Color code tells bumblebees where to buzz
A flashy North American wildflower has an unusual combination of pollination tricks: anthers that respond to buzzing and color shifts that signal a flower's reproductive potential.
Larson, B.M.H., and S.C.H. Barrett. 1999. The pollination of buzz-pollinated Rhexia virginica (Melastomataceae). American Journal of Botany 86(April):502.
Buchmann, S.L., and G.P. Nabhan. 1996. The Forgotten Pollinators. Covelho, Calif.: Island Press.
Harder, L.D., and S.C.H. Barrett. 1995. Mating cost of large floral displays in hermaphrodite plants. Nature 373:512.
Milius, S. 1998. How bright is a butterfly? Science News 153(April 11):233.
Weiss, M.R. 1991. Floral colour changes as cues for pollinators. Nature 354(Nov. 21):227.
Stephen Buchmann's homepage includes a file that plays the sound of a bee buzz-pollinating a flower. It is available at http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/home/buchmann/index.html.
The Carl Hayden Bee Research Center's Web site, which contains details of pollination, killer bees, and an interactive population model for kids, can be found at http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/.
Spencer C.H. Barrett
University of Toronto
Department of Botany
25 Willcocks Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B2
Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
2000 East Allen Road
Tucson, AZ 85719
Martha R. Weiss
Washington, DC 20057-1028
From Science News, Vol. 155, No. 14, April 3, 1999, p. 215. Copyright © 1999, Science Service.