|Heiduk, A; Meve, U; Menzel, F; Haenni, J-P; Von Tschirnhaus, M; Dötterl, S; Johnson, S D: Fly Pollination of Kettle Trap Flowers of Riocreuxia torulosa (Ceropegieae-Anisotominae): A Generalized System of Floral Deception, Plants, 10(1564), 13 pp. (2021), doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10081564|
Elaborated kettle trap flowers to temporarily detain pollinators evolved independently in several angiosperm lineages. Intensive research on species of Aristolochia and Ceropegia recently illuminated how these specialized trap flowers attract particular pollinators through chemical deception. Morphologically similar trap flowers evolved in Riocreuxia; however, no data about floral rewards, pollinators, and chemical ecology were available for this plant group. Here we provide data on pollination ecology and floral chemistry of R. torulosa. Specifically, we determined flower visitors and pollinators, assessed pollen transfer efficiency, and analysed floral scent chemistry. R. torulosa flowers are myiophilous and predominantly pollinated by Nematocera. Pollinating Diptera included, in order of decreasing abundance, male and female Sciaridae, Ceratopogonidae, Scatopsidae, Chloropidae, and Phoridae. Approximately 16% of pollen removed from flowers was successfully exported to conspecific stigmas. The flowers emitted mainly ubiquitous terpenoids, most abundantly linalool, furanoid (Z)-linalool oxide, and (E)--ocimene—compounds typical of rewarding flowers and fruits. R. torulosa can be considered to use generalized food (and possibly also brood-site) deception to lure small nematocerous Diptera into their flowers. These results suggest that R. torulosa has a less specific pollination system than previously reported for other kettle trap flowers but is nevertheless specialized at the level of Diptera suborder Nematocera.