Snapdragon Pollination

Pollination of Snapdragons is done by a variety of different insects. The following list of pictures gives a few samples of pollinator species as well as of the different techniques used. Snapdragon is usually pollinated by bumble bees. Honey bees are not able to open up the mouth. But some bumble bees penetrate the flower tube from the side, avoiding the power consuming opening of the flower. This opening may then be used by others like honey bees to collect the nectar. This of course does nothing to ensure the pollination of the flower. Syrphid flies and other smaller insect can benefit from some flower mutants with impaired morphology of the petals.
Most of the photographs have been donated by Iris Heidmann (ihe) from the Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung.
The species determination of the pollinators is only tentative, since no animals were collected or killed but only "hunted" with the camera.
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This page has last been modified on May 12, 1997.