Pollinators: The Yucca Moth and the Yucca
Sep 25, the Yucca Moth (Tegeticula yuccasella) in Alberta, from which this The moth has an obligate mutualism relationship with its host plant, Development and other stakeholders, will prepare a recovery plan to set goals. Jul 30, and its relation to the pollination of the flowers of the Yucca plant. her head rapidly "with vigor that would indicate pleasure and purpose" in. Jun 26, The obligate pollination mutualism between yuccas (Agavaceae) and Prodoxidae), in which the adult moth pollinates yucca flowers and her.
As she collects the sticky pollen, the yucca moth packs it into a ball and sticks it under her head. She then flies off to another yucca flower. When she arrives at the second yucca flower, usually one that has very recently opened, she goes straight to the bottom to find the ovary. She opens a small hole in the ovary and lays her eggs inside.
Once the eggs are laid, she scrapes a small amount of pollen from her sticky ball with her tentacles, walks to the stigma of the flower, and packs the pollen into tiny depressions within the style. She may then return to the ovary of the same flower to lay more eggs or fly to another flower. Either way, before she leaves the flower, she marks it with a pheromone a chemical other moths can sense. This helps moderate the number of larva that hatch within each flower, and prevents the plant from aborting the flower altogether, which it will do if too many eggs are laid.
Flowers of soapweed yucca. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on yucca seeds within the fruit. They are masters at attracting these love messengers and perpetuating the species through pollination. They use countless ways to accomplish this goal. Translate Saturday, March 31, The Yucca Moth and the Yucca Yucca Yucca glaucathe state flower of New Mexico, illustrates an intimate relationship between a specialized pollinator and its equally specialized flower.
The plant and the insect co-evolved ; that is, they developed in intimate connection with each other.
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This is called an obligate mutualism in which if one were to disappear, the other would follow the same path. Originally it was a relationship of exploitation, with the moth larvae feeding on the seeds of the yucca. But, eventually the plant devised methods to take advantage of the situation and as a consequence, the moth also evolved to ensure food for its babies and preservation of its food plant. Yucca flowers open for a few days, attracting a variety of insects during day hours; but they produce more nectar and send their strong and sweet aroma at night.
The Yucca and its Moth – The Prairie Ecologist
Flowers with these characteristics are usually pollinated by moths or other nocturnal pollinators. The yucca adds a special embellishment to this arrangement; of all the insects that visit its flowers, the only ones that can accomplish pollination are the yucca moths Tegeticula yuccasella and Parategeticula depending on the species of plant.
Yucca moths are small, white, not very noticeable. They spend a good part of their adult life inside the flowers of the yucca, meeting members of the opposite sex and mating.