The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: Heliamphora: the various ranges and tepuis

A: The range of Heliamphora is complicated and difficult to get a good handle on. So let me try to explain it, as best as I understand it. To help you, I have drafted a set of cartoon maps, largely based upon Givnish et al. (2000) and Wistuba et al. (2001).

The Guiana Highlands, near the common borders of Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana, contain vast flat-topped mountains called tepuis. These tepuis rise 600-1000 meters (2000-3300 feet) above the surrounding geography. Their edges are spectacularly sheer in a way that defies common sense. The tepuis sit upon the Guiana Shield, a matrix of humid forests and highland savannas.

It is important to start this by noting that there are two main areas for Heliamphora; a western range dominated by Cerro Duida and Cerro de la Neblina, and an eastern range consisting of many tepuis rising from the Gran Sabana (the large savannah highland). Note my little thumbnail showing these two ranges. There is another set of mountains, dominated by Cerro Ichun, that occur between these two ranges (right where you see the border of Brazil make a narrow, fingerlike incursion into Venezuela).

Tepui acronyms used on my map
A=Auyán-tepui
Ap=Aprada tepui
Ar=Araopan tepui
C=Chimantá massif
G=Cerro Guaiquinima
I=Ilu tepui
K=Kukenán
L=Los Testigos
P=Ptari tepui
R=Roraima
T=Tramen tepui
Y=Yuruani tepui

The western part of the range is almost completely within Venezuela, but includes a little bit of Brazil. In this area, the mountain ranges are referred to by the name "cerro", but they are essentially the same as the tepuis to the east. As you can see from the little thumbnail range map on this page (click it to see more detail), the western range consists most famously of Cerro Duida (2358m) and Cerro de la Neblina (2994m). It also includes the lesser-known Cerro Huachamacare, Cerro Marahuaca, and Aracamuni, and others.

The tepuis in the eastern range are highly fragmented, with many small unnamed mountains. These tepuis sit upon a large highland savannah called the Gran Sabana (Great Savannah). Click on the thumbnail map to see my primitive map, in which I use one or two letter codes to indicate tepuis; see the table on this page for clarification.

Finally, for the completist, I include a table adapted from data kindly sent to me by Lee Braithwaite. Perhaps someone would like to convert this into a GoogleEarth kmz file?

Braithwaite table
Tepui/Cerro Lat/Long Elevation (m) Surface area (km2)
Abacapa 5.13N / 62.15W 500-2330 28
Acopan 5.12N / 62.04W 500-2112 93
Agparaman ?.??N / ??.??W 500-2400 c. 50
Amuri 5.10N / 62.07W 500-2240 37
Angasima (Adanta) 5.05N / 62.03W 500-2250 2
Apacara 5.18N / 62.13W 500-2548 173
Aparaman (Los Testigos) 5.54N / 62.07W 400-2200 5
Appokailang (Appakaima) 5.14N / 60.39W 1000?-2255  
Aprada 5.27N / 62.25W 400-2580 5
Araopan (somewhere north of Chimantá) ?.??N / ??.??W 400-2450  
Auyun 5.55N / 62.32W 400-2510 668
Ayanganna 5.23N / 59.56W 550-2043  
Carrao ?.??N / ??.??W 1200-2430  
Cerro Aracamuni 1.36N / 65.41W 400-1500 119
Cerro Aratitiyape 2.10N / 65.34W ?-1700  
Cerro Asisa ?.??N / ??.??W 100-2200  
Cerro Autana 4.52N / 67.27W 100-1375  
Cerro Avispa 1.30N / 65.51W 400-1500 119
Cerro Camani ?.??N / ??.??W 100-1800  
Cerro Corocoro 5.46N / 66.11W 100-2400 179
Cerro Cuao ?.??N / ??.??W 100-2000  
Cerro Duida 3.25N / 65.40W 100-2430 1089
Cerro El Sol 6.06N / 62.32W 400-1750 1
Cerro Euaja ?.??N / ??.??W 100-2000  
Cerro Guaiquinima 5.49N / 63.40W 300-1760 1096
Cerro Guanacoco 4.40N / 63.51W 300-1700 526
Cerro Guanay 5.51N / 66.18W 100-1500-2392 165
Cerro Huachamacari 3.51N / 65.46W 100-1900 9
Cerro Ichun ?.??N / ??.??W 500-1500  
Cerro Jaua 4.48N / 64.26W 300-1300-2395 626
Cerro La Luna 6.05N / 62.31W 400-1650 <1
Cerro Marahuaca 3.34N / 65.27W 100-2832 121
Cerro Moriche ?.??N / ??.??W 100-1250  
Cerro Ovana 4.38N / 66.59W ?-1800  
Cerro Paru 4.27N / 65.32W 100-900-2200  
Cerro Sarisarinama 4.30N / 64.14W 300-1250-2500 547
Cerro Sipapo 5.00N / 67.50W 100-2020  
Cerro Tamacuari 1.13N / 64.42W ?-2340  
Cerro Venado ?.??N / ??.??W 400-1320  
Cerro Venamo (Waukauyengtipu) 5.49N / 61.14W ?-1700  
Cerro Yapacana 3.42N / 66.46W 100-1300 11
Cerro Yavi 5.32N / 65.59W 100-2441 6
Chimantá 5.18N / 62.10W 500-2342 94
Churi 5.13N / 61.54W 500-2420 48
Ilu-Tramen (Eluwarima) 5.27N / 61.03W 1000-2700 6
Kamarkaiwaran (Los Testigos) 5.52N / 62.01W 400-2700 5
Karaurin (Waikapiapu) 5.22N / 61.02W 1000-2700  
Kukenán (Matawi) 5.13N / 60.51W 1000-2650 21
Kurun-tepui ?.??N / ??.??W 400-1300  
Los Testigos: see (west to east) Murosipan, Aparaman, Terek-Yuren, Kamarkaiwaran.
Maringma 5.13N / 60.34W 1000?-2180  
Murey (Eruoda) 5.22N / 62.05W 500-2698 51
Murisipan (Los Testigos) 5.52N / 62.03W 400-2450 5
Ptari 5.46N / 61.49W 1200-2400 1
Roraima 5.12N / 60.44W 1000-2810 34
Serra Araca 0.52N / 63.14W 190-1600  
Serra Imeri 0.29N / 65.20W 550-2500  
Serra Mocidade 1.45N / 61.48W 150-1980  
Serra Pacu 1.32N / 62.10W 170-1880  
Serra Tulu Tuloi 1.12N / 63.48W 190-2140  
Serrania Yutaje 5.41N / 65.10W 100-2140 6
Sierra de la Neblina 0.48N / 65.59W 400-3045 235
Sierra de Lema ?.??N / ??.??W ?-1650  
Sierra de Maiguelida (Cerro Yudi, Serrania Vasadi) ?.??N / ??.??W 560-2400  
Sierra Marutani 3.46N / 63.03W 500-1500  
Sierra Parima 3.23N / 64.40W ?-750-1880  
Sierra Unturan ?.??N / ??.??W ?-1600  
Sororopan 5.45N / 61.43W 1200-2050  
Tereke-Yuren (Los Testigos) 5.52N / 62.02W 400-2100 <1
Tirepon 5.23N / 62.02W 500-2650 9
Torono 5.12N / 62.10W 500-2180 59
Tramen 5.39N / 62.36W ?-2600  
Uaipan 5.36N / 62.32W 400-1950  
Uei (Wei) 5.01N / 60.37W 1000-2370  
Upuigma 5.07N / 61.56W 500-2100 <1
Wadakapiapue 5.14N / 60.58W 1000-2000  
Wei-assipu 5.13N / 60.42W 1000-2772 c. 1
Wokomung 5.03N / 59.53W 550-2134  
Yakontipu 5.13N / 60.35W 1000?-2100  
Yuruani (Iwalkarima) 5.19N / 60.50W 1000-2400 4

Page citations: Berry, P., et al. 2005; Braithwaite, L. pers. comm. 2007; Givnish, T.J. et al. 2000; Lloyd, F.E. 1942; McPherson, S. 2006; McPherson, S. et al. 2011; Rice, B. 2006a; Wistuba, A., et al. 2001.

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Revised: February 2012
©Barry Rice, 2005