New Species Alert!

The National Museum of the Philippines features the latest addition to the rich biodiversity of the Philippines, the three newly discovered species of Begonia from Samar Island.

Begonia sohoton was named after the locality Sohoton River where the new species was discovered. Did you know that the word “sohot” means to go through a narrow passage? This was noted as one of the characteristics of B. sohoton which arises from tiny crevices of the limestone walls.

Begonia tarangban is endemic to Tarangban Falls, Calbayog, Samar island where it was named after and discovered. The species grows on semi-shaded rocky slopes near the falls. This new species is noted with similar characteristics with Begonia biliranensis but further analyses shows distinct differences in its internodes, stipules and flowers. 

Begonia burabod was named after the Waray word “burabod” which means spring which reflect the moist habitat of Begonia. This species grows abundantly on soil slopes that are shaded and moist.Samar Island is considered as one of the centers of plant endemism in the Philippines that needs more protection from anthropogenic activities. These discoveries were made by researchers from various institutions (University of the Philippines Manila, University of the Philippines Los Baños, National Museum of the Philippines and Taiwan Forestry Research Institute). One of them is our Senior Museum Researcher Danilo N. Tandang. Read more about the new species and their proposed conservation status by clicking this link