Butterflies Nectar Preferences - roses they use
patfoley at csus.edu
Sun Jun 24 23:48:00 EDT 2001
To all those in search of sweetness and/or light,
Hermann Mueller (1883) writes about Rosa canina " The flowers seem either to
secrete no honey at all, or only a thin adherent layer of it; at least, I have
never found drops of honey, in spite of repeated searching."
Mueller does claim that Rosa rubiginosa produces an obvious secretion of honey.
And he describes varying amount of nectar production from other species of
Rosaceae. Mueller still seems the best source of great line drawings of flower
parts, including nectaries. He shows them for Alchemilla and other rosaceaeous
species. (Notice I avoid the use of the neologism 'specieses'.)
( And please don't blame me for the misuse of the word 'honey'. Send your kind
words to the estate of the translator D'Arcy Thompson.)
Nectaries take many forms and some are just epithelial tissues that leak phloem
contents. See F. Weberling 1989. 'Morphology of flowers and inflorescences' for
a scholarly discussion. Did you know that Paeonia leaks vascular bundle contents
from undeveloped stamen primordia? Well now you do.
A terrific book, though slightly British in biogeographic bias, on pollination
biology is the inexpensive paperback by Proctor, Yeo and Lack 1996. The Natural
History of Pollination, Timber Press.
And after a pleasant weekend of dallying in the dales (with two Klingon children
in tow), its back to the computer.
patfoley at csus.edu
robert beiriger wrote:
> Dear all:
> The rose probably is wild rose, Rosa carolina. When I shall the
> hairstreaks, it was dry, the middle of the afternoon and fairly warm. I do
> not believe that there was any dissolved honeydew on the plants.
> At this patch of roses there was about 50 to 100 hairstreak flying from
> one rose flower to another. As far as nectoring, I did not see a hairstreak
> actually stick it's proboscis into the flower. I did collect about a dozen,
> only on the flowers, and not on any other part of the plants. If they were
> not "nectaring" on the roses then something else was attracting them to the
> Robert Beiriger
> Loxahatchee, FL
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: John MacGregor <jonivy at earthlink.net>
> To: <robert.beiriger at worldnet.att.net>
> Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001 11:31 PM
> Subject: Re: Butterflies Nectar Preferences - roses they use
> > > I believe that most members of the rose family produce nectar, although
> > > nectaries may not be conspicuous. Certainly Prunus (cherry), Rubus
> > > (blackberry) and Crataegus produce nectar. Prunus goes so far as to have
> > > extrafloral nectaries at the base of its leaves.
> > > Patrick Foley
> > > I have seen several different haristreaks, including Atlides halesus,
> > > Calycopis cecrops, Fixsenia favonius, and Parrhasius m-album, feeding on
> > > wild roses in Central Florida. I see them on it when there is no other
> > > nectar souces around.
> > >
> > >
> > > Robert Beiriger
> > > Loxahatchee, FL
> > > Interesting. I have also seen a few hairstreaks sitting on rose bushes
> > > the rose garden at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore, MD. They were
> > > nectaring when I saw them, but I'll have to check a little closer next
> > >
> > > Rudy/Maryland
> > > Last weekend we visited a private site that had Baltimore Checkerspots
> > > their front yard. It had just rained when we arrived and about 5-6 of
> > > Baltimore Checkerspots were perching on some kind of old fashioned rose.
> > > The roses were single to double and seemed to be a ground cover type
> > > I`d speculate that the rain had somehow washed out the nectar and the
> > > checkerspots were taking advantage of it situation. I was trying to get
> > > photos of the checkerspots, but they wouldn`t hang around on the roses
> > > I moved in closer. With in an hour they ignored the roses altogether and
> > > went for the coreopsis along with the other 6-7 checkerspots at the
> site. I
> > > have photos of them at
> > > http://www.rlephoto.com/butterflies/baltimore_checkerspot01.html
> > >
> > >
> > > Randy Emmitt
> > > Rougemont, NC
> > Patrick, Robert, Randy, et al.,
> > For more than 30 years the genus Rosa has been a specialty of mine. At
> > time or another I have grown practically every species in the genus as
> > as more than 3,000 hybrid cultivars. I can state categorically that no
> > member of the genus Rosa has any structure that secretes nectar. What
> > produce for insects is pollen, and their fragrance is an attractant to
> > attention to that pollen. It is high in protein, nourishing, and draws a
> > wide range of bees to collect it as well as beetles, earwigs, and other
> > insects that devour more of the rose than just the pollen grains.
> > I am aware that some species of Prunus have extrafloral nectar glands.
> > mainly attract ants, although other insects may be attracted as well. But
> > have long been under the impression (perhaps mistaken) that lack of floral
> > nectaries was general among the Rosaceae. Can you direct me to a
> > publication that describes and pictured floral nectaries in Prunus, Rubus,
> > and Crataegus?
> > What roses do produce are aphids, that excrete honeydew as sweet and rich
> > sugars as any nectar. I often have seen Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta)
> > nectaring for several minutes at a time on aphid honeydew on rose leaves,
> > and occasionally I have observed other butterflies doing the same.
> > I am interested. On what species of roses have you observed these
> > hairstreaks "nectaring"? Were they clearly drinking from the flowers, or
> > were they drawing "nectar" from other parts of the plant? Was this
> > after a rain when the added moisture might have been dissolved aphid
> > honeydew?
> > John MacGregor
> > jonivy at earthlink.net
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