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Darwin's OrchidsThen and Now$
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Retha Edens-Meier and Peter Bernhardt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044910

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226173641.001.0001

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Pollination Biology and Evolutionary History of Angraecoid Orchids:

Pollination Biology and Evolutionary History of Angraecoid Orchids:

From Darwin to the Present Day

(p.201) Eight Pollination Biology and Evolutionary History of Angraecoid Orchids
Darwin's Orchids

Claire Micheneau

Jacques Fournel

Thierry Pailler

University of Chicago Press

Darwin (1862) predicted that the pollinator of a star orchid, Angraecum sesquipedale, would be a hawkmoth (Chapter 1 and 4) with a proboscis long enough to reach the nectar hidden in the tip of the floral spur. This prediction was validated decades after his death. Authors in this chapter review and trace the history of Angraecum pollination and in flowers of allied genera endemic to islands off the coast of Africa. In fact, different species within this lineage evolved pollination systems dependent on long-tongued moths, a species of nectar-drinking birds, or by a nocturnal, raspy cricket. Some species self-pollinate.

Keywords:   Angraecum, birds, cricket, islands, moth, nocturnal, raspy, spur

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