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Pollination and Floral Ecology$
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Pat Willmer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128610

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128610.001.0001

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Pollination by Butterflies and Moths

Pollination by Butterflies and Moths

Chapter:
(p.322) Chapter 14 Pollination by Butterflies and Moths
Source:
Pollination and Floral Ecology
Author(s):

Pat Willmer

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691128610.003.0014

This chapter focuses on pollination by butterflies and moths, which belong to the order Lepidoptera. Lepidopterans are split into four suborders, but all the flower visitors occur in about sixteen families within the largest of these, Ditrysia. Ditrysia incorporates many superfamilies, mostly consisting of large moths and yet more micromoths, but two contain the evolutionarily more recent butterflies. The chapter first provides an overview of the feeding apparatus of moths and butterflies before discussing their sensory and behavioral capacities. It then considers the butterfly flower syndrome known as psychophily and the general moth syndrome termed phalaenophily, along with sphingophily involving hawkmoth flowers. It suggests that butterflies and moths are reasonably effective as flower pollinators, with some more specialist and probably more effective examples among the larger and partially endothermic sphingid species.

Keywords:   pollination, Lepidoptera, flower visitor, feeding apparatus, butterfly, psychophily, phalaenophily, sphingophily, hawkmoth, flower

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