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POLLINATION IN THE NEW GUINEA ENDEMIC ANTIAROPSIS DECIPIENS (MORACEAE) IS MEDIATED BY A NEW SPECIES OF THRIPS, THRIPS ANTIAROPSIDIS
 

Summary: POLLINATION IN THE NEW GUINEA ENDEMIC ANTIAROPSIS DECIPIENS (MORACEAE)
IS MEDIATED BY A NEW SPECIES OF THRIPS, THRIPS ANTIAROPSIDIS
SP. NOV. (THYSANOPTERA: THRIPIDAE)
Nyree J. C. Zerega,* Laurence A. Mound,y and George D. Weiblen1,
*
*Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, 250 Biological Sciences Building, 1445 Gortner Avenue, Saint Paul,
Minnesota 55108, U.S.A.; and yCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Entomology,
Box 1700, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia
Fig pollination is a well-known example of obligate mutualism involving specialized fig wasps
(Hymenoptera, Agaonidae) and Ficus (Moraceae). However, pollination is poorly understood in Castilleae,
the recently identified sister group to Ficus. Here we report the first record of thrips pollination in a member of
the paleotropical Castilleae. We used phenological measurements, insect trapping, and pollinator exclusion
experiments to investigate the mode of pollination in Antiaropsis decipiens, a monotypic dioecious tree of
lowland rainforests in New Guinea. We recorded a new species, described here as Thrips antiaropsidis
(Thysanoptera, Thripidae), feeding on Antiaropsis pollen, breeding in the staminate inflorescences, and
pollinating the carpellate inflorescences. It appears that thrips are lured from staminate to carpellate
inflorescences by deceit. We combine these observations with evidence from the Neotropical Castilleae to
suggest that thrips pollination may be common in the sister group to figs. We speculate that entomophily in the
common ancestor of Ficus and Castilleae predated the origin of the fig pollination mutualism.
Keywords: Castilleae, Ficus, pollination by deceit, paleotropics, mutualism, reproductive ecology.

  

Source: Ault, James R. - Chicago Botanic Garden
Weiblen, George D - Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology