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Red Apollo on a thistle blossom.

Entomophilia is a form of zoophilia , the adaptation of flowering plants to pollination by insects . The frequently used term entomogamy should be avoided as the ending -gamy means fertilization .

Insects make up the majority of animal pollinators (zoophilia). The general characteristics of animal pollination also apply here: attraction through color, shape and / or scent, sometimes reward through nectar and / or pollen .

Insect pollination is the original pollination mechanism in the flowering plants . The evolution of the carpel is associated with protecting the ovules from pollinating beetles . Also some groups of the naked animals are pollinated by insects, such as the cycads (Cycadales) and the Welwitschia ( Welwitschia mirabilis ).

The adaptation to individual pollinator groups has led to different types or characteristic syndromes:

The insects are further subdivided according to their adaptation to the flower food:

  • Allo-, etiotropic; (not specialized); Allotropy, allophilic, a type of flower is visited by a wide variety of insects.
  • Eutropic, eulectic; (clearly specialized); Eutropy, euphil, a flower can only be pollinated by one species of insect.
  • Hemitropic, hemilectic; (less specialized); Hemitropia, hemiphilic, visiting flowers by another group of animals is not entirely excluded.
  • Dys-, atropic; Dystropia, term for animals that visit flowers for food and whose physique or behavior is not adapted to the organization of the flower. They work as a flower destroyer because they indiscriminately eat parts of the flower. In the case of dystropia, pollination occurs only occasionally.

The pollen intake or occupation of the insects can take place on the abdomen (ventral, sternotrib), on the back (dorsal, nototrib), on the side (lateral, pleurotrib) or with the legs.

Various special forms of adaptation to insect pollination can be found in the flowers. They differ in the pollination mechanisms of their flowers.

  • Dienomophilia ; the appearance that two forms of the same species have adapted in their pollination device to two different circles of visiting insects.
  • Dientiophilia ; when a plant produces two different flower shapes that are pollinated by different insects.
  • Anemoentomophilia ; some individuals are set up for insect pollination, others more for wind pollination.
  • Ambo-, ambiphilia ; Wind-pollinated species that are also pollinated by insects.

As nectar robbery refers to the behavior of insects to acquire nectar, pollinate without the bloom.


Individual evidence

  1. Theodor CH Cole: Dictionary of Biology. 4th edition, Springer, 2015, ISBN 978-3-642-55327-1 , p. 138.
  2. Michael G. Simpson: Plant Systemetics. Academic Press, 2006, ISBN 978-0-12-644460-5 , p. 468.
  3. a b R. P. Kapil: Pollination Biology: An Analysis. Inter-India Publications, 1986, ISBN 978-81-210-0048-2 , p. 175.
  4. ^ Joachim W. Kadereit , V. Bittrich: The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. Vol.XV : Flowering Plants Eudicots , Springer, 2018, ISBN 978-3-319-93604-8 , p. 221.
  5. ^ A. Heiduk, H. Kong, I. Brake, M. von Tschirnhaus et al: Deceptive Ceropegia dolichophylla fools its kleptoparasitic fly pollinators with exceptional floral scent. In: Front. Ecol. Evol. 3, Art. 66, 2015, doi: 10.3389 / fevo.2015.00066 .
  6. Joachim W. Kadereit, K. Kubitzki: The Families and Generas of Vascular Plants. Vol.VII: Flowering Plants - Dicotyledons , Springer, 2004, ISBN 978-3-642-62200-7 , p. 82.
  7. Thomas Stützel: Botanical determination exercises. 3rd edition, Ulmer, 2015, ISBN 978-3-8252-8549-4 , p. 50.
  8. Karl Linsbauer (Ed.): Short dictionary of botany. 2nd edition, Engelmann, 1917, p. 306, archive.org .
  9. Björn M. Hausen: Allergy Plants, Plant Allergens. 2nd edition, Ecomed, 1997, ISBN 978-3-609-64082-2 , p. 370.
  10. ^ Edward M. Barrows: Animal Behavior Desk Reference. Third Edition, CRC Press, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4398-3652-1 , p. 471.