The production of floral oils by monttea scrophulariaceae and the function of tarsal pads in centris bees

Simpson, B.B.; Neff, J.L.; Dieringer, G.

Plant Systematics and Evolution 173(3-4): 209-222


ISSN/ISBN: 0378-2697
Accession: 007925662

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Plant species that secrete oil as their primary floral reward are rare and sporadically found in the angiosperms. We report here that Monttea, a genus previously unsuspected of being an oil-plant, produces lipids from trichrome elaiophores on the inside of the lower (anterior) lip. The discovery of the production of oils by species of this S. American genus explains the occurrence of unusual dual-function collecting structures in Argentine Centris (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae) and explains the presence of oil-collecting bees in regions where oil-secreting flowers were previously thought to be absent. The behavior of these centridine pollinators on Monttea flowers parallels that of oil-collecting bees on Diascia (Scrophulariaceae) in S. Africa.