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J Plant Res. 2005 Aug;118(4):257-62. Epub 2005 Jul 30.

Moth pollination of Metaplexis japonica (Apocynaceae): pollinaria transfer on the tip of the proboscis.

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Laboratory of Forest Ecology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Japan.


Asclepiad pollinaria (including pollen masses) attach to diverse body parts of flower visitors in many ways. In this paper, we observed nocturnal moths (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae and Noctuidae) transporting the pollinaria of the Japanese species Metaplexis japonica (Thunb.) Makino (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae) on the tip of the proboscis. Flowers of this species may induce nectar-feeding moths to pull out the proboscis along a guide rail (anther slit), thus clipping the pollinaria onto the tip of the proboscis and transferring the pollinaria to the next flower. The transfer of pollinaria on the unique vector of a moth proboscis tip is an interesting pollination mechanism among previously reported entomophiles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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