n African Entomology - Arthropod fauna of mammal-pollinated : ants as an attractant for insectivore pollinators?

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



Andrews inflorescences are cryptic, but strongly scented and borne close to the ground (geoflorous) for ready access by small, non-flying mammals. During a study of pollination, we found that insectivorous elephant shrews (Macroscelididae : (A. Smith)) carried higher pollen loads on their snouts than simultaneously-trapped rodent species. Elephant shrews seem to be acquiring pollen while foraging for insects in the inflorescences. Compared with the larger bird-pollinated inflorescences of (L.) L., inflorescences have a substantially lower mass of arthropods, relatively fewer beetles (12 % of arthropod dry mass) and more ants (13 %). The large numbers of ants in these inflorescences may attract insectivore pollinators, suggesting an indirect, mutualistic relationship between plant, insect and insectivore.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error