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Acrocomia aculeata is a perennial, fruit producing palm-tree, from the family Arecaceae and is widely distributed throughout Central and South America (Abreu et al. 2012). A. aculeata is tree-like in growth and appearance (arborescent), but is considered a monocot with no true woody growth. The plant has a single, spiny stem and can reach up to 16 m in height (Abreu et al. 2012). A. aculeata occurs in the dry forests as a naturalized plant, seen in tropical and subtropical savannahs, woodlands, and disturbed areas. Flowers occur in panicles and are monoecious, with a strong odor to attract beetle and Trigona bee pollinators (Henderson et al. 1995; Janzen 1983; Scariot et al. 1981). Examples of beetle pollinators are Andranthobius sp., Curculionidae), Mystrops cf Mexicana (Nitidulidae), and Cyclocephala forsteri (Scarabaeidae) (Scariot et al. 1981). The fruits are smooth, globule, yellowish green, and 2.5-5 cm in diameter (Henderson et al. 1995). The large fruits of A. aculeata are single seeded and were previously dispersed by Pleistocene mammals, but are now dispersed by opportunistic mammals and birds (Janzen & Martin 1982). A. aculeata is used by humans for biofuel and for consumption (Henderson et al. 1995).


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