Tococa is a genus of 45 species of shrubs, small trees and vines from Neotropical rain forests and savannas. In 39 species the fruits are dispersed by birds, as it is the case in most other species in the family. However, a monophyletic group of six species, restricted to river banks and flooded forests of the Amazonas and Orinoco basins, have fruits that are dispersed by either water or fish (ichthyochory). Water/fish-dispersed fruits present several morphological characteristics that differentiate them from bird dispersed fruits. Bird-dispersed taxa have smaller, round, black fruits that do not fall off the plant when mature, while water/fish-dispersed taxa have large, blue fruits that fall off when mature. The seeds of water/fish-dispersed taxa are club shaped and larger than those of bird dispersed species, which are ovoid to round or pyramidal. Additionally, the seeds of water/fish-dispersed species are covered with glandular trichomes, which are absent from bird-dispersed taxa. Moreover, glandular trichomes are not known from any other Melastomataceae, including taxa that have been shown to be ichthyochorus. There are also differences in the phenology of bird dispersed and water/fish dispersed taxa. Even though ichthyochory has not been demonstrated to be the main mode of fruit dispersal for any of these six species of Tococa, many of the characters that differentiate them from ornithochorous species could be easily interpreted as adaptations to fish dispersal and not water dispersal.

Key words: fruit dispersal, fruit morphology, ichthyochory, Melastomataceae, seed morphology, Tococa