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Theodore H. Fleming J. Nathaniel Holland The evolution of obligate pollination mutualisms

Summary: Theodore H. Fleming á J. Nathaniel Holland
The evolution of obligate pollination mutualisms:
senita cactus and senita moth
Received: 19 August 1997 / Accepted: 24 November 1997
Abstract We report a new obligate pollination mu-
tualism involving the senita cactus, Lophocereus schottii
(Cactaceae, Pachyceereae), and the senita moth, Upiga
virescens (Pyralidae, Glaphyriinae) in the Sonoran De-
sert and discuss the evolution of specialized pollination
mutualisms. L. schottii is a night-blooming, self-incom-
patible columnar cactus. Beginning at sunset, its Żowers
are visited by U. virescens females, which collect pollen
on specialized abdominal scales, actively deposit pollen
on Żower stigmas, and oviposit a single egg on a Żower
petal. Larvae spend 6 days eating ovules before exiting
the fruit and pupating in a cactus branch. Hand-polli-
nation and pollinator exclusion experiments at our study
site near Bahia Kino, Sonora, Mexico, revealed that
fruit set in L. schottii is likely to be resource limited.
About 50% of hand-outcrossed and open-pollinated


Source: Azevedo, Ricardo - Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston
Holland, J. Nathaniel - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology