Insect Pollination

Insects are the oldest and most important pollinators of the angiosperm (or flowering) plants. Insect began pollinating flowering plants approximately 140 million years ago, at the dawn of the angiosperms. Since then angiosperms have radiated and become the major group of terrestrial vascular plants, primarily because of the effectiveness of insect pollinators. The interactions between flowers and the their pollinators are fascinating and we will examine some of the devious ways that flowers lure insects to visit them with sugars (nectar), proteins (pollen), and floral oils and fragrances. In some cases the plants have done away with the reward and simply trick their pollinators into visiting them.

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