Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Cambio de color floral y mantenimiento de las flores Viejas en Lantana camara (Verbenaceae)


Andrew M. Quinn



Download Full Text (528 KB)

Publication Date

May 2011


Young flowers of Lantana camara are yellow and positioned in the center of the inflorescence with a ring of older, red flowers around them. This study investigates how changes in flower color and presence/absence of nectar influence robbers and pollinators of L. camara. It was found that a significant proportion of older, red flowers (mean = 20.3 percent) contain nectar. In addition, the majority of yellow and red flowers (estimated 90 percent) appear to have pollen and are receptive to pollination. Both pollinators and robbers preferred yellow flowers. Pollinators took nectar from a greater proportion of yellow flowers (e.g. 57 percent) versus red flowers (15 percent). In addition, pollinators showed no preference for inflorescences with the characteristic ‘bulls-eye’ pattern: all yellow inflorescences (AY) that were the same size as normal (N), ‘bulls-eye’ inflorescences, received more visits from butterflies (22 versus 10 per hour), and had more nectar removed (only 12.6 percent of AY flowers had nectar versus 37.5 percent of N flowers). Robbers were about ten times more likely to rob inflorescences with only yellow flowers than inflorescences containing yellow and red flowers (e.g. mean robbery per inflorescence was 3.71 and 0.334, respectively), even when reward and inflorescence size were similar. In addition, a ring of red flowers reduced robbery of yellow flowers by a factor of 37. Robbers may pollinate L. camara, as inflorescences visited only by robbers contained significantly more flowers with pollen on or near the pistil (1.64 flowers/infl) than inflorescences that were not visited (0.364 flowers/infl). L. camara plants may enhance fitness benefits by prohibiting large-scale robbery from yellow flowers yet provide some reward for robbery in red flowers as a way to assure their pollination.


Pollination by insects, Lantana camara, CIEE Spring 2011

Palabras claves

Polinizado por insectos, CIEE Primavera 2011


12 pages

Geographic Location

Cerro Plano (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Floral color change and maintenance of old flowers in Lantana camara (Verbenaceae)



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.