Monographs Details: Strychnos mitscherlichii M.R.Schomb.
Authority: Krukoff, Boris A. 1965. Supplementary notes on the American species of Strychnos VII. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 12: 1-94.
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Venezuela: Bolivar: Steyermark 75558 (Chimanthá Massif, vic. of base camp, alt. 1000 m), 88127 (Ven) (Rio Toro), Steyermark and G. C. K. & E. Dunsterville 93032 (south of El Dorado, alt. 1030 m), Bernardi 1615 (Rio Tinea, alt. 500-550 ft.), B. Maguire, Steyermark & C. Maguire 46758 (Ven) (the upper Rio Cuyuni). Colombia: Choco (Coredó), Rafael Romero 482 (US); Putumayo: basin of Rio Putumayo (frontera Colombo-Ecuatoriana, frente a Nueva Granada, alt. 390 m), Idrobo 2628, 2632; Amazonas/Vaupés: basin of Rio Apaporis, Schultes & Cabrera 12782 (US). Ecuador (upper Bobonaza, 1900 ft.), Charles C. Fuller 65. British Guiana (Mazaruni Station), Forest Dept. 6404- Brazil: Para: Ducke 1972 (near Belem); Black 46-3070 and Black & Foster 46-3328 (São Miguel do Guama); Dardano k Black 48-3098 (basin of Rio Guama); Froes & Pires 24101 (Rio Capim); Froes & Black 24568 (Rio Itacaiuna, basin of Rio Tocantins); Froes 27050 (Rio Vermelho; basin of Rio Tocantins); Black & Ledoux 50-10673 (Faro); Froes 31270 (Rio Curuana, Cachoeira do Portão). Territory of Amapa: basin of Rio Oiapoque, Froes 25908. Amazonas: basin of Rio Negro, Schwacke 573, Pires 211; basin of Rio Solimoes, Froes 23947 (São Paulo de Olivença), 26367 (Lago de Badajos) and basin of Rio Jutai, Froes 21030 (K).This is the first record of the species from Venezuela, from Choco and Putumayo (Colombia) and from the Territory of Amapa (Brazil).Distribution: Venezuela (Bolivar); Colombia (Valle del Cauca, Choco, Putumayo and Amazonas/Vaupés); Ecuador (basin of Rio Pastaza; upper Bobonaza; British Guiana (Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice); Surinam; French Guiana; Brazil (basin of Rio Oiapoque, the Territory of Amapa; near Belem, near Catú, near Santarem, also in the basins of Rio Guama, of Rio Tocantins and of Rio Mapuera all in the State of Para; in the basins of the upper and of the lower Rio Negro, of Rio Tonantins, of Rio Jutai and of the upper and medium Rio Solimoes all in the State of Amazonas and in the State of Bahia); Bolivia (basin of Rio Mapiri, La Paz). Doubtless occurs also in Peru, and in the States of Maranhão, Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe in Brazil.
Discussion:Strychnos tenuiflora Froes, in Curare and Curare-like agents, edited by D. Bovet, F. Bovet-Nitti and G. B. Marini-Bettolo, p. 85, nomen nudum. 1959.
Strychnos tenuiflora Ducke, in Curare and Curare-like agents, edited by D. Bovet, F. Bovet-Nitti and G. B. Marini-Bettolo, pp. 90, 110, nomen nudum. 1959.
I am placing with this species Froes 31270 which is the basis for a nomen nudum cited above and which appeared in print under two different authors’ names in a single paper by Froes.
It is now apparent that this species is found at an elevation of 1030 m in the region of the Venezuelan Highlands.
Local names: Pux-ae-o (= Veneno caiman), or que-he-ae-o ( = Bejuco carrasposo), or ya-yu-ae-o ( = Veneno duro) (basin of Rio Putumayo, Putumayo, Colombia); chiu panga or payanchi fino (Quichua, Ecuador).
This species is one of the six which are found on the Pacific coast of Colombia. For further details on this, see under S. panurensis. It is one of the most frequently collected species, the others being S. guianensis and S. brasiliensis.
In Ducke’s key made on the basis of fruit characters, it comes together with S. Erichsonii (31: 56).
Ducke and Froes note on labels of the specimens collected in the basin of Rio Tonantins that the plant is used in curare by the Cauichana Indians. It is occasionally used as a secondary curare ingredient by the Canelos in Ecuador (1: 293).
The collector states on the label (Idrobo 2628): “Con este se prepara veneno para flechas. Se raspa, se separa la cortesa, se reune con otros varios bejucos y se cocina en largo processo para preparar el veneno. Mata todo animal, pero no asienta en la preparacion.” On the label of another specimen (Idrobo 2632) the collector states: “mata todo animal segun Tiburcio Payoguaje.” On another specimen, which is also cited above (Charles C. Fuller 65), the label reads as follows: “bark scrapings used in curare preparation.”
Fanshawe (34: 65) gives the following information on the local names, on the field characters of this bush-rope, on its distribution in British Guiana and its alkaloids, probably on the authority of Dr. King:
“Local names: Common devildoer; kwabanaro (Arawak) ; kumarawa (Aka-waio, Arekuna, Patamona, Macushi).
“A canopy climber, to 5 inches in diameter; bark very rough, scaly, black-brown; slash off-white, soft, thicker than S. diaboli bark.
“It is generally distributed and occasional throughout the colony in rain- or dry evergreen forest on sandy or loamy soils.
“It contains at least two alkaloids, one of which has a weak curare-like action, i.e., causing paralysis of the peripheral nerves. It is used by the Akawaio and Arekuna Indians to prepare a blowpipe poison.”
As per King, the alkaloid content of this species was found to be “0” (74). In another paper by the same author (75), the alkaloid content is given as “0,” curare action, “none.” All this work was done on For. Dept. 2261. In the second paper are given the results of the work on For. Dept. 2621: “alkaloid content “+ + ,” curare action “weak.” These two specimens are from British Guiana and they were identified by N. Y. Sandwith (his letter to me of Nov. 4, 1963). It is not known what part of the plant was used for this work, presumably stem bark.
This species was under extensive studies by Karrer, Schmid and their coworkers (86) who isolated the following alkaloids; C-fluorocurinine, C-fluoro-curarine ( = C-curarine III), C-curarine I, C-calebassine ( = Toxiferine II = C-strychnotoxine I), C-alkaloid I and C-alkaloids of groups B, C, and D. In their later paper (92: 440) the same authors list also C-alkaloid A as occurring in this species. This work was done on stem bark collected on Rio Vaupes, Brazil. The wood was found to be free of alkaloids. The authors give the following information on the procurement and identification of the sample and botanical specimen (86) : “Durch die Freundlichkeit von Padre Antonio Giacone (Brasilien) erhielten wir Rinde einer Strychnosart, die Herr Prof. A. Frey-Wyssling, Zurich, Eid. Techn. Hochschule, ais der S. Mitscherlichii-Gruppe angehorend identizierte.”
This species was also studied by Marini-Bettolo, Bovet and their coworkers. For curare activity of the total extracts, see (108: 268). For rather extensive studies of the alkaloids of this species, see (97). In these studies 23 alkaloids were recognized by the use of chromatographic methods and the alkaloids which were characterized as follows: Alkaloid D, Calebassine, Fluorocurine, Mavacurine, Curarine (108: 269). The above referred to work was done on stem bark collected by Ducke near Belem, Para, Brazil in September 1953 (97: 1167).
Distribution:Venezuela South America
| Colombia South America
| Ecuador South America
| Guyana South America
| Suriname South America
| Brazil South America