Plant Ecology and Evolution 149(3): 316-318, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2016.1232
Observations of insect visitors to Price’s Potato Bean (Apios priceana, Fabaceae) in North Alabama, USA
expand article infoJoshua Campbell, Brittany E. Campbell, Chase B. Kimmel, Paula Galvan
Open Access
Background and aimsApios priceana is a rare flowering plant that can only be found in parts of the Southeastern United States. Little is known about the reproductive biology of this plant and only a few insect flower visitors have been previously documented. The aim of this study was to further document the insect flower visitors of A. priceana in North Alabama.
Methods – Cameras and observers recorded flower visitors during the 2014 blooming season of a large North Alabama population of A. priceana.
Key results – Although fifteen different species of insects were documented on flowers of A. priceana, most performed a single or very few visits. Bumble bees ( Bombus spp.), two species of Megachilidae ( Megachile sculpturalis and Megachile campanulae ), and the hummingbird clearwing ( Hemaris thysbe ) were the most common visitors. Interestingly, the giant resin bee, M. sculpturalis, is considered to be an invasive species but in this case may be pollinating a native and Federally threatened plant.
Conclusion – Although A. priceana flowers are visited by numerous insects, Bombus spp. and, surprisingly, an invasive species ( Megachile sculpturalis ) are probably the most important pollinators of this plant.