Pollen feeding by adults of the hoverfly Melanostoma fasciatum (Diptera: Syrphidae)

New Zealand Journal of Zoology (Impact Factor: 0.96). 01/1995; 22:387-392.


Pollen feeding by adult hoverflies of Melanostoma fasciatum, collected from organic paddocks at Flock House, Bulls, North Island, New Zealand, were studied by dissection. Up to six different pollen types were found in one hoverfly. On average, they fed only on 2.71 pollen species. 71% of gravid females but only 13% of males reached the maximum score (scale 0-5) for pollen content in the gut. Very few hoverflies had no pollen. Of the 15 identified pollen groups, plantain, phacelia, coriander, and graminaceous pollen were consumed in large quantities by gravid females. Differences in feeding spectra between sexes probably reflected the need for energy in males and for the protein required for egg maturation in females. Earlier views of strict preference for anemophilous pollen by M. fasciatum cannot be upheld

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    • "Denmark, and analysis of the amount of pollen within their alimentary tracts showed that individuals often had only 1-2 " major " constituents (> 25% of pollen) and a few " minors " (5-25% of pollen) (Olesen & Warncke 1989b), which is comparable to what has been documented for bumblebees (Heinrich 1976). Syrphid flies can have significant differences among individuals in their gut pollen contents, with some being more selective than others (Haslett 1989b); some of these differences are related to whether the flies are females, needing protein for egg production (Haslett 1989a; Hickman et al. 1995). Tabanidae from Louisiana were found to have differences in their gut pollen contents depending on the habitat (alluvial vs. salt marsh) where they were collected (Wilson & Lieux 1972). "
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    ABSTRACT: Diptera are important flower visitors and pollinators for many plant species and in a variety of habitats. Although Diptera are not as well studied as other groups of pollinators, there is a growing literature that we review here about the ecology of their foraging behaviour and their effectiveness as pollinators. We consider (1) how their foraging is constrained by the interaction among body size, colour, and environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, wind, and light; (2) what is known about their foraging at scales ranging from their movements between flowers on a plant, between individuals in a population, and among species in a community (i.e., constancy); and (3) the evidence for effects of intra-and interspecific competition on foraging. We conclude with a discussion of the effectiveness of Diptera as pollinators. The available data suggest that Diptera exhibit many of the same foraging behaviours as other flower visitors and that they are effective pollinators in both natural and agricultural ecosystems.
    Intelligent Transportation Systems Journal 01/2015; 16(2015):115-133.
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    • "Females of most biting Culicidae, Simuliidae and Ceratopogonidae obtain protein from the bodily fluids of other animals (Downes 1955, 1958; Downes & Smith 1969), but some acquire it from pollen (Downes 1955; Downes & Smith 1969; De Meillon & Wirth 1989; Yuan et al. 2007, 2008). Young male flies may need pollen for testicular maturation and to initiate sperm production (e.g., Kevan 1970), whereas some females require pollen for both normal ovarian development (Schneider 1948; Maier 1978; Hickman et al. 1995) and yolk deposition (Haslett 1989a). Males of many Syrphidae (Haslett 1989a), Bombyliidae (Panov 2007), and some anthophilous muscoids (Kearns 1992; Pont 1993; Larson et al. 2001; Dlusskii 2002) generally consume more nectar and less pollen than do females. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper comprises Part II of a review of flower visitation and pollination by Diptera (myiophily or myophily). While Part I examined taxonomic diversity of anthophilous flies, here we consider the rewards and attractants used by flowers to procure visits by flies, and their importance in the lives of flies. Food rewards such as pollen and nectar are the primary reasons for flower visits, but there is also a diversity of non-nutritive rewards such as brood sites, shelter, and places of congregation. Floral attractants are the visual and chemical cues used by Diptera to locate flowers and the rewards that they offer, and we show how they act to increase the probability of floral visitation. Lastly, we discuss the various ways in which flowers manipulate the behaviour of flies, deceiving them to visit flowers that do not provide the advertised reward, and how some flies illegitimately remove floral rewards without causing pollination. Our review demonstrates that myiophily is a syndrome corresponding to elements of anatomical, behavioural and physiological adaptations of flower-visiting Diptera. The bewildering diversity of anthophilous Diptera and of the floral attractants and rewards to which they respond allows for only broad generalizations on myiophily and points to the need for more investigation. Ecological relationships between flies and flowers are critical to the survival of each group in many habitats. We require greater understanding of the significance of flies in pollination, especially in the face of recent pollinator declines.
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    • "Two drops of 0.0025% aqueous safranin were added onto the glass side and the abdominal contents dissected out and extruded onto the slide (Hickman et al., 1995; Wratten et al., 1995, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: h i g h l i g h t s " Flowers enhance hoverfly populations in agrosystems for conservation biocontrol. " Key flower species have been identified as important sources of pollen and nectar. " We tested the effects of six flowers on hoverfly fitness; it has never been done before. " Pollen and/or nectar consumption is a poor indicator of female performance. " We suggest that assessment of flowers for conservation biocontrol has to be improved. g r a p h i c a l a b s t r a c t a b s t r a c t Providing floral resources in and around crops enhances local hoverfly populations and recent work has identified a number of key flower species as important sources of pollen and nectar for the adult flies. However, the effects of different flower species on hoverfly fitness have never been studied. In the pres-ent work, laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of six flowering plant species in enhancing the longevity and several parameters related to fecundity of Episyrphus balteatus (De Geer). Coriander was the most efficient in terms of the proportion of females laying eggs. Buckwheat gave the highest mean longevity, which correlated with the longest egg-laying duration. However, phac-elia increased oviposition rate and lifetime fecundity to the greatest extent, and was responsible for the optimal reproductive potential of female E. balteatus. There was no correlation between pollen and nectar consumption or between the quantity of pollen ingested and the resulting female performance. This suggests that recording the presence of pollen in the diet is not an adequate method to evaluate hoverfly preference or pollen nutritional value. If only one floral resource subsidy is being considered for introduction into agricultural and horticul-tural systems to enhance hoverfly efficacy, phacelia is recommended, at least for E. balteatus.
    Biological Control 04/2012; 61(1):1-6. DOI:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2011.12.010 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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