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Xanthopan morganii praedicta, first photographic documentation for it as the pollinator of Angraecum sesquipedale. (a) Tongue insertion, (b) Landing on the protruding labellum (c) Backwards and upwards flight with pollinaria on the tongue base. From Wasserthal (1997).

Xanthopan morganii praedicta, first photographic documentation for it as the pollinator of Angraecum sesquipedale. (a) Tongue insertion, (b) Landing on the protruding labellum (c) Backwards and upwards flight with pollinaria on the tongue base. From Wasserthal (1997).

Source publication
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since Darwin the extremely long tongues of tropical hawkmoths have been interpreted to be the result of a coevolutionary race with long nectar spurs of orchids. However, extremely long-proboscis hawkmoths are not restricted to the exploitation of highly specialized sphingophilous flowers. Due to their long tongues and a swing-hovering flight they a...

Context in source publication

Context 1
... for A. sesquipedale. In the flight tent the male and a female repeatedly visited the flow- ers. Both stopped the initial swing-hovering when they established leg-contact with the protruding labellum and thus fully inserted the tongue into the spur. They removed the pollinaria and trans- ferred them later to other blossoms (Wasserthal, 1997 and Fig. ...

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Article
Full-text available
Since DARWIN the extremely long tongues of tropical hawk moths have been interpreted to be the result of a coevolutionary race with long nectar spurs of orchids. However, extremely long-proboscis hawkmoths are not restricted to the exploitation of highly specialized sphingophilous flowers. Due to their long tongues and a swing-hovering flight they...

Citations

Article
Full-text available
Since DARWIN the extremely long tongues of tropical hawk moths have been interpreted to be the result of a coevolutionary race with long nectar spurs of orchids. However, extremely long-proboscis hawkmoths are not restricted to the exploitation of highly specialized sphingophilous flowers. Due to their long tongues and a swing-hovering flight they avoid ambush predators such as huntsman spiders, which lurk among flowers. However, swing-hovering hinders full insertion of the proboscis into the long spurs of orchids. Some orchids prevent the moths from the swinging flight by forcing them to land on their protruding labellum. This is the case with Angraecum sesquipedale and Xanthopan morganii praedicta. Illegitimate visitors with tongues longer than the orchid spurs can exploit the nectar or even waste the pollinaria, thus exerting selection pressure towards spur elongation with the consequence of pollinator-shift from shorter- to longer-tongued moths.