in 1874. Upon realising this, botanists Jean-Francois Villiers and David Du Puy had to give a new name to the species, which then became A. menabeensis, as published in The Leguminosae of Madagascar.

    Two duplicates (isotypes) of the type specimen are held in Kew’s Herbarium.

    Threats and conservation

    No population data are available for Acacia menabeensis, which is thought to be very restricted in its distribution (and which is known from only six herbarium collections). The major threat to Madagascar succulent woodland is fire, both as a result of wildfires and intentional burning for expansion of agricultural land. There are no known conservation measures specifically for A. menabeensis, and it is known to occur in only one protected area, the Kirindy Mite National Park. It has been recommended that seeds of A. menabeensis are collected and stored as an ex situ conservation measure.

    Due to its restricted Extent of Occurrence (which is less than 100 km²) and estimated Area of Occupancy, the lack of precise information on its population dynamics, and the high level of threat to its dry deciduous forest and succulent woodland habitats, A. menabeensis is currently rated as Critically Endangered. Further research and fieldwork are required to better understand the distribution, health and population dynamics of A. menabeensis

    Conservation assessments carried out by Kew

    Acacia menabeensis is being monitored as part of the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants, which aims to produce conservation assessments for a representative sample of the world’s plant species. This information will then be used to monitor trends in extinction risk and help focus conservation efforts where they are needed most.

    Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage

    The Millennium Seed Bank partnership aims to save plant life worldwide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in Kew's seed bank vault at Wakehurst.

    Description of seeds:Seeds with hard coat, discoid or elliptic in outline, 6–7 mm long, 5–7 mm wide, with a pleurogram.Number of seed collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank:None.Seed storage behaviour:Orthodox (the seeds of this plant survive drying without significant reduction in their viability, and are therefore amenable to long-term frozen storage such as at the MSB).

    This species at Kew

    Pressed and dried specimens of Acacia menabeensisare held in Kew’s Herbarium, where they are available to researchers from around the world, by appointment. The details of some of these specimens can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue.

    Distribution
    Madagascar
    Ecology
    Sandy soil in scrubland and succulent woodland, with baobabs (Adansonia species), including Adansonia fony.
    Conservation
    Critically Endangered (CR) according to IUCN Red List criteria.
    Hazards

    Acacia menabeensis has a stem and branches covered in prickles.

    Images

    Distribution

    Found In:

    Madagascar

    Senegalia menabeensis (Villiers & Du Puy) Boatwr. appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 179: 292 (2015)

    Literature

    • [1] The Plant List (2010). Acacia menabeensis.
    • [2] Contu, S. (2009). Acacia menabeensis. Assessment using IUCN Categories and Criteria 3.1 (IUCN 2001). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • [3] Du Puy, D. Labat, J.-N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J. (2002). The Leguminosae of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • [4] Du Puy, D.J., Labat, N.-N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J. (2002) The Leguminosae of Madagascar . Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • [5] Dorr, L.J. (1997). Plant Collectors in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands (a biographical and bibliographical guide to individuals and groups who have collected herbarium material of algae, bryophytes, fungi, lichen, and vascular plants in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Sources

    International Plant Names Index
    The International Plant Names Index (2016). Published on the Internet http://www.ipni.org
    [A] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    [B] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [C]

    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    [D] See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [E] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0