How Old Is the Flower and the Fly?

  title={How Old Is the Flower and the Fly?},
  author={Conrad C. Labandeira},
  pages={57 - 59}
Pollination--insects and plants benefiting each other--is one of nature's more widespread examples of mutual adaptation. How did it evolve? In his commentary, Labandeira discusses research reported in the same issue by [Ren][1] on elongated mouthparts and other pollination-adapted features of Late Jurassic brachyceran flies. This new work adds substantially to our understanding of the lineages of these insects and also the evolution of angiosperms, the most common form of seed plant. [1… 

Generalist Pollen-Feeding Beetles during the Mid-Cretaceous

Generalist flowers, biodiversity and florivory: implications for angiosperm origins

From the perspective of a floral morphologist, what a generalist flower is and how archaic angiosperms are characterized by this flower type are discussed.

Flies and flowers: taxonomic diversity of anthophiles and pollinators

Abstract The Diptera are the second most important order among flower-visiting (anthophilous) and flower-pollinating insects worldwide. Their taxonomic diversity ranges from Nematocera to Brachycera,

New Perspectives on the Pollination Biology of Basal Angiosperms

Coleoptera and Diptera are the primary pollinators of extant basal angiosperms (wind pollination is rare); lineages of these insects were established by the Late Jurassic. Contemporary examples of

A review of brood-site pollination mutualism: plants providing breeding sites for their pollinators

  • S. Sakai
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Journal of Plant Research
  • 2002
Abstract In this paper, I review pollination systems in which plants provide breeding sites as a reward for pollination. I divide the pollinators into three groups based upon ovipositing sites and

Cycads: their evolution, toxins, herbivores and insect pollinators

New results on the uptake and storage of the main toxin, cycasin, of the Mexican cycad Zamia furfuracea by its pollinator, the weevil Rhopalotria mollis, and by a specialist herbivore of Zamia integrifolia, the aposematic Atala butterfly Eumaeus atala are added.

The Pollination of Mid Mesozoic Seed Plants and the Early History of Long-proboscid Insects1,2,3

Evidence for pollination includes the entomophilous structure and size of pollen found on insect and plant contact surfaces and in insect guts, nutritional levels of modern pollination drop fluids similar to angiosperm nectar for supporting metabolically high activity levels of aerially active insects, and plant-host outcrossing.

Convergent evolution and adaptive radiation of beetle-pollinated angiosperms

  • P. Bernhardt
  • Environmental Science
    Plant Systematics and Evolution
  • 2004
The floras of Australia and western North America suggest that mutualistic interactions between beetles and flowers has been a continuous and labile trend in angiosperms with novel interactions evolving through the Tertiary.

Flowers are essential to maintain high beetle diversity (Coleoptera) in a Neotropical rainforest canopy

It is suggested that the enormous diversity of canopy beetles in Amazonian tropical rainforests is due mainly to flowers and that mass-flowering trees with small white flowers of the generalist syndrome play a particularly crucial role in assembly and nourishment of this megadiverse beetle community.

Animal-mediated fertilization in bryophytes - parallel or precursor to insect pollination in angiosperms?

A ’Bryophyte precursor hypothesis of plant pollination’ is suggested stating that animal-mediated fertilization in mosses and insect pollination in seed plants is historically linked by homologous or analogous evolution of structures responsible for attraction and reward aimed at a pool of fertilization vectors originally co-evolved with bryophytes and subsequently co-opted by seed plants.



Natural history of pollination

The methods by which pollen reaches the female flower, enabling fertilization and seed production to take place, include some of the most varied and fascinating mechanisms in the natural world.

Flower-associated brachycera flies as fossil evidence for jurassic angiosperm origins

  • Ren
  • Geography
  • 1998
Functional morphology and comparison with modern confamilial taxa show that the orthorrhaphous Brachycera were some of the most ancient pollinators, and imply that angiosperms originated during the Late Jurassic and were represented by at least two floral types.

Pollen in the guts of Permian insects: first evidence of pollinivory and its evolutionary significance

It is suggested that the peculiar taeniate pollen of worldwide distribution in the Permian might simultaneously evolve in several groups of Paleozoic seed plants in relation to pollinivory that, by altering the rnicropyle load and thereby the pollen/ovule ratio, could also affect ovuliferous structures.

Floral evidence for Cretaceous chloranthoid angiosperms

The Cretaceous material clarifies the homologies of chloranthoid androecial structures and provides an improved basis for interpreting the pollination biology in this enigmatic group of early angiosperms.

The origin and early diversification of angiosperms

New palaeobotanical discoveries and phylogenetic analyses of morphological and molecular data have clarified the initial phases of this radiation and changed the perspective on early angiosperm evolution, though important issues remain unresolved.

The Role of Beetles in the Pollination of Zamia furfuracea L. fil. (Zamiaceae)

Experimental evidence is presented supporting the hypothesis that snout weevils may be facultative pollinators of Z. furfuracea and circumstantial evidence that some genera and species of cycads may be insect pollinated is presented.

Keys to the Evolution of Diptera: Role of Homoptera

The hypothesis that Diptera originally depended on honeydew explains their “dancing” behavior; their attraction to small, shiny objects; the presence of sugar receptors on their tarsi; and various basic, primitive differences between Diptera and other orders of Neoptera.

Coprolites as evidence for plant–animal interaction in Siluro–Devonian terrestrial ecosystems

The discovery of coprolites in Upper Silurian and Lower Devonian rocks from the Welsh Borderland demonstrate the cycling of primary productivity in early terrestrial ecosystems.

Pollination of endangered Cuban cycad Microcycas calocoma (Miq.) A.DC.

Observations indicate that natural regeneration in the field of the cycad Microcycas calocoma (Miq.) A.DC. is extremely low, and has been so since early this century. It appears that populations of