Pollination in the new guinea endemic Antiaropsis decipiens (Moraceae) is mediated by a new species of thrips, Thrips antiaropsidis sp. nov. (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)

Nyree J C Zerega, Laurence A. Mound, George D. Weiblen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fig pollination is a well-known example of obligate mutualism involving specialized fig wasps (Hymenoptera, Agaonidae) and Ficus (Moraceae). However, pollination is poorly understood in Castilleae, the recently identified sister group to Ficus. Here we report the first record of thrips pollination in a member of the paleotropical Castilleae. We used phenological measurements, insect trapping, and pollinator exclusion experiments to investigate the mode of pollination in Antiaropsis decipiens, a monotypic dioecious tree of lowland rainforests in New Guinea. We recorded a new species, described here as Thrips antiaropsidis (Thysanoptera, Thripidae), feeding on Antiaropsis pollen, breeding in the staminate inflorescences, and pollinating the carpellate inflorescences. It appears that thrips are lured from staminate to carpellate inflorescences by deceit. We combine these observations with evidence from the Neotropical Castilleae to suggest that thrips pollination may be common in the sister group to figs. We speculate that entomophily in the common ancestor of Ficus and Castilleae predated the origin of the fig pollination mutualism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1026
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Plant Sciences
Volume165
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Keywords

  • Castilleae
  • Ficus
  • Mutualism
  • Paleotropics
  • Pollination by deceit
  • Reproductive ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

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