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Re: [aroid-l] From Peru

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] From Peru
  • From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo@msn.com
  • Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 19:41:00 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: Jorge Lingan <jorge_lingan@hotmail.com>
To: <aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu>
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 2:58 PM
Subject: Re: [aroid-l] From Peru

Dear Jorge and Dr. Barton,

I am NOT an 'expert' in this field, but have read and observed quite a bit
on pollination of Araceae, and will try to help w/ a few commnets.
Pollination of the genus Philodendron, Monstera (and Dieffenbachia) are
reported to be pollinated by scarab beetles mainly of the genus
Cyclocephalla and other closely related genera.    Many other insects may be
discovered associated with and attracted to the scent of the open flower,
but the actual 'job' of pollination is reported to be by these scarab
beetles.   I believe the same genus of scrab also pollinates Xanthosoma and
Caladium, as I collected many beetles of this genus in blooms of Xanthosoma
sps. while I worked in Ecuador, both on the E. and W. side of the Andes.
During the Aroid Symposium held at MOBOT a few years ago, Sue Thompson and
another Gentleman (for the life of me I can not recall his name, sorry!)
gave most interesting talks on this subject, and both cautioned on
assumptions made when insects  just happened to be found in association with
a bloom, many slides were shown illustrating this, and the pollen seems to
have evolved to suit a very specific insect.    Other insects just take
advantage of an available food source, eating the 'bait' provided by some
genera, in the case of Xanthosoma some of the sterile flowers, others
(non-pollinators) eating and destroying  the female flowers, thus actually
perventing seed development.    We were shown photos of the damage some
beetles do to the blooms of  aroids by burrowing through the spathe tube
limb to reach this rich food 'reward', but they do nothing to assist the
plant in pollination.  Lots of close observation will be needed, as in some
cases a VERY specific beetle/insect may be required, for example on Trinidad
MANY Caladiums (mainly C. bicolor) are found blooming in the wild, yet not
once have we discovered a developing infructesence.    It is suspected that
this plant may have been introduced to Trinidad by pre-Colombian man and the
specific pollenator is not present.    It could be that lots more
observation is needed and a plant in fruit may yet be located.   On the
other hand some other aroids do not seem to need a specific pollinator, as
my plants of Urospatha, Dracontium and Dracontioides were pollinated by
insects that occur here in W.P.B., Florida.    In some cases no pollination
is required for the plant to produce viable seed, Anthurium gracille and
other closely related species do this with no pollination.
I hope tha above may serve as a 'beginners guide', comments and discussion
are most welcome!!.
Jorge, if you have more than one blooming plant of Xanthosoma,
hand-pollination is easy and seed can be produced by this method.


>>Dear Dr. Barton : Thanks for your interest in my investigation, I must
comment you that I'm just beginning my work, in this time I'm gathering all
the data to start my investigation.
What I know about this issue is something very general now, I have the idea
that Araceae are pollinated by euglossine bees, trigonid bees, beetles
(Curculionidae, Nitudilidae, Scarabaeidae, Scydmaenidae, Staphylinidae) and
flies (Drosophilidae).
I brought from my last trip specimens of Anthurium gracile, a species that
flowered and fructified at my home ... I live in the other side of the
Cordillera de los Andes from where it natural habitat is.  Besides
I have another species of Xanthosoma, (not determined yet) whose first
flowering didn't fructify... I hope this time it does (it will blossom).  I
think there could be another insects to pollinize it, at least the species
that are pollinated by flies or bees... some cosmopolite species and maybe
they could be replaced by other species, while the pollinized by beetles or
other insects not well distributed is more difficult.  I wait your comments
in this matter.
Truly yours.
Jorge Lingan<<

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