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First known instance of a cricket as an orchid pollinator captured on film by Kew scientist
Date:1/12/2010

search also revealed that two other species of Reunion Island Angraecum orchids (A. bracteosum and A. striatum) are pollinated by two species of small white eye songbirds (Zosterops borbonicus and Zosterops olivaceus).

She continues, "My studies have shown that the raspy cricket is also a surprisingly efficient pollinator with higher rates of pollination and fruit set in Angraecum cadetii than those recorded in its bird-pollinated sister-species." (1)

There is a close match in size between the raspy cricket's head and Angraecum cadetii's nectar-spur opening (2). These wingless raspy crickets reach the flowers by climbing up the leaves of the orchid or jumping across from neighbouring plants. They use long very long antenna to explore their surroundings.

Just why the raspy cricket developed a taste for orchid nectar is still a key question for Micheneau. "Although crickets are typically omnivorous and eat both plant material and other insects, we think the raspy cricket has evolved to eat nectar to compensate for the general scarcity of other insects on Reunion."


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Contact: Bronwyn Friedlander
b.friedlander@kew.org
44-020-833-25605
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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