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A pollinator is an animal that moves
pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat made of sporopollenin that protects the ga ...

pollen
from the male
anther The stamen (plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number. The plural of a noun typically denotes a quantity greate ...
of a
flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Image:Cerisier du Japon Prunus serrulata.jpg, Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plan ...

flower
to the female
stigma Stigma or plural stigmata, stigmas may refer to: * Social stigma, the disapproval of a person based on physical or behavioral characteristics that distinguish them from others Symbolism * Stigmata, bodily marks or wounds resembling the crucifix ...
of a flower. This helps to bring about
fertilization Fertilisation or fertilization (see American and British English spelling differences#-ise.2C -ize .28-isation.2C -ization.29, spelling differences), also known as generative fertilisation, syngamy and impregnation, is the fusion of gametes ...

fertilization
of the
ovule In seed plant The spermatophytes, also known as phanerogams (taxon Phanerogamae) or phaenogams (taxon Phaenogamae), comprise those plants that produce seeds, hence the alternative name seed plants. They are a subset of the embryophytes or l ...

ovule
s in the flower by the male gametes from the pollen grains. Insect pollinators include
bees Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the western honey bee, for producing honey. Bees are a monophyly, monophyletic lineage within the s ...

bees
, (
honey bees Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some other Bee, bees. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretions of other insects (such as honeydew (secretion), honeydew), by reg ...

honey bees
, solitary species,
bumblebees A bumblebee (or bumble bee, bumble-bee, or humble-bee) is any of over 250 species in the genus ''Bombus'', part of Apidae, one of the bee families. This genus is the only Extant taxon, extant group in the tribe Bombini, though a few extinct ...

bumblebees
);
pollen wasp Pollen wasps, the Masarinae, are unusual wasps that are typically treated as a subfamily of Vespidae, but have in the past sometimes been recognized as a separate family, "Masaridae", which also included the subfamilies Euparagiinae and Gayellin ...
s (Masarinae);
ant Ants are eusocial Eusociality (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population i ...

ant
s; flies including
bee flies The Bombyliidae are a family (biology), family of fly, flies. Their common name are bee flies or humbleflies. Adults generally feed on nectar and pollen, some being important pollinators. Larvae generally are parasitoids of other insects. Overvi ...
,
hoverflies Hoverflies, also called flower flies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. As their common name suggests, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the repr ...
,
blowflies The Calliphoridae (commonly known as blow flies, blow-flies, carrion flies, bluebottles, greenbottles, or cluster flies) are a Family (biology), family of insects in the order Diptera, with 1,200 known species. The maggot larvae, often used as fi ...
and
mosquito Mosquitoes are members of a group of almost 3,600 species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defin ...

mosquito
es;
lepidoptera Lepidoptera ( ; ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or ...

lepidoptera
ns, both
butterflies Butterflies are insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latiu ...

butterflies
and
moths Moths are a paraphyletic In taxonomy, a group is paraphyletic if it consists of the group's last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor excluding a few—typically only one or two—Monophyly, monophyletic subgroups. The g ...

moths
; and flower
beetles Beetles are a group of insects that form the Taxonomic rank, order Coleoptera (), in the superorder Endopterygota. Their front pair of wings are hardened into wing-cases, Elytron, elytra, distinguishing them from most other insects. The Coleo ...

beetles
. Vertebrates, mainly bats and birds, but also some non-bat mammals (
monkey Monkey is a common name that may refer to certain groups or species of simian mammals of infraorder Simiiformes. The term is applied descriptively to groups of primates, such as families of New World monkeys and Old World monkeys. Many monk ...

monkey
s,
lemur Lemurs ( ) (from Latin ''lemures'' – ghosts or spirits) are wet-nosed primates of the superfamily SUPERFAMILY is a database and search platform of structural and functional annotation for all proteins and genomes. It classifies amino acid s ...

lemur
s,
possums Possum may refer to: Animals * Opossum, or possum, an order (Didelphimorphia) of marsupials native to the Americas ** Common opossum, native to Central and South America ** Virginia opossum, native to North America * Phalangeriformes, or possums, ...

possums
,
rodent Rodents (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republi ...

rodent
s) and some
lizard Lizards (suborder Lacertilia) are a widespread group of Squamata, squamate reptiles, with over 6,000 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica, as well as most oceanic island chains. The group is paraphyletic as it excludes the s ...

lizard
s pollinate certain plants. Among the pollinating birds are
hummingbird Hummingbirds are birds Birds are a group of s constituting the Aves , characterised by s, toothless beaked jaws, the of eggs, a high rate, a four-chambered , and a strong yet lightweight . Birds live worldwide and range in size fr ...

hummingbird
s,
honeyeaters The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family, Meliphagidae, of small to medium-sized birds. The family includes the Australian chats, myzomelas, friarbirds, wattlebirds, Manorina, miners and melidectes. They are most common in Australia an ...
and
sunbirds Sunbirds and spiderhunters make up the family (biology), family Nectariniidae of passerine birds. They are small, slender passerines from the Old World, usually with downward-curved bills. Many are brightly coloured, often with iridescent feather ...
with long beaks; they pollinate a number of deep-throated flowers. Humans may also carry out
artificial pollination Hand pollination, also known as mechanical pollination is a technique that can be used to pollinate plants when natural or open pollination is either undesirable or insufficient. This method of pollination is done by manually transferring pollen f ...
. A pollinator is different from a
pollenizer {{Unreferenced, date=May 2009 A pollenizer (or polleniser), sometimes pollinizer (or polliniser, see spelling differences Despite the various English dialects Dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "d ...
, a plant that is a source of pollen for the
pollination Pollination is the transfer of pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat ...

pollination
process.


Background

Plants fall into
pollination syndrome Pollination syndromes are suites of flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproduction, reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biologica ...
s that reflect the type of pollinator being attracted. These are characteristics such as: overall flower size, the depth and width of the corolla, the color (including patterns called
nectar Nectar is a sugar Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkag ...

nectar
guides that are visible only in
ultraviolet Ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, ...

ultraviolet
light), the
scent An odor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English ...
, amount of nectar, composition of nectar, etc. For example, birds visit red flowers with long, narrow tubes and much nectar, but are not as strongly attracted to wide flowers with little nectar and copious pollen, which are more attractive to beetles. When these characteristics are experimentally modified (altering colour, size, orientation), pollinator visitation may decline. It has recently been discovered that
cycad :''For the insect, see Cicada.'' Cycads are seed plants that typically have a stout and woody (ligneous) trunk (botany), trunk with a crown (botany), crown of large, hard, stiff, evergreen and (usually) pinnate leaves. The species are dioecious ...

cycad
s, which are not
flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greec ...

flowering plant
s, are also pollinated by insects. In 2016, researchers showed evidence of pollination occurring underwater, which was previously thought not to happen.


Types of pollinators


Bees

The most recognized pollinators are the various species of
bee Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the western honey bee, for producing honey. Bees are a monophyly, monophyletic lineage within the ...

bee
s, which are plainly adapted to pollination. Bees typically are fuzzy and carry an
electrostatic Electrostatics is a branch of physics that studies electric charges at Rest (physics), rest (static electricity). Since classical antiquity, classical times, it has been known that some materials, such as amber, attract lightweight particles af ...
charge. Both features help pollen grains adhere to their bodies, but they also have specialized pollen-carrying structures; in most bees, this takes the form of a structure known as the
scopa ''Scopa'' (; literally "broom") is an Italian card game, and one of the two major national card games in Italy, the other being ''Briscola''. It is also popular in Argentina and Brazil, brought in by Italian diaspora, Italian immigrants, mostly in ...
, which is on the hind legs of most bees, and/or the lower abdomen (e.g., of megachilid bees), made up of thick, plumose
seta In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanis ...

seta
e.
Honey bee A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus ''Apis'' of the bee clade, all native to Eurasia. They are known for their construction of wiktionary:perennial, perennial Colony (biology), colonial nests from B ...

Honey bee
s,
bumblebee A bumblebee (or bumble bee, bumble-bee, or humble-bee) is any of over 250 species in the genus ''Bombus'', part of Apidae, one of the bee families. This genus is the only Extant taxon, extant group in the tribe Bombini, though a few extinct r ...

bumblebee
s, and their relatives do not have a scopa, but the hind leg is modified into a structure called the corbicula (also known as the "
pollen basket The pollen basket or corbicula (plural corbiculae) is part of the tibia The tibia (; ), also known as the shinbone or shankbone, is the larger, stronger, and anterior (frontal) of the two bone A bone is a Stiffness, rigid tissue (anatomy) ...
"). Most bees gather
nectar Nectar is a sugar Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkag ...

nectar
, a concentrated energy source, and pollen, which is high
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
food, to nurture their young, and inadvertently transfer some among the flowers as they are working. Euglossine bees pollinate orchids, but these are male bees collecting floral scents rather than females gathering nectar or pollen. Female orchid bees act as pollinators, but of flowers other than orchids.
Eusocial Eusociality (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mil ...
bees such as honey bees need an abundant and steady
pollen source File:Pollen Tube.svg, Pollen Tube Diagram Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are male Gametophyte, microgametophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard ...
to multiply.


Honey bees

Honey bees travel from flower to flower, collecting nectar (later converted to
honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some other Bee, bees. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretion ...

honey
), and pollen grains. The bee collects the pollen by rubbing against the anthers. The pollen collects on the hind legs, in a structure referred to as a "pollen basket". As the bee flies from flower to flower, some of the pollen grains are transferred onto the stigma of other flowers. Nectar provides the energy for bee
nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to support its life. It includes ingestion, Absorption (biology), absorption, Assimilation (biology), assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism and excretion. ...
; pollen provides the
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
. When bees are rearing large quantities of brood (beekeepers say hives are "building"), bees deliberately gather pollen to meet the nutritional needs of the brood. Good pollination management seeks to have bees in a "building" state during the bloom period of the crop, thus requiring them to gather pollen, and making them more efficient pollinators. Thus, the management techniques of a
beekeeper , Germany A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bees. Beekeepers are also called honey farmers, apiarists, or less commonly, apiculturists (both from the Latin ''Wiktionary:apis, apis'', bee; cf. apiary). The term beekeeper refers to a person ...

beekeeper
providing pollination services are different from, and to some extent in tension with, those of a beekeeper who is trying to produce honey. Millions of
hives Hives, also known as urticaria, is a kind of with red, raised, itchy bumps. They may also burn or sting. Often the patches of rash move around. Typically they last a few days and do not leave any long-lasting skin changes. Fewer than 5% of case ...
of honey bees are
contract A contract is a legally binding agreement that defines and governs the rights and duties between or among its parties Image:'Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Artist Festival at Skagen', by Peder Severin Krøyer (1888) Demisted with DXO PhotoLab Clearview ...

contract
ed out as pollinators by
beekeepers A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bee A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus ''Apis'' of the bee clade, all native to Eurasia. They are known for their construction of wiktionary:perennial, ...

beekeepers
, and honey bees are by far the most important commercial pollinating agents, but many other kinds of pollinators, from blue bottle flies, to bumblebees,
orchard mason bee ''Osmia lignaria'', commonly known as the orchard mason bee or blue orchard bee, is a megachilid bee that makes nests in reeds and natural holes, creating individual cells for its brood that are separated by mud dividers. Unlike carpenter bee ...
s, and leaf cutter bees are cultured and sold for managed pollination. Other species of bees differ in various details of their behavior and pollen-gathering habits, and honey bees are not native to the
Western Hemisphere The Western Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining ...
; all pollination of native plants in the Americas historically has been performed by various native bees.


Other insects

Many insects other than bees accomplish pollination by visiting flowers for nectar or pollen, or commonly both. Many do so adventitiously, but the most important pollinators are specialists for at least parts of their life cycles for at least certain functions. For example, males of many species of
Hymenoptera Hymenoptera is a large order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or wa ...

Hymenoptera
, including many hunting wasps, rely on freely flowering plants as sources of energy (in the form of nectar) and also as territories for meeting fertile females that visit the flowers. Prominent examples are predatory wasps (especially Sphecidae,
Vespidae The Vespidae are a large (nearly 5000 species), diverse, cosmopolitan Cosmopolitan may refer to: Food and drink * Cosmopolitan (cocktail), also known as a "Cosmo" History * Rootless cosmopolitan, a Soviet derogatory epithet during Joseph St ...

Vespidae
, and
Pompilidae Wasps in the family Pompilidae are commonly called spider wasps, spider-hunting wasps, or pompilid wasps. The family is cosmopolitan, with some 5,000 species in six subfamilies. Nearly all species are solitary (with the exception of some group-ne ...
). The term "
pollen wasp Pollen wasps, the Masarinae, are unusual wasps that are typically treated as a subfamily of Vespidae, but have in the past sometimes been recognized as a separate family, "Masaridae", which also included the subfamilies Euparagiinae and Gayellin ...
s", in particular, is widely applied to the Masarinae, a
subfamily In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms based on shared characteristics. Organisms are grou ...
of the Vespidae; they are remarkable among solitary wasps in that they specialise in gathering pollen for feeding their larvae, carried internally and regurgitated into a mud chamber prior to oviposition. Many
bee flies The Bombyliidae are a family (biology), family of fly, flies. Their common name are bee flies or humbleflies. Adults generally feed on nectar and pollen, some being important pollinators. Larvae generally are parasitoids of other insects. Overvi ...

bee flies
, and some
Tabanidae Horse-flies or horseflies are true flies Flies are insects of the order Diptera, the name being derived from the Greek δι- ''di-'' "two", and πτερόν ''pteron'' "wing". Insects of this order use only a single pair of wings to fl ...

Tabanidae
and
Nemestrinidae Image:EuropäischenZweiflügeligen1790TafCCLII.jpg, ''Neorhynchocephalus tauscheri'' (10) and ''Hirmoneura obscura'' (11) in ''Europäischen Zweiflügeligen'' Nemestrinidae, or tangle-veined flies is a Family (biology), family of Fly, flies in the ...
are particularly adapted to pollinating
fynbos Fynbos (; meaning fine plants) is a small belt of natural shrubland or Heath (habitat), heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. This area is predominantly coastal and mountainous, with a M ...

fynbos
and
Karoo The Karoo ( ; from the South Khoekhoe Khoekhoen (singular Khoekhoe) (or Khoikhoi in the former orthography; formerly also '' Hottentots''"Hottentot, n. and adj." ''OED Online'', Oxford University Press, March 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/ ...

Karoo
plants with narrow, deep
corolla tubes
corolla tubes
, such as '' Lapeirousia'' species. Part of the adaptation takes the form of remarkably long probosces. This also applies to empidine dance flies (
Empidinae Empidinae are a subfamily of Empidoidea, empidoid fly, flies. They are mainly predation, predatory flies like most of their relatives, and generally small to medium-sized. Most species are Flowering plant, flower visitors and they can be effective ...
) that visit a wide range of flowering plants, some species of which can pollinate the
woodland geranium
woodland geranium
(
''Geranium sylvaticum'' L.
''Geranium sylvaticum'' L.
) as effectively as
bee Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the western honey bee, for producing honey. Bees are a monophyly, monophyletic lineage within the ...

bee
s.
Lepidoptera Lepidoptera ( ; ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or ...

Lepidoptera
(
butterflies Butterflies are insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', m ...

butterflies
and
moth Moths are a paraphyletic In taxonomy, a group is paraphyletic if it consists of the group's last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor excluding a few—typically only one or two—Monophyly, monophyletic subgroups. The g ...

moth
s) also pollinate plants to various degrees. They are not major pollinators of
food crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most crops are cultivated in agriculture Agriculture is th ...
s, but various moths are important pollinators of other commercial crops such as
tobacco Tobacco is the common name of several plants in the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defini ...

tobacco
. Pollination by certain moths may be important, however, or even crucial, for some wildflowers mutually adapted to specialist pollinators. Spectacular examples include orchids such as ''
Angraecum sesquipedale ''Angraecum sesquipedale'' , also known as Darwin's orchid, Christmas orchid, Star of Bethlehem orchid, and king of the angraecums, is an epiphytic orchid in the genus ''Angraecum'' endemic to Madagascar. The orchid was first discovered by the Fren ...

Angraecum sesquipedale
'', dependent on a particular
hawk moth The Sphingidae are a family of Moth, moths (Lepidoptera) called sphinx moths, also colloquially known as hawk moths, with many of their caterpillars known as “hornworms”; it includes about 1,450 species. It is best represented in the tropics ...
, Morgan's sphinx.
Yucca ''Yucca'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their an ...

Yucca
species provide other examples, being fertilised in elaborate ecological interactions with particular species of yucca moths.
Beetle Beetles are a group of insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known a ...

Beetle
s of species that specialise in eating pollen, nectar, or flowers themselves, are important cross-pollinators of some plants such as members of the
Araceae The Araceae are a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typica ...

Araceae
and
Zamiaceae The Zamiaceae are a family of cycad :''For the insect, see Cicada.'' Cycads are seed plants with a very long fossil history that were formerly more abundant and more diverse than they are today. They typically have a stout and woody (ligneou ...
, that produce prodigious amounts of pollen. Others, for example the Hopliini, specialise in free-flowering species of the
Asteraceae The family (biology), family Asteraceae, alternatively Compositae, consists of over 32,000 known species of flowering plants in over 1,900 genera within the Order (biology), order Asterales. Commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, composite, o ...

Asteraceae
and
Aizoaceae The Aizoaceae, or fig-marigold family, is a large family of dicotyledonous flowering plants containing 135 genera and about 1800 species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic ...

Aizoaceae
. Various
midge A midge is any small fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

midge
s and
thrips Thrips (Order (biology), order Thysanoptera) are minute (mostly 1 mm long or less), slender insects with fringed wings and unique asymmetrical mouthparts. Different thrips species feed mostly on plants by puncturing and sucking up the con ...

thrips
are comparatively minor opportunist pollinators.
Ant Ants are eusocial Eusociality (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population i ...

Ant
s also pollinate some kinds of flowers, but for the most part they are parasites, robbing nectar without conveying useful amounts of pollen to a stigma. Whole groups of plants, such as certain
fynbos Fynbos (; meaning fine plants) is a small belt of natural shrubland or Heath (habitat), heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. This area is predominantly coastal and mountainous, with a M ...

fynbos
''
Moraea ''Moraea'', the Cape tulips, is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may ...
'' and ''
Erica Erica or ERICA may refer to: * Erica (given name) The given name Erika, Erica, Ericka, or Ereka is a feminine form of Eric, deriving from the Old Norse name ''Eiríkr'' (or ''Eríkr'' in Eastern Scandinavia due to monophthongization). The first el ...
'' species produce flowers on sticky peduncles or with sticky
corolla Corolla may refer to: *Corolla (botany) upright=1.4, Diagram showing the parts of a mature flower. In this example the perianth is separated into a calyx (sepals) and corolla (petals) The perianth (perigonium, perigon or perigone in monocots) is ...

corolla
tubes that only permit access to flying pollinators, whether bird, bat, or insect. Carrion flies and flesh flies in families such as
Calliphoridae The Calliphoridae (commonly known as blow flies, blow-flies, carrion flies, bluebottles, greenbottles, or cluster flies) are a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by re ...
and Sarcophagidae are important for some species of plants whose flowers exude a fetid odor. The plants' ecological strategy varies; several species of ''
Stapelia
Stapelia
'', for example, attract carrion flies that futilely lay their eggs on the flower, where their larvae promptly starve for lack of
carrion Carrion (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in re ...

carrion
. Other species do decay rapidly after ripening, and offer the visiting insects large masses of food, as well as pollen and sometimes seed to carry off when they leave.
Hoverflies Hoverflies, also called flower flies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. As their common name suggests, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the repr ...

Hoverflies
are important pollinators of flowering plants worldwide. Often hoverflies are considered to be the second most important pollinators after wild bees. Although hoverflies as a whole are generally considered to be nonselective pollinators, some species have more specialized relationships. The orchid species ''Epipactis veratrifolia'' mimics alarm
pheromones exposes Nasonov's gland (white – at tip of abdomen) releasing pheromone to entice swarm into an empty hive A pheromone (from Ancient Greek ' "to bear" and hormone) is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in mem ...
of aphids to attract hover flies for pollination. Another plant, the slipper orchid in southwest China, also achieves pollination by deceit by exploiting the
innate {{Short pages monitor