A casual cantharophily: The meeting between Astylus variegatus (Coleoptera: Myleridae) and Oxypetalum banksii (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae)

Milene Faria Vieira, Rúbia Santos Fonseca

Abstract


Cantharophily is reported for the first time in a Brazilian asclepiad, involving the mylerid Astylus variegatus and the nectariferous flowers of Oxypetalum banksii, a plant mainly pollinated by wasps. The use of nectar as food by A. variegatus, considered pollinivorous and granivorous, is also novel. The mutual interaction described here is an example of a plant-pollinator interaction with generalist insects visiting a plant with a specialized pollination system. It’s also temporary and occasional and, therefore, is often overlooked in studies of plant-pollinator interactions. In this study, we found that the casual meeting between O. banksii and A. variegatus was a key event for the reproduction of both.

Keywords


Asclepiad; Atlantic Forest; Brazil; beetles; specialized pollination; wasps

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ISSN 1920-7603

 

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