Monographs Details: Naucleopsis
Authority: Berg, Cornelius C. 2001. Moreae, Artocarpeae, and (Moraceae): With introductions to the family and and with additions and corrections to Flora Neotropica Monograph 7. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 83: 1-346. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Moraceae
Scientific Name:Naucleopsis
Synonyms:Uleodendron Rauschert
Discussion:Further botanical exploration has affected this genus more than the other revised genera, in particular by new records from Central America (Costa Rica and Panama), from the Pacific Coastal region of Colombia and Ecuador, and the Napo region. Five new species and two new subspecies have been described. Naucleopsis amara had to be reduced to a subspecies of N. ulei, and the name of one of the species had to be changed from N. mello-barretoi to N. oblongifolia due to rules of priority. Naucleopsis ulei subsp. subandina is described in the present monograph.

In more recent descriptions I have abandoned the term "pseudobracts" for all, mostly aculeate, processes on the upper part of the pistillate inflorescence and used instead "free parts of the perianth." In some of the species all these free parts are distinctly associated with the style and thus can be easily recognized as parts of the perianth; the number of tepals is often more than 4, the basic number of the family and tribe, and varies from 4 to 8 or 10. Even with this increase, a distinct arrangement of free parts of the perianth around styles can still be present, but sometimes one or a few free perianth parts occur dispersed among the flowers. In many other cases the free perianth parts are loosely arranged, and the number of these parts among the styles is often more than 10 per flower (or style). As interfloral bracts seem to be lacking in the Castilleae, it is not likely that the processes represent bracts, but rather that floral configurations became obsolete, as happened less pronouncedly in the staminate inflorescences of the genus.

The staminate flowers of Naucleopsis often have more than the basic number of 4 tepals and often less than the basic number of 4 stamens, which are consequently often not in the normal antitepalous position of the stamens, and a consistent floral configurations is lost. This may also explain why the staminate flowers are enclosed by the relatively large inner involucral bracts. In other cases, as in Castilla and Pseudolmedia, having inflorescences closed until anthesis is correlated with reduction of the perianth.

However, between the peripheral scale-like structures of the pistillate inflorescence, which can be regarded as true involucral bracts, and the structures which can be regarded as free parts of the tepals, one often finds aculeate processes which do not clearly belong to the involucre or to the flowers.

Within the genus a number of species are characterized by the periderm that peels off in small flakes. The species with this feature appear to represent a group of related species with a largely northwestern distribution in South America (linked with the northern Andean region): the upper Amazon Basin, the Pacific Coastal region of South America, and Central America. This group comprises the species numbered 15-22.

Latex of several species of Naucleopsis is used to prepare dart poison. The use of latex of N. oblongifolia (= N. mello-barretoi) was reported by Prance (1972a, 1972b) and Bisset and Hylands (1977) for the Maku Indians in Amazonas (Brazil) and discussed by Shrestha et al. (1992) for the Pacific Coastal region of Colombia. The local names palo venono, veneno, venenillo, venenu teiug, and venueo, used for N. chiguila and/or N. naga subspp, naga and meridionalis in the northern part of the Pacific Coastal region of Ecuador, also suggest that these species yield poison.