Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7306
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Flower constancy in the hoverflies Episyrphus balteatus (Degeer) and Syrphus ribesii (L.) (Syrphidae)
Authors: Goulson, Dave
Wright, Nick P
Contact Email: dave.goulson@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: color morph
foraging
handling time
hoverflies
interference
pollination
search image
Syrphidae
Issue Date: May-1998
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Goulson D & Wright NP (1998) Flower constancy in the hoverflies Episyrphus balteatus (Degeer) and Syrphus ribesii (L.) (Syrphidae), Behavioral Ecology, 9 (3), pp. 213-219.
Abstract: The causes and consequences of flower constancy have been the focus of many studies, but almost all have examined the foraging behavior of bumblebees, honeybees, or butterflies. We test whether constancy occurs in an overlooked group of pollinators, the syrphid flies. Foraging sequences of wild flies of two species, Episyrphus balteatus and Syrphus ribesii were examined when visiting flowers in seminatural plant communities and in artificial arrays of two color morphs of Lobularia maritima planted at a range of frequencies. Both species exhibited marked floral constancy when foraging in the mixed-plant community. Because all groups of pollinating insect so far examined exhibit constancy at least under some circumstances, we suggest that this is the predominant strategy used by pollinators and that there is probably a common explanation. Neither syrphid species exhibited constancy to different color morphs within a plant species, in contrast to previously published studies of Hymenoptera foraging among polymorphic flowers, which all describe positive frequency-dependent selection. Possible explanations for this discrepancy are discussed. We argue that constancy in these syrphids is unlikely to result from learning constraints on handling ability, currently the most widely accepted explanation for flower constancy, because they forage primarily for pollen which is easily located inmost flowers they visit.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7306
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/9.3.213
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Southampton

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