Aggressive displacement of carpenter bees Xylocopa nigrita from flowers of lagenaria sphaerica (Cucurbitaceae) by territorial male eastern olive sunbirds (Cyanomitra olivacea) in Tanzania

Jeff Ollerton, Clive Nuttman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

Male Eastern Olive Sunbirds (Cyanomitra olivacea ) and Xylocopa nigrita carpenter bees in Tanzania both utilise the flowers of male plants of Lagenaria sphaerica (Cucurbitaceae) as a source of nectar. The sunbirds set up territories defending this nectar resource. Observations of interactions between the sunbirds and the carpenter bees show that the bees are aggressively displaced from flowers when spotted by the birds. Only the bees can be considered as legitimate pollinators as the birds do not contact the anthers of the male flowers and were never seen visiting nectarless female flowers of Lagenaria sphaerica . Such territory defence may have implications for the frequency of movement and composition of pollen being transferred from male to female flowers which warrants further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pollination Ecology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Fingerprint

Lagenaria
carpenter bees
Xylocopa
male flowers
female flowers
Cucurbitaceae
Tanzania
nectar
Apoidea
flowers
birds
pollinating insects
anthers
pollen
Cyanomitra olivacea

Keywords

  • Africa
  • bee pollination
  • birds
  • mutualism
  • territoriality
  • tropical ecology

Cite this

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abstract = "Male Eastern Olive Sunbirds (Cyanomitra olivacea ) and Xylocopa nigrita carpenter bees in Tanzania both utilise the flowers of male plants of Lagenaria sphaerica (Cucurbitaceae) as a source of nectar. The sunbirds set up territories defending this nectar resource. Observations of interactions between the sunbirds and the carpenter bees show that the bees are aggressively displaced from flowers when spotted by the birds. Only the bees can be considered as legitimate pollinators as the birds do not contact the anthers of the male flowers and were never seen visiting nectarless female flowers of Lagenaria sphaerica . Such territory defence may have implications for the frequency of movement and composition of pollen being transferred from male to female flowers which warrants further research.",
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AB - Male Eastern Olive Sunbirds (Cyanomitra olivacea ) and Xylocopa nigrita carpenter bees in Tanzania both utilise the flowers of male plants of Lagenaria sphaerica (Cucurbitaceae) as a source of nectar. The sunbirds set up territories defending this nectar resource. Observations of interactions between the sunbirds and the carpenter bees show that the bees are aggressively displaced from flowers when spotted by the birds. Only the bees can be considered as legitimate pollinators as the birds do not contact the anthers of the male flowers and were never seen visiting nectarless female flowers of Lagenaria sphaerica . Such territory defence may have implications for the frequency of movement and composition of pollen being transferred from male to female flowers which warrants further research.

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