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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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Orchids and Neotropical Pollinators since Darwin’s Time

Orchids and Neotropical Pollinators since Darwin’s Time

(p.229) Nine Orchids and Neotropical Pollinators since Darwin’s Time
Darwin's Orchids

David W. Roubik

University of Chicago Press

Darwin observed and dissected flowers of Epidendroideae based on greenhouse specimens (Chapter 1 and 8). Observations of the same Neotropical flowers and their visiting bees by Hermann Crüger (1818-1864) in Trinidad provided additional data for Darwin. Chapter 9 much extends and expands these early studies of orchid pollination mechanics and also directs the reader’s attention to bee anatomy and diversity, ants, extrafloral nectar secreted by orchid inflorescences and the fragrance chemistry of their flowers (Chapter 3). The author presents a compelling argument that the evolution of bees and Neotropical orchids is an example of asymmetrical evolution.

Keywords:   ants, asymmetrical, Crüger, Epidendroideae, evolution, extrafloral nectar, neotropical bees

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