Philippine Science Letters
Phil. Sci. Lett. 2014 7 (1) 88-96
available online: March 22, 2014
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Received: August 19, 2013
Revised: February 24, 2014
Accepted: February 25, 2014
The genus Bikkia Reinw. (Rubiaceae) was formerly described as heterogeneous in terms of its habitat and corolla shape. Subsequently, a group of New Caledonian endemics was transferred to a genus of its own, Thiollierea Montrouz. (drooping flowers, inland habitats), leaving Bikkia (erect flowers, coastal habitats) with about 10 species worldwide. Bikkia philippinensis Valeton, the only species that occurs in the Philippines, is found in coastal areas of Cebu and the Siargao Islands. Recent observation of herbarium specimens at Central Mindanao University Herbarium revealed a divergent Bikkia species collected from the inland forests of Mt. Redondo, Dinagat Island. Comparative evaluation was conducted using morphological and molecular data. Nuclear internal transcribed spacer and chloroplast (rps16 and trnL–F) regions were sequenced and analyzed from two isolates of B. philippinensis and four isolates of the Bikkia species from Mt. Redondo. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the inland forest Bikkia species from Mt. Redondo was nested within a group of purely coastal species of Bikkia (BS=90%) but not with B. philippinensis. The two Philippine Bikkia species also differ morphologically, mainly in reproductive features. We propose to name this species Bikkia montoyae and provide a botanical illustration and discuss the conservation status of both Philippine species. We note that Bikkia can include both coastal and inland species.