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3348Re: [beemonitoring] Monarchs/Butterflies/Skippers as pollinators

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    May 15, 2014
      Dear Elizabeth:

      Good, you found Betz et al (1994).  Like it, or not, it remains the most important publication on which insects transport the pollinaria of specific milkweed species.
      Here's the big problem.  We know which insects carry pollinaria of Asclepias species but we still can't predict which insects forage on the milkweed flowers in such a way that they transfer the pollinia to stigma slots in the flowers.  Unfortunately, some insects may be good removers of the pollinaria but bad inserters and this is critical to cross-pollination.


      On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 9:30 AM, 'Sellers, Elizabeth' esellers@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      Somebody else may have already shared this - so I apologize if I'm duplicating someone's post. I sent this reference to Sam privately yesterday as I was experiencing technical difficulties with posting to the Yahoo Group. I am currently in the middle of the 'monarchs an\s pollinators' furor and so had to do similar research myself. This is a rather useful publication that I found, and which answered my questions sufficiently concerning monarch contributions specifically to pollinating milkweeds (Asclepias)...

      From the abstract: "The most important pollinators, such as the exotic honey bee (Apis mellifera), bumblebees (Bombus), large wasps (Sphex, Tachytes, Myzinum, and Polistes), and large butterflies (Papilio), not only carried relatively large numbers of pollinial sacs extracted from donor flowers, but apparently inserted large numbers of pollinial sacs into the stigmatic chambers of recipient flowers."

      From Pg. 51: "Apidae, Sphecidae, and Papilionaceae were the only families pollinating A. exaltata (poke milkweed), A. hirtella (tall green milkweed), A. meadii (Mead's milkweed), A. purpurascens (purple milkweed), A. sullivantii (Sullivant's milkweed), and A. viridiflora (short green milkweed). For most of the other milkweeds this group of three families constituted at least 90% of the pollinators."

      REF: Betz, R. F., Struven, R. D., Wall, J. E., and F. B. Heitler. 1994. Insect Pollinators of 12 milkweed (Asclepias) Species. Proceedings of the Thirteenth North American Prairie Conference : spirit of the land, our prairie legacy : held 6-9 August 1992, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Pp. 45-60.  http://images.library.wisc.edu/EcoNatRes/EFacs/NAPC/NAPC13/reference/econatres.napc13.rbetz.pdf

      Cheers, Liz

      Elizabeth Sellers

      Eco-Science Synthesis (ESS)
      Core Science Analytics and Synthesis (CSAS)
      BISON Data Team; USGS Liaison to the Plant Conservation Alliance
      United States Geological Survey (USGS)
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