Since I recall several posts to aroid-l regarding thermogenesis (production
of heat by an inflorescence) in aroids, I thought the following article
which appeared in Spring 1998 issue of the Organization for Tropical
Studies (OTS) in regard to thermogenesis in Philodendron radiatum at the La
Selva (Costa Rica) Biological Station.

>Hot Sex with Scarab Beetles  by Danny Beath
>Philodendron radiatum, a large vine native to La Selva has been shown to
>exhibit intense nocturnal heating or thermogenesis to attract its main
>pollinators, dynastine scarab beetles (Cyclocephala sp.)  Philodendron
>radiatum is well named, as the temperature in newly opened blooms peaks at
>an incredible 44.3 Celsius (112 Fahrenheit) around 6:20PM and this is
>accompanied by a strong spearmint-gum-like perfume.  Beetles arrive soon
>afterwards and stay overnight.  The beetles emerge the following evening
>to feed on newly produced pollen that adheres to the beetles due to
>resinous secretions inside the bloom.  The beetles escape soon after dusk
>just as the inflorescence closes shut.
>Danny Beath (STRI) recent studied pollination biology at La Selva funded
>by a Andrew W. Mellon OTS/STRI Fellowship Award

Don Martinson

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