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Saproflorivory: A Diverse Insect Community in Fallen Flowers of Lecythidaceae in French Guiana

Authors

  • Julie Feinstein,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, City College of New York, City University of New York, Convent Avenue at 138th Street, New York, New York, 10031, U.S.A.
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  • Scott Mori,

    1. Institute of Systematic Botany, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York, 10458-5126, U.S.A.
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  • Amy Berkov

    1. Department of Biology, City College of New York, City University of New York, Convent Avenue at 138th Street, New York, New York, 10031, U.S.A.
    2. American Museum of Natural History, 79th Street and Central Park West, New York, New York, 10024, U.S.A.
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Corresponding author; e-mail: jfstein@amnh.org

ABSTRACT

We investigated insects associated with flowerfalls from seven tree species belonging to the Brazil nut family (Lecythidaceae) in the lowland rain forest of French Guiana. Freshly fallen androecia were collected from the forest floor and incubated in rearing chambers. Over 1300 insects representing 21 families were collected from the caged flowers, including abundant Diptera and Coleoptera, five moth morphospecies and four species of lycaenid butterflies. These insects feed on androecia. We also documented the presence of predators and parasitoids, indicating an additional trophic level.

Abstract

RÉSUMÉ  Nous avons étudié la symbiose entre insectes et chute de fleurs au travers de sept espèces d'arbres de la famille des noix de Brésil (Lecythidaceae) situés dans la basse forêt vierge de Guyane Française. Les androecia fraîchement tombées ont été collectées sur le sol forêstier et incubées. Les insectes étaient compris des nombreux Coleoptera et Diptera, cinq genres de papillons de nuit, et quatre espèces de papillons lycaenides. Cette groupe des insects utilizent les androcées pour sa nourriture. La presence des prédateurs et parasitoids indique un autre niveau trophique.

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