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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