Amino-acids in Nectar and their Evolutionary Significance

  title={Amino-acids in Nectar and their Evolutionary Significance},
  author={Herbert George Baker and Irene Baker},
IT has been known since ancient times that nectar, usually secreted from specialized glands within flowers, is utilized by anthophilous (flower-visiting) animals for the energy-providing sugars that it contains. It is usually assumed that protein-making materials will be obtained elsewhere, from larval feeding (Lepidoptera), from pollen (Hymenoptera—Apioideae) or (by vertebrates) from insects. However, some butterflies are known to be attracted to decaying flesh, faeces, urine and stagnant… 


Nectars are richer in amino acids if the flowers that produce them are pollinated by settling moths, butterflies and many wasps which, as adults, do not have alternative sources of protein-building materials.

The effects of insect visitors on nectar constituents in temperate plants

SummaryThe floral nectar of angiosperms is primarily a solution of simple sugars, but contains detectable amounts of other solutes, particularly amino acids. These have been regarded as diagnostic,

Feeding Preferences of Flesh Flies (Sarcophaga bullata) for Sugar-only vs. Sugar-amino Acid Nectars

The discriminatory ability flies showed supports the theory that flies have favored the incorporation of amino acids into floral nectars but studies of fly preferences in nature are needed.

Nitrogen and amino acids in nectar modify food selection of nectarivorous bats.

Regardless of the low concentrations at which N and amino acids are present in floral nectar, their presence affects bats' food selection by interfering with the bats' ability to detect differences in sugar concentrations, and by offering particular flavours that can be perceived and selected by nectarivorous bats.

Sources of Assimilated Proteins in Old and New World Phytophagous Bats

It is inferred that pteropodids are predominantly phytophagous bats, suggesting that they share convergent physiological adaptations to compensate for the lack of dietary nitrogen.

The taste of nectar - a neglected area of pollination ecology

How nectar tastes to pollinating insects is of great importance in understanding the foraging choices of insect pollinators and there are many avenues that remain to be explored.

The occurrence and significance of amino acids in floral nectar

It is reaffirm that the findings provide statistically significant data linking differences in the concentration with pollinator type and with life form and that high or low a.

Review: Nectar biology: From molecules to ecosystems.

Adult feeding by holometabolous insects: pollen and nectar as complementary nutrient sources for Rhingia campestris (Diptera: Syrphidae)

It is suggested that similar feeding patterns may be found in a variety of other flower visiting insects and the problems of making ecological assumptions about feeding behaviour on the basis of the morphological attributes of the mouthparts are made.



Pollen feeding and reproductive biology of heliconius butterflies.

  • L. Gilbert
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1972
Butterflies of the neotropical Genus Heliconius feed on pollen. This is the first known instance in butterflies of a habit that is well known for other insects. The butterflies remove amino acids and

From the Raw Material to the Finished Product: Honey

This article is based on the paper read by Dr. Anna Maurizio at the Bee Research Association Conference on ‘Flower-bee relationships’, held at the Kent Farm and Horticultural Institute at

The Composition of Honey

Sugar in honey is not a single species, but consists of three kinds of sugar. These are the fruit sugar (fructose), which has among the highest (41%), grape sugar (glucose), which has about 34% of

Six-Legged Science


The nectar of 889 species and some fifty varieties of Angiosperms has been analysed by paper partition chromatography and the types of nectar in some honey-bee flowers are explored.