Thats natural spreeding within a species couse of different locations. You see it in so many other paph species. If this is a new species we need a general discussion about, if every local population should be described as a separat species/var./form whatever or If we accept that there is just natural spreeding.I agree with all of you, the flower looks on the first sight very similar to Paph. papuanum. But if you read the description of both species closely you will find some differences. I won't assess if they are strong enough to create a new species but here are they main differences which I found out by comparing both descriptions.
Paph. papuanum / Paph. sandyanum
Origin : Papua New Guinea / Moluccas, Indonesia
Altitude of origin : 800 - 1.700 m / 300 - 400 m
Flowersize across : 6 - 9 cm / 11 - 13 cm
So maybe the assessment isn't that easy and needs more discussion than one sentence.
Unfortunately there is currently no peer review in slipper taxonomy. We all need to evaluate descriptions new and old for ourselves. And commercial interests are poor sources of help. Of course this a valid species, you will hear. Its double the price of a papuanum.The magazine that published it did NOT do a peer review that would have prevented this from happening??
except that I disagree about DNA’s usefulness. And it’s rapidly coming down in price, simultaneously with the rapidly increasing availability of the technology that enables it. I know there are many scoffing at this comment; c’est la vie. I’m seeing it happen in mycology, which has none of the money available among orchidistas.This new species is synonymous with papuanum.
A few things to note. The collector shopped this plant around to a few other taxonomists who practice in the genus and was told this was a papuanum by each. Undeterred, he found someone to publish it, coincidently bearing his name. DNA will not solve the taxonomic questions in this genus. While no comprehensive genetic study has been completed nor is underway using a cross section of natural plants from natural populations (the only way to do a genetic study correctly, forget the greenhouse material), there are genetic studies on other genera of flowering plants that conclude that intra-species genetic variation is normal. We can find some of these studies and their conclusions on Academia.com or Researchgate. If we are looking for a definitive answer from a genetic analysis I fear we will be waiting for something that will never happen. I have compared the staminode on this alleged new species to the staminode on two (2) papuanum from my collection and they are identical, there is no variation. As correctly noted here, being from one of the Islands in the Indonesian archipelago does not make a species new. Many other species can be found across Islands in the same archipelago and an encounter with an existing species on a different island should not form the basis for a new species delineation absent an analysis that can withstand scrutiny, and as we can see here on Slippertalk and on Facebook, this description cannot withstand even cursory scrutiny and has been met with almost universal doubt. Also as noted here the authors oversight, or deliberate omission, of papuanum and wentworthianum from the description as comparative species is a concern and should not be overlooked. Lastly, I have spoken with William Cavestro about the logic behind this description. While Mr. Cavestro is a gentleman and easily approachable, I did not find any of his assertions compelling, particularly as to why he omitted papuanum from the analysis. If the logic used to justify this alleged species is applied across the genus we need a lot more species names. The question is not splitters vs lumpers, the question is what makes a species in this genus, and the description cannot meet the standards of either perspective.