Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Lepidagathis alopecuroidea
(pata de gallina)

Vélez-Gavilán J, 2020. Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (Pata de gallina). Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CABI. DOI:10.1079/ISC.79466489.20203483476

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Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 24 July 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Documented Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Lepidagathis alopecuroidea
  • Preferred Common Name
  • pata de gallina
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Lepidagathis alopecuroidea is a small perennial herb with a pantropical distribution, not reported as invasive in any of its current range. Although the species is not reported as present in the Pacific Islands, it is considered a threat...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); inflorerscence, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
TitleInflorerscence
CaptionLepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); inflorerscence, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
Copyright©O.M. Montiel/via Tropicos-Missouri Botanical Garden - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); inflorerscence, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
InflorerscenceLepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); inflorerscence, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.©O.M. Montiel/via Tropicos-Missouri Botanical Garden - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); habit, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
TitleFlower and leaves
CaptionLepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); habit, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
Copyright©O.M. Montiel/via Tropicos-Missouri Botanical Garden - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); habit, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
Flower and leavesLepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); habit, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.©O.M. Montiel/via Tropicos-Missouri Botanical Garden - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); inflorerscence, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
TitleInflorerscence
CaptionLepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); inflorerscence, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
Copyright©O.M. Montiel/via Tropicos-Missouri Botanical Garden - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); inflorerscence, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.
InflorerscenceLepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); inflorerscence, showing flower and leaves. Nicaragua.©O.M. Montiel/via Tropicos-Missouri Botanical Garden - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); habit, showing inflorescence, leaves and root system. East of Lake Azingo, nr Lambaréné, Gabon. June 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionLepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); habit, showing inflorescence, leaves and root system. East of Lake Azingo, nr Lambaréné, Gabon. June 2014.
Copyright©Ehoarn Bidault/via Tropicos-Missouri Botanical Garden - CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); habit, showing inflorescence, leaves and root system. East of Lake Azingo, nr Lambaréné, Gabon. June 2014.
HabitLepidagathis alopecuroidea (pata de gallina); habit, showing inflorescence, leaves and root system. East of Lake Azingo, nr Lambaréné, Gabon. June 2014.©Ehoarn Bidault/via Tropicos-Missouri Botanical Garden - CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Lepidagathis alopecuroidea (Vahl) R.Br. ex Griseb.

Preferred Common Name

  • pata de gallina

Other Scientific Names

  • Adenosma chenopodiifolia (Poir.) Spreng.
  • Aetheilema alopecuroidea (Vahl) Spreng.
  • Ruellia alopecuroidea Vahl.
  • Ruellia chenopodiifolia Poir.
  • Telostachya alopecuroidea (Vahl.) Ness

International Common Names

  • French: queue de renard; zeau noire

Local Common Names

  • Guadeloupe: fon san; ké (a) rénar; zo nwè

Summary of Invasiveness

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Lepidagathis alopecuroidea is a small perennial herb with a pantropical distribution, not reported as invasive in any of its current range. Although the species is not reported as present in the Pacific Islands, it is considered a threat at high altitudes (PIER, 2020). Oviedo Prieto et al. (2012) list L. alopecuroidea as potentially invasive, including it in the category of species naturalised in some areas with a tendency to proliferate. It is also considered as a potential invasive species for the Lesser Antilles by Meyer and Lavergne (2004) despite most references listing the West Indies as part of its native distribution (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Scrophulariales
  •                         Family: Acanthaceae
  •                             Genus: Lepidagathis
  •                                 Species: Lepidagathis alopecuroidea

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The Acanthaceae contains about 4000 species found in tropical and subtropical habitats worldwide. Lepidagathis is a large genus of about 100 species with about 10 occurring in the New World. Some of the species have complex patterns of dispersal and/or extinction; with at least three dispersal events from the Old World to the New World (McDade et al., 2008). Of the synonyms reported for L. alopecuroidea, Ruellia lagopodes Ryan ex Nees is an unresolved name (The Plant List, 2013).

Description

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The following description is from Leonard (1958):

Herbs up to 50 cm tall, usually much branched, erect, decumbent or ascending, sometimes rooting at the lower nodes, short-pilose; leaf blades thin, ovate to elliptic, 3 to 8 cm long, 2 to 3 cm wide, acute or obtuse at apex, narrowed at base, repand or entire; spikes usually terminal, 2 to 8 cm long, 1 to 1.5 cm in diameter, many-flowered; bracts lanceolate to oblong, about 6 mm long, venose, ciliate; calyx segments unequal, 4 to 6 mm long, the anterior pair lanceolate, connate at the base, the lateral pair linear, the posterior segment obovate; corolla white or violet, about as long as the calyx; stamens 4, free at base, the anther sacs parallel, slightly unequal, blunt at base; capsules sessile, glabrous, 4-seeded, about 4 mm long.

Plant Type

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Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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L. alopecuroidea is a small herb with a pantropical distribution, considered as native to both the Old World and the New World (POWO, 2020). Fossil evidence paired with molecular studies suggest that the species distribution is the result of long-distance dispersal events from the Old World to the New World within the past 20 million years (myr) (Tripp and McDade, 2014).

L. alopecuroidea is reported from Mexico, Central America, South America, the West Indies and Africa (Loveless, 1960; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; Flora do Brasil, 2020; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2020; POWO, 2020; PROTA, 2020; USDA-ARS, 2020). It is listed as native to Cuba (USDA-ARS, 2020), although Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012) question if the species is native to this country.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 23 Jul 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresentNative
CameroonPresentNative
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentNative
Côte d'IvoirePresentNative
GabonPresentNative
GhanaPresentNative
GuineaPresentNative
LiberiaPresentNative
MaliPresentNative
NigeriaPresentNative
SenegalPresentNative
Sierra LeonePresentNative
TanzaniaPresentNative

North America

Antigua and BarbudaPresentNativeAntigua
BarbadosPresentNative
BelizePresentNative
Costa RicaPresentNative
CubaPresentNative
DominicaPresentNative
Dominican RepublicPresentNative
GrenadaPresentNative
GuadeloupePresentNative
GuatemalaPresentNative
HaitiPresentNative
HondurasPresentNative
JamaicaPresentNative
MartiniquePresentNative
MexicoPresentNativeChiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Veracruz
MontserratPresentNative
NicaraguaPresentNative
PanamaPresentNative
Puerto RicoPresentNative
Saint LuciaPresentNative
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNative
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNative

South America

BoliviaPresentNative
BrazilPresentNative
-AmazonasPresentNative
-GoiasPresentNative
-Mato GrossoPresentNative
-ParaPresentNative
ColombiaPresentNative
EcuadorPresentNative
French GuianaPresentNative
GuyanaPresentNative
ParaguayPresentNative
PeruPresentNative
SurinamePresentNative
VenezuelaPresentNative

History of Introduction and Spread

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There is no information available on the introduction or spread of L. alopecuroidea to countries outside its native range. Although reported as naturalised in the Lesser Antilles by Meyer and Lavergne (2004), most of the available references list the species as native to the West Indies (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; POWO, 2020; USDA-ARS, 2020).

Risk of Introduction

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Very little is known about L. alopecuroidea, including its environmental requirements, reproductive biology and dispersal mechanisms. Its risk of introduction is low as the geographical distribution is apparently limited to tropical areas, it is not cultivated, and no productive uses have been reported for the species other than as a sedative (PROTA, 2020).

Habitat

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L. alopecuroidea is a small perennial herb reported from palm swamps, riverine forests, sandy shaded river banks, shrublands, damp savannas, shaded paths, thickets, disturbed forests, semi-evergreen forests, damp or wet forests, thickets, open hillsides, meadows and forests clearings (Leonard, 1958; Ramirez and Brito, 1990; Meyer and Lavergne, 2004; Wasshausen and Wood, 2004; Flora do Brasil, 2020; Flora of Nicaragua, 2020; PIER, 2020; PROTA, 2020). It grows from sea level to about 1400 m altitude (PIER, 2020).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for L. alopecuroidea is n=9 (Daniel et al., 1990).

Reproductive Biology

L. alopecuroidea is reported as reproducing by seed and probably by stem cuttings (PIER, 2020).

Physiology and Phenology

In Bolivia, L. alopecuroidea produces flowers and fruits during the dry season, from April to September (Wasshausen and Wood, 2004). In Central America the flowering season is from January to April (Flora of Nicaragua, 2020).

Longevity

L. alopecuroidea is a perennial herb (Flora of Nicaragua, 2020).

Environmental Requirements

No environmental requirements are reported for L. alopecuroidea. Based on the habitat distribution, the species grows on humid soils, shaded places and in occasionally waterlogged areas of the tropics (PIER, 2020; PROTA, 2020).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
21 22

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 15.5 30

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall725 mm2400 mmmm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • seasonally waterlogged

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
DisturbanceThe species is reported at disturbed forest sites Yes Wasshausen and Wood (2004)
Medicinal useLocal ethnobotanical uses reported in the Lesser Antilles Yes PROTA (2020)

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Human health Positive

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Has a broad native range
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Long lived
  • Reproduces asexually

Uses

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L. alopecuroidea has mild insecticidal activity. In Dominica, it is used as a sedative to calm children (PROTA, 2020).

Uses List

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Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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L. alopecuriodea can be distinguished from other species of Lepidagathis by the inflorescence being very congested with white, purple-spotted flowers, and by the conspicuous calyces (Kameyama, 2006).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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There is very little information about L. alopecuroidea. There is no information on its impact, biology, dispersal mechanisms and environmental requirements.

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., Strong, M. T., 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies, Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Daniel TF, Chuang TI, Baker MA, 1990. Chromosome numbers of American Acanthaceae. Systematic Botany, 15(1), 13-25.

Flora do Brasil, 2020. Brazilian flora 2020. In: Brazilian flora 2020 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden.http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br

Flora of Nicaragua, 2020. Flora of Nicaragua. (Flora de Nicaragua). In: Flora de Nicaragua St. Louis, MO, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://tropicos.org/Project/FN

Kameyama C, 2006. (Flora da Reserva Ducke, Amazonas, Brasil: Acanthaceae). Rodriguésia, 57(2), 149-154.

Leonard EC, 1958. The Acanthaceae of Colombia. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, 31(1), 1-117.

Loveless, A. R., 1960. The vegetation of Antigua, West Indies, based largely on field work done by H.E. Box and the late C.F. Charter during the years 1932 to 1938. Journal of Ecology, 48(3), 495-527. doi: 10.2307/2257330

McDade, L. A., Daniel, T. F., Kiel, C. A., 2008. Toward a comprehensive understanding of phylogenetic relationships among lineages of Acanthaceae S.L. (Lamiales). American Journal of Botany, 95(9), 1136-1152. doi: 10.3732/ajb.0800096

Meyer, J. Y., Lavergne, C., 2004. Beautés fatales: Acanthaceae species as invasive alien plants on tropical Indo-Pacific islands. Diversity and Distributions, 10(5/6), 333-347. doi: 10.1111/j.1366-9516.2004.00094.x

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2020. Tropicos database. In: Tropicos database St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.tropicos.org/

Oviedo Prieto, R., Herrera Oliver, P., Caluff, M. G., et al., 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 6(Special Issue No. 1), 22-96.

PIER, 2020. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii.http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

POWO, 2020. Plants of the World Online. In: Plants of the World Online London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org

PROTA, 2020. PROTA4U web database. In: PROTA4U web database Wageningen and Nairobi, Kenya, Netherlands\Nairobi: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.https://www.prota4u.org/database/

Ramirez, N., Brito, Y., 1990. Reproductive biology of a tropical palm swamp community in the Venezuelan Llanos. American Journal of Botany, 77(10), 1260-1271. doi: 10.2307/2444587

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. In: The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1 Richmond, London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.http://www.theplantlist.org

Tripp EA, McDade LA, 2014. A rich fossil record yields calibrated phylogeny for Acanthaceae (Lamiales) and evidence for marked biases in timing and directionality of intercontinental disjunctions. Systematic Biology, 63(5), 660-684.

USDA-ARS, 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Wasshausen, D. C., Wood, J. R. I., 2004. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Washington, USA: Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 49, 152 pp.

World Flora Online, 2020. World Flora Online. In: World Flora Online : World Flora Online Consortium.http://www.worldfloraonline.org

Distribution References

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong M T, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. 1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Flora do Brasil, 2020. Brazilian flora 2020. In: Brazilian flora 2020, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br

Flora of Nicaragua, 2020. Flora of Nicaragua. (Flora de Nicaragua.). In: Flora de Nicaragua, St. Louis, MO, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://tropicos.org/Project/FN

Loveless A R, 1960. The vegetation of Antigua, West Indies, based largely on field work done by H.E. Box and the late C.F. Charter during the years 1932 to 1938. Journal of Ecology. 48 (3), 495-527. DOI:10.2307/2257330

Meyer J Y, Lavergne C, 2004. Beautés fatales: Acanthaceae species as invasive alien plants on tropical Indo-Pacific islands. Diversity and Distributions. 10 (5/6), 333-347. DOI:10.1111/j.1366-9516.2004.00094.x

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2020. Tropicos database. In: Tropicos database, St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

POWO, 2020. Plants of the World Online. In: Plants of the World Online, London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org

PROTA, 2020. PROTA4U web database. In: PROTA4U web database, Wageningen and Nairobi, Kenya, Netherlands\Nairobi: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. https://www.prota4u.org/database/

USDA-ARS, 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database, Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Wasshausen D C, Wood J R I, 2004. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Washington, USA: Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. 49, 152 pp.

Contributors

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23/02/20 Original text by:

Jeanine Vélez-Gavilán, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

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