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|Title:||The selective florivory of Erioscelis emarginata matches its role as a pollinator of Philodendron|
Sakuragui, Cassia Monica
Trigo, José Roberto
|Abstract:||Flowers commonly face the dilemma of needing to be attractive to pollinators but unattractive to nectar robbers or florivores. When the pollinator has chewing mouthparts, there is also a considerable risk of the pollinator consuming the flowers. Scant field records indicate that the florivorous beetle Erioscelis emarginata (Mannerheim) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cyclocephalini), which pollinates Philodendron spp., feeds selectively on the sterile staminate flowers. Here, the hypothesis was tested that E. emarginata prefers sterile staminate flowers of Philodendron bipinnatifidum Schott and Philodendron melinonii Brongn. ex Regel (Araceae) over fertile flowers. This study also examined whether such a preference exists regardless of the proportion of fertile vs. sterile flowers in each Philodendron species. Analysis of nutritional and defensive compounds plus scanning electron microscopy on each flower type were performed. The feeding preference of florivores for either P. bipinnatifidum or P. melinonii was also examined. In both species, sterile flowers were significantly more consumed than fertile ones. The sterile zone of P. bipinnatifidum was significantly larger than that of P. melinonii, and sterile staminate flowers of both plants were consumed at similar rates. Calcium oxalate was markedly low in sterile flowers, which also presented smaller papillae than the other flowers. This study presents evidence that the balance between pollination and florivory has most likely evolved through a strong feeding preference for less‐defended sterile flowers regardless of the size of the sterile zone|
|Appears in Collections:||IB - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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