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Coevolution of Insects and (Flowering) Plants Photographs in this presentation © Pearson Education or Fred M. Rhoades unless otherwise listed in notes.

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Presentation on theme: "Coevolution of Insects and (Flowering) Plants Photographs in this presentation © Pearson Education or Fred M. Rhoades unless otherwise listed in notes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Coevolution of Insects and (Flowering) Plants Photographs in this presentation © Pearson Education or Fred M. Rhoades unless otherwise listed in notes.

2 Coevolution Mutual evolutionary influence between two species Insects and flowering plants are coevolved Which group led is in contention

3 Characteristics of Insects Nature of wings used to define insect orders Segments fused: *Head Compound eyes Mouth parts: sucking, chewing, laping Other paired appendages *Thorax 3 pairs of legs Wings: none, 1 or 2 pairs *Abdomen Visera (reproduction, digestion, etc.) Fig 33.33, part

4 Characteristics of Insects, cont. Like all arthropods, insects molt Complete metamorphism *Larva (feeding) *Pupa (metamorph) *Adult (reproduction) Incomplete metamorphism *Immature look like small adults *Gradual increase in size from molt to molt Excellent web site on evolution of insect flight (and other insect facts) at the Hooper Virtual Micropaleontological Museum

5 Insect diversity Some 30 Orders

6 Insect evolution Arthropods followed plants onto land Insects evolved on land First insect in Mid Paleozoic (springtail) Insect diversity explosion in Late Paleozoic Plants used for food and shelter Early seed plant pollen a food source? Further coevolution with plants in Mesozoic and Cenozoic

7 Plant spores and pollen are wind dispersed Spores: *Bryophytes *Ferns, etc. Pollen: *Gymnosperms (conifers, etc.) Exceptions (past and present): *A few, unusual mosses – Splachnum *Several cycads *Several Gnetophyta *Most flowering plants (but not all)

8 Splachnum moss grows on dung and spores are dispersed by flies. All that is seen here is the end of the sporophytes.

9 Gymnosperms Cycads Gnetophytes Some are pollinated by beetles Cycads in Univ. of Georgia Botany Dept. GreenhousePollination of Dioon (cycad) by beetles

10 Flower evolution Gymnosperm pollen or ovule predation by beetles Some pollination occurred First flowers *Pistils hold ovules *Numerous, generalized parts *Lots of pollen Later flowers *Fusion of parts *Tubular *Bilateral symmetry *More colors

11 Benefits to the plants Efficient pollen transfer More outcrossing Salmonberry flowers are hummingbird pollinated

12 Benefits to the pollinators. 70% of flowers pollinated by insects 30% of flowers pollinated by wind, bats, birds Benefits *Pollen rich food source *Nectar average ~ 40% sugar *No benefit? - Trickery pseudocopulation Bee Ophrys – diagram from Charles Darwin

13 Important pollinating Insect Orders Coleoptera – Beetles Diptera – Flies Hymenoptera – Bees, Wasps & Ants Lepidoptera – Moths & Butterflies

14 Coleoptera = sheath-wings Beetles (not Beatles) 250,000+ named species Chewing mouthparts Beetle flowers *Dull, light color *Strong odors: fruity, spicy or fetid *Pollen, nectar, other flower parts Phratora beetle head SEM by Alfred Köpf - Sonoma State University

15 Magnolia

16 Amborella

17 Skunk Cabbage, Lysichticum

18 Diptera = two-wings Flies 85,000+ named species Most attack animals Lapping, sucking or sawing mouthparts Fly flowers (carrion flies) *Dull, dark colors *Fetid odors (dead meat) *Few pollen or nectar rewards Blowfly SEMs - tongue head

19 Stapelia – Carrion Flower or Starfish Flower

20 Hymenoptera = membrane-wings Bees, Wasps, and Ants 110,000+ named species Chewing & lapping mouthparts Hairy bodies Complex social behavior Bee flowers *bilaterally symmetrical *short fused petal tubes *yellows and blues *patterns visible in UV *nectar guides Honey bee head SEM - University of Bath Bumble bee stealing nectar from a Comfrey flower

21 Collinsia

22 Viola

23 Lepidoptera = scaly-wings Moths (nocturnal) & Butterflies (diurnal) 150,000+ named species Sucking mouthparts Butterfly & moth flowers *Like bee flowers, but with: *Long fused petal tubes *Butterfly colors: yellow, red *Moth colors: white or pale, fragrant Cabbage Butterfly head SEM - University of Bath

24 Butterfly on Oregano flowers

25 Convolvulus Morning Glory

26 Odonata Grasshoppers, etc. Not pollinating insects But eat a lot of plant biomass with chewing mouthpart

27 Unsuspecting bee fly pollinator gets nabbed for visiting marigold There are dangers to being a pollinator


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