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Abstract Detail

Orchid Biology: Darwin`s Contrivances 150 Years Later

Whitten, William [1], Williams, Norris [1].

Orchids and Euglossine Bees 150 years After Darwin.

One of the most fascinating pollination systems studied by Darwin is the relationship between certain neotropical orchids and euglossine bees (Apidae: Euglossini). Male euglossine bees spend large amounts of time and energy collecting fragrances from certain orchids and a variety of other sources. Darwin's interpretation of this relationship was largely incorrect,but even after 150 years and generations of biologists, the euglossine/orchid relationship is still misunderstood, with many questions unanswered. Many popular and scientific works cite orchids and euglossine bees as classic examples of coevolution, whereas current data provide no evidence for coevolution. We will survey the history of orchid/euglossine studies and will survey the orchids and other plants visited or pollinated by euglossine bees. We summarize current knowledge of the chemical ecology of euglossines,especially how the males collect and possibly utilize floral fragrances. We review what is known about orchid pollination systems that involve euglossines. We will highlight gaps in our knowledge 150 years after Darwin, and suggest research topics that might help increase our understanding of orchid bees and the plants that they pollinate.

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1 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, PO BOX 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA, 352/273-1964

chemical ecology.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C6
Location: Franklin B/Hyatt
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Time: 2:30 PM
Number: C6005
Abstract ID:717

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