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Abstract Detail


Goodrich, Katherine [1], Ellis, Inesha [2], Senski, Rebecca [2].

Insect attraction to fermenting fruits and flowers of Asimina triloba (Annonaceae).

Flowers of Asimina triloba (pawpaw) are small, cup-shaped, deep maroon, and have a yeasty, fermented scent. Earlier authors have described the floral scent as fetid and similar to rotting meat; however, the floral aroma contains fermentation volatiles characteristic of yeast and not the sulfurous or nitrogenous compounds associated with protein degradation. Pollination data are limited for pawpaw, but existing work has documented flies and some beetles as floral visitors. We are currently working to document floral visitors at field sites near Chester, PA. We plan to compare our visitor data with data collected by collaborators at field sites in Illinois, South Carolina, and New York. In addition, we are conducting field bioassays to compare insect visitors attracted to pawpaw flowers, lures baited with yeast + sugar, and lures baited with fermenting fruit pulp. Initial observations at our field site indicate that several species of Diptera, including species of Drosophila, visit flowers of pawpaw, supporting earlier documentation of fly pollination. The outcomes of this work are twofold. First, we wish to document potential differences in pollination ecology across the wide geographic range of pawpaw (much of eastern North America) by comparing floral visitor observations from four geographically distant field locations within the same field seasons. Second, by comparing insect taxa attracted to flowers vs. lures containing yeast & sugar or fermenting fruits, we can establish how the context of fermentation volatiles (fermentation-only vs. fermentation volatiles in the context of flower-specific or fruit-specific volatiles) may alter insect attraction in an ecological setting.

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1 - Widener University, Department Of Biology, 1 University Place., Chester, PA, 19013, United States
2 - Widener University, Department of Biology, 1 University Place, Chester, PA, 19013, USA

floral mimicry
fermentation volatiles
floral scent

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC022
Abstract ID:836
Candidate for Awards:None

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